I need advice! This is long.

Okay-
I think I'm probably a type 2, but the underside of my hair at the nape of my neck tends to be thicker and curlier than my scalp, so I'm probably a combination of 2 and 3a. The strands themselves are fairly fine and vary in curl definition.
I have severely damaged my hair consistently for the past 6 or 7 years. I used to dye it and straighten it with a flatiron, and in the past 2 years have stopped straightening (but I have been known add a curl here and there with the curling iron, and sometimes blow dry the ends straight.) My natural color is a dark ash blond, though I barely ever see that.
Right now, my hair is bleached. It's light blond and shoulder length. It's completely unmanageable unless I use sponge rollers (looks great with them but they're a pain). When it dries, it is frizzy, limp at the scalp, and does a weird tight wave - a pseudo-curl. It has lost a lot of its volume, and I think it's thinned out a LOT, or at least a lot has broken off.
I feel as though my hair has been shoulderlength for the past 4 years and I haven't had a real haircut since 2006!!!!
I think I might continue bleaching it, because I've been taking Biotin vitamins and the root hair is growing in very healthy. I'm very happy with the color and it doesn't take long for my virgin hair to bleach using 10 or 20 developer. And I really only shampoo/condition about once a week.
I think I need to change my regime with new products. The products I've been using are high in protein (which I'd like to avoid, because I've read on here that it can increase brittle frizzy fluffiness), contain 'cones, and are just not working that well. Currently, I use (in this order):
-Joico Moisture Recovery shampoo and conditioner (both contain sulfates and silicone)
-Ion Protein Deep Treatment
-Some cheap moisturizing drugstore leave-in
-Joico K-Pak thermal styling foam
-Ion Oil Free glosser
And sometimes I use Hair Mayonnaise, which is very high-protein.

Obviously, I need new everything. At this point, I'd say my hair is anti-protein, anti-silicone, and anti-sulfate.

So if you made it through that long-winded explanation, my ultimate goal is to have LONG hair, and my questions are:
*What should my new regime be?
*Do I need a "Real" haircut? (I HATE HAIRCUTS!)
*Should I condition more often than 1 time a week?
*Is there any hope for my hair from midshaft to ends?
*Any other advice????

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by mfrances; 10-14-2009 at 01:42 PM.
Okay, let me break it down a bit, so you don't get tired of my long response. Also please note that I'm a bit of a newbie too, and have a different hair type than you. (3c, med porisity)

Shampoo:

My first instinct is to tell you to go off it completely, because it's goal is to strip you of your oils and build up. However, I know bleached hair won't absorb certain colors when re-dyed, so maybe it won't absorb certain ingredients. If you get build up though, I recommend doing a brown sugar scrub first, and if that doesn't work, a non-sulfate shampoo. (I don't use any)

Co-wash: This is using conditioner in place of shampoos. You take a nice thin formula conditioner, and massage your scalp with it, to remove all the build up. (I use Sauve Naturals Green Apple)

Conditioner: MORE MORE MORE MORE
yes. You can never have to much (well you can, but you need moisture) Find a thick heavy formula, and make sure you rinse well. (I use Pantene, which isn't strictly curly girl. It has a cone in it, and cones need sulfates to remove, so you might want to avoid it)

Leave in: A leave in conditioner will do you well. You can use a little of your co-wash or conditioner or a seperate product (I use Garnier Frutics Sleek and Shine Leave in)

Hold: You can use a gel, but I haven't had any good experiences with those yet. I use a mousse (Aussie's Moist Mousse + Leave in) that gives me good hold and some volume

Volume: You can use clips at the crown of your hair. Take a clip and lift up a group of strands and clip it so it doesn't touch the scalp, it will dry and you'll have volume.

Deep Treatment: High porosity girls will sometimes do this twice a month I believe. Protein isn't to bad for hair, only if your hair is senstitve to it. I use Aussie 3 minute miracle, but leave it on over night under a wrap.

Sealent: Since your hair is high porosity, it absorbs moisture real well--but also looses it. Like filling a bucket with holes in it. Once you add the water, it'll quickly start to drain. Sealents (sp?) are usually oil, and you coat your strands in it, to help seal in moisture.

Hair Dye:
There are natural ways of lightening your hair. Like lemon juice (the porportions range from 1tsp of lemon juice to every 3tsp of water to 1tsp per gallon, but straight lemon juice with break it off, as it is a citric acid) But it takes awhile, most people just make a rinse of of it and rinse their hair with it everyday in the shower till it's lightened. Chamomile too, has been used as a rinse, but I don't know the porportions.

Conclusion:
So there you go. You'll probably find better advice by going to the 2 section of the forums for wavies (I have no idea how much my hair care varies from people with wavy hair). The High Porosity threads will probably get great to hit up too. And the Hair dying forum, which offers great tips. Also this site: http://curlgirljourney.blogspot.com/...-products.html
List all (a good portion at least) the curly girl products, on the left hand bar down the side.

IHTH!
Yeah, I wouldn't be afraid of protein if I were you because it sounds like your hair is pretty damaged -- from what I understand, protein can help fill in the damaged spots on hair strands and make your hair look better. Unless you notice a severe sensitivity I'd say stick with the protein.

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