Gummy, messed up hair...?!

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  • 1 Post By Jessiebanana

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice about this! My hair has been feeling really gross the past couple days, when it's wet it feels gummy and coated, like there's some goo I can't get out. I just started cowashing a little over a week ago, so I thought I might have some sort of buildup. I used a soap bar, from kathymack (I LOVED how it felt in my hair, it was curlier, too!), but when I washed it out the gummy feeling was still there. It's been feeling limp and not as curly, too. I don't know what's wrong with it. I searched on the forums but there we're so many things... Buildup, hard water, needs protein... I'm so confused my hair wasn't like this before... Just getting worse the last 3 days or so. My canopy is pretty dry, so I didn't think it was protein, and I never had hard water issues before (I've never used anything else though). I thought it could be buildup; none of my products have silicones, but one I just got has a polyquat low on the list which I don't think my hair likes. The second ingredient is Dehydroxanthan Gum in the same product. I just started using that a few days ago, but I don't know if those types of ingredients can build up? Wouldn't cowashing or at least a soap bar remove them? I don't want to use a shampoo, but I just don't know how to get my hair back to normal!
curl type: 2c/3a
porosity: low
hair strand width: medium
density: thick
elasticity: low-normal
Shoulder length


Ready to get back on the CG bandwagon!
Use a low poo or one of those gentle shampoo thingies, like the SM moisture one? Sounds like what happens to me whenever I get the bright idea of using coconut oil to seal, but that washes right off with one of those shampoos...
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
It's probably one of the heavier oils in the shampoo bar. You're going to need a stronger shampoo to get it out. They're often worse than cones IMO. Certain plant extracts like algae and hyaluronic acid make my hair gummy too.
lucyprimrose likes this.
CJ Daily Fix might be good as it is a cleansing conditioner that can remove lighter cones (eg amodimethicone) and tackle hard water deposits. It is really gentle, not cheap but lasts a while (esp if you use it more weekly). Any low poo might be worth a go, some are very gentle and won't send you off track. I accidently used a full on sulfate wash a while back and apart from feeling a bit drier that night it was fine, and that may have been the light conditioner I used not the sulfate. Other gentle low poos include Jessicurl Hair Cleansing cream, and Elasta QP creme conditioning shampoo (not tried that last one personally but it's cheaper than many and reportedly very gentle so might be useful if you end up doing a few low poos in your ongoing routine. I don't think low poos are a problem at all, but also cowashing alone shouldn't cause this feeling so quickly. I don't know what the ph of the soapbar was but sometimes that can react with elements of hard water to leave deposits on the hair. If so a chelating shampoo if worth a try, but try Daily Fix first if you can as it is much gentler and has some chelating abilities. I would set aside the soap bar temporarily (unless someone more informed than me chips in otherwise which is highly possible!) and try co washing most of the time, but washing with a very gentle cleanser like the ones mentioned above every 3rd or 4 th wash and see how you go. Meanwhile, check your co wash, rinse out and leave ins/stylers for anything that might be causing an issue, ie. very oil rich, suspicious ingredient. If a rinse out is too oil rich for you, you can probably use it up by mixing in with a lighter one.

ps. I don't think this probably has much to do with current issue but for future ref, I don't know whether you personally need protein but having a dry canopy or very dry hair doesn't necessarily mean you don't need it. Sometimes we need moisture and protein.
UK based wavy

Mostly waves, but curls and straight bits too!
Fine to medium, high porosity, medium density, very low elasticity
Highlights damage (growing it out), seems to like protein and need lots of moisture.

Cleanse - CJDF, trying out low poos ; Co wash- Uk chemist brands, Urtekram Rose or Aloe, Hairveda Amala Cream Rinse; RO - varies, Tigi Moisture Maniac, Desert Essence Coconut ; Leave in - Keracare natural textures; Sealant - argan oil
Trying out new things, still looking.

Last edited by lucyprimrose; 03-29-2013 at 09:22 PM. Reason: adding
Soap bar won't remove any chemicals. It will only take care of things like oils and butters. It's unlikely that an oil from the soap bar would remain on your hair--think washing your hands or body. Soap doesn't stay after you rinse off. Wash your hands with the soap, if they don't feel coated--your hair shouldn't be coated, either. pH of this bar is 8. I have moderately hard water (3 of 4) when setting up the espresso machine. Both DH and I use these bars as our shower soaps--don't have unusual issues with soap scum.

It takes hair a few washes to acclimate to using soap bars on hair. When you first use it, your hair might feel waxy or "odd." As soon as you apply rinse out, that should go away.

One might need a stronger surfactant to remove oil if they "goobed" it or butter on their hair (for a DT or prepoo.) The insignificant amount of oil or butter from what a typical user would put in their hair when styling wouldn't require all that much attention. Most of it is absorbed into the hair.

I have fine/low porosity hair and use really rich products. Never have an issue with oil/butter build up over the past five years. When I go to the salon for my haircut/highlight, I do bring a product like CJ Daily Fix with me. The shampoo guy refuses to use a rinse out conditioner because my hair is so healthy (he just doesn't get it.) The only time I use a lowpoo is if my hair is "odd" from an ingredient it doesn't like. That could be every few months.

I do have issues with polyquats. There was a thread a while back where someone mentioned that they stay away from all ingredients that end in "ium," because of build up. This included Behentrimonium Methosulfate--which is in a lot of products. In follow up reading, it was mentioned that some other "thickeners," like guar gum, can also cause that kind of build up.

Bottom line is that it could be any chemical in any product that's built up and caused that gummy feeling. If you have CJ Daily Fix, try that first. Coco b is a gentle surfactant. It also has a chelating agent to take care of the minerals. If that doesn't do it. Move up to something a little stronger.
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
Thanks for all your responses! I don't have the CJ products, so I will try a low poo and see if it helps. I think the polyquat, or at least something in that styler might be the issue, so I'm going to try not using that for a while too. Im feeling like a hair detective right now
curl type: 2c/3a
porosity: low
hair strand width: medium
density: thick
elasticity: low-normal
Shoulder length


Ready to get back on the CG bandwagon!
Can you tell us exactly what products you're using?
Fine Texture, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity. Dyed to brown a few months ago.
Lowpoo:
Trader Joe's TTT Shampoo
Rinse Out:
Yes to Carrots, AOHR, Aubrey Organics Rosemary Peppermint
LI: Yes to Carrots
Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, LA Looks Sports, Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Mousse
Sure I've been cleaning with suave everlasting sunshine, sampling sevi pumpkin seed conditioner as a rinse out and leave in, then using SS firm hold gel as a styler. I'm going to low poo today with petal fresh organics moisturizing shampoo. It doesn't have any sulfates, and is what I used before coming back to CG, so I'll see if it makes a difference. My hair has never been like this before. On a side note, I REALLY wish I could find a way to even out my curl pattern.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using CurlTalk App
curl type: 2c/3a
porosity: low
hair strand width: medium
density: thick
elasticity: low-normal
Shoulder length


Ready to get back on the CG bandwagon!
So I cleansed with acv and then a low poo. It still felt funny, so I used a shampoo with sodium laureth sulfate. My hair must be so sad right now. :P I thought it still felt weird but that was probably just me. I ran out of RO so used half CK curlycue renew, and half coconut oil, so if my hair reacted to one of them I'd know. I styled with CKCJ, which I've never had problems with. I want my hair to look good for Easter!! *sigh*
curl type: 2c/3a
porosity: low
hair strand width: medium
density: thick
elasticity: low-normal
Shoulder length


Ready to get back on the CG bandwagon!
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
The thing I hate most about about trying new products is clarifying out the bad ones. my hair gets so fluffy...all that CG undone!, especially since my scalp produces zero natural oils .
Aww my hair got like this the last time I tried CG with a mousse... I think it was a polyquat then, but it was so long ago I had almost forgotten. Anyway, that's why I ended up stopping.

My problem was the opposite, my hair would get too oily if I didn't low poo frequently. but now that I think about it, I could have just been transitioning.

I just looked through some old pictures... My hair... Well it was embarrassing. That gave me some extra motivation for CG!
curl type: 2c/3a
porosity: low
hair strand width: medium
density: thick
elasticity: low-normal
Shoulder length


Ready to get back on the CG bandwagon!

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