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View Full Version : Help with curls? At wit's end!



xRavyn
February 1st, 2016, 10:24 PM
Hello everyone!

I thought I would post here as this is the most awesome online hair community I know of, and I figured if anyone had any ideas it would be you lovely people!

Okay, so, here's what's up - my hair sits somewhere between 2b and 2c in type. It's typically very dry, it tangles easily and can be hard to manage. I have tried tons of products and techniques to attempt to make my hair behave - I'm currently using the DevaCurl NoPoo Decadence and OneCondition Decadence with the SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler, but frankly I'm not sure they were worth the price. They perform marginally better than others I've tried but not spectacularly. I have tried argan and coconut oils in various ways (as part of blends for styling, overnight conditioning, and pre-poo treatments). I have had several deep conditioning treatments from Regis and while they make my hair feel absolutely luscious it only lasts a day or two before it is back to its normal sad, misbehaving self. Once I rinse conditioner out of my hair after a wash it basically just feels as dry as it did before. I use heat on it extremely sparingly. Consistently, no matter what products or techniques I use, it stays weirdly undefined in curl (but only in some places) and my frizz is rampant. I DO have an easily definable curl pattern - there's one really large one on my left side that always forms the same way, for example. But my frizz is not so much poofy as it is... all over the place? Random strands of hair just stick out all over the place, no matter what products I use or how I try to style. I typically air dry after throwing in the curl cream but it's just not cutting it. I've attached some photos to demonstrate what's going on, but unfortunately you can't see how dry and rough it FEELS and will have to take my word for it, lol. I'm pretty much at my wit's end here trying to figure out what product I could be missing, or if there's some air-drying technique I haven't tried yet that might save me. Twist-out perhaps? :P I just want to be able to wear it down confidently, knowing it doesn't look like a wacky mess!

Thanks for reading! :)

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1685/24671772281_a3f4daee3b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/DAahma)
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1671/24765249235_af2c318dcd.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/DJqnMM)

Robi-Bird
February 1st, 2016, 10:44 PM
Your hair reminds me exactly of mine. I don't have any particular advice, unfortunately. I pretty much just try to accept its quirks.

CoveredByLove
February 1st, 2016, 10:54 PM
First off, you have lovely hair! Sounds like you've tried a lot of products... but perhaps haven't noticed a correlation between ingredients and how your hair behaves? In other words, Are you familiar with individual ingredients like proteins, silicones, ect? For example, I know my hair dislikes protein (anything that says "hydrolyzed____", keratin, wheat protein, ect) I have to check everything I buy for it because if I don't my hair will feel "dry" and rough and ends up with lots of fly aways- just like you are describing. To fix it, I have to compensate with a more intense conditioner without protein. Sometimes, it takes a few days sans protein for my hair to get back to normal. I now avoid that ingredient. That's just an example.
I would first use a clarifying shampoo, then follow up with an intense, deep conditioner without proteins and see how your hair does after that. :) It could be hard water build up as well, depending on your water. A chelating shampoo is great to use occasionally for that.

spirals
February 2nd, 2016, 12:45 AM
I have tangly, curly hair, too. I know it's said you shouldn't brush curls, but I do daily. If I'm going to wear it up or do a roller set, it doesn't matter if I mess up my curl pattern. But if I want my natural texture that day I can mist with some kind of hair tea or curl spray and let dry to bring back the bend. I also let it air dry on wash day.

On days I wear it down, at night before bed I use a tangle teaser type brush and I heavily spray the brush with detangler before working on my hair. That dries pretty fast and when it does I go over it with a hybrid BBB (natural bristles plus nylon ones). I spray that brush with oil first. After using the BBB I roller set or braid for the night.

I'm not picky about products. I use inexpensive ones. I do like conditioner with stearalkonium chloride. It is good for tangles. I use Suave kids' detangler, haha. My hair smells like apples. ;) Spray oil is Motions. It has almond and jojoba oils. My hair really likes those. They don't make it greasy or weigh it down. Oh, and my hair hates proteins.

ETA: My main point was that brushing isn't bad. I feel it smooths and clumps the curls together and that helps the curl spray create better curls. That's the only way I can think to explain it. Just remember: detangler is your friend.

xRavyn
February 2nd, 2016, 12:58 AM
Your hair reminds me exactly of mine. I don't have any particular advice, unfortunately. I pretty much just try to accept its quirks.

Haha, it's good to hear I'm not alone - I think! I really do love my curls. They can be whimsical and gorgeous and wild and they embody all the aspects of my personality I love. Unfortunately they also embody the ones I don't, like disorganization and troubles with authority. ;)


First off, you have lovely hair! Sounds like you've tried a lot of products... but perhaps haven't noticed a correlation between ingredients and how your hair behaves? In other words, Are you familiar with individual ingredients like proteins, silicones, ect? For example, I know my hair dislikes protein (anything that says "hydrolyzed____", keratin, wheat protein, ect) I have to check everything I buy for it because if I don't my hair will feel "dry" and rough and ends up with lots of fly aways- just like you are describing. To fix it, I have to compensate with a more intense conditioner without protein. Sometimes, it takes a few days sans protein for my hair to get back to normal. I now avoid that ingredient. That's just an example.
I would first use a clarifying shampoo, then follow up with an intense, deep conditioner without proteins and see how your hair does after that. :) It could be hard water build up as well, depending on your water. A chelating shampoo is great to use occasionally for that.

Thank you, very much! Like I mentioned, I really love having curly hair. It's a pain in the ass but the volume and texture are just so fun and I'm glad sleek chic (i.e. pin straight!) is no longer the only look that's en vogue. Product-wise, I have decent success with one product that specifically includes Keratin (It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Potion), and it doesn't seem to adversely affect my hair - it's just not exactly a miracle. Individual ingredients are hard to pin down because there can be so many, but this is what I basically know: My hair doesn't hate silicone, and it tames frizz but at about the same rate it kills my curl and volume and the various cones can start to make everything really limp and flat, although amodimethicone seems to be the one that builds up the least/slowest. I have the clarifying shampoo from ION and I use it every couple of weeks and basically suffer the extra dryness just to make sure there's not a metric ton of buildup on my strands. My scalp is oily but none of it gets to my hair, go figure! I may try using it before bed and putting some of the DevaCurl conditioner in (since it's silicone free and should be decent for overnight conditioning) overnight. Is there a deep conditioner you would recommend? I remember there being some kind of combo of two of them (one had protein and the other was from another country and made with goat's milk... specific I know!) that was pretty popular for a while. My hair also seems to be low-porosity (floats for eternity in the water test and likes to just let product sit on it for hours, for example) so I'm considering trying SheaMoisture's new low-porosity line.


I have tangly, curly hair, too. I know it's said you shouldn't brush curls, but I do daily. If I'm going to wear it up or do a roller set, it doesn't matter if I mess up my curl pattern. But if I want my natural texture that day I can mist with some kind of hair tea or curl spray and let dry to bring back the bend. I also let it air dry on wash day.

On days I wear it down, at night before bed I use a tangle teaser type brush and I heavily spray the brush with detangler before working on my hair. That dries pretty fast and when it does I go over it with a hybrid BBB (natural bristles plus nylon ones). I spray that brush with oil first. After using the BBB I roller set or braid for the night.

I'm not picky about products. I use inexpensive ones. I do like conditioner with stearalkonium chloride. It is good for tangles. I use Suave kids' detangler, haha. My hair smells like apples. ;) Spray oil is Motions. It has almond and jojoba oils. My hair really likes those. They don't make it greasy or weigh it down. Oh, and my hair hates proteins.

ETA: My main point was that brushing isn't bad. I feel it smooths and clumps the curls together and that helps the curl spray create better curls. That's the only way I can think to explain it. Just remember: detangler is your friend.

I do use a broad-toothed comb to get tangles out of dry hair on rare occasion, and I use a Wet brush when I put styling product in to ensure even distribution before I scrunch to encourage the curl. What's this about hair teas? If I could brush them out and then mist them for a refresher that would really help me get them together, I think. The only problem with sprays (or any curl defining product) is that I find they make my hair really crunchy, really fast. The DevaCurl cream I'm using is the first one I've tried that only makes them moderately stiff instead of frozen. :P

spirals
February 2nd, 2016, 01:06 AM
I used to use an acidic rinse after washing with soap. I diluted that in a spray bottle with water and a little alcohol to keep it from spoiling. It has marshmallow root decoction and oil and a bit of glycerin in it. I have the recipe in another thread if you want it. But really, a pinch of citric acid or a couple of tablespoons of vinegar with an ounce of alcohol and a bit of your favorite oil in an 8-ounce spray bottle (rest of it water) will work. Maybe a teaspoon or so of glycerin or honey for more moisture.

Or alternately you could put a tablespoon of conditioner, water, and an ounce of alcohol in that 8-ounce bottle. I've used that before.

Sweets
February 2nd, 2016, 01:17 AM
I have straight hair, so I am of no real help, but your hair looks gorgeous in the pictures. I actually use something called As I Am coconut cowash - I buy it at sally's but I've seen it at Wal-Mart as well. It's for curly girls and has really nice oils in it. You are supposed to use it in place of shampoo and conditioner, and my straight hair really seems to like it (I clarify weekly as well). It comes in a tub that you dip your fingers in, which is my only complaint. If it came in gallon size with a pump, I would snatch it up in a heartbeat, lol! Best of luck, and you really do have lovely hair!

Obsidian
February 2nd, 2016, 06:26 AM
I have very similar hair type and I can't use protein or coconut products, both make my hair dry, frizzy and tangled. If I get protein overload, my hair will start to break off. Its been a real pain to find products that work for me since virtually all that are made for curly hair seems to contain protein.

I suggest you buy a cheaper brand of protein free shampoo/conditioner, one with no or little coconut oil and try it for a couple weeks. I liked l'oreal evercurl for a sulfate free but recently switched back to sulfates as the sulfate free just wasn't cleaning well enough. I've also started using cones again, Johnsons leave in conditioner has been great for my fine hair, it leaves it soft and the curls defined. I don't use regular conditioner at all but I do use ACV rinse.

lapushka
February 2nd, 2016, 06:35 AM
I think you might be more textured than just 2b or 2c! Maybe try starting over, clarifying with a sulfate shampoo and deep conditioning (combing out in the mean time), and go from there. There's the rinse-out oil method you can try and LOC brings in more moisture to the hair as well (both are links in my signature).

I also can't use coconut oil (crunchy hair).

CoveredByLove
February 2nd, 2016, 08:26 AM
I thought the same thing as Lapushka...I *think* your hair may be more textured than you think! My hair will look like yours in the photos, but with the right balance of products (for me) and a good scrunch, my curls can really come to life.

It *could* be that you are using too much product in general. My hair is *very* build prone as well. I have found that simple is best for my hair. My hair gets unmanageable, frizzy and flat at the same time when I get build up. I also have low porosity hair. Everybody's hair is individual, but these are the things I've noticed about my hair. It can be hard to pin point individual ingredients, like you said, but overtime I've learned to avoid protein because everytime I use something with in there its a "Nope!". :p I think starting from scratch would be a good idea for you, since you've tried so many things. It's time for a fresh start. :) Then add things back into your routine, ONE AT A TIME. That way you're not trying so many things all at once.

I would recommend a Snowymoon's Moisture Treatment after clarifying. :) http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128 Adding honey to conditioner really works well for me. My hair loves humectants, because (being its low porosity) it has trouble getting moisture in. Once its there, its good to go for a while. :thumbsup: Tresemme Naturals is a favorite of mine for adding honey to. I just mix it up (I eyeball about 2 parts conditioner to 1 part honey), put it on my hair generously and put a heat cap on for 15 minutes. I do this about once a month on average. It gives my hair an intense moisture boost. After that I use my usual silicone conditioners (Aussie Moist- has a modified cone that doesn't build up. Love it!)

I would also check out some of the links in Lapushka's signature. You may like one or all of them. WCC works really well for me! I also do a modified LOC (for my Leave in I don't rinse out my conditioner thoroughly, I then add a few drops of light oil, C is my gel)

LongCurlyTress
February 2nd, 2016, 08:56 AM
Hi! I am a curlygirl 3b and I am not a product junkie as nothing works for me. My motto is keep it simple. Anyways, I use Kirkland shampoo and the thick Kirkland conditioner both from Costco. I super dilute the shampoo and I do wash everyday. But... the main thing I learned to do is slather on the conditioner after shampooing, and let it sit in a braid or wrap bun of sorts, do my other shower stuff, then I gently and slowly detangle using my Madora comb from tips too scalp with gobs and gobs of more conditioner, adding more as necessary. This conditioner does have cones but it is thick and rich and does the detangling job for me. I had alot of breakage if I detangled out of the shower so now I am back to wasting water (we are in a drought) but oh well. Anyways, after every strand is detangled and combed forward over my face, I scrunch to condish... and this leaves my tendrils in spirals. I started using a regular towel since my hair outgrew the Turbie twist and this might create a bit of frizz but at least my hair dries faster as the towel absobs more water from my hair. Then I leave my hair in the towel, dress/makeup, and then squeeze the excess water out of my hair. Add a bit of EVOO or hairserum, and use the Madora comb from tips to scalp for further detangling which ususally is not much. All detangling is done slowly and gently with a smal 1 inch? amount of hair at a time. Then I gently take my hair and place it behind me on my back and smooth out the crown area, then I put my hair into a lwb with a hairstick and let it dry this way as I prefer protected styles and a wavy look instead of all curly. But my hair is always up so it doesn't matter to me. Good luck! Less is more for me. ;)

xRavyn
February 3rd, 2016, 01:05 AM
Alright, so I just did a pseudo-SMT (conditioner, jojoba oil and honey) and my hair feels... different, but not immediately "better." I'll see how it turns out when it dries. Being low-porosity, getting heat into my conditioner is key but using my blowdryer over a shower cap is just not cutting it. I think I may head to Sally tomorrow to see if they carry a heated cap I could try. :P