Help me get started?

I'm sure you get this a lot, but I am just overwhelmed by the plethora of information. I have made various stabs at going CG, no-poo, etc over the last few years but never saw the results and always gave up. I know I need to stick with it for awhile, but i tend to run into some problems.

Maybe you can help me. Feel free to bypass me if you are sick of these questions!

I believe I have type 2c, it's currently just past shoulder length. Definitely had wavy/straight hair as a kid and realized I had more curl in high school. My hair and strands are thick, although the thickness of strands changes on different areas of my head. I have LOTS of hair (i.e. hair dressers don't know what to do with it all when I get an updo). My hair is very porous and always seems dry. When going no-poo I found that my scalp would get a lot of build up and would become dry and itchy (especially after having my son in April 2012). My scalp NEVER gets greasy, it's always dry and always has been, getting much worse in the winter. As I am now, I tend to shampoo only once a week and co-wash between shampoos. I'd like to find a routine that would leave my hair with non-crunch,. non-frizzy curls. I manage this once in awhile, but my hair is hit or miss. I also want to not look like I have dandruff and not be scratching my head all day!

I know I need to get away from silicones and sulfates but I never have time to read ingredients when in the store (wild one year old). So, I think I need to go to the store armed with a list of things to try ("a starter kit" so to speak). I would rather not spend loads of money on hair product, especially if I have no idea how it will work out for me in the end. I tried the suave naturals for co-wash in the past and had major scalp issues, so I've been hesitant to really dive back into changing my hair routine again. I also have tried the loreal conditioning cleaner but it just doesn't do anything for me - not rich enough to conditioner and still with the scalp issues. I once tried the baking soda hair washing method and that was THE WORST - my scalp was horribly dry and flaky so don't think I will do that ever again.

Thanks for taking the time to read and for the advice.
Welcome!

The first thing to do would be to get the scalp issue formally diagnosed, you need to know whether it is xerosis (simple dry skin) or a form of dermatitis (includes eczema) or mild psoriasis or something else entirely. Once we know what the issue is we can come up with ingredients and products that address your skin and hair issues.

Baking soda is damaging to both skin and hair, definitely not to be recommended if you have a skin complaint. Definitely avoid sulphates, also avoid all anionic surfactants and alkaline soaps. Do you have hard water or go swimming? If so do a chelating wash (ION Swimmers shampoo or Malibu C sachets from Sallys) and final rinse your hair in bottled water or get a shower filter.
Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair Care Products

Also review your diet: it may be that pregnancy, breast feeding or just being a busy mother have left you deficient in something. Look to be eating anti inflammatory, nutrient dense wholefoods - plenty of oily fish ideally daily, plenty of other healthy fats in their whole form (seeds, olives, avocados, cocoa powder, coconut), seven to nine servings of low sugar fruits and non starchy vegetables in the full rainbow of colours each day, avoid sugar and white/ refined carbohydrates, ideally only very low glycaemic index carbs (eg. beans, lentils, barley) and so on. This sort of varied diet is healthy for every family member.

Do not scratch because you can get stuck in the 'itch-scratch cycle' and damage your skin barrier further, use cold compresses to relieve the itching or ask your doctor about something to apply or a tablet to take. Pruritis (itching) usually signifies your immune system is overreacting and that you have some underlying inflammation.

HTH and let us know when you have a diagnosis.
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 oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 07-30-2013 at 09:58 AM.
Remember that a cleansing conditioner is supposed to do just that... be light enough to cleanse with. Many co-washers will have a separate, richer conditioner to follow up to condition their hair, same concept as shampoo and conditioner, except the shampoo is a very mild cleanser.

If you want to try cowashing again, maybe opt for a proper cleansing conditioner such as CJ Daily Fix? I agree with getting a formal diagnosis on your scalp. Remember with cowashing, you have to massage very thoroughly in order to cleanse properly.

If you don't want to go the cowashing route, there's no reason to stick to sulfates. There are many much gentler low-poos available.
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
Maybe use a product with Tea Tree oil?

Nature's Gate Show Item

This stuff is OK for co-washing; I can get it at my regular supermarket.
Jessica
Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
Sealer: Olive oil
Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
DT: olive oil and honey
Is your scalp fine now with shampoo once a week and cowash in between? If so, you could switch from a sulfate poo to a low poo. Also, as others have said, technique is important when washing to keep your scalp happy.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285

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