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.

Traveling with Natural Hair

I love to travel. Recently I went on my first cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruises, I had an absolute blast if you have not ever been cruising it is something you simply MUST do! Check out my girl Janine with Your Door to the World Travel if you are interested in taking one.

Haley on a cruise This first thought that entered my mind after the excitement of going on a cruise was what am I going to do with my hair? I knew I was going to be spending lots of time in the ocean or the pool by day and dancing the night away so the best style for me would be a wash-n-go. I could wash my hair regularly to remove salt water, chlorine, sweat and whatever ever I managed to get in there while still looking cute. I had to make sure the products I selected would be effective and reliable but also be ideal for meeting restraints of limited luggage, flying and multi-use. Here is what I selected.

  1. Bobeam Shampoo Bar These bars do an excellent job of cleansing the hair and scalp they are compact and best of all they are not liquid so you can pack them in your carryon luggage saving room in your checked baggage.
  2. Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle I know I can be a bit of a product snob but I always have a cheap condish in my arsenal. One I that will work as both to moisturize my curls and has enough slip to detangle. I also don’t feel guilty when I accidently leave it behind in the shower at the hotel.
  3. Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha Gel While I haven’t officially posted a review for this gel it has been road tested several times. I can get up to two day hair with one application, it is lightweight and provides consistent results. Also because it is so mucilage heavy I don’t have to use a leave-in conditioner underneath.
  4. Hydratherma Naturals Hair Growth Oil I have a small 2 ounce bottle that I travel with to soothe scalp, seal hair and add shine. It also smells really good which is an added plus.
  5. Oh Honey Hush Hair Scarves There will come times when you need to pull your hair up either to simply get it out of the way or just for a cute style. Many ladies use stretchy headbands which work for some but my head is big +  I have a lot of hair = headaches and broken bands. I prefer to tie my hair back and these scarves are just so damn cute.

That was my complete hair care list. I didn’t bring a comb either, just finger detangled my hair while conditioning it. There were some days I simply did a conditioner only wash-n-go and tied my hair up in a puff because I knew I would be getting in the ocean and did not want to waste any hair products. I had the most wonderful time on my cruise and I am already planning the next one.

 

Jessicurl’s New Spiralicious Styling Gel

Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling GelIt’s here! You may remember me talking about Jessicurl’s new strong-hold styling gel. I was part of the testing process and even got to submit suggestions to name the new gel.

Well Spiralicious is officially released to everyone on Jessicurl website available in you favorite scents Island Fantasy, Citrus Lavender or unscented.

This styler provides great 2-3 day hair for me and gives my wash-n-go’s the definition I love without the crunch.

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.

My Wash-N-Go Routine

The Wash-N-Go. This is the first style every natural should master as it is the simplest.  Now while the style in itself is simply wearing your hair in its naturally curly state the challenge for some comes with the battle to keep their curls defined.  I have harvested my technique over the years through trial and error, advice on message boards, youtube videos and other blogs.  This is what works best for me and my hair, your results may vary.

A WORD ON CURL DEFINITION. If you have followed me for any time you should be familiar with my motto, “F— hair typing”. I do not care about hair typing. I think it is divisive and places undue emphasis on something that is not very important in the grand scheme of getting to know your hair and what products work for you. However, this is an area where hair typing comes into play. We all have different curl patterns. Defining a zig-zag shaped curl will not transform it into a Botticelli spiral curl.  So do yourself a favor. Hop into the shower, cleanse and rinse your hair, then load it up with your favorite conditioner.  Step out of the shower, grab a mirror and take a look at your curls. This is the best they will ever be defined by a hair product.  Take notice of the type of curls you have, it is possible to have several different curl patterns on your head. Take a picture and label it “My Wash-N-Go Goal”

HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST WASH-N-GO.  Start with clean, detangled, soaking wet (dripping) hair. Separate your hair into manageable sections, I use 6.  Take down one section at a time and apply FAVORITE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER from root to tip then clip back into place.  Complete application of leave-in conditioner on remaining sections. Next, take down a section of hair, add enough water to re-wet the section and apply FAVORITE CURL DEFINER using a smoothing motion from root to tip then clip back in to place.  Complete application of curl definer to remaining sections.   Thirdly, remove the clips and shake your head to help reset the curls (I nod my head yes, then no, then touch my ears to my shoulders).  Fourthly, I grab a bottle of FAVORITE OIL SPRITZ and mist my hair while shaking it.  This helps to add shine and to eliminate the crunch you can get from curl defining gels.  Lastly, the most important step, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY DRY. Touching your hair before it is dry will add to frizz which is the nemesis of well defined curls.  I let my hair air dry but you can sit under a hooded dryer or use a blow dryer with a diffuser nozzle to dry it quickly.

My current favorite products for achieving my best wng are: Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in conditioner, Donna Marie Mircacurl Curling Gelly as my curl definer and Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioning Oil.  Click here to see a list of my other favorite products.  A small note on mixing products from different manufacturers. Product manufacturers formulate their products to work together.  Mixing and matching products from different product lines may result in unwanted side effects so use caution. (Kinky Curly Curling Custard is known not to play well with products from other product lines.)

5 Tips for Achieving the Best Wash-N-Go

  1. Start with soaking wet hair
  2. Use a leave-in conditioner to keep your curls moisturized
  3. Smooth the curl definer from root to tip in a downward motion
  4. Use an oil spritz to keep the crunch away
  5. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR UNTIL IT IS DRY!

Check out my Wash-N-Go Routine Video

This is my wash-n-go routine that I have been using for a couple years now. While the products have changed and my hair has grown longer this method has remained true for me.   If you find this method helpful, congrats go forth and share with others.  If you use a different method that gives you great results, awesome good for you please leave a comment with your method below so others can learn from you.  Who knows you may introduce me to something that makes my wng hair routine even better.

Natural Hair Transitioning Styles

As a former long-term transitioner I understand the frustration of those still making their way through.  Here are some style tips to make the transition run smoother.

The Braid-Out: This was my go-to style for transitioning.  To do this style I sprayed my hair with settting lotion and plaited my hair into 10-12 braids making sure to braid them in the direction you want to go.  If you need help keeping the relaxed hair from unraveling, use mouse, gel or hairspray.  You can also use rubberbands, clips or barrettes to hold the ends.  I also like to use perm rods or rollers at the ends.  This will give you a braid-n-curl as shown in the picture.  You can also do the same with twists.  I did not do many twist-out styles while transitioning because my hair would unravel and I found that the braids held better.

Two-Strand Flat Twists: While I never did this style while transitioning it is another great choice.  These are perfect for those who do not have the tactile ability to actually cornrow hair.  You can use the same process as the braid-out above.  But if you are blessed to be able to cornrow your own hair or have a friend who can that is also a great option.


Straight.  During the first several months of my transition I continued to wear my hair straight because it was the easiest thing for me to do.  After washing and conditioning my hair I would blowdry straight and follow with a flatiron.  The focus was not on achieving super straight hair, but simply trying to match the textures.  I would wrap my hair at night in a satin scarf to maintain.

The Wet Look: This was a very easy style.  I would simply wet my hair in the shower and sometimes co-wash.  Then I would just leave a little conditioner in it.  If you have super straight ends and want more of a wavy look then plait your hair into 6 large braids and allow to dry.  You can also add some gel to coax out the texture. To minimize the puffiness of my roots I wore a flexi-comb headband as seen here. 

These are just a few styling options while transitioning.  What have you tried?

Curly Girl Method v. Tightly Curly Method

Elle of Quest for the Perfect Curl and I were on the same page this morning. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the Curly Girl Method, aka CG.  One of the main misnomers about the CG method is that you ONLY use conditioner, that is just plain false. You can cleanse with a sulfate-free cleanser and style with silicone-free gels. You may be already dong the CG method and not even know it!

What people are consistently confusing the CG method with is the Tightly Curly Method which is a conditioner-only method. Either way, to get the real deal on these methods check out these two books: Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Curly Like Me by Teri LaFlesh. For more curly reading recommendations check out this post >  on Curly Reading.

Quest for the Perfect Curl

Question: Hey Elle! Have you ever done a conditioner only wash&go? What are your thoughts on them? I just had major success with using just Tresseme naturals condish for my w&g and I can’t believe it looks so good lol. I’m trying the CG method but slightly worried my hair could dry out.

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