Learning how to hair
August 6, 2014 8:42 AM   Subscribe

You have short styled hair. Your hair is not crunchy after styling. What product do you use?

Hair is about 4 inches long, thick and shiny, about a 3A on the curly hair type scale when longer, but at this length basically does a single awesome Elvis-like forehead curl with just a little bit of encouragement. The problem is that I really hate crunchy feeling hair, and the couple of hair products I've tried dry to feel like shellac.

What are my choices? I don't care if it looks more dry or wet, it doesn't need to be molded into wacky shapes, I just don't want it to be a poofball. I don't care if it's marketed to women or men as long as it doesn't smell like a frat boy (I'm a woman with a pretty androgynous presentation).
posted by tchemgrrl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I like txt it 01 by l'oreal. They also make a stronger hold version (txt it 02) but I haven't tried that yet. I have a slightly shaggy pixie cut and I really like this putty.

I'd also look into other putty/waxes. Sometimes your stylist can give you free samples.
posted by Crystalinne at 8:48 AM on August 6, 2014

Best answer: This really, really depends on how styled you need your hair to be. If it is literally just to disempoof it, and it otherwise falls exactly as you need it to, here are my suggestions based on the things I do (choose one):

-put on too much hand lotion after your shower, and mess up the rest into your hair
-work a little bit of 100% cocoa butter into your hands and mess it up into your hair (sometimes my hair feels extra coarse? don't know why, but this is GREAT for that)
-a little sploop of this and mess it up into your hair

The messing it up part is crucial. If you plaster it in place and then don't touch it again, it (well, it looks exactly like how you intend it to look, which I suppose is important to some people) turns product into hair shellac and leads to the crunchy hair phenomenon. But if you mess it up with the product while it's wet, then set your hair right, and then mess it up again after it dries it really decreases the crunchy factor. But the three things I listed above don't lead to crunchiness anyway, so this is more for if you're using a capital p Product.

Additionally, when I remember to, I find that using more conditioner than seems right for how little hair I have, and letting it sit in my hair for the full length of my shower, cuts down on the need to do anything to it a lot.
posted by phunniemee at 8:52 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

AG Recoil

but only use a liiiiitle bit
gives you curly but not crunchy "I just stepped out of the beach" hair
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:57 AM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Aveda Grooming Cream. It's for men but I'm a woman with short hair and love it. Use it after your hair is dry, not when wet, to avoid crunch.
posted by misskaz at 8:57 AM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

My hair's a similar texture to yours (though a bit longer), and I actually like the kinds of products that dry to a crunchy consistency -- because it's easy to "scrunch out the crunch" once my hair's dry, and my hair comes out looking and feeling neither frizzy nor shellacked.

You do have to wait for your hair to dry to do this, or else it'll get frizzy. If your hands are likely to snag your hair, you can use a paper towel or something else that won't catch it, and just gently squeeze the dried, crunchy hair from the ends toward the roots. The crunch disappears.

Because I am cheap, I mostly go with the LA Looks Sport Gel since it's silicone-free. When I'm feeling like spending money, the DevaCurl stuff is OK.
posted by asperity at 8:59 AM on August 6, 2014

That AG Recoil linked by St. Peepsburg is the 100% best. It's also fairly pricey, but it lasts, and it really is great.
posted by AmandaA at 9:00 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

On rereading, you're trying to achieve a more specific effect that might not be doable with the technique I suggest. Though it still might work, so perhaps give it a try anyway? At least you don't have to buy new product to do so.
posted by asperity at 9:00 AM on August 6, 2014

I have short hair......super thick but straight as a board....I look like an electrified, baby chicken after a shower. I use soy paste....No real brand, just what my salon sells.....I do a spray of argon oil when wet and then soy paste to style. It works pretty well....
posted by pearlybob at 9:10 AM on August 6, 2014

I have been using Paul Mitchell tea tree shaping cream on my pixie hair and I adore it. It adds texture and helps me push my bangs in the direction I want them to go, but doesn't feel sticky or firm at all. In fact, I can run my fingers through my hair and it feels fine!
posted by joan_holloway at 9:23 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aveda light elements defining whip is great for this.
posted by dizziest at 9:27 AM on August 6, 2014

Uppercut Featherweight. When I started to get AMAZING haircuts, I bought this from the barbershop and it's awesome. Doesn't smell strong and I think it gives my hair a cool texture.

I'm a guy, btw.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:32 AM on August 6, 2014

Short sexy hair slept in styling creme

(I'm a woman with a pretty androgynous presentation).

Same here.
posted by desjardins at 9:35 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a woman with an asymetrical pixie cut (I just measured with a ruler and the longest it gets is about four inches) and I use this stuff. I got it a little cheaper at my salon, but it lasts forever because I only use a pea-sized amount. I have a ton of very fine hair and this doesn't weigh it down or end up chunky/greasy like some waxes or pastes do, and there's not even a hint of crunch. When my hair's damp but not soaking, I scoop a little out with my index finger, smoosh my hands together, then zhuzh a little into the front, where my hair needs reminders to behave, then move to the back and zhuzh forward. I use my fingers to rake it sort of into place.

I also only wash every other day. Days I don't wash, I use arrowroot powder as dry shampoo and that gives pretty good texture without additional product.
posted by SeedStitch at 9:48 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

So I used to be you, but now my short hair is curly-but-not-crunchy, styled-but-not-sticky. Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Wild Ginger Hydro-Cream Whip, yo. My hair stylist, another curlyhead, also uses it. It's so great.

(You can get it on Amazon or from tons of salons -- just linked to that site b/c it was the first one that came up on teh Google.)
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:06 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have similar hair, though I keep it a little shorter. I use a squirt of drugstore defrizzer (the standard kind sold in the African-American haircare aisle) and a schmear of Murray's Super Light.

Yes, Murray's is petroleum-based...to get it washed out when it starts to build up too much, comb conditioner through your hair and then shampoo thoroughly. Essential to do before a haircut so that your strands of hair don't clump together.
posted by desuetude at 10:10 AM on August 6, 2014

When I had shorter wavy hair (and still, really) I liked Bumble and Bumble styling creme for this. Also pricey, but lasts forever so worth it. You can get a little "sample" size too, as I linked.
posted by celtalitha at 10:54 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have mid-length wavy hair, but - curl creme, styling cream, or conditioner applied once you've toweled your hair into a half-dry state. I put about two quarters' worth in my palm (you may need less), rub it over the back of my hands to avoid glopping it on, and sort of slide my hands through, front, then back, to distribute it evenly. Jojoba oil on top for shine (for me, you might want a more robust oil depending on texture).

That's sort of what I've mostly done, but I've also recently rediscovered gel, by accident, after having stayed away from it for ~20 years. It's turned out to be better at anti-frizzing than $30 conditioner, oils, serums, etc. Just a cheap-ass Suave gel with minimal hold. Trick to avoid crunch is to run a tiny, tiny amount through sopping wet hair, and let it air dry. For styling, I twist waves/curls into shape with my fingers as it's drying.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:04 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: With good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, I just used plain water on my short hair. I would brush it after washing, scrunch it in the important areas, and let it air dry. After it dried it'd be a little frizzy in the longer areas, so I'd just scrunch the frizzy spots with wet hands to get the curls to come together better.
posted by lizbunny at 2:34 PM on August 6, 2014

Bumble and Bumble SumoTech or SemiSumo (the SumoTech has an apple scent and I'm not crazy about it, but it fades pretty quickly and you don't need to use a lot)
posted by citron at 8:09 PM on August 6, 2014

Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Defining Cream. My hair isn't exactly curly, but this stuff de-puffs it, gives it definition, and it feels like there is no product in my hair at all. As a bonus, it does not break my skin out, like almost everything else I have tried. The bottle lasts forever, too.

I put a fairly tiny amount (less than the size of a dime) in while my hair is damp, and then spend a little time grabbing clumps of hair and scrunching it a bit while it 'dries' a little from the warmth of my hands. Big fan.

Lastly, shampooing less frequently is a major help as well.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:35 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

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