Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Tried a Kinky Curly Wash and Go and it was ... Just OK?!!!!!

Yeah. I liked some of the products individually, but as a system for wash and goes, this was a bit underwhelming. My wonderful sis A got me the Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) and the Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) for my earthstrong and I decided to go ahead and get their Come Clean Shampoo as well so I can try it as a system as they say you should do. I have imitated their wash and go technique for a while, you can see my last documented try here using other products, but this is my first time using Kinky Curly products, mainly because I'm cheap. lol. Turns out I haven't really been missing out on anything. Now that I have tried it I can say definitively you can get the same and probably even BETTER results using a leave in of your choice and some IC Fantasia or any other curl activating gel of your choosing.

I had my hair in about 11 braids and I used the Come Clean shampoo and washed my hair with the braids in. I really like the shampoo, it gets your hair very clean but also doesn't leave it feeling dried and stripped or like hay as I like to describe it. It's a great clarifying shampoo so maybe I'll purchase it again but at the rate I use shampoos that's not going to be anytime soon. Once I rinsed the shampoo out, I did a cold ACV rinse.

On the Kinky Curly site they recommend that you apply the styling products to soaking wet hair, so I got out of the shower and headed to the sink. There I took down one braid at a time, starting in the back, soaked it good with my water bottle and used my fingers to remove shed strands and do some detangling. 

Section freshly washed, no product

I then took  1/2 tbs of the KCKT and applied it to the section. I detangled with my comb and then did a final pass with my tangle teezer, hoping to get an effect similar to what a denman would do but that didn't happen so this step was probably unnecessary in addition to dangerous

Same section, KCKT added, combed and 1 pass of TT

I then applied a 1/2 tbs of the KCCC, smoothing my fingers down around my clumps of curls and then finally clasping my palms around the section and smoothing from roots to ends. I then loosely twisted each section to 1.5 inches from the end  to keep it out of the way. 

Section twisted after smoothing with KCCC

Once all sections were complete, I unraveled the twists and let my hair airdry. The entire application process took a little less than an hour and it didn't require that much product, a little can go a ways if you can get more than a couple days wear out of this hairstyle.

The Final Result

Compare to the pic up top to see how much product I used, which isn't that much considering how long and thick my hair is
I must say I loved the KCKT. I see what everybody has been raving about, this thing was a dream as a detangler, it smelled wonderful and even on its own it made my curls sing. I am looking forward to using it as a base in my homemade leave-in. I can probably make a better judgement with more uses but I think this is something I may buy more of in the future. I want to do a direct comparison with my Giovanni Direct leave-in first before I make a final decision. 

The KCCC, at first seemed like a banger. My curls immediately popped when I smoothed it on my hair and I got some serious hangtime for like 2 secs but the amount of shrinkage I got was something else. I don't know why I had it in my mind that I would get less shrinkage with this product but I actually got more than when I use my gels like IC Fantasia. It gave me great curl definition in some areas but in a lot of areas it did nothing, especially the front and crown of my hair. To be fair, the curls at the back of my head are looser but I know I can get curl definition even in the front of my hair because I have seen it many times before with way cheaper products. The KCCC also made my hair hard which I didn't like at all. 

The deal breaker was that there is not enough hold, by the second day my hair was already starting to flop. My curls in the back were still good but the front of my hair looked like my naked hair lol. I get at least 5 days wear with my gels so this was unacceptable for such an expensive product. 

Second day hair. No mam. Not even my 5th day hair with gels look like this
2nd day curls at the back of my head still looking good though.  Loving the shine

I still have a little less than 3/4 the jar left so I'll use it again and see what happens but as of right now, I probably won't be buying this again. I think it is great for ppl with 3 something - 4a hair but beyond that it seems to be pushing it. On a positive note, the smell is divine, the product is light, non-sticky and not greasy and even though the individual clumps of curls feel hard to touch, your hair still feels light and has lots of movement. Your hair doesn't feel dry and there is no flaking or buildup. 

Last night I grabbed sections of my hair and two strand twisted it without adding any product or moisture to see if I can stretch it out and salvage 3rd and beyond day hair. I'll update with pics later.

Tangle Teezer Update: Not WINNING!!!! Anymore :(

Yes folks. I think I may have to retire my beloved TT. Lord knows I was in heaven when I found something that glided through my hair so easily. But after a while the scientist in me got to wondering about the mechanism of this thing. How exactly does it get through those tangles? I also started noticing way more breakage than I normally would. Mind you for about a year I had ZERO breakage: every strand on my comb and finger was full length. Then slowly but surely I started seeing those little 1cm strands, then longer ones and then so much more. And my problem area, the front of my hair just seemed to be getting worse no matter what I did. Now not to cause alarm, I would say that even now my breakage really isn't anything to write home about, however, coming from a place where I had none, any amount is concerning.

My bday wig lol

One day I decided to get to the bottom of this dilemma. I rocked a wig for my birthday and with all my intense dancing and sweating, the nape area of the wig was EXTREMELY matted. So I told myself "Self, how about we try the tangle teezer on this?!!!" Well folks suffice it to say I now know how the TT dissolves those knots: it is chopping them off strand by strand. lol yup. By the time I was done detangling the matted hair, the 6-8 inch hair at the nape was a sparse 4 inch or less lmao. My APL wig was almost a bob when I got done. So yeah, I reverted to my comb and fingers with a quickness. I'll prob still keep it in case of emergencies. I even used it this weekend as a last pass on my hair in a wash and go but I knew I was doing damage. 

This is so heart breaking but I think I have to break up with my tangle teezer. I think I'll try a denman next. The worse that will do is pull my hair out, not chop it off. lol What have your experiences been?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

National Headwrap Day

The lovely Ms S invited me to participate in this wonderful event. By now you all know I LURVEEEEE my Headwraps. It was great to share that love with others for one day. For this one I used this beautiful delicate scarf I found at H&M. I folded into a large square and then folded the square into a triangle. I put the straight edge around the back of my head with the peak of the triangle towards my forehead. I then grabbed the two edges and made a knot over the peak. I pulled the peak forward to smooth the scarf on my head then folded the peak over the knot and tucked under/behind it. I then fashioned the remaining cloth of the two edges into a bow by strategically tucking into/under the knot. As always, I'm rocking my protective satin scarf under this creation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer 2011 - Regimen update

You know it's summer when you are driving around minding your business when all of a sudden  a hot air balloon lands in front of you. lol

As I revealed in my confessions post, I haven't been as good to my hair as I know how to lately and I am going to do better. For one, my once a month washing routine won't work in this heat. For two (lol), summertime = cute hair time so I'll probably be rocking more out styles and changing my style more often so I'll have to change my routine to suit. For three, I anticipate quite a bit of travelling so that will also affect my hair styling and haircare so I need to plan. These are the changes I'm going to be implementing to try to keep my hair healthy this summer:

  1. Washing
    • Wash every one to two weeks
    • Do an oil Prepoo everytime I wash to finger detangle and remove shed hair then braid hair into 10 loose braids (washing loose will take hours, washing in twists leads to locs so braids it is)
    • Shampoo, condition and deep condition every wash day
    • Wash my hair in the prepoo braids
    • When shampooing focus on the scalp and then while the shampoo is still in the hair, coat in conditioner and then rinse. 
    • Try to do a Steam treatment at least once a month but every wash day is ideal
    • ACV rinse every wash day

  2. Moisturizing
    • On wash day, moisturize with my homemade leave in
    • Try using the homemade leave in on dry hair between washes
    • During the week spritz with infusium 23 and baggy often
    • When rocking out styles, if possible try to retwist/braid at night and baggy, use shea moisture or homemade leave in to moisturize
    • When rocking wash and goes, spritz daily (try a glycerin/rosewater mix)
    • Seal with coconut oil

  3. Styling
    • Finger detangle as much as possible. Only use a comb when absolutely necessary. Use the TT as a last resort
    • For twists and braids - Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
    • For Wash and Go - experiment with KCKT/ KCCC, Infusium/Giovanni direct/Carefree Curl Gold Instant Activator/IC Fantasia. If just refreshing a wash and go, forego all the typical wash day shenanigans and simply water rinse or cowash.

  4. Protecting
    • Always sleep on a satin pillow case/ with a satin bonnet
    • Try to retwist/rebraid often to baggy ends
    • For next day out styles, pineapple the hair overnight

  5. Other
    • Exercise
    • Drink more water
    • Take my supplements
    • Eat more fresh/natural food
    • Reduce stress

Any other ideas on other things I can do?

Damn You HUMIDITY!!!!

Summatime. You got's to love it. The sun is shining and you can actually feel it, ppl are happy, lots of bbqing , zipline diving/ swimming, tanning and mimosas and just good old hanging out. And oh yeah, that humidity. You leave home with a nice stretched out defined twist-out and when you get back it's a shrunken tangled fro. lol Anybody found a solution? Most times I just work with it, especially if I'm rocking curly styles. It gives me big hair and I love that. But sometimes I just want to be sure that my hair stays how I styled it. Anybody has any product suggestions? I tried Garnier Fructis Style Full Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray on my July 4th curly fro and it seemed to kind of work but I couldn't really tell and I don't really like using hairspray. I want to try the Sabino moisture block next, maybe my boo A will let me try some of hers. lol. For my Trini peeps and others who live in humid climes who want to rock a blowout/flat iron for more than a few days, the perfect moisture block is your best friend. Join me in my search will you?

Shea Moisture, Me likey!

So I've been playing around with trying Shea Moisture products ever since I walked into my local Walgreens and saw them sitting there just waiting for me. At $10 a piece they are kind of pricey for a cheap girl like me but I decided to pick up the Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque when my staple ORS Hair Mayo ran out. The label says you can also use this as a leave-in but i have not tried it as such yet. Maybe I'll use it as a base in my next homemade leave in mix
The smell of it is touch or go, it has grown on me but I can see how some people may not like it. I used this with my Huetiful steamer and it left my hair uber moisturized although I can't say it does a better job than my ORS so i probably won't be buying another one when this is done. but if you are in the market for a new deep conditioner, try it. It definitely gets the job done as far as my eyes can see and my hands can feel and it is also doing other wonders that I can't perceive just by virtue of the wonderful ingredients in this thing: Sea Kelp, Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Honeysuckle and Carrot Seed Oil to name a few.

I also eventually gave in to an impulse buy and got the Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and I must say I have been using it a lot lately and it will probably end up being a staple. I have been using it to re-twist/re-braid/ re-moisturize my curly fro and it imparts excellent shine and moisture and does a good job of giving me defined curls on my dry hair. I haven't tried it on wet hair yet but when I do I'll be sure to update this review. It is kind of greasy and definitely leads to buildup but a little goes a long way. It is also very thick and on dry hair you have to really work it into the hair if you don't want to see the white stuff just sitting there. I think it's a good product for twists and braids as you get a smooth shiny finish and if you want a defined twist- or braid-out you will get that with this. To me it's a healthier version of Ms Jessie's Buttercreme and Curly Pudding in one.

I think I want to try their Curl and Style Milk next. It looks like it would do great for wash and goes.

These Are My Confessions...


I've been a bad bad girl. lol. As you can probably judge from the myriad of posts I have been posting lately (NOT), I have been kind of ignoring my hair. I got cornrows in May and since then I have been coasting on easy street. While in 'rows I washed, co-washed and deep-conditioned a few times, used what was left of my last batch of homemade leave in and didn't do much else. Midweek spritzing with Infusium? Maybs. Baggying? Ummm what's that again? lol 

Then 4th of July weekend I took my 'rows out, did a pre-poo with coconut oil and dry detangled/removed shed hair. That was an effort, took me about as long as it took to put them in (4-5 hrs) and resulted in a nice big ball of shed hair and a crazy looking fro.

on par for what I usually shed in a month

look at all that hair

I tried a new wash routine: twist my hair into 16  two strand twists and do the entire wash, condition, deep-condition, acv rinse routine with them in. That was easy enough, it only took me a little over an hour. Unfortunately, I couldn't do my immediate detangle, moisturise, put in a protective style routine as I had to jump on a plane (yes I flew with naked hair and I liked it! lol). The unfortunate part is that as I have said on numerous occasions, my hair thinks it's rasta, yes the dread kind, so by the time I got around to moisturize 24hrs later, not only was I in a hotel with only products that could fit in a ziplock bag but my tangles were frightful. lol Lucky for me, it turns out that hotel water is almost as good as my infusium for detangling purposes and my free sample of Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee from Qhemet Biologics is also an excellent detangler and moisturiser! I was successfully able to detangle and twist my hair in about 2.5 hrs and rocked a lovely twistout updo to my friend's wedding the next day.  

July 4th was also National Afro Day so I rocked a mean curly afro for the occasion

From then to now I kinda have been... rocking a curly afro lol. Why? part busy, part lazy. Because I wanted my fro to remain fairly defined and big I was scared to spritz because water+my hair = tangles and locs. So I have been experimenting with using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as my leave in. It seems to work great but it definitely eventually leads to greasy buildup. 

Curly Fro a la Esperanza lol

I did another prepoo/detangling session with coconut oil last night and I didn't have that much tangling or shedding which was a welcome surprise. I then washed with hello hydration shampoo, conditioned with my suave tropical coconut, deep conditioned in the shower with hollywood beauty carrot cholesterol deep conditioning creme. My hair definitely let out a sigh of relief. As I applied my leave-in I could definitely feel my hair needing some TLC: it feels rougher than usual, probably because I haven't baggy-ed my ends in so long and also because I have been rocking more out styles recently and not moisturizing as much. So this is me confessing and vowing to do better. I have a plan and I'm gonna try my darndest to stick to it!

My Quest for the Perfect Leave-in Conditioner

The perfect leave in varies with season, hair style, hair length, whether the hair is wet or dry, freshly washed or 3 weeks dirty. lol. My moisturizing routine is pretty simple: whenever I wash I use an adapted version of kimmaytube's leave in conditioner. On dry hair I usually moisturize by spritzing with diluted Infusium 23 and try to baggy often. I have used various combinations of creamy bases and oils in my adapted leave in but this summer I want to catch up on some experiments I have wanted to do for a while. In the past I have used Cantu Shea Butter leave in and hollywood beauty carrot creme hairdress as my primary base and jojoba, jbco, grapeseed and coconut oils as my oils of choice. 

I had promised to try using a cheapie rinse out conditioner as my creamy base a while ago and I FINALLY got around to doing it. I used Suave tropical coconut conditioner as my base and avocado and sweet almond as my oils of choice. I usually make big batches and store in the fridge which would last me 3-4 washes but this time I made a small batch that I used in 1 session. 

1tbs suave tropical coconut conditioner
1tbs aloe vera juice
1/2 tbs redken extreme anti snap
1 tsp avocado oil
1 tsp sweet almond oil

look at those juicy braids!

The result was pretty good. My curls were definitely moisturized and felt and look it. I will have to wait till my hair dries to see if that moisturized feeling lasts but I would say that it is a good alternative for folks who live in places that don't have KCKT or all these other US brands to choose from. Every country has shampoo and conditioner so if u find a rinse out that you can use as a leave in (I recommend suave, vo5 and tresseme) then go for it! Check out this link from TightlyCurly for more suggestions of conditioners that you can try and this one for what to look out for if you are considering this option for making your own leave in.

In the coming weeks I will be doing more experiments with the bases and oils I use. As of right now I want to try giovanni direct leave in, KCKT and maybe more cheapie conditioners. I also have a few oils in my stash to try as well: cocnut, tea tree, sweet almond, apricot kernel, grapeseed , jojoba and avocado.  If you would like to suggest a base or oil I should try go ahead and leave a comment or send me an email. Stayed tuned for more on my quest!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Look Who Finally Won Something!!!

MEEEEEE!!! lol. You know there are some ppl always winning a raffle or bingo or random giveaways or play whe or the lotto? I'm not that person. LMAO honestly I don't think I have ever won anything based on chance ever (superficially at least) and I def haven't won any competitions in a while (read: donkey years) so I was so pleased when I FINALLY won something: a 2oz sample of Qhemet Biologics Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee! How did I win? I was one of the first five to correctly answer 'Cacao' to the question they posted on Facebook: "Indigenous to Central and South America, its generic name literally means 'drink of the gods'". Thanks so much Qhemet Biologics and for the folks reading, if you aren't a fan on facebook yet, what are you waiting on?!! You could be winning fabulous stuff too. lol

I have been wanting to try Qhemet for the longest while and this product definitely did not disappoint. It actually arrived just in time for a plane ride and helped me to successfully detangle my loc prone hair 24 hrs after washing it and used it as a leave in under my Ms Jessie's curly pudding to do some lovely 2 strand twist for a rockstar twistout updo the next day. It is a great detangler and it also moisturizes well and is not greasy. I also liked that it worked well with my curly pudding. No flaking or extra greasiness with this combo. My girlfriend who has looser curls than I (3b/c) used it as a moisturizer/curl definer and omg it did an amazing job on her hair as well. 

rocking my twistout updo

Yay for #WINNING! lol

Monday, July 4, 2011

National Afro Day

Curly Nikki has decreed it and so it shall be. I rocked a Curly fro, what did you rock?