Tag Archives: review

Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

Standard

hothead2

 

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!

***************************************************************************************************************************

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

Advertisements

PJ Moment: Garnier Fructis Fall Fight

Standard

FructicHairFall

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!!!

****************************************************************************************************************************

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

Standard

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!

**************************************************************************************

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.

*****************************************************************************************************************

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

Organix Brazilian Keratin Smoothing Treatment

Video

A little backstory on this one. I discovered this next guest blogger and her site a couple of weeks ago. I started perusing her blog and was so impressed by the content of the site, the depth of the writing and, of course, the beautiful lady and her gorgeous hair! Well, when I came across a post entitled, “How I Got Overwhelmed with My Hair and Did Something About it,” I was intrigued.

You see, although I am not interested in keratin treatments, I know some naturals want to learn more about this, purportedly, non-permanent option to smooth frizz and curls. This guest post is to share one natural’s experience with a keratin treatment. I’ll end this with a caveat, take heed to the advice at the end ;). Enjoy!

************************************************************************************

by GG of the Write Curl Diary

Last summer, after three years of being natural, I got fed up with my hair. It seemed thick and healthy from afar, but up close my ends were very shabby and I was dreading washing and styling it. I never questioned going natural, but I knew that I needed a change. Today, I’d like to share with you what I did and what I learned from it.

Written August 30, 2011:

I’ve been bunning my hair pretty much all summer and was getting pretty tired of wearing it up. It’s been really humid though, so every time I did wear it down, I had to go through massive detangling sessions afterwards. Long hair is a lot of work (more to follow on this). During hair sessions, I was noticing that my ends were looking pretty shabby in some places. So, I decided that my hair needed to be stretched for awhile.

I blow-dried my hair, which was an exhausting, sweaty process, only to find even more damaged ends than I originally thought. Let me dispell a couple of myths right here and now. 1) Natural hair can have just as much damage as relaxed hair if you don’t stay on top of it. 2) Blowdrying is not necessarily a bad thing. I get less knots and tangles when my hair is blow dried so, for me, the pros outweigh the cons. Going forward, it’s very likely that I’ll be blow drying my hair after washing more often than not. This should only amount to about twice a month at the most.

At this point, I realized that I needed a professional trim and that my usual search and destroy session was not going to help my situation. If you’ve been reading for awhile, then you know my goal was for my hair to reach waist length (stretched) by the end of 2011. I didn’t want my ends to be thin, knotty and damaged; barely scraping my hair goal length. So, I got the trim. I’m telling you, if your hair is misbehaving, unmanageable, uncontrollable, you may very well need your hair trimmed. Don’t worry about losing the length. Remember, your hair is only as healthy as you keep your ends because, ultimately, the damage is going to travel up the hair shaft and detract from the strength of your hair.

Anyway, with my fresh trim, I felt like I had a clean slate and I wanted to wear my hair straight-ish for awhile to keep the knots away. I’d been considering this Organix Brazilian Keratin Smoothing Treatment for awhile because I have a friend who’s been using it on her natural hair and she loves it. After researching the product and getting comfortable with it, I decided to bite the bullet and try it. I loaded up the kids and we went on a field trip to Ulta (or “Mommy’s toy store,” as they like to call it).

What sold me on it is that:

  1. It’s temporary – the effects last for about 30 days or less and wash out gradually;
  2. It’s basically a conditioning treatment;
  3. It’s gentle enough to be used even on relaxed hair;
  4. It would cut down on my blowdrying time;
  5. It would decrease frizz and tangles even in humid weather.

Numbers 3 and 5 are huge for me right now. Between my damaged ends and the humidity poofing up and tangling my hair, wearing my hair down was not working out for me before the trim and the smoothing treatment. After the treatment, I’m able to wear my hair down and my hair pretty much stays where I put it. It’s still thick and full, but it’s easier to manage. Mission accomplished.

Here we are, basically a year later, and I have to say that when I get frustrated with my hair, I do two things. I get a trim and I reach for some type of protein treatment. I’ve only done one more Brazilian Keratin Treatment since August 2011 and I never experienced any negative side effects. I’ve also tried other protein treatments and I find that in combination with a good trim, they really revitalize my hair. My best advice to you when considering what products you will or won’t put in your hair is to:

  1. Do your own research.
  2. Don’t put anything in your hair without doing a patch test to see if you have a reaction.
  3. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of girl, be sure to follow the directions perfectly. Be aware of how your hair needs change as it gets longer, so you can adjust accordingly.

************************************************************************************

Have you used a “temporary” keratin treatment? Which one? What was your experience with it? Would you use one again?

Lauren Brooks – The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells

Standard

As promised, here is my review of the Lauren Brooks Kettlebell DVD (Approx. $40). I’ve been working out since my sophomore year in college and have done some serious weight training in the past. But, my first experience with kettlebells was in February of this year. I fell in love with them as I explain in detail in this post.

Up until a week or so ago, I was using the Bob Harper instructional DVD that came with his GoFit contour kettlebell and a DVD by Angie Miller. I learned of the Lauren Brooks DVD from the written reviews of the Miller DVD on Amazon. I finally ordered Lauren’s DVD a couple of months ago and just got around to using it a couple of weeks ago.

So, what do I think? This is a very good kettlebell DVD and I’m definitely glad that I purchased it. But, it does have a couple of issues. First, let’s talk about the good. Lauren begins the DVD by explaining that she started using kettlebells after she became pregnant and learned she needed a C-Section. She states that she couldn’t get enthused about the pregnancy because she had heard that once you have a baby and a C-Section, you’ll never get your body back again. As you can see from the pics above, she disproved that theory. She also employs a 50+ woman in excellent shape as her workout partner to demonstrate that age doesn’t make a difference either.

Second, there is a safety segment and a demonstration of every exercise used in the routines and she establishes good form. There is also a joint mobility section that takes one through a series of stretches to prepare the body for the workout. There are two routines, one that is approximately 40 minutes and one that is 12. Everyone can make 12 minutes for physical activity and it’s great to have this quick, but strong routine when time is low.  These two routines are also structured as intervals with 1 minute rest periods on the 40 minute workout and 30 second rest periods for the 12 minute routine. The 40 minute session seemed to start easy enough, but don’t get it twisted, it got more and more challenging as it progressed! At the beginning, I was feeling like, “Okay, this isn’t bad.” By the end, I was like, “Whooh, is this almost over?!? Dang! *huff, huff!*” LOL!!

Next, what I really liked about this DVD is that it recommends doing kettlebell barefoot!! That’s the first I’d ever seen that and I thought, “That is such a good idea.”  The reason for barefoot kettlebell is to increase your balance and strengthen your stabilizing muscles. However, you do have to be careful to avoid dropping the bell as it could do some serious damage to the toes! So, that being said, you would definitely need to make certain to use a bell that you are able to handle with good form. I’d also suggest using weight gloves if your hands get sweaty easily like mine. Again, you definitely don’t want to drop the bell on your foot or throw it through your TV. So, gloves provide me with a firm grip so that I can keep a hold of the bell through all of the exercises through to the end.

Another good thing about this DVD is that it mixes a couple of non-kettlebell exercises in with the weight bearing ones. Finally, at the end of the DVD, Lauren provides an e-mail address and a website where you can contact her to also obtain additional exercise and nutrition information!

So, that’s the good. Now, the not so good. I think the DVD should indicate that you should practice the exercises with the demonstration section a few times before trying the routines. It can be easy to injure yourself with kettlebell workouts, especially the swings and cleans, because of the movements. The next issue is related to same as I don’t remember Lauren advising at any point that the kettlebell should not go above the shoulders on swings. That is important as one can injure the shoulders and, if you already have a shoulder injury, kettlebell is probably not the thing for you (at least the foundation exercise is not). My last issue is that there is no true cool down routine on the DVD. I believe it is very important to cool down and stretch after exercise and I did so, but on my own. I definitely think that a post-exercise stretching segment should have been incorporated into the DVD.

I’m summary, my review is as follows.

Pros:

  • Inspirational opening
  • Safety section
  • Demonstration of each exercise
  • Joint mobility warm-up segment
  • Short and long routines
  • Barefoot training
  • Mix of kettlebell exercises with traditional exercises
  • Support via e-mail and website
Cons:
  • For the new kettlebell user, might not stress practicing proper form enough
  • No post work-out cool down/stretching segment
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. So, would I recommend the DVD? Absolutely! But, I’d do so with th the caveats and recommendations above.

(p.s. Why was I fascinated by the fact that Lauren appears to have tailbone length hair? LOL! I swear, I’m obsessesed with gorgeous and/or long, healthy hair, regardless of texture or race! I wonder what her hair regimen is? LOL!!)

************************************************************************************************************

Have you tried kettlebell training? If so,  how do you like it?

Gold N’ Hot Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

Standard

by Marsha of Hairology

A couple of weeks ago i purchased a soft bonnet hair dryer from Sally’s, the cost was $39.99.
Characteristics:
  • jumbo-size drawstring bonnet
  • compact design
  • retractable handle on storage case
  • cord and bonnet storage compartment
  • high/low heat and cool settings
Pros:
  • easy to store
  • easy to use
  • readily accessible
  • great characteristics as listed above
  • high heat setting gets really hot
  • cool setting very cooling
Cons:
  • I think the drawstrings were wrongly placed…I think it should have been placed all around the bonnet like a shower cap.

Overall i like this product because i don’t have to prop the hair dryer on a flat surface or sit on a uncomfortable chair while my hair is being dried. I like the idea that the fan is faced upward, preventing overheating. I can sit on my couch and surf the web while i am deep conditioning or drying my hair.

********************************************************************************************************

So yeah, I went to Sally’s after work on Wednesday and bought this! I need something to dry my TnC for the CurlyNikki Meet-Up next week! I’ll let ya’ll know if it dries my perpetually wet hair in a reasonable amount of time! Also, I’m thinking, I’ll just add a Goody elastic headband around the perimeter to make certain it stays in place! Might get hot though, so I’ll have to be careful about that!