Protein vs. Moisture or "I know why I quit CG in 2010"

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  • 4 Post By bosanbo
  • 1 Post By JamfoW
  • 2 Post By JamfoW

Oh, wonderful revelations...

I was CG in 2010. I discovered it not from Naturally Curly/Curl Talk but through talking to friends in the dance program I was in. All I knew was: co-wash. Fortunately I somehow avoided styling products with 'cones and the like, probably because I'm sort of a hippie. I loved my hair... at first. After several months I wasn't too keen on it, though. It looked sort of lifeless - really shiny but somehow not good at the same time.

I went back to "whatever seems fun" hair products and wrote it off as something that didn't work for me due to my greasy/finicky hair's personality. I've done co-washing and low-pooing most of the time in between, but never known the "full" CG program of avoiding certain ingredients, doing treatments, etc.

About a month ago, I came across this forum and the website. I started using my science brain instead of my consumer brain and being a smarter CG shopper. I learned a few techniques (I've still only made baby steps), and after several weeks...

...boring shiny limp hair was back! Hmmmmmm.

This is when I really dug into the protein vs. moisture thing. I was scared to try a PT because of the bad stories. After a lot of reading, though, I saw that my hair had all the symptoms of too much moisture and not enough protein. Mushy, shiny but limp, flatter and flatter and flatter. So I mixed up a mild version of IAgirl's PT and tried it on Saturday.

Miracle. HG! This is so clearly what was wrong with my hair before, so clearly the crucial missing step in my CG routine, and so clearly why I quit CG last time. Hurrah for this forum and all the lovely contributers who help each other ferret out hair issues and solutions! I'm bouncier again, ready to try a stronger PT next time, and back on track with keeping my hair balanced.

Thanks folks, and hope this gives other new CGers some help!
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
That's awesome. I was scared of protein before trying it too, but it actually worked really well.
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
So glad you figured it out! My story is very similar to yours! I have to use protein daily or my hair is flat and lifeless. I'm actually surprised by the amount of protein my hair likes!

Sent from my KFJWI using Tapatalk HD
2a-2bFii NP?

Low poo: Deva Low-Poo, Jessicurl GLS, Moroccanoil Volumizing Shampoo, Aveda Be Curly
Condish: Cure Care, Redken Body Full, Deva One C, and Jessicurl Aloeba
LI: Aveda Be Curly Style Prep <3
Products: Deva FFVF & Jessicurl Spiralicious (LOVE), TRESemme Curl Boosting Mousse
Hairspray: Aussie Sprunch, TRESemme Curl
locking Spray
Experimenting with lots of products in my cabinet...


My hair loves protein, plopping, and diffusing! Trying to find a way to style and air dry.
I'm still rather new (CG since march 8th, "curly" since february 21st) and I'm afraid of both protein and moisture...

My hair was really dry so I gave it a lot of moisture...
Now the dryness seems almost gone, but my hair starts to get a bit limp ...
My real problem is that I have tried a moisturetreatment (honey-oliveoil) for half an hour, a protein-moisturetreatment (banana-milk-egg-honey-oliveoil) for half an hour and the gelatinproteintreatment for 5 minutes and that I didn't notice good or bad effects...
I would even like it more to get bad effects so I would know what my hair doesn't like... but now I don't know if it likes it or not...

What would you recommend?
(I was planning to give the gelatintreatment another try tomorrow, but this time leaving it in for 15 minutes, but I'm scared...)

Oh and my hair properties:
2b-2c (was 2b at first, now I'm getting more 2c I guess)
Density: medium - dense
medium-fine hair
porosity: don't know yet... I guess normal... it sometimes behaves like low porosity, but I do dye my hair and it has been flat ironed for 15 years
I was ready to give up on CG after a few weeks because my hair was just becoming less and less defined. It was stretching out and frizzing...just...bad. Then, I somehow came to the realization that I was over-conditioned. I too was terrified of ruining my hair with protein, but it's pretty much the only cure for too much moisture, so I did the gelatin PT too. Now I use protein every day and my hair is doing much better!!! I had reasonably healthy hair to begin with, so I think all the emphasis on moisture was just too much for my hair. I'm still trying to find a balance but so so happy I took the protein leap of faith lol!

I'm glad it's worked for you too! It's a great feeling
bosanbo likes this.
2C/B; Low porosity; Fine; Med. density

Low-Poo: L'Oreal Evercurl
CO: V05 Kiwi Lime
RO: SN Coconut; CJ Smoothing Lotion
LI: Ouidad Curl Quencher
Style: CJ CCCCL; CiaB; FSG!
PT: Gelatin
Modified CG since 2/13
I'm still rather new (CG since march 8th, "curly" since february 21st) and I'm afraid of both protein and moisture...

My hair was really dry so I gave it a lot of moisture...
Now the dryness seems almost gone, but my hair starts to get a bit limp ...
My real problem is that I have tried a moisturetreatment (honey-oliveoil) for half an hour, a protein-moisturetreatment (banana-milk-egg-honey-oliveoil) for half an hour and the gelatinproteintreatment for 5 minutes and that I didn't notice good or bad effects...
I would even like it more to get bad effects so I would know what my hair doesn't like... but now I don't know if it likes it or not...

What would you recommend?
(I was planning to give the gelatintreatment another try tomorrow, but this time leaving it in for 15 minutes, but I'm scared...)

Oh and my hair properties:
2b-2c (was 2b at first, now I'm getting more 2c I guess)
Density: medium - dense
medium-fine hair
porosity: don't know yet... I guess normal... it sometimes behaves like low porosity, but I do dye my hair and it has been flat ironed for 15 years
Originally Posted by Neleke
Neleke, I wouldn't be afraid of more protein. I left mine on for half an hour, and I definitely could have used a stronger treatment, longer time, or even some heat. If you didn't notice a difference, try it for longer. I've heard about the bad reactions to protein... but also that it can be fixed through good conditioning after the fact. If your hair seems limp, but not dry, give it a try. That's just how mine was. I think it sounds scarier than it is... And now you know that a bit of gelatin doesn't do anything much, so a little more seems like a safe step. Creep up on it!
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
Exactly, JamfoW! The emphasis on moisture... and protein being the only cure. I had that "ah ha" moment, too, and it stopped my fear of protein.

I realize now that when I stopped CG in the past, I was "curing" my overmoisturizing by totally stripping my hair with a sulfate shampoo. That works once, and then you're right back to over-dry hair. This way I can keep working on the balance, gently teeter-tottering between protein and moisture. That seems a lot healthier for my hair.
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
Yes! Like you said, gently going back and forth depending on what your hair needs, rather than going to either extreme. And I this may sound silly, but I think it's kind of fun to "read" what my hair needs between the two. It's cool to learn what our hair likes/dislikes, and figure out how to respond to it. My husband makes so much fun of me for it lol!
mhen76 and bosanbo like this.
2C/B; Low porosity; Fine; Med. density

Low-Poo: L'Oreal Evercurl
CO: V05 Kiwi Lime
RO: SN Coconut; CJ Smoothing Lotion
LI: Ouidad Curl Quencher
Style: CJ CCCCL; CiaB; FSG!
PT: Gelatin
Modified CG since 2/13
My man also finds it amusing, but I'm also always doing other weird experiments (food, garden, bugs) while he builds robots, so it's kind of par for the course in our household. Seems like we might be hair twins, or at least hair cousins... I hope my hair looks as nice as your profile pic when it gets longer!
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
We do have very similar hair! I saw in your sig that you use KCCC...I'm so back and forth about trying it. How do you use it/how do you like it?

Thank you so much for the compliment!!! My hair was being very cooperative that day, haha. FSG changed my life


And as a side note, I visited the link to your blog. Hope you don't mind me lurking
2C/B; Low porosity; Fine; Med. density

Low-Poo: L'Oreal Evercurl
CO: V05 Kiwi Lime
RO: SN Coconut; CJ Smoothing Lotion
LI: Ouidad Curl Quencher
Style: CJ CCCCL; CiaB; FSG!
PT: Gelatin
Modified CG since 2/13
Lurk away. Why blog if you don't want people to read it?

I use KCCC like a leave-in, because I'm a weirdo. I work it through my hair after my RO, then do a super-fast cool rinse, then "headbang" a bit in the shower. It is my go-to right now, though I'm experimenting with other products used the same way. Really liking Botanical Spirits Shea Soft Styling Cream, which is more moisturizing without being heavy. But yeah, KCCC was the first "curly" product that worked for me! I like it a lot, and I like the smell. I use an amount about the size of a small grape, with some extra applied sort of throughout the drying process, usually to define my ends a bit better or something.

Whatever gets applied in the shower like that is almost always topped with a layer of gel after 5-10 minutes in a flour sack, to provide hold. My hair drags itself loose, otherwise, because it is fine but dense.
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

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