What causes natural hair to be stiff?

Discussion in 'Hair Care Tips & Product Review Discussion' started by mischka, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    My hair, especially my roots, are stiff as a freaking corpse usually and it's a problem. It may be fine for a day after an especially lucky shampoo (which I can never duplicate) but I can't keep washing my hair over and over because my hair can't handle the manipulation.

    :help:
     
  2. lovenharmony

    lovenharmony ET / OT Bonafide Member

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    What's your regimen? Products? We need more information if you want advice as to what to do to help with your hair being stiff.
     
  3. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    Ok well that aside is this a general issue or just something that I'm experiencing?
     
  4. lovenharmony

    lovenharmony ET / OT Bonafide Member

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    There are a number of things that can make natural hair feel 'stiff'. I don't particularly have that problem, but I'm sure there are many natural (and relaxed) ladies who have this issue - it is a common problem among people with highly textured hair.

    From my knowledge, natural hair usually feels stiff (or hard) when there's a lack of proper moisture. Depending on the the amount of dryness your tresses are experiencing, you would either need to start deep conditioning, or simply dampen with water on a daily basis to soften it up.
     
  5. shortdub78

    shortdub78 Well-Known Member

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    sounds like your hair is dry. you need to moisturize. consider cowashing for awhile and leave the shampoo alone. use it to clarify your hair monthly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  6. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    Yeah, I'm just interested in discussing the subject generally to see what other peoples' experiences are. :) I'm really curious to get input from other naturals to see if they have this issue and how they dealt with it.
     
  7. NefertariBlu

    NefertariBlu Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Shortdub78. My hair gets really dry after I shampoo and it takes about 3-4 days to get its softness back.

    I co wash now and my hair feels a lot better but it's still dry, but it a marked improvement to what it usually feels like. I plait it and spray it twice a day with either sulphur 8 braid spray or glycerine and rosewater to add moisture to my hair. You need to add moisture to your hair maybe in the form of a humectant.
     
  8. shortdub78

    shortdub78 Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ok i get it. since most virgin textured hair grow in a curl pattern, it is hard for our body's natural oils to coat and provide enough protection, which equates to stiff, hard hair. that's why our hair requires more moisture, than others. other things like genetics and diet play a fact as well.

    i personally have a serious agenda with keeping my hair moisturized. my hair get stiff and hard like nobody's business, but my porosity is fine. i believe it has a lot to do with my texture/curl pattern.
     
  9. MrsHdrLe

    MrsHdrLe New Member

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    I think understand what you're asking OP. I think in general, you want to know what properties in highly textured or afro hair makes it stiff ("grow out" instead of down), hold it's style and not blow in the wind, that kind of behavior.
    What I have discovered though is that may be a myth for some naturals b/c once they find their perfect moisture and health levels, they experience shinier, swingier (if that's a word), and bouncier hair.
     
  10. NappyNelle

    NappyNelle In Formation

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    My hair hasn't been stiff since I switched over to natural products 3+ years ago. Generally, I'd advise the person to clarify and deep condition.
     
  11. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    Yeah I've started to think that I just shouldn't use shampoo at all.

    What is your moisturizing agenda?
     
  12. shortdub78

    shortdub78 Well-Known Member

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    i am going back to cowashing weekly and i decided to use one product line. my hair doesn't care for glycerin too much, but prefers other humectants, like soy wax or different veggie waxes. i can't use water based sprays too much. they cause mushy hair and throws my hair's moisture balance off. i am going to try some shampoo bars to see if that helps with the cleansing process. i have decided to find products with no cones that will provide the slip and softness i need. i shampooed my hair this past weekend and it has taken a lot to get it back soft again.

    also, i know nobody is a fan of this, but i like oily, greasy soft hair. my hair does a lot better when i can feel the product. it acts as a barrier of protection to prevent dryness.
     
  13. Esthi777

    Esthi777 New Member

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    I've been having the same issue as OP but ONLY in my crown area. It's worse when I shampoo so I've only been cowashing. I wonder if it has anything to do with having a thicker kinkier texture in that area. I plan on doing special DCs in that area to see if that helps but idk what to do either.
     
  14. Bublin

    Bublin Well-Known Member

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    I have this issue and co washing doesn't really help as it adds to my build up issue - though i do co-wash once a week inbetween my shampoos i am thinking of stopping it.

    I have now put it down to my texture....in it's natural state (unmanipulated) it is coarse and frizzy but has very defined 3c ringlets. Those ringlets get as stiff as a board. I have to moisturise and seal twice a day yet my hair gets incredibily greasy very easily because it is very fine.
     
  15. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    This is exactly it

    :cry3:

    WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY must it be so complicated???

    I'm wondering if I could afford all kind of expensive salon treatments if that would fix it.
     
  16. Damaged but not out

    Damaged but not out Well-Known Member

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    Your roots are dry after you DC and moisturise? But not after you shampoo?

    I've never had this problem, but if it was my ends I would first do a super DC like the caramel treatment. See how my hair reacts then up my moisturising DCs, change some things product wise ,add some oils especially some ceramides to my wash and daily routine.

    Maybe try some oil rinses, oil your scalp after washing.......I'm out of suggestions.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. shortdub78

    shortdub78 Well-Known Member

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    the crown or nape area seems to be a problem for everyone. and i believe your assumption is correct concerning your texture being more coarse.

     
  18. shortdub78

    shortdub78 Well-Known Member

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    i am starting to believe this has a lot to do with commercial conditioners. i am starting to walk away from it all...slowly.

     
  19. mischka

    mischka shrinkage.

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    No, dry pretty much all the time no matter what I do to it. And I'm concerned about the dryness but what I hate more is the stiffness.

    I tried this dc method a couple weeks ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NegFfvnthBg

    and I think my hair felt better afterward, but I didn't shampoo first. So the next weekend I figured, if I shampoo first the dc will be better right but it didn't come out as good. So now I need to replicate the dc no shampoo again and see how it reacts because I may just need to remove shampooing if it keeps giving me worse hair after treatment.
     
  20. Bublin

    Bublin Well-Known Member

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    Adding to my previous post, my hair feels great and nicely moisturised after a DC. I apply my leave-ins and cornrow it up.
    - if i undo them for a braid out all my hair feels soft the next day but the roots feel very brittle and stiff by the end of the day but the ends feel great, if not on the greasy side so i have to practically wet the roots for it to feel moist and then re-braid. A misting of water is just not enough.
    - If i leave the cornrows in and take them down after say, 2 days, again the roots are brittle even though i misted that area with water and sealed with an oil.

    The only way my hair feels the way it should is if i shampoo with a Paraben and sls free moisturing poo. Its almost like my hair acts like it has build up after the first application of product.

    As i type i think i may try a thorough water rinse in place of when i co-wash.
     
  21. MrJohnsonsRib

    MrJohnsonsRib New Member

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    Maybe this is why my hair acting crazy with this glycerin. I mean when I was back home in Fl my Care Free Curl activator I bought soaked up the humidity BUT back in Nebraska it aint workin. I just think my hair may need those other humectants you suggested such as soy wax? (never heard of that) and the veggie waxes...(never heard of that either) Lol! I mean it may be worth a shot. I do think thicker things like castor oil and butters just may better seal in moisture because thin oils like Jojoba and Coconut are good but not for long.
     
  22. keepithealthy

    keepithealthy Well-Known Member

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    This is true. Over the past few months I have just focused on keeping my hair moisturized and now I feel I am reaping the benefits. My hair used to be dry stiff and hard all the time. Now my hair is mostly soft. I have found that Dc'ing 1-2x's a week and co-washing helps when my hair is loose. When I know I'm not going to wet my hair for 1-2 weeks (twists); I make sure to use a good creamy leave in. My hair is thanking me for the moisture.

    I luuuuuuuuuuuurve the caramel treatment it leaves me with soft hair for days!! I also like to add EVOO or EVCO to my dc's it works great.
     
  23. Lady S

    Lady S Well-Known Member

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    If I don't put it into twists, coils, or braids, then it comes out stiff. I figured it was just part of having 4a hair. Maybe something about the structure of it when it's not stretched in some way?
     
  24. lilyofthenile

    lilyofthenile New Member

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    Dryness makes my hair feel very stiff. A proper moisture regimen should solve it.
     
  25. MzSwift

    MzSwift Texlaxed, Fine

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    IA w/Lady S. My hair has felt much softer since I started keeping it braided.

    I wash and dry braided. Once it's almost dry, I M&S.

    HTH!
     
  26. TopShelf

    TopShelf Sewing & Growing Gamma Gal

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    My hair was its best when i used to two strand twist with sebastians molding mud and when it was dyed (don't aske me why). i would wash weekly, dc under the dryer, blow dry and then twist. I'd leave the twists in for about a week (maybe take them out in 5 days) and then start all over. I just ordered a steamer and I am going back to two strands with the sebastians mud.
     
  27. DaiseeDay

    DaiseeDay New Member

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    Could it be too much protein?

    If it is you need to cut back on protein, especially in deep conditioners and leave-ins and go for products that contain humectants and give a lot of moisture. Some people are protein sensitive, and too much can make your hair feel hard. I used to do only do protein treatments and all my conditioners were protein heavy - I didn't think my hair was stiff or anything, but once I started cutting back on protein and added lots of moisture and humectants my hair started feeling softer.
     
  28. Aine

    Aine New Member

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    My hair gets dry, rough, and stiff ONLY when I use protein, especially the hydrolized ones. Even mayo and eggs leave my hair dry and stiff as a rock. I avoid most proteins because of this.

    Also, I stay away from silicones, mineral oil, petroleum, and I don't use any oils (however light) solo to seal my hair. All this will lead to buildup and eventual dryness. Mineral oil/petroleum and silicones will do it very quickly, but even sealing my hair twice a week with an oil will result in dryness.

    Most shampoos, even non-sulfate ones, are too stripping on my hair and no amount of conditioning will bring that moisture/protein balance back quickly. I either water down my sulfate free shampoos or make sure to do a pre-poo treatment beforehand.

    Finding which products/ingredients moisturize and soften your hair will also help. My hair loves butters (especially whipped!) but balks at oils unless they are mixed with something that isn't an oil; prefers aloe vera juice over water; and doesn't like most humectants. I also learned that my hair soaks up the most moisture when lightly damp, but not soaking wet or even overnight. When I stopped DCing weekly and started using a very good avj/water/shea butter leave in on dampened hair nightly, my hair softented immediately and retained moisture.
     
  29. Bublin

    Bublin Well-Known Member

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    Can you ladies then recommend some moisturising, non-protien leave-in's i can use.
    I'm using either Cantu or Giovanni. Are they both high in protien?

    Also i am in need of a moisturiser to use when my hair is dry.
     
  30. Kindheart

    Kindheart Well-Known Member

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    too much Proteins,silicones,glycerin,wax,carbomer ,palm,coconut and soy oil make my hair really dry and stiff.
     

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