Product Review: Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream

Jane Carter Solutions

Curl Defining Cream

16 oz $34.00

This product is Jane’s answer to the wash-n-go.  From the website: Eliminate curl shrinkage! Curl Defining Cream is light-weight, all natural product formulated to lengthen and define your natural curl pattern while drying to a soft, shiny, bouncy finish.  Water soluble, Curl Defining Cream washes and dries clean without leaving any film, offering the true luxury of “wash and wear” hair!

ing: Purified Water, Extracts of Anthemis Noblis Flower (Camomile), Symphytum Officinal Leaf (Comfrey), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops),of Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Glycerin, Propanediol, Poly-quaternium-200, Citric Acid , Polyquaternium-37, Ceteareth 20 , Phen-oxyethanol, Caprylyl, Glycol, Sorbic acid, Fragrance.

I had been dying to try this product for quite a while.  I was lucky enough to snag a sample of it from Jane Carter herself by way of my girl T Payne, but unfortunately I was unable to get a real feel of the product from the small sample.  I tried to order it from Whole Foods, but the order kept getting canceled due to out of stock with the supplier.  I hate paying shipping so I continued to wait patiently and was able to snatch some up on my trip to St Louis from Naturally plus it was on sale!

I tried the CDC on freshly cleansed and conditioned hair for a wash-n-go. The product is lotion-y in consistency yet it is thicker than it seems.  It left a white residue on my hair so I plopped with a t-shirt to remove the excess and it was fine.  My hair looked good though I was not completely blown away with the results.

5 Things I Liked About This Product

  1. The pump applicator is the bestest.  The type of jar/container a product comes in can really make or break your experience and this pump is genius.
  2. All-in-one moisturizer and sealant.  I like products that help simplify my regimen and this is both water-based moisturizer shea butter sealant.
  3. Packed full of botanical herbs like camomile, comfrey, horstail, nettle and rosemary.
  4. A little goes a long way.  You will be tempted to use more of this product then you need, don’t or you will have white residue.
  5. Well formulated to work for wide variety of curlies.

I wanted to like this product a lot more than I actually did.  It was okay, but I wanted it to be great and for me it just wasn’t.  I have several friends with thirsty hair who rave about the awesomeness of this product but it was not awesome for me.  It was hard for me to find the right balance of using enough product to cover every strand but not too much to result in white hair.  I also used CDC on two-strand twists and had good results however it is a bit too pricey for use as a twist cream.

What I Didn’t Like: CDC has that weird lemony natural cleaner smell that I have encountered elsewhere and I am not a fan of that.  The smell is not horrible or overpowering but I would prefer it was either sweet-smelling or neutral.  This product was very similar to Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Cream which is also made with comfrey and shea so I think my hair is just not a fan of this mixture.  Another pet peeve of mine is that while you can find other JCS products at local stores on the ground, this product is very difficult to find, unless you want to purchase online.

Product Review: Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel

Kiss My Face

Upper Management Gel

8 oz for $8.99

Available at Natural Food Stores and Drug Stores

 Kiss My Face Upper Management gel is a medium hold styling gel containing certified botanical ingredients to nourish hair.  Formulated to keep hair under control naturally and perfect for all hair types.  Alcohol, paraben and phthlate free product that contains no artificial colors or fragrances.

ing: Purified, Deionized Certified Organic Floral Water of Nettle, Calendula and Chamomile, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Amino Acid derived), Yeast Extract, Panthenol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Grapefruit Extract.

This gel has a great non-flaking formula that does not leave the dreaded white residue on hair.  It does have a medium hold so the hair can dry a little crispy.  It is most often used layered over a good leave-in or moisturizer like Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia or similar product that will add a layer of moisture and help minimize the crunch.  This styler is great for wash-n-go styles but I have also heard of naturals using it on comb coils and 2-Strand Twists using the same products.

5 Things I Like About This Product:

  1. Mucilage base.  Nettle and other herbs when added to water make a snotty/slimy concoction that my hair just loves.
  2. It contains grapefruit makes a light pleasant scent.
  3. Medium viscosity, not too thick or too thin but right in the middle.  It squeezes out of the bottle nicely.
  4. Non-sticky.  I do not like the sticky feeling on my hair it drives me crazy so this product is perfect.
  5. On the ground.  You can pick this product up from Target, Whole Foods, Rainbow Blossom, even the natural section of some grocery stores.

I really like this product it is a great gel for a winning wash-n-go combo (moisturizer+gel=awesome hair).  It behaves well with lots of moisturizers and I did not have any strange reactions.  A warning for my protein sensitive peeps as this does contain some protein (amino acid and yeast) however they are low on the ingredients list so you may not have an issue.  I applied the product with a light hand, but if you do use extra and find your hair crunchy after drying add a little oil or butter on top to remove the crispiness.

Product Review: Shea Moisture Curling Souffle

SheaMoisture

Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle

12 oz, $11.99

Available at Target, Walgreens and CVS stores

I did not purchase this product, but was sent to review by the manufacturer.  Truth be told I met a company rep at a hair meet-up and was asked what I thought about their products.  I told them the truth: I didn’t really like them.  The products are shea heavy and contain protein two things my hair doesn’t care for.  However my daughter liked them on her hair.  The rep remembered my honest opinion and the week before the release of this product I was asked if I would like to do a review.  I was honored to be asked especially because I had a less than stellar opinion of previous products I tried.  She asked me to try it out and be honest so here is my review.

ing: Aqueous infusion of agave tequilana leaf extract and sugar cane extract, pectin, vegetable glycerin, Baobab pulp, Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Pro Vitamin B-5, Aloe Barbadensis leaf extract, Vitamin E, Flaxseed extract, Hibiscus sabdariffa extract, potassium sorbate, essential oil blend. *note i used the common names as opposed to the scientific as I did not feel like typing them out*

Before the product arrived I read up on all available information including this article on naturallycurly.com which gave a rundown of each ingredients and its purpose.  I will admit that I was super excited after reading the ingredient list.  I often do an agave/coconut oil pre-poo treatment on my hair which always looks great and wondered why no one has used them together in a product. Genius!  I was also excited that there were no strong protein additives which would surely spell disaster for my hair.  Once the product was released I saw several reviews on youtube that called the product greasy, said it weighed down their hair and was too sticky.  I took all of these comments under review to the use of the product.

I applied the product to freshly cleansed damp hair.  Because others had reported that it was oily or greasy I opted not to use a leave in.  I divided my hair into 8 sections and smoothed a quarter-sized amount over each section to avoid it from weighing down my hair.  Admittedly the product is overly oily, sticky and could weigh your hair down if you apply it with a heavy-hand.

So this is me after application *shrug* it looked okay but nothing to write home about.  My hair was sticky/tacky feeling and so was the back of my neck where my hair was laying on it.  My hair also felt fairly oily, but did not look greasy.  My curls were not really defined or poppin just sort of there.  I decided to plop my hair up on top of my head and let it dry for an hour before heading out.  This proved to be golden.  After about an hour my hair had absorbed most the oil from the product and was less tacky though it was still noticeable.  I did like the curl elongation or anti-shrinkage results except for the front crown where I have wavy hair which just looked a little limp.  In defense of this product my hair in the front looks limp with most products due to lite curl pattern.  I did love the add’l weight the product provided which gave my hair good movement and body while maintaining volume. 

I opted to tie back my hair and went out to celebrate dinner with my curl friends.  I must say I received many compliments on how my hair looked.  The picture above was taken 4 hours after application: minimal shrinkage, light shine, and hang time.  My curls felt soft and maintained their “wet” curl pattern however the tacky feel was still present, now I know why others don’t use agave in products -_-

5 Things I Like About This Product

  • Awesome natural ingredients.
  • Once fully released the product will be readily available in most markets on the ground and has a fair price point.
  • The scent smells nice  but is not overbearing like previous products I tried from this line.
  • I was able to get 2nd day hair from a single application.  I put my scarf on at night, then in the a.m. I spritzed my hair with plain water and fluffed with my fingers.
  • It did not dry hard like many gels or definers.  There was no crunch at all, not even a crisp.

However There Are A Few Things I Didn’t Like Opportunities for Improvement

  • Less oil please!  I am medium porosity and am not a fan of most shea based products or heavy oils as they sit on top of my hair.  While this was the best experience so far I have had with this line it’s still is a little too oily for my liking. I think high porosity naturals will probably like the amount of oil.
  • Sticky hair is just tacky.  (Punny right?, lol) I love the way my curls respond to agave nectar, but I do not like the feeling of sticky hair.  It was still sticky on day two. I need less tacky feeling.

Final thoughts on this product is that I would recommend it to others.  As for me I would not purchase it again without the improvements listed above.  I suffer from hand-in-hair syndrome so prefer touchably soft hair over good looking hair.  However if I was in need for a good on the ground product for wash-n-go I would grab it in a pinch.

Product Review: Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner

Darcy’s Botanicals

Pumpkin Seed  Curl Moisturizing Conditioner

8 oz, $12

Available at Darcy’s Botanicals or locally at Go Natural Hair & Body Boutique
I’m a huge fan of Darcy’s Botanicals!  I fell in love with these products last year when I picked up a few products through great Black Friday deals.  This conditioner is an AMAZING moisturizer that I would recommend to all: natural, transitioning, loc’d or relaxed it is simply the business!

ing: Distilled Water, BTMS (a mild conditioning emulsifier), Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Japanese Camellia Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Botanical Oil Complex, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol and Fragrance

This is meant to be a rinse out conditioner but it is one of those products that once it’s in your hair you don’t want to let it go so I use it as a leave-in.  I have used it on a wash-n-go on wet hair on its own for soft touchable hair or under a gel.  It works great on twists and braids on wet or dry hair.  I have also used it to moisturize my hair after a blow-out for daily hydration.

5 Things I Love About This Product:

  1. It has great ingredients and unlike other products does not claim to be natural (or organic) by throwing a drop of oil in as the last ingredient, it is really full of good stuff.
  2. It is affordable and priced just right.  I use a $10 rule for most products meaning $10 worth of product should be enough to last me a month and this product fits the bill.
  3. It smells amazing-that is if you like pumpkin- and I do, do, d-o *in my Kel voice* yummy!
  4. It is a light moisturizer that is perfect for varying porosity and texture.
  5. It pairs great with other products whether it is under a gel, coupled with a butter, or a shine spray.

    Natural Hair Blown-Out, Then Braided-Up Using Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner

Epilogue: I forgot a few more awesome things

  1. This product is thick and is not wet or runny at all which is why I can use it on dry styles or blow-outs without reversion.  It has an awesome punch applicator which allows you to squeeze out the right amount.  If you squeeze some on your finger, then turn your finger up-side-down it will not move, however it goes on light and absorbs well into the hair.
  2. A special note just for protein-sensitive (PS) curlies. This product is fabulous and does not make my hair revolt in anger.  It does have coconut oil so if your hair hates coconut oil perhaps you should try a sample before purchasing. I don’t have a problem with coconut oil so I cannot say how it will effect you.  It also has hydrolyzed oat protein, 4th from the last ingredient, but my hair works in harmony with it. So if you are PS I would recommend you chill with the side-eye at the protein ingredients and give it a try.

Cuzzo Ro Chopped & [Cork]Screwed

This is my Cuzzo Ro aka Queen of the Fluffy Hair

On the regular, when talking about her hair I quote Agnes from Despicable Me, “It’s so fluffy!”  She is constantly complimented wherever we go for her awesome corkscrew curls and gravity defying volume.

Lately we’ve been talking about chopping our hair as both of us transitioned for about a year and have not worn our hair short in quite some time.  Also with Summer approaching we have been talking about cute cropped styles to change up our look. We also talked about experimenting with color; highlights, lowlights and everything in between.

It was all talk.  Or so I thought.

Cuzzo Ro called me and said, “OMG I have a surprise for you!”  I just knew she was going to show up with a bright Rihanna red or cool Beyonce blonde.  I opened the door to find her fluffy bangs have been tamed and defined while the back and sides had been trimmed close in a tiny ocean of swirls.  We both screamed and laughed in excitement!

Her hair was styled by Dakota of Natural Alternatives Salon who we consider to be the BADDEST in the Derby City.  Ro was washed and conditioned in the bowl then her hair was gently blotted with a micro fiber towel.  She was then cut using shears and taken back to the bowl to rinse and apply product (Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curling Custard).  Lastly she went back to the station to clean up the cut and for finishing.  She was lightly blown to set the style.

Fierce Cut – Side View

Fierce Cut - Back View

One word: FIYA!  If you are looking for a hot summer look and are here in the Derby City check out the stylists at Natural Alternatives Salon by calling 502.473-8882.

Blended Beauty Independence Day Sale

Blended Beauty is having an Independence Day Sale from now until July 5th 2011.

Take an additional 20% off any TWO items with coupon code: CheersThe4th at checkout on http://www.blendedbeauty.com

I have not tried these products, but the company has been around for sometime.  You can find plenty threads about the products use on hair forums, message boards or on youtube. Here is a review from YTer PrettyDimples01 http://youtu.be/a0RDWOnHAEo

The company also has a guide to help you select the best products for your hair needs.  Blended Beauty products are 98-99% natural and do not contain petroleum, mineral oil, silicone or acrylics.

Komaza Care Mini Review

Komaza Care is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders placed Wed 6/15/11 on their website.

So why should you care?

First, their are only 2 discounts I consider to be worth my while for purchasing hair products online. A) 20% (or more) off purchase price.  B) Free Shipping.  This deal satisfies the latter. The pricing on their products is fair, but this California based chain is not located on the ground in most areas so free shipping really makes it worth your while.

Second, their products are awesome.  How would I know? Well a while back they sent me some product samples to review.  While I took my time and did manage to use the items I have yet to publish the review (I know I’m a slacker).  However I will give you a quick mini rundown of my favorite things:

  • Shea Butter Hair Lotion 8 oz, $12 This lotion is freaking all that!  I am not a shea butter lover.  Most shea products are too heavy for my hair and leave it greasy and ashen looking.  However Komaza got their mix just right.  It is a great moisturizer (leave-in) that I used for doing twists, rocking a puff and under my favorite gel/styler.
  • Califia Moisturizing Spray 8 oz, $13.50  This spritz is also the business!  This is a glycerin free spray that is great for use all year long.  I used it in the a.m. on my son’s fro before picking it out to soften and moisturize.  I also used it on myself for braids and twists on both the hair and scalp.
  • Moku Hair Butter 8 oz, $12.50 is not just another hair butter.  It smells absolutely divine without be too strong or perfumy.  It is a smooth blend of argan, cocoa, sal, and other butters that is NOT like your basic shea butter mix everyone else has.  It is lightweight but effective and great for sealing in moisture without making your hair greasy or ashen. Also great for some ashy hands, knees and elbows truth be told!
  • Califia Care Styling Pudding 8 oz, $17.50 This is a superb styler.  Use it for was-n-gos, twists, coils, etc.  I used this with the Califia Moisturizing Spray to do some finger-doodles (aka finger coils) on my hair and it came out FANTASTIC!  The product does not have hold so if you are needing a bit of hold add a little of your fav gel on top.

They have more products than I was sent and here is a mini-list of stuff I still want to try from them:

  • Moja Shamoo 8 oz, $11.00 This is a sulfate free cleanser.  Great for getting the hair clean without stripping or making it feel dry.  If you are CG, lo-poo or a co-washer I would suggest giving this a try
  • Olive Moisture Mask 16 oz $16.00  This deep conditioner that is chalk full of yummy ingredients but is protein-free.  Can I get a whoop-whoop from a my protein sensitive naturals?
  • Califia Care Leave-In Conditioner 8 oz $14.00 Now I know that I said I love the Shea Butter Hair Lotion and we know that moisturizers and leave-ins are the same thing so why would I want to check this product out? Well it is because my hair loves all the other Califia products so I have a strong inclination that it will like this one.  Possibly even better than the Shea Butter Hair Lotion.  Also it is good to have alternates :)

So load up your carts and get ready for tomorrow’s sale!  Be sure to comment back with your purchases and leave a review on how they worked out for you.

Summer Hair Care Tips

these are my adorable nieces on the California coast

Summer is here and for most of you that means a change in regimen.  We will discuss a few tips, products and styles to help deal with the summer heat, humidity and fun.

Mastering the Wash-n-Go

The WnG is a go-to style for many naturals in the summer time.  It is meant to be a quick easy style with low manipulation that gets you on your way.  Start by cleansing, co-washing or wetting your hair in the shower.  Add your favorite leave-in or moisturizer for additional softness.  Layer on a gel or custard to help provide additional curl definition.  Finish up with an oil or butter to help seal it all in, decrease any crunch from the gel and add shine.

  • Moisturizer/Leave-In: Oyin Hair Dew, Komaza Care Shea Butter Hair Lotion, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, Shea Moisture Hair Milk and Alaffia Shea & Coconut Hair Lotion.
  • Gel/Custard: Koils by Nature Herbal Gel, Eco Styler Gel, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Darcy’s Botanicals Curling Jelly, Aloe Vera Gel and Komaza Care Califa Styling Pudding, Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel.
  • Sealant: Castor oil, shea butter, coconut oil, Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade, Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair & Body Butter, Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Butter and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist.

Protective Styles

When its hot outside sometimes the last thing you want is to be bothered with your hair.  There are a lot of great protective styles that are perfect for summer.

Braids: Whether you chose to braid up your own hair into small pixies braids (as seen in this picture)  or go for extensions this is a style that last for a while and is easy to maintain.  Be sure to cleanse your scalp regularly and keep it moisturized.

Twists: Kinky twists are a very popular choice for summer.  They are quicker to install then braids and are fairly light.  Mini-twists done with your own natural hair are another great way to go. It may take a while to get them in but the style can last for weeks.

Cornrow/Flat-twist: These styles are great options for those who would just like to have hair tucked away and not have to worry about a thing!  With or without extensions this style can be very feminine and creative by fancy parting and by adding accessories.

Turban/Headwrap: A turban is an awesome way to protect your hair while being lazy.  In the picture here you would never know that I had a lumpy fro that I hadn’t combed in over a week!  All you need is a scarf and some imagination.  If you want more info on tying headwraps check out this post.

Swimming

What is summertime without enjoying the cool water of the ocean or your neighborhood pool?  While natural hair loves water you do want to be wary of chlorine in pools and water parks and the salinity of the ocean.

  • Protect: The suns rays are not only harmful for your skin but they can also be harmful for your hair.  So if you are going to spend a large amount of time outside cover your head with a hat or scarf or use a product that includes sun protection like Ouidad Sun Shield Leave-In Conditioner or by simply diluting your favorite sunblock with water and spritzing it on your hair.
  • Coat: Before you dive into the water grab your favorite condish and slather it on.  The conditioner will work to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine/salt.  You can use a cheapy condish like Suave or V05 or you can pick up conditioners specifically formulated to protect against chlorine like Ion Swimmer’s Leave-In or Circle of Friends Kylie’s Pre-Swim Conditioner.
  • Cover: Swimmer’s caps may not be very popular or cool-looking but there is no better way to protect your hair then to avoid the harshness of chlorine by keeping it from coming into contact with your hair.
  • Cleanse: Once you are out of the water head toward the showers and rinse your hair ASAP.  Then follow-up with a swimmer’s shampoo formulated to remove chlorine/salt from the hair.  Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo, L’oreal Kids Swim & Sport Shampoo, Aubrey Orgnaics Normalizing Shampoo, California Baby Swimmer’s Shampoo, Joico K-pak Chelating Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Shampoo 3 and Kinky Curly Come Clean.
  • Condition: Most swimmers shampoos are really strong clarifiers and have a tendency to leave your hair feeling dry so be sure you follow-up with a good deep conditioner to restore moisture and balance to your hair like Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay, Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment.

This is my sis C Rose reppin’ for the swimsuit shot cuz i’m not gonna be able to do it :)