So let's start with the surprise that crept up on me... the bad news. That dog-gone cleansing "cream" is just some shampoo. I maybe didn't do my research, or maybe should have read the bottle more critically, or memorized the effects of more ingredients, but I saw cream and curls and assumed it'd be a particularly cleansing no-lather type of deal. Even out of the bottle and into my hand it was creamy and smelled delightful- like their leave in. I'd pre-conditioned with Suave Naturals Tangerine conditioner and rinsed it out, and had been using no styling cones for weeks - so my hair was already pretty clean... Thus I put some in my palm planning to only focus on the roots and back of my head by patting it on top of my head on on the base of my neck. That mess sudsed up IMMEDIATELY and rabidly, instantly making my hair crunchy and non-slippery. I panicked a little and began trying to use the foam to create some slip to prevent the matting from happening in front. Fail. I ended up kinda squeezing it the rest of the way through and rinsing- to the sound of that squeaky clean chirp I have not heard in a long time. I had not detangled my 5 day old shingle so I was dismayed to feel the hair in back particularly clinging to itself for dear life. :-(
So on to the product I've slept on. The good news! I moved on to the Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner. Background info- I loooove the C is for Conditioner Yes to Carrots one, so I had high hopes, but a skeptical mind because it says "daily" and "color care" on the Cucumbers bottle. I figured it was a lighter version of the Yes to Carrots I love. I have heard curlys rave about it (here and here) though so my PJ alter ego got it for me.
In the shower: I painstakingly sectioned my hair into 4 with my hands and squirted a huge glob in my palm. I put it in the front left section liberally and MY GOODNESS, it multiplied. It has a bit of a sudsing action, kinda like the Yes to Carrots but more like the old school cholesterol deep conditioners I used to use back in the day, but with more slip and better smell and ahhhh.... I was like what IS this. I picked up the bottle and read it again. "Conditioner." "daily care." I used my shower comb and got through the tangles with no trouble at all, even combining the two back sections into one. I was so very happy with it. So very happy.
My stream of consciousness was like: it cost kinda a lot, but I don't need a lot, and I don't wash my hair often, but I do wash and goes often, I could use it for that OH I wonder about using as a leave in like they say, but the suds. oh the suds mmmmmm, it would work as poo though, the smell is good, fresh. yes. This is mine. how much did I use all super heavy handidly... oh not that much pheeww...maybe it will help with my highlights somehow too. sniff. yum. yeah this is good, very good. I. must. tell. people!"
I rinsed and my hair was light and fluffy and smelled fresh. I was sad to see it go down the drain :-(
This is the result of putting my hair in about 8 large double strand twists and releasing them after a day. I used my Castor oil/Glycrine/Aloe vera mix that morning before, and twisted my dry hair, which was very soft. I used no gel. And I'm lying a little. I never did the last few twists in the back- I got lazy- so that was in a loose bun with the "done pieces" hiding the fuzz. It was nice to switch my style up in the heat, but it was done for by the end of the day lol.
I thought it was pretty feminine with the wispy pieces. I have to try the whole flower or feather in hair accessory thing. It would have worked well here. I keep saying I can make my own, so I don't buy them. But I never make them, so I can't wear an accessory that doesn't exist. lame.
So I made a video when I was almost done shingling my hair a few days ago- with the Denman! (a knock-off denman style brush that is) Yes it's back! On my long hair I found it to be more trouble than it was worth, but on this length it's great again. I also like the shape of my hair best when shrunken pretty tight, so ta da- Denman shingled curls. I don't use the Denman to detangle (I prefer my hands or a Jilbere Shower Comb), but use it to style my hair like this.
I took pictures on day 3, since I putted around the house for two days over the weekend. But it was holding up nicely! I'm on day 5, (FIVE!) today. I'll have to remember to take some pictures.
Here is day 3.
...and another vid for good measure. I love my iPhone :-*
I also must mention- that I was woken (a word? awakened?) by an EARTHQUAKE the other night. Also my first IN LIFE. Sigh. But anyway, my hair... is very happy. To combat any ill effects from the notably light highlights I had put in last month, I have been hitting the moisture hard lately. I have switched to a strictly NO POO regiment and black listed like 3/4 of my horde of PJism evidence. I am left with (commercial product wise)Suave Naturals of the "Orange variety" conditioner, a new Tresseme Naturals no cones conditioner, and Curls Goddess curls gel- BUT... and here is a great thing... I got a large jar of food quality aloe vera gel, a large bottle of pure white castor oil, and pure vegetable glycerin that I mix and have been keeping me inexpensively happy and my hair touchable and soft. So much so that I hold off on co-washing just because it feels so nice... ahhh.
As a summer product, I get a nice cold spray because of the refrigerated aloe gel, a light herbal scent from the rosemary and lavender EO I added, and all the benefits of sucking all the free moisture right of of the air and into my hair. The vegetable glycerin in my mix makes it a humectant, and despite the added frizzys this COULD cause for a defined style, I find that it keeps my hair soft and shiny for days on end in perpetually Humid DC.
Speaking of humectants-
I got to sample a product that the beautiful and ambitious Alexandra of Safi Haircare is working on called "Moisture Magnet." It is a humectant product that helps attract moisture to dry hair.
In the mixture is:
Aloe Vera Gel
Avocado OilPeppermint Essential Oil
It's perfect for the summer, particularly if you are not worried about frizz. The peppermint smell was also something that for some reason I had never thought of but is sooo perfect for the hot weather. It didn't linger, but it was so refreshing as I spread it into my hair with open palms.
Phew let me tell you this has been the summer of all summers here in DC. We have had 100 degree heat for weeks! My hair is enjoying food grade Aloe vera gel, caster oil and vegetable glycerin in the heat BTW. I also made a batch of Flax seed gel, tested out a humectant by Safi Haircare, did a chunky twist out and another shingle set. I also had a very disturbing discovery... All this amidst quite a few wash and go days and a total lack of keeping up with the blog here *hides face*. The back-log will be up like- every day this week lol.
I cut my hair appropriately just in time it seems though. I see a few other lovely ladies have also taken to the scissors (Texture Playground - I see you! and chisellecouture not to mention celebs like Janet, Crisette,and Solange). It seems that once we (black women) meet or reassess our hair goals and self image we realize what is easy, what is cuter :-), or that the thrill of CHANGE is so close at hand. It is just hair, and it WILL grow back. My decision to cut my hair was made easier because now, after 9 yrs natural, I know my hair grows, I know it can look excellent long, but I know it can also look excellent short.
I am at a crossroads however. My roots tell me I've gained about an inch of growth since my trim and color a month and a half ago. The color growth is hidden in the masses, so I'm not too worried about that, but I really wanted to keep a short chic style for the summer. It's fighting back! I have not decided what to do yet, but I'm leaning towards a trim in a few more weeks.
It was Caribbean carnival weekend here in DC and my girls showed up and showed off some fly natural hair. You may have seen them on here before. These pictures from FaceBook made me smile and got lots of compliments on the natural hair vibe :-) Thanks J! Gotta love natural hair!
How dope is this braid-out?
But it's really not just hair. We tend to notice one another out and about. We have beautiful, tight curls, coils and locks that have been freed to grace the heads of us brave and growing few.
Many of us are on a journey of discovery and maintenance. How and why does one grow, love and respect a hair type so different than most, and so unique to each?