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BellCat
December 9th, 2010, 06:11 AM
I can't find much on protection, i'm still a bit of a noob with searching so I thought it would be good for everyone to share how they protect their hair in every way.. sleeping washing combing styling etc etc. I want to reaaally protect my hair as it's quite fragile and easily damaged.

Right now, I don't use any heat. I comb my hair with a freakishly wide toothed shower comb and I just braid my hair into a pony day and night (which I hear somehow helps your hair to grow :P??)

Belisarius
December 9th, 2010, 06:14 AM
People, including me, use oiling for everyday protection. So you could look into that?

BellCat
December 9th, 2010, 06:15 AM
People, including me, use oiling for everyday protection. So you could look into that?
sounds pretty cool, how do you oil and what do you use?

chopandchange
December 9th, 2010, 06:22 AM
If you are new to oiling you should proceed with caution. (Oiling = putting a few drops of oil on your palms and applying it like a serum). Oiling does NOT work for everyone. It seems to work for the majority on here, but there is a minority for whom it does not. (I am one of them). People who rave about oiling say it makes their hair silky, tangle-free, softer, etc. For me personally, putting oil (or any kind of leave-in) on my hair causes terrible breakage and tangles because having that residue on my hair causes all the lint and dust floating around to stick to my hair instead of floating off again or just brushing out easily. When I run the brush or comb through it (the times I've used oil) I find masses of tangles, and when I inspect them they are all being caused by dust or lint or random stuff that is sticking to the oil.

If oiling works for you, great. But just be warned that it might not, and you might find that the best way to keep your hair tangle-free is to keep it fresh and clean and free from any products, oils, or leave-ins.

BellCat
December 9th, 2010, 06:25 AM
I've been randomly oiling with amla oil BUT I don't know if im doing it right. I put it in wet hair :/ Can you use it on dry hair? because id like to oil my ends everyday. I used to do it with olive oil but I don't know if its right :S

chopandchange
December 9th, 2010, 06:29 AM
You can use it however you want. Some people put it on wet hair, some on dry hair. Some before washing, some after washing. Some use loads of oil, some only use a tiny bit. Some all over, some only on the ends. The key thing is finding what works for you.

What works for me personally is not using any oil at all - ever! Oil = tangles!(for my hair).

If it's working for you, then by all means keep going!

luxepiggy
December 9th, 2010, 06:45 AM
I've been randomly oiling with amla oil BUT I don't know if im doing it right. I put it in wet hair :/ Can you use it on dry hair? because id like to oil my ends everyday. I used to do it with olive oil but I don't know if its right :S

For me, damp oiling works, but dry oiling does not. Dry oiling makes my hair weird and stiff (>(oo)<)`

I have to admit I'm not totally sold on the idea of braids as a protective style. I think it really depends on the person. I get damage from the act of braiding (accidentally pulling hairs from the wrong side, noticeable areas of tension that make my scalp hurt after a while) and also from the elastic needed to secure the end (b/c my hair is so slippery that the elastics need to be quite tight in order to not slide out). Plus, my braids seem to always be getting caught or pulled somehow.

On the other hand, hairstick updos are great as a protective style for me, because they keep my hair completely out of the way, and they don't cause breakage for me the way elastics do.

If you don't already have a silk/satin pillowcase, that might be a wise investment. I don't use one myself but I happen to not move at all when I sleep - this has been confirmed by several boyfriends in the past - so nighttime breakage and/or tangles are not a problem for me (^(oo)^)

Laurenji
December 9th, 2010, 06:45 AM
Whether you put it on dry or wet depends on the kind of oil and your own hair. Coconut oil really only works on me as a dry oil (and for a lot of other people), but some say it works better on their wet hair. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), on the other hand, most people say is a "wet" oil.

Other means of hair protection include: wearing it in an updo always or almost always, sleeping with a silk pillow case, being mindful of where your hair is (i.e. not snagging it in seatbelts, purse straps, etc), and wearing a silk sleep cap. I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I think there are a couple others.

Rebelkat
December 9th, 2010, 07:15 AM
Your mileage may (and probably will) very, but this is what I do.

Sleep - I put my hair in a Lazy wrap bun (sans hairtoy) and pull on a satin sleep cap. I get mine at Walmart for about three bucks, and it has been well worth the investment. I'm a very restless sleeper, so braiding at night doesn't work for me, but it may for a more stationary sleeper.

Washing - I always deep oil with Vatika enriched coconut oil a couple of days before wash day to prevent protein and moisture loss.

Combing - The key here isn't so much whether you're using a wide-tooth or fine-tooth comb (I use both), but making sure there aren't any seams that can tear your hair. You can buy seamless combs online or sand the seams off of a cheaper plastic comb. Both methods seem to work well. Also, take your time and don't rip the comb through your hair.

aenflex
December 9th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Satin sleep cap.
Routine oilings with coconut oil.
Oiling hair before harsh things like dyes/pool and sea water, etc.
Protective braids and head wraps when encountering wind (jet skis for me, but maybe weather too)
Extra gentle treatment when wet.

LissaJane
December 9th, 2010, 11:35 AM
Yaaay! I was wondering about this myself earlier today and was considering making a thread too. I'm glad I'm not the only one new to all this and doesn't know very much (not saying you don't know much, but I'm not all that clued up).

BellCat
December 9th, 2010, 11:42 AM
yeah i felt kinda silly but i really don't know much only the obvious heat etc :)

ChloeDharma
December 9th, 2010, 11:52 AM
For me, damp oiling works, but dry oiling does not. Dry oiling makes my hair weird and stiff (>(oo)<)`

I have to admit I'm not totally sold on the idea of braids as a protective style. I think it really depends on the person. I get damage from the act of braiding (accidentally pulling hairs from the wrong side, noticeable areas of tension that make my scalp hurt after a while) and also from the elastic needed to secure the end (b/c my hair is so slippery that the elastics need to be quite tight in order to not slide out). Plus, my braids seem to always be getting caught or pulled somehow.

On the other hand, hairstick updos are great as a protective style for me, because they keep my hair completely out of the way, and they don't cause breakage for me the way elastics do.

If you don't already have a silk/satin pillowcase, that might be a wise investment. I don't use one myself but I happen to not move at all when I sleep - this has been confirmed by several boyfriends in the past - so nighttime breakage and/or tangles are not a problem for me (^(oo)^)

I 2nd the concern about braiding. For me i find the braid still rubs against things causing breakage and i get tangles at the neckline. Putting my hair actually up, usually with a hair fork keeps my hair much more protected.

I'm an oil fan though as has been said, some people don't get on with it. Also some people react well to one type of oil and not others.
If you are using amla oil i'd take a guess that it's by a company called dabur? Their oil base is mineral oil. If you want to use mineral oil then i'd definately suggest using it on damp hair as it tends to be a barrier. I'd also keep an eye out for build up while using it. If after a while you notice more dryness then i'd switch to something like coconut oil. The vatika oil mentioned contains amla but in a coconut base and it's very popular.
There are so many oils to choose from all with their benefits, which ones suit you best really is something you find out from trial and error.

Other protective measures....satin pillow cases or sleep caps as already suggested, making sure your combs are smooth...again, already suggested. For me heavily oiling with something like coconut oil the night before i wash my hair helps enormously to protect the length from the cleansers used during washing.
Other than that, just keeping your hair up and out of harms way most of the time.

KLin
December 9th, 2010, 12:32 PM
Just the information I was looking for.
I am off to find a sleep cap. My Dh is always taking my pillow, and if I have be hair down or braided loose, he rolls onto it. :rolleyes: Maybe a sleep cap will solve that issue.

I keep my hair up or in a loose braid most of the time and am starting to love oiling my ends. Need to try new and different oils. Have EVOO and Coconut only so far.

Thanks for starting the tread. Great information for us newbies.:D

BellCat
December 9th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Just the information I was looking for.
I am off to find a sleep cap. My Dh is always taking my pillow, and if I have be hair down or braided loose, he rolls onto it. :rolleyes: Maybe a sleep cap will solve that issue.

I keep my hair up or in a loose braid most of the time and am starting to love oiling my ends. Need to try new and different oils. Have EVOO and Coconut only so far.

Thanks for starting the tread. Great information for us newbies.:D
im trying to find a sleep cap too!! :) i cant stop touching my ends when its in a braid lol!

bumblebums
December 9th, 2010, 01:13 PM
For me, damp oiling works, but dry oiling does not. Dry oiling makes my hair weird and stiff (>(oo)<)`

And for me, it's the opposite! Wet oiling destroys my curls, and the hair dries all clumpy and greasy looking. So everyone's different... But in general, when listening to advice about hair, pay attention to those that have hair similar to yours. So here, luxepiggy's advice trumps mine, since she has straight hair. On the other hand, try it both ways and see what you prefer.


I have to admit I'm not totally sold on the idea of braids as a protective style. I think it really depends on the person. I get damage from the act of braiding (accidentally pulling hairs from the wrong side, noticeable areas of tension that make my scalp hurt after a while) and also from the elastic needed to secure the end (b/c my hair is so slippery that the elastics need to be quite tight in order to not slide out). Plus, my braids seem to always be getting caught or pulled somehow.

I agree that it must vary from person to person. I have an aunt and a cousin who only ever wear their hair in braids, and their braids are the thickness of my arm and there is never any problem. I find braids very comfy, but I always end up playing with my hair's ends when I wear my hair in a braid, so it's reserved for sleeping or when I am guaranteed to be distracted by something other than my hair (like yoga).


On the other hand, hairstick updos are great as a protective style for me, because they keep my hair completely out of the way, and they don't cause breakage for me the way elastics do.

Totally, hairsticks all the way!

bumblebums
December 9th, 2010, 01:17 PM
Just the information I was looking for.
I am off to find a sleep cap. My Dh is always taking my pillow, and if I have be hair down or braided loose, he rolls onto it. :rolleyes: Maybe a sleep cap will solve that issue.

I keep my hair up or in a loose braid most of the time and am starting to love oiling my ends. Need to try new and different oils. Have EVOO and Coconut only so far.

Thanks for starting the tread. Great information for us newbies.:D

I'm a satin pillowcase devotee myself... The only thing that's stopping me from getting a sleep cap is that my boyfriend would laugh me out of the bedroom if I showed up wearing one. He already makes fun of me because I have a special microfiber towel just for drying my hair! :D

That's another thing you should consider, by the way--never brush your hair when it's wet, and preferably don't comb it, either. Some people think that hair must be detangled when it's wet, or else they will never be able to do it when it dries--not true. Also, I find that I get less breakage when I wrap my hair in a microfiber towel (the kind they sell at hiking supply stores) than when I rub my hair with a terry cloth towel.

WhisperingMoon
December 9th, 2010, 01:45 PM
Never thought of never combing through wet hair! I mean I use my microfiber towel for my hair only, and then comb through when it is still dam, but I will have to wait longer and comb when it is dry to see if this works better for me. it seems every time I comb or finger comb through my hair, I shed, the entire 29-30 inches of hair comes out. I feel like my hair thins and thins every time I wash or don't wash!

bumblebums
December 9th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Never thought of never combing through wet hair! I mean I use my microfiber towel for my hair only, and then comb through when it is still dam, but I will have to wait longer and comb when it is dry to see if this works better for me. it seems every time I comb or finger comb through my hair, I shed, the entire 29-30 inches of hair comes out. I feel like my hair thins and thins every time I wash or don't wash!

You'll hear different things on this forum about wet-combing. Some people do it without a problem. Some people HAVE TO--with curly hair in the 3 range, you can only comb your hair when it's wet (and preferably slathered in conditioner, in the shower). For you straight-hair types, though, combing wet hair is completely unnecessary, in my opinion.

As for losing hair when combing--it's completely normal. Everyone sheds some hair every day. Sometimes it looks like you shed a lot more--but it could be because your hair was up all day and didn't get a chance to fall out of your head. Also, washing seems to encourage the shedding for those hairs that are ready to fall out of your head. Some people believe that certain kinds of washing cause more shedding, but this is controversial.

SpinDance
December 9th, 2010, 02:14 PM
It takes quite a while to get figured out what works/doesn't work for each of us. Take your time, take notes and be willing to take the time for each test. Many times the full effect of a particular thing can take several weeks to a month before you will really know whether your hair likes it. And as you change your routines different combinations of things may work differently.

Read then regularly re-read the newbie advice and other articles. So much wonderful information there. I find I get more out of it as I re-read and review it.

adiapalic
December 9th, 2010, 03:04 PM
There is a huge thread about headcovering/headscarves (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=21079). While the topic of the thread is Christian headcovering/veiling, it is extremely inclusive and informative about hair protection in general. IIRC, there were many other religious and nonreligious members contributing to the thread, and many members here on LHC wear headcoverings/scarves not only for religious purposes, but for hair protection and for fashion.

I was actually inspired to buy two headscarves from Tznius.com (http://www.tznius.com/). They have many beautiful scarves. I bought a square one and a rectangular one--each one is tied differently. The site even has a tutorial section on different ways to tie them. I've found them comfortable in the summer and winter.

Also, on oils--to apply them in a way that works, it really depends on when you apply it (ie. wet or dry hair), where you apply it (scalp and/or length), what type of oil you use, and how much of it you use.

Different people get different results pretty much any way you try it, but it can vary from person to person... and there is no one *right* way. I'm going to give some advice from my personal observations, but leave it open for one to consider that there are various options when it comes to oils.

Wet/Dry: Since it's oil, it's not going to add moisture to your hair. It's going to coat and lubricate what's there, and that's why if you apply oil to really dry hair it feels crunchy. For me, this just leaves me with dry, crunchy, oil coated hairs. It may not be the case for others, but for me personally... adding oil to damp hair seems to help trap the moisture that's already present and keeps my hair softer for a longer time. The Curly Girl Handbook (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/wavy-hair-type-2/curly-girl-the-handbook) actually recommends frequent spritzes of water (with a little lavender EO) to keep hair moist. So water moisturizes, oil seals it in. My hair always feels limp, moist, and soft the couple of days after I wash it. If I don't spritz it and oil it by the next few days, my ends will get stiff like hay, dry, and frizzy until I wash again. So while I do apply to dry hair on occasion, I get better results when my hair is damp.

Where: For the sake of my already oily scalp, I don't put oil there unless I'm doing a deep oil treatment. I keep it on my length, and for the most part, my ends. In winter, I need a few extra deep honey/oil treatments because my scalp skin dries out (but produces lots of sebum still).

What type: The first oil I tried was virgin coconut oil, and I loved it--particularly the subtle scent of coconuts. I then went on to try jojoba. I prefer jojoba, because it just feels nicer in my hair. Coconut oil seems to make my ends feel crunchy even if I spritz my hair, and it kind of makes my hair feel a bit sticky, gummy, and not to mention tangly. I've spritzed my hair before, put on some coconut oil, and then attempted to detangle... and the coconut oil not only didn't help... but I believe it made things worse. I still use it, but sparingly. I've found that jojoba makes detangling much easier--best way that I can detangle with the most minimal damage to my hair. I'll even put a quick coating on my length without spritzing to detangle and it sometimes.

How much: Generally, you'll want to use a very small amount unless you're doing a deep oil treatment. Sometimes this means just a few drops to shine your hands up to run through your hair. I will generally go ahead and put more in my hair if I intend to put it in an updo or braid it, because it won't matter if it gets a little greasy. In any case, a little extra oil than usual makes braids sleeker.

That's just my experience :flower: HTH

Lianna
December 9th, 2010, 04:57 PM
What *I* do. Some do or don't do these things and are fine.

No heat styling, moisturize often (wet the hair), oil (leave-ins aren't nice to me), up-do styles often damp (braids make it dry), silk coverings (sometimes). I also dye my hair but before I make sure it's strong, and apply coconut oil before (it protects). I also make sure to toss out things that snag my hair, which is often metal, but some metal things work fine. I don't comb dry, only wet after shower, when it's quite slippery. Brushes only to style when needed (smooth side short hairs). I've had shampoos with UV protection, though I didn't notice much change.

KLin
December 17th, 2010, 02:45 PM
Do not think I can sleep in a sleep cap. The elastic does not look comfy. May be looking into a nice scarf to wear around my hair.

adiapalic thanks for the link to the head coverings, I am off to explore.

bunzfan
December 17th, 2010, 03:10 PM
I love putting oil on my hair before braiding or putting in an updo it makes my style for the day hold so much better, especially with braids.

shikara
December 18th, 2010, 01:53 AM
As you can see with all the posts, it really comes down to what works for you as far as what styles protect. I don't think it's just hair type, but other factors such as your scalp and follicles etc. While I would love to find as updos as a way of protection, to date nothing has worked because the odd hairs on my scalp tug, and the updo always settles down too much no matter what I've done. I've tried Goody coils, Goody u pin, hair pins, bobby pins, a stick....the only thing I haven't tried is a fork which I think I will purchase tomorrow. If your hair tangles easily, the process of getting the updo together might cause more breakage than you want. I can't even wear a ponytail because of tuging. Oh, I bought the Bandette Comb at Claire's today and it held an updo without tugging but it takes a lot of concentration to get out without tangling since there are a couple plastic areas that your hair can get caught on. (I'd gladly pay 10 times the price for one without this problem!) Braids work the best for me. Although there was some tugging at the nape area, I gave it thought and figured out a way of manipulating my hair that takes care of this. Many times I will drape the braid around to the front, and leaving a bit of slack I secure it there with a safety pin under the shoulder fabric of my shirt. With braids, you may want to pay attention to the type of fabric you are wearing to avoid rough rubbing. (Also, you don't have to use elastics at the ends - there are other options. Someone posted that they wrap that stuff that is used for sprains (it sticks to itself when it overlaps). As a matter of fact, think I'll try that!! Hope this helps some. Good luck with finding what works for you!