Alternative to Biotera Styling Gel?

Hello, everyone, I could really use some help. I've been using Biotera Styling Gel for several months now, and I really like what it does for my 3A/3B fine hair. However, I think that it is also responsible for my itchy scalp problem - I think I have a sensitivity to the preservative combo that it uses. Since I stopped using it two weeks ago, my scalp feels great, but my hair is limp and frizzy.

I'm looking for something with medium or strong hold that will let me get good curls in wet hair, then SOTC (without a strong smell). I don't have enough cash to try a lot of new products, so I'm hoping for some help picking the right thing. Cheaper would be better, but I'm willing to pay more for something that works.

Thanks for your help.
I'm allergic to Biotera gel, too. Never did figure it out, but thought it might be Propylene Glycol. It's a common allergy.

Best way to choose ingredients/products is by hair properties. Here's a link to help you with yours Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics Once you determine your properties, you should look for someone with hair like yours and see what they use (in signatures.) It's the best place to start.

I try to use the more natural products. My hair doesn't care for chemicals, especially polyquats. Biotera gel has 4 pretty high up on the ingredients list. Another thing to do is rotate products. My hair always satiated on product, even back in my shampoo/conditioner only days. I wet, use a rinse out and style every day. Seldom use the same thing more then once in five days. If you don't use a product too much, it seems to help with the allergies, too.
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
KM - What does satiate on products mean? How do you know your hair is satiated?
High Density, High Porosity, Medium Texture, 3B with some kink

DT: SS DDMT - HG
Lo-Poo: No Preference
Co-wash: CJ Smoothing Conditioner
RO: CJ Strengthening Conditioner - HG
LI: CK Satin Roots
Styler: CK Coil Jam
Other Likes: Castor Oil; CK Twist Whip, MD CSC
Dislikes: Wheat Protein; Aloe LIs or Stylers

Thanks for the advice. I think for me it's the combination of Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone as preservatives - I've heard that people can have a sensitivity to these two in leave-in products, and I've used other products with Propylene Glycol without a problem.

I've seen a lot of great recommendations on this board - I guess I was looking for someone who had tried a product very similar to Biotera so I could make use of people's experience - I want Biotera without these preservatives!
KM - What does satiate on products mean? How do you know your hair is satiated?
Originally Posted by tricello
Satiate is satisfied to the full--basically, it stops working. Hair is limp and lifeless--when it used to look great with the product.
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 think biotera gel has protein in it (soy)? You describe "limp and frizzy" as the results of not using it....maybe you should try a RO w/ protein and another type of gel? I'm wondering if its the protein your hair is missing and not the gel? Just a thought
Henna!!! Red Raj from Henna Sooq
Co-washes: ABBA Pure Gentle (HG), Tresseme Naturals.
Low-poo: Shea Moisture (all of them), Renpure my pretty hair is parched.
Rinse-out: Tigi Bead Head Moisture Maniac, GF Length and Strength.
Leave-in: ABBA Pure Gentle, KCKT, Henna Sooq cocoveda oil.
Stylers: Fairy Tales Curly Q's gel (HG), KCCC, Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothy, GF pure clean gel.
Aura hypoallergenic gel at Sallys might be an alternative but I didn't compare ingredients and haven't used it in a while, but it's liquid-y just like the Biotera and I think made by the same company, hopefully it doesn't have what you might be sensitive to as well.
Curly in AZ-2c-3a/Cherub/fine-med. texture/high porosity/normal elasticity/highlighted
Wash-Giovanni 3-in1 tropical, Everyday shea vanilla mint, Desert essence italian red grape & coconut
Cond.- Yes to Carrots, Tresemme Nat., Desert essence italian red grape
Leave In- Conditioner pea size
Stylers-Bioterra gel, condition 3-in-1 mousse, AOMM with Shaper hairspray for extra hold.
Thanks for the suggestion, Beebob - I went to Sally's yesterday, and after eliminating everything with the preservative I was trying to avoid and everything with the wrong texture or scent, I picked up a bottle of Aura. The old bottle I had under the sink had the same preservative pair, but it's been slightly reformulated since then, so I have high hopes. I remember liking it almost as much as Biotera, but thinking that the hold wasn't quite as strong.
Thanks for the suggestion, Beebob - I went to Sally's yesterday, and after eliminating everything with the preservative I was trying to avoid and everything with the wrong texture or scent, I picked up a bottle of Aura. The old bottle I had under the sink had the same preservative pair, but it's been slightly reformulated since then, so I have high hopes. I remember liking it almost as much as Biotera, but thinking that the hold wasn't quite as strong.
Originally Posted by jctl
Glad to help, let me know how it works because I understand they reformulated the Biotera gel too and I still have a partial liter left
Curly in AZ-2c-3a/Cherub/fine-med. texture/high porosity/normal elasticity/highlighted
Wash-Giovanni 3-in1 tropical, Everyday shea vanilla mint, Desert essence italian red grape & coconut
Cond.- Yes to Carrots, Tresemme Nat., Desert essence italian red grape
Leave In- Conditioner pea size
Stylers-Bioterra gel, condition 3-in-1 mousse, AOMM with Shaper hairspray for extra hold.
After trying the Aura a few times, here's the verdict: good curl formation, but not great long-term hold. I miss the second-day and even third-day hair that the Biotera gave me. For someone looking for slightly softer curls, the Aura might be perfect. I'm going to keep using it for now, since it's the best thing I've tried.
After trying the Aura a few times, here's the verdict: good curl formation, but not great long-term hold. I miss the second-day and even third-day hair that the Biotera gave me. For someone looking for slightly softer curls, the Aura might be perfect. I'm going to keep using it for now, since it's the best thing I've tried.
Originally Posted by jctl
Thanks for sharing, I may have to give it a try again since I love a soft hold and restyle everyday anyway
Curly in AZ-2c-3a/Cherub/fine-med. texture/high porosity/normal elasticity/highlighted
Wash-Giovanni 3-in1 tropical, Everyday shea vanilla mint, Desert essence italian red grape & coconut
Cond.- Yes to Carrots, Tresemme Nat., Desert essence italian red grape
Leave In- Conditioner pea size
Stylers-Bioterra gel, condition 3-in-1 mousse, AOMM with Shaper hairspray for extra hold.

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