New and frustrated!

little earthquakelittle earthquake Posts: 14Registered Users
Hi :-)

I need some serious help. If anyone can weigh in with opinions or suggestions, I would REALLY appreciate it!

Here's the story. I'm pretty sure I'm a cross between 3B and 3C. Either way, I have TONS of it. And all the strands are very thin and light. Some band together and make little spirals or zig-zag curls, but all that is hidden under a mongrel-y mess.

I've been straightening my hair (relaxing, I guess, is the technical term) in some way, shape or form pretty much since the fifth grade (I'm 22, now). I am 110% sure it is damaged as heck, but for the past couple of years I have been leaving it in its curly state. Because of my deep seeded need to have straight hair for so many years, the description from Curl411 fits me to an absolute T: "Damaged Type 3 hair is usually frizzy, dull, hard and dry to the touch, with fuzzy, ill-defined curls".

When I decided to leave my hair alone, I was just using any old shampoo or conditioner (whatever smelled good, ha, Suave or Herbal Essence, etc.), then I'd throw it up in a bun. I've honestly been wearing my hair in a bun since the 8th grade. I am SO SICK OF IT! But my hair is so terrible when it's down, I would NEVER wear it unrestrained anywhere outside of my house. If I was a supermodel, no one would pester me--it would get passed over as "stylishly crazy". As it is, I am quite pedestrian and all I would get are queries about why I can't help my hair. My own mom was wondering if I had something wrong with it! Thanks, Mom.

Anyway, I think since the beginning of this past summer, I decided to try to shampoo just once a week and condition the rest of the time with Pantene Pro-V for curls (right now, I am still doing that and using Pantene Hydrating Curls). I think it does a good job of defining enough of my curls, but after the shower is said and done, by the end of the day, it's like I have straw on my head. Once my hair is through being damp, that's it. Show's over. I think dousing it in the shower everyday (except for the weekends) makes it worse, though. But, I have no idea how to wrestle with it when it's not damp. And strands come out ALL the time. I can sit here and pluck them out of my bun. It's just as dry as some distant desert.

So, all that to say, I am in serious need of tips on how to keep my hair in a continually moisterized state. My biggest fear is that someone will tell me I might have to shave my head and start anew...

I know a lot of this is just going to have to be trial and error, but I thought it would help tremendously if I had some advice from people who are actually dealing with the same issues I am. All those suggestions on the Curl411 page are so confusing! I am a babe in the woods on this topic of being naturally curly.

If you made it to this point, you have an amazingly long attention span or tons of patience or a Dr. Phil complex. No matter what, thank you!

Here is a picture. Not sure how it will help, but visuals are always nice. If that's not enough hair to assess, just say so. I'm sure I can dig more up. *eye roll*

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg129/littleearthquake_album/Img_1118-HAIR.jpg

(Excuse the face. I'm not that comfortable with the idea of flashing it around on a public web forum.)

Comments

  • 1Joy1Joy Posts: 356Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hi Little Earthqake
    I don't think you have to start from scratch at all. I think you should 1st know that we are always our own worst critic, so know that your hair is not horrifying. I would suggest getting your ends clipped, using a good leave-in conditioner and a scrunching a styling product in.
    My quote: Supercharge Your Superhuman w/my 4-part brain Activation System:
    Body, Mind, Emotions..oh and curls!
    http://www.Joythedetoxcoach.com

  • eccentric_kurlzeccentric_kurlz Posts: 4,151Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Okay, I'm alittle confused. You said that you've been relaxing for about 13 years, and for the last two years, you've been wearing it curly? Now, are you saying that for those years, you heat-straightened(pressed or flat-ironed) your hair, or that you actually used a chemical relaxer for this time, but your hair still has a curl pattern to it and you've been wearing this curl out?

    Just wanted to be clear, because my suggestions I guess would change alittle.

    If you are natural, I would suggest getting a good trim. A good cut/trim can make all the difference in how you hair reacts. Secondly, what exactly do you want? Do you want to achieve a certain look, improved health, manageability, or all the above?

    I think once you have a good cut, trying out products will be easier because how your products react to damaged hair vs. healthier hair is totally different.

    I would also suggest ditching the Pantene. Most folks here (though there are exceptions) have experienced less than stellar results from this line, including myself. I remember it being pretty drying on my hair. That's probably why your hair looks dry and dull by the end of the day....because the products are drying your hair out.

    You need to invest in a good conditioner. Some really great ones that I've had success with include(especially in the winter): [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Elucence-Moisture-Balancing-Conditioner-p-39.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=elucence-elucence-moisture-balancing-conditioner]Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner[/buylink](which can be used for conditioner-only washes, as a rinse out, and leave in conditioner), Tigi Moisture Maniac (which can be found locally or online), Regisline Olive Oil Conditioner(can be purchased at Regis Salons or at Walmart if they have a salon), and ABBA Moisture Scentsation, and Trader Joe's Nourish Spa(I use this as for conditioner-only rinses). Unfortunately, there aren't many regular store brands that work that well on my hair, but everyone's hair is different. It's hugely a trial and error process.

    Next, you need a good leave-in. My three staples are Elucence again, Paul Mitchell, The Conditioner(love love LOVE this stuff), and Giovanni Direct Leave in. What I use depends on the condition of my hair, and what I want. The Paul Mitchell gives me fluffy/soft/moisturized curls, whereas the Elucence gives a bit more weight.

    Then you pick a styler, cream or otherwise. For the winter months, I tend to use creams. I've had to experiment again because my hair now likes what it didn't like years ago. But one cream that I loved was [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/CURLS-Whipped-Cream-p-883.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=Curls-Whipped-Cream]Curls Whipped Cream[/buylink](overtop Curls [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/CURLS-Curls-Milkshake-p-884.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=Curls-Curls-Milkshake]Milkshake[/buylink]). But these products can be hit or miss with some ladies. You can purchased samples from www.sistasplace.biz before chucking out a bunch of money, which I highly suggest. Another good styler is Curls Spiral Curls cream, but they've discontinued this unfortunately. Right now, I'm really liking ISO Bouncy Creme. Works well over PM The Conditioner, and is easy to apply.

    For my routine, I conditioner rinse 3 times a week(using Trader Joe's Nourish Spa), and follow up with PM The Conditioner as my leave in. Sometimes a use a cream or gel overtop as my styler, most often times, I don't. Just depends on what I want. I shampoo 2 times a month(during the winter) using [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Elucence-Moisture-Benefits-Shampoo-p-36.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=elucence-elucence-moisture-benefits-shampoo]Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo[/buylink], or as needed. I purchased a liter of this almost a year ago, and haven't used a third of the bottle yet.

    I've found that simple routines are best.

    HTH
    A wonderful mix of coils, curls, corkscrews, and kinks.

    http://s211.photobucket.com/albums/bb133/shyygirl_2007/
    PW: curlyhair

    I have a blog now. Follow meeeee! :)

    http://naturalurbanista.blogspot.com/

    "You see, when it comes to language competence, a true patriot must hit that sweet spot between "job-stealing immigrant" and "liberal elitist." ~Eilonwy

    Wanna have access to the top names in fashion and luxury at up to 70% off retail? Sure you do. http://tinyurl.com/3yxneol

    DC metro area
  • little earthquakelittle earthquake Posts: 14Registered Users
    Okay, I'm alittle confused. You said that you've been relaxing for about 13 years, and for the last two years, you've been wearing it curly? Now, are you saying that for those years, you heat-straightened(pressed or flat-ironed) your hair, or that you actually used a chemical relaxer for this time, but your hair still has a curl pattern to it and you've been wearing this curl out?

    I did both. I've used chemical relaxers from boxes and had it done in salons, and I had a flat iron that I used a bit. The relaxing ended for good about 5 years ago. Then I used a flat iron. Then I stopped that because I couldn't get my roots to stop looking kinky.
    Secondly, what exactly do you want? Do you want to achieve a certain look, improved health, manageability, or all the above?

    Improved health. I think manageability would come along with that. I'm not particular about style, I just don't want scarecrow hair anymore.

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions, both of you--especially product wise. I think I am probably in the no store brands group, as well and I had absolutely no idea where to start.
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    look at all that hair! i think i want mine to grow that long, but the gras is always greener on the other side....

    i agree with the whole trim/haircut thing. it will definitely improve everything.

    and i understand that you may not be able to afford salon products but the good thing about them is, since they have better richer ingredients, you use TONS less than drugstore or generic products. my hair is a huge fan of [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Elucence-Moisture-Balancing-Conditioner-p-39.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=elucence-elucence-moisture-balancing-conditioner]elucence moisture balancing conditioner[/buylink]. i use it for everything. and i mean everything. that stuff is like liquid gold at our house! its honestly worth the investment, if your hair likes it.
    it sounds like good moisturizing products and a trim should make all the difference for you.
    oh maybe one reason your curls could be fuzzy and ill defined could be from bunning it or pulling it back all the time.

    good luck!
  • D_MarieD_Marie Posts: 150Registered Users
    I also agree that u should get a trim. If you don't want to buy products online there are alternatives. I love the Giovanni direct leave in, it's about $10 in health food stores like Henry's, the vitamin shoppe, or whole foods etc. They also carry Aubrey Organics honeysuckle rose conditioner, a lot of people seem to like that one and it's also less than $10. Another product that a lot of people on here like is the Sheamoisture shea butter leave in, but that's available online at sistasplace.biz. You can get a 2 ounce sample. I'd recommend that you just browse through topics on here, u can get a lot of valuable information. Try the product reviews. HTH :)
    www.instagram.com/enliytenme
    3c/4a
    Shea Moisture JBCO shampoo
    Trader Joes Nourish Spa Conditioner
    Mielle Organics Protein Conditioner
    Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter (moisturizer)
    The Main Choice 3 in 1
    True by Made Beautiful leave in and hair butter
    Sweet almond oil
    As I Am Curling Jelly
    :toothy7:
  • natashamcknatashamck Posts: 434Registered Users
    I second the opinions above :) I just wanted to add that you might be experiencing dry or brittle hair if you are protein sensitive... and from Pantene's commercials, their stuff is loaded with protein.

    krw posted a link on another thread about maintaining the balance between moisture and protein...

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html

    HTH... Oh - and I second eccentric_kurlz's Tigi Moisture maniac recommendation. It is straight moisture & slip - hardly (if any) protein - which would be good for you if your hair is sensitive to protein.
    mostly coarse texture, normal porosity... I think?
    HG: Generic Matrix Biolage, KCCC, KCKT, CBSS WSHP
  • little earthquakelittle earthquake Posts: 14Registered Users
    I'm so glad there is consesus. Trim it is. And I will definitely give Elucence a go.

    D_Marie - My bank account thanks for the non-online suggestions.

    Yeah, I'll browse around and see what's what. So thanks so much, everyone!
  • little earthquakelittle earthquake Posts: 14Registered Users
    Oh, how do you brush your hair? I've just been going through it with my fingers in the shower.
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    Oh, how do you brush your hair? I've just been going through it with my fingers in the shower.

    i usually comb it in the shower to detangle and then later when i put in my products, i comb through it again. my stuff gets tangled quickly and easily so i cant get away with just finger combing.
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,136Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    If you go to a salon for a trim, make sure that you understand what your hair needs. I say this because I've had horrible experiences with hairstylists. Your hair sounds dry -- not irreversibly (sp?) damaged. Whole Foods are health food stores or a great place to find products. You might also want to try the Curly Girl routine or a modified version of it. I believe JuicyTube provided this info in her posted links. You can also use shampoos that don't contain sulfates once a week. ITA about Pantene. Pantene usually dries out most people's hair -- no matter the hair type! The SheaMoisture is a good product. I apply a little to dry hair before I go to sleep. This site contains a lot of good advice. There are also moisturizing treatments that you can easily make that don't cost a lot of $ but work fine. I think in 3 months the condition of your hair will greatly improve. :love7:
    3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
    HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
  • D_MarieD_Marie Posts: 150Registered Users
    Oh, how do you brush your hair? I've just been going through it with my fingers in the shower.

    It helps if u comb/detangle with condiditoner in your hair that has slip. The denman brush is good too...It's pretty gentle on your hair.
    www.instagram.com/enliytenme
    3c/4a
    Shea Moisture JBCO shampoo
    Trader Joes Nourish Spa Conditioner
    Mielle Organics Protein Conditioner
    Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter (moisturizer)
    The Main Choice 3 in 1
    True by Made Beautiful leave in and hair butter
    Sweet almond oil
    As I Am Curling Jelly
    :toothy7:
  • little earthquakelittle earthquake Posts: 14Registered Users
    JuicyTube wrote: »

    Thanks for the links, especially the second one.
    If you go to a salon for a trim, make sure that you understand what your hair needs. I say this because I've had horrible experiences with hairstylists.

    Well, throughout the week I've been giving it little snips whenever I find obscurely long strands, and I was going to have my grandma do a more thorough job over my Christmas break. I think she'd do pretty good (she cuts her own hair and my moms). My only worry is that my hair is kind of layered. There's a "top" have that goes down near my chin and a "bottom" half that is right on top of my shoulders. I don't want to come out from under the scissors looking like a mushroom. I'll just guide her VERY VERY closely.
    D_Marie wrote:
    It helps if u comb/detangle with condiditoner in your hair that has slip.

    Yeah, I work conditioner in before I put my fingers through. I'm just hyper-sensitive about ruining the way the curls look.

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