Posts tagged ‘deep conditioner’

December 7, 2009

Soldier On

Whoa! Winter much? I’m serious, cold fronts are serenading this part of the world in ways that I conveniently forget each year. I’m sloooowly inching closer to a state of preparedness, donned a scarf this morning…and that was all she wrote. I haven’t shopped for a winter hat, gloves, freakishly expensive boots I promised myself I’d save up for earlier in the summer or even sent my best winter coat to the cleaners. My assessment of winter is this: even if I’m not ready, it will come….so there.

A far as the hair, been seriously gearing up for the onslaught of dryness & lack of moisture, so much so that I decided to become friendly with Bentonite a tad early.  All I had in mind this week was alleviating the frustrating irritations and flareups that proceeded my KCCC application.  Pre-pooed with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, rinsed then applied the bentonite mix. I’ve always eyeballed just how much to mix with what, and I did not deviate for what worked in the past. Added to the clay:

  • water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vitamin E Oil (to help with the scarring)
  • Tea Tree Oil ( to soothe the irritated scalp)

Mixed all in a bowl, applied to the hair starting from the back working my way forward.  Hair was initially sectioned into four parts to make my life easier, and donned a conditioning cap for an hour 1/2. Definitely felt the tingle from the Tea Tree….heaven!!  After rinsing hair was noticeably shinny and clean, not stripped. Regardless though, I was eager to DC  due to the incessant  rain pounding on the roof and lack of good television.  Used KBB’s Deep Conditioner for an hour or so, rinsed then began styling with Darcy’s Botanicals Leave-In Conditioner under the Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme. Air dried and slept using my semi-baggy method to conserve moisture. Didn’t add spritzes or oils to hair, instead just placed the conditioner cap over the dry twists and secured it with a satin bonnet. This method has worked fairly well over the past few weeks & with the colder temps outside it was just what my hair needed.

This morning the twists were undone and moisturized enough to fight the dirty winds of another Monday.  My main concern while walking to the train this morning was the how’s of finding a good hat worthy enough to fit into my winter attire, but also be natural hair friendly….preferably with a satin/silk lining.  Time to do some research, and if I can’t find anything…I will have to enlist the help of Grandma and her workable hands.  If affixing a satin/silk lining to ALL my hats is the solution…I’m game.

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:

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 11, 2009

De Ja Vous Conditioner


Nu Yawk!

Nu Yawk!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 9, 2009

The Process

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

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

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

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

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

January 9, 2009

BioInfusion Deep Conditioner



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

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


Basically, all good…right?


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

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


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


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

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