24 October 2010

steamer thoughts, part 1... (and a half)

so, i'm sitting under my steamer now... for the second time since i've got it monday. ;0

don't worry, though! i captured a bevy of pictures from my first foray under my huetiful hair steamer and i remember my thoughts clearly, so i thought now would be a good a time as ever to get this post out. i can see this easily becoming a weekly ritual - steaming and blogging. ;) yum!

so i picked up my steamer from home wednesday and used it thursday. thursdays i have an icky 8 AM statistics course so i thought trying out my new steamer would be a great way to reward myself. :)

i don't want to turn this into a review, but i will make some notes about the steamer. right out of the box, it is very easy to assemble and heats up within minutes. i had to make some adjustments, height-wise, since it is a tabletop unit, you can't pull the hood up higher or lower. i simply propped it up on one of the foam pieces it came packaged in, and that sets the unit at the perfect height.

one thing i like about this steamer is how cute it is! i love how handy and portable it is without sacrificing style and chic. i'll get more into the packaging once i do an "official" review.

anyway, i lathered up with my ors aloe shampoo, then slathered on a handful of my mozeke moisture masque and detangled with my denman. i eagerly shimmied my way under the hood of the steamer and cracked open a book. the steamer has its own timer, so it dinged off after about twenty minutes. 


after rinsing shampoo... shiny&fluffy!

deep condish and denman! yum!

the first thing i noticed is what my hair had a new kind of weight to it - it was heavy (with moisture i eagerly assumed). my hair felt just lovely!

that is, until i rinsed.

i hate to admit, but once i rinsed out my conditioner, my hair hadn't felt that much different. i wasn't sure why, but i wasn't exactly sure what to expect either so i didn't have much disappointment to quell. i decided i would judge how well my hair retained it's moisture until next steam. i would reserve judgement until a few more steams.

i will admit, i was fully expecting for my curls to be bouncy and defined, although i'm not entirely sure why, LOL. i suppose that i assumed that the steam would juicify them right up. i also know that moisturized hair is tends to shrink up, and i did notice that izzy was a little more compacted than usual! not a problem with me!

i had wanted to use my steamer with a new moisturizer i'd ordered, but i never got the moisturizer, so i used my good ole avocado butter, and sealed with a new oil blend i decided to try out from mozeke. my hair wasn't as soft as i wanted, but the oil didn't leave my hair greasy at all!

all in all, i don't have much to report on the steamer just yet, but i really hope my new moisturizers come soon just because i can't take this dryness much longer!

as for this second attempt...

combing my DC through with my fingers was very easy. i also decided to mix in a little of my hairveda vatika frosting, just to kick it up a notch. i'm also going to let the conditioner sit for a little while afterwards, instead of just rinsing it out immediately.

and an important note! i hadn't noticed that there's a little circular slot on the top that can open or close to release or trap steam. i made sure the slot is closed this time, so we'll see.

i'll chime in again after i rinse out!

19 October 2010

these little girls are my idols.

beadsbraidsandbeyond is a fairly popular blog, so i'm sure many of you are following. i've been a follower for a few months now and have been eagerly devouring all of Nikki's updates and posts. i'm a little disappointed that she disabled left clicking, because i like to save the pictures to a "style inspiration" folder for ideas on how to style my own hair, but i can more than understand why she did it. i just hope that she never closes her blog! i've been combing through all of her posts, all the way to the very first one, rapturously admiring her creativity when it comes to styling. i know i'm at least twice A's age, but i see no good reason why i can't recreate those own styles on my own head when my hair is just as remarkable! i will, quite sadly, have to forgo the pumpkin and heart-shaped styles. ;)

A's head of hair is absolutely lush, i can't help but to stare and marvel at it. it's clear that Nikki takes excellent care of it and she even serves as an inspiration to me to step up my own hair care game. complaining about having to shape my twa every morning seems pathetic when it comes to that lovely mass of hair she so expertly cares for every week. never have i see a photograph where A's hair didn't seem thick, moisturized, and shiny. her hair is just delicious to me! clearly, time for me to step my game up! i will admit, i have been very interested in trying the bee mine products after seeing A's hair and it's a wonder how i've held out this long.

but that's not the point of my post!

lately, i've been daydreaming about long, loose hair. the thought of having my hair out in this weather, however, sends the cracklies down my roots! fall/winter is protective styling season for sure, but as i traipse about the hills of my massive campus, i can't help but to imagine that a huge, fly-ass afro is bouncing right along with me. i really can't help it! and to be honest, who can?

summer, the thoughts are even worse. i can dream myself delirious with thoughts of a sexy, disheveled curly afro, the rich brown of my hair reflecting back the sun's radiance. carefree and effortlessly chic, natural and soulful, i just can't wait! (of course in all these fantasies, i'm rocking some kind of cute off the shoulder top, and huge, colorful, handmade earrings). you wouldn't be able to tell me a damn thing.

and all of these fantasies came to a head when i was browsing Nikki's blog and stumbled across a recent hair share: click me! 

this little girl's hair was pretty much the manifestation of all my dreams, the epitome of all my wild afro dreams. sigh. her hair is absolutely gorgeous and i can't wait for young izzy to reach similar levels of awesomeness. hand on her hip, it's clear to see that even that little girl realizes how fly she is!

i will get there! i just gotta take this one step at a time. focus on my hair now so that it continues to be healthy and moisturized. i plan to be up on my DCs and moisturizing! i want to steam at least once a week, and i will moisturize daily without complaint. i just have to wait up a little earlier to allow me to do my hair properly in the morning. this half-hearted moisturizing isn't hurting anyone but me and izzy deserves so much better.

17 October 2010

pre-steamer thoughts...

haha! YES! i finally put in my order for a steamer!

i was really unwilling to wait any longer. i've been working (fairly) hard in school, so i figured why not treat myself! ever since DC'ing this past weekend and using my hydra-silica spritz, izzy hasn't felt nearly as dry and crackly as she was, which has me so happy. but figured a steamer wouldn't hurt, especially with the colder weather coming. i predict a freezing weather is on its way to maryland. :( dang.

if this is the case, i'm going to pay close attention to izzy. i ordered another 16 of the mozeke masque, along with some samples of a leave-in and other deep conditioners from a company from which i have yet to try. i am especially excited to try the leave-in, because i would like to start experimenting with more moisturizers.

i have such a renewed interest in izzy now that i'm ashamed to admit i stopped caring in the first place. :( looking at my drivers license, i am always so surprised to see this huge, luscious afro i just went and chopped off. my curls were so thick and BIG! it really is true: you never realize what you have until it's gone. i practically had the huge, bodacious afro i was pining for, but i couldn't see it. i could actually shake my hair. and this was all in its shrunken state... i can only imagine how it was stretched!

looking at my ID picture always gets my heart jumpstarted. i am dedicated to getting izzy back to where she was, in all her gorgeous glory! so i am super excited for my new steamer and goodies!

14 October 2010

[review] oyin handmade juices & berries nourishing herbal leave-in

ingredients:  purified water infused with horsetail, lavender, nettle, roses, and chamomile; organic flaxseeds; aloe vera juice; vegetable glycerine; essences of lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang; grapefruit seed extract; citric acid

i've had this product for maybe a year now; maybe even before i went natural. i gave my first bottle away to a natural friend who was in love with the smell (and subsequently encouraged me to taste it). a few months ago, i went to their bottling party and picked up another bottle, looking for something quick&dirty to moisturize my slowly-sprouting fade. i got maybe three uses before i stopped using this and stored it away. i decided to revisit my nearly-full bottle and now i'm ready to bang out this review.

you get a very generous 8 oz bottle for only $11, which i think is an excellent price. oyin very recently introduced sample bottles, so you can try out 2 ounces of this for $3.50. i love the idea of cute, portable size products! how cool is it to have something called juices&berries in your purse, ready to whip out in the face of sudden dryness. what i thought was especially cool was that you can buy the sample sizes of all three leave-ins as a set for ten bucks. not bad at all. i am big on options and variety, so this is very nice.

the bottle is a gorgeous deep, cobalt blue, which plays nicely with the juicy reds of the berries on the label. i really enjoy oyin's labels for their clean font. they utilize the entire space and the thick, stylized "juices & berries" just screams of this playful, retro afro-chic that is representative of the oyin brand and their fun, lovable staff.

the scent is very succinctly described in the name - juices and berries. this is a lush, sweet scent that is very natural. it smells like (and tastes like) juice. the berries temper the sweetness just enough with a hint of tartness. the staying power on this is amazing too. you can smell it fill the air when you spritz it. thank goodness the smell is delicious. you can walk around smelling like a smorgasbord of yummy berries all day.

despite all these positive things, the performance left much to be desired.

one thing immediately noticed was how it left my hands feeling. my hands felt sticky and coated and sure enough, my hair felt the same. my ears and neck where the spritz hit felt dirty, like i needed a good washing. i stopped using this when i had my fade because i didn't want a scalp that felt like that. the benefits weren't great enough (if there were any at all) to make me keep using.

i revisited again today, deciding to dampen my hair first then follow up with the spritz. i will say, i really liked how it styled my hair. it caused a bit more shrinkage than usual, but i didn't mind. my hair looked shiny and lush and i was glad that i didn't have to slather more avocado butter in my hair to make it look presentable.

but it took my hair forever to dry. my hair feels fine now, four hours later, but i couldn't help but notice how much my hair dripped. i hate the drippies with a passion, but i have been getting better at minimizing. maybe i just sprayed too much water this morning, i don't know, but having the juices & berries drip all over my face and neck and leave me sticky was not fun. i've noticed that i've had the same experience on dry hair. i don't feel as though the product sinks in quickly at all; 30 minutes later my hair is either still damp or sticky, neither of which i enjoy, nor do i feel i should have to experience.

perhaps this is all user error, seeing as how so many people seem to absolutely love this spray. regardless, i don't feel as though i should have to work with a product but so much to get the desired results, especially when there are already so many minuses. i could dilute it, but i don't feel as though i should have to. i'm not sure what i'm going to do with this product. maybe i'll try diluting it, just to say i did work with it, but if i can't make it work by the time i get to half of the bottle, it's being gifted to my roommate (who is always snooping through my hair goodies anyway).

obviously, i won't be repurchasing this. maybe the other sprays aren't as sticky. i feel as though i kind of set myself up with this one - after all, juice is sticky, so why wouldn't this be? (i know i'm reaching here, lol).

and yes, i did spray some of this into my mouth. it was all natural, so i figured why not. and yes, it do taste like juices and berries (but it has a very weird after-taste). would i do it again... probably.

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. :)

13 October 2010

[review] ORS creamy aloe shampoo

ingredients: Water Aqua , Cocamidopropyldimethylamine Propionate , Trideceth-7 Carboxylic Acid , PPG-5-Ceteth-10 Phosphate , Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate , Ammonium Laureth Sulfate , Lauramide Glucoside , Lauryl Glucoside , Polyquaternium-10 , Cocoglucoside , Glyceryl Oleate , Disodiium EDTA , Olive Oil Olea Europaea , Cetrimonium Carboxydecyl , PEG-8 Dimethicone , Cetrimonium Chloride , Sulfated Castor Oil , Lecithin , Propylene Glycol , PEG-12 Oleate , Silicone Quaternium-2 , Panthenol Succinate , Fragrance Parfum , Aloe Barbadensis Gel , Glyceryl Polymethacrylate , Propylene Glycol , Polyquaternium-7 , Cocamide MEA , Glycol Distearate , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Triethanolamine , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylparaben , Propylene Glycol , Propyl Paraben , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Green No. 3 Cl 42053 , Yellow No. 5 Cl 19140


i am happy to be getting around to this review. as i said in a few pages back, i've been using this since the beginning of my natural hair journey - and even before that. i haven't a clue why this has skipped my mind as far as reviewing goes. i suppose this was just one item in my arsenal that was just there; i never really thought about it. it never gave me any troubles, and i never had to worry about how or when to use it; i just use it when it feels right. so let's get this review started.

you can snatch up an 12.5 oz bottle of this for roughly $5-6 dollars, depending on where you shop. you can find this at your local sally's, target, walmart, beauty supply, etc. like almost all of the ORS products, the shampoo is fairly ubiquitous. it's a staple in many people's stashes, cheap, effective, and easy to find. when i first started my HHJ, i was in love with the replenishing conditioner (i even bought the salon size version). i fell off when i heard they'd changed the recipe and moved on to try other conditioners. 

*sidebar* i'm not sure if this is the same shampoo as the "aloe rid," which i have heard a few different people say. i can't find anything on it, so i'm assuming when people say aloe rid they mean creamy aloe.

standard squeeze bottle which is a little stiff. label is kinda oogleh, and the textured background screams cheap 90s to me, but i don't really have any complaints, haha. like i said, this is one item i don't think too much about. so to say that the label isn't egregiously ugly is fine with me.

the scent on this is light and fresh. it shouldn't be offensive to anyone, seeing as how you probably won't even notice it. not that i've ever had a shampoo smell stinky, LOL. 

the consistency of this is creamy, just like the name states. i love how easily workable this is. you only need a little bit to get a delicious, bubbly lather but i always end up using too much (as always). it's fairly thick, but spreads very easily. i like how easy it is to work all over my head.

when i first went natural, i used this once a month and i'm thinking of going back to it. it cleans very thoroughly. i would say that it leaves my hair only very slightly stripped (if that). i haven't had this shampoo cause me any problems with dryness. my deep conditioners usually put back the moisture easily. so i would say that this gives a very deep clean. i love this after a few weeks of styling with gel - it gets off everything. and i like seeing the soap foam up and clump my curls, lol. my hair always feels shiny and new after lathering up with this!

i would say that this is a staple and i would repurchase. i'm not a big shampoo person, so i've been using this just out of simplicity. but i realize now that i wouldn't have continued to use it if i didn't like it! :)

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. :)

[review] hairveda's hydra-silica nourishing tea mist

-pic coming soon-
ingredients (on bottle): purified water, chamomile flower water, horsetail, neem leaf, hydroxyetheyl, polysorbate 20, phthalate free fragrance.
ingredients (on site): distilled water, special herb blend, glycerin, hydroxethyl urea, polysorbate 20, germall, light fragrance.

i just got this in the mail the past weekend and i have been using it everyday since then! i had no real reason for purchasing, other than it was on sale and i was looking for something quick&easy for my dry hair. i think it was on sale for only $4.00, so why not?

like all of hairveda's products, the price point on this would be agreeable even if it weren't on sale. for $6.75, you get 4 oz of this spritz. my only complaint... the size. not that there's anything wrong with four ounces - i think it's the perfect size to pop into your purse or to test out, buuut... it isn't nearly enough for those of us who have come to love this spritz. the shelf life on this is 6 months, which is great - but can i get it to stretch that long? i've already made a sizeable dent in the amount of product and it hasn't even been a full week, but that could be because i'm heavy handed or because my pump is faulty (more below).

this tea spritz comes in a simple spray bottle, although it has a solid weight to it and the plastic is solid without being thick or heavy. the top (both the cap and stem) are sturdy and the pump is smooth and pleasing to the touch. however, my pump was broken. :/ go figure. i can get one pump out before i have to wait for it to "pop" back up fully. this is annoying. i plan on buying a bottle to transfer the product into, but i really enjoy the packaging on this product, so that disappoints me a little bit.

the label pleases me in an odd way. i say odd way because it's not a very attractive label, color wise. but i love the dusty dark brown/black because it's not a color you see too often. the colors do agree, but remind me of halloween, despite the muted-ness. the font is smooth and the information on the label is arranged neatly. they took good advantage of their space, which i adore; it makes the product seem very clean and "legit" - you can tell they invest time into their packaging.

the website describes the scent as tropical mango, which i actually didn't notice until i smelled my bottle just now. i was aware that the smell was pleasing, but since it mists out, i only caught a hint of sweetness, which i did notice and enjoy. the scent is very light and airy, with just enough sweetness. i don't know if it's mango (as i have had very little exposure to mangos, lol) but it does remind me of some kind of island fruit, which definite tones of berry. this scent is perfect - just sweet enough and very subtle. i especially like this because it isn't that "candy sweet" smell i experience in so many products. this smells very natural. love it!

i have been spritzing this on my hair once (sometimes twice!) a day and izzy has regained a softness that i'm not even sure she had before. my hair is actually touchable. it absorbs quickly and my hair feels so refreshed and happy. and the feeling lasts all day! i'd never really been into spritzes after trying oyin's juices&berries, but i am so glad i tried this! it's a fast and simple step to my regimen and i feel the effects immediately. 

another thing i like is that i can spray this on dry hair and feel the effects just minutes later. it is absorbed quickly and doesn't leave my hair feeling like it has any type of residue, and it doesn't feel sticky.

now, i will offer a small disclaimer. i notice that this product contains glycerin and i've always been a little wary of humectants. the weather here in MD has been gorgeous the past few days, so i'll be paying close attention to how it performs in colder weather. but as of right now, i don't see why this wouldn't make staple status!

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. :)

where did product reviews go!?

so i know i haven't done a product review in forever! i haven't been using a lot of new products, so i don't have much to chime in on. but i do have a few products i would like to review (with a much larger list of what i want to try).

so my goal this week is to review hairveda's hair spritz and the VS so sexy conditioner, two items i love. maybe also the oyin juices&berries and the shine&define. if i can think of anything else to review, i'll be sure to put it in the queue. :)

as for an update on izzy, my hair is sooo deliciously soft now! i haven't been doing anything too differently. gave up my gel for moisturizer in the morning, and added hairveda's tea spritzer to my routine. the tea spritzer may be working miracles on izzy! i am loving it! this might be able to get me through the winter months (until i get my steamer that is!)

how is your hair doing? :)

03 October 2010

dear izzy, i still want to marry my denman.

a post dedicated to my dearest izzy. :)

this is the reaffirmation i have been looking for in the past few weeks.

i decided to go home and do laundry (for free) this weekend, and while handling my clothes, why not take this time to treat izzy to the deep conditioning i cheated her out of last week? i shampooed off a week of styling with gel, excited to see the suds bubble up through my curlies. i haven't had a good shampoo in what seems like forever, and i've always loved shampooing my hair.

speaking of shampoo, right now my current staple is ORS creamy aloe, simply because i don't have anything else to use. i'm not sure why i haven't reviewed it yet, because i think it's a great shampoo. i've been using it since day 1 of my natural journey. so i think it's safe to say it'll be a lifetime staple out of simplicity and effectiveness. :) i do still want to buy a full size of the shampoo i got from lush earlier this year.


i slathered on a generous glob of jessicurl weekly deep treatment and worked it through. i am still working with this for my review; i feel this may be more of a protein conditioner than moisturizing one, which is fairly new for me. and proceeded to brush it through with my denman. a week of playing in and pulling at my coils had me convinced that i was in dire need of a good detangling.

i fell in love with my denman all over again.

it glided through my hair, clumping them sooo beautifully that my first thought was: "there's no way i can cut izzy again." nope, i just can't do it. it was love - seeing everything coiled, clumped, and juicy. i am ready to finally grow izzy out and see her in her full glory - i am so impatient for an afro. 

i really wish i could've taken pictures - it was such a unique, gorgeous site. natural hair is one of those amazing things where the more you see it, the more you grow to love it. there's just something so profoundly gorgeous about seeing the twists and turns that spring from your scalp, in knowing that you are perfectly beautiful without even trying... that your beauty is natural, and no one can take that from you. :)

sigh. i was feeling it just now, lol.

even more of a unique site is seeing my blonde grow out... my hair has grown over an inch, two in some spots. i don't really know how much you're meant to get in a month, but seeing my blonde ends just suddenly shift into my dark brown is such a cool sight. i've been thinking of coloring again soon, but i'm going to wait until i order my steamer. i don't feel like committing to color again unless i know i'm armed to take care of it. i also plan to order some moisturizers from jasmine's beauty and bath and qhemet, just to see what's out there.

speaking of buying more things... Mozeke is having a sale this wednesday! 30% off! i'd been meaning to order more of the moisturizing masque, so this is especially delicious! :) this would also be the perfect time to try out a few of their samples, if you were interested!

loving this natural life!