View Full Version : Going natural- what a disaster!!!

September 16th, 2010, 03:16 AM
In this thread Iím looking for support/help and for you to share your stories as well. Iím sure we can help each other .

Itís been almost six months since Iíve been SLS and cones free, it will be on the 26 of September. So far I can but complain. What a disappointment it has turned out to be. Iím really sad about my hair, and running out of options, Iím seriously considering going back to chemical shampoos before the end of the month. Iíve been bearing it with a grin, in hope that things will get better, but really, I donít think they will.

Hereís my situation:
You know that saying ĎIf it isnít broken, donít fix ití? I should have known better.
My hair is thick, when I got here my hair pony tail circumference was 11cm(=4.3in) and now Iím reduced to 9cm(=3.5in)
I made the stupid mistake of taking Biotin, I wish to god I didnít because it caused me nothing but trouble. After the first treatment with Biotin I started to shed like a maniac! Iíve shed before, normally September/October but nothing that compares to this!! Alarmed with the amount of hair I was losing and having never experience this in my life, I stopped Biotin in middle of June.

As time went by I thought it was a seasonal shed, and I wasnít that worried. Itís now the middle of September and the shed hasnít gotten better. Every time I shower I lose hair like thereís no tomorrow. Iíve became obsessed and started to count the hair caught in the drain (OCD much?). The least Iíve had was 77 the biggest number was more than 160.
A few years ago I had a big shed too, but it was coincidental with the seven year cell renewal and at the time I used a Schwarzkopf shampoo that saved my hair. I think I might give it another try despite the fact that it contains SLS.

Iíve considered other stuff into this equation beside the bad experience with Biotin and going natural. Iíve thought about my diet, but ever since February this year I started to eat really healthy and Iíve lost (so far) 16 kilos! (=35.2lbs)
I donít have thyroid problems, no one in my family has them, and I have a close friend that suffers from it and Iím very well informed about the symptoms.

There are no other changes but my hair routine, really.
This stupid shed is my only problem. My hair was always looked healthy, I have virgin hair (always did) no split ends.

Sorry if I rant a bit, but Iíve been really frustrated. Advice would be lovely and please share your experiences, I would really like to hear it.

September 16th, 2010, 05:02 AM
Sometimes, things just work for you :shrug: And some things dont! you know whats best for you and if this is causing adverse affects or upsetting you, try a change. :)

September 16th, 2010, 06:10 AM
*raises hand* Going 'natural' with my hair care was a disaster for me, as well. I was doing Baking soda washes and apple cider vinegar rinses, and irreparably damaged my length. I used to be able to wear it down after it air dried, but it's all a big crunchy frizzy messy now! :( Shea butter is helping to keep frizz and fluff under control, but I found split ends for the first time (in what seems like- ever) after doing that routine for three weeks!
My compromise was to switch to CO. It's not a natural way to care for my hair, but it's working for me, and that is more important to me.

I'm sorry you're going through something so stressful ((((hug)))), and here's some happy thoughts that you'll figure out what your hair likes soon! :)

September 16th, 2010, 06:20 AM
Also to consider not everyones' hair likes no cones, so maybe your hair needs cones to keep it happy. It might only need a couple to keep it happy or maybe more. Maybe go back to your original routine then try a product with fewer cones. I love Shea Butter on my hair. Makes those dry ends beautifully soft. Good luck with your hair.

September 16th, 2010, 07:25 AM
Hey Amelia - I've been where you are at. I flat out quit SLS, ALS and all the rest if of those, even quit those coco-something cleansers too. And cones. I went for poo bars, all natural conditioner, oils, herbs (without much knowledge so I cannot say they failed me, the herbs, I failed them), and all the rest. My hair revolted. I have spent a long time since then finding a balance of some SLS, less washing due to that, oils and scalp massages, and some cones via a leave in spray concoction. I think whatever stuff works for you, use that. Try not to even pay attention to the labels until something produces an undesirable effect. Then pay attention and chuck it :) Of course there are people that are perfectly sucessful at going natural, and fine keeping the SLS and cones and such. Everyone's different. If I were hung up on labels my hair would still be it's lank, lifeless self, and I don't miss that :)

September 16th, 2010, 07:34 AM
I'm sorry you've been through all that! I shed a lot more when I am not using SLS. I've seen major improvement since I've returned to using sulphates. Everyone's different. :shrug: Good luck!

September 16th, 2010, 07:38 AM
My first year of going natural was not very successful either. I used baking soda and ACV, but it was way to hars for me. To compensate I used a protein packed deep treatment every wash as a conditioner. But it made the matter even worse!
I also used some styling products like hairspray and wax without checking the ingredients (I was too afraid, because i was CONVINCED i could not live without these products). The not-so-natural products combined with the protein was really harmful to my hair. It had soooo much build up, became brittle, broke off and my hair just got shorter and shorter - no growth at all.

The hange for me was when I started with CO. I only used good (but cheap!) cone and protein free C, and STOPPED using all of my styling products. Since then i've had lots of growth (and some thickness - Yay!), shiny and healthy hair without build up. But CO made my roots kind of greasy so after a couple of months (resently) i switched to using Rhassoul clay and do CWC instead. This improved my oily scalp so much.

Not sure if my story helps you. But maybe there's just some little detail in your routine that's giving you build up? Or some product you use that just does not work for your hair? Best of luck to you!

September 16th, 2010, 07:48 AM
You know, the weight loss could be related to the shedding, even if it's a result of healthy eating, losing a lot of weight at some point could put your body into some sort of shock, my mom had the same problem for a while. If that's the case, once your weight is stable you should be fine.
Other than that, it's just like you said it, if it ain't broken don't fix it. Many people handle cones and sls perfectly, it's not an issue for everyone. I found out I can use sls, but since I stopped using cones, my ends stopped breaking so much.

It is important to keep an eye on what your shampoo has, but it is more important to listen to what your hair tells you :)

September 16th, 2010, 07:57 AM
Amelia, I'm sorry you had such a hard time after trying to go natural with your hair care.

I've experienced the same thing and learned that what works for some on this board, does NOT work for all. I wanted it all to work for me too - co-washing, maybe shampoo bars, ACV rinses, shea butter, etc. But my hair and scalp reject all of it and I end up losing TONS of hair. What's left of it after shedding, is dry and brittle from being coated in conditioner(cone free of course :rolleyes: ) that can't penetrate the other 6,493,209 layers of conditioner already on it from CO-washing. :lol:

My hair and scalp needs to be cleansed on a regular basis with shampoo. My hair can't even absorb conditioner without shampoo, so CO-washing is a major F.A.I.L. for me.

I feel your pain and hope you find what works for you - and it's ok if it's what was working for you before coming here(I had to learn that the hard way). :flower:

September 16th, 2010, 08:02 AM
Hi Amelia,

I know what you are talking about. I have been using natural shampoos the past 2 years and my hair is crunchy and I have lost a good amount of hair too. I also have crazy buildup on my scalp that I have been trying to remedy with scritching,scalp massage and oiling the scalp but it does not seem to be enough. Interestingly enough most shed hairs have a bulb of buildup on one end. When I was younger and used shampoos like Suave my hair was actually quite nice without the buildup.
I might be dissenting from the natural shampoos. The ACV rinses dried out my hair. What has worked is the coconut oil on the length applied to damp hair, no heat treatment and egg yolk treatments. I also love the boar bristle brush and bone comb since it does not have the seems. The main issue for me now is the buildup on my scalp.

September 16th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Every time I shower I lose hair like thereís no tomorrow. Iíve became obsessed and started to count the hair caught in the drain (OCD much?). The least Iíve had was 77 the biggest number was more than 160.

I'm not going to tell you not to go back to what you were using before, but what you have described here is normal shedding rate.

September 16th, 2010, 08:39 AM
I know a lot of people are really into going 'natural', but just because something is, or is supposed to be, natural, doesn't mean it is good for you and your hair. Lye is made by pouring water over cold wood ashes on top of a bed of straw, all of which are natural, but I sure wouldn't want it on my hair! While I'm sure others have had great success with baking soda , I cringe whenever I think of putting it on my hair. My hair is dry already, to dry it out further is not something I want to do. Olive oil is natural, but my hair hates it.

A lot of time and effort has gone into figuring out formulations that work for the majority of people. The detergents in most modern shampoos work. In my experience it takes just a tiny, tiny amount to lift scalp oils, so I use very diluted SLS-type shampoos a couple times a week. I am not allergic to modern shampoos, and with careful use they do exactly what I want them to do.

I've tried CO, but my scalp does not like it. It has been so-so on the ends and lengths, feeling good early on wash day, but lank by the end of the day. Extra shedding is one of the symptoms, but for me it also just doesn't clean well enough. I will probably do further testing with CO type cleaning when I get around to it, but I don't get why it is "better" to use things that my hair does not respond to very well.

-steps down off her soapbox, hoping no one is offended-

Danaus plexippu
September 16th, 2010, 08:53 AM
I must use cones on my ends. I have very few splits, but they are dry and thin and chemically damaged. I want to reach my goal length before I start gradually trimming them off, so I use pretty heavy cones to give them slip. They usually look pretty good as long as I use cones, and I see no problem with "faking it" until my hair is the length I want. I also use a clarifying shampoo with SLS. If it works and doesn't violate your personal convictions, use it!

September 16th, 2010, 09:16 AM
There is no 'one size fits all' routine that will work for everybody. Everyone has their own individual hair needs. For some people, conventional hair products really don't work for their hair, so they need to use alternative products or methods of caring for their hair. However, for many other people, their hair really does respond better to conventional hair products and there is nothing wrong with that at all. The companies that make these products have tested them for years and years to make sure that they will work on at least a significant portion of the consumers that they want to target.

September 16th, 2010, 09:19 AM
THANK YOU! Thank you so much for all of you that have posted here and given your opinion and shared your experiences.

It's always good to know that you're not alone ;)

Today I went out and bought the Schwarzkopf shampoo and went back to my beloved Klorane. I'm going to give it a try and see how I'll go from here.

I really enjoyed going natural, apart from the stupid/massive shed. I was really happy with the conditioners I found, because they actually work for me! I think I'm going to try and balance both things, and continue with CWC washes.

Thank you!! You LHCers rule!!! :flower::flowers::grouphug:

September 16th, 2010, 09:46 AM
Hang in there...

I wouldn't be surprised if the increased shedding has a lot more to do with the weight loss than with anything you changed in your wash routine or with biotin.

September 16th, 2010, 10:04 AM
I'm thinkin weight loss for the shedding too. Its common with Atkins in particular.

I'm just going to agree with the others. The main thing I had fun with when I first started here was experimenting with different things to figure out what works for me. Poo bars are too much of a pain for me (plus i need cones.. or oil... or something on my hair!) but I love to CO wash every once in awhile.

Do what works for you

September 16th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Today I went out and bought the Schwarzkopf shampoo and went back to my beloved Klorane. I'm going to give it a try and see how I'll go from here.

Welcome back to the dark side :D. I'm right there with you!

September 16th, 2010, 10:12 AM
When I started MSM my hair shed like mad. Seriously, my husband thought there was something wrong with me. It was coming out in droves and piles. I kept taking it and I started getting baby fuzzy new growth, a lot. And then my hair started to grow faster and so did my nails...and leg hair (boo hiss). Watch the supps you take, they really can have an affect. With some, your body goes through adjustments, people call it a detox.
With hair products I have to split the difference. I use part natural and part not. My hair does like cones but my skin hates sulfates. Gotta use what works for you though.

September 16th, 2010, 04:15 PM
Welcome back to the dark side :D. I'm right there with you!
Thanks! *diabolical laughter* :demon:

September 16th, 2010, 04:24 PM
I have read before that a drastic weight loss can cause shedding, even if the loss is for the better. Use what products work for you and I'm sure that when you reach the weight you want to be at and have been there awhile, your hair will adapt:)

September 16th, 2010, 04:35 PM
35 lb in 7 months is pretty darned good going for weight loss. Congratulations! I have read countless times here where people have changed their diets and experienced shedding 3 - 4 months later (and they even put two and two together, or miss it completely). So if your shedding is diet-related, your body will regulate itself again and the shedding will stop.

I tried beating my hair into no-cones/SLS submission about a year ago and it was an unmitigated disaster. What does work for me, however, is a mix of natural stuff and outright chemicals, largely played by ear depending on what my hair needs at the time.

It will take you some trial and error to figure out your own a la carte hair menu, but when you do, you and your hair will be happy!

September 16th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your shed and your unhappiness with you new routine.

The truth is many "natural" shampoos can be harsher and much less conditioning than SLS or SLES based shampoos as you know now from using both kinds.

You can get build-up and problems, including shedding with any shampoo or conditioner, "natural" or not. Not all "natural" shampoos and conditioners are as natural as they claim to be either.

People here have also had and reported problems with alternative shampoos from soap nuts to egg washes. Not everything is for everyone.

SLS and SLES are not evil. Not all cones build-up and they are not evil in any case. You will need to clarify from CO'ing with a non cone conditioner just as you will from using one with cones at some point.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it." is a very good expression and truism. There obviouly was nothing wrong with your previous routine.

Vinegar rinses are not damaging as long as they are well diluted. Baking soda can be abrasive although if it is used fully dissolved in warm to hot water it is not that harsh.

I personally use an SLES based shampoo with one cone and it does not build-up or cause me any problems. Sometimes I shed more than others. I do not shed excessively though and I shed much less than I ever used to do. I use catnip instead of conditioner and it works for me and my hair is now thicker than it was previously. I did not grow new hair folicles. My hair just looks thicker and my hairline has filled in.

I am not suggesting you try catnip. Go back to the routine that worked for you and I wish you well. It sounds as if you need no other help. Unless there is an undiagnosed, underlying medical problem or you are on meds that may cause you to shed excessively, your system should rebalance itself.

going gray
September 16th, 2010, 07:14 PM
The only way my hair looks decent is using hair products with "cones," nothing else works.....

September 16th, 2010, 07:17 PM
The only way my hair looks decent is using hair products with "cones," nothing else works.....

And there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. You are not alone on these boards, or elsewhere.

September 16th, 2010, 07:24 PM
I am more than sure that your hair loss has nothing to do with shampoo or biotin. When you loose a substantial amount of weight, this is what just happens to some people. It is all due to hormonal changes in your lighter body and should normalise. This was probably posted here before, but I have seen some friends of mine freaking out because of the hair loss after weight loss. The good news is that your body will balance out itself
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September 16th, 2010, 07:36 PM
Drastic weight loss can cause shedding. Eating healthy and losing weight slowly through a well balanced "diet", as you have reported doing should not cause that, unless you are missing vital nutrients. It does not sound as if you are missing them. A simple doctor's check-up can determine that for sure.

September 16th, 2010, 07:49 PM
I don't know- even with healthy weight loss I think you could get increased shedding. Its a change that the body isn't use to yet- even if its a healthy change its still a change. I bet in the long run you'll have better hair as a result of changing your diet though :thumbsup:

September 16th, 2010, 07:53 PM
I have recently lost a bit of weight over the last few months. I am eating healthier and have no excess shedding. I just eliminated most the the junk foods I used to eat that had almost no nutrients and replaced them with foods that do contain them. I have lost the weight slowly.

going gray
September 16th, 2010, 08:22 PM
And there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. You are not alone on these boards, or elsewhere.

Thank you Ktani, for along time, I've felt like an"odd duck"....

September 16th, 2010, 08:23 PM
Hey Amelia,
Sorry to hear about the shedding - that is incredibly frustrating and scary.
One thing that I've seen and heard of contributing to loss of hair is a persons stress level, (And in-fact, stressing about the hair you are losing can cause you to lose more!) is this time in your life particularly stressful? Or is there a point of anxiety in your life right now?
I know this had a huge impact on my mother's hair.
Hope you find a solution soon :)

September 16th, 2010, 08:37 PM
Thank you Ktani, for along time, I've felt like an"odd duck"....

You are most welcome!

You have simply missed others saying the same thing you have in threads here.

September 17th, 2010, 02:41 AM
To be honest I have tried sls free and no cones and I find normal sulphate shampoo and cone conditioner work best for me so just go back I would say to what suited your hair before, take a decent multivitamin and get enough protein such as fish in your diet, drink plenty water and see if that helps. I like senscience shampoo and conditioners you can buy them in salons or on amazon or any alberto balsam shampoo and conditioners are nice. Good luck in getting back on track!

September 22nd, 2010, 08:26 PM
I am sorry to hear that your shed...
do yo have allergy with red wine?
my hair start to shed more when I start to take biotin too.
so I am wondering if it's because sulfites.
and Biotin has high sulfites.
also SLS free shampoo cause more shed my hair.
( I've counting my hair shed a daily for couple month
and has jurnal what product's I 've used)

hope your shed is back to normal soon.