CG newbie! Product input?

Hey everyone,

I've been eyeing CG for probably a couple years now, but didn't think I could handle the transitional 6 weeks or so. I'm finally taking the plunge!

I've been a sulfate/silicone addict for about 8 years or so. Pantene's Curls line served me well for most of that period, but I haven't been happy with my hair for a couple years now. The curls haven't been as defined and bouncy. I'd say I was about a 2C (maybe 3A on a good day), and now I'm in 2B territory. Frizz has been a constant enemy of mine, and the silicone generally helped to weigh that all down.

As far as I can figure, my hair is fine to medium in texture, and medium in density. Not sure about porosity--as I mentioned, frizz is a big problem for me when it's humid, but I guess to a certain extent that's true for almost everyone. I feel some bumps going up my hair shaft, but when I did the float test, my hair floats. It's pretty long--about halfway down my back right now, and this is right after a cut.

I occasionally have used Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner, and my hair seemed kind of stiff and unhappy afterward. I don't know if that is a possible protein sensitivity? Or just because I'm used to my hair being coated in silicone? Speaking of which...

How thorough should the last sulfate wash be? I've always washed just my scalp and let the suds just kind of glide down the rest of hair, and then conditioned just the bottom of my hair. I realized that I did the same thing out of habit right before starting CG (only about three days ago) and I might need to do a more thorough wash to get rid of everything and start over.

For washing/conditioning, I've gotten--
Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Raw Shea Butter Shampoo
Garnier Fructis Haircare Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Treatment
VO5 Tea Therapy Conditioner
Renpure Organics Argan Oil Conditioner
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner

And I guess I will just experiment away for a while? Ahhh. It's overwhelming.

Now, as far as styling... I have always been super low-maintenance, wash/condition and walk out the door. However my hair air dries is what it looks like for the rest of the day. For years, this worked fine, and then frizz started to become more of an issue, and my curls started looking a little wilted. I understand that without the silicone, I might have to start using a product for styling. I'm willing to experiment with a few, but optimally I want my eventual routine to consist of no more than one product. I have a lot of trouble getting out of the house on time in the mornings as it is. (Although cutting down on hair washing in the morning should help with that!) I saw that Pantene Curls Mousse fits the bill, and decided to get it. I guess brand loyalty dies hard.

So sorry for the essay!! But my main questions are:
- Should I do a last thorough sulfate wash?
- Does my hair's reaction to the AO GPB suggest a protein sensitivity?
- Do my shower products look okay? Any recs?
- Styling product recs please! I'm really diving into new waters here.

Last edited by KaliDevi; 09-13-2012 at 12:09 PM.
If you feel like there is still some buildup on your hair, you could do another sulfate wash, just to make sure that's not the source of your frizz and to start with a clean slate.

If your hair is fine-medium texture with normal porosity, you probably will do fine with some protein, but don't want to overdo it. The strand in water test is not very accurate - I had no idea my porosity until I got my hair analysis. Fine/high porosity hair usually likes protein, but course/low porosity hair does not. If your somewhere in the middle, it's about finding the right moisture/protein balance. You may not necessarily be protein sensitive, but that particular conditioner may have been too protein rich for your hair.

Your shower products look fine - the V05 would be a good co-wash, and you've got several good RO conditioners in there. You'll just need to experiment and see what works for you.

As far as stylers, I love jelly stylers (more natural and less producty/crunchy than traditional gels), and many people love curl creams. My favorite jelly stylers are UFD curly magic, Curly Kinks coil jam, KCCC and SSCEJ. A lot of curlies also love mousse - but I would be hesitant to use the pantene mousse - check the ingredients first to make sure there are no cones, as this would cause buildup issues if you are CG. Some people also love conditioner only styling, where you use your regular RO conditioner as a styling cream. You could try leaving in some conditioner and see if that works for you without having to use a separate styler.
2c/3a, botticelli/wavy/'swavy (huh?)
fine, dense, normal porosity/elasticity, dry climate

My favorite brands are Kinky Curly, As I am, Curly Kinks, Curl Junkie, and Darcy's Botanicals. Also love sealing with oils (loving argan oil right now) and styling with jelly products (KCCC is my current favorite). Mostly trying to keep it simple!

CG since 12/29/2011
Thanks for your input! I did a wash to make sure everything's out. The Pantene mousse has no silicones.

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