I read about the Ava Aussie combo during my early NC.com days. In a rabid fit of PJism, I purchased the two gels since a) they were pretty cheap and b) the reviews of the combo sounded promising. Basically, you mix two Aussie gels (Tizz no Frizz and Gel +Water) to get nice clumps and good hold. Aussie’s gel+water is now their Sun Touched Shine gel and the Tizz no Frizz is Sydney Smooth Gel Tizz no Frizz.

Per the old threads on the Aussie combo, yesterday I applied 2 quarter sized blobs of sun touched followed by 2 quarters of the TnF. The STS gel has a really interesting consistency; its like partially melted jello. Smoothing the gel between my hands didn’t really do much to increase its spreadability. Nevertheless, I kept on and applied the TnF gel which has a consistency more akin to your usual gel. I got pretty good clumping that day but there was no hold to speak of and quite a bit of frizz.

Today, I washed with Wen, poured a 2 oz sample sized bottle of oyin juice and berries over my hair and quickly rinsed it out. 2 half dollars of JCRR and CCSS were then applied followed by the same amounts of the Aussie gels listed above. I followed the mix with a dime’s worth of BRHG. The result is a good amount of clumping, crunch, and softness. However, what I don’t get is wave boosting and a good amount of frizz control. The odd thing about the Aussie gels is the weird foaming I get when mixing the two gels together. I do plan on playing a bit more with the Aussie combo; I figure with the amounts of gel I use, it won’t be very long until I’m done with the bottles.

I’ve been using the Vineyard Grape HT shea butter lotion sample and I’m quite impressed. It leaves my hands feeling silky soft and it retains moisture for a good amount of time. If plain old shea butter weren’t cheaper than purchasing this HT lotion, I definitely would pick it up. My only gripe about HT is that the ingredients aren’t posted online.


I received some generous samples from the owner of Hoity Toity, Jan, that included both shampoos, conditioner, body wash, a jojoba lotion spray, shea butter lotions, and her two gels.

Every single one of the scents smelled amazing. I received samples in cotton candy, papaya sunrise, red apple, vanilla mist, warm sugar cookie, watermelon, fresh strawberries, brown sugar vanilla, and vineyard grape – a lot for free samples!

Since I finally finished gvp pm extra body gel I decided to try the HT medium hold gel. Consistency-wise, it moves like a more liquidy version of KCCC. It’s clear with a barely detectable lemon scent. Ingreds: Distilled water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Sorbitol, Flaxseed, Xantham Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Wheat Protein, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol (Natural Source), Sorbic Acid (Natural Source) EDTA, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Urtica Dioica (Stinging Nettles) Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Acacia Concinna (Shikakai) Nut Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate (and/or) Citric Acid. Yup, wheat protein. The reason why I received such generous samples from Jan is because I couldn’t find an ingredients list on her website but the ingredients I did find from an NC.com post sounded pretty good. Jan thoughtfully sent me samples when I disclosed that I have a bit of protein sensitivity, wheat protein in particular. She felt that not all proteins are the same and that in combination with various ingredients, I may end up liking it. I figured it was worth a shot.

After washing with Wen and applying HSH pumpkin, I scrunched in about 2 1/2 half dollar blobs of the gel. It immediately dispersed itself in my hair much like MopTop acts. I didn’t notice any wave boosting or clumping after scrunching out the excess water with my flour sack towel.

I did my usual plop right out of the shower and followed up afterward with my Sedusa. I did notice that my hair didn’t feel weighed down like it does with more viscous gels like LA Looks or gvp pm. I diffused as usual and flipped upright to clip my roots. I definitely did notice more body, a little bit of wave boosting,  and was pleasantly surprised to feel a bit of crunch when taking a section of hair out of the Sedusa. Mop Top doesn’t impart as much crunch as this HT gel did.

Over the course of the afternoon which, incidentally, was a horrible day to experiment as it was drizzling on and off, my hair seemed to get frizzier and the waves loosened a bit. When I returned home from running errands, my hair looked like this:

Not too pretty….but not god awful either. There is a little semi-ringlet in there interspersed with straighter clumps and frizz. I do like how light the gel is however; it makes my hair really touchable and it feels soft. Also because it doesn’t have much of a fragrance, I was able to smell the yummyness of the HSH pumpkin leave in. I don’t think I have enough left in my sample to experiment a bit more, but I don’t think I’ll rule this out indefinitely.

On another note, I started a new pictures folder on my Fotki and decided to check out photos of my wavy transformation that I’ve uploaded. This photo is why I love KBB and wish I could just hurry and get through my stash so I can go all out on Karen’s site:

It’s a pretty noticeable difference between the HT gel picture above, no? My SO saw this photo after I made a stink about it to him and his response? “Well why do you keep experimenting then? Why not just buy that stuff that you used?” Ugh. I wish it were that easy.

While unpacking my boxes in the new house, I realized just how many hair items I have. I’m not kidding when I say that I filled up 4, yes, 4 boxes worth of hair products. And these weren’t shoe boxes – these were honest to goodness, I should be able to empty 1/4 of my closet into this box, boxes. Yeah, good times. During the unpacking, however, I stumbled across some Jessicurl CCSS and RR samples that I had purchased a while back. It’s been a while since I’ve used a product with mag sulfate in it so I’ve spent the last week or so noting why my hair didn’t seem to get along well with JC styling items.

The first 3 days with Jessicurl and I was wondering why I quit using them. My waves were boosted, soft, and somewhat frizz-free with the addition of some Mop Top (I love this!) gel. The fourth time around with CCSS and RR and I remembered why; my hair was frizzy and dry. I could say that Jessicurl stylers would fall under the ‘products in a pinch category’ but the fact that I can use them only every so often combined with it being a natural product and therefore susceptible to spoiling wouldn’t make much financial sense.

In the not too distant past, I read in the NC.com forums that HE reformulated some of their conditioners without ‘cones. Rather than spend an albeit small amount on a new cone-less bottle of HH, I picked up two oh-so-convenient sample bottles of the conditioner from the Target sample aisle.

While HH definitely doesn’t have cyclopentasiloxane, it does have bis-aminopropyl dimethicone. A cone but not as evil as the -xane. I’ve had experience with this cone before as its one of the ingredients in Aussie’s Catch the Wave conditioner. According to this article by the CurlyChemist, Tonya McKay, this silicone does require removal via a sulfate or cocamidopropyl betaine at the very least. I did like how silky my hair felt with HH and Catch the Wave, and considering I do low poo every so often in a month, these conditioners don’t seem all that evil. However, given that my hair does prefer conditioners with more natural ingredients, I may not repurchase either one.

Today I cleansed with Wen, applied 2 pumps of HSH pumpkin potion, and finished off my bottle of GVP PM extra body with 2 1/2 quarter sized blobs. I used the scrunch and pump method I ever so conveniently forgot about and the result was nice clumping, wave boosting and a good amount of volume at the crown. However, by the end of the day, the GVP pm gel reminded me why I won’t be repurchasing it unless in dire need; there was ever increasing frizz and the hold gradually diminished. Boo.

Consists of a wash with 8 pumps of Wen sweet almond mint cleanser followed by 2 pumps of my new love, hsh pumpkin potion leave in, and my gel mix du jour: 2 quarters of mop top anti frizz mixed with a 2 nickels of gvp pm extra body sculpting gel. The result after scrunching in the gel was RIDICULOUS clumpage! Unfortunately, the weight of my hair in the big clumps actually stretched them out so they’re now elongated, clumpy waves. Not bad, but I did prefer the boosting I saw after diffusing with my Sedusa (medium heat, medium fan setting) earlier today. It’s about 9 hours after doing my hair and it’s a bit frizzier than I’d like it to be and somewhat dull.

I was a bit skeptical of the whole Wen cleansing system initially but I have to admit I’m pretty surprised. Sure, it’s essentially just cowashing but there’s something different about it. My hair doesn’t feel oily at the roots like it did when I was just cowashing and conditioning the length (straight CG) and while it does have the dreaded wheat protein, my hair isn’t rebelling like it did when I used CJ coffee coco creme as the only protein containing item in my current hair styling arsenal. It’s only the 2nd day of use, so we shall see how it holds up over time. I don’t plan on following the instructions and using massive amounts of this conditioner no matter how thick or long my hair is. 8 pumps suits me just fine. I’m a sucker for the minty scent and it gives a good amount of slip that lasts after rinsing it out.

As for mop top, I definitely think this is a keeper not only as a curl booster but for days when I’d prefer a lighter hold and for mixing into really thick, goopy gels. Mixed with the gvp pm gel, mop top turned it into a more spreadable, mucous-like gel somewhat reminiscent of KCCC. I’ll tweak with the gvp pm:mop top ratios to find what works best.