Brand New and Need Help!

Hi beautiful curlies!

I'm brand new to the curly girl method and have been completely curly for years (no straigtening) but had somehow never heard of not using sulfates and silicones!

Anyway, I started researching after feeling frustrated with my lackluster curls and frizz. I really want to get started with the curly girl method, but need help with some beginners products.

I am strapped for money, so I would prefer to find drugstore products. I currently use LA Looks Gel Wet Look, and it has been my go to gel for years, so I hope I can still use it (I think I can!), but am wondering about co-washes and conditioners. And do I need a Leave-in?

Also, wondering about hair type...I think it's a 2C or 3A. What do you think?

Thanks ladies! Hope you can help me make my curls more beautiful!
Attached Thumbnails
Brand New and Need Help!-hair.jpg  
Hi and welcome!

Yes, your gel is CG friendly. What is your climate like? The reason I ask, is you mentioned frizz (which can be caused by MANY things; dry hair, or using glycerin in really humid weather, to name a couple reasons!). That particular la looks gel has glycerin at the top of the ingredients list, so if you live in a high humidity area right now, you may want to try the la looks SPORT gel (blue).

Popular drugstore conditioners used for cowashes are the Suave NATURALS line, VO5, loreal evercurl cleansing conditioner, And As I Am co-wash or cleansing pudding (Sally's).

Popular drugstore conditioners that are heavier are tresemme NATURALS, Shea Moisture (all), GVP conditioning balm (Sally's), ION effective care (Sally's).

Depending on the condition of your hair, your hair properties, and climate, you may want to use a leave-in. The lighter co-wash conditioners above are a good place to start. The Shea moisture "milks" also work.

Since it looks like you're a fine haired wavy, strictly cowashing may not work for you. If that turns out to be the case, you'll want to find a low poo, or sulphate and silicone free shampoo. The Shea moisture line shampoos are good, I like the Yucca one (dark green label).
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip

Last edited by chloe92us; 07-06-2013 at 03:45 PM.
Thanks for the reply!

I actually live in a drier climate--not too humid. Our dewpoint generally does not get higer than mid-50s or so, with some exceptions. My hair is definitely reacive to humidity (you should see it when we travel to the beach...agh!) Does glycerin make frizz worse?

I'd say my hair has high porosity--it definitely seems dry and I do highlight with bleach. I also use a lot of gel to get the look I like, so that may affect things too. Up until now, I've always used Pantene Curl S and C.

Do you think I should start out trying a cowash? Or should I go straight to a low-poo option?
Welcome! Suave Naturals, V05 and Tresemme Naturals are all used for conditioner only washing, I would not spend money needlessly on something you wash down the drain.

Work on your porosity and bleach damage with overnight coconut oil soaks, hydrolysed protein treatments, ceramides and panthenol. Olive and avocado oil also penetrate and may help reduce porosity, others oils and butters mainly do not and some will weigh the hair down.

Hydrolysed protein is also beneficial for fine haired wavies and curlies and can help boost curls, coconut oil also helps protect from bleach damage.

GVP conditioning balm is high in propylene glycol which is a humectant, I would avoid or limit that in high or low dews or if you have an issue with glycerin (another humectant). You can use the same conditioner as rinse out and leave in.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
It's so interesting--I never considered my hair to be "fine" because it's thick! Amazing what you learn!!

I will work on the porosity--I've been planning on doing a coconut oil treatment, so I'll start there. Hopefully switching away from sulfates and silicones will help too!
Thanks for the reply!

I actually live in a drier climate--not too humid. Our dewpoint generally does not get higer than mid-50s or so, with some exceptions. My hair is definitely reacive to humidity (you should see it when we travel to the beach...agh!) Does glycerin make frizz worse?

I'd say my hair has high porosity--it definitely seems dry and I do highlight with bleach. I also use a lot of gel to get the look I like, so that may affect things too. Up until now, I've always used Pantene Curl S and C.

Do you think I should start out trying a cowash? Or should I go straight to a low-poo option?
Originally Posted by crofterica
It doesn't sound like you need to worry about glycerin, then. My dews hover in the 70's for much of the year, and yes glycerin makes my hair friiiizzzzy.

After your last sulphate shampoo wash, it's really up to you to decide to poo or not to poo. I decided not to strictly cowash, but the further I get in my hair journey, the less I feel I actually have to shampoo. It is still perfectly "CG" to use a sulphate- free cleanser. If you want to dive in with both feet, try cowashing for a couple weeks and see how you like it. You'll know at that point if you need to poo or not.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip

Last edited by chloe92us; 07-06-2013 at 06:34 PM.
It's so interesting--I never considered my hair to be "fine" because it's thick! Amazing what you learn!!

I will work on the porosity--I've been planning on doing a coconut oil treatment, so I'll start there. Hopefully switching away from sulfates and silicones will help too!
Originally Posted by crofterica
Sorry- it was just an observation....I could be completely wrong! You could have a lot of hair density, but the individual hair strands could be fine.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip

Last edited by chloe92us; 07-06-2013 at 06:36 PM.
Thanks for the reply!

I actually live in a drier climate--not too humid. Our dewpoint generally does not get higer than mid-50s or so, with some exceptions. My hair is definitely reacive to humidity (you should see it when we travel to the beach...agh!) Does glycerin make frizz worse?

I'd say my hair has high porosity--it definitely seems dry and I do highlight with bleach. I also use a lot of gel to get the look I like, so that may affect things too. Up until now, I've always used Pantene Curl S and C.

Do you think I should start out trying a cowash? Or should I go straight to a low-poo option?
Originally Posted by crofterica
It doesn't sound like you need to worry about glycerin, then. My dews hover in the 70's for much of the year, and yes glycerin makes my hair friiiizzzzy.

After your last sulphate shampoo wash, it's really up to you to decide to poo or not to poo. I decided not to strictly cowash, but the further I get in my hair journey, the less I feel I actually have to shampoo. It is still perfectly "CG" to use a sulphate- free cleanser. If you want to dive in with both feet, try cowashing for a couple weeks and see how you like it. You'll know at that point if you need to poo or not.
Originally Posted by chloe92us

I have to laugh--to poo or not to poo? That is the question...

So if I use a low-poo, do I just use a CG safe thicker conditioner (not the co-wash conditioner) afterwards? Also, I know some people just say not to rinse all of the conditioner out afterwards, rather than using a leave in...do they do this with the co-wash conditioner or the other one?

Thanks for all the help

Last edited by crofterica; 07-06-2013 at 07:59 PM.
I have to laugh--to poo or not to poo? That is the question...

So if I use a low-poo, do I just use a CG safe thicker conditioner (not the co-wash conditioner) afterwards? Also, I know some people just say not to rinse all of the conditioner out afterwards, rather than using a leave in...do they do this with the co-wash conditioner or the other one?

ROTFL! if you low poo, you just use a heavier conditioner after, then you can Just partially rinse it out. Or you could rinse it out, then add a leave in.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip

So if I use a low-poo, do I just use a CG safe thicker conditioner (not the co-wash conditioner) afterwards? Also, I know some people just say not to rinse all of the conditioner out afterwards, rather than using a leave in...do they do this with the co-wash conditioner or the other one?

Thanks for all the help
Originally Posted by crofterica
Your co-wash conditioner is your shampoo substitute so treat it in a similar way, you wash it off with all the skin cells, sebum and old product.

Given you colour if you choose to low-poo I would suggest you select carefully, looking for a product that is free of all anionic surfactants not just free of sulphates and that is pH 4.5 to 5.5 (acidic). This will be the gentlest it can possibly be on skin and hair.

That means looking for surfactants like cocoamidopropyl betaine or decyl glucoside. There are lists of surfactants in the different 'families' here
Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair Care Products
Actually all the 'curl chemist' articles by Tonya McKay are worth reading as you have time.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Okay--thanks for the info!! I think I'll try no-poo first, the switch to a low poo if I need to. What would be a reason to low poo--too much oil and build up? Just want to know what to look for
Okay--thanks for the info!! I think I'll try no-poo first, the switch to a low poo if I need to. What would be a reason to low poo--too much oil and build up? Just want to know what to look for
Originally Posted by crofterica
Yes, that plus fine hair can look "weighed down". Low pooing can help keep the volume up.
2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
Cleanse: CJ Daily Fix, JC Cleansing Cream, TJ Tea Tree Condish
Condish: JC Too Shea, CJ Curl Rehab (both as RO & LI)
Stylers: UFD CM, CJ PP, JC Spiralicious, Darcy's Cream Gel & Cocoa bean whip
Okay--thanks for the info!! I think I'll try no-poo first, the switch to a low poo if I need to. What would be a reason to low poo--too much oil and build up? Just want to know what to look for
Originally Posted by crofterica
The people who do best with low-poo tend to have thin and fine hair that needs volume or a scalp problem. Conditioner removes oils like coconut fine just as it removes excess sebum, it won't shift build up of ingredients like silicones and certain polyquats but if you select the right leave in conditioner and styler you should not have a problem with build up.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Sometimes people who mostly no poo/CO will low poo every once in while, while others will clarify instead. I almost never clarify, but I low poo when the mood strikes me. The SheaMoisture Moisture Retention shampoo is a good low poo if you need one.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

I've gotten my routine down to the bare essentials, finally
Wash: Suave Tropical Coconut
Leave-in: Suave Everlasting Sunshine, detangle with Denman brush
Gel: LAL Sport or Wet Look
Scrunch with flour sack towel, plop 10 minutes, air dry
Refresh with either plain water or Suave/water mix

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