I'm losing my curls and I want to cry - someone help!

LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
Hi Everyone-
Excuse the melodrama but I'm honestly at that point - I'm sure you've all been there, where I look in the mirror and it just makes me sad.

Here's the story: I started out on this planet with straight hair. When I hit puberty, it curled. And it curled phenomenally, to look like this:

n37102318_31478801_6399.jpg

which made me think - hurrah - we're at a 3.

Look at the little ringlets!
n37102318_31478794_4160.jpg

I was using Herbal Essences mouse on overkille back then (I was 17), and then when I went to university I started using only natural, plant based products (no harsh lauryth sulfates or anything like that).

My curls continued.. if not a little bit more wavy, which I figured was due to the water (I was living in Vancouver and moved to Scotland for university).

Here's the back of my head - and look at how it's starting to go to waves :(
14336_773354170049_16811214_43510837_4169056_n.jpg

That was 1st year. Final year of university, I cut off half of my hair (it had been down to my waist and cut to mid back), and I was getting some curl without heavy product:

n37103669_30118933_2703.jpg

Travelled around the world and noticed my curls were a disaster (in bruges):
n37102318_30571358_7552.jpg

So I had the genius idea to perm it.. yes.. I know.. and in THAILAND of all places.. well.. it looked pretty awesome:

n37102318_31355158_9762.jpg

Back to Vancouver, perm has faded, and I'm struggling to hold a curl. I have good days, I have bad days, but it's usually months of bad and then one good day in there that gives me hope at being a 3 again.

2 years ago, we were here:
n37102318_33748069_1222.jpg

The curls started to fade most recently, and it makes me so sad. I thought if I cut it with layers to bring them out, we'd be in business. I thought cutting it would get rid of the weight that was maybe stretching it out.. I was wrong.. disaster:

11553_593276113122_37102318_35350227_4904087_n.jpg

So - this is where we are now. Between that ickyness of no curl, and this, which has a little, but still.. ick:

39990_706643498811_21007272_43432886_4528227_n.jpg

Granted, in photos my hair looks curlier than it is because of the way it bounces light - but for the most part, you can see the general 'fall from grace' my hair has undergone. I want my 3's back. I want my gorgeous spirally ringlets of 17yr old me, 25 year old me hates that I find more and more 'straight' chunks in my hair, and I can't get the top of my head to curl (my crown, what's closest to my scalp, lays flat.. no gorgeous waves up there, nothing).

I've been co-washing (no poo) for the last year or more.. I use no 'cones (I use "kiss my face" hair gel), and I generally care for my curls the same way I used to. I am not quite willing to accept that my hair has just changed and I'm going to have to live with it - I'm holding on to some hope that someone here can tell me what to do. If there's a product to try, or something.

I'm hoping someone here can help. If you have found a magical mystery cure for enhancing your curls, please please please let me know.
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
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Comments

  • CheetaraCheetara Posts: 2,182Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Changing my styling technique rather than messing with my products is what has enhanced my wave pattern the most. You might want to try super soaker, plopping (I do this upright instead of upside down), icequeen method, etc.

    Besides that, it might just be that your wave pattern has changed and loosened. There's not much you can do about that if that is the case but accept it and make the most of it.
    Sort of CG sometimes, but not really
    2B, medium? normal porosity and elasticity?

    Cleansers -
    Suave Clarifying, Philosophy Happy Birthday Beautiful

    Stylers - BRHG, re:coil, Ion Hairspray

    I live in the NYC area.


  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I agree, styling technique is one of the keys to great hair. I might be missing something important but...

    1 right products
    2 good cut
    3 right styling techniques
    4 proper protein/moisture balance.

    For products, I find a hard hold gel to be important. It helps hold the curls in place as they dry. Not everyone's hair needs a hard hold.
    For styling techniques try:
    The ice queen method or the super soaker method for getting clumps (larger sections of hair that form one curl).
    Also try plopping and pixie diffusing. If these don't work ,there are more options.

    Do you know your hair's properties? These will help know which products might work. Also it helps you guess how much protein your hair needs.
    Texture and thickness
    http://thewavytales.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-classify-your-wavy-hair.html
    porosity
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/curlchemist-porosity-and-curly-hair

    Good luck.
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • yuhwooyuhwoo Posts: 25Registered Users
    You mentioned you kept the same routine for your hair. Maybe you need to switch it up a little with different poo/conditioner, product, etc.

    Also, a lot can change between age 17 & 25 - hormonally, metabolically. That could have an effect on how your hair reacts. One of the wavies on this board, (Justajesuschick) says she didn't have waves/curls at all until recently, and she attributes that to hormonal changes.

    Try not to be too distressed. Maybe you just need to embrace what your hair can be now, as opposed to what it was then. In the meantime, you might want to experiment with different products and see what happens. If you hair really has changed, then the same products you used before probably won't work as well as they did before anyway. Who knows? Switching up your products might bring a little bounce back to your curls. ;-)
    2a/b, medium texture/porosity/thickness
    currently using:
    co-wash or ro:
    sonoma soap company daily co, tj tea tree tingle, aogbp
    stylers: cj cccc, ssfhg
    pre-poo w/coconut oil 1x/wk

  • curlymel3bcurlymel3b Posts: 1Registered Users
    The same thing happened to me, except I was born with 3a hair which turned 3b at puberty and remained 3b until I was about 33. Then I went through a painful divorce and my ringlets turned to wavy, limp, stringy hair. I wanted to cry and did cry. A lot. If losing my curl wasn't bad enough, then I started to lose my hair! By the time I was 43 I thought seriously about wearing a wig the rest of my life. I even bought a wig, but couldn't bring myself to wear it. My hair looked so hopeless all I could do was wear it up or in a pony tail. Then I fell in love, got engaged and suddenly it all turned around. My hair stopped falling out, grew back and the curl came back stronger than ever. People, once again compliment me on my hair. This is just my theory, but I believe I was so depressed after my divorce that my hormones weren't functioning properly and that led to the hair and curl loss. I'd recommend getting your hormones checked and be good to yourself.
  • Robin-in-FLRobin-in-FL Posts: 1,731Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Mostly just want to say -that was an awesome hair photoessay - thank you for posting. Very cute pictures.

    But on-topic: if your hair changed from straight to curly, couldn't it settle to wavy as adult? That seems very likely.

    I think I'm just repeating previous posts, but if your hair is just exhausted, a protein treatment may restore the curls (your 'magic bullet'), or more assertive styling may give you a look you like - use lots of conditioner, gel it, scrunch like mad and see what you get.
    2c / C / iii (FIA)
    Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

    Shoulder-Length now.

    Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
    Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
    Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
    Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

    Henna!
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Thanks everyone - I think you're all right - I may just have tired my poor curls out. I washed today with Giovanni deep cleanse to get rid of any buildup, did my usual co-wash and saturated my hair in conditioner.

    Out of the shower I put some coconut oil on the tips, and then gel. I usually pin it up (scrunch to my scalp and then use a claw) in sections.

    When I'm out of the shower you can see that it's curly - there are little ringlets there. And when it dries it does keep those ringlets - but only at the bottom.. I'm not sure why my curls seem to only start past my shoulders, with the rest of my head being waves. Any ideas on how to get those curls to start at the top? I thought clipping would do it, but alas.

    When I diffuse I get a lot of volume and more of that curl-all-the-way-through, but I also get frizz and a drying pattern that I don't like.

    Also - it's been a while since I've been on the boards or read CG - even though I've been CG (co-wash daily, no shampoo, and no 'cones). I grabbed a shedded strand and did the pull test, and it snapped pretty quickly... I can't remember, what does that mean? I think that my hair is lacking elasticity, so is that a 'lack of protein', 'too much protein', 'lack of moisture', 'too much moisture' sign?

    I appreciate everyone helping me troubleshoot. I see everyone's gorgeous curls and it makes me so jealous - I don't want to be wavy, I want my pretty cute curls from when I was younger back!

    (No offense at all intended to the wavies here, I just like the way curls look on me, personally).
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Alright, update:
    So my hair is feeling nice and moisturized (almost too much, methinks, it's bordering greasy) and here's how it looks (excuse the vanity, I'm really just trying to figure out how to make it go back to curly, and i thought the more I explain and show what's going on, the more likelihood of someone out there beingable to help.)
    image201009010008.jpg
    you can see from the datestamps that this flat-top business isn't a one-off, and that I always seem to have great curls at the bottom and nape of my neck hair, but my crown and canopy don't seem to be interested in it at all.

    image201009010010.jpg
    I uploaded a few more pics into an album so you can see more of what I'm talking about: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/


    please if anyone has any help/ideas/suggestions on how to INCREASE curl, let me know.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It is pretty common for wavy hair to start at the shoulders.
    Hair that snaps immediately in the elasticity test needs moisture. It may need both moisture and protein. Mine snaps immediately and needs both.

    Check out this new thread. It is growing by the minute.:mrgreen: It has the links to all the methods I'll mention.
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?p=1458132#post1458132

    To get moisture into your hair try the spritz and condish method.

    To get better clumps try the ice queen or super soaker method. The super soaker may work better with your long hair. Clumps help many of us get better curls too.

    Increasing curls: plopping, pixie diffusing, and smasters method.

    Root volume. Most of these links are obvious by reading the titles. "If you never figured out clipping" is a root volume thread.

    I also find using a hard hold gel to be essential. The stickier the better. I love BRHG. Other popular hard hold gels are LA looks sports and curls gel, and herbal essences set me up. Ecostyler krystal is popular with wavies trying to increase curl. It has both glycerin and wheat protein if either are an issue for you.

    You might also find that using at least one "grabby" product will help your clumps form and pull themselves "up".
    grabby vs slippy products
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=95392
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    thanks so much for your help and advice!

    Clumps don't seem to be a problem, I have nice clumps of curls, or at least - I think so. I do notice that the right side of my head is less curly than the left..

    I do the majority of those things you mentioned (except the protein and moisture treatments). I supersoak, I've tried plopping and now I do a mixture of plopping-and-clipping where I pile all my hair on the crown of my head and clip with claw clips (but in sections, to preserve 'clumps'). If I blowdry, I pixie.

    I was hoping ther was some sort of silver bullet - my hair seems to have no elasticity (hence the 'snapping') so I wondered if there was something that increased elasticity would (theoretically) lead to an increase curl.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • finaleofseemfinaleofseem Posts: 900Registered Users
    Don't discount the moisture and protein. While technique has been huge for me (pixie curling has revolutionized my hair), I have more curl even when I just let it do it's thing with no techniques now. I attribute that to the proper moisture/protein balance.
    Location: West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    2b/cMii, medium-high porosity

    Likes protein and most oils, HATES mineral oil
    Summer Routine
    Poo: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture
    Cowash CJ Daily Fix
    Rinse out: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture
    Leave In: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture, SSRPT
    Stylers: Ecostyler Krystal, LALSG (in really high dews)
    PT: SS Repairing Protein Treatment
  • SbudskySbudsky Posts: 261Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    First of all, I think your hair in all of the pics is gorgeous and still very curly. The pic from 2 years ago looks just as curly as the ones from the beginning of university, IMO. It seems like the major change happened after the big cut...How long ago was that? Did the stylist use lots of chemicals and/or heat in your hair?

    In any case, I second (or third or fourth, whatever) all of those who have suggested adding protein. I'd recommend using keratin (actual hair protein), instead of or in addition to vegetable proteins-- keratin is absorbed into hair differently from other types of proteins and, in my experience, has made the most difference.
    waves, loose coils, and cherub curls (=mixed 2s through 3a), very fine texture overall (but with medium and even coarse strands scattered throughout)
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Thanks Sbudsky and FinaleofSeem

    I've never done a PT or a MT - and I can't seem to find information in the forums on how to do it - it seems people talk about products, but not what you're actually doing.. or I may be missing something - can one of you tell me what I need to do?

    Also - doesn't Keratin straighten your hair? I saw that in one of the protein forums that it's used for the Brazilian Blowout.

    To answer your question Sbudsky - it stayed curly after the big cut, the change was more between highschool and university - in the highschool pic you can see tighter more ringlet-y hair, and then university onwards it's waves at the top, curls at the bottom.

    I pixie-dried today after putting product in, and I did get some better curl definition, but I'm still failing at the crown.. I get my front/bangs in nice curls, but everything else that's crown-hair doesn't curl until further down - so it looks like i'm always wearing a hat or something. I have tried clipping (and pixie should also help) to get root volume, but it seems that the hair just isn't as curly there as it is at the bottom.. which seems strange to me.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My sisters hair was 1c/2a in grade school, turned 3a/3b overnight when she was about 13, then at somewhere between 21-23 went 2c wavy.
    Hormone changes can change hair. Your hair may have changed if you started birth control pills. Getting pregnant sometimes gives you curlier hair. Have you considered getting pregnant. :laughing6: (a joke)

    Keratin by itself doesn't make your hair straight. Brazilian blow outs have more involved then just keratin.

    Good article to explain moisture/protein balance
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html?cat=69
    Blog post that shows pictures of hair needing protein and moisture
    http://pittsburghcurly.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/protein-vs-moisture/
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Pedaheh you're a wealth of knowledge. I was just reading your hair bio on another post and it seems ours is similar. Mine is easy to straighten, when I get out of the shower if I comb it then I can forget about curls. If I put it in a pony to dry, the top dries flat.

    I'm going to have to pick a product now for proteining - it seems from all that i've read that most people find incredible improvement to curl when they protein.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    pedaheh wrote: »

    Good article to explain moisture/protein balance
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html?cat=69
    Blog post that shows pictures of hair needing protein and moisture
    http://pittsburghcurly.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/protein-vs-moisture/

    Ok, so now I'm worried maybe I have TOO MUCH protein, looking at her pictures. My hair snaps without elasticity, so that seems to be a sign of protein excess. Also, according to those posts, most plant extracts have protein, and since I use all natural/botanical products, maybe I really am just putting too much protein in.

    I had a look at the ingredients of the things I use, and they seem to be pretty much ALL protein. I'm wondering if I should bother doing a keratin PT or just avoid protein, and try and get rid of some of it from my hair (i need to figure out how to do that, and what products I can now use that are plant based and aren't filled with protein).



    Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner (I use this to co-wash as well as on the ends daily):

    Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract*, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract*, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract*, Sambucus Nigra (Black Elderberry) Flower Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract *, Water (Aqua), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Coconut Derived), Decyl Glucoside (Coconut And Corn Derived), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut Derived), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Coco Nucifera Coconut) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides (Coconut Derived), Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate (Fruit Derived), Benzyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Citric Acid, Stearyl Citrate (Vegetable Derived), Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Fragrance (Parfum).* Certified Organic


    Kiss My Face hair gel (daily):
    Certified Organic Aqua of Urtica dioica, Calendula officinalis & Anthemis nobilis, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Amino Acid derived), Faex, Panthenol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus grandis



    What do you think? If it's too much protein, any suggestions on getting rid of some from my hair? I know I should moisturize anyway, I'm just wondering if I can get rid of some of the protein to see if that's the prob... then I have to figure out what products I can use that don't have protein in them.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I actually didn't know plant extracts had protein. But things like plant extracts and coconut oil (retains protein) are important for people who are protein sensitive. These people have hair that just hates anything protein related.
    For people who need protein, hydrolized protein is your best option. It is the correct size to make it into your hair.
    http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/2009/06/size-matters-protein-conditioning-part.html
    When I read your ingredient lists, it looks to me like you have no real protein ingredients.
    I'm not the best at being able to tell when hair needs protein. I can't say for certain that you need a PT, but this is my hunch. You might want another opinion. My hair snaps immediately in the elasticity test. I do weekly protein treatments and have hydrolized protein in many of my products. I also need lots of moisture. In fact I can't get enough moisture, no matter how hard I try.
    Rymorg, our resident expert stylist who trains stylists, in on nc.com vacation until the 12th. If you look on the link that list the styling techniques, there is a thread from her on how to do PTs and DTs. On the last, or near last page she says that hair is made of protein. So, in her opinion you can't do any real, permanent damage from a PT.
    If you want to try one but are nervous, you could try a mild PT like Ion effective hair care (sally's) or AO GBP (moisturizing condish with protein, like a mild PT, you don't have to follow with moisture). Or you could try it on just a small section of your hair and see how that goes.
    If you do a PT, you hair will feel like you messed it up immediately after the PT and before the DT. It will feel hard and generally bad. The DT should make it all better. :iconbiggrin:


    Side note: Thought you might be interested in this. One of the founders of NC.com got a brazilian blowout to keep her curls.
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/i-did-a-brazilian-blowout
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Seriously - thank you so much for taking the time to walk me through this - I'm extremely grateful.


    So last night I went for a moisturizing treatment since all the forums say that you should try that first.

    I started by co-washing, then rinsed with baking powder to get rid of any residues. Then white vinegar (don't have ACV) to seal the cuticule) ((side note: when I use the baking powder my hair feels unbelievably silky. As soon as i put in the vinegar it feels rigid and overly texturized). I then used my normal condish, rinsed it out, pat dried my hair with a t.

    I used "Burts Bees" Deep Conditioning treatment, mixed with honey (since I read that honey is super great for moisture). I wrapped my head in clingfilm (and took a pic for posterity). 45 minutes (it was starting to drip down my back!), and rinsed out.

    I then styled with flax seed gel that I made while I was in the DCT.

    I went to bed, so I didn't have time for it to dry. But woke up and my curls were none-the-different. No change in texture or elasticity.


    In this article you recommended: http://pittsburghcurly.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/protein-vs-moisture/
    she mentions that any thing with "extract" contains protein. From her pictures, my hair looks like that - except that could be because of any number of things, which makes me unsure.

    Since it seems to be that if your hair snaps its either that you have too much, or too little, I'm worried. Also, I tried to find keratin and I guess it's not the sort of thing you normally buy, I couldn't find any.


    I had read her protein T post before - I tried to stay away from anything with 'oil' in the ingredients for my DCT so that it wouldn't coat the hair and not allow the moisture to permeate.

    I'm a little bummed because I really hoped I would notice a difference with the DT. In all the before and after threads, I see a lot of people with hair that looks like mine in the 'before' and turns into beautiful curls in the 'after'.. since I've been CG for a year, and technically modified CG since I was 16, I feel like I've hit a wall.
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • IAgirlIAgirl Posts: 2,540Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I knew I'd find this article again -- about the changes in hair wave pattern: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102074149.
    With your substantial changes in life (location, travel, college) it may have altered your hair. And probably your intellect and personality! Don't overlook curlymel3b's response, it is a dramatic and excellent example.
    People here are telling you how to increase curl. Keep reading. But everyone here has taken a long time to work their own hair out and yours will take time too. You have to do the experimenting.

    And it goes without saying (or maybe not) that you will suffer far more stress (not so good for your hair) by worrying about it too much. Mourn the loss of the curls you had. Work on a new curl-promoting program. See what emerges. Your hair right now looks pretty to me, with a lot of potential -- I would like those curls. You have different expectations. You might just have to "go with the flow" for now and relax your expectations while you figure your hair out.

    My fool-proof method of determining of protein helps: use some and use it without a lot of other stuff in there. If it helps, you needed it. If your hair is worse, your didn't need it. Just add moisture back and you'll be cool.
    I've had good luck with a cheap protein recipe of 1 package unflavored gelatin, 1 tsp. vinegar, 1 1/2 to 2 cups water. Stir well, leave on clean hair 10-15 minutes, rinse out really, really well, condition if your hair feels too stiff.
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Thanks IAgirl

    I honestly didn't start getting bummed until I looked at the Before/After CG thread - I didn't get anything like those results and I've been at it for over a year.

    I bought some gelatin to try your method - I didn't know gelatin had hydrolized protein in it (I read it can only work if it's hydrolized because if not it's not the right size to be absorbed).

    I also bought a few other things - like the VO5 hot-oil strengthening treatment - so I guess it'll be a lot of testing. I'm not entirely sure what I need to be looking out for (how will I know it's improved?)

    If you have any other advice on how to improve and encourage my curl pattern, please do let me know.

    Thanks again!
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • SbudskySbudsky Posts: 261Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Not sure if you're still planning to do a keratin treatment, but I use Joico K-Pak or ION. It's no more major of a process than a deep treatment. Even if it's not the right thing for you, it won't cause any major or lasting damage. IMO, it's worth a try.
    waves, loose coils, and cherub curls (=mixed 2s through 3a), very fine texture overall (but with medium and even coarse strands scattered throughout)
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Alright, IAGirl and Sbudsky,

    I tried protein last night.

    I mixed the gelatin/acv/water like you said IAGirl, and put it in for 10-15 mins (it was pouring down my back and making it sticky, and wouldn't stay in the showercap at all!).

    When I rinsed it out - I didn't notice anything. No change.
    I then used the VO5 strengthening hot oil. Left that on for a couple minutes. Rinse out.

    Again - no difference. I'm not sure if it's meant to be an immediate change or not - but the hair definitely wasn't improving elasticity of it.

    Panicking, I put in a protein-condish as a leave-in, got out of the shower and plopped.

    Took the plop out and my hair honestly felt no different. I went for my last saving grace: I put a ton of coconut oil in it, along with burts' bees moisturizer. It's a hand/body moisturizer but the ingredients looked like they'd be awesome for hair.

    My hair was stick straight when I put that in (and hard/greasy).

    This morning I tried rinsing it out, but it was a hard go. So I used an all natural soap (mild) and then followed with my usual condish.

    I've styled as usual, but again - no noticeable change in my hair at all.

    Did I do something wrong? Does that mean my hair needs more protein?
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If you don't like gelatin for your hair, you can use it (plus milk) to make your own pore strips. :happy8: I haven't tried it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bjOB4zS0uE&feature=fvhl
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • SbudskySbudsky Posts: 261Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Sorry to hear you didn't get the results you were looking for. In my experience, the results of a protein treatment were not immediate or miraculous and took some time to notice-- It was more like, I did a PT, styled my hair as usual, had some great hair days, but didn't think much of it. A few weeks later, did another PT and again had some really good hair days, but didn't make the connection. When I finally looked back and tried to find the common denominator, I realized it was the keratin/protein. It might be worth doing another PT and/or trying a different type...I don't know much about protein other than what's worked in my own hair, but my stylist told me that proteins that come from animal bones (like what is found in gelatin) can make hair feel hard, whereas hair absorbs keratin easily without problems. I'd really recommend trying K-pak or something like it.

    As a side note, it sounds like you are doing a lot to your hair all at once-- it could be that the things you're using aren't working well together. It also seems like it might be hard to single out what's working and what might be causing problems. Maybe it would be helpful to try to simplify your routine as much as possible (to just a cleanser, conditioner, and styling product, for example) and then try one "extra" at a time to see how your hair responds.
    waves, loose coils, and cherub curls (=mixed 2s through 3a), very fine texture overall (but with medium and even coarse strands scattered throughout)
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    Sbudsky - you're right. I'm doing way too much. I've toned it down - one thing at a time and trouble shooting. I guess I thought the PT would be immediate 'bouncy shiny curls'. Looks like I may need to do it a few times before I get to that.

    Thanks for all your help :)
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • curlywurlygurlycurlywurlygurly Posts: 1,180Registered Users
    pedaheh wrote: »
    If you don't like gelatin for your hair, you can use it (plus milk) to make your own pore strips. :happy8: I haven't tried it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bjOB4zS0uE&feature=fvhl


    I tried this once... if you can contend with the smell (ewwww!) while you do this it may just work. I couldn't do it, made me wanna be sick. *shutters at the memory*
    2 something Australian :toothy4:

    http://public.fotki.com/curlywurlygurly/
    pw:aussie

    Aiming to grow hair to waist from buzz cut - slowly but surely.
  • leonita poraleonita pora Posts: 175Registered Users
    Sbudsky wrote: »
    In my experience, the results of a protein treatment were not immediate or miraculous and took some time to notice-- It was more like, I did a PT, styled my hair as usual, had some great hair days, but didn't think much of it.

    I have to second this. I don't normally see dramatic changes after a protein treatment (I use Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor), but I know that my hair doesn't look worse, so like someone else said on this thread, I figured that either my hair needed it or at least, it didn't hurt.

    My other thoughts from reading this thread:

    Something you may want to try is varying up the amount of moisture. I actually haven't done a deep treatment after a protein treatment in a while, and I have not been using a leave-in conditioner. I'm probably due for a deep treatment, but I've just been trying to be very careful of not upsetting the moisture/protein balance too much towards overconditioning.

    Too much coconut oil (which I have a bad habit overdoing - it's just so easy to do for me!) makes my hair stringy too. Right now I'm finding that Lush's R&B (I think it's a type of butter), is easier for me to use when adding back in moisture when my hair isn't wet. Maybe try some butters for adding moisture?

    Another thing you might want to try is Spiral Solutions protein spray. I like this a lot. If my hair is looking kinda limp after it dries, I like to spritz a bit of this, and I find this picks it up. It's not like doing an actual protein treatment, but you might be able to experiment and learn better how much protein your hair needs with this product.

    By the way, I really like your hair. I wish I had the curl that you do now. But, I understand how you feel. I'm convinced that my hair was curlier than it is now (and maybe one day will be when I sort out my own hair needs and preferred styling techniques), and I have spent the last 4 years in frustration and mourning for it before I came across these boards. And honestly, it's taken me nearly 6 months to achieve some level of intuition about what my hair needs at that moment.

    Try not to look too much at the Before/After CG of 3b and 4 curlies... I made that same mistake and had unrealistic expectations. Plus, you don't know how long it took all of them to achieve that. Some people see dramatic instant changes, some are more subtle, but overall better. I really prefer the Before/After pics of the 2's on this forum.

    Good luck!
    Fia: 2b-2c/Fine-Medium/iii (Thick)
    Low-Poo: Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo, Shampoo bars
    Co-Wash: Trader Joe's Refresh, CJ Daily Fix, CFT Creamy Curl Cleanser
    Rinse-out: Trader Joe's Nourish, GFTN, Aubrey Organics GPB
    Leave-in/Curl Creme: Marie Dean Curly Styling Creme
    Gel: BRHG, homemade FSG, CJ Curl Queen, Deva AnGel
    Hair likes: Protein, FSG, high dewpoints
    Hair dislikes: coconut oil on dry hair
  • SbudskySbudsky Posts: 261Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Glad to hear (from your other post) that you've made some progress!

    One other thought I had is that you may need a harder hold gel. I always assumed I needed a light hold gel because my hair isn't super curly, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. What really turned my waves into curls was starting to use Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (at the recommendation of ladies on the boards). I would really prefer to use something more natural, but I have not been able to find a gel that gives me such good curl definition.
    waves, loose coils, and cherub curls (=mixed 2s through 3a), very fine texture overall (but with medium and even coarse strands scattered throughout)
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    its been ages, I know, but my hair has been behaving so I haven't been round.

    I wanted to show you all where we're at curl wise. I'm pretty damn happy.
    This was Christmas time. Shiny, curly, yes! Still get the odd stringy day but for the most part I'm on the road to 3 again :)

    DANS_CORP_CHRISTMAS_0186.jpg

    and this is after a bit of wind and roughing around, but still curly :)
    DSC_0073.jpg
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/
  • pedahehpedaheh Posts: 4,812Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Oh, your hair is just so pretty. Hair envy. The 2nd pic is very cool too. Glad things are working.
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • LongDarkWavyHairLongDarkWavyHair Posts: 69Registered Users
    thanks pedaheh, you and the other lovely ladies on this thread are all to be credited, you saw how miserable I was with my curl-death and you all offered so many great suggestons, and clearly they worked! I'm so content with my curl now, and still looking at ways to make it even better :)
    2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

    Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
    Current products:
    Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
    Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
    Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

    Occasionals:
    Coconut Oil
    Baking Soda/ACV
    Trying:
    Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
    Biotene H-24 Condish
    VO5 Hot Oil

    Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/longdarkwavyhair/CG%20Hair/

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