Help needed! Hair turned into haystack

PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
So I've been experimenting on pure co-washing and SLS-free shampooing for about 3 weeks now. Co-washing alone didn't work for me (left my roots greasy-looking no matter how I did it) so I bought myself an SLS-free shampoo (The Body Shop's Rainforest Moisture shampoo) and have been using it for about 2 weeks now.

First it seemed to work ok, but a couple of days ago I noticed that there was a lot of buildup on my hair, so I washed it with a diluted regular SLS shampoo to clarify. Now my hair is so dry and frizzy, it's unbelievable! I'm on my second day hair now, and there's been no improvement.

To make my hair a little more manageable, I made my own leave-in conditioner yesterday (with water, conditioner, honey, coconut oil, hair gel and a teaspoon of ACV) that I have been spraying on my hair a few times a day. There has been no change whatsoever, my hair still looks really damaged and dry, and super-frizzy. I don't think I've seen my hair quite as frizzy before, ever. Even my virgin roots have become frizzy, even though normally they look smooth and shiny!

Some background info: I have medium to low-porosity 2a hair with fine texture, but a lot of hair. I have a history of bleaching and dyeing my hair, but the last time I've done that was 6 months ago, by a professional (and I went slightly darker).
I use the aforementioned Bodyshop shampoo and Freeman's Coconut&Papaya conditioner normally, as well as deep condition once a week with L'Oreal's douceur d'huiles masque. I use coconut oil to smoothen the frizziness after washing, and occasionally use it as a mask (although after reading these forums I have come to the conclusion that I probably shouldn't). I also do a ACV rinse about once a week.

Any ideas what's happening to my hair? Could it just be that my hair is naturally like this, and the countless silicone layers have just finally been stripped off, revealing the real poor condition of my hair underneath?

And does anybody have any recommendations on what ingredients I should look for in hair products? I have been over-abusing oil-based products apparently, but I don't know what would be better suited for my hair, since oil is the only thing that seems to smooth my tresses.
Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.

Comments

  • JimipeJimipe Posts: 276Registered Users
    Do you use any rinse-out and leave-in conditioner straight after washing your hair with any of the schampos?
    CG since 8th of September 2013 - learning in progress!

    3a/m/iii - waist length wet
    Cleanser: Naturelle Volumizing
    Conditioner/LI: Garnier Respons Avocadooil and Shea Butter, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume Conditioner
    Styling: Eldorado Hairgel Strong
  • PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
    Hi and thanks for replying, I condition with the Freeman or L'Oreal conditioner (and rinse it out after a couple of minutes), and other than that I just rub some coconut oil in my ends when my hair is still moist. I don't have a leave-in conditioner (other than the mixture I threw together yesterday).
    Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.
  • JimipeJimipe Posts: 276Registered Users
    Oil mainly works for sealing, it does not bind moisture. I would suggest trying a conditioner as leave-in with at least some humectants. Hair Moisturizer vs. Emollients
    CG since 8th of September 2013 - learning in progress!

    3a/m/iii - waist length wet
    Cleanser: Naturelle Volumizing
    Conditioner/LI: Garnier Respons Avocadooil and Shea Butter, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume Conditioner
    Styling: Eldorado Hairgel Strong
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,157Registered Users Curl Novice
    Coconut oil is great for the hair, and it's recommended to be used as a pre-poo on dry hair. Best if left on overnight. Or if you're in a hurry, for at least a few hours.

    You could be right, after taking the silicones off your true hair condition shows. Silicones are added to make the hair feel softer than it actually is.

    I would get yourself a great leave in conditioner and ditch the coconut oil to act as one. Make sure it has lots of goodies like fatty alcohols and panthenol. Watch out for any drying alcohols - (isopropyl, benzyl, alcohol denat.)
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
    STYLER: CJ Curl Queen
    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
    Thanks for the replies. I checked my products and at least benzyl was found in my 'daily' conditioner. Don't know if that could be to blame. I think I've used to much ACV because I've used a little under half a cup of it per rinse. Since I also use it in my hair spray and the occasional toner, I think my hair's dried up because of it. All in all, I'm blaming the SLS shampoo the most, will NOT use it again for several months! :(
    Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Posts: 1,073Banned Users
    I have some questions for you: 1) Did you read the Curly Girl Handbook or the Curly Girl book? Seems to me like you've been a bit misinformed... 2) Where do you live and what kind of water do you have? The place is important so I know what products you may have available, and type of the water because hard water can cause problems with certain products on CG.

    For starters, I wonder why you put ACV and gel in your home-made LI...? Not a very good idea IMO, especially NOT a whole teaspon of ACV, there is nothing special it can do in a LI. And although it can work for some to clarify, you were using an outrageously large amount, no wonder people later complain that ACV dries their hair!

    The honey acts like a humectant so that may not be a good idea either this time of year so keep an eye on that.

    I wonder which COs you were using for co-washing, not everything that appears to qualify is ideal for everybody. In the past, some people who had the problem of "greasy" roots did very well with Avalon Organics Lemon Verbena, which is a "clarifying" CO, or even VO5 Kiwi & Lime, which contains no oils and is my favorite for co-washing (and my scalp produces a fair amount of oils, especially during the warmer months). Also, it's totally NORMAL to experience excess production of oil when stopping SLS shampoos. Some people create their own oily scalps by scrupulously washing their hair every single day. The sebum we produce is there to protect our scalp and hair but once removed the sebaceous glands work harder to replace it, but the next day's shampoo removes it and thus a vicious cycle begins. However, once the harsh shampoo is removed the scalp can "calm down" and NORMALIZE after some time. In such a case, it's OK to co-wash daily using an oil-free CO.

    I wouldn't even put c.o. in the LI just because you may want to use it for refreshing your hair during the day too. It would be better if you applied it directly and in very tiny amounts to your canopy (top layer) and ends, either before or after washing. Jojoba oil is a much better choice for a LI because it's most similar to our own sebum, it does not penetrate the hair, thus acting as a "sealant" and it works very well to ward off frizz for many curlies (it's my personal favorite...).


    Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
    Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
    CO-wash: VO5 K&L
    RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Daily Defense Moisturizing & others.
    LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
    Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
    Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

  • PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
    I haven't read the official book, just internet articles and this site (mostly the forums because then I can find directions from users with similar hair type). What aspects did you find misinformed?

    I live in Finland, and the water is very hard. The air is also pretty dry in here through the entire year (even in the summer) and we only now got our first 'warm' days, so I don't think humectants are a problem at this point. I am also having trouble finding most of the 'official' curly hair products, I need to order everything from iHerb or somewhere like that. The products take about 2-3 weeks to arrive, so there's no quick solutions to my problem, and I don't want to purchase products on a whim in case they don't work for me.
    So when I started experimenting, I just went into the nearest store and grabbed the products that didn't have the biggest offenders (SLS and -cones).

    When I was still using SLS, I only had to wash my hair every 4 days. Now it seems to be oily the next day, sometimes even on the same day that I've washed it. I am not sure if I'm having trouble removing the conditioner or what's the real culprit to the sudden oiliness. Or maybe I just had build-up which the SLS wash removed the second time around. I co-washed my hair yesterday and now my hair seems completely clean, even though I didn't spend nearly as much time in the shower trying to get the conditioner off as I have in the past. My ends are still frizzy though, which is odd. I'm getting a haircut today though, and will ask the hairdresser what to do. I am just worried that she won't be able to give me personal advice on how to deal with my hair, because they usually only know about commercial products, and my hairtype is somewhat unusual around here.

    Anyway, all help is appreciated so thanks for taking the time to reply:)
    Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.
  • JimipeJimipe Posts: 276Registered Users
    Pseudoavatar, I live in Sweden, so not that far away from you. We have a Swedish forum with lists of products that are fairly easy to get your hands on here. My guess is that some of them should be available where you live as well. Hem (google translate works fine if you don't want to read it in Swedish)

    Regarding temperatures and moisture levels and all of that, the dew point in Helsinki today is 70F. That's pretty high. So, yes, you might well need to care about that. I've had issues with humectants about a month ago the first time this year.

    Also, really really do go and get that book. It's not that expensive, and it is worth while. You need to have all information gathered in one place so you get a good well-rounded introduction. Then, ocne you have found a basic routine that works, then you can start looking at what other people are using and start modify that, but start from the basics.
    CG since 8th of September 2013 - learning in progress!

    3a/m/iii - waist length wet
    Cleanser: Naturelle Volumizing
    Conditioner/LI: Garnier Respons Avocadooil and Shea Butter, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume Conditioner
    Styling: Eldorado Hairgel Strong
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Posts: 1,073Banned Users
    Hi again, Pseudoavatar, I'm always thinking there should be a place to show location under our nicknames so before advising anyone we knew right away where they are as recommendations of local products are useless to most. I hope I didn't offend you with my first question but I see very very often that people who have difficulties with this no-shampoo method have, as a rule, not read the book, which is very useful because it includes very helpful tips on how to handle and style the hair which go beyond just using a CO for washing it, which in the case of "wavies" may actually include using a shampoo because some tend to have more oil in their scalp.

    The biggest misinformation I found was your excessive use of ACV as I pointed out already. The book doesn't even mention it at all, it recommends a recipe called "Lemon-aid", which is mixing the juice of a lemon with a conditioner for clarifying, which is way more gentle and, at least for me, works better than ACV rinses. You can use limes (I only needed 1/2 of one) or even a couple tablespoons of fresh grapefruit juice.

    Personally, I don't think the "oiliness" you feel in your hair as the day goes by can come from your scalp in such a short time, I've never heard of anyone producing that much sebum in just hours, much less it traveling so fast down curly hair without any brushing. Neither do I believe that it can be from the CO as you would know it the moment you got out of the shower, but you can easily find out by skipping the coconut oil.

    The only other option is that it may be buildup. Hard water
    can be very tough on the hair all by itself. And it can be a problem with "CG", very often contributes to buildup as the minerals in it could be creating some film, as it happens with soap scum, so if you continue to have this problem you a) may have to consider getting a shower filter or 2) have to continue to use a SLS shampoo once or twice a month (if the "Lemon-aid" doesn't help). But you can dilute it in about 3 parts of water, this way it not only spreads well through your scalp and hair but you'll need to use a lot less and thus it will be less harsh. You can also coat the ends of your hair with conditioner prior to shampooing to prevent them getting all frizzy. And if you have a CO that contains proteins, just dab a little on those ends before styling your hair.
    Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
    Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
    CO-wash: VO5 K&L
    RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Daily Defense Moisturizing & others.
    LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
    Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
    Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

  • PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
    Thanks everyone. I went to the hairdresser yesterday and she said that my hair was still in good condition, but some of the outer layers had dried up, probably due to the ACV and swimming in salt water+ sunbathing about a month ago when I holidayed in Indonesia. She reckoned that the dryness showed up a bit late due to the missing silicones and the sudden weather change. She also said that a 'thicker' leave-in would probably help with the frizziness rather than a spray-on, which consists of so much water it might cause even more frizziness in my hair. Anyway, most of the really dry parts have now been chopped off and the hair looks ok again.

    Regarding the oiliness, I think it was build-up and I will probably need to occasionally use SLS shampoos or try the citrus thing.

    They have the Curly Girl book available on play.com, and will purchase it now :) thanks everyone for the suggestions.
    Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.
  • PseudoavatarPseudoavatar Posts: 14Registered Users
    Jimipe wrote: »
    Oil mainly works for sealing, it does not bind moisture. I would suggest trying a conditioner as leave-in with at least some humectants. Hair Moisturizer vs. Emollients

    But didn't you say you've had trouble with humectants now that the weather is warmer? I currently reside quite close to the Lapland border so it's not as humid or warm here yet though :)
    Growing out natural hair color and transitioning from -cones and SLS to more natural hair care.
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Posts: 1,073Banned Users
    Yw! I'm glad everything went well, enjoy your curls!
    Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
    Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
    CO-wash: VO5 K&L
    RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Daily Defense Moisturizing & others.
    LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
    Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
    Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

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