Nearly 4 months in, need to tweak

I started CG in late Feb -modified only in that I don't muck with my hair in the shower as much as they do in the book/video but otherwise true to the method. I've been using products I either already had that were OK or stuff that was inexpensive and readily available. I'm almost out of what I initially bought and am feeling the need to tweak. My waves have gone from a loose 2A with completely straight under layer to a solid 2B/C, with loose 2A under.

Overall my hair looks amazingly better, but I'm struggling with dryness (dull-looking, slightly brittle feeling hair) and canopy frizz. Now that I know the method in general is going to work for my hair, I want to invest in some good products - a better moisture conditioner and some nicer styling products/curl enhancers and would love suggestions.

My routine:
Cowash with VO5 (kiwi lime or silk expressions coconut)
RO- Tresemme naturals, rake in, detangle with fingers or VERY wide tooth comb.
Blot lightly with old t shirt,
LI- rake in Giovanni DLI, flip upside down and scrunch with Giovanni LA naturals gel.
Clip roots, plop (t shirt) about 10 mins, scrunch in a little more LAN gel and air dry.
I usually do this daily but am trying to go to every other, and when I have decent looking hair on day one I do skip a day.
I have tried EVCO both as a pre"wash" treatment and to SOTC (the tiniest amt) and while I love EATING EVCO and cooking with it, I found it made my skin break out horribly (cheeks, neck, shoulders- anyplace my hair touched) no matter if I washed it out or not. I've also tried Giovanni 2chic hair oil and it was OK but nothing special. Tried LALSG and my hair felt awful after 2 uses (dry, frizz). I've done a few deep treatments, but just random stuff- a few different foil packs from Sally. None made my hair look or feel any better.

I'm still unsure of my hair type and what it likes but from what I can gather-
Fine, semi porous, medium density, BSL. Color treated.
Also I live in CO where it is *always* dry with little ambient humidity so I'm constantly moisturizing my skin even in the summer.

ETA: Would also love a rec for something to use 2nd day to help revive curls and add moisture or at least make my hair look a little more alive on day 2.

Last edited by cm03; 06-06-2013 at 04:18 PM.
Why are you removing water before applying leave in? Applying products to dripping hair is one way that you avoid frizz. You might try scrunching products in and scrunching excess water out with your bare hands. Also some people find applying more product after plopping encourages frizz. There are some excellent techniques links on stickies on the general board.

Given your climate you might be best to limit humectants, especially glycerin. IMO choose products that contain some natural oils, ideally that would contain the fatty acid lauric acid since your hair is colour treated. You could patch test a refined coconut oil instead of a virgin one because that will not contain the proteins which you might be reacting to, or you could try a different oil/ butter than is rich in lauric acid such as palm kernel, babassu oil or tucuma butter.

Alternatively consider avocado or other oils rich in oleic acid since this can penetrate the same as the lauric acid in coconut oil, although may not protect from protein loss. Be aware that research suggests oleic acid is comedogenic (can block pores) so you might want to patch test any of the alternatives I suggest. Crown Pride have a detangling conditioner based on avocado oil and a thick mask rich in tucuma butter.

Also consider the pH of any products you choose: skin likes pH ~5.5 and hair ~4.5, so acidic. This helps the cuticle lay flat which can reduce frizz and increase shine - Komaza Care and As I Am brands have quite a few pH appropriate products. Many with fine, porous or colour treated hair get on well with hydrolysed protein treatments so you might consider adding those in.

Whilst you might get amazing results from a single protein treatment or deep conditioner, generally instant gratification comes from silicones, improving the health of hair takes perseverance. When you colour your hair are you just doing the roots or do the lengths also take a hit? 'Refreshing' the lengths absolutely killed my hair, it's much stronger and less porous since I switched to roots only. Do also protect your hair from sunlight, coloured hair is more vulnerable to UV damage.

For moisturising your skin try products containing medical grade lanolin, this is a good source of the cholesterol and saturated fatty acids which are found in a healthy skin barrier. Alongside that go for humectants that can penetrate such as urea or lactic acid, not ones that sit on the surface like glycerin. You might also try switching to a sulphate-free face wash and shower gel, sulphates are proven to thin the skin barrier at concentrations as low as 1%, this can leave skin vulnerable to irritation from other products like the coconut oil.

HTH.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Forgot to get back here and reply!
I was literally just blotting so I could walk to my sink without slipping on the tile from so much drippage - hadn't occurred to me to just put my LI products IN the shower! I've been applying to dripping wet, zero blotting, since this. Haven't noticed much lessening of frizz but I do seem to get slightly better curl pattern this way.

I also stopped putting more gel in after the plop. Again, still frizzy but better curl formation/pattern.

I haven't gotten out to buy new products yet and I still think it's a matter of moisture- looks and feel nice early on but by dinner time it feels so parched and looks dull. Also probably some additional protein treatments. The one I'd used had silicone in it (discovered when I went to Sally to rebuy) and hadn't had time to investigate others yet. Thanks for the recs, I'll definitely check those out. pH isn't something I was even looking at.

Re coloring, I touch up the roots and paint on the color only where needed. I occasionally do a demi perm "glaze" on the lengths if they are starting to look faded but this is not my typical routine (maybe every 3-4mos?). I wear a crazy huge-brimmed hat any time I'm out for any length of time, as well.

I actually have perfected my skin moisture routine in this crazy dry climate . Was just pointing out the need for constant moisture to illustrate how dry it is.

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