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Arya
December 29th, 2010, 01:37 AM
So Christmas has come and gone, and I got a chance to spend some time with my family. Who are all beautiful, and whom I love very dearly.
But MAN their hair is in need of some TLC.
So I thought I'd check with all y'all before I went and dished out hair advice. I'm only a lowly noob to LHC. If you're in an advice giving mood, I'm all ears.

First of all, my mum and my sister have totally different hair than I do, they're both natural brunettes, and both have different textures from mine. One thing they do share is that it is thinning. I suggested monistat to them, and although they were both horrified at first, have seemed to warm to the idea. I'll be getting them some as soon as i bounce back from christmas finances.

My sister has (very, very thin when stressed) very very fine 1bi/2ci hair. It tries to mat itself into dreads and is almost permanently tangled. Chin length is the only length that she can maintain without serious matting (the stylist doesn't even bother combing them out when she cuts, she just combs them as far down as they'll go and cuts them out. Anything else leaves her in tears and takes hours, something she's not willing to go through). This also causes her to get frustrated, and RIP out her hair with a brush/comb. She doesn't have the patience for 2 or 3 30 minute brushing sessions a day her hair requires. She usually dyes it darker than her medium brown. Anything I suggest has to be low-cost (she's out of work from a spinal injury) and relatively uncomplicated (she gets frustrated and upset about her hair easily). She is a huge hippy, so weird/out there stuff is excellent. She doesn't like washing her hair too much, and uses drug store shampoo/conditioner.

I'm thinking of suggesting to her monistat/satin pillowcase, but I was wondering about anything else? They live in a tamil area of town, so South Indian spices are accessible, but Sally's, not so much.


My mother has thinnish hair (not terrible for her age, 52). She dyes it copper red (it's naturally medium brown/grey). Her main problem is spliiiiiiiiiiit eeeeeends. Her hair is maybe three inches long and a MASS of split ends. She cut it to that length trying to get rid of them, but they follow up the length. Her hair is maybe a 1bi/ii but medium texture, not the fine matting hair like my sister. My guess is that it's the dye, but when she switches brands she still gets split ends. Are there any notoriously gentle brands she should be looking at? She likes natural copper shades, so I don't think henna is for her.

I'm thinking of suggesting her the same, monistat/satin pillowcase. Any other ideas? Suggestions have to be low cost, and something available in the drug store/grocery store/bulk barn/something I can send her in bulk. No speciality stores where she lives.

Okay guys! Thanks for reading ^__^.

pepperminttea
December 29th, 2010, 01:50 AM
For your sister: Definitely the silk/satin pillowcase, mine helps no end. :) Also a Tangle Teezer; my mother has no patience with her hair, which is also a tangle machine, and it works brilliantly for her. Has she tried any detangling sprays or even 'cone-y serums for more slip?

For your mother: Are you sure you couldn't get a natural copper with henna? I'm afraid I know woefully little about it, but hopefully someone will be able to correct me/advise you better. Also, moisture treatments - perhaps pass on the recipe for an SMT? My hair splits like mad when it gets too dry, and when my hair was processed, boy could it drink a lot.

monsterna
December 29th, 2010, 08:47 AM
If your sister is using a store brand shampoo/conditioner combo, maybe she should get separate shampoo and conditioner. We all know conditioners are great detanglers. I don't know how well they work on that front as a hybrid with shampoo, though. Tangle Teezer also sounds like a good option.

Thing is, she's got to be motivated to want to treat her hair better. Has she brought up concerns to you or not? If she's let it get to this point, is she interested in turning that around? Hopefully so, and good luck to you! Your other suggestions seem fine. As for your mother, I echo a lot of moisture treatments. She could do those and then dust every so often until the splits are pretty much gone.

Arya
December 29th, 2010, 12:04 PM
@ Pepperminttea yes, I'm not sure about henna. She doesn't like anything too red/pink/mahogany/nuclear orange which is unfortunately the result of most hennas on her hair. She hasn't tried them extensively, but the few times she has, it's been a bizarre, unnnatural colour.


@monsterna Sorry, she does use separate shampoo and conditioner, I was unclear.

The thing is, it's not that she's unmotivated it's that she's tried everything. She's not willing to spend more than 30 minutes on hair related activities a day, which I can understand. She's motivated, but nothing works. Hair serums leave her thin hair lank and greasy. After spending hours combing out your matted hair, her sensitive scalp can't take it anymore, she just ties it in a silk scarf. She's got the fastest, tightest matting hair I know. Her hair is just so soft and fine. It's like a three-year-olds' hair.

I'm sure my mum would love to dust..but she cuts her own hair (she doesn't have a lot of money) but it's too short to microtrim herself properly. Maybe I can do it for her when I'm around, or convince her boyfriend to do it. But that is how her hair got so short, frequent micro trimming of determined split ends.

Artsy
December 29th, 2010, 12:47 PM
You can suggest clarifying to both your mother and sister. The cheapest way is to use baking soda followed by acid rinse.
Both could benefit from coconut oil added to the shampoo as in the movie star shampoo thread. This is the fastest method to "fix" dry hair
Coconut oil left on prior to colouring can minimize the damage a bit as well.
You might also find out if your mother brushes her hair with the hairspray in it, that could be the problem for her.

By the way, lucky you if your family is finished celebrating. All of my relatives and family friends are still here until the Ukrainian Christmas and they are driving me crazy already :brickwall

Kristin
December 29th, 2010, 12:54 PM
In addition to the satin pillowcase, I would second the coney conditioner/spray/serum suggestion. I don't use 'cones, but if I was short on time and had a tangle problem, I would need them. You may also suggest protective styling to both of them. The chemical dyes are probably creating more damage; they could both try henna/henndigo. They sell basic blends at Whole Foods in an array of shades from clear to red to medium brown to black and everything in between.

As Monsterna said, they actually have to WANT to change their hair habits. People constantly ask what I do to make my hair to healthy, but very few of them are willing to make the changes necessary to have healthy hair themselves.

Bonny
December 29th, 2010, 01:02 PM
My mother has thinnish hair (not terrible for her age, 52). She dyes it copper red (it's naturally medium brown/grey). Her main problem is spliiiiiiiiiiit eeeeeends. Her hair is maybe three inches long and a MASS of split ends. She cut it to that length trying to get rid of them, but they follow up the length.




I'm sure my mum would love to dust..but she cuts her own hair (she doesn't have a lot of money) but it's too short to microtrim herself properly. Maybe I can do it for her when I'm around, or convince her boyfriend to do it. But that is how her hair got so short, frequent micro trimming of determined split ends.

I had a thought... perhaps your mother's scissors are dull? If they are, then any micro trimming she does will just encourage more split ends. If you could get her a pair of sharp haircutting scissors and emphasize to her that they should not be used for anything else, that may help.

Anje
December 29th, 2010, 01:41 PM
I'm curious -- is there any chance your sister has the disorder known as "spun glass hair" or "uncombable hair syndrome"? It sounds rather like it, aside from her being brunette.

She might benefit from a Tangle Teezer, if/when you can find one.

Arya
December 30th, 2010, 01:20 PM
I'm a little confused at where the 'do they want to change their routine' thing is coming from? Yes, of course they'd want to do anything that helps. My sister would jump at the chance if anything would keep her hair from tangling.
Also, my mum's hair is dry, but my sister's isn't. Are there any coney sprays/shampoos/conditioners you could suggest, that wouldn't weight her hair down or make it greasy?

@Bonny...you know...you may be completely right. I'll check it out when I'm over there today. Ha! I don't know why I didn't think of that! I'll have to buy her new ones and hide them from my brothers.

@Anje, I have no idea what these syndromes are...but her hair certainly matts itself. It's not that it's dry, it's just that she has the finest hair I've ever seen. Like a three year old. It's very soft (doesn't feel dry) and turns itself into the tightest tangles. She doesn't even really have split ends problems, it's just that undoing the tangles rips her hair out, stress causes it to thin, and she can't maintain any sort of length.

What is a Tangle Teezer? I've never seen them? Maybe because I'm up north?

ratgirldjh
December 30th, 2010, 01:34 PM
I can relate to this.

When I saw my mom this Christmas - who has almost waist length silver hair - it was in a bun and she told me that it was all matted and that she had just been twisting it up in a bun for a couple of weeks with the tangles still in it and that she was going to have to cut it!!!

I tried and tried to make her let me comb it out with conditioner - but she said no. However I gave her for presents a nice horn comb and hair stick and a MP BBB - and also told her to absolutely soak her hair in conditioner and then gently comb out the mats - with a wide toothed comb.

Also I told her to STOP using the Goody Ouchless plastic brush with the little balls on the ends - which I've seen her virtually pull out her hair with... and to finger comb first and then use her horn comb and then if her hair is dry only - to use the MP last and focus on her scalp and hang her hair upside down.

Well, imagine my surprise when I saw her the day after Christmas and her hair was shiny, smooth and beautiful!!! And still long!!!

Seems she just needed a little hair love!!! No one else in my family cares about long hair and she probably felt all alone in her hair worries :P

jaine
December 30th, 2010, 01:36 PM
Did they ask for advice?
I would probably feel a little bit hurt if someone in my family gave me unsolicited hair advice ... but solicited advice is fun and helpful.

xoxophelia
December 30th, 2010, 01:37 PM
You could ask if you sister was interested in dread locks?

I would just be generally careful giving hair advice and perhaps wait to do it until asked unless it is really needed. Your sister may need some help with it if she is to the point of pulling out her hair though..

Arya
December 30th, 2010, 05:03 PM
I can relate to this.

When I saw my mom this Christmas - who has almost waist length silver hair - it was in a bun and she told me that it was all matted and that she had just been twisting it up in a bun for a couple of weeks with the tangles still in it and that she was going to have to cut it!!!

I tried and tried to make her let me comb it out with conditioner - but she said no. However I gave her for presents a nice horn comb and hair stick and a MP BBB - and also told her to absolutely soak her hair in conditioner and then gently comb out the mats - with a wide toothed comb.

Also I told her to STOP using the Goody Ouchless plastic brush with the little balls on the ends - which I've seen her virtually pull out her hair with... and to finger comb first and then use her horn comb and then if her hair is dry only - to use the MP last and focus on her scalp and hang her hair upside down.

Well, imagine my surprise when I saw her the day after Christmas and her hair was shiny, smooth and beautiful!!! And still long!!!

Seems she just needed a little hair love!!! No one else in my family cares about long hair and she probably felt all alone in her hair worries :P
I'm so glad to hear this!! That's great for your mum. I always enjoy hearing how people learn to care for their hair instead of cutting it all off.


Did they ask for advice?
I would probably feel a little bit hurt if someone in my family gave me unsolicited hair advice ... but solicited advice is fun and helpful.
They're my family. We all bring everything up, and nothing is taboo. They're not sensitive about it, but we're all at a loss for what to do.

You could ask if you sister was interested in dread locks?

I would just be generally careful giving hair advice and perhaps wait to do it until asked unless it is really needed. Your sister may need some help with it if she is to the point of pulling out her hair though..

About the dreadlocks, yeah, we'd thought about that, but her hair is too thin for it to look really good. The other thing she worries about is that since she works in guatemala, they view dreadlocks as a negative thing there...they won't take her seriously as a researcher, and dismiss her as a hippy.


One thing I want to say: I am NOT coercing them into any of this! They're interested in anything I have to say, since I'm sort of the family hair guru. they aren't offended by any suggestions I have to make.

My sister *tries* not to pull out her hair, and brushes from the bottom, and does what she can, she just has naturally very tangly hair.

McFearless
December 30th, 2010, 05:49 PM
I'm always giving hair advice to my family and they are so annoyed with me at this point. But I figure if they complain about their hair all the time then my advice could help. I might get a little sneakier, like swap pillow cases and maybe pour a little coconut oil in their shampoo..hehe

Intransigentia
December 30th, 2010, 08:32 PM
Some things I can think of (though I've been here only a couple weeks longer than you) that could be worth a try:
- coconut oil in the shampoo (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=191)- body, shine, detangling - I personally love it.
- lemon rinse (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=53745) - shine and detangling, reduced static and frizz. People with waves/curls also report nicer texture. I've tried this a couple times in addition to the coconut shampoo and am thrilled with the results. Sooo shiny!
- catnip (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=118)- I haven't tried it but it's supposed to be great as a detangler and for split ends

All three of these have gotten rave reviews from most people who have tried them; the ingredients are readily available and inexpensive; and even if your hair doesn't like them, they just shampoo out and you can use the ingredients for other things (if you don't have a cat of your own, you probably know someone who does).

Good luck!

Arya
December 30th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Some things I can think of (though I've been here only a couple weeks longer than you) that could be worth a try:
- coconut oil in the shampoo (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=191)- body, shine, detangling - I personally love it.
- lemon rinse (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=53745) - shine and detangling, reduced static and frizz. People with waves/curls also report nicer texture. I've tried this a couple times in addition to the coconut shampoo and am thrilled with the results. Sooo shiny!
- catnip (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=118)- I haven't tried it but it's supposed to be great as a detangler and for split ends

All three of these have gotten rave reviews from most people who have tried them; the ingredients are readily available and inexpensive; and even if your hair doesn't like them, they just shampoo out and you can use the ingredients for other things (if you don't have a cat of your own, you probably know someone who does).

Good luck!
That's really great advice, intransgentia, I'll pass them on and let ya know how they go over!

mellie89
December 30th, 2010, 11:59 PM
The first thing that came to mind is that your sister could benefit from using massive amounts of cones. Have her try a heavy conditioner, like Herbal Essences, Tresemme, Garnier, etc. Also, make sure she's leaving it in for a few minutes before she rinses it out. She could also try a leave-in conditioner/detangler. Anything to make it easier to get a comb through her poor hair!

A Tangle Teezer could be really helpful, too. You can order them from Sally's for about $10 US.

Intransigentia
December 31st, 2010, 09:57 AM
That's really great advice, intransgentia, I'll pass them on and let ya know how they go over!

Thanks :-) One thing I forgot to mention - as far as I know, nobody has tried movie star shampoo and catnip at the same time and it's theorized they might not play well together since catnip coats the hair, and the movie star shampoo needs the hair totally "naked" to work. I don't know if you read the whole lemon thread yet (let alone the catnip or movie star shampoo ones, yikes they're long), but I'd be especially optimistic about the lemon and catnip, maybe even combined.

Michelle Ravel
December 31st, 2010, 10:43 AM
Okay, before you go recommending this rinse or that herbal mix--which we all know can get quite complicated--perhaps your sister just needs a little help understanding that you need to treat your hair gently.

Her hair probably doesn't need 30 minutes of brushing a day to get the tangles out. Her hair probably needs less brushing.

Before you get to the complicated stuff, you should check these things:

1) Is she piling her hair on top of her head when she washes? As we know, this tangles hair like crazy. She only ever needs to wash the scalp.

2) She should use craploads of conditioner, and leave it in her hair as she does her other shower stuff like soaping up her skin, shaving her legs, whatever she does.

3) It can help to make sure you don't finish rinsing your hair with super-hot water.

4) It can help to do a vinegar or lemon juice rinse at the end of your hair-wash. So, a tiny bit of either of those ingredients in a cup of water, poured over her head.

5) Okay, here's the important bit: she should NOT brush her hair when it's wet. She should run her fingers GENTLY through it to detangle and then let it dry. If she has straightish hair, she can brush it after it's dry. If she has curly hair--and this may be news to her--she should NEVER brush it. If she doesn't want to finger-comb, she should have a nice wide-toothed comb to detangle.

6) She should try to get a satiny pillowcase to avoid tangling at night.

7) Updos (even as simple as a ponytail) keep hair from getting too tangled during the day.

Okay, those are some things to try. But I don't know if I can really help her without sort of seeing her hair to see what's wrong. It's possible none of those things will help.

triumphator!
December 31st, 2010, 11:02 AM
I'm not gonna complicate you with a ton more advice, but I just wanted to say that you are so sweet for caring about your family's hair enough to help them solve their issues.

bumblebums
December 31st, 2010, 11:18 AM
I'm sure my mum would love to dust..but she cuts her own hair (she doesn't have a lot of money) but it's too short to microtrim herself properly. Maybe I can do it for her when I'm around, or convince her boyfriend to do it. But that is how her hair got so short, frequent micro trimming of determined split ends.

Aha, mystery of the split ends explained.

You need to get your mom some good quality hair cutting scissors and explain to her that they are not to be used for anything but hair. If you cut hair with dull scissors, you get splits. That's the only explanation for splits at that length, really.

As for thinning... I hate to say this, but it can very well be genetic and irreversible. Hair thinning in middle-aged women sometimes doesn't have an obvious cause, and there may not be a way to fix it. Good luck with the monistat, but I wouldn't get their hopes up.

Arya
December 31st, 2010, 03:34 PM
Okay, before you go recommending this rinse or that herbal mix--which we all know can get quite complicated--perhaps your sister just needs a little help understanding that you need to treat your hair gently.

Her hair probably doesn't need 30 minutes of brushing a day to get the tangles out. Her hair probably needs less brushing.

Before you get to the complicated stuff, you should check these things:

1) Is she piling her hair on top of her head when she washes? As we know, this tangles hair like crazy. She only ever needs to wash the scalp.

2) She should use craploads of conditioner, and leave it in her hair as she does her other shower stuff like soaping up her skin, shaving her legs, whatever she does.

3) It can help to make sure you don't finish rinsing your hair with super-hot water.

4) It can help to do a vinegar or lemon juice rinse at the end of your hair-wash. So, a tiny bit of either of those ingredients in a cup of water, poured over her head.

5) Okay, here's the important bit: she should NOT brush her hair when it's wet. She should run her fingers GENTLY through it to detangle and then let it dry. If she has straightish hair, she can brush it after it's dry. If she has curly hair--and this may be news to her--she should NEVER brush it. If she doesn't want to finger-comb, she should have a nice wide-toothed comb to detangle.

6) She should try to get a satiny pillowcase to avoid tangling at night.

7) Updos (even as simple as a ponytail) keep hair from getting too tangled during the day.

Okay, those are some things to try. But I don't know if I can really help her without sort of seeing her hair to see what's wrong. It's possible none of those things will help.
My sister does use a lot of conditioner in her hair, and she does treat her hair very, very gently. The 30 minutes is sitting there working at tats in her hair with her fingers. It takes about 30-60 minutes a day to work out all the tats that form in her hair as she sleeps, if wind gets at it, etc. It's like a three year old's hair. She brushes from the bottom up, doesn't touch it when it's wet, but she can't put in in updos, as it's slightly longer than chin length. It honestly looks really terrible in updos because it's so thin.

A satiny pillowcase I think will make the most difference for her. I plan on sending her one as soon as I have a little more disposable income. I'm thinking that a tangle teezer might be nice too.



I'm not gonna complicate you with a ton more advice, but I just wanted to say that you are so sweet for caring about your family's hair enough to help them solve their issues.
Thanks very much, but if you're thinking of something that

Aha, mystery of the split ends explained.

You need to get your mom some good quality hair cutting scissors and explain to her that they are not to be used for anything but hair. If you cut hair with dull scissors, you get splits. That's the only explanation for splits at that length, really.

As for thinning... I hate to say this, but it can very well be genetic and irreversible. Hair thinning in middle-aged women sometimes doesn't have an obvious cause, and there may not be a way to fix it. Good luck with the monistat, but I wouldn't get their hopes up.
I'm thinking that hair cutting scissors are the key too, the more I think about it.
The reason I'm thinking monistat might be a good idea is that my brother has a lot of problems with scalp issues (which monistat seems to help), so I'm wondering if it could be a family thing.

Chiara
December 31st, 2010, 05:14 PM
I have hair that loves to tangle and dread (in fact, I've had hairdressers do just what you describe them doing when cutting your sister's hair). A tiny amount of coconut oil, applied to damp hair works really well. However my hair looks oily really fast (that's also part of having fine hair).
Catnip also works well as a way to condition and detangle without losing volume. However, I still get a fair bit of static if I use catnip (applied for an hour) because you don't use conditioner. I've learnt static means dry hair which means tangles...
So, my advice is coconut oil first then, if that leads to a reduction in tangles and dryness, try out the catnip treatment.

Kaeita
December 31st, 2010, 08:57 PM
My 6yo son has very fine, wavy/curly hair, and very sensitive scalp. I can't use any product on him at all. A trick I came up with a few years ago, which works for him is to stand him in the shower, and run the shower on the top of his head (I have a hand-held one that I can bring close), and use it to "comb" the hair. I get him to tip his head back slightly so I can get the front of his hair back too, as he hates it in his face. It usually only takes a few minutes to get all the hair lying in one direction, then I get him out, pat it dry, and detangle gently when it's damp (it's possible I'm doing this bit wrong, but it seems to work for him). If he's been swimming, or if it's overly windy, it sometimes takes a bit longer in the shower to smooth it all down. If I don't do the shower-combing thing, his hair gets horribly tangled, and I couldn't get a comb or brush through it to save my life. Most days he has a shower when we're getting ready to leave the house (because he's usually been running around like a loon and is all hot and sweaty), and every day a shower after dinner and before bed, so his hair gets detangled at least once a day.

I don't use product on him, and find I don't need to, probably because his hair has never had it. On my own hair, I occasionally use a hemp oil shampoo, sometimes with matching conditioner, though I've been experimenting with other things lately, and I can do the detangle thing with just water as well. If mine is really knotty, putting conditioner on dry hair, then running the shower, works fine. Mine doesn't tangle as easily though, and it's a bit thicker.

The trick is to keep the head still, no sudden movements with the water, and not run it too hard - a firm but gentle stream is all you need. If it stings the skin, it's too hard.

Coconut oil also works well for detangling, and if only a tiny drop is used, it shouldn't look greasy. Just a drop in the palm, rub all over hands so there's only a very thin layer, then rub hands over/through the tangles.

I don't know what to suggest for your mother, I did read a thread about Castor oil a couple of weeks ago that might be helpful:
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=18265