URGENT: Health/damage hair crisis

Hi everyone! So, I have 3C/4A hair and went natural with a big chop in 2010. I became really good at taking care of my hair & it grew thick & long, even after a few bleach & color jobs for fashion shows. I used general drugstore products to wash & condition, then Shea Moisture products mostly. THEN:
2013: my hair was growing out of a style & I didn't know what to do with it, so I texturized it. Regret #1. I then straightened it a lot over the next year, resulting in more damage, until I couldn't stand the jumbled textures anymore &

2014: Big chop again. Everything was fine until
2015: In CA, suddenly my hair wasn't responding to product as before and would often 'harden' and stick to itself as soon as water hit it. I thought hard water was the culprit, and sought out products with chemicals to combat mineral build-up. Helped a little, but
THE PROBLEM CONTINUED. I moved across the country and my hair still behaved the same way. Which led to more trials, including henna and texturizing my hair again, which I had promised myself I wouldn't do.

2015-2016: Henna and indigo, texturize, bleach to fix too-dark hair from indigo, using a 'questionable' henna product (possibly not pure)

And on top of this, I now know that I have a thyroid condition, which may have started my hair's demise. My hair NEVER acted this way before 2015. It was easy to detangle, rarely required trims; but now it resists detangling, becomes matted easily, knots frequently even though I've been trimming it often and it literally takes an hour or more just to detangle and get product through.

The bad thing is, with thyroid issues comes hair loss, so now more than ever I need to detangle my hair daily to keep shed hair from causing more chaos in my curls. But painful, hour-and-longer detangling sessions are not reasonable, I can't do that daily.

If you read to this point, thank you. I hope this helps someone. I now am much more educated about natural hair care, because of my health issues, and am trying to transition to an all-natural regimen, thus eliminating the possibility of silicones & other synthetic substances clogging my pores or otherwise negatively affecting my hair & health.

But what should I do? I am close to chopping my hair off a THIRD TIME, but if there's any way possible I can keep my length I'd like to, because long curly hair is much simpler to style, for me. The length looks okay, and feels soft somewhat, but is noticeably more brittle and 'hard' than my new growth, which is moist and soft. I just trimmed it a few days ago, and already the ends are tangling and knotting irrevocably, not like years ago when I could generally pull apart any tangle. I'm considering:

Big Chop: Chopping it all off, focusing on natural hair care and keeping sebum distributed evenly from now on for maximum moisture & protection.

Hanging on & 'transitioning' again: Texturize/Relax length except new growth, so at least the damaged ends won't tangle as easily, and enjoy having long hair I can put in a braid or bun. This WOULD involve texturizing hair twice, but I barely left it on the first time. I figure if it doesn't go well, it's okay because I was going to chop it off anyway. But, it's also damaging already damaged hair. I just wonder if straightening it will at least keep the knots at bay.

If you're new to being natural, I don't want to scare you. My natural hair is beautiful & I've worn short afros twice. I've just made some bad decisions, coupled with health issues affecting my hair and not knowing what to do. Even if I chop my hair, what if my natural hair starts 'rebelling' against water and product again? I never found a solution to that other than henna, which seemed to help, but red doesn't suit my skin tone. Anyway, any advice would be SO, SO SO GREATLY APPRECIATED. Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments

  • MorrisonFan91MorrisonFan91 Posts: 609Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Hi everyone! So, I have 3C/4A hair and went natural with a big chop in 2010. I became really good at taking care of my hair & it grew thick & long, even after a few bleach & color jobs for fashion shows. I used general drugstore products to wash & condition, then Shea Moisture products mostly. THEN:
    2013: my hair was growing out of a style & I didn't know what to do with it, so I texturized it. Regret #1. I then straightened it a lot over the next year, resulting in more damage, until I couldn't stand the jumbled textures anymore &

    2014: Big chop again. Everything was fine until
    2015: In CA, suddenly my hair wasn't responding to product as before and would often 'harden' and stick to itself as soon as water hit it. I thought hard water was the culprit, and sought out products with chemicals to combat mineral build-up. Helped a little, but
    THE PROBLEM CONTINUED. I moved across the country and my hair still behaved the same way. Which led to more trials, including henna and texturizing my hair again, which I had promised myself I wouldn't do.

    2015-2016: Henna and indigo, texturize, bleach to fix too-dark hair from indigo, using a 'questionable' henna product (possibly not pure)

    And on top of this, I now know that I have a thyroid condition, which may have started my hair's demise. My hair NEVER acted this way before 2015. It was easy to detangle, rarely required trims; but now it resists detangling, becomes matted easily, knots frequently even though I've been trimming it often and it literally takes an hour or more just to detangle and get product through.

    The bad thing is, with thyroid issues comes hair loss, so now more than ever I need to detangle my hair daily to keep shed hair from causing more chaos in my curls. But painful, hour-and-longer detangling sessions are not reasonable, I can't do that daily.

    If you read to this point, thank you. I hope this helps someone. I now am much more educated about natural hair care, because of my health issues, and am trying to transition to an all-natural regimen, thus eliminating the possibility of silicones & other synthetic substances clogging my pores or otherwise negatively affecting my hair & health.

    But what should I do? I am close to chopping my hair off a THIRD TIME, but if there's any way possible I can keep my length I'd like to, because long curly hair is much simpler to style, for me. The length looks okay, and feels soft somewhat, but is noticeably more brittle and 'hard' than my new growth, which is moist and soft. I just trimmed it a few days ago, and already the ends are tangling and knotting irrevocably, not like years ago when I could generally pull apart any tangle. I'm considering:

    Big Chop: Chopping it all off, focusing on natural hair care and keeping sebum distributed evenly from now on for maximum moisture & protection.

    Hanging on & 'transitioning' again: Texturize/Relax length except new growth, so at least the damaged ends won't tangle as easily, and enjoy having long hair I can put in a braid or bun. This WOULD involve texturizing hair twice, but I barely left it on the first time. I figure if it doesn't go well, it's okay because I was going to chop it off anyway. But, it's also damaging already damaged hair. I just wonder if straightening it will at least keep the knots at bay.

    If you're new to being natural, I don't want to scare you. My natural hair is beautiful & I've worn short afros twice. I've just made some bad decisions, coupled with health issues affecting my hair and not knowing what to do. Even if I chop my hair, what if my natural hair starts 'rebelling' against water and product again? I never found a solution to that other than henna, which seemed to help, but red doesn't suit my skin tone. Anyway, any advice would be SO, SO SO GREATLY APPRECIATED. Happy Thanksgiving!

    hi, welcome!!

    a few possible ideas to help- If know have very hard water in area, some form of good shower filter/softener device would likely allow cowash/moisture type products to work better?

    see if after few months, if the thyroid meds have started to help?


    perhaps gently pineappling length with silk wrap/scrunchy thing would reduce drag and friction/knots if occur during sleep?

    --I have more a blend of type 2 curls, but as I am in awkward stage of having to get back to goal length after forcibly shorn/completely clipped, would see if a few routine tweaks helps first?
  • curlyamarylliscurlyamaryllis Posts: 338Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You probably will have to BC again. The thyroid meds will fix your new growth, but they won't fix what's already on your head. Sorry.
    CG since May 1, 2016
    3a, fine, thin, normal porosity, no dye, greying naturally
    Devacurl Weightless Waves Low Poo & Conditioner, B'Leave-in and Ultra Defining Gel
    Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion in low humidity
    Ouidad Advanced Heat & Humidity Gel mixed with UDG for high humidity
    at home gelatin PT
    Hask Argan Oil Deep Conditioner
  • TulleandFroTulleandFro Posts: 5Registered Users
    Hair post


    Thank you both for your advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I did BC (big chop for any new readers). I bought a texturizer, then went home & analyzed all the pros and cons again, and decided to just chop off as much of the damaged hair as possible. What is interesting, and sad, is that although my new growth feels much better and softer, it actually is still not as thick and healthy as my hair was even 1.5 years ago.


    I thought cutting it would mean easier detangling and less knotting, but I now see little single strand knots throughout my short hair, where before I thought they were mainly at the ends of my hair that I cut off. Now there's no way I'll cut every knot or else I'll have no hair. Maybe they happened just within a few days. Either way, it is still just as hard to detangle my hair, it is thin and starts sticking to itself/twisting/matting easily. Definitely a different head of hair than what I was used to.


    Well, I am rocking a short afro again! Hoping to go to my usual stylist, Anson Howard of Blue Iris Salon in Raleigh, and get him to shape it up. He always cuts my hair well. I am just going to baby my hair and pray God makes it grow in healthier and grow long quickly! I'm also trying to use only natural ingredients on my hair. I read that the synthetic oils (silicones) can build up in hair follicles and make hair grown in thin as well.


    Thank you again for the support!

  • TulleandFroTulleandFro Posts: 5Registered Users
    Hair post


    Thank you both for your advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I did BC (big chop for any new readers). I bought a texturizer, then went home & analyzed all the pros and cons again, and decided to just chop off as much of the damaged hair as possible. What is interesting, and sad, is that although my new growth feels much better and softer, it actually is still not as thick and healthy as my hair was even 1.5 years ago.


    I thought cutting it would mean easier detangling and less knotting, but I now see little single strand knots throughout my short hair, where before I thought they were mainly at the ends of my hair that I cut off. Now there's no way I'll cut every knot or else I'll have no hair. Maybe they happened just within a few days. Either way, it is still just as hard to detangle my hair, it is thin and starts sticking to itself/twisting/matting easily. Definitely a different head of hair than what I was used to.


    Well, I am rocking a short afro again! Hoping to go to my usual stylist, Anson Howard of Blue Iris Salon in Raleigh, and get him to shape it up. He always cuts my hair well. I am just going to baby my hair and pray God makes it grow in healthier and grow long quickly! I'm also trying to use only natural ingredients on my hair. I read that the synthetic oils (silicones) can build up in hair follicles and make hair grown in thin as well.


    Thank you again for the support!

  • curlyamarylliscurlyamaryllis Posts: 338Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You can still hold onto a little hope. It does take time for your thyroid to get completely sorted out and for your body to put energy back into your hair. Hair is not important to your body, so it's one of the first things to get cut from production and one of the last to come back. So it could just be that your body needs a little more time.

    I was having trouble with diet and absorption and my hair got really scary thin (everybody swore it didn't look bad, but you know people lie to be nice) and it was probably 9 months to a year before my hair really came back like it was. It's more fragile now, though, but I'm 40, so that might be a normal age thing.
    CG since May 1, 2016
    3a, fine, thin, normal porosity, no dye, greying naturally
    Devacurl Weightless Waves Low Poo & Conditioner, B'Leave-in and Ultra Defining Gel
    Curl Junkie Spiral Lotion in low humidity
    Ouidad Advanced Heat & Humidity Gel mixed with UDG for high humidity
    at home gelatin PT
    Hask Argan Oil Deep Conditioner

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