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shortgoinglong
August 9th, 2009, 10:08 PM
Hi everyone!
I have a question for you all as I have asked people not on this site and no one knows the answer. I currently am growing out a pixie cut. Since all the layers are looking messy growing out, I use gel and hairspray to make it look messy on purpose. I use a lot of product and my hair feels sticky afterward and I have to wash it. I don't style my hair this way every day, only when I am trying to look dressy. (like twice a week for church) I plan to stop using so much as soon as my hair gets long enough to look good without. So my question is, is using a lot of drying products a few times a week really damaging? I feel more tempted to cut when I don't style it.

SimplyViki
August 9th, 2009, 10:17 PM
I believe, and I could be wrong, but I believe the damaging aspect of styling products like gels, hairsprays, and mousses (heehee, mousses... :D) is not so much that they're drying, but that the purpose of them is to "stick" the hairs to one another. And then when you go to brush it out (I used to always brush out gel and hairspray whenever I'd use it), you're ripping apart the hairs that were "glued" together. That can theoretically rip off the cuticle (the protective outer layer) of the hair, which weakens and damages the hair shaft. You can check out Nightshade's article on damaged hair for way cool zoomed in pictures of damaged hair, including some pics of hairsprayed-then-brushed-out hair, if I'm not mistaken.

ETA: Congrats on reaching 25 posts! :D

redcelticcurls
August 9th, 2009, 10:25 PM
I use gel every time I do my hair. Many others with my hairtype do too.

The main thing for me is to avoid the drying alcohols, a common one being alcohol denat. or denatured alcohol.

Also, I never brush or comb it dry with gel in it. I get it wet, put conditioner in, and then get out the comb or use my fingers.

NiAosSi
August 9th, 2009, 10:26 PM
They're pretty damaging stuff. They contain tons of alcohol which dries out hair to no end. Best to stay away from that stuff. Some of the people here use aloe vera gel.

redcelticcurls
August 9th, 2009, 10:35 PM
They're pretty damaging stuff. They contain tons of alcohol which dries out hair to no end. Best to stay away from that stuff. Some of the people here use aloe vera gel.

Many gels (can't speak for hairspray since I don't use it) are alcohol free nowadays.

shadowclaw
August 9th, 2009, 10:45 PM
Someone else asked a similar question not too long ago. The answer I agree with (and I think a lot of other people do too) is that you need to be happy with your hair as you grow it, so if you need to use styling products until it gets a bit longer, go ahead. If you need to flat iron it, go ahead. If you want to slick it up with cones, go ahead. Be happy with your hair. There may be some damage, but it will be to a very small amount of hair and will be easy to trim off later.

redcelticcurls
August 9th, 2009, 10:47 PM
Someone else asked a similar question not too long ago. The answer I agree with (and I think a lot of other people do too) is that you need to be happy with your hair as you grow it, so if you need to use styling products until it gets a bit longer, go ahead. If you need to flat iron it, go ahead. If you want to slick it up with cones, go ahead. Be happy with your hair. There may be some damage, but it will be to a very small amount of hair and will be easy to trim off later.

That's a good philosophy

Speckla
August 9th, 2009, 10:47 PM
I use gels and mousses but I add a good leave-in conditioner first and then add product and this helps reduce the drying out. I don't try to comb or brush my hair if it feel producty or stuck together....I totally wet my head, add tons of conditioner, and then work out the tangles or ickiness. No damage from the using or removing of these.

Aer
August 9th, 2009, 11:05 PM
I'm not a fan of gels or hair styling products, but if you are tempted to cut your hair if it's not styled then it probably won't hurt your hair too bad. You could give your self a stopping goal, like, saying " I'll stop geling my hair when it's at chin length, etc". You should do some type of clarifying wash though, maybe ACV rinse or I heard some people use baking soda mixed with shampoo to get build up out, I don't know how much though. Or maybe just a good clarifying shampoo. Then again some people can do hair gels and such and it doesn't seem to hurt anything. You should do what makes your hair feel gorgeous to you. Good luck on your growing!

Catladyintown
August 10th, 2009, 12:37 AM
Hi Shortgoinglong:) there is a gel that is good for your hair. Check the recipe section for Flax seed gel, it is very easy to make.HTH

RancheroTheBee
August 10th, 2009, 01:49 AM
I'm at shoulder (while straight), and I still use gels. Otherwise, my hair looks bushy and horrid, and if I try to oil enough that it curls correctly, I over-condition it and it ends up so greasy I have to wash it again. As mentioned, a lot of gels are alcohol-free now, and as long as you don't brush it or rip through your hair, you should be fine. Personally, I favor really liquidy gels or diluted gels.

Aditi
August 10th, 2009, 02:06 AM
I think its ok if your are using these products occassionaly but later on you can do something good for your hair like SMT of CO wash to reduce the damage or drying effect which these products does to your hair :)

Toadstool
August 10th, 2009, 02:24 AM
I believe aloe vera gel isn't drying, loads of people here with really long hair use it.

rogue_psyche
August 10th, 2009, 02:25 AM
If I were in your shoes, I'd read up on ingredients and find a less damaging gel for the meantime. I recommend CWCing to get the gel out without drying your hair.

Periwinkle
August 10th, 2009, 05:38 AM
They can be damaging for all the reasons that've already been given, but personally I don't think it matters. When your hair is that short, you'll probably be trimming off all of what's there eventually anyway, and you're much more likely to be able to grow it longer if it looks good in the meantime.

If I were you, I'd quit worrying about it until your hair is long enough to wear in a protective style (bun, braid). Until then, you might as well do what you like.

NiAosSi
August 10th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Thanks for telling me. :flower: I haven't used gel or mousse in years! Hairspray I know still sucks because my MIL hair looks like a fried mess from it!



Many gels (can't speak for hairspray since I don't use it) are alcohol free nowadays.

spidermom
August 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM
I recommend you stop the hairspray and make sure your gel is nondrying/contains no alcohol. You could also try aloe vera gel, the clear kind (not the green kind). I love aloe vera gel. It holds pretty well and is easy to comb through later.

Cimorene
August 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM
Another thing you may want to consider is the way you handle your hair when you style it with gels and stuff. When my hair was really short I always spiked it, and I was really rough with it. I'd pull and yank at it and rake my fingers up through it trying to get it to defy gravity, which likely did as much damage as any of the products I used. I'm not sure exactly how you style yours, of course, so this may not even be an issue for you, but I think handling is just as important as (if not more important than) product usage.

redcelticcurls
August 10th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks for telling me. :flower: I haven't used gel or mousse in years! Hairspray I know still sucks because my MIL hair looks like a fried mess from it!

LOL! :)

My main gel is actually pretty moisture heavy, but it has a good bit of aloe and agave in it. I like more hold than straight AVG gel. It's nice to see more companies making products that work well without drying out the hair.

missfortune9335
August 12th, 2009, 09:29 PM
I grew out a pixie too, and I styled it or I wouldn't have been able to live with it. you'll eventually end up with a mullet-y tail thingy that you will cut off anyway, and then you can stop putting all the product in and have a bob style while you continue to grow.

redwoman
August 12th, 2009, 09:40 PM
I don't know if your products are damaging or not depending on what they are. But my opinion, for what it is worth is this, if you don't know what it is, you don't don't know what it does...so tread carefully until someone in this forum with experience puts thier two cents in...I wish I could be more help.