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manateelynn
April 13th, 2009, 10:47 PM
I'm having a serious problem with my ends. My hair at the last 3 or 4 inches is REALLY dry, even tho I use a lot of condisioner and a hair oil/serum on the ends. It feels like straw and I just don't know what to do, short of having the last 3-4 inches cut off. My hair is finally to my waist and I want to let it grow to my knees, so having to cut it is just killing me. Should I go ahead and cut off the bad stuff, or is there something I can do?

HairColoredHair
April 13th, 2009, 10:48 PM
What are you currently using to wash/condition? Have you clarified your ends?

Katurday
April 13th, 2009, 10:51 PM
I have no advice, although I am experiencing the same problem.
I am fully out of ideas. Coconut oil only has made them crunchier.

twilight_faerie
April 13th, 2009, 10:56 PM
No advice here, either. Just checking in to say I have pretty much the exact same problem. I've completely cut protein out of my hair's diet, but that hasn't worked much.

Jeni
April 13th, 2009, 11:00 PM
Is it from past damage (hair dye/blow drying/abuse/etc)? If your hair is just simple damaged beyond all hope then really I don't think anything except cutting it off is going to help. However you DO NOT have to go out tomorrow and hack off 3-4" of hair. What about just cutting off a 1/2" (or whatever you grow each month) and just maintaining at waist for awhile?

If it makes you feel better I have the same thing happening (sort of). Before joining LHC I was a BIG fan of hair dye and had been since I was about 13-14 (I'm 26). My ends aren't horrible but they are drier, thinner and more prone to tangling then the rest of my hair. While I don't maintain (I'm only at like 27.5") I do cut about 1/2" off every 5-6 months. I am thinking about maintaining for a while at waist...

Do you wear your hair up? That's how I ignore my ends. Also what kind of conditioner do you use? Cons/no cones? Maybe your hair (just the ends) would benefit from something else, heavier then what you normally use. Maybe try a leave-in conditioner on the ends?

LisaJaney
April 13th, 2009, 11:04 PM
When my hair feels dead/dry on the ends (it often will TANGLE more at those times as well), then I know it's time to do one of two things:

First, and easiest, is to really clarify. The dry/crunchy is buildup for me. So I use Suave Daily Clarifying and lather, rinse, repeat, just like the bottle says. Then I condition well. Usually that takes care of it a LOT. And it seems counter-intuitive: if it's dry already, wouldn't shampoo just dry it further? Well, apparently it's not so much DRY as it's just COATED.

If that first doesn't kill the problem completely, then I know it's time to do a "search and destroy" mission: individually snip splits. At those times, I thank GOD that my hair is as thin as it is ;)

Seriously: my recommendation is to clarify your hair to get rid of buildup, then go from there.

twilight_faerie
April 13th, 2009, 11:11 PM
First, and easiest, is to really clarify. The dry/crunchy is buildup for me. So I use Suave Daily Clarifying and lather, rinse, repeat, just like the bottle says. Then I condition well. Usually that takes care of it a LOT. And it seems counter-intuitive: if it's dry already, wouldn't shampoo just dry it further? Well, apparently it's not so much DRY as it's just COATED.

Does Suave Clarifying shampoo work as well as baking soda? I'm always worried that baking soda will dry my hair out to death, and shampoo seems somewhat less harsh.

Teacherbear
April 13th, 2009, 11:17 PM
My hair gets that way if I use protein products (most conditioners) and/or oils (any and all oils). While learning this, I'd use the offending product/oil, discover the dry poke-y ends, clarify (baking soda mixed with shampoo), and use my reulgar ol' products for CWCC (I use Giovanni products). After about a week things would greatly improve.

Sometimes I needed a trim, but even a half-inch trim can greatly improve the length. It doesn't often need inches and inches to improve the handle-ability of hair.

I hope you find something that works for you!

Arctic
April 13th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Does Suave Clarifying shampoo work as well as baking soda? I'm always worried that baking soda will dry my hair out to death, and shampoo seems somewhat less harsh.

I haven't tried this particular clarifying shampoo, but in my experience they are so much gentler to hair than BS (baking soda) was. Also baking soda irritated my scalp which clarifying shampoos don't. I warmly recommend clarifying shampoo instead of BS.

walkinglady
April 14th, 2009, 12:11 AM
You could try braiding then completely saturating the tip in water. Do not blot the end at all, let it stay dripping wet. While it is still dripping wet put your favorite oil on it. I use 3 to 6 drops of oil when I do this, you'll have to play with the amount to see what works for you. Sometimes I will use a small amount of conditioner with or instead of oil. Do this once a day. If you do it at night it should absorb by the morning. Best luck with those ends!

AnnaMarie
April 14th, 2009, 01:07 AM
When my hair gets like that I find the best way for me to deal with it is to condition the ends everyday ( with a non-cone conditioner) I just drench the ends in cold water (in the sink) just the last couple of inches, then coat in conditioner. Leave for a couple of minutes then rinse and repeat. At the end make sure its rinsed well, blot dry then coat while wet coat in coconut oil. I usually do this in the evenings. In the morning I'll just wet the ends and then put coconut oil on to seal in the moisture and protect the ends. Works for me anyways HTH. :)

templeofvenus
April 14th, 2009, 01:58 AM
How long since you trimmed the ends? maybe they are due a little trim if it has been a long time. Otherwise deep conditioning treatments would be what I would try, kerastase do a good treatment but you have to buy these products in salons and they do contain cones so if you are not a fan of cones then they would not be suitable for you.

Elphie
April 14th, 2009, 04:26 AM
I think the best way to access what the problem is would be to clarify. That way, you can determine if it's actually dry and in need of conditioning, oiling, s&c or actual cutting.

manateelynn
April 14th, 2009, 07:26 AM
Thank you all for your help! Some of your questions....
#1: I haven't trimmed it in 4 years, but did a search and destroy about 2 weeks ago.
#2: I use Herbal Essences Drama Clean Shampoo twice, then I use Fructis Fortifying Length and Strength condistioner all over with a lot on the ends, let it mostly air dry and then use Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum on the ends and then spray on some leave in condistioner.
#3: I wear my hair in a bun most of the time with a hairstick through it and sleep with it either in a ponytail or a braid at night.
#4: I have no idea how to clarify or what to use. Could someone explain that to me?
#5: Where would I find Coconut Oil???? What product has this? How do you use it?
#6: I used to color it all the time, but quit 2 years ago.
#7: I only blow dry it when I'm in a hurry and running late.

I wasn't raised to know how to take care of my hair, except to wash it with shampoo and condistioner. I've never been into fashion or looking good. I wore my hair really short for over 20 yrs but in my dreams, it was always long, so I quit cutting it 4 yrs ago and now it's to my waist. Having to cut it would break my heart, but it's so bad that I think I may not have a choice. The last 3-4 inches are split, brittle, and feel like straw. When I take a handful and hold it out in front of me to look at it, the ends don't fall down gracefully...they just stick stiraght out and don't bend or fold.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v505/manateelynn/P1040598.jpg

misstwist
April 14th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Thank you all for your help! Some of your questions....
#1: I haven't trimmed it in 4 years, but did a search and destroy about 2 weeks ago.
#2: I use Herbal Essences Drama Clean Shampoo twice, then I use Fructis Fortifying Length and Strength condistioner all over with a lot on the ends, let it mostly air dry and then use Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum on the ends and then spray on some leave in condistioner.

#4: I have no idea how to clarify or what to use. Could someone explain that to me?
#5: Where would I find Coconut Oil???? What product has this? How do you use it?
#6: I used to color it all the time, but quit 2 years ago.

Okay, I looked at the ingredients in your products. I think you have two things going on here. First, your ends are damaged by repeated coloring and need protein which I didn't see to any great degree in your products. Second, I suspect you are suffering from a silicone build-up.

Your shampoo looks like a strong clarifying shampoo, there are at least two sulfate ingredients in it and no silicones. The sulfates strip away buildup, both ingredient additives and your natural oils. Your conditioner has two silicone ingredients in it, but, if I'm remembering correctly, they are both water soluble. I don't use cones, but I'm thinking the "a-" prefix and the "peg-" prefix both indicate water soluble cones. Your anti-frizz serum is a heavy silicone product.

Silicones don't let moisture in or out of your hair. Your ends don't seem to have enough moisture of their own and they are damaged.

Here is what I would do. Find the thread on Snowys Moisture Treatment (SMT). Read it and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. You can find all of them, (honey, aloe vera gel and cheap, cone-free conditioner) at Wal-Mart. While you are at Wal-Mart, buy a protein pack like the Hask Placenta Pack (that's just the name, there is no placenta in it), just make sure there are no silicone ingredients in it. Also, get some coconut oil. Get some that is labeled natural or virgin. It will be solid at room temp and will smell like coconut.

Pick a day when you have some time to spend on yourself. Use the shampoo you are currently using or buy a cheap Sauve clarifying shampoo as has been recommended. Shampoo the entire length of your hair, maybe shampoo the ends twice. Yes, I know this is drying, but you need to remove whatever build-up you have.

Apply the protein treatment, concentrating on the ends and leave it on for the recommended time. Then apply an SMT and leave it on for at least an hour. Do your nails or lay in the tub and read--you're having a spa day. :)

Rinse out the smt and combine a fingernail or two of coconut oil and a glob of aloe vera gel in a small cup or the palm of your hand. Mix them together and use that as a leave in for your ends. Bun your hair while it is still damp and let it dry in the bun, that will take some time. You are trying to retain moisture here.

Repeat in a week.

In the meantime, I would use the conditioner you are using for the SMT as your regular conditioner instead of the Fructis. Use the coconut oil and aloe gel as your leave in. Find a sulphate-free shampoo to use--there is a list around here somewhere. You are trying to get moisture into your hair, you don't want the sulphate to strip it out.

If you wash your hair everyday, do a heavy oiling with the coconut oil each night before bed. You should have no problem washing it out with a sulphate-free shampoo.

Do this for a month or so and continue with the s&d if you want. Remember to always follow a protein treatment with a moisture treatment.

Nobody can guarantee this kind of routine will heal your ends, but it should give them some strength and pliablitiy back. Decide after about a month of protein and moisture treaments if you want to trim.

Good luck.

kdaniels8811
April 14th, 2009, 10:58 AM
By the way, I found coconut oil at wal-mart, health food stores, grocery stores. It will be white and solid at room temperature. To use, scrape some up with your fingernails and rub your palms together to spread the oil across them. Then apply to your hair by pressing the palms together and running down the length of your hair. I only do the last 6-8 inches of mine and apply to damp hair - the idea is to keep the moisture you have. A little coconut oil is all you need, it will be absorbed and if your hair looks oily, back off on the quantity used. There are threads on this elsewhere. Certainly try this before cutting your hair! Good luck and let us know how it turns out, ok? Pictures are good, too, we love photos!

Nightshade
April 14th, 2009, 11:06 AM
I had the same problem with oils making my dry, brittle ends crunchier. Protein wonked it out too.

My theory is that oils stick to protein on the hair, and damaged hair doesn't have much of anything for it to grab.

The only thing I had great results with was clarifying and then using Fox's Shea Butter Conditioning Cream (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=4586) made with a cone-free conditioner :flowers:

Anje
April 14th, 2009, 11:16 AM
Like all the others have said, the first thing you should try is to clarify your hair. My usual method is to get a clarifying shampoo (sulfate shampoos in general work well, but ones that are specifically "clarifying" won't have anything in them to contribute to buildup). Suave makes their "Daily Clarifying" which is in a clear-ish bottle, and VO5 makes a lime clarifying shampoo, which is green. When you clarify, you're going to want to shampoo heavily, and make sure you lather the length of your hair all the way down to the ends. Wash it out, and repeat. The idea is that you want to wash your ends really really well. (Some people like a baking soda solution instead of clarifying shampoo, or they will mix baking soda into a normal SLS shampoo. YMMV, but I think that baking soda is too harsh, and it makes my hair feel nasty. Don't mix baking soda into an ALS or ALES shampoo, though, or it will stink!)

Follow this up with a moisturizing treatment. This might just be soaking in your normal conditioner for 30 minutes or so, though you can add things like honey to your conditioner to make it more moisturizing. Slathering on Fox's Shea Butter Conditioning Cream is also excellent, if you have shea butter handy. You just want to moisturize heavily after clarifying.

Personally, I would avoid doing a protein treatment after clarifying, unless you know that your hair likes lots of protein. Protein can be quite drying (and therefore needs to be followed by moisture, so this adds a step), and if your hair doesn't like it, it can make it angry, dry, and tangly all over again.

spidermom
April 14th, 2009, 11:18 AM
I think you will probably end up having to trim them off, but you could do it a little at a time - perhaps 1/2 inch every 2-3 months (merely a suggestion). In my experience, once they reach the "straw" stage, there's no rehabilitating them.

LadyLongLocks
April 14th, 2009, 01:15 PM
I had the same issue in 2005 and I thought my ends were damaged. I took the advice of someone and had a big trim. Guess what, my ends did not look any different! I think the last few inches of hair sort of take on a texture or look of their own.
I did not have damage or splits. My hair tends to be more coarse so the ends look more coarse.
I don't know what hair type you are, but if you have coarser hair it may just normal.
Worst thing is that that trim left me 8" shorter and it was all for nothing!
Oils seem to tame it. I like almond or jojoba. They make my hair look like it has a fine texture at the end.

Unnamed
April 14th, 2009, 01:59 PM
When my ends get 'dry' (feeling--they're not actually dry, though) I do one of three things (which have already been mentioned):

First, I clarify. Very well. Baking soda mixed with shampoo, and lately also citric acid mixed in conditioner (as have been having periodic issues with hard water).

If that doesn't work: Search and destroy. Snip off anything that might be tangling.

And if that doesn't help, that's when I pull out the protein. My hair doesn't like protein very often (and can't use it on a regular basis--can't even use coconut oil as a leave in), but every now and then it really asks for it.

I've never trimmed due to dry ends (or the way the ends feel), as one of those three things always fixes it.

manateelynn
April 16th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Thank you for all your suggestions! I went ahead and had 4 inches cut off the bottom and get rid of the dry stuff. I decided it would be better to start over again with hair that wasn't damaged beyond repair. I plan on switching my condistioner to something else and getting some coconut oil.
It upsets me that it's back to just past brastrap lenght after being to my waist, but it'll grow. I also had a light bangs cut too that drift off to the left side of my face. Everyone really likes them, but it's going to take some getting used to...

Zindell
April 17th, 2009, 04:34 AM
Happy growing manateelynn. Even though it is a little shorter now it must feel good to have healthy ends again. :-)

About every fourth month or so the very ends of my hair usually gets a little dry and brittle, only about 2 cm or so. I use this as my wakeup call to do a little trim of about 3 cm. So far it has kept my hair healthy. :-)

boukje
April 17th, 2009, 07:42 AM
I totally understand how you feel. I have been thinking about cutting for so long, I didn't cut in 4 years either and had horrible dry ends, whatever I did to them they stayed dry ( so it wasn't build up).

In february I finally decided to cut and took off 5 or 6 inch (not sure how much) and went from almost classic length (which is my dream length) to above tailbone. I am now nearing tailbone again and it feel so super short. Almost like the growing wasn't worth it.

But the ends do feel better, they do not tangle up anymore, they are not the best (I still have about 4 inches a thin not in great condition ends) but it is so worth it (in the end).

I thought about growing to classic and then cutting off the growth every month, but it was just in such a bad state. Now I will (obviously) not reach classic this summer, only an inch or so past tailbone. But I found out my hair needs trimming (every now and again) and even it this sets back my goal it is worth it to have healthier easier to maintain ends.

I hope you are also happy with your cut, and with good haircare you will surely reach knee lentgh, only a little later. But when you're going for such a long length I don't think you will regret the few more months I will take you to get there (WITH NICE ENDS!). Happy growing :cheese:

lirael
April 17th, 2009, 07:51 AM
This happened to me when I was at mid-thigh, except it was the bottom 8". :( I used to dye my hair about 8 years ago, so I'm pretty sure that dry hair was the previously dyed stuff. I tried to oil it for a while, but I was really happy when I eventually cut it off. The ends feel amazingly soft now!
In conclusion, I think you should try oiling but if that doesn't work, just cut it off- you'll be happier with it.