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-   -   Hair properties puzzle (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/156969-hair-properties-puzzle.html)

Lauraimes 04-05-2013 02:38 PM

Hair properties puzzle
 
I'm trying to fit together the pieces of the hair properties puzzle and I'm a bit lost right now.

A few months ago, I thought my hair properties were: coarse, low porosity, high density, didn't look at elasticity.

Accordingly, I bought a conditioner that has lots of emollients since coarse hair is supposed to like them. I accidentally also bought a gel that has a lot of protein. I expected my hair to looove the conditioner, but to hate to gel because of the protein, thus ending up with straw-like curls. None of that happened. My hair was weighed down, limp and fly-away, and I discovered this was because I overconditioned.

I figured my hair must be fine. It definitely behaves like fine hair. But then porosity was still puzzling me because my hair hasn't seen any heat for years, I never coloured it whatsoever. I've been natural for three years now, so I couldn't imagine I have high porosity. Also, if I sprayed water on my hair, I saw lots of beads on my curls, so for these reasons I figured it was not porous at all.

Then I did the strand test for the millionth time and even let some other people tell me what they felt when doing the text on one of my strands. Everyone feels some bumps and texture, so I'm guessing my hair has high porosity, yet the inherent kind.

What puzzles me is what I should be on the look-out for when it comes to picking my products. My hair obviously does not like oils, but it probably will like protein. I will get Aubrey Organics GPB as soon as possible and see how my hair responds. I'm just wondering about how high porosity hair responds to emollients, oils and protein because I observe my hair very closely to see what it needs, what it likes and dislikes.

Just to summarise: I think my hair properties are fine, high porosity, high density and normal elasticity. I am very confident about density and elasticity, the other two I still have to get used to because I was convinced my hair was coarse and not porous at all.

I have read many articles and topics already but that just does not suffice to answer my question. Curious to hear your experiences and observations!

Corrina777 04-05-2013 03:18 PM

I had similar issues figuring my own hair properties. I think sometimes those of us with very thick hair have a hard time thinking of our hair as fine in texture. It didn't help that as a brunette, of course I could still see individual strands. I think porosity is just as challenging. I've heard the float test is unreliable, and the challenge with running your fingers up a stand of hair is recognizing the difference between a piece of hair that has bumps due to higher porosity vs bumps that could just be due to dryness, or just a strand that has some kinkiness to it's texture (even with fine hair, you'll still find individual strands that can be extremely different from most of the rest of your hair).
When I first started CG I believed my hair was medium-coarse, high porosity. Then I ended up over conditioned in less than a month. So I started adding protein and saw that my hair liked it, so I added more. Despite strong protein treatments and protein heavy conditioners, my hair never showed signs of being over proteined. I finally sent away for the hair analysis and found out that my "medium-coarse" hair was actually fine and my hair wasn't nearly as damaged as I thought- normal porosity and elasticity.

Lauraimes 04-05-2013 03:54 PM

Thanks for your experience! So the 'bumps' or whatever I'm feeling can possibly be kinkiness or texture rather than open cuticles? Is that what you're saying?

I do find it hard to see my hair as being fine. It looks so huge to me yet then again, it doesn't act like coarse hair at all. I'm hoping that using Aubrey Organics GPB will confirm whether it's fine or not (as in, if it REALLY likes it, I assume my hair is fine and if it's okay with it but not craving the protein, then perhaps I have medium width hair, but I suspect the first).

dovecurl 04-05-2013 04:01 PM

I have troubles with this too. I know my hair is pretty dense has almost zero elasticity- I don't know why- and I'm pretty sure it's medium texture, but I don't know about porosity. I do the strand test and I feel like... Little Kinks or bumps or something, but it squeaks almost invariably. Plus I've never color treated my hair and hardly ever straightened it, maybe once in the past year. But it feels dry so often! I just did an overnight DT and while I was doing it one little strand that was hanging out from my shower cap curled up to maybe an inch... And that same hair right now is hardly even wavy after rinsing out my DT and styling this morning- I kept track which hair it was, I was so excited by it!! So anyway I don't know. I want to get that curl back though!

dovecurl 04-05-2013 04:02 PM

Oh you did mention the bumps! Well I have them too lol.

Lauraimes 04-05-2013 05:24 PM

It's almost a mystery, isn't it? My hair squeaks as well. It feels slick and bumpy at the same time, which is very confusing.

lucyprimrose 04-05-2013 08:40 PM

I also have some strands, not many but a section on the crown, which have bumps and kinks when you run them between your fingers. I don't see that as a sign of high porosity though, because I can feel them whichever direction I'm running the fingers in, and also because if you hold those hairs to the light you can actually see kinks and 'diversions' in the strand. I am high porosity though, at least I think I am, but my indicator for that is more a feeling of general resistance as you run your fingers against the grain, rather than kinks. Also the general behaviour of the hair - ie. if I leave a conditioner on a while, there can seem a lot less to rinse off than I put on, it dries out quick (it is colour damaged), and I cannot even imagine the beading thing.

The bumps you feel might be porosity related, just suggesting one way they might not be. Re. fine and coarse, I found this link quite helpful,

Curl Junkie - Natural Hair Care for all types of Curly Hair!: My 2 cents on Protein/Texture/Porosity/Moisture Balance! :-)

Lauraimes 04-06-2013 02:05 AM

I think that if I look at that link, I might be a 4.

I can also see kinks and minor bumps in my strands. The bumbs I feel when running down my fingers to the shaft don't really feel like giving any resistance though. I just did some reading again and I am still convinced that my hair has low porosity as it takes a while to soak in water (with the beads, although this process is a little quicker while being in the shower, and also less beads then) and it takes hours to dry. Really, hours. I rinse out just as much conditioner as I put on it and my hair is easily weighed down, which could be a result of low porosity hair just having product sit on it, or high porosity hair with too much product in the hair shaft, but seeing my other observations, low porosity makes more sense. So the slide test is very confusing.

Also, I read that high porosity hair looks brittle and dry, whereas my hair looks rather strong and healthy without having to do much.

Lynaea 04-06-2013 05:49 AM

^^^. I agree Laura, everything you just said sounds like you have low porosity hair. If you can also run your fingers pretty quickly up a strand and it squeaks (regardless of a few bumps) that's a good sign of low-po too. My hair takes 5+ hours to air dry and if I go to bed with it damp its still that way the next morning. After reading through MANY posts on porosity, drying time seems to be the easiest/best/most reliable way to decide porosity.

rbb 04-06-2013 07:16 AM

you can always send for a hair analysis to learn what your properties are, and what types of ingredients it likes and what to avoid. it's at livecurlylivefree.com. it's not expensive, and i think, saves money on trial and error products.

RizosMio 04-06-2013 07:57 AM

I agree, you could try the hair analysis. I didn't learn a whole lot but I appreciate the bit that I did learn.

Sometimes one property can affect how another may seem. Foreeeever I thought I was low porosity. I knew I was coarse, but turns out I'm normal porosity. The strands are just so thick that they tend to act like low porosity (hard to wet, hard to absorb products) although I did wonder why sometimes it wouldn't take an eternity to dry...and this depends on how much product I layer and the hairstyle. It can be tricky stuff!

Lauraimes 04-06-2013 08:32 AM

Thanks for all the replies! I do want to get a hair analysis done and I've emailed them to ask whether they also take requests from Europe but haven't heard from them so far. Has any other Europe-located curly any experience with this?

lucyprimrose 04-06-2013 09:10 AM

I'm in the Uk and haven't had the analysis done, but I'd be interested in it. I think, from memory, I had heard non US based people say they have had it done, but can't be sure.

I agree you're sounding low porosity. My hair is more porous in the areas that are damaged and they are very dry and brittle. Also, the weighing down thing could be combination of low porosity and having fine, long hair.

RizosMio 04-06-2013 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lauraimes (Post 2151177)
Thanks for all the replies! I do want to get a hair analysis done and I've emailed them to ask whether they also take requests from Europe but haven't heard from them so far. Has any other Europe-located curly any experience with this?

I don't see what why not. They don't mail anything out to you, you send the hair and they send the results by email. I'm not in Europe but I'm in Canada, I believe Live Curly Live Free is based in the US.

Lauraimes 04-07-2013 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RizosMio (Post 2151324)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lauraimes (Post 2151177)
Thanks for all the replies! I do want to get a hair analysis done and I've emailed them to ask whether they also take requests from Europe but haven't heard from them so far. Has any other Europe-located curly any experience with this?

I don't see what why not. They don't mail anything out to you, you send the hair and they send the results by email. I'm not in Europe but I'm in Canada, I believe Live Curly Live Free is based in the US.

I guess I'm going to try that soon then, thanks!


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