I'm dried out and I need help!
CG veterans - help me hack my routine! I'm caucasian with long, layered, relatively unprocessed 2C/3A hair. A few months ago I switched to sulfate- and silicone-free products. Then I stopped using shampoo entirely and went full-CG. While my scalp feels much healthier and I'm not shedding nearly as much as I did using conventional products, my hair is just not happy. At first I noticed it was getting wiry and frizzy on top. I did a bit of reading about protein sensitivity and stopped using products with protein (which was sad because SheaMoisture's Curl & Style Milk gave me the most lovely curls). That seemed to help with the texture, but now my hair feels SO dry. I'm experimenting with various combinations of conditioners and styling products but I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Here's what I've got on hand right now:Alaffia Everyday Coconut Hydrating Conditioner (the coconut one, as rinse-out)Whole Foods 365 unscented conditioner (for co-wash)SheaMoisture Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner (as rinse-out; sometimes leave in)Alaffia Beautiful Curls leave-in for curly/wavy hairSheaMoisture Frizz Defense Styling Gel/CreamAs I Am Leave-In Conditioner (just bought; haven't tried it yet)SheaMoisture Frizz Defense Condiitioner (haven't tired it yet)Today I washed with Nature's Gate Macadamia conditioner, conditioned with Alaffia Coconut, then followed up with Alaffia leave-in and SheaMoisture Gel/Cream. My hair feels very dry and my curls are not well defined. (see photo)Maybe I've misdiagnosed my hair type? I have naturally strong nails and my hair floats in water so i thought I was low-porosity and didn't need much protein. But perhaps I'm wrong.Sorry this is so long. I'm just lost. Thank you in advance!
Have you tried a warm oil treatment? I have low porosity hair too and a small amount of heat can help the cuticle open up to let the moisture in. If coconut oil doesn't seem to help, try another oil like olive, almond, or jojoba. For me, coconut oil seems to make my skin and hair drier. Also, an H2O based conditioning agent in addition to what you're already doing can help. I read somewhere that your hair needs water based treatments to retain moisture, but I don't know if that's true. I use pure aloe vera gel and put a small amount in my hair every night. Those are my best tips. Good luck and I hope you figure it out.
You need to shampoo occasionally. Co-washing is great in between shampoos whether you do a clarifying shampoo or a sulfate free one, there needs to be an actual cleansing occasionally! Also, try eliminating the Raw Shea conditioner from Shea Moisture for a good while and see how your hair responds. That is one line from SM where people (including me with the deep cond. from that line) have issues and it makes their hair feel rough and hard.