Newbie with some questions

KallianaeKallianae Registered Users Posts: 6
Hi everyone! To start with, I believe my hair is 2c, either fine or medium, dense, and highly porous, although I don't know for sure since I haven't had an analysis done. I have been mod-CG since the beginning of June. I currently wash with Devacurl No-Poo, although I plan to switch to the Devacare No-Poo within the next few weeks because it's glycerin-free and the dews tend to be high where I live. I condition with Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner and a couple of days ago I used Kinky Curly Knot Today for the first time as a leave-in, which I loved and will be using after every shower from now on (btw, I shower every other day to every two days, occasionally with three days in between).

Now that that's out of the way, I have a couple of questions:

1) I've heard that you should only comb your hair when wet, but I like to make sure any tangles are out before I get in the shower so I comb it while it's dry. Would it be better to wait until I get IN the shower and comb it before I shampoo?

2) About the stretch test. If your hair "breaks," that means it needs more moisture, but what does it mean for it to "break"? Also, I did the stretch test a couple of days ago and it stretched a little and then returned to my hair, which means it's balanced, but how long will it remain balanced? Will I need to do the stretch test frequently?

3) What is "clumping"? It's something most curlies want, right? How do you encourage clumping?

4) What does it mean to "seal" your hair? Does hair need to be sealed? What products are supposed to seal it?

And finally, I have some pictures of my hair journey. The first one is my yearbook picture from freshman year, when my hair was beyond damaged. I used harsh drugstore shampoos with absolutely no conditioner; my hair felt like straw, it was horrible. The next picture is from two months before I went mod-CG, at that point I still used harsh drugstore shampoos but I also used conditioner, albeit silicone-loaded conditioner. It had a little wave to it instead of just poof. The third and fourth are from last night, my hair has some curl to it now. I don't have any product in it except for the leave-in, and it looks kind of funny because I had exercised earlier and had my hair up in a pony tail, but it certainly looks healthier than it used to. I'll have to take a picture of it soon with gel in it (I use Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel).

So based on the pictures and my hair properties, would you recommend anything else for my hair? I don't have a deep conditioner yet, so if anyone has a silicone-free, glycerin-free and preferably protein-free deep conditioner that they recommend, that would be fantastic. I also need to get a satin pillowcase soon, where can I find a cheap one?

Thanks in advance, guys, and sorry for the long post! :)

Comments

  • mustangbunnymustangbunny Registered Users Posts: 1,033
    I'm also new but I've been lurking around the site for a little bit. I'm only two weeks CG but our properties are a bit similar.

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/112371-techniques-links-supersoaker-spritz-condish-plopping-frizz-clipping-icequeen-etc.html

    Above is a link to some techniques, including some for clumping. Honestly though, your hair is seriously gorgeous already.

    Personally, I comb my hair in the shower when I apply my conditioner because that's the gentlest and easiest way to detangle it.

    Do you already know that your hair does not like protein? Since your hair is balanced, maybe try a deep moisture treatment once a week and go from there. I have heat damaged hair that is very porous and likes protein a lot.

    I cannot answer your question about sealing because I myself can't tell what the consensus on this is. But I do a little coconut oil on my ends and really damaged parts of my hair at night. So far it seems to be helping.

    I've heard you can get a cheap satin cap at Wal-Mart or Sally's. For now I've just been laying a silk scarf on top of my pillow :laughing6:


    Low-poo: Looking for a new one.
    Condish: V05 Tea Therapy, Body Shop Banana
    Leave in: Giovanni Direct Leave In
    PT: My hair needs very little. I use Suave Naturals Coconut when I need a little bit and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
    Styler: Giovanni LA

    Go Red Wings!
    :hockey:

  • KallianaeKallianae Registered Users Posts: 6
    That link helped a lot, thank you! I guess I'll just have to experiment with a few different techniques and see what my hair responds best to.

    I comb my conditioner through my hair too, but since I wash first I like to make sure the tangles are out so the shampoo distributes evenly. Maybe that doesn't actually make a difference, but it makes me feel better for some reason. :-?

    As far as I know my hair doesn't dislike protein. The Devacurl No-Poo (which my hair likes) contains proteins and really I just want to make sure I don't over-protein my hair. I used a SheaMoisture masque a little over a week ago that also contained proteins and it made my hair feel pretty dry, even though I conditioned afterward. At least for right now, I'm approaching most proteins with caution.

    Awesome, I'll check Wal-mart this weekend! How is the silk scarf working for you? Would you recommend silk over satin?
  • mustangbunnymustangbunny Registered Users Posts: 1,033
    I just happened to have a silk scarf (I am a scarf queen) but I think I've read that they are interchangeable. I haven't really noticed a difference but I can't get second day hair anyways. Most people swear by it so I'll stick with it I guess. I am trying to grow my hair out so that will help with breakage at least.

    I have some Shea Moisture stuff and it makes my hair a little flat, which surprised me. I still use it as a LI on my ends sometimes but not too much because I like big hair :toothy4: My roots are what tends to be greasy so when I shampoo I only put it on my roots. I think as long as you're gentle when you detangle it's probably ok. Even though our properties are similar mine is so damaged from ten years of blow drying and straightening that mine likes different things :sad5:

    Kind of sounds like your hair doesn't like protein. Your hair looks really healthy already so if it made it dry that would be the only reason I could think of.

    I guess I'm not in a good place to give advice given my hair's condition and my newness to CG. But I like to talk too much, probably :toothy8:


    Low-poo: Looking for a new one.
    Condish: V05 Tea Therapy, Body Shop Banana
    Leave in: Giovanni Direct Leave In
    PT: My hair needs very little. I use Suave Naturals Coconut when I need a little bit and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
    Styler: Giovanni LA

    Go Red Wings!
    :hockey:

  • curlicious13curlicious13 Registered Users Posts: 1,632 Curl Neophyte
    Clumping is a good thing. Clumping makes your curls stick together. I was told you want conditioners that have fatty acid alcohols to help with clumping such as cetyl alcohol.

    I have a natural stylist who told me to clarify my scalp with a clarifying shampoo once a month. Not just an sulfate shampoo will work. Clarifying & regular shampoo are chemically different. Make sure you deep condition after.

    As far as sealing my ends, this is what I do. After I shampoo: I use coconut, castor & Indian hemp oils on my hair from root - tip. Then I put my leave in conditioner on. Style as usual. In between wash days: I spritz my hair with water. Then put the same oils on my hair from root - tip. Then put on a plastic cap on & go to bed. Get up in the morning & style as usual.
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Registered Users Posts: 3,750 Curl Neophyte
    Kallianae wrote: »
    That link helped a lot, thank you! I guess I'll just have to experiment with a few different techniques and see what my hair responds best to.

    I comb my conditioner through my hair too, but since I wash first I like to make sure the tangles are out so the shampoo distributes evenly. Maybe that doesn't actually make a difference, but it makes me feel better for some reason. :-?

    As far as I know my hair doesn't dislike protein. The Devacurl No-Poo (which my hair likes) contains proteins and really I just want to make sure I don't over-protein my hair. I used a SheaMoisture masque a little over a week ago that also contained proteins and it made my hair feel pretty dry, even though I conditioned afterward. At least for right now, I'm approaching most proteins with caution.

    Awesome, I'll check Wal-mart this weekend! How is the silk scarf working for you? Would you recommend silk over satin?

    Welcome! It's well worth reading through all the stickies on this board and on the general haircare board.

    When you get in the shower and wet down, spend some time thoroughly rinsing before you get shampoo/ no-poo near your hair, this rinses off any sticky water soluble stylers and can 'reactivate' your leave in conditioner so you can start the detangling process with your fingers only enough to do a successful scalp wash. Then do a full detangle with comb at the conditioner stage. I actually detangle at the conditioner wash stage but I don't get terrible knots.

    Shea butter does not penetrate, can build up or be sticky or drying for some people. If your hair is porous and fine to medium it should do well with protein, providing it is balanced with conditioning ingredients. If your hair is porous do deep treatments with coconut oil because this penetrates reducing porosity.

    Kinky Curly Knot Today is not a true leave in conditioner, it's more of a detangler. It does not contain the ingredients porous hair needs that are found in a true conditioner - fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants and possibly natural oils. These ingredients help the hair hold the right amount of moisture (= water). By all means use KCKT as well as a leave in conditioner but not instead.

    With high dews and highly porous hair you may need to limit or avoid more than just glycerin, other potent humectants include honey, propylene glycol and aloe vera. Sealing can help with this but many wavies find straight oils and butters too heavy, they do better with just a little oil in one of their conditioners and/ or film formers (panthenol, okra gel, flaxeed gel, protein).

    HTH!
    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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