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jesis
January 4th, 2011, 09:07 AM
So, I'm getting worried about my hair. Since joining LHC I pay more attention to it than ever. I'm starting to notice some things. My hair is a lot thinner than I ever thought it was, and I feel like I lose a lot of hair. I only comb in the shower, and that's when I notice a lot of sheds. Usually the entire drain is filled with hair. I've never counted it, but it seems like a lot of hair. Is this normal?

I have a lot of hairs that are shorter than the rest. I'm not sure if these are breakage or new growth. When I style my hair curly, they stick up around my head. I can smooth them down with a leave-in conditioner, but they worry me.

When I run my fingers along single strands of hair, I feel a lot of bumps and kinks. Is this normal?? This is what worries me the most because it feels damaged, but then again, it could just be from my natural hair texture. I'm not sure. :confused:

Also, my hair looks very dry. All of the time. It doesn't look healthy. I'm not sure if this is also from my texture. I do regular s&d's and I get a trim every few months. I don't heat style. I CO and use Argan Oil, gel and some leave-in conditioner in my hair. Before I shower I put some coconut oil in while I detangle with my fingers. Every week or so I do an olive oil/evoo leave in.

So am I doing something wrong? Is my hair damaged? Should I do a chop and see if that helps, or does this sound normal for a curly girl?

Help!

emsahib
January 4th, 2011, 09:17 AM
from your album pics I think your hair looks really nice (I always wanted curly hair) so it doesn't look damaged from a distance. No idea what you're doing wrong, but sometimes even though I love coconut oil it gives me crunchy ends, think it works better on wet hair, or maybe if you don't put so much on. What's your diet like?

aggie_deirde
January 4th, 2011, 09:22 AM
When hair gets longer it may seem that you lose more hair that we are used to,but it's just hair getting stuck together.

Panth
January 4th, 2011, 09:40 AM
You seem to only have joined recently... so, perhaps at least some of it is just that you are paying *attention* to shedding that has always happened. It could also be seasonal - I had shedding in Oct/Nov that appears to have stopped now.

Longer hair will appear to shed more, simply because there is more total hair, because each shed hair is longer, making a bigger mass in the bottom of the shower. Also, if you've started brushing/combing or washing your hair less, your hair will be disturbed less and so shed hairs may stay within your mass of hair until you wash/comb/brush - this is especially true of curly hair, I think.

Another possibility is stress - mental stress, weight loss, illness, diet change, etc. This can put some of your follicles into catagen phase and then, after a while, the hair will naturally shed and the follicle will start producing a new hair.

But, if you're really concerned, perhaps measure your ponytail circumference and then you can measure again to see if your hair truely is getting thinner. But, don't measure too often - you'll only drive yourself mad giving yourself some other aspect of your hair to fret over. :P

I'm afraid I can't help you much with the texture/dryness, though. You'll have to wait for someone a little bit more curly for that. ^_^

nytquill
January 4th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Straightie here so can't help you with the curly questions. But it's normal to shed what looks like a LOT. Around 100 hairs a day is considered average - which means some people will shed even more than that and it's perfectly normal for them. And when your hair is long as others have said, each shed hair looks like a lot of hair. I have found shed hairs in the shower that I was sure looking at it were at least 3 or 4 hairs clumped together, and thought "Oh no, I'm losing so much hair..." and turns out it was just one really long hair. This happens to me a lot actually :lol:

Another thing is that if you're only detangling your hair once a day and not really brushing/combing at other times, then ALL the shed hair for that day is coming out at once which does seem like a lot. But it's 24 hours worth of shedding, and you're not going to shed more now that those lose hairs have come out. You're going to go on shedding at more or less the same rate as always.

The problem with feeling like you're shedding a lot is that it's so subjective. Just by worrying about it we can convince ourselves it's really happening. For years I felt my hair was "so thin" and getting thinner. I had a couple of dramatic medical-related sheds when I was younger and lost some of the thickness I used to have, so I felt my hair was thin and fragile and getting worse all the time. Until my husband mentioned that I had the same amount of hair I'd had when we met years before, and I realized he was right.

It took me a while but I've finally gotten to feel confident about my thickness and shed rate, through measuring and objectively studying the hair of other people around me (really looking honestly at it instead of just assuming it's better or thicker than mine). Hopefully you will too, with time. It's hardest at the beginning when you first start to really pay attention to these things, and it gets better as you learn what's normal for you and see overtime that your hair really isn't changing all that much. It also helps to keep in mind a comment I read on here a long time ago, that shedding is a sign that your hair is renewing itself to grow again. It's a beginning and not an end, it's not permanent and it's not a bad thing :)

As to the "baby hairs" or the "halo" as some people call it...well not all hairs on your head are going to be the same length. Yes, some of it can be breakage, but breakage happens to everybody at least a little bit, and even if you never snapped a single hair you'd still have those baby hairs. Some hairs just naturally grow to a shorter length to begin with. And not all of your hairs are in the same stage of growth. If every hair on your head grew at the same time they would also shed at the same time, and we'd all periodically go bald and start growing from scratch! So you have some hairs that are fully grown, some that are partway there and some that are just beginning to grow again after the old hair shed out. So we all have them, some more than others. It's nothing to lose sleep over :)

And one last thing: you say your hair doesn't "look healthy." Be careful of comparing your hair to, for example, hair ads or even hair photos here on LHC. In ads there are profesional stylists on hand and they use tons of product to get just the right look...for 30 seconds. And then they take tons of shots using JUST the right lighting and pick only the best ones. You're not seeing real life doable hair in those pictures. And even in LHC hair pics, most people are taking pictures of their hair at its best, not necessarily a "normal" hair day...and even then the camera flash adds a LOT of shine that isn't always there in real life. We've been sold an idea of what healthy hair looks like that isn't realistic. Hair can be VERY healthy without looking like a shampoo commercial. And I do believe also that healthy curly hair is going to look and feel VERY different from healthy straight hair.

p.s. do keep in mind too that any changes you've made in your hair care since coming to LHC won't show up right away in your hair. If you used to heat style your hair for example, and only stopped a month ago, then all of your hair EXCEPT what has grown in the last month (so 1/2") will still have heat damage. If you've started taking vitamins, those will only affect new hair growing out of your head now, it won't change the hair that's already there. So it can actually take months or even years to see a real difference in your hair from changing how you treat it.

jesis
January 4th, 2011, 10:51 AM
Okay thanks everyone for the words about shedding. Maybe I am just overthinking it.

emsahib - I eat a lot of chicken, fruit, veggies, etc. I love healthy food and I have a really good diet. Every now and then I slip and eat something unhealthy, but I was always feel sick afterwards so I stick to making healthy stuff at home. Thanks for the compliment. :)

nytquill- I was heat styling regularly until about 5 or 6 months ago. I am wondering if the way the individual strands feels isn't from damage from that.

I'm still hoping someone will come through and answer my question about the texture of the individual strands. It is what worries me the most and the reason I'm wondering if I shouldn't do a big chop.

spidermom
January 4th, 2011, 10:56 AM
Don't worry, jesis; worry = stress, and you don't need more of that.

I noticed all kinds of odd things about my hair when I joined the community and began scrutinizing every little detail. I despaired that my hair would ever get longer than BSL because of how easily it splits. But look! The worry was for nothing.

cataphract
January 4th, 2011, 11:10 AM
I used to get weird hairs that were bumpy and unevenly flat and oddly textured down the length. Since changing my diet early last year I've had none of those issues, it's back to my regular fine hair that I remember having as a kid. My diet changed due to health reasons, so I realize in hindsight that my hair was probably really unhappy with the hormones and whatnot that were in flux due to the health issues. So it could be that, or it could just be the way your hair is meant to come out :) Either way :)

Also, if you feel it's dry and maybe that's why your texture is uneven, you could try oiling it up for a few days - really letting it soak in there - and just doing braids until it's time to clarify. When I do that all/any trouble spots of mine will clear up. I'm a little more wurly than curly, though, but it might help you also.

DuckyDot
January 4th, 2011, 11:12 AM
My hair strands are bumpy - they are pretty course (sp?) so it's normal and even my medium strands are bumpy! And I get what you mean about the health of hair - My hair is really healthy but it doesn't look it! I just think 'at least I know that my hair is healthy!" My hair looks dry - I did a Deep Treatment yesterday!!! So I know how you feel! It's just the curly way sometimes! :D

virgo75
January 4th, 2011, 11:27 AM
You've gotten some great responses so far.

For your concerns- 1)shedding - how long have you been CO washing? Many on here adore it, and I agree it can be great for your hair and scalp if they like it. But I shed like a beast if I do it. :( It could also just be seasonal shedding.

2)shorter hairs - I think everybody has those? They're usually just new hairs as our hair strands don't all shed and grown in at the same time. But if your hair is curly and you're no longer using a flat iron then they're going to stick up and out.

3)bumps & kinks - If they're tiny little hard knot like things, they could be single strand knots. Have you looked at the individual hair to see if it's a little bump? I get them all the time and it's really annoying. lol That's the first thing I thought of.

4)dry looking hair- Does your hair look dry with nothing in it? Or how about with just a leave-in conditioner? Sometimes the products you use will make it look dull rather than shiny. It is possible that your hair is just dry from previous heat damage, in which case maybe with continued care it will improve after a while?

Hope that helps and you find the answers that you're looking for. :flower:

xoxophelia
January 4th, 2011, 11:31 AM
I will have to agree with some of the others that it is the early LHC obsessions setting in. Just try to remember that you may have some damage but it is only up from here as long as you stick to gentle methods. Time and patience are key and eventually your worry will fade :)

GoddesJourney
January 4th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Okay thanks everyone for the words about shedding. Maybe I am just overthinking it.

emsahib - I eat a lot of chicken, fruit, veggies, etc. I love healthy food and I have a really good diet. Every now and then I slip and eat something unhealthy, but I was always feel sick afterwards so I stick to making healthy stuff at home. Thanks for the compliment. :)

nytquill- I was heat styling regularly until about 5 or 6 months ago. I am wondering if the way the individual strands feels isn't from damage from that.

I'm still hoping someone will come through and answer my question about the texture of the individual strands. It is what worries me the most and the reason I'm wondering if I shouldn't do a big chop.

I would say, wait another few months before you try to chop anything. As for texture, my hair is of mixed texture, probably because I am of mixed ancestry. I do not straighten or curl my hair, but my hairs are not really round like most peoples. I think a lot of this happened after puberty. That's around the age I also started getting the kinky hairs around my crown, which is lame because the rest of my hair is too straight to hide it, especially in that area. The wavier, curlier, kinkier the hair, the more "texture" it appears to have if I run my fingers down an individual strand. I am a very healthy person. I eat well (a substantial amount and good nutrition for the most part) and exercise. I would just chalk it up to genetics and let it go. You hair is curly, so it would make sense that the hairs would not be as smooth, at least in my experience. My friend has hair about 2c/3a and it's at around hip length and very soft. The individual textures of her curly hair does not seem to affect that, so no worries. Your hair is fine. Shedding is normal. Multiple lengths is necessary so as not to go bald when you do shed. I think you're going to be just fine.

pepperminttea
January 4th, 2011, 11:42 AM
Apart from the in shower combing, do you detangle at any other time? If not, could it be that your shed hairs over a few days are getting caught up in your curls, and so when you detangle in the shower, you're actually seeing several days worth of shedding?

The shorter hairs; are they long enough for you to check their ends? If they taper off to nothing without looking broken, they might well be new growth. If they're split due to breakage or whatnot, the ends will appear to have a white dot at the end, or a visible split. If they never seem to get any longer, as with hairs around the face and at the nape, they might just be 'baby hairs' that have a shorter terminal length than most of the scalp hair. They're nothing to worry about; think of them as natural layers. :)

The dryness might be from previous damage (heat-styling, chemical dyes, etc.), but it might just be your hair's natural tendency. Curlies generally need a lot of moisture; it might be worth trying an SMT or a coconut water soak.

Whatever happens; don't resort to a big chop unless you actually want to cut your hair short. :flower:

sibiryachka
January 4th, 2011, 11:46 AM
From what you say about your use of oils, I'm wondering whether you might have some buildup happening. Do you ever clarify?

jesis
January 4th, 2011, 12:33 PM
Thanks everyone! It is the way of the curly, but I didn't know that my hair would ever feel or look like this. It's weird and I don't like it. :\ But maybe I should stop fretting over it for a little while and see if I still have these problems in a couple of months.

I am going to clarify and see if that helps the individual strands. If not, it might just be my texture. Does this mean I have coarse hair? I was just afraid I had damaged the inside of the hair with my flat iron.

How do I clarify? I'm terrified of it because it the past it's made my hair very brittle and vulnerable.

torrilin
January 4th, 2011, 12:52 PM
You've lived with your hair for 22 years. You're the person who has the most experience with it.

A lot of the questions you're asking are ones we can't answer, because we don't have *your* hair. I will suggest that giving up heat styling won't really have a quick effect, because damage is damage, and you can't fix it. I gave up heat styling somewhere around 1997 or so, and the effect wasn't really obvious until years later. Around 2002 or thereabouts, hairdressers started complimenting my hair's texture and be astonished at how silky it was, and at how few splits I have. And with fine hair, well... it splits like the devil. And with how straight my hair is, splits are really obvious visually...

That's why the standard newbie advice is to spend at least a month reading, and sticking with your normal routine. It took five YEARS for the damage in my hair to grow out. Compared to that, a month is nothing. If you absolutely, positively have to do something, work on learning new hairstyles and find some good ways to put your hair up.

Nenwing
January 4th, 2011, 12:52 PM
I'm wondering if the funny texture could be damage from the flat iron. Did you use the flat iron a lot? That can definitely give you odd hair texture (from damage) and splits.

If you ease off using the flat iron for sure your new growth won't be damaged.

xoxophelia
January 4th, 2011, 12:53 PM
Thanks everyone! It is the way of the curly, but I didn't know that my hair would ever feel or look like this. It's weird and I don't like it. :\ But maybe I should stop fretting over it for a little while and see if I still have these problems in a couple of months.

I am going to clarify and see if that helps the individual strands. If not, it might just be my texture. Does this mean I have coarse hair? I was just afraid I had damaged the inside of the hair with my flat iron.

How do I clarify? I'm terrified of it because it the past it's made my hair very brittle and vulnerable.

If you used to flat iron I would bet that is a big part of the reason you feel a lack on uniformity running your fingers down a strand. It is going to take a long time for healthy hair habits to fully catch up with you. So we wait XD

Elenna
January 4th, 2011, 01:01 PM
Regarding your hair texture. Wish someone had told me this: not correctly detangeling knots can really affect the hair quality. In other words, detangel carefully and thoroughly.

Tia2010
January 4th, 2011, 01:09 PM
It may be damage from previous heat styling and flat ironing but it could just be your texture. Do you color your hair? My strands feel the same as yours if i run my fingers down a single strand it feels a bit course and yet I have always been told I have fine hair :shrug:( which I'm starting to doubt) so I had a hard time figuring out why if my hair was suppose to be fine did it feel course and not ultra smooth ?! Mine may be from past colorings I guess because even before LHC I was never a heat styler. Just give your hair time to start growing healthy and if you feel the need to trim to help it along I suggest just small trims at first to just keep easing the damage away while your new healthy hair grows in :)

jesis
January 4th, 2011, 07:22 PM
You've lived with your hair for 22 years. You're the person who has the most experience with it.

A lot of the questions you're asking are ones we can't answer, because we don't have *your* hair. I will suggest that giving up heat styling won't really have a quick effect, because damage is damage, and you can't fix it. I gave up heat styling somewhere around 1997 or so, and the effect wasn't really obvious until years later. Around 2002 or thereabouts, hairdressers started complimenting my hair's texture and be astonished at how silky it was, and at how few splits I have. And with fine hair, well... it splits like the devil. And with how straight my hair is, splits are really obvious visually...

That's why the standard newbie advice is to spend at least a month reading, and sticking with your normal routine. It took five YEARS for the damage in my hair to grow out. Compared to that, a month is nothing. If you absolutely, positively have to do something, work on learning new hairstyles and find some good ways to put your hair up.

I know it's going to take time to learn to take care of my hair and I've spent a lot of time on the forums over the last month looking up new hairstyles, etc. I have learned a lot here already. If it takes 5 years to grow out the damage that my flat iron caused, then I will just have to deal with it.


I'm wondering if the funny texture could be damage from the flat iron. Did you use the flat iron a lot? That can definitely give you odd hair texture (from damage) and splits.

If you ease off using the flat iron for sure your new growth won't be damaged.


If you used to flat iron I would bet that is a big part of the reason you feel a lack on uniformity running your fingers down a strand. It is going to take a long time for healthy hair habits to fully catch up with you. So we wait XD

Nenwing and xoxophelia -

I no longer flat iron my hair. I have once in the last 3 months and it was for a special occasion. I regretted it instantly, so believe me, I am learning and giving up my bad hair habits quickly! It has probably been 6 months since I stopped using my flat iron regularly and before that I was using it about every other day/every 2 days. But I do believe you guys that it could cause this damage. That's why I was asking. My father made the comment a few months back that my hair looked like "doll hair". That did not make me feel good, but now I can see what he was talking about. It is very damaged and even though I got about 4 inches of damage cut off in September, I'm wondering if I shouldn't cut more just to get rid of some more of the damage. I could try to baby it more, but I already barely ever comb it and I use gentle products, don't pile it on my hair when washing or conditioning, and try to keep it in protective styles more often. What else can I do?



It may be damage from previous heat styling and flat ironing but it could just be your texture. Do you color your hair? My strands feel the same as yours if i run my fingers down a single strand it feels a bit course and yet I have always been told I have fine hair :shrug:( which I'm starting to doubt) so I had a hard time figuring out why if my hair was suppose to be fine did it feel course and not ultra smooth ?! Mine may be from past colorings I guess because even before LHC I was never a heat styler. Just give your hair time to start growing healthy and if you feel the need to trim to help it along I suggest just small trims at first to just keep easing the damage away while your new healthy hair grows in :)

Now that I really feel my hair, my virgin hair (the part that has never been chemically colored) feels a lot smoother than the part that did have dye in it. Maybe you are right that this is what is making it kink.

fleurinc
January 4th, 2011, 07:48 PM
Sometimes too much time on the LHC (though I LOVE it here) makes me too hair conscious...maybe take a break and just relax for a while? Above advice is great too ;)

torrilin
January 4th, 2011, 07:55 PM
It took about that long for it to get to the point where a stylist would argue with me and insist my hair was too nice to cut. BSL, very fine, and splitty by my standards is perfect by a lot of stylists' standards. At that point, I had to start insisting that they try to comb it, so they could see where the ends start to cause tangling.

We don't have the same hairtype, so don't expect your heat-free experience to work out just like mine! It seems like a lot of stylists no longer understand how to handle curly hair, which is just dumb.