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UglyTresses
September 17th, 2011, 08:30 PM
Hey everyone! So I had a few questions... Here's my story!

I grew out my hair for about three years to about an inch past BSL. I cut about 6 inches off to APL or so about three weeks ago. I cut it because it was damaged from heat styling, highlighting and poor haircare.

After the big cut, I invested in a deep conditioner, a hair mask, a keratin reconstructor and coconut oil.

I assumed that after chopping off all the dead, damaged hair, my new length would be healthier and nicer-looking. Instead, for 3 weeks, it looks just as dry, dead and horrible as it did long. I'm regretting cutting it. I would prefer long bad hair to short bad hair any day =/

Should I expect to see results in my hair instantly? Or does this kind of process take months/years? I just assumed that cutting so much off would make my hair a little bit healthier, but it hasn't done a thing. It's dry, coarse, etc.

I was thinking of cutting off another inch and a half or so tomorrow. Do you think this is a good idea? This would be right at shoulder-length then.

Let me know what you guys think :S

BTW: My hair type is wavy/curly, dry. It's naturally like this, but I aggravated it with all the heat/colour damage.

Shelly
September 17th, 2011, 08:44 PM
What I would do is deep conditioning treatments weekly, oiling it every so often and giving things time to sink in. Go ahead and trim a little bit every 3 or 4 months and keep it as protected and as healthy as you possibly can. Maybe put your coconut oil on the last 2 inches or so after you wash it. The coconut oil will at least help hold the moisture. You might also try the CO washing method since you are a curly hair type.

silverjen
September 17th, 2011, 08:51 PM
Welcome!

The first advice I frequently see given is to clarify. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, and then judge it's condition. Depending on the products you use, you can have a lot of buildup that's making your hair feel dry and tangly. You can't see what's really going on until it's gone.

As for how long getting healthy hair can take? It really depends on how damaged your hair is, and how long it's been since you stopped using heat, chemicals, etc. If you have done a fair bit of damage, it's going to take quite a bit longer than 3 weeks to see improvement. Hair grows about half an inch a month, so, depending on when you stopped, you may only have less than half an inch of undamaged hair on your head. You can improve the condition of damaged hair, but it's impossible to get it back to an undamaged state.

I would not cut yet. I would clarify first, to see what's really going on. Read the articles here, avoid damaging it further, and use lots of coconut oil! Take it slow and only try one new thing at a time, so you can tell if it's working or not.

The sad truth is your hair didn't get damaged overnight, and it won't get fixed overnight either. But with patience you can do it!

jasper
September 17th, 2011, 08:51 PM
How long ago did you stop using heat and chemical processing? I am asking because your story makes me wonder if you really cut off all your damage when you cut 6 inches of length. You might have a longer wait for it to grow out and eventually more cutting to do to get to undamaged hair. I would wait though, it were my hair, and if you prefer length over condition at this point.

Some kinds of deep treatments give me immediate (but not long term) improvement in softness and smoothness and seem to help with dryness/frizz. A homemade caramel treatment, for instance will make a world of difference for me that last through a couple of wash cycles. I haven't heard of anything that convinces me it can "repair" damaged hair, but I think you can improve the appearance if you find a treatment and routine that works for your hair.

UglyTresses
September 17th, 2011, 09:13 PM
What I would do is deep conditioning treatments weekly, oiling it every so often and giving things time to sink in. Go ahead and trim a little bit every 3 or 4 months and keep it as protected and as healthy as you possibly can. Maybe put your coconut oil on the last 2 inches or so after you wash it. The coconut oil will at least help hold the moisture. You might also try the CO washing method since you are a curly hair type.

I've been deep conditioning twice weekly, using oil overnight about 4 times a week.

I will try co-washing, as I have never done that.

Thanks for your contribution :)

UglyTresses
September 17th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Welcome!

The first advice I frequently see given is to clarify. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, and then judge it's condition. Depending on the products you use, you can have a lot of buildup that's making your hair feel dry and tangly. You can't see what's really going on until it's gone.

As for how long getting healthy hair can take? It really depends on how damaged your hair is, and how long it's been since you stopped using heat, chemicals, etc. If you have done a fair bit of damage, it's going to take quite a bit longer than 3 weeks to see improvement. Hair grows about half an inch a month, so, depending on when you stopped, you may only have less than half an inch of undamaged hair on your head. You can improve the condition of damaged hair, but it's impossible to get it back to an undamaged state.

I would not cut yet. I would clarify first, to see what's really going on. Read the articles here, avoid damaging it further, and use lots of coconut oil! Take it slow and only try one new thing at a time, so you can tell if it's working or not.

The sad truth is your hair didn't get damaged overnight, and it won't get fixed overnight either. But with patience you can do it!


I can try a clarifying shampoo for sure. Do you recommend any inexpensive, drugstore brands I could use? I'm not familiar with clarifying shampoos at all. I currently use baby shampoo as it is.

Yeah I figured as much =/ I was hoping that it wouldn't be that bad, though, but I guess it is.

Thanks so much for your help.

GlennaGirl
September 17th, 2011, 09:17 PM
It will absolutely feel better over time. I've experienced this phenomenon too. If your hair is anything like mine (and if your chemical processing is anything like mine), then you do still have damage in the remaining hair, but...though you don't realize it yet, there's less damage there than there was 6" down. Less than 5" down, less than 4" down...etc.

That's because with each longer length of hair, that hair is older (well, obviously...LOL...hope I'm explaining this right!) so it was doused with chemicals more times than the hair only 1/2" shorter than that...and 1/2"shorter than that one...etc.

Keep up your DC treatments and you will begin to see over time that this hair is definitely stronger than the hair you just cut. From here on in, do small trims to maintain the length you have while the damage is growing out (1/2" - 3/4" per month), OR grow WHILE cutting damage (1/2" or so trim every 2-3 months...or even more slowly than that, it's your choice).

You are going to see changes over time. That hair you have left is healthier than the hair you cut off. You will start to see this soon.

UglyTresses
September 17th, 2011, 09:19 PM
How long ago did you stop using heat and chemical processing? I am asking because your story makes me wonder if you really cut off all your damage when you cut 6 inches of length. You might have a longer wait for it to grow out and eventually more cutting to do to get to undamaged hair. I would wait though, it were my hair, and if you prefer length over condition at this point.

Some kinds of deep treatments give me immediate (but not long term) improvement in softness and smoothness and seem to help with dryness/frizz. A homemade caramel treatment, for instance will make a world of difference for me that last through a couple of wash cycles. I haven't heard of anything that convinces me it can "repair" damaged hair, but I think you can improve the appearance if you find a treatment and routine that works for your hair.

It's been 3 months since heat styling, and about five months since highlighting.

I guess it's possible I didn't cut off all the damage. I thought 6 inches would have covered it :(

I'm not sure what I prefer now. I know I said I would prefer bad long hair, but I'm also the kind of person who'd rather get the cutting over with, and let the hair- growing begin =/

I'm trying SO many different things but my hair is just un-fixable. It's so annoying. I've tried literally everything. Even the Aphogee Keratin 2-min re constructor doesn't do much for my hair.

But maybe I should just consider going shorter. I'm undecided, I guess. If my hair looks the same shorter, I'll just be madder haha

UglyTresses
September 17th, 2011, 09:22 PM
It will absolutely feel better over time. I've experienced this phenomenon too. If your hair is anything like mine (and if your chemical processing is anything like mine), then you do still have damage in the remaining hair, but...though you don't realize it yet, there's less damage there than there was 6" down. Less than 5" down, less than 4" down...etc.

That's because with each longer length of hair, that hair is older (well, obviously...LOL...hope I'm explaining this right!) so it was doused with chemicals more times than the hair only 1/2" shorter than that...and 1/2"shorter than that one...etc.

Keep up your DC treatments and you will begin to see over time that this hair is definitely stronger than the hair you just cut. From here on in, do small trims to maintain the length you have while the damage is growing out (1/2" - 3/4" per month), OR grow WHILE cutting damage (1/2" or so trim every 2-3 months...or even more slowly than that, it's your choice).

You are going to see changes over time. That hair you have left is healthier than the hair you cut off. You will start to see this soon.

Wow, this reply totally made my day.

Thank you so much- all of this gives me a little bit of hope haha

I definitely see your point and you explain it well, don't worry. I will keep up the treatments and the good haircare and see what happens. I will also grow while cutting damage, since I'd prefer to get rid of it anyways.

Thanks for the awesome post.

GlassWidow
September 17th, 2011, 09:48 PM
<snip> I currently use baby shampoo as it is. <snip>

I'm sorry you're still having a hard time. I wonder if the baby shampoo is partly the culprit? It has been mentioned at least a few times on LHC that baby shampoo is considered gentler because it's alkaline, and therefore doesn't sting a baby's eyes as much as a base would. However, alkaline can be very harsh on hair. It lifts the cuticle, which causes dryness. You might want to test run an acidic rinse after your shampoo to help the cuticle close (apple cider vinegar is popular here, and there are some good threads on what the recommended dilution should be).

You will find your routine, I'm sure, and in no time you'll be on your way to healthy, happy, long hair!

GlennaGirl
September 17th, 2011, 09:48 PM
Wow, this reply totally made my day.

Thank you so much- all of this gives me a little bit of hope haha

I definitely see your point and you explain it well, don't worry. I will keep up the treatments and the good haircare and see what happens. I will also grow while cutting damage, since I'd prefer to get rid of it anyways.

Thanks for the awesome post.

You're welcome! :blossom: Welcome to LHC!

EvaSimone
September 17th, 2011, 09:54 PM
You only stopped highlighting 5 months ago, if your hair grows a bit faster than average that's only 3" of new, non highlighted/damaged growth. I hate to say it but cutting six inches off probably wasn't enough. You're hair was probably around 25" long, you cut 6" so you now have 19" and 16" of that has been processed and bleached.

My guess is that's why your hair still feels rough. But don't despair just baby it, clarify first and then do some deep treatments.

I started with pretty damaged hair and then I slowly trimmed up a bit over four years. I now have completely virgin hair that's a bit past my waist.

AlexiaBlue
September 17th, 2011, 10:21 PM
I would definitely try conditioner only washing! I'm a curly with very, very DRY hair, and CO washing did wonders for my hair! I also had a lot of chemical damage, and I won't ever touch shampoo again after seeing the tremendous difference CO has made on my yucky, dry hair.

Also, if you don't already have it, I'd suggest reading "The Curly Girl Handbook". There are a ton of wonderful tips in it for our hair type. It was a life-changing read for me. ;)

Good luck!

x0h_bother
September 17th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Going "healthy" with hair practices does not necessarily mean better hair. For me, going CO, doing too much of a good thing with the conditioning treatments and oils, and not brushing my hair definitely ruined my hair when I chopped and stopped heat styling. I thought my "good" practices would make it better, but I found my hair worse if not just as bad. So my preaching now is moderation: sometimes being a little "bad" and neglecting a bit is actually a good thing. Conventional hair practices are not necessarily worse. Moderation is the key I have found in keeping my hair healthiest.

Teazel
September 17th, 2011, 10:35 PM
Definitely use a clarifying shampoo first, and then you'll be able to see what you're really dealing with. V05 "kiwi lime squeeze" is an example.

There's a good article here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=44) that might help. Good luck!

MandyBeth
September 17th, 2011, 10:40 PM
Clarify, then use the article to see what your hair need. Most likely, protein due to the bleaching. Then follow with a major DT, SMT are great there. Then go to CO as a curly and add acid rinses. It helps, but the damage has to be cut off.

Demetrue
September 17th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Baby shampoo kills my hair. I am currently happy with Jonh Frieda Full Repair shampoo, conditioner and leave in serum. I also like Redken All Soft and Redken Extreme.

Charlemaigne
September 17th, 2011, 11:08 PM
My heart jumped in my throat when I saw your title......I feel your pain! I agree with discontinuing the baby shampoo and trying Conditioner Only washes, Apple Cider Vin. rinses, oiling your hair, and protein treatments.

My long hair was quite damaged from perms and I kept cutting it and cutting it off.
Approx 3 months ago I discovered this site and have not shampooed since other than an every other week clarifying wash (Neutrogena.) Conditioner only washing, Apple Cider Vinegar rinses, and daily applications of coconut oil have completely transformed my hair. I also spend a bit of time each week while watching the news or a movie cutting off any split ends that I locate. I use Suave Rosemary mint conditioner, Hair One conditioner from Sally's about 2 times a week, and WEN about once a week. WEN's deep treatment is HEAVENLY! Pricey, but well worth every penny.

Hang in there and don't cut any more off. Try the "dusting" trims you can read about on this site - just maintain what you have by taking good care of what you have. baby it! Good luck!

Maktub
September 17th, 2011, 11:14 PM
I agree with the others, you'll see results enventually !

But if hair is really damaged, you'll have to wait for your new growth to be super healthy... it'll come !

Do not neglect good, balanced nutrition, it is also essential if you want the best hair you can have !

Welcome to LHC :flower:

Jenn of Pence
September 17th, 2011, 11:20 PM
So, yes....even if you cut 6 inches off, the rest of your hair has indeed still been subjected to some damage. That said, you did cut off the ends, which are the oldest and have been subjected to more stuff than the rest of it. Eventually it will have to go, but it is possible to grow and cut a little bit along instead of just chopping even more right now (although it's still an option if desired).

The biggest thing that jumped out at me is your mention of a keratin treatment. It's possible that proteins are good for your hair to help with the damage, but some people's hair hates it (like mine!). Or, even if it's good for your hair, overdoing proteins in all of your conditioners, masks, treatments, etc., can cause the exact dryness and yuckiness that you describe.

If you clarify, then deep condition (go easy on the proteins, or preferrably don't use any for the moment), see if that improves the situation. If so, it could be the proteins. If not, then you at least know it's something else. But if you do find proteins helpful, then you definitely need tons of moisture to keep things balanced. :)

julierockhead
September 17th, 2011, 11:20 PM
You're getting some good advice! And you don't have to invest much $. I have color and heat damaged hair, and COwashing with el cheapo conditioner (suave naturals tropical coconut, check your local dollar store), deep conditioning with virgin coconut oil, and air drying really helped a lot. It took about a month to see noticeable results though. For weeks it felt better, but didn't look better. It helps to use coconut oil on ends and as a shine serum, but nothing is going to give you instant good hair.

WaimeaWahine
September 18th, 2011, 12:03 AM
Have you read Nightshade's article on damaged hair? I found it pretty helpful: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

:flower:

Lostsoule77
September 18th, 2011, 12:11 AM
I was just going to suggest you read Nightshade's article but I see WaimeaWahine beat me to it. There is nothing I can tell you that isn't in that article. Between that and the other one posted in this thread you should be pretty well set on advice. :)

Just know that we are all here to support you when you need it. Have patience and eventually you will have damage free hair if you really want it. It will take years, but it will be so worth it in the end. :)

YepLilly
September 18th, 2011, 11:05 AM
There's a good article here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=44) that might help. Good luck!

You have received great advice so far. Check the link Teazel suggests, it's Kirin's hair diagnostic article. It will let you know if your hair needs more protein or moisture, or maybe both.

You can see some results almost immediately, like after deep treatments, after oilings, after ACV rinses, etc. However, you need to keep taking good care of your hair for a while until you start noticing full results. But the whole process is a nice one IMHO. Experimenting and using LHC makes it all better. Good luck! :)

ETA: I wouldn't cut your hair again. At least not yet.

jaine
September 18th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Maybe it's a styling issue ... you should try drying your hair in a bun or braid - it will be straighter and smoother compared to drying it loose. My hair absolutely drives me nuts if it didn't dry in a braid or bun - if I dry it loose it feels so tangly and I can't run my fingers through it without snagging something. My natural texture feels dry, even though it's just waves and curls that have been separated by finger-combing or brushing

(hopefully this doesn't sound critical of curls...I think curls look great, they just annoy me on my own head!)

pixiedust
September 18th, 2011, 01:04 PM
Maybe it's a styling issue ... you should try drying your hair in a bun or braid - it will be straighter and smoother compared to drying it loose. My hair absolutely drives me nuts if it didn't dry in a braid or bun - if I dry it loose it feels so tangly and I can't run my fingers through it without snagging something. My natural texture feels dry, even though it's just waves and curls that have been separated by finger-combing or brushing

(hopefully this doesn't sound critical of curls...I think curls look great, they just annoy me on my own head!)
This is a very good and often overlooked tip! My hair never looks/feels nearly as good if I don't put it up while damp or if I mess with it too much while its still wet!

I would definitely reccomend looking into good combing and brushing tools/techniques, stretching washes, using SLS free shampoos, oils (many people prefer certain ones over others; olive oil, avacado oil, and coconut oil can do wonders for preventing further damage) and avoiding most cones (although I find that amodimethicone and peg-dimethones in small amounts are nice)

Lots of wonderful info here, id post some links but I'm currently mobile. Good luck, and welcome!

jojo
September 18th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Please stop the baby shampoo, babies have different scalps to us and although kind for their hair; its not for adults. Baby shampoo is is alkaline and opens the hair shaft leaving it wide open to further damage, its actually used by hair dressers to strip dye from hair. Really by using this all the time you are in effect clarifying each wash and damaging the hair. Id suggest using a very diluted sulphate free maybe treseme natural, which does have some sulphates but not many and follow with a thick conditioner, Avon does a great one called avocado and almond oil for damaged hair and maybe try a ACV rinse after. Also you would benefit from a weekly DC or SMT.

In the space of 3 weeks you are not going to see major changes, but overtime as the new hair grows in this will change. Good luck

UglyTresses
September 18th, 2011, 02:57 PM
HEY ALL! (:

Thank you all SO much for your wonderful advice, feedback and information. I would individually respond to your posts, but I thought I would summarize it all here:

1. I'm going to continue the deep conditioning, as you all suggested.
2. I'm buying a clarifying shampoo tomorrow (I'm thinking the Neutrogena one).
3. I'm going to stop using baby shampoo. In fact, I've stopped since yesterday!
4. Today I did my first-ever CO-wash. I basically doused my hair with conditioner, left it in for five minutes and rinsed with cold water. Obviously I'm not seeing instant results, but it feels better on my hair than baby shampoo, so you were all very much right about it drying out the hair further!
5. I'm planning on getting my hair trimmed in January (4 months from now), just to get rid of split ends.
6. I got another 2 inches cut today, because I'm the type of person who would rather get rid of it all now and have more naturally healthy hair that grows in =/ Sorry if you preferred I didn't, I just couldn't help it.
7. I will continue with my coconut oil treatments, since I prefer those over other oils, but I will try to incorporate olive and shea butter, if possible.
8. I am going to continue using a hair mask weekly from Argan Oil.
9. I'm going to co-wash more frequently. I will only use shampoo when clarifying once every two weeks or so.
10. I'm going to sleep with braids to prevent split ends and more stress on my hair from rubbing against the pillow.
11. Wash my hair less frequently. I do it about 5 times a week, I'm going to cut it down to 3-4. I work-out in the middle of the week, so I must wash it at least twice a week from Monday-Friday, and then all through the weekend because I have more time.

Sound like a plan?

Thanks for all the tips you guys. I'm SO optimistic about my hair journey. I estimate it will take about 3 years for my hair to grow back to its previous length (just past BSL), based on my reeeeally slow growth rate and previous experience.

You guys are SO welcoming and I look forward to sharing this journey with you guys over the next few years ! :D

UglyTresses
September 18th, 2011, 02:57 PM
ALSO: thanks for the helpful links! I've read it all and learned a lot more than I thought I knew!

luthein
September 18th, 2011, 03:32 PM
Welcome to LHC, BeautifulTresses-to-be. :) It sounds like you have a great hair plan.

For the conditioner-only wash, use your fingers like you'd work in shampoo. That will help gently clean your scalp.

I don't know if it was mentioned earlier, but remember to fuel your body with the food it needs to grow healthy hair.

Teazel
September 18th, 2011, 06:51 PM
Sounds like you've made a good start! :)


10. I'm going to sleep with braids to prevent split ends and more stress on my hair from rubbing against the pillow.

I just wanted to say that many LHCers sleep on satin pillowcases, and find them much kinder to hair. Less friction and drying effects. Also, I don't know if your hair is long enough at the moment, but when it is you might want to try bunning your hair on top of your head for sleeping, instead of plaits.

Everybody's hair is different to everyone else's; have fun figuring out what works for yours. And it pays to keep a record of the things you try. :flower:

<3OnHerSleeve
September 18th, 2011, 07:48 PM
I recently cut all my damaged hair off too. Although I began all the "good" hair care advice I found on LHC for well over 6 months before I did the big chop. All the advice sounds great, I personally don't style my hair anymore just because it was once sooo damaged from everything I've done to it. I'm giving my hair one huge big break from styling until I reach my first major goal hair length. I have curly hair as well and it was horribly dry until I quit shampooing my hair except when it has oil in it so that perhaps might be my only advice. Good luck with your new hair care routine, sounds good to me :)

GlassWidow
September 18th, 2011, 09:30 PM
UglyTresses, I smiled when I read your post - you sound so excited to get going on your hair journey! As to getting your hair trimmed today, it doesn't matter if WE think it was the right thing to do - as long as you're happy with your decision, that's really all that matters.

I'm sure you'll have questions and frustrations along the way, but you'll have plenty to celebrate, too. LHC is here for all of that. Happy growing!

jojo
September 19th, 2011, 05:28 PM
Sounds like an excellent plan :)

UglyTresses
September 21st, 2011, 10:23 PM
Thanks everyone! :)

Cheveux en péta
June 7th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Uhh ohh. Now I'm scared of chopping mine off. Looks like I'll have to actually cut it all off like a dude afterall. I was thinking about saving what I could but I may as well go for broke. Gulp!

Toadstool
June 8th, 2012, 01:59 AM
I kept cutting mine but it turns out partly it is the texture that is coarse and that won't change.

lolot
June 8th, 2012, 02:39 AM
UglyTresses this post was from september 2011, tell us what happened, how is your hair now?
Hope everything is ok!

truepeacenik
June 8th, 2012, 03:31 AM
She stopped posting one month after this.

jacqueline101
June 8th, 2012, 07:12 AM
I'd buy the shampoo you have good results with. Then I'd get a multi and hair skin and nail vitamin, good deep conditioner. I'm going to try a weekly hot oil treatment I had some V05 hot oils gave to me. I did a deep conditioning treatment with regular whit rain lavender conditioner I put it on dry hair put shower cap over it left it for 15 min then rinsed. Weeks worth of softness smells wonderful.

braidgirl22
June 9th, 2012, 12:49 AM
I went through the same thing years ago It gets better you just have to give it time I still have dyed hair on my head that I used to flat iron daily. I made a lot of changes over the years.I s&d a lot untill most of the damage was gone plus trimming a lot coconut oil and other great tips I found on hair sites.My hair seems healthy these days so hang in there.

Cheveux en péta
June 9th, 2012, 04:28 PM
Should I chop it all off?

http://photobucket.com/cheveuxenpeta (http://photobucket.com/cheveuxenpeta)

lapushka
June 9th, 2012, 05:04 PM
Should I chop it all off?

http://photobucket.com/cheveuxenpeta (http://photobucket.com/cheveuxenpeta)

Whatever for?

Cheveux en péta
June 9th, 2012, 05:32 PM
Whatever for?

the damage in the top of my head. i think the follicles are damaged. i keep asking this because I'm a bit nervous especially because i don't know if it will help. the pic that shows the very back of my head is all natural (the lil curls in back) no compare that to the damaged hair....i'm tired of talking about it now. i'll just find a cut i like and go for it. thanks for replying.