Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Products, New Leave In= Product Reviews!

Hey All!

For some time, I have wanted to try Aloe Vera Gel, after hearing all the wonderful benefits of using this natural gel. The gel comes from the Aloe Vera Plant, and the gel is harvested from the leaves. It can be drank to help promote a healthy digestive system, regularity, and help muscle and joint function. Also to soothe skin for those who experience sun burn. I do not use it for these reasons....but for my hair!

Aloe Vera Gel is awesome for use as a moisturizer, depends on the brand, but it is 99% natural, and can be cheap depending again on brand, and where you purchase. There are also two types, there is the, Inner Fillet, which is where they only use the middle or where the gel comes from in the leaf, whereas with Whole leaf, they use the whole leaf, where it is believed that it is better because you are getting all the properties of the leaf. I cannot attest to how true this is or not to be honest, nor can tell you what is the difference, as this is my first time using this gel. (Perhaps in the future I will buy Whole Leaf, and draw a comparison then.)

I purchased mine online, through Vitamin Shoppe, as it was on sale at the time (still is). The kind I got was, Lily of the Desert (brand) Inner Fillet 16oz bottle for $2.99 USD , excluding shipping.

(Aloe Vera Gel has to be refrigerated, once you open it/break the seal.)


 I have been using this stuff in a mix, which I will not be sharing until sometime this week, and in a leave in I made, and it is amazing.  It get's a 5/5 rating for me!

The only thing about this product is that it really does feel like gel, but not the thick stuff you and I are use to dealing with like Eco Styler Gel, or Jam, this gel is very watery and loose, so it is slippery. I did expect it to feel this way so it does not take away from it as a product, for me. So this is a heads up for those of you who do not know what to the texture to be like.

 I plan on using this stuff alone as well to be the basis of my wash n' go tomorrow, so I will be sharing that as well.

Moving along to today's topic, AVG in my leave in.Which I will call my Creamy Aloe Olive Mix. As you all know, I make my own products/leave in's when I can, to save money. Not to mention it is a great way 'to know' what you are putting in your hair, at least in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I still suffer, being a product junkie and all, but we also know desires does not always coincide with out pockets!

The Ingredients of my Leave in, is pretty simple. Obviously, AVG, which is the only thing I measured (sort of) I added about 4oz's of that into my spray bottle, then added my conditioner of choice, which happened to be VO5 Moisturizing Milks Passion Fruit Smoothie(one of my favorite cowashing conditioners) I then, diluted the conditioner with some water, and then topped it off with a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I tend to use spray bottles for leave in's as it makes it super easy to distribute the product evenly on your hair. So of course I had to go out and purchase another for this mix. I got it from Sally Beauty, for $2.89 USD.

It is Sprayco brand, it is a High Output Trigger Spray bottle, I did not pick this one because of that reason, though. I picked this bottle in particular because it felt sturdier than the other bottles they had in store, was reasonably priced (less than 3 bucks), and purple (my absolute favorite color)!

It holds 16oz of fluid, which I took up all of when making my mix.

 Here's how it looks


This mix is great! It leaves my hair feeling soft, and unlike my Super Moisturizing Coconut leave in, I can use it daily, as it is not protein based. ( I use my other mix weekly, or when I feel my hair needs a bit of a 'pick me up').

(Side Note: I have also made a new batch of my Super Moisturizing Coconut leave in, I will be refrigerating it this time around, so I will let you all know what is the difference, and how long it lasts)

Now here is what really sold me on this mix.

Mid week, my hair became really oily, as I had been using my JBCO (mixed with regular Castor Oil) on my scalp everyday, and sometimes night, for a challenge I have been participating in on BHP. So I  cowashed, using VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Kiwi Lime Conditioner, (which does a great job of lightly stripping my hair of product) but this conditioner, can sometimes leave my hair feeling a bit dry, as it is suppose to strip the hair of products.

For that reason, I wanted to do a mini dc session, but did not want to use any of my actual deep conditioners, so I then the thought of using my new leave in as a deep conditioner came to mind.

I saturated my hair with the leave in, and then covered my hair with a plastic bag (as I do when I deep condition) and left it on while I showered. I would say I kept it on for no more than 15 minutes. It was drippy, which I did not like, but man oh man, did my hair come out feeling soft. It was really easy to comb through while rinsing too.

So this mix can be of double use! Which is why it will become one of my staple mixes. Like I said before, my only complaint is that it drips incessantly, which is a bit annoying, but the result definitely makes it bearable!

(I will not be refrigerating this mix, although it contains AVG, because it is diluted and contains oil, and conditioner.)

Yes this is my own creation, but I'm giving it a 4/5. I like it as it is, and will not add anything to make it thicker, as it will be mainly used as a leave in.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my new concoction with you all!


~Naomi

Monday, January 24, 2011

Braid Removal, Regimen & Reviews!

Hey All.

I recently removed my Yarn Braids, that I kept in for 2 months. To prep for taking them out, I cut all my ends off Thursday night, to make it easier to remove the braids. I started on Friday, and only did about 2 hours that night. I started up again on Saturday, and went at it for about 7 hours, with help from DF, and then finished up on Sunday, which took about an hour and a half.

So altogether it took a little over 10 hours to take them out. Here's all of it...


I say I got about an inch of new growth.




Now washing was a breeze! I did not prepoo, as I usually would because I had so much build up!

I used a Shampoo Bar from Lush, that I received as a gift- Stimulating Spice Shampoo.

This bar is suppose to help stimulate your hair follicles to encourage hair growth.  It was my first time using it, so I cannot speak on that part, but it did have a pleasant tingling sensation. It smells like spiced peppermint, and gives off a lot of lather. To use, all I had to do was wet my hair, and 'stroke' my hair with the bar a couple of times. The lather was a pretty pink hue. 


After only one washing my hair felt clean, but to be on the safe side since I had not washed my hair in a month (Yes, I know I am horrible!) I wanted to make sure I washed away all the build up.

You can order from Lush's site, or pick up a Shampoo Bar from one of their stores. This particular shampoo bar will run you $9.95 USD, and also an extra $3.95 USD if you buy the tin for the Shampoo bar.

I really like it so far, it left my hair clean, without feeling stripped. It's a bit pricier than my usual poo's but this is the first one I like. I really love the ingredients too, it is practically all natural!


Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerine, Nettle Infusion, Peppermint Infusion, Nettle Absolute, Rosemary Absolute, Bay Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Cinnamal,  Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool, D&C Red 30, Cinnamon Sticks

Now Cowashing was the pain! I had to saturate my hair with conditioner, (I used Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut)and work on combing out the knots with my wide tooth comb, before even thinking, I could just comb it through under some water. I say it took a good 10 minutes to get most of the knots and kinks out. Here's what came out....


Pretty much a fist full of hair came out, which I am hoping is just shed hair, we will see next wash.

As of right now, I'm giving this poo 5/5! It is everything that I want in shampoo!


Moving along, after that whole detangling session, I did a protein treatment, which my hair desperately needed! I used Tropical Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Mayonnaise Protein Conditioner (from the makers of Tropical Isle Living JBCO) which I also received as a gift.




I used my fingertips to distribute the conditioner from root to tip in sections, and then put on a plastic bag, and let it work it's magic for an hour. Going for that hour started to feel like forever once it started dripping down my neck. That is one of the first things I noticed about this product, it has a really thin/watery consistency. Much like if you used regular Mayonnaise from your fridge, which I have to say disappointed me. It looks creamy in the container, and I expected to go on creamy as well.

Well after rinsing, my hair did not feel hard, but it did feel stronger, I'll have to use it a bit more to see if my hair really likes it, especially for the $13.99 that it retails for, not including shipping fees. Not to mention it is only 8 ounces!  As these line of products are hard to find in stores! To be honest, call yourself lucky if you can!

Two distributers that sell Tropical Isle Living Products are Sams247 and Jamaican Oils

I like it, I will warn you that it does smell like JBCO. As it is one of the main ingredients, which of course I like. This too is also natural.


Ingredients: Mayonnaise, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, Mustard Oil, Grape seed Oil, Lavender, Pimento Oil.

I'm giving this a 4/5 so far, simply because I wish it were thicker, and cheaper.

After my protein treatment, I followed with a moisturizing DC. I used Roux Porosity Control Extreme Pak Moisturizing Treatment. It is meant to "deliver intense conditioning to dry, porous or damaged hair".

This was also a gift. You can find it at most Bss, Sally Beauty, and Drug stores (CVS/Rite Aid/Walgreens) and it costs about $1.99 USD a pack.




One pack was juuuust enough to coat my hair, not saturate, but it was good enough, I put a plastic bag on my head and let it sit for an hour and a half, and rinsed.  I deep condition on wet hair, as I like my hair to be clean prior to deep conditioning, also your hair uses less product when it is wet.

It sort of smells like like regular body lotion, like Jergens or something similar. It also had thin consistency. It did leave my hair soft, though weirdly enough, it did not do much to detangle, but like I said before, I did not have enough conditioner to begin with, so should I ever use this deep conditioner again, I will be using two packs.

This conditioner is good for those with relaxed hair to use after doing a touch up, or those who bleach, as this product is acidic, and makes the hair cuticles to lay flat, which causes shine, and hair to appear healthy.

Ingredients: Water, Lauryldimonim Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Collagen, Dihydroxyethyl Tallow Glycinate, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Stearmidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Ceteraryl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Pantehnol, Lactic Acid, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazoldinyl Urea.

I cannot properly rate this as I did not have an adequate amount of conditioner, but I did like it.

I oiled my scalp with my JBCO mixture, used my Super Moisturizing Coconut Leave In, and then put hair in twist for a twist out, using a product I will review sometime this week!

I did use too much though, so I did not wear my hair out, and just put enough out for 'bangs.

Anyway, that was my wash day!

I will be doing a length check sometime next month, so keep an eye out!

~Naomi






Friday, January 21, 2011

Today is the Day!

(Hey All!)

...I'm taking out my Yarn Braids. I am actually in the process right now. I cannot express to you all how happy I am to see and feel my own hair, dirty and all! I love the lock of locs, but I am no means ready for the commitment it takes to growing and upkeep!

Keeping the braids in was easy the first 6 weeks, but these past two weeks have been tough! Usually by the 6 week point, I give in, and take them out, but I pushed past, and stuck it out for the extra 2 weeks, and I'm quite proud of myself.

Although, I am kind of regretting having to take them out, because I have huge dirt clumps in my hair from build up (from buildup, which is completely normal, but gross) .

I will not be using any products to help take them out, as it is yarn and is already soft and easy on the fingers. (No cuts on fingertips, unlike synthetic hair!) I am hoping to finish late tonight/early morning, but we'll see. I am in no rush.

After removing I'll be washing my hair, doing a moisturizing dc, and protein, (as hair needs both to restore balance) probably for an hour or more each, covered with a plastic back (works just as well as a plastic cap), oiling, moisturize and sealing, and a style of choice ( I have not decided yet).

The products I will be using will be new, so I'll be doing a review on them all at some point.

Anyway, I just had to share my good news! Look out for my next post, I will give you guys an estimated time of how long removal took, and comparison pics, to see if the braids helped me retain growth.


~Naomi

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ok So We Lost

Hey All,


Well if you didn't watch, the Ravens lost, sad, but they fought except for the stupid fumble. Oh well, there's always next year.


On another note, look out for my post next week, I'll be taking down my braids and will be doing a review on a surse product!




~Naomi 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let's Go Ravens!

Hey All!

This post is totally unrelated to hair, but since it is close to the superbowl, and I live in Baltimore. I'm rooting for the Ravens! Hope you all are watching.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ultimate Deep Conditioning Challenge 2011

Hey all!

As you all know, I am a member of many hair forums, but Black Hair Planet has to be my favorite. I am running an Ultimate Deep Conditioning Challenge for 20ll (until Dec.10th, 2011).

The purpose of the challenge is to help enforce healthy hair habits for the new year. Deep conditioning is a vital part of healthy hair care, as it helps restore moisture into the hair, or protein, depending on the type of the conditioner you use. (Tip: Conditioners like Hair Mayonnaise, or contains eggs are considered hard protein)

Protein based treatment/conditioner should not be used on a weekly basis, or you may experience protein overload. Protein overload results in excessive shedding/breakage. Too much moisture results in limp, gummy, hair, so you really have to make sure you do not have too much of moisture or protein in your regimen. As well as what is in your leave in's.

Like for instance, my 'Super Moisturizing Homemade Coconut Leave In' can be considered protein based because of the coconut oil. It is okay to use, and alternate between a purely moisturizing leave in. Which is something I learned, I did not realize that my conditioner was protein based, and could not figure out why my hair would sometimes feel hard.

For now I will be alternating between my coconut leave in, and diluted VO5 Moisturizing Milks mixed with Home Health Castor Oil.

( Look out for Soy/Silk/Wheat Proteins, they're not bad by any means, it just means your product contains a bit of protein)

Anyway, getting to the point, the challenge is mainly about just that, finding YOUR balance. Although I think it is best for people to do a hard protein treatment, once every 4-6 weeks, it depends on the person. (Tip: A quick homemade recipe for a hard treatment... Eggs and Mayo, how much of each depends on you, you can also add a bit of conditioner for a thicker consistency) Some people cannot take hard protein, so they will do a light protein instead, or twice a month.

Moisturizing Deep Conditioners
Alter Ego Energizing and Rebalancing Cream
Alter Ego Nourishing Rebalancing Conditioner
Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner
Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner
Aubrey Organics Green Algae Hair Rescue Conditioning Mask 
Aubrey Organic Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner Aubrey Organis Isand naturals Conditioner
Aveda Sap Moss Conditioning detangler
Biolage Hydrating and Ultra Hydrating Conditioning Balm
Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Smoothie
Creme Of Nature Nourishing ConditionerFederic Fekai Hair Mask with Shea Butter J/A/S/O/N/ Sea Kelp Conditioner
Freeman's mango Papaya Conditioner
GVP Conditioning Balm (from Sally's)
Hairveda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioning Mask
ICON Inner Home Moisture Mask
Jason Natural Biotin Conditioner 
Jason Natural Jojoba Conditioner
Jason Natural Thin to Thick hair &Scalp Therapy Extra Volume Conditioner
Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment
Joico K Pak Intensive Hydrator Conditioner Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm
Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner
Keracare Humecto
Loreal Nature's Therapy Mega Moisture ConditionerLustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus Mango
Mizani Microfusion Conditioner
Mizani Moisturefuse
Mizani Thermasmooth
MOP C-System ConditionerNeutragena Triple Moisture Mask
Nioxin Intensive Therapy Weightless Reconstructive Masque
Nioxin Scalp Therapy
Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
Pantene Relaxed & Natural Breakage Defense Hair Conditioning Mask Pantene Restoratives Time Renewal Replenishing Mask
Phytojojoba
Redken All Soft Heavy Cream
Shapely's Mane N Tail
Shescentit Banana Brulee  
Silicon Mix Conditioner
Silk Elements Megasilk Moisturizing Treatment
Silk Elements Megasilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment
Tresemme Natural Conditioner
Ultra Black Hair Deep Conditioner (by Cathy Howse)
Ultra Sheen Duo Tex Protein Conditioner

Light Protein/Moisturizing Deep Conditioners
Biolage Fortetherapie Cera-Repair Treatment
Biolage Hydratherapie Cera-Repair treatment
Elucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment
Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner Mizani Fulfyl Conditioning Treatment
Organic Root Stimulator Replenising Pak/Conditioner
Queen Helene Cholesterol

Protein Deep Conditoners/Treatments
 Affirm 5 in 1 Reconstructor
Alter Ego Garlic Treatment Oil Conditioner
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
Creme Of Nature Conditioning Reconstructor 
Jason Natural Lavender Strengthening Conditioner
Joico K Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor 
Kenra Platinum Shea Butter Reconstructor
LeKair Cholesterol 
Mills Creek Keratin Conditioner
Miss Key 10 in 1 ConditionerNature's Gate Biotin Strengthening Conditioner
Nexxus Emergencee
NuNaat Keratin Conditioner
Organics Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise Treatment for Damaged Hair 
Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayaonnaise
Rene Furtere Karite Intense Nourishing Mask
Salerm 21 Wheat Germ Mask
(Credit for list due to Godiva)

Those are just examples (and suggestions) of what conditioners provide what kind of treatment for your hair. You can also create your own deep conditioners from scratch, or use one of your cowashing conditioners as a base for a dc.

Here are the rules of the challenge
The DC challenge is back in full effect for the new year! The Ultimate Deep Conditioning Challenge 2011, will Begin Monday, January 10th, 2011.

To Join: Please post a starting picture if you can, or just list the two deep conditioners (protein & moisturizing) that you will be using. You have the option of switching any of your two main dc's, until Monday, January 24th, 2011. Please just be sure to post what you will be switching two, so I can update the list.

Also while signing up, let us know a few things about your hair, ie. whether you are relaxed, texlaxed, transitioning, or natural. Also your hair length, and whether you will be deep conditioning with/without heat, or using a cap. Again, listing conditioners that you will be using is mandatory.


Check In dates will be the 10th of every 3rd month.
Thursday March 10th, 2011
Friday June 10th, 2011
Saturday September 10th, 2011
Saturday December 10th, 2011

RULES


  1. You are required to deep condition for at least once a week!
  2. You can deep condition on wet or dry hair (whatever your preference)
  3. Deep condition with heat for at least 30 minutes
  4. If deep conditioning without heat, leave it in for at least 1-2 hours
  5. You can make any additions to your deep conditioner, just post what you added(Oils, honey, eggs, or any ingredient of your choosing)
  6. You can also make your own deep conditioners
  7. Passes are to be used when you do not use one of the two conditioners you listed to be your main conditioners for this challenge
  8. You are allowed 2 passes a month.
  9. Please post when a Pass is used

You can join on BHP from the link provided above, or simply just comment that you will be participating.


For now my main Dc's for this challenge will be LUSH Retread & Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Mayonnaise Protein Conditioner. I may be changing again by the 24th, we'll see.


I will have to use a pass this week, because of my braids, but I will be able to start participating next week, as I plan to start taking down my braids next Friday (Jan. 21st), which I am super excited about, but also nervous. I will also be doing a strand test to see if I have gained any growth in the past two months.

I hope you all will consider deep conditioning at least once a week, if you are not already!

~Naomi

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Count Down Begins!

Hey all!


As much as been loving my braids, I feel like I am going to have to will myself to get through these next two weeks. I am loving the get up and go, but I miss having a regimen, changing my look, playing in my hair. This shows me that I cannot handle having locs right now. I do love the look of them, but I crave the ability to change my look, so maybe that is something I will look into later on in life.


To help me prepare for taking down my braids, I have been looking into getting all the products I will need, before taking down my braids. I have formed a list, here is what it looks like so far...  


Shea Butter (A Staple, considered both a moisturiser & sealant, I love to use this for twists, and bantu knots)

Aloe Vera Gel (For Moisture, never used before, but I have always wanted to)

EVCO (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil) ( A Staple, I use this in my 'Super Moisturizing Homemade Coconut Leave In', to seal, prepoo, add it to dc's. It is one of my favorite oils)

Home Health Castor Oil (A Staple, I use this to help thicken my hair by using on my scalp, I also add this to dc's, and also to seal)

EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) (Used to prepoo, seal, can add to dc's, I have not used this oil in a while and would like to see if my hair would take to it')

Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil (A Staple, I use this in everything)

Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In (I have always wanted to try this product, and I am hoping I get around to doing so)

I would also like a couple of new spray and applicator bottles.)



I will be clarifying after prepooing, with either VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Kiwi Lime, or my new Mint Shampoo Bar (a solid bar used to cleanse hair)  from LUSH, which is infused with different herbs, like peppermint, cinnamon, and nettle, to promote hair growth.


I have narrowed down which dc's I will be using. (After doing something like braids, you always should do a protein treatment, followed by a moisturising dc. Balance is key!)

For Protein it will be either
Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Mayonnaise Protein Conditioner
or
Vitale Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise

For Moisture it will be either
LUSH Retread

Hask & Henna Henna 'n' Placenta Pack

Roux Porosity Control Extreme Pak Moisturizing Treatment

I also have Shea Butter, and Avocado Skala (Domincan brand) conditioner, that I can mix with oils.

I have yet to decide on the dc's. (All new products, and dc's I have yet to use, I will be reviewing.)

What do you guys think....of the protein & moisturising dc's which two should I use? Also, what style should I do once the braids are out?

Would love to have you guys opinion! Comment & Subscribe!


~Naomi

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!/HAIR Goals for 2011!

As the new year approaches, I have been making new year resolutions/goals. You know, important things like deciding when to start school, saving for a car, but my favorite goals, are hair related!


Here are my goals as they stand
  1. Get a staple moisuturizing Deep Conditioner
  2. Retain ALL of my length (easier said than done!)
  3. Reach APL by Summer 2011, and BSL by Dec 2011


Things I will be doing to help achieve my goals
  1.  Making sure to sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet (I tend to fall asleep before I can, but this step is vital! It is what protects your hair at night, and helps prevent split ends and breakage!)
  2. Oiling my scalp more often with JBCO/Castor Oil
  3. Protecting my ends by doing protective styles
  4. Less manipulation
  5. Moisturizing and Sealing more often
I think that is all, oh, and to adjust my regimen as needed!

Those are my goals thus far, I hope you guys make and achieve your (hair) goals this year. Happy New Year!

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