View Full Version : Why is my hair like this? So many split ends and white dots!

Irish Fae
May 18th, 2011, 03:55 PM
I could really use some advice!

For most of my life, the only problem I've ever had with my hair is that it has waves in odd places and I would prefer for it to be straighter, but it has always been thick and healthy. I've used semi-permanent colour for the past few years, and I sometimes use a straightener on my bangs and the top part of my hair, but I usually let my hair air dry and try to limit my use of chemicals and heat. I never saw any split ends in my hair. Up until about 6 months ago, my hair was healthy (or at least looked healthy) and BSL. However, at that time I made several changes. I moved to the city and started using city water rather than well water (the city water here is very high in chlorine), I bought a new hair dryer and started blowdrying my hair straight (stupid, I know), and I dyed my hair twice in two weeks with a permanent haircolour (what was I thinking?!).

Needless to say, I am seeing the effects of my mistakes. I had a trim a few months ago to remove some of the damage, and the hairdresser took off far more than the inch I requested, but my hair still doesn't look healthy. What was once healthy, thick hair, is now full of those horrid white dots (mostly just at the end of the hair shaft) and split ends. I trim off the splits when I find them, but as soon as I go out into the sunlight I see more. I am trying to keep my length and let the damage grow out, but it has been several months and I feel like my hair is still very unhealthy from the shoulders down. I am just now back at BSL and have a few more inches to go until I reach my goal length.

Firstly, I am slightly concerned that my hair hasn't recovered. I have been babying it and following all of LHC's recommendations. I still see constant split ends! Is my hair just growing out all of the damage, or do you think there could be some kind of health issue or vitamin deficiency to blame? I'm hoping it's the former and that my hair will return to normal soon. I haven't lost any of my thickness, nor have I noticed hair falling out.

Secondly, should I go in and have more hair trimmed off, or do you think my current regimen of search and destroy once a week and taking extra good care of my hair is okay? I would really like to reach my goal length by October/November, and I have about 4 more inches to go.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! My hair is really stressing me out today!

Thank you, and Cheers!

May 18th, 2011, 04:11 PM
I think it's likely your hair is just growing out the damage, and when the damage is gone, your hair will be okay again. Now it is possible that vitamin/mineral deficiencies could affect the health of your hair over the long term, so it's important to ensure you eat healthily, and maybe take a good quality one a day supplement.

However, even if you were to optimize your nutrition now, your hair would still be splitting etc., as what you put in your body today isn't going to show up in your hair for some time (it will obviously affect the new growing hair, but can't have any impact at all on the old hair that's already damaged).

I don't believe hair damage can be "fixed". I believe it can sort of be "bandaged" so it doesn't get any worse, but hair's just protein and once there's damage, it's going to stay. You can do moisturizing treatments that may make your hair feel and look better, you can do protein treatments if your hair requires them, and these can also help improve your hair for a certain amount of time... BUT these are just sort of like putting sticky tape on something that's broken. You may hold it together, but it's still broken!

That being said, if you continue to take good care of your hair, and you ensure you have good nutrition, when your damage is all gone your hair may be even better than it was before. You've also learned a valuable lesson in how damaging using permanent colors can be on some types of hair (some people seem to get a lot less damage than others), as well as using heat, and you know the effects of these now, so you'll be less likely to fall into the same trap in the future.

May 18th, 2011, 04:30 PM
It sounds like damage, not a health issue.

I would stop blow drying your hair as much and consider more frequent trims. Damage, unfortunately, doesn't go away no matter how much you pamper. I would suggest getting more frequent small trims. That way you don't lose length really, but you get rid of the damage.

Also it sounds like the scissors your stylist used may have been a bit dull, if you were finding a lot of white dots after your last trim. I'd consider going to a different stylist.

And as far as chemical dyes, it's fine to use them (I did and my hair was fine) but make sure to properly pamper your hair before and after. And I would try to wait as long as possible between colorings.

Hope I helped!

Athena's Owl
May 18th, 2011, 07:27 PM
It's not a health issue. It's damage. Certainly get your vitamins and all that, but figure out what you need to do about your hard water and put the blowdryer on reduced use.

May 18th, 2011, 08:32 PM
I think, really, you've answered your own question. It's damage. You put your hair through a lot in a short time.

S&D's might help (certainly couldn't hurt), but when I was growing out damage from commercial box dye, S&D could only do so much. And I was doing it every day. I still had to get several large trims and wait for the damage to grow out.

May 18th, 2011, 08:49 PM
Do the very best that you can to take care of your health from the inside (good food, vitamins and minerals, water, exercise, rest) and continue taking care of your hair the LHC way. And keep trimming. I recommend you trim about 1/2 inch every other month. That should allow you to gain a little more length while you eliminate damage.

May 18th, 2011, 09:02 PM
I have those too. And it is damage. Worse, it doesn't help to S&D, the dots come back.
My damage is about 3 inches long (its my old bleached hair). So now I'm just leaving the dots alone and only S&D the Y splits. I'm going to wait until my hair is a bit longer and then cut it off.

May 18th, 2011, 11:14 PM
Unless you cut it, your damaged hair will continue to get even more damaged. A split has the ability (at times) to split even further up the shaft.

Letting your hair "grow out the damage" is not going to solve your problem. if the hair shows signs of damage, cut off the damaged ends.

It is frustrating, I realize..but why go to the effort of trying to grow longer hair, when the end result still looks frazzled?

May 18th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Well...isn't what most of us want heathy looking hair? Sure you can't reverse the damage, but stopping it from getting any worse is a good thing. I'd suggest doing everything you can to 'sticky tape' your hair so it doesn't get any worse, but if your hair is as split as you say it is, chopping out the damage might be a good plan. Why not try dusting for a few months? You'll keep most of your length, and you'll be cutting the damage out at the same time. Just make sure the scissors you're using are shaaarp. If you feel like the splits are staying where they are, then maybe try and grow it out, but if you feel like they're travelling up, chop em out!

Irish Fae
May 19th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Thank you so much for all of the excellent advice! I have stopped using heat styling of any kind, have purchased a shower filter for my water, and am using coconut oil regularly. I have trimmed off most of the split ends, but I still see white dots. I think I will wait another month before doing anything else and see if my hair looks healthier and grows a bit longer.

I certainly have learned an important lesson... be happy with the healthy hair you have, and don't destroy it trying to achieve the look of someone else's hair!

May 19th, 2011, 02:23 PM
I certainly have learned an important lesson... be happy with the healthy hair you have, and don't destroy it trying to achieve the look of someone else's hair!

Repeated for truth!