View Full Version : New to longish hair...need help

December 20th, 2011, 04:22 AM
Hi, I have had long hair in the past and got by with shampoo and conditioners from the grocery store. Never gave it a thought. 6 years ago I moved to the UK and suddenly my hair became very dry and fly away, the ends won't hang together. And it wont take a perm. I've always had a perm when younger, but now no amount of perm will make it curl and of course frys it. Instead of soft,fat shiny red hair I now have dry,straw like hair that is very dull and annoying!
I am older now, past menopause and I back to henna it like when I was younger and had beautiful hair. It tends to be naturally very thick and a little coarse. Quite porous.
It is now almost at APL and has one leftover layer in it. I want to start treating it VERY well in an effort to get it back to where it used to be.
I have trolled through the posts for three days and see a lot of ideas but no real plan of action. I would like to do what ever it takes to get it the healthiest and prettiest it can be. Even if that means sticking it into a bucket of Martian clodhoppers oil for a week!:)
Can antone give me an outline or posts where I can cobble together an outline of a plan? I know everyone is different but a place to start would be really helpful. No shampoo is fine, actually anything is fine as long as it works.

Note:I am at school in Chichester and my hair is a bit less problematic down there. I came back up to Bedford for the Christmas holidays and with one shampoo... Well let's just say I'm buying a hat! Even more dry and straw like than ever.
That fact that I can't get a perm to work here in the UK used to make me think it was the water or menopause as those two changes happened after I moved here from Oregon. Now I'm thinking it's the water again even though a ACV rinse doesn't help at all.
Any takers?

December 20th, 2011, 04:27 AM
Do you deep condition? That may help.

It may as you say be the water. I live in the south west of England and the water is very soft down here. I was up in Birmingham a couple of weeks back and the water there is much harder and played havoc with my hair!

December 20th, 2011, 12:48 PM
So you don't make this mistake again- "I have trolled through the posts" means you went through posts and threads making mean comments. Maybe scrolled would be a better word.

Sounds to me like the water or weather. Maybe a deep conditioning mask would help.

December 20th, 2011, 01:22 PM
There are some articles that helped me a lot when I was starting at this community:

Ursula's Standard Newbie Advice (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=39)
Sorting through advice (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=65)
and Hair diagnostic tips (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=44)

In fact, I re-read them every once in a while, because I always forget something! The difficult and great thing is that everyone's hair is different, and so nobody can give you an outline of what will work for you, just guidelines as to how to find it out yourself (or ideas as to why something might be happening, of course!)

Good luck!

December 20th, 2011, 01:39 PM
I struggle with the water in downtown Chicago, it makes my hair so dry and stringy! So I feel your pain. Something that helped me a lot, other than deep conditioning and only using shampoo very infrequently, was oiling the length and ends of my hair. Everybody's hair likes different oils, but I stick to castor oil and coconut oil.
I agree with Narya, check out the articles. But I will share with you what I did: I had slightly below shoulder length, multi-layered hair that was very difficult to deal with. I used no heat, no dye, and wore my hair in braids and buns. I stretched my washes from every day to every three days. And if it weren't for all the trimming of splits I've had to do, I'd be well on my way to BSL by now!
Everyone has different plans of attack, I'm sure you'll be able to get yours going soon!

December 20th, 2011, 01:56 PM
I'd oil with coconut oil that helps my hair.

December 20th, 2011, 02:26 PM
Well, my standard advice for hair that isn't cooperating is to do a clarifying wash using a clarifying shampoo, follow that with an SMT (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128) or other deep moisture treatment, then re-assess everything. That alone deals with a lot of dryness and buildup, which are common problems. I'd give you advice on which products, but I don't really know what's available where you are. I do recall that many of our UK members get their products at Boots, so you don't need to go with expensive salon products.

Many people also get great benefit from oiling their hair, which replaces essential fatty acids that the hair can lose and supplements the sebum in conditioning your ends. You'll want edible oils for this, so look at the grocery rather than with the hair products. Coconut oil is a favorite, as is olive oil. Different people like different oils, or prefer them applied to damp or dry hair, so you may want to experiment a bit. The easiest way is to apply one the evening before you wash your hair, then wash it out. You can also leave oils in day-to-day (I do), but the trick is to use an incredibly tiny amount (think one small drop) or you can leave your hair looking greasy.

More hair history and descriptions will probably help.... Do you still have hair that has been permed attached? (Permed hair often benefits from protein treatments, which should be followed immediately with moisture treatments.) Do you typically style your hair using heat? Where you're located, is your water very hard? (Find a map if necessary. You might benefit from a chelating shampoo if you've got liquified rocks coming out of your faucet.)

P.S. In internet-speak, to troll means to bait others for responses by posting something that they will react to emotionally.

December 22nd, 2011, 05:28 PM
I'd say do a deep conditioning treatment with coconut oil or a hair mask.

December 22nd, 2011, 06:13 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I had no idea that "trolled" means something nefarious. Sorry.:o

I am at present convinced that the water is a large part ofthe problem. So I am embarking on a program of clairifying and conditioning without cones. I had gotten into using John Freida products when this problem started, and now I realise it is full of cones. I plan on being cone free, even poo free and using "miracle" water when washing. My soapnuts are inthe mail! And I am now the pround owner of 6 different oils! So far I like argan oil the best.

My UK perms act really strange. They look curly when wet, but the waves and curls are barely noticeable when dry. Funny too, roller curls drop in an hour. My hair can't seem to hold onto any curl at all.

Anyone experience weird things with menopause?

So wish me luck. I will report back in a while.
P.s. I finally found the articles, they are great. Man! I got a lot of learning to do!

December 22nd, 2011, 06:22 PM
More info...
My hair is APL, almost. It's dark brown naturally with a little grey on top. It has always been quite wirey and course, never one to be smooth and shiny. That is why I have permed in the past, if it won't be smooth and sleek I might as well go for Boudica hair. Must be my Scottish heritage. My perms have always lasted a very long time and I would have to cut my hair to get rid ofthe curl even after a couple of years.

I have inthe past sometimes heat styled but my hair is very thick and I get fed up with the partitioning. It takes a good 35 minutes to flat iron my hair and I often can't be bothered. I have quit ever doing that now,though.

I can't see much actual damage but my hair does look very dry and without condish it is like straw even when wet.
I'd really like to get it healthy and long again.

December 22nd, 2011, 07:19 PM
You mentioned that you henna, and henna does straighten curl patterns (not sure if this is also the case with perm). You may want to try doing an amla treatment or adding some amla in the mix to help bring back a spring to your hair.

I would also recommend either oiling before you wash or doing the CWC method. I also think using a deep treatment as your rinse out conditioner when you wash your hair is a good idea for dry hair. Here is a thread for products in the UK (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=1474)

edit: I also wanted to add that you might want to try the curly girl method to bring out a natural wave. I always thought I had sort of straight hair that just needed to be blowfried and ironed, I had even thought of perming it to bring out some uniformity. Once I have started the curly girl routine I have been really surprised with how wavy my hair is.

December 22nd, 2011, 08:17 PM
From what I understand, the water in Oregon tends to be soft, and it's very hard in parts of the UK. You may be able to get information on the water hardness from the local water agency. If hardness is the problem, doing a regular vinegar or citric acid rinse will help. I use citric acid (1/4 tsp. in a gallon of water) every time I wash because I have hard well water, and it does make a big difference.