Thanks Corina! Your post is very helpful too!

I have a couple of questions

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).
Originally Posted by Corrina777
Do you use all of this in a single treatment or look for a balance using these ingredients. I have seen many live and swear by the gelatin. I just have not purchased any yet. I keep meaning to for a couple of DIY projects I have been meaning to try.

For Honey, I am wondering if darker honey vs your standard clover honey makes any difference. I know darker honey can be used in a lightening treatment.

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.
I hated Suave even as a cleanser. I never tried V05. I'll look into this more. I have Shea Moisture's Thickening, Fine, Thin Hair Shampoo. It's very and gentle. I can feel the oils from it, but I feel like I frizz more with it. Perhaps it's the conditioner follow up that needs be adjusted.

I always find sales for SM, so it hasn't been too costly. I can get BOGO's readily at Target.

I will definitely look into the other products you have listed. I've always had a hard time with my summer time products and trying to filter out what makes my hair insanely frizzy. I've put that on the back burner, and now I'm just trying to stop the massive amount of shedding and breakage I have begun to experience.

When I went CG in 2010 I sort of ignored more store bought products and went into trying stuff online. Now that I'm more limited financially finding quality items in the stores is a higher priority but I'm a little confused about ingredients I'm trying to look at. I'm very big into Couponing and catching sales too. Target has a really spectacular return policy.

After doing some thinking and reevaluating last night. I've narrowed down when I have the most difficult time with moisture retention in my hair. Second and Third day hair is were I struggling the most. I'm struggling with technique, how to deal with bed head, a good leave in product, and most of all retaining moisture.

Previously I had been using Curl Junkie's Rehab moisture condish as a leave in product. It's a pretty heavy product to use as a leave in, but it worked. I'm trying to find a good sister product for that. Kinky Curly Knot doesn't cut.

Between you and fire I believe I have a good starting area to take a step back and restart my hunt.

Thanks! If anyone has anything to add, I'm all ears..... or eyes rather!
CG Since 2010
Hair Attributes: Mixed 2 with 3A undergrowth & no root curl.
Fine, Thin, Easily Manipulated, Easily Styled, Easy to Frizz, and Easy to damage.

Favorites: CJ Daily Fix, CJ Rehab, Anything Spiral Solutions, Darcy Botanicals Pumpkin Seed

New Goals To restore my hair after dying it twice in two weeks. Learning more about products found in the stores to fit my tight budget. I'm still working on trying to grow out my hair.