Posts tagged ‘Chagrin Valley’

September 9, 2009

Holiday Hair

curlI can’t believe it’s already mid-week! I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with Holiday weekends! Rather than start/wash my hair on Sunday this past week, instead pre-pooed Friday evening with Trader Joe’s Refresh Citrus Conditioner, then finished off the last of my Chagrin Valley Olive & Babassu poo bar. DC’d with AOHR OVERNIGHT! I debated whether or not to do this because of the strong smell of the condish, but was much too tired and groggy to twist the hair well into the night. I sectioned, detangled and applied the AOHR, slept with the conditioning cap sealed tight to prevent any leaks, and woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning to cold rinse.

Seriously, the SOFTEST HAIR EVVAH! It’d been well over two years since I did an overnight DC treatment, and considered it a real treat when it came out so amazingly light, soft & manageable. Often times in order for a conditioner/DC to be effective enough to produce significant results, 1-3 hours is ample time for the product to penetrate the hair… but that night you really couldn’t have told me otherwise! I was almost reluctant to apply a leave-in or styler. Almost.

Snapshot_20090907_4My quest to find an adequate twisting gel though left me empty handed at the end of the day. I had TWO picks for a gel, and could find neither at Ricky’s here in NY. I did not want to fall back on old gels that had not worked in the past, so instead I filed home and twisted with Darcy’s Madagascar Crème. Leave-in this week was the Lemongrass Coconut Detangler. The twists were made smaller, and thankfully took much less time to dry.

All in all my holiday hair was very convenient, one day pinning the twists to the side, another day clipping them up with a claw clip.  Snapshot_20090907_1

I regretted taking them down for the rest of the work week, but made a promise that I’d revisit this protective style sometime in the winter, making the parts more even, and perhaps making the twists slightly smaller for better styling.   While the hair was in twists for a few days, they managed to remain very well moisturized, never falling flat.  At night I simply tight with a satin scarf, and donned a satin bonnet to prevent my pillowcase from soaking up the oils from my hair.  Untwisting the hair Tuesday morning, didn’t have well defined curls, instead I had skinny waves all throughout my head, and really there was no need to separate each undone strand.  The twist-out was fresh, meaning the hair was still laying relatively flat against my head, but it had good bounce/body and even today (Wednesday), hair is still very much moisturized and I have not had to apply product at night.





The pics are not the best, my PC camera does not capture the best lighting…next time I’ll use my handheld.  Monday afternoon I clipped my hair up before heading out to visit my Aunt.  I love the look of twists pulled up and away from the face, it really shows the fullness of the hair, and it’s the easiest style to do;-)!

August 26, 2009

Hydrating Process

curlToday was reluctantly back to work day after six GLORIOUS days away from the office.  My batteries weren’t fully recharged, but my mind felt more clear and I went into work today ready to tackle the ‘whatevs’ of a typical work day.  Yesterday, during  my last day off I hunkered down in my place to do my hair, starting well into the a.m., to allow my hair to fully air dry.  A bit odd doing the ‘do’ on a Tuesday rather than a Sunday, yet the luxury of it all was simply taking my time rather than rushing through each step.

I had very little Nature’s Gate Jojoba condish left, but made do by adding some coconut oil and water…shook it up real well until the mix was frothy/creamy, then applied evenly throughout my hair. Gently rinsed half of the condish out the hair, then applied my poo bar, (Olive & Babassu by Chagrin Valley). DC’d  and detangled this week with Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose condish for two hours under a conditioning cap.  I’m finding that leaving the conditioner in my hair past the 1 hour mark makes a world of difference in terms of texture & softness after rinsing.  With the AOHR fully rinsed out of my hair, I slowly poured my herbal rinse of Burdock Root, Horsetail Herb & Honey, letting it sit for close to a minute before running cold water over again.

015Styling products used this week were from my last haul, Darcy’s Botanicals Peach Kernel Hydrating Milk  under the Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme.  I finished twisting the entire head of hair by 1:30 in the afternoon, sat in front of my floor fan to speed up the drying, and chilled for the rest of the day.  Once all twists were fully dry…’round 10ish or so in the p.m. I applied my oil infusion directly to my scalp using the medicine dropper purchased at the Container store.  The oil is surprisingly soothing on my scalp and added great sheen to my roots after applying.  I have target areas throughout my scalp that I tend to focus on when applying topical products, areas that are more prone to dryness and flaking, this is where I concentrated the most during application.  Depending on my scalps continuous reaction to the oil, I’ll reapply 3-4 times a week, sort of prep work for the fall/winter season when the dryness factor is harder to contain. 

The Darcy’s Haul included a lovely sample from Lysandra!  I couldn’t find it on either her Etsy site or her regular domain, so I’ll take a guess and say it’s something that’s in the works for her styling/conditioning line.  It’s a ‘Sweet Cream Daily Leave-In Conditioner”, and it smells YUMMY! I’ve been sniffing it ever since the box arrived, but still can’t place the scent.  I’m workin on it though…once I nail it I’ll keep you guys informed.  It’s a pretty nifty sample size that I’m anxious to try in the next week or two. 

*Full Review of the Peach Kernel Hydrating Milk to come!

*My Flickr account has been acting all kinds of crazy over the past couple months, so I’ve essentially lost control over uploading new pics.  But here are a few small shots of my hair after a days wear in the NYC humidity using the Madagascar Vanilla Creme.  You can click on the image to enlarge (please disregard duplicates, WordPress is a bit challenging at times;-)!


August 17, 2009

CocoLatte & me

curlSo, you know that thing that happens when you wash your hair late into the afternoon, finish styling it while the sun goes down, wait for it to dry…realize that it won’t be dry by the time your head hits the pillow, but still pray that the morning will be different?  Yes…no?   This ‘thing’ has happened on several occasions and the only remedy I found is to just grin and bear it.  It’s all about understanding the inevitable…

CocoLatte3-208x151I pre-pooed with Nature’s Gate Jojoba condish followed by my Chagrin poo bar (Olive Babassu), then  DC’d  with AOHR.  Final rinse w/ my Burdock Root/Horsetail mix.  Hair was INCREDIBLY soft this week.  I had serious ‘hand in fro’ issues even before styling.  I really *heart* my AOHR…left it in longer than usual this week ( two hours), which might’ve contributed to the added softness.  Styled this week with KBB hair milk under Afroveda’s CocoLatte Moisture Mask, a combo I’ve used before with so so results.  This week was no different.  Applying the CocoLatte, I felt my hair  was well moisturized, similarly to when I’d apply all the other Afroveda butters, yet after drying, the CocoLatte left my hair less shinny…actually not shinny at all…and unfortunately left a trace of residue at my roots that I was forced to pick away/melt together with my fingers in the a.m.  The plan this week was to tactually try to use LESS of the mask in my hair, being cautious of over-moisturizing, thinking this might have caused the dryness and lack of shine.  Yet after unraveling the twists this morning I’m seriously thinking of retiring the mask to the naturallycurly swap boards.

Granted, my hair was 90% dry this morning, the slight dampness might’ve been a factor, yet I’m still willing to bet my hair and the CocoLatte don’t have a bright future.  After using and loving the Shea-Amla & the Curly Custard, I was placing all bets on the mask, hoping to add it to my arsenal of go-to products.  I’m honestly all out of go-to products! My stash has slowly depleted over the past few weeks…a VERY good thing, but now my PJ radar is making a beeline for every checkout/BSS. Last week I reordered some Darcy’s Botanicals….a few old goodies & some new products I’m eager to try!


pretty purple



Last week I did manage to find my way back to the Anthropologie sale to snag another hair goodie! The pic doesn’t do it justice at all, thanks to my poor photography skills, but it’s a precious purple with fringe accents for the flower.  The band itself is black and is easy to hide if you decide to wear your hair out and about.  Might just have to christen it tomorrow for work considering the temps are bound to reach well into the 90 degree mark. The heat makes me tired/restless/ and a smidge lazy…lol! I DO NOT look forward to twisting my hair up for work tomorrow, so I’m going to pineapple the sucker by pulling it waaaaay up into a loose knoose bun and hope for the best in the a.m. 😉

August 3, 2009

Moisture Patrol

curlAlrighty, so nothing fancy this week.  The only thing left to concentrate on that’s been placed atop my ‘hair to do’ list, is how to maintain moisture well throughout the week.  Oddly enough, this has never been a problem for my hair during the Summer/warmer months.   In the past I’ve been able to rock wash-n-go’s with no thought to weather or any other bizarre factor.  This past Saturday though, I finally did my first wash-n-go using some leftover condish….the end result was…well the result left me 30 minutes late for work and my hair in a pulled back bun.  Sunday morning I awoke to a tangled nest of dry hair…again.  Lately my hair refuses to remain moisturized in between washes causing a bit of breakage if I’m not careful with my HIFS.

islandIn order to replenish the moisture that I’d lost over the cost of the week, I pre-pooed with AOHR mixed with water (about 3 tblsp mixed with about 80z water), massaged in, then applied my Chagrin Valley Shampoo Bar (Olive Babassu). 

Rich, mild, and moisturizing! For centuries, Mediterranean woman have relied on olive oil to help maintain radiant hair. A gentle oil rich in oleic acid, olive oil easily penetrates and makes your hair shiny, silky, and lustrous. Olive oil promotes full-bodied hair and a healthy scalp. Emollient rich, deeply nourishing babassu oil moisturizes and restores hair strength and elasticity, for strong, soft, silky, shiny, healthy-looking hair. Made with 25% unrefined shea butter which absorbs quickly into the scalp to provide deep nourishment for the hair shaft, as it moisturizes and softens dry, dull, or damaged hair; resulting in improved luster and manageability. Particularly beneficial for processed, overworked hair, shea butter is an excellent treatment for dry scalp and is also believed to help promote new hair growth.

I worked in a pretty good lather before lightly rinsing.  DC this week is a newbie from the Aubrey Organics family, Island Naturals.  I headed to Vitamin Shop to stock up this week and realized that I hadn’t yet sampled this condish that’s geared towards ‘dry’ ‘frizzy’ hair.  It claims to detangle, control & define without weighing down hair.  It’s also a replenishing conditioner with Almond Protein (strengthens hair fiber)  as one of it’s active ingredients.

Instant moisture-replenishing conditioner and detangler puts your hair at ease, restoring manageability and sheen with rich plant butters.  Leaves lengths silky-smooth and softens and defines curls without weighing down the hair.

To be honest, the Island Naturals is giving my lovely Honeysuckle Rose a run for it’s money.  Differences between the two aren’t terribly striking…the Honeysuckle Rose aims to heal dry ‘brittle’ hair while the Island Naturals wants to smooth & condition dry ‘frizzy’ hair.  The Island Naturals has jojoba butter & organic coconut milk, while the Honeysuckle Rose boasts Oranic Aloe & Honeysuckle Oil.  The selling point for me…seriously after TEN minutes of debating back and forth…was the almond protein.  I hadn’t used a protein conditioner in a good moment and figured my hair could withoustand a small amount of repair.

Overall, I fancy this condish because it instantly calmed my flyaway and helped reduce my current frizz situation almost immediately.  After detangling, I left  in for an hour under a conditioning cap then cold rinsed.  My hair was left soft and free of frizz despite the rising temperature in my place!  To style I returned to Darcy’s Botanicals and their Transitioning creme/detangler under the Madagascar Styling creme.  I air dried my twists this week because I had ample time in the day to do so, and unraveled nice, springy, well moisturized hair this morning!  The weather outside had the familiar air of humdity, and thankfully my curls did not droop or frizz up.  Hopefully I can prolong the twist-out for…4 days…six days…?  Fingers crossed;-)

July 27, 2009

Here Comes the Sun + Old Favorite[s]

curlIt’s towards the end of July,  Summer has hurriedly reached it’s halfway mark…and somehow…someway, I still find myself baffled each time I take down my twists after a wash+condition+style cycle.  I’d want to hearken this all to a ‘glutton for punishment’ mindset…me knowing & listening to the humidity forecast before applying my first styling product, yet still floored when ‘poof’ is the only scenario starring me in face.

Alas, this morning I took the final hint, and realized if first day hair comes out looking like five day old hair…it’s still alright.  The blazing sun/heat yesterday tore through my twists to dry them in air fashion, but…maybe a bit too well.  My strands were endlessly parched after taking down in the a.m., leaving me weary of adding any kind of butter/moisturizer/curl cream.

honeywashFinally getting down to the bare bones of my sample poo bar from Chagrin Valley.  My Tea Tree and Neem bar has lasted well over four washes…a plus considering the intial size of the bar and the scope of my hair. Washed with the bar this week, but also decided to use up the palm-ful of Oyin’s Honey Wash leftover from many moons ago.  LUV this stuff for softening & cleansing my hair the only way curly/coily hair should be cleansed…gently/nourishing.  All good stuff.

AOHR, the only conditioner left in sight after the past few weeks of using up the goods.  Detangled, smoothed on condish in sections…twisted, and DC’d for a couple hours while I exited to the laundromat.  Multitasking is the only way I know how to do Sundays, and thankfully my hair was treated to a much deserved DC after nixing on it last week.  Before rinsing, applied old fav ACV to my scalp a ( added Hairveda’s CoCosta Oil), massaged in the scalp…cold rinsed and dug deep to find my old bottle of KCKT.

Applied KCKT, under Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding.  After the twists were fully dry,  the ends were a bit dry/under-moisturized, sealed with Afroveda’s  Ginger Almond Twist Butter.  The ‘do’ this morning  was less moisturized than what I’d been used to after using the KCKT + Donna Marie Combo.  HUMIDITY!!

How does one argue with your hair… to lay right, suck in that moisture…but not too much! Stay low…avoid the frizz, play nice with the other coils.  I can’t…and as I type…my place has  suspicously reached Sauna like temperatures.  Here’s to whatever tomorrow will bring;-)!


Edit:  After perusing some old posts, I did notice the same problem after using  KCKT + the lock twist pudding.  A combo of excessive humdidty with these two probably…not a good thing?!  

July 20, 2009

Darcy’s Botanicals Review

curlI interrupt my sabbatical (hi y’all!) to bring you an ABSOLUTE must in product reviews.  →Last week my wallet and I finally broke down and bought a new laptop, so my lovely bambina filled with RAM and gigabytes should be arriving in the coming days;-)!! ←But, you know what…this past week something bit me…and it was something I hadn’t felt in a good while because of my economical defunct status. My focus over the past few weeks has been to consciously use up, re-purpose most of the products I already have in my PJ stash. The goodies I’ve been able to find have really made me smile…well, half because I was finally starring at the disposition of being a product junkie, and the other half mostly had to do with the kid in me…continuing to find something new each time I dug my hands in to pull something out. A small thrill really, because I’m enjoying sampling and using these jars up, finally seeing the empty bottoms!

Anywho, ignore my will to ramble and let me bring to light the goodness I’ve found in Darcy’s Botanicals. Last week was what I’d like to call a ‘naught’ week, meaning humidity shumidity was kicking my hair from the backside, so that by Friday afternoon I had to call upon The Process a tad early. Normally my Sunday’s are set aside for this time consuming task, but my ever growing bouffant was seeking too much unwanted attention. The intent though was to keep the process shortest and sweetest by a quick wash with Chagrin Valley’s Neem and Tea Tree Poo Bar. Nixed on any DC because I was already a bit vexed about the idea of detangling my hair after a long day’s work;-). Nonetheless, the chagrin soap moisturized and cleansed my strands quite effectively…enough for me to bust through, using Darcy’s Coconut & Lemongrass Transitioning Crème, and the Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème.



As a fairly light hair crème, the Coconut & Lemongrass was surprisingly effective in detangling the knots and snarls my hair developed over the span of a week. Light, yet a little goes a long way. I’m not a huge fan of the lemongrass scent (great for stir frying, not my hair), yet the coconut made up for it. The crème comes in a sweetly convenient pump bottle, which made detangling breezy, and honestly less messy! With the enormity that is my hair, I’ve gradually developed a routine of not caring what product flies on the wall of my kitchen area or my sink…but this whole ‘pump & apply’ routine I nailed down was snazzy even for me.

I followed with Darcy’s Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème….my new ‘ohm’ product! I had a full 8 oz. jar to play with, which was plenty because again, a shmitz goes a long way. The crème is thick and smells heavenly, truly like some of the best vanilla bean goodies you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. I’m also marginally convinced there’s a hint of bourbon scent as the product site hints to, but you’ll have to be the judge.




Our hand whipped Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme is an all natural hair butter cream for moisturizing, styling and conditioning your natural coils.

It absorbs instantly into hair to replenish much needed moisture, provide softness, sheen & encourages health hair growth.

This highly moisturizing creme is very thick & concentrated so a little goes a long way. It is perfect for type 3-4 naturals:)

It has a very thick concentrated buttercream consistency with the sweet smell of gently infused African Madagascar Vanilla that is truly heavenly! Our customers love the scent. Many say it smells like vanilla ice cream, some say it smells like a sweet bourbon vanilla, depending upon how long we infuse the vanilla:)

Once you try it, you’ll be hooked!


Organic Palm Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Madagascar Vanilla, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Candelilla Wax, Organic Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil and Potassium Sorbate.


The ingredient list is 100% natural + 100% Vegan.  At $12 for a nice sized 8oz jar, this styling crème is pocket friendly and will thankfully last for the better part of a few twisting sessions. Because I wanted to cut down on time, I did make fewer twists, opting still to part the hair into four sections, then continuing to twist each sub-section (about four-5 twists per section). I unraveled each twist the following morning and couldn’t keep my paws off of each well defined, moisturized coil! A good indicator of moisture, at least in my hair, is of course the feel, but most importantly a look that I’d want to describe as vibrant. My natural hair color is a deep brown that burns a bit brighter in the Summer months, and yet there was a richness to my hair after using the crème that was unmistakably due to a higher level of moisture.

And because convenience is always a factor, products from the line can be purchased directly from the site, or if you’re an avid Esty purchaser from there .   The lovely owner, Lysandra has recently unveiled several new goodies, including a detangling Hair Milk and a Deep Conditioning Mask.  To read more great reviews from this line, do check out the fab Amina over @ Coup de Coeur.  One of her Spotlights was on Darcy’s Botanicals, and after her fantastic review I placed my order;-)

July 6, 2009

Back to Basics



Here’s the only way I knew this past weekend to calm my ever ballooning halo/frizz/dry affected hair.

1. Prepoo with Suave Coconut Condish + Hairveda’s CoCasta Shikakai Oil

2. Rinse + Wash w/ Chagrin Valley Neem & Tea Tree Poo/Body Bar

3. Deep Condition w/ Aubrey Organics HoneySuckle Rose ( 20 min under heating cap)

4. Detangle + Cold rinsed, Twist w/ KBB Hair Milk under Afroveda’s Shea-Amla Butter crème.

5. Air Dry

Record time: under 3hrs.


Thankfully, my hair opted out of it’s temporary foolery and reduced the frizz significantly. Also attributed to my lack of halo was a drop in the humidity forecast (hallalujahs!)!! Before deciding to return to the basics though, my feet pandered into Sephora after work to glance at a relatively new line of products geared towards the curly girl. Living Proof.

The Gist:

Whether you’ve got curly cues or stick-straight strands, at some point you’ll be affected by the dreaded frizz—the annoying change in hair texture that takes you from slick to static in any humid situation. But before you crawl under that hat, meet Living Proof, your new frizz-busting BFF that keeps moisture mishaps under control. The brainchild of a talented team of hair aficionados lead by an MIT professor, the goal was to find a breakthrough solution “from a physics standpoint” and not through the standard methods of creating a typical beauty product. Instead of traditional silicone-based solutions, Living Proof set out to create efficient formulas based on entirely new molecules using advanced technology, so your toughest hair challenges are solved from a fresh, new perspective. The result is a comprehensive collection of cutting-edge, humidity-resistant formulas that work for all hair types. Whether you prefer it curly or straight, the road to silkier strands just got that much smoother—and you’re about to see Living Proof.

Sounds almost too good to be true! 

Here’s what caught my eye:

Wave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Treatment for Thick to Coarse HairWave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Treatment for Thick to Coarse Hair

What it is:

A daily treatment for optimum frizz-reduction and conditioning.

What it does:

Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Treatment for Thick to Coarse Hair offers the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years. No Frizz addresses the two causes of frizz—humidity and friction. It provides a superior, extremely thin humidity barrier on hair while reducing surface friction. The result is the most effective, lightweight frizz fighter on the market today. This expert styling secret weapon contains a touchable holding polymer to give your waves and curls added definition. Hair is left sleek and manageable without becoming greasy or heavy.


I’m thinking….I’m thinking….@ $14 for a 2oz bottle…and my massive hair, I had to temporarily pass.  Granted reviews have been more so on the positive end. Added to my product queue for sure…but for now my AOHR + KBB and Afroveda are three gems that are absolute staples my hair can count on in times of frizz.

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.


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.