View Full Version : hair breaking off at waist--help!

October 29th, 2008, 07:37 AM
I can't figure out what is wrong with my hair. By way of background, I joined LHC almost a year ago mostly to explore henna and other natural coloring options, but somehow also converted to the idea of growing my hair longer. I've always had fairly long hair, but had kept it around BSL for the last 10 years or so, until this past year when I let it grow to waist.

Thanks to LHC, I stopped brushing, and learned to CWC, mist and oil, all of which have made my hair shinier and nicer looking, but for some reason, in the last few months, it has started breaking off horribly--lots and lots of split ends, white dots, shorter hairs everywhere, and it's definitely not growing past waist. :( The ends are dry and crunchy no matter what I do.

I can think of a few possible explanations: I had some (salon) highlights done in June--maybe my hair hates peroxide? Also in June, I moved to Europe, where the water is different, and where I quickly ran out of the shampoos and conditioners that I had been using in the US. I like the ones I get here, but maybe it's a combination of the water and the products? Thirdly, I started eating a mostly (99%) vegetarian diet (a very healthy diet, though, lots of vitamins and minerals, etc, etc).

I'm tempted to cut most of my new length (back to BSL) but I actually really like having it longer and so does my husband, so I'd rather keep it long and try to figure out what the problem is.

So, please help, kind denizens of LHC!


October 29th, 2008, 08:37 AM
My hair pulled the same thing at just past waist.
I did get a three-four inch trim and started wearing it up.
My best guess was contact damage with chairs and the like.
I think we get to in-between lengths (like growing out bangs/fringe) at longer lengths, too.

I did have crunchy ends, still do, but I take better care and do search and destroy when I can. Nip the white ends off, too, and use sharp scissors. I made more damage with bad scissors.

October 29th, 2008, 10:48 AM
I can think of a few possible explanations: I had some (salon) highlights done in June--maybe my hair hates peroxide? Also in June, I moved to Europe, where the water is different, and where I quickly ran out of the shampoos and conditioners that I had been using in the US. I like the ones I get here, but maybe it's a combination of the water and the products? Thirdly, I started eating a mostly (99%) vegetarian diet (a very healthy diet, though, lots of vitamins and minerals, etc, etc).

The peroxide in highlights causes damage to the hair, so it probably weakened the ends of your hair considerably (think about how old they are...they're pretty fragile).

You may need to experiment with different products to get something that you like and works for you. Maybe you have some buildup that clarifying could help.

As far as the diet goes, nutrition won't cause problems at the ends of your hair. Hair is dead. Nutrition will affect new growth, but vegetarian as long as it's a healthful diet and you're getting adequate nutrition, isn't detrimental. I grew to knee length as a vegan, no worries.

My suggestions:

1. Clarify and see what your hair needs: protein? moisture? both?
2. Add protein or moisture or both as needed.
3. Wear your hair up to protect the fragile ends.
4. Cheese as needed :cheese:

October 29th, 2008, 11:01 AM
Do you use any kind of heat on your hair such as curling or flat irons and how do you detangle??? Highlighting doesn't bother my hair but it is different for everyone of course and mine is not waist yet. Even detangling with a comb can cause damage if you don't do it properly. I found getting impatient detangling is one of the worst things I can do.

October 29th, 2008, 11:01 AM
I'd blame the highlighting. My hair can't take it. I'd start a routine of trimming about 1/2-inch off every 2-3 months until the ends are in better condition. Also, wear your hair up or braided as much as you can to avoid mechanical damage.

October 29th, 2008, 11:14 AM
H'mm, thanks everyone for the suggestions so far...I wonder, could highlighting once (only the second time in my life!) do that much damage? I seem to remember a thread once about this and some people thought it could, others lighten all of their hair regularly with no troubles.

I have to admit I usually wear my hair down...I'm getting a little better with updos, but I always feel more comfortable with it down (sensitive scalp) so I end up taking it down after a while. I guess I better try to be good and wear it up when I go out, at least...

October 29th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Sorry to hear your hair isn't at its best:(

I'm suffering from hairs breaking of too, but at BSL. I blame my breakage to highlights. Peroxide eats hair!:demon:

Trim a few inches of and see how it feels. Maybe you only need to trim one inch off and then baby your new ends with moisture and protein and your hair will be happy again:)

Hopefully the water doesn't have much to do with your breakage. Water in many European countries are often better for hair since the water isn't added as much chloride as in the US.

October 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM
My hair started to break at bsl because of highlights.I had a 10 inch trim(?)in august and my hair is in much better condition now.But I miss the length when I do updos.

October 29th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I was thinking of a good oiling and wear it up for a good month. I would try to go a little longer between washes too and see if that helps.

October 29th, 2008, 11:59 AM
It does amaze me that some people can highlight their hair and still grow it long. I had mine done at a salon once, and within one month the highlighted areas were so much drier than the rest of my hair that they would puff out like strands of cotton candy. Plus they were continually knotting up and breaking off. It was terrible. Never again. I'll let nature highlight my hair by turning it silver as I age; it's in much better condition this way.

October 29th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Pre-LHC not so good care with brushing and so on + highlights are your problem, I'm pretty sure of that. As I know where you are, you shouldn't blame the water, it's better there than most other cities around.

October 29th, 2008, 12:03 PM
I do not think that the hi-lighting is to blame for all of the problem, but it may have contributed to it. I agree that you should clarify.

I have had more breakage lately too but for me that is my being less careful with my hair. When I am stressed, and I have been lately, I get careless with it.

This time of year when the heating kicks in, hair and skin are prone to changes, usually increased dryness.

Take your time and see what your hair needs.

I love catnip on my hair. You may find that just a change of conventional products or something like camellia oil, may make the difference.

Even with your hair shorter, if you do not get to the root of the problem, pun intended lol, you can still have these issues.

October 29th, 2008, 12:42 PM
First, if it was the change in your diet, you'd see shedding at the root, not breakage/damage at the ends. The ends of your hair don't know what you're eating.

The highlighting probably causes some of the damage.

Since it is all at the ends, however, you might also look for sources of friction to your hair. Particularly if you wear it loose. For example, the ends may well be getting caught between the waistband of your pants and your chair, or there may be other sources of friction at the point you're seeing damage. Wearing your hair up may help protect things.

Shorter hairs everywhere may be a matter of new growth, not breakage. Hair is constantly shedding and regrowing, and the longer it is, the more noticeable it is that there are short hairs growing as part of this cycle.

October 29th, 2008, 12:51 PM
If you sleep with your hair loose, that might be aggravating things.

My fuzzy, fried, highlighted and previously blow-fried ends calmed down a lot and stopped splitting so much after I started putting them up in a sloppy braid each night. I say 'sloppy' braid because otherwise I end up ripping it worse if I try to make it look 'tidy'. I agree with all those who say to treat your hair super gently at this point.

October 30th, 2008, 07:31 AM
There an article in my siggy about rehabilitating damaged hair that may be worth a read :)

It talks about the potential causes of damage, prevention, and then how to get things healthy again. :flowers:

October 30th, 2008, 11:03 AM
Partly due to the highlights for sure, as others have commented. I have highlighted my hair and there is an enormous difference in texture between my bleached and natural parts. My virgin hair is so smooth and silky, while the bleached frizzes and becomes hard to detangle.

But, I love the way highlights look so much, I'm not willing to get rid of them or stop highlighting. So find ways to minimize the damage, it looks like you're doing the right things, but you need to trim.

Let us know how your hair progresses, I love reading about everyone's situations.

October 30th, 2008, 12:07 PM
What European Hair Products are you using right now? I know there is many with really harsh ingredients that dry out hair.
Even some natural sulfate free shampoos like lavera and alverde still have hidden drying chemicals in them. Used to give friends of mine a hard time, switching to another brand helped in those cases.

October 30th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Great ideas, thanks everyone! It's amazing to have a community of experts to turn to. I should probably have read Nightshade's article before posting!

I have been sleeping with loose hair mostly...lazy...

I liked the way the highlights looked (helped camoflage the grey and toned down the henna) but I think I'll avoid them from now on.

What drying chemicals should I look out for? I have been using Lavera products mostly...are other companies like Weleda, Dr. Hauscha, etc, better?

Aisling, the tap water tastes really good here in Helsinki (better than most bottled water in other places), but for some reason I think it is more drying to my hair and skin. Could it be the minerals? I have a filter on my shower in the US, but I don't know where to get one here.

Anyway, I'll be in the US for six weeks soon, so I can see if the water and/or products make any difference. I'll report back...

October 31st, 2008, 05:18 PM
I would switch to Products like Logona, Sante, Urtekram or Aubrey organics. Those are the best available with the mildest detergents. Lavera has been know to hide penetration enhancers, toxins, and harsh cleansing agents that are simply drying.

If you want more info reg. Lavera you can PM me. I don't want to badmouth them too much.;)

Good luck with changing your routine, all those things combined should help a whole lot!