Please help a 3a get started!

I am really interested in bringing my hair back to life with this no shampoo routine. I am a 3a, with some straighter pieces underneath. Currently my hair is past my shoulders, but I'm planning on getting an inverted bob cut very soon. My hair isn't thick, but I have a lot of it.

If it matters, my current routine is to shampoo every other day with Matrix CurlLife shampoo & condition everyday with Matrix CurlLife conditioner. For styling all I am using is Garnier Fructise curl sculpting cream gel. From what I've read I'll have to stop using all of these due to silicones.

So where should I start?? I need to keep the cost down if I can as we are on a tight budget. I think I get the routine itself, but feel totally overwhelmed by product choices. Can it be as simple as just walking into a Walgreen's and buying everything I need there?

I would love some ideas of first products to try and maybe some clarification on when I'm supposed to use what.

Thanks in advance!

Katie (a newbie)
I'm a 3b
First sulfate wash: April 15, 2009

Current products
Lo Poo: TJ's TTT every 7 - 14 days
Co-wash: GTTT
Rinse-out conditioner: TJ's Refresh
Leave-in: GVP Conditioning Balm
Styling: Beyond the Zone Noodle Head curl cream and Bioterra Styling Glaze

Also in rotation, but not using right now: Aveda Get Curly curl cream and Biosilk Rock Hard Gel


  • kathymackkathymack Registered Users Posts: 9,999 Curl Neophyte
    You need to do some reading, if you haven't. Laura Lee's "primer" is great:

    At the top of each forum are stickies that have important information, like acronyms, etc. Read those if you haven't. Find someone with hair like yours and "stalk" them. Look at what products (usually in signature) and techniques they are using. That's the best way to learn.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix
  • GillsGills Registered Users Posts: 77
    Hi there and welcome! I definitely get how overwhelming the product choices are, so when I joined this forum a few weeks ago, I asked the exact same question. I have 3a hair as well and I'm on a tight student budget, so I'll pass along the info I was given.

    For their final sulfate wash, a lot of people like the Suave clarifying shampoo. I got the V05 vanilla mint tea clarifying because it was cheaper, and it's worked just fine. You'll probably pay $1-$2.50 for this.

    For co-wash, the majority of people I've seen on this forum use Suave or VO5 conditioners. Most if not all the various incarnations of these two brands are CG safe, so you should be able to pick by which scent you like best. Again, you'll probably pay $1-$2.50 for this.

    For rinse-out, a lot of people here swear by L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss for wavy/curly hair - keep in mind that there are a few different kinds of Nutri Gloss, and the one for wavy/curly hair is the only one that's CG safe. This'll run you $4-$5.

    For styling, a lot of people have had great success with the Biotera products, specifically the curl creme and styling gel. When I got them a couple weeks ago, Sally Beauty had them on sale, two for $10. If you just want to get one, go with the gel.

    I hope that helps. Good luck!
    Hair type: 3a, medium porosity (??), medium texture
    Final sulfate wash: April 14, 2009
    Co-wash: Suave Pomegranate
    Conditioner: GVPCB, AOHR, Garnier Triple Nutrition
    Products: Experimenting with KCKT and KCCC

    My hair loves:
    Olive oil
    ...still trying to figure out what else!

    My hair hates:
    Biotera Curl Creme (?)

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