Thursday, December 13, 2012

Healthy Hair and Skin from the Inside

Recent twist and curl style
I am pretty happy with my hair recently and am feeling like things are getting back to normal.  By that I mean I was having some issues with dry, flaky scalp followed up by a month or two with heavy shedding.  Both issues are finally getting under control so I have been uploading to my YouTube channel more often with hair tutorials.  Before now though it was so frustrating to do anything with my hair because I almost felt like there was no point.  The flakes made it look so bad that I didn't even want to go out some days.

One of the things that I think helped was that I started working on my immune system to help get my skin under control.  I have psoriasis and I have known for a while now that the inflammation in my skin is because of something not quite right with my immune system.  When the psoriasis flared up I started introducing probiotics into my system by eating a serving of Activia yogurt each day.  This helped with digestion and made it possible for my body to absorb my supplements better.  After doing that for 2-3 weeks I decided to go back to a more effective multi-vitamin formulated for women.  It costs more but has proved to be much better for my body than the usual store brands.

So happy my scalp is finally clearing up
I also added some supplements to my daily routine like garlic, super B-Complex and vitamin E.  The garlic helped with the shedding and didn't start working right away but I can tell that I am shedding fewer hairs per wash session now.  I would say it took about a 3-4 weeks before it started to make a difference.  The B-Complex contains biotin and I can see that it is helping my nails so hopefully it's doing something for my hair as well.  The Vitamin E is a given because it's known for being good for the skin.  I usually try to take my multi-vitamin on its own  and then the other supplements together at another time during the day.  Both times are with a meal.  I also started drinking Green Tea for the antioxidants and increased my daily water intake.

With the Colorado climate being especially dry right now,  I hope that this regimen will get me through the winter without having anymore problems.  For now,  I'm using shea butter to moisturize my skin and staying away from heavy oils on my scalp to avoid build-up.  I've also started doing more finger detangling instead of using a tool to get rid of shed hairs.  

NOTE:  As with anything health related be sure and speak with a physician when considering adding vitamins and supplements to your daily routine  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jumbo Rake Comb Review

When I was talkin' hair with my mother a couple of months ago she showed me a picture of a comb that she was interested in trying.  She checked out a copy of the book, "The Science of Black Hair" from the library and it listed a "rake" comb as a suggestion for detangling natural hair.  I remembered seeing the comb online (probably in a Youtube video) but didn't exactly know where to track one down.  Recently however, I was at the Big Beauty Supply Store in Aurora, and noticed some for sale.  It was by the Annie brand and was called a "Jumbo Rake Comb".   I figured I would grab it for my mom so she wouldn't have to keep looking for it.  I thought that maybe I would give it a try too and since they were only $1.49 plus tax (USD) I bought two.

Jumbo Rake Comb for only
 $1.49 plus tax!
I didn't really know what to use the comb for because I already felt like I had every comb that I needed.  I decided to use it one night when I was twisting my hair up after wearing it in a wash n' go style.  I was surprised at how well the comb detangled my hair.  It's almost like the front end helped to pull apart the tangles but the spacing toward the back end of the comb allowed my hair to glide right through.  When I saw this I decided to try it the next time I detangled my hair in the shower.

My normal routine for detangling is to do it while my hair is soaking wet and saturated with Tresemme Naturals conditioner.  I usually begin by finger combing my hair first which helps me to remove a lot of the shed hair and tangles before moving onto a comb or my denman brush.  So when I tried the Jumbo Rake comb my hair was already free from any major tangles.  Still, I knew that I would be doing a roller set that night so I needed to make sure my hair was thoroughly detangled beforehand.

My twists
used the rake comb
to detangle

Once again, the comb performed beautifully.  I was really surprised because I didn't expect for it to be any different from my wide tooth comb.  Somehow though having the teeth closer together toward the front and wider in back is what I think makes it a more effective tool for detangling.  It really is able to pick apart at the tangles but the hair glides through.  You'd have to try it to see what I mean.  As for me, I do think that I'll be using this instead of my denman brush because it removed shed hairs but not so many to cause concern.

My Mom's hair sectioned and detangled with
the rake comb
I even tried it a week later when I was straightening my mom's hair.  She is transitioning to natural and has about two inches of new growth.  I applied Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner and a heat protectant to each section of her hair and then detangled with the rake comb.  Her hair was only damp but the comb still did a pretty good job.

I give it a thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good comb for detangling.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Twistout Using Curls Unleashed Curl Defining Creme

I normally do braidouts when I want stretched hair because I know I'll get consistent results.  The same is not true when I do twistouts.  Sometimes when I take the twists down, my hair is fuzzy and puffy before I even leave the house.  Other times I have trouble getting the twists to stay so the end result looks messy and not as defined as I would like.

This time I decided to use something to give the twists some hold and definition.  I reached for my Eco Styler gel (a staple) but thought maybe I should give the Curls Unleashed Curl Defining Creme a try.  The only other time that I used it was to do a wash n' go style on wet hair.  I had really good results with it then but since I've been back to using my Eco gel I haven't had much
use for it.


Small Grey Rods are great
for a spiral curl on the ends
For this twistout I started with clean hair.  First I applied my Paul Mitchell The Conditioner leave-in along with the Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme moisturizer.  I wanted to make sure that there was plenty of moisture under the Curls Unleashed product because I remember it having a firm hold.  I applied the Curl Defining Creme on top of the other two products and started doing two strand twists in medium size sections.  At the front I did flat twists on either side of my middle part and for my bangs.  Once all of the twists were done, I used small grey perm rods to spiral curl the ends.  I always use end papers for this step because I don't want any of the ends to slip off of the rod while I'm sleeping.

When I woke early the next day, my hair was still damp so I decided to let it air dry completely rather than sit under the dryer.  The resulting twistout was so soft and defined I almost didn't believe it.  The thing I liked most was that even after fluffing and styling my hair there wasn't any frizz.  I like big hair and usually lose some definition when I separate and fluff.  I think I'm going to continue to
use this product when I want a nice twistout.  For now here are pics of my first try.

Curly Twistout results with a Satin Scarf for a headband

Before I separated the sections
After fluffing and separating

Friday, October 19, 2012

My No Heat Blow Out

I've been straightening my natural hair nearly once each month ever since I went natural over three years ago.  I used to blowdry my hair every time but found that it made my straight hair feel dry.  I also felt like using two heat styling tools in one session was too much heat for my hair.  I decided to start using another method to dry my hair before using the flat iron while stretching it at the same time.

Air Drying
Basically, I let my hair air dry which takes longer but works great for me because my hair actually absorbs the product better.  My favorite method is to use ponytails with the ends two strand twisted.  This way the roots lay flatter and the hair dries in a smooth wavy pattern.  You can also use braids but I found that the twists dry quicker and serve the same purpose; stretch the hair while it dries.  Another favorite is to pull all of my hair back into a bun with the front and sides slicked back.  I'll wear this as a style for a whole day and then at night, part it down the middle and do two french braids to help dry the center.

Brush it Out
Air drying overnight using ponytails with
two strand twists
The final step of the process is to take down the twists or braids and brush the hair out.  I like to use a paddle brush but a wide tooth comb also works.  I realize it's considered a no-no to do this on dry hair but this is possible because of the products I use.  While my hair is still damp, I always apply a creamy leave-in conditioner, oil and a hair serum on each section.  This makes my hair soft enough to comb through once it is dry.

The Result
When my hair is dry and brushed out, it still looks just as big and stretched as a blowout.  It amazes me that so many naturals grab the blow dryer whenever they want to have stretched hair.  Sure the blowdryer is faster but why risk the damage?   Since I discovered how to do this it has become the method I use to stretch my hair everytime I want to straighten it or see some length.

I use a Creamy Leave-in Conditioner and Hair Serum
for dry hair soft enough to brush through

Wearing a bun all day gets the edges smooth
while drying

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Length Check Tee Shirt

Lovin' my new DIY Length Check Tee Shirt
I've been thinking to myself lately that I would like to see how long I can grow my hair in the next six months.  This would mean a little restraint on my part because I would have to put the scissors down for once.  I have been trimming periodically throughout the year including the mini big chop I did on my bangs.  I think I'm finally ready to see how long my hair can get if I just leave it alone and let it grow.

To keep track of my progress I decided to put pen to tee shirt.  I purchased a white tee from one of my favorite thrift stores last year but didn't try it on before purchasing it.  When I got it home I realized that it was too snug for me to wear out so it has been in the drawer ever since.  I figured the tight fit actually made it a good choice for a length check shirt so I got it out.

I just used a Sharpie marker and large craft ruler to make lines one inch apart.  I think it would have turned out neater if I used a thinner marker but it should still work just fine.

As of right now I don't intend on growing my hair to anything past MBL (mid back length).  I hear all the time how people want waist length hair but that just doesn't appeal to me.  I keep thinking that would be way too much hair to deal with.  Honestly, I would even be happy with BSL (bra strap length).  At least with the tee shirt I'll be able to see my progress in inches rather than by points on my body.

Here's how I did it

I used a Sharpie Marker, Craft Ruler, White Tee Shirt
and a piece of  cardboard underneath to protect the floor
Don't forget to put something inside the shirt or the ink
will bleed through to the front (see my oops?)

I made a dot to mark the center

Then several dots 1 inch apart

Finally I used the straight edge to draw lines across

Then numbered lines with zero as my starting point

I'm so excited to see how my hair measures up in the coming months.  I'll be sure to post updates when I do my length checks.  

Was this helpful?  Feel free to leave a comment :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Updated Hair Regimen and Products List

I was looking through my blog the other day and noticed that I still had my old regimen from Fall of 2010 up.  There were lots of products listed that I haven't used in ages so I figured it was time to update it.  Here is my current regimen and products list.  I may make some changes (I always do) but this is what is working for me right now.

NOTE: where products are bulleted I just use one of the items listed

I part my hair in 4 sections and apply conditioner prior to cleansing with shampoo or conditioner.  This helps to stretch out my shrunken hair and remove any shed hairs.  This step also helps with detangling.

Shampoo-1-2 times per week
  • Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo 
  • TheraNeem Naturals Moisture Therapy Shampoo (sulfate free)
  • KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo
Co-wash-1-2 times per week
  • Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
  • Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Rinses-After Shampoo
  • Oil Rinse-I use grapeseed, olive or coconut oil.  I sometimes do this in place of deep conditioning.  This step also helps with detangling.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (ACV)-I do this step after using shampoo to help my hair get back to a normal pH.  I either do the rinse before or after applying conditioner
Detangling Method
I detangle while my hair is soaking wet and saturated with conditioner.  The hair is parted in four sections.  I start by finger combing and then use a denman brush on each section.  I do this 2-3 times per week when wearing wash n' go's or once per week if wearing stretched styles.

Deep Conditioning Treatments* 1x per week 
  • Hot Oil Treatment with Coconut, Olive or Grapeseed Oils
  • Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner with Honey or Olive Oil added
 *I do most of my treatments under a hooded dryer for 40 minutes

  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Aloe & Veg. Glycerin Spray (homemade)
  • Paul Mitchell "The Conditioner" Leave-in
  • Garnier Fructis Leave-in (for heat styling)
  • Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme
To Seal Ends*
  • Coconut Oil mixed with Castor Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Grapeseed Oil
*I apply Leave-in conditioner after each wash for moisture.  After that I moisturize when needed.

Curl Definers
  •  Eco Gels-The Pink version and Argan Oil (red)
  • Kinky Curly Curling Custard
  • Curls Unleashed Take Command Curl Defining Creme (trial)
*I always use my Paul Mitchell The Conditioner Leave-in under a curl definer for added softnes and moisture

Roller Sets, Curly Braidouts,  Wash n Go's, Puffs, Buns, Banded Ponytails, Flat Twists, French Braids
*Currently taking a long break from heat styling

Henna-Once every 3 months
I have started doing the 2 step Henna/Indigo process which gives me a natural black tone  

What I add to my Henna mix
  • Green Tea and Water (enough to make it the right consistency)
  • Olive Oil (usually add this right before application)
  • Lemon Juice (when I want more color)
I sometimes add powder to darken the hair and maintain curls.  For my Indigo mix I only add water and a little salt.  For each step (henna & indigo) I make sure to co-wash after rinsing out.  This helps to keep the hair soft.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Sort-a Kind-a Curly Girl Method

Earlier this summer I mentioned in one of my YouTube videos that I was not a fan of the Curly Girl method (CG) because it seemed to do a number on my scalp.  I have issues with dry scalp off and on throughout the year.  This year it seemed to really flare up when I started this method because of the constant conditioner only washing.  Well, I'm still dealing with it now but have gone back to wearing my hair curly everyday.

Curls Up-close
I'm not following the CG method exactly but I just don't see the point in wearing stretched styles when I know my scalp needs to be cleansed more often.  However, I did learn a few things from Lorraine Massey's book, Curly Girl, the Handbook

There is one step that I learned from the book which helps immensely with my new daily washing/co-washing routine.  It's called a, "pre-cleanse".  With this step you just apply conditioner or sulfate free shampoo prior to getting in the shower to wash your hair (book version).  I altered this method a little because I prefer to apply loads of cheapie conditioner like Suave's Naturals Coconut (my staple) instead of the amount suggested.  I do this in sections and it really helps me to pull out shed hairs and tangles.  It also elongates my hair which is usually shrunken up into a tight curly fro from the day before.

I'm still using sulfate shampoo and my favorite leave-in conditioner (Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner) which has silicones in the ingredients list.  For this reason I can't say that I'm abiding by the "rules" outlined in the book.  Sulfates and Silicones are big no-no's with this method but I make sure to use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses to help resolve any issues there.  Not only does the ACV help remove build-up but it also helps my hair to return back to a normal pH after using the shampoo.  This is important because this leaves my hair more manageable by closing the cuticle layer back down.  It also helps with moisture retention.  I love ACV rinses!

My hair is definitely benefitting from all of the moisture it has been getting.  I have been rockin' wash n' gos for six weeks straight and can't really see myself quitting anytime soon.  I usually do my hair at night so I'm not too worried about having wet hair in the mornings when I head out.  Hopefully I will begin to see tons of growth and length retention in the upcoming months.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In the Garden

My family joined a Community Garden in Denver this summer.  We found out about it during our Heirloom Vegetable Plant Sale and decided that it would be a great way to grow some of our own veggies.  Our garden at home is full of perrennials and does not receive full sun so growing vegetables was never successful there.

My husband is the one who really knows what he's doing in the garden but after this summer I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it.  The hardest part was ammending the soil in the very beginning.  Later on I discovered the joys of weed pulling (heavy sarcasm) but things got easier once I got into a rhythm.

We were hit hard during the draught but our plants made it through.  For me the best part was watching the kids help out with gardening.  They were really excited to see all of the great food we were bringing home.  I've been very proud of our little garden plot and have shared our experience with friends and family.  Most recently I wrote a guest post for a friend's blog about our tomatoes.  When she was in town this summer, I showed her the community garden.  Since then she has started working on starting a community garden in her own neighborhood in Austin, TX.

Bringing home vegetables every week has forced me to learn a few new things in the kitchen as well.  Hopefully I'll be sharing some tips in the coming weeks.  For now here are a few pics.

I'm surprised at how many pumpkins we've grown!
Heirloom Tomatoes on the Vine

 If you're in the Denver Metro Area, check out Denver Urban Gardens online to get info
on joining and/or starting a local Community Garden 

Harvesting veggies each week keeps me busy in the kitchen!

Mmmm Mmmm

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tips on How to Define Type 4 Curls

My hair wet with product
Sometimes I feel like I should be crowned the Wash n' Go queen by now after all of the products and techniques I've experimented with to achieve the curly look.  Washing my hair and just heading out the door is never the case.  I have curls but they are "type 4" curls.  Yes, I'm talking about the hair typing system.  It's not my favorite way to categorize my hair but hopefully it will give others a way to gage whether my techinques will work for them.

My curls are tight corkscrew coils, lazy "s" shapes and everything in between.  I even have a section that laughs at the idea of curl definition.  Oh and let's not forget about the shrinkage.  I would say mine can be up to 75% but it depends on the day.

In order to get my curls to pop, there are certain things that I must do in order to get the definition I want.  Just so you know, I'm usually looking for hair that will last me a few days without feeling drastically dry and brittle.  I'm still looking for a softer hold solution but at least I've got the curl definition part down.

Here are some things that I have learned when styling my own hair
My hair freshly washed and detangled
using a denman brush.
Dry with no product

1.  Start with clean hair

For some this may mean co-washing; for others, shampoo.  I've noticed that I really do get the best results after cleansing my hair.  Otherwise, I end up with so-so results.

2.  Detangle, detangle, detangle

There are times where I skip this step and I always pay for it.  Not only does this cut help to cut down on the time it takes to apply the products but the hair is also way easier to work with.  Whether you're shingling, raking or combing product through remember to start with detangled hair.

3.  Make sure hair is soaking wet

When my hair begins to dry, all of those pretty little curls go poof!  Any curl defining product out there is really just a way to lock your curls into place.  My hair is at it's curliest when it's dripping wet so I start with that.  When sections begin to dry, I make sure to keep a spray bottle handy so I can wake those curls back up.

4.  Work in small sections

We've all seen the videos where someone takes a quarter size amount of product and applies it to all of their waist length hair and voila; curl definition.  Not for our hair texture!  It's best to keep the sections as small as possible so that each and every little curl can get enough product from root to tip.  Sometimes, big hair is desirable but if you want every curl accounted for, using smaller sections is the way to go.

I get lots of curl definition using product
on wet hair
5.  Smooth those ends

After I have completely raked the product through a section, I always go over my ends, using my fingers, to smooth them out.  This will ensure that the curl lays flatter and discourages those stubborn single strand knots.

6.  Once the products are all in, LEAVE IT ALONE!

This is a biggie.  I've done it myself more times than I can count.  Still, you've got to leave your wet hair be until you've got that, dried "cast" that tells you it's okay to touch your curls.  Even if you choose to diffuse, remember not to handle your hair with your fingers because this will cause lots of unwanted frizz.  Simply tilt your head and let your curls drop into the diffuser so that it can do its' thing.

 I hope these tips will help someone out there.  I sure wish I would have known all of this long ago when I first went natural.  Still, I'm pretty happy with my coily creations and that's all that matters.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy-Ultra Shea Shampoo

At the beginning of the summer I was sent some products for review.  When I agreed to give my feedback,  I was not aware of which products I would be receiving in the mail.  I was very happy to see that they were from the new Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy line.  I saw this line in stores and was wondering if the products would work for my scalp.

I have scalp psoriasis which tends to show up during the drier months (usually wintertime).  For some reason though, I started seeing a lot of flaking and irritation in the spring when I was on the tail end of my Curly Girl Method trial.  When the products arrived in the mail I was primed and ready for something to relieve me of my scalp woes.  I'll do the review in two parts for the shampoo and conditioner.  The other products were not used for long enough to make a difference in my scalps' condition therefore I do not have an opinion on them.

Ultra Shea Cleanse & Nourish Shampoo


Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Zinc Pyrithione, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, TEA Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Sodium Isethionate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth 23, Laureth 4, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG 9M, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Elaeis Guineenis (Palm) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)  


  • Proven to lock in moisture and provide long lasting nourishment for extra dry scalps
  • Gently cleanses to remove product build-up and allow scalp to breathe
  • Formulated with Nutrium 10™ Moisture Lock system, a rich blend of shea butter and natural oils, including vitamin E, sunflower, coconut, almond, soybean, argan, and palm

Upon first use I felt that the shampoo was heavenly.  The sulfate gave it a very rich, velvety lather.  My hair did not feel stripped like with other sulfate shampoos.  The sweet almond and vanilla scent reminded me of the Suave Professionals Almond and Shea products.  It did not linger on the hair although it was very fragrant while shampooing.  My initial reaction was that I would definitely think to use this product again whenever I needed to cleanse my hair and scalp.  After several washes, all weeks apart, I realized that the product was not doing anything to help with my itchy, flaky scalp.  My husband also has dry scalp but not to the same degree as my psoriasis.  He stated that he did notice some improvement while using the shampoo.  This led me to believe that the product may work for those who have mild scalp irritations.  Something like scalp psoriasis may require something stronger and more effective in treating scalp conditions.  

Overall, I do consider this a shampoo that works well with thicker textured hair like mine.  However, I did not notice any improvement with my dry scalp.   I am currently using milder shampoos that also provide cleansing without stripping.  I do not feel as if I will be purchasing this product in the future only because of the sulfate and silicones present in the ingredients list.   

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Singin' in the Rain with Gotye at Red Rocks Ampitheatre

Red Rocks Ampitheatre in
Morrison, Colorado
Here in Colorado it is pretty much common knowledge that Red Rocks Ampitheatre is one of the best places to take in a live show.   This week the hubby and I made another trek up the winding ramp that leads to the open air venue surrounded by massive red rocks to see the musician, Gotye.  The weather was not the best but fun was had by all once the show started.

There were two opening acts before the much awaited headliner.  After warming the crowd up with a couple of tunes,  Gotye (a.k.a Wally) remarked, as most singers do, at how the altitude made singing a challenge.  Still,  he managed to hit all the notes in perfect pitch.  The show was full of beat driven tracks such as, "Easy Way Out," and, "Thanks for Your Time."

Prior to the show this week of course I kept thinking, "what am I gonna do with my hair?"  With the venue in mind it was a no brainer.  A Wash n' Go was pretty much my only option because there was the chance it might rain.  I decided this before realizing that I was completely out of my staple styler, Eco Gel.  That's when I remembered that I still had some Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) I bought a long time ago.  I couldn't remember all of the do's and dont's for using this product so I went online to check which leave-ins it paired well with.  I found a video on YouTube explaining how the Tresemme Naturals conditioner I love so much works as a leave-in under the KCCC.

On the way to the concert rockin' my curly fro-
So excited!
Before applying the products, I co-washed my hair with Suave Naturals in Coconut flavor.  Then, with my hair still dripping wet, I applied the Tresemme conditioner in sections. After that, I used very little of the gel on each of the sections and wet the hair before raking it through.  I noticed some crazy curl definition right away which usually means tons of shrinkage.  This was what I was going for though and was happy with the final result.  The next day (the morning of the concert) I re-wet my hair to reactive the curls.  I ended up with a coily afro that was a lot of fun to wear.

At the concert there was plenty of wind and rain throughout but I didn't have a care in the world because my curly fro held up just fine.  Which left me with plenty of headspace for remembering all the words to, "Heart's a Mess" and "Save Me," my two favorite Gotye songs.

Waiting for the show to begin
Red Rocks all around

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Re-Visiting My Caruso Steam Rollers

Using Caruso Steam Rollers on
my Straight Natural Hair
I recently wore my hair straight a few times and decided that rollers were the only thing that really gave me the curls I desired.  Overnight I used my Satin Rollers which I originally picked up at Walmart.  Sometimes though, I went to sleep protecting my hair only with a satin bonnet and woke up with hair that was just blah.  It was then that I remembered the Caruso Roller set that I practically begged my husband for over a year ago.  When I first got my Caruso, I remember that it was a little awkward working with the steam and rollers.  I've used it several times since then and it is a lot easier to use now.

How I use the Caruso Steam Rollers

Since I've always used it on hair that was straightened or previously stretched with rollers, I used to worry about reversion.  I think the only time this actually happened is when I left the rollers on the steam base way too long.  Soggy rollers on natural hair = reversion.   For this reason, I only place the rollers onto the steam base for seven seconds before promptly rolling the hair.  I also make sure that my end paper is already wrapped around the ends of the section of hair I'm working with.
The steam base

The Results
soft curls with no reversion
Another factor is there is always the possibility for frizz when using the rollers because of the added steam.  Using end papers helps to keep my ends smooth.  A light serum or coconut oil also helps to combat frizz.  The last thing I do is leave the rollers in for about 30 to 40 minutes to ensure the hair is completely dry before taking the rollers down.

In my opinion, the best way to style the curls is to use your fingers because brushing or combing will just result in poof (and we don't want poof).  Using the Caruso Rollers can be tricky at first but they are a great alternative to styling the hair with direct heat.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: Hollywood Beauty's Olive Creme for Dry Hair

One of the most popular topics over at the K.I.S.S. hair forum (or any forum for that matter) is which moisturizer works best.  For a long time the word "moisturizer" was a bad word in my newly natural regimen.  I had become accustomed to avoiding products that contained mineral oil and petroleum which is often found in "moisturizers" for curly, relaxed and afro textured hair.  Still, the homemade spritzes and butters I learned how to make were either too heavy or too wet for my hair depending on the style.  For a while I started using leave-in conditioner to moisturize and sealed that with one of my favorite oils.

Finally, I decided to purchase a product to add to my regimen after reading a suggestion in one of the discussions on K.I.S.S. .  That product was by Hollywood Beauty which I have to admit was never a brand I thought of ever trying.  I guess I assumed that there would be a lot of the "no-no" ingredients in their products.  I was surprised to find that their Olive Creme was mineral oil and petroleum free.  Instead I found ingredients like, Olive oil and Calendula extract.  I decided at $4 (USD) it was at least worth a try.  I'm on my fifth jar now and can't say enough about it.

The Ingredients:

Deionized Water (Aqua) , Isopropyl Myristate , Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean) , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Stearic Acid , Stearyl Alcohol , Glyceryl Stearate , Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) , Matricaria Extract (Chamomilla Recutita) , Calendula Extract (Calendula Officinalis Flower) , Vitamin B (Yeast Extract) , Macademia Oil (Macademia Ternifolia Seed) , Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) , Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) , Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf) , Sage Extract (Salvia Officinalis Leaf) , Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) , Great Burdock Extract (Arctium Lappa Root) , Triethanolamine , Methyl Paraben , Propyl Paraben , DMDM Hydantoin , Imidazolidinyl Urea , Fragrance , Yellow #5 (Cl 19140) , Blue #1 (Cl 42090)

My son likes to call it, "Yoda Creme" because
of the pale green color
While the ingredients are not 100% natural, I still find that this product does a good job of keeping my hair moisturized without leaving a heavy, greasy feeling.  I'm not gonna lie, I didn't really expect much from the Olive Creme but it is now one of my staples.  It even works well when my son's curly (3b/3c/4a) hair is starting to get the, "frizzy halo".  I just spritz his hair down with water first and then apply the creme throughout his hair and we get another two days of soft curls before wash day.  He dubbed it "Yoda Creme" because of the pale green color and we still call it that.  

I of course love to add it to my Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel along with some Castor, Coconut and Grapeseed oil for my DIY Eco Styler Custard.  I also use it after applying my leave-in conditoner when I pull my hair back or braid it up for air drying.  The only thing I would complain about is the scent.  It's not like some of those other products out there that smell good enough to eat.   It just has this faint, old fashioned women's cologne smell or something.  It doesn't matter because I just ignore the scent.  I can always add some fragrance oil to it to make it my own.  I'm just glad to have found a product that works well and is affordable for me and my family.


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