Oh, wonderful revelations...
I was CG in 2010. I discovered it not from Naturally Curly/Curl Talk but through talking to friends in the dance program I was in. All I knew was: co-wash. Fortunately I somehow avoided styling products with 'cones and the like, probably because I'm sort of a hippie. I loved
my hair... at first. After several months I wasn't too keen on it, though. It looked sort of lifeless - really shiny but somehow not good at the same time.
I went back to "whatever seems fun" hair products and wrote it off as something that didn't work for me due to my greasy/finicky hair's personality. I've done co-washing and low-pooing most of the time in between, but never known the "full" CG program of avoiding certain ingredients, doing treatments, etc.
About a month ago, I came across this forum and the website. I started using my science brain instead of my consumer brain and being a smarter CG shopper. I learned a few techniques (I've still only made baby steps), and after several weeks...
...boring shiny limp hair was back! Hmmmmmm.
This is when I really dug into the protein vs. moisture thing. I was scared to try a PT because of the bad stories. After a lot of reading, though, I saw that my hair had all
the symptoms of too much moisture and not enough protein. Mushy, shiny but limp, flatter and flatter and flatter. So I mixed up a mild version of IAgirl's PT and tried it on Saturday.
This is so clearly what was wrong with my hair before, so clearly the crucial missing step in my CG routine, and so clearly why I quit CG last time. Hurrah for this forum and all the lovely contributers who help each other ferret out hair issues and solutions! I'm bouncier again, ready to try a stronger PT next time, and back on track with keeping my hair balanced.
Thanks folks, and hope this gives other new CGers some help!