WHY Oh WHY did I dye my hair?!
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Join Date: Nov 2011
There are a few threads on budget-friendly CG products. Here are a few ideas that might work for you.
Gelatin PT- my hair lies lots of protein so I make mine with 3-4 packets of gelatin in 1/2 cup of water with a bit of coconut oil (about the only time my hair tolerates coconut oil), honey, Epsom salt, Neutral Protein Filler and ION Effective Care (this is also a great budget-friendly RO with a decent hit of protein).
Cleansers- my favorite is VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Conditioner for co-washing. Suave products tend to leave my roots gunky. For low-poo, I really like the Renpure Keratin or Argan Oil Shampoos- I found them to be more on the gentle side than most of the low-poos I've used. Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo is also very gentle, but a bit more expensive. Besides the As I Am line, I've also seen Eden BodyWorks in Sally's and their co-wash has more or a protein punch than As I Am.
Conditioners- I mentioned ION Effective Care before, and that's probably the cheapest high protein conditioner that I've found. Another great conditioner at Sally's is their GVP Conditioning Balm, which can be easily doctored into a deep conditioning treatment by adding a bit of oil (coconut, avocado, etc)
Styling products- Also a great selection at Sally's: Biotera Gel, GVP Liquid Sculpting Gel (high protein, glycerin-free and smells like raspberry Jello), Volumax Styling Gel or Mega Gel
I'm going to also suggest possibly trying a somewhat controversial ingredient, but I've found that it works well for me, and I've seen several fine-haired, higher porosity ladies rave about it- sealing with a few drops of mineral oil (I just use regular Johnson's Baby Oil). Apply sparingly to sopping wet hair after LI. I've had no issues with weigh down or build up, even with co-washing, but it's an ingredient that not everyone can use.
Modified CG since 11/5/11
VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel