June 2018 Favourite Products

This month I’ve really been paying closer attention to the products I use on mine and my daughter’s hair. Other than making sure they are as healthy as I can make them, it’s also important that they are effective and produce results on our hair. My hair texture is very different to my girls so we can’t always use the same products. Miss E has a much coarser texture, with thick strands and high density, whilst Miss Dimples hair is finer and lower density. I sit somewhere in the middle. So here is a run down of our favourite products.

1. Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter – £17.49 (8oz)

This is my go to product when I’m either twisting Miss E’s hair or doing a Twist out on mine. It is an incredibly rich product so a little goes a long way. In fact it’s way too rich for Miss Dimples hair. It provides incredible moisture and softness with a light and flexible hold.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar – £9.27 (946ml)

I have started adding apple cider vinegar to my water spritz, particularly when detangling my hair. I have medium to high porosity hair so it helps flatten my hair cuticles to lock moisture in longer and whilst detangling reduces friction. I also use it as a final rinse for all of us as is restores the hair and scalp’s natural ph, has antibacterial and anti fungal properties and adds shine.

3. Jim & Henry Eight Leave-in Conditioner – £13.50 (180ml)

This conditioner has been a fantastic addition to my product arsenal. Despite only containing 8 ingredients its incredibly effective. It softens and moisturises my hair for days and its light texture makes is fantastic for the LOC or LCO method.

4. Funky Soap Butter Shampoo Bar – £4.20 (120g)

Miss Dimples had a recent flair up of dry scalp and whilst I attempted to figure out what the causes was I switched to using this shampoo bar on her hair. It is so rich and full of fantastic oils and butters yet still cleans her hair well. I bought it because I wanted to cut out the conditioning process in her wash routine and this shampoo bar allows me to do that. I follow up with an ACV rinse to remove any waxy residue and prevent the build-up of soap scum, which can be caused by using soap in hard water areas. I love this soap so much, I now use on both mine and Miss E’s hair too.

5. Equi Botanics Marula Oil Leave-in Conditioner – £30 (200ml)

Miss E’s hair adores this product, mostly because it’s incredible rich and concentrated. Packed full of some truly awesome ingredients like marula oil, baobab extract, slippery elm and horsetail, it’s a triple duty product. It works as the liquid, oil and cream step combined saving time and product. Whilst it doesn’t come cheap, it is definitely worth it as you get what you pay for.

When soft hair becomes a bad thing!

I’m guilty of committing a rookie hair care mistake. I’m still experiencing a bit of postpartum shedding though it has slowed down considerably. However because I’m so used to seeing quite a few strand of hair on washdays it took a bit longer than it should have to realise I was dealing with a bit of breakage. It wasn’t until I noticed my hair tangling a lot whilst flat twisting that I stopped to examine some of the shed hair. Now I knew the breakage wasn’t due to dryness as my hair is super soft at the moment…too soft but I’ll get back to that in a moment. I immediately clarified my hair to get rid of any potential build-up on my scalp and hair but the tangling and breakage still persisted. So I did an elasticity test on wet hair and my hair just kept on stretching, till it was almost double in length before breaking and the light bulb finally went off in my head…I needed protein.

If you don’t already know, hair straddles a fine line between moisture and protein, as it needs both to be truly healthy. Protein gives hair its structure and strength but too much makes it hard, brittle and prone to breakage. Moisture on the other hand gives hair its elasticity, makes it pliable and soft, but too much is definitely a bad thing and you’ll get mushy, limp hair that’s too stretchy and that also leads to breakage.

When I had relaxed hair, protein was a staple in my regimen and product arsenal because my hair needed it. But since being natural, it’s something I’m often guilty of slacking on. I also LOVE rich moisturising conditioners and leave-ins, which really hasn’t helped matters. Once I realised the issue I immediately did an intensive protein treatment using Protein Defence + from Enitan Healthy Hair Studio. It’s basically pure hydrolysed protein that can be added to any moisturising conditioner and turns it into a one step protein treatment. Usually a protein treatment has to be followed by a moisturising conditioner in order to soften hair. I’m a busy mum so anything that cuts down my wash routine immediately gets a thumbs-up. Because my hair was super elastic I added a bit of hydrolysed Baobab Protein also to really intensify the treatment.

The results were immediate, my hair felt less mushy, springier and stronger and the breakage was reduced significantly. It took a while for my hair to become over moisturised and it will also take a little bit of time to fix it. I plan to add protein to my weekly conditioning session for the next month or so.

Favourite Products | April 2018

I often get asked what products I use and I always try and stress that whilst it’s import to use quality products, they are not the sole reason for the length and health of mine and the girls’ hair. But because I know people are always curious, here’s a brief list of our favourite products right now.

My Hair

 

Rhassoul Clay

I’ve officially ditched the shampoo and I now use rhassoul clay to wash my hair. This stuff is so fantastic it actually doubles up as a conditioner too. You can find out more about the benefits in this POST I wrote for Metro blogs.

Camille Rose Naturals Moroccan Pear Conditioner (also the girls)

This conditioner packs a punch and a little goes a long way. It has tons of slip, which makes detangling a breeze.

Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Detangling Treatment (also the girls)

I can’t sing the praises of this product enough. It makes our hair so soft and pliable post wash and the slip makes it a great detangler.

Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey (also the girls)

A fanstic cocktail of oils and butters, which helps seal our hair whilst leaving a gorgeous shine. It also smells AAHMAZING!

Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel

I tend to use this gel on stretched or blow-dried hair when I want to do a dry twist-out with lots of definition without losing length.

Shea Goodness Growth Support Serum

A few years ago I created this oil-based product to help deal with my sebhorreic dermatitis. It does a fantastic job of keeping my dry flaky scalp under control and it also helps boost my hair growth.

Aloe Vera and filtered water

This is our go-to daily moisturiser. I spray this on the girls hair every day then seal with the Mimosa Hair Honey

The Girls

Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Conditioning Shampoo

I love this brand for the girls’ hair and this shampoo does a great job of cleansing without stripping their hair.

Shea Moisture Argan oil & Almond Milk Smooth & Tame Blow Out Crème

On the odd occasion that I blow-dry Miss E’s hair (tension method of course), I use this to protect her hair from damage and retain moisture.

 

 

 

 

Afrocenchix SEAL Natural Conditioning Oil

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive Oil), Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil), Ricinus Communis (Coconut Oil), Triticum Vulgare (Wheatgerm Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit Essential Oil), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Essential Oil), Citrus Aurantium Amara (Orange Essential Oil), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass Essential Oil)
Price: £10 / (150ml)
Availability: www.afrocenchix.com
Claims: Seal is a daily conditioning hair oil designed to seal moisture into the hair. Seal is a natural formula specially formulated to help those who have dry ends and struggle with retaining moisture. This special blend emulates the natural sebum produced on the scalp in order to provide maximum moisture for easy manipulation of the hair. Works best with Sheen.

MY THOUGHTS

Ingredients

I love the combination of natural oils in this product, it has a very rich profile that packs a punch. These are some of my favourite oils – castor (softening), wheatgerm (antioxidant) and coconut oil (protective and conditioning). The product claims to mimic the lightness of sebum and the use of Jojoba oil helps.

Consistency

I love the consistency of this oil, not too heavy but thick enough to feel like it’s doing something. The pump dispenser works well and distributes the perfect amount each time. However, it’s not child friendly and I’ve had to rescue the bottle from Miss E a few times. It’s very easy to apply and distributes well.

Smell

This product smells very citrusy and particularly strongly of the lemongrass oil used. It’s a smell I struggled with at first to be honest. I dislike the smell of lemongrass and I find scents in that family irritating to my olfactory system. It did however, grow on me eventually and whilst I still don’t love it, I don’t notice it as much. It would be nice if there were additional fragrance options.

Effectiveness

I’m going to buy another bottle, which says it all really as I’m not a massive fan of using hair oils on my hair. I don’t pre-poo with them and I find my hair doesn’t that extra step of sealing to retain moisture. That’s why it took me such a long time to try this product. I am however, pretty religious about sealing Miss E’s hair. Her hair just loves oils and soaks them up thirstily. Other than the initial stumbling block of smell, which I previously mentioned, I immediately loved the way this product was so easy to apply. It absorbs very well, helps soften hair and leaves a really nice shine. I tend to use this product to seal Miss E’s hair (always whilst damp) or whilst I’m doing single twists as it makes her hair so pliable. I tend to use it on my hair as an added layer on top of my styler or gel to prevent flaking.

Product Favs | August-September 15

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner

Last month I was crushing on the Masque from this range, this month the Leave-in is my hero. My previous Holy Grail leave-in was Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Lotion but it was proving increasingly harder and expensive to source. I decided to try this product based on the reviews online and boy was it worth it. At £13.99 for 16oz that’s a lot of bang for your buck!! Add to that how thoroughly effective it is at softening and moisturising and you’re onto a real winner!

Shea Decadence Kinks Kidz Hair maintenance bundle

I picked up this bundle of hair products for Miss E at the last United Kurls Lounge & Learn event. Comprising of a Conditioning Hair Milkshake, Hair Yoghurt – a thick nourishing leave in conditioner and Moisture Loc Defining Brulee; you have pretty much all you need to moisturise and style your child’s hair. I had the opportunity to try it at the event and was very impressed with the softness and crazy definition it gave to Miss E’s curls. The products also smell of yummy strawberries, it’s a battle not to lick Miss E every time I get a whiff.

Eos Summer Fruits Smooth Sphere

There is something about a spherical lip balm that has me all shades of happy. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes a sphere superior to a tube or tub but it really does. The summer fruits flavour is gorgeous and brings back memories of a great summer. How did we all manage prior to Eos Smooth Spheres?

Head Wraps

The last few months have been crazy busy for me. The last thing on my mind has been my hair. I have been guilty of major neglect and I have like 2 inches of dark roots!! I have been living in headwraps and they are a Godsend because It means I don’t have to do my hair. I literally moisturise, slap one on and go on my merry way. Forever 21 is my go to place for head wraps, they have a very wide variety at very reasonable prices.

Shea Decadence Mango Sorbet Shine & Define Styling Balm

Not one to miss out on a shopping experience, I also bought this little goody for myself at the United Kurls Lounge & Learn event. Part of their new mango range, it was love at first sniff for me. The balm contains mango butter and castor oil and I use it as the oil part of the L.O.C method. It smells divine and gives my hair some serious shine.

Summer ’15 | Product Favourites

Joliette Curl Me Soft Moisturiser

One of the goodies I picked up at the first United Kurls Learn & Lounge event. This moisturiser leaves my hair feeling so soft and given my hair is bleached, that’s takes a lot of doing.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

A favourite of many curlies out there, I wouldn’t be without this styler when shingling or doing my twist outs. Soft, pliable hold with great definition.

Carols Daughter Sacred Tiare Fortifying Anti-Breakage Conditioner

Something I picked up in the States earlier this year and unfortunately no longer seems to be available from CD. It has the most delicious smell; I use it to co-wash as it cleanses my hair whilst leaving it soft and easy to detangle.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque

After reading rave reviews about this product, I thought I’d try it out and I’m glad I did. My hair literally melts on contact with this stuff. One of the most softening and hydrating conditioners I’ve tried.

Motions Pre-wash Detangling Butter

This product is EVERYTHING!! I live in wash and gos and my hair is usually a nest of tangles by the end of the week. This product has literally saved me hours and tears in my detangling routine. Whether applied to dry or damp hair, it cuts through tangles like a samurai on crack!

Joliette Hydrating Mist

A great refresher for restoring parched curls, this hydrating mist leaves my hair smelling fruity and gorgeous.

Miss E’s First Big Chop

In short, I looked at Miss E’s hair and thought, that has to go. In truth I’ve been wanting to cut her hair for ages but I was terribly attached to it and kept having moments of ‘won’t she look like a boy?’ Her hair has been growing in a very uneven manner for a while now, the middle grows like wild fire but the back and sides were struggling a lot. It was becoming difficult to style her hair and her first birthday seemed a good milestone for her first big chop.

I honestly wasn’t sure how to go about doing it, do I take her to the hairdresser or barber? Break out daddy’s clippers? In the end, I went on good old trusty Youtube and found this awesome video of MarieAntoinetteTV doing a tapered cut on her son. Luckily, I’m pretty confident with scissors and Miss E knows how to be still. I would not recommend this option to anyone and know that if you do it yourself, you do so at your own risk.

I’m pretty happy with the cut. I didn’t make the sides and back as short as in the video and it’s not perfect by any means, but it looks presentable. It’s made washing, combing and generally looking after her hair easier and her sleep cap fits like a dream. Her hair has also been growing back much more evenly since the cut.


TWA Style | Shingling

I know a lot of you have been wondering how I’ve been getting on with my hair post big chop. The answer in short (no pun intended) is GREAT!! I love the ease and simplicity of my tapered Teeny Weeny Afro and the colour is popping in the current sunny weather we are enjoying. Do I miss my long hair sometimes?….sure! There are moments I long for length just to switch things up but then mummyhood calls and I’m glad I don’t have to spend 30 mins plus on my hair anymore.

I’ve mostly just been doing wash and go’s but if I want more definition/pizazz I shingle my hair. For those not in the know, shingling is a styling method developed my Miss Jessie’s salon, which “manually turns kinks to curls.” It’s a way to achieve maximum curl definition and elongation and all that’s required is sopping wet hair, some sort of defining product and wide tooth comb, Denman brush or even your fingers. You can find tons of tutorials online and most especially on Youtube. My fav video is by Carmen of My Natural Sisters.

PRODUCTS/TOOLS

Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

Curly By Nature Nourishing Gloss Balm

Denman Brush

PROCESS

After co-washing my hair I apply Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing lotion as my leave in. It acts as a great moisturizer and base to prevent crunch from the styling products used on top. I then apply a generous amount of either the Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Curl Activator Cream depending on my mood and what’s within reach. On top of that I apply a light amount of Eco Style Gel. I tend to re-wet my hair with a spray bottle in between applying products. Finally, I apply a very light layer of the Nourishing Gloss Balm. I then take small sections of hair, apply a small amount of gel and work my denman brush through the section, starting at the ends and smoothing with my fingers as I go. This defines and elongates my curls and makes them clump together. I do this throughout my hair, re-wetting as needed. I then leave my hair to dry. Because I use a gel, this style is able to last for 2-3 days and I just re-wet each morning with water.

TO NOTE

Hair needs to be very wet to get the best definition

Use a moisturizing Leave-in underneath your styling products to prevent crunch and dryness

For very short sections of hair, manually shingle with your fingers

You will get varying degrees of curl definition and clumping, depending on your hair texture

No amount of product or shingling can create curls where there are none

Root2Tip Kinki Coili Kurli Heaven Hair Milk and Natural Hair Butter

Product: Kinki Coili Kurli Heaven Hair Milk

Brand Overview: This natural range was formulated by ROOT2TiP founder Sal for her daughter.  It is 98% natural and comprises all you need to give your child great looking hair that is manageable.  They believe haircare should be happy for kids, not a nightmare!
Price: £11.99
Available Here: root2tip.co.uk
Claims:

Hydrate her hair with a natural and nourishing milk…Suitable for all Hair Types! Great for Baby hair! Heavens Hair Milk is a light non-greasy hair milk with a lotion consistency, formulated with Jojoba oil, Olive oil and Virgin coconut oil.
Our milk instantly sinks into fine baby hair to silken, smooth and define it lightly, whilst providing an immediate softness and silkiness to thicker hair textures also. Frizz is a thing of the past with our Heaven’s Hair Milk.”

Ingredients:
Aqua, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Riccinus Communis (Castor) Seed oil, Butrospermum Parkii, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Glycerine, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylol Glycol (and) Chlorphenisin, Parfum, Guar Hydroxyprpyltrimonium Chloride.

Review Overview
Miss E’s hair
This hair Milk is very light, watery and smells divine. It softens her hair very well and the effects last a few days. It does however leave a slight coated feel to her hair, which doesn’t bother me but might be a problem for other hair types. I love the dispenser as it makes it easy to control how much product is released, reducing wastage or over-use. My only issue with this hair milk is that it’s not a product I could multi use for Miss E i.e. as a styler AND moisturiser. Whilst it works well for her as a moisturiser, I found it didn’t give me the definition I wanted when styling.

PROS:

  • Moisturising and softening
  • Smells heavenly

CONS:

  • Doesn’t work well as a styler
  • Leaves a slight coating which may bother some hair types

Product: Natural Hair Butter

Price: £11.99
Available Here: root2tip.co.uk
Claims:

If you love to wear your hair in twists, or you have locs, and you need a product to make your hair soft, have great hold and shine, then this is the hair butter for you.

100% natural, using the key ingredients, olive oil, organic shea, this unrivalled hair butter will give you your best TWIST-Out yet! It’s best used with the honey-rain juice, for perfect results every time. If you like it hot, and blow-dry or use a flat-iron, then use this butter to keep your hair super-soft and protected from the heat!”

Ingredients:
Riccinus Communis (Castor) seed oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Fruit Butter (Organic), Orange (sweet) essential oil, Citrus AurantiumDulcis, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.

Review Overview
I love the whipped butter consistency of this product and it has a lovely light fruity fragrance, which isn’t too overpowering. It is however, very thick and not at all easy to distribute; a little goes a very long way. It works well as a sealing product but might be too heavy for low density hair or loose curls patterns. I use it on top of the heaven milk after moisturising and for very light hold when styling. It gives her hair amazing shine. The product description says that this butter can be used for blow drying or flat ironing, but I would hesitate to do so. Looking at the ingredients, there are no silicone oils, low molecular weight conditioners or other heat protective ingredients, just natural oils, which as far as I’m aware would provide very little heat protection. It does however, make a fantastic body butter and pre-poo treatment, so no more ashy knees or elbows.

PROS:

  • Softens and gives great shine
  • Good for sealing in moisture
  • Great body butter

CONS:

  • Heavy, could weigh some hair types down