Archive for May, 2009

May 29, 2009

SheaMoisture Giveaway!

shea

 

Alrighty, as promised a giveaway to cap off this short week! I’m pretty much done purging and shucking old products in my stash, but have a few that just makes more sense to part with in a more sensible way. Up for grabs is  Shea Moisture’s Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner, an amazingly moisturizing lotion that seriously leaves hair crazy soft and smelling pretty fine! I used it way back when during my heat damaged stage, yet somehow lost track of how well it worked in my PJ frenzy.  Reviews for this product are pretty amazing across the boards, so you more than likely will not be disappointed.

 

Here’s a brief descrip:

*SheaMoisture Leave-In Conditioner with Pro-Vitamin B 5 Complex is essential in protecting all types of hair from stretching and breakage during combing. As you work in this supple conditioner its detangling agents naturally separate wet hair as the shea butter immediately restores vital moisture and the vitamins strengthen each hair shaft. This exclusive formula leaves hair soft and manageable throughout the day, preventing frizzyness, brittleness and other conditions that render hair easily breakable and damaged. Use SheaMoisture Leave-in Conditioner immediately after shampooing to instantly replenish lost moisture and strengthen hair. Then, apply SheaMoisture Shea Butter on scalp to moisturize and soothe as needed. This is also excellent for use as a daily moisturizer.

Ingredients:

Shea Butter, Deionized Water, Herbal Complex, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E

 

Simple as pie, just leave a comment down below or email, backtocurly@gmail.com, and I’ll pick a winner by Sunday 9p.m. for Monday’s post;-)!

 

Have a great weekend!!

 

*info courtesy of beautyofnewyork.com

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May 28, 2009

Muse

 

When I first began this blog in the beginning of the year, I was desperately in need of an outlet to funnel some creative energy.  Nothing terribly substantial…after all, pumping out product reviews and outlining my hair regimen isn’t exactly the greatest channel for creative fun…but it was right for the time.  A dam sort of burst allowing me to finally say…it’s alright…really it is, to just talk about hair, beauty products and whatever is on your mind.  So what if there are numerous other blogs, sites & forums touching on the same topics you are…at the end of the day it just feels good to be a part of the machine rather than have to work against it.  I can only speak for myself…but to those who do read this blog, comment…or even host your own space of hair lovin, beauty sharin fun…the good vibes are truly something special.

On the same token…once you do decide to blog and open up your thoughts to the world, countless other influences will eventually seep in…some good…others bad.  Personally, I tend to focus on the good…simply because it makes more sense this way, and also I’m able to move towards my goals at a much faster pace….change comes quicker and much more clear.  But in order to keep moving, it’s always a good idea to actually have a goal in mind…even if you can’t see the finish line…envision it.

Thankfully, the good that’s been seeping in has given me a set of new eyes…ones that are a bit more focused.  I made a list back in January of to-do’s for my hair…I also purchased a datebook/calendar to keep track of that whole ‘new year, new you’ bandwagon feeling.  Honestly, I’ve done good…yet know that I can still do better.  Cutting back on heat has been fair…nary a hot comb or blow dryer has gone near my head! The ‘poo’ has been kept ‘low’ or ‘no’ for the past couple weeks…& my scissor happy stylist and I have bid adieu.

 

Time for  a new list!

 

I’ve always been the high priestess of change over the years and frankly…I miss feeling a sense of liberation with my hair/style. I could blame it on my 9-5, corporate new life…yet I’m reluctant because it feels like a cop-out.  With the blessing of un-official Summer this past weekend,  I snagged an itch to change it up a bit.  A lot of folks call it the restless syndrome…you come bursting out of hibernation, full of energy and more anxious than ever!  Yesterday while looking in the mirror…I was thinking a cut…a new shape…new color?  All possible…I’ve never been too scared of the scissors, length is always good, but for some reason has never been a said goal.  I’m still hesitant to pay anyone to cut my hair these days…funds have been short and it takes time to find someone you trust with your $$ and hair.  Color is ALWAYS an option…and Summer practically demands a girl to accessorize with some kind of hue.

Over the next couple weeks I do plan to focus more on my scalp issues…and by focus I do mean fix this thing that’s been a problem for faaaaar too long.  Applying a bentonite treatment in 90 degree temps last week sort of renewed my ambition;-0! Aside from this blog, I’ve been jotting down rinse recipes that have amazing healing properties for the scalp and hope to revive the mixtress in me soon enough.

 

Looks are important…yah, and I’m feeling a bit brighter these days… change is also in order…at least for the blog, so look for a new ‘look’ in the coming days;-)!  I don’t have a ‘Spotlight’ to feature this month because nothing interesting has caught my eye, so instead I’ll be doing a giveaway! Tommorrow I’ll round up my PJ’ness and post the gist;-)

 

 

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May 27, 2009

Rhyme…nor Reason

curlIt’s definitely been a backwards sort of dazzy maze these past couple of days.  My laptop is back to the PC morgue and I’ll be posting a bit sporadically until I can muster up the courage and the $$ to buy a new one, but aside from those fuddy issues, a girl still has to do her hair right?  Yah…and I truly believed that with the long weekend I’d have zero problem treating my hair to a lovely deeeeeeep condition, and all the other goodness I have in my stash. Well, Sunday came and it was glorious! The air was sweet and warm and sunny…I ended up getting down with my hair well into the afternoon. 

 

I pre-pooed with AOHR mixed with water, followed by another bentonite treatment.  I used the same mix as last week, bentonite, marshmallow root powder, & nettle powder and a couple tblspof Hemp oil.  Application was a breeze, but my place was admittedly getting terribly hot & humid.  I left the mix in for a good hour, co-washed the clay out with Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming condish and added Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner to help detangle.  Okay, so I seriously wanted to detangle, twist, then rinse out the condish…but the rising temperature in my room put me in a pretty ansy mood.  I had friends enter, then immediately vacate my room because it resembled nothing short of a brewing sauna. Instead of rinsing the condish out, I left it in overnight, applied Oyin’s Shine & Define on my still damp twists the following morning, retwisted the hair and went about my biz as usual. 

It wasn’t the most ideal way to style my hair, but nonetheless I got the job done and my do held up pretty well for work Tuesday morning.  My only concern with leaving the condish in overnight was of course…over conditioning.  The twists did feel a bit hard to the touch, so I smoothed some Burnt Sugar Pomade over the top.  I think this week’s process was a brief glimpse into how I might need to switch up some things in the coming weeks in light of the change in temperature.  A change in products is for sure on the horizon, BUT…not before I finish the jars and tubs of buttercremes I have lying around.

 

*Full Reviews on all Oyin goodies mentioned above to come!

*Sample of the Miss Jessie’s Curl Creme goes to lady Michelle.  E-mail me your addy, backtocurly@gmail.com and I’ll drop in the mail;-)

May 21, 2009

PJ News! Afroveda Sale!

AfroVeda - The NATURAL Choice!

 

 

MissBhreeIt is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous outside today! And thankfully this fabulous weather is going to leak right into our much needed looooong weekend. To be honest I completely forgot about Memorial Day weekend until my mother asked if I had any plans for the weekend.  Typically with a grande holiday like Memorial Day sales abound left and right whether it’s online, dept. stores etc.  But the Afroveda sale  is the one I’ve been keeping tabs on for a while.  Mala is offering 10-25% off a wide selection of customer favorites! The promo began this past week and ends after the holiday, May 31st.  All my staples are on sale, so I’m taking advantage.  Oh! The seven collection is also marked down!!! I’ve been hesitant to sample because of the price but the Hydrating Hair Creme has been calling my name. 

Rich in Pro Vitamin A, Buriti oil is an excellent moisturizer, antioxidant, and protector for damaged and color treated hair. A proprietary oil complex infused with Ayurvedic herbs provides additional antioxidant protection from the environment and intensive rehydration to the hair shaft. Buriti means “Tree of Life”.

I likey a lot, so it might be this and my other Vata Dosha loot;-)

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May 19, 2009

Miss Jessie’s Stretch Silkening Creme

stretchWhile purging some products a ways back, I decided to jot down the names and labels of products that did and did not work for my hair.  There was a lot to got through because I absolutely refuse to throw away products, particularly products that’ve cost me over $20.  So first up is the much beloved Miss Jessie’s Stretch Silkening Creme.  Now, my Miss Jessie’s post is still sort of waiting in the wings, my quasi thesis outlining my love/hate relationship with the products.  BUT…here I digress to offer my two cents on just this one for the time being;-).

 

 

Description:

Stretch Silkening Crème is a quick-to-dry whipped soufflé that delivers an amazing plump curl and a brilliant shine. Fabulous for fingerstyling. The lightest of the curl crème bunch.

Ingredients:

Water, parafinium liquidum, orange 4, red 40EDTA disodium, butylcarbanate iodpropynyl hydration, DMOM-5, oleth methoxycinnamate, ethylexyl, fragrance, dimethicone leaf extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, avocado oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, olive fruit oil, PEG-12 barbadensis, aloe crosspolymer acrylate, ALKL/C 10-30 acrylates, triethanolamine, glycerin, wheat amino acids,

Price:

Ranges from $7-38 (2 oz – 16 oz respectively)

 

I used this product last year while still holding on to a  good amount of heat damaged ends.  I purchased the creme in hopes of camouflaging the two different textures, and needed a fast drying curl creme that would work when used with my foam rods.  I’m hesitant to say, even a year later, whether or not it ‘worked’ or not simply because my hair does react differently today with my heat damaged ends cut off.  Instead I’ll just point out what I did like which was…well not much.  I used it to two-strand twist my hair and found that while it did dry relatively faster…faster than some other curl cremes…it left a bit of residue.  The smell was a bit strong for me as well, a floral/citrusy thing, but it never lingered on my hair which was good.  Application is easy, not messy at all…yet it does have the tendency to build up on the hair, or to make my strands feel product heavy.  Rarely did I use a detangling leave-in, instead I opted for the spritz  (Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-in). If I were to use a product similar to KCKT I’m almost certain it’d be a heapin mess.  The ingredient list bothers me some, which is nothing new with this line, mineral oil is listed as the second ingredient…something that reacts negatively with my hair.

 

Would I purchase this again?  Not anytime soom…reason being…I think my hair has grown up.  My hair likes different products now that the damaged ends are no more…I’d even say it prefers simpler products with more effective ingredients, rather than products meant to ‘quick fix’ your hair into some enviable style.  I’ve also become an ingredient junkie of sorts, so I’m a bit hair conscious when it comes to picking up whatever’s on the market.

 

Why it could work for you:

If you like curl cremes, I say give it a try. This is my personal experience with the product, but have seen others have moderate to great success after using.  It’s fast drying, so if you’re a gal (or guy) that’s always on the run, loves wash-n’go’s more than you like playing in front of the mirror for an hour and a half each morning…I’d say invest in a 2 oz jar to see if it’ll work for you. 

I do have about 2-3 oz left of the curl creme left, so if you’re interested in sampling drop me a line in the comment section, or e-mail me at backtocurly@gmail.com.  Depending on how many responses, I’ll pick a name by end of week and send out, shipping is on me;-)! 

May 18, 2009

Back to Roots

curlSo this week I had focus and a clear goal in mind as far as my hair went.  Cleanse, cleanse cleanse! Because I’d been thrown off track with my ‘hair schedule,’ I had to steer myself in the right direction by removing all the product buildup my hair had accumulated from the slick-back do’s, pinups, and buns that required more gel than I ever like to use.  Thankfully I didn’t have any flareups around my hairline from using too much product, but instead the rest of my scalp felt a tad irritated from lack of proper cleansing. This week to start the process, I first focused on my scalp and worked my way down.

I was long out of bentonite clay, but knew that my scalp could really benefit from a treatment, so I headed over to Vitamin World to score a tub and while there picked up a bottle of Nature’s Gate conditioner (tea tree calming).  In the past, to mix a good batch of bentonite for proper cleaning/nourishing, I’d often mixed in ACV, coconut oil, hemp oil, vitamin E oil, honey & agave nectar…all of which I had lying around, but decided to experiment with some powders instead.   In a mixing bowl went a heaping mound of bentonite clay, marshmallow root powder, nettle powder and enough water to form a cake like batter.  The powders I’d purchased a while back at an Indian Store that supplies a wide variety of herbs.  For $3, I was able to snag about 45 grams of each…a price I still consider reasonable considering I didn’t pay shipping costs! 

Nettle Leaf:

nettle

Nettle Powder

*Nettle leaf has been used as a hair and scalp treatment for centuries, and again, those uses are being supported by research as well. Nettle leaf extract seems to promote hair regrowth and thicken hair, as well as reducing dandruff and scalp conditions when used as a rinse. The nettle leaf and root both have medicinal properties, but each is more effective against different complaints. Nettle leaf is used traditionally as a diuretic, and as a treatment for rheumatism and arthritis. In Germany, a standardized extract is sold for the treatment of inflammatory conditions and prostate diseases. Nettle leaf’s effectiveness against rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases is well documented, and borne out by chemical analysis of the plant.

 

Marshmallow Root:

 

root1

Marshmallow Root

*This sweet mucilaginous (a.k.a. plant protein) rich herb has expectorant properties that strengthens the cell tissues and controls bacterial infections.  Marshmallow is  medicated, conditioning herb that provides an abundance of  ‘slip’ which helps to nourish and detangle naturally curly, wavy & Afro type hair.

Safe for Skin!
*Boosts the skin’s immunity at cellular level helping to minimize skin inflammation as well as fighting any skin degeneration.

For added goodness, I topped off with about a tablespoon of Hemp Seed Oil, then applied the mix to freshly pre-pooed hair (used Suave Coconut Condish), dividing in sections as I went along to evenly distribute.   I guess the best way to describe the application process is to compare it to how you’d normally apply a regular relaxer.  I start at the scalp, massaging the mix in, then evenly coating each section of hair.  I do this for the entire head, smooth down any potential lumps from the clay mix, and sit with a conditioning cap for 45 minutes.

I began rinsing with lukewarm water to avoid drying out the scalp, then followed with Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming Conditioner to help rinse out any remaining residue.  You want to make sure the water runs clear and not murky to ensure you rid your scalp and hair of any clumps of clay.  After rinsing the mix out,  I DC’d with AOHR conditioner for yet another 45 minutes. I detangled, separated into sections by twisting, then cold-rinsed. And just to make sure the process wasn’t long enough, I did a final rinse with ACV, first applying directly to roots to rid any lingering residue, then applied to rest of hair. 

Afterwards, I honestly couldn’t wait to see how my hair turned out, so I raced to a mirror to inspect and noticed my hair was SUPER clean and shiny, and my scalp…felt amazingly fresh! Didn’t truly feel like experimenting with any new goodies this week, so I dipped into my Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding, over Alaffia’s  Virgin Coconut & Shea Hair Lotion as a leave-in.   To avoid over-moisturizing similar to last week, I opted for the Alaffia because it’s a penetrating conditioning leave-in that goes on light, sort of what I needed this week to give my scalp and hair a break from too much stuff. I twisted in record time again this week…clocked in at about an hour or so!! Managed to clip the roots to prevent the poof, air dried because I thankfully had time on my side this weekend, and sealed my ends this morning with Afroveda’s Hemp Butter before untwisting  to shiny, bouncy, CLEAN hair and scalp.  And because it’s just become habit and adds that extra ‘umpf,’ I smoothed some KBB hair creme before heading out the door.

 

*Neem info courtesy of  www.mountainroseherbs.com

*Marshmallow Root info courtesy of www.anitagrant.com

 

tiniest of disclaimers: please use judgement when using herbs for medicinal purposes, or consult with a doctor before using.  All recipes or procedures listed are not meant to treat any form of ailment.

May 14, 2009

Time on My Hands

Null 051

no...not ice cream

I had just an ounce of time on my hands while my PC was in the shop, and decided to play mixtress for one evening…or two or three!  Back in the beginnings of winter I finally took it upon myself to mix together my own shea butter creme, something that would help with my overly dry skin.  I was super succesful in sifting together a moisturizing butter with a raw-unrefined shea base.  I’d layer it on at night and wake up in the morning to soft, gleaming skin! It was a personal victory considering how far I’d come…over the years I’d tried a million-n-one different over the counter creams and balms to keep the dryness at bay…including taking antihistamines when the dry skin escalated into something surpassing drugstore help.  I was over the top misserable, partly because I’d grown so dependant on the pills to function through a regular day, and second…well I didn’t have insurance at the time, so seeking the help of a dermatologist was strickly out of the $uestion.

So, succesful in banishing my winter dryness I was bored the other day and tried to mix together leftover butters and oils I had lying around.  Using a butter in the spring/summer months is a rarity for me…for obvious reasons I guess.  The feeling of a thick butter being slathered over skin that’s already naturally moisturized is not cute.  Instead, I’m more likely to stick to light lotions and light/fluffy creams.  I didn’t have much to start but the end result was a good start:

  • 2  1/2 oz refined shea butter
  • 1 tablepoon aloe butter (you can be more generous if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • three tablespoons emulsifying wax
  • 1 tablespoon grape-seed oil
  • half tablespoon cornstarch
  • half a teaspoon Vitamin E oil
Null 058

Almond Joy

Mixing was easy, but also a bit time consuming because I was looking for a lighter, fluffy consistency.  I melted the butters + emulsifying wax over a double boiler until soft and almost completely melted.  Removed butters from heat as soon as the bits of wax were almost dissolved, once removed you can add the oils and cornstarch.  The butters I used are rich with an already oily, creamy consistency when hard, so I did go sparingly with the carrier oils.  I eyeballed, but still managed  to use no more than listed above.  Once the oils and butters were mixed, I brought out a hand mixer to incorporate everything fully, and to also get the right consistency.  I started on a low speed than alternated as I went along…once the cream began to form bubbles and pull itself together, I added some fragrance oil. (3 tblsp. almond oil; 2tblsp. vanilla bean oil).

To get the right kind of fluffy texture, I ended up mixing for a good ten minutes (still working on how to cut this down), then placed the mix in 2 oz containers, enough to fill 2 equally.  Before allowing the cream to set I dusted the top with dark cocoa powder (cosmetic grade) for a dessert like look! The mix smelled so yummy, with the almond and vanilla that I could not resist! What I ended up with was a light souffle type butter creme, that goes on silky, but not greasy (thanks to the cornstarch), and light enough to use in the coming Summer months.  My skin was left moisturized and glowing after using.  I’m still playing around with scent, but this batch smells like pure almond/vanilla ice cream!

If you’ve been hesitant in the past to try your hand at mixing your own goodies…u need not fret! First of all, it’s easy peezy, COST EFFECTIVE, and you have sites like Mixology and countless others to lead you by the hand;-)!

May 12, 2009

Frizzness

curlMy laptop is playing nice again..even though I’ve still got fingers crossed! I dropped a but load of money to get it fixed so I’m just a tad nervous these days as I type…lol!

But I have to admit, it’s been frustrating, not only with my PC sickness but with my hair as well.  I went off course this past week, choosing to wash and style my hair on Friday as opposed to Sunday which threw a couple of things out of whack.  I had an event to look snazzy for and wanted the do to look just right…which it absolutely did! I pre-pooed with AOWC mixed with water, washed with Alaffia’s Neem Shampoo (added oils yet again), DC’d with AOHR, cold rinsed then styled with KCKT under Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding.  I’d started the whole process around…6:30’ish Thursday evening and finished by 12am.    I’d finished twisting by 9:30-10 and immediately began drying with my soft bonnet under the lowest setting.  Ironically, with all that drying time, my hair was STILL not dry by morning.

Yah…frustrating was the word of the week, waking up in the a.m. to damp twists knowing I had an event to attend that evening. So, frizz was sort of inevitable with damp twists…I did try my best not to manipulate it too much…after sealing each twist with Afroveda’s Hemp Butter I carefully let each go to do whatever.  Before leaving the house, I applied my trusty KBB hair cream for shine and ceased upon the ‘ol HIFS.

My hair did withstand the test of a normal work day, and I attended the event happy and confident in my hair….ehhhh, but I knew I’d be in for something lacking in the coming week.  The Process was a good one…but I was definitely hasty in applying product…a.k.a…I overapplied KCKT along with the Pudding.  The end result next day was over-moisturized strands that did not turn soft…instead turned a bit brittle and lacked my normal shine.

Today’s Tuesday and I’m nowhere near ready or willing to start down the lane of wash, style etc., which is unfortunate because what my hair needs right now is a good clarifying rinse ( I sorely miss my ACV), a good DC (under my heating cap) and styling minus the rush.  I’ve made the mistake of over-moisturizing before, and already know how to reduce frizz when drying hair so in essence I brought this on myself…lol! Monday was headband day…today was headband + pinup…

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,…..Bun, Bun…BUN!

 

Upcoming Posts:

  • *Anita Grant (longest story ever told)
  • Hairveda
  • Oyin Handmade
  • Chagrin Valley Soaps
  • Savor
  • KBB
  • Zaja Naturals
  • Darcy’s Botanicals

(and a bit more that my PJ brain can’t recall at the moment, shame;-)!

May 11, 2009

ARRGHH!!

crazedMy laptop is back to being a dud and not working, so no post today.  Will resume regularly scheduled posting as soon as the higher-ups are done fixing whatever the heck was wrong with it in the first place…

 

Frustrating…

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May 8, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Happy Friday!! It’ll be raining off and on this weekend…at least on my end of the border, but Sunday is thankfully Mother’s Day!! Long distance prevents me from seeing my Mum this year to celebrate, but she’ll be getting lovely flowers like these to ring in the good cheer! Hopefully, if you’re lucky enough to have a Mum to celebrate…(or just plain celebrate motherhood period)  ENJOY her presence and love.  Whether it’s a card or a phone call, please show how much you value her this coming Sunday;-)!

 

Have a good one!