View Full Version : Solving hair issues

January 22nd, 2016, 07:52 AM
I wasn't sure which thread to post this on, so I'm starting a new one dedicated to solving hair issues (if there is one, please guide me towards it). I haven't been so active here the past half year or more but my hair is summoning me to the community!

My hair from the scalp to bra strap is healthy, shiny, moisturized, but the hair from the bra strap to the ends (BCL) is so unbelievably dry and frizzy. I've done S&D twice to be sure that it wasn't just a butt-load of split ends hiding from me, but that wasn't the case. My ends are crunchy, frizzy, feel like hay or straw, no matter how much I brush my ends, they always look frizzy. They're horrific and I hide them in a bun everyday so that no one can see them. I tried blow-drying my hair and straightening, in vain, which didn't seem to help either (I felt really silly doing that, high-heat to fix my hair!? I'm truly desperate!). I've clarified as well, as I thought it was oil buildup. It helped a little bit, but only by making my hair feel cleaner. My hair remained frizzy and dry.

To help you guys better understand my hair care routine, I regularly:

1) Damp bun my hair. Is damp bunning the culprit? Every time I take a shower or bath, I detangle my hair with my fingers and then use a wide tooth comb, then I bun it. I do this because if I leave my hair down to dry, then my ends become frizzy and tangled.
2) I condition my ends every time I wash my hair, but even then, they feel dry and it's difficult to get the conditioner through my hair without it matting. Literally ANY conditioner I use, no matter how moisturising it says it is, it does NOT moisturise my hair at all! I've tried 5 different conditioners so far and am disappointed in having to finish a bottle before trying another that probably isn't moisturising enough either. It just seems I'm not conditioning properly (but I don't know how that's possible).
3) Benign neglect. I stay at home a lot, so I will sometimes leave my hair in a bun for days and not brush or wash. It seems like my ends feel more like crunchy and dry around this time, but less frizzy. If I brush my hair though, at any point, it gets super frizzy at the ends.

And that's pretty much all I can think of. So basically, I'm asking for any advice pertaining to moisturising conditioners that you personally use, or any advice on damp bunning or benign neglect. I could be forgetting something as well, so anything helpful is appreciated.

January 22nd, 2016, 09:09 AM
My ends recently went dry and crunchy and stayed that way despite heavy moisturizing. Then I did a protein deep conditioner and they improved, so I spent a couple of days using a protein leave-in Redken Anti-snap) and they went away. Do you think you may need a bit of protein?

January 22nd, 2016, 09:24 AM
Do your hairs strecth easily (and not return to the original length)? Does your hair feel mushy, or soft, or weak? Does it break easily?

I think Diddiedaisy is on to something. If those moisturizing products you've been using have been protein free, and since you damp bun, your hair might be overly moisturized (which means it needs protein).

There is also something called hygral fatigue, which might apply to your hair since you damp bun so much. Read about it, maybe it will ring true to you.

ETA: is the lower part of your hair damaged or compromized otherwise (vs virgin hair that has been taken good care of always)?

January 22nd, 2016, 09:34 AM
*Exactly* what conditioner(s) are you using?

January 22nd, 2016, 09:43 AM
ETA: is the lower part of your hair damaged or compromized otherwise (vs virgin hair that has been taken good care of always)?

^this. The lower parts of my hair still have bleach in them and react differently to products on my virgin hair.

January 22nd, 2016, 09:51 AM
*Exactly* what conditioner(s) are you using?

This. Also, how are you conditioning your hair? Meaning how do you work it through, how long do you let it sit, etc.

We will get it sorted out!

school of fish
January 22nd, 2016, 10:34 AM
It sounds like your hair might be in a very similar situation to mine. I've got glossy, smooth, well-behaving, LHC-cared-for hair from roots to about BSL, and dryer, tangly, piecey, white-dotted/split, pre-LHC-care hair from BSL to BCL. Like you, my damaged section appears to need moisture/protection but gets built up SO quickly and nothing seems to penetrate it to help. I've developed a hair 'rehab' program that makes my damaged length *look* like the healthy length, but the truth is that the damaged length *behaves* differently and will until it's all trimmed out. I kind of consider the damaged bit to be in a sort of palliative care, and don't expect it to return to a healthier state - just keeping it comfortable and happy and enjoying it while it's with me :) Care-wise, here's a list of some things that work and don't work for me:

- monthly microtrimming (anything from a dusting to taking my month's growth). I've gained length and trimmed damage and dried out ends very successfully this way.
- daily washing. I know that runs contrary to what so many say here about keeping moisture in, but I've tried, really tried, and no matter what my hair needs at least a thorough water soaking every day.
- clear sulphate shampoo. I know, this sounds drying, but my hair builds up crazy fast and needs to cleared regularly or else it gets stiff, tangly and linty. I shampoo twice a week, and yes right down to the ends.
- thick conditioner with light cones. Every day, and yes right up to the scalp. Specifically I'm using Pantene Ice Shine (shampoo too) but I believe other thick, coney conditioners that are low on oils would work for me too.
- very diluted acidic (lemon) rinse, every day. Corrects the pieciness I get that makes tangles and dry ends worse.
- detangling with wide tooth comb when damp (once a day, after shower), and several times a day with Tangle Teezer when dry - tangling somehow makes ends feel dryer - don't ask me how, it just does ;).
- SMT on the length once a week. Just about the only moisture-boosting 'thing' I've tried that actually helps.
- not keeping my hair damp or wet over long stretches of time - so any kind of wet or damp protective styling.

Doesn't work
- leave-ins, of ANY sort. I'm seriously low-porous, even in the damaged length, so anything I add just sits on top and adds to the build up. Oils are particularly bad, but no luck with serums either.
- damp-bunning. Damp-bunning is not my friend, it just makes my length piecey and tangly - you'd think it might help retain moisture but not for me! Damp braiding is the same.
- stretching washes. My hair is so unhappy with anything left on it that even my own SEBUM builds up and tangles it :(
- diluting products. Diluted shampoo won't remove buildup on me, and runny conditioner won't give me the slip I need. Weirdly enough, really rich, thick conditioner with cones rinses out better for me than runny cone-free conditioner. Go figure...
- oiling. Disastrous on me. Coconut oil is particularly bad. I can *get away* with single drops of MO or jojoba occasionally, but don't seem to get any benefit and even those build up so I've abandoned oiling altogether.
- not trimming. This one took me years to figure out, and is really key for me. It's a big reason why I have so much damaged length to grow out.

This whole list is of course very 'me-specific', but I've outlined so much detail because perhaps even a small part of it may register with you :) Other people are chiming in with great suggestions too (ones that wouldn't be right for me but might be just the thing for you) so hopefully something will click :)

Good luck!

January 22nd, 2016, 12:04 PM
Given that conditioning doesn't seem to help and clarifying did a little... maybe try a chelating wash?

After that, I'm echoing the questions Arctic asked, since overmoisturization could definitely be an issue. It's also entirely plausible that damp bunning just plain isn't good for your hair. Mine doesn't respond very well to it, and I'm not even prone to too much moisture. If I need my hair contained while it's drying, I do it in a loose braid that's left hanging. It takes longer than loose hair, but it dries eventually (more than I can really claim for a bun).

June 28th, 2016, 08:15 AM
Hi all, thanks to all of you that replied! My apologies for updating so late but I've spent the first half of this year trying to make my hair normal again by following all of your suggestions. It has taken a long time and a lot of patience for my ends to return to the state that they were before they became super dry. I can finally say today that my hair is officially healthy again.

The main culprit was indeed damp bunning. I can't believe that I used to put my hair into a bun while it was damp and just left it for days. It also didn't help that my hair WAS in fact over moisturized, yet I believed it was dry. That meant I kept trying to add more and more moisture to my hair, but it didn't even need it! So, I put your suggestions into use and followed a really simple hair regime for a while, cutting out a lot of hair products that contained chemicals and stuck with the most basic things. I started letting my hair air dry or at least partially air dry before I even attempt to put it into a bun. I really thought I would have to cut off most of my ends but I'm extremely happy with them now. Before January, I wouldn't ever wear my hair down because my ends looked horrible and I felt self-conscious. Now, I can finally wear my hair down because my ends look super healthy and that gives me the confidence that I always needed in order to wear my hair down.

I hope someone else can learn from these mistakes because damp bunning really is horrible for your ends! I wish I had before and after pictures because the difference is unreal. Let your hair dry before you put it in a bun, people!

June 28th, 2016, 08:38 AM
My mom used to always say not to wear anything permanent on wet hair (like hats) or sleep with it wet, because it would "suffocate" the hair. I guess there finally is some truth to that. ;)

I'm glad you found out what was causing your issues. :flower:

June 28th, 2016, 12:21 PM
Haha! Lapushka if I don't "suffocate" my hair a bit it goes haywire. Now whenever I go to sleep or braid it damp, I will think about suffocating my hair. Too funny.

OP I'm glad you found out what the problem was!

June 29th, 2016, 09:28 AM
Your mother definitely had a point, Lapushka! I wish I had gotten that advice before I started damp bunning, it definitely would have prevented all of the issues I had with my ends.

Thanks Ophidian, I'm really glad that I got help from the community because it probably would have taken longer for me to have healthy hair again. It's strange though because when I put my hair into a damp braid like you've said you do, it makes my hair pretty soft and manageable afterwards. So if I want wavy hair, I usually just braid it while damp... It really doesn't seem to do the same damage as bunning does. I would have thought that since a braid can be quite compacted, it can be damaging as well. It seems like it's much better than damp bunning, especially for me!

June 29th, 2016, 09:36 AM
I think the difference between braiding and bunning is, that with a braid the ends are still out and most of the hair in the braid is also out. Bunning really wreaks havoc on those ends because you tuck them under and they're in there but good!

June 29th, 2016, 11:33 AM
There are people who swear by damp bunning as a way to get moisture. I think in your case, it just worked way too much.

June 29th, 2016, 02:37 PM
It is also a way to keep your hair from getting dry, and I don't think that's particularly beneficial.