What am I doing (or not doing)?

This is long, but help a curly girl!!

Here's my deal. I've been growing out my short hair since June. I've been getting lots of great tips on how to take care of my hair from NC.com. But I have no idea if I'm over-conditioned, or under-conditioned. I got highlights (really bad, damaging ones) in March, and swore after that - NO MORE BLEACH. So since then, I've been coloring only, which is going okay. my roots seem to be doing well, and the curls clump okay. But the ends are unreal. I get regular trims, to try to keep the ends clean, but the point of the whole exercise is to let my hair grow to a reasonable length so I don't look like Sheldon from SNL's "Wake up Wakefield" skit. (And you SNL nerds out there know what I mean). Anyhow, should I be doing an ACV rinse? How often? Not at all? I just got my microhair cap to do DT's, but unsure about how often to do that too. I get some really bad frizz in the humidity - it's Houston, so this humidity ain't for sissies. I love Jessicurl, but it tends to not work at all in the humidity. I had to completely re-do my hair this morning (full-on poo with conditioner and all new products). I started with Jess, but switched to the CK, re:coil, biolage gelee combo. THat seems to work better for me in the humidity. Would I be better served with a good leave-in? I am willing to try new products. I was wondering if something from the curls line would be better for good clumpage and frizz control. (honestly, I'm not even sure if that line is only for african-american hair, or can curly white chicks use it too?) Or is the product not the issue, but my hair being in bad shape? I really don't know, but I am looking to you guys for guidance since you all have such GREAT hair. So much, that I have never posted pix of my hair because I could never hold a candle to all of your great curls!

Here's some more info about my hair: it's fairly thin, about chin-length, but FEELS much softer than it looks. I think my hair get's that "wet" look even though it's still fairly soft. I don't know how to acheive that nice soft and dry look while still maintaining HOLD. This is so hard to try to figure out. I'm a 3A, I think. I co-wash daily with suave coconut, and condition with Jessicurl Too Shea. sometimes I rinse, sometimes I leave in a little. products vary from day to day, but I would probably try ANYTHING. Also, my hair is too short to plop right now, so I don't know what other technique would work that's along those same lines. I know a lot of you plop for good clumpage and to shorten drying time, but I don't have that issue with such short and thin hair. It's the clumpage that's killing me. The curls themselves look thin and wispy, but I have had a few good hair days in my time - just can't remember what I used.d If you could tell me a little bit about how to change up my routine, that would really help.
Hair type 3A. Jessicurl is becoming my HG!

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How are you applying your products? If you blot off too much water you should try putting them on wet hair, I was having the same problem and doing it that way has helped me get better clumping but with my type of hair I'll never have nice fat clumps so maybe neither will you.

There are some very helpful videos at www.jessicurl.com that show how to do it. My hair is mostly 3A, very fine and color-treated so I have to maintain a delicate balance too between DTs, products with oil or proteins, too much of anything and my hair LET'S ME KNOW IT!! However, when my ends were badly damaged by bleaching it was the proteins that helped more with the curling.

Someone brought up the subject of using curlers and I now thought that this would be a good way to "retrain" your ends to behave a little. Drying your hair around a curler forces the cuticle shut while at the same time giving your hair a rest because you can go for several days without needing to wash your hair again and you don't even have to use gel for this and all you need for grooming is a pick and a few large bobby pins and a hair bonnet to keep it in place at night. If it interests you, I have 4 pages of instructions in my hard drive which I could e-mail to you.

Oh, I almost forgot. You need to "fluff" your hair when it dries or "scrunch out the crunch" as Jess shows to get a fuller look.
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
Are you using a leave in conditioner or leaving some of your conditioner from the shower? My hair is very fine and If I don't use any kind of leave in my hair looks wispy too. This also helps with clumping. This more than product has made the difference in my hair since starting CG. I would recommend one of the GF leave ins. The Curl and Shine or the SLeek and Shine. Almost everyone can find them locally and they're cheap. Good luck

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