Diffusing Help

Peanut_ButterPeanut_Butter Posts: 3Registered Users
Hey all, I've been lurking for a while but recently decided to make an account because I need some help. My hair takes way too long to air dry. I'm not sure exactly how long because I don't time it, but several hours at least. I can't realistically allow it to air dry daily, so I have been experimenting with diffusing my hair but I have been having trouble. When I pixie diffuse, I get increased curl and almost no frizz, but it comes with a price- I end up with all these weird bends all over and it looks pretty awful. When I diffuse with the dryer farther from my scalp, I get a ton more frizz.

Another concern of mine is volume. When I air dry, I have almost none. My hair lies really flat. Diffusing has helped with that so far, but I typically either lose a bit of my wave, get a ton of frizz, or get those weird bends that looks awful. Sometimes all three. What I want most is some increased volume. Some increase in curl would be nice, but even just preventing the loss of my waves while increasing volume (without a bunch of frizz) would be great.

I have shoulder length wavy hair that mostly consists of s waves but I have a few spirals mixed in. Based on naturallycurly's classification system, I would guess that I am between 2a and 2b for most of my hair, leaning more toward 2b when styled. My hair is fine, normal porosity, and medium density. Currently, I am living in the greater Boston area but I will be moving back to Chicago at the end of July.

Currently, I co wash with Giovanni Smooth as Silk and use the same as a leave in (very small amount). I co wash with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat once or twice a week so my hair doesn't get too weighed down (but this is a bit too cleansing for me to use daily). About every other week, I low poo with Giovanni Smooth as Silk and lately, I have had to use Biolage Conditioning Balm to re-hydrate my hair after it freaked out about the amount of protein in my routine, likely due to the gels I was rotating- L.A. Looks Sports Gel and Alba Botanica Strong Hold Style Gel. I know the Giovanni products have protein in them, but my hair does fine with just using those. I was previously using DevaCurl No Poo and One Condition with Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee, but didn't have a protein build up problem at all. I just started switching things up because while I liked the hold of BRHG, I didn't like how thick it was and I also didn't particularly enjoy the price tag of the DevaCurl products. Right now, I am using Matrix Biolage Gelee as my gel.

Sooo... do any of you diffuse your hair? How do you do it? Do you have any other suggestions for me? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. Sorry about the marathon post. Not sure how to make a signature yet and I wanted to include any information that you might need to give me advice.

Comments

  • chloe92uschloe92us Posts: 1,203Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I diffuse almost entirely upside down, and when I'm done I look crazy! But if I leave it alone, everything falls into place by the time I drive to work, lol. Some wonky curls and frizz are just a normal part of having curly hair and I embrace them. I don't pixie, as in turn the dryer on and off, but I do one section at a time, count to 10 then move to the next section.

    Here's a good thread on diffusing:

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/156428-diffusing-tips-routines.html
    2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
    Cleanse: AIA cowash, TJ Tea Tree Condish
    Condish: JC Too Shea, Tresemme Botanique
    Stylers: flax/okra gel or KCCC + CJ PP or JC Spiralicious
    Experimenting with Got2B Ultra gel and loving it so far!
  • LynaeaLynaea Posts: 394Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    First of all, absolutely Thank You for the 'marathon' post. I know it seems like a lot but you've included everything we would otherwise have to guess or ask.

    My hair has slightly different properties but reacts similarly to air drying vs. diffusing. I've had trouble with those weird bends too. It seemed to me to have more to do with what I did before I diffused. I actually hadn't thought about it but the few times I've applied product, plopped with a heat blast through the plop and then applied a bit more gel right before pixie diffusing I've gotten fewer of those odd kinks.

    I have to use a hard hold gel or my waves drop out by lunchtime. I'm currently using Volumax Mega gel from Sally's but it has protein. I've tried some natural hardhold gels but no other mainstream ones.

    I've got a hair journal in the low porosity forum if you want to learn from my mistakes :) but your best bet is to try some different styler application techniques or even starting diffusing at different wetness levels. There is at least one recent thread about diffusing that had some great info. It's in the general forum I think, probably 2-3 months ago.
    :nemo: 2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012 :nemo:

    This is what I'm happiest with right now.
    Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
    Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
    RO: SS Caitlin's co
    Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
    PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
    Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
    Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
    :thumbdown: glycerin, honey, oils & butters :thumright: Protein!
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Like Chloe92us my hair can look terrible when I am done diffusing but settles to normal as it air dries the remainder of the way. Are you going straight from plop to diffuser? I get a lot less weird bends if I don't plop but instead scrunch out the excess water with a flour sack towel.

    Sometimes to encourage water to leave without losing product I modified plop in a shower cap, that doesn't take any water out but supports the curls loosely and lets the water run to the ends of the clumps.

    For volume do as much as possible upside down - even washing - and try clipping
    Root Volume for Curly Girls - YouTube
    Some wavies on the Facebook Wavy Hair Community - do join us - are enjoying conditioner only styling How To Style Naturally Curly Hair (Styling Your Hair)
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • Peanut_ButterPeanut_Butter Posts: 3Registered Users
    Thanks for the link and suggestions, I know there are a lot of good reference threads but since I haven't been here that long, sometimes I have to dig a lot to find them and I don't always know exactly what I should be looking for.

    Here comes another lengthy post-

    I have tried plopping before diffusing and not plopping. When I don't plop, I have varied the wetness of my hair when beginning to diffuse all the way from half dry to soaking wet. When I start to diffuse when my hair is most of the way dry, I don't seem to get the same volume and curl enhancing effects as it seems that my hair needs heat earlier in the drying process to really achieve that. When I diffuse from soaking wet though, I feel like the amount of heat it takes to get my hair to the point where the curl is set and it's 75-80% dry is drying my hair out a bit. Perhaps I just need to play around with my protein/moisture balance more?

    When I do plop, my hair does seem to get those weird bends a bit more, but the bigger issue that I have with plopping is that it seems to squash my roots against my head so I have less volume. I am still trying to work on that. I think that part of the issue here is that I scrunch with my head right side up and not upside down, so it goes into the plop a bit funky. The problem is that when I style upside down, my hair just doesn't look right. And not just a bit of a crazy wave/curl/volume thing. It hangs really weird at my roots. You can tell that the clumps were formed upside down in that the base of each one kind of points upward and kinks at the point where the rest of my hair falls downward. It's like my hair just doesn't have enough weight to pull it back down to look normal at the root. That would be fine if my hair kind of fixed itself and looked normal after a bit but the effect lasts all day or until I restyle my hair. I have only tried a few times to style my hair upside down entirely or even just in part because I have consistently had that problem with my roots and I just can't stand it. I didn't want to walk around in public with hair that was exposing my scalp in weird places like that (it made my hair look like it was thinning). The clumps that I get are never that large, either, so my scalp isn't being exposed due to clumps way too large for my fine/normal density hair. They're on the small side, but when my hair clumps at all when styling upside down, it falls in that weird way. The only time it didn't look funky like that was when my clumps broke up entirely, which ended up being puffy (a word I would never have used to describe my hair before- my frizz, when I get it, is more flyaway than halo- like) and crunchy looking at the same time, so I didn't like that either. I also tried using a few heavier products to help weigh my hair down a bit to help it hang better at the roots, but the root effect was still there and all the volume was gone- my hair was lank, practically straight, and almost kind of greasy- all around a very unflattering look.

    I haven't really settled on a routine yet. The experimentation is ongoing. I have the gist of the co washing thing down and I have been cg for the past two months or so and really enjoying what it has done for the health of my hair (for the most part- the protein freak out dryness was annoying, but I caught it early so it didn't get too terrible). I am also enjoying a hair journey of sorts, learning so much about my hair in such a short time span but I constantly feel like a mad scientist, trying different concoctions all the time. I try to give new methods and combinations time to work or adjust to if they're not freaking my hair out entirely but I haven't quite figured out what my hair likes yet, so I don't have any real sort of consistency. Ah, well. Woe is me. Is there anything else you would suggest?

    I will look into those reference you guys pointed me to and see what I can make of them.
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I diffuse side to side. I don't know why but it takes less time now than when in started. Also as I go on it looks better at 70 or 80 percent dry so I can let it air dry rest of way before SOTC. To avoid weird bends don't scrunch way up to head with diffuser. Cup the ends and let the air flow up. Or hold outside or outside to flow through depending on the strength of you pattern.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • chloe92uschloe92us Posts: 1,203Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    To plop or not to plop....that is the question. When my hair was long, plopping didnt work for me, it smashed my roots completely flat. Once I chopped, plopping worked. I need a cut right now so I'm getting the flat head effect again.

    Yesterday, I didn't plop. I scrunched out the excess with a MF towel and immediately diffused to 80% dry. I had a really good hair day!

    I really should post a pic of what my hair looks like when I'm done diffusing- it is hilarious! Hair is allll over the place. But somehow it settles itself and looks respectable. When I try too hard to place my hair where I want it, I get frizz. My motto is dry it and forget it.

    For volume IMHO you need to diffuse while it's still damp (not close to dry, but not dripping either) to remove some of the weight of the hair so it doesn't pull down on the roots. Focus on the roots first.

    I agree with chupie- try drying upright/ side to side to see if that helps eliminate the wonky whirls.

    Good luck!
    2C/ Coarse/ Normal porosity/ SW Florida/ Salt & Pepper
    Cleanse: AIA cowash, TJ Tea Tree Condish
    Condish: JC Too Shea, Tresemme Botanique
    Stylers: flax/okra gel or KCCC + CJ PP or JC Spiralicious
    Experimenting with Got2B Ultra gel and loving it so far!
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Here's a "just diffused pre SOTC"
    Look for giggles. ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1371997893.012521.jpg

    And then by work

    ImageUploadedByCurlTalk1371997924.344823.jpg

    I wish I had done one SOTC but anyway you can see the wild.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Sorry I haven't read all of the latest post, walls of text without paragraphs make my eyes go funny. Check out the stickies on the newbies board and the general haircare board, the main reference threads are linked to from there.

    Don't try to diffuse from dripping that is risky for damage, scrunch out the excess water with a microfibre or flour sack towel as we suggested.
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect

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