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 realize I’m a bit late extolling the virtues of something so cheap and simple but I think my hair likes ACV and ACV & honey rinses! I was feeling a bit anxious waiting for my shipment of KBB samples and organic soap bars from a curly at NC.com so I broke out my Chagrin Valley shampoo bar samples and the few KBB samples I do have. I shampooed with the carrot milk and honey bar, rinsed with a tubful of a ACV, honey, and water mix, conditioned with KBB hair milk in coco lime, applied a nickel’s worth of KBB hair nectar in white tea, and followed up with some KY jelly and L.A. looks wet look gel. My hair felt clean, soft, bouncy, and I noticed a nice, strong wave pattern. I definitely plan on experimenting more with ACV rinses.

Since the weather is supposed to cool down significantly this weekend, I decided to celebrate early with white Boots creme. I poo’d with orgnx re:balance, rinsed with ACV, conditioned with regis vivid satin, applied a dollop of KY to soaking wet hair, emulsified a dime’s worth of Boots, and topped it all off with two half dollars of the wet look gel. I diffused, shook the roots and bit and sprayed with the suave spray gel, diffused a bit more and then clipped to dry. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the stringy looking waves I saw after taking my hair out of the plop. Nor did the waves look much fatter after diffusing the second time. I was resigned to a updo day and just headed to work.

Once I arrived at the office, I scrunched the crunch and just let my hair be. About 6 hours later, I checked out my hair in the ladies’ room and was pleasantly surprised to see nice, tight, boosted waves, a little bit of livable frizz (I probably need to do a DT because of the dye…although maybe the poo contributed?), and even some little half ringlets. My roots feel nice and there is a good amount of body and wave. I wonder if the ACV did something?

In other news, I’ve ordered some KBB samples and organic soap bars from a very nice curly over at NC.com. I’m really quite excited to see if going all-natural may boost my wave pattern.

I decided to break this gel out for three reasons:  1) my SO was out of town for the weekend and I was bored, 2) it gave me amazing waves/curls when the moisture content in the air wasn’t high, and 3) I’ve been on a slight experimentation kick and figured, why not?

I cowashed, rinsed out regis vivid satin, and applied two ribbons of sheam, and a blob of ky. WOW! My hair looked great! The clumps were forming in the shower as I was applying the gel and once I diffused and sprayed in some tightly wound, I was set for a fabulous hair day. Unfortunately, the 100 degree weather wasn’t much into working with me so I wouldn’t have to put my hair up. About 3 hours later I was forced to break out a hairstick and bind up my amazing waves and curls. I will definitely keep playing with this gel!!

For the past few days I’ve been playing with Boots white curling creme. I’ve been using it with KY jelly under or over but never with a leave-in underneath, and gobs of KMS cranberry pepper gel over it all for hold. On Monday, I used a bit too much Boots and while the clumping was insane, my hair felt weighed down and the waves were pulled out by the end of the work day.

Today, my work at home day, I used two peas of boots, two peas of KY over that, and 2 golfballs of KMS over that. Again, my hair had some nice clumps, but as you can see, the waves were really straight near the crown. I plan on playing with boots more and trying it out with KCCC as mentioned in a thread on NC.com.

I do love how it smells and how soft my hair feels when I use it. Plus, it’s always a thrill to see nice chunky waves right after a plop.

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.

Spraying either a CG hairspray or spray gel after my first round of diffusing seems to help retain my waves. Also, applying a good amount of the gel to soaking wet hair helps form the clumps. I probably still won’t repurchase the gel because I feel that the isopropyl alcohol will eventually dry out my hair and the cloying honeysuckle fragrance isn’t giving it any points either.

My hair does seem to be bouncing back from the awful experience with the B2B jasmine conditioner. I have a bottle of the pomegranate condish and I’m almost afraid to try it out. The good reviews of it on NC.com are preventing me from putting it up on the swap board.  

Today’s hair is courtesy of LaCoupe shampoo, NG rose condish, sheam, KY, KMS cranberry pepper, LOOB, and Loreal tightly wound.