View Full Version : Damage for no reason?

February 28th, 2009, 08:27 AM
So for the past few weeks since joining, I've been hyper aware of the health of my hair. I've been doing CO alternating with WO (must do one or the other every day, as my scalp quickly gets greasy), shampooing around once a week or so when my hair really starts to go flat. I've taken out cones, and put in almond oil (I usually do a light oiling when hair is damp, or a really heavy oiling the night before a "wash"). I've been doing some heavy S&D, but the breakage isn't going away!

Ever since I had my hair chopped to chin length, I gave up brushes, combs, and blow dryers. When it was short, it was easy enough to finger comb, and dried quickly enough that I didn't need to blow dry. I've kept this up as the length increases. I rarely brush or comb, just detangle with my fingers. I braid it at night, and have lately been wearing it up at least every other day. Just to look at, my hair doesn't seem all that damaged -- nice thick hemline, despite long layers, doesn't seem dry or crunchy, moves well, etc. But when I really get in and look at my hair, there are splits and white dots all over the place!

I find this mostly happens to the hair around my face, roughly an inch into the hairline, where the hair is baby fine and delicate, and also to the underneath layer, which for some reason is fine to medium, but wiry and coarse. The main body of my hair is fine to medium, and very hardy, almost no splits that I can see. What can I do to minimize damage to the more delicate parts of my hair?

While I'm here, I may as well ask about oil, too :p I find that when I do a heavy oiling my hair feels wonderful, but on the days when I just do a light oiling on damp hair for the day, the ends get velcro-y and crunchy feeling. Am I not applying enough oil in this case, or too much? Would I be better off using a leave in conditioner or some sort? (any recs?)

Any and all advice is appreciated!

February 28th, 2009, 08:37 AM
Hi Hairtwin (almost)!

First of all I've got the M underlayer and F canopy, so I oil/condition only on the length and underneath - never condition my scalp, except for SMT. I recently started a thread on this, check it out:


Secondly, I think you are washing your hair too much. Why CO and WO AND shampooing? You could probably just CWC wash every few days and have less time when your hair is wet and being handled. CWC alternating with WO ever 3-4 days worked for me before I got pregnant, then my hair got greasier and I switched to CW or WC with sulfate shampoos, now I am down to CWC washing every 3-7 days as I feel. In between, I *lightly* oil the coarser underlayer and *very lightly* oil my length, or mist, or use some leave-in (Goth Rosary) every 2-3 days. That provides enough extra moisture for the delicate ends without overdoing it.

Finally, your hair does not SOUND damaged. Fine hair gets splits more easily than M or C hair, but this does not mean your hair is really 'damaged.' You could be seeing pre-LHC damage, or you could just be seeing the normal wear and tear on your fine hair. I would not worry about it - many fine-haired LHCers always have splits. S &D will help, as will gentle treatment, but I think some of us are just doomed to have them.

It really sounds like you are doing lots of good things to your hair. If your hemline is even and thick, then you're already ahead of me, and I've been babying my hair for several years now. Getting it wet less often is the only thing you might consider changing, IMO.

hth! :)

February 28th, 2009, 08:40 AM
Hmmm. Two possible damage culprits could be towel damage (depending on how you manipulate your hair right after washing) or friction damage from rubbing against your pillowcase at night. Neither of these are likely if you're careful, as you say, but it's all I can think of. :shrug:

February 28th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Have you only recently gone off cones? I am having the same problem since joining LHC in December and I feel I've been taking much better care of my hair. I've posted this same question in several threads and the answer I got several times was that the damage could be from going off cones. There are several girls here who feel coney conditioners help seal moisture in and protect their hair from splits/breakage.

The other tip I was given was to use catnip in my hair. I have tried this a few times but I haven't done it consistently enough yet to see good results. Ktani and a few others sware by it though. Catnip seems to have prevented new splits from forming on their head.

If you want to try catnip you can view the catnip for split ends hair thread. The dillution is like 1 tsp of catnip to 1 mug of boiling water... let it steep for 3o minutes or so... until it's room temp or a bit warm. Then apply to hair while in shower and let it sit on hair for 15 minutes. You can also bag your hair and let it sit on hair for 1 hour. There are quite a few who claimed it helped. I got my catnip at Petsmart. The brand name is Cosmic.

Hope this helps and I would also love to find an answer to your question as it would greatly benefit me as well. It's very frustrating to be taking so much better care of my hair yet suffering with split ends still. I've tried shampoo bars, several new oils, cone free conditioners... but recently I've started using coney conditioners a few times per week too.


February 28th, 2009, 09:09 AM
The other thing I wanted to say is also S&D my split/damaged ends. However, it seems as though the very next day the splits are back! However, I may be in a different situation than you as I did used to blowfry and straighten my hair... so my breakage problem could be due to previous damage. That may be a reason why I need cones. Either lose the damaged hair or preserve it with cones... that's kind of what I'm understanding here so far. I'm not sure if catnip could preserve the hair. I am still going to try it more I just need to stop being lazy and start thinking ahead of time of my shower and steeping the tea!

February 28th, 2009, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the response! The only reason I'm wetting my hair every day is because if I don't, it's *seriously* greasy. It doesn't matter if I S and C, CO, WO, whatever, it'll look fine day of, and then the next day it's back to the grease pits. I've tried putting my hair up on the second day and just going with it, but it's noticeably greasy at the scalp, so updos don't hide much. I'm trying to cut down on washings, but I'm going about it slowly, hoping to see a grease reduction from CO. Also, when I say WO, what I mean is massaging my scalp under water (cool, warm, then cool again) but with conditioner on the length. The shampoo I'm using has sulfates, but I've diluted it by more than half, and I'm only using it sporadically, for CWC (1 out of 7-10 washes).

It's also good to know that splits don't mean I'm taking horrible care of my hair :) I'll keep on trucking, and try to stretch washing time. In the meantime, it looks like more S&D in my future!

February 28th, 2009, 09:28 AM
I was wondering if it could be damage from the pillowcase as well, but I don't really toss and turn in the night (with DBF and I sharing a dorm bed, it's all I can do to get in in the first place, let alone move around!). As for towel damage, I've been gently twisting my hair at the nape and laying it up across my head, then putting the towel on, instead of twisting my hair within the towel. I don't think that would damage it, but maybe my hair is more fragile than I suspected.

February 28th, 2009, 09:32 AM
My hair has a huge amount of split ends, but it still seems to be growing.

February 28th, 2009, 09:36 AM
I did just recently get off of cones, but I didn't notice any sort of change in my hair from doing so. I have the same amount of splits, same texture hair, same everything :/ I have been debating trying catnip, and I think I will soon, it seems like good stuff.

Thanks for the response!

February 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Oh, mine is definitely still growing, I just want to make sure my hemline stays nice and full while I'm growing it out, and I figured splits would affect that. Your hair is beautiful, btw!

Für immer
February 28th, 2009, 01:35 PM
I think you're using too much shampoo and other stuff

February 28th, 2009, 01:50 PM
I think you're using too much shampoo and other stuff

It may not be too much shampoo when she only shampoos once a week and does CO and WO in the meantime. :)

There could be possible damage from when it's down every other day. Also like what's been suggested there is the possibility that it could be pre LHC type hair. If you used to use cones there is a chance that it masked some of the issues that you see now.

In regards to oiling if heavy oiling feels good, but light oiling on damp hair feels bleh, then maybe cut out the light oiling on damp hair? You'd cut out that "bleh" bit I'd wager.

For the long term it's really about trying out different types of things. Finding what works for you is an evolution really. Putting it up a lot does reduce the chance you'd have issues regarding friction from hair rubbing against stuff.

I hope you find a routine that works well for you soon! It's ever elusive to me. :flower:

February 28th, 2009, 01:52 PM
You mention oily hair, but you use a lot of conditioners and oils. Drop all oils and conditioners for a while, do just an acidic rinse or a catnip rinse, or both, after washing, and I bet you would see a huge difference. Your hair won't need washing every day. It could be a nice experiment for you.

Whatever you try, I hope you find a good solution soon! :)

February 28th, 2009, 01:55 PM
i never really get split ends - but i do get dry brittle ends.
and i esp. had this problem after years of using coney shampoo and conditioner and then switching to one with no cones.
soaking in coconut oil overnight and then doing a CO wash helped - what helped the most was going WO for an extended period of time - after doing that it took almost a year of using poo bars and ACV rinses for the ends of my hair to get dry and crunchy again.

i too have problems with washing my hair too much. right now i am trying to create a routine and only wash my hair with indian herbs after overnight oiling ONCE A WEEK!

actually, if i only wash my hair once a week i could probably get away with using poo bars, or CO washing - but i find that i enjoy poo bars or CO washing to the extent that i want to do it more than once a week :(

also if i do CO washing i notice that my hair gets drier and drier as the week goes on - i guess it is because the moisture that i imparted by the use of conditioner wears off - and i notice this esp. if i rinse my hair with water in between - just my 2 cents...

February 28th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I'm not accusing you of having been horrible to your hair since the bob chop, but you might have a certain amount of pre-LHC damage that will need to be dealt with at some point.

My hair was in great condition until I got to BSL, whereby the ends seemed to spontaneously combust :). Even though I had been on LHC since APL and treated it waaaay better during that time. It's like my old ends just couldn't hold on any longer and gave up!

I've been maintaining/self trimming at 25" for 10 months and that seems to be helping. I hope to quit that in May and just grow for it. Oh and I'm doing catnip soaks a few times a week, also. There's a catnip for split ends (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=476) thread, too.

February 28th, 2009, 04:14 PM
Do you wear a winter hat/toque that may be a little tight or causing friction? or headbands? or barrettes? or bobbypins? I just recently discovered that the collar of my heavy wool winter coat may be causing friction on my hair and breakage. So now I try to wear it up in a loose hat or in a clip when I put my coat on (I do it frequently for smoke breaks outside). Something to think about.

February 28th, 2009, 08:41 PM
The only thing I really did before LHC that was bad was using cones, as far as I can tell. And wearing it down, of course. But I see what you mean :) I'm not averse to trimming in the least, and usually go get it trimmed half an inch or so every three to six months. And hopefully I can get into catnip soon!

February 28th, 2009, 08:44 PM
No, actually! I've been really careful about that -- I have a hood on my winter coat that I use instead of a tight hat, I always bun it before going outside (I may take it down indoors, when I'm in class and not moving about), and I don't use bobby pins enough for it to matter. I think my hair may just be a bit more fragile than I'd thought.

I think all in all I'll just try to stretch washes more -- the length never seems dirty, it's just my scalp that I can't stand.

February 28th, 2009, 09:22 PM
Cones caused a lot of damage on my hair. I still have 7" of cone-damaged hair I am hanging onto.
A silk pillowcase made a huge difference for me.

February 28th, 2009, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the reply! I started CO after hearing about so many peoples' scalps readjusting to gentler methods of cleansing -- I've been waiting it out, hoping to see less grease production, but it hasn't happened yet. My scalp gets just as clean with CO, but gets greasy in the same amount of time as well. Same deal with whatever else I try -- there's not much a difference in the way my hair behaves. I'll definitely try acid rinses next, though, and see what happens!

March 1st, 2009, 12:45 PM
I think all in all I'll just try to stretch washes more -- the length never seems dirty, it's just my scalp that I can't stand.

I can definitely understand what you're saying here as my hair acts in the same way. I have DRY length and very dry/damaged ends. However, I HAVE to wash every other day (even if it's a CO wash). Otherwise, the scalp just looks dirty and oily and I cannot justify going out to work like that.

I know you mentioned wanting to try the catnip. I think I might try to go just on catnip for a week too and see how my hair handles it. I do think some people have to shampoo with catnip though as the hair gets oily. I wonder how many days we could go washing with catnip without shampooing? It will be interesting to find out.

baobhan sith
March 1st, 2009, 02:13 PM
I wouldn't have thought that CO washing every day would do your hair any harm, it's moisturising so if you wet it anyway, doing this instead of shampooing and WO. I've heard a few people on WO saying that it gave them really dry ends untill the sebum got moved right down to the ends of their hair, and if you're shampooing once a week, it's never going to get there, so this could be a factor. I do SD, and cut my splits and white dots out individually, but if they don't go very far up your hair, and there really are LOADS a small trim woudl probably help, if you don't mind trimming. Another thing that helps me go the extra day without washing, is since CO isn't as stripping as using sulfate shampoo, then a coney conditioner, there's more oil on my hair anyway (not enough to look greasy or anything) so if i brush my hair lots with a good brush, i can move the sebum down my hair, without it looking to bad. Then it can look okay in updo's, but if you do this make sure you wash your brush regularly. HTH