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  1. Candy Lechter says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I am older and natural gray. Most likely I have type 2b and 2c hair. It is very short maybe too short as my curls are better I think when it’s longer. This article really helped me. I used to straighten and bleach my hair and it became very porous. It’s seems way less porous now as I haven’t used heat or straightened in years. But now it’s more confusing to find the right balance for clumpy curls no frizz soft yet curl holding. I want more volume on top and less frizz on ends. And with so many products out there. I have hundreds of dollars worth of products that my hair hates these days. Anyway. Thank you again for this article. It really helped me in looking for that proper balance of protein and moisture.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hey Candy, there’s lots of information, tips, advice, techniques + product recommendations for protein moisture balance and achieving frizz-free curl clumps and definition, volume, root lift + hold. I’d recommend checking out my Styling Cheat Sheet with all that information here: https://curlmaven.ie/product/styling-cheat-sheet/ and this Root Lift + Volume Cheat Sheet: https://curlmaven.ie/product/root-lift-volume-cheat-sheet/ and use the search bar on my website to bring up the articles/videos for the techniques/results you want.

  2. You said to not “Don’t wash, refresh or wet your hair daily” so how would you style day 2 etc. hair?

    Also, I started using the treluxe line a few days ago… I washed with Amika hydrating shampoo and conditioner and then I applied the Treluxe leav-in conditioner and gel, on day two and three a reapplied more leave-in and gel watered down to refresh my hair. On day 3 my hair looked dry and limp. When I washed on day 4 my hair felt dry and matted when it was wet and even after shampooing with Amika again. Why would this be? Too much protein?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I have been trying to rehab my curls for a few months. Washing every two to three days, doing some modified rice water treatments, done some washes with clarifying shampoo, switched my shampoo and conditioner… but now for the past month or so I’ve started shedding like crazy! After reading this article I think it may be over moisturized. I have some of the protein hair masque you talked about (I’ve added it to my rice water treatments), but what method do you recommend for applying it? How long?

    I also have a pretty itchy flaky scalp…

  4. Hi Gabriella,

    I‘m in need of some help – I have both, symptoms of over moisturised hair and protein overload.

    My symptoms are:
    – it doesnt snap
    – Wet frizz
    – very dry, wiry and straw-like, feels like i cannot get enough moisture to soak up into my hair

    Those symptoms all effect mainly the middle part of my hair. On the other hand, the top part of my hair has non of those issues and is perfectly healthy, which i think is very weird.

    I have 3C hair and (mostly) low porosity. I mainly use Cantu and OGX products (I live in Switzerland and the range of curl-friendly products is pretty much limited to those two brands. Everything else I have to order online and it gets very expensive very fast.) and a clarifying-shampoo from shea moisture (once or twice a month). I use a dryer to finish drying it, but mainly I let it air-dry. Every three months I use a deep conditioner. I wash my hair once a week and always do a wash-and-go.

    I‘m currently having a hard time reading my hair and it seems like every strand need something else. Any tipps and / or product recommendations (doesn’t have to be Canto or OGX) on how to fix this?

    I‘m grateful for any help you can provide!

  5. Becky Cole says:

    This video was very informative. I am still very confused on what stage my hair is in. Is it possible to send a picture?

    Thank you in advance!

  6. Hi Gabriella ,

    thank you for this post, it is very informative.
    It seems I have also over-moisturized hair, as already by the end of day1 my hair is straight, with no waves or curls.
    I will try to build my protein level according to your tips and advices.
    My question is, should I even bother putting styling products, untill my hair is not balanced? I don’t want to be spending quality and expensive products if there is no much difference at the moment.

    Thanks for your opinion.

  7. Hi Gabriella,

    I really need some help! I’m in about month 5 of CGM, and my hair is not as good as it used to be. I have wavy to curly hair.
    It’s got a lot of wet and dry frizz. When my hair dries it becomes really dry and brittle. I sleep on a silk pillow case but it still completely knots up at the back.
    Also, I’ve found that it often feels incredibly sticky and greasy for the first couple of days after wash day. In general it is a bit more limp.
    I can’t for the life of me figure out whether it is over proteined, over moisturised. Or whether the products just aren’t working for me.
    My hair is naturally very dry, with a lot of split ends, but also has a lot of volume.
    I’d love any help you can provide! Thank you

    1. HI Megan, I’ve seen your other comment of the brands that you’re using – and that’s the problem. I don’t use or recommend those brands apart from the co-wash, but co-washes don’t suit everyone. I suggest booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic, see here for more details: http://www.curlmaven.ie/services

  8. Hi Gabriella- serious help needed here… please! I have naturally curly hair but very very frizzy at the roots. like when my hair dries it looks like a bush at the roots , so much frizz (yes volume) but the frizzy volume kind but i don’t have that problem from my mid strand and going down to my ends. All of the frizz is right at my crown and I guess its a moisturizing issue because it dries up all frizzy.. i might be wrong? not sure. where can i start please? I love my curly hair and if it wasnt for this issue i would wear it down all the time and not put it up in a bun after investing so much time and money into products and drying time.

    1. Hi Dina, there could be lots of reasons for this. I suggest you check out my blog posts on The Golden Triangle of Healthy Hair, How to Beat Halo Frizz, How to Get Root Volume – I know you say this isn’t a proplem, but there could be answers in that post which make sense as to why your roots are so frizzy. Alternatively, I recommend you book in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic with me. They’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  9. Hi! Thanks so much for this post, there’s so much information in here and I’m so grateful to you for sharing it. I think its a page I will come back to many a time!

    I wondered if I could beg some help from you though, and I’m so sorry for the long comment but I’m roughly 3 months into CGM and am really struggling to work out if my hair wants protein or moisture or if it still isn’t through the transition phase yet.

    I have a lot of wet frizz anytime my hair is wet. Applying conditioner and leave in does make it smooth but as soon as I remove any excess moisture my hair is frizzy, feels dry and tangles super easily. This has always been the case though even before starting CGM.

    When my hair is dry it doesn’t feel overly soft, but is quite limp and dull. Occasionally it feels gloriously soft and almost non-existent because it feels so light, but most days it feels rough and a bit course.

    I swam a lot when I was younger (twice a day with little conditioner usage) and ever since my hair is prone to greasiness and build up. I used to wash my hair everyday with a solid sulfate based shampoo and a coconut conditioner, but have now swapped to cgm products and now wash every 2-3 days. I live in hard water areas and have never dyed my hair and stopped using heat on it years ago.

    I feel as if my hair needs more moisture, but I’m getting worried that the limp curls is an indication of needing protein?? I’m also just wondering if I’m over panicking at this stage?? I’ve never been much of one to look after my hair and I’ve been getting so excited at having curls and the softness of my hair that I’m desperate to learn more and not ruin any progress!

    For reference currently I clarify/chelate once a fortnight (I am trying to lengthen this but at the moment it needs to be this frequently), cowash with as i am coconut or with bounce curl low poo twice a week, and condition with a stout based conditioner, rice pudding leave in and then orange marmalade.

    Thank you so much for any help. I am also goong to keep searching through your blog for any more insights, there’s so much information here!

    1. Hi Hannah, your hair definitely sounds like it’s over-moisturized and you need to do regular protein treatments. It does not need more moisture, that’s where the problem is. I recommend booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic. They’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  10. Hi. I’m so glad you blog and YouTube. You explain things very well.

    I think I have over moisturized my hair. It was mostly 2c/3a with some wonky 2 a pieces (I am 4 mos in my journey).

    I clarify with a chelator every 2 weeks.

    I was struggling with protein free moisturizers & think I am over moisturized (curls are now 2a/b after protein free DC).

    I use hairfinity S&C moisture balance.

    Used curl junky prior and then hairfinity (not blaming your recommendation 🙂

    It seems like they (especially curl junky) is too moisturizing to recover my hair with amount of protein.

    In response to your question.

    I have really fine hair and am finding that both the float test and stretch test might not be accurate.

    Very fine hair doesn’t have the same tensile strength (think yarn vs plastic cable) so my hair may be snapping because it doesn’t have the strength to not snap… It also floats like low porosity. But that is because it is too light to break the surface tension of the water. If I put several pieces together and pull they don’t snap.

    If I dunk them in the water for porosity (breaking the surface tension) they hang out in the middle.

    I have ordered the Aphogee 2 min recovery & also the 2 step & I don’t know if the first will help or with the 2 step do I deep con after it (with protein free? Or wait until curls recover & then deep con.

    Do I stick with a balanced like hairfinity after recovery?

    Should I use your rice / protein instead?


    Thank you for all of your excellent work!

    1. Clarifying your hair with a chelating shampoo every 2 weeks isn’t advisable, certainly not on the long term. I replied to your comment and as per the post, the float test is not accurate and I don’t recommend it. I recommend booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  11. Diana Seals says:

    Help please – I am 62, white and I do color and highlight my hair. I thought I needed protein to get my curls more defined but after using Aphogee, I am having more frizz than before. Is it possible that I may be over moisturized? I did clarify this past weekend and it still has frizz wet and dry. I was using Cantu curl activator for clumping to lock moisture in and gel to hold curls. Since going curly for a few months, my hair has gotten softer even the frizz.
    Suggestions very appreciated.

    1. I don’t use or recommend Cantu. Your hair is most likely over moisturized if it’s getting softer and more frizzy. Aphogee protein treatment won’t make it over moisturized. You need to do regular protein treatments to re-balance the hair, and make sure that you don’t over compensate on the moisture/deep condition otherwise you’ll just cancel out all the benefits of the protein.

  12. Hello!!
    Do you also use the step 2 of the tratment? Or do you use a different deep conditioner after step 1…

    1. Just the Step 1. I use my own deep conditioning treatments that are silicone free for after. x

  13. I’m loving your blog & videos! My fine, low density high porosity 3a/b curls looked AWESOME after I did your MRWR mixed w/DC. So I’m thinking to try to add more protein to my routine between DC’s. Any advice on adding a few drops of Aphogee to my normal conditioner?

    Figuring out what to use after Deva has been my Covid unemployment project and you’ve become my go to keep me sane during this horrible year. Looking forward to watching your next IGTV live!

    1. You can do a few things: option 1: add the modified rice water treatment into your regular conditioner and use it weekly. Or do the same with your DC and do it weekly. option 2: add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of Aphogee into your regular conditioner once a week. Or option 3: you can combine all three. Do the modified rice water treatment, and add a teaspoon/tablespoon of Aphogee. You can do that once a week, if your hair is really over moisturized, or once a month if you’re just maintaining a healthy protein moisture balance, but still want a good kick of protein.

  14. Hi Gabriella, I am new to the curly girl method but I have used the Aphogee 2 step treatment a few times. Do you use the step 2 of the treatment or you rather use deep conditioning afterwards?
    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Olga, I just use Step 1, and then follow up using one of my CG friendly, silicone-free hair masks afterwards to deep condition. x

  15. Two years ago my hair became very puffy and frizzy. It always felt rough and the strands felt uneven. I always put coconut oil but it only made my hair more coarse. A few months ago I started the CGM method. At first there seemed to be more shine but now my products does not seem to work anymore. I use a shea moisture castor leave in and the manuka honey mask. I suspect now that my hair may be in a state of protein overload.

    1. I don’t use or recommend Shea Moisture. Often times people get good results when they start the CG method, as they focus on moisture. But hair needs a balance or protein and moisture. I would look at your products, and choose something that’s good quality, made with good quality ingredients. And don’t neglect protein.

  16. Nicolle McKnight says:

    Hi! So I’ve been doing CGM for about 8 months. I In the beginning I experienced protein overload so eliminated almost all protein out of my routine. Recently I’ve noticed a significant increase in shedding and can tell a difference in the amount of hair I have Please help! I don’t know what to do and I’m freaking out just a little(actually a lot) I have a feeling I may be way over moisturized. I have read your article. I live in South Louisiana where the humidity is crazy high most of the time, so products with glycerin are not a good idea. I’ve noticed the deep conditioners you mentioned have glycerin in them. Are they still ok to use some the product will be rinsed out. I have exhausted every Avenue of searching over the past few days to find out what is exactly wrong with my hair and how to correct it. I’m seriously depressed about the amount of hair that has caused thinning. Nobody notices is but me, but it’s my hair so I can tell the change. Please help
    If you’ve read this far Thanks so much! I’m sure I left out some info. I’m completely overwhelmed.
    A fellow curly

    1. Yep, sounds to me like you’ve gone from one extreme to the other and now your hair is over moisturized. I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues your experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  17. Anna Locklear says:

    Thank you for this info!! Can you use a clarifying shampoo with a sulfate and do a protein rice rinse in the same day??

  18. This was very helpful, thank you very much for putting all this time and effort to help others looking for solutions! :*

    I did fall for “no protein for low porosity hair” and now you have confirmed my experiments with protein that this is not true.

    Also, the one thing (and only thing so far) that helped bring my curls back was indeed an eggwhite and mayo homemade mask! 😀

  19. As a newcomer to proper hair care this post has been so helpful, thank you so much!
    I’ve always had long, thick beach wave kind of hair but recently it’s become so much thicker and wavier but with more tangles and frizz so it’s becoming very unmanageable. I’m still trying to figure out my hair type but I think its between 2B and 2C. I do bleach my hair so I know that dries it out but I’ve used olaplaex on it to help restore my hair which doesn’t seem to have done anything!
    I’m not too sure if I have a protein or moisture overload as after I’ve washed it and it’s wet I have gorgeous curly waves but then as it dries it starts to feel very dry and frizzy and then by morning, its all over the place and I have some curls, waves, straight sections, some limp and some bushy then just frizz everywhere! Any help or advice would be really appreciated! Thank you (sorry this is such a long comment!) x

  20. Kayla Phillips says:

    Hi Gabriella,

    So I am only a month in to my curly girl hair journey, and I know it’s time to clarify and do a protein treatment. However, I’m a bit overwhelmed with all of the information and options out there.

    I know first thing I need to clarify my hair, which you’ve listed some great options for. No problems there. Now, after I clarify, it seems like I need to follow with a deep conditioner. Can this step also be combined with a protein treatment? Like if I put a few drops of a neutral protein filler into a deep conditioner?

    And then after that, for the other times I’m washing my hair for the month, should I look for a shampoo and conditioner that also contains protein or does it not matter as much?

    Thank you!

    1. You can deep condition with a protein rich conditioner/hair mask/deep conditioner after clarifying. There’s a post here on how to build a curly girl routine: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/ Alternatively, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  21. I’m been suffering with really bad hair for the last 5 years and hair fall, at the beginning I didnt even know there was a difference with having moisture or protein overload, I think in the beginning I must’ve had moisture overload, after years of getting know where and my hair basically destroyed, I’ve started using aveda be curly shampoo and conditioner with the last year, my hair is curlier but it’s very frizzyy and singed looking. Before all this started I literally used to wash and condition my hair, apply product and air dry, that was it, none of this clarify, cleanse, moisture, protein stuff which I’m struggling to understand

    1. Most often that’s because many of the products we used before we went CG friendly, although they had bad ingredients like sulfates and silicones, they also had good ones. Those sulfates also helped to get rid of build up and hard water mineral deposits. Many products contained both protein and moisturizing ingredients. Like with most things, once you really tune into something, you realise more and more and how delicate the balance is, and how easily it’s thrown off balance. It’s the exact same with our hair.

  22. Hi Gabriella!

    Thank you so much for this post! I found it to be a really helpful starting point in figuring out my current hair situation. I just have one follow-up question! I’m new to the curly girl community and was wondering: is it possible to experience both moisture overload and protein overload at the same time (not just in different sections of hair, but throughout)?

    I discovered within the last 1-2 months that I have what seems like type 2a-2b hair with long-term potential for 2b-2c if I can find the right products and achieve some consistency. I’m definitely going through a trial-and-error search for the best products/methods for my hair type, but my waves are now tending to fall flat within hours to day 2 (which wasn’t the an issue at first). I definitely think I’ve over-moisturized recently (I plop for long periods when I wash my hair, slept with wet hair, maybe used the wrong products for my hair type, etc), but I’ve also experienced A LOT of shedding plus frizzy-when-wet hair which makes me wonder about protein. Based on the ingredients in my current products, I see that most of them contain 1 sources of protein and a few of them contain ingredients that I think are too moisturizing for my hair (like coconut and shea butter). I’ve also played around with detangling methods (fingers vs wide-toothed comb), and I have a feeling that I need to detangle just a bit more to prevent some tangles and related frizz.

    I’ve experienced excessive shedding related to medication side effects in my pre-wavy days, so mainly I’m hoping to gauge whether my current shedding is a hair product thing or if I should go talk to my doctor. It’s early in my hair transition and I realize that this takes time, but I want to make sure I’m staying healthy along my journey!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Shannon, everything you’re describing is signs of a lack of enough protein in your hair. The excess hair shedding can often be a sign of over moisturised hair. But if you’re concerned, you should go and see your doctor. All the things you said you’ve been doing such as plopping for long periods, going to bed with wet hair, using heavy moisturizing products, all lead me to believe your hair is over moisturised and lacking in protein. I hope that helps.

  23. My hair sounds like you describe– seaweedy when conditioned and then as soon as I rinse the conditioner out it’s frizzy. Frizzy, as in the curls aren’t together and I have breakage. But it doesn’t feel soft and limp, it feels dry (even my stylist says it feels dry). That means my hair is actually dry and NEEDS protein, not that it’s over-moisturized, right?

    1. There can be a difference between dry and brittle though. If your hair is very brittle, and breaking a lot then that would mean you’ve got too much protein and not enough moisture in the hair – which is what it sounds like you have. Frizz can be cause from too much protein, build up and/or too much moisture. But you said your hair feels dry and you have breakage. So I’d recommend clarifying first, and then doing a moisturising deep conditioning treatment. If you’re unsure, just leave it on for 10-15 mins and rinse off and see what way your hair reacts and behaves. If it’s better, then continue and you can leave on for longer if you feel like your hair needs it.

  24. I’ve recently started cgm about 2 weeks ago after years of trying to keep my thick, frizzy hair straight. I’ve been doing so much reading up on it and trying to work out what is best for my hair and what even my hair is! I’ve found your blogs so informative and I now feel like I have a better understanding of what I should do. Thanks so much!

  25. I’m starting to wear my hair natural but it is such a confusing process! I think I have 2c-3a curls that at best will turn into ringlets but are usually, stretch out and stringy looking. I have a feeling my hair doesn’t like protein because it always feels dry or like I sprayed a bunch of hairspray all over the top layer of my hair, with lots of frizz. It takes about 2 hours to air dry but dried flat, and will get more frizz when I diffuse. The bounce curl creme gel leaves my hair not great but ok, I would like more hold and shine though. Should I try flaxseed gel or protein free products? I clarify once every week or two and will use Jessie curl deep conditioner after that. Rockin ringlets leaves my hair stringy and dry looking/feeling so I don’t really like that product anymore. Any tips or advice please?!

    1. A lot going on here, you don’t need to clarify week or two, depending on what you’re clarifying with. I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  26. Helen Mcpherson says:

    I love this post and this blog! This is my go to page when i need the reminder of the protein/moisture balance.

    Curious have you ever used the hydrolized wheat protein by Green Beauty? I know another hair product!but it’s a protein that you add to your conditioner. It’s awesome! My color treated hair loves it and best of all you control how much or how little protein you want to add to your hair so it eliminates all the searching for a product with the perfect amount of protein. It makes your hair soft but strong!

    1. Hi Helen, I’ve not heard of that product or brand before.

  27. Hello, I know this post is over a year old but just wanted to know how often we would need protein treatment? I have low porosity hair and don’t take too well to protein. Would once a month be ok? I’ve also started using the As I am products but use a deep conditioner with protein so I’m not totally cutting out all protein. Is this helping me keep a balance in regards to the moisture/ protein balance. Hope to hear from you and thanks!

    1. Hi Hawa, that’s not a question I can answer as everyone’s hair is different. Some people may need to do a protein treatment once a week (which I would advise as a maximum), others can go once a month, or longer. It all depends on your hair.

  28. Hello! I love that you take the time to not only write about these things, but also interact with people in the comments. While I’ve worn my hair curly most of my life, I just recently rid my cabinets of products with icky ingredients and replaced with CG approved stuff. I am about 3 weeks into my journey and have noticed that my face framing pieces of hair look and feel very coarse and dry. There’s some frizz on those pieces, but it’s not super out of control and that frizz is also coarse/dry. This seems to be limited to my top layer of hair/face framing pieces, everything else feels and looks ok. I’ve also noticed these same pieces struggle to stay wet, as soon as I start scrunching product in, or even conditioner while showering they seem to instantly dry up. I have wavy 2b/2c hair that has not been color treated recently (last time was 2013) and it’s been more than a year since a flat iron touched it (I never did this regularly, my former hairdresser would straighten my hair after cuts). I also believe my hair is low porosity with some areas being more medium porosity. I think I’m using good products (moptop gentle shampoo, Asiam cowash once a week in between shampoo days, gvp conditioner, and I have stylers from jessicurl, the Bouncecurl clump cream, devacurl cream, Ouidad Climate control gel, and herbal essence mousse). I try to make sure to rotate things around so I incorporate a protein styler at least once per week. I’ll use 3-4 stylers at most per wash day (Mousse, cream, gel combo usually, sometimes mousse plus the 3 jessicurl stylers). My curls do tend to fall flat after day 2, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m in transition, doing something wrong, or the weather…..it’s been 90-100% humidity with 70 degree dew points daily the last few weeks and only part of my house has air conditioning. I also read some people don’t do well with coconut which is in the cowash I have and I also have the asiam leave in that has coconut, but I don’t use either of these daily. Any tips/suggestions/advice you have would be great! Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah, there’s a lot going on here, and a lot to get through. I recommend booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic, which is a 30 minute video consultation where we go through your hair, your products, your routine, what issues your struggling with and I put together a recommended product and technique routine for you, based on your hair’s needs. If that’s something that interests you, click this link, fill out the form and I’ll get back to you with all the details via email. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  29. I hv curly hair nd I hv too much of hairfall can u suggest me some natural way to stop hairfall and promote hair growth

  30. Hi, I am still confused about my hair porosity and whether my hair loves protein/moisture. At times it looks moisture overload and protein overload the other times. My scalp and hairs and dry by nature. Few symptoms of my hair include:
    1. Flash drying or wet frizz while rinsing out the conditioner. Bowl method resulted in more frizz, so stopped doing that altogether. Even squissh to condish sometimes results in wet frizz.
    2. Curly bloggers recommend wet refresh or refresh simply with water. Whenever i spray water on hairs while refresh, they end up being lot more frizzy and less defined. The only refresh technique which works for me is to completely wet my hair under running tap water and then smooth on some gel/cream etc.
    Pls, suggest as per my symptoms. I wish i could upload pic of my hairs.

    1. Hi Shilpi, from what you’re describing, your hair is over moisturised and lacking in protein. The bowl method and squish to condish are great ways of adding more water, moisture and hydration to the hair and your hair needs more protein. If someone has over moisturised hair, the three things I tell them not to do are the bowl method, plopping and air drying, as they will cause exactly what you described: more frizz. Like you, spraying my hair with water, or conditioner/gel and water results in the same thing, I have to fully wet my hair for a refresh. Which I rarely do.

  31. Natalie Matthews says:

    Hey Gabriella! So I’ve only been doing CGM for 2 weeks so very new. I’ve realised all my products are protein free. I did your modified rice water treatment and had my best wash day yet! I have wet frizz and the curls fall out throughout the day. Is there a way of managing protein levels for now by just doing rice treatment regularly (if so how often?) just so I don’t keep having to spend more and more money up front and wait for some products to run out or at least spread the cost over different months? I will check out your protein/moisture balance line up to build my next product line xx

    1. Hi Natalie, think of your protein levels like your iron levels. If you’re low on iron, you don’t take one tablet and then your iron levels are right back up to where they need to be. It’s the same with protein in your hair. One rice water treatment isn’t going to fix weeks or months of over moisturising your hair. You need to do my modified rice water treatment every week, for at least 4-6 weeks to see noticeable improvement and more like 2-3 months until you see long-lasting improvement between wash days.

  32. liz harrison says:

    Hi had my hair in my usual plait had left my hair for some time and went unravel my hair my hair became sticky greasy and damp too much moisture is there any shampoo from boots to dry my hair back to normal Thank you for your time

    1. A good low lathering cleanser should work for this, or you can clarify using Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, available from Look Fantastic with 15% off using my code, CURLYCAILINLF

  33. I’ve recently startes getting crazy amounts of wet frizz, even when dripping wet in the shower. As I squish to condish, my hair gets really dry even if I add more water, almost as if there no water left in it. It feels like it’s become more brittle and dry overnight and air dries in about an hour. I have medium density fine 2a/2c hair with highlighted ends. I use protein rich conditioner every time I hit the shower and I’m worried about protein overload. I tried the stretching test, and it breaks before stretching much. It doesn’t hold a curl at all, and my ends stayed bent at a 90 degrees angle after plopping for 30 mintes and seemed super dry. My hair overall seems soft and lifeless, but I can’t tell if it’s moisture overload or protein overload as it’s still transitioning. These changes started showing a week ago after introducing a protein rich conditioner.

    1. Hi Karoline, it sounds to me like protein overload. So you need to focus more on moisture right now.

  34. This post is amazing – it helped me diagnose my both dry but also frizzy hair…everyone keeps saying add moisture but I really need PROTEIN! The wet frizz and pulled out curls were the description I needed to sort this out. I just ordered rice from the grocery store.

    Thanks for these blog posts and your informative/hilarious Instagram feed!

  35. This page has some awesome information that I desperately need.. I have really fine hair and lately I’ve been noticing frizz even when it’s FULLY wet! I thought it was in need of more moisture but as it dried my curls didn’t clump like usual, they were stretched and really soft and some strands were fully straight… Now that I’ve read your post, I know that my hair is suffering form moisture overload and I’ll hopefully fix it using your advices… So Thank you, that was really helpful!

  36. Rute Costa says:

    Hi Gabriela,
    Thank you so much for this enlightening post, however, I’m struggling with diagnosing what is wrong with my hair.
    On one hand, I really think my hair is suffering from moisture overload since it has no volume and I have no curl pattern in my roots and, in some parts of my hair, throughout all length. I also have lots of the “wet frizz” you mentioned. On the other hand, my hair ends are really dry and suffer from breakage, which seems like protein overload.
    I already clarified with a sulfate shampoo and then added liquid keratin to my regular deep condition but it didn’t seem to work.

    Do you think I should continue treating moisture overload? Do you think my problem isn’t solving easily because I entered a severe Hygral Fatigue state?

    Thank you so much and continue with the good work!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi, okay a few things here. First of all, not everyone’s curl pattern starts from the root. Many people’s curls start further down the hair shaft, that’s totally normal. You may have no volume for lots of reasons, check out my post on how I get root volume for more tips and tricks and also what may be causing the lack of volume. The wet frizz, dry hair and breakage is all signs that you need to deep condition, and would benefit from using heat too. I sell Curly Cailín Heat Caps which are great for this and will help with the issues your experiencing. I don’t think you’re in severe hygral fatigue, or any kind of hygral fatigue because you said your hair is dry and breaking. If it was hygral fatigue your hair would be incredibly soft and mushy, not dry and brittle. I’d also ask what products you’re using, as if the quality isn’t good or they are cheap, poor quality ingredients, it’s going to factor in the health (or lack thereof) your hair. Hope that helps

  37. This is such a great post, thanks so much for all your insight. I am in desperate need of some help. I have figured out that my hair is over moisturized – thanks to your comment about wet frizz but I’m not sure if it’s quite got to the Hydral fatigue stage just yet.
    I have 2c / 3a super fine, low density, high porosity hair. I don’t really have a lot of protein in my regular product line up and after trying a few new products i’ve got into a bit of a mess.
    I live in South Africa so unfortunately we don’t have access to the range of products that you do.
    So in an attempt to give my hair a protein boost i did a gelatin treatment and i can’t say that I have noticed a difference. My curls don’t hold their shape at all and I end up with a stringy, frizzy, fluffy mess by the end of the day.
    I tried the light blue Shea Moisture treatment yesterday afternoon. I didn’t leave it on for too long mainly because I didn’t have the time and also because i was worried about the moisture in it. I styled it with a little protein rich leave-in and some gel, diffused it and got THE most beautiful defined, shiny curls….. that lasted about an hour and then all fell out.
    I honestly thought gelatin was a potent protein treatment but I can’t say it worked.
    I’m now trying to add braggs amino acids to my wash days (which are practically every other day) to see if that help.
    What else do you think I could do?
    My usual products are Shea Moisture coconut shampoo, condition with Garnier Oats, use a bit of Garnier oats as a leave in and use a tiny amount of Cantu curl activator followed by a bit of aloe gel that we can get locally (doesn’t contain any glycerine or protein).
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Lisa, part of the problem here is the products you’re using. They’re not great quality and contain a lot of heavy, film-forming ingredients which coat and weigh down the hair. I suggest you clarify your hair with a sulfate shampoo, like Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo to get all of that stuff off. Stop using Shea Moisture and Cantu – I don’t recommend those products at all. You may find that simply clarifying will greatly help your hair. I don’t find the gelatin treatment strong at all, and never noticed much of a difference any time I’ve used it either. Have you tried my modified rice water treatment? Or any of the other protein treatments suggested or recommended in this post? Try to avoid your washing your hair every other day, at least at the moment. Every time you wash your hair, you’re adding more water, hydration and moisture – which is only making things worse. Have you tried shopping at Look Fantastic? They do free shipping to South Africa, and you can get 20% off your order using code CURLYCAILINLF. That’s where I get almost all of my products, here’s my affiliate link if you want to check them out: http://bit.ly/2apt5TY Hope that helps x

  38. Hi. Just want to point out that you’re promoting the Innersense Hydrating Masque as a protein-free hydration treatment and it’s really not. It has quinoa in it. This description comes from it’s website: Hydrolyzed Quinoa adds proteins rich in nutrients, vitamins and amino acids. Curly hair is hard. This might make a difference for some folks in their efforts so I figured I should let you know. Thanks.

    1. Gabriella says:

      it’s so far down the ingredients list it isn’t doing much and I wouldn’t class it as a protein deep conditioning treatment at all.

  39. Hi Gabriella, thank you so much for the reply. I’ve been so stuck with knowing what to do, but this has really helped. I did wonder about both Cantu and shea moisture, so thank you for clarifying that for me. I will most certainly look at your other posts. Again thank you for taking the time out to explain everything and for helping x

  40. Hi Gabriella, thank you for this post…there is so much useful info! I’m struggling to know what to use on my hair at the minute. I have quite a tight curl pattern, but recently my curls seem to be more stretched out and almost wavy. My hair doesn’t break and is naturally shiny, but I seem to have a lot of wet and dry frizz on top. The underneath is always fine, but the top feels more coarse and frizzy. No matter how much product I use the frizz just stays and diffusing makes it worse. I don’t know if it’s over moisturised or protein overload. The styling products I currently have are cantu curl activating creme, umberto giannini curl jelly and mousse. I use Maui hair mask as a deep conditioner and oxg argan oil conditioner. I don’t really know what else to use…I’ve tried other products, but they seem to dry my hair out. Do you have any suggestions please?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Michelle, well firstly products aren’t the answer to frizz. Applying more products, isn’t going to get rid of the frizz. It sounds like you need to clarify your hair using something like Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, and follow up with a protein deep conditioner – see products suggested or click here for my modified rice water treatment: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/my-rice-water-rinse-routine-results/ Then see this post for halo frizz, because the causes of that are often not what you think: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/how-to-beat-halo-frizz/ And then the products you’re using aren’t great. I’d immediately ditch the Cantu – I don’t recommend that brand, or Shea Moisture. And I’m almost sure the OGX conditioner you’re using isn’t CG friendly. I’ve got a few posts on my favourite products, how to build a product routine and discount codes etc on the blog so take the time to check those out. Hope that helps. x

      1. Hi Gabriella, thank you so much for the reply. I’ve been so stuck with knowing what to do, but this has really helped. I did wonder about both Cantu and shea moisture, so thank you for clarifying that for me. I will most certainly look at your other posts. Again thank you for taking the time out to explain everything and for helping x

  41. Thank you Gabriella! Very helpful info. I try to avoid glycerin due to humidity here and most glycerin products I use are also protein free. I have heard about Neutral Protein Filler that can be added to any conditioner or styling product. I was thinking about adding it to my favorite glycerin free products during humid summers. Is that something you would recommend or do you see a potential issue with this? Love your heat cap!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Maria, so glad you love your heat cap! I’ve never used or had any experience with Neutral Protein Filler so can’t give any advice on that I’m afraid.

  42. Protein moisture balance is my nemesis right now. I’m trying to treat with Mielle Rosemary and Mint Masque. I’m having better luck, but the wet frizz is really wearing on me. In the past, a leave in with protein helped that, but for now, it’s there unless the deep conditioner is in. I need a new shampoo and conditioner, with protein, but no Shea butter, argan oil, or so. I like the Giovanni tea tree triple treat conditioner, but the shampoo is too drying. I hate this stuff. I just want my hair to look nice. It has gotten shinier lately though.

    1. Gabriella says:

      That Mielle deep conditioner doesn’t seem to be a protein focused one, which is what you need. The biotin in it is so far down the list it’s not doing much for hair. It also contains wax so it’s not CG friendly, you need to clarify your hair with a sulfate shampoo, as the wax will be stopping moisture and hydration and other products from penetrating your hair properly.

  43. Hi Gabriella! I recently found your blog, I am very new to curly girl method. Prior to starting I only washed my hair 1-2x a week but not with CG approved products. I never color treated or straightened my hair to begin with so my hair was fairly healthy but I was using product that was NOT CG approved and caused build up. I also had inconsistent hair days. I decided to try CG and I bought a trial kit of the DevaCurl products. I had the no poo, conditioner, gel and styling cream. My hair was doing pretty great on the DevaCurl cleansing products, I was dappling into trying some of the other styling products because I wasn’t totally in love with my styling results and then all the negative PR about women losing their hair etc. etc. came out and I quit it all. It’s just not worth the risk to me. So I switched to As I Am coconut co wash my last 2 washes. The first time I styled just with a CG gel and my hair was soft and limp. It wasn’t frizzy but it just had no volume, no definition. Totally lame. So the next time I used a shampoo with disodium edta and then followed with the as I am cowash and styled with CG foam and gel. Still lame, limp, soft hair. Does this sound like over-moisturized hair? It almost looks greasy which is weird because my hair is usually dry and frizzy. I can’t determine if it’s the cowash my hair doesn’t like? If it’s because I stopped the DevaCurl and am now lacking protein? I feel like I need to start over and I don’t know where to start. My hair has NEVER looked like this before. I would love a recommendation for a shampoo/lo poo/no poo and conditioner or cowash combo. I feel like that’s what I need to get straight before styling. My hair is fine, it’s thin, it’s medium to high porosity I believe. It’s hard to tell because thin fine hair gets wet quickly and dries quickly. On a good hair day I have 2b-3a curls. I appreciate this post and the help/advice. Sorry for the long comment. Thanks!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Sue, I’ve written a post about the DevaCurl products, issues people are experiencing and my advice on what to do next, and what to use instead etc. I suggest checking that out as many of the answers to your questions are in that post: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/devacurl/ As for questions about if the As I Am Co Wash is causing these issues, the quickest and simplest way to find out is to use something else for a while and see if there’s a difference. Regarding a new routine, I ‘ve listed a routine in the DevaCurl post, and in other posts across this blog, so it’s just a matter of taking the time to read them, or experimenting on your own hair and seeing what works for you.

  44. Hello lovely Gabriella

    Once more, congratulations on your wonderful and insightful writing-

    I believe I’m in moisture overload. Today I clarified an did your modified rice water treatment. After I detangled with the Phyto Joba Mask. then used a little Hairfinity Conditioner as leave-in, Pantene Mousse and Boucléme gel.
    It didn’t work out.

    Guess I blew by using the Phyto mask after?……..

    Grateful for your help in advance, Ana

    PS_ I’m hooked on this blog!

    Also saw your Instalive, it was great! Yes for Curl clinic!!!

    1. I forgot, I have sample sizes of Innersense Hydrating bath and Conditioner. Is it appropriate to use now or would it add to the moisture overload problem?

      Should I deep condition with Hairfinity Mask and no leave-in on my next wash?

      Or my jump to Aphogge?

      Sorry for such long reply….

    2. Gabriella says:

      Hi Anaan, thanks so much for joining me on my Instagram Live, glad you enjoyed it. Okay so the clarifying and modified rice water rinse was fine, but it seems like you over cooked it with the phyto joba mask and then the hairfinity conditioner as well! I’m not surprised it didn’t work out tbh. Clarify, modified rice water treatment, then style. No need for extra masks and conditioners, especially when you’re trying to rebalance over moisturised hair. I don’t think you need to jump to Aphogee protein treatment yet, and I wouldn’t suggest the Innersense Hydrating line just yet, until you’ve got a better protein moisture balance in your hair. Hope that helps x

      1. Thank you so much for the reply!

        Yesterday I had little time so after having read this post washed with Phyto Kératine shampoo and used Hairfinity Mask as a conditioner. No leave in, just Pantene Mousse and Bouclème Gel. The result was better so I guess my hair right now needs protein.
        Thank you once more for your work, without these posts it would never occurred me!
        By the way, do you recommend any Phyto products beyond the mask? Here in Portugal it’s easy to find and I have the shampoos also. Should I switch them?
        And my name is Ana, Anaan was my mistake in wrinting fast… Sorry…

        Really aprecciate your work, kind regards

  45. I’M SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS POST! I’ve been so frustrated with my hair that I’ve been ready to completely give up on my curly girl routine! My hair has been frizzy, flat, droopy curls, etc. Now that I’ve checked all my products, they seem to all be moisturizing, with little to no protein! I think I’ve been scared of “too much” protein making my hair flat, because when I first started cgm, it seems like all I heard was, condition, condition, condition! That must have translated to “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize” in my head and so that’s what I’ve been doing. But balancing it makes SO much more sense. I had short pixie cuts for so long that I never used conditioner much, and now seems like I’ve gone overboard in the other direction.
    QUESTION: it seems as though I need a good chelating wash too – would that be too much to do immediately before a rice water rinse following your modified technique? I know we have hard water, and my hair is relatively healthy otherwise, but I’d love for it to be thicker. Thanks so much!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Jessica, no. As I recommend in that rice water post, and throughout posts on my blog. Regular clarifying is essential to healthy hair and scalp, and you need a chelating shampoo if you live in a hard water area, or swim in the ocean or pool. You need to use a chelating, clarifying shampoo such as the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo BEFORE you do the modified rice water treatment method.

  46. I’m trying to recover from major hygral fatigue, I’ve been trying to fix it for months and haven’t found anything very useful or successful for me. But I’ve found some really good info in your post, it seems like yours is the only one I’ve found that can actually describe my hair’s symptoms accurately, so thank you! I do have one question, should I still deep condition after I use a protein treatment, even with my over-moisturized hair? Recently, anything I’ve used that didn’t have protein in it after using something with protein in an attempt to balance my hair just made it worse.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Rachael, thank you so much, I’m so glad to hear my content has made sense for you. When my hair was in hygral fatigue, I didn’t deep condition after a protein treatment. I know everyone says you should, but when my hair was at it’s worst, the DC was just reversing all the good that the protein treatment did. I didn’t do it on this day when I used the Aphogee Protein Treatment, I just let the regular conditioner sit in my hair for a few minutes while I washed my body etc in the shower. It’s also why I developed my modified rice water treatment, to do the two things at once, so I wouldn’t have to do a dedicated deep condition after a protein treatment. Ultimately you need to do what works best for your hair and go with that. Hope that helps x

  47. Thank you SO much for your help.
    I”ll definitely take your recommendations… I may try the LMG approach too.

    Again, so happy you’re here!

  48. Thank you so much for this blog. I’ve been attempting the CGM since June 2019, and since then have not used a straight iron once on my 2b/2c hair… (This 45 year old lady has highlighted for years so def. high porosity and it takes forever to dry).

    My issue is an oily/greasy scalp.

    When I started this journey, I transitioned from shampooing every day to every other… I use the As I Am co-wash, but can’t go more than a day between uses and have to clarify at least every single week.

    I currently need a shampoo for regular use that cleans my scalp but doesn’t wreck everything else.

    Current product line up:
    Cleanser – As I Am Co Wash or Clarifying (Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo)
    Leave in – CURLS Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave in Conditioner
    Curl Activator – Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator
    Gel – Depends, but some days, no gel at all – (tried Aussie Freeze, Curl Keeper Original, and LA Looks blue)
    Deep conditioner – not sure what to choose, I tossed out my Shea Moisture

    Would love to be able to go longer between washes… without greasy scalp
    Would love more shine

    Would love any help you can share.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Jessie, from looking at your products and lineup, you’re using a lot of moisturising products for someone who has an oily/greasy scalp. If you’re referring to the Tresemme Botanique conditioner, that’s quite heavy too, and the Curls Blueberry Bliss can be too, if you use too much. I definitely don’t recommend using Shea Moisture. I think you should switch out the As I Am Co Wash for a lo poo, and a lighter conditioner such as Hairfinity Balanced Moisture Conditioner. Hope that helps.

      1. Thank you SO much for your help.
        I”ll definitely take your recommendations… I may try the LMG approach too.

        Again, so happy you’re here!

  49. Another quick question: do you suggest using a deep conditioner with protein after using Bumble & Bumble if hair needs protein? Or will it be too drying?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hiya, using a protein DC after Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo is fine, it’s what I do all the time. x

      1. Excellent! Thank you for the quick response!

  50. Hi!! So glad I found your blog when I googled over moisturized curly hair.

    I’ve definitely struggling for over a month with over moisturized hair from leaving a deep conditioner on longer than my fine thin hair could handle.

    To recover, You suggested washing the hair without conditioner. I’ve tried it. It began to help. But, How do you detangle your hair without conditioner? I felt like I was breaking my hair doing it.

    Also, to recover, I either have been using a gel with protein or a conditioner with protein.

    I never use both a conditioner and gel with protein in both because someone told me that it’ll weigh my hair down with too much protein.

    What are you thoughts on that?

    Any other suggestions?

    It’s been over a month. I skip leave ins, creams, I go longer without washing, I diffuse. After a week, I started using a rinse out conditioner again because I just couldn’t detangle without one.

    Thanks for the great blog post!! You and your curls are beautiful too!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Rachel, I don’t recommend skipping conditioner long term, and usually only if you’re going to use some kind of leave in conditioner in your routine. To resolve the detangling issue, I recommend using a shampoo that has good slip and some moisturising properties so you can detangle if needs be, I find MopTop or Bounce Curl the best for that. Use code CURLYCAILIN10 for $$ off Bounce Curl website. I say stop listening to what everyone is telling you to do, and try it out for yourself. Everyone’s hair is different and you’re never going to know what works for you and your hair until you start trying things out for yourself. Going longer without washing doesn’t necessarily help as the oils in your hair can build up, which isn’t helpful if you’re hair is over moisturised. Hope all that helps

    2. Hi Gabriella! I sure am enjoying your blog posts on an intimate level. I believe my hair is similar to yours – medium porosity, thin but lots of it. And mine looks like yours toward the beginning of your journey. Because of this I have been taking your product advice and it’s been working out really well (thanks so much for the codes, btw). I’m thoroughly confused about my routine though. My hair seems to love protein. And it loves a good chalating or clarifying. It gets heavily weighed down too, so trying to balance this with moisture is hard. I had an amazing wash day after using Bumble & Bumble, and it’s killing me only using it once a month! Would you mind listing what your routine looks like, from one chalating wash to the next and everything in between? I’m interested in knowing, for example, when you are using cowash vs. BounceCurl clarifying, when you are using a conditioner with protein vs. without, and when you deep condition with protein vs. without. I’m assuming you kind of have a cycle you typically follow, with minor changes as needed? Thanks so much for all this work you are doing for the rest of us!

  51. Thank you for this!! This is the best and clearest explanation I have found. My hair loves protein and when I found the Shea Moisture Resilient Growth and Protein Masque, my hair was sooo happy. Then they stopped selling it. I’ve been on a mission and found Mielle and Texture ID have great ones. Thank you for the time you spent on this and for sharing!

  52. Jeanne Schlumbohm says:

    Thank you for all the interesting information. I don’t know what’s wrong with my hair. It’s baby fine, low density, gray-but I get it colored with highlights. My curl is 2b-2c, 2c at the bottom half of my hair, top is 2b and goes flat easily. I’ve tried so many products. I don’t think my hair likes much glycerin. I recently tried the Orange Marmalade gel for the 2nd time, so hoping it had a hard hold as they say it does, but it made my hair go totally flat on top, kind of fuzzy and it lost all its curl both times using it. I didn’t get hardly any hold. My shampoo is sulfate free and conditioner both have biotin and collagen in them. I didn’t use a leave-in the 2nd time, and clarified my hair before using it, both times. My hair seemed too soft. I think I’m over moisturized, but not sure. A month ago, I tried the Colorful Neutral Protein Filler (mostly made of Keratin and wheat proteins) diluted with a lot of water, and it made my hair feel weird and stiff. So, I don’t know what the issue is, but ready to chop it all off. I don’t have time to spend hours on my hair.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Jeanne, firstly Orange Marmalade doesn’t work for everyone, so don’t stress out if it didn’t work for you. If your hair seems soft and is losing definition and curl pattern and fuzzy frizz, it sounds like your hair is over moisturised and could do with a protein treatment – like any of the ones I suggested in this post. Protein will make your hair feel weird and stiff when you have the protein treatment in your hair – depending on which one you’re using, but once you rinse it out it should be fine again. Over moisturised hair will not be fixed with one protein treatment, it can often take weeks of several washes before you get the balance right again, so don’t expect miracles or to nail your routine in one go. It’s going to take time, but it will be worth it. Hope that helps

  53. This was extremely helpful! But my issue after reading this and many other articles I’m realizing is the top half of my hair is on protein overload and the bottom half of my hair is on moisture overload. How can I balance both the top and bottom together?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Katy, thanks so much, I’m so glad you found this helpful. If it were me and my hair was reacting differently, I would treat the different sections differently. So for example, I would clarify my hair, and then use a protein deep conditioning mask on the bottom half which is experiencing moisture overload, and a protein free, moisturising conditioner/deep conditioner on the top half. It sounds like a lot of work, but I’d imagine you’d only have to do that for a few washes to balance things out again. Hope that helps x

  54. hi Gabriella!
    thank you so much for this post and your blog! it’s been extremely helpful for me since i’ve committed to curly hair (04/2019).

    i want to say that this post has exactly described my current hair situation. i’ve even seen your youtube video on this subject and believe my curls looks so much like yours by day 2-3 minus all the volume lol (you share the volume to your hair is because you have a lot of it. mine is the opposite, more of a fine/medium hair) like literally i was reading your post and thought the accuracy was insane! but i’m glad i can relate because now i know what to do with this situation.

    i’m going to take your recommendations with trying the rise water rinse and possibly a deep conditioner rich in protein. and if THAT doesn’t work then i’m going for the Aphogee treatment.

    again thank you for you honest opinions! totally appreciate them

    1. Gabriella says:

      Aww thank you Saraí! Yes, that’s a great plan. Hopefully your curls will bounce back in a couple of washes. x

  55. Thank you for the easy-to-understand information!
    So I have mostly 2C (with some 3A curls at the bottom) hair, probably medium to high porosity, and I went completely wild on the moisturising part when I first started learning about the CGM 4-5 months ago. My hair was getting both more curly and more shiny the first few months (it’s always felt and looked pretty coarse and dull), but recently it started getting less curly, more weighed down, puffy and more frizzy, and I couldn’t understand why. I tried to scrunch more/less and vary how much leave-in and styling products I used etc. to no avail. Then I stumbled across a youtube-video and eventually ended up here, and now I’m pretty certain it’s because of moisture overload and no clarifying. I’ve been using the DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair 1-3 times a month since I started the CGM, and the occasional rice water rince, but I don’t have a single product with proteins and I’ve only been using my As I Am Coconut Cowash and leave-in for months without any other cleanser. (I’ve also occasionally used a little of a Cantu-curl cream I have, which never really worked out but I wanted it to so I kept trying. Threw all my Cantu in the trash after reading a few of your articles today.) So now I’ve bought the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo, Smooth as Silk Conditioner and the Weightless Leave in, as well as Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In, and hopefully that will help me get my protein-moisture-balance more back on track: using the Tea Tree Triple Threat as a clarifying shampoo and then having both a conditioner and leave-in with proteins so I can switch my routine up depending on what my hair needs.
    Your blog is amazing, I’m so glad I stumbled across it, and your hair is absolutely gorgeous! I’m hoping my curls will get a little closer to your definition when I get the hang of this caring-for-my-curly-hair thing. Guess time will tell! (And hurray for products and links that are possible to get a hold of in Europe! I’m not terribly interested in paying like 40 dollars to have stuff shipped from America.) Again, thank you so much!

  56. Gabrielle, I feel like I’ve been searching for this information since I was a little girl! I’m having some confusion. Could you help “diagnose” me?

    My curl pattern changes radically from 3b to 2b and everything in between. Right now I have almost completely lost all curl because it is recovering from bleach. When I shower it feels like straw no matter how much conditioner I slather. I know I need to use chelating shampoo because I have hard NYC water and have mistakenly used heavy Shea products for a long time. I need a deep conditioner but don’t know if I should go protein or not. My hair curls best when it is humid and looks flat and lifeless when it is dry/cold. I’m also very prone to dry scalp in winter. I’m confused about my porosity but I think it’s low like yours. My gut says that glycerin is good. I need a conditioner with MAJOR slip because it gets so tangled. Help?! Sending you so much love.

    1. Also it takes a while to fully wet it but it also takes a million years to dry!

      1. Gabriella says:

        Hi Becky, everyone has different curl patterns on their head, that’s completely normal, so don’t worry about that! Yes, you need to do a deep clarifying wash on your hair to get rid of all that product build up (both product, heavy oils and butters from Shea Moisture use and hard water). It may take a few goes for your hair to be able to truly breath again. Make sure you deep condition after each time. I think it would be hard to determine your hair’s true porosity until you’ve got all that build up off your hair, but if it’s been bleached – I suspect it’s high porosity. If you hair is really dry and very knotty and easily tangles, I suggest you use the Matrix Biolage HydraSource Conditioner/Conditioning Balm (Sally’s GVP Conditioning Balm is an affordable dupe), and then regularly/weekly do my modified rice water rinse which you can see here: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/my-rice-water-rinse-routine-results/ Hope all that helps! x

  57. Hello! This is a very helpful post! I’m just starting CG and have super fine, wavy hair. Whenever I read descriptions of over-moisturized hair, I think that seems like my hair, especially with how it feels. But I’m also not sure if my hair just feels so soft because it’s super fine! Do you have any thoughts as to how to tell the difference between “mushy” hair and just soft/fine hair? It’s definitely not frizzy when it’s wet, so maybe that’s a sign that it’s not overly moisturized?
    I have ordered some products that contain protein which I’m excited to experiment with! Right now I don’t have any protein in my routine.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Ashley, the difference is between soft and over moisturised is if your hair is naturally soft, it will feel silky and smooth. If your hair is over moisturised, it will feel very mushy, like candy floss, like it will disintegrate in your hands. Other things I mentioned in this post such as how much it stretches, and if/when it snaps etc. Hope that helps

      1. Hi Gabriella,
        Thanks so much for your amazing blog! It’s the best one I have ever found dealing with protein/ moisture balance. Usually I am able to figure out what my hair needs but this time I’m lost. I have fine long naturally wavy/curly 2b/c hair that is highlighted light blonde. My hair for the last 6 years has been very sensitive to protein and hates it, even protein like substances like most oils. My hair will only tolerate products that have no protein in them. I use Curl Junkie rehab moisturizing treatment every time I wash 3-4 days as a pre poo, Deva low poo, Curl Junkie moisturizer again for 5 minutes Andy I leave a little in followed by Kinky Curly leave in, custard and spiral gel. Normally my hair can’t get enough moisture buy lately the texture and style is very off. My hair which is overprocessed from bleaching is extremely puffy, soft and frizzy and dry especially about I hour after air drying it dramatically starts to friz( it takes 7 hrs to dry). It would seem to need protein/over moisturized but the stand test snaps immediately with no stretch which would go along with protein overload?i usually do the stand test on dry hair which has not been immediately shampooed so I’m not sure if that makes a difference. I clarified with kinky curly come clean and used to Kerastase nutritive mask( wheat protein) followed by Curl Junky moisture mask with not much results 4 days ago.. Yesterday I shampooed with no poo and only used CJ moisture mask and it’s about the same. Any thoughts, I would really appreciate.

  58. Hi Gabriella! Just recently subscribed and I’m going through some of your posts on here (loving them all of course lol). This is probably weird but I think the front of my hair – bits that actually frame my face – seem to to be fairly balanced with protein and moisture though I do have frizz from glycerin I think. And my curls in the front are very tight. However, towards the back of my head, my curls are basically waves and the hair is pretty soft (and so I’m thinking it’s over moisturized. I also have lots of frizz in general and when wet. I’m going to try doing a chelating wash and then hopefully figure out the best way to help the over moisturized hair so it’s as balanced as my other curls. Thank you for all of the time you spend working to help other curly haired people!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Gigi, thank you so so much! That’s so kind and sweet of you! It’s very much appreciated! Okay, so as for your hair being different/tighter at the front from the back. Can I ask, do you wash your hair standing up in the shower? If so, which I’m guessing you do from what you describe. All the heat and pressure is beating down on the crown and down the back of your head, pulling out the curl pattern back there, making it softer and looser. You need to turn the temperature down, turn the pressure down, and turn your head up side down and after a few weeks you should see a big improvement. Check this post out for more info and tips on that> https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/how-to-beat-halo-frizz/ Hope that helps!xoxo

  59. Thank you so much for this blog, it is so helpful and informative. One thing I have noticed about my hair when it needs protein is that it forms these “super clumps”. I have multiple curl patterns in my hair but when I start getting large clumps of curls, especially on multi-day hair, I know it’s time for a protein treatment. I use the Curl Junkie Repair Me and leave it in for at least 30 minutes and after that I have more uniform curl clumps. If I do the treatment when I first notice the super clumps then I don’t usually get over moisturized. I don’t use styling products with lots of protein, they make my hair crispy and straw-like, so deep conditioning is my preferred way of getting protein.

  60. Hi,

    I think my hair needs moisture. I have low porosity 3b hair that lacks movement, is very frizzy, curls clump and stick together on day 2 and get extremely knotty. Do you agree that it could be lack of moisture? If so can you please recommend some products for me. Thank you.

  61. Hi,

    I think I’m currently in moisture overload zone after starting loving my curls a couple months ago. I’m wondering if you would do the Briogeo don’t despair treatment OR the rice treatment? Or could you do one and then the other 4-5 days later? Or is that unnecessary?

  62. Hi Gabriella! Love your posts as always. Is it possible to have both problems, haha? I have a major issue with wet frizz as soon as I rinse out my conditioner but then once my hair is fully dry my frizz feels dry, not like the soft over moisturized frizz you described. Any thoughts? Maybe it’s just the products I’m using (like maybe my hair doesn’t like the stylers I use or something)? Thanks as always!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Maria, thank you so much! hmm….that is strange. You’ve just got all the frizz! ha ha. I get wet frizz as soon as I rinse out my conditioner when I need to do a protein treatment. The dry frizz could be down to a few things, such as product build up on the hair. When was the last time you clarified? And what products are you using? LMK and hopefully I’ll be able to help you a little more. x

  63. Hi Gabriella,
    thanks for this great article! I realize that I have over moisturized hair – will use the RWR and try this. What do you think about salt spray additionally – to dry it out a little bit more? Does this make sense?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Astrid, I have heard of some people adding salt to their conditioner. Although I don’t add salt to any of my products, I know some of the styling products from Jessicurl which I love contain salt – so it’s very similar. Hope that helps xoxo

      1. anna burns says:

        Jessie Curl does not contain salt, it contain magnesium sulfate, also called epsom salt. Epsom salt is not salt at all, so it does not dry and damage the hair like salt can do. I use a magnesium sulfate(epsom salt) rinse everyday and it seems to add texture to my hair as well as encourage curls.

  64. Hi Gabriella, I am in serious need of some help. I just started my curly hair journey about two months ago and I am SO confused. First let me start by saying that I am 48 and my hair is already pretty much 100% silver gray. I’m not sure if that makes a difference but I have yet to find anyone who talks about gray curly hair. On a good hair day I have 2b/2c curls with a couple of lovely 3a as well as a couple of pesky 2a thrown in here and there. I have been trying to figure out this protein/moisture balance and just don’t get it because my hair has symproms of both moisture and protein overload. For instance, on a bad day, I have soft, limp, loose waves that won’t hold a curl which sounds like moisture overload but when I do a strand test my hair does not stretch very much before it breaks which sounds like protein overload. It also feels dry and lacking shine but it doesn’t feel crunchy or brittle. HELP! I will say that if I do a deep conditioning treatment the loose lifeless curles are worse and when I did a gelatin treatment my definition was better but still dry feeling after product aplication. I also seem to have trouble sometimes after I apply products that my hair just never wants to dry completly. Any ideas would be so, so appreciated.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Carmin, no worries, I will help as much as I can. So on the whole it sounds like your hair is slightly over moisturised and is lacking in protein. The reason why your hair is snapping is because grey hair often tends to be more dry and coarse. Hair that takes a long time to dry is a sign of high porosity hair. So I would recommend doing a protein treatment, or a deep conditioner that has protein in it – like the ones I’ve mentioned in this post. And combining it with a thermal heat cap (I sell them on my Etsy shop) to help it really penetrate the hair shaft. Hope that helps. xoxo

      1. Kimberley says:

        I am having this same issue, my hair at my crown has broken off to around 2 inches long! I am being as gentle as possible with it and dont even know when this breaking is happening. The rest of my hair is just past my shoulders. Is it hydral fatigue or lack of protien? I cant figure out what to do and there is no hair style that looks good because its only broken at the crown. I look horrible in short hair so cutting it ahort isn’t an option. Any ideas what is happening to cause this breaking? I am 48 years old too but only 10% grey at the most. Thank you for any help.

        1. Gabriella says:

          Well, I’d ask is it broken hair or is it new hair growth? I’ve got lots of new hair growth which means I’ve got hair that’s only about 2-4 inches long, and I notice it more around my hair line and my crown simply because of the way I wear my hair either up or down. So it may not be breakage, but actually new hair growth.

  65. shivani sharma says:

    This indeed is a total game changer of a post! One question please- I’m a straight haired girl.. any ideas on how I can figure out the protein/ moisture “need of the moment” for my hair, since the holding a curl test is not quite applicable for me?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi, okay so it’s a little tricker if you don’t have the curl to be able to see if it drops. If you wand or tong your hair and it doesn’t hold the wave/curl then that will tell you if you’re lacking protein. But also the stretch test, and if your hair is breaking a lot. Does that help/make sense?

    2. I noticed that I can tell when I wear my hair up in a ponytail for the whole day: normally, at the end of the day when I take it out, I have a clear mark/wave where the hair tie was placed. If I don’t and the hair falls back straight, then it’s surely over moisturized.

      1. Gabriella says:

        hmm… I’m not sure that’s an accurate way of telling if your hair is over moisturised…

  66. Love your article. It is one of the more better explaining one’s. I’ve tried Aphogee twice, but my hair still doesn’t seem to take in the protein. It will overstretch and not return to it’s natural form. Could it be possible your hair cannot take in any kind of protein? I had such high hopes for Aphogee, but adding protein stylers for a long long while seems to work better eventually than the treatment.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Monica, when was the last time you clarified? And what kind of products are you using? It sounds like there could be product or mineral build up on your hair. From using products that have silicones, heavy oils or butters (Shea Moisture and Cantu spring to mind). Or if you live in a hard water area (limescale) or swim regularly. All of these things will film a coat on your hair that prevents moisture (and possibly protein?) from getting into the hair shaft. I suggest clarifying first with a chelating shampoo (see this post: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/why-when-you-should-clarify-your-hair/) such as Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, and then do the Aphogee Protein Treatment and see if that works for you. Hope that helps! xoxo

      1. Monica Buurmeester says:

        Hi Gabriella, thanks for replying <3
        I clarify regularly with a cg shampoo to prevent build up indeed. If I use shea it's once in a while, when it is extremely dry, might lay it off now. We do have hard water here. I'll try clarifying again and then try it once more (: Thanks!

        1. Gabriella says:

          No worries Monica, my pleasure. If you live in a hard water area though, you need to clarify with a chelating shampoo. That’s the only thing that will get those hard water mineral deposits, such as limescale, from your hair. Once you do that, you should see a big difference and improvement. x

  67. Have you ever tired to use panty hose to strain the “goop?” Would that work?

    1. Gabriella says:

      No, I’ve not needed to use a panty hoe to strain the rice goop. A sieve is just fine.

  68. Thanks for the helpful info! Have to disagree with your opinion on the homemade protein/moisturizing masks. Using a blender, of egg, avocado, olive oil and yogurt does absolutely phenomenal things to my hair. It may not work for your hair type but it gives me so much volume, thick curls etc.

    1. Gabriella says:

      That’s great that it works for you, I don’t know anyone else who has results like that from those ingredients, other than shine.

      1. I have as well had results using those ingredients.

  69. Leigh Anne says:

    So very helpful! Thank u for all the time u spent putting this all together! I learned so much 😉

    1. Gabriella says:

      Thank you so much Leigh Anne, and you’re very welcome! xoxo

  70. Hi Gabriella! Great post as usual 🙂 My hair seems to react in a similar way to yours so I love reading about your experiences. I’m currently in a protein overload mode, mostly because I’m still figuring out my hair, curl pattern and friendly products (definitely not the protein-loaded stylers…) My hair is currenlty FULL OF FRIZZ (seriously, I look like I have been electrocuted) and I have no curls whatsoever. On wash day it looked pretty good but a couple of hours later all the curls had gone. I have fine hair with loose 2B/2C curl/waves and had read that with protein overload this could happen. It’s definitely not excess of moisture because the wet strands snap without streching when I try, although (fortunately) it doesn’t break by itself or feel superdry. Will have to moisturize it a lot this week… 😉 Thanks again for your time to share your experience with us! xoxo

    1. Gabriella says:

      hmm…from what you’ve said it sounds like your symptoms are more like moisture overload than protein…..

      1. really? because it feels dry (not suuuuperdry but definitely not silky or soft) and wet strands just snap when I try to stretch them… guess I’ll have to keep on trying things… [sic] Thanks anyway for all the info! 🙂

        1. Just reading along and i also have fine 2b waves and thought my hair type would need protein and lots of it. I was having frizz and my curl wouldn’t hold at all and my hair strand would snap too. Because my hair is so fine it feels soft nearly all of the time and its been hard to tell the difference between over moisturised and over proteined. But I took it too far and ended up with straw as everyone said it was moisture overload. Now its the trek back to balanced hair and now I know that my hair type also needs lots of moisture, its actually very thirsty.

          1. Whitley Wenger says:

            This was extremely helpful! I started my curly journey back on October and at first was seeing amazing results. Now, my hair is flat, frizzy and dull. I still almost feel like I’m confused what my hair needs, but at least know where to start!

          2. Flat frizzy and dull is usually a sign you need to clarify your hair.

    2. I have really fine hair and am finding that both the float test and stretch test might not be accurate.

      Very fine hair doesn’t have the same tensile strength (think yarn vs plastic cable) so my hair may be snapping because it doesn’t have the strength to not snap… It also floats like low porosity. But that is because it is too light to break the surface tension of the water. If I put several pieces together and pull they don’t snap.

      If I dunk them in the water for porosity (breaking the surface tension) they hang out in the middle.

      Thoughts? (I have same curl type).

      I also got into over moisturized trouble even with Curl Junky Rehab and HairFinity mask because of the heavy oils in them (I think?)

      1. As explained in the post, the float test is not accurate and I don’t recommend it.

  71. Thank you Gabriella, this is so helpful!! I’m struggling to find a good protein/moisture balance within my routine. Your YouTube video on this was great too. I started my curly journey with protein heavy products and then went extreme and cut it out almost completely after my hair kept going limp within hours of drying! Am going to introduce the briogeo deep conditioner instead of boucleme into the modified rice water treatment as you mentioned it has more protein in and will work my way up from there! X

    1. Gabriella says:

      Yes that’s an excellent idea! And the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! deep conditioner works really well with my modified rice water method. Thank you so much, I’m so glad you found this post helpful xoxo