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flutterbudget
March 1st, 2010, 04:23 PM
Okay, here's the deal.

First problem is that about three years ago a stylist used those stupid thinning shears on me to "give my hair movement", and did some light layering. It didn't bother me at the time on my between APL-BSL hair. But now its killing me. I don't think there are really any layers in there anymore, not that you could find anyway. I've had a lot of trims since then. But the thinning he did all the way up the length. So now I have no problem keeping my actual ends in good shape, but I have this section starting about six or eight inches from the ends that are just FULL of odd lengths.

This might not have mattered, in fact I didn't really even notice, until I experienced some pretty severe chlorine damage in November. Long story short, I was in the shower when my landlord shocked the well with chlorine. It was VERY unpleasant, and it was more than an hour before I could get to a place to even rinse it out. Its the whole reason I found LHC, and I posted a whole thread on it at the time if you want all the details.

Anyway, for the most part my hair has recovered remarkably well. But I am getting a TON of split ends in that section with the odd lengths. some of it might be breakage, but I really think most of it from that thinning. I am trying to S&D them, but I am having a terrible time. The only light I can really see them well in is in the car, and I'm always driving when I'm in the car, so that's not optimal. I can spend like an hour on a tiny little section, and then there are still more I missed! I have a 2.5-year-old, so its not like I can just sit in the car during every minute of daylight and snip split ends.

I trimmed 1.5 inches right after "the incident", and I've been doing microtrims once a month or so since. The actual ends are in good shape - the last two inches or so. But then the next several inches above that are just crazy with splits. I really really really don't want to cut off nearly a year of growth. But if I can't get the splits under control, I'm not doing myself any favors keeping it, am I? The damage will just travel upwards and it will slow my growth and keep making it tangly and annoying, right?

Does anyone have any advice? :(

Elph
March 1st, 2010, 04:26 PM
I have no suggestions except cut it (and even I would not want to do that). I will just send big hugs and hope that someone else with have a suggestion.

little_acorn
March 1st, 2010, 04:32 PM
How about doing the twist trim method so you can just snip the ends going up the length? It might be far less time consuming than a standard S&D and should get the bulk of the problem ends. Basically twist a small section of hair, run your fingers up the twist gently to encourage the ends to pop out. Trim off those ends.

HTH :flower:

elina333
March 1st, 2010, 04:36 PM
Yes, what little_acorn said :D And also try to S&D with a white or back shirt as a "background". Makes it a lot easier even with insufficient lighting! :D

flutterbudget
March 1st, 2010, 04:40 PM
How about doing the twist trim method so you can just snip the ends going up the length? It might be far less time consuming than a standard S&D and should get the bulk of the problem ends. Basically twist a small section of hair, run your fingers up the twist gently to encourage the ends to pop out. Trim off those ends.

HTH :flower:

I've actually tried that, and maybe I'm not doing it right, but if I twist it (even a very small section) and trim them, then untwist and retwist it, there are whole bunches of new ones. :bigeyes: Maybe because my hair is so fine they can hide in the middle? I'm going to keep trying to find a methjod that will work, but its just really daunting and I feel like for all those hundreds of little snips I make I never see any progress.

Ursula
March 1st, 2010, 04:43 PM
I have no particular opinion of whether you should cut or not - that is a matter of what you feel happier about, keeping the length with the split problem, or cutting it out.

I will say that, at your length, I've cut 6" or more and had no one notice, even when I wore my hair loose or in a braid. Aside from feeling lightheaded for a day or so, and adjusting how I arrange my updos, I haven't really noticed a difference from this amount of trimming/cutting, either. So if you do decide to trim or cut, it may not be as dramatic a change as you imagine it will be.

Carolyn
March 1st, 2010, 04:48 PM
I feel for you. Thinning shears are evil for long hair most of the time. You really have 2 choices. One would be to cut to above the damaged hair. That sounds like quite a bit of length off. I'd hate to do that too. S & D is your other option. I know it's a painstaking process. Keep working on it and you'll eventually make progress. Have you tried S & D'ing in front of your computer screen? I find that makes the little buggers show up well. I keep a pair of hair scissors right my my computer and I work on it when ever I can. I'm not sure what color your hair is but if you're blonde like me, wearing a black top helps.

ETA Oops I see you have dark hair. Never mind about being blonde :gabigrin:

chopandchange
March 1st, 2010, 04:49 PM
It sounds like you need someone to do it for you, rather than attempting to do it yourself. Since hairdressers would probably be unwilling/baffled, my suggestion is to try and find some LHCers in your local area who would be willing to help S&D your hair.I'm aware there may be "safety" issues involved with meeting up with perfect strangers, but as long as you make sure they are who they say they are, it might work out!

That, or beg a family member or good friend to help. I'm sure if you explained to them "either you help me out, or I'm going to have to cut lots of it off - sob, sob" then they would realise you are in dire straits and are not just being "obsessed" about your hair.

I'm sorry to hear about the chlorine disaster. I remember reading that thread and thinking how shocking it was. I hope you have recovered a bit from the trauma. :)

countryhopper
March 2nd, 2010, 12:24 AM
Yes, i agree with the others about having someone else S&D for you.

You probably won't get them all in one sitting, though. And make sure your scissors are sharp!

Arctic
March 2nd, 2010, 01:57 AM
Yes, make sure your scissors are sharp! I remember when I joined here I S&Ded and S&Ded and... and at first I saw only more of damaged hairs. But I kept at it and one time I realized they had actually started to get fewer and farer between. It took a while but with diligent approach you ARE making a dent! When you cut make sure you cut to the healthy hair, otherwise it will just split again no matter how sharp the shears.

flutterbudget
March 2nd, 2010, 02:53 AM
I think my scissors must be ok, because the ends aren't splitting when I do my regular trims.

I wish I could have someone S&D for me. DH says he would try, but he is not confident in his ability to not mangle my hair. No other family or friends locally that would really be an option.

I haven't been able to make the computer screen work so far, but I will keep trying. I have trouble figuring out the dark/light background thing because my hair shows up best on a light background, but the damage is lighter colored, so it shows up better on dark. I sort of go back and forth between the two. When I try to do it under a bright light like a desklamp, I get too much reflection that hides the splits. Urgh.

I'm not going to give up yet. Its just feeling like I will never gain any ground.

Arctic
March 2nd, 2010, 04:54 AM
I have noticed I see different kinds of damage in different light conditions, and thus I like to S&D in different places. Most often in front of computer, then in my fav chair with reading lamp, bathroom and in sunlight. They all have their own benefits.

Sara_1987
March 2nd, 2010, 04:54 AM
I don't really have any suggestions but I feel your pain.
I S&D often, but seem to keep on finding split eds (my ends don't look bad though, luckily).

But I also always find split ends in the car when I'm stopped at a red light or something! something about the light when driving during the day makes them really stand out. I find the most horrendous split ends and have no scissors to cut them and when I get home I can't find the splits any more! So annoying.

julliams
March 2nd, 2010, 05:31 AM
When driving, I have been known to put the strand in my mouth so that I can cut it when I get home if it is particularly bad, like one of those split level splits. Admittedly I'm mostly driving around where I live so I only have to put up with hair in my mouth for about 5 minutes.

Juliette

Sissy
March 2nd, 2010, 06:21 AM
How about doing the twist trim method so you can just snip the ends going up the length? It might be far less time consuming than a standard S&D and should get the bulk of the problem ends. Basically twist a small section of hair, run your fingers up the twist gently to encourage the ends to pop out. Trim off those ends.

HTH :flower:

very good suggestion, I also do this as I get splits up the length. Also, I would recommend catnip tea rinses as I feel they are reducing my splits and some other LHCers have had great success with catnip treatments. There is a thread on catnip and split ends here.

Amraann
March 2nd, 2010, 09:04 AM
I find that it works best to S & D not with light directly above me but with it behind me.
Preferably natural sunlight.

flutterbudget
March 2nd, 2010, 01:41 PM
Sissy and little_acorn, can you guys describe how you do the twist trim thing? Do you twist small sections, or larger ones? Do you twist tightly or loosely? Are there any tricks to it that make it work better for you? It seems like it should work for me, but maybe I'm not doing something right. Thanks!

spidermom
March 2nd, 2010, 02:03 PM
Some people claim to not have a problem with it, but splits travel upward for me, so I think I would just cut back and get it over with in order to lose the least amount of hair possible to deal with the problem before it gets worse. I'm not terribly sentimental about my hair length, though. I don't feel the pain that others feel when they get their hair cut, so if you are the sentimental type, don't listen to me. Keep the area well moisturizerd and S&D whenever you can. Get small trims on a regular basis (every 3-4 months perhaps?); eventually the bad area will grow down to the point of being trimmed away.

McKanna91
March 2nd, 2010, 03:04 PM
I have issues with S&D as well, mainly because I'm growing out layers. It seems my hairs are at all different lengths. A regular dusting helps, but that only takes care of the ends of the longest hairs. I have to pick through my hair to find the others, but it's hard to keep up. And since I haven't trimmed or had an S&D session in a very long time, most of my ends are split or otherwise damaged.

What I usually do is fold a small chunk of my hair in half and trim the splits that stick up. Or I just kind of pick through my hair at random. Braiding also helps, but twisting doesn't work for me. I also find S&D easier when my hair is dirty or greasy because it makes the dry parts (where most of the splits can be found) more visible. When my hair is clean and shiny, it's hard to see the splits and white dots.

FrannyG
March 2nd, 2010, 03:39 PM
Your hair, your decision. I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do. But I will tell you give you an opinion.

If you are finding that you are unhappy with your hair more than you are happy with it, I would suggest getting a cut, appropriate to what you think is necessary without having to give up too much length. Splits travel, and if you really feel like you're losing the battle, I fear that you won't enjoy your hair.

It's all about loving our hair, in my opinion.

Best of luck with the S&D! :blossom:

flutterbudget
March 2nd, 2010, 04:18 PM
Well, realistically, I'm afraid cutting may be necessary. I think the damage is getting worse, more splits are showing up all the time. I think some of them may be re-splitting after I cut them, and I don't think its the scissors because my real ends don't do that after I trim. Also, my growth has slowed lately and I wonder if its due to this damage. I'm going to try to S&D some more. Maybe if I can just get a solid chunk of time to work on it and figure out a method that works for me (I've tried all the ways I've read about of bending and twisting and I seem to really almost have to go hair by hair.), maybe I can get it under control. But I will probably do a trim too. I may start with a couple inches and re-evaluate. Maybe I can salvage some. In general, I'm a big fan of quality over quantity because my hair feels better healthy. But, dang it. I'm almost to tailbone and it's finally starting to feel long. I really don't want to cut back to waist, but that's about where I think the damage starts. Stupid chlorine. It really seemed like it was going to be ok at first, but as time goes on more damage is showing up.:rant:

flutterbudget
March 2nd, 2010, 04:30 PM
Also, I've always been a cone user, but I was starting to have a lot of dryness which I decided might be a combination of our really hard water, really dry air, and cones blocking out moisture. So I clarified, got a shower filter and a humidifier, and did a bunch of SMT's. It started to feel much better and I noticed I was shedding a lot less. So I've continued to stay off cones and SLS (for a little over two weeks now). I do not think the damage was "hiding" under the cones because I could already see it, and was already beginning to really worry that I'd have to cut. But do you think my going off cones could be making it worse? I've been deep conditioning and oiling instead , and did my first henna gloss (I gave up chem dye after the incident), and other than the split end problem, I think it actually feels softer and much less dry. :confused:

little_acorn
March 2nd, 2010, 04:30 PM
I can understand your frustration (I have 2 damaged sections at the front of my hair from dying that I'm growing out and I have to keep face framing layers until they grow out - they are totally split-tastic) - but S&D will eventually pay off if you have enough time to invest in it. Otherwise you can try a cut and baby the residual damaged area and keep cutting and babying until its gone.

MandyBeth
March 2nd, 2010, 04:45 PM
My hair I'm learning tolerates cones better than it tolerates life without cones. But the cone-free diet didn't make my hair split more, it made the splits the cones were gluing together sort of show up.

Can you kind of "shake" the layers out? Like hold the ends of your hair that isn't damaged and shake the hair a little till the damaged shorter sections fall out. Then take a "group" of the damaged hair and trim the ends. Not sure how it'd work with 1a hair tho, my sister who does that has about 3b hair so the curls hide quite a few levels happily.

I think Nightshade (?) has an article on growing out damaged hair. Basically, you have to know how much your hair grows a month, and trim less than that amount on a regular basis. But I don't know how that'd work with damage up higher.

FrannyG
March 2nd, 2010, 05:09 PM
Well, realistically, I'm afraid cutting may be necessary. I think the damage is getting worse, more splits are showing up all the time. I think some of them may be re-splitting after I cut them, and I don't think its the scissors because my real ends don't do that after I trim. Also, my growth has slowed lately and I wonder if its due to this damage. I'm going to try to S&D some more. Maybe if I can just get a solid chunk of time to work on it and figure out a method that works for me (I've tried all the ways I've read about of bending and twisting and I seem to really almost have to go hair by hair.), maybe I can get it under control. But I will probably do a trim too. I may start with a couple inches and re-evaluate. Maybe I can salvage some. In general, I'm a big fan of quality over quantity because my hair feels better healthy. But, dang it. I'm almost to tailbone and it's finally starting to feel long. I really don't want to cut back to waist, but that's about where I think the damage starts. Stupid chlorine. It really seemed like it was going to be ok at first, but as time goes on more damage is showing up.:rant:

The key that jumped out at me was when you said that your growth has slowed lately. This happened to my daughter when she was growing out a body perm. Her hair stayed just above waist length for well over a full year without a trim. This was completely due to her ends breaking. She cut her hair back to below the damage and she was at waist length and longer with beautiful ends in no time.

I know the pain of having to cut damage. I've had to do it 3 times since I've joined here due to my own foolishness. :o Yet, I'll admit that I'm happier with my hair shorter and healthier than longer and badly damaged.

Fortunately, you won't have to cut your hair anywhere near as short as mine, should you decide to do it. :)

Nightshade
March 3rd, 2010, 08:45 AM
I think Nightshade (?) has an article on growing out damaged hair. Basically, you have to know how much your hair grows a month, and trim less than that amount on a regular basis. But I don't know how that'd work with damage up higher.

That aforementioned article is in my siggy :flowers: The short version is lots of moisture, frequent micro-trims and S&D. :)

IcarusBride
March 4th, 2010, 03:36 AM
I have no advice, but my heart goes out to you! I've been fighting with split ends my whole life. I hope you work it out and don't have to cut :(

Igor
March 4th, 2010, 04:09 AM
Maybe you can use a modified George Michael method. His end-snipping is done by grabbing a little section at the time and twisting it until the ends pop out of the section, sort of like a pipe cleaner, then snipping all the ends poking out. It’s not the most thorough method and you will snip some healthy ends as well, but it’s a lot faster than the individual snipping and it will get rid of a lot of the damage fairly quick. You can always do a regular S&D& later

Edit: Adding Link (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=146)

flutterbudget
March 4th, 2010, 10:39 AM
That aforementioned article is in my siggy :flowers: The short version is lots of moisture, frequent micro-trims and S&D. :)

Thanks! Its a great article. I had read it when I first joined, but it never hurts to read again.


Maybe you can use a modified George Michael method. His end-snipping is done by grabbing a little section at the time and twisting it until the ends pop out of the section, sort of like a pipe cleaner, then snipping all the ends poking out. Itís not the most thorough method and you will snip some healthy ends as well, but itís a lot faster than the individual snipping and it will get rid of a lot of the damage fairly quick. You can always do a regular S&D& later

Edit: Adding Link (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=146)

Thanks so much for the link. Maybe it will help me get this method to work right.

GoddesJourney
March 4th, 2010, 11:13 AM
Have somebody you trust "freshen up" your old layers so you can get the bad parts trimmed at least once. I wish I had thought of this before I cut mine off. Anyway, keep up with regular trims and you'll get there eventually. I would say 1/8 to 1/4" trims on the layers and 1/4 to 1/2" trims on the length to eventually rid yourself of the damaged layers while still have tolerable layer ends in the process.

flutterbudget
March 4th, 2010, 01:34 PM
Have somebody you trust "freshen up" your old layers so you can get the bad parts trimmed at least once. I wish I had thought of this before I cut mine off. Anyway, keep up with regular trims and you'll get there eventually. I would say 1/8 to 1/4" trims on the layers and 1/4 to 1/2" trims on the length to eventually rid yourself of the damaged layers while still have tolerable layer ends in the process.

There aren't layers anymore. Just random lengths left from thinning shears. :o

Sissy
March 6th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Sissy and little_acorn, can you guys describe how you do the twist trim thing? Do you twist small sections, or larger ones? Do you twist tightly or loosely? Are there any tricks to it that make it work better for you? It seems like it should work for me, but maybe I'm not doing something right. Thanks!

Hi,
I twist larger sections and loosely. I'm not saying it works to find ALL the splits, but some of them seem to pop right up and then it's easy to trim them :)

Also, sometimes I think I see a split but before I snip I make a careful inspection as sometimes I find it's not really a split it's just two hairs laying together! We wouldn't want to trim off perfectly healthy hair!

Sara_1987
March 11th, 2010, 04:56 AM
When driving, I have been known to put the strand in my mouth so that I can cut it when I get home if it is particularly bad, like one of those split level splits. Admittedly I'm mostly driving around where I live so I only have to put up with hair in my mouth for about 5 minutes.

Juliette

hahaha. I've actually done this too! And then I run into the house to find a pair of scissors!

I got layers cut in my hair yesterday and I love it, but I'm afraid now S&Ding will be even more of a pain...

flutterbudget
March 12th, 2010, 12:54 PM
Well, after much deliberation, I decided a trim was the best thing. I decided to make it a possitive change. I also had some darker color build up on the lower lengths from years of chem dye which had been bugging me. So I decided if I was going to give up some length I might as well be as happy with it as I could.

I got brave and colorfixed out a lot of the old dark dye, did a second henna/cassia gloss, and cut about three inches. I feel like it made quite a difference and the split ends seem less overwhelming. I'm still on the fence whether I might need to trim another inch. Also, I'm happier with the color. It does feel shorter, but I love how thick and blunt my ends always are after a noticable trim.

I've got a couple after pics in my album. (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=4410)