I feel like my hair has been ruined for good...very dry, discolored, horrible :'(

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Okay I am just at a loss with my hair and seriously about to cry so maybe someone can please help and give me advice cause Iím so sad, I hate the way my hair looks right now And Iím terrified itís gonna start falling out, itís THAT bad. I am a natural blonde curly. When I got older, it turned light brown. Throughout high school, I shampooed and conditioned with Herbal Essences (Body Envy I believe). Thatís the only thing I ever used on my hair, with the exception of a flat iron a couple times when I went to the hair salon. I hated my hair, it was bushy and terrible looking and appeared red (hate red) in pictures even though it was never red (PIC A). But looking back at that, thatís so much healthier than what I have now. And I shampooed EVERY SINGLE DAY, except weekends. I made the terrible decision to go blonde (she did highlights all over Ė it was white) and it severely damaged it (PIC B). It eventually turned blonde but still was very damaged. I then went to another hair stylist who was horrible. I donít know why I stayed with her so long. She wouldnít listen to anything I said, would always cut my hair really short, and would argue and yell at me so loud that other hair stylists and their clients would turn and look. She put a brown toner on it (demi-permanent dye) which looked great at the time but then faded out. I went back and had that done every time it faded out. It made it appear healthy as well, my hair didnít even look like it had ever been bleached. (PIC C) I donít get that done anymore though due to PPD reactions people have. She would use AG shampoo & conditioner, which really dried out my hair and made it itch like crazy, Morrocan Oil treatment, and Morrocan Oil Curl Defining Cream (unless I was wearing it straight which then she would use something else in addition to the Morrocan Oil treatment). I noticed my hair seemed to be lightening a little at this time but I dismissed it as highlights from the sun.

The last time I had it dyed was December. The brown had practically grown all the way out. After that, I started using Healthy Sexy Hair sulfate free shampoo and the same products she used. The Healthy Sexy Hair has argan oil which my hair loves and it made it really healthy and controlled frizz. The more I started to use it, I noticed my hair was lightening even more (PIC D). When I walked outside, my hair would be a brassy gross looking color. It looked like I had just had fresh highlights and a bad job at that. It was blonde even where my natural brown was before. So one time I went three weeks just using Herbal Essences (not the Body Envy but a different one) and it was SOOOO extremely dry, nothing like what I experienced in high school. So I had to go back to Healthy and then it did the same thing again. I have stopped Healthy but it is still blonde when I walk outside. A harsh ugly looking blonde. Right now Iím just at a loss for what to do with it. I have been using no heat at all since December except maybe 2 times total (even though I want to start flat ironing it). Itís such an ugly color and is SOOOO dry, Iím just scared itís gonna fall out. And I donít want to use oil because oil is what seems to be lightening it even though itís so good for your hair. Thereís oil not only in the Healthy Sexy but also in the products she gave me (and thatís when I first started noticing lightening). I just want to have long straight brown hair (my natural brown at the top but it keeps lightening). I found the perfect flat iron but I canít even use it. It would probably fall out my hair is so bad. Hereís how it looks now (PIC E & F). I hate it and I donít know what to do. Iím shampooing ONLY every 3 DAYS. Iím just in tears. PLEASE HELP :í(

PIC A Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

PIC B Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (my face is blurred out in this one cause I hate how my hair looks here)

PIC C Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

PIC D Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

PIC E Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

PIC F Ė picture Pictures, picture Images, picture Photos, picture Videos - Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting
I even tried using l'oreal kids shampoo and it didn't do anything for the dryness.
As I understand, curly hair is dry by nature. The more you color you hair, the more dry it will be. Best to leave it alone. You might want to conditioner wash more than shampoo. Have you tried GVP Conditioning Balm? It might help.

ETA: you might want to check with your primary doctor as certain conditions can affect the hair. For example: Thyroid.
So to recap you have not peroxide dyed (permanent or demi) for six months, you have not heat styled for six months? So you have roughly three inches of virgin hair and the rest is badly damaged? Is the new growth strong and your normal level of hydration or weak and dryer than usual? If it is weak make an appointment with your dermatologist or family doctor.

Unfortunately hair is dead and cannot be repaired, some hair is just unsalvageable and needs cutting off so they don't catch on and damage healthy new growth. The ends will obviously have had the most heat and peroxide exposure. Porous or damaged hair will not hold colour well, do a semi permanent which is none damaging and leave it for several hours.

Oil will not lighten your virgin roots, it might draw out dye molecules depending which oil and how you use it. Sunlight will unless you cover your hair religiously, raw honey or lemon juice with sunlight, or maybe your hair is naturally changing colour as you mature. There is very little natural oil in many of the Morrocan oil products since argan oil is expensive, it's way down the ingredients list, those products are wall to wall silicones.

I would encourage you to read up on the Curly Girl method in the forum stickies, plus the 'curl chemist' articles on the main NC site. No foaming shampoo will ever moisturise your hair, they are detergents not that different to those in dish soap, their job is to cleanse and many damage the hair whilst they are there. If you can cut back to shampooing once a week or once a fortnight, use dry shampoo or conditioner only wash in between. Ingredients that are beneficial for porous, damaged or colour treated hair include coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides and panthenol.

Please try to learn to care for and love your natural texture and colour instead of pining over other people's long straight brown hair. Flat ironing is so damaging, you can do irreparable harm in just one session (see Natural Haven blog) especially on coloured hair, without heat protection or the higher temperatures needed to get curly to straight. There is a reason very few ladies have long hair and regularly use a flat iron. Check out the 'Curly Girl before and afters' thread for inspiration.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 06-25-2013 at 10:43 PM.
The real problem with flat ironing and bleaching is that the damage is cumulative. If you have very short hair, you may not see all that much damage because you're continually cutting it off, but anything below shoulder length is likely to be in trouble. And, as Firefox said, damage is permanent. The best you can do at this point is mitigate the damage by treating your hair as gently as possible--avoiding using shampoo too often, COing instead, and protein and moisture treatments. Typical kids' shampoo, btw, isn't less harsh than any other SLS type shampoo.

Elumen is a demi-permanent color that is pretty gentle. I used it a number of times on waist- to hip-length hair without damage, although I always did a moisture treatment after. But what you really need to do is just grow out and trim off the damage.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

I've gotten my routine down to the bare essentials, finally
Wash: Suave Tropical Coconut
Leave-in: Suave Everlasting Sunshine, detangle with Denman brush
Gel: LAL Sport or Wet Look
Scrunch with flour sack towel, plop 10 minutes, air dry
Refresh with either plain water or Suave/water mix
or at least we were about 20 years ago (for me, not you).

I would often look red in photos (made no sense), would end up brassy (yellow head), would find that my hair would suck up colour and then it fade out quickly (except for the brassy tones).

I've also done some many highlights and ended up looking like a candy cane (white highlights with a 'strawberry' blonde dyed base).

In my million years of dyeing this head of hair, I've now come to the conclusion that my hair hates being lightened - it become incredibly dry, will visibly split like a feather, down the hair shaft. When I darken my hair, brass is left behind.

I'm now walking away, for the second time, from dyeing my hair and am really enjoying my own colour. It actually suits me, go figure

As Firefox said, shampoo isn't meant to condition. Some hair hates oil - hair can look happy but then suddenly feel like straw.

And as the other poster said, also consider having a check up to rule out other health conditions.

Maybe consider taking it 'back to the basics' - finding an inexpensive, gentle, sulphate free shampoo, as well as a good, silicone free conditioner (then you won[t need a harsh shampoo to wash out the build up from certain silicones)? And treat your hair gently and kindly. If nothing else, such treatment won't further damage your hair.
Growing out a pixie (last big cut July 2012)
3a? 3b? Fine, dense. Porous.
Finally sulfate free. Avoiding silicones.
Cubanwavy Ė I am definitely going to get that checked. My doctor actually recommended I get a blood test done so Iíll be doing that when I have time at the end of the week. Thank you! Also, the dye the salon used on me was conditioning, not drying. It probably does dry hair to some extent but it conditioned it really well. It looked and felt so healthy. Itís called Redken Shades EQ. It was only when it faded out that my hair became unhealthy again. And thank you for the conditioning balm suggestion, Iíll have to check that out!

Firefox Ė Thatís correct, no dye at all for 6 months. No heat styling with the exception of about 2 times so very little. The new growth is healthier than the blonde part but is still not very healthy. The new growth was strong but has gotten damaged from shampoos I guess? I would actually prefer not to do any dye at all because of possible PPD allergy, not even semi permanent. I just want the natural color at the top all over and it was almost there until I started getting highlights. I did look up the ingredients on the products and they do contain a lot of silicones, I was wondering where all the buildup was coming from. I have started wearing a hat when I sunbathe but just normal time in the sun (like walking in/out of a grocery store) I donít. I appreciate your suggestion about embracing my natural texture and color but it is important to feel confident and being a teenager I like to fit in and prefer it straight. I only flat iron every 3 days when I do but I havenít for months because I want to get my hair healthy first. Thank you for all the information, it was very informative!

Curly Ė The kids shampoo did seem not as harsh on my hair. I saw a huge difference between that and the Herbal Essences (horrible!!) but it did not take away any dryness. There are lots of good reviews on it though. Iím not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. Iím basically only shampooing twice a week so I donít think I can go less often than that because my hair gets greasy. I do plan on cutting it as soon as the length is where I want it, which I need to flat iron it to see where the length really is. I think itís very close.

Chloe Ė Iím having difficulty finding a gentle sulfate free shampoo. Every sulfate free shampoo Iíve used has caused problems like lightening. Do you have one you would recommend?

----
Thanks everyone! So should I stop using these products? They make my hair seem healthy and without them, my hair is dry and frizzy. But they do have mostly silicones like Firefox said and oil is low on the list. Iím just worried if I stop using those, itís going to be really damaged. Do the silicones get rid of the damage or just hide it?
The best thing about hair is that it grows. Hopefully, your new growth is coming in healthy. I've had low thyroid and taken medication for 30+ years.

As earlier posters have suggested, it's good to read and learn. It's also important to learn your hair properties. It helps you choose ingredients/products and assists folks in helping you. Here's a link to help http://livecurlylivefree.com/curly-hair-basics/ With all the damage from the coloring, it's most likely that your hair is porous.

While it's difficult to restore really damaged hair, it may be possible for you to improve it a bit. Learning how to handle your hair is really important to prevent further damage with the new growth.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Cubanwavy – I am definitely going to get that checked. My doctor actually recommended I get a blood test done so I’ll be doing that when I have time at the end of the week. Thank you! Also, the dye the salon used on me was conditioning, not drying. It probably does dry hair to some extent but it conditioned it really well. It looked and felt so healthy. It’s called Redken Shades EQ. It was only when it faded out that my hair became unhealthy again. And thank you for the conditioning balm suggestion, I’ll have to check that out!

Firefox – That’s correct, no dye at all for 6 months. No heat styling with the exception of about 2 times so very little. The new growth is healthier than the blonde part but is still not very healthy. The new growth was strong but has gotten damaged from shampoos I guess? I would actually prefer not to do any dye at all because of possible PPD allergy, not even semi permanent. I just want the natural color at the top all over and it was almost there until I started getting highlights. I did look up the ingredients on the products and they do contain a lot of silicones, I was wondering where all the buildup was coming from. I have started wearing a hat when I sunbathe but just normal time in the sun (like walking in/out of a grocery store) I don’t. I appreciate your suggestion about embracing my natural texture and color but it is important to feel confident and being a teenager I like to fit in and prefer it straight. I only flat iron every 3 days when I do but I haven’t for months because I want to get my hair healthy first. Thank you for all the information, it was very informative!

Curly – The kids shampoo did seem not as harsh on my hair. I saw a huge difference between that and the Herbal Essences (horrible!!) but it did not take away any dryness. There are lots of good reviews on it though. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. I’m basically only shampooing twice a week so I don’t think I can go less often than that because my hair gets greasy. I do plan on cutting it as soon as the length is where I want it, which I need to flat iron it to see where the length really is. I think it’s very close.

Chloe – I’m having difficulty finding a gentle sulfate free shampoo. Every sulfate free shampoo I’ve used has caused problems like lightening. Do you have one you would recommend?

----
Thanks everyone! So should I stop using these products? They make my hair seem healthy and without them, my hair is dry and frizzy. But they do have mostly silicones like Firefox said and oil is low on the list. I’m just worried if I stop using those, it’s going to be really damaged. Do the silicones get rid of the damage or just hide it?
Originally Posted by BlondeBeauty
If your new growth is not healthy I would head to your doctor and/ or review your diet and lifestyle. Six months is not long enough to visibly damage virgin hair with an ordinary shampoo routine. What temperature is your flat iron? Is your hair bone dry when you straighten, ideally washed the day before?
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Straightening Facts :How hot is too hot?
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Heat on Wet Hair = Bubble Hair

Many semi permanents do not contain PPD, they are just colour molecules in a base mande up of the same conditioning agents (fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants) as in regular conditioner. PPD is in demi permanent and permanent dyes. The Redken is a demi permanent so does contain low vol peroxide which is damaging if used regularly. Feeling and looking conditioned after is not the same as being healthy, these sort of products are often loaded with silicones and proteins.

Your hair is not dry and damaged without silicones, it is dry and damaged period unfortunately. Silicones disguise damage with faux shine and slip they do not 'nourish' or 'repair' hair. They do afford an element of protection from heat styling and from weathering or mechanical damage (brushing, hair rubbing against hair, clothing or your car headrest). Some can also build up causing as many problems as they solve, and can need shampoo to remove them which again is damaging.

Nobody can tell you what you should do, it's your call whether the true underlying health of your hair is the most important or whether you are satisfied with the appearance and feel of health that shampoo and silicones are currently giving you. It's not just teens who want to feel confident or fit in, people don't fundamentally change their personalities when they get a few years older! There are many teens embracing their curls or transitioning to natural on forums, if you find them you will 'fit it'. Some of the girls are converting their friends so they are leading the trends not being sheep!

Many of us here spent years or decades fighting our natural texture, never having 'good hair' because we had to fry it to achieve the look we wanted. If we could tell you how to make your hair long, straight, brown and healthy we would but it is impossible. I spent two years growing out damaged hair from colour treating and generally being rough on my hair, the only short cut to health would have been a pixie. I did loads of research and learned which ingredients work, what could and could not be achieved. Personally I got to the stage where I accepted commercial shampoos and conditioners and techniques were never going to give me the hair I desired so I was open minded to giving the Curly Girl method a year of my life before I decided where to go next.

Sulphates in shampoos thin the skin and can cause irritation, which leads to the skin pumping out more sebum. Dry shampoos like Batiste are very effective, just wipe off the excess with a microfibre towel. Many baby shampoos are sulphate free but a high pH to make them 'no tears' this is not good for hair. The other option is conditioner only washing which is super gentle.

If you are sunbathing be sure to use a hat or bandana that is proven UV protective, a regular hat will not keep all the UV rays out. Also be super gentle on you hair in other ways, sleep on a satin pillowcase, finger detangle when your hair is drenched in conditioner only, don't rip a brush or comb through it, use protective styling (gentle up dos).
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Your naturaly hair color is very similar to mine. I too was golden blonde as a child and as I have grown older it has gotten darker, and darker and darker. I will tell you that it does not look red, but it does have red undertones and if I don't use an ash toned color, it will pull the red and my color will appear red and brassy. I always have to educate stylists on this aspect of my hair, even though you would think they should know.

I think you would really benefit from the curly girl method. You may find that even though your existing hair is not healthy, its condition can improve when you follow these methods.
Chloe_s_Mom likes this.
Type 2B - 3A
Med-High Porosity (partial highlights), medium & corse mixed textures

CG Day 1: May 16, 2013

Poo: CJ Daily Fix Cleansing Condish (as needed)
CO: Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Condish
RO&LI: CJ Beauticurls Argan & Olive Oil Daily Hair Condish
Styling: CJ Pattern Pusha or FSG, TRESemme Flawless Curls - Bouncy Curls Defining Gel, Giovanni LANaturals HardHold Gel (canopy only)
DT: CJ Curl Rehab, Coconut oil, SS Repairing PT

Techniques: Scrunch-n-pump, tshirt wrap
I love this forum - such awesome info! I learn something new all of the time!

I have found two inexpensive lines of sulphate free shampoos, along with silicone free conditioners - both are available at Walmart. One is Live Clean (I esp like the apple cider shampoo when I want to remove product build up, and on my daughter's smelly scalp) and the other is the green line of Tresemme (white and green bottle). DO make sure to always read labels.

Firefox is also right about not being able to recommend products for others, per se, as our hair is as individual as our faces Plus, climate, water, etc must affect our hair too.

However, I'd stay the heck away from almost all silicones - they do NOT repair hair (like Firefox says, hair can't be repaired, once damaged) and for my fine, formerly blonde hair, silicone dries out my hair in the long run. I have had some luck with one particular silicone - starts with an a - can't remember the name. Some literature about whether it is 'as bad' as other silicones, etc. It is in one of my styling products - Sebastian's Potion 9. I use a very small amount (I'm a cream type of person, as opposed to a clear gel) and I find that any build up washes out with the Live Clean clarifying (BUT SULPHATE FREE) shampoo.

Not only do dyes damage hair (some processes less so) but the shampoo, conditioners, products at the salon can set CG or modified CGs back to some degree.

Hydrated hair is happy hair! Hydrated hair makes for lovely curls, not crazy, wild person hair.

I love the advice on this site - handle your hair gently, don't brush it when dry (unless you like frizz). Don't rub it harshly with a towel. Don't pull on it, tie it down like it is being punished, when wet. Get a flattering cut and have fun with styles. Avoid flat ironing! Condition, condition, condition! Try some different styling products that do not damage, and will allow for nice curl formation.

Maybe discuss a well rounded diet with your doctor, which includes essential fats (omegas), enough protein, etc.

And remember, you are beautiful! Your hair is beautiful! Enjoy your hair, try not to stress too much (I know, I know) and remember that you are your worse critic. You're doing your best, learning important things nice and early, and I have no doubt that you will find your path to happy hair!
Firefox7275 and chloe92us like this.
Growing out a pixie (last big cut July 2012)
3a? 3b? Fine, dense. Porous.
Finally sulfate free. Avoiding silicones.
I have found two inexpensive lines of sulphate free shampoos, along with silicone free conditioners - both are available at Walmart. One is Live Clean (I esp like the apple cider shampoo when I want to remove product build up, and on my daughter's smelly scalp) and the other is the green line of Tresemme (white and green bottle). DO make sure to always read labels.
Originally Posted by Chloe_s_Mom
The Tresemme Naturals shampoos do contain sulfates.
Chloe_s_Mom likes this.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
Kathy Ė Thanks for the helpful link! I didnít think about my hair being porous from the coloring because I thought it was only bleach/lightening that damages the hair, not dye/darkening.

Firefox Ė I think diet and lifestyle could definitely be contributing to it, thatís why I plan on getting the blood test done this week. I donít eat a lot of meat or protein and hair is dead protein so that could be contributing to it. The flat iron they used on me at the salon prior to January was very hot, Idk the exact temperature. But it would make my cheeks feel hot, thatís how hot it was. I havenít got that done in 6 months though. My current flat iron that is terrible does not get very hot or straighten well for that matter. The new flat iron I am getting has an adjustable temperature and goes to 400 something. But Iím not using that high a temperature on my hair. I checked out your link which was very helpful so thank you and I will not turn it up higher than 300. But I donít plan on straightening at all until my hair gets healthy. Also, I never straighten it when itís wet.

I did not realize that most semi-permanents are PPD free. Is there a good brand you would suggest that wonít dry it out more? I had the Redken put on it about 5-6 times every few months. My hair stylist told me it was semi, not demi so I didnít even realize until recently. Is the dye whatís damaging my hair now? The last time I had it put on was December. I would think it wouldnít still be damaged from that, especially not new growth. Is there anywhere I can find the ingredients to this dye? Iíve searched and canít find it anywhere.

I did not realize that silicones werenít actually making the hair healthy but disguising the damage. Thatís not helping the problemÖugh I donít know what to use

I really appreciate your thoughts and you trying to get me to embrace my natural hair. However, I have hated my hair since Iíve been in fifth grade. I donít see myself embracing it anytime in the near future and maybe not ever. I have been through a lot in the last few years, and I plan on a new start/a new look with includes straight hair. And from my experience, flat ironing hasnít done anywhere close to the damage that bleaching/coloring did. This girl has naturally curly hair and straightens it frequently, her hair is VERY healthy. The flat iron sheís using is the one I plan on using once I get my hair healthy. I realize that most people on this site embrace their curly hair but I donít. But my natural hair is still curly and needs to be treated gently so I came here for advice with getting it healthy again.

How to Straighten Curly Hair & Maintain It - YouTube

Iím not that familiar with conditioning washing. Do you use just any conditioner? Wouldnít the hair be greasy and dirty from no shampooing? I only shampoo twice a week right now but I never condition at all. I just use all these silicone products that I thought were helping. Should I condition every day and stick with shampooing twice a week and see how that works?
I do sleep on a satin pillowcase and the hat I bought says ďblock out the sunĒ on it so I would think it works. Is it bad to use a comb when the hair is wet? Thatís what I do when I get out of the shower. I comb it out and use detangler. I only thought it was bad to use a brush.
Alsl Ė No wonder my hair looks red in certain lightings even though itís not red. I didnít think about the fact that it could have red undertones. Is there a way to get rid of it besides color? Thanks for the suggestion to try the Curly Girl method. Is this something that can be used even though I plan on wearing it straight?

Chloe Ė I agree! I have learned so much already that I did not know, especially about the silicone products I have been using. Iíll have to check out the Live Clean one. The Tresemme does have sulphates (like someone said), I looked it up. I used to use AG shampoo which had ammonium sulfates and those were harsher on my hair than sodium sulfates and made it itch like crazy, I hated it. The Tresemme contains ammonium sulfates but Iíll definitely check out the Live Clean one, thanks for the suggestion! I do think I will stop using the silicone products since they arenít actually repairing damage or helping my hairís health.
I have found two inexpensive lines of sulphate free shampoos, along with silicone free conditioners - both are available at Walmart. One is Live Clean (I esp like the apple cider shampoo when I want to remove product build up, and on my daughter's smelly scalp) and the other is the green line of Tresemme (white and green bottle). DO make sure to always read labels.
Originally Posted by Chloe_s_Mom
The Tresemme Naturals shampoos do contain sulfates.
Originally Posted by CurlyGrey3
I must have read the label at the time, perhaps that's why I have the silicone free conditioner only!

If memory serves, the Tresemme conditioner (naturals) was a good price, big container. Good for long hair, esp if co-washing.

I've not mastered the art of scrubbing with my finger tips. Instead, I will often bring a scalp brush into the shower, and with conditioner in my hair, try to brush thru my hair.

I'm a modified CG, I do shampoo about once a week. On the other days, I use conditioner only. Works well on my not-so-curly daughters too.

Reading the original poster's comments re. hating her hair - makes me sad but many of us have been there, so we do understand (even if it has been decades since I was a teen). Luckily, I was a teen in the late '80s and big was IN!! I rocked a lion's mane of hair - ha! But avoided hats at all cost. I'm not sure if flat irons were invented at the time, our instruments of torture were hair blowers that could actually over heat and suck hair in the other end. And butane travel curlers. And AquaNet hair spray (a wet, plastic type of liquid - I can still smell it!). I left my hair to do crazy curls but tortured my bangs into submission. Did that for several years, even going so far as to use a 'mild' chemical straightener on them. Until, after one application, half of my bangs broke off at the roots.....

When curly hair is long, with long layers, I don't think that I can think of an easier hairstyle? Esp one that accepts styling, like barrettes, buns, up 'dos...etc. I remember styling my mum's hair, putting a little barrette in it. And then watching it slowly slide right down her head (she has hair as a straight as a pin - I don't envy her!)

I love being able to tie my hair, no elastics needed (when it was long). Or braid it, again, no elastic at the ends! Wouldn't hold if I, say, ran, but gosh, easy way to put it up!

Good luck on your journey - I definitely think that you are on the right track!

And thank you to all of the posters - I am grateful for the info! So much to learn
Growing out a pixie (last big cut July 2012)
3a? 3b? Fine, dense. Porous.
Finally sulfate free. Avoiding silicones.
Kathy – Thanks for the helpful link! I didn’t think about my hair being porous from the coloring because I thought it was only bleach/lightening that damages the hair, not dye/darkening.

Firefox – I think diet and lifestyle could definitely be contributing to it, that’s why I plan on getting the blood test done this week. I don’t eat a lot of meat or protein and hair is dead protein so that could be contributing to it. The flat iron they used on me at the salon prior to January was very hot, Idk the exact temperature. But it would make my cheeks feel hot, that’s how hot it was. I haven’t got that done in 6 months though. My current flat iron that is terrible does not get very hot or straighten well for that matter. The new flat iron I am getting has an adjustable temperature and goes to 400 something. But I’m not using that high a temperature on my hair. I checked out your link which was very helpful so thank you and I will not turn it up higher than 300. But I don’t plan on straightening at all until my hair gets healthy. Also, I never straighten it when it’s wet.

I did not realize that most semi-permanents are PPD free. Is there a good brand you would suggest that won’t dry it out more? I had the Redken put on it about 5-6 times every few months. My hair stylist told me it was semi, not demi so I didn’t even realize until recently. Is the dye what’s damaging my hair now? The last time I had it put on was December. I would think it wouldn’t still be damaged from that, especially not new growth. Is there anywhere I can find the ingredients to this dye? I’ve searched and can’t find it anywhere.

I did not realize that silicones weren’t actually making the hair healthy but disguising the damage. That’s not helping the problem…ugh I don’t know what to use

I really appreciate your thoughts and you trying to get me to embrace my natural hair. However, I have hated my hair since I’ve been in fifth grade. I don’t see myself embracing it anytime in the near future and maybe not ever. I have been through a lot in the last few years, and I plan on a new start/a new look with includes straight hair. And from my experience, flat ironing hasn’t done anywhere close to the damage that bleaching/coloring did. This girl has naturally curly hair and straightens it frequently, her hair is VERY healthy. The flat iron she’s using is the one I plan on using once I get my hair healthy. I realize that most people on this site embrace their curly hair but I don’t. But my natural hair is still curly and needs to be treated gently so I came here for advice with getting it healthy again.

How to Straighten Curly Hair & Maintain It - YouTube

I’m not that familiar with conditioning washing. Do you use just any conditioner? Wouldn’t the hair be greasy and dirty from no shampooing? I only shampoo twice a week right now but I never condition at all. I just use all these silicone products that I thought were helping. Should I condition every day and stick with shampooing twice a week and see how that works?
I do sleep on a satin pillowcase and the hat I bought says “block out the sun” on it so I would think it works. Is it bad to use a comb when the hair is wet? That’s what I do when I get out of the shower. I comb it out and use detangler. I only thought it was bad to use a brush.
Originally Posted by BlondeBeauty
I can't make you love your hair, but honestly don't set yourself apart from us - many many of us spent years hating or at least disliking and trying to ignore our hair or trying to iron or relax it into submission. I wore a ponytail 24/7 for years and years!! Plenty of people here straighten some of the time at least, but try to limit flat ironing. There are heat free methods like wet wrapping, you might find a well done keratin treatment is healthier than frequent flat ironing when you have grown out the damage.

Unless you can see someone's hair without all the silicones and under the microscope you have no idea what condition it is in. Much of the damage done by flat irons is to the core structure of the hair, the high heat can literally melt certain silicones onto the hair forming a plastic coating, The seductive thing about flat ironing moderately damaged hair is that it makes the cuticle lie flat, so hair can easily look healthier when it has been ironed. I think it's also highly relevant that the YouTuber wears her hair curly often for videos, which 'rests' her hair. Obviously we don't know what she does with her hair when not making videos.

The thing I learned when researching damage is that it is cumulative, so heat styled hair is more vulnerable to peroxide damage, and colour treated hair is more vulnerable to heat styling and so on. My damage was colour and mechanical, I am not prepared to quit the colour so in some ways similar to you. What I did do was thoroughly research exactly what colour does to my hair at a structural level, so I am doing it with eyes WIDE open.

What I ended up doing was changing the way I approached my colour, I use a totally different much less damaging method now. I didn't choose to go wavy/ curly, I was shocked and forced into it by realising just how many broken hairs I had around my face and at the back of the head. Even then I didn't see the full picture, two years on I still have random short tufts at the back which I strongly suspect was mini clumps I'd pulled out at the roots with rough treatment. And I didn't even have good hair whilst I was doing it, doh!

Hat and pillowcase sounds great, you are one step ahead of many curlies there!! Combing when wet stretches the hair, how much damage that does depends on technique and product. Be sure you are using a very wide tooth seamless comb, be really gentle don't pull at all, work on wet conditioned not damp hair, if the comb doesn't slip through your hair like a knife through butter on a summer's day you should stop.

I know it sounds nuts but the right conditioner is an effective cleanser, think of WEN or L'Oreal and Pantene making cleansing conditioners. This is because there are cationic surfactants and fatty alcohols in a conditioner. These are emulsifiers which means they can mix oil (sebum) with water. The cleansers in shampoo are usually anionic surfactants so they are a more powerful 'relative' to one of the key cleansing ingredients in conditioner.

A lightweight conditioner (not too many oils, no silicones) can cleanse really greasy hair after you have been sick in bed for a week, even remove a heavy coconut oiling. Technique and amount of product is important, there are videos on YouTube. Conditioner washing cannot remove build up of many silicones, certain butters or polyquats so it's important that your other products are compatible OR that you carry on using a gentle shampoo every week or fortnight.

Lifestyle healthcare is what I do for a living - if you are not getting enough protein there is one change you can make: start eating oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies, fresh tuna counts but not canned). This supplies protein, but also omega-3 essentlal fatty acids, vitamin D, haem iron and a raft of other vitamins and minerals. Oily fish is massively more nutritious than any land animal meat and is the only realistic source of long chain omega-3s. You don't need large servings of protein - actually the body cannot process and utilise that - your body needs it little and often beginning with breakfast.

HTH!
Chloe_s_Mom likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 06-26-2013 at 08:53 PM.
Please understand that what you see in a picture or video doesn't necessarily tell you the whole truth. Using silicones will make your hair appear healthy and shiny even when it isn't. Flat ironing frequently is going to damage your hair, and that's just the way it is. I'm not telling you not to straighten your hair, but you have to be realistic about it. Do it in the least damaging way possible. You may have to compromise on length, for instance, because the more you flat iron, the harder it will be to maintain decent ends beyond a certain length--and broken ends are very obvious on flat ironed hair. So in order to have both straight hair and nice ends, you may need to keep your hair somewhat shorter than you'd prefer. Life's all about compromise, though, and if you want your hair straight maybe you're willing to make that compromise.

Elumen is a good demi permanent. It can be a little drying, but not bad with a moisture treatment after, and it sticks very well. I don't know which drugstore brands are good, but Feria doesn't seem to have a very good reputation. And yes, start conditioning. It will really help with the dryness and make your hair feel better. It won't cure the damage--nothing short of cutting will help that--but appearance and feel will be better. The Tresemme Naturals Moisture conditioner (not the shampoo!) is cheap and good. My favorite of the conventional brands, although it's actually the only Tresemme product I like.

You might also want to check out the Longhair Community. Longhairs are really careful about protecting their hair, and you might get some good ideas. There's even people there with long hair (I mean waist +) who periodically straighten, although not often because frequent flat ironing just isn't compatible with really long hair. Discussion Forums
Firefox7275 and Chloe_s_Mom like this.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

I've gotten my routine down to the bare essentials, finally
Wash: Suave Tropical Coconut
Leave-in: Suave Everlasting Sunshine, detangle with Denman brush
Gel: LAL Sport or Wet Look
Scrunch with flour sack towel, plop 10 minutes, air dry
Refresh with either plain water or Suave/water mix
I only shampoo twice a week right now but I never condition at all. I just use all these silicone products that I thought were helping. Should I condition every day and stick with shampooing twice a week and see how that works? .
Originally Posted by BlondeBeauty
This was exactly me when I started- I never used conditioner. This was the first thing I learned here, and it got me started on the path to turning my hair around. Yes, use conditioner every single time your hair gets wet, whether you wash it or not.

To learn about the CG method, check out the stickies at the top of the newbies section, and in general discussion.

Good luck!
Chloe_s_Mom likes this.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
your comment re not conditioning right now.....? Wow! My brain is slow tonight and I'm trying to understand the concept of not using a conditioner! I wonder when I started using one...probably as a child, as my mum always used one...somewhere along the way, when my hair was long and lightened (bleaching), I used to avoid shampooing as much as possible - only once every two weeks, but always conditioning every day, with my morning shower. I didn't know about CG method at that time, otherwise I would have ditched the shampoo completely. All I knew was that it would take me several days to get my hair to calm down and curl properly (instead of frizz) after shampooing (of course, I wasn't using sulphate free shampoo).

Our health does impact our hair - during my first pregnancy, I remember being asked what products I was using - I hadn't had a hair cut in months, didn't dye it, and used Head and Shoulders every other day (talk about harsh!), but thanks to all sorts of great hormones, had an amazing, thick head of hair ha!

Now with health issues and grey coming in, plus trying to grow it out of a pixie, I wouldn't dare treat it harshly with sulphates. Somewhere, I posted three photos showing the before, during and 'after' a modified CG method - my curls look sooooo nice in the after! I think that the change occurred over a month or so (again, no heat damage though).

I'm rambling so I will let you digest some of the info given as I wander back to topics that overwhelm me - porosity and so on!
Growing out a pixie (last big cut July 2012)
3a? 3b? Fine, dense. Porous.
Finally sulfate free. Avoiding silicones.
I am really confused. On days that I don't wash my hair with shampoo or conditioner, I just don't do anything with my hair. I just leave it without letting it touch the water. Is this wrong? Am I supposed to Atleast rinse my hair? Would appreciate some advice. :/ Should I rinse with water on days when I don't shampoo or condition?
Originally Posted by JohnMeyer
If you're hair looks fine, you don't need to wet it. It's called "second day" hair. Lots of folks don't wet every day. I'm pretty picky about what my hair looks like, so I wet,use a rinse out and style every day.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams

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