Looking professional with waves

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I am going to need help if I hope to ever go full-time curly girl. Today I straightened my hair for the first time in over 3 weeks because I cannot get it to a place where it looks professional while wavy. I have bra strap length low porosity, medium texture, dense wavy hair.

My current routine is to wash 2-3 times per week with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo. I condition with Suave Naturals, which I also use as a leave in. I have been experimenting with different styling products, including Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse and Shea Moisture styling milk. The effect that I am getting right now is a layer of frizz with loose, pretty ringlets underneath.

I work in an office and I am at a sort of critical moment in my career right now. I need to act and, though shallow, look the part of a leader and I do not think having a head full of frizz in contributing to that image. Any suggestions?
Hi, my suggestion is to try to make a bun, or something that works for me it is a high ponytail, there are many tutorials on youtube for professional hairstyles for wavy hair.
2b-2c type hair.
CG since october 2012.
Co wash: VO5 Conditioner Two times a week.
Low Pow: Loreal Ever Sleek once a week (scalp only).
Rinse out conditioner: VO5 conditioner.
Deep Conditioner: Naturaleza y Vida Mascarilla hidratante de aloe y enebro, once a week.
Leave in: VO5 conditioner half water half conditioner.
Gel: VO5 gel light hold.
Mousse: Caprice Rizos Definidos.
My hair love plopping!.
I'm also in a professional atmosphere and have bra strap length waves. First of all, I agree about buns, french twists etc. it's going to take time and trial and error to get your hair looking the way you would like consistently, and unfortunately straightening slows down that process. I'd suggest learning a few basic Updos for when your hair just isn't looking how you want for work. My new favorite is the bandette clip since you have long dense hair. It's a really easy way to keep your hair wavy and not straighten but still look like a style. This is mine from last week:


Attachment 36490

Since you probably dont want to always wear your hair up, here are some ideas about styling:
I am by no means an expert, but we have similar hair. I see your stylers are lighter hold. Have you experimented with gels or gellies at all? I really don't like how my waves look with mousse, my hair turns kinda frizzy or poofy halfway through the day. My current favorite combo is a little leave in, then shea moisture smoothie then shea moisture soufflé then scrunch in biosilk rock hard gellee. I use a very tiny amount of all of these to get the look I want. I find I need a leave in, some sort of curl enhancer and a gel to get a more defined and less frizzy look, and i like to apply everything to very wet hair, scrunch and then diffuse, but everyone here is going to have a different routine that works for them.
KAT
~Curly, Runner, Self-confessed Nerd~

2a no product/2b-c styled
Low Porosity, Fine
No poo-SM
Co wash-VO5 kiwi lime*
Rinse out- ION EC
Leave in - Giovanni Direct then SM smoothie (ends only)
Stylers-SM souffle topped with BRHG*

Hair hates: glycerin (high dews here in TX)
Hair likes: Coconut Oil*, protein

*=HG
Oops didn't attach the picture.
ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1371514079.381853.jpg
KAT
~Curly, Runner, Self-confessed Nerd~

2a no product/2b-c styled
Low Porosity, Fine
No poo-SM
Co wash-VO5 kiwi lime*
Rinse out- ION EC
Leave in - Giovanni Direct then SM smoothie (ends only)
Stylers-SM souffle topped with BRHG*

Hair hates: glycerin (high dews here in TX)
Hair likes: Coconut Oil*, protein

*=HG
+1 for updo's while you're figuring out your hair.

One I do when my hair is being uncooperative is to put it in a ponytail, loosen it enough that I can make a split through the hair between my head and the band, then I flip the length up and pull the whole ponytail through the split/hole, I then use some spray gel to smooth the canopy and keep flyaways to a minimum.

And the best way to figure out your hair is to find people with similar properties and then (hair) stalk them and read all their posts.
Attached Images
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2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
I have bra strap length low porosity, medium texture, dense wavy hair.

My current routine is to wash 2-3 times per week with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo. I condition with Suave Naturals, which I also use as a leave in. I have been experimenting with different styling products, including Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse and Shea Moisture styling milk. The effect that I am getting right now is a layer of frizz with loose, pretty ringlets underneath.
Originally Posted by crazywaves22
It sounds like your hair could use some protein, I think there's some in the TTT but not sure about the SN. Do you do PT's? It might help to switch to a RO with more protein. I also absolutely agree with the KatMack's recc for a stronger hold gel. I was CG for six months before I finally broke down and tried one, I was convinced hard hold would be more 'producty' then jellies or mousse, I couldn't have been more wrong. I didn't start getting consistently decent hair until I got my moisture-protein balance right and started using a hard hold gel. Good luck.
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
I just found a thread posted by someone with hair that sounds similar to yours, you can use the search function or click the username to find more posts from them.
Sign of over conditioned hair
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
Remember that the canopy (the topmost layer of hair) is the layer that has been most damaged due to environmental factors, friction from handling etc so it's often the most damaged layer and the layer that may take a little longer to "soothe."

I agree with above posters about trying a hard hold gel like Biosilk Rock Hard Gellee. None of your products really have a lot of hold.

What are the dews like where you are living? Is there glycerin in your products? Remember that many curlies do not do well with glycerin in high dews. I for one must avoid glycerin in high dews or else my hair gets extra frizzy.

How does your hair look and feel? Does it look dry but feel soft and mushy? Does it look dry and feel dry and strawlike? I'm trying to figure out if you need more moisture or protein. You may need both.

Something that I found very useful in taming the canopy is doing your cleansing/conditioning process in the shower while bending down at the waste, and scrunching! I cleanse, and add my RO by scrunching it in while I'm bending at the waist so my head is upside down. Then I gently straighten up and let my conditioner-soaked tresses gently fall into place. I wash my body, shave my legs etc. Then when it comes time to rinse out the RO, I turn the water to cold and (if possible) the water pressure to low. I bend down at the waist again and cup my hair with both hands so it is in a "scrunched" position. I let the water run through my hair and my fingers. I add LI and/or gel products to soaked hair and scrunch again. (Once I've added the styling products however, I can only scrunch like once before I break up the clumps but you can experiment).

Anyway, the point of all this is that most people rinse their hair right-side-up and therefore the jet of water is hitting their canopy first and hardest and actually straightening it out, which is why it ends up looking frizzier than the underlayers. I had the same issue as yourself but once I started doing what I described (I believe it's a variation of Ice queen method) I actually found my canopy curling more and the underlayer being more straight, which looks better IMO. Anyway it's really important how you manipulate your hair in the shower.

Oh and of course, no touching while drying and no drying/rubbing with a towel! I squeeze out excess water w/ an old tshirt and find this has been working the best.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
I also agree with cute updos while you're figuring this stuff out.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
I have the same problem! Beach waves/rock star waves are HARD to make look professional. I'm the only female and the youngest in my department by almost 2 decades, and I really just needed to be taken seriously.

I pull the front half of my hair back into a pony tail for a half up/half down style. Some days I braid my hair. I also have really weak waves to the point where I can style my hair "straight" without using any heat. And then on casual Fridays, I rock out the beach waves.
Wave Pattern: 2A
Hair Properties: Normal/Low Porosity, Medium Density, Medium Texture w/Fine Straight Underlayer
Co-wash: Suave Naturals, Cure Care
Low-poo: Renpure Brazilian Keratin
Rinse Out & Leave In: Tresemme Naturals
Gel: LA Looks Mega Mega Hold Gel, Garnier Fructis Spray Gel
I am going to need help if I hope to ever go full-time curly girl. Today I straightened my hair for the first time in over 3 weeks because I cannot get it to a place where it looks professional while wavy. I have bra strap length low porosity, medium texture, dense wavy hair.

My current routine is to wash 2-3 times per week with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo. I condition with Suave Naturals, which I also use as a leave in. I have been experimenting with different styling products, including Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse and Shea Moisture styling milk. The effect that I am getting right now is a layer of frizz with loose, pretty ringlets underneath.

I work in an office and I am at a sort of critical moment in my career right now. I need to act and, though shallow, look the part of a leader and I do not think having a head full of frizz in contributing to that image. Any suggestions?
Originally Posted by crazywaves22
Welcome!

Do you have damage on the canopy, due to highlights or sun damage say? What happens if you conditioner only wash? Are you doing any deep treatments? What if you apply extra conditioner to the canopy? Are you considering your dew points/ humidity when you choose products?

Up dos or half ups may be the way forward, see YouTube or
Strictly Curls: A Step-by-step Guide to Styling Curly Hair: Nicole Siri: 9780976350644: Amazon.com: Books
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
Wow! First of all, thanks to everyone for all of this input. Good suggestions here. My solution so far has been pulling my hair partway up/back with bobby pins so that only the pretty curls show.

Let me answer some of the questions:

Is my hair dry or over-conditioned? It is dry. It is low porosity and it is very hard to get product "in" to moisturize.

Canopy info: I have not colored my hair for three years, so no damage due to that. There might be some sun damage, and definitely damage from straightening, although since it is the "straightest" layer of my hair it gets less attention when I do flat iron.

About protein: I also think my hair is protein sensitive. Anything with keratin in it has made my hair straw-like and stiff.

About product: I have not tied anything with strong hold, but I will.

Keep the suggestions coming because this has already really helped.
Normal thickness, low porosity hair 'should' like some protein but everyone's hair is different. It may be worth it to pick up a rinse out condish with protein(s) other than keratin and see how that works for you. Protein doesn't have to come in big PT doses, your hair may just need a little at a time.
wavydaze likes this.
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
If you've been ironing you've definitely gotten damage from that and I would be surprised if you were truly low-porosity.

Do you pineapple at night? I forgot to mention this. Besides heat damage, there's also sun damage as you mentioned and mechanical damage... which is rough handling. If you don't pineapple (put up your hair in a loose scrunchy on top of your head overnight, helps to retain curls and helps protect canopy), that means your canopy is taking the bulk of the friction while you sleep... and may be another reason why it's not as curly. The silkier and smoother your pillow the less rufflage.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
I have to add that you're not using very moisturizing products. The low-poo + Suave RO and leave-in plus mousse combo isn't very moisturizing. I'd suggest getting a richer, more moisturizing RO. Some popular conditioners are Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin, Elucence Moisture Balancing and GVP CB (Sally's knockoff of Biolage Conditioning Balm).

Once you up the overall moisture in your hair you may find protein to actually start working the way it's supposed to. You may need to moisturize first.

At least my hair was like that, drinking up all the moisture at first and then one day the same products didn't work anymore... they suddenly became too moisturizing. I had to switch to much lighter leave-ins and once I found a leave-in with protein I was in <3! Sometimes getting your hair back to good condition is a step by step procedure.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
Wow! First of all, thanks to everyone for all of this input. Good suggestions here. My solution so far has been pulling my hair partway up/back with bobby pins so that only the pretty curls show.

Let me answer some of the questions:

Is my hair dry or over-conditioned? It is dry. It is low porosity and it is very hard to get product "in" to moisturize.

Canopy info: I have not colored my hair for three years, so no damage due to that. There might be some sun damage, and definitely damage from straightening, although since it is the "straightest" layer of my hair it gets less attention when I do flat iron.

About protein: I also think my hair is protein sensitive. Anything with keratin in it has made my hair straw-like and stiff.

About product: I have not tied anything with strong hold, but I will.

Keep the suggestions coming because this has already really helped.
Originally Posted by crazywaves22
Most moisturising/ conditioning ingredients are not capable of penetrating anyway, they do sit on the surface. Exceptions include coconut oil, hydrolysed proteins (smallest molecules are collagen IIRC), ceramides and panthenol. Finding the right balance of conditioning/ moisturising agents is important, in simplest terms there are cationic surfactants, fatty alcohols, lipids (oils, butters, ceramides), humectants (attract water).

Agree with Wavydazy that dry hair plus damage from flat ironing is less likely to indicate low porosity hair. It may be the porosity is uneven across your head. It may be your canopy needs to be wetter, more conditioner or more styling product than the rest. If you are applying upside down are you getting even coverage? Are you combing or parting the top? That can break up your wave pattern? Is the top just too long to curl properly and needs long layering?

Different protein sources, different concentrations of protein, different formulas make a real difference. I struggle with the hard drying type products, but can get away with a fair amount in an emollient base, as long as I balance with oils. Damaged or porous or fine hair can really benefit from hydrolysed protein, but at the same time is prone to dehydration to balance is key. Protein that is not hydrolysed is likely not beneficial.

Given your hair is dry you might be best making every product work towards hydration, co-washing unless you have a scalp issue. I would also try deep treatments, you can do these before a shampoo if you are concerned about build up or being weighed down. Coconut oil and honey is a nice combination, I find it makes my hair curlier and better defined, if you don't want to use too much, maybe use your Suave as a 'base'.
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
I also thought I would add that the reason I am saying my hair is low-po is because it takes so darn long to air dry (like upwards of 4 hours) and has literally repelled hair color in the past. I used to bleach but color totally wouldn't "take" in my hair, even when done professionally. So maybe I am making the wrong assumption about the porosity?

During my 3 weeks of CG I did pineapple and have been sleeping with a silk pillow case. Also, even though I fell off the wagon and straightened, I didn't use anything with sulfates or silicones so at least I have that.

I am very tempted to try coconut oil as someone mentioned. My mom has similar hair and she is having great luck with it.
Up do's and ponytails or twist with claw are the way to go. I'm a nurse and to keep my hair out of my face when I bend over, turn my head upside down and have to get into so many crazy positions, so my hair is always up when I work.
I agree that you probably need more moisturizing products. Try pre-pooing with some coconut oil in your hair ( you could put some in the night before you wash). It sounds like you also *might* have coarse stands, which may be a reason for your hair to take more time to absorb product too. Just a thought... : ) I second the harder hold from a gel. It should help with the frizz.

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2a-2bFii NP?

Low poo: Deva Low-Poo, Jessicurl GLS, Moroccanoil Volumizing Shampoo, Aveda Be Curly
Condish: Cure Care, Redken Body Full, Deva One C, and Jessicurl Aloeba
LI: Aveda Be Curly Style Prep <3
Products: Deva FFVF & Jessicurl Spiralicious (LOVE), TRESemme Curl Boosting Mousse
Hairspray: Aussie Sprunch, TRESemme Curl
locking Spray
Experimenting with lots of products in my cabinet...


My hair loves protein, plopping, and diffusing! Trying to find a way to style and air dry.
UPDATE!

Last night I washed out the straight. I did use a sulfate shampoo to clarify since by then it had been a month since I used one. After washing I squeezed out as much water as I could and put the Tresemme Naturals conditioner in. I didn't wash it out. I turbaned my hair in a t-shirt for about 1/2 an hour to blot out the water. When I took the t-shirt off I scrunchd in LA Looks Sports Gel and pineappled before bed.

My hair was still wet when I took it out of the pineapple, and because of that the gel cast hadn't set completely. Knowing that it wouldn't look ok to go to work in the gel cast, I diffused my hair to see what would happen. Hair came out in soft, nearly frizz-free waves! Yay! I scrunched in a little bit of Shea Moisture styling milk to continue to fight the frizz and was able to wear my hair down with just a little pinned to the side so it isn't in my face.

In the future I plan to give my hair more time to dry in the gel cast, and I also think I could have used even more gel than I did. Thank you to everyone for your advice. I am excited to see what my second and third day curls look like after this method, as my hair usually looks better on day 2 and 3.

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