Texture, Porosity, and other Hair Type Madness

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I don't actually have a relevant comment, but I think this thread should be renamed "Ask Struttswife"!

I guess I can come up with a comment actually. In response to the comment that fine hair may have a tendency toward lower porosity, I'd consider my hair fine and when I slide my fingers up a strand of hair it feels smooth to me. Just some support for the idea
Originally Posted by Laura Lee
Actually, my hypothesis is that fine, low porosity hair doesn't tangle. This thread was discussing implications for product, I was wondering if this is another implication?
Originally Posted by kathymack
I was responding to Struttwife's post where she said:
"In the overall scheme of curl life in its purest form, I would guess that fine hair likely has the most tendency to have the lowest porosity, simply because the melanin pigment molecules and amino acid chains are packed in there so tightly: there really isn't room for much else to maneuver around."

Sorry for the confusion!
http://www.dormroomcurly.blogspot.com


www.twitter.com/dormroomcurly

Fine/thin 2c/3a, Low-Medium Porosity, Dry!
Sorry about that.
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, Aloe Fix and CCCC
Thanks so much, Struttswife, for posting all of this amazing information. I feel like I'm getting *alot* more insight into what's been going "wrong" for me...I was about to totally give up on CG and this board out of sheer frustration, since what works for so many of us really doesn't work for me!

(Long boring details to follow. Skip to the last paragraph if you as as little patience for reading as I do!)

So apparently my hair has low porosity - (a little less so on the ends, which makes sense given that they're been exposed to the elements for longer than every other part of my hair). I'm not sure of the texture, but I think it's fine, which would compound the porosity issues (being weighed down, etc.)

I've been "having" to use a sulfate poo because co-washing or sulfate-free pooing leaves my hair oily and gross (when I work out it gets even oilier). I feel like I need to wash my hair every other day - can't be good for it, but I don't know what else to do! I can only use very lightweight conditioners and rinse them all the way out. Unlike so many of you, I *hate* shampoo bars. Yuck.

With styling products, I haven't found any that work at all with out weighing my hair down and leaving it feeling greasy. So far I do best with no product left in. Yep, none. I get the best (which for me are clumpiest) curls if I lightly blot with my microfiber cloth, and then just part it gently with my fingers while wet. Then I leave it alone until it's dry and then scrunch a little to break up the curls. (Which, if I'm understanding this, takes hours because of the low porosity.)

It's so odd to have thought of myself as just a 3a/b all of this time and trying to moisturize without understanding why my hair gets so gross so quickly. I knew it wasn't working, but not why. I'm so encouraged and relieved to be getting better information!

Selfish request (Struttswife? Please? When you can? You're probably already on it!):

I'd love to know what types of low or no poo /conditioner/styling products would work for low porosity hair, since it seems like we can't do what works for high porosity hair (they use heaps of conditioner for everything, we can't). I'm thinking there might also be a ph issue - would we LP types want to clarify/balance more (and how - ACV rinses do nothing for me)? And protein? Fine hair needs more protein, right? I think that's a side issue...

If there have been specific posts about this, I couldn't find them, so please post links - the thread about hair texture doesn't seem to cover it.

(Specific examples of products that are working for LP folks would also be most appreciated.)
Actually, my hypothesis is that fine, low porosity hair doesn't tangle.
Originally Posted by kathymack
I fall into that category. My hair is fine, and not very porous. I was confused when people talked about "great slip", because everything with an ounce of conditioning in it gives me good slip, and this might explain why. I can even brush it dry, if I'm careful - there aren't too many knots on any given day.

My hair does also weigh down easily with product. If I use too much KCCC (thanks, kathymack - I'm hooked!) it can be greasy and stringy. Thinking about it, I can say that BRHG left me greasy and was too heavy. Same with GDLI to some extent. But all of the things in my sig have been fine. Maybe I've just been lucky in choosing products that are lighter, so far? I'm fairly new at this.

There are probably more, subtle factors here but I can see how curlies with low porosity and fine hair might find things in common.
"when I sleep, my curls crush flat, like a slinky that's slopped sideways"
Gone 'girly. Last 'poo 10/18/08
Current experiment is Co-Wash and Condition: V05 kiwi lime clarifying conditioner
Then KBB super silky, KCCC, then L'Oreal Melting Gel with a bit of GF Super Stiff mixed in.
Pre-toweling, post-toweling, pre-plop and post-plop. The jury is not out on the plopping thing. I think my hair is too fine.
fine / non-porous / thin aka 3"abba" / oh so Fine / just barely ii
izzytart, Laura Lee, and kathymack - i think i'm finding my fine hair/low porosity twins! Finally! And yeah, my hair also doesn't tangle. Now I will be avidly studying your signatures to find out what works for you, especially since you've all managed to go CG. Consider me your hair stalker...
-Porosity an ongoing mystery, fine texture
-Hair likes: light conditioners and light protein, light cones
-Hair dislikes: oils, heavy conditioners, and glycerin

-Co-wash/conditioner: Elucence Moisture
-DPT (rarely): Ion Effective Care
-Styling products: Elucence as a leave-in and (cone alert) Giovanni Frizz Be Gone
(Specific examples of products that are working for LP folks would also be most appreciated.)
Originally Posted by jrobsf
My hair loves the products in my signature and obviously handles the heavy products very well. Of course, I only use minute amounts. Switching to more natural products has also been of great benefit. As to your comment about hating soap/shampoo bars--it could be the ingredients. My hair got tangled and frizzy from the CV bar--they use a lot of castor oil in their products. Which my hair doesn't tolerate.
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, Aloe Fix and CCCC
I had a "aha!" moment in the shower today. There are so many comments about problems detangling hair. In recent memory, my hair has only tangled a few times--after castor oil and my third use of Dairy Whip. Obviously from ingredients it doesn't like. I don't ever remember having problems with tangling--even when I had waste length hair.

While I'm sure my frequent hair cuts have something to do with it. I'm thinking that texture and porosity have more to do with it. I have always been told my hair is fine. I also think I have low to medium porosity. Any thoughts on this?
Originally Posted by kathymack
I'm not trying to complicate things. But, I never have a problem with detangling. Even the cheapest, lightest conditioner will do that. Although, they may not give me the moisture or slip I like to feel. I mention this because I have combination medium/coarse (canopy) texture and medium/high porosity.

I'm still experimenting with the products I have. But, I'm thinking that the KBB products that work on your fine hair may also work on my combo hair if they don't have protein.

This is confusing.
cg Dec 08
fine to med texture w/ some coarse / high porosity 2c to 3a






izzytart, Laura Lee, and kathymack - i think i'm finding my fine hair/low porosity twins! Finally! And yeah, my hair also doesn't tangle. Now I will be avidly studying your signatures to find out what works for you, especially since you've all managed to go CG. Consider me your hair stalker...
Originally Posted by jrobsf
My hair tangles just slightly, but it's really not bad at all.

I'm happy to be stalked Everything that is in my sig is something that has worked for me with the exception of the "waiting to be tried" line. Obviously I don't know about those yet
http://www.dormroomcurly.blogspot.com


www.twitter.com/dormroomcurly

Fine/thin 2c/3a, Low-Medium Porosity, Dry!
Ok I did some homework on texture and porosity. Mostly looking for the right products. I better understand now why soap bars didnt work for me. the way my hair felt after had nothing to do with the ingredients like I thought it did. It made my already porous hair way more porous. I never contributed the waxy feeling to porous but thought it was caused from one of the oils or butters in the bar. For me even acv wasnt enough to fix what the bar did.

Now for products. I want to know if choosing products for each is correct. For porosity I need to get the right shampoos and conditioners. My styling products would be what works with my texture? I think I had the the right stylers but was way off on the right products for porous hair.
Consider me your hair stalker...
Originally Posted by jrobsf
I don't mind being stalked so long as you know I have no idea what I'm doing. Think of it more as a group - maybe we can help each other figure out more likely successful products.
"when I sleep, my curls crush flat, like a slinky that's slopped sideways"
Gone 'girly. Last 'poo 10/18/08
Current experiment is Co-Wash and Condition: V05 kiwi lime clarifying conditioner
Then KBB super silky, KCCC, then L'Oreal Melting Gel with a bit of GF Super Stiff mixed in.
Pre-toweling, post-toweling, pre-plop and post-plop. The jury is not out on the plopping thing. I think my hair is too fine.
fine / non-porous / thin aka 3"abba" / oh so Fine / just barely ii
Ah, izzytart - alas, I am too lazy to be a proper stalker.

I totally agree about the group effort. I want to post a topic specifically about fine/low porosity curlies. I bet there are a lot of us out combing the boards for help (as it were).

My hair has been so oily. I'm thinking using sulfate shampoos is probably making it worse. This morning I tried Giovanni 50-50 shampoo (no sulfates) and Nature's Gate biotin strengthening conditioner (rinsed out, then left a little on the ends). I'm thinking maybe I need a conditioner with no oils in it. I (still) really want to go CG. At least it's raining here in San Francisco, so I should get good curl formation no matter what. Still using no styling products (debating which one to get after so many disappointments). I will make this work!
-Porosity an ongoing mystery, fine texture
-Hair likes: light conditioners and light protein, light cones
-Hair dislikes: oils, heavy conditioners, and glycerin

-Co-wash/conditioner: Elucence Moisture
-DPT (rarely): Ion Effective Care
-Styling products: Elucence as a leave-in and (cone alert) Giovanni Frizz Be Gone
Lack of moisture usually is the biggest culprit when it comes to tangling, which can certainly include product ingredients that aren't compatible with your hair type. And if your hair is more porous, it doesn't hang onto moisture quite as well, which stands to reason why girls with higher porosity tend to tangle more.

I promise I am working my way towards what product ingredients I believe are best for what hair property...but I think discussing the hair properties and other factors like weather will lay a much more solid foundation for that discussion and help our understanding of "why?" when we get there.

And thank you to those of you who have PM'd or emailed me and suggested I write a book on this. If and when I decide I can exist on no sleep (or I can find a good ghostwriter), you'll be the first to know

Latest hair properties topic: Hair Elasticity and Density
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density

I had a "aha!" moment in the shower today. There are so many comments about problems detangling hair. In recent memory, my hair has only tangled a few times--after castor oil and my third use of Dairy Whip. Obviously from ingredients it doesn't like. I don't ever remember having problems with tangling--even when I had waste length hair.

While I'm sure my frequent hair cuts have something to do with it. I'm thinking that texture and porosity have more to do with it. I have always been told my hair is fine. I also think I have low to medium porosity. Any thoughts on this?
Originally Posted by kathymack
I'm not trying to complicate things. But, I never have a problem with detangling. Even the cheapest, lightest conditioner will do that. Although, they may not give me the moisture or slip I like to feel. I mention this because I have combination medium/coarse (canopy) texture and medium/high porosity.
Originally Posted by meadowlark2
Ditto. My hair's very similar in porosity and texture to yours. And if I just slap in some V05 in the shower, I don't need a comb... I can run my fingers through pretty much instantly. Now, with just water, that's an entirely different story...
CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08
CO wash/Cond: Kathymack & Flowermoon Castille soap bars, V05 Chamomile Tea, Suave Ocean Breeze, Biolage Conditioning Balm
Styling loves: DIFFUSING! CK, KCNT, KCCC, FOTE (on dry hair only), Re:coil, Proclaim gel
Not sure about: Boots, Tweek, KBB Milk, DMHJ
HATE: plopping, FOTE on wet hair, BRHG
Me 3 any codish will detangle me. I can even detangle with just water. I still don't know where I am with porosity.....
Discovered CG 2007

2C Fia BSL/Thick/Med-Coarse/Low(crown)-Normal Porosity Protein and Oil Sensitive

Link-Spritz & Condish Washing

I'm aCurlJunkieJunky

My hair LOVES Coconut DESPISES Soap Bars


CJRehab or H&B Fix, Deva NO POO, EO Rose & Cham POO & Condish, CJ CurlFix, CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB, SS FHG, KCCC, BRHG, AG Mousse Gel, ACV Rinses,Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse.
Me 3 any codish will detangle me. I can even detangle with just water. I still don't know where I am with porosity.....
Originally Posted by DEL2C
My hair really doesn't even tangle, unless I use an ingredient it doesn't like or possibly scrub a soap bar every which way on my hair.
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, Aloe Fix and CCCC
I know I'm a bit late to this thread, but I'm confused. My hair is medium in texture, but the porosity and elasticity confuse me. I seem to be able to use as much protein as I want. I did a float test and the majority of the strand stayed floating for 5 min. But, I get tangled super easily. I'm able to leave in even really heavy conditioners (like B2B Pomegranate). My hair squeaked when I tried to do the porosity test, but I did a DT just last night-could it really be dry? I used conditioner mixed with honey and olive oil, and after the half hour I barely even needed to rinse to deal with the oil...my hair had sucked most of it up. I've never colored, I've been CG for 4 months, and even before that I never straightened and only used a blow dryer with a diffuser. By what I'm reading here it sounds like my hair is really dry, but it doesn't make sense to me since I've always worn my hair curly and treated it fairly decently. And I tried to do the elasticity test-and it didn't stretch very far before it broke. I don't understand why my hair has problems in these areas when I haven't done anything to damage it? Can someone help?
3a
Currently Using: Suave Coconut, Aldi's Biolage Conditioning Balm knockoff, LOOB, and LA Looks sport gel....cheap and simple seems to be working better!
ModCG since 10/31/08
Actually, my hypothesis is that fine, low porosity hair doesn't tangle.
Originally Posted by kathymack
I fall into that category. My hair is fine, and not very porous.
Originally Posted by izzytart
Wow.. see I'm the opposite: fine haired, but porous.

My hair loves water, conditioners, oils. When I dyed with commercial brands my hair would absorb it like a sponge. Even lower quality henna sticks to my hair forever. My hairs also sink in water.
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)
StruttsWife:

Maybe this should be another thread, but does the type of leave-in conditioner indicate porosity level? For example, I use a liquid leave-in that does not have any polymers and the like in it. My hair is not moisturized by using leave-ins that are creams or butters.
izzytart, Laura Lee, and kathymack - i think i'm finding my fine hair/low porosity twins! Finally! And yeah, my hair also doesn't tangle. Now I will be avidly studying your signatures to find out what works for you, especially since you've all managed to go CG. Consider me your hair stalker...
Originally Posted by jrobsf
I have fairly fine hair now and low porosity, but I'm not ya'll's twin, LOL. I do tangle somewhat, so I like me some slip. I can brush dry, though, as long as I do it gently.

I can get weighed down easily if I use AOHR or other similarly heavy conditioner or with styling products like KCCC and pink Boot's - love them both but just have to watch the amount. And BRHG doesn't leave me oily whatsoever, Izzy. Hard as all get out if it's not over a bit of KBB milk and either KCCC or Boot's, but not greasy. Have to watch castor oil, too, though not as much as Kathymack.

So, some similarities but I diverge from ya'll's "type" somewhat. Some of my low porosity might be attributable to henna (body art grade only, so it is only the vegetable dye), but I think it's fairly low on it's own.

Jrobsf, I agree that sulfate shampoos may be making your oiliness worse. My hair used to be a lot oilier and get weighed down even more easily when I was still using sulfate shampoos. Cutting them out and making myself stop washing so frequently has greatly improved that - with them, my scalp just kept trying to compensate by pumping out more and more oil. Now I co-wash every 2-3 days and low-poo maybe once every 10-14 days for my scalp. Without the scalp issues (also greatly improved without sulfates), I don't know if I'd have to low-poo at all - at least using the GTTTT conditioner that I co-wash with. I tried the Suave coconut that so many use, and I did get to looking and feeling dirtier much more quickly with it. Don't like its glycerin either.

For conditioners, I like GVP conditioning balm which has no oils. However, I do like KBB hair milk (glycerin-free version) or super silky, and they do contain oils. I only use a slight touch (pea to dime sized depending on the day's needs) as a leave-in on the length, not at the roots, and don't usually use it as a rinse-out like a lot of others do. Those who do that are also often still using a heavier leave-in.

For your info, Jillipoo is in San Francisco and our hair seems to be similar, so you might want to kind of watch her, too. I'm in Atlanta - not much fog but plenty of humidity Like me, she doesn't care for glycerin and that might also be a consideration for you in SF, especially with you using no styling products.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

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