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x0h_bother
April 19th, 2010, 06:59 PM
I find myself untangling the ends of my hair with my fingers every day all day. I don't like how "protective" hairstyles look on my head, so I tend to not, even when I am at home. Cones help to not have me pull out my hair when I untangle, and make my hair more manageable, but I don't like to use them a lot. I dont really want to stop, because I find it enjoyable to comb through my hair, but I know everyone around me gets annoyed by it.
I have a few questions:

-Does anyone else do this ALL THE TIME?
-Is it bad for my hair, how is it damaging?
-What is the science behind the damage?
-Has anyone done anything that helped them stop doing it?

:ponder:

lundmir
April 19th, 2010, 07:19 PM
I do this too all the time, hopefully someone will enlighten us.

XJawbreaker
April 19th, 2010, 07:30 PM
I do this all the time too.
My mom tells me it is going to make my hair fall out.
But i highly doubt it.

Rivanariko
April 19th, 2010, 08:07 PM
I think some of the damage comes just from the fact that you're combing through your hair, and if you're not super careful and have finer hair, then you're going to get breakage.
Maybe the oils from your skin might also affect it? I'm not sure.

I do this a lot too, though I try to be really careful since my hair is super-fine. I keep myself from it by braiding my hair, but if you don't like wearing your hair up or back :shrug:

x0h_bother
April 19th, 2010, 08:11 PM
This archived thread addresses it http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=75990
but I don't know if untangling it is bad for it. ??

Kristin
April 19th, 2010, 08:22 PM
I do that , too. One of the reasons I wear my hair up more now.

tokidokichi
April 19th, 2010, 08:31 PM
I do this too, I have split damaged ends. I know it is causing my hair even more damage because near the ends of my hair my fingers will get stuck, then I have to peel my hair apart or it breaks off -_- So whenever I catch myself doing it I stop and put my hands in my lap!

Das Siechtum
April 19th, 2010, 08:41 PM
I just brush trough them beginning at the ends working my way up. Then I either braid my hair or make bun. It is just normal that wwaring your hair down entangles your hair. (Well, for me it does.)

spidermom
April 19th, 2010, 09:26 PM
Wearing your hair down exposes it to more wear and tear than wearing it up, but I don't think that running your fingers through it in and of itself is all that damaging, although like tokidokichi mentions, you're going to find yourself either breaking through snarls or having to pull strands apart.

I am one of those persons who find it distracting when I'm around somebody who continually plays with her (or his) hair. I mentally see shed hairs flying everywhere and so forth. In your own home is one thing, but in the workplace or somebody else's home, I think it would be inappropriate.

hendrix.co
April 19th, 2010, 09:50 PM
I am one of those persons who find it distracting when I'm around somebody who continually plays with her (or his) hair. I mentally see shed hairs flying everywhere and so forth. In your own home is one thing, but in the workplace or somebody else's home, I think it would be inappropriate.

I'm with spidermom on this. I can see the breakage and it makes me cringe. I just think of all the lovely ladies on here and I can keep my fingers out of my hair....mostly.

sarah061
April 19th, 2010, 10:44 PM
I'm always finger combing my wavy hair. I feel like it prevents damage because it doesn't let serious snarls happen. Before LHC I would ignore my hair and not comb/brush it for weeks and I would get what could only be described as dread locks. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't have any tangleys if I put my hair up or in braids more often.

Nastasia
April 19th, 2010, 10:47 PM
I play with my hair a lot when I leave it down, which is one of the reasons why I try to put it away as much as possible. I also have this problem with braids, though. I keep playing with the end!

countryhopper
April 20th, 2010, 07:08 AM
I wear protective updos and braids to protect my hair from myself!

I have stringy hair, so when it is down I always want to comb through it so it doesn't look so...clumpy. I know it's not good to brush so often, so keeping it up up keeps me from touching, combing, and handling too much (which leads to breakage, more shed hairs, etc)

I used to love to backcomb my hair because I felt that my hair didn't look good in it's own natural (flat) state. But I've gotten used to leaving it natural for the good of my hair. Maybe you will get used to wearing updos and not feel so self-conscious about them?

myrrhmaiden
April 20th, 2010, 07:25 AM
I am always touching/playing with mine. I do it without even thinking. I have restless hands. They need something to fiddle with. They will find something - anything! whether I am paying attention or not. I'm not sure I can stop. I'm not even sure I want to/need to. People likely notice it, and then think what they will about it. I can see how it might be distracting too. I guess I don't really care if it bothers them or not. It's a comfort to me.

SunDreamer76
April 20th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Wearing your hair down exposes it to more wear and tear than wearing it up, but I don't think that running your fingers through it in and of itself is all that damaging, although like tokidokichi mentions, you're going to find yourself either breaking through snarls or having to pull strands apart.

I am one of those persons who find it distracting when I'm around somebody who continually plays with her (or his) hair. I mentally see shed hairs flying everywhere and so forth. In your own home is one thing, but in the workplace or somebody else's home, I think it would be inappropriate.

I'm glad someone else said this (last paragraph) -- that's EXACTLY what I was thinking when I read the first post in this thread. Playing with your hair in public, to me, is akin to biting your nails or chewing with your mouth open... it's a no-no and something my grandmother would chastise you for doing! ;) With that said, I LOVE to play with my hair and I love someone else to do it even more... just not in public.

Esme51
April 20th, 2010, 08:12 AM
I agree with Spidermom. The funny thing is I have just decided to stop touching my hair in public about a week ago. An acquaintance stopped to speak to me recently and she couldn't stop playing with her hair the whole time I was talking to her, it was almost like a nervous tick and very unsettling to watch.

After that, I decided I would only touch my hair at home. Of course after I made my resolution I began to notice how many people actually have this habit. I don't even think they are aware of what they are doing. I certainly wasn't until last week.

Sunny_side_up
April 20th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Thats why i have my hair up more, ive had my hair down in the past while at the coast and after a windy day on the beach the tangles are horrid, i could hear breakage while running my hands through it and using brushes, thats thinking back to when i wasn't so kind to the hair. Nowadays its up and out the way and i try not to pay it too much attention allday everyday:D.

x0h_bother
April 20th, 2010, 01:38 PM
Thanks for your dittos and no-nos to this habit LHCers. I am a counselor and I try to wear my hair up when with clients because I know how I get distracted with my hair and subsequently they do. But you are right countryhopper, I do need to wear protective updos of some sort to help prevent this.
Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts, or my tiredness, forget others are around me, and detangle.
Myrrhmaiden, it's pleasant to me too.
Like tokidokichi, I did some Cognitive Behavior Therapy with myself today in the car and have touched it less ;o). I might break myself of the habit, I been able to stop biting my nails so far, so we'll see.

Nae
April 20th, 2010, 01:55 PM
I admit, when I am tired I twirl. Oh I try not to but this is a habit I have had since babydom. I put my hair up now anymore because I don't want to cause damage. Feeling tired now lol, would love to take my hair down but I know that my hands would be in it in a minute. When I am awake there is no compulsion to twirl. Weird, it must be a self comforting thing that I did as a babe.

Ravenne
April 20th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Mm. I definitely do this. When it's down, in a ponytail and with the tassel of braids. Usually I just take a bit of it and run my fingers down the last two or 3 inches again and again. Not fingercombing, just pulling the ends through two fingers.

I try not to, but it's a comforting habit. Happens a lot in classes/situations that make me nervous.

guccixx
April 20th, 2010, 02:45 PM
LOL I do this allllll the time. I think it's pretty damaging but I just. can't. stop. Plus I feel that I keep my hair long so that I can enjoy wearing it down and playing with it.

proo
April 20th, 2010, 03:04 PM
it's called preening, it's described on the sebum only thread
i love doing it at home; soothing and meditative
of course i'm careful, it does help distribute the oil

FrannyG
April 20th, 2010, 03:09 PM
I am another who constantly touches my hair when I wear it down (not when I'm out though). For this reason, when I'm home, I keep it up and out of the way.

Oskimosa
April 20th, 2010, 04:21 PM
Thanks for your dittos and no-nos to this habit LHCers. I am a counselor and I try to wear my hair up when with clients because I know how I get distracted with my hair and subsequently they do. But you are right countryhopper, I do need to wear protective updos of some sort to help prevent this.
Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts, or my tiredness, forget others are around me, and detangle.
Myrrhmaiden, it's pleasant to me too.
Like tokidokichi, I did some Cognitive Behavior Therapy with myself today in the car and have touched it less ;o). I might break myself of the habit, I been able to stop biting my nails so far, so we'll see.

Ahhhh yes I can see why as a COUNSELOR you'd not want to be doing something of a nervous habit in front of clients! ;)

I wear my hair down because I enjoy it. I touch it alot. If touching is damaging, I will live with damage. If I can't live with damage, I'll cut my hair off. Simple. I'm not growing my hair out to cage it off from myself. I don't enjoy updos much. We don't all grow for the same reason, that's mine. :)

Ravenne
April 20th, 2010, 04:28 PM
I wear my hair down because I enjoy it. I touch it alot. If touching is damaging, I will live with damage. If I can't live with damage, I'll cut my hair off. Simple. I'm not growing my hair out to cage it off from myself. I don't enjoy updos much. We don't all grow for the same reason, that's mine. :)

It's a perfectly valid reason. There's no point in growing out long hair if you can't personally enjoy it. And I must say, your hair looks anything but damaged. I adore your color! :D

IcarusBride
April 21st, 2010, 01:59 AM
I put my hair up, even though it looks ugly, because I do this too. If it's down I will CONSTANTLY be 'playing' with it, just running my fingers through to get out tangles/shed hairs.

x0h_bother
April 21st, 2010, 11:17 AM
I put my hair up, even though it looks ugly, because I do this too. If it's down I will CONSTANTLY be 'playing' with it, just running my fingers through to get out tangles/shed hairs.
I wonder if we create more shedding :confused:

Oskimosa
April 21st, 2010, 11:44 AM
It's a perfectly valid reason. There's no point in growing out long hair if you can't personally enjoy it. And I must say, your hair looks anything but damaged. I adore your color! :D

Thank you, you're so sweet!! :) I do have some heat damage on my ends. But it's not too visible from afar.

x0h_bother
February 28th, 2011, 10:04 PM
I still do this with the ends and it's gotten worse. Ends are white dot im sure the detanging is contributing. I really want to stop, save for S&D sessions. I wear my hair half up which helps but I have layers and don't look good in buns/ponys. *sigh* more CBT and self-care I guess.

HintOfMint
February 28th, 2011, 11:34 PM
My fingers are constantly in my hair. It's part comfort/part nervous habit. When I'm having an uncomfortable conversation, my hands just dig in and before I know it, I've braided and rebraided and rebraided my hair.

gthlvrmx
February 28th, 2011, 11:39 PM
I actually noticed my hair was more split and got more split when i played with it more and tried to detangle, but it was down as well. The more i just wore it in a bun rather than a braid, the less damage was done. I thought i read somewhere that playing with the ends makes it drier but im not sure.

sycamoreboutiqu
March 1st, 2011, 01:13 AM
I remember being happy when my hair was approaching waist that I could now comfortably "twirl" a strand without having to hold my arm up. Been twirling since childhood and really try to curb the urge in public - it is a habit that really looks like a throwback to childhood, very much like thumb-sucking.
I do notice it is more frequent when quietly thinking about something, or worrying.

Keeping the hair braided or up has really curbed the habit and I almost never do it now (though writing about it is making the urge come back ... lol ).

julliams
March 1st, 2011, 02:25 AM
I am certain that the damage I have comes from "detangling" with my fingers. I don't mean to rip through but I'm certain that's what's happening.

QMacrocarpa
March 1st, 2011, 09:31 AM
I'm not sure whether I do this much, my hair is usually up and out of the way. A couple of thoughts though:

If you want to wear your hair up to curb this habit, but don't like the way it looks when it's not down, what about wearing it in two French braids? When I do that (rarely, because I find it tricky and haven't practiced enough for it to get easier) I find that I enjoy having my hair more visible from the front (compared to an updo or single braid), but it's still behind my shoulders and out of the way. Maybe this would let you not feel totally "scraped-back" while still keeping your hair somewhat out of the way of wandering hands.

I find that what I think looks good on me is influenced by what I'm used to. Wearing updo's has gotten easier as I've gotten used to how I look with an updo. So you might think of updo's as something to try out now and then, say when you're home alone, to see if you grow accustomed to the look.

SpinDance
March 1st, 2011, 10:04 AM
I find myself finger combing to catch shed hairs before they cause a snarl when I'm pondering things. I don't usually do it when I'm out and about, mostly when I'm sitting at my desk working out a problem. Because it isn't an interference in my work, I keep a pair of hair scissors in a leather sheath in my bag, and get them out when I'm at the computer. When I find myself finger combing and feel any roughness or catching I just snip out the offending damage that is causing the problem. I find if I keep the scissors handy and do regular micro trims I am getting out more and more of the old dye damage leaving me with healthier hair overall.

Not keeping it combed (finger or otherwise) on the days it is loose (wash day) it ends up looking straggly. If I find myself doing too much S&D I just put it up and get on with things.

luxepiggy
March 1st, 2011, 11:33 AM
I run my fingers through my hair (which is usually down) very frequently, but I fingercomb exclusively, so I figure the lack of any kind of comb- or brush-induced mechanical damage more than offsets the impact (^(oo)^)

EmmyNemmy
March 2nd, 2011, 04:36 PM
Oh golly, I do this too.
It annoys my boyfriend horribly, so at least when he's around he keeps my bad habits in check. :)

fairystar32
March 2nd, 2011, 04:39 PM
I always do it, I LOVE having my hair messed with and the kids sit for hours playing with it (whoops):o

annieangel149
March 2nd, 2011, 04:56 PM
I remember being happy when my hair was approaching waist that I could now comfortably "twirl" a strand without having to hold my arm up. Been twirling since childhood and really try to curb the urge in public - it is a habit that really looks like a throwback to childhood, very much like thumb-sucking.
I do notice it is more frequent when quietly thinking about something, or worrying.

Keeping the hair braided or up has really curbed the habit and I almost never do it now (though writing about it is making the urge come back ... lol ).


oh yes! i have become quite concerned about doing the twirling my fingers round my hair thing! every time my hair gets long the habits of childhood return!
ARGHHHH! :( :rolleyes: i think i need to start putting my hair up more now that its going passed shoulder length!