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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, …

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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?

Curlformers Convert!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Process

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

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Things I Learned

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

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

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The Take Down

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

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

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

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

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Final Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

♥♥♥♥

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

Product Review: Shea Moisture Stuff

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IMG_7959by Weusi

Today, I decided to try my hand at writing a few product reviews. I can’t get all hair-nerd like and break down the ingredients, slippage, porosity, alkaline balance and explain my preparation. All I can really say is either I like or dislike things. Here I go anyway …

Do you remember about a month ago when I went to that Shea Moisture pop up shop hosted by Jor-El aka Mane Man? (If you missed it, you can check out the post here.) I was proud of myself for being able to pick out at least one thing that I KNEW Shelli liked, because in my interviews, so many S.O.’s don’t know anything about what products their mate uses. While a part of me was proud, at the same time, I was a little embaressed that I could only pick one thing. I knew she had a few Shea Moisture products around, but I only recognized one as something she liked and uses. For real, there were so many products to choose from.

Weusi and Jor-El of Mane Man Blog

As I awaited a text from Shelli to find out what else she wanted, I looked at some of the things in the men’s line of products. Y’all know me a little by now … I am not one who usually takes notice of what my hair looks or physically feels like. I don’t style my hair. I could care less about my hair. I just have to feel comfortable. If Shelli says I look ok … I am ok. I know what I like. I like to wash and go. But I also know my skill set and expertise. So … I asked Jor-El and some of the shop staff what they might suggest. I respect Jor-El so much that I made purchases based soley on his recomendation. But it took a few weeks for me to actually try anything.

Why do I even mention that it took a while to use the products? The answer is that these entries are suppossed to give you some insight into the mind of an S.O. So, here is a peek into my mind … I think that I felt a little awkward because I actually spent some money on a “MEN’S PRODUCT.” What? Why does this matter? Wow … y’all have so many questions. I am glad that you asked. Let me tell you …

My circle of male friends and professional colleagues span diverse demographics. ALL of us like nice things. ALL of us like feelling comfortable. Yet, even those self-admitted metro sexuals feel “somekindaway” about making that initial purchase of a product that we know is marketed to us because we are a male and like nice things. We are even funny about using those products when they are gifted to us.

I am sure that you have heard the various sayings about men being wired so that their thoughts are led by logic and not sensitivity. This is one of those times where that logic is supported. Many times we want things to fullfill a function. Toothpaste … cleans teeth. Lotion … keeps you from being ashey and women laughig at you because they think that you are trifflin’. Soap … keeps your body clean. Shampoo cleans your hair … and sometimes makes it smell different. I’m just sayin’ … this is how we often think. Anyway …

I picked up the Moisture Retention Shampoo, because every once in a while I am reminded by Shelli that my quaff is looking a little dry. (Thank you my love … I think?!?) After it sat in a corner of the shower for a few weeks (You’ve seen pictures of Shelli’s PJ collection. You know I didn’t need it!), I tried it.

SM Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo

Cool lather. The bottle dispersed an appropriate amount. Smell was ok … natural and neutral. Then … got out the shower and touched it, and there are a few things that stood out. One was that it really felt like my natural curl pattern. The second thing I noticed is that after it dried, it looked hydrated and healthy. (Haha … I’m impressed with myself that I can even knowledgeably speak about my 4Aish mixed texture curl pattern and what healthy hair looks like!) I think that I like this stuff. Honesly, I can’t say that I like it better than anything else, because I’ve never really payed attention to the differences between shampoos. Meh!?! But I can say that I like this and will be claiming it as MY SHAMPOO and everything else has to beat it!

shea moisture conditioner

About a week later I tried the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner that Shelli had under the bathroom sink. All I am saying is about this is … I went out of town on business and one of the first comments I had was about how Shelli has my hair all soft and sexy looking! I let them know it was also in part due to my new Shea Moisture prodicts but … yeah, I gotta give Shelli her credit.

Jor-El also suggested that I try the Three Butters Wash & Scrub. He gave it the highest praise. Honestly, in my mind, I was like, “This is soap. OK … body wash. It cleans your bod. It’s cool that it’s all natural, but all that really matters is that it gets me clean.” Again it had been sitting there for about a week and I hadn’t tried it …

shea moisture bodywash

Now, I’m in the shower. I read the ingredients. “It really is like … all natural.” I take a little whiff. “Hmm … It doesn’t smell all earthy like dirt and mixed nuts.” Then … a nice little dollop was all it took. A good lather and in the end … I felt clean! “It works for me!” THEN, after using it for about a week, Shelli and I are snuggled up and (in my mind) she touches my shoulder and says something like, “Your skin is so soft and sexy.” In my head, I freaked out! I wanted to jump up and go buy a case of the stuff! But instead, I played it cool and told her how much I liked the Shea Moisture Wash & Scrub. SO …

Hairscapadians: Get this for your S.O. and then enjoy touchin’ on em!

Significant Others: If you’re reading this, go order some … and get touched!

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As I am writing this, I am traveling home after working in DC for a week … and I just realized that I forgot my Wash & Scrub in DC!

*NOTE: If anyone from Shea Moisture is reading this, PLEASE contact Shelli on where to send me stuff! Imma fan! And look at how beautiful Shelli is … I need help to keep up! Send it immediately! I want to show Shelli that I wash more than my shoulders! What? My arms are sexy too! 😉

SHiNE

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:

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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??

SILENT LETTERS: Django & Lincoln

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django-unchained-poster3by Weusi

I am not a movie person.

I didn’t grow up going to movies. Back in the day, my preference would be to kick a ball around or go run around in the streets. As I got older, the idea of spending an hour or two of my time to watch someone else’s dream/work/story on a big screen made no sense to me. I wanted to use that time to dream, plan, and play with my own ideas. And honestly, even then, if I had some extra change in my pocket, I would rather spend money on food and music! But, don’t get me wrong … there are some films that fueled my creativity and/or life’s passion (I will give you that list in a post later this week!).

Now, sometimes I find myself surprised that I pay more attention to what’s in theaters than I did when I was in high school. This is in part because I had a roommate that was in film school and I learned to respect the art form. Even more of an influence is that I am with a lady that enjoys movies. All that to say, the other day, because I have my own nerdy tendencies that aren’t the same as Shelli’s, I ventured out to see a film on my own. Lincoln.

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As a person that digs history and socio-political stuff, the premise of the film was intriguing to me: Abraham Lincoln being president at a time in this country’s history where the world is looking at him to decide what direction the compass of humanity will point. Too bad the stories that they decided to share in this film didn’t carry the same weight. The stories behind Lincoln’s political maneuvers aren’t as engaging as the tales that powered the principles and fueled the issues of the time. This is where the film faltered. The story never took me to a place of any depth. It scratched the surface, but never took me to an engaging place that I hadn’t already read about. It hinted at some interesting themes and scenarios, but the static pictures in my head were never given life. But don’t get me wrong, the movie was good … but nothing exciting. A few chuckles, some strong acting and a WOW moment at the end that I hope is a film one day. On my scale the film is a 2.78 out of 5 stars.

{Random infomercial voice} BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE

{Back to the regular Weusi voice}

After the movie, I grab a Panera’s Fuji Apple Chicken Salad for Shelli (gotta eat right!) and head home. When I get there, she asks me about the film. I tell her quickly that I am glad that she didn’t go see this with me, because I would have taken a negative hit on my near stellar movie picking reputation. A little more small talk about the day and then Shelli says she wants to go see Django.

Oh, so … did I say that on top of movies not being my thing, I don’t like movies with blood and gore? But … a movie where a slave gets revenge on slave owners?!?! Hmm … plus, we originally looked at it as a form of entertainment. Yet, we also know that there are issues that are deeper than the entertainment factor. And, because I am a man that thinks for myself and likes to stir things up, as much as I believe in working to make things right … and, really-really, my lady wants to see the movie … we go.

Now … I know that there have been all kinds of conversation about Django UnChained. (I say the full name so that I don’t get it confused with the original Django film.

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Should people support it? Should it be taken seriously? Does this film matter? Why? Why not?

You are wise enough to read this blog, so I will respect your intellegence. I am just gonna say a few things.

NOTE: As you read this, please keep in mind that I went to see Django (the D is silent) right after I just saw Lincoln (the second L is silent).

  1. This is an entry for Hairscapades … and I am somewhat embarassed to say that, from the first frames of the film, I start commenting to Shelli how nice Jamie Foxx’s hair looks. Especially since he is a slave.
  2. I am an ex-DJ/music junkie (I take it one tune at a time). The music in this movie is great!
  3. I am one who thinks that people should make their minds up on their own. So, instead of rating and reviewing the movie, all I am going to say is that there are reasons for you to not see the movie as well as reasons for you to go see it.
  4. This is a fictional story.
  5. Jamie Foxx plays a slave.
  6. This a typical Tarantino film.
  7. This is a story about slaves and slave masters.

You can take these and figure out where they sit with you.

For me, I still have an issue with giving my time and money to someone when I have dreams to manifest and should be investing in. But hey … movies make my lady smile. And, if I go with her, I can write a post about them, so then she doesn’t have to write a post!

{Snuggle Time!}

SHiNE

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I’d just like to add … I enjoyed Django Unchained!! It was an entertaining movie. It’s Tarantino, so you know the violence is excessive … and I had to close my eyes and cover my ears during one scene in particular. But, it also had very funny moments and a decent storyline. That being said, I still like Blazing Saddles better ;).

CurlKit Reveal

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About a year or so ago, a few brilliant business minds came up with the idea to satisfy the curiosity and obsessions of natural hair Product Junkies (PJs) everywhere without breaking their wallet … and while still capitalizing upon the affliction ;). The likes of CurlKit and CurlBox were born!! These companies send subscribers a monthly supply of hair goodies (samples and some full size products) for around $20 a month so that PJs or newbies looking for their staple and/or holy grail products can sample to their hearts’ content. What makes it more exciting (or frustrating, depends on your perspective and if you get in or not ;)) is that the ability to subscribe is limited to certain periods and numbers of customers. I think this is because these businesses are new and growing and have to make certain that they can acquire enough products to satisfy the orders for their subscribers.

Anywho, back in September, I responded to CurlKit’s solicitation for a 31 Bloggers in 31 days feature and got selected (check out my post here)!! Well, imagine my surprise when I got tagged on Instagram and discovered that my Best Bun Practices for Length Retention article was featured in the December CurlKit magazine, CurlLife!!

hairscapadesinCurlLife

Anywho, just wanted to share that and this reveal of the December CurlKit that was taped by my IG friend!! You can get a little taste of what it’s like to get your very own CurlKit delivered to your doorstep!

via Backto85

Okay, you know that I’m really sharing this because of the shout out!! LOL!! You are all my (virtual) friends in my head ;)!!

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Do you have a CurlKit and/or CurlBox subscription? If so, which one(s)? How do you like it/them? If you have both, how do they compare?

Kay Vel Creme Press: Yea or Nay?

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I have a good friend who has been transitioning for almost 2 years now with straight styles. A couple of months ago, she told me about this blue heat protectant that she uses that works great, Kay Vel Creme Press. I’d never heard of it in my life and was immediately intrigued, of course! So, I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised at the ingredient list. I mean, I do love me some Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, but blue-colored hair products aren’t generally an indicator of quality ingredients ;).

via KayVelHairProducts.com

“SMOKELESS AND GREASELESS”

The original and World’s Finest “Creme Press” is a light, natural creamy, blend of soybean, cottonseed and essential botanical oils. Designed to coat and protect the hair from the damaging effects of excessive heat from the Flat Iron, Blow Dryer, Pressing Comb and over processed hair. It is concentrated with natural essential oils and can be used as a daily hair dressing. It will not stain or discolor gray or color-treated hair.

Ingredients: Soybean and cottonseed active components derived from plants, Rapeseed, sunflower, other essential natural plants, color, fragrance

Sounds really good, right? So, I asked my friend if she would bring a little in for me to try. Well, she never did, but yesterday, I reminded her given my recent flat-iron job. But, I decided to do a little more research on the product too.

The first thing that caught my eye upon a Google search was a “testimonial” about the creme press on MyLongHairJourney entitled: Kay Vel Creme Press Vamps Up Your Heat Training. Hol’ up. Who says what now?!? Yeah … see … “heat training” is just a euphemism for “heat damage” in my world. So, I read the article and looked at the pics and it wasn’t quite clear to me if her hair was relaxed from the Creme Press since the comparison pics were of dry and wet hair.

So next, I hit up YouTube and found this three part series demonstrating the Kay Vel Creme Press on transitioning hair and comparing the results to “untreated” hair. (Note: I just skimmed these videos as I don’t have much patience to sit through 6-7 min. of footage, let alone 30 minutes. But, 6:30 on Part 3 is very interesting.)

After watching scanning these videos, I took a look at the Kay Vel products brochure on the company site and honed in on this information about the Creme Press:

SOFT OR FINE HAIR: With soft or fine hair you should only PARTIALLY STRAIGHTEN when using KAY-VEL. The curling or waving process will give the hair the NATURAL straight appearance desired. This method will also make your hairstyle LAST LONGER. In many instances after several uses of KAY VEL on soft or fine hair , the stylist finds that just brushing while drying is all the straightening it may need. REMEMBER KAY-VEL is FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT NATURAL SOFT LOOKING HAIR.

Ummmm … “In many instances after several uses of KAY VEL on soft or fine hair, the stylist finds that just brushing while drying is all the straightening it may need.” What the frick? Brushing while drying is all the straightening hair may need?!?!? Awwwww, heck naw!! So, you know I’m sitting here trying to figure out what is missing from this picture. I keep looking at the ingredients and Kay Vel’s claims that its products are all natural and botanically derived … and something just isn’t adding up!!

Then, I looked at the claimed “benefits”:

  • THE ONLY ALL NATURAL PRODUCT FOR SILKING
  • Leaves hair Greaseless, soft & silky.
  • Used as a Transitioning Creme. (from relaxer to natural).
  • Softens the new growth to make it softer and more manageable.
  • After using Kay Vel Creme Press for a period of time, hair becomes easier to manage.
  • Protects hair from becoming dry, dull, and brittle.
  • Extends the time between Relaxers
  • Conditions hair while enhancing a natural-looking sheen.
  • Leaves coarse hard to manage hair softer and easier to style.
  • Protects hair from thermal heat damage.
  • Smokeless when Flat Ironing and Pressing
  • Use with medium heat flat iron, pressing comb or blow dryer.

Finally, I went back to the brochure and noticed the claim on the cove page: “You can get the same results as a relaxer except you can wash it out and go back to natural styles.” Really? Really, really?!?!

So, you know that I’m still intrigued. Now y’all know that I have soft, fine strands and don’t want anything loosening my curls. Shoot, how long has it taken me to transition out the loosening caused by excessive henna treatments. But, I’m wondering if I can apply a “real” heat protectant first, like the Aveda Damage Control that I used this past week, and then layer a teeny, weeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy amount of the Kay Vel Creme Press onto to my dry hair, will it provide a nice finish with one pass of the flat iron? Of course, the real question is will my hair revert after the experiment?

This is my dilemma!! Should I just dismiss the Kay Vel Creme Press out of hand or give it a whirl? Hmmmm, maybe I should do a “strand” test on some shed hair?

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What do you guys think? Yea or Nay?

If any of you use/have used Kay Vel Creme Press, please chime in and let us know your experience with it (please describe your hair — soft, fine, medium, thick, coarse, wavy, curly, coily, kinky, etc.)! Does it loosen/permanently relax your curls? Does your hair revert when washed? Inquiring minds want to know!! 

Hair Therapy Wrap Review and Giveaway *CLOSED*

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It hit me the other day, as I was “baking” a henna treatment, that … “I never reviewed the Hair Therapy Wrap!” So, in order to rectify this oversight, here goes ;)!

As you know, I am a frequent pre-pooer, deep conditioner and a henna head. Because I feel like it enhances the results I get from the products, I like to use heat to intensify all of these treatments. However, given the frequency with which I do all of these things (weekly) and the length of time I like to use heat (an hour minimum), it would be really inconvenient to be immobilized by a dryer that has to be plugged into a socket. Enter the Cordless Thermal Turban Heat Wrap by Hair Therapy Wrap. I first read about it from … guess who? You got it! Curly Nikki! *LOL* She often mentioned that she used a hair therapy wrap that she loved. However, it wasn’t until last fall that I finally decided to order one.

Price, Design and Packaging
I decided to order the Heat Wrap from CurlMart, where it was $21.95. However, I used a 25% discount code and only paid $16.47 for it. I’ve searched a few other places online, like the manufacturers site and Amazon, and CurlMart appears to have them all beat by about $4-7.

The Wrap is shipped in a box with instructions on the sides, as well as an additional set printed on an insert inside the box. It also included two plastic caps. The Wrap comes in two colors, brown and white. Of course I ordered the brown, as white quickly and easily gets dingy and dirty without any help. With henna and indigo treatments, it wouldn’t have stood a chance!

The Wrap itself is made of 100% polyester and is a very soft, terry cloth-like material. It has three pockets, one that goes from the front over the top and one on each of the other two sides. These pockets are for the heatable and reusable gel packs that must be inserted.

How to Use
It is very important to read and follow the precise instructions provided or risk bursting the gel packs.

Note: The gel packs may also be heated separately in water on the stove top, if you prefer that over the microwave. Instructions for that method are provided on the package and insert. Following are the instructions for using the microwave method.

  • First, you insert the gel packs into the pockets on the Wrap.
  • Though they are creased and shaped to fit into the pockets, the gel packs were a little challenging to insert into the hood the first time as they seemed a little too large. But, they did fit. They just poked out of the edges a little after I closed the openings of the pockets with the velcro.
  • Next, you have to place the wrap into the microwave laying flat. Again, this was a little awkward as the hood naturally peaks and sits up once the gel packs are in it. But, I just mushed down the center and it collapsed well enough.

Never heat the gel packs outside of the cap.

  • Once placed flatly in the microwave, I warmed the Wrap for 45 seconds on high, which is the maximum time the wrap should be heated in any one interval.
  • After allowing it to stand for 30 seconds, if the Wrap isn’t warn enough, it can be heated for an additional 10-15 seconds until the desired temperature is achieved. However, it should never be heated longer than 80 seconds total. I heated it an additional 10 seconds. I find that 55-60 is the max time that I need to reach the temp that I like.
  • Then, I don a plastic cap and fit the Wrap with the “tail” at the back of my head.
  • Finally, in order to secure the Wrap, you twist the tail and bring it to the front of the head, securing the end to the velcro in the front.


Final Review
And that’s it!! The Wrap is very easy to use once you get those gel packs into it. Once they are in, you can leave them there. No need to take them out with each use. I just fold the Wrap and store it in its box under my sink! I’ve been using the Wrap for a good 6 months now with great success and no problems. The packaging indicates a one time heating is good for about 30 minutes, but I get close to 45 minutes of “thermal action.” I tend to only heat the Wrap once for a deep conditioning or pre-pooing session. When doing a henna/indigo session, I heat 2-5 times as I like to add heat for 2-4 hours of the 4 hours that I process the henna and another hour for indigo.

I find the wrap to be an effective, comfortable and convenient way to add heat to my different treatments. I am able to clean house (yeah, ‘cuz that’s what I’m doing with my freedom ;)) or do whatever as I’m able to move about freely. Shoot, if you saw my Tweet last week, you know I drove to work with the Wrap over my post emergency-henna, deep conditioning treatment!! LOL!! The fabric of the wrap is soft and, despite the fact that I’ve used it with henna several times, has yet to get stained! But, if it did, it’s machine washable! Cha-ching! Just make sure you remove those gel packs before throwing it in with the dirty laundry!

So overall, I really like this wrap. My only challenges were getting the gel packs in the first time and figuring out how to make it lay flat. It can also get very hot and form heat pockets, but that is why it is very important to follow the instructions provided and to use it judiciously. Other than that, it’s been a breeze to use. My one concern with the product was the apparent inability to purchase replacement/back-up gel packs. I looked around the site and couldn’t find them for sale, though I found comments on a forum that the company had quickly and without hesitation sent replacements packs to someone who burst them due to a failure to follow the instructions.

My concern, of course, was what would happen if any of the gel packs burst after extended use. The site indicates that they are good for years of use and are guaranteed or will be replaced for free. But, I always like to have a back-up plan and would be annoyed if my gel packs burst in the middle of a henna session. And, what if, horror of horror, the product gets discontinued? Then I’d be “ish” out of luck!! So, I reached out to the company via e-mail to inquire as whether I could order additional gel packs. I received the following reply:

We thank you for your kind words about our products.

We currently do not sell replacements gel pack.
However, with your kind feed back (sic) we will start carrying them in the near future.
We’re projecting that we will have replacement gel pack towards late summer this year.

Again, we thank you for your kind words and suggestion.

Now how frickin’ awesome is that?!?! So, looks like HairTherapyWrap.com will make the replacement gel packs available very soon!! Now THAT is what I call Customer Service! This experience with the company definitely solidified my positive view of their product and ability to service their customer.

In conclusion, would I recommend the Thermal Turban Heat Wrap? ABSOLUTELY!! If you are a frequent user of heat for various hair treatments, pre-pooing, deep conditioning, henna, dye, bagging, the “greenhouse effect,” etc. and want something more convenient than a bonnet dryer, but with a little more heat than a winter hat, than this may be the Wrap for you!!

BONUS: Hair Therapy Wrap Giveaway!!
So, guess what? When I reached out to the company, they offered me a giveaway for you guys!! So, want to get your hands on a Thermal Turban Heat Wrap? All you have to do is any one or more of the following:

  • Subscribe to the blog;
  • Like Hairscapades on Facebook; and/or
  • Follow Hairscapades on Twitter.

Then,

  • Comment on this post with which one you did and with why you need, you want, you have to have this Wrap ;)!!

All subscribers, old and new, are eligible. Just make certain to comment below!! The giveaway ends Saturday, June 9th and a winner will be selected at random the following week!

GOOD LUCK!!

Korra: The Legend So Far …

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SPOILER ALERT!

Episode 8, Book 1 (Air) of Avatar: The Legend of Korra aired yesterday. We’re a little bit past the halfway point of the first season, which has a total of 12 episodes. So, as the consummate Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, what do I think of The Legend so far?

Well, it’s no Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA)!! LOL! Okay, so I say that, not as a bad thing … but just to say that Korra is not a fluid extension of ATLA. It definitely has its own unique feel and the fast forward to the future of steampunk machines, Shanghai Jazz, motor cars and modern thugs has definitely been a bit jarring and unnerving for me. Gone are the familiar characters and the music that I immediately loved and adored … it was time to get used to a whole new Team Avatar: Korra, Naga, Bolin, Mako, Asami, Naga and Pabu. There are also some new adults in the mix. But, unfortunately, so far, Aang’s uptight son, Tenzin, and Toph’s angry daughter, Lin, are complete downers!! They are the complete opposites of the jovial, yet fierce Uncle, the hilarious nut job, King Bumi and the deadpan, yet subtlety droll Piandao!

To be honest, all of the characters have been hit and miss for me so far. Actually, let me take that back. It’s more that I am not in LOVE with any character the way that I was with ATLA. From the third or fourth episode of the original, I fell in love with Uncle, then it was Sokka and don’t get me started on the cuteness and mischievous gluttony of Momo. Pabu is cute … but he’s no Momo … though it seems he has a similar appetite. And I doubt that there will ever be a “Naga Alone.”

Then there are the more frequent anime moments and the romances that aren’t quite my cup of tea. I know that Aang immediately had a thing for Katara … Sokka had his moment with Suki in the Warriors of Kyoshi, which was only four episodes into the series. But … I don’t know … the sentiments in ATLA felt more organic and authentic whereas, in Korra, things feel forced to me. The whole Korra, Mako, Asami, Bolin love “square,” and the frequency of reference to it, is more than I can take. I mean, they had an entire episode devoted to it already!!! It feels so much like filler … I know ATLA had “The Great Divide,” but they had 20 episodes and 3 seasons, 1 episode wasn’t such a loss ;).

And then, there’s this issue that I have with the frequency with which Korra finds herself knocked out. I mean, c’mon!!! I know that she’s not a fully realized Avatar, but she’s close! She can’t do better than this? I feel like I’m watching Superman: TAS, where he constantly got his a@#$ handed to him until the very end of each episode. And shoot, Korra’s track record isn’t as good as Supes, because she is NOT ending the episodes on top!! *lol*

Okay, so yeah, I’m not loving everything about the series. It has yet to really hit its stride with me. There have been some really great episodes, but just when I think it’s getting really good … we hit a bump in the road. That being said, let’s talk about the things that I am loving. Gorgeous sets and colors, Melo’s lumpy head, “flashbacks” of adult Aang, Sokka, Toph and an angry man (who looks like an older Admiral Zhao to me), chi blockers, lightening benders, metalbending police, scary a@#$ Amon and his bending stealing powers, secrets yet revealed, wicked awesome fight scenes and, most recently, Tarlok exhibiting a fearsome display of bloodbending!

So yeah, let’s just say that, though I’m not in LOVE with Korra, I am firmly in my seat for the ride! I can’t wait to see her really connect with her spiritual side and visit the Spirit World, talk to Aang, enter the Avatar state and airbend. I also can’t wait to find out how Zuko and his mother reunited, why Uncle Iroh went to the Spirit World (I know that one is wishful thinking), who is still alive (Toph? Zuko? Suki? Anyone?) and if Koh will keep his promise to Aang, “We’ll meet again.” I know that some of these things are coming eventually, though they may not manifest exactly the way that I expect.

Speaking of expectations, I had none that Korra would be better than ATLA or the same … but I do count on it being a really good story. And, though I miss the BoomerAang Gang ;), I would not have had Michael and Bryan drag out Aang’s story for anything. ATLA was good and it was perfect and it was beautiful. I am soooo happy with how it ended and that they had the integrity to say, “This story is over” instead of attempting to prolong it for the money and the fans. To me, ATLA is the perfect trilogy the way that Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI were … you see what happened when George Lucas tried to mess with perfection? Ughhh.

And, though Korra is no Aang, I think that she will be an Avatar to reckon with in her own right. I’m not going anywhere and will be riding this one out until the very end, because I have faith that Bryan and Michael won’t let us down ;).

With that, I’ll leave you with one of the most poignant and moving moments of ATLA. The character Mako is named after the late, great and inimitable voice behind the hilarious, yet powerful Uncle Iroh. Mako died during the taping of the second season of ATLA and they pay tribute to him during the episode, “Tales of Ba Sing Se,” where sings to the only son he lost in the war.

I tear up every time.

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 So, what do you think of The Legend so far?