Hair Type?

So I've been stalking Naturally Curly for a while now and I finally picked up Curly Girl and decided to embrace the no silicones, no sulfates method and see how it works for me. I've been trying to figure out my hair type, and I've narrowed it down to between 2c and 3B, but I can't really tell because my hair has been damaged from coloring, heat styling and lots of shampoo!

The picture with the llama is my hair at it's healthiest that it's ever been. In that pic I was 15 and had never colored my hair, but I was flat ironing it several times a week and shampooing daily.

The red with the white top and picture with my boyfriend are from 3+ years ago, some coloring but before I bleached it.

The last picture where I'm super pale with red hair is from a couple weeks ago. It has not been colored with permanent color in about 4 months. Also a year ago I bleached my hair platinum, and it pulled almost all the curl out till it was barely wavy. This is how it is now, after lots of coconut oil and deep conditioner.

Other info, my hair is super fine and is prone to being completely flat for the first inch of my roots. On my very best days (which are few and far between) the healthiest parts of my hair look like DNA strands. Genetics I get it from my Dominican birth dad, who from the pics I've seen had hair well into the 4 range, and him and his whole family had very kinky, poofy hair. My mom's side is caucasion with chinese a couple generations back, all very straight hair.

One last note, pure virgin coconut oil makes my hair super curly with little ringlets absolutely everywhere. I'm wondering if that's normal or if it could mean my hair is really dry and that's what the moisture does to it? Also, my hair seems to love protein.

So anyhow would love to hear thoughts on what my type is! Obviously I've never treated my hair how I should so I've never seen its real potential, but I'm hoping to change that. Sorry for being long winded, I've just gotten really excited over all this because I've been frustrated with my curls for years.
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I would say your curl pattern is 3A, and you have beautiful hair :-) Curl pattern doesn't mean a thing though when it comes to taking care of it. Your hair properties are way more important. By properties I mean texture, density, and porosity, with texture and porosity being #1 and #2. You seem to know that your hair is fine, but if you have questions on other properties, this link here will be very helpful: Curly Hair Basics | Live Curly Live Free

Fine hair, especially fine damaged hair, usually benefits from protein to help repair the damage. Highly porous hair is usually a signal of damage and should also respond to protein. With the chemical damage you've mentioned, I would bet your hair is still porous in some ways, so using protein is a great thing for you. You're on track with that.

Protein/moisture balance is THE number one key to success, IMO. There are several techniques around to coax curl out and lower frizz that many of us here use. Those should all be stickied in the General Hair forum at the top of the board.

With what you've said, I can see where coconut oil could be helpful to you - coconut can act like protein in some people's hair while also providing moisture. It penetrates the hair shaft well so your hair probably soaks it up if it's porous. A lot of us follow up PTs with a DT, but you don't have to. I don't. My hair is very fine and easily weighed down and I can follow a PT with a light RO and be fine. I also use protein in almost all of my products.

For flat top - I have the same problem. I apply all my products upside down, scrunch upside down, and diffuse upside down and side to side to encourage root lift. Some people also clip the roots while hair is drying to encourage them to lift. I don't, I don't have that much time or motivation The upside down thing helps, otherwise my hair would be plastered to my head at the scalp.

Hope I've given you some helpful tips!
fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
LI: KCKT
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel


Last edited by lcl0706; 05-23-2013 at 05:54 PM.
Thank you! You've been a huge help, and I love your hair by the way! I don't have any clips at the moment, I do have a diffuse pr but the last time I tried using it my hair got super frizzy, guess I just don't have the hang of it yet. I usually just let my hair air dry. I picked up Shea moisture products at Walgreens a couple days ago, the moisture shampoo and conditioner and the smoothie + gel, so far they seem to work really well for me, as long as I don't use too much.
Your hair is likely super porous from bleaching it white and any heat styling, coconut oil can penetrate reducing porosity, increasing elasticity, reducing protein loss and protecting from further damage. My hair is colour treated and coconut oil also makes it curlier, more so in combination with sugar syrup/ honey (a humectant).

I don't think coconut oil is anything like a hydrolysed protein, one is water repellent and the other is water attracting, one dries the hair out and makes it poufy if used to excess, the other leaves the hair limp and greasy if used to excess. Both can penetrate and strengthen hair but in totally different ways. Plenty of curly heads and long hairs love coconut oil and hate protein or vice versa.

You won't know what your true curl pattern is until you have grown out a decent amount of hair that has never been bleached so much that it lost some of it's curl. More important is to understand your hair properties.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Thank you! You've been a huge help, and I love your hair by the way! I don't have any clips at the moment, I do have a diffuse pr but the last time I tried using it my hair got super frizzy, guess I just don't have the hang of it yet. I usually just let my hair air dry. I picked up Shea moisture products at Walgreens a couple days ago, the moisture shampoo and conditioner and the smoothie + gel, so far they seem to work really well for me, as long as I don't use too much.
Originally Posted by Silverkitty15
Have you tried pixie diffusing? It's where you scrunch your hair into the diffuser bowl & hold it in place for a couple minutes or so, then shut the diffuser off, move it to another section, & repeat. this reduces the amount of air blowing your hair around. I do this upside down & side to side. I find it helps reduce frizz for me.
fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
LI: KCKT
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel

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