Fine, dense AND Low Porosity?

Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
Could it be?

I've been natural since February of 2013 and I swear, trying to find information specifically for me has been so difficult.
I learned that when you are natural (not even dyes) your hair is low porosity. I have only been using heat to flat iron 2x a year. I don't swim and because it's November, there isn't a whole lot of sun to stress over lately.

My dilemma is this: Products for thick hair weigh my hair down, because it is fine. Products for fine hair, harden my hair because it is low porosity. Using heat, (although it could be the type of soft bonnet dryer I use) may have given me heat damage. But given the sites I've browsed? Lo-po folks benefit the most from deep conditioning with heat.

Oh top of all of this...while protein may be benéfical for fine hair, my hair is Lo-porosity. Which means, it probably will just sit on my head--like EVERYTHING else.

Here is what I am hoping to gain by posting:

A suggestion for a MOISTURIZER that is not heavy (shea butter) but effective. I live in the Midwest and it is winter here.

A STYLER that is not Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Souflee. Both those did not get along with my hair. It was like the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story. LOL

I use Ecostyler but I want to try something else.

A LEAVE-IN--many leave-ins leave me with a chalky residue or glycerin that just puffs my hair up.

And lastly, a DEEP CONDITIONING treatment that doesn't contain protein and is lighter than Queen Helene cholestorol which has been a staple for a long time. I fear it is too thick for both my the fine and low-porosity attributes but right for my density.

Hopefully, someone can have some suggestions. *crosses fingers*



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  • russianprncssrussianprncss Registered Users Posts: 450 Curl Neophyte

    My hair has similar properties to you (fine, dense, low po), so I completely understand how hard it is to find the perfect products for that combination of properties. I have found that often times I can use heavier stylers if I use only a tiny bit. I've been using Curl Junkie's Coffee Coco Curl Creme as my leave in conditioner and though it can be heavy if you use too much, I've found just using a finger tip's worth is enough to get through all my hair.

    As far as a styler goes, are you looking for moisture or curl definition? I LOVE Kinky Curly's Curl Custard. It's a botanical gel styler that works on stretching out the curl. It's not as drying as most gels and you don't need to use too much, so it's perfect for fine hair.

    I also have really liked Jane Carter Solution's Incredible Curls. It's a cream gel that smells amazing. Again, you don't need to use too much but it provides nice light definition and moisture.

    I sincerely hope that helps! Good luck on your hair journey :)
    2C/3A; very, very thick fine to medium hair; low porosity.

    Current Products:
    Co-Wash: As I Am Cleansing Co-Wash
    Conditioner: Shea Moisture Tahitian Masque, Aubrey Organics GPB, Shea Moisture
    Leave-In: Coffee Coco Curl Creme, Coffee Coco Curl Creme Lite
    Stylers: Mop Top Curl Custard, Shea Moisture Curl Custard[/FONT]

    "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." -Khalil Gibran
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    Thank you so much for your response! I have been seeing Curl Junkie a lot during my search. I have to say, the smoothing lotion is one I am really interested in (it came up on both a fine and Lo-po lists).

    The Coco cream is getting added to my own list of things to try.

    I am hoping to get moisture from my moisturizer or leave-in and definition with my styler.

    As for the KCCC, I am not sure if I got a bad batch or it didn't like what I tried to use as a leave-in (Tresseme Naturals Conditioner), but it reacted similar to Shea Moisture's Curling Souflee. It just puffed my hair out and it was hard and stringy. Reminded me of an afro that had gotten combed out. It was weird. And it left little beads that would fall out. That part I realized when I was trying to study for an exam--the little beads kept hitting my textbook. I was like "Whaaaat?!" LOL

    I would love to try Jane Carter one day. I do know here they don't have a Curl Junkie vendor so those I'll have to get online.

    I swear some days it seems like all my hair needs is gel and water. But, if I could find the right one I'd like a little moisture in between my hair and my styler (gel in my case).

    Thank you again for your reaponse.
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using CurlTalk App
  • lolo918lolo918 Registered Users Posts: 729 Curl Neophyte
    I don't really deep condition my hair at all- it is low porosity and fine textured. However, I don't have high density so I'm not sure how much I can help for that. I do protein treatments regularly, which have really helped my hair retain moisture, retain curls, and "bounce" back from manipulation like twisting, etc. For instance with that and other styling measures, I can get 5 day hair, but I prefer not to go that long without washing because my hair meshes/mats really easily at the roots so when I go to detangle/wash it wreaks more havoc than help on my hair. For my treatments, I use unflavored knox gelatin or a store brand unflavored gelatin and use iagirl's recipe from Science-y hair blog. I can do this treatment once every week with no problems at all, I add rinse out conditioner, honey, and aloe vera juice to the base recipe. I do know that another poster here adthomas may have a lot more insight. I followed a lot of her posts when I first began because I noticed that we had a lot of similarities when it came to what worked/didn't work for hair. She is protein sensitive I believe so we differ with that on hair care, and she also has high density hair. What may do great for you is honey and a protein free conditioner if you haven't tried it. I also have used honey, aloe vera juice, and plain greek yogurt mixed together- my hair absolutely loved it.

    I also don't use oils unless they are waaay down low on a product list, in tiny amounts, only on the very ends of my hair, or as a pre-shampoo treatment. This was the number one most helpful thing to me and why I believe Shea Moisture products don't work for me. I am fine using good ole Suave Naturals conditoners (all kinds for rinse outs and styling, everlasting sunshine is my favorite though), tresemme naturals moisture was good too, curls coconut curlada, and the GVP conditioning balm has been a great rinse out/detangling conditioner that I just tried in the last month or so. I haven't used the curls conditioner in awhile because I found cheaper products that I can afford to buy more often- well really all of their products in the professional line. I did love their products though. I would also love to try curl junkie products, but I'm on a strict budget so they will have to wait to be tried My leave ins end up being rinse outs- I never really found a specific leave in that I could 1) afford to buy with how often I wash and 2) do a better job than rinse outs.

    I make my own flaxseed gel for styling, I mix it with a rinse out conditioner, and sometimes add a tiny amount of honey or LA looks sport gel to style. This is again another science-y hair blog creation- it is the flaxseed curl cream recipe. Flaxseed gel is my go to that I have not found any commercial products that compare for hold and softness, and keeps more of my precious (and limited supply of) money in my pocket. The LA Looks gel is also a newish product in my line up- it works well but I have to mix a lot of conditioner with it before I apply it or it makes my hair hard. Oh, yes that was another big one for me- I mix all my styling products together before I apply them because when I layered products the results were less than optimal. They didn't absorb as well (hello residue until it dried), and my hair would be harder than normal. I do have to scrunch out a tiny amount of crunchiness sometimes when I use too much honey but when I have to scrunch that out I also keep better looking curls for longer so it becomes more of a personal preference thing.

    Another thing that has really helped my hair is that I wash when I shower but after I rinse out all shampoo/conditioner/treatments from my hair I let it sit, when I'm ready to get out of the shower, I wrap my hair in a long sleeved t-shirt while I get dressed. Then I style it- I have less problems with products sitting on my hair, and it doesn't take as long to dry. I'm not sure if any of my experiences help, but I hope that they do. Good luck!
    3C/4A, fine texture, low-medium density, and low porosity
    CG since November 2013.

    Pre-Poo: infrequent now, Coconut Oil overnight
    Shampoo: Curls unleashed/for occasional sulfate wash when needed, everlasting sunshine.
    Conditioner: Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine and GVP's conditioning balm.
    Styler: iagirl's flaxseed curl cream or gelatin gel/conditioner mix. <3
    PT: iagirl's gelatin treatment 3-4 times a month, with conditioner/honey/avj
  • naturecatnaturecat Registered Users Posts: 1,986 Curl Neophyte
    My hair used to have similar properties to yours (and even though it changed it still behaves similarly with products). I agree with lolo; my hair loved and absorbed aloe vera in any form, and also some honey in moderation (using it daily led to buildup). Honey is a humectant (similar to glyercin) but not as powerful so it may not aggravate your hair the way glycerin does. Aloe vera gel helped add moisture to my hair and also was good for taming flyways and shaping and clumping curls that dried weirdly.

    Deep conditioning was always too much for my hair. However, pre poos with a drop of coconut oil, left overnight or for an hour, seemed to work. Coconut oil also penetrates the hair shaft and helps hair maintain more protein. Protein treatments I found to work well with heat to help them absorb better. Would hot water be less damaging to your hair than a soft bonnet dryer? You can put on a shower cap and let hot water hit it while wearing your PT. Maybe putting in a drop of coconut oil in your PT mix or another hair coating ingredient would help protect from hot water damage used during the PT.

    Homemaking products seemed to help me. I used (and still use) gelatin hair gel (like a gelatin PT but a bit lighter). You can add other ingredients to help counteract hardness (not a problem my lo po hair had). Maybe because it's natural, my hair absorbed it better than synthetic products.

    Right now I'm using giovanni direct leave in (a drop diluted with water, almost none), SS CEJ and Jessicurl which seem to help boost my curl rather than weigh it down (and putting my gelatin gel on top), but I am higher porosity than before. I suspect SS CEJ would have worked well with my lo po hair since it has aloe vera as one of the first few ingredients.

    Another styler many swear by is KCCC. Never tried it but I know it has aloe. Also homemade flax seed gel or okra gel. SCE makes them if you don't want to make your own.

    Super baby fine hair, low porosity
    Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
    Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
    Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    Thank you, everyone!

    Here is what I have been doing for about 2 weeks after an Aphogee Curlific texture treatment fiasco--

    Hello Hydration Herbal Essences Conditioner as a co-wash or EDEN BODY WORKS CO- WASH (which I loooove! I can even finger detangle with that stuff!)

    Coconut oil and honey as a pre-wash treament (my hair is soooo wierd--tried coconut oil before and it really only seems to like it in the winter!)

    Nexus Moisture leave-in (which could very well just be old--but it doesn't seem to be penetrating)

    I put a quarter sized amount of Pantene for curly hair conditioner through my hair and sealed with argan oil.

    I am going to try the Eden BodyWorks deep conditioner (brief searching led me to know that Queen Helene Cholestorol *does* have protein in it--which explains why my hair and it are not friends anymore). Not to mention I loved the co-wash, that is fueling my interest in this Eden line. I got leave-in from them as well.

    I also picked up some of the GVP Silk Remedy to see if it helps to combat the frizzes. I probably will not try the Silk remedy yet, because they say that frizz is a sign of Uber dry hair. I'd like to see if the fact that many of the products I have have protein in them is contributing to what looks like damage and frizz. Protein which probably doesn't help with the protein overload I suffered from the Aphogee I mentioned earlier in this post.

    Thank you all again for the help. The pic in the orange is before and the pic in the bears shirt is after the texture treatment. Which prompted me to go and look up stuff specific to my finicky hair


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  • artemis513artemis513 Registered Users Posts: 666 Curl Neophyte
    General guidelines for curly hair assume that it's dry as all get out and damaged. Sometimes its not and the hair requires different thinking. Enter fine, low porosity hair. Pretty healthy, low maintenance if cared for properly. I know for me, I sometimes find it hard to believe that all I need is a good LI and Eco gel and that's it. My hair just does well with that all year round. I still experiment from time to time, but overall, less is more.

    Frizz on fine, low porosity hair is a sign of over-moisturizing/product build up. Once you get settled into your new routine, you might want to plan for a 1x/month clarify with a very, very gentle sulfate-free shampoo. In the summer time, this isn't as important to me, but when the winter time comes, I find that I definitely need this thrown into my routine because I experiment with different richer products or go longer in between washes and will use more product in general. I love Curl Junkie Gentle Cleansing shampoo or Abba Pure Gentle for this. On regular wash days, I am faithful to Curl Junkie Daily Fix. It's got the cleansing ingredients/efficacy of a shampoo but no lather. This is the game changer in my regimen. Love this stuff so much.

    Also, fine hair does better with protein so don't rule that out completely, being low porosity doesn't apply here. All that LP means is that you hair is less prone to moisture loss. Hydrolyzed proteins help install water to your hair and keeping it there without weighing down. Many people misuse protein products for what their hair needs at that moment, so that's where that misconception comes from. I currently use Curl Junkie Curl Fix weekly with heat (I recently purchased a HotHead deep conditioning cap it's genius) and it makes keeping moisture in my hair for longer and I don't have re-style as much, styling is just much much easier. Right before rinsing I add BCAO to the ends and my hair has the perfect balance for going straight to adding styling products. In fine hair, protein gives fine hair support and slows down water loss. If you want to deep condition for softness and flexibility, I absolutely agree with oil pre-wash treatments, our hair does better with that. Be careful not to over apply oil and you'll see results. If you want a traditional "deep condition" step afterwards anyway, apply your moisturizing rinse-out on after washing with plastic cap and leave on for 10-15 min and that should be enough.

    Avocado oil is also very nice for an oil pre-wash. Lots of fatty acids and gives good pliability and weight to hair without greasiness. I prefer over coconut oil which can be too much sometimes since it penetrates the hair more.

    Stay away from Shea Moisture anything unless you use it very sparingly. Amounts so sparingly, you will wonder why bother in the first place.

    My current go-to leave-ins are the lightweight water-based ones. Keracare Natural Textures LI if I want a little bit of oils (this has 2 very lightweight ones), PM The Conditioner if I just want pure moisture under a gel that has oils (Eco Argan or Olive oil). I don't use creamy leave-ins they are too much (cause wet frizz/kill curl definition). I don't seal on wet hair because of the products I use on wet hair do that. I will add a few drops to dry hair though. Whatever LI you use, apply a small amount s to very wet hair, just enough to give some slip to hair. Low porosity holds its own water quite well if you prep it properly via your treatments so you shouldn't need too much LI. If you do, troubleshoot your cleansing and oil pre-wash or deep conditioning routine.

    For moisturizing in between washes, (like if I am not just rinsing my hair with water followed by a rinse-out conditioner + finger detangling) I will use a spray leave-in to dampen, let it settle a couple of minutes and then a lightweight oil, just a couple of drops. If you still want to use a moisturizing cream for your dense hair, Qhemet Biologics has the Burdock Root Butter Cream made for fine hair. It has glycerin in it but she formulated it as safe for use in winter. It has olive oil in it too so you shouldn't need to seal afterwards. It's concentrated goodness for really dry ends, etc. Again without being too much.

    Check out the Low Porosity forums for more tips.

    Not sure what you did with the Curlific Texture treatment for a bad result, but you should try that (and the cholesterol you like) as a pre-wash treatment instead.
    4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
    Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
    My Fotki
    My Blog
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    Thank you for your help. I swear I keep forgetting all about pre-poo treatments. I really need to start writing this all down.
    In the past few weeks, I have been just terrified to use anything with proteins or products for fortifying, strengthening, repairing. What I have been using is a dime size amount of Silk Remedy (GVP of Silk Infusion). So far so good.

    I switched out the Queen Helene Cholesterol and I am trying out the Eden BodyWorks deep conditioner. I love that stuff, hate the tea tree-like smell. Even their co-wash is wonderful for me, makes detangling a breeze.

    With the Curlrific Texture Treament, I am pretty certain that I left it on way too long. The jar does say 5minutes. I left it in from 10-20. I fully accept responsibility for that idiotic mistake!

    Right now it is similar to transitioning. The only difference is instead of transitioning out of relaxed hair, I am transitioning from protein damage.

    It is very possible since I have have tried the Curly Girl method and relegated myself to no silicones/sulfates that my hair just really isn't faring well with this method.

    I do know that the CG method does not work for everyone.

    It seems my hair looks best when I use a quarter size amount of Patene for Curls (pink bottle, rinse-out)) as a leave-in.

    I noticed something pretty funny with my hair...

    I can shingle from the nape of my neck to the top of my ears (that part does not give a rat's butt what I use, whatever technique, how much I use it does it's thing and curls with no problem. From the ears up? It laughs at all of my effort. It's wavy--nothing even close to the back.

    Anway, I am going to look through all of this again and pick out some of your suggestions. Thanks again, everyone.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using CurlTalk App
  • kathymackkathymack Registered Users Posts: 9,999 Curl Neophyte
    I'm fine/low porosity. Hair is not longer dense--age, thyroid, medication and having general anesthesia twice in two months made it even worse. The thing that you really need to be concerned with about density is coating all of your hair when you apply styling products.

    When I first came on, I did DTs because people discussed them a lot. My hair really doesn't need the added moisture. I use a lot of protein--at least one PT a week and a lot of products with protein.

    Because of the hair loss after anesthesia, I stopped highlighting. It's made my hair even lower porosity and I've had to stop using a lot of the richer products that worked for me for years. They just sit on my hair. I could never use any of the Shea M products--they just sat on my hair. Good news is that they wash out easily.

    My hair has always been sensitive to a lot of the chemicals used in hair products, especially polyquats (4, 7 and 10 cause real issues for me.) They coat my hair, are hard to remove, make it even more difficult to absorb product and cause frizz when wet. You may want to try some of the more natural products that don't have the chemicals--a lot of my favs are listed in my signature.
    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
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    Kathy---I am so sorry to hear about all of the health problems you have had. I hope you are doing better now?

    I am guessing it is the certain types of protein that I have been using that is not helping me. The only thing that had whipped my hair back into shape was the shampoo conditioner leave-in combo of infusium 23. That was when I was relaxed. I felt like it was enough to give my hair some life, however it tends to leave a chalky residue behind. So I have stopped using that. I have been seeing a lot of your say that you do use protein. One thing is for sure, I need to stay away from something as strong as the Aphogee lines.

    Something very light, yet penetrating.

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  • kathymackkathymack Registered Users Posts: 9,999 Curl Neophyte
    In all likelihood, your hair was damaged when relaxed--and not as low porosity. So, it absorbed product better then it does now. The residue could have been any of the chemicals, as the Infusium products are filled with them.

    You could experiment a little with protein by using products that contain it, but nothing as strong as a PT. There are some proteins that are more easily tolerated by people who have protein sensitivities (keratin comes to mind.) Maybe you could find one your hair likes. You could also add a protein spray (like the Color Neutral Protein you buy at Sally's) and add it to a moisturizing conditioner. That way, you could control the amount of protein. CA Baby makes a detangling spray with quinoa California Baby Natural & Organic Products Official Site protein not common to find. I find it to be milder then most.

    IMHO, the rinse out is the least important product for low porosity hair. It's on your hair a relatively short time, so how much does your hair absorb?? It might be the place to experiment. If you have a positive reaction, you can try that protein in styling products.

    Have you tried making FSG or okra gel?? It's another way that you can control the ingredients. I usually make large batches with ingredients I like to have all year around. When you defrost, you can add other ingredients based on the time of year and what your hair is liking at the time.
    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
  • MsPMsP Registered Users Posts: 116
    I personally think that using a steamer or sitting under a hooded dryer is a great option to get conditioners to penetrate low porosity hair. Dryers have temperature gauges ranging from 100 degrees upward. 100 degrees is only a few degrees above body temperature of 98.6 so you CERTAINLY will not get heat damage from conditioning with that type of heated bonnet but it will help low porosity hair to open the cuticles and accept conditioner.
    So that problem is solved.
    With regard to the products that work for any person, there is no shortcut. You really have to roll up your sleeves and try some until you find your own holy grail products or at least some that work a little bit for you. It is just a process of trial and error and there is no getting around that. I am still trying out new products and that is part of the fun of playing with your hair in my opinion.
    Enjoy the learning curve and go for it. You and your hair will ultimately love the fruits of your labors.
    My Routine:
    Coconut oil drench the night before I co-wash
    then cowash and deep condition each time w/ Keracare Humecto, Joico Moisture Recovery and/or ApHogee 2min
    then usually airdry
    Grapeseed oil nightly

    (no gel, mouse, or hair spray. My delicate, fine hair will tear if I even try to run my fingers through it with any of those. :angel9:)
    My go to leave ins are now: my regular conditioners listed above, gs oil, or PW77
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    I have been hitting the websites in addition to following this topic and I have been seeing a lot out steamers. Hmm...

    I do have a hooded dryer that is not a soft bonnet. Would I fair better using that than my soft bonnet? I honestly have been so scared to even use it because I associated it with the soft bonnet (maybe because the soft bonnet feels like a danggum oven!!)

    I am learning that in small amounts my hair digs silk proteins. Hair feels really soft if I put a dime size amount of the GVP Silk remedy. Though, it seems like my curls won't clump.
  • lolo918lolo918 Registered Users Posts: 729 Curl Neophyte
    I'd try the hard bonnet dryer- since it's not so enclosed it may not feel so hot. I'm not sure though. I've never used either- I just do conditioning treatments with a plastic cap on then a towel over that. I let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour while I do things around the house.

    Is your wavy area where most of your damage was? I ask because I transitioned from relaxers and my hair started wavy. As I grew it out, it got less wavy but my tight curls/coils didn't show until I had cut all the relaxer out. If it's not that you may just have a looser texture there that needs to be manipulated in some way to match your other parts.

    I'm not sure how I missed it before, but the queen helene made my hair hard too after I went natural. It was the oils or something other than the protein for me I thought- possibly the silicones. I just didn't need that type of "sealing" effect as much anymore. My best treatments of any kind have humectants and fatty alcohols as the primary ingredients, oils further down. Glycerols, sugars, hydrolyzed proteins, fsg, okra gel, pectin and propylene glycol are examples of humectants. Fatty alcohol examples are capric/capryl acids, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol.

    Sent from my VS980 4G using CurlTalk App
    3C/4A, fine texture, low-medium density, and low porosity
    CG since November 2013.

    Pre-Poo: infrequent now, Coconut Oil overnight
    Shampoo: Curls unleashed/for occasional sulfate wash when needed, everlasting sunshine.
    Conditioner: Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine and GVP's conditioning balm.
    Styler: iagirl's flaxseed curl cream or gelatin gel/conditioner mix. <3
    PT: iagirl's gelatin treatment 3-4 times a month, with conditioner/honey/avj
  • Ashe0000Ashe0000 Registered Users Posts: 32 Curl Novice
    Well, I did my final bc just about 2 years ago in February. I did notice that right at the crown was the "scab hair" or the hair that would need more trims and such. Since then, I believe it is the wavy part of my head. Right where you would put a hat or a yamulke 😂😂😂.

    I think I just realized something when reading this thread back...I never used a conditioning cap /plastic bag/plastic cap with that soft bonnet dryer. I have no clue why! I was probably damaging my hair (thinking I could use it by itself like when I do rollersets). I notice creating the greenhouse (using a bag/cap with a towel) helps a little. But only a little. I tend to have dry spots (ex. The crown). Maybe I should saran wrap then put a bag (since we always have bags) before I use the soft one. You know, try one more thing. ;)

    Oh noes!

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