View Full Version : Here's What I Do And What I Have. What's Working, What's Not?

October 18th, 2016, 07:48 PM
Hey ladies and gents!
So, a rundown of my hair care and identity. I used to be that person who shampooed every day because I was just soooooo oily that I had to. Years ago I switched to sulphate free poo so I guess that was step 1. Many times my hair is in an ugly bun with a scrunchie, if not in some braids. Some things call for pony tails. Riding a motorcycle requires a ponytail at the nape of my neck and other pony tail elastics at intervals down the length.
Years ago I atretched washed from every day to every 36 hours to every other day. Over the last month, I'm comfortable with twice a week washings. I could tough it out longer but don't want to. I want to love my hair and I can't do that when I cringe because I''ve become so greasy.
In the past month I have started getting more gentle in my handling. I knew to not brush wet. But now even dry hair gets bushed more delicately.
I changed how I washed from wash and condition to CWC. I intend to oil once a week but sometimes my schedule makes me miss a week. I now use a satin pillowcase. I braid my hair for sleep instead of a bun.
I'm working on profficiency at my dutch braids, but need more help learning.
My hair is normal thickness at 2.75", but is quite fine! Even so, my hair NEEDS cones.
I don't dye my hair and my hair dryer setting is minimal heat, almost cool. No other heat styling tools applied
2 weeks ago my 14y/o daughter measured my hair and we got 28". Last night me and my
b/f measured and came up with 28.5". Is a half inch in 2 weeks even humanly possible? I do take daily multivitamins and exercise cardio fairly regularly and have a decent diet.
I do use cones. I condition with Ion from Sally's, the shower conditioner and the leave in conditioner spray.
For deep oils I have coconut, avocado, and EVOO at home. I'm 37 now, my body is regenerating slow than a younger women. I get lectures from my GP AND my chiro. Lol
anything else y'all need to know to give me your wonderful advice? I'm ready to work toward being a long-haired goddess. The pics in my Avatar are a week old. That's how I look now. Need it thicker and fuller, but also
need to grow out those whispey layers!
Can't wait to see what the prod have in mind for me!

October 18th, 2016, 08:22 PM
A half inch per 2 weeks is completely possible. Sometimes my hair grows .25" in as little as 5-7 days. However, unless you consistently get that result when measure your hair I wouldn't rule out the possibility that either or both times your hair was mismeasured. You'd be surprised how little it takes for the measuring tape to slip of your hairline to skew your measurements.

As for "what's working, what's not?" No one can really answer that but you :). Only you know how your hair responds to different products and methods. Hair care is all very personal trial and error. What works for one of us, might be terrible for you.

My only real advice to add onto what you do is make sure to clarify regularly (how often really depends on your hair and its needs). A lot of the time I'll see posts on here with people at their wits ends with their hair because it's unmanageable, frizzy, dull, and none of their favorite products are working, so make sure you have a really good clarifying shampoo (not anything like suave daily clarifying... in my opinion it isn't strong enough to be a good clarifying shampoo that can really strip everything from your hair). The one I like the most now is Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo.

During the day I'd wear your hair up in protective styles as much as possible, like braids or buns.

October 18th, 2016, 09:02 PM
Wow, your hair sounds *exactly* like mine, down to the circumference and behavior -- but your lifestyle throws an adventurous complexity into it! Motorcycling! Until now it never even crossed my mind that motorcycling ladies (and guys too) wore multiple bands or those wraps to keep the wind from whipping up their hair. I thought it was just a fashion statement! The more you know...

So, considering I apparently have really similar hair, here's what I do and with what measure of success, keeping in mind that I have about 1/2 my length damaged by old dye, and I'm only almost to APL. I'm on the same journey you are; and it even appears you're much farther! But I always like to identify advice on LHC geared toward my hair type, so here's some stuff I do...

I keep multiple types of shampoos and conditioners in the shower. It's materialistic, but after using different products enough to know what they do, I can opt for hair behavior differences based on my plans and mood for the day. Some days I just need cones, other days I really want my waves to pop. So, one thing to do is pay close contrastive attention to how different daily products affect your hair texture, and weigh whether it's worth keeping a larger stash on hand.

In general my hair gets piecey and stringy and behaves like fine hair, which I've just accepted. The one major thing that has helped me with its general appearance for my daily life is doing the following after washing:

I gently wring the water from my hair and let it hang down my back. I wrap a microfiber towel around it, squeeze a little bit, but then just let the towel sit around it / around my head while I do the rest of my morning routine. I don't ruffle it or manipulate it beyond the gentle wring/towel squeeze. After all the rest of my routine I pull the towel off and gently "rearrange" my hair, which has a bit of wave, around my face so that it will dry with something approximating my normal part. I wait to comb it with a wide-toothed comb until after it's 100% dry. It ends up with better shape and body than when I blow dry, bun, or brush it while wet, even though I have to go for about an hour and a half looking like a groady mermaid who just pulled herself unceremoniously out of a lagoon. This is a luxury my life and commute length afford, I realize. But it's sooooo worth it in the appearance of my hair -- it even ends up making later updos and braids better -- maybe give it a shot some weekend at home!

I also just take a standard multivitamin and try to eat healthily and stay hydrated.

So, although I'm at APL only, the difference between my old hair and new growth is stark. I've got a halo of new growth since I started babying my hair, and my growth rate is about 8" / year. So while my hair type hasn't changed drastically, I can definitely say narrowing in on the products that work best and getting into good handling habits has done amazing things to prevent breakage and make even the damaged ends feel great. I even treat myself by heat styling about twice a month!

I also have a list of favorite products and why I love them / how they make my hair behave; let me know if you're interested! I don't want this to turn into War and Peace, hehe. Sorry! :)

October 18th, 2016, 09:12 PM
It sounds like you are doing fine. My only suggestion would be to wear a braid rather than a ponytail for motorcycle riding, or any other time. Pony tail elastics can break hair, and pony tails are generally hard on hair as they put a lot of pressure where the pony is gathered.

October 18th, 2016, 09:22 PM
Also I just wanted to say -- I didn't / don't mean my post to look like thread jacking to talk about me, I absolutely don't mean it that way. Sometimes I'm paranoid advice comes off as narcissistic. I just wanted to lay out what I do in case you're interested in gleaning ideas! Happy growing!!

October 19th, 2016, 07:28 PM
I'm just thinking the measurement thing might be an inconsistency in measuring. My 14y/o daughter did the first measurement, and my b/f did the second one. I'll be having my b/f do it from here on out, and I really hope this is my actual growth rate. Goodness knows if I skip shaving my armpits for a week I sure end up with a quarter inch! hahahahaha

I would love to find ways to avoid ponytails altogether. Thanks to layers that I'm trying to grow out, my braids end up with sprigs of hair sticking out in random places, and my hair is so slippy that the beginning of the braid doesn't stay tight. I guess I'm going to have to get more proficient at Dutch braids. For a couple of years, going to Judo and Jiu Jitsu involved pony tails. After throwing someone or being thrown myself, a bun held with a scrunchie simply doesn't stay. And I can't imagine landing or grappling with pins holding the bun. And refer back to braids slipping out, those definitely don't work there.

Breaking some bad habits has been time consuming. I used to scrub my scalp with the towel when drying after a shower. So unhealthy to ruffle my hair up so much, but felt soooooo good haha

I wish I could oil my hair and leave the oil in. But it looks so bad when I try that. I haven't found one yet that soaks in and doesn't make my hair look stringy and unwashed.

Nobody sounds narcissistic. If you find you can relate to me, by all means I want to know what works for you! Thank you all so much!

October 20th, 2016, 05:00 AM
I'd suggest go easy on the measuring. It made me crazy, as it often was inconsistent and I'd get spooked. When I still measured I kinda went to "measure every few months or so" - like a couple times a year. But I'm in the Benign Neglect school of haircare. :)

October 20th, 2016, 02:30 PM
I'm glad sulfate-free works for you. For me it doesn't, but YMMV (your mileage may vary) is a saying we use a lot around here. It's not the same for everyone. If sulfate-free is fine for you, then keep using it. Scalp health is very important!

Some people use silicones, others don't; again YMMV. I have to use silicones as well. Before BSL I could do without them, but after BSL my hair got so tangly and loved itself too much, so silicones needed to come into play. Love my coney conditioners!

I would suggest to go easy on the measuring too. In the end I only measured relative to milestones, like x-number of inches to go until hip, TBL, classic. That worked *far* better than keeping track of a "curtain" of hair. :lol:

October 20th, 2016, 08:23 PM
Yes, no doubt I need to lay off the compulsive measuring. I'm simply intrigued for the moment because I've never measured my hair before and I'm curious to see what my body is actually up to. I'll rein it in and my curiosity will naturally wane on its own. It's such a novelty for now! :D

Getting rid of sulfates wasn't purely a move for hair improvement. I've tried to make my life less chemical-y in general, and I was taking into consideration not only what impact sulfates have on my body, but on the land after I rinsed and my shower water went down the drain. We were on a septic and field line system when I made the switch. I get a good lather and my hair feels clean so I'm assuming I'm surviving. What is it about sulfates that makes them necessary? I thought their only purpose was to get the shampoo to have a rich lather. I guess I was wrong.

This advice is great. I'll type a better reply later, but it's been a long day around here and I need to crash. Thanks, everyone! :D