View Full Version : Moved states, now my hair hates me. Help?

July 20th, 2011, 09:52 AM
Hi all! I'm new to LHC, though I have been lurking a while and despite all my lurking, I don't seem to be able to find a thread that answers my questions, so here goes. Sorry if I am accidentally duplicating.

I've been growing my hair out for 4 years, and have on the whole been kind to it. I almost never use heat on it (my wedding last month was an exception :D), I found shampoo and conditioner that made it soft and silky, as it got longer I added some leave in conditioner and added extra strengther to the length/ends. I'd been using the same routine for about a year when I moved. About a week after living in my new local, I noticed my hair was getting duller in appearance, and felt dryer. The only things that have changed are the ambient temp (near 100s instead of 80s, but I'm inside AC almost all day), tons more sunshine, and the mineral content of the water. I tried switching to a CWC routine, which helped a little with the dryness, but not nearly enough to solve the problem.

Has anyone encountered this before? I really want my hair to get back to being nice and healthy, but I'm at a loss what to do. Thank you for any advice you can give!


July 20th, 2011, 09:53 AM
Apple cider vinegar rinse for your hard water, and oiling for your dryness.

July 20th, 2011, 10:04 AM
I've moved a lot growing up, and my hair care routine totally changes depending on the humidity and temperature and stuff. I just end up experimenting for a while to find out what works again. Sorry, not much help otherwise.

July 20th, 2011, 10:30 AM
Almost certainly blame the water. It's probably harder than at your old location. Diluted vinegar rinses are good for dealing with that, as are water softeners and shower filters.

All the same, you probably should make sure you don't totally bake your hair in the sun. It can eventually get UV damage, and that's cumulative for the life of the exposed hair.

July 20th, 2011, 10:33 AM
I have oily skin, and when I went to sit my CPE in a town 150 kms from my own, I had to apply a thick layer of body butter-the harsh water dried it up really really bad, despire it being the same-ish region.
Perhaps buy some chelating shampoo to use at times? Also, as someone mentioned before, ACV helps with hard water. Try investing in some hair sunscreen-I hear henna is the best hair sunscreen one can find-perhaps cassia has the same effect without the colour change?

July 20th, 2011, 10:40 AM
If you've been showering with hard water for a while, you might also need to chelate to remove mineral build-up from you hair. Look for shampoos with EDTA in the ingredients. I've been using Paul Mitchel's shampoo for swimmers, called Shampoo Three. But there's lots of other brands.

I have hard water too, and I always follow my vinegar rinses with distilled water rinses. Definitely has improved the condition of my hair quite a lot!

July 20th, 2011, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the advice. How often should one use ACV rinses? Unfortunately I'm in an apartment on a tight budget, so water filters are out for the time being. I wasn't expecting the hard water to be a problem (until it was), since the water I had before was pretty hard, but it does taste different here, so obviously the minerals are different.

Look for shampoos with EDTA in the ingredients.

The shampoo I have (Pantene Smooth Vitality) has disodium EDTA in it. Should that be enough, or should I find one that is more intentional about chemical removal?

Is there any specific type of oil? I know coconut oil and EVOO get mentioned around here alot. One of the leave in conditioners I use is already coconut oil based. Would it be ok to use more coconut oil, or other oils that might work better/should be avoided?

All the same, you probably should make sure you don't totally bake your hair in the sun.

I dont spend a lot of time in the sun (Scots-Irish skin= burn on contact :D), but just walking to get the mail, running errands in a couple days is about equal to all the sun I saw last year.

I've never heard of hair sunscreens before. How do they work?

July 20th, 2011, 11:26 AM
You could to vinegar rinses every wash. Just dilute them a lot (so the final mix is maybe 5%-10% vinegar). I tend to opt for white vinegar because I'm cheap. :) Experiment with it.

I'm guessing the EDTA in your current shampoo isn't sufficient to deal with the minerals in your water, since your hair is currently unhappy. What might be a good alternative is to get a swimmer's shampoo or a chelating shampoo for occasional use when your hair starts getting weird.

Oils... The one to use is ultimately the one that works best for you. In general, you'll want to go with something edible, though, so get it from the oils section at the market, not mixed in with hair products. EVOO and Coconut are favorites because they've actually been shown scientifically to penetrate hair fully, and coconut is known to reduce protein loss. Both have also been used on hair for centuries. Avocado is another one that's known to soak in and is gaining popularity.

If you want to use oil as a leave-in, start with a tiny dab (seriously, like a single drop or fingernail scraping if your coconut oil is solid) rubbed between the hands, then run your hands over the length of your hair. Less is more, and overdoing it will leave you with an oily mess. "Heavy oiling" (aka making an oily mess) is best reserved for the period between coming home and washing your hair.

July 20th, 2011, 11:42 AM
I have terribly hard water. ACV rinses help SO MUCH! I do a rinse and then use cool distilled water for one final rinse.

July 20th, 2011, 01:05 PM
I had this problem when I moved to where I am now. I think it's the water. I moved from a place with pretty hard water to a place with REALLY hard water.

All I can say is experiment. I went from CO to CWC when I moved because all of a sudden, my hair would NOT be clean. I see a few good suggestions here too.

I know "experiment" is pretty vague, but I know I found myself back at square one trying to figure out what worked for my hair after I moved.

July 20th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Congrats on your marriage last month!!! :D

As for chelating, I always recommend a rinse with club soda. It really helped my hair when I moved to an area with even harder water. You can also prevent having to chelate so frequently with the vinegar rinses that previous posters have mentioned :)

July 20th, 2011, 01:44 PM
Yeah I'll bet the biggest culprit is the water. Is the humidity different? If you are in a more dry area maybe trey adding a bit of moisture to your air. I've moved a ton. And even though it seems to cause the frizzies I think my hair + body loves humidity.

July 20th, 2011, 02:23 PM
I saw some sprays and masks at dm(drogerie markt) here in Romania. I have no idea what your stores carry, but Sally's Beauty Supply seems to be a big name-why not ask there?

July 20th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Ok, I'll definately start trying the things you guys have suggested. Thanks a lot for the advice. I'll let you know what happens :)

(btw, princessp, the humidity is, if anything, worse here than where I came from.)



July 20th, 2011, 05:03 PM
I'd also definitely recommend ACV rinses for hard water build-up. :) I use one at the end of every wash, but very diluted - my current mix is 4 tablespoons to 8 oz. of water. I started with 1 tablespoon, but 4 seems to be the magic number for my local water hardness. If in doubt, experiment. :D

You might also want to throw in a wash with a chelating shampoo (often labelled for swimmers) every few months, especially if you feel as if your ends are getting rough and near to the 'needs a trim' stage.

If the humidity could be any dryer, frequent deep moisture treatments would help. Just be sure to avoid humectant-based treatments like SMTs (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128) if the air is very dry, as in that environment they'll actually make the hair's dryness worse.

July 20th, 2011, 05:41 PM
Actually, its really humid here. Its generally around 80% during the daytime right now. you step out of a building and its like stepping into a sunny sauna.

Is it possible for humidity to somehow make hair dryer?

July 20th, 2011, 05:43 PM
well, thank you Cainwen for starting this post !! I have certainly learnt a bit :-)

Congrats on your marriage :-)

July 22nd, 2011, 08:19 AM
Ok, I tried (I think) all of the suggestions offered so very helpfully here :)

I got white distilled vinegar and a deep cleaning shampoo (Herbal Essence "Drama Clean"), but couldn't find any that were specifically for swimmers. It does seem to have EDTA (which MeganE recommended it have) and lack cones though, so I figured that was a good start.

I rinsed my hair very very well in a 10% vinegar solution, then rinsed that with tepid water (the stuff that comes out of our cold tap can hardly be called cold), then washed thoroughly with shampoo before conditioning twice with a sulfate-free conditioner. After letting it air dry to just barely damp, I treated it with some sweet almond oil ( I chickened out on the coconut oil because I didn't want to smell like coconut). I know most people say that the hair should be perfectly dry before oiling, but my hair has never liked having stuff put on it when its dry, so I took a risk.

The immediate results were that my hair felt lighter, softer and dried at least twice as quickly as it had previously done. After commenting that I was treating my hair like a salad ("first you put vinegar on it and now oil?!"), even DH said it felt different and softer than before.

I oiled the ends again and braided it before going to bed. This morning I finger combed it and brushed it out with my boar bristle brush, which I happily located this morning :). My hair is definitely a better texture, though it still looks a bit dull to me. That might be partially sun bleaching though, and me thinking that it looks duller.

Because I was washing my hair at night though, I had my contacts in and could actually see how much hair I was shedding. I'm not sure how much was normal shedding, how much was shedding due to stress and how much due to breakage, but its way more than I have ever cleaned off the drain before :(

So, obviously I need to stick with this new routine, and possibly get a better conditioner than what I had been using.

Thank you to everyone who gave advice! :D