Products I’m Not Here For

So recently I have been using up my stash which includes revisting products I sent to the graveyard and finally trying out some I had been avoiding. Let me just say there has been a lot of apathy, so much so that I didn’t feel it even warranted a product review.  Then I saw this post by My Kinks and Curls about recent product disappointments and I thought it was a brilliant way to update you on how I felt.

Paul Mitchell The Detangler

Paul Mitchell DetanglerI picked up this product on a whim while visiting my aesthetician. I have heard a lot of naturals rave about the slip they get from using the product so I decided to check it out.

Nothing to write home about. The slip was average and it wasn’t a very good conditioner in my opinon. Good thing I grabbed this sample size on sale for a little over a dollar so I really don’t feel like I lost anything.

Nice & Curly Curl Me Up Curly Pudding

nice and curly curl me up curly puddingI received this product from my monthly Curl Kit subscription. My only disappoint with this product is as a curl definer.  In that avenue it fails, I have had similar wash-n-go using conditioner only so from a product that claims to be a curl definer I expect excellence.  However as a twisting cream it worked fine for me.  Also the MSRP is $5 so how can I be mad. It actually has decent ingredients list so I will pass this along to my SIL to use on my niece.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo

Jamaican Mango Lime Tingle ShampooThis product does live up to its name: it is definitely scalp tingling and it cleanses the hair. So why am I not here for it? Well it is also pretty drying and the scent is SUPER STRONG my goodness. The smell reminds me of muscle cream, thanks to the heavy doses of camphor and menthol, and it left my hair feeling pretty tangled after use, DCing was a MUST. However it did calm the itch on my scalp, but next time I will just use ACV or a tea rinse.

Donna Marie Dream Curling Creme

Donna Marie Dream Curling CremeI am a huge fan of Donna Marie products, but this one…not so much.  I purchased this product a while back and it is taken me forever to use it up because well it is just okay. As a curl definer, the answer is no. As a twist cream the answer is just okay. I prefer other Donna Marie products for those tasks so this one continues to be pushed further back in the product closet. I am resolving to take it with me to the next hair meet-up and give it away to a natural in need. Sorry boo, but you’ve got to go.

Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir Spray

Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir SprayI love Shea Moisture as a product line they have great products at a reasonable price that are readily available, but this one is not for me. I got if for free at an even I attended and have been using it, but I do not care for it. Shea oil, the main ingredient, is much too heavy and greasy for my hair. It sits on top, never absorbs and is oily to the touch. No thanks. I have used it as a prepoo oil to help use up this bottle and it worked okay for that purpose.

So that is my list of products I am not here for; all tea, no shade. Have you tried any of the products on my list, what are your thoughts?  Also what do you do with your mediocre products? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Product Review: Lia Naturals Shampoo Bars

Lia Naturals Shampoo BarI love multi-use products so it is strange that I have slept on shampoo bars for so long. Shampoo bars are exactly how they sound, shampoo in bar form.   They are used to cleanse the scalp and hair same as other cleansers but can also be used for face and body.  Now if you have never used a shampoo bar it may seem a little weird, but once you do you will wonder what took you so long to try it.

Lia Naturals was formerly known as DIY Naturals Hair Care but they changed their name a few months ago.  I was sent several sample sized shampoo bars to review including: Green Tea, Hibiscus, and Ayurvedic shampoo bars.  I started with the Hibiscus shampoo bar which I found to work well as both a shampoo bar and a body bar.  I did notice after using it the first time that my hair had a waxy coating which felt strange. However after deep conditioning my hair the waxy feeling was gone.  I was told that the waxiness could be from the shea butter used in the ingredients.  I really liked the Green Tea shampoo bar as a face wash, it really helped with my occasionally finicky skin.

Lia Naturals Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar

Lia Naturals

Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar

$6.95

ing: Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Soybean Oil, Avocado Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Amla, Neem, & Fenugreek Powder

As this was my first introduction to shampoo bars I cannot compare to other kinds.  What I can say is outside of smell and appearance I really could not tell the difference between the three soaps I received on my hair.  I did notice a difference on my skin however.  I found the shampoo bars are very easy to use and that they are a great way to specifically target your scalp and to cleanse it. The bars lather up very easy and make it simple to cleanse the length of the hair.  I also like that you can target a specific area of the head easily as compared to traditional shampoo.

5 Things I Like About This Product

  1. Ease of use. Wet the hair, massage the bar into the scalp and use fingers to agitate.
  2. Cleanses well. My hair and scalp were both thoroughly cleansed.
  3. A little really does go a long way and you only apply the amount that you need.
  4. Travel friendly. You can pack a shampoo bar on your trip and not have to worry about spillage or tsa restrictions on liquids.
  5. Lathers well. While it is not necessary to have a great lather to clean your hair we have become accustomed to the bubbles.

I was very pleased with this shampoo bar from Lia Naturals and I would most definitely purchase again.  For tips on how to wash your hair with a shampoo bar check out my YT video below.  In the video I followed the shampoo bar cleansing with a vinegar rinse to see if it helped combat the waxy feeling. 

AfroVeda Product Review

This will be a short and simple three in one review.  I had previously only tried one Afroveda product, Cocolatte Moisture Mask, which I liked a lot but found it to be a little too pricey compared to like products.  However there was a great sale going on at the site Naturally so I decided to check out some additional AfroVeda products.

PUR Whipped Hair Gelly, 8 oz $13.50 ing: aloe vera gel, Ashwagandha Herb, Amla Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Neem Leaf Extract; Nettle, Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic), Vanilla Essential Oil.

This product is not a gel but a cream, reminds me of Curls Whipped Cream, and the product states that can be used on wet hair to define curls.  I tried it for a wash-n-go and it was a fail. My hair was soft and moisturized but the curls were not defined .  I used it as a twist cream and it worked fine however I did need to follow up with a sealant. Overall the product was just okay for me.

Curl Define, 8 oz $15.50 ing: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Water, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nettle Leaf, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Amalaki Herb and Neem Leaf; Bay Leaf, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Palm Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, (an edible, natural, ultra-mild self-emulsifying wax), Aloe Vera Leaf Gel, Xanthan Gum, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (a natural preservative), and love. Essential oil blend of Sweet Orange and Vanilla.

Again this product is not a gel either but more like a buttercream, reminds me of Donna Marie Super Buttercreme, and the product states that it can be used for braid and twist styles.  I used this product as a sealant for my twists on top of PUR Whipped Hair Gelly, I also used it alone and it worked well both ways.  I think the marketing is a little misleading because it is called Curl Define but it is not a curl definer. If you are looking for a nice whipped buttercream then this will do the trick.

Hemp Seed Lock Twist & Roll Butter, 8 oz $19.50 ing: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Purified Water, Hemp Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Herb, Amla Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Neem Leaf Extract; Nettle, Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic), Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (an edible, natural, ultra-mild self-emulsifying wax), Sweet Almond Wax, Carnauba Wax, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (a natural preservative), Essential Oil Blend, and love.

This product is accurately named it is a thick butter.  I did not use the product on my hair because I could not stand the smell of the product.  I cannot pin point the scent but it smells like earthy essential oils similar to patchouli, myrrh and the like.  I would not recommend this product as a loc butter unless you like thick butters.  For my son this product would result in build up in the hair.  I would use one of the others products listed about instead.

So those are my thoughts on these products from AfroVeda, so far the Cocolatte is the best thing from this company.  If you have tried any AfroVeda products and you loved them give me a recommendation on what you think I should try next. 

Product Review Blair Care Curli Jelli

Blair Care Curli Jelli

http://www.blaircarebeauty.com 

16 oz for $12.98

ing: Water, Glycerin, Aloe Vera Powder, Triethanolamine, Carbomer 940, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Sorbitol, PVP, Tetrasodium EDTA, Oleth 20, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Isosteareth-20, Keratin Amino Acids, Fragrance, Ext Violet 2

I was sent this product to review by the manufacturer.  I am always willing to lend a hand to small business owners, however when I accepted the invitation I did not bother to check out the ingredients of the product I was reviewing.  Bad me.  I was sent the Blair Care Curly Jelli which I discovered is a glycerin based gel.  I don’t like glycerin based gel. Or rather glycerin based gels perform terribly in my hair.  So after pouting, bemoaning and evading I finally picked up my lip and tried the product.

The gel was shipped with instructions on how to use and apply. I was very concerned to read that it is not recommended to use a leave-in conditioner or an oil when applying. Say what? M’am you must be new that is not how you do a wash-n-go.  But against my better judgement I listened.  I cleansed, detangled and conditioned my hair then applied the gel to wet naked hair.  It looked good. I went on about my day waiting for the moment of betrayal that has happened so many times before.  Will I end up with a shrunken matted fro? Or maybe the frizzy, puff ball? Or what about the Jheri Curl throwback? I was sure one of these looks was going to take over my head. Only it didn’t. My hair looked good all day.  I went to sleep that night refreshed my hair in the morning using plain water and it still looked good. All in all I was able to get three day hair from one application.  Crazy, I know.

5 Things I Liked About This Product

  1. No Crunch. My hair was not crunchy or crispy and was soft to the touch.
  2. Non-greasy. No oily or greasy feel like you would get from curl activator.
  3. No build-up.  My hair did not feel gunky or coated and it rinsed out clean.
  4. The Price is Right. $13 or 16 ounces? Where else are you going to get a price like that gives good results. Go ahead, I will wait.
  5. Non-drying even without using a leave-in underneath.

What can I say about this product? It is formulated very well.  I did not get amazing curl definition, but I did get good hair and it lasted 3 days.  My hair stayed soft, moisturized and is was not too gunky with product.  On top of that I did not have to add any additional products, other than water to achieve this look.  Talk about a win.

A Quick Tour of Earth Fare

Earth Fare Grocery

4320 Summit Plaza Drive Louisville, KY

Here in Louisville I live in the East End of town which means I am spoiled with my choices of health food stores.  Whether its Whole Foods Store, Trader Joes, Rainbow Blossom, Vitamin Shoppe or Fresh Market all are within a few mile radius of my home.  Along with purchasing great food, the awesome thing about these stores is their health and beauty sections which carry great hair, body and cosmetic products that I can find on the ground and try out sans shipping costs.  Earth Fare is an east coast store so I was happy and excited to snoop around to see what they carry.

JK enjoying his 1st ever macaron from Earth Fare Bakery

  • Baby & Child Care- Shampoo, Body wash, etc from Dessert Essence, Weleda and Everyday Shea
  • Natural Soap- Nubian Heritage, Beeluxe, Barlesque, Alaffia African Black Soap, Dr Bronner’s
  • Beauty products- Heritage Products Rose Water, Thayers Witch Hazel
  • Hair Products- Jane Carter Solution, Beautiful Curls, Aubrey Organics and Giovanni
  • Raw Butters & Olis- Cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil

Earth Fare carries a lot of the usual suspects we have come to expect from natural stores but there were also a lot of new items like Sparitual nail lacquer which is not only vegan, but  DBP-, toluene-, and formaldehyde- free.  Since the stores opening in early August it is slowly creeping on Whole Foods as my happy place.  Check out these pics from our visit below

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4-Way Conditioner Challenge

A couple weeks ago while hanging with my curlfriend Monica, we decided to play in hair products.  So I cleansed my hair and then was faced with the ultimate decision: what conditioner should I use?  I narrowed the selection down to four possibilities and then thought, “Why not use all four?”  I divided my hair into four sections and applied one conditioner to each section to compare and contrast how they worked on my hair. 

The Challengers

  1. Original Moxie Intense Quench 8 oz, $18 originalmoxie.com
  2. Sof N Free Nothing But Intense Healing Mask 16 oz, $10 (any drug store)
  3. III Sisters of Nature Sweet Honeyrose (aka Sweet Bounce Back) 8 oz, $13 http://amzn.to/PQi8Ft
  4. Original Moxie Everyday Leave-In 8 oz, $17 originalmoxie.com

The Results

  • Smell: OMIQ soft herbal and floral, SnFNBIHM mint-lemon tea, 3SoNSH now and later candy, OMEL herbaly. Winner: Original Moxie Intense Quench
  • Consistency: OMIQ creamy, SnFNBIHM cream-lotion, 3SoNSH cream, OMEL lotion. Winner: *TIE* 3 Sisters of Nature Sweet Honeyrose & Original Moxie Intense Quench
  • Detangling: OMIQ good slip/easy to detangle, SnFNBIHM little slip/difficult to detangle, 3SoNSH good slip/easy to detangle, OMEL moderate slip/ little work to detangle. Winner: *TIE* 3 Sisters of Nature Sweet Honeyrose & Original Moxie Intense Quench
  • Softness: All products left my hair feeling soft, there was really no difference between the sections.
  • Ingredients: OMIQ all natural ingredients, SnFNBIHM lots of silicones but worked fine , 3SoNSH natural ingedients but does contain a silicone, OMEL all natural ingredients. Winner: *TIE* Original Moxie Intense Quench & Original Moxie Everyday Leave-In
  • Price: OMIQ $2.25/ounce, SnFNBIHM $0.62/ounce, 3SoNSH cream $1.62/ounce, OMEL $2.12/ounce. Winner: Sof N Free Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

The Verdict

All things being equal the Original Moxie Intense Quench was the overall favorite.  However, price of a product is weighted more in my opinion and the OMIQ is just too rich for my blood. Therefor the second place contender is more appealing to me which is 3 Sisters of Nature Sweet Honeyrose.  The Sof N Free Nothing But Intense Healing Mask if it had more natural ingredients (less or no cones), a sweeter smell, but most importantly better slip for detangling could be the winner because of the price point and the fact that it is available locally.

Check out my video review 

Product Review: Original Moxie featuring Knapsgirl

“All I need in this life I’m in, is me and my curlfriends” –African Proverb

All kidding aside I really do LOVE my curlfriends.  A few weeks ago I went on a mini-vacay to visit my curlfriend, YouTuber MonicaJoi aka Knapsgirl and of course we played in hair products.  Monica won a full-set of Original Moxie Natural Wonder products and we decided to give them a try.

Original Moxie

Natural Wonder Gift Set

Includes: Get Clean™ No-foam Shampoo (8 oz.), Intense Quench™ Deep Conditioner (8 oz.), & Everyday Leave-in™ Detangling Conditioner (8 oz.), Hair Bling™ High Shine Pomade (3 oz.), & Lux Locks™ Styling & Shine (6 oz.). 

$72 for the complete set

There are two videos that go along with this review, a before and an after, that are filled with lots of giggles and hilarity. Monica is a purest and refused to edit them so enjoy our ridiculousness.

Before Vid 

Get Clean No-Foam Shampoo: This was a strange experience for me.  This is a no-foam shampoo and it really doesn’t foam.  It feels like a moisturizer when you are applying it to your hair and it was honestly hard to tell if I had distributed it evenly or if it was even working.  After two washes I decided that it should be good enough. To my surprise it did get my hair clean and did so without stripping.  I would not recommend this if your hair is really gunked up with product, however as a daily or even weekly cleanser this worked great. It has a polite floral-nutty smell, hard to pinpoint but it was pleasant.  While the product did work, I give it a B grade, I would not purchase as I like the comfort of knowing my hair is clean and this honestly was just too subtle for me.

Everyday Leave-in Detangling ConditionerI used this both as a rinse out and a leave-in conditioner.  It did an okay job detangling my hair. There was not phenomenal slip but I was able to finger detangle without feeling like I would yank or break my hair.  Again nice subtle smell to it.  It worked much better as a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer than it did as a detangling conditioner.  Overall grade C, I would not purchase this again although it worked well as a moisturizer I prefer it to work better as a detangler.

Intense Quench Deep ConditionerEasily my favorite product in this line.  It did a great job conditioning and detangling my hair.  I will say that when I first applied it I thought I was going to hate it. The product is thin, like a leave in moisturizer, after applying it to a section of hair I allowed it to sit for about 10 minutes and that is when the magic happened.  Just goes to show a deep conditioner does not have to be thick or buttery to work well.  Overall grade A, however I would not purchase unless it was on sale because the price point of $17 for 8 oz it too rich for my blood.

Lux Locks Styling & Shine: This is a twisting cream that I used to twist my hair.  The product worked well, it was not too sticky or greasy easy to apply and left my hair moisturized.  I would not recommend as a wash-n-go styler it was not much of a curl definer.  The one draw-back is the smell. I don’t know if it is the neem, rosewood or what but the smell is strong and not my pleasing to me.  We mistook the scent for patchouli but it is not an ingredient listed in the product however it is in the same scent family.  Without the smell I would give the product a B for performance however the scent drops it down to a C.

Hair Bling High Shine PomadeI am not a real fan of pomades but I did like this one. It was not overly greasy and added a nice shine to my hair.  I did not care for using it to twist alone but it worked great when coupled with the Lux Locks Styling & Shine, so I would recommend using them together.  I can really tell the difference in softness and shine in the sections where I used this product. Overall grade for this product is a B, but like the deep conditioner it is much too pricey in my opinion and I would not purchase.

After Vid 

A quick shot of me and our camerawoman Nyra, before heading out for the night :)

I did get an AWESOME twist-out taking my hair down a few days later :)

Product Review: Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner

Oyin Handmade

Honey Hemp Conditioner

$12.00, 8.4 ounces

ing:  purified water, organic aloe vera gel, behentremonium methosulfate (emulsifier derived from colza oil), honey, virgin hemp oil, coconut oil, vegetable glycerine, hydrolized silk, citrus essences, fragrance, optiphen (preservative)

This is sort of a re-visit. I used this conditioner early in my natural hair journey. I remember liking it and I always made sure to keep a bottle on-hand. Well then life happens and it was pushed to the back of the product closet only to be re-discovered this past weekend. I was elated like I had been reconnected with an old friend I hadn’t seen since grade school and I couldn’t wait to use it again.

After cleansing my hair and scalp in the shower I applied a heaping dollop of the conditioner in my palm and smoothed it over my mane. The sweet floral scent brought back memories early in my natural hair journey when I was just trying to sort out fact from fiction and get to know my hair.  Whilst walking down memory lane I began to finger detangle my hair which was immediately halted with snap back to reality. Either a) my hair is a lot nappier then it used to be, b) this product does not have the slip that I remember, or  c) I used to be a lot rougher on my hair than I am now. Well the answer is d, all of the above *shock g voice*.  I had to grab the last of my tropical traditions coconut hair oil to provide some slippage to maneuver through a week’s worth of tangles.

5 Things I Liked About This Product

  1. All natural ingredients
  2. Oyin has great customer service and can be found at most natural hair retailers
  3. Its smells lovely (all their products do really)
  4. It conditioned my hair well and it was soft
  5. While it does contain protein, it is not enough protein to bother my protein sensitive hair.

What I sat down and realized is that this product was one of the first natural hair products I used so compared to the garbage that was out there this conditioner was heaven sent.  But that was 4 years ago. Since then I have found other products that I think are better suited to the needs of my hair.  This is not a bad product, not at all, its just that I have found things that give me the right balance of moisture, slip, softness that I require in a conditioner.  If I have to give this conditioner a grade I would give it a ‘B’.  However, I have plenty of ‘A’ conditioners in my arsenal so the B’s get bumped :)

I do like Oyin products (Juices and Berries, Greg Juice, Burnt Sugar Pomade and Funk Butter) and would recommend them to naturals looking for good products with quality ingredients.  But I am sad to report that the HoneyHemp Conditioner is no longer on my holy grail list. It will be missed.