View Full Version : Straggly and excessively fluffy hair problem

August 24th, 2014, 11:14 PM
Hi all, I've had this problem for a long time now.

I'm a guy with long (to the neck) wavy hair that is EXTREMELY poofy (unless I flat iron it, and even then it becomes just bearable). This isn't me quibbling over something minor; it adds a good two inches of WIDTH on each side of my head (looks like a cloud) because it grows straight out of my head and will not lie flat. The ends all seem to hook in random directions, there's barely any wave pattern at all.

It's been like this for a long time, even when my hair was virgin and conditioned every wash. I've tried nearly everything; various coney conditioners, various natural oil based conditioners (argan, coconut), clarifying shampoo followed by natural conditioners (reduces the stragglyness but not the fluffyness), various shampoos, serums, deep conditioning (coconut and olive oil). I've tried protein treatments and also avoiding proteins altogether. Air drying produces less fluffiness, but amps up the stragglyness (it looks messy).

I really feel like conditioners haven't been the answer, nor can I identify a shampoo that's responsible. I just can't for the life of me figure out what could cause my ends to hook in random directions like that, even when the ends are trimmed they still end up doing that by the next wash.

The only thing I've wondered about is the fact that I have very hard water in my town. I've heard that can cause hair and skin issues, but the one part that makes no sense is that no one else seems to have these problems in my town. A lot of my friends don't do much with their hair and have no issue.

Anyone heard of/had/have ideas about this situation?

August 24th, 2014, 11:53 PM
I would think that thick wavy hair, in conjunction with hard water, could cause that. I know my hair does similar unless I have the weight of extra length to weigh it down. I'm not an expert by any sense, but if you plan to keep hair less than 2' long, a "relaxer" might solve your problems(relaxer breaks down part of the hair, to make it become more 'straight' and less 'wavy').
on the other hand though.. if it is NOT like that after you get a cut: then it would seem to me that it is something different that you do, vs the hair stylist?.. type/amount of conditioner, or water quality? method of brushing/drying?

Lazy Loop
August 25th, 2014, 12:08 AM
Many with poofy, wavy hair have to be ultra cautious about never brushing.
Maybe even not combing, other than combing conditioner through after washing.

The Curly Girl Method does very little touching or manipulating after rinsing.
Finding the right moisturizing Gel for a bit of control, in very wet hair; scrunch waves to encourage very wet curls/spirals. Then let air dry.

But you might already do this.

About well water, would vinegar rinse help?? It tends to clarify and descale.

Sulfate free shampoo, that moisturizes.

Clarify your hair of silicones, then coconut oil can soften and control a bit better, sometimes. :)

August 25th, 2014, 12:52 AM
My guess is your hair is curly, not wavy. What you describe is classic for curly hair that is treated as though it's wavy. My best advice would be to accept the hair pattern you (probably) have and learn how to bring out the best in it. That generally means less shampooing, a lot more conditioner (usually conditioner washing, or at least less harsh shampoos) and maybe some gel. You can look up the Curly Girl method for a starting point (it's called Curly Girl, but it's really just a curly hair method).

I went through most of my life with "wavy" poofy hair because that's what everyone told me I had. I finally realized it was much more curly than wavy, started treating it like it was curly, and now my hair looks way better (curly) and is so much easier to handle than it ever was before.

August 25th, 2014, 01:32 AM
If cowashed only combing when the conditioner was in your hair, rinsed, then squeezed water our of hair but left it quite wet...then applied a leave in and some oil or cones...what does it look like then?

August 25th, 2014, 02:53 AM
My ends did the same as yours. Turned out my hair was wavy, not straight. That said, I think it's a possibility your hair is wavy or even curly. Like others said, try the curly girl method.

Try CO (http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=9367) as a washing method and only comb your hair with a wide tooth comb in the shower.

And I read you've tried different conditioners, but what about leave-ins? Have you tried oil as a leave in? Aloe-vera gel? You might want to check out the LOC-method (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=118167) as a styling method as well. A lot of people love this method.

August 25th, 2014, 02:27 PM
Curly Girl method. Throw away your brush and only use fingers or a comb to detangle hair when soaking wet and slathered in a slippy conditioner. Use a leave in conditioner (many rinse outs work fine) on dripping wet hair before removing excess water.

August 25th, 2014, 03:46 PM
Broken record here - Curly Girl method.
Co wash, leave in condish, oils & gel, clarify once a week.

August 25th, 2014, 04:54 PM
Broken record here - Curly Girl method.
Co wash, leave in condish, oils & gel, clarify once a week.

Better yet, clarify as needed. Many people who CO wash only clarify once a month, or even less. GRU clarifies once a year. I clarify (that is, with SLS shampoo) maybe once a year, but to be honest I don't think I really need to clarify even that often. Depends on amount of buildup, if any.

The ends hooking in different directions? Those are your curls trying to come out.

August 25th, 2014, 06:09 PM
Recommending the curly girl method as well. It's from a book by Lorraine Massey, but here are some online pointers as well:

August 25th, 2014, 11:29 PM
Cosigning what everyone said. ALSO, and this is important, the length you are now is terrible. You have waves and maybe curls, but there isn't enough length to weigh them down, so they poof. Trust me on this, I've grown out my share of pixies and neck length is an absolute nightmare.

August 27th, 2014, 03:54 PM
Sounds like textbook "curly treating their hair as straight" problem. As others have said, the Curly Girl method is probably the best place to start (don't be put off by the name).

As for the super-hard water, it is quite possible that that is causing some of the straggly/lank look and also tangles. The problem is basically that (like on your kettle or taps) your hair will get progressively covered in mineral deposits if you wash with hard water (it can also dry out your skin and cause/exacerbate eczema). There are a few options for treatment/prevention: You could:
1) Get a shower filter / water filter to remove the minerals from your water - expensive, but ultimate solution and especially good if you also are having skin troubles, though you do have to keep buying the filters to go in it.
2) Wash occasionally (e.g. once every fortnight to every 2-3 months, as little as possible whilst still controlling the problem) with a chelating shampoo. These are specially formulated to remove mineral build-up. They say either "chelating shampoo" or "swimmer's shampoo" on the bottle.
3) Rinse your hair after each wash with a vinegar rinse and leave it in. This won't remove heavy mineral build-up but will help slow the rate of build-up so that you get problems less frequently. You want about 1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or white vinegar) to a tumbler of regular water. Pour it over all of your hair at the very end of your washing routine and leave it in. Be wary of using apple cider vinegar if you're blonde/grey as it can cause (reversible) brassiness.

Good luck!

August 27th, 2014, 08:01 PM
The curly girl method doesn't work for all of us poofy haired folk unfortunately. My hair hates conditioner, it's basically just a detangler for me. My ends flip out everywhere too. If the curly girl method doesn't work for you, try just using shampoo and then scrunching in a moisturising spray after. (Either a spray in oil treatment, or a spray in conditioner.)