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Old 05-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
 
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Default Lifeless, Problematic Hair

Hi Curlies! I'm fairly new to embracing my natural wave (I used to straighten most days) and I was wondering if another wavy-haired girl who has had these problems could suggest ideas of how to solve some of these problems.

I've got red, colored 2b hair. I maintain it using sulfate-free, low-poo, and co-wash methods, and I cold water wash. I generally plop hair with a tee shirt, and then sleep on semi-wet hair.

Here's the problem: limp, lifeless waves. Usually they're more defined and bouncy, but the past three days have been terrible and I've had to resort to wearing a loose bun. Three days ago I colored as I usually do and conditioned with wash out- normally I have no trouble with hair afterwards. I then put in a leave in conditioner and distributed through JessiCurl RR and plopped. Today I tried an ACV rinse... I can't figure out what's wrong with my curls! They're not turning out like usual, esp. after plopping.

However, I think the problem might be that my hair is too dry when plopping and I leave it plopped too long. Should I try rake and shake or scrunching instead? Maybe I need another product to go with JessiCurls... I'm not rich, but I prefer more natural products. I'm just at a loss for what to do for my lifeless, undefined waves! Help!
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterblossomer View Post
Hi Curlies! I'm fairly new to embracing my natural wave (I used to straighten most days) and I was wondering if another wavy-haired girl who has had these problems could suggest ideas of how to solve some of these problems.

I've got red, colored 2b hair. I maintain it using sulfate-free, low-poo, and co-wash methods, and I cold water wash. I generally plop hair with a tee shirt, and then sleep on semi-wet hair.

Here's the problem: limp, lifeless waves. Usually they're more defined and bouncy, but the past three days have been terrible and I've had to resort to wearing a loose bun. Three days ago I colored as I usually do and conditioned with wash out- normally I have no trouble with hair afterwards. I then put in a leave in conditioner and distributed through JessiCurl RR and plopped. Today I tried an ACV rinse... I can't figure out what's wrong with my curls! They're not turning out like usual, esp. after plopping.

However, I think the problem might be that my hair is too dry when plopping and I leave it plopped too long. Should I try rake and shake or scrunching instead? Maybe I need another product to go with JessiCurls... I'm not rich, but I prefer more natural products. I'm just at a loss for what to do for my lifeless, undefined waves! Help!
Have you tried a protein treatment? Coloring damages hair, protein treatments temporarily fill in the damaged areas strengthening the hair so it is more able to support itself (i.e. curls are able to bounce up with more support!). I color my hair also, and never used protein treatments until the wonderful wavies here suggested I try it. I could tell a huge difference after one treatment, after the second, I was hooked!
IAgirl has a cheap natural PT recipe posted here in the 2 board that I have used. It worked just as well as the aphogee 2 step PT I bought. If you can make jello, you can make this PT.
It also balances out over conditioned hair, which can cause limpness. Be sure to follow with a rich condish, though.
PT recipe - as promised
I have never had any luck with the Rake n Shake method. It pulls my waves and they never look as good than scrunching products in. I always plop when my hair is still soaking wet. If it dries too much before I get to it, I either super soak or mist until wet again with a water bottle. Otherwise it just doesn't work for me.
Instead of JCRR you could try your hand at flax seed gel. It is my HG. It's basically the same thing as RR, but you can control what goes into it, and you can put in stuff that your hair likes. I use a few drops of EVOO a pinch of mag sulfate, although I would like to try the mag oil instead, as mag sulfate dries me out. Honey for hold. I bought some organic Agave nectar to try next time in place of honey. it never weighs me down, and I use ALOT of it, I make up triple batches and use it all in a week, nothing else I have tried gives me the great clumps and awesome waves and spirals (I have spirals??? Thanks FSG!). If you leave out the honey or agave nectar, you probably will need a hard hold gel either over it or mixed in with it. (Pour some FSG in your hand, then some gel, I wouldn't recommend adding gel to the bottle, it won't mix in well)

Last edited by swtndspcy; 05-05-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:52 AM   #3
 
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+1 to everything swtndspcy said.

Also, I hated Jessicurl. It did nothing for my hair. If you're looking at boutique type products, I'd suggest Curl Junkie or Spiral Solutions. Most of the products I use regularly can be found in drugstores. You may want to also try some new techniques from the technique sticky in the general section.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
 
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Totally third the protein treatment suggestion. Did wonders for me...
Also, maybe a leave in is too much? I find that when I use a leave in, my hair gets a little limp.

Also, play around with products, and plopping versus not. I used to plop, but it got to be too finicky for me, and it tended to mash my curls. Instead I distribute gel through my hair by gently raking, and then scrunching up so my hair isn't flattened or the wave isn't pulled out.

Do you have hard water? If so, the minerals may be building up on your hair (it happens to me and makes my hair really limp and flyaway) and you might need to clarify every now and again. I do a wash with a sulfate shampoo (gasp, I know) at the end of every month, and it seems to keep hard water buildup down pretty well...but others have different methods of clarifying that don't take sulfates...

It also could be the changing seasons, which may call for a product change...though I'm not very knowledgeable about how to handle changing seasons.
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Last edited by sleepyjess; 05-05-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
 
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Good advice so far.
If JCRR is the one that is similar to FSG, you may need more hold for your waves. Spiral Solutions Firm Hold Gel (SS FHG) has a strong enough hold for some, but others want more. It is natural. If you have fine hair, try Alba (hard hold gel or something like that). It has wheat protein it in. Daily protein works great on fine hair, but may be too much for other hair types.
Kathymack sells samples of curl junkie, spiral solutions, and others. Click on the fotki in her siggi.
It may help to diffuse your hair part way dry. The extra water on your hair pulls it down as it dries and pulls out the wave.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
 
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These are great suggestions! Thanks so much!

swtndspcy, I am planning to do that protein treatment tonight- I just need to run to Wal-Mart for some unflavored gelatin. Looks like a great recipe, hopefully it'll add some bounce back into my hair I also like the suggestion on flax seed oil, though hopefully I can make the JessiCurl work since I paid for it for now.

sleepyjess- I had never thought of those things! The leave-in I use is a very light, thin consistency and I have thick hair, so I don't think it's weighing it down, but I will definitely play around with it. I was wondering if you could explain hardwater though- I live near Dallas, Texas (in Plano) and the water is usually fairly free of minerals, but I should look into it. Clarifying generally will stip out color, so I have tired an ACV rince in its place which worked alright. I'll defintely take your suggestion and play around with plopping vs. scrunching. Changing seasons definitely might have an effect, but unfortunately I'm as clueless as you when it comes to that! However, in Texas it can be hot one day and cold the next this time of year, so every day is a surprise!

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #7
 
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What is your hair texture? If your hair is coarse, you will want to be very cautious with protein. The gelatin PT is too strong for your first PT if you have coarse hair.
A PT should be followed with a DT or a moisturizing conditioner. Your hair may feel hard after a PT, but before the DT. This is normal. The conditioner should bring it back to normal. I always want to warn people ahead of time so they don't think they broke their hair. That is what I thought the first time.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:45 PM   #8
 
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Now that the weather is getting warmer, I find my hair likes products with glycerin. I get better, more consistent waves!

I feel like I'm one of the few people who like any Jessicurl products haha. I really like the RR as a wave enhancer, although I think I like others more. Here's what I do: gently scrunch in my wave enhancer to soaking wet hair, plop for about 20-30 mins. Then I take down the plop, scrunch in my gel and plop for about 20 more mins and then air dry for the rest of the day.

I agree that a PT+DT following hair dye is probably a good idea! I really like Curl Junkie Repair Me (or Curl fix or Spiral Solutions Repairing Protein Treatment) as a PT and Curl Junkie Curl Rehab or Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent as a DT.

What products do you use to wash and condition?
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:28 AM   #9
 
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Since you are from Texas, the humidity is high (dew points over 70). In high humidity conditions, most people find they need to avoid humectants like glycerin. In high humidity, humectants draw too much water to the hair and cause frizz. When your dews are normal again this winter, you may find you love humectants. My dew points are going from low to normal and I can use glycerin again.
The alba gel I mentioned may have glycerin. You will want to double check before you buy it.
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2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
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Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:49 PM   #10
 
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^^Yup glycerin is high up on the ingredient list in the Alba gel!
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rinse out: CJ Repair Me, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Smoothing

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Old 05-07-2011, 03:15 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterblossomer View Post

sleepyjess- I had never thought of those things! The leave-in I use is a very light, thin consistency and I have thick hair, so I don't think it's weighing it down, but I will definitely play around with it. I was wondering if you could explain hardwater though- I live near Dallas, Texas (in Plano) and the water is usually fairly free of minerals, but I should look into it. Clarifying generally will stip out color, so I have tired an ACV rince in its place which worked alright. I'll defintely take your suggestion and play around with plopping vs. scrunching. Changing seasons definitely might have an effect, but unfortunately I'm as clueless as you when it comes to that! However, in Texas it can be hot one day and cold the next this time of year, so every day is a surprise!

Thanks so much!

You would probably know if you had hard water, because you'd see mineral buildup around your shower or at the bottoms of cups if you let the water evaporate. Sometimes I even think I smell an iron-y smell coming out of my showerhead...urgh.
And I didn't think about color concerns with clarifiying - you're right, and ACV rinse was probably a better solution.
I'm in Oregon, and we're having wacky weather too! I feel ya on that. It's hard enough having unpredictable hair, now we have unpredictable weather too? Oh well...it's almost summer!
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:10 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedaheh View Post
What is your hair texture? If your hair is coarse, you will want to be very cautious with protein. The gelatin PT is too strong for your first PT if you have coarse hair.
A PT should be followed with a DT or a moisturizing conditioner. Your hair may feel hard after a PT, but before the DT. This is normal. The conditioner should bring it back to normal. I always want to warn people ahead of time so they don't think they broke their hair. That is what I thought the first time.

Hi! Hair is 2b wavy... not very coarse and not at all textured I don't think. I also don't think it's fine. It's probably pretty normal as far as the texture. I didn't get to try the PT that I wanted to due to a hectic exam schedule, however I did try something with avocado and it seemed to help a little- I didn't notice a huge difference but my hair has been much more cooperative. I stopped plopping for so long- I've been putting product in hair, scrunching some until I see curls forming, plopping 5 min. to help the drying process, and then touching up and scrunching a bit more. This seems to be working better. Still playing around and trying to figure out what my hair loves best but I think I'm onto something!
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:32 PM   #13
 
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Oh my goodness, you live in Plano? I'm from Plano!
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