still struggling

I'm a newbie to the forums and to the CG routine and I have some questions for all ye learned curlies out there.
First, my hair: BSL (when wet) really dry, colored, fine spirals and big s waves - 2b/3a maybe - I'll post a pic soon and get a better idea.
Current routine: condition wash with VO5 passion fruit smoothie condish - let it sit on scalp while shaving, etc. rinse condish completely, Suave humectant condish raked through and extra on the ends. Rinse out about half way, keeping plenty of condish still on the hair. Out of the shower with dripping hair, add two globs of gel (either HEBE or HESMU right now) one over the top, then flip and do the underneath, scrunching in slightly until it all feels covered. I haven't mastered the plop yet, I just scrunch using a t-shirt covering my hands. I scrunch like this for quite a while until my curls are set and beginning to get crunchy on the outside and still damp on the inside...does that make sense? I also diffuse and use the t-shirt over hands scrunching while diffusing for volume.
My question(s): My curls get stringy, how can I change my routine / products to get better clumping, bigger, fatter springier curls? Also, I tried GF curl and shine leave in cream and my hair felt coated with gunk - is there a good leave in for moisture that won't weigh fine curls down?
BTW - I love this site, I have learned so much about my curls and what they can do!
started CG 5/20/07 as an experiment to avoid shaving my head! I just want to love my hair
It might be because the second condish you are using has dimethiconol in it which is a non water-soluble silicone. You might try clarifying by using a low-poo and see if that helps, then you could switch conditioners to something without silicones if you are co-washing. Good luck! I'm sure others will offer some excellent advice! Welcome!
pw: curls
3b/a
Cowash - No Poo, Suave Coconut
Conditioner - One Condition
Leave In - KCKT
Gel - KCCC at the moment
Thanks hockey mom - BTW, I'm a hockey mom too - my son is a second year mite and loves it! I love it too to be honest.
I wondered about the suave condish. My hair is so dry that I feel like it needs a thicker condish than the VO5 after co wash. Unfortunately its also quite fine and gets weighed down so easily.
So this morning I used a nonsulfate (I think anyway) shampoo - Organix vanilla silk. I conditioned first (VO5), then washed, then conditioned with VO5 again and left it for the rest of the shower, rinsing out about half.
I used a smaller amount of GFSS to not weigh my little curls down so much, then HEBE over that. I scrunched less with the T-shirt (just enough to stop dripping all over the place)and air dried/diffused until mostly dry.
Now my curls are soft (I'm assuming from the poo) but there is little clumping and a good deal of frizz for this early in the day. AARRGGHHH
I of course will keep trying and trying and trying. Even today my hair is loads better than when I was using harsh shampoos and products.
started CG 5/20/07 as an experiment to avoid shaving my head! I just want to love my hair
I haven't found that the plop works very well for me, but for some it gives much better curl definition.

My hair is pretty dry too, but I've found that the VO5 conditioners are really enough for me. I use the Kiwi Lime and the Sun Kissed Raspberry, and basically alternate between the two every few days. After cowash and then condition, I rinse it all out, then add a small glop back into my hair mixed with some re:coil as my leave-in. Then I apply hold products over that. This gives me more defined curls.

I rake in all my products, then I actually comb/brush my hair (while still very wet) to distribute them, and then I scrunch. I actually find that my technique is as important with my "chunkiness" as my products are. If I rake too late (when not damp enough) or scrunch too roughly, my curls separate.

Believe me - I understand the frustration. I see all the beautiful hair on here and want to find my HG combo! I've been trying all kinds of products, hoping to get the right mix down. But I'm getting there! Keep trying different product combos and techniques and you'll find what works best for you!! And we'll all here to help!
2B/3A, THICK. CG since 6/5/07
Alternating Deva LoPoo/VO5 Kiwi Lime, OneC, re:coil, Alagio Curl Cream, LTW, LOOB.
Always looking to buy/swap for re:coil, Deva Brown stuff
PW: hair
Hi and welcome! I feel your pain and frustration. It takes time and a lot of experimenting to find a routine and products that work for you, but it is definitely worth all of the frustration.

After about a year of experimenting, I have finally figured out, that for me (I'm a 3A with fine, but lots of it, hair), if I scrunch too much, even with a MF towel or a t-shirt, I break up my curls and don't get good clumps and definition. Now as soon as I turn off the shower, I scrunch upside down with a MF towel just enough to keep my hair from dripping all over the floor. Then I smooth and scrunch in my gel and immediately plop. After about 15 minutes, I take off the towel while upside down and shake my hair a little bit and go immediately to diffusing with a bowl diffuser. I scrunch with my hands just a little bit at the beginning just to get the spirals going and then I try not to touch it too much with my hands after that.

I have also found that doing everything upside down in the shower -- washing, co-washing, conditioning - everything! -- gives me better clumps and definition, too. I also can't use any leave-ins -- at least during the summer anyway -- or I get stringier, undefined, poofy, flatter curls. A good moisturizing gel seems to be all I need right now. It does take awhile when first starting CG to get the moisture balance back into your hair.

Hope that helps some and ask as many questions as you need to - that's what we're here for -- and hang in there!!
http://public.fotki.com/msgiblet/ - pw: gibber -- Pics Added 7/10/11
Fine, Thick, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity

Countess Balashi of Divi Beach in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

If I'm Going To Have A Bad Hair Day, It Might As Well Be In Aruba!

I also have fine hair and can NOT over scrunch. In fact, I can barely scrunch or I lose the clumps. My options appear to be- messy hair or stringgy curls.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or hump it.....Piss on it and walk away.
Location - WI
Ditdah, Giblet and 2happy - thanks so much for replying.
did any one keep a journal of what worked and what didn't? I've already forgotten what I used that didn't work last week!
2happy - my hair looks alot like yours, the curls look verrrry similar - although mine are colored a little lighter.
I sure don't expect to get it right after only a month and I expect to do alot of experimenting - I am such a cheapskate though and find myself working with variations of the products that I have and not giving in to product junkie-ism until I finish one thing (unless they have bad -cones or sulfates, then I toss/give away) so I can buy another.
I will definitely continue on with the less scrunching thing....then my hair will take longer to dry tho. I think I need a better diffuser, the dryer I have is a good one but the diffuser is just a small attachment with no fingas!
Anyway, thanks again for the help, I've got a list of things to be on the lookout for in the drugstore - just in case! - and I'll be here asking questions about them fursure!
pbj-
started CG 5/20/07 as an experiment to avoid shaving my head! I just want to love my hair
Thanks hockey mom - BTW, I'm a hockey mom too - my son is a second year mite and loves it! I love it too to be honest.
Originally Posted by pbjcurlygirl
Aww! That is so cool! My son started playing when he was about 7, now he is a "midget" (15 yrs old)! I can't believe how quickly time flies. My other two have since given up the sport...they love baseball and football. Hockey is so exciting!!
pw: curls
3b/a
Cowash - No Poo, Suave Coconut
Conditioner - One Condition
Leave In - KCKT
Gel - KCCC at the moment
A journal is something I keep saying I'm going to do - but never start.

I sure don't want to discourage you, but let me tell you - I've been fighting for 2 years to have decent looking fat curls. I pretty much gave up after trying every product recommended here. Then I had my hair cut and styled by a deva trained stylist, and left with perfect fat frizz free curls that lasted all day and night, thru rain and humidity. She told me my products were fine, it was just my 'technique'. Well, let me tell you, I haven't been able to produce what she did.

I got some pretty fat curls using:
Curl Keeper
Boots (a creamy potion, you could use a leave in, boots is hard to get)
HE Set me up mixed equally with Biolage Gelee

Now, that being said, I had fat curls, but my hair no volume....or style. Looked like crap and I put it up.

Anyway, as suggested by another curly, she said that maybe the stylist was wrong, it may not have been my 'technique', it may have been her products. So, I'm going to get some of what she used and try that. What do I have to lose? She used:

Graham Webb leave in
mixed together with
Graham Webb Making Waves Gel.

Anyway, don't give up and YES, a journal is a great idea (for a newbie and an oldie!!!)
Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or hump it.....Piss on it and walk away.
Location - WI
Re: conditioner. I use a dirt cheap conditioner - nothing special about it, no cones, CG friendly but wouldn't have been enough as a conditioner for me if I had still been shampooing (my hair is less dry now). However, I use the same condish for co-washing and conditioning; what I do if I feel that it's not going to be enough for the lengths is to mix it with honey. It immediately becomes more moisturizing and my hair gets incredibly soft and shiny. I mix about half-half in my hand before applying to my hair, and rinse almost all of it out.
It's a simple way to get more out of a cheap, lighter conditioner!
2c-3a/m/ii (FIA), CG since June 1st, 2007!
Love Jessicurl and KCCC might be my HG.

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