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View Full Version : I'm not happy with my hair. Help?



Bexille
July 27th, 2016, 05:02 PM
I cut my hair from mid-back length to armpit length about a year and a half ago because I had lots of dryness and damage. At the time I told myself I would baby it so that I could achieve the long, sleek, shiny, healthy hair I so desire, but I didn't do as good a job as I should have, and also I still haven't found a routine that really "works" to keep my hair moisturized and healthy looking. I'm getting frustrated. My hair is approaching mid-back length again (I've noticed extremely quick growth over the past couple of months in particular, not sure why), but once again it's very damaged, dry, and has a zillion split ends. I'm also growing my bangs out and they look horrible. For the past few weeks I've been tempted to do another chop, for a few reasons: to get rid of all the damaged, dry, brittle hair, to allow my bangs to "catch up" to the rest of my hair, and just for a general refresh I guess.

I'm a little nervous to cut, because I love how long it's getting now, but it's not in good condition and I don't feel pretty. I also feel like I need to take even better care of it if I want it to grow out and look healthy, but I'm not sure what to do that I'm not already doing.

My hair is fine, tangle-prone, and dry (as is my skin). I use gentle shampoos and conditioners (usually Live Clean hydrating/moisturizing) every 2-3 days, and because I have hard water I use a clarifying/chelating shampoo once a month with Aussie 3-minute-miracle. I use a hairdryer on low heat for a few minutes, then air dry the rest of the way. I only use a straightener on my bangs. I use mineral oil on my ends (but this is a new addition to my routine, maybe it would help more if my ends weren't so damaged?). I microtrim relatively frequently. I generally sleep with my hair in a braid or bun, but I hate the way my hair looks with braid waves and buns make my hair crimpy/crinkly and even more dry. Every now and then I have a day where my hair turns out super silky, soft, and beautiful, but I have not been able to figure out what makes the difference.

Thoughts?

hobbitlocks
July 27th, 2016, 05:21 PM
I'm not familiar with the Live Clean line, but one thing that popped out at me reading that was do you ever do protein treatments? My fine hair is much happier with the occasional protein treatment.

turtlelover
July 27th, 2016, 07:18 PM
I cut my hair from mid-back length to armpit length about a year and a half ago because I had lots of dryness and damage. At the time I told myself I would baby it so that I could achieve the long, sleek, shiny, healthy hair I so desire, but I didn't do as good a job as I should have, and also I still haven't found a routine that really "works" to keep my hair moisturized and healthy looking. I'm getting frustrated. My hair is approaching mid-back length again (I've noticed extremely quick growth over the past couple of months in particular, not sure why), but once again it's very damaged, dry, and has a zillion split ends. I'm also growing my bangs out and they look horrible. For the past few weeks I've been tempted to do another chop, for a few reasons: to get rid of all the damaged, dry, brittle hair, to allow my bangs to "catch up" to the rest of my hair, and just for a general refresh I guess.

I'm a little nervous to cut, because I love how long it's getting now, but it's not in good condition and I don't feel pretty. I also feel like I need to take even better care of it if I want it to grow out and look healthy, but I'm not sure what to do that I'm not already doing.

My hair is fine, tangle-prone, and dry (as is my skin). I use gentle shampoos and conditioners (usually Live Clean hydrating/moisturizing) every 2-3 days, and because I have hard water I use a clarifying/chelating shampoo once a month with Aussie 3-minute-miracle. I use a hairdryer on low heat for a few minutes, then air dry the rest of the way. I only use a straightener on my bangs. I use mineral oil on my ends (but this is a new addition to my routine, maybe it would help more if my ends weren't so damaged?). I microtrim relatively frequently. I generally sleep with my hair in a braid or bun, but I hate the way my hair looks with braid waves and buns make my hair crimpy/crinkly and even more dry. Every now and then I have a day where my hair turns out super silky, soft, and beautiful, but I have not been able to figure out what makes the difference.

Thoughts?

What chemical processes have you done on your hair? Are you in the sun a lot? Sometimes things we don't think of can be causing the damage.

Bexille
July 27th, 2016, 07:38 PM
I used a keratin shampoo once and my hair turned into the worst rat's nest imaginable. I literally couldn't get a comb through it. So I don't think my hair likes protein at all.

I did dye my hair about two years ago, so I know there is still damage from that on the lower portion which is definitely making the dryness and splits worse. That's another reason I'm tempted to cut, to just get rid of the last of the dyed section. Nothing aside from that. I'm not in the sun a lot, there isn't even a lot of sun where I live, but very cold, dry winters. That being said I haven't noticed any real differences in my hair between summer and winter.

Decoy24601
July 27th, 2016, 07:50 PM
I would try some heavy moisturizing treatments (whether store-bought or SMT).

Do you take multiviamins? Are you anemic? How's your diet? Sometimes health can play a huge role in hair growth, as well as nutrition.

Deborah
July 27th, 2016, 07:54 PM
Maybe just trim off a couple of inches. That might be enough to make the ends nicer without losing a lot of length. You can always cut more later if it doesn't make you feel that your hair is improving.

You mention that you have hard water. I do too. In my case I found that ending with an acidic rinse that I do not rinse out helps my hair a lot. You could use some dilution of vinegar in water. I used to do that, and found that my hair did not smell like vinegar once it was dry. But now I use citric acid powder dissolved in water, as it has no fragrance at all, and it leaves my hair very nice. If this interests you, I use a heaping teaspoon dissolved in about 40 ounces of cold water.

I hope you find something that helps soon. Best of luck!:flower:

Bexille
July 27th, 2016, 10:38 PM
I'm physically healthy, good diet. My nails are very thin, though, and not very hard, and my hair seems very fragile. I've contemplated taking hair and nail vitamins, but haven't really looked into it too much. I've used vinegar/water as a "conditioner" before and it seemed to help somewhat, but maybe I will try it without rinsing. I will probably take the advice to cut a few inches as well and see how things look/feel. I just really want to figure out how to make my hair look it's best every day! :(

Tosca
July 27th, 2016, 10:58 PM
If your nails are thin and fragile, you may not be getting *enough* sun, and that is affecting your vitamin D levels. Something that my mother said helped her nails was zinc supplements. I would get a blood test to check your levels of vitamins etc and see if you need to supplement your diet.

missmelaniem
July 27th, 2016, 11:05 PM
Do you currently take any supplements at all? Also, if you use a protein treatment or shampoo you should use something moisturizing after.

Have you tried silicone on your ends? It will greatly help the appearance of any splits.

Decoy24601
July 27th, 2016, 11:07 PM
Do you currently take any supplements at all? Also, if you use a protein treatment or shampoo you should use something moisturizing after.

Have you tried silicone on your ends? It will greatly help the appearance of any splits.

To add to this, I recently started using conditioners with light cones again, because I noticed that my hair splits waaaay less with cones. Cones can help to protect your hair from damage by adding slip.

Amenahh
July 28th, 2016, 05:06 AM
Do you oil your hair?

I also have dry hair and skin, and thin nails. I haven't figured out what to do with my nails yet, but my hair and face have benefited a lot from eating healthy fats and protein, like avocado, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans (with plenty of carbs). I used to eat low fat and that didn't work.

My hair also loved oil. If I do oil treatments before washing, my hair gets super soft and silky afterwards. You can try that.
Condition-Wash-Condition works well too with my hair. Conditioning the length first, then only shampooing the scalp, rinsing, and then conditioning again. My hair got very soft and silky from this as well.
Hope that helps :)

Johannah
July 28th, 2016, 05:12 AM
A shampoo with protein is *not* a protein treatment. My hair *loves* protein but I've tried shampoos with protein before that make my hair a mess because the shampoo itself was drying. Not to forget there are a lot of different proteins (some people cannot stand collagen for instance, but keratin works wonders). I'd try to find a conditioner with a hydrolyzed protein (keratin is the most common one) and see how it goes. You could also try a gelatin treatment, but if you are scared for the results I'd suggest trying a rinse-out conditioner.

I'm not sure if you use cones at the moment (ingredients ending on -xane or -cone)? I'd definitely start using these, or using it much more (think about a serum as a leave-in after you washed your hair). Cones form a layer around your hair, making it easy to comb through and prevent damage that way.

What kind of moisturizing treatments do you do? How long do you leave them? Before you did the cut, was your hair moisturized? Or has your hair always been dry? If not, what did you do back then?

Do you ever switch shampoos? This might be irrelevant, but if I use a shampoo for a long time (or even the same brand but a different shampoo), my hair still gets build-up, even if it contains SLS. My hair gets used to it, somehow. As a result, it looks and feels really dry as well, but the problem solves itself when I change to another brand.

Your hair could be fragile because of the wrong routine, but if your nails are really fragile as well there might be something wrong in your diet/vitamins. I'd do a blood test, if you are able to (I've noticed there are countries who do not run blood tests if there's no specific reason for this, not sure how this is where you live?). I've heard you can check if there's a vitamin D deficiency by pressing your fingers to your sternum. If this hurts, it's not a good sign. But obviously you can only really know because of a blood test. If you don't want/can do this, I'd suggest taking multivitamins or vitamins for hair & nails for a month. If nothing changes, quit using it. If it does, you can still keep them and figure out how to adjust your diet.

Because you mention you have good hair days once in a while, I'd suggest keeping a hair diary. Write down the products you use (ingredients as well) and how your hair reacts. You might find a pattern. It's worth a try :)

HTH :flower:

lapushka
July 28th, 2016, 06:05 AM
My hair is approaching mid-back length again (I've noticed extremely quick growth over the past couple of months in particular, not sure why), but once again it's very damaged, dry, and has a zillion split ends. I'm also growing my bangs out and they look horrible. For the past few weeks I've been tempted to do another chop, for a few reasons: to get rid of all the damaged, dry, brittle hair, to allow my bangs to "catch up" to the rest of my hair, and just for a general refresh I guess.

I would get a shampoo that coordinates with your scalp. If it's oily get a shampoo for oily hair. If your scalp is dry, then get a moisturizing shampoo. I would suggest a conditioner for dry and damaged hair, as they are the most moisturizing out there. I would change up the products a bit. And I would certainly not shy away from silicones in the products. That's about all you can do.

Maybe look into the LOC method for styling (link is in my signature). The key is to layer products, but not to use a lot of each.

Bexille
July 28th, 2016, 08:40 PM
Thank you guys so much for your comprehensive responses. I was looking through some old pictures of my hair before I dyed it and it looked a lot better, just healthier and shinier in general, so I think the old dye on my lower half is causing even more of that dry, damaged look than I realized. The Live Clean products I use don't have cones, I think using cones makes my hair go limp/stringy pretty quickly. My scalp is neither dry nor oily, so I just use a basic daily care shampoo, and a moisturizing conditioner. I've done coconut oil treatments a few times (left it for a few hours) but didn't love the results. Vinegar rinses worked better.

I get routine blood work every year with my regular check up and nothing's ever come up as being off.

As for my hair now, I trimmed off about two inches last night. It looks and feels better, but there are still lots of splits up the length and I'm still feeling the urge to cut it short (around shoulder length, maybe). I think I want to get rid of my layers, have light, fluffy hair for a while, let my bangs catch up a bit and then start growing again. I also feel like I will have a better idea of what products/treatments work on ends that aren't crazy damaged? I didn't experiment a lot with my hair before, and while it looked okay, it was still tangle-prone and pretty fragile, so my goal is to find a routine that keeps it as smooth as possible without going limp/stringy.