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To have no idea what my hair type is???

(29 Posts)
Chocwocdoodah Mon 10-Apr-17 13:36:09

Ok blatantly posting here for traffic...

Until I my late teens, I had curly hair. Which I loved. It's lost its curl as I've got older and is mostly wavy with a bit of curl now. It goes through phases throughout the year from quite straight to fairly curly - mostly really shit in winter when it can be flat and static, probably due to central heating and cold weather. I went through a phase where I could wash it, put serum in when soaking wet, leave it to dry and it would have bounce and light curl.

At the moment it is lifeless, static and straight. I hate it. It's always shiny and never tangly but it's just so lifeless with no body/wave at all. I've tried moisturising shampoos, lightweight ones so as not to weigh it down, tried washing every other day (instead of every day) but on the 2nd day it looks dry in the morning then starts looking greasy by the end of the day. I've also tried a no sulphate shampoo (Cantu) which weirdly leaves it feeling stripped.

So what should I be doing/using to get some bounce and wave back??? Do I need lots of moisture/just a little??? All ideas welcome!!

Ampersand22 Mon 10-Apr-17 13:41:01

I read on a 'no shampoo' website that you can tell what conditioner to use on your hair by putting a strand of it in a cup of water. If it doesn't absorb the water and sink, you have non-absorbent hair and should never condition it with oils, as they will not penetrate. If it floats on the water (like mine does), you should use water-based conditioners like aloe vera gel.

I only use oil on my hair when it's wet, just a tiny bit of coconut oil, never on dry hair.I will try to find a link to the strand test.

Ampersand22 Mon 10-Apr-17 13:42:43

I searched 'strand test porosity' and got this, which wasn't the original thing I read, but loads of results came up.

Ampersand22 Mon 10-Apr-17 13:44:21

I use 'daily aloe shampoo' by Green People, no crap in it, doesn't strip your hair of natural oils.

Chocwocdoodah Mon 10-Apr-17 13:47:30

That's really interesting Ampersand - I'm going to try that test! Is your hair curly?

Ampersand22 Mon 10-Apr-17 13:50:24

Yes, when it wants to be smile It's a loose spiral curl.
I don't blow dry it or brush it after the initial comb I give it after showering. Have you tried air-drying it? My curl falls out if I blow dry and brush it at the same time, it goes poker straight, in fact I didn't realise I had curly hair at all until I was 32 and went on a extended camping trip.

Dragonglass Mon 10-Apr-17 13:52:44

Have a look at the curly girls facebook group. It is full of very knowledgeable people following the curly girl routine. My hair is shinier and curlier since I started following it.

Chocwocdoodah Mon 10-Apr-17 14:03:18

Thanks both. Yes, air drying used to be great for my hair but now it just goes limp. My hair is really more wavy then curly these days (when it's nice) - a few ringlet-type curls at the front. Do you think the curly girl routines will apply to me?

Dragonglass Mon 10-Apr-17 16:49:15

Yes it will. There are people with wavy and very curly hair and everything in between. Many have found that their waves turned into curls once they followed the routine.

Chocwocdoodah Mon 10-Apr-17 19:09:14

That sounds promising - will have a look.

UppityHumpty Mon 10-Apr-17 19:31:07

I have developed wavy hair too. I found the flop and plop technique really worked. Basically while hair is wet coat it with your curl cream/moisturizer, then wrap it with a t-shirt or microfibre towel until fully covered, then let it dry. When you unravel the towel/t-shirt your hair will be perfect smooth shiny curls.

Chocwocdoodah Mon 10-Apr-17 20:44:26

But what products do you use Uppity? I stood in Boots today looking at shampoos for curly hair/volume/moisturising/lightweight and didn't have a clue what I should go for.

I'm just waiting for a confirmation email to set up my Curly Girls account so I can ask questions on there too....

Dragonglass Mon 10-Apr-17 22:23:24

Here are the basics.

First of all, no shampoo!

You do a final wash with a sulphate shampoo that is silicone free and from then on only use conditioner or products that are silicone free.

UppityHumpty Mon 10-Apr-17 22:38:49

I use Tresemme's sulphate free range, and aussie's leave in conditioner spray for moisture.

peachgreen Mon 10-Apr-17 22:43:04

Curly hair really isn't all the same - it depends on the texture. The Curly Girls washing method would absolutely murder my very fine but curly hair - if I don't wash it it goes lank and greasy and flat. What makes the difference for me is the quality of the cut. Find a hairdresser who really understands how to cut curly hair.

Chocwocdoodah Tue 11-Apr-17 22:38:00

Thanks all. Ive read a lot about only cleansing with conditioner - how long would it take to notice results, do you think? Im a bit worried it'll weigh my hair down.

I've been looking on Curly Girls and to be honest, it's made me more confused!! I did the porosity test and my hair floated midway in the water so i guess my hair is normal porosity?

I just dont know which shampoo/conditioner to try next. There's lots of talk of no-sulfates but it seems it doesnt work for everyone. The no-sulfate Cutan shampoo and conditioner I've been using makes my hair feel really stripped. So I don't know if it's just that brand or if all no-sulfates will be like that?? I was going to try the Body Shop Rainforest range but some reviewers said it stripped their hair so now I'm reluctant. I know there's going to be a bit of trial and error but I need help narrowing down the choices. Do I try a different brand of no sulphate? Or do I need a moisturising shampoo? Or a curly hair shampoo? I was looking at Elvive Extraordinary Oil Low shampoo but I'm not sure if that will weigh my hair down.

When my hair is straight and lifeless like it is now,it's also static. Is that indicative of dryness?? I was thinking about it and the best my hair has been in recent years is when I was using Pantene for brunettes - my hair was soft, bouncy and curly/wavy. But they discontinued it and no other Pantene was the same. I don't know what it was about that shampoo that worked so well for me though?

Sorry....I know I'm clueless!

Chocwocdoodah Tue 11-Apr-17 22:43:39

Peach - my hair sounds a bit like yours. If I lay on it or sleep on it, it looks shit. Flat and rank.

peachgreen Tue 11-Apr-17 22:57:25

Choc Well, in that case what saved my hair was a) getting a really good cut from someone who understands what fine curly hair needs, b) changing my shampoo every other wash (e.g. I have two on the go and swap them around each day), c) using leave-in conditioner a couple of times a week and d) leaving my hair to dry naturally after a wee scrunch. Mousse works well but I hate how it feels so I don't use any product. I also wash and condition every day, it's a disaster if I don't. So greasy and flat.

I use a non-sulphate shampoo - I really rate Gilchrist and Soames Beekind but it's expensive so try a travel size first!

Chocwocdoodah Tue 11-Apr-17 22:59:22

Thanks Peach. How did you find your hairdresser?

peachgreen Tue 11-Apr-17 23:05:05

Choc Trial and error I'm afraid. It took a year! But it was worth it. Look for someone who takes time to explain why your hair is different and why they're doing what they're doing. Every previous hairdresser has put tons of layers in my hair to increase the curl - works fine if you have thick or coarse hair but with my hair it just massively increases the frizz! My current hairdresser explained that to me, chopped it all to the same length and it was a life-changer. If you're in South London or Northern Ireland I can recommend someone!

MuncheysMummy Tue 11-Apr-17 23:06:33

Do not do the curly girl routine nonsense it's ridiculous to say you shouldn't ever wash your hair! washing in conditioner isn't washing the same as applying moisturiser to your face won't wash it! Just shampoo and condition with good quality (read not bought in a supermarket, try popping into a big salon near you and asking for a recommendation) sulphate and silicone free conditioner then use a lightweight smoothing curl Creme or gel when your hair is very wet,then scrunch it up th your hands and leave it alone except for a quick bouff every now and again as it air dries. I'm a hairdresser with very similar hair myself

Chocwocdoodah Tue 11-Apr-17 23:26:51

Thank you both. I'm near South London, Peach - would love a recommendation please!

Muncheys - thanks for the advice. Which products do you use?

peachgreen Tue 11-Apr-17 23:30:04

Siobhan at Headmasters in Surbiton is GREAT - I normally avoided chain salons like the plague but she totally made me have to renounce my prior snobbery! She's also a total gem of a person, so funny. I loved her and was very sad to leave her.

Muncheys Great advice, I totally agree (though I don't do gel or creme just because I hate the feel of it - it definitely looks better though). Air drying is the key!

Patchouli666 Tue 11-Apr-17 23:32:56

You need to explore the 'long hair community' forums!

Chocwocdoodah Wed 12-Apr-17 14:06:37

Will have a look at that one, thanks Patchouli.
This morning, in desperation, I used my daughter's L'Oréal kids' (sulfate)shampoo and her Disney Frozen conditioner plus I tried some of that Boots Curl Creme. Result was some curls at the front of my hair and a bit more bounce/movement all over. So does this mean light shampoos and conditioner are what I need?

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