Category Archives: Reviews

Shea Decadence Kinks Review

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This review is sooooooo overdue. You see, I started using some products from the Shea Decadence Kinks line back in April and have continued to use them since. You might have even noticed that I’ve mentioned Shea Decadence a few times in posts over the last couple of months and kept promising a review of some new products that I was using. But … yeah … my penchant for procrastination, evening ennui, and inability to focus have had me putting this one off for far too long.

But, I’m finally getting it together to share my thoughts on this delicious collection of products with you. So, back in April (ugh!) , Sharron, Natural in London and creator of Shea Decadence (check out her hairstory and lovely mane here), sent me several products from her Kinks line:

(Visit the Shea Decadence Etsy shop to purchase in the US.)

Shea Decadence has this to say about the Kinks hair range:

Afro hair is the most fragile hair type in the world and should be treated as such. Our hair needs a balance of moisture and protein to be healthy and grow and most importantly a clean and healthy scalp. Kinks focus is on providing natural black hair care products free from unnecessary chemicals that damage or inhibit the growth of healthy hair.

Our Range is formulated with ingredients proven to help moisturise ‘YOUR’ Kinky hair and nourish the scalp. We only use natural or natural-derived ingredients. Every single ingredient plays a function towards enriching your hair; therefore none of our products contain Parabens, SLS, Petroleum,  Mineral oil or any other harsh chemicals.

Although our range is formulated with kinky, curly, coils in mind, other hair types will benefit. For instance, our Hair Oils and Hair Butters can be used on all hair types as a hot oil treatment  or deep conditioning treatment.

So, what do I think of Kinks? First, the common elements.

PACKAGING

When the box arrived and I broke it open, I was immediately impressed by the way these product were packaged!! They were in quality plastic bottles and metal tins with cute, convenient, and functional pumps. Wei even remarked upon the pump on the Latte … “That’s a win.” These bottles will definitely be repurposed once empty!! The labeling is glossy, professional, and firmly secured to the containers. I used these products consistently for a good month/month and a half, and have learned that the packaging/labels holds up to wet, conditioner-laden, and/or “producty” hands, with no deterioration in the print, slippage, or dissolution of the labels.

Now for the individual product reviews.

Jamaican Black Castor & Nilotica Conditioning Shampoo

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium cocoyl isethionate, Aloe vera gel, Disodium cocoampho-diacetate, Coco Glucoside & Glyceryl oleate, Ricinus Communis (Jamaican Black castor oil) Vitellaria Nilotica (Shea butter), Glycerin, Honeyquat, Cetrimonium chloride, Guar conditioning gum, Silk amino acids, Phenoxyethanol & Caprylyl glycol and Essential oils. 

Several of the Shea Decadence products are made with one of my holy grail products, Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO). So, it is no surprise that I love this shampoo. It has this invigorating minty fresh smell to it, a light consisteny and a little goes a long way. I use about 3-4 pumps for each quadrant of my head and it provides a very nice, rich lather that feels refreshing and effectively cleanses my scalp without stripping my hair of moisture.

Cocoa Frappuccino Moisture Plus Leave-in Conditioner

Ingredients: Aqua (infused with Marshmallow root), Theobroma Cacao Organic Black (Cocoa butter), Butyrospermum parkii Organic (Shea butter), Cocos nucifera (Coconut oil), Prunus dulcis (Almond oil), Ricinus communis (Jamaican Black Castor  oil),  Behentrimonium methosulfate and Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Wheat protein, Panthenol, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Chlorphenesin Guar conditioning gum & Silk amino acids.

This leave-in conditioner has a creamy and thick consistency, but is not heavy when applied to hair. It DOES smell like a cocoa frappuccino (or, at least what I think they smell like … don’t drink ’em) and is very tasty to the nose buds! LOL!! The leave-in glides on the hair easily, absorbs quickly, and did a good job of keeping my hair moisturized for several days.

Hair Latte Conditioning Hair Milk

Ingredients: Aqua (infused with chamomile), Vegetable Glycerine,  Castor oil, Sweet Almond oil, Behentrimonium methosulfate (and) Cetearyl alcohol,  Panthenol, Hydrolysed Lupine seed extract, glucanolactone and Sodium benzoate, Fragrance oil, Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl glycol and Chlorphenesin, Guar gum & Silk amino acids.

The Latte comes in my favorite packaging: a spray bottle pump. It also smells like what it’s called, a cocoa latte. The consistency is thinner (hence the spray bottle), like a heavy cream, and this product is used to re-moisturize hair, as needed. I used it maybe once or twice between washes when my hair started to feel a little dry or crunchy after removing twists and wearing it down for a couple of days.

Mocha Latte Scalp Nourisher

Ingredients: Ricinus communis (Jamaican black castor oil), Coffea arabica Seed Oil (and) Hydrogenated vegetable Oil (Coffee Butter), Theobroma cacao (Organic Cocoa butter), Emu oil, Olea Europaea (Olive oil) & Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

OMGee! I LOVE this stuff!! It smells like chocolatey maple syrup to me, has this creamy and smooth whipped consistency, and just melts into my scalp, leaving it feeling nourished, without a greasy or heavy feel.

Sweet Marmalade Pomade

Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Butter, Kukui Nut Butter, Macadamia Nut Butter, Organic Sunflower Oil infused with Vanilla Pods, Organic Castor Oil, Carrot Seed extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Vit E, Sweet Orange Essential Oil.

OMGee! I LOVE this stuff too!! LOL!! Seriously, this pomade smells absolutely DELECTABLE, like sweet nectarines. It reminds me of the Carol’s Daughter Honey Hair Mimosa, if you’ve ever tried that. But, the marmalade pomade is lighter in consistency and is used on the hair (not scalp) to provide shine. And shine it does!! When I apply a little of this to my hair, it immediately imparts such a sheen to my hair it’s RIDIC!! LOVE, LOVE!!

HOW I USED THEM:

I used this product line consistently for about a month/month and a half. A typical wash day went like this:

  1. Pre-poo and finger detangle with Vatika Oil.
  2. Wash with Shea Decadence Conditioning Shampoo.
  3. Condition/detangle with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HEHH).
  4. Deep condition with Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque.
  5. Cool and seal with diluted HEHH.
  6. Apply Shea Decadence Leave-in Conditioner to hair.
  7. Apply Shea Decadence Scalp Nourisher to scalp.
  8. Twist hair (sometimes with another product, usually ORS Lock & Twist Gel).
  9. Seal ends with Shea Decadence Sweet Marmalade Pomade.

I would usually wear my hair in a twisted updo for a few days (workout and work friendly hairdo), a twist-out for a day or two, then a bun for the rest of the week until the next wash day. And here’s what it looked like.

And that’s that. The Shea Decadence line is a very nice, quality product. My fave products are definitely the shampoo and the pomade, with the scalp balm coming in at a close second. Everything smells delish and works very well and I continue to use all of the products, though not all together like I did for the first month or so (c’mon … y’all know I’m a confessed PJ). So, would I recommend this line? DEFINITELY!! If I was going to grade the products as a group, they would definitely get a solid:

A

So, check out Shea Decandence Kinks if you have been in search of a collection of products that work well together, are natural, nourish the hair, smell great, and provide the hair with lasting moisture!! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed and you’ll be supporting a small, black, woman-owned business!! #WINNING!! Oh!! I almost forgot to mention this! Shea Decadence has a line of body products too!!! I tried the Solid Butter Body Scrub Bars … those things are AMAZE-a-BALLS!! They are so decadently luxurious and moisturizing, it’s crazy. LOVE ’em!! So, if you’re a body product junky and like clever and creative product design, check that out as well!!

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Have you tried the Shea Decadence products? If so, what do you think of them?

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Curlformers Convert!!

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Okay, so I’m gonna try to keep this quick and too the point …  you know that’s a feat for me … which is why I don’t really Tweet/Twitter!! But, I gotta get ready to head out for Man of Steel and don’t have time to go into deep detail. So, here goes.

This past Saturday, I hennaed my hair, applied mix of Sally’s GVP The Detangler, aloe vera juice and JBCO/EVOO mix to my hair. Then, I twisted it … but first I attempted to set a section of hair with a Curlformer … and I very easily did it for the first time!!!! (I guess all those YouTube tutorials finally sunk in!).

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I wore my twists down on Sunday and in an updo for work from Monday-Thursday. I have an event this weekend and decided I was going to finally give it the old college try and attempt a Curlformer set. I watched Naptural85’s Updated Curlformers Technique tutorial and MahoganyCurls Curlformers on Natural Hair: My First Impression again. Then, after work, I got to it.

My hair was still moisturized from being in a twisted updo all week, so I didn’t feel a need to re-moisturize. It was also almost perfectly sectioned and essentially detangled due to those same twists. So, the products and tools I used were very minimal.

Products
Water in a small spray bottle
ORS Lock and Twist Gel (I♥ this gel and originally purchased it b/c of the GORGEOUS flexirod set KaiRox’s achieved with it.)

Tools
Curlformers (Extra Long & Wide 40 pack [20 clockwise & 20 counter-clockwise] for hair up to 22″ long)
Hair clips
My 10 Fingers

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Process

  • First I secured all but the bottom left twists of my dry hair up with hair clips.
  • Working from the back left (nape), I separated each twist and grabbed about 1-2″ sections (usually 2-3 per twist).
  • Once I had the section I wanted to set, I would prep a pink Curlformer on the wand.
  • Then, I spritzed the section of hair with water until it was slightly damp (not soaking wet) and smoothed a nice size dollop of ORS lock and twist gel down the length making certain the hair was detangled.
  • Next, I twisted the roots of the section to make it small enough to get the hook of the wand around all of the hair.
  • Finally, I hooked the wand over the root (not too close to the scalp), pushed the curler up over the top of the wand, and pulled my hair through the curler.(If the curler twisted wrongly, I fixed it to form the correct shape.)
  • I repeated this process on the left side and then completed the right side using the orange curlers.
  • The entire process took me about 1 hour 30 minutes, which wasn’t too bad given it was my first time.
  • I can’t remember how many Curlformers I used now!! But, I think it was about 38 … and, get this … there were at least an extra 6 pink curlers in my kit!!! #WINNING

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Things I Learned

  • My hair is longer than 22″ in some sections?!?! Go figure. So, I had to pull a lot of the Curlformers down about an inch to make certain my ends were fully enclosed in the curlers.
  • I could have twisted the roots first so that the section out of the curler still had a wave to it (but, even though I didn’t do that, my roots were very smooth).
  • They make “Spiral Curls” Curlformers for super long hair up to 29″ now!! But those jokers are $73.95!! I’ll stick with pulling mine down from the root since that worked perfectly fine!! LOL!!

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The setting went very easily. I only had to start over on two sections because the hair wouldn’t slide through smoothly. I decided to set my hair only slightly damp with the hopes that it would dry overnight. So, speaking of overnight, let’s talk about sleeping in these. I followed Naptural85s suggestion and secured the front sections with hair elastic. Then, I split them down the back and laid on my back to sleep. Yeah … I’m a side, fetal position sleeper and didn’t get much sleep that way. So, finally, in the early hours, I flipped on my side, threw the curlers over the edge of the pillow and balled the corner of the pillow up under my chin to elevate my head a little. That worked a lot better for me.

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The Take Down

 The next morning (about 8 1/2 hours later), I removed the curlers and set my curls in buns for my morning workout following Naptural85’s technique for stretched curls.

  • Working from the front left first (pink curlers), I held the end of the curler near my roots and stretched the curler straight (this can be a little tricky as the Curlformers are firm and have a lot of “recoil” action, which help smooth the hair and retain their shape after repeated uses, I think).
  • Then, I squeezed each end of the curler to make it open and pulled the curler down the strand, keeping a grasp on both ends.
  • I “corrected” any curls that twisted/flipped by twirling/flipping them in the proper direction with my finger.
  • Next, I applied a little Shea Decadence Sweet Marmalade Pomade to my ends to seal the hair and add shine. (Yo. I’ve been using several items from Shea Decadence for about a month now. LOVE them and have to get you guys a full review soon as it is soooo overdue!!)
  • Repeated on next section. (I had one section that didn’t fully dry, so I just pin curled it and left it that way until I released all of my hair.)
  • Once I had two sections free, I combined the curls. (I did not clip the ends as my curls stayed together without one and I didn’t want my curls to stretch too much.)
  • I repeated until the left side was one big “twist” and then did the same on the right side.
  • Once both sides were done, I loosely wrapped and bunned them at the back of my head using hair pins.
  • Then, I tied my hair up in a satin scarf and donned a sweatband for day 117 of my #365daysoffitness (30 min. progressive incline walking on the treadmill … decided to not run to try to reduce the amount I sweat … yeah … I still sweat a lot. But, health over hair.)

So, yeah, I removed the sweatband, but left the scarf on my hair (and actually added a second thinner one around my edges to absorb more sweat) until I got to work. When I uncovered my hair, the scarf and my hair were still damp :(. But, I released my buns anyway and gently separated the curls. I left the roots alone to try to allow them to air dry.

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And, by the early afternoon, after it had long since dried, I played around with the part to get it more to my liking (meaning, I needed to create more volume at the front!).

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Final Thoughts:

So, what do I think of Curlformers? I LOVE them! They weren’t whistling dixie when they said these get the hair soooo smooth like a curling iron! I was also soooo impressed that even though I had to leave the first inch of my hair out, my roots still looked smooth and silky (until I worked out ;))!!! Though the curls looks similar to my perm rod sets, I think my hair is a lot smoother and more stretched. The application process went very smoothly for me, which was my biggest concern and why I didn’t try these things for 2 years!! The removal was also pretty easy, though I didn’t do it quickly to make certain I didn’t snag or ruin a curl. My hair didn’t get snagged or pulled out in the curlers during the application or removal process (I only removed shed hairs that I saw … no broken hairs from the curlers).

Now, the cost of Curlformers may be prohibitive for some at $50-$75 for most complete kits. But, if you can swing them, I would definitely recommend!!! Sally’s carries them on the ground, and you might be able to catch them on sale and use the 15% discount if you are a rewards member. Oh, and if your goal is to grow your hair long, I’d suggest getting the longest ones you can afford so that you don’t outgrow a shorter set and have to spend more money for longer kit. In the alternative, if you just can’t see yourself spending that much on “rollers,” I know that there is a knock-off brand called Magic Levarag. It’s sold on eBay and Amazon for at least half the price. However, that brand doesn’t have the length options that Curlformers have and I’ve read mixed reviews, so I’m not co-signing on it at all and would suggest that you do your research first.

Alright … it’s obvious I don’t know how to write a short post! I started this yesterday an hour before heading to the movies (BTW, I HATED Man of Steel) and had to finish it this morning!! Oh well … at least I’m thorough … right (humor me please ;))?!?!

To wrap this up … Curlformers get four hearts out of five (I took one off for the high price tag ;)).

♥♥♥♥

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Have you used Curlformers? What do you think of them?

Curlformers … At Last We Dance

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So … after owning a set of Curlformers for two years … I’m finally trying them for the first time. I’ve watched Naptural85 and MahoganyCurls tutorials 50 gajillion times and finally successfully and easily installed a Curlformer this past weekend. So, since I have an event to attend this weekend, I decided I’d give them a try!!

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22″ Extra Long and Wide
Too short?!?! When did my hair get longer than 22″??!?!
Shoot, when did it get to be 22″?? I thought it was 19-20″!!!

curlformers2So, I had to pull most of the curlers down about an inch from the root
to make certain my ends were fully covered.

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Hopefully my hair will dry overnight and survive my morning workout (I don’t think that I can run with these in my hair, so I may just do some incline walking instead). I’ll be back to report the results tomorrow hopefully (Man of Steel is going down tomorrow night … so I can’t make any promises) … the good, the bad or the ugly. And then I’ll share what I did, what products I used, what I’d do differently next time and what I think of the much lauded and reviewed Curlformers!!

Lata Gatas!!

Coconut Milk Pre-Poo

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A couple of weeks ago, I was fudging around on YouTube and came across this two part series on using coconut milk as a hair treatment. I was immediately intrigued for two reasons. First, I love me some coconut oil! DON’T NOBODY better say nothin’ bad about COCONUT OIL. ‘Cuz that’s when Bonita goes OFF!! *teehee* Second, the YouTuber’s hair is RIDIC!! I mean, long as all get out and so healthy looking without a broken strand visible to the naked eye (whereas I have a ton from a rough, dry winter :()!! Now, I know her hair is not curly, kinky, or coily. However, I have always believed that we can learn things from a variety of sources and different textures/ethnicities as so many of the practices that promote healthy hair are the same, regardless of race/texture/hair type (i.e. moisture, protein, protection). And, given the benefits of coconut oil (did you see this recent article on CurlyNikki about the amazing penetrating capabilities of coconut oil?!?!?) and how great it works for me, I figured coconut milk (which has coconut oil in it) might be just as awesome.

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Part I: Extracting Coconut Milk

Part II: Applying Coconut Milk

Now, though I love the IDEA of using fresh coconut milk, #aintnobodygottimeforthat.  *LOL* So, I broke out  a can of coconut milk that I had in the cabinet. I had picked up a couple of cans a long time ago for a post-wash avocado/coconut milk/honey DC that didn’t work out too well (made my hair hard). But, I was ready to give this new use of it a go! However, first, I decided to research a little more to see if I could find naturals who had used coconut milk with success. And, I just so happened to come across these posts by my virtual curlfriend, Petra/Emily CottonTop: Coconut Milk Deep Condition and Results – Coconut Milk Pre-Poo.  In these posts, Petra shares a pre-poo recipe:

The recipe
Coconut Milk  – 4 tablespoons
Honey -2 tablespoon
3 of Your Favorite oils – 1 tablespoon each

… and her awesome results. I was sold!

So, I whipped up a batch of coconut-milk with Vatika Oil and EVOO, using only two tablespoons of oil instead of three. I heated the mix and applied to my dry dirty hair. Then I donned a plastic cap and my thermal heat turban for about an hour. I will say that the application process was messy and a bit sticky. But, my wash process went very smoothly and my hair felt stronger, moisturized and my twists were so plump, juicy and shiny!

So, this past weekend, I made a coconut milk pre-poo again with the leftovers from the prior week. This time, I added some Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (I was hoping that it would thicken the mix, but it didn’t really) and applied and massaged plain, warmed coconut milk into my scalp too. Though the application process was still a little messy (I think I’ll use a small dye applicator bottle in the future), I had great results again. So, I’m really thinking this will become a staple in my regimen!! I will keep an eye on my hair to make certain that the coconut milk doesn’t begin to make it feel hard or brittle (due to the protein content). If it does, I will reduce the frequency of the treatment.

Finally, I don’t use much coconut milk for the treatment and it only keeps in the fridge for about two weeks it seems. So, I was worried about spoilage and wasting it. Fortunately for me, I discovered that it can be frozen into ice cubes to form convenient “serving sizes” for future use!!!

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So yeah, all engines are a go!! Coconut milk pre-poo treatments are my new boo!! Time will tell if it results in strands as long, seemingly perfectly uniform in length, and unbroken as that YouTuber!! One can only hope ;)!!

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Do you use coconut milk in your regimen? If so, what’s your recipe and process? How often do you use it? What benefits to you see from using it?

EboniCurls Ebonnet Giveaway!!!

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AWWWWWWW SOOKIE SOOKIE NOW!!!! As if the 15% discount code wasn’t awesome enough … that’s right!!! Eboni is donating TWO EboniCurls 4-piece Ebonnet sets for a HAIRSCAPADES GIVEAWAY!!! This just gets better and better!!

Want your chance to win a red or chocolate Cheetah Dreams set, which includes a double-lined Ebonnet, contrast pillowcase and TWO scrunchies? Well here’s all that you have to do!!!

  1. Follow Hairscapades.com →→→→→→→→.
  2. Like EboniCurls of Facebook.
  3. Comment below to confirm when you’ve done both AND, in honor of Mother’s Day, tell us why your mom rocks and/or why you’re a rocking mom ;)!!

All subscribers, old and new, are eligible!! Just make certain to Follow, Like, and Comment as instructed above!!

A winner will be selected at random within the week following the close of the giveaway!

The deadline for entry is Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th, at 11:59 pm.

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*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random the week following the close of the giveaway. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Hairscapades.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Claiming of prizes requires an e-mail response to hairscapades@gmail.com from the winner within 5 days of being notified of winning. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

EboniCurls Ebonnet 15% Discount Code

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a discount code around here!! So, why not bring it back with one of the most popular giveaway items that I’ve every shared, the EboniCurls Ebonnet!! (I know some of you have been eagerly awaiting this. ;)). From now until Mother’s Day (11:59 pm, 5/12/13), get 15% off of all EboniDreams Ebonnets at EboniCurls.com!!!! Wondering what’s so awesome about these bonnets? Then check out my review here: EboniCurls Ebonnets Review.

Just enter coupon code HAIRSCAPADES15 at checkout (excludes S&H) to get 15% off of as many bonnets as you’d like (1 for you, 1 for sis, 1 for your bestie, 1 for mom of course!!)!! Have at it!!

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For up-to-the-minute news on restocking dates, new designs and prints, Like EboniCurls on Facebook!!

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Overnight Maintenance: Wrapping Curls?

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Over the course of the last month or so, I’ve been seeing videos of ladies using wrapping techniques to achieve heat-free, “blown-out,” natural hair. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I came across this video by Naptural85 using wrapping to maintain smooth, stretched curls overnight!

via Naptural85

Hmmmmm … interesting!! Wrapped curly hair!! Who woulda thunk?! *lol* Anywho, I had been loving the results from re-twisting/braiding my hair at night (I was getting great multi-day hair), but my strands were NOT loving the daily manipulation. So, I decided to try the wrapping technique to achieve good day two hair from the dry twist-out I’d done with Cantu leave-in and Eco Styler gel (here).

And the results:

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Not bad!! By the end of the first day, my hair had frizzed and poofed just like Naptural85’s. The wrapping technique worked to smooth and calm the frizz, just like it did for her. But, the thing is, it really did stretch my hair more than I would want on day two. So, I didn’t do it again after that first night. I find that loosely bunning my hair overnight helps tame the frizz and preserve the curls, with some stretching, but not as much as seen with wrapping. Therefore, I don’t think that this will become a “go to” overnight maintenance technique for me. But, I’ll keep it in my back pocket for days where I want to achieve stretched and controlled curls! And for those seeking ways to stretch their curly styles, this may be just the ticket!!

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Have you tried wrapping your curly natural styles? If so, how did it work out for you?