Please help me with my 2A/2B hair.

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Monkey_

Hi all,

So, I've been a member since September 8th, 2009. I found this website and signed up for the forums because after months of being depressed and basically having a nervous breakdown, I was experiencing (what I felt to be) extreme hair shedding. Also, I had just moved to Hong Kong, which is an extremely humid country, and my hair just looked awful. Terrible. Horrible.

Long story short, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information here, and I couldn't really figure out a way to go through it to find options and ideas for what would work best for my hair.

I think that, literally, the next day, I got my hair chemically straightened for the first time with Keratin Complex. And, indeed, changed my life. But after three years of that, I felt like I wanted to go au natural again.

I've gone a really long time since my last Keratin Complex treatment (probably over six months), and I'm starting to see my wavy curls come back, especially on one side of my head. My boyfriend really loves it and wants me to stay curly and grow it longer. I'm embracing the idea.

1) My hair is fine, maybe even super fine. The Keratin Complex was really good for it because it seemed to make the strands of my hair the same thickness from the very top to the very bottom, whereas, just naturally, it seems like my hair strand gets thinner at the bottom. I think this is because the protein got locked in.

2) My hair is low porosity. I'm using the sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner by Keratin Complex. Generally, I shower every day or every other day, by shampooing the top half of my head and conditioning the bottom half. Recently, I started shampooing my whole head, with a lot more shampoo, and I've seen a HUGE improvement. Which makes me think I was suffering from build-up. I still only condition the bottom half of my head, like ears and below. I studied the ingredients in the conditioner, and there are some silicone additives that are not water-soluble, except when they're used in conjunction with one or two other ingredients. (Reference: Live Curly Live Free - Product Ingredients)

3) When I get out of the shower, I comb my hair with a wide-tooth comb. I should probably be using a detangler, because I find way more hair in my comb on a daily basis than I would ever want to see. And it makes me so sad. Besides shampoo and conditioner, I'm not using any other product. In the past, I felt like I bought every single curly, wavy, volume-adding, frizz-killing product in the world, and it all ended up making my hair look oily, heavy, limp, flat, crunchy, etc. I sometimes blow dry my hair, but in the past two weeks or so, I've been letting it airdry. The problem here is that I think it looks so bad while it's airdrying, that I literally have to sit on my hands and avoid all mirrors in order to not touch it or try to "fix" it. I still suck at this.

4) I'm somewhere between 2A and 2B. I'm including some photos for reference:

What do I need to do differently? What products should I be using? How will I ever manage to get a post-shower routine that works?

  • I'm open to changing both my shampoo and conditioner.
  • From what I've read, it seems like I should be shampooing my hair everyday and using shampoo twice instead of once.
  • I have no idea what to do about conditioner, leave-in-conditioner, moisturizers, etc. I do know that my hair tends to feel dry, especially the ends. (Can also tends to be "lightweight" and fly-away.)
  • I think I need a detangling spray. Maybe also an even wider-toothed comb.
  • I want to find a curl-defining product to put in my wet hair.
  • Maybe I should get one of those microfiber towel things to put on my head while my hair is drying?
  • Or maybe I should get a diffuser attachment for my blow dryer?
  • From what I've read about the qualities of my hair, it seems like it would be good to start coloring my hair, either all-over or in highlights, to "rough up" the strands a bit. Right? (I haven't had color in my hair in two years at least.)
  • What should I do to my hair when I go to bed? I often wake up and feel like it's tangled, and then when I finger-brush it out, more hair sheds out in my hands.
Please save me from giving up again and going back to Keratin.

Thank you all so much, in advance, for your time and consideration.

Best,
Melissa

Last edited by melser; 03-13-2013 at 10:41 AM.
Hey, I know what it's like to lose a lot of hair in a short time. I ended up cutting my hair chin-length, which I'm not the biggest fan of, but it works. It makes my hair look fuller.

I don't have answers to all of your questions, and I'm quite the newbie here, but I do have a few suggestions. First of all, coconut oil is said to be very moisturizing and also helps with hair growths and strengthening. If you do a few google searches you might find a lot of helpful information about coconut oil.

The CG method basically encourages you to be natural, so no heat, silicones, sulphates, anything that is damaging to your hair. You can find a lot about this in this forum.

My advice is to stick it out. Your hair will grow back. Use minimal products, be gentle with your hair, and pay attention to it. Sometimes we watch our hair so much that we just want it to change, right now. But you have to be patient. If you find that your hair is dry, I would suggest the Yes to Carrots line. These products are very moisturizing and sometimes leave my hair even over-conditioned (limp, wavy, but shiny and soft). If your hair isn't dry, you can just experiment with a few silicone-free gels and see what kind of hold and definition they give you. If you find the gels too much, you could try a mousse. For more volume, try diffusing your hair. If you can't find a diffuser to add to your hairdryer, you can probably find a cheap hairdryer that comes with a diffuser already. I found mine for 20 bucks and it's honestly the best one I've ever had, but that's my opinion.

Start small. Don't go all out right away. Begin with using a silicone free conditioner. Don't use shampoo (unless it is sulfate-free). I started with buying a silicone free conditioner and some gel and went from there. Now I only wash my hair with conditioner, use a moisturizing leave in, and add some gel. That's it. You can shampoo once or twice a week, however many times you think is good for you to get rid of some build up. I don't worry about special towels and pillow cases quite yet.

Anyways, I hope this helps a little. And i hope other people post their suggestions as well. I know it sucks to lose so much hair... but it should stop somewhere from 1-3 months from when it started - at least it did for me.
Good luck!

And I should add: snoop around this forum if you have time. It takes a few good hours of snooping to see what other people are doing, how they are doing it, and whatever other information your are looking for.
PomegranateCurl likes this.

Last edited by Monkey_; 03-08-2013 at 04:11 PM.
I second the above comment.

You didn't mention exactly what the problems were, but I'm guessing volume is one. Is dryness another?

You can begin by cutting silicones out of your hair's diet, both in shampoos an conditioners. This will get rid of buildup that is only washable by sulfates. Begin by moisturizing. Try a deep treatment. Do you still live in HK? I know all of these CG products may not be available there so you can look into the "recipes" section for DT's. Olive oil and honey is a DT. As can coconut oil, and you may have access to these products.

You can try out co-washing (make sure no silicones!). Stick it out for a while, but since you said you have thin hair it may not necessarily be the best solution for you. So have a low-poo handy, but again no silicones. You may find that works best for you is a combination of co-washing and low-pooing... maybe you'll need to low-poo once a week or once every two weeks, or once a month. SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo is a popular low-poo around here. But I would try only co-washing first. You'll see that as you do this your hair will get moisturized, feel softer, and the frizz will naturally reduce without any styling products. Neat! Before you go out and buy tons and tons of styling products you should find a cleansing routine that isn't stripping and suits your needs.

Another thing you'll need to get is the protein-moisture balance. There's tons of information on this site about that. So if you find that as you begin cowashing regularly your hair begins to get limp, feels soft and mushy and it's not looking good, you may need protein. The protein-moisture balance will be achieved differently depending on each person's hair needs. So you may regularly need more protein or more moisture to maintain your hair or will need both in a variety of combinations. I know it sounds like a lot to deal with, but trust me after a while you'll get the hang of it... like you can just run your hand through your hair and figure out by the way it feels if you need more of one or the other or if you're good. Start researching protein treatments... there's lots of homemade recipes as well. Look into ROs with protein if your hair is generally protein-craving.

There's no styling product that will give you exactly what you want if your hair isn't healthy. As you moisturize and get your moisture-protein balance your hair will start looking better and then you can experiment w/ different products. It sounds like you'll have to wait a long time, but if you start to experiment with EVERYTHING (cowashing, low-poo, gels, LIs, DTs, acv rinses etc etc) at once it will be really confusing and difficult to discern what is agreeing with your hair and what isn't. So that's why I would suggest starting w/ figuring out your hair properties first and getting it to a healthy level.

If you're really impatient however to start getting your hair to look better before you figure out the above stuff you can start w/ recipes, like flax seed gel. The reason I suggest recipes first is because you won't waste a ton of money at first while you're figuring out your hair's ballpark likes and dislikes. Or get two LIs (leave-in conditioners) for instance, one w/ protein, one w/out protein and a gel. The reason I suggest two LIs, one w/ protein, one w/out is so you can rotate as needed. Going back to moisture-protein balance, if your hair is feeling crunchy and strawlike you need to back off protein, if it's limp or mushy you'll need more protein. But this also goes back to your co-washing and RO (rinse-out) regime. See what I mean about it getting confusing? If your hair is crunchy you'll need to cut out all protein, including the protein in your RO, not just your LI.

Most people on this board like to layer styling products: an LI, then gel or gellee, and sometimes an oil or butter to seal. You can of course customize but try layering. At least the layering stuff was new to me. I kept trying to use only oil but that has limitations.

Oh and watch out for humectants! Read up on it... if you're in a place for very low or very high dews you'll want to use anti-humectants. There's tons of info about that on this site.

Whew! I know it sounds overwhelming. I was SUPER overwhelmed about 3 months ago when I started lurking on this site. But I think since I've started CG my hair is looking better, definitely less frizz in a tropical country so I'm glad I tried. I'm still figuring things out myself but overall it's starting to make more sense and be easier.

Good luck!
3) When I get out of the shower, I comb my hair with a wide-tooth comb. I should probably be using a detangler, because I find way more hair in my comb on a daily basis than I would ever want to see. And it makes me so sad. Besides shampoo and conditioner, I'm not using any other product. In the past, I felt like I bought every single curly, wavy, volume-adding, frizz-killing product in the world, and it all ended up making my hair look oily, heavy, limp, flat, crunchy, etc. I sometimes blow dry my hair, but in the past two weeks or so, I've been letting it airdry. The problem here is that I think it looks so bad while it's airdrying, that I literally have to sit on my hands and avoid all mirrors in order to not touch it or try to "fix" it. I still suck at this.

You should try only detangling in the shower while your hair is soaked in conditioner. I know what you mean about it looking bad while air-drying. I've started only washing my hair in the evenings/afternoons after school bc of that. I don't have much other advice besides "diffusing." Try "plopping" it can help cut drying time.


4) I'm somewhere between 2A and 2B. I'm including some photos for reference:

What do I need to do differently? What products should I be using? How will I ever manage to get a post-shower routine that works?

I'm open to changing both my shampoo and conditioner.
From what I've read, it seems like I should be shampooing my hair everyday and using shampoo twice instead of once.

Shampooing twice every day? That sounds super-drying! Even with a low poo. I cowash every two days. But before I went CG I only poo'd or low-poo'ed every two days. Otherwise my hair would be dry and frizzy. (It would be frizzy and floofy day 1, perfect day 2, and a little matted day 3.) Co-washing has actually extended how long my hair looks good in between washings... weird I know. I know some curlies co-wash every day. You'll have to experiment to see what's best for you, but shampooing twice a day doesn't sound great.

I have no idea what to do about conditioner, leave-in-conditioner, moisturizers, etc. I do know that my hair tends to feel dry, especially the ends. (Can also tends to be "lightweight" and fly-away.)
I think I need a detangling spray. Maybe also an even wider-toothed comb.
I want to find a curl-defining product to put in my wet hair.
Maybe I should get one of those microfiber towel things to put on my head while my hair is drying?
Or maybe I should get a diffuser attachment for my blow dryer?

You can try these two things if airdrying is super annoying. Try a cotton t-shirt first (for plopping and squeezing out water) before the microfiber towel!

From what I've read about the qualities of my hair, it seems like it would be good to start coloring my hair, either all-over or in highlights, to "rough up" the strands a bit. Right? (I haven't had color in my hair in two years at least.)

Um I may be out of my element here in terms of it being good to "rough up" the strands. Lightening or bleaching your hair creates holes in the follicle shaft. It makes your hair more porous and weakens it. If you go darker than your natural color I don't think it's as damaging as going lighter but I dont' think it will make your hair healthier. The only thing I've been reading will be healthier to do to your hair in terms of coloring would be henna.


What should I do to my hair when I go to bed? I often wake up and feel like it's tangled, and then when I finger-brush it out, more hair sheds out in my hands.

Try a "pineapple"!

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com