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Thread: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

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    Default Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    Breakage issues - white dots & split ends.
    Hi, I'm relatively new here, and hoping some of you may be able to help? I've been reading lots on here, and learnt tonnes ,but I'm still having trouble with breakage. This is my first proper post, so here goes! :
    I have lots of white dots which then break off mid shaft. I've done countless S&D sessions with sharp, new hairdressers scissors, but the white dots and split ends keep re appearing.
    Is there anything you would recommend trying to minimise the breakage? Or is it a case of just waiting til it grows out?


    My hair is currently at APL, with rapidly thinning ends, as the breakage and S&D continue.
    My hair does not stretch when dry and breaks quite easily when I try to pull a dry strand. I think I may have too much protein, and not enough moisture?


    My hair has not been coloured or permed etc, although I used to have highlights years ago, and tried a keratin home straightening kit about 3 years ago. I have used a lot of heat tools, but obviously since discovering TLHC 2 months ago, I don't use any heat at all now. And last year, the only deep conditioning treatment I did was tipping jars of mayo on my head, (!) because I read somewhere that was good for your hair. Maybe that caused a protein overload? I dunno!


    I've recently switched shampoo and conditioner from Aussie to Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, to try to avoid protein, and increase moisture and cones. It does feel much better, smoother and less tangly with the HH, but I'm still getting loads of breakage!


    I comb gently using a Bodyshop wide tooth wooden comb, followed by gently brushing with a tangle teezer, always when dry, and wear a Cinnabun everyday. (Maybe the bun is too tight? Might this cause breakage?)
    I sleep with it down on a silk pillow.


    I've tried oiling/scalp massages with castor oil, and also coconut oil, but they make me shed. So I've tried oiling my ends with coconut oil, but I don't think it's helping. I feel pretty clueless, please help!

  2. #2
    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    The fact that you keep seeing "new" white dots probably means you haven't gotten them all last time. When hair is heavily damaged, you keep and keep and keep finding these!

    They are resistant to *immediate* breakage, though, so I would leave them alone (most of them) as much as possible *while* you grow out.

    I had shoulder length hair at one point with heavy white dot-damage (half of the hair) up mid-shaft, so I would have had to cut to a pixie cut to get it all out. That wasn't going to happen. So I grew it out to hip length. Yes, I had breakage, but all of those white dots are not going to fall off right away! So there's that. At hip length, my mom did a massive S&D session on me and got all of them out. I lost half my thickness. So my hair had to be cut back to BSL. At least it wasn't a pixie.

    So don't PANIC! Breathe!

    As long as the white dots are there, there is going to be breakage.

    Just take it slow, and one step at a time.

    Some people can't take oil or conditioner on the scalp as it makes them shed. It is a "thing". Just stop doing that if that's your experience. It is NOT necessary. Just stick to oiling & conditioning the ends / lengths of the hair and you should be fine.
    WCC method (washing) --- Rinse-out oil (MO) --- LOC/LCO method (styling)

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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by lapushka View Post
    The fact that you keep seeing "new" white dots probably means you haven't gotten them all last time. When hair is heavily damaged, you keep and keep and keep finding these!

    They are resistant to *immediate* breakage, though, so I would leave them alone (most of them) as much as possible *while* you grow out.

    I had shoulder length hair at one point with heavy white dot-damage (half of the hair) up mid-shaft, so I would have had to cut to a pixie cut to get it all out. That wasn't going to happen. So I grew it out to hip length. Yes, I had breakage, but all of those white dots are not going to fall off right away! So there's that. At hip length, my mom did a massive S&D session on me and got all of them out. I lost half my thickness. So my hair had to be cut back to BSL. At least it wasn't a pixie.

    So don't PANIC! Breathe!

    As long as the white dots are there, there is going to be breakage.

    Just take it slow, and one step at a time.

    Some people can't take oil or conditioner on the scalp as it makes them shed. It is a "thing". Just stop doing that if that's your experience. It is NOT necessary. Just stick to oiling & conditioning the ends / lengths of the hair and you should be fine.

    Thanks, Lapushka!
    I was so worried about the damaged hair tangling and causing more damage to the rest of my hair. But you're right, it won't all break off immediately. If I S&D it all, I won't have much hair left at this length. And I'm loving having it the longest its ever been, so I'm inspired by your story about growing yours out.

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    Hiding in plain sight spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    With all that in mind, I'd recommend that you focus on gentle hair care and let it grow, maybe get small trims (1/2 inch) on a regular schedule (every 2-4 months) to keep the hem from thinning out too much.

  5. #5
    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by spidermom View Post
    With all that in mind, I'd recommend that you focus on gentle hair care and let it grow, maybe get small trims (1/2 inch) on a regular schedule (every 2-4 months) to keep the hem from thinning out too much.
    You can try Feye's method for trimming. I would NOT suggest going to a hairdresser for tiiiny trims like that (they *will* chop off more than you want).
    http://feyeselftrim.livejournal.com/
    WCC method (washing) --- Rinse-out oil (MO) --- LOC/LCO method (styling)

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    Now-shorthaired mod Anje's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    I'm pretty much echoing what's already been said -- this is likely from past heat styling and damage, not something you're doing now. That sort of thing tends to catch up with you down the line, after feeling like everything's OK for a while. It's a pain, because you could do everything right and you'll still be stuck dealing with this for a while yet.

    Digging into my links, I love the descriptions on this site for what hair feels like with too much protein and too much moisture, and how to bring the hair back into balance. It'd be worth comparing against that to determine if your hair is way off in either direction. If it's not, I still might recommend doing some sort of moisturizing treatment (I like SMTs enough that the link is in my signature) to help keep the hair flexible and soft, which should help keep down tangling and breaking.

    Keep up with trimming, and I agree with the idea of doing it yourself (unless you're the sort who will see a tiny bit of unevenness and keep trying to fix it until you've cut WAY more than you intended). Don't cut it shorter than you're comfortable with, but the more you get trimmed off, the sooner you'll be past this stage. No sense in making it shorter than you like or cutting it to a place where you'll have to deal with an awkward grow-out, though. Even just cutting back to where it is now every few months will help.
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    Member Stepo_NiNha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    First of all welcome!

    So you were used to using hot tools until 2 months ago: I think this might be the reason- you probably have old damage from hot tools. However, as time goes by, things can get better! It will take time but you'll see improvements.

    I had the same problem 2 years ago. You may want to try:

    - micro trims besides s&ding regularly (yeah I know it sucks specially if you want longer for yesterday but they can gradually get you rid from those white dots). You can grow your hair with some white dots but if you have many they will cause breakage and growth wont be visible.

    - make oils your best friends if you feel some of them work for you. Coconut oil makes my hair crunchy maybe its not helping you in the same way thats why you dont like them, but there are so many oils that can work for you! Almond oil, argan oil etc. My hair hates oils of any kind but who knows yours could love some? They work pretty well in many people dont apply in scalp if it makes shedding,

    - you said you might have protein overload - true, it can be it but it could be also lack of protein as well. Unsure? Go for moisture masks first and look for ceramides, lactic acid and pantenol. Especially if your hair doesnt like oils. Ceramids can work with the protein as a ciment that works with bricks and do wonders in fragile hair;

    - I never tried tangle teezer but regarding your comb, start brushing the ends first while you hold them gently and then hold again the hair upwards and brush again gently;

    - buns are uncomfortable for me to drive so I chose braids as my daily style for working and it seems they reduce breakage more than buns (weirdly yes)

    - you can also try a slit ends serum, they close the splits temporarily meaning that it gets more difficult during those days you have the serum for the splits to travel upwards and eventually break. If you wash, it will be all the same and splits re open again but you can put more and keep your splits closed again

    - And oh this you already know but still good to remind: avoid chemical treatments.

    These are some things that worked for me except the oils but Id still recommend them

    - try to wear your
    .

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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    These are all brilliant, thanks so much to you all for taking the time to reply.

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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    Quick update:
    Thanks so much to you all for your help!

    Thanks Anje for that link, I've now had the time to thoroughly read through it all, and have just done the wet hair test. My hair didn't stretch at all before breaking. That coupled with its texture and brittle feel when dry would lead me to believe that it does indeed need more moisture, and less or no protein.

    I've been oiling the ends, and I'm about to do a WCC , with an SMT as the last C. I'm going to use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration for all of that, & for the SMT , the HE HH as the condish part , the usual honey and some fresh aloe from my windowsill plant.

    Then I'm going to oil the ends while damp, then seal it all in with a split ends serum as you suggest, Stepo. (I've got Frizz Ease "miraculous recovery" repairing creme serum. , which might help temporarily to stop splits travelling further/showing so much hopefully)
    What do you all think, - Does that all sound OK?

    I'm going to try micro trimming, according to Feye's method, just a tiny bit, on the regular, so thanks Lapushka for that link.

    Puny Braid Tassel help:
    Meanwhile, I'm going to try switching it up from the Cinnabun I wear everyday to French plaits, to avoid the same stress points, and am currently rocking a slightly iffy looking double French braid. I am feeling slightly proud of myself for managing it, and with practice I reckon it could become part of my everyday repertoire. However, with braids, my tassels are decidedly puny. Any tips for disguising these thin tassels as I continue to grow out, please?

    Stepo - thanks so much for all the info, and for taking the time to post it all, it's great to hear from someone who has been there! that ceramid mask sounds interesting, but I'm going cross eyed looking at ingredients lists of hair masks! Do you have any in particular that you'd recommend?

    Re the oils, for my fellow UK LHCers I noticed that my local supermarket in the UK (Sainsburys) has avocado oil, so I picked up a bottle of that to try. I figure that avocado is good to eat for your hair, so it might be good to put on it! If it doesn't work out, it will still be good on my salad any way!

    Thanks so much for all your help on this, you guys rock!

  10. #10
    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakage issues, White dots, please help!

    You're welcome. That's what we're here for!

    I hope WCC works for you. If it's too heavy. Then try CWC. It's one conditioner before the wash, so that might make it "lighter". But if this is fine, by all means, don't mess with a good thing (if it turns out to be a good thing ).

    I hope it all goes well. The best of luck to you. And don't despair. If one method doesn't work out, there's at least another one for you to try!
    WCC method (washing) --- Rinse-out oil (MO) --- LOC/LCO method (styling)

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