I don’t know where to start, except to quit the flat iron altogether

Calder3328Calder3328 Registered Users Posts: 1 Curl Neophyte
I have no idea what my curl type is, I think I have several! I don’t know how to get my hair cut next in order for it to look healthy. I have been trying to grow it out, but’s just looking dryer and more harsh when I leave it curly. 
I have attached pictures and need guidance!


  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    Best place to start is to read and follow the curly girl method. Don't use sulfate shampoo unless you need to remove product build up. The curly girl method is a great place to learn how to properly moisturize your hair. Moisture is the name of the game.
    Deep condition at least once a week. I'm not sure how often you are washing your hair, but definitely not every day. If you are, wash every other day until you find a comfortable schedule for hair washing.
    Finally, stop blow drying and straightening your hair. Your hair may not look its best at the start, but get an array of updos to hold you over until you do like your hair.
    As far as hair cuts, it is your preference. A lot of people like long layers. I would trim off as much hair as you are comfortable with. Notice I said comfortable. Your hair will get better, but the ends look too far to save, but don't take that as an absolute. No need to chop it all off.
    As far as hair type, it looks 2b but I'm sure that if you get a moisturizing routine down, it could easily be 2c perhaps even 3a. Take the advice of others that will be commenting on this forum. The people here are very knowledgeable and happy to help. Naturallycurly.com has articles on any problems you encounter on your journey. Don't get bogged down in the information overload, and most of all, welcome!
  • boldilocksboldilocks Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 39 Curl Connoisseur
    edited December 2017
    Hi @Calder3328! you are so adorable! And you are going to love your hair when you begin following the advice and education that you get here at nc. I'm pretty new to the page but I've been CG for 3 years. The difference overall has been astounding. I've made a few mistakes, which is why is has not been completely astounding, but hair is forgiving, albeit, it takes time.

    Yes, first quit the flat iron, I agree.

    Second, gift away all hair products that you have that contain sulfates, silicones or alcohols.. there are a few "alcohols" that are not *really alcohols that are drying, as we understand it to usually mean, but I'm not so savvy on those so you could read up on it by searching for info on a single ingredient if you have a product that looks "CG approved" otherwise, but lists an "alcohol." Other no-nos are parabens and, I'm told, anything that ends in -xane. By all products I mean shampooing, conditioning, styling, or anything that is applied to your hair. To replace those items, there are lists on this site of their best picks to substitute; there are all kinds from drugstore convenient to salon brand and mail order. Another idea is to look at the profile pics of those with similar hair type to yours and look at the bottom of their comments; many list the products they are using. In this forum there is an abbreviations list/post that will help you navigate the acronyms. Or, you can comment and ask someone what they are using.

    Third, stop the heat. At most, blow dry with a diffuser on the lowest heat setting, and dont take it to 100% dry. Stop at 90% max.

    I don't color, so I can't speak to that if you do, but that isn't an immediate tweak that needs to be addressed unless you're planning a color this week.

    As for a cut, find a Deva Cut stylist in your area. It's also called a curly girl cut. These stylists have undergone training on exactly how to cut hair that prefers to naturally curl. They will cut, they will show you how to care and style, they will identify / confirm your curl pattern, they will teach you about your specific curls, and they will answer every question you have. Take notes or even record your session by audio or video if you have a smartphone. A demonstration is worth a thousand words. There are also youtube videos where others have posted their Deva cut experiences, but  getting a cut from one of these trained stylists is worth its cost. I'd save for this and do it. I wasn't a real, 100% believer until I got one. Before it, I thought my cut was good, and it was. But it was so much easier and better to style with a Deva cut. I'd say, prioritize it. If you don't think it makes much difference, you don't need to return for another. They are not drastic; they are enhancing. But, enhancing is a big deal in a subtle way. I'm curious what you might think of one, and I bet at the very least you will be glad you tried it. 

    Your curl type. I'm new, but I'd say on your top layers your curls look like they want to spiral kinda tightly. I'd call them a 3b-3a, but I'm new at it. Your lower layers look looser, They might be in 2c range. Heat has probably caused the curl pattern to not fully express, but it will come back with some new care techniques. Look at my profile; I call myself a 3a-2c. I"m 3a on top, but 2c on  under layers. Many are more than one, so focus on what's predominant.

    Hope these ideas help! Welcome to this forum:) !

    Formerly Dandilocks; embracing the bold in 2018
    Type: 2c-3a gray natural/ Thickness: coarse, some medium/ Density: high/ Porosity: normal/ Elasticity: good/ Style: deva cut/ Products: Deva One Condition (co-wash, conditioner, leave-in), CHS Curl Keeper/
    Hair Goals: less frizz, better clumping, better 2-3 day hair, more shine

  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    I too would start by learning about the Curly Girl Method. It is outlined in a book by Lorraine Massey that is available at most public libraries (if yours doesn't have it, you can get it on interlibrary loan). If you don't want to bother with reading the book, you could find a curly stylist (there are two main types: Ouidad and Deva) and make an appointment, and the stylist should be able to tell you how to work with your hair. The first appointment for a curly cut can be quite expensive, but the stylist will spend a LOT of time with you and give you a tremendous amount of information.
    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
  • bomegabomega Registered Users Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    edited December 2017
    Hi @Calder3328 :
    Welcome to nc.com. Good for you for embracing your natural hair texture. You got a lot of great ideas here. I agree that the Curly Girl Handbook is a great place to start. If you can, though, I would start with trying to figure out your hair type (hair width, porosity, density). These attributes will determine your products and techniques more than your curl type. I think there is some info on the newbie threads of curltalk to help you with this.

    But I learned about how to take care of my hair just from reading articles here on nc.com, reading around curltalk, as well as some online bloggers. When I started I learned a lot from the Live Curly Live Free and Rockyn Curls blogs. I really liked Rockyn Curls' videos because she demoed the techniques thoroughly, explained a lot, and also gave lots of product recommendations and adaptation for different hair types. She went from heat damaged hair to natural curls herself, so you might get some good info there. In addition, the Sciency Hair Blog has been indispensible for me.

    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
  • GretchenGretchen Administrator Moderators Posts: 10,840 Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome @Calder3328 !  We're so glad to have you here!

    NaturallyCurly.com co-founder

    You are beautiful!
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,731 Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome to NC! You will find tons of help and info here. Take your time and look around! 
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 

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