Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Damaged Hair with Frizz

Q: My hair problem is worsening. After 7 years with the same stylist, she moved out-of-state and that is when the problem began - 18 MONTHS ago. I will attempt to make a very long story shorter with just the facts. My hair is thick but very, very fine, naturally wavy with a bit of curl, is one inch above the shoulder and for 12 years has been toned (very light blond 8), then low-lighted with just a bit of highlighting; all of this is over gray and in some places white hair.
The hair is framed around my face with light layers throughout. Some months after trying new stylists, my hair started to frizz and to this day, seems to be worsening. My question is: how can I tell if this damage is the result of it having been texturized at some point or if it has been broken due to damage?
The first few inches from the top of my scalp seem to be (for the most part) healthy, but after that I can actually pull up and out on a strand of hair, and it will STAY in the position to which I pulled it. Today I noticed a strand of about one and one/half inches stand straight up!
I have sunk a fortune into recommended products, all to no avail. I hope so much that you can help me. Thank you.

A: It certainly sounds as though your hair has been badly damaged by long-term coloring services. The reason your hair seems to be in better condition at the scalp areas than the ends is simply because the hair at the scalp hasn't been exposed to as much as the ends have been exposed to.
You asked how you can tell if the problem is a result of being texturized or if it has been broken due to damage. The answer is simple: hair that has been cut to give a texture will have some design apparent in the texture. Frizz, dryness and a rough or spongy feel to the hair are signs of damage, and from what you describe it is a matter of over-processing in the sense of too-many color services without proper care to protect from damage.
My primary recommendation is to return to the basics. Use a very gentle shampoo (perhaps a baby shampoo) to cleanse your hair only when it needs to be shampooed. Use a conditioner EVERY DAY. Whether you use a rinse-through conditioner or a spray-on leave-in conditioner isn't as important, but you should be using something every day to condition your hair and help restore the moisture so obviously lacking in the hair.
I would like to suggest that you put a stop to further color services, but I know that you may not find that to be an acceptable option as you have been using the color partially to cover gray. If you feel you need to continue using color services, PLEASE keep them to a minimum and ask your stylist to look at options for using only deposit only color choices.
The damage that has been done to your hair didn't happen overnight, and unfortunately may take just as long to repair as it took to develop. The key is to go into critical mode and give your hair constant attention to its needs. Your only other real option is going to be cutting off the most damaged portions and beginning with a renewed regimen to prevent similar problems in the future.
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