At the end of my rope with my hair...

I'm at a loss.

I've been fighting an epic battle for over 20 years when it comes to my hair. I've tried everything. I'm biracial and, since my wonderful mother is white and never had to deal with kinky hair until I came along, I've never really learned how to take care of it. I've tried perms, straighteners, pressing it, those expensive keratin treatments.... it never works.

Recently, I've decided that maybe it'd be better to just embrace the curl and go natural... but that's been even worse. All of the products I've tried only work some of the time if they work at all. Some of my hair will form into tight little curls and the rest will just end up looking like fluff. I'm looking for products that will help form my hair into actual curls. I've been told to try Miss Jessie's curly pudding but I've heard mixed reviews and the stuff is really too expensive to take a gamble on.

Can anyone point me in the right direction and help me to find a product (or products) that will give me healthy, defined curls? Also, can anyone help me to find a good shampoo and conditioner that will be the best for my hair? I'm literally at the end of my rope... and I was hoping that joining this site would help me find some ladies who know what they're doing!!
I'm at a loss.

I've been fighting an epic battle for over 20 years when it comes to my hair. I've tried everything. I'm biracial and, since my wonderful mother is white and never had to deal with kinky hair until I came along, I've never really learned how to take care of it. I've tried perms, straighteners, pressing it, those expensive keratin treatments.... it never works.

Recently, I've decided that maybe it'd be better to just embrace the curl and go natural... but that's been even worse. All of the products I've tried only work some of the time if they work at all. Some of my hair will form into tight little curls and the rest will just end up looking like fluff. I'm looking for products that will help form my hair into actual curls. I've been told to try Miss Jessie's curly pudding but I've heard mixed reviews and the stuff is really too expensive to take a gamble on.

Can anyone point me in the right direction and help me to find a product (or products) that will give me healthy, defined curls? Also, can anyone help me to find a good shampoo and conditioner that will be the best for my hair? I'm literally at the end of my rope... and I was hoping that joining this site would help me find some ladies who know what they're doing!!
Originally Posted by Carmabella
Hi - you may want to try out the cg (no poo) way of looking after your curls - see this thread Introduction to the no-poo method Also have a good read through this site Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics as its important to know the texture and porosity of your hair when choosing products. What can also help is looking for curlies who have similar hair to your own and see what products they are using. It is all though a bit of trial and error till you find something that works for you, and it can take a little while for your hair to adapt to the new routine of being curly - so don't be despondent while this is going on we all go through that to some extent. HTH
UK curly

fine to medium strands, porous, medium density
CG May 2009 - low poo occasionally
Co-wash: Tresemme Naturals
Styling -Naked Curl Defining Cream, BRHG, Mop Top, FSG
Product for a good hair day: FSG or Mop Top
Hair loves protein!
http://public.fotki.com/curlyhairmichuk/
new pics added Jan 2012

Enjoying the freedom of going curly!
Duchess of Alba, Keeper of the Tartan Curls in The Order of the Curly Crusaders
i dont know if this will be helpful, I am not bi racial, but in the last few years my hair got way curlier, I am now 3A/3B. I too was at my wits end. I spent a lot of time here and decided to get a Deva cut, and take their recommendations. It has definitely helped, and I got loads of helpful suggestions here. The most helpful things were, reading the Curly Girl book, learniing to leave more conditioner in my hair; learning to use a very gentle shampoo, and learning to apply products to very wet hair. People here are most helpful, and I am sure you will get tons of great suggestions. I would get a stylist that knows about curls!
Welcome, Carmabella! Both posters above gave great advice. I live in a fairly rural area so finding a stylist that that knows about curls has been very difficult. A Deva stylist is out of the question for me. I have been on my own with the help of these boards. Thank goodness the folks here are so helpful and share their successes and failures. I've learned so much over the years.

Learning about my hair properties was key for me. When I first started here, I wanted to try every product that others raved about (still do to some extent!). I have fine hair so products that work well for coarse hair can leave me weighed down. My hair also leans towards low porosity so some richer products can sit on my hair and not penetrate leaving me gunky, producty or greasy.

We've all been where you are! Keep reading and experimenting. You'll find the right products and techniques with time and patience!
3B, fine, normal to low porosity
Modified CG since June 2010
HGs: FSG, anything with glycerin, Tresemme Naturals conditioner, Curls Like Us cloths, satin pillowcases.
Educating yourself on your hair properties will help a lot, so I agree with checking out Live Curly Live Free as a starting point. And reading, reading, and more reading of articles and posts here at NC.com will give you further understanding plus give you ideas on products, techniques, routines to try. Once you start really knowing your *curly* hair, caring for it and styling it will come a lot easier to you. It's important to just accept that there will be trial and error involved. In the long run, any "errors" you make will help you understand your hair better. And besides, there's probably no error you'll make that your hair won't "recover" from.

It can feel frustrating, but I for one am *so* glad I've embraced my naturally curly hair. I really appreciate it more and more all the time, I'm getting compliments on it, and I swear my curly hair takes a few years off from how I look. (I wasn't going for that as the goal, but I'll take it. )

Sent from my HERO200 using CurlTalk App
3b / Fine / Low (to Med) Density / Normal Porosity & Elasticity

Currently Using [*Holy Grails*]
Cleansers: DC No-Poo / DC Low-Poo / *BaSo & ACV*
Co-Washes/ROs: CJ Beauticurls Argan & OO / DC OneC / Organicals DC Creme
Additives: *Silk Amino Acids* / Honeyquat / Fragrance Oils
LIs (found some!): KCKT / CJ Beauticurls LI / CJ Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Condish
DTs: *Coconut Oil* rinses / *Honey*, EVOO, & DC OneC / CJ Curl Rehab
Sealer: *DM Super Buttercreme*

Goal: APL Hair
Make sure you use enough product on your dripping wet hair. The only reason there should be any kind of "fluff" is if you don't use enough product, or you are touching your hair while it dries. Once the hair is dry, you can remove the gel cast by putting your fingers through your scalp and scrunching.

the best rule for curls is "Don't touch."
Echoing all the very helpful advice given by the ladies above, I only wish to add my encouragement to you Carmabella and say that with patience and time, experimenting with products and technique, and once you get a routine going, you will get there and you'll look in the mirror and see the gorgeous curls you deserve! Keep your chin up!

Best wishes.
UK Curly
Curl type : Boticelli, 3a, loose curls
Porosity : High
Texture : Fine/medium (I think!)
Co-wash/rinse out/leave in : L'oreal Full Restore 5, GFR&S, Schwarzkopf Bio Pomegranite
Gels : Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly
Finish product : Boots Naked Style Frizz Fighter Serum or a pea-sized blob of condish smoothed over canopy
CG since Feb 2011
I would echo the advice that you've been given. The other point is that hair is hair, no matter what your race. In general, the tighter the curl, the more "fragile" the hair. If you're hair is "kinky," it probably drier and tends to break easier. That just means that you have to treat it with even more TLC then those of us with looser curls. Something that I found really helpful was watching the DVD that comes with the newer Curly Girl book. It really shows you how to "handle" your hair. I could never use all the product that the models use, but the technique is really good.

It's all trial and error. Starting off with products that others with your hair properties have found success is the best place to start. Good luck on your curly journey.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
i agree with everything the others have said.

just want to make sure you know how to access livecurlylivefree.com website, and click on the left hand menu to learn about curly hair.

the other very helpful item is lorraine massey's book, "the curly girl." make sure you get the 2009 edition, it comes with a dvd that is very helpful. you can buy it at bookstores, amazon, and get it from the library. it's not more than $10, probably less on amazon altho you have shipping. but it is well worth every penny spent on it.

HTH!
[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

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