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Should I give up on long hair completely? (breaking, thin ends)

(22 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Thu 27-Feb-14 22:56:25

Am almost 43
Have had long hair all my life.. not super long but always varying between just below shoulder length to just above nipple... always thought it suited me, others say the same...
Usually I have long length layers in it
Hair is thin and always has been (but thicker now than when was a teen) but quite a lot of it. Can get lank..greasy roots and dry ends, need to wash every other day to avoid the flat greasy crown look
But... as I get older the ends have got so thin, wispy and fragile
They end up breaking
It's annoying as I do all the right things... no heat (not even hairdryer) no appliances, often sleep with conditioner on overnight, use Amla oil, morrocan etc.. to no avail .
So, I caught sight of myself today in Superdrug mirror... horrors. Hair aged me so badly.. I looked like a bedraggled scarecrow with long straggly limp ends. Got myself straight to a hairdresser.. who criticised me for lack of hair care (not true! read above) and cut it all to just below chin length. Choppy layers, looks a lot better, thicker and healthy. Basically a long bob style, I have fringe also. (is this a frumpy style? ie long layered bob? I have round face and I think it's more flattering than the long thin strands)
So I guess that's it, then? Good bye to long hair forever? She said it's always going to get to a certain length then just break.
Is this just an age thing?
My skin is still 'young' but it seems I have hair of a 90 year old even though only about 3 grey hairs (literally 3 single hairs of grey). Has anyone else had this? I'd understand if abused my hair but I really do so little to it. I get colour applied to roots and down the length but not to the ends.
Really going to be hard to get used to.. perhaps liberating.. I feel i was hiding behind long hair for much of adult life

peasandlove Fri 28-Feb-14 06:16:03

sounds like you should embrace your new hair. Crappy hair will be more aging regardless whether it's long or short

GeorginaWorsley Fri 28-Feb-14 07:29:27

Your new hair sounds great!
Maybe you could get it to shoulder length but jeep up the regular trims?

Mine is below shoulder at moment but ends are dry and am looking forward to my hair appointment tomorrow!
Finding I need ends trimming every 8 to 10 weeks now.

Minshu Fri 28-Feb-14 07:35:00

I'm 39 and came to the same conclusion a couple of years ago after seeing a photo that happened to include the back of my head. At the time I thought I may be able to grow it again, but it just gets stragglier as it gets longer.

Your new style sounds great, not frumpy smile

ithaka Fri 28-Feb-14 07:37:31

I think log hair is going out of fashion anyway - that Kate Middleton Disney Princess look is a dated cliche. The stylish girls have short funky cuts these days.

i had my hair cut short & sharp last year and it took years off me. I had the school gate, mid length, long layers for years and realised it was boring & samey.

Next cut, I would go shorter & start blowdrying (takes very little time with short hair) and use a product to break up the texture. No more bedraggled scarecrow mirror shocks.

coffeewithcreamm Fri 28-Feb-14 07:46:55

I've just had a layered bob, my hair was shoulder length & doing nothing for me at all, I LOVE my new style. It's so lovely, go for it!

whitecat Fri 28-Feb-14 08:18:09

There is no reason you can't have long hair. Have a look at the products you were using. Find some info on what actually goes into conditioners, shine products, anti frizz etc. Silicone makes your hair feel lovely but it comes at a creeping cost. You can only use it so long before it can't mask the damage to your hair anymore.
There are alternatives but you will need to read labels properly and not believe what is on the front of the bottle.
Get growing.

alltoomuchrightnow Fri 28-Feb-14 16:31:22

i'm totally clueless,Ithaka what product would break up the texture? wax or mud? nothing heavy

Aliama Fri 28-Feb-14 16:37:08

Um, can I put in a good word for folic acid supplements? I've been taking them due to pregnancy, and have noticed a massive change in the strength of my hair and nails. Always used to leave clumps of hair on the walls after a shower, and thats stopped. I know it's not entirely due to pregnancy hormones either, although I won't go into detail about why.

I'm actually taking a multivitamin, but fairly sure it's down to the folic acid.

ithaka Fri 28-Feb-14 17:32:24

alltoomuch I use wax on my hair, but you just need the teeniest amount. A small fingernail of wax, rubbed vigourously in the palms to heat, then randomly applied to the ends of sections to break up the texture.

Scarletohello Fri 28-Feb-14 19:19:26

Have written about this a lot here but think it still needs saying. I have v fine hair that breaks off easily. It is also wavy/ curly. Saw a hairdresser recently that specialises in curly hair. He said to not use shampoo with sulphates in as they are too harsh on hair and not to use conditioner/ product with silicone in ( silicone is a form of plastic that coats your hair to make it look shiny but ultimately it builds up an acts as a barrier which prevents your hair absorbing moisture and so makes it v dry )

He recommended Bodyshop Rainforest range which contains neither sulphates or silicones. I've been using them for a while and my hair is in much better condition. This may be what you are experiencing...

alltoomuchrightnow Sat 01-Mar-14 00:11:38

wonder if folic acid would help anyone? I've never been pregnant you see

alltoomuchrightnow Sat 01-Mar-14 00:12:15

Ithaka, any old cheapy wax? no particular brand?

ithaka Sat 01-Mar-14 08:52:59

It is Garnier Fructis & having looked at the tub, it calls itself putty, not wax. I use so little, this tub will last years. I bought it when I had my hair cut short. I now love short hair, because you can colour it, blow dry it and not have to worry about it drying out.

I would say that with short hair you need regular hair cuts. I used to get my hair cut every few months. Now I book a haircut every 8 weeks, which is essential to keep the style sharp & funky. But I do love it and it makes me feel young & light, not dragged down by my ratty old hair.

JoanRanger Sat 01-Mar-14 15:57:28

Like Whitecat said, might have been product build-up.

New hair sounds fab though, so this is a win-win.

JoanRanger Sat 01-Mar-14 15:58:51

Aliama – when you're pregnant you stop shedding hair at the usual rate, hence amazing pregnancy care. After the baby is born a lot of the hair that should have shed during the previous nine months drops out. Hence a lot of people have a post-baby chop!

Mrswellyboot Sat 01-Mar-14 16:15:03

Op I did the same yesterday! I am 35 and felt wierd this morning but did a stronger eye make up and wore nice earrings to feel more feminine, I think my hair is healthy now so I bet yours is great.

aiya Sat 01-Mar-14 16:38:47


I can totally sympathise with your hair plight

A while back, i was always told that washing hair with hot water increases hair losses, but i didnt pay much attention. Then a friend went to a rather famous tricologist, phiilp kingsley, and was told to eat lots of eggs. That definitely works, as soon as i eat a few eggs, the hair started to improve. A veggie diet is not hair friendly.

Still my hair was not as good as I'd like. One day by chance, I googled ayurvedic doctor and came across website rajayur. It was the least boastful hardsell of the lot, and when i rang, the doctor was very ethical, would only prescribe what she thinks is necessary. anyway, i made the journey ( one train plus one tube plus one bus ride) for the consultation, had a shinodhara treatment ( ie hot oil on forehead, which is nothing to do with hair) but the oil is mixed specially to suit me. I had 10 of these treatments which reuses the oil each time but there is still lots left over after the 10 treatments so i was given the oil to take home to put on my hair. The doctor by then had become a friend so she also gave me an ayurvedic hair loss oil and ayurvedic shampoo with no chemicals

hair transformation was so miraculous my hairdresser of 10 years ( very cool fastidious japanese lady who wears alexander mcqueen) kept commenting on how healthy my hair had become.

and the savings! on hair products. I no longer need conditioner, still uses kielh shampoo occasionally and sometimes a gentle honey wash, in case there is build up from just the ayurvedic shampoo.

once a week, I use the oil on the ends and scalp. ( doesn't make the hair greasy for some reason) but it makes the long hair completely tangle free.

only problem is now that ive been chemical free for almost two years, i can no longer tolerate majority of the shampoos or conditioners without scalp going itchy from reaction to the harshness. and this includes the really expensive brands.

i will soon be running out of this oil, Its been two year, so i may have to go to the ayurvedic doctor again. Its located at the end of the district line, London, and then a bus ride from the tube station, and it is still worth it. The lady doctor works from home because she has small children, so one has to fit in with the school runs ( i used to hike up there at 8am) or go on saturdays when she has a sitter. When you ring up you can ask speak to the doctor directly, and ask her questions and then when you find out how much she charges, you will realise how honest this person is. For the cost of one hair cut, I had first class hair health for two whole years.

its the distance that deter me from going more often.

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 03-Mar-14 09:53:02 veggie.. do eat a lot of eggs though
I think it's just me... the natural thinness of my hair.. thyroid problems too... I had it all my life but not diagnosed till 32 then took yrs to get the med's right..would explain why my hair was so thin in my teens.. could see scalp through it.. though it was the 80s then lol so having perms least at that time!
thanks for everyone's advice, will re read it all again
Glad you had a happy ending, Aiya. would perhaps consider when i'm working again

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 03-Mar-14 09:53:11

(as i'm near London)

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 03-Mar-14 09:53:49

for now am going to keep it shorter and choppier.. it now looks normal thickness instead of wisps. ..oh and get some wax too

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 03-Mar-14 09:54:55

Ithaka, how do you apply the wax? do you just dab on ends and try and separate strands? or scrunch it in, 80s style?

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