My daughter's hair needs major help, stat!
Hi, fellow curlies! I'm new to posting on the board - hope I'm putting this in the right place. I apologize in advance if I miss any typoes, autocorrect on my phone is driving me crazy ;). I'm also sorry if this is a long post. Anyway, I'm hoping you guys might be able to give me some advice.
My 11 y/o daughter's hair has become completely in incorrigible. I'm not exactly sure what "type" it is, but nothing we use on it keeps it from looking frizzy and frazzled, and the fine hairs around her forehead poof out everywhere and don't seem to grow. It's long, dark blonde, and I would say pretty thick. We normally try to keep it at bay using leave in conditioners and pulled back or up hairstyles.
She has gotten to where she hates taking care if it, but she refuses to have it cut shorter (it's all the way down her back). We have tried using a wide tooth comb as opposed to brushing, keeping it pulled back at night, endless varieties of shampoos/conditioners, and her hair just seems to get worse. She was using Loreal Eversleek shampoo and conditioner, with occasional Palmer's Coconut Oil conditioning treatments. We have tried Frizzease Leave-in spray, generic Potion 9 from Sally, gels, creams, nothing works. Within minutes she has frizz and flyaways and a halo of poof framing her forehead.
Any helpful tips or recommendations would be much appreciated :). I have a hate/hate relationship with my own hair due to the curliness and frizz that it became after I turned 11 or 12, and I feel ugly when I don't flat iron. My daughter's hair is just too thick, long, and coily to start going through that, and I want her to feel pretty and love her hair. If you need any other details, ask away - I'll post pics of her hair in a few minutes when I get to my computer. :)
Do you brush or comb it when it's dry? The general rule of thumb is that curly hair should only be brushed when it's covered in conditioner during the shower process.
You might not be using enough moisture. How often do you shampoo it? You might want to try a very moisturizing conditioner. I personally like Yes to Carrots. Greater Value Products Conditioning Balm at Sallys is really popular here, and so is Tressume Naturals.
Also, what is her shower routine? I mean step by step, how are you guys styling her hair after a shower. Does she use any products? How does she dry her hair? Is she using a towel to dry her hair? Is she scrunching it? Do you use a leave in conditioner? Just, reply with the whole thing so we can help out with tips.r
ETA: It sounds to me, from the products you've listed, that her hair is not getting enough moisture. So, when you reply back I'm probably going to suggest a heavier conditioner and using that same heavy conditioner as a leave in. Any conditioner can be used as a leave in, and the ones you buy that are marketed as leave ins (especially watery spray kinds) just are not heavy enough for my hair.
Check the ingredients in those products too. I bet you anything you're using items containing cones, alcohol, and other things that just the hair out. I know that Frizz-Ease is not good for hair at all. I cowash with Suave Coconut and use the Shea Moisture line. Shea Moisture has all natural products and is free of silicone, parabens, and the like. It's pricey, but worth out.
I only shampoo once a week just before protein treatments. I only use Johnson's Baby shanpoo. No detergents means it hardly lathers, so it doesn't dry out my hair. If any of your shampoos lathers, it is not good for the hair.
Also, remember that hair is like skin. Heat opens the shaft allowing moisture to penetrate and cold closes the shaft allowing it to lay flat. Frizz is caused when the shaft is not lying flat.
You may also want to take her to have all the damage removed. Hey hair may be shorter, but it's for the greater good of the hair. The damage only travels up and only causes more damage. Hair is dead anyway, so if there are split ends, there is repairing that.
Never brush wet hair and never comb dry hair. In fact, I'd stay away from the brush and only use a wide tooth comb.
I don't wash every day either. This allows my scalp to replenish its natural oils, which is the best moisture for hair. I don't have tangles, I can finger comb, wet or dry. I also pineapple at night to keep it from tangling.
These are just a few suggestions for you to consider. I certainly recommend going CG at least until her hair is healthy again.
Read up on the Curly Girl method (CG), there is quite a bit in the stickies on this board and the newbies board. Also loads of videos/ curly gurus on YouTube your daughter might engage with, if she has access to a smartphone or tablet she could download the 'Curls on the Go' app which includes the frizz forecast and the Curly Harmony e-book, both are free.
Go Mobile - NaturallyCurly.com
Not free sadly
Curly Girl: The Handbook: Michele Bender, Lorraine Massey, Deborah Chiel: 9780761156789: Amazon.com: Books
Live Curly Live Free - the e-Book
Do you have hard water or does your daughter swim? If yes it would be well worth doing a chelating wash to remove minerals, ION swimmers shampoo or the Malibu C sachets at Sallys are CG friendly. Even if you don't feel you need to chelate do a clarifying wash with a clear non moisturising shampoo. You have been using a lot of silicones (suffix -cone, -conol, -xane) that could have lead to product build up which can cause problems.
After that consider switching to conditioner only washing, it's much gentler on the hair and should make detangling less of a chore. For your regular conditioner look for the behentrimoniums for slip/ detangling, natural oils for frizz control/ detangling, panthenol and possibly hydrolysed protein for patching damage (long hair is always damaged at the ends by normal 'weathering'). Avoid or limit anything that can build up or dry out hair or needs shampoo to remove - most silicones (can still use water soluble ones), drying alcohols, some of the polyquats, butters like shea, mineral oil, petrolatum.
A leave in conditioner should be a creamy type product containing fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants, these help keep the right level of water in the hair, help with clumping the curls together/ frizz taming. Many CG friendly wash out conditioners can also be used as a leave in which saves buying so many products. Use loads of leave in, curly hair can take a lot especially if it is dry or damaged. A spray is only good for refreshing or 'moisturising'.
Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair Care Products
Breakage around the face could be the way it is being styled, curly hair ideally should not be combed other than when soaking wet and slathered in conditioner. Also ponytails and other up dos can cause damage and breakage, be sure the style is loose and whatever you use to secure it is super gentle - terry cotton bands, anything silk or satin, scrunchies not regular elastics even if they are 'no snag'.
To reduce overnight tangles buy a satin or silk pillowcase or satin or silk sleeping cap and wear the hair in a 'pineapple' or loose braid. Does she also need a trim? Damaged ends can snag on healthier hair higher up damaging that.
For styling another good book is 'Strictly Curls', that might help you work with the face framing curls instead of trying to tame them into being flat and straight. You can use dilute conditioner to tame excess flyaways or flaxseed or okra gel which you might enjoy making together?
Strictly Curls: A Step-by-step Guide to Styling Curly Hair: Nicole Siri: 9780976350644: Amazon.com: Books
DIY for Curly Girls - YouTube
Eeep, sorry it's an essay!!
I agree with most of what Firefox7275 said, except that silk (which is a fibre) is really much more helpful than generic satin (which is a weave structure, and often made of the fibre, polyester, which is not helpful for curly hair).
I would also suggest that your daughter would probably benefit from doing a final, silicone-free, sulfate cleanse (something like J&J Baby Shampoo or Suave Naturals Shampoo) as a one time reset to get the silicone and any other buildup out of her hair, so that it could respond better and faster to conditioner washing (co-washing), and the rest of the Curly Girl method, if you're going to go with that.
Also, I'd recommend getting the book, Curly Girl: The Handbook, which is the best source of information about the Curly Girl method, and has a lot of good illustrations, and really good video segments on the techniques. It would help prevent confusion, and also allow your daughter to learn about it herself (often the best approach with adolescents).
You might also consider trying it yourself, although I think it could be easier for your daughter to transition, as her hair hasn't be exposed to any heat damage from flat ironing. I've been doing it since I learned about it five years ago, and have never been at all tempted to go back. My worst day on CG is still better than my best day pre-CG.
Thats exactly what my hair was like when I was younger! DevaCurl saved my life :) Definetely research the Curly Girl method and I would try those products! :)
Thanks for the replies, ladies! I have to go to bed (gotta work in the morning), so I'll read through tomorrow. Here are some pics of her hair I posted on Photobucket:
Her routine has been:
Wash/condition every other day or so with Loreal Eversleek Shampoo/Conditioner
A packet of Palmer's Coconut oil deep conditioning treatment every so often
Spray down before detangling with Frizzease Leave-in or various types of leave-in serum, cream, or spray
Various creams and gels to tame it when going to school or out in public (such as Tresemme gel, Palmer's Coconut Milk hair cream, GVP Potion 9, whatever else I can find that looks like it might work, or that is too much for my hair (I have frizzy curls too, but I straighten most of the time)
Ponytail or bun hairstyles, because it gets too big and frizzy when left down
I tried some Mane N Tail Deep conditioner as her leave-in today, hopefully it will make a difference :). I'm also concerned that the Eversleek isn't really doing her hair any favors, because I noticed the worst of the frizz/poofs over the time she has been using it, so I gave her my Tresemme Keratin Smooth to try, and see if it helps.
It's so long, all the way down her back, and can look so gorgeous when soaking wet and slathered up with product, but as it dries it just goes crazy. And these little frizzy poofs on top...nothing seems to help those. I gave her a wide tooth comb to detangle with, but I made the error of not confiscating her old brush, and I suspect she's been getting frustrated with the comb and defaulting to angrily ripping at her hair with the brush. She's 11, so I've been trying to give her independence and the responsibility of caring for her own hair (with guidance of course), but she get's so frustrated at the ferocity of her tangles...she just gets mad and rips it up trying to detangle it in a hurry, or gives up and puts in in a bun trying to make it look like she combed it all the way out when she really didn't. She refuses a shorter hair style (which I can't blame her for, since I know her hair has major shrink factor and short hair probably would look much poofier). I have decided to take over her hair care again, hoping we can get those short poofs healthier and growing again. Thank, ladies! Your advice is greatly appreciated! She already has the "mean girls" in class at school picking on her about her hair, and I want to do everything I can to help her learn to style it so she'll feel good about it.
I second the recommendation for reading and sharing with her the Curly Girl book! In addition to the hair care advice, there is also a lot of sympathy for girls growing up around other girls who don't have their hair type.
Also her hair looks like normal curly hair that is being made frizzy by brushing, etc.
Brush does need to be put in the trash, I wonder if she would engage with YouTube curly beauty gurus on methodical detangling ,there are videos on it. Really should only be detangling in the shower slathered in conditioner, saying she puts it up in a bun suggests she is dry detangling. Otherwise it would be great if the OP could become her daughter's role model for gently caring for beautiful curly hair.
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