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View Full Version : Help/Advice for my Fine, Thin, Previously Damaged Hair!



wanderwildlyco
March 11th, 2016, 05:35 PM
Hello ladies of LHC! First off, Hi! I have been stalking/trolling this amazing community for years now to try to get some answers for my hair. All of you, whether you know it or not, have been a HUGE help! Here's a picture of my hair:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133768673@N03/25081037874/in/dateposted-public/

I need some advice from anyone who's willing to give it! Here's a super quick backstory about my hair. I was born super premature, weighing in at 1 pound, 12 ounces at birth. I'm positive that had something to do with my hair (or sad lack thereof). It's baby fine, super thin, and naturally blonde. When I was little it was naturally WHITE. As I got older, it started to darken and I started to dye. Box dye. Over and over and over. Always blonde, and it never looked good so back to the dye I went to "fix" it. Then in college came the bleach. I wanted light, pretty platinum. What I got was out of control roots, SEVERE breakage, and overall sadness. This is when I found the hair gods (a.k.a. LHC :D) and got smart about haircare. I grew out my roots at least 3 inches so the stylist could match my natural hair color and I could dye it one more time and let it be. Bad move. I left the salon with BURGUNDY hair that was FRIED because something had obviously gone wrong. I was forced to pay, and then forced to pay again for her to fix it. It was that, or get a hair color correction fee slapped on at another salon. So I was stuck with awful dark, dark blonde/red. I then waited two more months and went to my mom's salon and she finally matched the color. My natural is a light ash blonde. It was dark at first, but it's faded considerably in the last six months of no dye. I'm back to my natural blonde!
Anyway, if you're still here reading this (THANK YOU!!) I need some advice. I am trying to grow it out to waist, and am about 3-4 inches away. I'm sooo close! My hair has some natural wave so in the picture this is what it looks like air dried out of the shower. ( also, apologies for the crappy photo. Bathroom lighting is not the best. Also my hemline looks uneaven, but that's just the way my head was turned.)

My current routine: Detangle super gently from ends up with Tangle Teezer, distribute oils with BBB, wash hair every 4-5 days, use sulphate-free, vegan hard water shampoo called Malibu Blondes by Malibu (super hard water in Colorado, makes me hair a mess). Deep condition w/ CO once a week (so pretty much every time I wash). NEVER use heat, air dry, haven't touched dye in 6 months, and have been recently putting my hair in a baby cinnabun everyday to protect the fragile strands that tangle if you look at them funny. Also, it takes FOREVER to dry...as in almost 2 hours. For my hair type, that is NOT normal. Why does it do this? I've also done the porosity test and my hair never sank, it floated which means I have low porosity which seems backwards to me since I've damaged it so badly before.

My mom keeps telling me to cut my hair short, that since it's fine it'll look better short. Problem is, I've had my hair to collarbone only 3 years ago and hated it. My natural waves don't look good with short hair.

Sorry that is SO long, I just figured it's time to post my hair story and get some advice!

What should I do? Cut or not cut? How should I care for my fine, fragile, poor hair?

Sarahlabyrinth
March 11th, 2016, 05:54 PM
If you want your hair long, have it long. Your choice is short fine hair or long fine hair. I prefer long fine hair, myself. Mine is fine and thick - and I was born 12 weeks early weighing one pound twelve.

You will find plenty of friendly tips and advice here to grow your hair long and beautiful. It already is, you know :) Welcome!

ETA: Your hair doesn't look thin to me. Even if it is thin, it still can be long and beautiful ;) proof is to be seen on the LHC. There's no rule that because you have thin hair you can't have it long. No rule at all.

Arctic
March 11th, 2016, 06:15 PM
Welcome! Floating test isn't a good indicator of hair porosity, I'm afraid.

MidnightMoon
March 11th, 2016, 06:22 PM
I was born two weeks late and my hair is fine and very frail :p

MidnightMoon
March 11th, 2016, 06:28 PM
Now regarding your routine...remember that if your hair is about waist length, the ends have been hanging around for about 4 or 5 years, they have been exposed to a lot of damage, and they arent close to the scalp to be more protected with oil/wax from your scalp and from mechanical damage.

Unfortunately fine hair needs more care than thick hair needs. Up to a certain length it would look good without too much care (like armpit or a bit longer), but it wont stay as nice for much longer if you dont care for it in special ways. Keeping it up almost always would be my greatest advice for fine hair. Mine tangles easily, and removing tangles makes it break -I can hear it snapping when I comb after wearing it loose for long periods of time.
Pherhaps using gentler shampoos too, would be an important advice.
However... you need to give it time to notice results, youll see better quality hair traveling down the length, but it will be noticeable in years, so be patient.

ChloeDharma
March 11th, 2016, 06:49 PM
Your hair looks lovely! Personally I don't think you need to cut a load off, those delicate waves just suit your hair so nicely. In fact given how much chemical processing it's been through you have done really well getting it that long looking so nice.
One thing to consider is using coconut oil before each wash to protect your hair during the washing, also maybe only use the BBB on hair that already has some oil on the delicate length, this is what I did when growing out fried fine hair and it greatly reduced breakage.
As for reaching your goal, I say keep growing with teensy trime every so often, about half of your growth or less. I trimmed 1/4 of an inch every 3 or 4 months when growing out damage and it worked well. Once you reach your goal you could maintain there to remove the damage faster then maybe keep growing if that appeals.
Keeping your hair up just about all the time is very wise and the rest of what you are doing sounds great. You can always experiment with DT's and other things to see if they help the condition of your length and are quite fun to play with.

Oh and welcome to LHC :)

lilin
March 12th, 2016, 05:49 AM
Your hair doesn't look thin to me. Perhaps a benefit of waves, perhaps you underestimate its thickness, but either way, it looks lovely. And it looks like it will also probably thicken up at the bottom as you grow the damage out (which doesn't look so bad really). Fine or thin hair can look great long. After all, that's what virtually every fantasy elf has. ;)

Don't underestimate your hair. From what I can see and what you've said about how it's been processed, I think you have hair a bit like a friend of mine, in the sense that even though her strands are very fine, it will take a lot of abuse and still hang on looking fairly good. I wish I were so lucky! My hair cries and whines if I so much as brush it.

But, of course, just because you have this lucky trait doesn't mean it won't be all the better for having a gentler routine as well. Just be patient with it and your hair will get better and better with you taking care of it well now.

But also, I suspect you've got more wave than you think. I'd put you in the 2's, and the waves might become more pronounced as your hair gets healthier. If I were you, I might try some form of Curly Girl for a couple weeks just to see what you end up with. It couldn't possibly hurt (just more moisture!), and you might discover you've got more wave than you realize. If that's the case, it might make your hair happier to augment how you detangle.

If you do try this, do keep a chelating shampoo around to occasionally wash out the hard water deposits. But you might not need it as much as you think. I live in London, which has INSANELY hard water, and I do CO and only need to use the chelating shampoo once every couple months.

As others have said, don't take the porosity test too seriously. It's hard to measure accurately. I also don't think 2 hours is an unreasonable time for air drying hair your length. This is why I tended to wash in the evening after work when I wasn't planning to go anywhere!

Good luck, and enjoy your hair!

pailin
March 12th, 2016, 06:43 AM
I agree with Lilin, you look like a wavy. And your hair doesn't look as damaged as you think.
Don't chop it unless you actually WANT short hair. There are a lot of people on this forum who have grown out lots of damage. Take good care of it, baby it, and maybe consider small trims or microtrimming if your ends are too bad, but there is no need for a big chop.

bunneh.
March 12th, 2016, 06:56 AM
You paid for a terrible dye job and paid the exact same person again to fix it? I would never play such risky games. One bad dye job is a proof good enough that they're not 200% sure they know what they're doing and you'd be better off going to someone else more experienced.

Second, seeing the picture, plus you saying you have natural waves, you're definitely not 1a/1b. 1a is stick straight and 1b has ends flicked outwards (this is how most of my hair looks like), 1c is still straight with some S waves throughout the length. If you have waves, you're probably in the second category (third is curly, 4th is kinky curly).

You mentioned you don't like how you looked with collarbone length, which is good enough reason NOT to cut it. There are plenty of fine haired people here on LHC with gorgeous long hair that I envy, so don't listen with all the BS about fine hair having to be short. In terms of your hair being damaged and cutting damage out, to be honest, I don't see that much damage that would need lots of trims. Definitely go with microtrims monthly, as that will get rid of the bleached and dyed ends, but you will be keeping length and gaining length each month and thus will be closer to your goal. If you like it at waist, consider maintaining for a while to get damage cut out if needed. I think health of the hair is better than length (yes I have layers and on some pictures my hair looks terrible, but to be honest it doesn't feel damaged, nor has it ever been bleached or dyed chemically), but that might not be the case for you. Definitely look into protective hairstyles to make sure your hair doesn't tangle and rub against things as that will majorly prevent breakage which should help you a lot in terms of health and keeping growth.

For hair care I will leave this to other members as I have pretty thick, rather coarse hair which is quite hungry so my hair care routine (still a work in progress lol) might not suit your hair type.

Arctic
March 12th, 2016, 07:00 AM
I have hard time reading a wall of text without breaks :o

I'm sorry if I missed it, but what is the current condition of your hair. Never mind the past and history, how is it now? It sounds like you have only very little virgin hair currently (6 cm?). This is probably your biggest problem and you will see improvements when you trim off the damage and allow more virgin hair to grow. It might be that all the brushing is damaging your ends too, maybe switch at least partially to wide tooth, seamless combs?

So the photo is hairtyping photo? You seem to be 2b.

What does "deep condition with CO" mean? It's usually used to refer to Conditioner Only washing method or castor oil. Since your hair is processed multiple times, if I understood correctly, have you been testing if your hair would benefit from protein treatments? (Always followed by moisture!)

Oh and I agree with the above, 2 hours isn't that strange drying time for waist length hair.

Angelica
March 12th, 2016, 08:03 AM
Gosh I wish my hair looked half as good as yours. I think it looks lovely and in great condition. I don't like the fact that your mother is pressurising you to cut it. I say don't. If you want to have long hair then do so. Hair takes years to grow back if you regret cutting it.

lapushka
March 12th, 2016, 09:28 AM
Anyway, if you're still here reading this (THANK YOU!!) I need some advice. I am trying to grow it out to waist, and am about 3-4 inches away. I'm sooo close! My hair has some natural wave so in the picture this is what it looks like air dried out of the shower. ( also, apologies for the crappy photo. Bathroom lighting is not the best. Also my hemline looks uneaven, but that's just the way my head was turned.)

My current routine: Detangle super gently from ends up with Tangle Teezer, distribute oils with BBB, wash hair every 4-5 days, use sulphate-free, vegan hard water shampoo called Malibu Blondes by Malibu (super hard water in Colorado, makes me hair a mess). Deep condition w/ CO once a week (so pretty much every time I wash). NEVER use heat, air dry, haven't touched dye in 6 months, and have been recently putting my hair in a baby cinnabun everyday to protect the fragile strands that tangle if you look at them funny. Also, it takes FOREVER to dry...as in almost 2 hours. For my hair type, that is NOT normal. Why does it do this? I've also done the porosity test and my hair never sank, it floated which means I have low porosity which seems backwards to me since I've damaged it so badly before.

My mom keeps telling me to cut my hair short, that since it's fine it'll look better short. Problem is, I've had my hair to collarbone only 3 years ago and hated it. My natural waves don't look good with short hair.

Sorry that is SO long, I just figured it's time to post my hair story and get some advice!

What should I do? Cut or not cut? How should I care for my fine, fragile, poor hair?

I'd say you have about 2a/b hair, maybe 2b.

Low porosity usually means no chemical services "take" on the hair. So I doubt it's low porosity. My hair is iii and takes more than 8H to dry, so 2H for thin hair sounds about right to me.

Your hair looks fine, and you're so close to waist - I'd leave it alone.

picklepie
March 12th, 2016, 10:55 AM
Drying time might be due to buildup from "natural" products-- have you clarified lately?

BBB-- not the best for damaged, wavy hair. It's a lot of mechanical stress on fragile hair. I'd do as little manipulation as possible. Detangle in the shower when hair is full of conditioner, using a wide-tooth comb or just fingers, wrap gently in a large cotton t-shirt to dry (no rubbing) and bun it with u-pins or a hair stick once it's dry. And just forget about it. :)

parkmikii
March 12th, 2016, 11:11 AM
If you'd like to grow out the damage you could try microtrimming until your virgin hair grows out. It will be a pretty long journey but we'll deserved it if you are sure that's what you want.
I also recommend wearing it up everyday and not with elastics but with a claw clip or a hairstick which are way more gentle on your hair than elastics.
You can also try detaching with a wide tooth comb before using the tangle teezer since your hair is wavy and it might be torn off easily if it's tangled. Personally I only use a wide tooth comb and never a brush.
Also, does your hair like protein? A protein treatment might help filling the keratin gaps in the hair from previous damage temporarily and make it a bit manageable but also you need to make sure to deep condition after every protein treatment else you may end up tangly and unmanageable hair. If your hair is sensitive to protein, skip it entirely and rely on just the deep conditioning ^^

diddiedaisy
March 12th, 2016, 08:21 PM
Your hair looks great and it certainly doesn't look thin. I've got thin hair but I'm still trying to grow it to waist length as well. You've had some great advice from other members, it is at a length though where damage can occur if you wear it down (straps, chair backs etc), so my advice would be wear it up as much as you can. Happy growing :)

gwenalyn
March 13th, 2016, 12:22 AM
Your hair doesn't look thin to me. Perhaps a benefit of waves, perhaps you underestimate its thickness, but either way, it looks lovely. And it looks like it will also probably thicken up at the bottom as you grow the damage out (which doesn't look so bad really).Seconded! I would never have guessed that the hair in the pic was the hair in the thread title.

SaraJayne
March 13th, 2016, 12:03 PM
Your hair looks just like what I think/hope mine will look like if I ever get it that long. I don't think I can offer any advice you haven't already been given, but I strongly agree with laying off the brushing. I never brush and rarely comb, because our hair type is so delicate. I mainly just finger comb very gently and wet to reactivate whurls. I comb through with lots of leave in after I wash though.