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-   -   Confused about porosity and width (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/156196-confused-about-porosity-width.html)

Lauraimes 03-16-2013 03:51 PM

Confused about porosity and width
 
I'm still trying to define my hair properties and there are some things that confuse me.

Right now, I believe that my properties are high density, coarse, low porosity. The latter I thought to be high in the beginning when I did the slip 'n slide test. I clearly felt bumps and this was true for many different strands on many different place. However, when I did the float test, my hair kept floating and floating and floating, which made me believe I'm low porosity. Additionally, my hair takes some time to get thoroughly wet and when I refresh in the morning with a spray bottle, huge drops are on my hair like beads.

When it comes to the products I've been using since going CG, I'm experiencing different things. It seems that the CJ Argan & Olive Oil is quite to heavy to use as a co-wash on my healthy hair and weighs it down. This is not true when I use a shampoo (I discovered this after a build-up disaster and cleansed with a sulphate shampoo as no other was around). The weighing down when co-washing makes me believe I'm overconditioning.

What doesn't make sense to me is that my hair weighs down as this conditioner has plenty of emollients, which low porosity hair is supposed to like. Low porosity is supposed to dislike protein-rich products. Curl Junkie Curl Queen is a protein bomb, but I'm not sure whether I get the straw-like hair I should get if I truly got low porous hair. I still have a producty look after just applying it, but in the evening, my curls are relatively soft.

I determined that my hair is coarse because I always see it and it just feels very coarse. I certainly have moments when my hair actually has a silky feel, but often the coarseness takes over. I'm just wondering whether this coarseness is a hint for my hair being coarse or whether it is the straw-like hair I'm supposed to have when using protein if I get my porosity property right.

The only properties I'm confident about is elasticity (normal) and density (high). Based on my observations, has anyone any thoughts? I'm about to order some new CJ products and I really want to try Coffee CoCo Curl Creme, but only if I think it matches what my hair needs. I will only know if I learn more about why my hair behaves the way it does.

Corrina777 03-16-2013 04:16 PM

Just based on what you've described, I'm going to say that your hair is definitely not coarse. Texture (width) seems to play more of a role in protein sensitivity than porosity. When I first found this site I also thought that my hair was between medium and coarse because I could see the individual strands. Then I started seeing that my hair didn't act like medium-coarse hair at all- for example, my hair couldn't get enough protein. I finally caved and got the hair analysis, which confirmed what I was starting to suspect- may hair is fine. I can still see the individual strands, and I even have some individual strands that are definitely closer to medium or coarse texture, but the majority of my hair is fine.

flippacious 03-16-2013 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corrina777 (Post 2138303)
Just based on what you've described, I'm going to say that your hair is definitely not coarse. Texture (width) seems to play more of a role in protein sensitivity than porosity. When I first found this site I also thought that my hair was between medium and coarse because I could see the individual strands. Then I started seeing that my hair didn't act like medium-coarse hair at all- for example, my hair couldn't get enough protein. I finally caved and got the hair analysis, which confirmed what I was starting to suspect- may hair is fine. I can still see the individual strands, and I even have some individual strands that are definitely closer to medium or coarse texture, but the majority of my hair is fine.

+1

I too thought my hair was coarse or medium-coarse at first. There was a thread on this recently (I forget what it's called), but many of us think our hair feels coarse when we first start out. For some, this is because the hair can feel a little coarse when it is very dry and needs moisture. And if your hair is getting weighed down by emollient rich products, I think that's another sign it probably isn't coarse.

I suggest you pull a few dry, productless hairs out to check. Take just a few from different areas (temple, nape, etc.) and really look at them. I thought my hair was coarse until I did this, and was like... wait a second, these are pretty fine. I can easily see them because I'm brunette, but they are thin width-wise. Make sure you are looking at a single strand and not a few next to each other.

Also, I know Kathymack is low porosity and her hair loves protein. She has said (and I believe her, because I looked into it a little too) that naturallycurly.com is the only place she has read about low porosity hair disliking protein.

kathymack 03-16-2013 04:35 PM

Here is the post on CJ Marsha's blog that give you picture representation of texture Curl Junkie - Natural Hair Care for all types of Curly Hair!: My 2 cents on Protein/Texture/Porosity/Moisture Balance! :-) Seeing examples, or pulling a hair out to compare may help you. Don't go by the float test for porosity, it's really unreliable. If you have some bumps, your hair probably isn't low porosity. Texture is more important then porosity, IMHO.

The only place I've read that low porosity hair and protein aren't compatible is on nc.com page about hair properties. That's why I never give that link to folks. The livecurlylivefree link is better.

My fine/low porosity LOVES protein. I do at least one PT a week and use a lot of products with protein.

Lauraimes 03-17-2013 02:21 AM

Thanks all for the very useful replies! I just miss a frame of reference and that's what makes it so difficult to determine my properties. I have to go to practice now (I'm on a ballroom formation team), but I will co-wash again today and watch my hair closely and get some clean, dry hairs to look at them carefully.

Based on the information I got from you all, I'm suspecting I'm probably in between all the 'extremes'. I do have some bumps, but it's not extremely bumpy and you can still slide your fingers down the strand very easily, so I expect my hair is medium porosity. High porosity seems unlikely as I've never done anything to my hair and I haven't used a diffuser or hair dryer for years. Although it could be genetic of course, but my mum's not the right person to check as she treats her hair so differently from the way I treat mine.

My strand research should give me an answer as to whether I have fine, medium or coarse hair. I vaguely remember that they looked at the diameter of an individual strand (under a microsope) when I was checking out high schools and found that it was very fine, but then again, that was ten years ago.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted about my findings!

Lauraimes 03-17-2013 08:04 AM

Okay so I just came out of the shower and I'm not sure what my conclusion is. I have examined plenty of productless, dry strands and I had one that was extremely coarse (which came from the underlayer which is straighter than the rest of my hair and also darker because it barely gets any sunlight) and I found that I would not consider the rest necessarily fine, but I also realised that I actually do not know what fine strands look like. I kind of expect them to be almost invisible, which is definitely not the case.

That being said, I think that the overall width of my strands is medium because they do not match those few really coarse strands, yet they are still very clearly visible.

I could take a picture and put it up on here but I'm not sure if anyone would be able to confirm my current observations :-P

Geek_Chic 03-17-2013 08:35 AM

If you want another visual reference, the hair "down there" is normally coarse. So, if the hair on your head is about the same, it's coarse, a lot thinner, it's fine, and somewhat thinner but not dramatically so, then it's medium

Lauraimes 03-17-2013 08:37 AM

Thanks Geek_Chic! I just read about that on Live Curly Live Free and actually compared. It's somewhat thinner but the differences are minor so I think my hair is medium with some coarser strands for the underlayer.

Lauraimes 03-18-2013 01:31 AM

Okay so just a recap. At this point I'm thinking my properties are:

Medium (or even high??? but my hair looks so healthy) porosity
Medium width (possibly fine, but probably not coarse seeing it handles protein quite well)
High density
Normal elasticity

I'm just wondering what this would mean in terms of products. I know co-washing with Beauticurls Argan & Olive oil is a bit too much for my hair and it gets weighed down/slightly overconditioned. That's why I'm thinking about ordering CJ Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. I want to order something next to it and I've been dying to try CJ CCCCCL but it didn't really seem to be for coarsehaired people. The other product I considered was CJ Daily Fix. I would love to get all three but I have to limit myself to two (for the sake of not becoming a product junkie. Any thought on how these products could possible work on my new thought on properties?

heyho 03-18-2013 03:04 AM

You might find this useful:

Curly Hair - Medium Texture Products

Rustina 03-18-2013 07:24 AM

I've tried all three of those products. My hair is medium coarse and it likes both the CJ shampoo and the CCCCL. I used Daily Fix for awhile but missed the lather I got with shampoo, and I also found it hard to distribute, especially as my hair got longer. The CCCCL is almost lotiony in its consistency and has great slip - I didn't need a lot of it to get the results I wanted. Hope that helps.

I experienced the same difficulties in trying to figure out my properties, and finally broke down and got the hair analysis done. Best money I've spent on my hair - no more guesswork.

Lauraimes 03-18-2013 07:31 AM

Hi Rustina! Thanks for sharing your experiences, that's really helpful :-)

I'm extremely fed up with my hair today. I co-washed it yesterday with the CJ Argan & Olive oil conditioner. Today, I went through my usual spray-and-plop routine and although my hair is just as voluminous as it usually is, my curls are limp, it lacks shine and it just doesn't hold or something. I get this every time I co-wash so I think low-poo might be the solution for me.

I wish I could get a hair analysis done, but I don't believe they do that here in the Netherlands :(

Based on everything and your experiences, I think I'll order the shampoo and CCCCL today before it's out of stock again (really popular over here apparently).

Rustina 03-18-2013 12:39 PM

Good luck with the CCCCL! Hope it works for you. As for the hair analysis, if you wanted to get one through Live Curly, Live Free I'm sure you could - you'd have to pay to mail your hair sample to them, but the analysis you get in return is sent via email. I don't see why it couldn't be done even though you're overseas.

Lauraimes 03-18-2013 02:58 PM

Thanks! I ordered CJ CCCCL and the cleansing shampoo. Very curious to see the results, I'll let you know what I think!

That's not a bad idea actually, I'll send them an email :)

Lauraimes 03-20-2013 02:27 AM

Oh wow, I found a topic by Tiffany from Live Curly, Live Free about protein and I think I might even have fine hair!

She asks the following question based on her observations in beauty school:
Quote:

If you have coarse hair, does protein badly dry you out; if you have fine hair, do humectants and emollients give you limp, heavy, greasy hair
Topic can be found here: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...rue-false.html

If I truly had coarse hair, all the protein in Curl Queen should dry out my hair (but it doesn't) and if I have fine hair, it will become limp and heavy and perhaps even greasy when I used emollients. I find that when I co-wash with my emollient bomb conditioner, it does become limp and heavy.

This is quite a shock to me because I was convinced I had coarse hair and even the idea of having medium hair was already quite shocking.

Does anyone else with fine hair experience the same when using emollients?

kathymack 03-20-2013 05:57 AM

It's common for curly haired people to think their hair is coarse, when it's actually dry. I forget the %, but fine hair is a really high %age, medium much less and coarse hair uncommon.

I balance out the emollients with A LOT of protein. It's all about getting the protein/moisture balance right.

Corrina777 03-20-2013 05:58 AM

I don't get as much weigh down from heavier products and emollients as some others with fine hair, but I suspect it's because my hair is so thick. I think in my case the density offsets the texture a little bit. It's this combination of properties that I suspect is a big reason behind my "very agreeable" hair (there are very few products that haven't given me at least decent results).

Lauraimes 03-21-2013 01:40 AM

Kathymack, thanks for your reply! I've been thinking about the proteinbalance and I think I now understand why it is so essential to balance out the emollients. Isn't it because protein kind of supports the structure of the curl because curls are partly made up of keratin? So if the moisture level is too high because of an overabundance of emollients, you need lots of protein to balance that and retain curl structure. Am I right with this?

kathymack 03-21-2013 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lauraimes (Post 2141281)
Kathymack, thanks for your reply! I've been thinking about the proteinbalance and I think I now understand why it is so essential to balance out the emollients. Isn't it because protein kind of supports the structure of the curl because curls are partly made up of keratin? So if the moisture level is too high because of an overabundance of emollients, you need lots of protein to balance that and retain curl structure. Am I right with this?

Essentially, that's correct--especially for fine hair.

Lauraimes 03-21-2013 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathymack (Post 2141318)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lauraimes (Post 2141281)
Kathymack, thanks for your reply! I've been thinking about the proteinbalance and I think I now understand why it is so essential to balance out the emollients. Isn't it because protein kind of supports the structure of the curl because curls are partly made up of keratin? So if the moisture level is too high because of an overabundance of emollients, you need lots of protein to balance that and retain curl structure. Am I right with this?

Essentially, that's correct--especially for fine hair.

Great! Thanks :-) It feels great to finally really understand all these kinds of things.


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