Boo…


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.

The past two weeks have been rather interesting. The week prior was spent racing to meet district deadlines for report approvals and experimenting with some items in my PJ stash. This past week, on the other hand, was spent getting over a nasty cold…in June! Oh the irony.

I’ve still been enjoying my last batch of FSG but the bottles, tubes, and jars of hair products boxed away in my walk-in closet were taunting me to the point where I had to take a break from homemade goods.

I’ve had success with my tub of Biolage sculpting jelly in the past, so I decided to try out the molding souffle as well as a bottle of CVS’s generic version of LA Looks’ Curl gel.

I’m really impressed by the Biolage. I know the ingredients aren’t all that natural but my hair didn’t freak out; it looked soft, wavier than usual, and touchable. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said with the CVS gel. Daily use of the gel led to protein overload. I used it today with a more natural cream underneath (Afroveda curly custard) and my hair seemed to respond better with the combo.

One combo worth remembering is GoW majik lockes and Fairy Tales’ curly Q natural curl maker gel topped off with Curls’ gel-les’c and princess glaze which, unfortunately, will be discontinued. My hair looked great! Wavy, frizz free, soft and defined. My only gripes are that majik lockes is a little cost prohibitive and the princess and goddess glazes will be discontinued. Luckily, I stocked up on the glazes due to the sale so I should be set for quite some time.

I pretty much gave up on tigi mm. The last horrible hair day I had was the clincher for me; crimped, stringy, frizzy hair repelling itself is not a good look for me. My hair felt hard, parched, and completely suffocated by the chemically laden tigi mm.

Luckily I knew where all my hair goodies boxes were so I pulled out Curls Curl Ecstacy Asian Hair Tea Conditioner (Ingreds: Purified Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Octyl Palmitrate, Behentrimonum Methosulfate, Certified Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearth-20, Certified Organic Ho Shu Wu Extract, Certified Organic Green Tea Extract, Certified Organic Chamomile Extract, Certified Organic Calendula Extract, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Panthenol, Soy Protein, Citric Acid, Quaternium-15 – definitely more natural ingreds than tigi mm!)

The minute I put some on my hair, I could tell a difference. The asian tea is definitely thicker than your average conditioner; it has the consistency of Sheam and its scent, while not pineapple jolly rancher-ish like tigi mm, is nice and mellow. Tuesday I used my km bay rum bar, an acv rinse, curls asian tea, cj coffee coco, and gvp pm extra body gel. The result was a decent amount of clumping and while my hair still repelled itself, it wasn’t as bad as Monday’s hot mess. Yesterday I used creme of nature shampoo (the original red lettering bottle), curls asian tea, cj coffee coco, and gvp pm extra body. My hair was still better but the effects of tigi mm are definitely lingering in my hair.

Today I used CON, kbb hair milk in coco lime, cj coffee coco, and gvp pm extra body and my hair is the best its been in a while. I love how CON moisturized but still cleansed my hair and with kbb hair milk my hair felt silkier than ever. I’m starting to think that in addition to being suffocated by tigi mm, my hair is starting to rebel against the protein in CJ. Hydrolyzed wheat is hidden in the middle of the ingreds list and I thought with all the other moisturizing ingredients, it would have too much of an effect on my hair, but I’m starting to think otherwise. I’ll try it out with the Curls condish and CON but if my hair is still feeling wiry and brittle, I’ll definitely have to give it a rest.

GVP PM extra body sculpting gel actually isn’t too bad. It’s not a keeper, but it definitely is on my “Products in a Pinch” list. It’s thick, has a good amount of hold, encourages clumping, and doesn’t weigh down my hair. My only gripe is that it’s sometimes difficult to distribute. Today, for example, my hair would look great except for the little patch right above my right ear where there isn’t any gel. I do plan on playing with it a bit more but it’s pretty decent.

I’m a homeowner! Well, part homeowner; my parents put in the down payment and will be paying the HOA and1/2 the mortgage. My parents have been planning on purchasing a second home as an investment for a while and with prices the way they are, they jumped at the opportunity to buy a 3 bdrm, 2 1/2 bath, w/ all the appliances included and upgrades like none other for $300k. Of course they won’t be retiring within the next year or two, so rather than rent it out to strangers, I’ll be living there with the option to buy them out if I decide I like the house.

The plus is that I’ll be living in a house and paying just as much as I am in my apartment. The bad side is that if I decide to buy them out, it will take a while to pay them back since I’m not exactly rolling in the dough. And, since my SO still has his house, if I decide to buy them out he won’t be able to help me with the payments until he sells his…if he even wants to.

In hair related news, I completely spazzed out this am and scrunched with my flour sack towel before I had even applied my gel. The result? Crispy, defined waves in some areas and loose, fluffy undefined chunks of hair in others. My hair is of course in an updo now.

I don’t think I like thick leave in like sheam as much as I used to. I’m using the CJ coffee coco as a leave in/styling cream and it just doesn’t distribute as well as KBB nectar. Unfortunately, I also have the CJ leave in and another bottle of SheaM in my stash. I may just have to put up the butter-type leave ins on the swap board….along with my Conair hairdryer/diffuser.

I’ve been having some mediocre hair days for the past two weeks. I think it’s due in large part to the fact that I’m slowly working through my PJ stash and discovering quite a few duds: GVP Paul Mitchell sculpting gel, GVP Paul Mitchell extra body sculpting gel, arcangell, and angell, and while LA Looks sport has worked for me in the past, it seems to be reneging on its promise of giving me “absolute fixation” and “absolute durability.” I’m not giving up on it yet, however, since I think my hair still needs to rehab from the other duds.

I’ve been using my CV babassu and marshmallow shampoo bar sample and so far I’m not really feeling it. Granted, it’s still hard to tell given the “quality” of the styling products I’ve been using. Maybe I’ll break down and re-open my KCC tub just to see what the shampoo bar really does to my hair. Who knows? Maybe the soap is the cause of the crap hair?

I had some pretty good hair days with the CV carrot milk and honey, and honey beer and egg samples so the light bulb went off and I thought to try honey 50:50 with my KBB hair milk coconut mango sample (really liking this!!). The slip wasn’t all that impressive but roughly 4 hours after styling my hair, I do think honey may be on my repurchase list. I have some pretty good wave and curl…unfortunately, that is eclipsed by the unusually high amount of surface frizz I’m experiencing.

My experiment today included trying the Paul Brown Hawaii passion shine gel I’ve secreted from my sister’s old hair stash. It. has. no. hold. Sure my hair is soft and not crunchy at all but that’s because there is no hold to speak of whatsoever. Boo.

Yes, I am a PJ. Yes, I made a vow that I wouldn’t spend a lot on hair care. Yes, in the past two months I’ve purchased KBB samples, Donna Marie and a Curls by Sister Smith Wet Set Pudding sample, more KM bars than I can use in 6 months, a Sedusa, and my newest toy showcased above.  And now there is talk on the boards about Hairveda, Ohm, and Komaza hair care. And not only that – Karen introduced Super Silky ” A perfect styling product for feathery fine straight to medium wavy tresses.” Le sigh. My current stash prevents me from purchasing full sized products. I just have TOO much stuff. Stuff that I need to at least try before blowing my hard-earned dollars on KBB goodies…no matter how much I’m already liking the hair nectar. Yeah, I know. Insert music from world’s smallest violin here.

I’m happy to report that the DevaFuser is a good buy. My good ol’ Conair Ion Shine and diffuser serve me well in forming the wave and starting the drying process but the attachment doesn’t do much for drying near my nape and closer to my scalp. Nor does manipulating my still damp hair to allow the airflow to reach my scalp lend to frizz-less waves. The hand is a bit awkward to move around but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. And for 20% off at Ulta using a coupon, it’s well worth it to have a good amount of volume and not worry about the undercanopy getting smooshed since it’s still damp.

Unfortunately, I still can’t get Angell to work for me. Not even when paired with a thicker gel: GVP PM extra body sculpting gel (still on the fence with this one). As much as I love the scent, I’m pretty much given up on Angell. The fact that it won’t even play well with other gels is really disheartening. Rather than try to off it via the NC.com swap boards, I’ll use up the remainder of the bottle and enjoy the scent while I can…although not the midday frizz that comes along with it.

I returned from Dark Canyon on Sunday afternoon covered in mosquito bites and willing to sell my soul for a shower. I purchased a solar shower per a friend’s advice and took a paper towel “shower” in my tent but I still felt somewhat icky. It didn’t help that the mosquitoes seemed to be feasting on me and ignoring everyone else at the campsite. I admit that I was pretty upset the 2nd night because I was up scratching and I couldn’t sleep because one of the other campers in my party snores REALLY LOUDLY…I’m not kidding. Another tent about 20 feet away LOUD. I was bitten on my arms my neck, back of my knees, ankles, even my forehead! Of all places, my forehead. It’s practically just a layer of skin and bone right underneath and yet those damn mosquitoes saw fit to attack me there.

Because the camp was pretty primitive – a couple faucets and outhouses, the solar shower came in pretty handy. I was able to wash my face and brush my teeth. Unfortunately, my skin wasn’t agreeing with the situation. I had been using GoW’s fruity exfo cleanser for about a week or more prior to going camping and my skin wasn’t reacting to it so I figured I could bring it along. Unfortunately, my smart self decided to use some benzoyl peroxide the two nights before camping; my skin freaked out and was pretty dry and flaky the next day. I used moisturizer and it seemed to calm things down enough for me to feel confident in my travel skincare kit (fruity exfo, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and babbassu oil). Well, my skin wasn’t having it. The entire time I was camping, the skin above my upper lip was tight, red, dry, and extremely irritated. I think the BP and fruity exfo together caused the irritation and my continuous use of the cleanser exacerbated it. By the time I got home, I couldn’t smile for fear of cracking my skin.

Today, my skin is feeling somewhat better thanks to a change in cleanser (GoW oj castile), hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera gel.

Now on to hair: The day we headed out, I used a clarifying shampoo, conditioned with Curls Asian Tea conditioner, used a bit of sheam as a leave in, and used some FOTE. I was really surpised at the consistency of the curls condish; it was so thick and viscous it felt like a lotion. I had to double check the sample jar from sistasplace.biz to make sure it wasn’t curl ecstasy hair tea LOTION. Since I used FOTE as my sole styler, I knew my hair was going to be a crapfest by midday. After hiking and playing some badminton during the course of the trip, my hair held up pretty well. It didn’t seem too greasy and there was absolutely no frizz. There were no waves to speak of, but for not having proper shower facilities, that was fine with me.

Yesterday I used more Curls tea condish,  shampooed with jessicurl HCC, left in some sheam and KY, and dtyled with moptop and spike it. My hair rebelled against the slight protein from the gel and I was left with stingy, almost straight waves. This just solidifies the fact that I needed to rotate my protein products. Today, I cowashed with VO5 strawberries and cream, conditioned with curls tea, and smoothed in some GDLI with KY. My gel du jour is CVS Styling Gel Curl Defining And Frizz Control  – pretty much a knock-off the La Bella curls gel whicj, incidentally, didn’t agree with my hair.

Ingreds for CVS brand curls gel: Water (Aqua); PVP; Sorbitol; Carbomer; Hydroxypropylcellulose; Polyquaternium-7; Propylene Glycol; Fragrance (Parfum); Panthenyl Ethyl Ether; Glycerin; Keratin Amino Acids; Palmitoyl Oligopeptide; Chitosan; Oleth-20; Glyceryl Polymethacrylate; Rahnella/Soy Protein Ferment; PEG-8; Aminomethyl Propanol; Potassium Sorbate; Methylparaben; Tetrasodium EDTA; Diazolidinyl Urea; Methylchloroisothiazolinone; Methylisothiazolinone; Benzophenone-4; Blue 1; Yellow 5

vs.

La Bella Lots of curls gel: Deionized Water, Sorbitol, Glycerin, PVP, Propylene Glycol, Carbopol, Cocus Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Triethanolamine, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Polysorbate-20, Benzophenone-4, Isosteareth-20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Menthol, D&C Red No. 33.

Surprisingly, my hair curled up well and with a fair amount of hold considering the protein factor. I’m guessing maybe the coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and (ICK!) lanolin didn’t agree with my hair. I will update to see how the gel holds up during the day

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