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View Full Version : Being careful with my hair is going on my nerves!



Lamb
February 23rd, 2009, 07:56 PM
There, I said it. I actually think this is what has prevented me so far from growing my hair out. All these incessant worries about "treating my hair like ancient lace" are a strain on my nerves - I can't touch my hair without worrying that it will break off, split, etc. etc. And of course whenever it looks "off", I am assuming I have committed an unremediable, major hair sin, the consequences of which can only be undone by scissors. :knitfrog:

I'm wondering if there is anyone else for whom "being careful with hair" is causing major angst. Perhaps it's my perfectionism (I used to carry the title "curlfectionist"), but it's wearing out my patience. When I am outside and the wind begins to touch the few strands escaping from under my hood, I worry. When I have to comb my hair and hear a small, snapping sound, I have a heart attack. :tmi: (Okay, I am exaggerating, but still.) Having very fine hair that tangles easily, always ready for mischief, doesn't help. :(

I know the fault is with me, it's all in my head... But it would be reassuring to know I am not alone with this. How can I "lighten up" on haircare and hair-worries?

OhioLisa
February 23rd, 2009, 08:14 PM
Find something else to obsess over. I find that accessory shopping does the trick for me. :D

rose_in_bloom
February 23rd, 2009, 08:16 PM
Oh dear! That's no fun. In fact, I've been having the same troubles, and I've obsessed over my hair until it practically made me sick with worry.

Here's the deal: it's okay. :) Your hair will not disintegrate or be covered with splits if you stop worrying about it for a month or so. In fact, it will probably be healthier because when you worry so intensely about it, it creates stress. And stress is never good for your hair. I actually find that when I stress out about my hair all the time, it gets thinner and doesn't grow as fast.

I've found that the easiest way to ignore my hair is this: When I first wake up in the morning, I comb it out, wash if necessary, apply a bit of coconut oil to the ends and put it up in a protective and comfortable style. Then I make a conscious effort to put it out of my mind for the rest of the day. Keeping myself busy with school or housework also helps.

So just relax! Your hair won't suffer from a bit of benign neglect. And who knows? You might have the same results as I did, and it'll turn out to be healthier!

Hope this helps, and do feel better soon! :)

Erin

DragonLady
February 23rd, 2009, 08:19 PM
I went through that, too.

When I first came here, I'd been trying to grow my hair for so long. I realized that it should've been down to my ankles years before. I had to grow out massive damage, then I just expected my hair would grow again the same way it did when I was younger. When it didn't, I kinda gave up ever getting longer. Then, I was pointed to this place by another member, and began to realize how many things I was doing wrong.

I swear for the next six months, I just became obsessed with finding ways to eliminate the damage and get the show on the road. Now, as I'm finally at tailbone and do expect my routine to continue to work, I'm relaxing a lot more. I realized that I was so busy worrying over it that I wasn't enjoying it anymore, and that had to end.

I've decided: having hair damages hair. Period. I'll minimize the damage as much as I can without parking myself in a padded room, and just let it be a little bit damaged. And I'll enjoy it. I've learned new updo's, bought myself some pretty barrettes, made myself a cinch....

I read here a lot everyday and enjoy the company, but I'm no longer scouring every thread looking for more ideas to keep every strand of hair pristine and unbroken.

I love my hair. That was the whole -and only- reason for wanting it to grow. But if I obsess over it too much it starts feeling like a bad relationship. Better not to sweat the small stuff, and just bask in it so much more when everything is going well.

rapunzhell13
February 23rd, 2009, 08:19 PM
You are not alone! :blossom:

I had to take a BIG step back. That meant reducing my hair care routine down to the very basics (shampoo, conditioner, the occasional light coconut oiling). That's it! My hair has never been better! I no longer stress about things like cones either, I just use regular supermarket brands like I used to. Handling is far more important than products, so my suggestion is to concentrate on that. The tangles sound like your biggest issue. Do you use cones? I never had issues with tangling until I went cone-free. Oiling helps too. HTH! :)

ElenTikvah
February 23rd, 2009, 08:23 PM
I don't know how others are, but I can definitely relate. For me, it requires allowing myself to "neglect" my hair, and just let it be my hair.

It is fine, thin and prone to break? Most assuredly YES! But is it also MY hair, and if it is not bringing me joy, then something needs to change.

In fact, I have only recently returned back to LHC, after a long period of "neglect." During this period, I focused on simple regimes (WO or CO); combed it only with my wide-tooth horn comb, and worn it almost exclusively in a simple updo or braid to protect it. That's it...

So, no real instruction here on how to clear the funk...just a listening ear, and a voice to say, Yeah, I understand.

SpecialKitty
February 23rd, 2009, 08:29 PM
I know the feeling - today I actually yanked out a perfectly healthy long hair by accident with my new ficcare! Almost everything I do with and to my hair seems to cause some damage or fall-out. I've taken to wearing it up day and night to minimize damage. This is paying off as my hair is healthier than it's been in years. But I'm trying to worry less, because the whole point of having long hair is to enjoy it, right?

Tangles
February 23rd, 2009, 08:39 PM
I feel like this sometimes. I'm currently obsessed with filing my nails because I don't want any sharp edges to snag on my hair. :rolleyes:

sneakybea
February 23rd, 2009, 08:57 PM
I understand the feeling. I was AWOL from this site for a bit because I felt it was encouraging me to obsess too much. I felt so guilty when my hair caught on my purse strap, or if I left it loose on a windy day. I came to realize that caring for my hair should be fun and that a lot of good can come from, as rose in bloom says, benign neglect. I put my hair up most days, to minimize damage and keep it from distracting me when I am trying to work or whatever. As an added benefit, my ends, which used to be a lot lighter than the rest of the hair, are now the same shade, a clear sign that they are getting a lot less sun exposure and damage.
I suspect that when your hair gets longer and it's easier to "just put it up and forget it," you'll find it easier not to worry so much. Just remember that it's your hair, and you should have fun with it.

PseudoScot
February 23rd, 2009, 09:20 PM
Lamb, IIRC you're at a bit of an awkward length meaning, it's not easily kept 'tamed'. The best thing to do is put it back and ignore it. As much as you can.

Don't freak out if you snap hairs, I wince when I do it but I use a shower comb loaded with condish and when it's dry I use a wide tooth seamless horn comb. That's enough for me. So I try to do right by it but if I snap one every now and then, well, it died a noble death. I do, however, not do 'stupid' things with it like rake it with a plastic brush and torture it.

For me it's finding the laziest routine. What's the easiest way to cover it up when I absolutely don't want to deal with it? What's the fastest way to comb it, etc.

If you get through this stage it WILL get easier, especially when you can put it all back and ignore it - bliss!

And if that fails - rememeber in movies the man's heart always goes 'thump thump' when he sees his lady love with slightly unkempt hair, or when she tugs a wisp of it from her face. Neat and tidy is overrated! :D

:grouphug:

ETA: This might sound weird but maybe you are worrying over your hair extra because it gives you an outlet for stress and you can obsess over the hair which is more manageable than say, nebulous life stress. You know, how like when people get stressed they worry over something more 'controllable'....?

Carolyn
February 23rd, 2009, 09:28 PM
It's OK to have some fun with your hair. I've been using a curling iron on my front wispies. Yesterday I used my hot air round brush and smoothed my hair out and wore it down. It was still looking good today so I wore it in a regular old ponytail. That's something I have done in ages because I was afraid of nape damage and fierce tangles. Maybe I damaged a few hairs but it was so much fun to treat myself to wearing it down. It was hard to give myself permission to have fun with it. I think if doing all the "right" things is getting on your nerves then stop for a while. Take a break. It's OK.

BranwenWolf
February 23rd, 2009, 09:30 PM
Some days I'm careful (today I had it back or French-braided because it was still wet when I woke up) and others I don't care. I don't notice much of a difference unless I don't wash every day... I'm one of those people that has to wash every day.

adiapalic
February 23rd, 2009, 10:06 PM
All I do is use a boar bristle brush with a little coconut oil concentrated on the ends, and I'm good. I've been doing this for about a year and have noticed huge results: My hair is less dry and much shinier and healthier on the ends--the brush also helps pull oils from top to bottom--my hair is thicker because I've had faster growth/less breakage, and I can hardly find a split end.

nienna42
February 23rd, 2009, 10:13 PM
Just think of all the people through all the ages who have grown their hair long without any kind of special treatment. Hair, even fine hair, is resilient stuff. The people who can't ever get their hair to grow long are usually people who seriously abuse their hair with constant chemical processing (ETA: by which I mean dyeing, perms, relaxing /ETA), daily heat styling, etc. When I was 14, my hair was as long as it is now, and I didn't treat it well at all. The ends were kind of ratty to my eyes, but everyone else complimented me on it.

That said, I can understand what you're feeling. I kept feeling like that last spring. I finally forced myself to quit worrying about it because it was taking the pleasure out of having long hair. Several months later, my hair doesn't seem to be looking any worse for my being less paranoid about damage.

Heavenly Locks
February 23rd, 2009, 11:08 PM
Another thing that helps me, when I get a bit frantic about treating my hair nice, is that if you asked ANYone else...your hair looks amazing! Most people only notice hair that looks 'bad' when it's gotten to the velcro, haystack stage. :)

Coming here it is easy to see some of the most immaculate looking hair ever, and get worried that you might never reach your goals. Happens to the best of us.

It's also a good thing to 'let it go' once in a while. The other day, hubby and I went out on a double date and I *gasp* blow dried my hair. It looked amazing! I had FUN wearing it down and feeling happy with the way it looked. I didn't kill it. It's twisted back up now, but it's worth it to actually do something iffy with your hair once in a while to remember how much you like it. :)

Too much worry isn't going to get us better hair ;)

Darkhorse1
February 23rd, 2009, 11:13 PM
I've come to the conclusion that it is just hair. I'll treat it nicely, but if it slams in the car door, I'm not going to run to the bathroom and soak it in oil. I mean, it's going to get damaged, and that's what trims are for ;)

Also, I love hair accessory shopping, so that makes it worth while :D

RancheroTheBee
February 23rd, 2009, 11:24 PM
I know how you feel. It's like, it's still so short, and I'm having no fun with it!

Ironically, I found that things like trimming it less often and not straightening it have made me care about it less. I've stopped panicking about how short it is, or how puffy it gets during the winter.

Hair was meant to be played with sometimes. :)

Roseate
February 23rd, 2009, 11:25 PM
This might sound weird but maybe you are worrying over your hair extra because it gives you an outlet for stress and you can obsess over the hair which is more manageable than say, nebulous life stress. You know, how like when people get stressed they worry over something more 'controllable'....?

This is exactly my MO. My hair loves it when I get stressed out, it means I will soon be doing a DT, cassia, buying a new hairtoy, something like that. I am definitely guilty of channeling stress through fussing with my hair!

Calanthe
February 23rd, 2009, 11:36 PM
You are not alone.

My hair is best, when I ignore it most of the time. You know, just comb/fingercomb/brush, a bit of shea, put it up and forget about it.

The moment I start thinking: oh my..."insert hair drama here", my hair gets really sarcastic and annoying.

So for me the best way of dealing with hair angst is to forget about my hair and just let it hang there, happily growing and getting nicer every day.

dolcevita
February 23rd, 2009, 11:39 PM
All I do is use a boar bristle brush with a little coconut oil concentrated on the ends, and I'm good. I've been doing this for about a year and have noticed huge results: My hair is less dry and much shinier and healthier on the ends--the brush also helps pull oils from top to bottom--my hair is thicker because I've had faster growth/less breakage, and I can hardly find a split end.

I find that a boar bristle brush really helps my length and maybe even my ends but it flattens my scalp like crazy!! So much that it looks baaaaad! Am I doing something wrong here? I am not using oils like you are, by the way, but I do have an oilier scalp...

anniefish
February 24th, 2009, 12:23 AM
My hair actually looks better lately since I've stopped stressing about it. I think the best thing to do is to find a balance. You don't want to ignore your hair to the point that it gets overly damaged, but if you constantly obsess over it then there's no point in even growing it long because you won't enjoy having long hair! Honestly there's probably a lot more I could do to minimize damage and make my hair look better and healthier, but I'm happy with the way it looks right now so why stress about it?

TessieAnn
February 24th, 2009, 12:47 AM
When you feel yourself getting tense about hair care, take a big breath and relax, dear Lamb.

You're doing just great. Your hair is beautiful! It's perfectly fine and can feel really freeing to let your tresses blow in the wind a bit.

Snap crackle snap snap every time you run a comb too quickly through your hair is damaging but an occasional snap is no big deal. Forget about the "lace" stuff. Be gentle and kind to your hair, but don't let it ruin your life!

Sometimes we need a reminder that after all, it's really just hair. When you watch someone close to you lose all of her hair to chemo, as I did with my mother, you realize just that. A split end is not the end of the world.

And, of course, the boards and journals here are full of posts from LHCers who had to step back and go into that benign neglect phase because it was all getting too intense. Then one day they peek over their shoulders again and see that surprise! their hair has grown when they weren't looking.

Growing hair, or not, is a choice. How you feel about it is your choice, too!

Gothic Lolita
February 24th, 2009, 01:18 AM
I was like this too when I joined here. Not as extreme, but on the same way. I was obsessing so much over my hair that it really annoyed my boyfriend. I knew this but couldn'T stop mysefl talking all day about my hair, his hair, cones.... Poor guy.

Then I somehow forced myself to not let the word hair slip for a day, then another. My own "do not mention hair for week" challenge. It became easier.

Now it seems much healthier. I'm able to go a least 2 days between washings. It just happened one day, all the time before, I tried to force my hair to it.
I don't wince anymore or shout at my mom when she accidentally snaps a hair while braiding it.
The old lace stuff is a good advice for people who come here with extreme damage, but I thik you have beautiful hair, Lamb, and really don't have to worry about that!

Lamb
February 24th, 2009, 06:13 AM
Wow! Thank you everyone for your replies, I honestly didn't expect to read so many. :) I have gotten great advice and encouragement from all of you, sorry I don't answer individually to everybody. :blossom:


Here's the deal: it's okay. :) Your hair will not disintegrate or be covered with splits if you stop worrying about it for a month or so. In fact, it will probably be healthier because when you worry so intensely about it, it creates stress.
That's true. Stress makes everything suck, from hair to my skin.


I've decided: having hair damages hair. Period.
Can I have this for Saying of the Month? Brilliant!


ETA: This might sound weird but maybe you are worrying over your hair extra because it gives you an outlet for stress and you can obsess over the hair which is more manageable than say, nebulous life stress. You know, how like when people get stressed they worry over something more 'controllable'....?
Not weird at all - I am pretty much a control freak in way too many areas of my life. Makes sense that I should take my frustration out on my hair. Thanks for the advice!


Just think of all the people through all the ages who have grown their hair long without any kind of special treatment. Hair, even fine hair, is resilient stuff. The people who can't ever get their hair to grow long are usually people who seriously abuse their hair with constant chemical processing (ETA: by which I mean dyeing, perms, relaxing /ETA), daily heat styling, etc.
That's very true, I have been wondering how my flatmate, who has fine hair like me, and straight and a bit thinner into the bargain, can have BSL hair when she blowdries it every single day. Her blowdrier is permanently plugged in. Makes me cringe to look at it! :scared: But it works for her, and here I am angsting over my own hair which sees the blowdrier maybe three times a year.


Sometimes we need a reminder that after all, it's really just hair. When you watch someone close to you lose all of her hair to chemo, as I did with my mother, you realize just that. A split end is not the end of the world.
That's very true and wise. Thank you for your post, TessieAnn!


The old lace stuff is a good advice for people who come here with extreme damage, but I thik you have beautiful hair, Lamb, and really don't have to worry about that!
Aww, thanks!

MsBubbles
February 24th, 2009, 06:42 AM
Being careful with my hair is getting on my boyfriend's nerves!!

I hope you continue to find peace, Lamb.

Curlsgirl
February 24th, 2009, 07:05 AM
Find something else to obsess over. I find that accessory shopping does the trick for me. :D

Ha ha! I found knitting and sewing! The point is, don't just try to stop obsessing over it, find something productive to REPLACE the obsession with. I tend to get obsessed over things so I try to do it with good things and things that will accomplish something after all. You have probably become somewhat of an expert in how to take care of your hair now to grow it long. So it's okay to come here and get some encouragement and friendship even daily but I find if I spend TOO much time here I start obsessing again. Not trying to do anything but help here and in no way trying to get rid of you of course!!! :flowers: I had to step back and do that, wear my hair up and just do what I knew to do for a while and it really helped me.

Pixna
February 24th, 2009, 07:10 AM
When my hair was long (as you know, I'm currently growing it back), I got a bit obsessive, too. When I started going shorter, I became obsessive about trimming (aaack! and look what happened!). I truly think it is an outlet for stress and control, and that it is critical to find other outlets that are "safer" and more health-supporting emotionally. Hair can be a hobby, but only to a point. It should only be one hobby among many others.

Two years ago my sister (who is just one year older than I am) lost all of her hair due to chemo. She had always had fabulous long blond hair and then suddenly she was completely bald. All those years of relishing her hair were gone in an instant, and the priorities of life came into sharp focus.

Enjoy your hair, take loving (but not obsessive) care of it, and appreciate it. But it is not the end all and be all of who you are. Who would you be without your hair? Still you, I hope. And still beautiful.

lora410
February 24th, 2009, 07:32 AM
I got over this when I hit BSL. I stopped doing so much stuff to it and worrying non stop about splits, hemline etc.

rymorg2
February 24th, 2009, 07:50 AM
I agree with Lisa....I'm more obsessed with buying accessories to wear my hair up with than with touching it and damaging it.

I ascribe to a regimine of Benign neglect. It really helps. I pull it up and forget it. And believe it or not, it's in the best shape now that it has been in for quite awhile because of it. :D

Arctic
February 24th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Lamb I there with you!

I recently was away from this site for about a month and my attitude towards my hair became much more relaxed and I was happy with my hair, and now I'm back I see the obsession creeping back again and see all the time things I should improve and damaged hairs every where. I spend hours doing S&D... It is starting to effect my hemline for goodness sake! I sit in a uncomfortable rigid positions because I'm afraid to rest my head against sofa... I am seriously considering buing a sleeping cap even though I think they look redicilous and I wouldn't want to use them but it would be so good to my hair...

I wrote about this same subject in my last journal post too.

My best advice, if you can take one from fellow obsessive member, is to take a time out from this site, browse other hair related sites, for example (hair) fashion blogs, where shoulder length is considered long, and yes, keep it away from your face (claw clips were a life saver for me at your length!).

I personally probably will give myself a 2cm trim next month, because that is the lenght at the my ends where I see bad ends. It will hinder my gaining length but at this point I don't care much, I want hair that feels good to touch and I honestly have S&Ded so much it needs evening up :o

We can do this Lamb! Grow AND be happy with our hairs! Enjoy them! Yes we can!


ETA: Great answers everybody! :grouphug: They help me too :flower:

DragonLady
February 24th, 2009, 11:12 AM
Originally Posted by DragonLady
I've decided: having hair damages hair. Period.

Can I have this for Saying of the Month? Brilliant!

Of course you may. :) And on the obsessive note, I started S & D late last night because I couldn't sleep, and didn't want to bug anyone else by getting up and moving around. So I turned on my little lamp and started finding my splits and white dots and knots.... When I looked up at the clock again it was almost four in the morning!

sandigirl
February 24th, 2009, 11:34 AM
I NEVER obsess over my hair and it's pretty nice--very thick, silky, and easy. I know genes help but my routine is SO simple. I brush it when I wake up. Put it into a ponytail. And just go. On special occasions where I wear it loose, I wash, condition from nape down, blo-dry, use heated rollers for about a minute on the ends, brush it out, and go. I did tend to brush a lot more before ponytails because I can't stand stringy hair.

adiapalic
February 24th, 2009, 01:54 PM
I find that a boar bristle brush really helps my length and maybe even my ends but it flattens my scalp like crazy!! So much that it looks baaaaad! Am I doing something wrong here? I am not using oils like you are, by the way, but I do have an oilier scalp...
Boar bristle brushes will definitely flatten some hair--especially with oils present. I've just accepted the fact that hair is going to lie flat on my scalp, because of the weight of my hair pulling it straight down and the oils my scalp produces.

I think if you want to keep your hair off your scalp, maybe before going out you could use aloe gel afterwards? I've never used it personally, but I've read that as a completely natural gel it can add some nice texture and body to hair along with moisturizing it. :)