For lack of a better posting place.

Hello. I'm new here, and have a huge "intro" post. I also have nice curly hair. Or rather Would have it if I knew how to take care of it better :) Right now it's sort of a curly mess. . . I'm sure that most of the people here have been there and done that though. Hm, my entire life I've been taking care of it wrong, and I'm trying to play catch up now. I've always loved my curls, and would never trade them. I just need to figure out how to take better care of them. Right now my hair is down to the part of my back that curves out when wet, a little below my shoulders when dry. I don't get it cut, though when I see a spot that has split ends I'll trim those off.

The biggest problems I seem to have with my hair is that it is really frizzy, doesn't have uniform curls and doesn't have volume in the "right" places. Hm. I'll do my best to elaborate that.

I guess the frizziness is easy, right ;) It is getting better, when I put a lot of stuff into it, but it doesn't seem to ever completely stay tamed, and when I don't try to weigh the frizz down it goes everywhere, though not as bad as when I was a kid and didn't know anything at all.

I guess that leads to the last part next. Probably just the way I am doing things, but my hair stays pretty flat towards my scalp, doesn't have any volume, yet towards the bottom it will puff out a bit. I'd really like to get it to where it doesn't look plastered to my skull, but isn't puffy anywhere. Should I be turning my head upside down to get more lift from the roots, instead of looking like I've been wearing a hat all day since my hair has volume/to is frizzy at the ends yet is stuck to my scalp(except for the frizz) I just have trouble standing like that, and my hair is long enough that it makes it doubly akward.

Then there's the curls. Some are pretty and spiraly(sorta like someone twisted it around a curling iron for the curl, then stretched it out). Some look more wavy(hm. Almost like someone put it between the pegs on a loom and got it to stay that way) and some locks just don't hold a curl and puff out with every hair going in a different direction of a curl. When it dries, some of the curls still do have the spiral shape, but are tight near the ends and look like the same stretched one was smashed onto itself. It's frizzy throughout them, and I only have a few locks that are completely frizz/fluff free. Though most/all of them do have a generally ringletted curl to them.

Most of my life I had washed it between once a week(young kid) to daily(when some idiot at a salon told my mom to have me do it that much since my problem was oily hair :?: went from the combo conditioner/shampoo to daily shampoo and some bad conditioner) and I had always brushed it when dry with one of those brushes that seem to be the worst on curly hair(have lots of little bristles that are smashed together) but went to a plastic one with hard bristles that looks like one of the ones that hair dryers attach to. Is it any wonder I not only went through gallons of no more tears, but also hated to touch my hair since it was always a tangled mess?

When I was a teen was when I started to notice it getting bad. It would constantly frizz out, badly(see the first pic) and if I would not brush it for a day, or would keep it up tightly in a bun/braid(s) for the day it would be frizzy, yet just have a LOT of volume and a bit of wave instead of just frizz. I got to the point where I wasn't getting it wet or touching it other than to brush it for a month or two at a time, since the oil in it would make it lie down a bit more, though it would look and feel disgustingly greasy. Then when I would wash it POOF! Back into a frizzball. And it was always tangled. I could brush it then less than a minute later, not moving, I'd have knots again(trust me, my mom screamed at me tons of times when I was a kid for "not brushing it good enough" or would just have it cut to a guy's length since it had knots in it>.<) And whenever I'd brush it I would always "feel" how dry and nasty it was. I ended up going to one of the salons near my job, and they told me the problem was that it was dry(it is.) and immediately signed me up for reconditioning treatements. Sure, my hair would look okay for a bit(though the one lady Hurt my scalp she pulled so hard, and left my hair weird looking and sticky) but once I would wash or brush it again it would go back to being the same mess again. They never got to the reason it was that way, though they did sell me a lot of expensive products that didn't work.

Forward to where I live now. I met someone who I considered a friend(until recently, long story) and she has similar hair to mine. She told me some of the stuff I was doing wrong. Since then I haven't brushed my hair when it is dry once. It looks tons better just from that. I've also found a good washing routine, sorta. I only wash it once, twice at most a week. Every day when I shower(before I touch it) I slather on conditioner and sometimes a mask(usually only if I've washed it), comb it through with a wide toothed comb and leave it on until I'm done showering before rinsing it out. When I'm out of the shower I use my fingers to squeeze off extra water, then do the same with a towel. Then I put in a good bit of leave in conditioner, a bit of flexible hold hair spray, and citre shine, then I have been using a brush on it. It's one of the ones with flexible hard rubber bristles with knobs on the ends of the bristles to keep it from scratching, though from what I've read here should I give that up for another comb? I let it totally air dry.

Right now I've been using garnier's fructise for dry/damaged hair, avon's icelandic mineral spa olive oil mask, infusium for the leave in, and herbal essences for the hair spray. They work so-so, but I'd definately like to find better. Also, tomorrow I'm getting some stuff from my avon lady that was made for curly hair. One is a mist on, the other is a gel based one. I'd have tried the cream, but they usually haven't been too good on my hair. I've tried a lot of the really expensive products at salons with no effect. The shampoos don't work well, and the creams they've sold me had absolutely no effect on the frizziness and only made my hair greasy. I figure if nothing else I can use them towards the ends of my hair if they don't work well. Does anyone have any feedback on the curly hair solutions line? I was messing around at their site and it looked good. Oh, guess I should mention. I never use anything with metal on my hair, though I do have the habbit of putting it into a tight bun when I don't want to mess with it. I use the soft fabric scrunchies.

Onto pics. . .

First, the way it used to always look: /home/leaving?" class="Popup

Then a couple of the way it looked when it was up all day tightly:
/home/leaving?" class="Popup
/home/leaving?" class="Popup
/home/leaving?" class="Popup

Then sorta what it looks like now, though it usually isn't as nice. It had been up all day and was nice, yet still somewhat damp. The curls are never so loose, and it's always got a good bit of frizz. There are also never so few curls. I've got tons of them!(and please pardon the rat who had decided to nap on my head :) ):
/home/leaving?" class="Popup

Hm, you can sorta see what I was talking about there. The bottom of my hair has the rings to it, yet the top part is a bit wavy. meh, it's late, I'm rambling and need sleep! Thanks for looking :)


  • sundaysunday Posts: 535Registered Users
    A lot of people like the "curly girl" method of caring for their hair. Basically, this is not using sulfates to wash and not using silicones in your hair. The book, Curly Girl, by Lorraine Massey explains this better than I can. Also, I have found that using a combo of Jessicurl Rocking Ringlets and flipping my hair upside down and diffusing helps a lot with volume and curl at the top of my head. HTH!
    3 something
    fotki pw: sunday
  • Gilraen TookGilraen Took Posts: 27Registered Users
    Helps some, but the last time I tried to flip my hair upside down(yesterday, to be honest) all I succeeded in was knotting it up while I was trying to comb it. Ouch!

    Also, a stupid question, sulfates in a shampoo would say "xyz sulfate" or something to that effect, right?
  • sundaysunday Posts: 535Registered Users
    Yes it would say that. You might try doing a search for "volume at the roots". It seems like a lot of people have that problem.
    3 something
    fotki pw: sunday
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    well kiddo, as gorgeous as you are and with a body like that, one could overlook many hair difficulties :)
    anyway, your hair looks great now. forget about shampoo and combing. i only fingercomb now aka rake while in the shower , after washing with a co and then a second dose of co mixed with honey. then l go under a cold shower, rake and detangle with water running down my hair upside down. put in your leavein conditioner on sopping wet hair. plop and pineapple. avoid cones and sulfates. my hair responded to curly girl method within days. it is amazing. good luck and keep posting your pictures.
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?" class="Popup
  • SuZenSuZen Posts: 1,595Registered Users
    I wouldn't suggest trying to comb your hair while it's flipped over. That would be very likely to cause knots, as you found out!

    I would get rid of your brush entirely. While there are a few people who like to wet-brush and find it helps clump their hair into nice controlled curls, more typical is to find that brushing breaks the hair and pulls out the curl pattern.

    Some suggestions:

    Either fingercomb your hair or use a wide-toothed comb. Do this in the shower while the hair is full of conditioner, and the knots should come out without too much trouble.

    Get rid of the hair spray. Hair sprays contain drying alcohols and drying propellants, and the resins don't rinse out and contribute to knotting.

    I think you need a good styling product. Herbal Essences has three new gels that all are very good and inexpensive. Totally Twisted has a soft hold, while Body Envy and Set Me Up are stronger hold. You would need to experiment to see what works for you. There also is a Set Me Up spray gel which may substitute for hairspray but will rinse easily from your hair.

    Some people like cream stylers, especially in winter when the hair tends to be dry. There are not a lot of good drugstore cream stylers, but you could try Dove Molding Cream, Garnier Fructis Soft Curl Cream, Samy Curls Define and Extend Cream, or Samy Smooth Reaction. (Of the two Samy creams, Smooth Reaction has more hold and I much prefer it to the Curls cream, but those who like a very natural hold may like Curls.)

    I personally like to comb styling products through my hair with the wide-toothed comb, and then scrunch the curl pattern back in, but many people prefer to rake the product through with the fingers.

    Curly Hair Solutions has one really outstanding product, [buylink=]Curl Keeper[/buylink], which is generally used in very small quantities as a substitute for serum, under other styling products. Their other products are okay but not outstanding for what you pay for them. Product lines that are much loved by NCers are Devacurl, Jessicurl, Curls and Curl Junkie.

    Hope that gets you started!
  • Gilraen TookGilraen Took Posts: 27Registered Users
    Hehe, it is a lot frizzier than those pics, especially the last one let on. Selective photography ;)

    I can't detangle solely with my fingers yet though, it gets too knotted overnight, or from being down in the day, even when I'm not doing anything.

    I'll chunk the hairspray. I'm also returning the stuff from Avon, since it didn't seem to have an effect on my hair, and has cones in it. On the plus side, it smelled really good :P

    Also, I'm going to get a better conditioner. I'll look for one that is cone free, but what should I do with the half bottle(Big bottle) of condish I already have? It has silicones in it, so I can't really use it, yet I've used too much to return it. I think I'll try cutting down on the ammount of stuff I use in my hair. Should I stick with a conditioner and a gel? Also, I want to eventually research it a bit and try a no poo routine, but for now I'd likea gentler poo for it. Is Dove good for that? I see you mentioned their cream styler.
  • SuZenSuZen Posts: 1,595Registered Users
    If you want a gentle, non-sulfate shampoo, your best bet is probably a health-food-store brand.

    One NOT to try is Pave, which is very drying in spite of being non-sulfate. Cream of Nature is one that you might find in the "ethnic" section. If there is an Ulta in your area, the Activate line has a great non-sulfate shampoo and conditioner that is not expensive (about $8 for a 12-ounce bottle).
  • Gilraen TookGilraen Took Posts: 27Registered Users
    I think I'm gonna try a couple of the walmart things(suave/dove/he) first, then go to the more expensive stuff. I'm willing to pay a good bit for my hair, just my bank account would like me more without the expensive stuff if it works :)
  • HalfWavyHalfCurlyHalfWavyHalfCurly Posts: 907Registered Users
    Hi and welcome! :D. As you can see there are a lot of sister curlies here that are more than willing to help you and since I have over 4 years of personal experience on the "CG" routine I couldn't resist "butting in". I'm also a licensed (though non-practicing...) Cosmetologist who has never believed in the conventional way of caring for hair (rough!).

    When I read your thread what I saw as your main problem is the typical of every "Prodigal Curly": severe hair dehydration and wrong handling. So I want you to consider yourself to be embarking in a mission to restore moisture to your thirsty curls. So, first, allow me to direct you to this thread. It could be a good idea for you to spend some time reading other threads in that "Going Shampoo-less" forum so you can start getting a grasp of what CG is about.

    Also, look at the page where the hair types commonly used here are described and take a guess at which type yours could be. This is important because it will help you filter the enormous amount of seemingly contradicting information, opinions, methods of styling, and products that originate when members with very different hair types post in the same threads.

    Next, I'm glad you already decided to cancel the Avon products because I can almost promise you you won't need a ton of money to 'tame" your curls. By reading your description of your hair and seeing the pics I can tell that with proper TLC you could have gorgeous curls once your hair is rehydrated. One of my hobbies is learning all I can about cosmetic ingredients and I really favor the more natural ones. I explained my reasons for that in the last post here.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,

    2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

    "Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC ;-)
  • Gilraen TookGilraen Took Posts: 27Registered Users
    :) I'm going to do the CG routine. Or at least see how it works with my hair. I also had put up another thread where they said my hair is 3B. Seems to fit.

    I ended up getting suave's aloe condish, and it seems to work. I washed it out with my sweetie's apple stuff from suave, and can say that that was literally the first time I've actually felt my HAIR instead of the stuff built up on it in as long as I can remember. . . EW! I followed up with HE's set me up gel, which seemed to work well :) Best hair day I've had in ages. It even surprised me with something I didn't think it knew how to do. It BENT when I pulled some of it out. As in, I held a few inches of hair away from my head and they fell gracefully instead of sticking out in a straight line like they always do>_>

    This morning I conditioned it again and put some more gel in, but I didn't spend as much time combing it through, so it ended up crunchy in a couple of spots where it was basically pure gel. Ah well, tomorrow I can do better with it. The only thing I was disapointed about was that I was gonna do my hair up nicely tomorrow at work with one of the styles in the CG book, but wal mart was closed after I got off of work tonight so I couldn't get the stuff I'd need to do it. I've only got scrunchies(cloth covered, though they've got a "rough" pattern, so I think I may need different ones?)

    Something else I was wondering. I work near food, so I need to at least have my hair back while I'm at work a lot of the time. What sort of things can I do with long(with defined curls right a bit past my bra line) to keep it out of the way? Ponytails and buns all the time are just boring :P
  • HalfWavyHalfCurlyHalfWavyHalfCurly Posts: 907Registered Users
    Very glad to hear you're already getting results! Just a word of caution: if you see your hair start to act funny CLARIFY, Suave COs have a tendency to build up quickly on some people's hair (I believe it may have to be with how hard the water is).

    The scrunchies you got may or may not work, however, the velvety or satiny ones are better IMO.

    Next time you have crunch you can try to gently scrunch it off with your hand, rub just a tad of lotion in your hands first so the hair won't get fly away.

    It sounds like you got the book already... if so, I'd suggest the style on page 107, when my hair was long that was my favorite one, I think it has a simple kind of romantic sophistication. Or if you have bobby pins just pin the sides behind your ears. Here you can see some pics that may inspire you to try your own version: /home/leaving?" class="Popup. The model they feature had nearly straight hair so *we* don't have to roll our hair. :D You can see many more by just entering the words "half updos" on Google (or any other search engine).
    2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

    "Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC ;-)
  • CelticCurlsCelticCurls Posts: 558Registered Users
    Yes, definitely try gel, as opposed to cream or spray. Nothing else really gives you good curl formation like gel can. Also, try putting your gel in very wet hair, like right in the shower after you squeeze the water out, before you wrap it in a towel. That cuts major frizz right there. And you may need to use a lot more gel than you think -- you want to hear the squish sound.
    3B, bra-strap length
    laidback, very-modified CGer
    HG: GF Sleek 'n Shine Leave-in; Alagio
  • Gilraen TookGilraen Took Posts: 27Registered Users
    I figured out what to do. I made a bun, and left some of the ends of the curls out, then put a bit of fake mistletoe in the side. I'd show a picture of how it turned out, but for some reason my camera isn't allowing me to send pics. Odd. . .
  • HalfWavyHalfCurlyHalfWavyHalfCurly Posts: 907Registered Users
    Oh, that sounds cute, too bad we can't see! :(
    2A/3A, medium length, layered, colored dark/medium ash blonde - "CGer" since April '02.

    "Converting the 'curlskeptics' one curly head at a time..." HWHC ;-)