Protein overload led me to naturallycurly.com. Before I learned how to care for my hair I was using sulfates and a Rusk conditioner LOADED with protein. Needless to say, my hair was not making me happy those days. Frustrated, I googled “how to care  for wavy hair” and the rest is history. My experience was horrible enough to make me shy away from many a conditioner containing protein. My hair responded well to protein-free conditioners so I figured my waves were just fine on the protein end and just needed to be balanced with a good dose of moisture. Over time, I explored with leave-ins containing soy protein amongst a mix of oils, humectants, and emollients. Since my hair seemed to tolerate soy protein, I expanded my current conditioner collection with a couple of conditioners containing moderate amounts of protein but kept my fail-proof moisturizing conditioners ever so close.

The past few days with Oyin HH, my hair was feeling mushy and overly soft when wet – a good indicator of overconditioning. This morning I broke out a conditioner that I had placed at the VERY back of my stash: Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner. My very first Curlmart order included this conditioner which almost every single curly/wavy on NC.com was raving about at the time. My hair must not have yet recovered from the protein onslaught I had subjected it to because the minute EMBC touched my tresses, it freaked out. Until today, I hadn’t touched the bottle with a 10 foot pole.

After a cowash, I scrunched in good amount of EMBC and let it sit while I finished the rest of my routine. My hair immediately felt better as I was rinsing it out. The SO and I didn’t have any plans since I was waiting for my Pottery Barn packages to arrive so I just scrunched in the remainer or my homemade FSG and topped it off with some Nexxus rigid gel.

My hair has more life and while it’s still soft, it isn’t’ overconditioned soft – a definite reminder of why maintaing a balance between moisture and protein is so important.

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Methinks that is the case with Oyin. How such a light, runny conditioner could make me overconditioned is really surprising but I do feel it to be the case. My hair was really slippery when cowashing and applying only a nickel’s worth of the conditioner to each side and scrunched in upside down. While clumps still formed well when scrunching in afroveda pur gelly, it was still a little too soft for my liking. There is also the possibility that the combo of oyin hh and the gelly was again too much moisture. I’ll have to lay off the oyin for the next couple of days.

I’m still surprised by the nexxus phyto organics rigid gel. Such a small amount (in total, a quarter’s worth for my entire head) still gave good crunch. Unfortunately, my overconditioned hair didn’t hold up well and the crunch and hold started to decrease midday. Luckily, there wasn’t much frizz – just undefined, really soft, loose waves…not a bad thing!

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.