Ingredients: Serving up what your hair likes

I just realized, after being on this forum for a while, that I still am not able to tell what ingredients my hair seems to like. I could not tell you if it loves protein, magnesium, oil, humectants, emmolents (sp?) etc. I have just been trying products, and if they work...great! I have decided that I need to be more savy about this whole thing.

The one thing I do know is that my hair can get overconditioned super easy. I tried going CG in the past, and had to stop, because all the curl fell out of my hair, it became so overconditioned. It quickly get's soft and fluffy. This makes gels and styling products not hold very well, so it's really frustrating. It's why I haven't been able to wash with conditioner only.

Yesterday I decided to try washing my hair again with conditioner every other day. My scalp has been a bit itchy, so I tried adding some brown sugar in with my conditioner. I scrubbed my scalp with this, and rinsed carefully, and then conditioner with a stronger conditioner. The results were amazing. My hair seemed to spring to life!! It was definitly the brown sugar, because I have used these products before. My curls seemed to swell, if that makes sense. When I was scrunching product into them, they seemed much more squishy than normal. I had amazing curls yesterday. The only thing that sucked was that I could tell that the gell wasn't holding as well. My hair was softer than I would have liked. I prefer that when my hair dries, it's really crunchy. I need that extra hold so the wind doesn't totally ruin my hairstyle. I like to scrunch the crunch out, but I do need the hold.

What does my hair liking brown sugar tell me? I don't think it will continue to behave if I wash with conditioner everyday. Should I be adding brown sugar in when I normally shampoo or condition? Can knowing it likes brown sugar, help lead me towards better products. Help me make sense of this!
You didn't say anything about your hair type or what products you are currently using--which would help people give you advice. As your hair acclimates to the routine, you may be able to go longer between cowashes. Your scalp may have just needed a good scrubbing, which is why the brown sugar helped. Some use a scalp brush to aide in this task. When you do cowash, you want to really scrub the scalp to loosen anything that needs to come off.

The hardest gel, that's very popular on the boards this time of the year, is Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (BRHG.) It's available all over the place. You may want to do a search, there are currently several threads about it right now.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
i scrub my scalp with brown sugar and condish at least once a week. i make a paste out of it so that the sugar doesn't get dilluted by the conditioner. between the sugar scrub and my acv rinses that helps to keep my hair from getting gunky and prevents products from not working on my hair.
3b thick and coarse

CONS
VO5 champagne kiss, suave coconut, inecto coconut oil moisturizing condish
CURL CREMES
mop c
GELS
HE SMU, LA sports gel
LOW POO'S
cream of nature


cg/modified cg since april 2006
Sounds to me like the conditioners you're using are too moisturizing for your hair. I have fine, thick hair and once I got my hair from damaged to healthy I started getting overconditioned very easily from Devacurl OneC. I switched to Suave Naturals Coconut conditioner for my co-wash and I also use it to condition and leave in, and I haven't had trouble with overconditioning since.

Like kathymack said - let us know what you're currently using and we can help!

Location: Frisco, TX

Fia type: 3a/F/ii Pics! Updated 04/22/10
CO Wash: Suave Coconut
Leave-in: Deva Heaven in Hair
Current Styler: Fuzzy Duck Gel
finally at waist length!
Oops! Sorry about the lack of details guys. Going by what is in the book, Curly Girl, I'd say that I have boticell type curls.

I didn't think that my scalp was dirty when I did that brown sugar scrub. I tried it more because someone has said that it was good if your scalp is itching. I found that when added to my conditioner that it really encouraged my curls to spring to life. I had crazy definition, so I was wondering if this could be from the sugar.

shell78: Sounds like we have the same hair. My hair is definitly fine, but I hate a lot of it. In the past I would use suave to co-wash, and then condition with a better conditioner. I think I tried just Suave alone once, and it left my hair looking stringy, frizzy, and aweful. Then again, I was playing around with a lot of things, so my hair could have been unhappy because it was going through so many changes. Maybe I'll try again just using the Suave, and see what happens. Can I ask what your routine is? Were you able to go totally CG, or do you have to shampoo on ocassion?

Thanks guys!
shell78: Sounds like we have the same hair. My hair is definitly fine, but I have a lot of it. In the past I would use suave to co-wash, and then condition with a better conditioner. I think I tried just Suave alone once, and it left my hair looking stringy, frizzy, and aweful. Then again, I was playing around with a lot of things, so my hair could have been unhappy because it was going through so many changes. Maybe I'll try again just using the Suave, and see what happens. Can I ask what your routine is? Were you able to go totally CG, or do you have to shampoo on occasion?

Thanks guys!
Originally Posted by CalamityM
I'm totally CG and not much of a product junkie, so I haven't experimented much. After a year on CG, my current routine is pretty simple:
  • Co-wash with Suave Naturals Coconut
  • If needed (flaky scalp) add Devacurl No-Poo to roots and scrub. It not, scrub anyway with Suave.
  • Detangle, rinse, and condition with more Suave.
  • Rinse; comb for good measure, and add more Suave left in.
  • Rake in Fuzzy Duck anti-frizz gel; scrunch. Plop overnight if going straight to bed; otherwise clip the front out of my face and air dry.
  • If air dried, pineapple and sleep.
  • If plopped, wake up and diffuse roots (DevaSun) to fix the shape.
I typically get 3 days of good hair from this routine.

About gels / stylers (not quite so loyal here) I started with Devacurl Angell and liked it okay but wanted more hold. Tried Abba Weightless and experienced good hold but occasional dryness. Tried Joiwhip mousse and experienced stringy curls. Tried Sebastian Hi-Contrast gel and loved it - great crunchy hold. I heard a rumor they added silicones to the formula (haven't checked it out myself) but decided to try some new gels. First it was La Bella lots of curls, which gave me crazy surface frizz. I was able to tone it down with Aloe Vera Gel (which has almost no hold but works well on my baby root hairs) Got tired of trying to hack the LaBella and decided to try Fuzzy Duck Anti-Frizz gel. I'm really liking the Fuzzy Duck gel so far (since mid May) It behaves the way I expected Angell to behave, if that makes sense. I had to use a whole lot of Angell to get any hold, and I felt producty and wasteful. I only use 2 dime-sized applications of the Fuzzy Duck gel and I get good hold, with just the right amount of crunch that is easy to scrunch out. Even my husband, who tries not to encourage my curl obsession, noticed and commented that my curls look better on fuzzy duck. He's even started calling me a fuzzy duck on occasion.


One of the things I learned by playing with gels is that while a good crunchy gel gives me nice, secure hold I can count on, it kind of squelches the curls (forces them into something they don't want to be). LaBella lots of curls had practically no crunch which scared me, but I still got great curl formation from it, and my curls were free to curl around each other and do what they naturally do. I feel like for me, the Fuzzy Duck gel is a good balance of moisture and hold, and that's why it works so well for me.

Ingredients are a crazy thing, and every curly is different. Hope some of my ramblings help you figure out what to try next!

Location: Frisco, TX

Fia type: 3a/F/ii Pics! Updated 04/22/10
CO Wash: Suave Coconut
Leave-in: Deva Heaven in Hair
Current Styler: Fuzzy Duck Gel
finally at waist length!
Hey!

Well I tried co-washing with Suave again, and not conditioning my hair again with anything else. Wonder of wonders...it worked this time!! I think when I had tried using it in the past, my hair was overconditioned anyway, and it wasn't behaving. Now it loves this!!! I have the type of hair that needs to be wet and restyled every day. It just doesn't look nice if I don't do this. I am exerimenting to see how my hair behaves if I do another co-wash today. Maybe I can do two days co-wash, one day shampoo with Creme of Nature. Yay!!! I'm so excited to try this again!!!

Yay! Glad it's working for you!

Location: Frisco, TX

Fia type: 3a/F/ii Pics! Updated 04/22/10
CO Wash: Suave Coconut
Leave-in: Deva Heaven in Hair
Current Styler: Fuzzy Duck Gel
finally at waist length!
Shell78, I found your post very helpful. This is kind of my dilemma with gels and stylers. I think I've got it pretty figured out what my hair likes and dislikes but it's really a matter of finding the products with the right ingredients. Very conditioning gels give me great curl enhancement but leave my hair way too soft and prone to surface frizz and fluffiness while the hard hold gels leave my curls feeling dry and stringy. I need a little crunch that can be scrunched out but not so much that my hair isn't allowed to curl and ends up stringy. I also have fine but thick hair and get overconditioned easily since I've been taking better care of my hair. It's such a balance.
3b/c fine, thick, porous, protein sensitive
Modified CG, CJ Rehab, JCWDT, KCKT, VO5 Chamomile Tea Therapy, CJDF, HEBE Gel/Mousse, Bioinfusion Rosemary Mint shampoo, occasional protein

Experimenting with BRHG

"If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain"

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