18 April 2010

[review] long aid curl activator gel "extra dry"

ingredients: water, glycerin, oleth-20, trethanolamine, carbomer 940, aloe vera gel, panthenol, hydrolized protein, dmdm hydantoin, methylparaben, fragrance, propylene glycol, ext. d&c violet #2

i picked this up about two weeks ago and i've been using it for a week, so i have a pretty good idea of how this performs, more or less. let's goooo!

i snagged this one weekend out shopping with me mum. i really didn't have much need for it, but i'd heard good things about it and i had the money, so why not? you get 10.5 ounces for no more than four dollars. i can't remember what i paid exactly, but i know it was far from expensive. you can dip into your local wally world, beauty supply supply store, or cvs and find this.

nothing special or fancy about this jar. it's your run of the mill activator jar, much like my proclaim curl activator, but with a white top instead of a blue one. and i've actually been missing my proclaim, so i'll probably revisit sometime over the summer. but certainly not next week because there will be no hair to revisit on - mwahaha!

consistency and smell is generic and not much different from your next activator gel. what i did notice however, is that this activator is very smooth and a tiny bit thinner than others. most other gels, you can see the air bubbles or the swipes you take out of it. this, the texture appears very smooth and slowly slides around in the jar, filling in any dips your finger might've left. this makes applying this to damp hair incredibly easy and even a little bit more enjoyable than usual. ;)

the smell is neutral and non-offensive, although noticeably more fragrant than other gels. this has a very clean, fresh finish, which i liked.

as for performance, i am impressed. the jar claims to "soften and condition," and i can honestly say it does just that. my hair feels soft, not coated or sticky at all.

it wasn't until i actually went to use this that i realized that i had bought the "extra dry" version (eep - got me pegged!) with the green label, with "more glycerin!" i wasn't too worried because since it's the summer, i don't have to worry about the glycerin sucking the moisture out of my hair, but i would def avoid this for the cooler months. maybe i'll go find the "original" version, with the blue label.

now. here's the "trick" for gel activators. i've learned that gel activators can do a nice enough job on their own, but to get full curl definition, you need to layer it under an actual gel (that doesn't read "activator"). of the activators i've used, i've noticed that they never dry hard, but they don't provide the full definition of a regular holding gel. well, if you're using a gel like eco styler than the crunch is gettin' ya down, an activator will take care of that, nooo problem!

i've been using this under my eco styler gel and i have to say, i am loving the combination. no crunch, no flakes, no nothing. just touchable, springy defined curls. i haven't been cowashing often in the past week, but i have been using this combo daily and i didn't experience much buildup at all, but i have been working on my heavyhandedness. ;o i think these will be my bootleg kckt and kccc (which i am still currently love/hating. grr.)

i can most definitely see myself purchasing this in the future. i am excited for this activator + gel combo. my wash n go's are gonna be fiyaaah, especially at my new length once it starts to grow out. i lovelovelove tinytinytiny afro's; we're talking less than an inch. i love shiny, juicy curls at that length (but i also adore it picked out too - too fly). i'm so excited!

if you're looking for a kinky curly alternative where you don't have to spend a grip, drive out to a whole foods, or pay astronomical shipping, definitely try this stuff out. these play pretty well with moisturizers too (especially natural butters), so if you're worried about dryness, just moisturize first and you should have no problem. i didn't moisturize for an entire week (i didn't just admit that) and used only these two products and izzy was fine. at least, she behaved and as i've learned from past experiences, izzy doesn't bite her tongue (can she do that?) when it comes to speaking her mind and letting me know that i'm slacking. so, if she's happy, i'm happy!

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. :)


Skeeta said...

I totally agree. I used to mix a little activator gel in my hand with my eco and it rocks. U make me wanna revisit wash and gos!

zainab1 said...

Hi, great review! I really enjoy reading your reviews you offer so much detail. And, thanks for the tip sounds great, I must try it.
Take care.

Melyssa said...

yeah, skeeta, i remember you mentioning you were giving them a break. maybe cheat once ;) lol

and thank you so much, zainab! i really appreciate your comment because i do try to be informative. i'm so happy you enjoy them!

LaToya said...

Great review! I love LA activator gel. Thanks for the tip...never thought to use with with the Eco styler gel.

Melyssa said...

thanks, latoya! i love your hair cut!

BlackAngel said...

I use to love LA with the green label when I had a jeri curl. ( I was SOOO late having a "curl" in the 90's.. The LATE 90's!! LoL!) It was my fave. I'm locked now, but am about to free them soon and am looking for a way to make those natural curls pop and I'm likely to use this.. Good tip about using a regular gel over it.. I hope it works well. :D


Melyssa said...

Ahaha! Don't worry about it, my MOM just got a new-age jherri curl. I told her, for all the trouble she goes through maintaining it, she could be natural and it'd look so much better!

And that's really cool that your taking down your dreads. Can I ask why? How long have you had them? Do you have a blog I can follow? :)