can you help me start out for less than $50?

HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
Hello! I'm new here. I've been waiting for 17 months for my hair to "bounce back" after the birth of my third kid, but now I'm starting to think I just need to take matters into my own hand. I've been straightening all winter :help: but want my curls back.

I have 2B, color-treated (I'm 38 and fairly gray), thin, fine, porous hair. I've been using all the wrong products and right now my hair is dull and stringy. I've been reading through this forum and on your blogs and I've seen the Curly Girl book (the old one--is the new one very different?), and I'm honestly not sure if the dullness is because I'm over or under-moisturized, have caked on products or silicones, or need protein. Your guess is as good as (or probably better than) mine. It's not in terrible shape as far as hair goes--it's not broken or split, and has been recently trimmed (med length). Honestly, it doesn't look half bad straightened but doesn't fit my personality! :happy8:

Anyway, I want to do the naturally curly thing again, but I need help figuring out where to start. Do I need to start with a clarifyer before I launch into a new regime? I'd love to be able to just buy a sample kit to get going (when I search sample kits I am not sure if they are curly-approved, or are good for my specific hair type), but if you all could help me put one together it would be just as nice. I'd like to spend less than $50 to get started, and I'd prefer to purchase online (Amazon or something). I don't mind buying higher-priced product as I go along, but I can't just buy over $100 worth of stuff up front to try and experiment, KWIM?

Finally, as I'm reading through all the basic instructions, it seems you all are not using any kind of setting product like hairspray. Is that totally forbidden? Are any of them ok? If my front hair falls in my face I will completely, utterly lose my mind. My front hair MAY NOT fall in my face. (stern, mean, mama look). Also, my under-hair tends to keep curl well, but it falls out easily from the top hair (canopy, right?). I feel like this hair also needs some setting product. Help me out, hair gurus!

Comments

  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Happileigh wrote: »
    Hello! I'm new here. I've been waiting for 17 months for my hair to "bounce back" after the birth of my third kid, but now I'm starting to think I just need to take matters into my own hand. I've been straightening all winter :help: but want my curls back.

    I have 2B, color-treated (I'm 38 and fairly gray), thin, fine, porous hair. I've been using all the wrong products and right now my hair is dull and stringy. I've been reading through this forum and on your blogs and I've seen the Curly Girl book (the old one--is the new one very different?), and I'm honestly not sure if the dullness is because I'm over or under-moisturized, have caked on products or silicones, or need protein. Your guess is as good as (or probably better than) mine. It's not in terrible shape as far as hair goes--it's not broken or split, and has been recently trimmed (med length). Honestly, it doesn't look half bad straightened but doesn't fit my personality! :happy8:

    Anyway, I want to do the naturally curly thing again, but I need help figuring out where to start. Do I need to start with a clarifyer before I launch into a new regime? I'd love to be able to just buy a sample kit to get going (when I search sample kits I am not sure if they are curly-approved, or are good for my specific hair type), but if you all could help me put one together it would be just as nice. I'd like to spend less than $50 to get started, and I'd prefer to purchase online (Amazon or something). I don't mind buying higher-priced product as I go along, but I can't just buy over $100 worth of stuff up front to try and experiment, KWIM?

    Finally, as I'm reading through all the basic instructions, it seems you all are not using any kind of setting product like hairspray. Is that totally forbidden? Are any of them ok? If my front hair falls in my face I will completely, utterly lose my mind. My front hair MAY NOT fall in my face. (stern, mean, mama look). Also, my under-hair tends to keep curl well, but it falls out easily from the top hair (canopy, right?). I feel like this hair also needs some setting product. Help me out, hair gurus!

    Yes, I would sulfate wash for sure first time out. I am in love with the Tresemme Perfectly Undone conditioner and Sea Foam. When I add a gel over that, glory it's nearly a curly day and shiny.

    If you can co-wash, I love the As I Am cowash. It's like 8 or 9$ at Sally's. If you have a Sally's and they still have Volumax Mega, snag some (6$), Get the Tresemme Perfectly unDone Conditioner and Sea Foam, use gel over that.

    You might get the Ion Effective Care at Sally's for the occasional gentle protein treatment. (I think that might be around 10$).

    That would be around 40$ all together and last you a good while.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    I totally second the rec for Ion Effective Care - in fact I use it as my rinse out :) It will last you forever. Sally's also sells a sample pack of it if you don't want to commit to a large bottle right away.

    If you can't find Volumax Mega there are other basic gels that will do the trick. Aussie Instant Freeze ($3-4) seems to suit a lot of folks and it may be my go-to after I burn through my VMM (sigh). I cowash on the other days with V05 Kiwi Lime ($1).

    Some fine haired wavies (like me!) can't cowash exclusively. I use a really basic non-sulfate shampoo every other wash (Whole Food 365 Fragrance Free, maybe $3.50?). It's a really basic lo-poo, and apparently non popular around here (not sexy enough, hah!) but my hair seems to respond well to it.

    I don't think hairspray is truly a no-no, but you would want to find one in which the ingredients are water soluble. A lot of hairsprays contain drying ingredients like denatured alcohol, so that could affect you over time. YMMV. I spend a lot of time tucking my hair behind my ears and pinning it there!

    Keep reading and be patient - it takes most of us a few months to start seeing really consistent results.

    Welcome aboard!
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC


    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
    Yes, I would sulfate wash for sure first time out.

    If you can co-wash, I love the As I Am cowash.

    Thank you for the helpful reply Chupie! I "followed" your blog too. :)
    Could you explain what you mean by sulfate wash?

    And I'm not sure if I can co-wash. Ten or twelve years ago I tried to do the completely no-poo thing (according to the first Curly Girl book) and it was awful. I stuck it out for weeks and it was truly dreadful. So I'm thinking probably not?
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
    SpiralHam wrote: »
    I totally second the rec for Ion Effective Care - in fact I use it as my rinse out :) It will last you forever. Sally's also sells a sample pack of it if you don't want to commit to a large bottle right away.

    If you can't find Volumax Mega there are other basic gels that will do the trick. Aussie Instant Freeze ($3-4) seems to suit a lot of folks and it may be my go-to after I burn through my VMM (sigh). I cowash on the other days with V05 Kiwi Lime ($1).

    Some fine haired wavies (like me!) can't cowash exclusively. I use a really basic non-sulfate shampoo every other wash (Whole Food 365 Fragrance Free, maybe $3.50?). It's a really basic lo-poo, and apparently non popular around here (not sexy enough, hah!) but my hair seems to respond well to it.

    I don't think hairspray is truly a no-no, but you would want to find one in which the ingredients are water soluble. A lot of hairsprays contain drying ingredients like denatured alcohol, so that could affect you over time. YMMV. I spend a lot of time tucking my hair behind my ears and pinning it there!

    Keep reading and be patient - it takes most of us a few months to start seeing really consistent results.

    Welcome aboard!

    Thanks Spiral! How much of the Ion Effective Care do you use as your rinse-out? Trying to think of how far a sample one would get me...

    I actually used to use the 365 shampoo! It didn't work well for me, but I love, love their body lotion whether it is sexy or not. :)
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You don't have to co wash then. I only actually just started using the AIA co-wash part time. I actually have a cheap bottle of Suave daily clarifying and an applicator bottle from Sallys. I put a tablespoon or so of that with about 4 oz. of water and use that diluted sulfate mix probably every other to every two washes. 10!years ago I wouldn't have been able to co-wash at all. But a dried up old woman now. Lol.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    Absolutely, a sulfate wash is a standard shampoo that has a an ingredient that ends in -sulfate (ammonium laureth sulfate, for example). It'll be one of the first ingredients on the shampoo. I also use a Suave for clarifying (whatever my hubby is using at the time, LOL!)

    I get the 20 oz. ION conditioner that has a pump on top; I use one pump for a rinse out. My hair is just above my shoulders. I'd say it's about a nickel sized blob in the palm of my hand - I tend not to need too much conditioner though. Be sure to check the Sally's flyers each month as they put ION on sale somewhat frequently.

    I've never tried 365 lotion - something to think about! Thanks for the tip :)
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC


    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
    Ok, curly ones! I bought a bunch of product. Kind of spent more than $50--oops, but I wanted clips and my old diffuser didn't fit my current hair dry. Can I say OMG about the plopping?! I'd never heard of this until reading on here yesterday, and when my hair came out of the towel this morning I was totally shocked! LIke oh, hey, my curls--there you are! :toothy6:
    Thanks for the help, and I'm sure I'll be around here the next few weeks as I try not to jump ship during the adjustment phase.
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
    Ok, more questions here. First, if I'm trying out a co-wash product, do I follow it up with conditioner? Or do I just use it on its own?

    Also, is there a master list of ingredients to avoid? I'd like to find a hairspray that will work, but other than sulfates (which wouldn't be in hairspray anyway) and silicones, I'm not sure.

    Thanks again! I've got one curly daughter and one curly niece I'm dragging along with me here. They are going to thank me when they reach adulthood with all the right curly knowledge already. :)
  • BluebloodBlueblood Posts: 1,748Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Happileigh wrote: »
    Ok, more questions here. First, if I'm trying out a co-wash product, do I follow it up with conditioner? Or do I just use it on its own?
    You can do either.

    Basically you need to look at the weather and see what your hair feels like. So I would try it with conditioner and if your hair is all yucky then next time try it without. You may find this is weather dependent but only time can tell.
    Happileigh wrote: »
    Also, is there a master list of ingredients to avoid? I'd like to find a hairspray that will work, but other than sulfates (which wouldn't be in hairspray anyway) and silicones, I'm not sure.
    Again it's a case of trial and error and listening to your hair. As SpiralHam already stated it takes time to see consistent results

    I know this is hard but what you should do is get a note book/write some notes on a file on your pc/phone.

    State what you the product used, what the weather was like e.g. temperature, humidity and whether it worked for your hair that day plus what your hair is like the day after.

    It takes people a few months to a few years to work out what products their hair likes. The reason it can take some people a few years is if you do something that changes your lifestyle e.g. start doing running regularly, have medical issues or move to a new area then you need to start again.

    BTW if you live in a hard water area you can't co-wash exclusively or at all as the minerals in the water need to be washed off your hair.
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users
    Blueblood wrote: »
    BTW if you live in a hard water area you can't co-wash exclusively or at all as the minerals in the water need to be washed off your hair.

    I totally do. Thanks for that and the other information too!
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    With hairspray the thing to watch out for is the denatured alcohol - and I'm pretty sure it's in most if not all commercial hairsprays. It is a drying ingredient, and if you feel your hair getting dry then it is time to up the moisture level. Dimethyl ether is another one.

    I've seen a hairspray recipe someplace for sugar and water (I've not tried this). If there are other natural hairsprays I hope someone will chime in!

    If you have hard water a good ingredient to look for in products is EDTA - it is a chelating agent and will help you out.



    PS if I am cowashing I'll let me hair tell me if I need to follow up with a rinse out. In summer I often don't, in winter I usually do.
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC


    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    though I know Sciencey did an experiment with hairsprays and she found the alcohol evaporates so fast it doesn't have time to damage for the most part. I suppose like anything if you over use but light use *shouldn't* do anything too bad. I like Elnett, Macademia Oil Motion control (&&&& :eek:) Deva is nice but I hate the smell. Tresemme Perfectly Undone has one.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    Oh, good news on the sciency expt (I wasn't aware she had done one!). Thanks!

    While getting hairspray on my face sometimes makes me break out, I have been seriously considering having some around for "got to have awesome" days instead of just being a total slob as per usual LOL
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC


    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You need one of those hairspray masks.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    I used to use a piece of paper LOL :pirate:
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC


    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I can do it for $5:
    VO5 Kiwi-Lime Squeeze Conditioner to co-wash, rinse out, and leave in, and
    LA Looks Gel (I like the uncoloured one, but the blue gel is also popular).

    Oops, I see you didn't have good luck with co-washing previously. (However, IDK if you did a final clarifying silicone-free, sulfate poo; or possibly had a stealth silicone in your conditioner or gel, which is actually fairly common, and could make a difference.) In that case, I can do it for under $10, if you have a Trader Joe's; but I'd recommend buying the new book, which is vastly improved, so $20. I'd recommend:
    Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo,
    Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, and
    LA Looks Gel.
    Peace,
    Morgan

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yes, if you co-wash, you also need to apply conditioner as a separate step after rinsing out all the conditioner you used to wash your hair, which will carry away the dirt, dust, pollen, and scalp oils suspended in it. I often mesh two steps, and detangle before rinsing my co-wash out, but do a full rinse of the co-wash, then add a small amount of conditioner back in.

    There is a master list of ingredients here.

    There are a scant number of hairsprays which are considered okay, however I almost never use it, so probably have a lifetime supply, and haven't paid attention. I've found that the best way to keep hair out of my face is to take a small lock of hair from the section of my hairline where my hair starts to fall forward, hold it out at a right angle to my scalp, twist it, loop it back (pull it back without tension), then either bobby pin it or use one of those really small claw clips to hold it back, letting any remaining length fall down and curl. Before I got a copy of Strictly Curls: A Step-by-step Guide to Styling Curly Hair, and learned about twisting hair, I did essentially the same thing with a super skinny braid. I find twisting much faster, really easy, and at least as effective.
    Peace,
    Morgan

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • HappileighHappileigh Posts: 8Registered Users

    There is a master list of ingredients here.

    Oh perfect! That's so helpful! Thanks for all the information.
  • JLeighsJLeighs Posts: 904Registered Users Curl Novice
    chupie wrote: »
    You need one of those hairspray masks.

    Oh my goodness. I had no idea anything like that existed! Thank you! I don't use hairspray often, but when I do I'm going through all kinds of contortions to be able to see where I'm spraying it while keeping it off my ultra-sensitive skin.
    2C/3A, fine, higher porosity.
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've only known about them for like a year. I don't use it much but it sounds like you are the perfect candidate for one.
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    BTW if you live in a hard water area you can't co-wash exclusively or at all as the minerals in the water need to be washed off your hair.

    I can and I do, despite living in a very hard water area. VO5 and Suave Naturals conditioners, which is what I use, contain EDTA, and that removes hard water buildup.
    Peace,
    Morgan

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • bookgirlbookgirl Posts: 129Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Blueblood wrote: »
    Happileigh wrote: »
    Ok, more questions here. First, if I'm trying out a co-wash product, do I follow it up with conditioner? Or do I just use it on its own?
    You can do either.

    Basically you need to look at the weather and see what your hair feels like. So I would try it with conditioner and if your hair is all yucky then next time try it without. You may find this is weather dependent but only time can tell.
    Happileigh wrote: »
    Also, is there a master list of ingredients to avoid? I'd like to find a hairspray that will work, but other than sulfates (which wouldn't be in hairspray anyway) and silicones, I'm not sure.
    Again it's a case of trial and error and listening to your hair. As SpiralHam already stated it takes time to see consistent results

    I know this is hard but what you should do is get a note book/write some notes on a file on your pc/phone.

    State what you the product used, what the weather was like e.g. temperature, humidity and whether it worked for your hair that day plus what your hair is like the day after.

    It takes people a few months to a few years to work out what products their hair likes. The reason it can take some people a few years is if you do something that changes your lifestyle e.g. start doing running regularly, have medical issues or move to a new area then you need to start again.

    BTW if you live in a hard water area you can't co-wash exclusively or at all as the minerals in the water need to be washed off your hair.

    You actually *can* cowash if you live in a hard water area as long as your conditioner/cowash contains a chelating ingredient like EDTA. Suave Naturals Strawberry conditioner and most Curl Junkie products contain it.

    As for the original post, I second, third and fourth the recommendations for VO5, Suave Naturals, As I Am, and Shea Moisture as inexpensive brands to try when starting CG. Also LA Looks and La Bella for cheap gels.
    2c, fine, extremely dense, color-treated, high porosity.

    CG since 10/12
  • qwoolqwool Posts: 12Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Just seen something about the weather...where I live do can't really predict the weather and it can change forecast pretty quickly, like there's no point in looking really if it isn't tomorrow, as it'll probably change by then!
    2C, fine dunno about porosity
    Routine:
    Jason shampoo/conditioner. (The seaweed one...)
    Sometimes a random gel in the house - it's the kinda that goes sticky in soggy conditions...
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Actually, while the weather may not be predictable, it's the dew point that's most important. Check out Live Curly, Live Free, and the ebook by the same name by Tiffany Anderson.

    Long story short, in medium dews (40-60ºF) you need a balanced approach with moisture and hold. In low dews (below 40ºF) your hair's primary need will be to hold moisture in, so you need to condition it well, and may need to seal the ends. In high dews (above 60ºF) you need more hold. That's not to say that you don't need both throughout the spectrum, just that you need to emphasize one or the other more with low or high dews.
    Peace,
    Morgan

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008

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