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View Full Version : Why is my hair breaking!? (A Novel)



danikabananika
September 24th, 2010, 08:43 AM
Hey everyone, I'm relatively new here and I found this website in hopes of learning some things about my ridiculous hair breakage and tips on long hair care so I can grow this mess out again!

I started with waist length hair, and progressively since about... last November, my hair started breaking off/falling out in CLUMPS (not quite clumps, but every time I showered I had probably 3 times the amount of hair one should have due to breakage/fall out) at about shoulder length (some longer, some shorter), starting from my ears down. Fortunately I have a lot of hair... unfortunately because of that I didn't really notice until 6 months later, and the damage was already done. My "length" looks more like a bad-extension-rat-tail thing, and I think I have a bunch of new hairs growing in (they're all over my head and not a typical place for hair to break).

I've narrowed down the culprits:
-My hair is super dry and wulry, and I live in a very dry environment
-At that time I was washing my hair everyday
-I was also blow drying every day
-I was using intense protein treatments every day (Joico Kpak liquid reconstructor, and leave in protectant. ughh. I now know this isn't good for anyone)
-I'm a dancer, so my hair is always in a tight ballerina bun
-when I wasn't dancing, I kept my hair in a messy bun

I think it was the perfect storm of things that dried my hair out, and the ponytails/buns delivered the final blow (thus why my breakage is mostly around the same spot). The breakage has stopped significantly, but it feels like the broken "area" will not grow out, which leads me to believe my hair is still breaking in that "area"! I don't heat style my hair anymore, I only wash about once a week, I don't use protein, I use no-break elastic and wide hair pins and keep my hair down when I'm not dancing. The only thing I can think of is that I don't keep my hair up while I sleep anymore.

Please help me ): my hair is my pride and joy. I know everyone's hair is different so there's not much you can tell me, but even your experiences with hair breakage and growing it out will help.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs292.snc3/28274_402417057911_763737911_4476303_1625055_n.jpg
(Me and my horribly broken hair on the far left)

Bast
September 24th, 2010, 09:01 AM
That does sound like the perfect storm! Ouch!

I guess that my one big question right now is if you absolutely have to have your hair up in a ballerina bun for class. If so, have you thought about alternative ways to put it up other than the tight ponytail starter?

Outside of dance class, the general consensus around here is that you still do want to keep it up, but in a different manner. Try braids, clips, I know that shoulder-length is usually hit or miss with sticks. Check out the swap board for a Ficcare, or a Fakkare (easily found in places like Rite Aid, CVS, and Claires), are also very popular.

This also may sound slightly counterintuitive, and downright bizarre from this forum, but getting a small trim to ensure that the damaged ends are gone might also help. It doesn't need to be a big drastic chop, but maybe an inch, just to get rid of the worst of it. I'm growing out died, fried, very damaged hair, and every 6th months I get half an inch or so taken off. It drives my hairdresser crazy, that I'm paying as much as I am for a tiny little baby trim, but I don't feel confident about doing it myself and hey, I like feeling pampered every once in a while!

Beyond that, it will grow, and already is - it just doesn't seem like it. That bit from shoulders to midback takes a while and seems like even longer. Personal experience - I started at chin length, and had a good hover around shoulder length because it just kept. on. breaking. I finally started wearing it up each day using a scrunchy that was very loose, and all of a sudden it hit APL. I'm creeping downwards from there right now!

Good luck!

SgtMomArmy
September 24th, 2010, 09:21 AM
Coconut oil has helped my damaged hair. I am not getting near the breakage that I was getting. Good luck.

danikabananika
September 24th, 2010, 10:16 AM
I guess that my one big question right now is if you absolutely have to have your hair up in a ballerina bun for class. If so, have you thought about alternative ways to put it up other than the tight ponytail starter?


Unfortunately yes, it's mandatory (every time I put it up I cringe lol). I have not thought of alternative ways to start the ponytail, aside from no-break elastics (the ones used for tying of teeny braids that look like rubber bands but they're... plastic? or something). This sounds interesting! Do you have any suggestions? Or perhaps a thread that can lead me in the right direction? :)

Also- I do regular search & destroy, and since March I have been getting good trims (I'm talking at least an inch, sometimes 2) every 6 weeks or so in an effort to let my broken hair catch up/thicken up my rat tail.

danikabananika
September 24th, 2010, 10:35 AM
I had been using shea butter and coconut oil for a little while and haven't had money to buy more lol yay for being a broke university student. I will definitely have to budget for that though!

marzipanfuntime
September 24th, 2010, 11:34 AM
Ooohh man, those plastic elastics? I remember those. You will probably want to switch to the 'ouchless' covered ones. They not only don't grab your hair like the plastic but their is no metal thing to rip it out either.
I don't know how a ballerina but is made, but here is an but I like that has no elastic in it.

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=128

look around the article section for different styles, you'll at least find nice things for school if not a tip that can make your dance bun less damaging.
I agree with SgtMomArmy that coconut oil, and maybe other oils, are worth a good try to lock in moisture. Many find that the SMT (explained here http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128) is the very best thing for dryness. Good luck!

Gvnagitlvgei
September 24th, 2010, 01:10 PM
I found this website on causes and "cures" of breakage. Hope this helps.

http://www.hairbreakage.net/prevent.html

CherrySilver
September 24th, 2010, 01:17 PM
Rather than just treating your hair topically, you really need to think about the nutrients that you put into your body to support and sustain healthy growth. Too many people just treat the external damage, but do nothing to support the mechanism which helps to make hair grow in healthy and strong. This requires a multi-pronged approach. Take a look thru the site by doing some searches on diet, vitamins, etc. Happy growing!

BrightEyes7
September 24th, 2010, 02:00 PM
I second getting covered elastics... Goody or Scunci make them. Like 20 for $2 or something.

I live in a very dry environment but it doesn't mean you have to have dry hair.

Wearing you hair up will help. It reduces friction thus reduces breakage. Your hair is long and down so it can get caught or rub on things and break. Wearing it up is the best. Just do it wisely. Sleeping with your hair up is best. I do a top knot/ ballerina bun on the top of my head to reduce tangles and breakage.

Reducing you washes and heat styling will make a huge difference, you just need to give it time. The protein probably isn't helping your hair any now... so it's good you stopped that.

I think the thing that helped me stop breakage the most was investing in a wide tooth comb. I got mine at Wal-Mart for a couple bucks. Brushing hair when wet especially causes breakage. Gently de-tangle!

And maybe try doing CWC washing... That is when you coat the ends in conditioner. Before rinsing out you shampoo just the roots. Then rinse it all out and condition the ends again and rinse. It helps when my hair is really dry!

Bast
September 24th, 2010, 02:35 PM
Unfortunately yes, it's mandatory (every time I put it up I cringe lol). I have not thought of alternative ways to start the ponytail, aside from no-break elastics (the ones used for tying of teeny braids that look like rubber bands but they're... plastic? or something). This sounds interesting! Do you have any suggestions? Or perhaps a thread that can lead me in the right direction? :)

A scrunchy. :disbelief

I've managed to find some that aren't super big, and really, they do a lot less damage than just about everything else out there.

If you're also willing to do the masses of bobby pins, a cinnamon bun doesn't have to use the ponytail start and can be held with a hairnet, of which I'm sure you've a few. The traditional sticks used here, no, really wouldn't work for dance. Ficcares do! (No lie, I had my hair up for my ballet class yesterday with just a Ficcare. Of course, my ballet class is a 1-credit college class and rather relaxed when it comes to dress and style requirements)

Goody modern updo pin, I've found, takes a couple trys to get right, but once you know how to do it that thing is solid. I've heard the same about their spin pins but haven't found any to try yet personally.

French twists are rather, okay, very, non-traditional, but they don't use any elastics at all.

danikabananika
September 25th, 2010, 02:06 AM
Sounds like I'm going to have to invest in these Ficcare clips! After some searching around the threads I discovered pantyhose elastics... I'll have to give those a try too.

PS- there were a few things I didn't mention in my first post. I'm health fanatic and I've been taking vitamin supplements since I was 3 (multiminerals, calcium, mega antioxidants, vitamin c, grape seed bioflavonoids, omega fatty acids, vitamin d, and glucosamine/turmeric for my joints) so I doubt that it's a nutrient deficiency thing.

Also that in that "perfect storm" of hair abuse was letting chlorine sit in my hair for days without washing it (I'm a lifeguard) ahhh I want to cry just thinking about it ): HOW could I have been so ignorant! Of course chlorine would ruin my hair.

christine1989
September 25th, 2010, 02:17 AM
Hmmm.... Depending on your hair type the protein treatments could have been making your hair more dry and fragile (that happened to me). It also looks like you have done quite a bit of heat styling in the past. My hair looked almost exactly like yours when I used to flat iron. Just stopping all of the heat styling will do your hair a lot of good. You will see its condition improve drastically by just cutting out that one thing. Also oiling is great for dry, over processed hair. Coconut oil as a leave in conditioner will restore moisture and prevent further breakage.

In order to keep your hair from being too dry I would also minimize your shampoo usage. Try washing with conditioner only a few days a week and when you do use a shampoo use one without SLS or other harsh, dryong ingredients. When I wanted to get my hair in better condition the first thing I did that really helped was to browse the LHC forums. This is the perfect place to find information and advice from people who know all of the great tricks and tips for hair care.