Curl Talk, I Need Help!

So I know these kinds of posts are all over the forums, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

My hair is not adjusting well to the seasonal change. I live in San Francisco, where the dews are in the 50s-60s and the humidity ranges from 60-90%. This time of year usually looks like most people's fall and even winters--cold, wet miserable weather. However, recently its been sunny and warm (bleh). My hair hates this, what am I to do?

Weirdly when I was visiting my mom a few weeks ago, who lives in the Central Valley of California where the air dry and hot, my hair was happy. Came back to up San Francisco and no dice.

I have been using:
Co-wash: VO5 Herbal Escape Clarifying Conditioner
RO: Tresemme Naturals conditioner (just went back to GVP CO today)
For styling:
Homemade FSG which my hair doesn't seem to care about (not great, not bad)
AG Re:coil, which I can't figure out how to use properly on my hair
Biotera Styling Gel Firm Hold, which isn't giving me the same results as it used to.

My hair properties are Fine Texture, Normal Porosity and Elasticity

My hair is frizzy when wet and if I even gently touch it with either a microfiber towel or flour sack towel to it, it frizzes out.

I will buy any product if it will make my happy. Honestly, I don't care the price. I prefer not to order stuff online, but I will do it.

Any advice and product recs will be greatly appreciated!
Curl Style: 3b/3c
Texture: Fine
Porosity: Normal

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut
Styling: As I Am Leave In, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets & Confident Coils, DevaCurl Set Me Up, Curl Keeper
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil, BioSilk RHG
Here's what I've learned over the years from You need to check the ingredients in the products you're using. I'm pretty sure they've got a lot of humectants in them, and are thus freaking out in the humidity. You want ANTI humectants, or emollients. Here's more explanation about humectants, emollients, etc.

So first of all, here is humectants vs emollients:

  • emollients = soften, smooth, give hair shine
    • vegetable oils and nut butters
  • humectants = absorb water and hold in moisture
    • panthenol, vegetable glycerin
macadamia, jojoba = great natural moisture seaweed, shea, Acanthe Extract = great natural emollients

There are three basic kinds of dew points: low, medium, and high.

For low dew points, here are my notes...
  • no humectants
  • more emollients/moisture
  • less glycerin/propylene glycol (both are humectants)
  • richer consistency conditioners/leave-in/cowash
  • less low pooing
For high dew points, here are my notes...
  • lots! of humectants
  • more glycerin/propylene glycol
  • thinner consistency conditioners/leave in/cowash/
Then I made a chart (like the type-A personality that I am ) outlining my main products and what they have...and what dew points I can use them in...(H is humectant, E is emollient, and P is protein)

(H) - propylene glycol (H), cetearyl alcohol (E), myristyl alcohol (E), cetrimonium choloride(A), decyl oleate (E)

(H) - Hydrolyzed Silk Protein (P), Propylene Glycol (H)

(H) - Panthenol (H), Glycerin (H), Propylene Glycol (H)

(H) - Propylene Glycol (H)

No Frizz
(H) - Glycerin (H), Myristyl Alcohol (E), PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate (E), Caprylyl Glycol (H)

Tres Nat (E) - stearyl alcohol (E), cetyl alcohol (E)

Joiwhip (E) - Polyquat 11, hydro hair kerating (P)

Giovanni (E) - Soybean Protein (P)


Here is more technical information regarding dew points that
I got from this link ...

Dew point <15F = very dry
  • TON of moisture/emollients
  • expect looser curl pattern
  • good time to straighten
  • little/no humectant use
15 - 30F = dry
  • add moisture and emollients
  • limit or cut out humectants
30 - 40F = WEIRD AREA
  • have to figure out a combo of humectants and moisture/emollients that works best for you
40 - 60F = moist
  • prime curly range
  • easily attained moisture/humectant balance
60F+ = very moist
  • lots of humectants!
I think that's it lol ... HTH!!
Originally Posted by wowohwow
If that doesn't make sense, here's more clarification..

Here's the basics. Look up an ingredient. Use this website: Skin Deep Cosmetics Database | Environmental Working Group When you look up an ingredient, it'll say what type it is at the top. Like for example, I looked up propylene glycol... at the very top it says that it's a humectant. I look up everything that's not natural, and I ignore water, fragrances, emulsifiers (thickening agents), and preservatives.

Second, humectants vs emollients. Humectants are like sponges - they pull water into them. Therefore, if there is a humectant on your hair...

* | | ** Let's say that's a hair, ok? and the * are
* | | ** water molecules. Since there are more
* | | ** molecules outside than inside, the hair
* | | ** will absorb the water from the outside toward it.
* | | ** That's a HUMECTANT. Those are its properties. Does that make sense?

So think about it. It's dry in winter and moist in summer, right? So in summer, your hair will pull moisture from the air and it's ok. However, in the winter, there isn't any water to pull from in the air, so the humectant pulls it from your hair - BAD!

I'm not sure why for this next part, but emollients provide moisture for your hair. If you look up an ingredient in that database, you'll find that some of them are labeled "emollients." They provide moisture so that your hair doesn't get dried out. While you still want these in the summer, you want humectants too.

Originally Posted by wowohwow
3a/C/iii; mod-CG since 07/14/08
Shampoo: Whole Foods 365 Citrus Grapefruit shampoo (same results as Deva Low Poo but a tenth of the price!)
Condish: Deva One Condition
Styling: Deva AnGel, then SOTC with no Frizz creme
Hairtwins! Ab-star, Ledzeppole, Shellynot, soficurls and tarc817

Have you thought about trying to seal with an oil? That has helped my waves form and clump very nicely and I think it really cuts down on frizz.

I like Botticelli Botanicals butters but you could just try coconut oil or jojoba oil maybe.

I just emulsify a bit between my hands and scrunch it in my hair directly after my shower into dripping wet hair. Then I just style like usual.

My hair is also liking styling products with glycerin in high dew weather.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Beauticurls, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC
gels: CJ CQ, CJ Pattern Pusha, BRHG

Thanks everyone for the response.

wowohwow, you are awesome!!

Asianrunner, I have used jojoba oil in the past, maybe I'll try it again. I've been thinking about using coconut oil too.
Curl Style: 3b/3c
Texture: Fine
Porosity: Normal

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut
Styling: As I Am Leave In, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets & Confident Coils, DevaCurl Set Me Up, Curl Keeper
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil, BioSilk RHG

Last edited by creativelicense; 06-19-2011 at 11:39 AM.
wowohwow. You are my kind of gal. That is all that I can say!!
I'm 47. Straight hair until 6/2010. THANKS, thyroid!
2b, medium-fine, normal-low porosity, medium density and elasticity
CG since 7/1/2010

Cleanse: Abba Color Protect
Condition: DevaCurl OC
LI: CJ-Deep Fix, Beauticurls LI
Curl Enhancer:
CHS Curl Keeper, KCCC
Gel: Alba Strong Hold Gel, BRHG, Hugo Naturals Gel, SS FHG, CJPP
Trying/Maybe: Ecostyler,CJRM
I think I figured out the problem, my hair was desperate for protein. One PT and DT later, I can feel the difference in my hair.
Curl Style: 3b/3c
Texture: Fine
Porosity: Normal

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut
Styling: As I Am Leave In, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets & Confident Coils, DevaCurl Set Me Up, Curl Keeper
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil, BioSilk RHG

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