Monday, April 18, 2016

Wash Day 04-17-2016 (Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream Wash N Go)

Hey. beautiful people!  It has been awhile since I did a wash day post.  However, the weather was really warm here in Michigan, and I had a natural hair event to go to that evening, so I decided to break out the wash n' go.

First, I did a deep condition overnight with Camille Rose Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment.  I have liked this product more than I ever thought I would, but more on that in other post.  The next morning, I put Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo in my hair.  This is definitely one of my favorite shampoos.  It smells amazing, and my hair does not dry out.  Next, I used Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship.  This conditioner is a holy grail for certain.

Finally, I did a wash n' go with Jane Carter's Curl Defining Cream.  I love this cream.  It may be the most versatile product I own.  I have used it for braids, twists, braidouts, and twistouts, and it has not failed me yet.  I also used it once for a wash n' go when my hair was shorter, and it worked well then.  So, I decided to give it another try.  The result was big, fluffy hair, but in a good way.  I think I still prefer my gels for wash n' gos, but this is a good alternative.  Plus, unlike gel, the next day, I was able to just braid my hair up for work.

Have you ever used this product for a wash n go?  What are your thoughts?

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Product Review: Embrace The Natural You Twist Truffle Whip (The Braiding Files #5)

Price:  $13 for 8 oz

Ingredients:  Water, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Unrefined Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Vitamin E, Fragrance and Essential Oils.  **NOTE:  According to the website, as of 2/2/16, this product no longer has shea butter, Jamaican black castor oil, or vegetable emulsifying wax.  So it may be even more low porosity friendly!

Scent: Light island breeze, like papaya and mango

Consistency:  Whipped cream cheese

Results:  I bought this product last September at a market near my job.  As a nice bonus, this is a Michigan-based company, so I can pick it up on the ground.  When I purchased it, I met the owner, who uses her product on her own hair (bonus #2).  

While I have been using this product for a while now, it has taken me this long to review it because I was not certain what to say.  It leaves my hair soft and gave it nice sheen about 8 times out of 10.  The rest of the time, my hair was really dry, and felt coated, and I wanted to figure out why because I really like this product.  I have realized two things.  First, I need to use water or a very moisturizing leave-in under this product for it to work well on my hair.  If I don’t put enough moisture into my hair under this product, it leaves my hair dry.  While this product comes with its own moisture built in, my greedy hair needs more.  As I mentioned in my post on coconuts, I need a lot of water for coconut to work in my hair. 

Second, if I use a heavier/coating leave-in under this product, the residue from the this product will combine with the residue from the leave-in, and my hair feels coated.  As I note above, the ingredients have changed, and the more heavy/coating ingredients have been removed, so it may now be perfect for me.  I plan to try the new formulation soon.  Maybe the new formulation will be a “love it”.As an aside, this product reminds me a lot of Annabelle's Perfect Blend Hair Creme in both texture and the way it works on my hair, except APB does not have coconut oil.  Thus, if you already like that product, you may want to try this, and vice versa. 

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Like It

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ingredient Investigation: The Coconuts (Coconut Oil vs Coconut Milk)

Hey, beautiful people.  It has been an awhile since I did an ingredient investigation, but I’ve had a burning question for a while now that I wanted to look into.  If you have read my blog for any period of time, you know that my hair does not really like coconut oil in stylers.  It leaves my hair feeling coated and hard.  That being said, my hair loves leave-ins with coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut fruit, like My Honey Child Coconut Hair Milk, Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Hair Milk and Aubrey Organics Island Replenishing Conditioner.  So, I decided to investigate the different types of coconut products, and how they are made.  Below is a summary of what I found.   

A green coconut (young coconut) starts off with coconut water and soft, gel-like meat.  As the coconut ages, the coconut has less water and the meat becomes more firm.  Coconut fruit is the “meat” inside the coconut.  Coconut milk is extracted from coconut fruit (frequently using water as part of the process), and coconut oil is extracted from coconut milk.  Thus, coconut oil has the least amount of water of the three.

One way to make coconut milk/oil is through a process called "wet-milling fermentation".  Freshly grated coconut is blended with water to make coconut milk.  The milk then sits for hours (sometimes overnight) so that it separates into a liquid and coconut cream/butter.  The coconut cream is scooped out, and boiled until the coconut solids fall to the bottom and turn brown.  Then, the oil is filtered, and Voila!

In case you are curious (I was), from what I've read, heating the milk to create the oil is actually good.  This particular wet-milling fermentation process produces the highest level of antioxidants in the coconut oil.  Both the oil and the anti-oxidants are thermally stable, so heating doesn't break them down.  In fact, simmering the cream for a long time at a high temperature dissolves more anti-oxidants into the oil!  Who knew.

Based on my research, I think the difference for me is that coconut oil is a purer concentration from the coconut, as opposed to coconut milk and coconut fruit, which have water.  Also, this explains why my hair likes co-washes and conditioners with coconut oil -- because I'm using them in the shower.  In essence, my hair only seems to like coconut when it is with a lot of water, probably to counteract the protein-like properties and because my hair generally loves things that have high water content. 

If you want to know more, I found a few great Youtube videos that show how coconut fruit is used to make coconut milk and coconut oil:

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