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podo
March 6th, 2009, 09:31 PM
I need some help please...

My hair is a little below my waist, and has been for the last several YEARS. When I measure, the growth is nada for a few months, and then about an inch a month for a couple months, and then goes back to nothing. I have some medical problems (okay, a LOT of medical problems) so I know that's affecting my growth, but lately I'm starting to think there's something else going on. I'm really down about it, especially when I see that I've had only 2" of growth since the last time I spent some time here - almost a year ago.

Tonight it dawned on me that the color line (from when I colored my hair years ago) is moving down my length, so maybe it's not that I'm not growing - maybe it's growing, but breaking at this length.

When I hit APL 10+ years ago I realized that it was breaking and I needed to do something about it. I started wearing my hair in a braid constantly and it promptly went down to BSL. I think the same thing is happening now, but I don't know what to do about it.

I'm very gentle with my hair. I wash every 2-3 days with non-sulfate, non-cone products. I don't pile my hair on my head or rough it up with a towel. I use protein products and moisture products. I oil with jojoba (my hair doesn't like coconut oil). I gently detangle with a wide-tooth comb after shower. I don't brush more than I need to for styling. I don't use heat of any kind. I put my hair in a braid at night. I use satin pillowcases. I keep my hair in braids or in an updo during the day. I use smooth hairsticks/forks or amish pins for updos and pantyhose hair ties for braids. I lightly S&D as needed, but it's rapidly to the point now that it isn't needed very much. I use honey with my conditioner. I use a catnip tea rinse. I take a daily vitamin designed for skin/hair. I also take biotin. I keep my hair up so nothing rubs against it and I don't rest my head against anything.

Please... Someone tell me how to protect my hair from breakage at this length! I've been at waist for years and it's time to move on! I'm entirely too depressed about this. It isn't healthy and it's starting to be all I can think about.

If anyone can help I know you can.

Rain76
March 6th, 2009, 09:39 PM
It sounds to me like you are doing everything you possibly can to prevent breakage. I have extremely fragile hair that breaks VERY easily. I have started taking much better care of it, including doing some things that you mentioned, like catnip rinses, satin pillowcases, decreasing the amount of combing, putting it up, etc. I also started taking GNC Nourishair vitamins in Dec. I haven't really noticed a difference, but this is an excellent vitamin with lots of biotin, silica, and amino acids that are important for healthy hair growth. It can't hurt, right? My hair used to be stronger, and about 4-5 years ago, it started growing in very fine & thin. A lot of it probably has to do with heredity. Who knows. Anyway, I hope you find a solution to your problem:)

EdG
March 6th, 2009, 09:41 PM
From your description, you are likely at terminal length.

Do your shed strands have a little bulb at one end and a 1-2 inch taper at the other? If so, they are shedding rather than breaking.

Waist-length hair is long hair. :)
Ed

DragonLady
March 6th, 2009, 09:44 PM
My hair is a little below my waist, and has been for the last several YEARS. When I measure, the growth is nada for a few months, and then about an inch a month for a couple months, and then goes back to nothing. I have some medical problems (okay, a LOT of medical problems) so I know that's affecting my growth, but lately I'm starting to think there's something else going on. I'm really down about it, especially when I see that I've had only 2" of growth since the last time I spent some time here - almost a year ago.

I suffered the same affliction before I came here. After a few hours reading, it suddenly dawned on me that culprit was my computer chair. Since I work on the internet now, I'm in this chair for hours at a time. I covered it with slippery, satiny fabric, and have been growing steadily ever since.

I suggest really looking at what you do all day, and see if there's something mechanical that's causing the trouble.

podo
March 6th, 2009, 09:51 PM
I forgot to mention - I take a regular vitamin designed for skin/hair as well as straight biotin.

I lost my job in January, so I've been sitting on the couch since then either reading or on my laptop looking for a job. During that time (and when I had a job) my hair was in updos and not under a coat or purse-strap or against my chair.

My hair has been longer than this (before I cut it to get rid of bad damage) so I know I'm not at terminal length, though I'm starting to wonder about that.

My shed hairs are mostly broken, though there are some that are bulbed. I had some hair loss last year due to meds, but my hair is starting to thicken up again, just not get much longer.

EdG
March 6th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Okay, I'm stumped.

I find that for me, most breakage seems to be caused by sun exposure and/or lint. That may or may not be the case for you, but it should be possible to control breakage. I wish you the best success! :)
Ed

RancheroTheBee
March 6th, 2009, 10:24 PM
I forgot to mention - I take a regular vitamin designed for skin/hair as well as straight biotin.

I lost my job in January, so I've been sitting on the couch since then either reading or on my laptop looking for a job. During that time (and when I had a job) my hair was in updos and not under a coat or purse-strap or against my chair.

Stressful events, such as losing a job or having medical problems, can seriously screw with your hair. Really. Last year, I went through almost every stressful life event possible, with the exception of a divorce or a new baby, and I averaged... 1/4th of an inch a month. And when you're sick, I would imagine that your body's last priority is to grow healthy hair, so you might be losing length from prior weakness in your hair.

Maybe you want to consider a trim? I mean, if your hair is just coming off at the ends, and you seem to be doing just about everything else to help it go along, maybe it's time to lose some of the ends.

ljkforu
March 6th, 2009, 11:15 PM
I forgot to mention - I take a regular vitamin designed for skin/hair as well as straight biotin.

I lost my job in January, so I've been sitting on the couch since then either reading or on my laptop looking for a job. During that time (and when I had a job) my hair was in updos and not under a coat or purse-strap or against my chair.

My hair has been longer than this (before I cut it to get rid of bad damage) so I know I'm not at terminal length, though I'm starting to wonder about that.

My shed hairs are mostly broken, though there are some that are bulbed. I had some hair loss last year due to meds, but my hair is starting to thicken up again, just not get much longer.
Check into the Monistat thread and the Cassia Thread. The first grows hair the second is a natural polymer to strengthen your hair.

Coriander
March 6th, 2009, 11:24 PM
I agree that stress could be a huge factor in this. You're doing everything you possibly can.

I'm wondering if it could all be too much for your hair, maybe? Like it doesn't need the extra protein, or the ... I don't know. Has there been any change in diet, or have you been drinking different amounts of liquids?

I hope it gets better for you :grouphug: I know you're frustrated. Hang in there! :flower:

Soniasonia
March 6th, 2009, 11:29 PM
Do you have circulatory problems? That definitely affects the scalp. Try massaging your scalp everyday. Don't rub as that could pull the hair out of the follicle, but move your scalp with your finger tips. HTH!

aisling
March 7th, 2009, 03:04 AM
I need some help please...

My hair is a little below my waist, and has been for the last several YEARS. When I measure, the growth is nada for a few months, and then about an inch a month for a couple months, and then goes back to nothing. I have some medical problems (okay, a LOT of medical problems) so I know that's affecting my growth, but lately I'm starting to think there's something else going on. I'm really down about it, especially when I see that I've had only 2" of growth since the last time I spent some time here - almost a year ago.

Tonight it dawned on me that the color line (from when I colored my hair years ago) is moving down my length, so maybe it's not that I'm not growing - maybe it's growing, but breaking at this length.



This is probably the explanation, you have old dye damage and for a more delicate hair, that will be enough for it to make it break off. No amount of pampering will help heal your hair, you can baby it and keep it at this length, but until the colour is gone, you may not be able to grow it longer. Good luck, it will take a whole lot of patience growing it out but I'm sure you can do it!

bjt
March 7th, 2009, 10:44 AM
hey, I thought I'd chime in here... I get lots of breakage when I'm on medication--most of them will do this to me if I'm on anything more than a couple of weeks. I also have a lot of medical problems and go through periods of a lot of medication, and I almost always get breakage at the same time.
so, it just may be part of the deal. I try to just accept it and not think about it too much!

kdaniels8811
March 7th, 2009, 12:14 PM
I found that soaking my hair in catnip for an hour had a much larger impact than rinsing - I am assuming by rinsing you mean just running it through your hair. Otherwise, you are doing EVERYTHING right. As one with very slow growing hair, I feel your frustration. I am still not to BSL so am trying to be patient... Good luck and I agree the stress of losing your job and medical issues could very well be the culprit.

podo
March 7th, 2009, 01:13 PM
I found that soaking my hair in catnip for an hour had a much larger impact than rinsing - I am assuming by rinsing you mean just running it through your hair. Otherwise, you are doing EVERYTHING right. As one with very slow growing hair, I feel your frustration. I am still not to BSL so am trying to be patient... Good luck and I agree the stress of losing your job and medical issues could very well be the culprit.

Actually, I soak it until it's dripping in very strong catnip tea (there's a really good catnip thread around here somewhere that gives great details!) then put it in a plastic cap for at least an hour. There's so much extra tea that it pools in the bottom of the cap. Then I rinse with lukewarm water, squeeze it gently, and pour cold clean-catch rainwater over it.

I will be honest - I don't always do the catnip or the honey. It comes and goes with my mood. But since I'm considering my growth over the last several years I don't think it makes that much difference.

I'm trying to remember what I do in the months it does actually grow so I can do more of that, but I can't for the life of me think of anything different! Maybe it's time to start a journal...

I think this is probably a result of my poor health and the medications I routinely take...which means I'm stuck with it since I'm never going to improve enough to stop the meds. Bummer.

rags
March 7th, 2009, 03:08 PM
As one with your exact hair type and all kinds of medical problems, I can empathize. One thing I will note: when I was younger and healthier I had classic length hair. When I became older and developed chronic health problems with their attendant medications, my terminal length went to waist. (I had waist length hair for many years before having to cut it due to shed from what else - medications!)

I agree with you that it is probably a side effect of poor health and your meds. I will be happy if mine gets back to waist again!

maskedrose
March 7th, 2009, 04:33 PM
I would agree with aisling - most of my breakage right now is caused by past highlight damage. For instance, the last four inches are left over from when I highlighted all the way through and I have a ton of broken ends there. About 23" of my canopy has been highlighted in the past and I have 6" of virgin growth at my crown. Starting at the exact point where my highlights start, I have a lot of breakage down the length and none on my virgin growth.

Some hair just can't handle dye and remain unbroken. You might find that once your hair is completely virgin you will grow much better. Have you thought about trimming to maintain waist until your ends are healthy enough to grow longer? Seems like it might be better to trim them then let them break off.

Fluke
March 7th, 2009, 04:52 PM
I also think that color is the culprit, if you actually can see that the color line is moving downwards that means that most of your hair is growing.
Medication, stress and whatnot won't make the hair that has already left your head break off further down.
The part of your hair that has left the follicle is on it's own, sort off. The factors mentioned will at worst affect the hair at the roots, causing the entire strand to fall out, not break off down the length.
Try to measure the growth of your virgin colored hair for length, and the thickness if you're worried you're losing entire strands. The eventual changes will give you an idea about where the problem is and how you can fix it :)

Sissy
March 7th, 2009, 05:14 PM
I think that stress and medical problems can affect a lot of things and I do think both of those things will definitely affect hair health.

The only other idea is have you ever considered using products with cones... I've been told by a few people on here that they need cones to protect their hair from splitting.

Sissy

neon-dream
March 7th, 2009, 05:25 PM
Cones really help breakage in my hair decrease. I tried not using them and my hair seemed to hate me!!

Isilme
March 7th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Could it be that you are overdoing the protein? My hair can't handle some proteins at all. Makes it break right off.

Dolly
March 7th, 2009, 05:48 PM
I think that stress and medical problems can affect a lot of things and I do think both of those things will definitely affect hair health.

The only other idea is have you ever considered using products with cones... I've been told by a few people on here that they need cones to protect their hair from splitting.

Sissy


That was exactly what I was going to say.....I know that a lot of people on the board will not go near cones, but for me, I have to have them or I get a lot of breakage. Cones are not evil......the main thing is that you need to watch for build up and clarify when needed.....my hair has loved me since I went back to cones......

podo
March 10th, 2009, 12:02 PM
I also think that color is the culprit, if you actually can see that the color line is moving downwards that means that most of your hair is growing.
Medication, stress and whatnot won't make the hair that has already left your head break off further down.
The part of your hair that has left the follicle is on it's own, sort off. The factors mentioned will at worst affect the hair at the roots, causing the entire strand to fall out, not break off down the length.
Try to measure the growth of your virgin colored hair for length, and the thickness if you're worried you're losing entire strands. The eventual changes will give you an idea about where the problem is and how you can fix it :)

This is a good idea. :) I wish I'd thought of it before.

My meds have caused shedding in the past, but you're right - it was the whole strand. What seems to be happening now is just breakage.

I will concentrate on what the virgin growth is doing, instead of the ends. :)

podo
March 10th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Could it be that you are overdoing the protein? My hair can't handle some proteins at all. Makes it break right off.

The new Extreme line by Redken - my hair loves it. I had to quit using it after I lost my job because they're $20 EACH and they're kind of small bottles. I'm trying to use them at least once a week to keep some of the benefits. One of my concerns when I first started using it was that maybe my hair wouldn't like it, but it seems it does. Probably due to the color-fry.




The only other idea is have you ever considered using products with cones... I've been told by a few people on here that they need cones to protect their hair from splitting.

Sissy

I've thought of this, but wasn't sure. I used to use cones with little problem, but I wasn't really paying attention to my hair at the time. It did seem stronger then, now that I'm thinking about it.

Cones it is! I will try anything for a month to stop this. And that means I won't have to freak out my DH by making catnip tea, since it won't go through the cones.

I made a batch a couple of days ago and he walked in and said "what's that". I said "catnip tea" and he asked "what are you going to do with it?" My response? (begin chorus) "I'm going to put it on my hair." (end chorus)

He dropped it with "of course. I don't know why I asked." *snicker*

Thanks everyone for your comments. If anyone thinks of anything else I'll be happy to hear it!

:D

Sissy
March 13th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Cones it is! I will try anything for a month to stop this. And that means I won't have to freak out my DH by making catnip tea, since it won't go through the cones.:D

Please let me know if cones do help your hair after a month. I'm in a very similar situation to you atm and am wondering if I need cones too! I've had so much breakage up the shaft and frequent reoccurring split ends since quitting cones in December.