In urgent need of hair advice - 2B questions & concerns

Hey guys, I've been natural since October and I need some advice. My hair is 2B - it's more wavy than curly but sometimes I get a few spiral curls beneath the bulk of my hair. It's high porosity, medium density, coarse, about medium length and it's quite thick. I know that there are likely others out there that have more difficult hair than I do, but as it stands right now taking care of my hair can be an absolute nightmare - mainly because I'm not sure what exactly it wants.Right now I use DevaCurl No-Poo as my conditioning cleanser, DevaCurl One Condition Decadence as my regular conditioner and leave-in, and Kinky Curly Come Clean to clarify. I just bought DevaCurl's Light Defining Gel as recommended by my hair stylist. I've been for one Deva Cut in December, and she was really awesome. She told me to flip my hair when it's sopping wet, apply some extra conditioner as needed, scrunch, add the light defining gel, and scrunch some more. Then she clipped my hair up for volume and had me sit under a dryer. The light defining gel worked really well and I've adapted that wash and go routine since then; I don't style my hair at all because I'm afraid of screwing it up more lol. I use an old t-shirt instead of a towel, have a smooth pillowcase, I do not comb or brush my hair (unless I'm really frustrated with it and it's badly tangled on the second day), and I haven't used any heat since probably before I started in October. I used to use Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage and Jamaican Black Castor Oil hair masques to deep condition, but I ran out a few months ago, haven't been able to order more recently as I live in Canada and these hair products super expensive, especially when they're exclusively from the States. I've been using coconut oil since then and I've seen my hair in various states and qualities, but one thing's for sure, most of the time it looks like a mess. And it doesn't have much volume.I'm writing this post because I have a lot of questions - you can get all sorts of information and opinions online and it's hard to judge what is good and isn't good for my specific hair type. What with all the certain specifities about curly girl hair care, I'm just really confused with all of the different information.So my first question is, what should I use to deep condition - any recommendations? And how often? I've only done one protein treatment and my hair didn't react very well, so I'm not sure if I should use a DIY or buy one. And is a separate leave-in necessary, or is my current one fine?Second is, should I plop my hair? I've been doing this recently with my t-shirt and I'm not sure if I like the way it turns out afterwards. It almost seems like it turns out too dry and even frizzy sometimes. So is it acceptable to let my hair dry while it's down? And is a diffuser necessary? I haven't used heat in months and I'm reluctant to try it again.Third, are other products necessary for my wash and go, or is the gel and conditioner fine? I also own DevaCurl Volumizing Foam, Supercream, Styling Cream, Mist-er Right, Set it Free and No-Poo Quick Cleanser as well as Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Styling Milk and Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, plus Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo. I'm not entirely sure when or how to use any of these products - I usually experiment and it just ends up with my hair being super oily/greasy/weighed down and I have to clarify. I've tried the No-Poo Quick Cleanser or dry shampoo on a few occasions and it just made my hair gross and oily and limp.For clarifying, is a sulfate shampoo necessary or are there good clarifying shampoos out there that are sulfate free (like mine)? And lastly, is a pre-poo necessary? If so, can I still use coconut oil? Any recommendations?I think that's all the questions that I have... sorry for the novel here lol. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you! <3(p.s. the photos attached are my hair today after doing my regular routine w/ the light defining gel, and the other photos with my hair dry were from a few months ago on good hair days [pre-haircut].)

1 Answer

Hi Fuentizzle, Those are lots of questions! I'll try to address every one of them. 1. So my first question is, what should I use to deep condition - any recommendations? And how often? I wouldn't use coconut oil straight to deep condition...it can weigh your hair down and cause unnecessary greasiness. If you're concerned about price, I recommend Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle. It's cheap, and it works! Do this once every two weeks, or when you start to notice your hair gets dry. Also: And is a separate leave-in necessary, or is my current one fine? I would just use the One Condition, as it is formulated to be both. 2. Second is, should I plop my hair? So is it acceptable to let my hair dry while it's down? And is a diffuser necessary?If plopping doesn't work for you, don't do it. Some techniques work, others don't. That's totally fine! It's absolutely acceptable to let your hair dry while it's down. I do it all the time. Do you need a diffuser? No. A diffuser is nice every now and then, but I would not do this every day since heat styling every day is not good. 3. Third, are other products necessary for my wash and go, or is the gel and conditioner fine? Your gel and conditioner is absolutely fine. If they work for you and you like them, then stick with them. Sounds like you have a tons of products, but carefully assess each one and decide if they work for you or not. If they don't, don't be afraid to part with them. Using too many different products always causes major buildup and greasiness for me, and it sounds like that's what is happening for you too. 4. For clarifying, is a sulfate shampoo necessary or are there good clarifying shampoos out there that are sulfate free (like mine)? Nope, you don't need sulfates. There are plenty of sulfate free clarifyers out there that have other surfactants that will do the job. Kinky Curly Come Clean is a community favorite, so stick with it if you like it! 5. And lastly, is a pre-poo necessary? If so, can I still use coconut oil? Any recommendations? No, I wouldn't pre-poo if you're using No Poo. That will just lead to greasiness. Pre-poos are only good if you notice your hair is very dry after you shampoo. If you're using No Poo, then your hair is probably super soft and conditioned afterward. A pre-poo would just be over-doing it. If you really want to pre-poo, do it before you clarify. That's when your hair could use it.Your hair is so pretty! I wouldn't put too many products on it, and be careful with heavy products. You said your hair is thick, but heavy products can weigh down waves. So stick to your Light Defining Gel, a little bit of One Condition, and you should be good! Remember: wavy hair doesn't need much, so do the least! :) Hope this helps.