Tag Archives: product reviews

Aloe Vera Gel Braid-Out

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Okay y’all. I didn’t expect to be doing a hair post this week. But, I got such awesome braid-out results from my wash day this weekend, I just had to share!!! This may be my new regimen if it consistently delivers the super soft, light, defined, and shiny results that I got this time!!

But first, let’s talk about the state of my hair going into this. Dry. Crunchy. Undefined. Bushy (the bad kind, not the good kind). So, I knew I needed to do some rehab first. Therefore, I pre-pooed with an old fave combo that I seemed to have forgotten to use for a while (O_o) … Vatika Oil and Aubrey conditioner!! This time, I used Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) conditioner as I was in need of some serious moisture versus the protein shot that Aubrey GPB would deliver. I usually mix the oil and conditioner together prior to applying. But, the HSR was an afterthought, so I ended up layering it over the Vatika Oil (I lightly finger detangled and then twisted my hair into 4 sections) and then applied my JBCO/EVOO/EO mix to my scalp.

prepoo_813Looked and felt better IMMEDIATELY.

I donned a plastic cap and my thermal heat turban for about an hour. Then, I left the plastic cap on and did some chores before hitting the shower about 3 hours or so later, I guess.

Now onto the dirt!!

WASHING and CONDITIONING

  • Shampooed with DevaCare No Poo. Rinsed.
  • Applied Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe Restorative Treatment (Gifted and then purchased. Review coming soon. Preview? LOVE at first sight!!). I smoothed it down length of hair and left it on for about 5-10 minutes. Rinsed.
  • Applied Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) to finish detangling, first with fingers, then with the Ouidad Double Detangler. Rinsed.
  • Applied Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm (I forgot how good this stuff is to my hair!!).
  • Donned plastic cap and thermal heat turban for about 30 minutes.
  • Cooled (10-15 min) and sealed with diluted HE HH.

Next up, styling.  So, I was perusing YouTube videos over the weekend and came across this one about an amazing, soft hold braid-out with aloe vera gel.

via VeggieCurlDeelite

This is the thing, waaaay back in the day, I used this gel for WnGs with ho-hum results. It didn’t provide much hold or definition as far as I can recall. But, I have a huge bottle of it under my sink, because I usually mix it with my face lotion in the summer to reduce the oil slick down the middle of my face. So, I decided to break it out and give VeggieCurlDeelite’s (VCD)  braid-out a go with some of my old … and new … faves!!

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STYLING

  • Sectioned hair into four and worked section by section.
  • Applied about a marble-sized amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner, smoothing and finger combing it through the length of hair.
  • Smoothed about a marble-sized amount of Curl Prep Sweet Buttah (gifted) down section of hair.
  • Smoothed and finger-combed a marble-sized amount (or maybe even a little more) Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel down the section, ensuring hair coated (the gel seemed to add slip and aid detangling too!).
  • Placed front two sections of hair in 2 braids on each side and back section in 3 braids on each side for a total of 10 braids.
  • Lightly applied a little virgin coconut oil (VCO) to ends (last 3-4 inches) and rolled on small grey perm rods covered in end paper (I set my ends not only to curl them, but to keep them smooth, discourage knots, and to “lock in” the moisture).

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I tied my head down with a hair net to allow air flow, then hit the sack on an EboniCurls satin pillowcase. But, with only 5 hours and an a.m. workout, my hair did not dry in time for work on Monday morning. So, I just removed the rollers, pulled the braids into a low ponytail, and  threw on a headband to get out the door. I didn’t release my hair from the braids until Tuesday morning. But it was worth the wait!!

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Y’all … VCD was NOT kidding!!!! My hair was sooooo soft and silky!! I was suffering from some serious Hands-in-Hair (HIH) Syndrome!! I told at least three friends touch it, so that they could marvel over how soft it was ;)!! LOL!!! So yeah, this AVG combo looks like a keeper (I think that the DC might have had something to do with it too). Now, how it’ll hold up overnight and after daily, sweaty a.m. workouts? That remains to be seen. But, you know, I’m not expecting miracles. I may be in bun by the end of day 2. But, as long as it is still soft and moisturized, that’s okay with me!!

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Have/do you use Aloe Vera Gel to style your hair? If so, what brand do you use, how do you use it (with what other products) and how does it work for you (hold, definition, feel, appearance)?

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration v. TRESemmé Naturals

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In the left corner, weighing in at 33.8 ounces, we have the champ, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) Conditioner. And in the right corner, we have the contender, weighing in at 25 ounces, TRESemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.

And …

HE HH is STILL the undisputed DETANGLING champion!!!!

Yeah … Picked up the TRESemmé at Ulta a couple of weeks ago. So many ladies seem to love and swear by it, I wanted to see how it compared to my holy grail … my love … HEHH. Welp, after applying the TRESemmé, my hair felt a little slick. But, it just wasn’t as slippery as HE HH. When I applied some of the latter, different story. I was singing in my head in the shower …

“Nothing compares, nothing compares, to youuuuuuuuu !!”

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Okay … caveat. I was told on IG that this “black label” TN is the NEW formula and it does “NOT compare” (see what I did there? 😉 lol!) to the old formula. So, if I can get my hands on the former version of the product, I might have to give it a go. The thing is … why fall in love with a discontinued formula?!?! “Touch me in the morning and just walk away!” Grrrrrr Arrrrrghhh!!

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What conditioner “gives you life” when detangling?

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?

A Dry Twist Out with Cantu

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Yeah … this is way overdue. So, a couple of weeks ago, I teased the results of using a new product to style. As you’ve probably already guessed by the title (or know from IG and/or Facebook), that product was Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream!! I had been hearing about the awesomeness that is Cantu for a couple of years now, but had repressed my inner PJ and never bought it … that is, until I saw the GORGEOUS braid and twist-out results that the fabulous Shaniece (aka PGneiicey of YouTube) was getting using it!! Now, I know … 90% of those results are due to the fact that her hair is stinkin’ AMAZE-A-BALLS. But, you know, that never stops a PJ.

So, yeah … when Wei and I stopped at Target a couple of weeks ago and were perusing the hair care/body care aisles in search of some Shea Moisture Body Wash for him, I saw the Cantu. And I snagged the Cantu (along with a jar of SM Raw Shea Restorative Mask … had to restock).

Here’s a little information about the Cantu leave-in:

via NaturallyCurly.com

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream is an intensive deep penetrating leave in cream conditioning treatment that is made with pure shea butter and other natural oils to stop and mend breakage, repair split ends, and add manageability and shine with every application.
Product Attributes: moisture, shine, detangling, frizz control, anti-humectant

Ingredients
Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Panthenol, PPG 1-PPG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Lanolin Oil, Cinnamidopropyl Trimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Benzophenone 3, BHA, BHT, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Ingredient Attributes: sulfate free, paraben free

So, later that night, I decided that I wanted to try a dry twist-out with my newest acquisition. First, I finger detangled my dry, 8 day old twist-out (which was still looking pretty good, if I must do say so myself) …

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Then, I set my hair in an 8 twist, dry twist-out with a combo of Cantu leave-in and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel …

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The next morning I released to some pretty awesome results!

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My hair was shiny, defined, light (not “producty” or greasy at all), and flake-free (seems some have had that problem with Cantu/gel combos). So, I was very pleased with the results!!

Tomorrow … Overnight Maintenance: A New Bedtime Technique and Day 2 hair!

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 Have you tried/do you use Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner? How did/do you use it? How did/do you like it?

In Review: Yes to Blueberries Healthy Hair Repair

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yes to blueberriesby Crystal of Crystal’s Curls & Q’s

I have been on the search for a really good deep conditioner to use along with my Huetiful steamer.  I was browsing Essence.com on January 1 and came across this:

So, I decided I would give it a try. It is at Walgreen’s for $7.99 for the 11.5 oz bottle. There was a $1 off coupon attached to the bottle and you know I used it.

Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimonium Oligosaccharides, Lupine Amino Acids, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil*, Ipomoea Batatas Root Lees Extract, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

According to the package:
Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants to keep hair looking healthy and shiny.
Clover Flower has healing properties to mend damaged locks.
Sunflower contains fatty acids to nourish and protect against breakage.

Product claims:
Reduce breakage for healthier looking hair.
Restore fullness and shine.
98% natural product.

I was beyond ecstatic that there are no sulfates or  silicones in this product. #cgfriendly YAY!!!

*So here are my thoughts regarding this product.*

I used it yesterday, 1/5/12, after washing with Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo. I detangled with Tresemme Naturals (as usual). I applied this to my hair and OMG!!!!! I love the consistency. As I applied it, my hair immediately felt moisturized.  This is not a THICK product; it has more of a WET consistency. It has slip. You could detangle with it if you wanted. If it were not $8 a bottle, I would DEFINITELY use it as my detangler.

I parted my hair in 4 sections and applied the product to each section. I then combined both sections on the left and both sections on the right to make 2 big sections separated by a middle part and clipped them.

I then sat under the steamer:

I have added weekly steam treatments to my routine.  See my routine tab.

I then twisted my hair:

I DID NOT RINSE  THE PRODUCT OUT.  (It does say to rinse on the bottle, but I am a REBEL.)
I loved how supple my twists were.  Here is a pic of my twists this morning:

1/6/13

My Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a good deep conditioner that is not expensive, is readily available in most markets, and is all (98%) natural, this is a GREAT conditioner.  I am no longer on the hunt for a deep conditioner. 

DISCLAIMER:  This review consists of my thoughts on how MY hair responded to this product.  I was not paid for this review and I paid for this product myself.  

Kay Vel Creme Press Testimonial

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So, remember I told you guys about Kay Vel Creme Press a few weeks ago? If you missed that post, check it out here. Well, I just had to share this testimonial with you from my girl Rhonda, a faithful Hairscapades follower cum friend. She contacted me about an issue that she was having with her daughter’s hair and I suggested Kay Vel, along with a couple other things. This is Rhonda’s Kay Vel story and experience.

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On 12/14/12:

Shelli,

I took my daughter with the 4z hair to a hair salon where she had a press and curl, only to have her hair break so badly from the incident that I feel like an unfit mother. We are back almost to square one when she transitioned (only 3″ of hair). She is taking it in stride, but I am not. I hurt! I hurt!

Moisture – she is lacking moisture, but it seems I can’t keep enough of it in her hair ever. I just don’t know the right combo of products to use. Oh and been using GBP.

I am really catching hell … Kennedy does not want to return to texlaxing and I don’t want to either, BUT I just can’t go on. We have limited styling options and I am so very tired of tackling her hair almost daily. I like her hair blown out, but it reverts so very quickly. If she walks from house to car, her hair will revert. Braids are not an option, because everytime she has had them installed, she has had extreme breakage, especially along the hairline. Her father, my husband, is almost at his wit’s end and is demanding for me to have her hair straightened (texturized). He is not down with team natural as far as Kenendy’s hair is concerned. PLEASE send me some inspiration.

Rhonda

I responded:

Do you think her hair is under or over porous? Have you tried the L.O.C. method on her? Leave-in, oil and then a cream or butter WITHOUT water? It sounds to me like her hair is porous, like it’s absorbing the water in the air. She may need a stronger protein. Have you tried the 2 minute ApHogee on her? I’d be hesitant about the two step, but GPB may not be enough (anything you use, follow with moisture).

Okay, now onto products. Have you tried the Shea Moisture or Cantu lines on her? They are readily available in stores and can probably be returned if they don’t work. Wait a minute, maybe that Kay Vel would be good for doing a blow out on her hair and keeping it from reverting?

Well, last night, after Rhonda e-mailed me an update about her results, I demanded requested a testimonial, and she kindly obliged!

KennedybeforeKayVelby Rhonda

A few weeks ago I reached out to you for some assistance in managing my daughter’s 4c hair. Kennedy BC’d two years ago and we have been struggling mightily ever since. We’ve experienced breakage, lack of length retention, extreme dryness and thinning edges. Trips to the hair salon only exasperated the problem.

So, upon your advice, we shampooed (Elucense Moisture Benefits Poo) and dried most of the moisture with a T-shirt. We then applied Aphogee Keratin Reconstructor for 10 minutes with heat. We allowed the product to cool for 10 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water (she screams if we rinse with cold water). Again, we sopped up most of the moisture with a T-shirt before DC’ing with Neutrogena Triple Moisture Hair Mask with heat for 45 minutes. Next, we applied Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner and sectioned her hair in four sections to allow to air dry. After about 30 – 45 minutes, her hair was just damp and we blow dried on medium heat after applying a small amount of Kay Vel to each section. Kennedy’s hair was lightly pressed with a Kizure pressing comb (one pass only) and curled with a ceramic BaByliss flat-iron set at 350° (we added a small amount of Kay Vel to each section before pressing). We were both blown away with the results ~ the product lived fully up to its claim. No reversion, greaseless, no odor or smoke. During the week, we did not have to add a moisturizer to her hair at all. The Kay Vel acted as a sealer and sealed in the moisture that was applied during the wash/conditioning process. We did, however, apply a light application of JBCO to her thinning edges.

Our real test came two weeks later … the wash out.

Fast forward to today. I had been filled with mounting anxiety. You see, we have been rocked with snow, rain and lots of moisture in the air. Through it all, Kennedy’s hair did not revert. Not even alittle bit. It remained shiny and curly. Note: We did not touch up her hair at all … no pressing and/or curling of any sort.

In prep for wash day, we pre-pooed with coconut oil overnight. We rinsed and washed with Elucense, followed by DC’ing with AOHSR with heat for 45 minutes. I was needlessly concerned about heat damage and product build-up. Neither was noted. Kennedy’s curls were not compromised at all. She still has a very dense head of 4c curls. I might even say that her hair was slightly more manageable. It was surprisingly well moisturized. I attribute this to (1) pre-pooing and (2) moisturizing/conditioning.

Our light blow dry and press and curl process was the same as the first time. I wanted to follow the same routine to ensure repeatability and reproducibility. We succeeded. I was even able to use a lower temp on the flat-iron this time (325°). I spoke with Dana Settle, Kay Vel Co-Founder, who shared that many claim to be able to use even less heat with repeated use of Kay Vel Creme Press. That was indeed our experience. On our next wash day, we shall scale the temperature back 15-25 degrees.

Overall, we are exceptionally pleased with the Kay Vel Creme Press and our regimen. Kay Vel Creme Press is a miracle in a jar! While it worked extremely well for Kennedy’s 4c curls, those whose hair straightens quickly with heat, may not realize the true benefit of the product. The incorporation of protein, pre-pooing and Kay Vel Creme Press really helped get us over the hurdle. Kennedy will likely return to her staple (the puff) in the summer when temperatures climb, but for now we are incredibly grateful for all your sage advise and willingness to help! You really did save me from reaching for that jar of texturizer! 🙂

Sincerely,

Rhonda

(p.s. The first time, I might add that I did spray her hair with Jane Carter leave-in, which is supposed to have heat protection and detangling properties. The second time, I did not. But, I will incorporate heat protection going forward because it can’t hurt.)

KennedyafterKayVel

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You are VERY welcome Rhonda!! I am so happy that you and Kennedy are off the ledge and received such great results!! But, what I’m most pleased to know is that Kennedy’s hair reverted quickly once washed!!

So, I still don’t think that I would try this on my loose curls and fine strands as I think it might loosen the curl even further. But, I definitely think that this product has potential and would recommend it for those with heartier strands and tighter coils who are experiencing struggles with straightening and/or daily styling.

What about you guys? Do you think Kay Vel is legit??

PJ Moment: Garnier Fructis Fall Fight

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I am forever obsessed with products claiming to reduce shedding!!! Garnier Fructis’s Fall Fight system of shampoo, conditioner and strand saver spray claims to save 100s* of strands from shedding or breaking per month. Of course, that “*” is accompanied with the explanation … “in a brushing test that measures breakage, compared to a non-conditioning shampoo.” In comparison to a NON-CONDITIONING SHAMPOO?!?! That’s the point of comparison?!? Now you know dang well our conditioner happy butts ain’t just using shampoo!!! This is why it’s so important to read the small print!! I won’t be parting with my hard-earned money to find out if this works until they compare it to what a grown woman with two brain cells to rub together would use on wash day … A shampoo AND conditioner. PJ urge quelled!!!

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Have you tried/would you try Fall Fight? If you’ve  tried it, are you seeing less shedding? 

Mizani: Supreme Oil and True Textures Trial Run

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UPDATED w/TnC RESULTS PICS BELOW

Yes! Despite the looming “Frankenstorm” that is Hurricane Sandy and last minute preparations, including housecleaning, laundry work and survival grocery shopping, I managed to wash and set my hair yesterday! I figured, I’d better do it now or I might be SOL this week and walking around with a rat’s nest as my town is prone to long-ended power outages in severe storms.

Not only did I wash my hair, I decided to try something new! You see, last week, I received an unexpected package at my door!! Mizani products!! I was sent items from the Supreme Oil and True Textures lines. As I was given a shampoo, conditioner, mask, leave-in and “jelly,” I figured I’d try using them all. I don’t think I’ve ever used a single line for washing and styling, so I figured, “Why not?” Mind you, I realize that, technically, this is two lines ;).

Anywho, I pre-pooed overnight from Saturday into Sunday with equal parts Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose and GPB conditioners mixed with Vatika oil on my hair and WGHO on my scalp. As usual, I placed my hair in 6 twists. Early afternoon on Sunday, I washed with the sulfate-free Supreme Oil Shampoo, applied the conditioner to detangle and ended up having to add some Herbal Essences Hello Hydration to finish the job and then “deep conditioned” for 15 minutes with the mask (the directions only indicate: 3-5 minutes; but I decided to make it 15 and add my thermal wrap). Next, I cooled and sealed with the diluted conditioner. I have to say, my hair didn’t feel as smooth, soft and silky as it normally does. It felt a little hard and coarse.

After lightly blotting my ends with a Curl Cloth to sop up the drippies, I applied the True Textures Leave-in to each released twist one by one and combed it through with a wide-tooth comb. The comb glided through my hair relatively easily despite the leave-in having an Elmer’s Glue like appearance and consistency! LOL!! Next, I applied a decent amount of the True Textures Curl Set Jelly section by section to form 14 twists, 7 on each side. I smoothed a little extra at my roots to control the fuzzies. The Jelly also had a different appearance, almost like petroleum jelly mixed with gel. However, it wasn’t at all greasy and also went on smoothly.


Mizani True Textures Curl Soft Leave-in (L); Curl Set Jelly (R)

Finally, I applied a little Vatika Oil to my ends and set the twists on small grey perm rods.

And this is what I look like as I type this, except that I have a satin scarf around my edges and I’ll sleep in my open-ended pocket bonnet.

As to the Mizani lines, preliminarily, I’ve already told my sister that she can have the Supreme Oil products as I didn’t feel they did my hair any favors. She likes Mizani though, so she’d like to give them a whirl. As to the True Textures leave-in and jelly, the verdict is still out on those. But, the thing is … I’m not feeling the ingredient lists on these products. So, even if my hair turns out great, I doubt that I’d purchase them myself. I mean, seriously, the first ingredient in all of the products is water preceded by a number (e.g. 42856 SS8 Aqua/Water). But, each product has a different number at the beginning (though they seem somewhat sequential). I haven’t been able to determine what the “modifiers” mean. But, when water isn’t plain water, I become a little concerned. When I can’t figure out why water isn’t plain water, then I become wary. So, yeah, there’s a little side eye action going on right now.

All that being said, I’ll be back with my results later today … hopefully! They are predicting that “Frankestorm” will hit us beginning early afternoon Monday and continue through Wednesday, with the worst of it being Tuesday. So, it’s highly likely that this hair will be in a bun by the end of the day and I might not have any electricity!! But, I’ll try to make certain to snap a few pics tomorrow morning before Sandy does her business and my cell dies ;). If all goes well, I’ll share pics tomorrow evening. But, I’m not making any promises!! LOL!

Alright, so to all my ladies (and gents … hey, I think that there are a couple out there ;)) who are in the path of this storm, please stay safe and I’ll “talk” to you on the other side!!

That’s a wrap!

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UPDATE

Alright, I’m back … and eating a little crow. LOL! You see, yesterday, I wrote on IG that my hair was not as soft and smooth as it usually feels after a DC and, “If my hair doesn’t feel good/soft wet, it’s unlikely that it’ll feel that way dry.” Well, I’m here this afternoon to tell you that I got a very nice, soft but firm hold from the Mizani leave-in and jelly. And, it also held up in spite of a couple of short encounters with Hurricane Sandy (mind you, I did wear a hat and a raincoat with a hood cinched tight around my neck … but still ;)).

So, without further ado, here are the results of my TnC (Note: I applied a little Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade to my twists before releasing them).

Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Have you used Mizani? If so, which line(s)? How did the products work for you? Which ones are your faves and why?

Cream & Coco Product Review: Curls for Days Hair Pudding

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So, remember my “Flash Post” from a couple of weeks ago? I told you guys that I got gifted a few goodies from Cream & Coco and couldn’t wait to try the Curls for Days Hair Pudding. Well, this past Sunday, I took the pudding for a test drive!

via CreamandCoco.com

Curls For Days Hair Pudding ($15 for 16 oz.)
Soothing botanicals and avocado oils nourish curls giving definition, body, hold, and shine. This pudding is thick & rich, perfect for stretching out curls that want to shrink up and rolls with naturally wavy hair patterns. It gives fabulous hold without making hair hard or crunchy. Defines almost every curly hair type with beautiful results.

Directions: Scoop a small amount of pudding and work through soaking wet hair, evenly distributing. Use a paddle brush or comb through and scrunch to define your, well, curls for days!

Ingredients: pure water, avocado oil, cetearyl alcohol, coconut oil, shea butter, glycerin, aloe vera juice, beeswax, xanthan gum, fragrance, panthenol, hydrolyzed oat protein, horsetail extract, slippery elm, optiphen (natural preservative)

Now, when Victoria, the owner/creator behind Cream & Coco, contacted me about sending some products, I was all set to decline. You see, I was feeling like I had more stuff than I could try for the rest of the year! But, after reading the information on the Curls for Days Hair Pudding, the PJ in me could not be denied!! The promise of defined curls with fabulous hold, sans hardness or crunch, had me super intrigued!!

So, this past Sunday on wash day, I put the claim to the test.

Wash Day Rundown:

  • Pre-pooed dry hair with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner mixed with Vatika Oil. Lightly oiled scalp with Wild Growth Hair Oil (WGHO) Original formula (approx. 1 hr).
  • Shampooed with diluted DevaCare No Poo.
  • Detangled with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
  • Deep conditioned with Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner.
  • Cooled and sealed DC with Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse.
  • “Plopped” hair for a few minutes in a Curl Cloth until damp.
  • Applied modified Kimmaytube leave-in (1 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today; 1 tbsp Aloe Vera Juice – whole leaf).
  • Made 7 braids by applying a fingertip full amount of Cream & Coco Curls for Days Hair Pudding to each section before braiding.
  • Applied a small amount of EcoStyler Olive Oil gel to roots and braids to lay down “halo” and provide additional level of hold.
  • Before going to bed, applied a tiny amount of WGHO Light to ends and tied hair down with a hair net to allow for air flow to aid drying.

On Monday morning, my braids weren’t dry … surprise, surprise ;). So, I sat under my hooded dryer for about 40-50 minutes. As my braids still felt as if they were not fully dry, I pinned them up into some type of pseudo bun for the day. I added a little more Eco gel to my roots and tied the edges down with a satin scarf for the drive to work.


It might not be glamorous, but it was functional ;).

I left the braids in until yesterday morning, when I released them after smoothing a small amount of Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade down length.


I need to do a better job of fluffing out that center part next time! LOL!!

Initial Thoughts
As you can see, my braid-out is nicely defined and shiny. There was a little precipitation on Tuesday and some light sprinkles throughout the day. But, my hair barely frizzed at all and all of the above braid-out pics were taken at the end of the day after work!!! So, what did I think of the Cream and Coco Curls for Days Hair Pudding overall? Here goes.

Ingredients: Looking good Mr. Cah-tah!!! LOL! So yeah, I think the ingredients are great. I recognize and can pronounce all of them easily and none is longer than three syllables. That’s usually a good sign;). Also, the product is free of petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens and sulfates.

Packaging: The packaging was also good. The 16 oz. Pudding comes in a plastic amber lidded container with a glossy and well-secured label. The product name, claim, ingredients and directions all appear on the one label. That being said, the print is very small and this includes the brand name. So, the far-sighted might need to check this post or the site or break out the reading glasses to read it all ;).

Pricing: At $15 for 16 ounces, the cost of this product is mid-range. It’s slightly more expensive than, say, Shea Moisture products, which run around $10 for 12 ounces. However, the price is pretty comparable to a line like Qhemet Biologic.

Scent: Okay, now this is where the Hair Pudding gets bonus points!!! OMGosh!!! I love, love, LOVE the smell of this stuff ♥♥♥!! To me, it smells like Pixie Sticks!!! You know, those sugar-filled straws?! Wei said, “Lik-a-Stix!” LOL!! Now, if you don’t like sweet or candy smells, this may be too much for you upon sniffing the contents of the jar. But, the scent does fade to a very light scent once dry and by Tuesday night, it had dissipated entirely.

Consistency and Application: Though the claim on the pudding is that it is rich and thick, I felt that it had a light, airy, but creamy consistency. It had a whipped appearance and feel to it. It applied smoothly and was very easy to distribute. I only needed to use a little bit for each section. And, once applied, it disappeared into my hair, leaving no white chunks, flakes or residue when layered over my modified Kimmaytube leave-in.

Appearance (Hold & Definition) and Feel: So far, so good! As it’s only been a day, I can’t provide a full review on long-term hold and definition. However, I can say that day one went well, especially given the weather! My braid-out was defined, firm and remained almost frizz-free throughout the day. In regard to the feel of my hair, LOVE it! My hair feels soft, light and product-less! It feels moisturized without feeling producty, greasy or sticky and has a nice sheen without being shiny. When I used the Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter and then the Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade on dry braid-outs last week, my hair was moisturized and shiny, but left residue on my hands when I touched it. This also meant that I had a lot of lint and dust stuck to my hair, which gunk up my strands and contribute to SSKs and difficult detangling sessions. #Notcool. But, with the pudding, I got a soft, moisturized, defined, sheeny set without hard, crunchy, tacky, flaky, greasy or crunchy hair. Nice!

Conclusions
So, will I use the Cream & Coco Curls for Days Hair Pudding again? Absolutely! Based upon my initial results, I will definitely be using it again! I think the moisture, hold, shine and definition were great and I love the smell and the ingredients! Also, as I only needed a small amount of product, I can imagine that this 16 oz. container could last for several months. So, the cost is reasonable. And, of course, love to support small black businesswomen doing their thing ;)!!

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What properties do you look for in a curl pudding, cream and/or butter? Which one(s) have you found to deliver?

Hair Scarves, Shea Moisture Yucca & Aloe Thickening Growth Milk and A Rookie Mistake

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Good morning sunshines ;). Hope you all enjoyed your weekends!! I had a good, long one!! Took Friday off from work to clean house … but fudged around online, watched some videos, wrote some posts and played with my hair instead. Saturday morning, I did most of the much needed housecleaning and then had lunch with the Sci-Five, minus one permanent and two auxiliary members ;). And Sunday, ran a couple quick errands, did some laundry, had a heart-to-heart with a friend and chilled some more :).

Fun with Hair Scarves
Anywho, on to what you’re really here for … hair. *lol* On Friday, in the midst of perusing the hair sites and test driving that Janelle Monae inspired updo, I came across this video tutorial by Naptural85, “10 Ways to Tie a Silk Hair Scarf”:

Since I wasn’t too sure about “Shelli Monae” *lol*, I had no plans to wear it out and about. So, I fell back on my old standby, a high bun. However, this time, I made it with a Goody Ouchless elastic and a few bobby pins (*gasp* no banana clip?!?! IKR?). On Saturday morning, remembering the scarf video I’d just watched the prior day, I decided to “dress up” the bun. But … ummm … yeah. I wasn’t able to pull off any of the styles I tried … The Gypsy Knot (realize now that I didn’t do it correctly) … The Twist Knot … The Criss Cross. All no gos. So, I ended up just tying the scarf at the back and kept it moving! But, I’ll be revisiting some of these soon. Although Whitney touted these as summer scarf styles, I don’t see why they wouldn’t work into the fall!

Shea Moisture Haul & A Review of Yucca & Aloe Thickening Growth Milk
In other news, if you follow my FB page, you know that I hit the Shea Moisture BOGO sale at CVS last week and picked up three products from the Yucca & Baobab line. I have been wanting to try this line for over a year!! “Thicken?!?!”  “Volumize?!?!” I resisted for a looooong time … but it was on now!! I hightailed my way to a local CVS and, after scouring the hair product aisles a few times to no avail, was about to give up and accept that I wasn’t in an area that catered to a SheaMoisture clientele. Then … insert *angels singing* there it was!! Shea Moisture!! And, what’s this?!?! They have the Yucca & Baobab (and Aloe?) line too!! “This is meant to be, because these are the very last bottles of Thickening Growth Milk and Anti-Breakage Mask on the shelf!!” They had a few bottles of the shampoo and a scattering of the Coconut & Hibiscus and Raw Shea products. So, I snagged up the last bottle of Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner to round out my “Get One Free.”

Welp. On Saturday, before making my bun, I tried the Thickening Growth Milk. I smoothed it down my hair from roots to tips in sections. Then, I applied Wild Growth Hair Oil Light to seal. I placed my hair in the bun seen far above. On Sunday afternoon, when I released the bun to pre-poo … let’s just say my hair was just as crunchy as it wanted to be … like KFC extra crispy recipe. Okay, LOL!!  I’m being a little dramatic, but it was greasy and dry like an over-cooked chicken breast and that is not a feeling that I’m used to or like ;)!

So, what’s this about a rookie mistake you ask? Ummmm … yeah … well, you see … what had happened was … I got so caught up in the name of the product … “THICKENING!!! … and it’s claim, ” THIN, FINE HAIR … Thicken, Volumize … ” … I didn’t read the ingredients. DOH!!

Ingredients:
Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Olea Europaea Oil (Olive), Vegetable Glycerin, Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Triticum Vulgare Oil (Wheatgerm), Grapeseed Oil, Sorbitol Esters, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cetyl Esters, Yucca Filamentosa Extract, Vegetable Protein, Adansonia Digitata Extract (Baobab), Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Rosemary Extract, Bamboo Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

So, what are the second and third ingredients? Shea butter and coconut oil, respectively. And, guess what else? It also contains vegetable protein. So, what’s up with the first two ingredients? Well, my hair LOVES coconut oil as a pre-poo. But it DOES not seem to like it much in leave-in products or to seal … KFC. Shea butter is another mixed bag for me. It works pretty well when I mix it with Eco gel to smooth and hold my edges. But, again, my hair does not like it to seal. It just sits on top of my hair, weighing it down and making it dull and ashy-looking!

And then there’s the protein. Now, don’t get me wrong! I have a whole new appreciation for protein and don’t avoid it like the plague as I did for most of 2010-2011. I LOVE what protein has done for my hair. It’s stronger, curlier and has better elasticity due to the treatments that I’ve incorporated into my regimen, which are (and this is the key) always followed with moisturizing conditioners (instant, deep and/or leave-ins). However, that being said, I find that many moisturizers/stylers with protein also leave my hair with a dry, brittle feeling. And, this is not uncommon according to the following post by my fellow blogging friend Michelle (note: this is the article that turned me around and taught me how to properly use protein):

via Radiant Brown Beauty

If you apply a leave in or other “surface” treating product with protein in it, your hair is prone to feeling hard and brittle.  The brittle, hard hair is then susceptible to additional hair breakage –defeating the purpose of using protein in the first place.

And…wait for it…It-Will-Stay-That-Way causing you to have what you think is ”protein sensitivity” until you wash and use a moisturizing conditioner to resoften it. That’s because the application of the products containing protein (other than a deep conditioner)  sits right on top of your hair shaft.

I’ll add one further note to that. In order for protein to fill in the “gaps” in the cuticle and provide the maximum benefit, it has to be small enough to do so, otherwise it just sits on the surface of the hair. Protein that has been broken into smaller segments is called hydrolyzed/hydrolysed (check out this post by JC of Natural Haven for more on that, Size Matters: Protein Conditioning). That vegetable protein in the Thickening Growth Milk? Hydrolyzed? Not so much.

So, the Shea Moisture Yucca & Aloe Thickening Growth Milk has two ingredients that don’t work well for me in stylers/moisturizers, coconut oil and shea butter. It also contains a non-hydrolyzed protein that may or may not have had anything to do with the crispy, crunchy aftermath given that it was so low down on the list … but it was something about which I should have been aware.

All that being said … yeah, I’m gonna need to take a look at the ingredients in the other two products and make a decision about whether or not I’m going to use them or just return the whole Shea Moisture Yucca kit and caboodle!! I hope that by sharing, you can learn from my rookie mistake ;). And … if you’re new to this … here’s the … *imagine this flashing*

Tip of the Day

Pay attention to the first 5-6 ingredients in products that you use, those that work well and those that don’t. These ingredients are of the highest content in the product. Understanding the key ingredients that your hair likes and dislikes, as well as when and where it likes them, can save you a lot of grief, money and time ;)!

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 What ingredients have you learned to avoid? Which ones do you embrace?