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need good leave-in for fine, damaged hair

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jezebel View Drop Down
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Joined: October 22 2008
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    Posted: October 22 2008 at 3:47am
Hey everyone, I could use some advice.  I have long (waist-length) hair that is pretty damaged toward the ends from dye.  My natural hair color is blonde, so I have to dye it, but I do try to use gentle ammonia-free dyes and I have recently taken to coating the ends with conditioner before the dye process and I only dye the roots.  Incidentally, does anyone know what the gentlest hair dye available is in black?

My hair must be kind of thin.  Before I began dyeing it, i wore it just below my breasts, but that was not long enough for me.  Ideally I would have it all hip-length.  It was not badly damaged but not too thick.  After six years of dyeing it, it's kind of coarse and not shiny, but shine spray and shine conditioner work just fine, and it's of an acceptable thickness until you get to the ends, which are sparser, with not as many strands.  They used to reach my hips but they looked so damaged I had a few inches cut off, heartbreaking though it was.

I used to use Garnier Fructis Long N Strong shampoo (every 2-3 days) and the matching conditioner every day.  I used a detangler and a wide tooth comb after my shower, and finished up with Garnier Long N Strong leave in conditioner, but I cannot find that anywhere now.  I am now trying Pantene's Beautiful Lengths conditioner, but I still have some Garnier shampoo left (I use about five times as much conditioner as I do shampoo) to finish up before I switch.  I take a calcium supplement every day and most days I also take a Hair, Skin and Nails vitamin.  I try to brush/comb as little and as gently as possible, and I wear it up in a velvet scrunchie at least half the time. 

Can anyone recommend a good leave-in conditioner for me?  Or any other, better products for long, fine, dye-damaged hair, like a better conditioner or dye?  I have heard that products intended for horses will work well, like Mane N Tail.  Does anyone know about that?

I will include some pictures that show what I mean.  These were taken before I chopped off the worst of the damaged ends, but it shows what I am talking about and trying to avoid now with the somewhat healthier ends:










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