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Tizzles
May 26th, 2012, 08:11 AM
I've been 4 months without heat, I've been gentle with my hair, using a wide tooth wooden comb to detangle, using a gentle shampoo when I need to clarify and really focusing on moisture since my hair was apparently missing it. I'm still getting breakage and I'm pretty disheartened. My hair doesn't seem like it's in any better shape (split end and breakage wise) than it was when I was using heat and straightening it all the time.

I had highlights in the front around December of last year, and when I straightened I focused a lot on the front because of the cut I had, so I know the front of my hair is the most damaged, I think that's kind of normal. But even after all this time I still have breakage and I haven't put bleach in my hair since December. Someone please tell me this is normal, and that I am still growing out damage. My hair was chin length in December, I'm shoulder length now, but I still have layers that need to grow out to be even with the longest part of my hair.

I just feel like all of the babying that I do to my hair is doing me no good. Granted it's softer (I think anyway) than it used to be. But I have had to endure so much crap growing my hair out, using no heat, basically having to just put it up when I go out because it has NO style. The clips/scunchies I use to put it back are hair safe, no metal, that hits the hair, doesn't pull my hair out when I take them out, none of my hair styles are too tight. The ONLY thing I can think that I am not doing that I need to try is getting a satin/silk pillowcase to sleep on. I'm sorry to rant and rave about it, at least my hair is growing, although slowly, and I know that the new growth will be healthy. But it still doesn't help much, no matter how positive I try to be about it at the moment.

I was addicted horribly to heat, I loved my hair looking polished, I always had it styled and wore it super cute, I feel like I look so much older right now because it just has no style and it's still too short for my face shape to do cute no-heat curls and stuff to make it have style because it will be too short. The super bad part? I just had a trim like 3 weeks ago. My stylist focused on the front of my hair a lot because there was a lot of damage there. I told her to trim my layers ( I know, I hate layers) just because they hadn't been trimmed in 6 months and I felt like they were getting neglected. I S&D pretty regular, and I never fail to find at least 3-5 white dots, and a bunch of splits every time. What could I be doing wrong?

spidermom
May 26th, 2012, 08:26 AM
I know it's frustrating to not see results right away, but 4 months really isn't a long period of time. That's only 2 inches of grow-out if you have average growth. I'll bet the 2 inches closest to the scalp feel fabulous!

fridgee
May 26th, 2012, 08:28 AM
It sounds like you are doing everything great! But unfortunately all the care in the world can't undo the damage that is already done. The splits you are getting now are probably from the heat and bleach damage, but the good news is that everything your doing now means that no more damage is being caused so it's just a case of slowly trimming out the bits that are beyond help over time. It does take a long time to rehabilitate hair, I gave up heat 6 months ago and my hair is still recovering. Don't feel so down heartened, it seems like your doing great, it just takes patience. :flower:

Madora
May 26th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Be sure the shears you're using for S and D are super sharp. Otherwise, you'll just be giving your hair more white dots because the scissors were not sharp enough.

Growing out damage takes lots of time. Just be patient and try and concentrate on other aspects of your hair care.

heidi w.
May 26th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Patience is the trick to growing it long. There's no such thing as being in a hurry to have great-looking hair. All that heat probably created a lot of white dots and hair is more than likely breaking off at these points. Heat really messes up the outer shell ofthe hair, the cuticle. And really the only way to repair that damage is to at some point cut it off or out and re-grow. But we can't entirely start over again. So you have to proceed by growing and trimming, in repetitive order. Your hair probably won't start behaving very well until a year or two from now, maybe around 1.5 yrs you'll have something to show.

Do you oil the length? You might consider it. But I don't know your hair type, so I can't suggest a good way to go about oiling your length. Don't use a lot of oil.

Take heart: 4 months is still the beginning, you're barely past beginning. Give it a LOT more time. Be patient. It will turn around.

It's not a just-add-water-and-stir, snap project...it takes much longer than that. It has taken me around 15-16 years total to acquire all the length I have. Yep, it takes a while. IF that's what you want, long and beautiful hair, then just take it easy, a step at a time, and don't worry about the end and when you'll get there and when will life be as I want it? That never really happens, life is a process. Hair is a process. Enjoy the process. Learn from the process. Share about your process. Mostly, enjoy the process and what you've got as much as you can. You never know if you may have to face not having it.

heidi w.

Suze2012
May 26th, 2012, 08:42 AM
My hair is around about mid back length now (pulled straight is about 2 inches off waist level).

I stopped using heat on my hair about 3 or 4 years ago and also stopped having (a lot) of blonde highlights at the same time.
I still have 2-3 inches of the worst damage to grow out from the blonde.

I know it's going to be a long time yet until my hair length is in the best condition it is possible to be in.
If I had had the damage all cut out it would have to have been super short for a long time.

I've only just (3 weeks) been conditioner only washing and I'm seeing a big difference but the damage is there (looks better but still there).

If you want to grow it without cutting the damage out you just have to make the best of the damaged parts and just give it time. :)

Tizzles
May 26th, 2012, 08:45 AM
Thanks everyone. I know 4 months isn't a lot of time, I kept telling myself that..you know how frustrating it gets sometimes! I just had my shears sharpened last week, so they are super duper sharp. I think the white dots and splits are just the damage working itself out, and yes, the hair on the top of my head feels awesome.

I do oil my length Heidi. I switch between some coconut oil and sometimes if I want to do a deep oiling, I have a mixture of amla oil, EVOO and castor oil that I use. When I use that stuff I'll braid as much of my hair as I can and sleep with the oil in and then wash it out the next day. Sometimes if my hair is just freaking out I'll put a small dot of mineral oil based baby oil in my palms and spread it over the very ends, I don't do this often though. I've just really been trying to leave it alone as much as possible.

I don't want classic length hair, I don't think I could put up with it on myself, but I love to look at the pictures on here of those of you with super long hair. Waist I think will be long enough for me, I've never had it that long, BSL has been my longest ever and it did look very pretty but it was highlighted and the ends were bad, I wasn't taking very good care of it, which is why it got the chop. I'm trying to do things right this time around, hopefully I can reach waist and maintain to even up the hemline..it's going to take forever :p Oh well, thanks everyone for confirming for me that it's still damage growing out. You may not think it helps to hear it from someone else, even if you don't know that person from Adam, but it definitely does :)

Vampyria
May 26th, 2012, 08:51 AM
I agree with everyone. After I stopped flat- ironing and dyeing, started using coconut oil and gentler products, my hair was still breaking for almost a year. After two years it feels and looks really healthy. I also had to cut off a lot of hair, although I didn't have visible damage.
So don't give up, because it takes time to see the difference.

heidi w.
May 26th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Do you S&D? That can help remove some of the damage, although you won't get all of it, but you can get a good % of it. Because hair damage can invoke further hair damage on other hairs that are essentially ok health-wise. I call these "hot spots" where there's a section of hair having a damage. I just clip those hairs off individually, and I have much smoother hair fairly quickly. But ya gotta be careful because it's addictive and you can cut too much that it thins the hair too much. I've done that around 2 times. Le Oooops. LOL

heidi w.

Tizzles
May 26th, 2012, 09:11 AM
Do you S&D? That can help remove some of the damage, although you won't get all of it, but you can get a good % of it. Because hair damage can invoke further hair damage on other hairs that are essentially ok health-wise. I call these "hot spots" where there's a section of hair having a damage. I just clip those hairs off individually, and I have much smoother hair fairly quickly. But ya gotta be careful because it's addictive and you can cut too much that it thins the hair too much. I've done that around 2 times. Le Oooops. LOL

heidi w.

Yes'm, I do S&D. I try to limit myself to a few minutes at a time so I don't go overboard. It's helped lessen the damage. I mean if I think back to when I started S&D the very first time til now, there's less breakage and splits for sure. It's just going to take a very long time to get all the damage out. But once it gets long enough for me to actually start doing more with it, I may do a super serious trim and trim a bunch of damage at once on the ends. Since my hair is on the fine side, a more blunt hemline will look better at any length. So probably once I get down to BSL, hopefully by this time next year, I'll probably do a 3inch chop or so depending on how things look and grow from there onwards to waist and keep doing that until I get all the damage out.

Going heat free is hard, I truly believe that it makes the waiting game harder, especially at shoulder length and APL. I'm a 'chubby cheeker" so shorter hairstyles on me look not so good, maybe all save one, which is the one I'm growing out. I did like the look of heat fried polished hair that had style, but at the time I had it, I hated so much to mess with it, and I KNEW that everything I was doing wasn't good for my hair at all. When it gets longer, the heat free lifestyle will be easier. I'll have more options for cutesy up do's and braids. I guess I just have to get over the hump, but YAY by the time I get there, the majority of my hair will be heat damage free!

I'm getting ready to do my first henndigo soon. When I stopped bleaching I stepped down to demi-permanent/deposit only color. I've been doing that since December, but I'd like to henndigo, the only thing that's stopped me from embarking on that journey is that 1) you marry henna and well I might want something besides henndigo one day and 2) I'm a newbie to recipe making for henndigo and I'm so afraid I'll mess something up and be stuck with icky hair color! I'm 30 and have grey hairs, I could go natural but I am really not ready for that personally at the moment. So I need a chemical free alternative. My hair dresser actually told me a few weeks ago that I should NEVER use henna because my hair is on the "fine" side, she said it was cause my hair to break off, though I've never seen anyone in the "henna area" of the forums mention that. So we'll see. Worst case I guess I could buzz it all off and don wigs until I have more hair! (I'd freak by the way) Anyway I'm rambling. Thanks for all your advice :)

Suze2012
May 26th, 2012, 10:08 AM
Um..sorry to be dumb and not know..what does S&D mean?

I have no idea what lots of the abbreviations here mean yet! lol!

beachgirlla
May 26th, 2012, 10:18 AM
We probably started taking care of our hair at nearly same time, its been 5 months for me, I used hair extensions, flat iron, blow dryer, chemically colored my hair every 2-3 weeks plus all of the other damaging stuff, my hair was damaged beyond repair, I removed the stupid extensions that were costing me over $1000 every 8 weeks and never looked back, my hair at that time (back in Dec.2011) looked very bad, I started henna it, and stopped using the flat iron but not the blow dryer as my hair is wavy/curly and get frizzy & puffy like crazy, I just could not stop the blow dryer but I use it much less, like 2-3 times a week, rather than twice a day, I can see much difference in my hair at this point, like you I only have 2-3 inches of new growth which of course does not show much as length because my ends are so damaged and I get a lot of breakage at daily bases from these old damaged hair, everyone here said it right it will take us a t least 1.5 year to grow out these damaged hair, I myself can not trim the whole damaged hair at this point as my hair will be very short, but honestly i can see much better healthier hair with those new 2.5-3 inches, they are 1000s times better than the damaged ends, so just be patient, we both have a long way to go :)
In regard of CW only, I too started this 2.5 months back and I will never look back, it took like 1.5 month to see the difference, 2 weeks is not showing you the whole story, you will love it :), I recently got Loreal Sleek conditioner which is (supposedly) SLS and silicone free, I so far love it and I think its the best conditioner I have used so far, I used to use Garnier Triple something but I just found out they have changed the formula and add silicone to it and that's why my hair was acting badly in the last few weeks, I thought it did not have silicone as I had no idea they changed the formula, I still have a full new huge bottle with the stupid silicone in it, going to give it away, also, I just used Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo 3 days back to clarify my hair, it was the best hair clarifyer I have used so far.

beachgirlla
May 26th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Um..sorry to be dumb and not know..what does S&D mean?

I have no idea what lots of the abbreviations here mean yet! lol!

LOL, it means search and destroy, search for split ends and cut them with a sharp scissor, I tried to do this last night but I could not use a scissor, I just cut them like that, it was so hard since my hair is still on the short side and I could hardly see the slip ends or the white dots, I have no idea how the beautiful ladies see them, LOL

spookyghost
May 26th, 2012, 10:56 AM
I feel your pain! There are times when I think my hair didnt look this bad when I didnt give a crap about it!:lol: No heat is very hard. Im doing it and I have come to terms with the fact that my hair wont look awesome for years. My longest layer is BSL and I will not cut off the damage because I look like a man with short hair. So I have to grow out all my damage and for as long as my hair is now-it will take years before its all grown out.:(

So I'm thinking this is a hair journey of love and patience. Im trying to embrace this challenge and enjoy the small milestones as they come along:)

Good luck and you will get there-Im sure everyone will agree with me.

akilina
May 26th, 2012, 12:13 PM
I'm having the same issues. But the thing you gotta remember is that split ends will never heal themself. There is no way for your hair to just fuse back together again and be whole.
Maybe your hair is growing nicely but the previous damage is just breaking off and spreading.
I think the best thing at this point will be benign neglect. Wash condition maybe a little oil and just wear it up all day long and dont even think about your hair and eventually it will look alot more how you want it to

julierockhead
May 26th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Have you tried protein treatments? You may be protein deficient after heat damage and highlights.

Henna makes thin hair thicker, and has vastly improved my hair. Not everyone has this experience; there is some concern that henna can saturate and coat the hair, preventing conditioner from working, but this doesn't seem to be a problem for most henna users. Hennaforhair.com is a good place to read about the science of henna, and Henna Sooq is a good place to buy.

torrilin
May 26th, 2012, 12:31 PM
I feel like I look so much older right now because it just has no style and it's still too short for my face shape to do cute no-heat curls and stuff to make it have style because it will be too short.

I'm not quite following this line?

There are scads of different no heat curl methods. And an awful lot of them are meant to be used with a fairly short hair cut. It's not something I'm really interested in myself, but short hair works really well for no heat curls.

Sponge rollers, rag curls, pin curls, headband curls... you've got options if curls make you feel cuter.

If you want a styled look, you might want to investigate things like the "middy" cut (http://lisafremontpages.blogspot.com/2009/07/middy-haircut.html), which are meant to be used with no heat curling methods.

If you would rather keep wearing your hair straight, there are still lots of cute options. When my hair has been heavily damaged, I usually opted for a variation on a Louise Brooks sort of bob. Bangs don't suit me, so I don't get 'em. There's no reason why a grow out has to be a miserable experience that makes you feel uglier.

jacqueline101
May 26th, 2012, 02:12 PM
It takes along time and lots of patients to grow out damage. I'm coming up for my year and I'm no where near perfect or damage free. I use to be blow dryer happy and all the sinful things.

Suze2012
May 26th, 2012, 03:50 PM
LOL, it means search and destroy, search for split ends and cut them with a sharp scissor, I tried to do this last night but I could not use a scissor, I just cut them like that, it was so hard since my hair is still on the short side and I could hardly see the slip ends or the white dots, I have no idea how the beautiful ladies see them, LOL

Oh wow! I thought it would be more technical than that! Thank you! I won't forget that one! :)

It's a long road..and then when it grows we still have sun and pollution and life to cope with.

Getting mine just 'a bit better' is my aim.

If it isn't then I isn't I do the best I can with it.
It is a pain that all the smooth pretty hair you see everywhere is 9usually) down to heated products.
I have so many friends who have hair extensions which they clip in and I never even knew about..at least I know my hair is really mine. :)

BlazingHeart
May 26th, 2012, 04:22 PM
You might try something like lace braids, or better yet a lace-rope braid, along the edge of your face. That would give you the look of having done something with your hair without making it shorter.

And yeah, like everyone has said, good looking hair takes time. Especially if you want it long. For many people, any hair that was heavily heat-styled has to eventually be cut out as you can't heal the damage, you can only try to prevent more.

~Blaze

barely.there
May 26th, 2012, 05:06 PM
I would definitely vouch for satin pillowcases. My husband and I have both seen a great deal of difference to our hair since using them.

Tizzles
May 26th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Have you tried protein treatments? You may be protein deficient after heat damage and highlights.

Henna makes thin hair thicker, and has vastly improved my hair. Not everyone has this experience; there is some concern that henna can saturate and coat the hair, preventing conditioner from working, but this doesn't seem to be a problem for most henna users. Hennaforhair.com is a good place to read about the science of henna, and Henna Sooq is a good place to buy.

I always thought I had a protein deficiency since all the heat and highlight damage, however I was wrong. I had a protein treatment done once and it looked like it fried my hair. After clarifying it out my hair went back to normal just a little more dry. I've been focusing a lot on moisture. I did the strand test and found that I had too much protein, weirdly enough. My hair had no "give" to it, it would just break when I pulled on a piece of shed hair for the test. So I started taking notice of my products I used and everything had some sort of protein in it. So I cut back a lot, and started using a conditioner without any protein in it for deep hydration and my hair feels better. I thought a couple days ago that maybe the breakage was from a lack of protein but I think it's just the damage.

I seem to not have any shortage of protein. Even after focusing solely on moisture for almost a month now my hair seems to be in better balance protein/moisture wise than before. I do a really good clarifying every couple of weeks, because I use cones so I just stick to moisture. I'm not sure what my hair will look like when I actually have too much moisture and not enough protein...I hope I don't ever get there though. Thanks everyone for all your advice and stories, it really helps me feel not alone. I guess I just need to focus more on the journey and learning while on it than the end result all the time.

julierockhead
May 27th, 2012, 12:54 AM
Yup, some people's hair just don't like protein.

Here is a good article about assessing your own hair for protein and moisture, and lists of different products for different issues, just scroll down a bit -

http://blackbeautyblackhair86911.yuku.com/topic/511/t/Hair-Breakage-and-Shedding-101.html#.T8HPfq6veRm

MiamiPineapple
May 27th, 2012, 07:35 AM
Chemical damage is the worst kind in my opinion and takes the longest to get rid of because you cannot repair it. I had chemical damage december 2010 and just this month I am starting to notice that its finally not breaking. Remember, you cannot FIX the damage, it must be cut off so just be patient, do small trims and wait for it to be gone. No amount of CO washing or products will fix chemical damage. It took me a year and a half....and I still see a few pieces breaking here and there...

leilasahhar
May 27th, 2012, 10:13 PM
I found a secret that works for me and maybe it'll work for you. Fenugreek powder mixed into a paste with hot water. It makes your hair unbelievably soft! The smell is a little strong but once you rinse its gone. Hope this helps! Also I use redwood roots hair mist for my roots. Hydrates :)

Tizzles
May 28th, 2012, 03:05 AM
I found a secret that works for me and maybe it'll work for you. Fenugreek powder mixed into a paste with hot water. It makes your hair unbelievably soft! The smell is a little strong but once you rinse its gone. Hope this helps! Also I use redwood roots hair mist for my roots. Hydrates :)

Thanks! I'll definitely try this :)