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Old 08-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy help! looking for advice from loooong curlies!

I'm a newbie here; I found this site when I was looking for suggestions for how to sleep on my hair without breaking it off. I'm really excited to find a forum with all these knowledgeable curly-haired women (and men?)

My hair is wavy/curly and I'd love to be able to grow it really long, but it's so fragile that it tends to break off really easily. Other than trimming off the very ends two or three times, I haven't cut my hair in over 3 years, and nobody would describe it as 'long'. It simply breaks off too easily. Help!



I guess I already went natural a few years ago, because I've been using Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo & Conditioner for dry/brittle hair, which have no sulfites or silicone (from what I can gather). I wash and condition 2 times per week, and occasionally use shea butter as a very light leave-in. I can't really use gels or any other kind of product in my hair because my hair is so thin and fine that it ends up looking like I have a grand total of ten curls.

My hair has never been colored or treated in any way, so I'm not sure why it seems so damaged... maybe tap water pH? Heeelppp!
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:45 AM   #2
 
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Hi Treae! Your hair is very pretty. Here are a few suggestions. At night, put your hair up in a "pineapple" which is a ponytail on top of your head. Use a cloth type band, not an elastic. This will preserve your curls.

Since your describe your hair as fragile, you might try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. I would avoid using any metal (like barrettes) in your hair. You might want to try washing with conditioner like VO5 instead of the Aubrey. And you might try a deep conditioner once in awhile. As far as gel, I've found that if i water the gel down it works better.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:01 AM   #3
 
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How's your diet? I noticed a significant improvement in my hair (thickness and strength and shininess) after I started eating a lot more eggs (I got chickens). After a couple of years, I wanted to lose weight so I switched to a different breakfast... and recently I noticed my hair is thinner, and shedding like crazy, and breaking.

So for me, it's back on eggs. I want my nice hair back!

Incidentally, I think your hair is great. I *would* call it long.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
 
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Sounds like you need more protein. Make sure you follow up any type of external protein treatment with a good moisturizer. Make sure you switch to condtioners and shampoos without any sulfates and maybe no silcones too. The silcones can prevent the hair from soaking up treatments you put on it. Wash gently (use the curly girl method). After washing put a leave in condtioner to protein it before putting any styling products in. Depending on how your hair reacts to oil you may want to use a drop or two to seal in the moisture.

This is a bit more extreme but you might want to go to the hair stylist and ask her to cut of as much of the damaged hair as possible. This can make your hair super short depending on how much is damaged. It's worth it though becuase if your ends are damaged then your hair may start unraviling so the rest of your hair can become damaged as well. It's really hard to fix hair once it's badly damaged, the only thing you can really do is prevent it. So in order to prevent your new hair from becoming unravled and damaged you may have to chop the rest of it off.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:38 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Maudie View Post
Hi Treae! Your hair is very pretty. Here are a few suggestions. At night, put your hair up in a "pineapple" which is a ponytail on top of your head. Use a cloth type band, not an elastic. This will preserve your curls.

Since your describe your hair as fragile, you might try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. I would avoid using any metal (like barrettes) in your hair. You might want to try washing with conditioner like VO5 instead of the Aubrey. And you might try a deep conditioner once in awhile. As far as gel, I've found that if i water the gel down it works better.
thanks maudie! I'm going to try the pineapple tonight... and I actually have a silk pillowcase, but I stopped using it after I noticed some weird bumps on my face (I may be allergic to silk). I guess I'll try satin!

I'm a little hesitant to try VO5 because I'm more comfortable sticking to organics. Is there a good organic alternative I could try for stronger hair?

thanks so much for your help! I'm so glad I found this website
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:42 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by maggiecurlzzz View Post
How's your diet? I noticed a significant improvement in my hair (thickness and strength and shininess) after I started eating a lot more eggs (I got chickens). After a couple of years, I wanted to lose weight so I switched to a different breakfast... and recently I noticed my hair is thinner, and shedding like crazy, and breaking.

So for me, it's back on eggs. I want my nice hair back!

Incidentally, I think your hair is great. I *would* call it long.
Haha... interesting you should mention eggs. I've never liked them and I almost never eat them, so maybe there is something missing in my diet. I eat fairly healthy, but probably don't get a lot of protein, since I'm an egg-hater, I'm lactose intolerant, and I don't eat meat every day. Maybe I will try eating more french toast or learn to make crepes!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by stuipdthing View Post
Sounds like you need more protein. Make sure you follow up any type of external protein treatment with a good moisturizer. Make sure you switch to condtioners and shampoos without any sulfates and maybe no silcones too. The silcones can prevent the hair from soaking up treatments you put on it. Wash gently (use the curly girl method). After washing put a leave in condtioner to protein it before putting any styling products in. Depending on how your hair reacts to oil you may want to use a drop or two to seal in the moisture.

This is a bit more extreme but you might want to go to the hair stylist and ask her to cut of as much of the damaged hair as possible. This can make your hair super short depending on how much is damaged. It's worth it though becuase if your ends are damaged then your hair may start unraviling so the rest of your hair can become damaged as well. It's really hard to fix hair once it's badly damaged, the only thing you can really do is prevent it. So in order to prevent your new hair from becoming unravled and damaged you may have to chop the rest of it off.
Hmmm... well I don't use shampoo/conditioners with sulfates or silicones, but I should definitely try incorporating some protein and/or oil. I'm definitely planning to cut off some of my hair once I have a new routine established... but it seemed pointless to cut it all off only to re-damage it! Hopefully all these tips will help ensure I can keep it growing back healthy next time
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #8
 
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The suggestion to try VO5 was to use it as a co-wash. Not in place of the aubrey organics honeysuckle rose.
VO5/Suave condishes aren't good conditioners.
AOHR is an emollient conditioner- good choice

Protein- I think the poster was referring to adding protein to your hair as in a protein treatment or a protein conditioner. Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner is a protein conditioner.
But if your diet is lacking in protein, you definitely need more. Lack of protein in your diet will definitely affect your hair.

IMO, your hair looks dry. Curly hair is dry naturally and typically needs a lot of moisture. I condition daily and use a leave in daily. And try to deep condition and protein treatment once a week.

Since your hair is so fragile, I think you need to change your routine since it's not working. You should cut off the damaged parts and start new. The damaged/broken parts aren't helping anything. By leaving the damaged/split ends on your hair, you'll damage the healthier hair. Split ends can't be fixed. Some damaged can be repaired with protein and moisture treatments. But a good hair needs to be your starting place.

Add a lot more moisture to your hair.

Fine hair usually likes protein so try a protein treatment.

Go to the newbie section and start reading. There's so much information on these boards that you'll have reading material for quite a while.

Pineapple at night. Use a scrunchie

Never use a brush. Only detangle with a wide tooth comb/pick with conditioner in your hair.

Use a satin/silk pillowcase

HTH

Last edited by crimsonshedemon; 08-17-2010 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:35 PM   #9
 
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[/quote]Haha... interesting you should mention eggs. I've never liked them and I almost never eat them, so maybe there is something missing in my diet. I eat fairly healthy, but probably don't get a lot of protein, since I'm an egg-hater, I'm lactose intolerant, and I don't eat meat every day. Maybe I will try eating more french toast or learn to make crepes![/QUOTE]

THIS!!! You need to up your protein intake, you should be getting a good quality protein with each meal, every day. Not just for you hair, but your overall health.

When I added extra protein to my diet the difference in my hair was really noticeable. This is obviously not a quick fix, but start now and you'll start to see the results in the future.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
 
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I often recommend that ladies who are thinning do a nutrition tracking (SparkPeople.com has a free one you can use that breaks down what you are lacking according to nutrients.) You'd be surprised at what holes are in your diet doing it for a few weeks. Even two weeks shows a pattern. I strongly recommend this as you seem to leave whole food groups deficient or absent from your diet. It will let you know if you get enough protein and you can add nutrients to check according to your wishes. Strongly recommended.

You need enough protein, zinc, iron, etc to have healthful hair. Your diet should have healthful oils, too, which is good for the scalp. If you don't like certain foods, then you will need to add a good supplement (s), possibly including biotin, possibly adding a protein mix supplement (like Solgar Whey-to-Go, which is low cal, not contaminated like others with heavy metals, and so discreetly flavored it's not icky).

Your hair is long. Anytime hair is BELOW the shoulders, it's considered long. Yours more than qualifies.

Your hair looks seriously dry. Are you doing deep condishes (preferably under a soft or hard bonnet dryer with a processing cap to give warmth) at least once a week? Since your hair is fine, it probably needs a good protein treatment or two. But definitely, it looks totally parched. Did you do a strand test to see if you are porous? If you are, I recommend the Spritz & Condish method to get your moisture level up. Did you do the elasticity strand test?

Your wave pattern is nice, and it is long, you just need to see if there is a dietary deficiency and start deep condishing and trying at least one hardcore protein treatment to see if that's the issue.

And, because you are so dry, I suggest laying off shampoo and doing nopooing for a while, see if you like it and your hair likes it. You can also alternate lowpoos and nopoos. Your parched hair really needs a break from actual poos.

Good luck...
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maudie View Post
Hi Treae! Your hair is very pretty. Here are a few suggestions. At night, put your hair up in a "pineapple" which is a ponytail on top of your head. Use a cloth type band, not an elastic. This will preserve your curls.

Since your describe your hair as fragile, you might try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. I would avoid using any metal (like barrettes) in your hair. You might want to try washing with conditioner like VO5 instead of the Aubrey. And you might try a deep conditioner once in awhile. As far as gel, I've found that if i water the gel down it works better.
I am going to take your advice and ditch the elastic band and pick up a cloth one. I have a feeling this is going to work wonders! Thanks for sharing!

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Last edited by longhairdiva; 08-24-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #12
 
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you definitely want to probably shampoo less. sometimes even though it doesnt have sulfates, it still dries your hair out, try shampooing once a week instead and conditioning every other day. this way you are constantly getting moisture in your hair b/c ur hair does look dry
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
 
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I agree with those saying your hair looks dry. I've had super-long hair, there's a pic in the Growing Out board; it's not long now but I do have experience with growing long hair.

Aubrey Organics shampoos may not work in hard water as they are (all, I think) soap based. So you could have build up damaging your hair.

I would start with a chelating shampoo, or get the Curl Junkie Daily Fix and, well, use it daily. Because it will clear hard water deposits eventually I think, and wouldn't strip your hair like a shampoo.

Either way, then condition the heck out of it. Try using the fake Biolage Balm as a rinse-out followed by more of it as a leave-in, maybe with some oil, not much but a little mixed into it to help seal up your hair.

Yes protein conditioner too, but you are already using that and it isn't working, right? So it seems like focusing on moisture for now would work better.


Also, yes! work on your diet. Avocados, fish, nuts, beans; lots of beans if you don't eat much meat, find ways to get eggs into you, greens, fruit, and enough food each day to nourish you.

And, in the end, it may just be your hair type, if it's ALWAYS been like this it may just be very fine and fragile and you will always have to be very moistuizing, supportive and gentle with it, handle it delicately and use cloth scrunchies only.

Oh! I almost forgot. Protective styles. If you are growing your hair out, keeping it in a braid (not too tight, of course) with a cloth band at the end will keep the hairs from rubbing on each other, or tangling, and help it to stay strong while its growing out.

You won't likely get the hair at the ends "fixed" completely (hair is dead) but get it moisturized and flexible, and the hair growing from your roots healthy with a good diet, and you will be on your way!
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:25 AM   #14
 
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Yes protein conditioner too, but you are already using that and it isn't working, right? So it seems like focusing on moisture for now would work better.

I don't think she's using a protein conditioner.. only mentions AO Honeysuckle Rose which is protein free.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:53 PM   #15
 
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Try a shower filter, lots of tap water, has chloramoines/chlorine, very drying. I agree, with washing with only a conditioner for now, trader joes Nourish moisture, Giovanni 50/50, are good ones. a weak 10 to 1 vinegar spray, then top with a moisturising condish , like Maitrix biolage conditioning balm, while taking shower, can remove hard water build up. If you are suspecting your water, good place to start.A good gel applied to WET hair, scrunched in, will make hair appear 2x's a thick. after dry, and scrunched.I agree with all the other protein recommendations ,inside and out.check out the home made deep conditioner sections. HTH
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