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Hair length and thickness (Read 11549 times)
KatharineAnn
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Hair length and thickness
Mar 20th, 2004 at 10:22pm
 
My situation is that I always hated my hair for being really poofy and big when it was shorter.  Now my hair's about 2 feet long and it seems thinner than it did when it was short.  I'm paranoid about hair loss so much that I've already seen two doctors about it - as recently as 6 months ago.  I'm also only 17 years old, so thinning hair doesn't make sense to me!   My doctors did blood tests on me and told me that I was completely healthy and wasn't deficient in any nutrients.  However, I'm convinced that my hair at least SEEMS thinner.  Could this be a result of the length of my hair?  I never took care of it until recently, I got my first trim in 2 years last month.  Could I be getting a lot of breakage, making it thinner at the ends?  If I continued to trim it regularly would it start to look thicker again?  Thanks for any input.
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bikerbraid
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #1 - Mar 20th, 2004 at 10:44pm
 
If you have a lot of split ends, your hair will seem thinner since you don't have as many hair strands that reach to the ends.  

One gauge for hair thickness is to measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

Do you feel you are shedding a lot?  Do you lose a lot of hair when you comb or brush your hair?  If so and your doctor feels you are healthy (did they check your thyroid?), you might consider adding MSM, Biotin, and Silica supplements.  I have found these have minimized shedding significantly.

Trimming small (1/4") amounts at a time, will help to even up the length without sacrificing the length.  Split ends should always be trimmed.
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bikerbraid
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KatharineAnn
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #2 - Mar 20th, 2004 at 11:06pm
 
Well I measured my ponytail circumference and I got roughly 4 inches around.  My hair is also wavy and very frizzy (from damage, unfortunately), so it feels thick around the ponytail, but it feels thinner when it's wet.  Is the measurement supposed to be done when wet?

I feel like I'm shedding a lot, but I honestly don't know how much is "too much".  I've been concerned about my hair for almost 2 years now, and I still haven't figured out what's "normal".  I'd guess I lose at least 50 hairs a day due to brushing alone.

Yes, the dermatologist checked for thyroid problems and said that everything looked fine.  She suggested that I go on some supplement if I wanted to improve the condition of my hair, but I honestly forgot what she suggested...

I'm kind of embarassed to admit it, but I really don't know how to find a split end.  I really can't find the splits, so naturally I have trouble trying to trim off split ends.  Because my hair's curls are all in the bottom half of my hair, the ends are all wild and crazy and I can't really even see what's goin' on. =/  Is there a certain way to go about trimming split ends?
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bikerbraid
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #3 - Mar 20th, 2004 at 11:37pm
 
It doesn't sound like your hair is very thin, at least not based on your ponytail.  

To find split ends, look at the ends of your hair.  If you see the hair make a "Y", it is split.  If you look at the shaft of the hair for as much of the length as you can see, look for a white "bump" on the shaft.  This would be a spot where the hair has partially broken and will soon break off.

To trim for splits, use a very sharp scissors.  Take a section of hair and gently  twist it into a rope.  Ends will stick out of the rope.  Look at these ends and trim any that have splits.  This type of trimming is frequently called "dusting".  When you are done, you might have a dusting of hair on the table/floor.  

To minimize the frizzies, you might want to try some jojoba oil on the hair from ears down.  A very small amount of oil is used ( 1 - 3 drops should be enough).  I usually put a drop of oil in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together, then slide my hands down my hair, spending more time/oil on the ends.  I repeat this until I have oiled all the sections of my hair.  A good time to oil your hair is before you go to bed.  Oil the hair, then braid or bun your hair.  By morning your hair will have absorbed the oil and should look shinier (but not oily).  

If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest you read through the Ultimate Guide to Growing Long Hair listed under the site features at this site.

Can you tell us more about your hair care routine?  What products do you use?  Do you use any heated appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, straightener, etc)?
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bikerbraid
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KatharineAnn
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #4 - Mar 21st, 2004 at 6:05am
 
Yeah, I've read the guide to growing long hair.  The length of my hair right now is pretty much the length I'd like to keep it, I'm just interested in making it appear to be in good condition, because I have neglected to put any effort in in the past.

Well I used to have a horrible haircare routine:  I'd wash, blow dry, then flat iron every day.  For the past year I haven't used any heat appliances on my hair and have been trying to find haircare products to help me repair the damage I did.  Basically, now I shampoo and condition and put some frizz ease in my hair.  I also tried hot oil treatment, which made my hair look great right after using it, but it doesn't help at all in the long run.  I do brush my hair when it's wet because I can't brush it when it's dry or else my curls break.  I know that's supposedly 'bad' for it, but my hair looks horrible if I don't brush it before it dries.

As for split ends, I will try to trim splits, how often should look for them and trim them?
EDIT: I tried doing that to look for splits, but there are splits halfway up my entire length of hair!  How am I supposed to deal with that?  No matter what happens, I'm not chopping my hair off!
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bikerbraid
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #5 - Mar 21st, 2004 at 7:30pm
 
Poor KatharineAnn  Undecided

The splits you are finding halfway up... you should still trim them off just above the split.  When you don't, the split can catch on other hair and cause tangles.  It might take a while to find them all, but be patient and trim them as often as you can.  I will look for splits when talking on the phone, watching TV, whatever.  Just be sure to have sharp scissors and good light - you don't want to cut the wrong hair!

Since you like your current length, you could trim the total length by the amount of growth you have.  The average hair growth is 1/2" per month.  You might want to try to measure your growth then plan on trimming that

Your hair is the most vulnerable when it is wet.  Brushes will pull your hair more than combs.  When wet hair is pulled or stretched, it can cause breakage.  Try this routine on the weekend and see how it works for you:  Wash and condition your hair.  Do not pile your hair on top of your head, instead, massage the shampoo and conditioner down the length of your hair.  When rinsing the conditioner out, gently run a wide toothed comb or hair pick through your hair to remove tangles.  Squeeze the excess water out of your hair.  If you use a leave in conditioner, put it on the length of your hair.  Wrap your hair in a towel and leave it in the towel for 15 - 30 minutes. Take the towel down and either finger comb or use the wide toothed comb again to remove any tangles.  If you must use the hair dryer, try to use it on the low setting and don't dry your hair bone dry with the dryer. 

This routine will put less stress on the hair which will help minimize damage which is what can make your hair feel frizzy or unmanageable.  It might take a while for your hair to show the improvements if it currently has a lot of damage.  You might look for a deep moisturinzing treatment for your hair to help repair some of the damage you already have.  Jojoba oil at night can also help restore lost moisture due to previous damage.

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bikerbraid
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KatharineAnn
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #6 - Mar 22nd, 2004 at 3:56am
 
Okay thanks for the advice, I'll try that.

As for the trimming part, is this something you can learn to do yourself, or is it always better to go to a salon?  All the salons I've been to cost a lot of money, just for a little trim, and I'm not sure I have a lot of money to go monthly.  I also don't trust cheap places like Best Cuts because they've always taken at least 3 inches off...
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bikerbraid
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #7 - Mar 22nd, 2004 at 4:30am
 
Once your hair is long enough to pull around to the front easily, you can trim your own hair.  I know what you mean about salons.......I've had my share of bad experiences.  My husband is the only person who trims my hair.  One thing we used to do to make sure he trimmed it straight, was for me to wear a shirt with horizontal stripes.  He could use the stripes as a guideline for making sure it was even.  I usually have him spray my hair just enough to make it damp and therefore a bit easier to keep the hair straighter for cutting.  I've heard of some gals going to a barber shop instead of a salon.  Barbers tend to charge less and concentrate more on doing just the basic cut that you ask for.  Talking with the person first to make sure they understand exactly what you want and how important it is for you to keep the length on your hair, should improve your odds in getting just a trim.

I hope this helps a bit.
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Christine
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #8 - Mar 22nd, 2004 at 5:19pm
 
Hi KatharineAnn,

I get my hair trimmed about once every three months at what is essentially a barbershop. (It's called "Everybody's Hair," but nobody goes in there expecting coloring, perms, etc. - pretty much just straight haircuts and trims.)

So, a barbershop or something like it might be a good choice for you.

Also: I got really lucky and managed to show up at a barbershop that had a hair stylist who had really long, beautiful hair! Thus, she is very sympathetic to not wanting to cut off much, etc. So, if you have some time, it might be worth driving around to the barbershops in your town and seeing if any of them have a stylist who already has long hair.

I wouldn't spend too much brain damage on it: just pick the day/time you're most likely to get your hair trimmed and make your field trip then.

Good luck!
Christine
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UP_Lisa
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #9 - Nov 9th, 2004 at 11:43am
 
It's so depressing to read about the ponytail diameter thing.  Even with my bangs  in there I would never even have 1 inch.

Is there anyone out there with hair as thin as mine?

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maggie
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #10 - Nov 9th, 2004 at 2:17pm
 
Yes Lisa, I too have very thin hair, I'm lucky if I can come up with an inch around as well.  I envy these women with all this thick lush hair, my very best friend has a head of hair like that.  When she pulls up a third of her hair, her pony tail is thicker than all of my hair put together, it is depressing! Embarrassed  When I do a bun, it comes out to the size of about a measly half dollar!  That is why I keep my hair in long layers, it gives me more body and the appearance of having thicker hair.  Another little trick I have is using one of those hair ties that have the synthetic hair on them, some are short and punky, and there are some that are a little longer, like a short funky pony tail.  So some days I'll just pull my hair up in a bun and slap one of them on, I have to pin it in place to keep it from sliding out, but it is quick and easy, and looks really cool.  So that's a thought for you, if you can find one to match your haircolor, there multi-tonal so it's easier to match.  You're not alone in the struggle for thicker hair, and all the wonderful hair-do's that go along with it!
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UP_Lisa
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #11 - Nov 9th, 2004 at 2:38pm
 
Thanks for the reply and the suggestions.  I suppose I've seen those things.  I'll have to look around.

The lady I work with has several times the hair I have, but she's always complaining about it.  Seems people never appreicate what they've always had.
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maggie
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #12 - Nov 9th, 2004 at 3:12pm
 
Here's a link so you can see what they look like, you can get them in any drugstore like CVS or Rite Aid, I love mine! Smiley
http://www.scunci.com/product_detail.aspx?gid=5&pid=9999999999
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UP_Lisa
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #13 - Nov 10th, 2004 at 11:06am
 

Thanks.  I will look. Roll Eyes
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maggie
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #14 - Nov 10th, 2004 at 1:24pm
 
You are very welcome! Wink Did you get a pair of stix yet, any luck?  Keep me posted!  I did something a little different with my hair today (different for me, anyway!), although it is not involving hair stix.  I pulled just the crown section of my hair back, leaving the sides of my hair and bangs down, and tied it off with a pony tail holder.  I pulled the holder out a little bit and split the area above it in half, then I flipped the tail through the hole so it twisted the sides of the pulled back section.  I know it's not an original idea, but it looks pretty!  At first I had done a second pony flip beneath it, so it was all back, I just gathered the rest of my hair along with the first pony tail, and did the same thing on the bottom, kind of a french braid effect.  But I took that part out and just left half of it back.  So, that's my big discovery for the day!  Back to work... Tongue
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UP_Lisa
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Re: Hair length and thickness
Reply #15 - Nov 10th, 2004 at 1:48pm
 
I looked at the website.  I think I could get one at our Shopko store. 

Thanks for the neat idea on hair styling.

I don't have any sticks yet, but there are some neat ones on Ebay I'm watching.
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