Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wash Day 07-12-2017 - Mielle Organics and Wetline Extreme Gel

Hello Beautiful People,

This post is a little overdue because I washed my hair during the week, but I did not have time to style it.  I have been in a wash n' go mood lately, so I decided to do one this week.

I started first with the Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse shampoo, which is a favorite of mine right now.  Next, I used the Shea Moisture Low Porosity Conditioner, which I bought before Shea Moisture-gate.  This conditioner works ok, but it doesn't have the most slip.  

After getting out of the shower, I used my Mielle Organics Avocado Hair Milk, which is becoming a fast favorite and reminds me a lot of Oyin Hair Dew.  Then I used the rake and smooth method with Wetline Extreme Gel to style my wash n' go.  For those who are new or not familiar with the rake and smooth method, I first sectioned my hair into about 8 sections, raking gel first through with extra emphasis on my roots and ends, and then smoothing the gel covered section by holding the section into my hand like a sandwich and pulling my hand down the section.  When I was done, I used hairpins to pin the top and front edges of my hair, which are a different texture from the majority of my hair.  When I was done, I put my hair in a microfiber hair towel for 30 minutes to speed up the drying process.

This was the most defined wash n' go that I have had in awhile!  My curls were clumped and easily seen.  It also lasted for four days, which is the longest I have had a wash n' go.  It likely would have lasted longer, but I wanted a different style today.

The only downside is that it took two days for my hair to dry.

Total styling time = 40 minutes

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wash Day 7-4-2017: Cream of Nature Argan Oil Wash N' Go

Hello, beautiful people!  Happy 4th of July!

Since I had an extra day for any mishaps, I decided to try some Cream of Nature Argan Oil products that I received for free through a Naturally Curly giveaway.  Overall, I can't say that I am in love, but one of the products pleasantly surprised me.

I started off my wash day with the Cream of Nature Argan Oil Pure-licious Co-wash.  This is not the first time I have tried this product.  I didn't like it the first time I tried it but, again, it was free; so, I tried it again.  Just as before, the Cream of Nature Argan Oil fragrance is overpowering.  It is so strong that it makes me wonder what the fragrance is covering up.  Even aside from the smell, my hair did not feel clean after using this product, so I will definitely use shampoo for my next wash.  As the one positive of the co-wash, it did leave my hair feeling moisturized.

After I finished co-washing my hair, I left it dripping wet, rather than using a towel because I knew I would not be using a leave-in and would need some moisture in my hair for the next steps.  Next, I added the Cream of Nature Pudding Perfection Curl Enhancing Cream.  At first, I used just a little bit on each section, and decided it would not be enough to do my wash n' go, so I added the Cream of Nature Argan Oil Twirling Custard Curl Defining Jelly.  The custard did literally nothing to my hair, so I added Eco Styler Clear Gel to avoid ending up with a disaster.

When I got close to the finishing half of my hair, I had a revelation, however.  While I was using small sections for my rake & smooth method, I was not using enough of the Cream of Nature Pudding Perfection Curl Enhancing Cream on each section.  When I added more, my curls popped and clumped.  It was surprisingly incredible.  Thus, I finished off my hair using just the Cream of Nature Pudding and the Eco Styler Clear Gel.   

My curls are defined and elongated.  The only problem is that I currently have a headache from the Cream of Nature Argan Oil fragrance.  I am a little sad because of how well the pudding ultimately did.  I may try the pudding again and see if the fragrance is lessened by this being the only Cream of Nature Product I use.

In the picture, the pudding-only side is on the right, and the pudding-custard side is on the left.

Total Wash & Style Time:  40 minutes

NOTE 7/8/17:  I wore this wash n' go for three days.  On the second day, I had two people still comment that they loved my "perfume."  I wasn't wearing any perfume.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wash Day 06-16-2017: Mielle Organics Brazilian Curl Cream and Honey & Ginger Gel

Hey, beautiful people!  In one of my more recent posts, I talked about trying Mielle Organics products, and how much I liked them.  At the time, I didn't have the Brazilian Curly Cocktail Curl Cream or the Honey & Ginger Styling Gel, but I wanted to try them.

This wash day, I did a deep condition overnight with Silk Dreams Haircare Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream.  Since I washed my hair earlier this week with shampoo, I didn't shampoo again, except for the back right quadrant of my hair (don't ask).  For the rest of my hair, I skipped right to the conditioner, and used that to "co-wash" my scalp.  This time, I used the Beauty 360 Deeper Moisture Conditioner for Dry and Damaged Hair.  It is supposed to be the CVS generic brand of the TRESemme Moisture Rich Conditioner.  Normally, I would not have purchased this because Dimethicone was the sixth ingredient, but I decided to give it a shot because it was so cheap.  It was ok, but I am still not a fan of regular Dimethicone for the reasons I described in this post.  I prefer -cones that are water soluble, evaporate or are build-up resistant.

After washing my hair, I applied Mielle Organics Brazilian Curl Cream and the Honey & Ginger Styling Gel to my hair in 12 sections (3 sections per quadrant).  I didn't need to use a ton of gel, but I did have to use quite a bit of the curl cream.  Ultimately, my hair was ultra-defined while still wet, and kept a lot of that definition when it dried.  While there was a slight crunch as my hair dried, the crunch left pretty quickly when I touched my hair, and my hair became super soft.  As an added bonus, my hair smelled like delicious herbal tea.

Overall, I like the curl cream and gel as a first impression.  I only had two issues:  (1) my ends are frizzy, which may not be the gel's fault; and (2) the roots of my hair were still wet over 24 hours later, which tends to happen to my low porosity hair with heavy products. 

Total Styling Time:  ~35 minutes

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Eco Styler Gel Challenge

Hi, Beautiful People!  Summer is here, which mean my wash n gos and wet buns are back!  While I loved my braiding challenge, I think my hair loved low manipulation more.

It has never sat right with me that I haven’t had much success with an Eco Styler wash n’ go.  (You can read more about my prior attempt in this post, and this one.)  Since the Extreme Wetline Gel wash n go worked so well, I decided to try using Eco Styler gel again with both my wash n gos and wet bunning.  This time, I wanted to try them all, except the color treated one (yellow).  Here is how they worked out for my buns and wash n gos:

Olive Oil (green top)  – I remember when my hair hated the olive oil one, but my hair has apparently changed even more as it has grown.  This gel worked the best for me, and may be my new favorite level 10.  There was very little coating, and my hair still felt moisturized underneath it.

Krystal (Clear) – This is one of my favorites.  I like it for buns and wash n’ gos, but the olive oil one may have trumped it simply because the olive oil is a little more moisturizing.

Curls and Waves (Pink) – This is the only level 8 that I have tried and, based on the website, it is the only level 8 left in the line.  It continues to be one of my favorites for wet buns, but I don’t think it will work for wash n’ gos as well as a 10.

Sport (Blue) - I loved this gel for my bun.  It kept my bun sleek, even on a crazy work day, which is impressive within itself.  Even more impressive, my hair stayed smooth while sleek.  Thus, for bunning, this is kind up up there with the Olive Oil, Pink and Krystal.  My wash n' go was a different story, however.  It took forever to dry, and my wash n' go didn't even last a day.  By the next morning, I had to figure out how to do something quick with my hair to make it look presentable for work.

Coconut Oil (Brown top) – I liked this one, particularly for buns.  It left a little shine to my hair, and left it soft.  The only downside is that I do not think this is really a level 10.  It gave me a much softer hold than the other level 10s.  As a result, my wash n go did not turn out well and did not last longer than a day (pictured).  I would say I won't repurchase this product again, but it worked really well on my daughter's hair.

Black Castor & Flaxseed Oil (Black Top) - This gave me great definition for my wash n' go and the wash n' go lasted.  It also gave me good hold for my bun.  The surprising problem was that it made my hair extremely dry by the end of the day.  I typically do not have this problem with my low porosity hair, which holds on to moisture for days.  

Argan Oil (Red top)  – This is one of my least favorite.  It leaves my hair with a weird coating that remains if I just co-wash.  I have to use shampoo to get this out of my hair.

Super Protein (Black Jar with Black Top) – This was my least favorite.  I was a little worried about using this because all Eco Styler gels have a little protein, and this one is pegged as being the protein one, which I assume means there is extra protein.  However, I was committed to trying as many of the gels as I could, so I tried it.  This left my hair so dry.  Also, washing it out was kind a nightmare.  It mixed with my cleanser, and left tan goop in my hair.  I ended up washing my hair again the next day, and my hair shed like crazy.  I think the protein was just too much for my hair.

Overall, Eco Styler continues to be my go-to product for a sleek bun, but it is not my best for wash n' gos.  If I have to do a wash n' go with Eco Styler, I think i will stick to the Olive Oil or Krystal.

As an aside, while not a gel, I picked up Eco Styler's newer Stay n Play Edge Control.  I thought it might work because Eco Styler is one of the few things that consistently slicks down my edges.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  This product did nothing for my hair.

Which Eco Styler do you prefer?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Power Product Line Review: Mielle Organics

Hey beautiful people!  I have been trying to keep my product junkism at bay, and I have been doing a pretty good job at it.  However, courtesy of a tip on Long Hair Care Forum, I got wind of a clearance sale on Mielle Organics products, and picked up a few items.  Here are my thoughts:

Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner - 8 oz. ($13.99):  This is a very nice deep conditioner, and my third favorite product from the line.  It is lightweight, but still has substance to it in that I can feel the benefit to my hair.  The smell is also divine, and reminds me of mint tea in the summertime.  The slip is also incredible for a deep conditioner.  I literally detangled my hair with this before deep conditioning my hair overnight.  I was shocked.  The only thing that gives me pause about this product is the level of protein.  My hair needs a good, lightweight protein-based conditioner that is still moisturizing.  When I put this in my hair, I could instantly notice the protein, and the back of the jar shows that it is packed with protein.  If I am not careful, I could get protein overload because this product is just barely on the border of being ok for my hair.  For this reason, someone who needs more protein would likely love this product even more.

Detangling Co-wash - 8 oz. ($11.99):  This co-wash is more of a conditioner than cleanser.  It has amazing slip and did a great job detangling my hair, but it didn’t clean it.  My hair felt coated before I used it, and it still felt coated after using it.  As a low porosity girl, I need a real cleanser.

White Peony Ultra Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner - 8 oz. ($12.99):  As the name suggests, this product is moisturizing.  It is also light-weight, which is good for low porosity hair.  I just like my homemade spritz better, and it is cheaper.  Also, the spray nozzle on this product bothers me.  It comes out as a stream, rather than distributing across my hair.  I actually ended up transferring it to another bottle to make it easier to use.  However, in looking at the Mielle Organics website, it looks like they have changed the top to a spray pump, so that should fix this problem.

Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk - 8 oz. ($12.99):  This is very moisturizing, and is probably my favorite product in the line.  My hair felt so soft after I used this.  Unfortunately, it doesn't absorb into my hair right away when I first put it on, but few things do.  The other downside I notice is that it clumps when I mixed it with EcoStyler gel in my hands, which is what I usually use to bun my hair.  Nevertheless, because of how wonderfully moisturized it makes my hair feel, I would repurchase this product.

Mint Almond Oil - 8 oz. ($12.99):  This is a very nice oil, and my second favorite product in the line.  It is lightweight enough for my low porosity strands, and the peppermint smell is heavenly.  The oil essentially has three main ingredients -- Sweet Almond Oil, Soybean Oil and Peppermint Oil, so you could make it yourself if you consider yourself a mixtress.  I would definitely purchase it again at the $7 price point I purchased it for, but it is not a repurchase for me at the regular price.  That being said, this isn't overpriced.  Peppermint oil is expensive.  I have seen a 4 oz. jar sell for $11.  It's just that I already have a bottle of peppermint oil that I haven't been able to use up in the past 5 years, and I typically buy a 32 oz bottle of avocado oil (my favorite straight oil) for about $15.  I do thank this product, however, for teaching me that I can add more peppermint oil to my other products without irritating my scalp.

Honey Ginger Edge Gel - 4 oz. ($12.99):   While I had high hopes, this edge gel suffered the same fate as many others.  It initially slicked down my edges, but that did not last long.  Thus far, it still remains that Eco Styler is one of the few things capable of slicking my edges long term.

Advanced Healthy Hair Formula Vitamins - 60 vitamins ($18.99):  I was a little hesitant to use this product because I am not a big believer in hair vitamins.  Also, biotin in my daily multi-vitamin gives me acne, and this product has a lot of it (as you would expect).  But, I gave this product a shot because the price was so good.  I have two bottles (60 days worth), so I will check back in on this one.  Stay tuned...

I still want to try the Brazilian Curl Cream and the Honey & Ginger Styling Gel.  I guess I will just have to wait for another great sale.

Do you like this line?  What products do you use from it?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The End Of The Braiding Challenge

Winter is officially over and I am doing less braided styles, so I am officially ending my braiding challenge.  This has been a fun challenge.  Through it, I've learned that my hair prefers "wet creams" (almost thick lotion texture) and "wet butters" if the butter is very light and fluffy.  Water has to be the first ingredient, and there has to be a good concentration of it.  

Over the course of this challenge, I tried at least 16 butters and twisting creams.  These were my favorites, starting with my most liked:
  1.  Embrace The Natural You Twist Truffle Whip
  2.  Silk Dreams Almond Buttercream
  3.  Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream
  4.  Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel
  5.  Uncle Funky's Daughter Supercurl Miracle Moisture Cream & Extra Butter combined

I was surprised that only one of my Camille Rose butters made the list, and that the Almond Jai Twisting Butter wasn't at the top after my Camille Rose Battle of the Butters.  I also learned through this challenge that the leave-in under my butter can sometimes make a big difference.  While Uncle Funky's Daughter Supercurl Miracle Moisture Cream started out as one of my top favorites, it dropped a little as the challenge progressed and after I tried the Uncle Funky's Daughter Extra Butter. Though Supercurl and Extra Butter gave me good sheen and hold, they need to be paired with each other or with another heavy leave-in, like Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter or the Silk Dreams Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner to get moisturized softness.  Oyin Hair Dew was too light.

Sometimes, I used Eco Styler gel on top of my cream, but it didn't typically make a difference with the top ranked stylers, except that the gel made my edges and my crown neater.  I also tried Aloe Vera gel once, but I my hair did not like that all.

Finally, I learned through this process that, aside from a my wash n' go, my high bun and my low bun, crown braids are my favorite go-to style.  It takes about less than 15 minutes for me to do, and it will last for a few days.  Also, when my crown braids start to get fuzzy, they create a great braidout with the right products.  I just have to be careful because my crown breaks easily.  I also have to make sure that I continue to moisturize my hair in the braids because it is easy to just leave them alone for a week without thoroughly moisturizing them, which will dry my hair out by about the third or fourth day.  I am pretty sure my laziness with moisturizing my hair in braids is what led to some mild breakage and thinning that I experienced.

What are your favorite stylers for braiding/braid outs?  Do you have any go-to braid styles?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

In Review: Eco Styler Coconut Gel

Hey, beautiful people!  As you may have heard, Eco Styler recently came out with two new styling gels.  One is the coconut gel.  The other is the black castor oil and flaxseed gel.  I recently purchased the coconut gel in my beauty supply, and I have tried it on a variety of styles to see how it works on my hair in comparison to some of the others.

Overall, this gel seems to mix well with my other products, particularly the As I Am Leave-In Conditioner.  However, despite the level 10 hold stated on the Coconut Gel jar, it seems to have a lighter hold that is more similar to the pink gel (pink is a level 8).  Because of the lighter hold, my hair has remained soft, but I have had some styling issues.  For example, with my bun, the gel did not smooth down flyaways. 

With my wash n’ go, my first day hair was just ok.  The coconut gel did not give me the same definition as the Krystal or Argan Oil Eco Styler gels, likely because of the lighter hold.  Also, the hold I did get was completely gone by the second day, and my hair looked pretty terrible by the end of the day (see picture).

In short, I would not add this to my list of favorite Eco Styler gels, and I probably wouldn’t repurchase it because I like other Eco Styler gels better, but I don’t hate it enough to throw out my current jar.  I will not do a wash and go with it again, but I will use it for messy buns.

Have you tried it?  What are your thoughts?