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aldasbeke
December 7th, 2010, 12:15 AM
Hi everybody,

I am 19 years old and I joined the site today, but have been reading posts on here for awhile. I am impressed by everyone's helpfulness to each other and the positivity that a lot of people have towards hair- especially their own. That sounds strange, but it means a lot to me as someone who has a strong dislike for my own hair.

I have a hard time accepting my hair as it is and obsessively worry about it being ugly/compare it to others all the time and I have realized that it is beginning to take over my life in a negative way, but it is just hard for me to learn to accept it as it is.

Basically, my hair is on the thinner (or finer?) side with just over a 2 inch ponytail circumference and I'm just convinced that it never looks good. It is slightly wavy (1b-1c) and it gets oily on the head and very dry around the ends. It has a tendency to get pretty stringy, also. It is relatively long right now (upper back length) and I would like to grow it to my lower back, but I am just afraid that it wont look good. I am also concerned about the fact that my hairline is a bit thin. My hair doesn't seem to be falling out or getting much thinner, though. In high school, I was pretty rough with it and I think that it may have fallen out then. My boyfriend (who I have been with for 3 years) claims that my hair has been gradually thickening and recovering over the course of the time that we've been together, but I'm not sure if that's true or if he is just trying to make me feel better. I'm also concerned that I may have permanently damaged my hair by how I used to treat it (by swimming in chlorine without properly caring for it, pulling the rubber swim cap on and off roughly, harsh brushing, over-straightening and sleeping with it down and wet. I also dyed it blonde a couple of times). Not quite 3 years ago, I cut my hair very short (chin length) to start over with it and I have changed the way I deal with my hair by trying to be much more gentle, but I'm still concerned that I have permanently damaged it.

On here, I have seen a lot of pictures of people claiming to have fine hair that have grown it long and it looks beautiful and I would love to know how they do that. There are also claims that people have thickened their hair and I would love to know how to do that also. I am currently taking biotin and I use Burt's Bees shampoo because it does not have all of the harsh chemicals that regular shampoos do.

I would appreciate any advice from people who have been in my situation or are in it, etc... I know that fixing my hair will take some time, but what I think I really need is to learn to love my hair as it is, but that has been hard for me to do recently.

Thanks!

Yozhik
December 7th, 2010, 12:28 AM
Welcome to the forum! :flower:

I would love to see some hair photos, and I can tell already from your description of your circumference that your hair is not thin! It's actually average thickness, so you don't have to stress on account of that. :)

As for an oily scalp and dry ends, you probably could use some deep treatments like the SMT and oiling your ends with olive or coconut oil (lighter oils if your hair is finer).

You are only 7 inches away from your goal, so just think about it -- with minimal cuts and a slightly above-average growth rate, you could be there by this time next year! :D

Happy growing!

ETA: It would also be helpful to know what your current hair routine now is, how you wash, what products you use, and how frequently you do it -- that way we will be able to offer more tailored suggestions. :flower:

Clarisse
December 7th, 2010, 12:31 AM
You have a genetic max amount of hair. You can’t exceed that.
Healthy life style and gentle care is the key to achieving better hair.
There’s a lot of great tips on here.
I recommend that you read Igor’s article on supplements and some of the other articles too. Biotin alone isn’t always enough - you need to get enough of all the vitamins you need.
Try henna or cassia for more body, volume and strength. Cassia doesn’t color your hair a bright red, and I really like it for my hair :)
If your hair breaks easily, then try wearing it up in buns, braids and other protective styles. It’s a great way to reduce damage.

Good luck.

AnnaJamila
December 7th, 2010, 12:41 AM
Well, my hair type is pretty different from yours, but I thought I'd stick my nose in to say welcome and remind you that we are very often our harshest critics- I'm very sure that your hair looks much better that you think! One tip I will share is that my hair thickened up nicely when I started rinsing my hair more in the shower. And I mean RINSE it like you MEAN it. That's gotten even more important since starting conditioner only washing, which I recommend everyone try at least once. Hope that helps a bit!

Katze
December 7th, 2010, 01:21 AM
Welcome here!

As someone already mentioned, 2 inch circumference is normal, not thin. We are bombarded with pictures of blown-out hair and extensions in the media, so it is easy to think that normal thickness hair is thin. Especially if stylists tell you so.

I am the owner of even-more mixed hair than yours - 1b/2c and F/C would be my type if that were a possible selection. :silly:

After YEARS of heat and bleach damage, 'brushing it 100 strokes', washing too often, etc etc. I finally have mostly-virgin hair that is at BSL. (It would be longer if I hadn't had a baby and lost half my hair...) It has been a big struggle to find what works. Since I can't change my genetics and get black, coarse, curly hair (really...!) I have to deal with getting to like its natural color, learning what to do about my mixed texture (fine on top, coarse and curly underneath), and dealing with a sensitive, easily-irritated scalp, too. Fun, fun!

Feel free to take a look at my pictures - it IS possible to grow fine hair long, even if stylists have always told you it's not. Fine hair is NOT thin hair, and you DON'T need heat to style wavy hair. Sleep buns have really helped me though, again, I've had to learn which ones work for me. Braid waves look hideous on me, most updos do too, and I just seem to need product and 'cones to keep my hair looking halfway OK. But my situation has been unusually difficult - severe damage, a heavily layered cut, growing out dye, then the postpartum shed. If I had been growing healthy, blunt cut hair, I'd have hair past my bottom by now. :)

It is really nice, by the way, that your boyfriend is so supportive. We hear so much nonsense about fine hair, and there are so many negative messages out there. He sounds like a good guy and a real keeper! (my DH, also a longhair, but stubborn, has finally started paying attention to what I tell him about hair :D )

CrowningGlory
December 7th, 2010, 01:31 AM
Hello, and welcome. It sounds as if you've started some good hair practices as well as had a fresh start so I don't think you have to worry about permanent damage. In the majority of cases (perhaps all but I'm not an expert) damage can be removed by trimming and once gone is gone unless you continue to abuse your hair. Hair can thin or shed as a result of stress or illness but even then it's often not permanent.

So stop worrying. And listen to your boyfriend. If he thinks it's gotten thicker, then it probably has. You see it 24/7 that you've failed to recognise it. Take a starting photo now, practice gentle health care and I think you'll be amazed at the progress you see in just a few months.

dropinthebucket
December 7th, 2010, 07:23 AM
Welcome to the board!

I have super baby fine, fragile hair, and not too much of it. I also dyed my hair for 20 years! After almost a year on LHC, though, my hair looks so much better! I think permanent damage is hard to do, unless you damage the follicles themselves, and if decades of dying doesn't do it, I think you're pretty safe with your straightening, etc. AND - you've started over, so you've got virgin hair there, how fabulous!

Happy growing!

spitfire511
December 7th, 2010, 07:28 AM
I don't have anything useful to add to all the wonderful advice you've received already, I just wanted to welcome you!:blossom:

Don't give up on it!!

aldasbeke
December 7th, 2010, 01:40 PM
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I feel like it will be a good thing for me to hear these tips!

I do use a Neutrogena deep conditioner a couple times a week and it works pretty well for the dry ends, but as I'm a tad skeptical about using popular products just because I'm not too sure about the chemicals, I think that trying the oils will be a better alternative.

Also, someone asked about my hair care routine. I currently wash my hair every night with either Burt's Bees or an organic shampoo from the health food store, and condition the ends. I partially blow dry it on the cool setting and then put it in a bun for bed. That is basically it. During the day, I usually leave it down or in a ponytail. I try not to straighten it too much but I do once in awhile.

I will be putting pics up soon. I also liked what someone said about big hair being overrepresented in the media and over-valued in our culture. I think that's true and it's something that gets overlooked as being an issue. I have noticed just by searching the internet and watching TV that people have started to be aware about how damaging it can be to devalue African American hair like our society does (and this is definitely a good thing to be aware of and to try to counteract) but people aren't talking so much about the negative messages girls are getting about finer hair, so thanks a lot for mentioning that aspect of it(:

aenflex
December 7th, 2010, 02:37 PM
I have thin hair. It sucks. A blunt hemline and henna have both helped me maintain some semblance of thicker hair.

feralnature
December 7th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Welcome!

I have been a member here for almost 3 years and the best "secret" I have learned about was COCONUT OIL! It is life-altering :)

christine1989
December 7th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Welcome to LHC! Its good that your hair is thickening. That shows that it is returing to its maximum health. I would reccomend high potentcy biotin to help get it to its thickest and silica as well (after 6 months of silica my hair was much thicker). A good multi vitamin would also do your hair a lot of good.