One clueless curly

ahollaaholla Posts: 2Registered Users
I've been wearing my hair naturally curly for about 7 years now with limited heat styling. I have been color treating my hair off and on during these 7 years - currently I color my hair. In these years, my hair has had good and bad times. In 2010, I was also diagnosed with Lupus which has also created some challenges/changes with my hair.

I'm fed up with my inconsistent results and want/need my hair to reach it's full potential because it is more often flat and lifeless than it is bouncy and happy. I really want to find a beginners line-up of products and learn how to use them in a new routine, but I have questions.

Tonight I have taken time to determine my hair profile:
2c/3a combo - low porosity - medium density - fine - and I wear it short

1) What is the difference between co-washing and using low poo? And which should I probably use? Both?
2) How should I condition? I know there is the rinse out method, leave-in method, deep conditioning -- but when should I use each of these for my hair type?
3) Clarifying - I have been hearing NO SULFATES for curlies, but then I have read a few threads that have people using sulfate based shampoos for clarifying? And how often should I clarify?
4) Protein treatment -- I do have flat and straw-like issues with my hair from time to time, does this mean I need to incorporate protein treatments into my routine?
5) What methods do people with a similar hair type as me use for drying, getting the best curls, etc.?
6) What chemicals should I avoid in my hair products? I have seen something about polyquats... I am overwhelmed haha.

Please help me get started to a life with healthier, happier curls! :)

Comments

  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Posts: 2,075Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hi and welcome! :) Let's see if I can be of some help ...

    1) What is the difference between co-washing and using low poo? And which should I probably use? Both?
    Co-washing basically means using a conditioner instead of a shampoo. So you use a cleansing conditioner, and really massage your roots, then rinse it out and then use a normal conditioner to condition.
    Low-pooing is when you use a sulfate-free, very gentle shampoo (i.e. the one in my signature) to wash your hair, then condition as normal.
    Which to use is entirely personally preference - some people get on great with co-washing but others just don't get on with it. Some people complain of build-up or lifeless curls, whereas others say co-washing has improved their hair. So it depends on the person! I personally low-poo and love it. Since you're low porosity and have fine curls, I'm thinking co-washing may not work for you and you'd be better off low-pooing BUT you could just experiment and see which works best :)

    2) How should I condition? I know there is the rinse out method, leave-in method, deep conditioning -- but when should I use each of these for my hair type?
    For conditioner I do a 'baptism rinse' most days, whcih basically means I don't fully wash out my conditioner. This eliminates the need for a leave-in. If you don't baptism rinse, then after you wash out your conditioner you should apply a leave-in or a moisturiser.
    Deep conditioning is great to do and you should make a habit of doing it - I do this once a week, every week and it's really helped my hair. But how often you deep condition, again, is entirely up to you.

    3) Clarifying - I have been hearing NO SULFATES for curlies, but then I have read a few threads that have people using sulfate based shampoos for clarifying? And how often should I clarify?
    Some curlies use sulfate shampoos to 'clarify' their hair when their curls start becoming limp or they experience build-up. The sulfates are basically a way of starting fresh and giving hair a clean slate as they 'strip' the hair. You should clarify if you feel your hair is becoming a bit dull / lifeless or if your hair feels gunky. Some people do it once a month, others once every few months; it just depends. I haven't had to clarify and I've been CG since October, so it really just depends on your hair and, I suppose, the amount of product you're using.

    4) Protein treatment -- I do have flat and straw-like issues with my hair from time to time, does this mean I need to incorporate protein treatments into my routine?
    I'm not an expert on protein, but I'd say this means you need more moisture rather than protein. So deep conditioning treatments are a must.

    5) What methods do people with a similar hair type as me use for drying, getting the best curls, etc.?
    Have you read Lorraine Massey's CG Handbook (Second edition)? I'd recommend you invest in a copy as it is only a few pound and has chapters devoted to washing and styling each different type of hair.
    For my 3A, low porosity curls, I pre-poo with coconut oil overnight on the weekends (I don't have time on weekdays), then I shampoo with my SM low-poo, condition (and do a 'baptism rinse'), then I apply my gel. I then scrunch it thoroughly and twist my front sections around my finger (as they don't curl as well, due to heat damage). Then I DO NOT TOUCH IT AT ALL during the drying process. I allow it to dry fully and the SOTC (scrunch out the crunch). If, like me, you use a gel it will form what is called a 'gel cast', which is what leaves your hair crunchy. This is a good thing as it protects your curls and holds their shape while they dry, preventing frizz. All you need to do is scrunch your hair once it's dry until the cast dissolves and you're left with beautiful, bouncy curls!
    I personally prefer air-drying as that's when I get the best results, but some people love to pixi-diffuse and to plop (I'm sure someone will reply and tell you more about those two methods :D)

    6) What chemicals should I avoid in my hair products? I have seen something about polyquats... I am overwhelmed haha.
    Sulfates, definitely. Some curlies avoid silicones if they're co-washing as these can build-up, others don't mind silicones that are water soluble.
    Polyquats don't need to be avoided really, just some curlies tend to avoid them because they, personally, have issues. There are polyquats in my gel and it's not a problem for me.
    A lot of curlies will have a more comprehensive and specific list for you here lol!
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    DC:
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • ahollaaholla Posts: 2Registered Users
    Thanks, BotticelliBrit! Some things are starting to make a little more sense. It's just wrapping my head around this - it's exciting but frustrating at the same time. I love my curls and want them to be all they can be, but this is going to take some time and work! All worth it, I know.

    I really think I am currently suffering the most from build-up from using all of the wrong products. After I made this post, I went and ordered The CG Handbook. I can't wait for it to arrive! :happy6:

    Looking forward to any others input and experience. This is a really amazing forum. I hope I will have some insight to share.
  • wavydazewavydaze Posts: 2,065Registered Users Curl Novice
    The best thing to do is read and learn (and ask questions as you have) and experiment.

    You ordered the CG handbook, which is a basic introduction to haircare. I would also recommend getting the Live Curly Live Free ebook, which goes into more detail about curly hair care. You can also read up on the LCLF website. And the stickies on the boards!

    If you're unsure about your properties, you can get your hair tested at Goosefootprints (on Etsy). After you know your properties, look around the board for curlies with similar hair, and see what they are using and what they are doing.

    1) What is the difference between co-washing and using low poo? And which should I probably use? Both?

    Cowashing is using a light conditioner or a cleansing conditioner to wash your hair. Low-poo is a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo. What should you use? It depends! You can try both. Some fine-haired curlies and wavies find that cowashing is too much, but you should experiment.

    2) How should I condition? I know there is the rinse out method, leave-in method, deep conditioning -- but when should I use each of these for my hair type?

    Again, depends on how dry your hair is, or how porous. I use a rinse-out. I don't usually use a leave-in. I don't do DTs. My hair's not really dry, and I live in a very hot and humid climate. My hair more often needs protein rather than moisture or conditioning. I don't however use any products with alcohol or anything that could be drying, so I don't have those issues.

    You have to experiment and see what works for you. An important aspect of curly hair care is achieving and maintaining the moisture-protein balance.

    The Fine Art of Protein and Moisture Balancing for Black Hair Care - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com

    3) Clarifying - I have been hearing NO SULFATES for curlies, but then I have read a few threads that have people using sulfate based shampoos for clarifying? And how often should I clarify?

    You should clarify now if you're complaining about stringy hair. You don't ever need to clarify, unless you feel your hair has buildup from something that your regular low-poo or cowash is not getting out.

    4) Protein treatment -- I do have flat and straw-like issues with my hair from time to time, does this mean I need to incorporate protein treatments into my routine?

    Flat and straw-like could be caused by buildup, so clarify for a fresh-start. Fine hair tends to do well with protein. I have fine hair and like protein in virtually all my hair products. My hair also benefits from regular PTs (try IAgirl's gelatin PT!)

    5) What methods do people with a similar hair type as me use for drying, getting the best curls, etc.?

    For my hair type, diffusing gives me the best curls.

    6) What chemicals should I avoid in my hair products? I have seen something about polyquats... I am overwhelmed haha.

    Polyquats give some curlies trouble, but not others, so it's individual. Low-porosity hair tends to be the most prone to buildup... so waxes, cetyl esters, and products heavy in butters and oils can be problematic. Silicones must be avoided if you will be cowashing, or using any of the SheaMoisture shampoos. In order to break down silicones, you need a low-poo with c. betaine. Water-soluble silicones should be ok with cowashing.
    2bc/ f / ii. low porosity roots + normal-high porosity shaft where bleached. normal elasticity.

    Currently using:
    Poo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
    RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
    LI: CJ Smoothing Lotion
    Styler: UFD CM, CJ PP
    PT: CJ Repair Me

    :thumright: hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
    :angry8: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sulfates, jojoba oil
    Neutral on cones.

    iherb discount code: CFN646

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