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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Natural Inspiration | The Angelica Doll

Since I joined Instagram, I’ve been discovering all sorts of wonderful things. One of these things is the ‘Angelica doll’, created by Angelica Sweeting, the founder of Naturally Perfect Dolls.

Naturally Perfect has one specific aim — to change the standard of beauty for young girls, one doll at a time, and encourage self-acceptance, diversity and exposure. With the help of my daughters, we created the ‘Angelica Doll’ – the first natural hair 18 inch doll for young girls. I’m creating Angelica to let girls know that they are beautiful. Our girls need to see a reflection of their own unique beauty. It’s time for our young girls to have a new standard.”

Now I am not a big fan of Barbie dolls, I think they encourage unrealistic beauty standards in girls and I don’t plan to buy one for Miss E. I am however, a fan of showing her positive images and representations of black people and culture, and it’s for that reason, that I love this doll!! Angelica is 18 inches long, that is a big doll y’all. It means she’ll be solidly built, sturdy and designed to be a toy, not an accessory. She’s black, though that might seem like I’m stating the obvious, up until a few years ago, this was a rarity. She has realistic body measurements, full nose and lips, no makeup and kinky curly hair. This is the deal clincher for me. I love that Angelica has a body, face and hair that my daughter can relate to and learn from. This doll, because of its size could be a very useful tool in the process of teaching little black girls about their hair and skin; how to love it and how to care for it. In short, I am sold on this doll and I think its one, every black mother should seriously consider buying.
The doll is still in pre-production phase. The company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the first production order. Check out their Facebook Page for more images of Angelica and head on over to their Website for more info on the kickstarter campaign and how you can support. As at the time of writing this post, the campaign has raised over $18,000 and is close to reaching its target of $25,000. It’s so encouraging to see the global black community supporting one of it’s own.

Product Alert | Curly By Nature Nourishing Gloss Balm

I am such a sucker for a good ingredients list. I think because I’ve dabbled in product making I have an appreciation for a well-researched and developed product. So you’ll understand my excitement when info about this little baby hit my mailbox. Introducing the new Nourishing Gloss Balm from Curly By Nature.

“Featuring Jojoba Wax this unique balm is perfect for the hair and scalp. It effectively nourishes, conditions, softens and seals in moisture to encourage hair growth, retention and protection.”

Ingredients

Avocado Oil, Jojoba Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Pumpkin Oil, Carrot Oil, Chickweed Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Castor oil, Coconut oil, Passionflower Oil, Baobab Oil, Vitamin E, Olive Oil, Chamomile CO2 Extract, Sea Buckthorn CO2 Extract, Rosemary Antioxidant

Check out that ingredient list, it’s like the who’s who of antioxidants. I love that it uses Jojoba Wax as its base. Jojoba is very similar in composition to our body’s natural sebum and so is good for people with sensitive or dry scalps. Carrot, Rose Hip and Baobab oil are regenerative whilst Avocado, Castor and Olive oil absorb well, are super softening and help lock in moisture. Luckily for me, I was sent a sample to try out by the lovely Klerissa, the Founder of Curly by Nature. I will trial it over the next few weeks on both myself and Miss E and let y’all know how we get on so stay tuned.

Product Alert | Emma’s Little Creations

We’ve been having a bit of a cold spell in the UK lately so when Kveta, the owner of Emma’s Little Creations approached me about reviewing one of her winter hats, it felt like kismet. Kveta is a stay-at-home mum of 5, who started her Etsy shop after the birth of her youngest daughter, Emma. She began by making swaddling blankets and moved to hats after reverse engineering an old hat she owned. Fast forward 6 years and Emma’s Little Creations (ELC) stocks a wide range of custom hats and accessories all hand made by Kveta. She has an awesome motto, which I just love – “Hands to work, heart to God.”

Now did I mention that the hat wasn’t actually for me but for Miss E…yup yup, her very first product review! I’m super fussy about what I put on and in Miss E, but when I discovered that ELC’s hats could be made with a satin lining, I was like oh yeah, we’ll try some of that. Miss E is a back sleeper and has been developing a bald spot in the back of her head from all that time spent snoozing. Thus, I was pretty excited to try something that would keep her warm whilst outside without further exacerbating the problem. I have to say, I initially fell in love with the animal hats and the only reason I did not get a froggy hat is because the hubby threatened me with divorce.

In the end I went for the Fleece Baby Winter Hat with visor and earflaps in cream and pink. I felt this would give Miss E the most protection against the cold and wind.

So how did we get on I hear you ask? In short, we love it!! Miss E can be a bit funny about me putting things on her head and if she doesn’t like something, she invariably pulls it off. The ELC hat definitely got her seal of approval, she was supremely unbothered about having it on, in fact she seemed to get quite calm and chilled once it was on. It is very easy to get on and off, whether her hair is styled or in full afro mode. The fit is great also; I got it in size 6-9 months so there is a bit of growing room. The fleece is soft and the satin lining is plush and thick, all too often people skimp and use a cheaper, thinner grade of satin.  I found Kveta’s workmanship on the hat to be faultless, it even arrived in some pretty pink tissue paper with a cute little tag.  The final test of course is does it keep Miss E warm? My happy answer is yes it does. Miss E is a head sweater and overheats very easily. The hat is able to keep her head and ears warm without making her too hot, plus the visor adds a little bit of sun protection.

The hat is a hit! It is so pretty, especially with the crochet flower in front. If I were to make any changes it would be the lining and only because I’m extra like that. It’s also less of a change and more of an upgrade. I’d switch to full silk which is a natural fibre that gives all the slip of satin but with breathability and moisture retention. I would definitely recommend Emma’s Little Creations hats for both small and grown-up heads. The quality is impeccable and for all my curly haired gals looking to protect their curls and stay warm, its a win win situation! ELC delivers worldwide and stocks both ready to ship and custom items.

Product Alert | Aunt Jackie’s & Texture My Way

I recently went to the official UK launch of Aunt Jackie’s and Texture My Way products. Produced by House of Cheatham, both product ranges are aimed towards curly haired girls and are sulphate, mineral oil and paraben free.

Aunt Jackie’s products are all about getting the most out of your curls with products aimed at maintaining and styling curly, coily and kinky hair

The products I’m most interested in trying are Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel as every curly needs a good gel and I like the fact that it uses flaxseed. I’m also intrigued by the Knot On My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy. As a curly haired girl, detangling is the most arduous part of the wash process and anything that will help speed things up is a must have.

Texture My Way products work to give you maximum styling choices. There’s something for those who like their twist/braid-outs and for those who wanna rock it straight, there are also options. I have to be honest and say that I don’t love the packaging, it reminds me too much of the cheap brands you get in afro shops. However, I don’t believe in judging a book my its cover and will get back to y’all with a review shortly.

 

The product I’m most interested in trying is the Naturally Straight as I’m always looking for a product which will protect my hair when straightening and also give me a smooth straight finish.