Can't seem to use store bought gels anymore!??

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Hi everyone!

(Background) Last fall I cut out silicones and sulfates. I also started make my own flaxseed gel with agave and lavender essential oil. I still use Jessicurl cleansing cream (every couple of days) followed by Giovanni 50/50 conditioner, sometimes followed by KCKT and always a few drops of grape seed oil to seal.

After a month my hair started to look normal again. But I kept trying to find another option for low dew points (not to mention high dew points). Unfortunately, any other option that is supposed to give more hold to FSG didn't give me the hold I wanted (xanthan gum, gum arabic,etc), and it certainly didn't compare to FSG with agave for hold. So I stuck to my original recipe.

But throughout this I keep trying different things because I like to have options haha. Now, anything like BRHG or LALSG or HESMU or AIF and even KCCC have hold that starts out ok and then the hold just disappears and my hair gets dry and frizzy.

I feel like I can't use regular gels anymore, like they don't hold and they definitely make my hair feel so dry now, and they never used to! But I'm afraid to continue my FSG with humectants in such low dews, and even in high dews when the weather changes. What's going on?? Any ideas?

I'm 3a/b, I think most likely normal to highly porous, very thick hair, and my hair is more medium in texture. I diffuse, and I just did the sciencey hair blog homemade protein treatment. Previous to that I hadn't had much if any protein for a while. I think protein tends to dry out my hair if I use it too much.

TIA!
When I add grapeseed oil to my fine hair, it wrecks any hold that I've gotten out of my gel previously - no kidding.

Try taking out the grapeseed step and see how it goes. You can also try a batch of FSG without agave but with the harder hold gel over it.
Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

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

poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, 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
Do you know that your hair doesn't do well with humectants in low dews? Because not everyone has problems with humectants in low or high dews. For example, I don't see any issues unless the dews drop below about -5F. And that was with Curl Keeper which is loaded with glycerin.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: CJ Daily Fix, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: SS Caitlin's Conditioner, CJ Beauticurls Strengthening
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier,Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
Hi! Thanks so much for responding!

You know, frankly I haven't noticed a big problem using my FSG with honey or agave in my current weather, and we have extremely low dews in our winters (temperature being -30 Celsius). Buuuuutt.... I haven't used it in high dews (planning a tropical vacay so I'm nervous for that- last year on vacation I used BRHG and it was fine but that product was still working for me then, and I was using silicone serums and sulfate shampoos).

Ultimately I would like options... not only because I don't know how my routine will work in high dews yet, but because I also don't use preservatives in my FSG (I haven't gotten that far yet lol), and I'm not sure how well that will work out while travelling.

I am nervous to take out the oil because I want to seal my porous hair. And honestly I did try plain FSG with hard hold gel over top but my hair got so dry and didn't last.

....I've also wanted to try the SS FHG but I can't order it here in Canada.
both kccc and lalsg have glycerin which can dry your hair out in low dew points. i don't know about the other products as i never tried them.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
Have you tried the Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets? It's a Flax Seed gel that I just tried and have totally fallen in love! It makes my hair feel so soft and amazing too. You can get a free sample on her website, all you have to pay is shipping. I wouldn't stress about higher dews, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Worst thing you can do is put it up if you have long hair, or style it cute with clips or headbands if you have short hair
2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density

NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever Conditioner/ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, JC Too Shea, Aussie Moist
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
STYLER: Ouidad Climate Control, KCCC, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, JC Rockin' Ringlets
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquats, parabens
You know, I have tried it. It was ok for me but didn't hold my hair as much as I needed. As well, I feel like I have to use so much of a product to make my hair controlled. My hair seems to suck up product so much. It's crazy!

And yes you're right... I Can always cross that bridge when I come to it haha. I just like being prepared lol ☺️
I've found that I have much better hold which lasts with Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets Styling Potion when I mix it with her Spiralicious Styling Gel. Before she came out with Spiralicious, I was mixing it with Confident Coils Styling Solution, and that helped, but not as much as Spiralicious does.
sixelamy and naturecat like this.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
I know, I don't blame you. It's easy for me to say, but I secretly worry about it too

Have you tried one of your store bought gels over your flax seed gel? I agree, the Jessicurl stuff isn't fantastic at hold, but it was more hold than I had previously been using. I use Aussie Instant Freeze over it and my hair still feels fantastic. I don't know if having a barrier between a gel and the FSG would help not dry your hair out?
2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density

NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever Conditioner/ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, JC Too Shea, Aussie Moist
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
STYLER: Ouidad Climate Control, KCCC, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, JC Rockin' Ringlets
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquats, parabens
You know, I'm trying a few different combos right now and nothing's totally amazing. I'm still trying stuff and experimenting with technique as well. I just dont get why my hair won't tolerate certain ingredients anymore lol!
One more very related question... Why would firm hold gels stop holding my hair anymore? BRHG used to hold my hair rock hard and I would SOTC but now I can't even get any crunch to scrunch! That's what I don't get. I thought my hair being in better condition would make me need less gel but now I feel like I need more than ever and even that isn't controlling my curls. What gives! I didn't think my hair was over conditioned at all.... It's been happening slowly and now any gel marketed as firm hold is like nothing.
You know what... I've used Aussie Instant Freeze for a couple of weeks and it's just not working for me anymore. I couldn't get a crunch with anything, so I tried a gel again. The first time I used it, it was amazing, now it's just giving me absolutely no hold. I'm in it with you - I hate gels! I still love my jelly products though. I'm finding the JC RR is the only thing giving me any sort of hold right now, but only when I "prime" it. I get hold over KCCC. But the KCCC stopped giving me hold when I moved. Don't know if it was the change in water or what. It's really starting to confuse me.
2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density

NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever Conditioner/ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, JC Too Shea, Aussie Moist
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
STYLER: Ouidad Climate Control, KCCC, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, JC Rockin' Ringlets
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquats, parabens
I know I've heard the theory discussed by other curlies that hair seems to get tired of products and some people use something different every day because of that.


Low-poo: Looking for a new one.
Condish: V05 Tea Therapy, Body Shop Banana
Leave in: Giovanni Direct Leave In
PT: My hair needs very little. I use Suave Naturals Coconut when I need a little bit and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
Styler: Giovanni LA

Go Red Wings!


I'm one of those product rotators. Although I wet and style every day, I seldom use any styler more then once a week.

There are a few threads on this gel Knotty Boy Gel - a summer HG for me. This is the one I remember. My hair really doesn't need hold and didn't like BRHG because of all of the chemicals. This one is all natural. Not sure why it gives hold. When the dewpoints are outrageously high, I sometimes add a minute amount to my jelly product.

Here are the ingredients for the Knotty Boy:

100% Pure Aloe Vera, Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lime Essential Oil
sixelamy and naturecat like this.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
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, Aloe Fix
You know what... I've used Aussie Instant Freeze for a couple of weeks and it's just not working for me anymore. I couldn't get a crunch with anything, so I tried a gel again. The first time I used it, it was amazing, now it's just giving me absolutely no hold. I'm in it with you - I hate gels! I still love my jelly products though. I'm finding the JC RR is the only thing giving me any sort of hold right now, but only when I "prime" it. I get hold over KCCC. But the KCCC stopped giving me hold when I moved. Don't know if it was the change in water or what. It's really starting to confuse me.
Originally Posted by sixelamy
Super confusing! I totally agree. I would love to understand why that happens. It now seems like honey in my FSG is the only thing that holds my hair longer than a few hours... I'd love to use and rotate products- I'd totally do that if I found more than one thing that actually worked great. I don't recall having this problem when I still used sulfates and cones lol.

The other thing is, I diffuse regularly. My hair takes so long to dry that I can't have wet hair all day. In addition, our weather is -25 Celsius right now and it's so dry and cold. I have diffused for years and years... And now diffusing just seems to "melt" the hold from my hair. It's so frustrating. No matter whether my hair likes gel.... It needs control and hold.
I'm one of those product rotators. Although I wet and style every day, I seldom use any styler more then once a week.

There are a few threads on this gel Knotty Boy Gel - a summer HG for me. This is the one I remember. My hair really doesn't need hold and didn't like BRHG because of all of the chemicals. This one is all natural. Not sure why it gives hold. When the dewpoints are outrageously high, I sometimes add a minute amount to my jelly product.

Here are the ingredients for the Knotty Boy:

100% Pure Aloe Vera, Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lime Essential Oil
Originally Posted by kathymack
Interesting. yeah I wonder what exactly in that gel holds curls. I'm always willing to try, though!

I would love to find a few things to rotate. That's my goal Haha! It's funny that my hair used to respond so well to these firm hold gels and now, nada.

Thx for the suggestion!
Yeah even though I suggested rotating products, I have yet to find enough that work for me to actually do that. So I feel you guys on that one!
Curls80 likes this.


Low-poo: Looking for a new one.
Condish: V05 Tea Therapy, Body Shop Banana
Leave in: Giovanni Direct Leave In
PT: My hair needs very little. I use Suave Naturals Coconut when I need a little bit and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
Styler: Giovanni LA

Go Red Wings!


Here are the ingredients for the Knotty Boy:

100% Pure Aloe Vera, Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lime Essential Oil
Originally Posted by kathymack
This looks lovely!!! And aloe is like my hair's best friend. I may have to look into this!


The other thing is, I diffuse regularly. My hair takes so long to dry that I can't have wet hair all day. In addition, our weather is -25 Celsius right now and it's so dry and cold. I have diffused for years and years... And now diffusing just seems to "melt" the hold from my hair. It's so frustrating. No matter whether my hair likes gel.... It needs control and hold.
Originally Posted by Curls80
I diffuse too, I think that's half my problem. I guess that's why applying more jelly while my hair is half dry helps. Replenish the already scrunched out portion. When I air dry, I get crunch.. but then the top of my hair is fllllaaatttt!
Curls80 likes this.
2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density

NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever Conditioner/ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, JC Too Shea, Aussie Moist
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
STYLER: Ouidad Climate Control, KCCC, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, JC Rockin' Ringlets
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquats, parabens
Yes! Exactly. I love volume!! I've never tried clips to help with root volume while air dying, but I don't like to wait several hours for soaking wet hair to dry.

What exactly is your routine?
I'm horrible at clipping, I always induce frizz, because they caught. I wish I could master it.

Lately I've been applying conditioner to soaking wet hair scrunching upside down, microfiber towel scrunching upside down and right side up, applying a jelly (now I'm using KCCC) by scrunching it in upside down, then applying another jelly (JC RR) right side up to get any spots I missed on top. Then diffuse upside down and right side up til half dry and apply more jelly (JC RR) upside down scrunching, and then diffuse to as dry as I can get it before I get tired of it or have to leave.

Run on sentences, hope it makes sense, I always get lost when I read routines.
2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density

NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever Conditioner/ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, JC Too Shea, Aussie Moist
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
STYLER: Ouidad Climate Control, KCCC, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, JC Rockin' Ringlets
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquats, parabens

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