Shea Moisture Wash Day

Shea Moisture ProductsLike most of you Sunday is my weekly wash day. I also wash my hair midweek after workouts as necessary but Sunday is the day I use to really target my hair and scalp needs.  I don’t exactly have product loyalty, I will change what products I use weekly in accordance to how my hair feels, what I am in the mood for and most importantly what is already open.  I try to use up my stash of existing products before opening new ones but sometimes my excitement gets the better of me :)

This week the objective of my wash day was to deal with my itchy scalp and to continue my March goal of deep conditioning with heat.  My scalp (and skin) gets really itchy every time the weather changes particularly during the transition of one season to another, one thing that really helps is exfoliating. Sloughing away layers of dead skin really helps to alleviate dryness and helps my skin breathe.

First things first, I separated my hair into six plaits.  Washing your hair in plaits can help reduce tangling but it is also great for providing access to the scalp when performing a scalp scrub.  I started by cleansing my scalp with Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo. This shampoo is super concentrated and works well as an effective cleanser. It also contains Silk Protein however as a protein sensitive curly the protein in this shampoo does not have any adverse effects.

Next, I scrubbed my scalp using Shea Moisture Olive & Green Tea Body Scrub.  I grabbed a few fingertips full and massaged the scub directly into my scalp in an agitating motion until the sugar crystals dissolved.  This is a sugar based scrub that is loaded up with good oils that is gentle but effective.  The reason I like to use this product as a scalp scrub is that the crystals dissolve so nothing is caught or tangled in the hair.

Lastly, I finished off with Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque.  I reviewed this masque a few weeks back and this is sadly my last application as I finished off the jar.  I was able to get six applications from the 12 oz jar and I really like the softness and strength I get after DCing with this product. Again there are proteins in this product, but just the right amount for me to reap all the benefits and none of the downsides of hard, crispy, straw-like hair.  I used my Hair Therapy Wrap to add some heat to my DC, per my current hair goal.

Full Wash Day Breakdown

  1. Separate hair into six plaits. I braided mine but you can twist or use clips
  2. Rinse hair and scalp with warm water
  3. Cleanse scalp & hair with SMCS shampoo
  4. Rinse hair and scalp with warm water
  5. Exfoliate scalp with SMOGT scrub
  6. Rinse hair and scalp with warm water
  7. Cleanse scalp & hair with SMCS shampoo
  8. Rinse hair and scalp with warm water
  9. Unbraid plaits one section at a time and apply SMSRNH masque
  10. Cover and deep condition with heat for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Rinse with cool water

There are several ways to correct an itchy scalp.  Some of my favorite tips you can find here in my Ditch the Itch post. So why did I exfoliate my scalp instead of using an itch remedy? Well when I scratched my scalp I noticed the amount of gunk (dead skin cells + dirt + oils) under my nails and knew an exfoliation treatment would be more effective.

What are your favorite Shea Moisture products?

Product Review: Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha

Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha

Curl Junkie

Pattern Pusha Hair Styling Gel

$24 for 16 fl oz

Available at Curl Junkie, Curl Mart, AveYou

ing: WATER/AQUA/EAU, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, DEHYDROXANTHAN GUM, ACACIA GUM, XANTHAN GUM, HIBISCUS EXTRACT, CAMELIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) LEAF EXTRACT,  PANTHENOL, SORBITOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM, LIMONENE*, LINALOOL*, CITRONELLOL*, BENZYL SALICYLATE*,  TETRASODIUM EDTA. *FRAGRANCE COMPONENTS.

Curl Junkie released Pattern Pusha gel a few years ago and throughout that time it has gone through a couple formulations. I believe I have used to second and the third formulations both in the pump bottles (the third being the most recent).  This is a light hold styling gel that works great as a curl enhancer.  The formula is glycerin, protein and aloe free and is surprisingly effective and versatile for all curl types.  The gel consistency is pretty thick which is understandable considering it is made up of a combo of jellies and thickeners.

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. Fabulous definer. It works really well to define my curls. I use my fav leave-in Kinky Curly Knot Today underneath most the time but tried a creamy leave-in too and it worked well. I believe the exclusion of glycerin makes the gel easy to get along with most leave-ins.
  2. Lovely scent. The product smells of a sweet floral scent, very pleasant.
  3. Light hold.  I do not like heavy hold gels they are just gross to me. I know gelcast is important for lasting curl definition but I don’t want crunchy hair.  This gel offers a light-hold for my hair and no excessive crunch.
  4. I use this gel mostly while on vacation and it holds up in high humidity and keeps down the frizz.
  5. It also contains great botanical ingredients of Slippery Elm Bark and Green Tea Leaf

Wash n Go Pattern Pusha Hair GelSo what is the downside? Well the lighthold formula is a gift and a curse.  I can *barely* get two day hair with this product.  On vacation this doesn’t mean much as I am either in a pool or the ocean daily so I am constantly washing my hair anyway.  But for regular use I would prefer a product with a lower price point if I am going to reapply daily (this gel runs about $1.50 per ounce). I would purchase this again if it was on sale, but I am looking toward buying less boutique products online and more available on the ground in stores.  Pattern Pusha is a nice gel to keep in your curl arsenal and if you are looking for an aloe free gel that provides great curl enhancement this is the gel of your dreams.

Product Review: Shea Moisture Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque

shea moisture tahitian noni moni smooth and repair nourishing hair masque

Shea Moisture

Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque

$12 / 12 oz

ing: Deionized Water, Butyrosperum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alocohol (Coconut Oil), Castor (Ricinus Communis) Seed Oil, Sentrimonium Chloride, Oleth-10, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tiare (Gardenia Tahitensis) Flower, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Behentrimonium Chloride, Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Marinda Citrifolia (Noni) Extract, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Pythic Acid

From their website “Shea Moisture ‘s Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque provides deep conditioning and infuses hair with a powerful dose of moisture. Shea Moisture’s hair conditioning treatment smooths the hair cuticle, controls frizz and maintains straight styles.”

Here’s a confession, I have never been a big fan of Shea Moisture deep conditioners. They work okay but I haven’t swooned by their performance.  My blogger bro Jor-El at ManeMan blog understands the way I feel.  These DC’s tend to be softening but do not offer much by the way of slip and I want my DCs to do it all. Also they are super thick that is something hi-po’s tend to love but I often wonder if it’s really penetrating.  I won a Target giftcard from TribeCalledCurl and I was lured to SRNHM while strolling the natural hair aisle.  I am not sure what made me do it after being hurt so many times before but it smelled good and I like the color green so yeah I bought it anyway.

For the month of March I set a hair goal to deep condition every week with heat to really pamper and improve the condition of my hair.  This is the method I used with the SRNHM and I really loved it. I don’t know if the SRNHM formula is just better or whether adding heat made it magic but either way its a keeper! After use my hair felt softer and smoother.  There are easily 6+ applications in this jar and the $1 per ounce price point is perfect for my budget. *adds to repeat buy list*

Product Review: Hair Therapy Wrap

Hair Therapy WrapInstead of setting hair goals for the year, most of which I break or conveniently forget before Summer is in full swing I have decided to set monthly goals.  My hair goal for the month of March is to deep condition once a week using heat to ensure the best results.  I am trying to love on this fro and take it from good to great which means going that extra mile that I may not always deem necessary.  I do not deep condition my hair every week and I do not use heat even once a month so this is definitely an over an above action for me and I hope the results pay off.  While deep conditioning is an easy enough thing to do, using heat can be annoying or just require more effort.  That is where this tool comes into play and it has been an absolute time saver.

Hair Therapy Wrap 

$28

available at HairTherapyWrap.com, Amazon, CurlMart and other retailers

The Hair Therapy Wrap is cordless thermal turban heat wrap that provides gentle heat for up to 30 minutes.   The heat encourages conditioners and other treatments to penetrate deep into the hair follicle.  The HTW is simple and easy to use and can be reused many times. The gel pacs are warmed via microwave or stovetop. To use apply conditioning treatment to hair and cover with plastic cap, heat the gel pacs according to instructions, place the HTW over plastic cap, twist the the fabric at the base to form a snug fit and secure.  Allow the HTW to condition your hair for up to 30 minutes then remove and rinse.

I was gifted my HTW from my friend LaManda, she is an awesome friend and has put me on many times love her.  The first time I used it I was out of town at Monica’s house and this is how we discovered Monica’s microwave was broken because the gel pacs would not heat up.  I used the stove top method to warm the gel pacs and have continued that way ever since because I don’t really trust microwaves to heat evenly. I have used this heat wrap at least ten times by now and every time I am pleased by how easy it is and the results I receive from my conditioning treatment.

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. Ease of use.  All you need to do is pop the gel pacs into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes or place the full assembly in the microwave for a few seconds.
  2. Makes light work of an old problem. I have a hooded dryer and I rarely use it. I hate having to pull it out and assemble it. It is noisy and I am restricted to staying in one place.  With the Hair Therapy Wrap you just put in on and go on about your business.
  3. Its safe. In the past when I wanted a quick treatment but did not want to use my dryer I would heat a damp towel in the microwave then wrap it around my head. I have burned myself on the steam emitted from the towel, which was no bueno.
  4. Its reliable.  The HTW will provide at least 30 minutes of heat to your hair.
  5. Its durable. I believe LaManda owned this HTW for at least 2 years before gifting it to me last year. This product is at least 3 years old and works great.

More than anything else: it works!  Using this tool can take an average or okay deep conditioning treatment to amazing.  My hair feels so much better after deep conditioning with this tool. And there is no cleanup, takedown or after use instructions. Just take it off your head and put it away, easy-peasy.  There are some reviews out that complain about the wrap not fitting their head, the gelpacs not heating evenly or losing heat quickly. I have not experienced any of these issues.  There are several different iterations of this tool so perhaps those were earlier versions. It fits over my huge head and all my hair. Like I stated previously I do not heat it in the microwave and perhaps that makes a difference when heating evenly and maintaining heat.  I absolutely love the tool and the day it stops working I would buy another.

February Ipsy Glam Bag

February Ipsy Glam BagHey friends I wanted to share my most recent ipsy glam bag for the month of February.  I have been subscriber to ipsy for several months now and I totes love it. So much so I even shot a video *shocking* to share my package this month.  All my goodies are shown in the picture to the right and yes the makeup bag was included!

What is ipsy? ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service created by beauty blogger Michelle Phan.  For $10 each subscriber will receive a monthly glam bag filled with both deluxe samples and full size products based on the subscribers preferences.  After signing up the subscriber is asked a series of health and beauty questions to help develop a beauty profile. This profile is used to determine the best products to send.

I’ve been a member of ipsy for almost a year now and I have no plans of discontinuing the service.  There have been products sent to me that I felt did not fall into my wheelhouse, however those products were either gifted to friends or primarily given to my daughter. For the price of $10 monthly the cute bags and a couple products are enough to keep me as a customer even if it is always love.

Check out my vid below for my unboxing.

Product Review: Smooth Naturals Hair Perfection

Y’all know I love to Wash n Go. And all hair gels are not created equal. As for me and my hair, we like mucilage gels. Almost all of these snot-like gels with bases of aloe, flax seeds, or botanically infused nettle and marshmallow root yield awesome results.  However once you find a product your hair likes the key is knowing how to apply it. Check out My Wash n Go Routine for how I get my curls popping. I have not changed this method in years because it works. Now on to the review.

Smooth Naturals Hair Perfection

Smooth Naturals

Hair Perfection

16 oz $22

ing: Aloe Vera Juice ,Water Infused with Horsetail, Nettle and Marshmallow Root, Olive Oil, Castor, Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Agave Nectar, Xanthan Gum, Honey Quat, Optiphen(preservative), ProVitamin B5, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Fragrance

Smooth Naturals is product line from beauty blogger J Cokes, aka Coily Head Chick, in fact the products were first called Coily Head Chick and the line was just a leave in and a hair gel if I remember correctly. It has since blossomed into Smooth Naturals, which is a complete hair, body and skin care brand including a mens line.  I loved the idea of a blogger entering the product domain, as a blogger myself we know what we like and what the people want and I am so proud of her for going after it!

5 Things I Like About This Product

  1. Scent. Honey Almond is just such a sweet pleasant smell. It is not overpowering and it lends itself to blend well with other products.
  2. Price point. $1.37 per ounce is a fair price point for a curl definer I really don’t like to pay more than $1.50 per ounce and this leaves some wiggle room without a sale.
  3. Formula. Yes y’all you know I love a mucilage gel, it is the only stuff that does my curls right.  This product has great botanicals of horsetail, nettle and marshmallow root with aloe and some good oils. Oh and it’s protein free.
  4. It gets along. It is really important to me that my styler play well with a variety of leave-ins because I change my leave-in often. This product works best with creamier leave-ins.
  5. It stores well. The product says it should be used within 6-9 months but I know that I forgot about a bottle in the back of my closet that was a year old and well it still worked. No bacteria or weird smell.

    Smooth Naturals Hair Perfection on Derby City Naturals

    Smooth Naturals Hair Perfection Gel over Soulatanicals Mango Dip as a leave-in. Day one thru day 4. Each day I refreshed my hair with a bit of water and did not add any additional product.

I would absolutely repeat this purchase I still have another jar up in the closet.  The gel is a little thinner than I like however it applies easy and it pumps out well, never has the pump gotten stuck or backed up. And it pumps all the way to the bottom of the jar.  I can only get up to three day hair with this product as seen in the picture above. I used to seek out 5 and 7 day hair gels and while they are still the business, I wash my hair at least twice a week so long lasting gels are not a requirement.  This gel refreshes easily from day to day which I also like and it doesn’t create a ridiculous gel cast.  If you have ever used aloe or flax seed gel and liked it but wish you got more than one day results this is the gel you were looking for.

5 Tips to Care for Your Locs While Swimming

Every Saturday morning for the past 4 months I wake up early to take JK to swim practice at the YMCA. And while I am happy that my guppy became a minnow I have to admit the aftercare for his hair weekly is not my favorite thing to do.  While locs are more of a carefree style as compared to loose hair there is a manner of care that should be followed to maintain the health of the locs.  Here are the tips that I use to keep JK’s locs happy.Swimming at the Y

  1. Pre and post rinsing.  Wetting the hair with plain water before swimming minimizes the amount of chlorinated water absorbed into the hair.  After swimming use plain water to rinse the chlorine from the hair.
  2. Cleansing. There are lots of swimming and chelating shampoos on the market, they are all kinda pricey but if you are swimming a lot and your hair is suffering definitely invest in one. For JK we use clarifying shampoos. I alternate between Aveda Rosemary & Mint shampoo and Suave Clarifying shampoo weekly. We wash his hair after every dip in the pool.  When washing pay attention to the hair itself and not so much the scalp. The chlorine is in the hair and we want to remove it. His scalp stays very clean do to the frequency of washes.
  3. Deep Conditioning. There are many people who are surprised when I tell them I deep condition JK’s locs.  The key is to find a deep conditioner that will penetrate the hair, but will rinse clean we do not want any residue to build up within the locs.  For his deep conditioning I will use anything I have on hand including samples from subscription boxes.  We really liked Shea Radiance Maximum Moisture Conditioner and TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask. Shea Radiance Maximum Moisture Conditioner for locs
  4. Protein Treatments.  The frequent washing can easily lead to hydra fatigue so you want to be sure your hair is getting the protein it needs.  I like to use Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner or just do a coconut water rinse.
  5. Don’t Sweat the Retwist. I absolutely do not retwist JK’s locs every week. I do make sure I go in and separate the locs to avoid mating and I let them air dry completely to avoid the musty smell.  His locs are definitely fuzzier but I don’t see the point in putting in the time and effort to retwist when he will be back in the pool in a few days.

Before you ask, yes they do make swimcaps for locs. JK’s locs are short enough that he can wear a large swim cap available at the sporting goods store. He wore it one time but he didn’t like being the only boy wearing one so I let him swim without it.  If you have longer locs check out Dreadlock Swim Cap from Dreadscapes on Etsy. I have not used this model but it is well talked about in different hair groups.

Locs are an incredibly versatile hairstyle and lend themselves easily to an active lifestyle.  Follow these tips to keep your locs well cared for while swimming.  If you are experiencing any excessive dryness or brittleness while swimming I would absolutely recommend the use of a swim cap and/or a chelating shampoo.  Yes, Black people do swim, if you have never learned to swim reach out to your local YMCA they have swimming lessons for all levels and all ages.

Product Review: Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip

Spoiler alert: this product is the best damn detangler I have ever used. If you do not have a problem with knots, naps and snarls do not bother reading this. If you can use just about any conditioner to detangle your hair, then this product is a waste of your time. If you do not sometimes get lazy and put off detangling your hair for a couple weeks (or months) just close this window. But if you do have these problems, keep reading.

Soultanicals Mango Dip

Soultanicals

Mango Dip Detangling Slip

8 oz $16

Available online at Soultanicals.com

ing: Distilled Water Botanically Infused with Nettle, Horsetail, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Slippery Elm, Blue Malva, Chamomile Flowers, Certified Organic Aloe Juice, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Olivate/ Sorbitan Olivate, Mango Butter, Flaxseed Gel, Mango Extract, Vegetable Glycerine, Crambe Seed Oil, Brocolli Seed Oil, Pracaxi Oil, Jojoba Oil, Pro Vitamin B5, Olive Squalane, Natural, Fragrant & Essential Oil Blends, Potassium Sorbate, Black Willow Bark Extract, Citric Acid, & an extra dip of LOVE!

I need to edit my holy grail list and when I do this product goes right to the top.  I have tried to write this review several times but I cannot put into words the way I feel about it. It is like someone asking you, “How did you know your husband was the one you would marry?” Umm, you just know.  This product is an amazing detangler, an effective conditioner that works both as deep conditioner and a rinse-out, however why would you want to rinse it out, which leads to the third point that it is a dope leave in conditioner as well.  Blah, blah, blah… I love it!

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. First off it has an ingredients list that won’t quit. Botanical herbs of Nettle, Horsetail, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Slippery Elm and Blue Malva are all mucilage inducing which make great additions to hair products for us kinky and curly girls. Then you add Aloe Juice, BTMS and Cetearyl Olivate a fantastic trio for moisturizing and conditioning. Top it off with great oils and butters and you have greatest conditioning product ever.
  2. It really detangles. Listen, listen, listen, Linda. Section your hair, apply the product and wait while it really does melt away the tangles, toils and snares. We are talking amazing grace, honey.
  3. After using this conditioner I don’t feel like I need to deep condition my hair. I have not stopped deep conditioning, but I do not do it as often as I did before. True story.
  4. Plays well with other products.  I have used this as a leave in conditioner under 6 different gels from other product lines and it worked well with all of them.
  5. Size matters. It also comes in a larger 16 ounce bottle with a pump. Mama likes a good pump bottle it makes detangling in the shower with wet hands super easy.

This product has my stamp of approval.  It is a bit pricey, 8 oz for $16 is a $2 per ounce price point which I will admit was a big turn-off, but then it went on sale and I gave it a try. I am not disappointed.  As a three-in-one product I don’t feel it is too expensive because it is doing the job of multiple products all at once.  The scent is just okay.  It smells of a herbal/floral combo which is fine I could really take it or leave it.  Oh and this conditioner is protein free, shout with me protein sensitive curlies :)  The customer service I received from Soultanicals the three times I ordered was impeccable. Quality products + great service = customer for life.