“I’ve got time today!”: DevaCurl Follow-Up

Happy New Year! I have some time for a quick (long?) follow-up post on my hair so far. So, I remember a few years back — about five to seven years ago? — there was some talk about DevaCurl products being very drying. Also, I remember something about them changing the formulation of the products at one point.

In any case, I was only using the DevaCurl One Condition as a leave-in, and then switched to the color-treated hair formula (now discontinued), and then ceased using it altogether. As you know, I am currently using the full line of products except for my shampoo — I use LivSo shampoo.

Important Side Note: DevaCurl was sold to some sort of venture capitalist firm, Ares . Apparently, the company had already been sold to a different VC prior to this. I am critical of transactions like this because it changes the nature of a business when they have stakeholders to please. You can already see it with the three different lines that they’ve created: Original, Wavy (Delight), and Super Curly (Decadence). Further, you can tell that they simply don’t care about curly hair because they’ve created these lines based on curl pattern, and we all know curl pattern is not the most important attribute when working with curly hair.

Now, back to my point. I purchased two items from the Decadence line, the No-Poo and the One Condition. I noticed that my hair was super frizzy and dry. I am also using the Ultra Defining Gel. I decided to have a look at the ingredients, and the products are loaded with glycerin and protein. When I got my hair cut, the stylist used products from the Original line. I thought to myself “It’s super dry and cold outside, so I will use the Decadence line in the winter, and switch to Original in the summer.” Nope. That’s not how it works.

I have fine, medium to highly porous, coarse strands with medium density. The logic says “Highly porous? You need more protein!” No, my hair can’t take much protein, and the stylist actually said not to use a bunch of protein unless you color-treat or heat style (It’s funny that she didn’t mention that the B’Leave In and Ultra Defining Gel have a bunch of proteins, but *eye roll*).

Glycerin is a whole other story because there is conflicting information out there about glycerin, but the simple assessment is that glycerin can dry your hair out even more in the winter months, and make your hair expand on humid summer days. It’s a tricky ingredient, so I tended to avoid products that contained it as a main ingredient (This is getting long, huh? Ha!) I defer to The Natural Haven and Science-y Hair blog, but my hair has been fine with low glycerine and low protein products.

Bottom line: I had to exchange the DevaCurl One Condition Decadence for the Original. This helped tremendously. The No-Poo Decadence is phenomenal! I couldn’t switch that out, but switching out the One Condition Decadence significantly reduced the amount of protein I was putting in my hair (frizzy, dry hair).

That still didn’t quite solve my frizzy/dry issue. I started to think, think. With years of natural curly hair experience, what could I do to solve this issue other than return the DevaCurl products…Bam! Add a curl cream for additional moisture and curl definition. And it couldn’t be a DevaCurl curl cream because they too have protein and glycerine in those formulae. I searched around…my house, ha! I had a sample jar of TreLuxe Curl Supreme. First, this curl cream smells so amazing! I simply had to use it. I did a little bit of research, and found this review of all of their styling products on Naturally Curly. The strange thing is that the review was posted in 2014…I don’t think I had really ever paid attention to this product line.

Anyway, I’m using the Curl Supreme, and it solved the frizzy/dry issue.  I use it after I apply DevaCurl B’Leave In, and before I apply the DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. The Curl Supreme plays really well with the DevaCurl products. I have no flakes or white spots, and I get nice shine. Remember to keep your hair soaking wet when applying products — apply them in the shower for best results.

I’m going to play around with this combination a bit, and maybe use my Kinky Curly Curling Custard instead of the Ultra Defining Gel the next time.

Back to the frigid Chicago temperatures!

 

 

 

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Annual Hair Post: I’ve Been Doing This All Wrong!

Hiyah! I haven’t posted in a long time — I’ve been really busy. This semester was a rough one. I’m a pretty hearty person, but I caught a cold by the end of the semester.

In any case, I’m not here to discuss the Special Collections library, but hair of course! Ha! So, I finally got my hair cut after eight years. After years of having people in my head: blow-outs, micro-braids, hair pieces, and weaves (I was performing when all this hair action was going on) I simply hated getting my hair “done.” So once I committed to the hair that naturally grows from my head, I didn’t want to see another hair stylist.

There are curly girl salons closer to my house, but I decided to go way up north in the city (Chicago) for my first Devachan cut. This salon has been around for about seven years, and I have been holding out for the time, and money to make my appointment. It was totally worth it!

I was really scared to get my hair cut, but it really hasn’t been growing, and it always tangles (single-strand knots, dryness, frizzy hair, etc.). But I had come to manage these issues. I already knew that my stylist was white because her bio was on the salon’s website. I mention this because the last time a white stylist did my hair I was a freshman in high school, and it was one of those franchises…it just didn’t go well, ha! Please do not take this personally followers because there is light at the end of this tunnel.

My stylist was amazing! She taught me so much in one appointment that she made me fall back in love with my hair, and I will definitely be booking with her again. First, Afro textured hair needs hydration. I know this, but I didn’t know just how much. Also, it needs specific hydration — WATER. She told me that it is a myth to think that you can’t wet your hair at least twice a week (she suggested more, but I don’t have the time for that right now, ha!). After following blogs, and listening to so many naturalistas online, I thought that having your scalp wet a few times a week was bad –not so.

Also, the second most important thing she shared was stop using so much oil and butter. I wasn’t going crazy with the oils and butters, but I was using them for the LOC method, and to refresh my hair, and it simply does not work. I use light oils, too, but they should be used sparingly. Oils and butters coat the hair strand, and can lock moisture out. This makes total sense. I had been using oils and butters to lock moisture in, but they can also lock it out of the hair strand. Perfect sense. No wonder I couldn’t manage my frizz and tangles properly.

I also had not used the full line of DevaCurl products. I am now doing that, and am obsessed with them. I use the No Poo Decadence and One Condition Decadence (for the winter months, I will go back to original during the summer), B’Leave In curl primer, and Ultra Defining Gel. Side note: I’m about to experiment with a line called LivSo because I’m still struggling with scalp issues when I use shampoo*. I will post a review of that in about four weeks. Interestingly, I have significantly reduced dryness and itching when I No Poo, which is my second wash of my week.

Okay, so, DevaCurl products. I used to use the One Condition original, and loved the scent, and it was pretty moisturizing. But I think they changed the formula at some point, and some other weirdness, so I stopped using it.

There is a learning curve. You have to use a lot of WATER! That is, your hair has to be soaking wet when you apply the styling products, like, dripping wet. And you have to allow your hair to completely dry before manipulating or scrunch/fluffing the hair. The gel will make what they call a cast on the hair, and when that cast completely dries it creates a hold and moisture barrier for your curls.  You will apply a little bit of leave-in conditioner making sure it coats every strand at every level of your hair, and then you apply the gel on top. You have to make sure that the products make a “squishy” sound. That tells you that you have a balance of water and product in your hair — don’t squeeze the water out — just make sure that product and water are evenly distributed, but that your hair is still soaking wet — even if you have to spray more water in your hair. I do my hair in the shower just to make sure that it’s really wet.

I haven’t mastered this process yet, but I am close. And the one thing that I’ve noticed already is that I get more consistent curls and kinks. So, even if it is a little dry or frizzy, my curls and kinks are still poppin’.

Your next step is to allow your hair to completely dry. Don’t touch it! You can sit under a hood dryer or air dry. After it’s completely dry you simply fluff and scrunch to break the cast!

I hope this helps someone else out there! Happy holidays, and here’s hoping for a great 2018 (Prayers up!) If you have questions, just send a reply!

 

Shampoo Update: “Boing!”

Okay, so in January I tried two different shampoos, Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining shampoo and Ouidad’s  Climate Control Defrizzing shampoo

As you can see, I didn’t add a link to the NYMN shampoo because, meh, it was almost too mild. I would almost categorize it as a baby shampoo. I think it could still be for curly hair, but not coarse curly hair. Also, I wasn’t really pleased with how my scalp dried out. Conclusion: Mild, fruity scent, still suffered from scalp irritation.

Now, the Ouidad shampoo is a different story. Initially, I thought “meh, this one is not that great either,” but I decided to rotate it with the Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo. First, it passed the scalp test with very little scalp irritation. Second, it did not strip my hair. Let me say that my hair feels clean after use, but not stripped. It does have a really frothy lather, which initially freaked me out (the scent is very mild and clean). Also, this is one of those products that one has to use several times before coming to any conclusions. I’ve noticed after using this for over six weeks that I’ve gotten consistent results–no super dry hair or scalp, minimal tangles, and my crown is not as dry as it usually is by wash day (I only had to refresh one section). That is, I think this shampoo has progressive results.

I’ve also changed my leave-in. I mentioned that I was rotating in the Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Well, I decided to use this as a leave-in and rotate out Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion, which has been what I consider a HG product. I was really hesitant about taking this out of the rotation, but I see the results are completely different and in a good way.

I have gotten more “pop, boing!” and longevity with my curls than with other regimens I’ve used over the past 8 years. And I’ve significantly reduced scalp irritation and itch. I’m

gonna keep doing it until, and if something changes.climatecontrol_defrizzing_shampoo_8.5

 

 

 

Shampoo Update 2017

Happy New Year All! I was settling, but not completely satisfied with the Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo. I am still going to use it because it is the most non-irritating shampoo I’ve used. Well, that is, until yesterday.

So I decided to do a little bit more digging on the surfactants/detergents in shampoo. This is ongoing research for me, but I decided to venture back in to see if there was more detailed information. And there was. I found it on Curly Nikki’s website. I didn’t go directly to her site, but used Google, and a link to this article popped up. I was searching for shampoo for sensitive scalp, but this one on shampoo for dry natural hair was on the return results list. I won’t go into detail because all of the information is contained within the article, but I can say that this helped me select a different shampoo.

nosulfates

I have found that after being a serious product junkie that my scalp had become super sensitive. I’ve had severe dry scalp, sore spots on my scalp, and some hair loss — from cheap sulfates!! When I use anything with SLS/SLES or Sodium C12-14 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, I have an instant reaction. As soon as my hair dries, my scalp is dry and within a day or two my scalp is itchy, and then a few more days out, my scalp is itchy and has sore spots. When I attempted to do no-poo (with Wen and many other cleansing conditioners) the same thing happened.

I decided to go back to Aveda brand shampoo. I first purchased their Scalp Benefits formula, but that made my scalp dry and itchy (see the ingredients list). And then I moved on to the Rosemary Mint. This shampoo significantly reduced my symptoms, and it’s actually supposed to be a clarifying shampoo. I thought that using it once a week would dry my hair out, but it doesn’t. And as I mentioned in a previous post, my scalp seems to prefer watered down sulfates. I still get the itchies with Rosemary Mint, but it’s nothing like the severe reaction I get with the other shampoos. That is, on a scale of 1 to 10, Rosemary Mint is about a 2-3 by wash day. But I think that this is only part of the story.

After reading the article on Curly Nikki’s site, I ran out and purchased Not Your Mother’s  Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Shampoo . I really don’t like fruity body care products, but I decided to give this a shot. I purchased this because of the mild cleansers. Mild doesn’t mean that this won’t get your hair clean. It means that it is less likely to irritate your scalp. I would usually wait until I’ve used a product for four washes before I post, but after my first wash, I could tell that this was going to work. I have not experienced any burning or itching so far. I will definitely be able to confirm by Saturday.

I purchased a Ouidad brand shampoo with C14-16 cleanser — I knew that I should not have because the Organix brand uses this cleanser, and it always dried my hair out, and irritated my scalp. But because Ouidad is supposed to be great for curly heads, I decided to risk it. Well, it didn’t work, ha! So, I exchanged it for the Ouidad Climate Control Defrizzing shampoo . I was simply going to return the Ultra Nourishing formula, but I noticed that the Climate Control formula contains some of the milder surfactants. So I will try that one next, and let you know how it goes.

I’m not that thrilled about how my curls turned out with the Not Your Mother’s, but if my scalp is inflamed and not healthy, it’s not going to matter too much anyway, so I’m sticking with it! All of this is connected to my slow hair growth! Ugh!

I may simply rotate these with the Rosemary Mint. But I first have to try the Ouidad!

Did this post help you? It’s taken me about five years to figure all of this out, and I am surprised that I’m not bald. Let me know.

 

Finals Week ‘n stuff

*Skipping a discussion about the 2016 Presidential election because…yeah…it’ll just stress me out.*

So, it’s finals week at the University, and things are slowing down in the library. I am really satisfied with what I am doing right now, though, I feel that tug of “There’s more that I want to do, let’s do it now,” which has caused great instability in my life. I’ve had to accept that I can’t sit still. I have a wanderlust when it comes to work, and fortunately this position has a lot of tasks to hold my attention. I now need to settle down and write — easier said than done.

I’m currently reading The Racial Contract by Charles Mills, a Caribbean scholar. It was suggested by a French political scholar on Twitter (I have a Twitter problem). It’s really driving home the point that racism is integral to the functioning of politics in the Americas (global white supremacy is more accurate). Racism is fundamental. And he uses philosophy (on which Western governments are based) to deliver his argument. It’s very good so far.

It’s now winter in the central Midwest (Chicago–the most important city in the Midwest, ha!). I crocheted a hat over Thanksgiving break. It’s beautiful and made with a wool/silk blend so that it won’t grab my kinks and curls. I am so happy with it that I am going to make another in a different color.

In any case, with winter comes the winter hair regimen. I don’t really do too much differently from season to season. I probably should, but my hair has medium/high porosity, so the most important thing is locking moisture into my hair. I’ve had to ditch the Lush Fairly Traded Honey shampoo. It was eating away at my hair. I mean…ugh, Lush! So I’m back with Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo. I’m also experimenting with Kinky Curly’s Stellar Strands. It’s okay…smells really weird, but I do notice a difference in softness when I rinse it out. So I will use it up, and give a full review then.

So here’s what I learned in the past week about this shampoo. The reason why it’s not as drying/stripping as the other Aveda shampoos, is because it contains a watered down sulfate (interesting because it’s supposed to be a clarifying). My scalp likes sulfates. I’ve tried mostly coconut based shampoos — who am I kidding — most shampoos have coconut cleansers, but my scalp hates full on coconut cleanser shampoos (I’m looking at Shea Moisture.) My scalp goes into five-alarm itch mode. Also, there are so many different names for coconut cleansers that it’s impossible to find a shampoo without one unless you go straight clay. My hair loves clay, but my scalp does not. Simply, my scalp likes to be cleansed with a sulfate shampoo. But sulfates dry my hair and scalp out!

So, here I am with Aveda Rosemary Mint again because it just works. I still have to put a little bit of Jojoba oil on my scalp, but it just works.

Talk soon!

Hair Products 2016

I’m not sure when I wrote the last post, but ‘hello there.’ I thought I would post more after finishing my graduate program. But, alas, one has to build a career. In any case, it seems appropriate to warm-up with a post about  hair. It’s very easy, and, yes, 7 years later I am still obsessed with my hair.

So I’ve found out a few things about my hair and scalp. Yes, that’s right, I was using the anti-dandruff shampoo by Shea Moisture. Well, now I’ve concluded that I simply cannot use Shea Moisture products. I don’t find them moisturizing, and the shampoos ultimately make my scalp itch. Which leads me to  a video I found about three weeks ago. Hair vlogger, Naptural85 posted a YouTube video about her sensitivity to coconut oil. Not just her sensitivity, but why she stopped using coconut oil. Upon hearing her symptoms, I thought about what I had been experiencing with my scalp –itchiness, sore spots, and dryness/flakiness. I decided to eliminate coconut oil and as many coconut derivatives as possible.

You would not believe how many products use coconut oil or coconut cleansers. And the many names of coconut cleansers. I’ve been using shea butter, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil as sealants and refreshers for a while, so it wasn’t a big deal to eliminate coconut from the line-up. It was simply finding products that didn’t include coconut oil.

Along with the elimination of coconut oil, I’ve also started to reverse wash. I love the results. I think this is particularly helpful if you have fine, natural hair, and you have scalp issues. The two things that I’ve noticed is that 1) My hair has more volume and body. That is, it’s fuller and it has more movement, and 2) It has, along with the elimination of coconut oil, significantly reduced the scalp itch and irritation. I think the reverse wash gets rid of any conditioner product that may get left behind– reduces build-up.

Now, I’m not completely sold on my current shampoo because it seems a bit drying, but it doesn’t have any coconut cleansers. And I add a light coating of Jojoba oil to a clean scalp, and this combats any dryness that may occur (I use a Q-tip to apply the oil to my scalp).

So without further ado here is my current product list:

Reverse Wash:

  • Inexpensive conditioner (I just found out last week that Aussie Moist has added sodium chloride to the current formula, so I am now searching for a new conditioner. I thought Tresemme would be good, but their conditioners have potassium chloride, which is just as bad as sodium chloride–they are cheap thickeners and just don’t feel good on the hair. I felt that the sodium chloride reduced slip. I may go back to Herbal Essences Totally Twisted)
  • Obia Naturals Babassu Deep Conditioner (So good!)
  • Fairly Traded Honey by Lush (really sudsy and drying, so I don’t use a lot. Also, I’m super critical of Lush. The products smell great, but most of their products are not ph balanced–their bar soaps and regular shower gels make my skin crack and break out in these weird thingys. I don’t know what one would call it, but when I stop using their stuff, my skin clears up. Also, they still use parabens and haven’t come up with a satisfactory reply to why they still use them, “there are parabens in your food…” just doesn’t cut it for me.
  • Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion (Leave-in, Holy Grail product!)

Leave-in/Stylers (I use the LOC method):

  • Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter (Liquid:  In addition to the Curl Junkie Smoothing lotion, I use this as a leave-in for wash ‘n go styles. I have yet to use it for a twist out, but it is as good as people say. I was hesitant to try it for my own reasons. Also, I had been using Jessicurl Deep Treatment, which is still good, but the Camille Rose is a nice change)
  • Qhemet Biologics Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm (Oil: Holy Grail! I love this stuff, and it took me a while to figure out how to use it. I actually gave my first batch away because I couldn’t figure it out. I learned how to use it from a curly who used to be really active on naturally curly’s curl talk forum. You have to emulsify this with water. So I squeeze a small dollop into the palm of my hand, add a few drops of cool water, and then mix it into a cream. I add this in sections
  • My DIY shea butter mix: (Cream) shea butter, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil. Mix with hand blender or if it’s a small batch, you can try to blend it with a spoon.
  • Spritz my hair with water (bottle from Sally Beauty Supply)
  • Apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard (Holy Grail! I’ve been using this since I found it, and I think that was 6 or 7 years ago. It freaks me out because I should probably try something else, but this gives me consistently great wash ‘n gos, and hold for days! I can’t quit it)

Yes, this seems like a lot, but my routine has actually gotten simpler over time. I want it to be even more simple! I wish that I could find one moisturizing leave-in, but my hair is porous, so no go. And the Shea Moisture High Porosity Masque seemed ‘Ok’ at first, but I started to notice that my hair was tangling more.

Has anyone had scalp issues? Problems you’ve noticed with certain product lines? I hope to post soon!

 

 

 

Hair update and 2016

Happy New Year! Okay, so it’s very strange to have my first post of 2016 be about hair, but there’s too much stuff going on (or not enough? stuff going on) in my professional life to post. And I don’t want to devolve into complaining. So let’s talk about what I am excited about, and that’s hair.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been struggling with scalp issues (dry, itchy scalp) for about two years. Before this, I never had scalp problems. I think being a product junkie triggered an imbalance (I particularly noticed a problem after using a bentonite clay based hair wash.) It’s taken me two years to find a shampoo that doesn’t dry out my hair, and at the same time doesn’t leave my scalp dry and itchy (this could also be due to product being left on my scalp.)

I want to note here that this scalp problem has caused slow growth, and some hair loss and thinning.

Initially, I used Aveda Scalp Benefits, which worked enough. That is, it reduced the itchiness, but didn’t get rid of the small flakes I had due to dryness. After this, I tried Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap shampoo formula. It’s for people with dandruff and various forms of scalp dermatitis. Yes, it got to a point where I thought I had a form of dermatitis. This formula worked for a few washes, but then stopped working, and actually made the itch and dryness worse.

I had some Aveda Rosemary Mint lying around (an Aveda consultant/stylist recommended that I use it once a month while using the Scalp Benefits), and I decided to use it, as the first time I used it, it didn’t dry my hair out and I don’t remember being super itchy a few days out from wash day. Welp! I’ve decided that I am going to use this formula as my regular shampoo.

I haven’t had any flakes, and my scalp is better than it’s been in the past two years.

Now onto new products! Shea Moisture has just released a line of low porosity and high porosity hair lines. I’ve linked resources that define these two types of porosity, but they are not that great. So do your own research.

Working with my hair, I do not use or purchase products according to my curl pattern, which is 4a. I work with porosity, ph, and hair strand density. In other words, I have fine hair strands that are highly porous. The key to maintaining hair growth is to use products and processes that reduce tangling and dryness, which cause breakage. I pre-treat with coconut oil and conditioner. This allows me to do a small amount of dry detangling before I wash. My HG conditioner is Aussie Moist.  I use it to pre-treat and then detangle after washing.

Okay, all of that to get back to the new Shea Moisture lines. I have highly porous hair, and selected the High Porosity Moisture-Seal masque. I found both High and Low porosity lines at Target. I first saw the High Porosity line at a Target in Pennsylvania (I think it was the Cheltenham/Wyncote location). I didn’t purchase because it was the holiday, and I was low on funds. Anyway, after I left Pennsylvania, I was kicking myself because I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to find it once I got back home. But, as you can see below, I found it at my local Target!

This line has a shampoo, co-wash, styler, and a deep conditioning masque. I decided to try the masque only because Shea Moisture products haven’t worked for me. I don’t co-wash anymore because I think this is one of the things that set off my scalp problem. I will not try the shampoo, but might try the styler, though, I do have an HG styler.

I had low expectations for this product. I’ve tried three different Shea Moisture masques: Coconut Hibiscus, Raw Shea Butter, and the African Black Soap Plantain. They did absolutely nothing for my hair. I didn’t feel like they moisturized or protected in any way.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I sank my fingers into the High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque. Amazing! Seriously. It is rich, creamy and moist. I think it is because the first few ingredients are moisturizing alcohols. It supposedly contains Mongongo and Hemp seed oils…I don’t trust Shea Moisture, but it very well could contain micro amounts of these oils. It also contains apple cider vinegar (ACV), which, with its low ph (around 3) helps close the hair cuticle (locks in the moisture); though, I don’t know how ACV reacts when combined with other ingredients.

I’ve heard other curlies describe a conditioner that melted their tangles, but I had never experienced it until now. Upon first use, I used way too much because a lot of it stayed on my hands (this is how rich it is, and not rich in that thick way, but in a creamy way.) The scent is like a cheap, men’s cologne, but not offensive.

This contains mild proteins, which is good for fine natural hair. I can’t use heavy proteins because they dry my hair out.

I have nothing left to say about this except that I will continue to use it unless it does something weird to my hair.

4/5 curls from me! I gave it 4/5 because the price ($12.99) was higher than what I’ve paid for other Shea Moisture masques.

Check out the High/Low Shea Moisture lines at your local Target. I think they may be slowly rolling these out, so if you don’t see it there, check back! The Low Porosity line comes with a bright orange label and is protein-free.

BTW, it looks like they are introducing Detox and Refresh, and Frizz Defense lines, too. I’m not messing with those tho, :).

IMAG0907

Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Masque 2016

Terressentials: Natural Hair Post, so if you don’t care, skip it

Terressentials

 

My love-hate relationship with Terressentials continues. I LOVE what this clay hair wash does for my hair. I get great definition, and moisture for days. I tried it after I watched  Naptural85 rave about the benefits of this natural hair wash. At the same time, I had been watching videos, and doing research about the ph of hair and skin. I think that I’ve mentioned this before, but just in case, a quick reminder. The hair and skin are at their best when you use products that have a ph range between 4.5-5.5–give or take a few points. Unless you have some type of skin/scalp condition, this ph range keeps stuff from drying out your hair, and bad microbes off of your skin.

If you want fuller/puffier hair, use products that have a ph between 6-7. This is a more neutral ph, which leaves the hair cuticle slightly open. This is usually the general ph range of most products.  For those with fine hair (like me) this range usually is not a problem, as you want more fluff/frizz to the hair. This gives the illusion of thick hair. But, for a fine haired curly, I actually like my hair to be more defined because I get less tangles and breakage. Also, after a wash, as the days go by, my hair gets fuller. ( If you want to experiment, you can find a list of shampoos, conditioners, and their ph on The Natural Haven site

Okay, so this is the deal with Terressentials. My scalp hates this stuff–I think I’ve mentioned it before–but trying to find something that gives me the same results has proved impossible. There are some really good products out there, but Terressentials gives me results that I can’t duplicate with anything else.

In any case, I had to find something to wash my scalp with that wouldn’t dry out my hair before Terressentials application. This is what I do:

  • Wash my scalp with a Bobeam Shampoo Bar (Honey/Shea)–you can purchase from her Etsy Store (link provided) or Curlmart.
  • I rinse. Her shampoo bars leave the hair clean, but not completely stripped of moisture.
  • I then apply Terressentials to the length of my hair making sure that I don’t go near the scalp (I use Left Coast Lemon or Lavender).
  • Detangle and remove shed hairs.
  • Thoroughly rinse out clay wash.
  • Apply  Aubrey Organics White Camellia conditioner and apply plastic cap for deep condition (really acidic/high ph. I think because Terressentials opens the cuticle, this conditioner closes it. It has an odd foaming action–not like the foam/suds of a surfactant–it makes my hair feel squeeky, which is a sign that it is closing the cuticle. But this is my opinion, I have no science to back this up).

My leave-ins are DevaCurl One Condition (ph: 4.7) and Jessicurl Deep Treatment. I seal with a homemade Coconut oil moisturizer (coconut oil base, shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, Jamaican black castor oil, a few drops of argan oil, and essential oils for scent blended with a hand blender). I then apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

This may seem like a lot of product, but my hair is defined, moisturized and lasts seven days.

If you decide to try any of these products, let me know what you think!

How I keep my hair situation moisturized and product updates

Heyyy! It has been a while. I’ve been meaning to post, but I just started grad school in late July, and it’s been crazy ever since.

At any rate,  it took me a very long time to figure out how to keep my hair moisturized. I’d wash my hair, have one good hair day, and then have to figure out what I was going to do to keep it going. My hair does not like water after the initial dry, particularly with a wash n’ go. I mean, water is fine when I put my hair up in a ponytail, but if I get any water on my hair during a wash n’ go, I know that I  am gonna have to wash it soon. I get frizz and shrinkage. It’s just not pretty.

So this is what I do: after the initial wash, at night I stretch my hair into two ponytails (I do this every night–unless I am around my S.O.– until the next wash-day. ) That is, I take six Sephora snag-free hair elastics , my hair is parted down the middle, and then I stretch each side using the hair elastics (three per side.)  And then I put on a satin sleeping scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase (I would like to get a silk pillowcase, but I am a procrastinator and satin is fine.) In the morning, I remove the satin scarf and shower with the two ponytails in my hair. Water and steam work their way into the ponytails, and after I get done preparing for the day, with a little bit of coconut oil on my hands, I remove the elastics and fluff my hair.

A note on stretching: I got this advice from YouTube-r Charz Boss–you have to stretch your hair. I don’t know how much it aids in hair growth, but I know that it keeps the hair from tangling. I have different size, curls and waves on my head, and my hair is fine, so it is imperative that i keep my hair from balling up onto itself.

Coconut oil has locking and moisturizing properties, so I frequently use this oil–this is my go-to oil. There is a trivial amount of water involved, and my wash ‘n go’s last for four-five days, and then I put it up into a ponytail for two-three days.

I have also made my own moisturizer. If you like this idea, keep it in the refrigerator because there is no amount of preservative that will keep it fresh. I mix aloe juice, water, Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil (you can use any oil blend–this one kinda smells like baby power, which I hate, but sometimes I’m just cheap, and I’m not gonna throw it out), and jojoba oil. I put this mixture into a dark brown, glass spray bottle (I picked it up at  the local health food store.)

Okay, I said that I wasn’t keen on Shea Moisture products, BUT I found one, I found one!!! I love-eee it! It is under the Nubian Heritage label (SAME COMPANY), and it’s called Indian Hemp & Tamanu, Grow & Strengthen Edge Taming Taffy. This stuff rocks for ponytails!!! OMG! I love it. I love the texture, then scent, and it works really well for ponytails (high-low or in between.)

I am probably late to the game on this one, but better late than never. I haven’t done a twist-out in a long time, but I am sure this would work well with a twist-out as well. This product is definitely a keeper.

Secondly, the As I Am cleansing pudding is still working fine. I still deep condition after I use it because it is a little drying.  And, another thing, if you do get this product, follow the directions and allow it to sit on your scalp after you scrub it with your fingertips.

Until next time…and it probably won’t be another hair post.