Trying to Convert - Help Needed

Amy.MlinarikAmy.Mlinarik Registered Users Posts: 2
I have been a straightener for almost 18 years. Most people didn't know I had curly hair until recently. It's been almost three months since I've straightened. I'm beginning the process but feel like I'm on product overload reading the posts. I've been using Alterna Caviar and Davines for the past few years which are sulfate and silicone free. I recently had a cut at a curly salon but didn't care for the products I purchased. I go back there in October but would like to find alternatives before then.

I believe I'm a 3A with low porosity. The top layer of my hair is incredibly dry. Guessing all that straightening did some damage. ��

I've been using unwash as my cowash and Davines Love once a week as my shampoo and conditioner. I have the Davines All In One Milk as a leave in but think I need something more. Also have the Curl Keeper Leave In, Gel, Slip and Original. Past two days I've been using my bottle of Caviar Rapid Repair Spray but using way too much for that price.

I go to the drug store and just stare at the products. I've always avoided purchasing there but I'm afraid this trial and error is going to get super expensive with salon purchases. My hair looks ok when I scrunch out the stiffness but rather quickly turns poofy, dry, stringy and loses curls. Any tips, suggestions, advice are much appreciated.

Comments

  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Registered Users Posts: 477
    Welcome aboard :)

    There's a lot of reading to do around here - I highly recommend doing a lot of reading before jumping in and making a lot of purchases.

    The biggest factor in selecting products is you hair's properties:
    • texture (fine vs. coarse)
    • porosity (low vs. normal vs. high) - the "float test" is unreliable!
    • protein sensitivity

    Second in line would be your weather conditions (dew points) and if your hair is amenable to humectants in your products. Humectants (compounds that draw water to themselves) are ideal in "normal" dewpoints (40-60*F) but can be problematic in higher or lower dewpoints, especially if your hair is porous. YMMV.

    When getting started fresh I advocate a really basic routine with cheaper products until you figure out what your hair likes or dislikes. I'm a drug store cheap whirly and my hair looks pretty good most of the time.

    Start with a basic cowash (lots of us start with Suave or V05). You can use as much as you want and never break the bank.
    A sulfate free shampoo - if you use water insoluble silicones make sure it has a betaine type cleanser.
    It's ok to clarify with a sulfate cleanser once in a while. You won't cause any permanent damage with occasional use.

    A humectant free, protein free gel is great to start with since it doesn't have any weird ingredients to mess with your hair. I'm super fond of Aussie Instant Freeze as a down to earth basic gel (Herbal Essence Set Me Up is basically the same thing).

    Add ingredients slowly and gradually. Become an ingredient detective - learn to recognize what silicones are (if you are staying clear of them) and which ingredients are proteins (they are sneaky little devils in a big list). Keep a hair journal if that helps you keep track of things your hair loves or hates. Ask friends for samples of things they use to test if you like them or not, trade with them. It can be fun to share your journey with a friend.

    And - do lots of reading. This place is a treasure trove of experiences and information. Remember that no one product works the same for everyone and you experiences will vary vs. someone else's. Your hair is your own and will have it's own likes and dislikes! If you know your properties, find a hair twin and see what they might be using. But remember to keep it simple until you're really ready to drop $$ that others have no problem dropping.

    Good luck and be patient - it took me a good six months to see any consistent results (and I wasn't starting with heat damage). After almost three years, I feel so much more comfortable with everything! :salut:
    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:
  • Amy.MlinarikAmy.Mlinarik Registered Users Posts: 2
    Thank you! What's the best method if the float is unreliable? Do you have an inexpensive deep conditioner and leave in that you recommend starting with? I was thinking of trying coconut oil tomorrow because my hair is in dire need of moisture.
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Registered Users Posts: 5,136 Curl Connoisseur
    Look up goosefootprints on Etsy and buy a hair analysis. This will help you definitively figure out upur hair properties. Knowing your hair properties will eliminate buying products that are horrible for your hair.

    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
  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,355 Curl Connoisseur
    Thank you! What's the best method if the float is unreliable? Do you have an inexpensive deep conditioner and leave in that you recommend starting with? I was thinking of trying coconut oil tomorrow because my hair is in dire need of moisture.

    a good way to guess/determine porosity is drying (air drying) time. general rule of thumb is high porosity dries more quickly, 2-3 hrs, medium porosity is maybe 3-4 hours, and low is 5+ hours.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Registered Users Posts: 477
    Thank you! What's the best method if the float is unreliable? Do you have an inexpensive deep conditioner and leave in that you recommend starting with? I was thinking of trying coconut oil tomorrow because my hair is in dire need of moisture.

    I agree with rbb, drying time is the best way to estimate porosity.

    I don't do oils (my skin is super picky and it kills the curl in my fine hair) and I've never deep conditioned. The method I use when my hair is super dry is the spritz and condish method and I can use just about any conditioner - if you are trying to go CG just makes ure it doesn't have a silicone in it. I'm still working my way through some Tresemme Naturals, which I don't care for as rinse outs but works ok for S&C. I like the nourishing moisture one just fine for that purpose.

    I don't use much leave in at all, just a smidge since my fine hair gets weighed down a lot. It doesn't have to be a dedicated leave in, any rinse out will do if your hair likes it. mine is a light V05 that's since been discontinued :(

    Good luck! Stay simple and keep it cheap while you're reading up some more :)
    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:
  • fashionafashiona Registered Users Posts: 5
    I have curly hair that is also dry. Ouidad products are the ONLY products that consistently make my hair look amazing. I used to dread washing my hair because it would take a week or more of piling on product after product to get it to look halfway decent. Some products would create buildup; some were too light. Nothing was quite right. I've tried sooooo many products over the years looking for that perfect match that will cleanse, nourish, protect, and allow me to style my hair without the worry of frizz, limpness, or drying. Yes, it is more expensive than other products out there, but it is worth it because you USE LESS. One 6-8 oz. tube or bottle can last you for months because you only need a nickle sized dollop to do the job (SLIGHTLY more if your hair is longer). My advice would be for you to check their homepage, do a curl assessment, and follow their recommendations for your curl type. I'm between a classic and tight curl. I have to modify for my hair. You can do it too. You'd need to use much, much more of the cheaper products that don't do a tenth of the job for the price of one 8 oz bottle of a Ouidad product.

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