Tag Archives: deep conditioner

The MAX Hydration Method … Modified! (A DETAILED OVERVIEW)

FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), 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!
After my successful experiment with a baking soda scalp treatment back in August, I finally decided to take the plunge and try the Max Hydration Method (MHM). This strategic hair moisturization method was created by (no longer active) YouTuber Pinke Cube. The MHM was originally designed for type 4c low porosity hair, but it has been used by those with type 3 and even type 2 hair hair. The theory is that once maximum hydration is obtained, your dry, frizzy, and undefined curls and coils will be fully hydrated, well-defined, free of tangles and single strand knots, less prone to breakage, and therefore more easily able to retain length.
Dry, tangled hair has plagued me since the beginning of my second year as a natural. Needless to say I was intrigued! I did extensive research and quickly realized there was more involved than I had thought. The MHM involves an intense 4-step process over the course of 7 days. See the traditional MHM below.


    1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: If this is your first time attempting the MHM, you are supposed to start with a Cherry Lola Treatment (CLT). This protein treatment was created by UK natural hair blogger Cherry Lola in 2009 to help strengthen hair follicles and prevent damage. Because I saw recipe after recipe with ingredients like bananas, molasses, and the like, I knew immediately that I would skip this step. However, after a super deep research dive, I found out that the original CLT only has 3 ingredients (see the original recipe below). The other ingredients likely are an amalgamation of the CLT and a DIY Carmel Treatment. The original Carmel Deep Reconstructing Treatment is by E’TAE. To apply the CLT, mix together all of the ingredients and apply it to your entire head of hair. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse out completely. This protein treatment should be done bi-weekly (every two weeks), monthly, or how frequently your hair requires (i.e., once a quarter).Several people who use the CLT, especially those with high porosity hair, reduce the baking soda and liquid amino acids to 2 TBSP each.
      NOTE #1: (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—Some MHM users do an optional overnight deep conditioning session (after the CLT) to further encourage increased hydration.
      NOTE #2: The NEXT STEPS are intended to be done EVERY DAY for 7 consecutive days!
    2. CLARIFY: After an initial CLT, you must then clarify your hair. This is usually done the next day (after the CLT). You can either do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (with a 50:50 ratio of ACV to distilled water) or a baking soda treatment (with 2 TBSP of baking soda, 2 oz. of conditioner, and 4 oz. of distilled water). Allow the ACV rinse OR baking soda treatment to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes. Recommended conditioners include: [i.] Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler, [ii.]  Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls Detangling Conditioner, [iii.] Curls Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Deep Conditioner, [iv.] Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls Leave-in Hair Conditioner, [v.] Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment, [vi.] Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, [vii.] Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, [viii.] Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment in Citrus Lavender, Island Fantasy, or Unscented, [ix.] Botanical Skin Works Leave-in Conditioner, [x.] Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, [xi.] Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner, and [xii.] Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
      NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, opt for the ACV rinse. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead, using one of the recommended conditioners!
    3. CO-WASH & DETANGLE: Use one of the “approved” conditioners (above) to co-wash your hair. Also, gently detangle your hair during this step.
      Some MHM users do an overnight deep conditioning session (in lieu of co-washing) to further encourage increased hydration. However, under the original MHM regimen, this is an optional step. 
    4. CLAY RINSE: After co-washing (or deep conditioning) and detangling, apply a clay mix thoroughly to your hair and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Recommended clays include: [i.] Bentonite clay, [ii.]  Rhassoul (aka Ghassoul) clay [iii.] European clay, and [iv.] French green clay. However, if you don’t want to create your own clay rinse, you can buy a pre-made clay hair wash by Terressentials. To make the clay rinse, combine 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil.
      NOTE: The clay rinse recipe (above) provides rough measurements as the exact amount will depend upon the length and density of your hair.
    5. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: Apply your leave-ins to soaking wet hair in sections from root to tip. Mist your hair with water if it starts to dry out. Recommended gels/stylers include: [i.] Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, [ii.] Herbal Choice Mari Hair Styling GEL for Him & Her,  [iii.] Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel, [iv.] Epiphany Naturals Curly Creme with Argan Oil, [v.] Kinky curly Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel, [vi.] .Koils by Nature Herbal Curl Defining Gel, and [vii.] Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Style your hair according to personal tastes (i.e., in a wash ‘n go, twist-out, or stretched style).
      NOTE #1: With the MHM, products must be layered onto the hair via the Liquid Cream Oil (LCO) or Liquid Cream Oil Cream (LCOC) methods. A botanical gel or curl definer can then be applied on top as the final layer. Because oils are occlusive, it is believed that the LOC method should NEVER be used as it could prevent water-based moisturizing products from penetrating and hydrating your strands. 
      NOTE #2: 
      Repeat steps #2-#5 DAILY for 7 consecutive days (or at least every 2-3 days), depending upon your hair’s needs. Once your hair reaches “max hydration,” you can scale back on how frequently you utilize the MHM. For more detailed information about the traditional MHM, read this post from the creator Pinke Cube, herself, in the Black Hair Medium forum.



  1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: Now that I know the CLT only contains plain yogurt, baking soda, and liquid amino acids, I may try my hand at the treatment sometime in the near future. However, for the month that I chose to do a modified version of the MHM, I elected to skip this step entirely. I did this to save time and because I had already successfully given myself several intense baking soda scalp treatments.
    NOTE: To save time, I performed all of the next steps TWICE a week instead of for 7 consecutive days!
  2. CLARIFY: Because I have have low porosity hair, I did the baking soda treatment (instead of an ACV rinse) by combining 2 TBSP of baking soda in a large spray bottle with 2 oz. of conditioner and 4 oz. of distilled water. Because I didn’t have any of the “approved” conditioners on hand in my stash, and I already had more product than I care to admit in my beauty cabinet, I didn’t want to purchase any new product. As a result, I just used what I hand on hand: VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner. The combination of the Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner with the baking soda was life-altering! LIFE-ALTERING, I SAY!!! All I did was divide my hair into quadrants and apply the concoction to each section (from root to tip). I smoothed it all over my strands, secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot (to keep it from tangling and to help me work in manageable sections), and left the mix in my hair for 30 minutes. After half an hour, I hopped in the shower, and rinsed the mixture from each quadrant. My hair was instantaneously tangle-free, smooth, and more defined. I finger detangled my hair while in the shower, but there was truly no need. My fingers literally glided through my hair from root to ends! I was super excited because this was only the FIRST step! Honestly, even though this was only the beginning, I was already sold!
    NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, an ACV rinse is recommended. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead (like I did), using one of the recommended conditioners (listed above under step #2 for the traditional max hydration method).
  3. CO-WASH: Because my hair felt so silky, I opted to skip this step every time I used the MHM. I went straight to the deep conditioning step (after clarifying my hair with the baking soda treatment).
  4. OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT: Although an optional overnight deep conditioning session is recommended to expedite the hydration process, unless I am utilizing the Baggy Method or the GHE to correct a specific hair issue, I don’t believe in overnight hair treatments (i.e., where product is left in your hair for hours on end). Also, scientifically speaking, after a maximum of 30 minutes, your hair has adsorbed all that it can, so there is no need to deep condition past the 30-minute marker. I rotated a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hair mask that contained light protein to maintain the integrity of my hair. So, on MY FIRST HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment, and on MY SECOND HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque. I felt that this balanced my hair appropriately. Each time, I applied the deep conditioner to my hair in quadrants and secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot. Then, I donned a processing cap and sat under my stand bonnet dryer for 30 minutes before rinsing each section. At this point, my hair felt twice as hydrated as it did in the clarifying step, and I can hardly believe it.
    NOTE #1: Both my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment and my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque contain “dimethicone.” Under the MHM, silicones generally are not permitted due to the tendency to have to use harsh cleansers to remove them fully from one’s hair. However, because I have fine hair, I’ve experienced no difficulty with removing any buildup from my hair. By step #5, I’m pretty confident my hair is completely free of all product and residue.
    NOTE #2: Here is the full list of “banned” ingredients: (i.) hydrolyzed wheat protein/peptides—considered “bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair,”(ii.) panthenol/pro-Vitamin B5—because it “acts like protein” and can cause build-up, (iii.) triethanolamine (TEA) and other ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA, etc.—because these are drying alcohols derived from ethanol, which can cause long-term damage to the integrity of one’s hair with prolonged use, (iv.) mineral oil and petroleum jelly—because the residue they tend to create is difficult to remove without the use of harsh shampoos, (v.) silicones/polyquaternium—often require sulfate shampoos to remove product buildup and residue, (vi.) salts and sulfates—leave hair parched and dehydrated, and (vii.) lye, i.e., sodium (NaOH) or potassium (KOH) hydroxide—permanently damages hair after prolonged use.
  5. CLAY RINSE: I like to use bentonite clay because it is inexpensive and easily accessible. The original rough measurements for the clay rinse call for 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil. Because I have fine hair, I used ½ cup of bentonite clay with 1 cup of very warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil. This makes enough for two generous applications (for me). However, if you have very thick (or long) hair, I would suggest starting out with the larger measurements from the original clay rinse recipe. I apply the clay to my hair in quadrants and once again secure each quadrant into a Bantu knot when I am done. I leave the clay in my hair for 30 minutes and thoroughly rinse each quadrant, making sure not to miss my front hairline and the nape of my neck. By this time (after just ONE application), my curls are popping! Even the stubborn 4B coils above my ears and near my temples! My hair felt soft, looked SUPER defined, was COMPLETELY tangle-free, and even slightly elongated.
    NOTE: NEVER use metal bowls or spoons when using clay as it absorbs the metal and makes the mix less effective.
  6. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: After rinsing the clay thoroughly, while my hair is still wet, I applied my leave-ins of choice via the LCO method. I use the following: (i.) a mist of additional water, if necessary, or a DIY leave-in like my multi-use beauty spritz or super moisturizing lavender spritz. Then, I add (ii.) a creamy product like Care Free Curl Activator or Naturally Silk Elements Whipped Curl Cream. Last, I use (iii.) a natural oil like extra virgin olive oil or castor oil, or a serum like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6: I utilized the MHM twice a week (about every 3 days) due to my busy schedule, lifestyle, and complete lack of patience in utilizing this effective but time-consuming method every day. Despite not using it every day, I used it twice a week for an entire month, and I received amazing results. if you have extremely low porosity hair like mine or hair that seriously struggles to remain hydrated or retain length in spite of your most Herculean hair care efforts, I would definitely recommend giving this hair regimen a try.



  • If you choose to try the TRADITIONAL MHM, I recommend doing this on the weekend (or your day off) so that you can get a true sense of how long it takes you (from start to finish) to do all of the steps. It takes me 3-3½ hours to do the MODIFIED version of the MHM. So, try not to start it unless you have the time to dedicate to the requisites of the regime.
  • The CLT IS NOT done every time you do the regimen. However, it can be done at any point, after starting the regimen (i.e., monthly or quarterly), depending on your hair’s needs.
  • If you have high porosity hair, consider reducing the amount of some of the ingredients or diminishing the timing of each step (i.e., instead of 30 minutes, try 15).

Leave a comment

Filed under Hair Regimens

The HONEY BLOWOUT Honey Treatment on Natural Hair

FTC Disclaimer

I received The Honey Blowout Honey Treatment for free 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!



The Honey Blowout Honey Treatment was created by Philadelphia native, Carla Clarkson, (aka “The Hair Maven”).  Honey Blowout is a treatment for all hair types whether straight, wavy, curly, or chemically treated (e.g., permanent hair color, relaxers ,etc). It can be used as a (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner.


Ingredients: water, honey complex, aloe complex, ethal, pure honey, honey/miel, essential oils, vitamin e oil, mild fragrance, natural coloring

Directions: Shake well. Apply from ends up to root on wet hair. Comb through using a wide tooth comb. Apply sulfate-free hydrating shampoo* on top of treatment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Last, apply The Honey Blowout and comb through. Let sit for 3 minutes. Blow dry and style. 

*Honey Blowout will still work with a regular moisturizing shampoo.



If used as a deep conditioner, apply the Honey Blowout to wet hair, comb through, add a processing cap, and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes. If you do not have a bonnet dryer, use your body heat to allow the product to penetrate your strands and let the product sit on your hair for an hour. If used as a co-wash, apply to wet hair, massage scalp, and work though product with a wide-tooth comb (or smooth curls with fingertips). Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Repeat if additional cleansing is needed.

According to the company website, best results are achieved when the Honey Blowout Honey Treatment is layered underneath the KeraCare Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo. Clarkson recommends following up with the Matrix Sleek Look Smooth Conditioner, blow drying the hair, and then finishing with the H2Pro Professional Ceramic Flat Iron by flat ironing the hair via small sections.

In an effort to prevent premature damage to my fine, fragile hair, I haven’t flat-ironed my hair in 2 years! So, I opted to use the product as a pre-poo and final conditioning treatment prior to blow drying my hair. As a result, I saturated my hair with water with my Waterpik handheld shower head, applied the Honey Blowout from ends to roots, then I layered on my Pantene Moisture Boost Shampoo. I gently lathered both products, rinsed, and repeated the process. Next, I applied my Pantene Moisture Boost Conditioner. Finally, I applied the Honey Blowout one more time, let the product sit on my hair for 3 minutes as a light conditioning treatment, rinsed my hair thoroughly, and then blow dried my hair. if you’re blow dryer-challenged like I am, watch this tutorial. This is the blow drying method I now use, and it works extremely well, especially for fine or kinky hair.

My hair felt soft and silky after only one use. After the second repetition, my hair was 50% detangled. I also noticed that the product seemed to slightly elongate my curls, so I think this would work well even if I left my hair in its natural kinky, coily, curly state. However, the instructions are a little confusing and contradictory, depending on where you look. Even on the company website, the instructions vary. The following video (from the product’s creator) is probably the least confusing one that I found, explaining how to use the product.


  • pH balanced
  • Adds shine
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Strengthens and fortifies hair
  • Has a built-in heat protectant
  • Smooths hair and prevents frizz
  • Contains no parabens or preservatives
  • Can be used with color-treated hair
  • Can be used with sulfate-free or SLS shampoo
  • Great for ALL hair types (straight, wavy, or curly)
  • Can be used to condition and revive extension hair
  • Can be used for multiple purposes (e.g.,  (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner)


  • Cost ($25 for a 12 oz bottle)
  • Instructions are a little confusing
  • Label isn’t water-repellent so it smears after being left in shower after only 1 use

Although this product is a little pricey, considering I only used about ½ an ounce of total product after two lathers and one final conditioning treatment, I think the  price offers great value. Even if you blow dry your hair weekly, one bottle should last you at least 3 months. Since I have fine hair, I will likely get about 6 months of use out of one 12 oz bottle (if used weekly). And, given, how great this product performed for a blow-out, I’m confident it would work wonders on flat ironed hair as well as on curly/coily hair textures as a deep conditioning treatment.

Want to see my entire process? Watch the video below …


Filed under Product Reviews

Quick Tip #17: Use Coconut Oil CAUTIOUSLY!

FTC Disclaimer
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!


Fresh Coconuts (Set of 3)

Ok, scientifically coconut oil IS NOT a protein but, in a sense, I feel like it behaves like one because it contains lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid that binds easily to protein in hair). Because of this, coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft (due to its low molecular weight), reducing protein loss and strengthening the hair’s structure. It also creates a “hardening effect” due to its ability to change viscosity so quickly (i.e., from a liquid to a solid state) at low temperatures. As a result, harsh winter winds, for example, can create stiff hair very quickly. In addition, repeated use of coconut oil can cause protein build-up, drastically reducing hair’s elasticity and causing follicles to become dull, dry, brittle, easily tangled, and more prone to breakage.

Have you been overusing coconut oil? If so, consider utilizing a deep conditioner or moisturizing hair mask to restore the protein:moisture balance of your hair. Need a complete restart? Try a reconstructor instead.


Leave a comment

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

Especially Hair Enhance Daily Conditioner & Moisture Foundation Deep Treatment

FTC Disclaimer

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 was introduced to Especially Hair’s products via My Natural Sistas. I won two of their Enhance Daily Conditioners and two of their Moisture Foundation Deep Treatments via one of their giveaways! This was my first time winning an online giveaway, so I was extremely excited. I wanted to use up some of the products in my stash first, so it took me a while to actually open and use these products. However, I have now been using these products for the last two months, so I wanted to share this brand and their line with you now that I have a better sense of what their products can do.


Enhance Daily Conditioner 


Water (Aqua) – Acetic Acid (Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)* – Glycerin – Propylene Glycol – Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil – Proprietary Essential Oil Blend – Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract – Verbascum Thapsus (Mullein) Leaf Extract – Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract – Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice – Carrageenan.

*Certified organic by Organic Certifiers.


Apply to dry hair.

  1. Squeeze Enhance from the bottle onto hair and scalp in sections. Use the applicator tip while massaging gently to distribute throughout.
  2. Apply to hairline, forehead, sides, and base of neck. Gently smooth from the hairline back toward the ends of hair.
  3. Comb to distribute product.
  4. Air dry, and style as desired.

For best results, use full Especially Hair conditioning system, including our Moisture Foundation Deep Treatment.

Especially Hair’s Enhance Daily Conditioner is a lightweight conditioner designed to reawaken curls for second- and third-day styling, control frizz, and prevent build up for children and adults alike! I love that it is specially blended with botanical extracts and amino acids to maintain optimum moisture levels for my hair and scalp while increasing volume, shine, and manageability. However, application is quite fussy given that it comes in a bottle with an applicator tip instead of as a spray bottle. Application would be so much easier if I didn’t have to transfer it to a spray bottle for more even distribution.

Also, as soon as I opened the bottle, I smelled the apple cider vinegar. This may be off-putting for some. However, the smell does eventually dissipate (usually within an hour). Because this conditioner is designed for everyday use, I like how lightweight it is. Unfortunately, though, it did absolutely nothing for my hair. My hair didn’t feel more moisturized or more manageable than usual after using this leave-in. And, given the steep $17 price tag for only 4 oz. (118 ml) of product, this is not something I would ever purchase in the future as I receive exponentially better results from my DIY lavender hair spritz for four times the quantity at a fraction of the price!

Enhance Moisture Foundation Deep Treatment


Glycerin – Water (Aqua) – Butylene Glycol – Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil – Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Seed Oil – Acetic Acid (Organic Apple Cider Vinegar) – Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil – Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk – Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Behentrimonium Chloride – Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Dicetyl Phosphate (and) Ceteth-10 Phosphate – Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil – Fragrance – Dimethicone – Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil – Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5) – Quaternium-91 (and) Cetrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol – Isopropyl Mystate – Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract – Carrageenan – Hydroxyethylcellulose – Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract – Verbascum Thapsus (Mullein) Leaf Extract – Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract – Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice – Phenoxyethanol.


LEAVE-IN: COILY – CURLY | Apply to wet hair.  1) Using palms of hands, apply Moisture Foundation to hairline, forehead, sides, and base of neck. Gently smooth from the hairline back toward the ends of hair.  2) Section hair, and generously apply from root to tip.  3) Comb to distribute product.  4) Air dry, and style as desired.

RINSE-OUT: WAVY  –  HEAT APPLICATION | Apply to wet hair. 1) Using palms of hands, apply Moisture Foundation to hairline, forehead, sides, and base of neck. Gently smooth from the hairline back toward the ends of hair.  2) Section hair, and generously apply from root to tip.  3) Comb to distribute product.  4) Leave in for 3-5 minutes.  5) Lightly rinse.  6) Style as desired.

For best results, use full Especially Hair conditioning system, including our Enhance Daily Conditioner.

Especially Hair’s Moisture Foundation Deep Treatment is a hair masque that aims to solve the problems many curly- and wavy-haired gals experience while trying to create the perfect wash ‘n go. This premium deep treatment is infused with panthenol (aka vitamin B5), argan oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils to moisturize and condition the hair, allowing for easy detangling in 15 minutes or less! It also claims to leave hair feeling thicker and more voluminous while repairing damage from heat styling, chemicals, and harmful UV rays. Moisture Foundation can be used as a leave-in to protect from potential damage from daily styling, or chlorine or saltwater. Or, it can be used as a wash-out deep conditioner to reverse excessive dryness.

Weighing in at 8.5 oz (250 ml), this product is twice as costly as Especially Hair’s Enhance Daily Conditioner. However, here, the price tag is justified! The first month, I used this product exclusively as a leave-in. It gave me fluffy, highly moisturized twist-outs and wash ‘n gos. My hair has NEVER felt more moisturized. In fact, it kept my hair moisturized for days. Yes. Days! And, to refresh my curls, all I had to do was spritz lightly with water, seal with a light oil (i.e., extra virgin olive oil) if necessary, and then restyle my hair.

I especially love (pun intended) wink that Especially Hair is a sustainable brand committed to sourcing renewable raw materials for both their packaging and actual product formulations. Born out of  the necessity of trying to find products able to combat the stress that swimming puts on textured hair, this is a brand drenching in concern for the health of  kinky, curly, coily strands. At the very least, the Moisture Foundation is worth the deluge to your pocketbook! So, give it a try.

Leave a comment

Filed under Product Reviews

Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol: Super Detangling Formula for Extremely Dry or Damaged Hair

FTC Disclaimer
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 have been using Hollywood Beauty’s Olive Cholesterol since February of last year (2013). I loved it so much that I did a product review on it in July (2013). However, my stash began to run out, and I needed to buy some replacements. I received an Amazon gift card, so I decided to see if they carried my beloved deep conditioner. They did! But, to my everlasting surprise, they had a list price of $12.49 for ONE 20 oz. jar with a so-called sale price of $6.80 (+ $3.10 shipping)! Are they kidding? I can get this from my local Dollar General for $3.20, and that’s INCLUDING tax! 

Sadly, I had to pass on that wallet-buster of a deal. But, I still needed a deep conditioner. Straying from my staple Hollywood Beauty (HB) Cholesterol seemed wrong, but I didn’t really need to purchase anything else from Amazon, so I reluctantly searched for a deep conditioner that could tide me over until I could make it to my Dollar General. In my search to settle, I stumbled upon an old favorite brand: Lustrasilk. This was the same company that made my cherished Shea Butter Cholesterol. Only this cholesterol from Amazon came in a 5 lb., salon-sized container. Although, it is also available in a 20 oz. jar.


I nervously took the plunge and anxiously awaited for my package to arrive. I had one more portion of my HB Cholesterol left. So, I used it. Once my package arrived, the time quickly came for me to deep condition my hair again. I did my normal routine. I shampooed and conditioned my hair. Then, I applied my new Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol. I gotta say, I didn’t expect much. After all, this cholesterol had pretty big Hollywood Beauty shoes to fill …

Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol is carefully formulated with deep conditioning agents that treat dry, chemically-treated, or extremely damaged hair. Aloe Vera extract has been added for increased moisturizing properties and to provide extra protection from hot curling irons and blow dryers. Leaves hair shiny and easy to manage.

Shampoo and towel dry. Apply cream to hair and scalp. Leave on for 3-5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water. For extra conditioning of overly dry or damaged hair, repeat the process. Style as usual.

The Lustrasilk Cholesterol has a light, mild fragrance that is very pleasant. I always deep condition under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes with a processing cap. The first time I used this cholesterol, I used it straight from the container after shampooing and conditioning my hair. It isn’t as thick as my HB Cholesterol, yet it still managed to really moisturize my coils. It softened my tresses and left it extremely detangled. I got the same root-to-tip tangle-free results as my HB Cholesterol, all without pre-detangling my hair. (Gasp!)

It also really made all three textures of my coils (3C, 4A, and 4B) POP, just like my HB Cholesterol. However, when I used the HB Cholesterol, as soon as I rinsed the cholesterol out of my hair, the definition melted away. Not so with the Lustrasilk! Even after rinsing out the product, I had AHHHMAZING curl definition. So much so that I didn’t want to ruin it by adding any product to my hair. But, I know all too well the dangers of not moisturizing and sealing one’s hair properly, so I resisted the temptation. (Sigh.) Nevertheless, this cholesterol worked so well that if I cannot purchase my HB Cholesterol from Dollar General, for some reason, I would definitely buy Lustrasilk Aloe Vera instead.

I spent $19.47 at amazon.com for 5 lbs. of product (the equivalent of four 20 oz. jars) and qualified for Free Super Saver Shipping. While this salon-sized container cost me $6.67 more than four 20 oz. jars of the Hollywood Beauty Cholesterol, it is still pretty inexpensive for the quantity received. I deep condition my hair once a week, so this 5 lb. jar will last me about 10 months (or 38-40 uses)! Not too shabby for twenty bucks! 

While this cholesterol does contain mineral oil, which I don’t particularly care for, it is the ninth ingredient. Although it doesn’t have the same goodies I love from my Hollywood Beauty Cholesterol (i.e., castor oil, olive oil, glycerin, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, egg protein, as well as aloe vera, rosemary, sage, white nettle, and chamomile extracts), it works just as well. It also has the benefit of not smelling like grape candy on steroids.    🙂

Here’s hoping Lustrasilk doesn’t discontinue this beauty like they did their shea butter cholesterol


Filed under Product Reviews

My 2014 New Year’s HAIR Resolutions + Encouragement

FTC Disclaimer
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!


So, it’s a new year, and it’s time to put pen to paper concerning our New Year’s resolutions. No, I’m not talking about exercising more or paying down my student loans. (Gasp!) That’s on a different list. LOL! I’m talking about my New Year’s HAIR resolutions. One of the things I’ve learned now that I’ve been natural for 11 months (Man, does time fly!) is that healthy hair doesn’t happen accidentally. If you want stronger hair, it requires a lot of dedication and commitment, utilization of proper hair techniques, and a healthy dose of patience. So, here’s my plan for better hair in 2014 …

  1. Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Steven Depolo


    • It’s easy to get bogged down by life and neglect the basics your hair needs. I found out the hard way that when I don’t set aside time to take care of my hair, it usually results in dry, dehydrated tresses that break or have minimal growth. I’ve learned that my hair needs to be moisturized daily, even if it’s just misted with water. And, as always, I’ll seal that moisture in with one of my fave oils.
    • I’m still toying with (and trying to perfect) different moisturization techniques (i.e., the LOC method) but, right now, moisturizing and sealing is the minimum I can do to maintain healthy hair.
  2. Deep condition at least once a week! 
  • I noticed a drastic difference in the health of my hair last year when I failed to deep condition it for 4 weeks straight.
  • My natural hair loves moisturizing deep conditioners the way my relaxed hair loved protein treatments.
  • Deep conditioning is a must for me!
  • Use more low-manipulation/protective hairstyles.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Ashley Webb


    • Last year, because of the length of my hair, I couldn’t really take advantage of the numerous protective hairstyles I came across online and fell madly in love with.
    • Now that I have more length to play with, I plan to experiment with some of those styles I’ve been coveting.    🙂
  • Air dry as much as possible.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Marco Alexandre


    • Last year, I air dried my hair 99% of the time. I only blow dried my hair once! I think that really helped with the overall health of my hair.
    • This year, I plan to continue this good habit I formed and air dry as much as possible.
  • Limit the use of flat irons.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Karrie Nodalo


    • Flat irons can create beautiful, sleek looks. But, don’t over do it.
    • I made the decision early on in my healthy hair journey to limit my use of flat irons to only 2-3 times per year MAX. I’ve been natural for 11 months now, and I’ve only flat ironed my hair ONCE. I don’t plan to flat iron my hair again for another month (on my 1-year naturalversary)!
    • When I was relaxed, one of the reasons I struggled to obtain healthy hair is because of my constant battle with split ends. Limiting the frequency I straighten my natural hair has completely eliminated that problem. My ends are split-free and healthy!
  • Curb my product junkyism. Product Junky
    • When I was relaxed, I was a serious product junky. Whenever a new product launched, I had to try it. No matter what! When I became natural, a lot of the products I had in my arsenal no longer worked on my newly natural hair. So, in some sense, you almost have to be a product junky your first year of being natural by default … Because trying new products and lots of products is really the only way you will know what will work for your hair.
    • I also noticed that my hair goes through stages … A couple of the products I tried when I transitioned and then BCed (and loved), I ended up hating as my hair grew out and got longer. So, there will always be a careful balance between discovering something new and useful and collecting products like trophies!
    • Of course, companies that discontinue your fave products creates a whole new dilemma … But, sometimes a discontinuation can be a blessing in disguise. Early into my natural hair journey when my favorite Lustrasilk deep conditioner was taken off the shelf, it forced me to research products and read labels like crazy. I ended up finding two deep conditioners that I absolutely adore. If I can’t find one, I buy the other and vice versa. I’ve been using one of the two for the last 9 months! The same goes for my co-wash conditioner. I’ve been using the same one since I made the decision to transition.
    • I still like to try new products, but when I find something that works, I plan to stick with it.
  • Throw out my brush and comb!

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Gerrilynn Nunley


    • Ok, not really! But, it is important to avoid manipulating your hair needlessly.
    • In 2013, I realized that I brushed and combed my hair … A LOT!!! Around month six or seven of being natural, I started to finger detangle my hair. I started slowly … from whenever I could remember to about 75% of the time. I’ve noticed less hair fall in the shower and on the floor!
    • Now, I use my comb predominately for creating clean parts (when styling my hair) and my Denman brush for shingling product into my hair/my boar bristle brush for gently smoothing my edges. I use a comb/brush maybe once a week. Sometimes once every two to three weeks!
    • I used to think that people who finger detangled exclusively were insane, now I can’t imagine my hair regimen without it. Who knew?
  • Stop jumping on bandwagons!
    • Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up with the latest fads. I’ve always been the first among my family and friends to test new products, especially those related to hair care. There’s nothing necessarily wrong about wanting to try the latest and greatest in beauty and hair care. Just be realistic! And, do your research.
    • Before you drop $200 bucks on the newest innovation in heat styling, read reviews online, ask questions in hair forums, and talk to people who have tried the product first hand to see if the item can actually fulfill a need, or if you are about to become the next victim of a three a.m. infomercial.
  • KISS (Keep It Simple Sista).

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Maggie Hoffman


    • Don’t use a million products if two will do.
    • Don’t manipulate your hair every day if you can get away with only manipulating your tresses two to three times a week.
    • Don’t install an elaborate hair do if you don’t have the time to maintain it.
    • More isn’t always better. Sometimes more is just … well … more!
  • Be consistent.Consistency Is Key
    • Healthy hair takes a lot of work. You can’t take good care of your hair for a couple of weeks and expect to undo a lifetime of damage or poor hair care practices.
    • Create a hair regimen and follow it for at least a month or two. Then, judge whether your regimen needs to be tweaked to better suit your lifestyle or hair needs.
  • Practice patience.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by thinboyfatter


    • Healthy hair takes time to cultivate.
    • Period!
  • Ignore the noise. 

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by La Melodie

    • You can’t please everyone all of the time. There will ALWAYS be naysayers. Sometimes a co-worker, close friend, or even a family member will “mean well” but wrinkle their nose when you Big Chop or say, “I liked your hair better when it was longer!” (a.k.a. relaxed)
    • Regardless of whether you are relaxed, transitioning, or natural, do what works for you and your hair! I had to learn this one in the beginning stages of my Big Chop when my confidence plummeted when certain people I cared about made less-than-encouraging comments about my über short hair. I felt embarrassed. I thought that maybe I had made a mistake. However, one morning I woke up and realized that I was tired of trying to conform to others’ expectations of me. So, I made the decision to be confident about my hair, regardless of the length. And, guess what? Confidence begets confidence!
  • Embrace my hair’s limits.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Randy Robertson

    • Not all hair types can easily shift from hair trend to hair trend, change from a plethora of styles from week to week, or use a million different styling techniques on a whim like a contortionist in Cirque du Soleil. It doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. It just … IS!
    • There are certain immutable facts about certain hair types and rules (as well as exceptions to the rules) within each “type” and for each person. Just because your 4c BFF can get away with only washing her coils once a month and protective styling for 12 weeks at a time,  doesn’t mean you can, too!
    • All hair is created equally BUT differently. Accept the limits of your hair, and move on to what DOES work for you.
  • Love my hair unconditionally.

    Creative Commons License by flickr
    Photo Shared by Kris Krüg

    • I am still a work in progress, and every blue moon I sometimes look in the mirror and question myself. But, then I remember how damaged and unhealthy my relaxed hair was and how strong and healthy my natural hair is. Suddenly, the only opinion that matters is MY own. 

Creative Commons License by flickr
Photo Shared by LadyDragonflyCC – >;<

Leave a comment

Filed under Hair Regimens, Hair Styles & Tips

Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment: Is It Really the Best Darn Deep Treatment?

FTC Disclaimer
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!

All right. So, I decided to give Miss Jessie’s another chance. I haven’t used the brand since I tried the Curly Buttercreme. Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment seemed like the perfect product for round two.

Want long curly hair? Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment is an essential curly hair care treatment for growing out naturally curly, kinky, and wavy hair. Healthy growth and length is what most curlies covet. Miss Jessie’s can assist you in this process. An elongated curl has more bounce, is more manageable, and is less prone to frizz. Be super sweet to your curls.

Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment is a decadent softening treatment that ensures your curls reach a long, luxurious length. This rich treatment, full of shea butter and centella extract, is a growth stimulant that promotes long, healthy curls. Your hair is going to love you for this!

Water (Aqua), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclomethicone (and) Dimethiconol, Lauryl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Fragrance, Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Ceteareth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Liposome (Centella Asiatica), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, EDTA Disodium, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, D&C Red #33, Citric Acid

First of all, this deep treatment smells like cotton candy on steroids. I am NOT a fan of the sickly sweet fragrance. Ick! Thankfully, it subsides several minutes after application. Smell aside, it has a great consistency. It is very thick and creamy, and easily glided into my strands. Since I used a hooded dryer, I shingled the treatment into my hair and left the product on for 15-20 minutes prior to rinsing out.

Although this deep conditioner left my hair soft and elongated my hair, it did not live up to its other claims. It DID NOT leave my hair less frizzy. It DID NOT make my hair more manageable. While this product semi-stretched my hair, it also left it extremely fuzzy and poofy.

On top of all this, I almost lost ALL of my normal curl/coil definition. So much so that I was scared that the treatment had chemically altered my hair in some way. Seriously, I frantically reread the product label to make sure I had not inadvertently damaged my hair. I just about had a heart attack! The only part of my hair that was unscathed was the third of my hair that has a looser 3c curl pattern (at the front crown of my head). I had to use my Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol to get my curls/coils to return! And, after looking at the ingredient list more closely, I can’t imagine this “treatment” assisting with the growth or length retention of my hair.

To make matters worse, Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment is priced like a commodity on the New York Stock Exchange: $9.00 for 2 ounces; $26.00  $18.00 for 8 ounces; $48.00 $32.00 for 16 ounces. (Update: A few months after this post published, they permanently reduced the price for the 8 oz. and 16 oz. container … Hmmm.) I mean, really? A 2 oz. jar of this stuff is three times more than one 20 oz. jar of my Hollywood Beauty Olive Cholesterol. THREE TIMES MORE!!! And, less effective! So, in case you’re wondering if there will be a round three, don’t bother.

The best darn deep treatment? Sorry Miss Jessie’s but, next time, I’ll have to pass. I’ve finally learned my lesson. I’m saving my money. Period.

Leave a comment

Filed under Product Reviews