Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Stringy Hair

Q: I have long, very thin hair. The length is about to the middle of my back. My problem is that it is SO STRINGY. It never looks brushed. It's been like this since I was a little girl. I will only keep it trimmed but not any shorter because of my religious beliefs. What can I do to keep my hair looking "brushed?" I use basic shampoo and conditioner and occasionally Matrix Volumizer. It never looks fresh, and I want to be able to wear my hair down with confidence!
A: It sounds like you may be experiencing one of two different problems: A) you may need to adjust your hair care routine to include a protein-rich shampoo and conditioner (such as Pantene Smooth and Sleek products) as well as a leave-in conditioner. These should help to keep the cuticle layer of your hair smooth and allow the hair to avoid any natural tendency to "clump" into strands if that is the problem.
B) I'm afraid, however, that you may be experiencing either the limit of your hair's natural growth cycle, or else you are experiencing breakage in your hair from styling stress. The key is to address whatever issues are causing the breakage, or to find a proper length for your hair to be that will allow you to have the look you want.
I can understand your religious restrictions about cutting your hair. Many women refuse to cut their hair for many reasons. However, if you can withstand a trimming of your hair that will remove 3-4 inches of length, you may find that this is sufficient to give you a less-stringy look by removing much of the variance of lengths and leaving the hair fuller to the ends.
If you feel sure that the problem is breakage, you can opt to go for a change in grooming habits. Avoid brushing the hair with a bristled brush, and use only a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles and snags. Keep a small bottle of detangler or leave-in conditioner with you and mist the hair when you need to comb it. This will keep the hair tangle-free and break-free.
This will take some time to see the results, but will be doable with smaller increments of trimming. The hazard to attempting this method, is that if the limitation is due to the growth cycle of the hair, you may not see reasonable results.
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