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Confused horribly about hair

Started 1365710019.277 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1366233335.66 by Taraist

HI everyone! Im new here, but I have been reading posts for awhile and finally joined to reply to some but unfortunately they were closed (old posts).

I have read so many things about Keratin, protein treatments, etc. and i struggled with finding what worked for me and how to mend my horrible, thin, broken, fragile, mushy hair (from too many bleachings in a short period of time). {#emotions_dlg.mad} From November 2012 til Jan/Feb of 2013 at most, I bleached my hair over 10 times. I had it in my mind to go from dark brown to platinum and well, I reached that goal, however I ruined my hair in the process. Not but a little either. I have areas where my hair has broken off almost to my scalp; the top crown has hairs that are like Alf Alfa and wont lay down from breakage. When I dry my hair even on medium heat, I look like a poodle (regardless of whatever heat protectant I use). I have tried just about EVERYTHING (and I stress EVERYTHING) on the market that says for "dry, damaged, brittle, hair." Rather its a keratin shampoo, leave-in, protectant, moisturizing conditioners, home remedies....you name it. all 4 Sally's know me by NAME. The local CVS hates me because I am their most returned product customer. I am at my wits end. I have tried a weave - which didnt help AT ALL. I am currently wearing wigs during the working hours only and not everyday.

I want to know: When will I know I have too much keratin? My hair is already a dry brittle mess from lack of moisture so that "sign" doesnt help me at all. This past week I tried the Aphogee 2 step treatment and that didnt really help at all - seemed like it made it worse. By worse I mean, before the treatment my hair was super soft when wet (spongy). After the treatment, it felt very rough but not dry rough (I know the difference). I kept on with the treatment, then did the 3 minute miracle moisturizer then added my own moisture conditioner to the ends like I always do. It did NOT work for my hair. about 3-4 days later I tried the at home remedy of eggs/olive oil. THAT did nothing for it either. So does this mean I have reached my max load for keratin right now?

I figured I did, and that I should focus on just using a moisturizing conditioner instead of my keratin. I am so sick and tired of dealing with my hair. I keep myself together but i literally want to bawl my eyes out everytime I see my hair. I went from beautiful dark rich chocolate LONG hair that was decently thinkish....to super thin dullish brown that you would see on an old lady that has been battling hair loss. I am 2 seconds away from chopping it all off and getting a bob cut (but I am chubby and that look would NOT work well with me. Yes I have wigs but they do give me headaches since I am not used to wearing things on my head for this long).

Any thoughts would be super beneficial....I read TONS of reviews, forums, etc and even posted on some but no one ever replied. So I am hoping I will get more answers and a friendlier crowd here. :)

Before mass destruction:

Hair Before Mass destruction

AFTER mass destruction and before 1/4 trim

Hair after destruction

~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

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I am still­ oxox1365710298.375684 PostsRegistered 5/14/2006North of NYC - the greatest city in the world

Go see a professional hairdresser, they will be able to help you

Decided to change up my SN a bit, and maybe this is a bit clearer :)

Always be Happy, always wear a smile .. Not because life is full of reasons to smile, but because your smile itself is a reason for many others to smile :)

Witchy Wom­an1365710434.332913 PostsRegistered 12/17/2005

In my opinion, there is NOTHING that is going to fix your hair in its current state. I am not an expert, but have permed and reverse permed my hair in the same week and it has been a full year for that mess to grow out. Nothing...and I repeat NOTHING helped it during that interim time.

All I did was condition, deep treatments, rollers and letting that air dry. No heat drying.

You've destroyed what was on your head....now, it's just gotta grow out.

Your hair was beautiful before...cannot see any reason why it wouldn't return to that after it all grows out.

Regular trims and TLC are the only solutions that I know of. Products don't do it once the hair is severely damaged.

goodstuff1365710449.50717180 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

Ten bleachings in a two-month period? Mass destruction sounds about right. {#emotions_dlg.scared}

I'm very doubtful that keratin or other topical treatments and conditioners are going to fix this. I am sure you will get some recommendations of products to try........but I suspect you've really pretty much destroyed your existing hair with extreme over-bleaching. New, healthy hair is going to have to grow out from the roots, and the damaged hair is going to be with you till you cut it off. Have you considered going with a really short cut and starting over? I think things will go better if you cut off the damaged hair ASAP; otherwise, you're going to be dealing with fried hair for ages. There's no reason your hair won't grow out as beautiful as it was before. Short cuts are chic, and you may find that you enjoy the short 'do for a change! Get with a good hairdresser for a consultation about the damage and a new, short style.

I want to bawl my eyes out just reading your story. You are such a beautiful girl, and your dark brown hair is such a beautiful color! Platinum? Why? No more bleaching, please!

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Taraist1365710974.36774 PostsRegistered 3/19/2013DFW - Texas

Ive been to a pro before - she trimmed a lot off at first and told me to use "its a 10" I did for about 2 weeks and ZERO results. Not even a smidgen of good signs. I have however, tried the Joico K-Pak and that did a GOOD number on my hair, along with Tresseme's Keratin Smooth. Im currently using those and the leave in reconstructor.

I have thought about a short hair do - but I havent had my hair short (or shorter than what I have now) since I was in Kindergarten! Im scared lol.

I figured I would never get to my "before" state. Thats a given. But here lately, I have doubted that I would get to an "ok" state even. So I dont want to ruin what is growing in by over conditioning or over keratining....

GoodStuff - Yes, 10! some where boxed, some where semi harsh from Sallys (that add the shampoo)....just to get that pretty white(ish) blonde :(

Here is a link for my hair pics - you can see where some areas are broken off


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~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

Witchy Wom­an1365711302.292913 PostsRegistered 12/17/2005

I've used all the products you mentioned with no results other than momentary softness.

My hair only recently stopped breaking off.

One year of full growth...

You should go in every month like clockwork and get it trimmed....

goodstuff1365711666.817180 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

I happen to love really short hair! Almost every gorgeous celebrity I can think of has gone through short-hair phases. I'm not young or gorgeous by any means, but I wear my own hair short and wouldn't have it any other way. It is so cute and easy and has so much attitude. And I don't think anything else is going to set you free from the burnt hair.........

Taraist1365711977.62374 PostsRegistered 3/19/2013DFW - Texas

A year! makes me sad :(

I'm hoping I dont have to go THAT short, but it will be short none the less (anything above shoulders to me is short lol)

So what do you think I should start using for my washing from here out? I am almost out of my Joico shampoo (ran out of the conditioner last night). I still have full bottles of the tresseme keratin shampoo & conditioner. Should I still use that or just turn to moisturizing products and leave the keratin behind?

P.S. You guys are awesome on the help and quick replies, I am really glad I joined here. So helpful. THANK YOU!

~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

depglass1365712373.04325019 PostsRegistered 11/14/2006

You had beautiful hair, why you would bleach it blonde is beyond me. Now that the damage is done, accept it and cut it short. You are never going to change the texture of that damaged hair, and your messing around just might ruin the new growth. I once was going to be a hair model when I was 19. My stylist wanted to use me for some contest my hair was in such good shape. So they practiced on me, bleaching my ashe blonde to pure platinum. They tried various effects for weeks, until my hair started breaking off in hunks. When wet it felt like a cotton ball and you could squeeze it down to nothing. Of course at that point they couldn't use me as a model. What did I do? Went to Sally's and bought Roux Rinse in my real color. Turned it bright orange. At that point I just gave up and wore a wig for awhile. But everyone knew and it was pretty humorous for awhile.

Taraist1365712730.3574 PostsRegistered 3/19/2013DFW - Texas

oh wow! the least they couldve done was buy the wigs for you! (the good kinds!) I bought 2 - both are synthetic and were $20 each roughly. They look pretty natural on me which I was shocked, Ive never wore wigs before on a daily/normal non dress up kind of way.

It defintely sounds like cutting is the best way to go. Im also taking a multi vitamin to help the new growth and hopefully grow it in a tad faster. I am just scared of how I will look with short hair with my chubby 2 chinned face.

~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

itslikeher­dingcats1365712931.6274039 PostsRegistered 9/20/2010

Its very difficult to get hair that is a level 4 like yours to a level 10, lightest no-color blonde. I did it for my girlfriend and she is filipino, with very dark level 2 hair. We took at least 3 days getting it white, Madonna 80s blonde and it was hard on her head and she had very short hair!!

If you ever feel the need to do this again you must get box bleach. You use 60 volume peroxide or at the very least 40 volume. You will need a professional hair dryer too. This is in order to get the bleach to accelerate enough to lift all the colors out of your hair. The lightening process must go through colors from red to orange to gold to yellow to no color. So that needs to take 3 days with an application of the bleach and peroxide mixed and preferably a professional hair dryer. Its an arduous process and the high volume peroxide can and may burn your scalp even with the dryer heat to accelerate the process. Boxed colors will not work to get your hair out to a level 10 blonde ever, not unless you are a level 8 or 9 anyway.

I think if you just baby your hair, use some good oil treatments and keratin treatments and let time do its thing, your hair will recover. The mush and breakage will eventually grow out but its going to take a while. A lot of hairdressers turn their nose up at the over the counter Infusium leave-in conditioner but I am a hairdresser (don't practice but still have my license) and I think it helps hair when you use it. No, it doesn't sink into the hair but it does do a great topical daily basis coverage. You will need something topical until your healthy hair grows out. Good luck.

I forgot to add, I don't recommend protein treatments because from my experience, too much protein will cause your hair to stretch and not be healthy either. A few protein packs are good on delicate dry easily breakable hair but just don't do too many. I've taken sample hair that had too many protein applications with the use of shampoos, packs, etc. and literally stretched, stretched and stretched it before it bounced back or broke naturally like hair should when stretched too much and it didn't look good afterwards so be very spare with any protein treatments and don't do one every day or use protein shampoos.

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Taraist1365713324.9874 PostsRegistered 3/19/2013DFW - Texas

I have the infusium and use it on occassion as well. Do I use it straight out of the bottle or do I mix it half and half with water? (I read you can do either but I have been using straight out of the bottle on wet hair).

What else do you recommend to use? I am currently using the One N Only argan Oil spray treatment from Sallys (love this stuff). I had used Garnier's Nurtion Oil (had 3 oils in 1) but that seems to dry my hair out more so I stopped using that.

Adding from your add on: My hair will stretch for a bit then snap but never go back to its orignal state if I barely put a strand between my nails it curls like a spiral perm with hardly any touch at all. When wet, its like noodles - falls out in my hands when I wash or gently rub the conditioner on its super fragile. When I dry my hair it starts to feel sticky and gummy and not all areas get dry. I will still have patches of wet hair which then I go back and dry cause I flat iron and I dont want to dry the ends of those wet spots.

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~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

Hoovermom1365713789.5873047 PostsRegistered 7/12/2007

I am not a hair stylist either but I think I would go ahead and bite the bullet and cut it short. Knowing me, I would be so anxious about how it looked each day, if it was growing again, was it getting stronger, what else could I do that I would drive myself crazy. With a fresh, new haircut it would give you another area to play around with like how am I going to style it today and let it start growing again. I think after a good cut you would have healthy, shiny hair again just not as much. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

baby 21365713999.711640 PostsRegistered 9/14/2011

I agree with those who say nothing will repair hair that has been severely damaged. I've damaged my hair several times in my 63 years and the damage would continually break off. However, the good thing about hair is it grows back. Try not to use heat on it and try some oil treatments. The new hair will grow in good at about 1/2 inch per month. You will get back your long beautiful hair, it'll just take some time. When we damage our hair our choices are - do we want to cut a lot off now and have a short do or cut a lttle at a time as it grows. Since you've already cut a lot off, you may not have to cut any more. If it breaks when you comb it, you'll know you have to cut more off. If it doesn't break, then you don't have to cut more right now (and maybe not at all). Good Luck.

I look back at the times I damaged my hair as learning experiences. My hair is long and beautiful again (and yours will be too). I've learned to use as little heat as possible and keep my color close to my natural hair color. I actually haven't used any heat on my hair since November 2012 (no blow dryer and no heat tools). I've also learned to live with my naturally curly hair. Be careful because heat tools may cause your damaged hair to break off.

Also, like itslikeher­dingcats said, try not to use protein on it because it will add to the damage.

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Taraist1365714392.78374 PostsRegistered 3/19/2013DFW - Texas

i want to get back to the days where I can air dry again. Right now I have to blow dry & flat iron to get my hair back to normal state instead of poddle hair. If I air dry, it takes HOURS to dry and I am not joking. I went to bed with my hair wet towel damp with 3 fans on high and woke up to wet hair STILL. I was cold lol but not dry.

Hoovermom - that is me exactly right now, my co-worker is sick and tired of hearing me talk about my hair lol. I am OBSESSED right now. So I have to agree with you on that lol.

~*She thought she could....So she did.*~

Harpa1365714704.9438271 PostsRegistered 6/28/2007

I'm not a hairdresser, but I wouldn't go the keratin treatments anymore, either. It seems that too much of a good thing is not a good thing, after all.

Think about olive oil or coconut oil for hair mending. Try an oil treatment before you cut your hair to see if and how it helps.

If you're doing olive, warm up 1/2 cup or so, and then just saturate your scalp and twist on your hair ends. Make sure you apply on dry hair. Leave on overnight it you can, and then shampoo out in the a.m.

Coconut oil -- take a glob and melt it in your palms and apply to roots and twist in your hair ends. Take some time to work the oil over your hair. Leave on overnight and shampoo out in the a.m.

Other especially good hair oils are avacado and argan.

Olive is known to restore hair loss, so I would start with that one. Maybe do these oil treatments every other night. Don't wash your hair every day; I think it's better if you give your hair a rest.

After you shampoo out, work a few drops in on dry hair (on your brittle ends) and keep it in throughout the day.


eta: I know you mentioned about the Garnier 3 oils in one product. But I highly doubt it was just oil in there. Garnier (IMO) is one of the worst hair products I ever used!

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dosey1365714907.674119 PostsRegistered 10/16/2010

One time, I decided on a whim to cut my long hair very short (like Chynna Phillip's when she had super short hair). I absolutely loved it and received many compliments. It was so easy to take care of. If I were you, I would rather have short healthy hair than long damaged hair. Also, when I decided to grow it out, it was not difficult to do. The pictures GoodStuff posted are great. I especially love the bottom right hairstyle.

Whatever you decide, I hope you are happy!

sundrops1365715589.673827 PostsRegistered 3/11/2012
Taraist, I agree!! Go with a new sassy short hair cut. Perfect for spring!! You'll look fabulous.

itslikeher­dingcats1365718870.114039 PostsRegistered 9/20/2010

Taraist, boy it sounds like its pretty well damaged with the sticky and gummy comment. Yes, to answer your question, you can use Infusium without diluting, I do every day and I bleach my hair out to white and cover with an ash blonde so I do two processes. I found a product from Avon I love to counteract any frizz and its an orange bottle Advanced Tequniques Frizz Conteol Lotus shield but with your long hair, it will need a lot.

I recommend what Harpa said about the olive oil or coconut oil. You can buy organic coconut oil at most stores now, its very popular. Do exactly like Harpa said with the warm OO and the coconut oil too. You can also wrap saran wrap or a plastic bag on your head to hold heat in if you want to do these during the day.

When you wash it off, you can also add a couple of tablespoons of white or organic vinegar to the rinse, it helps seal the hair shaft and give you shine and helps remove some of the excess oil. Lemon will also do this.

If you think the the stuff you are using from Sallys is making your hair feel good, keep using it but dump the Garnier if it makes you dry. I'd substitute the olive oil or coconut for the Garnier. I'm going to be frankly honest here, your hair is damaged badly and its just going to be you using these remedies that help until new hair grows in and replaces the damaged, or in other words, topical applications of whatever works until new hair comes in. Many say leave heat appliances off but you said you need the flat iron so you don't have poodle hair. I completely understand that need. I had to do that years ago when I had a disasterous perm that would look lovely on my AA friends but was awful on me. The only way not to have poodle was the curling iron (no flat irons in those days) so do what you need to do to keep the poodle at bay!{#emotions_dlg.scared} I can only say all it may do is break off or split but as long as its not, have at it. {#emotions_dlg.devil2}

Now if you could afford it, hair extensions may help. If you have the funds, it might be worth it to go to an expert hair extension person to see if that option will help but my girlfriend does this and it cost her thousands for her long hair but it looks beautiful so maybe thats a thought.

dsky1365720145.3331102 PostsRegistered 1/3/2009

Dark hair gals should never ever go platinum, even if you finally get the color you desire, the upkeep is way too damaging as the roots have to be touched up every 3 to four weeks otherwise you have gold banding. I had platinum hair for four years so I know the damage. I have hair obsessions also so I can relate to you going crazy on your hair. Sometimes when I am stressed, (practically every day), I take it out on my hair, but I am pretty good now and don't ruin it like I used to.

First take a deep breath and know that alot of people do this to their hair, then take a step back and figure out what you want as a hair goal. Maybe dye it to your color again and grow it out, then add some blonde, or caramal panels to lighten around your face. Make sure you do not dye it dark yourself, you will turn it green, trust me. No more keratin either, it seems you have done enough of that, (too much keratin can snap hair off) I would suggest getting coconut oil and taking a quarter size amount and smoothing it into each section and sleeping with it. I do this every night. I buy a brand called Spectrum, but you can even use the one you cook with.

Don't be mad at yourself, embrace the changing styles you will go through to get it healthy again.

LBandS1365721080.971625 PostsRegistered 5/19/2012Pacific Northwest

This is kind of an off the wall idea, but have you considered a wig until the damage goes away? You could get a short cut and cover it up until it is the right length and new hair has grown in. Summer is approaching so you could also wear a hat and get 2 benefits (If brim is opaque and over 4 inches) sun protection for your face and neck and cover your hair.

Also please consider another color or get a really nice blond wig for the times you need blond hair. I understand how awful bad hair and the wrong hair color can be. I have thyroid disease that destroyed the red pigment in my life long red hair life and red hair is part of a redhead's sense of self. Also it alerts people to possible temper issues. :-)

My endocrinologist's suggestion for my hair was to find a nice shorter cut and to do single process hair color so I look right in my mind and coloring also increases the size of the hair and makes it appear thicker.

very fair, red hair, green eyes,
there is no order of difficulties in miracles

moonstone ­dunes1365721221.522584 PostsRegistered 11/6/2011

Tara, how often you wash or cleanse your hair? If it is daily you may need to cut back, and by doing so will cut back on the heat styling.

I've gone through quite a few highlight/bleach nightmares. The best thing for me was stop using regular shampoo and use a conditioner to wash. The sulfates in shampoo will add to drying out your hair, or use a sulfate-free shampoo. (You could try WEN but I can't recommend which one, the WEN board peeps would know)

When my hair was really fried I used a hair mask 2-3 x per week, when I did wash. I heated olive oil & mayo, applied and let it sit for 30-60 minutes)

Good luck, patience is the key, it takes time, but you will have your nice hair back. Cutting your hair is always a dilemma, for me I decided to ride it out, at the time I had a reverse bob that grew in and I looked very much like the "Dutch Boy" Paint kid for while.

Leave ins are a blessing, Infusium is OK, I used that one time when I had a bleach/re-bleach disaster. You are smart to go with "It's a 10" - it works well - it adds weight to you hair which will keep it sleek and frizz-free.

Good luck! You will get there!

"Sursum Corda"

aprilskies1365721682.0035384 PostsRegistered 7/26/2005

I am definitely not an expert but along with the advice you have already gotten, I would also add deep conditioning with argon oil and/or avocado oil. The avocado oil is at least a fatty oil so hopefully that will help with moisture. But, any oil would be good.

I would at least start with a hairdresser, if you havent already.

Good luck, I know that is frustrating.

TheKateMei­ster1365725121.6472265 PostsRegistered 4/25/2012The Land of Pleasant Living
Well, my hair was certainly not as damaged as yours now is, but in the past few months, my hair had really been dry and brittle, which was very unusual for me. Mine was caused by excessive heat styling. Notice I said HAD BEEN and WAS because I have found my salvation, and I bet it would at least help you, even if it wouldn't fix all the damage: Carol's Daughter Monoi shampoo, conditioner, mask, and oil. I'm telling you, go buy the whole Monoi line - right now! It brought my dry hair back to softness, shine, and strength! My hair has almost completely stopped breaking and shedding and I'm just so happy with the line! It will at least help you at home before and after younger some professional help. Good luck!

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours." ~ Wayne Dyer

30-ish; thick, straight hair; combo/oily skin.

NewNail1365725286.812165 PostsRegistered 10/31/2011Los Angeles, CA
Have you considered using WEN to get your new growth back into a healthy state? You could call Chaz' salon and they would be able to direct you on which products to use. I remember him saying on-air that he has become the hair fix-it go-to guy in Hollywood. That is what I would recommend you do.

PBJ1365725859.7976822 PostsRegistered 7/10/2007

OP, it looks a bit fried. Mine is fried from a product I didn't realize caused protein overload on my hair. Stop all chemicals-color, keratin, if you're able. Two things I've come to realize-1. No product is going to reverse this damage. Some products may help, but it's impossible to reverse (my hair, not necessarily yours). 2. I'm going to have to grow out a new head of hair. Your situation may be better than mine, but that's the realization I've had to come to. Can't say I've fully accepted it, but it is what it is. I have no choice but to start over. Good luck.

Poor but Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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