Gels, Jellies, curl creams, serums..whats the deal?

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Hi all,
I'm extremely new to CG and now that I've finally figured out (got the analysis) my hair properties (Med, Normal Porosity, normal elasticity), I'm trying to figure out what the deal is with all these gels and creams and serums. My hair is pretty dry and damaged so I am trying to get moisture back into it and wondering if thats why the back is so frizzy. My hair is thick and more curly underneath, the top canopy layer has a very weak curl (maybe from the BBO's), but when i think back to when i was a child, that top layer was never really curly, just a frizzy mess that laid over the beautiful curls underneath.

My search for a good product to keep frizz at bay and maybe enhance that canopy layer to curl is on. I've come across so many threads now and I am pretty confused. Gels, jellies, creams, serums..what are all of these? Which product does what? What order are they applied in? Does anyone here just wash/cowash, condition and RO, use a leave in and apply ONE product? Am I asking for a miracle haha? I really am trying to embrace this CG method and might be able to if I actually understood what products are used for what purpose.

My current routine is wash with Mop C hydrating (1-2x a week), GVP Conditioning balm(which is arriving this week), CJ Rehab for DT, KCKT as leave in and the KCCC for product. I dont know if i need to add something to the KCCC for frizz control and if so when do i apply it? Or should I go with another prodcut like recoil or living proof or ??? Sorry to be rambling on, but I really am just trying to learn and have spent countless weeks on here trying to figure it all out. I dont think my hair likes protein (at least not wheat..devacurl line) so I am staying away from protein for now until I order CJ Repair for a protein tx.

Any suggestions or guidance would be much appreciated. Some of the ladies on here offered some help in the protein sensitive section which I'm so thankful for but I needed just a bit more info.

Thank you in advance
I'm in the same boat!! Hopefully someone will answer soon!!!
I started my CG journey in February. So, I understand how confusing it can be. I still don't have this down yet either. If your hair is very damaged, then I would recommend a deep conditioning treatment.

When I found out about this curly girl method and learned about ingredients, I stopped using a lot of my products because of silicones and harsh chemicals and I stopped using shampoo.

Since my hair lies protein and moisture I try to use products that have both. From my understanding, protein helps with damage and help to strengthen hair.

My routine goes a little something like this:
Co-wash with VO5 or Sauve Naturals; RO with Renpure Organics (red and green bottles, these both contain a silicone that's slightly water soluble, I think, I don't use these that often so I'm not worried about build up), Tresemme Naturals, BioInfusion conditioning balm (from Walgreens), and Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition; LI depends on what products I want to use but normally I use Tresemme Naturals. I also have Kinky Curly Knot Today I use as a leave in sometimes. I have tried Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment as a leave in and a DT. For me, I think it did better as a DT and was slightly too heavey as a LI.

Once I put my LI in, I normally use a cream for frizz/moisture. I've also tried sealing with jojoba oil, but I don't think I have the hang of it yet. I'm currently fond of Shea Moisture Smoothie and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Milk. I also have Devacurl Styling Cream.

After I cream, I gel. This gives my hair hold, and depending on the cream I will use a mousse instead of a gel. My gels include: Giovanni Thickening Gel, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Mixed Silk Curling Gel, Herbel Essence Totally Twisted, L.A. Looks Sports Gel, Devacurl B'Leave In, Aussie Instant Freeze, Curls Goddess Curls, and Biotera Styling Gel Firm Hold . My Mousse includes: Herbel Essence Tousle Me Softly, and One n' Only Argan Oil Volume mousse.

After my LI, cream, and gel or mousse, I scrunch out or "plop" with a microfiber towel until my hair is no longer dripping wet. I add Shea Moisture Thickening Spray to my crown and then I diffuse for few minutes (when I have time I will use the pixie method) and then I will air dry the rest of the way.

Other products I have (and am still experimenting with) for 2nd day hair include: Shea Moisture Hold and Shine Spray, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Milk, Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz, Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner, Devacurl Mist-er Right, and Curls Lavish Curls.

I know this is a lot, but I hope this helps.
CG as of Feb. 2012
combination hair.
2c on top - low elasticity
3a&b scattered underneath - normal elasticity.
fine texture. thin density. A lot of it.
porosity: normal to high.
loves protein and moisture.
BSACV as needed.

products may vary. i'm a PJ.
loving Curl Junkie, Curly Kinks, and AS I Am.
It all gets easier as you go on. You may want to invest in something like the e-book that's available on Struttwife's website (a poster on nc.com who is a curly hair specialist in Florida.) Here's a link: Live Curly Live Free - Home There's no information you can't find here, it's just all in one place.

Many products are interchangeable, so you can use some products for various steps in your routine. It's up to you. Many of us rotate products because our hair satiates on products when we use them too frequently. I wet, use a rinse out and style every day. Seldom use any product more then once every five days.

Dew points are also important. It's how much moisture is in the air. It's something for you to read about when you have the time. 40-60 is normal. You need to adjust what you do in really high and really low dew points. For me, I use less layers for styling when they're high. Low dew point, leave in AND curl enhancer followed by a jelly product. High dew point, leave in OR curl enhancer followed by a jelly product.

Order of products: leave in, curl enhancer, jelly (and some follow with a hard hold gel and/serum)

People who manufacture products can call them anything they want. Some call products with the mild sulfactant Cocamidopropyl Betaine a low poo, some call it a cleansing conditioner. There are curl enhancers that are called cremes, creams, puddings, jellies, etc. They all moisturize the curls and provide curl enhancement. Then there is jelly, gelly and plain gel. To me, the difference between a jelly and a gel is that a jelly doesn't have them chemicals (polyquats, etc.) Serums are to reduce frizz.

Two comments that I would make are that KCKT and the conditioning balm aren't moisturizing enough for my hair and don't judge protein by Deva. You may need more moisture then those products are providing. Many of us start with Deva, think we may have liked it--and move on. My salon carries the Deva products. I stopped letting them use the NoPoo on me when they changed the ingredients a few years ago--it was too drying. I bring my own products.

If you need protein, try IAGirls PT, CJ Repair Me or Daily Fix, or the SS Protein Repair. The two manufactured ones are moisturizing as well. Most don't DT when they are done.
Tracey4444 and theresa.bedf like this.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I don't have these hair properties (mine is similar, but fine instead of medium texture), but I think asianrunner has the same hair properties if I'm not mistaken, so see if you can find any of her posts and look at her signature for potential products. Hope that helps.
2b, fine texture, normal porosity & elasticity (CG as of 12/2011)

Low-poo: UFD Rich & Funky
Cowash: VO5 Kiwi Lime
RO: Tresemme Naturals, Aubrey Organics GPB, Ion Effective Care, MillCreek Keratin
PT/DT: IAgirl's PT, GVP CB
LI: KCKT, Cure Care, CJ CCCC Lite
Styling: Curl Keeper, As I Am Jelly, UFD Curly Magic, CJ Curl Queen, TIGI Strong Hold Mousse


http://public.fotki.com/kdawn12/


^^ day 1 of going CG; avatar = 6 months later
Thanks again ladies, I love the support. Kathy- thank you yet again for all the so helpful info.

So I guess i need to do the following:
Find a cowash that is protein free and more moisturizing
Find a leave in that is protein free and more moisturizing
Find a curl enhancer (Im guessing I just look for a product that states curl enhancer in its title)
Find a jelly or gel for hold
and Find a serum for frizz
Do i apply the serum after all those products when hair is still wet or do i wait until its dry?

Oh I can't wait until I can get some sort of routine down. and i also cant wait for my hair to stop being a frizzy mess. i am determined to get this sorted before the weather changes and then I have to battle the high dews... thanks Kathy for your info on routine in the high dews.
I think i will take a look at the book on live curly.

Much appreciated all
You may not need that many layers. It could be way too much product for your hair. Most people don't use serums. It's all a lot of trial and error.

Actually, curl enhancers are rarely called "curl enhancers," as I said in the post above. They are called creams/cremes, puddings and custards, some form of the word jelly, smoothie, milk or milkshake, and many other food related items. You can also use conditioners as your curl enhancer.

Most of this process is trial and error. The best way to start is to determine your hair properties and then look for folks with hair like yours and see what they use (often in signatures) it's the best place to start.

How and when you apply products all depends on how your hair reacts. Many of us can't touch our hair once it is styled, others can add product as it's drying. That, too, is a lot of trial and error.

For me, it was all a learning experience that I enjoyed 100%.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I don't have these hair properties (mine is similar, but fine instead of medium texture), but I think asianrunner has the same hair properties if I'm not mistaken, so see if you can find any of her posts and look at her signature for potential products. Hope that helps.
Originally Posted by kimmidawn
haha you caught me!

curlyred, unless you're wanting to spend lots of $$$ trying out products, I would suggest on focusing on a couple things right now. Cowash, curl enhancer and gel. Many like V05, Suave Naturals and Tresemme Naturals since they're on the lighter side and cheap. But many (including myself) don't like to cowash and either low poo or water wash.

KCCC is hit or miss with many so I would find another one in case you don't like. I never really found drugstore curl enhancers (all called creams, jellies, puddings, etc) to work for me and love the higher end ones. kathymack sells lots of samples which is how I found out many of my fav products. Check out my sig! I can make more suggestions as well.

Gel. It's very important for weaker wave patterns. I think you're more curly but still important to keep your hair looking good! Protein free versions include: Aussie Instant Free, Herbal Essences Set Me Up and Totally Twisted and maybe Garnier Fructis Pure Clean(not sure about the last one).

To sum up, all you really need is cleanser (cowash or low poo), conditioner and gel. But that wouldn't be any fun, right?
Tracey4444 likes this.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Repair Me, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC, UFD Curly Magic
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

@Kathy- thanks.. and you must have ALOT of patience for the whole trial & error process ha. How do I contact you for samples? I have no idea how to message anyone on here
@asianrunner, thanks for the info and you're funny.. i'll have to check what the mop c hydrating poo is that i used (only once so far), i think its low poo but then again, im still learning. I am trying to figure out what some of the products you listed in your sig are.. I found a few lists with abbreviations but didnt see those on it

you are all so helpful. I can't wait until I can actually figure this out and be able to help people as well
Right now I am using Kinky Curly Knot Today as cowash and leave in. I put two fingers of KCCC in my hair, plop for about 5 min, scrunch my hair very well with a pea sized amount of KCCC, plop for about 10-15 minutes then I am done. I clip and air dry or diffuse depending on what time it is.
CurlyFireHorse
Hair: 2a or 3a (not sure), very porous and fine as frog hair
Day 1: Cowash and condition with AO GPB, ACV Rinse,
Co-Kra gel (this stuff is fantastic)

Day 2: KCKT, KCCC, plop, KCCC, plop again, air dry
Day 3: Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Coil Jam
Day 4: IAGirl's PT, KBB DT, FSG

Co-Kra gel is my own concoction of okra boiled in coconut milk. It is a cross between FSG and KCCC and leaves my hair very soft and shiny
Where did you do your hair analysis I would like to get mine done too, so maybe that can help me out alot thanks

Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using CurlTalk App
The Mop C is a low poo. I used to use that all the time!

Here is a link to kathymack's samples:
Public Home | Kathymack | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy.

Once you figure out what you want, click on her name in this post and click on send a private message. Give her your list and your zip code so she can figure out cost (pretty cheap, really) and you'll paypal her the money. Easy peasy!

Here are some abbreviation clarifications:
low-poo: Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream, Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo
rinse out: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed, Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing

jellies: Uncle Funky's Daughter's Curly Magic, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets, Darcy's Botanicals Coiling Jelly
gels: Aussie Instant Freeze, Curl Junkie Curl Queen, Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha, Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Repair Me, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC, UFD Curly Magic
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

I also have the same hair properties as you, Curlyredhead!!! I've been CG for about a year, have tried lots of products, and I'm still trying to figure out what my hair does/doesn't like! I know with my hair, I need to use something that coats my hair from root to end....if not, it's out of control. I'm currently experimenting with cheap gels but most do not have the amount of hold that I need. I did try LALSG (eventhough it had protein)...and although my hair felt like straw, it was the best hair day I'd had in awhile. Go figure. Now I'm on the search for something with similar hold without the protein. I love how my hair feels when I use HE SMU, but my curls don't last all day.
But....if you get my drift, it takes A LOT of trial and error for most of us!
3 a/b Medium texture/Normal porosity/Normal elasticity
Products I'm currently using:
Lo-Poo: KC Come Clean (1 x week)
Co-wash/RO: Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine
Stylers: UFD CM + BRHG

Hair dislikes: lots of protein, glycerin
Bonita, I love the HESMU & HETT, but like you said, no lasting hold. I can't do protein either but got the LALS to try but putting it off cuz I'm nervous. I was just gonna mention that there are alot people really liking the Aussie Instant Freeze gel, that Asian mentions and so I will probably try that next before the LALS protein.
Bonita, I love the HESMU & HETT, but like you said, no lasting hold. I can't do protein either but got the LALS to try but putting it off cuz I'm nervous. I was just gonna mention that there are alot people really liking the Aussie Instant Freeze gel, that Asian mentions and so I will probably try that next before the LALS protein.
Originally Posted by Tracey4444

I used aussie instant freeze before CG. I was a huge fan of the wave mousse with conditioner, but it's not CG . But the gel works really good.
CG as of Feb. 2012
combination hair.
2c on top - low elasticity
3a&b scattered underneath - normal elasticity.
fine texture. thin density. A lot of it.
porosity: normal to high.
loves protein and moisture.
BSACV as needed.

products may vary. i'm a PJ.
loving Curl Junkie, Curly Kinks, and AS I Am.
So did you think the AIF gel was a hard enough hold then Beeduh?
I've tried AIF, just the other day, in fact. It does have more hold than HE, but it kind of made my hair tangle! I wasn't too impressed. But I was thinking about maybe trying some AIF on top of HE SMU...
3 a/b Medium texture/Normal porosity/Normal elasticity
Products I'm currently using:
Lo-Poo: KC Come Clean (1 x week)
Co-wash/RO: Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine
Stylers: UFD CM + BRHG

Hair dislikes: lots of protein, glycerin
I was also thinking of trying some brhg mixed in with the HE SMU....but I'm worried about the protein in it!
3 a/b Medium texture/Normal porosity/Normal elasticity
Products I'm currently using:
Lo-Poo: KC Come Clean (1 x week)
Co-wash/RO: Suave Naturals Everlasting Sunshine
Stylers: UFD CM + BRHG

Hair dislikes: lots of protein, glycerin
I you do try it, will you post the results? Still new & trying to find my thang...
I Have The Wickedest Wurly's Ever, Ugh!! 2c top/3a bottom
Until I get my hair analysis back, I think:
Texture: Medium
Porosity: Over porous
Elasticity: Normal
Density: Normal=ii
My quest: 20 minute showers and normal amounts of co!!!
CG since 2/26/12-Protein Hater
Cowash: Suave Naturals (except coconut)
RO & LI: GV 50:50/Tresseme Naturals
Gel/mousse: HESMU & HETT
Tracey, from what I can remember of it when I used it it had pretty good hold. There were times we're I didn't even get crunchy. But that was also before I went CG. I haven't used it recently to be honest. I've been too busy trying out other gels that everyone has talked about. Today I'm sporting some LALSG over some SM curl milk.
CG as of Feb. 2012
combination hair.
2c on top - low elasticity
3a&b scattered underneath - normal elasticity.
fine texture. thin density. A lot of it.
porosity: normal to high.
loves protein and moisture.
BSACV as needed.

products may vary. i'm a PJ.
loving Curl Junkie, Curly Kinks, and AS I Am.

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