How does knowing type, density, porosity, and strand thickness affect what products/ingredient help?
Hi everyone, I'm new to the curly girl method, and I'm a little confused about how knowing details about my hair helps. I see a lot of recommendations from people to try to figure out my hair type, porosity, density, and thickness but I don't know how to use that information to look for certain products/ingredients. A little background info: I only discovered I have wavy hair two years ago when I turned 17. I live in an area in the south where I have not found a single hairdresser that has any recommendations beyond "blow it out and then recurl it with a curling wand - natural texture doesn't matter." So, I do not know if my haircut is exactly ideal for wavy hair and for the past two years I've been letting it do its thing (I'm too lazy for heat or styling), but I also haven't made any steps towards helping it either (buying good products or anything). Recently I decided I wanted to start putting some effort into my hair really and as such have read nearly every wavy article on NC.com and watched what feels like a 1000 YouTube videos but still don't know what to do or buy. Okay back to current, from what I can tell I am a 2A with medium thick hair strands and a high density overall. As far as my porosity I am unsure; I took the quiz here at naturally curly and it says medium but I honestly just don't know if that’s right. My 15-inch long hair gets completely drenched in less than 30 seconds of being in the shower and it pretty much always feels dry – suggesting a high porosity. However, when I pull on a piece of wet hair it will stretch a little bit, and then it will spring up like a coil, and it takes HOURS to dry entirely suggesting low porosity. As far as my hairs need for protein/moisture, when I stretch a dry hair strand, it will stretch a bit before breaking - suggesting it doesn't need protein or moisture. Now, I have not started the curly girl method yet because I am clueless about how to pick out products for my hair. I really need advice on how to determine my porosity and then how to use all of the information about my hair to look at the best products/ingredients for my hair type (what exactly does having high density, medium thick strands, with whatever porosity translate to as far as what products/ ingredients I should buy/avoid). I have no set routine right now, although I did wash today, and I can describe what I did today and how my hair is now in case it helps any of you decipher my hair. I washed with “mane and tail” original shampoo and followed up with “OGX” tea tree oil conditioner. As I rinsed out the conditioner, I used a wide-tooth comb while my head was flipped over to help line up all my hairs, and then I squished to condish. Everything from this point on is done with completely wet hair using the squish to condish method. After rinsing out my conditioner, I used some "coochy" (by pure romance & another gift), followed up with “Eden's” natural pudding soufflé, then “as I Am” Curling Jelly (which doesn't help me with definition but a friend gave it to me, so I figured why not). I then used a combination of aloe Vera gel and lots of “ion” anti-frizz solutions gel – which is hard hold but, zero alcohol per the front of the bottle. I plopped with a tee for about ten minutes and then let it air dry. Once 100% dry, I scrunched out the crunch with a little more "coochy". My hair looks okay, but it feels dry - almost like straw (even though all the tests I have done say my hair's moisture and protein levels seem to be fine). Again this isn't what I do/use every wash (actually it was my first time trying squish to condish method, using the gels, the as I am curling jelly, and coochy) I am just waiting to buy until I get recommendations. I'm looking for how to assess products/ingredients myself as well as any recommendations on where to start you guys have. If it helps any; I do not use heat and do not have treated hair, although I have loads of breakage and split ends. I only use a wide tooth comb and am very gentle, starting from the bottom and working my way up (especially through wet hair), I also regularly get trims. I am sorry for the length of this question but appreciate the help and time from you guys.