View Full Version : Coarse hair--what's your routine?

April 7th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Hi everyone, I'm Mnemosyne--I joined over 2 years ago, but it's been a long time since I've been on the boards.

I have very straight, coarse hair. This weekend I got about 4 inches chopped off (below BSL layered hair to APL blunt-cut hair). Before I got it cut, it was so damaged I could barely get my wide-tooth comb through the ends. The stylist commented on how dry my hair was and tried to sell me some shampoo, but I didn't buy anything.

I'm wondering if my hair care routine is actually drying out my hair? My hair was badly damaged 3 years ago due to excessive 'cone buildup ('cones + non-sulfate shampoo=oops!), hair dryer usage, cheap fine-tooth combs, plastic bristle brushes, and swimming in chlorinated water. After I found the boards, I started doing CO. I switched to a shampoo/conditioner routine when I moved to NYC because my hair was getting very dirty from the polluted air. I did that for about 6 months-1 year, but for the past 6 months I've been back to CO. I started using henna about a year ago. All the damaged hair should be off my head now, but I still get crazy splits and dryness. I take good care of my hair, use a wide-toothed smooth-edged comb, boar bristle brush, wear it up at night, and do SMT occasionally.

In browsing through the posts I've noticed that the people who like cones tend to be coarse-haired like me, and I'm wondering if my hair is reacting badly to a cone-free routine. What routine works best for your coarse hair?

TIA! :)

April 7th, 2008, 01:25 PM
Honestly everyoen hair reacts to different things differently. have your tried oiling after you shampoo and condish? Try going back to cones; also sulfate shampoos are harsh so you could still use cones without a sulfate shampoo just don't forget to clarify every now and then.

April 7th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Thanks, Lora. I have used oils, but they didn't do much for me. Coconut was the worst, jojoba the best, and shea somewhere in between. I've tried proteins too, and my hair can handle a little bit, but too much and it's crunch crunch crunch!

April 7th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Perhaps your hair is sensitive to protein or you need more moisture? What kind of shampoos or conditioners do you use? Do you use a leave-in moisturizer? I would think coarse hair might tend to need extra moisture like curlies usually do.

April 7th, 2008, 02:04 PM
Coconut oil did not work for me until I tried a repeated heavy oiling over the period of several days on wet hair. Ursula had mentioned something similar in her journal (about oiling to "saturation"), and I gave it a shot before I gave up on oils. It worked wonderfully and my hair has loved coconut oil ever since.

I use a mostly herbal routine (in my signature) with an occasional non-sulphate shampoo. I was not able to use a cone-free routine until my hair liked oils (which I'm also one of the few who can't use oil and cones simultaneously). My hair is much better with the herbs and oils than it was with cones.

April 7th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Curlsgirl, for CO I switch between V05 Kiwi Lime or one of the V05 tea flavors (they have chamomile and vanilla mint, I think?) and White Rain Coconut or Extra Body. When I was using Shampoo/condish I mixed a teeny bit of V05 sulfate shampoo with a natural brand, maybe Nature's gate?. Then I would put SMT (v05 tea conditioner, honey, aloe) in my hair for a few minutes, rinse that out, and then put in a coney conditioner, either Dove intensive repair or Fructis 3 minute masque. I do henna once every 6 weeks and an occasional ACV rinse. I just do a little bit of henna with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, cloves, lavender oil, tons of conditioner, and honey.

Icydove, thanks, I will try the heavy oilings!

April 7th, 2008, 02:28 PM
For my coarse hair, I *have* to have 'cones. Yes, I also use a diluted sulphate free shampoo on my scalp only.
I know you said that was the routine you had bad results from before, but that's what works for me.
I just use a clarifying shampoo about every 3 months or so and have been able to continue with my 'cone conditioners without any problems.

Also I only S&C twice weekly, I've been trying to get back into the routine of oiling after I S&C, I never use a blow fryer, I always keep my hair in updo's, and I normally trim about every 3-4 months, but right now I've joined the no trimmers club until I reach tailbone, which should be around November '08.

I also have seen better results with sleeping on a satin pillowcase instead of cotton.

I will say that I did buy a heating cap for deep treatments, but have yet to use it.
I'm am going to try to get into the habit of using it at least every couple months.

That's about it.
Maybe some of this will help.;)


April 7th, 2008, 03:20 PM
My hair is basically fine, but with age I'm gotten some coarse hairs. I think they damage really easily. Moisture. Maybe even poo bars or natual shampoo? Or try Dove Deep moisture creamy
facial cleanser for Shampoo. For conditioner Neutrogena, Triple Moisture Daily deep conditioner. Maybe some cassia for protection.

April 7th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Michelle, I'm suspecting that my hair might be like your's. I think the damage I had from back when I used cones were not from the cones and shampoo themselves, but from previous damage.

I thought before that you had use a sulfate shampoo *every* time you washed your hair if you used cones, but maybe that is that not correct? If I understand correctly, you only have to use a sulfate shampoo occasionally when using cones?

Blueglass, that's really interesting that you've noticed your coarse hairs damaging easily. One would assume that coarse hair would be really strong, but I haven't found that to be the case either! I wonder why that is... has anyone else here with coarse hair found it to be especially dry?

April 7th, 2008, 03:41 PM
My hair is fine and thin. For that reason, I choose not to use cones just 'cause I don't want any substance weighing it down. I CO every 6-7 days for my cleaning routine. My entire length on DD1 and DD2 was very, very nice, soft, silky. But recently, I realized that 6-8" of my ends were terribly coarse especially by DD3 or DD4. My hair doesn't like protein so I had cut back drastically and finally stopped all daily applications of protein oils (especially coconut). Then quite by accident I realized that my ends do not like any product or even water applied between CO's. This breaks my heart as I love trying and using new products. I also, quite unplanned, used KissMyFace Big Body...just 'cause I had it in my stash of conditioners(yes, some protein, but my hair tolerates a teeny-weeny bit of protein especially if I rinse it out). That KissMyFace gave me the silkiest, softest ends EVER!.....and it lasted for 6-7 days, a whole CO cycle.

I realize this is very un-scientific information and specific to my hair, but thought I'd let you know.

April 7th, 2008, 05:33 PM
The products you're using may not be moisturizing enough. Fine hair can be easily weighed down by CO with heavy conditioners, but I and a few others with coarse hair have found that CO with heavy conditioners actually *works.* Right now I CWC (sulfate free) because of that very problem - my length needs a heavier conditioner, but my scalp can't take it. I use Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo and Aussie Moist conditioner, with condish only from the ears down and shampoo only on the scalp. My hair dries out easily too, so I don't rinse the first C before shampooing. Also, if I don't use a leave in, my ends can dry out between washes, so I've recently started using Fox's Shea Butter Conditioning Cream.

HTH! :flowers:

April 7th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Thanks, ladiosaRosa and getoffmyskittle. It looks like I'll have to rethink my hair care routine. Does anyone else have product suggestions?

April 7th, 2008, 06:59 PM
Hello I have coarse and naturally dry hair as well. And I can say that if I didn't use cones I'd never have grown my hair so long. Whenever I go cone-free I want to tear my hair from the scalp because it becomes dry and frizzy and tangly as hell and it horribly puffs out. Maybe you should go back to cones or you can try deep oil treatments. :flowers:
ETA:L'oreal Elvive antibreakage and Nature's therapy Mega Moisture are the high coney conditioners that leave my hair dreamy. MEga Moisture is great stuff gives you a heavenly slip and makes your hair smooth and moistured.:)

April 8th, 2008, 08:49 AM
Michelle, I'm suspecting that my hair might be like your's. I think the damage I had from back when I used cones were not from the cones and shampoo themselves, but from previous damage.

I thought before that you had use a sulfate shampoo *every* time you washed your hair if you used cones, but maybe that is that not correct? If I understand correctly, you only have to use a sulfate shampoo occasionally when using cones?

As far as using a sulphate shampoo along with 'cones, I've never had to. The only thing I've found with using sulphates is that they tend to dry out my scalp and make it itchy.
But even using a sulphate free shampoo, I still try not to apply the shampoo all over my hair, only to my scalp.

I think the reason that I *don't* have more build-up with using 'cone products is *because* I have coarse hair. My hair just soaks up any 'cone conditioners that I use, well it soaks up just about anything I put on it. But I have found that I like my hair better if I apply my oil to it while it's still wet.
Also I've tried before in the past and I just cannot get the slip with 'cone free conditioners like I do with the 'cone conditioners.
Detangling is sooo much easier when I use a 'cone product, so there's not as much pulling and tearing when combing and also my ends stay in MUCH better shape as well.

But as I mentioned before, I do clarify about every 3-4 months or so. I can pretty much tell when it's time to clarify by how my hair is behaving, it starts to look a bit dull and just doesn't feel as nice.

Hope this helps you some!


April 8th, 2008, 08:58 AM
I forgot to mention the products that I like are: (As getoffmyskittle has already mentioned) the Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo. I find this at my local Sally Beauty Supply store. It comes in a light green bottle with dark green lettering.
I paid around $3.00 for my bottle, but it is meant to be diluted.
I think the bottle I bought was around 16 oz. and can be diluted up to 2 gallons of shampoo.

As for conditioners, I use alot of different ones: Arbonne self-adjusting conditioner, L'oreal Vive Pro (just about any of these work well), Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat, or as Zift suggested, the L'oreal Nature's Therapy Mega Moisture (also found at Sally Beauty Supply).

I have used the lighter VO5 conditioners in the past, BUT they don't make my hair feel as nice as a heavier 'cone product. But if your not looking for a heavy product, then I would think any of the "moisturizing" VO5 conditioners would work well for you. Another plus is that they are all pretty economical.

Good Luck!


April 8th, 2008, 11:11 AM
Michelle and Zift, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! :D It looks like it is back to cones for me! I'm going to track down the Queen Helene shampoo and the Mega Moisture conditioner.