Help???Not Original But I DO Need It!

EtherealEthereal Registered Users Posts: 9
I am thinking the my hair is suffering from a protein overload...But I have this rubbery feeling sometimes when it is wet--like gummy pasta or bubble gum. Every time I look this up, it says that is a sign of hair being over conditioned and severely damaged to processing.

I have had virgin, unprocessed hair for 20 years in which I have not even used a heat styling tool on it.

I made the mistake of using and loving Aubrey Organics, "Blue Green Algae Hair Mask" a little too often for what was healthy hair (once a week or once every two weeks). I felt that my hair had become softer and that it stretched too much. I noticed breaking. I read something online that convinced me I needed protein (even though the mask is protein-rich, it is combined with moisturizing ingredients too). So I bought the "Blue Camomile Conditioner" which has milk protein in it. That is when my hair felt rubbery. So I got stupider and decided to use a sample of the, "GPB" I was given for free with an order. I never deep conditioned with either of those two last products. I just left them in for 2 minutes in the shower as a rinse-out. One I used twice, the other once. This was over a couple of weeks.

My hair then turned to wirey-thin straw, did not feel like hair anymore. It started to break more. Felt grotesquely dry and awful. I had (still have) every sign of protein overload.

So I have got rid of ALL protein products over the past 3 weeks. I clarified, have been moisturizing as best I can via deep treatments, a leave-in, bagging and occasionally, wet-bunning, cutting down on shampoos and making sure my showers are at a lower temperature.

Yes, there is an improvement--some days my hair feels sort of back to how it used to be but not quite. The white dots at the end of my hair though are upsetting as I have a number of them. I am not sure if I am doing anything right or wrong. I am new at this--never had a hair crisis before!

As for what products I am using and frequency I am using and doing:

I initially clarified with a gentle clarifying shampoo and then did a deep treatment with Aubrey's, "White Camellia Conditioner". I then topped it off with a dilute apple cider vinegar rinse.

My shampoo is basic--just a few ingredients--natural and is handmade by a semi-local company. I typically dilute it half-half with water when I wash my hair.

I made a leave-in with the, "White Camellia" and bottled water though I am not sure I have the ratio right. I spray that in my hair on days I wet my hair which is every other day. One day a week, I baggy it and sometimes seal with shea butter when I do so. I leave it in overnight.

I use, "Paul Penders Herbal Lemon Conditioner" as a rinse-out on some days and have even used it to conditioner wash though I am not a big fan of conditioner washing.

I use the "White Camellia Conditioner" as a deep treatment on its own once a week and I apply heat for the first 15 minutes. I then leave it in for anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours. Then I rinse it out. I have to be careful otherwise it makes my roots oily and I hate that.

I do have, "Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner" by, "Aubrey". First I used it as a dilute leave-in for several hours, and then as a deep treatment for 20 minutes. My hair confuses me as to how it feels about it. It felt much better with it in ways--looked better and less spider-webb-ey but yet felt crisper in areas. I do know that the second time I used it, I got way too much and did not manage to rinse it all out. So perhaps that had something to do with it.

I have found that using less product is more effective. Initially I was slathering stuff on and it only made my hair feel yucky and forced me to have to shampoo more than I want to right now which is just once a week.

It has been, like I said, three weeks. I just want my beautiful, strong hair back. Help!


  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Registered Users Posts: 3,750 Curl Neophyte
    'True' conditioning revolves around the major emollients - the fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants - butters and waxes are occlusives/ sealants/ anti humectants, can build up and are not known for their slip. Many of the Aubrey Organics conditioners contains a drying alcohol (denat), honeysuckle rose is rich in shea butter and you say you have used shea alone as well.

    I certainly would not attempt to deep condition with any of the AO or use them as a leave in, leaving a drying alcohol in contact with wet hair can erode the surface of the hair. Be careful wet bunning and baggying, damp hair is weak and vulnerable hair because the hair is swollen and cuticle is raised, some of the structural protein bonds are temporarily broken.

    To be honest I'd clarify and maybe chelate a couple of times, even if that leaves hair somewhat straw like, then go back to basics with conditioning - something simple and rich in the major emollients, not loaded with oils, butters, potent humectants, drying alcohol and unnecessary plant extracts (some of which may contain protein or act in a similar manner). When you have managed to reset reassess your hair properties, if needs be use coconut oil to reduce porosity, ceramides, 18-MEA and panthenol to 'patch repair' any surface damage.

    If you use proteins in future use hydrolysed ones, wheat is considered 'lighter'/ gentler on the hair than keratin. Proteins that have not been hydrolysed will not penetrate, they may clog up the surface especially if you are using 'sticky' ingredients like oils, waxes and butters. Generally avoid or limit proteins if your hair is naturally coarse.

    There is an excellent series of articles on ingredients and hair properties here on NC by 'curl chemist' Tonya McKay, the Natural Haven blog is also well worth reading.
    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
  • kathymackkathymack Registered Users Posts: 9,999 Curl Neophyte
    It's not just the conditioners, it's a lot of their hair products (including the gels!) The AO products used to list a "base." Can't remember what they called it. Now, they list the specific ingredients. Turns out that the base included denatured alcohol, which can be very drying.

    Here are the ingredients for the algae mask:
    INGREDIENTS INCI: Aqua, cetyl alcohol, alcohol denat. (38b, lavender*), aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), hydrolyzed rhodophycea extract, glycerin, citrus grandis (grapefruit) extract, aphanizomenon flos aquae (blue green algae)*, glyceryl linoleate, glyceryl linolenate, tocopherol acetate, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, ascorbic acid, glycine soja (soybean) oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, beta-carotene.

    As you can see, the "bad" alcohol is the 3rd ingredient. By using a lot of their products, you compounded the issue with the denatured alcohol. You may not have issues with protein. The issues are around dryness (lack of moisture) from the effect of the denatured alcohol.

    If I were you, I'd stay away from their products and try some other things. If you have to stick to "drugstore" products, you may want to try the Yes To line.
    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
  • EtherealEthereal Registered Users Posts: 9
    Yes, it used to read as, "Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base". Due to having to meet EU regulations, the company had to be more specific as to listing ingredients. I have used their products for 15 years--ALL I ever used for both skin and the hair--and never had an issue. My skin and hair just got healthier and prettier.

    However, the company has changed. Aubrey passed away in May of 2011 and it devastated me--he was and still is, a hero of mine. His wife having also passed away, I feel the company and its products have gone to hell really. Aubrey taught me so much via his, "Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care" book and I learned much about his coconut fatty acid base--how it was made, the actual constituents of it. This 'denatured' alcohol only came into being when he fell ill and had to take a backseat to his company. I know all of this because I did my research.

    Consumers flipped out when the new labels became of use and swore that their results were different--not as good and sometimes, downright awful. The company alleged that they had not altered the ingredients--not one bit--but I was not so sure. I noticed my hair started to tangle like mad whenever I used my go-to conditioner once it had the new label.

    So what does the company do? After consumers are irked that they think their products have been muddled with--the company outright changes every single one of the six skin care lines from packaging to the ingredients. Awful and mind-blowing really so on top of the hair crisis, I am out of EVERY single skin product I have used for the past 15 years. Have been working with Jen at, "Garden of Wisdom" for replacements with their products however.

    Kathymack: It is possible the alcohol is the factor. I don't know. My hair always loved protein but things can change. But I see your point and am leaving, "AO" behind anyway--this was my last attempt at trying to make it work. Still use their unchanged body soap however! ;) I am looking for alternatives. My hair only got the crisp, candy wrapper areas, however, after trying the, "GPB Conditioner" I got as a free sample in the mail with my order.

    If I have to be honest, I think it is a combination of both--dryness from having had to clarify/chelate more often, possibly the denatured alcohol as well as too much protein. I don't want to coat my hair with anything heavy only to have to keep clarifying and chelating--because I will NEVER get any moisture back into my hair that way. Like the skin, the hair needs to 'breathe' too I believe.

    "Firefox"--Hey, again. Happy to see you here as you are wonderfully helpful. I am looking to avoid much of what you have talked about. I am online (too much) today trying to find replacements to order and will have to make due in the meantime. I do think I would like to try some argan oil with carrot seed oil once-a-week as a hot oil treatment however. I only ever used hydrolysed proteins. I never used anything hard.

    Are not some of these cationic surfactants quats? I am not so fond of quats--they can give hair a false feeling of softness (often overly soft), can make it limp, flyaway and over time, weaker in its strength. Anytime I used one, my hair felt like it was pasted to my head and had lost its natural body. Correct me if I am wrong but I looked up a list of such surfactants and some of the quaternium family of ingredients were included. Aubrey taught me well too as to the synthetic and so some, I insist on avoiding such as sulfates since I get rashes and silicones because they coat the hair in a negative way. 'Tis a shame THE most exquisite 100% natural beauty products in the world has come unto ruin.

    I won't clarify again for awhile--I just did that a couple of days ago. I am not wanting to use that shampoo again because it is drying nor an apple cider vinegar rinse (for now) to further clarify and chelate--even though I am having to use less-than-ideal products in the interim until whatever the heck I am going to buy comes through in the mail. Whatever they put into my hair, WILL eventually come off with every shampoo as we are only talking a few days more of use here and in small amounts. After I clarified and chelated, my hair felt even drier and it still feels awful even after an SMT. Of course, the conditioner I used may not be ideal. I find putting absolutely nothing at all on my hair makes things worse though.

    I am hoping the way my hair looks now (so frayed, crisp and straw-ish was doing better until last week is just, 'phantom damage' from temporary dryness and/or protein overload--that once the hydration comes back, it will look much better and will become less brittle. I know I will have to trim off an inch or two and/or do smaller trims more routinely for the areas that have become split or otherwise weakened from this issue.

    I will peruse the, "Yes To" line but am wanting to avoid protein just in case it is the issue and I saw some of their products contained it. I would love some product suggestions as well--ones that fit your specifications if you find the time. Please and thanks. I am clueless. I have only been using "Aubrey Organics" for the past 15 years and am ready to venture into not wholly natural territory if I have to. I just want this fixed. I will check the, "Long Hair Community" to see if any product suggestions have come through there as well.

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