Weigh in on straightening, please!

I've NEVER straightened my hair...other than what it may be if I brush it out (frizzy straight). Never really cared to, but I think 6 years doing CG has done me no good.

I've had Deva cuts (by 3 different salons), an Ouidad cut (those are worthless, IMO), and straight cuts.

Deva is WAY too product-filled for me... And I can't do my hair the way it was done at salon, regardless. Ouidad...well...that's almost a gimmick to me.

I miss my volume and hate my hair just laying there. When I do a little back brush for volume, it frizzes being CG. Rainy days? Forget it! And yes, I've done all Deva products, blah blah.

SO...I want to go back to some -cones and maybe try a flat iron on days that turn into disaster. I've NEVER used a flat iron. I need some input.

My mom has one...her hair isn't curly and she doesn't use it any longer. I don't know what kind it is...just that she got it at Walmart for 20.

I've seen them MUCH higher. What's the difference? Is a 20.00 Walmart special good enough? And what do I need from a product standpoint to use with it?

My hair is thick..,I can't even use those cute bobby pin things because its too thick (though, I think it's thinning because of PCOS). I also wonder if its changing texture. My hair just doesn't want to curl like it used to.

Ugh. Help help help!

Thx!
41/married/2 kids/2 cats

-All OVER the board 2-3a-(depends on the day). 2nd day hair is impossible!
-JUST discovering importance of porosity! Fill and seal! I'm low!
-DC1C, JCGLS, Natural Glycerine for clarifying
-Deva Cuts better for me when shorter (shoulder). Ouidad cuts are EVIL for me.
-When long: BSRHG, Deva BLeaveIn, JCRR
When shorter: Deva BLeaveIn, DevaCurl Foam.
Have you tried any products but Deva or Ouidad? Deva sucks, IMO, and not a lot of us here use it exclusively. when u say you've been "CG" what do you mean? Brushing it is doing no good, and that is a basic principle of the CG method. Anyone with curly hair will have frizz if they brush it. And it's damaging.

Do you know your hair properties? If you don't want to make your hair look good curly, then by all means straighten it. Not many people here will give you much help in that dept, because this is a website supporting curly hair. But in the end you have to do what you want. I just can't give you much advice without knowing your hair properties & what you've already tried. If its flat and frizzing and reacting badly to humidity, you've missed something along the way. If you're not getting good results with what you're using, try something else.
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

Silicones don't confer volume nor do flat irons, quite the reverse. If you have thick hair expect to spend a really long time getting it straight because you will have to do many small sections. You will get the straightest hair from high heat but do the most damage that way, even in one session, so it's best to invest a lot more time and use low settings. As well as silicones which are good for heat protection there are other ingredients that are of use
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Straightening Facts :How hot is too hot?
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Thermal protection: Do they really work?

You ALWAYS need to flat iron on bone dry hair, if you have even slightly damp hair you can cause irreparable damage ('bubble hair') in just one session. You would generally want to flat iron from roughly straight hair and with a 'slippy' product on, you don't want something that the flat iron is going to stick to or catch on. This means air drying in a straight-ish style (can wrap the hair around the head and clip it, I gently brush then ponytail when sopping wet) or blow drying the day before.

Some curlies going straight
Curly Care: Straightening Long Curly Hair - YouTube
Curly Wavy errr STRAIGHT?!? Why I did this... - YouTube

Have you tried products and techniques that are specifically designed for boosting curl and volume? AFAIK the Deva line is much more focussed on moisture and calming the hair down which doesn't sound like what you want. You might find these useful instead of back combing which is damaging and does indeed create frizz
How To Style Naturally Curly Hair (complete tutorial) - YouTube
Curly Care: Styling for Natural Voluminous & Enhanced Curls - YouTube
Roller Jaw Clamps, Curly Hair Solutions - YouTube
Applying Rockin' Ringlets - YouTube

Are you sure you know your hair properties and are working with them when you choose products? There is a basic hair analysis from Live Curly Live Free and a super detailed one from Komaza Care.
Live Curly Live Free - Hair Analysis
Hair Analysis
Komaza Care HAIR ANALYSIS Service - Rave! - Long Hair Care Forum

HTH.
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

Last edited by Firefox7275; 05-12-2013 at 01:15 PM.
I think that a good straightener will let you control the temperature a lot better, actually being able to set it to a specific temp. Using a heat protectant is crucial to minimize damage. Perhaps a finishing cream or a smoothing product to finish off the look, or even before the hair dries there are smoothing products that help (when i straighten occasionally i use one by AG cosmetics, CG friendly one). That's my input on straightening. I do agree with the post above about trying other products; from the two i've only tried Deva but because of the difficulty of getting any of those brands ( i live in Honduras) i use other stuff mostly: sulphate free shampoo from l'occitane, conditioners from Suave, Garnier Fructis with no silicones, mousse or spray gel with no silicones either. I do spend a loooong time poring over ingredient labels, but it's worth it in the end....sometimes products are not worth all the hype!
Latina

Type: 3a
Dense, fine/medium texture, low porosity

Low-poo: Devacurl No-Poo/ Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shampoo/ Elacel Aloe Vera Shampoo
Conditioner: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner
Leave-in: Devacurl Set It Free/Lush R& B
Styling: Herbal Essences Set Me Up Spray-Gel/ L'Oreal Silk & Gloss Curl Power Mousse
I've had one person tell me normal porosity and another tell me porous (Deva). When I used silicones, I didn't have the frizz to the extent I do now when I even diffused. I like to take a dryer to my hair for a few seconds when almost dry to help the volume, as well. I can't do that any longer without it freaking out on me.

I've used numerous things other than Deva and Ouidad (which, many if those are full of nasties). I always liked the BSRHG for the past 4 years, but it's becoming ineffective.

Tried Jessie Curl...and while I like the cleanser, it doesn't help in the way of "final product" (not to mention its not available locally). Tried Curl Keeper...(also not local) and it didn't go well. Carol's Daughter was too much for my hair...

Tried re:coil...makes me greasy. TIGI Root Boost is ok... But it doesn't help with getting my curl back or frizz. Even the BSRHG isn't enough to control it any longer.

I'm always left looking stringy and dirty. It's awful.

Pre-special cuts, I would get spirals around my face and underneath crown area (my back end is a whole other type). Granted, I always had to put the sides/bangs in a barrette, but I still have to do that now...there's no difference except I've lost curl.

I use flour sacks or tee shirts after a shower. I don't really brush through...just use it to guide the sides and back into a pony tail. My hair is not dry...it is not damaged. I usually sit under a dryer or air dry. Yesterday, I tried a diffuser and the hair was frizzy awful.

I have been sulfate free since 2007 (no -cones, either). My options of product consist of what's at Ulta...so many CG friendly things I read about here (at a salon level and not standard drug store things).

I'm not looking to straighten everyday... just something to salvage my hair when it's a complete mess.

Today, dressed UP, I had to resort to a casual pony tail (frizzy one, at that). Even the lavender type of spray does nothing but make it wet.

So...totally I'm up for suggestions. I'm MORE concerned with salvaging bad hair days. I'm tired of pony tails (still frizzy anyway).
41/married/2 kids/2 cats

-All OVER the board 2-3a-(depends on the day). 2nd day hair is impossible!
-JUST discovering importance of porosity! Fill and seal! I'm low!
-DC1C, JCGLS, Natural Glycerine for clarifying
-Deva Cuts better for me when shorter (shoulder). Ouidad cuts are EVIL for me.
-When long: BSRHG, Deva BLeaveIn, JCRR
When shorter: Deva BLeaveIn, DevaCurl Foam.
I've had one person tell me normal porosity and another tell me porous (Deva). When I used silicones, I didn't have the frizz to the extent I do now when I even diffused. I like to take a dryer to my hair for a few seconds when almost dry to help the volume, as well. I can't do that any longer without it freaking out on me.

I've used numerous things other than Deva and Ouidad (which, many if those are full of nasties). I always liked the BSRHG for the past 4 years, but it's becoming ineffective.

Tried Jessie Curl...and while I like the cleanser, it doesn't help in the way of "final product" (not to mention its not available locally). Tried Curl Keeper...(also not local) and it didn't go well. Carol's Daughter was too much for my hair...

Tried re:coil...makes me greasy. TIGI Root Boost is ok... But it doesn't help with getting my curl back or frizz. Even the BSRHG isn't enough to control it any longer.

I'm always left looking stringy and dirty. It's awful.

Pre-special cuts, I would get spirals around my face and underneath crown area (my back end is a whole other type). Granted, I always had to put the sides/bangs in a barrette, but I still have to do that now...there's no difference except I've lost curl.

I use flour sacks or tee shirts after a shower. I don't really brush through...just use it to guide the sides and back into a pony tail. My hair is not dry...it is not damaged. I usually sit under a dryer or air dry. Yesterday, I tried a diffuser and the hair was frizzy awful.

I have been sulfate free since 2007 (no -cones, either). My options of product consist of what's at Ulta...so many CG friendly things I read about here (at a salon level and not standard drug store things).

I'm not looking to straighten everyday... just something to salvage my hair when it's a complete mess.

Today, dressed UP, I had to resort to a casual pony tail (frizzy one, at that). Even the lavender type of spray does nothing but make it wet.

So...totally I'm up for suggestions. I'm MORE concerned with salvaging bad hair days. I'm tired of pony tails (still frizzy anyway).
Originally Posted by carrie640
What you are choosing to do to create volume are things known to create frizz - ideally you'd dry to almost dry, clip the roots and let the remainder air dry you would not take a hairdryer to it, overdrying gives many of us frizz. I find any sort of tying back damages my curl pattern for up to three washes. I also don't understand why you are using a brush to guide your hair, there actually are multiple things you are doing that are not CG, which is fine if you are doing that with your eyes wide open to the possible implications (good or bad).

I am not sure if I have got the wrong end of the stick but you can't really use a flat iron to salvage bad hair days unless you have a lot of spare time. You will have the wrong products on your hair so have to rewash, fully dry and then flat iron, it will take a hour or two depending how much hair you have. It's really not at all a good ideal to try to iron out hair right from curly.

Stringy and dirty says to me wrong products for your hairtype/ climate OR wrong amount of product or technique. Do you need to clarify or chelate (particularly may need to if you have hard water or swim etc)? Is your signature up to date? There is a silicone in that shampoo if I have found the right product on Sally. If you wash with that and do NOTHING else do you have clean albeit super poufy hair? If you wash and condition but apply no styler do you have stringy and dirty hair? I know that's a PITA to test and may mean have to be done on days you don't have plans.

Have you invested time in running through the ingredients lists as many of the products you have used/ failed as possible? You may identify there are hidden silicones or polyquats that are building up, or perhaps that all your failed products have the same couple of ingredients that don't agree with your hair. Maybe too much or not enough humectants, too much or not enough protein, too much or not enough natural oils.

Otherwise consider having the Komaza Care analysis done, it doesn't seem like you understand your hair and really that is the foundation of choosing the right ingredients and products.

I can't help you with stringy because I have the same problem (I suspect down to damage and high porosity especially at the ends), but my curl and volume died recently and it was partly down to a hidden silicone in a product I did not realise was reformulated. Intensive treatments with coconut oil and sugar syrup (many use honey) have made an incredible difference to my curl pattern, although my hair does not feel dry it seems to need the moisture.

Part of my poufiness when I get it is again the damage and porosity, but I can't seem to use any shampoo I have unmanageable hair. Do lose a bit of volume with CO-washing but I try to balance that by using a basic lightweight CO-wash and loads of it so I get 'squeaky' clean hair not a branded moisturising product. I have to scrunch everything in, no brushing or combing at all. YMMV of course, I'm not saying follow my routine just linking properties to products/ ingredients a bit.
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
Carrie I got tired of my curly hair over a year ago and started flat ironing. Honestly it's just hair so it's not a bad thing, but I do think if you're looking for volume you may have some problems. I would flat iron in all kinds of crazy direction to create volume at the root.

Have you ever tripped duck bills or jaw clips in your crown for volume?

I also notice you consider yourself a 3A-ish. Is it possible you are maybe more wavy than curly? The reason I ask is I always considered myself a 3A until naturallycurly created more sub categories and I realized I am more of a 2C and therefore straight up CG method doesn't completely work for me. I have extremely thick hair. You'd think my hair could handle tons of conditioners, gels, etc. but it CANNOT! LOL! I do use sulphate shampoo (I just went from washing every other day to washing about every third day), I do not use gel (every kind I use makes my hair feel gunky whether it's CG friendly or not), too much conditioner is a no no for me, and I can't use tons of anything!!!

For me it's less about the products I use (yes they do factor in) but more along the lines of how I use products and the technique I use. Plopping, limited touching, root clipping, only using a moderate amount of product are all part of my routine.

You can certainly experiment with flat ironing! You may love it! Initially I loved the look and feel of my suddenly sleek hair. The downfall? Well first off I looked like everyone else and second off only 6 mths into it my ends were so damaged I had to keep lopping more and more hair off until I went from hair down to my mid back to hair barely hitting my shoulders and the ends STILL looked dry and damaged! And yes I did use several thermal products for heat protection but with the amount of ironing I had o do I still damaged my hair.

One more thing. Maybe you can post some pics. You may think you're hair looks stringy and bad but it may not be as bad as you think and/or others can possibly give you good tips on improving your look.

Good luck!
I added some pictures in the albums portion here. NOt sure how to get there, to be honest. I always did Fotki, but saw the albums option here...so I utilized that.

When I used -cones, I didn't have as much frizz when I tried to get the volume. Not like I do now. Go figure. Of course, that was quite a few years ago. I DO use clips, but the clips tend to make "marks" in my hair now. In other words, the way it's clipped is the way it stays. It puts an indentation into where the clip is sitting on my hair. It's crazy, but it does. Forget the the bangs. If I clip them back to help prevent them from falling forward later, they STAY back. I can't reposition them at all. Hard to explain.

I've been using JessiCurl cleansing cream and Too Shea which is protein-free (since March) along with the BSRHG (which I've used since 2008 with MUCH success in hold/control) which is also supposedly protein free.

But I don't think that's made a difference.

I don't back brush frequently and unless I "do" my hair, I don't at all. I only "do" my hair once a week, maybe...since I really go nowhere that is has to be "done", if that makes sense.

I'm seriously thinking about going back to regular straight-line cuts. At least I had the curl then...and at least I'll save a 2 hour drive and $30/cut!
41/married/2 kids/2 cats

-All OVER the board 2-3a-(depends on the day). 2nd day hair is impossible!
-JUST discovering importance of porosity! Fill and seal! I'm low!
-DC1C, JCGLS, Natural Glycerine for clarifying
-Deva Cuts better for me when shorter (shoulder). Ouidad cuts are EVIL for me.
-When long: BSRHG, Deva BLeaveIn, JCRR
When shorter: Deva BLeaveIn, DevaCurl Foam.

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