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T's Hair Journey

T's Hair Journey
Loving her hair for the first time!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Blog will be quiet for the summer...

So I think the blog will probably wind down now....


Because it existed as a way for me to get reviews out of products I've tried and have an opinion about. I knew eventually I would either 1. run out of products or 2. find ones that work so well I really have no desire to continue experimentation.

Reality? Both things have happened. At some point I have to take a practical stand and say I could not use all the products I have before they expire. *OUCH* Even with 3 of us in the house I have enough to last through the apocolypse and into the new world order!

I'll temper this by saying that, even with all that said, I would still be experimenter mucho if I hadn't of found products I really love. But I have.

In honor of this blog I thought I'd list out my favorite products - these are those products that consistently work for me - and that I have now continued to purchase past the initial jar or bottle:

All of Spiral Solutions products - in fact these are my "go to" products. I use Caitlin's Conditioner at least 4x a week and I use the Curling Jelly and Firm Hold Gel pretty much daily. The Protein Spray, Protein Treatment, Deeply Decadent -- I use on an as needed basis.

Then there is Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee (BRHG) - this is my must have gel. Nothing else like it for me. Works every time.

Other products that I use regularly include: Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo, Aloeba Daily Conditioner, Rockin' Ringlet's and Gelebration Spray (note: I use them all and have an almost complete JC day - except BRHG which always goes on top!)

My other favorite products that frequently rotate and alternate with the above are: Hairveda's Moist Condition Pro conditioner, Sweet Nature by Eddie Shampoo, Redken Soft Spin 05 curl gel, Jasmine's Shea Butter Conditioner and Babassu Butter conditioner (both versions), Curl Junkie Smoothing Conditioner and Rehab Conditioner and Coffee CoCo Curl Creme Lite as well as the daily shampoo, Darcy's Botanicals Natural Coils Curling Jelly and Tucuma Butter Whip. I also love Hairveda CoCosta Shikakai Oil and Afroveda's Shikakai Hair Growth Oil

Occasional use products include Komaza Coconut Curl Shampoo/Condish, Moku Shampoo/Condish, Bellacurl Conditioner and Leave In (These are T's favorites!), Jason Curl Creme.

Have a great summer everyone!

Friday, June 4, 2010

BellaCurl Shine and Seal

Firstly I'm sorry it's been so long between posts. My work life gets real crazy this time of year and I've taken a self imposed break from hair chatter for a while. I need to use up some of what I have lol!

However, I had to take the time to post my review of the BellaCurl Shine and Seal.

This stuff rocks our world!

This is a SOTC or finishing product that absolutely imparts shine. It cuts frizz like you would not believe - and it does not sit on your hair. We use it every morning for T's hair and it just refreshes wonderfully. I cannot say enough good things about this butter/sealer. We aren't uber crazy about the smell but it is natural and it dissapates after a while. You don't need much - we use about a pea sized for T's whole hair. I would compare this very favorably with the Shescentit Gillian Butter which is the other finisher/sealer that we like at our house.

I have also used this to SOTC and it helps to hold and form the curls very well. This is a quality product and I highly recommend it!

As listed on the Bellacurl etsy site here are the:

INGREDIENTS: butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, mangifera indica (mango)butter, brassica oleracea italica (broccoli) seed oil, astrocaryum tucuma (tucuma) butter, theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu) butter, camellia sinesis (camellia) oil, essential oil blend

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So you know what I use on my hair -- what about my skin?

So I've had some requests for information on skin products. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a connoisseur of skin products and my experience certainly isn't extensive. Unlike hair care I found the skin products I like last year and I haven't felt the need to explore beyond them.

I use Carley's Clear and Smooth skin products. They have a website but it looks like they primarily sell on ebay. This is a line that was designed by a guy and he hasn't (so far in 10 years) gone retail on it. I have 43 year old skin which means I went through my normal acne bout in my teens and twenties. Unfortunately that acne kept flaring up every once in a while even through my 30's and now 40's. It seemed like all the products I would try (things available at Target or department stores) just clogged my skin and caused acne. My skin is prone to oiliness (which isn't that bad at my age since I have far fewer wrinkles then some of my friends who were plagued by drier skin earlier on).

I first started using the treatment about 8 or 9 months ago. It totally wiped out all my acne -- I wasn't even getting any "that time of the month" ones. From there I branched out to some of the other products and today I think I have the full line. The things I like include that there is a 100% guarantee so you can return anything you do not like and that it is more natural. For the first time in my life I can use a moisturizer that doesn't cause me acne.

A word of warning: We tried the treatment on T's face and it not only did not work but it caused her face to be way worse than it was before. Thus I think caution is in order -- if you are sensitive to scrubs of any sort then I recommend you just try the moisturizers and other Carley's products and maybe test a sample of the treatment somewhere else than your face. They usually have a deal where you buy 3 get 1 free (or similar) and they will send you samples galore. LOL that's how I got hooked on the other stuff from the line! All the stuff smells o.k. -- like the ingredients mostly. The only one that stinks (kind of) is the Elder Flower Mask.

Here's the product breakdown as I know it

Carley's Clear and Smooth Treatment: This is the original stuff. You use it at night and it is a scrub feeling product. It has benz peroxide so watch the towels!

Day Time Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin: works very well but is a bit heavy. Myself I prefer the Coconut daily product but this one is nice if you like something more moisturizing.

Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin: My FAVORITE moisturizer. Works awesome. BEST STUFF EVER!

Exotic Butter Moisturizer: This is o.k. but I use it only every once in a while. If you have dry skin though I think you could use it more often. I prefer the normal Nighttime moisturizer over this one.

Nighttime Moisturzier for Acne Prone Skin: GREAT! Love it! Works fabulously.

Lip Balm with Sea Buckthorn Oil: My favorite balm in the world. Love it. Works awesome and has kept my lips hydrated for many long months. Does not have a gross taste and doesn't feel waxy. Feels natural and comes in a tube (many natural lip balms are in tubs..YUCK!)

FEET - soft and sensual: This is just a so-so product IMHO. Not a repurchase. It works but just o.k. I use the Exotic butter moisturizer instead and like it better for my feet.

Anti-Aging Mask for Acne Prone Skin: Stinks. Really icky. But works fabulously. LOVE IT! Leaves your face soft and helps to control acne. Weird consistency means you should wash it off in the kitchen sink as it has bits of something in it (maybe the flower?)

Natural Soap: ADDICTIVE. This stuff is worth its weight in gold. Just an awesome soap. No residue. Has helped my skin immensely. I gave some to friends and my ex and they all love it. A MUST BUY. The great thing is that you get a free bar of this (and its a BIG bar!) with every product purchased.

Virgin Coconut Day Time Moisturizer: My favorite daytime product (besides the Anti Aging Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin). Very light smell and works great.

Anti-Aging Cream: This is pricey. Very pricey. However it does work awesome. I asked for a sample last time (about a month ago) and I'm still using the sample.  I love it for my eyes.

There are a few other things we tried that we either didn't like or found something else in the line that was better--namely the teenage kick a** treatment and the Anti Aging treatment...these are the same as the regular treatment but the teenage one has more BP and the Anti Aging has none (and feels much oilier)...but since I love the regular I don't need either of these.

In short I love most all the products. I don't work for them and there is no commission or anything. I didn't get any products "free" to put this on my blog. I bought them all (except for every 4th product which is free when you order 3 but y'all can get that same offer).

I have received so many compliments on my skin after I started using this stuff. HIGHLY recommended!

The website is: http://www.clearandsmoothskin.com/ and if you want to find him on ebay just look up adult acne and you'll see the product.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What I'm Reading...a Review for you!

Outside of my normal Curly Girl life I also do reviews for a couple places on the net. In the course of this I come across books I'd like to recommend and share so thought my blog would be a great place to do so. WARNING: This is not about hair!

Yesterday I finished one of the best books I've read in quite a while: Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok. It's not the sort of story I usually pick up but I've decided to branch out. I don't know how to describe it but this book called to me. I felt connected to it. I've posted a review on amazon (so you can read it there--my reviewer name is AlexJouJou) but if you are at all interested in great books with wonderful characters and a story of love, perseverance, and hope you MUST pre order this or pick it up. It is worth every penny. The writing is top notch and you will grow to love the characters and cheer them on.

If you're read it please post a comment below. I think it comes out on April 29th. ENJOY!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spiral Solutions Caitlin's Conditioner SSCC and Protein Spray

So you all know how much I LOVE Spiral Solutions products. Every time I use the products I feel as if they were designed for my hair personally. THAT is such a wonderful feeling! I've finally got my hands on the 2 new products and wanted to put in a review for them.

Caitlin's Conditoner (SSCC)

Caitlin's Conditioner (SSCC) is a wonderful medium weight condish that is suitable for daily use if you do not tend to over conditioning. People who blow dry or color their hair or for others who are in the sun a lot, swim, or generally get a bit abusive of the good ol' hair on a more daily basis will appreciate this rich conditioner. For those of you that are trying to go protein free this is not your condish -- it has protein in it and judging by the spirals I get it's a fair amount. SSCC has amazing slip-- even on my daughter's notoriously finnicky hair! It allows us to comb out her hair very easily. Since it has protein for her it's only a 1-2x per month thing but for me I can use it multiple time per week with outstanding results each time.

It's thick and comes in a jar. Although I get the whole jar thing I prefer pumps as they are easier to deal with in the shower. I'm not complaining since a jar means I can get all the product out but I really do like pumps better. I don't think this one would work in a regular bottle -- too thick. It smells like some of the other products (the curling jelly and FHG)

I couldn't imagine using something like this as a co-wash (why on earth would you pay for a premium product like this and then use it to co-wash? I've never understood co-washers who spend a ton on the co-wash condish but each to his/her own I guess). I think it could be used as a deep treatment as well with some heat (although haven't tried it that way). I did not like it as a leave in (too heavy with too much slip for me for a leave in) but my daughter did. A LOT. It functioned very well for her as a leave in. Again 1x or 2x a month when she needs a protein fix.

Overall if you like a regular medium weight condish then this is a groovy choice for you. Those with fine hair or easily overconditioned hair will probably not want to use it daily (it is very moisturizing and could leave wavy fine hair a bit too soft to hold a curl..if that's what can happen to your curl -- it does to mine). If you like a leave in that provides weight (to combat frizz, poof, whatever) then this one should be given a go as well.

Strength and Shine Leave In Protein Spray

I love the smell of this. YUMMY. Berry/fruity/sweet. Smells like the curling jelly. I, however, went a little hog wild and ended up with over proteined hair. Dry and straw like -- took me 2 weeks to recover. I guess the old adage that there is such a thing as TOO much of a good thing is true hmm?

It is exactly what it says: a protein spray. Don't go thinking just because it is a spray that you can just spritz all willy-nilly gals...no no...negatory. Start with a couple of spritz every couple of days (or 1-2x week) and see how it goes. Keep in mind that if you are using other products with protein and/or lots of products with protein (so either amount of protein in a single product or cumulative protein in several products) that you need to figure out exactly how much protein your hair needs.

This does not weigh hair down in any way--no greasies, stringies, lankies, or any other -ies. It's purpose is to add protein. For us fine haired wavies/curlies that *usually* means better curls. Now that I've figured out it is a 2x a week thing and to NOT add this spray on top of the Spiral Solutions Repairing condish and then top with a gel with protein I'm much happier. If you use Redken CAT it seem as if this would be a less expensive (and more natural!) option for you.

I just couldn't be happier with Spiral Solutions products. In fact you can see how much I love them due to the spacing on my blog posts...these satisfy me so much I'm not really on that HolyGrail search anymore...I think I've found them!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What should I buy from.....IHERB.COM?

In honor of Spring I decided to blog about my recommendations for products to buy at various places. I thought I'd start with http://www.iherb.com/  --  because I get asked frequently what people should buy from there. I also have a coupon code you can use for $5 off your first order (it's at the top of my blog) if you haven't ordered before. I love ordering from iherb because they ship super fast and I always get my stuff in a day or two. I've never had a mixed up order and they responded to an email I sent very quickly. Excellent service!

So ....  you've got some money earmarked for product and decide to go shopping on iherb--what are some good options?

Shampoo's and Conditioners brands:

EO  -- There are several types. My favorite is the Sweet Orange but others like the Chamomile and Honey.

Giovanni  -- we love the 50/50 shampoo and the Tea Tree shampoo/conditioner. I like the Root 66 volume conditioner as well. We were not overly fond of the Smooth as Silk shampoo (has cones) or the condish (didn't work all that great).

Beauty without Cruelty -- LOVE the Leave In. It has great slip (but not too much for me) and works wonderfully underneath almost any styler. A little goes a long way. Not too fond of the smell but it doesn't linger. Have not tried the poo or condish (if you have leave a comment below!)

Aubrey Organics -- Of course you simply *must* try the Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner. Many like it (we thought it conditioned o.k. but T had a problem with waxy type build up). GPB is the only Aubrey condish we still have and we use it occasionally. I did not like the Aubrey shampoo's. Their liquid curl activator had the most horrendous smell (see other blog article on that!). We also tried the Island Naturals conditioners and were not fond of the smell. The trend seems to be that we don't like the smell of their products. Another product I strongly recommend you pick up is the Mandarin Magic -- this stuff is great to use to add to a gel to help it spread and as an all around moisturizing gel you can add with a curl jelly or as a leave in. This is, by far, my favorite Aubrey product! I tried the B5 Design gel and hated it--left my curls droopy and sad.

Avalon Organics -- You have to read the labels on these as some contain cones. I really like the Olive and Grape Seed (thanks Solidgold for turning me onto these!) poo and condish. I haven't tried the others.

Jason Natural -- my two favorite products are the Thin to Thick conditioner and the Curl Defining Cream.  Although the condish does not smell great (see previous blog posts) it does work well. The Curl Cream is really fabulous! It works wonders for me!

I am planning another iherb order for some Alba Botanical Gel and Leave in as well as Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner along with a few other products. Once I get them I'll review and post!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Conditioner Scales

The Conditioner Scales

By popular request I am posting my scale for conditioners. Please understand that this is based on my hair (fine, thin, fairly short and porous), my daughter's hair (fine to medium/coarse, thick, long and low porosity) , and my son's hair (fine to medium, normal porosity, thick, and short). Other opinions may vary.

I will put in BLUE the products for my daughter and how they rate for her
I will use black for myself
I will use Green for my son as he has his favorites as well.

Please be aware that this list is not exhaustive. It includes condish's with protein and may include some with water soluble cones (I can't think of any but you never know)

Here is a breakdown of the rating scale I'm using:


1-2: Not moisturizing, may cause dryness, may build up or may weigh down hair. Not recommended

3-4: Minimal moisturizing. A very light conditioner, may leave hair a bit dry or be drying. Might be a good choice for a leave in when a heavier rinse out is used or for those who get weighed down. May need to use substantial amount of product to get results. Good choice for those with oily hair or for daily use with something like weekend deep treatments. May also be good for summer high humidity or for co washing.

5-6: A lightweight moisturizer. Not heavy, will likely not weigh down hair. Best for oily to normal hair or hair that is done daily so as not to get over conditioned. May not provide enough weight or moisture to counter act major frizz or poof. May be used as a leave in as well. The higher end of this (6) and the lower end of the other (7) are the ideal range IMHO for my hair.

7-8: Great Moisture. May be on the heavier side but not too much. May weigh down super fine or thin hair. Good for all hair types although those who tend to over conditioning may wish to alternate it or use it every other day or only on the ends. Should provide enough weight and moisture to help counter act frizz and poof for all but the driest of hair. This usually requires average amount of product use and many will be able to use this level of moisture even for leave in.
9-10: Ultimate moisture. Very heavy. May be too much (even in small amounts) for those whose hair gets weighed down. Recommended for the driest of hair or to be used in very judicious amounts. May to be too heavy for a leave in for all but the driest of hair but may be used in minute amounts for other hair types. This may require, even for Sahara hair, using small amounts and or assuring distribution via a Denman or other means. Good for winter super dry environments.

Slip Factor: I've added highlights in Purple to show the conditioners for us that have the most slip. I've also added in Orange the conditioners that have the most "grab" for those of us who have the problem that slip reduces our curl :(

Here's how they stack up

Fresh and Easy Retreat conditioner
Suave Tangerine

Kinky Curly Knot Today
Trader Joe's Nourish
Trader Joe's Refresh
Suave Coconut
Suave Strawberry

Tigi Moisture Maniac
Aura Cherry Almond Bark
Jason Thin to Thick
CurlJunkie Beauticurls Daily Conditioner
Curl Junkie Beauticurls Leave In
Jasmines Babassu Butter Conditioner
TRESemme Naturals Moisturizing and Radiant Volume condish's
Mop C Mixed Greens
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat
Giovanni 50/50 condish
Trader Joe's Tea Tree
DevaCurl One C
Shescentit Coco Creme Leave In
GVP Conditioning Balm
Shescentit Avocado Conditioner
Donna Marie MiraCurls Detangler
Lustrasilk Olive Oil Cholesterol
Komaza Moku
Komaza Coconut Conditioner
Amouri Organique Knights masque

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine (new version no cones)
Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey
EO conditioners (Sweet Orange, Chamomile and Honey)
Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana Honey Butta
Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
Curl Junkie Smoothing Conditioner
Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Leave In
Jasmine's Shea Butter Conditioner
Darcy's Pumpkin Seed Conditioner
Curls Asian Tea Conditioner
Back to Basics Curl Jasmine Conditioner
Giovanni Root 66
Giovanni Smooth as Silk
Hairveda MC Pro
Hairveda 24/7
Jessicurl Aloeba
Jessicurl Too Shea
Jessicurl WDT
Renpure Organics
Spiral Solutions Repairing Protein Treatment
Spiral Solutions Caitlin's Conditioner
Shescentit Green Tea and Hibiscus Conditioner
Lustrasilk Shea Mango
Lustrasilk Organic with Argan Oil
John Masters Citrus and Neroli
HSH Pumpkin Conditioner
Taliah Waajid Enhancing Herbal Conditioner
Yes to Tomatoes
Yes to Cucumbers
Komaza Aloe Conditioner

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition
BellaCurls Conditioner
BellaCurls Leave in Elixir
Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana Deep Fix
Mop C Hydrating Conditioner
Komaza Califia Conditioner
Komaza Califia Leave In
Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent
Terax Crema