LoPo’s Frenemies: Kimmaytube Leave-In, cold water/vinegar rinses and heavy oils

Before I discovered my hair was low porosity, I was all about closing my cuticles with low Ph products or cold water and locking in moisture with heavy oils such as shea butter and coconut oil. Coconut oil has many health benefits and I really wanted my hair to enjoy being coated in it, but it just did nothing for my hair but exacerbate its dryness. Just imagine low porosity hair as a spong covered in cling wrap, if I proceed to cover the cling wrap in oils, the moisture is just not going to reach my hair, no matter how hard I try. After I realized this, I made some major adjustments to my regimen.

1. I stopped using Kimmaytube leave-in. The original recipe, which comes from famed Youtube personality Kim Love, contains:2 tablespoons of Kinky Curly Knot Today + 2 tablespoons of  aloe vera juice + 2 teaspoons of castor oil +2 teaspoons of jojoba oil. 

This leave-in left me with frizz, white residue and dry hair. My hair felt coated and tacky. Once I removed the oils and the aloe from the mixture, essentially leaving me with just leave-in, I saw an immediate improvement. Again, I’ve tried to make my hair love aloe, because it’s such a wonderful natural hair product, however, my hair just despises it!

2. I stopped doing vinegar rinses/cold water rinses. Again, great all natural products and techniques to enhance shine and seal the cuticle. For my low porosity hair not so great. My story would start like this, I’d wash and condition. After my conditioner, my hair would feel nice and detangled and soft. I’d then pour my vinegar rinse or freezing cold water over my head and my hair would instantly shrink up and frizz up. I’d then spend the next hour trying to apply creams and serums to regain the moisture.

3. After my cold water/vinegar rinses, I’d follow by sealing with shea butter or coconut oil. My hair would shine like a new penny for the first day. The second day it was both dry and oily. It was like I was suffocating my hair, any hope of moisture was ruled out by the fortress of oil I’d applied. It took me a long time to accept that my hair doesn’t always need oil. It was only until one day when I spent hours trying to wash out layers and layers of shea butter– not fun! I know that coconut oil is one of few select oils that can penetrate the hair shaft. That’s fine and dandy, but my hair just wasn’t having it.

Eliminating these three stages, has not only saved me a lot on time, but also money. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best. Now I know my hair:

  • doesn’t mind some light oils like jojoba and sweet almond.
  • loves water based creams for leave-ins (if it’s not water based, I add water to it).
  • can handle a small amount of aloe or shea butter on the ends. I think this is because this part of our hair is the oldest and most susceptible to damage.
  • hates to be rinsed in cold water and is not a friend of vinegar.

I attribute eliminating these products from my hair regimen to contributing to fast and healthy growth. Believe me, I’ve had set backs and had to cut and trim here and there, however, after I started figuring out what worked for me, that’s when my hair started to flourish. I’ve included pictures below of my hair, one year after going natural in 2012 and this month, two years after going natural.

Did you use any products or techniques for a long time, only to discover they did more harm than help your hair?

35 thoughts on “LoPo’s Frenemies: Kimmaytube Leave-In, cold water/vinegar rinses and heavy oils

  1. I have LP hair and my hair hates almost everything you listed except EVCO. My hair can actually absorb it. I cannot use butters at all and I avoid heavier oils. I have had luck with light ceramide oils as well. My hair HATED the kimmy-tube leave in. The slip was okay, but my hair ended up dry and dull after it airdried. Vinegar rinses/cold water rinses were a nightmare. My hair would freeze up…LITERALLY. I didn’t get the softness and slip that others experienced. My hair became unmanageable and hard. After a ton of research, I came to the same conclusion that you highlighted above. Those things aren’t for LP hair. It all made sense!

  2. OMG I love this blog this is me all day!!!!! I’ve been natural for a year and a half and my hair is only neck length and I’ve seen many naturals who were 6mo natural with my length of hair.. I’ve done the porosity test today and determined my hair has low porosity. I didn’t want to except that my hair regimen wasn’t working for me. I smothered my hair in olive oil, grape seed oil and recently tried aloe vera which my hair responds by curling but is still dry long story short I will try only water based products

    • Hi, congratulations on going natural! Try experimenting with different techniques and products and see what works for your hair. There are some characteristics of low porosity hair that are similar for all people, but every person’s hair differs as well. Some low-porosity hair responds well to coconut oil for example (mine does not). Gradually, make changes to your regimen, keep the things that work well and try to cut out some items and observe your results. I’d say seal your ends or use a light oil like jojoba if you want to use oils. Let me know if it works for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hello, I love that you started a blog on low porosity hair. I only started learning about my hair three years ago when I found out my hair was low porosity. I got frustrated when I would try products mentioned by other bloggers, and my hair ended severely dry and frizzy. My hair hates oils, aloe and butters. My hair routine is so much easier now that I know I have low porosity hair. My hair loves the clay as well. My hair loves water based products, glycerin, and creams and steaming. Two brands that I have found that work well on my low porosity hair. Curl Junkie and Ouidad. I look forward to more of your posts.

    • Thanks for your comments and stopping by. I’m hoping more lo-pos will be part of the conversation and discuss their regimens and what works for them. My hair can’t take too much glycerin, this is a great example that what works for some does not work for others. I’ve never tried Curl Junkie or Ouidad, maybe on my next trip to the states. Would you be interested in writing a review for the blog on either product?

      • I am bit of shy person. I am not comfortable with posting pictures online, but I would be willing to write a review for tour site.

      • I would love for you to do a review, pics not necessary dear. Drop me an email with your review when you find the time. I don’t live in the US, so can’t comment on all products. So the more info we gather, the better.

  4. Hi, I just found your blog, it’s great! I’m following! I have lopo hair, and wondered for ages why certain products wouldn’t work for me. Keep up the good work!

      • At the moment I’m using Hairveda Whipped Creme Ends Hydration, and Kinky Curly Curling Custard, but am looking to try new products. Sometimes they work great for me, sometimes not so much…

      • I’m not familiar with Hairveda products. I use kinky curly not today, but not the custard, bc my hair doesn’t like gels (with the exception if flaxseed) or custards. Maybe try going without the custard a couple of days and see if anything changes.

  5. My children have lo-po hair and I have tried KimmayTubes leave-in and also found it didn’t work. I just think the combination isn’t right for lo-po hair. I find aloe vera juice just leaves their hair a frizzy-tangled mess. Tried the vinegar rinses and had the same results. You mentioned that your hair doesn’t like coconut oil or shea butter, but in a previous post you say that you use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. The main ingredients in this product are coconut oil and shea butter. I think it didn’t work because of the vinegar/cold rinse. Your hair wasn’t in the proper state to benefit from the oils. Like you, after so much trial and error, I have found keeping it simple works the best on their hair. I shampoo with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo (add a bit of baking soda if really dirty) and follow by a good conditioner. Once their hair is damp (not wet), I add Naptural85’s homemade shea butter cream. I use jojoba/argan oil on my daughter’s ends if needed. I mist their hair everyday and add the shea butter cream (not a ton!) and their hair responds well to it. Love your blog!

    • Hi! Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m happy to hear you found a routine that work for your little ones. It’s so interesting that for some low porosity people, some oils or butters work, while for others they don’t. I only can use Shea moisture in the summer when the temperatures are high. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Shea and coco melt at higher temps so they are more pliable. In winter I use it on my ends sometimes to seal. I think it also helps that water is the first ingredient. Keep up the good work caring for your children’s hair.

  6. I am low po too. Yayyyy great site and yes I had the exact same issues. But once I learned what to do it has been super easy. My hair hates heavy butters and loves water like crazy

  7. Hi! I’m so glad I found this site!!!! Still learning how to take care of my hair now that it has been determined it is low porosity. Looking for new new products or suggested products. The heat has definitely helped my hair and I’ve only found one staple thus far for my hair. It’s tresseme naturals. Hair absolutely LOVES this stuff. I’m still in need of a good daily moisturizer. The Shea butter doesn’t work for me. Thanks and I’m excited to learn more!

    • Welcome, thanks for stopping by! On the blog you’ll find some products that have worked for me and reviews of products that have worked for other lo-pos. my hair loves Tresseme Naturals as well, moisturizing + great slip.

  8. Hi! Thanks for creating a blog for LP hair. I have been searching for others who share my hair type. It’s true, everyone’s hair is different. After buying so many products I could open an online store, I tried the Kimmaytube leave in conditioner and my hair likes it so far (3 days in, but next time I’ll use less jojoba oil as my hair is not a fan of oils). My hair dislikes coconut oil, Kinky Curly and Shea Moisture products. Glycerin makes my hair soft but poufy. I’m thinking about buying a steamer.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m happy to hear the KImmaytube leave-in worked for you. If kinky curly doesn’t work for you, what do you use in your leave-in? Do you live in an area that’s very humid or very dry? It’s important to pay attention to dewpoints when using humectants.

      • Thanks for the info on humidity versus dew points. I use Tresemme Naturals with aloe and avocado in the Kimmaytube mixture. Long story, but I am currently living in FL (high dew points) while my main residence is in NY ( variable dew points). I’ve been wearing my hair in protective styles because the dew points in FL cause high frizz (translate afro, which is not the look I am going for). The nature of my hair (wave pattern with some coils) is that it poufs (gets frizzy & cloud-like) with high dew points even if I don’t use humectants.

      • Ah yes I see why you avoid humectants, in that case. I can only use them in summer, bc in winter it’s dry and arid here and dew-points are very low.

  9. So far, grape seed oil has been the best oil I’ve ever tried on my hair. I get the best results using the LCO method. For the past few years I’ve gotten the softest braidouts with roots of nature butter whip coil cream sealed the grape seed oil. I apply the oil on top of the cream from root to tip before braiding. This traps the moisture in and lasts for at least a week!

    • I’ve heard wonderful things about grapeseed oil, I’ll have to give it a try. Sealing my leave-in with an oil during the styling process, has never really worked for me. It is fine on my ends, but not my entire head. Thanks for the oil tip!

      • I think the key is using a light oil. I have a big ole bottle of castor oil that I bought to make the kimmaytube leave-in, but I find it’s way too thick to seal with. It’s sticky. So I switched to jojoba, since I’m out of grape seed at the moment, and it was heavenly! It’s almost as thin as water to me. My hair felt “cold” wet when applying it and it felt damp when undoing my braids the next day, but it wasn’t! That’s how moisturized my hair was. So I think I will be sticking with light oils!

  10. Kimmaytube’s leave-in about killed my hair….I have low porosity, coarse, resistant hair and its more wavy than curly. I have been natural for 6 years and my hair is barely mid-back length and that’s just the very back. My hair shrinks up to my neck no matter what I do.

    • Killed my hair too. I wanted so badly for it to work and kept trying, even though every time I skipped it my hair looked and felt better. 🙂 do you try to leave your hair in stretched styles?

  11. Pingback: 3-1 Treatment Results | low porosity hair care

  12. Nice post! I think ACV rinses while they can have cosmetic effects and may increase shine it ultimately damages hair, same thing for baking soda they are popular DIY options but not good for our hair at all.

  13. I know this post is old, but I am beyond elated to have found you! I have low porosity 3c-4c low to semi-dense fine curly hair and if you didn’t hit the nail on the head with the Shea and coconut oil!

    Aloe gel does me a bit different in certain areas of my hair. I mixed she’s coconut and aloe gel for a concoction I use to pull my hair up or back. It is a nice pomade as it slicks the rough boys down and keeps them down all day. But I have the exact same story with the others so much so I don’t use oils except for a pre-Poo if then. I use kinky curly knot today in a spray bottle diluted with water for refresh and detangles. I used it recently for the first time full strength as a detangle before a wash and it has super slip. It can just get expensive using it that way.

    I am on the path to begin my loc journey this week, but have been continuing to research how my low porosity hair is going to become and maintain moisturizer once this strands of, as you describe “a sponge wrapped in plastic” become carpet with a plastic runner. Once my hair is collected together in its usually wholistic state?
    I refer to my sections of hair to the civil rights movement protest as water can break it down some and the father back you get in my hair the closer we get to the continent where water won’t even effect it. Just imagine what it will be once loc’d.

    Thanks for sharing your hair woes on LoPo 😊

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