What is the difference between a conditioner and a moisturizer?

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First I’d like to thank you all for this great thread and responses! For me this is of great importance since I have low porosity hair. This clarifies a lot of troubles I am having with keeping my hair moisturised without suffocating my hair with other conditioning agents.
On the other hand I still have some questions, especially product related. I really hope that you can help me out with this!

Lately I feel that my hair needs moisture, but when I try to “moisturize” it with a DT my hair will be good for a few days, but when I need a wash I simply cannot use a co-wash of even a sles free shampoo or it will feel completely build-up. And note ! that I say build-up and not over-conditioned, cause with OC-ed hair they have a tendency to stretch extremely, but I noted that the elasticity of my hair didn’t increase.

When I co-wash or low-poo my hair it feels kind of waxy but it looks dry (too much protein?), it is very tangled and as soon as I put in the RO for detangling my hair feels mushy and starts to (spiderweb) frizz, looks a bit flyaway…
So I think my hair is trying to “say” to me: “Help, I need moisture, but you are suffocating me!”

So, having read this thread I think I understand the following things, and please correct me if I’m wrong:

- My lp hair needs moisture (low-med elasticity and flyaways)
- my lp hair gets build-up by conditioning agents very easily because: before moisture gets through my hair cuticle to moisturise my hair the other conditioning agents in products are blocking this moisture
- therefore my hair can look like it is conditioned (shine), but really isn’t because it’s not properly moisturised which should really make it conditioned.
- my lp hair can look limp/weight down like it is overconditioned (too much elasticity/in need of protein) or overmoisturized (like with humectants in high dews), while it really suffers from conditioning agents that prevent the needed moisture to enter the cuticle and therefore making my hair limp with low elasticity

Questions:
- What is the best way to moisturise my lp hair without getting weight down from the other conditioning agents in products?
- What products should I use?
- What ingredients should I look for?


Thanks for taking the time to read this!
2B/C-3A) fine - low porosity
Routine:
Wash: Daily Fix,SMT, Kesham, Urtekram
RO: Motions CPR Li, Inecto Cocos co, AO GPB, KCTT
acv-rinse, sometimes honey-rinse
LI: coconut oil (winter), CJBC-LI
Styling: AVG, Etos Solid Power Gel, Taft gel, CJPP
, JCCC, BRHG
Plopping~Pixiecurl diffuse~clipping
KrullenWijzer.blogspot.nl
First I’d like to thank you all for this great thread and responses! For me this is of great importance since I have low porosity hair. This clarifies a lot of troubles I am having with keeping my hair moisturised without suffocating my hair with other conditioning agents.
On the other hand I still have some questions, especially product related. I really hope that you can help me out with this!

Lately I feel that my hair needs moisture, but when I try to “moisturize” it with a DT my hair will be good for a few days, but when I need a wash I simply cannot use a co-wash of even a sles free shampoo or it will feel completely build-up. And note ! that I say build-up and not over-conditioned, cause with OC-ed hair they have a tendency to stretch extremely, but I noted that the elasticity of my hair didn’t increase.

When I co-wash or low-poo my hair it feels kind of waxy but it looks dry (too much protein?), it is very tangled and as soon as I put in the RO for detangling my hair feels mushy and starts to (spiderweb) frizz, looks a bit flyaway…
So I think my hair is trying to “say” to me: “Help, I need moisture, but you are suffocating me!”

So, having read this thread I think I understand the following things, and please correct me if I’m wrong:

- My lp hair needs moisture (low-med elasticity and flyaways)
- my lp hair gets build-up by conditioning agents very easily because: before moisture gets through my hair cuticle to moisturise my hair the other conditioning agents in products are blocking this moisture
- therefore my hair can look like it is conditioned (shine), but really isn’t because it’s not properly moisturised which should really make it conditioned.
- my lp hair can look limp/weight down like it is overconditioned (too much elasticity/in need of protein) or overmoisturized (like with humectants in high dews), while it really suffers from conditioning agents that prevent the needed moisture to enter the cuticle and therefore making my hair limp with low elasticity

Questions:
- What is the best way to moisturise my lp hair without getting weight down from the other conditioning agents in products?
- What products should I use?
- What ingredients should I look for?


Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Originally Posted by rapunzel4ever
Run through the ingredients in all your products and try to work out what is building up, and look at the balance of humectants to protein to occlusives to emollients. If you don't feel confident maybe start another thread and list everything you use, linking to the ingredients lists and people here can comment?

You should consider your hair properties but also your dew points/ humidity. Tangling and dry feeling can be protein, but it can also be regular build up of products or hard water. You *may* simply need to clarify or chelate. Not sure if your signature is up to date but you have both honey and aloe vera which are humectants, these can dry out hair if overused.

Sulphate free shampoos are not all equal, some have cocoamidopropyl betaine high on the list which will remove build up, some have lower amounts of gentler surfactants that may not. The other ingredients are relevant, if the product is too conditioning it may not be such an effective cleanser.
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; 06-26-2013 at 05:05 AM.
First I’d like to thank you all for this great thread and responses! For me this is of great importance since I have low porosity hair. This clarifies a lot of troubles I am having with keeping my hair moisturised without suffocating my hair with other conditioning agents.
On the other hand I still have some questions, especially product related. I really hope that you can help me out with this!

Lately I feel that my hair needs moisture, but when I try to “moisturize” it with a DT my hair will be good for a few days, but when I need a wash I simply cannot use a co-wash of even a sles free shampoo or it will feel completely build-up. And note ! that I say build-up and not over-conditioned, cause with OC-ed hair they have a tendency to stretch extremely, but I noted that the elasticity of my hair didn’t increase.

When I co-wash or low-poo my hair it feels kind of waxy but it looks dry (too much protein?), it is very tangled and as soon as I put in the RO for detangling my hair feels mushy and starts to (spiderweb) frizz, looks a bit flyaway…
So I think my hair is trying to “say” to me: “Help, I need moisture, but you are suffocating me!”

So, having read this thread I think I understand the following things, and please correct me if I’m wrong:

- My lp hair needs moisture (low-med elasticity and flyaways)
- my lp hair gets build-up by conditioning agents very easily because: before moisture gets through my hair cuticle to moisturise my hair the other conditioning agents in products are blocking this moisture
- therefore my hair can look like it is conditioned (shine), but really isn’t because it’s not properly moisturised which should really make it conditioned.
- my lp hair can look limp/weight down like it is overconditioned (too much elasticity/in need of protein) or overmoisturized (like with humectants in high dews), while it really suffers from conditioning agents that prevent the needed moisture to enter the cuticle and therefore making my hair limp with low elasticity

Questions:
- What is the best way to moisturise my lp hair without getting weight down from the other conditioning agents in products?
- What products should I use?
- What ingredients should I look for?


Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Originally Posted by rapunzel4ever
I'm going to venture a guess that doesn't have to do with this thread. I'm unfamiliar with your products, so I don't know the ingredients. However, I have fine/low porosity hair, too. You've described what I get when I use products with polyquats, especially 4, 7 and 10. Most significant thing I notice is frizz when wet. It takes a stronger surfactant (Sodum C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate) to remove them. If you do have polyquats coating your hair, that could be blocking the moisture.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I'm going to have to agree with Firefox and Kathymack, what you describe sounds like build up, definitely try a cheating shampoo if you live in a hard-water area and/or a coco betaine or other strong surfactant poo to remove other types of build up. I also find it interesting that your hair feels waxy, dry and tangled after co wash OR lowpoo but then feels mushy when you apply your RO. I'm not familiar with your products either but it sounds a lot like what my hair was like when I was using the (shea butter and oil based) Shea Moisture products. When I used any of the SM lowpoos my hair would feel sticky and tangly until I applied the RO, then it would feel mushy and I got the same spiderweb frizz, seemingly regardless of what stylers I tried.

When I started adding more protein into my routine I simultaneously cut back on products heavy in oils and butters or that were labeled or considered highly moisturizing. I was doing the wet-scrunch test every wash during this time and my hair felt mushy for a month at least before I finally hit the right ratio of protein to moisture.

So, definitely check your products for polyquats but also cut out any products with several oils/butters in them for awhile and see how your hair responds. It sounds like you're already using protein products but you may need to increase that to counteract the mushy, over-moisturized feeling. I had to start using a leave in with protein before I got good results, its likely the larger proteins can't penetrate as fast or easily as water and are then getting sealed out by whatever is coating/building up on your hair.
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!
Thanks for all you input!
We do have hard water. The dewpoints are good, so humectants shouldn't be an issue.

I've been reading the labels on the products I've used recently..
Recently I've used more AVG because it makes my hair curl like nothing else. I've skipped the honey for a while because I think this might be causing longer drying time for my hair, which I don't like.

And I used the CCCCL in between washes last week. It contains polyquat 7+10 and Peg-dimethicone. I am suspecting the latter is causing build-up problems for me in summer, cause I also have a gel with this ingredient and I get brittle hair using this in good dews. When I use the CJ Beauticurls LI it works great on my hair, while I thought the butters/oils might weigh my hair down, but the CCCCL gives me more of a weight down look..While last year I was fine using this in summer!?

Oh and I read the label on the sles free clarifying poo I was using, it contains a.o. Cocamidepropyl betain, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate AND Polyquat 10!
What should that do to my hair?

My hair always feels better when I use a mild acv-rinse between the poo and RO, so hard water might also have something to do with product build-up..
_____
2b-c/3a med/fine- low porosity- normal elasticity, BSL
2B/C-3A) fine - low porosity
Routine:
Wash: Daily Fix,SMT, Kesham, Urtekram
RO: Motions CPR Li, Inecto Cocos co, AO GPB, KCTT
acv-rinse, sometimes honey-rinse
LI: coconut oil (winter), CJBC-LI
Styling: AVG, Etos Solid Power Gel, Taft gel, CJPP
, JCCC, BRHG
Plopping~Pixiecurl diffuse~clipping
KrullenWijzer.blogspot.nl
Thanks for all you input!
We do have hard water. The dewpoints are good, so humectants shouldn't be an issue.

I've been reading the labels on the products I've used recently..
Recently I've used more AVG because it makes my hair curl like nothing else. I've skipped the honey for a while because I think this might be causing longer drying time for my hair, which I don't like.

And I used the CCCCL in between washes last week. It contains polyquat 7+10 and Peg-dimethicone. I am suspecting the latter is causing build-up problems for me in summer, cause I also have a gel with this ingredient and I get brittle hair using this in good dews. When I use the CJ Beauticurls LI it works great on my hair, while I thought the butters/oils might weigh my hair down, but the CCCCL gives me more of a weight down look..While last year I was fine using this in summer!?

Oh and I read the label on the sles free clarifying poo I was using, it contains a.o. Cocamidepropyl betain, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate AND Polyquat 10!
What should that do to my hair?

My hair always feels better when I use a mild acv-rinse between the poo and RO, so hard water might also have something to do with product build-up..
_____
2b-c/3a med/fine- low porosity- normal elasticity, BSL
Originally Posted by rapunzel4ever
As I've said before, the polyquats that give me problems are 4, 7 and 10. I'd use a chelating shampoo without any polyquats. While Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is in my favorite shampoo, it's not always enough to remove things for me. I rarely shampoo (maybe 4 or 5 times a year.) Only when I make a mistake and use an ingredients my hair doesn't like.

Once upon my curly journey, I thought it would be good to do an SLS poo once a year. I bought the Sally's generic Nexxus Aloe Rid. I didn't think it was all that stripping (once a year after all.) Didn't do it last year, but I did do it after I let the salon use Deva NoPoo on my hair (polyquat 7, I think.) It's a chelating poo, so not a bad thing to have around.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Thanks for all you input!
We do have hard water. The dewpoints are good, so humectants shouldn't be an issue.

I've been reading the labels on the products I've used recently..
Recently I've used more AVG because it makes my hair curl like nothing else. I've skipped the honey for a while because I think this might be causing longer drying time for my hair, which I don't like.

And I used the CCCCL in between washes last week. It contains polyquat 7+10 and Peg-dimethicone. I am suspecting the latter is causing build-up problems for me in summer, cause I also have a gel with this ingredient and I get brittle hair using this in good dews. When I use the CJ Beauticurls LI it works great on my hair, while I thought the butters/oils might weigh my hair down, but the CCCCL gives me more of a weight down look..While last year I was fine using this in summer!?

Oh and I read the label on the sles free clarifying poo I was using, it contains a.o. Cocamidepropyl betain, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate AND Polyquat 10!
What should that do to my hair?

My hair always feels better when I use a mild acv-rinse between the poo and RO, so hard water might also have something to do with product build-up..
_____
2b-c/3a med/fine- low porosity- normal elasticity, BSL
Originally Posted by rapunzel4ever
You hair properties and condition change with the passage of time, hopefully due to better care meaning it is healthier as well as any changes in lifestyle and weather. Definitely do a chelating wash for the hard water and cut out the polyquats.

Humectants are primarily an issue in relation to high or low dews but they can be a problem in any weather conditions if you overuse them or don't have a balance in your routine.

This thread is going off topic, would be good if the mods would make it a new thread.
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
This thread is going off topic, would be good if the mods would make it a new thread.[/QUOTE]

Thank you, Firefox! I second the motion. I'd been creeping on this thread for a while, but hesitated to post because I feared I'd drag it off topic and I'm new to this posting business; my forum etiquette may be lacking.

I am really interested in the science behind low porosity hair health (especially how to get and stay moisturized) and what that means when I'm reading ingredient labels. This thread has been chock full of clever folks with their facts straight and fellow students asking smart questions.
Firefox7275 likes this.
3A/B, LOW-po, fine, med density/elasticity, near BSL.
CG, baby!
Digs: protein
Don't: oils & butters straight/in large doses. Suffocation.
*Cleanse (almost daily, I have a really sweaty and dirty job)
*Rinse-Out (upside down . . . . for the rest of the process)
*Leave-In (just the ends, then smooth residue over crown)
*Scrunch & Pump (until the squish diminishes)
*Plop (as long as I can get away with it)
HG: Mop Top Daily Condish, Curl Junkie Rehab
Thank you, Firefox! I second the motion. I'd been creeping on this thread for a while, but hesitated to post because I feared I'd drag it off topic and I'm new to this posting business; my forum etiquette may be lacking.

I am really interested in the science behind low porosity hair health (especially how to get and stay moisturized) and what that means when I'm reading ingredient labels. This thread has been chock full of clever folks with their facts straight and fellow students asking smart questions.
Originally Posted by Mary.Beyer
Low porosity hair is an interesting one: KathyMack is knowledgeable on care for low porosity hair, keep an eye out for her posts.

I tend to think does low porosity virgin hair need to be more moisturised or does it need to be conditioned? Are we really looking for improved health or for aesthetics? Most humectants don't penetrate hair anyway, if they are used to 'moisturise' even higher porosity hair they hold additional water close to the strand.

On one level low porosity hair has an advantage in terms of hair health over higher porosity hair, it's at lower risk of hygral fatigue. For the most part hair IS healthy when it grows out of your head and still has its water resistant coating (fatty f-layer) intact, it becomes progressively more damaged due to either 'weathering' - everyday damage like combing/ brushing/ shampooing/ UV light/ friction - chemical treatment, heat styling and so on.

If I had low porosity virgin hair (I have the absolute opposite!) I would be striving to maintain that protective water resistant coating.with super gentle cleansers and slippy emollients. Maybe patching damage on much older hair with ingredients like ceramides, panthenol and a little hydrolysed protein. Because build up can be an issue, it might be wise to choose multi-functional ingredients.

I love these threads because we ALL learn. I certainly don't have all the answers, smart questions and additional reference material is a challenge that can shift my opinion. We can beat the big cosmetic companies at their own game if we know which cheap ingredients are worthwhile and which are fillers. Plenty of successful curly haircare businesses have come out of forums like this one!
artemis513 likes this.
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
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I have low porosity hair and for me the two most important things have been balancing humectants with emollients and learning to be patient. Lp hair doesn't dry out as easy, but it doesn't balance as easy either. If I dry my hair out, it takes a couple weeks for that balance to fix itself. I stay away from heavy oils and anything that builds up because it increases how often I have to wash.

You check out my sig if you like. I'm not an expert, but I think my hair is really healthy.
New article from Tonya McKay:

Hair Moisturizer vs. Emollients

This was interesting:

Most anti-frizz and anti-humectant serums are comprised of extremely hydrophobic, synthetic emollients such as silicones, emollient esters, and mineral oil or petrolatum. These typically sit directly on the surface of the hair and act as occlusive agents, barriers which prevent moisture from escaping from the cortex or getting into it from a humid environment. People who do not use shampoo or use only mild shampoos should be extremely cautious about these types of ingredients and products.
So it sounds like emollient esters can cause a problem if you don't shampoo. I found this list:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlre...ollient-esters
Firefox7275 and wavydaze like this.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285

Last edited by CurlyGrey3; 07-09-2013 at 10:29 AM.
Good hair conditioners and hair treatments provide a variety of benefits, including optimizing the hydration and oil levels of your hair and protecting the surface. Because the terms moisturizer and emollient are actually referring to fairly complex processes and multiple properties, it is not surprising that they are often used incorrectly or interchangeably, which can be confusing. Marketing materials need to capture your attention quickly, but are not always entirely accurate in their oversimplified jargon. For this reason, it is considerably more helpful for you as the consumer to determine what your individual hair needs are and to look for ingredients or combinations of ingredients that can meet those needs and to use specific, well-defined terminology to describe those ingredients.

Do you need a humectant to add moisture to your hair? Do you need a slip agent to reduce tangling (oils, silicones, polyquats, simple quats)? Do you need a fruit or vegetable oil to decrease porosity and to add softness and elasticity to your hair? Do you need a water-repellent sealer to prevent frizz in your ultra-humid environment (silicones, mineral oil, serums, anti-humectants)? Do you need a good conditioning agent to soften, detangle, or to give thermal and UV protection and increased color retention (amodimethicone, polyquats)? Knowing exactly what you want and need for your hair and understanding the terminology and properties of the various categories of ingredients can demystify and simplify the whole process.
Very clear and very helpful! Good lookout CurlyGrey!
CurlyGrey3 likes this.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
Do you need a humectant to add moisture to your hair? Do you need a slip agent to reduce tangling (oils, silicones, polyquats, simple quats)? Do you need a fruit or vegetable oil to decrease porosity and to add softness and elasticity to your hair? Do you need a water-repellent sealer to prevent frizz in your ultra-humid environment (silicones, mineral oil, serums, anti-humectants)? Do you need a good conditioning agent to soften, detangle, or to give thermal and UV protection and increased color retention (amodimethicone, polyquats)? Knowing exactly what you want and need for your hair and understanding the terminology and properties of the various categories of ingredients can demystify and simplify the whole process.
Originally Posted by wavydaze
Can I just answer yes to every question? I need the EVERYTHING product!
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
.............................
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
Ohh, this thread is great.
Fine - dense - normal porosity - normal elasticity - BSL - dye free - 2cish


Loving AIA coconut cowash, goats milk soap bars, GVP conditioning balm, KCKT, Marie Dean styling creams, LALSG, coconut oil, SM milk

So how do you apply all of this information to real life (i.e., looking for products)? I know that different hair properties, climates, sensitivities (do we know the science behind sensitivities to protein, certain ingredients, etc, btw?) and the like determine our needs, but how do we use this science to help us find the right products for us and stay away from the wrong ones? How does a person know how many fatty alcohols or cationic surfactants (did I get those right?) make a "true" conditioner, or how many butters/oils are excessive? Also, is there a list of what common ingredients are (emollients, fatty alcohols, etc.)? I think I need to read this thread a few more times to really grasp all of this lol.
Fine - dense - normal porosity - normal elasticity - BSL - dye free - 2cish


Loving AIA coconut cowash, goats milk soap bars, GVP conditioning balm, KCKT, Marie Dean styling creams, LALSG, coconut oil, SM milk

So how do you apply all of this information to real life (i.e., looking for products)? I know that different hair properties, climates, sensitivities (do we know the science behind sensitivities to protein, certain ingredients, etc, btw?) and the like determine our needs, but how do we use this science to help us find the right products for us and stay away from the wrong ones? How does a person know how many fatty alcohols or cationic surfactants (did I get those right?) make a "true" conditioner, or how many butters/oils are excessive? Also, is there a list of what common ingredients are (emollients, fatty alcohols, etc.)? I think I need to read this thread a few more times to really grasp all of this lol.
Originally Posted by Aktmama
I knew even before I was natural my hair didn't like cones so avoided them. My hair also didn't like any protein but wheat protein.

Then when I did go natural I got the curly girl book, read the ingredients on the back of products, and used a lot of trial and error to find products my hair liked.

It took about 10 months due to my hair growing longer.

I still try new products now but I find I'm better at choosing products that work first time.
So how do you apply all of this information to real life (i.e., looking for products)? I know that different hair properties, climates, sensitivities (do we know the science behind sensitivities to protein, certain ingredients, etc, btw?) and the like determine our needs, but how do we use this science to help us find the right products for us and stay away from the wrong ones? How does a person know how many fatty alcohols or cationic surfactants (did I get those right?) make a "true" conditioner, or how many butters/oils are excessive? Also, is there a list of what common ingredients are (emollients, fatty alcohols, etc.)? I think I need to read this thread a few more times to really grasp all of this lol.
Originally Posted by Aktmama
Well if you have fine/thin/low porosity hair, it's generally a good rule of thumb to stay away from products that are heavy in oils and butters. Humectant-heavy products aren't that recommended for very high or very low dews. Butter/oil heavy products may be good for those with coarse/dense/high porosity hair... but they're more like sealers so they're sealing in the moisture that's already in your hair... this is where ingredient comprehension is good. Fatty alcohols/cationic surfactants are good for curly hair in general, great in reducing frizz, for dry hair, damaged hair. Fine hair that isn't dry may get overconditioned easily with a very rich leave-in... some skip leave-ins all together, or use minute amounts. Proteins weren't part of this discussion but a very important aspect of your products.

When you're starting out it's not a bad idea to have balanced products.... or rotate products so that your hair gets a varied "diet." A lot of it is just trial and error. Many products have the same ingredients, but in different ratios and the ratios though subtle can make a difference. Keeping a log of the products you're using and the ingredients will be helpful in narrowing down what will work for you. Good luck!
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
Sooooooo this is too much for my brain. But my take away in one way is that conditioning prepares hair to fill in with emollients making it softer. Add humectant it may draw in moisture. Use of emollients may -do- also seal in water (since we're doing this to damp/wet hair). When we dry our hair (diffusing or air dry) there will come a point where it feels dry (dry as in "ready") and if all the balance is correct it will hold on just a bit of water making the hair able to hold its shape In a manner we perceive as acceptable (subjective). If the balance isn't right (too much emollient goes in sealing water out or humectants suck in too much water making hair soft In a not so good way like the fingernails messing with the proteins and potentially damaging it at least making it act odd- or the reverse there isn't enough emollient to seal in or humectant to keep the moisture from leaving the shaft completely) you get what feels "dry" (in a bad way) and not enough strength or softness to hold shape, maybe even brittle to breaking. Our search is for something like the perfect tension holding a droplet in balance. And since all hair is different and since outside variables affect it, we just buy a lot if different cr@p and try it all in different combos until we get practiced enough to figure out what generally works for us. Until it doesn't anymore.
Curlini, Geek_Chic and CurlyGrey3 like this.

Last edited by chupie; 08-21-2013 at 11:31 PM.
I think that just about covers it, chupie!
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285

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