Help for undefined low porosity hair

DanielleMcCDanielleMcC Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 13 Curl Neophyte
edited September 2018 in Low Porosity
I desperately need help with my hair. I have low porosity, thick density, a mix of medium and fine strand, 2b hair with waves and curls. Right now my hair is awful and I can't figure out how to fix it. My curl pattern has loosened and I have no definition, I can't keep any style in even with a curling iron, it's silly soft (like too soft),but it's also frizzy and fluffy. I thought maybe it was overconditoned or had build up so I've tried not using conditioner (worse, now dry and frizzy), and tried clarifying with apple cider vinegar but it didn't work. Keratin products also didn't work. Nothing is working. I shouldn't be lacking protein as I use products with protein in them (devacurl specifically which has hydrolyzed proteins). It's like everything is just sitting on my hair. I've tried a dozen shampoo, conditioner and curl products and it's like nothing gets through. This keeps happening frequently in the past year, I don't think I've ever fixed it, it just gets a bit better or worse and I don't know how to prevent it.  Wound appreciate any help. 


  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    2 questions.
    Have you tried clarifying with a sulfate shampoo? This is the best way to remove build up I find.
    Have you tired going protein free? It seems there is a correlation between protein sensitive and low porosity hair.
  • DanielleMcCDanielleMcC Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 13 Curl Neophyte
    BrittanyM...I have used sulfate shampoos but not necessarily a clarifying one..maybe I should try that. I've also considered going protein free but I was wondering if that might cause my hair to be more overconditioned? 

  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    Practically any sulfate shampoo without silicone will work as a clarifying one. It's just if you have build up which can cause negative effects on your hair.
    As to protein free, not necessarily. Just be sure you are not deep conditioning overnight. What products are you using? I know you mentioned Deva curl which has extracts that reportedly work like protein.
  • DanielleMcCDanielleMcC Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 13 Curl Neophyte
    My shampoo and conditioner  changes. I have tried cowashing and low poo and both didn't work for me as my hair got really weighed down. I usually use a salon shampoo and conditioner that's made for fine hair or claims to be weightless. The only styling products I use are Devacurl Light Defining gel which I alternate with Mop Top Curl custard. I've used some products that I also shouldn't have used when I was desperate for hair help recently, like Chi Keratin just sits on top of my hair causing build up. I think build up probably is my biggest problem, and having low porosity so no actual moisture happening just everything sitting on top. I will try clarifying and going protein free...thanks 😊
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    You can try using a sulfate more often if you are not experiencing dryness. I would avoid cowashing completely as it probably does weigh your hair down. I would avoid most oils and all butters, and stick to water based leave ins and light gels... maybe ignoring all leave ins. But I think you already knew that. I would just clarify at first. If the problem persists, maybe avoid protein for a while to see what happens. Best of luck! Let us know how everything is going. We are all here to help.
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    @BrittanyM has given you a lot of good advice. I too suspect protein sensitivity. When you read your product labels, be careful to avoid hidden proteins like grain extracts or soy extract.

    I find that protein sensitivity resolves in two or three weeks if you don't use any protein. I would start with a clarifying sulfate poo that doesn't have silicones.

    If you feel like everything is sitting on top of your hair, you could do a short deep-conditioning treatment with your rinse-out conditioner, say, for 10 minutes. I find that if my hair is very low porosity, the conditioner just sits on top of my hair and doesn't absorb, leaving me with dry hair that looks greasy. Deep conditioning will help some moisture get into the hair strands.

    I have also recently found that diffusing my hair on high heat (low speed, but high heat) will help break down some of the excess protein. In effect, you are causing very slight damage to the hair. Not everyone will feel comfortable doing this, but I find that doing it once in a blue moon when I have protein overload is OK.
    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
  • DanielleMcCDanielleMcC Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 13 Curl Neophyte
    Thanks so much for the answers and advice. I have now gone protein free so have to wait and see what happens. I also think my hair hates glycerin (probably because of the climate I live in) so cutting that out too. Hopefully one or both of these things will help. Now it's just patience 🙄
  • MspeirMspeir Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
    @DanielleMcC, Did your hair get any better? I am having the same issues. Undefined, soft, frizzy hair. I tried clarifying but that didn't work. When I do the strand test my hair snaps easily, but other than that it doesn't seem to be protein overload, because it is soft. My hair is 2b, low porosity. 
    Thank you!
  • coffeespooncoffeespoon Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 0 Curl Neophyte
    Hello! I have kind of the same hair type and kind of the same problem... My hair is 2b/2c, thick, low porosity, frizzy and lose definition so easily :( goes from being pretty nice after a wash day and with the right amount of flax seed gel from aunt jackie's and then as soon as I put it in a bun or in braids, my curls immediately become stretched out and kind of frizzy and flat. I'm so desperate, is there a way to uploas pictures to show you guys? I also tryed doing a clarifyng shampoo wash day every once in a while, but the problem is always the same: as soon as I do even the softest bun or sleep on my hair I end up with a hot mess on my head! Any idea from the more experienced curlies? Thank you, and btw I'm new here, so happy to meet you!
  • curlygirl7310curlygirl7310 Registered Users Posts: 1 Curl Neophyte
    Hello! Did anyone figure this out? I am having the same issue and have already tried to use a sulfate shampoo, which hasn’t helped. I’m afraid to go protein free bc if I am over conditioned it will only get worse. Help!
    3A, hightlighted, fine, normal porosity
    Styling: Aveda Be curly style prep + brilliant damage control + phomollient styling foam
    Finishing: Aveda Light elements texturizing creme
  • samboellasamboella Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 0 Curl Neophyte
    I think we’re all in the same boat ladies with the trickyness of low porosity hair. I’ve been trying to find the best products and routine for well over a year now but am not sure I’m getting there. I use As.I.Am Coconut cowash for a couple of washes then use their clarifying shampoo on the third to remove build up. I haven’t got a go to conditioner. My hair is plain weird. It’s low porosity so I struggle to get moisture in but parts of it are like corkscrew curls which I can bring out in parts of my head if I really go to town with squish to condish. I’m currently using Mop Top Gel and that seems okay but the cast is really strong - whether on sopping wet hair or damp. It just doesn’t crunch out well and I look like a pro wrestler with wet hair 🙄 I don’t use a leave it as it weighs my hair down and makes it feel gummy/sticky. I just can’t find holy grail products and it’s driving me round the twist. To top it all off, I have sensitive skin and really need to use products that are as natural as possible. My latest idea is to experiment with mousses. But I have to be careful. Cantu Mousse gave me really bad flaky scalp. *sigh* I avoid protein and glycerin but would love to hear from anyone who has success with low porosity hair as currently am not loving my hair at all.
  • earthnutearthnut Registered Users Posts: 231 Curl Novice
    edited July 2021
    I also have low porosity, 2c hair that easily frizzes and is tricky to hold a good curl. I find my hair looks best after clarifying and then a strong gelatin treatment. Or other protein treatment.  A little protein in conditioner is not enough for me. Then I'll rinse and use a curl cream and gel for styling.

    Also, gels applied in the morning don't work at all for me. Takes forever to dry, in which time if my hair is touched at all (which it will be) it will frizz, and then I never seem to be able to properly scrunch out the crunch without more frizz. Diffusing works nicely but it's time consuming. So I've been styling at night, plopping to remove excess water, and then drying my hair on my satin pillowcase, spread out above me, overnight. For the first time, my hair has looked and felt good with gel!! No need to scrunch either. 
    Member since 2012.
    2C, low porosity, long, silvery, medium thickness and density. Protein craving!
    Very prone to frizz and difficult to hold curl clumps. Yet if I try to wear it at all straight I'm a big poofball.
    Clarify: 1-2 drops dish soap 😱 (hey it works!)
    Conditioner: any Suave Essential
    Homemade protein, curl cream, gel
    See profile for recipes

  • Mary CousinsMary Cousins Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 1 Curl Neophyte
    My colleague recommended Solutions Hydrating Shampoo & Solutions Hydrating Conditioner worked very well on my low porosity hair. Especially the Conditioner. I was excellent!!!! Bought it from

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