Ever since I joined the discussion boards at naturallycurly.com back in the fall of 2007, I have been totally in love with msgiblet's hair. The color, the curl, the volume -- I am just enthralled with this hair of hers! And now you can see for yourself what makes my envy meter go haywire. So, I asked her what she uses in cold weather to preserve those awesome curls, and she was gracious enough to tell me. (Now all I have to figure out is how to get that amazing color!)
"I have been using Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner when I co-wash for quite a while now. I love how it makes my hair feel. There is none of that lousy coated feeling that I have found with a lot of the other Suave conditioners, plus it makes my hair feel clean and soft -- a lot better, in fact, than a lot of the more high-end, expensive conditioners. So, I started thinking that if a very cheap drugstore conditioner is making my hair so happy, why not a cheap drugstore gel to go with it?? Ah, the infinite wisdom! Now, I haven't had much success in the past with many drugstore products, but I know that some very wise curlies on NaturallyCurly.com have had great extended success with L.A. Looks Sport Gel. I had never tried this particular gel before so I thought what have I got to lose? Not a whole lot of money, that's for sure!
"After co-washing with the Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner and rinsing very well, I apply some more, massage through my hair and rinse out. Even though I have been on the hunt for some good winter conditioners, I have found that this conditioner seems to give me just the right amount of moisture. Go figure. If the weather is very dry, I mix a little dollop of the Suave with a little more than a quarter-sized amount of the L.A. Looks Sport Gel and gently rake through and then scrunch while upside down. I will apply 2-3 more globs of the Sports gel, scrunching firmly and thoroughly until I like how my hair feels, adding more gel if necessary. Then, using my Curls Like Us towel (I'm really loving this towel; it's the perfect size and design for scrunching), I scrunch out some excess moisture, then scrunch in a little more Sports Gel and plop in a Curlease towel for 10-15 minutes. After that, I diffuse for 10-15 minutes and let my hair continue to air dry. When completely dry, I gently scrunch out the crunch. What I really like about this combo is that yes, this gel does dry crunchy, but it's not the kind of crunch that makes you worry that if someone gets too close to you in the middle of air drying that your hair could literally impale them. No, it's a nice moist-looking crunchy; the kind of crunchy look that doesn't bother me to go out and about with before it's fully dry. Plus it's very easy to scrunch out and gives enough hold to keep my curls going even on the coldest days.
"So, it seems that my hair is just as happy with these oh-so-cheap drugstore products as with the hoity-toity, high-end expensive stuff. But am I going to give up the more expensive products and stick to the cheap stuff? Oh, hell no. There are times when a girl puts on the diamonds and heads off to the Kennedy Center, but then there are times when there's nothing more fun than going out to a good ol' cheap, rowdy, redneck bar."
Msgiblet -- ever the experimenter -- wrote me just before this post went live to tell me that dew points where she lives recently descended into the teens, and this combo was proving not quite effective enough. However, by using Mop Top Daily Conditioner as her rinse out, she's controlling the problem nicely.