Newbie routine + general advice

rzarza Posts: 2Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte

Hi all! I would appreciate some advice about my routine. I've been following the CG method for over a year now, but I haven't actually started *listening* to my hair until recently, which is why I still consider myself  new to this. I didn't know anything until recently (this site was a big help!!) and had just been blindly using Devacurl after someone at Sephora recommended it to me. This winter my hair became really limp and weak feeling, and when I showered it felt really soggy, I still am a bit confused about the whole moisture/protein thing though and don't know what balance my hair needs. Right now my routine is shampoo w/ Kinky-Curly Come Clean shampoo, followed by their Knot Today, which I will either rinse out or leave in, & if I've rinsed it out then I will use Devacurl Styling Cream but regardless I always use the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard as my last step. This routine gives me the shiniest, softest, most moisturized curls ever!! I used to just co-wash, or shampoo with Devacurl no-poo (followed by their conditioner + lots more of their products, my whole routine was from them) and it just didn't work for me. I got so much build up and Devacurl didn't seem to agree with my scalp, even when using buildup buster. I also deep condition when my hair needs it, but I don't do it regularly and it's a pretty new step to my routine - I haven't found one I really like yet (the whole moisture/protein thing is what messes me up here too). But I would like to expand/edit my routine, I really need help with getting my curls to actually curl. My hair is really long and it's weighing itself down, and I don't know if any of the products are weighing it down either. It seems to be doing way better since I started shampooing though.

Another question I have is, when I go to the beach I seem to get the biggest, curliest hair of my life - and I love it! I wish my hair would behave like that always, though it was kind of dry and stiff feeling. It almost had a salt cast or something? But I've been struggling with my hair just being wavy instead of curly like I mentioned above. The ocean water made it super curly, with smaller spirals which is what I really want! My hair is kind of all over the place and I don't know what type it actually is, but if there's anything that could help tighten my curl pattern, please share! I've tried finger coiling a few times with no luck, but I'm open to trying it again.

Lastly, I want to add some layers to my hair. I've had a bad experience w/ Devacuts and don't really want to go to a stylist again (there is only two curly stylists in my area anyways and they're both kind of far). I'm going to have my mom add some layers, she's read the CG Handbook and is starting on her own curly journey too! But I don't know anything about cutting hair - how should I direct her? I wouldn't really know what to ask for at a salon either. I don't want to lose my length, I just want to add some layers to open it up a bit and help my hair curl (I love volume so "big" doesn't bother me). Also last time I got a Devacut my hair wouldn't curl for a week or so after, I don't know if my hair was in shock or something (I don't get cuts very often) or if she used too much product and it was overloaded and all that but in general I guess I don't know how I should go about this lol. My mom cut my hair when I was little and she used to cut my dads hair so she's not completely new, but she doesn't have any training/education either. When I was little I used to have Shirley Temple ringlets that fell probably around my shoulders and my mom has a picture of me in the bath where she's pulling a wet curl down all the way to my waist! My hair is probably that same length again now, but growing up I mostly had shoulder/collarbone length hair, which was straight? I don't know what is going on with my hair!! 

Another thing I forgot! My curls are kind of delicate, while the tinier more spirally ones (my bangs and very under layer near my ears/back of my neck) can withhold a lot and still spiral. But raking through my hair to distribute styling products I think makes it harder for the majority of it to curl, and plopping only works for me about 50% of the time. I feel like without raking it though its hard to get the product evenly distributed, and if I just squish/scrunch product in it scrunches out too much of the water and I lose that squish sound indicator. Any advice?

My hair when it decides to curl (still wavier than I want it :neutral: ) :

 

My hair after the beach (this was actually last week during spring break in Hawaii, I live in Washington and don't go to the beaches here because they're freezing lol):


This post ended up being waaayyy longer than I expected, so thank you to anyone who's still reading lol!!

Answers

  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome to CurlTalk!  Your hair is really pretty!

    First, your current routine is protein free, except for the Deva styling cream.  I would suggest getting a conditioner that has protein.  Giovanni Smooth as Silk has some and it's not too expensive.  From the way you described what your hair is doing (limp and weak, curls are elongated) this sounds like you need more protein. 

    For the beach look, you could try Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets.  It has salts in it to help boost the curl.  Or try another salt spray or beach spray.  Just be aware that it might cause dryness if you use too much or too often.

    A lot of people don't plop.  If it doesn't work for you, then skip it.  When you're distributing your product by squishing, just use a spray bottle with water to rewet the hair if feel you've lost too much water.  I apply styling products in the shower while my hair is dripping wet - I've got the shower spray to help keep my hair really wet, and it helps keep the mess contained.

    I don't know anything about hair cutting, so I can't help you there.  But it sounds like your mom might give you a good cut.  Good luck!
    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
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,218Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I agree. Your hair is really pretty. You can DIY a sea salt spray to find out if you like them or not. Agree with protein. If you are wanting an actual heavy duty protein, I do suggest the DIY gelatin. It's the best one and it's cheap to do.
  • rzarza Posts: 2Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    @Guide 65 @BrittanyM Thank you! I think I have an old salt spray at home, I'll have to check this weekend. I've only started this routine recently, I tried to look for protein free products because originally my entire routine was all Devacurl and it felt like it was just making my hair even more limp and soggy. I'll admit my hair hasn't had a good dose of protein in a while though, I can use my Shea Moisture JBCO mask tonight and see how my hair reacts since I'm also due for a deep condition!
  • CURLifeCURLife Posts: 7Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    I agree with BrittanyM and Curl Virtuoso!

    Also, a good thing to do is to find out the porosity of your hair. The cuticles of your hair will be either tightly closed, normal, or almost entirely open. It sounds like you have low porosity hair (like me). I get buildup easily as well, and my hair can also get weighed down pretty fast. When applying my leave in products, for low porosity it is generally the case that less is more. 

    Protein sensitivity and low porosity are two things that can get easily confused, but they are not the same! Lowpo hair usually is protein sensitive as well, which to me just means that it reacts strongly to protein, NOT that your hair can't tolerate any protein at all. It is just sensitive, not allergic. In other words, a little protein goes a long way.

    Basically what protein does is strengthen (and harden) your hair. I always picture it like a twig/branch. If it is too hard and dry, like a very old branch, (so too much protein, too little moisture), it'll break and snap like that. But if it is overly moisturized, it won't be able to stand upright (it'll collapse like a noodle, or in the case of curly hair: it won't be able to 'hold' a curl). What you want is to be somewhere in between, like those young fresh branches on trees that are strong (i.e. protein), but bendable (i.e. moisture). Don't know if that makes sense lol. 

    Ingredients that you can consider to be proteins: Aloe vera, coconut oil, anything 'hydrolyzed', keratin, or simply when it says 'something something protein'. Usually when products are high on protein they'll say something like 'strengthening' or 'repairing' on the bottle.

    My overall advice is to read a bunch of articles on naturallycurly, look at youtube video's and just experiment! Jannelle O'Shaugnessy Engels has a bunch of great video's, also on the whole protein/moisture thing which really helps in understanding.

    Type 3b, 3c | Low porosity | Thick hair | CGM

    Current products
    Shampoo: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
    Cowash: As I Am Coconut Cowash
    Conditioner when in need of moisture: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Calming Conditioner / KinkyCurly Knot Today 
    Conditioner when in need of protein: Sukin Natural Balance Conditioner
    Deep conditioner: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment (no fragrance) / SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
    Repairing treatment: Olaplex No 3 
    Leave-in: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Calming Conditioner / As I Am Leave In Conditioner
    Mousse: Giovanni Natural Mousse Hair Styling Foam
    Curl cream: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • CURLifeCURLife Posts: 7Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Lol I meant to say I agree with BrittanyM and Guide 65 ;) 
    Type 3b, 3c | Low porosity | Thick hair | CGM

    Current products
    Shampoo: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
    Cowash: As I Am Coconut Cowash
    Conditioner when in need of moisture: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Calming Conditioner / KinkyCurly Knot Today 
    Conditioner when in need of protein: Sukin Natural Balance Conditioner
    Deep conditioner: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment (no fragrance) / SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
    Repairing treatment: Olaplex No 3 
    Leave-in: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Calming Conditioner / As I Am Leave In Conditioner
    Mousse: Giovanni Natural Mousse Hair Styling Foam
    Curl cream: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    @laca1982, I'm getting errors on your links so I can't see your pictures.  If you can repost them I'll take a look.
    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
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    CURLife said:

    Basically what protein does is strengthen (and harden) your hair. I always picture it like a twig/branch. If it is too hard and dry, like a very old branch, (so too much protein, too little moisture), it'll break and snap like that. But if it is overly moisturized, it won't be able to stand upright (it'll collapse like a noodle, or in the case of curly hair: it won't be able to 'hold' a curl). What you want is to be somewhere in between, like those young fresh branches on trees that are strong (i.e. protein), but bendable (i.e. moisture). Don't know if that makes sense lol.
    I like this comparison! 
    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
  • laca1982laca1982 Posts: 13Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    @Guide 65 Hi. Thanks for the response. Here are the pictures. If it's not visible enough, please let me know. 
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    @laca1982, I would say your hair is in the 4 range, but I can't see much definition because your hair is dark, so it's hard to get more specific than that.  Keep in mind I'm not great at curl typing, so if you think it's a 3 then it probably is.

    It's a cute style on you! 
    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
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Posts: 1,218Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    It looks 3c, maybe 4a. Hair type isn't everything so just keep giving your hair love!
  • laca1982laca1982 Posts: 13Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    @Guide 65. Thanks. Yeah, that picture wasn't clear enough. My cousin's friend was able to assess my hair and confirmed my haiir is 3c and 4a. I found out my hair texture is a mixture of 3c and 4a. 
  • laca1982laca1982 Posts: 13Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    @BrittanyM Thanks. 
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Posts: 1,984Registered Users, Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    @laca1982, that sounds about right.  There's some curls I can see right along the edge that look like 3c, but the rest looked like a 4.  But I couldn't see enough of the texture to tell what was in the rest of your hair.
    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
  • laca1982laca1982 Posts: 13Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    edited April 2019
    I have some 3cs in the front and middle of my hair mixed with 4a.

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