Affordable gel similar to HESMU?

Can anyone recommend a gel that is comparable to HESMU in hold but that won't dry out my hair? HESMU is the only gel that gives me that extra firm hold that I need for my hair. I have a very strong curl pattern; that's not the problem. My problem is the amount of volume I have so I need a product like HESMU which kind of "glues" my curls together and controls the volume. I always leave in a lot of conditioner but I still think my hair needs a break from HESMU.

I've tried using KCCC but the hold is just not enough for me. My hair is soft and feels moisturized but it is HUGE and it definitely does not control the volume. Is my best bet to use KCCC or something comparable and then layer HESMU over it? Or do I mix the the two together before I apply it to my hair?

Also, I can't really afford to buy really expensive products because of the amount of hair I have. Seriously, a large size bottle of conditioner lasts me only about 2 washes.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!!
You should try Eco Styler. Since you said you have a strong curl pattern you probably won't need the strongest one (Krystal). But that gel works and I found it didn't dry out my hair. Also check out Xtreme Wetline gel, very moisturizing. I believe these are both cheaper than the one you were using.
Hair: 3a, normal porosity and elasticity
My hair loves: Vatika and Bhringraj oils, adores henna.
My HGs: Bobeam's shampoo bars, CJAO, CJRM, Original Moxie's Hair Bling, Terressentials,

Let's hear it for beautiful curls!!!
Thanks Rusycurly.

I forgot to mention that I can't use protein at all on my hair so I can't use the Ecostyler gels and the Xtreme Wetline gel has cones in it which I don't use either. Thanks anyway
I'm a big fan of LALooks gels but I think they also have protein. Have you ever tried making your own FSG? It's cheap, very easy to make and you can control what goes into it. I like adding a little honey and glycerin.

Another thought - if the HESMU is drying to you, you may want to use a little extra leave in. I have found that I can tolerate some products that would normally dry me out if I balance it with some extra moisture.
3B, fine, normal to low porosity
Modified CG since June 2010
HGs: FSG, anything with glycerin, Tresemme Naturals conditioner, Curls Like Us cloths, satin pillowcases.
Mhen76,

Thank you for your advice. I've only tried making FSG once but the hold wasn't enough. I didn't add anything to it though. Would adding the honey give me a stronger hold, more similar to HESMU?

Thanks!
Mhen76,

Thank you for your advice. I've only tried making FSG once but the hold wasn't enough. I didn't add anything to it though. Would adding the honey give me a stronger hold, more similar to HESMU?

Thanks!
Originally Posted by Teresina
I tried honey in a hair gel...
It was a tangled mess!!

Garnier Pure Clean has some protein/cone free stylers. They have a strong hold cream for hold and moisture and an extra strong hold gel for hold. If you used both, you could have SUPER strong hold as well as some moisture
Routine
Weekly Shampoo: Kinky-Curly Come Clean + Coconut Oil
Co-wash/RO: Cure Care Skin & Hair Conditioner
LI: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Styler: Kinky-Curly Curling Custard

Techniques
  • combing to detangle and separate curls
  • scrunch 'n pump!
  • t-shirt turban
Hair coconut oil and protein
Hair silicones, sulfates, glycerin, synthetic ingredients

2c/C/ii/low porosity. Growing out!
*November- above chin
*January- at chin
*March- around collarbone
I've not had a problem adding honey to the FSG but, no, it's not nearly as strong a hold as SMU.

I haven't tried the Garnier Pure Clean as Unicyclist recommended but I've read good reviews on it. Cocktailing SMU with a more moisturizing styler may also give you the hold you want without drying you out.
3B, fine, normal to low porosity
Modified CG since June 2010
HGs: FSG, anything with glycerin, Tresemme Naturals conditioner, Curls Like Us cloths, satin pillowcases.
Also, I can't really afford to buy really expensive products because of the amount of hair I have. Seriously, a large size bottle of conditioner lasts me only about 2 washes.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!!
Originally Posted by Teresina
Hmm...that's a LOT of conditioner. Maybe it's too much moisture? I know that if you moisturize your skin with too much lotion or your lips with too much chap stick, it might fail to produce moisture on its own. That's happened to my friend's skin before and can probably happen to hair. You have to let your skin and hair product their own oils instead of having to rely on a foreign source.

But I don't know. Maybe the over-moisturizing thing doesn't even apply to hair That's just what I heard, haha.
Routine
Weekly Shampoo: Kinky-Curly Come Clean + Coconut Oil
Co-wash/RO: Cure Care Skin & Hair Conditioner
LI: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Styler: Kinky-Curly Curling Custard

Techniques
  • combing to detangle and separate curls
  • scrunch 'n pump!
  • t-shirt turban
Hair coconut oil and protein
Hair silicones, sulfates, glycerin, synthetic ingredients

2c/C/ii/low porosity. Growing out!
*November- above chin
*January- at chin
*March- around collarbone
Have you tried Aussie Instant freeze? I think it's pretty comparable to HESMU although I like AIF better. It's protein and glycerin free like HESMU if that matters to you.
3a/b, fine texture, low porosity, normal elasticity, mod-CG 7/11/11

Poo: KC Come Clean, SM Moisture Retention
CO: CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Renpure Argan Oil, YTCucumbers, Sevi Pumpkin
Style: AIF, HESMU, Biolage gelee, KCCC
LOOB for second day hair


Like BS/ACV rinses, limit protein/humectants.
Two washes??? How much hair do you have?!

AIF isn't a grabby gel like the HESMU (the SMU was way too sticky for my liking and gave me frizz) but has decent hold. I'd say it's like a medium-firm hold gel. I like it quite a bit!
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: CJ Beauticurls, CJ A&OO, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: Mop C, KCCC, SCE FSG
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

You can try LAL Power Spikes? I believe it's protein free - you'd have to double check on that, tho.

It's very hard holding. The scent is a little bit ... Manly? But I find my other products and condish scents tend to mask that.
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing
Unicyclist - Thanks for the info. on the Pure Clean. I'm going to have to check those out.

Cuban-curl-E - No, I've never tried the Aussie gel. That's another I need to try.

Asianrunner - Yup, I have a lot of hair. I'm bad about taking photos but think Diana Ross or Chaka Khan - that's how much hair I have.

Jas76 - Unfortunately the LAL Power Spikes has protein in it. Thanks anyway

mhen76 - I might just pass on the honey. I was looking through some of the posts and I think I'm going to try mixing some HESMU to some FSG. I think I read that someone used 3 parts FSG to 1 part HESMU.

Thanks for all the advice and options everyone!!
This isn't a cheaper option as far as the product itself, but if you find mixing FSG and HESMU isn't enough hold, you can try mixing BRHG with it instead. It's similar to SMU, but even stronger hold. I got mine for $12 - a lot pricier, yes, but I'd you mix that with something else, it'll go a long way. I use a dime size mixed with other gels or FSG, and I have long, dense, absorbent hair!

Try the HESMU first, of course, but you might give that one a try, if it doesn't give you the results you want.

GL!
2c/3a/3b, Fine/med, Dense, high porous, & normal elas.

Lo-poo - Renpure Keratin, SMR, Giovanni SaS
clarifying - mix Johnson's H2T with low poo
Co-wash - Suave Nats. clar. or coco.
RO - GVPCB, Ion Eff. Care, TN.
LI - SMR, Cure Care, or RO
Seal - MO or Jojoba
DT - + honey, ACV, & EVOO to SM masque & GVPCB
PT - Gelatin!, CNPF
Styling - FSG, AIF, BRHG, LALS/PS, GF curl spray gel, SM Souffle/Smoothie, LOOB
Oils - MO!, EVOO, jojoba, GSO, SM Elixer, EVCO, VO5 Hairdressing

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