View Full Version : Help - My hair is sooo thirsty!!!

September 8th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Im on a hunt for moisturizing shampoo/conditioners? Ive tried several & havent noticed improvement in my hairs appearance or texture. Im growing out semi permanent hair color (I colored every 4-6 weeks for 6 years & recently stopped)

My roots & the hair around my ear area is very very dry, frizzy, and a totally different texture than the rest of my hair - its gray too! It actually looks like I fried it . I havent had heat or color on my hair for at least 6 weeks. The rest of my hair is dull and feels like a horses tail. Growing this color out is testing my patience!

I shampoo 2 times a week. I use a deep condition (Aussie 3 Min Miracle) when I shampoo. I use a leave in conditioner. I use a protein 1-2 times per month. No heat - no styling products!

Shampoo/conditioner products specifically designed for dry hair do not seem to penetrate my hair - it doesnt seem to matter what I do?

I recently tried John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo & Condition - it dried my hair out even more!
I switched to Herbal Essence Hydralicious Reconditioning Shampoo & Condition - after one use my scalp is itchy!

Help - Advice Please!:confused:

September 8th, 2010, 11:00 AM
Maybe you should try oiling? And/or a different washing routine, like CO or WO? Finding the right oil for your hair usually helps alot! Jojoba and coconut oil are two common ones, and I find them both to help my hair keeping moisturized and shiny.

September 8th, 2010, 11:12 AM
I would try oiling (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=71), too. My hair has been incredibly thirsty too and I lightly oil after a shower while m hair is still fairly damp. This helps your hair retain moisture and protein.

What about an SMT (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128) or Fox's shea butter conditioner (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=4586)?

Just to agree with Konstifik, I would also look into Conditioner only washing (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=18) or even the hybrid wash (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=97). Maybe you're overloading your hair with protein....I only use protien once a month (when I henna.)

September 8th, 2010, 11:13 AM
As far as products, plenty of people on this site use really cheap shampoo and conditioner--VO5 and Suave are very popular. It doesn't have to be fancy to work.

The favorite moisture treatment around here is called SMT, or Snowymoon's Moisture Treatment. Here's the thread that discusses it:


Good luck!

[ETA: I would also skip the leave-in, if I were you. I've found them to be a waste of money, and since they are almost universally cone-heavy, they didn't agree with my hair. It became drier the more I used them. When I compared the ingredients of leave-in conditioners and regular conditioners, they were for the most part the same. Find a conditioner that agrees with you and use that as your leave-in, or else try aloe vera gel, coconut oil, and so on.]

September 8th, 2010, 11:15 AM
What about CWC? You can use your existing products, and it's a good first step. It's described here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=39), and there's lots of other good advice in that article.

Oiling also helps many people, here's (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=71) an article about that. If your roots in particular are dry, a pre-wash scalp oiling may help you; I like to massage my scalp with oils the night before a morning wash.

You'll find lots of different washing methods and deep treatments here, welcome to LHC!

September 8th, 2010, 11:16 AM
I'll agree here and say oiling may work wonders for your thirsty hair.

You could do a full oil treatment, covering your ends (up to your ears) in oil (I like coconut or almond) and letting it sit a few hours until you shower. I learned from Little Cherry that conditioner helps get oil out, so slob on a bunch of conditioner at the start of your shower and then do your usual stuff and rinse your hair out really well at the end of your shower (at least 5 minutes). I always rinse with cold water - as cold as I can stand. It helps the hair shaft to close and maintain moisture rather than remain open and lose moisture.

September 8th, 2010, 11:20 AM
I love generic Paul Mitchell from Sally's Beauty supply for soothing my hair when it seems thirsty. LOVE the stuff, and a little goes a long way! It combats even my worst frizz flair ups.

September 8th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Something that I just remembered...
Build up causes the hair to become lank, dry and thirsty. This can be caused by cones, conditioner, oil and butters..I suggest using a clarifying shampoo followed by a nice long SMT session. If you like using cones/conditioner/oils/butters, it is essential one clarifies every 1-2 months to remove build up.

My hair gets build up very easy since I CO, oil, use butters and the occasional cone.

September 8th, 2010, 11:28 AM
Shampoo/conditioner products specifically designed for dry hair do not seem to penetrate my hair - it doesnt seem to matter what I do?:

This comment made my wonder, maybe you need to clarify? When I get the feeling that nothing is pentrating my hair, it's usually because of build up. I know that for most people build up comes from products with silicones in (which is often the case of of products for dry hair- so check your labels!) but in my case it's hard water. I need to clarify often and use acid rinses to keep it under control

September 8th, 2010, 11:31 AM
The Aussie Three Minute Miracle moist deep conditioner works really well for me. It also smells really great. I've never dyed my hair though, so I'm not sure how that will affect the texture of the hair. Hope this helps! :)

September 8th, 2010, 11:53 AM
I had the same problem with really dry hair. I would put oil on it & the next day it was dry again.

I looked through all of my shampoo's looking to see which ones did NOT have alcohol in them & a LOT of them did. I tried using the shampoo's & cond. that was for moisturizing the hair that did not have alcohol in them & it has really helped my hair.
I used Sauve Professionals Almond & Shea butter shampoo (I already had it- got it as a mail freebee - but I did not get the cond. so for the cond. I used Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moist. condit.)
I put cond. on the ends, then the shampoo - rinsed all off & put cond. on again & rinsed again.
Hope it helps you also.

September 8th, 2010, 12:17 PM
Thank you for the great advice!! I have a lot of reading to do on this forum & sooo much to learn! Ive been pretty clueless!

I have never used oil on my hair before - something worth considering for my hair type!

I have been buying mid priced drug store hair products thinking that they were better than the cheapo's - I have a feeling the products Ive been using are full of alcohol and cones - possibly contributing to my dry frizzy hair?

Im going to clarify tonight & start Conditioning only from here on out!
Question about conditioning only: Do I ever use shampoo again - if so how often? Thanks
Also which clarifying shampoo & conditioners should I get?

Id like to continue use the 3MM - Ive always like that product!

September 8th, 2010, 12:21 PM
Hi :)
even with Conditioner only, it is best to clarify or use a shampoo with sulfates in them to remove buildup.

A word on alcohols: not all are drying..ceteryl alcohol found in conditioners is an emulsifying wax and is non drying..it is used to bind the oils and water in conditioners...rather moisturising too! :)

I think suave makes a nice clarifying shampoo. I clarify or shampoo once every month or two.

September 8th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Alaffia Hair Lotion. It has a lemongrass or lemon verbena scent if I remember correctly. It makes for a great leave in, although I've used in half and half with the banana stuff from the Body Shop as a DMT and it works wonders and smells delicious. I also used it on my moms hair, which is regularly chemically dyed. She loves the stuff.

September 8th, 2010, 12:44 PM
I'm gonna babble quite a bit here, and just give you my experience with recovering my own drydrydrydryDRY hair. I had a combination of natural dryness, some heat straightening, protein overload, too much shampoo and not enough conditioner, and my hair was so dry the tips were snapping off. :disgust:

I agree with everyone else - first off clarify your hair (you can use any sulfate shampoo that has no silicones - the Suave Naturals ones are cheap and 'cone free, and available in most stores for a dollar or less), then use a heavy conditioner with NO PROTEIN whatsoever in it. An SMT wouldn't be a bad idea.

Looking at your hair type, since you're M/C, using protein is probably not a good thing for you. Coarser hair strands already tend to have a lot of protein naturally, and adding more protein in a deep treatment or regular condish can turn your hair to straw.

The "bad alcohols" are ethanol, SD alcohol (sometimes followed by # 40), alcohol denat. or denatured alcohol, propanol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.
Things like cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, etc. are fatty alcohols that are moisturizing.

Silicones may or may not be a problem for you. If you use a condish/DT with a lot of silicone in it and don't shampoo much, you can get build up from them. Some people's hair can't handle silicone in any amount (mine included) whereas others NEED them to detangle their hair. And of course, you can always rotate between products are or are not 'cone free.

Conditioner Only washing is using only conditioner, usually a lighter one (Suave Naturals, V05, or White Rain are common) to wash all your hair. When you first start out, or if your scalp is particularly oily, you still might have to occasionally shampoo. You can always alternate CO washing with the CWC (Conditioner on the length, shampoo just on the roots, rinse all that out, then condition your hair again) method. It's not set in stone - you shampoo when you feel like your hair or scalp is gunky and needs it. :)

DEFINITELY try oiling. You can use any oil you can find locally - coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and extra virgin olive oil are my hairs favorites, just see what's available in the cooking aisle at your grocer. Try oiling dry hair (pre-wash) and wet hair (post-wash) to see what your hair likes the most (mine likes both!). You're also going to have to experiment with how much oil your hair can take... it might only like 5 drops, or it might like half a tablespoon.

Now I'm gonna recommend a few cheap protein/silicone free conditioners... of course, you don't have to use them but I think they will help. My favorites are Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (available in health food stores.... Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, etc) which I use as a DT and a leave in. It's a little expensive, but it lasts ages. The smell is also a little odd, very floral.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition is probably my favorite "all around" cheap conditioner that packs a lot of moisture. Available at Target, Walmart, pretty much anywhere.
Sally's Generic Value Product Conditioning Balm is a knock off of Biolage Conditioning balm for 1/4th the price. It's only available at Sally's Beauty Supply. I think there's also a Biolage knockoff at Walgreens, but I can't remember the name at the moment.
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture is actually the conditioner I use as a cowash... it works better for me than Suave/V05, but that can vary. It's also nice for the first conditioner in CWC.

Sorry for the huuuge brain dump! I probably forgot something, too. :P

September 8th, 2010, 12:59 PM
I agree with Kaijah, find out where you stand on the cones vs no-cones debate. Giving up cones was what finally got my hair to soften up and loose the crunchy dry ends. Clarifying was also very important for me.

AS far as shampoo conditioner the Kiss My Face 'Mistreated" line has been great for me.

September 8th, 2010, 01:40 PM
I agree with previous writers - finding out what the ingredients in your products are, and more importantly, what they DO is very important!
By doing that, you can find products that are suitable for your hair perfectly. Customizing your bathroom items is great fun too, in my opinion. :D

September 8th, 2010, 01:41 PM
Sorry this is long, but I don't know how to shorten it without skipping most of the info!

I've been dealing with growing out 3.5 years of dye on very dry hair for 14 months now. I stopped the dye after a reaction. I was already looking for my exit strategy so was just as happy about it. I had started to do CWC with some CO's a few months before, after finding LHC, and was just starting to experiment with oils. I took things slow, trying different things on the 2-week rule so I could tell what each was doing, at least at that point.

At first I found that I could only handle 2 drops of an oil on my ends and length or it would look and feel oily or with some oils, actually nasty and greasy, namely olive oil. What works for some won't work for others. We all have to find out the hard way!

I had to try several oils before I found things that my hair liked. I now use them regularly both alone and in blends, as I feel my hair needs them. After a while I started doing really long, heavy oilings then wearing my hair up in a bun for the rest of the day. With some oils it would actually soak in and would no longer be oily, just shiny. Over time it seemed to soak up more and more oils, and the texture has been improving slowly as this happens.

It has taken months of regular after wash tiny oilings and heavy pre-wash oilings to get shine all the way to the ends of my hair. Perhaps I could have speeded things up by doing more heavy oilings earlier, but I was both trying to monitor my results, and afraid I'd not be able to get it out easily. Sometimes I did get too much and would have wash (CWC) 2 days in a row, but the results have been worth it.

Things that work for me are coconut oil (prewash), shea butter, jojoba, Better Botanicals Herbal Hair Oil, Beldaran's Oil (etsy), Night Blooming Triple Moon Anointing Hair Oil and Night Blooming Panacea (etsy). The Panacea seems to have really sealed the deal, smoothing out frizz and giving a gloss I never expected to have.

There are also several recipes here that I've tried and liked, including Shea Butter Cream (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=4586&highlight=shea+butter+cream), SMT as already mentioned, and some combinations of my own blended coconut, shea butter, jojoba, etc.

I am currently experimenting with no-cones. Previously I hadn't noticed much difference with using them vs not using them, but as the oils soak into my hair it seems to be making more difference which conditioners and shampoos I use. Ironically, the more oil I use the cheaper the shampoo and conditioner my hair seems to like. :) Oh, and I drastically dilute my shampoo, even more than I always have. CWC once or twice a week, with a CO if it seems to need it are working well for me.

Good luck with your journey!

September 8th, 2010, 04:27 PM
As others have said, it may be that your hair is dry dry dry because it's protein-overloaded. Does it feel rough on the ends too? Mine gets grabby, rough-feeling ends when it's had too much protein.

Whether it's too much protein or something else, the fastest cure for dry hair is usually something like:
(1) Clarify. I prefer clarifying shampoos to baking soda methods, as they seem less harsh on hair.
(2) Moisture treatment like an SMT. Leave it on for something like an hour, then just rinse it out and consider your hair "washed".

Oiling and trying different wash methods like CWC and CO are also useful for dry hair, but they may take a bit of experimenting to figure out what works best for your hair. Same with balancing out how much you want/need ingredients like proteins, sulfate detergents, and silicones. (And just to complicate matters, what your hair likes may change as its condition changes!)

September 8th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Thank you so much for all the replies!! Im learning so much! Im am very eager to grow out this semi-permanant color & restore moisture to my hair ASAP! Six years of box coloring has taken its toll on my hair! I have problems I didnt have before - so Ive been pretty clueless on how to fix it! Ya'all have taught me so much!
Ill keep ya posted - My plan: Im going to shampoo with a clarifying shampoo at my next shower & then begin CO washing from here on out! Im also going to try a SMT Treatment soon! I know using an Oil will help too - but Im a little nervous about trying it? At this point though - Im willing to try anything!

September 8th, 2010, 06:30 PM
Suave Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner. My hair is very damaged from lots of dying as well and it LOVES this stuff. :)

September 8th, 2010, 08:50 PM
I know using an Oil will help too - but Im a little nervous about trying it? At this point though - Im willing to try anything!
A particularly easy way to start with oil is to put some in the night before you wash it. A drop or two is often enough for your hair, but if you go a little heavy-handed on it, you'll just wash it out in the morning anyway. Lots of people like doing a heavy oiling before a wash, anyway. And soaking in conditioner generally works as well as multiple shampooings to get the excess out.

Also, be aware that different oils behave a bit differently in hair. Lots of people start with olive oil, for example. It's a good hair oil, but it's quite viscous and easy to overdo for straight-haired folks. It seems to be disproportionately liked by curlies, because the pieciness it can give defines curls well. Coconut oil is another perennial favorite, and a lot lighter than olive. Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and camellia oil are other ones I see lots of folks using, and everyone seems to have a preference.

September 9th, 2010, 07:51 PM
Update: I used Suave Clarifying Shampoo tonight.. OMG, My hair loved the clarifying shampoo & loved the garnier fructis triple nutrition conditioner. I dont know if I have ever used a clarifying shampoo? No wonder I had hair problems! My hair looks & feels so soft tonight! Im so thankful for the advice on here! I wouldve kept buying products full of cones & protein if I had never visited this forum! Im still going to try cowashing & hope my hair likes it? My bathroom is full of new conditioners to try!

September 10th, 2010, 08:16 AM
Have you tried oiling with natural plant oils or butters like jojoba oil, coconut oil or shea butter? These help me keep my hair and scalp moisturized by sealing in a leave-in conditioner or freshly conditioned hair. They also help the hair stay manageable and soft when applied to dry hair.

September 10th, 2010, 09:15 AM
You may also want to check out the Salt & Pepper thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=16951). There are lots of great suggestions for dealing with unruly, dry silvers. Pop in at the end and introduce yourself, then go back and read the rest of the thread, if you dare!:cheese:

He is
September 11th, 2010, 12:37 AM
I think I may try CO, WO and castor oil. Starting tommorrow or later today. So excited!!!

I used to coat my hair in mayonnaise for twenty minutes then rinse with cold water. Evertime I flat ironed my hair it had a silverish sheen even though I tinted my hair with kool aid sugar free. I left my hair really soft too.

September 11th, 2010, 06:08 AM
I would clarify, use a shampoo and conditioner that you like (fructis can be good or some of the fancy ones with oils in them), use a leave-in and /or light oil (coconut and jojoba are good). Once a week do an SMT for an hour.

Another good thing is to do a coconut soak - just use about a quarter of a can of light coconut milk on your hair. I just use my hands to distribute it through then then put it up in a bun for an hour. I actually go for a walk in this time. When I get back I wash it as normal. It makes your hair quite soft and moisturised. I freeze the remainder of the milk in little ziplock baggies that I measure out for use next time. Four treatments out of a $2 can is not bad!

You will find that the moisture levels will improve over time. It's not something that will repair itself after one application. I have finally got my hair to a point where hairdressers say it looks healthy where before I was constantly being told it was dry. It's taken about 8 months to get it this way.

September 13th, 2010, 05:36 PM
Another good thing is to do a coconut soak - just use about a quarter of a can of light coconut milk on your hair. I just use my hands to distribute it through then then put it up in a bun for an hour. I actually go for a walk in this time. When I get back I wash it as normal. It makes your hair quite soft and moisturised. I freeze the remainder of the milk in little ziplock baggies that I measure out for use next time. Four treatments out of a $2 can is not bad!

You will find that the moisture levels will improve over time. It's not something that will repair itself after one application. I have finally got my hair to a point where hairdressers say it looks healthy where before I was constantly being told it was dry. It's taken about 8 months to get it this way.

Great idea to freeze the coconut milk in serving sized helpings! I've not yet tried coconut milk, but it's on my long term list.

Like you, it took me months to really see improvement after using oils and butters. It literally seemed to be soaking in from the top down, even though I mainly applied on the ends and lengths. Only a few weeks ago did I get a glossy shine all the way to the ends.