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Has anyone ever successfully rescued ruined hair? (And why is my hair so bad anyway?!)

(36 Posts)
QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 12:30:08

My hair's always been the bane of my life: it's fine, thin, straight and limp. It sucks.

But recently it's not only sucky, but it seems to be in the world's worst condition! I was at a friend's house for dinner on Saturday and something about their bathroom light highlighted how incredibly broken my hair is: it's literally broken all the way along the hair shaft so I have a halo of hairs of all different lengths.

So here's the thing:

- The only heat styling I use is heated rollers (it's the only thing that'll hold a style with me). I sometimes also use velcro rollers but only when I have loads of time. Several months ago I decided that my hair's condition was more important, so I scaled back to aiming to use them only once or twice a week, and have stuck to that. I let my hair air dry most days and use dry shampoo on the second day for a bit of volume.

- I haven't chemically dyed my hair for years. I use henna about three times a year, which is supposed to be fantastic for hair, but I haven't done it since last summer.

- I use L'oreal hair oil and recently bought a Protein Spray.

So why is my hair breaking off even at the root? I have a whole load of tiny hairs about a centimetre long all along my parting sad I was telling myself some of it was new growth, but having now seen breakage from root to tip I'm not so sure. I really thought my reduction in heat styling would have started to yield results by now but my hair looks worse than ever, and it's certainly in worse condition than plenty of other people I know who straighten / blow dry their hair daily or at least several times a week.

Any ideas what on earth it's all about? And more importantly any suggestions for what I can do about it?!

HowardMoonsJazzTrumpet Mon 30-Jan-17 12:43:07

I have naturally crap hair too. Frizzy, fine, prone to breakage, dry, wavy. Plus incredibly sensitive scalp. Frustratingly shite.

If I don't blow dry my hair, my scalp gets a funny sort of fungal smell

If I do blow dry my hair, it heat damages my hair.

Heat protectants irritate my scalp. Anything containing protein irritates my scalp and makes my hair break off - not all damaged hair needs or can tolerate protein.

I take omega 3,6,9 and eat Brazil nuts & avocado (I find it makes a big difference to my skin & hair). I also take a multivitamin (centrum advance). I think it contains biotin, which has a reputation for bring helpful with crap hair & nails. Don't know if the biotin dosage is effective for that in centrum though or whether you'd need to look at a stand alone supplement.

I try not to brush or comb my hair when wet as that increases likelihood of breakages. As does tying it up. I have to have it up for work so I tend to use a clip instead to reduce tension in the roots and friction on the surface of my hair.

Slimmingsnake Mon 30-Jan-17 12:47:46

Same ideas..I await advice from this thread also x

OlennasWimple Mon 30-Jan-17 12:49:54

Do you have the sort of face that could carry off a Mia Farrow pixie crop?

QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 13:30:41

Oh Olennas I wish I did, my life would be so much easier! My best friend at school always had wonderful wavy dark blonde hair, and then she went pixie when we were at university and will never ever go back, life is tremendously unfair!

Howard thanks for the tip on the supplements - will look into that. I eat a fair bit of avocado but not the nuts and I don't take any tablets. Another MNer suggested flax in my morning smoothie which I did for a while, but renovations but paid to all my smoothie making, I'll be able to get back on it in a couple of weeks. I can't in all honesty say I noticed a difference, but I'll give it another go.

I use a tangle teezer to part my hair while it's wet, but I have so little hair and it's so straight, the teeth just slide through it to be honest.

QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 13:32:21

My hair seems to be getting worse and worse with age too - I'm only 28 but I was looking at some pics the other day of when I was about 20 and it was in such good nick. That used to be the only thing my hair had going for it, as it never actually looked nice or styled, it just hung there limply, but at least it was shiny. Now it just hangs there limply with broken flyaways all over it hmm

QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 13:36:01

The protein spray thing baffles me - I've read this online, about how if your hair's broken it needs protein, but also that using protein on it can cause breakage - what on earth?! confused

finova Mon 30-Jan-17 13:38:35

Do you get it trimmed regularly?
Mine can be a bit like this. It improved when I strarted getting it trimmed every month. I found a mobile hairdresser who would sometimes just do me a dry cut and booked for just after pay day each month.

passtheharibo Mon 30-Jan-17 13:41:35

Could it be the dry shampoo? My hair is bizarrely in better condition now that I wash it every day than when I used to dry shampoo every second day.

FinnMcCool Mon 30-Jan-17 13:43:26

Do you use a deep conditioning mask regularly?

ShoutOutToMyEx Mon 30-Jan-17 13:47:00

Try the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. It saved my hair after a dodgy bleach job. It was like a miracle

QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 14:46:43

passthe I have wondered about that. On the advice of another thread I'm going to move away from Batiste, an oatmilk one was recommended. I can't really see how it could be wrecking my hair except for strangling the follicles, but I guess it's worth a go. It's weird though because as you say, the advice is normally to wash as infrequently as possible.

FinnMcCool are you named for the sheep? grin I used Aussie Three Minute Miracle every single time I washed it for ages, only a couple of weeks ago switched to that L'oreal thickening conditioner instead. I used to use coconut oil masks semi-regularly too, but actually haven't done that for a while.

ShoutOut thank you, I've been meaning to look into that!

fino no, I'm appalling for it blush I desperately need a haircut now but I always put it off because I so hate going. A mobile hairdresser is a fab idea, once the building work's done I could very easily get someone to do it in my kitchen and sweep it all up. I imagine it's a bit cheaper too if I find someone local and don't want anything fancy? I sooooo resent paying £30+ for some bitchy hairdresser to trim an inch or so off the end and then give me a lacklustre blowdry. I often leave the salon with hair I wouldn't leave the house with angry

finova Mon 30-Jan-17 15:33:46

I pay £15 for a dry cut and just hoover up afterwards. She comes at 6pm when my husband gets in (so he can watch DC), and is gone in 20 minutes.
If I want foils that's another £12-£15 and she just tells me how long to leave colour and I then wash it off myself.
I miss out on the salon experience, head massage/shampoo and blow dry. However, it means I get my hair cut way more often and it's so convinient.

Laiste Mon 30-Jan-17 15:42:11

Try the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. It saved my hair after a dodgy bleach job. It was like a miracle

Yes, i second this. I have bleach blond and it's the best deep conditioner out there IMO. Look at QVC for good offers on this as it is a bit ££ for enough to really use. IYKWIM?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Jan-17 16:16:17

My DM told me years ago heated rollers are murder on hair and she's usually right on these things.

I use swartzkopf bonacure q10 for fragile & aged hair, it's really helped my hair but I use deep conditioner every time.

MrsDoylesTeabags Mon 30-Jan-17 16:34:03

You need to go right back to basics and look at what shampoo you're using. Trial and error, not cheap but don't be tempted use something that's rubbish just so you'll use it up.
Protein is good for your hair but too much with make it feel dry and brittle, again trial and error how often suits you best. I have afro hair and do a protein pack on average every 2-3 weeks. Drink plenty of water a good balanced diet, get a good cut, you may have to go shorter than you want to to get the condition back and then keep up regular trims about every 6-8 weeks.
Can't comment on heat styling as it kills my hair dead

MrsDoylesTeabags Mon 30-Jan-17 16:38:11

Also don't know how this suits straight hair but I wash my hair once a week only use shampoo every other wash. I usually saturate my hair with coconut oil, comb ot through in the shower and rinse thoroughly and then use conditioner to wash my hair.
May be to rich for straight fine hair but has done wonders for my curls

datingbarb Mon 30-Jan-17 16:48:07

Opaplex I'm going to the salon to have this treatment next week so happy to check back and give you before/after pics and tell you what I think.

I'm hearing great things about this and have also seen some great pictures of people who have had it.

I'm hair is knackered, fine, thin breaking off etc

wendytorrence Mon 30-Jan-17 16:59:52

What medications are you on if any?
Low iron can really affect your hair too.
What you've got to remember is your hair is basically dead once it's out of the follicle so if you're not doing anything to damage your hair by styling etc then it's coming out of your scalp already in poor condition. So you need to start looking at your overall health.
Skin, hair and nails can tell a lot about what's going on inside someone's body.

QuimReaper Mon 30-Jan-17 19:32:11

dating I don't know anything about that, would love a report!

MrsDoyle you're probably right, I've been using Aussie for years and my hair used to be fine confused It's quite possible it no longer agrees with me.

MrsDoyle when you have thin fine straight hair it can start to look like an oil slick with very little provocation so I'm afraid that approach wouldn't work for me! Glad it's successful for you though.

wendy no medication, but I have been thinking the same: it seems to be DOA. I am one of those runty, genetically-inferior types with milk-pale skin, crumbly teeth, bendy nails and feathers for hair so it's quite difficult to track where it's "gone wrong". Iron is a good shout, I should look into supplements.

dailymaillazyjournos Mon 30-Jan-17 20:28:05

I second getting a blood test to check your iron and vitamin D levels.
My hair (which is fine/thin and flyaway at the best of times) gradually got worse and worse until each strand was ridiculously thin (barely visible) and snapped with no effort at all. It was also shedding.
I also don't colour it and use the hairdryer on medium heat.

My GP referred me to a dermatologist it was so awful as I wasn't anaemic. The dermatologist said that although I wasn't anaemic the level (think it was 35 or something roundabouts) was too low to maintain hair growth/health. She also said my Vitamin D level was very low. She prescribed Ferrous Fumerate tablets 125mg x 2 daily and Vit D 1000 mg x daily and said she wanted iron up to as near 100 as possible but definitely 70 minimum.

It took quite a while to see any improvement - about a year but now my hair is as thick as it's been for years and has more elasticity and isn't breaking and shedding.

dailymaillazyjournos Mon 30-Jan-17 20:29:25

Bloods were re-tested after 3 months and then after 6. Sorry, I forgot that.

cauliflowercheese14 Mon 30-Jan-17 20:46:24

I think I'll look into vitamin d, thanks.

I have fine, lank, straight hair. Best thing I've found is wash every day with mild shampoo - kids shampoo is often good. I use volumising mousse, blow dry it roughly and back come the roots a little bit to give it some body. I keep it in a jaw length bob too as any longer just adds to it's lankness. I have a hairdresser come to the house and do it, £15 every three months keeps it in good condition.

datingbarb Tue 07-Feb-17 21:50:47

QuimReaper best £25 I spent having Opaplex treatment, hair was brittle, frizzy and broken and just knotty

Massive improvement smooth, healthy looking and no frizz or tangles in site

ProjectGainsborough Tue 07-Feb-17 22:10:50

Would a clarifying shampoo help? Mine always goes a bit bonkers if I use too much on it.

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