New (sort of) and overwhelmed (a lot).

Hello, everyone.

So...I started co-washing about 2 years ago. I was working a tough, long-hours, blue-collar kind of job that required me to whisk every hair of my head beneath a hat. Mainly to simplify my life, and with minor hopes of kicking some health into my (then) semi-wavy and intensely frizzy hair, I started washing with conditioner only, Burt's Bees. Two years later, I quit my job, took off my hat, and -- gasp! -- my hair had grown a foot with shockingly defined waves, though still somewhat frizzy.

Since then, I've discovered the CG method and am attempting to pull every curl and wave potential possible out of my hair.

However, I am entirely overwhelmed by both my crazy hair and all the information I'm reading.

My hair is 2a/b/c, depending on my various hair textures and the weather. I'm a natural strawberry blonde -- my blonde hair tends to be fine - medium in texture, with 2a-tendencies, and my red hair is medium - course in texture, with 2b/c tendencies. My blonde hair seems to like protein (moisture only leaves it stringy and greasy looking) and my red hair tends to frizz with protein. My canopy tends to be dry and straight, with very little wave in certain spots. Porosity? No clue; too much is happening on my head.

As excited as I was about all this new wave definition, especially after a much-need haircut, I bought KCKT & KCCC, after hearing all the positive reviews. However, I don't think I'll have much luck with these products until I first figure out how best to care for my hair in the shower.

Any suggestions on dealing with multiple textures/porosities/everythings?
I learned a lot reading the live curly live free site. Here is what I learned there and here.

Porosity is easy to figure out. Run your fingers up a strand of hair from tip to root. If your hair feels smooth, you have low porosity. If it feels rough you have high porosity. If it's kinda bumpy but not rough, you are medium. Porous hair tends to like protein, non porous hair tends to prefer oils.

Fine hair tends to prefer protein, coarse hair tends to prefer oils.

Another test is hair elasticity. Take a shed hair and pull it. If it beaks without stretching much, it has enough protein and needs more moisturizing (oils, mostly). If the hair stretches and doesn't bounce back, it needs more protein. Healthy balanced hair will stretch 20-50% and contact back to its original length pretty quickly.

Also, hair with too much protein will tend to feel dry, stiff, and straw like. Over-moisturized hair will tend to feel very soft, fly away, and prone to frizz.

If your hair has conflicting properties or your hair is a mix of textures, I'm afraid you'll just have to do some experimenting with products to find the right balance.

---
2c/3a-M-ii porous, good elasticity, APL, dark brown with a silver lining. Biggest enemy: frizz!

Last edited by earthnut; 07-02-2012 at 03:51 PM.
Welcome, hsr! We've all been where you are - frustrated and overwhelmed! I assure you that it takes some time and patience to find the products and routine that will bring out the best in your curls. You're off to a great start. You're here, you're reading and you're experimenting. earthnut gave some great advice. I also learned a lot at the Live Curly Live Free website but came here to learn more. I found that it was difficult to really determine my properties at first. It wasn't until my hair started to get healthier that I noticed some changes and differences in my properties and curl pattern. Hang in there! It'll come together for you!
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.
Thanks for your reply, ladies. I appreciate the help.

I'm still struggling with porosity -- I seem to have 2 different things going on. The hair on the sides of my head is very soft and finer -- when I run my fingers up the strands, it's smooth and squeaky, indicating...low porosity? But since it's finer hair, oils weigh it down, which makes me think it's actually porous and would prefer protein? It also dries quickly. The hair at the back of my head, I think, is medium - low porosity. It's a little rougher, dries much slower, tends to like moisture and can handle oils much better than my finer hair.

How do I handle this conflict? Rotate between moisturizing and low-protein co-washes, or try to apply different conditioners to different areas (which seems like a pain)? As a whole, my hair does seem to like ACV rinses.

Thanks for any advice
Porosity can be tricky to figure out. It can also change as your hair gets healthier. Hair that is damaged from chemicals and heat can be very porous but can get less porous as the damage is reversed or the hair grows out. Maybe the hair on the back of your head is showing more damage? I cannot handle much oil. Partly because my hair is fine and oils weigh it down. I'm also medium to low porosity. Many products (or too much of the right ones) will just sit on my hair and not penetrate and soak in. That can leave me feeling weighed down, limp and producty.

Even though my porosity is on the low side, my fine hair loves protein. I use protein rich products and regular protein treatments. But that wasn't the case when I first started. At that time, I was dry and heat damaged and needed regular deep treatments for moisture. As my hair got healthier, I backed off of the moisture treatments and increased the protein.

You may want to try a protein treatment and follow it up with a moisture treatment to see how your hair responds. If the back of your hair likes the oils but the oils are too much for the rest of your hair, you might try just using some as a leave in on the back of your head?

It's really all about experimenting to see what will work best for you. Keep reading and trying different techniques and products!
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.

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