View Full Version : Severe Hair Depression.

January 15th, 2011, 02:17 AM
I apologise for the negative tone of my following post- generally I'm not a negative person and I'm not the type to continuously write 'woe is me' type posts, but I genuinely feel I need some support.

So, I found the lhc boards October 2010. At that time I had double, maybe even triple bleached hair, flat ironed and blow dried everyday, and wore fusion extensions with metal micro links (I'd been wearing this type for 7 years). My natural hair was in incredibly bad shape. And I mean very bad. I struggle to find comparable pictures of how bad it was on the whole Internet- and believe me I've searched thoroughly.

But to the world, with my carefully chosen products, expert use of styling tools and the best extensions available in London, it appeared I had beautiful, long flowing hair. It was my crowning glory.

During my last extension removal prior to October, I had seen just how damaged and thin my natural hair had become.... And it worried me. To the point where I realised my hair wouldn't cope much longer.... And eventually nothing would be able to cover the damage. That thought played on my mind, day and night. Till one night I found this board and after reading for hours and hours, I decided (at 4am that very morning) that I would quit abusing my hair and stop wearing the extensions. The thought totally engulfed me, and my extensions suddenly felt so painful... I could practically feel every hair being ripped out, the weight of the extensions suddenly tripled and the tiny metal links dug into my scalp. So at 4 am I took them out.

The next morning I washed, oiled my hair and I haven't heat styled or dyed it since. I could practically hear my hairs breathe a sigh of relief.

My problem? I feel deeply unattractive. My hair was my whole identity, my pride.... Albeit fake- it looked good. I realise it's only been three months. I understand it took me years to get my hair in this state. I appreciate that. I know I'm very lucky to have any hair left and that my hair trauma was not caused by illness but vanity.
But it was my one vanity I did have, and I don't want to go back to any of what I did, I can see how beautifully healthy my new hair is, how it gleams with shine, thick and strong....
But it's been three months and every day is difficult and I guess the enormity of the time scale of how long it will take to grow my hair to my desired length has only just hit me. And I find myself think irrational thoughts such as ' what if I die before my hair grows out' it disgusts me to think like that...

I know it's just hair. But I guess on these boards people appreciate hair more than others hence the reason for me posting this.

If you've read this far, thank you for reading my rantings.... I feel better already. :)

January 15th, 2011, 02:54 AM
I am sorry you are going through a tough time. I can identify with you in that - my hair is my one vanity. I may not be pretty and I may not be thin - but I used to have wonderful long hair.
I cut my hair off as I was struggling to look after it and I had a sick baby so I caved into the pressure being put on me by my mother and friends etc.
One year on - my hair has grown. I still feel utterly miserable about it. But it is starting slowly to get better. I think the problem is hair takes a long time to grow. lookign at it everyday is just a reminder of the journey ahead.
I am lucky as my hair is now long enough to put up everyday and so I try to forget about it. I had a break from the boards here when I need one as I felt I was just focussing too much on my hair. It helped me to stop being so hair-centric.
There is nothing wrong with being hair-centric but it was a bad thing for me when it was getting me down every day.
You can get some good advice on treaments here - get yourself started and feeling postive about your hair, then I don't know but can you get any of it up at all.
When I felt really down about my hair I had to find something else to focus on - luckily we were getting a new puppy so I immersed myself in that. Of course I was looking after my hair - taking viatmins, oiling it and putting it up. That way time seems to go faster.
In one years time my hair will be a fair bit longer and so will yours. xxx

January 15th, 2011, 03:01 AM
I just want to say I really understand how you feel and hoe big a part of our identity hair can be. Could you get a really cool hat or headband or something?

January 15th, 2011, 03:04 AM
It will take time, effort and knowledge to grow healthy hair. And your hair would not had been able to substain the extensions and styling treatments forever.

So this is a really good place to find for your hair journey. From what you stated, your hair is looking much better "beautifully healthy my new hair is, how it gleams with shine, thick and strong...." But you want it long again. Well look at it this way, your hair will grow again and it will be YOUR real hair this time.

January 15th, 2011, 03:05 AM
I know how you feel.
hair is a big deal for most people, if I have a bad hairday, I have a bad day.

I have bleached my hair in October, I had black hair before and wanted a change.
even though I am happy with the new color, I will grow it out now.
it will take 7 years before the color is completely grown out! 7 years 0.o
we are kinda in the same boat here.

but, in the end, both our hair will grow back more healthy and prettier than ever!
it takes time and effort, but it will also make you appreciate your hair more I think.
because now you know how much effort you put in it to make it healthy and shiny.

January 15th, 2011, 03:06 AM
First, I don't think your hair is that thin to be worth your being depressed. I guess you just got used to extensions-added look and that's why you still feel yu have too little hair.
You may be not happy with it's state at the moment but if you want a good hair you've chosen the right path and I'm sure you will notice progress very soon. Your current length is not long, so the damage will be gone eventually, it won't take ages, and having your own healthy hair is a way better feeling than any extensions you could get! Have patience and happy growing :flower:

January 15th, 2011, 03:09 AM
I understand. My hair is my shining glory. I'm lucky I can get it into a ponytail; I could have had it cut a lot shorter before I started my hair journey. If you need any hair advice, feel free to view my tumblr. Some people say it helps them cope too. I've been really gentle with my hair since October. It's nice to have shiny soft hair. All the other girls here have long hair, but their hair looks damaged/brittle. It's a shame that people feel the need to constantly dye and heat damage hair to make it "appear" healthy. What happened to actually having healthy hair? I'm glad I'm in the process of regaining my old hair....It just sucks I'm subconsciously put into competition with girls who have longer hair.

January 15th, 2011, 03:12 AM
I'm sorry to hear that. I never had hair problems myself but I know I'd go mad if ever something seriously bad happened to my hair. I share your feeling that my hair is my pride. As for the length... you know it's gonna take time, but it won't take forever. The best thing you can do now is to keep on taking care of your hair like you do and grow as much as you can. Sounds like you're doing a great job in that already. Right now it might feel bad with your hair a lot shorter but imagine the time ahead. When you've accomplished your goal -or even a part of it- without fake, you'll feel even more proud cause it will be all yours up there.

I don't know if that helps any... I'm not very good at pep talk. Anyway, what I'm trying to say: hang in there. Everyone here supports you :flower:

January 15th, 2011, 03:25 AM
:grouphug: Dear oh dear, at least you are lucky you have found this site. And that you are now on a journey to grow healthy long hair that is YOURS.
As a comfort - it will only get better from now on.
Even having hair that is healthy but not particularly long would in my opinion be better than wearing someone else's hair :shrug:

January 15th, 2011, 08:40 AM
Many here can emphatize, I had my head shaved bald, by my own choice, but when I started growing it out it felt like it would take forever and a day.

But time passes and each day gets you closer to long HEALTHY hair of your own!

I'm growing out dye too and feel frustrated that it's going to take a few years to be rid of all of it, unless I cut it off. Which I won't.

January 15th, 2011, 01:06 PM
Oh I totally understand, been there and done that well not extensions but ruined my hair with bleach. Its been a long time since I have abused my hair and feel at peace with it now.

The main thing is you can't turn the clock back but if you continue to treat your hair nicely it will repay you greatly.

Id suggest you do some deep conditioning treatments; oils, smt, protein treatments to get your hair back to a healthy state. Yes 3 months isnt a long time but its 3 months of kindness and eventually you will see the good your doing. In a years time your hair will be 6 inches longer, so 9 inches of healthy hair. Try and visualise how much longer it will be, take photos take photos on a monthly basis, which will not only help you but other people in your present situation. You are not the first and wont be the last; smile your in the best place!

January 15th, 2011, 01:30 PM
Oh I so understand your pain.. I too had worn extensions for years! (I still do sometimes ) I have only been here for about 4 months and I have had them out more in the last 4 months then I had the entire 4 to 5 years I was wearing them. (think I feel guilty when in and I'm learning to love my own hair) anyway when You first take them out it really does take a very very long time to get used to your own hair again... after all you have just taken out at least double your thickness and that is hard to except. I have learned sooo much from this board and never realized just how bad I was treating my hair, not only the extensions, but bleach being the number one bad thing, heat styling, etc... This forum will teach you it can be done, it takes some knowledge, and a lot of patience!! start taking your progress photos that really helps to keep going and to know you are getting somewhere. read the anniversary threads becasue someday you will be there too. Everyone with long healthy hair had to start somewhere. So hang in there and know many people here are in the same boat :)

January 15th, 2011, 03:14 PM
I agree...take pictures every month and watch the growth happen! You will be amazed at the progress you can look back on in just a few months, and when you have a whole year of progress to compare, you'll be so happy with where you are, even if it is not at your ultimate goal. There are so many here to support you along the way.

I'm very impressed that you are converting from such damaging hair habits, and I think you will be very, very proud of yourself when you accomplish your goals.

Congrats on 3 months of healthy growth!!

January 15th, 2011, 04:45 PM
You made a brave decision. Yes I mean it: brave. From fake glory to the real thing, the authentic you. I am inclined to compare this to, for example, quitting a job that looks like a great career with enormous reputation but daily life is hell, or leaving an abusive relationship. Dealing with the consequences takes time and isn't easy. I wish you patience and ongoing courage. Ignore comments of people who don't understand.

Best wishes for your hair! Happy growing!

January 15th, 2011, 04:58 PM
How bittersweet. Hugs xoxo

January 15th, 2011, 05:14 PM
I totally understand what your saying. After I had dyed, then stripped, and then dyed my hair again, my scalp turned into a gaint scab (thanks to some very shotty hair dressers :P). As gross as it sounds I do not kid, it was a gaint scab. Not only was I in pain, I felt my hair would never be where I wanted it to be again. I was so depressed I called out of work and had a long weekend to myself. I won't lie, it was years before my hair was ever back to an OK state because of what happened but I eventually got there. When I was at my worst, I just tried to focus my anger and fustrations into something postive by putting that energy in to giving my hair the TLC and time it needed to get back to it's good ol' self.

January 15th, 2011, 07:17 PM
I definitely feel your pain (((hug))) I have always had long thick dark hair, and due to some medicines am experiencing severe shedding. I am working with my doctors to not lose any more hair and have started taking several different vitatmins. If you haven't yet, I would suggest you atleast start taking biotin. That definitely helps. I am taking, flax seed oil, ginkgo biloba, biotin, and saw palmetto. I am hoping to see a difference soon. (I also started this @ oct/november time frame). Good Luck!!! :)

January 15th, 2011, 07:54 PM
I know how you feel. I think most people on this forum were at the same stage as you at some point. I know I still am. We damage our hair beyond repair for so many years, try to stop only to see how crap our hair looks without the heat styling. Its a phase you just have to get over. Pretty soon you'll have enough new growth to slowly trim off the old damaged ends.

Hang in there :)

January 15th, 2011, 08:07 PM
I read your post. I'm so glad that you found this site and are working towards having your own long hair. If you want your hair to grow faster, consider taking 5mg of biotin 2x daily. Also, I have noticed friends of mine who eat tons of vegetables say there hair grows really fast. While you are waiting for your hair to grow, could you try wearing some amazing accessories? Scarves, headbands, a flower behind your ear....maybe even a long 'fall' that you can attach to your pony tail.
I wish you the best of luck with this. I know how bad it feels to not feel like you look good. You have our support if you need it.:flower:

January 15th, 2011, 08:14 PM
First of all, big hugs to you!!
I'm sure you are beautiful with long hair or not.

Have you ever heard the saying "watched water never boils"?
Maybe that's part of the probelm for you. Could you maybe try to concentrate on growing your hair healthy instead?
Healthy hair is beautiful no matter how short.
And before you know it, it will be healthy and LONG. :)

January 16th, 2011, 01:06 AM
I am so proud of you! I'm also glad you found TLHC. Many women, if they're blessed, eventually come to the realization that you really can't improve upon nature. Everyone has a natural beauty about them that shines through; find yours.

I hope that deep down, even though every day seems to drag right now, you have that tiny little joy that you've gone one more day, even one more hour or one more minute without adding to the damage. Give yourself pats on the back for what you've accomplished. At least your scalp will love you now. If nothing else, you've eliminated its pain!

Try to find something that enchants and engrosses you for hours, like knitting, or writing or painting or reading good books... and the time will fly by. Give yourself nice, loving scalp massages every day. It's very relaxing and the time will pass by quickly until your hair is growing and flowing again. You can have fun with wigs on days you feel especially self-conscious or when you feel insecure. Just for a day or a special occasion.

One of the best beauty "routines" there is, is to laugh and smile every day and see the beauty in life; in the snow, barefoot, giggling children, the beauty of trees and the sun shining through them. Go for walks in the fresh air... Remember, "This too, will pass." That's such a true saying. I look forward to the days when you write rejoicing in how far you've come and post before and after pictures! And the gorgeous hair you'll have then, will be all yours! Keep that picture of yourself in your head and you'll make it through. There are great people here with great hair and great advice on how to get it.

Chin up! You've done something very good for yourself! :toast:

January 16th, 2011, 01:27 AM
Juts give it some time, i remember back in 2007 all my friends took extensions and i'm so lucky that i didnt.
My hair was just Shoulderlenght and i thought i can better grow it myself then having those extensions causing damage to my hair.
So today my hair is almost hip lenght and quite thick and healthy, my friends hairs are thin and still shoulderlenght and they are very jealous of my hair.
You just need to keep thinking about the lovely hair you will get, and in just a year it will be so much better allready!
I hope you stick to not having someone elses hair and grow out your own beautiful hair! Good luck

Purdy Bear
January 16th, 2011, 03:33 AM
There are lots you can do in your situations:

1. Wear scarves and hats that protect your hair, and they can be very 'cool' and attractive.

2. Get into wigs, you can have different hair styles in an instant and they arent expensive and can be great fun. Iv got all mine from Ebay.

Just think each day your working towards your goal, with each treatment of oil etc your hair is improving and smiling to itself. Like anything it takes time but with each day your hair is getting back to its wonderful self.

Lastly, your in a much better place then some. I dont have any hair worth worrying about and Im including body hair. I have Alopecai Univarlis (total body hair loss) which is uncureable at the moment in medical science. I have had some good response to nutrition and other treatments. I pray I will find something that restores all my hair to its wonderful self, at present its just being shy.

I wish you well and hope your hair recovers very quickly, I know how hair is not just hair.

January 16th, 2011, 03:45 AM
A natural hair journey can be an entire inner experience, as we learn to embrace who WE are, and not care about what others think - and to embrace what's important to US, and not a face put on for the world. And the journey has a ripple effect - we feel like we can be more authentic and real in all aspects of our lives. Congratulations on your new (hair) life! You will find a welcome home here, and support for the awkward growing out stages.

January 16th, 2011, 04:09 AM
Hugs to you :)

You have taken the first big step to remove the hair extensions, bravo for this :)

It may seem to you that your hair is not progessing well and not being healthy to you. However, when the time comes and you look back, every moment of your hair journey is worth it.

I believe most of us been there before. I abused my hair before, with bleaching, perm, rebonding and now I look back. It's part and parcel of life.

Your hair is definitely getting better and better.

January 16th, 2011, 05:15 AM
I know exactly how you feel, I cant wait till December when I will have 6" maybe abit more new hair that isnt dyed and a horrible colour. I need to know some good treatments to do on over bleached hair to get it back to a better state...

January 16th, 2011, 07:38 AM
Im sorry you are goong through this. I know how you feel, i had extentions when i was younger and i know the feeling you described with the extentions weighing your hair down. What i hated the most was the itching scalp underneath. When i stopped wearing them, i felt like my hair was soo short, but i got past that in a few months and after a while i starter liking my new hair.
If it was too hard to fix the hair one day i just wore a hat or cap or something. I was working the headbands hard back then. Btw, my hair was just a little past a pixiecut back then.

I hope you get a little hope hearing all our similar stories, and you should know that it will be fine now, you found this site, :). I know you will have a wonderful mane of hair in no time at all.
You can pm me if you want advice along the way, since i have gone through almost the same thing as you. :)

January 16th, 2011, 11:40 AM
Hang in there. Time will pass and before you know it, you hair will grow long and lovely. I wish you peace and patience during this process! :flower:

January 16th, 2011, 04:44 PM
Wow, I'm genuinely blown away by the kind words that everyone has posted!

Thank you all so much. Some days are better than others, I live for the weekends when my husband is off work and we get time to together with our daughter as a family.... Those days I barely think of my hair at all.

I know it will get better, I know that quitting all the fakeness was the right thing to do... But I can't help but feel inadequate somehow... I almost feel like i've been defeminised.

One day I will have the courage to post my hair pictures on here.... But now I don't even let my husband see it unclipped ( my hair is too short for a ponytail, so I clip back what I can with numerous pins and clips- just so I don't see what is there).

Hopefully in a few years I'll have some awesome before and after lhc pics!

Thanks to all again.

January 16th, 2011, 05:43 PM
I don't know if this has been suggested - but what about a WIG!!!!

Get yourself a great, funky sexy wig that you really love and just give your hair a break for a year or so.

That is what I would do - I would rock on of those cute bob-length wigs until my length grew out and thickened up. I would take the wig off when at home to give my scalp a chance to breathe.

January 16th, 2011, 06:47 PM
Just another thought but theres
allways clip in hair extension for when your hair gets a little longer if you wanted to invest theres some really good quality ones out there.
best hair wishes.

January 16th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Maybe you could forget about your hair for several years by focusing on something else, such as perfect fingernails, toenails, makeup, jewelry, clothes or accessories. Would wearing a wig make you feel better on the days when you feel the worst?

For a variety of reasons, some of us have needed to not look at our hair in the mirror for a long period of time. Learning how to forget about your hair will build your character. The less you focus on your hair now, the more you will be delighted with the new growth in the future.

Some of us learned to ignore our hair by wearing an updo or some kind of head covering such as a scarf, buff or hat daily. All these things offer protection to the hair as well as keeping you from seeing your hair every time you pass by a mirror.

January 16th, 2011, 11:00 PM
I am another one who can feel your pain. I had damaged hair and had to cut it off short. I am now growing out virgin hair, for 3 years now. You can do it!

January 17th, 2011, 03:31 AM
I'm really sorry to hear you feel that way, I think it's a case of refocusing your energy on making this growth beautiful and worthwhile! Don't worry about the extensions, you'd have ended up with no hair at all haha, so what other choice do you have really??

January 17th, 2011, 04:21 AM
Try to enjoy your new hair journey by not focusing on long but each new stage your hair reaches. Pretty clips to put hair behind ears. I can do french braids now. I gained a lot of thickness. A ponytail. Enjoy each stage as your hair passes through it.
I have grown out dye for the past 4 years

January 17th, 2011, 05:44 AM
Dyefree, I think your decision is wonderful, and I got a bit emotional when I read your post. I'm sure you will enjoy your natural hair more and more over time, and you should take pictures of your progress every month. I'm sure it will be a fascinating journey. You will get all the support you need here, believe me.

For me, hair is an expression of my inner self (my very own mythology ;-) ) and a lot of self worth issues are wrapped up with it. So your decision to go from fake to natural is especially valuable and admirable. And you will get your rewards, believe me, it will be SO worth it.

Until your hair is long, well, until you make it - fake it. Not with extensions or wigs - fake it mentally. Do you remember how the media went crazy when Emma Watson cut her hair? or any other star? Many people see short hair as glamourous and fashionable and cool. People who see you on the street don't know why your hair is short. Pretend that you are Halle Berry and like it just as it is. Don't think that others judge you as harshly as you do yourself.

Nowadays, nearly everything goes with hair. If you are certain that what you do is good, and that nothing can top the beauty of the hair that grows from your head, then your certainty will impress others. No matter how your hair looks. There is no "accepted" look anymore like in the 50s when most women had variations of a salon-styled short cut that needed a lot of update. Just look around you. Everything is possible, from bald to knee length, from highly styled to natural.

I find it difficult myself to love myself just the way I am but I found it's helpful even to try.

You are doing yourself a very great favor now, before traction alopecia and other long term troubles creep up on you. Your hair will be a crowning glory again. You won't die before, you'll have a wonderful hairgrowth journey, you'll show us your pictures and celebrate every milestone, and it will be worth it. I'm absolutely sure of it.

January 17th, 2011, 06:29 AM
Sweetie......I know how you feel. I had chemically-dyed red tailbone length hair in Nov 2009. BUT, due to a bad hairdye disaster, I have had to cut it back to just a bit longer than BSL. I cringe when I think about it. It was totally devastating, but in the end it had to be done. And, I also switched from chemical dye to henna. My hair is much happier and healthier now.....it feels like actual human hair instead of cobwebs. And, it will grow back. The difference is that, this time, it will be much better at that length......not disintegrating in my hands.

I agree with other members who have said that maybe you should just try to forget about your hair for a while. Take good care of it, take some good hair vitamins for faster growth (I liked Maxi Hair, and also an extra shot of biotin), and try to not dwell on it. The stress of worrying about it will make it worse. Clip it back, get some really stylish headbands and hair-friendly barrettes and clips, and try to have some fun with it!