HELP! (x-posted from 2 forum)

First, I need help determining my hair type. 2A? 2B? What do you think?

Next, I need help making it look not so stringy. I don't like all the little curls, I'd love to have bigger more defined curls. Here's what I did to get this adorable ( ) look:

Washed with a little Jessicurl GLS

Condition with Loreal provive conditioner for curly/wavy hair, rinsed it out completely

Spritzed with Aussie Dual Personality spray gel/leave in conditioner while dripping wet. Used a wide tooth comb to evenly distribute (I think this is where I went wrong).

Scrunched with a hand towel to get out excess water.

Scrunched in Garnier Fructis curl shaping spray gel, plopped with a hooded baby towel while I got dressed and bathed the kids (about 20 minutes). I made sure that the non-terry cloth side was against my hair. It's more like a t-shirt instead of a normal towel.

Then I scrunched in Pantene Pro-V curl defining scrunching gel and let it air dry for a couple of hours. Then I bent over from my hips and shook/scrunched out what little crispiness there was.

Any ideas of why it's so stringy and--poofy? Maybe it's the length?

Thanks so much for your help! I *think* I've almost got my routine straigtened out!
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
Your hair is very shiny and healthy looking. My only guess would be maybe trying a different routine to try to get fuller curls. I know that if I plop after putting styling products in and then air dry, my curls look similar to yours. They don't clump like they do when I diffuse with a blow drier.

Have you ever used a diffuser? Maybe try that to see if you can prevent your curls from separating like that. Also I find that I only need to blot dry my hair out of the shower, but then I apply just my Batia and Aleeza gel and dry. If I use a towel again after applying gel, I find that it breaks up my curl's pattern.

Everyone's different, so it's tough to say, but maybe heat styling will help.
Fine, blonde 3a botticelli curls
I'll have to try to diffuse it. I did when my hair was longer and it just resulted in split ends. Maybe now that it's cut I'll try it. Thanks!
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
Is your hair medium texture? If so and you've already been doing CG for a good while I'm thinking maybe it's a 2B, if it's fine textured it would be 2A. However I wonder if your hair could curl even more...

My suggestion for clumping is to avoid combing your hair when applying product. Sometimes I've had to do that, like when using a thick product, but that invariably ruins any clumping. I've in fact been thinking of doing this on purpose to get a "combable" wavy style without having to use rollers.

In order not to end up with stringy curls this is what I do: I gather all my hair together at the back and twist it gently as if I were going to put it in a bun, then I bend down at the waist an let it hang upside down and either gently scrunch it or "accordion" it by placing my hands palms up touching the ends then push the hair up and down; next I straighten up quickly and usually the hair has re-curled with acceptable clumping, other times I have to repeat the process either adding more product or water to some sections and/or may have to twist some strands together to get them to curl properly.
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
Thanks for your ideas! My hair is medium texture and I think I could get more curl out of it, I just have to figure out what it wants. I've only been doing CG for about a month.

This morning I didn't comb after I got out of the shower (but I did while in there and it had condish in it). I just sprayed GN curl shaping spray gel while it was dripping wet, scrunched it with a hand towel a couple of times and then plopped for about 5 minutes. Then I scrunched in a little pantene pro-v curl defining scrunching gel (I'm really loving that stuff, it's not crispy at all!!) and right now I'm letting it air dry. I plan on diffusing it after a couple of hours to see what that does. I'll post pics!!

If this doesn't work I think I might be narrowing down the problem. My crown is really awful. It's like it's dry and just uncooperative. That's the only way I can describe it. But if I leave a little condish in (right now I'm rinsing it all out) my hair looks greasy. When I bend over to scrunch/plop/whatever it's all stringy and gross. It's that hair that's right in front of your face when you bend over. Any ideas for that? I'm thinking that maybe sleeping on it is not helping and maybe I should pineapple it at night?
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
You may want to try a curl enhancing product like Re:coil or L'oreal's tightly wound.

I'm a 2b but can get my hair up to a 3a with re:coil.
"What's the good of having naturally curly hair if nobody's jealous?" Freida - Peanuts

~CG 8/06 ~
fine, wavy - 2b/3a
Very pretty hair! I think you are somwhere in the 2b or 2c range. My hair is similar to yours (we're not twins, but sisters!) and that's about where I place myself.

I've also been having the same "stringy curl" effect as you. I think mine is being caused by the change in weather, so maybe this could be a factor for you too?

Anyway, I'll be waiting to hear what works for you so that I can try it too!
~FIA~ 2c-M-iii

CG since 9/06, modified since 3/07.

<~~ Me every morning

Updated fotki 5/06/08

Products-of-the-moment: Loving Innersense right now: Pure Essential Hair Bath, Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner and I Create Quiet Calm Curl Cream. Devacurl Angell is my go to gel, nothing else like it for me. Nature's Gate Lavendar and Aloe Nourishing Conditoner is always in my shower.

password - curly girl

I must be blind b/c I'm not seeing any "stringy curl". I just see my dream hair! I'm a 3B but want loose curl like you. I keep hoping growing it out will loosen the curl (so I can look like you) but it's not happening. Sigh.
Growing out from a pixie cut. Long process but I'm getting there.
awwww, thanks!! I had my hair styled like that one day and someone commented that it was stringy so I have that paranoia in my head now.

Go check out the photos in the 2 forum from today. ICK!
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
I don't quite understand why you apply another gel after plopping , I would think that would disturb any effect accomplished, which by the way, I don't think can be much in just 5 minutes - way too little. All application of styling product should be done before plopping (except for those intended to be used when the hair is dry, of course) which should really be done for at least 15-20 mins.

Next, I recommend that despite of your bad past experience you use a diffuser because you can get more curl this way, at my present length my hair "shrinks" at least 1" when I diffuse dry. When done properly diffusing causes no damage, besides, to be sure you can always rub a little jojoba oil (or similar) on your ends before applying gel and give your hair a protein DT at least once a month.

The "trick" to diffusing is to do it only partially and to NEVER aim heat at one spot for too long. Personally, I begin with the high setting moving from one section to another after maybe 30 seconds. When the top layer of hair begins to feel "crunchy" I switch to a lower setting/warm air for 2-3 more mins., if at any point my hair feels hot I switch to "cold".

To encourage curling, I place the "cup" at the ends of my hair and push it up in a scrunching motion and hold it so for a bit. Then I turn the blower off before releasing and switching to another section, this way I don't disturb the curls and as they quickly begin to cool off they "set" in the curlier position. To finish, I bend down from the waist and aim the diffuser at the nape and undersides to speed up drying. The whole process usually takes me maybe 5-7 mins., 10 tops and my hair at that point is maybe 75-80% dry. By letting it air dry the rest of the way, risk of drying the hair or producing frizz is eliminated. When it's 100% dry I then "fluff" it and/or "scrunch off" the gel crunch, usually after first rubbing a couple of drops of jojoba oil in my hands which keeps the hair from sticking to my hands and getting "messy".

Btw, I also agree that your hair doesn't really look "stringy", I really interpreted it as your desire to have "clumpier" curls.
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
Thanks for the diffuser tutorial!! That's exactly what I need. I'll have to try it.

Today I used some Jessicurl RR anc CC and while wet I have awesome sprials! We'll see how it dries.

Thanks again! I'll post pics later today.
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
Glad to help , I'm crossing my fingers for you and looking forward to more pics!
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
Ok, after a few days of experimenting w/ Jessicurl's products I *think* I'm slowly getting there. I've realized I can't plop or do anything upside down. If I do, I get that huge '80s hair. LOL Maybe when my hair is longer I can plop it? I really hope so because it's convenient for my routine.

Anyway, here's what I did this morning and some pics:

I lo-pooed, did an ACV rinse, let condish sit for a few minutes and then rinsed it out completely. While still in the shower I raked in RR (not upside down, just tilted my head to either side). Then I scrunched to get most of the water out, scrunched w/ a microfiber towel, scrunched in some more RR and then one nickel-sized amount of CC. Diffused using the pixie method to get most of the water out (I've realized that the weight of the water was pulling out my curl). Then let it air dry for an hour. There wasn't any crunch, but there also wasn't much curl. So I scrunched in some Loreal TW spray gel and (although it's a bit crunchy) I like it. What do you think? btw, it's REALLY hard to get a picture of your own hair!!! :P

I'm thinking of putting TW in my wet hair (maybe after the CC?) before I diffuse and see if that helps with the crunch.
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
Seems like it's clumping better, right? And it's really great that your hair looks shiny and healthy!

Your hair is long enough for plopping now but I think it's something that sometimes requires practice. It definitely didn't work for me the first time I tried it so for the longest time I didn't bother with it. But then one day, I think back in December, I decided to give it another try (after watching the demo at the Jessicurl's site) and I loved what it did with my crown; the interesting part is that my hair was not even as long as yours and it still worked so maybe you could give it another try.
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
I might give plopping another try. I've watched the video on Jessicurl's site over and over and still can't get the hang of it. :x I can get it up, I just don't like the way it looks when I take it down. The sides by my ears don't curl, but kind of feather. It also does weird things to my crown. I'm thinking of giving myself bangs or something because the hair that would be bangs is driving me up the wall. It won't curl and just looks weird.

Grrrr.....I'm about ready to give up. I can't get 2nd day hair so I have to do the whole routine every day. Which I don't mind since I usually take a shower every day. But the diffusing is really annoying me. I've never takn the time to blow dry my hair because I feel like it's a waste of time. LOL Plus, I'm due to have a baby in July and I know I'll be lucky if I even get a shower much less get to diffuse every day (if my previous 2 are any indication!).

I'd love to be able to shower, put stuff in my hair and then wrap or plop it, let it down, scrunch out whatever crunch and go. *sigh* Has anyone tried the curl ease towel? It's really not in our budget and I'd hate to spend the money if it won't work. Microfiber and terry towels make my hair frizz.
~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
So you're expecting, congratulations! Well, that could explain why your hair may not be responding to "plopping" to its fullest potential. Just as we can get a little temperamental due to the hormone changes it's not unusual at all for our hair to be the same way.

For 2nd day hair more than likely your hair needs a gel with much more hold than RR, like a PVP based one such as HE TT or Aussie TNF. At bedtime you should spray your hair with water lightly to reactivate the gel so the curls will hold together better through the night, next cover them with a satin bonnet. In the morning, spray again with water to replenish any moisture lost and so any "crimped" curls may be restored to shape either by shaking your head from side to side or bouncing them (up and down with the palm of your hand). Once they're totally dry just "fluff" or scrunch out as usual.

If the above still doesn't work, maybe you should just simplify things for the time being, especially when you get bigger and less willing to deal with any kind of hassle. I would suggest, for at least part of the time, roller sets or blow drying straight and pinning the hair in several large barrel curls at night, that way you wouldn't have to wash/wet your hair but only every few days. I'm sure a few months after you have the baby, like when he/she gets into a regular schedule and you begin to have a little more time for yourself, then you could go back to full-time curls.
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC
Thanks! Actually, I think my pregnancy is why my hair is actually CURLING. I hope I don't lose it after she gets here.

The past 2 days I've plopped it for as long as it takes me to get dressed and then diffused it. It actually turned out pretty well. It's just SO much easier getting dressed when you don't have to worry about your hair, you know?

I'm having such issues with plopping though that I don't dare leave it in longer than a few minutes. This is what happened this morning and it's pretty typical. I can't for the life of me get the sides to not get twisted in the rolls! I've watched Jessicurl's video, I've read the article on, etc. *sigh* Oh and promise not to laugh at my ugly mug? I've got the flu, no makeup on, right out of the shower.

~Melanie~ 2B/C depending on my hair's mood
Trying to find a routine my hair likes!
Oh, so your hair is curling more now, so much for that!

I'm really not an expert in "plopping" but I think your sides should be inside the towel... Could it be that maybe it's not big enough? Maybe you can "kife" one of your hubby's old T-shirts and see if that works out better? I hope other "ploppers" will chime in and give their opinion!
2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

"Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC

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