$2500 spent and still no HG...

Like Tree18Likes

Hi everyone! This is my very first post!

I've read thru so much information here and wanted to thank all of you who freely share your routines and help those of us who are new.

This is going to be a long post--so I apologize in advance--I'm hoping to find a curly haired twin that can help me find my HG. My hair properties are in my signature. Celebrity hair twin--depending on the hold of the styling product I'd say Shakira (gels give me 3A) or Taylor Swift (cremes and lighter hold products give me 2C waves)--but my hair is a less fine and I have more of it but I get those same "s" waves.

I've been straightening my hair for quite some time, even had the entire routine down pat. One day, when I wasn't paying enough attention, I clamped my finger in the straightening iron (ouch!). Needless to say my finger burned and blistered, but it got me to thinking what am I doing to my hair???? So I decided to try the CG method. I wore my hair curly for years and I always got tons of compliments--but this is back in the 90's.

I started out with Karastasse products. Those always worked great for my straight hair, so I thought I'd try the curly hair products. They make my hair incredibly soft, but there is no styling product in the line up so my curls are just kind of so-so. I've now read they have silicone, so I went off to find different products that are CG approved.

Then once I read the CG book and info here I bought the entire DevaCurl line up, including the blow dryer, mitts, etc. I figured I'd go all in and make sure I had everything I needed for success. I like these products for about a week. I've read that these product contain a lot of protein? If that's the case, it explains why my hair feels like straw after I use them. My hair hates protein of any kind and always has! I worked for a hair salon where protein treatments were always suggested to customers--they combined oil and Keratin, applied to hair, covered with a plastic cap under a dryer for 30 mins. People raved about how it made there hair feel soft and glorious. It made mine feel like straw.

So then I read one of the blogs from someone here. I co-washed with Suave Coconut, Bioterra Condish, used KCKT as a leave in then Suave Captivating Curls Mousse-- super soaker, plop, etc. It worked great for bouncy, clumpy curls, but after a week or two it builds up in my hair and my hair droops and looks very product-y. I must have missed the part about it having a silicone, so I washed my hair with a sulfate shampoo and decided to look for CG approved products with no silicone.

So then I tried the entire Curl Junkie line up. I like both the no poo and low poo. Conditions are great and make my hair feel silky--like the hair I had whjen I was 20! Yay! The BeautiCurls Leave in is just so-so. Pattern Pusha is great for promoting clumps and 3A curls--but even with lots of water I cannot SOTC and second day hair is kind of stringy and very dry. The Pattern Pusha also leaves my hair very dry. So then I used all of the same, but the CIAB as a styling product. I do love CIAB but would like to find something with slightly more hold. I've tried using a lot and a little of this product but the end result is leaving me wishing for something with a bit more oopmh as far as hold.

I also bought a different hair dryer and a bowl diffuser. It doesn't dry my roots as well as the Deva Diffuser but it also doesn't give my curls a weird pattern--kind of bent in places, instead of a true S wave all the way down the hair shaft. Plopping also has this effect on my hair.

So then I read that KCCC is the number one product at Curl Mart and I decide to give that a try--yes, the entire line. The shampoo seems to strip my hair. I think the KCKT is perfect--probably the best leave in I've tried so far. The KCCC is a lot like the CJ Pattern Pusha--it's a bit too crunchy (yes, I am applying to soaking wet hair) and it really dries out my hair and makes for stringy, tangled second day hair.

So what should I try next? I think at this point I am happy with the Curl Junkie Gentle Cleansing (low poo) and Daily Fix (no poo) as well as the KCKT leave in. I just need a styling product. I am almost thinking gels are just to stiff for me. I read some good things about Curl Keeper and I wonder if it has a hold that is slightly stronger than CIAB? Has anyone tried both of those products?

Or maybe there is a creme or mousse someone can suggest?

And if you read all they way thru here: Thanks for reading. I would be super grateful for you help and recommendations.

Edited to add: Once I find my HG I am going to have one heck of a destash!!!
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
When I first joined, I went about it in a systematic way, too. After, I didn't care for Deva (it could just be the products that make your hair feel like straw. My salon has them. I used to let them use the NoPoo when I was in for my haircut, but it made my hair feel like straw after they changed the ingredients a few years ago, so I bring my own product.) I did Jessicurl--made my hair limp and lifeless in only a week. After that, I decided not to waste money on entire lines of products. I did it by catergory--rinse out, leave in, curl enhancer, gel, etc.

I found out a lot about my hair. What it likes and doesn't like. I'm pretty good at picking out ingredients/products my hair likes. (One of the best ways to pick out ingredients/products is by properties. Look for folks with similar properties and see what they use. It's a good place to start.) My hair prefers the more natural products from the online, boutique type companies. It doesn't care for chemicals, polyquats in particular (especially 4, 7 and 10.) So use what I call jelly products--gelatinous consistency without the chemicals.

By learning what my hair likes, I've strengthened my curl pattern. Gone from winter wavy/summer 3a to hair like my signature picture all year around. I do at least one PT a week (on my hair right now) and use a lot of products with protein. I use really rich products in my every day styling, so don't usually have to DT (depends on the PT.)

I'm allergic to CK which is supposed to reduce frizz, not have hold (it did nothing anyway.) Don't use CIAB because of the polyquats.

A lot of us rotate products. I wet, use a rinse out and style every day. Seldom let myself use any one product more then once in five days. You need to consider the dewpoints when selecting your products. In the really low dewpoints, I use a leave in, curl enhancer and a jelly product. In the highdewpoints, I use a leave in OR a curl enhancer and a jelly product. Don't know if this is what you're looking for?? There are a ton of great products out there. Can't imagine that you won't find some that work for you.
wild~hair, dusalocks and bosanbo like this.
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 wish I could offer you assistance, but my hair is very different from yours, as is my determination. I would say, just try one product at a time, so your investment is more moderate, and your ability to see effects --- good or ill ---- is greater.
wild~hair and curlypearl like this.

Dogs and nature abhor a vacuum.
http://geaugadoggy.wordpress.com
I will gladly take any destash, lol!

No, seriously, though....I think what you've done HAS helped you find a few good products that work for you.

Since you were happy with your hair when using the Suave mousse product, (however that particular one has cones), maybe try some other mousses? I LOVE mousse, but have been experimenting with all sorts of jellies and gels. Always go back to the mousse. There is a recent thread about them in the general discussion area. I like the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse best- but it does dry crunchy if you use too much. The Condition 321 (or 123, lol) has less hold (for me) but no crunch.

It depends what you're looking for. I prefer definition AND volume, and mousse does that for me. How differnt things work on MY hair: Curl creams give definition, but no volume. Gels give definition but too much crunch (I hate crunch!). Jellies- I'm still just not sure about them- they seem to give good clumping, but then they just fall throughout the day. Still experimenting with them.

I just ordered some "Mudd" from etsy, Botticelli Botanicals (one of the members here ). It's an all natural product made from ochra of all things. Lots of people here swear by home-made flax seed gel, and this supposedly works like it, but better. We shall see!

I am in the constant search for products that give great hold, BUT not too much crunch!

Good luck!
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
How often are you using the CJ cleansers? Did you try the Suave mousse with the CJ cleansers? I ask because the CJ cleansers (even Daily Fix, the cleansing conditioner) have coco betaine, which is a non-sulfate cleanser that can remove and prevent silicone build up (the Suave coconut co-wash you listed as trying at the time would not be able to do that). If the only issue with the mousse was that the co-wash you used at the time couldn't deal with the silicones, then it might be worth revisiting now that your routine includes gentle products that will prevent silicone buildup.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
Sorry, you asked about Curl Keeper too....I use this most days after my leave-in and sealer, as I live in Florida where there are high dews most of the year and I find it definitely helps the frizzies! For me, though, it has no hold and so I don't use it as a stand alone styler; always mousse, gel or jelly on top.

However, since you have fine hair, it may work for you especially if you like a soft look with no crunch. I would say this is a definite purchase, at least to try it. You can use a lot of it and it doesn't hurt. In fact, the only issue I find is if I don't use enough.
curlypearl likes this.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
You can't just read reviews and buy products. Even if you have a hair twin here, you still can't do that. Every time you try a product you need to look at the ingredients. If a product makes your hair dry look at the ingredients...read up on them and try to think of which one could be the culprit. Any time you try something new you should be mentally keeping track of their differences and similarities. Don't go out and by the entire line of something. It's expensive and unnecessary.

My suggestion would actually be to go through your stash again, use things and try to figure out what your hair likes and doesn't like. For $2500 the least you should come away with is better knowledge of what your hair likes.
wild~hair, pinkwolf and bosanbo like this.
Hey, I'm a fine, low porosity 2C-3A lookin' gal, too... so you can read what I use below, and also know that I'm currently curl-stalking KathyMack and MaggieT, who seem to have similar hair (except mine loves a few things that Kathy's hates).

I'm a science nerd: born, raised, degree, grad school, nerd city. My hair M.O. is the same psuedo-scientific approach I have to all issues:

Only change one thing at a time. (Clarification: you can use more than one product, but don't introduce two new ones at once, or even in the same week). If you change too much and aren't sure what is causing the problem, wipe the slate clean and start over.

I low-poo (a chem-free gentle shampoo) 1-2 times per week. It would be only once a week, but I do hot yoga and long bike rides, and it just gets funky. I feel like this keeps product build-up, even from great products, off my hair, which is important for fine/wavy gals. If I have a product-induced freakout, I also do a low-poo with some baking soda, to clean that slate.

I agree with JessieBanana about going through your stash again, or whatever is left. Just try one thing at a time, give it a few days, and if it doesn't work try to figure out why by reading up on the ingredients. Keep the products that don't work in a separate pile so you can compare the ingredients, and perhaps a pattern will emerge! Also, try using them in different ways and amounts. The first time I used KCCC, for example, I used as much as I would with a hair gel... and I looked BAD. Now I use a teensy tiny dab, like, I don't know a lentil (smaller than a pea), and it's dreamy for me.

Lastly, I'm not a big believer in whole product lines. In fact, if one product from a line works well for me, I can safely assume that no others will. It's frustrating, but I have fine finicky hair! So I just use what works, regardless of the product line, or even the intended use of the product. KCCC is almost like a leave-in, for me, even though that's totally not what it's marketed as.

Good luck!
I sort of blog
I'm mostly away doing field work through mid-May.

Hair: curlybob, fine, dense, low-po, big waves/ringlets (2C/3A)
Co-Wash: Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioner
RO: YTC Carrot, Aubrey Organics GPB
LI: BS Shea Soft Styling Cream (HG)
Styling: KCCC, Garnier P&C Gel
1xWeek: low-poo, gelatin PT or Joico K-Pak
Hair Likes: aloe, coconut oil, humidity, protein, long walks on the beach

Last edited by bosanbo; 03-21-2013 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Clarification
I absolutely second that you need to both find out which ingredients work for you, and that you should only try one thing at a time!

This whole process is an uphill battle and I know it absolutely sucks to spend so much money and feel like you're not getting anything out of it. But I think figuring out what your hair wants will help you at least narrow it down so that you'll have a much higher chance at finding something that works for you.

So here's my hair routine, in case this gives you any ideas!

I'm a 3a with low/medium porosity, and with way more spirals and ringlets than s-shaped curls. My hair loves, loves aloe and I have a love/hate relationship with glycerin. Love in that the curl pattern and bounciness I get are unstoppable, hate because I get lots of halo frizz and using it twice in a row gives me hay hair. So I refrain, even though so many great products have glycerin in them (including, unfortunately, my $18 bottle of Curl Keeper).

So for my co-wash my HG (for four years now, my hair loves it) is Suave Naturals Aloe and Waterlily. Cheap and decent slip, and it's light and doesn't weigh my hair down. Plus, aloe!


For my rinse out, these days I'm using Garnier Sleek and Shine conditioner. It's CG and it's nice and thick and helps me get good clumps, plus it's cheap. I really like a lot of the Aubrey Organics conditioners, but since I'm trying to watch my budget and they're hard to find in the stores around here, I haven't used them in a while. But I do remember loving them!

For leave in, I switch between the Suave and the Garnier - it depends on my mood and what I have more of in the bottle. Sometimes it depends on the dew point/humidity or what styler I'm going to use (e.g. if I use KCCC I use the Garnier because it's thicker and makes it easier to scrunch out the crunch).

For stylers, I bounce between AG Re:coil, KCCC (I use a lot of leave in and a tiny amount of KCCC), TIGI Mousse (I don't know what kind - I got it when I was living in the UK and I don't even know if they carry it here).

I'm also trying some new stuff - I've been working on the same jar of KCCC and the same tube of Re:Coil for almost three years - and just today I bought Jane Carter Solution curl defining cream (I had a friend at school with hair really similar to mine and she swears by it, and I'm in the market for something new!) and Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic (primary ingredient is aloe, so I'm excited to try it). I'm also really interested in trying FSG since so many people have great results, and I'm not sure where my hair stands on protein, so I'm also going to experiment with that now that the weather is going to be nicer (midwest winters suck the life out of my hair).

Finally, for gel, I absolutely, positively never go wrong with BRHG. It gives me great, great hold and my hair bounces and the crunch scrunches out easily.

For tighter curls, I use the AG Re:coil. For looser curls with more volume, I use mousse. For length and good curl pattern but firm hold, I use the KCCC. I top everything with the BRHG for second day hair.

I also do ACV rinses pretty frequently - I'm nervous to do them too often, but the water here is terribly hard - the white gunk build up on our showerhead is frightening and just thinking about all that in my hair... ugh.


So yes! Good luck - I know you can figure out what your hair wants, it's just a matter of narrowing it down. Even looking through the products you've already bought and separating out the ones that you definitely didn't like from the ones that maybe worked or worked ok will help you start to look for patterns.

HTH!
curlypearl likes this.


Hair type: Fine, fairly porous, shoulder length when curly. Probably a 3a or 3b with tight ringlets now that it's getting longer. Hair loves aloe, hates glycerin.

Co-Wash: Suave Naturals Aloe and Waterlily (my HG conditioner!)
Rinse Out: Garnier Sleek and Shine, Trevor Sorbie curl conditioner (UK only, unfortunately)
Stylers: KCCC, AG Re:coil, TIGI mousse, but open to suggestions!
Gels: BRHG (my one and only)


CG since 03/28/09

Last edited by sexyspirals; 03-21-2013 at 04:05 PM.
When I first joined, I went about it in a systematic way, too. After, I didn't care for Deva (it could just be the products that make your hair feel like straw. My salon has them. I used to let them use the NoPoo when I was in for my haircut, but it made my hair feel like straw after they changed the ingredients a few years ago, so I bring my own product.) I did Jessicurl--made my hair limp and lifeless in only a week. After that, I decided not to waste money on entire lines of products. I did it by catergory--rinse out, leave in, curl enhancer, gel, etc.

I found out a lot about my hair. What it likes and doesn't like. I'm pretty good at picking out ingredients/products my hair likes. (One of the best ways to pick out ingredients/products is by properties. Look for folks with similar properties and see what they use. It's a good place to start.) My hair prefers the more natural products from the online, boutique type companies. It doesn't care for chemicals, polyquats in particular (especially 4, 7 and 10.) So use what I call jelly products--gelatinous consistency without the chemicals.

By learning what my hair likes, I've strengthened my curl pattern. Gone from winter wavy/summer 3a to hair like my signature picture all year around. I do at least one PT a week (on my hair right now) and use a lot of products with protein. I use really rich products in my every day styling, so don't usually have to DT (depends on the PT.)

I'm allergic to CK which is supposed to reduce frizz, not have hold (it did nothing anyway.) Don't use CIAB because of the polyquats.

A lot of us rotate products. I wet, use a rinse out and style every day. Seldom let myself use any one product more then once in five days. You need to consider the dewpoints when selecting your products. In the really low dewpoints, I use a leave in, curl enhancer and a jelly product. In the highdewpoints, I use a leave in OR a curl enhancer and a jelly product. Don't know if this is what you're looking for?? There are a ton of great products out there. Can't imagine that you won't find some that work for you.
Originally Posted by kathymack
Thank you, kathymack.

I am just now learning about ingredients of products. My hair is protein sensitive so I am trying to stay away from those products. I'm not sure what my hair doesn't like about Deva products, but like you, it makes my hair feel like straw.

I think we have similar hair properties, so I may try a few of the products you are using and see how that works. A few people have mentioned jelly products and since the gels don't seem to work for me I'll try those too.

I hadn't thought about polyquats, but I will be sure to be on the look out for those as well. My hair has always preferred a switch of products after a while--I kind of wonder if the low porosity causes product build up and then great products are less great as I continue to use them.

I'm in the Midwest, so I will do a bit more research on dewpoints too.
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
I wish I could offer you assistance, but my hair is very different from yours, as is my determination. I would say, just try one product at a time, so your investment is more moderate, and your ability to see effects --- good or ill ---- is greater.
Originally Posted by claudine19
Thank you, claudine19. I always think that an entire product line is made to work together and tend to buy everything they have. It seems like for us curlies that one product from this line and another from that line works better. Now that I have shampoos and conditioners that seem to work I am going to look for a few styling products from various manufacturers and see if I can find that elusive HG.
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
I will gladly take any destash, lol!

No, seriously, though....I think what you've done HAS helped you find a few good products that work for you.

Since you were happy with your hair when using the Suave mousse product, (however that particular one has cones), maybe try some other mousses? I LOVE mousse, but have been experimenting with all sorts of jellies and gels. Always go back to the mousse. There is a recent thread about them in the general discussion area. I like the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse best- but it does dry crunchy if you use too much. The Condition 321 (or 123, lol) has less hold (for me) but no crunch.

It depends what you're looking for. I prefer definition AND volume, and mousse does that for me. How differnt things work on MY hair: Curl creams give definition, but no volume. Gels give definition but too much crunch (I hate crunch!). Jellies- I'm still just not sure about them- they seem to give good clumping, but then they just fall throughout the day. Still experimenting with them.

I just ordered some "Mudd" from etsy, Botticelli Botanicals (one of the members here ). It's an all natural product made from ochra of all things. Lots of people here swear by home-made flax seed gel, and this supposedly works like it, but better. We shall see!

I am in the constant search for products that give great hold, BUT not too much crunch!
Good luck!
Originally Posted by chloe92us
Thank you, chloe92us. Back in the 90's I had the hair that everyone wanted....lol. I worked in a hair salon and so many customers were getting perms and asking for their hair to look just like mine. I tried to think back on what I used then and it was mousse--so my hair really does respond better to a foamy-er type product. I'm going to try the HE Totally Twisted Mousse you mentioned.

I like lots and lots of volume, with some clumping but not too much as more clumping makes my hair less voluminous. Like you, I want a good hold but not so much crunch--or at least crunch that can be scrunched out. It seems like we are looking for the same thing as out hair reacts the same way to gels and mousses.

The Suave Captivating Curls makes my hair kind of dull--so I am looking for volume, some hold, crunch-free, shiny and frizz free. I am not sure such a product exists but I aim to find it!

I think I'll try mousses first, no cremes, no gels based on your recommendations. Gels might work better for me in the summer when the dewpoints are higher--we'll see.

I've heard great things about the homemade flax seed gel, but honestly I just don't have time to make it. I'd rather buy it. Was Botticelli Botanicals the one that had a flaxseed product that a lot of members like? Seems like I had that in my notes somewhere.

I'm gonna have to do a destash as I have no more room, for all of these hair products. Plus I am pretty certain my daughter thinks I need a "hair products hoarder intervention"....lol.
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
You can't just read reviews and buy products. Even if you have a hair twin here, you still can't do that. Every time you try a product you need to look at the ingredients. If a product makes your hair dry look at the ingredients...read up on them and try to think of which one could be the culprit. Any time you try something new you should be mentally keeping track of their differences and similarities. Don't go out and by the entire line of something. It's expensive and unnecessary.

My suggestion would actually be to go through your stash again, use things and try to figure out what your hair likes and doesn't like. For $2500 the least you should come away with is better knowledge of what your hair likes.
Originally Posted by Jessiebanana
Yep, I realize that I can't go off what works for others as so many things come into play--hair properties, dewpoints, etc--but at least it's a starting point. My best products and techniques come from reading what others are doing and doing something similar and making a few changes here and there. I am realy so thankful for everyone sharing their techniques and products that work for them.

Take the super soaker method, for example. It does work great, but it's messy and because there's soooo much water in my low porosity hair it takes forever to dry--like more than 6 hours. I find it better to follow her method, but instead of leaning over a sink and cupping water I wet a hairbrush and brush it through my hair a certain way to make a sold sheet of hair. Then I use a microfiber towel wrap it in my hand and squeeze the extra water out at a 90 degree angle to the floor--which keeps the clumps in place. If I want waves I let it dry like that. If I want more curls I scrunch the towel in an upwards motion. This works better for me and takes much, much less time to dry.

Anyway, I'm going to go thru my stash and get rid of the stuff that definitely doesn't work, making notes of ingredients that are the culprit to dry, stringy hair--for me anyway. Hopefully I will be able to find a HG product that make me love my curls.
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
Hey, I'm a fine, low porosity 2C-3A lookin' gal, too... so you can read what I use below, and also know that I'm currently curl-stalking KathyMack and MaggieT, who seem to have similar hair (except mine loves a few things that Kathy's hates).

I'm a science nerd: born, raised, degree, grad school, nerd city. My hair M.O. is the same psuedo-scientific approach I have to all issues:

Only change one thing at a time. (Clarification: you can use more than one product, but don't introduce two new ones at once, or even in the same week). If you change too much and aren't sure what is causing the problem, wipe the slate clean and start over.

I low-poo (a chem-free gentle shampoo) 1-2 times per week. It would be only once a week, but I do hot yoga and long bike rides, and it just gets funky. I feel like this keeps product build-up, even from great products, off my hair, which is important for fine/wavy gals. If I have a product-induced freakout, I also do a low-poo with some baking soda, to clean that slate.

I agree with JessieBanana about going through your stash again, or whatever is left. Just try one thing at a time, give it a few days, and if it doesn't work try to figure out why by reading up on the ingredients. Keep the products that don't work in a separate pile so you can compare the ingredients, and perhaps a pattern will emerge! Also, try using them in different ways and amounts. The first time I used KCCC, for example, I used as much as I would with a hair gel... and I looked BAD. Now I use a teensy tiny dab, like, I don't know a lentil (smaller than a pea), and it's dreamy for me.

Lastly, I'm not a big believer in whole product lines. In fact, if one product from a line works well for me, I can safely assume that no others will. It's frustrating, but I have fine finicky hair! So I just use what works, regardless of the product line, or even the intended use of the product. KCCC is almost like a leave-in, for me, even though that's totally not what it's marketed as.

Good luck!
Originally Posted by bosanbo
Ohhh, bosanbo, we do have similar hair properties. Yay! I'm so glad you posted! Thank you!

I always assume that an entire product line is made to work together--but this seems to not be the case for us curlies. I also tend to buy an entire product line as it's just easier that way. I am alwasy short on time so buying products in one place is quicker. It seems as if I need to combine products from one line or another to get to that HG.

My hair, like yours, gets used to a product (it's probably product build up due to low porosity) and I find I have to do a deep clean or change products to keep my hair looking it's best.

On styling products, I always try a little bit, then a medium amount then a large amount and see what differences it makes. If after 3 tries it doesn't give me volume, shine with some clumping I cross it off my list. I even try mixing two products together (such as CJPP and CJCIAB) to see if that works--it didn't. The CJPP makes my hair so dry and dull too. Same with the KCCC. Both of those products seem to have some kind of "sucking the moisture" out of my hair problem. Almost like a humectant would-- and I wonder if dewpoints play a part in that? If there isn't enough moisture in the air it takes moisture from my hair?

If KCCC is your leave in, what do you use as a styler? I should look at your signature and see!
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
I absolutely second that you need to both find out which ingredients work for you, and that you should only try one thing at a time!

This whole process is an uphill battle and I know it absolutely sucks to spend so much money and feel like you're not getting anything out of it. But I think figuring out what your hair wants will help you at least narrow it down so that you'll have a much higher chance at finding something that works for you.

So here's my hair routine, in case this gives you any ideas!

I'm a 3a with low/medium porosity, and with way more spirals and ringlets than s-shaped curls. My hair loves, loves aloe and I have a love/hate relationship with glycerin. Love in that the curl pattern and bounciness I get are unstoppable, hate because I get lots of halo frizz and using it twice in a row gives me hay hair. So I refrain, even though so many great products have glycerin in them (including, unfortunately, my $18 bottle of Curl Keeper).

So for my co-wash my HG (for four years now, my hair loves it) is Suave Naturals Aloe and Waterlily. Cheap and decent slip, and it's light and doesn't weigh my hair down. Plus, aloe!


For my rinse out, these days I'm using Garnier Sleek and Shine conditioner. It's CG and it's nice and thick and helps me get good clumps, plus it's cheap. I really like a lot of the Aubrey Organics conditioners, but since I'm trying to watch my budget and they're hard to find in the stores around here, I haven't used them in a while. But I do remember loving them!

For leave in, I switch between the Suave and the Garnier - it depends on my mood and what I have more of in the bottle. Sometimes it depends on the dew point/humidity or what styler I'm going to use (e.g. if I use KCCC I use the Garnier because it's thicker and makes it easier to scrunch out the crunch).

For stylers, I bounce between AG Re:coil, KCCC (I use a lot of leave in and a tiny amount of KCCC), TIGI Mousse (I don't know what kind - I got it when I was living in the UK and I don't even know if they carry it here).

I'm also trying some new stuff - I've been working on the same jar of KCCC and the same tube of Re:Coil for almost three years - and just today I bought Jane Carter Solution curl defining cream (I had a friend at school with hair really similar to mine and she swears by it, and I'm in the market for something new!) and Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic (primary ingredient is aloe, so I'm excited to try it). I'm also really interested in trying FSG since so many people have great results, and I'm not sure where my hair stands on protein, so I'm also going to experiment with that now that the weather is going to be nicer (midwest winters suck the life out of my hair).

Finally, for gel, I absolutely, positively never go wrong with BRHG. It gives me great, great hold and my hair bounces and the crunch scrunches out easily.

For tighter curls, I use the AG Re:coil. For looser curls with more volume, I use mousse. For length and good curl pattern but firm hold, I use the KCCC. I top everything with the BRHG for second day hair.

I also do ACV rinses pretty frequently - I'm nervous to do them too often, but the water here is terribly hard - the white gunk build up on our showerhead is frightening and just thinking about all that in my hair... ugh.


So yes! Good luck - I know you can figure out what your hair wants, it's just a matter of narrowing it down. Even looking through the products you've already bought and separating out the ones that you definitely didn't like from the ones that maybe worked or worked ok will help you start to look for patterns.

HTH!
Originally Posted by sexyspirals
Thank you, sexyspirals! Yep, it looks like our hair properties are very similar--and I'm in the Midwest too!

In the 90's I could have cared a less about products--washed with sulfate shampoo, conditioned with whatever, dried with a terry towel, no leave in and used some kind a mouse. Diffused a bit, dried the rest of the way on the way to work with the car heater on high. Go figure that my hair looked great back then!

Now, I buy all the good stuff, do all the right things and am not getting great hair--to me anyway. I get tons of compliments--people think I have a wig on or can't believe I ever straightened my hair. I think I've become overly critical of my hair--I prolly need to lay on a sofa and have therapy....lol. Some days, if my hair doesn't turn out "glorious" (or sexy spirally--HA!), I feel like washing it and starting over with different products--like who has time for that? I swear, it's just not as soft and bouncy as it was in the 90's--I'm sure age has something to do with that. Darn it! Anyway, this hair product HG is sure hard to figure out--I think there's just so much to know and learn.

I really want to try both the AG Re:coil BRHG as I've heard super great things about both. I was thinking I read the AG Re:coil has protein in it, so I need to look at the ingredients list. I think the BRHG will be my last attempt at a gel--although I did just recently purchase the Garnier Pure Clean Gel as it seems like a lot of people like it--so I'll try it, then the BRHG.

Ohhh and I need to give the Aloe a shot too! Taking notes, more notes and more notes.

I have a want to try product list a mile long....

And I almost forgot--have you tried one of those screw on shower heads to eliminate the minerals in your hard water? I used to be a hairstylist and hard water minerals absolutely builds up in the hair (juts like on your shower head) and makes everything from styling products to hair color go wonky or react differently. ACV can be a great solution but it has been known to strip color out of hair and it can be drying. I think it's best to eliminate the minerals than to use the ACV--and if the intent is to use it to only remove minerals (not to close cuticles as your hair is already low porosity) a clarifying shampoo is a better bet--but that's just my own personal opinion.
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
Hey, I'm a fine, low porosity 2C-3A lookin' gal, too... so you can read what I use below, and also know that I'm currently curl-stalking KathyMack and MaggieT, who seem to have similar hair (except mine loves a few things that Kathy's hates).

I'm a science nerd: born, raised, degree, grad school, nerd city. My hair M.O. is the same psuedo-scientific approach I have to all issues:

Only change one thing at a time. (Clarification: you can use more than one product, but don't introduce two new ones at once, or even in the same week). If you change too much and aren't sure what is causing the problem, wipe the slate clean and start over.

I low-poo (a chem-free gentle shampoo) 1-2 times per week. It would be only once a week, but I do hot yoga and long bike rides, and it just gets funky. I feel like this keeps product build-up, even from great products, off my hair, which is important for fine/wavy gals. If I have a product-induced freakout, I also do a low-poo with some baking soda, to clean that slate.

I agree with JessieBanana about going through your stash again, or whatever is left. Just try one thing at a time, give it a few days, and if it doesn't work try to figure out why by reading up on the ingredients. Keep the products that don't work in a separate pile so you can compare the ingredients, and perhaps a pattern will emerge! Also, try using them in different ways and amounts. The first time I used KCCC, for example, I used as much as I would with a hair gel... and I looked BAD. Now I use a teensy tiny dab, like, I don't know a lentil (smaller than a pea), and it's dreamy for me.

Lastly, I'm not a big believer in whole product lines. In fact, if one product from a line works well for me, I can safely assume that no others will. It's frustrating, but I have fine finicky hair! So I just use what works, regardless of the product line, or even the intended use of the product. KCCC is almost like a leave-in, for me, even though that's totally not what it's marketed as.

Good luck!
Originally Posted by bosanbo
Ohhh, bosanbo, we do have similar hair properties. Yay! I'm so glad you posted! Thank you!

I always assume that an entire product line is made to work together--but this seems to not be the case for us curlies. I also tend to buy an entire product line as it's just easier that way. I am alwasy short on time so buying products in one place is quicker. It seems as if I need to combine products from one line or another to get to that HG.

My hair, like yours, gets used to a product (it's probably product build up due to low porosity) and I find I have to do a deep clean or change products to keep my hair looking it's best.

On styling products, I always try a little bit, then a medium amount then a large amount and see what differences it makes. If after 3 tries it doesn't give me volume, shine with some clumping I cross it off my list. I even try mixing two products together (such as CJPP and CJCIAB) to see if that works--it didn't. The CJPP makes my hair so dry and dull too. Same with the KCCC. Both of those products seem to have some kind of "sucking the moisture" out of my hair problem. Almost like a humectant would-- and I wonder if dewpoints play a part in that? If there isn't enough moisture in the air it takes moisture from my hair?

If KCCC is your leave in, what do you use as a styler? I should look at your signature and see!
Originally Posted by Naturally_Curly
Happy to help! I'm curious how your hair is without product in it - is it dry on its own? I stopped dyeing/heating mine when I grew it out from a pixie, so it is relatively undamaged (other than being super-fine) and holds moisture really well. Back when I abused it more, it was the opposite: couldn't get moisture INTO it. I think low porosity has a lot to do with this.

So if your hair seems dry/frizzy without product, maybe try some DTs to really moisturize it - that way the products you put on are holding something in, instead of keeping moisture out. Same concept as using oil to seal hair, but I find oils way too heavy to my hair. I use coconut oil as a DT overnight once a week, and I'm trying mixing in some other oils next week (Castor oil, and Badger's Seabuckthorn oil blend). I'm still learning up on the whole dewpoint thing; I live in a part of Northern California where it varies very little, so I haven't had to think about it a lot!

I read in some other posts in this thread that you've had good luck with mousses. Me too. They seem friendly to fine hair (although a bad mousse is REALLY bad). I like Peter Lamas, which comes in a pump instead of having propellants that can damage hair. It's CG friendly as far as I know...

Also, I just added Garnier Pure and Clean Gel to my routine yesterday, as my "last coat," and after I gently SOTC it looks great. Maybe try it! I've had bad luck with other Garnier products, but I heard some good things from people with similar hair.

A thought on using a whole product line: one line tends to have similar ingredients, and if us fine gals are supposed to avoid product build-up, that might be another reason to mix lines. Similar ingredients in several products = faster build up? I don't know. It makes sense to me. Anyone else have thoughts on that?

If you feel like it, maybe we can get a picture of your hair, so we can see what it's up to that you don't like? Maybe you are indeed being overly critical! But I know the feeling, when product after product sucks for you. I try to only buy from places that have good return policies, and keep those receipts! It adds up.
I sort of blog
I'm mostly away doing field work through mid-May.

Hair: curlybob, fine, dense, low-po, big waves/ringlets (2C/3A)
Co-Wash: Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioner
RO: YTC Carrot, Aubrey Organics GPB
LI: BS Shea Soft Styling Cream (HG)
Styling: KCCC, Garnier P&C Gel
1xWeek: low-poo, gelatin PT or Joico K-Pak
Hair Likes: aloe, coconut oil, humidity, protein, long walks on the beach

Last edited by bosanbo; 03-22-2013 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Spelling fail
I'll try to post a photo today--I suck at photo graphing my own hair....lol. Is there a sticky on how to do that????

I actually am about 50% into my wash/ styling routine right now. I was about 90% into it--but I couldn't figure out why my hair was super foamy (is it the leave in????) and then when almost dry --really sticky and dry. Stupid me mistook the CJ loo-poo for the CJ CIAB. I mean--doh!! I had to start all over. Geesh!

Ohhh, bosanbo, I think you are on to something with product build up in fine hair! It must be the reason I need to switch products--or the combo of fine hair and low porosity that allows the product to sit on top of the hair shaft and not be absorbed.

My hair is very dry on it's own. I swear the only reason I ever wash it it to add more moisture to it. I try to use rich (or whatever you would call that) conditioners and avoid deep treatments as they do weigh down my hair quite a bit.

I tried Mineral Oil for the first time the other day---disaster! It totally weighed my hair down. At the same time I bought the mineral oil I also bought the fast grow Coconut Oil (or whatever Palmers calls it)--of course I then read it has protein and I'm afraid to try it so for now it's in the donate bin. I'm terrible about returning stuff.

I'm glad to hear you like the Garnier Pure Clean gel. I'm going to try it next time. Does it make your hair crunchy, especially since you used it after SOTC?

This time around I used CJ low poo, CJ Daily Fix condish, KCKT LI, CIAB (lots of it). It's about 80% dry and I have it clipped on my roots while I finish putting on my make-up.

My hair shrinks up quite a bit when it's curly. It's about 5 or 6 inches shorter than the usual just below BSL. Anyone know anything about hair grow vitamins?????
2C and 3A. Fine to Medium texture/Low Porosity/Medium Elasticity/MediumDensity. Looking for my HG products!
I've done the opposite! I bought two bottles of conditioner once and was trying to wash my hair (pre-CG)... disaster.

If your hair is very dry on its own, I'd try to remedy that CG-style by co-washing, adding moisture as much as possible, to get the best effect from any styling products you apply after that. Start at the source of the problem.

DTs are very hit or miss for me. Most weigh my hair down, too. I use straight raw coconut oil overnight, and that turns out well. I know people try to avoid it due to protein, but my hair has zero problem with it and I have read various things about how it isn't a protein itself, but instead allows hair to hold on to protein, etc. I've also read plenty of threads showing that people with fine, low porosity hair often benefit from protein. It's no perfect science, whose hair likes/hates protein, you just have to figure it out for yourself... by trying. Gulp! I'm no protein master, but I know what works for me. Things like olive oil and shea butter are disasterous DTs for me. So experiment a bit on a day when you don't have to have good hair.

The Palmers stuff appears to have both coconut oil and coconut milk in it. Coconut milk contains protein. FYI. Again, I'd go with straight up plain coconut oil, so if you have a bad hair day you know "avoid coconut oil" instead of wondering which ingredient did it.

I dislike mineral oil on skin and hair, and won't go near it. That's all I have to say about that.

The Garnier gel did not make me crunchy. When I say "SOTC" I mean "scrunch out the crunch," but it was really more "scrunch to soften the definition." Because I have fine hair, the gel made it super-clump in a lovely way, but then I scrunched softly to make the curls a little "fatter" so I didn't look like I just had super-defined ropes. My fine hair can form like, eight super-curls and leave me looking really funny if I don't keep it softer and a bit less rigidly defined. There was no real solid crunch action. Then again, people have said KCCC makes their hair crunchy, and it has never made mine crunchy. Maybe my hair is crunch-resistant? I don't know. My hair is always bordering on super-moisturized, which I think really helps prevent crunch/etc. - and goes back to the first point: moisturize the hair.

There's a lot of advice on hair supplements if you search for "supplements." I basically feel that hair grows at a certain rate, due to your body's cycles, and pushing it too far beyond that... I don't know, it weirds me out! Obviously that's my own brain's opinion, not any real fact. But they seem to work for a lot of people. I take a Hair Skin and Nails supplement and while my hair always seems the same, I do have to cut my toenails a lot more often... they bump my shoes. I take it to keep my nails from breaking, which they do very easily otherwise.

Your hair shrinks up way more than mine, it sounds like. Mine shrinks 2-3 inches.

Good luck with the routine today! I'm curious to hear what happens. I'm getting my first dry curly cut tomorrow and I'm really excited to see the results.
I sort of blog
I'm mostly away doing field work through mid-May.

Hair: curlybob, fine, dense, low-po, big waves/ringlets (2C/3A)
Co-Wash: Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioner
RO: YTC Carrot, Aubrey Organics GPB
LI: BS Shea Soft Styling Cream (HG)
Styling: KCCC, Garnier P&C Gel
1xWeek: low-poo, gelatin PT or Joico K-Pak
Hair Likes: aloe, coconut oil, humidity, protein, long walks on the beach

Last edited by bosanbo; 03-22-2013 at 11:58 AM. Reason: I always use way too many exclamation points!
My hair satiated on products, even back in my shampoo/conditioner only days. I used to have two or three combos running at all times and would change whenever my hair was limp. I never used hair products until I started lurking on nc.com.

I don't really think the products not working is because they cause build up with continued use. It has to do with your hair getting "bored" of them. (Don't know what the science would be.) I wet, use a rinse out and style every day, seldom let myself use any one product more then once in five days, if that. I feel that my low porosity hair doesn't always absorb all of the ingredients from some of the really rich products I use--I call that residual ingredients. So, I clean with soap bars every so often (7 days in the winter.)
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've heard great things about the homemade flax seed gel, but honestly I just don't have time to make it. I'd rather buy it. Was Botticelli Botanicals the one that had a flaxseed product that a lot of members like? Seems like I had that in my notes somewhere.
Originally Posted by Naturally_Curly
See that's what I thought too which is why I put off making it for months. However, I just made my third batch the day before yesterday and as always it took 10 minutes. I think it's worth it because you save a lot of money making it yourself and you can customize it. It's also empowering. Especially for a product junkie such as myself. There's nothing worse than buying a product that works for so many other people and doesn't work for you. Worst feeling in the world. At least with flax seed gel if it doesn't work you're out 10 minutes and maybe $1 for the flaxseeds you bought. And you can try try again to achieve the right consistency.
sheilacurl likes this.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com