Just a minor update – I broke out my KCCC tub recently after getting fed up with mediocre hair days and fell in love again with the marshmallowy scented goodness. I love that it smells amazing, has good hold, and doesn’t make my hair feel like anything BUT hair. The three times I used it I tried it twice with GDLI and once with CJ coffee coco (this experiment resulted in a somewhat better than mediocre hair day but nothing compared to a GDLI+KCCC day). This past weekend I pulled out my half bottle of BRHG and fell in love with the gel again, too. I tried it with GDLI and a KBB hair milk rinseout.

I wish I could just sell all the unused products I’ve accumulated but my PJ worries that I’ll be missing out on yet another HG product from amongst the pile.

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So I tried out my new Sedusa last night and I was quite impressed. I washed with a new bar – kathymack’s Bay Rum bar, ACV rinsed, conditioned with SheaM, and then scrunched in SheaM (my feelings on this are changing a bit). I scrunched and plopped with a flour sack and go to it with the Sedusa. First off, it is a bit unwieldy. It’s quite large and the nozzle of my trusty conair doesn’t quite reach the end so there is a bit of wiggle room there. That being said, it can hold quite a lot of hair. I tried it out first with all my hair placed inside but since my hair is layered and some of the side portions were falling out, I haphazardly parted it (read, my hair falls into two sections when leaning to either side) and diffused on the warm setting at low speed. It only took me about 10 minutes total to get my hair about 85% dry! There is a learning curve in getting ones hair out of the contraption, however. I thought to try massaging the Sedusa to get some root action but I think that contributes to the difficulty in getting my hair out. Needless to say, my hair didn’t look too bad for just having sheam in. Yes, it was somewhat frizzy but had I just sprayed in some gel I would have actually looked decent enough to go out. (+1 to Sedusa)

Today I shampooed again with my KM bay rum bar, ACV rinsed, conditioned with KBB hair milk in cocomango, used GDLI as a leave in, scrunched in two dimes of CJ coffee coco curl creme, and followed with two golf balls worth of PBH passion shine mixed with LA Looks sport (I love how the blue and orange mixed together resulted in a clear gel). I scrunched and plopped and then Sedused. I followed up with my devafuser to get the scalp and voila! 15 min total and my hair was 90% dry. Gotta love that. What I found to be amazing with the Sedusa is that usually when I pixiecurl, my right side doesn’t hold the wave/curl very well so when I release it, it can easily lose waves just hanging there. (This is why I can’t air dry. The weight of my wet hair pulls out the majority of my waves/curls.) However, with the Sedusa, my hair sprung up to half its size and stayed that way. Huzzah! I find it funny that my diffuser attachments together cost more than my entire hairdryer with the diffuser and concentrator attachments combined.

I did noticed a marked difference last night and this a.m. using kathymack’s bars. The lather with her bars is much richer and creamier than the CV bars. Not only that, but they sud up much faster than the CV bars so I don’t feel the need to rub the bar over my head more to get some lather. However, when using my windblossom bar a while back, I noticed my roots feeling a little gunky/oily. I’ll see if I get this feeling with the bay rum bar. Worst case, I’ll just alternate between CV and KM bars on a weekly basis.

As for CJ, it does have protein but it isn’t in the top 10 listed ingreds so I may not have to worry so much (Ingreds: Distilled Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, (Vegetable) Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Bean Butter, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Camelina Sativa (Camelina) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hyrolyzed Wheat Starch, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, VP/VA Copolymer, Dimethicone Copolyol, Polyquaternium-44, Sodium PCA, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Urea, Collagen Amino Acids, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Mangiera Indica (Mango) Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Corylus Americana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Punica Granatum Linn (Pomegranate) Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Gardenia Tahitensis, Silk Amino Acids, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Agave Nectar Extract, Tocopherol, Propylene Glycol, Diazolindyl Urea, Iodopropynyl, Butylcarbamate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance). It smells yummy and it’s actually pretty thick (like sheam) so I only used a little bit.

ETA: The Sedusa definitely requires a learning curve. I love how quickly my hair dried and I love the volume I seem to be getting with it along with the Devafuser.

The SO and I finally finished the V05 sun kissed raspberries and have moved on to an old ass bottle of Suave peach essence conditioner that I found stashed under a sink in my parents’ house. It’s runnier than the Suaves I have stashed away (coconut, tangerine, and a couple others) and my boyfriend is only tolerating it so far until I break open one of his beloved V05 washes. I’ve also finished my bottle of Pantene curl scrunching gel. I found it to be mediocre so I won’t be adding this to my repurchase list; it’s not that it was bad, it just wasn’t that great. It would be fine in a pinch, however.

Today’s hair routine was: water rinse/scrub, peach essence cowash, regis vivid satin condish (this is nice but the floral scent is starting to get to me…and I don’t feel like it’s really doing much in terms of nourishing my hair), gdli, and l.a. looks wet look gel. I scrunched the crunch with Suave professionals healthy curls spray gel (I’m liking this!) The result?

Not bad eh?

I think this gel/creme styler just might move on up to the “hit” category. Yesterday, I used about 2 quarters worth over the KMS pepper gel and my hair looked fabulous – some spirals, chunky waves, and nice definition. My only gripe about it is that it tends to make my hair feel a wee bit dry. I do use a leave-in underneath it so it actually getting in and drying out my hair isn’t going to happen.

Today, I cowashed with VO5, conditioned with NG persimmon, applied some GDLI and KY jelly, and scrunched in a half dollar’s worth of biotera. I topped off with two half dollar scoops of loob. My hair looked great! Waves like seaweed and all that. I think this is the ticket to getting rid of the mediocre biotera gel. There are quite a number of reviews on loob over at nc.com and I’m happy to say that I can get this to work for me. Ingreds: Water (Aqua), PVP, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG 90M, VP Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate Copolymer, DMDM Hydantoin, Polyquaternium 11, Polystyrene, PEG/PPG 22/24 Dimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Limonene, Linalool, Penta Sodium Pentetate, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzophenone 4, Hydroxyisohexyl 3 Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

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

My hair is still recuperating from the awful experience with B2B Jasmine. On Wednesday, I meant to add some honey to the Essential rinseout but I had a bit of a brain fart and just added it to my GDLI. The result was less than spectacular. My hair was a bit stringy, sticky in some places, and my waves were pulled out. On Thursday, I remembered to add the honey to my rinseout and I still wasn’t impressed. Friday, I just x-nayed honey completely and used JCHCC, TS, soaked my hair in Oyin J&B leave in, KY jelly, MopTop mixed with spike it, and sprayed HESMU spray gel halfway through diffusing. I scrunched out the crunch with Samy Big Curls curls defining creme. My hair looked great that day!!! Last night, for a night out with my friends, I used JCHCC, TS, TS leave in, KY, JCRR mixed with spike it, and sprayed Loreal Tightly Wound. I scrunched out the crunch with a pump of Tigi Curls Rock. Oh . My. God. FABULOUS hair! I think that JC works for my hair when I use all the products together and use a leave-in before rocking ringlets. I saw ringlets mixed in with my waves and my waves were soft, seriously boosted, defined, and frizz-free! I’d post a pic but I can’t find any where I don’t look tipsy.

I’m a bit on the fence with TJ Essential condish. It seems a bit too thin for my liking and I don’t get the ridiculous slip I do with Too Shea.

For my skin, I’m using GoW’s Fruity Exfo cleanser (love it!!), homemade ACV toner, and honey as a face mask at times and my skin couldn’t be happier. I love that cheap, natural products are working wonders for my skin.

I had an entire post typed out complete with pictures, smilies, links, the whole shebang and then a stinkin’ link messed it all up. Ugh. Two days’ worth of drafting. Short story:

JCHCC – like

Giovanni gel – disliking

Nexxus – too early to tell

I’ll add more when my comp and wordpress stop being lame.