II even created an account a while back but never posted... I've mostly been soaking in information.
However I figured it was time to say "hello."
I returned back to my curls almost a year ago after 10 years of chemical and mechanical straightening. I'm not sure of my hair properties but as best I can tell I'm 3a/b, just below shoulders, fine but dense, porosity normal??. I love henna and I have been doing full-head (1/2 henna, 1/2 cassia) applications once a month.
I'm still experimenting with products. I have attempted CG methods but have yet to find CG-friendly styling products that work for me. My go-to right now is Suave Captivating Curls Mousse and because it has a -cone, I use sulfate-free shampoo to prevent build-up. I also clarify each month before I henna. I like to layer hard-hold gels over my mousse. I've tried a few... Deva Arc Angel/UDG, La Looks, and Aveda Flaxseed and Aloe. I've also tried AG:REcoil and Curl Keeper. All of these products were just... meh. I like "crunch" and after reading through the forums I've picked up some Eco Styler and BRHG. I know it sounds crazy but I find so many styling products leave my hair too... soft. For me... soft = not enough hold and frizz. I have abandoned leave-ins because I find they make my hair too soft and formless. On the few occasions where I've been successful at getting my hair to dry crunchy, I've been able to SOTC to soft bouncy curls without frizz.
Abandoning my flat-iron, curling iron, and keratin treatments has been a struggle. I have had much disdain for my curls over the years but I'm now at a point where I'm trying to embrace them. Chemical/heat damage has made styling a challenge but I've found ways to "make it work" without having to cut off my length. Truth be told, gaining length was my motivation to return to my curls. After years of lusting after longer locks and not being able to retain much length, I realized this was the only way to get it. Initially I thought I'd lay off the straightening long enough to get the length I wanted then return back to it once I achieved my goal. However after being inspired by so many beautiful long-haired curlies on this site and others... I'm thinking the curls will stay! My dream length would be waist... but I don't think my hair is capable of that. It appears to grow slowly and despite growing my hair out for many years in my younger years... it never got much longer than BSL. :/
Anyhoo... that's me... I welcome any advice/suggestions!