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night owl
December 29th, 2013, 07:49 PM
Hello! I am a new member here, though for the past few years I've always come here to research my hair questions. I first came here when I first heard whispers of the no-poo movement, and the information I found here helped me decide to ditch sulfate shampoos in hopes of making my curls happier. (That's really my whole goal, much more so than having long hair. APL or a bit more is it for me because any longer puts too much stress on a my sensitive scalp.)

I gave the baking soda thing a try, but my hair is so thick that I could not get my scalp clean. For the past year I've been using J. R. Liggett's old-fashioned bar shampoo (http://secure.jrliggett.com/proddetail.php?prod=1020), followed by a vinegar rinse, and then Tressemme's Flawless Curls Curl Hydration Conditioner. I use Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine leave-in cream with argan oil in addition to aloe vera gel. I've tried using small bits of coconut oil mixed with aloe gel to help keep down the frizzies. If you take even a small section of my hair, it feels heavy, but when my hair is not weighted down by gel or tamed in a curl, the stray hairs can float away like someone just rubbed them with a balloon.

I used to use super stiff hair gels to help control my frizzy curls, but this past summer I decided to quit them cold turkey. I still use a little for special occasions, but only a dab mixed with aloe gel. Since I stopped using gel, the top layer of my hair has gone from 3c tight corkscrews mixed with 3b ringlets to a much looser wave that varies from 2a to 3a depending on I know not what! The underside of my hair has stayed in the 3c range. This underside has always been very prone to tangles. I use only a wide-tooth comb and fingers. I try to comb out only when my hair is coated with conditioner in the shower (but it often takes so long I run out of hot water!), or afterward, using lots of aloe gel. I wash about once a week, or perhaps twice for the rare special occasion.

I've learned from my reading here that I've probably been using WAY too concentrated a vinegar rinse (practically straight most of the time). And that perhaps I should do the vinegar rinse after conditioning, not before. (I also think I want to switch to ACV.) Would these issues be contributing to the blahs I have? It seems to be tangling much more lately and feeling more coarse than it has recently. Yes, we've had some VERY cold and dry weather here this winter, but I don't think that alone accounts for the two sections of hair right in front that act dried out and abused no matter what I do. They're straight and fried-looking, like I've been spraying them with bleach rather than coconut oil! The rest of it's not as bad, but it's a weird combination of a little bit oily while also a lot too dry. Oh, I should also mention that we have very hard water here, and that for Christmas I finally bought myself a filtered shower head because my hair has always done noticeably better in soft water.

I'm sorry for the long-winded post. I'm just frustrated. I'm not one to run out and try new products because that has historically ended in disappointment for me. I've been trying to read up on humectants vs emolients and so forth here, but I'm getting overwhelmed. I'm tired of having fuzzy witch hair, but I am really confused about what would be best to try first. I would greatly appreciate any advice!

Thanks!

Firefox7275
December 29th, 2013, 09:19 PM
What is really in that bar shampoo, is it alkaline soap? If so that is potentially as or more damaging than sulphate shampoo, ditto the alkaline baking soda. Soap was invented to degrease fabrics and dishes not cleanse delicate skin and hair. Hair likes an acidic pH ~4.5. Also soap can build up over time especially if you have hard water. IMO clarify and chelate and start from scratch.

Also check your leave in for modern ingredients that can build up which traditional soap is not formulated to shift: silicones, waxes including cetyl esters, certain polyquats.

You could detangle out of the shower by wetting your hair down in the sink and slathering in conditioner. Some curlies do need to wash their hair more often than others to keep knotting at bay. For thick hair washing in sections or upside down is often beneficial.

night owl
December 29th, 2013, 09:52 PM
The packaging of the bar shampoo says: olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, New Hampshire spring water, sodium hydroxide (a binder), and essential oils for fragrance.

I happened to find a thread about it at the naturally curly message board http://goo.gl/CCNYd7 One person did find it drying, one didn't, but mentioned buildup.

And yes, my leave-in does have a cone and ethyl esters.

Maybe I just need to clarify now and then? I'd really like to stick with a shampoo bar most of the time because it's the only way I've found of being able to clean my scalp without using literally a handful of shampoo due to the thickness of my hair. The Liggetts website has another bar with coconut and argan oil, or a damaged hair formula with almond oil.

Can anyone recommend a clarifying shampoo that doesn't dry too much? I used to use Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo. Do you think that would be too harsh now?

Also, what is chelate?

Thanks!

jeanniet
December 30th, 2013, 01:12 AM
If you have very hard water, shampoo bars may simply not work for you even with an acidic rinse. I have hard well water, and while shampoo bars worked once, subsequent shampoos were pretty much a disaster. That was before I started Curly Girl. Have you considered conditioner washes? My scalp and hair are much happier since I started, and in fact I use shampoo very infrequently (I'm not sure when I last shampooed, but it must have been a good three months ago). When I clarify, which is even more seldom, I use the Neutrogena shampoo and don't find it overly harsh for a clarifying shampoo.

Chelating means using something to help remove mineral deposits from the hair, which you might need to do periodically since you have hard water. I chelate using Joico shampoo once or twice a year.

ETA: I'm not sure, but I think your conditioner and leave in contain cones. Some curly hair does well with cones, but often it doesn't. It might be worthwhile trying a conditioner without cones as both rinse out and leave in.

CurlMonster
December 30th, 2013, 01:22 AM
I would second trying conditioner only washing if you haven't already. I've found it great for my dry, damaged wurls. I have also found I need to wash much less often with it, so you may not find that you use up too much product this way.

Firefox7275
December 30th, 2013, 09:42 AM
The packaging of the bar shampoo says: olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, New Hampshire spring water, sodium hydroxide (a binder), and essential oils for fragrance.

I happened to find a thread about it at the naturally curly message board http://goo.gl/CCNYd7 One person did find it drying, one didn't, but mentioned buildup.

And yes, my leave-in does have a cone and ethyl esters.

Maybe I just need to clarify now and then? I'd really like to stick with a shampoo bar most of the time because it's the only way I've found of being able to clean my scalp without using literally a handful of shampoo due to the thickness of my hair. The Liggetts website has another bar with coconut and argan oil, or a damaged hair formula with almond oil.

Can anyone recommend a clarifying shampoo that doesn't dry too much? I used to use Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo. Do you think that would be too harsh now?

Also, what is chelate?

Thanks!

Highly misleading labelling, that is alkaline soap which is damaging to skin and hair, more for some hair types (eg. porous) than others. The oils have been saponified by the lye (sodium hydroxide) same chemical found in relaxers, so they are not oils any more. Read on Naturallycurly what Tonya McKay says about soap and hair, based on research by Dr Ali Syed.

Bear in mind shampoo was invented as a gentler and less scummy (build up) alternative to soaps. Try diluting shampoo, applying with a nozzle bottle, washing upside down and/ or with hair sectioned.

Chelating is removing mineral build up: a chelating shampoo will also clarify. Sulphates are not the only clarifiers, cocoamidopropyl betaine will and is gentler on skin and hair providing the formula is acidic. I use a 'base' shampoo purchased online from a cosmetics base supplier. Am in the UK so can't advise on US equivalents sorry.

spidermom
December 30th, 2013, 10:53 AM
I agree with Firefox about using soap on your hair/scalp; not good. You can get better spread of shampoo by shaking it up with some water in a squirt bottle, then pushing the nozzle through your hair to the scalp here and there until it has been applied all over your scalp. I usually wash scalp only but will work the suds all the way through my hair once every other week or so, depending on how much styling product I've been using.

VO5 kiwi lime is a good clarifying shampoo for me.

night owl
December 30th, 2013, 03:05 PM
Ooooh, that's frustrating news! But I am extremely appreciative for the help and information!

I'm thinking I might use the Neutrogena as my clarifying, as it does have the cocoamidopropyl betaine you mentioned, though I will have to check the bottle as this post indicates the ingredients have changed: http://mymakeupblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/neutrogena-anti-residue-shampoo.html I don't know if I can get VO5 around here, but I will look.

Thanks also for the idea of using the squirt bottle. I hadn't thought of that!

I guess my next step is more research to find products without cones.

Thanks very much for the help!!!

night owl
December 31st, 2013, 12:22 PM
I used the Neutrogena last night, and boy is my hair happier! I don't have any conditioners without cones and I wanted to see what my hair is like without them, so I didn't use conditioner or my leave-in. Just 2 TBS of white vinegar mixed with about a liter of water. I definitely felt a change in my hair with the vinegar! Love that stuff. Then I used aloe gel mixed with a dab of sweet almond oil as a leave-in. I let it dry overnight in a bun. It's still not dry, but it feels so much better already! My problem dry spots don't feel as bad today as they did yesterday. Even though it's been in the bun, the moment I took it down I could see much more separation into the normal curl pattern than I've been seeing recently. Thank you for steering me clear of the great shampoo bar deception! ;)

I've been looking into non-coney stuff that's available here. I've seen mixed reviews on the board for them and don't really know where to start. I was wondering if based on the ingredients and my hair type, does anyone have a suggestion on which one might be better? I've never been good at chemistry and I don't yet have a good idea of which ingredients are good and bad (beyond sulfates and cones). Am I correct in understanding that not all alcohols are bad? (I apologize if I'm asking questions that are answered in stickies elsewhere. I just haven't had time to browse through all of them yet!)

Thanks again for all the help!

-Say Yes to Carrots: Shampoo: Water (Aqua), Lauryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Juice*, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil*, Maris Aqua, Maris Limus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Ipomoea Batatas Root Lees Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Honey Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate
* Certified Organic Ingredient
Conditioner: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Juice*, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil*, Maris Aqua, Maris Limus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Calendula Officinalis Seed Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Ipomoea Batatas (Sweet Potato) Extract*, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Honey Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate

-Shea Moisture: Shampoo: Deionized Water, Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Beets), African Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Argan Oil, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Rosemary Extract, Sea Kelp Extract, Vitamin E, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract (Honeysuckle), Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Japanese Honeysuckle)
Conditioner: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Avocado Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot)

-Kinky-Curly: Shampoo: Purified Water, Mandarin (Orange Fruit Orange), Marigold (Flower Organic), White Willow (Salix Alba) Bark (Organic), Sea Kelp (Organic), C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidoprophyl Betaine (Coconut Derived), Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Phenoxyethanol, Natural Fragrance
Knot-Today Conditioner: Mango (Fruit Extract Organic), Slippery Elm (Organic), Marshmallow (Althaea Officinalis) Root (Organic), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus) (Organic), Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Natural Fragrance

-And several options from the Curls line: Curls Creamy Curl Cleanser: Water, Sodium Cocyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Steric Acid, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Certified Organic Daucus Carota Sativa (carrot) seed oil, Certified Organic Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Certified Organic Aesculus Hipocastanum (Horse Chestnut) extract, Certified Organic Salvia Officinalis (sage) leaf extract, , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel
Coconut Curlada Conditioner: Purified Water, Cetyl Alcohol (derived from coconut) Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol (derived from coconut), Polysorbate 60, Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos Hucifera), Panthenol, Certified Organic Arnica Flower Extract, Certified Organic Chamoile Flower Extract, Certified Organic White Tea Extract, Monoi de Tahiti, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Natural Fragrance,Caramel

jeanniet
December 31st, 2013, 12:41 PM
The SheaMoisture Moisture Retention shampoo is excellent, and what I use for an occasional shampoo wash. Kinky Curly Knot Today is really more of a detangler and not so much a conditioner. If you're looking for a rinse out/leave in conditioner, Tresemme Naturals Moisture is good, and Suave is also popular. For washing, you can use any cheap conditioner, although I really like Curl Junkie Daily Fix and As I Am Coconut Cowash. Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle is another good cleansing conditioner.

I use citric acid rinses to combat my well water (1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water), and they work very well. Citric acid is a mild chelator. It works better for me than vinegar.

Hootenanny
December 31st, 2013, 01:35 PM
I agree with all of jeanniet's recommendations, and would just like to add that the Kinky-Curly shampoo can be quite harsh for some people. As you pointed out in your ingredients lists, it contains C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, which can be just as harsh (or even harsher) than SLS. It works well for an occasional clarifying wash, but I wouldn't use it every week. If you are looking for styling products, on the other hand, Kinky-Curly Custard is awesome! :)

heidi w.
December 31st, 2013, 01:47 PM
You need to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair. Do not ACV rinse as a hair washing method, or baking soda as a hair washing method. That is extremely drying. I forgot what you said you did. Ummm.... I can tell you to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair, and not with cool water either. Use fairly warm water, and slather on the conditioner on all the length but none of the scalp hair. The reason I always tell folks to never put it on scalp hair is that I want to avoid causing problems for the scalp. And conditioner on the scalp can cause a problem. Conditioner on the scalp can stay put, dry, and flake off, can cause actual Dandruff and worse. So just don't do it.

Then once the hair is air dried or a little bit damp, then oil. Super curly like you should likely fill a bottle with oil, blended with a carrier oil such as Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil is much like sebum. Do not oil the scalp related hair. From the bottom of the earlobes on down is okay. I recommend Hobacare Oil which is Jojoba Oil. You can find it through google. I also recommend Coconut Oil made by Spectrum Naturals. This too is on a website. Find the website and choose "bodycare" then click on the coconut oil. Whatever type of oil you choose, make sure it's in a dark jar and very translucent, clear oil. No murkiness whatsoever.

Allow me to recommend Biolage's Conditioning Balm. I use it and put on a LOT of conditioner, likely you even more. I put it on and leave it on for a bit. THEN I rinse out with fairly warm water.
heidi w.

jeanniet
January 1st, 2014, 02:08 AM
You need to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair. Do not ACV rinse as a hair washing method, or baking soda as a hair washing method. That is extremely drying. I forgot what you said you did. Ummm.... I can tell you to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair, and not with cool water either. Use fairly warm water, and slather on the conditioner on all the length but none of the scalp hair. The reason I always tell folks to never put it on scalp hair is that I want to avoid causing problems for the scalp. And conditioner on the scalp can cause a problem. Conditioner on the scalp can stay put, dry, and flake off, can cause actual Dandruff and worse. So just don't do it.

Then once the hair is air dried or a little bit damp, then oil. Super curly like you should likely fill a bottle with oil, blended with a carrier oil such as Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil is much like sebum. Do not oil the scalp related hair. From the bottom of the earlobes on down is okay. I recommend Hobacare Oil which is Jojoba Oil. You can find it through google. I also recommend Coconut Oil made by Spectrum Naturals. This too is on a website. Find the website and choose "bodycare" then click on the coconut oil. Whatever type of oil you choose, make sure it's in a dark jar and very translucent, clear oil. No murkiness whatsoever.

Allow me to recommend Biolage's Conditioning Balm. I use it and put on a LOT of conditioner, likely you even more. I put it on and leave it on for a bit. THEN I rinse out with fairly warm water.
heidi w.

There's a problem with giving one-size-fits-all advice, though--it doesn't work for everyone. While some people do have issues with conditioner on the scalp, very clearly many more don't (witness the CO thread here, and many more on NaturallyCurly) and/or have problems with regular shampoo use, sulfates or not. Curly hair in particular can benefit from CO if there are no problems with it, so the typical recommendation is to at least try CO, see if it works, and then adjust the routine from there. It's not impossible to maintain healthy curly hair using shampoo, but it can be more difficult for some.

From what I understand, the Kinky Curly shampoo is more or less a clarifying shampoo, so not what I would use on a regular basis.

night owl
January 1st, 2014, 05:44 PM
Hey all! My hair is sooooo happy right now after the clarifying with Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo! I wish I could just stay here instead of trying out a new shampoo! Anyway, what I did was wash with the Neutrogena and then rinse with very diluted white vinegar. No conditioner, as the only one I had on hand is coney. I mixed a dab of sweet almond oil with aloe as a leave-in, then put my hair up in a bun and left it. I took it down a few times for 5 minutes or so to help it dry, but it spent most of that 24 hours in the bun. Here's what it looked like the next evening:

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa426/parhelia510/hair/hairafterclarify12-31-13sm.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/parhelia510/media/hair/hairafterclarify12-31-13sm.jpg.html)

I haven't seen curl clumping like that in months! It's really soft, too.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need an actual shampoo, even if it's super mild. I've been debating the CO washing method, but I just don't think it's likely to work, as conditioner does take for-ev-er to rinse off my scalp. I have been told in the past to avoid getting conditioner near my scalp because of that. I do appreciate the offered advice, though!

Unfortunately, I just realized that the Shea Moisture shampoo uses rosemary extract, so that's out. Rosemary causes me major problems if I ingest it; I'm too afraid of it to test to see if it bothers me on skin contact.

I was leaning toward the Yes to Carrots products after hearing that the Kinky-Curly shampoo is more of a clarifying one, but the Carrots have a PH of 6-7. Based on my recent problems with the overly alkaline shampoo bar, do you think that's too alkaline, or just in the high range of normal? Maybe a dilluted ACV rinse would help?

Thank you all for the input!!

jeanniet
January 1st, 2014, 06:10 PM
I'm sorry I can't really give more advice on the shampoo, but I would still look for a good conditioner to use even if you don't CO wash. Curls just need conditioner to help with clumping and avoid getting too dry/frizzy. You can avoid the scalp area and still use it on the length, and even as leave in (again avoiding the scalp). The Yes To products are pretty popular, but I haven't used any at this point.

durgidog
January 1st, 2014, 09:38 PM
I was leaning toward the Yes to Carrots products after hearing that the Kinky-Curly shampoo is more of a clarifying one, but the Carrots have a PH of 6-7. Based on my recent problems with the overly alkaline shampoo bar, do you think that's too alkaline, or just in the high range of normal?

A PH of 7 is neutral, 6 is slightly acidic, you should be fine. And your hair is beautiful!

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 08:38 PM
You need to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair. Do not ACV rinse as a hair washing method, or baking soda as a hair washing method. That is extremely drying. I forgot what you said you did. Ummm.... I can tell you to condition your hair each and every time you wash your hair, and not with cool water either. Use fairly warm water, and slather on the conditioner on all the length but none of the scalp hair. The reason I always tell folks to never put it on scalp hair is that I want to avoid causing problems for the scalp. And conditioner on the scalp can cause a problem. Conditioner on the scalp can stay put, dry, and flake off, can cause actual Dandruff and worse. So just don't do it.

Then once the hair is air dried or a little bit damp, then oil. Super curly like you should likely fill a bottle with oil, blended with a carrier oil such as Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil is much like sebum. Do not oil the scalp related hair. From the bottom of the earlobes on down is okay. I recommend Hobacare Oil which is Jojoba Oil. You can find it through google. I also recommend Coconut Oil made by Spectrum Naturals. This too is on a website. Find the website and choose "bodycare" then click on the coconut oil. Whatever type of oil you choose, make sure it's in a dark jar and very translucent, clear oil. No murkiness whatsoever.

Allow me to recommend Biolage's Conditioning Balm. I use it and put on a LOT of conditioner, likely you even more. I put it on and leave it on for a bit. THEN I rinse out with fairly warm water.
heidi w.

The basic ingredients of a true conditioner are the major emollients (fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants). These are the SAME basic ingredients of a simple facial moisturiser or body lotion, they are effective emulsifiers and are water soluble. Scalp is skin, it has more in common with the face than the body being on the thinner side and well served with sebaceous glands. Dermatologists often recommend those with certain skin disorders cleanse their skin with a cream or lotion product.

Yes conditioner only washing causes problems for some, but it solves problems for many many others. My hair is healthier than its been in years, scalp less greasy, my colour lasts longer, hair way less poufy/ frizzy, my atopic eczema cleared in a week.

Some of that is absolutely down to stopping using harsh sulphate shampoos, not taking up co-washing as such. These are proven to dehydrate and thin even healthy skin. Other anionics and alkaline soaps also have proven negative effects on the skin.

Done well there is no need for there to be scalp build up from the product itself: I chose my product carefully and massage whilst rinsing until my root area is literally squeaky clean. I don't aim to leave my root area feeling conditioned, I aim to thoroughly yet gently cleanse.

Jojoba is is NOT like sebum that is Chinese Whispers. It is vaguely similar to a minor component of sebum in that it is rich in wax esters.

Firefox7275
January 2nd, 2014, 08:47 PM
I haven't seen curl clumping like that in months! It's really soft, too.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need an actual shampoo, even if it's super mild. I've been debating the CO washing method, but I just don't think it's likely to work, as conditioner does take for-ev-er to rinse off my scalp. I have been told in the past to avoid getting conditioner near my scalp because of that. I do appreciate the offered advice, though!

Unfortunately, I just realized that the Shea Moisture shampoo uses rosemary extract, so that's out. Rosemary causes me major problems if I ingest it; I'm too afraid of it to test to see if it bothers me on skin contact.

I was leaning toward the Yes to Carrots products after hearing that the Kinky-Curly shampoo is more of a clarifying one, but the Carrots have a PH of 6-7. Based on my recent problems with the overly alkaline shampoo bar, do you think that's too alkaline, or just in the high range of normal? Maybe a dilluted ACV rinse would help?

Thank you all for the input!!

So pleased clarifying has done the trick.

A co-washing conditioner should be lighter and more water soluble than your regular conditioner (few to no silicones, natural ills or butters, waxes all of which 'cling' to the hair and are poorly water soluble). But up to you.

IMO that is too high, hair likes pH 4.5 - the scale is logarithmic so every number is ten times more or less than the adjacent one. So 6.5 is one hundred times more alkaline than 4.5, whereas 5.5 is only ten times more alkaline. Resetting the pH helps with the feel but cannot undo any damage done. A good conditioner would be able to reset the pH anyway, no need for drying vinegar unless you have hard water.

night owl
January 3rd, 2014, 01:45 AM
I guess I'm just really unsure of CO washing because when I say it takes forever for any conditioner to wash out of my hair, I really do mean it. Yeah, I probably need a new hot water heater because mine IS old, but since high school I've always been the one to use up all the hot water trying to get all the conditioner out of my hair! Even when I don't put it near the scalp, I'm using cold water for the last half of the rinse and NOT by choice.

Though I guess if I switch to a conditioner without cones, would I not have to wash it out as thoroughly, effectively using it as a leave-in?

There are just so many variables! I found Nature's Gate at a store near me, and the price is reasonable enough that I wouldn't mind terribly if it didn't work out, so I think I might try out the aloe or the jojoba shampoo and conditioner. It's received some good reviews here, and I thought about adding some aloe to the shampoo when I dilute it for my squeeze bottle, as that would help lower the ph a little, wouldn't it?

Here are the ingredients for the shampoo: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Coconut Derived), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (Coconut), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (Coconut Derived), Lauryl Glucoside (Vegetable Derived), Glycerin (Vegetable), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Polysorbate 20 (vegetable derived), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Plant Derived), Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Undecylenate (Vegetable Derived), Citric Acid (Vegetable Derived), Fragrance

Does that seem like a reasonable starting point? Or maybe I should try something like this homemade shampoo of coconut milk and aloe juice? http://www.thankyourbody.com/ph-balanced-shampoo-recipe/

sapphire-o
January 5th, 2014, 03:16 AM
I use the J. R. Liggett's shampoo bars all the time, but my hair type is quite different. I have slippery hair that doesn't like oils or any moisturizing stuff. Shampoo bars decrease the slip (which can mean drag and tangles for non-slippery hair) enough for me to enjoy all sorts of updos. If I want smooth shiny hair I use liquid shampoo and conditioner. I can't put my hair up at all as it's so slippery, but can be worth it for a special occasion. I think shampoo bars can be great for the right hair type or for shorter hairs.

Hair types can be so different that many generic hair tips don't work for most people. You just have to try and experiment. I have never heard of the word "detangle" before I joined LHC. If DH (with fine wavy Caucasian hair) didn't grow his hair out I'd never really understand the challenges of finding the best conditioners, best combs and other things to reduce tangle, tame frizz and prevent splits. :o

catasa
January 5th, 2014, 06:36 AM
I'm sorry I can't really give more advice on the shampoo, but I would still look for a good conditioner to use even if you don't CO wash. Curls just need conditioner to help with clumping and avoid getting too dry/frizzy. You can avoid the scalp area and still use it on the length, and even as leave in (again avoiding the scalp). The Yes To products are pretty popular, but I haven't used any at this point.

Sorry, I havenīt had time to read all of the thread in detail, but I just have to chime in and say that actually all curls (at least in the wavy end of the curl spectrum) do not need conditioner for clumping and moisturizing... I realize that most hairs do better with them, but my (2b-3a) hair definitely does not, I was always fighting frizz, poof, and extreme dry-feeling until I dared to skip the conditioner completely. I do need something to help with sealing moisture in though, so my current routine is to wash with a diluted non-SLS shampoo with some ACV included in the mix, and then to fingercomb 3-5 drops of pure mineral oil through the lengths and a little on top of the canopy, finish by scrunching to encourage clumping, and then air-dry (often aided by blow-drying on cool from above for a short time). Simple as that! :) It doesnīt give me perfect hair and is not working consistently all the time, but it gives me by far the best results that I have had through years of depressing tests...

I donīt know if itīs my hair, my hard water, or something else that makes the conditioners fail, but something it is. I am not saying that it is best for the OP or everyone to skip conditioner, I just want to highlight that it may be worth testing without it if nothing seems to help. And I really second clarifying - due to my water I still have to do that quite regularly, even with ACV in my shampoo dilution and with mineral oil building up less than conditioner (for me).