View Full Version : I just don't think my hair likes being long :(

March 9th, 2012, 12:22 AM
I love having long hair. But I don't think my hair loves it.

I have slightly wavy, fine in texture, thick in volume hair. My scalp is oily, but the ends are dry. Right now it is mid-back length.

The issue I have with it is if I look at it cross-eyed, it splits and breaks. I can't braid it or put it up in a gentle bun without it turning into a mess of broken hair. It doesn't just split at the ends, but it breaks, and I get these hidden splits higher up in which part of the hair has split, but not yet branched apart (if that makes sense).

There is some color in my hair, but not much, and I've had this problem even when my hair was virgin. I've tried all sorts of poos and conditioners, and nothing seems to help. The worst part is, the damage makes it tangle horribly and that makes it MORE damaged.

I haven't tried oiling yet, but I only shampoo 1-2x a week, and condition with a non-cone conditioner. Once upon a time I tried CO and it left my hair limp and unclean looking. I use satin pillow cases and detangle in the shower with a wide comb.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I love having long hair, and it's so thick it looks really lovely. But the tangles and splits and damage seem to be telling me my hair just isn't suited.

Any tips before I give up on it?

March 9th, 2012, 12:24 AM
Why not start with oiling? I think you'd benefit from some kind of a moisture treatment. :)

Cara Heather
March 9th, 2012, 12:27 AM
Did you try oils like EVOO or Coconut?

Blond On Blond
March 9th, 2012, 12:28 AM
I would try cones. One of my favorite routines (when I had damaged hair) was using no-cone products to wash/condition, then applying a coney serum to my ends only.

March 9th, 2012, 01:28 AM
I was pretty unhappy with mine around mid back length as it was rough, wavy snarly and heavy. I never dreamed I would be growing it longer and not have it kill me in the process. I just reached Tailbone and it never felt better than it does now, and I like it SO much more.

The cure for me really was CO wash. The trick is using the right type (heavy, rich conditioners are not the best for this) and leaving it on long enough to get your hair clean. Don't just apply and rinse out. Put a generous amount of a cheap, no cone condish (most of us seem to gravitate to VO5 and Suave) on DRY hair and massage it in. Make sure to leave it for at least 10-15 min (I go 30-60 min sometimes) and to massage and scritch your scalp well before and during rinsing. Condition the ends/length again with a better quality conditioner.
Try it again, you might be surprised.
Then using a little bit of good condish as a leave in, or trying different oils is the final finishing touch that really makes your hair smoother and less tangle prone.
My hair feels like it belongs to someone else these days, I just love it.

March 9th, 2012, 01:40 AM
How long have you been cone-free? Some peoples hair wont work with out cones. You kind of have to ween it off if that makes sense?

March 9th, 2012, 02:31 AM
My hair used to behave similarly when it was at mid-back. I used to hate it and was planning to chop it all to a bob. Fortunately, I gave it a chance (the 2-weeks rule before cutting) and started applying coconut oil. In a couple of uses it changed completely. The oil brought shine, manageability, the poof was gone, breakage seemed reduced - I was loving my hair again!

You might also consider detangling with a wide tooth comb if you're not doing it already.

Hope your hair starts behaving decently soon ;)

March 9th, 2012, 04:19 AM
I felt the same about my hair too, but just stick with it and move through it, definitely! I don't have much advice but I felt pretty crappy about my hair and now, after about a year, it's starting to come really good (after much trial and error). I discovered that my hair likes cones and some of those chemical ingredients we're "supposed" to avoid. :P

But definitely stay with it, even if you don't feel like your hair is any good. My hair has splits all through the ends, and it always has. I just can't seem to get rid of them. I think it's just one of those things you have to accept sometimes. :)

March 9th, 2012, 05:18 AM
I used to always have split ends, including those crazy multi-directional splits, but moving to a more moisturizing routine helped. For several years I did conditioner-only, which helped somewhat, and now I'm doing water only and I'm very happy about how it's going. I have almost eliminated split ends (to the point where I don't even bother with S&D anymore).

I would recommend trying oiling. Maybe start with a pre-wash oil if you're afraid of over-moisturizing? Lots of people like coconut oil, but my personal preference is shea butter. I don't use it very much except when I'm going to be washing my hair more than I'd like, which tends to be drying. But it makes my color-damaged ends very soft and seems to soak up pretty well overnight. I used to use a shea butter conditioner for conditioner-only for awhile, that seemed to be what my hair liked best (and my bf uses it now), but it got expensive.

You may also want to try using a BBB-type brush to move the oil near your scalp down the length of your hair too. This is a major part of my routine, and I think it helps a lot. If your hair breaks from gentle brushing, maybe try a softer bristle-style brush?

When you do find a routine that helps prevent damage, you may still need to spend some time trimming the old damage out. Maybe find a length you can live with and maintain there with frequent trims or micro trims?

March 9th, 2012, 05:26 AM
I would try cones. One of my favorite routines (when I had damaged hair) was using no-cone products to wash/condition, then applying a coney serum to my ends only.

This. This is my current routine, I use an SLS shampoo to get rid of build up from the cone serum(Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie), condition with Tresemme Naturals moisture conditioner (cone free) and when my hair is damp I use a really coney hair serum which sorta adds a film of smoothness outside the hair after it's been properly nourished with the cone free conditioner. :)

hanne jensen
March 9th, 2012, 05:59 AM
I have the same problem and the same hair-fine. The harsh winter hasn't helped either. I dust every 4-6 weeks. I have to clarify my hair quite often. Things build up very quickly on my fine hair. This causes tangles and breaks. I also de-mineralize my hair with 2 parts ACV to one part water. Add some clarifying poo and wash. Leave in for 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly. Use either a good conditioner after or oil+poo. Check out the article Ktani's Movie Star Shampoo Method.

I've read on the internet that there's a new compound called polyelectrolyte compound (PEC) that temporarily bonds splits together. Tresomme, Joico and Nexxus have launched products with this compound. I'll be trying it.

If you're anything like me, you'll sit down and cry after cutting your hair.

Good luck and happy growing.

March 9th, 2012, 06:04 AM
My hair gets mighty tangled when I don't use cones. I also suggest trying to use them.

March 9th, 2012, 09:06 AM
I suggest you look at Ktani's list of hair advice up in the Articles section and see if there is something there that would help you (especially her mineral oil article).

Your hair needs help...not by coating the outside but by trapping moisture inside the strand itself.

Also, your diet may be affecting your hair breakage. Also, how you brush or comb your hair may be involved.

If you've chemically treated your hair in the past, that also may have a great bearing on your current difficulties.

I hope you find a solution to your problem soon.

March 9th, 2012, 09:15 AM
I think as others here suggested, that you just haven't found the right routine for it yet. I found out that as it grows, my hair needs different things at different length. What I did to it when it was a bob or at shoulder no longer works, so I try to adapt. Everyone's hair is different so I cannot give advice, except second Madora that maybe you need to improve your nutrition, and try to wear it up more to prevent too much damage.

March 9th, 2012, 01:59 PM
I would recommend oiling. It works really well as a leave-in detangler, believe me. Also, I would comb or brush very gently and put my hair in an updo straight away. I also used to get splits all over my hair, not just at the ends, until I made these changes. I've seen a big improvement since I started reading the LHC.

March 9th, 2012, 02:05 PM
good news is you have alot of hair so it does look good when it's long (imagine having fine/thin hair that breaks and tangles! like mines :D)

so, the other posters gave you some good ideas to try. oils, cones, no cones, CO, etc... There's also putting catnip tea in your hair for the split ends that people like. I wanted to also throw in some vitamins, if you want to try. fish and/or flax oil to help oil your hair from the inside out. and silica or diatomaceous earth is good for strengthening your hair while it grows so it'll less likely to split and break.

March 9th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Here is Ktani's article about catnip rinses and how they can benefit your hair:


heidi w.
March 9th, 2012, 02:25 PM
It sounds to me that you need good conditioning or conditioner. Maybe a heavy conditioning treatment. You may benefit from oiling. I am in process of posting a video demonstrating how I oil my hair, how I BBB my hair, and an updo. It'll be loaded soon.

There is no information regarding the hair type you have as in is it curly, wavy, straight?

I would also let you know that I am one who uses stuff, especially conditioner with cones. I am not cone free and hardly ever have been.

You might benefit from using a detangler spray. I have a conditioner that majorly helps with detangling, and I oil which also assists a little bit.

Do one thing at a time, one change at a time, so if there's a problem you can easily identify the culprit.

Is your hair breaking off? This is typically an indicator of too much or too little protein. You can ask a color professional at a hair care salon (colorist ONLY, not a stylist) to perform a strand test to check for porosity and to check for protein. You want to know where you are before guessing and trying stuff.

heidi w.

heidi w.
March 9th, 2012, 02:29 PM
Sufficient protein in the hair is mostly derived from the inside, that is, nutrition is very important. If you are not eating a sufficient amount of protein, one can have anemia or low iron in the blood which can in turn lead to increased shedding, although not usually lead to hair breaking off.

The number (#)1 thing to pay attention to in long hair care is diet. That's the foundation of hair health.

I think mostly you need help with detangling, and may not be a person that does well without cones in products.

heidi w.

March 9th, 2012, 04:23 PM
Try the coconut oil.

March 9th, 2012, 06:15 PM
When I was growing my hair the first time around it was full of splits. It was about your length then. I think the mistakes I was making were way too much swimming in chlorinated pools, only using shampoo and not conditioning, and detangling wet with a fine-tooth comb starting at the top. I recently found out that my hair just hates fine-tooth combs and I can't use them for much of anything unless I spend about two hours on it. I only use a wide tooth comb and bbb now when it's dry. Oiling the ends has also helped, I think. I still have a ton of splits, but only in the bleached part. The rest of it has very few splits. I have yet to find out how many splits I will have when it actually gets long, however.
Wish I had actual advice for you. I don't know a whole lot at the moment.

March 9th, 2012, 08:59 PM
Welcome to LHC!

Do you brush or comb? Curls don't generally like being brushed. I detangle in the shower with a comb, putting the sheds on the wall.

If you like to color, but don't want the damage, you may want to try henna. Just be aware that it is more permanent than the permanentest box dye, and it comes in red, red, and red (though you can make brown by adding other plants). My beard was a mass of splits until I started hennaing; now it's down past my belly button.

I agree with oil. My favorite is jojoba, though I mix a little coconut and andiroba in.

March 9th, 2012, 09:14 PM
Except for the fine texture, your hair sounds like mine. My hair is VERY splitty, and with the slightest encouragement the ends will get all poofy and tangly as well. A BBB didn't work for me; it made the splits worse. Oiling has made a huge difference. You'll have to experiment to see what works--my hair won't absorb shea butter, for example, but it loves cocoa butter and coconut oil; I melt them together half and half. I've found it easiest to oil after I've braided it for the night and then grease the heck out of the tassel. By morning it's all been absorbed and it's ready for another day.

You could also try mixing a little honey and/or aloe in your conditioner as well. I had to do that when I was growing out an old perm (shudder)

March 9th, 2012, 11:22 PM
One thing I would recommend is not combing your hair when wet. It is at its most fragile when wet.

March 10th, 2012, 08:39 AM
Been there done that. Try oiling.