Tag Archives: beauty

Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

There is so much hype about Miss Jessie’s hair products that I finally caved in and decided to see what all the fuss was about. While I greatly admire Miko and Titi Branch, the stalwart and savvy sister duo who co-founded Miss Jessie’s, their Curly Buttercreme left me feeling like a bandwagon fool!

Instructions: Apply a nickel-sized dollop to instantly soften dry, crunchy curls. Excellent for taming hairline edges, moisturizing pony puffs, two strand twists, coils, braids, cornrows, naturals. Great for: 2 Strand Twists, Pony Puffs, Braids, Hairline Grooming Creme, Short Naturals and Fades, Growing Out Natural Hair.

First, if you are sensitive to strong scents, beware! This Buttercreme is spiked with the essence of peppermint and is strong enough to double as smelling salts! Although the consistency of the product is creamy and plenty thick, you will definitely need more than a nickel-sized dollop, even for short hair. Second, you should not put too much stock in most of the claims. The product failed to define my curls and also failed to tame my edges.

The first time I used the Buttercreme, I followed the instructions as directed. Although my natural hair felt soft, it didn’t feel any more soft than usual. Neither did I feel like it hydrated my curls and coils. In fact, only an hour or two later, my hair frizzed up like I was a Berenstain Bear!

The second time I used the Curly Buttercreme, I was more heavy handed. Mistake! Don’t over-saturate your hair! My hair felt greasy and downright gross. The product seemed to just sit on my hair instead of actually moisturize it.

The ingredients also left much to be desired: acetylated lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum, to name a few. On top of all this, the curly buttercreme costs $9.00 for a meager 2 oz. container, a whopping $32.00 for a mere 8 oz. jar, and a staggering $58.00 for only 16 oz. of product!

Have you picked yourself up off the floor, yet? Don’t worry, I’ll wait … Honestly, I do not understand why this product is so expensive, especially for less than mediocre results.

My advice? Don’t fall for the hype. Or, if you feel you absolutely must try this buttercreme, order a free sample BEFORE you decide to invest in one of the larger sizes! Otherwise, your pocketbook will be (justifiably) upset with you, and your hair will cry, “Foul!”

Me? I’m moving on. I suggest you do the same. Seriously. If I see any of you in Target putting this in your hand basket, I’m going to tackle you and pin you to the ground until you shout, “Uncle!” 

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The Baggy Method vs. The Greenhouse Effect

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

The Baggy Method
The Baggy Method is a hair care method that offers a creative solution for dry hair by seeking to promote hair growth by trapping in much-needed moisture. It allows you to prevent damage to your delicate tresses, especially your ends. If you suffer from dry hair or split ends, simply apply a moisturizer (or your favorite leave-in) to the ends of your hair. Or, if necessary, (or depending on your preference) to your whole head. Then, add your favorite oil or butter to seal in the moisture.

Place a plastic processing cap over your whole head. If only baggying your ends, you can use saran wrap or a ziplock sandwich bag and then secure it with a ribbon tie or an ouchless hair elastic. Just make sure the tie or elastic is on the wrap or bag and NOT your hair! For additional nighttime protection, add your usual satin scarf or silk wrap. Keep covered for 3-4 hours, or overnight, if you wish. Then, remove the wrap/bag and style your hair accordingly.

The Greenhouse Effect
The Greenhouse Effect (GHE), unlike the Baggy Method, DOES NOT use moisturizers or leave-ins. It encourages the use of shampoos and conditioners that are 100% natural. And, instead of using commercial, chemical-based products, the GHE relies on body heat to stimulate the sebum production of your own scalp.

To use this technique, simply apply an all natural oil and/or butter to dry hair. To jump start the process (or if you do not produce enough body heat on your own), you can also lightly mist your hair with water prior to adding an all natural oil or butter. Make sure your hair is damp, not wetPlace a plastic processing cap over your whole head. Secure the cap with a satin scarf or silk wrap. Add another satin or silk wrap, or a knit cap or beanie to produce even more body heat. The steamy, tropical environment will encourage your hair to stay moist and retain length. You should see water droplets on the processing cap when you remove it in the morning.

The next day, after you remove the cap and scarf/wrap, you can style your hair any way you choose. Just let it air dry. Or, you can prep your hair the night before (i.e., with braids/twists) prior to using the GHE for a braid- or twist-out the following morning. The choice is yours. The key is frequency. The more you do it, the better your chances for optimum moisture and growth.

Some Helpful Tips
Tip #1: Either method is suitable for both natural and relaxed beauties alike. So, take your pick! These techniques will help naturalistas retain more moisture while making the new growth of relaxed divas more manageable. Options, anyone?
Tip #2: Use a processing cap instead of a grocery bag. Grocery bags have chemicals and toxins in them that are not worth the risk. Besides, you can get a bag of 15 processing caps from Wal-mart for only one buck! Parlez-vous good deal?
Tip #3: Don’t overdo it! Start with 2-3 days a week to see how your hair responds, then build up to 4-5 days a week (if necessary). Remember, you cannot baggy your hair 24/7.Your hair needs to breathe. Otherwise, your strands will weaken, become overly elastic, and break. Who wants that?

P.S. I started a growth challenge on the first of June, using a combination of these methods. I will post my progress after three months (in September). Stay tuned!

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Filed under Hair Regimens

AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL

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I received  NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL Shampoo and Conditioner for free from Smiley360 in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Aveeno’s new hair care collection, NOURISH+, features a product line that focuses on five target areas: (1) NOURISH+ MOISTURE, (2) NOURISH+ SHINE, (3) NOURISH+ STRENGTHEN, (4) NOURISH+ VOLUMIZE, and (5) NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL.

Although I don’t have problems with dandruff, I have had severe seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions are treated in much the same way. However, I suffered for almost three years to no avail until I discovered the wonders of castor oil, which unilaterally reversed most of my scalp condition. Nevertheless, I get an occasional case of the “itches” or fall off the wagon and revert back into extreme product junkyism, which tends to exacerbate the problem. Ahem …  don’t judge! So, I was excited to see what the AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL line could do. 

Available in a shampoo, conditioner, or 2-in-1, Aveeno’s dandruff control products have a lot to offer. Ever the skeptic, I’ve never really bought into the concept of most 2-in-1 products. It always seemed like a company trying to make the Grand Canyon disappear without the smoke and mirrors. And, I always worry that expecting one product to both cleanse and condition my hair would be asking for a bit too much. So, I opted to try the shampoo and conditioner. However, all three products combine an anti-dandruff ingredient (pyrithione zinc) with ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat Complex for flake-free hair that is both healthy and beautiful.

The scent of the shampoo and conditioner is lovely. It is mildly but pleasantly scented, like a couture eau de parfum without having to shell out the big bucks. Not at all like the obnoxious fruity fumes of some other brands. I won’t name names, but you know what I mean. Seriously, why would I want my hair to smell like peaches and cream or chocolate-covered bananas? What am I, twelve?

The consistency of the product, for me, is perfect … not too runny or too thick. The unique combination of oat peptide and oat extract instantly soothed my itchy scalp. I couldn’t believe how quickly it worked. Although the shampoo DOES contain sulfates, which I am not a huge fan of, it did not overly lather my tresses. In fact, it almost acted like my expensive sulfate-free shampoo. Score! I was pleasantly surprised that the shampoo left my hair so baby soft and manageable, and all before I used the conditioner! My scalp, too, felt clean and soothed without being stripped of its much-needed moisture.

The first time I used the products, I pre-pooed my hair overnight with castor oil and a few drops of  rosemary essential oil. The second time, I used the products without any other accoutrements and decided not to pre-poo at all. Either way, the shampoo and conditioner truly nourished my hair. It was strong enough to rid me of a seborrheic dermatitis flare-up, yet gentle enough to soothe my scalp, and all while infusing moisture into my dry strands at the same time. I also noticed less shedding (a HUGE plus)! As a result, I would definitely recommend this product, especially for those with sensitive, dry, or itchy scalps.

So, forget about standing in the hair care aisle, hunched over multiple products, trying to choose between a shampoo and conditioner that can combat dandruff or produce healthy-looking hair. The AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL hair care collection does both! And, on top of all that, it’s gentle on color-treated hair. What could be better? How about a $3.00 coupon?

GO HERE for a COUPON: AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL.

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Elasta QP Glaze (Conditioning Shining Gel)

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I stumbled across an old jar of Elasta QP Glaze in my stash (from when I was relaxed) and thought I’d see how it would work on my newly natural hair. This is definitely a “conditioning shining gel.” It left my hair soft with a crazy amount of shine. No kidding! It gave better shine than an expensive shine serum. And, believe me, I’ve bought plenty over the years. So, be careful not to add too much, or it will leave your hair feeling too oily. I know! It’s hard to believe, but it’s the gospel truth!

I think this glaze is perfect for those who can’t or don’t use gels in their hair care routine. Unlike a traditional gel, Elasta QP Glaze won’t leave your hair crunchy or hard to the touch. Of course, the downside is that it doesn’t have a strong hold, but if you only want a light hold, that shouldn’t be a problem.

I truly love this product! In fact, I think I like it more now that I am natural. It locked in the moisture in my hair all day long and left my coils feeling silky. I layered it on top of my moisturizer and a light oil. It REALLY defined my old twist-out. It also worked well to smooth and de-frizz my edges. And, this washes out easily. I had absolutely NO product build-up!

While this glaze DOES have mineral oil in it, which I am not a huge fan of, this conditioning gel DOES NOT contain wax, petrolatum, or alcohol. Also, the new vitamin-rich formula now has an organic infusion of olive oil and various hair-healthy vitamins. So, I think I will be adding this into my rotation when I don’t want to use my homemade eco styler custard. And, I think you may want to do the same!    ;o)

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Hair Growth Data Tracking and My One-month Length Check

Hello, my fellow Curly Cuties! It’s been a month since I Big Chopped. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how much my hair has grown. Post my Big Chop, most of my hair was 3.0 inches long with my shortest strands (on the side of my head) at about 2.5 inches. In four weeks’ time, my hair grew (wait for it …) a whole inch! I could hardly believe it. An entire inch in just one month!1-Month Length Check - 1-inch When my hair was relaxed, I would be happy to get a 1/4 inch of hair growth each month. Most times, if I was lucky, I just managed to maintain the length I already had. Other times, I was a little less lucky and experienced hair breakage. So, I am ecstatic about an inch of growth in a month. And, for all those type-A personalities out there, like me, who are looking for a way to systematically chart their hair growth, check out Shastrix’s advanced Excel spreadsheet for “Managing Hair Growth Data” HERE.

Her creation makes charting your hair management data a breeze. From the graphs that display your hair growth rate and length goals to the calculations that help you find your terminal length, there is plenty to please trichology nerds and hair divas alike. If you are not confident with Excel, don’t worry. Just stick to only editing the GREEN highlighted cells.

The first time you use the spreadsheet, all you have to do is input the lengths required to reach your various hair goals in the appropriate column and update your spreadsheet as you do length checks. Over time, it will even determine your average rate of hair growth. Just make sure that you are consistent in how you measure to receive accurate results.

I gotta say, I’m looking forward to what the future holds … twist outs beware!

 

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Big Chop D-R-A-M-A!!!

I know … I know … My plan was to transition for a year (maybe even two) so that I wouldn’t have to BC (big chop) and be left with super short hair. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a hair dilemma after uninstalling some braids over the holidays. Ok, I had a HUGE hair catastrophe! I had planned to take out my braids in a few days, but I got a call from a potential employer. On a Wednesday, I found out that I had a job interview scheduled for Friday. So, I immediately started to take out my braids. It took me two days. In fact, I didn’t finish until late Thursday night. So, I wrapped my hair with a satin scarf until I could wash my hair the next day (Friday morning), the day of my interview.

I finger detangled my hair, but unfortunately I made the mistake of using a new product in my hair while in braids. I know, a big no, no! I had been seduced by the almighty dry shampoo. The moment I stepped into the shower and tried to cleanse my hair, my strands locked and seized up on me! My fine strands are already highly prone to being tangled, but I was confident that I would be able to get the remaining tangles out when I conditioned my hair. So, I conditioned, deep conditioned, and even sprayed in a leave-in.

I attempted to detangle for another half hour to no avail. Mortified, I called my mom for back up. She immediately came to my rescue (or at least attempted to). She massaged argan oil into my matted tresses. After removing some of the milder tangles, I gained confidence but, after an hour of her diligently working to detangle the more deeply matted areas of my hair, it became painfully apparent to me that my relaxed hair had inadvertently “locked”.

Someone started crying … To my surprise it wasn’t me. It was my mother! I told her to cut my hair. She said my hair was too long and she couldn’t. I told her it was just hair and that it would grow back, but she was too scared. I knew what had to be done and, after working another ten to fifteen minutes on my tangles, so did she. We had both come to the same painful conclusion … my hair was too far gone.

So, my mother grabbed a pair of hair shears and lopped off eight inches of my twelve-inch hair in sections. Here is one of the most matted sections.IMG_2603To be honest, I think the process was more painful for my mom than it was for me. But, just imagine. This was all on the morning of my interview. I couldn’t believe the horrible timing! I blow dryed and flat ironed my hair, but it looked horrible. After only ten minutes, the humidity in my bathroom had caused my just-flat-ironed hair to curl up again!

My hair was so short, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Thankfully, my mom knew how to curl short hair. She managed to create this look for me below. It wasn’t my finest hair moment, but given what had transpired the previous three hours of that morning, it was something I could live with. I went to my interview feeling semi-confident. IMG_2146_ppUpdate (2/6/13): After about a month, the two textures drove me nuts! It was like I was holding onto the relaxed ends as a crutch. So, while every one was sleeping, I chopped off the remaining two to three inches of relaxed hair (mostly my bangs and a few stray relaxed ends in the back)!

IMG_2609

I was left with hair that was only two-and-a-half to three inches in length! While I have never had “long” hair, I also have never had super short hair. Most of my life, my hair has been shoulder length or slightly longer (arm pit length at its longest). So, my new do was a shocker to me and my family. BIG CHOP #2

It doesn’t look like much, but after all was said and done, I lost this much hair (from my initial hair catastrophe and final chop)! IMG_2605And, yes, I saved it in a little Ziploc bag.IMG_2598What can I say? I’m a little sentimental!

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Transitioning with Braids

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I’ve decided to braid my hair for the next couple of months, as I transition, to make the process a little bit easier. I used to wear braids all the time in college. They really helped my hair to grow a lot after I unintentionally Big Chopped after a horrible experience at a hair salon (don’t ask). The braids took 14 hours (because I did them myself), but I love them!

Braids 3 Candids

Braid Care

  1. MoisturizeWhen hair is in braids, it tends to lose moisture at a faster rate, making it easier to fall out or become damaged. To prevent your strands from becoming overly dry, spritz them with a store-bought braid spray or your own DIY moisturizing concoction.
  2. Keep Braids Clean: Rinse hair with diluted shampoo while in the shower every 10-14 days to keep braids looking fresh. Pay particular attention to your scalp. Gently massage your scalp to release any debris, and be careful not to tug on your hair too much. Avoid using too much product throughout the week, which can cause build-up or make your hair start to knot up at the roots as your new growth emerges. If you have overdone it with your product use or simply neglected your braids, it is often best to take out old braids and re-braid them to avoid damage. 
  3. Protect Your BraidsBefore you go to bed at night, cover your braids with a silk or satin scarf. This will prevent them from loosening and rubbing against harsh fibers as you sleep.

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Filed under Hair Styles & Tips, Transitioning