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T's Hair Journey

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hand Dry Hair Gloves - a review!

Hand Dry Hair Gloves: A guest blogger review by Anniemae from naturallycurly.com!

I've always wanted beautiful, defined curls but could never really get them by scrunching my hair myself or with my diffuser. So, when I heard about the Hand Dry Hair Gloves, I just had to give them a try.

As a lot of you already know, I really love these gloves. They might look big, funny, and bulky, but they are actually very comfortable and easy to use. They are made of 100% polyester microfibre, machine washable, hang to dry. This material reminds me of the pile fleece that certain fleece jackets are made of - a really soft, thick, nubby texture.

For me, I've noticed that the gloves work a little better when my hair is very wet, but I do use them on towel-dried hair, also. After washing my hair, I put it for a few minutes in a microfiber towel, comb it with a wide-toothed comb, and then put in some type of leave-in or gel. Because my hair is kind of thin, I don't use a lot of products because I don't want to weigh it down too much. I usually use Curl Junkie Smoothing Gellie (I love this stuff) and apply about a quarter's worth all into my hair, especially the ends (you can experiment with the products that work best for your hair). Then I start scrunching my hair for about 15-20 minutes. When I scrunch, I hold my head sideways and scrunch each side, letting the hair hang and scrunching upwards. Then, when I hold my head up, I actually pull down on my hair with the gloves to eliminate any possible frizzing. I scrunch the parts of my head that I want curly, and I only scrunch it until it's about 90% dry, not dry all the way. At the end, I spray my hair with some DevaCurl Set It Free Spray to avoid frizz, and scrunch some more. My hair is fairly thin and almost shoulder length, so it doesn't take too long to dry.

Another option is to also use a blowdryer while scrunching to speed up the process. I set the blowdryer on high heat, low speed. I use the gloves to not only scrunch up the curl, but also to pull down my hair to get rid of frizz. I also use the gloves to help me get the look of beachy waves, rather than curls.

If your gloves get too wet during the drying process, just use a blowdryer on them for a few minutes and they will dry fast.

I really, really like these gloves!! They are a blessing for me because I don't ever get really good curl. Diffusers seem to mess my hair all up, whereas these gloves allow me to "place the curls" where I want.

I know that everyone has different hair types and textures, so these gloves might not work for everyone. But, if you think you like them, give them a try!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Poo Review by Solidgold

ATTENTION!! The Wavy Tales is excited to announce a series of posts on low-poo (non sulfate shampoo') by Solidgold from naturallycurly.com

All you wavies or curlies that use a low-poo read on to find reviews on some of the available low poo options.

So without further ado TW Tales presents THE POO REVIEW by Solidgold!

Since starting the Curly Girl (CG) method in May 2009, I’ve been searching for a low poo that does great things for my hair at a low price. Before going CG, I would only wash my hair about once a week because it was so dry. Of course, this was due to years of sulfate-silicone cycle of washing and styling. To take better care of my hair, I tried conditioner-only washing, but my hair didn’t “feel” clean and tended to get weighed down, and being a “wavy”, I felt like I needed a low poo to get that clean feeling. In June, I bought small sizes of Jessicurl’s Hair Cleansing Cream (HCC) and Gentle Lather Shampoo (GLS) to test out the CG gentler cleansers (available at jessicurl.com and naturallycurly.com’s Curl Mart). This review is not about them, but these cleansers are the standards to which I compare all other CG cleansers. The search has been ongoing ever since to find the low poo that meets my criteria of 1) reasonable cost, 2) easy availability, and 3) providing the best results for my hair (thick, medium/fine texture, normal porosity).

I recently discovered that the panthenol, a moisturizing ingredient (also known as B5) found in many beauty products, may contribute to over conditioning and limpness in my hair. Jessicurl’s GLS contains panthenol, but GLS remains one of my favorite cleansers. I will review some low poos with panthenol in it, but I am searching for a low poo comparable to GLS without panthenol.

Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Shampoo

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, PE G-150 Pentaerythrityl tetrastearate, PE G-6 Capric/Caprylic Glycerides, Laureth 4,Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Panthenol, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elder) Flower Water, Quaternium-79 Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Sodium Chloride (Dead Sea Salt), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Oil, Brown Rice (Oryza Sativa) Powder, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA,Tocopheryl Acetate.

$18 for 8oz

This low poo was very runny. It looks like water as it came out of the container, which made it difficult to hold in my hand as I applied it to my hair. On the positive side, I thought is smelled like a classic strong shampoo, which was pleasing to me as it evoked positive hair memories. It lathered lightly, but it made my hair squeak as I washed and rinsed, which made me think it stripped my hair of essential moisture. Even after conditioning, rinsing, applying styling products, and plopping, my hair still squeaked. I gave this low poo three tries, and I don’t think it is worth the cost for the mediocre impression it left. It is also only available online, so when you factor in shipping, it really doesn’ meet any of my criteria mentioned above.

EO Hydrating Chamomile & Honey Shampoo
Ingredients: Water (Purified), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Panthenol, Hibiscus Extract, Gotu Kola Extract, Lime Fruit Extract (Dry Hair Complex), Avocado Fruit Extract (Dry Hair Complex), Fig Fruit Extract (Dry Hair Complex), Fenugreek Seed Extract (Dry Hair Complex), Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein, Aloe Vera (EO Organic Herb Blend), Chamomile Extract (EO Organic Herb Blend), Calendula Extract (EO Organic Herb Blend), White Tea Leaf Extract (EO Organic Herb Blend), Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimonium Oligosaccharides, Lavender Essential Oil (EO Essential Oil Blend), Orange Essential Oil (EO Essential Oil Blend), Chamomile Essential Oil (EO Essential Oil Blend), Honey, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Citric Acid, Sodium Phytate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate

About $8 for 8oz

This low poo was difficult to squeeze out of the bottle. It seemed thicker than regular low poo, reminding me a little of aloe vera gel: jiggly. It had a light lather and pleasant shampoo scent, but I could hear a little squeaking after rinsing. I gave this product two tries. I felt my hair was a little limp after styling, which I attribute to the panthenol in it. The price is reasonable, and this product is available on the ground, so I would recommend it based on price, but I didn’t love it enough to buy more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Curl Junkie Curl Fix

Another Curl Junkie product!

The new Curl Fix Intense Hair Treatment is full of good things for your hair. Its got protein's galore. It smells VERY floral--but I love it! I'm not usually a fan of floral scents but this one won me over.

I've used it as a deep protein treatment with heat. IMHO this is really the way it is best utilized. It left my hair soft and conditioned fairly well. I could definitely tell this had proteins as my hair was quite curlier after. I would consider this is a PT and a partial moisturizing DT combined as my hair did not feel at all hard like it does with some protein treatments and even though I used a rinse out in the shower my hair did not need too much. While under the dryer the smell of this permeated the whole house and it smelled so good! Like a wonderful spring day at the flower fields!

I just tried it today as a leave-in and I have to say a big negatory on that. I have no idea why but it did not do a great job as a leave-in. I've been using the CJ Curl Rehab as a leave-in and its been performing phenomenally. The Curl Fix just didn't compare.

So while it will do for either purpose (or a rinse out one can imagine) I am going to reserve it for my DT/PT needs. At $24 for 8oz it really is in my more Deep Treatment category. Its a wonderful product and very worth the dollars!


Hairveda Products!!

Back several posts now I blogged about how great the Hairveda Moist Condition Pro (MCP) did on my hair. I'm still loving it but now it has company on my go-to products shelf!

Amala Shampoo: Doesn't really have a smell. Sort of herbally if anything. A kind of golden color it cleans exceptionally well. My hair does not feel stripped but it definitely does feel clean. I've found that low poo's that have some of the more medium cleansers/surfactants in them tend to have the same effect. That's o.k. with me and this one gets a thumbs up! I would not use it daily but for my regular about every 3 days low poo it does a great job.

Amala Cream Rinse:
This ranks second right behind the MCP. It is called a creamy shampoo but functions like an in between co-wash/shampoo for me. I didn't really figure that out until I used another cleansing conditioner that had mush more cleansing power--so I'm revising my original opinion to consider this between a co-wash and shampoo (although for me it acts like a co-wash for the most part)It absolutely does not leave my hair stripped. My hair feels clean yet conditioned. This does not get out something my hair likes to hold onto (like the Polyquat 11 and 7!) unless I become the DOW scrubbing bubbles on my hair--scrubbing like a maniac but for every other occasion its a real blessing. I get less shedding with this product than any of my low-poo's which I find quite interesting. In general things that are marketed as cleansing conditioners or creamy shampoo's gie me less shedding.

It's quite inexpensive and Plain Jane like its cousins..but a definite repurchase for me! I use it nearly every 3 days. Given the amount of products I have that is a real testament to the product. If you are looking for something that cleans pretty well but is a conditioner based then you should try this one out. If you use cones or other things like polyquat's or mineral oil you probably should opt for a low poo actual shampoo.

Moist Condition 24/7: This one I got primarily for T's hair. We have to watch the protein intake for her hair as the mixed texture tends to go haywire with too much protein. We used it as a rinse out and detangler in her hair and it worked fine. It was better as a rinse out and leave-in and only so/so as a detangler. I haven't tried it in my hair yet but with Hairveda's track record for me I'm sure I'll like it as well. It is not as thick as some others which made distribution much easier through T's hair.

Cocasta and Shikakai Oil: This stuff smells so good and I have no idea how to describe it. I really don't. It does not smell like anything I can get a handle on. I've done a pre-poo with this and it was fine but I think I won't be able to do one very often as it is very conditioning and I think I might get OC'd. So I started using it on my body and in my bath and it is sublime! I think it would make a good oil to seal with but T is not willing to try anything other than the ShescentIt butters and the Qhemet Biologics Burdock Cream. She is in love. So I'm happy to use it for myself!

SitriNillah Masque:
This is a deep treatment. I've used it with and without heat. I did notice my hair was softer with heat. It smells like Oranges--sweet oranges--its a good smell. Although this worked I have other deep treatments I prefer. This looks like it has very similar ingredients to the MCP and I like that one so not sure this is a repurchase. I am eyeing that Methi Sativa set next!

Whipped Gelly: The one product that just did not work on anyone in the family. On my hair it didn't really do much-not enough hold as its a very light hold. It smells DIVINE though! I used it to twist T's hair but her hair didn't stay and turned very dry after a day. I used a very moisturizing leave in with this that always works so it was clearly the jelly. We tried it on my son and his hair felt a little producty. Although I really love the smell this one is not a repurchase.

I should mention that the ladies at Hairveda are super nice to work with. I had a problem and they contacted me right away to fix it. We agreed on a solution and they immediately took care of it. Since this is a very small business it can take a while to get a response and the products take a while (sometimes a long while) to ship. IMHO the Moist Condition Pro and the Amala Cream Rinse's are la creme de la creme of my product rotation. I will not be without them.

Darcy's Botanicals Part Duex

Darcy's Botanicals NEW products!

Those who read my blog know I love DB products. If any of you shop her website or her etsy store you might have noticed she has NEW products introduced in time for Black Friday. I, however, could not get on to her site until she was already closed so I missed the big BF sale. Waaaa!

Never fear cowgirls--I just saddled up again and ordered after the sale. Yes I think her products are that good that even the loss of a good 20-25% discount did not deter me.

Here's the sitch on the new products:

Pumpkin Seed Conditioner: OMG. AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. If you are looking for slip in a conditoner this one has it in spades. Other than QB Coco Tree Detangling Ghee this is the only other product that has done a great job of detangling on T's hair. Other stuff is good and even great but this one is literally like butter.

On my hair it left it very well conditioned, silky smooth without being too smooth and feeling very soft. The scent is excellent as well--kind of like vanilla buttercream pumpkin cake batter. My hair felt SO good in the shower and out. It also gave me wonderful clumping. It has hydrolized oat protein and I already know my hair loves this particular protein. Its in her NC Curling Jelly too--which is another product my hair loves.

Natural Coils Daily Leave In Conditioning Spray: This sprays out in a wonderful mist. It is very light. Did not feel heavy on my hair but I could definitely see the conditioning aspect. Not sticky, tacky, or producty (which tends to happen with sprays). I used about 6 sprays for my entire head and it was perfect. I think I could use less in the summer (unless its dry). Smells very good--sort of sweet but not overwhelming or overpowering. This, on my hair, is light enough not to weigh it down at all. I think if you have fine hair and it leans towards thin and you like lighter products you ought to try this one out. Its not similar really to something like SNBE Growth Spray--that does better for me after my hair is already SOTC'd or mid day or before bed. It doesn't have enough Umph to use as a full leave in IMHO. This one IS a leave-in and you can feel it right away. Although there are oils in it my hair absorbed them very well--no problem with oily/greasy looks.

Avocado and Wild Plum Twisting Creme: I used a bit after the LI just to get a sense. Seems very good. I think I'm going to like this one the same way I like the coconut and aloe pudding--after I've SOTC or mid day especially to add some moisture. I found Darcys stuff to work really good for this--these pudding and creams. I'll have to try it alone to see if it has any curl enhancing effect. I like these for mid day moisturizers because they seem to have a little hold which helps my kind of droopy curls sometimes around 2o'clock. Also when I get home if its dry outside I usually spritz a little water and then scrunch in some of these creams. Just love them. Mine came as sample size so it is unscented so I can't speak to the scent. EDITED TO ADD: Tried it today as a "curl enhancer" and it doesn't enhance at all. I should be clear I didn't really expect it to but thought it was worth a go. Not a repurchase for me since I love the Coconut and Aloe pudding too much to replace it with this!

In my next order I plan on getting the Darcy's Botanical's Herbal spray, the Deep conditioner, and the Tucuma Butter along with at least one additional oil. Stay tuned for Part 3!

Kinky Curly

So you knew it was coming. Kinky Curly Curling Custard seems to be the "it" product for many. The number of curlies who say this is their Holy Grail product is legendary.

So what took me so long to add it? Simple. It did not work for me. You heard that right. Just did not create the curls or waves I was hoping for. It certainly did create something in my hair--but I really wasn't sure if I should blow dry it or cook it over medium heat for 15 minutes.

So what did it do to my hair? Well it created FAT SAUSAGE ringlet's all over my hair. Like 7 or 8 of them all around. I looked like I was going to a costume party as an adult film star version of Shirley Temple. Awful. My hair is just too fine and thin to sport this look. The pic above is of one of the sides. Even my kids commented--mostly regarding the fact I was not a 3 year old anymore so the look really didn't suit.

The ingredients look great. I found the smell only so-so although others rave over it (I could never figure out why as it always had a slightly off smell to me..like a product thats reached the end of its lifecycle). I did give it the old college try--in fact I gave it more than 10 college tries!

However, in deference to the fact that so many like this, I've asked my fellow CG'ers over at Naturallycurly.com to say a few words about one of the favorite curl enhancers currently on the market.

Robin-in-FL says: "KCCC works well on my coarse wavy hair, it does not provide hold but does prevent frizz, smells great, and it sort of stretches out the waves but not in a bad (limp or flat) way, they are still bouncy and nice."

Finaleofseem had this to note: "First of all, KCCC: you know I love it! It's a great "base" in my opinion. I can't use it alone, because with my wavy hair it doesn't provide enough hold. However, I really LOVE the way it helps enhance my waves, and makes them a little more uniform, which is really what I'm looking for in a base product. Two things that people should know before they use KCCC: first, it will likely increase your drying time, so if you air dry, it may be a pain in the butt. Secondly, it will have some crunch. I've never had a problem scrunching it out, and it leave my hair soft and touchable and very bouncy. However, those wavies/curlies who don't like aloe should probably stay away from KCCC, because it's very aloe-heavy. As far as how much I use: three pea to dime sized blobs emulsified in my hands: one for the left, one for the right, and one applied upside down (all sprunched) for my medium-density, just-below-chin length hair."

The amount of people who love this product seems to outweigh those of us who just couldn't get it to work. So my recommendation is for your to purchase it or secure a sample from a friend or fellow curly/wavy. The chances are good it will do right nicely for you!

The importance of a patch test overnight!

Greetings fellow wavies and curlies!

There was a post recently on naturallycurly.com where a fellow board'er mentioned she had been having some burning and irritation on her scalp once she switched to a new product. Although the product was working it seemed as if she might have an allergy or sensitivity to something in the conditioner. Contact Dermatitis is common with cosmetic products including dyes, conditioners, shampoo's, etc.

It came to me then that I haven't seen much on the boards about doing a patch test when you get new product. This lets you know if your skin will be sensitive to it. It won't help if your hair just does not like an ingredient (that can be much harder to figure out but there are common culprits listed below).

The way I do it is I use about a pea to dime size of product and rub it into my inner arm. On the inside of my wrist, above my elbow, basically anywhere that my skin tends to be more sensitive anyway. If I'm worried I do it upper arm only--that way if there is a reaction I can cover it with long sleeves. I am on the PC all day at work so if a product caused a rash on my wrist I would be irritating it all day. Not good! You could also put it at the nape of your neck or behind your ear if you want to be closer to your scalp or even on a small area of scalp. The choice is yours.

I encourage you all to do this at night and then check in the morning. I know allergists sometimes recommend longer. Even though it might delay your instant gratification on the product its worth it in the end if your scalp is going to end up burning or itching or having sores.

Ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction such as contact dermatitis: Citrus (commonly essential oils of organge, lemongrass, etc), papaya (used as a nerve agent in medicines for its ability to encourage sensation in areas deadened), preservatives (too many to mention), cocamidopropyl betaine (shampoos).

Sometimes the patch doesn't show anything and it will still react on your hair but it is an easy way to at least get an idea. Remember that even something you've used before can turn into a sensitivity!

P.S. common ingredients that some peoples hair is sensitive too--can cause it to get hard, dry, limp, lifeless, greasy and more: mineral oil or other petro products, castor oil or other oils (olive, jojoba, etc), protein (hydrolized anything in a product), panthenol, BTMS.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Shescentit is another handmade line I learned about on naturallycurly.com and longhaircareforum.com and I'm so glad I did!

I've ordered a couple of times and always had great experiences. We have liked all the products we've gotten! I have only ordered the conditioners and such without silicones (or silica) in them. I'm very tempted by the others but know I would regret it afterwords. Ah well. On to the review.

The Avocado Conditioner is green--seems appropriate. It comes in a regular bottle with flip top lid. Her bottles are very unique and, honestly, quite classy and fun looking. I love her logo. Anyway this is an excellent conditioner if your hair is normal to dry. We didn't find it had enough *umph* for T's hair but for my hair it's great. My son also likes it (his favorite color is green). Smells good. Very inexpensive for an online product. Nice!

Next up on the list is the Super Soft Honey Conditioning Rinse. I LOVE the smell of this and it works amazing for me as a rinse out conditioner. It makes my hair moist and bouncy without leaving it over conditioned. It has just enough moisture power. It's another inexpensive option.

My favorite conditioner right now is the Green Tea and Hibiscus one. My hair seems to love Green Tea in any form. It's a deep conditioner but I usually just leave it on in the shower. I'll have to try it with my hard hat dryer but so far its working exceptionally well with just the shower heat for about 5-8 minutes. It smells fine--a little more herbally than the other two I've tried but completely acceptable.

The Coco-Cream Leave In Conditioner is a favorite of many. It works wonders for my sons hair. It provides a lot of slip and can easily be used to detangle. It smells positively divine and is a little more liquidy so it spreads very easily. You don't need too much. If you like leave ins that have a lot of slip or that make your hair feel very silky you will like this one. I felt it made my hair a little too slippery leading to reduced curl.

Another other option for a leave in is the Moisture Mist Leave In Conditioner. This is a liquid in a spray bottle. You MUST shake it up WELL. Do Not Forget. This has oils that can make your hair greasy if you don't shake well. For a spray this one does a nice job. We found it much better on my sons hair than my daughter's and I use it occasionally as well. I actually prefer creamy leave in's myself but this one is nice if you want something light. I think the smell is the other reason for it to not be my favorite--not sure how to describe it except as artificial. I don't really care for it.

Our other favorite products from Shescentit are the butters. OH MY do we love them! We love the Gillian Butter the best but the Seyani is no slouch. You can order your fragrance and you can get sample sizes. We have loved every fragrance we've tried (Vanilla Almond, Sugar Cookie, and Creamsicle). All are light and not overpowering. These butters emulsify into an oil and they are wonderful, simply wonderful, for sealing your hair. When we use this after T's leave in and her Qhemet Biologics Burdock Cream we get long lasting moisture--never greasy, sticky, producty, etc. It is fabulous. We use it in the morning as well to refresh second day after the Qhemet products and it sets her hair just right and helps minimize frizz. EXCELLENT! Even if you think you can't do butters but want to try some these are great to give you an idea--inexpensive as well.

How to classify your wavy hair

Here is some information that helps those who want to classify their hair according to hair curl type. Please note that I am more of a fan of classifying by hair properties (like texture, porosity, elasticity) but many internet places use one of the following systems:

NatuallyCurly.com hair type classification system:

If you look on this website it classifies wavy hair as ALL 2. The difference is in texture ONLY. So here is how it would go:

2A is wavy hair that is fine
2B is wavy hair that is medium
2C is wavy hair that is coarse

There is no progression of the "curls" in a wavy classification if you use the one on naturallycurly.com---so you would only be a 2C is your hair was wavy and coarse. Anyone with wavy/fine hair is automatically classed as a 2A (not a 2C). The amount and level of curls vary but until you hit the 3 category there is no system whereby looser/tighter/spirally matters in your curl pattern.

In contrast to this there is a FIA system as below:
Fia's Hairtyping System


The straight ones
1a - stick straight
1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

The wavy ones
2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there

The curly ones
3a - big, loose spiral curls
3b - bouncy ringlets
3c - tight corkscrews

The really curly ones
4a - tightly coiled S-curls
4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)

What (most of) your individual strands look like

F - FineThin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or itfeels like an ultra-fine strand of silk

M - MediumStrands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

C - Coarse
Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it.

Your overall volume of hair

Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don't bother with the way it looks - the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.

Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

To measure the circumference - take a piece of string, or a soft tape measure (the kind used by dressmakers). Wrap the string or tape measure around your ponytail - just below the elastic you have in to hold the ponytail together. Read the corresponding number from the tape measure, or hold the string at the length you've measured and use a ruler to determine how much it is. The number given is the circumference of your ponytail.

i - thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
ii - normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
iii - thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

(Taken from the following website --

So if I use Naturallycurly.com classification I am a 2A/3A.

If I use FIA I am a 2c/3aFi

Hopefully this is helpful!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jasmines Bath and Beauty Products

I originally heard about Jasmines produts on the Long Hair Care Forum. I didn't pay much attention at the time. It wasn't until a fellow naturallycurly lady reviewed these that I actually went to the website and took a look.

I can only say WOW! This site has a lot of products! There are things for hair, face, skin, bath, makeup and more. One of the greatest things about Jasmines is that you can get your products in the scent you like and there are TONS of choices! I wish more stores did this!

I decided to try the hair conditioners first. I chose the 3 that were free from silicones. I also ordered some shea butter that was scented for my son's excema.

The Moisture Renewal Conditioner is just an amazing amazing leave in. On my hair I can use at least 2 tsp of product which is a lot. It sinks into my hair without leaving it weighed down. Of course the scents I chose (Caribbean Coconut for one bottle and Vanilla Butter Cream for the other) so of course I love them. This is lightweight but it does provide the required level of moisture. I think this has been discontinued so hopefully we'll have another product in the spring.

The Babassu Butter Cream Organic Conditioner comes in a jar and is pretty thick and white. It doesn't have protein so was a good choice for T's dry hair that is protein sensitive to some degree. When we used it there was enough slip to detangle but not as much as the Shea conditioner reviewed below. I do have to note we aren't as thrilled with the Pink Cupcakes scent because it smells more like buttered popcorn but the conditioner works great. I will say the scent does not linger and when it gets in your hair it doesn't smell like popcorn--just in the jar. I ordered more but in different scents so I will udpate once those arrive (SCENT UPDATE BELOW!). We definitely liked this one for its conditioning properties and it also worked well as a leave in for T. Nice!

Our favorite product is the Shea Butter Conditioning Cream Rinse/Leave In. We use it as both a rinse out (PHENOMENAL!) and a leave in (Superb!). I have never had my hair SO SOFT without loosing curl. I couldn't express how soft and great my hair felt. If it wasn't against the law I'd of run screaming down the street in my Bday suit! It has some protein which my hair loves.

The Shea Butter (unrefined) we mostly use for skin and not hair. We like it. The scent we chose was fine (Sexy Vanilla) and it works well. It's shea butter so we already knew we'd like it. The quality seems just fine as well.

I have to tell you I liked these products so much that I turned around and placed another order less than a week after I received my first one! I ordered 6 more conditioners in the 4oz size in different scents.

The pic above is with Jasmines used as a Leave In (Shea Butter Condish) and even with a great curling gelly (which I used) it won't give me that much curl without an outstanding leave in.

These products get two very enthusiastic thumbs up! You'll also love to hear that the owner responds to emails lightning fast and is a great communicator! With these smaller companies where you have to wait a while for your order the level of communication is so so important. Jasmines owner is absolutely top notch!

So not only are you getting just grand products you get great service with them! What are you waiting for!!

SCENT UPDATES: I got my new products! So I had to update on the scents. This batch is MUCH improved (I guess that's what I get for letting a 13 year old pick out scents! Won't make that mistake again! LOL).

Mango-Peach: Does smell fruity but it has almost a floral undertone. Very classy!

French Vanilla Pear: Smells very vanilla/buttercream'y. Just a very small fruit type note. Understated and subtle for those who don't like really fragrant fragrances that you can smell in an elevator 2 hours after you've gone!

Passionfruit/Guava: Exactly how you expect. Sweet tropical fruit. Yum!

Strawberry Jam: Just like strawberry jam! A great kids scent!

Berries and Cream: One of my favorites. Like fresh berries in whole cream. Decadent and fruity!

Jasmine Vanilla: A very floral vanilla. Wonderful smelling and I can't wait to try it in the shower!

White Tea and Ginger: Classic--like LL Bean. Clean and unisex.

Summer Melon: Another one that smells exactly like you think it will. Like a mix of fresh melon in the summer on the picnic table!

Coconut Lemongrass: Another favorite of mine. Perfect mix of these two!

Pearberry: Sweet more like a pear but with a berry undertone (blackberry to me).


Donna Marie Products

I've only tried a few of the Donna Marie products that are currently on the market. I've used a few that are no longer made. Her curling jelly is AMAZING. Full stop.

The Mira Curl Curling Gelly smells sweet and looks a lot like homemade flax seed gel but more substantial. It's slippery but not slimy and its consistency allows you to spread it through your hair easily. This is a curl enhancer--on it's own it did not have enough hold for my 2C hair. I'm pretty used to that though so it's o.k.! It is a very nice sized bottle for the money and it seems to work equally as well on all hair types. Both the above pic's are with this product in (two different days). You can clearly see the curl enhancing. If you are looking for a good curl enhancer you should try this one out! Be warned though she sometimes gets sold out of stuff so if you see it and want it I recommend you buy it right away!

Gekko422 on naturallycurly.com says "I used DM Mira Curl and really liked it" if you need a second opinion :)

I absolutely adore the Mira Curl Detangler and Conditioner. I use this is a leave in an it never fails to give me a good amount of moisture without being too much. I've used it as a rinse out but honestly it works best as leave in for me. That's a very high compliment from me as leave ins are much harder for me than rinse out conditioners. The smell is sweet with a very very light citrus undertone. I don't have a pic since I'm using some from another curly and it's not in the right bottle. Excellent!

Mira Curl Moisture Mist comes in a spray bottle. It's primarily aloe juice with some other things. I've used it a couple of times. Overall it is o.k. but if I'm not careful I can get oily and stringy hair really quick with this. The smell is sweet. I suspect that medium to coarse wavies and curlies would like this better than fine haired peeps. T liked it just fine and she has mixed textures.

The Coco Hemp Buttermilk is a styler. I've used it as a conditioner to great success. As a styler/leave in I think it's too heavy for my hair. It smells just like the old Coco Hemp Buttercream which I LOVE to use to Scrunch Out the Crunch (SOTC). I simply adore the smell. This is another one that I only have a smaller sample of so it's not pictured. I'll update this post once I use it in the lower dews and humidity we've been having as I think it is a much better winter product as it is very very rich. You have to watch how much you use or you will end up a bit oily if you have fine hair. T didn't like the smell so we didn't use it on her hair but I'm betting it's another product that works better on med/coarse hair.

Darcy's Botanicals

I love Darcy's Botanical Products!

I originally thought the line wouldn't work because there were a lot of heavy products which seemed more aimed at things like twist outs and braids--none of which I can do on my fine and thin hair. Turns out her products work well for ALL types of hair!

My first and still favorite product is the Natural Coils Curling Jelly. This is one of my HG curl enhancing products and it consistently gives me awesome curls! I love everything about it--the smell (Citrus), the texture (gel but not super slimy) and the color which is a sort of yellow brown. It has lots of ingredients my hair loves like coconut and protein. I use about a dime sized for each side of my hair then another dime on the back and canopy. I use a hard hold gel over it and pixie diffuse or scrunch while diffusing. You can see how awesome this works by viewing my PikiStrip above--the "After" front view is with DB NCCJ! VERY Highly recommended!

Daily Leave In was my next product to try and I have it in the Peach scent. The smell, like all of Darcy's other products, is yummy. It does have some emulsifying wax in it so if you are sensitive to waxes you'll have to take that into account. This is very similar in my hair to fairly heavy hair milks. A little dab will do you if you've got fine and/or thin hair. In my daughters thick hair that's more medium texture we use about a Tsp on each of 7 sections. It works equally well in her hair. I do have to watch humidity and dew point as this has glycerin which can be problematic during one of SoCal's dry spells but otherwise it's an all season styler and moisturizer for me. Lovely!

The Detangling Milk comes in a spray bottle but I found it too heavy to use that way so I just pour some in my hand. I love the vanilla smell (you can chose a scent) and it does a good job of providing moisture and detangling should you need it. I find it very comparable to the Daily Leave In--interchangable for me.

Another of my favorite products is the Coconut and Aloe Moisture Pudding. This is my GO TO product for moisture particularly on DRY hair. If I've used a product with mag sulfate OR my hair is really dry that day or the humidity is in the teen's I break this out and use about 2 tsp and scrunch it in. It never leaves my hair oily or greasy--in fact my hair's two favorite things (outside of the main love which is protein) are Aloe and Coconut--so this was an easy choice. I was out all day today in 14% humidity--normally that would mean my hair would be a dry hot mess when I got home. Not so now--it's after 6pm and my hair is STILL soft and bouncy. Yeah Darcy's!

The last product is Peach Kernel Nectar (not pictured because I used it all up!). OMG the scent..oh lawdy the scent. It REMINDS me of the South and summer days out fishing and coming in to my Grandma's peaches with FRESH cream on top. Melt in your mouth goodness. This is just an amazing oil--it's not heavy and it absorbs into your hair very well. I use it in my hair as a kind of Pre-poo when I'm going to take a bath. The scent envelopes me while I'm relaxed and enjoying a hot soak. Heavenly! You simply MUST try it!

Look for more reviews from Darcy's Botanical's later this month or early next year-I'm waiting on a shipment of a couple of the new products right now! I can't wait to try them! Also the owner of Darcy's is outstanding--she replies to emails promptly, ships promptly, and is always willing to work with you. A wonderful company!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

New to CG methods? My 10 top picks for products to buy!

So you are new to the Curly Girl method? Confused by acronym's and wondering what on earth you should buy to begin the journey?

First I believe in KISS --especially in the beginning with CG where you are struggling with the transition to the CG method. Both you and your hair are likely frustrated. We can relate--we started there too!

It goes without saying that you need to read heavily--go visit the naturallycurly.com website or any of the blogs I link below as all have various amounts of information. The Live Curly Live Free website is a goldmine of information as is the blog by Jillipoo.

So here is what I recommend for you to purchase in the first weeks of going CG. Most will be on ground but I've thrown in a couple of recommendations for online purchases if you want to give that a try:

1. Suave Naturals or V05 Moisture Milks or similar for a co-wash. These are widely available and cheap. If you have medium to coarse hair stay with things that don't have a lot of protein in them (V05 or Suave is fine except the coconut)Cost: $1.25

2. LA Looks Sport Gel (LALSG): again cheap and widely available. If you can't find the Sports one then try LaBella or a generic (e.g. CVS) version of hard hold gel. Cost $2.00

3. Lustrasilk Cholesterol Conditioners--choose one of the three without cones (Olive Oil, Shea and Mango, or Organic with Argan Oil). At a price of $2.50 you can afford to pick up a couple. I vote for Olive Oil for Leave-in and either Shea Mango or the Organic for your DT's. Cost $2.50

4. A good conditioner. Giovanni and/or Trader Joe's conditioners: Depending on your hair type and scalp issues and if you have a TJ's around you. Choose the Tea Tree is you get itchy scalp or your preCG hair was oily/greasy. If your hair was pretty dry but not ultra frizzy and dry then I recommend the TJ Nourish or Refresh or the Giovanni 50/50. If you have really dry hair or want to do a couple of very moisturizing DT's then try Smooth as Silk by Giovanni. Your other option is the ones we use on my daughter--Garnier Fructis. The Triple Nutrition and the Sleek and Shine (fortifying Conditioners) are excellent choices for really dry hair or just normal to dry, cheap, and work great. They are reviewed on my blog so you can see what they look like. Cost $3-8

5. Any or all of the following hair accessories if you do not already own them: mini clips, bobby pins, ponytail holders, headbands, clips, barrette's, Flexi-8's, etc. You are likely going to put your hair up or back at some point. Inevitable. Make sure you have some products you can live with to do that. Trust me. You may also want to clip your hair to give it volume on top so clips can be a lifesaver. Hit up the Goody or Scunchi isle's in your local CVS, Target, Walmart, or Walgreen's.

6. A diffuser or hard hat dryer. Whichever floats your boat. Peeps with very thick and potential-poof hair might want a hard hat dryer (I use and love Ion Conditioning Hard Hat dryer from Sally's). I use a diffuser more often on my hair--check out the Conair attachments for regular dryer's available at Sally's as those work well and are cheap $5-8.

7. A towel or something that functions as one. Either a curl towel OR use old Hanes type undershirts or other tshirts or flour sack towels. You won't be using regular terry cloth towel's on your hair and you need something to get some water out.

8. Ingredients to either make your own Flax Seed Gel OR to do DT's and soothe your scalp: Honey, Coconut Oil, Flax Seeds, strainer, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, eggs, mayonaisse, avocado and more. No you don't have to be a Mixtress to do this-it's easy and you'll like using what you have on hand to have beautiful hair! Recipes are all over the net and on naturallycurly.com on the Recipes board.

9. If you have coarser hair you may want to invest in some butters or cream's that are moisturizing. This is where you start to go online. I recommend something like Karen's Body Beautiful or Shescentit for your butters and creams. We've also used Ohm Avocado Custard and Oyin's whipped pudding to good effect. Just google them. If you are a finer haired wavy or curly I recommend investing in a good protein treatment. There are numerous options like Nexxus Emergencee, Apoghee (may have cones) or one of the online like Hairveda's Methi set or Curl Junkie's Curl Fix. In addition if you are a wavy you may want to invest in a low-poo because many wavies need to low poo--there are many to chose from including the Giovannie or Trader Joe's shampoo's, EO shampoo's, and others you can get from a health food store or drug/grocery store.

10. If you want a curl creme or gel (and trust me you will) then check out any of the following (mostly online but Whole Foods in states other than CA have some Kinky Curly products and you might find the AG and Mop products in a local BSS or salon):

Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Donna Marie Mira Curl Curling Jelly, Amourai Organique Duchess of Curls, AG Re:Coil, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlet's and Confident Coils, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Coffee-Coco Curl Creme or Smoothing Gellee, or Mop C Curl Creme and Darcy's Botanical's Natural Coils Curling Jelly.

I've listed in order of importance IMHO. You can always use #1 as a rinse out conditioner as well until you figure out what your hair likes.

More OnGround conditioners with shampoos

On Ground conditioners part 2!

Here are some more conditioners that are available on ground. You may have to hit up Sally's, Marshall's/TJMaxx, health food store like Whole Foods or your local beauty supply store for these.

Healthy Sexy Hair Pumpkin Conditioner: We love this conditioner! It has been discontinued so those of you who want some jet into your local TJ Maxx and Marshall's to see if they have any left. It smells like pumpkin and fall and has no protein. It's moisturizing and can be used as a rinse out or leave in. One of the few that works well either way. It's medium thickness and has o.k. slip--if you get tons of tangles though I can't say this will help you get them all out. It didn't for my daughter. I love products that are unique and this one is certainly that!

Mop C Mixed Greens Conditioner: We love how this condish works. It is protein free and really does a great job at imparting moisture to my daughter's hair. Most of the ingredients are organic. It's a little pricier option but it works fabulously. You don't need the amount of conditioner you do with something like a cheaper condish so that's helpful at least. I must say we are not fond of the smell--it's a bit gaggy--nature/herb type.

EO Sweet Orange and Honey conditioner: I got this at Marshall's and it seems to come in two versions--Sweet Orange and Sweet Orange and Honey. There is a difference in the ingredients. The SOH one seems more like what I'd seen at Whole Foods with the Chamomile and Honey. This condish has protein and BTMS. It has very good slip and is really moisturizing. When you put it in your hair it almost seems to expand and feel foamy. It leaves your hair incredibly soft. For my son this is his favorite conditioner as he loves the sweet orange essential oil smell and it leaves his hair softer than any other conditioner. Given it is about $9 for a big bottle at Marshall's this really should be a condish in your arsenal if you can find it. There are other EO conditioners available at Marshall's but we haven't tried them--the ingredients are all similar. Word of warning: For some reason the Coconut conditioner has cones in it so just stay away from that one!

Terax Life Drops: This is a unique leave-in conditioner. The smell is VERY sweet and it's very thin and opaque. It is FULL of protein. I love this leave-in! It is not heavy and gives my hair a nice protein boost which, in turn, activates more curls. Highly recommended! It is VERY pricey but a little goes a long way and I feel it is worth it!

Aubrey Organics GPB and various other assorted conditioners: The only AO condish we use regularly is GPB. I love the smell. All of the AO conditioners are very thick and smell like herbs of one sort or another. We tried and swapped several others including Honeysuckle Rose and White Camellia along with Island Naturals. The HSR gave T build up--not good. Neither of us liked the smells of the other two WC and IN--to be honest we found the smells overpowering and they lingered f-o-r-e-v-e-r in our hair! There is a LOT of love for the AOHSR on both naturallycurly.com and the LongHairCareForums (LHCF) as well so these are probably ones you should pick up right away to test out.

Taliah Waajid Enhancing Herbal Conditioner: This can be had pretty widely and in many states at CVS pharmacy. It smells like Pina Colada but I find it kind of a fake and overpowering smell. It works well enough but after several uses both T and I thought our hair had some residue or something. It is very moisturizing but we prefer many of our other conditioners.

There are also a few shampoo's we've used and like OnGround so I thought I'd mention them:

Healthy Sexy Hair Chocolate Soymilk is very chocolate smelling as you would expect. It cleans very well--and leans towards very good cleaning (not necessarily stripped but not as moisturizing as other SLS/ALS free poo's). My son loves this shampoo and we use it regularly on his hair.

For my daughter's hair the HSH CS was a bit too stripping (remember her hair is VERY dry) so we instead use the Mop C Hydrating Shampoo--this smells sweet and has a thick consistency. It is very moisturizing but clean's well. Non stripping it is a blend of organic ingredients. As you can see by the bottle you do not need alot. This is used when we do my daughter's hair and we've had it almost 2 months and we haven't used tons of it. So although it's expensive it is another case where a little goes a long way.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

OnGround Conditioners

I suspect this will be a long post. I'm including all the conditioners that we have and use that are available on ground. As always your location may have all, some, or none of them. You may also find them cheaper online. However I think the majority can be found in a city and thus are good choices for either someone new to the CG method, someone on a budget or someone that goes through a LOT of product (like my daughter!)

These are NOT listed in order of preference.

Garnier Fructis: We LOVE the Triple Nutrition Fortifying Cream Conditioner (GFTN) and the Sleek and Shine Fortifying Cream Conditioner (GFSS). Both do an oustanding job of moisturizing my daughter's very very dry hair that is thick and picky. The GFTN has more oils and provides more slip for her in the shower. It is a bit thinner and has a more yellow color to it. The GFSS is thicker and white and does provide slip but not as much as its sister GFTN. We use both as a leave-in frequently. They do an excellent job with getting her hair to be not frizzy and not flyaway. They're relatively cheap (especially since there are often sales at the stores for these!) and you can get a big size for under $6-7 or so. VERY highly recommended!

If you prefer a bit higher end product (used to be available only in Salon's but now most major drugstores and chain's carry it including grocery stores) I can recommend Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Conditioner for fine or medium haired peeps who like protein. It smells delicious like cake batter or sugar cookies. The Tigi Moisture Maniac conditioner works well for those folks who don't want protein but do require some slip. It is citrus like in smell and a bit thinner than the Catwalk one. Both of these we found to be very moisturizing. Neither work well for us as leave-in's so they are relegated to the rinse out category only. I do not think they would work well for co-wash conditioners and they are quite expensive to wash down the drain but you could sure try :)

Loreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss for Medium to Long Hair that's Curly/Wavy. This is the only one I know of without cones in it. This is getting pretty hard to find although I can find it at Ulta and Rite-Aid here in CA. MANY like this conditioner. It does have some protein. For my family we were not overly fond of it. I could not stand the smell. Now I use it for my henna and amla treatments because the scent is SO STRONG it will get that natural herb smell out of your hair very well.

V05 conditioners: We use these exclusively for co-washing only. They are cheap and work excellently for cowashing. The smells are fine. Cheap. They are thinner than Suave so they work better than Suave for my daughters cowash as her hair is so thick it's hard to get all the way down to her scalp.

Suave Naturals: SOME of these worked very well for co-wash conditioners. The Strawberry and the Coconut one were fine for us. The Tangerine one is awful. These are the base cheap conditioners that most CG'ers use for cowashing. I do not find them anything special but they do the job. I myself did not find that these had enough good conditioning power to use as a rinse out. And did I mention they are cheap?

Inecto Coconut Conditioner: This smells really good. It's a bit thinner in consistency. It does a good job on our hair. It's not my favorite but it is one of the more inexpensive condish's that is available at Ulta.

Aura Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner: This one is available at Sally's. It is moisturizing. It has a strong smell that you will either love or hate. It doesn't have protein so is a good option for the more medium to coarse haired wavies whose hair cannot handle the daily protein shots in most conditioners. Sally often has sales for the product 2 for $10. It comes in a tube which is great for getting it out and easy to use in the shower.

Giovanni makes several conditioners most all of which we've tried and several of which we love. In particular we love the Tea Tree conditioner. I like the Root 66 Volume conditioner as well. We did not love the Smooth as Silk or 50/50 as much as the aforementioned two. All are good for rinse out and can be left in. The Tea Tree is great is your hair is at all oily or you have an itchy scalp. I'm not sure the Root 66 condish gave me more volume--although it does smell really good. All are widely available and a great option for when you are a week or two into CG and starting to explore your product options. Watch or BOGO sales. I will say the ONLY thing I HATE about these conditioners are the bottles. Whoever designed these should be shot. You ALWAYS have to shake the conditioner to get it out and then it goes flying all over the place since the cover isn't strong enough. Terrible form and function. Great conditioners.

Although not widely know some of the BEST on ground conditioners are the Yes To products. The Yes To Carrots has a cone and is not CG but both the Yes To Cucumbers (condish and leave in) as well as the Yes To Tomatoes do not have cones. ALL are moisturizing. The YTT is a bit smelly--like old grandma smelly--and it does linger a bit. The YT Cukes has a better smell IMHO and does not linger. You can sometimes find them on sale. Neither has protein so for those who don't want protein these would be my top picks. They are full of vegetable's--which seems odd to me--but they work very well as a daily rinse out. I found the YT Tomatoes to be more moisturizing than the YT Cukes. They are really thick.

Gels you can get OnGround

This post is dedicated to onground gels!

There are really a wide variety of gels you can find at your local discount, grocery, or drugstore. Many will perform very well for you. I must confess that my favorite gels in this category are Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee affectionately known as BRHG and ABBA Pure Finish Gel. BRHG is one of the hardest holding gel's I've ever used and it never fails me! If you are looking for outstanding hold for all day curls and waves you owe it to yourself to pick this up. Yes yes I know it's not exactly cheap but you don't need a ton and it is well worth the cost. The ABBA Gel is almost as hard a hold and it works just as well and the benefit is that it does not leave your hair producty. I generally use the BRHG when I'm using products that do NOT contain a lot of aloe and I'll pick up and use the ABBA if the product has a lot of aloe vera in it. It might be my imagination but I actually think products that have alot of aloe vera in them (like Duchess of Curls) seem to work better with ABBA instead of BRHG. I also weigh in what I've used as a leave-in because BRHG can be producty looking and feeling with some leave-in's and curl enhancers whereas the ABBA tends to make my hair stringier if I have not used leave-in. Lately I've been using the ABBA more often even though it has a cone--because that residue (you know the one you have to pick off when you open BRHG and haven't used it for a while) plastic shell thing is gross.

Next on the list would be LA Looks Sport Gel also known as LALSG. This is a very respectable gel that has a pretty hard hold. It's ultra cheap and widely available. Also, according to both my kids, the smell is out of this world good--me myself I don't think it's anything special but they LOVE it. It is sticky going on. The smell doesn't linger. For a new CG'er I recommend try this product first--if it works you are set!

If you have an Ulta near you I recommend (highly!) checking out Artec Texturline Volumizing Gel. It's more of a medium hold gel and it's very liquidy. Can't say I love the smell and it does linger. It mixes very well with other things and is perfect when you've used a curl creme or enhancer that has some hold where a harder holding gel would just be too much. It's light and does not weigh down fine and thin hair. A top pick!

Those with a CVS or Whole Food or natural foods store may be able to pick up a couple of the Giovanni gels: More Body Hair Thickener and LA Natural Styling gel. Of the two the LA Natural has way more hold--I use the More Body one more as a curl enhancer (and it does enhance them a bit for me). The LA Natural does not have as hard a hold as BRHG but it's got more than enough for most hair unless your hair falls easily.

Moving along if neither of the above works for you I recommend checking out the Got2B Spiked Up Gel. It's also blue (sidenote: what is IT with blue gel's?). This is very hard holding like BRHG and LALSG. The smell is fine--bit plasticky. The reason this one doesn't rate higher for me is that it is picky--it is producty if you use too much. And it's noticeable--it doesn't just "feel" icky it LOOKS icky. It's cheap and you can find it on BOGO occasionally at places like Walgreens and CVS.

EcoStyler Krystal Gel and Proclaim Crystal Ice performed the exact same way in my hair. Good. A bit producty. Of the two the ecostyler weighed my hair down way more--I ended up with barely wavy hair. I've observed the Ecostyler works very well for my co-workers that have medium to coarse and thick hair. The Proclaim (available at Sally's) seems to work better for fine hair. The smell on the Proclaim is VERY Grandma like--which is why it's at the bottom of the list for me. Sorry for no pic of the Ecostyler--I gave it to the thick and medium/coarse wavy in my office and it works good for her!

Lastly you have the Aura Rosemary Mint. Just Ugh. Very little hold and smells herbally. If you like a very light hold you might want to try this--I picked it up on clearance at our local BSS for about $2

Trader Joes Shampoos and Conditioners

Early on in our CG journey I headed over to Trader Joe's to get some of their famous conditioners and shampoo's. The Tea Tree is still a standby for us and all 3 of us use it when our scalp is feeling a bit itchy or we feel like our hair or scalp is greasy or oily.

They are very close to the Giovanni products. We've used the Trader Joe's Refresh, Nourish and Tea Tree condish's and the Tea Tree and Refresh shampoo. The only ones of the three I've kept are the Tea Tree--I gave the others away. Although a lot of folks swear by them we just were not that impressed. Hence I'm only posting up pictures of the Tea Tree as it's the only set I still have!

Nourish: This reminded me of the Giovanni conditioners (I think it is designed to be like them) and while the condish was o.k. it just didn't impress me enough to keep it around.

Refresh: For some reason I just did not care for the smell of this. Even though I like more citrus scents this one just was kind of blah. And it didn't work that great. So it went to live at another house where, by all accounts, it is getting the attention it deserves.

Tea Tree: AHA. These are the ones we keep around all the time. They are always in the shower and we all 3 pick them up frequently as noted above. They are very cheap and work really well for those with itchy scalp or those who have just started the Curly Girl journey who find that their scalp or hair is greasy, limp, or oily.

As with other inexpensive on ground products you could probably get 1 of each of these conditioners and shampoo's for under $20. Certainly worth checking out!

Lustrasilk Conditioners OnGround

There are 3 Lustrasilk Cholesterol Conditioners that are CG and that do not contain Mineral Oil. These are nice products in the very inexpensive category.

We've had wonderful luck with all of them except for finding them locally--but I include this review in the OnGround products because most will be able to find them either at Sally's or a local Beauty Supply Store and even grocery/discount stores.

Olive Oil Cholesterol: By the instructions this really is a leave in conditioner. That is exactly how it performs well for me--as a leave-in. I tried it as a rinse out and I didn't like it--my hair did not feel moisturized at all. It has a very artificial scent but it doesn't linger. It is fairly thick and comes in a big tub. You do not need to use much but I did find even if I was a little heavy handed my hair adjusted just fine. It is a heavier leave in and I do better with it in lower dews and/or in conditions for us that are Santa Ana like--dry with winds that tend to just cause all the moisture to leech out of your hair.

Shea Mango Cholesterol: Both my daughter and I use this as a Deep Treatment and as a regular rinse out conditioner. I LOVE the smell and the texture REALLY reminds me of mashed mango's! It goes on very easily but we did not find it had a ton of slip so I'm not sure I can recommend it for detangling. It did impart some serious moisture to our hair with or without heat--that is critical because you may not have heat or not want to take the time to use it. An excellent value for your dollar!

Organic Cholesterol with Argan Oil: Of the three this one was the most moisturizing for my daughter's very thirsty curls. It does a nice job of detangling as well with adequate slip for most people. The smell is VERY artificial to us--not too pleasing but the good thing is it really does fade quickly. It is very thick (more so than the Shea Mango) and works exceptionally well with heat. This one really made my daughter's hair smooth.

Overall you would be hard pressed to find a better value for your money. While there are those for whom the Lustrasilk does not work it would appear based on posts at naturallycurly.com that these work for a great number of people. Plus even if they don't you really won't be out much more than a couple of dollars--and you can always give them away to co-workers or relatives!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hairveda Moist Condition Pro

Hairveda MCP -- How do I love thee? Let me count thy ways

1. As a fabulous rinse out conditioner that leaves my hair spiral'ing in the shower

2. As an oustanding leave-in that gives my hair the protein it loves without weighing it down

3. As a Deep Treatment (DT) with some heat applied to leave my wurls all moisturized and bouncy

This is my favorite conditioner. Don't let the looks deceive you -- this Plain Jane looking bottle hides a real workhorse of a conditioner inside. It leaves my hair moisturized but not over conditioned. I don't look for slip in a conditioner because my hair does not tangle. I look for a condish that "grips" my hair so that I can get the curls to hold. If a conditioner makes my hair too soft it will pull out all my curl -- leaving me with barely wavy hair.

At about $8 for 16oz the price will leave you smiling as well. This can take a little while to get after you order since they make it up for you so patience is the key. While you're over there shopping you might want to give a try to some of their other products like the SitriNillah Deep Conditioner , CoCasta Shikakai Oil , and Amala Shampoo and Cream Rinse. The picture in my Piki up top of the blog is with Hairveda Moist Condition Pro and Darcy's Botanical's Natural Coils Curling Jelly. Best. Hair. Day. Ever.

Look for reviews on other Hairveda products in the near future. I only have samples of several of them so will wait until I get the full size to do a full review. I can tell you that I currently love all those I mentioned above. Great smell, great price, great ladies over there at HV.


Nuff' said.

Amourai Organique

I've used 4 products from the A.O. line and have liked 3 of them!

Silver Spoon Shampoo: This is a SLS and paraben free shampoo. It's a goldish/yellow and smells lightly of mint (spear or pepper I can't tell which). It's quite gloopy, almost like a jelly, and it jiggles in the container (so it's kind of fun to watch LOL). This shampoo left my hair clean but it felt kind of stripped--as if I'd pulled quite a lot of moisture out along with the dirt and pollution. After I finished my hair had that telltale very squeaky clean sound. It has protein so those who are protein sensitive might want to be judicious with use. I will use it again but it is not a daily product for me. This is an excellent poo to use when you've had oil or some other substance in your hair overnight in a DT.

Knight in Shining Armour Hair Mask: At first I didn't care too much for this. It has the same type of lavender-minty smell as Duchess of Curls. This conditioner is paraben free--for many who are looking for a condish without paraben this is one you should try. Although it says it is a hair mask (to me this = Deep Treatment) I found it's best use to be a leave-in. Since it has protein and coconut, both things my hair loves, it did a great job as a light leave-in. I have not tried this with heat applied for a DT so perhaps it is better that way.

Royal Revive Liquid Moisturizer: This product just did not cut the mustard on either my hair or my daughter's. In my hair it didn't really do much except create an oily mess and for my daughter she could not get past the smell and the fact that it left her hair sticky. Although I genuinely like the rest of the line I've tried this one is not a repurchase. If your hair can handle oils and you like a more herbal smell you could certainly give this product a try.

Duchess of Curls:


This is a HG (Holy Grail!) styling product. When I use it I am virtually guaranteed great curls that have volume and body. DOC works equally well on my more ringlet prone underneath hair as well as my straighter canopy. IMHO it is really user friendly as I've used widely varying amounts and never had a hot mess. It seems like it also imparts a bit of moisture to your hair.

This is not a heavy product--it does not weigh your hair down. For us fine haired wavies and curlies that is outstanding--as many curl creme's and gel's can be too heavy and we end up with limp and lifeless waves.

Overall this is a nice line. The names are very cute as are the packaging designs. My son enjoyed the "Knight" mask as he likes Knights and Castles and such. It states that the ingredients are organic--which goes a long way to justifying the fairly steep price tag since most products are at least $11 for 8 oz. The owner responds to questions very quickly and the site (at this time) offers free shipping if you spend $36 or more. That's a really good deal. I have not yet tried all the products but other than the mist we've been pretty happy with what we've used so far.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Qhemet Biologics non cream products

So there are 3 more products that we've used of Qhem's that merit a mention

Coco Tree Detangling Ghee: We use this stuff to detangle my daughter's hair. It smells like chocolate and is the texture and consistency of Diaper Cream (you know--the stuff for baby's behind's!). While chocolate diaper cream may not sound too great if you (or your child) get tangles this is a great product. It not only makes the comb glide through your hair like butta' BUT it also imparts moisture. A 2 for 1 that smells like chocolate? Count me in! The way we use this is by sectioning off my daughter's hair and doing each section separately. Great stuff!

Honeybush Tea Soft gel: This has a very strong smell and I lurve it! It's very citrusy and it does linger a bit (the only one of her products I've tried that does!). It moisturizes and adds some curl defintion. Notice I said definition and not enhacement--it does not give me more curls but it does help to make the ones I have clump nicely. It does not have enough hold for my hair so I use some hard holding gel over it. It is also not strong enough to lay down my daughter's edges nor can we use it if she wants to rock a pony tail or braids to get her hair smoothly in...so this is used mostly by me. If any of you use something like Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic Jelly or pure Aloe Vera Gel on your hair this could be used in place of it...the function is very close.

Olive and Honey Hydrating Balm: This stuff is NOT just honey--I promise! When you open it and feel it you will think it is JUST HONEY. It's not. It is sticky, does smell quite olive oil like, and has humectant properties...but when you put it on your hair it will melt right in. It provides yet more moisture and is a staple for my daughter for summer. We use this on my daughter's hair layered under Qhem's BRBC and we are able to get 4-5 day hair.

In the pics you can tell which one is the OHHB and which one is the gel--the OHHB is the one that looks runny just like honey on my finger! The Gel is very watery and just leaves a bit of moisture behind almost like you wet your finger.