New: help me figure out my hair type and what products to use?

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  • 1 Post By Sandi
  • 1 Post By Aqua_Lily

Hi everyone. I just recently picked up a copy of the old curly girl book. I'm not sure if I'm a 2C or maybe a 3B? I really related to the boticelli type in the book. The "Canopy" to be specific. When I have my hair cut in long layers it grows out into something that looks like a shelf with the underneath pieces being the longer layer and the top being a shorter layer with nothing to connect them. I prefer my hair longer, right now its growing out from a shoulder length cut and is really boring and needs some layers. Let me see if I can get pictures....

As you can see my curl can we wavy or very curly or somewhere in between.

I like to be as natural as possible. I just started using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Thinking about trying Deva
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Will anyone throw their two cents in? No guesses?
I think some of the lack of response has to do with your lack of information (besides the fact that this is not a really popular time to be on NC). IMHO, your curl pattern and length are probably two of the least important things in knowing your hair.

Is your hair fine, and easily weighed down? Is it dense? Does it like protein? Hate it? Doesn't care? Is it low, medium, or high porosity?

The answers to those questions would definitely help with narrowing product selections. It might seem overwhelming, but for porosity (in addition to the highly inaccurate strand test), I'd look into dry time, and for protein, test out some of the cheapies (Suave Coconut, for example) to check your hair reaction. (I realize you wanted more natural products, but think of it as a dollar investment toward knowing more about your hair.) Density and strand width should be fairly obvious to figure out.

Good luck!
Korkscrew likes this.
Hair Type: 3c, Med-High Density, Low Porosity
Low Poo: KC Come Clean
Condish: AOHR, TN (Avocado), TJ Balancing Moisture
Leave in: GDL, KBB
Curl Lotion/Gel: CHS/CK
Others: CJ Curl Rehab, Jojoba Oil


CG since '09
It IS fine and easily weighed down. Medium to high density. Not sure about protein but I think it doesn't like it though I could be wrong. Pretty sure the porosity is low. It doesn't seem to want to soak up conditioner/products and it isn't normally dry. I've been more natural (no products, no blow drying, no heat styling) for quite a while. Yesterday I used my homemade lip balm on my hair and it made it look nice but I have to be really careful not to use to much or it gets greasy and weighed down like you said. I actually used to use suave for co washing as a cheaper alternative to Wen. It worked alright but made my hair so soft it was hard to do anything with it. I had to start using fragrance free products because my scalp got extremely itchy and I've wondered if I have seborrhic dermatitis. I can't use the same brand for too long, my hair gets bored and starts looking plain and limp. I've been through a lot of brands. Does this help?
Welcome!

You look like a 3A/3B to me.
Houseofcurls likes this.

At hip length, going for mid-thigh!
3A/2C M iii med porosity, high elasticity

HGs:
Clarify: Nivea IR
Lo-poo: Nature's Gate CR
CW: Elvive Volume Collagen
RO: TBS Rainforest Moisture, etc

LI: Elvive volume collagen, KCKT
Seal: Grapeseed oil
Gel: Studioline

PT: EO Keratin co
DT: RO+oils
Hairgrowth stim.: JBCO+EVCO


www.iherb.com 5-10$ discount code:
VHT541 Many natural hair products!
Hair type is transient. It can change with product, technique, dewpoints, etc. That's why hair properties are much more relevant. If you need extra help in determining yours (since you didn't seem positive), here's a link that will help Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics Properties are the best way to choose ingredients/products.

Now that you know your properties, look for people with hair like yours and see what they use (in signatures.) It's the best place to start.
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
Thanks Aqua for guessing, I bet your right. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it were both. Kathy its funny you mention that blog because yesterday I did a ton of research on this site and ended up learning so much when I found that link. In fact I like it a little more than this site because of the easy organization and may buy the ebook. So I'm a little more educated now and reprimanding myself for jumping in so fast and expecting feedback when I didn't give enough info. That's a habit of mine though. Anyway, I think I have more updated more accurate details of my hair.

Porosity seems to be High. I guessed that it would be low because I don't use color or heat often but I have been not so nice with combs and shampoo and experimenting. My hair floats but that doesn't seem to be reliable. When gliding my fingers up the shaft I get that ruffled feeling and when I tried it with a wet hair I heard it squeek. Sounds like I need moisture and I'm excited to try Protein.

My hair is Fine for sure. It gets weighed down or greasy easily and I have to be really careful with product which is why I got away from it in the first place. I've used gel before and it looked alright but it was often crunchy and I think I got build up from it. I may try 100% Aloe Vera gel. I liked to use mousses quite a bit but its been awhile with that too. I've used hair milk to get my hair to be more wavy and kind of liked that as well. Honestly besides build up and greasyness I got away from products because I wanted to be more natural. I'm one of those sensitive types that has to watch everything I put on my skin and in my body. I've had some trouble with itchy and flaky scalp.

My density is either medium or high. I've always said my hair is fine but there is a lot of it.

Elasticity I'm confused about. I don't know how to test it properly. I tried but it kept slipping out of my hands.

I mentioned using my lip balm in my hair. It is made of cocoa and shea butter, beeswax, and some vegetable oils. It seemed to help with the curl definition but its kind of borderline greasy and some of my pieces were stringy or frizzy.

I have a heart shaped face..just wanted to throw that in for any style/ cut recommendations. Sometimes I long for bangs but I know I would hate them because they'd get in my face all the time. Oh, and there is a lady in another town that cut my hair once this summer (last pic, shoulder length) that I think I will pay a visit to. She says she specializes in curly hair and I think she cut mine dry if I remember correctly. She asked me who had butchered my hair (after I had gotten a $60 cut at aveda that had grown out). So I hope she can do my hair because its SO hard to find anyone here that can.
Oh and Kathy I see you use shampoo bars. Before I learned of all this I wanted to try them. Do you use them because you have low porosity and that would make them bad for me? I'm thinking I may not need any type of shampoo unless I get a build up of product or do an oil treatment or something. Friction seems to clean just fine.
Oh and Kathy I see you use shampoo bars. Before I learned of all this I wanted to try them. Do you use them because you have low porosity and that would make them bad for me? I'm thinking I may not need any type of shampoo unless I get a build up of product or do an oil treatment or something. Friction seems to clean just fine.
Originally Posted by redheadedchick
I cowashed for six months. Didn't do anything special for my hair. I started using shampoo/soap bars when they were the rage on nc.com about 4 years ago. I use natural bars that are made by the cold process way--oils saponified with lye. They are really gentle. Remove the residual ingredients from the really rich products I use. They won't remove chemical buildup.

You have to be careful about ingredients--some bars are just solid shampoo (Lush bars have SLS.) My hair doesn't like castor oil, so I avoid bars with that (CV.)

They aren't good for people with really hard water (mine is a 3 of 4 when setting up the espresso machine) or dyed hair (they can pull out the color.) If you don't fall into either of these categories, you won't know if you like them until you try them.
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
Hi redheadedchick! Glad you've joined us here at CurlTalk!
Gretchen
NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
3A

You are beautiful!
Thanks Gretchen! Kathy I do have really hard water so I'm glad you told me that so I can save my money and not be disappointed with the wrong product. In fact I'm wondering if there is anything I can use to combat hard water besides installing some sort of filter. I've used ACV but probably shouldn't use it all the time.

I wanted to check in cause I tried some new things today. I made a protein pack and put it on for an hour. Boy did I need that. My hair felt so good as I was rinsing it out. I used a tiny bit of alaffia shampoo to make sure no egg was left in. I still haven't got to the store to get some conditioner and I have nothing acceptable here at home. So after reading the ingredients on my lotion I decided to use a little in my ends. This is from moogoo in australia. The ingredients are: purified water, sweet almond oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, cetostearyl alcohol, milk protein, comfrey root, aloe vera, vitamin e, piroctine olamine, polysorbate 60, guarsilk, fragrant oil, and hop extract. I'm pretty sure everything is acceptable and thought the milk protein would be good. Anyone see any bad ingredients just in case I want to use it again?

I rinsed in cold water and then used carbonated water to keep frizz away. I have to say it's looking and feeling much better.

Oh, one more thing. I have read that "tipping your head over while your head is wet is just asking for frizz." What do you guys think? I tipped my head over to scrunch but I'm not seeing frizz.
You have beautiful hair and I'm jealous of the color always longed to be a redhead. You sound like you're off to a good start & I don't know what to add other than I do everything upside down. LI, styler, & diffuse. Doesn't give me any frizz!
fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
LI: KCKT
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel


Oh, one more thing. I have read that "tipping your head over while your head is wet is just asking for frizz." What do you guys think? I tipped my head over to scrunch but I'm not seeing frizz.
Originally Posted by redheadedchick
Everything is individual, so you won't know unless you try. Many of us diffuse upside down to help with volume. For me, it's touching my hair with anything that causes frizz.

I apply products to soaking wet hair--smooth on top and then bend over to make sure I smooth on the underside. Then, I gently finger comb and scrunch each layer of product. My hair is too short to plop; however, I wrap it in a Curlease towel while I dress and apply makeup. Then, I scrunch with a CLU towel and diffuse for a few minutes. I can't touch it with the diffuser (no pixie curling for me!) When I'm done, I stand up and shake it to loosen it from my scalp a little, use my fingernail to put in my part (first two or three inches) and use clips to keep it out of my eyes. After several hours, when it's completely dry, I put my fingers under my hair to loosen it. If it needs to be scrunched a little, that's when I do it.
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
Yea I'm still trying to get my routine figured out. I'm pretty sure I still have trouble keeping my hands out of my hair while its wet so that could be causing frizz. Maybe I need to try plopping. I got some vo5 volume conditioner today and it has protein in it. I think I need to confess my love for protein now lol. I put some in my hands and diluted it with seltzer water and put it in my dry hair to try it out. It feels nice and is looking better. I wish I knew ages ago that my hair needs protein. Come to think of it in the second picture where my hair is wavy I was using organix coconut creme and it has egg white protein in it. Now I understand why my hair was behaving so well. I'm going to do more protein packs soon to strengthen. I love them. Anyone want to recommend favorite protein products? I am a little wary of the ingredients in this and worrying the fragrance may irritate my scalp. I'll be looking for more natural and organic ingredients.

I'm really excited about all this. Pretty soon I may be running around analyzing everyones hair and giving them product advice haha.
I just wanted to say that I'm having AMAZING results. My hair hasn't looked this good in a long time. I did another protein pack and will probably do another soon to keep the repairing going. Can you ever over do protein if your hairs damaged and loves it? I really appreciate all the comments you guys have left. I'm going to be putting up updated pictures soon for anyone thats interested in seeing
You'll know if you ever get too much protein. Hair will feel dry and strawlike.
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 couldn't get my pictures on here but here's one that would work. This is after 2 protein treatments, starting back on conditioner, and plopping for the first time. I just did a 3rd treatment and will be plopping overnight, using aloe vera gel for the first time. No more pulling my hair into a sloppy updo when I go to the family Christmas dinner tomorrow!

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