Product Troubles

I'm a newbie whose never posted, and tried to manage just by reading posts, but now I think I need help.

I am currently living in Costa Rica (central valley, not close to the beach). I guess I can start by stating some of the basic information. I have type 3a curls and Iíve been trying the curly girl method for a about 9 months now without much luck (had to do a sulfate wash a month ago...conditioner confusion). Mostly just knowing how to keep my hair clean with baking soda and co-washes. Recently (a week ago), Iíve gotten a little more confident with ingredient labels, and I can somewhat manage with conditioners. Iíve tried cg approved creams, gels and even had to use my co-wash (Alberto V05) as a leave-in conditioner because I canít find leave-ins here. The main problem that Iím having is what to put in my hair once Iím out of the shower for my curls to cooperate during the day. I want the soft, touchable curls, not the grimy, sticky ones that, up to this point, the gels and creams have left me with. Living in Costa Rica poses a problem when it comes to variety and hair care products. I realize that I could purchase products online, but I donít have the money to just order products to test them out.

Also, I feel like I have pretty healthy hair, and it looks okay in my house, with a little bit of conditioner and a tiny bit of cream, but as soon as I leave it starts to poof out, even when it doesnít seem like there is that much moisture in the air. Iíve wondered if this happens because Iím not putting any oils in my hair (another item that Iím having trouble finding here).

I guess my main concern is, what is a girl living in a hair product deprived, humid area to do? Are oils a product that I can purchase online, that I canít go wrong with? Also, how well does a homemade flaxseed gel work, because I think I can find a version of a Whole Foods store around here somewhere, and hope they have them?

I hope Iíve provided enough information, and thanks in advance.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
I too live in a warm and humid place. My dew points have been over 70ļF for a month. I get humidity induced frizz. This is my first spring and summer CG, so I'm experimenting with solutions (putting some results on Porous and Dew Point over 70ļ? ).

Some home-made items really help with the frizz and have become my hair holy grails. The ingredients are simple and easy to find.

Vinegar rinse | 1 Tbs vinegar to 1 cup water. I often use this as my final rinse. It could be working for me because it gets rid of the product build-up I think I'm getting since the dew points have gone up. Whatever makes it work - it works great.

Olive oil | Extra-virgin olive oil, the kind you eat. Olive and coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft. I have been smoothing one to 7 centimeter sized puddles into my hair an hour or more before washing. I also have been rubbing olive oil along my more coarse, kinky, and less cooperative hairs that stick up at my crown.

Cooking or massage oil such as safflower, sunflower, almond / any are worth a try | These oils do not penetrate the cuticle. They do help seal in moisture and add shine. I spread several drops of sunflower or almond oil on my palms when I scrunch out the crunch, smooth down my hair, etc. I have over-applied and ended up with producty frizz. Have not had luck adding any kind of oil to my conditioner, but many do this.

Flax Seed Gel | I use the recipe from the first page of "No Fail Flax Seed Gel, Finally did it ..." plus 1/2 tsp agave nectar per finished cup. This is the magic serum for me. It defines my curls, smooths down frizzies, and provides a tiny bit of hold.

Humectants can cause humidity inducted frizz in some people. Humidity, Humectants and Hair | NaturallyCurly.com is one article. Cutting down on most humectants has helped me, though I still like sweets like agave nectar.

Kathymack (a member here) sells product samples. Maybe you can order a package from her, and try them out before shipping full-sized products.

Some gals signatures say that they just use VO5 (various products) or other common products with great success. Maybe once you know your hair's properties and factor in the humidity, you can easily try what works for others with similar hair.
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets
Thank you so much. I'm so excited to try some of your suggestions. I did find flax seeds yeasterday, and I'll try the homemade gel recipe that you mentioned. I'm also gonna go out and buy EVOO today and just see how my hair responds.

Thanks Again
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
jen -

Here's info I gathered about high humidity. I can't say what your hair is asking for. You may just need more hold, or to avoid humectants. I don't know if your hair will like oil, but I'm glad it is easy to find.

There are many approaches to achieving good hair in high dew points. These include using:
--- Humectants, Some Humectants, No Humectants, Anti-Humectants
--- Less Leave In, No LI, Sealants
--- Lighter Conditioner, Heavier Conditioner
--- Vinegar Rinses, Cold Water Rinses
--- More Protein, Less Protein
--- More Gel / Hold

If your hair is porous (see Porosity and Curly Hair | NaturallyCurly.com and determining porosity and elasticity help? ) please share what you are trying on Porous and Dew Point over 70ļ? .

Have a great day!
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets
Thanks for looking into it. I guess there's a lot to experiment with. As of right now, I'm trying a little bit of my co-wash, as a leave-in, and the homemade FSG. So far I'm really loving the FSG, it seems to hold pretty well, it's non-drying and my hair doesn't feel producty. I'm gonna keep on doing this as long as it's working, but I know that as soon as rainy season starts here, I'm gonna have to experiment.

Thank you

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