6 weeks in and suddenly less curl, moisture overload?

WallseyWallsey Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 15 Curl Novice
Hello all!

I'm pretty new to the forums and have been on the CGM for about 6 weeks now. I normally have mainly 2c waves with some random 2b's and had started getting some 3a curls and ringlets underneath. I've attached a pics of my hair about 2 weeks ago compared to now, the first two are when it was doing well and the last is this week (random coincidence I'm wearing the same bright pink cardigan!). My hair is coarse, very dense, and I think high porosity, though I'm a little confused there. The strands feel bumpy when I run my finger up them, it takes about a minute to get fully saturated and takes FOREVER to dry. Things were going really well until last week. My scalp broke out a little and I felt like I had a lot of build up, so after doing some research I mixed a DIY scalp scrub; my botanical shampoo (live clean sulphate free), cornmeal and a few drops of tea tree oil. I deep conditioned after with my TXTR moisture mask from Cantu. Afterwards, my hair felt really clean and soft but my waves were undefined and fluffy. The next day I scrunched water in and added my Devacurl styling cream, sprayed some proclaim Jamaican Black Castor Oil curl refresher spray in and finally added my gel again; Carina Organics. I got way more definition and although not totally back to normal way better than it was. At this point, I thought maybe I just need more protein so yesterday day I showered and soaked my hair, added Deva Curl One Conditioner, my usual Shea Moisture Black Castor Oil Leave-In, Deva Curl Styling Cream and usual Carina gel. I had a little more definition but it felt product-y when I scrunched the crunch and when I went to do a scalp massage before bed I noticed my scalp has started breaking out, which I guess just happens if I don't do some form of cleansing before conditioning. Today I decided to clarify in case this was all down to build up. The last time I used sulphates was 3 weeks ago so I used my sulphate shampoo and deep conditioned with my Cantu mask and applied heat and rinsed. I added my Deva One Conditioner as my leave-in, Deva Curl cream and gel. It's now worse than ever, no big clumps, mainly 2a waves and I'm not even getting a good gel cast. It's super soft and stringy and I miss the curls I was getting, could this be moisture overload?

One thing I am wondering is could my hair not enjoy being wet so much? Before I started the CGM, my hair never got oily or seemed dirty at all (probably because it was so dry and damaged!) so I washed it about once a week. I would diffuse a bit then when dry curl sections with my straighteners that were poofy and would re-curl sections whenever it needed refreshing or I just tied it up. As a result, it was only wet once a week compared to at least every other day right now, often more. 

I'm sorry this is so long! If anyone has any advice I'd be so grateful. Thank you so much in advance!

Claire x 

Comments

  • rabarrabar Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 64 Curl Connoisseur
    edited March 2019
    This is what I understand about water exposure (and I could be wrong--anybody, please correct me if I am):  when hairs absorb water, they swell up, raising the cuticle.  Raised cuticles are more readily damaged than flat cuticles.  The more often or longer your hair is wet, the higher the chances of the cuticle getting damaged, perhaps causing limp and mushy (super-soft) hair.

    When I was on the CG Method, my curls became limp, but I wouldn't have described them as "mushy".  In my case, I think this was due to product build-up because I never shampooed at all.  If you clarified your hair and it is still limp, it could be damaged cuticles, or the beginning of hygral fatigue.  It may not be full-blown hygral fatigue if it doesn't feel mushy, but maybe a more intense protein treatment can help tighten up the curls (but this is only my opinion, not my experience--someone may have better advice based on what they've experienced!). 

    Currently, I do shampoo for every wash, but I pre-shampoo with coconut oil; from what I've read, this helps prevent the hair shaft from absorbing water too quickly, and the hair shaft swells less rapidly.  At least, that's how I've interpreted what I've read (check out this article:  http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/managing-elasticity-and-porosity-in-hair.html ), and my understanding is that pre-pooing can help prevent cuticle damage this way, because the cuticle is raised for a shorter amount of time in the shower, than if I didn't pre-poo at all.

    Like I said, I could be wrong, so please check the info out and decide for yourself.

    It could be that your hair has high porosity, and takes a long time to dry due to the amount of products in your hair (my hair is low porosity, but it takes even longer to dry if I have a lot of conditioner or gel in my hair).  The denser hair is, the longer it takes to dry.

    I hope this helps more than it harms!  There could be many other factors that I am unaware of.  The science-y hair blog has a gelatin protein treatment recipe (it's the same one i tried two days ago).  It didn't make much difference on my hair, but my hair wasn't very damaged to begin with.
    rabar
    2c/3a/3b, coarse, med-high porosity, medium density
    formerly CG method
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    It sounds to me like your hair doesn't like that deep conditioner.  Every time you use it, it gets a little worse.  And it also sounds like you need more protein.  The Carina Organics has none, Deva One (original formula) has none or possibly just a little (hops extract....might or might not be protein).  Deva One Delight does have protein.  You might want to get a different DT that has protein.  Some good ones are Deva Deep Sea Repair, Briogeo Repair Me, or Curl Junkie Don't Despair, Repair.  Or you could do the DIY gelatin treatment.  If you're worried about too much protein, don't leave it on for long. 

    It's unlikely to be too much water.  Moisturized hair comes from water.  All the conditioners and oils and other products we use acts to keep the water in our hair and prevent it from drying out, but they don't provide moisture by themselves.  Hygral fatigue won't happen from washing your hair every other day.
    Formerly known as Janiegirl
    2B/2C, fine hair, low density, mixed porosity, protein loving hair
    Current products:
    Changing up my shampoos because I can't find one I like
    Deva Curl One Condition (original formula)
    Innersense I Create Volume
    Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
  • WallseyWallsey Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 15 Curl Novice
    @rabar @Guide 65 Thank you so much! I can't believe I didn't put two and two together about the deep conditioner! I'll leave it alone for a while and try a different one. I got some gelatin to try the diy in between as well. I think I've been nervous about the protein so avoiding it a little. I used to use coconut oil before I wash but haven't for a while so I'll give that a try again! Thank you for helping!
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    edited March 2019
    It could be the soy protein in the Cantu TXTR product. It looks like that DC has a lot of soy protein. Soy protein can have a drying effect on the hair, more so than other proteins. Since this product is a DC and requires leaving it on the hair for quite a while, your hair would have picked up a lot of the protein.

    I would recommend doing a protein-free DC.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    I agree with Guide and Therese. You could even clarify again and avoid the Cantu masque. Your hair looks either dry or product build up from the pictures. Also, your hair is really pretty!
  • erikawithacerikawithac Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 2 Curl Neophyte
    I'm pretty new to taking better care of my hair, but something I noticed when I joined the skincare community is that there is sometimes a tendency to overload/overcomplicate/overcorrect once you finally start hitting your stride and get to the "experiment with how to make your skin even BETTER" phase. You'll start exfoliating more to make your skin texture even smoother, and then you get redness/sensitivity, so you add in something to soothe/moisturize, which makes your pores weird, so you try DIY masking, which starts to cause flakiness, so you think your skin is dehydrated and... and... and...

    When I've realized I'm sliding into that habit, my first step is to simplify. Cut back to the essentials, and then gradually start adding other stuff back in once I have an idea of what my skin actually needs as opposed to what all the treatments are doing to it. It's possible that cutting back to cleansing, conditioning (RO & some leave-in if it still feels dry), and basic product for a few washes might give your hair time to settle so you can figure out what it really needs.
    Innsersense Pure Harmony Hairbath, Pure Inspiration Conditioner, Sweet Spirit leave-in, I Create Hold gel
  • Guide 65Guide 65 Registered Users, Moderators Posts: 1,984 Curl Virtuoso
    @erikawithac, I totally agree!  I have come up with a core set of products that work for me.  When I start to experiment and it fails, I can drop back to my core products until my hair settles down, then try a different experiment.  I still think my hair can get even BETTER, but at least I have a routine that will give me decent hair in between the failed experiments.
    Formerly known as Janiegirl
    2B/2C, fine hair, low density, mixed porosity, protein loving hair
    Current products:
    Changing up my shampoos because I can't find one I like
    Deva Curl One Condition (original formula)
    Innersense I Create Volume
    Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
  • WallseyWallsey Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 15 Curl Novice
    @Therese1 @BritannyM @Guide 65 @erikawithac Thank you so much for all your help! Your advice has been so helpful. I got a new clarifying shampoo, the Tresemme one that I've seen suggested and used that yesterday and a DC with no protein, also a Tresemme botanical one. My hair felt a lot better and basically looks how it did when I first started 6 weeks ago, but I will take it! It feels pretty dry today but I'll keep working on it. Should I avoid proteins altogether for a while or is it ok to use the products with protein I have been using so far, like the Deva Curl curl cream and Shea Moisture Leave In? As @erikawithac suggests, maybe I should just condition and use my gel and keep it simple.

    Thank you so much again for all of your help, this is so nice of you to take the time to reply! xxx
  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    Have you been using protein from when you first started CGM? If so, I would add protein back in since it may be the Masque causing the issue. Another point, is your hair damaged in anyway such as heat or coloring? If so, your hair most likely does need protein. Last point, leave it out and see if you want to, just make sure your hair continues to be in good health.
  • WallseyWallsey Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 15 Curl Novice
    @BrittanyM Thank you so much for your help! So from the beginning I've used Deva Curl No Poo to cleanse, which I believe has protein, and then I used up my Love, Beauty, Planet lavender conditioner (which I actually really liked although I know it's not a super popular one) and switched to the Tresemme Botanique and Replenishing Hydration Mask (which is ok but not amazing) and the Deva Curl One Conditioner, neither of which have protein I don't think. I've been using the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In for the past month and that does have Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, followed by Deva Curl Curl Cream which also has protein. The thing I'm trying to remember is, had I used the cantu mask when I took those pictures of my hair looking good because I have a feeling I'd used it for the first time, but then with continued use, it got worse and worse suggesting perhaps I need a stronger protein treatment every now and again but not regularly.

    I do colour my hair with permanent dye and up until starting the Curly Girl Method used straighteners regularly, not every single day, but a few times a week to curl it (the irony!). So I'm guessing I must have quite a lot of damage and that's why my hair feel so dry. I've realised over the past week I've tried way too many products in a short time and, as everyone has suggested, should have found a good baseline first.


  • BrittanyMBrittanyM Registered Users Posts: 1,218 Curl Virtuoso
    I personally feel that altered hair, such as coloring, needs protein. To get the color into your hair and to lift out you natural color, hair dye "drills" (more like melts) the cuticle so it can get color in and your natural color out. Therefore, protein should help fill those holes from the dye. You can try protein again and see. If it goes back to what it was like before, then avoid it. Also, be sure to clarify monthly or however often you feel is appropriate.
  • WallseyWallsey Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 15 Curl Novice
    @BrittanyM Thank you so much! I'll go back to what I've been using before the DC mask and see how it goes :)

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