My hair feels like straw. :( Can you help?

Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
I am really struggling with dry hair. I seem to have tried everything: DTs, clarifying, chelating, etc. My hair feels like straw. I am not sure if I am reacting to something in my formerly OK products, combined with protein overload from trying different things to fix my hair.

About a month ago, I did an amla treatment, and I think that that made things much worse. My hair is very frizzy and dry and isn't responding to conditioners very well. I tried clarifying with Avalon Organics Lemon Shampoo (which I didn't realize had protein in it, ugh!), Kinky Curly Come Clean, the Lemon-Aid recipe from the CG book, and apple cider vinegar. I have soft water, so I don't think minerals are that much of a problem (the Lemon-Aid and ACV didn't seem to do anything). I have also noticed that my hair is taking a lot more time to dry than is typical, so I think that my porosity has changed (I used to be high porosity).

Does anyone have any advice for how to get my hair back to normal? I did a DT today with the CJ Smoothing Conditioner, and that improved the texture (though not completely) but maybe that isn't strong enough. I followed the DT with CJ Beauticurls LI and JessiCurl Rockin' Ringlets. The JCRR was a sample packet; I hadn't tried it before. I think it might have been a bad idea, because as soon as I put it on my hair, my hair felt dry and tangly. :( The CJ products seemed to make my hair feel softer, but my hair after diffusing looks a little greasy...maybe I put on too much of the Beauticurls, seeing as I already had lots of butters in the CJ Smoothing Conditioner?

Any advice on how to get my hair back to normal is appreciated!
Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
RO: IN Harmonic
LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair

Comments

  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Since posting this, I rewet my hair (it looked absolutely horrible--greasy and limp and few clumps) and applied a couple of teaspoons of aloe juice mixed with water to it (naturecat had recommended aloe as something that worked for her when her hair was very lo-po). I left the aloe in. Then I put in a bit of Sevi Blue Yarrow gel, which is basically just a bunch of film-forming humectants, no oils. I clipped and diffused partway, and my hair looks SO much better.

    I think I am dealing with a huge porosity change and don't quite know how to handle it. The products that had been working for me before were for high-po hair. I tried an oil pre-poo a couple of weeks ago, but that didn't do much. I used argan and sunflower oil. Maybe I need a different oil? I hate this. Grr.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • Curlista93Curlista93 Posts: 411Registered Users Curl Novice
    Plants like alma & cassia dry my hair out something fierce. I have always had to DC twice & then seal in order to bring my normal moisture levels back after using these. Since your hair likes aloe maybe try DCing with it sometime? I remember a while back I believe I had protein overload and DCing with aloe & water fixed it. I didn't rinse it out.
    Kinky Curly, 4a, Fine Texture 
    Last Relaxer: 2/11/2012
    Latest BC: 11/24/2018


  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I hadn't thought of DCing with aloe. The aloe was nice on my hair today...until a couple of hours afterward, when the high dew points and humidity made my hair frizz out. (Aloe does this to me in the summer.) But I can rinse it out after the DC to avoid that.

    I'm afraid to seal because I think that the oil will just sit on top of my hair. But maybe I would just use a little bit of the Beauticurls LI as a sealer, since it has a lot of butters.

    This is horrible. It's like starting over from scratch with my hair. Although high porosity was nasty, I would rather high than low, because at least high-porosity hair absorbs what you throw at it.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • naturecatnaturecat Posts: 1,986Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Something else I remembered: fenugreek treatments are excellent for restoring both moisture and curl to the hair. You could use the powder or the seed. Irish moss is good too, in case I forgot that before.

    Yes, the learning curve can be frustrating. My hair loved protein before, so I was like what?! when it stopped working. But then with squish to condish I went too far and my hair fell from curls into waves and I needed more protein. Go figure. :) Learning the balance is a constant learning process.

    3A/f/i
    Super baby fine hair, low porosity
    Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
    Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
    Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT
  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Thanks for the suggestions. I knew about the Irish moss, but that isn't readily available at my co-op. I am enjoying the Sevi Blue Yarrow gel, though, which has a lot of those types of goopy herbal extracts in it.

    What really helped me was to use the Weleda Conditioning Hair Oil, a few drops every night on my dry hair. I did this for my usual three days in between washing. Then on wash day, I used my low poo and did a DT for about 20 mins. I had a GREAT hair day the next day, despite the fact that the dew points had to have been incredibly high (the air was disgustingly humid).

    I think my problem before was that after I initially clarified, I used the Avalon Lemon conditioner as my DT, and I see now that it has quinoa in it, which is a protein. So I effectively did a PT on my hair, which already had enough protein! Duh. And I think that quinoa protein is one of the more drying ones, at least for me.

    I still think my hair is sensitive to protein in general. I think what might be happening is that I am reacting to different proteins in different ways. Some proteins make my hair overly soft, while others make it brittle and Brillo-pad-like. It's tough to figure it out!
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • Curls80Curls80 Posts: 526Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I'm feeling this lately. I started using my curl queen gel a week ago and my hair was amazing- popping curls, volume, and hold. But the past few days my hair has felt like straw. Just crisp and dry (not crunch- crispy) just awful. I've experimented with adding leave in, deep conditioning, and nothing is making a difference! The only thing that has remained is the curl queen gel. It does have wheat protein.... I don't think it's the aloe bothering my hair.

    But I'm really mad because I just bought two more bottles of curl queen online (and they're not cheap) and I'm concerned that I'm either 1)becoming protein sensitive or 2)can't use this gel regularly.

    I'm not sure how to continue other than to use a different protein free gel (which has been hard for me to find a good gel in general lately) and see if my hair gets back to normal. This hasn't happened to my hair in a long time!
    3a/3b high porosity, mainly coarse, medium density
    Live in Canada- hot summers, freezing winters- dry dry dry
    As I am cleansing pudding, soultanicals deep condish, curlsmith cowash, lhdc condish 
    KCCC, curlsmith soufflé, ufdcm, mga sculpting gel 
    Scrunch with hair repear towel, then diffuse or air
    Protein- Cnpf
  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I know, it's like our hair changes right after we've bought a lot of products that worked well for us in the past. I ordered a bunch of stuff from CJ and then my hair porosity changed, grr. So now the CJ stuff is too heavy. I'm hoping it will work in the winter.

    Did you do your DT with a non-protein-containing conditioner? It does sound like the wheat protein has maybe overloaded your hair. If your hair is still lacking flexibility, do you have an oil that you could put on your hair at night (just a few drops) to help? That's what really helped me. I put on just a little bit, so that it will have absorbed in the morning.

    Or maybe try clarifying? Is there anything in Curl Queen that could build up?

    In case it helps anyone, I found out what was wrong with my hair. I appeared to have needed protein, even though my hair was dry and strawlike (that was apparently my low-porosity hair not getting moisturized enough--I read on the Science-y Hair Blog that protein acts as a moisturizer for low-po hair), but the products I had tried with protein weren't doing it for me. They had quinoa protein, and that apparently just makes my hair rough. I got the John Masters lavender and rosemary shampoo and the lavender and avocado intenstive conditioner, both of which have hydrolyzed soy. I used them, and wow, what a difference. My hair became smooth, and the curls came back.

    So today, four days later, I washed again. I used a different poo, one with hydrolyzed wheat, and the same soy conditioner as before. After the poo, my hair was really stretchy, and after the RO, my hair seemed limp. My hair dried straighter than usual--the wave is less pronounced. So I have overdone it on the protein. My hair generally becomes straight and smooth and limp if I use too much protein; it doesn't generally become dry and tangly.

    I had thought that my hair was protein sensitive before this, but I think that it was just reacting to the particular type of protein that I was using. Sometimes this is so frustrating!
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • Curls80Curls80 Posts: 526Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yeah, I've wondered if it's the specific type of protein that my hair doesn't like, but my hair didn't react to it at first which tells me it's not an immediate reaction... Maybe I can't use it every time I wash. I'll see more when I try it again. I used Beauticurls leave in and then pattern Pusha which weirdly has started to work on my hair when it never did before. And my hair is not like straw. And I got second day hair! What the heck, right? So I'll use pattern Pusha one more wash and then try curl queen again. I think I'll see what's what then. So frustrating.

    I don't think I have buildup.... Unless it was protein buildup. I clarify regularly enough.

    Well it's good that you're learning what's going to work! That's the trick!
    3a/3b high porosity, mainly coarse, medium density
    Live in Canada- hot summers, freezing winters- dry dry dry
    As I am cleansing pudding, soultanicals deep condish, curlsmith cowash, lhdc condish 
    KCCC, curlsmith soufflé, ufdcm, mga sculpting gel 
    Scrunch with hair repear towel, then diffuse or air
    Protein- Cnpf

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