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Thread: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

  1. #1
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    Default Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Hi, everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster here! I'm looking for advice on how to improve my hair-care regimen to reduce breakage (and maybe shedding?) so that I can get to my goal, which is waist length. I'm an inch or two beyond BSL -- it's a little difficult to measure. I have about 3 inches to go to get to waist. I'm not looking for miracle growth, just a way to get past this false terminal (it's been maybe an inch longer in the past but breakage happened). I had some fairly-tale ends that were longer, but I lost most of them in a recent bout of shedding. It's given me a more even hemline, which is new, but I miss them.

    My hair type: 2a/2b, f/m, ii (dark brown with lighter warm brown reddish highlights, not dyed), tangles easily

    My current regimen:

    CO wash or CWC with Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner: Every day to every three days, depending on if I feel like I need it. More often I CWC, but only use a dime sized amount of shampoo on my scalp, never directly on the length.

    Usually worn down or in a ponytail (bad, I know!) with no-crease/ribbon hair ties (like this: http://www.kenzlaurenz.com/hati5gl.h...kknhoCRWbw_wcB)

    No brushing or combing. Finger detangling with copious conditioner in the shower, and occasionally when dry. Brushing and combing seems to really mess with my hair. Haven't done that in years.

    Very rarely heat style when I'm pressed for time on a special occasion. It has no place in my regular routine, but sometimes I need to straighten the top three inches (what would be/used to be bangs when I had bangs) in the very front to frame my face.

    Oil occasionally. Once a week to once a month. Coconut oil does not work well for me. Love Argan oil, but it's expensive. Jojoba oil is good too. Sweet almond is okay. Can't do olive oil, too heavy.

    Things I intend to add or add back to my regimen:

    Gelatin supplements, these really work for me

    I really need to learn a good protective updo (I am often getting caught in my bag straps)

    Things I am considering adding or adding back to my regimen

    A micro trim or two (I have split ends)

    Search and destroy

    Castor oil. It's doing good things for my brows and lashes. I'm concerned about how dark it might make my hair, though. I don't want my highlights to disappear.

    Face framing layers to make updos more flattering and reduce the need for heat styling to nil. I'm not sure how they'll grow out, though.

    More oiling? Treatments? Herbs? Leave-in conditioner?

    I have small sizes of Living Libations shampoo and conditioner. Yucca and jojoba based, 100% natural. Considering switching shampoos and using the conditioner along side my current one. This one doesn't have protein; my current one does.

    Relevant health issues, hair issues and preferences:

    I prefer to use natural products. I am not absolutist about this, though. I need Cetyl Alcohol containing conditioner, for instance. I won't use highly ecologically damaging ingredients.

    I get bad artificial fragrance reactions easily. I can not use them in any significant quantity.

    Last two inches are velcro-ish. Next two up are a little crunchy. The rest of my hair feels very healthy.

    I have thyroid issues, low iron and celiac. Celiac is under control, but my doctor won't treat my thyroid issues because my lab tests are borderline.

    Fine and wavy equals tangly, in my experience. My hair seems to be getting more medium over time, though, which is nice. It's still prone to matting and tangles, though.

    I'm not sure if I need to moisturize, reduce protein or what. I am prone to dry skin, though, so that may extend to dry hair.

    I am also interested in reducing frizz/flyaways. They're not terrible, but they're present.


    If you've gotten this far, thank you for reading. I am really wondering what your top tips are for reducing damage/breakage/shedding and promoting growth. Where will I see the most results for effort and money? If you ever hit a wall in your hair growth, what helped you get past it, especially if you have my hair type?

    I've read the Advice for Newbies thread, and I know it says to change one thing at a time. So I am very interested in where my priorities should be, especially since my regimen already includes the CO/CWC wash and other basic stuff. What are the first few things I should start with that will likely give me the most impact? Feel free to suggest things I didn't list, of course! I'm looking for what works based on others experience.

    Finally, I've had trouble learning to do an updo. Most of the tutorials I see are for long, thick hair in comparison to my relatively modest mid-back ii. I'd love to learn to do a french twist, a messy bun, and a nice flat-laying cinnamon bun, and perhaps a few more. I've only used spin picks and bobby pins until now. I have some hair forks/combs coming in the mail. I'd love some tips on good protective updos, and especially learning to do them! (Note: I'm in my twenties and look too childish in big braids. Little braids as bun accents are nice, though. )

  2. #2
    Member Obsidian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Firs thing I recommend is a second opinion on the thyroid. Dry skin/hair is a symptom of hypothyroidism, meds might really help you out. Second thing that comes to mind is to clarify, even though you prefer natural, a good cleansing shampoo could really help if you have build up. Suave daily clarifying is my go to for this, its cheap, works well and is lightly scented.

    Since your normal conditioner has protein, maybe you need to find protein free products, see if that helps. Of course the famous SMT would be the second thing to try after clarifying.
    Letting the sparkles grow

  3. #3
    Just letting it grow ravenheather's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    I had a year long shed/stall about the same length. Vitamin d deficiency was the cause for me.

    Renegray, going for terminal.
    Lost in the midback abyss.
    ALMOST waist stretched!

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    Member diddiedaisy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Second the thyroid check, also it is common for celiac's to have issues digesting certain vitimams/minerals, inparticularly biotin, so maybe get a full blood work done to check all your levels. I'm not personally celiac but have an intolerance to wheat/gluton/ dairy and do need to take biotin supplements as I don't exclude these things from my diet I just restrict them It stopped my hair falling out. I would definately go back to the doctor.
    shoulder 16" - apl 20" - bsb 24" -mbl 25" - waist 28" - hip 32" - bcl 36"

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    Member Obsidian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    I completely overlooked that your are new and have no idea what SMT means. Here is the thread http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/...read.php?t=128 You can skip the aloe if you can't find it.
    Letting the sparkles grow

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    Firs thing I recommend is a second opinion on the thyroid. Dry skin/hair is a symptom of hypothyroidism, meds might really help you out. Second thing that comes to mind is to clarify, even though you prefer natural, a good cleansing shampoo could really help if you have build up. Suave daily clarifying is my go to for this, its cheap, works well and is lightly scented.

    Since your normal conditioner has protein, maybe you need to find protein free products, see if that helps. Of course the famous SMT would be the second thing to try after clarifying.
    Yeah, I think you guys are probably right about the thyroid.

    I don't know if/don't think I have build up. I use a gentle shampoo (not a clarifying one) and my hair always feels clean afterwards. Would build-up be causing breakage or velcro-ish ends? Would build-up be from the protein? I can certainly look into finding something protein free. Is SMT to restore moisture after clarifying or as an aid to accomplish the same goal of reducing breakage. I suppose I'm not entirely clear on what "build up" and "clarifying" actually mean, which is what's causing any confusion.

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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    I'll try Vitamin D and biotin, too! I used to have trouble with those, so I've got supplements around here somewhere. I felt better after taking Vit D for a while and figured I replenished my stores. Could probably use more again, though.

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    Member Swan Maiden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    I just want to clear up that castor oil will not permanently darken your hair. It is said to darken hair, that is because it will hold moisture in your hair. I have light hair and use castor oil regularly with no darkening.

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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Yay! That's great news for me. And your sig is adorable.

  10. #10
    Member Swan Maiden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hit a wall at just over BSL -- Hasn't grown in a year or two despite not cutting

    Thanks I highly recommend mixing it with another oil due to its sticky nature (as I'm sure you're familiar). Good luck finding a solution. If you can't accomplish an updo just now, why not wear a simple braid? Also, do you sleep with your hair loose? Satin cap or pillowcase? Those help to minimize tangles for me.
    Last edited by Swan Maiden; January 3rd, 2016 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Your you're

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