REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!!

Okay so I have the start of type 3A hair and I dont know how to take care of it! I decided to stop straightening it and let its natural beauty shine throught so I really need some help. My hair is shoulder length and is between the wavy type and 3A. Its really curly in the back (think really loose Shirly Temple curls) but in the front its rather undefined and ugly. What I use right now on it is a leave-in conditioner and frizz serum (yet it still comes out rather frizzy). I need advice on products for my hair to make it look its best (shiny, non frizzy, defined curls) and I need tips for how to use the products. Also, I'd like to know how to put it in a cute bun with curls hanging down ( I achieved it once and it was so pretty but today I definitely failed). Also, if theres any tips or any facts that I need to know about my hair that can be helpful for me to take good care of it. Thank you, SOOOO much! I really need advice!
<3 !!
Please, I am so new to embracing my curls. I look on other 3a boards for advice that I could use but I dont understand anything you're saying. whats poo? awe? I am so lost. Someonejust please help me! PLEASE!!!
<3 !!
Welcome! It's great to hear from a curly coming out of the closet!

First of all, I would ditch the frizz serum. Is it John Frieda? Serums may be tempting to curlies, but really, they weigh down the curls and coat them with a whole bunch of bad ingredients. Gels and creams are much better options. If you can learn to use a gel right (I didn't know how to for a lonnggg time, boy was I missing out!) and get a good gel, you can achieve some fabulous curls!

When looking for products, start looking at the ingredients. Avoid alcohols as they can dry your hair out. Silicones (anything ending with "cone" or "xane") are another red flag. Some get good results with cones, but in the long run they seem to build up and weigh down curls. They're supposed to lessen frizz, but after a while they make frizz worse. Silicones can be used in moderation, but too much is a bad hair day waiting to happen. Sulfates can be bad for hair also. These are the detergents in shampoo. The only semi-gentle sulfate is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, not to be confused with Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which is the worst of the sulfates. If you start to read the ingredients on shampoos, almost every single shampoo has em. I like Creme of Nature shampoo, which is sulfate-free, gentle, detangling, and moustruizing. It can be found in most drugstores and Walmart in the ethnic section.

About shampooing, I don't shampoo every day. I will maybe 2-4 times a week, but no more. Your hair most likely doesn't need it every day! My hair doesn't look dirty or anything when I don't shampoo, and no one would ever know unless I told them. It takes longer for the natural oils to get to the ends of your curls, and when you shampoo, it strips the curls of those oils that it needs(especially if there's sulfate in the shampoo).

When looking for a conditioner, suprisingly enough, some of the best are the cheapest! I love love love Suave (Milk & Honey, Coconut, Aloe Vera) and VO5 (Oasis line) condishes. Also, check out the conditioners here at CurlMart. All are curly tested and approved.

One great tip I've learned from this site is to use honey. Yep... it's fantastic! I just add a little to my conditioner, and it gives me great curls. Honey can also be added to your styling products, like gel or leave-in. Honey is versatile and can be used in many ways!

About the bun, do you mean loose curls hanging completely out of the bun like tendrils, or hair in the bun that hangs out?

Well, I think I've talked way too much, but I hoped you've learned a little! There's SO much to learn here, it's hard to get it all down in one post. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask away! Good luck!
3a/b, fine hair... with a mind of its own!
PW- frenchfries

Your hair, it's everywhere. Screaming infidelities, taking its wear.
Please, I am so new to embracing my curls. I look on other 3a boards for advice that I could use but I dont understand anything you're saying. whats poo? awe? I am so lost. Someonejust please help me! PLEASE!!!
Originally Posted by roses_ashes89
"Poo" is shampoo. Awe is probably Awe Inspiraling spray, by Jessicurl, an entrepenuer (spelling?) who posts here at this site and has her own line of products for curly hair. Go to her website for more info, www.jessicurl.com

I know somewhere on this site there's a FAQ for all these abreviations and such, maybe some one can help me out?
3a/b, fine hair... with a mind of its own!
PW- frenchfries

Your hair, it's everywhere. Screaming infidelities, taking its wear.
curly_princess gave you great advice. I also want to add that you might want to investigate Lorraine Massey's book " The Curly girl " it will help clear up a lot of the " poo " ( shampoo ) and no poo ( no shampoo ) terms as well as great at home recipes for hair products. It is a curly girls bible and can be found at almost any bookstore ( as well as here in curlmart ) hth good for you for letting your curls down !
3a. Boticelli w/ some corkscrews & corkscrew wannabees. Started CG method 3/9/05.
curly_princess gave you great advice. I also want to add that you might want to investigate Lorraine Massey's book " The Curly girl " it will help clear up a lot of the " poo " ( shampoo ) and no poo ( no shampoo ) terms as well as great at home recipes for hair products. It is a curly girls bible and can be found at almost any bookstore ( as well as here in curlmart ) hth good for you for letting your curls down !
Originally Posted by shortcake174
agreed. great info curly_princess. and the CG book by lorraine massey is a great starting point. even if you don't end up strictly following the routine outlined in the book, it has a lot of useful information.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
omg...thank you guys SOOO much!!! I wrote every bit of information handed to me down and I'm going hunting for some of the sugguested products tomorrow. We have a Sally's in town so whatever I cant get at walmart I should (hopefully) be able to get there. I am very afraid of 2 things that were mentioned: One is not "pooing", or shampooing. I'm afraid that my hair will be oily since my hair at the top is straight bu then the bottom half spirals down into loose barrel curls. However, I will try that sometime (not tonight; theres alot of hairspray in it from me trying to "revive" my curls).
2. ....honey? Like... cooking-honey? Wouldnt that make your hair sticky? How much do you use? And about the bun question I mean like the curls in the bun but some hanging out. I made the PERFECT one yesterday but today it didnt workout at all. Hopefully, someday I will be able to learn how to wear them down natuarally but for now its all about achieving the perfect bun
(My front hairs arent pretty...) But thanks soo much for replying and if anyone else has anything to add please dont hesitate to take a minute and post. Thanks!!
<3 !!
2. ....honey? Like... cooking-honey? Wouldnt that make your hair sticky? How much do you use?
Originally Posted by roses_ashes89
yup, regular kitchen honey! i get the honey-bear from the grocery store. there are a few different ways to use it:

-after washing and before conditioning - a "honey rinse"- from jessicurl's website:
After rinsing really well I do a rinse with honey water. I put about 2 tablespoons of honey in a big cup, fill it with water and slowly pour it over my hair. I leave that in while I do all the other shower things. Honey is a natural moisturizer and seems to cut down on frizz and enhance curl.
-mixed with conditioner and then either rinsed all out or leaving some in

-mixed with styling products. this is the only way that i've ever gotten sticky or hard hair from honey and that was from using too much, but it's also my favorite way to use it if i don't overdo it. use sparingly. i use about a pea-sized amount for each glob of gel (mixed well with the gel in my hands before applying)

hope this helps
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
roses_ashes89,
It sounds like you and I have very similar hair. I wish I could tell you the best way to take care of it, but the whole straight AND curly thing still has me wondering. I'm trying to do the strict no shampoo routine, but I find myself shampooing about twice a week. I hope you find products that work for you! I'm not much of a product tester, so I'd like to hear what products work for you.

I can tell you that in my limited experience, my curls LOVE the no shampoo, no silicone 'diet', but my straight hair hates it - it gets greasy too quickly. Oh, and definitely get honey! Mixed with conditioner, placed on my curls, and not totally rinsed out . . . . . it's awesome!!!

Keep me posted! We may be hair twins!

-Fido
I'm a 2something/3something. Started modified CG routine on 6/6/05
Cut more than ten inches from my BSL hair on 8-10-05 and growing it long again
But we're STILL adjusting.
Here are two useful links on drugstore gels:

http://naturallycurly2.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=51030

http://naturallycurly2.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=48102

As for the bun, here is a version of one, credit to LJCurly9.
Gather your hair as if you're pulling it up into a loose high-ponytail, allowing bumps and such to form. Use a hair tie, and pull it into a loose ponytail, and on the second time through, don't pull it all the way through, instead leave a bun. Take the part of the ponytail that is hanging beneath the bun, and rearrange it so that it is on all sides of the bun...like a crown or something. Then, pull those parts a bit, so that the bun becomes smaller, and pull curls from the bun, so that it is not exactly a bun or ponytail, but it is still up. I usually make sure that the curls are around all parts of the tie, as well. Then, take tendrils from the front (I usually do one from both ear area, and then two from each side of the hairline), and spray them for a good hold. Same with the bun/ponytail part...and you may even choose to use bobbypins to secure those curls in the back, but that's optional.
Is that what you're looking for?
3a/b, fine hair... with a mind of its own!
PW- frenchfries

Your hair, it's everywhere. Screaming infidelities, taking its wear.
Well for all the reading I've done on this site this thread TOTALLY clarified so many things and summed it all up real nice. THANKS! Now I'm going to try the honey thing too.
3A - shoulder length

Shampoo: Akamuti African Black Soap
(every 3 days)

Daily Cond/Co-Wash: MopTop Daily Conditioner
(daily rinse out fully)

Daily Leave-In: MopTop Leave-It In Conditioner
(daily on wet hair in shower - not too much - before plopping)
Styling: Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam
(daily)

About the no-shampooing thing...It sounds really crazy and scary, I know! You can ease into it though. You can start just by using a less harsh shampoo (Health food store brands are good for this). And you can just skip a day of shampooing ... Just rinse, condition and style. You may very well find you can go longer without your hair getting greasy. Then you are not drying our your hair by shampooing it every day, but you're not giving up shampooing altogether. (Yet!)
A thought I've been having lately is I wonder if when we don't shampoo we feel like the hair is greasy but maybe it's just healthy because we're so used to it being dry. Just a thought.
3A - shoulder length

Shampoo: Akamuti African Black Soap
(every 3 days)

Daily Cond/Co-Wash: MopTop Daily Conditioner
(daily rinse out fully)

Daily Leave-In: MopTop Leave-It In Conditioner
(daily on wet hair in shower - not too much - before plopping)
Styling: Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam
(daily)

I think that's a good point. There are definitely some folks who can't get the hang of no-pooing because they can't let go of that squeaky feeling (that means your hair is stripped).
I think that's a good point. There are definitely some folks who can't get the hang of no-pooing because they can't let go of that squeaky feeling (that means your hair is stripped).
Originally Posted by SuZen
I gotta admit, I love that squeaky clean feeling! I know that my hair is healthier when I don't shampoo and it still feels clean, I just like the feeling after I've shampooed.

Some more simple ideas, roses_ashes - Never brush curly hair! Never. Don't towel dry hair (creates frizz). If you want to dry your hair with a towel, get a microfiber one (less frizz) and gently scrunch or pat your hair, no rubbing. When you're in the shower, don't pile your hair on top of your head, because this messes up the curl pattern. If you must comb, use a wide-toothed one, but only comb in the shower or when you're applying product. Once you've applied product, don't touch!! I used to always want to keep scrunching my hair, but this just encourages frizz. If you don't want to air dry, use a diffuser. I like the bowl diffuser better than a sock kind. A great diffusing method is here, thanks to PixieCurl:
here's the method i've found for maximizing curls/volume and minimizing frizz:

flip hair upside down and put hair from front middle section (closest to forehead in the bowl of the diffuser, and hold bowl all the way against scalp so it is "scrunching" your curls for you. THEN i turn the dryer on, pressing the cool shot whenever it gets too hot for my scalp. i then TURN IT OFF before removing the bowl from my scalp. then i go to the front right section and repeat, then front left, then flip right side up and get the underside, then flip back upside down and get anywhere i missed. i don't diffuse until 100% dry, and it doesn't look quite right until it's finished airdrying all the way and i flip upside down and scrunch again.

the key is only having the blowdryer on when the bowl is against your scalp because this minimizes your hair getting blown around and thus minimizes frizz.

hope this helps!
That's all that I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure there's more. Curly hair is darn complicated!!
3a/b, fine hair... with a mind of its own!
PW- frenchfries

Your hair, it's everywhere. Screaming infidelities, taking its wear.
I just have to say that I tried the honey rinse today and my hair has not looked this good in years!! WOW!!! I can't say enough about that. Soft, bouncy, beautiful curls. Some nice control and doesn't seem like I even have any gel in them (I use Tress F/X).

When I use too much product or have too much conditioner in my hair it weighs the hair down but it also looks darker than it is naturally. Now I have my PERFECT hair. All because of the honey?!! I hope so!!

This being the very first time I've ever tried it but we'll see how it does on a regular basis. You have to try this if you haven't yet.

Thanks Pixie Curl for posting that in this thread.
3A - shoulder length

Shampoo: Akamuti African Black Soap
(every 3 days)

Daily Cond/Co-Wash: MopTop Daily Conditioner
(daily rinse out fully)

Daily Leave-In: MopTop Leave-It In Conditioner
(daily on wet hair in shower - not too much - before plopping)
Styling: Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam
(daily)

yup, regular kitchen honey! i get the honey-bear from the grocery store. there are a few different ways to use it:

-after washing and before conditioning - a "honey rinse"- from jessicurl's website:
After rinsing really well I do a rinse with honey water. I put about 2 tablespoons of honey in a big cup, fill it with water and slowly pour it over my hair. I leave that in while I do all the other shower things. Honey is a natural moisturizer and seems to cut down on frizz and enhance curl.
-mixed with conditioner and then either rinsed all out or leaving some in

-mixed with styling products. this is the only way that i've ever gotten sticky or hard hair from honey and that was from using too much, but it's also my favorite way to use it if i don't overdo it. use sparingly. i use about a pea-sized amount for each glob of gel (mixed well with the gel in my hands before applying)

hope this helps [/quote]

Thanks so much for posting this! I was wondering the same thing, how do I do this?! Now I'm going to try it!
Hair Type: 3A/2C at crown with 2B/2A underneath. Trying to begin CG, have a lot to learn! Website pw: curls

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