View Full Version : Would it be better to start over?

December 4th, 2009, 06:58 AM
So, i've been really in for this idea to save out my hair. But i've lately started to doubt that it's such a good idea, considering the condition my hair is in. It tangles very easily, and in combination with curly hair, this means i either have frizzy combed hair or nicelooking mess that's very hard to comb out. It's just... too much struggle just to look decent. And i suspect my lenghts are pretty damaged too, because there is no shine as you see in the pictures.

History: I had dreads for three years, combed out about half a year ago. My hair is pretty damaged, ends are thin although i cut about a decimeter after combing out. There are split ends, most of them in the middle of the lenghts.

Advice from you hair-experts would be great :) Would it bee a good idea to cut e.g about 6 inches? Or is it worth to save? I'm not that good at "seeing" what condition the hair is in.

First pic (please ignore the dreads, they absolutely should be there :D until i have the energy to comb them out). This hair is washed the same day.


Shermie Girl
December 4th, 2009, 07:08 AM
Do you want to save some of your locs? Are you planning to comb them out, as well? What kind of products do you use? Do you deep condition? Oil? Use a leave in?

Dry, damaged hair can be rehabbed to a certain extent and made to look and feel nice while you are growing and trimming away damage. I can make my very trashed hair look pretty good with the right care. ;) CO washing, using deep treatments, protein and moisture (protein first, then follow immediately with moisture to avoid dryness and crunchy hair) using a leave in conditioner can all go a long way to improving the condition of your hair. Oiling before and after washing can soften, condition and seal in moisture to further help your hair. :)

December 4th, 2009, 07:13 AM
First of all, your hair is gorgeous. Dreads and all. (Disclaimer - you seem to be hairtwins with my DH, and I love love love this hairtype).

Secondly, from the pics you post, I do not see hair that needs to be cut off! Maybe a trim, depending on how your ends are.

I spend a lot of time managing DH's lovely F/M, 2c/3a hair because his whole idea of having long hair is 'so I don't have to bother with it'. SMTs REALLY help, but the way he handles his hair I often have to cut a lot off, because he tends to RIP the naturally-forming dreads out, as well as yanking hair elastics out of his hair. Getting him to use conditioner, and to leave it in, has improved the texture of his hair as has using things like Fox's Shea Butter conditioning cream - olive oil did NOT work for him, too heavy.

Your hair, unlike my sweetie's, is long and looks to be healthy (but to me all hair looks healthy if it has a blunt hemline, lol) so I would suggest combing conditioner through when wet, regular sulfate shampoo washings, gentle treatment and LOTS of moisture, including deep conditioning like SMTs. This is just based on what I have observed to work for my sweetie, so take it for what it is worth. :)

good luck finding something that works! And welcome here, again. :flower:

December 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
I think you have beautiful hair. I agree with the others. Maybe just a trim and do some moisture treatments. I read that thread on Ojun? I think that saved alot of people's hair. I would exhaust every option before cutting.

December 4th, 2009, 07:52 AM
There's a link to an article on how to rehabilitate damaged hair in my siggy, perhaps you'd find it helpful :)

December 4th, 2009, 08:09 AM
I read that thread on Ojun?

What's that?

December 4th, 2009, 08:23 AM
I agree that I think your hair can be 'saved'. It looks beautiful btw.

I think if you just hang around these boards and follow the advice and experiment you will find a way to rehabilitate your hair. Nightshades article on saving damaged hair was a godsend to me. My hair was pretty trashed too when I joined just over a year ago. But since then I've switched to CO, do lots of SMT's, oilings and wearing it up the majority of the time, my hair has gotten so much better.

In the end it's up to you though and which idea appeals to you more, whether you think you can baby your hair back to health or if starting over seems more practical.

Personally I hope you don't cut because I'd love to see the transformation :)

Latin Tea
December 4th, 2009, 08:30 AM
I agree!! Exhaust all options before cutting. I think it is gorgeous hair, just needs a bit of TLC. I wish I had curls like that! Of course, since I don't, I haven't had to deal with all the problems with having them. Sigh....I always want what I don't have....:)

December 4th, 2009, 09:03 AM
I agree with everyone else, try to save it! You have very pretty hair and tons of moisture should help at least save some of it and trim in increments as you go (just the very worst part every few months maybe). Hard to tell in a picture, but to me it just looks thirsty!

December 4th, 2009, 09:04 AM
What's that?

MsBubbles it is a deep treatment/ conditioner (or leave in????) that I think you can get at Sephora... I am pretty sure EricTheGreat has a thread on it in the product board.......

Isadora Lewie
December 4th, 2009, 09:33 AM
Yes yes, save the hair! It's beautiful. Mine is pretty damaged on the ends from peroxide and aggressive nit-combing (bad summer :-( ) and i've managed to rehabilitate with coconut oil, search and destroy split end trims, and henndigo.

Your hair is gorgeous!

December 4th, 2009, 09:35 AM
MsBubbles it is a deep treatment/ conditioner (or leave in????) that I think you can get at Sephora... I am pretty sure EricTheGreat has a thread on it in the product board.......

OK I got it. It's on the conventional products section. He's talking about Ojon, which is why Ojun didn't come up! :p . I even googled it but there are a lot of Ojon products. I'm sorry I'm a product dummy. If anyone else didn't know about it, the thread is called "I've discovered the bestest most magical intensive treatment!"

December 4th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the compliments :) I think i'll go for occasional end trimming instead of the big cut...

Do you want to save some of your locs? Are you planning to comb them out, as well? What kind of products do you use? Do you deep condition? Oil? Use a leave in?

Thanks for the advice! Protein, then i guess egg wash or protein conditioner would work well? Right now i use sls schampoo, a rich conditioner, and coco butter inbetween washes. And cassia or amla about once a month (i'm not shure i notice any difference with those though) Leave-ins and treatments from the stores are so expensive. :disbelief

There's a link to an article on how to rehabilitate damaged hair in my siggy, perhaps you'd find it helpful :)

Much useful information there. I think mechanical damage from wearing the hair down will be the hardest thing to avoid... I like having the hair down.

I agree with everyone else, try to save it! You have very pretty hair and tons of moisture should help at least save some of it and trim in increments as you go (just the very worst part every few months maybe). Hard to tell in a picture, but to me it just looks thirsty!

Thank you, and yes, i think it is, too! When i oil my hair it is like it finally settles, stop zig-zaging out in the air and lays a bit more flat and well-behaved. ^^

December 4th, 2009, 02:06 PM
With respect to shine, you have at least as much as the other curlies on this site, and maybe more.

Shine seems to depend on straightness of hair--the 1a's have amazing shine, like mirrors. Curlies have less shine because of the shape of the hair. They get shine where the bends are perpendicular to the light, but the shine fades as the hair bends.

Looking forward to the changes to come. Welcome to the forum.

December 4th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Another vote for saving the length, at least until you've given some of the advice you'll find on here a try.

SMTs are lovely - a bit like a really well done facelift, but for hair. :-)

Good luck, and welcome!

December 4th, 2009, 02:20 PM
OMG, you hair is beautiful. Definitely don't cut.

Since you had locs and are still in process of taking some down, you probably have some mechanical damage that can easily be remedied with a protein treatment. I'm a fan of Nexxus Emergencee and the Ion Reconstructor from Sally's. Afterward be sure to follow with a moisturizing treatment.

December 4th, 2009, 02:28 PM
I do see some damage, but I think it can be rehabilitated quite a bit. I prescribe deep moisture treatments. Only comb while hair is full of conditioner. Otherwise let those curls do what they will. Have small trims of no more than 1 inch.

Of course if you really want a change and were looking for a good excuse to get it done, then ignore this and do what you like.

December 4th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Don't cut, if you take care of your hair and get regular trims the damaged ends will be gone and before you know it you will have perfectly healthy long hair without any drastic measures.

heidi w.
December 4th, 2009, 03:05 PM
OK, I don't know enough about Fei's Hair Typing. About 2 yrs ago and again a year ago or so when I looked at the pictures that accompanied, I did notice some mis-classifications, at least based on photos.

If I have this right your hair type, based on your Avatar, which is relatively small -- OH, and I can't see the pix you posted in this thread (my work filters take that out, and I have no home pooter) -- you seem to be fairly curly, almost corkscrew but not quite...but if I have this right, actually, relatively fine hair type.

Additionally you're coming off of dreadlocks, only had them as recently as 6 months ago, and you note damage in the middle of length not necessarily the ends. And you claim to fear you lack shine.

The question posed is, should you remove 6 inches and, in this way, start again. I tried to view a public profile in case there were other pictures AND you report being relative newcomer here.

Alrighty then.

Let's see. To answer quickly, NO, I don't think you need to remove that much. The max at this time to consider is 3 inches.

I think a smaller trim, and then slowly, over time, remove any damage. Further, I think if you'd like a somewhat cleaner, for lack of a better phrase, hemline, might help you to also feel better about your hair. Your hair has the usual gentle smile curve to it because hair in the center strip down the back tends to grow the fastest and thickest and then spanning out to either side, a bit less volume. You don't have to have a straight across line, but maybe a little cleaning up would be an option to consider to help you further feel good about your hair.

You report tangling problems and this damage in the center. Well, damage is damage, but eventually with three inches removed, likely within the next year (not calendar year per se.....just the next 12 months) you'll have that zone of damage near the bottom again.

I think meanwhile you might look into LHC's or the book CURLY GIRL
And look at this book's discussion on conditioner only shampooing. Her product line, DIV

The other one that's a good tome is authored by Ouidad, CURL TALK

I haven't read this for accuracy, but here's a nice WIKI apparently with video on how to follow the CURLY GIRL method.

The author of CURLY GIRL book is Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel, in partnership. Lorraine Massey has made a specialty out of curly hair -- all things curly hair -- and she is regularly featured in one or two professional salon magazines on topics such as how to properly trim curly hair (not wet, dry, and rather like a rosebush to cut in the proper direction the curl is in, constantly testing that when it springs back, it's in line and coiling properly).......Despite anyone's concerns about professional stylists, she's someone to listen to.

Anyway, here's her site.
In the upper right are products. She recommends what's known as low- or no-poo products, that is, removing the sulfates.

She also recommends condition only washing. With your fine hair type you may want to wash just the very top of the hair with diluted shampoo, on the top of the head, and the rest just condition wash the length.

My girlfriend who has very, very curly hair, does this with aplomb, and I turned her on to some more tips, including this conditioner only washing. She now has relative few tangle issues and she uses CHOLESTEROL for her hair length. (Ethnic beauty aisle). I showed her how to properly detangle with a wide tooth comb, with the comb in the shower, with the hair thickly coated with conditioner, constantly dipping the comb in conditioner, but not touching it with a comb or brush once out of the shower....let the coiled locks remain coiled.

You probably won't respond to oiling, so you might better like Shea Butter, or even that Cholesterol I mention.

This will help with tangliness and with damage, and yes, even shine. Go with diluted or no shampoo (i.e., no sulfates or reduce via dilution), wash on top of head instead and the length with conditioner only-- detangle in the shower with the power of water and lots and lots of conditioner in the hair, and the link from WIKI includes understanding how to plop [Plopping which has been discussed here on LHC as well], and the video on the home page of DEVA link has a quick video too that might be helpful to you.

Then a small trim, and I'm putting money on you'll be a lot happier.

Also, when it comes to curl types v. straight hair types, comparing only (these extremes for the moment), straighter hair types have an easier time SHOWING shine because the cuticle for straight hair types lies closer and flatter and tighter together compared to a curly type with the cuticle more open and lifted, and a little 'rougher' shall we say. The straight hair type tends, therefore, to reflect available light v. the curlier type absorbing the light.

For this reason, also, curly hair types, such as your curl level, really do need a lot more conditioner.

And you need something topical after washing is done, and oiling often will not work for you. Shea Butter. Even perhaps Cholesterol.

I don't know if you're yet allowed access to the Recipe portion of this site but you might like checking out for Snowymoon's Moisture Treatment. She has a hair type like yours and a lot of people have responded well to this treatment. It's referred to as SMT on the board here.

If you like to Henna as your public profile declares, really do your homework. I recommend the free website Long Hair Loom. Lots of henna users with years of experience over there. There are a number of experienced henna users here, but I've always been edumacated that some henna types actually seal the cuticle thereby yes, creating shine and all, for a time anyway, yet eventually, the uptake of conditioner can be more difficult. Apparently, there's different salt levels in hennas and that sort of thing. I'm not up on Henna by any means, so ask around and do your homework if you want to do this. Just be informed. There's more options out there I hear, including indigo.

Remember, 6 months from dreadlocks is a relatively short time in long hair-dom. Give it a bit more time, and instead, trim this damage out much more gradually. In about 6 months you will have GAINED 3 inches of length, at 1/2 inch per month average calculation, so you could then consider perhaps a 1 inch trim, and then wait again 6 more months, etc.

This way your gaining length and slowly removing damage.

Hope this info gives you some ideas on tweaking your routine for better results, more joy in long hair-dom, and fewer frustrations. OH, and sleep on a sateen or satin pillowcase, where the hair can slide. And now that it's winter (and if in snow country), with dry air, even though curly and likely humidity of Mother Nature sends you into poofdom, consider a small humidifer in the sleeping room. Use distilled water. It's just a low setting of a small amount of moisture added to the air to help with nosebleeds, cracked or dry skin, and fly-away hair.

heidi w.
ETA: I'm not sure where LHCs instruction for conditioner only hair washes resides. I am told the LHC method is different from CURLY GIRL, but the book is certainly an optional starter kit.

ETA2: I think I neglected to mention dusting, or what folks here refer to as S&D. Learn how to do that too, it may solve some of the damage that occurs all throughout the length. This occurs for everyone with any length. This is usually a surprise to those coming from rather short lengths for the first time ever, that damage doesn't ONLY occur near the ends. This is also why some end up with trims from a stylist with more than they wanted removed. Reference this link,
Post #24 & #25 (upper right corner, on page 3 of the thread--at present) HOW TO FIND A STYLIST YOU CAN TRUST...if you're considering a "Trim" then watch that lingo as my posts point out.