Information Overload

Hey everyone! My name is Jacquelyn and I have been curly since 2008. I am queen of the "Wash-n-go" or "pineapple" style. My hair is a 3c. Occasionally I have individual braids, two-strand twists with hair added, or a weave because I work out about 4 times a week. I have been reading books, blogs, and other websites and it's soooo much information, it's quite overwhelming I don't know where to start. Since going natural, I have noticed that my hair has grown the best with all-natural products and only using heat (blow-dry) about every 3 weeks. My staple products are:

-Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
-Cantu Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
-Shea Moisture Deep Conditioning Treatment Masque (w/ 2 tbsp. of Olive Oil mixed in)
-Organix Tea Tree & Neem Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
-Nothing But...Clarifying Shampoo (1x a month)

From all my reading, it is hard to know what state my hair is in. It's not damaged, I've never had a perm, and I condition my hair alot. My natural hairstylist says my hair is healthy but I don't know what that means. I look at all the "maintenance" it seems curly hair requires and I don't do most of it so I'm unsure if I am doing all I can to get my curls to look their best.

If anyone has feedback, I'd greatly appreciate it!!
Welcome!

Your routine sounds like wall to wall shea butter, that might be why you need two different shampoos. I don't think you are conditioning your hair that much, you are piling oils and butters on top of oils and butters. True conditioners are based on fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants, these are your workhorses softening the hair, reduce friction when combing, help the cuticle lay flat etc. I don't see much at all in your products.

Humectants (attract water), oils and butters, hydrolysed proteins all can be included in conditioners or treatments, but they are secondary to the fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants.

Do you know your hair properties? That is the first stage in choosing ingredients and thus hair products, next stage is to read the ingredients lists and find a balance in what you are selecting. The first five ingredients are the bulk of the product so most important. Depending on your budget you might have a hair analysis
Live Curly Live Free - Hair Analysis
Komaza Care HAIR ANALYSIS Service - Rave! - Long Hair Care Forum

Shea Moisture Mask, to which you add olive oil.
"Deionized Water, Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B‐5), Essential Oil Blend, Avocado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, Soybean Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil. *Denotes Certified Organic Ingredient"

Cantu leave in
"Water, Shea Butter, Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Panthenol, PPG 1-PPG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Lanolin Oil, Cinnamidopropyl Trimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Benzophenone 3, BHA, BHT, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance"

Coconut and hibiscus smoothie
"Deionized Water, Shea Butter, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein, Ammonium Salt, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Sorbitol Esters, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Caprylyl Glycol, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle), Tocopherol (Vitamin E)"

Blue are the major sealers/ barriers, red are humectants, pink are conditioning agents.

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 oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 06-20-2013 at 12:54 PM.

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