OK, I don't really have long hair and I am going to have to cut about 4 inches off today so its about to be even shorter. But I am looking for some natural products to try. I was a member of the long hair community for a long time, and I really hate to say it but the longer I follow their advise the worse my hair gets (most of them use mainstream brands and I stay away from them, so their advise doesn't get me very far). I have almost waist length hair (will end up somewhere around bra strap when I cut it tonight), its wavy/curly and on the fine side. I am trying to find a natural product that will help. I have really bad split ends and damage on the last 4 or so inches that I am cutting off but I don't want to cut off all the damage only to have it get this bad again. I have been doing micro trims for the last 10 months because I was trying to do the no poo method and my hair ended up like straw so I started using Aubrey organics honeysuckle rose conditioner and was using a shampoo bar from etsy, but once I got pregnant my hair decided that it *hates* shampoo bars so now I am using whole foods brand citrus or mint shampoo and conditioner and once a week I use the honeysuckle rose conditioner. I never wear my hair down, i always have it up in a bun or a braid secured with either a satin scrunchy or a hair stick. I never use heat on it, I don't brush it i use a seamless wooden comb at all times and I never comb while wet. I have tried doing coconut oil treatments, and even leaving a tiny bit in my ends after washing while still wet but it didn't help, I tried mineral oil in the tips and it kinda helped but I don't feel like mineral oil is all that natural. I am growing out henna at the moment and have been for over 2 years now. My hair grows pretty slow so I only have about 13 inches of virgin hair, all my virgin hair is in good condition, a few splits but not the straw mess that my ends are. In order to have all virgin hair I would need to cut my hair all the way to my neck, maybe my shoulders but I don't want to go that short. I am planning on cutting off the bottom 4 inches which would put my very bottom layer of my hair to the virgin hair (does that make sense?), then I will do small trims every other month to get rid of the rest and keep it in hopefully good health. But I still am looking for natural products that I can try. Before I knew how bad mainstream brands were I would use them and all kinds of leave ins and products and had wonderful hair, but now I just don't want all that crap on my head and skin so my hair is suffering from it. Sorry this is all jumbled and probably doesn't make much sense I am just so upset that I put so much work into my hair and I cant even wear it down because it looks horrible!
Wish I could help! I use Pureology, which isn't all that natural (though it is vegan) and some Moroccan oil, which I like a lot. I have tried natural brand shampoos and conditioners and it left my hair feeling limp and oily. I tried no poo and couldn't get through the initial "it gets worse before it gets better" phase because my scalp just itched and felt gross.
So I'll be following along for sure!
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My hair is almost to my butt, and I hear you on the "always in a scrunchie or bun" business... mine usually ends up in a braid. When I get split ends I have my husband trim off 1-2 inches, depending on how bad, and that usually does the job until it will need cut again in @ 2 months. I went "no-poo" in March and struggled with it until I found this recipe: Boil a gallon of water with a 1.5 cups of baking soda. Once it starts to boil (and you have stirred it in) then take it off the heat and let cool. Put in a gallon jug (like a milk jug) to refill your shampoo bottle (I use a dawn dish soap bottle). Before I shower (@ once or twice a week) I saturate my hair with the mixture, get in the shower and rinse it and clean up as usual. Before I get out I use my other shampoo bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar mix (1 tbsp ACV per 8 oz water) and saturate only the hair not my scalp (the lower part) otherwise my scalp may get oily quicker. Then I do a quick rinse with the attempt to leave some ACV on my hair and then get out. This has worked well for me and I like the condition of my hair now. Before this I was making terrible messes in the bathroom with baking soda powder everywhere lol.
Some day soon when I am finally ready to cut it all off, I want to donate it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths hair donation. http://www.pantene.com/en-US/beautiful-lengths-cause/pages/donation-guide.aspx They use the hair to make wigs for cancer patients.... unless someone here knows of a better place to donate it.
Another tip; For hair lightener: Fill a spray bottle with half water and the other half hydrogen peroxide. The bottle needs to be dark because H.Peroxide is light sensitive, I spray painted my bottle brown. I was using "sun-in" but I like this better because I don't have to apply heat. Use at your own risk... I found one website that said it causes damage but there are many out there including myself that have not had issues with it. I have heard lemon juice works too but I have yet to try that.
My hair reaches my knees. It needs a good trim and really, once the damage has set in, not much can really "repair" it. I don't use any special hair care products, just bargain brand shampoo and conditioner. One thing I swear by is a deep conditioning of egg and olive oil, whipped together, applied to the hair and left to sit for half an hour to an hour. Even better is if you can wrap you hair in cellophane and a towel to keep it warm. Afterwards, shampoo and condition as you normally would. This leaves my hair incredibly silky and shiny and knot free. I also try to make sure I always rinse my hair in cold water (works better, of course, if you wash your hair in the sink or tub and not under the shower!) and I often do a final rinse with vinegar (apple cider vinegar is great but plain white vinegar works well, too). Don't rinse the vinegar out with water. The vinegar smell will disappear as soon as your hair is dry.
I only wash my hair once or twice a week. My scalp has adjusted and my hair does not get dirty any more often than this. Washing your hair is actually pretty hard on it. You might notice, when your scalp starts to feel oily and you want to wash you hair that the length of you hair starts to look really nice. This is due to the natural oils your scalp produces, which are very good for your hair. This is why brushing is good for hair. It distributes the oils through the length of your hair.
I do not ever use heat on my hair--no hair dryers (unless set on the cold setting, but even then, rarely), no curling irons, flat irons, etc. I comb very, very carefully when it is wet, never tugging and only to get the knots out so that it dries untangled. Sometimes, as it is drying, I will apply a little Farouk Biosilk Silk Therapy serum. It makes hair shiny and silky and makes detangling so much easier. There might be other brands that work just as well, I don't know, have only used this. Also, bear in mind that if you have hard water, it is really hard on your hair. The minerals in hard water build up on your hair leaving it feeling dry, brittle and tangled. This sort of "damage" can be undone by doing a final rinse of vinegar after every hair washing.
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