Newbie routine + general advice
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 ) :
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!!