Constantly matted hair! Please help!

About a year ago I had just past shoulder length 4A/4B hair that I put a bit of relaxer on the roots (for about 5 minutes) every six months or so to loosen the curl. I'd been doing this for about 5 years and was very happy with the results--healthy, bouncy, easy to manage curls, finally!

Then last year I had my hair highlighted, and since then my hair has been *extremely* matted and knotted every time it gets wet. I have to literally cut out chunks of my hair every time I wash it. I've had to cut it drastically every month or so because of the damage, and I don't know what to do.

Anybody have any experience with matting/knotting this severe? Any suggestions? The highlights have thankfully mostly grown out, and I haven't put any chemicals in it for about a year, but it continues to mat/knot up beyong repair every time its washed. Help! And thanks!
Thanks for your response! Yep, I do that, and have been for the past few years, pretty religiously. But someone told me that using moisturizing conditioners daily (kenra moisturizing conditioner or pantene pro v hydrating curls) had actually *over conditioned* my hair, which caused the matting.

Any thoughts? Not sure what changes to make to my routine to end the matting now that it's in this state--and there's not much hair left to cut off!

Thanks again for any suggestions!
Thanks for your response! Yep, I do that, and have been for the past few years, pretty religiously. But someone told me that using moisturizing conditioners daily (kenra moisturizing conditioner or pantene pro v hydrating curls) had actually *over conditioned* my hair, which caused the matting.

Any thoughts? Not sure what changes to make to my routine to end the matting now that it's in this state--and there's not much hair left to cut off!

Thanks again for any suggestions!
Originally Posted by ptroushka
Pantene is not a CG-friendly conditioner.

Can you post your products/routine? I 2nd the suggestion you go CG. It's the best thing for dry, brittle, tangly hair...that and avoidance of direct heat.

Yeah, if you use products that are too rich for your hair type or you use them too frequently, you can get overconditioned. And it looks crazy. But you won't be cutting chunks out of your hair. (If you keep experimenting with products in the appropriate category, you'll eventually find some that condition well but don't over condition.)
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

My routine since about 2001, when i first cut off all the relaxer and went natural has been this:

1.Wash once per week with Kenra moisturizing shampoo and follow up with Bumble and Bumble Deep Treatment

2. Every other day just condition in the shower with Kenra moisturizing conditioner

3. Add a little bit of either Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Creme or Redken Fresh Curls Curl Refiner

There hasn't been much variation, I just found a routine that worked and stuck with it! Once it started matting, I experimented more, with various conditioners, detanglers and reconstructors. And for a few months I was living in Africa, where they didn't even *sell* conditioner, which was when I used the Pantene Pro V on a daily basis. But the matting predated all the crazy products.

Whew. So any thoughts on what to do now? I mean, what do I do if my hair is over conditioned? And how could I change my routine to be CG--are the Kenra, Bumble and Bumble, and Redken products not CG?

Thanks all!
None of the products you listed are CG-friendly. (I believe kenra condish is but not the shampoo...I believe). The others definitely aren't.

What is your curl pattern and texture? Not knowing that, I'd say to wash it really, really well with some strong, cheap sulfate shampoo and start the CG routine (per the advice in the CG book) -- i.e., water washing most days, followed by conditioning...occasionally washing w/ conditioner and then also conditioning. Avoiding all nonwater-soluable products and direct heat, etc. Style with a leave-in conditioner type of product and a little gel.

Over conditioning is not a big deal. It goes away after a day or so. You would just water wash instead of conditioner wash for a day or two after you noticed that it was overconditioned...or you could rinse it with water/vinegar...or you could use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo. All of those would do the trick. Overconditioning won't hurt your hair; it'll just make it look undefined and frizzy. Washing with conditioner too often (as opposed to water) or using too rich a conditioner to wash with is what causes overconditioning. Just be careful not to do that.

The highlights and the change in climate/water type might have just taken your hair over the edge and made the old routine no longer well suited to your texture.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

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