I have been pretty remiss with my blog as of late save for the Curls Like Us towel giveaway. After returning from my mini-vacation to San Diego, I had to deal with settling into my program’s new office space and catching up on work. Also, my SO just purchased a PlayStation 3 so he and I have been relaxing after work by kicking some ass on Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

My updates are a bit brief since I’ve just been using my blackberry in the interim to take notes on how my hair reacted to the day’s product combination.

VO5 cowash/oyin handmade honey hemp rinse out and leave in/kccc mixed with a little Sebastian hi contrast gel for hold: I used this combination throughout my stay in San Diego and I was pretty pleased. The honey hemp leave in provided a good base for the kccc and the mixture underneath the hi contrast gel gave me enough moisture but didn’t compromise the extreme hold of the Sebastian gel. I’d have to say that the hi contrast is a suitable substitute for another hard holding gel that’s often discussed on the nc.com forums: BRHG.

When I returned from my vacation, I toyed with KMS cranberry pepper gel by mixing it in with kccc and even using my beloved custard didn’t redeem the KMS gel.

My sample of aubrey organics B5 design gel from kathymack had been calling to me so I paired it with ky jelly after an AOHR rinse out and the result was a a somewhat straightened crown but nice clumping. I tried it another time with a kbb milk rinse out and even more ky jelly and was rewarded with amazing definition, good clumping and even more hold with a relatively easy amount of crunch to it for a natural gel. However, the hold didn’t last for much of the day since it started to loosen by mid-evening. In spite of this, I’m impressed enough to want to purchase a full-sized bottle.

Giovanni L.A natural styling gel on its own is not a winner in my book but the combo of giovanni with ky jelly definitely led to nice clumping, good definition, and no frizz.

I usually don’t have problems with product application on the back of my head since I do everything to ensure coverage by scrunching in upside down, side to side, and upside down again. However, I do still end up with a lock or two that refuses to go along with the rest of my hair and receive its dose of styling product. I decided to try combing in product again and achieved my goal but with skinnier clumps and not much wave boosting tagging along.

I experimented with afroveda pur whipped gelly and sally’s beyond the zone spike it gel and while the gelly helped to soften the massive crunch from this extremely hard holding  gel and aid in giving good clumps to boot, there was a fair amount of frizz to be had and my hair felt pretty dry.

Again, I experimented with combing in product so I used my Mebco detangler to comb in a mix of afroveda gelly with zerrran equalizer leave in upside down and then scrunched in giovanni+ky with a little bit of spike it to up the hold. After combing in the gelly+equalizer mix, I was less than enthused to see stringy waves mixed in with straightened pieces. My hair that day had good volume but skinny clumps.

This past Sunday, I broke out the Komaza coconut pudding sample from kathymack. I cowashed with my new VO5 vita burst revitalizing conditioner cowash in the nectarine orange surge scent and rinsed out KBB milk. I scrunched in the komaza anf followed up with kccc mixed in with spike it gel. After plopping, I scrunched in the remainder of my AOB5 design gel sample. The result was fantastic clumping, amazing wave boosting, yummy smelling hair, good hold, no frizz and softness. 

I gave in to peer pressure and and a 15 page thread (trust me, there are little nuggets of actual info buried within) and purchased an ION conditioning  hard hat dryer from Sally Beauty Supply…as well as the ION hair dryers. The first time I used the hard hat, I diffused for about 3 minutes with my old conair and Sedusa/devafuser set up, clipped, and sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes. I wasn’t much impressed with the results since it was also the day that I tried combing again and my displeasure with that experiment overshadowed anything the hard hat could have contributed.

On Sunday, I broke out the ION hairdryer diffused with the Sedusa and devafuser, clipped, and sat under the hard hat for about 15 min. The result was waves up to my crown with NO FRIZZ! And not only that, but I was able to SOTC about an hour after showering…after showering! That alone pays for the hard hat in and of itself. I’ve never been able to SOTC just one hour after stepping into the shower.

Today I cowashed with VO5 vitaburst, rinsed out kbb milk, and scrunched in komaza and kccc mixed in with aussie sun touched shine gel. After diffusing and drying under the hat, I scrunched out the crunch with a dab of Afroveda hemp seed lock and twist. My hair has some nice clumps going on, but the Afroveda might have been a tad bit too much moisture as there is a bit of frizz.

I’ve been using KCCC for the past two weeks or so trying to get my hair to graciously segue into spring and so far I’ve been relatively successful. During this time I’ve learned that KCCC gives me the crunch that most hard holding gels offer and once the crunch is scrunched out, I’m left with nice, clumpy, softly defined waves. If I want a bit more definition, it means mixing KCCC with another gel. Now which gel works well with KCCC is an experiment unto itself.  I’ve tried it mixed with LUSH’s the big tease and found that to be a bust; rather, the big tease works well as a finishing gel lightly scrunched in over KCCC. I tried KCCC mixed with Giovanni la naturals and was awarded for my efforts with decreased definition and increased frizz. KCCC mixed with some KMS cranberry pepper was a little bit better but much stickier. The stickiness of the KMS resulted in individual strands leaving the KCCC clump mothership and venturing off into frizz territory. The definition was a little bit better but again, I disliked how sticky the mixture was and how it affected the clumps when scrunching it in.

Yesterday was a stay-at-home day (gotta love Cesar Chavez and state holidays) so I toyed with kathymack’s homemade FSG. The consistency is a little bit more liquidy than either mine or BB’s FSG but that’s because both BB and I add a thickener. Other than consistency and a little bit less hold, I didn’t find kathymack’s FSG to be much different from mine or BB’s. All three impart a good amount of moisture, encourage clumping, and the usage rates (quite a bit) were the same.

Today I cowashed with VO5 chamomile, rinsed out AOHR and scrunched in a healthy amount of kathymack’s FSG. I also scrunched in a little bit of Aubrey Organics B5 design gel to add a little to the hold factor. It’s still drying so we’ll see how it turns out.

In skincare news, I’m really impressed with HoityToity’s silk-jojoba spray lotion. I previously brought this sample (from the very generous owner, Jan) along with me to my SO’s mother’s house and was surprised by how moisturized my skin was with this spray lotion. I’ve been using the remainder of my sample for the past two days and my skin has never felt better. Since it doesn’t require a lot of spritzes to give you the amount of lotion you need, I imagine that  it could last a while…not to mention that Jan’s scents are delicious! I have this is cotton candy and it smells YUMMY!

Well, my hair has dried and the results are really nothing to get too excited about. The area closer to my crown is elongated and the clumps aren’t as large as they were yesterday. There is also a bit more frizz.

I received one of many packages I’m expecting: my Ohm Body hair product samples. I ordered sample sizes of the herbal shampoo and conditioner, hibiscus tea moisturizer, and the sweet hair pudding on Sunday evening and it arrived today. I love fast shipping! Since I don’t want to wash my hair for the sake of trying these out (I’m not THAT obsessed with my hair), I’ll just list the noticeable characteristics. The shampoo is clear and the peppermint fragrance is more noticeable than the conditioner. The conditioner looks nice and thick and the banana and kiwi fragrances dominate. The hibiscus tea moisturizer is a clear, slightly tinted pink serum that smells very much like hibiscus. While I don’t normally like floral scents, this isn’t too cloying. The sweet hair pudding is definitely pink and looks like cake frosting. Its scent is reminiscent of strawberries but not overly so.

I would love to play with my samples tomorrow but I’ll be heading out of town for the rest of the week for a mini vacation/bday getaway courtesy of my all too wonderful SO and I’d rather not have to deal with horrendous hair should the Ohm products and I not get along well.

Going through my products stash I noticed the expiration date on my LUSH big tease gel was coming up so I popped it into the shower as a reminder to use it up. I also did a search on NC.com for product shelf life and stumbled upon two threads, one of which had me smelling my tub of KCCC. Like one of the posters, I found that my tub has a little bit of a sour scent to it. Crap. Into the shower my tub went as a reminder to use it as well.

While in the shower yesterday I thought to kill two birds with one stone and try layering the lush gel over some KCCC. I cowashed and conditioned with Oyin HH (using a light hand) and scrunched in more Oyin (about 3/4 of a dime). I gently scrunched out a little bit of the drippiness and scrunched in about 5 quarters of KCCC. I scrunched out a bit more water using my Curlease and then scrunched in probably 4 dimes of the big tease gel. My waves were looking fabulous damp. I plopped for about 15 minutes and then diffused with my Sedusa and DevaFuser. The crunch, while pretty intense, wasn’t too difficult to scrunch out and I was left with nice, defined, waves and **curls**! When I met up with my family later that evening for dinner, my sisters exclaimed over how good my hair smelled – something definitely attributed to the LUSH gel. On top of that, the hold was phenomenal, there wasn’t any frizz to speak of, and it lasted all day.

I thought to try out the combo with afroveda’s PUR gelly underneath in lieu of Oyin HH and the results are just as nice, but with a little bit more frizz – another characteristic that I attribute to overuse of the big tease. Back in the day when I first discovered this gel, I was able to get it to work for me. Unfortunately, that’s not the case these days. On Saturday I used the big tease as my sole styler and the result was big, fluffy, rough, undefined hair that just increased in size as the day wore on; it reminded me of my first run with KMF upper management gel. My boyfriend actually noticed it enough to say that the gel definitely wasn’t working for me.

Would I repurchase the Big Tease again? Possibly. It has great hold and a yummy scent to boot but it’s not a styler that can be used on its own.

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.

I received my shampoo bars and KBB samples from Kathymack on Tuesday and I of course had to sample the bars the first chance I had. I have been using the carrot milk and honey bar from Chagrin Valley and have been pleasantly surprised by the softness, wave formation, body, and lack of frizz each time. Since KM’s hair has been responding so well to an all natural routine, I figured it was worth a shot. I lathered with the wind blossom bar (smell leaves much to be desired; kinda “granny” smelling), rinsed with an ACV and honey mix, rinsed out my KBB milk sample in coco/lime (scent is not one one of my favorites), scrunched in the KBB nectar in white tea (I’m surprised at how much I like this scent!), scrunched water out with  a flour sack, scrunched with a MF towel once out of the shower, and applied two scoops of KCCC. There was no frizz, my hair felt soft, and I noticed a half sausage curl buried within my waves. However, I didn’t feel like there was as much body as I had with the CV carrot bar and I didn’t notice as much wave boosting. I tried the wind blossom bar again today, rinsed out what was left of the regis vivid satin, applied some KBB nectar in white tea, and srunched in two dimes of LUSH the big tease. As of 2.5 hours later, my hair is dry but it’s half up with some clips. (I don’t think I put enough gel).

The verdict so far? Shampoo bars are giving me good results and without the same-day frizz that I usually get  on low poo days. I definitely want to experiment more. As for KBB, so far I’m not experiencing anything earth-shattering. It seems like any other leave-in for me. I’ll try Kathymack’s routine for a week or so to see if KBB products really contribute to healthier and better-looking hair.

I fully accept and cherish my wave pattern. I know I’m not a curly and I don’t try to pretend to be nor do I wish I was. One thing that I find bothersome on the boards is that a majority of wavies are unhappy that they aren’t a curly. There is a thread about the “Woes of a Wavie”, “Are you generally happy with your hair pattern?”, and talk about whether a perm is the way to go to achieve a curlier look. I find it disheartening. Yes, there is the whole “grass is always greener on the other side” mentality, but I can’t understand why for some it’s so hard to embrace the waves. I think waves are sexier than curls. They are more versatile as it’s easier to go straighter or curlier on any given day. I know I can’t convince a wavy to love her waves if she’s really dead set on achieving a curlier look. What I’m trying to say is that wavy hair isn’t bad. And it’s easier to learn to love and work with them than it is to hate them and try to make your hair what it’s not.