Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Hair Out of Control

Q: Ok. I am racially mixed. My mother is white, and my father is half-black, half-white. So basically, technically, I'm only a quarter black, and three quarters white.
My hair, on the other hand, is mainly African-American-like. When it's wet, it's easily handled, swings gorgeously, and is pretty much like all my Caucasian friends' hair. When it's wet, and I brush through it (which I do everyday, yes) it gets straight. Of course, it curls up, but it's beautifully defined curls.
But then, it dries. Naturally, it will dry poofy and frizzy and out of control. I recently got it layered, with is a bit better, but if I don't do anything with it (i.e. pull it back--the only solution it seems), then it goes pyramid. All I could do was pull it back. I have bangs cut, also.
Lately, my daily routine is to wash/condition with Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny, then wrap my hair up in a towel for about ten-fifteen minutes. After about 15 minutes, I pull down the towel, and put one or two squirts of P.M.'s Super Skinny Serum, then Tresemme mousse, some gel at the ends to scrunch, and a few spritzs of hairspray. Is this over-product? Probably, but I feel like there's nothing I can do!! This routine has been working much better, but by the end of the day, my hair is still poofy. TRUST ME, I have tried every last hair care product: Sunsilk Anti-Poof, Infusium 23, Tresemme, VO8, Suave, Pantene, Garnier Fructis, Horse shampoo. I have even tried the "at home" exercises: mayonnaise, vegetable oil, Vaseline (yes, Vaseline). I just don't know what to do anymore! I've tried flat-ironing it, blow-drying, relaxing, chemically straightening it - everything! What to do? Please help me! My hair is about shoulder to top of back-length.

A: It sounds as though your hair basically responds better when it is weighed down. This explains why you like the effect when it is wet, and why using so many hair products gives you the results you desire.
Many people experience a need to use a large number of products in order to get the desired results with their hair. And as long as you make sure to meet the needs your hair has to keep it healthy then you shouldn't worry. Just be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once every few shampoos to remove product build-up, and give your hair regular deep conditioning treatments.
Given the description of your hair's texture, I could recommend that you use a weekly moisturizing treatment using cholesterol. Visit your local beauty supply shop and purchase a jar of cholesterol. At home, apply the cholesterol to your hair (wet or dry) and comb it through the hair using a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product evenly. After application and comb through, cover the hair using a plastic cap or plastic wrap and sit under a hooded dryer for 20 minutes, or wrap the head in towels that have been heated in the clothes dryer for 20-30 minutes.
After the hair has processed, rinse the hair with warm water to remove the cholesterol, and shampoo the hair using a gentle shampoo and conditioner, then perform a final rinse with cool water. Style the hair as you usually do. I would suggest that you also look for and use a good anti-frizz serum, such as John Freida Anti-frizz, or FX Silk Drops. These products are made using silicone and coat the hair in a sealing layer to help seal in moisture and keep the hair shiny and weighted.
As for your other styling products, make sure to go through your regular products and remove all of the ones that contain alcohol. Alcohol will actually dry the hair out and can make the problems of "poofiness" and frizz worse. Finally, look for a light fruit oil based spray on conditioner, such as those made by Garnier Fructis and keep one without throughout the day. As your hair starts to dry out and get out of control, give it a refreshing mist to re-tame the tresses.