Totally confused!

Guy, I really require some help and advice here. I'm totally confused about what steps I need to do and what conditioners work well for those steps!

I'm from Australia and we have very limited products here so I'm going to order from iHerb.

Can you guys please simplify this for me as I'm a clueless idiot! lol Could you please tell me what steps I need to do - co wash/condition/leave-in etc and some product suggestions that are suitable for each of these purposes?

I do need some protein as I do colour my hair and have protein damage. I had my eye on a few different products such as:-

*Giovanni smooth as silk
*Giovanni nutrifix hair reconstructor
*Aubrey honeysuckle rose
*Aubrey GPB Glycogen
*Giovanni vitapro leave in conditioner
*Giovanni direct leave in
*Dessert essence coconut hair defrizzer
*Dessert essence coconut soft curls hair cream
*Beautiful curls shea butter curl activating cream
*Beautiful urls shea butter nurturing leave in and detangled
*Various different natures gate conditioners (thought this would be a good cheapie for co washing? Any suggestions which ones are good for dry/thirsty hair?)
*Everyday shea - seem very affordable too.

I need products for all the usual CG steps but I also need suggestions for a great deep conditioning treatment to feed my hair lots of moisture and protein.

I do apologise for all the questions, I know what I've asked is time consuming but I am extremely confused about exactly what steps are involved and because I'm not familiar with the products available to the US (iHerb) I do not know which products are suitable for what steps. I know it's a huge ask but I truly would be grateful for all the suggestions and advice given
What are your hair type & properties? Also consider using the naturally curly curl power app. This app will suggest products based on your hair type. Also the app will tell you what products to use based on the dew points in your area. You can look at ingredients for products & see if curlies with your same hair type are using the product to see if they like it. Hope this helps.
You can buy an oil for a pre shampoo treatment such as coconut oil, olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.

- A cowash conditioner can be a light, cheap one so the nature's gate could be an option depending on how moisturizing it is.
- You might want a sulfate free low poo to use every once in a while to give your hair a fresh start. Giovanni has some great ones, especially the tea tree triple treat one. My mom likes the deep moisture one.
- A moisturizing rinse out is a must, and the aubrey organics honeysuckle rose is a popular one. Giovanni deep moisture is also popular. If you need protein, you might want to get one with protein
- A leave in is also a must. You can try using your co wash conditioner as a leave in as well. Giovanni direct leave in is pretty good too.
- As for stylers, that depends on your hair type and properties. There are creams, mousses, gels. There is tons of info and product recommendations based on curl pattern on this site.

Treatments can be made from ingredients in your own house. Eggs, mayo, oils, yogurt, honey, agave, bananas, avocados, etc. You can use your RO as a base as well.

3a, med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
CG since April 2012
BC October 2012
Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix
RO Conditioner: Mop Top Daily Conditioner
Leave In: As I Am leave in or KCKT
Stylers: FSG and Curlisto Control II Gel
Sealer: Pure Argan Oil

INSTAGRAM: CURLYJESSICALEIGH (it's new, but check it out)
Welcome!

There are other Aussies about if you run an advanced search, there is also an Aussie Curly Girls group on Facebook. Definitely work with your hair properties and dew points/ humidity when choosing ingredients and products.

Many food items are a waste of time in haircare: gelatin, certain penetrating oils, okra and flaxseeds are exceptions. Shea butter can build up/ weigh the hair down, any proteins should be hydrolysed. Beneficial ingredients for colour treated/ damaged hair include coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, 18-MEA and panthenol.

I'm just trialling L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 conditioner which contains ceramides and protein and is available worldwide AFAIK (white bottle). I've also used Mega-Tek (horse conditioner!) recently which contains hydrolysed protein and panthenol.
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 oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Curlicious, I'm predominantly a 2c with a touch of 2b and 3a and a couple of pieces that might even be a 2a It does tend to be quite porous since I do colour it. I did have very dense hair but over the last 2 years I have lost a large amount of weight anc consequently I've also lost alot of hair so it's much less dense now. As for thickness, I would say it's medium-thick. It's about shoulder blade in length. It's very dry.

I've tried using the coconut oil as a pre treatment, I've tried both overnight and for 1/2-1 hour before co washing and it's just not working for me, I've tried washing it out in different ways but it just won't come out, I think using shampoo would be the only way and I don't want to go back it just dries me out too much. I will however try adding a little coconut oil (or maybe sweet almond or would any other carrier oils work well?) to a store bought deep treatment and see if it will accept it in that type of medium.

As for using household products, I would definitely like to play around with some general household products as treatments but I have 2 littlies and I also work full time so I really must have a store bought treatment purely for the convenience factor that it's there when I need it even if I'm a bit strapped for time and don't have the time to waste mixing up my own.

I think I probably need a milk/cream type leave in, my hair accepts these textures well and they seem to control my frizz well. Mousses seem to give me frizz and make me feel a bit dry and gels give me crunch and make me feel dry.

I was also thinking of maybe something I could make myself in a spray bottle to refresh and give moisture between co washes, could I mix some of my conditioner with distilled water and use that? Which conditioner would I use to make this mix? My co wash conditioner, rinse out or deep treatment conditioner?

Thanks guys, I really do appreciate your help. I know that when I start to understand the steps and how my hair behaves more I will have more knowledge about which products will work or will likely work for me but for now I need that bit of assistance, especially since I'm ordering from iHerb and don't have the ability to return products and since they're not available here in Oz I haven't a clue what sort of textures these products are and what levels of moisture they give, so I really truly thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for the help you're giving me
I've tried using the coconut oil as a pre treatment, I've tried both overnight and for 1/2-1 hour before co washing and it's just not working for me, I've tried washing it out in different ways but it just won't come out, I think using shampoo would be the only way and I don't want to go back it just dries me out too much. I will however try adding a little coconut oil (or maybe sweet almond or would any other carrier oils work well?) to a store bought deep treatment and see if it will accept it in that type of medium.

As for using household products, I would definitely like to play around with some general household products as treatments but I have 2 littlies and I also work full time so I really must have a store bought treatment purely for the convenience factor that it's there when I need it even if I'm a bit strapped for time and don't have the time to waste mixing up my own.

I think I probably need a milk/cream type leave in, my hair accepts these textures well and they seem to control my frizz well. Mousses seem to give me frizz and make me feel a bit dry and gels give me crunch and make me feel dry.

I was also thinking of maybe something I could make myself in a spray bottle to refresh and give moisture between co washes, could I mix some of my conditioner with distilled water and use that? Which conditioner would I use to make this mix? My co wash conditioner, rinse out or deep treatment conditioner?
Originally Posted by Squeeks
Porous hair doesn't necessarily need more moisture (water) it already takes up too much when wetted, that can cause the hair to swell and frizz. The more leave in conditioner you use under a mousse or gel or other styler the softer the finish should be - not dry or crunchy. The major conditioning agents (fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants) are weak humectants so help the hair hold the right amount of water. Your styler is a separate product to your leave in conditioner, they are not one and the same.

Coconut oil should come out fairly easily with conditioner only washing in fact better than with shampoo, I wonder if your technique is off in some way if you are struggling? You need to use LOADS of product, plenty of massage until you build up a light 'lather', possibly leave to soak whilst you finish your shower, massage as you rinse, repeat if necessary. Your co-wash conditioner needs to be rich in fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants, light on the oils and butters.

The coconut oil is not being used as a sealant, it's being used to reduce porosity, increase elasticity and reduce further protein loss/ damage during washing (hygral fatigue). No other oil has the same research proven benefits so there is no direct substitute, any polyunsaturated oil or long chain molecule simply cannot penetrate.

You could try other oils rich in lauric acid - babassu, palm kernel, tucuma butter - but may have the same problem with removing the excess if you don't master conditioner only washing. These need to be used on dry not wet hair since oil and water don't mix so water may block the fatty acids from penetrating. Another option is to make up an 'Ecostyler custard' (see YouTube) with a gel and the oil.
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 oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 09-01-2013 at 04:40 AM.
Oh dear Firefox, it seems like you almost need to be a scientist to work this stuff out! lol Unfortunately I don't have much clue about ANY of that stuff

With the co washing, I'm using loads of product and I'm using very vigorous massage and yep, the conditioner is actually getting a foam up going on. Maybe the conditioner I'm using just doesn't have enough of those components you mentioned (fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants) to be effective? I totally hear you about the uniqueness of the coconut benefits which is why I've kept trying and trying. I will continue on though because I've also read quite a bit on exactly what you say - that no other oil penetrates like coconut and provides the same benefits.

Is there something on the iHerb website that you would recommend as the cowash conditioner? It might give me an idea of what to look for in the ingredients list from now on.

I think you've nailed part of my problem too, I had been scrunching coconut oil through as a leave in, it does give me good clumping and curl definition and it definitely gets rid of the frizz but as I'm sure you can already imagine it leaves me very lank, stringy and dull! I NEED to work out what the heck to use as a leave in instead!

You tube is playing up for me at the moment but as soon as I can get it working again I'll be watching the video on the ecostyler custard! Thank you for telling me about that!

So can you please explain to me, I don't need to know what they are or why I need them but how many conditioners do I need? A co wash condish, a rinse out condish, a deep treatment and a leave in - and they all serve different purposes so all need to be different. Is that correct? If so, if I'm looking for fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants primarily in the co wash condish then what important components should I be looking for in the others?
You don't need to be a scientist, check out the 'curl chemist' articles here on NC by Tonya McKay and the Natural Haven blog. Download the free 'Curls on the Go' app if you have a smartphone.

How many conditioners and what ingredients depends on your hair properties and dew points/ humidity. Some people use one product for everything, eg Tresemme Naturals, others need a lighter product for co-washing then a heavier/ richer product for wash out and leave in conditioning. You can make your own deep conditioner using any basic conditioner.
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 oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

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