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Old 04-17-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
 
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Default Losing Curl/Identity Crisis

Ok, first of all, I'm a newbie here, so sorry if this is in the wrong place! I wasn't sure where to put this, since it's a bit random...

Basically, my whole life I've had curly hair. I probably started out a 3A or 3B, with serious ringlet curls all through middle and high-school. I hated them at times, but they became what I was known for. Eventually in college, I came to love them. This is how my hair used to look, when in full ringlet form:


(halloween pic, sorry for the kooky makeup )

But over the past few years, my hair has lost its curl. I've talked to a few stylists, who say this can happen to some people's hair as they age. This is how my hair looks pretty much all the time now, more like a wavy 2A or 2B:



Over the past few years I've tried cutting it all the way to my shoulders, growing it back out and cutting it in long layers, and all different kinds of shampoos/gels/sprays. Sure, if I hand-curl it every day, I could get some of my old definition back, but I'm a fall-out-of-bed-5-mins-before-I-need-to-leave kinda person... Which I now realize was a great advantage of having actual curls, lol.

Lately I've been debating getting a perm to get the ringlet look back, but I'm nervous. I've never done anything really drastic to my hair, aside from the occasional cut and highlights... Just wanted to see if anyone else around here has also experienced losing some curliness with age, and if so, what did you do about it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
 
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Ohhh, I'm not real experienced but I sure vote no on the perm. Do you do any of the CG method? Seriously, there has to be a better answer than perming. In case you haven't seen the method there is a series of videos starting with this one Styling Curly Hair - Part One - YouTube which might be really great for you to go through and see. Hopefully more eyes will see this post and give better experienced input, but gosh, 1) even if you are in the 2s, your hair is great. 2) I really wonder if you don't need to give the CG method a go to get that back.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
 
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I'm the same way. Used to be 3a with a little 3b in there and now no matter what I do I'm 2b (maybe a little 2c once in a blue moon when the hair gods are feeling sorry for me). I started curly girl method almost a month ago. So far i dont notice much difference, but i guess i need to give in more time. Some reasons hair changes include:
Change in diet
Change in water - hard vs soft
Medication - im on ortho trycyclen and zoloft - noticed less dense and less curly with zoloft, but id rather be sane with wavy hair than crazy with curly hair
Stress
Age - i forget where i read it, but once every 7 years or so a woman's hair changes some characteristics
Pregnancy
How you wear it - im in healthcare and i pull my hair up out of the way a lot. It seems like the part that is pulled back has lost the most curl

I hope the cg method helps us both

Good luck
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2b/2c, Med density, Med Porosity, Fine/Med width, Med length, layers start below ears. Just my shot in the dark for my hair properties. Growing out bleached highlights Fall 2012, growing out dyed hair March 2013. Makes for a confusing mix of properties. Learning how different processes affect hair properties. Using lot of drugstore products right now. Determining what's right for my hair in my climate. Pittsburgh has a little bit of everything weather wise. Modified CGM since March 2013.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
 
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Check out this post Can I see your hair? as you can see, a few months of cg can change things a lot. Maybe you have just been using the wrong stuff.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
 
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CG is definitely worth a try, it might give the results you want. But even if not, I wouldn't go down the perm route, because your hair looks great both ways. I totally understand because a similar process has happened to me and it is hard when your hair changes as it doesn't feel like 'you' but that doesn't mean it looks less good.

From what I've read, hair can go through phases of becoming less curly, then can go curlier again. I don't think it is as simple as losing curl with age - that probably can happen, but some people find the opposite thing occurs. I've heard of people becoming more curly later in life, or just changing every few years. You look so young anyway! My hair was curliest between 19-25 probably, but any day now!

Good luck anyway, you'll find lots of info about techniques and products on here that will be worth trying, and hopefully you'll be happy whatever the results. You look great so I hope so.

Btw, heat or chemical damage are classic curl pattern disruptors, but it doesn't look like you have either. If you do then it will partly be growing it out, also you may try some protein containing products, unless your hair is coarse in which case proceed with caution around proteins.
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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
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
 
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Oh, don't perm it. It looks really nice wavy. Just as nice lush as it does curly. Honestly. You are lucky to look good with different textures. And I think you can regain some curl with the right techniques and products. Do you know your properties yet? How thick your individual strands are and porous your hair is?

Live Curly Live Free - Home

This site gives you a head start in understanding your hair and the tools (especially ingredients) that might strengthen your curl pattern.
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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
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
 
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Hmmm, I do most of the CG method already -- I can't go "no poo" since I have a severe dandruff/dry scalp issue, but I use products without sulfates, since I have a few dyed strands (purple lowlights on the underside of my hair, about 6 months old). But otherwise, I already follow most of it (I always air dry, don't even own a blow-dryer, do the towel-patting and scrunching, brush it under the shower, etc...)

I didn't change my diet or how I wear it when I started losing the curl, and I moved around a bunch at the time (originally I thought it might be the water thing, but I've lived so many different places now that I doubt they could've all had hard water?). I did start new medication though, that's crazy, I never thought about that possibly having an impact on my hair!

Also had no idea about the porosity and everything... Thanks for those links!! I'm pretty sure I have high porosity hair, and somewhere between medium and coarse strands -- they're veeery thick, but still supple, don't really feel dry or bitter? I guess it would be coarse, except that my roots are pretty oily (yay dandruff again). Plus my hair doesn't tend to break easily, even on the rare occasions when I dye it... So much stuff to read now!
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
 
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You could try protein treatment on one section of your hair followed by conditioning and see how it likes that.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
 
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I agree experimenting is good. My hair can tolerate some proteins (silk, soy) and not others. Since it is highly porous it likes some proteins but really abhors others. Yeah, I think going CG is just the jumping off point. Then you start to realize your hair likes certain ingredients, techniques, etc. And also you might want to try certain products that enhance your curl pattern. I say "enhance" mildly because I realize there is no such thing and your curl is your curl no matter what and you can't just jump from 3A to 3C but I think it is true certain products will help your hair clump and define it better. I really like jelly type products for this. (KCCC, FSG, other ones I haven't tried but want to are Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic, As I Am Jelly, Spiral Solutions Curl Enhancing Jelly, etc.) I also like creams and think leave in conditioner is a very important step in keeping my hair curly and keeping it from getting frizzy. Happy reading!
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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

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Old 04-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chupie View Post
You could try protein treatment on one section of your hair followed by conditioning and see how it likes that.
Found this recipe for a DIY gellatin PT on here, and decided that since I had all the ingredients at home, I'd give it a shot! Drying at the moment, but my strands already feel smoother... Will report back in the morning after I see if it's a mess or not, ha.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
 
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Omg, thank you guys so much for recommending the protein treatment! My hair loved it





I'm starting to lose a little definition as the day goes on, but I think that's down to my styling products... Garnier Fructis's Curl Construct mousse is not working well for me lately >.<
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
 
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I know you mentioned in a previous post that you thought your texture might be coarse, but based on your hair's response to the gelatin PT (which is a pretty strong one, as far as PTs go) and looking at your pic in the last post, I wonder if your texture is finer than you originally thought. I have a ton of hair, and was always told how thick my hair was, so when I first started learning about hair properties, I looked at a few strands of my brunette hair, saw that I could see it when I held it up, remembered the comments about my thick hair, and figured my texture had to be between medium and coarse. So I followed the suggestions for coarse hair and ended up over conditioned within my first month of CG. So I cautiously tried a PT and my hair liked it, so I tried a stronger one, and my hair still liked it, and I started to wonder if I goofed with my properties. I ordered the hair analysis shortly thereafter and it turned out that my hair is predominantly fine in texture. Once I started treating it that way, I really saw the difference in my curls. That doesn't mean that I don't have a few strands here or there that are medium or coarse texture, but the vast majority are fine, and yes, I can still see my hair if I hold a strand out in front of me, but I attribute that to the hair color.
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Modified CG since 11/5/11
CO-WASH: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo
CLARIFY: CHS Treatment Shampoo (used prior to PT/DT)
RO: DevaCare One Condition, Regis Olive Oil
LI: Cure Care, As I Am Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Biotera Gel, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, GVP Liquid Sculpting Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #13
 
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Oh, and I would definitely suggest gel for increased hold and definition. TIGI Curlesque Strong Mousse is the only mousse I've tried that gives me even close to the same hold and definition as gel.
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3a/f/iii Before the chop- Donated to Locks of Love, January 2013
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CO-WASH: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo
CLARIFY: CHS Treatment Shampoo (used prior to PT/DT)
RO: DevaCare One Condition, Regis Olive Oil
LI: Cure Care, As I Am Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Biotera Gel, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, GVP Liquid Sculpting Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse
PT/DT: IAGirl's PT, One n' Only Argan Hydrating Mask
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:36 AM   #14
 
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Hmmm, interesting, I didn't think of that! I do have extremely dense hair and very strong individual strands (long story short, a few strands of my hair have survived my cat's digestive system in-tact >_< ... don't ask), so that made me think mine must be at least medium thickness... But aside from the actual thickness of the strands, "coarse" doesn't really describe my hair -- it's not brittle or dry, as far as I can tell.

Where/how did you get a hair analysis done? And any suggestiosn for gel? I was eying the Devachan Arc Angel, but I haven't tried it yet (kinda pricey, but if it worked, I'd be willing to shell out! My current stuff just isn't cutting it).
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #15
 
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You can order a hair analysis through Livecurlylivefree.com. I totally thought that it was worth the effort and the cost (I paid $20 for mine, not sure what they're charging now).

I've used the Deva ArcAngel, and I liked it well enough, but their new gel (Ultra Defining Gel) is my new HG gel. It's thicker than what I normally prefer in a gel, but it actually feels like it's absorbed into my hair and the end result is amazing. This is one of the only products that can give me second day hair (as long as I don't have karate that day). You'll find a lot of mixed opinions here about the Deva products. I generally don't care for most of their styling products, but Ultra Defining Gel is my one exception.
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3a/f/iii Before the chop- Donated to Locks of Love, January 2013
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CO-WASH: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo
CLARIFY: CHS Treatment Shampoo (used prior to PT/DT)
RO: DevaCare One Condition, Regis Olive Oil
LI: Cure Care, As I Am Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Biotera Gel, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, GVP Liquid Sculpting Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse
PT/DT: IAGirl's PT, One n' Only Argan Hydrating Mask
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsanga View Post
Hmmm, interesting, I didn't think of that! I do have extremely dense hair and very strong individual strands (long story short, a few strands of my hair have survived my cat's digestive system in-tact >_< ... don't ask), so that made me think mine must be at least medium thickness... But aside from the actual thickness of the strands, "coarse" doesn't really describe my hair -- it's not brittle or dry, as far as I can tell.

Where/how did you get a hair analysis done? And any suggestiosn for gel? I was eying the Devachan Arc Angel, but I haven't tried it yet (kinda pricey, but if it worked, I'd be willing to shell out! My current stuff just isn't cutting it).
Texture does refer to the thickness of the individual strands, but I think (just from my own experience and what I've heard from a few others) that some of us with thick hair (especially in darker colors) tend to see our strands as thicker than they actually are. There's a post from the founder of Curl Junkie somewhere ion the internet with some comparison pics of different textures of hair. If I can find it, I'll edit this post to add the link (as long as someone else doesn't beat me to it).

ETA: Here you go
http://curljunkie.blogspot.com/2010/...rositymoi.html
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3a/f/iii Before the chop- Donated to Locks of Love, January 2013
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CO-WASH: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo
CLARIFY: CHS Treatment Shampoo (used prior to PT/DT)
RO: DevaCare One Condition, Regis Olive Oil
LI: Cure Care, As I Am Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Biotera Gel, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, GVP Liquid Sculpting Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse
PT/DT: IAGirl's PT, One n' Only Argan Hydrating Mask

Last edited by Corrina777; 04-19-2013 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #17
 
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Wow fantastic result!

I'd better get on that treatment myself
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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
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:06 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsanga View Post
Omg, thank you guys so much for recommending the protein treatment! My hair loved it





I'm starting to lose a little definition as the day goes on, but I think that's down to my styling products... Garnier Fructis's Curl Construct mousse is not working well for me lately >.<
Yay!! It looks nice! Seriously look at some if the videos like from Jessicurl or how to style curly hair on YouTube. I bet you'll get some good ideas to try. Seems also to be heavily about technique and those help.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:59 AM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsanga View Post
Omg, thank you guys so much for recommending the protein treatment! My hair loved it





I'm starting to lose a little definition as the day goes on, but I think that's down to my styling products... Garnier Fructis's Curl Construct mousse is not working well for me lately >.<
You and your hair look great! Did you use styling products? If yes, what did you use? I like the natural result.

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Old 04-20-2013, 02:52 AM   #20
 
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Seems like your hair was in need of protein because it really bounced back! Wow, it looks great. I second the hair analysis suggestion if you're trying to figure things out. I thought I had medium texture and medium porosity. Then I found out I was coarse and highly porous. Explained a lot and it helped me out. I now try and avoid protein in styling products because they are the things that spend the most amount of time in my hair. I also am picky about the proteins in my conditioners.

Oh, and "coarse" is just a word used to describe the width of the hair. Just because someone's hair is coarse doesn't mean it is brittle, dry or prone to breakage. Many people of Asian descent and Native Americans have coarse hair and you think of their hair and you think stick straight, shiny, resilient, etc. Many people of African descent assume they have coarse hair because their hair takes up so much space (physically) and because it can tend to get dry and brittle if it doesn't have enough moisture. But coarse doesn't mean rough or even big/voluminous. It just means thick stranded. So Tiffany the curl whisperer says most African American clients of hers are surprised to learn they tend to be fine-medium on the strand scale. I was pretty surprised to learn I was coarse because like you, I was thinking it meant rough. But my hair is very healthy and soft/silky to the touch. Even though it is prone to dryness with my high porosity. I just have to oil it down a few times a week. If you hair turns out to be coarse and porous, I like to smooth on a few tbsp of oils (avocado and coconut are my favs) and conditioner before I co-wash and low-poo. It really helps protect my thirsty hair.
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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

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