I read about the Ava Aussie combo during my early NC.com days. In a rabid fit of PJism, I purchased the two gels since a) they were pretty cheap and b) the reviews of the combo sounded promising. Basically, you mix two Aussie gels (Tizz no Frizz and Gel +Water) to get nice clumps and good hold. Aussie’s gel+water is now their Sun Touched Shine gel and the Tizz no Frizz is Sydney Smooth Gel Tizz no Frizz.

Per the old threads on the Aussie combo, yesterday I applied 2 quarter sized blobs of sun touched followed by 2 quarters of the TnF. The STS gel has a really interesting consistency; its like partially melted jello. Smoothing the gel between my hands didn’t really do much to increase its spreadability. Nevertheless, I kept on and applied the TnF gel which has a consistency more akin to your usual gel. I got pretty good clumping that day but there was no hold to speak of and quite a bit of frizz.

Today, I washed with Wen, poured a 2 oz sample sized bottle of oyin juice and berries over my hair and quickly rinsed it out. 2 half dollars of JCRR and CCSS were then applied followed by the same amounts of the Aussie gels listed above. I followed the mix with a dime’s worth of BRHG. The result is a good amount of clumping, crunch, and softness. However, what I don’t get is wave boosting and a good amount of frizz control. The odd thing about the Aussie gels is the weird foaming I get when mixing the two gels together. I do plan on playing a bit more with the Aussie combo; I figure with the amounts of gel I use, it won’t be very long until I’m done with the bottles.

I’ve been using the Vineyard Grape HT shea butter lotion sample and I’m quite impressed. It leaves my hands feeling silky soft and it retains moisture for a good amount of time. If plain old shea butter weren’t cheaper than purchasing this HT lotion, I definitely would pick it up. My only gripe about HT is that the ingredients aren’t posted online.

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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.

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.

After the one amazing hair day with Jessicurl, I decided to try it out for an entire week. At least every other day I was washing with HCC, rinsing out TS, leaving in a bit of TS mixed with KY, and topping off with either a combo of JCRR + spike it, or spike it alone. The off days, I was cowashing with VO5, and rinsing out Essential, or cowashing and rinsing out Essential. The result?? I now know that TJ Essential is much too light for my hair and that it causes a slightly dry scalp when used as a cowash.

Using Jessicurl every other day seemed to contribute to my slightly dry, frizzy, and lackluster waves, too. Today I used all Jessicurl with KY and spike it, and my waves seem stringier and straighter. Protein overload. I don’t think my hair minds protein once in a while, but this experiment has taught me a lesson or two.

The next conditioner I will be experimenting with is Curls Ecstasy Asian Hair Tea.

 

I realize I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to; a lot of it comes from stress at work (I don’t want to come home and turn on the comp) and not trying new products as much (my experience with the B2B Jasmine has me leery). I probably won’t be posting until some time next week as I’m going camping for the first time this long weekend!

 

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 gave La Bella Super Spikes one last shot and I’ve finally handed it off to my SO. I figured that maybe the combing was the cause of the stringy waves with this gel so I gave it a shot with soaking wet hair. Yup. My suspicions were confirmed – La Bella sucks. I cowashed with Giovanni 3T condish (done with this dud, finally), rinsed out b2b jasmine, combed my hair and scrunched in JCRR and 2 cupped palm globs of la bella. My hair is fluffy with no hold whatsoever, undefined, stringy, and sorely lacking in the wave boosting part. Luckily, it doesn’t contain protein so my SO is willing to take this off my hands.

The next gel I will be trying is Giovanni Styling Gel L.A. Natural Strong Hold. A quick glance at the ingredients (Aqua (Purified Water) with Rosemary¹ (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Oil, Nettle¹ (Urtica Dioica) Oil, Thyme¹ (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil, Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, Chamomile¹ (Anthemis Nobilis Flower) Oil, Clary¹ (Salvia Sclarea), Lavender¹ (Lavandula Angustifolia), Coltsfoot Leaf¹ (Tussilago Farfara), Yarrow¹ (Achillea Millefolium) Oil, Mallow¹ (Malva Sylvestris), Horsetail¹ (Equistetum Arvense) Oil, PVP/VA Copolymer, Soybean¹ Protein (Glycine Soja), Hydroxyethylcellulose (plant derived), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citric Acid (corn), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Grapefruit Seed (citrus derived)) leads me to suspect that it might end up like KMF. We shall see tomorrow…