5 years natural but I'm ready to give up (pics)

nertznertz Registered Users Posts: 6
I have a mix of mostly 3C with some 3B sections. When stretched/straightened, my length is just beyond BSL. I've been natural for about 5.5 years, and before that I was relaxed.

I loved my hair for awhile, and it looked great and received lots of compliments. My goal was to keep growing it long and healthy to Teri Laflesh (tightly curly) status. I experimented with products and got a routine down.

But now I am starting to hate my hair :sad10:

My hairline is almost always frizzy. Even on a freshly styled day after a few hours. It just looks a mess, especially by my temples, and that area is so hard to get defined curls.

It's always dry, despite doing weekly DC treatments and trying different oils. Coconut oil makes it frizz, other oils make it feel heavy and gross. I don't have much selection for natural curly products where I live, and don't have the money to order stuff online. I used to use KCCC, but it cost me almost $70 to order one 16oz. tub after all the costs. I can't afford that.

I can never get my part to 'lay' correctly. My hair always looks unbalanced and bigger on one side. It looks crazy in candid pictures.

Despite not trimming it in 3 years, there appears to be zero growth when I wear it curly. NONE. I'm in a vicious cycle of manipulating my hair to elongate it (stretching by doing mini buns, overnight braids, stretching by blow-drying) which is probably just damaging it more and inhibiting growth, because I try to avoid silicones...but I understand silicones is what protects the hair from heat.

But I'm sick of the time spent doing the braids and buns and all-day drying. Maybe I'm just not cut out to take care of my hair at this length. But I hate how it looks when short. When I do straighten it, I just find it so much easier to handle. And it just LOOKS BETTER for longer. It's less work.

Part of me just wants to cut half of it off and go back to wearing it straight all the time, maybe even getting a gentle relaxer. But I don't want to regret chopping off 5 years of growth and progress.

I am getting a cut in 2 weeks, so maybe things will be more manageable after my split ends are cut and I get some more shaping overall. Maybe that's all I need to revive it. Maybe I need to try new products.

Any advice for me?

Comments

  • curlypearlcurlypearl Registered Users Posts: 12,231 Curl Connoisseur
    My only real advice is to just ease up on yourself if you can. I understand completely what you are going through. See how you feel after the haircut and if you decide you want to wear it straight, that's OK! Maybe first see if you are better using silicones, but if all else fails it's OK to wear your hair however you want it.

    I hope you can find a way to be happy with it and not have it frustrate you so much, but so many of us can relate. I've tried a zillion products and methods and there are just times where I give up trying to be curly and straighten it, at least somewhat, so that I don't have to spend so much time and effort on it.

    Maybe some other curly will have the advice that is the magic key and works for you. Good luck whatever you do and please post back and let us know how you are doing!:love2:

    Be good to yourself.
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • BluebloodBlueblood Registered Users Posts: 1,748 Curl Neophyte
    If you posted your régime and the products you use in each step then other posters would be able to help you.

    You could have something as simple as build up or be missing a trick another poster can see.
  • nertznertz Registered Users Posts: 6
    curlypearl wrote: »
    My only real advice is to just ease up on yourself if you can. I understand completely what you are going through. See how you feel after the haircut and if you decide you want to wear it straight, that's OK! Maybe first see if you are better using silicones, but if all else fails it's OK to wear your hair however you want it.

    I hope you can find a way to be happy with it and not have it frustrate you so much, but so many of us can relate. I've tried a zillion products and methods and there are just times where I give up trying to be curly and straighten it, at least somewhat, so that I don't have to spend so much time and effort on it.

    Maybe some other curly will have the advice that is the magic key and works for you. Good luck whatever you do and please post back and let us know how you are doing!:love2:

    Be good to yourself.

    Thanks for this! I think I am just getting annoyed because I had this goal of long curly hair, but I don't think I have the patience for the upkeep as it gets longer.
    Blueblood wrote: »
    If you posted your régime and the products you use in each step then other posters would be able to help you.

    You could have something as simple as build up or be missing a trick another poster can see.

    Sorry, that would have been helpful. I don't do the exact same thing, but here's my long and detailed routine:

    Co-wash: Tashodi Japanese Peppermint Argan oil Conditioner. (silicone-free) every other day (or every day if I work out a lot)

    Leave-in: No-Name brand Conditioner (Yes, it comes in a big yellow bottle) I've been using this for a few years as my leave-in when I discovered it's free of silicones, light enough to leave in and $2 for a 2L bottle!

    Styler: Usually Garnier Fructis Pure Clean styling gel or sometimes Giovanni Strong Hold styling gel.

    Then I air-dry 75% of the time, use a diffuser on high speed/low heat the rest of the time. When almost dry I pull my hair taut and use the concentrator nozzle on my hair dryer to stretch my curls, usually on low heat, high heat if I'm in a hurry :confused3:

    I usually wear it out as-is. In a jaw clip or ponytail when I'm exercising. Don't like protective styles although maybe I should start.

    Shampoo every two weeks:
    Alba Botanicals Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo. Sulphate-free.

    DC: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner. Usually once a week.

    Straightening: I use a silicone based serum and heat protectant spray before blowing out and flat-ironing, then same shampoo to wash afterwards. I only straighten once every 2-3 months, never see any heat damage or get buildup.

    Pineapple or high bun for sleeping (only with 100% dry hair)

    And that's it!
  • corinniePopcorinniePop Registered Users Posts: 138 Curl Neophyte
    Girl, where do you find this $2 for 2L conditioner?
  • nana_banananana_banana Registered Users Posts: 735
    I think a haircut and re-shape/layers might be what you need to add some bounce and life back into your hair. You haven't trimmed in three years, which is a very long time to not trim. I know I'm in need of a trim and/or my layers need to be re-shaped when my hair gets super frizzy (no matter what I do), my hair is super tangly (no matter how often I detangle), and my hair just looks blah and boring.
    Hair type: Mostly 3C, medium porosity to high porosity depending on the day, dense, fluffy, dry, tangly!



    :afro:
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Registered Users Posts: 5,136 Curl Connoisseur
    In addition to a trim I woukd recommend a hair analysis to make sure your products are right for your hair properties. Your hair does look like it needs a trim in the straight picture. I also agree with curlypearl's advice. Give yourself a break. You may just need a change. And sometimes we all hate our hair. It comes with the territory.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using CurlTalk App
    3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
    HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
  • Lady_CreoleLady_Creole Registered Users Posts: 400 Curl Neophyte
    I'm thinking you may need to change your products...some times our hair gets "used" to the same products and they no longer work for us. Start fresh...

    Get a nice cut without losing your length, more face framing than a full cut.

    Blessings!
    My hair is "exotic, beautiful and free",,,yeah, that be ME!!!
    3B/C - Easy to straighten, [no heat ever/no protect. styling].

    Low Porosity/Medium Density
    Mid Width/BSL-stretched/
    BC - 12/2012

    I am a "Co-Wash/Finger Comb Lady!
    Scalp Cleanser - SM ABS Purification Hair Masque
    Co-wash - Tresemme Naturals
    Hydration - SM CH
    Curl & Style Milk
    LOC - Organic Coconut Oil
    Styler - SM CH Curl Smoothie
    Deep Cond. - SM Yucca & Plantain Masque
  • MsPMsP Registered Users Posts: 116
    Well I started feeling that way last Summer too. I did NOT do a relaxer when I felt that way. Relaxer dissoles my hair. What I did was flat iron a Brazilian Keratin Treatment in my hair.
    For me it was the best thing I could have possibly done for myself. Now I just air dry my hair and then once it is dry I put it in a bun over night. I take the bun down in the morning and have a lovely hairstyle similar to the picture you posted above to the right.

    This will wear out of the hair in about 3 months and let your regular curls come back. I redo mine personally before the curls come back completely so I keep the ease of management. My hair is so easy to care for now. It detangles like butter and air dries in less than half the time. I shake it around to let it air dry and it dries fairly straight with a little bend to it. If I wanted to wear it curly I could still scrunch some curls in it. But I have not done that because I am enjoying it so much just airdry, bun overnight, shake and go.
    The relaxer will cause length reduction and damaage. I personally suggest you get you a Brazilian Keratin Treatment and don't look back.
    Best wishes.

    PS: For the frizzies at the hairline, just rub a bit ORS Edge Control in your palms, brush it through your hairline and they are a thing of the past. I say do what you need to do to love your hair instead of hating. it. You only live once.. Better make the most of the one life you have instead of regretting it later.
    My Routine:
    Coconut oil drench the night before I co-wash
    then cowash and deep condition each time w/ Keracare Humecto, Joico Moisture Recovery and/or ApHogee 2min
    then usually airdry
    Grapeseed oil nightly

    (no gel, mouse, or hair spray. My delicate, fine hair will tear if I even try to run my fingers through it with any of those. :angel9:)
    My go to leave ins are now: my regular conditioners listed above, gs oil, or PW77
  • Annie1980Annie1980 Registered Users Posts: 77
    Holy crap! Your hair is absolutely AMAZING!!!!! Girl, in all honesty, your hair, curl pattern, and just over all way it looks, is in my opinion, PERFECT. we really are our own worst critics. We see ourselves every single day, so we get use to our bodies/faces/hair, etc and start thinking it's not pretty or something. Please..... DON'T STRAIGHTEN IT!!!! It looks beautiful.
  • ThirtyThirty Registered Users Posts: 7
    The straightened pic is beautiful , there are straight haired ladies that would love that.


    As a curly, the curly pic is awesome , beautiful curls.


    You said you used to use KCCC , what is in that ? You should shop around and see if you can find something similar.
    Other products can give the same results.
    Thirty -
    3C /low porosity/ medium/ high density
    Low poo scalp only/ Suave Cond/ Leave in Suave- Regis Ultimate Radiance : air dry wet- No plopping



    Thirty-medium.jpg
  • CurlXTCeeCurlXTCee Registered Users Posts: 379
    I know EXACTLY how you feel!
  • Selena_MSelena_M Registered Users Posts: 26
    I'm a bit late to this party, but I'm here nonetheless! I feel your frustration over thinking your hair is not improving (your hair is gorgeous, by the way). I agree with some of the other posters in that maybe you should consider going back to cones. Personally, CG was just okay for me (in terms of the difference it made on my hair) and more trouble than it was worth to keep digging for answers and product suggestions. For me, CG was helpful in learning about my hair properties and techniques I could use for styling. I am now using a silicone RO, CG friendly DC/prepoo, and am looking into non-CG stylers.

    Best of luck with your hair, and please let us know if you find anything that works! :)
  • EverydayCurlsEverydayCurls Registered Users Posts: 301 Curl Novice
    You're curly hair is GORGEOUS. If you really don't like it, then do what you have to, but if it were my hair I would keep it curly. I like it better than the straightened hair, and curly hair is bit more "unique".

    Current Products:

    • Nature's Gate Biotin Shampoo
    • Nature's Gate Biotin Conditioner
    • AG Recoil Curl Activator
    • AG Plastique
      + Plopping Overnight


  • MsPMsP Registered Users Posts: 116
    I also think that it is very challenging to work with highly textured hair after a certain length. I believe Terri LaFlesh said in her book that she takes all day on wash day just to shampoo, and de-tangle her hair. I also think that combing through highly textured long hair in curly hairstyles causes the ends to break just as fast as they grow for some. This is due to wear and tear. Smoother hair is of course less troubled by hair tearing since it is obviously not highly textured. I believe that the thick coatings of conditioners that Terri leaves in do serve as a buffer from friction damage that curlies experience to a degree. Nevertheless, she does speak about how the ends suffer from friction damage with highly textured hair unless you go overboard to baby them with all handling. For this reason, I personally do think that if you are going to have highly textured hair, it would be good to NOT wear it out curly but rather keep it up in a bun, a single braid or similar all the time to minimize the ripping out of hair due to long curly tangles. This type of style would do double duty by stretching out the texture to make it easier to detangle when you do handle it. Short of that, you could wear it smooth most of the time by doing roller sets or resorting to my solution.
    BTW Curlyproverbz on youtube has a similar hair texture as you do and she just reached tail bone length. She achieved it by wearing her hair twisted up in buns for years each day at work. She also did a lot of work with regular oils, hennas, ayurvedic treatments, protein treatments as well as growth aids. She did stress that she basically wore her hair out only a few times each year as it got longer.
    The twins in this video also speak about how wearing the hair curly for highly textured hair does chew up the ends and cause length reduction
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4z5nhClXg
    My Routine:
    Coconut oil drench the night before I co-wash
    then cowash and deep condition each time w/ Keracare Humecto, Joico Moisture Recovery and/or ApHogee 2min
    then usually airdry
    Grapeseed oil nightly

    (no gel, mouse, or hair spray. My delicate, fine hair will tear if I even try to run my fingers through it with any of those. :angel9:)
    My go to leave ins are now: my regular conditioners listed above, gs oil, or PW77
  • Lady_CreoleLady_Creole Registered Users Posts: 400 Curl Neophyte
    nertz wrote: »
    I have a mix of mostly 3C with some 3B sections. When stretched/straightened, my length is just beyond BSL. I've been natural for about 5.5 years, and before that I was relaxed.

    I loved my hair for awhile, and it looked great and received lots of compliments. My goal was to keep growing it long and healthy to Teri Laflesh (tightly curly) status. I experimented with products and got a routine down.

    But now I am starting to hate my hair :sad10:

    My hairline is almost always frizzy. Even on a freshly styled day after a few hours. It just looks a mess, especially by my temples, and that area is so hard to get defined curls.

    It's always dry, despite doing weekly DC treatments and trying different oils. Coconut oil makes it frizz, other oils make it feel heavy and gross. I don't have much selection for natural curly products where I live, and don't have the money to order stuff online. I used to use KCCC, but it cost me almost $70 to order one 16oz. tub after all the costs. I can't afford that.

    I can never get my part to 'lay' correctly. My hair always looks unbalanced and bigger on one side. It looks crazy in candid pictures.

    Despite not trimming it in 3 years, there appears to be zero growth when I wear it curly. NONE. I'm in a vicious cycle of manipulating my hair to elongate it (stretching by doing mini buns, overnight braids, stretching by blow-drying) which is probably just damaging it more and inhibiting growth, because I try to avoid silicones...but I understand silicones is what protects the hair from heat.

    But I'm sick of the time spent doing the braids and buns and all-day drying. Maybe I'm just not cut out to take care of my hair at this length. But I hate how it looks when short. When I do straighten it, I just find it so much easier to handle. And it just LOOKS BETTER for longer. It's less work.

    Part of me just wants to cut half of it off and go back to wearing it straight all the time, maybe even getting a gentle relaxer. But I don't want to regret chopping off 5 years of growth and progress.

    I am getting a cut in 2 weeks, so maybe things will be more manageable after my split ends are cut and I get some more shaping overall. Maybe that's all I need to revive it. Maybe I need to try new products.

    Any advice for me?

    I think your hair is beautiful...did you get the cut?

    I agree with your getting an evaluation of your hair to see what products are good for you because I think the challenge you are having is because you are using too many products by too many people and something is not working for you.

    Basically, your hair doesn't like something you are using.

    Did you take the hair typing test on this board?

    Texture Typing 101

    Test your hair in each section then after you find your true hair type then go to youtube and find the natural females with your type of hair. View a few of them and see what you like, and try what they are using...this may help...
    My hair is "exotic, beautiful and free",,,yeah, that be ME!!!
    3B/C - Easy to straighten, [no heat ever/no protect. styling].

    Low Porosity/Medium Density
    Mid Width/BSL-stretched/
    BC - 12/2012

    I am a "Co-Wash/Finger Comb Lady!
    Scalp Cleanser - SM ABS Purification Hair Masque
    Co-wash - Tresemme Naturals
    Hydration - SM CH
    Curl & Style Milk
    LOC - Organic Coconut Oil
    Styler - SM CH Curl Smoothie
    Deep Cond. - SM Yucca & Plantain Masque
  • nertznertz Registered Users Posts: 6
    Hi! I'm really late to reply, but thank you all for the suggestions, compliments and words of encouragement!! :love2:

    *UPDATE*
    I did end up getting a dry cut at a curly salon when I was on vacation, mostly to shape my top layers. It did help somewhat in the I don't have to manipulate as much to get a more uniform shape and volume.

    I also came to the conclusion that following Teri's 'tightlycurly' method of saturating my hair in conditioner, and on top of that putting in a gel, was just way too much product in my fine hair and would leave it feeling rough and dull and just gross to the touch. The frustrating part is if I leave out the gel, or go a lot lighter on my leave-in producs, I get maximum shrinkage as the hair is so light, and the lack of definition to get decent second day hair. Still experimenting to get somewhere in the middle with that.

    Also still struggling with crown/temple frizz. I also feel protective styles are just not for me - I've tried wet braids and twists and the crown frizzes like crazy while the rest of the hair is smooth so it looks odd, and braiding/twisting on dry hair doesn't work for me either.

    I haven't done texture typing, but my hair seems delicate and I would guess to be highly porous from the descriptions

    MsP wrote: »
    Well I started feeling that way last Summer too. I did NOT do a relaxer when I felt that way. Relaxer dissoles my hair. What I did was flat iron a Brazilian Keratin Treatment in my hair.
    For me it was the best thing I could have possibly done for myself. Now I just air dry my hair and then once it is dry I put it in a bun over night. I take the bun down in the morning and have a lovely hairstyle similar to the picture you posted above to the right.

    This will wear out of the hair in about 3 months and let your regular curls come back. I redo mine personally before the curls come back completely so I keep the ease of management. My hair is so easy to care for now. It detangles like butter and air dries in less than half the time. I shake it around to let it air dry and it dries fairly straight with a little bend to it. If I wanted to wear it curly I could still scrunch some curls in it. But I have not done that because I am enjoying it so much just airdry, bun overnight, shake and go.
    The relaxer will cause length reduction and damaage. I personally suggest you get you a Brazilian Keratin Treatment and don't look back.
    Best wishes.

    Thanks for the suggestions. You are the second person to suggest a BKT to me, and I may try this. Which brand do you use? And what is your curl texture/type before the BKT?
    MsP wrote: »
    I personally do think that if you are going to have highly textured hair, it would be good to NOT wear it out curly but rather keep it up in a bun, a single braid or similar all the time to minimize the ripping out of hair due to long curly tangles. This type of style would do double duty by stretching out the texture to make it easier to detangle when you do handle it. Short of that, you could wear it smooth most of the time by doing roller sets or resorting to my solution.

    I am beginning to agree with this, and to me it's just not an option to always wear my hair bunned or braided - my braid sticks out and away from my head (picture Pippi longstocking) and because of my temple frizz issue, a bun looks unpolished and I would worry about more temple hair breakage having it pulled back all the time.

    Roller sets are a no go because I am quite active and usually do a daily workout that sweats out any set style, so it would be way too much maintenance to do 5/6 nights a week.

    A BKT is sounding like the best option for me, but I will do more research about pros and cons before deciding on it.
  • nertznertz Registered Users Posts: 6
    Girl, where do you find this $2 for 2L conditioner?

    If you're in Canada, you can find it at Superstore/Loblaws, it's the No Name brand in the bright yellow bottles.
  • MsPMsP Registered Users Posts: 116
    Teri does not put gel on top of conditioner! That would defeat the purpose. If anything, you could add oil to a thick conditioner.I suggested castor oil with conditioner for another 3c curlie on here and I think that might be your ticket too. Good luck finding what works for you.
    My Routine:
    Coconut oil drench the night before I co-wash
    then cowash and deep condition each time w/ Keracare Humecto, Joico Moisture Recovery and/or ApHogee 2min
    then usually airdry
    Grapeseed oil nightly

    (no gel, mouse, or hair spray. My delicate, fine hair will tear if I even try to run my fingers through it with any of those. :angel9:)
    My go to leave ins are now: my regular conditioners listed above, gs oil, or PW77
  • nertznertz Registered Users Posts: 6
    MsP wrote: »
    Teri does not put gel on top of conditioner! That would defeat the purpose. If anything, you could add oil to a thick conditioner.I suggested castor oil with conditioner for another 3c curlie on here and I think that might be your ticket too. Good luck finding what works for you.

    You're right, she doesn't, and I don't know why I adopted that styling method, it is just way too much stuff in my hair. I tried the condish-only as a leave in and found that it wasn't not enough to define and hold my curls, especially if they were to last more than one day.

    I just bought some 100% argan oil, Jamaican Black Castor oil, and a few other products from Sally's so I will definitely play around with some new options, thanks!

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