Actually, that wasn't me who suggested you not use gel. Sorry if I wasn't more clear, but I was actually advocating you just using co-wash if you can, sulfate-free shampoo if you cannot, conditioner and a gel. I just recommended that you might want to try one product line until you narrowed down what the underlying problem with your hair is, because no matter what you do with it, if there is a problem with your hair before you put gel in it, the gel isn't going to work properly. Honestly, I wouldn't go without some styling product, even while I was trying to fix whatever what wrong with my hair. Going without gel is simply not an option for me, so I wouldn't tell anybody to nix it either.

I doubt you have any more build-up issues. You've done 2 washes, a baking soda wash and an AVC rinse. If you have build up after doing that, it's going to take a chisel to get it off your hair. Trust me, the chances of you having build-up after those treatments are slim to none. Try a few more days with the moisture and see if your hair keeps improving. I sincerely hope it does, because it means you're on the right track! Keep in mind, though, that having overconditioned hair doesn't necessarily mean super-soft fly away hair. With some people, overconditioned hair manifests as hard, rough hair.

Keep doing what you're doing and see if your hair continues to act positively. If it does, then you're golden. If it returns to a rough state, give it a short (5-10 minute) protein try and see how it acts. The nice thing about protein is that if your hair hates it, you can do a DT or two and it fixes easily.

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This area is under construction as my hair type changed and nothing works well for me. I shampoo, I condition and pretty much have done nothing but chuck my hair in a messy bun for the past oh...year? Yeah, I'm that lazy.

No...going no-poo or CG does not work for me. It leaves me overconditioned and oily in a second no matter what I use, so that's not what's not working.