build up, serious clarifying, hard-core PT -- not for the faint of heart!

wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
I recently had a run-in with surface frizz when wet, a lack of clumping, lank curls, and my hair proofed out considerably once it was fully dry. My hair was clearly having trouble holding on to moisture. I suspected build-up and lack of protein.

I say "recently," but some of these issues have plagued my hair on and off for years.

I kept upping my cleansing -- low poo, regular poo, clarifying, etc. It would help some, but I knew from previous experience it could be better. After researching and testing a lot of options, I finally wound up using Ion Crystals to clarify and it did the trick.

I don't use cones but my hair gets product build-up just like *that*. I also have had slightly hard water for a couple years now, so that wasn't helping.

Once I did the Ion Crystals, I still had some slight surface frizz when my hair was dry -- and my curls weren't popping as much. That was remedied by doing a protein treatment. I wound up using Aphogee Two-Step because, again, nothing else was cutting it. And I do mean nothing. Much as with my clarifying efforts, the usual PT recs didn't really work [Nexxus Emergencee, CJ's Repair Me, homemade PTs, etc.] They only helped a little bit.

Now I'm back to my regular day-to-day products, but every 6-8 weeks I'll likely need to do and Ion Crystals/Aphogee/Curl Rehab session. I'm also thinking of using a shampoo with EDTA to keep build-up at bay in between.

I've actually gotten to the point with build-up where if I'm styling my wet hair and I see surface frizz popping up, I go immediately back and wash with a shampoo with EDTA. I've learned there is simply no point in continuing with it -- it will just result in a big waste of hair product and disappointing results.

To give an idea of just how fast build-up can happen:

I did an Ion Crystals treatment. So I had a clean slate, zero build-up. I wanted to follow it up with a PT, then a DT. I did Aphogee Two-Step [my first use of it] followed by CJ Curl Rehab for a nice deep moisture treatment. It took all damn day! lol

Some recommend shampooing out the first part of the Two-Step, but I decided to follow the instructions, since it was my first time using it. So, no shampoo.

I could tell something was up on the rinse-out of the Rehab. And then: the dreaded frizz when wet and ready to style. Initially I was just so frustrated, but I kept calm and just thought about it. Finally, I suspected the Two-Step did not completely come out upon rinsing, even though I had rinsed and rinsed.

And this despite doing a final rinse with distilled water before styling too, lest my hard water cause problems!

So I simply went back to the sink with some Suave Daily Clarifying [has EDTA] and followed it up again with another Curl Rehab DT. Distilled water final rinse, again.

My hair was smooth and curlier right away upon rinsing. No surface frizz, wet or dry. It also didn't need anywhere near as much styling product.

Regular clarifying with something like Ion Crystals and EDTA shampoos can be drying, yes, but I use quality DTs, conditioners and leave-ins with lots of moisturizing ingredients, so they can make up the difference. Also, the Ion Crystals aren't nearly as drying as some of the other clarifying treatments out there.

And since for me the alternative is frizzy hair that poofs when completely dry, soaks up a ton of product, doesn't hold a curl and generally looks pretty horrible, I don't see myself as having much of an alternative. I was basically at a point where I was ready to cut my BSL hair to a bob if I didn't get some answers. My hair would have still been messed up, but at least it would have been manageable. I'm glad I didn't have to resort to that.

I've posted here before about my clarifying woes. My hair is very porous, so it soaks up everything that touches it like a sponge and hangs on to it, apparently. I rarely see people talk about the Ion Crystals here, so I thought it worth posting about, along with my other build-up and PT observations.

Some background info on my hair: 2C/3A, fine, porous, with highlights. My hair never met a protein it didn't like and it responds well to heavier stylers. AOHR is my holy grail leave-in and I use it and BRHG pretty religiously.