So far, I’ve determined that while my hair likes Komaza’s coconut hair pudding, it decidedly does not like the califia care conditioners and leave in. The conditioner didn’t provide enough slip and the leave in didn’t seem to provide much moisture.

Luckily, beauty by donna marie’s detangler was something my hair enjoyed when used as a leave in; I have as yet to try it as a rinse out.

LA Looks gels that are/were most popular on nc.com (sport and durahold) just aren’t cutting it for my waves. They don’t provide enough hold and, oddly enough, weigh my hair down.

The much-lauded AG Recoil ended up a failure for my hair. It wasn’t application friendly, made my hair stringy, and it didn’t boost my hair at all. After trying to stick it out for 4 days, I was reminded why my hair only tolerates so much magnesium sulfate.

The MUCH cooler temperatures allowed sheamoisture to make a comeback and what a comeback it was! My hair clumped, smelled delicious, and was moisturized to boot! I was afraid that my quasi super soaker method of raking in leave in and adding more water wouldn’t work with a leave in as thick as sheam but I was (happily!) proven wrong.

With the cooler temps requiring more moisture, I don’t think my bottle of HSH pumpkin conditioner is cutting it. I pulled out my bottle of david babaii for wildaid hydrating conditioner and so far things seem to be going tolerably well. I will note that I’m amazed at how the conditioner seems to multiply in my hair; a little nickel’s worth of condish seems to multiply into a quarter’s worth. It provides a good amount of slip but I’m waiting to see if my hair will react to the protein content. 

There are so many new product lines/items discussed on the boards that I’m dying to try but my wallet and the size of my current product stash weigh heavily on my mind. Hopefully once these friggin’ furloughs are over, I can partake of the donna marie, amourai organique, darcy’s botanicals, shescentit, njoi creations, and whispering windz love.

I admit that I haven’t been as picture happy as I was earlier this year. The combo of work-related stress and foiled experiments have led me to be less update and picture upload friendly. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced a hair day where I wanted to shake my fist to the skies and grumble. If anything, I’ve found that what I consider to be horrible hair days still garner some compliments…oh the irony.

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Thank god for my natural hair care samples from kathymack. My hair was able to return to its normal state on Tuesday after a cowash, conditioning, and natural styling products. On Tuesday I cowashed with VO5 and conditioned with aloeba. My styling combo for the day was Ohm’s sweet hair pudding followed by Ohm aloe gel with a dab of BRHG to up the hold. I had tried the aloe gel on its own on Monday and while it did have some slight crunch, I had to be really generous. Despite the massive amount of gel (which didn’t feel like much in my hair), the hold diminished by 10 am and the frizz started creeping in. By 1 pm, my hair was up. Tuesday’s hair was much better despite the frizz and somewhat elongated crown area.

Yesterday’s hair was even better with an alaffia shampoo, aloeba rinse out, komaza coconut hair pudding  and aussie sun touched gel mixed with some brhg for hold. I had nice waves but by the end of the day, again, the frizz crept in. I attribute it to the aussie gel as BRHG can result in helmet hair if used bigger quantities.

Today’s hair is a result of yet another alaffia shampoo, ACV rinse, hoity toity sheer satin conditioner in cotton candy (yum!), afrodetangler, and ohm aloe gel mixed with brhg. I’ll see how the combo holds up with the warm day we’re expecting!

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.

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!!

I think my hair has been feeling dry due to LOOB use for the past few days. Today, I decided to give my hair a break so today’s routine consisted of a CWC method with VO5 sun kissed raspberries + Nizoral (the weather change has been aggravating my seb derm problem at the base of my scalp), NG persimmon rinse out, sheam mixed with SAMY potion, KMS cranberry pepper, and Lily of the Desert’s Aloe80 styling spray [a CG hair spray (ingreds: CERTIFIED ORGANIC ALOE BARBADENSIS GEL, PVP, PANTHENOL, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, CERTIFIED ORGANIC POLYSACCHARIDE RICH ALOESORB™, BIOTIN, LYSINE HCL, CHLORPHENESIN, PHENOXYETHANOL (AND) CAPRYLYL GLYCOL (AND) SORBIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID)] after diffusing for a bit.

The SAMY potion worked like KY for me. There isn’t much frizz and my waves were chunky and defined. Of course, with the gobs of KMS that I had to apply in order to get it work for me, my hair has already fallen flat 12 hours after styling. I’ll be giving the potion a couple more tries to see if it might be another CK substitute. So far, KY jelly is already an HG for me; I just wish that they sold it in Costco sized vats. Although, I can just imagine the embarrassment when placing an industrial sized bottle of KY on the checkout conveyor belt….

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.

I returned from Dark Canyon on Sunday afternoon covered in mosquito bites and willing to sell my soul for a shower. I purchased a solar shower per a friend’s advice and took a paper towel “shower” in my tent but I still felt somewhat icky. It didn’t help that the mosquitoes seemed to be feasting on me and ignoring everyone else at the campsite. I admit that I was pretty upset the 2nd night because I was up scratching and I couldn’t sleep because one of the other campers in my party snores REALLY LOUDLY…I’m not kidding. Another tent about 20 feet away LOUD. I was bitten on my arms my neck, back of my knees, ankles, even my forehead! Of all places, my forehead. It’s practically just a layer of skin and bone right underneath and yet those damn mosquitoes saw fit to attack me there.

Because the camp was pretty primitive – a couple faucets and outhouses, the solar shower came in pretty handy. I was able to wash my face and brush my teeth. Unfortunately, my skin wasn’t agreeing with the situation. I had been using GoW’s fruity exfo cleanser for about a week or more prior to going camping and my skin wasn’t reacting to it so I figured I could bring it along. Unfortunately, my smart self decided to use some benzoyl peroxide the two nights before camping; my skin freaked out and was pretty dry and flaky the next day. I used moisturizer and it seemed to calm things down enough for me to feel confident in my travel skincare kit (fruity exfo, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and babbassu oil). Well, my skin wasn’t having it. The entire time I was camping, the skin above my upper lip was tight, red, dry, and extremely irritated. I think the BP and fruity exfo together caused the irritation and my continuous use of the cleanser exacerbated it. By the time I got home, I couldn’t smile for fear of cracking my skin.

Today, my skin is feeling somewhat better thanks to a change in cleanser (GoW oj castile), hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera gel.

Now on to hair: The day we headed out, I used a clarifying shampoo, conditioned with Curls Asian Tea conditioner, used a bit of sheam as a leave in, and used some FOTE. I was really surpised at the consistency of the curls condish; it was so thick and viscous it felt like a lotion. I had to double check the sample jar from sistasplace.biz to make sure it wasn’t curl ecstasy hair tea LOTION. Since I used FOTE as my sole styler, I knew my hair was going to be a crapfest by midday. After hiking and playing some badminton during the course of the trip, my hair held up pretty well. It didn’t seem too greasy and there was absolutely no frizz. There were no waves to speak of, but for not having proper shower facilities, that was fine with me.

Yesterday I used more Curls tea condish,  shampooed with jessicurl HCC, left in some sheam and KY, and dtyled with moptop and spike it. My hair rebelled against the slight protein from the gel and I was left with stingy, almost straight waves. This just solidifies the fact that I needed to rotate my protein products. Today, I cowashed with VO5 strawberries and cream, conditioned with curls tea, and smoothed in some GDLI with KY. My gel du jour is CVS Styling Gel Curl Defining And Frizz Control  – pretty much a knock-off the La Bella curls gel whicj, incidentally, didn’t agree with my hair.

Ingreds for CVS brand curls gel: Water (Aqua); PVP; Sorbitol; Carbomer; Hydroxypropylcellulose; Polyquaternium-7; Propylene Glycol; Fragrance (Parfum); Panthenyl Ethyl Ether; Glycerin; Keratin Amino Acids; Palmitoyl Oligopeptide; Chitosan; Oleth-20; Glyceryl Polymethacrylate; Rahnella/Soy Protein Ferment; PEG-8; Aminomethyl Propanol; Potassium Sorbate; Methylparaben; Tetrasodium EDTA; Diazolidinyl Urea; Methylchloroisothiazolinone; Methylisothiazolinone; Benzophenone-4; Blue 1; Yellow 5

vs.

La Bella Lots of curls gel: Deionized Water, Sorbitol, Glycerin, PVP, Propylene Glycol, Carbopol, Cocus Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Triethanolamine, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Polysorbate-20, Benzophenone-4, Isosteareth-20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Menthol, D&C Red No. 33.

Surprisingly, my hair curled up well and with a fair amount of hold considering the protein factor. I’m guessing maybe the coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and (ICK!) lanolin didn’t agree with my hair. I will update to see how the gel holds up during the day