New to CG - still combating dry/tangly curls

Hello curlies :)
I am brand new to the CG method. I have been following a modified CG routine for about 4 weeks now. I realize miracles can't happen overnight, but I have been dealing with an ongoing problem of very dry/thirsty and tangly hair, and am hoping to find some advice as to how to manage that.

Here is some background info to help!

I believe my hair type is 3a with a 2c bottom layer. The top and middle layers are currently highly porous - I think the culprit for that is previous semi-permanent coloring & highlighting, but the bottom layer seems normal. I have not colored my hair since March, and now only get toning treatments to correct my color, but this process does not contain ammonia or substances that would further damage my hair.

I was previously using the Redken Fresh Curls & Clear Moisture lines, but switched to Redken All Soft products and the DevaCurl line - low-poo and conditioner. I *only* shampoo my roots, and just co-wash the rest of my hair. I am growing out my natural hair color so the 2.5 inch section that is my color is very healthy and I don't think co-washing the roots is necessary at this point. For styling, I use DevaCurl AnGel light hold + DevaCurl B'Leave-In volumizer + Schwarzkopf Moisture Kick detangler/spray conditioner.

The only shedding I experience now is when trying to comb my hair in the shower. It is frustrating that it takes 15-20 min to detangle my curls. I recently started adding the DevaCurl conditioner to my styling.. and use a small amount as a leave-in, but I'm not sure if this is significant enough to help.

I've already noticed a huge change in my curl pattern since going CG. Before, parts of my curls used to lie flat or have an overall "looser" quality. Now my curl pattern is more even and the curls, tighter/ringlets.. they are starting to live up to their full potential. I am also retraining my bottom layer to curl up instead of being wavy to almost straight. You can see the change in these pics:

Pre-CG: Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
1.5 weeks into CG, still damp: Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter

And this is my hair length & how it usually looks:
Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter

Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you! (Sorry for the length)
Mix of 3a/3b/2c curls, medium, normal elasticity, high porosity (from color damage), 10 months color process-free, 2 years heat-free, & growing out length.
Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner
Shea Moisture Thickening Shampoo
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Ouidad Botanical Boost
Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz (for extra hold)


  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users
    I'm not really clear what's modified about your routine, given that a sulfate free cleanser is now unequivocally a sulfate free cleanser, i.e. if it doesn't contain sulfate detergents, it's good. Or are you still using any of the Redken products (which sound like what I was using before I went CG 3 years ago, when my hair was dried out, straw like and tangly).

    If you haven't done a clarifying, final, silicone free, but not sulfate free shampoo, I think that would help. I didn't and, in retrospect, I wish I had. The difference once I had the last wee bit of pre-CG hair cut off, was so remarkable that I'm convinced I must still have had silicone buildup.

    Which leads me to my next suggestion, which is to get a haircut, preferably a Deva cut. Even this early on, a Deva cut can make a huge difference, and will make growing out much easier. I was hesitant to pay as much as Deva cuts cost in my area, but decided to trim my own bangs, using the few illustrations in the first edition of Curly Girl. The difference between even my unschooled attempt and what a conventional haircut had ever done for me was so huge that I quickly overcame that aversion.

    If you don't have a copy of Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey, I highly recommend it. There is a lot of information in there, the illustrations are very helpful, and the DVD that comes with it is excellent. It covers quite a lot which the last (first) edition didn't address, and is more than worth the $8 it costs on Amazon. Also, if you don't have a Deva stylist nearby, the book and DVD show you how you can trim or cut your own hair (but do not do this without high quality hair shears -- I got mine on sale at Sally's).

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • kathymackkathymack Posts: 9,999Registered Users
    You may also need to use different products. For me, even the Deva NoPoo is very drying. It's all about getting the protein/moisture balance right.

    A haircut is certainly in order if you're ends are tangling that much. You need to get rid of them. IMHO, any good haircut is fine. I get a wet cut by a stylist who really knows hair. It's finding that special stylist that will make a BIG difference.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix
  • bliss611bliss611 Posts: 238Registered Users
    Have you tried protein treaments? Colored hair tends to be porous and benefits from protein. I seem to have less tangles when I use protein.

    Just make sure you DC afterwards to balance the protein with moisture. A major plus - I find that PTs help my hair retain moisture better.
    3B curls
    Medium texture
    Normal elasticity
    High porosity
  • swtndspcyswtndspcy Posts: 692Registered Users
    I have been CG for a few months now and my very very dry canopy is just now starting to retain moisture. I agree that protein treatments will help porous hair retain moisture. Protein fills in (temporarily) the holes in porous hair helping to keep the moisture in. The holes in porous hair will "leak" moisture.

    You just say that your hair (or the canopy anyway) is porous, you didn't mention the texture of your hair, fine, normal, or coarse. Courser hair tends to not like protein as much, but does still need some. Finer hair usually loves protein, porous or not.

    The spritz and condish method is great for very dry hair.
    Oil pre-washes are also a big help with conditioning. (I prefer extra virgin coconut oil, this oil penetrates the hair and the only oil for me that co washes out easily. EVOO and avocado oils also penetrate the hair shaft)
    Regular DT's (I usually follow my weekly PT's with my weekly DT) are also good for dry hair.
    A good LI will help porous hair retain moisture a bit longer as well.

    Expanding a bit on what some have mentioned above... it is important to do a final 'cone free sulfate wash before going CG. Make sure your currant products are cone free, or if they have water soluble cones. I tried to search for an ingredient list for the Redkin all soft and the Schwarzkopf spray condish but I couldn't find any. Also, some hair colors contain silicone. If you do the toning treatments at home it should be easy to check, if they are done in a salon, you might ask them if they know if their colors contain 'cones.