I’m really impressed by BotticelliBabe’s custom made flax seed gel. It’s amazing that something so simple as gel made from boiled flax seeds could rival some of the name brand gels I’ve tried. Granted, the concoction is custom made with a couple of BB’s additional ingredients (magnesium sulfate for curl enhancement, aloe vera for additional moisture, honey or agave nectar for shine and hold, and a variety of beneficial oils and scents) but its nevertheless the simplest of ingredients for a hair gel.

Yesterday I cowashed with VO5 calming chamomile and decided to do an ACV rinse to see if the vinegar is what dries out my scalp when shampooing with a soap bar. The result was a nice smooth feel to my hair prior to applying my ng rose and persimmon rinse out. I then squished out a little bit of excess water and applied about 6 puddles of BB’s FSG to my hair. I was amazed by the clumping action I immediately noticed while scrunching.

About 3.5 hours after diffusing and clipping, I was able to scrunch out the crunch and the result was fabulous boosted, clumpy, frizz-less, soft and defined waves! Huzzah!

I tasked my SO to take a photo immediately after I SOTC using my blackberry. The photo doesnt do the gel justice.

I tasked my SO to take a photo using my blackberry immediately after I SOTC . The photo doesn't do the gel (and what it did for my hair that day) justice.

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My hair just hasn’t been it’s usual self lately. Be it from my horrible experience with Tigi MM or from just experimenting in an uncontrolled fashion by not having constants and variables. I’m starting to realize the impact the low dew points in the Inland Empire have on my hair. I didn’t really think that dew points were much of an issue until I really looked at some of my older hair pictures. After reading RCC’s blog post on dew points the lightbulb finally went off. Curlies almost turn into wavies during the winter with the low dew points and wavies, well, we don’t suffer from cases of straight hair but I do notice more pulled out waves and hardly any boosting whatsoever. Lately, the dew points have been abysmally low; today’s dew point was 13°F. This time last year, the dew point was a nice, solid 39°F! Comparing pictures of my hair from October-December of last year, my hair looks like I’m just starting out on a CG routine. The picture I posted below on the 21st is a good picture showcasing how horrible (and in dire need of a trim) my hair is. 

I freely admit that I’m a PJ. I hoard product like nobody’s business. How bad am I? I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves…

Conditioners and mousses

Conditioners and mousses

Creams and frizz fighters

Creams and frizz fighters

My collection of soap bars from kathymack

My collection of soap bars from kathymack

My collection os samples from kathymack

My collection of samples from kathymack

Chagrin Valley samples and other brand soap bars

Chagrin Valley samples and other brand soap bars

Shampoos and cowashes

Shampoos and cowashes

The tub o gels

The tub o gels

Thank god for large walk in closets in my house. Yeah, it’s quite a haul. Unfortunately, I haven’t come up with the proper way to experiment so who do I turn to? My chemist major boyfriend. He suggested that I take 3 days per experiment and always have constants. I plan on sulfate washing tomorrow and doing a DT and from there on out, using a shampoo, conditioner, and leave in that I’ve had success with in the past. The variable will be gel. I plan to try each gel out for three days segregating the winners from the losers. Once that’s done, I choose a winning gel and then move on down the line to make leave-in a variable and so on and so on. I realize that it will take quite some time and since I can be very stubborn and determined to get something to work for me, I’ll try rotating the rejects to see if I get some of them to work well together.

For notation’s sake, yesterday I shampooed with my bay rum bar, followed up with an ACV rinse, rinsed out Hello Hydration, and applied a generous amount of my first homemade flax seed gel (which was not a success) with two quarters of BRHG on top. My hair wasn’t frizzy but neither was there much hold, wave boosting and definition. I just received my samples of BotticelliBabe’s homemade FSG. I ordered 2 3 oz. sample sizes; one with mag sulfate, honey, and vanilla and other w/o mag sulfate, with agave nectar, and fruit salsa scented. Both of them smell really yummy and will most likely be first on my list of gels to experiment with.

So today I started off with a clean slate by clarifying with Suave, conditioning with Jessicurl WDT, applying 2 dimes of zerran equalizer as a leave in, 2 1/2 dimes of white boots creme, and 4 dimes and a nickel’s worth of sallys beyond the zone spike it gel. The result was some better clumping but still not a whole lot. I plan on starting my experiment tomorrow with homemade FSG. The constants will be creme of nature (red) for shampoo, VO5 chamomile tea for cowash, nature’s gate organics rose and persimmon for condish, zerran leave in, and white boots creme.

I’m still on a shampoo bar kick. Yesterday, I washed with KM’s windblossom bar but regrettably forgot to pour out ACV for my follow up rinse. I figured that I’ve been able to pull off a no ACV rinse before so my hair shouldn’t cause too much grief. I followed up with Curls coconut, 2 dimes of KBB nectar, 2 peas of white boots, and the remainder of the SS hold and shine gel mixed with LA looks wet look. Well, my waves were boosted and I had volume, but I also had frizz. Ick. Something I haven’t dealt with in a long time since using soap bars and KBB nectar. Mind the frizz wasn’t as horrendous as the first day using KMF upper management, but it was unusual for having had to deal with it in a while. I have now learned my lesson, ACV, and I shall not go astray.

Today, I decided to switch things up and I used a different bar. No, not one of my two new KM bars that I received in the mail, but one of my CV samples: honey beer and egg. I’m interested to see if the proteins in the beer and egg yolk will wreak havoc on my hair like regular ol’ hydrolyzed wheat and the like. The lather was surprisingly thick but it didn’t leave my hair as squeaky feeling as KM’s bar.

I followed up with Curls coconut, KBB nectar (2 dimes), white boots (2 peas), and angell mixed with la looks sport. I have already given up on angell. I know that it will never work on my hair on its own and so I mixed it with a harder holding gel. Esp on a rainy day like this, I did NOT want to have to deal with the minimal hold of angell. So far, my hair is holding up and I get the yummy starfruit scent every time I move my hair.

ETA: Ouch. By midday the hold started to dissipate and the “hold” I experience with angell took over…so basically, about 15 hours later, my hair is frizzier than usual. Boo.

I’m still on a soap bar kick. My hair is drying faster with more volume and wave than ever. I even see more random spirals! Today I used the windblossom bar, an ACV rinse, and since I ran out if the pear KBB milk sample, I rinsed out Curls Coconut Sublime (still really liking this). I scrunched in two dimes of KBB nectar and followed up with a half dollar of Salon Selectives gel mixed with a quarter of LA looks wet look gel. The mix of the two gels is interesting as the LA looks provides the hold and the SS gel enhances curl and softens the crunch of the LA Looks.

I am feeling a bit ambivalent with the KBB milk. When I use it as a rinse out, my hair still feels squeaky. It could be a matter of my not using enough(?) as a rinse out or it really doesn’t provide enough moisture for my hair. I’ll have to see. I probably may purchase a full bottle when I finally make a KBB order (after I’ve used up everything else) just to better judge any benefit.

I definitely do like the KBB nectar. I don’t have to use a lot and my hair feels soft and moisturized. This is going on the “hits” list.

And now for a good hair day picture:

I realize I’m a bit late extolling the virtues of something so cheap and simple but I think my hair likes ACV and ACV & honey rinses! I was feeling a bit anxious waiting for my shipment of KBB samples and organic soap bars from a curly at NC.com so I broke out my Chagrin Valley shampoo bar samples and the few KBB samples I do have. I shampooed with the carrot milk and honey bar, rinsed with a tubful of a ACV, honey, and water mix, conditioned with KBB hair milk in coco lime, applied a nickel’s worth of KBB hair nectar in white tea, and followed up with some KY jelly and L.A. looks wet look gel. My hair felt clean, soft, bouncy, and I noticed a nice, strong wave pattern. I definitely plan on experimenting more with ACV rinses.

Since the weather is supposed to cool down significantly this weekend, I decided to celebrate early with white Boots creme. I poo’d with orgnx re:balance, rinsed with ACV, conditioned with regis vivid satin, applied a dollop of KY to soaking wet hair, emulsified a dime’s worth of Boots, and topped it all off with two half dollars of the wet look gel. I diffused, shook the roots and bit and sprayed with the suave spray gel, diffused a bit more and then clipped to dry. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the stringy looking waves I saw after taking my hair out of the plop. Nor did the waves look much fatter after diffusing the second time. I was resigned to a updo day and just headed to work.

Once I arrived at the office, I scrunched the crunch and just let my hair be. About 6 hours later, I checked out my hair in the ladies’ room and was pleasantly surprised to see nice, tight, boosted waves, a little bit of livable frizz (I probably need to do a DT because of the dye…although maybe the poo contributed?), and even some little half ringlets. My roots feel nice and there is a good amount of body and wave. I wonder if the ACV did something?

In other news, I’ve ordered some KBB samples and organic soap bars from a very nice curly over at NC.com. I’m really quite excited to see if going all-natural may boost my wave pattern.

I used my normal routine with the YTC: a 1/2 inch ribbon of sheam, a nickel of KY, and 2 nickels of spike it. The only difference was an ACV rinse after my VO5 sun kissed raspberries cowash.

First off, I’ve forgotten how nice an ACV rinse feels. After rinsing out the VO5, I ran my little tub of warm water and ACV over my hair and rinsed it out after letting it sit for a min or two. My hair felt great! Seaweed slippery and all that. I applied a generous palmful of the b2b, combed through, and clipped my hair up while I finished the rest of my routine.

I noticed that something was wrong immediately after combing in the sheam and ky mix. With YTC, my hair would stay in big clumps, with the b2b, however, it was as if my hair was repelling itself. I did a search for reviews on this conditioner and stumbled upon Laurabeth’s review: 

From condish chronicles (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=10605)

Back to Basics Jasmine Curl Refreshing Conditioner

Primary Fault: a love-hate product—either curl boosting or no curls, crimped frizz and buildup
This conditioner didn’t disperse easily through my hair until I’d applied a generous amount in hair and then it detangled. When scrunched after applying gel, like with the other B2B (starting to notice a trend), I had some individual hairs rebelling from the clumps. In the morning, I had practically no definition, minimal curl, and lots and lots of poofball and surface frizz on all the days I tried this. Oddly, I got curls with the Blue Lavender formula but not this one. I also had some pricklies along my scalp with this conditioner. Finally, I could see potential for buildup with this since my hair had a noticeable coating on it after just a few days use. I think those in a drier climate (NM, UT, CO, etc) might have better results, ironically, because of the coating. That coating suffocated my curls into frizzing so much that I couldn’t muster a curl. But in a drier climate, that coating might be more protective and curl-encouraging. I also noticed those in the Rust Belt (OH, MI, etc) liked this so maybe it’s something in the water that works well with this product and makes it curl enhancing. This is the only reason I’m rating this with a fair instead of a poor.
water, propylene glycol, myristyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, isopropyl alcohol, fragrance, decyl oleate, methylparaben, diazolidinyl urea, tetrasodium edta, propylparaben, benzyl salicylate, butylphenyl methylpropional, linalool, limonene, citric acid, panthenol, sodium hydroxide, hydroxypropyl guar, pentylene glycol, glycerin, butylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, bisabolol

The fragrance alone should have immediately put me off this conditioner but since there were some rave reviews on the forums, I decided to stick it out. Now I know that it just doesn’t work for me. Off to either the trash bin, swap boards, or even “accidentally” leaving it at the gym.