Low Porosity - Oils? Shea Butter? Glycerin? So Confused.

CurlyJennyDCurlyJennyD Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 25 Curl Novice
I have 3A/3C (or maybe just 3B), low porosity, dense, coarse & medium strand thickness, long hair.  (Whew!)  I posted (in Hair Type 3) about my struggles of having 12+ hours of wet hair, and learned that I was using way too much product.  The ever-kind folks here recommended that I either cut way back on the amount of my products and/or use a cream gel.  I did see much improvement with reducing product amount, but I'm still struggling.  After reading the excellent article on "How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair", I tried again.

I washed with a clarifying shampoo (Ouidad Water Works).  I then deep conditioned by putting in conditioner (Giovanni Frizz B Gone), putting on a plastic cap, covering it with a turban, and sitting under a hooded dryer on med/high heat for an hour.  I then rinsed the conditioner out completely, sprayed a leave-in conditioner on my hair (Living Proof Perfecting Spray), and then applied DC B'Leave In using praying hands and scrunching.  I then applied a very small amount of DC Ultra Defining Gel (praying hands, scrunching).  After scrunching out excess moisture with a microfiber towel, I then diffused until I was >85% dry.  (I did all of this after watching The Glam Belle's video on her method).  As soon as I finished with my diffusing, I was so impressed by how my hair looked -- my curls were very well defined, shiny, bouncy, moisturized, etc.  I had very little frizz.  I thought, "this is it!"  But no.  Within 30 minutes, my hair was a giant, poofy, frizzy mess.  I lost almost all of the curl definition, and it all just poofed out into a dry, frizzy tangle.  Basically, it just went back to looking how I look all of the time...  Perhaps did I mistake what B'Leave In is for?  In my head it was a cream gel.  Is it not?  

So I decided to try again.  Read much more on here.  Tried to add moisture over night by wetting my hands, rubbing wet hands over surface of hair.  Then wet palms again, added a small amount of conditioner, more water, stroked that over hair.  Covered hair with a buff and went to bed.  In morning, hair was just an ill-defined mess.  No real curl definition.  Throughout day just became frizzy/tangled. 

Went to store to get new products.  Etc.  Attempting a re-do right now using Miss Jessie's Quick Curls as my cream gel (yes? no?) and using the Smasher method of diffusing 50% and then scrunching in gel using wet hands (DC Ultra Defining Gel).  I messed up by forgetting to put a leave-in (Jane Carter Leave-In) in before applying Quick Curls.  Blah, blah.  (This was all done after another clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner (Maui Moisture Hair Masque) under hooded dryer for 30 min).  This is exhausting.  I don't put much effort in to my appearance, so this is all a lot for me.  But I am trying to crack the code!

So a few things that I'm finding difficult:  I seem to not be doing the O step of LCO.  Is that where I'm going wrong?  Do I really need to put an oil on at the end of all of this?  

The oil issue and low porosity really has me confused.  One article said that a lo-po should pre-poo with oil.  Then wash & do all of the other things.  I don't get that.  Really?  It seems to me that the only way that moisture will enter my hair is if I sit under a hooded dryer with a plastic cap on my head (with conditioner and heat).  So how is coating the surface of my hair with oil before I shampoo supposed to help?  Likewise, how is coating the surface of my hair with an oil after the styling supposed to help?  

Is lack of adding oil somewhere along the way my main problem?

When I went to buy a good cream gel product and a leave-in, I ended up completely stumped.  Naturally Curly has a great article listing 9 recommended cream gels.  Not one of them was available in the store.  :-(  I ended up getting the Miss Jessie's Quick Curls.  Is that even a cream gel?  Also, my read of this forum the last several days had me believing that I needed to avoid shea butter and glycerin.  I could not find a product that didn't have one or the other.  I do have issues with product just sitting on the surface of my hair, so I can understand why shea butter may be an issue for me.  (Unfortunately, it's a major ingredient of the Maui Moisture Hair Masque that I just used to deep condition).  I do also live in a very humid area.  I'm thinking that this is the reason that I concluded to also avoid glyercin.  

I seem to either experience defined, wet curls that never dry (which is awful) or very little curl definition that just turns in to dry, tangled, frizz.  What am I doing wrong?

Thank you all so much. 

Comments

  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    I'm sorry you're so frustrated. A lot of us can identify with this feeling, so you're not alone.

    You mention quite a few things in your post, so I might not get to everything. Here are some of the things that jumped out at me:

    . The Giovanni Frizz Be Gone is not a deep conditioner. It is basically a pure silicone serum (dimethicone) that would be used as a final step in styling before blow-drying. It also contains cyclopentasiloxane, which is a silicone that evaporates and aids in even distribution of products. But the evaporation of cyclopentasiloxane can actually ruffle the cuticle of curly hair, creating frizz. (I tried this product years ago, and that's what happened to me.) So I would recommend avoiding this product, at least for the time being. Once you get your hair under control, you could experiment with it again. (Note: The polyquats contained in the Ouidad Water Works are IMO likely sufficient for frizz control.)

    . Some of us have difficulty refreshing our hair without causing frizz. So a bedtime refresh might not work well for you, or you might have to experiment more with it. Since you were already dealing with already-compromised hair, it would have been difficult to refresh it to make it look better.

    . The MIss Jessie's Quick Curls product has mineral oil at the top of the ingredients list, and mineral oil is often a problematic ingredient for people: it causes build-up. There is a also cyclopentasiloxane in this product. I would avoid it, at least for the time being.

    . The Maui Moisture Hair Mask, at least if it's the one I'm thinking it is, has wax and shea butter, which can be a problem for some people (but not everyone). This is something you'll have to experiment with, to see if your hair can handle these ingredients.

    . Regarding low-po hair and oil: Oil doesn't moisturize per se, but it can help soften the hair and add flexibility so that there is less breakage, and it can hold in water so that the moisture doesn't evaporate so readily. So an oil pre-poo for low-po hair mainly has the aim of adding flexibility and softness to the hair; it won't moisturize. If you put a few drops of oil on your wet hair when you are styling it, you will slow down the evaporation of water from your hair and keep your hair moisturized longer. Whether your hair likes oils used like this is another matter. Some people's hair doesn't respond well to oils, or maybe their hair likes only certain kinds of oils. Again, trial and error.

    Have you tried clarifying, using the Jane Carter leave-in, and then the Deva gel? What kind of results does that give you?
    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
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    I don't ever add oils to my hair, and I avoid products with high oil content.  Not all hair needs oils.  Oil and water don't mix, so when you prepoo with oil, you're blocking water and conditioner and products from getting to your hair strand.  If you feel you must use oil, try adding it at the end of your routine instead of the beginning. 

    I know how frustrating all this is - I've gone through it myself.  I hope your hair appreciates how much work you're doing for it!
    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
  • CurlyJennyDCurlyJennyD Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 25 Curl Novice
    Oh my gracious.  Thank you both so much for taking the time to read all of that and write back to help.  It is extremely kind.  I am not young and have yet to figure out a solution for my hair.  Typically, I'll reach this same point and go chop it off into a very short pixie.  I am committed to figuring this out, though!

    @Therese1 - thank you so much for the information on Giovanni Frizz Be Gone.  Argh.  That is not what I was going for when I bought that product.  (Always remember to have your reading glasses with you when shopping for hair product!  I bought that at a "super organic hippie store" but did not have my reading glasses.  Lesson learned.)  Do I now need to get a sulfate-containing shampoo to get the silicone out?  Or will the Ouidad Water Works get it out?  

    Thank you for explaining the rationale for the oil pre-poo for lo-po hair -- softness and elasticity (not hydration).  

    I have not tried the Jane Carter Leave-In followed by the Deva Gel.  That will be my next attempt.  Thank you for the suggestion.  

    @Guide 65 - thank you for letting me know how your hair reacts to oils.  I have not had good luck in the past with oils.  However, I see that what I keep doing is not systematic.  I'm changing too many factors at each new attempt, so it's very hard for me to determine what is working and what isn't.  I have got to become more systematic in my approach or I'm going to end up with a frustration-pixie!

    I redid my porosity test to ensure that I had that one factor correct.  My hair strand would not sink in the water.  That said, this was hair that had been washed with the Ouidad Water Works (and saved for the test) after the "deep conditioning" failure with the silicone (Giovanni Frizz B Gone).  The answer to whether or not the Water Works will strip the silicone will determine whether or not the test needs to be redone.  

    Thank you all so much!  The trial continues...
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    I looked up the ingredients for the Water Works.  It does have sulfates, but it also has a silicone.  It's a water-soluble silicone, but still.  Some CG followers think that's ok to use, some avoid them altogether.  Your shampoo also has polyquats, which also have the potential to build up. I would suggest finding a different clarifying shampoo, although some people might have a different opinion on it. 

    The water float test is really unreliable.  Have you taken the texture quiz?  This might give you a better idea.  https://www.naturallycurly.com/quiz

    Yes, try changing one thing at a time while experimenting.  Don't be like me and change everything all at once!  I should know better, but whenever I get frustrated, I start going crazy with the products!

    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
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    As @Guide 65 noted, the Water Works already has sulfates, so you're good to go for clarifying from the Frizz Be Gone.

    I personally get really bad build-up from polyquats, and it takes a few washes with a sulfate to get them out completely. But other people do fine with them. I would start by clarifying with what you have (the Water Works) and getting rid of the problematic products (Frizz Be Gone and Miss Jessie's) and see how your hair does. If you continue to have issues, then I would look for a sulfate shampoo that has no silicones or polyquats. I use the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo, which appears to be a pretty simple sulfate poo. My hairdresser told me that it is not harsh on the hair.
    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
  • CurlyJennyDCurlyJennyD Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 25 Curl Novice
    Please know that your (@Guide 65 and @Therese1) kindness in taking the time to help me is extremely appreciated!

    Ok, clearly I need to re-review what to look for in ingredients.  (My new reading glasses have just arrived at the optometrist's, so that's good!).

    I re-took the texture test.  Previously I had determined that I was low-po based on characteristics (the main ones being dry, tangled, and with single-strand knots).  So now by the characteristics, the texture test, and the float test, I am low-po.  At least I can put that one factor to bed.  

    Mineral oil?  What's the deal with that?  I chucked the Miss Jessie's Quick Curl in the trash (fortunately, I was able to purchase only a trial size) (along with the Giovanni Frizz B Gone).  However, I have to say that my curl definition has held for 3 solid days!  That never has happened before.  Typically no matter what happens on Day 1, I wake up a frizzy tangled mess on Day 2.  I do sleep on a satin pillowcase.  Normally I pineapple.  However, my hair gets tangled in the hair band (I've used many different types).  These last days I've been sleeping with my hair tucked in to a Buff.  For 3 solid days now, my waking-up hair has looked identical to my going-to-sleep hair.  For me, that's amazing!  

    I have a horrid mess of crown frizz.  I always, always, always have a horrid mess of crown frizz.  And the top-most layer of my hair is very coarse and dry.  Sometimes when in the office and no one else is in the office restroom, I will dry my hands on the top layer of my hair.  :-)  This is in an attempt to hydrate the crown frizz.  So I still have crazy crown-frizz.  However, the rest of my hair still has curl definition.  In fact, I have made my Buff into a very thick headband (am not in the office today), which hides all of the crown-frizz, and the rest of my hair looks pretty darn good.  And so I ask about mineral oil?  There clearly is something to that Quick Curls that gave me good definition that has held extremely well without being stiff or sticky (or ending up in a dry, tangled mess).  I'm just trying to tease out what it may be, so that I can try to look for it in another product.  

    Thank you for the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo recommendation.  I am going to try that.  

    And just to complicate matters more:  deep conditioning for hydration vs. protein.  My last two deep conditions were for hydration (one was a failure due to the silicone).  After reading more articles I now am wondering if I need to try protein.  I was attempting to try to buy some product for a protein deep-conditioning and grew frustrated with ingredients.  I decided that I will make my own with an egg yolk and some yogurt.  I offer that in recent times I was making my own yogurt and would rinse my hair in the leftover whey.  That left my hair incredibly soft and nice.  (However, I did not know what else I should be doing, so I didn't follow it up with an routine that helped other matters).  Would my pleasant results with whey indicate, perhaps, that I may need a protein treatment?

    So many factors!  Thanks again.  
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    If you had good results with the whey, I think a protein treatment would be good to try.  Egg yolk and yogurt are not an effective PT - the protein molecules are too large to penetrate the cuticle layer.  For a very cheap and easy protein treatment, try a rice water rinse.  Just soak some rice in water, then strain the rice out, dilute it with plain water and pour it over your hair.  Let it sit for a bit (or not), then rinse well and follow up with conditioner.
    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
  • CurlyJennyDCurlyJennyD Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 25 Curl Novice
    Thanks, @Guide 65.  I didn't see this before I started the routine, but I did watch more videos that indicated that egg yolk was too large of a protein to make a difference.  So I did a greek yogurt with avocado oil and coconut oil mixture.  I was trying to accomplish protein & hydration in one!  

    I think the bottom line is that my hair needs some protein!  I got very improved results.  I clarified, detangled, put the DIY protein treatment on.  Then, I rinsed, did a gentle cleanse, detangled.  Then I did the Jane Carter Leave-In followed by gel.  Soft, pretty, shiny, moisturized hair!  However, I don't have quite the curl definition that I'm used to having.  Pretty much I have 2C waves right now.  Usually I have 3B if not 3C curls.  

    For gel, I made a DIY flaxseed gel (it was DIY hair product day yesterday!) to which I added some Living Proof Nourishing Hair Oil.  

    Next I will try a rice water rinse.  (That's brilliant!).  I also saw BrittanyM recommend a DIY gelatin treatment in another thread in which a curly has lost curl definition.  So I'm going to experiment with weekly protein treatments in addition to deep conditioning for hydration and try to keep the rest of it the same (ha!).

    It could be that flaxseed gel just does not have the same hold as some other gels.  However, I must say that I really like the light nature of the flaxseed gel.  It's not sticky and leaves my hair soft and nice (or maybe the protein treatment did that...so many factors to consider!)
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    If your hair didn't have as tight of curls as usual, it could have been from the DIY oil treatment you performed. Oils often have a softening effect on the hair, which can loosen the curl pattern.

    There's a lot to experiment with. Some people find they really like soft hair and so are willing to give up some of the curl tightness. Some people like a lot of volume and so don't mind some frizz (because frizz = volume). As you experiment, you'll be able to pinpoint what kinds of products do what kinds of things to your hair.

    Flaxseed gel does not have much hold. It is more so meant for curl definition. People sometimes use flaxseed gel as a base layer after washing and then put a hard-hold gel on top. Some people also use flaxseed gel as a refresher gel since it is not heavy.
    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
  • CurlyJennyDCurlyJennyD Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 25 Curl Novice
    Thanks, @Therese1.  I love the softness and the lack of frizz.  I'm perfectly willing to have 2c waves, if they are soft, healthy, and untangled.  :smile:

    I think that I will try a hard-hold gel overtop the flaxseed gel next time to see what that brings.  The flaxseed gel is an odd consistency, but I love how light and non-sticky it is.  

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