So today I shampooed with my bay rum bar, did a white vinegar rinse, conditioned with AOHR, and styled with IQCCC and my homemade FSG. The result was a little underwhelming; my waves weren’t frizzy and there was still some clumping, however, there wasn’t any of the wave boosting I’ve noticed as of late and my waves looked a little pulled out. Boo. There is a possibility that using AOHR may have been a little too much or that IQCCC doesn’t play well when using a shampoo bar. To test, the next time I shampoo I’ll use white boots to see whether it’s the creme that contributed to the lank waves. If that experiment isn’t conclusive, I’ll bust out my NG rose to test whether or not AOHR is just building up on my hair…however, I may be able to test that hypothesis by seeing how my hair reacts for the next couple of days.

I made my first iHerb.com purchase which included the following: AO island naturals & GPB conditioners, EO rose & chamomile and honey & chamomile conditioners, BWC leave in, citric acid (for my FSG), and Avalon Organics CoEnzyme Q10 wrinkle defense creme. Yeah. Talk about me stopping my rampant PJism. The reason why I purchased the creme? Well, I’m running low on my beloved PSF phyto-lift cranberry eye gel and right now I can’t justify paying $45.00 for o.5 oz of this amazing gel. Not only that, but the GoW eye serum that I’ve been checking out isn’t that much more cost effective either: $15.30 for 8mL or roughly 0.27 oz. In order to equal PSF’s 0.5 oz, I’d have to spend $30.60 and not only that, but it opens the door to me just “giving in” and adding more GoW goodies to my cart to justify the shipping. I did a search for eye gels on iHerb and stumbled across the Avalon creme; not only did it have a 4.5/5 rating, but there were about 33 pretty good reviews on it. A quick search on MUA showed a small number of ratings but 100% would repurchase the product. At $16.22 for 1.75 oz, it was almost a no brainer.

Ingreds: Organic lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower(1), chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower(1), camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf (2) and organic arnica montana flower(3) extracts (aqueous), vegetable glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate SE, organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil(2), cetyl alcohol, sodium hyaluronate, organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil(2), cetyl ricinoleate, stearyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol (vitamin E), ubiquinone (CoQ10), dimethicone, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), emulsifying wax, mangifera indica (mango) seed butter, polysorbate 20, citric acid, sodium carbomer, sodium PCA, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond), rosa canina (rose hip) seed and borago officinalis (borage) oils, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), organic citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil(2) and other essential oil.

I’m not too keen on the fact that dimethicone is included since I avoid silicones on my skin as much as possible. Once I started the RedCatWaves skincare routine of gentle soap-free cleanser, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and moisturizer, I stopped using my trusty Oil of Olay SPF 15 oil free moisturizer because of silicones. On the RCW routine, I don’t think the facewash was effectively removing the cones from my skin. Rather than revert to sulfates and deal with average skin, I just booted the silicones. The fact that the cone in the Avalon creme is halfway down the list seems somewhat innocuous, but we’ll see. I’m hopeful that I can give a positive review after trying it out because if it works, that means I can splurge a little more on other skincare items without feeling too guilty.

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.

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 beenusing Tigi MM for the past two weeks and can say that it really doesn’t do much for my hair. Much like jillipoo’s blog entry on empty conditoner syndrome, I agree that “It goes on light, has great slip, and smells pretty.” However, that’s all it does for me. I’ve been noticing that the last few times I’ve been using this conditioner my hair just doesn’t have that slippy clumpiness to it after rinsing it out. To verify that it’s the conditioner and not the leave-in I’m applying, I conditioned with Giovanni smooth as silk yesterday and got the slippy clumpiness I’m used to with most other conditioners I’ve tried. Again, just to test my theory, I conditioned with Tigi MM this am after a shampoo bar and ACV/honey rinse and once I started to rinse it out,  my hair felt a bit rougher and there wasn’t much clumping action; in fact, it seemed as though some hairs were repelling each other. This brought to mind the way my hair acted with Back to Basics Jasmine conditioner. While Tigi MM provides more slip than B2B, I feel that it falls into the “junk food conditioner” category in that it satisfies my hair’s moisture needs but doesn’t really add any nutritional benefit so to speak. I’m really starting to realize that my hair prefers conditioner with more natural ingredients; it just responds better and I feel like I’m taking better care of my hair by feeding it with better, more natural ingredients.

Today’s hair is a bit of a fluke. I forgot to add my leave in prior to applying today’s gel mix (half dollar of LA looks sport with a nickel of PBH passion shine). I stood there in the shower for a few seconds in cold, dripping disbelief and thought about going sans leave in but the winter weather brought to mind images of frizzy hair so I applied two dimes of GVP Paul Mitchell The Cream after the gel. I was pleasantly surprised to see some immediate clumping and wave enhancement!

I Sedused and, as luck would have it, forgot to diffuse the crown with my DevaFuser. Pooh to my spazzing out this am. However, it’s now 3 hours later and I’m able to scrunch what little crunch there was. I have good definition, good clumping, and the fact that cream was applied post gel made for less crunchy hair. I’ll definitely have to try this out with my CJ coffee coco cream.

I’m actually quite impressed by this gel; it’s a clear, fluid gel (i.e., not as thick and sticky as LA Looks nor runny like Biotera) that actually doesn’t require a lot to provide hold, definition, and crunch. I can’t find the ingreds list online but sleekhair.com did have this description from the back of the bottle:

Nexxus Phyto Organics Rigid Gel is an extreme styler with strengthening bamboo extract. Rigid Gel Extreme Styler blends instantly into damp hair to create a variety of textures and designs. This super hold sculptor is excellent for molding, defining curls, and blow dry styling. Formulated with strengthening Quinoa Protein, Bamboo extract, nutrient rich Alfalfa, vitamins, and thermal protectants to add strength, sheen, and exceptional body.

I washed with my KM bay rum bar, ACV/honey rinsed, conditioned with curls coconut sublime, and scrunched in two dimes of CJ coffee coco. I followed up with about two blobs between a nickel and quarters worth of the NPO rigid gel and scrunched. I noticed that the gel spread easily but didn’t disappear into my hair like angell; in fact, it actually made my hair feel a little slick like I had applied a more runny gel. I started to consider adding a bit more gel to ensure complete coverage but refrained from doing so to see just what my hair would do with this gel.

It’s about 12 hours later since styling and my hair is frizz free, defined, shiny, and soft with enhanced waves. To add to that, my hair feel like…hair. Not hair laden with product as it does with the Deva gels. I plan to experiment more with this but can tell it might be a repurchase.

Not going to repurchase. It’s only what? three days? and I’m already halfway through the bottle. Plus 6 oz for approx. $10.00 doesn’t sound like a steal to me. But will that stop me from trying the PBH gelatine goo that I’ve read about on the NC.com boards? Nope. I just recently discovered that the passion shine gel is marketed as a flexible/medium hold gel….something my hair doesn’t much like on its own.

Today I washed with my bay rum bar (loving the spicy scent!), did an ACV rinse, rinsed out curls coconut sublime, scrunched excess water out, scrunched in two dimes of cj coffee coco, and a nickels worth each of lush the big tease mixed with pbh passion shine (x2). The result? Not a great hair day. Even my SO noted that it doesn’t look as controlled as it usually does. My hair feels fluffy and there isn’t a whole lot of holding action going on. I think the pbh flexible hold cancelled out the tough hold the lush usually has. On the plus side, my hair isn’t horrible enough that it requires putting up in a messy bun, nor has it expanded into frizz city like it did the first time I used KMF upper management.  

What I did notice with some surprise was when I lightly scrunched out the excess water after rinsing out the curls conditioner, my hair clumped up in a major way and the waves remained. Nice.

I’m still liking my sedusa and after diffusing today, I had no troubles at all taking my hair out.

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.