CG has stopped working?

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This is a long one.

So I've been doing CG almost religiously since late April-ish, and I saw fabulous results almost immediately. It took my hair from dry/greasy/limp to healthy and bouncy in days. When I visited my parents after just two or three weeks my mom immediately commented on how healthy and gorgeous my curls looked. CG was working great for me.


~yay so pretty~

And then I went to Barcelona at the end of June and my hair was just...bleh. I chalked it up to six weeks of super-salty-ocean-swims, profound humidity, and that I-think-maybe-this-is-CG-friendly conditioner I had to buy when I ran out of the stash I brought. I assumed I'd be back to fabulous when I got back home to blissfully dry California.

Only it didn't. My curls have been getting limper and limper and drier and drier, especially the top layer.


~ugh no~

I went from 2c to like maybe 2a, and those pictures are only 4 months apart. I used to be able to wash my hair at night, put in a leave in and some gel, plop and air dry before going to bed, and wake up with fabulous pretty curls I didn't have to do anything to. Now I have to get it wet in the morning, do the leave-in and gel with no time to plop before I have to rush to class. It looks okay in the morning, but by the end of the day it just looks kind of stringy. I've been experimenting with sealing oils (olive, grapeseed) but they make my hair look greasy and don't actually help with the curl. Other than the oils, I haven't changed anything.

So, products.
co-wash/leave-in: Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Diethylamine, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA, PeG-150 Distearate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Propylene Gylcol, Tocopheryl Acetate [Vitamin E Acetate], Silk Amino Acids, Honey, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Extract, Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) Extract, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Fruit Extract.

gel: Garnier Fructis Curl Shaping Spray Gel
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PVP, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacryliate-3, Triethanolamine, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Parfum/fragrance, PEG 70 Mango Glycerides, Butyrspermum Prkii Butter/Shea Butter, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal, FIL

rarely used shampoo: Trader Joe's Nourish Spa balanced moisturizing shampoo
Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Rosemary Oil, Organic Valencia Orange Citrus, Organic Mango, Organic Lemongrass, Organic Ginko Biloba, Organic Echinecea, Organic Willow Bark, Organic Sea Kelp, Organic Chamomile Flower, Organic Textured Soy Protein, Organic Lavender, Organic Grapefruit, C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Tochopherol (Vitamin E), Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sea Salt, Botanical Fragrance

I also liked the honey/olive oil deep conditioning treatment for ~1 hour because it made my hair soft, shiny, and super curly. But last time I tried it I woke up with greasy limp awfulness. I actually had to shampoo my hair in the morning to get some of the yuck out.

I've had a few thoughts: maybe I'm protein sensitive? Or there humectants hiding in my products doing evil things, especially now that it's cooling down? I'm growing my hair out--is it just getting too long? My curls are much nicer on the bottom.

Has anyone else had this problem? What did you do? Or does anyone have any suggestions? Especially for cheap, easy-to-obtain products (I'm one of those broke college kids)?

Thanks in advance, and sorry for that thesis paper of a post I've got there.

Last edited by yakotta; 11-04-2013 at 09:05 PM.
Have you clarified? Do you ever try protein treatments? Do you need a trim? Have you tried a gel like mega volumes from Sally's?
You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
I'd sure try clarifying.
You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
I was going to say the same - sounds like you need to clarify. Did you go from soft water to hard water, or vice versa?
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Conditioner/ YTCucs
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
The low dew points in Canada are probably calling for a slight change up in your products. You may need to clarify, then add a slightly stronger conditioner to leave in, one with more emollients than humectants (i dont remember if the suave has humectants). The propylene glycol in your gel is a humectant, so maybe find another gel with humectants further down on the list. When you seal with oil, you literally only need a few drops, and rake/ scrunch into your ends mainly.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
Again I just want to say thanks to everyone for replying! I've been in other forums where people have been super rude, but everyone here has been so kind and welcoming! So thanks!

I did end up clarifying and it helped a lot. You guys were spot on. I used some shampoo with SLS since that's what was lying around and followed with a rinse of chamomile/conditioner/teeny bit of honey. My hair is super soft, but it needed some water and gel this morning to get any curl, but my curls are much closer to the first picture than the second now. Is the lack of curl without gel the sulfate in my shampoo? If so I don't understand because I thought people could go years without using shampoo and be just fine.

I've heard about baking soda rinses--has anyone here experimented with those? Do you still get curl-less (but clean) hair the next day with baking soda like I did with regular shampoo?

As for the hard water, my apartment doesn't have hard water, but I can't speak for some of the many places I was living over the summer. It's completely possible I switched between soft and hard water at some point, but I don't know for sure if I did.

I'll definitely be on the lookout for gels without humectants, though it seems like everything I can find and afford has dimethecone or amodimethecone in it...But my search is not over!

Last edited by yakotta; 11-05-2013 at 05:12 PM.
When I lived in California, I had to clarify once a month. I did 6 months of straight cowashing, then started to get limp, and started clarifying. I lived in San Diego and the water is very hard there. The dew points in the winter there can also get very low (like 10 or less, lol). So using a curl boosting mousse over my gel in the winter helped too (like HETT mousse). Oils never helped my hair there either. GL, sounds like you are already on the right track

CG 4/13/2012
med-coarse texture/med density/low porosity
(2c/3a)
Clarifying: TJ TTT shampoo
Cowash: VO5 clarifying kiwi lime, Suave daily clarifying
RO: SN or Tresemme naturals, TJ TTT
LI: SN or VO5
Styling: Gels - HESMU, AAV; John Frieda & HETT mousse; TIGI Curl Booster, FX Curl Booster * Fan of plopping & diffusing
For a cheap gel where you can control the ingredients ever thought of trying homemade flax seed gel? I've tried lots of gels and none work as well the stuff I make at home.
My recipe is super simple I justcadd sea salt to my water when boiling and after I strain I add orange and rose essential oils. If you are interested a search onbthe forum shoukd bring up some nice recipes YouTube has some videos too.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
Is the lack of curl without gel the sulfate in my shampoo? If so I don't understand because I thought people could go years without using shampoo and be just fine.
Originally Posted by yakotta
Some people can go years without using shampoo but the only people I've known who have done so:
1. Only used water on their hair
2. Only used a water-soluble gel on their hair randomly

In other words they used basically no products on their hair.

I've heard about baking soda rinses--has anyone here experimented with those? Do you still get curl-less (but clean) hair the next day with baking soda like I did with regular shampoo?
Originally Posted by yakotta
Baking soda is harsh and very alkaline. I use it to clean around my house i.e. remove tea/coffee stains from cups, and wouldn't use it on my hair. A shampoo is slightly acidic and formulated not to damage hair. You are better of using a shampoo if you need to clarify which from the sounds of it you don't need to do that often.
The low dew points in Canada are probably calling for a slight change up in your products. You may need to clarify, then add a slightly stronger conditioner to leave in, one with more emollients than humectants (i dont remember if the suave has humectants). The propylene glycol in your gel is a humectant, so maybe find another gel with humectants further down on the list. When you seal with oil, you literally only need a few drops, and rake/ scrunch into your ends mainly.
Originally Posted by chloe92us
I thought home for the OP is California not Canada?
shoulder length inverted bob; fine; 3A-3B; med-thick density; normal porosity; normal elasticity- my hair loves keratin, ACV, silk protein ,Curlkeeper and AG:Recoil ; seems to hate moisturizing products and oils except mineral oil; CG- Jan/'09-mod CG Sept/'09;CG again Jan/'10/mod CG from Mar'10

receive $10 off 1st order of $40 & up, or $5 off on smaller orders, when using iHERB code: GIK909
I have no idea where I got Canada.....
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
I've heard about baking soda rinses--has anyone here experimented with those? Do you still get curl-less (but clean) hair the next day with baking soda like I did with regular shampoo?
Originally Posted by yakotta
I wash my hair with baking soda once about every 6-8 weeks. When my waves start to look limp, my clumps won't form, and my hair will just look like all around hot mess...that's when I do the baking soda wash.

I wet the baking soda to make a really wet paste, then use it scrub my scalp just like you would with shampoo. Then I rinse it all out and put conditioner on my hair and let it sit there for a while. (Sometimes just a few minutes, sometimes half an hour.) Then I rinse my hair with lemon juice, about two tablespoons to 12 ounces of water. (I don't really measure, just dump in some juice and dump in some water.) After this procedure my waves are more curly and my clumps are back.

Most people use apple cider vinegar rather than lemon juice, but I prefer the lemon juice.

Baking soda IS pretty harsh. Definitely not something you'd want to do too often. I have pretty low porosity hair and when I wash with it I can feel the porosity go way up! It goes back to normal after my rinse though.
2B * Low Porosity * High Density

Co-Wash: DevaCare No Poo
RO: SNTCC
LI & Detangle: SNTCC & KCKT


Styling: KCCC
The low dew points in Canada are probably calling for a slight change up in your products. You may need to clarify, then add a slightly stronger conditioner to leave in, one with more emollients than humectants (i dont remember if the suave has humectants). The propylene glycol in your gel is a humectant, so maybe find another gel with humectants further down on the list. When you seal with oil, you literally only need a few drops, and rake/ scrunch into your ends mainly.
Originally Posted by chloe92us
I will take your advice about this tho and try to apply it since it would make sense in colder areas like mine. I'm going to have to go back to basics and read about the emollient/humectant thing again, because I've forgotten most of it.
shoulder length inverted bob; fine; 3A-3B; med-thick density; normal porosity; normal elasticity- my hair loves keratin, ACV, silk protein ,Curlkeeper and AG:Recoil ; seems to hate moisturizing products and oils except mineral oil; CG- Jan/'09-mod CG Sept/'09;CG again Jan/'10/mod CG from Mar'10

receive $10 off 1st order of $40 & up, or $5 off on smaller orders, when using iHERB code: GIK909
This same kind of thing happened to me. Turns out I was over conditioned and that my hair needed a LOT of protein.

What are your properties? Do you have fine hair? If you clarified, that's always a good start, especially if you've been using a lot of oils. Now that you have a fresh start, you get a new chance at rebalancing moisture/protein.
2BC/f/II. fine - low/normal porosity - medium density - normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low-poo: Jason Mango bodywash
Cowash: Cure Care diluted with water 1:1
RO: Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: IAgirl's gelatine

light moisture, hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
Neutral on cones.

iherb discount code: CFN646
It definitely looked like product buildup. Product buildup (or buildup of any kind) can make it hard for your hair to suck up your conditioner, so it can feel and look dry, too! I'd say you did the right thing by clarifying. Next time you clarify, you may want to do a protein treatment (if you're fine-med texture) and then do a deep conditioning treatment. That might help your hair get back on the right track more quickly after using a sulfate.
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.
I'm not a 2, but I was going to suggest clarifying also. I can't cowash exclusively. I can do it for about a month then I have to shampoo. About every 6 months or as needed I have to break out the sulfates!!

Sometimes a good scrubbing is just necessary.


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I've heard about baking soda rinses--has anyone here experimented with those? Do you still get curl-less (but clean) hair the next day with baking soda like I did with regular shampoo?
Originally Posted by yakotta
Some people like it, and some people find that their hair hates it. But if you try it, you should follow up with a rinse with something acidic like diluted apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Otherwise you will throw off the pH of your hair.

I'm not super clear on whether clarifying conditioner is better than a baking soda/ACV rinse myself. I'm not sure if the BS/ACV rinse can get rid of silicone build up or not...
Baking soda and ACV do not remove silicones, unless they're water soluble (water soluble 'cones can be removed via cowashing). If you want to remove silicones, you need a low poo (sulfate free shampoo) that contains Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Cocobetaine, OR a sulfate shampoo (silicone free).
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Autumn Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 KLS, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, L'Oreal Studio Clean gel, Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's as needed
I've been trying to let my hair bounce back before replying, but THANK YOU EVERYONE. Clarifying definitely helped, and the olive oil/honey treatments are mostly working again. It's looking much better, though still not quite like it did in the initial picture. Could it just be that my hair is longer and the weather is starting to cool down a bit? Or perhaps I just need to find a balance of how often to shampoo?

One thing I forgot to mention in the original post is that I'm a swimmer, so apparently I need to shampoo a bit more often than I thought. I kind of just decided to ignore the chlorine thing since I was doing just fine swimming and just cowashing (the initial picture is smack in the middle of a lot of days in and out of the pool and letting my hair dry completely in the sun before cowashing--bad I know, but it was still so pretty!). I had tried the Trader Joe's Nourish Spa shampoo, and I felt like my hair was brittle and dry even as I was washing it out of my hair in the shower, so I didn't use it very consistently. I bought the Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo and tried that tonight (after letting chlorine dry in my hair for ~5 hours) in combination with a honey treatment and some chamomile, and my hair is the softest I think it has ever been. I'll have to see how it curls up tomorrow with some gel.

As for my other properties, I'm not entirely sure. I know I have a lot of hair. I did that run-your-fingers-up-a-strand test from the Live Curly Live Free FAQ page, and since my fingers felt like it was ruffling up the strand apparently my hair is porous? I'd guess medium, but I don't know 100%.
Use a chelating shampoo at least once a month to shift chlorine and at least rinse well immediately you get out the pool, that will cumulatively damage your hair if left to dry in. There are CG friendly versions for example ION or Malibu C sachets.

The porosity self tests have been debunked, look at how your hair behaves or have a hair analysis from Goosefootprints on Etsy.
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

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