Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair

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  • 1 Post By tricello
  • 1 Post By CFcurls

Helllllo! I'm extremely frustrated with my hair. It's a total afro. Over the years I've gotten chemical treatments and used to straighten my hair every single day. It looked terrible. The chemical treatments barely worked. I haven't straightened my hair in a long, long time and the chemicals are starting to come out. Therefore, I'm not even sure what my natural curl pattern is yet.

My hair is SUPER, SUPER, SUPER thick...you can't see the curl as well when it dries naturally...it only really comes out when I put product in it. When it dries naturally it's mostly a big afro, seriously it just puffs out on each side and in the back. It's a mixture between a lot of puff, wave and a little curl. It's hard to wear it down because even with products in it it gets really really poofy. It's also very, very coarse.I normally wear it half up half down.

I'm thinking that if I grow it out longer, get rid of the layers and use better products it'll be more manageable. I use sulfate free shampoo when I feel a build up in my hair which is very rare and every week to give my scalp some attention. I've been trying different conditioners, but since I have so much hair it's hard to find a good moisturizing conditioner (with no protein, my hair hates it) that isn't super expensive and won't last just a week. My hair needs a lot of it and it would be nice if I could make it last a little longer than a week. Also, I need help finding products that I can use to make my curls more defined, doesn't leave your hair feeling sticky, hair and greasy and also helps with the poof. With that being said I would LOVE some advice on the proper length, cut, and conditioners I should use (leave ins as well). Of course, I'm big on using products that won't do more damage to my hair (that has alcohol in it and other bad ingredients). I am extremely frustrated with it and wonder if my hair is hopeless, lol.

Check out the pictures I attached to this post. My hair in the first picture has product in it. My hair in the second picture either has nothing in it or most of it has come out.When there's product in my hair I can't wear it down as the curls underneath are more defined than the outer layer of my hair and when my hair is down the curls are hidden and it's just a big ugly puff ball. I'd like to figure out a way to make the outer layer more defined as well.

Thanks so much ~Aryn
Attached Thumbnails
Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair-me.jpg   Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair-me-2.jpg  

Last edited by aryn.wolf.7; 03-06-2013 at 08:14 PM.
I am missing the pictures?

I have a big mess of hair too. I am going to guess that glycerin will be your friend. It is great for taming and moisturizing hair. I am not sure what products you are using so not sure if you tried any of these but my sugggestions for on the ground stuff:

Giovanni Avocado and Olive oil Conditioner - can be found at Whole Foods. Moisturizing and no protein.

Leave-In - L'Oreal Humidity Defying Leave-In

Styler - Homemade Flax Seed Gel


I am not sure the length of the cut is as important as the proportions - which need long layers. But a safe bet for taming big hair is going at least shoulder length.

My hair can still get "messy", meaning my curls can lose their uniformity from exercising or sleeping hard or just playing with it too much, but I don't have to worry about my hair getting to be a big frizzy undefined behemoth anymore.
aryn.wolf.7 likes this.
High Density, High Porosity, Medium Texture, 3B with some kink

DT: SS DDMT - HG
Lo-Poo: No Preference
Co-wash: CJ Smoothing Conditioner
RO: CJ Strengthening Conditioner - HG
LI: CK Satin Roots
Styler: CK Coil Jam
Other Likes: Castor Oil; CK Twist Whip, MD CSC
Dislikes: Wheat Protein; Aloe LIs or Stylers

i had the same problem. I spent two years growing my hair out and it got to my shoulders curly. It was too much for me so i just cut it off last month. I regret it because i cant put it up in a pony tail. My hair took forever to do and instead of it growing down, it grew outwards. I cut it all off. its much easier to comb and do now but i do miss my hair and i should have got layers to make it more manageable instead of cutting it off.

herbal essence set me up mouse doesn't leave my air greasy but I still need an oil to calm my hair down.
Thank you so much! I will look into those products. I added the pictures. Look now. Honestly though that doesn't even show what my natural hair is completely...just imagine it down completely puffed out on both sides with frizz.
yeah i once had morrocan oil and put it all throughout my hair and it totally made it softer and more manageable...now it's just a matter of using other products with it and basically getting a routine down so it comes out curly and defined in the end.
Your hair actually looks really healthy and your curls seem defined. Very pretty! Are you a 3a or b?

I'm gonna be following your de-poofing journey as I am a crazy thick Poof-ball myself! Especially in humid weather. I've just started my CG journey so can't really recommend anything (yet!) But I will let you know if I come across something good! I want to try a Deva cut when I get my product routine under control.

Does anyone know if anyone sells pre-made flax seed gel? I am too lazy to make it.

Good luck!

My thick mess with a pony & braid pic so you can see the density. Is yours similiar? This is just after beginning CG and I need a trim:
Attached Thumbnails
Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair-before-cg-002.jpg   Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair-before-cg-006.jpg   Would love some advice on my coarse, poofy, thick damaged hair-before-cg-001-2-.jpg  
CG since 3/1/13
3B; Low porosity, Coarse, & Extremely Protein Sensitive
Very high density, waist length

Co wash: Suave Clarifying or Sun Ripened Strawberry
RO: Sun Ripened Strawberry, TN, or TN w/ veg glycerin
Sealer: apricot oil
Styler: 4 Naturals Spring Back Custard, Pantene Curl Defining Mousse, or BB "Mudd"
Using a hard water filter, microfiber towel, & silk head scarves & pillowcases

Avoiding: protein, coconut, & parabens
Your hair doesn't look poofy at all to me! It looks great...nice and defined. The pictures don't show any stray frizzies...and that's always a plus! Personally, I love "'fro's", but your hair, to me, looks like elongated curls...

I wouldn't dream of trying to "wear" my hair without product in it. My hair looks and feels like brushed wool and instead of defining it "poofs". I have thick "low porosity" hair, and I cannot emphasize enough how much learning my "porosity" has helped me understand my hair. Same with my sister, We'd been noticing the same problems and doing the same things wrong for years. Do a search here for "porosity" and perform the test on your hair. It's a good starting point before you start going "PJ" on your quest.

The problem with hair is that everybody's chemical balance is different, and our chemical balances change depending upon dew point, climate, stress, etc.

Keep in mind that some products that are "toxic" to many, may be the "grail" for you. I've spent over two years in a trial and error analysis of my own hair, my sister's hair, and my best friend's hair, and the difference in the way each of our hair reacts to products and environment is often quite unpredictable.

That being said, your hair looks kind of similar to mine. I'm 3b when I just let it "go" but 3a/b when I finger-style or diffuse. Some products with alcohol work for my hair if the alcohol is being used to enhance penetration of active ingredients. If the alcohol is in the formulation merely to make "setting" time faster, (like in plain old "hair spray") I avoid it.

The "'cones" products I avoid are ones with multiple silicones or ones that are intended to add shine or gloss to hair. They wind up drying my hair out and giving me major poof. However many products with one silicone (i.e. amodimethicone or dimethicone) work beautifully in my hair. If I ever feel any build-up from any ingredients I'll do a wash with baking soda, but I rarely have this problem. My hair has more problems with proteins than any other ingredient, and your protein tolerance is important to know about so you don't accidentally do a protein treatment that fries your hair.

I find that I get the best bounce and definition when my hair is a soft as possible, so leave-in conditioners and curl creams are necessary even if I use gel for hold.

What have you tried so far besides Moroccan oil?
3b/c, Coarse, Low Porosity, Desert Climate
CG since August 2011/Modified since 2013
Favorites: KC Knot Today,Camille Rose Curl Maker, Curl Keeper, Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee,
Curls Unleashed Second Chance Curl Refresher,
As I Am CoWash, Deva No-comb Detangler Spray,
No-Poo, One Condition
CHS Tweek, Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Spray
I would say probably the first thing to do is check what your texture, porosity, and elasticity are to determine what products you need to use. I'm a huge PJ but since I got my hair analysis i've gotten products that actually work on my hair and its made a big difference. I just mention this because a lot of people focus more on their curl pattern rather than stuff that really matters texture, porosity, elasticity.

If you want to buy a hair analysis go here: livecurlylivefree.com

You can also check the traits of your hair yourself. For the porosity test, just run your fingertips from tip to root over a strand of your hair. If its smooth and squeaky, its low porosity; if its hard to go up the length and feels very bumpy its high porosity; if its a combination of smooth, squeak, and bumps then its normal porosity. You could do the water test also, but from what I understand its very unreliable.

For your hair texture, I checked about.com and found this:

To figure out your hair's texture, grab sections of it on the top, sides and back and watch how it falls when you let go. If your hair falls flat and limp, you have fine hair. If your hair sticks up straight or if it poufs up and away from your scalp and face, you have thick textured hair. Anything in between is medium texture.

Here's something on hair elasticity:

To determine the elasticity of your hair take a few strands of your wet hair from different sections of your head. One at a time place each end of the strand between your thumb and index finger on each hand and gently pull. If the hair stretches a bit, then returns to its original length you have medium elasticity. If it snaps and breaks while stretching, you have low elasticity. If it stretches a long way, then when released it does not fully return to its original length you have high elasticity.

Medium-coarse curlies really need lots of moisture, just don't overdo it on the DTs since that can make your hair feel really "mushy". I usually do a DT once every 1-2weeks depending on how I think my hair is doing.

I also recommend Giovanni's avocado and olive oil conditioner, since its free of protein and I really love the slip it has. You can also rinse a little of it out and use it as a leave in conditioner. If you are looking for curl enhancement there are a number of jellies out there that work for that, but they don't give a lot of hold so you'd have to probably use a firm hold gel or curl creme over it. I use Spiral Solutions Curl Enhancing Jelly or Curl Junkie Curls In a Bottle as a curl enhancer and I use Kinky Curly Curling Custard over it, but its going to depend what your hair likes. As for getting a haircut, I have read from other curlies that getting a Deva cut really helped them so you might want to check the salon review section about that. Sorry for the huge post, hope it helps!
misbehave likes this.

Last edited by CFcurls; 03-11-2013 at 03:26 AM.

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