Archive for June, 2009

June 26, 2009

MJ

 

 

 

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June 23, 2009

MAXWELL COUNTDOWN!

Why am I always the last to know! NEW Maxwell after the jump;-)!!

 

 

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June 22, 2009

Poo Bar

curlLately I’ve been on a quiet budget of sorts. Trying my best to conserve any extra $$ because, honestly it just seems like a really cool plan. To have some extra loot in the bank or under the mattress is always a nice comfort. As a result, I’ve been happily delving into my PJ stash, repurposing old goodies and trying out new ones that were on my ‘mean to but never got around to’ list.neemtea

So this week I scanned my PJ area, noticed a full jar of Lustrasilk’s Shea-Butter and Mango conditioner/styling crème and went to work. These days I just can’t seem to help myself with the pre-pooing…so I started within those lines using Suave’s Coconut conditioner. To that, I added a couple squirts of Hairveda’s CoCasta Shikakai Oil, twisted into large twists and added a bit more of the CoCasta to my scalp. Massaged the pre-poo, then left on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Nixed on the ACV this week as well as a co-wash and happily sampled a poo bar from the Chagrin Valley collection of soaps. My bar of choice was their Neem & Tea Tree body/shampoo bar, which I lathered onto my hair, then applied directly to my scalp. Plenty of lather with this bar, so I was easily able to work up the suds and feel as if my hair got a good cleanse. It’s surprisingly non-stripping, but even BETTER…moisturizing! My hair felt cleansed and fairly soft.

Ingredients:

Saponified oils of an elder flower, calendula, dandelion, and comfrey infused sunflower, neem, and rice bran blend, coconut, palm, castor bean, jojoba, palm kernel, and wheat germ; filtered rainwater; organic aloe vera; essential oils tea tree, lavender, thyme, and peppermint; vitamin E oil; and rosemary oil extract.

The Goods:

Enhanced with jojoba and wheat germ oils, this bar will soothe and moisturize your skin, and add body and vitality to your hair. The liquid oils have been infused with the anti-inflammatory botanicals of elder and calendula flowers, which have been used topically to heal rashes and to help soften and soothe dry, irritated skin and scalp. It leaves your skin and hair clean and soft.

The sample bar ran me a mere $2.60, and will thankfully last a good while. DC this week was the tried and true LustraSilk Shea Butter Cholesterol. To be honest I can’t figure out if its works best as a DC, curl crème or a leave in…?! While searching the label I found no answers, so just went ahead and twisted, detangled and worked my way into a conditioning cap for 45 minutes before my final rinse. Styling this week with old time fav KCKT under Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding. Twisted into larger twists this week to cut back on time…untwisted this morning to dry hair, but instantly began the battle against humidity. It’s been typically warm and humid some mornings over the past couple weeks, and my hair doubled in size as soon as I began to unravel each twist.

 

Alright, so bottom line…I’m choosing to embrace the added poof! This past Sunday was the official first day of Summer and I think it’s also time to change the expectation of my hair during the warmer months. Volume as an added bonus to curly/afro textured hair adds a great softer look, which if worked/pinned/styled right can look effortless/glam/wonderful!  So with no qualms over the added height of hair, I added a smidgen of KBB hair butter and let the rest be.

June 17, 2009

Mizani

Mizani Survey

 

My Aunt who’s been a Hair Stylist for most of her life was the only stylist I’d ever let go anywhere near my hair with a relaxer. She wasn’t the first one to apply a relaxer to my hair, but she was the one person whom I trusted wholeheartedly, because she could straighten out the curl like the best of ’em, without making my hair look and feel flat, and lacking it’s natural body. In her arsenal of products, used to gleam and shine my hair to help preserve the longevity of the relaxer was always a Mizani product.  She was, and still is, a fan of their relaxer system, their line of hair sprays, moisturizing gels, shampoos & conditioners.

Today, MIZANI, a division of L’Oréal USA, is a complete line of professional treatments, relaxers, shampoos, conditioners, hair color, and styling products designed to meet the expanding needs of today’s global beauty. Through its advanced, patented technology, MIZANI has discovered new ways to care not only for the hair, but for the scalp as well. Each MIZANI formula is customized to suit the individual needs of each hair type. From naturally curly and highly textured to color-treated, relaxed and everything in between, MIZANI offers a specialized, salon-exclusive hair care system designed to restore every hair type to its ultimate state of balance.

This is by no means a virtuous plug for the Mizani line…but more so a nod in their direction for recognizing the broader range of needs for naturally curly heads and different textures. A few of their NEW products did catch my eye, and sound strangely familiar…

Coconut soufflé:

coco_souffle_Natural coils and curls—and even some wavy hair types—require extra moisture, protection and style control. New whipped-texture, Coconut Soufflé Light Moisturizing Hairdress disperses evenly and absorbs quickly for touchably soft waves and curls. Using a concentrated, natural-oil blend of coconut and camellina oils, it instantly envelops each strand and infuses it with uniform moisture from the inside out. Additionally, coconut oil helps strengthen hair and reduce breakage. The result is targeted moisturization, along with extra protection at the “stress” points of curly strands.

Especially formulated for multi-textured hair, Coconut Soufflé Light Moisturizing Hairdress revitalizes and restores curl’s natural luster without building up or weighing hair down.

Okay, so this sounds familiar because it has all those lovely key words natural/curly heads look for….’moisture’ ‘protection’ ‘style control.’ In the past I’ve been sold on these key words alone as promises for a good product, so looks like the folks over at MIZANI are finally paying attention (or looking to broaden their appeal).

Another worth a second gander, is their Butter Rich Nourishing Hairdress:

butterrichNaturally curly hair in all its beautiful shapes and forms can lose its shine if it becomes dry, damaged or brittle. The newest solution: Butter Rich Deep Nourishing Hairdress, a weightless, whipped texture hairdress that combines Mizani’s newest aerated-texture technology with an exceptional blend of naturally emollient Shea and Cocoa Butters, humectants and protective Coconut Oil. It provides intense moisturization, extreme softening and ultra nourishment—all in a fast-absorbing formula.

Developed to meet the needs of curly, coiled or kinky hair that’s extremely dry, damaged, porous or brittle, it instantly revitalizes and intensely softens, providing smoothness, flexibility and shine, from roots to ends. Use it as often as needed, and fall in love with natural curls again.

I’ve never truly been a fan of the ‘hairdress,’ all the ones I’ve used in the past have resulted in mighty greasy hair and fingers, so I typically stay away. Far from being completely sold on these products, I’d still love to see the complete packaging including the ingredient list. The site boasts these two products as being mineral oil and petroleum free…yeah, sounds good, but I’d still like to see what else goes into these products other than shea & coconut oil.

 

Naturallycurly.com along with MIZANI are offering those who take a brief survey the chance to win new products from the line.  To enter and fill out the survey click HERE or visit naturallycurly.com for more info.

June 16, 2009

Oyin Handmade

Alrighty, so this is going to be a two parter because of my tendency to ramble about stuff. I’ll break the review down into two parts, first starting off with two products, Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner and Oyin’s Shine & Define. I purchased my Oyin stash during my last mini-haul, and used a nifty coupon code that the lovelies over at Oyin Handmade deliver at the end of each of their monthly podcast. The trick is of course to listen to the entire podcast featuring the brains and gustos behind the label, Jamyla Bennu and her husband Pierre Bennu. The lowdown of Oyin truly boils down to the name which means Honey. Here’s a brief descrip from their site:

We are a family-owned company, named after the Yoruba word for ‘honey’ – one of nature’s most versatile beauty products! We make our products from scratch, by hand, in small batches to ensure freshness. We never use petroleum, silicones, or non-nourishing fillers – every ingredient in our mixtures has work to do! In our goodies you can find unrefined shea butter, nutritive sea vegetables, pure aloe vera juice, nourishing vitamins, and herbal infusions carefully chosen for their beneficial and healing properties

condishHonestly though, my first attempt at using Oyin’s Honey Hemp was half-assed at best. I was in one of those moods where the best possible solution to doing your hair would be to cut it all off. More often than not, I tend to reach these moments…my guess is because of all the freakin hair I have. But I digress to offer my two cents. I liked the Honey Hemp, but had to battle with my hair to get to the ‘like’ part. It’s a light silky conditioner that does well on many fronts. You can use it as a leave-in, rinse-out, or styler. I’ve used it both as a leave in & a styler on two separate occasions. With my first try, I left it in after shampooing, allowed to dry overnight and added a styler in the morning. This might’ve been a mistake, at least for my hair because of my heavy handedness when it comes to conditioners. To use as a leave-in, I definitely used a tad too much and awoke the next morning with a bit of a crunch to my twists. The fix was easy…just a quick spritz of water and retwisted with a curl defining crème. My second go was using it as a rinse out conditioner, a happy medium for me and the Honey Hemp! I conditioned with the Honey Hemp, detangled & left in for about an hour, rinsed out and added a crème styler.

Description:

A creamy rinse-out conditioner has been an often-requested product at Oyin. We are very proud of the Honey-Hemp Conditioner – a light, penetrating, silky blend enriched with aloe vera gel, hemp oil, honey, and hydrolyzed silk protein, it’s got nice detangling slip and serious moisturizing power. It rinses cleanly and also makes a nice pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment. It can even be used as a creamy, nourishing leave-in!

For $11 you can opt for the 8oz, or the 16 oz for $18. If I were to purchase again I’d probably opt for the 16oz just to be a bit more cost effective. What still interests me about the conditioner is its versatility to be used as a leave-in/rinse out conditioner, an option offered by many conditioners on the market..but very few that have worked successfully on my hair (and scalp).  In the below video Jamyla uses the Hemp as a pre-poo!

 

 

 

shineThe second in my haul was Oyin’s Shine and Define, described as a gentle styling serum from the creators. But I’m going to go ahead and place it in the gel/crème category. The only other styling serums I’ve used in the past have been clear in color, light and greasy in consistency and pack a punch with a whole host of silicones to gloss over hair and frizz.

 

Descrip:

Designed to be nourishing, light & non-greasy, this soft creamy serum contains herbal infusions, pure Aloe Vera, flax seed extract, nutritive sea vegetables, shea butter, and more. It’s like a smoothie for your hair! Smooth onto damp edges & set with a scarf for a sleek hairline; massage into wet or damp hair and squeeze dry for softness, frizz reduction, and definition of your hair’s beautiful texture. Work with your hair, not against it, with this lightly fruit-scented styling aid.

 

Alrighty, as with most products geared for natural hair…trial and error is almost always inevitable, and the same went for my go with the Shine and Define. As soon as I saw the consistency of the serum and most importantly the size of the jar, I knew I’d have to use sparingly. Granted a little goes a long way with this product, but I found that the more I applied, the more my hair cried out for more. Silly me, I obliged and by the time I was done twisting my entire head there was less than half an ounce left in the jar.

 

$11 will get you 4oz of the serum while $18 will get you an 8oz jar.  Applying liberally will not get you far with this product, but what I found it best for was for slicking back edges and moisturizing parts of my hair that needed.  A dime size amount would work fine on either wet or dry hair…though for me it did work best on wet/damp hair.  If you’ve got a TWA, I’d say to consider investing if the price is right and your hair loves a soft moisturizing gentle hold.  The light consistency is perfect for the warmer months, and it helps to cut back on frizz.

 

To visit the Oyin blog and listen to their podcast, click here.  Each podcast unearths a cool discount code that could be used towards your next purchase.

June 15, 2009

Hair Prospects

curlCould it be? I’m posting on time! Well…at the very least, as I type I have EVERY intention of posting this before I head off to lunch. Internet access is still sparse in my parts so I’m making do by sneaking lines and paragraphs wherever I can. The sun barely made an appearance this past weekend…I mean it’s like we inherited the hum drum that is London fog over the past several weeks, with nary a day that we haven’t seen rain. Here’s how I’m taking it…I’m arming myself with a game plan that will consist of up do’s, headbands, and a but load of bobby pins to secure this thing on my head.

I’m blaming it on the weather again, the fact that my body is growing increasingly lazy when it comes to doing my hair each week. The prospect of pre-pooing, washing, conditioning, detangling and styling has honestly felt a bit of a drag lately. My list of ‘things to do’ on my only day off is unfortunately/thankfully growing, but the time it takes to do my hair hasn’t gotten shorter…or easier for that matter. I grumbled a lot this week…even while I pre-pooed with leftover Suave coconut condish, applied my bentonite recipe using marshmallow root powder, nettle powder, ACV, and about three tablespoons of Hairveda’s CoCasta Shikakai Oil. I sat diligently with the mix in my hair for 45 minutes, co-washed with Trader Joe’s Nourish Condish, and detangled at the same time to cut back on time. No DC this week, because apparently I was out! Didn’t realize until the last minute and thought my hair could go without.

Totally-203x151[1]After detangling and separating into twists, cold rinsed then styled with KBB’s Hair Nectar and Afroveda’s Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter Crème, a somewhat lighter take on the Shea-Amla Creme, so I took a chance and found that it held it’s own.   I dried this week using my Soft Bonnet, mostly due to lack of time, and woke up this morning to about 99% dry hair. Much better than last week, and definitely dry enough so I wouldn’t have to worry about potential frizz once I stepped outside. I smoothed some KBB hair cream over the top for a bit of added shine, and pinned my hair instead of first day twist out hair. It was again raining as I stepped outside, so pinning the hair back was a good choice if I intend for the style to last for the rest of the week.

I’m anxious to try my Curly Fro again this week, if the weather plays nice for a change. I did notice though a lot more tangles and knots in my hair…especially over the past few weeks. Strangely, I’ve been able to retain more length over the past couple of months, and my hair has been growing! This is a good thing, because:

a. I’ve finally gained victory over my heat damage fiasco last year &

b. I must be doing something right with my regime, so kudos to me;-).

But the on flipside to more tangles and longer hair means, proper maintenance, i.e. regular trims. One of my fav bloggers, erin over at http://edotrich.blogspot.com/ , got her trim this past week, and it looks FAB! Her stylist managed to keep a nice shape, and not cross the line of scissor happiness. I’m thinking by the end of this month my hair would’ve reached it’s limit…after all there is so much pulling and tugging a Denman brush can do before it’s worn out.  So either I’ll piece together some pennies and bills or do it myself yet again.

 

Alright, off to lunch;-)

June 10, 2009

Later than Never

curlOkay, so this post is late because I’ve just been late with a bit of everything this week. Is it possible to use the word moving without adding chaos to the mix? Yes…No? Well, it’s been a chaotic moving whirlwind on my end over the past couple of days. My workplace is restructuring, and moving office spaces comes with the territory. From lifting and packing boxes last week, to lifting and unpacking crap this week..my arms better look Michelle Obamaish by tomorrow a.m. But Sunday was my rest day AND… me hair day…and because I was feeling a bit feverish with fatigue I opted to keep the process a bit simple…or as simple as natural hair can afford while still looking fabulous;-)!

To keep it simple and hassle free, I stuck to last week’s regime and hoped for the best, Pre-pooed with Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Condish, followed by a co-wash. ACV’d with a bit of Khoret Oil added, then finished with Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming to help alleviate the smell. DC this week was Oyin’s Honey Hemp Condish for 45 min, followed by a cold rinse, styled with KBB’s Hair Nectar & Afroveda’s Shea-Amla Whipped Crème. Clipped the roots down, air dried for 5-6 hours and woke up the next morning to slightly damp twists. I blame it the humidity, but at the same time I completely forgot to remove any excess water from my hair. With the thickness of my hair it’s always a better idea to soak up as much water from hair before applying any styling product.

So the a.m left me with only slightly damp twists…not too disappointing. I applied a bit of KBB hair crème and called it a day. What ended up being the frizz culprit the following day was a string of intense humid temperatures and some freakish rain storms that tore through the east coast. What was initially supposed to look like 2nd day hair, instead reverted to something along the lines of 5-6 day hair….I had poof & volume for days! Still had movement, but had to remoisturize Monday evening with a touch more Shea-Amla Crème. Tuesday night I conditioned the do by simply re-twisting the hair, rolled the twists into tight pinwheel curls and enjoyed a curly fro this morning…a style I genuinely missed because it has the ability to last for days!

Next week will be another bentonite treatment with my root herbs! My hair and scalp seriously thrived after each application, and I definitely felt a slight difference in texture this week. I’m thinking at the very least twice a month with the bentonite, and a slow return to some co-washing (daily or every other day).

 

*I’m late on two fronts. My Oyin Review & my Afroveda Review. All to come when I get the feeling back in my arms;-)

June 5, 2009

KBB’s Friday Love

Ask…and ye shall receive…

 

karen

June 3, 2009

Lucky Winner…

balloons_confetti…of the Shea-Moisture Givaway is…..

kf519!!

E-mail me your address and I’ll snail mail it;-)

 

Thanks to all who e-mailed/commented!! Again, agita is not my thing, so #’s were randomly selected using this handy dandy site, random.org.

 

*shortest post evah! But hope everyone’s well;-)!

June 1, 2009

Luscious Hair

curlWOW! So I’ve been completely Internet free this entire weekend…beginning at 2p.m. Friday afternoon, and I have to say…I was going crazy!  I couldn’t check e-mail, update my Netlfix, check my account balance, update this blog…google conversation tid bits I had at work on Saturday…I was pretty much adrift for 2 1/2 days.  And then again…I survived…popped in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’…washed those dishes….laundry…food shopping…cleaned my place…organized that shelf…cleaned my purse where everything goes to get lost…and washed/deep conditioned/styled my hair!

I had plans to apply yet another bentonite treatment because my scalp has been responding so well to it…but chickened out at the last minute.  I did go ahead with a pre-poo using Trader Joe’s Nourish Condish, an old favorite of mind that works fantastically well whether you’re co-washing or pre-pooing. After applying the Condish, I saturated my hair with H2O, added a bit more Nourish Condish to my scalp and hair to co-wash, then swished in an ACV mix, applicator bottle style…with a bit of hemp oil and Khoret’s Amen Oil.  With some condish still left in my hair, I applied the ACV to my scalp and massaged for a good 5-7 minutes…the extra condish does make the process easier.

maskTo alleviate some of the ACV smell, I finished with Nature’s Gate Tea Trea Calming…massaging into the scalp then throughout the hair.  DC this week was Karen’s Luscious Locks Moisturizing Hair Mask, under a heating cap for 45 minutes.  This was my first time using the mask which I earned during one of Karen’s Freebie Fridays!! It was a 4oz jar that was just enough to cover my entire head, after rinsing I was seriously hearting this condish!

 

Here are the goods from the site:

Conditioning doesn’t get deeper than this because everything you need for your hair is in this jar.  Detangle, soften, strengthen, grow.  Saturate your strands with this rich blend of herbs like shikakai and rosemary which are known to promote hair growth, arnica and nettle to strengthen your hair follicles and aloe for much needed moisture.  It is called Luscious Locks for a reason.

Ingredient wise:

Purified Water, Jojoba & Coconut Oils, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Wax, Shikakai, Amla, Yucca, Horsetail, Nettle & Melissa Extracts, Panthenol, Rosemary Essential Oil, Vitamin E and Natural Enzymes

 

I detgangled quite easily, separating into twists as I went along, cold rinsed then styled with Karen’s Hair Nectar under Afroveda’s Shea Amla Whipped Butter Creme.  I clipped my roots down, but didn’t seal ends with my Hemp Butter because I’m beginning to believe the Shea Amla does a superb job in sealing in the moisture. This week, only addition to my regime was opting to air dry instead of using my soft-bonnet &…. the hair mask which has left me seriously torn!  For $25 you’ll come away with a 8oz jar, but…my PJ budget these days is forcing me to reconsider and find different alternatives…at least for the moment.  Yet it’s still gratifying not to have to search high and low for a DC that would work well with  my hair! Thus far, the serious contenders are my tried and true Curl Rehab & now Karen’s Hair Mask!  This morning after untwisting and separating, I smoothed a generous dollop of KBB hair cream over the top…something that truly makes a difference as far as retaining first day frizz and adding amazing shine!

 

*Shea-Moisture Giveaway update:  So here’s what I was a bit clueless about, the Shea-Moisture Leave-in isn’t readily available at most BSS stores , and because I’m still getting e-mails asking about the leave-in,  I’m extending the giveaway until Wednesday @ 3p.m., so others can still enter to win!

 

BTW…HAPPY JUNE Y’ALL!!