I'm so frustrated lately. Every once in a while I just feel like venting.

Honestly, I don't see a big difference in my naked hair from pre-CG to today, over a year later. It still looks the same - stringy, thin, some weird zig zaggy pattern between a wave and a curl. I think back to my pre-CG days and never once did I have a stylist tell me my hair was damaged. But then I figured, why not try this curly thing, surely it's fried.

So I did. Jumped into protein and moisture and no sulfates and no silicones... and a year later, the biggest difference I've found is my technique. If I don't bother to style it, it looks just like it did the day I quit straightening it. I can post these great pics in the before and after thread, but trust me - they are the best of the best and I attribute those results totally to my styling techniques (such as really wet hair, plopping, scrunching, etc) which have drastically changed since pre-CG.

It doesn't really frizz, I have some between-the-curls strays and a really light halo of thin fuzz sometimes, but that's really it. It doesn't tangle, it never really has. It doesn't react to the weather - which I've heard porous hair does much more than non porous hair. Humidity doesn't make it puff up. I can do the same routine 2 days in a row, exact same steps, same products, and get COMPLETELY different results. Some days it's bouncy and curly, some days it refuses to do much of anything but look like I just rolled out of bed.

It's not fun anymore. I'm tired of fussing over it and guessing about what it will look like that day and being disappointed. I almost straightened it last night. Instead, I went back to last fall's most consistent routine and products and ended up with a so-so day, it looks okay but feels kind of weird.

On a good day, it feels soft and bouncy. On a bad day, I can't describe how it feels other than like I got something stuck in it. Producty, gunky, something like that. But like I said, a year later I have not pinpointed what works and what doesn't because one day something will and the next day it won't. I just can't believe after years of straightening, it wasn't fried. I can't believe after a year of being curly, I still don't have a single HG product or routine. Instead, I have a closet full of stuff that sometimes works great, other times does not.

I used to think protein was doing me huge benefits, but then I realized it really probably isn't since my naked hair is no different than it was a year ago. It doesn't react badly to protein, but it doesn't look any better naked after a PT.

I would leave it naked and quit trying, just let it be, but my left-alone curl/wave pattern has a mind of its own. I do feel blessed to have curly hair and I don't care how curly it is, I'd be totally happy with beachy waves or corkscrews, but my hair is a combo of both plus everything in between. It's not consistent and if I don't bother to at least scrunch, I look like I didn't try at all.

My hair feels best in the shower after a clarifying sulfate wash and a really light conditioner. Sigh. At least when I straightened it, it was predictable. I think I'm way too neurotic to have fun with this for an extended period of time It's so frustrating to read how everyone is having these amazing results after a month and a year later, I'm still looking about the same.

Okay, done ranting.
fine, thin, normal/(low?) porosity. Mod-CG. Usually I can't co-wash more than 1x a week, & sometimes I have to use T-Gel in rotation due to scalp issues.

Co-wash: VO5 Volumizing
Poo: Giovanni 50:50
RO:TN, Nexxus Youth Renewal, Alba Coconut
PT: gelatin PT, ION EC
Stylers: Giovanni mousse, TIGI Curls Rock amplifier (a-cone), Curls Rock Strong Hold Mousse
Gels: SCC spray gel