My wavy/curly virgin hair is really dry and won't hold it's curl well?

Hi!My hair is all natural and probably closest to 2B type. I don't heat style my hair and try to take a good care of it, but somehow it always stays dry and frizzy. I used to co-wash but switched to water only wash, I still use conditioner, deep conditioner and oils on my lenghts. I only use no poo or natural products and I know all about how to take care of curly hair. My diet is fine and I take a multivitamin, however I do have colitis ulcerosa and heavy meds which may play a part, but the disease is under control and my hair has been this way even before getting the disease. I can't understand what is the problem? I'm trying to grow it long but I always have to cut it because the ends get so dry (I don't get split ends though), and my hair is always frizzy! Also my hair curls the most after wetting it, but it won't hold the curl for long. The next day it's a lot looser and in a few days it's almost completely straight. I like the straighter style more so it doesn't bother me but I'm worried if it puts stress on my hair? I understand curls get broken easily but isn't curly hair usually supposed to keep the curls? I have almost straight under layer at the back of my head which is silky, healthy and won't hold a curl well. Then I have this really dry, frizzy and curly top layer that is just unmanageable. My hair used to be straighter but got curlier at some point and now it seems like it has some kind of identity crisis between two textures. I always thought my hair was coarse, has a thick structure and really porous but today I compared my hair to my sister's straight and thick hair and my hair was actually thinner than hers. I've read that straight hair structure is usually thinner but they have more hairs on their head, while curly hair is thicker but there's less. So this made me wonder, if my sister's hair is thicker than mine then what even is my hair? My hair also tends to get really dry and frizzy after deep conditioner, even more than with normal conditioner. I'm not sure if they are just not good products for me.. The healthy roots feel silky and have amazing shine. Could my hair actually be fine hair? What should I change in my hair regimen, is there any obvious reason for my hair to act like this? I would really appreciate any kind of answer, please!Regards, Janica

3 Answers

Hi Janica! Thanks for sharing so much of your hair journey. I think I can address some of these issues. First off, you said that you used to co-wash but now only water wash, but still use conditioner, deep conditioner, and oils. Water washing is fine every now and then for people who do not use a lot of products, but you are putting a lot of moisture on your hair, and you need a shampoo to help clear it up. Otherwise what happens is you end up with weighed down waves that aren't defined. Try using a gentle, sulfate free shampoo that will help clean up all those heavy products out of your hair. We have a ton of recommendations on Curlmart: Second, you said your hair is going through some identity crisis between being straight and curly. This is totally normal, and very common for looser wavies. Unless you have a super duper strong hold product, our waves usually get loose by day 2 or 3. Third, you said your hair is really porous but thinner than your sister's straight hair. This is a common misconception with textured hair. People think it's thick just because it's curly, but really the strands are fine and delicate. You can fine strands, but have a lot of them. This refers to your density. It sounds like you have fine hair, but high density. If you want to really dissect your hair type, check out our hair type page:, you said that your hair is really dry and frizzy no matter what you do, and especially after you deep condition it. Are you using conditioners with protein in them? You may have a protein sensitivity. That means your hair doesn't like protein. In order to be sure, check out this article: curlies have sensitivities to certain ingredients, too. My mom, for example, says her hair gets dried out from coconut. It's actually not uncommon. Lots of women have sensitivity to coconut oil. Do you use products with coconut oil? I would first address some of these questions about ingredients. Read your product labels for proteins and coconut oil. Then, test out your hair with a product that has no protein, and no coconut oil. Having curly hair is all about trial and error, so you must be patient. Hope this helps!!
Hi, thanks for a quick and informative answer! I actually read a lot about hair porosity and texture yesterday and did all the hair porosity tests: it seems I've been totally wrong about my hair porosity and I actually have low porosity instead of high porosity. My hair floats in the water forever, water beads up with the spritz test, the strands feel smooth with the slide test and my hair takes a long time to dry. Now that I think about it I think it makes sense, I often feel like the products aren't absording well or my hair won't react to them but I thought it was high porosity that nothing was just enough for my hair, haha!I suppose this would explain the dry state of my hair if it has trouble absording moisture from the products? I also think my texture might be fine or normal by comparing it to my sister's, and it is silky and soft to the touch when moisturized properly, unfortunately It just rarely is. So it seems I've been having a misconception about my hair characteristics. Now I know better but still have to find a routine that works for me. As to answer to your questions, I use coconut oil and coconut conditioner but I feel like they work for me and coconut oil is actually my favourite oil with jojoba oil! As for my deep conditioner, sometimes I use a normal extra moisturizing conditioner and just leave it on for a longer time, but right now I'm using a deep conditioner which has plant based keratin and protein. I'm not sure if my hair likes it though because it just seems to dry out my hair more, but isn't this true with low porosity hair? I read something that protein is bad for low porosity hair but fine and medium textured can tolerate it more than coarse. Would it be okay to use this product less often, maybe once a month? I'd like to ask a few things about my washing routine that you also addressed: I only use natural products on the lenght of my hair but apply nothing to my scalp, can these products build up to the hair even still? I switched to water only washing because I used to have scalp issues with different shampoos and conditioners, sometimes it was flaky, sometimes itchy. I also tried no poo products on my slap but still got reactions, my scalp is naturally dry and produces little amount of sebum. Since wo my scalp problems have stopped altogether. I wanted to switch to water only washing completely and stop all the products, but my scalp won't produce enough sebum to cover and protect the hair so doing this would leave it stripped. That's why I continue adding products to my hair, but I understand this is not a typical routine to do.. Can you tell if proper water only washing (with no or little product) would work for this type of hair? I'd really like to try it If I was able to get my scalp to produce more sebum to protect the hair. But I'm not sure if it can offer enough moisture for low porosity hair, being just water and oil. Or then I should probably try to find a good product to clarify my hair without affecting my scalp. Could I clarify only the lenght and leave the scalp alone? How often should I do this, every time I "wash" and apply products or is less often enough? 
Yes - I think your porosity has everything to do with how your hair is reacting to products. Have you checked out our low-porosity page? would stay away from protein, because yes, as you said, low porosity curlies don't do well with too much protein. I would try and find a new deep conditioner that doesn't have protein in it. SheaMoisture has a new line specifically for low porosity gals you might wanna check out. And yes, unfortunately, even if the products don't touch your scalp you can still get product build up, just not necessarily on your scalp. You can try water washing, but I wouldn't use any product on your hair if you're doing that, or use a light leave-in conditioner. If your end goal is to produce more sebum, know that water washing is only a temporary side effect. Your scalp will produce more sebum because it's reacting to the lack of sulfates being used on your scalp. Once your scalp regulates, you'll be back to square one. Also - you could clarify only the length and not the scalp, but when you clarify, you're really supposed to concentrate on the scalp. I would really be careful when it comes to "water washing." It's not as easy as it looks. Check out this article that might help you: would recommend the CG method over the water washing method. You can still regulate your scalp sebum this way, but it allows you to use products to help with frizz and dryness. Like I said, being a curly girl is all about trial and error, so feel free to try both and see what happens!