View Full Version : I Have A Problem - Any Advice? (Long-ish Post)

February 9th, 2010, 04:23 PM
Hello again you lovely people.

So, a little history... When I came here a couple of months ago I was using SLS poo and coney conditioner and blowdrying my hair most days. I'd been getting a trim every 6-8 weeks.

My hair was in very good condition, to be honest, but I've felt guilty about blowdrying for years so that was the first thing to be cut down dramatically.

I blowdry my fringe every time I wash my hair (usually daily) to eliminate my stubborn-as-heck parting from it, but I've only blow dried my whole head once in the last month (on the cool setting, I was in a hurry).

I've been S&Ding since I joined here, my last trim was shortly before that at the beginning of December.

About three weeks ago I decided to embark on a no cone experiment to see whether my hair would be any wavier or healthier, or whether (as I suspected) my hair would just be a tangled nightmare. At the same time I switched to a no sulphate super gentle shampoo, because I didn't want to dry my hair so much anymore without the need to clarify cones out and without the cones to coat my hairs afterwards :p.

The experiment, to my surprise, was going very well. The change in regime seemed to make my hair less shiny (though I've got henna making up for that!), but more soft. It was slightly more prone to tangles, but nothing major. My waves haven't been enhanced at all, but it still seemed worthwhile. I really liked it.

However, over the last 5 days or so my hair has been a total nightmare. It's tangling a lot more, and I just S&D'd this evening and was shocked by the number of new splits I have acquired over the last week. I did the stretch test on shed hair (and I even pulled one really madly split one out of my head to try that one too), and they seem weirdly healthy. They stretch a little before they break rather than just snapping, so I don't think my problem's too much protein, but they don't stretch a weirdly large amount, so I don't think it's too much moisture either. They seem to do pretty much exactly what healthy hairs should.

Except they're obviously not healthy hairs anymore...

I feel that something I'm doing now must be damaging my hair worse than the things I was doing before, but I can't think what.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

Thank you very much in advance for any answers, and for plouging through this long and rambling post. :flower:

A Confused & Frustrated Lexi. :confused:

February 9th, 2010, 04:28 PM
Have you tried clarifying? Shot in the dark here, but you quit using coney stuff and you switched to a different shampoo. Maybe you have some weird buildup?

February 9th, 2010, 04:34 PM
Have you tried clarifying? Shot in the dark here, but you quit using coney stuff and you switched to a different shampoo. Maybe you have some weird buildup?

Hmm, I did clarify (i.e. I used my old SLS shampoo) right before I switched to my no cone conditioner, but maybe I've acquired some kind of build up of something else since then. :confused: It's a good idea, I really don't know what else to try so I might as well try that. :)

I should maybe have mentioned actually, I always used to have my hair feel darn-near literally squeaky clean with my SLS shampoo, but since I've been using the new stuff my hair has always felt different when wet. Before I would have thought it felt greasy, and washed it again and again until the feeling went, but I stuck it out and realised my hair looked and felt lovely when it dried. Soft and clean, not greasy or grimy at all. But when it's wet, it feels almost waxy? I assumed it was because I wasn't stripping my hair of its natural oils, and that's what I was feeling, but maybe I was wrong?

February 9th, 2010, 05:00 PM
Do you put anything in your hair to help it curl?
Thats what could be causing build up.

February 9th, 2010, 05:04 PM
Do you put anything in your hair to help it curl?
Thats what could be causing build up.

Nope. I do put stuff in it when I do rag curls, but I haven't done anything like that since before I decided to experiment with no sulphates and no cones. :shrug:

Thanks for the reply and the idea though. :)

February 9th, 2010, 05:06 PM
Maybe just a vinager rinse then? That usually works if you have hard water.
There typically is a "greasy" period when going to no-cones no-sulphates

February 9th, 2010, 05:11 PM
Maybe just a vinager rinse then? That usually works if you have hard water.
There typically is a "greasy" period when going to no-cones no-sulphates

I do live in a hard water area - what does that do?

Is it actually grease that I'm feeling then? My hair doesn't look greasy at all when it's dry, it's just that weird waxy feeling when wet.

I have never done an ACV rinse - I worry that I'll smell like ACV all day... Is that actually the case?

Excuse my ignorance. :o Sorry.

Thanks for your help.

February 9th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Hard water causes build up which the sulfates usually take care of.
Your scalp isnt technically greasy its just when you go without sls/als etc it is use to making all those oils it will cut down in a couple weeks.
As for the smell nope I believe it goes away when the hair dries and ACV is usually less pungent than regular white any ways.

So just stick it out for a bit try the rinse and everything *should* clear up.
This is regurgitated info so if I have it wrong in some part I am sure someone will come and correct me. I personally use SLS and Cones so I dont have any first hand knowledge on the subject but thats what I have read.

February 9th, 2010, 05:37 PM
Hi there, another person with hard water, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been my salvation. The minerals will stick to you hair unless you use something acidic to prevent that. My dilution is 1 u.s. tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup (8 u.s. ounces) warm water. I use that as my final rinse (since the point is to prevent the minerals in the water from sticking to my hair, I figured I'd better use the ACV as the final rinsing agent). 1 cup is enough for my fine hip-length hair, and douse it from scalp to ends. Check out my hair album to see the results. There's a mild "vinaigrette dressing" smell to it when your hair is wet, but it's completely gone once your hair is dry. I have also noticed that I don't get scalp itchies anymore since I started rinsing with ACV.

February 9th, 2010, 05:51 PM
As far as the splits, when I switched from coney conditioner and SLS shampoo to neither of either I had the same experience--my hair felt healthier & nicer dry, different when I was washing, and began to show more splits. What I finally decided was that the splits had been there all along and that, for me, (maybe because my hair is so fine), cones disguise split ends, making them stick slightly to the main hair shaft so that they're hard to see.

February 9th, 2010, 06:52 PM
Maybe the splits were already there, just "hidden" by the silicones? It can take a long while for them to be fully gone from your hair, so maybe what seemed sudden to you was the more gradual result of them being washed out more fully.

I would first try washing your hair very thoroughly with your non-SLS shampoo (maybe twice), and then do a light conditioning, and see if that is enough, before doing a more stripping sulfate or baking soda clarifying.

Also, certain non-cone conditioners still give me build-up really easily. I haven't yet figured out what the culprit is - just stop using that conditioner if it's problematic.

February 10th, 2010, 04:15 AM
missjessiecakes, thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate you answering my questions. I'm going to try ACV rinsing. :)

frodolaughs, it's good to hear from someone who has experienced the same kind of thing that I am experiencing at the moment, thank you for your response. :) I have very fine hair too, so maybe all these splits really were there all along, I guess I just didn't expect them not to be visible for a full two and a half weeks of no cones. :shrug:

melikai, as I said above to frodolaughs, I was unaware that there could still be cones in my hair after this length of time, thank you very much for enlightening me. I will try what you suggest with regards washing thoroughly twice with my gentle shampoo, to see if that makes a difference. :) I really like my new conditioner, but I will bear in mind what you said about non-cone conditioners sometimes giving you build up. There is protein in my new conditioner, but as I said before, my hair certainly doesn't seem to be suffering from the effects of too much protein.

Fiferstone, I will definitely give ACV rinses a go, it sounds like that could really help. Thank you for sharing your dilution, and for reassuring me that I won't be smelling like vinegar all day. :p I have ACV in my kitchen all the time, so I'll be able to give that a go tonight.

Thanks everyone! :)

February 10th, 2010, 05:44 AM
Just echoing again ACV RINSE! :inlove::inlove: it makes a huge difference and you will be able to tell almost instantly with manageability and smoothness.:)

February 10th, 2010, 05:51 AM
And I'm echoing the fact that the splits were probably still there and the leftover cones hid them. I know that I used to be stuck on Aveda's smoothing fluid and conditioner and when I stopped using them it took weeks before my true hair started to show through.

It was *NOT* pretty. It was tangly, wavy, had a lot of damage, and was very wispy. It took weeks, a major shed that was totally my fault, and a lot of trial and error to figure out a more natural way to keep my hair happy and healthy. But I'm still glad I did it.

February 10th, 2010, 07:35 AM
I"m another one who agrees with it probably being splits that were already there that are finally making their way through as the last of the cones leaves your hair. To help prevent or make worse future splits make sure that you're extra gentle when combing/brushing your now cone-free locks as the cones make it super easy to glide through the hair but w/o cones you need to invest in a good comb that doesn't snag hair.

Good luck!

February 10th, 2010, 07:52 AM
I suggest a clarifying shampoo, a deep moisturizing treatment and regular, very mild ACV rinses.

Even without cones, we can experience buildup. I too have hard water, and I'm certain that the minerals build up in my hair.

I don't have splits, but when my ends feel tangly, I know it's time to clarify.

Good luck! :blossom:

February 10th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Thanks everyone. :)

So, I S&D'd again earlier. Then when I had my shower I washed my hair really thoroughly with my sulphate-free shampoo, conditioned it with my cone-free conditioner, and finished off with an ACV rinse (just one tablespoon of ACV in a litre of warm water).

I S&D'd some more while my hair was air drying.


1) My hair was not as easy to comb through after my shower as I'm used to.

2) My hair took longer to air dry than usual.

3) Now my hair is dry, it still isn't as easy to comb or brush as I'm used to.

4) My hair is considerably wavier than usual, which I really like.

5) My hair feels drier than I'm used to.

Could anyone tell me whether these things are likely to happen every time I do an ACV rinse, or whether it's just likely that I've finally got rid of all my coney build up?

I love the waves, but I'm not too sure about this dry feeling. Is this just my hair without cones I wonder? Or does my hair dislike the acidity of ACV? Hmm...

What are the chances of me being able to achieve the waves every time my hair dries, but lose this weird dry feeling?

Thank you very much for your help guys, I really appreciate it. :)

February 10th, 2010, 04:01 PM
It sounds like your dilution of ACV to water was off. 1 tablespoon in ~250 mLs of water is a normal dilution. But it could be that your hair isn't taking well to the lack of cones, or it's still transitioning. I know my hair loved it immediately, but I had tons of scalp itchies for a couple weeks, that went away after a while. Good luck, I hope you get this figured out :)

February 11th, 2010, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the good luck wishes and suggestions.

My hair is really confusing me. It feels like straw today. :(

I'm starting to panic about all these splits and am considering going straight back to my old SLS/Cone routine because my hair seemed okay then. But if, as some of you have suggested, these splits were all there anyway, and I just couldn't see them, I feel I should stick this out. But how do I know?

I loved how soft my hair felt for the first couple of weeks of no SLS and no cones and I want that back, but my hair feels so dry and frazzled and awful now - I don't know what I'm doing wrong. My hair hasn't ever felt this bad, even when I used to swim six days a week in chlorinated water.

:confused: Arg.

February 11th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Just use up the rest of what you have on hand if by that time the condition of your hair hasnt improved then I would go ahead and just switch back. You may find in time that you hair will change and down the line you may be able to change the routine.

I add honey to everything if your hair likes that. Try some deep treatments for the straw feeling if you want.

February 11th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Have you tried a little oil to combat the dryness? If not, try a 1 drop of oil on damp hair. (rub oil over palms, sandwich hair between palms and move hands down hair length, then comb) Try it on dry hair, too.

February 11th, 2010, 10:54 AM
There's nothing wrong with using an occasional coney conditioner. I usually switch back and forth every couple of washes depending on how tangly my hair is. Too many cones makes my hair flat, too few makes it harder to comb out. If your hair is great for a few weeks after using cones, occasional coney washes/conditions would probably help.

February 11th, 2010, 11:00 AM
ACV rinses do not remove coney-buildup. They merely help to get rid of excess conditioner, and help close the cuticle. Also, you didn't use much AVC in your mix. I don't think you can blame that.

Only clarifying with an SLS shampoo remove cones, or combining a bit of baking soda with shampoo (which I don't recommend--it often opens up the cuticle too much).

I suggest clarifying and then doing a deep treatment like an SMT for at least an hour.

If that doesn't work, go ahead and use the cones, if they made your hair feel better. I say just use what works for you. We're all different.

February 11th, 2010, 11:38 AM
I agree with teela1978 in that I think you should try switching up your routine to include the occasional cone-y product. I can't go no-cone for too long or I start having all sorts of tangling issues (and dryness that results in using tons of coconut oil), and cones build up on my hair super fast. My hair seems to prefer a ratio of about 1:3 non-cone-y to cone-y washes, and I S&C every other day.

About the splits... I am pretty sure they were just hiding. When I was no-cone all the time over the summer, I had splits and white dots like crazy. Now, with some cones thrown in, my hair looks pretty good; it's shiny and soft, without a split in sight. I think cones can be great for damaged hair, even if it is only minimal damage from blow drying.