Natural Hair Product Haul!!! Plus Hair Straightening Systems talk

IMG_2061.JPG

So today I went to Target looking for Shea Moisture’s straightening kit and lo and behold, there was a SALE!!! My two natural hair favorite products, Shea Moisture, and Kinky Curly, were having a sale at Target. I got hair products and my favorite body washes.

IMG_2050.JPG

This product below was something I stumbled upon online, while researching another Shea Moisture Product I purchased last weekend, the JBCO Strengthen, Grow and Restore Edge Treatment. I read a few reviews and saw a couple YouTube videos of natural trying it. There were mixed reviews. Some said it made their hair straight like a perm and didn’t revert, others said it loosened their curl pattern and elongated their curls, others said the effects didn’t last too long because their hair frizzed up in heat and reverted back after getting wet. Since there are no consistent outcomes that I’ve come across yet, I will continue to observe before I put this in my hair and regret it.

The reason I purchased it in the first place is because it seemed a lot milder than other hair manageability systems. Also, a lot of the natural ingredients and compounds I recognize, so that helped ease concerns for me. To be on the safe side, I would try the conditioner from the line first (included in the kit, but I purchased the regular size separately) because it seems like the conditioner does good work on its own combating frizz and defining curls, from the reviews I’ve read about it.

 

My take on this new boom of Natural Hair Straightening and Manageability systems:

It seems as though a lot of brands are creating these systems. At first I was critical of them when they first emerged because I felt as though it was defeating the purpose of being natural. I thought of these systems as a milder form of a perm or texturizer without the harsh chemicals–a perm in sheep’s clothing. I was skeptical about these systems and disappointed in natural hair companies for creating these systems to again, alter our natural texture slightly, to be more manageable. Eventually, I cam around and warmed up to researching it. I realize that some people may actually WANT that help with their hair, and there’s nothing wrong with that. At that time, I didn’t. I wanted to appreciate my natural hair for what it was and learn to care for it as it. Today, I still don’t want the help of a straightening system, but I feel differently about purchasing anyway. What I want, it to explore and try something, in hope that it WILL revert back at some point. And if it doesn’t I’m okay with big chopping again, wearing protective styles, growing it out, etc. I purchased this product as not to run from managing my natural hair but to take a further step in styling it.

One of the biggest reasons I returned to being natural is to learn to love my ORIGINAL-self, and I think I’ve accomplished that. I am comfortable in my skin and with my natural hair. I am comfortable in public even with a bad natural hair day. I am currently rocking two strand twists pinned up at work. I feel very physically unattractive currently but it does not knock my confidence. I would look in the mirror and laugh at myself with myself, that’s how okay I am with being this way. I still love me. So with that being said, I didn’t buy this product to run from managing my hair as is; I bought it for fun, to explore and try versatile styles. What matters most to me, is that my hair is healthy. No longer am I on a journey to natural hair. I have arrived. I have arrived to my destination–that emotional feeling within that exudes self-confidence. I have arrived to where I needed to be, as a black woman in this twisted society that strongly influences the definition of beauty. I have arrived and I am at peace. I accept myself as beautiful, no outside validation needed. 😉

 

IMG_2052.JPG

NEW Product Alert!! Shea Moisture: JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore Edge Treatment

20140813-105705-39425852.jpg

I recently purchased this from my local CVS store. It goes for about $10.99 but I got a slight discount of a dollar or two off, with my handy dandy CVS coupons. 😉 I already have and love some products from the Shea Moisture brand so I did not hesitate to purchase and try this product at all. Also it was the last one on the shelf so…had to get it. I’ve used it a few times now since purchasing it. Although it hasn’t been long enough to see major results, I can still give my first impression which I hope can help you all.

I’ll start with the consistency; it is like a science project gone bad, lol. It took me by surprised when I opened the jar. It is like a semi-solid, transparent jelly that is almost crystal-like and comes out in chunk form when trying to use it. It isn’t easy to scoop up some product for use because it’s in one compact blob so you kinda have to dig at a piece. Idk, maybe I got a bad jar? It was the last jar, as you know. Anyhow, that didn’t kill the experience for me per se. I love the smell. It is a sweet smell and very mild, not overbearing or lasting. It is faint and it fades away. When I apply the product on my edges, it instantly dissolves or melts onto my hair/scalp where applied. It looks a bit greasy like thick castor oil. It is enough to combat the frix of my baby hairs. And I appreciate the concoction of natural and beneficial ingredients. I would prefer to use this over edge control because it doesn’t flake nor cause build-up like a lot of edge controls do. My hairs lay softly and tamed.

The reason I prefer this over edge control is because this is something I would use daily. I cannot use edge control daily to harden my edges and potentially break them, cause, build-up, white cast, or flaking. I hardly use edge controls nowadays. I’ve tried so many and discarded some too. Edge control is something I would use on occasions and on special occasions for hairstyles that I want to be slicked down. My hair and edges are certainly not laid every day. My everyday hair is something I like to keep clean for as long as possible and not have to wash out and reapply daily or multiple times per week. This is just my personal preference. So, that is why my initial impression is to appreciate this product. I will consider it my clean and mild daily edge carer. 🙂 I made that up, but it is fitting to how I utilize this product. I have a lot of essential oils and butters, etc that I can create my own concoction, but I like that this is a small portable jar that I can travel with. And I am not sure that I can make anything close to this that would keep my edges tamed and soft for most of the day without running down my face. So for now I will give this product a 4-star rating since I am still in the initial stages of trying it, and I never give anything 5 stars unless… I would have to be speechless about it to give it 5 stars, lol. So, to have 4 stars is the best it can get with any product right now.

Has anyone else tried this product? Since it is fairly new, I haven’t found ample reviews or extra details about it, so let me know your thoughts!

 

xoxo

Fall | Winter Protective Style Challenge

This past weekend, I took out my sister loc extensions. Yes.. I survived a whole month!! *pats self on the back* Proud moment. =D Since my hair is currently in mini twists, which under my loc extension, I am going to challenge myself to leave them in until the end of this year! Yes!! That’s right!!! I know, I know, you think my twists will turn to dreads and knots and I’ll have to big chop again. Haha! I understand any concerns and this challenge will require attention and care for me to maintain these twists to prevent them from dreading. I personally do not believe that between now and December I will have dreads, so I am not worried, AT ALL. 🙂

Sister Locs – The Take Down

So this weekend, I washed the twists that were under the locs with my Kinky Curly Come Clean no-sulfate poo and conditioned it with Garnier Fructis  Triple Nutrition Fortifying Conditioner. Taking out my loc extensions before “wash day” was a pretty quick job once I figured out the best way to uninstall them. At first, I would cut the ends and try to unravel them, but as I pulled on the strand it would tighten around my hair and I’d have to cut or loosen it by pulling at it. Then I found the fastest and easiest way soon after where I just pulled down the coil from the root and the Marley hair gathered and slipped off in a perfect coil. Since my hair was still very moisturized from Shea butter, the coils which were already sort of loose from long wear and manipulating styles just slipped off like butter. This removal technique was super easy and super fast. I am not sure if it will work again, but I would sure hope so!

Anyhow, before washing my hair, I wanted to pre-condition and also deep condition. Those two things did not happen. Unfortunately, I only washed and conditioned my hair as if it were a regular wash day. Such a lazy natural I am, sometimes. I suggest that after wearing a protective style for a month or more, one should pre-condition and especially deep condition their natural tresses to restore moisture and strength and combat dryness and fragility.

After washing, I air-dried my hair and while it was damp I did the LOC method to seal in water moisture. So here’s what I did: I don’t always use the LOC method in order, sometimes it’s LOC, LCO or even just LC. I still like the method as a guide and simple reminder of what you need to do to retain moisture in your hair. So I used three leave-in creams first [after Liquid which is water in this case]: Shea Moisture Balancing Conditioner, Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion, and Eden Body Works’ Coconut Shea Leave-in. I squeezed out about a quarter-size of each, mixed them together in the palm of my hand, and applied all over my twists. Then I used coconut oil to seal in the moisture. Here are the results:

IMG_8682

The next day, I realized that I had buildup of hair shed, dirt, and other elements near the root of my twists where the beginning of the loc extensions and my hair that was exposed met. I thought I had washed out everything when I washed my hair the first time, but apparently that was not the case. So as much as I didn’t want to, I had to untwisted and finger comb/detangle each twist and retwist them. This process took a long, long time—6 hours. <—-There went my Saturday night. -_- For this process, I sprayed my hair in sections as I went along with water. [It is better to detangle damp hair as opposed to dry hair to prevent breakage]. I also sprayed Lavish Curls Moisturizer from the Curl line at Target. That stuff gives my hair slip, so it was easier to remove the gunk with the combo of that and water. Then, I used raw Shea butter on each twist before retwisting it. This ensured that each twist was totally quenched.

In the end, this process was absolutely worth it and necessary to do so that I avoid any potential for my hair to dread!

Disaster waiting to happen!

Disaster waiting to happen!

Now I know for sure that dreads wont happen. And if I put loc extension back in before December is over, I will be sure to do this again!

Fall – Winter Protective Style Challenge

Now that the weather is getting colder, I am sending my hair into hibernation until next year, hopefully. Knowing that I have HIH [hand in hair syndrome] (lol) this is absolutely going to be a challenge. However, after changing up my hair so much and trying different styles for the past few months in the Spring an Summer time, I am feeling lazy and a little burned out from all the changes. So I am deciding to give it a rest for these two seasons and pick back up when my birthday comes around. Also, these mini twists are very small and it took time to put them in, and it will take time to take them out. I don’t want to have to take them out and then spend more time on trying to tame the beastly afro I will have let loose. That is another reason why I want to maintain these twists. Oh! and my biggest reason of all, is LENGTH RETENTION! I’ve hit a point in my natural hair journey where I feel like my hair growth has stunted or slowed down. More than likely, I’ve probably suffered a bit of breakage from high manipulation and also my eating habits are not the best so I am sure that contributed as well. Going from high manipulation to low or none is one of the best ways to retain length and prevent breakage [when done carefully and in a healthy way]. A combination of things, including drinking lots of water water, eating healthy and cutting out  or reducing the intake of not-so-healthy things can also help with the strength of ones’ hair to reduce breakage. So I will make a more conscientious effort to take extra care of my hair for length retention throughout this fall and winter. Once, I make these things good habits, then they will become a normal part of my routine.

As far as styling goes, I plan to maintain these mini twists underneath my handmade wigs. I have two curly wigs that I made last week for the fall and winter. So I will wear one for a month (starting next weekend) and the other for a month. Then for January, I plan to make another wig for the new year. But I digress, January is pretty far away and my hair plans can change LOL so that plan isn’t quite solidified yet. Anyhow, this has been one long update,  so thank you for taking the time to read it.

Please make sure to check out some NEW pictures added to my Hair Creations pages: Braids, Protective Styles, and Handmade Wigs!!! I’ve done a lot this past week so ENJOY!!! 🙂

Shea Moisture’s New Hair Coloring System

20131001-115502.jpg

I went to Target yesterday just to get a box of this. It’s been on my “Things to Buy” list since summer! Has anyone tried Shea Moisture hair Coloring system in any of the other colors? And has it been effective in coloring and doing what it claims? I’ve received great feedback on Instagram but I still have doubts about it’s coloring effect when it comes to the lighter and brighter colors on dark hair. Other than that, I can’t wait to try it because it seems to be safer than most other dyes and moisturizing for natural hair. What do you think about this hair coloring system?

Conditioners and Deep Treats!

Image

Conditioners, deep conditioners, intensive treatments, co-wash conditioners!

Over the years of using conditioners, I’ve never found a staple product that I felt did an absolutely amazing job on my hair. I don’t really care for regular conditioners after a shampoo too much at all, although I should, because conditioners are the most important step when washing your hair. I just feel like most conditioners are watered down and don’t contain enough of the essential ingredients it claims.

However, you should know that the product remain on your hair even after rinsing–that is the point of it being a conditioner. It is important to use a great conditioner for the sake of your hair’s heath. I actually prefer leave-in conditioners over regular conditioners because of the thicker density and less harsh chemicals in the leave-in (at least the ones I buy). Also, it might be a mental trick, but anything that I have to put in my hair for a minute to three or five minutes to then rinse out, is not worth putting in my hair in the first place. But that’s just my opinion. I still do it anyway, sometimes.

Deep conditioners on the other hand, I do not mind using. I don’t deep condition as often as I should, but I do feel a difference in my hair when I deep condition for 30 minutes or more. I haven’t found a staple DC product as yet. I’ve tried different ones including some homemade ones. I think I’m going to experiment more with homemade DC’s and also do some research for great ones to purchase.

I like some of these conditioner above but none of them I would buy anymore after they are finished. I’ve learned that with my natural hair, a concentrated, nutrient-packed, moisturizing conditioner/deep conditioner would do greater justice to my hair as opposed to some of these diluted and whipped products that cannot withstand the thickness and thirst of my hair.

[Keep in mind that, some products that did not work for me may work for you. Every hair type is different in some way and requires different moisture levels because of the porosity, structure of our strands, density, etc.]

Check out my quick review of my experience with these product above under my Products Review drop down tab: Conditioners and Deep Treatments. Have you tried or plan to try any of these? What was your experience? Are there any others that you would recommend?