Aqua-lily: Yes, maybe I am just thinking it is the "ideal" because your snapshots of your lovely golden curls are so angelic. You're so lucky. I used to highlight my hair but I've never had the courage to go full blond because my hair grows out so fast and dark roots = high maintenance. And now that my hair may or may not be damaged I'm just going to be extra careful. Thanks for your two cents.
kathymack, tricello and korkscrew: You guys are so nice. I think you were telling me what I already intuitively knew (despite my freakout) and that is the best seal of approval after all. I feel easier about it now. I'm not going to be all I absolutely cannot try this because it contains this much protein and must use that for whatever reason. I don't want to spend too much money figuring my hair out and I'm looking on the bright side. I already seem to have found my HG leave in and styler. If I have to wash my hair everyday in the meanwhile while I search for something with stronger hold it's not such a big deal. My straight haired friends already have to do that anyways to keep their hair from getting limp or greasy so I'll just have to do it to keep my hair conditioned and tidy. Like everyone said it's just trial and error. Plus maybe I can use protein heavy gels like my ultra defining gel and argan ecostyler every once in a while when I need more hold for say a night on the town. I will just be very careful not to overdo it and dry my hair out.
Shelly: What a great suggestion! I just checked it out. I'm pleased that one of the items suggested to coarse hair types is one I purchased today! The SM restorative conditioner. I think I will use that as my DC and for deep treatment and then follow your sage advice of maybe then trying a PT if it doesn't work out. I also picked up the SM Yucca Thickening Shampoo. I know it has protein in it and is designed for fine hair but Target was out of the other shampoo I wanted (ironically the one Tiffany suggests for my hair type) and this one smells really nice and seems to have a lot of wonderful ingredients. Oh and I am so green with envy that you got to meet Tiffany. I wish she cut hair in California but they probably need her in Florida more because of the humidity. Still... if only.
Multicultcurly: Oh yes this is very pertinent. I don't have any split ends either and my hair is very resilient. It does not break easy. So I was trying to rationalize this in my brain. Maybe my elasticity is low simply because I have a looser curl pattern: 3A with a little bit of 3B depending on the weather. My curls are not super tight and if I don't restyle the next day they fall to waves. Or is it merely that my curl pattern is loose because my elasticity has been lowered thanks to my styling my hair straight? I honestly don't know and I guess I won't know until it grows out a little or gets "repaired". My hair was curlier when I was a kid I can tell you that.
redcelticcurls: Which part of the country do you live in? Do you think your coarse hair is more protein sensitive right now because of the climate mainly since you said it was winter versus summer? I live in Los Angeles and it was 70 degrees today. (Still cold in my opinion but I am a wimp.) The reason I ask is because I did like I said buy a Shea Moisture shampoo with protein in it today. It was sort of an impulse buy since I came for an entirely different shampoo but the store was out of it. I'll test it out though and if it completely dries out my hair I guess I'll swap it. Or maybe I'll sleep on it tonight. I only have maybe two more days' worth of my As I am coconut co-wash so there's no rush.
Okay. . . now that I've thought about it I am really curious about the low elasticity. Do people with looser curls just have low elasticity in general? My hair doesn't have a big spring factor but it is resistant to straightening unless I use higher temperatures and even then it can get curly again really fast if exposed to humidity.