While unpacking my boxes in the new house, I realized just how many hair items I have. I’m not kidding when I say that I filled up 4, yes, 4 boxes worth of hair products. And these weren’t shoe boxes – these were honest to goodness, I should be able to empty 1/4 of my closet into this box, boxes. Yeah, good times. During the unpacking, however, I stumbled across some Jessicurl CCSS and RR samples that I had purchased a while back. It’s been a while since I’ve used a product with mag sulfate in it so I’ve spent the last week or so noting why my hair didn’t seem to get along well with JC styling items.

The first 3 days with Jessicurl and I was wondering why I quit using them. My waves were boosted, soft, and somewhat frizz-free with the addition of some Mop Top (I love this!) gel. The fourth time around with CCSS and RR and I remembered why; my hair was frizzy and dry. I could say that Jessicurl stylers would fall under the ‘products in a pinch category’ but the fact that I can use them only every so often combined with it being a natural product and therefore susceptible to spoiling wouldn’t make much financial sense.

In the not too distant past, I read in the NC.com forums that HE reformulated some of their conditioners without ‘cones. Rather than spend an albeit small amount on a new cone-less bottle of HH, I picked up two oh-so-convenient sample bottles of the conditioner from the Target sample aisle.

While HH definitely doesn’t have cyclopentasiloxane, it does have bis-aminopropyl dimethicone. A cone but not as evil as the -xane. I’ve had experience with this cone before as its one of the ingredients in Aussie’s Catch the Wave conditioner. According to this article by the CurlyChemist, Tonya McKay, this silicone does require removal via a sulfate or cocamidopropyl betaine at the very least. I did like how silky my hair felt with HH and Catch the Wave, and considering I do low poo every so often in a month, these conditioners don’t seem all that evil. However, given that my hair does prefer conditioners with more natural ingredients, I may not repurchase either one.

Today I cleansed with Wen, applied 2 pumps of HSH pumpkin potion, and finished off my bottle of GVP PM extra body with 2 1/2 quarter sized blobs. I used the scrunch and pump method I ever so conveniently forgot about and the result was nice clumping, wave boosting and a good amount of volume at the crown. However, by the end of the day, the GVP pm gel reminded me why I won’t be repurchasing it unless in dire need; there was ever increasing frizz and the hold gradually diminished. Boo.

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Consists of a wash with 8 pumps of Wen sweet almond mint cleanser followed by 2 pumps of my new love, hsh pumpkin potion leave in, and my gel mix du jour: 2 quarters of mop top anti frizz mixed with a 2 nickels of gvp pm extra body sculpting gel. The result after scrunching in the gel was RIDICULOUS clumpage! Unfortunately, the weight of my hair in the big clumps actually stretched them out so they’re now elongated, clumpy waves. Not bad, but I did prefer the boosting I saw after diffusing with my Sedusa (medium heat, medium fan setting) earlier today. It’s about 9 hours after doing my hair and it’s a bit frizzier than I’d like it to be and somewhat dull.

I was a bit skeptical of the whole Wen cleansing system initially but I have to admit I’m pretty surprised. Sure, it’s essentially just cowashing but there’s something different about it. My hair doesn’t feel oily at the roots like it did when I was just cowashing and conditioning the length (straight CG) and while it does have the dreaded wheat protein, my hair isn’t rebelling like it did when I used CJ coffee coco creme as the only protein containing item in my current hair styling arsenal. It’s only the 2nd day of use, so we shall see how it holds up over time. I don’t plan on following the instructions and using massive amounts of this conditioner no matter how thick or long my hair is. 8 pumps suits me just fine. I’m a sucker for the minty scent and it gives a good amount of slip that lasts after rinsing it out.

As for mop top, I definitely think this is a keeper not only as a curl booster but for days when I’d prefer a lighter hold and for mixing into really thick, goopy gels. Mixed with the gvp pm gel, mop top turned it into a more spreadable, mucous-like gel somewhat reminiscent of KCCC. I’ll tweak with the gvp pm:mop top ratios to find what works best.

I finally rid myself of tigi mm. My dear, dear SO took the offending bottle off my hands so I got the chance to try out the Curls asian hair tea and now I’m trying my Jessicurl WDT as a rinse out.

Today I did a sulfate clarifying shampoo to rid my hair of the tigi nasties. Conditioned with 4 quarters of WDT, and applied 2 half dollars of JCRR and JCCC mixed with a nickel’s worth of mop top anti frizz gel. I applied 2 nickels of gvp pm extra body gel for extra hold. My hair has good body and feels lighter without that much gel but there is frizz and not much wave boosting.

In other news, I have found a leave in that I just might be adding to my “hits” category: healthy sexy hair pumpkin potion leave in. It smells yummy and provides a good amount of moisture. Yesterday was a stay at home day so I cowashed with Suave toasted vanilla and sugar (yes, back to cowashing!), rinsed out WDT, applied 1 pump of pumpkin potion on each side of my head, and scrunched in 2 quarters of mop top anti frizz. I was pleasantly surprised by the nice, light (but not too light) hold of the mop top and the wave enhancement of the pumpkin potion. I ended up having to run an emergency errand at the last minute and I must say that my hair looked rather decent for a trip out to Verizon Wireless.

I’m back to cowashing again. Not every day and probably not every other day but at least once or twice a week. I started to feel like shampoo bars and the required ACV rinse was drying out my hair. Granted, I was doing it every day. Now, I’m thinking I’ll rotate between the bars + ACV, low poo (currently creme of nature), and cowashing. It will help me use up all the Suave and VO5 I’ve accumulated, as well as all the low poos.

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.

The holidays have been hectic for me – what with family drama and moving over the holidays. Yes, MOVING OVER THE HOLIDAYS. I got the key to the new house on the 2nd finished moving everything late that evening with the help of my AMAZING boyfriend. I swear, next time I’m seriously renting that Uhaul.

Suffice to say I now have no Internet and everything is still in boxes so I’ve been using what I can find. Unfortunately, that means really crap hair days. I don’t understand what all the hullabaloo is with Tigi MM. I’ve been using it for the past month or so and there are days where I don’t think it’s all thatbad mixed in with days where I just want to chuck the bottle into the trash. Today is one of the latter. Sure my hair feels all smooth and silky with tons on slip under the shower head, but once its out of the running water, strands start to repel one another and it’s a feat to run my hands through my hair.

My waves are starting to act like they did with the B2B jasmine curl conditioner.  I’m halfway through the 16 oz. bottle and considering just relegating it to a shaving cream rather than suffer another month of horrendous hair.

Today I used my bay rum bar, an ACV/honey rinse, tigi mm, gvp pm the cream, curls by sister smith wshp in brown sugar, and gvp pm extra body sculpting gel and my hair is NOT feeling it.  The GVP PM the cream makes everything too soft and results in killing any super strong hold from a gel. The WSHP does smell great but my hair feels dry and it’s stringy.

I’ve finally finished the ginormous bottle of LA Looks sport gel and have moved on to my sizeable bottle of Naturelle Volumax gel from Sallys. When I shook the bottle around a bit, I was afraid that I would end up with another Biotera-like gel. Luckily, that isn’t the case. The Volumax gel is not as runny as the biotera and the scent is fr more pleasant. Mmmm…pineapple. So far I’ve used it with the curl junkie coffee coco and GVP PM the cream leave in and it’s been pretty decent. It does leave hair crunchy but it distributes and defines fairly well.

I’ve also been experimenting with GVP PM the cream combined with GVP PM extra body sculpting gel. I tried the combination on a “who cares” day and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the fact that they’re both PM knock offs lends a synergistic effect?

I’m definitely missing KBB. Looking at my fotki pictures from my KBB days leaves me aching for this experimentation/getting rid of product phase to end already. Damn my rampant early PJ days.

Rather than washing my face in the am with a conventional cleanser, I tried a seamollient rinse. I applied a nickel’s worth of GoW seamollient to damp skin and left it on while I shampooed my hair with KM’s bay rum bar. The result was baby soft skin with pretty good oil control for the day. I’ll definitely be trying this out a bit more.

I think I may have spoken a bit too soon about the passion shine gel. Today I washed with CV’s babassu and marshmallow soap, followed with an ACV rinse, rinsed out two nickels worth of KBB hair nectar in coco mango (definite repurchase!) and applied the remainder of my KBB pear hair nectar sample (I need to buy full sizes of this!!!). I then scrunched in two golf balls of PBH passion shine gel, scrunched with a flour sack, and just for extra hold, applied a half dollars worth of GVP PM extra body sculpting gel. The second time around, I noticed that the despite it’s viscous, somewhat sticky nature, the PBH sank into my hair immediately much like KMF and angell. It has a pleasant lightly floral/nutty scent but it does sud up in my hair . Maybe it’s the amount that I applied this time around, but after scrunching the gel in, my waves were clumpy and somewhat boosted. Huzzah!

My only complaint is the amount that you get for the price you pay. As you can see from the picture in my previous post, the tube isn’t LA Looks gel sized. Nor is it priced like LA Looks. I’ll try using a bit less of it now that I know it can be mixed with other gels but I’m still not sure if it’s something I’ll repurchase.

ETA: Forgive the lighting in the first pic, but looking at the first one makes me want to break out my windblossom bar again….

My new toy is here!!! I plan on trying it out tonight (kinda in a half-ass way since I don’t like putting in styling products late in the evening) to see what the first time around brings about. I definitely will be playing with this tomorrow, too.