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!!

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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 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….

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.

My hair is still recuperating from the awful experience with B2B Jasmine. On Wednesday, I meant to add some honey to the Essential rinseout but I had a bit of a brain fart and just added it to my GDLI. The result was less than spectacular. My hair was a bit stringy, sticky in some places, and my waves were pulled out. On Thursday, I remembered to add the honey to my rinseout and I still wasn’t impressed. Friday, I just x-nayed honey completely and used JCHCC, TS, soaked my hair in Oyin J&B leave in, KY jelly, MopTop mixed with spike it, and sprayed HESMU spray gel halfway through diffusing. I scrunched out the crunch with Samy Big Curls curls defining creme. My hair looked great that day!!! Last night, for a night out with my friends, I used JCHCC, TS, TS leave in, KY, JCRR mixed with spike it, and sprayed Loreal Tightly Wound. I scrunched out the crunch with a pump of Tigi Curls Rock. Oh . My. God. FABULOUS hair! I think that JC works for my hair when I use all the products together and use a leave-in before rocking ringlets. I saw ringlets mixed in with my waves and my waves were soft, seriously boosted, defined, and frizz-free! I’d post a pic but I can’t find any where I don’t look tipsy.

I’m a bit on the fence with TJ Essential condish. It seems a bit too thin for my liking and I don’t get the ridiculous slip I do with Too Shea.

For my skin, I’m using GoW’s Fruity Exfo cleanser (love it!!), homemade ACV toner, and honey as a face mask at times and my skin couldn’t be happier. I love that cheap, natural products are working wonders for my skin.

I used my normal routine with the YTC: a 1/2 inch ribbon of sheam, a nickel of KY, and 2 nickels of spike it. The only difference was an ACV rinse after my VO5 sun kissed raspberries cowash.

First off, I’ve forgotten how nice an ACV rinse feels. After rinsing out the VO5, I ran my little tub of warm water and ACV over my hair and rinsed it out after letting it sit for a min or two. My hair felt great! Seaweed slippery and all that. I applied a generous palmful of the b2b, combed through, and clipped my hair up while I finished the rest of my routine.

I noticed that something was wrong immediately after combing in the sheam and ky mix. With YTC, my hair would stay in big clumps, with the b2b, however, it was as if my hair was repelling itself. I did a search for reviews on this conditioner and stumbled upon Laurabeth’s review: 

From condish chronicles (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=10605)

Back to Basics Jasmine Curl Refreshing Conditioner

Primary Fault: a love-hate product—either curl boosting or no curls, crimped frizz and buildup
This conditioner didn’t disperse easily through my hair until I’d applied a generous amount in hair and then it detangled. When scrunched after applying gel, like with the other B2B (starting to notice a trend), I had some individual hairs rebelling from the clumps. In the morning, I had practically no definition, minimal curl, and lots and lots of poofball and surface frizz on all the days I tried this. Oddly, I got curls with the Blue Lavender formula but not this one. I also had some pricklies along my scalp with this conditioner. Finally, I could see potential for buildup with this since my hair had a noticeable coating on it after just a few days use. I think those in a drier climate (NM, UT, CO, etc) might have better results, ironically, because of the coating. That coating suffocated my curls into frizzing so much that I couldn’t muster a curl. But in a drier climate, that coating might be more protective and curl-encouraging. I also noticed those in the Rust Belt (OH, MI, etc) liked this so maybe it’s something in the water that works well with this product and makes it curl enhancing. This is the only reason I’m rating this with a fair instead of a poor.
water, propylene glycol, myristyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, isopropyl alcohol, fragrance, decyl oleate, methylparaben, diazolidinyl urea, tetrasodium edta, propylparaben, benzyl salicylate, butylphenyl methylpropional, linalool, limonene, citric acid, panthenol, sodium hydroxide, hydroxypropyl guar, pentylene glycol, glycerin, butylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, bisabolol

The fragrance alone should have immediately put me off this conditioner but since there were some rave reviews on the forums, I decided to stick it out. Now I know that it just doesn’t work for me. Off to either the trash bin, swap boards, or even “accidentally” leaving it at the gym.

Ingreds: Deionized Water , Sorbitol , PVP , PVP/VA , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer , Sucrose , Propylene Glycol , Carbopol , Triethanolamine , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylparaben , Polysorbate-20 , Benzophenone-4 , Isosteareth-20 , Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance , FD&C Yellow No. 5 , FD&C Yellow No. 6

Only two days and already my hair is suffering from sally’s spike it withdrawal. My hair doesn’t have as much volume as it did with spike it and the waves are more pulled out, less clumpy, and not boosted at all. The first time around, I applied it much like I did my spike it; I mixed sheam with KY jelly, combed it through and mixed a dollop of fuzzy duck with super spikes. My hair was not looking so great. Today, I used just KY jelly and a generous amount of super spikes. Again, my hair wasn’t thrilled. It’s only two days and a couple of things have also introduced themselves to my usual routine. I finally finished ytc and have phased in Back to Basics Jasmine curl conditioner (scent is too flowery but its doing its job). Also, I’ve replaced my empty bottle of Freeman condish with VO5 sun kissed raspberry condish. I suspect that the cowashing without a touch of cocobetaine may result in the lack of voume. I plan to rectify that by low pooing more often than I used to – every 2 days versus my once a week with the freeman condish. Time will tell if this la bella gel ends up sneaking into my reject pile that I foist onto my SO.

An update on GoW’s lemony mint cleanser – I really do like it but I get a bit skittish when I feel a minty tingle near my eye. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t any irritation but I just freak out when I feel that cool rush near my lash line.