Archive for January, 2009

January 30, 2009

Sleek & Shine Gel

So this week, because my hair and scalp have been at odds with the weather, I’ve had to reach for my go-to products and accessories to alleviate my frustration. 

sleekshine

Back when I was transitioning I felt my options in styles were extremely limited (they really weren’t I was just clueless:-( ), so I continually pulled my hair back in a puff bun or wore it in a TWA with a variety of headbands I’d hoarded once I did my BC.  But before I’d BC’d I hardly EVER used gel on my hair for fear of cutting back on the longevity of my relaxer (this was a sordid myth in my household), always using cremes and elixirs to slick back.  But when it was time to find products that suited my newly textured hair, I think I got extremely lucky when I found a curl activator gel that was suitable for dry, coarse hair AND most importantly did not flake, or when dried remained hard.  Sleek & Shine  adds the right amount of glycerin and aloe to this gel to make your strands soft, but at the same time this thing slicks back, and stays back! 

My only problem with this gel is that it was always a tad difficult to find! After I moved from my old neighborhood several years ago I could not locate it at any of the supply stores, and settled on IC Fantasia gel, a staple gel many naturals swear by.  I liked IC Fantasia gel…after trying their olive oil formula and the color treated formula, I understood the hype…but the only thing missing was what my old faithful gel often did and that was leave a punch of added softness and absolutely no dryness!

Luckily last year I found a supply store here in BK that’s the meca of all things hair related that also stocked my old staple.  Needless to say I stocked up and have been using it ever since, and will continue to decline other gels as styling staples…it works that well!

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Oleth-20, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Benzophenone-4, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Ext. Violet 2.

bandsThis morning, as well as for the past two days, I’ve simply slicked back my curls into a 4-6 day old curly fro with my new favorite headbands from Goody, their wonderful Stay Put bands,  and walked out the door!

January 29, 2009

Spotlight: Fresh Scrub

Yum!

Yum!

‘What a difference a year makes…’, I’ve heard this before but never has it meant so much until I took a step back the other day to envision parts of my life this time last year.  Basically I had started a new job, a second job really, that was intended to supplement the happy moments in my life, you know… those moments where you’re entitled to pay yourself first before paying your landlord. I’d delegate myself to be happy on those pay days, and liberally bought something, whether it was small or big that would make the fact that I was so tired all the time a meaningless slight.

What I also distinctly remember is lagging behind on really taking care of me, more specifically my skin! Last year I was running around on tip toes, arriving at the day job at 8am, leaving there around 5:30pm for the other job…then finally resting at home close to 11:00pm.  After only a couple of weeks of that routine, my skin was not adjusting to my negligence. 

Winter in NYC is certainly unforgivable if you don’t acknowledge it, and that’s pretty much what I did.  My skin for the first time began to flake, and I discovered dry patches that never used to exist! Still adjusting to my new schedule I had zero time to whip up a batch of shea-loe, or a shea mixture that would help alleviate my growing problem.

Instead I needed a quick fix…something that could easily slip into a routine that I hadn’t yet caught up with.  Thankfully, around the corner from my second job is one of those fancy shmancy type beauty stores that have white luminescent walls, ceilings and floors…it was almost dreamy…lol! It was the kind of place I simply did not trust myself going in alone, I’d need friendly support or the confidence to withstand the buckling pressure of over eager saleswomen.

Unfortunately the day I finally walked into fresh, I had none of that. All I did have was desperation and a new paycheck.  My skin was dry and cracking so I didn’t want a lotion I needed creme! I wanted something with a whole host of oils, milky ways and H2O, and the saleswomen had no problem shoving product after product down my throat.  By the time I approached checkout, I had two bars of soaps and a bottle of lotion she’d convinced me would work better than anything I’d ever tried.  Now, I was never really convinced, even after her recitation of all the ‘wholesome’ ingredients, so I continued to wander the store (this time alone!) and stumbled upon something so ideal and spot on, that I knew I’d be making the right choice in purchasing…their Brown Sugar Polish!

This is a great two-for product, a scrub AND a moisturizer in one…it smooths and scrubs away dead skin, while the natural oils hydrate and soften! The surprising factor for me, especially after trying it, was it’s ability to last all day.

Key ingredients:
– Real brown sugar crystals scrub away flakes without causing irritation
– Precious evening primrose, sweet almond, apricot kernel, and jojoba oils nourish skin and moisturize dry areas
– Passionflower oil and ginseng root extract invigorate the senses
– Citrus oils brighten and tone the skin

 

Last night I was able to treat myself to this stuff and instantly had no regrets.  I had no energy left to emulsify my shea butter and  needed a quick fix to moisturize my skin, and the fact that I could do that while in the shower was just too tempting!

At $65 for a 14 oz jar I now know just how desperate I was back then, yet at the same time it’s lasted well over a year and it’s been my secret winter spa moment:-).  So if you’re feeling lucky or just need to be reminded of a Calgon moment…this puppy will take you there!

January 28, 2009

Hair Update: ACV

It’s only mid-week but I’m seriously contemplating washing and styling my hair again, a routine I usually pencil towards the end of week or weekend.  My scalp is acting up in bizarre ways! Not necessarily itching or flaking…but the dryness is causing an odd tingling sensation…something that often occurs when I don’t moisturize enough.  This happens on my scalp as well as the rest of my body…if I fail to moisturize regularly my skin gets the creepy crawly feelings. 

Last night I moisturized with shea butter to see if my hair & scalp could withstand another three days or so…but I’m not sure I can hold out! Last week I tried to cleanse with the bentonite clay, and that ended in a complete disaster.  After rinsing the clay with conditioner, I didn’t adequately DC or cleanse my scalp…I’m thinking I may also have some buildup because my hair is feeling oddly stiff.

apple-cider1Last year I gave up using commercial  shampoos to cleanse my hair,  and in turn stopped searching for a sulfate -free shampoo that cleanses without stripping…not that I’m convinced one actually exists…but it’s costly and unnecessary at the moment.  So I’m setting my sights on an ACV rinse for the first time. 

I’ve long heard about the benefits of using an ACV rinse to cleanse the hair, but was reluctant and skeptical at the same time.  Initially when I think of vinegar, my mind envisions the lingering smell it has a tendency to leave, and I was not looking forward to a smell that strong lingering for longer than a day!

But after a little research I’m convinced I was just being overly cautious, because apparently the smell lingers for a short bit, it simply dissipates a couple moments after rinsing! So after reading this, I officially climbed on the ACV bandwagon.  The recipes for ACV are varied, but the best one I find was the simplest: one part ACV to two parts water.

In addition to balancing the PH levels in your hair/scalp and removing product buildup, the rinse acts as a great itchy scalp reliever:

Dandruff and Itchy Scalp Relief

The acids and enzymes in ACV kill the “bottle bacillus”, a bacteria that is one of the causes for many scalp and hair conditions such as dandruff, itchy scalp, hair loss and often baldness.The bacteria clogs hair follicles allowing dry crusts to form that itch and flake.

For a simple home treatment for dandruff and itchy scalp, apply full strength ACV to the scalp, rub in, and leave on for a half hour to an hour before washing your hair.

For an extra strengthnatural hair care product, apple cider vinegar can be infused with herbs such as stinging nettle, southernwood, goosegrass, plantain and burdock root all of which help prevent dandruff on their own. Tea tree oil is another excellent natural anti-dandruff ingredient, which can be added.

There are countless more uses for ACV that you can read about here, but my first foray will be to use it as a hair/scalp cleanser.  I’ve also read that it’s practically unnecessary to condition after cleansing because the rinse acts as a 2 in 1…but I’m leaning so far in the other direction, simply because my hair has gotten so used to DC’ing.  Will post results laterz;-)

January 26, 2009

Bentonite Blunder

I’d been planning on experimenting with my latest conditioning find, Bentonite Clay for about two weeks,  but had to put it off until yesterday.  My excitement had built to a point where I honestly felt what was in store for my hair was a world of wonders….

…alas I fudged it up.  I failed to follow directions the way they were meant to be followed and ended up with something so cakey…something so….crumbly and messey that I immediately had to rinse it out of hair.  The mixture, pulled from anita grant’s website called for:

Instructions:
Mix 1 to 2 parts Bentonite clay
Slowly add *water to the clay until you achieve a pancake mix texture.
Apply to your hair (dry or wet)
Allow to set for between 15 – 20 minutes
Rinse thoroughly until it’s all out of your curls, kinks and coils.

My mistake was substituting coconut milk for coconut oil,  a pretty dramatic substitution if you’re overcompensating.  I added water to the mix but definitely allowed myself to be too heavy handed with the coco oil! The mix was able to achieve a pancake like consistency but I’m almost certain the oil added something else altogether to the formula.  My thought process going forward is to use a much lighter oil that has less fatty substance to it, but to be certain to use water as my natural base, at least to start off.

here’s the brand curlyniki used and that’s commonly found at health food stores, I picked my supply up at the Vitamin Shop: aztec_clay

After thoroughly rinsing the clay out of my hair, I ended up co-washing and immediately detangled with my KCKT.  For my next hair processing session I plan to try the bentonite mixture again, hoping to achieve better results.

This curly-head is not a quitter!!

January 26, 2009

Product Haul: Donna Marie, Curl Rehab…

So this past week I’ve been a bit out of sorts, sick with the flu…staying home from work one day then dragging myself along with my packets of tissue to work the next, only to be sent home early out of pity from my boss.  Shame really…bottom line, the best way to take care of yourself while you’re sick is to first admit to yourself that you are sick, rest up and get better…!

But man, the days that I did stay home were a true test of my strength.  Even this past weekend I hauled myself in my place with just the right amount of groceries, so I didn’t have to step out in 17 degree weather,  checked out some of my favorite curl friendly blogs,  and luxuriated in season one of the Mary Tyler Moore show (season 1&2 on sale at Target for $19bucks!! ). 

Another thing I often do when confined to a spot for longer than a couple of hours is go absolutely stir crazy… so to alleviate this I buy products!!  I mean, they make it so easy these days with easier shipping/payment methods that I kept saying to myself…why not;-)

lockandtwist2

Lock & Twist Pudding

At the start of the weekend I lurked around www.naturallycurly.com looking for reviews on any Donna Marie product, a curl friendly line I’d been curious about trying for some time.  Most reviews were for the popular curly butter creme,  a product some have compared to Kinky Curly Curling Custard.  But because of the cold weather here in NYC I decided to keep that on my to-try list for the summer, and instead ordered the lock &t twist pudding! The product description from the site claims to make twists and locks moisturized enough to keep your hair soft and silky.  Not bad…I was pretty much sold on the moisturizing properties rather than it’s claims to make my hair silky…something that can happen in winter but I’ve learned not to bank on it’s magical appearance each week. 

Ingredients:

Deionized water, aloe vera gel, carbomen, kokum butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, glycerin, flax seed gel extract, hibiscus extract, carrot seed extract, burdock root extract, agave nectar extract, silver citrate, potassium sorbate and natural fragrance.

Payment was fast and easy, and I received a confirmation that my product shipped the next day! Ohhh how I love to know that my products are en route…lol!

Next up I lingered around the new Curl Junkie website to see if I could put an end to my DC treatment search.  Often times I linger around sites, reading recommendations from users while taking note but often times hold back because DC’s often run a bit more $$! Makes sense if their intent is to give your hair more punch, but lately I’ve been drawing back on spending over $20 bucks on something I’d use several times a month. 

But here’s what I love, sites that offer discounts! Yes, introductary discounts on new products are something I can wrap my pennies around! Curl Junkie is running a sale until January 27th  on some of their new products, and luckily there was a 30% savings on a new DC treatment!.

junkie

Curl Rehab

Their Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair treatment has the main thing I typically go ga-ga over, and that’s moisture!

A description from the site:

Give your hair the moisture it deserves. Check your dry, frizzy curls into rehab! Let your hair drink in a wonderfully rich cocktail of Aloe, herbs, and healing butters & oils to rejuvenate and restore your precious curls! Wonderfully scented with the rich and beautiful Gardenia flower with a hint of Coconut and mystery, this treatment is excellent for taming frizz with much needed moisture. This is a real treat! This treatment is lightweight, yet moisture packed. Give everyone curl envy!

An added bonus for me lately as well is a glycerin free product,  a humectant that’s common in most conditioning treatments, but lately my hair is poofing from too much glycerin due to my choice of styling products and my co-wash conditioner.  I love BIG hair for my twist out’s but lately my big hair comes on first day hair rather than 3 day old hair and I’ve been fishing around for even more product to combat the poof! I love glycerin, but too much of a good thing is always not good for my hair…balance is key!

Again, processing was a breeze! My new DC shipped the very next day and I hope to have by end of week!

Oh dear…so I wasn’t done.  On top of lingering on the curly hair boards, I peeked into some youtube channels that offer hair care reviews, and found myself taking note on the growing popularity of another creme based moisturizer for twists and coils. 

pudding1

Wet Set Pudding

Curls by Sisters Smith’s site looks a tad non-discript but the reviews for their products have been close to raving! The  product that really stood out was their wet set pudding curl enhancing creme.  The pudding is non-greasy, so it has no oils or waxes, gives you a light hold without the crunch similar to other holding products, AND for an $5.50 you can get a hefty 8oz jar to try!  The ingredient list floored me a bit because…well there are only three: glycerin, aloe vera, & olive oil.  Floored because I failed to notice any kind of preservative, which is odd for most curl enhancing products.  But eh…we’ll see…for $5.50 I’m willing to take a chance! Each batch is custom made according to your specified scent which range from:

  • unscented
  • green tea
  • vanilla 
  • summer garden 
  • summer citrus
  • floral blend
  • brown sugar
  • lavender
  • peppermint

By the end of the weekend I’d received confirmation that my pudding had been shipped, so they too are quick and efficient!

Whew! By Sunday Night I was feeling great! My products were on their way, I was saving the planet by using less tissues to blow my nose AND one of my favorite bloggers had a new post up…and oddly enough it had nothing to do with hair products.  Botticelli Babe is known for her more than honest reviews on curly-hair products and her willingness to try out the most random of stuff on her weird product Wednesday posts. 

This go round though,  her review centered on a staple she’d come to rely on as a showering soap, something she calls, ” creamy, often whipped-like, versions of […] soaps.”  The line, called Savor is an Etsy creation which means they’ve got a lot of love going into them, simply because the products are home based…and affordable!

souffle1

Princess Bride

I purchased two of their frothy souffle soaps to sample, Princess Bride and one of their mini  chai creme fraiche scents! The pics on the site are delicious to look at, so here’s hoping they feel as good as they look on film!

 

I’m going to be in new territory with these new products so if you guys have tried any of them feel free to let me know how they worked, what you liked best, what didn’t work etc.  I rarely do product hauls, so this will hopefully last me until the end of winter:-)

 

et finir!

January 23, 2009

Denman

denmanSay hello….to my little friend.  Denman D4.  One of many essential discoveries made last year while figuring out the mess of detangling my hair.  Rule #1 of brushing/combing curly/kinky hair is to NEVER do it while under the influence of dry hair, otherwise the end result will be a tumbleweed of sadness. 

To best utilize the Denman, first you should find the correct size for your hair thickness and length. 

  • For Medium to long hair there’s the classic D7
  • For Short to Medium size hair lengths there’s the D5
  • For Thicker/coarser hair there’s the Denman Deluxe
  • For Medium/thick to Long/ coarse hair there’s the favorite D4 (this is the most common size carried in most beauty supply stores)

Prices for any of the Denmans mentioned range from as low as $10.00 to $16.00, it all depends on your own frugality and who offers the best deal.  It seems the best deals can often be found online rather than in-store, particularly if you’re buying other items and can opt out of the shipping costs.

After finding the correct size, the Denman is best used as a detangler through the conditioning process while hair is wet.  I find that no matter the length or density of your hair, it’s wiser to section hair before applying and/or detangling.  In hindsight this will save time, but most importantly patience! 

I start by detangling the ends, where the knots seem to form, then slowly work my way up, adding more conditioner if needed.  If you’re a curlyhead who’s not a huge fan of curl shrinkage, I’d say to proceed with caution because the Denaman will not only detangle and smooth out your strands, it will add signficant curl defintion and shrinkage the more you rake it through.  During the summer to cut down on shrinkage,  I’d start with a wide tooth comb, then finish with the brush. 

The only drawback that I do have with my Denman is the inevitable hair loss while detangling, which I’ve resigned myself into accepting.  My hair sheds in riduculous amounts, and when using the brush, while it does make the job easier I still end up losing some strands.  These days to prevent extra shedding and knots, I try to wash/condition my hair while in the shower or with my hair flowing backward rather than forward.  Matching the flow of the water to the way I’d like my hair to fall while styling helps tremendously! Less tugging, pulling and easier detangling;-).

Basic tools for detangling curly/kinky hair:

  1. Better than average conditioner
  2. Better than average detangling brush/large toothed comb
  3. A sea of patience
January 22, 2009

KC Knot Today

kinkyI think every curlyhead has an absolute staple in their routine, something they simply refuse to substitute with anything else no matter the weather, new product recommendation or what have you.  Late last year I found my something after trying Kinky Curly’s Knot Today Natural Leave in!   Now, finding Knot Today and loving it was a complete surprise, mainly because I’d bought it on a whim, not exactly planning on using it per se, but wanted to do a quick comparison with Giovanni’s Direct Leave-in.  From what I’d heard, the detangler worked best when used in conjunction with the Kinky Curly Custard, (another sideshow review to come on that later).  But because I’d had plans to wear my hair in protective styles for the majority of winter, I opted to use it alone as a leave-in.  The results were beyond what I’d expected!

Here’s the ingredient list:

Ingredients: Mango fruit extract, slipper elm, marshmallow root, lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.

The list is small, which I love because it really goes to show, often times big things can happen with the simplest of ingredients, and it’s organic! According to the products claims from the site it’s “designed to smooth the cuticle and to remove knots, snarls and tangles from thick curly hair.”  

How I apply: 

After co-washing then deep conditioning, I section off hair, then apply KCKT in small amounts, making sure to equally distribute the product by running my Denman through.  After hair is smooth I twist and pin until I’m ready to style. Lately, what I’ve found helpful is letting the leave-in sit in my hair twisted for ten minutes under a conditioning cap before manipulating it by adding any other styling product.  This leaves the hair softer and more manageable, perhaps because the ingredients are able to penetrate the hair shaft without being disturbed.   

My hope is that by simply using this alone in the summer months, it’d work rather well as a wash and go styling product.  It has just the right amount of moisturizing properties, it detangles amazingly well, smells great and it defines curls like some of the best curl cremes I’ve tried!

An 8oz bottle cost $12.00 off the KC site, while the newly introduced 320z refill jug will run you $44.00, something I’m seriously considering investing in for the future;-)

January 21, 2009

Hair Update

Yeah, so I couldn’t wait. Last night I was bored and sick from what appears to be the beginnings of the flu, and decided to dabble in my new Aveda purchase. I’d been wearing my hair in twists since this past weekend, and was sleeping on them for the majority of Tuesday..a.k.a OBAMA DAY;-)…my twists by the evening were a bit dry to the touch and matted.
So before going to bed, I decided to rehydrate with Aveda’s Humectant Pomade. I undid each twist, applied the pomade in small amounts (a little goes a long way) to different sections, then re-twisted into larger sections. I then pin-curled the twists for the next morning.
Waking up this morning I was tired, but still excited to see if the results where what I remembered…and they were!!
My hair was shiny, to the point where it looked as if I’d just deep conditioned! It looked healthy, bouncy and fresh!  The smell of course is an added bonus..and I guess the best way to describe it is, earthy.  

Getting to work, removing my hat I was pleasantly surprised because my curls perked right up…no hat hair! I simply fluffed and continued to check my e-mail.

So the pomade is a DEFINITE keeper, at least for the winter months.  My goal going forward is to use it specifically to rehydrate when my hair looks visibly dry, other times I plan on using another one of my favorite new finds, the Jane Carter lock and twist creme.  

This weekend I plan on changing my game plan a bit since my Jamaican Mango & Lime gel finished last week. Something I was disappointed about because I’d used it only twice to twist and the jar was already finir! On the other hand it did work fantastically well, leaving me with well defined ringlets post-twists. I will definitely repurchase, but recently I also received my new Curl Junkie product!!! I’ve been waiting to try the Coffee Coco Curl Creme for a while and will finally do so by the end of week.  I’m trying to veer off my clutch of using a gel for every style I settle on, so hopefully this produces good results!

January 19, 2009

Brilliant Aveda

Lately I’ve taken to revisiting old staples that have often worked in the past, but for one reason or another just never followed up on.  The one product that tops that list is something I first begun using over eight years ago right after my first BC.  The stylist who’d chopped my hair used this to twist & coil my hair on two to three inch hair and the end result…simply AMAZING! I mean, it was moisturized for DAYS! I had these cute little coils that I kept twirling and twirling around my fingers sitting in Biology class.  It was great because at the start of my natural journey I had already begun to use quality, trustworthy products on my hair.  It was smooth sailing for a while….for a good long while actually..lol! My hair grew to shoulder length before I stopped purchasing and the simple reason was that…I just couldn’t afford it.  

 

Aveda Humectant Pomade

Aveda Humectant Pomade

Aveda’s Humectant Pomade was my little secret once upon a time for brilliant shine, bouncy curls and one of the most long-lasting twistouts I’ve ever rocked!  But alas, once my hair grew past shoulder length, my college economy could not very well spend over $20 on a 2.6 ounce jar of pomade.  Back then I couldn’t find the justification, so I switched to curl enhancing gels mixed with beeswax.  This mix worked respectably well but could only do so much.  I often had to use more gel and wax to compensate for the thickness of my hair which was dangerous once dried…basically you run the risk of flakes and over-dryness due to over-applying.  With the Aveda pomade the tune was always different.  Generally I styled my hair with the pomade to do double stand twists, a great utility for this because the pomade had a natural ability to lengthen my hair, leaving me with elongated twists for several days, just one of the many added bonuses of this stuff! 

But lately, I dunno…this one’s been on my mind for some time, particularly  due to the dryness in the air lately.  I’ve been a quiet fan of Aveda for some time, and have used products not only from their hair care line, but from their skin care line as well.  Both experiences were thumbs up scenarios, but again….$$$$!!!

Even today, after  years of styling my hair with products that have cost as little as $2 to products that cost $58 (you know who you are!) I was still a tad reluctant to invest again in something that was so compatible with my hair.  So to shush my doubts and concerns, I decided to read up more on precisely WHY now’s the time to re-introduce my hair to this product.  According to a fantastic article on natuallycurly.com: 

 

We hear a lot about the humectants. But many of us may not know what they are and how they work….Humectants are used in skin and hair-care products to promote moisture retention. These hygroscopic compounds posses a chemical structure that attracts water from the atmosphere and binds it to various sites along the molecule.

These ingredients are used in many products, especially those designed for consumers with dry, damaged hair. While they can provide benefit in certain circumstances, it is important to understand how they work and under what circumstances they might provide less-than-optimal results. When considering whether to use humectants, the most important piece of the puzzle is how the weather can impact your hair and the performance of these molecules.

Hair exposed to very dry air without protection can lose its moisture, develop an unpleasant texture and can become unruly, flyaway, and frizzy. It also can become more prone to breakage and split ends. Conversely, unprotected exposure to excessive moisture and humidity can swell the hair cortex, causing the cuticle scales on the exterior of the hair shaft to become ruffled and giving hair a coarse, unpleasant texture. Clearly, neither scenario is desirable.

You can read the rest of the article here, but essentially I was sold on the basics. This product has what my hair needs at the moment, it’s worked in the past…and with time I’ve learned how to manipulate my hair enough times to note how much to apply! 

According the Aveda’s site you should:

 Apply to wet or dry hair prior to braiding or making a pony tail. This will keep stray hairs in place and maintain a smooth, controlled style.

I love it for twist outs and to generally retain moisture to my ends.  Heck, if you’ve got dry curls, thick & coarse hair, hair that lacks moisture on a day to day basis I highly recommend the humectant pomade!  I’ll be adding to my routine the end of week and will post results;-)

January 16, 2009

Hair Rebel

It’s cold. Simply put, it is brick all up and down the east coast, both yesterday and today, and my hair is crying out to me! It really is amazing how much the weather factors into the way our hair, skin and overall body look and feel. To go without water  or a good moisturizer for more than a day, and my skin is completely urecognizable.  My hair on the other hand forces it’s hand by rebeling, turning itself  into an untamed beast in constant need of nurturing and taming. 

Last week, to style my hair I tried for the first time the Jamaican Mango & Lime Gel, which I’m happy to report stood the test of twists and gave me an awesome rockakble twist out!! But eh…weather is a greater force of nature…so by yesterday afternoon, bustling in and out of work through the streets of NYC, the dry cold winds tied knots of dryness all over my crown of glory! Not to mention the ‘hat hair’ that’s the equivalent of morning hair.

But thankfully, today is Friday which means it’s time to give my hair it’s weekly lesson on love and attention! This go-round I’m a bit more excited because I decided to try for the first time bentonite clay, a favorite cleansing mask amongst numerous curlyheads & naturals. claybentoniteWhat swayed me to give it a try was another one of my favorite bloggers out there curlynikki.  I’d been waiting on her product review for the mask and was excited to hear how well it’d worked, but most importantly how easy it is to apply!  You can check out her raving review here.  Basically it’s a mud mask that clarifies the hair without stripping it of its natural oils, a factor that immediately gets kudos and kisses in my book, especially with this kind of weather! My only concern is how well it cleanses my scalp, something that has been a sordid issue on my plate for some time.  Time will tell of course…

So, excited and with a new product in mind, I’m heading to the whole foods store after work to claim my prize! While there I’ve also made a note to pick up coconut oil to mix in with the clay, a nifty suggestion offered up by curlynikki, and something I’m sure my hair will sing praises about. 

Last week I also ran out of my Organix Coconut Conditioner and subsituted with MillCreek’s Jojoba conditioner which worked wonders!!  It really is eye opening in a way to see how well my hair responds to change…and good change at that!  By using better products, better ingredients and continuing to be mindful of what my hair responds to…everything hair related just supremely falls into place;-)