barely 2a (I think)

KaritaGKaritaG Registered Users Posts: 2
Well, I am new here and have read some of the previous posts. I am really just looking for some help with encouraging my waves and I've been to two different stylists who seem lost...I thought I had straight hair my whole life but at 29 I switched to washing every other day (instead of every day) and also stopped blow drying and suddenly realized it's actually wavy. I love the look and it's so much more low maintenance than blowing it out every day (like I did most of my life since I was a teenager) so I want to develop a good routine to encourage the waves, otherwise if I don't blow it out it just looks messy.

I think I am a 2a, my hair is very healthy and shiny and soft but rather fine and tends to get oily at the roots pretty quickly, I really can't go more than a day in between washings. I've started using hot oil or shea butter once per week as a deep treatment on the ends, as that seems to encourage the waves. My stylist also uses an amino-acid deep treatment when I get my highlights every 8 weeks or so. I have just been using regular herbal essences long-term relationship (non-curl enhancing) shampoo and conditioner and then a combination (depending on the weather) of john freida's curl enhancing spray and mousse. I do not use a diffuser (yet). I just recently started using aveda's "Be Curly" cream after showering and love the look but can't seem to get the curls to last into the next day, any tips? Does a diffuser make that much of a difference? Are there any techniques or products that are particularly good for my type of hair? I find that if I use too many products my hair gets weighed down easily as it is so fine.

Also, does highlighting tend to increase or decrease curl? I feel as though when I started highlighting (about a year ago, my hair is naturally blonde with reddish undertones but I do a partial foil on top about one shade lighter than my natural blonde) I am thinking of stopping highlighting if that will increase the waves and am wondering if anyone else has done this.

I do not tend to have frizzing problems, even when wavy my hair is generally calm (I am in Colorado so that might be why). I hate to sound ignorant but I really have no idea what I am doing, I just know I love the way my hair looks when wavy and love not having to blow it/straighten it every day, and so would like to know how to make it "wavier" and also get the waves to last. It seems when I sleep on them they flatten quite a bit and I am left with a weird combo of wavy pieces and completely straight pieces that ends up in a ponytail. :) My hair is long, too, about to my shoulder blades and I am trying to grow it longer. ANY help would be appreciated, thanks so much!


  • Future WaveFuture Wave Registered Users Posts: 154
    You'll probably find that most stylists are completely lost when it comes to curly (or even wavy) hair, since they're only trained and tested in how to care for and style straight hair. It is possible to take curl cutting and styling classes though. Our very own Strutt's Wife is a curly stylist who teaches other stylists how to work with curly hair.

    There are several different factors in your description of your hair that makes me think your hair would do very well on CG (curly girl), or perhaps a modified CG routine.

    First, you say that your hair waves on a non-shampoo day. Shampooing really dries out hair, but when you've gone a day without stripping out the natural oils, your hair seems to enjoy the oils and moisture allowed to remain on it, as evidenced by the wave.

    Which brings up what you said about your hair being so oily at the roots (scalp, actually). When you strip the much needed natural oils, your sebaceous glands will often over-react and produce copious amounts of oil, desperately trying to produce enough to coat the hair shaft and hold moisture in the hair.

    The hot oil and shea butter on the ends of your hair encouraging wave is also an indication that your hair is starved for moisture and oils, and that CG would help your wave improve.

    The CG method involves avoiding sulfate shampoos, and avoiding silicones in all products you use on your hair, since the sulfate shampoos strip the oils, while the silicones clog the hair cuticle, and can only be removed with harsh shampoos.

    Instead of shampoo, we wash with a silicone free conditioner, which is called co-washing. There's extensive information on why we wash with conditioner, and directions on how to co-wash here, as well as the science behing CG. There is also a short bit at the end of that page about modified CG for wavies, but don't skip the rest of the information on the page, because it's important to understand how CJ works and what ingredients to avoid in the products you use on your hair.

    There are several different ways to help preserve curl to have 2nd day hair, and for some people even 3rd or 4th day hair, which all involve not ruffling up the hair while you sleep. A satin pillowcase helps, as does pineappling, or using a variety of satin sleep caps and bonnets. Yeah, the caps and bonnets look really silly, but in the morning, you can usually spritz your hair with some water, scrunch it a bit and revive the curls. (For my short hair, I just use a satin pillowcase)

    Because your hair is fine and you've also had some color processing, you'd probably find that some protein in your conditioners and some protein treatments would help the condition of your hair - and possibly even enhance the wave/curl formation. (That's not guaranteed by any means - but often curl does increase as the hair becomes better conditioned on CG) A good co-wash that has some protein is the Suave Naturals line. Some people like the VO5 conditioners instead. Most people use some kind of rinse out conditioner after the co-wash. For some people use the same conditioner for their rinse out. Some find that they also need a leave in conditioner. There are a plethora of CG friendly curl creams, gels and other products that can help hair curl and retain it's curl.

    Since curly/wavy hair is by nature dry hair, you definitely need moisture too - things like Aloe in your conditioner and other products, as well as just plain water, add moisture to the hair. Other humectants (such as glycerin) that rely on attracting moisture to the product from the atmosphere to moisturize the hair may not help in the dry air of Colorado, because if the air doesn't have enough moisture, the humectant will obtain moisture from the hair itself, resulting in drier hair instead of more moisturized hair.

    Once you've added moisture to your hair, holding the moisture in your hair is accomplished with oils and butters - such as shea butter, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, etc.

    A few other basics about caring for curly/wavy hair include:

    - not using a hairbrush or comb when your hair is dry, and only using them on your hair when it's soaking wet and well coated with conditioner, in order to avoid damaging the hair.
    -avoid terrycloth towels, because they rough up the hair cuticle and soak up too much moisture. Instead, use a smooth microfiber towel, flour sack towel, or smooth soft T-shirt to gently scrunch or pat out excess moisture.
    -keeping heated styling appliances to a minimum as much as possible, to avoid damaging and drying out the hair shaft. In the real world, we know that there are times when we just have to use a hair dryer, and for that, a diffuser with the heat on a low setting is preferred.

    There's lots more information available on the forums - this is just a quick overview, and I"m sure I've forgotten a lot. Don't be afraid to ask questions anywhere, but be aware that the quickest place to get answers is usually on the general discussion threads.
    co-wash - Suave Naturals Coconut
    condish - Trader Joe's TTT and Refresh
    styling - FOTE, shea butter, jojoba oil, LA Looks

    Kryptonite: Stearalkonium Chloride, quats

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