Help! Dry and Dread-like Curls

So I've been having some issues with my hair for the past couple years. I find that after a couple days, my hair becomes very dry and separates into chunks (almost like the beginning stages of dreads); several sections seem to rope together, leaving my hair weighed down with less volume and more of my scalp visible (I hope that description makes sense...). At first I tried switching up my products, since I had been using Garnier leave-in conditioner for years and years; I've been using Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship leave-in for a little while now, but it hasn't really made a difference. Then I tried cutting my hair, which I wanted to avoid at all costs, but I hadn't cut it in about 4 years, so I figured it was time (I cut it myself, and I've never been to a salon); after cutting about 3 inches off (my hair originally reached my mid/lower back, and now it comes to about 2-3 inches below my shoulders), I initially saw an improvement, but now it's back to separating/drying out quickly.
I'm very low-maintenance when it comes to my hair, but here are some quick stats about my hair/my "hair regimen". I wash my hair once or twice a week and use leave-in conditioner, and about once or twice a month I use shampoo (Burt's Bees, no sulfates); I rarely use a blow-dryer (set on cool), and I prefer to let it air dry. I sleep with my hair in a bun on the top of my head, and I wear it down regularly. I really have no idea what to do to stop my hair from sectioning off the way it does. Should I use less leave-in to keep it from getting weighed down? Should I get a good deep conditioning treatment? I really don't want to lose any more length, but should I have my hair professionally cut? I really appreciate any advice/info you guys could give me, it would be a huge relief to find a solution to my hair woes. Sorry for the monster post!!

(The pic below is my hair on a good day - the day after washing - but it doesn't last very long before the sectioning begins).
Attached Thumbnails
Help! Dry and Dread-like Curls-66317_525841128076_7502046_31134909_3651909_n.jpg  
just a stab in the dark, a few things came to mind:
do you detangle? maybe you need to run your fingers through it.
maybe you have same nasty build up from the condish
maybe you need somthing with slip, marshmallow root is amazing, works wonders for my hair, and oils are a good slip as well, if your worryed bout being weighed down, then a light oil, like jojoba or argan.
a deep conditioning treatment wouldnt hurt it either.
hope there are a few thoughts there for ya

my hair: 3c, high porosity, high density and coarse hair (i think i finally figured that all out)
my hair loves conditioner only styling!
my hair goal length is bra strap length when curly.

I also blog about my hair journey, please feel free to read and comment/ask questions http://www.naturallycurly.com/blogs/...air-blogs/2494
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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So I've been having some issues with my hair for the past couple years. I find that after a couple days, my hair becomes very dry and separates into chunks (almost like the beginning stages of dreads); several sections seem to rope together, leaving my hair weighed down with less volume and more of my scalp visible (I hope that description makes sense...). At first I tried switching up my products, since I had been using Garnier leave-in conditioner for years and years; I've been using Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship leave-in for a little while now, but it hasn't really made a difference. Then I tried cutting my hair, which I wanted to avoid at all costs, but I hadn't cut it in about 4 years, so I figured it was time (I cut it myself, and I've never been to a salon); after cutting about 3 inches off (my hair originally reached my mid/lower back, and now it comes to about 2-3 inches below my shoulders), I initially saw an improvement, but now it's back to separating/drying out quickly.
I'm very low-maintenance when it comes to my hair, but here are some quick stats about my hair/my "hair regimen". I wash my hair once or twice a week and use leave-in conditioner, and about once or twice a month I use shampoo (Burt's Bees, no sulfates); I rarely use a blow-dryer (set on cool), and I prefer to let it air dry. I sleep with my hair in a bun on the top of my head, and I wear it down regularly. I really have no idea what to do to stop my hair from sectioning off the way it does. Should I use less leave-in to keep it from getting weighed down? Should I get a good deep conditioning treatment? I really don't want to lose any more length, but should I have my hair professionally cut? I really appreciate any advice/info you guys could give me, it would be a huge relief to find a solution to my hair woes. Sorry for the monster post!!

(The pic below is my hair on a good day - the day after washing - but it doesn't last very long before the sectioning begins).
Originally Posted by lmontgom
Have you tried detangling your hair with a comb. This seperates my hair a lot. I prefer my hair to clump so I use my fingers but my hair gets very seperated and fuller looking if I use a wide tooth comb.
Have you tried detangling your hair with a comb.
Do you mean while it's dry or while it's wet? I comb my hair after each wash (I usually comb it out in the shower, while I'm rinsing out the conditioner, so it's easier to manage), and then I finger comb in my leave-in conditioner. I don't do anything to my hair between washes.

Thanks for the advice so far!
I have yet to find any method that makes my rough, dry 3b hair wearable past day 2. Mine will do the same thing, it becomes dead and loses all its shape and moisture. I am starting to think that has something to do with how my hair holds onto build up. A few weeks ago I used the Ion Crystal Clarifying treatment and my hair immediately came back to life... even though if only for a week or so. If I don't shampoo my hair every day it just becomes a dreadlocky mess.

Have you ever tried clarifying your hair?
Very coarse, thick, porous 3B. My biggest challenge is SOFTNESS and SHINE.

Current shampoo: Biosilk w/ added vitamin E
Current conditioner: Lush Okra
Leave-ins: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, KCCC
CG didn't work for me. Oils don't work for me. Trying hard to learn how to love my hair. Read my blog.
Swansinapril - I haven't tried clarifying my hair. I try to get all the product out whenever I wash, but I'm sure there's some buildup that I could get rid of. I heard baking soda is a really good natural way to remove buildup, so I'll look up some recipes for that. Thanks for the advice!

I just ordered Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment, and I plan on trying that out as soon as it arrives. Hopefully a good deep treatment is just what I need to get my hair healthier, but I'll see how it goes. Have any of you guys used Ojon? Do you have any other recommendations for good deep treatment products? They're all so expensive, so it would be great to find one that I didn't have to use too often (I'm hoping for once a month, for maintenance).
Imontgom, my hair was doing the exact same thing as yours. (Unfortunately, I wound up hacking around six inches off.) The parts I cut off were so damaged they looked like different hair from the hair that was growing in. I was doing all kinds of deep treatments and using leave-ins and soaking in pure olive oil, mayonnaise, jojoba, etc. However, the dreadlocks didn't stop happening until I cut off all the ruined hair, (right before I found out about CG; just my luck). I've been doing some "detective" work since I've joined this site, and I probably wouldn't have cut off all my hair if I'd known about how some things that are supposedly "good" for hair, can ruin my hair.

Prior to CG my products had a ton of protein, silicones, and, of course, sulfates...Do your products have a lot of protein/wheat protein in them? I was using a heavy-duty protein leave-in because my hair appeared to need "restructuring". I'm always hearing about how much hair needs protein, but recently when I put anything with protein on it (like B'Leave In), I immediately see that dryness beginning. Now I think protein is probably something to use occasionlly only.

Plus, I was overdosing on silicones in order to soften and detangle my morning dreds, and I was making them worse! After sleeping in Moroccanoil (a whole bottle's worth), one day I woke up and my hair felt like a cheap halloween wig. I couldn't detangle it without ripping it off. It was a nightmare. I couldn't stand it, so I chopped my hair.

I've been avoiding silicones, proteins, sulfates, and occasionally glycerin, like the plague, for two months and I've never in my life had such healthy hair. I have to say, even though I miss the length, I like my hair so much better now, it doesn't affect how I feel about my appearance!

However, hopefully all you'll have to do is find out which ingredient or combo of ingredients your hair is rejecting. For my hair, I think the worst enemies are silicones. They just cause a bad chemical reaction with my hair.
3b/c, Coarse, Low Porosity, Desert Climate
CG since August 2011/Occasionally Modified since 2013
Favorites:KCKT/KCCC/CHS Curl Keeper/Camille Rose Curl Maker/
ORS Curls Unleased Second ChanceRefresher/
It's a 10 Leave-in/BRHG/
Jane Carter Nourish & Shine butter/
Ouidad Double-Detangler Comb
Gardencurls- those are some really good tips. Unfortunately, I just went and read the ingredients in all my products, and none of them had silicones or sulfates listed (I recently switched to Burt's Bees shampoo, which is sulfate-free), and only a couple had protein or glycerin, and I don't use them very often. Maybe that means my hair actually needs proteins? Who knows. Just out of curiosity, what products are you currently using? Even if my products don't really have any of those ingredients, it couldn't hurt to try something new. Thanks!
Hi Imontgom,

Burt's Bees dries the heck out of my hair. My daughter (age 3) can't use even the baby shampoo, because it tangles her hair so much we've had to cut some tangles out. I don't know why, but it's awful for me. I don't know enough about protein to know if dryness can also mean that hair needs protein, but I've read that it's often an indicator of protein sensitivity; especially dry, dreadlike ends.

Right now I'm using DevaCurl No-Poo for shampoo. My hair feels like silk after cleansing, and the cleanser gets all the tangles out! I'm using other products from the line, too (see signature) and I also use stuff from Curk Junkie and Kinky Curly.

You might want to try some Kinky Curly products. They don't have proteins, silicones, sulfates, or glycerin, and they're highly moisturizing.

I noticed a huge difference in my hair when I washed with a clarifying shampoo (Pure Curls) and left Heaven in Hair on my head overnight. I've dont this twice, and it makes my curls spring the next day.

Before CG I used to buy a bottle of jojoba oil at Trader Joes's and use it as a leave-in overnight, or pre-shampoo, and it helped a lot. I didn't understand then that my other products were negating the good effects from the oil though.

Keep us posted on how your hair is doing!
3b/c, Coarse, Low Porosity, Desert Climate
CG since August 2011/Occasionally Modified since 2013
Favorites:KCKT/KCCC/CHS Curl Keeper/Camille Rose Curl Maker/
ORS Curls Unleased Second ChanceRefresher/
It's a 10 Leave-in/BRHG/
Jane Carter Nourish & Shine butter/
Ouidad Double-Detangler Comb

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