Hair diagnosis

I am a frequent lurker on these boards and thought I would finally ask a question. It may be a silly question, but nonetheless:

Obviously, I know when my hair looks bad. However, I'm not sure how to tell what is making it look bad. For example, how do I tell if my hair has buildup, is overconditioned, is too dry, etc.?
It's hard to say without knowing your routine and/or seeing pictures.
PW: ihaveafotki
Fotki UPDATED! 12-14-2007
3A-3B layered-longer-than-shoulder-length-not-really-CG
Former Tween Scene Columnist
I second embudini.

Do you know your hairtype, or have photos that we can see? If you don't have photos, do you notice that anyone here has a simlar looking curl pattern to you?

What products do you use? Any chemicals or heat styling? Has your hair changed with the weather?

Is it frizzy? If it's frizzy, is it soft and frizzy or dry and frizzy? Is it more flat and limp than usual?

What do you feel are your main hair issues?

Is your hair fine, thick, coarse, etc...

Do you know if you have product sensitivities?
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Alright. I just made a Fotki and put in a few pictures of my hair:

http://public.fotki.com/xheatherbee/

I'm definitely not CG. I'd say about 75 percent of the time, I'm satisfied with how my hair looks. But every once in awhile my hair will go through stages where it looks just generally nasty, flat, and limp.

I usually shampoo and condition with the Suave Healthy Curls line. Then I use Aussie 3MM as a leave in. Then I pick and choose a combination of GF Soft Curl Creme, FX Curling Gel, and Jessicurl RR. Throughout the day I use GF Smoothing Milk on dry hair to smooth frizzies.

I've never heard anyone mention FX Curling Gel on these boards before, so here are the ingredients:
purified water, PVP VA copolymer, glycerin, sorbitol, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B5, panthenol, keratin protein, chamomile extract, silk protein, polysorbate-20, triethanolamine, carbomer, disodium EDTA, fragrance, methylparaben, methylchioroisothiazolinone, etc.

I usually diffuse my hair about 75 percent or 80 percent dry.

My hair is pretty course, but not that thick.

That's pretty much it, I think.
I'm not trying to be snarky, but your hair doesn't look bad to me. It might be a little producty, but that's about it. What is it that leaves you dissatisfied?
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Also, as far as weather, rain can make my hair a little iffy. However, since I'm in South Carolina the weather is usually lovely and nice to my curls.
Well, I don't really have any pictures of bad hair days. I think one of my biggest hair wishes is to be able to acheive nice curls without so much product.
I am a frequent lurker on these boards and thought I would finally ask a question. It may be a silly question, but nonetheless:

Obviously, I know when my hair looks bad. However, I'm not sure how to tell what is making it look bad. For example, how do I tell if my hair has buildup, is overconditioned, is too dry, etc.?
Originally Posted by xheatherbee
I also have had some trouble deciphering what sickness my hair is suffering from..lol. Build up is the most obvious one for me. My hair starts to get more tangled, less shine, and sometimes it will feel weighed down and heavy, and may even look darker. I found the biggest culprits for me are hard water and silicone laden products. I have stopped using most silicones, and my hair loves it! It is much curlier, but it took a couple of weeks of dealing with fuzziness while my hair adjusted. I use a clarifying shampoo once a month (Neutrogena) to get rid of buildup. I usually like to try natural remedies/treatments, and using a AVC rinse or lemon juice rinse have been recommended on here, but I don't like the thought of putting vinegar in my hair, and since my hair is color-treated I'm afraid the lemon juice would strip the color.

When my hair woes are from dryness (more in winter) my curls are more undefined and surrounded by frizz, the strands feel more wirey, and my hair looks puffy overall. I only use a sulfate shampoo about 2-3x a month (and condition wash about once a week), which really seems to help with frizziness compared to washing more than this. Using a honey rinse after shampooing adds a lot of shine too. In the winter I use a lightweight leave in co, and put in a deep treatment about once or twice a month.

(Both of these routines would not be affective if I still used silicone products, however).

I really have never felt what over-conditioned hair feels like, but I'm imagining it would leave your hair feeling soft, but flat, curls would have less definition, and the individual hair strands would be weaker and more prone to breakage. Some people with fine hair get this result when they use products heavy in oils. My hair seems very porous and soaks everything up (I have medium textured hair).

Heatherbee-You really do have pretty curls! I like to use crunchy/max. hold gels, and sometimes scrutching my hair a lot when mostly dry takes away the producty look for me. Do you like the Fx gel? I always look at it when shopping (I love how it smells) but have never heard anyone talk about it.
3a/2b

Winter Routine
Co-wash: Hair One Argan Oil or Burt's Bees GreenTea and Fennel
Low-Po: Devacurl LP or SheaMoisture Black Soap(1-2x/wk)
Condish: SheaMoisture Deep Repair Mask
Leave-in: Kinky Curly Knot Today AND
Styler: GF Curl Construct Mousse or Biotera gel
-Diffuser happy!
Treatments: Oils or butters,and trying out Aubrey Organics GPB for protein

http://public.fotki.com/orange32
pw=ringlet

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