Leave in, protein+color, and curl formation! Help! :)

I'm still in the process of experimenting, and have a few key questions before I try new things over the weekend!

1. How much leave-in do you guys normally use? I guess it's kind of odd to me since I've only been doing this less than a year, but I was always told growing up that you have to wash out all the conditioner in your hair. Am I to understand you just comb through a decent amount, then let it dry? Will your hair dry with conditioner all over it without getting waxy or flaking? (For the record, Tresseme Naturals is my leave in--no silicones! )

2. Does protein fade hair color? I dye my hair a deep dark red often, with some fairly less-damaging dye (I go to my mom's stylist and he is pretty good about that!) The other week I tried a great home recipe with an egg and some coconut oil, as well as honey. It was wonderful! However, for a day or so my hair looked a little lighter. Do things like eggs zap your color? Right now it seems all right considering it's been dyed for a bit already.

3. Also, I've been having some issues with curl formation. I feel like my hair is not going to cooperate with me on this one. It's hard to explain, but since on most days it's more wavy, I try the finger curling thing when it's wet...plopping, everything. What happens is it gets this kind of half-hearted twist to it, then unravels and by the middle of the day it's practically straight compared to the top of my head, where it stays a little curlier. Sometimes. :/ On this I'm feeling frustrated because it feels like I've tried every method before. I scrunch, twist, plop, etc...but sometimes my hair's just kind of weak. How can I fix this?

TIA for the advice--I'm well aware I have many questions
Back to CG after a few years away!

CO: Suave Naturals Coconut/Nature's Baby Vanilla Tangerine
My leave-in is V05 Tea therapy, and what I do is add enough to fully coat my hair, which isn't a lot with the one I use since its kind of watery. I comb it through, add some oil and I leave it alone. The key is to not over-saturate or you'll have limp hair, or even stiff with some conditioners.

I think protein does fade color, along with cones. I henndigo my hair, and if I use a coney/proteiny conditioner after or during, it bleeds quite a bit.

Curl formation issues...hmmm...it could be your hair needs clarifying or you're putting too much protein in it. Try going no protein for a few days and see if that makes a difference. I had the same problem last week and did some research and figured out I was using henna which acts as a protein, AND using conditioners with protein, so I use the V05 because its protein free and voila, hair is loving it. Don't pile on product, that is the big thing. Don't over-saturate.

Hope this helps!
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
Thank you! I don't THINK it's over-protein-ing, because I don't really use terribly protein-heavy items. At least, I don't think so. I don't think I was doing the leave-in right, so I'll experiment with that a little bit. I'm not sure if my hair is just not meant to give me more than a little wave, or what...but I'm so inspired by everyone else's lovely hair that I must keep trying!
Back to CG after a few years away!

CO: Suave Naturals Coconut/Nature's Baby Vanilla Tangerine
Tresemme has protein, so if you're using that as your leave in,that could be the problem. Your co wash is perfect. Sauve doesn't have protein. I was using garnier leave in and it has protein too.

Keep me posted!!!
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
I have 2c waves but with the right technique I can get 3a curls. I use a mousse and a spray gel over that for hold.

I add a whole handful of mousse to soaking wet hair. I rake it thru and then scrunch the curls back in. As long as my hair is wet enough when I apply the mousse the clumps will form after raking the mousse thru.

I then drape a flour sack towel around my shoulders and give the mousse about 5 minutes to absorb into my hair before scrunching out the excess water. After scrunching out the excess water I let my hair air dry for up to a half hour. The mousse by now has set the curls and the crunch has started to set in. I now add the spray gel to my hand and scrunch that into my curls. I dont find doing this breaks up my curls at all. I then let it finish air drying or if I am in a hurry I sit in front of a heater fan for 5 minutes.

As long as I dont touch my curls until they are dry they will last all day. Works great for me with or with the addition of a leave in. I havent found a spray gel yet that dont work for me with this method.
I'm not sure if I'm reading the ingredients wrong, but my Tresseme Naturals doesn't seem to have any proteins listed...however, I'm probably unaware of certain ingredients that mean protein, and so I'm going to experiment with that a bit. My only question is that sometimes, even with the Tresseme, my hair gets "fluffy", which other curlies seem to agree means more protein is needed. However, again, I'm not sure on this.

Also--thank you for that routine information! I'm trying that technique right now. I used to plop, but that also could be part of the issue. It's drying now, so we'll see what happens!

Thank you both so much for your help, too!!
Back to CG after a few years away!

CO: Suave Naturals Coconut/Nature's Baby Vanilla Tangerine
I may be wrong but I was under the impression tresemme had proteins but like you, I don't know all the ingredient names for protein. My hair likes protein, I just can't overdo it.

If anything just try switching up some of your product and see. Sometimes I have to do that which is really annoying!
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
I'm a 2C /3A as well, and my rinse out conditioner doubles as my leave in. I use just enough to coat my hair, and I rake it through. Whether your hair will feel waxy or flake with conditioner on it depends on the conditioner.

As far as proteins go... Proteins will appear in an ingredients as ___ protein, or hydrolyzed ___ (hydrolyzed means the protein has been broken up into smaller chunks), or ___ amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of protein). Suave Coconut has silk amino acid which is a protein. It's the only Suave Naturals variety that has any protein at all, as far as I know. None of the Tresemme Naturals conditioners contain protein, however the Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth conditioner has coconut oil in it. Coconut oil is not a protein, but can act to help hair retain any protein it already has. Noodle Head mousse also has proteins, silk amino acids and hydrolyzed silk.

As far as curl formation... You may need something with more hold than a mousse. Maybe top the mousse with a hard hold gel. Although, if you had been getting good results with the Noodle Head, like CoCoLoCks said, you may have buildup. Try a low poo, or perhaps an apple cider vinegar rinse. My other thought is that your protein /moisture balance is off. If it feels limp, weak, mushy, you probably need some protein. Good info (plus pics) on protein /moisture here.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Go To Products /Routine:
Clarifying: Suave Essentials Strawberry
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
CO: Suave Essentials Strawberry, V05 Kiwi Lime
RO /LI: Tresemme Perfectly (un)Done, Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime Squeeze, Suave Essentials Strawberry, Renpure Brazilian Keratin (old formula)
Stylers: LALSG, AIF, HETT, Suave Professionals Firm Control
PT: IAGirl's as needed

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