What on earth does my hair actually need?? What types of products to look for?

kristenmkristenm Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
Hi everyone...for a few years I have been reading and reading about no-poo and curly girl method to try to figure out what to do with my hair. I still can't seem to figure out what MY hair needs. I'm not looking for specific product recommendations but more for ingredients and types of products to look for. I am hoping someone who is more adept at this than I am can point me in the right direction.

I have shoulder-length wavy hair that is almost curly in the lower 2/3 and BARELY wavy at all in the top 1/3. I have been no-poo for several years, no sulfates or silicones. My hair has been less dry since and seems pretty healthy - I don't get breakage or split ends and it seems pretty soft. My major problem is FRIZZ. My hair instantly absorbs water from the air and frizzes and poofs - I live in the south so basically every day is a bad hair day. The only days my hair feels silky, smooth, and unfrizzy are cool (50's or lower) with low humidity or when I flat iron which is basically never. According to the quiz, I have high porosity (I'm guessing the frizz is a symptom of that), dense hair, fine-medium strands.

I'm also very susceptible to oiliness. Even going two days between washing is a stretch for me as my hair really feels greasy after 24h, and I also work outdoors/exercise regularly so generally co-wash with L'Oreal EverPure cleansing balm every day. Product in my hair makes the greasy, oily feel even worse so I don't usually use anything at all in it, although I've tried gels, curl cremes, smoothing creams, etc. but still the frizz. I also generally wear my hair blown dry - my hair takes 4-5 hours to air dry and then still looks crappy (ie - frizzy, with akward non-waves falling over top almost curls with cowlicks in the front). I can't go to bed on it wet or the waves just end up crazy or smashed and if I try to air dry you basically have to not touch it, have wind, humidity, etc. touch it until dry and that's impossible for me (like I said - I work outdoors). So I cowash at night, stick my head upside down and blowdry most of the way while smoothing with my fingers and the next day it's straight-ish. I recently tried a shea-moisture oil finisher and while it DID help with the frizz (yay!!! my hair was SMOOTH even going outside!), it feels so greasy and heavy even using less than a pea-sized amount while at the same time the texture feels more dry.

What can I do?! What ingredients do I need to look for? Does my hair need moisture? Are humectants a bad idea (I'm guessing yes). What about protein? How can I find something SUPER light that won't weigh my hair but seals out the humidity? I would like to wear my hair naturally air dried sometimes too, any suggestions for achieving that?

Really grateful for any help anyone has.


  • bomegabomega Posts: 1,355Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Hi @kristenm : Welcome to nc.com. Good for you for embracing your natural hair texture and following the CG Method. Generally speaking I think high porosity hair benefits from protein treatment and/or protein in the products you use, even if its just your rinse-out conditioner. Check out this thread on Curltalk about refresh techniques: Sleeping and Refreshing. In particular you might want to check out FitKat's youtube channel as she has your hair type, so you might get some good ideas there.

    In addition, if you live in a high humidity area you want to avoid simple humectants (glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol). The Sciency Hair Blog has an article about this for the inverse of your weather: Glycerin and Humidity.
    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
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    Do you use a conditioner at all?  It might help with the frizzing.  Also, the part about blow drying while smoothing with your fingers caught my eye.  I would suggest getting a diffuser attachment, and when you use it, don't use your hands.  Just use the diffuser to scrunch your hair upwards.  That'll give you better curl (or wave) formation. 

    If that's still not enough, then try some styling products.  To avoid the greasy dirty feel, try applying them to dripping wet hair, while still in the shower.  If I put stylers into towel dried hair, I get the same feeling.  But mixed with water, and it behaves nicely.  I can't give you any suggestions on what kind, because I don't deal with humidity - it's DRY where I'm at.
    Formerly known as Janiegirl
    2B/2C, fine hair, low density, mixed porosity, protein loving hair
    Current products:
    Changing up my shampoos because I can't find one I like
    Deva Curl One Condition (original formula)
    Innersense I Create Volume
    Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
  • WildberryWildberry Posts: 90Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    I'm completely new to curly girl, but the things I have learned so far is that I NEED gel in dripping wet hair, or it's frizz-time. It needs to be the kind of gel that makes it crunchy at first, and when it's completely dry I gently scrunch out the crunch so it feels soft and smooth.

    I'm only 2 weeks into CG, so I'm still trying to get the techniques and amounts of product right, but even a beginner like me saw a huge difference on the very first try with a gel cast. Just make sure the hair is literally dripping wet when you apply it.
  • WavyKfromNJWavyKfromNJ Posts: 853Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I second what the above posters mentioned.

    It is not unusual for wavies to have straightish hair at the roots and needing some length to start to see a curl/wave pattern.

    If you are outside a lot of time you may have some environmental damage, and protein should help with that.

    I would suggest reading http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com
    She has several posts that I think you will find helpful. 

    UV & hair: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/uv-protectant-hair-ingredients-and.html

    Several about oils, including this one: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/oils-which-ones-soak-in-vs-coat-hair.html

    Humidity: .http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/humidity-resistant-hair-styling-products.html

    Protein: .http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/search?q=protein
    2b, 2c,
    High Porosity - Very Fine Hair

    Low Poo: Living Proof Restore Shampoo
    Rinse Out: Living Proof Restore Conditioner
    Leave In: Living Proof Curl Leave-In or Garnier 1 Minute Mask - Papaya
    Treatments: Restore Repair Leave-In, 
    Styling: Living Proof In-Shower Styler with Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Gel Stronger Hold

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