Hello. I'm new here, and have a huge "intro" post. I also have nice curly hair. Or rather Would have it if I knew how to take care of it better Right now it's sort of a curly mess. . . I'm sure that most of the people here have been there and done that though. Hm, my entire life I've been taking care of it wrong, and I'm trying to play catch up now. I've always loved my curls, and would never trade them. I just need to figure out how to take better care of them. Right now my hair is down to the part of my back that curves out when wet, a little below my shoulders when dry. I don't get it cut, though when I see a spot that has split ends I'll trim those off.

The biggest problems I seem to have with my hair is that it is really frizzy, doesn't have uniform curls and doesn't have volume in the "right" places. Hm. I'll do my best to elaborate that.

I guess the frizziness is easy, right It is getting better, when I put a lot of stuff into it, but it doesn't seem to ever completely stay tamed, and when I don't try to weigh the frizz down it goes everywhere, though not as bad as when I was a kid and didn't know anything at all.

I guess that leads to the last part next. Probably just the way I am doing things, but my hair stays pretty flat towards my scalp, doesn't have any volume, yet towards the bottom it will puff out a bit. I'd really like to get it to where it doesn't look plastered to my skull, but isn't puffy anywhere. Should I be turning my head upside down to get more lift from the roots, instead of looking like I've been wearing a hat all day since my hair has volume/to is frizzy at the ends yet is stuck to my scalp(except for the frizz) I just have trouble standing like that, and my hair is long enough that it makes it doubly akward.

Then there's the curls. Some are pretty and spiraly(sorta like someone twisted it around a curling iron for the curl, then stretched it out). Some look more wavy(hm. Almost like someone put it between the pegs on a loom and got it to stay that way) and some locks just don't hold a curl and puff out with every hair going in a different direction of a curl. When it dries, some of the curls still do have the spiral shape, but are tight near the ends and look like the same stretched one was smashed onto itself. It's frizzy throughout them, and I only have a few locks that are completely frizz/fluff free. Though most/all of them do have a generally ringletted curl to them.

Most of my life I had washed it between once a week(young kid) to daily(when some idiot at a salon told my mom to have me do it that much since my problem was oily hair went from the combo conditioner/shampoo to daily shampoo and some bad conditioner) and I had always brushed it when dry with one of those brushes that seem to be the worst on curly hair(have lots of little bristles that are smashed together) but went to a plastic one with hard bristles that looks like one of the ones that hair dryers attach to. Is it any wonder I not only went through gallons of no more tears, but also hated to touch my hair since it was always a tangled mess?

When I was a teen was when I started to notice it getting bad. It would constantly frizz out, badly(see the first pic) and if I would not brush it for a day, or would keep it up tightly in a bun/braid(s) for the day it would be frizzy, yet just have a LOT of volume and a bit of wave instead of just frizz. I got to the point where I wasn't getting it wet or touching it other than to brush it for a month or two at a time, since the oil in it would make it lie down a bit more, though it would look and feel disgustingly greasy. Then when I would wash it POOF! Back into a frizzball. And it was always tangled. I could brush it then less than a minute later, not moving, I'd have knots again(trust me, my mom screamed at me tons of times when I was a kid for "not brushing it good enough" or would just have it cut to a guy's length since it had knots in it>.<) And whenever I'd brush it I would always "feel" how dry and nasty it was. I ended up going to one of the salons near my job, and they told me the problem was that it was dry(it is.) and immediately signed me up for reconditioning treatements. Sure, my hair would look okay for a bit(though the one lady Hurt my scalp she pulled so hard, and left my hair weird looking and sticky) but once I would wash or brush it again it would go back to being the same mess again. They never got to the reason it was that way, though they did sell me a lot of expensive products that didn't work.

Forward to where I live now. I met someone who I considered a friend(until recently, long story) and she has similar hair to mine. She told me some of the stuff I was doing wrong. Since then I haven't brushed my hair when it is dry once. It looks tons better just from that. I've also found a good washing routine, sorta. I only wash it once, twice at most a week. Every day when I shower(before I touch it) I slather on conditioner and sometimes a mask(usually only if I've washed it), comb it through with a wide toothed comb and leave it on until I'm done showering before rinsing it out. When I'm out of the shower I use my fingers to squeeze off extra water, then do the same with a towel. Then I put in a good bit of leave in conditioner, a bit of flexible hold hair spray, and citre shine, then I have been using a brush on it. It's one of the ones with flexible hard rubber bristles with knobs on the ends of the bristles to keep it from scratching, though from what I've read here should I give that up for another comb? I let it totally air dry.

Right now I've been using garnier's fructise for dry/damaged hair, avon's icelandic mineral spa olive oil mask, infusium for the leave in, and herbal essences for the hair spray. They work so-so, but I'd definately like to find better. Also, tomorrow I'm getting some stuff from my avon lady that was made for curly hair. One is a mist on, the other is a gel based one. I'd have tried the cream, but they usually haven't been too good on my hair. I've tried a lot of the really expensive products at salons with no effect. The shampoos don't work well, and the creams they've sold me had absolutely no effect on the frizziness and only made my hair greasy. I figure if nothing else I can use them towards the ends of my hair if they don't work well. Does anyone have any feedback on the curly hair solutions line? I was messing around at their site and it looked good. Oh, guess I should mention. I never use anything with metal on my hair, though I do have the habbit of putting it into a tight bun when I don't want to mess with it. I use the soft fabric scrunchies.

Onto pics. . .

First, the way it used to always look: http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...7797299589.jpg

Then a couple of the way it looked when it was up all day tightly:

Then sorta what it looks like now, though it usually isn't as nice. It had been up all day and was nice, yet still somewhat damp. The curls are never so loose, and it's always got a good bit of frizz. There are also never so few curls. I've got tons of them!(and please pardon the rat who had decided to nap on my head ):

Hm, you can sorta see what I was talking about there. The bottom of my hair has the rings to it, yet the top part is a bit wavy. meh, it's late, I'm rambling and need sleep! Thanks for looking