Tag Archives: product review

Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

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As some of you know, I have been using a Hair Therapy Thermal Turban Heat Wrap for several years now with great success. However, a few months ago I saw posts from my curlfriends and fellow bloggers, RadiantBrownBeauty and AHairStory, about the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap. I loved the look of the cap and both Michelle and Rece had positive reviews. So, needless to say, I was intrigued.

Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to the creator of Hot Heads and Etsy shop owner, Sandra, to see if she would send me a cap to review. She graciously obliged and I got a chance to try out my new cap this past weekend.

But first, the deets.

via Hot Head:

The Hot Head heat cap is filled with renewable flax seed which will generate heat when warmed in the microwave. It’s reusable and is the most environmentally friendly way to deep condition your hair with heat at home. There is no need to plug it into an outlet or use batteries to power the heat. With a few minutes in the microwave, Hot Head will produce up to 30-45 minutes of gentle moist heat. The fact that there are no cords and no plugs means that you are free to move about while deep conditioning your hair.

Hot Head is available in multiple styles and is also reversible so that your look can fit your mood. When using Hot Head you can feel good about the way you look while conditioning your hair, and dramatically improve the results of your hair treatment.

MY REVIEW

As I said above, I used the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap this weekend. Actually, I used it twice. Because, after 3 weeks of not washing this mane (pregnancy fatigue definitely has me doing the least when it comes to hair), my strands desperately needed some TLC. Therefore, I used it for a pre-poo treatment, as well as for deep conditioning after I washed my hair. What did I think overall and how does it compare to the Thermal Turban Wrap?

Packaging: No frills and functional. As this is a smaller Etsy company, that is totally fine with me. I prefer not to spend my money on expensive packaging and cheap ingredients, though I know some appreciate “shelf appeal.” The most important thing was that the cap was accompanied with detailed and simple instructions (plastic caps sold separately). THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap came packaged in a large, nice box that I still use to store it. It also included two plastic caps some free hair product samples. 

Appearance: I love that the cap is reversible and has a solid terry side and a patterned fabric one. I’m all about animal prints and zebra is in my top three (after cheetah/leopard and giraffe). The cap comes in a variety of prints and colors, so there’s something for everyone! I also like the “quilting” that looks like a big daisy! Very cute! THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is made with terry, non-reversible, and only comes in two colors, brown and white. The cap that I have has a tail at the back that you twist and secure to the front with velcro. But, there seem to be other versions that secure in different locations.

Construction/Durability: As I’ve only used the cap one day, I can’t speak to the long-term durability. However, it looks very well-constructed and strong. It is actually a little weighty, in a good way, because of the flax seeds. The fabric on the patterned side appears of good, strong quality and leads me to believe that it will not rip anytime soon. Terry can start to bead, get ratty, and pick up lint, especially with a thicker pile. But, I think that as long as I keep it stored away from other fabrics, it’ll likely be fine. The instructions on the site indicate that a lint brush can be used to remove excess lint, so that is simple enough. And, I also have one of those fabric “defuzzers” that I can use if it becomes too beady. So, not too worried about that. As to cleaning, I haven’t had to do that yet, obviously. But, the site says to just spot clean with warm water and a mild detergent. Seems simple enough. Finally, again, I can’t speak to long-term use of the cap, but I would expect that flax seeds truly are a sustainable source of heat and the cap will heat effectively for years to come. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: I have had the cap for almost 4 years and, though the heat packs that insert into it seem to have deflated somewhat, it still works effectively. I was initially concerned that the heat packs might burst because they make a popping sound when heated, but to date they have not! The cap is made of a short pile terry, so it really hasn’t attracted much lint nor beaded in an appreciable way. And, though I use it to henna, I have done minimal spot cleaning. But, because the gel packs can be removed, the wrap can be thrown in the wash on the gentle cycle and air dried.

Content: Right off the jump I loved the idea that the Hot Head Heat Cap works via a sustainable and natural heat source. I don’t follow a strictly organic/natural lifestyle. However, I do like to be conscious of the products I use and the foods that I eat. Therefore, I try to incorporate organic and all-natural products to the extent that I can find them conveniently and affordably. This allows me to reduce my exposure to products formulated or treated with artificial or potentially harmful chemicals. So, the fact that the Hot Head uses flax seeds as the heat source is awesome to me! (Is there no limit to the wonders of flax seeds?!?!) THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: Gel packs are the heat source for this cap. I couldn’t tell you what’s in them, but I’m 99.9% sure that it is not natural and is some type of artificial chemical.

Ease of Use: Using this cap was as simple as throwing it in my microwave (with a rotating tray) for one minute on one side, flipping it inside out and microwaving for another minute. Then, I just donned a plastic cap prior to putting on the Hot Head Cap. If your microwave does not have a rotating tray, the instructions do indicate that it should be rotated at the 30 second mark on each side. I was concerned that the cap might be too small to fit all of my hair, due to my length, not thickness. But, I had no problem at all. Of course, I love that I can be mobile with this cap and do stuff around the house while DC’ing. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap only takes 45 seconds to heat and, aside from the initial challenge of getting the gel packs into the wrap and getting it to lay flat, it is very easy to heat. As to putting it on, it is a little trickier to get it tight enough and secure the velcro in the right place. But, it is still pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I also have no problem fitting all of my hair under it. And again, since the wrap is cordless, my movements are not limited while I’m DC’ing.

hothead3After heating

Effectiveness: I found that the cap reached an appropriate temperature (not too hot, nor too cool) following the instructions. You could see the “moist” heat it generated as the cap became slightly damp in some areas after microwaving it. I also found that it stayed warm (not hot) for about 45 minutes, which is what I would have expected. The cap felt like it warmed evenly in the flax seed “pockets.” However, I could feel that the areas without the flax seeds were cooler. As the heat is still “contained” to the head by the cap, I don’t know if that would make one part of the hair more conditioned than the other. However, I did want to note that. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap heats evenly, but it can get very hot. So the instructions indicate that it should be left to cool for 30 seconds prior to using it. I find that my cap stays hot to warm for 45 minutes to an hour and the heat feels uniform over my head. I usually heat it 2-3 times for a henna treatment, with consistent results. 

Pricing: The Hot Head Cap is $29.95 plus $6.50 USD shipping (plastic caps sold separately). So, it’s not cheap, but it’s not crazy expensive either. I am definitely a frugal person and won’t give up my money without some thought. However, given that I tend to deep condition with heat weekly and henna with heat every couple of months, the mileage I will put on this heat cap would definitely justify the cost (reminder: this cap was gifted though).  THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is $21.95 on CurlMart.com, but I paid $16.47 for it because I had a 25% discount code at the time. As I write this, the cap is not available there though. It is available on DermStore.com for $29.99 with free shipping. It seems like it can also be found on eBay, Amazon, HairEnvy, and a few other sites for prices in the the $27-$32 range. Again, for me, the price is worth it because of how frequently I use the wrap.

Conclusions: I LOVE the Hot Head Heat Cap. In most ways, it is very comparable to the Thermal Turban Wrap. The quicker heat time and more uniform heat distribution of the Wrap are bonuses for it. However, the wider variety of patterns/colors, reversibility, simplicity of wearing, and, most importantly, the use of flax seeds as a natural and sustainable heat source, gives the Hot Head Cap the leg up in my opinion. So, I’ll definitely be using the Hot Head Cap going forward and will update you guys on whether it holds up for the long haul!

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 Have you tried the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap? If so, how do you like it?

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Review: Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow Dry Prep Mist

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HE_tealightfullyclean_blowdryprepmistI have been wanting to really straighten my hair, rather than just doing a light blow out, for a while now. I did a “single pass” flat-iron on stretched hair (no blow-out) in June 2013 for a trim and had done a couple of blow-outs since. But, it had been over a year since I really, really straightened my hair. Part of the reason for this was that I wasn’t really feeling the products that I had been using for straightening (see them here). They worked okay, but my hair would feel kind of stiff and hard after using them. I tried the Nubian Heritage heat protectant leave-in and spray too, but everything was pretty “meh.”

Well, a few weeks ago, Wei and I had lunch with a friend and we started talking hair. Her daughter has tons of curly hair and wanted to have it straightened, but our friend didn’t have any idea where to start. So, I suggested the BaByliss Nano Titanium Pro that I purchased  a little over a year ago. Though pricey, I told her I loved it because it has temperature control settings and straightens very well, without frying the hair. So, we ended up heading over to Harmon and picking up one for her (with a 20% off coupon, of course since the thing is $119.00!). Well, while we were there, I told her that she should also use a heat protectant and we started scanning the aisles. I had seen a couple of people use TRESemmé, so we both picked up the TRESemmé Platinium Strength Heat Protectant. But then, I kept looking and decided to see if Herbal Essences (HE) had one as I love that line. Lo and behold, I found the Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow Dry Prep Mist ($4.49) and decided to pick it up too!

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What They Claim:

Light and easy does it with Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow Dry Prep Mist for silky, free-flowing hair. Invigorate your senses with exhilarating tea tree fragrance as you spritz this sheer mist up, down, and all around to help protect against blow drying damage.

Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow Dry Prep Mist:

  • Blow dry prep for silky, free-flowing hair
  • Sheer and lightweight protection against damage
  • With tea tree essences
  • Spritz on for silky hair
  • Intriguing ingredients
  • Incredible fragrances
  • Irresistibly touchable hair; potent pleasure for all your senses

Ingredients: Water/EAU, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Amodimethicone, PPG-2 Methyl Ether, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-11, Fragrance/Parfum, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Citric Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-12, Methylisothiazolinone.

That same day, I washed my hair and put it into two braids. The next day, I decided to spritz the Blow Dry Prep Mist onto my hair and did a super quick tension blow out to stretch it a little more. Oh. Em. Gee. My hair was soft, silky, smooth, light, and flowy! And, I loved the light, sweet smell of the spray! I was WOWed! The claims were true! Seriously, I couldn’t stop touching my hair! That night, I put it into a braid and curl and, the next day, …

blow-outBnC

Can you say, “Pleased as punch?” Well, this past weekend, after following my regular wash day regimen, I decided to bite the bullet and flat-iron my hair for real.

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FLAT-IRONING PROCESS

  • Wrapped clean hair in a cut-up tee-shirt to dry to damp (approx. 30 min).
  • Applied a little Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in to damp hair, concentrating on ends.
  • Spritzed hair with HE Tea-Lightfully Clean Blow0Out Prep Mist and finger combed it through hair.
  • Applied a very small amount of Chi Straight Guard (picked up from TJ Maxx on a whim).
  • Applied a small amount of grapeseed oil to each section.
  • Separated hair into 4 sections and did a tension blow-out with the Conair InifitiPro Tourmaline Ionic Hair Dryer I picked up last fall. I used it to finish drying my hair and stretch it, grasping whole quarter sections of hair, halving the quarters at some points, but never doing sections smaller than that (approx. 30 min.).
  • Flat-ironed hair in small 1″ wide sections at 300°, taking two passes over each section. I didn’t let the flat-iron stop on the hair. I  moved down the length at a slow pace, but the flat-iron was always in motion.
  • Did a third pass over the top layers of hair at 340º, moving the flat-iron more quickly.

It took me about 2 hours in total to blow-out and flat-iron. Here are the results.

 

As you can see, my hair was not bone-straight. There was still a little kink in it and that is okay with me as it lets me know that I didn’t kill my hair with the heat. I also know that bunning my hair will smooth it further. And, as was the case the first time I used the HE Blow-Out Mist, again my hair felt great!! It was airy, silky, soft, and felt product-less! And, at $4.49 a bottle? We have a winner folks!!!

So that’s it, my new heat protectant find! I had to do a review on this product as I wasn’t able to find any when I bought it, because the “Tea-Lightfully Clean” line is new for 2014! Of course, now I’m intrigued to try the shampoo and conditioner … but I’ll try to curb my PJ ways … for now. LOL!!

bantuknotwaves(Heatless waves added with 2 big Bantu knots)

Next time on Hairscapades: A Trim, Straight Hair Maintenance, and Straight Hairstyles 😉

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What heat protectant(s) have you found work the best for your hair?

Detox with Bentonite Clay

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As you know, I’ve regressed and have been playing with mud lately. LOL! Nah, but really, I used a bentonite clay mask on my face last Tuesday and the prototype for a new Wonder Curl clay hair mask the weekend before that. Well, this has me wanting to revisit bentonite clay for my hair. I tried it once before a couple of years ago, but wasn’t impressed. But, I’m also a firm believer in, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I also have been wanting to try my hand at making my own Terressentials Mud Wash. If you remember, I liked it, but not the price and shipping costs. So, I started researching this a while back and resumed again this past week. In my search, I came across this post on La Coco Bella and asked if I could share as I thought y’all might be interested in bentonite clay for hair too!! Lauren kindly obliged!! 

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by Lauren of La Coco Bella

I have been using bentonite clay for 4 years and it’s been giving me BANGIN’ hair ever since. The results of treatments are phenomenal. I was first introduced to this clay back when I was stalking Fotki hair photo albums (do people still use those??). I can’t remember who, but I saw a girl use it as a hair mask and she was ranting about how it made her hair so clean, soft and defined. I used this treatment about 3 times a month for about a year and my hair was probably the healthiest it had ever been ... oh how I miss those days. lol. I’ll get there again. ;o)

I discovered that this clay was sold at Whole Foods for less than $10 for an entire pound (It’s usually sold in the facial care section). The brand I use is Aztec Secret Indian Healing clay, which is actually intended to be used as a facial mask (which is EXCELLENT for oily skin btw). In a nut shell, bentonite is a natural occurring green clay derived from volcanic ash and its super magical powers come from trace minerals like aluminum, iron, sodium, calcium, titanium but the main ones are:

  • Magnesium –It is a very necessary mineral in the body so cells in the body can survive. It is an anti-aging mineral used by the cells to function and produce energy. It rejuvenates and detoxifies the cells. Thus, without these minerals, the hair is not capable of growing and it becomes dull.

  • Potassium –This is the mineral that transport cellular wastes into the external surface so it will be washed away. Without this, the wastes build up, causing the cells to malfunction and will not be able to produce more cells. With potassium, the hair becomes healthy and supple making it resistant to breakage and split ends.

  • Silica– If silica is deficient, the hair becomes lifeless and dull, prone to split ends and the scalp turns dry for it aids in moisture retention. When the natural moisture is retained in the body, the connective tissues become resilient so, pre-mature aging possibility is hindered. Thus, silica can provide strength to the hair, stops hair fall and hair breakage.

Source http://www.vissastudios.com/bentonite-clay-hair

So I’m sure by now you’re like, what is so special about this daggone clay? Well, it cleanses, conditions and clarifies your scalp like no other. It literally sucks out all impurities, toxins, dirt, excess oil and restores your scalp back to “normal.” It’s anti-fungal and relieves itchy scalps. It’s like a magnet; it just attracts everything “bad” going on in your hair lol (this is why it is so good for your face). The best part is, it is not drying and actually conditions your hair making it more manageable, soft and light. I’ve noticed my curls stay defined longer and even a little more elongated.

NOTE: Yes I have tried the Terressentials Mud Wash (it’s still sitting in my shower) that Naptural85 made famous. Although the mud wash smells great and works well, the main ingredients are simply aloe vera juice, bentonite clay and essentials oils … all of which I have. So, I will use up the wash that I have and just continue make my own “mud wash.” It is WAY cheaper too!

So, I mix my powder with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and water. It fizzles like soda when you mix it … hehe, fun stuff. I recently tried aloe vera juice with a few drops of essential oils after one of my twitter curlfriends suggested it. The great thing about this clay is you can mix it with a bunch of things (i.e. coconut milk, marshmallow root, conditioner, yogurt, tea, etc.). I have yet to try any of these but I certainly plan to.

Oh, and I read somewhere that you should NOT use a metal spoon or bowl to mix. I guess the properties of the metal interact with the clay minerals and decrease the potency. Clearly I used a metal spoon … oops!

You can apply the paste on dry or wet hair, but I prefer wet because the water helps distribute the paste better. I keep my spritzer bottle at hand and spray each section as I go. I tend to go a little heavy with the application and make sure I really cover my scalp and massage it in. I am sure my excessiveness is just wasteful, but I’ve always done it this way. lol. Oh, and thank goodness I have an understanding/non-judgemental boyfriend, because I know I look craaaaazay.

See exhibit A….

Such a mess, I’m a big azz kid, I like to play with mud, haha. I’m sure you can do a better job at keeping it on just your hair and not all over the place like me. :o)

Told you I’m a little heavy handed, lol. Ever seen Link in that movie Encino Man? lol

I leave the clay in for up to 60 minutes, but you can leave it in for as little as 15-20. Rinsing out the clay is surprisingly a breeze, even after the clay starts to dry. It softens up almost on contact with water. But, be sure you rinse really well because I’ve missed a couple spots and had little dried up patches of clay on my scalp, lol, cuuuute.

Once you rinse, rinse, rinse, you’ll notice how incredibly soft your hair is. Some curlies even skip the conditioner, BUT if you’re a product junkie like me, you don’t miss out on any opportunity to use your fave conditioner. lol

If you are skeptical about this treatment, TRY IT. Your hair will LOVE it :o) Thank me later.

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So, as I indicated far above, I’ve been meaning to try this for a while … like, a year! LOL! So, I picked up some marshmallow root and nettle extracts last March or so at my local health food store. They are still unopened. Anywho, the plan is to try making my own mask with the bentonite clay, aloe vera juice (bentonite clay is alkaline, ACV brings the pH to a more acidic level closer to hair, but AVJ brings it to a pH in the hair range of 4.5-5.5), marshmallow root extract, nettle extract and maybe some coconut or EVOO. You know I’ll keep you guys updated on that!!

Do you use bentonite clay for hair? If so, what’s your recipe?! What benefits to you see from using bentonite clay?

 

At A Glimpse: Shea Moisture C&H Curling Soufflé

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On Friday, I went on a Shea Moisture-induced PJ mission at my local Target, only to be thwarted. With a Buy 1 Get 1 50% sale going, they didn’t have the product I wanted on the shelf!! So, I decided to hit a CVS on my way home and, yet again … NOTHING! But, my inner PJ would not be denied and I went online to search availability at various Shea Moisture retailers. After seeing “in stock,” I hit the Walgreen’s next to me house and …

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Mission accomplished!! I was able to successfully acquire the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Soufflé from Walgreens on sale for $9.99 with card and coupon (because, you know CVS and Walgreens prices are typically higher than Target’s).

Now, what you may be asking is, why was I on a mission to get this stuff?! Well, I had been reading a lot about the souffle lately, some good, some bad. Curlfriend Gina told me that it was very thick and she didn’t like how it felt the first night that she applied it, but the next day her hair was soft and moisturized and she didn’t need to apply any additional product for days. She was able to simply re-twist her hair and that seemed to “reactivate” the product. She warned that only the slightest amount of product was needed, just as the jar indicated.

Then, on Instagram (IG) I saw a picture of MahoganyCurls’ twist-out results with the product layered with the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. She actually showed the very little amount that she used for each section of her hair and then posted her gorgeous twist-out. I think I saw a few other people posting about it on YouTube and IG and the inner PJ started itching. So, I had to track some down and give it a try on my fine hair, with the knowledge that I should only use a very small amount as the product is oily, heavy and made for thick hair.

Now, this is not a full review. I’ve only used the product once on an old braid-out and I used the teeniest, tiniest amount. Like, seriously, I just swiped the surface of the product to get a little of it on two fingertips. I didn’t dig my fingers into the product at all. I also applied virgin coconut oil (VCO) to help finger detangle any difficult sections (crown, you know who you are) before applying the Soufflé.  This is what my old braid-out looked like on Friday night (if you remember, I re-set my dry hair on Tuesday night too).

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As I indicated above, I used the Soufflé and VCO to restyle, setting my hair in 12 braids (3 in each quadrant). Then, I dampened the braids with water and set the ends on small grey perm rods. The next morning, I applied some Wild Growth Hair Oil (WGHO) to my scalp while my hair was still braided. Then, a couple of hours later, I released the braids and these were my results.

SMSouffle_after2

My hair was nicely defined and full. However, it was oily when I went to fluff it too. The thing is … I think a big part of this was the WGHO that I applied to my scalp! I was kind of heavy-handed and I couldn’t differentiate what was product on my hair and what was the oil from my scalp. I do think the Soufflé left oil on the surface of my hair, but it wasn’t an excessive or troublesome amount from what I can tell.

Anywho, by the end of the day out and about in a humid environment, the definition faded and my hair got fluffy.

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I do love fluffy hair. However, gotta admit, I do wish that I could get a defined look to last a day or two so that my styles have more longevity and the fluff happens day 3 or 4!! I think that I may need to add some gel to my sets in order to accomplish that. I have in the past with TnCs, but it’s been a long time since I’ve used gel to set my hair in a braid-out or TnC. So, I think I’ll throw some Eco Styler into the mix my next wash day.

So yeah, again, this isn’t really a review. Just sharing how this product seemed to work the first time. It’s now three days since I styled my hair with the Soufflé and my hair hasn’t had any oily residue since Sunday. It actually could stand to be re-moisturized. But, it won’t be with the Soufflé … because I gave it to my BFF to try!! She has very thick hair and will be running around a lot the next few weeks. So, she doesn’t have time to worry about dealing with her hair, which can get dry quickly. I told her to try it when she washes her hair this week, using a small amount for each section, and see if it helps keep her hair moisturized for a longer period than her normal products. Can’t wait to hear how it works for her!

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Have you tried the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Soufflé? If so, how did you like … or dislike … it? How did you use it to style your hair (WnG, braid-out, twist-out, etc.)? Did you apply to wet, damp or dry hair? Did you use any other product with it? 

Henna/Indigo Sunday and a New WnG Combo

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As I mentioned yesterday, Sunday was a henna/indigo day and, let me say, it was long overdue!! The grey roots were out of control and tri-color, calico cat hair was back in full effect! But now, I can breathe an “ahhhhh” of relief as I’m back to two colors ;).

On Saturday, Wei and I had a PhD party to attend (his godbrother, my college friend) and my hair was a wild mess. I was too tired to pre-poo on Friday night, so decisions had to be made. Do I try to do a quick braid-out set or an udpo to salvage old hair or do I pre-poo bun it?! Pre-poo banana clip, big bun it was!!

There was an amazing balloon artist there.
That’s my new coordinating hair flower! LOL!!

Saturday night … I mean, Sunday morning … after arriving home at 3 am … mind you, we left at 3 pm the prior day (ughhh) … I put my oily pre-pooed hair back into eight big twists and hit the sack.

Note: I applied pre-poo to dry hair. The pre-poo was equal parts Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose and GPB conditioners mixed with Vatika Oil.

The Henna/Indigo Rundown (Sunday)

  • Shampooed hair in eight twists with Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo.
  • Conditioned and detangled with Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner.
  • Rinsed twists with lukewarm water.
  • Followed my two-step henna/indigo process using previously dye released, frozen and thawed henna.
  • Deep conditioned with Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioner Balm (overnight).

I ended up deep conditioning overnight and rinsing my hair in the morning (not too thoroughly though as I could smell then henna/indigo all day! Bleh! *lol*) using the cool & seal technique. Then, so I could get out the door, I proceeded to style my hair in a quick Wash and Go using a new product and combo.

Wash and Go (Monday)

  • Finger combed hair thoroughly using Bye Bye Parabens Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner as a leave-in.
  • Lightly finger-combed Samy’s Get Curls Reactivating Lotion through curls and then used “praying hands” to smooth curls.
  • Placed hair in 4 big twists and clipped up for the morning.
  • Around 11:30 am, released wet/damp twists without disturbing or separating curls and allowed to air dry.
  • Once dry, smoothed hair to soften and fluff curls (i.e. grasped hair like forming a ponytail and gently smoothed down the length of the hair).

Quick Review: Samy Get Curls Curl Reactivating Lotion
So, this is a first glance review of the Samy Get Curls Curl Reactivating Lotion. As you may or may not know, another Samy Get Curls product has been a WnG staple for me for years. The Reenergizing Potion gives me firm and defined, but not stiff or dry, curls when mixed with Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter. However, the Potion was discontinued at least two years ago. Fortunately for me, I was able to stockpile a few at a going out of business sale. That being said, that well will eventually run dry. So, when a Samy’s rep contacted me about trying some of the other products in the Get Curls line, I figured, why not?

Reactivating Lotion (L); Reenergizing Potion (R)

Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, PVP Carbomer, VP VA Copolymer, PEG 8 Dimethicone, Steareth 10 Allyl Ether Acrylates Copolymer, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 20, PEG 8 Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Acrylamide Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Polyquaternium 57, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Geraniol, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal.

Now, although this is called a “Lotion,” it really has the appearance, consistency and feel of a clear, thin gel. This is great for my fine strands, which are easily weighed down by heavy gels. However, the lotion may not work well for those with thick, coarse and/or dense hair that needs a gel with a little more “body” to it.


See?

The gel went on pretty smoothly and I had no issues with it blending with the leave-in or sitting on top of my hair. It did take my hair a lot longer to dry than it does with a leave-in only. But, that is to be expected.

At the end of the day, I was very pleased with the results of the Bye Bye Parabens/Samy WnG combo!! Although the Lotion has different ingredients than the Potion, it felt and worked the same. My hair was light, fluffy, defined and flake-free. The conditioner and gel combo played well together and my hair felt lightly moisturized, but essentially product free. Therefore, the Reactivating Lotion shows promise as a replacement for my Reenergizing Potion.

Plans for Day 2
Now, the thing is, my Day 1 hair looks like Day 3 and WnGs have been responsible for the bane of my hair existence, SSKs! So, I placed my hair into 4 big braids using Cream & Coco Curls for Days Hair Pudding last night and sealed my ends with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade. I’m definitely going into stretched hair and protective style mode and a braid out will help me with the first half.

And that’s that!

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If you use gel, do you prefer thin or thick formulas? Firm, medium or light hold? Which gels have you found to be the most effective?

Hello Bye Bye …

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I’m very tentative about trying new products anymore. I know what works on my hair and I don’t want to cause a setback with untested products. I’m especially hesitant about shampoos and conditioners, as those can be make or break products for me. Stylers cause less difficulties. Therefore, I’m more willing to experiment with those when companies send me products to try/review.

Therefore, when I saw the sample size bottles of shampoo and conditioner that arrived in the mail last week … I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try them, especially given the state of my hair. I hadn’t washed it in two weeks and it was a rat’s nest of tangles. I’d styled it in a WnG that I bunned haphazardly and failed to re-moisturize for most of week two.

On Friday night, I pre-pooed with Aubrey GPB mixed with Vatika Oil and it took over an hour (maybe two?) and required the periodic use of scissors to cut out several untenable knots. So, when I say that I didn’t think that there would be enough of the conditioner in the four little 1 oz. sample-size conditioner bottles to detangle my hair on a good day, let alone on a day where it was a tangle-ridden, shed hair filled mess, I’m not kidding you.

But, you see, this wasn’t any random company that had sent me these products. No. They were sent by the wife of a friend of Wei’s who started a new haircare line, Bye Bye Parabens. So, I felt obligated to at least give them a go … though I did so with immense hesitation.

via Bye Bye Parabens

Bye Bye Parabens is pleased to announce the launch of its new luxury line of hair care products. The first product designed to dramatically transform natural or curly hair into soft hair with unbelievable shine, body, and bounce. Bye Bye Paraben products are also sulfate & paraben free and made from non-toxic natural and organic ingredients. Bye Bye Parabens was founded by Tracy Riggs who is an award winning international master stylist and salon owner with over 20 years experience in the hair industry. Tracy has styled the likes of Erykah Badu, Lil Kim, Mary J Blige, and Charlie Baltimore but more importantly servicing thousands of mom’s, wives, and daughters over a 20 year period. Tracy Riggs saw a need for a sulfate & paraben free hair care line that would be safe to use without sacrificing the integrity of the hair and that would achieve optimum results.

Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Methyl-2 Sulfolaurate and Disodium-2 Sulfolaurate/Cocamindopropyl Betaine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-4, Citric Acid

Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner Ingredients:
Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Citric Acid

SEE 10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION BELOW REGARDING INGREDIENTS LIST

The Experiment
I was sent four 1 oz. sample size bottles each the Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner. I decided to start by diluting about 3/4 of the bottle of shampoo in about 6 ounces of water.  My hair was in 8 twists and I shampooed the roots and then squished the suds through the length of my hair. The shampoo had a refreshing minty scent and a nice tingle. My scalp and hair felt clean, without feeling stripped. Shampooing also didn’t seem to cause any additional matting at my roots, which sometimes happens to my hair with sudsy shampoos. In fact, although I LOVE the Aubrey conditioners, the Green Tea Shampoo was not doing me any favors. Last week, I used it for a body wash because I ran out of the real stuff!! LOL!! But, anywho, I was pleased that my hair didn’t feel any worse for the wear after using the Rosemary Mint shampoo.

After rinsing, I planned to try one bottle of the purifying conditioner on one twist. I even grabbed a new bottle of HE HH from under the sink as I was prepared to need it to finish the job. I just knew that there was no way that those little sample size bottles of conditioner would provide enough product or slip to detangle my whole head. But, after I applied the conditioner to my first twist, I was like, “What’s this here now??” OMGosh!!! The slip was great!! Definitely comparable to HE HH, if not better as I didn’t seem to need to use as much!! I hopped out of the shower to tell Wei, “Color me impressed!!” LOL!! I ended up using three bottles to do my whole head. But, I think that I was a little heavy-handed with that first section and could have gotten away with two bottles if I had spread the wealth around a little more!!

Anywho, after finger detangling with the conditioner under the shower stream (so helpful!), I rinsed and applied Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Rose Conditioner to DC. I kept it in for about an hour using my Thermal Heat Wrap. Then, I cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse and finally rinsed it all out with cold water.

Initial Thoughts
My hair felt “loverly!!” In fact, it felt so good that I didn’t even apply any leave-in conditioner! I just re-twisted it and applied a little JBCO/EVOO to the twists to seal in the water.

My hair dried quickly and the twists were so soft and plump! My God-cousin’s 30th birthday party was that evening and I simply released the twists with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade for a fluffy twist-out.

I gotta say that I was impressed by my first experience with Bye Bye Parabens! I am glad that I gave it a try, despite my initial hesitation ;).

Conclusions
To wrap this up, I still love HE HH for the amazing slip and cheap price tag. So, I will continue to use it for henna rinsing. But, because I do like to incorporate as many natural products as I can, this may become a “go to” as a post-shampoo detangler if my next experience is as pleasant as my first one!

10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION: Last week, I received full-size bottles of Bye Bye Parabens conditioner and shampoo. I looked at the ingredients lists on the bottles and found that both the shampoo and conditioner contain the silicone  DIMETHICONE and the conditioner also contains CYCLOPENTASILOXANE. The silicones are high on the ingredients lists. Based upon the lists of ingredients that were sent to me by via e-mail, I thought that these products were silicone free. They are not. So, they are not a natural alternative to HE HH and actually contain non water-suluble, build-up prone silicones versus build-up resistant cones the HE HH. That being said, this conditioner would not be a natural option or an option for those practicing the CG Method, the TCM Method or following a co-wash only regimen. 

And that’s it. Oh, wait, one more thing. Because I do like to anticipate your needs, I’ll just let you know that the outfit above (it’s not a dress!! It’s a peplum top worn with the skirt that I previously showed you here) was another one that I jacked from Style Pantry!! To see Folake rocking it and find “where to buy” info, click here.

Happy Monday!!

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Calling all reformed, pseudo-reformed or never-been-a PJs who like to stick with what they know works:
Are you willing to experiment with products? Are there any categories of products that are strictly on the “No-No” list? 

Evolution of a WnG

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On Sunday, I pre-pooed with a new Aubrey conditioner that I ordered from Vitacost a couple of weeks ago. Now you know that I love the Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) and GPB conditioners, but I’d heard good things about the Rose Mosqueta and wanted to give it a try.

I followed my normal process of mixing the conditioner with Vatika oil and then applied it while lightly finger detangling and placing my hair in 6 twists. I then applied Wild Growth Hair Oil to my scalp (I really owe you guys a review on the WGHOs, don’t I??) and donned a plastic cap and my thermal heat wrap for a couple of hours. Eventually I went to bed without washing my hair and, on Monday morning, just didn’t have time to wash it. So, I whipped out the trusty banana clip for my “go to” big bun. Added a big ol’ hair flower for good measure ;).

Yeah … didn’t wash it Monday night either … but my scalp was itching slightly, so knew that I had to shampoo on Tuesday morning. I placed my hair back in 6 twists, then washed with diluted DevaCare No Poo. Next, I applied HE HH to finger detangle under the shower stream (which was pretty easy, breezy, lemon squeezey). I re-twisted each section after detangling and rinsed under cold water. Hopped out of the shower and used my Curl Cloth to pseudo-plop my twists while I washed my face, brushed my teeth and lotioned up (was following some of CurlyNikki’s “Fluffy Definition WnG” steps with a few modifications). My hair was only slightly damp and then I tried a new WnG combo: Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (moisturizing leave-in) + LaBella Lots of Curls Gel (hold). I was a little nervous about how it would work out as I usually apply products to wet or soaking wet hair when I’m doing a WnG.

Morning: After product applied and still damp.

Early Afternoon: Fully dry, stringy, crunchy and untouched.

Fluffy, full and soft after scrunching out the crunch with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade.

What a difference a scrunch makes, right?!?! It’s amazing to me how one little step can make my hair go from, “Ewwwwww … pathetic. Where’s that scrunchie?” to “LOVE it!!” I wonder how many give up on a style because of impatience or not knowing that one little step or trick that will take a style from #FAIL to #FAB??

Anywho, this is it in the evening after getting home around 9 pm.

So, I’m pretty pleased!! Looks like my curls are back one wash post-cassia, as I anticipated (whew!!). Shoot, even that straighter nape area is behaving and curling up to meet the shorter layers!! And, even though I didn’t deep conditioner post-shampoo, my hair feels very soft and light. The Aubrey Rose Mosqueta Conditioner was comparable to the HSR and I don’t know that I appreciated much of a difference between the two. If there was one thing, my hair did seem easier to detangle than normal. However, I’m not sure if that’s attributable to the conditioner or the 30+ hour pre-poo!! I’ll have to see if I notice the same ease of detangling the next time I use it with a typical overnight pre-poo. Though my hair doesn’t feel super-moisturized, it’s also not dry. It feels lightly moisturized, so I will probably apply a little something to it in another day or two. And, guess we’ll see what else evolution has in store for this WnG over the rest of the week. Only time will tell!!

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How does your WnG evolve on Day 1?