Posts Categorized: product review

January 21, 2013

Winter Scalp Problems Solved + Vid

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I’ll be honest with you guys, I fully didn’t realize it was winter “winter”  here on the east coast until my scalp began showing signs of unbelievable dryness & flaking. Yessir…stuff you do not necessarily like to admit to dealing with. And yet when the cold winds attack your precious curl cargo, preventative measures must be in place.

I’ve talked about FRO’s scalp situation in the past, and while I have a looooong list of remedies and DIY at home concoctions I can easily whip up, lately I’ve had Carol’s Daughter Lisa’s Hair Elixer on the brain. Watch the video below to see how I use and why I’ve returned to this yummy oil to sooth my scalp!

July 28, 2012

Summer Hair Pick: In Review | Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Pudding

On my last day of visiting New Orleans a few weeks back, a friend and I dropped ever so quick into the pop up Carol’s Daughter store. Now apart from the many celebrities stopping by, and amidst the range of hair demos taking place throughout the day, everyone seemed ubber excited to try the new Hair Milk Pudding, how it works, when to use…how does it smell?! (which this gal snatched up within minutes upon entering store!).

So, many moons ago (circa ’09), this blogger waxed poetic about a pretty strong attraction to hair puddings, custardy mentions, and tings of the Hair Milk variety, so much so that the giddiness factor went straight ten fold when it got down to first using the Carol’s Daughter Pudding. Omg.

Well, first. Why I love thee.

Consistency is always key, yes? Puddings typically err on the side of ‘thick enough’ to do the job that your every day gel just can’t do. It ought deliver moisture to your hair cargo, keep it moisturized without the annoyance of buildup, tackiness and sans flaking. All faux pas in the land of applying product.

But in a rare move I decided to apply to FRO after our weekly DC treatment, & without the usual leave-in underneath to gauge how well it’d keep my strands moisturized. The verdict? FRO was a bit offended we ditched the leave-in, and sadly visited crunch city for a while.

Hair did appear moisturized for a few hours, yet once 100% dry, lacked the initial moisture we’d so loved! Our solution was to revisit our next attempt with a trusty, creamy (yet lite) leave-in. A good option is the Hair Milk Lite, though I’ve been reaching for Karen’s Body Beautiful’s Super Silky.

Not certain I’d use this with a hooded drier, especially if the goal is to rock two-strand twists for the majority of 1-2 weeks, as hair will become especially dry. If you’re aiming to set your hair style, do make sure to apply a light hair oil, or butter/moisturizer to help seal the deal, then unravel to glorious perfection!  Added bonus? A smidge goes a pretty long way, which says A LOT due to FRO’s current state of length.

The new Hair Milk Collection is available online, in stores and debuted with a host of other new goodies including a co-washing cleanser that sounds heavenly. Have you guys tried the new line? What were your thoughts?

July 16, 2012

Summer Hair Pick: In Review | Jane Carter’s Curl Defining Cream

It’s taken me a while to finally dip into the pocket and whip out funds to try something new in the natural hair aisles that are spontaneously springing up everywhere. But low and behold, my bestie Tarjay has adopted the best of the best in natural hair goodies over the past few months, and finally stocked a wider variety of products! I’ve been eyeing the Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream since it debuted some time back, and with the new 6 oz now available in stores, I snagged, tried….and have to admit it’s a strong contender in the product rotation.

For the longest I’ve wondered HOW to use. The slight trepidation comes from a product that’s touted to be used mainly for wash-n-go’s, something FRO has officially grown out of. The consistency is also quite light, though still creamy and coats hair well when applied. Here’s a tip though! You want to follow directions, and start with wet hair. Applying to damp/dry hair can cause flaking, or have less than desired results. I opted for my official fallback, the two-strand twist. Results?

FRO stayed moisturized for the better part of 7 days (with the occasional remoisturizing) and held her own. Would I use this as a stand alone styler? Probably not. It dries fairly quick, and I find stylers that are quick to dry = slight crunch. I opted to use a leave-in condish underneath before applying. Added benefit of the cream? Elongation! FRO had some hangtime with her twists which allowed me to see her length progress.

The twist-out results were fair (considering the humid temps).

This is a hands down Summer favorite because of how well it moisturizes (you might have to experiment with application), stands up against the summer heat, and you use quite a small amount to get the job done. A 6 oz jar will certainly last you several weeks if used consistently.

March 17, 2012

:What Fro Craves:

Silly me for not updating you guys on Fro’s latest products du jour! In passing I’ve mentioned, yes. But here’s the official run-down on what/why/and how often we’re using some of our favorite new hair goodies.

1. So Twitter really is one of the most amazing places to become a PJ learn about favorite new products used in the #naturalhair community. In passing I was able to gain some insight into another blogger’s favorite new hair styler, and low and behold it’s a product that’s easily accessible in pretty much any BSS or drug store for that matter. Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship has made a pretty incredible styler in the arsenal stash, especially when paired with Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion. The slip from both of these makes the detangling/styling process incredibly easy, and a regular sized bottle is able to last for ample weeks. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s great to find a product within reach of any local drugstore aisle that actually WORKS on your natural hair. I’ll always love ordering from my fav online stores, but in a pinch, it’s great to have back-ups.

2. A surprise favorite of late has been this cleanser from Hair Rules, their Aloe & Grapefruit Shampoo. Why I love? It does the job of cleaning a scalp that’s often prone to some shady business, smells amazing and doesn’t leave us stripped of all our necessary essential oils. I’ll always be quick to chuck a ‘poo’ for leaving me with stringy, dry hair…so quite pleased after using the Aloe & Grapefruit shampoo on several occasions to reveal great results. And, well hey! A little birdie told me it’s now available at selected Targets, so keep your eyes open!

3. Have I NOT raved about this enough on the blog? Now, if there’s any product that FRO has truly abused and fallen head over for in the  past few weeks, it’s most certainly been this buttah to beat all buttahs! Pooka’s Shea & Olive has even turned my own Mum into a convert, and all because it leaves your hair with the most incredible softness, sheen and YUMMY SMELL that you’ll ever find. I digress. But, really. I slather….seriously, slather some of this goodness during the nightly process and wake-up to some amazing hair. Exhibit A below:

I try to contain excitement during those great hair days, but this was SUCH a keeper. I do apply sparingly (save for the ‘slather’ part) or more so cautiously so as not to weigh hair down (it is a grease after all), but even when using as a regular sealant on your ends, you’re bound to love this! Lately I’ve been able to re-up my stash by heading into a few Whole Foods stores.

4. New to the stash, but making a seemingly great impression overall is this Moroccan Argan Oil Deep Repair Masque that I stumbled on a few weeks ago. If you’re in the NYC area and familiar with the RICKY’s chain of BSS stores, you’re wise to the bevy of hair care lines available. This one from Salon Exotics seems like  diamond in the ruff because it works so incredibly well on FRO & not to mention it’s beyond affordable. I’ve only been able to find the 1.75 oz packs which retail for up to $2.50, yet for the results you get…it’s an overall #win.

FRO does take up two packs due to overall thickness & length, but one pack should be suffice if you’re DC’ing. Not the best amount of slip to help you detangle those stubborn knots, but a quick trick be this—> leave your fav deep condish on for 5-10 minutes under a conditioning cap BEFORE attacking detangling with a comb/brush and strands should be soft enough to manage. You’ll thank me with the results. I’ve stocked up this weekend and aim to go back to Ricky’s and demand s’more (cleaned house!).

Questions, Comments… ? Let’s meet down below & tell me what you’re loving;)

January 30, 2012

Butter Up with Andalou Naturals!

 

I’m having a hard time believing we’re really about to usher out January and welcome in a new month. See, usually during this time of year I’ve quietly let go of over reaching goals often set during the high thrill of a new year, growing more annoyed by the return of the yearly ‘eczema,’ & taking on the task of treating flareups.

What a difference a year makes! Yes, we’re already knocking on February’s doors but so far I’ve managed to cross off a pretty amazing goal attached to this year’s vision board, and set forth the practice of treating my body to exactly what it needs; a dedicated TLC plan that’ll help prep the skin for the upcoming warmer months.

Typically a body butter snob, I grew excited when sampling the Kukui Cocoa Body Butter from Andalou Naturals last year after discovering their moisturizing line of conditioners. Formulated with Kukui Butter to repair damaged skin, cocoa butter to moisturize & hydrate, and Capaucu Butter to increase skin’s elasticity and fight against dry winter conditions…this made for the perfect solution to this season’s dry skin itch.

So being a body butter snob does come with a few benefits…such as sticking to products and ingredients that are certain to nourish and protect your skin where regular lotions fall short, and indulging in the variety of different scents. Earlier this year I immediately went back to Whole Foods to snag the Lavender Shea Butter (which has my new fav, Manuka Honey!) and have been using it since.

Here’s the deal, I’m no longer shy about slathering on a fair amount of body butter immediately after exiting the shower and concentrating on areas of the body that often go neglected (knees…cracked elbows, etc.) Making a more intentional effort to care for my skin this season has made the most incredible difference as far as eczema flareups & how it’s able to retain moisture.

How are you caring for your skin this winter? Are you signed up for this month’s newsletter? We’re talking Winter Survival, dishing out giveaways to get your skin back on track & readers immediately save 15% off their 1st Andalou Naturals order!

January 12, 2012

Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment

It really is an awesome feeling knowing what your hair needs, when to apply what you’ve learned & especially what to use! A few months ago I rediscovered the importance of following up a good hair routine with a protein treatment that would leave hair more manageable, free of tangles and smooth. When the difference really is protein, it’s best to have a go to treatment in your arsenal to whip out once a month.

{{How to Determine if Your Natural Hair Needs Protein?}}

Last week was FRO’s time to get ‘repaired‘ and back on track! The winter weather here in NY has really been taking it’s toll on the weekly routine, and turning to a condish that is loaded with Jojoba Oils, Apricot Kernel Oil and Keratin Protein to help strengthen & leave hair soft was just what was needed.

Really not a huge fan of heavy duty protein treatments with over complicated steps (I’ll leave those to the professionals), but finding a treatment that doubles well as a moisturzing deep conditioner was an added bonus. I’ve used the Curl Junkie Repair Me! treatment a few times to gauge it’s reaction with FRO, & love the results.

Applied on freshly washed hair in sections, Repair Me! has serious slip to further the detangling process (a #winwin if you’re trying to retain length). Coming in a hefty 12oz bottle, I’ve managed to use very little to get the job done. The first attempt at this condish I underwent a steam treatment using the Huetiful Steamer and experienced much softer hair. Other tries were done using a heating cap where results were really no different in terms of texture. You really want to leave in hair for no less than 15 minutes to achieve maximum benefits, and again…no need to use a ton to get the job done!

Using a protein treatment (Keratin is Fro’s Fav!) once a month has made a huge difference in the overall health of FRO, making me a firm believer in incorporating a relative amount to the hair routine. For hair that is especially sensitive to protein, pay attention to where your protein of choice falls in the ingredient list. There are many products tho choose from that contain different amounts so do a bit of homework before diving in!