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.

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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.

Iyoba Organic Curl Cream

Several months back I attended the Natural Hair Freedom Brunch in Atlanta and received a gift bag with several different hair and body product samples. To be perfectly honest I am over swag bags, I don’t need any more products and I usually toss them in a bin of stuff I give away to friends and family or use on vacation.  While packing for one of my trips I wanted to take a travel size hair moisturizer with me and I grabbed Iyoba Organic Curl Cream. I had no expectations with this product; it was water based (moisturizing) and contained shea butter (sealing) and that was all I needed it to do.  After cracking this bad boy open I was presently surprised by its performance.

Iyoba organic curl cream

Iyoba Body Essentials

Organic Curl Cream

$12 / 4 oz jar

ing: spring water, irish moss, organic flax seed, oils of castor, meadowfoam seed, olive, organic shea butter, essential oils, peace and love. 

I am not a real lover of curl creams. I really only use them when twisting my hair which I have not done in months really.  My hair loves snotty mucilage gel for wash n gos and that is really where my heart lies as far as products go. We know that all curl creams are not created equal. For me to be a great curl cream it must be moisturizing, set and seal the curls, but not be too butter heavy. This Iyoba Organic Curl Cream is the stuff other curl creams aspire to be.

5 Reasons I Loved This Product

  1. It smells really good, the light sweet-citrusy smell reminds me of lemon cake but not overwhelming.
  2. It provides lasting moisture. I used this to style my hair into a puff and to put in some jumbo twists. My hair was so very soft I couldn’t stop touching it.
  3. The product seals the hair without leaving it feeling oily or coated.
  4. It has a bit of slip to it which is surprising. You can add this to dry hair after spritzing with a bit of water and lightly separate and detangle the hair.
  5. It actually defined my curls; not as well as a gel, but better than any other curl creme ever has.

I only received a small 2 ounce sample and I actually went to the website interested in ordering. The pricing had me rethinking my intentions. As much as I liked the product I am not paying $12 for 4 ounces, I will however keep an eye out for a sale.  After skimming the ingredients list I have to say the reason this product is so great is the irish moss. It is the only ingredient I have not had much experience with and I will be doing further research on products containing irish moss as well as adding it to my DIY projects and keep you posted.

Product Review: TreLuxe Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer

TreLuxe Hi Definition Curl Enhancer

TréLuxe

Hi! Definition 

$17

available online on discovertreluxe.com

ing: Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan Gum (Seaweed Extract), Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate-60, Lactobacillus/Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Acyl Coenzyme A Desaturase, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Honey Extract, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Elaesis Guineensis (Palm) Fruit Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) ,Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol

Hi! Definition is curl enhancing gel in the TreLuxe line. One glance at the ingredients list and I knew it would be love for me. My hair is always perfect with mucilage (snotty) gels and this product contains both aloe vera and seaweed extract, very slimey. There are also a couple protein extracts that are pretty high on the ingredient list but I did not have any ill reactions toward their presence.  The physical texture of the gel is very slimey, it could be packaged in a bottle, but I personally like it better in a container. Derby City Naturals Wash n Go with TreLuxe Hi Definition

I used this product several times once with including with the TréLuxe Untie the Knot leave in underneath and another using my ultimate favorite leave-in kinky curly knot today and both performed well.  I actually got 4-day-hair from a single application refreshing my hair each morning with a little water and adding some of the TréLuxe ReFlex serum on days three and four.  I believe I could have went longer, but I work out often and it was too gross to continue without washing.

5 Things I Liked About This Product

  1. The mucilage. I love a snotty gel they are always a winner for me.
  2. The product is well formulated and the proteins did not make my hair dry or stiff.
  3. I like the way the product works well with not just the products in the line but other leave-ins as well. As we all know this can sometimes be a gamble when mixing product lines.
  4. Lasting results. Multi-day hair is still a major factor when finding a good gel and this one performs.
  5. There are at least 4-5 applications in this jar which is really surprising for an 8 oz container.

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.

Product Review: Zenzele Aloe Vera Hair Gel

Zenzele

Aloe Vera Hair Gel

$12 for 8 oz

Available online and Sage Naturalceuticals

ing: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Phenoxyethanol, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Alcohol denatured, Carbomer, TEA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid

Ok this review was hard.  I hate writing bad reviews.  I try to always find something positive to say but I just can’t.  My hair loves just plain aloe gel so this should have been a slam dunk only it wasn’t. *womp womp*  I received the Zenzele Twist Moisturizing Combo which includes this Aloe Vera Hair Gel, Shea Shea Hair Souffle and Leave-In Conditioning Milk from my friend Tanya who had mixed feelings about the products and wanted to know what I thought.

Check out my 1st impression, what I call the “Cube Fro Incident” 

After that styling fail I put the product on the shelf for a few weeks to do some more research and see how others are using it.  There are not many reviews out there and I am afraid I know why.  I decided to put my big-girl pants on and give the gel a second try using my product knowledge to find the most successful application.

Check out my 2nd impression, what I call “It’s not that bad” 

Only its not that good either.  I liken this product to a watery aloe vera gel similar to when you first mix up gelatin before it sets.  The gel has no hold for me and resulted in extremely shrunken and tangled hair.  The only good thing was that it was incredibly water soluble so I was able just to rinse out my hair without having to shampoo.  Because of this there is no way to get second day hair from an application.  My hair felt coated and crispy and was not moisturized at all.  No me gusta.

The leave-in conditioner worked fine but there are better conditioners out there for the $12 price tag.  Same goes for the souffle. It does smell really good and I like the creaminess of it but it does not perform as well as other thick creams, especially considering its $20.  As for the gel IMO you can get better results using just straight aloe vera gel on wet hair and sealing it in with coconut oil or your favorite sealer.

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.