Bad haircut plus dry and damaged hair. What should I do?
July 7, 2008 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Bad haircut plus dry and damaged hair. What should I do?

So i have armpit length, wavy, frizzy, coarse hair and a lot of it. I have been growing out my hair for the past year because of an awful haircut. Parted in the middle, the two sides do not pair up still. I want to keep it long so I am letting the one side catch up. I have only cut the ends every couple of months. I have colored my hair once this year. I always blowdry my hair or use a straightening iron. I like keeping my hair straight and sleek. Now it's dry, damaged and limp and it's screaming for help.

Does anyone know or recommend the following,

1) a treatment, conditioner anything to give my hair moisture and shininess, it can be a product or something I can make at home

2) a salon, hairstylist in New York City or Hoboken so I can get my hair cut and straightened. Max $125. That's my budget. I plan on cutting the ends only and possibly fixing the cut so it can look decent.

Plus any tips on how to keep it from getting worse or suggestions on fixing the haircut, should I style it now or let it grow til both sides are even?. Thank you.
posted by likeapen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well first, make sure that any time you use a hot tool, you are putting a product on before-hand. Anything that is advertised for straightening. Most product lines make something of this type. It acts as a barrier to keep the heat from damaging your hair. Otherwise a straightening iron will KILL your hair.

A couple years ago my hair was really dried out and my mom's stylist did a Kerastase treatment on my hair. It felt so much healthier and shinier afterwards! Looks like plenty of places in NYC do this.
posted by radioamy at 9:54 AM on July 7, 2008

Under "how to keep it from getting worse": you can't really keep doing the things you are doing to your hair and have it not be "dry, damaged and limp." Blowdrying and ironing your hair will cause it heat damage and roughen up the cuticle. You can add product to your hair (my mom, who does these things and also highlights her hair chemically, likes this stuff, but the only thing that will help in the long term is laying off the damage.

Cutting off some of the length will go towards cutting off all of the damaged hair, haircut by haircut. I can't recommend a place, but I would suggest working to find a hairdo that will complement the natural state of your hair so you don't have to damage it every day to like the way it looks.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:55 AM on July 7, 2008

should I style it now or let it grow til both sides are even?

If it's uneven now, it'll always be uneven- hair grows evenly on both sides. Cutting it now would solve that uneveness and help with the ends. That's really no saving hair once it's damaged at the bottom, best to cut it off and make a fresh start of things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

What's your hair like 'naturally'? That is, without blowdrying it straight? Curly, wavy, mostly straight already?
posted by sandraregina at 10:08 AM on July 7, 2008

My mum used to treat my hair with different natural ingredients when I was a child, including beer, eggs and olive oil. A quick Google search will give you more specific instructions on how to do this. My mum was also a big fan of henna, not because of the colour (my hair is too dark) but because it helped rejuvenate my locks.
posted by Menomena at 10:11 AM on July 7, 2008

If your hair is wavy and coarse, then you'll probably need some layering to control the pouf/friz factor. You're much more likely to be happy with your hair if you ask the stylist how to transition out of the current cut. If you only trim the ends, then you're moving the bad cut down your head inch by inch. You're keeping the exact same shape. My current stylist is working out a bad cut by the Worst Stylist In San Diego. To make the transition, he had to do some additional layering to soften the bad cut.

Honestly, the best thing that you can do is learn to love your natural hair texture. This is especially true if you want to wear your hair long. If you get into a constant cycle of washing and heat styling your hair is always going to look fried. Can you live with wearing your hair closer to your natural style a few times a week?
posted by 26.2 at 10:36 AM on July 7, 2008

Ever since I was 16 (30 now) I used to colour my hair and/or had hairstyles that required drying/straightening...Then I got very time poor and learned to find a good hair dresser. Now I have a good haircut every six weeks - appart from washing and conditioning that's pretty much the only thing I do to my hair!

The good hair cut means that I can let my hair dry naturally in the car on the way to work. I use a tiny bit of product to help give a bit of structure but that's it.

Every time I see somebody I haven't seen for a while I get comments about how nice my hair is and every time I see my hair dresser she comments on the excellent condition of my hair.

So my advice would be to find a really good hair dresser and to get a style that allows your hair to look good without the use of much colouring and heat - the rest will take care of itself. The hair dresser does not have to be expensive but it has to be somebody who knows what they are doing so talk to people you know and get a recommendation.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2008

Response by poster: it's wavy
posted by likeapen at 10:50 AM on July 7, 2008

hey, it sounds like we have similar hair. If you're like me, you've tried a lot of products that advertise as solutions to frizzy hair, that say they'll straighten or smooth it or whatever, only to be disappointed.

I have recently been using the following combination, which has surprisingly given me good results. It surprised me because they're mostly drugstore cheap(ish) brands. The pricier options I've tried over the years have been mostly ineffective.

1. first of all, don't wash your hair every day.

Since I run and/or cycle daily, I certainly will shower and wet my hair, but I don't use shampoo on it more than maybe 2 times per week.

2. when I do shampoo my hair, I use this stuff by pantene that's marketed for "women of color" - I'm not, but it works really great on my hair anyway: pantene relaxed & natural

3. I started using another pantene product recently that is the one that really surprised me, as it kind of does what it advertises: pantene smoothing conditioner

4. then, I use the anti-humidity gels / creams by garnier. they make a bunch of different kinds with and without "hold". they work pretty well - I also live in NYC and going outside in the summer can turn my hair into a huge frizz ball :)

5. i also spray anti-frizz/shine serum on my brush and/or comb before using it. i don't think the brand really matters.

hope this helps! good luck. it can be pretty annoying to have this type of hair, huh!?
posted by jacquilinala at 11:00 AM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

This stuff for serious treatment. And this for everytime you wash - can be used on damp or dry hair. Two seriously amazing products for dry/frizzy/coarse hair.

PS - The aqua oleum seems to be marketed as a salon treatment in the US. In Europe you can buy it (and it's much cheaper here too) and use at home.
posted by neblina_matinal at 11:23 AM on July 7, 2008

Ojon! This stuff is, as my sister would say, the truth!
The restorative treatment is priced so high it's silly but it works. I'm black with coarse, dry hair but when I use just a small amount of that conditioner, I just can't keep my hands out of my hair. And it smells fantastic.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2008

Mane and Tail. I am originally from TX and this stuff is great for damaged hair. I have fired my hair several times, and this is the only stuff that will help. I would also suggest buying shampoo for colored hair, dry/damaged. Loreal has some that are really good. Best of luck.
posted by JAD'E at 1:15 PM on July 7, 2008

Hi, I have hair like you, but no one knows it:

1. Quit blowdrying your hair! If you want to you can do it after putting product in, but really, don't. Instead, put in a straightening product and let it dry. I've been steadily in love with Sunsilk's Striaghten Up balm, which is shockingly effective for how cheap it is. However, I recently went to replace some and CVS was out, so I tried Sunsilk's Waves of Envy, and I might love it even more for this. Anyway. Let your hair air dry, as much as you can. If you must, blowdry it at the last minute, just to finish up the drying.

2. The straightener you use makes a HUGE difference. If you are using a con-air straightener you are bound to dry out your hair. I recomend the Chi, which is pretty much absolutely amazing in every way. At a salon it costs a bundle, but you can get it for less at and I promise, it's the same product. Many salons, also, will replace broken ones (which they tend to become, after several years) free of charge, if you keep the receipt and box.

3. Seconding Ojon, but on the cheaper scale there is a product called Cholesterol which works quite nicely as an emergency mask. I also really, really love Redkin products, and they have several lines which could benifit you, from strengthening protein treatments to super hydrating conditioning treatments. Finally, I cannot recommend Aussie 3 Minute Miracle strongly enough. For a long time it was the only conditioner I would use, when I was straightening my hair often.

N-thing the Dont Wash Your Hair Every Day thing. Shower Caps are not just for old ladies.

I often find that after I dye my hair (I never bleach it, I usually dye it darker), my hair feels healthier.

Good Luck!
posted by shadowfelldown at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2008

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