How do I know which products are right for me?

MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
I am completely new to this as my whole life I never knew what to do with my curly hair, because of that I've been straightening my hair for the past 17 years. I have never used any chemicals to do that though, like relaxing, my hair is relatively easy to straighten so it wasn't necessary. In the beginning it was a blow-dryer and a round brush, until I discovered the flat-iron, this was a god-sent!

By the way I think have a 2c/3a curly pattern, I've concluded that by looking at pictures. I also believe I am a medium density and medium thickness of hairs (with a few thick hairs here and there. My hair density I really haven't got a clue so far (I posted a question about that in the porosity forum). 

As I just during the past couple of weeks started doing research online about curly hair I suddenly learned a whole lot of new things I never knew before. I've been using regular schampoo + conditioner (nothing expensive just from the local drugstore) which inlcudes sulfates (which I've just learned about are not good for curly hair) my entire life! The other products that I use are a oil and silicone serum that's supposed to be heat-protecting since I use the flat-iron once a week. I really liked silicone because it makes my hair look nice smooth and shiny, a thing I never had when my hair was curly, until now I just learned that that's also not a good product, but I've been using this for 17 years as well.

Anyway, so as I've been doing research as I was considering whather I should go back to natural again or not (the more I learn about it the more convinced I get I should) there's just so much information out there. I feel like I'm lost in a jungle! There are so many different hair products and brands that I'm all confused. At first I saw a lot of positive reviews on DevaCurl, but then I saw their prices.... wow! They're a lot more expensive than I'm used to, considering what I've spent on my hair so far. I decided to give Shea Moisture a try, but even within Shea Moisture there are so many different lines to choose from. After weeks of thinking I decided to go with the Fruit Fusion, just because it says "weightless" I'm just scared that maybe some products may be too thick or heavy for me. On the other hand I have no idea if that is the case. I'm just saying that years ago I bought a styling butter (I'm going to call this butter because it was really thick) in an African shop, with coconut butter and other stuff... this was so thick it would sit on my hair and weigh it down and it looked really greasy, it would even stain my clothes, and ruined a leather couch.

So yesterday I finally decided I was going to order my products online. Now as I live in the Netherlands, there are not many places I can order these products from (forget about going to a store, they don't have them, it has to be ordered online)... turns out that the Fruit Fusion line was sold out. So I quickly just went for the Jamaican Black Castor oil line and got the schampoo, a leave in conditioner (they didn't have any regular conditioner) and a styling cream (all from the same line). I just chose these ones because the information said something about for heat damaged hair, and I suppose I have that after 17 years of using a flat-iron.

Anyway, so how do I know if these products are right for me? Will this be enough or do I need more products? I just thought I'd at least start with these three. What do I do on second day curls? Can I just use the same curl cream the second day, third day etc?

As I said, I'm completely new to this. Years ago when I kept my hair curly I used styling mousse for curly hair (nothing expensive just from the drugstore) which I thought were horrible, because they would leave my hair crunchy and the next day dry and frizzy and I had to wash my hair every other day. Recently I just learned that they contain alcohol. I still have one from Syoss, mousse for curly hair, in my cabinet. This one will go in the bin. I will never use that stuff again.

Best Answers

  • bomegabomega Registered Users Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    Accepted Answer
    Good for you for starting to embrace your natural hair texture. It can be difficult at first because we weren't taught how to care for our hair, and society can be unforgiving of bad hair days, or even good hair days for being different than the accepted standard. But luckily that is changing.

    To learn about your hair and how to care for it, luckily now there are a lot of resources. Many people here follow the principles laid out in the Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey. You might be able to find it in your local library, and it is available on Kindle. However, I learned what I needed by reading nc.com, curltalk, and various online blogs and youtube channels. Live Curly Live Free, and Rockyn Curls are two that I found really helpful. I really liked Rockyn Curls videos because they were not slick, heavily edited productions, and I found it helpful to see her corrections and imperfections. In addition, although her hair type is different than mine, she gives product recommendations and modifications for different hair types. Rockyn Curls somewhat documented her recovery from heat damage to embracing curls on her blog, so this might be a good resource for you. The Sciency Hair Blog is a curltalk favorite also, for many curly-related subjects.

    You said you are having trouble figuring out your hair type. That is understandable because it is kind of confusing. The thing is, to a large extent, these hair properties are more important to figuring out products and techniques than curl type. There is a lady who sells a hair typing report on Etsy, and also offers product and technique recommendations based on that hair type. Her name is Goosefootprints, who also owns Sciency Hair Blog. You will have to send her a hair sample, but I think she emails, or provides a download of the report. (I have never done this, but really want to.)

    You said you think you have medium-fine, medium density, unknown porosity hair. Porosity is important for knowing how it will behave with protein in products. Generally speaking, if you have never had a chemical treatment done (relaxer, chemical color, etc.) your hair is probably normal or low porosity. But there are people who are naturally high porosity and wind/sun can make hair high porosity too. In addition, I'm not sure how heat damage affects that. And then, even if you aren't high porosity, you might benefit from an occasional protein treatment. So, at the end of the day, you still have to experiment.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
  • bomegabomega Registered Users Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    edited December 2017 Accepted Answer
    I had a couple other thoughts for you for products. First, since you have been using silicones as a heat protectant for your flat-iron, you probably need to start with clarifying the silicones, following with a deep treatment. To clarify, you can use any sulfate shampoo (with no 'cones) or a shampoo with C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate. VO5 Normal Shampoo is an inexpensive sulfate shampoo produced by a multinational corporation - you might be able to find it locally. It will be trickier finding a deep treatment. You can use any conditioner (with no cones!) that works for your hair, but I know you are still trying to find one. Many of the VO5 conditioners will work (I have the Pomegranate one because it is protein-free), but check in ingredients as I think some have 'cones. The Suave Tropical Coconut is silicone-free and has silk protein in it, and your hair might like it. It is a good protein to experiment with it, as often even protein sensitive people can use it. I think one of the Tresemme conditioners is cone free, but you have to check the ingredients. To identify if a silicone water-soluable (safe) or not, please see this article on the Sciency Hair Blog: Silicone Ingredient Solubility List.

    To buy some of the American brands online, you can buy from our own shop.naturally curly.com, and they regularly run discounts. In addition, iherb.com and luckyvitamin.com are a couple of US-based online retailers that ship internationally and carry many curly brands. You can comparison shop between these to see who has what you want and for the best total price after shipping/exchange. Finally, I recently came across this Dutch company, divine-beauty.com, that sells the US curly brands: As I Am, Curls, Kinky-Curly, Shea Moisture, and so many more.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order

Answers

  • MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    Thank you so much for all this information. Wow! It's a lot to take in so I'll probably read this a couple of times over.  :) I am definitely going to check out these sites/forum and videos you mention! I also find this hair type report very interesting, I am going to check that out a.s.a.p.

    I also really appreciate that you mentioned that I will probably have to wash my hair once more with a sulfate schampoo, you are the first one who tell me this, and I've asked this question about transitioning before (on youtube and other websites). I am going to check that the regular schampoo bottle that I have at home doesn't have any silicones in it first. I'll even use my husband's schampoo once if I have to. I'd like to avoid having a new schampoo bottle that I'll only use once unless I absolutely have to.  :D

    I do have a hair mask at home, it's the Garnier Ultimate Blends mask with Olive oil. I'll check the ingredients to see if there are no silicones in it. Otherwise I'll start looking for these products you mentioned.

    The website www.megorgeous.nl also sell products for curly hair here in the Netherlands, that's were I ordered the Shea Moisture ones that I now have. They also sell a variety of brands.

  • MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    Thank you so much for all this information. Wow! It's a lot to take in so I'll probably read this a couple of times over.  :) I am definitely going to check out these sites/forum and videos you mention! I also find this hair type report very interesting, I am going to check that out a.s.a.p.

    I also really appreciate that you mentioned that I will probably have to wash my hair once more with a sulfate schampoo, you are the first one who tell me this, and I've asked this question about transitioning before (on youtube and other websites). I am going to check that the regular schampoo bottle that I have at home doesn't have any silicones in it first. I'll even use my husband's schampoo once if I have to. I'd like to avoid having a new schampoo bottle that I'll only use once unless I absolutely have to.  :D

    I do have a hair mask at home, it's the Garnier Ultimate Blends mask with Olive oil. I'll check the ingredients to see if there are no silicones in it. Otherwise I'll start looking for these products you mentioned.

    The website www.megorgeous.nl also sell products for curly hair here in the Netherlands, that's were I ordered the Shea Moisture ones that I now have. They also sell a variety of brands.

  • MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    So I've looked at the schampoos that I have at home, and I think I can use either one of them for one last time. The yellow background one is my schampoo but I guess I can also use my husband's, the dark background. I don't see any silicone's in either of them.


  • MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    Unfortunately I don't think I can use the deep conditioner or hair mask that I have. I see Amodimethicone on the list of ingredients. I think that's also a silicone. So I'm going to have to buy a deep conditioner or mask first.
  • MonipenMonipen Registered Users Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    So today was my first curly day in a long time. But I've not really started the "natural" method yet. I still need to buy a deep conditioner that doesn't contain silicone. So today I just washed my hair with the regular sulfate-schampoo and the regular deep conditioner which, yes contains silicone. But maybe by next week I can start for realz....;) I did use some styling cream.

    This was the result, and I have to say that it's not really curly yet. At this point I think it's more like a wavy 2 rather than a curly 3. But I guess that if I keep it up eventually my curls will come back. My hair is also quite long now, and I know that I need a haircut. But I'm going to try to get into the "natural hair routine" first. :) 

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