Fine hair that loves protein & coarse that hates protein on the same head?

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  • 1 Post By MollysMom

Hey everyone. I've been CG & lurking on these boards since the beginning of June. You gals & guys are amazing. I've learned so much from you all (for which i a, incredibly greatful) and b/c of all y'all smart people I am so, so, close to having nailed down my routine. I'm having a bit of a problem with the crown and upper portion of the back of my head. Most of my hair is fine/medium to medium. However, I do have lots of strands in the crown & at the back of head that seem to be far, far more coarse.

short version - straight to the question: Does anyone else have a problem w/some of their hair hating protein & some loving it? Any advice on how to get protein moisture balance with hair that has differents desired levels of balance? Also, I really really want to keep using softee protein gel, so any ideas on what to do for my coarser hairs (which seem to be getting too much protein w/it) that will let me keep using it? Or am I crazy for thinking this is a protein issue?

properties - high porosity; med density; low elasticity. also, bleach damage from being over processed about 4 months ago. nearly all of the significant damage except for a little bit on the ends in the back.

lots of details/long version:
I started "testing" my theory re: my coarse strands a few weeks ago. When I would get hair fall while finger combing in the shower I would stick them to the tile and smooth them straight in a row next to each other so I could compare the thickness of the strands I was getting. About 70% were pretty close in relative size. They were very pliable and although some were finer, they were not wispy or "barely there". Based on everything I've read here & in live curly live free I figured these were medium/fine -medium. Now 30% of the strands (maybe 25%) were 2x - 3x as thick as the others. They were pliable, in that I could easily bend them, wrap them around my finger, etc, but they were much thicker, wiry, and they typically are very kinked strands.

I have done the gelatin protein treatments. I do them about every other week for 15-20 minutes. The majority of my hair seems to really benefit from it and gets all springy & bouncy. I'm due for one this week but think I might hold off because I think the PT's are making the wiry, kinked strands more wiry. I wasn't using any protein in my conditioners or stylers. However, the other day I found softee protein gel for a buck and my inner PJ couldn't help but buy it. I tried using by itself over my leave in (As I Am leave in), and I got a TON of those wiry hairs sticking out all over the place. The above is why I think it might be the protein. I tried using it again using my RO, YTB, as a leave in and I used a bunch of FSG under it. It was much better and this combo would be perfect and amazing....except. For. These. Wiry. Hairs.

I put my YTB in soaking hair, combing it through. I used a pretty generous amount b/c my hair soaks things up fairly well. Then I raked a generous amount of FSG while right side up. I flip over and raked through some more. While still upside down I raked through the softee protein gel & scrunched. At this point, this are going really well. Then I flip back upright, arrange my part. Everything looks great except the back is incredibly messy, frizzy, matted looking and tangly. ( and here's what's weird. My hair doesn't tangle. I don't ever even have to use a comb. I finger comb for distribution b/c putting in conditioner and running the shower over it will completely detangle my hair). Yet, when I'm styling, the back starts tangling up. It doesn't form knots at all. It just kind of snarls together. And it's done this with KCCC, FSG (plain), As I Am curling gel, HE instant freeze, BRHG, so not just the softee.

At any rate, I spray the back & crown to make it wetter (dries pretty quick) finger comb/rake some FSG in then the softee. Then I flip back over (upside down now) to scrunch (necessary for root curl & volume). This time when i flip up the back is much better but still messy, frizzy. I give it a few minutes to air dry, then I diffuse side to side & upside down. I SOTC with a small amount of coconut oil mixed with a tad of apricot kernal. This gives me really pretty, shiny, bouncy, curly (for me) hair. However, the frizzy wiry strands go their own way, and b/c they are so kinky it makes the whole back look quite frizzy. Note: it does look worse wet than dry, but not that great dry).

Note also: I did think that maybe flipping upside down & rightside up was causing it to be messy/ frizzy however I tried styling with the rake & shake method & still had an issue with the back.

I am Sorry, this is getting so long, I just want to make sure I give enough info for anyone that might want to jump in and give some advice or theories about what is going on.

extra info about products/routine
For completeness of info, I do overnight coconut soaks a few times a week for my high porosity. I wet and cowash everyday just about with as I am cleansing conditioner (which is absolutely amazing!). I am now using YTB as my RO & leave in. I shampoo w/YTC about once a week. I have tried AOHR, GVP conditioning balm, tresseme naturals, and suave as RO, LI, and doctored DC's. None of these impressed much & GVPCB will give me the worst poofy frizz ever. For a deep conditioner I have recently been adding coconut blended with a bit of avocado oil to my YTB for 30 either Saran wrapped and sitting out in the summer heat or with a heat cap. I don't necessarily love this but can't afford anything expensive and haven't come across any reasonably priced DC's that look like they have the right kind of ingredients. (I also may be slightly confused about what I'm actually looking for).

Oh! I also have high dewsin the summer (just in case that might be relevant)

Again, sorry this is soooooooo long and thank you in advance for any info/ideas you can share.

Last edited by MollysMom; 09-11-2013 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Short version first, details follow. Man this post got long.
So you've two different textures AND two different porosities? That is tough, can you cut off the absolute worst of the damage at the back?

Otherwise try deep treating the most damaged parts more than the least damaged parts, bit of a PITA but there isn't anything stopping you doing an oil soak on the coarser hair and a protein treatment on the finer hair at the same time, you obviously won't be 100% perfect with distribution but it might help. Penetrating oils like coconut and avocado should be used on dry hair, ideally overnight up to twenty four hours as per the published research.

Watch for build up - many of the Yes To ... conditioners contain the waxy cetyl esters which can build up unless you are shampooing. GVP Conditioning Balm is more of a moisturiser than a 'true' conditioner, it is rich in the potent humectant propylene glycol which can cause porous hair to swell in higher dews. Aubrey Oganics honeysuckle rose is rich in shea butter which again can build up and another potent humectant glycerin.

It also does sound like you are doing a lot of combing, raking and flipping, bleached hair ideally wouldn't be manipulated so much it is at higher risk of mechanical damage (cuticle being ripped off). It also sends the roots in different directions and splits weakly attached clumps, maybe try smoothing/ grazing or squeezing (Scott Musgrave MAP) before scrunching? I do everything upside down from washing onwards, flipping is not helpful when CG advises us to aiming to disturb the hair as little as possible. Some people make their part really early in the process to avoid messing up clumps later, apparently it does survive product application and rewetting surprisingly well.

My back section tends to look ill defined/ tangly/ poofy/ fluffy - I finally discovered for me that was needing more fatty alcohol rich leave in conditioner, more protein and way more water. I rewet that section during or after adding products but before plopping. It dries fast because their is finer hair at the nape and because of gravity, my whole head is colour treated so porous. It needs to come out of the plop still relatively wet and still clumped.

The way I rewet is to wet my hands and run the water in at the nape so it runs over the scalp - for me clumps need to begin close to the roots to stay together. It's definitely more water than spraying, not as much as 'super-soaker'. Waterlily716 on YouTube even dumps a cup of water on her head part way though.
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
Thank you so much for that incredibly thorough response. It's really very much appreciated. I was really hoping to avoid going shorter since my shortest layers, which are in the back, only reach to about mid ear once curled/waved up. I will search for some potential styles and perhaps go in for a consult with a stylist to see if it is doable.

I have taken a bunch of notes on your recommendations and will be working them into my routine and testing them out. I'll also start looking for a better conditioner. It's amazing, I feel like I've read the articles on conditioners & ingredients a thousand times but just don't quite get it to click or translate the information into wise product purchases.

I'm so glad you noted the potential/likelihood for mechanical damage in my styling routine. I had been thinking that since my hair isn't breaking or shedding too much I'm not damaging it. I completely failed to consider the damage I was causing at a level that I could not immediately, visually see!

Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me such a complete and thoughtful answer. Just want you to know I'll be doing the legwork to follow up on what you've said.
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