Styling products help

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  • 1 Post By SpiralHam

I'm still looking for my HG styling products and would be very grateful for some help/advice. My details are in my sig, and when I say low density I mean LOW density. All my hair in a pony tail is about the size of my finger. I'm growing out a too short cut (1 year ago), it's about chin length now with long layers. I've been getting it trimmed/shaped at a salon recommended on this site. It's still too short to plop, the sides get all wonky. I use a microfiber towel to blot/lightly scrunch it after applying product, then root clip and let air dry till almost dry, then diffuse. I live in southern AZ where it's over 100 now and dry all year. I can't leave condish in, everything weighs my hair down.

Products I've tried:
FSG: hair looked dark, greasy, and limp
Okra gel: same as FSG
Garnier Fructis Curl Shaping Spray gel: crunchy stringy ramen noodles
Eco Styler Krystal: dirty looking and way too heavy, even diluted with water
Aloe Vera Gel: same, too heavy even diluted
Deva Defining Gel: felt and looked dirty, producty, couldn't wait to wash it out.
Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets: makes nice curls, but not enough hold
Jessicurl Confident Coils: tried this over the Rockin Ringlets, but was too much when used together. Not enough hold by itself.
KCCC: too producty and heavy
AOMM: made hair limp, no hold
HETT: not bad hold but gave me thin ramen noodle curls
Suave Volumizing Mousse: great soft curls but no hold. Limp by noon
Deva Frizz Free Volumizing Foam: smells awful, made hair sticky
Moroccon Oil Curl Defining Mousse: did nothing at all, hair was flat and limp within a few hours
Clairol 3 in 1 Conditioning Mousse: nice curls, easy to SOTC, but not enough hold.

Gels are way too heavy for my hair. They pull out the curl and make it sticky or "producty." Mousses work better but I can't find one with enough hold to make it through the day. Currently I'm using the Clairol 3 in 1 with Jessicurl RR and my hair looks great, but it's usually flat on top with limp curls by afternoon.

I'm sorry this is so long, but I've tried SO MANY things and am really frustrated. I figured the more info I provide the more you smart gals can help me. Thanks for reading through to the end!
2B / fine / low density / normal porosity and elasticity
CG since 9/2013
Low Poo: TJTTT or YTCukes
RO: Sally's Cure Care or VO5 Kiwi Lime
No leave in
Clarify, PT and DT once or twice a month
Styler: Volumax Mega Gel
My hair loves protein, hates glycerin and oils
I love la looks wet look gel and sport gel. Both give great hold. The sport gel may weigh your hair down. But the wet look gel is my HG styler. Another go to styler of mine is the cantu curling custard.
Scratch the gel and try the cantu curling custard. But the wet look gel is pretty light though.
Hard hold gel, to be sure, and keep away from glycerin in southern AZ (I'm a former Wildcat, Bear Down!). I now reside in the upper midwest, where we have low dews all winter, so I feel you!

My hair isn't fond of PVP as an ingredient, but a lot of wavies swear by Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (Ulta).

The Volumax gels from Sally are another option; I've tried both of them now over FSG and by themselves. The Mega is an antihumectant and the Styling has propylene glycol (if the HETT mousse isn't giving you too much trouble humectant-wise, this might do well for you also). These gels are a little sticky and need wet hands to distribute well. But I tend to like the hold I get from either of these (for me the learning curve was a little steeper with the Mega as I get looser waves with it... I really like the Styling and Sally sells a sample size to try out). I think Volumax is on sale this month...

There are tons of threads on the above products!

You might try a couple different techniques with your products as well:

Use FSG under almost everything, it plays nicely and gets those curls hanging out together! You cannot use too much of that stuff. If you are using the dark seeds you can try the golden seeds and maybe the result will be lighter in your hair. Some wavies let FSG sit on their hair for a few minutes before adding additional product.

Instead of plopping, take your flat hands or a flour sack towel, and press your waves up against your head to accordion the curls. I'll even scrunch and pump with a towel to get those curls formed together. I think Chupie holds a clump against her head for several seconds in one of her videos - it's like a mini-plop.

Once you've got everything formed, consider pixie diffusing to set the curls on the ends, then clip up afterwards. Or clip before and pixie diffuse, see what works best for you. This way you lock the gel in place without waiting around while it's wet for it to dry (that would drag my curls out as well).

No touching... A hard hold gel will give you some super crunch but once you SOTC when dry, if you're lucky, the curls might just hang around for a bit.

My curly ends fall out a little throughout the day as well and I've come to expect it. Volumax Styling has given me the best all-day curls to date.

Good luck, it's so much trial and error.
naturecat likes this.
Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

collagen
humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

poos: Giovanni TTT, Suave Clarifying
condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, Volumax, GFPC


Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands
Interesting about letting FSG sit for a few mins on the hair. Hadn't heard that. My hair gets greased by everything, but I will try this.
To TrixieM: we sound like hair twins. I have the same problems. Do you have lo po hair? I think mine always was and henna made it even more so. My hair is like a prisoner at a maximum security facility.

One of the best things for me has been my own homemade gelatin hair gel. You can customize it to get the hold you want. For me, since my hair thrives on protein, it helps curls form and doesn't pull them out. On the down side, it does take longer to dry. But for me it is a HG. I suspect that it won't be as heavy as you've found other gels to be, because it's just one ingredient.
SpiralHam, thank you for all the good advice. I bought the Volumax Mega gel and tried it this morning. I used about a nickel sized amount, and even though I wet my hands it seemed really sticky as I was applying it. I squished in handfuls of water, probably diluted it too much. I diffused the ends as you suggested, then clipped the roots and finished diffusing it after it was almost dry. It looked really good, the curls were defined and I had more root lift than usual. This afternoon the curls still look better than they usually do by this time, but it's kind of limp and flat on the top. I think it's my fault for adding too much water (I've not had good experience with gels and panicked!). I will try again tomorrow and resist the urge to dilute it. I'll also try the other gels you suggested if I can't make this one work. I'm still not sold on the FSG, I did use the golden seeds and my hair just did not react well. And having to keep it refrigerated was a pain because of the layout of my house. Too many stairs to deal with first thing in the morning! And I travel a lot so that's an issue too.

naturecat, a hair twin! I didn't think anyone had hair like mine. It's so hard to find anything that works on such fine hair. I like the way you put it "my hair gets greased by everything." Perfect description! I do low poo, co-washing just did not work for me. Made my hair limp and almost straight, it gets overconditioned very easily. Do you know if there is anything similar to your homemade gelatin hair gel that I can buy? I have the refrigeration issue...and I'm lazy...
2B / fine / low density / normal porosity and elasticity
CG since 9/2013
Low Poo: TJTTT or YTCukes
RO: Sally's Cure Care or VO5 Kiwi Lime
No leave in
Clarify, PT and DT once or twice a month
Styler: Volumax Mega Gel
My hair loves protein, hates glycerin and oils
I'm not sure (about the gelatin gel). I'm not sure I've seen it for sale. However, one idea is to use a preservative. I don't know if that will work but you can try. Maybe you can keep yours in the fridge and take it out the night before you want to use it, and a preservative may help keep it from going bad overnight. Anything with water, even distilled water, has the tendency to go bad if not refrigerated. There are other products around your home you can use for gel but they all require water, so you'll run into the same issue. You can try sugar water hairspray (I kept mine refrigerated) but it made my hair greasy and if we're hair twins then….


I couldn't do CO washing either. I get over conditioned even from using a slight amount of conditioner when washing my hair. And my hair will turn limp and straight and greasy. I'm a wavy and my hair is baby fine and low porosity. Everything turns it to grease. My hair was especially lo po lately, and I discovered this was due to catnip rinse buildup. A clarifying no poo wash helped. People with our hair type def need to clarify more often. And use less product, I'm discovering. Otherwise my hair turns into greasy spaghetti. I'm going to look at the ingredients at the product you said worked; perhaps I can make it at home.
Hi TrixieM,

I'm glad you gave Volumax a try! There was a learning curve for me too, and still some days are better than others Keep trying different things - that stuff will last you forever. Hopefully it keeps working well for you.

I'm a little flat on top naturally, especially in the back where the waves don't really get going for a few inches. I figure that if I can end up with my hair not looking plastered to my head completely, I'm having a good day... Sometimes when I am pixie diffusing and have the diffuser smashed up against my head, I'll take the smooth end of a rat tail comb or something like it to slide against my scalp and "lift" sections away from my head to get the roots going a little. Then I'll clip it up while it air dries the rest of the way. I stink at clipping and need to try some new clips.

I was really resistant to gel when I first started taking better care of my hair, but mousses don't give me quite enough hold unless I use boat loads of it. The Volumax gives me the best of all worlds since I have big body hair and like it that way!

I still want to play with making the Volumax into a spray gel and distributing it that way, but haven't gotten around to trying it yet (lazy!).

No worries on the FSG - it isn't for everyone. But it sure is cheap!

I'm glad you're feeling better!
Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

collagen
humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

poos: Giovanni TTT, Suave Clarifying
condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, Volumax, GFPC


Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands
I'm in AZ (in Chandler) and my hair is also fine and normal porosity. I find a very, very small amount of a strong gel works well... It gives hold and control but doesn't weigh my hair down. BRHG is popular but I hated it. Volumax Mega is my favorite. I can use it year round because it's glycerin free.

In low dews I generally avoid glycerin and other humectants. The dews aren't really in the low range in the summer so it may not be an issue for you this time of year.

Since you like foams/mousses, I'd recommend the DermOrganic foam. It's really nice and lightweight but has decent hold. You could also try thin jelly-ish gels. CJ Pattern Pusha and Curls in a Bottle both work really well for me.

I also find that my hair does better if my products aren't applied to soaking wet hair (despite traditional CG advice). I scrunch water out with a microfiber or flour sack towel, scrunch in product, then scrunch again. I find that removing the water weight helps my waves not to get pulled out or limp.
2A/B. Mix of fine, medium, and coarse (mostly medium). Dense. Mix of normal and high porosity.
Dry climate.


naturecat, a hair twin! I didn't think anyone had hair like mine. It's so hard to find anything that works on such fine hair. I like the way you put it "my hair gets greased by everything." Perfect description! I do low poo, co-washing just did not work for me. Made my hair limp and almost straight, it gets overconditioned very easily. Do you know if there is anything similar to your homemade gelatin hair gel that I can buy? I have the refrigeration issue...and I'm lazy...
Originally Posted by TrixieM
I just got an idea from reading another thread. I don't know if this would work, but you could try freezing your homemade hair gels in an ice cube tray…. then the night before you want to use it, put it a cube bathroom and it would hopefully thaw and be ready for you to use the next morning. If it doesn't work with gelatin gel, it could work with other homemade gels.
I just love how helpful everyone is, I'm so happy with my hair today! That's a first for me. I've only had curly hair for a couple of years. I always had a slight wave, but after I went through "the change" my hair turned curly. I call them my "menopause curls" and decided to embrace them. Hormones do strange things. I'm still trying to figure this out, and all advice is appreciated.


I also find that my hair does better if my products aren't applied to soaking wet hair (despite traditional CG advice). I scrunch water out with a microfiber or flour sack towel, scrunch in product, then scrunch again. I find that removing the water weight helps my waves not to get pulled out or limp.
Originally Posted by kaykre
I never thought of that, the weight of all the water might be pulling the curls out. So yesterday I blotted a some of the water out and applied the Volumax Mega gel, then scrunched it a little bit with my microfiber towel, and I couldn't believe how curly my hair came out! Thanks for the great idea!

Hi TrixieM,

I was really resistant to gel when I first started taking better care of my hair, but mousses don't give me quite enough hold unless I use boat loads of it. The Volumax gives me the best of all worlds since I have big body hair and like it that way!
Originally Posted by SpiralHam
Me too, I never thought I would like gel, but I love the Volumax. Yesterday when I put it on damp (not soaking hair) I initially freaked out a little because it seemed so sticky but I didn't add more water like I did before, I figured I could rinse it out and start over if it didn't work. I diffused the ends like I did before, then clipped the roots and let it dry. It was really hard and stiff and I wasn't sure about it, but it scrunched out and I had nice soft curls. None of the other gels I've tried scrunched out like that.

We went to the local racetrack last night, it was 100 in the shade when we got there and only cooled down to about 90 3 hours later when we left. Not much of a breeze, it was hot and sweaty. It was a great test to see how the gel held up. When I got home I was SO impressed! The curls weren't as tight and the top was kind of flat, but it still looked better than most mornings with mousse when I just finished fixing it. I think the Volumax might be my HG!

I just got an idea from reading another thread. I don't know if this would work, but you could try freezing your homemade hair gels in an ice cube tray…. then the night before you want to use it, put it a cube bathroom and it would hopefully thaw and be ready for you to use the next morning. If it doesn't work with gelatin gel, it could work with other homemade gels.
Originally Posted by naturecat
That's not a bad idea. I'm liking the Volumax gel, but if I decide to try the gelatin gel I'll try that. Thank you for all your suggestions!
2B / fine / low density / normal porosity and elasticity
CG since 9/2013
Low Poo: TJTTT or YTCukes
RO: Sally's Cure Care or VO5 Kiwi Lime
No leave in
Clarify, PT and DT once or twice a month
Styler: Volumax Mega Gel
My hair loves protein, hates glycerin and oils

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