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View Full Version : Ugh... All I want for Christmas is smooth, silky hair!



millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 03:20 PM
For months now I've been battling with my hair, trying to get *something* to work right for me.

I desperately want slip, I want that silky-smooth feeling, the ability to run my fingers through my length without getting my fingers caught up in everything, I want to stroke it and not have it feel dry or coarse. I want smooth, I want silky, I want soft!

So, obviously, right now my hair feels pretty coarse. I have accepted that this might just be my natural hair texture. Even with epic moisturising rituals, clarifying, protein, acid rinses, leave-ins (etc, etc, etc) my hair always remains the same. This is okay. At one point I was sure that I was secretly a wavy, I so badly wanted to be one of those people who CO-wash for a month and suddenly they have beautiful, soft, happy and wavy hair! But no, no I. I just have kinda rough hair, I guess. It doesn't have build up, protein overload/underload, moisture issues or anything like that.... I guess on the plus side it's very, very shiny....

Anyway, I want slip, but is it attainable for a coarse hair type? I feel like I've tried so many things. I don't really want to go back to cones because I'm sort of paranoid about them. I am just getting kind of tired of my hair now that I've reached Waist+, I would enjoy it so much more even if I could just gently run my fingers through it.

:shrug:

ravenreed
December 14th, 2013, 04:07 PM
My hair is fairly rough, even in its best condition. On the thicker hairs, I can actually feel scales when I run my fingers along the strand. Since it grows out of my scalp like that I have come to the conclusion that it is normal and inevitable. I also suspect that it is why my hair is so prone to tangles. For slip, I use a catnip rinse leave-in, trim splits relentlessly, and comb or brush my hair several times a day to reduce tangles.

I accept my hair texture and work within its limitations, and consequently, my hair is growing like a weed.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 04:17 PM
My hair is fairly rough, even in its best condition. On the thicker hairs, I can actually feel scales when I run my fingers along the strand. Since it grows out of my scalp like that I have come to the conclusion that it is normal and inevitable. I also suspect that it is why my hair is so prone to tangles. For slip, I use a catnip rinse leave-in, trim splits relentlessly, and comb or brush my hair several times a day to reduce tangles.

I accept my hair texture and work within its limitations, and consequently, my hair is growing like a weed.

My hair is really likes to tangle too! It also grows like crazy now that I've sort of 'given up' and now have a basic, stable routine going.

I guess I just want that unattainable 'pantene commercial' smoothness and silkiness, but I think to get that I would have to straighten my hair with heat and load on cones upon cones.

MeowScat
December 14th, 2013, 04:57 PM
Have you tried a Vinegar rinse yet? I'm amazed with how smooth and shiny it makes my hair. I tried it a while ago and wasn't very impressed. Then I tried it again a few months ago and the results were awesome. My hair feels so silky that I can't keep myself from touching it (shame on me, I need to stop that). Only one time a few weeks ago did I forget to do the Vinegar rinse, and my wide tooth comb kept getting stuck in tangles and my hair felt "rough".

I only use a capful of Vinegar mixed in a 12 ounce plastic cup of warm shower water, some people use more Vinegar (after shampoo and conditioner is rinsed off). I pour about half over my head, then I dunk my length in the cup for about a minute, then pour the remaining over my head again. I rinse it out, some people don't. I use White Vinegar instead of Apple Cider Vinegar since it might give a reddish color over time to your hair.

Also, have you tried Mineral Oil (Johnson's Baby Oil) on damp hair? Only a couple drops, though.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 05:04 PM
Have you tried a Vinegar rinse yet? I'm amazed with how smooth and shiny it makes my hair. I tried it a while ago and wasn't very impressed. Then I tried it again a few months ago and the results were awesome. My hair feels so silky that I can't keep myself from touching it (shame on me, I need to stop that). Only one time a few weeks ago did I forget to do the Vinegar rinse, and my wide tooth comb kept getting stuck in tangles and my hair felt "rough".

I only use a capful of Vinegar mixed in a 12 ounce plastic cup of warm shower water, some people use more Vinegar (after shampoo and conditioner is rinsed off). I pour about half over my head, then I dunk my length in the cup for about a minute, then pour the remaining over my head again. I rinse it out, some people don't. I use White Vinegar instead of Apple Cider Vinegar since it might give a reddish color over time to your hair.

Also, have you tried Mineral Oil (Johnson's Baby Oil) on damp hair? Only a couple drops, though.

I have tried both, yeah. Unfortunately I can't use mineral oil because if my hair touches my skin then I break out. :(

The vinegar rinses I haven't had much success with but I've only really tried it a few times, so I will try again with your method and see if it works out! :)

TrapperCreekD
December 14th, 2013, 05:11 PM
Have you tried an EVOO (or other oil your hair likes) pre wash? My hair's dry and doesn't have a ton of slip but EVOO has made my hair so much silkier and it seems to be have more slip. I just warm up ~1/8 cup oil and let it marinate in my sleep braid overnight before shampooing it out in the morning.

HintOfMint
December 14th, 2013, 05:13 PM
Good news and bad news based on my own experience with coarse hair. Good news is that it is attainable. Bad news is that it is attainable once in a blue moon when the stars align just so and I still don't quite know how I did it in the few times I've achieved it. I've listed each time below to demonstrate how random and rare they are, and how it may have more to do with weather and water than anything else.

The first time was when I was 15 and I was visiting cousins in West Virginia for winter break. Super cold and dry mountain air. Not sure how hard or soft the water was. I was using some Herbal Essences shampoo and a now discontinued Herbal Essences conditioner for oily hair.

Second time, I thought had to do with weather. I was spending my spring break, junior year of college, in Ireland, and my blow dried hair was unusually silky compared to what I could get in the New Orleans humidity that I was used to. It was cold and dry but not hugely so.

The third time, I thought had to do with clarifying and a change in water. I was spending my winter break of my second year of law school, in northern California. I clarified and then CWCed a few washes in a row, with silky results every time. However, it did not last very long and soon my hair went back to coarse poofiness.

The fourth, just a month ago, I thought had to do with finding the perfect routine: prewash oiling with coconut and olive oil, thorough wash with a sulfate shampoo, mix of Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong conditioner and Tresemme Naturals conditioner (both protein-free) with honey and a capful of ACV, icy cold rinse, olive oil as a leave-in, and damp bunning. (Sounds exhausting, I know). It may also have to do with weather. I was in Long Island and it was starting to rapidly get cold but not freezing just yet.

The results weren't the same just as I moved to the DC metro area. No more silk, even with that routine. Now, this may have to do with buildup from my routine and perhaps a good clarifying will help. It may also have to do with water hardness. Maybe the weather as well. It's cold and snowy, but still humid (which is pretty unpleasant). I may have overdone the conditioner? *Sigh*

I'm trying to say that I sympathize and I'm also chasing an elusive condition of my hair that has teased me periodically for eleven years. It sucks. Make of this post what you will.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 05:18 PM
Have you tried an EVOO (or other oil your hair likes) pre wash? My hair's dry and doesn't have a ton of slip but EVOO has made my hair so much silkier and it seems to be have more slip. I just warm up ~1/8 cup oil and let it marinate in my sleep braid overnight before shampooing it out in the morning.

I have tried soooooo many oils! :D I have found that meadowseedfoam oil does a good job for both pre wash & post. Hair still feels kinda naturally 'grabby' though.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 05:22 PM
Good news and bad news based on my own experience with coarse hair. Good news is that it is attainable. Bad news is that it is attainable once in a blue moon when the stars align just so and I still don't quite know how I did it in the few times I've achieved it. :scissors:

Hmm... That's interesting! Thank you for sharing that. :)

I suppose that if it's possibly attainable (albeit fickle and rare) then I can have hope that maybe one day I will experience it too... So I will keep trying and hoping for it :D

MeowScat
December 14th, 2013, 06:16 PM
Milly, I just noticed your siggy. Waist length can be a really annoying length when it comes to tangles. You're at the end of the Mid Back Abyss, and the majority of your hair is resting on your back. Every time you turn your head, your length is brushing against your back, it's not hanging freely, so to speak. You're at one of those highly tangly phases of your growth. I had baseball sized knots at Waist constantly.

Just something to keep in mind. :)

Magalo
December 14th, 2013, 06:19 PM
Well, you want slip, cones gives slip: go back to cones. The solution is pretty obvious to me.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 06:37 PM
Milly, I just noticed your siggy. Waist length can be a really annoying length when it comes to tangles. You're at the end of the Mid Back Abyss, and the majority of your hair is resting on your back. Every time you turn your head, your length is brushing against your back, it's not hanging freely, so to speak. You're at one of those highly tangly phases of your growth. I had baseball sized knots at Waist constantly.

Just something to keep in mind. :)

Ah, that's a good point actually! :)

I suppose it's never going to be the same as when I had APL or such.

millyaulait
December 14th, 2013, 06:39 PM
Well, you want slip, cones gives slip: go back to cones. The solution is pretty obvious to me.

I did for a short while, out of curiosity, but it seemed like my hair got greasy very quickly. Maybe it's a matter of choosing the right products. I guess there is no harm in experimenting for a bit! :)

ravenreed
December 14th, 2013, 06:45 PM
Cones build up on me pretty fast so I avoid them. However, maybe try cones just on your ends?


I did for a short while, out of curiosity, but it seemed like my hair got greasy very quickly. Maybe it's a matter of choosing the right products. I guess there is no harm in experimenting for a bit! :)

HintOfMint
December 14th, 2013, 07:38 PM
I second the idea of going back to cones. I've found that amodimethicone is a good formulation that doesn't buildup on itself and feels pretty good on hair. Most of my instances of random silkiness was when I was using cones. However, it is possible that this was a "necessary not sufficient" circumstance. Cones straighten my waves a bit, add some slip, and help with tangles, but most of the time, they don't change my texture into silk. Jury is still out on exactly what causes that for me.

Firefox7275
December 15th, 2013, 07:02 AM
For months now I've been battling with my hair, trying to get *something* to work right for me.

I desperately want slip, I want that silky-smooth feeling, the ability to run my fingers through my length without getting my fingers caught up in everything, I want to stroke it and not have it feel dry or coarse. I want smooth, I want silky, I want soft!

So, obviously, right now my hair feels pretty coarse. I have accepted that this might just be my natural hair texture. Even with epic moisturising rituals, clarifying, protein, acid rinses, leave-ins (etc, etc, etc) my hair always remains the same. This is okay. At one point I was sure that I was secretly a wavy, I so badly wanted to be one of those people who CO-wash for a month and suddenly they have beautiful, soft, happy and wavy hair! But no, no I. I just have kinda rough hair, I guess. It doesn't have build up, protein overload/underload, moisture issues or anything like that.... I guess on the plus side it's very, very shiny....

Anyway, I want slip, but is it attainable for a coarse hair type? I feel like I've tried so many things. I don't really want to go back to cones because I'm sort of paranoid about them. I am just getting kind of tired of my hair now that I've reached Waist+, I would enjoy it so much more even if I could just gently run my fingers through it.

:shrug:

Have you considered a hair analysis from Goosefootprints on Etsy? She will look at your hair properties using a microscope and other tests, make science based recommendations and its very well priced. Your hair may indeed be coarse, it may be damaged, it may be kinky (can be so without major waves or curls). Don't get hung up on moisture (= water) if you want softness and slip it's actually emollience/ conditioning you want.

A lot of people take silicones out of their routine without bothering to replace them with ingredients with similar properties. Few of us actually 'need' silicones tho undoubtedly they are king for detangling. My hair does much better with other slippy/ patch repairing ingredients but that is because I have chosen these based on my hair properties and the fact that I colour treat.

jacqueline101
December 15th, 2013, 08:02 AM
Have you tried tressemee shine spray? I use it and have wonderful shine and slip.

millyaulait
December 15th, 2013, 08:29 AM
Cones build up on me pretty fast so I avoid them. However, maybe try cones just on your ends?

I will try that :)

millyaulait
December 15th, 2013, 08:31 AM
I second the idea of going back to cones. I've found that amodimethicone is a good formulation that doesn't buildup on itself and feels pretty good on hair. Most of my instances of random silkiness was when I was using cones. However, it is possible that this was a "necessary not sufficient" circumstance. Cones straighten my waves a bit, add some slip, and help with tangles, but most of the time, they don't change my texture into silk. Jury is still out on exactly what causes that for me.

Hm, in that case I will try out amodimethicone first. My hair does seem a bit prone to build up, so that's good news. :)

millyaulait
December 15th, 2013, 08:32 AM
Have you considered a hair analysis from Goosefootprints on Etsy? :scissors:

Thank you for that, I've never heard of her. Looks like it could be a big help!

millyaulait
December 15th, 2013, 08:32 AM
Have you tried tressemee shine spray? I use it and have wonderful shine and slip.

I will put it on my shopping list! :D

jacqueline101
December 15th, 2013, 08:55 AM
I will put it on my shopping list! :D

You can get it at family dollar for about &5.00's and it comes in an 4.25 ounce spray bottle. It's apart of the professional line. The bottle is clear with a black label with blue and white letters. It's also got a blue top and the smell is a clean smell. I've had mine since this summer it's now just about gone. A little goes along ways.

LauraLongLocks
December 15th, 2013, 09:33 AM
Another vote for cones. I am nearing waist, and the bottom 3" of my hair always feel rough to me, even though they aren't badly split and frayed. That is, until last night. I'm a cone-conditioner-user on my length, but last night I tried a super coney silk-drop type serum from Fantastic Sam's on the bottom 3-4" of my hair and the ends felt like fresh-cut ends for the first time in forever. The difference was unbelievable to me. I kept touching my hair because it was so soft and silky feeling. I think I can find a less expensive version of this product at Walmart and be just as happy with it. Because I didn't get any of this on my canopy, my head doesn't look at all greasy. So, yes, try cones on just your length, and especially concentrate on the ends.

AmyBeth
December 15th, 2013, 11:20 AM
Why are you paranoid about using cones? If they work for you, they work for you. I stopped using cones for about a year and a half and recently went back to using them- oh, how I missed them! I plan to stay with the amodimethicone to avoid any build up. And there's always periodic clarifying, if needed.

Naiadryade
December 15th, 2013, 12:06 PM
Disclaimer: I don't have coarse hair, so what works for me may not work for you. BUT...

Have you tried shea butter, or products featuring shea butter as a main ingredient? Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque totally transformed my hair from dry and somewhat rough to baby-soft. I use it as conditioner (after the same brand's Moisture Retention Shampoo), and I also use a little as leave-in.

I should note that a heavy layer of coconut oil for 24 hours pre-wash also helps a lot. I also do some kind of deep treatment pretty much every time I wash, and I think this has really helped the feeling of my hair in the long term.

Something to note, as well: for me, soft and silky does NOT equal slippy and low-tangle. Shea Moisture and pre-oiling makes my hair wonderfully soft, but it will still tangle right up until I do a light oiling with EVOO (often diluted with lighter oils, like rice bran or grapeseed). A little EVOO makes my hair a LOT less tangly, but does not make it soft and silky.

cranberrymoonz
December 15th, 2013, 01:44 PM
Try cones for slip: a coney deep conditioning mask, and a coney serum. If you don't want to use them, you can try argan oil. Best bet: coney argan oil serum.

Possibly you need a trim, tangly ends may be caused by damage.

Since we have the same hair code, you might have these issues as well: build-up prone hair, and hair that hates protein. In that case, putting all kinds of stuff on your hair will make things worse. All my hair needs is to be washed(sulfate free) and conditioned(free of protein and cones) once a week. And LEFT ALONE for the rest of the time. Just some BBBing, no oils or products, nothing. And I clarify once a month. My hair feels fine on this routine, not particularly soft&slippery, but I don't like that. It used to be incredibly smooth when I used sulfates and cones (washed once a week, no other products) and got very regular trims.

Foxylocks
December 15th, 2013, 04:49 PM
Try a conditioner with argan oil. It is a miracle. The molecules of argan oil are smaller than other oils and penetrate the cuticle of the hair more readily. I couldn't run my fingers down an inch of my hair until I tried this.

spidermom
December 15th, 2013, 05:41 PM
My secret weapons against tangles are cones and layering, also the V-cut.

Amygirl8
December 15th, 2013, 05:56 PM
I don't have the time to read through this entire thread, so sorry if what I suggest has been mentioned.

What I found has helped my hair lay down, soft and silky is a single method (my hair is fine naturally, but it liked to frizzle near the ends; this controls it)
Before I wash my hair, while it's still dry, I will condition it. Usually you need a little more to do the trick, but you'll also spend quite a bit of time working it in. Put your hair up, just leave it for 5 minutes. Usually I just get all the other stuff I need while it's on my hair. When you wash your hair after, it should be a little silkier. If you use shampoo, try to avoid getting it on the length as you rinse it.

It's nothing too complex. I say you should give it a shot c: It's worked wonders for me, but I have a very different hair type than you...

ErinLeigh
December 16th, 2013, 09:22 AM
I don;t see any harm in trying cones again. Just give yourself a break when you can.

How often do you wash? I have found cones work the best and are less drying on my hair when washed more often than less often. I can only guess it is due to the cones not sitting on a dry hair shaft for days on end with less moisture getting through, but that is merely speculation. I don't fully understand how cones work but I understand they do act like oils in the sense they slow moisture retention/loss.

My current routine alternates oils and cones. I like it. I get the best of both worlds. I use cones when I want to look good and oils (or nothing) when I am chilling at the house or going to work (I work alone) If you do start back on cones a good weekly SLS wash followed with a SMT seems to keep things in check as far as preventing dryness and buildup.

Cones may "hide" damage or give a phony texture but I see nothing wrong with that. If you have tried every good thing and hair texture/look hasn't changed for something you see as more positive...why not give it a go and see how you feel. At least by trying you will know if it helps.

regarding the greasies..don't get the cones above the ears (or heck, above the neck for your length even if you prefer). Find a nice cone free shampoo. Experiment with conditioner. See if applying coney conditioner below the ears helps...or if a cone free conditioner with a good coney leave in is better for you.
Experimenting can be fun.