In the spirit of things, I’ve continued my experimentation. Thus far I’ve ruled out GVP PM sculpting gel for sure. I used it for the past 3 days and my hair was just NOT having it; stringy and rough waves are not a selling point for me. Also, the polyquaternium 11 in it just makes me anxious. After reading the CurlyChemist articles about the ‘quats, it got me thinking. I don’t particularly like mousse and polyquat 11 is an ingredient recommend for use in mousses because it aids in styling as well as providing some moisture. Every time I’ve used mousse on it’s own, my hair just swelled up, felt slightly rough, and didn’t have much hold. The fact that there is also potential for buildup makes it even less appealing.

I decided to pull biotera gel from my reject bin in hopes that my overall better hair days would help me figure out why there was all the fuss for this gel back in the day. I shampooed with CON, used my ng rose & persimmon rinse out, DIDN’T follow the icequeen method to the t and just scrunched in a bit more of the rinse out upright, and THEN rinsed upside down. I scrunched ot some excess water and then applied about 6 quarters of the gel. I didn’t notice any chunkier clumping while I was scrunching in the gel and I still can’t take the floral scent.

After plopping, I diffused as normal and clipped. What I noticed with the modified icequeen method was a fewer number of wonky roots that I had to fix. After rinsing out the conditioner and scrunching in my first few puddles of gel, I scrunched in more gel on each side and my final scrunch was upside down. I think moving my hair around so much prevented getting the odd horizontal root.

After initially scrunching out the crunch, I was actually surprised by the gel. There seemed to be a good amount of volume and hold and definitely less crunch vs MGA sculpting which isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. However, about 5 hours later and the slight crush I had for the gel disappeared. As the crunch disappeared, so did the hold. My hair started to poof and frizz, clumps fell straighter from lack of hold, and while my hair is touchable there is no wave definition. Since I’m almost done with my bottle of NG rose and persimmon, I decided to whip up a batch of my FSG to act as the constant once I introduce a new conditioner into the mix. I’ve still got my bottle of AOHR but I think switching every so often to a lighter rinse out helps to prevent any over-conditioning or buildup.

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With the skinnier clumps I’ve been getting with MGA sculpting, I thought to try a method I recently read about on NC.com. Basically you apply your rinse out conditioner with your hair flipped over, scrunch in a bit more to get the clumps going, and rinse upside down as well. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything with my hair flipped over because my roots would get all wonky and I never seemed to get the product distributed well enough. Since my hair has been treating me well in general, I decided to give it a shot.

MGA sculpting straightens my roots when I cowash so I water washed initially, scrubbing my scalp vigorously with my finger pads, applied and half dollar of my calming chamomile cowash, and continued scrubbing. I scrubbed as I washed out the cowash, parted my hair as usual and applied my ng rose and persimmon rinse out right side up and flipped over. I scrunched to get the clumps going and then flipped right side up to continue the rest of my shower routine.

It was a bit weird not feeling the weight of my damp hair. Usually after applying my rinse out I’ll comb through with my Mebco detangler and loosely twist my hair up with a stick so as not to have it against my back during the rest of my shower routine. My hair is bra strap length when dry but reaches to almost the upper small of my back when wet. Yeah. It’s insane how much length I lose when my hair is styled and dry. With this new method, my scalp felt much lighter without the weight of my hair and I didn’t feel the need to use a hair stick since my hair was sticking away from my scalp and the back of my neck.

When it came time to rinse out, I flipped over again and just raked my fingers through as the conditioned was washed out. I lightly shook my head a bit to break the mass of my hair at the scalp, raked my fingers through a bit and then scrunched in MGA sculpting. I’ve been using a half bottle of MGA sculpting since Sunday and I’m already at about 1/4 of the tube left. Hm. In any case, I used about 8 quarters total, scrunched with my flour sack towel, and diffused. Immediately after using my Sedusa and diffusing under the canopy with the Devafuser, I noticed that the lightened feeling on my scalp was still there and that was definite volume at the roots without having even clipped yet.

I scrunched a bit too early and my chubby 5-month old nephew’s little grabby fingers didn’t help much, but he’s so cute that I don’t mind if he musses up my hair. Overall, I didn’t notice chunkier clumps but there is a lot of root volume…enough to result in waving up to the roots!!

Ugh. Those ends need to be trimmed.

I finally got MGA sculpting to work for me. I think the key is a lighter conditioner. Today I washed with my CV carrot milk and honey bar, did a white vinegar rinse, conditioned with NG rose and persimmon, and styled with about 7 quarters of MGA. The result is more volume vs my homemade FSG, clumping up to the crown, good frizz control and hold, but skinnier clumps. Holdwise, it seems to rival BRHG for me. Amazing considering it’s a natural gel! Overall, I’d give MGA a 7-8 out of 10.

Ever since I received my samples of BotticelliBabe’s custom made FSG I’ve been in a bit of a quandary considering I had purchased about a lb each of the dark and golden flax seeds, some epsom salts, xanthan gum, grapefruit seed extract, and agave from my local health food store. Also, not one to waste a chance to whip up my own concoction, I decided to try my hand again at making FSG.

This time I used 1/4 c each of the dark and golden seeds, 4 cups (total) of distilled water, and 3 pinches of epsom salts. After I drained the resultant gel, I added about 3 drops of Oyin handmade after bath oil which contains olive, virgin coconut, jojoba, avocado, sweet almond,  wheat germ, rice bran, and black seed oils;  1/4 tsp each of agave and clover honey; 1/4 tsp xanthan gum; and 48 drops of GSE. The result was a pretty viscous gel that contained blobs of the xanthan gum thickener. I tried adding the xanthan gum slowly rather than just dumping it all into my gel but it still results in little opaque white blobs. I’ll have to do more research to find the best time to add the thickener. All in all, I ended up with a little under 4 oz of gel. Considering I made all my additive measures based off of 8 oz, I whipped another batch with just my already used seeds and distilled water. I ended up with a lot more gel using just the seeds and water. I wonder if adding the epsom salts to the boiling water reduces the final amount of gel produced? I ended up splitting my first batch between two 8-0z. bottles and splitting up my second batch between both bottles.

Compared to BB’s, my FSG is a little bit more viscous. Her spreads easily in the palm whereas mine comes out as a blob that doesn’t like to be separated as much. It’s hard to think of something to compare it to other than snot than a snot-like substance that stretches and will return to its normal shape unless you really pull them apart; I guess the molecules are just really attracted to each other. It’s not difficult to distribute and in fact, held up well when scrunching and smoothing it into my hair.

After taking a break from shampoo bars, I’ve been noticing that my crown area has been looking a little pulled out with just the cowashes. To remedy that, yesterday I shampooed with my KM bay rum bar, did a white vinegar rinse (I ran out of my Braggs ACV and forgot to pick some up the last time I was at Henry’s…d’oh!), rinsed out NG rose & persimmon and applied approximately 2 oz. of my homemade FSG. The clumping was pretty impressive and there was a good amount of crunch. The best part was being told by one of my sisters wavy my hair looked and how soft it was. By the end of the evening, there was a little bit of frizz but the wave boosting held up and the clumps were still there. Yay!

Today, I cowashed with VO5 calming chamomile, rinsed out NG rose and applied the remainder of my BB FSG mag sulfate, honey, and vanilla sample, and topped it off with my homemade FSG. The amount of crunch rivaled that of a regular store bought hard holding gel. How does it look?

Not bad eh? I’m pretty impressed. For cold winter weather waves, I must say that it looks pretty good.

My hair 24 hours after cowashing with VO5 calming chamomile + a quarter sized puddle of CON (red), rinsing out NG rose and persimmon and zerran equalizer (my hair felt a tad dry after rinsing out the NG), and scrunching in 3 half dollar puddles of BB’s FSG with honey, mag sulfate, and vanilla scent.

I am really impressed by BotticelliBabe’s flax seed gel concoctions. I definitely did see more curl enhancement with this gel but I think my clumps were more pronounced with the agave version. I’ll have to look into trying honey, agave, AND mag sulfate…I wonder.

I noticed a ton of shine, a good amount of crunch, and great frizz control. Considering the weather was not my friend today – rainy, drizzly, and gloomy overall, the extremely minimal amount of frizz is mind-boggling.

I’m really impressed by BotticelliBabe’s custom made flax seed gel. It’s amazing that something so simple as gel made from boiled flax seeds could rival some of the name brand gels I’ve tried. Granted, the concoction is custom made with a couple of BB’s additional ingredients (magnesium sulfate for curl enhancement, aloe vera for additional moisture, honey or agave nectar for shine and hold, and a variety of beneficial oils and scents) but its nevertheless the simplest of ingredients for a hair gel.

Yesterday I cowashed with VO5 calming chamomile and decided to do an ACV rinse to see if the vinegar is what dries out my scalp when shampooing with a soap bar. The result was a nice smooth feel to my hair prior to applying my ng rose and persimmon rinse out. I then squished out a little bit of excess water and applied about 6 puddles of BB’s FSG to my hair. I was amazed by the clumping action I immediately noticed while scrunching.

About 3.5 hours after diffusing and clipping, I was able to scrunch out the crunch and the result was fabulous boosted, clumpy, frizz-less, soft and defined waves! Huzzah!

I tasked my SO to take a photo immediately after I SOTC using my blackberry. The photo doesnt do the gel justice.

I tasked my SO to take a photo using my blackberry immediately after I SOTC . The photo doesn't do the gel (and what it did for my hair that day) justice.

So I finally tried one of my FSG samples from BotticelliBabe. Earlier in the day I added the thickener to both bottles and was amazed at how much better the consistency turned out. Compared to the 2nd batch of homemade FSG, this is MUCH better. I shampooed with CON, rinsed out NG rose and persimmon, and applied 3 nickels of BB’s FSG on each side of my head; not nearly as much as I should have used but 1) I was afraid of wasting it and 2) I was working from home so I didn’t want to use too much.

As I scrunched it in, I immediately noticed more clumping. I diffused (again, not as much as I should have) and clipped. After reformatting a laptop, I took out the clips and SOTC. There is quite a bit of frizz, but I blame that on my stinginess with the FSG. Tomorrow is a cowash day and I also have to go into the office, so I suppose the true test shall have to wait 24 hours…