Monday, September 14, 2015

Sweet Curls Elixirs New Product in development

 The first product is a request for a dupe of Curl Enhancing Jelly, which is no longer available since the shop's closing. I am very close to having enough to purchase those ingredients.
The second is a line of leave in hair rinses that would address a variety of concerns, such as moisture, detangling, volume, itchy scalps, and oily scalps.
I have always relied on shop revenue to expand the Sweet Curls line, but due to my medical concerns, this hasn't been possible of late (co-pays and such for a number of ER visits and medications). So I have set up a gofundme campaign to help pay for ingredients that I need.
I am of course offering rewards to those who choose to donate, which is explained on the campaign page.
Please Visit

Liking and sharing to your facebook page also helps spread the word!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The nature of an invisible and chronic illness...

I make no secrets that I have chronic illnesses. I think it's important for me to be up front with all of you about that.
I have lived with Crohn's disease for 16 years. More recently I was also diagnosed with Lupus and Fibromyalgia. Most of the time I manage. I never feel "well". But I'm sort of used to that.
And that's kind of the problem. I'm used to it. How do you when you are developing potentially life threatening complications when you always feel like crap? In my case, because I have had SO many complications, it gets harder to tell. My body is wired for pain all wrong. Pain I should feel for serious issues... well, my body is used to that pain, and it never feels as bad as it did the time before. The first couple of times I had an obstruction (with the first time not even being a fully closed off obstruction, it was partial) I felt like I was dying. I KNEW. The 3rd time... I was sicker than normal, in more pain than normal. But it wasn't the white hot agonizing pain of a thousand white hot hands griping my intestines like the previous times. So I knew something was wrong, but I wasn't sure what. The fourth time, still less pain. Again, sicker than usual, more pain than usual, but I thought it might just be a flare. Flares are nothing. Flares I can deal with. But it wasn't a flare. More complications.
And this brings me to the reason I am writing this post. Recently, as some of you know, I was very, very sick. In and out of the hospital. Still sick. I was very sick for almost a month and half. I thought for the first couple of weeks, it was a flare. I can deal with those. Just give me a crap load of prednisone! But it wasn't. My bowel had perforated. I am sure most of you can guess this is dangerous and life threatening. In normal circumstances, emergency surgery is usually performed to lessen the risks of peritonitis and sepsis. But I'm not normal. I have already had quite a bit of my intestines removed. The human body, even in an over developed immune state such as mine is, is still quite a marvel. In order to protect itself, it had formed a wall of sorts around the perforation. This was a huge blessing in most respects. It allowed time for "medicate and wait". Which is pretty awesome when the last thing you or your doctors want is to cut into you to remove more of an organ that is starting to dwindle (and definitely showing signs of Malabsorbation and Short Bowel Syndrome). So the approach worked.. kind of. The hole closed up. Which is great. BUT.... I still had lots of inflammation and damage from the perforation that wasn't healing.
The last thing I wanted to do was to go back to the ER. I tried, guys. I really did. I would be so very sick and still trying to get orders done, or at least oversee my helpers so things could be sent out. I ignored the fact I still couldn't eat (it had been a month at that point, only eating some soup or a few bites of something here and there). I ignored the fact I was getting weaker. I ignored the pain. I tried to go to the grocery with my mother, and almost didn't make it out of there. After three more days of me being that sick, my mom insisted. I was resistant. I didn't want to. I had things to do. I had customers that already had orders that were getting ridiculously late. So I did the only thing I could think of to do... I made a gallon of Flax Gel and gave instructions to my son on how to finish it. I had to trust he could do it, because I couldn't.
Then things got scary. I arrived at the ER, barely able to even walk in the door and stand at the reception desk. They got me a wheelchair, and started the intake. But... then... they took me right back. No waiting. No hesitation. Right back into a room where I was immediately put on a heart monitor and oxygen. In no time at all, I had seen a Dr., was given fluids, had a C/T, more tests. Another Dr. Then another. I was freaking out. THREE Dr's. In all my time as a Crohn's patient... I've never had three Dr's consult on my case before I even left the ER. I knew I wasn't going home anytime too soon then. Things unfolded in bits and pieces, really. My potassium was critically low. Ok. I deal with that literally all the time. So I wasn't too worried about that. But, oh yeah, we've been pumping you full of it, and you're not showing much improvement. So we discovered your magnesium is low, too. Then, my first night there... my muscles locked up. My entire body felt on pins-and-needles asleep and I couldn't move most of me. The parts I could move were with great effort. Another blood test revealed my calcium was also critically low. Oh, yeah, and my protein and iron. Was there more? I can't even remember at this point.
So another week in the hospital went by. When I was released this last time, I did feel better than I had in a while. But I was very weak. And my house was a mess. We were out of almost every product. And I was too weak to even be sure I could get upstairs and get a shower by myself when all I really wanted was a long hot shower.
But enough about all that. I'm not telling you this for any other reason than to let you know this next part.
I cried a lot. Not about me. About my customers. I would lie awake worrying about all those orders that were so very late. They insisted on day 5 that I take a sleeping pill because I hadn't slept at all in those 5 days. I wanted so badly to get home and make things right. I was mad at myself for not being able to do more when I did get home. I would overdo it then spike a fever, then cry.
I seriously considered refunding everyone and shutting down. I was a failure.
But my niece, the wonderfully hard worker that she is, worked and worked to get me as caught up as she could. My kids helped out quite a bit, too. But she went above and beyond. And I love her. For so many reasons I love her, but her help with the shop will always be one of the most heart touching things she could have ever done for me.

She got me through until I was at a place where I felt like I could handle things again. Today is the first day in the week since I was released this last time that I woke up and felt.... good. (Well, ok, I didn't actually wake up feeling good, it took about 3 hours. But I'm not being nit picky).
Things are ALMOST all caught up. Just a few more that are pretty late to go before I get into the ones that are a few days over, and those are mostly the sample sets because they are so time consuming (my son cusses me every time he picks up an invoice for a sample order. LOL). I hope to get those last few out tomorrow (I was aiming for today, but the mail came before I could get them all done).
I want thank each and every one of you who have been so patient and understanding during this crazy unexpected mess. I strive for a day when things might stay under some kind of control for more than a year (it hasn't happened in the last 5 years... but I don't give up hope. My Crohn's HAS been under control before. I am determined it will be again.)
To any customers of Sweet Curls Elixir's to whom this information is new, I just ask that you keep in mind, that while I may have set backs, getting orders out is always in the front of my mind. I truly do love my customers. I love making products that you don't have to spend hours reading the labels on 20 different things just to choose one that has most of you want, and doesn't have most of what you don't want.
Ah, anyway, so that is the nature of my invisible illnesses. They do what they want, when they want, with or without warning. They beat me down for a while. They think they won. But then I remember I am more than my disease.

So let me leave you with memes.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Now that it's been nearly 4 years....

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time, but just haven't found the time. Very soon, in May I believe, will mark my 4 year Curly Girl anniversary! Has it really been that long? Wow...
The reason I bring up my CG anniversary is because for this last year or so, my hair has been drastically different. It all started when I hacked off almost 4 inches of hair, which I truly think must have been the very last of my pre-CG hair. (It was really long....)
The number one difference I have noticed is that, it seems less porous. It is staying well hydrated as opposed to drying out over time as it had in the past. This is truly strange for me. I have been so used to working hard to keep my hair moisturized that now that it doesn't need so much moisture, I find myself a little lost. Co-washing is now too much for my hair. I now wash with a gentle low-poo instead of co-washing. I don't need to do oil pre-washes anymore. I use 1/4 of the amount of conditioner I used to. Even with all these changes, my hair still seems overly soft a lot. I am just not used to this.
Another major change is that the hair at the nape of my neck is healthier, smoother, and no longer gets tangled if I move my head wrong. That area also used to be plagued with splits. I would have to do a search and destroy every week just to keep the splits in check. Speaking of splits, they are almost non-existent in the rest of my hair, too. My canopy, especially in the front, used to split quite often. I just noticed a few splits the other day after not touching my hair with scissors for months.
I knew CG was working for me all along, but I had assumed the way my hair was prior to those last 4 inches being cut off was just the way it WAS. I now find myself starting the journey to learn my hair all over again. I don't know how often to do a protein treatment, deep condition, clarify etc. It's pretty exciting, really.
The point of this post, however, is to impress upon you to keep at it! Just when you think your hair may be the best it's going to get, it may surprise you and get even better! It really is just a matter of time. So keep up with your pre-wash treatments, your protein treatments (for those who are not protein sensitive), and your deep treatments. Try stretching out the time between washes, too. If you usually wash every other day, go for every 3. Keep getting regular trims, and if you can stand it, cutting off a few more inches of the old pre-CG hair. It is important to keep trimming/cutting off the older more damaged parts because damage has a tendency to spread. Splits get bigger, more frayed, and catch on other hairs creating friction which can damage hair even more, not to mention creating more frizz because the damaged hair can't "lay" properly.
If you find yourself getting discouraged, overwhelmed, or just need a little encouragement, I encourage you to join The Wavy Hair Community on Facebook (please read the rules and the "how to join" posts!). The ladies there are always great, and welcome all textures of hair from beachy waves to tight coils.. we love it all and don't discriminate (but be prepared for major curl envy if you have coils...) That group has helped me through so much with my hair, I can honestly say that this approaching anniversary would not be possible with out them.

I haven't posted in a long time.. but...

I don't know how many of you know about Influenster, but it's pretty great, Basically, you connect all of your social media accounts to it. You do some activities on the website, and every once in a while, they will send you a pre-qualifying survey for a VoxBox. What's a VoxBox? It's FREE STUFF. The catch? You have to review the products, and help promote them among your social media accounts. And that's why I am posting about Influenster now.. because I received the Influenster #TryDry VoxBox, and now it's time for a review.
In my #TryDry VoxBox, I received Dove Nourished Beauty 48 hour Dry Spray.
Now, I have been using Secret Invisible Solid for YEARS. It has been my HG deo. I never liked sprays. I felt like I had to walk around with my arms out forever waiting for it to dry. Isn't the point of an anti-persperant to AVOID wet pits? Yeah... gross feeling. I had my doubts this spray was actually "dry spray" I figured it might dry faster than I was used to but I was sure I would get icky wet pit feeling at least at first. I was wrong. It totally lived up to it's name. It never, ever felt wet to me.
Another feature of antiperspirant/deodorant that I am pretty picky is scent. I checked out the Dry Spray on the Dove Website and yes, it does come in other scents. However, this one is surprisingly nice. Fresh and nuetral, not the baby powder scent I love, but still pretty nice. This one is sort of a light powdery floral. I don't usually like floral, but it reminds me a bit of Awapuhi, which is such a fresh clean floral that it almost not floral. Another win for Dove Dry Spray.
As for how proformance... it's pretty outstanding. It does live up to it's 48 hours claim (providing you aren't getting too sweaty during that time). It also left my pits feeling soft and mosturized, and did not sting freshly shaved skin. What?! Yep, you heard me (or read me... whatever)! It really did not sting.
The last thing that has sold me on this is that with my previous deo, sometimes (especially in summer) it could sometimes feel a little heavy or gunky. You definitely knew it was there. It really was invisible, but you could still FEEL it. Not so with the spray. It really feels like nothing at all.
The only con, but kind of a big one... is the aerosol can. Yeah, I know, it wouldn't be dry spray any other way. But I feel guilty every time I spray it.
So the big question for me I guess is, are all the pros enough to outweigh the con? I am undecided on that at the moment, honestly!
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A "what's in the works" post

I have a ton of ideas rattling around my brain, as well as many requests from customers about what they'd like to see at Sweet Curls Elixirs.
So I thought I would compile a list of things that are "in the works". Some further along than others!

Currently in development - protein treatments, low-sulfate shampoo, healthy scalp oil scrub, super light detangling leave in moisture spray or gel, A Flax/Okra gel and a Flax/Okra Serum

Next up: dry shampoo and no-rinse foam shampoo, oil blends for hair types/function (fine hair, damaged hair, etc.)

Others: a molding wax or pomade of some sort, a CJ curl Queen dupe w/o wheat

Friday, April 25, 2014

Battling post cut curl shock and update on where the sam hill my instruction vids are!

First, let me address the promised how to vids I have promised so many times. I tried and tried to start, but I always come to some sort of impasse in the middle. My problem is, while curl pattern; hair length and other cosmetic variations of curls mean next to nothing when formulating a product, they DO have a lot to do with product application and technique. So I was always forced to stop and wonder if I was presenting the product with enough information for everyone. How could I, a wavy who sometimes needs a lot of help to get my wave to do the right thing (as if I could ever make them do anything, but I still try) give hair product application advice to the 4's in a video when I clearly do not have type 4 curls. I can spit back information I have been told, of course. Which is what will most likely happen, as I do not know any 4's who would come be my hair model for that type. And if I did have a video for each type.. well, that's just a lot of videos.
I have been trying to come up with a good series that has as much info as possible without requiring me to film 30 (probably long) videos. Besides, would you really want to watch that?
So I think I will make an introduction video explaining the role that curl type has in application and technique. Then I will make a video for each product as I use them, trying to note as I go where a different type may want to try something else. Now that I think I have the logistics figured out, I will begin trying again. But I will note one more time, I really hate myself on video. UGH!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Battling post cut curl shock.

We all know how it goes, right? You go in to get a hair cut, excited because you expect your hair to look fabulous afterwards, only to be faced with limp lackluster waves and curls for a few days (or more, at times). 
How can you quickly put a spring back into the step of your curls?
You need one day where you do not care how wild your hair is going to turn out. Because it will. You have been warned. Next, follow a wash and style routine focused on lightweight products. Sulfate wash if that's what your hair wants. (Waves and curls who have gone limp, often respond to a sulfate wash.). If your hair likes protein, give it all it wants. Do as heavy duty protein treatment as you dare. Protein will help reform and support those curves (if you are intolerant to protein, please skip!). Give it lightweight moisture. It doesn't matter if it's a light rinse out revved up with lots of honey, or a completely DIY avocado/oil/honey mask. Just get that moisture in there, but with as light a combo as you can manage.
Next comes the fun! Use the hardest hold lightest stylers you have. Mousse is often good for this. It is lighter than gel while a lot of them still give a pretty crunchy finish. Do not fear the crunch. Your hair needs it right now. Now, scrunch. Scrunch. Scrunch some more. Do NOT worry about frizz right now. Do NOT worry about spaghetti clumps. Do NOT become alarmed if you start to look like a lion in a wind tunnel. Seriously. I'm not joking.  Now, use the clipping style that gives you the most curl and volume at the root. For me it is medium sized jaw or octopus clips. Lean over, scrunch again. If things have started to fall, wet your hands and scrunch in some more mega hold whatever in there. Ready? Ladies, start your diffusers! (NASCAR reference, shush, I live in Indiana... you can't get away from it here). Diffuse for volume and curl. Not clumps and frizz control. This means you will be less careful, you will move it around more to catch each section before it starts to fall. Diffuse upside as much as possible, but move upright often too so the underside doesn't start to fall. Are you seeing the goal here? You are scrunching in the wave and curls at their curliest, then you are locking them in by quickly drying them and holding them there with some mega hold crunch.
I personally prefer to leave the crunch and let dissolve naturally during this process, so the waves stay as wavy as possible. I don't normally mind because like I said, I did not just style my hair to be actually presentable at this point. I just need to remind my hair of who it is. This usually only to me when I take off quite a bit of hair. It's like the waves get scared if they show up they'll be chopped off, too. (LOL, no, in all honesty it's because my ends are always curlier, and it seems the "new" ends need to be told they are the curliest part now. That's my theory on mine, anyway)
I can now re-style the next day and my hair will remember what it's supposed to do.
I forgot a couple of other things that often help perk up waves and curls. One is an acid type rinse. Apple Cider Vinegar or Citric Acid are used for this. These are usually more helpful if the limp locks are due to build up, but I think some hair  just responds to having the acidity "reset". Use distilled water, and add a small amount of ACV or Citric Acid. Use this rinse as your final step in the shower, leave for a few minutes then rinse. Some prefer to leave the rinse in and let it dry. I suppose that's fine if that's your thing. The vinegar smell will dissipate as hair dries.
The other is magnesium sulfate. I know one wavy who uses tons of it and swears by it. If you are new to it, however, go easy at first as it can be drying!
You could add a small amount to your shampoo or conditioner. You could make a rinse like the acid rinses above, only you will leave this one in. You can add anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to a whopping tablespoon to 8 ounces of distilled water. Apply stylers after the rinse.
You can make a spray (there are many many sprays out there from commercially available actual bottled sea water in which the curl activation is sodium sulfate, or sea salt. To thousands of DIY magnesium sulfate sprays.)
I like to make my own, because I just like to my own hair stuff! I have used many recipes, but I think the main go to for me is:
8 ounces distilled water, infused with horsetail and a bit of marshmallow root
1-2 tsp. magnesium sulfate aka Epsom Salts
1 ounce aloe juice or a few drops aloe extract
a few drops of oil of choice (I prefer something lighter like sweet almond)
fragrance of choice * optional

Bring the water to a boil with a tea ball filled with 1 tsp or more horsetail, and 1/2 tsp or more of marshmallow root. Add the magnesium sulfate while the water is still very hot so that it dissolves more completely. Let the herb sit in the water until the water cools. After the water cools, add the rest of the ingredients. You can whisk them in, use a stick blender, or just pour into your spray bottle and shake. I prefer to use the whisk attachment on my stick blender. It just incorporates things better, and since there are no emulsifiers in it, the oil will separate more if not well blended (will still separate on standing).
Spray into wet or damp hair before applying mousse or gel.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why your hair's properties are important.

First of all, let me say I am sorry for negelcting my blog. I, for some reason, seem to forget I even have one sometimes. LOL!

Today, I'd like to explore hair properties. What they are, how you can find them out, and why you should care.
The hair shaft is made of layers. The outermost layer is the cuticle. The cuticle looks a bit like a shingled roof. These "shingles" are, when laying flat, water repellant. Shampoos, hot water, alkaline hair products can raise these "shingles" which can let moisture/protein treatments in, but also if left open, can let them OUT. The cuticle protects the inner layer, the cortex, which is made up of keratin protein bundles and this is where water (moisture) is stored. The cortex also contain the melanin which determines hair color, and the shape of the follicle determines the shape of the cortex. A round follicle will result in a round hair fiber that is pretty straight. Oval or irregular shaped follicles result in irregular shaped fibers which waves and curls. The cortex is what makes up the bulk of the hair fiber. There is also the innermost layer, which in finer textures may be missing, the medulla.
Hair properties are measurements of the characteristics of your hair.  I don't mean how much your hair curls (or doesn't). Sure, it's fun to know that your a 2b, or a 3C or whatever, but when it comes to caring for your hair and choosing products it means nothing. Honestly, one of the things that bugs me most is when people lump a certain curl type together and say "This is how you should care for your wavy/curly/kinky hair." Because it's impossible to say that all 2C waves behave alike. They don't. Let's say Lady A has 2C waves. So does Lady B. Lady A has fine hair with low porosity and normal elasticity. Lady B has medium textured hair, porous, very elastic. You give them both a light non oily condish (often recommended for wavies, because it's believed wavy hair gets weighed down too easily). You will get two different results. While Lady A may like that it did not leave oil on top of her non porous hair, she may not get enough moisture using this condish alone. Lady B however, may feel like her hair feels good, moisturized and light and bouncy, at first. But because there are no oils to help seal in the moisture, she may start to feel like she has straw on top her head by day's end.


Let's first take a look at texture. By this I mean the general average circumference of each individual hair strand. I say the average circumference because many of us can have more than one texture on our heads. Hair can be fine, medium (or normal), or course.
Fine hair is most often likened to silk. If you hold a strand up to the light, it may be hard to see. You might not even feel it between your fingers. It can be flyaway, delicate, and/or limp. It's easy to curl or style, but the curl or style falls out quickly.
Medium (normal) hair can be easily seen when held up to the light, but isn't very thick. It usually curls or styles easily and can usually keep that style. It feels smooth  (when undamaged and properly moisturized) but not like the silk of fine hair. I guess a good comparison would be silk vs. satin. They both feel smooth but the silk has a delicate quality while the satin feels smooth but is more sturdy. Medium texture is called normal because it is the most common texture.
Coarse hair will easily be seen when held up to the light. It will appear very thick. It seems resistant to bending, therefor resistant to styling, and can be easily felt between your fingers. Some have described it as "wirey" feeling/acting.

Why texture matters

Texture plays a very important role in determining what ingredients most likely will or won't work for you. Those blessed with normal texture can use a wide variety of products with decent results. Chemical processes (color, highlights, perms) are usually pretty straight forward with this hair type.
Fine haired gals usually need lighter products, and less slip in their products. We tend to refer to them as "grabby" products because they have little slip (the smoothing quality that aids in detangling) and will make silky strands seem to have more substance. Fine haired ladies can use oils, but they need lighter oil, like Grapeseed, and go light on them. Fine hair is more prone to damage, so care should be taken when using a chemical process on this type of hair. You should (with any type of hair) perform a test application on shed hairs to determine the time you need to get your desired result without frying your hair. This is very important for fine hair because it will most likely process faster than other hair types.
Coarse hair is probably the trickiest texture. It's strong, which is good. But can be very hard to moisturize, and it's usually chronically dry due to an excess of protein in the hair's cortex. Coarse hair also tends to be low-porous because it is very strong, it isn't as prone to the damage of other hair textures. This means that the cuticle is "packed" tightly together, making it difficult for moisture to get in. Coarse hair is quite water resistant, so it seems to take forever to get the hair wet. Coarse hair will usually take longer to process when doing color or other chemical processes. Coarse hair also has a problem with using oils and build-up from products in general (even CG products may build up on the hair, because unlike fine or normal hair, it absorbs very little of the product).


Porosity can involve the cuticle simply not laying flat against the cortex naturally (hair that is kinky, and I don't mean "afro textured", I mean hair that has sharp bends along the hair shaft and these can occur in any hair texture, will naturally have some porosity) or hair that has damage for a number of reasons, from brushing or combing too aggressively, to chemical services, being prone to damage because of you hair texture, even the act of wetting your hair can damage it over time. Some products may damage hair, and heat styling is a major culprit.
Hair that is non-porous may not like oils in their products. They tend to sit on the outside of the hair shaft. For normal textured hair, they leave an oily look/feel for awhile and slowly absorb over time. For course haired individuals, they most often do not absorb at all (or very little). Non-porous hair may experience build up (and yes, even CG products can build up! Cationic ingredients bond to the negatively charged hair. And because the hair shaft is already smooth, without any damaged spots for the positively charged Cationic ingredients to bond to, they will just coat the hair strand, and unless they are removed regularly they will continue to build up) more often than porous hair, because again, products do not absorb as easily. Often non-porous (and particularly coarse, non-porous hair) will have trouble with getting hair to a moisturized state. It is naturally quite water repellent. Using heat will help open up the cuticle layer to allow water and conditioner in. Frequent deep treatments with heat will go a long way in helping get moisture into the cortex. The combination of heat and allowing the water and conditioner time to penetrate allows the cortex to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Non-porous hair will not like (usually) protein in every day products. The exception is fine to very fine hair. This hair type may need more protein because they just do not have as much protein in the cortex to help waves and curls support themselves, and to protect against damage. 
Porous hair, on the other hand, will readily absorb product. Oils are usually very beneficial for this hair type, because they help coat and seal the hair shaft to prevent the loss of moisture and protein through the "holes" in the cortex. Porous hair doesn't seem as prone to build up as non-porous hair (when using CG products, non-CG products that contain non-water soluble silicones will almost always build up). Porous hair absorbs product VERY well (sometimes TOO well). This can be a problem with gels. Yes, it absorbs the heck out of those, too. Often, when a non-porous individual and a porous individual use the exact same gel, the non-porous individual will report that gel has a very hard hold, while the porous individual reports that is was merely a medium to medium hard hold. This is because the gel will sit on the outside on the hair shaft in non-porous hair and create a harder gel cast, while it absorbs then evaporates on the porous hair. I personally deal with this by using my Sweet Curls Flax Seed Defining Gel on very wet hair (this helps seal in moisture, set the clumps that disappear in my hair if it starts to dry, and encourage curl). Then I scrunch out excess water and gel with a microfiber towel, wait 10-20 minutes for my hair to start to dry and the gel to start to set up, and apply either more Flax Seed Gel, Flax Seed Gel mixed with a hard gel, or just hard hold gel. This allows the hair to absorb product (and at this point, my leave-in, and the Defining Gel both had oils to help seal the hair) and some of it to evaporate as the hair dries, but still gives me good definition and clumps (which I do not get if I just wait put product on drier hair) and the second application will sit on the outside of the hair shaft providing more crunch like it is supposed to. 
Porous hair also tends to need a lot of protein. Protein in the cortex is lost when washing (or swimming) through the "holes". Moisture is also lost through these holes over time. Porous hair will often notice that right after washing their hair feels great. But by the end of the day, or the next morning, their hair feels dry again. By using regular protein treatments, these holes get temporarily "patched" reducing porosity for a time. I myself like to use a combination of smaller more conditioning proteins (amino acids) and the larger proteins (hydrolyzed proteins) to replace protein in the cortex AND to patch the holes in the cuticle.


Elasticity  is usually indicative of the protein/moisture balance in the hair. Hair that is not elastic is often prone to breakage resulting that "halo" of short (often frizzy looking) hairs that tend to stick out/up around the crown. Non elastic hair needs more moisture.
Hair that is too elastic will stretch out of shape, waves and curls may appear limp, not as curly/wavy as usual, and with less volume. Hair that is too elastic needs more protein.
Hair that stretches, then returns to it's natural shape, is hair that has a good protein/moisture balance. The aim here is to keep that balance!

I highly recommend getting a hair analysis done. is a great place to get this done. There are others that do them, Live Free Live Curly has one, but I think that they just do the same as GoosefootPrints mini physical analysis. (I can't be sure on this. But I believe they just do the self-tests that have listed on the website to determine properties). Komaza Care has an in depth analysis. I hear it's great, but the wait is long and it's pretty expensive. GoosfootPrints does an in depth scientific analysis (not the mini analysis) and it's quite affordable. I know this is a side job for her, so she may get backed up at times, but I DO know she knows hair, very well.
Now, here are some at home self test. These can give a general idea of your hair's properties, but they are far from an in depth analysis. 
Texture: this one is fairly easy, it will give you a pretty good idea of your hairs' texture. However, sometimes it can be hard to determine, as your hair may fall into an in - between texture, such as medium fine, medium course, etc. You may also have more then one texture. You may have textures ranging from very fine, to some course hairs.
Hold hair up to a light. If it hard to see, wispy, maybe even a bit translucent, it's probably in the fine range of texture. 
If it easily seen, seems very thick and study, maybe even wiry, it's most likely in the coarse range.
If it's easily seen, but does not seem wiry or very very thick, it's most likely normal.
You may also want to check out This is the same lady who provides the hair analysis through GoosefootPrints. 
Porosity: check out this link. I really have nothing to add to her great post on porosity tests!
Elasticity: again, Sceince-y Hairblog has already covered this, and I have nothing to add to her great post!
I think you can see why if you are in the market for a scientific hair analysis, this lady is the one you should go to! (and no, she isn't paying me to say that!) 


This is why I say "we don't have one size fits all hair". Because we really don't! It's unfair and confusing to lump curl types into a hair care routine with products that may or may not work for them. Just because your hair curls or waves a certain amount, has nothing at all to do with your hair properties and how your products will work for you. Even just guesstimating your properties will go a long way in helping you decide how to care for your hair, and what products (and products ingredients) will most likely work best for you.