View Full Version : What to do w/ breakage?

March 24th, 2009, 08:16 PM
My hair keeps breaking and snapping, especially at the top and at my part. Literally 100+ little hairs stick up straight at the top of my head and part if I'm wearing it down.

I am relatively new here but I don't know what could be causing this, at least to such an extent. Despite being new here I don't really treat my hair all that well, I'm still so overwhelmed and confused by all the info here I just end up like a deer in headlights.

My hair is very damaged, BSL, and died light blonde from a dirty blonde. My hair type should be under my username in this post, I don't know it off the top of my head. I have an oily scalp yet I have somewhat bad dandruff. To wash my hair I use head and shoulders 2 in 1; strictly for the dandruff purposes, havent firgured what to do "naturally" for that yet. Anyway, I was my hair every 2/3 days, despite it getting so oily bcus I am fearful I will further damage it. Sometimes I think it getting so oily and then washing it is bad but who knows??

I wear my hair up pretty much constantly with an elastic hair tie. I face away from the shower head while I let the water hit my hair. I use w/e conditioner is in the shower, and make sure I throroudly wash it out. Could the water hitting my head while facing away be causing the breakage?

I don't brush my hair before I get in the shower so he water always seems to hit my hair directly at the part if you get what I mean. I have a hard time washing my hair, it doesn't seem like my scalp gets wet so I have to munipulate water and shampoo onto it and then scrub the shampoo onto every area of my head. Then follow that up w/ a conditioner that I leave on while I wash/shave etc.

I don't brush my hair, and 9 times out of 10 I don't comb it either, although I raked it through there tonight which I'm pretty sure only caused further problems. I sleep on a cotton pillow case, with my hair down but I try to pull it up so as to not lay directly on it if you understand.

I recently bought Nexxus "Emergencee" because the breakadge is getting so so bad. It didn't seem to really make a difference, all those little hairs are still sticking up and there was still hair in the drain tonight. My hair has become so thin due to this breakadge. I wish I would of started treating my hair nice months ago, then I wouldn't be in this situation and my hair would be great.

I've been growing my hair out for the past year, but I wasn't doing it the 'right' way obviouslly, so I'm guessing now I have to start over. I don't plan to cut it, I made that mistake once already, I don't want to loose length again but I am going to have to cut it slowly over time due to all this breakadge. Well, if you've gotten this far thanks for reading my novel... I normally don't post and I hate to bother people but at this point I am beyond desperate. So Please any tips on how I can stop this breakadge or how I can make my hair stronger and avoid anymore of this would be so very much appretiated!! Thankyou!!!

March 24th, 2009, 08:22 PM
P.S- Sorry for misspelling "breakage" I thought it looked funny. :confused:

March 24th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Hello, and welcome! :)

You have a completely different hair type than me, so I'll just give you the link to 'articles' section, where you might find a bunch of different solutions that will help you keep your strands in one piece. :)

March 24th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Hi! We have different hair types and I'm relatively new as well, but a few things hit me right off the bat:

1. Head and shoulders is rough stuff for your hair! I get mild dandruff and I've found a couple of natural treatments that work. Using a q-tip a apply apple cider vinegar to the flaky spots. This actually helps balance the pH level of your scalp. A diluted vinegar rinse can also help (1 cup water, 1 tsp. vinegar, pour over head after washing and shampooing and rinse). My scalp has gotten really dry this winter so I've been massaging olive oil and tea tree oil into my scalp once a week.

Instead of head and shoulders a lot of people here like CO washing. You can read up on that in the articles. Personally, I use an SLS free organic shampoo.

2. Try sleeping on a silk pillow case or putting your hair up in a scarf at night to help prevent breakage.

3. Elastics aren't the best thing for damaged hair. At the very least make sure your band is covered with fabric and doesn't have any metal. Never use a plain elastic!

These are basics. I'm sure other users will have more tips and the articles section should help a lot! Good luck!

March 24th, 2009, 09:02 PM
I always have hair in my drain when I wash....ESPECIALLY if I go for a while without combing or washing. All those shed hair escape when my hair has slip from conditioner.

How sure are you that these are broken hairs? Maybe they're babies? Do they have a tapered end, meaning they're new and have never been cut? Or ragged, broken ends with white tips.

I use Head & Shoulders occasionally when I get a little flaky, but it's not something I was with all the time.

Maybe you need a new shower head, if it doesn't seem to penetrate your hair to your scalp? I've been in hotels and other people's homes where the water pressure/shower head produced a pitiful amount of water and I could barely get more than the surface of my hair wet.

I rinse my hair facing away from the shower head as well. I don't find that the water hitting me on my crown causes any damage.

Welcome to LHC. I know it's overwhelming right now, just read up, and slowly start experimenting with things. Just a little TLC is all your hair needs :)

March 24th, 2009, 09:33 PM
It could possibly be hair dye. From my understanding, most blonde dyes do have bleach-like properties to them. This can sometimes make the hair very stretchy and cause it to break off. Do you dye your hair regularly? If so, how often? And when you do dye, are you doing only the new growth, or all of your hair?

I don't think the shower head would cause damage, only if it was one of those crazy ones that has power like a jet engine and feels like needles on your skin. ;) Otherwise, that shouldn't cause problems, I would think.

One thing would be to make sure that you use the right ties for your hair, like goodluckcharm said. But it's strange that it's breaking off around the scalp; it makes me instantly think it might be the dye.

As for the dandruff, I have a very similar problem. For me it is usually worse during winter, which might even be the case with you. Sometimes weather changes can make your scalp irritated. The only thing that has helped me, is hardly shampooing. Head and Shoulders actually made my dandruff worse, so I've just been sticking to the plainest stuff you can get: Suave. I wash about every week to two weeks, even though my hair gets very greasy (I'm very oily as well). But I wet it with water everyday and also use conditioner on the ends to keep them from getting dry. This has made me go from scabs all over my scalp, to just some flakes of dandruff every once in awhile. I don't know if it would work for you, but you could try it out.

Hope that helps a bit.

March 25th, 2009, 01:17 AM
wear my hair up pretty much constantly with an elastic hair tie.

I don't know if this is the culprit, this would really make a mess of my hair though! I steer clear of elastics because they really tear and break my hair, and I use combs and clasps to put my hair up. Maybe this is a cause, and try a gentler way of putting your hair up?

March 25th, 2009, 03:57 AM
Some good ideas so far. As a former bottle blonde now mostly grown out, I will add the following:

1) seconding Manderley, are you sure this is breakage? It could in fact be new growth, if the hairs are tapered at the ends. Many, many people have these - you should see my hair right now, still in its sleep 'do but with numerous layers of new growth sticking out! You could be seeing new hair coming in - this happened to me and my hair is at least 2x thicker than when I came here.

2) what kind of elastic do you use? Do you find hairs wrapped around them when you take them out? Are there any kind of metal bits on them? If it is damage, your elastics might be to blame.

3) blonde dyes do lighten hair. Call it what you want (bleach, peroxide, highlighting etc), it is damaging to the structure of the individual hairs, and this means your hair is more fragile and will break easier. M hair is more durable than F hair, but your hair is still damaged. Until you grow that out, you won't have a good idea of what your hair is 'really' like.

4) dandruff: I agree, H&S isn't going to make it go away. Vinegar rinses, honey treatments (SMT and others) as well as stopping the dye/bleach and heat, have mostly cured my dandruff. I do get occasional flakies, but nothing that my normal hair care routine (SMT, sulfate shampoos, even oiling) can't tame. Also, diet and stress play a role, at least for me. If I am eating badly (sugar) I get more dandruff, itching, and crusties. Drinking water and taking fish oil, as well as learning not to touch my scalp, help a lot.

I came here with very similar hair to how you describe yours. Mine was dry to the touch, frizzy, out of control, and I had a very unhappy scalp. More natural and gentle care has really paid off, even if I have had to cut most of the bleached/damaged hair off. My hair and scalp have never been healther, and my hair has never been longer or thicker. AND - added bonus - I love my natural color.

good luck, hope you find things that work for you.


March 25th, 2009, 10:10 AM
Comb/brush your hair straight back before your shower. Get into the shower and wet hair. Apply conditioner. Save an empty shampoo or conditioner bottle. Put about 1/2 cup warm water in there, then add your squirt of shampoo and shake well. This will make it much easier to distribute all over your scalp. Once the shampoo solution has been applied, run the pads of your fingers all over your scalp from front to back until you've massaged your entire scalp. No scrubbing. Don't worry if you don't notice suds. It isn't the suds that gets your scalp/hair clean. Rinse well. Apply more conditioner. Rinse again. This is a very gentle way of cleaning hair and scalp; it shouldn't cause any damage.

March 25th, 2009, 10:13 AM
I found acv (apple cider vinegar) rinses to be most helpful with my scalp problems. I always wondered how I could have an oily scalp AND dandruff! It was aggravating. I also stopped using shampoo and use the CO (conditioner only) method and my hair really likes it.

I also color my hair and because I had reached waist but couldn't move past that length I gave up the permanent color and went to demi. That is not an option with lightening, but how would you feel about giving the color a rest for a bit? I am simply not willing to give up all coloring of my hair and accept a certain amount of damage is going to happen. Otherwise I treat it very well. But I am not sure how that would work with blond.

As someone above mentioned, I never used to pay attention to just applying color to my roots and only doing the length for the last 10 minutes. I was trashing it over and over. When I focused more on the roots, it lessened the damage on the ends.

I also read on the website of the dye I was using to use hair color on hair that was not freshly washed, in fact it was better to do it a day or two after washing as the oil in your hair will protect it a bit. Also it recommended finishing with a lemon rinse to help seal the cuticle. Since I use the acv, I don't do that, but maybe that will help.

Finally, I always have a corona of baby hairs growing in. They are not breakage... they are new hairs. It has always been so, it will always be so. Since I don't use shampoo anymore they are not as frizzy and fly away, but they are still there. Could this be the case for you as well?

March 25th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Hiya :) Im new here too so I don't have loads of advice for you although I read that coconut oil is a good natural treatment for dandruff, so if you massage it into your scalp and distribute through the ends it will help with the dandruff and also be a pre-shampoo treatment which helps protect against drying out your hair too much when shampooing. Personally I would change your shampoo, even though it's for dandruff and I know recently the head and shoulders adverts have been saying thigns like "save your hair" or whatever, head and shoulders contains sulfate (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate) which is a cheap harsh detergent and the sulfate itself can actually cause dadruff. Good luck with your hair journey, Sophie x

March 25th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Assuming they're not all new growth, why don't you take a look at the damaged hair article? There's a lot of good tips in there, and links to other threads discussing how to diagnose what your hair is missing :flowers:

Click on the pic for the article :eyebrows:

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal/photos/thumbs/ba28928cae4c87fb72242b1b8fc90df3.jpg (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79)

March 25th, 2009, 10:37 AM
4) dandruff: I agree, H&S isn't going to make it go away. Vinegar rinses, honey treatments (SMT and others) as well as stopping the dye/bleach and heat, have mostly cured my dandruff. I do get occasional flakies, but nothing that my normal hair care routine (SMT, sulfate shampoos, even oiling) can't tame. Also, diet and stress play a role, at least for me. If I am eating badly (sugar) I get more dandruff, itching, and crusties. Drinking water and taking fish oil, as well as learning not to touch my scalp, help a lot.


I recommend all of the suggestions on here and that you consider exploring all possibilites.

For me too like Katz suggested, dandruff and poor scalp condition can be caused in part at least to poor diet. I eat really healthy now and have cut out all soda. I found that eating sugar laden products not only made me gain weight, feel tired, and have a hypoglycemic syndrome but it reeked havoc on my scalp! I also try to get healthy fats in my diet such as olive oil, omega 3 type fish, and avocado - all good choices.

Also I use T-gel, I am not sure if that is the same as Head and Shoulders ingredient wise but it helps my scalp and it doesn't seem to be damaging. It does cause sensitivity with the sun though, so during the summer you need to wear a hat if you are gong to use that shampoo.

Slug Yoga
March 25th, 2009, 10:40 AM
When I was younger and washed my hair every day, I had lots of very short hairs (like 1-2 inches) sticking up from my part-line in a staticky kind of way. I hated it! I always assumed it was breakage and felt very insecure about it.

I am pretty sure, now, that these were not broken hairs, but just regular growth, and I was washing my hair too much, making it dry and staticky. Do you notice whether the hairs seem to be tamer or less prominent after you have gone a few days without washing your hair? Do the hairs stick up still even when your hair is very oily?

March 25th, 2009, 01:56 PM
If it keeps breaking, it is not retaining moisture. Try massaging your scalp with oil up there and wash out in the morning. Also, increase your Essential Fatty Acids to increase sebum production so that new hairs are moisturized when they first grow out of your scalp.

In my experience, the chemicals that enter our scalp can wreak havoc on its health. I had a perm to make my hair straight for many years and for many years after I quit permining thetop of my scalp was arid dry and the hair that grew there was like brillo pad fiber. When I started to massage my scalp and eat better, my scalp got healthier.

If you feel daring enough, do this to your entire head, and put on a plastic cap. Go under a hot dryer or heat cap for about an hour. Wrap your hair up and go to bed, wash out in the morning with a gentle shampoo or baking soda if you are more prone to natural solutions.

Best of luck.