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long.again
March 18th, 2009, 03:35 PM
I've been lurking here for a few days and finally decided to post. I used to have fairly long hair, the longest I've ever had it. But I like change so I decided to cut it on Oct 10th 2006. I have regretted it since day one. It grows so, so slow that I just don't know what to do. I hate it short. Plus, it is so damaged from dying and what-not, but I don't want to trim the ends because that is months of hair growth. Seriously, my hair has grown about 8" in over two years!

Here are some pictures:

Before:
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h159/phoenix0909/hair/000_1432.jpg

After (Oct 2006):
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h159/phoenix0909/hair/MyPicture_5.jpg

Now:
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h159/phoenix0909/hair/Photo773.jpg

I am trying to get the health in my hair back and I am not using any store bought hair products. Right now, on Mondays I do a mask of egg yolk, honey, olive oil and grapeseed oil. I put it on, cover and let sit for at least 30 mins. Then I rinse with hot water and then an apple cider vinegar/water rinse with EO on the ends to decrease frizz. Then, twice a week I "wash" with baking soda at the roots followed by the same rinse and EO. I just started doing a second rinse of a tea made from sage and rosemary to (hopefully) darken and promote hair growth.

I've been looking at all your pictures and it's kind of discouraging. I know my hair grows really slow and I just don't know what to do about it. Can anyone help me get the long hair I've always wanted? Any advice on repairing my hair and making it grow faster?

spidermom
March 18th, 2009, 03:43 PM
The rules for hair growth are pretty much the same as for good health: plenty of water (at least 6-8 cups per day), whole grains, lean meats/dairy, beans/peas/legumes/nuts/seeds, exercise, about 8 hours of sleep per night. Pumpkin seeds, flax oil, and salmon are especially good for hair growth and shine.

At one time I thought that my hair growth was slow, but that was because I tried to grow damaged ends that kept breaking off, then I got too many trims. I finally had most of the damage cut away last year (I can still find a few splits if I look for them) and have enjoyed 4 inches of growth in the past 6 months, which is faster than I thought possible.

Based on my experience, I advise that you trim away about half of your growth every couple of months until all obvious damage is gone, then you can quit trimming and just let it grow.

Welcome to LHC.

SchnauzerMom
March 18th, 2009, 03:46 PM
I really can't improve on Spidermom's advice. All I can say is it takes lots of patience. It will grow and the better you take care of it the better it will look.

DragonLady
March 18th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Then I rinse with hot water

May I suggest cooler water? I was been thousands of white dots in my hair. Only a very few actual splits (thanks to catnip), but white dots everywhere. I started to think it's because I used hot water, so I switched to using it just lukewarm, and it's really helped.

And don't get discouraged. Long hair takes time, and at least you're starting out with minimal damage. :)

spidermom
March 18th, 2009, 04:12 PM
May I suggest cooler water? I was been thousands of white dots in my hair. Only a very few actual splits (thanks to catnip), but white dots everywhere. I started to think it's because I used hot water, so I switched to using it just lukewarm, and it's really helped.

And don't get discouraged. Long hair takes time, and at least you're starting out with minimal damage. :)

Oh yes, this is very true. Some hair sites spell it out - do not use hot water on hair. It goes hand-in-hand with avoiding the use of heat of any kind on hair.

Silverlox
March 18th, 2009, 04:19 PM
Welcome to the community! :flower:

I'm sorry, but badly damaged hair simply cannot be "repaired". However, you can baby it as much as possible in order to not make the damage worse.

If your ends are very bad, it's possible it's breaking off, thus giving you a false slow when it comes to growth rate. Splits and obvious damage should be cut off, as they can otherwise travel upwards and make an even bigger cut necessary in the future.

If you ends are merely dry and suffering, but not truly shredded, your hair could benefit a lot from a kind routine. Using baking powder every week does seem a little harsh. While it's a good clarifier, for many of us, it's too harsh to use that often.

And for the record, - not all commercial products are evil. Some of us still use normal shampoo and conditioner, even with cones, while others have sworn off cones or chosen alternative methods. We are all different and what works for one, doesn't always work for the other.

It would be helpful, though, to know what hairtype you have. When you know your hairtype, you can look at others with the same type and chances are better that their method would work for you too. If you find typing your hair difficult, there's an Article about Fia's Hairtyping System in the Article section where you will find guidance.

Have you tried oiling your ends? Many here have had good results with that, although there is no one thing that works for everybody.

Alas, we have no miracle cures, just a lot of patience. And many of us have started with damaged hair and had to make frequent cuts in the beginning. If you stay at it, you will get there eventually! Since you've had long hair before, you know you can do it!

In case you haven't already found it, the Article Section is filled to the brim with advice and lots of different methods.

spidermom
March 18th, 2009, 04:26 PM
I've had to make frequent cuts because of flat- and curling-iron damage. I estimate that I have cut away 10-12 inches of hair since autumn of 2005. They were bad inches; I do not miss them at all. (PS - I agree that baking soda can be very harsh. I tried it a couple of times, and it made my hair matt up like Velcro.)

long.again
March 18th, 2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks so much for the advice. I have heard that baking soda can dry out the hair. My hair gets fairly oily if I don't use it though. And, just to clarify, I only use hot to rinse out the egg/oil mixture, otherwise I'm left looking like salad dressing was dumped on my head!

My main reason for thwarting store bought products is because I'm allergic to many, many of them. I just got sick of it. I'd really like to find a natural alternative that is gentle on my hair but leaves it clean.

I looked up Fia's Hairtyping System and my hair is: First classifier, curliness: 1c/2a (loose visible waves but not all over); Second classifier, my individual are F- Fine (I can't hardly feel a strand of hair); and Third classifier, my overall volume is i/ii (my pony tail is about 2" around).

I'll go through and look at the rest of the articles. I've always had really slow growing hair though, I guess I should just get used to it. It took 6 years to get my hair to the length you see in that first picture.

Elphie
March 18th, 2009, 07:41 PM
I only use hot to rinse out the egg/oil mixture, otherwise I'm left looking like salad dressing was dumped on my head!

Hot water has the ability to cook egg into your hair, has that happened to you?

Silverlox
March 18th, 2009, 09:12 PM
If you ponytail is over 2", you're an ii, not an i/ii. :flower:

Do you use oil and egg together, at the same time? Mixed? Sorry, I'm just a bit confused, so I have to ask. :o

Oh, and no matter when and for what reason you use hot water, I can assure you that your hair really doesn't care whether you have a great reason. If it's too hot for your hair, it's too hot.

Since you are so sensitive to commercial products, it might not help to switch to more natural. It depends which part of the product you're allergic/sensitive to. If it's "only" the additives going natural might help. There's a wealth of information all over these boards with directions for using all kind of things, instead of shampoo/conditioner. Several different types of herbs can be used, as well as soapnuts or shampoo bars. You name it, and I'm sure someone has tried it. :p

Perhaps the best way for you would be to try one of the methods of no products at all? Some people here have had good results with WO (water only) and others swear to NW/SO (no water/sebum only) If you do a search, I'm sure you'll find threads and/or articles to that effect. :)

Like all other methods, it doesn't work for everybody, but given your sensitivities, it might be worth a try? :shrug:

long.again
March 19th, 2009, 12:50 AM
Hot water has the ability to cook egg into your hair, has that happened to you?

Nope, not yet. Maybe my "hot" water is cooler than most peoples?


If you ponytail is over 2", you're an ii, not an i/ii. :flower:

I assumed a i/ii was an in between size since I'm just barely a ii.


Do you use oil and egg together, at the same time? Mixed? Sorry, I'm just a bit confused, so I have to ask. :o

Yes, it's a once a week protein treatment. 2 egg yolks, 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp grapeseed oil and maybe sometimes a little honey. I slather it on (roots to tips) wrap my head and let it sit.


Since you are so sensitive to commercial products, it might not help to switch to more natural. It depends which part of the product you're allergic/sensitive to. If it's "only" the additives going natural might help.

Why wouldn't going natural help? Specifically I know I have an allergy to Cocamidopropyl Betaine, aloe vera and most artificial fragrances. But I break out in hives from about 90% of lotions and bar soaps and about 50% of shampoos. Pretty much anything will added fragrance will give me horrible hives. When I say "all natural" I don't mean the commercially labeled "all natural" - I mean more homemade.


Perhaps the best way for you would be to try one of the methods of no products at all? Some people here have had good results with WO (water only) and others swear to NW/SO (no water/sebum only) If you do a search, I'm sure you'll find threads and/or articles to that effect. :)

I've considered the water-only method but I'm worried about how oily my hair gets. Plus, I don't shower everyday so I wouldn't be rinsing every day.

I'll do a search but what is sebum?

Elphie
March 19th, 2009, 03:24 AM
Sebum is the oil produced by the glands in the scalp that keep the skin and hair moisturized. It's what you're washing out when your hair is "greasy".

Silverlox
March 19th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Nope, not yet. Maybe my "hot" water is cooler than most peoples?
This is of course possible. To me "hot" means "almost too hot to be comfortable". If it's a nice body temperature, I'd say "warm". We all have different definitions, even for common words. :)



I assumed a i/ii was an in between size since I'm just barely a ii.
Again, a case of definition. To me, anything over 2" is a solid ii. I'd only put i/ii if my circumference was right on the border, meaning precisely 2". But that's me. :shrug:


Yes, it's a once a week protein treatment. 2 egg yolks, 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp grapeseed oil and maybe sometimes a little honey. I slather it on (roots to tips) wrap my head and let it sit.
Okay, now I understand. Does it work well? I'm asking because I'm curious and because I have the same hairtype, it also seems to combine protein and moisture in the same treatment, which seems practical, instead of doing two different ones after each other. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. :D



Why wouldn't going natural help? Specifically I know I have an allergy to Cocamidopropyl Betaine, aloe vera and most artificial fragrances. But I break out in hives from about 90% of lotions and bar soaps and about 50% of shampoos. Pretty much anything will added fragrance will give me horrible hives. When I say "all natural" I don't mean the commercially labeled "all natural" - I mean more homemade.
Please first let me say that since I didn't know much about your specific situation, I was merely dishing out general advice and giving suggestions as best I could and hoping that some of it might be useful. :flower:

As I said, it does depend a lot on what you're allergic to. Lots of people, myself included, are allergic to some natural substances, which means that anything containing these, whether commercial or home made would cause a reaction. Other people are mainly allergic to artificial substances not commonly found in "pure" natural products.


I've considered the water-only method but I'm worried about how oily my hair gets. Plus, I don't shower everyday so I wouldn't be rinsing every day.

I'll do a search but what is sebum?

I don't think that people who swear by the WO method necessarily rinse their hair every day. I suppose that it's just like the shampoo people, every on has to find the "right" frequency for their particular hair and scalp.

On the other hand, people using NW/SO (same method, different names) never wash their hair with anything, not even water. Some have reported about an adaptation period with greasy hair, but after they were past that particular phase, it worked very well, both looking and feeling good.
Others never achieved a good look or comfortable feeling. Some didn't stick it out through the initial phase, but gave up because it was just too greasy.

As with all methods, results are highly individual.

Since I saw that someone else already answered you question about sebum, I didn't address that.

spidermom
March 19th, 2009, 04:02 PM
allergy to Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This might mean that you are allergic to coconut, which would make finding a shampoo very difficult because almost all of them, as well as most soaps, contain coconut-derived ingredients. My DD is very allergic to coconut. I recently purchased a coconut-free product for her on-line (Earth Science Fragrance-Free Shampoo and Conditioner). There is another one called Savonnerie. I'll let you know how they work out for her if you're interested.

long.again
March 23rd, 2009, 12:49 PM
allergy to Cocamidopropyl Betaine
This might mean that you are allergic to coconut.

Really, I'll have to do some self testing on that. i didn't know the two were related actually. We are still trying to figure out exactly what gives me hives but it seems to be quite a few things. Thanks for letting me know though, I did just get my hubby coconut milk shampoo so I'll have to be aware.


Okay, now I understand. Does it work well? I'm asking because I'm curious and because I have the same hairtype, it also seems to combine protein and moisture in the same treatment, which seems practical, instead of doing two different ones after each other. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. :D

Yeah, it works well, my hair is pretty oily until the next wash though, but not too bad. I do know, if I do protein treatments too much it dries my hair out (on the ends) a lot. I want to try an avocado mask because I really think that would be the best of both worlds - protein and oil. Part of the reason I add those specific oils to my eggs is because they are high in protein and beneficial stuff too. I'm always changing and trying to find what I like and what my hair likes though.

melikai
March 23rd, 2009, 03:03 PM
Your hair, although darker than mine, looks very similar in texture to how mine used to be. I haven't experimented as much as some people here, but what I would personally recommend is CWC washes, eliminating the egg from the weekly treatment, and even adding honey to your conditioner. Although this may not be the case with your hair, I find that even though I have damaged ends from old highlights/bleaching, that it is very easy for me to overload on protein, which can make your hair very brittle and more prone to breaking off.

If you want to continue to use the baking soda, I would recommend that you mix it with shampoo instead of using it on its own, if you can find a shampoo gentle enough for you.

I would also recommend oiling just the ends, using only a couple drops of oil when they are damp or dry.

I've also tried a few natural methods to darken my ends (teas, coffee, molasses etc), but finally gave up and dyed them to better match my regrowth.

I'm by no means an expert, but feel free to PM me with any questions, or if you need encouragement with growing out such damage.