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Blissful337
June 7th, 2016, 08:34 AM
So I'm 34 and trying to grow my hair to BSL. It's currently just above shoulder with layers. My short layers are about chin length. I have fine brunette hair, not dyed, and maybe it's about a 1c. I'll know more of my hair type once it grows more. It's slightly damaged from too much heat styling (blow dryer/flat iron). I gave up the heat tools a month ago and also had a trim at that time. I also switched to sulfate and cone free shampoo and conditioner. I am leaving coconut oil in my hair, overnight, 1-2x a week. I feel like my hair does look much better but the ends still sometimes feel dry. Will my new hair care routine make a huge difference? How long do you think it will take to see a bigger difference? I am still noticing some breakage in my hair. Oh and I've also been using a boar bristle brush before I go to bed. In the morning after a shower I use a very wide tooth come and the rest of the day I just finger brush. I wet my hair every day and condition the ends every day (otherwise my hair flips out weirdly and looks dry) but I only shampoo about 2-3x a week. I am also 6 months pregnant so I'm sure the pregnancy can affect my hair health and growth but I'm hoping for the better. When I was pregnant with my daughter I felt like my hair got thicker and longer but I'm not noticing as much of a change with this pregnancy. Should I keep up with current routine? Any suggestions for a different care routine?

Cg
June 7th, 2016, 09:48 AM
It can take a really long time for hair to come to its best health after damage, sometimes many months. Since you have noticed positive changes already, you know you're on the right track. Remember that pregnancy is not the time to make decisions for long-term hair care as major hormonal changes will affect you for some time yet.

Some have found a silk sleep cap or pillowcase helps prevent hair damage. In windy situations or under a lot of direct sun, a scarf or hat will protect your hair's ends too. Some people have found coconut oil to be drying rather than moisturizing, so another oil (olive, argan, etc.) might be better for you.

Have fun with your hair experimentation, your pregnancy, and your family!

Blissful337
June 7th, 2016, 09:51 AM
It can take a really long time for hair to come to its best health after damage, sometimes many months. Since you have noticed positive changes already, you know you're on the right track. Remember that pregnancy is not the time to make decisions for long-term hair care as major hormonal changes will affect you for some time yet.

Some have found a silk sleep cap or pillowcase helps prevent hair damage. In windy situations or under a lot of direct sun, a scarf or hat will protect your hair's ends too. Some people have found coconut oil to be drying rather than moisturizing, so another oil (olive, argan, etc.) might be better for you.

Have fun with your hair experimentation, your pregnancy, and your family!

Thanks so much for the reassurance and the suggestions!! I will look into some of the other oils and I have been contemplating getting a silk pillow case. A scarf for wind and sun is a great idea. I hadn't thought about that!
:)

pailin
June 7th, 2016, 09:53 AM
Hopefully you will. Just give it a little time. The biggest thing is probably giving up the heat. A lot of people also get great results from coconut oil. I would warn you to pay attention to your ends; a few of us get crunchy ends from it.
I would also add that while cone-free and sls-free is great for some people, there's nothing inherently evil about either one; a lot of us do better with them. Especially cones, once you get past a certain length. So just pay attention to your hair and scalp, and do whatever makes them happy.
If you have some damage you might find a little protein in your routine helpful. Again, depending on how your hair responds. Try not to make too many changes at once, then you won't know which effects come from which one.
And good luck!

lapushka
June 7th, 2016, 09:55 AM
When you have heat damage, it's like growing out from a shaved head, esp. when you have white dots in there, they can go quite high up the hair shaft too, it depends on how hot you set your heat tools at. A blowdryer isn't as bad, and you could still use it (if you can hold your hand in the airstream for a long time without it burning, it's fine), but maybe not when there's a lot of damage.

I wouldn't use a BBB as it is so tough on hair (it strains it when you brush), that it could break it more (it could break the white dots). So try and brush less or get a different brush like a Tangle Teezer (much airier).

I think there's nothing wrong with your routine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

The breakage however is real, esp. with white dots, they are quite sturdy and won't break on their own, but they will from manipulation, so be careful when manipulating your hair.

Blissful337
June 7th, 2016, 10:01 AM
Thank you all. See this is why I joined LHC. For great suggestions and support to keep up with a healthy routine in order to reach my goal! :)

meteor
June 7th, 2016, 10:01 AM
Should I keep up with current routine? Any suggestions for a different care routine?

It's hard for me to tell, but if all these things are working for you, then great! :thumbsup: Just stick with what works! :D

I think, if there is some old heat damage from flat-ironing and blow-drying and you are still noticing breakage, I wouldn't go cone-free, personally. :flower: If cones don't cause any problems for you, I wouldn't avoid them.
It's just that, silicones can be quite protective for weakened ends and they add that great elasticity and slip, thus helping reduce mechanical damage during detangling and styling.
If you are avoiding silicones just because they give you build-up, I'd try lighter or water-soluble ones (all cones aren't made equal: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/silicone-ingredient-solubility-list.html) and if you avoid sulfates because you have some sensitivities to them, there are other detergents that remove cones, too: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2016/05/detergents-which-remove-silicones.html Also, I find diluting shampoo can help reduce detergent power for a milder wash, if you like to wash hair frequently.

You mentioned your ends feeling sometimes dry... have you tried SMT (conditioner + honey + aloe) or oil added to conditioner or oil rinses (a few drops of oil between shampoo and conditioner) or just spreading a few drops of oil on braid tassel/ends before bunning it or going to bed? Also, try conditioning more heavily, maybe try double-conditioning or CWC and see how the hair responds? It might be too heavy (in which case, it will wash out anyway) or it might help solve the dryness issue.
Also, pre-poo oiling and LOC (liquid/leave-in + oil + cream) post-wash can be great for dry or damaged hair, as well.

I'd try sleeping on silky-smooth materials (to reduce friction and tangling of hair at night): e.g. silky scarves, satin bonnets, pillowcases, etc... And I'd definitely try wearing hair up in low-manipulation protective styles more often to preserve the ends.

Also, are you sure the BBB is necessary every time you go to bed? :hmm: It's just that BBBs are typically dense and I think you might be adding too much manipulation inadvertently to hair... Think of it this way: every time you handle your hair, you run the risk of adding further pulling, friction, abrasion... so I'd make it count and only do it when really needed. ;) Use BBB when your hair is already well detangled, moisturized and oiled and you want to create those vintage brushed out waves on it or something, or maybe to stimulate/massage your scalp only, but I wouldn't just brush hair 100 strokes (or whatever the old wives' tales recommend) every night - yes, a BBB can add gloss, but it's not like polishing hair like that is any better for it than just leaving it alone with a bit of oil.
I do think it's great that you use a wide-tooth comb and fingers for detangling . :D

Some studies on combing and brushing:
- A statistical analysis of hair breakage. II. Repeated grooming experiments: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21241634
- Hair breakage during combing. II. Impact loading and hair breakage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16832575
- Hair breakage during combing. IV. Brushing and combing hair: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18305876
- The effect of brushing on hair loss in women: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19016066

school of fish
June 7th, 2016, 11:17 AM
Seconding all the excellent advice you've gotten here so far! :D

This might not be what you want to hear, but the truth is that it takes quite a while on a new routine to be able to gauge how 'ideal' that routine is going to be for you. My guess though is that you will start seeing some benefits pretty quickly given the changes you've put in place now - but what you probably won't see any miraculous transformation. Improvement is often incremental, which can make progress feel excruciatingly slow, but the progress is real! When you look back after a few months or a couple years on how far you came, that's when you get to really feel the sense of accomplishment... it's made all the more rewarding by the amount of time, care and patience you put in to get there :)

I'd suggest you stick with the routine have right now for a while and monitor your 'symptoms'. We all understand the pull do everything you can NOW to *fix* it, but the only way to determine YOUR best routine is through trial and error, giving new things enough time to see if they work or not, and only making one change at a time to isolate the successes from the failures. As much great press as there is for coconut oil and oiling in general, it's not for everyone (raises hand), some of us have to trim in order to grow (another hand raise), some of us have awful hair without sulphates and silicones (again, the hand ;) )... For others my routine would be disastrous - it took me a good year to figure out what my best products and practices are - through one-thing-at-a-time trial and error - and all throughout I enjoyed incremental but real improvements that have put my hair in the good condition it is today. I still have at least 18 months to go before my hair is where I want it to be, but it's a FAR cry better than it was when I started :D Incidentally when I started I estimated it would take me 2 years to rehab my hair - turns out it's going to be closer to 4 or maybe even 5 ;)

As you're searching the forum look for people who've overcome similar issues and more importantly whose hair *behaves* like yours - those are the ones to watch to see what kind solutions they've found that might also work for you :)

I will mention - I tried a BBB early on as well and thought I was doing right by my hair... it took me 4 months to notice the canopy breakage I was inflicting. My strands are just too fine for the kind of friction I got with that brush, and 2 years later I'm still growing out that breakage. I'd suggest maybe easing off on it a bit, perhaps just reducing the number of days a week you use it if you don't want to eliminate it altogether. I just worry that fine hair already in a weakened state (like mine) might not be strong enough to withstand any benefit it might otherwise provide.

Have fun learning your hair, enjoy the path on the way to your destination, and welcome to LHC :D

maborosi
June 7th, 2016, 11:44 AM
It'll take a little while for your hair to really show the better care. When I grew my hair out last time, it was actually around BSL when I began to notice some of my heat and chemical damage showing up. It can take years before you start to have to wrangle with your hair.

This time around, my hair is in excellent shape and is nearly TBL. It absolutely does make a difference.

Blissful337
June 7th, 2016, 12:31 PM
Wow you ladies are awesome. Really love all of this advice. I'm thinking I don't need the BBB. My hair is pretty short still anyway. I probably shouldn't be messing with it too much as it doesn't really get tangled often. Finger detangling seems to do the trick for me. I gave up sulfates and cones sort of just as an experiment. I noticed that I was getting itchy scalp and lots of dandruff. It seems as though I have better air dried results without them. Not sure why that would be but when I was using sulfates and cones when I air dried my hair would have a lot more flyaways and frizz. Also I have more volume now which seems nice and I don't seem to get as oily. I can go 3 days without shampooing now but before my scalp was really oily by day 2. I think for now I'm going to stick with the current routine (minus the BBB) and give it some more time to see how it goes. If I notice too much more breakage then maybe I'll switch to a lighter soluble cone and see if that makes a significant difference. Really appreciate the input and help!

school of fish
June 7th, 2016, 02:19 PM
Wow you ladies are awesome. Really love all of this advice. I'm thinking I don't need the BBB. My hair is pretty short still anyway. I probably shouldn't be messing with it too much as it doesn't really get tangled often. Finger detangling seems to do the trick for me. I gave up sulfates and cones sort of just as an experiment. I noticed that I was getting itchy scalp and lots of dandruff. It seems as though I have better air dried results without them. Not sure why that would be but when I was using sulfates and cones when I air dried my hair would have a lot more flyaways and frizz. Also I have more volume now which seems nice and I don't seem to get as oily. I can go 3 days without shampooing now but before my scalp was really oily by day 2. I think for now I'm going to stick with the current routine (minus the BBB) and give it some more time to see how it goes. If I notice too much more breakage then maybe I'll switch to a lighter soluble cone and see if that makes a significant difference. Really appreciate the input and help!

That sounds like a really great plan! And you sound like you're goig about it the right way - keeping what works, ditching what doesn't and not fretting about it beyond that. One of our members here lapushka frequently and famously says that it's about what your hair wants, not what you want. It seems to me that the ones who follow that idea are generally the ones who are most at peace with their hair, whatever their point in the journey :)

lapushka
June 7th, 2016, 02:59 PM
That sounds like a really great plan! And you sound like you're goig about it the right way - keeping what works, ditching what doesn't and not fretting about it beyond that. One of our members here lapushka frequently and famously says that it's about what your hair wants, not what you want. It seems to me that the ones who follow that idea are generally the ones who are most at peace with their hair, whatever their point in the journey :)

Ha! You beat me to it. :) I'd say that if your scalp feels okay with sulfates and your hair with silicones, to keep using them. There's tons of ways to tame down flyaways, like a little serum or oil on damp hair after washing, with some leave-in (LOC method, see my signature). Your scalp is really important, because that's where growth happens. You need to keep this part of your routine "happy"!

kendraf
June 7th, 2016, 04:09 PM
Sounds like you have a good plan! Coming from hair that I could never get past APL due to bleach and heat damage and now nearing waist, these things helped me the most:

1. Wide-toothed comb only - I have waves so I use mine in the shower post-conditioner and once my hair is completely dry. Not sure what your strands are like, but mine are fine so any type of brush is just too much for it to handle, especially with breakage and white dots throughout
2. Only washing 2x a week
3. Sulfate-free shampoo on roots only (clarify monthly), heavy cone-free conditioner on length (I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Masque)
4. No heat styling
5. Gentle styles like braids and buns - no more ponies or top knots with damaging hair ties
6. Lightly oiling ends at night and heavy overnight oiling on length before washes

Like everyone pointed out, it is all about trying things and seeing what works best for your hair. Best of luck!!

Blissful337
June 8th, 2016, 08:01 AM
Wonderful ideas! I am considering getting a clarifying shampoo to use once a month. Especially since summer is here for me and I'm sure there will be plenty of pool days. Kendraf what clarifying shampoo do you use? Can someone recommend a good clarifying shampoo for fine hair?

Blissful337
June 8th, 2016, 08:06 AM
As you can see I was able to add pictures of my hair to my signature. Finally am above 25 posts! Woohoo. So you can sorta see what my hair is currently like. It has actually been looking fairly shiny and healthy which makes me happy. I used to heavily highlight years and years ago and never saw much "shine" to it. Also I'm not sure if you'd be able to help with my hair type by my avatar or signature but I have no clue what my hair typing is. I always hated the flipping ends and random waves, which is why I was addicted to my blow dryer and flat iron, but I am trying to except my hair as is and learn to embrace it now so it can be healthy.

kendraf
June 8th, 2016, 09:22 AM
Your hair has really nice shine!

For clarifying, I (and quite a few others here) use V05 Kiwi Lime Clarifying since it's cheap and pretty easy to find. But there's a bunch of clarifying type shampoos out there. Just make sure you do a deep conditioning treatment after clarifying since it is stripping away oils along with any buildup in your hair.

Blissful337
June 8th, 2016, 10:53 AM
Your hair has really nice shine!

Thank you!!

And I will definitely check that clarifying shampoo out. Cheap is good!!

Blissful337
June 8th, 2016, 01:05 PM
So I think I am experience shedding not breaking. I just read an article that helped me figure out the difference and it seems like whenever I do notice hairs that came out they have a white/opaque bulb. I thought that bulb was the white dots that I hear people talk about here on LHC. Oops..this is a learning process for me. So good news is I don't think I'm dealing with breakage as often as I thought I was. I do occasionally see lost thinner looking hair that does not have that bulb but those pieces are usually really short and I don't see them too often. I think those pieces are probably left over from past heat damage on my ends. I plan to go without a trim until Jan 2017 and hopefully after that it will get a lot of the left over damage out. My last trim was a month ago so I want to go as long as I can without trimming so that I can get some better length.