My hair is a hot mess. Please help me.

I am a sophomore in college and as of late I have exclusively been straightening my hair. BUT I think my curly hair has a lot of potential I just have no idea what to do with it. I think it's 3b/3c-ish. When I get out of the shower I think it looks great! It's not poofy/frizzy/dry. Fast forward 30 minutes and my hair looks like straw. And I can't even dream about getting anything salvageable to wear a second day hahaha. My usual routine is washing my hair every 3 days or so with a cheap conditioner and a moisturizing conditioner. Then I use this shea leave in conditioner. On off days I spritz my hair with water & use pantene relaxed and natural hair cream. I do all of this just to put my hair in a bun with a head band I'm getting tired of the one trick ponytail thing I have going.

So please if you have any suggestions for me I would REALLY appreciate some tips. I've attached some pictures so you can see for yourselves.

One of the pictures is of India Benet who has hair very similar to mine. But she's also able to make it look like this: india benet hair india-benet1 ? thirstyroots.com: Black Hairstyles and Hair Care which I would DIE to have.

HELP!!

The third picture is kind of misleading because that's about 15 minutes post-wash/condition. Fourth pic shows how poofy my hair is in the back, I think the back is a different curly type. I never wear it down because of this poofy-ness.
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Last edited by omgitsang; 03-09-2012 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Explained the pictures a bit.
I am a sophomore in college and as of late I have exclusively been straightening my hair. BUT I think my curly hair has a lot of potential I just have no idea what to do with it. I think it's 3b/3c-ish. When I get out of the shower I think it looks great! It's not poofy/frizzy/dry. Fast forward 30 minutes and my hair looks like straw. And I can't even dream about getting anything salvageable to wear a second day hahaha. My usual routine is washing my hair every 3 days or so with a cheap conditioner and a moisturizing conditioner. Then I use this shea leave in conditioner. On off days I spritz my hair with water & use pantene relaxed and natural hair cream. I do all of this just to put my hair in a bun with a head band I'm getting tired of the one trick ponytail thing I have going.

So please if you have any suggestions for me I would REALLY appreciate some tips. I've attached some pictures so you can see for yourselves.

One of the pictures is of India Benet who has hair very similar to mine. But she's also able to make it look like this: india benet hair india-benet1 ? thirstyroots.com: Black Hairstyles and Hair Care which I would DIE to have.

HELP!!

The third picture is kind of misleading because that's about 15 minutes post-wash/condition. Fourth pic shows how poofy my hair is in the back, I think the back is a different curly type. I never wear it down because of this poofy-ness.
Originally Posted by omgitsang
Have you tried deep conditioning with oils or other moisturizers/proteins? Maybe you could give that a try.
And as for the poofyness in the back, girl I know how you feel. I have different curl patterns in random places on my head. I do twist-outs sometimes and they make my hair look great and even, instead of flat in some areas and poofy in others. I do them as soon as I get out of the shower with a little bit of coconut oil and any leave-in conditioner or cream and wait for them to dry (sometimes I leave them on overnight or for a day or two).
I would agree with QOF...give that stuff a try!

Also, I would recommend that you stop straightening your hair so much. From the look of some of those straight ends, you have some heat damage :/
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I agree with the previous posters.

You seem to have a LOT of hair (this is a good thing)! So maybe you could try some two-strand twists as a style.. that way you get hang and multiple day hair. Two stranded twists are relatively easy to do and youtube/google has lots of examples of how to do this if you don't know how.
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I know I have a LOT of heat damage ( but it's a vicious cycle of my hair looking so bad curly that I HAVE to straighten it and then it gets damaged. I will try the two strand twists today. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated!
I know I have a LOT of heat damage ( but it's a vicious cycle of my hair looking so bad curly that I HAVE to straighten it and then it gets damaged. I will try the two strand twists today. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Originally Posted by omgitsang
Yes give that a go! Also, would you be open to snipping off the damaged ends?

One thing I noticed it that you didn't mention any sealants, oils or butters. What do you seal your leave in with?
19 y/o lifelong natural {4a-O ; spongy ; porous ; coarse ; dense ; ~MBL stretched}

products {'poo: TJTTT shampoo | RO: TJTTT Condish, YTC Condish | LI/style: TJTTT Condish, KCCC, AOHSR, homemade cocoa butter cream | DC: SMABS Purification Masque, condish + ayurvedic powder(s), AOHSR | PT: condish + NPF | oils: castor oil, grapeseed oil | other treatments: probiotics, tea rinses, AVG rinse/spritz, oil rinse | methods: LOCO, LCOGO}

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I just did the two strand twists and went to a meeting for a few hours and I had mixed results. The front half of my hair looked great! No frizz, some semblance of organization to my curls & the ends didn't look as fried. The back half didn't really take to it too much. I think because the back has much tighter curls, the twists really only held towards the bottom portion of the strands but the top just looked like a brillo pad lol.

As far as sealants, I'm new to this so I didn't really know there was such a thing. I just put in the cantu shea butter cream when my hair is wet & that's pretty much it. I don't know how I feel about cutting off the damaged ends only because I'm obsessed with length & I know that I'm never going to be a full time curly girl so I feel like I will always have some damage. I'm sure it would probably look better though.
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I just did the two strand twists and went to a meeting for a few hours and I had mixed results. The front half of my hair looked great! No frizz, some semblance of organization to my curls & the ends didn't look as fried. The back half didn't really take to it too much. I think because the back has much tighter curls, the twists really only held towards the bottom portion of the strands but the top just looked like a brillo pad lol.

As far as sealants, I'm new to this so I didn't really know there was such a thing. I just put in the cantu shea butter cream when my hair is wet & that's pretty much it. I don't know how I feel about cutting off the damaged ends only because I'm obsessed with length & I know that I'm never going to be a full time curly girl so I feel like I will always have some damage. I'm sure it would probably look better though.
Originally Posted by omgitsang
I absolutely hate Cantu Shea Butter. It made my hair feel dry & like it was coated with plastic. I normally use conditioner as a leave-in. My fave right now is V05 because it isn't super heavy, and I seal it with a little grapeseed oil.

Have you tried any protein treatments to treat your heat damage? I don't know how long you have had it but sometimes protein will help to restore some of your curl. Also, you don't have to cut all the damage off at once if you were considering cutting your hair. You can gradually trim. One more thing, for the hair that doesn't curl much, you can try scrunching while your hair is wet to give it some curl.
Hey ! You are such a pretty girl!! I hope you enjoy your natural hair journey. But I would advice you to STEP AWAY FROM THE STRAIGHTEN. When I was transitioning I did a lot of Bantu knots and roller sets. I think the sets along with no heat and good treatments ( moisture and protein) will help remind your hair it's curly .. But I do think you might want to cut it. Healthy hair or long hair? What do you want more ?
If you're not willing to take the plunge and maintaining healthy hair, would you consider just a shaping trim? I just had to have my hair shaped the other day because I was tired of looking like Patti/Selma from the Simpsons. After my cut I can actually wear my hair down and not look crazy and my curls seem to fall better.

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