3a, Fine, Thin - please help

Hello, I am new here. I have straightened my hair for 20+ years due to being bullied in school. It gave me a serious complex. I am trying to embrace my curls. A year ago the Chi flat iron, (475 degrees) fried my bangs down to the scalp. I figured I better change now or I'll be bald soon. I know I can make them beautiful but I need the right products. Some products are too heavy. Other products are too light/drying. I have spent a ton of money and am so frustrated. I either get super tight curls or I get super loose! UGH!

I read posts saying if you have fine, thin hair, then use products with lighter oil...well...what are some of those products? No one ever seems to list them. Another thing I struggle with is protein. What products do I use for protein and how do I know if my hair likes or dislikes it??

I am so new at this. I have no idea what my hair is supposed to feel like. Forever I thought I had thick hair but I don't. I just had angry poofy hair. I was shocked to figure out my hair is super thin and fine!

Humidity is high where I am and makes it even more difficult to manage.

Shea Moisture seems too heavy for my hair. Makes it super soft. No idea if that is normal.

As I Am - the leave in and also the gel made it coil up tight! Not sure if that's normal or not.

Kinky Curly - Mixed emotions. Both heavy but light and bouncy but super soft. Again, not sure if that's normal.

Pics below show the difference of my hair when using different products. Please help!!
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Last edited by EyeAmShan; 08-11-2017 at 09:16 AM. Reason: can't see pictures
I have no idea how to get my pictures to post. Any suggestions?

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...h3NllxOUtyVkhB

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...dRTGVOYzA5Zm5n

Last edited by EyeAmShan; 08-11-2017 at 10:02 AM. Reason: pics
Attempting to get these pictures to post. Still confused.

Super kinky after using As I Am leave in and gel



More relaxed but not enough hold?

Originally Posted by EyeAmShan
Welcome to nc.com. Your hair in these photos look great. What ever you did here, just keep doing it.
Summer: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing - Citrus Mint Shampoo and Conditioner
Winter: Alaffia Coconut & Shea Daily Hydrating - Lavender Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner

Fine, 2c, low porosity hair that I color using the 2-step henndigo with amla

Looking for styling products and tools

iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
Hi, I forgot to add that I am using the Alaffia Vanilla Mint conditioner. I do like it better than the Shea Moisture. It seems like Shea Moisture leaves my hair super soft, link slinky soft and again, not sure if that's normal but I like the fuller feeling I get with Alaffia.

I do think I need to try "lighter" conditioners but have no clue what those are. I also need a gel that doesn't dry out my hair like LA Gel. The As I Am gel leaves it greasy/wet looking.

My hair is super fine and thin. It's been a struggle trying to find the right balance.
Do you mean the Alaffia Everday Shea conditioner that comes in the 32oz pump? I have tried the Everyday Shea conditioners, but somehow they are too heavy and not conditioning enough. The Everyday Coconut Ultra Moisturizing (not to be confused with the Super Moisturizing) is about enough for me in the winter time, but then too heavy in the summer.

I am currently a huge fan of their original lines. As in my sig, I use the Revitalizing formulas (shampoo and conditioner) in the summer. They are lighter, and my fine hair really benefits from them. and the Hydrating formulas in the winter, when I need something more moisturizing. I have to buy about 32oz of the conditioner per month so that costs about 2x what the Everyday lines cost. But my hair is very happy this way (I only need 8oz of shampoo/month).

Sorry I can't help with gel. I'm still trying to figure that out.
Summer: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing - Citrus Mint Shampoo and Conditioner
Winter: Alaffia Coconut & Shea Daily Hydrating - Lavender Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner

Fine, 2c, low porosity hair that I color using the 2-step henndigo with amla

Looking for styling products and tools

iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
It is normal to have one set of products do one thing for your hair and another set do something completely different. My hair will look drastically different with different products, and it will also look quite different in summer vs. in winter, when the available moisture in the air is very high or very low.

As far as protein goes, unless your hair is badly damaged, a protein-rich conditioner should be plenty for your hair. Finding out whether your hair likes proteins and which ones is a matter of trial and error. Bad reactions to protein usually involve brittleness, loss of curl, inability for the hair to take up water (water tends to bead on top of hair rather than soaking in), excess frizz, and products sitting on top of hair rather than absorbing. Good reactions to protein include hair staying moisturized longer and holding its curl better. It sounds like you are not suffering from bad reactions to protein, so I'm guessing your hair probably doesn't mind protein (protein is in the large majority of hair products, so I'm ugessing that the products you use have protein in them).

If you want to experiment more with protein, I would see what proteins are in your current products and then buy a product that contains a protein that you don't currently use. Or you could buy a protein spray for a leave-in and add that to your regimen and see what happens. Andalou makes a water-based protein spray, though I can't remember what it's called. I think it might be called Styling Spray. If you look at the ingredients, you'll see lots of proteins.

If you have fine hair, you could try the Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion line, which is meant for fine hair. The formula is quite different from that of the other SM products.

I have had a lot of luck with the Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic conditioner. It is not heavy enough for winter (I use Curl Junkie Daily Assurance Smoothing Conditioner in winter), but in the spring and summer, it gives me bouncy curls, as long as I have enough protein from elsewhere (the Harmonic conditioner is protein free). In the winter, I use Curl Junkie Beauticurls leave-in, which is quite light despite the fact that it has some heavier oils. In the summer, I use Intelligent Nutrients Straight Hair Serum, which doesn't straighten the hair but helps seal down the cuticle so I don't get so much frizz.

Some other things to look for are reactions to aloe and glycerin. These can cause problems for some people, especially when the weather is very dry or very humid (the extremes). These ingredients are usually OK in rinse-out products (poos and conditioners), but styling products and leave-ins, which remain in the hair, can be an issue.

In short, trial and error are the only ways to find the products that work for your hair. Change up your hair products one at a time and try to find out what each one is doing for you. Certain combinations will be great; others will be not so great. Remember to clarify with a stronger shampoo every now and then to get rid of build-up, as some products (even high-quality CG products) will build up on hair over time. That will ensure that you get an accurate picture of what your products are doing for your hair.
Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
RO: IN Harmonic
LI: As I Am; CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel
Normal- to low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
It is normal to have one set of products do one thing for your hair and another set do something completely different. My hair will look drastically different with different products, and it will also look quite different in summer vs. in winter, when the available moisture in the air is very high or very low.

As far as protein goes, unless your hair is badly damaged, a protein-rich conditioner should be plenty for your hair. Finding out whether your hair likes proteins and which ones is a matter of trial and error. Bad reactions to protein usually involve brittleness, loss of curl, inability for the hair to take up water (water tends to bead on top of hair rather than soaking in), excess frizz, and products sitting on top of hair rather than absorbing. Good reactions to protein include hair staying moisturized longer and holding its curl better. It sounds like you are not suffering from bad reactions to protein, so I'm guessing your hair probably doesn't mind protein (protein is in the large majority of hair products, so I'm ugessing that the products you use have protein in them).

If you want to experiment more with protein, I would see what proteins are in your current products and then buy a product that contains a protein that you don't currently use. Or you could buy a protein spray for a leave-in and add that to your regimen and see what happens. Andalou makes a water-based protein spray, though I can't remember what it's called. I think it might be called Styling Spray. If you look at the ingredients, you'll see lots of proteins.

If you have fine hair, you could try the Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion line, which is meant for fine hair. The formula is quite different from that of the other SM products.

I have had a lot of luck with the Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic conditioner. It is not heavy enough for winter (I use Curl Junkie Daily Assurance Smoothing Conditioner in winter), but in the spring and summer, it gives me bouncy curls, as long as I have enough protein from elsewhere (the Harmonic conditioner is protein free). In the winter, I use Curl Junkie Beauticurls leave-in, which is quite light despite the fact that it has some heavier oils. In the summer, I use Intelligent Nutrients Straight Hair Serum, which doesn't straighten the hair but helps seal down the cuticle so I don't get so much frizz.

Some other things to look for are reactions to aloe and glycerin. These can cause problems for some people, especially when the weather is very dry or very humid (the extremes). These ingredients are usually OK in rinse-out products (poos and conditioners), but styling products and leave-ins, which remain in the hair, can be an issue.

In short, trial and error are the only ways to find the products that work for your hair. Change up your hair products one at a time and try to find out what each one is doing for you. Certain combinations will be great; others will be not so great. Remember to clarify with a stronger shampoo every now and then to get rid of build-up, as some products (even high-quality CG products) will build up on hair over time. That will ensure that you get an accurate picture of what your products are doing for your hair.
Originally Posted by Therese1


This makes sense! I have tried Andalou sunflower citrus conditioner and it left my hair dry and brittle! Hmmm. Your post is so helpful. I need to find a happy medium. I have a ton of the fine hair products from shea moisture but still on the fence. But again, I have no clue what my hair should feel like! I think I will try Giovani direct leave in next and Re-coil curl activator. I read that Curl Keeper loosens the curls...that may be an option for me. With my hair being shoulder length, and a super kinky ringlet, it looks a bit silly yet!

I will also try the products you use. I think my hair will like them!
It sounds like my hair type is similar to yours and I have a similar hair history (straightening every day for 15 years until it started breaking off). I find a lot of the CG advice doesn't work for me as my hair gets weighed down easily and yet it gets dry pretty easily too. It's probably pretty tough for you right now because your hair is damaged--it will get better if you treat it kindly. Here's what works for me:

Daily washing with actual sulfate shampoo and a light conditioner (I use):

-Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
-Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner (and I rinse it out completely)
-1x/week I deep condition using SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Masque (the only SheaMoisture products that work for me are from the new weightless line). Another great deep conditioning treatment it olive oil. Leave it in for at least 15 minutes, then shampoo, condition, and style as normal)
-Wrap wet hair in a microfiber or T-shirt towel
-I detangle using a wide tooth comb
-I use about a nickel sized amount of Ouidad Moisture Lock leave-in conditioner (it's actually really light)
-3 pumps of Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (my hair is pretty long--almost to my bra band, so you might need less)
-I wait about 15 minutes (this is how long it takes me to do my makeup) and then I diffuse, upside down, until my hair is completely dry.

It's taken me years to get this routine down and improve the health of my hair, but my hair has never looked better. This may not work for you, but it's worth a try.

Good luck!
C is for Curly!
3a/b curls
Still searching for my HG
For light conditioners, I like John Masters lavender and avocado intensive conditioner. It's about the only one that doesn't weigh my hair down. It has protein in it. While pricy, I use only small amounts of it and mix it with homemade gelatin protein treatment. I squish to condish with it to make good use of what I use and therefore don't use much.

Btw your hair looks fabulous. Your pattern is similar to mine in some ways, and my hair is super fine, so perhaps you'd like the same products.

3A/f/i
Super baby fine hair, low porosity
Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT

Last edited by naturecat; 08-13-2017 at 02:43 AM.
I also was a victim of the hair bullies and relaxed/ironed my hair for 10 years until it all started snapping off (I had no fringe left either). I have very fine, blonde 3b hair and I aim to maximise the Curl when I style. I want my ringlets as tight as possible.
I cowash twice a week with a cleansing conditioner then apply some CJ smoothing lotion leave in. I then apply a few pumps of LUS love ur curls Curly 3 in 1 styler and add extra water so my hair is soaking. This is key to making this product work! I smooth through and then scrunch with a microfibre towel, diffuse for a few minutes and then either air dry or go under my hooded dryer. This method and product give me soft, defined curls without being weighed down at all.

For conditioners I use SM fruit fusion mask or Hask keratin mask.
3 ab Baby fine, Low density, high porosity, naturally pale blonde. And a UK Curly Girl
No/Low Poo: Palmers Olive Oil Cowash
LI: CJ Smoothing Lotion

DT/PT: CJ Repair Me!, SM Fruit Fusion
Stylers: Palmers Olive Oil Glossing Mousse


I struggled for a very long time until I found the right products. I have to let my hair keep some build up.. which sounds nuts but is how I get the best definition.. and use very light products. Too "clean" is just as bad as too moist (oily/heavy). The products in my signature are my holy grail and literally the only thing that works well for an extended period of time for me. Shampoo with a clarifying shampoo (no silicone) and expect terrible hair for a few days until you get some weight/moisture, then be careful to never strip it again or apply anything non water soluble. A light oil at night can be helpful (almond, jojoba, apricot, grapeseed.. just a little). Only shampoo your roots and only when you truly need to, cowash or just wet it and apply leave in the rest of the time. Treat it with extreme care at all times, it's fragile. Remember if your hair is damaged, it's damaged.. it will never be the best until you grow out the damage. I'm seven years natural, since that time my hair has never had heat, except my bangs which are short (I do color it but that is non-negotiable), my hair is the longest it's ever been in my life and 100% healthy, zero split ends. I trim about an inch a year just to keep it even.
3A, fine, porous, colored, protein sensitive
Buildup/breakout with: butters, coconut/argan oil, polyquats.
Poo:SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Shampoo
RO/CoW/DT/LI: TRESemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner

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