Sunday, March 29, 2009

Product Review: GVP Paul Mitchell Detangler

Get this! Lol. I bought this conditioner and it was like the greatest aha moment ever. All this time I've been missing out on slip.
I used it while I was detangling after I deep conditioned. I didnt wash it out. I used a pea size on small sections. My hair stayed soft and detangling was a breeze. This is a definite staple for me. It's $4.99/ 3.99 with the club card.

  • Compare to: Paul Mitchell The Detangler
  • Detangles instantly
  • Smoothes and softens
  • Adds instant shine
  • Diminishes static
The promise: For medium to coarse and chemically treated hair. Used daily, GVP Conditioning Detangler will leave your hair smooth, soft, shiny and static free. Helps to protect hair from harmful UV rays. An extremely moisturizing, fast detangling conditioner.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Isododecane, Isohexadecane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone, Algae, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf, Anthermis Nobilis (Chamomile), Henna, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), PEG-12 Dimethicone, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Staiva (Carrot) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Orange 4 (CI 15510), Red 40 (CI 16035)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hair Plans

This week was not a good week for straight hair in Atlanta. It's been raining and when it wasn't raining it was drizzling, and if it wasn't drizzling it was foggy. I've had enough of the duck and cover. I knew I was over it when I got out of the car without opening my umbrella first.

Right now, I'm doing a pre-poo with Lustrasilk Shea Butter ($2.79). If one of my favorite bloggers endorses a cheap product, I'm likely to give it a try. For now, I can say it smells good and oddly familiar! That probably means one of those hairdressers I was paying $50 for a press back in the day might have passed this off as a $10 added treatment. SMH. Review to come.

What are your plans for your hair this weekend?

P.S- If you frequent Sally's, be sure to get their club card. I've only used it twice and it has paid for itself already.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Show Them.

In one of my previous posts I alluded to my mother's notion that hair doesn't grow after a certain age. Every female in my immediate family (including yours truly) is stubborn, so why did I take it upon myself to have a pointless debate with my mother over the hair on my head? Why did I attempt to educate the wrong and strong on the science of hair care? Never again.

She can roll her eyes at my product reserve, continue to point out the time I spend on my hair on wash days and keep talking that old school smack. I'm over it. I don't need a cheerleader or her approval.

My hair is in protective styles 98% of the time. Only I'll know how many inches I've gained, how much the breakage has decreased, how much stronger and thicker it has gotten and the reduction in split ends.

I'm going to
hush. I realize the mere mention of hair brings about diarrhea of the mouth for me. Anyone who isn't a hair care enthusiast may understandably get annoyed, so I'm just going to let the progress speak for itself. Rant over.

Who doesn't love a bun!?

How old were you when you fell in love with the Ballerina bun? It's quite possible that the woman who delivered me was wearing a bun when I was pulled out of the womb, because I cant remember a time when I didn't love a bun.

The bun is so versatile. High, low, centered, tight, loose, messy-from the gym to the ballroom, a bun always works.

The bun for growth challenge on LHCF is very popular but for me it's not practical. I would have to brush the hell out of my thick wet hair to get a somewhat decent natural bun. If I do it on fresh, sleek flat ironed hair I would achieve great styles. But, who flat-irons their natural hair to put it in a bun? Nobody-not immediately at least. When I try a bun on week 2 flat ironed hair, it comes out okay, but I can feel the stress on my hairline from having to pull it back tight. By then, my hair would already be a little fuller. Also, when taking down the band I notice a few strands of broken hair. I think that's where
some people run into problems with buns and ponytails.

Rock that gorgeous bun, but if you notice your hairline receding and strands without the bulb coming out when you take your hair down, you should let that bun go:(

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wish List: Emu Oil

For the past few weeks, I've been looking through online sites that have 100% pure Emu Oil, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find it in any store close to me.
I've seen sites with 4 0z. for about $9, but after reading some reviews from disgruntled customers complaining about "watered down" product, I decided not to get it.

One of my favorites sites unveiled the oil in it's list of new products. However, I was less than excited after seeing the price tag of $26.00 for 1.7 oz. I'm sure this is the real deal.

The promise: Use lightly as you need very little to reap the benefits of it's high concentration of Omega 3-6-9. Improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, dry hair and dryness caused by eczema and psoriasis, the natural way; as this is the best pure Emu oil that is available on the market. It is unlike other emu oils that are found, as it goes on light and is absorbed easily into the skin, system and/or hair.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sally's GVP Joico K-Pak Reconstructor

I went to Sally's to look for a moisturizing conditioner to try out, but nothing caught my eye. I went to the Generic Value Product section remembering that I read great things about the K-Pak line, most notably, thickening of the hair strand. Due to current economic uncertainty, I won't be dropping any stacks on the original Joico anytime soon (trying this new concept of living within my means), so I'll be using this for a couple of weeks starting this weekend to gauge its effects on my hair.
So look out for the review.
If you've already tried it, let me know how it worked for you.

"The GVP story: Generic Value Products were formed because a group of experienced chemists and marketing people knew they could produce at "Popular Prices", a product as good as the "higher priced" quality NAME BRANDS"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ideal Length

There are many factors that can come into the equation when aiming for a certain length. Some of them include: how the length looks straight or natural, how practical it is to maintain, how it will fit your face, whether you want a blunt cut or are content with a V-shape, layering, etc.
You can have two bra-strap length girls with one having longer hair than the other because of neck length, height, the length of the back, etc. So a hair goal can be relative to perception, features, body and aesthetic preference.

For me, waist length hair was never a desire. Even as a child I thought Rapunzel was over-doing it. I've always preferred hair that hits mid-chest length in the front and somewhere between Bra-strap and Mid-back in the back with a blunt cut. That is my ideal length-straightened. I think it would be a lot of fun to have hair down to the waist, but I don't think it would fit me and I don't think I'd enjoy the detangling process.

What look are you trying to achieve as far as length?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lisa Akbari on Hair Texture.

In her book, The Black Woman's Guide to Beautiful Hair, Lisa Akbari states the need to set aside discussing "grades" of hair and instead be attentive to "real information that will empower your hair."
This focus is the hair strand, which tells us the texture and type of hair. She notes that textures come in fine, medium and coarse. As texture relates to heat damage she writes:

"Fine strands cannot tolerate excessive pressing or heat from a curling iron, blow-dryer, flat iron, pressing comb or heat rollers. Fine hair will damage easily because it has fewer protective layers than medium and coarse hair strands. The smaller strands requires the least amount of maintenance products in order to manage.
Medium hair strands are of average size, have a medium quantity of layers and can tolerate heat and chemicals better than fine hair. Although this is true, all hair strands burn if the temperature of a heated tool is greater than 150 degrees. So you must be careful not to overuse heated styling tools or chemicals. I recommend that you avoid pressured heat, instead try a lower more indirect heat.
Coarse hair strands are the largest of the three are thicker and are difficult to damage...."

You can listen to Lisa's radio show on this site:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Multiple uses: Tea Tree Oil.

Tea Tree oil is an essential oil made from Melaleuca alternifolia leaves.

It is known to treat dandruff, foot fungus and acne.
The average cost is around $12 for 1oz., so it's a little expensive but it should last a while.

I really love it for the soothing effect on the scalp. I mix it with conditioner I'm using for a pre-poo and do a quick scalp massage. I also use it for acne spot treatments. It dries the spot up fast, but be careful because it can really dry out the skin when used in high concentration.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


For almost 2 weeks, I couldn't get my pictures onto my computer. Anyway, I took out the braids after just 2 weeks, rocked a chunky braid-out and then flat-ironed. I can not give a complete review of the Sedu yet, because I fell asleep with half my hair done, loose in a bonnet and my hair got really poofy, I had to pin-curl it and keep on my scarf for the rest of the weekend for it to look decent. I just kept it in a ponytail. But, I was very disappointed in myself. I should know better.
I'm postponing my official length check.

Super Cute Curly Set

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Unavoidable Damage

Heat-Styling wash day drama.

Before learning how to properly care for my hair, I would say a lot of the damage was accumulated from manipulation and unhealthy practices between wash cycles and when wash day came around, I just expected fists of hair to come out.

Now, I've virtually eliminated damage throughout the days that precede wash day and I've drastically cut down on the amount of hair loss after washing and detangling. With heat-styling though, dry combing (the real devil for kinky hair) can't be avoided.

I detangle, while damp, before blowdrying with the concentrator on cool. When I'm combing out each small section with a rattail comb, there's bound to be some breakage. When I look at those bulb-less pieces of broken hair that could have been , I cant help but think about length being taken off. Right now I don't want anything to come between me and BSL, especially when my mother just told me hair stops growing at 18. (Pray for her). I have doubters to prove wrong!

It may be time for me to start thinking of other methods.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Baking Soda Treatment

The first time I heard about this treatment was on youtube from ItsMsHeatherNicole. (Click here if you haven't seen it). I thought it very brave of her to deep condition with baking soda. Then, Traycee blogged about it. Even though Traycee's relaxed, I connect with her simplicity. She's not jumping on every fad and she maintains a pretty consistent routine. So, when she gave it the OK, I decided to give it a try.

I added a Tbsp of baking soda to 3/4 a cup of Nexxuss Humectress, mixed, left it on for 15 mins with a plastic cap and rinsed. I'm a believer! It softened my hair and made it more manageable.

Now, how in the dickens does this work? I have no clue but, I recall someone on LHCF saying that she added a teaspoon of salt to her conditioner and it made her hair very soft. I thought she was crazy.
Baking soda is a chemical salt and a weak alkaline. It acts to neutralize acids and breaks down proteins making it an effective meat tenderizer.

I dont know whether this is harmful or why it does what it does and I havent found any scientific research that would bring to me recommend this as a treatment to anyone. But, if you've tried it, let me know your experience!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The "My Dominican Salon" Blow-Out.

I've been to a Dominican salon when I lived in Brooklyn. I saw how a blow-out was done on natural hair and decided against getting the service. This salon is in my neighborhood in Lawrenceville GA.

Someone commented on their youtube channel about the amount of smoke coming out of the dryer. This was their response:

"the smoke you are seeing is actually the moisture from the creams evaporating, this process does not damage the hair, infact it grows the hair and keeps it healthy , remember with natural hair always request "deep conditioning""

((???)) I know some relaxed girls rave about these salon services, but I would not want this process done to my hair. Regardless of how it looked at the end, that's far too much heat and manipulation for me.

I don't think I'll ever go to a hairdresser again.

Back to Natural.

I found a great piece on Associated Content about black women returning to natural hair. Click here to read it and check out some of the comments.

It's interesting how history repeats different versions of itself. Women during the 60's and 70's who wore their natural hair as a symbol of black pride probably didn't envision that a few years later 80% of black females would be relaxed again.

Is this natural movement just a result of the the cyclical recurrence of boredom and changing fashion trends or is something different going on here? Is it too early to tell whether this is a phase or a revolution? Are we leaving behind the black pride argument and simply leaving it up to our aesthetic choice or convenience? Are we more health conscious? Are we more informed on hair care? What if a safer straightening agent is developed? Are we more accepting?

Do you have a different perspective?

Flat Irons: Splurge or Save?

There are two main types of damage associated with flat irons. High heat leads to heat damage and rusted, chipped or scratched plates lead to mechanical damage.

When shopping around for flat irons, the plates should be the deciding factor. The most effective irons have better plates and straighten the hair easily with less damage. Ceramic plates provide fast, evenly- distributed, constant heat. Smooth plates won't snag hair.

I'm all for savings, but a higher-end flat iron, with better plates, is a smarter deal. There shouldn't be a need for frequent replacements and anything that causes less damage is the wiser investment for your hair.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

***Update: Flat Iron's here

I got my Sedu on Saturday after a little non-delivery scare. I probably need to plug it in to see if it's working because I won't be using it until my next length check ( end of March?). I'm in braids right now. I did them myself. They came out... less than stellar, which was expected given my inexperience. They serve their purpose as a low manipulation protective style, but I forgot how unpleasant braids can be to wear.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When Heat-Styling Isn't For You

I received a reader comment that I wanted to address in a post,because it brings up an excellent point:
Heat-styling isn't always practical for everyone. I'll give you several instances where I either opted to wear my natural hair or braids and cornrows:

-My trip to Scotland. I happen to enjoy dreary-rainy weather but, once I walked two blocks in that fog, my hair went Diana Ross on me.
-I went to school in the West Indies for 2 years and the heat was no joke. Everyone either had a relaxer or they wore their natural hair. I aligned with the naturals.
-During the summer in NY, after class my friends and I would find ourselves all across the boroughs exploring new places with our student metro card. All that daily walking in the hot sun coupled with the humidity was too much for a press.

Sweating profusely, certain temperatures and thick, coarse resistant hair should be taken into consideration when contemplating any style that involves heat. Otherwise, it could be a waste of time and money.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Product Review: CHI Keratin Mist

The promise: Specifically developed to work in conjunction with the CHI line. CHI Keratin Mist is an advanced leave-in spray designed to provide hair with strength, protection and softness, while leaving hair silky and shiny with incredible manageability.
Ingredients: Rosewater, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Silk Amino Acids, Acetamide MEA and Lactamide MEA, Lauryl Pyrrolidone, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazoline and Methylisothiazolinone, Nettle, Chamomile Extract, Algae, Aloe Vera, Lavender Extract, Rosemary Extract, Parfum, FD&C Yellow 5, D&C Red 33, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Boron Nitride Powder.

I really love this product. I've tried other leave-ins and nothing compares to this. This leaves my hair strong, soft and slightly silky.
The price varies but it's around $10 for 8 oz. It's pricier than a lot of the leave-ins at the average beauty supply store, but for me, it's worth it.
Some may have a problem with the smell. A few of the CHI products give off the faint smell of men's cologne. It's not over bearing though. I happen to like it.
The only problem I have is the bottle. The circumference is a little larger than other spray bottle products making it somewhat difficult to pump. But, I just transfer the product into a cheap .50 cents spray bottle.
Try this product, you may like it. Let me know how it works for you.