View Full Version : Hello :) New girl asking questions :)

July 14th, 2010, 11:33 AM
I am just getting started on really getting serious about taking care of my hair. I've been doing my best and trying different things, but nothing seems to be really helping.

Here is my hair currently:

I have a decent amount of wave in my hair. I can get it almost curly if I follow some of the Curly Girl rules, but it doesn't last long.

I have a lot of breakage going on, as well as just not so healthy hair in general, presumably from having a lot of children close together. My overall diet is...reasonable ;)

For washing, I have been doing a small amount of shampoo on my bangs, and tons of conditioner on my hair below my ears. This seems to be working for the most part, but I feel like I could do better.

I have tried doing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar rinses, and that was alright for a while, but it didn't really work out too well in the long run.

I feel like I lose a lot of hair, just during the day, brushing, washing, etc. Whether it's more than normal or not, I don't know. It just 'seems' like a lot. I've been like that for a long time, pretty much since I've been having children.

So if you all could help me find the right threads to read about various ways of caring for my hair, or give me any tips on how to care for it, I would really appreciate it. Before now, I've never had my hair much past my shoulders, and usually chopped it to chin length whenever it got that long. I am not used to this. I always have my hair up since it just tends to bug me from getting frizzy or in my face or falling out everywhere, but I am really, really trying hard this time. I know it will make my hubby happy for him to see it long, which will make me happy too.

Fwiw, my mom had waist length hair for most of my childhood, and I would like to shoot for that length if I can :)

July 14th, 2010, 12:11 PM
What is it exactly you want to fix? If you don't have any major problems, patience is pretty much key. By the way, there is an articles section (top bar) and it's got a load of really great articles about general haircare, like this one (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79) from Nightshade, which is always a godsend if you've damaged your hair a little (or a lot).

Jenn of Pence
July 14th, 2010, 12:27 PM
Welcome! You have really nice color and nice waves! One thing you might like is some new updos; you said you wear it up a bit, and it could give you a fresh look while keeping your hair out of the way. There's a whole section on hairstyles in the articles (I'm still figuring out how to do most of them myself ;)).

July 14th, 2010, 12:39 PM
Like Ranch, I'm not clear on specifically what's bothering you, just that you're generally not pleased with the hair. Damage, of course, takes time to grow out, and protecting hair from future damage is generally key.

Personally, I'm not a fan of baking soda in hair. I know it works for some people, but for many it seems really harsh.

Have you tried any deep treatments, like an SMT (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128)? That's a fave of mine, and it tends to result in hair that feels much better almost instantly. (Just be sure to keep it from drying out when it's on your head, and rinse it out well....)

July 14th, 2010, 01:15 PM
I like your waves and hair color! :)

I'm not sure what the baking soda/vinegar rinse is for? I have used baking soda in the past to strip hair (it opens the cuticle and strips medication/chlorine from the hair). So, I would consider it alkaline. Hair will be dry after using it.Vinegar is acidic, so it closes the cuticle, making hair shiny because of smooth cuticles.

On the PH scale, our hair is 4.5-5.5, so our hair is naturally acidic...baking soda could be damaging your hair!

I am new here as well, so not claiming to know it all, just have experience as a hairdresser for 18 years and don't understand what the mixture is suppose to do for your hair? I am learning from you guys as well ;)

July 14th, 2010, 01:59 PM
For some reason I'm not getting notifications about comments, so I'll have to look into that...I'm not ignoring anyone though :)

As for what I'm looking for, I want to reduce breakage and if possible slow down the amount of hair that falls out every day.

I know it would probably help to stop using rubberbands all the time, as they just slip out anyway and I spend most of my day just putting it back up. I do use little claw clips sometimes to pile my hair on top of my head, but it only works when my hair is wet and I pretty much only shower at night (once all the kids are safe in bed), and I don't like sleeping on them, lol :)

I tried the baking soda/acv because someone said it worked better for their hair than shampoo/conditioner. I figured it was worth trying. I wouldn't necessarily say it dried my hair out, but I just didn't like the effect of it.

What can I do to protect from future damage, as well as make my hair stronger?

I tried doing a few hours with coconut oil on my hair a few days ago, and I can still feel the good effects of that, so I'll probably do it again tonight or tomorrow and see how that does long term. I love coconut oil for so many uses, so using it in my hair doesn't seem strange to me :)

Oh, and for keeping it up.... I am having surgery next week on my arm thanks to a compressed nerve and a huge loss of strength and feeling, so updo's aren't really something I'll be able to do for a while. Possibly a few months from the sounds of it. I might be able to convince hubby to help with a few things, but not much ;) Maybe I should teach him to braid it? :D

And thanks for the compliments on the color. It's taken a long time, but I finally love my color. I don't think the picture does it justice though, so I'll have to work on getting better pictures of it up some day. I might have a few on the computer so I'll dig around and see what I can find.

Overall, I just want to know what I can do to take the best care of my hair. I've no trouble embracing my waves, they're actually new to me (I think the kids did it to me ;) ), and I really like them. However, I am not the type of person that likes to spend a lot of time on my hair. I've never been the type to spend time styling it, it just takes too much time, which is usually time that my kids take to get into trouble. I rarely blow dry my hair, maybe once a year or so at the most. I hate blow dryers, and usually end up getting my hair sucked into the motor somehow. I don't really know how I manage it, but it hurts. So I avoid it.

So anyway, hopefully that clears up what I'm after. Like I said, I'm really new to this whole idea, but I've wanted healthier hair again for a long time. It's sooooo tempting to cut my hair off and start over, but it's taken me 2 1/2 years to go from chin length to bra strap length, and I don't want to wait that long again :)

July 14th, 2010, 02:24 PM
Oiling your hair before every wash might work for you. Just put some on your length (from the nape down or where the damage begins) an hour or so before washing. You didn't say how and how often you shampoo but in case you don't know, you don't need to shampoo the lengths and it's better to wash only once it gets greasy instead of every day. For some people even getting hair wet can cause dryness (and thus also breakage) so maybe you can get a shower cap. Adding a claw clip to your hairband shouldn't cause much breakage but as always, you should change the placement often.

For when you go to the hospital it would be a good idea to contain your hair semi-permanently. I have an at least week-long stay in the hospital planned as well and I am going to have my hair in a braid with tailsocks (they are talked about in this thread http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=20880&highlight=socks ). Those things can hold for days.

I hope that helps. :)

July 14th, 2010, 02:36 PM
Lol, I keep forgetting to add little details :)

I only use a small amount of shampoo on the very top of my head, and only after I condition. I did learn that much from Curly Girl and liked the results. I get greasy if I don't use the tiny bit of shampoo though, so that works for me. At this point I do it pretty much daily, occasionally I'll go a day in between showering due to time etc.

I am planning on getting a crown french braid the morning of or the evening before my surgery. I need to find some plastic bobby pins though, since I can't have anything metal.

I haven't been brave enough to try doing the oil every day yet, but it's certainly a thought. I need to get around to that for today though :) If I don't do it soon I won't get around to it :)

July 14th, 2010, 03:24 PM
I don't know if this will help or not, but here's a closeup of the front of my hair. The color still isn't "right", but we have terrible lighting here so I did my best with adjusting the brightness. It looks like I have a lot of gray hair, but I really don't :) Not a one :D


Hopefully that might give a better idea of the layers I've got going on. I have a lot of different layers of breakage, waves, etc.

I did just oil my hair, so we'll see how it looks again tonight. I noticed it was so much easier to brush or comb my hair the last few days, which was nice :)

July 14th, 2010, 04:27 PM
Welcome! It sounds like you've come to the right place. :) It sounds like you have 2 basic concerns. First that you may be loosing too much hair each day, and second that you aren't sure how to improve the condition.

For the first, it is normal to loose, on average, 100 hairs. I don't count, but it seems that some days more fall out than others, but that could be due to wearing my hair up most of the time, so they can only really come out when I loosen it.

If you haven't already, read the beginning instructions, then after a few months read them again. I plan to go back through them in another few months yet again, so I can catch even more things I missed or misunderstood the first couple times through. I've been here just over a year, and have been seeing continuous, if somewhat slow and sporadic, changes in the condition of my hair during that time. I'm getting more shine and less frizz, but I think I still have more improvement. Hope so, anyway!

Good luck with your journey and progress.

July 14th, 2010, 04:53 PM
Hmmm.... I had heard at some point that you were only supposed to lose about 20 hairs a day, and I can get that just by running my fingers through my hair. I don't remember where I read that, but I'm guessing it's a little off. Makes a little more sense if it is 100 hairs a day.

I read through a few articles today, and plan on reading lots more over the next few weeks as much as I'm able to. I'm on a friend's computer so I'm emailing myself all the good links until we can get our own computer working right again :) Lol, hubby needs to stop trying to fix other people's computers, every time he does something happens to ours :P

July 14th, 2010, 04:55 PM
Hmmm.... I had heard at some point that you were only supposed to lose about 20 hairs a day, and I can get that just by running my fingers through my hair. I don't remember where I read that, but I'm guessing it's a little off. Makes a little more sense if it is 100 hairs a day.

100-150 hairs a day and more noticeable when you have longer hair ;)

July 14th, 2010, 05:01 PM
100-150 hairs a day and more noticeable when you have longer hair ;)

Lol, well that makes a bit more sense then :) I don't know if I lose that much, but definitely more than 20 ;)

July 14th, 2010, 05:12 PM
Check out your local dollar store for some great alternatives to rubberbands! There are some wonderful ponytail elastics nowadays that are fabric covered and have no metal parts, that also have alot of 'grippiness' to them, and hold up a ponytail all day quite well!

July 14th, 2010, 05:38 PM
I'm new here as well, so I defer to those who are more knowledgable. However, I learned to use a comb instead of a brush, and I lose alot less hair and no breakage. Simply treating my hair gently, combing instead of brushing, and reducing manipulation/friction was a good start for me. BTW, your color is great and I love your waves. Good luck.

July 14th, 2010, 08:09 PM
Combing vs. brushing doesn't "seem" to make much difference for me, though I do notice it's a lot worse if I comb when it's wet. Even finger combing produces bad results. That will be difficult for me to give up though :)

I am planning on buying one of the wooden combs I saw suggested here, and hopefully that will help. I really love a good brushing though, so I'm not sure yet what I will do in the end there. I'm going to look for a wider brush though, hopefully something a little better for my hair. Boar bristles can't get through my thick hair, and only seem to touch the very top layer, which doesn't do it for me. I don't know if it's the waves or what. Hard to say.

I love all the information here though, and can't wait to sift through more of the articles.

July 14th, 2010, 08:36 PM
I wear Flexi-8s (http://www.flexi8.com) all the time, except when washing my hair. I have spent several months with my left arm unable to move to full range, because of falling four times, twice on ice. As soon as I could move my upper arm a little bit (the shoulder joint was immobilized, the elbow had full strength), I could make my usual updo (a sort of two-sided bun with dangling soft tassel) by bending the head down so that I could reach the right ear with my left hand, then using the right to manipulate the Flexi and the left to hold it or the hair. Flexis hold for days, so you could put it up one day and not worry about contorting your arm to do your hair for the next three days.

July 15th, 2010, 06:37 AM
I'm only a newbie, but my hair looks frightening like yours, only blonder and a bit longer!

I've also had 3 babies in 3 1/2 years, and I think that slowed my growth right down.

Since joining LHC and really committing to long hair, I haven't touched my GHD's (and I miss them so), have been doing CWC and trying to keep my hair up and away as much as possible. I have never really been a brusher, but when I do I am very gentle and work my way up.

I think the hardest bit about growing your hair is that it is a time intensive process. It takes so long to see any results, especially if you have a lot of growing to get to your goal. You've definitely come to the right place!

July 15th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Where do you find Flexi-8's? Those look interesting :)

July 15th, 2010, 07:29 AM

I Love My Flexi's! I love other hair sticks & forks as well, but the Flexi's are simple, secure and pretty. Different sizes work for different styles.

You mentioned finding a wooden comb. Check out horn as well. There are quite a few available now. Etsy has several vendors that carry them. I've had very good service from quecraft.

July 15th, 2010, 09:58 AM
Oh my gosh, I looked at quecraft's site.... Those are absolutely stunning! I am shocked at how low the price is too. Truly gorgeous. I am really going to have to behave myself ;)

July 15th, 2010, 10:13 AM
I'm a naughty girl :D I just bought this comb, it is gorgeous. I saved about a dozen other ones too, so I will be making some purchases over the next few months hopefully :)