New to CG - couple of questions

I'm actually going to start today with a cleansing wash and go from there, I'm still trying to figure out my overall game plan. I did have a couple of questions though.

We have softened water, is this good or bad for my curls? I've seen some people here say they wash in the sink to avoid soft water, that isn't an option for me - whoever had our home before us decided it would be a good idea to run soft water through all of the taps in the home.

I've read a little about the protein treatments and I have to admit I'm a little nervous about trying it. I'm not sure if I should skip this step for not or not? Can I skip this step? In the past, I didn't use a ton of product, was using L'Oreal Everpure, blow dry and flat iron probably 3x a week.

Also, are there any suggestions to get good volume when air drying? I like the idea of a diffuser for volume, but when repairing my hair I think I need to step away from the heat (been blow drying and flat ironing for years now!)

This is what I'm thinking of trying for now...suggestions? Wash today with a sulfate shampoo. Then co-wash. Then, should I use a rinse out moisturizing conditioner after the co-wash? Or a leave in? Suggestions for low cost ones (rinse our or leave in)? Then, I have typically used mousse in the past, but I think I'm going to try a gel to see how I like it.

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by lily2521; 06-05-2011 at 10:11 AM.
you have a lot of good quesions!

first off, i believe a cowash like curl junkie daily fix is a good one to use with soft water, takes out the minerals.
did you read through all the newbie threads in that forum? there is so much great info.
i have no idea what products would work best. you need to tell us about your hair - texture, porosity..... there is a thread here about texture, porosity.... do a search on here and it will come up.
when you figure it out, we can offer more specific help. there is also another website, livecurlylivefree.com that offers an analysis of your hair's properties, and if you get the premium package from curlwizzard, it will give you a list of suggested products for you hair.
good luck!
[FONT="Arial Narrow"]
3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
you have a lot of good quesions!

first off, i believe a cowash like curl junkie daily fix is a good one to use with soft water, takes out the minerals.
did you read through all the newbie threads in that forum? there is so much great info.
i have no idea what products would work best. you need to tell us about your hair - texture, porosity..... there is a thread here about texture, porosity.... do a search on here and it will come up.
when you figure it out, we can offer more specific help. there is also another website, livecurlylivefree.com that offers an analysis of your hair's properties, and if you get the premium package from curlwizzard, it will give you a list of suggested products for you hair.
good luck!
Originally Posted by rbb
I'm a 2b. Used to have no problem getting great pixie style spirals but over the years my hair has changed (or I've just continued to damage it I'm finding!) So now I am just barely a wavy - trying to see if I can get some life back into my curls!

I have viewed the newbie threads forum, but I have to admit I felt kind of overwhelmed!

Last edited by lily2521; 06-05-2011 at 10:26 AM.
Hello there! Not to add even more info but here a couple links that are really helpful when going CG.

This will help you figure out your texture and porosity:
Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics

And a link that really explains going CG:
The College Curly

Protein treatments couldn't hurt, especially if you have a lot of heat damage. I don't know the drugstore brands well; I like Spiral Solutions and Curl Junkie protein treatments the best!

You could follow the cowash with a rinse out for now. I don't know if I would use a leave-in at this point since you are still trying to figure out your hair!

Without knowing your properties it's hard to suggest products. If you'd really like to get started, I would go buy a cowash (Suave Naturals, V05 or Tresamme Naturals) and a rinse out that could double as a leave-in (Yes to Cucumbers/Tomatoes, Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition, Giovanni 50:50, Renpure).

Gel suggestions: Any Herbal Essences (Set Me Up has the most hold), Aussie Instant Freeze, Got 2 Be Spiked, BRHG, Ecostyler.

All of the products listed above are drug store brands. Hope this helps!
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Repair Me, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC, UFD Curly Magic
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

I agree that knowing your properties will help us out immensely in product recommendations and things like that. Here are some links to help. The first one is for texture and porosity, and the second is for porosity and elasticity.

Texture, Porosity, and other Hair Type Madness

determining porosity and elasticity help?

There are a bunch of really simple DIY tests you can perform in these links to figure out your properties, and this will help us (and you) out in finding/recommending products.

I say why not try the PT. They aren't necessary, but if your hair likes protein, it helps a LOT, so why shouldn't you? There are lots of homemade recipes around here, and there's a favorite gelatin PT from IAgirl. If it doesn't work as well as you would like, you already have something major figured out, and you know to stay away from protein. If your hair likes it, even better! It will help re-construct your hair from all the damage you've done to it. In general, fine hair (hair strand with a small diameter) loves protein, and coarse hair does not and prefers more moisturizing products. Most people follow a PT with a DT (deep conditioning treatment), so it moisturizes their hair and prevents the protein from drying it out. To be on the safe side, it would probably be best if you do the same. Here's a link to help with PT's and DT's:

A few tips on treatments for newbies and not so newbies too

You are a smart girl for staying away from heat for a while until you feel your hair is healthy! Some occasional diffusing is okay, but if you feel your hair is super damaged, I tend to agree with you. (If you do wind up diffusing, I totally recommend this method: what is the pixie curl diffusing method? -- it has done wonderful things to my hair!) If you would like volume when airdrying, lots of people find clipping the roots to help with this. There are a couple of different methods and good links, so here's a both of them:

In case you never figured out clipping,

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...%40-clips.html

Also, you may want to check out this link, too. It is an invaluable resource with tons of techniques and methods, and it's where I got the clipping links from. Here:

TECHNIQUES LINKS: SuperSoaker,Spritz&Condish,Plopping,Frizz,Clipping IceQueen, etc

It sounds like you're off to a great start! If you want, you can even do your first CO-wash in the same shower you do your final sulfate wash in. I don't know what you're planning to CO-wash with, but usually something light and cleansing is recommended, especially something like Suave Naturals (my personal favorite) or VO5. Some use Tresemme Naturals, but I think that's a little heavy for CO-washing. Depending on your moisture needs, you will probably want to use something richer and heavier and more moisturizing as a rinse out (RO) condish on the length of your hair. I love Tresemme Naturals (like $4 at most drugstores for a nice-sized bottle) and Yes To Carrots (at Target for $8 -- more expensive, but totally natural, with nice slip and moisture, but it's very light). Others love GFTN (Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition) or Garnier Pure Clean, both popular, fairly cheap drugstore options. Going for a gel is a great idea. Lots of people like Aussie gels (my personal fave), all the Herbal Essences ones, La Bella and L.A. Looks gels (these are among the most popular).

I HTH! I hope I didn't overwhelm you with all this info, but, as a fellow wavy, I wish you good luck on your CG journey! Keep us posted on your progress!
Type 2c/3a with lots of hair and a super sensitive scalp! Med/slightly coarse texture, low porosity and elasticity.

Favorite...
Low poo: Organix TTM, Essential Wholesale Free & Clean
RO/LI: TN, GFTN, YTC
Stylers: EcoStylers, GF Curl Shaping Gel, Aussie Aussome Volume Mousse & Instant Freeze Gel, GFPC, LALNC, La Bella Lots of Curls, Apricot Oil, KMFUM, AO B5DG
Extras: sugar scrubs, AVG washes, pre-poos with EVCO, oiling scalp before washes, plopping, gelatin PT.
Mod-CG since 12/1/10!
Thank you all so much fort the links - they have helped a lot! I think my husband thinks I'm nuts because I've been sitting in front of the computer all day, and have made a run to Sally's and Target.

I've determined I'm a 2b, normal porosity, and poor elasticity (I think)

Tonight, I'm going to cleanse with a sulfate shampoo, and do a protein treatment, I picked up ION Repair Solutions at Sally's. I think I'll skip the co wash until next time I wash just so I'm not rubbing too much into my scalp on the first day. Then I think I'll start by trying the Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Gel, and I'll probably use a tee to plop overnight. We'll go from there!

I made sure to take some pics today so we'll see if this works for me, keeping my fingers crossed! At least now I have somewhat of a game plan, this morning I was really feeling overwhelmed!
You're so welcome! Haha, my family thinks I'm nuts with all the hair stuff, too!

Sweet, you found your hair properties! If you're a 2b, that means you're medium texture, so you need a little bit of protein, and a little bit of moisture. I've heard about the PT you picked up, and I think it's pretty good, but I'm no protein expert (coarse-haired!). It's all about finding that balance. If your hair is feeling a little rough or straw-like after the protein, definitely follow your PT up with a DT, just to be on the safe side. Your hair probably needs lots of moisture, too, so the extra DT at the end would do you good. You can make your own, too, with a few household ingredients -- here are some recipes:

Homemade Deep conditioners

One tip that's really important -- make sure your final sulfate wash doesn't have 'cones in it (anything ending in -cone, -conol, or -xane). That screwed me up for weeks when I started CG before I realized what was wrong.

HETT gel is a great CG choice -- it just has one water-soluble 'cone in it, which is totally CG-friendly. It doesn't have that hard of a hold, though, so experiment with it. You might need something a little more rock-solid. Plopping overnight is another thing that works for some and doesn't work for others, so keep experimenting with it if it isn't working! I could plop for hours, but I don't/can't really plop overnight -- it just doesn't work that well.

The pics are a great idea! It's so fun to go back and look at the progress you made. When you have a bad day, you'll always feel better about it going back and looking at the pictures!
Type 2c/3a with lots of hair and a super sensitive scalp! Med/slightly coarse texture, low porosity and elasticity.

Favorite...
Low poo: Organix TTM, Essential Wholesale Free & Clean
RO/LI: TN, GFTN, YTC
Stylers: EcoStylers, GF Curl Shaping Gel, Aussie Aussome Volume Mousse & Instant Freeze Gel, GFPC, LALNC, La Bella Lots of Curls, Apricot Oil, KMFUM, AO B5DG
Extras: sugar scrubs, AVG washes, pre-poos with EVCO, oiling scalp before washes, plopping, gelatin PT.
Mod-CG since 12/1/10!
You're so welcome! Haha, my family thinks I'm nuts with all the hair stuff, too!

Sweet, you found your hair properties! If you're a 2b, that means you're medium texture, so you need a little bit of protein, and a little bit of moisture. I've heard about the PT you picked up, and I think it's pretty good, but I'm no protein expert (coarse-haired!). It's all about finding that balance. If your hair is feeling a little rough or straw-like after the protein, definitely follow your PT up with a DT, just to be on the safe side. Your hair probably needs lots of moisture, too, so the extra DT at the end would do you good. You can make your own, too, with a few household ingredients -- here are some recipes:

Homemade Deep conditioners

One tip that's really important -- make sure your final sulfate wash doesn't have 'cones in it (anything ending in -cone, -conol, or -xane). That screwed me up for weeks when I started CG before I realized what was wrong.

HETT gel is a great CG choice -- it just has one water-soluble 'cone in it, which is totally CG-friendly. It doesn't have that hard of a hold, though, so experiment with it. You might need something a little more rock-solid. Plopping overnight is another thing that works for some and doesn't work for others, so keep experimenting with it if it isn't working! I could plop for hours, but I don't/can't really plop overnight -- it just doesn't work that well.

The pics are a great idea! It's so fun to go back and look at the progress you made. When you have a bad day, you'll always feel better about it going back and looking at the pictures!
Originally Posted by wavynwild16
Well, I am now out of the shower after my cleansing wash, and PT/DC Treatment.

I did notice when I was in the shower that the PT I used (The ION Repair Solutions) that It said "Magnesium Sulfate" on the back, 7th on the list. So would this not be CG friendly then? I thought I was supposed to stay away from sulfates after my cleansing wash? I didn't realize this until it was already in my hair.

Thanks for the tip too on making sure my cleansing was didn't have any cones in it, I didn't know that! I just went back and looked, and luckily the shampoo I used (I just used my husbands everyday Suave shampoo) doesn't seem to have any cones in it, so I think I'm okay there.

Am I supposed to continue to do a cleansing wash from time to time? Or now that I've done it am I good assuming I stay away from the sulfates/cones?

Thanks again!
New to CG!
2b, some 2c. Normal Porosity. Poor Elasticity. Medium texture.
CO-Wash: SN Coconut
Occasional Low-Poo as needed
RO: GFTN
LI: GVP Conditioning Balm
Stylers: Le Bella, experimenting with curl enhancers
Protein:ION Repair Solutions
You're so welcome! Haha, my family thinks I'm nuts with all the hair stuff, too!

Sweet, you found your hair properties! If you're a 2b, that means you're medium texture, so you need a little bit of protein, and a little bit of moisture. I've heard about the PT you picked up, and I think it's pretty good, but I'm no protein expert (coarse-haired!). It's all about finding that balance. If your hair is feeling a little rough or straw-like after the protein, definitely follow your PT up with a DT, just to be on the safe side. Your hair probably needs lots of moisture, too, so the extra DT at the end would do you good. You can make your own, too, with a few household ingredients -- here are some recipes:

Homemade Deep conditioners

One tip that's really important -- make sure your final sulfate wash doesn't have 'cones in it (anything ending in -cone, -conol, or -xane). That screwed me up for weeks when I started CG before I realized what was wrong.

HETT gel is a great CG choice -- it just has one water-soluble 'cone in it, which is totally CG-friendly. It doesn't have that hard of a hold, though, so experiment with it. You might need something a little more rock-solid. Plopping overnight is another thing that works for some and doesn't work for others, so keep experimenting with it if it isn't working! I could plop for hours, but I don't/can't really plop overnight -- it just doesn't work that well.

The pics are a great idea! It's so fun to go back and look at the progress you made. When you have a bad day, you'll always feel better about it going back and looking at the pictures!
Originally Posted by wavynwild16
Well, I am now out of the shower after my cleansing wash, and PT/DC Treatment.

I did notice when I was in the shower that the PT I used (The ION Repair Solutions) that It said "Magnesium Sulfate" on the back, 7th on the list. So would this not be CG friendly then? I thought I was supposed to stay away from sulfates after my cleansing wash? I didn't realize this until it was already in my hair.

Thanks for the tip too on making sure my cleansing was didn't have any cones in it, I didn't know that! I just went back and looked, and luckily the shampoo I used (I just used my husbands everyday Suave shampoo) doesn't seem to have any cones in it, so I think I'm okay there.

Am I supposed to continue to do a cleansing wash from time to time? Or now that I've done it am I good assuming I stay away from the sulfates/cones?

Thanks again!
Originally Posted by lily2521
Mag Sulfate is epsom salt. It's totally CG-many use it as a curl enhancer in homemade curl refreshers and flax seed gel add ons. It gives you that "beachy hair" look. It can be drying, so some stay away from it for that reason.

Now that you've done a sulfate wash, you should be good to go. However, not everyone exclusively co-washes b/c it just doesn't work for their hair for various reasons. For example: I have very hard water and have problems with mineral build up. I use a non-sulfate CG "low-poo" once a week and then a non-sulfate clarifying poo when needed (I use Kinky Curly Come Clean). Basically, any low poo or cleansing cream w/ a chelating agent like EDTA will get rid of build up. Also, some who low poo then use products w/ water soluble cones b/c the low poo takes care of the build up.

So, just see how your hair goes w/ no cones and co-wash only and if you're having problems then you may need to go the low poo route. Hope that helps.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
We have softened water, is this good or bad for my curls? I've seen some people here say they wash in the sink to avoid soft water, that isn't an option for me - whoever had our home before us decided it would be a good idea to run soft water through all of the taps in the home.
Originally Posted by lily2521
If you have unsolvable problems with frizz or filmy-ness, your water could be an issue for you. Anything that really dries out hair can damage it. So, theoretically, salt could do that, but I've only heard about damage from hard water deposits on hair. A $20 shower filter from a mega-hardware store is an easy thing to try (more expensive and perhaps better filters are available online). My cheapie filter made a huge difference for me. I have hard well water with a softener system. The filter solved my issues with salty water as well as the significant amount of minerals that get past my softener. If you like how your hair is behaving, then don't worry about your water. But if your hair does not like your water, frizz or film will always be a battle.
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets

Last edited by gecko; 06-06-2011 at 08:59 AM.

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