hi I'm Jessika and my hair is a nightmare :)

jesskajesska Posts: 6Registered Users Curl Neophyte
Hello lovely wavies. 
I'm having so much trouble trying to be a curly girl! I know this post is long but if anyone is willing to read and help I will be so grateful!
I've been using Lush (curly wurly, retread, and r&b) for about four years now and it's been great until lately when I've been growing it out and trying to use better products (aka cgm approved).

Description: When my hair is short (like a few inches at the back and longer at the front) it's perfect and I can literally use lush and then go to bed with wet hair and it's like #IWokeUpLikeThis curls for days. But now, since I started growing it out, it's getting worse and worse. It doesn't curl well, is dry and feels brittle like it will snap if I put it back. It looks unwearable unless I use the curling iron or pull it back. The whole back of my hair -which is about 6in or so long now- does not curl AT ALL. It's totally flat and it doesn't matter what products or methods I try, even using the curling iron doesn't work. 

What I have tried so far:
I have tried pura'dor curly products and they were awful (for me). 
Then I tried shea moisture (the orange one for curly hair) and it's a no from me. I tried the curl enhancing smoothie and the frizz defence gel cream (together, separately, in different combos and quantities) all failed. They kind of help make my hair curlier but also way more frizzy, flat and feeling brittle, dry, and my scalp felt super dry too. I also tried the treatment they have and it's ok I guess. 
I've tried plopping before and after diffusing or air-drying, not diffusing at all, sleeping with the plop/t-shirt (note: my hair has been completely wet in the morning when I've tried this, not damp, WET), scrunching, not scrunching, raking, not raking, using products on wet hair, damp hair, some on wet and some on damp, squish to condish.. and any combination of above all with no luck. The closest to ok was when I slept with the plop in and diffused it in the morning but it was very frizzy and felt dry. 

Now I'm just using what's left of my lush products again and I have ordered some samples of the JessiCurl range as my last attempt (including the scalp oil to hopefully help with hair loss). 

Questions:
Because my curls are big, I notice a big difference in the curl shape when it's a few cm longer or shorter. So do I just give up and chop it off again or do I keep growing it and hope I get to another length it likes? I've been growing it for almost a year now.
Is it worth going to a curly specialist hairdresser to cut it or do I need to get my hair better first? I wonder, how can they cut it to suit the curls if my curls aren't there when I go?
Do I need protein? Will that even do much? I tried the stretch test with a wet strand of hair and the first one snapped and the second one seemed to stretch a little but it snapped too :/ 
I'll take any advice but I can't really afford to buy more products that don't work. And as the other Aussie curlies have mentioned, there is bugger all curly approved products available here. 

Stats:
Type: 2C/3A (?) I have s-shapes that become big ringlets when my hair is healthy however it is terribly hard to style, impossible to blow dry or diffuse and takes hours to straighten (even by professionals) which makes me assume I'm probably a 2C because the site quiz says curlies are easy to style
Density: It has always been very thick however, the last few years I've been losing hair which I thought was due to stress but nothing seems to make it better so I'm not sure. It's probably medium-thick density now
Porosity: Low. It takes a while to wet down in the shower
Thickness: Medium-course. I have very mixed hair with fine strands in parts and very coarse (and bumpy) strands in parts. Notably the area where I have lost hair (front middle-ish) is probably the finest.
Mostly natural and un-coloured except an inch or so on the ends. I very occasionally use a wash-out temporary colour. 

If you've read all this thank you! I'm just at my wits end and I feel like it shouldn't be this hard :( 

Comments

  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome to CurlTalk!

    To start with, have you done a clarifying wash?  Lush is filled with waxes and silicones and other bad things.  You may need to get all that out of your hair before it can start curling.  Use a regular shampoo - something that contains sulfates, but no silicones.  They're not hard to find - probably 60% of regular drugstore shampoos will work.  You'll just have to read ingredient labels.  Look for words that end in -cone, -conol or -xane.  Those are the ingredients you want to avoid.  Use that once or twice, then set it aside.  It's too harsh to use it all the time, but once in a while you might need to re-clarify.

    MooGoo is an Australian brand that's supposed to be really good.  You can look into that if you don't like the Jessicurl.  Giovanni seems to be available throughout Europe - I don't know if you can find it in Australia, but it might be.  It's also a good brand.  If you have any organic/vegan/health food type stores, they sometimes have some good, natural hair products.  They're not all good, but some are.
    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
  • GretchenGretchen Administrator Posts: 10,840Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome to CurlTalk, @Jesska..... 
    @Guide 65 has offered lots of great advice!  Another thing you might find is that products can often stop "working" after X amount of time. So something that worked fabulously for a few months can suddenly stop.  


    Gretchen
    NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
    3A

    You are beautiful!
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,217Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Great advice above. I'd also recommend deep conditioning to see if that helps. A semi-free way of doing this is taking your regular conditioner (if you have them on hand, you can add honey and aloe vera to your conditioner) and wrap a shopping bag (or processing cap if you have those available) around your head. This traps in the heat and helps low porosity hair absorb the conditioner and moisture.
  • jesskajesska Posts: 6Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks for responding!
    @Guide 65 I'll give clarifying a go! I have heard of Moo Goo and I was planning to try their Protein Shot conditioner because I thought my hair probably needs protein as well but I haven't looked at their other products but I will check them out as well. Thankyou!

    @Gretchen Yeah I have noticed this! It's much more frequent with my skin products (they 'stop working'). Thanks!

    @BrittanyM I have tried a deep conditioner (the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque) several times now. It's nice but not amazing.
    I've seen a lot of curlies use the Opalex no.3 treatment and seem to love it but it's $60 for a bottle here so I don't know if it's worth it?

    Thanks lovelies :blush:
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,217Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Definitely give that deep conditioner another try after clarifying with a sulfate. That is one of Shea Moistures best marques and one I always repurchase. Now this doesn't mean it's good for everyone but you said it didn't do anything. The only time that Masque stopped doing anything for me was when I needed to clarify.
    As far as Olaplex no 3, I have used no 2 as a leave in that  I didn't rinse it out. It was helpful for my bleached hair. While virgin hair can benefit from Olaplex, it really works its magic on damaged hair either chemically, colored, or heat. Until you get a feel for it your hair and have the budget, I'd wait but that's just because I personally find the price steep for what it does and may not do. It's not a magical fix as everyone claims,  but it is good. Again your choice, I would read the bad reviews of Olaplex 3 before making a financial commitment and try to identify why the reviewer wasn't happy or why they were underwhelmed and compare it to your hair. There are also other bond repairing brands now but all tend to be pricy. This is all my personal opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Haha.
  • jesskajesska Posts: 6Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks so much @BrittanyM
    That makes sense that a treatment wouldn't work if I need to clarify, duh lol.
    I have tried clarifying (I got a herbal essences shampoo and a sukin conditioner because they were the only ones without silicone!). But when I checked the ingredients for my lush products online, they don't have silicone anyway? But I could have build up from the shea moisture styling products. 

    Is it this hard to find what works for everyone? I had to use the curling wand on my hair after washing because it was just a mess and I can't put it up because my scalp is so sensitive at the moment I can feel if one single hair is pulling. I feel like my hair is falling out more than ever as well, I'm guessing because it doesn't like all the different products. 

    Thanks for your advice about opalex! I will leave it for now :)
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,217Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    You can get build up from practically any product. I personally believe that all products contribute to build up regardless of claims.
    I don't think it is problems with finding products that work as much as getting to know your hair, what it likes, and adjusting to this whole curly thing if you've been straightening your hair for a while.
    You said you are losing hair which is concerning to me. While you must keep in mind that you may not be brushing everyday and everyone loses about 100 hairs a day, if you feel the hair loss is more, perhaps try keeping all products with the exception of shampoo off of your scalp.
    I hope this is a bit helpful! Let us know how you do, we are here to help!
  • jesskajesska Posts: 6Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    @BrittanyM Its not so much that I'm seeing more hair fall but I can see my scalp more at the front-centre whereas previously I couldn't. This has been an ongoing problem for a little while but it seems to be getting even worse lately, as well as the brittleness which I've never had a problem with. I don't brush my hair regularly, maybe once every other week and I'm always gentle. I've only been using the curling wand for a few months since my curls became totally unmanageable and I try to use it only once or twice a week. I don't usually put any products on my scalp anyway, since it is sensitive but I have been putting some conditioner on my scalp because it has been dry and I guess I thought that might help but I will stop doing that
    I'm hoping the scalp oil I ordered from jessicurl will help with the hair loss and dry scalp issues. I'm at a loss otherwise :'(
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,217Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I'm sorry. Definitely try clarifying, even shampoo your scalp. Then try deep conditioning your hair again and see what happens. If it's build up, it should make your hair more manageable. As for your scalp, you can try searching scalp in the search bar. Naturally curly has several articles pertaining to scalp if you haven't seen them. Here's a few to get you started:
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/why-am-i-so-tender-headed
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/10-products-for-sensitive-scalp
    If you can't get any relief from the Jessicurl oil or any other home remedies, you may consider seeking the advice of a medical professional. In the meantime, I would detangle with fingers only. It's a pain but you can control the amount of pressure on the scalp that way.
  • hmr1016hmr1016 Posts: 66Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I’ve never tried the SM Coconut and Hibiscus Curly line, but the Fruit Fusion Weightless Creme Rinse and Hair Masque are definitely worth a try for wavies! It’s the perfect amount of moisture (and it smells so good that I’m tempted to eat it every time I condition with it to be honest). 

    For hair growth/health/thickening, I would recommend taking liquid biotin under the tongue plus plenty of water. I’ve been doing this for a little more than a month and have noticed increased thickness and a little more than an inch of growth. 

    Hopefully these are some things that are helpful!
    Current 2B/2C Routine:
    Cleanse -  NYM Curl Talk Shampoo or NYM Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner
    Condition - Elucence Moisure Balance Conditioner
    Treatments - Olaplex (step 3) or Elucence Moisture Repair Treatment
    Style -  Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave In + AG Re:Coil

  • jesskajesska Posts: 6Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks @hmr1016 sadly the fruit fusion range isn't available here or I would try it! (we only have the C&H, Manuka honey, and Jamaican black caster oil ranges here). 
    I'm unsure about that brand anyway as I've seen a curly hairdresser on ig say it is cheaply made and not actually that good unless you happen to be blessed with curls that work with any products :/ So many different opinions lol
    I will have a look into liquid biotin as well!

    Thanks again @BrittanyM I'll have a look at some articles. I have raised this with my doctor several times over the past year or so but she dismisses it because I still have a lot of hair. I actually think it might be a PCOS side-effect which unfortunately I can't have treatment for :'( 

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