I can't get my hair to look like this...

...and I'm hoping some of you have ideas that can help.

I went in yesterday for a root touch up and I left in love with my hair! My stylist always does such a great job with it. She used Set It Free and ArcAngell, clipped the top and diffused the length with a DevaFuser while the top dried under a hood.

This is what it looked like (please ignore my dorky facial expressions):

She got such pretty clumps! I can't seem to get my hair to clump like that. It always comes out stringy.

This is when I do it:

I use KBB Hair Milk as my leave-in, scrunch in some KCCC and then use either B5 Design Gel or BRHG over it. I use KBB Hair Butter to SOTC.

My hair dries so crunchy it looks like I just walked out of the shower until I SOTC. This happens even if I diffuse. I don't mind the crunch; it's not hard to scrunch out and I get all day hold with these products and have no product-y feel once I SOTC. My hair holds up in wind and most humidity here (unless it's misting out--that's worse for frizz than actual rain!).

No matter what I do I can't get my hair to not be stringy. I thought maybe my stylist got it to clump so nice yesterday because the products she used let my hair clump and dried soft with no crunch at all after diffusing, but the gel she used doesn't have enough hold for me. My hair only looked like that for about 2 hours before getting frizzy and losing its definition (it was already losing definition by the time I got home to take the pictures half an hour after I walked out of the salon).

Then I realized it was probably her technique too. She scrunched the products in differently than I do. She more squeezed them in along the length of my hair and didn't really scrunch them in. She left it hanging pretty much like it was right after washing, so it didn't have a whole lot of curl in it when she started diffusing. Because it dried with no crunch, my hair curled well on its own while being diffused, but that doesn't happen when I try to do that. My hair will "freeze" in whichever position it's in when it starts to crunch, so if it doesn't have its curl already it won't curl right when I SOTC.

I've never been able to find a gel that dries soft that also holds well enough for me. If I don't get serious crunch I don't get enough hold to last through the day and then I end up with a frizzy mess an hour or two after it dries.

I've think scrunching my hair when it's wet is what makes it stringy, but I don't know if it could be because of the products I'm using too.

I know this was long, but I was trying not to leave any information out.

Does anyone know of any products that hold as well as the ones I'm using that don't dry with crunch? Or maybe a technique that works better for me than pixiecurling or scrunching? Raking my products in makes my hair stringy too.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

First, I want to say that your own efforts turned out really well, considering it was your first try on your own after the new cut! You really have beautiful hair!

I think the back of your hair looks better the way you did it vs. your post-cut pics. The side view looks like you might jsut have a bit too much product in your hair; maybe you need to play around with the amounts you are using now vs. before your cut. I think the left side of your front pic looks great. The right side (which I think might be the side view you show also?) just looks like it has a bit too much product on. I would be hesitant to give up on products that worked well for your hair before. IMO, I would just tweak the amounts you are using, and maybe you don't need to use all of them together anymore; I use some products for when I CO wash, others for when I WO wash, etc.

I don't scrunch products into my hair. I don't plop either. I got broken up curls and frizz when I did. I apply my leave-in then gel product, and then I sort of "lift" my curls by placing the ends in my open palm and lifting up towards top of my head. When I start scrunching with fingers, I break up the curls too much. Just mentioning what I do in case it might help you in any way.
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
What if you tried the exact products they tried?
curls2grow--thank you! I will play around with the amounts and see if that helps. I thought I was pretty good at distributing them evenly, but maybe not. The front and sides are usually the first places I put my products so I have more on my hands and may get too much on my hair there. I think I will also try what you do with your hand instead of using my fingers.

lapushka--The products she used don't hold in my hair.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

I also think the pictures where you styled your hair look a bit product-y.

Another thought is how much are you handling your hair after you've applied products? Are you touching it while it dries? If I handle my hair at all, it gets stringy and looks flat/frizzy. I have to wait until it's completely and totally dry to touch it/SOTC. And once I've done that, I need to leave it alone - trust me, this is very hard for me. But my best hair days are the ones when I'm too busy to think about (ie touch) my hair.
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
Thanks. No, I don't touch it. I didn't learn how to straighten my hair until I was 27. I learned as a teen not to touch it. I've always had a really hard time getting gels to hold well enough--even the ones that are supposed to be the strongest, like LA Looks Sport and BRHG. I've always had to use more than most people to get them to hold. But that was before CG. Maybe after 2 months of CG I just don't need as much? Hmm...
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

I would also agree with a too much product diagnosis. I usually ended up with stringy looking curls when I used too much KCCC. I went from using 2-3 3 finger scoops to 2-3 quarter size blobs. Better definition, better curls, still had the hold (didn't put an eye out like when I used more KCCC and it didn't take as long to dry, either) and it held up all day.

You also mentioned scrunching out the crunch when your hair is still wet. I would say a big no-no on that. That always led me to bad experiences.

Another thought process is that the oils in the products you're using (KBB and I believe KCCC) may not be good for clumping. Maybe try another conditioner without as much oil and see if that gives you better clumps and definition. Did I throw enough at you?

Oh, no, I don't SOTC when it's wet. I was scrunching the product in instead of raking it but either way it would get stringy. I think you're all right and it's a too much KCCC issue. I was using about 3 quarter-sized blobs but just dropped it down to about half just now. I only use about a dime-size of BRHG on top to help my hair hold through the wind we get out here.

We'll see what happens when my hair finishes drying!

I just saw someone post on another thread that KBB milk makes their hair stringy. I have to go look at that thread and see what other light, moisturizing conditioners I can try.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

Nallia maybe you do need another condish to bring out your full curl potential? I have also heard that KBB can bring out the "stringy" in some....Do you have other pics to compare? Your hair doesn't look 3B to me it also looks too thick for 3A? I'm totally stumped with your curl pattern......What's your texture? If you're not coarse a good dose of Protein could help your clumping and overall health of your hair.
Yeah, it's a bit tough right now. It was always a combination of 3B and 3A, but I've lost some curl with flat iron abuse. Almost all the hair on my canopy has bumps along the entire length from ironing it. It's still all 3B under the canopy and even has some 3C spots underneath on the sides by my hairline. It's growing in curlier and curls from the root. It's very thick and very fine. My stylist is always telling me how she's always surprised at how fine my hair is because it looks coarse until you touch it.

This is what it looked like when I was a child--before I started abusing it. That's how my hair is growing in. It's what the roots look like with no product. Sorry, I was trying to find some curly pics from a few years ago but they aren't on my computer. This is the only one I have on here. lol

I think maybe I do need a new conditioner. I was using AOHR as a leave-in for a while but switched when the weather got warmer. I have some DevaCurl Heaven In Hair t hat a friend gave me but I haven't had a chance to look at the ingredients yet. I know it's like a butter so was going to see how it did as a DT. But, yeah, I think I need to try something with more protein. I think I need something to help mask the damage.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

Last edited by Nallia; 05-31-2009 at 08:34 PM.

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