Avoiding Humectants is IMPOSSIBLE! Screw it all!

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So I've been doing this naturally curly thing for a little over half a year, and where I live, the dew points are always off the charts. Today is 77. My hair is poofy and impossible and I just found out about humectants and how they cause my hair to take in more and more moisture from the ridiculously wet air around here.

SO armed with this new knowledge, I looked through my "go-to" hair products and guess what? They ALL have humectants. Maybe this is why my hair always looks so messy?

I have been using:
Tresseme Naturals conditioner (it has Caprylyl Glycol)
Live Clean Fresh Water Leave In conditioner (Panthenol)
Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse (Propylene Glycol)
Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (Propylene Glycol, Panthenol)

SO, now I'm not sure what to do? Should I just screw it all and go back to the coney days?
PomegranateCurl likes this.

Last edited by Meeshla; 04-06-2013 at 09:02 AM.
What are your hair properties? Specifically your porosity?

How long is your hair?

What is your routine?
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I'm the opposite. All the products I used were humectant free until recently. I didn't do it on purpose, it just happened that way. When I finally tried a product with glycerin my hair was in love. I live in a place that has fairly moderate dew points the entire year.
My hair is medium fine, dense, and normal porosity. I wash my hair daily. I co-wash with tressemme naturals. Once a week I use a low-poo and then leave tressemme naturals in longer. I wrap a tshirt around my head for a few minutes (mostly the time it takes for me to put clothes on) and then I use a pick to comb through my hair. It is rarely tangled, because I'm not super curly, just wavy. I then mix together a little bit of bsrg with some mousse and scrunch it into my hair upside down. If my hair is still really wet I'll scrunch it with a tshirt. Then I let it airdry.

This has given the best results, but it's still pretty pathetically poofy and undefined (see my avatar pic - that was a good hairday) ... so sad

I've tried lots of different things that didn't work - sealing with oil made my hair look greasy (I'm trying it again today in case I just used too much ... but so far I don't think it's working - my hair's still drying though so I'll wait and see). Butters were also super greasy on my fine hair. I made my own gel with agar agar but it turned into a solid lump and I never tried it again lol. I made gel with okra and coconut milk and it worked well but the coconut smell was too strong (for me and everyone around me haha). I am really open to more suggestions! Thanks for your help!
Im sure you are going to get a ton of good advice here!

I would start by clarifying your hair with a cone-free poo to get a good clean slate. Then, since you have fine hair I would do a simple gelatin protein treatment followed by a deep conditioning treatment. The microwave version is even easier, you don't even have to dirty a pot, lol.

Tresseme Naturals isn't very moisturizing and I've heard that the propellents in mousse can be drying. I'll leave the product recommendations up to the experts but I'd definitely switch to a gel or gelly product and maybe try some products with protein in them.

Jas will teach you about the art of sealing with mineral oil to keep the humidity out, she's a pro so don't worry, you are in good hands Here's an article about it though: Mineral Oil Versus Coconut Oil: Which is better?

Good luck!
Have you tried curl keeper? I hear it is really supposed to help with humidity frizz. Also might be good to throw up a thread calling all CGs who lives in high dew points and ask them what they use to combat the weather.
rbb and lucyprimrose like 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

Just a thought..you said you cowash daily, maybe your hair is over conditioned? I think a protein treatment is a good idea either way. Hopefully you will find what works for you.
dusalocks likes this.
3a (normal-porosity/elasticity/density)
Cleanse: CHS TS+oil, poo bars, Sevi pumpkin poo, Co-wash
LI/RO:MD RCLI, GDLI-GVPCB, DB pumpkin, Tresemmé Naturals
Stylers: LALSG, Volumax styling, CHS CK, BRHG, KCCC, Gel-les'C, JC Spiralicious, AOMM, FSG, SSCEJ

$5 off 1st order under $40, $10 off over $40...at iherb use code KEY066
My hair is medium fine, dense, and normal porosity. I wash my hair daily. I co-wash with tressemme naturals. Once a week I use a low-poo and then leave tressemme naturals in longer. I wrap a tshirt around my head for a few minutes (mostly the time it takes for me to put clothes on) and then I use a pick to comb through my hair. It is rarely tangled, because I'm not super curly, just wavy. I then mix together a little bit of bsrg with some mousse and scrunch it into my hair upside down. If my hair is still really wet I'll scrunch it with a tshirt. Then I let it airdry.

This has given the best results, but it's still pretty pathetically poofy and undefined (see my avatar pic - that was a good hairday) ... so sad

I've tried lots of different things that didn't work - sealing with oil made my hair look greasy (I'm trying it again today in case I just used too much ... but so far I don't think it's working - my hair's still drying though so I'll wait and see). Butters were also super greasy on my fine hair. I made my own gel with agar agar but it turned into a solid lump and I never tried it again lol. I made gel with okra and coconut milk and it worked well but the coconut smell was too strong (for me and everyone around me haha). I am really open to more suggestions! Thanks for your help!
Originally Posted by Meeshla
Hi Meeshla, I live in Miami so I have some experience with high dews... and we do share some hair properties. My hair is medium/fine (which I only just discovered!), normal porosity and elasticity and dense. I found that creamy/heavy condish gives me greasy hair as do oils and most leave-ins. Try a low-poo instead of co-washing daily, I use Shea Moisture line every other wash and minimal amounts of conditioner... probably 1-2 quarter sized blobs for my BSL hair. As far as leave-in, I didn't use one for the longest time but I do now, a nickel of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (non CG). Anything more than that, my hair gets droopy. And as far as gel goes, I use a protein heavy LALPS that I ordered from Amazon by the 6 pack. Can't live without it! I think it is equivalent to the gel you currently use. I have found that a little bit of gel does nothing for my hair. I have to use big gobs of it in soaking hair and scrunch if in real good. Scrunching with a tshirt then blots out most of the water and quite a bit of the product so my hair doesn't get too weighed down. HTH

Have you tried curl keeper? I hear it is really supposed to help with humidity frizz. Also might be good to throw up a thread calling all CGs who lives in high dew points and ask them what they use to combat the weather.
Originally Posted by dusalocks
Dusalocks, I went and tried lube in my hair which is supposed to be similar to curl keeper and I am afraid the humidity won out with this combo. At least for me, I think glycerin is my enemy, and it isn't even summer yet
Otherwise, I would have saved up to try the real CK.
I was going to suggest a PT, sealing with MO, and trying LALPS, but everyone beat me to it!! Lol!!

Those are all excellent suggestions! I say give them all a go!!
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
Yes...changing the title of this thread might be a lot more helpful to you...

High dew point help / product recs., etc.,
Upper Michigan Dews
3a ~ Fine ~ High Porosity ~ Normal Density

NoPoo: JC Cleansing Cream
Rinse Outs: SS:PRT, CJ Repair Me, CJ Argan
Detangler: KCKT
Leave-in: CJ Repair me
Stylers: UFDCM, BRHG
Refreshers: Batiste (dry shampoo) on the roots & UFDCM everywhere else

iHerb Discount Code: SAF007


Last edited by sheilacurl; 04-07-2013 at 01:57 AM.
Hi Everyone! Thanks for your replies. I'm not as angry as the title of the thread suggests ... sorry if I come off sounding that way!

Anyways, I will try some protein and some mineral oil. But I have no idea what LALPS is ... Can somebody fill me in? And I wonder where I can buy mineral oil here ... is baby oil okay?

Today I am feeling encouraged, like I am definitely on the right track with the no humectant thing. This morning I showered with a low-poo shampoo and then put some conditioner on the ends. I forget what it's called - it's Trader Joe something, but there are no humectants in it that I could see. (Unfortunately it is all gone now, and I have no way of getting more unless someone sends a care package to Vietnam, lol). Then I put a TINY! bit of oil and sealed it before using BSRG.

My hair is WAY curlier and much less frizzy. I'm guessing the oil is keeping the moisture in and the humectants in the gel are prevented from crossing the oil barrier. Sounds reasonable right?
Started CG: April 16th, 2012
2b, medium fine, thick, average porosity
Ok. For protein I highly recommend the gelatin treatment! You can find recipes on here - it's really easy!

LALPS is LA Looks Power Spikes. It is super cheap, humectant free, I believe, and protein rich. It has a "mannish" smell, but it's only when you put it in. I've never noticed it staying past that, at all. My hair ends up smelling like my condish and such, not that gel.

As for the MO, I use plain old baby oil! You want to get the type that doesn't have a lot of additives.

It just takes a few drops! I use 5-10 on very wet hair after LI, before styling products. (I have very long, fairly dense hair, tho. You may find you are more in the 3-7 drop range, idk.)

Hth!! Glad to hear today went better!!
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
Yay, I'm glad things went better! If you want the gelatin protein recipe, the link is in post #5.

Can you show us pictures of your great hair day?
Upper Michigan Dews
3a ~ Fine ~ High Porosity ~ Normal Density

NoPoo: JC Cleansing Cream
Rinse Outs: SS:PRT, CJ Repair Me, CJ Argan
Detangler: KCKT
Leave-in: CJ Repair me
Stylers: UFDCM, BRHG
Refreshers: Batiste (dry shampoo) on the roots & UFDCM everywhere else

iHerb Discount Code: SAF007

Okay so I am uploading three attachments - the first is my best hair day a few months ago and the second one is yesterday and the third is today.

I tried mineral oil today and it looks pretty good, imo. There is still some room for improvement ...

If I use mineral oil every day, will it build up on my hair?

Thanks for all your help you guys! I am excited to finally start seeing a difference here!
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sheilacurl and Marci like this.
Started CG: April 16th, 2012
2b, medium fine, thick, average porosity

Last edited by Meeshla; 04-08-2013 at 09:09 AM.
I somehow have no problems using products with humectant REGARDLESS of weather. My trick when I use a gel with humectant is to make sure (I do wash and go and let hair air dry) is to make sure my hair has enough water that even if air is humid it won't absorb any more moisture. It is like a sponge that is so saturated that it won't take in more water. I might not have explained this well but google "myth behind using glycerin" or something of the sort. Also, in dry weather I don't have a problem either. Google for better explanation. Or maybe my hair just acts differently for one reason or the other. I have 4a hair.
Mineral oil is not good if you use
Sulfate free shampoos which is what is recommended for us Curlies. Mineral
Oil tends to build up on hair and can't be removed well by shampoos that have no sulfate. So if u use that oil, or any conditioner with silicones, u need to use shampoos with sulfate (which apparently is best avoided since it dries hair).
Mineral oil is not good if you use
Sulfate free shampoos which is what is recommended for us Curlies. Mineral
Oil tends to build up on hair and can't be removed well by shampoos that have no sulfate. So if u use that oil, or any conditioner with silicones, u need to use shampoos with sulfate (which apparently is best avoided since it dries hair).
Originally Posted by rmc2
I have zero problems with build-up and MO. Whether I low poo or co-wash. I very rarely use any sulfates. (Once in a great while to clarify)

According to the article I read here on NC (and by my own experience), using a few drops to seal should cause no build-up.

2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
i posted a thread on this today and got no replies... so to clarify... if youre going to a really hot place should you avoid humectants then? im going to thailand in a few months and its very hot there, so should i completely not use them?

at the moment, in england the weather is cold, sometimes wet, and windy. should i be avoiding humectants, or is it okay to use them in this case?
Unfortunately I think that depends in the individual. I can use humectants in high humidity as long as I seal (and don't over-use the humectants), but others have problems with it. I have to cut back on the humectants (but I can still use them) in low humidity.

It's a trial and error thing, I'm afraid!

Do you know your hair properties? That would help to narrow things down a bit.
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
Justdoingme see my prior comments. I think it all depends on how you do your hair but it could just be that I am an anomaly. My hairs loves products with humectants (ie glycerin) regardless of weather (humid versus dry). They say glycerin loves water so if air is too humid it may attract too much moisture in hair and thus make it frizzy; and if air is too dry, the glycerine will drain moisture out of hair and thus make it too dry. My trick is for humid weather to seal hair with an oil like jojoba or sweet almond so as to prevent hair from absorbing too much moisture from hair. And during winter/dry months, if your hair and/product in hair has enough water, the glycerin will have enough food (water/moisture) to counteract the dry weather. But it may be just my hair. Unfortunately, you may have to experiment.

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