How do I apply products?

This might sound like a no-brainer question - but I need help.

I've been using my conditioner as a leave-in and it has really helped to reduce the frizz and define the curls. However, I noticed that I was still getting frizz especially underneath. So I tried applying a little more specifically to the underneath hairs. But today my curls are defined, but they are not fluffing out at all - they look like they are still wet or clumped together with gel - and actually feel a little stiff.

I want to have well-defined curls with no frizz - but still want the curls to fluff out and not be so thin and look like they're full of junk.

I have never understood how people apply products (even oils). When I do it it seems like all the product or oil ends up on the top layer of my hair and there's none underneath. I try to spread it evenly but it doesn't work very well.

Do you you think that my problem is how I'm applying it? Or am I using the wrong product. I don't use gel at all because I don't like stiff hair, but maybe I should try a little of that. Would that make a difference? Or are there other things I should be using to help with the fluffing of my hair.

Thanks for all feedback.


  • SereneCurlsSereneCurls Registered Users Posts: 1,145 Curl Neophyte
    Have you tried combing or raking the leave in through your hair, then spraying a bit more water over that if the hair is too separated?
    3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
    Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
    Co-wash: aia, suave coconut, salon care
    R O: Tresume Naturals, gvpcb
    L I: KCKT, gvpcb
    Stylers: cjpp, re : coil, kccc, brhg
    Oils: coconut, argan
    Experimenting with: curls rock amplifier, pantene mousse
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Banned Users Posts: 1,073
    I wanted to give you an opinion but I'd rather know what type of hair you have (curls, porosity and density mainly) and what CO you're using as it can be that either you need a different technique or you may need a different product.
  • Geek_ChicGeek_Chic Registered Users Posts: 1,275 Curl Connoisseur
    It could be your technique or the products or a combination of both, but it's hard to say without knowing what you're using and how you're applying. As CGSince2002 said, if you have any idea what your hair properties (porosity, texture, density) are, we can better assist you with product choice. If you have no idea about your properties, this page is a decent reference: Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics

    One thing I can say from your post is about gel making your hair hard. If it's applied while your hair is wet, you want gel to form a cast (stiff /crunchy coating) to both hold your curls so they don't droop, and keep them from frizzing. Once dry, most people scrunch out the crunch (SOTC) to break the cast and release their curls. Once SOTC'd, you should get soft, nicely formed curls that will still have some hold to them. If it's hard to SOTC, you've used too much.
    CG since 11/2011
    2c /3a F /Mii, low /medium porosity

    Go To Products /Routine:
    Clarifying: Suave Essentials Strawberry
    Low Poo: Renpure
    CO: As I Am
    RO /LI: GVPCB, Ion Effective Care, Maui Moisture Nourish and Moisture, Herbal Essences Birch Bark
    Stylers: Zotos All About Curls Bouncy Cream, Herbal Essences Body Envy Mousse, LALSG, UFDCM
    PT (as needed)IAGirl's, Mielle Babassu Mint, Zotos All About Curls Divine Treatment
  • naturallyjaznaturallyjaz Registered Users Posts: 63
    I needed this. I seem to have low porosity hair and I need help. I have medium thick hair in the front of my head, and thick hair on the sides and back. My strands are fine and I have 3b/3c hair. I use the As I Am Coconut CoWash which I love! I did a wash n go yesterday and my hair doesn't feel as fluffy as I would like. It's a but stiff. My curls are defined but frizzy. I need help with moisture retention in order to have healthy hair.
    Last relaxer: May or June 2007
    BC: May 10, 2013
    Type: 3b/3c
    Hair properties: curly, wavy & fine texture; medium thick to thick density; normal porosity; normal elasticity

    Current Loves:
    Shampoo: Shea Moisture Black African Soap Deep Cleansing, Shea Moisture Moisture Retention, Carol's Daughter Rosemary Mint Clarifying, Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla
    Conditioner: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
    Leave-In: Design Essentials HCO Leave-In Conditioner and Blow Drying Lotion
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Banned Users Posts: 1,073
    Naturallyjazz, if you prefer soft to moderate hold and moisturized hair I think you might like ORS Lock & Twist Gel, it has coconut milk in it.
  • CraftieKittieCraftieKittie Registered Users Posts: 7
    Okay, I have to revise some of what I said - I posted my question too soon. My curls do eventually fluff out some - it just takes a long, long time. It takes about 5-6 hours for my hair to fluff and stop looking like it is still wet. It doesn't feel wet to the touch, so I don't know if it is still wet or not. I don't remember it doing this before I started the leave-in, but I was not getting defined curls before so I can't compare.

    I don't dry my hair - I just wet it, put in the leave-in and let it air dry.

    I used to think my hair was a 2c/3a - but since using the leave-in I'm getting a few coils about the size of sidewalk chalk. I used to have thick hair - but as I'm getting older it is thinning out and I think is more of a medium thickness now. Porosity I don't know about - I've done the water test and my hair floated - but it seems that that test is not very accurate.

    I'm using EarthScience Fragrance Free Conditioner - both for washing and as a leave-in. The ingredients are:

    Water (aqua), stearalkonium chloride, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, hydrolyzed soy protein, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, urtica dioica (nettle) extract, peg-8 stearate, panthenol, tocopherol, arctium lappa (burdock) root extract, citric acid, potassium sorbate, ceteareth-5, dicetyldimonium chloride and phenoxyethanol.

    Are there any ingredients in it that you know are bad as a leave-in? Anything that might keep my hair from drying quickly?

    I hope this helps you, CGSince2002, to help me understand a little bit more about what I might need.

    GeekChic - thanks for your reply also. I did not know that about scrunching out the crunch. I will try that when my hair feels a little too stiff. I am in such a process of learning - I just know so little about products and how to use them, etc.

    Just to let you know also - my husband is highly allergic to perfumes, so any specific product recommendations might not be very helpful as most are scented. I have to learn which ingredients to look for and then try to find something unscented that contains them.

    Again, thanks everyone for your feedback.
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Banned Users Posts: 1,073
    Hi again!

    I think what had been happening to you in thinking your hair was still wet is that you were not breaking up the soft "cast" even a LI can make.

    The water porosity test can show false results, but I think it could be due to the fact that most of us gather hairs that have come out after we have some product in our hair. I've been wondering if it may be better to do the test right after shampooing or clarifying our hair. I did it twice with different results each time so I think there may be something to that.

    Your LI seems fine to me, maybe you just need to get a little more moisture out of your hair before applying it since it will add water back to your hair anyway.

    If you ever feel like experimenting with a gel, I highly recommend the flax seed gel (FSG) which is easy to make at home and is a great frizz-buster. The basic recipe is just 1-2 tbsp. of flax seeds in 1 c. of water, mix and bring to a boil and strain with a metal strainer as soon as it begins to thicken. I read that someone let the seeds soak overnight and her gel came out better so you may want to try that. Some people use it "as is" and others prefer to "enhance" it. I used to add to mine
    AVG (aloe vera gel), Vit. E & lavender essential oil as mild short-term preservatives and natural fragrance, Epsom Salt and/or honey for curl enhancement, and a few drops of jojoba oil. You can always do a search here and read more about it.

    This gel gives a soft hold and is not too crunchy at all. I had to apply it after sopping up most of the extra water from my hair so I could saturate it with it to get enough hold but then I'd always loved the results.

    There's different ways of applying products and it's really up to preference. You may have to try a few to decide what works for you. Most people scrunch in their products by sections, but that doesn't work well for me so I have to "rake" it in or comb through even if this removes all my curls and then I have to put take an extra step to bring them back.

    Here's a video that I thought might be useful to you, it shows the "raking" method of applying hair products, how to SOTC and fluff out the curls. I can't SOTC that way because my fine and finicky hair breaks apart and creates frizz, so if that were to happen to you, this
    is what I do: while with my head down and after rubbing a couple of drops of oil on the palms of my hands, I just twist all of my hair together tightly and lightly rub it with my palms, then let go and fluff my hair out like Veronica does at the end. I've recently began using a pick to lift my hair up at the roots also.

  • CraftieKittieCraftieKittie Registered Users Posts: 7
    Thank you so much for your information! I am learning so much in the last week or so since I started asking questions here.

    I am going to keep working with my hair, trying the different ideas you have given me.

    Also, I watched that video, and it was great. I've been thinking that by next winter I will have to start drying my hair before going to work, and I had no idea that was how to do it. That woman ended up with beautiful curls.

    CGSince2002, thank you again. I'm actually starting to like my hair again.
  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Banned Users Posts: 1,073
    Well, great! YW, mission accomplished I suppose! :D

    I want to add that Youtube has tons of hairstyling videos for curlies, so when you have some time do a search or two, you might learn even more.

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