Tag Archives: straightening hair

Kay Vel Creme Press: Yea or Nay?

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kay_vel

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!! 

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Countdown to a Blow-Out

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10/3/12: As we just entered the fall season, I’ve been contemplating straightening my hair more and more. Still not there, especially as it’s been so overcast. But, I figure some of you may be contemplating the same thing. So, here is Part I or two posts that I did last fall when I decided to blow-out my hair.

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I was a busy little bee this weekend, hitting three different stores (one twice), in order to get the items I needed for my impending blow-out. I made the appointment for my Afro puffy twists for this week and I was finally faced with the fact that I needed to make some decisions about my hair prep. I read CurlyNikki’s post on Flat Ironing Tips and recognized the importance of the right products, good techniques and the proper tools. I’d been ruminating over what heat protectant to use and whether I would use a blow dryer, use a comb attachment, try the tension method, braid, twist or attempt a roller set to stretch … decisions, decisions! The initial plan was to use the ElastaQP Silk Design Silk Thermal Styling Spray I already have under the sink and the Ion blow dryer and a comb attachment that I haven’t used since President Obama was inaugurated three years ago! However, as I thought about it and how I’m so much more aware of the potential for heat damage and have so many resources at my fingertips, I realized that I could do better.

So, I proceeded to do some research while standing in Harmon in front of 4 shelves full of hair dryers (I know you shouldn’t love an inanimate object. I know this. But, I love my iPhone). I googled my Ion blow dryer because I had no memory of whether it was tourmaline or ceramic or ionic (Ion … yeah, probably that last one) or some combination thereof. Well, in my search, I came across this very informative (though somewhat discouraging) article on the “benefits” of “hi-tech” hair dryers:

via Consumer Search:

Today’s blowers offer a bounty of options, all promising softer, shiner, healthier hair. It’s hard to find a hair dryer without the words “ceramic,” “ionic” or “tourmaline” in the name, but critics are unsure whether these features actually make for a better dryer or not.

Ionic hair dryers emit molecules with a positive or negative charge to dry hair. Instead of taking the air from a room and heating it like old-school hair dryers, ionic products use negative ions to shrink water droplets in the hair. Manufacturers say this helps wet hair dry faster with less heat damage — making for a smoother and shinier mane. Unfortunately, the science behind the claims is sketchy. There’s “little science to either prove or disprove this claim,” says Bill Nazaroff, professor of environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, in a Wall Street Journal article.

The article goes on to say that though manufacturers tout that dryers using ceramic, ionic or tourmaline technologies result in speedier drying times, shinier hair and less heat damage, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support these claims. Regardless, and helpfully, the article didn’t discount these features entirely. Rather, additional research was conducted based upon professional and consumer reviews found via various sources. This information was used to compile a list of the Best Hair Dryers with these “high tech features” and ranked them from the most economical choices to the more expensive:

  1. Revlon RV544 Tourmaline Ionic hair dryer (Approx. $20)
  2. Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 223X (Approx. $35)
  3. Conair Infiniti Professional Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 213X (Approx. $35)
  4. T3 Tourmaline Professional Featherweight(Approx. $175)
  5. Featherweight Luxe (Approx. $250)
  6. CHI Rocket Professional (Approx. $135)
  7. CHI Nano Dual Air Flow Ceramic (Approx. $140)
  8. Elchim 2001 Professional(Approx. $120)
  9. Sedu Ultrapower Professional (Approx. $150)

The awesome, but horrible thing? Almost every single one of these dryers was on the shelves at Harmon!! LOL! Ultimately, I decided on #2 as it was very reasonably priced, apparently effective and I liked the style. Consumer Search had this to say about it:

The … Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styler 223X has been named an InStyle Magazine Best Beauty Buy three years in a row (though we aren’t sure what criteria are used in awarding that status). It offers some of the same features found in many higher-priced blow dryers. It includes three heat settings and two speed settings as well as a cool-shot button; a soft finger diffuser, which allows you to get closer to the scalp for better hair-sculpting control; and a concentrator attachment, which is designed to direct airflow for styling purposes. The Conair 223X also has a removable filter to prevent lint build-up and comes with a three-year limited warranty.

The reason that I was at one store twice? I ran home to get about four 20% off coupons for Bed, Bath and Beyond (you can use these at Harmon!!) and one $5 coupon for Harmon as I was having a PJ moment and picked up several hair and make-up items too (you can thank ShamIAmGlam for fanning the make-up PJ flames;).

Ultimately, I only paid $28 (plus tax) for the dryer. Score!! I also picked up the “ionic” comb as I needed a medium-tooth comb for detangling. So, what was next? Research on a good heat protectant. Again, I was initially planning on using the ElastaQP Thermal Design Spray that I already owned and some grapeseed oil, which some tout as a natural heat protectant because it can sustain heat up to 420°. Then, I thought about someone who regularly rocked gorgeous straight hair during the winter. MopTopMaven!! I remember reading several posts from her last year and commenced to searching. I came across four really good articles that she did on straightening hair and one that was specific to blow drying natural hair.

via MopTopMaven:

Going Straight for Winter

6 Techniques for Easy Breezy Blow Drying

How to Prevent/Recover from Heat Damage

Help My Pressed Hair Never Stays Straight

As the search for a good heat protectant was what prompted my search, I was particularly interested in Mop Top Maven’s recommendation on this front. I hit pay dirt with her article, Going Straight for Winter, as she outlined every product in her straight hair regimen. When I read that she loved Aveda Brilliant Damage Control as her heat protectant, I knew that was it as I always read great things about this line and knew of a local salon that carries it. So I headed over and picked it up … along with the CurlyNikki approved Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade (I couldn’t resist even though I’ll have no use for it until Spring!!).

Back to the product search. Also in MopTopMaven’s straight hair product line-up were Fermodyl 619 (leave-in) and Sebastian Potion #9 (leave-in/styler). I decided to hit Sally’s as I knew that they had a GVP version of Potion #9 and thought that I’d seen the Fermodyl there before as well. Sure enough, I hit the mother-load here too and picked up both items.

So now, I feel that I am thoroughly prepared with both products, techniques and tools. My blow-out regimen will be as follows:

  • Cleanse thoroughly with a diluted sulfate shampoo (clarify).
  • Apply ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor (strengthen).
  • Deep condition with cool & seal technique (moisture).
  • Thoroughly rinse with cool/cold water.
  • Section hair into 6 sections (2 in back and 1 in front on each side).
  • Apply Roux Fermodyl 619 to each section using spray bottle (porosity corrector/detangler/leave-in).
  • Apply small amount of GVP Potion #9 to each section (moisture and wearable treatment/styler).
  • Apply Aveda Brilliant Damage Control to each section (heat protection).
  • For each of prior 3 steps, comb hair with fingers, then wide tooth comb, then medium tooth comb (detangling).
  • Comb through each section with fine-tooth comb and set hair in 6 twists total.
  • Secure roots with large doobie pins and roll ends on medium/large purple flexi-rods.
  • Use tension method to blow dry hair to stretched state.

I plan on doing this over the course of two days and completed all but the last step on Sunday night. I may have to dampen my hair slightly to do a blow-out to stretch it further. However, knowing my hair, it might not be entirely dry, even after a full 24 hours! So, we’ll see if the wetting step is necessary.

And that’s that. It was a lot of research and store hopping, but I feel a lot more confident that I can do this without causing appreciable heat or manipulation damage. I’ll keep you all apprised of the final results and will have those product reviews for you too! Go team natural ;)!!

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How do you protect your hair during heat styling? What products, techniques and tools do you use?