Greetings... I'm a newbie here, I've actually been 'lurking' on the boards the last couple/few weeks trying to figure out if there was a way to enhance the waviness in my hair.

I've often described my hair as being partially wavy and partially straight nightmare hair, and up until today, I would say the "Straight" was a little more accurate. I'd definitely say my "normal" hair would be classified as 2A at best. My waves are generally speaking very loose and weak. I also have highlighted hair. I would say I have medium texture hair, not fine or coarse.

What made me think that I might actually be able to enhance the wave?? Well, after showering, my hair seems to have much more wave to it. My problem is that after drying (whether naturally drying or blowdry) it would simply fall pretty flat.

I've had my hair long-layered for a while (about 4 inches below shoulder), and that has helped bring some of the wavy texture to life, but it was still not enough.

I just happened to change shampoo/conditioner about 3 months ago to L'oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Intense Nourishing...primarily because it was on a good sale and I had coupons. To my surprise, I really liked the shampoo. This was well before reading anything on this subject/board.

So, fast-forward to my discoveries and experimentations the last couple of weeks from stuff I've been gleaning from this site:

My hair likes the epsom salt/water spritz, mixed at 1 tsp. epsom to 1 Cup hot water. It helped add some wave that I was looking for, but still after a while it was not holding and still falling flat. Partial success.

I tried a cowash only with a little leave-in conditioner, and found that was a no-go for me. My hair became far too oily after only half a day. But, I did note that additional conditioner did add a little more desired curliness...and that moisture was my friend. So in this case, I would say partial success in experimenting.

Another experiment: Tresemme gel in addition to epsom spritz. I added a small amount to my hair, and it held a little bit, but like gels in general...I just don't like the 'gluey' texture my hair gets after using them. I also am not a fan of crunchy, and there are quite a few products I've played with over the last few months that fall in crunchy category and fail my personal requirements.

Fast-forward to yesterday...haircut. I told my stylist (of 10 or so years) that I was wanting to bring out more of the natural wave, and I had noticed that my top layer was much straighter than lower layers. I asked her opinion of adding more layering to bring out the lower wavy layers, and she agreed that would help. My layers now run from chin lenth to a couple inches below the shoulders. Bingo! She was even shocked to see how much wave was coming out...and she had even asked me if I had permed my hair LOL. I told her I was just using the sulfate-free shampoo/conditioners now. I don't think she seemed to think too much about that though. I asked her about styling products that she recommended that would not leave my hair crunchy or gluey, and I brought home with me 'Its-A-10 Miracle Leave-in with Keratin' and 'Redken Ringlet 07' Curl Perfecting Lotion. (An additional note -- I had my hair re-highlighted yesterday too -- with a deep conditioning treatment, last highlight was in early January.)

Now "first curly success" step-by-step:

Step 1: Wash with handful of L'oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Intense Nourishing Shampoo with a few swirls of L'oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Intense Nourishing Conditioner mixed together. Lather up real good, let sit for a minute or two and rinse out.

Step 2: Conditioned well with generous amount of 'Yes To Cucumbers' Color Care Conditioner. I left the conditioner sitting on hair for a few minutes before rinsing. In shower I used a thick comb to run through my conditioned hair.

Step 3: After shower, I used a "Turbie Twist" microfiber towel to help scrunch my hair. I did not "twist" the towel like it was designed for, but I find the towel very useful for fitting over my head for initial scrunching and towel-drying.

Step 4: Spritz hair with 'Its a 10 Miracle Leave-in plus Keratin' spray. (I do this while head bent over...easier to work both sides of hair.)

Step 5: Put 2 pumps of Redken Ringlet 07 Curl Perfecting Lotion between palms and distribute throughout hair and scrunch. (I do this while head bent over...easier to work both sides of hair.)

Step 6: Add some Epsom Salt & Water Spritz (1 tsp Epsom to 1 Cup water solution) and scrunch some more. (I do this while head bent over...easier to work both sides of hair.)

Step 7: Let air dry. Finger comb after dry.

That's it. Pretty quick wash-and-go styling...pretty simple, and now after much of the day and hair is dry, I've still got amazing curl happening that I've been craving. It looks about as curly as it used to look when wet only. I'm so excited for this discovery and can't wait to maybe even try some other tweaks...but I'd certainly be happy if I could look like this EVERY day.

Now for the next challenge -- see what happens on Day 2.

Sorry I don't have any pictures handy to post...but if you look at the 2A and 2B pictures that are shown as samples on this is literally that kind of difference in wave/curl that I'm seeing. Its quite a stunning change!

I do think the products my stylist recommended are helping. She's used the Its a 10 on my hair before as leave-in, so I knew that would help with hydration without making my hair greasy in following day.

I've never tried the Redken Ringlet before today, but my stylist assured me that would give me softness and no-crunch and a little hold...and she was right!

I hope that this is helpful to other 2A'ers out there that have been having some trouble finding your "magic mix". I'm certainly excited and looking forward to new styling discoveries as time goes on.


Now Happily 2A/2B!

Low-poo: L'Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner

Conditioner: Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Conditoner

Leave-In: It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin

Styling: Epsom Salt/Water Spritz + Redken Ringlet 07 Curl Perfecting Lotion