Sunday, October 1, 2017

Black Friday Thoughts (2017 Edition)

Hey, beautiful people!  Like last year, but Black Friday is already crossing my mind.  This year may not be that exciting because there isn't really much I need, even with keeping my daughter's head in mind too.  In looking back over the past two years, I typically use about:
  • 4-6 deep conditioners
  • 2 shampoos / cleansers
  • 7 rinse out conditioners
  • 9 leave-ins / moisturizers 
  • 2-3 gels (including bun & wash n' go gels)
  • 3-4 braid & twist creams/butters
  • <1 heat styler
  • 1-2 oils (I run through oils slowly)

I have all of this in my product stash already, except the rinse out conditioners (which I don't buy during Black Friday), 2 leave-in/moisturizers and possibly 2 deep conditioners.  I currently have 36 products in my stash.

So based on my favorite brands list, this Black Friday, I plan to focus on looking for a sale from Silk Dreams or Mielle Organics, though I may pick up another Uncle Funky's Daugther Curly Magic and an As I Am Leave-in Conditioner for me.  I am also torn on whether to give the Camille Rose Fresh Curl and Curl Love another try.  I also have to keep my daughter's hair in mind now when I shop, but I may only pick up an As I Am Coil Defining Jelly for her because she has quite a few products too.  I can always buy during Mother's Day sales if we start to get too low on products.

Am I the only one with Black Friday on the brain already?

2017-09-24 Wash Day: Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip and Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel

Hey, beautiful people!  I'm on a wash n' go streak at the moment, so I did another one.  This time, I started with a deep condition with Mielle Organics Mint Babassu Deep Conditioner overnight.  I love this deep conditioner.  

The next day, I cleansed with Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse, then I detangled with Garnier Whole Blends Conditioner.  I used the Garnier Whole Blends Hydrating (Coconut Water and Vanilla Milk) Conditioner this time because I realized the Replenishing (Olive Oil) Conditioner has mineral oil in it that made my shower slimy.  The Hydrating Conditioner made my scalp itch, but less so than the Honey Conditioner. 

When I got out the shower, I first used the Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip.  This was my second time using this leave-in for a wash n' go.  It has amazing slip, but I don't think I will use it again as my sole leave-in because it doesn't seem to keep my hair moisturized, for the reasons I will mention below.

Finally, I raked the Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel through my hair.  On the right side of my hair, I just used my fingers to rake.  On the left side, I first used my fingers, then I used my Tangle Wrangler.  I can never get a Denman brush through my hair and the tangle wrangler works for me the same way other people use a Denman.  However, instead of clumping my curls, the tangle wrangler separated them.  In looking at some Youtube videos, it may be that my technique was wrong.  I used the brush on the full length of my hair, instead of just the ends.  I will try this again to see.

As you may recall, when I used the Mielle Organics gel for my wash n' go before, it flaked.  I assumed that was because I used it in connection with the curl cream.  I was wrong.  It flaked again this time, though a little less than when I used the curl cream.  I've also learned that some other ladies have had this flaking issue as well.

Overall, this wash n' go for my hair.  In addition to the flaking, my hair was so dry by the second day that I had to promptly wash it out.  I think the dryness was the Soultanicals because (1) my hair was not dry when I did the Mielle Organics curl cream/gel combo; and (2) this is the second wash n' go using Soultanicals where my hair was desert dry.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017-09-16 Wash Day: Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel Wash n Go

Hey, beautiful people!  This weekend I was in the mood to do a wash n' go with a product that has been in my stash for awhile but unopened.

First, I deep conditioned my hair overnight with the Shea Moisture Superfruit 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Mask.  This conditioner is just ok.  My hair has never been a big Shea Moisture fan, and this was no exception.  Additionally, I've found that my hair needs at least a little protein each deep conditioning to stay strong, likely because it is fine in coarseness.  When I don't have protein in my deep conditioner, I see more hair in the shower and more breakage during styling.

Next, I washed my hair with the Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  I have always thought of this as a shampoo until someone corrected me, and told me that it is a cross between a shampoo and a co-wash as a "rinse."  

Then, I used Garnier Whole Blends Replenishing Conditioner (Olive Oil) to detangle my hair.  This performed better than the Honey Treasures (which made my scalp itch).  I had no itching with this one, so I tossed the Honey Treasures.

Next, I used As I Am Leave-in Conditioner on one quadrant of my hair before I ran out, and Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip for the rest.  I love the As I Am leave-in, and I think I like the Soultanicals too, but I want to use it a few more times to be dure.

Finally, I raked and shingled Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel.  I was not going to try this gel because I hated a different Aunt Jackie's product in the past, but the thought of flaxseed swayed me and I am glad it did.  This gel reminds me of Wetline Extreme Gel, but it may be easier to spread.  It gives my hair similar definition and sheen.  However, by day two of this wash n' go, my hair was dry and crispy.

ETA 10/1/2017:  The dryness may be from the Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My Top 6 Favorite Brands

Hello, beautiful people!  After my last post on my top products, I felt like I did not do justice to some really incredible brands, so this post is focused on products that I like from some of my favorite brands, even though I don't buy them all the time.  My favorite products are asterisked.

As I Am Naturally
- Coconut Co-wash*
- DoubleButter Cream Rick Daily Moisturizer*
- Leave-in Conditioner*
- Curling Jelly
- Twist Defining Cream

Camille Rose Naturals
- Curl Maker Gel*
- Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse*
- Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum*
- Aloe Whipped Butter Gel
- Carmel Cowash
- Almond Jai Twisting Butter
- Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment
- Coconut Water Style Setter

Curl Junkie
- Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment*
- Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion*
- Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Moisturizing Conditioner
- Coffee-Coco Curl Cream
- Daily Fix Cleansing Hair Conditioner

Mielle Organics
- Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk*
- Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner*
- Mint Avocado Oil
- Honey & Ginger Styling Gel
- White Peony Ultra-Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner
- Babassu Oil Conditioning Sulfate Free Shampoo

Silk Dreams Haircare
- Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream (Deep Conditioner)*
- Silk Dreams Shea What Therapeutic Conditioning Masque*
- Almond Buttercream*
- Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner*
- Who's That Curl? Buttersilk Balm
- Mocha Silk Hair Milk
- Mocha Silk Infusion (Deep Conditioner)

Uncle Funky's Daughter
- Curly Magic Curl Stimulator Gel*
- Extra Butter Brilliant Shine Cream*
- Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser
- Midnight Train Leave-in Conditioner
- Supercurl Miracle Moisturizing Creme (needs to be paired with something else)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017-09-05 Wash Day: As I Am Wash N Go

Hey, beautiful people!  I was not loving my Mane Choice wash n go because of the flakes it gave me, so I decided to wash my hair and try again.  This time, I did a deep condition overnight with Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner.  I like this deep conditioner because it leaves my hair nice and strong, while still somewhat moisturized.  

Next, I used the Garnier Fructis Whole Blends Repairing Conditioner Honey Treasures.  I had a better experience with this than the first time I used it, but it is still not a favorite.  It still had no slip.  I also notice that I'm using about a third of a bottle each time I wash my hair.

To style my hair, I first used the As I Am Leave-in Conditioner.  I really like this leave-in and plan to repurchase it.  Finally, I ended up using two gels for my wash n' go.  First, I applied the As I Am Curling Jelly, which has incredible slip and clumps my curls.  I have used this in the past with ok results.  However, this time, I thought it was going to be too light for the defined look I was going for because it is almost like a liquid gel.  It is even thinner than my "snot" like gels (Camille Rose Curl
Maker and Uncle Funky's Daughter).

Because I knew the Curling Jelly was going to be too light, I layered on the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly.    This is much thicker, like strawberry jam and is similar in texture to Wetline Extreme Gel or
Eco Styler gel, but without the same hold.

When my hair dried the next day, it was soft, moisturized and fluffy.  Also, there were no flakes, which was nice.  However, I also had a lot of frizz, without much definition.  I essentially skipped right over first and second day hair to third/fourth day.  I also had to pull on my hair quite a bit to shape it because it kept shrinking up.

I don't think I would purchase the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly again, but I might pair the Curling Jelly with another gel to see how that goes.

Monday, September 4, 2017

2017 Mid-Year Favorites

Hello Beautiful People!   I have always wondered why Favorites lists tend to only come out on blogs at the end of the year, after all of the Black Friday sales are done.  I am also trying to minimize and focus the number of product brands that I purchase from because my product stash is a little bigger than I would like it to be (currently 46 products, not including my daughter's products).  Thus, I challenged myself in this list to only identify my top two products in each category right now.  As natural haircare has evolved, every product on this list, except one, is available in brick and mortar stores.

Favorite Overall Brand
Camille Rose Naturals
Mielle Organics

Favorite Multi-Use Products
Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream (leave-in, wash n' go definer, twist/braid cream)
Oyin Hair Dew (leave-in & moisturizer)

Moisturizing, Light Protein Deep Conditioners
- Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk Moisture Dream
- Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment (this is a strong protein for some)

- Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
- Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-free Shampoo

Rinse Out Conditioners
- Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner
- Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge

Leave-in Conditioners
- As I Am Naturally Leave-in Conditioner
Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion

- Oyin Hair Dew
- Mielle Organics Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk

Wash n Go Gels
- Wetline Extreme Gel (ulta defined wash n go)
- Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator (fluffy wash n go)

Braid & Twist Creams
- Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream
- Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel

Heat Stylers
- Carol’s Daughters Chocolat Blow Dry Cream
- It's A 10 Leave-in Conditioner

Oil Pre-mixes
- Camille Rose Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum
- Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil

Pure Oils
- Essential Depot Avocado Oil
- Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil

I'll check back in March 2018 to see if/how this list has changed.

What are some of your favorites?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

2017-09-03 Wash Day: Mane Choice Crystal Orchid Biotin Infused Styling Gel

Hey, beautiful people!  I have been on the move, traveling for work and for fun.   So I have not had a chance to post in awhile.  I'm taking advantage of the long weekend, however, to post another wash

Yesterday, I did a deep condition overnight with Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque.  This was the second time I used this mask, and I'm not a huge fan.  It is not a bad deep conditioner.  I just have deep conditioners that I love better.

In the morning, I washed my hair with Camille Rose's Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse, then detangled with Garnier Fructis Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Conditioner.  This conditioner was just ok, and comes nowhere close to performing like my favorite conditioner (Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner).  It was too thick, and did not help much with detangling.  It is also possible that it made my scalp itchy temporarily.

When I got out the shower, I used As I Am Naturally's Leave-in Conditioner, which I still love for its slip and ability to absorb into my hair.  Then, I did a wash n' go with the Mane Choice Crystal Orchid Biotin Infused Styling Gel.  This gel's performance reminds me a lot of Wetline Extreme Gel in terms of the hold and definition on the first day, but that is where the similarities end.  It has more slip; however, the next day, I got a ton of white flakes.  I heard from other reviews that this gel flakes, so I wasn't that surprised to see it.  I just assumed that using a lighter leave-in, like As I Am, would minimize the chance of that happening.  I was wrong.

After my hair dried for a day, I cut my hair from shoulder length to what I thought was chin length.  I was wrong about this too.  My hair continued to dry throughout the second day, and is now ear length curly.  When stretched, this takes me from waist length in the back to about bra strap length.  I cut my hair because it was starting to get too heavy, was growing uneven and was harder to take care of.  Plus, the shorter length frames my face better, and I still have enough hair to throw it into a ponytail.