My hair is having an identity crisis, lol. Please help!

a8b9a8b9 Posts: 1Registered Users
Hi everyone! New here .. I've been an on-and-off lurker of this site for a few years but joined because I am in DESPERATE need of some help !!

I'll start by giving some hair background info:

I had perfectly-smooth wavy-curly hair as a toddler that turned straight in my early childhood years. Then, once I hit puberty, my hair went all kinds of nuts and turned into a giant frizzy mess! Coarse(r) and curly at the top & middle layers, while the bottom remained nearly straight and silky smooth...

I sort of learned how to manage it over the years and wore it curly most of the time, but good hair days have always been a hit or a miss for me. A few years ago I tried to go CG and stuck with it for a couple of months. My hair felt moisturized but was getting greasy & weighed down too easily, so I switched to modified CG, which seemed to work well enough. My hair still wasn't where I wanted it to be but it was at least relatively predictable in how it was going to behave, so I knew how to work with it accordingly.

Over the past two years, however, it really seems to have changed a lot in texture, and I'm at the point where I just don't know what to do with it any more. angry9: The top & middle layers are significantly less curly than they used to be-- where I used to have 3a/b (top/middle) and 2a (underneath), I now have some weird mix of type 2 all over my head. The bottom section is still the same as it's always been, but the top&middle aren't really wavy, straight OR curly .. It's just messy-wavy/slightly curly and frizzy with some random straightish pieces thrown in. I used to be able to put it in a french braid while damp so that it would all dry in a relatively similar pattern, but even that hasn't been working. It looks like a hot mess all the time. :help::confused5::sad11:

Lol, I just don't know what to do with it. It's not damaged, or at least it shouldn't be-- I was never big on heat styling and haven't used heat AT ALL for the past 3 months, nor have I chemically treated or colored. I used to have long layers but got a blunt cut a few weeks ago, because I felt like it looked too long and straggly and uneven (especially the straighter bottom layer, urghhh). It's currently bra strap length.

I ALWAYS have surface/halo frizz (a lot of baby hairs, not much breakage). I'm pretty sure my hair is protein sensitive too (but not 100% sure). The products I've been using regularly/tried without success are:

Shea Moisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo (SLS free)
Bio Keratin Extra Volume Shampoo (SLS free)
Sukin Purifying Shampoo (SLS free)
Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
GVP Conditioning Balm
Argan Magic Moisturizing Conditioner
Tresseme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner

Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Oil
Acure Organics Stem Cell Leave-In
Shea Moisture Thickening Moisture Mist

Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel
La Bella Extreme Sport Styling Gel
KCCC

I went back to using SLS and silicones for a while, also without any consistent results or lasting success .. :sad5:

I've tried plopping, super soaking, damp-bunning, squeezing out excess moisture with my hands or a tee shirt .. No matter what, I can't get my hair to dry uniformly, and the top/middle layers always have frizz. The styling products above seem to weigh my hair down too much or make it feel gross and producty (even when used sparingly). I don't know if I'm using the wrong products or if my hair is just overly sensitive to most ingredients.

I've heard that shea butter and coconut oil can act similar to protein, so maybe that's causing problems ? And then there's humectants and dew points to worry about, which I still can't get the hang of .. Lol. I'm so confused and overwhelmed and frustrated oh my goodness !

Sorry this post is so long. Thank you to those of you who manage to get through it. ;)

Property wise, I'd say my hair is medium-fine texture, medium-full density .. As far as porosity goes, I'm not sure, but overall it seems to take an average amount of time to dry. If anyone has hair that's similar or can rec any products, techniques, tips, etc. I would really really really appreciate it (:

Comments

  • kathymackkathymack Posts: 9,999Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Surface/halo frizz that's not new growth is usually a sign of build up, especially when your hair is wet. When my hair looks crappy, I clarify. Personally, I don't mess around with the mild surfactants because I shampoo so rarely. I just use SLS.

    If you live in US, where summer and high dewpoints are coming, you may be unhappy with a blunt cut. Layers should really help with helping the curls on the top layers because the weight of your hair won't be pulling them out. It will give your hair a better shape and avoid that "triangle" look.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    a8b9 wrote: »
    ... The styling products above seem to weigh my hair down too much or make it feel gross and producty (even when used sparingly). I don't know if I'm using the wrong products or if my hair is just overly sensitive to most ingredients.

    I've heard that shea butter and coconut oil can act similar to protein, so maybe that's causing problems ? And then there's humectants and dew points to worry about, which I still can't get the hang of .. Lol. I'm so confused and overwhelmed and frustrated oh my goodness !

    Sorry this post is so long. Thank you to those of you who manage to get through it. ;)

    Property wise, I'd say my hair is medium-fine texture, medium-full density .. As far as porosity goes, I'm not sure, but overall it seems to take an average amount of time to dry. If anyone has hair that's similar or can rec any products, techniques, tips, etc. I would really really really appreciate it (:

    Good advice to clarify, start with a clean slate :)

    Get back to simple basics - drop the oils and heavy products that might be weighing your hair down for a while to see how things work out for you. Find yourself a basic, protein free, humectant free gel (Aussie Instant Freeze or Herbal Essence Set Me Up are some cheap, basic choices that scrunch out nicely). Sometimes if a gel doesn't have a hard enough hold the style can devolve into frizz. Skip leaving in products that are humectant rich (GVP balm, for example) if your dew points are outside the 40-60*F range.

    Do you diffuse at all? Diffusing can set the gel cast early before it has a chance to frizz out all over the place. Then don't touch it while it finishes drying. I pixie diffuse and it is an essential part of my routine.

    My hair doesn't dry uniformly either - I have mixed curl patterns and textures, and likely mixed porosity as well. There are some sections of my hair that take up product differently than other sections, to be sure (for example, if I use a non-crunchy gel, I can get a little crunch in some places and none in others). It's just what it is. I also have a straight layer at the nape of my neck (I get it cut shorter than my other layers so it doesn't hang down below the rest of my hair).

    From my personal experience with my finer hair:
    I didn't like Suave Coconut, it never rinsed out cleanly for me and I always felt like there was something on it. I switched to cowashing with V05 (Vanilla Mint Tea, protein free; Kiwi Lime, protein rich), which IME rinses out more cleanly, and it was so much better. For me, anyway.
    Oils and butters take all the curl out of my hair. Some give me frizz. So I don't use them. If I need an occlusive (I live in really low dewpoints in winter here) I use a gel with a water soluble silicone.
    I low-poo every other wash, a really basic one without oils and such. I need a pretty clean slate. Everything gets rinsed out as completely as I can get it and I don't always use a leave in.
    My hair hated PVP as an ingredient (I think it is in both of your gels). Most people do just fine with this ingredient, but it is an instant frizz maker for me. It also hated cetyl esters, they tangled my hair horribly (I have pretty tangle free hair).
    My fine hair loves protein and eats it for breakfast lunch and dinner, so I use it in a lot of my products.

    If you've never tried making flax seed gel, it might be worth a shot. It seems to agree with most hair types. Not a hard hold gel, but great for keeping the frizzies at bay. And it's super cheap ;-) It plays nicely with most products you might use over it for more hold. And it is highly customizable - start with the basic recipe and see what you want to put in it from there. I add gelatin to mine as my hair likes collagen, but I don't add oils (that was a disaster!).

    Good luck, there is so much trial and error. It took me a good year to figure out what my hair liked best and how to deal with it. And now that I have more and more grays, which seem to have a unique life of their own, I have to keep revisiting my styling and cut options.
    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:

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file