Saturday, June 28, 2014

Product Review: Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream (The Deep Conditioner Files #6)

Price:  $10 for 8 oz. / $16 for 16 oz.

Ingredients:  Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Vanilla Butter (coconut oil, palm oil, vanilla planifolia), Honey, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Apricot Kernel Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Dimethyl Stearamine, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Panthenol, Lactic Acid, Germall Plus, Fragrance

Promise:  Get ready for moist, supple, manageable hair.  This rich conditioning cream will help you get your moisture groove back.  Silk protein protects and softens your hair while honey, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, and aloe wrap your tresses in silky moisture.

Scent:  Almond extract
Consistency:  Like lightly whipped buttercream frosting

Results:  The price is right and it makes my hair feel great.  I got at least 4 uses out of this.  I’ve tried it under a heat cap, as an overnight deep conditioner, and in my hair for two weeks under a wig (I was feeling lazy on my wash day).  My hair probably liked the overnight deep conditioning best, but it worked every way I tried it.  It was even mild enough that my scalp wasn't bothered by leaving it in long term.  After each use, my hair felt moisturized, yet strong.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Love it!

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ingredient Investigation: Dimethicone and Other Silicones

Hey, beautiful people!  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to take a few posts and investigate some of the more suspect ingredients in commercial rinse out conditioners.  This is my first one.

If you have been in the natural hair community for awhile, then you probably know by now that silicones have gotten a bad rap.  From what I know, it seems like most of that bad rap stems from the Curly Girl method created by Lorraine Massey.  As a result, many people, including me at one point, have just accepted that silicones are either good or bad without knowing why.  However, the science geek in me can’t just stick with assumptions.

As you may recall from my toolbox post, one purpose of a rinse out conditioner is to coat the hair to make it easier to detangle.  Silicones are great for this purpose because they coat the hair, creating an effective lubricant for detangling.  They also provide protection for thermal styling.

The reason why silicones can be bad for you is that they coat the hair and can cause buildup, preventing good things, like moisture from getting to your hair.  Silicones usually end in "cone," "col," "conol" or "zane."  There are four types -- water soluble, non-soluble that evaporate, non-soluble that resist buildup, and the rest. 

Water soluble silicones can be washed away with water, so if you wet your hair frequently, then water soluble silicones should not be a problem.  Non-soluble silicones that evaporate won’t wash away with water, but they completely evaporate from your hair anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours after application, so there’s no worry about build up or moisture lock out with these. 

Other non-soluble silicones may need sulfates or another cleanser to be washed away.  If you are a regular shampoo user, like me, or clarify periodically, then even non-soluble silicones should not cause a problem.  Here is a great chart from Chemist Tonya McKay that shows what cleansers will remove what silicones. 

The reason why non-soluble silicones are not good for people on the Curly Girl method is that the Curly Girl method discourages the use of sulfate shampoos.  Obviously, if you are avoiding stronger cleansers, then it is probably a good idea to avoid non-soluble silicones that don’t evaporate.  So, with that in mind, here is the list of silicones that I have been able to nail down into a category:

Water Soluble
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)
  • Any silicone with PEG as a prefix
Non-Soluble That Evaporate
  • Cyclo-XXX-siloxane, like Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Decamethylcyclotetrasiloxane
  • Hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane
  • Hexamethyldisiloxane
  • Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane
Build-Up Resistant Non-Soluble
  • Amodimethicone
  • Bis-aminopropyl dimethicone
  • Aminopropyl Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone crosspolymer
  • Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer
Other Non-Soluble (hard to wash out)
  • Dimethicone (when paired with cationic ingredient, like a such as a bromide, chloride or polyquaternium)
  • Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone
  • Behenoxy dimethicone
  • Cetyl Dimethicone
  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Stearoxy dimethicone
  • Stearyl dimethicone
  • Stearyl methicone
  • Propoxytetramethyl piperidinyl dimethicone
  • Polysilicone-18 Cetyl Phosphate
  • Trimethylsiylamodimethicone

Based on this, I am ok with testing out rinse out conditioners with silicones, with a preference for water soluble, evaporative or build-up resistant.  Maybe, one day, I’ll even go back to dimethicone -- GASP!

Do you use conditioners with silicones?  If so, which ones and how do you avoid buildup?

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Product Review: Alikay Naturals CoWash Me Cleansing Conditioner

Price:  $13 for 8 oz. / $22 for 16 oz.

Ingredients:  Coconut Oil Extracts, Apricot Kernel Oil, Wheat Protein, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Silk Amino Protein, Herbal and Botanical Blend

Promise:  Formulated to be gentle enough for daily use on curly, kinky or straight hair.  Leaves hair soft, moisturized, clean and easy to detangle.  Hair will feel and smell great!  This Product is 100% Natural and 90% Organic.  Cleans hair without the stripping it of natural oils caused by sulfates.

Scent:  Like strawberry lemon starburst or skittles

Consistency:  It was very runny.  It almost ran off my hand mid picture.

Results:  My hair definitely did not feel stripped.  However, I’m not sure this cleansed my hair at all because my hair didn't feel any cleaner after using it and I can't really tell which ingredient is the cleansing agent.  It was a great conditioner, though.  This had lots of slip and was great for detangling.  Unfortunately, I run through conditioner way too fast to ever use this as just a good conditioner.  I used up the 8 oz. bottle in about 2 washes.  After the second wash, I only had enough for 1/4 of my hair.  If I had a smaller head of hair, I would add this to the regular rotation.  Maybe, if I have a daughter, I will use it on her, if I can figure out what is in the “herbal and botanical blend”.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Like it. 
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Product Review: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment (The Deep Conditioner Files #5)

Price:  $16.95 for 8 oz.

Ingredients:  Water infused with Horsetail, Peppermint, Rosemary, Bay Leaf, Basil, Burdock Root, Marshmallow Root, Oregano, Lemongrass, Thyme, Sage and Nettle; Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol; Aloe Leaf Juice; Shea Butter; Avocado Oil; Cocoa Seed Butter; Soy Lecithin; Fragrance (possibly Orange Oil, Lavender Oil and Grapefruit Oil); Diazolidinyl Urea and Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Promise:  From the bottle - Intense pampering for dry hair.  From the website - It’s thick, it’s rich, it’s moisturizing, it doesn’t build up – it really is the ideal formula for restoring moisture to dry curly hair. It also works great as a shaving cream – that even includes bald men!

Scent:  I bought the Island Fantasy scent.  The scent is so light, I can’t really tell.  Maybe light orange and peppermint.

Consistency:  Like whipped shea butter

Results:  This is thick, and it really should be in a jar.  I had to work so hard to get this out of the bottle that my hand turned red from hitting the bottle against it.  That's why I didn't bother trying to get more out to take a picture of the consistency.  Despite the thickness, it still goes on smooth.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.  I tried this under a heat cap for about 25 minutes, and it made my hair hard.  As a disclaimer, the bottle says to leave it on for 30-60 minutes; but, I forgot to check the bottle before I went under the heat cap.  The Curlmart website and another website I checked while under the heat cap said 20 minutes.  The next time I tried this, I did an overnight treatment.  My hair wasn’t hard, so the extra time helped, but this is still not one of my favorites.  I think that the concentration of butters is just too much for my low porosity hair.  This worked better in the front of my hair, which is a slightly higher porosity I think.  Between the effort it took to get this out of the bottle, the amount of time this product needs to work for my hair and the price for the result, I just can’t get with it.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Leave It.  This would probably be great for someone with high porosity.
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Product Review: Purabody Capuacu Butter

Price:  $14 for 4 oz. (wait for a sale)

Ingredients:  Cupuacu Butter, Murumuru Butter, Mango Butter, Illipe Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Organic Brazil Nut Oil, Organic Mamey Sapote Oil, Castor Bean Oil, Herbal extract blend (horsetail, nettles, burdock root) and Essential Oil Blend/and or fragrance

Promise:  A rich creamy blend of natural butters and oils to combat dry, brittle hair.  Cupuacu is well known for its high fatty acid content which benefits dry, damaged hair while protecting moisture and leaving hair soft and silky.

Scent:  I bought the Tahitian Vanilla scent.  It smells like yummy vanilla cake.

Consistency:  Like softened butter or margarine.   It is lighter that whipped shea butter.
Results:  Unfortunately, I purchased this and tried to use it before I realized that my hair just doesn't do well with most straight butters.  Then, I made a rookie mistake and tried it again later because I really wanted to like it.  I just could not get it to absorb into my hair.  I ended up having to put a headband on to cover my edges because my hair was just white with the butter sitting on top of it.  This would probably be great for someone with high porosity hair if their hair normally likes butters.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Leave it.
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