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View Full Version : Gave up the bleach and growing it out natural...but I feel it looks no better



MishC
June 25th, 2018, 05:13 PM
I started dying my brown hair blonde when I was like 13, then when I was about 18 I got tired of the damage and upkeep and decided to grow it out natural even though I dont really like my natural color. I've also never had long hair so I decided I was okay sacrificing the color I like for smoother, longer hair. Not to mention I have thin fine hair as is and bleach damage was not helping.

Here is what I started with.

https://i.imgur.com/kYv298n.jpg

I've been growing it out for a little over a year now and trimming off the old blonde hair off every few months. My hair's about shoulder length and over half of it is natural.
https://i.imgur.com/95RP3nG.jpg
https://imgur.com/95RP3nG

https://imgur.com/ee1897f3-3325-45bb-8a4d-3557692315a8
https://i.imgur.com/tmMP2tj.jpg?1

The ends look pretty bad but that's a given cause it's the old blonde hair that hasn't been cut off yet. However the new natural growth doesn't look great either. It's not silky and soft like a lot of the natural hair pics I see here- it's pretty dry and wiry, almost stringy. Despite me not using any heat and only using natural shampoo and conditioner with no harsh chemicals, washing twice a week.


https://i.imgur.com/fGalvqP.jpg

So I'm embarrassed to wear it down, but wearing it up doesn't look good either because the hair at my hairline is especially fine and thin and a very light blonde so it just looks like bald spots.

https://i.imgur.com/crqrzmd.jpg


Ultimately I'm pretty frustrated and considering breaking my 1+ year streak of no dying to get some blonde highlights and maybe try out some high quality clip in extensions. Dying it again definitely won't improve my hair quality but at least I will like one thing about it. I'm just not getting the results I wanted from going natural. Any other fine/thin haired folks have these issues?

MoonRabbit
June 25th, 2018, 05:59 PM
I'm not a fine hair so I will let those members help you there. But just wanted to say that your hair looks really beautiful. The new growth looks healthy, soft and shiny to me. Some photos on here can be deceiving. Looking at my avatar. Yeah my hair 100% doesn't look like that without good lighting and flash, also hair can appear softer in photos. My hair doesn't feel as soft as it looks. Maybe you need some extra moisture and deep treatments.

Peppergirl
June 25th, 2018, 06:19 PM
Natural hair is not always exciting. When I was coloring I felt like a different person, even more confident and out-going. There are several trade offs. Depends what is important at the time.

cailinbee
June 25th, 2018, 06:49 PM
Your hair looks very much like mine -- fine hair can be a trickster for sure! From the photos, your natural growth does look very healthy!

As far as your hair not feeling as soft as you expect -- you might consider how some parts of your care routine or lifestyle are affecting it, even though you're obviously being gentle with it. Maybe that's just your natural texture, in which case, that's ok! "Healthy" isn't "shampoo commercial smooth and shiny" for everyone.

If you don't like it you're not required to humor it -- there are ways to make coarse hair a little softer. I get my hair pretty darn soft with daily sulfate (but cone-free) washing and conditioning. Daily "harsh" washing goes against a lot of hair care wisdom, but it's what works for my hair for right now. Since my bangs are almost grown out I'm considering spacing my washes, but that's just a musing for right now...

Edit: Sorry I totally went on a "me me me" tangent when really I'm hoping to just share my observations with fine hair in the hopes you can pull an idea or two! I also grew out bleach last year and my hair has the same effect as yours when I pull it back casually -- I feel you!!

spidermom
June 25th, 2018, 06:57 PM
That's o.k.; you do you. If longer, natural hair isn't "all that" for you, then by all means - bleach it and enjoy the color.

Lizabeth94
June 25th, 2018, 07:25 PM
I think your hair looks good! If you want it to be softer to the touch try doing some overnight deep conditioning treatments, with or without raw honey mixed in. Works like a charm for me, and the raw honey may lighten it or make some natural highlights pop out. If you decide to get highlights its not the end of the world, it may help the transition period and blend your dyed ends with the natural roots. :) :cheer:

Jo Ann
June 25th, 2018, 07:42 PM
Welcome aboard, MishC!

I have some questions for you, if you don't mind. Is your hair dry? How has your hair care routine changed since you stopped bleaching it? Do you use any hair masks or deep conditioning treatments?

After using bleach for so long, you might need to re-assess your hair's needs and adjust your routine accordingly. Maybe a change in shampoo is what you need, or a change in conditioner--you might need to add a conditioner or an occasional hair mask to get your hair in the condition you want it to be. You might also be interested in the "Giving Up Dye/Bleach and Growing Out Natural" (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=51155) thread we have here. I'm sure you'll find support to help you on your long-hair journey and recovery.

On the whole, your natural color and texture looks nice! You have come a long way, and it appears you have been very patient as you've grown out your hair--congratulations! Don't get discouraged and many of us have been where you are--feel free to reach out!

Arciela
June 26th, 2018, 07:45 AM
I think your natural hair color is very pretty :) I had a similar issue...I bleached my hair since I was 12 or so and stopped finally in 2012. It took at least 2-3 years of cutting out the bleach damage and letting it grow to see my thickness and natural texture. I guess that's because growing out bleach/dye from the roots is like starting from bald so it takes a long time o.o

If you feel up to it, maybe give it a couple more years and see if you like it :flower: Hehe but if you are unhappy go back to what it is you enjoy, it's your hair after all :)

Peppergirl
June 26th, 2018, 10:49 AM
Nearly had a panic attack before going into work today. My peers are brutal and it's obvious that I am in the awkward grow out stage. No one has said anything, and I'm not going to either. I am determined to get through this.

Stray_mind
June 26th, 2018, 11:14 AM
I really like your natural hair color. Your hair looks soft and delicate.

However, the only thing that matters is for you to be happy with your hair.
You do You :)

Kake
June 26th, 2018, 12:12 PM
Tbh, a year is a long time, you've got through the worst of the awkward part of growing out dye. I'm all for doing what makes you happy, but you've put so much effort into this already that I think you should be very sure before you go back to bleach. Your natural colour won't look it's best when contrasted against the dyed hair, it just looks duller beside the blonde.

What do you want more, long hair or blonde hair? Does it have to be blonde? There's a lot of info here on henna, which is hair healthy. I think it adds shine and makes hair look healthier too. Might be worth a look at for you.

Deborah
June 26th, 2018, 01:24 PM
It seems too soon to give up on your natural hair. With so much of the bleached hair still there, it's difficult to see what your hair actually looks like. If it were me, I'd cut the hair back to the length and style you started with. I think this would remove all the bleached hair, and you would have a fresh look and fresh start from which to let it grow out as long as you want. Such a re-set might change your mind, as you would be able to see your hair from a new perspective.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!:flower:

MishC
June 26th, 2018, 09:54 PM
Thank you for all the kind words guys! Maybe I am just jumping the gun a bit and getting negative- I've never had hair past arm-pit length before so I can't even picture having it longer and thus it feels a little impossible :rolleyes: I'll try to resist the highlight urges and keep growing it out until all the bleached ends are cut off, at least.


Welcome aboard, MishC!

I have some questions for you, if you don't mind. Is your hair dry? How has your hair care routine changed since you stopped bleaching it? Do you use any hair masks or deep conditioning treatments?

After using bleach for so long, you might need to re-assess your hair's needs and adjust your routine accordingly. Maybe a change in shampoo is what you need, or a change in conditioner--you might need to add a conditioner or an occasional hair mask to get your hair in the condition you want it to be. You might also be interested in the "Giving Up Dye/Bleach and Growing Out Natural" (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=51155) thread we have here. I'm sure you'll find support to help you on your long-hair journey and recovery.

On the whole, your natural color and texture looks nice! You have come a long way, and it appears you have been very patient as you've grown out your hair--congratulations! Don't get discouraged and many of us have been where you are--feel free to reach out!


Yes I'd say my hair is quite dry! Since I stopped bleaching it, I switched to a shampoo and conditioner brand that has no sulfates and cones, and stopped blowdrying it and using my straightner. I don't do any deep conditioning no, maybe that's part of my issue lol. Is there anything you'd recommend that would be easy to get out of fine hair, especially since I use such a gentle non-stripping shampoo?

Robi-Bird
June 26th, 2018, 09:59 PM
Healthy doesn't doesn't necessarily mean smooth or soft. I have coarse hair, from root to tip because that's my genetic make up, it's not soft, it isn't capable of it, that doesn't mean it's not healthy. What I would recommend is trimming off the last of the damage and evaluating your texture, you may naturally have hair that is not smooth.

Jo Ann
June 26th, 2018, 10:40 PM
Yes I'd say my hair is quite dry! Since I stopped bleaching it, I switched to a shampoo and conditioner brand that has no sulfates and cones, and stopped blowdrying it and using my straightner. I don't do any deep conditioning no, maybe that's part of my issue lol. Is there anything you'd recommend that would be easy to get out of fine hair, especially since I use such a gentle non-stripping shampoo?

I use a very moisturizing shampoo and two (yes, TWO! :bigeyes: ) conditioners when I wash my hair, with a ROO (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=129191) between the first and second conditioner. The second conditioner (I use Hello Hydration from the Clairol Herbal Essences line) does contain cones, but it's made a world of difference to my hair. I usually follow-up with the LOC/LCO (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=118167) method, which helps lock in the moisture and enhances my waves, wurls and curls. I also substitute a moisturizing or keratin/protein mask for the first conditioner when my hair needs it (about 2/3 of it is bleached now, and I've had to adjust my hair routine accordingly).

sophia_
June 26th, 2018, 11:09 PM
Your natural hair looks really pretty, I have fine hair myself and I find that silicones help tame flyaways, ease tangling and make my hair shiny. I especially like the ogx argan oil weightless dry oil, it adds a whole lot of shine.