View Full Version : I don't know what to do anymore with my hair

September 8th, 2016, 09:12 PM
First time posting, been lurking for quite a while (several years).

So from the visual typing guide, I THINK I'm a 1b, M/C, i. I'm biracial (Chinese/English) and I have this dumb patch of hair that's C that grows out of a rounded triangle area at the back of my head (hats and headbands slip off me all the time), the rest of me appears to be M. I really want to grow my hair to waist length, but the farthest I got was just above bra-strap length before I had to chop off all my damage from dyeing my hair. I'm now at shoulder length.

My scalp gets oily between 2-3 days but my ends always feel crunchy. If I get a hot oil treatment done at my hair salon it feels amazing for about a week then it's crunchy again. I also have dandruff/psoriasis predominantly at my hairline so I am using stuff for that.

Products used/owned:
- Neutrogena T-Gel
- OGX Coconut Water Shampoo
- OGX Coconut Water Hydration Oil
- OGX Moroccan Oil Conditioner
- Aussie Moist Conditioner
- Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
- Coconut Oil from Body Shop
- Tea Tree Oil from Shoppers
- Infusium23 Repair & Renew
- Big tooth comb (teeth are about 0.5" apart)
- Boar Bristle Brush from "Stylize"

I wash my hair about 2/3 times a week depending on activities/personal life, etc. I use the CWC method with Aussie Moist, OGX Coconut Water Shampoo, and OGX Moroccan Oil Conditioner respectively. I wait for around 2-3 minutes for both conditioners. When I am done, I always air dry my hair. I flip my head over to jiggle my scalp to improve air circulation. I do not brush/comb until it's around 80% dry, then I use my big tooth comb. I very rarely (if ever) use my Boar Bristle Brush for anything. Once a week I will do my own LOC method (more like LO because I don't have any C) with the Infusium23 and the Coconut Oil. I clarify my hair about once a month, and I only use the T-Gel and Tea Tree Oil when my scalp is dying from itchies. My dandruff/psoriasis/whatever tends to kind of flare up instead of being constant, and when it happens I keep using the T-Gel in replacement of the OGX until it goes away.

I don't use any heat, I only straighten/curl my hair for events which is literally 4 times a year (CNY, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and it is always on the lowest setting.

My problem is that my hair always feels parched/crunchy at the bottom. I have straight hair yet my ends aren't separated like my friends or other girls I see. My roots and about 3/4 of the way down are fine (not shiny/glossy, but they're not dying) but then at the bottom I have like, old barbie hair. It's not knotted (though my hair tangles easily), but it just looks and feels awful. The bottom inch or two of my hair doesn't lay flat on my back it looks flipped up in a bad way. I also get crazy hair-loss but I think it is hormone/stress related. I lose about 30 pieces of hair every time I wash (+/- 20 or so if its really oily when I wash) and if I run my fingers through my hair (when dry) 8 times out of 10 I'll be able to nab 2-4 hairs until all the fallen hair that's stuck in my nest come out. I have a pretty good diet that I stick to because I'm unable to exercise due to my job's time constraints (I wake up at 6:30 to eat, leave at 7:30 to arrive for 9, work until 7 or 8, come home, eat dinner, shower, go to bed). It is a semi-keto diet and the only carbs I have is one single toast for breakfast. I sleep 8-9 hours a day.

Things I've tried:
- Slept in oils for a month (Coconut, olive, and mayonnaise)
- OGX Moroccan Oil Leave-in Treatment
- Pantene Intensive Care mask
- ACV Rinse
- Some stuff my friend gave me that I saw worked miracle on her hair. Had a lot of natural stuff in it like castor oil, lavender, etc.

Every time I try new stuff my hair LOVES it for about two weeks then it goes back to being awful again. I also live in Canada which makes purchasing some of the products recommended on here either impossible or horrendously expensive (shipping)

Please forgive me if I've done something stupid. I didn't have many female friends as a kid/teenager growing up, and my current female adult friends just (and I quote from my friend) "do whatever" and their hair looks gorgeous all the time. I only recently started caring about my appearance (Currently in my late 20's) because of work and I want to look nice for my boyfriend.

September 8th, 2016, 09:26 PM
Hello! Thanks for all the detail. It's very useful. :) Have you done a hair porosity test to see if your ends feel crunchy because the cuticles are open?

September 8th, 2016, 09:28 PM
Do you have a photo so we can see what you are talking about?

September 8th, 2016, 10:06 PM
Hi! I totally understand what you mean about feeling like the new product is a miracle for two weeks and then everything goes back to the way it was before. That's so me. I deal with it by just constantly rotating through my various oils. You mentioned damage from dying, is it possible that your ends are still hair that has been dyed or bleached? That could explain why it's so different from the rest. Advice...personally, I would try to experiment by doing way less to my hair. Not that you're necessarily doing anything wrong, but since you're not seeing what you want to say, a change could help. Like, I pared my routine down to a wash and condition once a week (Acure Organics, so totally natural, no sulfates, no silicones) and rubbing the ends in an oil when/if they feel dry (carrot seed oil, coconut oil, etc.). Obviously that's not for everyone and you mentioned you have some scalp issues, but my point is, maybe you could try and detox your hair by letting it rest for a month, wearing it in buns and doing the absolute minimum to it (which includes distributing the oils).

One problem, maybe, is that you don't use your Boar Bristle Brush and you wash your hair 2/3 times a week. Is it possible that the ends of your hair aren't getting the healthy scalp oils because you don't brush them in with the BBB and they don't have time to work their way down because you wash it every other day or so? Maybe try playing around with the BBB on 3 day old hair (with no products in it) and see if you can work some life into the ends.

September 8th, 2016, 10:14 PM
Ok I just did the porosity test (putting some clean hair into room temp water)...after 5 min they're still floating. One of the pictures in my album has a picture of the two types of hair that I have... :(

Link to pictures: http://imgur.com/a/T1gu0

September 8th, 2016, 10:17 PM
To be fair, I've always heard the "floating a strand of hair in water" test is very inaccurate. As far as I know the only true way to know porosity is to look at a strand of hair under a microscope.

I know that when I get cone buildup my ends turn crunchy and stick together. Maybe try going cone-free?

September 8th, 2016, 10:22 PM
I have the same problem! I just washed my hair and used a mask with coconut oil, honey, avocado oil, almond oil, and apricot oil to see if that would help with the frizzy, tangly dry hair. I rinsed it out and my hair didn't feel any softer. Then I used my favorite conditioner (Calia) which usually works wonders for my hair, but my hair is still sooo rough. my hair used to be soft and silky, despite dying it so many times. now it feels plain gross, and it's embarrassing when people try to play with it or braid it because their fingers get caught in so many tangles :(

September 8th, 2016, 10:24 PM
You mentioned damage from dying, is it possible that your ends are still hair that has been dyed or bleached?

I thought so too, which is why I chopped it all off. It's actually WAY better than it was before (it looked like I got electrocuted, yikes), but it still doesn't quite feel not-crunchy

detox your hair by letting it rest for a month, wearing it in buns and doing the absolute minimum to it (which includes distributing the oils).

So what do you mean by absolute minimum, just the CWC and BBB every 3 days? Not sure how my scalp would like it but I can give it a shot?

To be fair, I've always heard the "floating a strand of hair in water" test is very inaccurate. As far as I know the only true way to know porosity is to look at a strand of hair under a microscope.

I know that when I get cone buildup my ends turn crunchy and stick together. Maybe try going cone-free?

This is definitely true, but alas I no longer work with them, I should have taken a look at my previous job! As for cone-free, I know it means no silicones but (I might just be dumb here...) I can't really find any products? I always look at the bottles, and having studied chem, silicone and sulfate based nomenclature pops out at me immediately. Is there a list anywhere that I missed browsing over? (a Canadian list maybe? lol)

September 8th, 2016, 10:29 PM
I'm in Canada and can give you some recommendations. Inecto Argan (or coconut) Conditioner doesn't have cones, but is kinda expensive and offers no slip (you can find this at london drugs). Tresemme Perfectly Undone conditioner is cone-free, this is my holy grail conditioner now. Tresemme botanique conditioner, the coconut one, is also cone-free. Liveclean conditioners are cone-free, but don't offer much slip and make my hair feel nasty.

Also I find that with oils and butters, less is more with my hair, YMMV. Coconut oil makes my hair feel crunchy very quickly, and if I put more than a few drops of any oil on my hair it will make my hair feel crunchy over time.

You could also try hydrating your ends with things like aloe vera gel or, my personal favorite, flaxseed gel (any recipe you find on google for plain flaxseed gel will do).

I'd take a week of clarifying and using a cone-free conditioner with less oils to try and get rid of any buildup, with something to moisturize your ends. That's just my idea though, it might end up not working for your hair.

ETA: I don't mean clarifying every wash for a week, I mean using a clarifying shampoo and then using a cone-free conditioner for a week. You don't have to keep doing this, but it's just an idea to help remove buildup.

September 8th, 2016, 11:34 PM
I really wonder if the coconut isn't causing some of the crunchies. Personally, coconut oil almost ruins my hair, makes it so dry and tangly. I would clarify really well then try a good deep conditioner and a different oil.

I also don't like ogx products, they all left my hair dry, tangled and limp. Maybe look into different products for your regular wash/poo. I really like herbal essence products, not sure if they are available in Canada though.

Have you ever tried selsun blue shampoo for your scalp? I've found it to work better then t-gel and it's not as drying. I try to apply it only on my roots.

I couldn't see your pictures, maybe try uploading to tinypic instead.

September 8th, 2016, 11:49 PM
I'll jump in as one more on the coconut oil issue. It makes my ends a mess, so that until I realized that might be the problem, I thought I was going to have to give up and trim them off. But clarifying and switching to sunflower oil fixed that. I would cut out everything with coconut oil, clarify and moisturize really well- maybe condition twice (you can do that!), amd see what happens.

If you still have trouble after that, look at protein- at least some of the things you're using have it, and while a lot of people do great with protein in products, some people find it makes their hair tangly and velcro-y. So that could also be your problem.

September 9th, 2016, 12:16 AM
I haven't read the answers, but I feel your pain. I struggle with dandruff, sometimes very bad. I also live in Canada---the province of no rain currently ;) (well, we had a downpour last night but that's the first heavy rain in four months).

Here's what I use:
Head and Shoulders
Herbal Essence Tea Lightfully clean
Pantene Moisture Renewal Conditioner.
Neutrogena Clarifying (yellow clear bottle)

Head and Shoulders WILL dry your ends---almost all shampoos will. The Pantene Moisture renwal is a LIFE saver. I'd recommend the following:

Try conditioning ends with Pantene M. R. prior to washing. (known as condition/wash/condition). This protect doesn't wash out fully and is what saves the ends from the harsher shampoo you need for scalp needs. Then, wash hair as normal, focusing on the scalp area. Rinse and repeat conditioning the ends. My hair, after doing this for a few days, will feel silky soft.

The other thing that works great is this:

Olive oil. Wet hair, apply olive oil to ends---and SATURATE! Make sure you have a great clarifying shampoo but if you don't wash out all the oil, your hair might look like an oil slick ---JUST TO ENDS!! NOT SCALP!

I didn't find letting it sit on my ends for any length of time helped, so I washed out with herbal essence clarifying shampoo, and did a VERY thorough job. Next, rinse and do a cold rinse (I find it soothes my scalp). Then, apply gobs of Pantene conditioner to ends. They will feel like silk.

Good luck!

September 9th, 2016, 12:19 AM
OOOH!! You may have coconut oil damage--people need to remember that coconut oil can over absorb into hair and dry it out, making it brittle. Stop using it and see how your ends start to feel--use Olive oil instead, known to be more moisturizing.

September 9th, 2016, 01:19 AM
Wow this is actually the first time I have ever heard of coconut oil damage! I have so many friends who swear by it so I figured it was harmless. Ok, so I'll forget coconut oil for the next month and a bit to see what happens. Then when my shampoo and conditioner sources dwindle, I'll head out again to look for some cone-free stuff. Will report back! Thanks everyone for helping me out (or sharing woes!)

September 9th, 2016, 01:44 AM
Hope it helps. And you're right, all over the internet everyone seems to swear by coconut oil for hair, and off the internet too. I really only heard of it giving the crunchies here on lhc. But I suspect it's a much bigger problem for those of us trying to grow our hair out long and avoiding trims. And I can't help wondering if it's ever a problem in india, or if it's just westerners who don't all tolerate it well. Just goes to show with every hair treatment, YMMV.
By the way, cones are not evil, although they've gotten a bad reputation on the internet and a lot of people here would tell you they can't live without them past a certain length. Again, YMMV.
But mostly, happy experimenting as you look for a routine that works!

September 9th, 2016, 05:36 AM
I have been on LHC for years and that is the first comment I have seen that says coconut oil can actually DAMAGE the hair

September 9th, 2016, 05:51 AM
I don't think it damages your hair as such, it can just make it feel bad. Like hard water. Your hair can be terrible from hard water, but if you chelate and wash in softer water (if you move etc) your hair is back to normal.

September 9th, 2016, 05:56 AM
No it doesn't damage! Coconut oil can't damage hair. It's just that some people can't use it without having crunchy ends. Those are usually also the people who don't do well with too much protein either.

September 9th, 2016, 06:34 AM
I can't use coconut oil because my hair gets crunchy, but my hair likes protein treatments :P lol. No rule without expections!

Have you tried a deep moisture treatment? SMT (you can find a thread on it in the henna&herbal forum) is a great moisture mask. It might also be worth trying a protein treatment, you never know (for a cheap DIY protein treatment, the gelatin treatment is great: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.no/2014/04/gelatin-protein-treatment-recipe-update.html I use her original recipe). My recommendation would be drop the coconut oil for now, do a few SMT's or other moisture treatments, and then if no change happens in three weeks, try a īprotein treatment (protein should always be followed by a moisture treatment).

September 9th, 2016, 08:38 AM
When you shampoo, do you wash the ends or just the scalp?

Normally, you'll want to be washing the scalp only, keeping the shampoo from drying your ends too much. However, I suggest you start out by clarifying by shampooing the length and ends specifically, and then condition well. Sometimes that alone makes a huge difference in fixing ends, because they tend to get a lot of extra conditioning. Start with that (your Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo is perfect for this and intended for it) and see if it helps. No need to do that every time, just every once in a while.