Bunch of Enablers...


Happy Easter!!!

It's 4/12...which is exactly a month away from my 26th Birthday!! Hint, hint ;)

Question of the day:

If you met a fellow Natural or 'soon to be' on the street, and only had a couple of seconds to recommend 2 products...which would you choose, and why? What are your top 2 picks for 2009...thus far ;)

My 2 Recs':

-Henna..duh :) For strength, volume, and all around flyness.
-DevaCare One Condition for styling and lots of moisture

Dish Divas...that way, we can all go to the store armed!

AuNaturale's HPO Spa Treatment Product Review

Spa Hair Conditioner:

http://www.hpospatreatments.com/products/spa_hair_conditioner.php

Ingredients: Honey, avocado, wheat protein, distilled water, vitamin A & E, ginger herb, organic lactic acid, and HPO essential oil blend.

Review: I absolutely LOVE this conditioner!!! First, it has a wonderful lemony-citrus type of smell. Not only does the conditioner smell great, but the ingredients are amazing. Overall, I found that this conditioner really penetrates the hair shaft, providing great slip, shine, and moisture that lasts long after rinsing it out. As it was drying, my hair felt like it was covered with a thick moisturizing coat. For me, no other conditioner ever made my hair feel that moisturized.

Twisty Locs:

http://www.hpospatreatments.com/products/twisty_locs.php

Ingredients: Shea butter, jojoba oil, honey, vitamins, and HPO essential oil blend.

Review: I love using shea butter on my hair. But, in the past, I have only used SheaMoisture Shea Butter Leave-In, which is whipped. Twisty Locs is the hard kind of shea butter that you have to dig out of the container and emulsify in between your fingers. For me, that took some real getting used to since I had never used that kind of shea butter before. Through trial and error (which I’ll discuss below), I finally got the hang of it. I’ll just say a little goes a long way! The big drawback is that Twisty Locs can leave your hair really greasy if you use too much, which isn’t hard to do. It took me a few tries to figure out how much is enough for my hair and how to avoid the greasy side effect. Aside from that, Twisty locs provides excellent moisture and curl definition. It’s also an excellent sealant. Lately, I’ve been applying it to the length of my hair when I do twist outs and I use it to seal my ends. When I take out the twists, my hair feels really soft and it has sheen. As an end sealant, Twisty Locs really enhances the curl at the ends of my twists. It also has a wonderful smell! In my opinion, it smells like SweetTarts. That might bother some people, but I love SweetTarts, so I liked getting an occasional whiff of my hair smelling like candy throughout the day!

Trial and Error: Here are my failed and successful attempts in using the Spa Hair Conditioner and the Twisty Locs.

Attempt #1 Failed T-n-C:

The first time I tried to do the T-n-C using these products, it was an absolute disaster! Here’s what I did:

  • Shampooed with my usual Aubrey Organics J.A.Y. Desert Herb

  • Conditioned and detangled using AO Honeysuckle Rose.

  • After rinsing out the conditioner, I got out the shower, put my hair in 4 sections, and raked some of the HPO Spa Hair Conditioner through each section until completely saturated.

  • The directions on the back of the container say for “normal treatment” to only leave the conditioner on for 5 minutes. After combing the conditioner through, I waited 5 minutes, then washed it out. My hair felt wonderful with the thick moisturizing coat I talked about earlier.

  • When I got out of the shower, I sectioned off my hair again. I let my hair air dry a little and then applied a small amount of Hello Hydration to each section.

  • Then I twisted my hair using the Twisty Locs. Again, I wasn’t used to using hard shea butter. Most hair products come in a whipped or cream type form, and when you put it on your hair, your hair initially feels heavy and wet until it starts to dry. The hard shea butter was the exact opposite. When it melts in your hands or between your fingers, it looks and feels like actual butter. It goes on very light. When I used Twisty Locs in this attempt, I kept piling it on my hair before twising because I was waiting for the wet, saturated feeling. The hard shea butter doesn’t do that…and it really wasn’t going to do it that time since my hair was still damp and I already put the Hello Hydration on it.

  • Anyway, I finished the T-n-C as usual.

The next day, when I took my hair down, it looked terrible. My curls were limp and stretched out. On top of that my hair was heavy and SUPER greasy. All I could do with it at that point was pull my hair back in a ponytail or bun. My hair looked so bad that I didn’t even bother taking pictures of it.

Attempt #2 Wash n’ Go:

So after about three days, I couldn’t take my hair anymore. Not only was it greasy and lacking curl, but (and I hate to admit this) the SweetTart smell was starting to get a bit overwhelming for me. The smell was really heavy and prominent. I could literally smell my hair every time I turned my head. At first, it was cool, but after awhile it got to be annoying. So, it was clear to me that I used way too much of the Twisty Locs…but I was determined not to give up on these products. I decided to start all over and try again with just a simple wash n’ go.

I shampooed as usual, but instead of conditioning with the HSR, I just used the Spa Conditioner. After I got out the shower, I put my hair in four sections again, and applied the Twisty Locs to each section using the raking/shingling method. I paid more attention to how much shea butter I used this time. Because my hair wasn’t already coated with other conditioners, I was better able to gauge how much shea butter was enough for my hair…it was much less. I was really pleased with the results and my hair wasn’t greasy:

Attempt #3 Successful T-n-C:

After the successful wash n’ go, I left my hair alone for about a week. During that time, I thought about the mistakes I made in the last T-n-C attempt. I realized that my hair was limp & greasy because it was over conditioned and supersaturated. First, I used way too many conditioners. The HPO Spa Conditioner already leaves the hair more moisturized than the average conditioner…then I went and used two more conditioners on top of that! With respect to the Twisty Locs, it dawned on me that even though the hard shea butter went on very light, when it dries, it can leave the hair very heavy. With those mistakes in mind, I decided to give it one more try.

Here’s what I did the second time:

  • Shampooed with AO JAY Desert Herb

  • Conditioned and detangled with AO HSR

  • After rinsing, I sectioned my hair and applied the Spa Conditioner

  • Put a plastic cap over my hair and sat under the dryer for about 30 minutes for a deep treatment (Keep in mind, the directions on the back of the conditioner say the following: “FOR A DEEPER TREATMENT: Wrap hair in a warm towel and place plastic cap over towel, leave in hair for 8 minutes. Rinse with tepid water. No dryer needed.” Clearly, I’m hard-headed. I decided to do the complete opposite of the directions just see how it would turn out.)

  • I did this on the spur of the moment really late one night, so 30 minutes under the dyer started to put me to sleep. So I decided to go to bed. I didn’t rinse the conditioner out and left the plastic cap over my head.

  • The next morning, I rinsed out the conditioner, sectioned my hair and then twisted using the Twisty Locs. I finished my hair doing the usual T-n-C procedure.

  • In any other T-n-C, I always let my hair dry overnight. But since I was doing this the following morning, I didn’t have time to wait for my hair to air dry. So I decided to sit under the dryer again. I sat under the dryer for about an hour and 30 minutes.

I just knew I was going to have the same disastrous results as before because I left the Spa Conditioner in my hair over night and completely disregarded the directions for deep treatment. But I was pleasantly surprised with the results:

I noticed that by sitting under the dryer the second time, the heat dried my hair such that it got rid of the greasiness, but still locked in the moisture from the Twisty Locs shea butter.

So, to recap, here are my final thoughts:

HPO Spa Conditioner:

Pros:

  • Wonderful ingredients

  • Great smell

  • Excellent slip

  • Detangles well

  • Most moisturizing conditioner I’ve ever used

Cons

  • Price—As much as I love this stuff, I don’t know if it’s worth paying $22 for 8 oz.

Twisty Locs:

Pros:

  • Very moisturizing

  • Leaves the hair soft and adds sheen

  • Provides great curl definition

  • Love the candy smell

  • Good as a sealant

  • Even though it only comes in 4 oz., you don’t have to use much and it lasts a long time

  • Truly lives up to its name in that it’s a good product for twisting

Cons:

  • Comes as a hard shea butter (can be hard to get used to if you’re accustomed to using the whipped kind)

  • Can leave the hair with a greasy film

  • Smell can be over bearing if you use too much

Post Spa Hair:

Just thought I’d share one last story. The same day I did the second T-n-C, I had an appointment to go to the spa that afternoon. It was my first time going to the spa, and I was going to get a massage and a facial. Little did I know that scalp massages were a part of the package. During the entire massage, I had been so careful about how I was laying so I wouldn’t crush my curls. So as I’m relaxing and the masseuse is massaging my neck, he slowly starts moving his hands (which are covered in oils and lotions) into the depths of my scalp! As he’s massaging, he’s pulling my curls…I was NOT happy! I wish someone could have taken a picture of the shock on my face. After the massage was over, I went to the next room for my facial. I asked the woman who was going to do my facial if she wanted me to put my hair up so it would be out of her way. Her response was, “No, that’s okay. I’m going to give you a scalp massage at the end anyway.” WTF?!!! Once again, someone should have taken a picture of my face. While the facial was heavenly, I just knew that my hair was going to look a hot mess. As this woman had her hands in my hair, all I could think was “all my hard work, down the drain.” But when I got up and looked in the mirror at the end of the facial, I was really surprised. My hair didn’t look too bad. Actually, the scalp massages fluffed my hair out more.

While my hair looked better than I expected, I still don’t like the fact that these people put their hands in my hair. If I ever get a massage or facial in the future, I’ll be sure to make sure there are no scalp massages.


***If you have a product review that you'd like to share with us, submit it to [email protected]

Hello Hydration-Day 3 Hair

You know your hair is a bit more than a hobby when you count the days of the week by how long you've gone in between styling sessions. Craziness. Today, my hair was slightly frizzier and I decided to rely on my trusty headband. This is the only one I've found that doesn't induce a migraine.

Last night I applied Shea Butter to my ends, and slept with my hair out. Easy Peasy :)

In honor of henna week, I plan to do a treatment this weekend...probably tomorrow night. This time, I plan to style with Hello Hydration+DevaCare One, instead of using HH alone, to achieve a bit more hold. I'll keep you divas posted.

In other unrelated news, a very gracious CurlyNikki reader donated a box full of new and barely used products to be given away to YOU. Among the goodies are a full bottle of DevaCurl Conditioner and Heaven in Hair, Shea Moisture Shea Butter Leave-in, Oyin and Sheaterra products, and many more! I will also have a bottle of Oyin's Greg Juice up for grabs :-)

Stay tuned!

Later Gators,
Nik



Prettysunshyne's Lustrasilk Results

Hi Nik,

I finally tried the Lustrasilk! I'm really pleased with my results..I didn't use the mango and shea one because the grocery store near me didn't carry it. So I used the one with carrot oil. These pics are like 3 day old hair...I love how full it looks. I re-twisted each night with EVCO (to cut down the frizz). Just wanted to share my results...:o)

Prettysunshyne



Aussie Moist Conditioner


Two of my favorite curly friends, HeatherNicole, and Naturally Leslie, gave Aussie Moist a rave review, and told me to check it out. So, me being the raging PJ I am, purchased a bottle yesterday...despite the fact that I already own 4 family sized bottles of Hello Hydration! The ingredients resemble my beloved Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, even down to the modified cone. In a previous article I discussed what sets amodimethicone and other similar molecules, such as bis-aminopropyl dimethicone, and trimethyl silylamodimethicone, apart from other cones. According to Tonya McKay of NaturallyCurly,

"Amodimethicone and other similarly modified silicone polymers are considered to be among the best high-performance conditioning polymers currently available to the hair-care product formulator. They provide many unique benefits, including the following:

  • Provide deep conditioning
  • Provide targeted conditioning to areas of particularly damaged hair
  • Protect from thermal damage
  • Increase color retention
  • Resist build up
  • Impart gloss and shine
  • These modified silicones seem to be of particular benefit for those of us with damaged hair, permanently colored hair or those concerned about the buildup of conditioning agents .
When using Aussie Moist, or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, you will need to shampoo to completely remove the cone. Luckily, you won't have to resort to the dreaded lauryl sulfates- shampoos with cocamidopropyl betaine will suffice. Remember, I use Giovanni 50/50 or Tea Tree shampoo from Target or Whole Foods. I shampoo bi-weekly, sometimes less if I've used Bentonite.

I put Aussie to the test the same way I've done previous ones. I loaded up one side of my head with Hello Hydration, and the other half with Aussie Moist. I let it sit while I handled my shower-time duties, then proceeded to detangle. Both sides felt identical! Aussie Moist, like Hello Hydration, made detangling a breeze. It was super slippery, creamy (a bit creamier/heavier than Hello Hydration), and smelled heavenly. I give it two thumbs up and definitely recommend it. I've never used Hello Hydration as a leave-in due to it's nuclear blue color...I don't know...its just weird to me. The clean white color of Aussie Moist may lead to some leave-in experimentation in the near future. I'll keep you gals posted.

Bottom Line: If you're a Hello Hydration girl, this one is worth a try. It smells great, has excellent slip, and is very moisturizing. It's slightly thicker than Hello Hydration, so I added a bit of water post application to thin it out a bit. All in all, it's a great, cheap conditioner. A curly can NEVER have too many detangling conditioners.

Ingredients: water, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, glutamic acid, fragrance, bis-aminopropyl dimethicone, benzyl alcohol, edta, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, ecklonia radiata (australian sea kelp) extract, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice extract.

Price: $3.69/13.5oz bottle

Give 'em the SLIP!

Happy Monday!

While detangling my hair yesterday, I used the last of my Kinky Curly Knot Today before I could get through the rest of my head. So, I ended up detangling with KCKT on the right side, and Hello Hydration on the left. If you remember my product trial from a while back, it was definitely a similar situation- I was able to compare two 'detangling' conditioners side by side for slip (that sea-weedy feeling that eases detangling) and moisture. Needless to say, both conditioners detangled extremely well, but the Hello Hydration imparted far more moisture.

So, for everyone's reference, please leave your favorite slippery conditioner in the comment section below. I'm always down for trying out a new detangling conditioner, especially one that gets an awesome review from one of you gorgeous gals!

Here's my list:

Definite Re-purchase:
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
Paul Mitchell or Generic The Detangler

Great detangler but probably won't repurchase:
Kinky Curly Knot Today
TIGI Moisture Maniac

That's all I got for now...if I think of more, I'll come back and post :)

Later and don't work too hard today!
Nik

Even More Lustrasilk Results...

Hi Nikki,
I thought I would share my lustrasilk results since I LOVE it so much! Since I am in love with curlynikki's hair I always try to mimic her hair styles, so of course I found myself to the nearest beauty supply. I live in Canada so I actually paid 4.99 for my jar of Lustrasilk but that is still a steal to me!
I co-washed with hello hydration and saturated my hair with Lustrasilk shea and mango conditioner (and just a tiny bit of deva care one). I sealed my ends with Shea butter and twisted my hair. My hair is ridiculously soft (which is unheard of for my hair) and so shiny! I had some serious hand in hair syndrome today. Lustrasilk, I love you and you will be my new staple!!!
I have attached some pictures of my twistout!
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us all!
CurlyTrini




Lustrasilk vs. Cantu Shea Butter

Mytia graciously shared her results with us! Check it out:

I did a twist out with Lustrasilk Mango out this weekend. I washed and did a DT with AOHSR, rinsed and used Lustrasilk Mango and Unrefined Shea Butter to seal my ends. I really like the results. I have been wearing it since Saturday and it was held up pretty good; it is a little bigger than it was on day one, but I don’t mind that. I have been using the Cantu Shea for my twist outs but the Lustrasilk is cheaper (and every nickel counts in this recession ;->). Another thing I like about Lustrasilk vs Cantu is the LS goes on clear for the most part, the Cantu goes on white so you have make sure you have no clumps or they will show when it dries. I twisted all the way to the end and did not use rollers because I am lazy. Thanks again for this tip. Here are my comparison pix (Cantu pix are on top row).

LegallyNatural's Lustrasilk Results

LegallyNatural, a CurlyNikki subscriber, submitted a short review and pictures of her experience with Lustrasilk Shea Butter and Mango conditioner. Check it out:

"I have attached some pics of my twist and curl with the Lustrasilk shea butter and mango conditioner. I co-washed with Pantene relaxed and natural conditioner, used the Lustrasilk shea butter and mango conditioner as a leave-in, and sealed my ends with shea butter. The results are nice. It just takes my hair so darn long to dry, so some of the ends were still damp and are now frizzy (especially in the back). Other than that, I LOVE IT!"



Lustrasilk Results-I Likey

Happy Sunday!

I was going to attempt to keep my twists in until tomorrow morning, but the anticipation got to me! Lustrasilk gets 2 thumbs up! My hair feels soft and product-free...no film here :D It imparted shine, moderate moisture, and a light hold (which may have been enhanced by the Oyin Juice). I'm very impressed. The only flaw is the lack of slip. It has a little, but the thick and creamy consistency of it would lead you to believe that it 'should' detangle like a dream. I think DevaCare still wins in the moisture and slip categories. However, shiny, moist, frizz-free hair, for less than 3 dollars is truly amazing, and Lustrasilk will become a mainstay in my routine. Lustrasilk + Oyin Juices and Berries is a winning team in my book. I sealed the wet ends with Naturally Me Body Butter, and re-sealed this morning with 100% Pure Shea Butter. The pics below are of my hair an hour ago, pre-fluffing.





I Used
Oyin Juices and Berries

Lustrasilk Shea Butter (only I have the shea+mango...same thing)

Dayum! 3 dollars...For Reals?!

Seriously...sometimes I need to back away from my laptop. I'm such a PJ.

While browsing on NaturallyCurly.com, I ran across this thread: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=67182


Ingredients: Water, Stearamidopropyl, Dimethylamine, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Shea butter, Mango Seed Butter, Cholesterol, Soybean Oil, Safflower Oil,Wheat GermOil, aloe VeraExtract, Fragrance, Vitamin E, Methyl Paraben Propyl Paraben, Phosphoric Acid Sodium Chloride DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Yellow #5, Yellow #6

Apparently, lots of curly divas are using Lustrasilk SheaButter Cholesterol as a leave-in. Yes, the Lustrasilk from the Ethnic Section of Sally's Beauty Supply! I used this back in the day as a DT, but never thought to leave it in. I don't know why I stopped using it....maybe I thought it was too cheap to be good, lol. Anyway, curlies are using this as a leave-in, and getting shine, body, and definition. It's protein and mineral oil free and costs less than 5 dollars. I'm literally going to get dressed and run to Sally's as soon as I publish this post!

I plan to try this in place of DevaOne this weekend. Have any of you tried it? If you have, or are planning to, please let me know your results! I'd love to have a 3 dollar staple.

Later Gators,
Nik

My New Sealing Routine

I'm so excited! Not only is it Friday, but I think I've stumbled upon a HG status sealing regimen.

This is my third experience using Oyin's Juices and Berries (the same make-up as Frank Juice, with a summery sweet smell), and NaturallyMe's Body Butter to seal the ends of my wet twists. My Twist-n-Curl sets are in heaven, and lasting for upwards of 4 days without drying out. This is major!! My ends are glorious, even the fragile color treated ones...like silk rope.

Oyin's Juices and Berries- Liquid Leave-in Conditioner

Ingredients: Purified water infused with horsetail, lavender, nettle, roses, and chamomile; organic flaxseeds; aloe vera juice; vegetable glycerine; essences of lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang, and rosemary; grapefruit seed extract; citric acid; fragrance; and love

How I use it:
Frank Juice/Greg Juice/Juices and Berries (all the same, just different fragrance) is surprisingly moisturizing. I'm not a fan of liquid leave-in's but this is a great supplement to my routine. During the detangling process, I spritz J&B on already conditioner saturated hair, to help work out the kinks. After rinsing out the co-wash conditioner, and prior to applying DevaOne as a leave-in, I spritz a little J&B throughout for added moisture. Finally, after twisting my hair, I thoroughly saturate the ends with Juices and Berries and finally seal that in with Naturally Me Body Butter. Roll and Set!

Tips: Don't use too much- you will quickly find yourself in a sticky situation. You can also use this to refresh 2nd and 3rd day hair. Instead of spraying onto my twist-n-curl, which would undoubtedly lead to frizz, I spray it on my fingers, and slick a little on the ends of each individual curl. Works great!

Naturally Me Body Butter

Obviously, the title of this product suggests that it is intended for your body. But one glance at the ingredients, and you quickly come to the realization that this would be the perfect hair butter as well. I've received tons of free hair prodcuts from smaller companies, but this is one of the few that I actually decided to purchase. The consistency is perfect- whipped and smooth, like Shea Butter sent down from the heavens! It melts into my hair, revealing soft, moisturized curls for days on end. The price is DEFINITELY right. You can cop an 8oz jar for only $15.99! Dare I say- I think I like it more than Jane Carter's Nourish and Shine...it's much less greasy and easier to work with, plus its 5 dollars cheaper. A little definitely goes a long way.

Ingredients: Unrefined Shea Butter, Palm Kernel Oil and Essential Oil.

How I use it: After spritzing the hair with J&B, I seal each end with Body Butter. I also use it on 2nd, 3rd and 4th day hair for shine, and to smooth away the frizzies. It offers a light hold, just like 100% shea.

Purchase Oyin's Frank Juice from HERE. Much quicker shipping than buying it directly from Oyin.

Purchase Naturally Me Body Butter from HERE.


In the above pics (4th day hair!!), I employed the following:

  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration to co-wash (Rinse completely)
  • Juices and Berries for added moisture
  • DevaCare One Condition as a leave-in
  • SheaMoisture Shea Butter Leave-in
  • Twist
  • Spritz ends with Juices and Berries
  • Seal ends with Naturally Me Body Butter
  • Roll
  • Set :D
Later Gators,
Nik

Sweet Almond Oil


Sweet Almond oil (SAO) is produced from sweet almonds or Prunus amygdalus. SAO, used as a carrier oil for blending essential oils, is beneficial for the skin, hair, and has overall health advantages as well. It can be used as an effective massage oil, and many use it to treat under eye bags, and eczema. For hair, moisten your fingertips with several drops of almond oil and gently massage the scalp. A comforting regimen, treating the scalp and hair to sweet almond oil, benefits follicles, prevents hair loss, provides shine and strengthens hair. It can also be used as a hot oil treatment. Eating raw almonds also has many benefits- it aids in digestion, keeps the brain healthy, reduces cholestrol and provides a healthy source of fat and protein.

SAO does not penetrate as deeply as other oils (i.e. EVOO, Coconut Oil), and shouldn't be used to 'moisturize' the hair. I use SAO the same way I use Shea Butter- as a sealant. I apply my water based leave-in or moisturizer and seal the wet, moisturized hair, with a very thin layer of the oil.

I have yet to try it on my scalp, but I'm very interested. I'm thinking of incorporating SAO into my weekly Deep Treatment, applying Jessicurl WDT+Aubrey ORganics Honey Suckle Rose, and finally SAO on top. I'll let you know what I think!

Benefits:

  • Nourishes hair and smoothes hair cuticles

  • Makes hair long, strong and thick

  • Massaging with almond oil adds shine to the hair

  • Controls hair fall
http://www.indiaparenting.com/health/data/health37.shtml

I'd be curious to know if any of you have used SAO as a natural remedy to lighten under-eye circles. I have a family member that is interested in trying this, and reading your reviews may encourage her!

The Lovely Serita on Karen's Body Beautiful!


Karen's Body Beautiful Review:
Scent: Lavender Vanilla
Size: 8 ounces

Conditioning Shampoo w/Jojoba Oil:

I washed with the conditioning shampoo and it reminded me of the AO HSR shampoo. It's very moisturizing and created tremendous shrinkage. I liken the shrinkage to the thickness/feel of lamb's wool...lol. You have to be careful not to get it in your eyes because it will sting. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Saponified Coconut & Safflower Oils, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Echinacea, Nettle, Horsetail, Panthenol, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils.

Deep Conditioner w/Panthenol:

Just as much as the shampoo gave me tremendous shrinkage, the deep conditioner loosened my hair like a DREAM! Can you say so much slip that I had to be careful not to slip and fall in the shower? I was like...no Karen didn't!!!(smile). IMO, I used quite a bit and I only purchased the 8 oz. size...ouch!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Wax, Aloe Vera, Echinacea, Nettle, Horsetail, Panthenol, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils.

Moisturizing Hair Milk w/Panthenol:

All I can say is WOW!!! Absolutely unbelievable!!! After towel blotting my hair and applying the hair milk, I knew I'd found an awesome, awesome, product. The hair milk actually detangled my damp/dry hair, like it was a hot knife going through butter, I kid you not! AND no frizz all day, you gotta love that :-).

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba and Avocado Oils, Vegetable Wax, Vitamin E, Panthenol, Arnica and Calendula Flowers, Echinacea, Nettle and Horsetail Exctracts, Vegetable Glycerin, Wheat Germ Oil, Fragrence Oil and Natural Enzymes.

Hair Butter:

After applying the hair milk, I dried my hands (per Richeau's instructions on her YouTube video) and rubbed the hair butter in the palms of my hands until it was melted, then applied it to my hair. I styled my hair in Curly Nikki's infamous Twist 'N Curl and went to bed. When I got up, my hair was SO SOFT and SILKY...and it smelled wonderful! I don't remember my hair EVER feeling like this and I couldn't stop touching it!!!

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Jojoba Butter, Aloe Butter, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils, Grapefruit Seed Oil & Vitamin E.

Luscious Locks Moisturizing Hair Mask:

After I henna'ed and co-washed, I used the Luscious Locks Moisturizing Hair Mask as my DT! Karen did it again, my hair was very soft aftering sitting under the dryer for 30 minutes or so. Karen suggests you use this item once a month.

Ingredients: Purified water; jojoba and coconut oils; vegetable glycerin; vegetable wax; shikakai; amla; yucca; horsetail; nettle and melissa extracts; panthenol; rosemary; essential oil; vitamin E and natural enzymes.

Conclusion:
The above Karen's BB products are a must try. I loved them and I'm willing to make a bet you'll love them too (especially the Hair Milk)! The only "negative" I have is that, IMO, both the conditioner and the hair milk go waaayyy too fast. But on the bright side, Karen has a "Fanatic" 16 oz. size for an additional $8. Well chicas, that's all I have for now. Stay sweet and may God continue to bless!!!


Serita :-)

Nik & Bentonite Clay- A Love That Dare Not Speak its Name


Ummmm....wow. Bentonite has left me totally speechless! I wanted to try it once more before posting this review in order to make sure my initial go round wasn't a fluke. I'm officially swept off my feet.

First things first, what is it?

  • Mineral Content:
    Silica- 61.4%
    Aluminum- 18.1%
    Iron- 3.5%
    Sodium- 2.3%
    Magnesium- 1.7%
    Calcium- 0.04%
    Titanium- 0.02%
    Potassium- 0.01%
    Moisture- 7.8%
    pH - 8.3 - 9.1
  • Bentonite can be applied topically to skin and wounds or taken orally to draw toxins and impurities out of the body quickly. Bentonite Clay removes poisons (bacterial poisoning, salmonella, etc.) and intestinal parasites out of the intestinal tract while alkalizing the body.
  • Bentonite Clay is excellent to rejuvenate and cleanse the skin. Topical applications are helpful for acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, wound healing, and help draw poison from ant, bee, wasp, and similar bug stings and bites. It draws excess oils and debris to the surface, boosts circulation to tighten the skin and stimulate blood flow, and whisks away dead skin cells that can clog pores.
  • Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it is mixed with water, it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.
  • Bentonite Clay may also be used like a shampoo trapping and removing dirt, debris, build up and other particles from your hair and scalp.
Taken from here.

I've slept on this deep claryifying mud for some time now. A natural friend of mine recommended Bentonite about a year ago, and I've read many positive reviews on naturallycurly and longhaircareforum. I 'heard' that bentonite, a mud mask, would leave my hair clean (but not stripped), soft, and defined. I honestly didn't believe it, but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The best part is that upon rinsing, my hair behaved as if I had just henna'ed-looser curls, tons of definiton and lots of body and shine. It felt (and still feels) so soft, almost unreal. I think I'm in love :)

Instructions:

I followed Anita Grant's instructions:
  • Mix 1 to 2 parts Bentonite clay
  • Slowly add *warm water to the clay until you achieve a pancake mix texture.
  • Apply the lumpy mixture to your wet hair in sections (with the same 'smooshing' action I described in the henna vid)
  • Allow to set for between 15 - 20 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly with conditioner, until it's all out of your curls, kinks and coils.
  • Apply leave-in and style as usual (I didn't DT afterwards)
*water can be replaced with your choice of liquid for example:
Organic Coconut Milk
Herbal infusion
or anything you like...

I loved the 5 minute prep, and 20 minute set time! Easy peasy. I haven't henna'ed in more than a month due to scheduling and down right laziness. I'm elated that I've now found something that will produce the smooth results of henna without the time, effort or cost. I'm planning to do both treatments once a month, spacing them out bi-weekly.

Key things to remember:
  • Do not let the mixture dry on your hair- I used a plastic baggie the second time
  • Use conditioner to rinse thoroughly, or you'll be left with 'wierd' feeling hair.





I used AZTEC Secret brand, purchased from Vitamin Shoppe. The color is grayish and the consistency is very fine like powder. This particulary clay comes from Death Valley, California, where it is sun- dried for up to six months in temperatures that sometimes reach 134 degrees.Good stuff.

Please don't be like me...don't sleep on this one ladies. It's the perfect poo replacement and you can use it as a face mask too! Hell, I'm going to purchase the liquid kind to take internally. Why not?!


Later Gators,
Nik

p.s. Pics coming soon...

PLEASE POST YOUR EXPERIENCES (GOOD OR BAD) WITH BENTONITE...IT MAY HELP ANOTHER READER!!!

SheaM vs. Shea Butter

Hola Chicas!

Several of you have asked me if I've replaced my Afrikan Republic Shea Butter with SheaMoisture Shea Butter leave-in. Others have asked what the SheaM looks like and where to purchase it.

To clear up the confusion:

I use SheaMoisture as a leave-in along with DevaCare One Condition, on soaking wet hair, prior to twisting. I still use African Republic 100% Pure Shea Butter to seal my wet ends, and re-moisturize dry ends. Here's an image of the SheaM bottle:
I've purchased SheaM from www.sistasplace.biz (they're currently out of stock), my local Beauty Supply Store (I've found it at 2 stores in my area...shop around), and from www.beautyofnewyork.com. Your cheapest bet will be from the local BSS. I pay about 8 bucks after taxes.

Find my review of SheaM here.
Find other reviews of SheaM here.
Find my reveiw of Afrikan Repbublic Shea here.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Deionized Water, Herbal Complex, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E.
I hope this clears some things up...bottom line is that I use both!

Later Gators,
Nik

Oyin Handmade's Frank Juice


This product was sent to me as a gift from Naturallycurly.com. It is a unique product, and I'm still trying to figure out where it should fit into my routine...if it should fit in at all. Frank Juice has the same ingredient make-up as it's brother Greg Juice- the only difference is the fragrance. I've never tried Greg Juice, but I heard that it is pleasing to the old olfactory glands. Frank Juice smells like Frankincense and Myrrh. Interesting, to say the least. Smelling like incense is not really my bag, lol.

I've tried this product 3 different ways-

1. Leave-in- Although it is non-greasy, it is a bit sticky/tacky. It leaves my hair feeling producty. No go. Plus, no matter the ingredients, a watery leave-in just won't cut the mustard for my dry strands. I need something creamy and rich.

2. Curl Refresher- Maybe this will work for someone that doesn't 'set' their hair regularly. I like to refresh my hair with butters, not water. Butters smooth away the frizz, and for me, the Frank Juice (and other water based products) increased my frizz! This was expected though.
Most people that use Greg/Frank Juice religiously, use it as a refresher on day 2.

3. Detangler- Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! For me, this product works best as 'mommas little helper' in the shower. After applying my detangling conditioner (HE Hello Hydration, PM The Detangler, KC Knot Today), I'm still left with knots and tangles that I know will take eons to work out. A couple of squirts of Frank Juice and problem solved! It has great slip and reduces the amount of time I spend detangling, as well as the amount of hairs lost. If your head is a tangle warehouse like mine, it's definitely worth looking into. KC Knot Today + Frank Juice = 10 minute detangling sessions! The only problem is that I then wash all that expensive ish right down the drain.

So, I have the same question I posed for the KC Knot Today- Is it worth keeping in stock? Perhaps. It's a great 'supplemental' detangler, that adds an extra boost of moisture and slip. The keyword here is supplemental- it wouldn't perform well as a stand alone detangler. When I come up with an answer to this question, I'll let you know.

Product Description For Greg Juice (Same as Frank Juice, except for scent): Greg Juice is an oil-free mixture of vegetable moisturizers and herbal essences combined in a beautiful amber pump spray bottle. It feeds hair & scalp like a salad, and is great for moisturizing, detangling & refreshing thirsty strands. It also boasts an herbal-citrus smell that’s absolutely delicious. I initially developed the recipe for my cousin Greg’s locks and he told me he was sniffing his own hair all week!

How does Greg Juice do its magic? It all starts with spring water, which is strongly infused with a variety of herbs known to help stimulate the scalp, condition the hair, and encourage growth. Added to this herbal infusion are vegetable ingredients for detangling and slip; pure organic aloe vera juice for moisture and suppleness; vegetable glycerine for humectancy and shine; and an essential oil blend nutritious to the scalp. All Greg Juice varieties are now without rosemary essential oil for those Oyin Honeys concerned about the effects of the EO on HBP or hypertension.

I’ve become rather addicted to Greg Juice for a daily pick-me-up on cornrows or twists. My sisters say it keeps their locs moisturized without weighing them down. And if I tried to detangle my hair without a bottle standing nearby, it would stand up and laugh at my comb. Many uses, this potion has. Cop an 8 oz bottle and find out for yourself. . .

This product is naturally preserved with grapefruit seed extract and citric acid.

Ingredients: Purified water infused with horsetail, lavender, nettle, roses, and chamomile; organic flaxseeds; aloe vera juice; vegetable glycerine; essences of lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang, and rosemary; grapefruit seed extract; citric acid; and love

Price: $9

Other Reviews:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlproducts/view/2570/oyin-greg-juice-nourishing-herbal-leavein


http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlproducts/view/2798/oyin-frank-juice-nourishing-herbal-leavein


http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/2008/12/weird-product-wednesday-greg-juice.html

If you've tried this product, do share :D

A Review of Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding


Pamela
won the first Miss Jessie's Giveaway. I promptly sent her the 8 oz jar of Curly Pudding, and as promised, she submitted her review!!

"I tried the Curly Pudding by Miss Jessie's last night. It's a great moisturizer. It's not too greasy or sticky. It didn't make my hair hard at all. It smells like taffy candy. Overall it's a good product. I will be making future purchases. This will be my top moisturizer for now on."

Here's a link to Pam's Fotki.

Thanks PAM!!!!

Ingredients: water, parafinium liquidum, glycerin, triethanolamine, fragrance, carbomer, PEG-12 dimethicone, dipropylene glycol, silk amino acids, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, avocado oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, macademia seed oil, oleth05, ethylhexyl methoxycinnanate, disodium EDTA, DMDM hydantion, ext. violet 2

Product Details: A splendid emulsion for your curls, kinks and waves without crunch! This curl creme was specifically formulated to stretch out and elongate your curls for soft, maximum curl definition. Amazing for natural curls, kinks & waves, fingerstyling, TWAs, coiling, transitioning, kinky weaves and more. Excellent for combating curl shrinkage!

***Here's a link to other reviews of Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding.

If anyone else has tried this product, please leave your review in the comments section. I can't shed any light on it...so I'm hoping you gorgeous gals can!

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Review



On Friday night, I did my fourth Twist-n-Curl with Kinky Curly Knot Today+DevaCare One C. In order to be fair and balanced, I waited to complete the full review until I had at least a few trials under my belt. I must say, I'm very impressed! So much so, that I bought my aunt a bottle, and bought myself the 32 oz size!!! I can't believe I waited this long to try this product! Thank you NaturallyCurly.com!!!

For the best results, I apply the KCKT to my soaking wet hair after finger detangling with Paul Mitchell the Detangler or Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration. As usual, I section my hair into two, and apply about a quarter size amount of KCKT to each half...any more than that, and the results are gummy or product-y. Trust me on this one, a little goes a long way!

It does exactly what the label claims- it smooths the cuticle, and really detangles the hair. The end result is soft, defined, shiny curls! Usually when my hair is wet, my waves are popping, but my curls are pretty lank- KCKT perks them right up! If you're looking for definition please try this product! The fragrance is pleasant- reminds me of cherries.

The KCKT/Deva One combo is great...but not in humidity. I went out last night (pic below), and left the house with a fluffy yet defined Twist-n-Curl. After standing in a misty rain for 20 minutes and dancing in a cramped and crowded club for several hours, I left with a fluffy fro. It was still fly, but definitely a different look than what I started with. I don't believe this would've happened if I'd styled with Deva+Jessicurl WDT+Deva Set it Free. I tested that combo out MANY times last summer, and my hair never frizzed up. The KCKT doesn't provide the moisture that Jessicurl does, and therefore, my hair soaked up all the moisture in the air, leaving me with lots of frizz. If you have dry hair, I definitely recommend that you couple KCKT with another moisture intensive leave-in. Bottom line: I give this product two thumbs up. The price is decent, and the slip is AMAZING for it to be cone free.


Product Description:
KNOT TODAY TM is a creamy herbal conditioner and detangler designed to smooth the cuticle and remove knots, snarls and tangles from thick curly textured hair.
After washing hair, apply
KNOT TODAY TM generously and work through troubled areas with a wide tooth comb.
Can be used as a regular rinse out conditioner for wavy hair or as a leave-in for thicker curlier hair types.
An excellent
product to use after removing braids and extensions.

**TIP- When using this product as a leave-in, apply in the shower and rinse with
a little water to evenly distribute the conditioner.

Ingredients:
Mango fuit extract, slipper elm, marshmallow root, lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance
Naturallycurly.com Reviews

Koffee's Shea Moisture Shea Butter Leave-in

Koffee was the first winner of the CurlyNikki Cleaning Out My Closet Giveaway. She won a free bottle of SheaMoisture Shea Butter Leave-in, and I requested that she report back with a review. So, here you go:

Hey Nikki.

Sorry I took so long with the review (braids for the winter) I haven't captured any photos.

The Shea Moisture smelled heavenly, pretty much as if one is vacationing on a tropical island. I tried it on damp hair and my hair felt soft and moistened up until it dried. Since everything is pretty much all trial and error, I decided to try adding Castor oil on top which made it softer and easier to comb thru, (detangling before I put in twists or braid it up...my hair is very thick). I'm still planning on trying other methods before I come to conclusions on this product and I'm too in love with the scent to put it down. Hopefully when the weather gets warmer and I'm wear my hair in a puff, the results will be positive.

Thanks again for the opportunity to try this product.

--
KoffeeDyme
http://koffeedyme.com


For my review of SheaMoisture Shea Butter Leave-in, see HERE.

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