'Bout That Henna Life- Henna Sooq's Henna Gloss Bar


Price: $12 (4.5 oz.)

Where to Buy: HennaSooq.com

Product Claims: Our Henna Gloss Bar is the perfect all in one moisturizer, and conditioning Ayurvedic hair treatment. A henna gloss is a very easy to use henna product that will nourish the hair, strengthen, create vibrant shiny hair, promote hair growth, reduces itchy scalp, and will give your hair a touch of red color from the henna.

Ingredients: organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, organic henna

Read On!>>>

The Community Review- Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor

Description of your hair: My hair is generally medium density with coarse texture and normal porosity, "O" texture and is thready, but I have many textures on my head, from L-shaped spongy on the infamous "patch", to S-shaped at the nape of my neck.

Name of Product in Review: Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor

Product Description: (from aphogee.com) ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor is a powerful, one step treatment that should be used for home use, between salon visits. This concentrated blend of keratin amino acids, botanical oils, and vitamins does wonders to restore strength and softness to hair that requires a deep, penetrating treatment. It is recommended on tinted, bleached or relaxed hair. ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor helps repair damage caused by chlorine and hard water. Apply on clean hair in shower and rinse to treat brittle hair with cuticle damage and moderate breakage. It soothes irritated scalp and may be applied following each shampooing until the healthy condition of the hair is restored.

Read On!>>>

The Community Review- Trader Joe's Aloe Vera Gel

 Devin writes:

Name of Product in Review: Trader Joe's Aloe Vera Gel

Product Description: It comes in a green bottle, and the product itself is clear, doesn't leave your hands feeling sticky (which I love). Yes there are preservatives, but in very small amounts.

Product Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Tocophersolan, TEA-Carbomer, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Trisodium, EDTA.

Read On>>>

All About Shampoo Bars for Natural Hair Care

by Tonya Mckay of Naturallycurly.com

Shampoo bars made of “all natural” ingredients are all the rage in the hair- and skin-care markets. These handmade soaps and shampoo bars are especially gaining popularity in the curly-hair community because they tend to be free of sulfates and silicones and are made from moisturizing oils and gentle cleansers.

Many people report that they are extremely pleased with the results they are getting, citing benefits such as increased softness, better curl formation and, in some cases, elimination of the need to use conditioner.

However, not all users have had such pleasant experiences, and there is some confusion over what the advantage is of shampoo bars over traditional shampoos or low-sulfate or sulfate-free cleansers. There is also some debate about whether the shampoo bars should be followed up with a vinegar rinse, a conditioner, or both.

As usually do, I will delve into the basic chemistry of shampoo bars to discover what answers lie beneath the surface.

Read On>>>

The Community Review- ECO Custard Olive Oil Styling Cream

Tia writes:

Description of your hair: Thick density; Medium texture; Low porosity; S + cottony.

Name of Product in Review: ECO Custard Olive Oil Styling Cream

Product Description: Eco Custard Conditioning, Shining, and Styling Cream provides superior shine and styling flexibility infused with oils and conditioners to protect, hydrate, and nourish your hair. Excellent for taming flyaways, smoothing, twist-outs and ponytails. Safe for daily use on all hair types.

Alcohol Free
Flexible Hold
Extreme Conditioning

Read On>>>

I Revisited Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In.

day 2
I'm on a tear y'all and still gettin' it like it's 2006 over here... I've now revisited a staple product from my past (thanks to inspiration from Alicia James!)-  Cantu Sheabutter Leave-in!  And the results are in- #YesPleaseAndThankYou.  I wish it had a little more slip.  I wish it smelled a little better.  But the shine, the clumping, the defining, the moisture... all on point, including the price.  Glycerin is in the first 5 ingredients, so I'll be curious to see how my hair behaves when the humidity gets turnt up.  I'll keep you posted!

Read On for Deets>>>

Battle of the Curl Creams- My Wash and Go Trials

Marc Anthony's 'Stretch' (Day 1)
Hola Chicas,

So there's a Walgreens right around the corner from my parents' crib that has everything from champagne to panties, not to mention the most thoroughest (ha! #SoStLouis) natural hair care aisle I ever did see!


Community Product Reviews (and a giveaway!)

Hola Chicas,

I've been sorting through the suggestion box and among the most frequently requested posts are objective product reviews.  Considering this is a consumer site, frequented by women just like yourself, I thought it'd be dope to get y'all involved so that we may hear from a variety of textures and hair types.

If you'd like to contribute to the discussion, fill out the below questionnaire for as many products as you'd like, and submit w/ a pic of your hair, to [email protected]

Click to continue>>>

'CurlyNikki Approved' Natural Hair Products (2013)

Hola Chicas,

Y'all know I'm a PJ, right? Although I can only use a few products at a time, I do have somewhat of a laundry list of others that I highly recommend. I've tried many of the curly lines on the market and most of the products available in stores, but the ones below get my stamp of approval.

Whether you're transitioning or a natural vet, this list is a great place to start if you're in the market to build a new regimen. My advice? When trying a new routine, figure out what your hair needs are, choose products designed to address those needs, try the routine for 3 weeks, re-assess and determine if you need to go back to the drawing board. Don't try too many new things at once, and keep a journal- - documentation is key. Take pictures of your results and record how various product combos work for you.

If you're starting from scratch, pick a product from each of the categories below (broken down by Brick and Mortar or B&M, versus Web Store). Remember, no two heads are alike, and what works for some will not work for all.

The products that I'm currently using are preceded by '***'. 


Wash Day at the Walton's

Hair day with Mommy... check. Next on the agenda? Deciding between the swing set and the sandbox for my first meet-up. 

CurlyNikki Reviews AG Recoil Curl Activator

Description of my hair: Cottony as hell with fine, highly porous strands... mostly 's' waves and some 'o' coils bringing up the rear.

Name of Product in Review: AG Recoil Curl Activator  6oz/$18 <<< dayum Gina! 

Product Description:

Recoil curl activator is made with AG’s unique Curl Creating Complex (C3):
  • Magnesium sulfate – helps shrink the bonds in the hair, cultivating and defining each individual curl and wave. It gently supports curls without being crunchy and helps give hair a silky, soft feel with lots of movement
  • Bio-fermented tomato fruit extract – shrinks the hair cuticle and encourages curl
  • Rice Amino acids – hydrate and improve hair strength, promote curl, and help fight frizz. Silk and keratin protein – adds moisture, strength, elasticity and shine
  • P-14 copolymer – gives long-lasting curl definition and flexible hold
  • NaPCA – a highly effective moisturizer
  • Herbal extracts – soothe the scalp and add shine to hair
Product Ingredients: Water/aqua/eau, Polyquaternium-55, Hydroxypropyl Starch, Cetylalcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Corn Starch Modified, Cetrimonium Chloride, Salvia Officinalis (sage) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Melissaofficinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Cymbopogonschoenanthus Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Sodium PCA, Polyquaternium-10, Magnesium Sulfate, Silk Amino Acids, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzedkeratin, Panthenol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Tetrasodiumedta, Parfum/ Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Fragrance: Light and clean, not perfume-y or overbearing.

Texture: Creamy consistency, goes on smooth.

My experience:
Although I'm not currently #TeamWash&Go, I was a few weeks ago.  On the forever mission to find the dopest curl definer, I'd heard good things about AG ReCoil (from the homie Wanda Sykes) and finally decided to give it a try.  I'd been gifted some a while back but never got around to testing it. I remember being excited because it's supposed to be good for humidity and I'm already in the, 'get your hair right for summer' mode.  I ended up using it over AG Fastfood (a pretty good, light leave-in conditioner if you're looking for one... probably best for summer) on soaking wet hair.  The Fastfood left my hair super detangled and slippery, so the ReCoil glided right in.  My curls were on 10... as I gently raked through sections of hair, the clumps that sprung up between my fingers were remarkable.  You know how you can tell from the way your wet hair responds to a product, what it will look like dry?  I felt good about it.  In my mind, I was gonna be left with fluffy, shiny, expanded curls and while I did achieve extra hang time and definition, I had helmet head.  I scrunched in some Mongongo Oil to loosen up the hold, but the volume was M.I.A.  So I re-washed a day later and tried again... using much less ReCoil this time.  The results were again very defined, almost too perfect spirals, with tons of shine, and although it wasn't extra crispy, it was still a bit stiff.  I feel that I'm on to something good tho... it needs a richer leave-in underneath or more tweaking with application.  I plan to revisit after this dry Twist-n-Curl spell runs its course.  

Would I recommend to a curlfriend: Yes, but err on the side of 'too little' product, which is good, 'cause it's pricey. The situation can get crunchy real quick with this one.  But if it's curl definition you're after, this is an amazing activator.  I'd also venture to guess that it would yield deliciously shiny and defined twist-outs.  The ingredient list is nice and I'm happy to see that glycerin is not in the top 5, which is rare with styling gels. Also, the online reviews are pretty good.

How many curls overall: (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the kitties titties!):
3.5, because it shows promise!

Have you tried it? Share your experiences and how you used it below!

Wanna review a product? Submit it to CurlyNikki.com today to be featured!

How to Use Shampoo Bars

What are shampoo bars?

Shampoo bars are soaps made from a process called saponification where a fat is reacted with a base. What makes all natural soaps superior to your garden variety bar soap is the moisturizing qualities they have because of their ingredients.

Most natural shampoo bars are made with a lot of oil which helps to moisturize while cleansing to prevent your hair from feeling stripped after cleansing.

How do you use one?

  • Wet hair completely.
  • Glide the bar over and through your hair, making sure the soap is evenly distributed.
  • Lather until your entire head is covered with suds. Remember, a little goes a long way with shampoo bars because they lather a lot.
  • Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers to lift away any dirt particles. Be gentle to avoid handling it roughly and prevent tangles.
  • Rinse and condition as normal.

Is your water hard?

Soap does not work well with hard water, so it’s important to know what kind of water you have in your area.

Hard water contains a lot of mineral salts like calcium and magnesium ions which react with the soap to form an invisible insoluble film on the hair that feels waxy to the touch. This film can cause frizz, an overproduction of oil and attract dust particles.

If you do have hard water, you can still get in on the action by using either bottled water to wash your hair, or by finishing off your cleansing routine with an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Deep Cleansing Bars

If you’re looking for a poo bar that is great for clarifying — especially if you produce a lot of oil, use a lot of product or have hair that is easily weighed down — then you should try these bars:

Bobeam ACV and Bentonite Clay Bar — This bar not only cleanses well but it also helps to balance out the pH of your hair with apple cider vinegar.

Bobeam J’Rels Detox Clay Bar — This poo bar cleanses deeply with the help of Kaolin clay added to the bar.

Chagrin Valley Honey Beer & Egg — Not only does this shampoo cleanse but it also helps to add strength to the hair to make it soft and bouncy.

Chagrin Valley Lavender & Spice — This shampoo bar was specifically made for curlies with oily scalps as the lavender oil helps to balance oil production.

Moisturizing Bars

For curls that dry out easily you should use cleansers that contain a lot of oils to act as emollients and prevent your curls from drying out whilst you cleanse. Some shampoo bars that fall into this category are:

Bobeam Honey and Oats Shampoo Bar — This poo bar has received a lot of rave reviews for being extremely moisturizing.

Cream and CocoMallow Cowash Bar — This bar has received a lot of rave reviews for its gentleness. The cocoa butter helps to moisturize as you cleanse but is washed away cleanly whilst the marshmallow root helps with detangling.

Chagrin Valley Butter Bar — Unrefined cocoa, shea, and mango butter help to add moisture back into the hair as you cleanse, so this feels more like a cowash than a shampoo.

Chagrin Valley Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar — If you are a curly who loves the richness and softness you get after a deep condition with coconut milk, then this poo bar is for you.

Hot tip

Just like a soap bar, shampoo bars will start to melt over time if left in the shower. Luckily, we have just the trick to keep them dry and make them last.

To extend the life of a big shampoo bar, cut it up into smaller pieces and store the pieces that you are not using. Take the dry pieces and wrap them in plastic or place them in a Ziploc and store them in a cool dry place.

Do you use shampoo bars? Whats your favorite one? How do you use it? 

CharyJay Reviews 'Better Than Good Hair'!

The homie, CharJay, received her copy of 'Better Than Good Hair' and shares her thoughts! Enjoy!

CN Says:
Please buy the book TODAY, not tomorrow, TODAY!  This is it! Trying to push to Top 20!   

Also, Amazon dropped the price of my book to $8.90! But the SheaMoisture coupon u get for buying it is still $10! #dothemath #getthebook #btgh

Buy the paperback book, here!

Register for your coupon, here!

Thank you thank you thank you!

WhimsyCurl Reviews 'Better Than Good Hair'!

While Googling around for initial reviews of 'Better Than Good Hair', I stumbled upon Danielle, aka WhimsyCurl's vid where she shares her thoughts after receiving the book yesterday!

CN Says:
Danielle is a regular CN contributor, curlfriend and hot momma!  I'm so very proud of our book and consider it the community's book.  Thanks everyone for your support!!!!

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle: Community Review

CN community member, Mel writes:

Description of your hair: (1) thick density (2) medium texture, (3) low porosity, (4) spongy

Name of Product in Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, $3.99 for 16 oz

Product Description: “We’ve worked with an upscale boutique to bring you this salon-quality conditioner that will rejuvenate your hair with a refreshing tingle. A blend of certified organic botanicals including peppermint and teat tree work together to moisturize and clarify your hair while alleviating dry scalp. Our product contains no laurel/laureth sulfates and is suitable for all hair types.”

Product Ingredients: water, tea tree, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, nettle oil, thyme oil, birch leaf oil, chamomile oil, clary, coltsfoot leaf, yarrow oil, mallow, horsetail oil, soybean protein, cetyl alcohol, vitamin e, trace minerals, citric acid, sodium hydroxymethylgycinate, grape seed

Fragrance: This is very minty. Once I was done, all I could think about was getting me a stick of Double Mint gum.

Texture: This conditioner is pretty creamy, but not very thick. The thickness, or lack thereof, reminds me of a leave in conditioner.

Ease of Application (1-5 with 5 being the easiest): 4- I’m a girl who absolutely needs “slip” and this one was pretty darn good. I loved the relaxing smell and that made finger detangling even better.

Your Experience: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner far exceeded my expectations. I’d heard about this so when Dallas/Fort Worth celebrated the opening of our first Trader Joe’s, I knew exactly what I’d be shopping for.

When I first opened the bottle, I was a bit worried because I tend to get better results with a thick rinse out conditioner. If the conditioner is thin, my kinks and curls usually laugh and have a mind of their own. This did the job and a little went a long way. I loved the minty scent and it was very relaxing. The price is right and I was so pleased to have finally gotten my hands on a bottle of this. This product had amazing slip, but wasn’t as moisturizing as I’m accustomed to. Regardless, as a curly who uses tons of conditioner, this one pleased me a lot.

Slip is one of the most important things to me in regards to rinse out conditioners, so I really like this. I’d had this bottle sitting under my cabinet for a few months and I hate I waited so long to finally try it out.

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Most definitely. If you’re a curly who loves organic products this is the way to go. It affordable and it did the job well.

How many curls overall (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the kitties titties!): I give this conditioner 4. The slip beats most things that I’ve tried. If it were a bit more moisturizing, it would probably replace my go-to conditioner.

Share your experiences with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner below!

**Wanna review a product? Submit it to CurlyNikki.com today to be featured!**

The Community Reviews Shea Moisture Smoothie

 Shawnte writes:

Description of your hair:
My hair is medium density, medium texture, and has high porosity. Using the LOIS system, hair hair is S- the strands are wavy with hills and valleys. My hair is cottony, with low sheen, high frizz, and absorbs water quickly.

Name of Product in Review: 
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie (9.99/ 12 oz)

Product Description:
(from label) The product is designed to add moisture and shine to thick curly hair. It is nutrient rich, and will condition, restore moisture, and shine. Can be applied to damp or dry hair to enhance curls, minimize frizz and provide curl control.

Product Ingredients:
Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Certified Organic Ingredient), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter (Certified Organic Ingredient), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein, Ammonium Salt, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Caucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Sorbitol Esters, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Caprylyl Glycol, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

Fragrance: Sweet and fruity, but not overwhelming. It has a really nice scent.

Texture: A thick cream.

Your experience:
I use it to moisturize my curls for a twist out, it makes my hair very manageable. The product is thick which I prefer over a liquid or really light moisturizer because it will air dry faster. I use it with Kinky Curly Curling Custard which helps eliminate frizz.

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: 
Yes, if she has medium to thick hair, if she has fine hair, I would recommend using it very lightly or maybe using the curl milk which is not as heavy and won't weigh the hair down.

How many curls overall: (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the kitties titties!)
5, because the product does what it claims, it is affordable (only $9.99), and is easy to purchase (it is sold in drugstores, target, and online).

Find Shawnte on the web-

Twitter: @posh_urbanite

Tried this product? Share your review below!

CN Says:
I LOVE the Milk + Smoothie on Gia's curls which are prone to frizz and dryness.  

The Community Reviews- TERRESSENTIALS

Tery's review:  

Description of your hair: (1) medium density (2) medium texture (3) low porosity, (4) 3c/4a (cottony)

Name of Product in Review: TERRESSENTIALS Pure Earth Hair Wash in Cool Mint

Product Description: "Our Hair Wash is a pure, totally natural, clay-based product blended with soothing organic herbals and beautiful, stimulating organic essential oils. It contains no synthetic petrochemicals, synthetic protein or petrochemical polymer plastics, oleochemical surfactants/detergents, or oleochemical emulsifying wax emollients ("vegetable wax," cetyl alcohol, stearates, fatty acids, etc.) to leave a residue on the hair or scalp. As the Hair Wash contains no soaps or foaming agents, there will be no lather at all. The unique mud comes from extensive mountain deposits in Africa and has been used sustainably by humans for centuries to cleanse the hair and body, and is used by top spas and environmentally-conscious individuals worldwide. The clay cleans in a very different manner from conventional shampoo detergents and soaps, forming a colloidal suspension that pulls the excess oils and pollutants from your hair. The Hair Wash works well in either hard or soft water."

Product Ingredients: Organic aloe vera juice°, clay minerals, organic extract° of organic linden flower°, essential oils of organic peppermint° and organic spearmint°, extracts of organic nettle°, organic chamomile° and organic shavegrass°.

°Certified Organic

Fragrance:  Minty

Texture: Creamy, somewhat thick.

Ease of Application (1-5 with 5 being easiest): I give it a 4/5.  It was easy to apply, just takes more time since it does not lather. You don't need to use too much, a little bit goes a long way. Also, be sure to shake up the bottle before each use! Water tends to rise to the top.

Your experience: I first tried Terresstial Pure Earth Hair Wash in Lavendar Garden, and the results were amazing! I recently tried the Cool Mint, which I found to really work well for my hair with the cold weather --- definitely more hydrating than the lavender garden, which will be sitting on my shelf until the warmer months (I still love it!). It's a different method to wash your hair, since it doesn't lather. But, the mint does give a little tingle to your scalp and gives you an overal feel-good, refreshing feeling!

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Yes

How many curls overall (1-5):  5!

Tried Terressentials Mud Wash? Share your experiences below!

Review your fav products using the above format and submit to be featured on CurlyNikki.com!

The Community Reviews- Tresemme Naturals

Every Wednesday I'll be sharing 'Community Product Reviews' from fellow CN readers. Submit yours today and become eligible to win a Conditioning Basket!

Description of your hair: (1) thick density (2) fine texture, (3) low porosity (4) cottony

Name of Product in Review: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner

Product Description:

This conditioner with USDA certified organic aloe vera and avocado extracts, moisturizes your hair for protection against damage and breakage. Our unique silicone free formula for lightweight conditioning, infuses hair with moisture for hair that's noticeably more manageable and smooth. Discover 10X stronger hair after just one use.*
No dyes
Safe for color treated hair
This product is not tested on animals

*When used with TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture shampoo and conditioner versus non-conditioning shampoo.

Product Ingredients: Water , Stearyl Alcohol , Cetyl Alcohol , Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Fragrance , Lauryl Lysine , Caprylyl Glycol , Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed)/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer , Aspartic Acid , Distearyldimonium Chloride , Persea Gratissima (Avacado) OilOrganic , Citric Acid , Alcohol , Isopropyl Alcohol , Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice Organic

Fragrance: Perfumey

Texture: Thick cream

Ease of Application (1 to 5 with 5 being easiest): I rate it 5, it's super easy to apply, slippery and moisturizing.

Your experience: I LOVE THIS CONDISH, THIS MY ISH! I have used it as a cowashing condish, after shampooing, I have left it in my hair and used it with aloe vera gel and even protein gel and ALWAYS get soft moisturized hair! My hair is super dry and this is a real fixer-upper for hair like mine that fights moisture.

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Yes!!

How many curls overall (1 to 5): 5

Share your experiences with Tresemme Naturals Conditioner below!

Review your fav products using the above format and submit to be featured on CurlyNikki.com!

Applying Product to Damp Hair for Chunky Curls

hair today... like, literally 10 minutes ago
My natural pattern consists of super skinny, piecey 's-waves' with a sprinkling of coils here and there.  While I totally heart my stringy ass defined waves & curls, I sometimes try to smooth a few of them together to achieve a chunkier look.  But no matter how heavy or tacky the styling cream or gel, the manufactured clumps always break up... my waves do what they do... they don't give a sh*t and while I'm usually cool with that, on some real levels, I'd appreciate a few clumps sometimes!

Now generally for me, clumpier wash & gos mean a reduction in volume, but for some reason today, the stars aligned and I got a little bit of the best of both worlds.

What I did:

Like with my successful chunky twist-outs of month's past, I applied my products to damp hair rather than in the shower on soaking wet hair.  I t-shirt plopped clean, naked hair for 5 minutes and then air-dried for 10 minutes.  My hair was probably 70% dry when I smoothed on SheaMoisture's Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and then MopTop Light Hold Gel.

Fail. Fail. Fail. Coagulation.  It's been so long, I forgot the cardinal rule... test the product combo on the back of your hand BEFORE applying it to your hair to make sure they play well together.  Rookie mistake. White boogers everywhere.

Kneeling over the tub, I rinsed that ish out, plopped, air dried a bit and started over.  I tested The Living Proof Full Thickening Cream + SheaMoisture's Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie on the back of my hand... smooth as butter!  So I applied the Living Proof first (about a quarter size amount to each half) and then smoothed the SM into 4 sections.  I didn't rake this time, I simply smoothed it on with the palms of both hands in a downward motion from root to tip. Finally, I finger curled and smoothed some of the top pieces and was excited at how easily my usually piecey curls held together (thanks to the tackiness of the SheaMoisture Smoothie on my damp hair).  I've got quite a bit of shrinkage, but it's the good kind. Momma said, 'I LOVE the results, it looks thicker'.  I'll definitely be experimenting with this product combo and technique a bit more... I'll report back soon!

Later Gators,

p.s. My PJ is turned ALL.THE.WAY.UP. I acquired the SheaMoisture today after a trip to Tarjay to buy two things- a new suitcase to replace the one Delta busted the hell up and some fingernail polish.  I was shocked to see CURLS and SheaMoisture... I know Target, Walgreens and Walmart carry many of 'our' lines, but I never imagined, in a million years, that Happy Valley would carry any of it. Just saying.  So yeah, I threw the Smoothie and the Milk in the cart and charged it to the game.  Official reviews to come!

Do you apply product to soaking wet or damp hair?  Results?

What's your current favorite Wash & Go product combo?

Protein Treatments for Natural Hair

 via For the Fabulous and Frugal

Tiffany writes:
"I want to do a really good protein treatment, but I'll be honest, I'm not a "naturalista natural", meaning the DIY mixes aren't really for me. Does anyone have any brands they can recommend?"

Jamila responds:

The Science of Black Hair explains,

"Protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin protein by nature. There are a wide variety of proteins that serve different functions and roles in hair care. Some enhance elasticity, while others reduce it. These proteins bind to the hair cuticle and help temporarily rebuild any weakened areas. Protein-based products reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage.
Some proteins are stronger than others, but daily or even weekly use of even the milder protein treatments may result in an imbalance between the protein and moisture levels within the hair strands in some people. This is where product percent composition really plays an important role. For example, every product that contains keratin protein is not going to feel the same way across the board, and every product that contains glycerin or water is not going to feel the same either! The protein in question could make up 30% of the product or 0.3%! Who knows! You have to play around with different products to know how strong they are on your particular hair. Your hair protein tolerance will vary from product to product, not necessarily protein to protein.
Protein is found most prevalently in products like instant conditioners (bargain brands like Suave and V05), leave-in conditioners, protein reconstructor conditioner treatments, and even some moisturizers."
Some good protein products to try are:
Shampoos- Mane N Tail Shampoo, Motions Lavish Shampoo

Conditioners-Motions Moisture Silk Protein conditioner, Aubrey Organics GPB

Leave Ins/Other Products- Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair, Aphogee Green Tea Reconstructor, Infusium 23 Leave In Conditioner, Nexxus Emergencee, Nexxus Keraphix, Motions CPR, Cantu Shea Butter BreakCure, Cantu Shea Butter GrowStrong, Profectiv Breakfree Moisturizer, Profectiv Megagrowth Moisturizer, Elasta QP Mango Butter Moisturizer, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Mane N Tail Conditioner, Garnier Fructis Long and Strong, Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Hair Mayo, Got2B Soft 1 Minute Emergency, Rusk Sensories 60 second Revive, ORS replenishing pak, Garnier Fructis Long N Strong

Leave Ins/Other Moisturizers: Kenra Daily Defense leave in conditioner mist, Dove Intense Moisture Mist, Salerm 21 leave in conditioner, Organic Root Stimulator's Olive Oil Moisturizer, Neutragena Silk Touch Leave In Conditioner
Do you all do protein treatments? What do you use?

CN Says:
I LOVE Aubrey's GPB Balancing conditioner... it's hands down my favorite light protein treatment ever.  Also, if you're looking to go the all natural route, you have the option of using the incredible edible egg or even yogurt... or mixing the two!  I don't do egg treatments but I've done yogurt treatments with great success!  Strong yet soft and moisturized hair.

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