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4a/b low porosity, protein sensitive hair in need of help

noirnoir Posts: 25Registered Users
I've been natural for about two years and I have yet to find the right products that actually work for my hair and leave it feeling moisturized and soft and I'd really like some advice.

My hair is low porosity, extremely thick, coarse, and does not like protein. I have tried almost every product you can think of: Darcy's botanical leave ins and milks, Aussie moist conditioner and deep conditioner, herbal essences hello hydration conditioner, all of qhemet biologic, all of bee mine, Garnier frutis moisture contioner, oyin's hair dew, Aubrey's honeysuckle conditioner, Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner, yes to cucumbers conditioner, elasta qp dpr11, the hair mayonnaise that you can get from the beauty supply (thinking my hair might need protein), bed head's moisture maniac conditioner, sauve coconut conditioner, Taliah Waajid, mixed chicks, Shea moisture's leave in conditioner, Jessiecurl's wdct, and finally KBB luscious locks hair mask. I've also tried a homemade version of the caramel treatment but all that did was define my curls.

Now most of these products feel decent when I first put them on my hair (always freshly washed) but once I rinse it out and begin to try to style it my hair no longer feels soft and moisturized. And when I use the leave ins they only make my hair feel good for about 10-30 minutes max. Then it goes back to feeling dry and hard.

I've also tried different oils and ways to try to seal in products or even just water. I've tried Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil. My hair doesn't really get along with coconut or olive oil and I learned that they are basically protein that strengthen the hair. Shea butter feels great when I first put it on but after about half an hour my hair feels dry and hard again. My relationship with castor oil is only slightly better. I find that its the only oil that works best with my hair. It doesn't leave it feeling very moisturized but it does last the longest on my hair plus I love how it makes my hair so bright and shiny looking. I've also tried not sealing at all and end up with the same results as when i do use oils only faster.

So basically I've tried everything on my hair but nothing seems to work. I'm so fed up with it that at this point I hardly even bother with it and just tie it with a scarf and leave that on for the day. I even thought my hair might not be low porosity and tried the strand test and even after 6 hours, the strands were still merrily floating at the top. It might have lasted longer but my mother saw the bowl and threw away the water not knowing what it was.

Right now the products I am using are Shea moisture's raw Shea butter soap to cleanse (this stuff is amazing and leaves my hair feeling like butter when I rinse it out), just started using neutrogina triple moisture daily deep conditioner and like it so far even though once my hair starts to dry it feels dry and hard but no longer brittle which is a plus, and as a leave in/moisturizer I use olive oil hair lotion or s-curl. These are the only things that don't make my hair feel too bad though that doesn't mean it's even close to being considered in healthy condition.

So I'm asking you fellow curlies; any advice for this poor girl who is officially at the end of her wits?

P.S. I wrote typed this on my phone so please excuse any errors. I also posted this in the low porosity forum but decided to post it here also because most of the low po girls have fine hair with hair types in mostly the 3s or 2s.


  • darlingdivadarlingdiva Posts: 64Registered Users
    Is it possible that you might need to clarify your hair?
  • noirnoir Posts: 25Registered Users
    Is it possible that you might need to clarify your hair?

    I used to think that was the problem also that's why I stopped cowashing and just shampoo it once a week when ever I wash it. My hair feels clean so I don't think the problem is product build up.
  • CurlyElectraCurlyElectra Posts: 1,145Registered Users
    Have you tried using baking soda or a steamer to lift your cuticle a bit so it accepts moisture readily?

    Are you sure you're low porosity? The issue with LP hair a lot of the time is that it's hard to moisturize initially, but after that, the moisture holds. You said that your leave-ins only make your hair feel good for 10-30 minutes - that's usually an issue for someone with high porosity hair.
    People should be willing to stand by the things they say. Or they shouldn't say them. If your opinion can't stand in the light of day...maybe it should stay in the dark...in your head?

    - AmberBrown
  • adthomasadthomas Posts: 5,525Registered Users
    Of all that stuff what was the leave in? I find some products that are good rinse outs are not good leave ins for me ie tresemme naturals. Actually the leave in I use tj nourish and spa isnt great alone. I use to mix it with curls creme brulee but now i mix it with aloe vera juice and usually a little castor oil and it works wonders. Basically kimmay recipe w/o jojoba. If you are low p let the warm water run over your hair about 5 minutes before starting a cowash. This will help open cuticle to get moisture in. Or sometimes i do a hot oil treatment under a hooded dryer as a prepoo. I get a lot of moisture that way.
    Yes, it's real. No, you can't touch it. :wav:
  • NaturallyNikéNaturallyNiké Posts: 364Registered Users
    I'm low Porosity too and the key is to get those cuticles open to infuse moisture in...We have no issue retaining the moisture...

    I prepoo with coconut oil

    Shampoo with an alkaline shampoo to open the cuticles..There's black soap, baking soda and castile soap. I personally love the castile soap bar...

    This next step is a major step as you wanna keep anything from getting in the way of the DC, and since low porosity hair holds on to water like no other, I plop my hair for 15-20 mins until it is dry, maybe mildly damp, just as long as 85% of the water is out...

    So yes you are DCing on dry hair... Try to leaving it in for no less than 2 hrs...Or you can DC with steam adding glycerin (a humectant) to your DC, but still, even after that leave it in for an hr more...

    The final step is to reseal the cuticles and lock in the moisture...Wash your DC out with cold water, and do an ACV rinse...

    As for moisture, the best type of moisturizers for us are usually water based creams, or water/aloe...
    Niké (Nee-Kay):nike:

    My world of curls
    2hchy5z.jpg3C/4A,Fine-Meduim,Thick, Lo Porosity

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Flilnicka4u2nv%2F" class="Popup

    Leave-in/Moisturizer: Giovanni Direct Leave in
    Sealants:EVOO, JBCO, Crisco
    DC:Matrix Condtioning Balm,Giovanni SAS,Honey, Glycerin
    Shampoo:Dr.Bronner's Castile soap bar
    Styler: Flaxseed,DM Miracurl, SheaMoist Smoothie, OYH S&D
  • noirnoir Posts: 25Registered Users
    I have tried baking soda but as soon as I put on conditioner, my hair no longer feels as soft. And I don't have a steamer but whenever I deep condition I put on a shower cap and the a hot towel on top of that and leave that on for at least 2 hours.

    I was beginning to think my hair wasn't low porosity too so I tried the strand test last week. I put about 4 or 5 strands of hair in a bowl of warm water and left it. When I came back 15 minutes later the hairs were still floating. I tried pushing the hairs down to see if they would sink but the just floated back up to the surface. In total the strands stayed there for 6 hours before my mother accidentally threw away the water.

    Of all the products I listed, the leave ins were: qhemet biologics alma and olive heavy cream, burdock root butter cream , and the olive and honey hydrating balm. Darcy's madagascar vanilla styling creme, daily leave in conditioner, hair milk, and herbal leave in conditioning spritz. Bee mine's deja hair milk, juicy moisturizing daily spritz, and the luscious balanced cream moisturizer. Garnier's sleek and shine leave in conditioning cream and hair milk. Taliah Waajid's protective mist bodifier. Shea moisture leave in. And finally, mixed chicks leave in. I have also tried using all my conditioners as leave in by mixing them with water and sealing with either castor oil or shea butter. Right now I am switching between ORS hair lotion and s-curl. (I'm sorry this paragraph is a grammatical nightmare but I didn't want it to have a million commas and semi colons)

    I had a bottle of castile soap but it just finished and I decided to try the shea moisture soap bar and it works great with my hair. It's the conditioners and leave ins that seem to not get along with my hair. My hair usually feels like butter after I shampoo but as soon as I condition it feels harder and the leave ins don't help. And once my hair dries, it dries.

    Thanks for the advice adthomas and NaturallyNiké, I'll try mixing my leave ins with aloe juice again and add castor oil to see if I get better results. And next time I wash I will dc on damp hair and add some honey. Hopefully that will help.

    The thing is I always hear naturals saying how they can moisturize once and won't have to do it again for a few days and that when a product really works with your hair it should keep your hair feeling soft for more then just one day. I've been natural for almost 2 years and I have yet to find anything that can give me those kinds of results and I just want to know if I'm doing anything wrong.
  • YltnelisYltnelis Posts: 54Registered Users
    noir wrote: »
    The thing is I always hear naturals saying how they can moisturize once and won't have to do it again for a few days and that when a product really works with your hair it should keep your hair feeling soft for more then just one day. I've been natural for almost 2 years and I have yet to find anything that can give me those kinds of results and I just want to know if I'm doing anything wrong.

    This may be true for some naturals, but it's certainly not the case for everyone. I'm going into my 16th year of being natural, and I've never come across a single product that I can use just once and it leaves my hair moisturized for days. On wash day and usually the day after as well, I always moisturize more than once. After that, when the weather is cold and dry I usually moisturize at least once a day between washings even if it doesn't feel like I need it. When it's warmer and more humid, I may be able to skip a day, but I still moisturize multiple times on wash day. I say all that just because I don't think there's necessarily anything that you're doing wrong or that you haven't found the right product. It could just be that your hair requires being moisturized more often, and you may never find that "use it once and you're set for days" magic that others have found. It's really all about trial and error, and you may find that your hair responds to certain products or methods differently than others. Learn to set your expectations based on your hair and your own experiences, not based on the experiences of others.

    I know there are many things that are supposedly on natural hair "dos and donts" lists that don't work for me. The whole no-poo/low-poo/co-wash thing is a perfect example. I could never get my hair and scalp to feel right using those methods. I went back to using regular old shampoo like I used back in the day, sulfates and all, and I'm getting better results. But there are other naturals who swear by co-washing and find that regular shampoo dries their hair out too much. I've also found that I have to use a water based moisturizer with glycerine in it, otherwise my hair will eventually feel dry no matter what other products or conditioner I use. I use products with glycerine all year round, which is another no-no for many naturals.

    Lastly, I try to keep things as simple as possible. I prefer products that I can buy locally, and I don't use a million and one products, as that makes it a bit easier for me to tell what is or isn't working for me. I know you've listed a whole bunch of products that you've already tried, and it's really unfortunate that none of them seem to be working. Just keep at it and hopefully you will find the products and methods that work best for you, even if it isn't what everybody else is using/doing. Best of luck to you!
  • suzie.thomassuzie.thomas Posts: 1Registered Users
    finally, someone else with the same issue as me! I haven't tried as many products as you have but I believe I would get the same results. All oils will make my hair soft when wet once it dries here comes the breakage and dryness...One thing I do know for sure is you are not low porosity..you more than likely have high porosity hair and any oils or proteins of ANY kind are not compatible. I'm still trying to figure out a regimen but I do notice the Roux porosity control helps (at times) to get my hair back to neutral and stops the extreme dryness. The problem is you do need to moisturize daily and for that I am still trying to figure it out. The other thing I know for sure with our type of hair is product PH is everything...it seems the closer to 4.0 the better.

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