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A question for those experienced in frizzy thick hair issues

(39 Posts)
roundwindow Sun 26-Jul-09 10:24:05

Hi there,

There was a fab thread here a while back about the woes experienced by those of us with thick curly/frizzy hair. I remember 'mushroom-head' (aka short layers) and hairdressers going 'your hair's very thick isn't it' in an annoyed tone of voice (like, yes, I have thick hair on purpose to piss you off hmm) being mentioned. So I know there are mumsnetters out there who totally feel my pain grin

My hair, left to its own devices, is like 80s heavy metal hair. Huge, thick, very curly underneath but sort of frizzy on top (so can't even say I'm blessed with bouncing ringletty curls). I have worn it in a sort of layered bob for a few years but now I'm growing it out again as I've been feeling distinctly middle-aged and I love the idea of having long hair.... but I just don't have the 2hrs+ needed to blow-dry and straighten it to match the image of 'long hair' in my head. Currently I usually wear it tied back

My question today: have any of you ever tried 'permanent straightening'? I read a while back about this permanent blow-dry procedure you can have at some salons. It costs about 200 quid though, which puts it firmly in the realms of maybe-another-day. But I'd love to hear about it if any of you have ever had it done. Then the other day in boots I noticed a 'permanent straightening' kit... a bit like a home perm I guess. They even sell root touch-up kits for it.

But I've never met or spoken to anyone who's used such a thing and it seems a bit of a scarey, chemically thing to undertake. Sky-high going hideously wrong potential.... paranoid fantasises of being stuck with brittle wispy green hair or something.

Any experience? Any other ideas about how to 'do' long hair when you have hair like mine?

tiredmama Sun 26-Jul-09 11:22:26

I have hair like yours.I am Asian though,so I think texture could be slightly different.I used to have really short hair, but am now growing it as I realise our kind of hair looks better long.I have it cut in layers.I wash it, then spray John FReida anti frizz spray sparingly.Then to the lower half I apply Aveda curl esae lotion and twist the strands around my fingers and let it dry naturally.Looks much better since I started doing this.I am too scared to get anything done to my hair because so many things can go wrong.

ruddynorah Sun 26-Jul-09 11:36:10

how do you currently dry it? leave it to dry naturally/rough dry with towel/blow dry?

any products? how often do you wash it?

bishboschone Sun 26-Jul-09 11:43:56

I have very thick curly hair that left to itw onw devices would be hideous . I wash it with pantene and towel dry lightly . When it is quite wet I use vo5 curl up mousse )about £3 ) and either let it dry or diffuse it. Everyone comments on how lovely my hair is and it makes me feel different to the norm if straightened hair everywhere.

I have a fabulous hairdresser who understands my hair and thins it out just the right amount.

I would suggest trying to hunt one down and try the mousse (a much cheaper option) as I think straightened curly hair can look dodgy!
good luck

roundwindow Sun 26-Jul-09 12:43:30

Thanks for your replies... good to know what others in my situation do. liking the mousse it not a bit 'crispy' though?

bishbosch I so wish I could find an undertanding hairdresser. It's been a lifelong quest! They all just blowdry my hair into straight submission and cut it as though it's like that all the time. Then I wash it and -boing!- it's completely nothing like the style I left the salon with! I'm even thinking considered insisting they cut it dry so there'll be no nasty surprises later, but have never have the guts.

Normally I wash (and condition) every other day and usually let it dry naturally. I put frizz ease serum on which helps a bit with the frizz but doesn't really reduce the volume or define curls very well, especially on the second day.

When I blow dry it (very occasionally) I love it. I do it section by section and while it doesn't end up dead straight it really helps reduce the dreaded volume. I put frizz ease shine spray on it as well after it's been blow dried and it looks much sleeker than normal. But as I say that takes far too long to be a viable option most days (have two deranged boys under 5 grin. Hence my desperate search for a treatment which would achieve this look without me having to do anything. Sigh.

bishboschone Sun 26-Jul-09 13:11:19

YOu see that is where you are going wrong. My friend has hair that she sometimes has curly but mostly straight as she has it cut like a stright haired person would, consequently it looks a bit ropey curly.I occasionally straighten mine but It is cut to be curly so it doesn't sit right.

Hairdressers seem to think that you want the curls gone and this is a very outdated idea. curls are cool and you need to find a hairdresser that understands that. I am not sure where you live but my hairdresser says my hair is akin to black hair rather than white. I am blonde with blue eyes by the way so no chance it has come from anywhere. My mum has very thick straight hair and my dad has curly so I have a combination.
Maybe try a hairdresser that deals with black hair if there is one near you?

Mousse can be crunchy but you have to practice and use the low setting on your diffuser.
For me it is so much more low maintenance than having it straight as I can wash and go and don't have to avoid!!

ruddynorah Sun 26-Jul-09 14:57:29

yes try a european or afro hair salon who will be used to dealing with curls. best thing is to find a curly haired hairdresser! few and far between ime.

you need a proper hair cut for curly hair.

fwiw serum on its own won't do the trick. you use that on the wet hair but then need a product to individually curl each section. basically hands in product, twist hair round fingers, hold for a moment, let go. do whole head, bigger sections makes bigger looser curls. then scrunch the ringlets up a bit, and leave to dry naturally.

Nancy66 Sun 26-Jul-09 15:19:16

My hair is very very thick - I seem to have three times as much as anyone else. I actually welcomed my hair falling out after having a baby, not many can say that!

It's also naturally cork screw curls and very frizzy.

I do have it permenantly straightened using the Yuko system. unfortunately it is very time consuming (it takes about 4-5 hours) and expensive (about £300) but it is SO worth it. It really improves the condition of your hair as it 'irons on' a sheen.

I could never blow dry my hair previously as it would just frizz beyond control and it would take about 8 hours to dry naturally. Now I can wash it and leave it and i don't have to panic about getting caught in the rain or working up a sweat on a hot day.

Yuko is not suitable for afro caribbean hair, just as the afro 'relaxing' procedures are not suitable for European hair as the structures are completely different.

I can't recommend permanent straightening enough - it changed my life!

foofi Sun 26-Jul-09 15:27:45

I had this done - cost about £250, but didn't seem to make any difference to my hair - still need to use straighteners to calm it down. Wouldn't waste your money on anything like that.

Hormonesnomore Sun 26-Jul-09 15:28:25

I have really thick, wavy hair & my lovely hairdresser (found after years of fruitless searching) always cuts it dry - her preference. She thins it every time (every 3 weeks) and sometimes even in between cuts I go to her salon just for a thin. I can't think where it all comes from tbh.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Sun 26-Jul-09 15:37:55

I've got very thick curly hair too (I feel your pain!). Know exactly what you mean about the attitude from hairdressers angry.

Mine is longish, well below shoulder length. I wash it about twice a week, leave it till it's almost dry (if it's tied back it can take hours!), then finish it off with a hairdryer. Then GHDs. These are the only way forward IMO! It will stay straight till the next wash. People who don't remember/didn't know me before can't believe it's naturally curly, and the condition is fine.

It doesn't take too long - IME it's the blowdrying that is time-consuming, not the straightening (esp with GHDs, they are quick).

A friend once had permanent straightening, but it only really lasted about a month.

Alternatively, if your hair is longer, the weight will pull it down so you could leave it curly and the volume wouldn't be as much of a problem as it is when it's shorter.

roundwindow Sun 26-Jul-09 15:43:31

Ruddynorah... will give that a go with extra product, thanks. Am off to google curly-haired hairdresser.....

Nancy: thanks for that... sounds completely fab, just what I'm hopeing for. 300 squid though. sigh. will start putting loose change in a Yuko fund jar today.

Hormonesnomore: so glad to hear that there are understanding hairdressers out there. so far my experiences of 'thinning' have been just the dreaded short layers which give me terrible mushroom head. aaaargh!

roundwindow Sun 26-Jul-09 15:55:58

forgot to say: foofi thanks for the warning, I'm a gullible mug target for anything when it comes to sorting my hair out so it's good to know if something's not going to be worth its money.

Fattipuffs (you're named after one of my most favourite books!) my experience with GHDs is that it doesn't last very long. A night's sleep or just getting a bit hot under the collar means I'm back to square one. Will cross my fingers that the length pulling it down will do the trick smile I was suspicious that permanent straightening might not last very long so it's good to hear about others' experiences.

anyway, by the time I've saved up my pennies sod's law says that big hair will be finally making a comeback. I remember at school everyone had perms and did scrunch-drying and that holding-your-head-upside-down-and-applying-shitloads-of-hairspray thing. Surely skinny jeans are the crest of a turning tide?!

Hormonesnomore Sun 26-Jul-09 17:09:26

I hope curly perms don't become fashionable again - I looked like this with a perm grin

Ghd's every time!

lilacclaire Sun 26-Jul-09 17:16:16

If you like wearing your hair straight, why don't you just wash it only once or twice a week and just straighten it every morning instead of wash/dry/straighten.

Otherwise, once you've washed it, put a smallish amount of mousse on your hair and partially dry it with a diffuser, just sorting your fringe bit etc.

I 2nd getting a good hairdresser that understands your hair, I always get mine thinned as well, its still really thick, but it helps a bit.

bebesequin Sun 26-Jul-09 18:32:29

A good cut does wonders I have mine in long layers mon-friday I just run my straightners through it but at the weekends use Aveda Be Curly and it bounces back in to big ringlety curls.Once a week intensive condition with something like lifetex or keratase.Shower cap is essential through the week - makes me look so glamwinkbut preserves the straight locks-sometimes change mid week if wet weather!
Embrace yours curls!

Mothergrimm Sun 26-Jul-09 21:08:18

I also struggled endlessly with thick, frizzy, curly hair as quite a few other posters have pointed out - this type of hair is much better longer - no shorter the shoulder length I've found. Also I have discovered that you cannot overcondition, every time I wash my hair I leave on Aussie 3 minute miracle for frizzy hair for about 30 mins. I wrap my hair up in a turbie towel so can get on with getting the kids up etc before rinsing out. I then put in a leave in conditioner followed by a mix of Frizz ease and the pink curl creme from Boots - another mumsnet tip thank you whoever it was. I then twist thick strands round really tight and just leave it to dry. My colleagues are used to seeing me arriving with wet hair and never comment on it! My hair cannot cope with a blow dry at all. After years of terrible hair dressers I found one who understands how to cut my hair - she leaves the top layers really long and it is the layers underneath which are the shorter ones - hence avoiding the mushroom and triangle hair (aka Crystal Tips) scenario. I think the cut is only half the battle though just really get going on the deep conditioning every time you wash your hair!

passionfruity Sun 26-Jul-09 22:26:13

I second what Nancy66 said - I have had Yuko a couple of times (every 6-9 months, depending on my finances!) and it is truly fantastic. Every day is a good hair day

ruddynorah Sun 26-Jul-09 23:08:23

yes boots pink curl creme here too! cheap but having tried tons, it works wonders.

Mothergrimm Mon 27-Jul-09 12:41:50

Just because a product costs a lot a money don't assume that it will be any good! I have wasted ££££! on products that promised wonders but were crap. One of the probs with having your hair straightened would probably be the fact that the re-growth will be curly but the ends will still be straight - could be an interesting look.

Firsttimer7259 Fri 07-Aug-09 19:25:06

I also have curly/frizzy hair. I am mixed race. On topof that I have at least 2 types of hair including drier frizzier hair on top.

IME curls need moisture and oil. Dont shampoo too often, I do once every 2 weeks or longer. Otherwise condition, deep condition, oil it, grease it, if it gets dry it frizzes.

Experiment with leave in products to find something, or some combination of things you like. Leave in conditioners, curl creme, mousse, gel, skin cream (!). Buys small packs and if you like something buy more - high price doesnt necessarily mean its any good. I havent found something that I use everyday I alternate between things depending how dry my hair is etc. Also curling strands around fingers will help define curls into ringlets rather thans frizz. easier still smooth front down and pin, tie the rest back to dry, that way it doesnt go all pouffy. Have a look on youtube for videos about caring for curls.

If you are not a high maintenance type stay away from relaxers, permanent straightening. You need to get it retouched every 8 weeks and if you dont it starts to break and fall off at the join because the textures are different- eek! It may look fab when you first do it bt inevitably seems do go drier and drier and eventually you have to cut it all off.

Curls are the best anyway, its just they are all different so it takes a bit of work to find out whats right for you and to find a good hairdresser (stay away from the over confident ones curls are unpredictable every good hairdresser I ever had listened to what I told themabout how my hair behaves.)

God this is long

pixiemoon Sat 08-Aug-09 07:24:31

I also have v thick wavy/frizzy hair, am familiar with the 'ooh your hair is thick!' comments from hairdressers!

I can just agree with other posters that what has sorted my hair out is
1. super duper extra-heavy strength conditioner, leave-in conditioner and regular hair masks
2. finding an amazing hairdresser. Mine also has very thick curly hair herself, so knows all about it!

Don't do permanent straightening - my friend had it done and it was frizzy again within 2 weeks and it wrecked the strength of her hair.

CybilLiberty Sat 08-Aug-09 08:46:18

Don't fight your hair trying to straighten it. Utilise it's strengths and find something that will make the outer layers more ringlety like those underneath.

I was recommended Umberto Gianinni CURL FRIENDS (Boots, Superdrug ) on here for my wavy hair and the balm and spray are great and not at all scrunchy or crispy. They define the curl.

Straight hair is sooooo last year grin

Pendulum Sat 08-Aug-09 22:34:18

Haven't read all of thread but if no-one else as mentioned it, try googling the 'curly girl method', also known as 'no-poo' (as in no-shampoo, before you panic!) The idea is that curly girls should not use most of the shampoos and the silicone-based styling products that are on the market because these make our hair more frizzy and unmanageable. I first read about it ere and have been following it for 7 weeks. My hair is shinier, less frizzy and more ringletty than ever in my life, I have binned all the frizz ease products, the pantene shampoos and mousses, and I can't belive how well it has worked. Maybe worth a try for you too?

Pendulum Sat 08-Aug-09 22:35:08




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