Ingredients to use with Low Porosity Hair

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Hello everyone. I just did the big chop a couple of days ago, so I am trying to get used to the swing of things. I figured out that my hair is medium/coarse, low porosity, and I am a 3C/4A.

I see some people say that glycerin and oil work horribly for their low porosity hair. But then I see others who say that low porosity hair NEEDS the glycerin, and I see some people with low porosity hair that seal their hair with oil.

Does anyone know what types of ingredients you should use or avoid with low porosity hair, or is it just dependent on how each individuals hair reacts to each ingredient?

Is sealing the hair a bad idea when you have low porosity hair, since low porosity hair doesn't allow much moisture in or out?
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
This NC article may help (talks about ingredients and such)...

Porosity and Curly Hair | NaturallyCurly.com
If at first you don't succeed you must try, try, try again...

Current Products:


Poo: SM Moisture Retention Shampoo & SM African Black Soap
LI Condish: Oyin HH
, SM DTM, SM Y&A Milk
DC: SM DTM, Honey & Oil Blend
Stylers: Oyin S&D, Oyin BSP, Oyin J&B, EcoStyler (Blue), SM C&S Milk

Oils: Tea Tree, Grapeseed, EVOO, Vatika Oil, Sweet Almond, Avocado Oil, SM RSB Elixir

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness - A. Schweitzer
I don't know a whole ton about low porosity hair, but I know one thing: you guys don't need too much protein treatment. I have normal porosity hair and overdid protein treatments and got straw strands focus more on moisture since your strands tend to be slightly "resistant" to absorbing moisture.
My hair is extremely low in porosity. I tend to use gels that are water based. In the summer, I use Long Aid which contains glycerin. During the winter, I avoid glycerin because it is cold and dry where I live. There is no moisture for the glycerin to pull into the cuticles. Right now I use KCCC or DB's curling cream gel. They are both water based.

I recently revisited Shea butter which I thought my hair did not like. After doing some research, I discovered that I did not use it correctly the first time that I used it. I use it for my DTs. I soften it and mix it with KCKT and a couple of drops of sweet almond oil (using a mixer). Apply to my hair. Then I cover with a plastic cap and sit under a heating cap 30-60 minutes. I rinse with warm water then follow up with KCKT and rinse that with cold water to seal the cuticles. I then apply KCCC or DB's ccg and seal my ends with my Shea butter DT. So far, so good. I have noticed that my hair feels moisturized and it is taking longer to dry then what it use to.

I avoid protein as much as possible. I use it about every two or three months. The article that Al1020Blue posted is very helpful.

This is what is working for me. You are correct in saying that some people with low porosity use oil, some use glycerin. Although we all have low porosity hair, our hair responds differently to products. You may have to experiment to see what works for your hair.
centralvalleygirl likes this.
___________________________
BC 11/23/2008
Low porosity, Fine/Medium Texture, S-Curls

Co-wash: VO5 Tea Therapy
Rinse Out: Garnier Sleek 'n Shine (subject to change)
Styler: Long Aid Curl Activator

Dislikes: Proteins (except occasional Silk protein), Cones, Oils
Hello everyone. I just did the big chop a couple of days ago, so I am trying to get used to the swing of things. I figured out that my hair is medium/coarse, low porosity, and I am a 3C/4A.

I see some people say that glycerin and oil work horribly for their low porosity hair. But then I see others who say that low porosity hair NEEDS the glycerin, and I see some people with low porosity hair that seal their hair with oil.

Does anyone know what types of ingredients you should use or avoid with low porosity hair, or is it just dependent on how each individuals hair reacts to each ingredient?

Is sealing the hair a bad idea when you have low porosity hair, since low porosity hair doesn't allow much moisture in or out?
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007

I have low porosity hair. It is also thick and coarse. I use glycerin and my hair loves it. In fact, that is the only product that I've found to date that keeps my hair moisturized and pliable even when its dry. I still use a leave in (Giovanni Direct) and seal with Castor oil which are very helpful. But I use the Long Aid activator gel for continued moisture throughout the week. Everyone's hair is different, even if you have the same texture. I say experiment with both the leave-in/sealing alone and the glycerin alone to see which works for you. Then you can try adding or subtracting other products for the desired effect. Oh, deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and steaming are extremely beneficial. I have started doing the first two with a plastic cap with or without a hair dryer and it helps a lot esp now in the winter.
Hair type: 4a, I believe
Hair Texture: Thick, coarse, coily
Low porosity

~ I am beautiful no matter what they say-because I'm made in Gods image. I'm loving how He created me!~
I don't know a whole ton about low porosity hair, but I know one thing: you guys don't need too much protein treatment. I have normal porosity hair and overdid protein treatments and got straw strands focus more on moisture since your strands tend to be slightly "resistant" to absorbing moisture.
Originally Posted by Mz.Preciosa
Yup, I'm finding that out Now! My relaxed ends were extremely damaged from heat damage, dying my hair, and then relaxing it, so I really needed the protein. But now since the bc my hair feels like Straw! Ill be sure to focus on Moisture!
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
My hair is extremely low in porosity. I tend to use gels that are water based. In the summer, I use Long Aid which contains glycerin. During the winter, I avoid glycerin because it is cold and dry where I live. There is no moisture for the glycerin to pull into the cuticles. Right now I use KCCC or DB's curling cream gel. They are both water based.

I recently revisited Shea butter which I thought my hair did not like. After doing some research, I discovered that I did not use it correctly the first time that I used it. I use it for my DTs. I soften it and mix it with KCKT and a couple of drops of sweet almond oil (using a mixer). Apply to my hair. Then I cover with a plastic cap and sit under a heating cap 30-60 minutes. I rinse with warm water then follow up with KCKT and rinse that with cold water to seal the cuticles. I then apply KCCC or DB's ccg and seal my ends with my Shea butter DT. So far, so good. I have noticed that my hair feels moisturized and it is taking longer to dry then what it use to.

I avoid protein as much as possible. I use it about every two or three months. The article that Al1020Blue posted is very helpful.

This is what is working for me. You are correct in saying that some people with low porosity use oil, some use glycerin. Although we all have low porosity hair, our hair responds differently to products. You may have to experiment to see what works for your hair.
Originally Posted by teejay
Thanks for all the info!

What are some good water-based gels I can get on the ground w/o protein? Does the Long-aid have protein? It seems impossible to find a good gel on ground w/o protein.

I'm in TX, so the winters aren't too bad here, so I think I might be okay with the glycerin. But how do you know when your hair doesn't like glycerin or oil?

Where do you get your Shea butter?

In what form do you use the protein every once in a while? DC, Rinse out, in a styler?

Sorry for all the questions, even though I've been a natural a majority of my life i've never known how to properly take care of my hair, so I consider myself a newbie on all this.
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
I have low porosity hair. It is also thick and coarse. I use glycerin and my hair loves it. In fact, that is the only product that I've found to date that keeps my hair moisturized and pliable even when its dry. I still use a leave in (Giovanni Direct) and seal with Castor oil which are very helpful. But I use the Long Aid activator gel for continued moisture throughout the week. Everyone's hair is different, even if you have the same texture. I say experiment with both the leave-in/sealing alone and the glycerin alone to see which works for you. Then you can try adding or subtracting other products for the desired effect. Oh, deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and steaming are extremely beneficial. I have started doing the first two with a plastic cap with or without a hair dryer and it helps a lot esp now in the winter.[/quote]

I've been reading a lot about of good things about that Long-aid gel, I might have to go get some! I have both giovanni direct and castor oil as well as EVOO. I'll have to experiment with it all. How do the hot oil treatments help low-porosity hair? Haven't read much about them. I have heard good things about the steaming as well, might have to save up for a steamer! And DC works for you without heat? I've always read that people with low-porosity should use heat when they DC, but I guess it really is different for everyone!
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
Yes protein can make our low porosity hair feel like straw but too much moisture makes it mushy. I found out I need an occasional pt but I have to follow it with a moisturizing treatment or I'm in trouble.
A technique that has helped me is to start with a warm rinse for a few minutes to open the cuticle then after the cowash finish up with a cool rinse to seal the cuticle. I also blot out excess water before applying product. My hair won't absorb anything when it's soaking wet.
Yes protein can make our low porosity hair feel like straw but too much moisture makes it mushy. I found out I need an occasional pt but I have to follow it with a moisturizing treatment or I'm in trouble.
A technique that has helped me is to start with a warm rinse for a few minutes to open the cuticle then after the cowash finish up with a cool rinse to seal the cuticle. I also blot out excess water before applying product. My hair won't absorb anything when it's soaking wet.
Originally Posted by adthomas
So you do a pt dc? What kind do you use?

I also do the hot water before the co-wash and then a blast of cold water, so I usually don't have a problem getting the conditioner to soak in.

And does blotting out the excess water help speed up drying time? It takes my hair 6 hrs to dry, and it drives me nuts! Btw how often do you co-wash? Before I did the BC I co-washed everday since my hair dried fast, but if it's going to take this freaking long to dry it will not be happening everyday! Lol.
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
The issue with being low porosity is that we are ALREADY sealed. Our cuticles are so sealed down that the difficulty lies in getting the nutrients into our hair. You have to do stuff to get the shaft to open up (like using heat or baking soda, etc), otherwise it takes time for products to absorb into our hair (unlike our higher porous sisters). The latter comment is also why our hair tends to look better as the day goes on instead of right after styling. We are slow absorbers (so we easily weigh down).

Low porosity doesn't mean you're coarse. Coarse textures have higher protein content in the hair and as such dont need much or their hair will feel like straw (or hard). Actually, any overuse of protein in anyone will do that.

Now, products to use? Hmm, I wouldnt say that we are limited to what we use, I think its more HOW we use it and HOW MUCH. One can't be heavy handed when they're low porosity and its trial and error like everything else in this hair journey. You're doing the most imprt step which is learning your hair's character. After this, its just fine tuning and learning its likes and dislikes. What works for one, may not work for you.

The best place to start are the siggies. People have their hair characteristics and products they use in them.

HTH.

Edit: Glycerin is really touch and go and very dependent on the dewpoint. As a humectant in warmer times glycerin attracts moisture into the hair from the environment. In the cold season, it works against you and steals moisture from your hair.
Type: 3c with some 4a highlighted
Low porosity thick/coarse texture. nml elasticity
Routine: No rules, just happy hair

Cleanse: CJDF, Prell, LUSH Curly Wurly, Bobeam
LI/RO:BBB, CJ, SheaM, HEHIS, Garnier, KBN Shealoe, CD Chocolat, Oyin HH
Styling: CJ, CR, UFD, Zuresh, Ecostyler,MJ
PT/DT: BBB, CJ, Lather, MJSSB

HUGE PJJJJJJJJ!!!!

]
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Last edited by Naturalista; 12-27-2010 at 11:38 AM.
My hair is extremely low in porosity. I tend to use gels that are water based. In the summer, I use Long Aid which contains glycerin. During the winter, I avoid glycerin because it is cold and dry where I live. There is no moisture for the glycerin to pull into the cuticles. Right now I use KCCC or DB's curling cream gel. They are both water based.

I recently revisited Shea butter which I thought my hair did not like. After doing some research, I discovered that I did not use it correctly the first time that I used it. I use it for my DTs. I soften it and mix it with KCKT and a couple of drops of sweet almond oil (using a mixer). Apply to my hair. Then I cover with a plastic cap and sit under a heating cap 30-60 minutes. I rinse with warm water then follow up with KCKT and rinse that with cold water to seal the cuticles. I then apply KCCC or DB's ccg and seal my ends with my Shea butter DT. So far, so good. I have noticed that my hair feels moisturized and it is taking longer to dry then what it use to.

I avoid protein as much as possible. I use it about every two or three months. The article that Al1020Blue posted is very helpful.

This is what is working for me. You are correct in saying that some people with low porosity use oil, some use glycerin. Although we all have low porosity hair, our hair responds differently to products. You may have to experiment to see what works for your hair.
Originally Posted by teejay
Thanks for all the info!

What are some good water-based gels I can get on the ground w/o protein? Does the Long-aid have protein? It seems impossible to find a good gel on ground w/o protein.

I'm in TX, so the winters aren't too bad here, so I think I might be okay with the glycerin. But how do you know when your hair doesn't like glycerin or oil?

Where do you get your Shea butter?

In what form do you use the protein every once in a while? DC, Rinse out, in a styler?

Sorry for all the questions, even though I've been a natural a majority of my life i've never known how to properly take care of my hair, so I consider myself a newbie on all this.
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007

Long Aid was the first gel that I used when I did the BC. It is one of the few "consistent" staples that I use. I haven't tried any other glycerin gels since I discovered it. However, you can take a look in your local drugstores and bss. There are many curl activator gels that contain glycerin. Long Aid Regular (blue label) does not contain protein. Long Aid Extra Dry (green label) does contain protein. I learned this the hard way. I buy Long Aid at Walgreen and a local bss. Sometimes, they restock just the extra dry, then I have to order from Amazon.

I can't say how you can tell if your hair dislikes glycerin, since my hair loves it. I can tell you that when I use oil, it just seems to sit on top of my strands. My hair does not absorb it. If I look closely at my hair in the mirror, I can see little beads of oil just sitting on top of it. It feels extremely greasy on the surface but my hair looks really dry (if this makes sense).

I buy my raw Shea butter from a local African-American bookstore in my area. I believe some people on this forum buy it from Wholefoods or other natural supply stores.

When I use protein, I use it in a DC. I do cut down on my leave on time. I only leave it on for 15-30 minutes, instead of my usual 30-60 minutes. I make sure that I do a thorough rinse (about 5 minutes) to remove the conditioner.

No problem to all the questions. I have been natural for a little over two years and I am still asking questions and learning.
___________________________
BC 11/23/2008
Low porosity, Fine/Medium Texture, S-Curls

Co-wash: VO5 Tea Therapy
Rinse Out: Garnier Sleek 'n Shine (subject to change)
Styler: Long Aid Curl Activator

Dislikes: Proteins (except occasional Silk protein), Cones, Oils
I have low porosity hair. It is also thick and coarse. I use glycerin and my hair loves it. In fact, that is the only product that I've found to date that keeps my hair moisturized and pliable even when its dry. I still use a leave in (Giovanni Direct) and seal with Castor oil which are very helpful. But I use the Long Aid activator gel for continued moisture throughout the week. Everyone's hair is different, even if you have the same texture. I say experiment with both the leave-in/sealing alone and the glycerin alone to see which works for you. Then you can try adding or subtracting other products for the desired effect. Oh, deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and steaming are extremely beneficial. I have started doing the first two with a plastic cap with or without a hair dryer and it helps a lot esp now in the winter.
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007
I've been reading a lot about of good things about that Long-aid gel, I might have to go get some! I have both giovanni direct and castor oil as well as EVOO. I'll have to experiment with it all. How do the hot oil treatments help low-porosity hair? Haven't read much about them. I have heard good things about the steaming as well, might have to save up for a steamer! And DC works for you without heat? I've always read that people with low-porosity should use heat when they DC, but I guess it really is different for everyone!
It's all about experimentation. Try a number of things a number of different ways. Currently I don't do hot oil treatments on their own. I now mix some oils into my deep conditioner. That way I get the oil and the cream to penetrate my hair shaft & they also help minimize tangles. If I have time to sit, I will go under the dryer for 15-30 mins. If I have stuff to do, I will just DT wearing my plastic cap for an hour to several hours. For me, that works just as well.

I use castor oil over my leave in to seal it into my hair shaft in order to keep my hair moisturized longer. But like teejay said, Long Aid is the most consistent product I've found for my coarse, dry hair. Deep treating as well as using the Long Aid have been lifesavers for my hair, esp this winter (I live in the south east). I can even use the Long Aid with protein in it, because the protein content is not very high. But that's for my hair. You may want to experiment and see what works best for you.
Hair type: 4a, I believe
Hair Texture: Thick, coarse, coily
Low porosity

~ I am beautiful no matter what they say-because I'm made in Gods image. I'm loving how He created me!~
Nubiana30, I am going to try just using a plastic cap under a hat, when I go to the gym or on those busy days when I don't have time to sit under the heating cap.
___________________________
BC 11/23/2008
Low porosity, Fine/Medium Texture, S-Curls

Co-wash: VO5 Tea Therapy
Rinse Out: Garnier Sleek 'n Shine (subject to change)
Styler: Long Aid Curl Activator

Dislikes: Proteins (except occasional Silk protein), Cones, Oils
The issue with being low porosity is that we are ALREADY sealed. Our cuticles are so sealed down that the difficulty lies in getting the nutrients into our hair. You have to do stuff to get the shaft to open up (like using heat or baking soda, etc), otherwise it takes time for products to absorb into our hair (unlike our higher porous sisters). The latter comment is also why our hair tends to look better as the day goes on instead of right after styling. We are slow absorbers (so we easily weigh down).

Low porosity doesn't mean you're coarse. Coarse textures have higher protein content in the hair and as such dont need much or their hair will feel like straw (or hard). Actually, any overuse of protein in anyone will do that.

Now, products to use? Hmm, I wouldnt say that we are limited to what we use, I think its more HOW we use it and HOW MUCH. One can't be heavy handed when they're low porosity and its trial and error like everything else in this hair journey. You're doing the most imprt step which is learning your hair's character. After this, its just fine tuning and learning its likes and dislikes. What works for one, may not work for you.

The best place to start are the siggies. People have their hair characteristics and products they use in them.

HTH.

Edit: Glycerin is really touch and go and very dependent on the dewpoint. As a humectant in warmer times glycerin attracts moisture into the hair from the environment. In the cold season, it works against you and steals moisture from your hair.
Originally Posted by Naturalista
Thanks for all the info. Ill have to try different metjods to open the cuticle. And when I did the texture test I have some med and some coarse hair. Some strands look thick and wiry, and I get the straw feeling when I use protein. Having thick low porosity hair sucks. I'm sure it'll get better when I figure things out though. And haha...I do get heavy handed...I feel like I get dry patches that don't want to absorb the product. Will opening up the cuticle and doing a dc solve that prob?
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
I have low porosity hair. It is also thick and coarse. I use glycerin and my hair loves it. In fact, that is the only product that I've found to date that keeps my hair moisturized and pliable even when its dry. I still use a leave in (Giovanni Direct) and seal with Castor oil which are very helpful. But I use the Long Aid activator gel for continued moisture throughout the week. Everyone's hair is different, even if you have the same texture. I say experiment with both the leave-in/sealing alone and the glycerin alone to see which works for you. Then you can try adding or subtracting other products for the desired effect. Oh, deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and steaming are extremely beneficial. I have started doing the first two with a plastic cap with or without a hair dryer and it helps a lot esp now in the winter.
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007
I've been reading a lot about of good things about that Long-aid gel, I might have to go get some! I have both giovanni direct and castor oil as well as EVOO. I'll have to experiment with it all. How do the hot oil treatments help low-porosity hair? Haven't read much about them. I have heard good things about the steaming as well, might have to save up for a steamer! And DC works for you without heat? I've always read that people with low-porosity should use heat when they DC, but I guess it really is different for everyone!
It's all about experimentation. Try a number of things a number of different ways. Currently I don't do hot oil treatments on their own. I now mix some oils into my deep conditioner. That way I get the oil and the cream to penetrate my hair shaft & they also help minimize tangles. If I have time to sit, I will go under the dryer for 15-30 mins. If I have stuff to do, I will just DT wearing my plastic cap for an hour to several hours. For me, that works just as well.

I use castor oil over my leave in to seal it into my hair shaft in order to keep my hair moisturized longer. But like teejay said, Long Aid is the most consistent product I've found for my coarse, dry hair. Deep treating as well as using the Long Aid have been lifesavers for my hair, esp this winter (I live in the south east). I can even use the Long Aid with protein in it, because the protein content is not very high. But that's for my hair. You may want to experiment and see what works best for you.
Originally Posted by nubiana30
I too add oil to my DC. I also add honey. So w/o heat you should DC for at least 1 hr being low-porosity? I don't think I like castor oil a lot, when I was transitioning when I'd co-wash I could still feel residue of it left behind, but it might be diff now. I looked and the only one I can find is the regular one with the protein. But if it still worked for you I might have to try it. Bc the gel I was using before had protein like #3 or #4 on the ingredients.
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
I have low porosity hair. It is also thick and coarse. I use glycerin and my hair loves it. In fact, that is the only product that I've found to date that keeps my hair moisturized and pliable even when its dry. I still use a leave in (Giovanni Direct) and seal with Castor oil which are very helpful. But I use the Long Aid activator gel for continued moisture throughout the week. Everyone's hair is different, even if you have the same texture. I say experiment with both the leave-in/sealing alone and the glycerin alone to see which works for you. Then you can try adding or subtracting other products for the desired effect. Oh, deep conditioning, hot oil treatments and steaming are extremely beneficial. I have started doing the first two with a plastic cap with or without a hair dryer and it helps a lot esp now in the winter.
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007
I've been reading a lot about of good things about that Long-aid gel, I might have to go get some! I have both giovanni direct and castor oil as well as EVOO. I'll have to experiment with it all. How do the hot oil treatments help low-porosity hair? Haven't read much about them. I have heard good things about the steaming as well, might have to save up for a steamer! And DC works for you without heat? I've always read that people with low-porosity should use heat when they DC, but I guess it really is different for everyone!
It's all about experimentation. Try a number of things a number of different ways. Currently I don't do hot oil treatments on their own. I now mix some oils into my deep conditioner. That way I get the oil and the cream to penetrate my hair shaft & they also help minimize tangles. If I have time to sit, I will go under the dryer for 15-30 mins. If I have stuff to do, I will just DT wearing my plastic cap for an hour to several hours. For me, that works just as well.

I use castor oil over my leave in to seal it into my hair shaft in order to keep my hair moisturized longer. But like teejay said, Long Aid is the most consistent product I've found for my coarse, dry hair. Deep treating as well as using the Long Aid have been lifesavers for my hair, esp this winter (I live in the south east). I can even use the Long Aid with protein in it, because the protein content is not very high. But that's for my hair. You may want to experiment and see what works best for you.
Originally Posted by nubiana30
My hair is extremely low in porosity. I tend to use gels that are water based. In the summer, I use Long Aid which contains glycerin. During the winter, I avoid glycerin because it is cold and dry where I live. There is no moisture for the glycerin to pull into the cuticles. Right now I use KCCC or DB's curling cream gel. They are both water based.

I recently revisited Shea butter which I thought my hair did not like. After doing some research, I discovered that I did not use it correctly the first time that I used it. I use it for my DTs. I soften it and mix it with KCKT and a couple of drops of sweet almond oil (using a mixer). Apply to my hair. Then I cover with a plastic cap and sit under a heating cap 30-60 minutes. I rinse with warm water then follow up with KCKT and rinse that with cold water to seal the cuticles. I then apply KCCC or DB's ccg and seal my ends with my Shea butter DT. So far, so good. I have noticed that my hair feels moisturized and it is taking longer to dry then what it use to.

I avoid protein as much as possible. I use it about every two or three months. The article that Al1020Blue posted is very helpful.

This is what is working for me. You are correct in saying that some people with low porosity use oil, some use glycerin. Although we all have low porosity hair, our hair responds differently to products. You may have to experiment to see what works for your hair.
Originally Posted by teejay
Thanks for all the info!

What are some good water-based gels I can get on the ground w/o protein? Does the Long-aid have protein? It seems impossible to find a good gel on ground w/o protein.

I'm in TX, so the winters aren't too bad here, so I think I might be okay with the glycerin. But how do you know when your hair doesn't like glycerin or oil?

Where do you get your Shea butter?

In what form do you use the protein every once in a while? DC, Rinse out, in a styler?

Sorry for all the questions, even though I've been a natural a majority of my life i've never known how to properly take care of my hair, so I consider myself a newbie on all this.
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007

Long Aid was the first gel that I used when I did the BC. It is one of the few "consistent" staples that I use. I haven't tried any other glycerin gels since I discovered it. However, you can take a look in your local drugstores and bss. There are many curl activator gels that contain glycerin. Long Aid Regular (blue label) does not contain protein. Long Aid Extra Dry (green label) does contain protein. I learned this the hard way. I buy Long Aid at Walgreen and a local bss. Sometimes, they restock just the extra dry, then I have to order from Amazon.

I can't say how you can tell if your hair dislikes glycerin, since my hair loves it. I can tell you that when I use oil, it just seems to sit on top of my strands. My hair does not absorb it. If I look closely at my hair in the mirror, I can see little beads of oil just sitting on top of it. It feels extremely greasy on the surface but my hair looks really dry (if this makes sense).

I buy my raw Shea butter from a local African-American bookstore in my area. I believe some people on this forum buy it from Wholefoods or other natural supply stores.

When I use protein, I use it in a DC. I do cut down on my leave on time. I only leave it on for 15-30 minutes, instead of my usual 30-60 minutes. I make sure that I do a thorough rinse (about 5 minutes) to remove the conditioner.

No problem to all the questions. I have been natural for a little over two years and I am still asking questions and learning.
Originally Posted by teejay
I'll def have to buy that long-aid! I hope we have the reg. one, but online walgreens said that it was not in stock. I'll have to check anyways. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the oil. When I was natural the 1st time and I'd straighten my hair and put oil on it, it would LOOK dry as hell, but I could feel all the oil on it, and I never understood why.

I don't have any kind of health food store near me! It makes me so sad, I'd have to drive an hr away just to get to one. And the only ones I found online were expensive.

Would a yogurt pt dc suffice every once and a while? That worked well for me while I was transitioning.
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/
I have low porosity hair and when I first became natural, I was so frustrated. It took all day for my 2 inch TWA to dry.

I have found that my hair likes gels, gellies, and serum like products.
As my hair has grown out, it has become more tolerant to creams, oils and butters in small amounts. I really have to work creams and butters in so they don't sit on top of my hair. I mix my shea butter with aloe vera gel. FOTE Aloe vera gel is my staple.
Coily/low porosity/fine
BC 08*14*09
I have low porosity hair and when I first became natural, I was so frustrated. It took all day for my 2 inch TWA to dry.

I have found that my hair likes gels, gellies, and serum like products.
As my hair has grown out, it has become more tolerant to creams, oils and butters in small amounts. I really have to work creams and butters in so they don't sit on top of my hair. I mix my shea butter with aloe vera gel. FOTE Aloe vera gel is my staple.
Originally Posted by caracara01
I hate how long it takes Too! I also have to really work products in Too! I might have to try that. I Already have fote.
-Mostly 3C with some 4A.
-Currently APL.
-Shorterm Goal: BSL by end of the year.
-Longterm Goal: WL in 2 years.
-Medium/coarse hair, Low Porosity, Low-Elasticity, Medium Density.

Rotation:

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Cond. (any)
Rinse Out: Tresemee Naturals Moisture
DC: GVP Cond. Balm, SM DC, & EVOO
Leave in: SM Conditioning Milk
Sealant: EVOO Or Whipped Shea
Gel: SM Curl Souffle

Afro-Latinas...visit my blog!:

http://afrolatinaisbeautiful.blogspot.com/

Last edited by m_cruz2007; 12-27-2010 at 09:28 PM.
The issue with being low porosity is that we are ALREADY sealed. Our cuticles are so sealed down that the difficulty lies in getting the nutrients into our hair. You have to do stuff to get the shaft to open up (like using heat or baking soda, etc), otherwise it takes time for products to absorb into our hair (unlike our higher porous sisters). The latter comment is also why our hair tends to look better as the day goes on instead of right after styling. We are slow absorbers (so we easily weigh down).

Low porosity doesn't mean you're coarse. Coarse textures have higher protein content in the hair and as such dont need much or their hair will feel like straw (or hard). Actually, any overuse of protein in anyone will do that.

Now, products to use? Hmm, I wouldnt say that we are limited to what we use, I think its more HOW we use it and HOW MUCH. One can't be heavy handed when they're low porosity and its trial and error like everything else in this hair journey. You're doing the most imprt step which is learning your hair's character. After this, its just fine tuning and learning its likes and dislikes. What works for one, may not work for you.

The best place to start are the siggies. People have their hair characteristics and products they use in them.

HTH.

Edit: Glycerin is really touch and go and very dependent on the dewpoint. As a humectant in warmer times glycerin attracts moisture into the hair from the environment. In the cold season, it works against you and steals moisture from your hair.
Originally Posted by Naturalista
Thanks for all the info. Ill have to try different metjods to open the cuticle. And when I did the texture test I have some med and some coarse hair. Some strands look thick and wiry, and I get the straw feeling when I use protein. Having thick low porosity hair sucks. I'm sure it'll get better when I figure things out though. And haha...I do get heavy handed...I feel like I get dry patches that don't want to absorb the product. Will opening up the cuticle and doing a dc solve that prob?
Originally Posted by m_cruz2007
Using heat helps. I often go under a hood dryer or use a heating cap for my treatments bc I cant get a steamer quite yet.
Type: 3c with some 4a highlighted
Low porosity thick/coarse texture. nml elasticity
Routine: No rules, just happy hair

Cleanse: CJDF, Prell, LUSH Curly Wurly, Bobeam
LI/RO:BBB, CJ, SheaM, HEHIS, Garnier, KBN Shealoe, CD Chocolat, Oyin HH
Styling: CJ, CR, UFD, Zuresh, Ecostyler,MJ
PT/DT: BBB, CJ, Lather, MJSSB

HUGE PJJJJJJJJ!!!!

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