View Full Version : Hair advice for a newbie? :)

July 15th, 2010, 12:59 PM
Hello everyone!

I am a new member to LHC, although I have lurked for a while.

Short story (everyone tells me I'm long winded, so I'll abbreviate here, and you can read the rest if you feel like it): I am looking for advice about how to get my 2a/F to M/ii hair to curl naturally, through a better hair care regimen. :)

Longer version, with pics:
A little background... I have medium to dark brown hair, which I have colored red-ish for several years. I use Garnier Nutrisse Intense Auburn every three months, since that seems to be the least damaging to my hair, but combined with almost daily straightening or curling, obviously not undamaging enough. The last time I got a trim, the hairdresser said that my ends were in really bad shape, and recommended scrunching my hair instead of straightening or curling it.

I'm trying to grow my hair out to bra strap length for now, and then I may go for waist length. I used to have really long hair (I think you call it classic length? down to my butt) when I was little, and putting my hair up in a pony tail would give me a headache, so I ended up going shorter and shorter till I got my pixie, which I had for probably 5 years.

I am currently growing my hair out from a pixie cut. This is what it used to look like:
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/3271/shorthairp.jpg (http://img594.imageshack.us/i/shorthairp.jpg/)

Now, 4 years later (and a few "surprise! I cut off two inches off your hair instead of the half inch you asked for!" trims), my hair is about 2 inches past my collar bone! Yay! :D

Here is an example of the hair color after I dyed it, and you can see some of the frizzy damage (this was straightened sometime that morning, but my hair has a hard time staying straight):
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3968/coloranddamage.jpg (http://img687.imageshack.us/i/coloranddamage.jpg/)

And here is it just a few minutes ago (with my phone, and not the best lighting). I scrunched it last night, so this is after sleeping on it.

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5124/photo0302h.jpg (http://img690.imageshack.us/i/photo0302h.jpg/)

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/8500/photo0303l.jpg (http://img189.imageshack.us/i/photo0303l.jpg/)

I don't have any pics of it just air dried with no products or heat, but it does a frizzy triangle thing. ugh.

I have decided to try henna instead of chemical dyes, since I want red anyway. I just ordered some from Henna Hut, a package of "red" and a package of "deep red", and I'll do some strand tests to see which one looks best. I'm also hoping that the henna will make my hair healthier.

I tried to figure out my "hair type"... I think its 2a/F to M/ii. I was reading in the "Wurly and Curly" thread about people changing their hair routine to encourage more natural curls, but I was getting very confused by all the acronyms. I wash my hair every other day, and its usually pretty oily by that time. I am currently using Organix Nourishing Coconut Oil shampoo and conditioner, which is supposed to be low in sulfates. I find that shampoos and conditioners tend to weigh down and build up on my hair, I have tried all kinds (I can't stay with one type for more than two bottles), and I have yet to find anything that does wonders for my hair. Even if I comb my hair in the shower, it seems to tangle by the time I get out (perhaps because of the damage?) so I have to comb all the tangles out when I put in my hair products. I'm using Organix Coconut Oil Split Ends Mender on the ends (I'm not sure it's actually doing anything, but I like the smell) and TiGi Control Freak Serum on the length (this I do love, it helps with the frizz), and now I'm scrunching with a light gel.

Do y'all have any recommendations for getting my hair to curl naturally? My mom and one of her sisters have 3c fine hair. My hair was very curly when I was little, and now has a natural wave to it, and occasionally it will develop an actual curl here and there. Since it has such a hard time staying straight, it makes me suspect that there are curls in there just waiting to come out, if only I would could help them out. :) Please help the newbie, wanna be, long hair hopeful! Thanks!

July 15th, 2010, 01:02 PM
My friend recommended curling hair with bobby pins and sleeping on it. http://www.ehow.com/how_2084103_create-pin-curls.html

My advice for growing is biotin and biotin! Take Biotin daily and see the improvement.

July 15th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Hi and welcome! I think you're right about your hair having more curl-potential; not staying straight when it's straightened is a good indicator of that. I'm sure some of the experienced pros here will have more to say about it.

From personal experience, I've found that my curls crave moisture... you might want to try one of the moisturizing treatments recommended here to see if that helps bring out your curls. As you experiment, you'll want to try one new thing at a time instead of wildly changing everything all at once--when you do that you'll have no clue what works and what doesn't! (Though this is "do as I say, not as I do" advice... I tend to get excited about the new things and try them all at once, then just end up with hair that feels... weird.)

Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about the "frizzy triangle-head" problem; that's a side effect of your current hair length and having wurly hair... It's funny, because for a while it feels like the triangle just grows, and grows... and then one day you look and it's lying nicely back behind your shoulders and looks like long hair instead of a fuzzy monster you have to battle to keep in check.

Anyway, I'd keep up the scrunching! Your hair looks lovely like that.

July 15th, 2010, 01:32 PM
I looked up the ingredients list of Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner (what a mouthful!) and apparently it contains silicones and proteins. I am fairly sure other products n the same line have them as well. Silicones sometimes build up on hair and weigh it down. You might want to do a wash with a clarifying shampoo (you can go back to low-SLS/SLS-free afterwards). Proteins can also have a negative effect, making hair hard to manage, frizzy and coarse (as in non-smooth). Some hair loves protein and some hates it.

I'm not a curly but I've seen a lot of curlyhaired people benefitting from CO (Conditioner Only) or CWC (Conditioner-Wash-Conditioner) washes, so you might want to look into that. :)

July 15th, 2010, 01:33 PM
I agree, keep up with the scrunching, it looks like its working!

In my experience, before I came to the LHC, my hair was similar to yours from what I can see. I thought it was straight and frizzy. Turns out its a lot wavier than I thought. I discovered this through a) getting rid of silicones that were weighing down my hair and b) using coconut oil to moisturise the hair. I was losing a lot of moisture/goodness through daily use of GHD's. Great in the short term, in the long term it was making my hair worse.

Also, plopping/plunking is good for encouraging curls after you've washed your hair.

Try this link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2qD38ZYX6A

Anyways. I say, embrace the wave, keep up the good work, and enjoy your time here on the board! :D

July 15th, 2010, 02:26 PM
I'd try sticking with the scrunching, and possibly try switching to a silicone-free conditioner. Silicones tend to build up on your hair, which can be nightmarish for a wurly-head. Shampoo's not as important, since it's made to wash out entirely, but conditioner can really mess with you if you've got the wrong one for your hair.

That being said, some people have hair that loves 'cones. However, if you're doing a low-/no-SLS shampoo with a 'coney conditioner, you're more than likely going to have buildup problems. If 'cones are right for you, you may consider switching to a regular 'ol sulfate-y shampoo.

And as someone else mentioned, triangle-head syndrome will eventually go away with length. It can take a while to get there, depending on how wurly your hair is, but it will finally go away.

Your hair, from what I can see in the pictures, is fairly similar to mine. Due to age and climate, I've found that doing CO and CWC on alternate days works out well- I have to wash every day, but don't necessarily need shampoo every day. If the frizzies on top get too bad, a little coconut oil can smooth them out and weight them down a little.

Oh, and heat styling is going to be murder on your hair. I made the decision to put away my straightener for good- and it's hard, because wurly hair can be quite unruly by nature, not quite straight, but not really curly either. However, after that and a very small trim to get rid of the worst of the split ends, I've noticed an improvement in my hair. Sometimes, you can't quite tame your hair and have to go with whatever it wants to naturally do.

July 15th, 2010, 03:08 PM
I like the scrunching you're doing. Your hair looks curlier with that technique. If you want more curliness, naturally, you could try putting your hair into rag curls. :) They're soft and don't harm your hair in any way.

July 15th, 2010, 04:39 PM
Thanks for your replies everyone! I will definitely keep scrunching, if for no other reason than to keep the heat off my hair. I do straighten my bangs though, or they will just look weird. I can't wait to see what the henna does for my hair. :)

I'm pretty sure my hair doesn't like cones so that would explain the buildup I'm getting now. I am considering trying the CO method. Not sure what conditioner to use though. And I'm worried that my hair will get too oily. I am getting so confused. lol I don't want to spend a whole bunch of money on different products trying to figure out one that works, but I guess everyone has to go through that at some point. If I do cone-free CO, do I need to change my styling products to something cone-free? To scrunch, I use FX Curls Up reactivator spray, and defrizzant gel (the gel has several cones). It works really well, but would CO be able to overcome cones in the styling products?