On the left is my hair with the guar gum gel, while on the right is my hair without the guar gum gel but not define which actually causes breakage for my hair
I've been researching natural hair gels since the end of last summer. My hair doesn't do well with humidity, and wearing wash n gos or buns is really my only option to avoid an entire summer of bad hair. My wash n gos require gel, but unfortunately, my hair doesn't really like commercial hair gel. The culprit…PVP.
PVP isn't exactly good for my hair, I was actually willing to continue experimenting with it until I stopped washing my hair with commercial shampoos. My baking soda and aloe vera cleanser is great, but it cannot stand up to commercial ingredients like silicone and PVP, and I knew if I were to continue with my natural hair cleanser, I would have to completely ditch certain hair products. So I resolved to only use Giovanni hair products (minus the gel, shampoo, and serum) and everything else I would make.
My guar gum shampoo mixed. I added a bit too much guar gum, hence the clumps
Top left: Guar gum gel with Giovanni direct leave-in, Top right: my clean hair without guar gum, Bottom left: my clean hair with guar gum just applied, Bottom right: Dried hair with guar gum
Edited December 2015: When I originally wrote this, I did poor research on PVP citing a source that, upon further inspection, I disagree with. I have since removed it, but also want to reinforce that PVP has consistently made my hair dry, so I leave it out of my regimen. However, this does not mean that everyone will have a probelm with it, and I have seen many use it with success. So, like everything, try products with and without that ingredient to see if you like it.
As someone who has a Master's in Library Science, I pride myself on providing accurate information, and in the case of ingredients in hair products, science. As such, I am citing articles from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. The CIR "reviews and accesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publish the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature." Here is their report on PVP (Polyvinylpyrrolidone) and also PVP/ Copolymer (Polyvinylpyrrolidone/Vinyl Acetate Copolymer).