26 March 2010

a match made in heaven (a review in story book mode!)

i was able to go home earlier this week, so i decided to treat my hair to a few new goodies (my denman brush and lush shampoo). and the entire process, from when i stepped in the shower to when i styled was a dream. i was loving every since step and every single product and i was so happy, my heart even fluttered just a little bit. so excuse me if i wax poetic in this post, but if you'd experienced what i did, then you'd completely understand.

around the beginning of the year, i'd received a nondescript sample of a lush shampoo. for some reason, i'd poised myself to hate it (possibly because the sales associate claimed it would help with frizz - what are you tryna say, lady?). its scent was too strong, its color too dark, consistency too syrupy, its small black container too small, black, and container-y. hmph. the lady even forgot to label the container so i didn't even have the privilege of knowing what it was i had already despised. how dare she? despite all that, i don't throwing away anything and i do enjoy lush products, so... why not?

well. after a single lather, i was forced to retract everything i had ever thought (and now, written) about it. the consistency is a perfect saccharine syrup, thick enough to make your mouth water, but thin enough to spread easily. i didn't even use half of my most generous sample to get a thorough clean. the scent is strong, i will say, but once i'd gotten accustomed to the heady smell of beer and florals (& it's much less offensive than it sounds, i promise), it made for a unique treat. i wasn't worried of it stripping my hair since it was all natural, though when i felt a tiny bit of roughness on my strands, i was mildly put off. but once i rinsed, my hair was soft and clean. it was a very gentle shampooing, which i was happy about. i didn't expect it to do any heavy lifting, which it didn't, but i could always add a few taps of baking soda to clarify.

later that evening, i'd simply HAD to know the name of this miracle working shampoo and it was quite a doozy: cynthia sylvia stout. quite affordably priced, at whatever size bottle you desire to purchase. me, a cute, cozy 3.3 ounces for 8.75 is but a small price to pay for hair this divine! being natural, shampoo doesn't get much play in my routine, but this stuff is so singularly marvelous, that i might even spring for the 8.4 ounce for a moderately "steep" 17.45. cost and worth are two completely different things, however, and is it worth it - hellll yeeeeah. it might even be staple status.

after shampooing, i grabbed my honey+hemp condish, which is so orgasmically wonderful, it deserves its very own post (which is forthcoming, as i've promised). i slathered on a generous handful of this magical elixir and went about my usual showerly duties. when i rinsed, i was met with hair that was deliciously conditioned, moisturized, and happy. i cannot wait to tell you all about this conditioner which i have been seriously sleeping on (in a coma on, if we're being truthful). it was the perfect, creamy topping to my good-hair-sundae.

when i hopped out, i'd planned to use my kinky curly curling custard, which i've been determinedly trying to decipher all the why's and wherefore's as to its usages. the kinky curly line is so finicky, trying to suss out the perfect balance for your hair is nothing less than turning tricks in a circus. like the honey hemp, it deserves its own (very long, very detailed) post, but for very different reasons. but, i continued in my experiment with gusto, and sloppily parted thick, one inch sections/rows over my noggin and slapped in the slimy gel.

and here is where the magic begins. and i will warn you, once this magic had been visited upon me and my modest little noodle, i'd wanted to scream, shout and dance. i wanted to roll around, do a jig, and click my heels. i wanted to marry this amazing device after the first stroke, i'd wanted to make love to it like it so gently made love to my hair.

i told you it was that serious.

my denman brush. my denman, my denman, MY DENMAN. even its very name is like a soothing balm to the strands of my humble afro. ahh~ i'd purchased a denman when i first went natural and returned it the same week. i'd used it once on dry hair and i honestly don't know what the heck i was expecting, using it in such a manner, but it obviously didn't give me the miracle i'd been expecting. i repurchased this week on a whim and it is so amazing, it almost makes me rethink my second chop.

i "gently" "detangled" on soaking wet hair. translation: i chopped at the ends with the brush until i could get it through. and once the ends were taken care of, so was the rest. the brush glided through, from root to tip, like a hot knife in some butter, mm mm! it clumped my curls beautifully (which i'd bough the brush for), distributing the kinky curly far for efficiently than my fingers could ever hope to do. i could brush a single section of hair over and over and over, just to feel the gentle tension and to watch my juice-ified curls spring into place. my hair that day (yesterday) was FIRE. my afro was perfectly shaped - no lumps, no frizz, and no fuss and my curls were thick and juicy.

the best part? with my denman, my entire head took no more than twenty minutes. shingling barehanded can easily take an hour or more, especially if you try to take small sections of hair to get good definition. with my denman, i can easily brush through larger sections of hair, cutting down on my styling time drastically.

i know i'll only need this one brush for the rest of my life, but i want to go out and buy a truck full to sleep, swim, and live in. i want to give one to everyone i know - relaxed, natural, long, short, boy, girl. the denman should be a fixture in every natural's arsenal. if you've read this and don't have one (or worse - don't even WANT one) - what the heck is wrong with you?

i plan to repeat this little routine again and enjoy every minute of it. i should've taken pictures yesterday, while the sun was smiling and shining all over me. today wanted to be dreary and rainy so even though i shakily managed second-day hair (a lack of real effort and time on my part), i couldn't take any pictures.

but i am in loooove. go! try a denman, NOW!

my future goodies~ (+staples)

with this new cut, i am excited to clean out my stash. :) but you know that whenever you clear out your stash, you need to replenish it! so, i have a modest list of goodies i want to try on my hair when i cut and as it grows. it's a small list and i plan to get the sample sizes, so i don't have to worry about taking forever to use them up.

i plan to purchase...
hydratherma naturals daily growth moisturizing lotion
nunu+love handmade spilled milk moisturizer
nunu+love handmade sweet harlem oil
& lush's cynthia sylvia stout shampoo

i don't feel compelled to shop for certain products anymore such as shampoo or conditioner, since i feel as though i have my staples. i love avocado butter as a staple moisturizer, but i'm open to having different kinds - i feel as though i should have one butter and one creamy moisturizer. i'm also not a big oil person, so i know my hairveda oil blends are gonna last me a looong time. i don't have a staple deep conditioner, and i'm not really interested (even though i know DCing is important), so i'll probably stick with hairveda's until i try something new (might try the jessicurl weekly deep treatment).

[shampoo] black soap, lush's cynthia sylvia stout
[conditioner] hairveda's moist 24/7, oyin's honey hemp

i need to bang out my staple moisturizers, stylers, and deep conditioner, but i have a good idea of what i'll be sticking with from now on.

also, i'll have a denman review tomorrow and i'll do my kinky curly curling custard once i play around with the knot today (which isn't turning out to be a favorite).

24 March 2010

spring... FORWARD!


spring is finally upon us/me, after what seems like and endless winter and i have been itching for a change. some new color, a new cut... SOMETHING! after i took down my braids, i wanted a change so badly that i quickly seized onto the first (and most drastic) idea that came to me - why don't i shave !?

yes, that's right! shaaave!

i've mentioned before that i wanted to shave before but was talked out of it, but i plan to meet the summer heat with a cute, fresh new baldie.

i am simultaneously so excited and a little nervous. nervous because i don't know why, but exciting because i think short cuts on women are so gorgeous, especially when it suits them. i'm not sure if it'll suit my features, but i figure i'd find out. ;)

however, i can't pretend that this sudden desire is just resurfacing... i will be honest and say that frustration with my hair drove me to this point. when i took out my braids, my hair was so dry and just dull and tangled - although with good reason. i'd just spent the last 8 weeks in braids, after all, so it's to be expected. i have no clue why i was so disappointed. i'd gotten a lot of length, but my shape was still out of whack. and while i adore my new trim, i still want to shave. i do plan to rock my new trim for two or three more weeks, though, since it is sooo sexy.

but anyway, my hair seems to be delivering more bad hair days than good ones so i figure i'll just shave and enjoy the shortness for a while. and i feel as though when i let it grow out, i will be so much better equipped to handle it - from dryness to tangles, from deep conditioning to styling. i really feel like starting over completely, from scratch, so what better way to do that than a shave. i'll be killing two birds with one stone - new style and a new slate.

but i am so excited! i'm gonna step up my earring game and wear makeup more often just to offset the boyishness of the cut. i have an album of ideas i'd like and so one day next month, me and the boy toy are gonna head to his barber and snip snip.

i'm also excited that i won't have to do jack to my hair. this will be a great time to whittle down my stash (although i plan to buy more junk). but i really just want to use up my cowashes so in the next few weeks, i am going to work on finishing my aussie moist and hello hydration (never buy the bulk size, lol). i'll probably make an inventory post just to organize myself and refocus re using this crap up. most of my items are miscellaneous things that i can't/won't use up, but i do want to make some space for my new (and hopefully last!) goodies. so, when i chop, i'll probably "cowash" and moisturize everyday. i'll shampoo and "dc" once a week. it'll be so much easier with no hair, lol.

in the mean time, i'm still playing around with the kinky curly and i recently got a denman brush to help me detangle and clump my curls. i'm gonna do that in the morning and check back in tomorrow. i'm excited!

19 March 2010

[review] hairveda's sitrinillah masque deep conditioner

ingredients: water, coconut oil, castor oil, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, steryl alcohol, stearakloniun chloride, dimethyl stearamine, orange oil, orange extract, vanilla extracts, lactic acid, germall plus, fragrance.

i've had more than enough time to play with this deep conditioner - so much time that i completely cleaned out my jar! i've been thinking up this review for a while - i'm so excited! :D

this delicious deep conditioner will run you $17.50 for a generous 16 ounces. now, this is clearly a pricier item, although incredibly fair in terms of how many ounces you get. still, this is a conditioner that i would stock up on during their black friday sale.

just like with the moist 24/7 conditioner, this deep conditioner comes in a basic clear jar. although, for a mandatory positive, i will say that having such basic jars makes it incredibly easy for you to repurpose them when you're finished. ;) i have a tidy little jar collection now for my butters and other concoctions. the large, 16 oz jar that the sitrinillah comes in is perfect for storing my shea butter!

now onto the good stuff... the smell! this deep conditioner smells just like an orange creamsicle. the fact that i kept my jar in the fridge only added to the chilled, summery experience! each whiff reminded me of a tropical citrus drink (and i adore tangy citrus scents)! the consistency of this product was also a delight... very thick and creamy. slathering this stuff on just felt so cool and rich. the texture was incredibly smooth, which helped to spread in my thick afro. :)

as for performance... i will admit, that by itself, it's performance was subpar. by the time i had rinsed, my hair didn't feel as though it'd just had a deep conditioning. as charzboss mentioned in one of her reviews on youtube, the sitrinillah makes a good base for you to add and doctor as you see fit. so, taking her lead, i decided just to add either one of hairveda's oil blends. this combo was perfect! adding the oils really kicked the condish up a few notches - each of my strands sucked up blend and felt completely nourished by the time i washed. i was also pleased to see that the scent of the oils didn't clash with the sweet orange of the sitrinillah.

this will definitely be a repurchase for me... some might feel as though its value is diminished if you need to doctor it up to be effective, but i don't mind at all. i have really grown to stan for the entire hairveda line. once black friday rolls around, i fully plan on stocking up on both the deep conditioner, oils, and moist 24/7. i encourage any&everyone to try this line!

i do need to note however, that hairveda typically has a turn around time of two weeks in my experience, although i know many others have had to wait for longer. if you are impatient, i wouldn't advise you to order, especially during their sales. i don't mind waiting because i usually get a pretty good turnaround time and the wait is worth it to me. just something to keep in mind!

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

16 March 2010

[review] hairveda's moist condition 24/7

ingredients: water coconut oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, stearalkonium chloride, dimethyl stearamine, lactic acid, germall plus, fragrance.

i was so excited when i received my hairveda goodies in the mail. granted, this was months ago, but that means i've had lots of time for this conditioner to marinate in my mind (and my hair, yumm). :)

as far as price points go, the hairveda line as a whole is wonderfully affordable. you get a generous 16 oz bottle for not even eight dollars. there is absolutely no way you can beat that. i've been looking at the bulk size, in which you get 128 delicious ounces for not even sixty bucks. to me, that is an absolute steal. but that's only if the performance is worth it, so onto the bulk of the review...

the bottle is an incredibly basic, generic piece. no designs or pizazz and a simple label is slapped on it. one thing i do love about this bottle, however, is how easily squeezable it is. i know some companies like to give you a challenge of a bottle, but the plastic is very pliable, making it easy to squeeze out just as much or as little as you need.

i will say, hairveda's packaging does its products absolutely no justice. apart from the oils, the rest of the packaging is so bland, which does disappoint me because the quality of products are so amazing. packaging is an important part of the experience - an innovative, neat, and streamlined theme can make using a product enjoyable and fun. there's just something about nice packaging that makes using anything a treat. but at the same time, the performance of hairveda's products will quickly make you forget all about the drab bottles and tops.

one thing hairveda does consistently well, without fail, is their scents. i haven't tried a product from them yet that hasn't smelled anything less than absolutely delectable. they're rich, sweet, and decadent while maintaining to stay far away from coming across as "cheap" or "fake." i'd had this conditioner for a while and even though i wasn't using it, i would pop the top to take a few quick whiffs. the moist condition 24/7 is a light, fragrant strawberry and cream cake. it's just sweet enough with just hint of tartness to balance out the fruity scent. it is an absolute dream!

the consistency is quite loose - the conditioner slides around in the bottle with ease, translating just as smoothly to your hair. spreadability is nice and easy and the conditioner has just enough substance to avoid being labeled runny. my only complaint is that i need a generous amount to feel as though i am truly coating my hair. i haven't even used it ten times and i'm almost finished my bottle (i'd say i have about 30 percent left). now this can be due to the thinner consistency of the condish or how heavy handed i am. but i love how this spreads in my hair. ever since my hair cut, i have been using a little less. but this is so cheap that i don't mind being a little generous in my application. ;)

i will admit, when i first tried this, i wasn't nearly as impressed as i am now. i felt as though the ingredients were far too simple to do any real conditioning, but the more i use it, the more i can appreciate it. it makes an excellent detangling conditioner; the consistency lends your hair so much slip, massaging it through feels wonderful. i leave my conditioner to sit while i wash the rest of my body and when it's time to rinse, my hair feels incredibly clean and supple. my hair feels refreshed and moisturized, my curls look a little more juicier.

this will be a definite repurchase, if not a staple. i even plan to order a bottle for a girlfriend of mine. this conditioner delivers and for such an excellent price, it'd be hard to resist coming back.

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

first trim + pics!

so i know i haven't been delivering pic-wise, but i figured i could at least show off my new trim! :)

here is a pic the night before my trim, you can see how much my hair had grown:

and after! i adore the cut!

my first trim! :)

if you've been following my blog, you'd know that i've been playing with the idea of a trim for months now. my dryness and frizzy ends were driving me crazy. i had pieces of hair that would stick out straight and my ends were rough and dry. i obviously needed a trim, but i had no clue where to start. should i go back to the barbershop? or find a natural hair salon? would i be able to find someone to trim a twa? i'd halfheartedly looked around at a few natural hair salons, but eventually, the idea/need more or less disintegrated.

that is until i took my braids out. my hair was dry, tangled, frizzy, had no shape... while i had a lot of growth, i didn't know what to do with it. so my first idea was to shave it all off. yep. i'd wanted to shave my hair when i first chopped but i was quickly talked down from that ledge (i still want to shave, lol). i was fully set on shaving until someone suggested i was just bored with my hair. so, instead of making such a drastic change, i decided to look into the trim i'd been wanting for so long. there's nothing like a trim to make you feel brand new. :)

i'd decided to go to the Hair Company USA, which i'd heard many good things about. the trim was affordable - $25 dollars, and then i had a ten dollar coupon. i was on time for my appointment at 10:30 and was seen maybe ten minutes after i'd arrived, which wasn't bad. my stylist was candice, who was very sweet. conversation was easy with her and i felt comfortable in her chair. she was very meticulous with my trim and i felt good as i saw the tufts of hair (small and large) fall into my lap. i fingered the small balls of hair, feeling the roughness that was no longer a part of my head! i was excited.

i'd wanted a trim and two-strand twists, but ended up getting a trim and a steam. once candice had finished cutting, i didn't have enough hair for two-strand twists. she chopped a lot of hair, but it wasn't because of scissor-happy stylist-dom. she explained to me what she was doing during the entire process - i had so many lengths all over my head and i wanted them evened out. my sides were ridiculously long, so those had to be cut to the rest of my head. she gave me a cute shape - a close back, with a little height at the top. it makes me look a little boyish, but i adore the cut! it is just too cute and i feel as though i have a cute little style. i might go for a shape-up for my edges though, just to make the style even sharper.

the entire ordeal took about two hours, i left a little before noon-thirty (lol). i steamed for forty-five minutes, but other than that, i was never left sitting to wait, which is great. i hate sitting around salons, bored and uncomfortable, waiting for my stylist to see me.

my only complaint would have to be the shampoo she used. she lathered twice and i didn't realize until i got home that it was very stripping. not a big issue to correct, but seeing as how i rarely shampoo my own hair (and always with a gentle shampoo), it was a little surprising to me.

all in all, i had a very pleasant experience and i do plan to return. :)

14 March 2010

welcome back, izzy!

phew! it seems like ever since i took my braids out, my mind has been filing one blog post after the next. i have so much to update you all on. :]

izzy is back home after being tucked away for two months in braids. that entire process is a blog post on it's own. it was such an ordeal.

in this short week, i've also henna'd and gotten a trim! :0 finally! that trim i've been thinking about for months now... these will also be two separate posts.

i'll also be reviewing oyin's honey hemp conditioner, hairveda's sitrinillah deep conditioner and moist 24/7 conditioner. i might also review the kinky curly knot today leave-in and curling custard. this will probably come later in the week, as i still want to play around with it.

it is my goal to do at least one post a day, so please look forward to it. :)