Looking to be converted

I have been a bit worried about posting since many of you don't appreciate newbies asking the same questions over and over again. Hopefully I have educated myself sufficiently.

This is what I've discovered: I have 3A, fine, highly porous hair (I don't color or chemically treat in any way), and judging from the stretch test, my hair is dry. This is surprising to me because I have never thought of myself as having dry hair, and my hair looks really shiny and feels really soft. What's that all about? Is it product (silicone) coating my hair that makes it appear healthy and moisturized?

My interest in doing the CG method is that it takes me sooo long to straiten my hair, and with 2 children, I don't really have the time to mess with it. I often only have time to shower and let my hair air dry, but my current routine leaves me with wavy hair that is completely flat on the top. The last 2 days I have tried plopping, diffusing upside down, and then clipping at the roots until my hair was dry, and have been AMAZED at the amount of curl I get, but by the time my hair dries completely it is flat again and much less curly. (this was with Bed Head moisture maniac shampoo & conditioner, and Paul Mitchell Mousse.)

Most people say that their hair is curlier at the roots, so what's the deal with mine? I am a little nervous that using a co-wash will just weigh my hair down more at the roots, but I have also considered (after reading a bunch on here) that maybe my hair is flat on the top because it needs MORE moisture. Could that be?

I've been taught over and over again (by different stylists) that drugstore products are not good for your hair, yet so many people use Suave as their co-wash. Any thoughts on this? Should I go with a salon product or are the ingredients the same? I am all about using inexpensive products, as long as they are what's best for my hair.

I have read on here that porosity and texture are a lot more important than curl type when determining your products, however I havn't found info about which products are good for specific porosity. Any advice? Or maybe a link to a thread I am missing?

Also, I am interested in finding a CG friendly pomade to smooth frizzies after my hair is dry. I bought a pomade at Sally's and checked to make sure it had no cones etc., but when I got home I searched on here to make sure all the ingredients are ok and found that mineral oil is a no-no also.... Any suggestions?

Response to any of my concerns and questions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
I just want to say that I am a 3A who can get flat roots - that is kind of typical for a 3A curl. I focus on scrunching at the root area to help it curl there and I diffuse upside down which I also think helps and I will use clips (long metal alligator clips). There are products that will also give me more curl. I also find that doing a protein treatment will perk up that area as well. But I will never ever have total root curl no matter how much I want it. But I can encourage it.

In regards to one of your other comments - salon products vs regular store. I have found a lot of conditioners (some Sauves (tangerine), I am going to try VO5 blackberry sage, Bioinfusion detangling condish from Walgreens for example)that I use with as good results as higher end (higher priced actually) conditioners. I can also use a lot of drugstore gels and mousses. For me - the pricey products are the better deep treatments and curl creams/gelees (kinky curly curling custard/curl junkie curl creams and some of her other products for example). But I could get away with out using them.

In regards to porosity - I have not figured out mine yet!!

I hope some of this helps.
Central Massachusetts

One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
I just did a couple more strand tests and I think my hair really isn't that dry. Hmmm. What to do?
Is it product (silicone) coating my hair that makes it appear healthy and moisturized?

Yes, silicones can coat your hair and make it appear healthier and shinier than it really is.

Most people say that their hair is curlier at the roots, so what's the deal with mine? I am a little nervous that using a co-wash will just weigh my hair down more at the roots, but I have also considered (after reading a bunch on here) that maybe my hair is flat on the top because it needs MORE moisture. Could that be?

Tighter curl patterns curl at the roots (like 3b, 3c, 4a, and 4b). If you're more a 2 or a 3a, it is very common for hair to be more flat at the top. I would be hesitant about conditioning or moisturizing at the roots if you're experiencing flatness. You'll probably have to experiement with different techniques (or learn to love it the way it is) in order to find ways to combat flatness.

I've been taught over and over again (by different stylists) that drugstore products are not good for your hair, yet so many people use Suave as their co-wash. Any thoughts on this? Should I go with a salon product or are the ingredients the same?

If you're interested in giving up silicones and sulfates, I don't think salon hair care is better than things you can get at the drugstore or Whole Foods. Many salon products contain lots of silicones and still use harsh detergents to clean. There are many products you can get for less money that work better than expensive stuff. Unfortunately, you just have to experiement to find what works for you. People here are very helpful though!

Also, I am interested in finding a CG friendly pomade to smooth frizzies after my hair is dry. I bought a pomade at Sally's and checked to make sure it had no cones etc., but when I got home I searched on here to make sure all the ingredients are ok and found that mineral oil is a no-no also.... Any suggestions?

Aveda makes a CG-friendly pomade (anti-humectant). I would hold off on getting it though. It's about $20 and you may not need it once you figure out what to do with your hair. I rarely have frizzy hair any more now that I know how to style it (and keep my hands out of it).

HTH. Sorry it's so long!
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
Thank you for the thorough job of telling us what you need and your hair's properties.

It's already been stated but 3A's often don't have root curl. Mine it depends on the products and how much scrunching I do. I co-wash so I can't avoid conditioner at the roots but I'm told that it might weigh it down a bit.

If you're fine, you will most likely need more protein and less moisture once you regain the balance.

I'm 3A, fine and med-low porosity so my products will be a bit different. Fine hair's often over condition easily so I only co-wash and condition my hair once a week - unless something special happens like the delivery of new products then my excitement usually gets the best of me. I've just recently added extra protein treatments to my routine. I'm not entirely sure how how often I''m going to do them yet. When I need them I guess. There's one that's called amino acid treatment that kathymack wrote about that was very effective.

Since you're highly porous (and that is most likely due to damage), you will want to avoid the use of humectants in both very high dewpoint and low dewpoint situations. Because your hair is porous, it will absorb too much moisture, swell up and mostly likely become frizzy.

I can't comment on pomades as I never used one pre-Cg so haven't looked for one post.
Current Products: CJ Products: CF, DF, CT, SG, AFG, CIAB AND CK is back!
Current Experiment: S&C by D

Curl Fix and Daily Fix are my HGs


Sulphate and cone free since July 2007

wavy/curly fine texture/medium porosity/medium-low density

http://public.fotki.com/whatsercurl/

PW: wavycurly

Seek not to change the world. Rather seek to change your mind about the world.
Thank you for such a thorough reply!! About conditioning and moisturizing at the roots...What would you recommend I try? There are so many methods on here that my head is spinning. If I co-wash then obviously I need to apply to my scalp to do the scrubbing, then I rinse, and condition (do I avoid applying this conditioner to my roots, just to the ends?)
I also know that low poo is an option. People say that it takes a couple of weeks for your hair to adjust, so would you recommend sticking out strait co-washing for a couple of weeks before doing low poo or is a few days sufficient?
Unless you feel the need to poo, I'd avoid it. If you worry about overconditioning your roots, you can just water wash on the days that you don't want to condition (or apply conditioner to the ends if that is what you want). But as most people have mentioned, 3As are not the most known for extreme root curl. There are threads dedicated to clipping (there appear to be many different clipping methods from what I recall.... I have 3b on top, so I don't need extra lift) so I'm sure that you can find a good method to add lift.

If you find that you overcondition (which will definitely drag the curl down), you can always to an acv rinse to help perk you up.

An ACV rinse actually might be a good idea.

Mix of 3s, thick, coarse, medium porosity

Current hair styling technique: rake with a scrunch at the end. (works with my coarse hair)

http://public.fotki.com/curlymix/
pw: curls

Known HGs: KCCC, homemade fsg, honey
You get the newby award! The only thing I missed is your hair length and do you have layers? A great haircut is the foundation to everything else.

My hair is fine and low/med porosity. I started here 1/08. All my life I was a winter wavy/summer 3a. I never used a styling product before 8/07 and then I only added gel to my low poo/conditioner regime.In 8/08, I started using more natural products and switched from six months of cowash (which was fine) to cleansing with the natural soap bars on 9/1/08. My curl was tighter and hair had more volume. Because of that, I had my first winter as a curly. My hair looks like my signature picture every day--including the root curl. Moisture was a big part of the picture.

Find people who have hair like yours and "stalk" them. Look to see what products (in signatures) they use and what techniques they discuss.

ETA: As far as pomades go, there are a lot of products you can use. My current ones are Ohm Hair Custard, Kinky Curly Pomade and Komaza Moisture Creme. It all depends on what your hair likes and how "heavy" a product it can take.
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; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
If you are looking to increase your root curl I suggest the icequeen method along with clipping your roots. My hair is 2C and on the finer side and even I get root curl this way.
High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

My hair is thin/fine and easily weighed down. I never got into co-washing. I use a sulfate-free shampoo once or twice a week.

On the days I don't use shampoo, I wet down my hair and condition the ends. I never try for second-day hair. I scrub my scalp a bit on the days I water wash.

I also use an ACV once a week which always perks up my hair and makes it very shiny.
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
I'm a low-poo person, too. I work in the yard a lot, deal with 4 dogs, work full time, and am in the process of re-starting my home based consulting business. I run around quite a bit and get sweaty. I also have really bad allergies and really long hair.

One of my friends refers to my hair as "the dust catcher". I've discovered that when my allergies get really bad, its time to wash my hair. Co-washing doesn't seem to help but low-poo seems to be sufficient to get the pollen and dust out.

I just use a really good conditioner with a lot of slip for detangling. I use more of it as a leave in, but I'm hoping to order some KCKT
TIA,

Morrignu

Curl Wiki - Hair Recipies - Hair Photos

Thank you for the ACV rinse, and protein suggestions. I think I will start my research there. I have now officially done one co wash day with satisfactory results (to be quite honest, the humidity is wierd today, so I can't blame my crazy hair on the new routine...time will tell.)
Should I wait for a while before trying an ACV rinse or protein treatment?
I don't know if you need to wait a certain amount of time to try an ACV or a protein treatment. However, don't try everything at once. Otherwise, you won't know what worked and what didn't.

I use Nexxus Emergencee (protein treatment) every other week. I usually get better results the second or third day afterwards.

As for an ACV, if you just started co-washing and already clarified, you're probably set for a little while. I can tell when I need to use an ACV because my hair gets very soft but limp.

Good luck and have fun!
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
I purchased Nexxus Emergencee and will be trying that tonight. My plan is to use it, and then do a deep conditioning treatment afterwards. Would overnight be too long? I plan on doing a regular am routine of co-wash *Suave coconut*(or maybe just water wash depending on how my hair does with the Emergencee) condition *Bed Head Moisture Maniac* and style with Biotera curl creme. I have only done the co wash once, however my hair has been blah for weeks, so I think I really do need the protein treatment. I will also try to get in for a haircut this week (I work at a spa, so I might be able to get in quick)
By the way, I have bra strap length hair with long layers, and it is pretty thick.
I don't have anything to add that others haven't already said, but wow, I do admire the thoroughness of the question! It makes it easier to try to come with an answer.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Mmassage, I hope that you let us all know what it was that was the fix! I am not sure about overnight dt, but that is just because I can't do overnight dts. My scalp itches something terrible!!

I'm really hoping you find the culprit!

Mix of 3s, thick, coarse, medium porosity

Current hair styling technique: rake with a scrunch at the end. (works with my coarse hair)

http://public.fotki.com/curlymix/
pw: curls

Known HGs: KCCC, homemade fsg, honey
My hair is thin/fine and easily weighed down. I never got into co-washing. I use a sulfate-free shampoo once or twice a week.

On the days I don't use shampoo, I wet down my hair and condition the ends. I never try for second-day hair. I scrub my scalp a bit on the days I water wash.

I also use an ACV once a week which always perks up my hair and makes it very shiny.
Originally Posted by LoloDSM
I am very similar to LoloDSM but I can co-wash the day after I lowpoo (sulphate free shampoo). And I do lowpoo about 1-2 times a week. For me and my hair I just cannot do water washes and cowashes - I need some shampoo thrown into the mix. I also have been using a protein heavy conditioner about 1x a week. I have never left on the protein treatment longer than 15-20 minutes. Then I rinse out and put on a good moisturizing conditioner and then I rinse that out after 15 minutes or so. I am not one to sleep with stuff in my hair.

Let us know how the protein treatment worked.
Central Massachusetts

One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~

Last edited by xcptnl; 05-20-2009 at 05:07 AM.
I tried the emergencee, left in on for less than 5 minutes, deep conditioned with Moisture Maniac and left that on overnight with a shower cap. This morning I rinsed the conditioner out thoroughly and then styled with Biotera curl creme. The results: a definite improvement. My hair is completely dry now and has more wave and more volume at the roots after styling the exact same way I did yesterday. Not perfect...but I'm sure my hair is still adjusting. It also feels softer and looks a little shinier.
My next step is to get a trim. I was able to schedule one for today with a new stylist. I have never gotten a haircut specifically for styling my curly hair, so I don't really know what to ask for. I think long layers will be the best. I've had cuts before where the layers were too "shelfy" (if that makes any sense), so if I styled my hair curly, it looked aweful...thus the habit of straitening began. Any tips for what to tell my stylist?

Thanks again for all of your responses!! The have all been very helpful.
A really good stylist should know what to do without you really telling them. You should let them know how much length you're willing for them to cut, that you want to wear it curly and you don't want it to have a triangle/pyramid look (hence the layers.) If you have a picture of what you want, all the better for a new stylist. Your approach would be--can my hair do this and can you cut it that way, LOL!

I've been going to my stylist for almost 30 years. If I didn't have anything in mind, I'd let him do what he wanted. I go in with it styled (as you are) and he can tell by looking what needs to happen. When I wanted a change, I told him that I wanted a curly bob--he cut it that way. When I said I want to go shorter and have an inverted bob, we discussed if I'd loose the curl and he cut it that way. Last time, I said that I wanted the angle more severe, he cut it that way. Once you find the right person, you should be able to tell them the outcome and they should know what to do to get it that way.
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; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams

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