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T's Hair Journey

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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent Deep Treatment


I admit it. I saw how thick this was and thought it would be impossible to get into my daughter's hair. In my hair possible since its so fine and thin I can make anything get in..I don't need slip. Imagine my surprise when not only did it go into T's hair easily but it took just 2 tsp to do one whole section of her hair (1/2 her head). That's amazing. If I told you how much we spend on conditioners for her due to how much we use you'd be flabbergasted. That's how much it takes just to get a comb through T's tangles which are legendary.

The slip on this puppy is just astonishing. The comb glides through like a hot knife through butter--seamlessly, effortlessly. Even my daughter asked what I was using (normally she just rolls her 13 year old eyes and does the teenage sigh that says I in no way could be as cool as she is LOL). Bravo!

This can be used as a rinse out or DT. For my hair it is so moisturizing that I would only need to DT about every 2 weeks (vs. PT every week minimum). For Tahia's hair we would use this weekly especially in dry times like the fall when we get Santa Ana's. It worked just as well as a rinse out with her when we tried that.

This DT is rich, thick, and extremely moisturizing. I think every texture/type of hair would love this stuff--on this we could all agree it's a definite winner! Add that to the chocolate caramel latte scent--pure HEAVEN in your hair! Makes me want to run to Starbucks for a carmel machiatto!

P.S. This stuff comes in a jar. NO WAY for this to be bottled...way too thick. Think Aubrey Organics products times 5!

Spiral Solutions Repairing Protein Treatment

"The PT"

So as a fine haired wavy/curly I spend A LOT of time looking for good products with lots o protein. My hair lurves it..just lurves it. Sometimes I cannot get enough. I will often use it in low poo, conditioner, leave in and curl enhancer or gel. My hair does not seem to get overloaded (it got overloaded recently with Panthenol but not protein).

This protein treatment feels like a conditioner and smells like fresh natural ingredients. Once again the fragrances used are not overwhelming. It is pretty thin for a conditioner but that does make it spread easily. I give all of my DT/PT's the drip test--first time I use them I see how long it takes for them to drip through my plastic shower cap under my R2D2 hard hat Ionic dryer. This one: Just over 3 minutes. PASS!

The reason I do a drip test is because products where there is mostly water will start dripping like crazy right away. I've found that they tend not to work as well as a DT/PT..they might work fine for conditioning but NOT for the sit under R2 type. I left this one for about 20 minutes on low heat. I will say it did itch--I am not sure why except it is thinner maybe? None of the ingredients show up on my watch list (I'm allergic to papaya and sensitive to a few other things--although they rarely show up in hair products!). In any case it wasn't that bad and it went away within about 10 minutes.

When I took the cap off I found all the product had absorbed and nothing was left in the cap. Yippee!

After rinsing I did the stretch test and noticed my hair had noticably more elasticity (what I was going for) so I declare this PT to work awesomely!

The nice thing about this one is that it doesn't leave your hair hard like some other Protein Treatments--so it's more pleasing in the feeling department.

If you have a need to do a PT then this one should be placed at the top of your list.

Spiral Solutions Curl Enhancing Jelly

Curl Enhancing Jelly


Although not long on ingredients this jelly is long on greatness! It is one of the best curl enhancers I've ever used. It's not sticky and doesn't leave residue on your hands. You can use it with a leave in or without (my preference: with a leave in). You can use it on top of other curl enhancers mixed with a hard or medium hold gel AND if you add a bit of water (dollop in the hand + bit of water..not much!) you can scrunch it in and have a shot at 2nd day hair. Keep in mind I rarely get 2nd day hair but this *almost* did it!

It's not heavy and will not weigh down fine haired folks. It is very enhancing--giving a nice boost to your waves, wurls, or curls and also providing for a bit of definition as well. My hair is left shiny with very even curls.

Love it! Those who like jellies or gels instead of curl creme's will love this but for those of you that use cream's only you really ought to try this---I think you'll like it--since cream's are heavier just either mix it with a leave in or add it over a leave in.

Smells good as well. A TOP choice for enhancing your curls!

Spiral Solutions Emollience Hair Butter


This is a fabulous butter - it works great to Scrunch Out the Crunch (SOTC) or to scrunch in mid day for a pick up. It's a butter so you'll need to emulsify it in your hands a bit. Your hands will thank you!

It is not heavy and oily - it sinks into your hair and hands without residue-leaving soft skin and hair with a healthy sheen without frizz! I use it after I've diffused and SOTC to get rid of the few flyaway and frizzy pieces. Just rub between your fingers or palms (depends on how much you need!) and then gently scrunch it in.

As a body product this stuff rocks. I rarely find a butter that immediately absorbs into my skin--most tend to sit for a while and I end up being ultra careful of my clothes and bedding so as not to get oil stains on them. With Emollience I don't have to worry--it's all in right away. This stuff also works good on your cuticles!

I used this on my daughter's ends and my son's coarser hair on his nape -- worked great for both of them.

As with most butters a little dab will do ya' but don't worry if you go a bit overboard..just rub it into your hands or body!


Spiral Solutions Products

Spiral Solutions is the brainchild of naturallycurly.com Runnerchicki. She has been part of our community for some time and saw a need to create products that would work great and be based on natural ingredients full of things that are good for your hair.

By way of introduction here's some info from the owner of Spiral Solutions:

"Something that I haven't mentioned before, but I think it is important for people to know: I DO NOT use pre-made bases. Ever. I created each and every formula myself and I mix them myself. I even make my own version of Seamollient (it's a trademarked product) so I can get the exact texture and consistency that I want. I select my own herbs, mix to my own ratios, infuse my own oils...you get the idea. I even make my own labels, although I am not sure I will continue to do that for much longer!"

It's also important to know that, like most small businesses, it's going to take a little while to work out all the kinks. Because her products are so awesome we all descended like a swarm of grasshoppers devouring everything in our way (what can I say..we curly girls/guys are SERIOUS about our product! LOL). So the products sold out within hours -- while that is a great testament to the quality and efficacy of the products it can be a bit of a bummer for those of us who need to wait a bit. However, like the most fine wine you have to wait a while but when you get the goods -- OO LA LA!

Here's the skinny on the recent shortage:

"I am very sorry to make people wait for product. I know that is frustrating, so I am going to make it my priority to keep my out of stocks to a minimum. HOWEVER, this will not happen overnight. I'm not sitting on my tail...it just takes time for a single woman operation. It will happen...Today, I am keeping it simple: turn an amazing blend of herbs and jojoba oil into a blissful concoction. I love doing this because it is relaxing. It takes me most of the day because I infuse very slowly, but it makes my house smell heavenly!"

As you can imagine a one woman operation (she has a little help from Rambo her adorable super cute little doggie! Pic above!) takes some time to coordinate and set up--so please put on your patience cap. I PROMISE the end result will be worth it!

You will be getting products designed from scratch by another curly -- no base, no hastily thrown together product, no marketing hype. Just honest to goodness outstanding products that will quickly become your HG go-to's!

Patience is a virtue grasshopper!

Products reviews are next so stay tuned! Here is her etsy website which you should go right away to and bookmark! http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpiralSolutions

Saturday, January 30, 2010

May I have a word?

RE: Hair companies and bases

So there has been quite the furor lately over on the nc.com hair boards regarding certain companies use of bases for their hair care line. Here is my take on it.

I got two leave in conditioner sprays from two different companies -- turned out they had the exact same ingredients. I was not happy -- in effect I bought the same leave in spray twice. I wanted to try 2 leave in's that were distinct -- not just differently scented. I'm out the money (product plus shipping) and that doesn't sit right with me. Especially when the companies advertise as if they are mixing stuff up in the kitchen and everything is an original product. Now can I prove they were the same? Well if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose -- and works the same way as the OTHER rose then I say: It's a rose. (Of course, not being a chemist nor pretending to be one, I can't say anything with 100% certainty and I certainly would never provide the company name -- I'm a curly girl not an idiot girl. No legal problems wanted here!)

So I learned a couple of things: One is that there are fabulous wholesale sites out there that can provide a great service for us curly girls and guys-- if you've a mind you can order items yourself or take part in the co-op that is being organized on the naturallycurly.com boards. It's your choice. The other is, unfortunately, that I will likely chose to give my business to well established companies who, by word of mouth, I know are authentic with their products. IMHO if you use a base then either SAY SO or don't put it out there that you are slaving away in some tiny kitchen somewhere when what you are really doing is not mixing but pouring (from one gallon bottles to 8 oz ones!).

I can't tell you how much this pains me. I am very committed to helping my fellow females have successful businesses. Capitalism is what drives this economy-- and that's how it works. However when capitalism or the pursuit of the almighty dollar leads someone to pretend to be something they are not I don't like it. That's a personal view point. YMMV.

Flatly I don't have the time, nor do I want to, go looking all over the internet and exhausting my google finger trying to find all the bases that companies use to make sure I didn't already buy the same product from someone else. Sorry. No.

From a business point of view I get it..I really do. It's a business and businesses exist to make money. You can certainly make some good money repackaging base products and adding just some scent or EO/FO. That's fine. So if you advertise or explain that you wanted to find natural products and good ingredients and then you offer some products that meet that up for sale..hey that's great. Please just do NOT take the detour that states you were mixing stuff up like Brunhilda in the stock pot on your tiny kitchen stove.

Karma's a bitch.

Curl Junkie Beauticurls Daily Conditioner

Beauticurls Daily
IMHO this one has the BEST SMELL of all the new products from Curl Junkie. YES it is exactly like strawberry ice cream! It does not smell identical to Curl Rehab though--it has its own distinct fragrance.

This is meant to be the workhouse daily conditioner. For us it works best as my daughter's leave in. I cannot tell you how great it works for that..or I guess I can. SUPERB! It has alot of slip so it is a real assist with detangling out of the shower. It goes on very smoothly and spreads easily. You won't need a ton of product either--we used about 2 quarter sized for her hair. While this works great as a leave in for her as a rinse out it just wasn't strong enough. However she very strongly prefers the Hibiscus and Banana Honey Butta Leave In since she is one of those people who hate to experiment (I KNOW..how could I have a kid like this??)

It worked pretty well as a rinse out for me -- but honestly it got beat by the new CJ Smoothing Conditioner for my hair. Who knows why as the Smoothing is supposed to be for hair much coarser and thicker than mine. What can I say--bit of my teenage rebel never left my hair (although, thankfully, it has left the building for the rest of my body!). The Smoothing Conditioner is a bit heavier and my hair likes it more. If you have thin hair or hair with low porosity I would recommend you give this one a try--it seems like it soaks in very well and is a good formula for that hair type. My porous hair just slurps products in like an Icee and when I found my hand reaching always for the Smoothing Condish I moved it to my daughter's side of the shower. She later decided she much preferred the CJ HB Honey Butta so when one of my very good wavy friends said how much she liked it we did some product swapping. From all accounts it is doing wonderfully for her -- as if it was made for her!

My sense is that this conditioner might get overlooked in all the new CJ products--I hope that it gets a little attention as it is quite nice if you've the right hair for it.

Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle

Curls in a Bottle

First let's get the smell out of the way. Yes some of you will think it smells like orange furniture polish. Others will say it smells lemony/citrusy. Whatever way you hang it is most definitely a smell--it lingers only slightly though if you're worried. I'll admit it took a bit of getting used to -- I haven't smelled a product that was quite that potent before (except CJ Aloe Fix Gel). Once I put it in my hair it was just fine--but there were a few moment's where I flashed back to cleaning vacant apartments in college for extra money!

So how does this work? Well the first time I used it I got amazing 3A curls all over. AMAZING. Nothing else could touch it. After a few uses though my hair felt dry and I have not found it to be as consistent as some of the other CJ products for curl enhancement. I'll give you a couple of ideas if this happens to you: One is to mix it with a gel before you put it on (like BRHG)--this helped me a lot. I've also mixed it WITH BCLI and had that work well. I could not use this product without leave in--for some reason my hair did not find it moisturizing--although others have said they do. The other way that this works PHENOMENALLY is as an after the fact frizz fighter and general all around good "goo" product--that means after you put all your stuff in (including gel) and start to diffuse scrunch some of this bad boy in--SWEET--works like a charm.

I will say this is likely a product which, if it does not immediately work, you should experiment with -- it's got a broader range of uses than it might appear at first so vary where you put this in your product lineup. Don't be afraid to try it before a leave in either - that worked good for me too. Get a little creative and I think you'll find this one a very versatile styler!

Curl Junkie Beauticurls Leave In


I am a big fan of CJ's Curl Assurance Leave In. It has been a wonderful leave in conditioner for me--but it's going to go away (for some specific reasons that Marsha has posted on her blog). So what's a curly girl to do?

Firstly the scent of this is divine. I'm not sure what exactly it smells like but me likey! It does linger (that's good..I like smelly products LOL!). This is lighter IMHO than the CJCALI. It is less thick than the Curl Assurance one as well.

Overall I like it - but it's not quite as good as the Curl Assurance one for me--I initially bought it and swapped it out but I recently repurchased and have been happier with it--I use it in combo with the CJ Smoothing Conditioner and it s flawless with that conditioner--as if they were meant to work together. It does work very well for my son and he likes the smell too (don't tell the other 10 year old boys in his class!). I think if regular leave in's are too heavy you will like this one a lot.

Curl Junkie Coffee Coco Curl Creme Lite


I've been waiting for this product for EVER it seems. In reality it's not that long it just seems like it is!

This is for all of us who thought CCCC was too much -- too rich, too heavy, too whatever. I did have success with CCCC provided I used it in a very certain way. For my daughter it is her HG (Holy Grail) product. The pictures in her Pikistrip above on the right are with CCCC. I think you'll agree they look awesome. And YES it is as soft as it looks. No gel needed as CCCC has some hold.

So CCCC Lite (hereafter Lite) had a lot to live up to! I am happy to say that it is as good as I thought. Many of us use a bit more of this than we initially thought we would--so try varying amounts. It is much like a leave in (creamy) so you may/may not use a leave in with it. These days I always use a leave in and this works great for me with a leave in. I have not yet tried without. I'll update this post when I do.

I put it in after the leave in and then layer gel over the top. Depending on your situation you may or may not need gel--this has some hold. I put this in on wet hair--not dripping wet--but still soaking. That means I squeezed the water out with my hands AFTER my leave in. I had tried it before on dripping wet and it didn't work as well. I like it better when I do the water squeeze first. This is similar to other cream type curl enhancers (Mop C Curl Cream, AG Re:Coil, etc) but it is not sticky (Mop C is) and it does not have mag sulfate (Re:Coil does). I pixie diffuse and that worked very well with this.

The smell is good and underpowering--nothing here that will clash with another scent. It also does not linger in the hair. This comes in a bottle (not a jar) but it comes out just fine--it is thick but when you rub in your palms it quickly spreads.

This is an outstanding option for those that thought CCCC was too heavy or weighed down their fine hair too much. It is absolutely the level of quality that you expect from Curl Junkie.

Bravo Marsha!

Edited to add: this product and Duchess of Curls work amazing together--if you've got both (or the Essential Wholesale Aloe Jelly) give it a shot! I got wonderful hair with volume and body!

Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Conditioner

Smoothing Condish

This condish is a powerhouse for those that want something protein free. Although I normally like my products with protein when I combine this with a protein filled leave in or curl creme it works fabulously for me. It has a good amount of slip, not as much for us as the Beauticurls Daily Condish, and smells great. I think it has the same or similar scent as the CJ Smoothing Gellie. You do not need a whole lot and I've found you should leave it on for at least 5 minutes to get the best effect. Although my hair loves shea butter in products (not straight!) I find conditioners with this as a more prominent ingredient take a little bit longer to sink in and work well. I have pretty porous hair and not many things do this.

When I first used this I left it in my usual 3-4 minutes and it just wasn't as effective. Although I don't think 15 minutes is necessary if you first use it and don't notice it works as well as you think leave it in a bit longer. Worth a try.

For my daughter this does help with frizz. It works better as rinse out (did not do it for her as a leave in) but AS a rinse out it's really excellent. We tend to use it or the CJ Hibiscus and Banana Deep fix as rinse out followed by the CJ Hibiscus and Banana Honey Butta Leave in and get very good hair for about 4-5 days.

Overall a very good value as the size is a bit larger (12 oz) and you don't need a ton. I think those who watch their protein intake on the hair would really like this--it is hard to find conditioners that are protein free!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

Where have you been all my life?

From the moment you open the cap this cleanser will seduce you with all its properties! It smells excellent and fresh--minty and appealing. It is super thick and has a very smooth consistency--so you add some to your hand and then add a bit of water to distribute. You control how much you use--no worries about this cleanser slipping through your fingers!

Immediately upon first touch to your scalp you can feel just a slight cleanser working and its very soothing. It doesn't clean with tons of suds--rather it REALLY gentle cleanses and leaves your hair as if you'd both conditioned it AND shampoo'd it. I can use it without needing another rinse out! An all in one!

Because it is concentrated I don't have to use as much--and that gives me value for my money. The fact that it doubles as a conditioner also makes my pocketbook happy.

No stripping, no too clean squeaky feeling, nothing but wonderfully conditioned hair and scalp. A bonus for me is it helps with the little bumps I get when I use clips (allergy to nickel) and it really seemed to calm my scalp down as its normally a bit itchier than average.

I LOVE this product. I think any curly girl/guy who wants to cowash only or would like to alternate a low poo with a conditioner wash owes it to him/herself to check this one out. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

The Poo Review 2

It is time for the next installment of The Poo Review by Solidgold from naturallycurly.com

Sweet Nature by Eddie Inspiration Shampoo

Ingredients: Purified water, Decyl Glucoside (Naturally Occurs in Sweet Orange), Avocado Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Naturally Derived From Coconut), Coco-Glucoside & Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid (Fruit Acids), Natural Fragrance Oil. *No Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) or Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (SLS), which causes drying and damage*

$10.00 for 6? oz – can’t tell from the website how many ounces the bottle is.

What I like about this low poo is that it has few ingredients. It lathers nicely and has a pleasant mild scent. Unfortunately, for me, I got some squeakiness as I rinsed. I don’t have a real complaint against this low poo, but given that it is not available on the ground and it’s a little more expensive than other low poos, I won’t be buying it.

Naked Naturals Awapuhi and Lavender Shampoo

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauroamphacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG 150 Distearate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG Propyl Silanetriol, Hydroxypropyl Bis Hydroxyethyl Dimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Helianthus Annuus Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia Extract, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Polyquaternium 10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance

Around $6.99 for 12 oz. Available on the ground.

I really like this low poo. I feel like it gets my hair clean but doesn’t strip it. It has a very mild scent that’s quite pleasing, and a light lather. One strange feature of this low poo is that it is quite thick, like a gel, and is hard to squeeze out of the bottle. I wish it was a tiny bit thinner, but overall, it’s such a minor point that it won’t prevent me from re-purchasing. It does have some protein and oils in it, and I’m not sure if there will be long-term effects from these, or how these ingredients combine with conditioners with protein and/or oils. It’s something I’ll think about as I keep using this product!