In the spirit of things, I’ve continued my experimentation. Thus far I’ve ruled out GVP PM sculpting gel for sure. I used it for the past 3 days and my hair was just NOT having it; stringy and rough waves are not a selling point for me. Also, the polyquaternium 11 in it just makes me anxious. After reading the CurlyChemist articles about the ‘quats, it got me thinking. I don’t particularly like mousse and polyquat 11 is an ingredient recommend for use in mousses because it aids in styling as well as providing some moisture. Every time I’ve used mousse on it’s own, my hair just swelled up, felt slightly rough, and didn’t have much hold. The fact that there is also potential for buildup makes it even less appealing.

I decided to pull biotera gel from my reject bin in hopes that my overall better hair days would help me figure out why there was all the fuss for this gel back in the day. I shampooed with CON, used my ng rose & persimmon rinse out, DIDN’T follow the icequeen method to the t and just scrunched in a bit more of the rinse out upright, and THEN rinsed upside down. I scrunched ot some excess water and then applied about 6 quarters of the gel. I didn’t notice any chunkier clumping while I was scrunching in the gel and I still can’t take the floral scent.

After plopping, I diffused as normal and clipped. What I noticed with the modified icequeen method was a fewer number of wonky roots that I had to fix. After rinsing out the conditioner and scrunching in my first few puddles of gel, I scrunched in more gel on each side and my final scrunch was upside down. I think moving my hair around so much prevented getting the odd horizontal root.

After initially scrunching out the crunch, I was actually surprised by the gel. There seemed to be a good amount of volume and hold and definitely less crunch vs MGA sculpting which isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. However, about 5 hours later and the slight crush I had for the gel disappeared. As the crunch disappeared, so did the hold. My hair started to poof and frizz, clumps fell straighter from lack of hold, and while my hair is touchable there is no wave definition. Since I’m almost done with my bottle of NG rose and persimmon, I decided to whip up a batch of my FSG to act as the constant once I introduce a new conditioner into the mix. I’ve still got my bottle of AOHR but I think switching every so often to a lighter rinse out helps to prevent any over-conditioning or buildup.

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My hair 24 hours after cowashing with VO5 calming chamomile + a quarter sized puddle of CON (red), rinsing out NG rose and persimmon and zerran equalizer (my hair felt a tad dry after rinsing out the NG), and scrunching in 3 half dollar puddles of BB’s FSG with honey, mag sulfate, and vanilla scent.

I am really impressed by BotticelliBabe’s flax seed gel concoctions. I definitely did see more curl enhancement with this gel but I think my clumps were more pronounced with the agave version. I’ll have to look into trying honey, agave, AND mag sulfate…I wonder.

I noticed a ton of shine, a good amount of crunch, and great frizz control. Considering the weather was not my friend today – rainy, drizzly, and gloomy overall, the extremely minimal amount of frizz is mind-boggling.

So I finally tried one of my FSG samples from BotticelliBabe. Earlier in the day I added the thickener to both bottles and was amazed at how much better the consistency turned out. Compared to the 2nd batch of homemade FSG, this is MUCH better. I shampooed with CON, rinsed out NG rose and persimmon, and applied 3 nickels of BB’s FSG on each side of my head; not nearly as much as I should have used but 1) I was afraid of wasting it and 2) I was working from home so I didn’t want to use too much.

As I scrunched it in, I immediately noticed more clumping. I diffused (again, not as much as I should have) and clipped. After reformatting a laptop, I took out the clips and SOTC. There is quite a bit of frizz, but I blame that on my stinginess with the FSG. Tomorrow is a cowash day and I also have to go into the office, so I suppose the true test shall have to wait 24 hours…

I was so anxious waiting for my order of BotticelliBabe’s custom made FSG that I decided to actually try my hand at the homemade gel. My very first batch came out WAY too runny so I decided to boil the seeds a little bit longer to get a more “snot-like” texture.

After last night’s DT with my remaining sweet almond oil, I washed with creme of nature, conditioned with Nature’s Gate persimmon rose, and applied two 1/2 dimes of white boots curling creme. Because the FSG is runnier than most gels I’m used to, I ended up using about 1/2 of the 3 oz bottle I had poured the cooled FSG into.

I’m a bit on the fence about how it turned out; its has surprisingly good frizz reduction and slight crunch but not enough to boost my waves. I ended up with more 2b waves than my usual 2c at my current hair length (1 in. past BSL). I plan on trying the FSG without the boots tomorrow to see if the creme reduced its hold. After two more days experimenting with my own homemade FSG, I plan to move on to BB’s.

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.