January 30, 2009
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.
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!
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.
This 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 12, 2009
I have to admit, my list of products that I would like to try is getting longer and longer, especially now that my goal this year is to veer more towards hair friendly/hair healthy products. It’s not a difficult course I’ve set for myself, it’s just more so a journey of natural discovery, and requires a different sort of awareness. I consider this a great thing!
For the winter my style of choice is typically a two-strand twist style, or just a twist-out, rockable for a good week or so, and with this style I’m constantly looking for the best product that’ll offer great moisture, hold and if I’m feeling lucky some much needed shine… after all it is winter.
Two weeks ago I visited one of the few beauty supply stores that remained open on New Years Day (this was AFTER visiting my grandmother of course:-) ) and shelled out some money to buy two products that’d been on the list for some time.
The Organic Root Stimulator Lock & Twist Gel was something I thought I could get away with for a pretty simple & quick two strand twist. The product claims to add moisture while leaving a noticeable shine once dry. When I first took note on this gel I did notice the reason why it was so hyped on the boards is because it’s a solid mix of a gel AND a creme! Two lovely factors curlyheads look for because it’s like killing two birds with one stone heaven in a jar;-). After trying and styling my hair with this product I noticed upon drying that my hair began to flake just a tad. The crown on my hair remained intact, but the parts of my hair more prone to dryness began to rebel. It was a bit disappointing because I was cautious NOT to use a hefty amount while twisting and yet the end result left me a bit discouraged. But of course, this is not to say this is the end all if you’re a curly head and this is in your arsenal of products, but…well my take is that it might work best on slightly thinner hair. Once again I have a helmet on my head…a.k.a…this girl has thick hair! So the process of applying a gel/creme mixture might take a bit more chemistry trial and error sessions than this product could offer.
But instead of dwelling on this, I moved on to another cool find on the list! This one’s also a gel, but once again because I’d heard such good things I picked it up. The Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel has one of the best scents for a gel! Forget those chemical, familiar scents that often go hand in hand with the average joe gel, this puppy smells…well it smells like mango’s and limes! I twisted my strands with the gel this past weekend and remain pleasantly surprised two days afterwards! There was certainly moisture and once dry, indeed some noticeable shine! It does have silk proteins listed as one of it’s ingredients, something I’d be careful about building on my hair over time, so for now the verdict can’t be delivered until the unveiling of the twist out, but I’m getting good vibes from the hair gods on this…!
Next up: I’m quite eager to try Curl Junkie’s Coffee Coco Curl Creme! Perhaps it’s time to stick to a creme based styling product for the winter rather than staying in this gel rut I’ve settled into. I’m hoping my hair agrees with me!
January 8, 2009
On the journey to healthy hair, whether you’re a straight head or a curly head, you’re bound to come across advice and product recommendations from those relative to your own experience. What I’ve found with naturally curly hair is that the information received can kind of equal to system overload….a lot of the time…lol! So to cut down on the things that I should try list, I long decided to really just kind of adhere to products that I’ve heard mentioned more than a handful of times, either by word of mouth or through the hairforum boards that are out there.
So before the new year was over my roomate and I decided to take a walk to a sort of infamous whole foods store in our neighborhood named Back to the Land. It’s a nifty little place that’s on a much smaller scale than the global chain store, but nonetheless you can find credit, and talkworthy products here at reasonable prices. Most if not all the products are natural and/or organic which means nothing but good vibes and hopefully good hair.
My goal was to initially to pick up the Qhemet Biologics Amla heavy creme in order to moisturize and lock my twists. But because of the holiday they were officially out of stock:-(
But plan B…yeah! I instead picked up another product on my list, the Honeybush Tea Soft Hold Gel! My review on this should be simple because…well gels are gels right? They slick back, mold up, and keep into place all those stray hair pieces that annoy. But while the consistency of this does add up to a gel, the lightness of it sort of puts it into a whole other category….a good thing in my opinion!
It’s a SOFT GEL. Which means soft hold…yah…it’s winter here in NYC so that’s why I feel the need to emphasize this to myself. My hair in it’s thickness and density definitely needs more weight in the winter than this gel could offer which is why I’m placing it in the stash for summer products. The gel defines my curls and moisturizes better than most out there, but I could not in the future use it for twists. Once I began twisting, there was hardly any hold left to secure the ends, something that I consciously look for if in fact I look forward to a twist out the next week.
I also wish I’d discovered this gel when my hair was freshly BC’d…essentially this would be a killer product for a simple wash and go! It’s light, the fragrance is not too strong and particulary in the summer, a little would go a long way because of the amount of moisture it packs into it.
Next up, I’m still quite eager to try the Amla heavy creme! Their website is currently down for inventory but I’ll try my luck at one of their distributors in the coming days and post a review then:-)