curly newbie. Can't seem to get defined curls.

I've always straightened my hair and after 30 years,  am finally embracing my curls.  I've got very thick,  quite long 3a hair.  The only way I've found to make the frizz not as bad,  is air dry after applying mousse and coconut oil, but my s shaped curls are really stringy looking.  The photo attached looks so sleek and shiny thanks to ig filters.  It's actually much drier,  coarse and frizzy than it appears.  Thank goodness for filters. This picture was taken on day 4. I find day 3 and 4, I can actually see my curls starting to clump together,  but by that point,  the frizz is starting to take overThe only thing I've found which kind of helps,  is my putting my hair in a French braid overnight when it's about 90%dry This however leaves my day 1 day hair a bit kinky looking and the ends are straggly and straight. I understand everyone's hair works better with different routines,  so if I could maybe hear a few people's routines that I could try that would be great.  I have s shaped curls and have tried twisting them while wet,  but that seems to make it look even stringier.  Thanks everyone. 

2 Answers

I also have s shaped waves and curls, and your hair sounds very similar to mine (frizzy, stringy, not clumping) when I had just stopped using heat as well. I didn't realize it at the time but I had damage from heat and coloring my hair, and that was keeping my hair from curling and clumping as well as it could. The only real way to get rid of that was to stop using heat and color and start trimming the damage. I know that's a long-term solution but it made a huge difference. My hair grew back curlier, healthier, and shinier. In the short-term, the routine that works best for me is to scrunch a curl defining cream into my soaking wet hair and let it air dry. On day 2 and 3 I spray my hair with water, scrunch a little bit more product in, and then do pin curls on the waves that aren't cooperating. Here's a video and longer description here's a video of my damaged hair and the difference when I cut it this helps!
Keep at it! It will get better. I've noticed that my curls get loose and won't define well when my hair needs protein. And I've found that on top of a regular protein treatment, I need little amounts every day in order for my curls to have structure. I'd guess that the coconut oil is giving you stringy hair. The mousse makes it clump, but oil can break the clumps apart. I'd use a leave in to get better wet clumps. I'd focus on really large wet clumps because they will break up no matter what over time as it dries. Also, I've found mousse to make my hair stringy, too. If you put a styling product in and you start to see your wet hair clumps breaking apart, you can put your head over the sink and use your hands like cups to soak your hair again and restart. Hope that helps. Keep trying different things and it'll click eventually.