Top half of hair is white/course, the bottom half soft/curly...advice?

MirrorpoolMirrorpool Registered Users Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
I have really been putting off posting, as there are so many “newbie, I don’t know what to do threads” that don’t get a lot of replies because people are probably sick of them. I promise that I have done the research before coming to you, but I am still confused as my problem is related to my gray hair which isn’t spoken about as much.

I stared getting white hairs in my hair part when I was about 15. I had quite a few by the time I was 25, but nothing that needed frequent dying. However in the last few years (I am 33) it has rapidly whitened to the point where I am probably at least 35-40% gray/white. A couple years back I started hendigo-ing my hair and my roots now show as a shock of white. Yes, I will be getting my thyroid checked as soon as I get health insurance (I have other warning signs too).

My problem: The white hair is the top half of my head, while underneath is my natural color. The white hair is a completely different texture than the rest of my hair (which is thin and fine). Top half is now a 2A (if that), is course, extremely dry/frizzy, breaks off and nothing works to soften. Underneath I have very soft 3A curls that I don’t have to do anything to. My white and brown hair pass the float test with low porosity, but the white feels rough with the slip test.

I will be going back to only cowashing again soon (been doing a tea tree oil shampoo for scalp psoriasis), and am aiming to use natural products (as in oils or homemade products) on my hair. I just don’t know how to treat my hair as there are two very separate different types of hair on my head. Nothing softens my white hair, and whatever I do try to the white greases up my nonwhite hair. Obviously I probably need to try and treat them separately, but I have no idea what to do with this white hair.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I never even wear my hair down anymore and nothing I have tried has worked. Thanks so much in advance.


  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,358 Curl Connoisseur
    i don't really know what is going on with your hair. thyroid test would be good for your hair and you!
    i also started graying early, 17. my dad and now my daughter are the same.

    i find the white hairs around my face need extra attention (my stylist tells me i should not speakly negatively of these sections of hair, LOL!). what i have learned to do is load up product on these sections. i apply product throughout my head, blot, scrunch, style, then look at it and can see if it needs more. i always add extra leave in there, and what has made the difference for me is sealing! i use mostly jane carter nourish & shine for sealing. occasionally i will use spiral solutions emollience butter. whatever you use, you get the idea.

    altho my hair analysis came back normal porosity, i've been told and i can see, that white hair loses moisture more quickly. and no, it's not the porosity as it still takes almost 4 hours to dry.

    working with it, acknowledging that it needs more, i have been very happy with my hair every day for a year now, high, mid, low, extremely low dew points......

    until you figure out why your hair is changing, genetics or health, you can treat the symptoms meanwhile. HTH

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Registered Users Posts: 3,750 Curl Neophyte

    The float and slip tests are junk science, consider the behaviour of your hair or have a microscope analysis from Goosefootprints on Etsy.

    If your hair is coarse and brittle from an undiagnosed and untreated health problem there is likely little you can do cosmetically. You really need to address the underlying health condition as a priority.

    I don't want to advise you waste money on branded hair products that may have little effect when the money could be better invested in your health. The best you can do for your upper layer is condition condition condition.

    Use a product rich in the major emollients (fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants) perhaps a little natural oil but no hydrolysed protein. You can use the same drugstore product for rinse out and leave in conditioner.

    If you have hard water and/ or have been using silicones clarify and chelate. Be aware that henna can make some people's hair feel dryer/ coarser, and can loosen the curl pattern.

    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • chupiechupie Registered Users Posts: 5,280 Curl Connoisseur
    I, too, wonder if a health problem is the reason for breakoff. Remember the hair you see is reflective structurally of what was going on back at that time period. Dye will change your texture, filling the shaft with pigment so even if that hair is truly gray or white, the dye has changed it's texture. It sound like you have reason to believe there is a health issue so until you get that sorted out, you are going to be a little in the dark. But also, what we allow to go natural IS going to be a different texture.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation
  • MirrorpoolMirrorpool Registered Users Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
    Thanks for the replies! I first started using henna because the white hair had this type of awful texture, so it actually looked like it had been bleached thus frying the hair. It just looked unhealthy. The color makes it look a little better and doesn’t seem to have changed my hair. I use Alma with the Henna to try and save the curls I do have and never use anything acidic in my mixture. Also, I just do my roots, instead of my whole head. I could be ok with having wavy and curly hair like I do now, I just hope to be able to add softness to the dried out hairs. Oh, and we have extremely soft water, thankfully. Hard water is horrid on my hair.

    So I should stay away from protein on it? It seems that if I load up on something I think will moisturize or seal it, it seems like it just sits on top of the hair instead of being absorbed. I am having a hard time figuring out what will absorb and what won’t. I will definitely look into Goosefootprints on Etsy.

    I agree that getting some blood work is my first priority. For so long I had just assumed that I was just graying early. But as I look at causes for my fatigue, anxiety, flushing, palpitations (etc etc etc) that have been getting worse over the past problems with my hair seem to be related. Apparently thyroid problems can cause early graying. My younger sister called me, upset to find 3 gray hairs at 28. I had more than that in high school so it looks like genetics may not be the cause of my gray hair.

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