New to CG and need some tips

Hi all! I'm about 2 weeks into the Curly Girl routine and I can tell my hair is definitely more moisturized (I had a seriously dry, itchy scalp this winter. Much worse than any other winter before. Nasty). I know it takes a bit for your hair to get used to this system, but my curls look WAY less defined and all my volume has been zapped. It's like my curls are 100% heavier than they were before.

I have 3b (with some 3a and 3c thrown in), corkicelli curls with low porosity and medium texture. I've been using VO5 blackberry sage tea therapy conditioner as a co-wash and Tresemme Naturals as a conditioner/leave-in. Then I've been styling with Beautiful Curls Curly to Kinky Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream. The cream seems to leave my hair kind of greasy (which has been an ongoing problem with creams), so I'm looking for gel suggestions. But could it be that I'm conditioning too much, or leaving too much in? Or is the cream the culprit?
Shoulder-length, 3a-3b Corkicelli, Medium texture, low porosity
I'm not sure what the ingredients are of the products you're using, but I have low porosity hair as well and I found that it hates oils because they sit on top of my hair. They don't penetrate. It weighs down my curls and causes some build-up as well between washes, which could leave it feeling greasy. Also, I used a conditioner that is basically an oil-bomb, so it left my hair being overconditioned all the time.

What I would do (and what I'm trying to figure out myself) is check the ingredient lists and particularly focus on oils and protein. My hair used to be voluminous, but is rather limp nowadays because it lacks protein. I have to cut out oils as much as I can and add protein to restore the balance.

Your hair consists of protein and if you have medium texture hair, it should be able to handle some protein.

I'm not an expert on ingredients, but if you copy them I'm happy to have a look
F - LP - HD - NE
Fine, low porosity, high density, normal elasticity
Hairtype 2c

Low poo: Looking for a new one
Protein: IAGirl's gelatine treatment
Detangler & LI: KCKT
Styling: KCCC

Beauty Is Not a Number
Thanks!

The co-wash VO5 Tea Therapy has Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Glyceryl Stearate, DMDM Hydantoin, Benzyl Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Limonene, Citral, Citronellol, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth 21, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Ascorbic Acid, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract (Sage), Rubus Fruiticosus Fruit Extract (Blackberry), Niacinamide, Biotin

My leave-in Tresemme Naturals has Water (Aqua) , Stearyl Alcohol , Cetyl Alcohol , Caprylic , Capric Triglyceride , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Fragrance (Parfum) , Lauroyl Lysine , Caprylyl Glycol , Brassica Campestris , Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer , Aspartic Acid , Distearyldimonium Chloride , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Citric Acid , Alcohol , Isopropyl Alcohol , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

and the cream Beautiful Curls has Comfrey (symphytum officinale) extract (aqueous), arnica (arnica montana) extract (aqueous), Certified Fair Trade shea butter (butyrospermum parkii), aloe vera leaf gel (aloe barbadensis), agave nectar, emulsifying wax, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, panthenol, coconut oil, raspberry and ylang ylang extracts, potassium sorbate, guar gum, xanthan gum, citric acid.

Phew. That's a lot of stuff that I don't know how to pronounce...

My hair used to have tons of volume and definition (check profile picture) but the past few times I've washed and styled it just hands there, limp. It's almost discouraging enough to go back to sulfates/silicones. But I know I should stick with it longer. Thanks for your help!
Shoulder-length, 3a-3b Corkicelli, Medium texture, low porosity
I have to be honest with you and tell you that there is a lot that I don't recognise, but I do notice that your styler has shea butter and as far as I'm concerned, that's one of the most moisturising ingredients you can find. Seeing that you have medium width, it seems to me that you can take some moisture, but perhaps your styler is too moisturising, thus weighing your hair down, especially when you take low porosity in consideration. Then again, I'm not entirely sure.

My hair used to be extremely voluminous as well, and it sometimes still is, but I thought I had coarse hair, so I bought extremely moisturising products with tons of oils. Turns out I have low porosity fine hair that hates oils. I still have these products because it's so expensive to buy new ones. Result is that my hair looks limp and weighed down.

(Good news is that AO GPB should arrive soon, which has protein and I think my hair needs it).
F - LP - HD - NE
Fine, low porosity, high density, normal elasticity
Hairtype 2c

Low poo: Looking for a new one
Protein: IAGirl's gelatine treatment
Detangler & LI: KCKT
Styling: KCCC

Beauty Is Not a Number

Last edited by Lauraimes; 04-27-2013 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Forgot to finish my story
Ok, I figured the styler was the problem since I've had problems with creams before. I just didn't know if this was something most people's hair did right after starting the CG method. Thank you so much for your help! I'm trying to find a good styling gel and hopefully that will fix the problem
Shoulder-length, 3a-3b Corkicelli, Medium texture, low porosity
No problem, glad I could help!

I'm still trying to find a styler as well. Thinking about getting KCCC, but it's a typical love-hate product so reviews don't really help, especially since liking/disliking KCCC does not seem to apply to particular hair properties. That would've made it a lot easier.
F - LP - HD - NE
Fine, low porosity, high density, normal elasticity
Hairtype 2c

Low poo: Looking for a new one
Protein: IAGirl's gelatine treatment
Detangler & LI: KCKT
Styling: KCCC

Beauty Is Not a Number
I'm a total newbie (only on day 5!) but from what you shared here and checking out those products, sounds like you're over moisturizing. Also, from what I have understood in my research it is a styling product such as a gel or mouse that holds your curl definition after cleaning and moisturizing... right? Try cooling it with the creme for a while and add a Gel or Mouse to the routine... best of luck!
I tried rinsing out all of my conditioner and then putting a teensy bit on my ends as a leave-in. I figured if I rinsed it out I could always put it back on, but be able to control how much I left in. Then I scrunched in a smaller amount of cream than I had been using. I had more definition, but the volume still left a little to be desired. I've had success layering a little bit of cream over mousse/gel before, so I'm going to get a cheap mousse to try pairing with the cream. I'll let you know how it goes!
Shoulder-length, 3a-3b Corkicelli, Medium texture, low porosity
It sounds like you're overconditioned, and like Lauraimes said, you'll have to cut out things like heavy oils and shea butter. That cream you're using might be too heavy for you, and not get absorbed since you're low porosity. Try a protein treatment! You might find it will help redefine your curl and re-add some volume. Here's a thread on a popular recipe you can make: PT recipe - as promised

So now we're talking your protein/moisture balance is off... but many curlies complain about lack of volume in general. Styling methods are important here... look up clipping methods, plopping, and diffusing techniques!
Thanks for the info! I do tend to get more volume if I diffuse my air at least a little bit instead of letting it air-dry all the way. I've tried clipping it like in the Curly Girl book, but the clips always slide down my hair (which probably weighs it down even more). I've even tried doing the criss-cross clip. I have the same clips she uses in the book, but maybe I need to try some different ones.
Shoulder-length, 3a-3b Corkicelli, Medium texture, low porosity

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