Damaged Hair help

I posted this in general curly area but I want to get advice here too

I have 4b natural hair, no real curl pattern though. My hair feels like it is low porosity with medium to thick flat strands (on the healthy hairs I can find). It generally feels hard and wiry if I use protein conditioners. I am baffled at why I have so many complex split ends and midshaft splitting.

I've been natural for 7.5 years and can never make it past neck/collarbone length hair

My regimen:
I Co-wash every 1 - 3 weeks with Suave Naturals or Jessicurl Cleansing cream. Rarely use shampoo maybe 2 -3 times a year. I use Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery as a DT 1-2 times a month.

I detangle in the shower with conditioner and a wide tooth comb. I recently got a Tangle Teezer, but I have only used it twice.
I use KCKT or HEHH as a leave in then either a glycerine/water based spray or Miss Jessies baby buttercreme depending on the time of year (summer/winter).
I air dry my hair pulled into a puff or twist it up. I have only used my blowdryer 3 times since I went natural
Once its in a puff I reshape it with some water and patting pushing with my hands during the week, no combing or picking usually.

Moisturize every 1 -2 days with the glycerin spray or MJBB

I always sleep in a satin pillowcase and satin bonnet.

What do I need to do differently??
Any ideas?

I am now considering more protein, but my hair always feels so rough after any protein conditioners.
Natural since 8/03
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 337
Do you live in a hard water area?

If so, then the water can wreak havoc on your hair. Washing with conditioner is not a good idea if you live in a hard water area because the conditioner does not remove the mineral build up from your hair.

If you do live in a hard water area you have a couple of options:

- Install a shower filter

- Wash with spring water

- Use a clarifying shampoo each time you wash your hair (not recommended)
The whole house has a water softener since we do live in a hard water area.
I don't notice a big difference when I use shampoo, but Ive only used HEHH and Garnier Fructis Length and Strength
Natural since 8/03
OMG! Can't tell you how glad I am you posted this! I have the same issue! I have 4b, coarse hair with low porosity, and low elasticity and looking for all the help I can get!

Sent from my PC36100 using CurlTalk App
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 337
I don't really see any problems with your current routine so I am not sure why you are experiencing this damage.

But here are some suggestions:

I air dry my hair pulled into a puff
Originally Posted by TRINI
Instead of pulling your hair into puff to air dry, it may be a good idea to band your hair in 8-10 sections. The more sections you use the less tension on the hair. Excessive pulling on the hair when it is wet can cause breakage.

I recently got a Tangle Teezer, but I have only used it twice.
Originally Posted by TRINI
Did you notice the splits before or after you used the Tangle Teezer? Some people have reported that they got split ends after using it a few times.

Do you do a pre wash treatment? If not you may want to consider doing one to protect your strands from absorbing too much water.

The following article written by Tonya McKay discusses the effect that washing can have on the hair: http://naturallycurly.com/curlreadin...hich-is-better

I have copied and pasted the relevant section of the article

"Normally, when hair is saturated with water during the washing process, it absorbs up to 30% or more of its weight in water. This causes each strand to swell considerably, which can lead to several undesirable effects. Increasing the diameter of the hair shaft causes the outer covering of cuticle scales to lift and separate, which increases tangling and breakage. But, perhaps more subtle, is the damage done over time from many cycles of expansion and contraction.Hair is a highly complex biomaterial composed of layers of differing materials, ranging from varying types of keratin structures to pigment molecules to fatty acids. When it is saturated with water and swells and then subsequently dries via natural or thermal means, it undergoes what is known as differential drying and differential deformation (because each separate type of molecule within the overall structure dries and deforms at differing rates). This leads to moisture-induced stress on the hair, which can lead to delamination (cuticle layer stripping off), breakage, fiber fatigue, and rupture (split ends). This whole phenomenon is referred to as hygral fatigue. So, anything that reduces hygral fatigue is great for the health of your hair in the long term."
Do you deep condition your hair?
Do you wear your hair out alot? It may benefit from some protective styling...Good Luck
4c wiry thick nappy low porosity hair
Poo: SM black soap
Rise out/Detangler:
DC/: Avocado+ oil + Honey
Spritz: Oyin J&B
Moisturizer: OH Dew
Sealant:BSP/Bask tapioca cream

Last edited by ebonyrose31626; 04-25-2011 at 11:14 PM.
I looked up the ingredients for HEHH and it contains a silicone. Here is a thread about the silicone it contains.http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...r-soluble.html

If this is causing your problem, you may need to begin using a low poo to help rinse out the buildup which could be causing your breakage. I hope that helps!!

I had the same problem and I decided to wear twist/braids extensions for a year, redoing every month or month and half. 9 months so far and my hair has grown 3 1/2 inches. I don't want to wear extensions but I decided to sacrafice a year and it's definitely helping with retaining length.
I agree with the comment above! If u leave ur hair alone it will grow. Braid that hair up into a cute style and go.... believe me it will grow long!

Sent from my T-Mobile myTouch 3G using CurlTalk App
I would also try to seal the hair with an oil or a butter.
Type: 4ab
Co-Wash: Elucence MB Conditioner, ACV Rinse
Sealant: Coconut/Castor/Olive Oil Mixture
Style: My Own Butter Mix
Deep Cond: CJ Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment, Henna, Olive Oil & Honey
Current Faves: Coconut/Castor/Olive Oil Mixture, Henna, Curl Junkie Products
My Fotki

Soft water and still the same problem? Dang, that's interesting.

KoolKurls is on to something, but even if you don't or can't put it into a protective style, make sure you have someone trim those damaged ends! Not trimming the damaged ends will make matters worse, because even if your hair grows out the hair will continue to split up the shaft.

If I'm wrong, please correct me .

I'm currently trying to grow my hair out past collarbone length too, and I just trimmed my damaged ends, so I'll be following this thread to see how you do!!

Addition: Oh, and I too agree with AlikaIssa about not doing the puff so much. It thinned my edges out over time. It's been about a month since I put my hair into a puff and already my edges are filling in nicely (with the help of some castor oil).


"Don't look back and ask why, look forward and ask why not!?" - Unk.

Last edited by ReynaCR; 04-28-2011 at 01:25 PM.

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