Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Wash & Go Trials On Coily Hair 8: Komaza Califia Pudding & TIGI

Freshly applied on wet hair. Really pulls down the coils, partially eliminating shrinkage.

Damp, very little clumping.
Still damp.

80% dry. Still with visible brown patches.

Pretty much dry now


Product Review: Komaza Califia Styling Pudding, 1st Impression.

This pudding promises to define curls and eliminate shrinkage with dryness so I was intrigued, as I noticed that quite a few reviews by type 4 coily-heads only had good things to say about this product.I bagged this through a cross-Atlantic swap on a hair forum at a good price. Yes! :D

Price: £27.95 for 16oz/ £16.50 for 8oz at British Curlies.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Shea Butter, Aloe Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oil Dipalmitoylethyldimonium Chloride (A derivitive of Palm Oil) aloe vera, hydrolyzed collagen, acrylates, alkyl acrylates, Sodium Benzoate,Vegetarian Fragrance, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 20, Cinnamom Cassia, vegetarian fragrance.

Smell: reminds me of Toffee.

Texture: definitely like pudding that one would eat. Or a lighter "nutella" It took a lot of resolve not to take a tiny bit and taste it! 
Smooth and very creamy.

On my hair: I think this product delivered. I used a light leave -in conditioner (TIGI love, peace etc) initially as I wanted to see what the pudding would mostly do by itself. Application was very smooth. Dafro seemed to gobble it right up. I smoothed it on from the roots onwards sparingly. Taking about an index fingers worth of product each time and applying to 0.5 inch thick sections.I say it absorbed very readily because by the time I applied the product from my roots to about half my length the product was gone. So I would scoop out more product and apply to the remaining half down to my ends. 
I wasn't too crazy about seeing brown marks on my towel. Where I had wiped my hands during application.

Pros: It elongated my coils and they almost dried looking the same way they did when wet.My "bangs" were not stiff but compliant and fluffy without being too frizzy?  I had a lot of volume on day 1 hair?! Smells really nice and seems to apply sooo smoothly!

Cons Towards the end of the day I still noticed, lighter brown patches on my hair. Maybe I hadn't applied it sparingly enough or the product just didn't dissolve as readily as I initially thought. Delivers no manner of shine/sheen/glint/sparkle. Nothing.

Now on day 2, I became really disappointed with this product. One, my hair felt soooo dry!! Two, All manner of little definition I got on day 1 was gone. My hair was a straight up Fro. (I don't have a problem with afros for aesthetic reasons but have a problem with them more for maintenance reasons. Frizzy coils = more tangles.)

The bottom line for this product on my hair is that it didn't really define my coils, but almost eliminated shrinkage and kept the moisture in for a day only.

I think this is one product I would reserve for days when I want my wash & go to look very controlled but not too obvious. At least I know I would get a consistent result by the end of the day with this. i.e. leave it to dry with the assurance that Dafro would stay mostly controlled through the course of the day.With that said, I would not expect it to last past day 1 on it's own.
I am in the middle of the road with this product and nearly gave it away,but have decided to try it with AVG/castor oil mix and my beloved curl activator at a later date. So stay tuned... 
If you have any tips for making this pudding work, do drop them in the comments box.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Review: Andrew Barton SOS Help Me! Twice a Week Conditioner

Price: £4 for a 300ml tub or 2 for £6 during ASDA sales.

Availability: Mainly at ASDA! I can pick it up with some soya milk anytime.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water) , Cetearyl Alcohol , Behentrimonium Chloride , Cetyl Esters , Glycerin , Boswellia Serrata (Olibanum) Extract , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Panthenol , Parfum (Fragrance) , Glycereth-26 , Tetrasodium EDTA , Cetrimonium Chloride , Dipropylene Glycol , Isopropyl Alcohol , Citric Acid , Magnesium Nitrate , Magnesium Chloride , Benzyl Alcohol , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone .

Packaging: Simple black and red jar. With the product name written in bold capital white letters. I actually love the simplicity of the packaging. Plus with red being one of my favourite colours, I can’t help but feel this way.

Smell: Is the only thing I’m a little bit unsure about. I only like it in small doses. For short periods. Any longer and it’s sickening. Notes of gingerbread, vanilla, cookies come to mind when I sniff this from the jar. Though according to the site, it’s supposed to smell like Brazil nuts. (I eat brazil nuts everyday, it’s nothing close to this! lol)

Texture:  Creamy light texture.You see this stuff is so light that I feel they could easily have re-packaged this in a bottle. But I suppose they wanted to go with the ‘mask in jar’ theme so jar it was. Though don’t let the texture deceive you. This stuff is very effective.

On my hair: If your hair tends to get dry, knotty and tangled easily.Then I recommend this conditioner to you  My kinky hair is prone to dryness so I always go for the heavy-duty conditioners. I'm so glad I didn't pass this one up. As a deep-conditioner, this product delivers. It leaves my hair very supple and soft. I couldn’t resist trying this as a leave-in conditioner as well. I knew this stuff was going to be my staple after it delivered over a day’s moisture on my wash & go fro. Even after Dafro dried, she was still so soft, right up till the next morning! (This is no easy feat. Many products have failed at this step.)

I fell in love with SOS conditioner for so many reasons
- It’s so easy to acquire.
-  Really smoothes down the hair cuticles.
-  Has crazy slip which helps me finger-detangle with no hassle at all. When Dafro is tripping I just layer the SOS conditioner on her and she immediately conforms. Like seriously. She just calms down. Immediately.
- It delivers lasting moisture as a leave-in conditioner when layered with castor oil. Unlike my recently upstaged EO conditioners it does not irritate my scalp as a leave-in. Yes!
- Serves different purposes effectively for me. Leave-in, co-rinse, deep-conditioner.
HG/Staple worthy. The end.

Staple Hair Products For My Coily, Kinky Type 4 Hair Easily Bought On The Ground (UK)

I was thinking of following up my initial post March favourites, but thought that maybe redundant because most of the products in my March favourites are also in my April Favourites and will most likely be around for the following months. I have a few new additions, so let me know if you would like a more in-depth review if  there isn’t one already on my blog.

 It’s fun to try new products, but it’s important to have those staples you can fall back on when you can’t be bothered to experiment/just don’t have the time, suffered adverse reactions from past product experiments, are just done with product experimenting (a phase I go through from time to time) or simply broke! Lol.

For new naturals, I understand how expensive it can be to find moderately priced products that are easy to get and effective, I've been there. So for that reason, I would like to share my staples that have been chosen for being: 

  1. Effective on my hair. (You know the saying, “What works for me and so on”)
  2. Possessing moderate - cheap prices.
  3. Easy to pick up on the ground. (Yup no shipping, online transactions. Attainable same day!)

So from L-R; 
Schwarzkopf Gliss Oil Nutritive Shampoo Cleans effectively without stripping. Costs £1 and can be found at Poundshop/99p stores.

Tresseme Naturals Silicone Free Conditioner: Crazy Slip, conditions wonderfully leaves my hair soft during and after rinsing. Between £2.50-£5.00. Lowest during BOGOF sales at Superdrug, Boots, ASDA, Sainburys, Tescos.

Andrew Barton SOS Help Me Twice a Week Conditioning Mask: crazy slip. Effective for Dafro as a co-rinse, leave-in (combined with castor oil) and deep-conditioner. Smells like cookies/gingerbread. Found only at ASDA to my current knowledge and some smaller pharmacies with a much smaller range. Buy mine priced 2 for £6/£8 during ASDA offers

Vatika Egg Protein Hair Mask: Does a good job of strengthening my hair, without giving me hard hair. Ok slip. Suds easily so I use as a co-wash and rinse out. Buy from black hair care shops and even spotted at Superdrug. Costs between £3.50 - £4.99.

Ecostyler Pink Gel: Cheap effective styling gel. Clumps, defines, weighs down & holds my coils in place keeping tangles away during WNG styling. Smells like tea-tree oil. Gives me multiple day hair. Gives firm hold, not too hard hold like Olive/Krystal/Argan versions. Can pull back a decent bun with this unlike the Blue Ecostyler. 946ml massive tub costs £2.99 from my local black hair care shop.

Aloe vera Gel: smooths down my cuticles like no other, especially when they are quite bushy. Gives very light soft hold for WNG. Great base staple leave-in when mixed with castor oil. £4.99 from Holland & Barratt. I bag these and stock up during the BOGOF/ Penny sales.

Hawaiian Silky Curl Activator “Dry Look”: always layered with castor oil, makes my coils clump like crazy and keeps my hair moisturised for at least 2 days. Smells like candy. Costs between £3-4 for a 454g tub. Also available at my local black beauty hair shop.

Castor Oil: All round staple for it's Conditioning/Detangling/Sealing properties. I can buy this stuff from the local shop, but since the dude and myself use this from head to toe, I buy it in litres. Can be found at my local hair product shop in 250ml bottles priced at £2.99. Even spotted at some branches of Tescos in Asian food aisle. (I buy my litres off Ebay/Amazon)

Umberto Giannini Scrunching JellyLovely styling gel for my WNG. Great effective coil clumper. Gives me multiple day hair. Available from boots just under £5 for 200ml tub. A bit pricey so I stock up during 2for1 offers.

Recent additions not in pic: 1/05/2012
*Sally's Salon Services Herbal Complex Conditioner.
*Taliah Waajid's Mist Bodifier Spray as a refresher.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Wash & Go Trials On Coily Hair 7: Keracare Butter cream & Keracare Defining Custard - FAIL

I suppose a wash & go trial with the Keracare butter cream and defining custard was inevitable. It's usually expected for products along the same line to work together.So here it is!

                                                Those white specks are dried! Dried! :S

Had to head out to the shops, and didn't have time to wash this mess out, so pulled back it into an emergency bun
                   Looking closely. White flecks still there. This mix was such a FAIL!

I can't get over my hair in the 1st pic! My hair happy looked so good! I could not wait to see how it would dry.  I used Australian Organics conditioner as a light leave- conditioner (I always use a leave-in conditioner. Sorry, I couldn't exclude this.) added the butter cream on top of that to my hair in 4 sections sparingly (even though I know that the defining custard  can be seriously drying). Afterwards went back and applied the defining custard in much smaller sections. Probably 12 overall i.e. each quadrant was divided again into three. I left this to air-dry. I loved the way it dried as the day went by, but the white specks refused to completely disappear. I pressed a towel on the visible white patches, but no change. Diffused on moderate and then cool temperature, I looked about 60 with the white flecks in my hair. I washed it out as soon as I got back home.
Verdict > Keracare defining custard + Keracare Butter Creme = Project Fail!
Click for other past attempts with Keracare defining custard with a only a light leave-in conditioner - TIGI, and then with Hawaiian Silky curl activator .
So far, the best combo with the Keracare Defining custard for me has been to use it with a curl activator.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Wash & Go Trials On Coily Hair 6: Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly & HS Curl activator

The HS curl activator was mixed with some castor oil & Aloe veral gel. This is second day hair. On my way back from Easter Sunday Service.

Product Review & Rave: Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly

What? Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly Works on Coily Type 4 Hair?! No way!

Man.. I dunno why I'm even sharing this. As I'm at risk of having entire shelves cleared out completely.  Please ladies, if this works for you as it has for me, do leave some for me. Pretty please.
                                         If those puss in boots eyes don't work. Nothing will!

What brought this to my attention was how revered this jelly was by quite a number of looser curlies. You only had to go on Boots website to see the vast number of reviews to understand that this had cult classic status. Curiosity got the best of me, as I started to notice that I shared a mutual love for certain conditioners with some of these looser curlies on a hair forum I frequent :p. So I felt, why the heck not. This just goes to show that hair type alone is really not a sole indicator of how efficient a product may be on your hair.
When I used to see this jelly on the shelf I would dismiss it for several reasons:
 1.) I didn't think it was thick enough for my hair.
 2.) The puny 200ml pink tube looked like something that would only be enough for half of my head and 3.) Priced at almost £5, for just 200ml, there was no way I was even going to go there.
That was until I meandered into Boots one day, while the 3 for 2 on hair care offer was on. That was it. I had quite a few quid on my advantage card so I was ready for a gamble. That blasted cute bright pink tube had me finally.

Marketing speech
"Long Lasting curl creator for defined sassy smooth curls. Still our favourite look for curls. This long-lasting curl definer will de-frizz, shine and create sexy romantic curls."

Ingredients for Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls  Scrunching Jelly
Aqua, xanthan gum, glycerin, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, acylates/palmeth-25 acylate copolymer, polyquaternium-11, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, sodium benzoate, dipropylene glycol, aminomethyl propanol, sodium methyparaben, parfum, benzophenone-4, coumarin, butylphenyl methypropional, alpha-isomethyl ionone, linalool, CI 17200

The 1st four ingredients work on my hair.  I must add that Phenoxyethanol the antimicrobial preservative is subject to controversial debates regarding it's toxcity.  I thought I should include this note as it's quite high up in the ingredients list.  (Dastychova, 2008). It was recently followed up on as an alternative to parabens when the parabens scare was at it's peak. So if you prefer natural ingredients, this may not be the one for you. As for me, I am used to debates in scientific circles.  Until evidence is conclusive, then I shall continue to use this. As for polyquaternium build up. I don't experience that with this product. It rinses out quite well & washes out easily for me.

Bright pink tube.  I find this quite annoying, I wish it came in a jar or with a pump. Since I tend to apply the product in several sections, I need to return back to the tube each and every time I need some more. This texture is quite slimy so I get it everywhere on the tube each time I reach for it. This bugs me.

Definitely jelly-like, translucent with a pink overtone. Can be quite sticky, not surprising as xanthum gum & glycerin are two major ingredients so that was expected. Goes on slippery on my hair and gives me enough slip to ensure at least one quick rake before it starts to stiffen my hair. It even foams, but watch out for that. I notice I get foamy bits if I use too much and this may leave a slight grey spot. So use sparingly. You can tell the texture is quite resilient and concentrated, because I really wanted to rinse my hands afterwards because they felt coated. (Though that's how I am with most products.)

I have a love and hate relationship. On some days, I can't get enough of the scent. On others, I wish they could have gone a bit easy on the scent. It's sweet, maybe like bubble-gum? ( I'll be quick to state that this association could simply be made because of the pink tube. Argh! The power of branding!), then it's slightly reminiscent of vaguely androgynous  musky cologne. Sorry. I tried.

                  Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly  Review On my hair
I have been sleeping on this. BIG TIME. Sleep no more I shall!  Why am I crazy about this jelly? Like I said on nc earlier.  To me, It's a posher better marketed curl activator with HOLD. Yes it clumps my coils like a curl activator during application and eventually holds them in place when dried. I love my curl activators, but those babies have virtually no hold alone, So when faced with some shower steam the next morning, it's POOF like that creepy cat from Alice in Wonderland.  Though curl activators go wonderfully with Ecostyler Gel on Type 4 hair especially, I'll save that for another post.
What is the hold like? It's not helmet head mad stiff. But it's stiff and very firm, and has the potential to be crispy if applied too heavy handedly. It definitely leaves some crunch hence the scrunching in the name! Lol! It elongates my coils a lot before drying. I have never tried anything that made my hair  look like this. Ever. It's like it clumps my coils into much smaller groups, more representative of my actual texture. Get it?
Ok, think of what twist out's do. They clump hair into big groups right? Think Chunky Kitkat for twists/twist outs (I dunno why that's the 1st thing that popped into my head, blame Easter Eggs), while this jelly groups my hair into much smaller groups like Twiglets (again blame Easter. And no I do not advocate having chocolate and twiglets together.)
Since it clumps my coils in such smaller groups I know that I need to let this stuff really dry before trying to SOTC, otherwise it's instant coil-orgy = tangles. It gives great shine. I can easily get 3days with this jelly and by the 2nd day any hint of crunch is gone leaving the glycerin to take over resulting in extra soft still defined hair!  Again when it's time to get it out of my hair, I find that it washes out very easily.
Anyways apart from making you peckish or hungry. I hope you get the picture. . It just goes to show again that there are great products on the high street. Not everything has to be brought over from the States or even ordered online! This jelly is joining my Staples Group to be stocked up on during 3 for 2 offers! More pics here 

Dastychova et. al. (2008) - Contact hypersensitivity to selected excipients of dermatological topical preparations and cosmetics in patients with chronic eczema. Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Panonica, et Adriatica 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Wash & Go Trials On Coily Hair 5:Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion & Blue Ecostyler Gel.

I wore this wash and go for 3 days. I applied the smoothing lotion immediately after a co-wash in the shower on soaking wet hair which was sectioned into 4 quadrants. The CJ smoothing lotion is a great coil clumper for me and has great slip. I came out of the shower,sectioned the 4 quadrants into a smaller sections then globbed on the gel.  I started from the roots and then smoothed the gel down to the ends. Lightly raked/separated (not pulling down to ends) My coils were popping everywhere and any visible whiteness left by the smoothing lotion dissipated quickly within an hour on the tips! The crown as usual needed a little bit longer. This is a great combo.
For nightly maintenance, I put some butter/oil on the ends and tied up in 3 scrunchies aligned vertically like a mo-hawk. Then put on my shower-bonnet combo. In the morning I removed scrunchies, shook and fluffed.

                                                               Pictures show second day hair.