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View Full Version : So... much... breakage...



Electric Sky
February 24th, 2009, 02:47 AM
My hair is just covered in breakage and awkwardly-shaped broken hairs. It looks so horrible now, plus it's taken a major turn for the worse in the past week with even more breakage and it feels like straw.
Here's my routine:
I wash my hair with Aussie Moist shampoo about every other day (or else it starts looking disgustingly greasy)
I condition with Pantene Beautiful Length. (my hair loves cones, so I don't think that's the problem.)
Once a week I rinse my hair with diluted baking soda, then I put on a deep conditioner mix of olive oil, coconut oil, banana (sometimes), and mayo, I leave it in for about two hours, then I rinse some of it out and leave the rest in overnight.
I oil it with olive oil about 3 times a week, too.
I brush my hair, but I hardly ever hear any of it break or feel any of it break. I just trimmed it about a month ago, and I've S&D'ed it to death.
At night I usually put olive oil in it, braid it and pin up the braid.
What am I doing wrong it make it break so much and make it so dry? Please help!

P.S: It's really, really fine, too.

eadwine
February 24th, 2009, 02:49 AM
Trimmed it.. were the scissors sharp? Blunt scissors cause split ends which in turn cause breakage again.

Hopefully you find the cause and you won't have to do what I did years ago (chop it all off because it was beyond repair, so damaged :( ).

Electric Sky
February 24th, 2009, 02:51 AM
The scissors were very sharp hair cutting scissors, so I don't think they caused any splits.

Aww! Sorry you had to do that, though your hair looks very pretty now.

Jeni
February 24th, 2009, 02:55 AM
Do you have any previous damage? Did you use to heat style/blowfry/chemical dyes?

How long have you been doing your current routine?

Katze
February 24th, 2009, 03:01 AM
I second the 'damage' question. Very, very fine hair gets damaged more easily, unfortunately, and heat, chemicals, as well as mechanical damage can all contribute.

You say you wash every other day as well as using baking soda once a week. This sounds to me like a bit too much washing...I don't know anything about the products you mention, but you probably don't need to wash with a sulfate shampoo that often, even if you are using 'cones. The same goes for the baking soda - I personally found it too harsh for my fine hair, while not particularly cleansing.

It could also be that you are just doing too much and / or that you are seeing old damage now that you are paying attention to your hair.

I would suggest some deep conditioning and trying to stretch your washing a bit...

Electric Sky
February 24th, 2009, 03:01 AM
I have a little bit of previous damage above my ears, mostly breakage, and I used to blowdry my hair about once a week, but I though I grew/cut all of the blowdrying damage off. I forgot to mention that I blowdry it about once a month now, or on special occasions, but I try to make up for it by deep conditioning it before I blowdry and then again afterwards.

I've had this routine for about two months, but the dryness and new amount of breakage started about a month ago.

RancheroTheBee
February 24th, 2009, 03:48 AM
Not to sound alarmist, but perhaps you might want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of having a thyroid condition.

eadwine
February 24th, 2009, 04:07 AM
The scissors were very sharp hair cutting scissors, so I don't think they caused any splits.

Aww! Sorry you had to do that, though your hair looks very pretty now.
What needed done had to be done. But I got the length back :D

Hope you find what the cause is!

ChloeDharma
February 24th, 2009, 04:10 AM
I second the 'damage' question. Very, very fine hair gets damaged more easily, unfortunately, and heat, chemicals, as well as mechanical damage can all contribute.

You say you wash every other day as well as using baking soda once a week. This sounds to me like a bit too much washing...I don't know anything about the products you mention, but you probably don't need to wash with a sulfate shampoo that often, even if you are using 'cones. The same goes for the baking soda - I personally found it too harsh for my fine hair, while not particularly cleansing.

It could also be that you are just doing too much and / or that you are seeing old damage now that you are paying attention to your hair.

I would suggest some deep conditioning and trying to stretch your washing a bit...

Yes these were my thoughts too......washing every other day plus weekly baking soda does sound like alot for fine hair to take. The most i wash my hair is twice a week, but usually only once, if i washed more often i don't think my hair would cope.
What about switching to CO washing mostly and then using shampoo once a week if you really feel the need to? You say you started this routine 2 months ago and the problem started a month ago so the cleansing/clarifying would be the first thing i'd look at. Also, after the baking soda are you applying something mildly acidic to your hair to bring the ph back down?

manderly
February 24th, 2009, 05:09 AM
Stop with the baking soda washes. Hold that off until you feel like your hair "needs" it. It will tell you. It really isn't necessary to clarify weekly.

Would you strip your kitchen cabinets once a month to get rid of cooking grease?

Now, are you positive this is "damage" and not kooky new baby hairs that are starting to stick up awkwardly? Sometimes those little buggers can look worse than actual damage.

Treecrown
February 24th, 2009, 05:25 AM
Re: washing every day because your hair looks greasy if you don't, I doubt CO will work for you in that case, but you might want to try one of the diluted-shampoo methods. I've been getting good results with soapnuts--I think the combination of a milder cleanser plus the acidity of the soapnut liquid is really great for the greasy scalp-dry hair problem. I've also had good results from using a very small amount of shampoo diluted with water and applied as foam using a foaming soap dispenser, followed by a (very diluted) vinegar rinse. For the first 10 days or so of using milder/more diluted cleansers, my scalp seemed a little greasy, but then it really did adjust and my hair is much happier and shinier now.

WaimeaWahine
February 24th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Have you read this article by Nightshade:

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

Very helpful and useful information on damaged hair and how to stop it and repair it.

SweetPea88
February 24th, 2009, 08:52 AM
I also tend to think that the baking soda is a bit too much for your fine hair. Give it a break for a little and keep up with the treatments.

rymorg2
February 24th, 2009, 08:56 AM
I agree on the baking soda probably causing it. If that doesn't work out you can always try catnip to help the damage/breakage. It works well. There's a whole thread on it in the recipes forum. It's HUGE

jivete
February 24th, 2009, 09:15 AM
I used to be a daily washer because my hair looked greasy. I now CO and only "wash" every other day. My hair is a lot less greasy now. I also have much less breakage.

Arctic
February 24th, 2009, 09:17 AM
I don't see nothing wrong with washing every other day. Some of us just have greasy scalps, I'm one of them. I get scalp problems if I don't wash everyother day.Not to mention the horrible greasy, tangly locks down to the tips. It's complitely unrealistic to expect everybody being able to wash once a week, IMHO. And unnecessary, we have many many members with healthy long hairs who wash often.

CWC has been good cleansing method for me, have you tried that? It's easy and you can use the products you already have.

Jeni
February 24th, 2009, 09:13 PM
I don't see nothing wrong with washing every other day. Some of us just have greasy scalps, I'm one of them. I get scalp problems if I don't wash everyother day.Not to mention the horrible greasy, tangly locks down to the tips. It's complitely unrealistic to expect everybody being able to wash once a week, IMHO. And unnecessary, we have many many members with healthy long hairs who wash often.

CWC has been good cleansing method for me, have you tried that? It's easy and you can use the products you already have.

I agree, I'm a daily/every other day washer, I've tried to extend the washings and tried COing but it didnt work. CWCing has been great and I haven't noticed any damage for doing it.

I will agree with everyone who says maybe lay off the baking soda.

pinkpanther2070
February 24th, 2009, 09:28 PM
Try Pantence Break Free and follow that up with a deep conditioning :)

kdaniels8811
February 24th, 2009, 09:37 PM
I used to washdaily because my hair looked greasy. I have been able to slowly back off the frequency which helped my fine/thin hair immensely. My hair does not get so dirty yet I wash less often? I also use catnip tea as a leave in conditioner at least twice a week if not more and I swear by this treatment! My hair is so soft, fluffy, and full of body and shine. There is a huge article about making and using it and it is very inexpensive to try. I used pet store catnip and it is great.

Darkhorse1
February 24th, 2009, 09:41 PM
Having just gone through this myself, this is what I did and the results are AMAZING:

Wet hair (do this on a dirty hair day), and apply olive oil to ends. Don't panic if they feel really dry when doing this. I think wetting the hair then adding oil some how locks in moisture. I only left it on for a minute or so. I only oiled from mid-length down. Then, I clarified my scalp and ends. After this, I used Pantene's moisture renewel and left that on for about a minute. I then rinsed with a finishing rinse of cool water and WOW--silky soft ends that don't look scraggly anymore!

Hopefully that might help? :)

maskedrose
February 24th, 2009, 09:54 PM
Have you tried CO? I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if you feel that you need to wash daily/every other day, you might find that your hair is much happier with CO. Past damage can really catch up with you too - I didn't do all that much to my fine hair (toner partial highlights, very occasional blowdrying/curling), but about a year ago the damage really became apparent. I S&D almost daily and still find white spots, splits and wonky damaged hairs all the time. And this is hair that was entirely split free (literally - I had a friend in high school who thought it was her mission to find them - she only found one all year) a couple of years ago.

tiny_teesha
February 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM
I have 3 suggestions. The mayo may be too much protein which makes hair snap.
Treat it gently, don't rip through knots, slowly work them out.
Keep on the S&D wear it up or in braids to prevent splits
and i think using baking soda weekly may be too much if you are using it too concentrated-ly.

Electric Sky
February 24th, 2009, 11:23 PM
Wow! Thank you guys for all of the advice!

I got into the baking soda thing because a hairdresser once told me that the hard water build up on my hair was preventing it from getting moisturized because all of the minerals and such were blocking out the moisture and that I should clarify it and then deep condition it at least once a week, and then I came on here and everyone says that sillicone basically has the same effect, so I thought it would be a good idea to try and use that hairdressers advice (especially since she only cut off the amount of hair I asked her to! I mean, that has to count for something, right? :) )
I will definitely try cutting it back and not doing so much, and after reading this thread last night I deep conditioned without using baking soda first, and my hair seems to have improved. At least, it isn't as hideous and gnarly as it was before.

@Darkhorse: That sounds like something I'd definitely try! Today I didn't wash the mayo/banana/olive oil/coconut oil out of the ends of my hair, I just thoroughly rinsed it, and then I put on some Pantene and it seemed to help cancel out the greasyness, when before I'd have to actually wash my ends to get it out (yikes!)
Maybe the sillicone helps seal in the oils?

I've tried CO washing for about a week and a half, and it made my hair quite greasy. Then I switched over to CWC and I did that for quite a while and it seemed to improve my hair but lately I've just been forgetting to do it (I even forgot to mention that I do it in my first post), mostly because I've been in such a rush with my showers, though I'm definitely going to start doing it much more.

Whenever I try to extend my washes beyond every other day, my hair just becomes horribly greasy and tangled. Maybe I'm not giving it enough time?

Again, thank you guys so much for your suggestions! I don't know how I managed to even have hair before I found this website. :P

Jeni
February 25th, 2009, 04:18 AM
Glad your hair seems to be at least slightly happier

I think it takes awhile for your scalp to adjust to extending washes, if its going to adjust. Mine never did and my scalp was itchy and oily and just plain awful. I think you should do what makes your hair happy, if that is not washing more then every few days with sulfate free shampoo and cone free conditioner then great, if it is washing daily with sulfates and cones, great! Nothing works for everyone.

Is your water incredibly full of minerals? Before we got a fancy new filter system out water was full of iron and I never noticed any build up. Even if you are getting build up I wouldn't think you would need to clarify every week or at least not with baking soda every week. I use a butt load of cones (shampoo, conditioner and leave in all full of them) and don't clarify often and my hair seems fine (you might be different of course).

Darkhorse1
February 25th, 2009, 10:36 AM
ES--yah, i'm not sure what it was about using the olive oil, then the Pantene--I wonder if it indeed seals in the moisture from the oil/water. My ends look amazing! I wish my camera had been charged because I'd have taken before/after shots.

I also find a cool water rinse helpful too. Now, I have oily scalp, so I've found this really helps keep the oil down--not ice cold, but cool.

Give the oiling a try and see what you find. I found mayo made my hair dryer! I don't think my hair likes protien at all.

Akiko
February 25th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Doing less to my hair seems to improve my hair. Sooo, maybe you will see more improvements as you continue to try different methods other people have suggested.

My scalp is very oily. I need to wash every other day with diluted shampoo. I apply conditioner to the length from ears/nape down. Nothing on top of my head. It helps some of my grease problems. Also touching my hair during the day promotes my oil production. So for me, it's best to wear an updo and forget about it. Unfortunately, winter is not a good season for oily scalp.

Gothic Lolita
February 25th, 2009, 11:40 AM
I also tried adjusting my hair to fewer washes, because that is the most repeated suggestion here. I can wash every second day, but my hair is the same if I wash daily. I can't go for less, or I'll scratch myself until I bleed and then I'd get dandruff.

I'm glad that you figured out one culprit, the Baking Soda. Clarifying is a good thing, but I don't think one needs it weekly. Also, build-up is a very personal thing. Some people get it in an instant, other next to never. Your hair will tell you when it's time!

Have you tried Aloe Vera? I've got a concentrate (10 times). It's amazing when I dilute a few drops of it with about the same amount of water, 2-3 drops Essential Oil and a bit of conditioner. I just but this in a spritzer bottle and spray it on my length when it gets dry. It really does help!

Isilme
February 25th, 2009, 11:47 AM
I think you should try to not brush your hair, many people with fine hair find that their hair breaks, no matter how careful they are. Get a good comb, wide toothed and completely smooth and start detangling carefully from your ends and up. Try this for a while.
I also have to agree with the bakng soda, that can be very very harsh for hair.

Another thing, do you wear your hair up or down? Wearing hair down all the time causes so much breakage and damage for many of us. If you wear your hair up, what hairtoys do you use? Make sure there are no sharp edges or places were your hair could get caught and later pulled out.
Good luck!

fluffer
February 28th, 2009, 07:50 PM
My hair suffers a lot of dryness and breakage whenever I am experimenting with oils. It loses all elasticity. Normally it is fine, but when I use oils, it will literally break off just from gentle brushing.

morningstar
February 28th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I have fine hair that damages easily. I just trimmed an inch off and it is because I fried it with chemicals two years ago. The damage is slowly getting trimmed away. Fine hair seems to take less of a beating. I hope giving up on your baking soda will help with the dry damaged parts.