Can dry hair be soft to touch?

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Can hair that is dry and in need of moisture by nice and soft to the touch? I have been through about 25 pages and every post only talks about roughness in relation to dry hair.

I am a few months into caring for curls and am in a major re-do of my routine since I have all the heat and dyed damaged hair cut out and a fairly decent cut for waves/curls. I have never thought of my hair as dry but now I am thinking it needs more/better moisture. My hair is not the normal rough that seems to be associated with dry hair. It is soft to touch but does look dull, lackluster, and just looks dry.
Your hair actually sounds overconditioned. Looks dry, but feels very soft? Sounds to me like you need more protein. Try a protein treatment and see if that helps.
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Your hair actually sounds overconditioned. Looks dry, but feels very soft? Sounds to me like you need more protein. Try a protein treatment and see if that helps.
Originally Posted by Ruth Marie
I have tried protein and it makes my hair frizzy and straw like and fall straight, which I thought meant my hair doesn't like protein.
Your hair actually sounds overconditioned. Looks dry, but feels very soft? Sounds to me like you need more protein. Try a protein treatment and see if that helps.
Originally Posted by Ruth Marie
I have tried protein and it makes my hair frizzy and straw like and fall straight, which I thought meant my hair doesn't like protein.
Originally Posted by Becca7
I never do, strong protein treatment, But I tend to do a rinse out - protein conditioner when My hair feels limp and dull. Although before that rinse out, I clarify with a no-poo or a mild sulphate. So the order I do would be

Clarify
Protein
Deep moisture treatment

Protein treatment should always followed by deep treatment
3a with some 2a-2c, Medium/Low Porosity
Co-wash:deva no-poo/Vo5 kiwi
Detangle:Suave
Leave-in:Shea Moisture/GVP conditioning Balm/AOHSR

Since long hair- I finger twist in big chunks, which helps till 5th day hair
Gel:LA sports
Plop: Old T-shirt for 15 minutes ,diffuse
I am wondering the same thing! I have been trying all sorts of search terms/phrases to find answers and most of it seems to mention straw-like as being dry but I guess I just don't know how to determine properly.

If it makes sense I feel like my hair seems fluffy and frizzy which makes it LOOK dry, but it feels somewhat soft/moisturized to me. Although the frizz factor does make the top layers harder to get a real feel on.

I have fine, low porosity hair and have been experimenting with protein in the form of gelatin treatments (I've tried two) and as an ingredient in my low poo or RO. The first actual PT I did I followed with a DT and it straightened my hair and didn't seem like good results, so I thought maybe over conditioned with the DT. The second time I just used a good RO after and it was better, but I still don't know if I am getting "good" results from protein.

I have been using a low poo with a protein most days and a RO and sometimes using that as a LI as well. I haven't gotten to stylers yet. I am starting to wonder if I am showing signs of over-conditioning, but I can't get over how it LOOKS dry due to the fluffy, frizzyness and undefined curls without any stylers.

I don't know if just adding a styler would be best (which I am looking into) or if I am truly over conditioned. I have noticed my curl pattern seems to be looser lately. I am going to maybe try no leave in for a bit, but I guess I am just venting a bit on how hard it is for me to determine the protein/moisture balance. It would be so helpful to feel different types of hair that were dry, over moisturized, and just right!
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

ugh now I am really confused... I would have guessed I was on the verge of over-conditioned and maybe it's just today since it has felt softer before today. But I just did a few strand tests and it broke fairly easily and doesn't stretch much. The trouble is I can never determine if it is actually breaking because it is dry or if I am just pulling too hard. I have trouble getting a hold on my hair strand to even pull it and end up having to wrap it around my fingers a little first.
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

I am wondering the same thing! I have been trying all sorts of search terms/phrases to find answers and most of it seems to mention straw-like as being dry but I guess I just don't know how to determine properly.

If it makes sense I feel like my hair seems fluffy and frizzy which makes it LOOK dry, but it feels somewhat soft/moisturized to me. Although the frizz factor does make the top layers harder to get a real feel on.

I have fine, low porosity hair and have been experimenting with protein in the form of gelatin treatments (I've tried two) and as an ingredient in my low poo or RO. The first actual PT I did I followed with a DT and it straightened my hair and didn't seem like good results, so I thought maybe over conditioned with the DT. The second time I just used a good RO after and it was better, but I still don't know if I am getting "good" results from protein.

I have been using a low poo with a protein most days and a RO and sometimes using that as a LI as well. I haven't gotten to stylers yet. I am starting to wonder if I am showing signs of over-conditioning, but I can't get over how it LOOKS dry due to the fluffy, frizzyness and undefined curls without any stylers.

I don't know if just adding a styler would be best (which I am looking into) or if I am truly over conditioned. I have noticed my curl pattern seems to be looser lately. I am going to maybe try no leave in for a bit, but I guess I am just venting a bit on how hard it is for me to determine the protein/moisture balance. It would be so helpful to feel different types of hair that were dry, over moisturized, and just right!
Originally Posted by awelcome
I know exactly what you mean awelcome, I tend to call it poofy, but my hair does the same thing. I live in FL so its always been like that every summer. The last few years I've had my hair long so I would put it in a bun until about mid-morning to smooth it down, usually my hair looked and felt good for awhile after I took it down. Since going CG I was still getting that issue since the dews started climbing. I recently was convinced to try a hard-hold gel and that has made a major difference in the way my hair looks. I am using Volumax Mega Gel from Sally's but la looks & BRHG etc are spoken well of here. I also use a lot of protein, its in pretty much everything I put on my hair and has definitely helped with breakage and waviness. It's definitely worth it to pickup an inexpensive medium to hard hold gel and give it a go. I definitely see a difference in frizz on the days I don't use the VM gel and I'm getting used to sleeping with crunchy hair. . I think the poofy hair looks dry mostly because it doesn't clump or even lay as a unit, each strand tries to do its own thing so there's no solid mass or clump for light to reflect off of.

I've read several posts stating that the best way to judge protein-moisture balance is on wet hair. If wet hair feels mushy and loses curls quickly after being scrunched then it needs protein. If it holds wave/curl after being scrunched you're good. If it feels rough and straw-like even wet then its over proteined. I have been scrunching the length of my wet hair after my leave-in every shower since I read this. At first my hair always felt mushy even though I was doing PT's and starting to use RO's with protein, but I think I had gotten really over-moisturized. For awhile there I wondered if my hair was completely indifferent to protein. After about a month the wave started to hold after I scrunched it and I had better wave out of the shower too and it has continued to improve. Personally I think the best way to start with protein is to use it in a RO or cowash, etc you use everyday rather then doing big blasts of it occasionally. That way you can stop, slowdown, adjust when/if your hair starts to show signs of too much protein and not end up with a protein fried disaster.
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!

Last edited by Lynaea; 05-18-2013 at 09:14 PM.
Thanks for the reply. I have been testing strands of my hair all night and I seem to get mixed results and I don't know if it's truly mixed or if the slight changes in my technique are all that change. Sometimes if I barely stretch it, and focus I can FEEL it shrink back once I ease up, but usually I can barely stretch it to do this. I definitely don't know how I would estimate how much it stretched since I can't see it, but more so feel it. I wonder if fine hair is just hard to get a read on for this.

I go back and forth I guess... some days I feel it's soft and overly moisturized, and then I feel it and think hmm... maybe that's dry. I really need a clump of each type of hair to compare it to I think rofl. It is like you said though... poofy and frizzy so it has a dry appearance and lack of shine because nothing is together.

I got desperate tonight and combed it out, which left it pretty flat. Then on a whim I took some of my biolage sealing leave in (which I had stopped using due to cones) and put that on my dry hair and then rewet it with my hands raking through. Figured I had F'd it up for the day and would start over tomorrow but I was just trying to make it soft. Low and behold... as it dried I had more curl and definition than earlier lol. I think I just need to go ahead and order some okra gel like I planned and try adding that over a leave in to see if getting that definition and some hold makes a difference. The trouble was I wanted to do a customized one and now I am so confused I don't want to misinterpret my hair and get the wrong additives. I just didn't want to use the very basic one since I wanted to love it for my hair.

I just got YTC and planned to use that as a RO and LI most days maybe switching back and forth with my regular biolage conditioning balm. Then for a low poo I was using Alba something or other that has protein, but it also has cones which I didn't realize until after buying it. Maybe the cones in that are causing build up, but I just cleansed so I dunno. Maybe I will just keep using those things for a bit and see how it is in a few days, and like I said order that stuff. I think the YTC is protein free, but when I researched it people said it helped lock in protein or something maybe. I suppose that could be wrong. There is just too much to think about!
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

There are very few curlies who can go without product and look good. Without any styling product, my hair is a big poofy hot mess! Definitely get some gel or mousse or cream, or better yet....just order the foolproof okra gel and worry about the additions once you figure it out.
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
lol, I may have to. I just wanted to get the best right from the start especially if I don't order it again, but rather try to make my own if I liked it. I have tried a couple mousses and gels and didn't like them... I think that's another reason I am wavering.
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

also if it ends up taking 6 weeks to get here I am going to have to have bad hair until then because I don't want to buy something else as well lol.
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

also if it ends up taking 6 weeks to get here I am going to have to have bad hair until then because I don't want to buy something else as well lol.
Originally Posted by awelcome
If your pics are bad hair- I think you'll be okay! I think you're one of the few who do look good without product!
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
Thanks but those were ok hair days... minus my avatar, because it was frizzy. Things have gone down hill since those rofl. I have ok days, and then days I just don't know why it's so bad.
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

I was trying to go cone-free which is why I stopped using my biolage leave in and switched to using my biolage conditioning balm instead as LI. I feel like I get definition with the sealing LI... so maybe I will just have to put off trying no cones for now until the gel arrived so I can leave the house and not feel like the bride of Frankenstein.
My Hair:
2c
Fine, low porosity, med/high density
BSL - going for mid back to waist

HG: currently
just washing with a low poo that contains protein (Alba Naturals Coconut) and using Suave Naturals Coconut as both a RO and LI. No stylers right now, but this gives me pretty good curl, definition, low-ish frizz, and it feels and looks good. Also an occasional PT (liking the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which has cones) seems to be key for me.

Modified CG since February 2013

Your hair actually sounds overconditioned. Looks dry, but feels very soft? Sounds to me like you need more protein. Try a protein treatment and see if that helps.
Originally Posted by Ruth Marie
I have tried protein and it makes my hair frizzy and straw like and fall straight, which I thought meant my hair doesn't like protein.
Originally Posted by Becca7
I never do, strong protein treatment, But I tend to do a rinse out - protein conditioner when My hair feels limp and dull. Although before that rinse out, I clarify with a no-poo or a mild sulphate. So the order I do would be

Clarify
Protein
Deep moisture treatment

Protein treatment should always followed by deep treatment
Originally Posted by CurlyIndianGirl
I disagree on always following a PT or protein with a DT. I never do. I have fine, thin, low-normal porosity and rarely if ever DT. I can do a gelatin PT & follow it with my regular RO & be fine. It all depends on how your hair reacts. If I followed protein with a DT I'd undo what I just did with the protein.
fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
LI: KCKT
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel

Same. I've only done egg PTs and haven't DT-ed afterward. It's been fine. I make sure to use a moisturizing RO and leave-in afterward and I'm ok. I think it depends on your hair whether or not you need to DT after a PT.
Same. I've only done egg PTs and haven't DT-ed afterward. It's been fine. I make sure to use a moisturizing RO and leave-in afterward and I'm ok. I think it depends on your hair whether or not you need to DT after a PT.
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
Egg proteins are far too large to penetrate the hair and the yolk is rich in fats anyway so it's not a true protein treatment.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
I agree with lcl0706 & PomegranateCurl, I almost put that in my previous post. When I first started PT's I did a DT after because I was 'supposed to', that's when my hair started to get over-moisturized (I was using other heavy stuff too). Once I started doing the wet-scrunch test in the shower I stopped doing DT's pretty much at all and my hair started to improve.

I know 'mushy' and 'straw like' are hard to judge without a frame of reference and I can't really give you one for straw since I have yet to over protein my hair. But I can say that mushy felt exactly like it sounds, like mud or mashed potatoes, it had no will of its own, I would squish it all together and it just molded to my hand then fell into really limp barely-there waves when I released it. Now when I do this my hair gives some .... not really resistance, but like it has some mass/form/solidity to it and when I release it the curl/wave is tight and holds. I imagine straw like hair would give real resistance to scrunching but again I've never experienced it so

Also, my hair is long enough that I can pull the length over my shoulder (all of it, not just part or half) and scrunch it and see the results. If your hair is too short for that I would recommend doing this in front of a mirror and using as large a section as you can, using only one clump is going to make judging more difficult, I would think. And your hair really does need to be wet, I do it after I've rinsed my RO or after I've quickly rewet my hair after I've combed through my LI, either way I am scrunching water out of my hair, I'm not just scrunching 'damp' hair.

Oh, I've never figured out the stretch test either, my individual strands are so smooth they slip right through my fingers. Try the wet-scrunch test next time you wash and go by that.
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!

Last edited by Lynaea; 05-19-2013 at 08:07 AM.
Thanks for the reply. I have been testing strands of my hair all night and I seem to get mixed results and I don't know if it's truly mixed or if the slight changes in my technique are all that change. Sometimes if I barely stretch it, and focus I can FEEL it shrink back once I ease up, but usually I can barely stretch it to do this. I definitely don't know how I would estimate how much it stretched since I can't see it, but more so feel it. I wonder if fine hair is just hard to get a read on for this.

I go back and forth I guess... some days I feel it's soft and overly moisturized, and then I feel it and think hmm... maybe that's dry. I really need a clump of each type of hair to compare it to I think rofl. It is like you said though... poofy and frizzy so it has a dry appearance and lack of shine because nothing is together.

I got desperate tonight and combed it out, which left it pretty flat. Then on a whim I took some of my biolage sealing leave in (which I had stopped using due to cones) and put that on my dry hair and then rewet it with my hands raking through. Figured I had F'd it up for the day and would start over tomorrow but I was just trying to make it soft. Low and behold... as it dried I had more curl and definition than earlier lol. I think I just need to go ahead and order some okra gel like I planned and try adding that over a leave in to see if getting that definition and some hold makes a difference. The trouble was I wanted to do a customized one and now I am so confused I don't want to misinterpret my hair and get the wrong additives. I just didn't want to use the very basic one since I wanted to love it for my hair.

I just got YTC and planned to use that as a RO and LI most days maybe switching back and forth with my regular biolage conditioning balm. Then for a low poo I was using Alba something or other that has protein, but it also has cones which I didn't realize until after buying it. Maybe the cones in that are causing build up, but I just cleansed so I dunno. Maybe I will just keep using those things for a bit and see how it is in a few days, and like I said order that stuff. I think the YTC is protein free, but when I researched it people said it helped lock in protein or something maybe. I suppose that could be wrong. There is just too much to think about!
Originally Posted by awelcome
My other suggestion was going to be to check your products for glycerin and try avoiding that in your leave-ins and stylers but it appears your good on that. I agree with Chloe92us about needing product to smooth/define/de-frizz, I've tried condish only styling and my hair still gets poofy. I definitely need at least a light hold gel or jelly to keep frizz away. I've been using DermOrganics spray gel for the days I want to go 'product-free', its light and easy to comb out but makes my hair smooth, I don't get the nice tight waves I can with the hard hold gel but its a trade off for hair I can run my hands thru for a day or two. I found the DO spray gel at Marshalls for ten bucks, I also tried the Pantene curly spray gel, if I remember correctly it was a little harder to get my fingers through but still, one of those might hold you over till you get the okra gel. I generally apply the DO to dry hair, I spray it on wet hands and smooth/rake through and let air dry. YMMV
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
I was going to say that I thought your hair might be overconditioned--soft, dry looking hair as opposed to protein overload which is strawlike, dry looking hair.

How does your hair respond to straight oil?? My low porosity hair doesn't care for straight oil/butter, but does like it in well formulated products. I'm not sure that you could consider okra gel a well formulated product. Once, I tried to put a little oil (other then Vit E) in either FSG or okra gel and my hair hated it. I found that adding a small amount of Surgragel AOF (sweet almond oil, glycerin and sucrose) to either one makes it great. I do 1 t to a cup of gel, so it really is a small amount of the oil.
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, Aloe Fix and CCCC

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