3a? hair advice

ninalaneninalane Registered Users Posts: 4
Hello everyone, I'm in need of some hair help. I'm looking for some miracle products that will improve the look of my hair when I wear it curly. I'm looking for something to help with extreme frizz and to hold the curl, but not necessarily "boost" it.

My guess is that I'm a 3a, but please let me know what you think. :confused: My hair is very thick, dry and relentlessly frizzy. A lot of "moisturizing" products only seem to make it dryer and more difficult to manage. I'm still not entirely sure about my hair's porosity. It may not look super thick in some of these photos because I have a layered cut. The individual strands are thick and appear course, but are very soft to the touch. My hair is pretty densely packed as well. Despite my hair being thick and course, it is virtually weightless and fairly stiff due to it's weightlessness. I am half Asian and half white. My mother's hair is course, but the individual strands are very thin. My father's hair is very fine and straight. A few years ago I tried the CG method of hair care for a few months (followed it verbatim, did not use any heat at all), but I really saw no improvement in my hair. It was very dry without the use of silicones and I went back to my old hair care routine.

I am never satisfied with my hair without the use of heat styling. I can never keep my hair looking smooth, and the curl/wave becomes uneven upon drying. My hair IS damaged from the use of heat, from lightening, and multiple colorings. However, even before my hair was damaged I had the same issues. I really prefer the look of my hair when it's styled, because my hair actually looks polished and healthy. I absolutely HATE how curly my hair is near the root. I'm beginning to consider keratin treatments or just wearing wigs more and more everyday.

This is my hair on a very good day several years ago, before it was damaged and the texture changed. I actually prefer my more tame waves over this level of curl.

Good example of how my hair looks on a daily basis: dull, frizzy, uneven.

right out of the shower no product

well behaved, semi-dry with product

How I WISH my hair looked naturally. Even with the low image quality, you can see how shiny and healthy it looks.


  • anissafersureanissafersure Registered Users Posts: 255
    Your hair looks more like 2C to me, but there is probably some 3A in there as well. I used to have the same problem as you with not finding the right products to tame my frizz and moisturize my hair the way it needed to be. I pretty much experimented with almost ever product out there, hahaha. For the past 5 months or so I've been using the Deva Curl One Condition, and the Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel. I absolutely LOVE these products. They give my curls amazing definition, and I'm usually able to get 8 to 10 days out of my hair with no problem. The conditioner can be used as a rinse out or leave in, I only use it as a leave in. I also use KKKT before I put the Deva Curl products in my hair to help with detangling and adding some extra moisture.
  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Registered Users Posts: 2,075 Curl Neophyte
    I think if your hair felt dry without the aid of silicones, you were probably not using products that were moisturising enough.

    Two things that have done wonders for keeping my hair in check:
    Moisture & gel.

    If you find a good, moisturising cleanser & a good moisturising conditioner & a good moisturising leave-in and a great non-drying gel, I think you'd be pretty much set.

    What products do you use now?

    I think that if you're ever going to be happy with your hair, you have to first accept your hair. Don't damage it even more by trying to be something you're not - embrace the uniqueness and learn how to properly care for your curls. I think you'll be a lot better off for it.
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • geekrockgirl85geekrockgirl85 Registered Users Posts: 170
    I've noticed that before I stopped using heat, sulfates, silicones, all those things CG suggests you avoid, lol... sometimes my hair was at its curliest (but also frizziest) when it had been taking the most abuse and was desperately trying to grab moisture out of the air. So to keep the gentle waves you prefer, like the last picture, getting your condition in check might be just the thing.

    I know the first time I tried doing CG was YEARS ago, before the new edition of the book came out. I did a quick read through these forums and sort of just assumed that the wash itself should be all I need, and I gave up on it because I wasn't getting great results either. But this time, using a thicker rinse-out conditioner, and a bit of leave-in before applying product, and occasional treatments with oil or creme, have me much happier with the way things are turning out. The point I'm trying to make here, though, is that there is no "verbatim" for CG anymore; you've got to tweak the routine so it caters to the unique needs of your own curly hair.

    If your hair is as coarse as you describe, keratin might be the opposite of what it needs; a lot of coarse curlies seem to be protein-sensitive rather than protein-craving. It's hard to know for sure, though, except through a pro hair analysis or trial and error.

    There's a lot you *can* do to change your hair's condition, but for now I'd stick with the "less is more" approach. trying to abruptly change everything will make your scalp freak out, so slowly introducing a gel to style with, or a thicker conditioner for hair moisture, would be an ideal first step.
    2c. present color& past heat damage, fine, low-density, high porosity, happy with some protein. re-CG as of 5/2014. Wash:V05 PFS or KLS, RO: (trying to use up my stash; so it's always different!), LI: Cure Care, DT: SM Smooth & Repair Hair Masque, Style: Ecostyler Olive Oil / La Bella Lots of Curls gel
  • KaZenner1990KaZenner1990 Registered Users Posts: 859
    I have to agree that my hair when it's oiled/very moisturised it curls the most but it drops eventually.

    {Stats for mobiles}
    M/C, High Porosity,Normal Elast. 2c/3a Boticelli/Corkicelli
    2C/3A Botticelli/Corkicelli.Growing out color/heat damage
    M/C, Low/Medium/High Por, Normal Elast. Medium Density
    LP: INSIGHT DAMAGED HAIR Restructurizing Shampoo
    CO: Generic protein conditioner, Hair Academy Deep Cleansing CO
    DET/RO/LI: GNC Avocado And Shea Butter Conditioner +/mask,
    Styler: Schwarzkopf Taft Fixing GelWellaflex Instant Volume Boost Mousse
    DT: EVOO, C.O
    Goal: WL when curly
    CG since Feb 2014
  • ninalaneninalane Registered Users Posts: 4
    Thank you everyone for your replies so far, they're much appreciated. :smile:

    Here are the products I've been using the last few months:

    Shampoo: Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo
    This shampoo actually leaves my hair feeling quite hydrated, clean and soft.

    Conditioner: Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner
    Not impressed with this in the least, didn't seem to help with moisture at all and of course did not help with frizz, but I was still able to get shiny soft hair with styling. I recently ran out and to replace it bought
    Shea Moisture - Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner
    Only used once, definitely helps with moisture, but not frizz.

    Leave-in products for curly days:
    L'Oreal Eversleek Humidity Defying Leave-In Creme or
    TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier

    The gels and mouses I've tried have only left my hair looking wet, crispy, sometimes sticky, and still didn't prevent fly-aways and frizz. I'm thinking the Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel will be my next purchase. I always look at the Deva Curl products but have yet to try any of them.
    If your hair is as coarse as you describe, keratin might be the opposite of what it needs; a lot of coarse curlies seem to be protein-sensitive rather than protein-craving. It's hard to know for sure, though, except through a pro hair analysis or trial and error.

    I'm not entirely sure. I used to use the Organix BKT shampoo, conditioner, and anti-breakage serum and they seemed to help make my hair more manageable, less frizzy, giving more body and movement. A few months ago I tried using the Palmer's Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack and it made my hair feel absolutely awful- very dry and tangled. The conditioner I just started using has silk protein. I know these are nothing in comparison to a full-blown keratin treatment though.
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Registered Users Posts: 2,573 Curl Neophyte
    If you tried CG a few years ago, it's possible that you never did a final silicone-free sulfate wash to get out accumulated buildup, which could easily explain the issues you mentioned. So I would suggest your doing that this time (assuming that you're going to give it another go). It's not, strictly speaking, CG, but since CurlTalkers started recommending it, people typically have a much easier time getting started with CG, as they start with a clean slate. Johnson & Johnson brand baby shampoo would be a good choice for this, as would one of the Suave Naturals shampoos, or Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo.

    The four products which you mentioned by name are pretty good, except that the shampoo and conditioner both contain dimethicone – probably the root of your problems.

    Since your hair is more wavy than curly, I'd recommend your using a low-poo, rather than trying to co-wash. My favourite low-poos are DevaCurl LoPoo and Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo (though I very rarely low-poo anymore, as I find that VO5 Kiwi-Lime Squeeze Conditioner gets my hair squeaky clean). DevaCurl One Condition is probably a good choice for you to try, since the conditioner you use and like is also a botanical conditioner. I'd also suggest your trying one of the DevaCurl Gels, but since you like a less defined look, I suspect you'd like the Light Defining Gel better than the Ultra.

    I'd also strongly recommend your getting a copy of Curly Girl: The Handbook (also available here). It's very helpful, makes it easier to follow the program, has great videos on the included DVD, and costs less to buy than a single mistaken hair product choice could.

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • LoveliamLoveliam Registered Users Posts: 318 Curl Connoisseur
    You may also want to try forming the curls while your hair is wet, but after you have put styler and gel in. So forming them around a finger, or using some sort of curler- I use those soft, foam sticks to wrap hair around until dry.
    Leigh :)
    3a mixed with 2C???
    Fine Texture
    Normal to low Porosity
    Low Elasticity

    Mop Top Low Poo or Deva low poo
    Deva One Condition
    Deva B'leave-in for higher dews (Deva Foam for low dews).
    Deva Firm Hold Gel
    HG: Sweet Curls Crazy Curly Hard Hold Elixir after applying Deva and for 2nd/third day.

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