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Thread: Important things for newbies to know?

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    Friendly Feminist krissykins's Avatar
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    Talking Important things for newbies to know?

    Hey ladies and gents I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me.

    See, when we talk to newbies, we tell them to peek around and get a feel for the site. You know, research to see what knowledge is lying around. So I wanted to know a couple of things:

    1) What do you think are the key hair-related things a newbie should learn about when they first start at LHC? (ie, wash methods, deep treatments, basic hairstyles, etc)
    2) What were the most important things you learned about hair from LHC?
    3) What helped you the most when you first started at LHC? (this could be anything. Really. I'm open to ideas.)

    Thanks so much for your help! I might not check on this thread until tomorrow because I must participate in dangerously chocolate-y activities right now (baking brownies, oh my!), but I wanted to put the idea out there.
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    Member Lianna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    1) What do you think are the key hair-related things a newbie should learn about when they first start at LHC? (ie, wash methods, deep treatments, basic hairstyles, etc)

    First of all, I think the article section should have more advertising. I think they should know about CWC/CO, diluting shampoo and water only because these seems to be some things that work for a lot of people. I think they should know about build up, because a lot of hair is chopped when it could be just a build up problem. They should know about the SLS/cones debate, reasons why it could be harmful, and why it won't be harmful such as, cones will probably hurt you if they build up on you (same as other things), cones itself won't hurt. You could have build-up with just 3 applications, for instance, my hair builds up fast, but that doesn't mean I'm calling certain substances "evil". SLS is not bad for everyone's scalp and hair, some do need it and enjoy it. Be careful with protein, your hair could get stiff and brake off (do moisture treatments after protein). Not everyone needs conditioner (yep), not everyone with chemically altered hair has damaged hair, not everyone needs to trim, not everyone trims because of hair condition only, henna is permanent but could fade a little, specially if it's the first application. Cassia is not permanent, you might get green hair if you bleach indigo. If you mix honey with conditioner you will probably lighten your hair overtime. I think they should know what a trim is and what a dust is. I think they should seek hairstyle options for their hair length, no matter what it is, no matter thickness or texture. There are ways to get your hair curly, wavy or straight without heat. Washing frequency is a delicate subject, for some could be 2 weeks, for others 12 hours, let's respect and learn about their reasons. You have the right to love your hair color and texture, or not, you also have the right to change them as you please. Baking soda and vinegar should not be done at the same application, one, then the other, please. Cold water rinses may or may not help increase shine. Coconut oil will help protect your hair if you dare to dye/bleach it. Straight and fine hairs can experiment with oil too, there are lighter oils around, yet, not every oil will work for everyone. Long hair needs care, but it doesn't mean you have to stop doing everything you like to do with it. I'm probably leaving out tons of stuff, though, there's a lot to learn here, so read, read, read! Until you find the history of cheese.

    2) What were the most important things you learned about hair from LHC?
    People's hair is different and we shouldn't judge, thinking there's some universal rules that leads to healthy or damaged hair. Light damp oilings do wonders if done consistently in my hair, I used to do them sporadically before I came here with lesser results.

    3) What helped you the most when you first started at LHC? (this could be anything. Really. I'm open to ideas.)

    It helped to know that there were other "shorties" around, and the lovely super-shortie thread for us. LHC actually made me like updos more, and see more beauty in my wavy hair. Since it could be anything, I loved to learn about color analysis, lol, I'm a summer!
    Last edited by Lianna; March 4th, 2011 at 07:24 PM.

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    Member Stub's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    I'm totally a newbie and here's what shocked me: yesterday after reading on the forums for a couple hours and looking at photos, I looked in the mirror and thought my BSL hair was SHORT. Before that I totally thought my hair was finally getting long! Haha.

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    Floppy Buns RavennaNight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    I found the articles section to be extremely helpful when I first started here. I would recommend all newbies visit the articles. Ursula's Standard Newbie Advice also very helpful.

    Reading. I did tons of reading on the site before I started posting.

    The most important thing I learned about here was to stop heat styling, or at least if one didn't want to stop heat styling to atleast know it can be damaging if done wrong. Oiling and washing methods, also very important.

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    but here. Anywhere's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    I find that the VIT(very important thread) list stickied in the forum was very helpful for me as a newbie. I tend to try and fit that into posts to newbies.

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    Member jil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    I am currently a newbie! I have found the most helpful reading I've done here so far has been in the threads that are specific to my hair type (the wavy thread, the coarse hair thread etc.)

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    Member PraiseCheeses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    I was new not so long ago, so maybe I can help.

    It’s difficult to put together a definitive guide for newbies because everyone comes here for different reasons and will thus be looking for different things. Some people come here with long and healthy hair and just want to learn styles and could benefit from an up-to-date pictorial style guide and tutorials. Some people come here with damaged hair and want to know how to fix it and will be most interested in learning about different moisture and protein treatments. Some people come here after a chop and want to “grow long hair fast” and would prefer information on supplements and scalp stimulation techniques, even though what they really need is “patience.” And of course, myriad other situations exist, and I don’t know if it would be possible to put together a newbie-links page that is complete enough and yet succinct enough to not be as intimidating as the main site, driving newbies to the main page to ask questions that have been answered before. (I’m not trying to newbie-bash at all here, just acknowledge that it happens and that there are good reasons for it.)

    I found Ursula's standard newbie advice to be a great universal approach, but I don’t think it offers much in terms of specific advice on things to try (and it would be impractical to do so for the aforementioned reasons). I can imagine a lot of people check it out hoping for specific advice they can implement immediately and are discouraged when it’s not what they were expecting. A lot of the Very Important Threads contain broken links (Style Dictionary, I’m looking at you!) and there have been a lot more threads recently that I feel should be more accessible, like the recently closed (and now buried) oil shampoo thread.

    When I came here, I had already been on baking soda and vinegar washes with leave-in jojoba oil for quite some months because I was trying to live As Cheaply As Possible. I found the site through a link in a comment on Essential Day Spa when I was researching the oil cleansing method. I was really focused on eschewing commercial products and cutting costs as my main motivations.

    I lurked for quite a while before I registered. I’m one of those weirdos who loves reading rules and regulations and advice, so reading is pretty much what I did for a few weeks (to the detriment of sleep and real life). It’s hard to say what I focused on first, but I know my first LHC-inspired purchase was a jar of virgin coconut oil to replace the jojoba.

    My focus was first on changes that could be made and evaluated most quickly – my wash routine. Thus I was most interested in reading about different oils, different wash methods, different treatments for moisture and protein, and different products. I think this would hold true for many people as well – we’re eager to start doing *something* right away that will yield results, and that is the most important and immediate step one can take to neutralize damage and prevent further damage. While I was experimenting with this, I was reading about supplements and nutritional information for more long-term results. My second purchase was MSM after reading all the threads I could find. I *just* got a canister of DE and started trying that too, after reading the entire thread, doing some extraneous research, and otherwise carefully considering what I put into my body. I loved Nightshade’s article on damaged hair (the only thing better than reading about rules and regulations is reading about…dun dun duunnnn… CONSEQUENCES!!!) and found the information there to be incredibly valuable and influential in shaping my decisions for what I would do for my hair. I think that should be one of the first things people read, because many of us come here thinking something like, “I’m going to have long, thick, healthy hair – but I can’t give up the flatiron!” and we’re still deluded by mass media.

    My first posts were mostly on those conversational, fun threads like “What was your worst hair mistake?” I didn’t know enough yet to contribute to the really interesting discussions, and these threads are good ways for new people to establish themselves as non-creepazoids and yes, build up their post count. Posting in the “New” section is great, but that board is very isolated from the main community. What percentage of members regularly post in the “New” board? (Could it be because posts don’t count?) Really, what can you do before you can see pictures? Oftentimes you can’t contribute to a discussion because it revolves around pictures from somebody’s album. I think the problem is when we get too many “What advice would you give to your younger self?” threads on the main page, because the wording is always slightly different and they tend to elude the grasping of this search engine. Those threads and their ilk are great for newbies though, because here they have relevant experiences to contribute and can establish themselves amongst the larger community while they earn privileges. We can also learn it’s not as acceptable as we think to insult all hairdressers because we had a bad experience when our LHC stylists come in and slap us down and remind us of our manners!

    The issue that dawned on me only very slowly was just how seriously potential stalkers and f*t*sh*ts are taken, and I wish that had been more clear early on. I had no idea that you had to blank out the word to prevent search engines from finding LHC. With the reaction to the latest troll and many albums and blogs being made private, I realized just how thin a line it is here. We’re all excited about becoming full-fledged members, but I guess it’s something that’s not completely acceptable to admit. I certainly understand and respect the reasons for the post counts and user permissions and I'm glad they are in place, but the reasons aren't readily apparent to new members. I realize most of the issue was that this particular troll was brazen and offensive, but I think it would be helpful to elucidate in the beginning about just how sensitive our communal privacy is, rather than let social conditioning take its course.

    Some specific threads that newcomers might be most interested in, and how I would personally divide it up:

    Threads that pertain to their current length and goals - like the super shortie thread, shoulder to APL, APL to BSL, BSL to waist, waist to tailbone, tailbone to classic, classic to knee, knee and beyond. This gives them people with whom they can commiserate and style ideas.

    Wash methods threads - water only, sebum only, conditioner only, no poo, shampoo bars, Indian herbs, oil shampoo. This would put all the methods out there together for easy comparison.

    Supplements thread - castor oil for growth, DE, MSM, biotin, prenatals, hair nutrition through diet, all in one place.

    Color threads - cassia thread, honey thread, henna thread.

    Moisture treatment threads

    Protein treatment threads

    Articles: the damaged hair article, the hair diagnosis article, the oil article.

    (I'll try and come back to edit this with links for the threads and articles, but my cat just knocked over a lamp and wants to tromp around on broken glass. Thus ends the novella.)

  8. #8
    Friendly Feminist krissykins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far! (I know I said I wouldn't be back for awhile, but I just got too curious. Mm, brownies...)

    PraiseCheeses, your post is great! Especially when you pointed out how sensitive our community is. I had forgotten that until I realized how sensitive I was to the whole situation. I think it's interesting that you bring up the point of having "no definitive guide for newbies," which is completely true, but maybe this thread will inspire more guides being put together for each of those areas. I know that my intention was to figure out where I could point newbies instead of the ole "learn how to use the search tool or just look around til something interesting smacks you across the face."

    jil, Stub, welcome to LHC! I hope you find what you're looking for

    Anywhere, I had forgotten about the VIT! Thank you! RavennaNight, I'm glad that you found Ursula's advice so helpful, since I often point newbies there. At least it's helpful, even if it's not the first thing newbies wanted to hear!

    Lianna, I know I haven't gotten to the history of cheese quite yet, although I do know the story. Guess I better get back to reading. Thanks for the link to the color analysis, that's really cool!
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
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    Member Cleopatra18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    Lol I just wanted to add that since LHC is SO enabling,please don't go out and buy every hair product in the markets.I did this when I first joined thinking "oh didnt someone post something nice about this?" and now over a year later I'm still stuck with mountains of stuff that I will probably not use.
    Think carefully about your hair type and needs and don't try to copy routines.What works for someone may not work for you.
    Last edited by Cleopatra18; March 5th, 2011 at 07:05 AM. Reason: umm spelling

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    Member RancheroTheBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Important things for newbies to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by krissykins View Post
    Hey ladies and gents I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me.

    See, when we talk to newbies, we tell them to peek around and get a feel for the site. You know, research to see what knowledge is lying around. So I wanted to know a couple of things:

    1) What do you think are the key hair-related things a newbie should learn about when they first start at LHC? (ie, wash methods, deep treatments, basic hairstyles, etc)
    2) What were the most important things you learned about hair from LHC?
    3) What helped you the most when you first started at LHC? (this could be anything. Really. I'm open to ideas.)

    Thanks so much for your help! I might not check on this thread until tomorrow because I must participate in dangerously chocolate-y activities right now (baking brownies, oh my!), but I wanted to put the idea out there.
    1) I think the most important thing is to determine what someone's goal is (longer hair, healthier scalp, damage control, etc) and work backwards from there. The articles section, as others have mentioned, is a wonderful help; the one about damaged hair was a huge help to me a few years back when I was trying to baby crunchy, overdyed hair. No matter what you want to achieve, there's someone who has gone through the same thing.
    2) What works for others may not work for me, and the value of patience.
    3) Lurking! For weeks, I lurked like a madwoman, going through completely ancient threads and open blogs, trying to decide what was best for me. Of course, I tried everything anyway.
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