[If this is too frequent/uninteresting, feel free to filter these posts out on the "hair" tag if your aggregator allows it. If it doesn't, complain to the manufacturers for giving you a crap product.]
I've spent much of the last couple of days reading around at CurlTalk and learning more about how curly hair works and how the whole CurlyGirl/no-poo thing works from a chemistry perspective.
One thing that kind of jumped out at me as I was reading was that most of the basic hair care regimens suggested sounded like they'd be less stress on my arms than all the brushing and combing I've been doing, so I'm going to start experimenting.
Yesterday I walked to CVS and got a cheap ($0.06 due to luck and a kind cashier) bottle of VO5 Free Me Freesia conditioner. This morning I washed my scalp and hair with it thoroughly, put a bit more in, rinsed with dilute vinegar, squeezed out most of the water, and gathered things up on top of my head with a T-shirt for a couple hours to dry out of the way while I went about my business.
I know I'm probably going to have to look into some sort of finishing product to hold things together and prevent the top from lifting off and frizzing, but two things dissuaded me from doing so yet. The main one was that I was kind of paralyzed by indecision looking at shelves and shelves of options (and the product mosephine kindly recommended wasn't carried). The second is that by only introducing one new product to my routine, I can kind of get a sense of what and how much it does on its own before adding something else in. Yay data.
So, this is what I've got, about half an hour after letting it out of the shirt. Not sure how I feel about it, but it's definitely . . . different.
My camera, having lost power when I unplugged it over the last couple of days, randomly decided to step the resolution up to 1024x768, so that's what you get.
Note this is no more than three hours after shaving. My facial hair is a source of much frustration, which has convinced me I don't want to go for a smooth bald shaved head, even though I think my skull might have interesting enough features to pull it off.