New and not sure where to start!

Hi all,
New here , new to "curly" hair and feeling a little lost! Been reading for a few weeks but still confused.

Brief hair history - I had large ringlet curls at the ends of my hair as a toddler but by age 4 it was completely straight with just a bit of body to it. I continued to have straight hair w/body through my 20's (except for the late 80's/early 90s in Jr High and HS when my mom convinced me to spiral perm my hair! ). If I did nothing to my hair it was straight but has always held a curl well (rollers, curling iron). After the birth of my daughter (2nd child) at age 30 I got a definite wave in my hair but it still mainly air dried to a fuller body (at shoulder length there was only 1-2 "bends" to it, if that makes sense?) and I still considered it straight. However, when pg with my 3rd child 2 years ago my hair got really wavy. Now that he's almost 2 I think it's safe to say the waves are here to stay and I need to figure out how to wear my hair! If I blow it straight it's a poufy, frizzy, dull mess, but if I leave it to air dry its stringy and mousy looking so I end up using a curling iron to add some defined waves around my face. I'm ready to embrace the wave but I need it to be one or the other - either go back to straight and easy hair (unlikely!) or be full and wavy but right now it's really neither.

I think my waves are 2B based on the photos and quiz here, maybe even a few random 2C's. I'm considering sending a sample to have my hair type analyzed because I'm really not sure about the rest, but based on my best guess after reading everything (and from what stylists have said to me) it is normal thickness/volume, moderate to high porosity and fine (this one I really can't tell, but every stylist has said fine so that's what we'll go with till I know otherwise!). So I guess that's 2B,f,ii? Currently just shy of bra-strap length and slightly layered in front. I also color with a demi color, painting it on in areas where greys are poking through, so some damage but not too bad.

What finally drove me to google and eventually here was spending $$ on new conditioners and shampoos recommended by a stylist and still having hair that wasn't straight, wasn't "curly" and just has no style no matter what I do to it. I know I need to ditch all the pricey stuff I bought (Brocato Cloud 9 shampoo and repair treatment and Redken all soft weekly deep treatment) because they're full of silicones, which could explain why my hair seems mousier and limper since starting them last month. I also *think* my hair isn't fond of protein right now because after the first few uses of the all soft cream it started to feel like straw when I rinsed and after getting out of the shower, and I know that has a bunch of protein in it because the stylist said I needed that.

As I said, planning to get a hair analysis to help me further determine what to use but in the meantime can anyone with similar hair suggest where to start product wise or style tricks? I ready the Curly Girl book and am impressed with pics here of hair like mine going from wimpy stringy loose waves into more defined and voluminous waves with CG but it also seems there's a love/hate relationship with the CG method here and it doesn't work for everyone so not sure whether to try it?

Oops, baby crying so have to run! If you've gotten through this, bless you! I appreciate any nudges in the right direction. I'm SO ready for nice hair again!
Welcome! I follow a modified CG routine since I use a gentle sulfate shampoo every few days. For some reason, it makes me less itchy than other products and doesn't strip my hair like even some low poos.

Here are a couple links to read, one about starting CG (if you choose) and product suggestions.

Pedaheh's Hair Blog: What do I need to start the Curly Girl method?

Wavy Hair Community Product Reviews

Curly Hair - Fine Texture Products

Product suggestions range from cheap and found in drugstores to expensive and found online. Some people only use drugstore, some only online but many mix and match.

Fine hair generally likes protein. It may be your hair didn't like the particular protein in the Redken product.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: CJ Beauticurls, CJ A&OO, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: Mop C, KCCC, SCE FSG
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

It's not the Curly Girl method that's a love/hate, it's the Deva products people don't like. I think most of us do incorporate a lot of the "message" that's in the book. It's the idea of treating your hair well, not stripping it of oils, handling it gently, etc. Some of us are CG, some modified (mostly because they lowpoo more then recommended) and some don't follow it at all.

For me, the most important aspect of the newer book was the DVD. I could never use the copious amounts of product that the models use, but did learn a lot about styling techniques.

Most curly hair is fine, so you're probably right in that area. If you're hair is fine/normal to high porosity, I can't imagine that protein isn't your friend. It may just be the products you're using (some hair likes certain protein(s) and not others.)

Here are the ingredients of the shampoo:

Water aqua, Sodium C-14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Hydrolyzed VEgetable Protein, PG-Propyl, Silanetriol, Hydro Annus (sunflower) Seed Extract, Glycol Searate, Ethexyle, Methoxycinnamate, Quaternium-33, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Dimethicone.

and the repair treatment:

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Ethylether Hyristate, Hydrolzyed Vegtable Protein, PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Pantenol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycerin, Tridceth-12, Laureth-9, C11-15 Pareth-7, Dipropylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylparaben, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Fragrance, BCC12-Base

Redken all soft heavy cream treatment (it's what came up when I searched for the all soft weekly DT)

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Taurine, Laureth 23, Laureth 4, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Oleth 10, Disodium Cocoamidopropionate, Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Avocado Oil, Trehalose, Arginine HCI, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben.

Personally, I wouldn't consider your reaction to any of them very telling about your hair. My hair LOVES protein but would just HATE all of the chemicals in these products.

Many of us have learned a lot about how to take care of our hair on nc.com. I never used products/techniques until I started to lurk on nc.com. Learning how to use products, what my hair likes has changed it from winter wavy/summer 3a to looking like my signature picture all year around. If you read and learn, anything is possible!
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Asianrunner - thanks so much for those links. That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for! I searched here and was coming up with lots of CG threads but not the how to start, esp for wavy hair. Thank you so much!

Kathymac-
thanks for clarifying. I assumed the rough, straw feeling hair always meant too much protein, It's entirely possible it's just the junk in there. Ironically, I used to use giovanni SAS shampoo/cond pretty exclusively on my straight hair (prefer natural products) but I left it behind last summer because I was frustrated with my new waves and thought it was contributing to the limpness. It's definitely not the perfect combo for me but had I stuck with that I'd not have wasted a bunch of $$ and would likely be a bit better off right now re build up etc! I had a bit left so have pulled that out to use till I get to the store later this week to buy some of the suggested products. I watched the DVD, as well. Planning to buy clips to try clipping at the roots - could not get that concept from the book but the DVD helped. Also, I'll be in touch about samples!

I think you're spot on about learning the products and techniques. Just not brushing my hair has helped a ton (tho I do still need to comb post shower or the tangles drive me batty - I wide tooth comb then scrunch). Anothing that that will help is learning to keep my hands out of my hair, esp as it dries! When I leave it alone it's the difference between poufy/straight chunks mixed in with the waves and uniform (if still limp/stringy) waves, so I am hopeful that with good products and better technique I'll have nice hair!

Another question for wavy girls - how do you get your hair trimmed? I'm growing mine to BSL so not trimming often but it's always a wreck after its cut. I've had razor cuts, debulking ("to reduce the pouf when you blow dry"), regular "blunt cuts" with some layering and/or framing. None seem to work well, but I don't have curls so can't imagine any special curl technique or specialized cuts are needed for wavy hair?

Ack - just so much to learn and change! And so weird to have to do it suddenly after 35!
Here's a link to a thread by Struttswife (aka Tiffany Anderson, the Curl Whisperer, LOL!) What Should I Tell My Stylist? There's a "salon finder" section of nc.com that might help you find a stylist in your area. A lot of people like the "Deva" style of cutting--dry cut on individual curls. Don't let them razor or thin your hair. It's just asking for problems.

I've gone to the same stylist for 30+ years. I get a wet cut and my hair always looks great. It's thinned over the years (age, medication and thyroid issues.) It's important to get a good cut. It's the foundation for all else.

Not sure why you want such long hair. IMHO, if hair is not fabulous, more is not better. The weight of your hair is undoubtedly pulling out the wavy/curl. Since you have small children, you don't have the time to obsess on your hair like some of us can. Long enough to pull back might just be the best option. The more hair you have, the more product, longer drying time and the harder it is to have it look great when it's down.

If you're getting the tangles out in the shower with conditioner and wide tooth comb, you really shouldn't have to comb out tangles out of the shower (unless you're really messing with your hair.) It could be pulling out the wave/curls. Why don't you try to gently finger comb?? My hair is short, I get frequent haircuts (every six weeks) and my hair only tangles if I use an ingredient it doesn't like. Only time my hair is ever combed is when my stylist cuts it! The best thing about the CG DVD is how it shows you to handle your hair gently.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I have very weak (almost non existent) waves if I don't do anything to it. When I get my hair trimmed/cut, I ask for long layers, sort of a round bottom (not cut straight across) and no thinning or debulking. My hair is very prone to poofing out so I walk a fine line between too short and too long. I also get mine cut dry vs wet.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: CJ Beauticurls, CJ A&OO, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: Mop C, KCCC, SCE FSG
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

Thanks for the link. I always had medium long hair (resting on shoulder or slightly longer) but I decided to grow my hair long because I've never had it that long before and just wanted to see what the look would be like - before I'm too old to have really long hair . I also wanted to grow out layers but that was a bad idea! Strangely,my waves seem to stay the same "strength", so to speak, regardless of my hair length. THe length effects the top root lift but not horribly so. Right before my baby was born I had it cut to an inch below my chin and lots of layers. This was early in the newly acquired waves stage and I thought the waves would automatically spring up a bit being shorter and I'd get a cute, fun style but all it did was pouf at my ears and poke out weirdly at the bottom unless I straightened it every day, and even then it was poufy and frizzy. Shortly thereafter I decided to grow it out just to see what it looks like at all the various stages, so I could then decide on an ultimate length after I reach my "max". Until 6 months ago I was getting regular 6-8wk trims, then I went into full on "growing out" phase. In doing so I discovered that my hair looks much better with some length to it. I don't know that I'll keep going to BSL, as I think my perfect length is probably a bit shorter than it is right now - around the "14" on this graphic. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uV_Xu6DV7E...ngth_chart.jpg

If I had fabulous curls like yours, or even just a nice fullness to my waves, I'd go shorter in a heartbeat! Maybe later if I can get a handle on this new texture. For now it's actually easier to style with the length.

I'd read about the Deva cut and there is a salon about 30 miles away in Denver that does them. I just don't know if it's effective, or even warranted really, on hair that's just wavy and not outright curly? I assume it's similar to the self trim video, and I don't really have individual curls or clumps like they show on the video, KWIM? When I get my next cut I'll go back to long layers but maybe I'll try to find a stylist from here with more curl experience and see if it makes a difference.

I'll switch to just wide combing in the shower. Since I haven't started CG yet the process of drying my hair was putting snarls back in. I've grabbed a few things and an old t shirt so tonight will be my official start - I need to tape a sign in the shower to remind me to be gentle, scrunch out the water and plop rather than twist! I think I should watch the DVD again. I also think the products are not perfect for me so my hair isn't moisturized enough and was tangling more?

Thanks again for all the help, ladies! I don't think I've talked this much about my hair EVER!

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