January 11, 2009

Spotlight: Curl Junkie

 

Curl Junkie

Curl Junkie

Right now I’m sitting with a heating cap on my head, deep conditioning my hair and surfing the forums of naturallycurly.com.  If you’re not familiar with this site already, especially if you’re a curly head, you MUST take a gander around the block!  It’s seriously infinite amounts of information on anything you wanted to know from transitioning from straight to curly and of course all the latest product reviews!

 

But while surfing I was surprised to see a familiar face, an awesome woman I met this past summer, and probably one of the most knowledgeable gals out there when it comes to the paradoxes of the curl. Marsha Coulton is the founder and creator of Curl Junkie, a newly revamped line of hair care products for curly heads!  You can do your CurlReading on NC.com’s Spotlight page here.

The site was relaunched this past December with ALL NEW PRODUCTS! Something that I’d been super excited about since she told me she was trying new mixes and potions in her kitchen.  I was able to sample some of the new products, such as the new Aloe Fix Gel, and have to say my hair was pleasantly surprised.  The smell is pretty impressive, as is most of her line of products.  The Hibiscus & Banana Honey Butta smells soft, fresh and something you wouldn’t mind lingering in your hair for a good week!  My soon-to-be purchase off the new site is the Coffee Coco Curl Creme, 

 

Coffee Coco Curl Creme

Coffee Coco Curl Creme

KEY INGREDIENTS
  • Monoi Coconut Oil – Monoi de Tahiti has been shown to penetrate and hydrate rapidly.
  • Exotic oils – used for their emollient, healing and moisturizing properties.
  • Coffee Bean Butter – is a powerful anti-oxidant and offers some natural protection from ultraviolet light. It is rich
  • in phytosterols which promote excellent moisture retention, and quick
  • penetration.
  • Guar Hydroxypropytrimonium Chloride – is said to have no build-up
  • and excellent wet and dry combing and detangling. The hair is soft and
  • its shine is improved. There is also a reduction of static build-up and
  • fly-away hair.

Seriously, all good stuff

:-)
January 11, 2009

De Ja Vous Conditioner

 

Nu Yawk!

Nu Yawk!

It’s snowing today here in NYC, a beautiful thing if you’re home huddled under the covers and your fridge and cabinets are stocked with your favorite goodies…yum! So with zero reason to set food outside until the start of the work week Monday,  I decided to evoke a clearance raid on my host of conditioners, those that work, and weed out the ones that don’t, and boy, I really didn’t have far to stretch! 

 

For me it was again discouraging to find a product I’d purchased in the past, used it, then later on down the line realize it was my own lack of knowledge that led me to buy it in the first place.  

Over the summer I delved into this whole ‘everything that has coconut milk in it is the best darn thing out there!’ But…eh…live and learn I guess.

coconut Alba’s Coconut Milk Extra-Rich Hair Conditioner had promise but always failed to deliver when I used it on two or three occasions last summer, and the reason was discovered today.  While the enriching properties are no doubt coconut milk, a bit of aloe and tropical oils, the seventh ingredient from the top is Dimethicone, one of the cones I’ve traced back to many products that left my hair dry and stringy after three-day old hair.  The smell of this is…my god it’s as if you stepped onto the island of Barbados! And, shame…I’m sure that was what sealed the deal for me.  Who doesn’t want their hair smelling like their fantasy getaway, especially during the summer!

So while the smell effectively wooed me, it’s a shame that we have to part ways because of it’s damaging gunk. No doubt it’s thick, rich, uses 100% vegetarian ingredients…but  it has virtually no slip or detangling properties…perhaps it works best on 1a-3a hair…? Dunno.  Basically what it claims to do it didn’t for my hair, which is moisturize the crap out of my 3c-4a hair! C’est la vie!

But alas, when you live and learn you get new conditioner! And I did three weeks ago when I found a Jojoba based conditioner I thought would be great as a co-wash.

jojoMillCreek Botanicals has a great line of conditioners with nourishing properties made to repair and strengthen hair! Most conditioners that do claim to repair, renew, and strengthen often times carry protein, and indeed most of their conditioners do, so protein sensitive curly-heads might sway away from this one or perhaps use it as a monthly deep condition.  

The second ingredient is Jojoba Oil, a HUGE plus in my column, and everything after that is sweetness including the organic aloe vera gel, vitamins & organic essential oils! The consistency is thick & rich, hardly any slip, BUT oddly enough I had no problem detangling with my wide-toothed comb! An added bonus was surprisingly the price…@ $6.99, a good thing for my budget, which also makes me eager to try the Aloe Vera Conditioner along with the Henna shampoo:-) 

January 10, 2009

Holy Shea Grail

Lately,shea_butter especially due to colder temperatures here in NYC I’ve taken to using the tried and true, old staple, Shea Butter!

The winter months typically leave my skin EXTREMELY dry and often times cracked from severe lack of moisture, so this year I decided to smarten up and invest in some shea.  This go-round I moisturized my skin with a mix I put together some months ago (will post mix proportions later).

Because Shea Butter acts as a natural barrier against harsh winds and colder temperatures, I especially take care to moisturize the ends of my hair, the edges around my scalp, and the crown of my hair (all areas for me that are prone to severe dryness during the winter).  Ironically though, I opt to use PURE shea, nothing added or mixed in when moisturizing my hair, mostly because shea does have a tendency to build up on the hair shaft.  PURE UNREFINED SHEA IS THE BOMB…lol!  Nothing added, nothing taken away.

I purchase my stash at this great wholesale store here in BK, NYC called Medina.  It’s an incredible resource for all things natural at more than affordable prices.  This year I even decided to make my parents their own mix of shea butter cremes with different scents (their collection of uncut oils is out of sight!).

The one thing that I certainly do want to try is making my own lip balm!! Maybe try mixing in different colors , scents and sparkles! I’m such a kid when it comes to mixing things but heck, if it’s saving me money I’m all for it!!

~SHEA BUTTER BENEFITS~

January 9, 2009

The Process

Today is Friday! Yeah, another end to a pretty hectic work week.  The first week back after the new year is always abit….flamboyant for lack of a better word.  Everyone is adjusting from being away from the office for so long, digging into their New Year’s resolutions…perhaps even a tad grumpy from lack of calories due to diet…etc..lol! It’s good though because it went by pretty quick and semi-painless.

Friday for me also means the start of ‘the process’! A small event where I rush home in time to eat dinner before I’m able to wash, condition and style my hair for the coming week.  It falls primarily on a Friday because I have a second job on Saturdays and Sundays are my ‘me’ time….whether I choose to watch television the whole day or chill with a friend or two.

So today I’m hauling ass straight home once the clock strikes 5ish, maybe stop by Ricky’s beforehand to see what’s new, then proceed.  Because I managed to trim my hair last week, this go-round I’m hoping the process is a bit easier, as far as detangling and conditioning might go.  I was thinking of clarifying my hair tonight though to fully give my hair a fresh start after the trim…? Dunno yet…I’d have to dig around to find  if I still have a clarifying shampoo that I could use.

A couple of months ago I picked up the trader joe’s nourish spa clarifying shampoo and loved it! Tried not to use too much though because it does leave your hair with a stripped feel.  I deep conditioned last week with organix coconut milk conditioner for about an hour and found that it left my hair beautifully soft and manageable.  Nice!coco

But the bottle was so small I managed to finish it in two weeks! So I might pick up some on the way home or try something new:-).  I haven’t pre-poo’d in a while so that might be tacked onto the list…Mmmm…we’ll see! It’s Friday after all, possibilities are a good thing!

January 9, 2009

BioInfusion Deep Conditioner

Oy!

Oy!

So I planned to start this post raving like a product maniac about one of the BEST deep conditioners I’d found in quite a long time.  I’d used this product several times to repair my hair during the summer when it lacked moisture and needed just a tad more TLC.  Back then I thought it worked like a charm! It was an effecive deep conditioner in that the directions specifically instructed you to let sit in hair for no less than 45 minutes.  For me that’s all the convincing I needed, or assurance rather, to let me know that this company’s intent was to do what the product says it’s going to do. Here’s a list from a merchant’s site about it’s claims:

  • A blend of science and nature.
  • Ultra hydrating for strength.
  • Naturally restores moisture.
  • Olive oil has been recognized throughout the ages as a naturally nourishing therapy believed to have rejuvenating power.
  • Rich in natural conditioning agents, olive oil infuses moisture to hair and scalp on contact.
  • BioInfusion is a blend of science and nature that has combined olive oil and other natural ingredients with new technologies to create the finest quality products for relaxed and natural styles.
  • Safe for color treated hair.
  • BioInfusion olive oil deep conditioning treatment

 

Basically, all good…right?

 

Well, what I initially loved about his product is of course it’s initial properties.  Olive Oil.  This is it’s absoute main ingredient, but not necessarily it’s most active ingredient.  Nonetheless what it claims to do it absolutely did.  It doesn’t have the best slip for a conditioner, but alas most DEEP conditioners do not, my guess is because of it’s potency…(don’t quote me on that).

But in keeping true with my whole new year, new me, new healthy hair approach, I revisited the ingredient page and was mystified and saddend by what I discovered.

 

“Water – Aqua , Glycerin , Coconut Oil – Cocos Nucifera , Behentrimonium Methosulfate , Soybean Oil – Glycine Soja , Dimethicone”

 

Ahhhh!! The tenth or so ingredient from the top was a cone! How could this be….shame.  I was surprised because…well it worked like a dream! I’d stumbled upon it by accident at a local Walgreens and thought I’d found something special, something that would help rejuvinate my hair when needed. 

So as of now I’m a bit torn:-(.  This was one of my favorite deep conditioners which means the hunt for  a steady and new one is probably in full effect.  I’m determined to stick to my regime of no crap product and won’t purchase this again….but…eh…still sucks.  I found that my hair is annoyingly particular about which conditioners I do put into it, so going forward I might have to either concoct something or mix two seperate conditioners and keep the ‘ol fingers crossed.

January 8, 2009

Giovanni Direct Leave-In

Giovanni Leave-InWhen it comes to curly hair there are indeed three elements or products typically necessary to acheive any respective look. 

1. A nourishing PH balanced conditioner

2. A moisturizing leave in conditioner

3. A versatile styling product.

All three are important, and for some curlyheads/naturals one more so than the other.  I find that my emphasis lately has been primarily with finding a solid leave in conditioner to set up my styling process.  Several folks on the haircare boards have suggested the uber popular (organic) Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner!

I have to admit though, I tried this on a reallllly lazy day of not really feeling what I refer to as ‘the process’.  A couple weeks back I set aside an afternoon to style my hair for work the next morning and all I remember was bitching and moaning in front of my mirror.  I was a bit out of sorts I guess you could say, even though I was trying a new product…something that usually leaves me excited with anticipation!

I ended up using the leave-in after a light conditioning and twisting it onto slightly damp hair.  I made several medium-large size twists after detangling with a wide tooth comb. I pincurled the ends with bobby pins, let it air dry for a bit and went to bed peeved.

Unraveling my hair the next morning was….well it wasn’t altogether horrible.  After unraveling the twists, I noticed most if not all were a bit frizzy and not relatively moisturized.  I ended up pinning the hair up with half a dozen pins, smoothing the front with gel and utilizing one of my hair bands.  This was pretty much the look for a good half week before I sucked it up and started ‘the process’ over again.

I say all that to say, I like the product…lol! Irony I know, but the error does fall on me this time.  Going over my usual steps I could’ve predicted what the end result would be.  First, I failed to condition properly (my minimum condi.time is 30min.),  + my hair turns out best when I section it into into smaller twists while adding the right amount of product, and last but not least….I desperately needed a trim!! When my hair is in dire need of a trim it has a distinct way of letting me know….basically by not behaving. 

This leave in is also quite light, letting me know that because of the density of my hair I should layer it with something else.  Instincts tell me if I add more to compensate for the amount of hair I have, my hair will feel overly saturated.  The ingredients are fabulous though!!  It’s an organic product, a factor I’ve been trying to add into my decision making these days.

I guess the jury is still out on this one though.  I clipped my ends last week so I’m pretty positive I could get different results the next go round.  So it’s a keeper for now.