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View Full Version : Struggling just a little bit



knux
March 22nd, 2012, 09:06 AM
I have been on LHC for about a year now, and have applied and discovered a lot of information about my hair. The condition is much improved but, it seems to me that the eternal structure of my hair is healthy and happy, but I can't seem to get that to reflect on the outside. My hair seems to have just enough wave to not classify me as straight and also giving me a bit of frizz and uneven locks. On the flip side, none of the curly girl methods seem to work for me, even when adapted for wavy hair. So it seems I fall into the middle of the middle, where I have neither straight hair or wavy hair. I don't seem to get the beautiful shine that comes with straight hair, or the amazing body and movement of wavy hair.

Basically I am at a stand-still. I am out of idea's and looking for help in these area's.
-As my hair dries out of the shower, it dries puffy (it does eventually settle down a little, but not to anything particularly attractive.) Is there something to help it hold it's shape...what ever that is?
-Shine? I just want some shine! :(

Thanks guys, I'm just sort of stuck. :confused:

Madora
March 22nd, 2012, 09:14 AM
I found that using a bbb gave my hair wonderful shine and softness. It doesn't happen overnight, however.

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=229

knux
March 22nd, 2012, 09:28 AM
Thank you for the reply. I have read the article before and tried using the bbb the way it was described, but I shower in the morning and if I try to shower at night so that I can use the brush in the morning my hair is too oily by that time and although it does seem to distribute it a little it just makes about a 4 inch section of my roots oily instead of just the half inch at the base if I had not bbb'd it.

Could brushing it at night and pulling it into my usual sleep braid be as effective even though I would be washing my hair the following morning?

Madora
March 22nd, 2012, 09:47 AM
Thank you for the reply. I have read the article before and tried using the bbb the way it was described, but I shower in the morning and if I try to shower at night so that I can use the brush in the morning my hair is too oily by that time and although it does seem to distribute it a little it just makes about a 4 inch section of my roots oily instead of just the half inch at the base if I had not bbb'd it.

Could brushing it at night and pulling it into my usual sleep braid be as effective even though I would be washing my hair the following morning?

You might want to give it a go and see what happens. Just try and be consistent and do it every night. Also, start out slowly, if your hair isn't used to being brushed. Be sure to follow each stroke of the brush with the palm of your other hand to cut down on any static.

MissAlida
March 22nd, 2012, 09:50 AM
An ACV or white vinegar rinse makes my hair very very shiny. I just dilute 1 tbs vinegar in 300 ml water and rinse my hair with it after I have washed it. I do a final cold water rinse, since this also gives shine. A vinegar rinse will leave your hair very soft aswell. Make sure you try it if you want to have shiny hair. It might just do the trick, and it is inexpensive.:)

spidermom
March 22nd, 2012, 10:32 AM
If that's your hair in the avatar, it looks shiny. What brings out shine the best is putting a bright light on it. I know my hair is in good condition and shiny, but if I take a picture without flash in the shade, it looks as dull as can be.

Coney serums give great shine, a bit of oil also.

knux
March 22nd, 2012, 11:03 AM
Thank you all.

Madora - I will give it another try, thanks again for the advice.

MissAlida - Vinegar rinses are a part of my routine, :)

spidermom - It is my hair, but all done up with a lot of product and what not, as well as a flash. I do use a little bit of oil when my hair is wet, and a but more once it's dried.

Thanks again everyone, I really do appreciate the advice. Is there anything I can do out of the shower to encourage waves, or straighter hair? Or do I just have to embrace my hair's inability to be neither wavy nor straight. Is there no flattering way wear it down?

turtlelover
March 22nd, 2012, 11:10 AM
I've always liked almost straight hair w/ just a bit of bend. We always like what we do NOT have!!!! ;)

SoulOfTheSea
March 22nd, 2012, 11:14 AM
My hair does exactly the same thing, it's quite a pain! What I like to do is either A.) oil it with some EVOO while it's damp, this helps it dry smooth, soft, and defines my waves B.) plop it for an hour and then let it finish air-drying, this also brings out the wave and reduces poof C.) use a leave-in conditioner D.) as it is air-drying and is about 80-90% dry, put on a silicone serum and start to damp-bun it, occasionally taking out the bun, shaking out your hair, and putting back up until it is fully dry. I also like to put on a silicone serum before I do this. E.) Put in a serum/leave-in/oil and then detangle with a wide tooth comb and braid my hair into pigtails.

All of these techniques seem to work really well with me, it just takes a super amount of patience and experimentation. HTH! :flower:

heidi w.
March 22nd, 2012, 11:46 AM
It's very important to understand "hair type" as this overrides a lot of stuff concerning hair care. If you don't have straight hair, shine might be a little more difficult, or even for some hair types nearly impossible to achieve. Hair with wave or coil or curl in it is usually a bit coarser than stick straight hair. That's one thing.

BBBing at night or morning does not matter too much. Time of day it's done doesn't really matter a whole lot. George Michael's hair care book discusses the idea of starting with merely 10 BBB strokes, and instructs how to "count". One should and actually MUSt detangle the hair entirely prior to BBBing. He recommends bending over from the waist and brushing the hair from the nape of the neck. If one has detangled first, one can downstroke the length of the hair without fear of a tangle. (That is from the top down, reverse of detangling.) And he advises following a downstroke with the palm of the hand to reduce static and puffiness.

I personally combine oiling the length ONLY with BBBing. Because sebum isn't going to get all the way down my length very well. A tidbit of oil applied can make a large difference. I recently posted a youtube video that shows how I detangle, then oil, then BBB, then put my hair in an updo.

Are you sleeping on a satin, sateen, or polyester pillowcase so that hair can slide during the night? OH, I see, you braid. okay.

You are using conditioner, right?

How's your water quality? I softened the water in my house and it's made a big difference. I don't even use soap on my body because it causes me to itch terrifically. Hard water also within about 3 days of use will cause my skin to itch. You can purchase hard water filters that attach to the shower head arm sticking out in your shower, if you can't afford to soften the house's water. Just change the filter when needed. Buy a few extra filters to have on hand.

ACV will help or any kind of vinegar rinse will help to altar the pH of scalp skin, and many report that their hair gets super soft or softer when they apply a vinegar rinse. I've used lemon instead of vinegar. It needs to be well-diluted, about 3 Tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water. One applies it and rinses it out of the hair. Don't use Apple Cider Vinegar as this can tinge blonde hair types a tad red if used for a long time frequently.

I am betting that learning to oil your hair will help you somewhat. I also wonder that you might find some help with the use of a humidifier in the bedroom at night? I learned this from Lady Grace who has amazing hair. She is not overly curly, but she definitely has more "body" than I do, and she has fairly thick hair, and she lives in fairly humid conditions which requires she run the A/C a lot indoors, so she runs a humidifer whenever she naps or sleeps. You could give it a try. I use this in the winter, and I find it does help me: my skin, my nose, my throat AND my hair a bit. I hardly ever have static.

You are detangling with a wide-toothed comb, right? Not a brush, right?

My video in case it might help you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjVwPKMQDYk

Hope something in this is helpful.
heidi w.

heidi w.
March 22nd, 2012, 11:53 AM
One thing that might help: when you wash the length, allow the shampoo that's on the top of the head to float down or glide down the length of your hair yet do not specifically apply shampoo to the length itself. This is what I do. And then I condition ONLY the length, I never apply a thing to my scalp related hair other than shampoo.

Those with your kind of hair may benefit from using SLS-free shampoo. My friend has recently discovered the heavily advertised WEN shampoo, and she Loves it. She says it does not suds as much, but it does create her very curly hair to be more soft and a whole lot more manageable. I've heard a few reports to this effect here on LHC.

You may benefit from "cone-free" shampoo too. I think anyone with wave will generally do well with an SLS free shampoo. SLS presents problems for those with curly/wavy hair types. You could give that a try.

Remember, one change at a time so you know what the problem is in case something doesn't work well.

I hope this helps.
heidi w.

Amber_Maiden
March 22nd, 2012, 12:00 PM
Have you tried oiling your hair? That helps with shine. Vinegar rinses as well help with shine!

SpinDance
March 22nd, 2012, 12:14 PM
knux, what you describe sounds so much like my hair! I didn't get much shine until I had been here trying things for over a year and a half. I did my experiments slowly, but I finally got shine after I had done all these things, over that year and a half. Not sure which thing or things did the trick for sure, though.

- switched from combs/picks with seams to seamless horn, bone/Bakelite & wood
- stopped using cones (I am now experimenting with which conditioner/shampoo works best)
- oils - I found that my hair felt nicer with no cones and oils than it did with cones and/or coney serums. I tried several different oils before getting Panacea. Using the other oils for about a year I was getting shine down about half my length, but the rest was still matt/not shiny. Within 2 weeks of using Panacea as after wash leave in and for an overnight deeper treatment now and again I had shine to the ends.

Again, it was probably the combination of things, but I give lots of credit to Panacea.


Some things I tried that didn't work for me. All of these were tried after I finally got shine.

- W0 - Not willing to go through months of greasiness to find out if it will stop being so greasy.
- CO - I'll continue testing this though, with different conditioners once Ive used up what I've currently got on hand.
- ACV - Loads of static and I didn't like the way it made my hair feel. I'll probably try this again at some point, after the old dye grows out in a few years.
- BBB - Too much breakage, which I attribute to the ends being too fragile due to previous mechanical damage (nearly daily braiding) and old dye. I plan to test this again.


I am trying to accept that this is just a really long term project. It will take an estimated 3-4 more years before the last of the dye grows out. I look forward to learning whether having virgin hair again, and particularly hair that has grown protected by silk pillowcases and buns, will make a difference in what will give me good results.

Best of luck to you in your journey to learn what your hair likes best!

knux
March 22nd, 2012, 12:52 PM
I'm sport of gushing at all this support. Thank you! Love for all!

turtlelover - I agree 100%. I suppose if I had anything else I would want the opposite, thing is, I am neither :rolleyes:

SoulOfTheSea - Thank you for the list. I do EVOO my hair, its been my oil of choice and it helps for sure. Plopping is a disaster for me, I don't think I have quite enough wave for that. Would you recommend a leave in for me? Also, my hair will not dry while up. If I leave it in a braid, which I have done before for days, it just does not dry...like, at all. But I am interested in the Leave in. Hmmm why didn't I think of that? Thanks!

heidi w. - Wow, that is a lot of information. Thank you. I am still learning new things. :)
I do sleep on a satin pillow case, and yes to the conditioner.
I am not sure my water quality to be honest, how would I test that?
I use vinegar, lemon and, beer rinses, but the shine from those only last until my next wash, and I know using them everyday would be harmful and since washing nearly everyday is best for me through various testing, its only a short term solution.
Humidifier, check, and only combs, check
SLS free was no good, awesome at first but then my hair started sticking to my scalp, it had no life, was stringy, mate, and impossible to detangle, no matter how often I clarified, even when I switched back and forth between sulfate and non sulfate. Cone free was a similar story. I can manage my hair with cones, and I don't really find an issue with build up either.
I think I will try the bbb brush tonight if I can find one.
One thing at a time, I promise!
Thanks for the video as well!

Amber_Maiden - Check and check. Thanks love :)

SpinDance- Panacea? Do you have more information about this for me?

holothuroidea
March 22nd, 2012, 01:01 PM
I have hair that's also not straight enough to be straight but not wavy enough to be wavy.

My hair has no body, but it is very shiny. I think that shine has less to do with straightness and more to do with the surface structure of the hair and how moisturized it is. My DH, for example, has 3b/3c hair and his is very shiny. Finding the right conditioner can help with shine (I use a cone-free one but it is made up mostly of oils and plant waxes). Also finger combing a drop of oil through your hair after you shower is helpful.

Your hair has plenty of shine in your avatar, some light picks up shine more than others.

ETA: You can add volume to second-day hair by sleeping with your hair in a bun on the top of your head. Make sure you flip your head upside down and brush the hairs in that direction (away from the scalp) before you bun it.

Madora
March 22nd, 2012, 02:23 PM
@knux...You might want to check out a hardware store (Home Depot or similar) to see if they carry water hardness kits for testing your water.

Melisande
March 22nd, 2012, 03:07 PM
I get super shiney hair when using a rinse I mix myself: I dilute conditioner, honey and ACV (or citric acid) in warm water and let this mixture run slowly over my hair. I rinse it out and do a very last rinse with very diluted vinegar, in cool water.

Together with Heidi's as always EXCELLENT tips on oiling, pillowcase, no shampooing of the lengths (and diluting shampoo, I might add), this really helps me to get optimum shine.

Cassia is another shine inducing treatment. You might wish to check it out.

HintOfMint
March 22nd, 2012, 03:16 PM
Damp bunning really helps with softness and it adds body. I usually keep my hair up periodically on wash day and then the next day, the frizz calms down considerably. It works best if you don't wash your hair every day though.

Miss Catrina
March 22nd, 2012, 06:53 PM
I would suggest using jojoba oi as a leave-in conditioner after washing (while hair is still wet/damp). It makes my hair incredibly shiny, and any oil would cut down on frizz - but jojoba is very light.

SoulOfTheSea
March 22nd, 2012, 10:40 PM
SoulOfTheSea - Thank you for the list. I do EVOO my hair, its been my oil of choice and it helps for sure. Plopping is a disaster for me, I don't think I have quite enough wave for that. Would you recommend a leave in for me? Also, my hair will not dry while up. If I leave it in a braid, which I have done before for days, it just does not dry...like, at all. But I am interested in the Leave in. Hmmm why didn't I think of that? Thanks!

No problem! I know what it's like to suffer with poofiness. :)

I don't really know a specific one, but I know that you need to make sure that if you do get one, get one without any drying alcohols, which would RUIN your hair. Also make sure that if you live in a dry climate like myself, that the leave-in isn't high in humectants like glycerin or aloe vera gel.

Also, I forgot to mention that you should braid your hair when it is 85-95% dry, not when it is soaking, otherwise it won't dry and that's probably why you had that problem.

SpinDance
March 23rd, 2012, 01:50 PM
knux, you asked about Panacea. It is made by our own Nightshade and is sold on etsy.com. There are 3 blends, regular/original, Winter and Summer. Some find that one blend works better than others, some find that they all work. You'll have to do your own testing to see if they work well for you. Here are links for the 1/2 oz sample sizes, which I highly recommend starting with. If you find that it works for you then spring for the larger 2 oz, or for those of us who also use it as skin lotion, the 8 oz economy size!

- Panacea (http://www.etsy.com/listing/94604170/panaceas-hair-salve-leave-in-conditioner)
- Summer blend (http://www.etsy.com/listing/95562002/panaceas-hair-salve-summer-blend-leave)
- Winter blend (http://www.etsy.com/listing/95906828/panaceas-hair-salve-winter-blend-12oz).

Here is a quote from her blog (http://nightbloominggarden.blogspot.com/)regarding when the Summer and Winter blends will be available: "Summer Salve will be offered from Beltane (May 1st) through Samhain (October 31st), while Winter Salve will be offered the other half of the year, from October 31st through May 1st. Some stock may extend past the last sale date..."

(No affiliation, just a satisfied customer. See also the thread for Panacea (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=50728&highlight=nightblooming+panacea).

hmmruka
March 23rd, 2012, 02:08 PM
something that helped hold my waves and wurls when my hair was shorter than now (now my weight is pulling my waves out), was the mixed chicks leave in conditioner. My hair is odd and if it isn't long enough it doesnt hold its waves and just looks messy. I dont put my mixed chicks in the way they show for super curlies but I scrunch a lot less than they show in to damp hair and it helps with frizz and gives just enough hold to keep my waves and wurls with out the hardness of gels, and no greasyness. It is not cone free though but I am ok with some cones.