So far, I’ve determined that while my hair likes Komaza’s coconut hair pudding, it decidedly does not like the califia care conditioners and leave in. The conditioner didn’t provide enough slip and the leave in didn’t seem to provide much moisture.

Luckily, beauty by donna marie’s detangler was something my hair enjoyed when used as a leave in; I have as yet to try it as a rinse out.

LA Looks gels that are/were most popular on nc.com (sport and durahold) just aren’t cutting it for my waves. They don’t provide enough hold and, oddly enough, weigh my hair down.

The much-lauded AG Recoil ended up a failure for my hair. It wasn’t application friendly, made my hair stringy, and it didn’t boost my hair at all. After trying to stick it out for 4 days, I was reminded why my hair only tolerates so much magnesium sulfate.

The MUCH cooler temperatures allowed sheamoisture to make a comeback and what a comeback it was! My hair clumped, smelled delicious, and was moisturized to boot! I was afraid that my quasi super soaker method of raking in leave in and adding more water wouldn’t work with a leave in as thick as sheam but I was (happily!) proven wrong.

With the cooler temps requiring more moisture, I don’t think my bottle of HSH pumpkin conditioner is cutting it. I pulled out my bottle of david babaii for wildaid hydrating conditioner and so far things seem to be going tolerably well. I will note that I’m amazed at how the conditioner seems to multiply in my hair; a little nickel’s worth of condish seems to multiply into a quarter’s worth. It provides a good amount of slip but I’m waiting to see if my hair will react to the protein content. 

There are so many new product lines/items discussed on the boards that I’m dying to try but my wallet and the size of my current product stash weigh heavily on my mind. Hopefully once these friggin’ furloughs are over, I can partake of the donna marie, amourai organique, darcy’s botanicals, shescentit, njoi creations, and whispering windz love.

I admit that I haven’t been as picture happy as I was earlier this year. The combo of work-related stress and foiled experiments have led me to be less update and picture upload friendly. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced a hair day where I wanted to shake my fist to the skies and grumble. If anything, I’ve found that what I consider to be horrible hair days still garner some compliments…oh the irony.

Um, what happened?? I was basking in the lovely fall temperatures with its sunny, crisp days and mellow dewpoints…only to be cruelly taunted for half a week when 90+ degree weather reared its ugly head. Honestly, can the weather please make up its mind??

I’ve been chugging along with ecostyler krystal and chi infra gel and the combo has helped me keep hair sanity throughout the fluctuating temps. The only variables throughout the past two weeks have been conditioners and leave ins. In hopes of pleasing the fall gods with harvest scents, I recently pulled out my bottle of healthy sexy hair pumpkin conditioner and sought to give curls by sister smith’s wet set hair pudding one last shot. So far, the deliciously scented pumpkin conditioner has been keeping my waves pretty happy and it seems like the weather gods were pleased by my offering as the forecast for the rest of the week, today being the only exception, looks like the we’ll be in the low 70s. Huzzah!

Unfortunately, I’m just not getting along at all with WSHP; it leaves my waves stringy and somewhat dry yet oily at the same time. It’s tolerable enough for stay at home days but it just doesn’t hack it as a leave in or styling cream.

I’ve been using and liking CHI’s infra gel so I was pleasantly surprised to see bottles at my local TJ Maxx. My PJ was kept in check by my ever-so-watchful SO and my own guilt, so I only purchased two bottles at $7 each! Since it retails for about $12-14 at local beauty supply stores and can be somewhat hard to find, I was a happy camper. Beat that Amazon.com deal! CHI isn’t really discussed much on the nc.com boards but I did find two threads that liken it to the old formula BRHG. I’ve never tried the old BRHG so I can’t really compare but compared to the BRHG I have in my arsenal, CHI is thinner and more application friendly since it isn’t as thick. 

I bit the bullet and chucked my 85% full tub of GoW’s rose clay cleanser into the trash. I debated keeping it for evening use but after using CR’s goat milk mango beauty bar and seeing my skin purge as if by magic, I knew that the clay cleanser had to hit the waste bin ASAP. Unfortunately, the goat’s milk mango bar isn’t available for purchase on the Camellia Rose website; I was lucky enough to score one as a consolation for such a late order.

As for Camellia Rose’s facial elixir, my skin wasn’t bowled over. It performs as well as any of my skincare oils but is pretty concentrated (1-3 drops should do it). I have two gripes about the elixir which land it on the “In a pinch” list: 1) it doesn’t perform any better or worse than my other skincare oils, and 2) it’s a hassle having to shake the bottle to put the sediment back into solution.

I love me some Garden of Wisdom skincare products. There really aren’t very many products Markey makes that I can’t stand. Unfortunately, her rose clay cleanser is one of those items. The benefits listed sound good enough:

* nutrient rich
* clay draws the toxins to the surface of the skin lifting impurities away
* easily rinsed clean with warm water
* deep cleansing
* helps to regulate oil production 
 

but unfortunately, the ingredients themselves aren’t playing with my skin very well. I’ve used my fair share of clay masks before and am a big fan of the ubiquitous Queen Helene mint julep mask. I was expecting the rose clay cleanser to have somewhat the same consistency as the mint julep but was sorely mistaken; with an almost butter-like texture, I found the clay cleanser quite difficult to spread on my skin. I’ve tried it as a regular cleanser rinsing off after swirling around on my face, and as a mini mask allowing it to sit for a minute or two before rinsing and neither one has really blown my mind. If anything, I found it difficult to rinse off and messy, and it sometimes seemed to discolor my skin. At first I thought it was a skin reaction but my skin didn’t feel irritated, it was just the same color as the cleanser and it stayed that way for half an hour or so. It does seem to clean to a certain extent since there wasn’t any makeup residue on the cotton pad after I swiped with toner, but I’ve noticed a few clogged pores and my skin just doesn’t feel fresh and clean like it usually does.

DHC after bath emulsion – I’ve been using this as a leave in under ecostyler and a hard hold gel and don’t find it to be anything special. I’ve had this bottle for quite some time but, of course, have never gotten around to actually trying it. While it pairs moderately well with the ecostyler enough to give me waves halfway similar to ecostyler+kbb milk/super silky, I feel like the moisture content compared to the kbbs is sorely lacking. Upon application, it’s as if I hadn’t applied any leave in at all. In terms of consistency, it’s similar to GDLI. The ingredients aren’t anything to write home about (water/eau, butylene glycol, glycerin,  class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>cetearyl alcohol, diglycerin, behentrimonium methosulfate, bis(C13-C15 alkoxy) PG-amodimethicone, steartrimonium chloride, hydroxyethylcellulose, phenoxyethanol, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, steareth-5, steareth-15, barley extract/extrait d’orge à deux rangs, glyceryl stearate SE, sodium citrate, tocopherol, santalum album (sandalwood) wood extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, fragrance/parfum, polyquaternium-61, citric acid, PCA ethyl cocoyl arginate) and at $14 for 5 oz, I can think of other products I’m willing to pay S&H for.

Curls by Sister Smith Wet Set Hair Pudding -  Yes, it’s cheap at $5.50 for a whopping 8 oz but for the ingredients list (glycerin, aloe vera, olive oil), I feel like I could just make it at home. It doesn’t truly feel creamy or moisturizing and when used under ecostyler (man, I love this stuff!!!) it did give me decent waves but again, nothing to write home about.

Who knew I could get such amazing clumps from a $2.99 32 oz. tub of gel?? It doesn’t provide enough hold for my waves but it sure makes up for it in the clumping area! What’s odd about this gel is that the consistency doesn’t lead you to believe that it will produce clumps; it’s sticky, thick, and isn’t the best at distribution until you add a bit of water, smooth and scrunch away. 

I read the two biggest threads on the general forum about this gel and despite the dirt cheap price tag, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add a mondo tub of gel that I wasn’t entirely sure would work for my hair to my product stash. A coupon in the mail for 20% off your entire purchase from Sally Beauty quickly changed my mind. (Unfortunately, I didn’t let the PJ run amok in the store and I walked away with the gel, one cake eyeliner, and a yummy banana scented lotion). With protein in the ingredients list, I wasn’t expecting much when using the product over time as most protein-containing gels result in strawlike hair when used for more than a week. However, I’ve been using ecostyler for over a week with no protein overload symptoms yet!

On Tuesday I cowashed with vo5, conditioned with aohr, used about a dime’s worth of kbb milk as a leave in, applied about 3 half dollars’ of ecostyler with water, and topped it off with chi infra gel for extra hold. My hair was soft, super clumpy, and frizz free despite a dewpoint of 62 and 84% humidity. I even had one of our office techs ask if I had recently permed my hair since it looked much wavier. Yesterday I used kbb super silky in lieu of the nectar and my waves were even tighter!! Lest it just be a fluke due to reintroducing AOHR into my routine, I used Aura cherry almond bark conditioner followed by kbb super silky as a leave in again and was rewarded with chunky, clumpy waves again. Ecostyler is a keeper!

Finally the weather has started to cool down and stay somewhat consistent. Lovely low 70s temperatures but still the gorgeous sun. What more could a girl ask for? Actually, I can think of a LOT of things but we won’t go into that.

I’ve been alternating the past four days between GVP conditioning balm and NG’s lemon verbena conditioners to balance out moisture and protein and have been pretty happy so far. Stylers, however, are a whole other issue. I’ve been trying to work with jason hi shine and while it does provide pretty good clumping, it isn’t notable enough to make it to the hits list. I’ve tried it on its own, under a hard holding gel, with a  leave in or curl creme, and it just isn’t doing much.

I actually straightened my hair today so my newest experiment, krystal eco styler gel, will have to wait until tomorrow.

After a couple of hot weeks here in SoCal, I was looking forward to the start of fall. Cooler temps, a light breeze here and there, but still nice, sunny days was on my radar until the wonderful ridge of high pressure that just SAT ON ITS ASS over SoCal. It seemed that Monday’s weather was just the start of pleasantness and things were going along swimmingly until today where we’re back in the 90s. BOOO!!!

Today I broke out a new conditioner, GVP conditioning balm, and styled with curl junkie’s coffee coco curl creme and jason hi shine gel on top for hold. GVP conditioning balm was pretty impressive. It didn’t take much and my hair felt silky soft and slippery. This is quite a difference fromNexxus’ Nectaress conditioner. I’ve been alternating between Nectaress and Nature’s Gate chamomile and lemon verbena conditioner for about 3 weeks now and while both have been doing the job tolerably well, using GVP for the first time was like a breath of fresh air. Of the two, however, I’d opt for NG any day. While it does contain the protein I’m most susceptible to (wheat), my hair doesn’t freak out right off the bat. In fact, I can use this for up to two weeks before protein sensitivity starts to rear its ugly head. I plan on adding it to my protein-boost conditioners along with its other NG buddies – asian pear and rose geranium. Nectaress on the other hand, is a bit too light for my tastes – even in the summer, and the scent doesn’t make it anymore endearing. I’m a fan of foodie scents and this perfumy, floral/fruity fragrance just wasn’t cutting it.

All seemed well and good in the land of hair until I flipped over to scrunch in CJ’s coffee coco curl creme (sans raking and adding water). This is the fourth time I’ve tried the revamped CJ CCCC and I don’t think my hair cares for it. The ingredients look great with the oils, but the proteins are my downfall. The minute my creme-slathered hands touch my waves, it’s as if the strands freak out and try to run away, leading to frizz and flyaways.

I suppose I didn’t help things much by topping CCCC with Jason hi shine styling gel, another protein containing product. The gel was thick and a bit sticky enough to lead me to think that it just might be a good hard-holding gel. After scrunching in generous amounts, I had the feeling that it may just go down the path of kiss my face’s upper management gel; the consistency is substantial enough to dupe me into thinking it will work, but once applied, it just melts into my hair leaving me wondering if I used anything at all.

I can’t wait for temps to drop below 80.

Well color me impressed by an Aussie gel! I’ve tried Aussie’s sun touched shine and sydney smooth tizz no frizz gels before but wasn’t impressed so I was expecting much of the same from the aussome volume line. My first experiment was a success with the aussome gel under a dab of brhg. My second experiment consisted of KY jelly used a leave in under the aussome gel and although it wasn’t a glowing success, it did show that this aussie gel has a good amount of crunch on its own; nothing compared to MGA, brhg, or the other major holders, but nothing to scoff at either.

To test aussome’s crunch and hold factor, yesterday I used KBB super silky as my leave it. KBB SS is one of the more moisturizing leave ins in my arsenal and quite a few “hard holding gels” haven’t lived up to their claims when faced with KBB SS. Aussome Volume was no exception but it did have one redeeming quality; although the crunch lessened throughout the course of the day, my hair still held together rather well and the result was loose, soft, sexy, touchable waves - I can’t complain with that!

Today’s experiment (Curl Junkie’s coffee coco curl creme as a leave in under aussome volume) wasn’t a flop per se since I still have some definition, hold, and not much frizz, but it wasn’t the best combo. It may be user error (I had a tough time applying the CJ CCCC using my latest product application method of raking and rewetting) or the ingredients just didn’t mesh well. I’ll have to revisit this one tomorrow.

Garden of Wisdom has few product duds in my book. Sure, there will be the occasional reaction to a product (the strawberry scrub fiasco) or sometimes I don’t notice a distinct positive or negative effect by a product (some kind of glow detox serum) but it’s never been enough to make me shy away from Markey’s wonderful concoctions. I’ve always been able to place GoW products into two categories: repurchase or not-a-chance-in-hell. However, my current cleanser, the pumpkin/papaya enzyme mask+cleanser has me completely perplexed! I use two cleansers daily: a light cleaner in the am to remove any nightly treatments and a deeper cleanser (currently a Camellia Rose beauty bar) to remove my mineral makeup and ensure a clean canvas for my night routine products.

I started off using the pumpkin cleanser in the shower and decided it wasn’t exactly shower-friendly. Sure, it left my skin relatively clean, but since the consistency isn’t substantial enough to the point where I knew where the cleanser was on my face, I had to take it to the sink. So far I’ve used it as a mask and a cleanser in the am and it seems to work rather well. The major drawback to the cleanser is 1) consistency: it’s pretty much like pumpkin puree and therefore isn’t as shower friendly as a cream or gel cleanser; 2) scent: pumpkin with a dash of vinegar and a hint of garlic which, looking at the ingredients list, is exactly the case; 3) it’s easy to tell you’ve used it looking at your sink i.e., it leaves little bits and pieces behind on the porcelain. That being said, it still does a great job of cleaning and leaving my skin silky smooth true to the properties listed on the website. I may repurchase it because of the results but the drawbacks weigh just as heavily as the cons.

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