Nearly 10 years natural 4B, considering a process

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First off, ditto on what everyone is saying about how gorgeous your hair is. I'm sorry that folks in your town how made you feel like your hair is freakish or strange because, honey, your hair is bomb.
Anyway I was going to ask what products other than conditioner you are using. I definitely recommend going experimenting with products before you experiment with a permanent chemical process. Have you tried medium hold gels? My hair looks similar to the picture you posted of your hair wet. I find that if I use a leave in conditioner and then shingle in a gel my roots do not shrink and I don't have problems with tangles.
Also I think that wetting your hair frequently (like once a day or once every other day) and reapplying conditioner and gel may help you with tangles/shrinkage/matting. Basically I wet and finger-comb my hair every day and I use a cleansing conditioner every other day. After wetting I always reapply and leave-in and then gel. I've found that this keeps my curls elongated, defined, and tangle-free.
P.S. Do you have a target in your town. There are some great gels there.
Originally Posted by shainala
Hey-lo!

I'm not really a products buff, but this is what I use:
Suave Conditioner, Arbonne Tea Tree Shampoo (rarely), Carol's Daughter Vanilla Spray, sometimes the Elixir in DTs and prepoos... some homemade avocado butter that a friend gave me... I have a heat protectant spray for when I iron, BEDHEAD I think... I have also used that Aussie Moist, but I ran out months ago, and haven't bought more. I love it, but I just don't ever remember.

That's about it!

There is no Target, but there is one a few hours away...

Here's my experience with shingling (it's like the Tightly Curly method, no?) Using conditioner, aussie moist, and any kind of butter I've devised, (and I do have a garnier creamy gel that I bought just for the shingling) I sectioned the hair further after my shower. I loaded up each section with product, brushed with the denman, then started pulling it apart and working towards the clumping part. I get some pretty clumps, but they don't dry pretty... And I never finger detangle, it takes crazy long, and as the strands pull across and rub on each other, they catch more hairs causing it to just get tangled up on the other end anyways. And again, I don't like touching my hair.

I got it all denman-ed and teezer-ed and half of it had shrunken up (where I started) and the other half was slowly crawling upwards. It also had swelled outwards (I like my hair against my scalp if loose, otherwise it just turns into a fuzzy mess as soon as it dries). So, i worked towards pulling it together, back, and getting it into a poof (which I don't do anymore, too many scraggly ends, too annoying to wrap). By the time it had dried, it was stuck. I think my strands do something with product that turn it into tacky glue, so that the next day, or once it dries, trying to undo it and "refresh it" is just starting all over again.

I'm lazy. I'm sure all of this would be better if I had someone doing it for me, or if I could drive somewhere on a regular basis. But loose natural styles, not twists, braided, or sectioned hair, dries into a lifeless, dull mess and breaks along the shaft.

I'm thinking of trying the "diffuser" idea! I lost the attachment for my dryer ages ago, but I'll come up with something!
Originally Posted by bharjala
Hey chica,
So yikes, I wouldn't drive that far for a target, I'd just order online. I recommend you try a gel and see how you like it. It will stretch your roots and make it less likely you get mats or tangles. So you might want to try ordering a cheap gel like eco-styler on amazon.com
Amazon.com: Eco Styler Styling Gel 32 oz. Blue Jar: Beauty
I would caution you to use the gel in combination with a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair from drying out. Shingling is different from the tightly curly method. You essentially apply gel to your hair in sections, spreading the gel from root to tip with your fingers after applying a leave-in while your hair is soaking wet. If you get too much crunch with eco-styler but you like the look of the results, try a lighter gel like Amazon.com: Kiss My Face Upper Management Styling Gel 8 oz.: Bobby Thompson: Beauty.
I think you'll like the results.
Also check out this video on shingling
Video: Wash n Go using Eco Styler Gel
[QUOTE=shainala;1895848]

Hey chica,
So yikes, I wouldn't drive that far for a target, I'd just order online. I recommend you try a gel and see how you like it. It will stretch your roots and make it less likely you get mats or tangles. So you might want to try ordering a cheap gel like eco-styler on amazon.com
Amazon.com: Eco Styler Styling Gel 32 oz. Blue Jar: Beauty
I would caution you to use the gel in combination with a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair from drying out. Shingling is different from the tightly curly method. You essentially apply gel to your hair in sections, spreading the gel from root to tip with your fingers after applying a leave-in while your hair is soaking wet. If you get too much crunch with eco-styler but you like the look of the results, try a lighter gel like Amazon.com: Kiss My Face Upper Management Styling Gel 8 oz.: Bobby Thompson: Beauty.
I think you'll like the results.
Also check out this video on shingling
Video: Wash n Go using Eco Styler Gel
Originally Posted by bharjala
Thanks for explaining shingling! I bought some ecostyler gel a while back, and just put a little in sections... But I really didn't know what the goal was! Apply a leave-in (like a spray, or cream?) then the gel? Would I dry it at all? Like, with a diffuser stretched?

With just the gel it pulled back up on it's own, but not as much as before. I think if I can shingle it, and semi dry each section, I can keep it from shrinking even more...

Has anyone tried this KinkyCurly business?

I just watched this video:
Kinky-Curly Hair Products Demo - YouTube

It would be my DREAM to have that hair, hair that laid down, even if it stood from the scalp a bit, but to actually stay down. I'm going to finally spend some money on products, so anything you can think of for long, 4a? hair would be ideal. Just to keep it LONG, and not shrinking.

It's the shrinking that kills me.

**Actually, nix that video. I wan't this girls hair! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8uBp...feature=relmfu
shainala likes this.
~My salvation lies in your love... Alexi Murdoch~

Last edited by bharjala; 02-27-2012 at 11:21 AM.
I am weighing in because I think Kinky-Curly is the BUSINESS!

It takes a couple of tries to know how much to use on your hair (and you don't need to use a lot), but when you get it it is a dependable, frizz-busting, moisturizing product. I get 3-5 days of wear out of it and it lasts a long time for me. I use it, as with any gel, with a leave-in underneath, applied in smallish sections.

I applaud your willingness to experiment.

There are plenty product junkies on this board, so feel free to ask about anything you might be pondering - someone will weigh in!
shainala likes this.
4a/3c curls
Fine strands, not as densely-placed as I would like
Ayurvedic herbs are the TRUTH
Team Wash and Go!
iHerb code:UYA010 - get 5% off your first purchase
[QUOTE=bharjala;1895965][QUOTE=shainala;1895848]


Has anyone tried this KinkyCurly business?

I just watched this video:
Kinky-Curly Hair Products Demo - YouTube

It would be my DREAM to have that hair, hair that laid down, even if it stood from the scalp a bit, but to actually stay down. I'm going to finally spend some money on products, so anything you can think of for long, 4a? hair would be ideal. Just to keep it LONG, and not shrinking.

It's the shrinking that kills me.

**Actually, nix that video. I wan't this girls hair! Do You Know Your Hair Growth Potential? - YouTube
Originally Posted by bharjala
Kinky Curly is wonderful, I love it, but it is expensive so you have to keep that in mind. I find I get very similar results with the Upper Management Gel.
The goal with the gel is to define the curl and to keep the roots from tangling and matting, but you will have some shrinkage. Shrinkage varies depending on your curls, but it will always shrink. That's one of the joys of highly textured hair. I personally don't mind the shrinkage I get as long as my curls are tangle-free and moisturized. I don't dry my hair as I shingle gel in. I just let my hair air dry.Since your hair is longer than mine, you could consider shingling in gel and then putting your hair into one big loosish braid while it dries. That would certainly minimize some of the shrinkage. But curly hair shrinks so be realistic about your goals!
you might want to check out this youtuber (elle/denimpixie). I learned a lot about products and how to experiment with them by watching her channel.
denimpixie's Channel - YouTube
her hair is a little shorter than yours now, but not by too much I think. You can see a more recent video to see what shingling in gel does for her hair in terms of shrinkage by comparing her hair lightly flat ironed: Does the Internet Make it Easy for Companies to Be Dishonest? Let's talk about it! - YouTube
to her hair with gel&conditioner:
In Review: MopTop Medium Hold Gel - YouTube
I think those are pretty good results, but as you can see she does have several inches of shrinkage even with gel.
As for a leave-in conditoner, I like the cream conditioners for a leave in like donna marie hair whip. I love that stuff.
Good luck! Keep me updated.
@shainala: speak to me of the DM HAir whip. I am trying to decide whether to order some. I am looking for a good, glycerin-free, silicone-free moisturizer for second-day and farther hair which will not add any hardness. I have tried SM Curl Milk and some MyHoneyChild products, but my hair feels moisturized yet "hard" after use. You seem to use some of the same products I use (KCCC, EcoStyler Blue, KMF Upper Management) so I wondered what your experience has been.
4a/3c curls
Fine strands, not as densely-placed as I would like
Ayurvedic herbs are the TRUTH
Team Wash and Go!
iHerb code:UYA010 - get 5% off your first purchase
@shainala: speak to me of the DM HAir whip. I am trying to decide whether to order some. I am looking for a good, glycerin-free, silicone-free moisturizer for second-day and farther hair which will not add any hardness. I have tried SM Curl Milk and some MyHoneyChild products, but my hair feels moisturized yet "hard" after use. You seem to use some of the same products I use (KCCC, EcoStyler Blue, KMF Upper Management) so I wondered what your experience has been.
Originally Posted by 3c4d7zwhatevs
So I bought it on a whim, and I was kinda nervous because I am not a fan of the DM miracurl curling gelly ( think it smells a little bit like a bathroom air freshener and the dews are still a bit too low for glycerin based product anyway). Anyway, I ordered the DM Hair Whip because I needed to buy 50 dollars of AveYou products to get 25% off (i'm a pj who loves a deal). It arrived two weeks ago and I was having a kinda weird hair day because it started drizzling on my way home. I had already put Upper Management gel in my hair in the morning and I was getting ready to go out to dinner so I decided to put some Hair Whip in. I was so happy with the result. It reinvigorated the hold a bit and tamed the frizzies without being crunchy at all. It still looked good in the morning when I added a little more to refresh my mushed hair. I don't really get third day hair because I'm a lazy sleeper and (while I use a satin pillowcase)I do not wrap my hair at night. I wouldn't use it without having previously put gel in my hair. I don't think it has enough hold for that. But I like it as a refresher and I find it really moisturizing and light. It plays well with all my gels. I'm loving it.
oh and p.s. it doesn't have glycerin and it doesn't smell like a bathroom air freshener
Denimpixie is great. If you want good products for when you flat iron try Carol's Daughter Chocolat collection. Denimpixie gave a review of these that convinced me to try the new line. I don't flat iron often but a little of the shampoo, conditioner, & blow dry cream goes a long way and protects the hair from heat.

My hair never lays. It's about 10in these days but shrink to about 6in. I use Ouidad Climate Control Gel & the moisture lock leave in to wash n go. Its still fluffy but defined.
About my hair:
weekly shampoo-HE Honey I'm Strong
daily conditioner-HE Honey I'm Strong (use as li)
go to style-Pocahontas braids
@shainala: speak to me of the DM HAir whip. I am trying to decide whether to order some. I am looking for a good, glycerin-free, silicone-free moisturizer for second-day and farther hair which will not add any hardness. I have tried SM Curl Milk and some MyHoneyChild products, but my hair feels moisturized yet "hard" after use. You seem to use some of the same products I use (KCCC, EcoStyler Blue, KMF Upper Management) so I wondered what your experience has been.
Originally Posted by 3c4d7zwhatevs
So I bought it on a whim, and I was kinda nervous because I am not a fan of the DM miracurl curling gelly ( think it smells a little bit like a bathroom air freshener and the dews are still a bit too low for glycerin based product anyway). Anyway, I ordered the DM Hair Whip because I needed to buy 50 dollars of AveYou products to get 25% off (i'm a pj who loves a deal). It arrived two weeks ago and I was having a kinda weird hair day because it started drizzling on my way home. I had already put Upper Management gel in my hair in the morning and I was getting ready to go out to dinner so I decided to put some Hair Whip in. I was so happy with the result. It reinvigorated the hold a bit and tamed the frizzies without being crunchy at all. It still looked good in the morning when I added a little more to refresh my mushed hair. I don't really get third day hair because I'm a lazy sleeper and (while I use a satin pillowcase)I do not wrap my hair at night. I wouldn't use it without having previously put gel in my hair. I don't think it has enough hold for that. But I like it as a refresher and I find it really moisturizing and light. It plays well with all my gels. I'm loving it.
oh and p.s. it doesn't have glycerin and it doesn't smell like a bathroom air freshener
Originally Posted by shainala
You have said all the right thngs...I am off to try it! Thanks!
4a/3c curls
Fine strands, not as densely-placed as I would like
Ayurvedic herbs are the TRUTH
Team Wash and Go!
iHerb code:UYA010 - get 5% off your first purchase
Hey all!

This is my first post, but I've been doing research on this site for ages! I'm 24, and I've been natural for a long time. I attached some photos where you can see my shrunken hair, and my straightened hair (the straight one with the yellow shirt was just two days ago).

I'm extremely passionate about my hair--aren't we all? But after reading around, I've been noticing that many naturals or "new" naturals have been shutting down people thinking about texlaxing, or getting a Keratin. I understand that it's a damaging, permanent chemical process. But to tell someone who clearly has issues and difficulties with their hair to just keep on keepin' on, and to just use YouTube to find out more about how to take care of their hair, is just defeating the purpose of even commenting.

I've been natural for so long, and no, it isn't easy. It doesn't make me happy, or like I'm changing the world by being natural. My hair is LONG, I started from almost a buzz (I was "accidentally" big chopped at a white hair salon) and now my hair is to my mid-lower back after cutting off about 3 inches for evenness. I pride myself in the patience and care I've taken to achieve my length. I only apply heat once or twice a year to check my length, and have worn protective "tied-down" styles since I was born. Even after straightening, I tie it back down. (I am mixed, white/black, with 4B hair) And I'm not proud to wear a fro. It's been ingrained in me since I was a child that I need my hair fixed, relaxed, straightened, or covered up to go into public--and that's what I've done my entire life.

So, onwards from that, when my hair gets wet, it mats up. I have one pic with my hair wet that was taken 5 years ago, the last time I dared to get my hair wet, and leave the shower to take a pic without it being detangled, braided or twisted in the shower before getting out. Right after that picture, I tried to manage it and ended up getting back in the shower for 30 mins just to stop it from sticking, locking, and matting up (it's instantaneous).

There's another pic where my hair is long, and I'm wearing a red sportsbra. It's lightly curled-looking, but that was last summer (1-2 times a year!) after being straightened and tied down for week. I have a prepoo in there, of olive oil, and some light conditioners and butters. I wish my hair was like that ALL THE TIME. But alas, the moment water touched it, it shrunk the 75% and I spent the next 75 minutes trying to detangle it in the shower.

I just straightened my hair again, the protective styles (twists, usually tied down) tend to let my ends rub on fabric or just get dry from... well, not being touched. I hate touching my hair, for fear of messing up whatever's going on up there. But the moment I put the iron down I started counting the minutes before it would need to be washed again, and I'd have to wait another 6+ months to have manageable, non-matting, hair.

So I'm considering some sort of texturizer, some sort of ANYTHING to cut down my detangling time, my stress time, everything. I could CRY, I feel so ugly when my hair is in a fro, for the entire time it's wet and I'm trying to pull it back together. It's been 10 years of being natural, growing my hair long (no, I wont cut it) and I almost feel ashamed to want to go back to a process, like the last 10 years would've been for nothing. Though, without going natural and wearing protective styles, I would never have gained this length.

And when I say I feel ugly, I live in a very rural, very white area. I was the first black person to graduate from a high school in the entire COUNTY. My husband is white--Finnish, and I have no family left of my own. When I do twists, people think "cool!" but if I do anything else (big braids to get it tied down quickly before running out of the house, or trying to soak it with conditioner long enough to use a tangle teezer in sections to PULL IT BACK--ultimately ending up with a big solid mass of matted hair, and more hair breakage) I've had people look at me like... what's the black girl think she's doing?

I've had a male friend, walk up to me in public, where I WORK and ask me "What's going on with your hair?" I've had local white stylists parade me around to their stylist-students to check out black hair, and have had, by the same stylist, a walmart plastic bag thrown over my head in order to get me under the dryer because her hair caps didn't fit. I've had stylists make jokes about my hair, make me a spectacle, and just flat out walk away from my hair and send me on my way because it was past 3 hours.

It's like my hair is my main source of pride, but also the ONE thing that makes me feel terrible about myself, and embarrassed to go outside (thankfully, I work at home now).

I just need some sort of.. sympathy, support, please?

**Note, apparently I might not be 4B! I'm in there somewhere though... Suggest some other types... I'm the only who's seen and touched my hair since the bc, who knows some stuff about naturals!
Originally Posted by bharjala
You have some really nice hair.I understand how you feel living in a predominant white neibourhood.But what i can advice you to do is learn to make it work.Don't let frustration take you back and forth because how ever you decide to keep your hair there are some things that might not go as you want.Bad hairs exist wherever you pass through, hi hi.So my advice to you is try to make it work as much as you can with an open mind then if you end up with the same will to texturize/relax whatever at least you would be sure it was the best choice at the moment for you and have no regrets.Once more your hair is amazing so do your best to make it work
All Hair is Good Hair!

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Hey I am a newbie here so I don't know much however have u tried putting your hair in twist before you wet it or shampoo it? I've heard this is essential for naturals with longer hair.
Hey I am a newbie here so I don't know much however have u tried putting your hair in twist before you wet it or shampoo it? I've heard this is essential for naturals with longer hair.
Originally Posted by KinkyColey
Hey Hey! I'm new here too

Do you mean putting my hair in twists, then washing each section individually, taking the twists out each time? Or just putting it in twists, washing the twists and leaving them that way?
~My salvation lies in your love... Alexi Murdoch~
I guess everyone has already said all that needs to be said. I will say it once more. You are beautiful and your hair is spectacular. Hopefully, at this point you have gotten some good tips for managing it. Perhaps a trim or cut is in order. I have a hunch that if you do anything drastic, you might regret it later so I would suggest that you go for the "non-permanent" techniques.

Whether or not you choose to chemically alter your hair probably depends on the reason you are natural to begin with. If you truly adore your hair then it's kind of a no-brainer. Leave other people's opinions out of it.

Of course, I am 46 and have lived long enough to know that my self-confidence comes from within. Getting to that point is a journey. I did the big chop last summer and I'm just now getting into the flow of things with my short hair. After years of weaves, relaxers, braids, etc. I decided to do what was easiest and most natural.

I live in South Florida where you see women with every hair style imaginable. Everyone fits in. For you, my sister, I pray that you will find a circle of friends who can support you and accept you as you are and that, most importantly, you accept yourself as you are. Stand tall and proud. When people make a spectacle of your hair, it is simply out of awe for how magnificent it is.

Peace & Blessings
Hey I am a newbie here so I don't know much however have u tried putting your hair in twist before you wet it or shampoo it? I've heard this is essential for naturals with longer hair.
Originally Posted by KinkyColey
Hey Hey! I'm new here too

Do you mean putting my hair in twists, then washing each section individually, taking the twists out each time? Or just putting it in twists, washing the twists and leaving them that way?
Originally Posted by bharjala
have you tried twist outs?
You are beautiful, as is your hair. Hoping things get better for you!!!


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3c/4a Natural
http://alliecat0817hairjourney.shutterfly.com/
I know if I only used conditioners and butters as styler my hair would be a hot mess. I find that gel gives me great hold and yea my hair shrinks when first washing and styling. After styling with the leave in, then oil then gel, then I usually put my hair in a ponytail using a satin scrunchie. The next day I let it loose to dry all the way, adding a little more gel where needed. Everynight after that I moisturize and add a little hair butter to seal and sleep with a ponytail or high pineapple. My hair is soft because by this time any gel crunch is gone.

To me the products I use DO make a difference.

Dont give up!!


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shainala likes this.
3c/4a Natural
http://alliecat0817hairjourney.shutterfly.com/
I know an anonymous message from a stranger across the world doesn't make much difference in what you face and feel everyday, but your hair is beautiful, and not just because it's long. And you are beautiful too, with a baby face! You could pass for 18 in my eyes!

Anyway, it sounds like you don't really have many people to trust from the people around you, however, you said you're married. What does your husband think? I bet he thinks you're beautiful! If you run the pros and cons of everything past him, maybe you could make a decision on what to do together?

It sounds like you have very resilient hair, so maybe you could afford to straighten it more often, even if you just pull it back when it's straight, it stops you worrying about it for a spell at least. Unless it takes too long and reverts too quickly?
Normally I'd suggest dreads, but it sounds like you live/work in an environment that wouldn't make you feel comfortable with them and you'd have to travel to get them maintained.
It sounds like, really, if you could find a product that defines, has good hold and adds weight to your hair, twistouts could be your go to style and if you wash your hair in sections, that could eliminate some of the tangling issues. But... I don't have any product recommendations! Sorry!

You've been given great advice and all I wanted was to say your hair is lovely and to wish you luck on figuring things out, so I'll leave it at that.

(Also, you look familiar, like you've posted on other forums before or you have a Fotki I've stalked? No??)
shainala likes this.
My hair is in the 4s, low in porosity, high in density and coarse.

Love: QB - all of it, Bobeam - shampoo bars, Darcy's Botanicals - Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, Coconut Cupuacu Pomade, KBN - Shealoe Leave-in, Oyin - Juices & Berries, Kinky Curly - Knot Today, Ayurvedic treatments, my Denman and the cloud of kinky goodness on my head that I get to play with!
I know an anonymous message from a stranger across the world doesn't make much difference in what you face and feel everyday, but your hair is beautiful, and not just because it's long. And you are beautiful too, with a baby face! You could pass for 18 in my eyes!

Aww, you're so very sweet! Sometimes I feel like I look twice my age, other times, I look like I'm 12.

Anyway, it sounds like you don't really have many people to trust from the people around you, however, you said you're married. What does your husband think? I bet he thinks you're beautiful! If you run the pros and cons of everything past him, maybe you could make a decision on what to do together?

My husband loves how I look, which is always a confidence boost. I honestly get more compliments from him when I have twists pulled back with a flower than when I've spent 3 hours straightening it. We are planning on moving, somehow, though it will be difficult for him to be away from his family and the church. Thankfully, where we're looking, the same church is there... and the same Finnish culture. All the way in Washington State!

(Also, you look familiar, like you've posted on other forums before or you have a Fotki I've stalked? No??) I probably have posted somewhere before, I just can't really remember. I think I may have posted in Curly Nikki before, I also had a tiny untagged video on YT from years ago. I'm not sure! What's a Fotki?
Originally Posted by Jo Somebody
Sorry for the delay, I seriously forgot all my login info!
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~My salvation lies in your love... Alexi Murdoch~
Your hair is really beautiful. I agree with everyone. But have you thought about henna? My
Hair is more manageable and easier to detangle since I started
If you do not want the color of henna, try cassia or neutral henna. You get the same benefits without the color. Do your research before the plunge. I have never looked back.
If you do not want the color of henna, try cassia or neutral henna. You get the same benefits without the color. Do your research before the plunge. I have never looked back.
Originally Posted by JoJoFree
Hey! I've not tried henna... I really don't know anything about it. Is it protein? Is it a process? Yes, I'm totally ignorant! I hardly ever use products, which is why I've not done anything with henna. I keep thinking that it's some sort of... thick stuff that you pile on your hair and leave on for a few days...? Okay, I'll research it tomorrow!
~My salvation lies in your love... Alexi Murdoch~

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