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miss legs
June 8th, 2011, 01:18 PM
I have tried so many products in this 5-6 months and nothing gave me the wow factor to believe that its growing my hair.I tried mixing different oils,hair supplements ,using sulfate free products and staying away from chemical treatments.My hair is brittle and breaking and the winter is not helping.

feralnature
June 8th, 2011, 01:25 PM
The products will not grow your hair, only you can. First off, I think you have used too many different products. You have not given each one a chance to prove that it is good for your hair. Have you read the articles on this site? There is more to growing long hair than products. :)

Anje
June 8th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Few if any products actually grow hair. That's up to your body, so the best course of action is to take good care of it so it has everything it needs to give some energy to non-essential things like hair growth.

The key is to retain the length that you do get, and I'm sure that with your hairtype, that can be a bit difficult. It probably breaks easily. How are you handling your hair now? Are you combing it only when it's fully laden with conditioner? If you protect it well, keep it moisturized and proteined if necessary, and make sure your haircare doesn't break it, your hair will grow.

Something simple you can do now: Get a little spray bottle and fill it with water. (Distilled water's ideal, but any water's better than none.) Mist your hair a few times a day. Yes, it'll probably make your hair shrink, but it will also give it some moisture to help combat the winter dryness.

In all honesty, there aren't a lot of folks here with African-texture hair. You're welcome and encouraged to stay, but I'm going to give you a few links to sites more specifically oriented toward caring for your hairtype.
http://www.longhaircareforum.com/
http://www.tightlycurly.com/
http://www.naturallycurly.com/
http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/

Aeltt
June 8th, 2011, 01:30 PM
There are people with slower growth rate, or perhaps your curls are eating up the length : do you measure when stretching the strand ?
And also growing long hair takes a lot of patience even for people with a fast growth rate, don't expect instant results :)

For the hair breaking, curly hair in general needs lot of moisture, and if you used chemical treatments maybe your hair needs protein..

miss legs
June 8th, 2011, 01:30 PM
Thanks I will check it out

feralnature
June 8th, 2011, 01:34 PM
Oh, also, some of the folks here have been here for years and have been doing this for a long time. I myself started here in 2008. It takes time to grow long hair. You just can't cut it imo. I have had one 2 inch trim in 4 years.

Demetra
June 8th, 2011, 01:45 PM
With all the hype of advertisements and such these days, it is easy to expect immediate results and also to expect that one product is "the one miracle product". It's important to understand that growing hair is a process and patience and experimenting will ultimitely pay off. You just have to get those "quick fix" ideas out of your head!!!

katsrevenge
June 8th, 2011, 01:46 PM
So far all I have done is change how I wash and dry the hair... and take a vitamin when I remember... and the difference in how it feels is crazy. But it took two weeks to start to feel any better and now on the fourth week am I only starting to see the curls returning like they used to be. Maybe you need more time?

And winter.. winters kill my hair.

Really though, I'm not an expert. I do hope someone comes along who can help you more then just saying I feel your pain.

McFearless
June 8th, 2011, 02:11 PM
Don't give up! It takes many months to see progress, and years to grow long hair. Continue to stay away from chemical treatments and heat styling. Sulphate free shampoos will prevent dryness which can cause breakage.

The breakage you are experiencing is a result from past damage. Switching prodcuts won't completely repair the damage. You have to trim it off. To get on top of your mid-shaft white dots(where the hair breaks), you could try S&D trims. You basically search through your hair strand by strand and trim off white dots and splits one at a time with very sharp hair cutting scissors.
I also think you hair could greatly benefit from protein treatments.

Good luck! This is the site for you to rant about your hair and get support on growing it long. We will all help you:)

ravenreed
June 8th, 2011, 02:18 PM
It took about a year before I found the routine that worked best for my hair. I never thought I would get past waist and now I am creeping towards classic. Hang in there!

EmiliaF
June 8th, 2011, 02:35 PM
I have also started changing my routine 6 months ago and I am only now noticing differences. I stopped using my blow dryer last December and even if I didn't notice any differences immediately, I can now see a new 'line' of hair (1-2 mm more) before my previous hairline (forehead). If I take all the shorter hairs (now between 4-8" long) to the front to cover my eyes it looks like I have bangs. I am pretty sure all of this new growth happened because I stopped using heat.

I think that oiling will also just make a difference over time, because it will not fix any damage that has already been done. If you keep all the good things up then after maybe 1-3 years you'll see that compared to old photos your hair looks very different and much better, but because it's a gradual change the difference will not be visible after just 6 months.

Like others have said, it will take time to find your routine since there is no universal one. Then it will take even more time to actually notice a difference in your hair.

Hang in there! :)

Animae
June 8th, 2011, 04:06 PM
It takes more than Three months to see results, so stick with what you are doing. One of the best things I learned here was to change ONE thing at a time, and have at least a month to see what the results are.

Madora
June 8th, 2011, 09:41 PM
You may have a slower hair growth rate than others. Or, perhaps it is HOW you care for your hair.

Some things to consider:

1 Diet. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Try supplements..but don't go overboard as over supplementing can be dangerous!

2 Drying - No blow fryers. Avoid hot rollers/straightening/hot curlers/anything with heat period!

3 Shampoo - Use the gentlest one you can find. Check the articles here at LHC (look under reviews) and see what other members recommend.

4 Be consistent -- don't hop from one shampoo to the next to the next. Give the product time to work!

5 Do not combine shampoo with conditioner! A shampoo is meant to cleanse and a conditioner is meant to condition. Try diluting both when you use them..you really don't need a lot of soap to cleanse your hair.

When rinsing out the soap (and the conditioner too) try and rinse with the coldest water you can stand. The cold water closes the cuticle on the hair, thus protecting it.

6 Brush with a natural BOAR BRISTLE BRUSH - NO NYLON! Nylon and plastic generate heat..and heat is bad for your hair. ALWAYS detangle with a wide tooth comb BEFORE brushing!!!

7 Use hair friendly implements - slip off elastics, ponytail holders with no metal, a silk pillow to protect those fragile ends. Your comb should be seamless with no rough edges.

8 Wear updos (if your hair is long enough). If it isn't, confine the hair with a hair friendly clip. The less you have to spend time detangling your hair means the less damage you will experience!

9 Do a Search and Destroy trim ("S and D") every 3 months to get rid of as many split ends as you can.

10 Do not wash the dickens out of your hair! Unless you're very active..or your hair is oily, wash your hair only when it needs it! Every time you wash, you remove vital oils that keep it healthy. Constant washing will remove the oils and your hair will look like straw unless you do something to put back the oil that was washed out.

11 Use coconut oil on the ends of the hair to tame the frizzies/fly away hairs

12 Extra Virgin Olive Oil treatment is fantastic - easy to do - and gives your hair incredible slip!

13 Above all - remember..Rome was not built in a day. Be patient! Yes, I know it is difficult..but we've all been there. In time, if you take care of your hair properly, you'll reap the results.

Good luck!

lhangel9
June 8th, 2011, 11:41 PM
.....and I'm sure that with your hairtype, that can be a bit difficult. It probably breaks easily.

In all honesty, there aren't a lot of folks here with African-texture hair. You're welcome and encouraged to stay, but I'm going to give you a few links to sites more specifically oriented toward caring for your hairtype.

What? Hair is Hair. Hopefully the OP will review those comments of Madora. I know lots of folks with "African-type hair that's longer than your own. Yeah, unbelievable huh? Well it's true in fact, my BFF's hair is "much" longer than my own (near TBL) and she's also Afro-American.

lacefrost
June 8th, 2011, 11:42 PM
I second what Madora said. Although I've never gotten a boar bristle brush to work on my hair. My hair just sort of laughs on it. And to piggyback on what she said about shampoo, you may also be shampooing too frequently. I only wash about once a week.

Can you tell us what you do with your hair now? How often you wash it? How long it is? How you wear it? Do you color/straighten/perm, etc?

CariadA
June 8th, 2011, 11:46 PM
I agree with what many others have said.

No single product/routine will change how your hair is genetically programmed to grow. Curly hair also appears shorter than it is. Do not let this discourage you; your hair will still grow! :)

All you can do is keep your hair in great shape and keep it from suffering from too much damage. Minimizing breakage can make a huge difference.

The best thing anyone can have for growing long hair is patience.

CariadA
June 8th, 2011, 11:59 PM
What? Hair is Hair. Hopefully the OP will review those comments of Madora. I know lots of folks with "African-type hair that's longer than your own. Yeah, unbelievable huh? Well it's true in fact, my BFF's hair is "much" longer than my own (near TBL) and she's also Afro-American.

I agree. Hair is hair. I know the OP's profile says her hair is curly and that she is from South Africa. That in no way means that she has African-type hair. She very well could, but especially in South Africa, it could be curly Caucasian hair. It shouldn't make a huge difference. Any hair type that it similar to hers in curliness, coarseness, etc. has the same chance of growing, no matter what racial "type" it is. One of my IRL friends is of African decent and has tailbone length- not stretched- natural hair. Her hair isn't as curly as some other African-type hair, but her hair grew to those lengths simply because that's what hair does- grow- and she took care of it.

Zindell
June 9th, 2011, 03:03 AM
I don't use any special products. I just get schampoo/conditioner (with cones and all) from the grocery and wash my hair about every third day.

It works wonderfully. :D

miss legs
June 10th, 2011, 08:55 AM
My hair is about 7-10 centimeter long.I wear my hair in an afro most of the time,because of desperation.If in an afro I will wash it everyday,but if I rolled it up ,once a week.We got different races in South Africa...Im Coloured.....yes thats the name of my race.Our hair tecture can be 123 or 4 Im a 3c/4a like Kelis.I use to bleach in the past,but I stopped last year.I dont use any chemicals on my hair

teela1978
June 10th, 2011, 09:31 AM
Is your bleach grown out? Damaged ends can cause a lot of problems, this article (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79) could help a bit, and in general is a nice read. My hair is fairly straight, so a bit different from yours... to my understanding curly hair really needs a lot of moisture though. Are you conditioning it? Oiling it? Looking around for info on those types of things could help a bit if your ends are dry and breaking off.

lacefrost
June 10th, 2011, 11:56 AM
My hair is about 7-10 centimeter long.I wear my hair in an afro most of the time,because of desperation.If in an afro I will wash it everyday,but if I rolled it up ,once a week.Im a 3c/4a like Kelis.I use to bleach in the past,but I stopped last year.I dont use any chemicals on my hair

I find that when I wear my hair in a fro, it gets dry and tangle easier which makes it break. I rarely wear it out. I also find that shampooing my hair more than once a week makes it dry and tangle easier, which makes it break.

So your hair is curly like this: http://www.kalamu.com/bol/wp-content/content/images/Kelis_7.jpg
(sorry, it's the only pic I could find of her hair without stuff done to it, I know it's not a super awesome shot)

Do you use conditioner? Oils? Butters? Heat (flat irons, blow drying, etc)?

Anje
June 10th, 2011, 12:11 PM
What? Hair is Hair. Hopefully the OP will review those comments of Madora. I know lots of folks with "African-type hair that's longer than your own. Yeah, unbelievable huh? Well it's true in fact, my BFF's hair is "much" longer than my own (near TBL) and she's also Afro-American.
I'm perfectly aware of this and have seen it myself. However, I know that a lot of techniques and advice given for relatively straight hair doesn't work as well for hair that's as intensely curly as 4a. Hair at that texture often tends to be a very elliptical shape that has torsion twists through its length, creating weak points that can break with little provocation. (Please see this analysis (http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/2011/05/curly-vs-kinky-what-is-difference.html) and this one (http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/2011/06/tiny-wisps-of-hair-is-kinky-hair-weak.html) and the dissertation cited therein for details.) This can be exacerbated by chemical treatments such as bleaching and perming, as it can be for all hair. It's just that when you have an intensely curly texture, it needs to be taken into consideration for overall care.

Buddaphlyy
June 10th, 2011, 12:53 PM
My hair is about 7-10 centimeter long.I wear my hair in an afro most of the time,because of desperation.If in an afro I will wash it everyday,but if I rolled it up ,once a week.We got different races in South Africa...Im Coloured.....yes thats the name of my race.Our hair tecture can be 123 or 4 Im a 3c/4a like Kelis.I use to bleach in the past,but I stopped last year.I dont use any chemicals on my hair

How long did you bleach for? Depending on how long you did it for and how often, your lack of progress could actually be your bleached ends breaking off faster than your virgin hair is growing in.

Also, while afros are beautiful, shampooing them can lead to extreme matting and tangles from the hair constantly shrinking. Do you know how to braid or twist? These are great style options and you can wash them every day if you still want.

What do you condition with? How often? I shampoo and DC with a heat cap for 15 minutes at least once a week and it definitely has helped my hair. Right no I'm avoiding almost all protein in my DC because my leave-in has them and I don't want to put my hair off balance.

Do you use any oil? I know a lot of people swear by coconut oil, but castor oil helped my hair way more. I use it alone and after my leave-in to seal in moisture.

RoseRed27
June 10th, 2011, 01:24 PM
Hmmm....I'm mostly 4a and I've been helped greatly from this site, even though most of the members have type 1 or 2. In all honestly, I've found that hair type means very little. We can take advice from people with other hair types. I actually think whether the hair is fine or course is more of an indicator of if a product will work for two people. I, a black Jamaican girl, have used what a Norwegian has used and got great results because we both had a fine texture. I think hair type is more helpful in styling and technique than finding products or building a sound regimen.

I'm a member of a predominantly black hair site. The first one Anje mentioned. There are 3 main differences between here and there. There, if a person has curly or wavy hair, they straighten their hair or stretch a lock of hair to show how long it is and here most don't. Many of the women have chemically straightened hair. Only a few claim hair past hip as a goal. Not because they can't grow it longer (there are quite a few hip, classic, mid thigh challenges and a few have hair at or past the knee), but because of convenience or preference. That's it really: straighten to show length, relaxers and shorter goals. Like here, they mention pre-pooing, co washing, using Ayurvedic treatments, low heat, no sulfates, henna, protective styles like buns, etc. So, much of what you'll find there, you'll find here as well.

You won't find what works for you in such a short period of time. And supplements take a while to work. I also think you might be using too many things while not giving them a chance to work. And as your hair gets longer, you'll find what worked 6 months ago, won't work now. For example, I can't wash my hair while it's loose anymore. It's too long, so I put it in 6 or 7 twists and wash it while twisted. No tangles or breakage. One of the biggest things is to keep the hair stretched out and not allowing it to shrink, because that causes knots and makes detangling more difficult. Sealing in moisture with an oil is another great idea. The most important part of a hair growth journey is patience. You'll notice the most change when you aren't even thinking about it. One day I looked it the mirror and realized, "Hey I didn't realize my hair was that long!":D

You'll find a lot of info here. Also, I'm a visual person, I don't know if you are too, but Youtube has a lot of hair care videos, especially for natural hair. Curlynikki.com is another great resource. You can check those out in addition to this site. But remember, what works for one person may not work for you but you will find what works if you have patience. Hang in there.:)

gogirlanime
June 10th, 2011, 02:12 PM
It might be a while before your hair retains any length depending on the quality of your current hair and how malnourished you may have been before you started taking any supplements.

You have to CAREFULLY measure your hair and do it once a month on the same day. I have to check and measure my hair a couple of times very carefully to make sure I am measuring the same pieces of hair as last time and that I am stretching it as much as I can to make sure to get a proper length measurement.

If your hair has been damaged really bad it might seem like your hair isn't growing because it is breaking off as quickly as it is growing.

My tip for you would be make a really small braid in your hair in the middle of your scalp and don't remove it for a month to see how much growth you have gotten.

It's easy for me to see because I am growing out some hair dye.

You could try that too, dye about 20 strands of your hair in the middle of your scalp a little bit lighter than the rest of your hair and then see how much growth you have gotten.

Don't give up, we all have hair issues, but I KNOW something is going to work for you, you just have to wait and see.

Extra vitamins don't really do much for me personally, I have seen the most growth using Monistat in my scalp 2-3 times a week.

Anje
June 10th, 2011, 02:12 PM
Thanks RoseRed27. That's the sort of advice I'm hoping she can pick up. I wouldn't have thought of washing hair in twists, for example, and haven't heard about it here before; I thought perhaps on some of those other sites, there would be more curly-specific tips and tricks like that than here. (Perhaps there aren't?)

You're right though -- hair type and what products work don't seem to make a big difference. I'm fairly straight-haired and use the same CO washing that's often popular with the natural-hair crowd with great results. The only difference I've ever seen is that curlies tend to like heavier oils which make their hair clumped, while the really straight-haired folks tend to dislike that clumped piecey effect.

RoseRed27
June 10th, 2011, 02:56 PM
I understand your point Ajne. :) Twists are used mainly as a style and washing them lead to the realization that if they can stretch the hair when dry, they will keep it stretched when wet, resulting in fewer tangles. So I started doing a few messy twists for the sole purpose of washing.

There is a "kinky 4s" (type four) thread here too. And a large curly hair thread. But I just don't want her to get hung up about taking advice only from people with a similar hair type. This is one of the biggest mistakes black people make. Many have been taught to think a product is "off limits" because it's not a "black product". I can't tell you how many times I've had someone tell me that I'm going to make my hair fall out if I keep using "white people stuff". :rolleyes: (as if there is such a thing, as if my bottle of Nexxus reconstructor says "no minorities":p) Meanwhile, their hair is brittle and short and mine is flowing down my back.

Granted, the people on many of the more modern sites don't think that way, but many of the newer people still only take advice from people with similar curls, even though for the technique or product, it makes no difference. You're right, finding people with similar hair can be a good thing, but there is a downside she should be aware of. My favorite conventional conditioner is Tigi Dumb Blonde. 5 Years ago, I would have never even considered buying a product not in the "ethnic" section, let alone have picked up a product marketed to blondes. (though on the back it says brunettes and redheads can use it too:D)

DTsgirl
June 11th, 2011, 03:19 PM
I understand your point Ajne. :) Twists are used mainly as a style and washing them lead to the realization that if they can stretch the hair when dry, they will keep it stretched when wet, resulting in fewer tangles. So I started doing a few messy twists for the sole purpose of washing.

There is a "kinky 4s" (type four) thread here too. And a large curly hair thread. But I just don't want her to get hung up about taking advice only from people with a similar hair type. This is one of the biggest mistakes black people make. Many have been taught to think a product is "off limits" because it's not a "black product". I can't tell you how many times I've had someone tell me that I'm going to make my hair fall out if I keep using "white people stuff". :rolleyes: (as if there is such a thing, as if my bottle of Nexxus reconstructor says "no minorities":p) Meanwhile, their hair is brittle and short and mine is flowing down my back.

Granted, the people on many of the more modern sites don't think that way, but many of the newer people still only take advice from people with similar curls, even though for the technique or product, it makes no difference. You're right, finding people with similar hair can be a good thing, but there is a downside she should be aware of. My favorite conventional conditioner is Tigi Dumb Blonde. 5 Years ago, I would have never even considered buying a product not in the "ethnic" section, let alone have picked up a product marketed to blondes. (though on the back it says brunettes and redheads can use it too:D)



And the flip side of that is some of the "ethnic" hair products work great for "not - ethinc" (not sure of a better term) hair too! I like the Olive Oil brand deep conditioner packets and the shine serums. They smell AMAZING and work so well! I think that sometimes companies market products to various niches to make a product seem much more specialized than it really is. We all just have to poke around and not be afraid to use things that look intersting. After all, if it does not work, we can just wash it out with something we know works and start over!

PianoPlaye
June 11th, 2011, 06:55 PM
It takes more than Three months to see results, so stick with what you are doing. One of the best things I learned here was to change ONE thing at a time, and have at least a month to see what the results are.
has it on the nail - there are loads of things to try, but keep them in an orderly queue! (Unless of course you have & enjoy hairtoys, at which point a sort of happy insanity seems to kick in.)
Patience & a good healthy diet will do amazing things. Just laying off the bad habits is a very good start!

Vani1902
June 11th, 2011, 10:56 PM
It takes time to see growth. Especially when we have "kinky" hair. Shrinkage is horrible since it makes us feel that our hair not growing. But, it is. Don't give up hope. :) Growing hair requires a lot of patience and care. Stay away from those nasty heat appliances and chemicals. Preserve your hair. One thing that helps me is to put my hair up and "forget" about it. In other words, I like to use benign neglect. That way, I am not always obsessing about length and I can let my hair grow in peace while I focus on other things. Read the articles here, they have helped me in taking care of my hair. From what I read, we might have the similar hair type. :)

Helix
June 13th, 2011, 04:34 PM
Hi there miss legs. I'm new to this site but I'm no stranger to highly textured hair (my hair is 4b and about as gloriously kinky as it gets). I'm also no stranger to southern African winters (I'm originally a nyasaland girl - although Malawian winters aren't as cold as SA) so I feel like I might be able to help you with this one.

I've transitioned 1 year 10 months so far and it's been easier than I expected and my hair has doubled in length. I attribute this to doing tons of research and keeping my regimen super simple (no bandwagon hopping for me). Here are a few tips:

First you need to understand that products do not grow hair, they are just there to help you manage, preserve and condition the hair you've already grown. Technique is far more important than product. If you get all your nutrients from food then supplementation is not necessary and only leads to toxicity and expensive urine.

Your goal should be to minimize contact with mechanical stressors (i.e, combs, brushes and overmanipulation), environmental damage (UV rays, dry air, freezing temps etc) and if possible chemical damage (it is possible to grow relaxed hair long but I feel like there are too many variables I can't control when it comes to chemical processing so natural suits my lifestyle better).

Protective styles are your best friend (especially in the winter). If you protective style more days than you leave it loose you will begin to accumulate length. That is a given.

Rule of thumb: if your hair is brittle and breaking off (as you say it is)- you need moisture. Check the ingredients in your products - do you see protein/amino acids high on the list? If so switch them for something more moisturizing.

If it is super stretchy when wet and doesn't bounce back into position or streeetches before snapping off when you let go you need protein.

washday tip: Keep your hair detangled, stretched and sectioned before washing your hair it'll save you a buttload of hurt. I always wash my hair in braids/twists to keep it from tangling and I leave them in until my hair has dried.

Winter tip: Keep your hair covered whenever you go outside into the elements.

PATIENCE. Hair only grows .05in on average so don't expect anything more than 2-3 inches in 5-6 months (unless your growth rate is above/below avg.). Also keep in mind that curls hide length and coils even moreso (my APL hair shrinks to a 4 inch fro if I let it)

Anywho, I think that covers the basics. Hopefully one of these methods will help you . Good luck and HHG.

miss legs
June 14th, 2011, 04:12 AM
Thank you everybody for the advice.