Product Junkie

So, I love how a few weeks ago I said that I wouldn’t be a product junkie after quitting CurlKit. Well, I lied! I decided to celebrate my new job this week by going out a splurging a bit on a few products that I’ve had my eyes on for a while now. I even got a gift from my favorite hair supply company in Pittsburgh (shout out to Hair Day in Wharton Square!).

Hair Haul

Hair Haul

I got a lot of accessories since the heat is turning up and my hair is not kind when it gets humid outside. I invested in a white knitted hat, a few decorative pins, scrunchies, a bun roller, and head bands. I’ve never tried a bun roller but I’ve heard that it’s the easiest way to get the perfect, flawless bun. I’ll be the judge of that.

I also invested in a newer(?) product by Eden BodyWorks called Coconut Shea All Natural Curl Defining Pudding, medium hold. It’s supposed to be humidity resistant and is able to define, hold, and separate curls and waves. It’s also made without mineral oils, parabens, dyes, and is cruelty free. Seems like a win-win situation to me so I will be trying this out later today and see the results tomorrow morning!

I also went ahead and finally purchased Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque. Sally’s was having a sale and it was $2 off so I couldn’t say no! This stuff usually runs about $13 for a 12 ounce bottle and I paid $10 so I think that it’s a fair deal. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this product and I’m excited to use it in my deep conditioning treatment today. It smells divine and I hope that it works that way too.

Last up in my haul is the Proclaim Natural 7 Oil, which was also on sale at Sally’s. I keep emphasizing the sale to make myself feel better about spending so much money today. I ran out of my mixed oil last week and this is good for detangling, when used with water and conditioner,  and hot oil treatments. I usually just add a bit of vitamin E and castor oil and I’m all set!

Finally is my gift from Hair Day! I’ve been shopping there for about four years now whenever I’ve needed hair for a protective style or raw shea butter. The staff is nice and knowledgeable about my needs and I wouldn’t go anywhere else in Pittsburgh for good, quality hair. Today when I got home from the shop I opened my bag and this little treat popped out.

Hair Day Gift

Hair Day Gift

At first I thought that maybe I had accidentally taken something or it was given by mistake. But something wrapped this nice isn’t usually a mistake – at least I would hope not. Inside I found a nice set of make up by Kiss New York including, one single eye shadow, one duo eye shadow, and a trio eyeshadow set. Not a bad day if I do say so myself.

Kiss Make Up

Kiss Make Up

So I’m going to go and play with these items, including the As I Am Cleansing Pudding that I bought last weekend, and come back with results tomorrow afternoon. Have a blessed weekend and enjoy the sun!

Deep Conditioning

After cleansing your hair with either a co-wash or especially a shampoo, it is important to deep condition afterwards. The stripping effects of the shampoo can leave your hair dry since your hairs natural oils have been removed. A good deep conditioning treatment can replenish your hair’s moisture and oil while helping repair and strengthening.

Deep Conditioners

Deep Conditioners

I try not to use too many different products but I’ve found that I get the best results using these three deep conditioning treatments. Each serves a different purpose in damage control but they also contain a few of the same ingredients. All three contain some combination of water, jojoba oil, shea butter, and either dimethicone or behentrimonium chloride (a conditioning agent helpful in detangling as well).

Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

Can I start off by saying that this smell reminds me of mint? I know that there’s no peppermint or anything in this product but I really like the smell and the way that it spread, so I tend to go overboard on application.

The texture isn’t overtly creamy but it reminds me of the consistency of yogurt. It’s best to apply evenly by smoothing it in and using either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to really work it into your hair. The jar is 16 oz and I purchased it from Sally’s Beauty Supply for $8 – it was on sale the normal price is $10.99.

It states that the product is free of petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, colorants, and phthalates. I also like the way it makes my curls bounce back after flat ironing my hair. You can probably tell from the almost-empty jar that this is my favorite deep conditioning treatment.

Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair

Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair

Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair

This is thicker than the Nothing But line and definitely has a stronger odor as well. It smells strongly of mango and I don’t even

know what else, so it may be a bit overpowering for some people. Even after washing it out and applying a moisturizer and styling agent, the smell stays for a good two to three days.

The instructions state that this can also be used as a leave in conditioner but the smell alone seems a bit too over bearing for that use. To get the best results from this product, sit under a hooded drier for 15 to 25 minutes.

This product is good for replenishing moisture and defining your curls. I also purchased this from Sally’s for $7.00. That makes this my second choice for deep conditioners.

Shea Moisture Purification Masque

Shea Moisture Purification Masque

Shea Moisture Purification Masque

This is the first treatment mask that I had ever tried and I wanted something that would cleanse and condition my hair. This has the same texture as the Nothing But line but the absence of cones makes this product a bit harder to spread. It also has the addition  of black african soap, kaolin clay, and plantain extract.

The banana smell is strong but it doesn’t last for days like the scent in the Beautiful Textures conditioner. The instructions give the choice to leave this on for 5 to 30 minutes either before or after washing your hair. I always do this conditioning treatment after washing and I always sit under my hooded drier for at least 20 minutes.

I haven’t seen any real difference in my hair in terms of detoxifying or dandruff but it does define my curls nicely. I purchased this from Walgreens for $10.00 after trying a few products from the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus line.

I haven’t tried any homemade recipes yet, but I do have my eye on a few. I can guarantee that it will not have egg in it because I really don’t want to peel yolk out of my hair for a week straight. I’ll try a couple in the future and post my results soon.

Ori Essentials vs Shea Moisture

I spent the past week experimenting with Ori Essentials and Shea Moisture to see if there was a difference in my twist out results. For the first 5 days, starting on Thursday May 2nd, I used the Ori Essentials Leave In that I received in my CurlKit. For a quick over view of that product you can head of here to my review last week.

Ori Essentials launched their product line in 2012 with a large line of organic hair and body products. They teamed up with CurlKit this year and began selling their products in stores as well. To date, their website is not running yet, but an overview of some of their products can be found scattered throughout the internet.

Ori Essentials Leave In Conditioner

Ori Essentials Leave In Conditioner

The actual leave in conditioner is creamy with a light coconut scent. But once it touches water it becomes a bit runny and spreads easily throughout the hair. The instructions state that you should use a generous amount of product and I wound up using about a tablespoon amount on each half of my head. My hair was wet upon application which helped the product to spread evenly as I smoothed it in and finger detangled. I sealed with a mixture of vitamin E (yes that big bottle from the CurlKit ) and Castor Oil and put my hair into about 12 twists.

The next morning I undid my twists and my hair came out like this:

Ori Essentials Twist Out

Ori Essentials Twist Out

The curl definition is good but it’s not what I was really aiming for in my twist-out. Maybe I should have spent a bit more time fluffing but I have noticed issues with that as well. My hair refuses to stay fluffed at the crown! I get it nice and curly and in less than an hour it falls flat again. I know that there is no product that can fix this problem because my hair generally is thinner at the crown and curlier at the nape of my neck. The addition of a few hair curlers at night usually does the trick but that takes too much time and I’m just too lazy to do that every night.

My hair was relatively soft to the touch but not to the point that I’m used to feeling. Later at night when I would re-twist my hair, I had to go back and add more product because my ends felt dry again. I don’t have the time or patience to do that every night so I’m not sure if this is a product that I’ll use unless I run out of my staples.

On the night of Monday May 6th, I switched to Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, my general go to leave in conditioner. I finally finished off the first jar that I bought mid december and I use it at least 4 times a week, so this stuff goes a long way. It has a stronger coconut aroma and is creamy but it does not get runny when added to water.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

This product is the reason why I decided to stop being a product junkie. I add this onto moist hair, seal with my oil mixture, and when I take down my hair the next morning the softness and curl definition is out of this world! On this occasion I left my twists in for 2 days and took my hair down today. I did not re-moisturize my hair last night with water or leave in and today, my hair is still soft. The curls are immaculate and my hair is actually holding a bit of a fluff at the crown.

If I had to compare the two products, I’d say that Ori Essentials is good but not perfect. I feel as though I have to use too much of the product to get the intended outcome and it doesn’t maintain the softness integrity of my hair. So, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie wins this round! It spreads easier, provides maximum moisture, and helps to hold the curls of a twist out. I know that this product is intended more for wash and go’s than twist outs but I think that it works both ways depending on your own hair type.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie Twist Out

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie Twist Out

Springtime Sealing Methods

It’s finally getting warmer outside, which means that it’s time to find other sealing methods without overloading your hair with product. Spring weather can be a mix of cold, hot, and humid so the methods that worked during the winter may not go so well this season. I’m going to go over a few products to seal your ends with that I think may help to ease the transition for your hair into spring.

Oils or Butters?

During the winter it’s critical for most naturals to use butters mixtures that include Shea to tame and seal the ends of their hair. The thick consistency of butter mixtures are a better blockade against the cold and help to seal moisture. During the spring and summer when the weather gets warmer, butters may actually have the opposite effect by weighing down the hair.

A good way to transition is to start using oils and gels to style your hair after you’ve moistened your locks with a bit of water. A few good oils that you might consider are:

  • Coconut Oil: A cult favorite because of the vitamins, pleasant smell, and cheap retail price – it can be purchased at almost any grocery store. The oil itself is already used as the primary ingredient in many popular products but it also works well as a stand alone remedy for frizz, sealing, and developing healthy hair. This oil contains fatty acids along with vitamins E and K.
  • Jojoba Oil: Another favorite that is often added to homemade and mass-produced products that can be used as a moisturizer. This oil provides the nourishing qualities of vitamins A, E, and D by creating a barrier for your hair against the elements. This oil is also perfect as an addition to hot oil treatments as it promotes hair growth and health.

    Jojoba is one of the best moisturizing oils that I've ever tried.

    Jojoba is one of the best moisturizing oils that I’ve ever tried.

  • Grape Seed Oil: This lightweight and affordable oil works well in combating frizz, dandruff, and promotes hair growth.  This oil is also good for sealing and hot oil treatments as it moisturizes hair from the roots. Just a few of the nutrients that this oil provides are vitamin E and Omega fatty acids 3 and 6.
  • Castor Oil: Thicker in constancy than the other listed oils, this is perfect for the summer or winter months because of that fact. Because it is thicker, think almost like honey, it is also stickier than other oils, so this one can be used in moderation. Because of its smell, some people like to mix it with other essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender. It is also a strong anti-fungal treatment so it may cause a bit of itching for some users, the addition of essential oils can help to lessen this effect. Castor oil is a strong sealant and is perfect for hot oil treatments and to promote hair growth. It contains minerals, proteins, and vitamin E.

    Extremely thick and perfect for sealing those ends.

    Extremely thick and perfect for sealing those ends.

On top of one of these oils, I’ll also use a strong gel that can hold a twist out style once I step out into the heat. I’ve tried a few different brands but my all-time favorite is actually something that can be purchased at any Sally’s Beauty supply store for around five bucks. I’m talking about Eco Styler Gel; it is my precious baby, preferably the one with protein.

Eco Styler with Protein Gel

The addition of protein for hair strengthening.

When I first started using gels, I tried to do a homemade flax seed gel from, you guessed it, a YouTube video. But it flopped big time. Not only did it do nothing to hold a curl for me but it left my hair feeling sticky and awkwardly dry. So I went to Sally’s and bought two big jars of the Pink and Brown Eco Styler Gel for $5 a jar. I’m still using them both, not bad considering that I bought them back in December and I haven’t even reached the halfway point of either jar.

Now, I didn’t even bother to read the ingredients in either of these products but later in the week I will show you the difference that I get between using each gel. I’ve found that they have the same hold and don’t really leave behind a “crunchy” feeling that most gels have after drying. I have found that for some reason the Pink gel takes longer to dry on my hair than the Brown gel, I don’t know why that is but I’m assuming that it has something to do with the addition of protein in the latter mentioned product.

Well, these are my favorite oils and gels that I use for the warmer weather. Although what works for my hair may not do that same for yours, it’s always worth a shot to try it out a least. It’s also better than spending upwards of $30 on a product that may not even hold a curl on your head. As always, stick with works best for you and happy hair journey!

Curl Kit Contents

So I went through what was in the CurlKit for April but I really didn’t detail what each product is like. My bad on that one, sorry guys!  I’m going to give a quick over view on each product that I received and my thoughts on them.

CurlKit Haul

CurlKit Haul

First up is the Ampro Pro Styl Vitamin E, something that I just used yesterday actually. I had mentioned in my post on protective styling yesterday that it has a really nice smell to it. I found out that it’s because there is grape seed oil in the mix here! I also found out that a little bit goes a long way with this product. I used the recommended quarter sized amount and there was still oil on my hands afterwards. In my opinion, this is perfect for sealing in the summer time when butters are too thick.

Next on the list is the Ori Essentials Leave In Conditioner, which is also paraben, sulfate, and phthalate free. I know that a few people who had reviewed this in their April unboxing had a runny, almost curdled milk-like product. Mine actually came in the intended form and was very creamy. The thickness of the product reminds me of the Cantu Repair Leave In that’s been my staple since last December. It doesn’t have much of a smell to it but I’m fine with that. I really don’t want to overwhelm my hair with too many different smelling products so this might be a good choice if some of your other products have a strong scent. I haven’t had the chance to test out the actual moisturizing properties of this product yet but hopefully it lives up to the promise.

As for the Amazing Botanicals AloeMint Spritz, this product is basically all oil with the addition of water. You have to gently shake the bottle in order to mix the product correctly before application. I’ve applied this to hair sprayed lightly with water this morning and I haven’t really noticed a difference in the overall quality of my hair as of yet. I can’t really attest to the sealing qualities of this product but it might be something that’s good for summer time use. The mint scent is very light but I’m not sure how useful all of the other oils are in this product.

The other oil that came with this kit is the Honey Curls Hair Honey Oil Blend. And, oh boy, does it smell like honey. It’s subtle but it’s there. All of the ingredients are a series of essential oils and a few that I’ve never heard of, like karanji and borage oil. I haven’t quite figured out how to use it yet but I found this useful video on the Honey Curls website, as taught by an adorable little girl:

Lastly, we have the Naturalista Cosmetics Sweet Ambrosia Leave In Conditioner. This is the product that had the strongest scent, almost reeking of vanilla cake. I used it last night and the smell doesn’t last too long, although I wouldn’t mind if it did because I kind of like it.

naturalista leave in

It’s creamier than the Ori Essentials Leave In but it does not spread as easily, even when using a wide-toothed comb. Not sure how I feel about this one yet. My hair was dry when I woke up this morning and I had to refresh with my water bottle. It smells nice but that’s all that this product really has going for it in my opinion.

The samples of hair gel that came with the kit are things that I will not be using, like I said before I will be giving it to my mother. She’s just as much of a product junkie that I am and has no qualms about mineral oil in her products. So that’s it for my CurlKit review thus far. I haven’t gotten the Karen’s Body Beautiful yet but I’ll be sure to review that whenever it comes in the mail.

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Starter Kit

When I first decided to really go natural, my friend referred me to the Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk line. I had heard of it from a few YouTube reviews and was excited when my friend was able to secure me a starter kit for free! It’s good to have friends in retail. The kit came with four two-ounce bottles of their Hair Milk Co-Wash, Original Hair Milk Moisturizer, Hair Milk Lite Moisturizer, and Hair Milk Style Pudding.

Considering I got this around Thanksgiving. most of my original product is gone.

Stock photo! Considering I got this around Thanksgiving, most of my original product is gone.

After taking out my sew-in I decided to go full force into the kit like a kid on Christmas morning. I clarified my hair with an ACV rinse and started with the Hair Milk Co-Wash. The smell really didn’t tickle my fancy but I figured as long as it works what does it matter. After the Co-Wash, I plopped my hair with a t-shirt (I had read somewhere that t-shirts were better than towels) and applied a generous amount of the Original Hair Milk Moisturizer. The moisturizer isn’t that thick and the recommended quarter-sized amount seemed laughable, so I used about a quarter-sized amount on each of my four sections of hair. After working that through with a wide-tooth comb, I then smoothed the Style Pudding and set on making my two-strand twists. I tied my hair up with my satin bonnet and hit the sack.

The next morning I started taking my twists down and I could tell that this was going to be a disaster. As I touched each twist I noticed that they were dry…and I mean straw dry. Usually when I air dry after a wash it takes at least 16 hours but this had not even been 12 hours. Taking each twist down I also noticed that there was no curl definition, at all. Each unraveled twist revealed a great big ball of frizzy afro mess. By the time I got to the end my hair looked worse than it did before I washed it! So I washed my hair with my regular shampoo and conditioner and tied it up in a bun for a few days.

I tried again a few weeks later, this time without clarifying with the ACV rinse. I figured maybe it was the apple cider vinegar that dried my hair out and maybe it just didn’t mesh well with my Carol’s Daughter kit. Nope. Same results, same disappointment.

So I decided to give up on the Hair Milk line moved onto other pastures. My experience with it wasn’t great; in fact I honestly can’t find anything that I liked about it. I wasn’t a fan of the scent, the moisturizer didn’t moisturize, and the styling pudding couldn’t hold a curl. I’m just happy that it was gifted to me or else I’d be pretty upset that I wasted $24 on it. Now I did go on and have success with the Monoi Repairing Collection but I have found other brands that are cheaper and I get the same results.

That Monoi Repairing Mask is kicked! Good stuff.

That Monoi Repairing Line is kicked! Good stuff.

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk line is a no-go for me but everyone’s hair will have different reactions to products. Has anyone else had a better experience?

Humidity!!

April Showers are a bit late this year but the humidity is back in full force! And that means good-bye pretty twist outs and hello puff of doom. I don’t know about you but the second that I walk outside the full effects of the humidity are felt immediately and all of my hard work was for nothing. So today I’m going to try something different that I’ve been experimenting with recently. I saw a few videos on protective styling and the one that caught my eye was a quick and easy two strand flat twist.

Now I’m not going to post a video of how I do it because I honestly don’t think that mine comes out that hot but I follow a similar style that YouTuber LongHairDontCareLLC uses in her video:

Word to the wise, the end results are only going to look nice if you have your hair in a stretched state. My hair is not stretched, I actually had it in an afro yesterday so it is anything but stretched. So this style on me is a little bit puffy, not great but it gets the job done. I completed this style using Naturalista Cosmetics Juicy Leave In that I got in my CurlKit yesterday. It sort of smells like vanilla birthday cake, which I have no problem with and the texture reminds me of a thick, whipped frosting. Sorry, but that’s the best way that I can describe it.

I also decided to seal my ends with a little of the Ampro Vitamin E Oil since I now have a huge 6 oz bottle to play with. I was expecting a little bit of a smell to come with this and it gives off a light, fruity scent. After looking at the ingredients grape seed is indeed there on the list. I didn’t use too much, just about a quarter size amount since my ends are going to be tucked away anyway. Tip: Try doing this at night and wrapping your hair with a scarf. The scarf will help to reduce the visible frizz and give it a more polished look. Side view because I have a big forehead:

Attempt #1

Attempt #1.

Now that Spring humidity is back with a vengeance  it looks like I have to start experimenting more with protective styling to keep my puff in place.