My Experience with Deva, KC, John Masters, and Cantu –*Help!

Hey everyone! I'm pretty new to this curly hair thing. I know telling my backstory might send some people running, but I'm gonna try to keep it short –*as a biracial kid I had thick hair with a loose but prominent curl pattern. I started flat ironing my hair in middle school (my hair straightens easily) and never looked back. So I've been heat damaging my hair for like 12 years straight. And I mean like EVERY DAY. These past two years I've experimented with curly hair every once in a while. I cut a ton of my hair off last year, but I also bleached it. I'm now back to dark hair, but the ends I'm sure still have some bleach underneath them (even though I cut it again later last year). In the past few months, I've worn my hair curly a lot. I'm lucky that I don't have any totally straight bits, but my hair is still clearly damaged. It tangles easily once it dries (even though it's super silky when it's wet), and my hair is sort of wavy/curly and weird if I don't add products and diffuse. It's definitely (weirdly) pretty low porosity for the majority of the hair strand, it's dense, and it's a little stringy. No idea what my curl pattern is –*maybe 3a/3b in its current state.

My hair is weird, and obviously it's damaged. I'm trying to ideally find a routine that provides moisture to my hair and helps to repair it, while also making my hair wearable on a daily basis. I'm looking for products that are good for that. I'm also unsure if I should cut my hair again, and I don't know how much to cut it.

Here's what I've tried and figured out:
-DevaCurl: Love the No Poo and One Condition. The Super Cream and the gel give me good curl definition, but then I'm left with super dry-feeling hair, so I'm not sure I'm retaining the moisture I need. Thoughts on this?
-Kinky Curly: The Knot Today and Curling Custard again give me great curl definition, but 1) I do hate that I have to diffuse or else spend the whole day looking weird while waiting for the gel cast to dry, and 2) though it seems to make my hair feel soft, apparently the ingredients can't moisturize your hair because the Knot Today doesn't contain water to penetrate?
-John Masters: This definitely makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my hair –*the products are minty and moisturizing and have protein and whatnot. But the products are small and expensive, and there is nothing for curl definition that I've found.
-Cantu: I was really hoping to love the leave in conditioner and/or curl defining cream, but sadly they just weigh my hair down and leave my hair kind of stringy/sticky. Maybe I'm applying incorrectly? Thoughts?

Thank you so much everybody for any advice you can give. I really want to make my curly hair work for me starting this summer, but I want to make sure I'm doing it "right."

I'm literally looking for any advice. Advice on how to make those systems work, on what other products I should use, how to keep my routine simple while also healing my hair, advice on hair cuts, etc. Thank you so much everyone. I appreciate it more than you know!
I can't address all your issues but....

I have found KC Knot Today is a great detangler, but I have found that it is a better leave in for low porosity hair. If you have a lot of damage you may have high porosity hair.

How did you determine your porosity? The sink/float strand test does not work. You really can't use drying time if you have products in your hair. The best method is to determine how quickly your hair gets saturated.

You may want to apply your products to soaking wet hair, that will help trap in the moisture.
2b, 2c, 3a.
High Porosity
Still searching for my holy grail

Coconut pre poo
Saying no to glycerin
Figure out how many inches you would need to cut off based on last bleach and last flat iron abuse. Cut those off. You can do a big chop or gradually trim the damaged parts away. But it all has to go if you want to work on a clean canvas.

For what it's worth, I'm Black White biracial and have bleached and heat damaged hair, and I love Elucense MB, DevaCurl Decadence, SheaMoisture Manuka Honey, KCKN conditioners. Nonsulfate shampoos. DevaCurl Set It Free for a leave in. Ouidad Heat and Humidity Gel. But our hair may not be all that similar.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 05-23-2016 at 10:21 AM.
I can't address all your issues but....

I have found KC Knot Today is a great detangler, but I have found that it is a better leave in for low porosity hair. If you have a lot of damage you may have high porosity hair.

How did you determine your porosity? The sink/float strand test does not work. You really can't use drying time if you have products in your hair. The best method is to determine how quickly your hair gets saturated.

You may want to apply your products to soaking wet hair, that will help trap in the moisture.
Originally Posted by WavyKfromNJ
Hey! Thanks for the response. I've tried to determine porosity by all of the available tests. I float in the strand test, my hair takes forever to dry, water penetrates my hair quickly in the shower, and products weigh my hair down rather than drinking them in. I really have trouble understanding why I would have low porosity hair w/ the damage, but I haven't found anything to indicate that my hair is high porosity.

And thanks!! I always do apply my products to soaking wet hair, and it does always looks great for the first few hours. But by the end of the day, I'm tangled and dry.
Figure out how many inches you would need to cut off based on last bleach and last flat iron abuse. Cut those off. You can do a big chop or gradually trim the damaged parts away. But it all has to go if you want to work on a clean canvas.

For what it's worth, I'm Black White biracial and have bleached and heat damaged hair, and I love Elucense MB, DevaCurl Decadence, SheaMoisture Manuka Honey, KCKN conditioners. Nonsulfate shampoos. DevaCurl Set It Free for a leave in. Ouidad Heat and Humidity Gel. But our hair may not be all that similar.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Thanks so much!! I think I just need to hear someone tell me I need to get a haircut and just go do it haha. I'm nervous because I really love my long hair when it's straight, but I know it's gotta go. So thanks for the push.

And thank you for the product recs! By any chance do you ever notice any dryness after you use the DevaCurl products? Because I generally lean towards them as my favorites, but I just haven't figured out a way to not wake up the next day with dry and tangly hair when I use them. Maybe that'll just get better over time?

One more question, sorry –*when you use the KCKT, do you use anything after it? I guess maybe the Ouidad gel?
I'm a little late on this, but I can offer some help with the Deva products and KC!

KC products have dried my hair out a lot. I found that in conjunction with the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothie, I am able to balance out that dryness.

For Deva, I didn't catch which products/line you use, but Decadence is *said* to be the most moisturizing.

However, I'd disagree. They recently discontinued a line of theirs called DevaCare which was oranges-n-cream-like as far as scent goes. I found this to be the most moisturizing for my naturally very dry, recently bleached curls. Decadence doesn't do much for me when it's warm out also (but is fantastic in the winter!) Everyone's hair is different, but maybe this might help! DevaCare can still be purchased through their website (and is even discounted due to it being discontinued), but you can find it even cheaper on Amazon.

The original formula isn't usually recommended for those with curly patterns past a 3b, so I'd imagine it lacks the moisture present in DevaCare and Decadence.
Medium texture, with some fine. Colored. High porosity, high density. Mostly 3c; multicultural.

•Conditioner: *Currently* using DevaCare One Condition
•No-poo: *Currently* using Decadence No-Poo
•Styler(s): *Currently* using DevaCurl SuperCream, As I Am Curling Jelly.
•CG as of 12/?/2014, BC 04/?/2015. First CG cut 7/9/2015.

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