Note the full size bottles. I can't do samples *shrugs*.
I knew it'd be ridonculously humid in Rio and that I'd be here for a minute, so I packed accordingly. I'd rather have a heavy bag and product to spare, than to be looking like Martin from that episode (that I saw recently for some reason, lol) where he runs off and joins a cult... with his hair all half braided. So without further ado, the winning products and why they made the cut-
Redken's Smooth Down Butter Treat- An overpriced (18 got damn dollars) deep conditioner that I've been using for about a month now. I like the fact that I can get it on the ground and love the fact that it rinses clean while leaving me with detangled, smoother, softer, stronger feeling hair. I first read about it on LongHairCareForum years ago, and while (unnecessarily) perusing the hair aisle at CVS a few weeks back, felt compelled to put it in my cart and I'm happy I did! I've learned that if my hair is saturated with moisture during the washing and styling process, that it is less likely to pull from the atmospheric moisture, which prevents shrinkage, rough cuticles, frizz and tangling. For those of you that enjoy a product that works double duty, the directions claim that you can also leave a little in if you're super dry.
AG Fast Food- A leave-in recommended to me by the one and only Wanda Sykes. I tried it two weeks ago (gifted) and was surprised at (1) how much hold it has on it's own, (2) how moisturized it left my hair, and (3) how little I needed for it to be effective. Slip for days! I use it alone or underneath the Ouidad Hydrafusion. I love this stuff!
Ouidad Hydrafusion- Y'all already know how I feel about this one. I love that the ingredients, upon research, are supposed to really help to stave off the rough, dry, swelled hair thing I get from humidity. So far so great! It's super moisturizing, smooths and holds without that icky crunchy feeling. Also, neither the Hyrdrafusion nor the Fast Food contain glycerin (at least not in the top 5)... I avoid it because of my highly porous hair, it only adds to the 'swell'. See THIS ARTICLE for more deets.
Mineral oil- I know, I know... you're like, 'nikki, shut your mouth when you're talking to me'. But look...
It was that first article that pushed me right over the edge. I bought a bottle of cosmetic grade (for 3 dollars... 8 ounces! What?!) mineral oil and I promise you, hand over my heart, my ends, my hair, has retained more moisture than ever before. My Twist-n-Curls usually dry out after 2-3 days and I've been successfully getting to day 4 and 5 without the need to re-moisturize. It smooths my strands, adds shine, locks in moisture and also helps with humidity... all without being greasy or heavy. I'm super lighthanded and haven't had any difficultly washing it out with a milder, cocobetaine containing 'poo (like Elucence or Giovanni).
CURLS Curlicious Cleansing Cream- I've tried many 'cleansing' creams and to say that I've been less than impressed is an understatement. They usually go on rough, suds too much or too little and sadly, I find that many leave me feeling gunky and oily or just the opposite, totally stripped. This was the first cleansing cream that actually did what the product label claims. First of all, it's slippery (yeah for Behentrimonium Methosulfate) and any shampoo that helps to kick off the detangling process is a winner in my book. It removed build-up from my gel with a low-lather and upon rinsing, left my hair feeling clean, soft, moisturized and a bit detangled! I highly recommend this one. The price? A little steep for my taste, but the quality is obviously there. I received the poo from NaturallyCurly.com. While I'm absolutely over the moon, I can't tell you that I'd purchase it. I'd love to find an equivalent product on the ground... and for much cheaper, lol. I wonder if the Curls for Target Curls Creamy Cleansing Cream performs similarly? At any rate, if you're in the market for an effective yet gentle cleanser that adds moisture and aids in detangling, then this one's for you! Oh, and the vanilla fragrance is divine. Two thumbs up!
Below is a pic from last night. Three things to note here- (1) that's Nina, one of the founders of Estimativa... the girl is dope and so is that puff, (2) we walked through the rain, umbrella-less to get to that restaurant, and (3) I'm on day 5 hair... that's hair from BEFORE my Carolina trip and yes, I used the product combo above!
- I apply the Butter Treat in the shower and leave-in during my shower rituals.
- Rinse and detangle under the shower stream
- Wring hair of drippies and allow to air dry for 10 minutes or so
- Apply AG Fast Food (quarter-sized amount to each side) throughout
- Section and twist, applying a pea-sized amount of Ouidad's Hydrafusion to each section
- Add a nickel-sized amount of mineral oil to ends, distributing leftover through the length
- Roll ends on flexis