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Curls Depleting, Help Me Pls
I'd like to warn you that this will be a very thoroughly explained post so that i can get the very best help from this community. I made sure to do my homework and read through a lot of the forum topics + discussions to try to find any similarities to my hair issues. While i drew some comparisons to others' hair struggles, my ups and downs are in its own lane. But maybe what i share with you all today can shed light for some in the future :)
I am 27 years old and have naturally dark brown 3a and 3b shoulder length curls. I've always loved my curls and never the type to straighten my hair frequently, maybe 2 - 4 times a year max. With that being said, I always had a pretty good handle on how to manage my hair since i was a child. Disregard the fact that i used blue gel and mousse for most of my teenage years. I did, for the most part, ditched those products heavily filled with chemicals and sulfates at around 21, and decided to stop dying my hair to allow my natural hair color to flourish.
Fast forward to last year, when I first noticed my hair feeling very sticky in the beginning in Jan '19, after living 2 full years in NJ from South FL. My hair seemed fine in the winter, as tea tree oils and leave in conditioners like Cantu and Garnier were my holy grail. I was also using Suave Argan Oil &/or Moroccan Oil Shampoo 1/2 times a week & Conditioner at least 3 times a week. Every month I would do at least 1/2 deep hair treatments/masques, particularly Deva Curl and Shea Moisture and Briogeo.
When my hair started to feel sticky, it was usually while in the shower - as i would finger detangle my curls after letting the conditioner sit for 5-10 minutes. This would go on for a couple of months, and then a different type of issue would come about.
My hair started to become extremely hard to manage, and moisture would not stay. My hair would get soo dry and knotty when it dried after washing it a few hours before and then apply styling products while it was damp. It was not like my hair at all. My hair would look frizzy and thirsty no matter what i used. Before, my hair could go for 3 days easily, unwashed, and still maintain its volume and curl pattern if i simply applied water to it. So i decided to stop using all Suave, Cantu, and Garnier products and stick to solely Deva Curl & Shea Moisture.
My hair started coming out thick, as early as Spring last year. I remember thinking to myself that it did not look like the normal hair ball i would accumulate while in the shower, literally whole strands of curls would come out and i my eyes would water because my hair was going through major shit. The hair thinning really came in strong from spring to summer. And my hair pattern would start to change around this time too.
My curls began to look straightened from the roots to the mid shaft - by my nose - then curl the last 2 inches. It looked awful. And on top of that, the body of my hair decreased by half its density and my hair looked noticeably gone. At this point i started to eliminate all products from my regimen except Deva Curl Hair Masques and Shea Moisture Black Castor Oil Conditioner. Using Shea moisture as a leave-in when needed to style.
The hair thinning lessened around the fall time last year. My hair was so depleted at this point anyways. Frizzy, half straightened out/half curly, flat and less voluminous more than ever before. I maintained about 3-4 hair cuts throughout 2019 and am not sure if i witnessed my hair growing or if the straightening of my curls played a role in the length.
I also want to mention that i feel and can see that in the middle of my scalp, it is completely flat. My hair would usually voluminize itself at the center of my head, so i realized that this is where hair is mostly losing its curl pattern, from the roots to mid shaft. Also, at the sides of my head where my hair line started. Luckily hairline didn't thin out too badly.
Last November was the very FIRST time that i straightened my hair that year - against my own instincts only because my sister was getting married. So traditionally i of course, went to a Dominican hair stylist, but someone that i had never been to, who my mother highly recommended. Nevertheless, i straightened my hair and noticed how badly my hair thinned out when seeing how little of a pony tail i had. It was heart-breaking. Even the hair stylist told me it wasn't normal and i should be concerned.
When i washed my hair from the straightening, after 5 days, my hair was damaged like i had never seen before. My curls were straightened out except for about an inch at the ends. Total devastation ensued. I didnt know what to do except for.. nothing.
I eliminated everything from my hair care lineup at this point except for Mielle's Berry palmade edge control, because at this point i was wearing my hair in a bun or a hat almost everyday.
I went from being the girl with the hair that everyone envied (which i was always humble about, letting whoever in on whatever product or secret i had) to the girl who tried to hide her hair as much as possible. In Jan. of this year i went to a dermatologist who took some strands and examined my scalp. The results and examination came back with no irregularities.
A facebook with over 60,000 members, that i joined, believes that Deva Curl is the primary reason behind our hair struggles. I will say though, that i find the most similarities with those in that group than here and other curly hair forums, so there has to be some sort of connection i think. The administrator's main claim is that it is the plastic that DC uses is harming our hair follicles. Could be.
Another interesting find that i pieced together was my diet. At the end of 2018, i completely eliminated all pork, red meat, turkey and even eggs from my diet. Except for moms holiday pernil (it's a sin to Puerto Ricans not eat this during Xmas Eve).
Upon doing some extensive research, i found a study that explains how curly hair follicles are made up of proteins that contains many copies of the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine amino acids can bond with other cysteines further down the hair shaft contributing to curling of the hair between the bonds. Curly hair has more of these bonds, referred to as disulfide bonds, than straight hair because the follicle shape and angle allows different regions of the hair to come closer together making these bonds easier to form.
Foods that are highest in cysteine amino acids are poultry and eggs. So i of course added them back to my diet and am now solely using all natural + organic hair treatments with the exception of 2 products: Creme of Nature Leave-In-Condtioner Spritz and Shea Moisture Castor Oil Conditioner.
I now only conditioner the hair once a week, usually on sundays and shampoo every other week.
I use half apple cider vinegar + spring water with sprigs of rosemary to condition.
to shampoo Olive oil + ACV + lime + egg followed by Shea Moisture Conditioner.
In between washes i spray my hair with an aloe vera mixed with water solution i made that smells like musky armpits.
and that's all folks.
My hair is still lacking in its curl pattern, definition + volume, dryness, and a lot of frizziness. I will say the hair loss has gotten somewhat better but hard to say when you only wash once a week.. I'm overly optimistic and just hope that my hair can recover from all of this.
If you all can please drop your all time favorite natural remedies and DIY products below, it'd be greatly appreciated. As well as any natural treatments/brands/supplements to implement in my daily routine would be superb. Feel free to drop links to articles and your own experiences if they may be similar.
Many, many thanks in advance to all of you and may we forever cherish the crowns were blessed with
love & light to you all♡