Thick/dense hair styling tricks

How do all of you thick haired wavy/curlies style your hair. I have to use a ton of gel to get my hair to look okay. Plus I use a leave in and grapeseed oil. I also shampoo (no sulfates) everyday because I have oily scalp and feel gross if I don't. My hair is so dense I never feel like my scalp is clean. I diffuse for about 20 minutes...longer if I have time and my hair is still damp hours later. I'm sure this is why my hair never feels soft. I have straw like frizzy hair most of the time. Any tips on what products/techniques you use would be great.

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My hair stylist said my hair was thick 'like a golden retriever' ha ha. I use lots and lots of mousse that has a leave-in conditioner. It's very light and easy to evenly disperse.

I wash every other day and don't seem to have problems feeling extra dirty unless I worked out or something. I recently got some very high layers in my hair which has made it feel thinner (and makes my hair much curlier). I love it because ponytails no longer give me a headache and I don't feel smothered

Maybe consider some higher layers that would allow your head to breathe?
Are your individual stands fine or coarse? My hair analysis said I was medium. I lean more towards coarse though. I don't think mousse would hold up in my hair because it's so heavy. It takes about 15 or so pumps of gel to hold the curl. If I could find a good conditioner so my hair wasn't so dry it might work better.

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I have medium hair I think, but really really dense. It is now back down to my waist whne it's wet (was like that three months ago and cut of 5-6 inches... It grows like crazy! :O) and it is definitly causing some challenges...

Some things I've realised so far:

* It gets heavy when it's wet. Painfully heavy. Stacking as much as possible on my shoulders while letting the water pour down when I try to wet it through before applying my conditioner (I co-wash once a week) makes it more manageable painwise.
* Getting my fingers in to be able to wash every little bit of my scalp is hard. The hair line is no problem, same with top of my head, but in the middle... What I do is that I tilt my head to the right to wash the right side of my head, then the hair gets separated by gravity and I can get my fingers in there. And same for the left. Have to do the same when rinsing too as I otherwise won't e able to rinse it all out.
* Super-soak works best for leave in. The I can add leave in in sections and finger-comb it through so it gets on all hair, and then use the soaking part to regain my clumps.

What I so far have not figured out is how to apply gel. I feel I take huge amounts, but I still never get any gel cast, which probably suggests I take to little... :S And, how to I get it on all hair I still have no idea about. I can't really do it well in sections either, because then I will break up clumps I feel if I'll to it one layer at a time...

And more so, drying! I get really nice spirals after scrunching with a microfiber towel but the weight stretches them to just waves in the bottom layer when they dry.
CG since 8th of September 2013 - learning in progress!

3a/m/iii - waist length wet
Cleanser: Naturelle Volumizing
Conditioner/LI: Garnier Respons Avocadooil and Shea Butter, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume Conditioner
Styling: Eldorado Hairgel Strong
I may try co-washing again using a cheap conditioner like V05 or Suave. Right now I'm doing smasters technique. I was really afraid raking the gel through my hair would mess up the waves/curls but it doesn't. I can't do it upside down though because I can't get all my hair covered. Trust me when I miss a strand it's very apparent. I put my condish/gso mix in dripping hair upside down then stand upright and part my hair. I rake the gel through in about 6 sections then scrunch with a t-shirt and microfiber towel. Then do the kccc like she suggests after diffusing awhile. My main problem is moisture. I can't get my hair to feel soft. Also spending so much money on gel and condish because I go through it so fast. I'm going to try making fsg this weekend we'll see how that turns out. Hopefully great!



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You may think I'm nuts but I have very thick hair (most stylists have commented it's like 3 normal heads of hair all in one) and once I started the CG routine I struggled with product overload. Most recommendations are to apply "puddle fulls" of a product to your curls. For me at least, it seems like putting so much gel in my hair only succeeds in making my hair feel even thicker, heavier, and almost impossible to style.

The routine I found that works for me is using just a reasonable amount of product. Don't be scared! LOL! These are the products I use after showering and to my soping wet hair...homemade flax seed (I rub between my hands, sandwich my hair between my flat palms, and just coat..don't scrunch, rake, etc, just coat the outside) then I apply Aussie Shock Gel (same technique...just coat the hair between your flat palms). Then I take a mirco fiber towel, scrunch out excesses water, then I plop in an old t shirt. Sometimes I blow dry for about 5-10 min after, sometimes I just air dry. Again, just use a NORMAL amount of product! Don't overload. If you feel you need a bit more add more but don't go crazy

I can normally get 3 to 4 days out of this routine, just having to do a daily touch up spritzing with water lightly and reapplying some fax seed mix and only gently detangling under the nape of my neck. If the hold is too soft I will also add a bit more Aussie Gel. Again, just a reasonable amount of product.

If you haven't tried flax seed gel I can say for myself my hair has never been softer! My thick hair in the past NEVER felt soft and now for the first time ever it does! I do have to add oil to mine, so lately the mix has been a batch of flax seed gel (IDK about 1/2 cup) and adding maybe a tsp of oil (sorry I'm not exact with measurements) and it has made such a difference in the texture of my hair!

I know you mentioned about your scalp too. I have notoriously itchy scalp. I can't do a no poo. I do buy dandruff shampoo to apply to my scalp. Lots of times I only have to use it once and it clears up itchies for awhile. I only poo once a week...LOL my once vice!

Hope this helps! Good luck!
I have medium hair I think, but really really dense. It is now back down to my waist whne it's wet (was like that three months ago and cut of 5-6 inches... It grows like crazy! :O) and it is definitly causing some challenges...

Some things I've realised so far:

* It gets heavy when it's wet. Painfully heavy. Stacking as much as possible on my shoulders while letting the water pour down when I try to wet it through before applying my conditioner (I co-wash once a week) makes it more manageable painwise.
* Getting my fingers in to be able to wash every little bit of my scalp is hard. The hair line is no problem, same with top of my head, but in the middle... What I do is that I tilt my head to the right to wash the right side of my head, then the hair gets separated by gravity and I can get my fingers in there. And same for the left. Have to do the same when rinsing too as I otherwise won't e able to rinse it all out.
* Super-soak works best for leave in. The I can add leave in in sections and finger-comb it through so it gets on all hair, and then use the soaking part to regain my clumps.

What I so far have not figured out is how to apply gel. I feel I take huge amounts, but I still never get any gel cast, which probably suggests I take to little... :S And, how to I get it on all hair I still have no idea about. I can't really do it well in sections either, because then I will break up clumps I feel if I'll to it one layer at a time...

And more so, drying! I get really nice spirals after scrunching with a microfiber towel but the weight stretches them to just waves in the bottom layer when they dry.
Originally Posted by Jimipe
To access your scalp for washing and rinsing either wash with your head upside down, or section and clip into two or four with jumbo jaw clips - this might also help with the weight issue.

IMO also apply all products in the same two to four sections with the jumbo claw clips. Rather than raking personally I have started using my palms in the prayer position in many sections, that breaks up clumps less. I just sort of insert my product coated hands into the 'centre' of my hanging hair and lightly smooth down until I know I've got all of it. Then I scrunch'n'pump each section after to distribute and encourage curl.

You might consider a DIY curl cream - ie. a mix of leave in conditioner and a gentle gel like okra or flaxseed (maybe xanthan gum for more hold) so it's more of a one step application process. There should be a recipe on the Sciencey Hairblog (author is IAgirl on NC) or if you don't want to DIY Sweet Curls Elixirs on Etsy makes one that is supposed to be decent.

You don't mention plopping? That would support the weight of your hair, some with long or thick hair use a couple of towels. Also I have heard of long hairs air drying wearing a hoodie to hold the length so it doesn't stretch out as much.

You might find it worth posting your issues over on the Long Hair Community, perhaps on the long running Wurly & Curly thread to get more ideas?
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
How do all of you thick haired wavy/curlies style your hair. I have to use a ton of gel to get my hair to look okay. Plus I use a leave in and grapeseed oil. I also shampoo (no sulfates) everyday because I have oily scalp and feel gross if I don't. My hair is so dense I never feel like my scalp is clean. I diffuse for about 20 minutes...longer if I have time and my hair is still damp hours later. I'm sure this is why my hair never feels soft. I have straw like frizzy hair most of the time. Any tips on what products/techniques you use would be great.

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Originally Posted by autumn79
Wash your hair upside down or section it out to get to the scalp, you can also dilute shampoo in a nozzle bottle and use that to apply. IMO plenty of leave in conditioner rich in fatty alcohols is more important for frizz control and clumping than gel, and obviously leaves you with softer, silkier and better conditioned hair.
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
Thanks for all the suggestions! :-) I'm going to make flax seed gel this weekend. Hopefully it works great. I use Tresemme naturals as a leave in now mixed with grapeseed oil. TN is not moisturizing enough to me to use as a RO. I still haven't found a great RO conditioner either...especially since my hair hates protein. Any suggestions in that area...either RO or LI? I'm hoping if I can ever get my moisture level right I can back off using so much gel. The dryness was recently made worse when I "fell off the wagon" for about 6 weeks and flat ironed my hair. I hadn't done that in about 18 months. Won't do that again...terrible. I'll pay around with how I'm applying the gel as well. Thanks guys!

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Firefox
What LI do you use?

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Firefox
What LI do you use?

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Originally Posted by autumn79
I use any one of a variety of wash out conditioners: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old formula), Gliss ultimate volume and CURLS coconut sublime are the most common.
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
I used to absolutely HATE my dense hair. Now I work with it, because I absolutely love it!

High dew points I use a leave in and gel, lower dew points I use a leave in, an oil to seal, and a cream. When it's dry or almost dry, I put my head upside down, scrunch and fluff! I love it! If I try to weigh my hair down it just looks awful and product-y.
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Conditioner/ YTCucs
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
I've started using AIA coconut cowash and YTB conditioner. I saw the reviews on here. They are both great. My hair is much softer and I don't need to use as much gel since my hair has more moisture. I did break down and buy more Curl Junkie PP & CIAB. My hair loves the stuff and never feels producty. Aveyou had a 15% sale so I caved. Didn't have a chance to make fsg yet. If I can get by with cheaper cond and poo I'll keep getting their gel. I may need to clarify every other week or so with KCCC and keep a low protein cond on hand so I won't get that mushy feeling hair. Anything is better than straw though.

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Almost no frizz as well!! That's definitely a plus.

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I recently changed my routine because I was getting tired of having to get up earlier to wash and diffuse my hair (long story, but basically I have to pick my son up from work because he doesn't drive yet and it's late enough at night that I often don't get to bed until midnight during the week). I decided to try washing at night, plopping for a few hours, and then sleeping in a silk cap--and wonder of wonders, my hair is über curly in the morning, frizz-free, and nearly dry! Before, I was diffusing, then using a soft bonnet dryer, and still having to air dry for a few hours. I'm not sure why my hair dries so well overnight, but I'm not complaining.

I'm not doing well with second-day hair, though, and I'm not sure why. It's too short to pineapple right now, and the back stays curly just fine. The sides are getting flattened by my sleeping on them, I guess. So I'm working on figuring that one out.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

Wash with either Suave Tropical Coconut, As I Am, or CJ Daily Fix
Condition with STC or Yes to Blueberries and detangle with Denman, rinse very lightly (baptismal rinse)
Add LAL gel, either Sport or Wet Look, scrunch with flour sack towel, and plop
Diffuse 5 minutes, then air dry

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