Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer products in review

Summer is almost over! I feel like just yesterday I was narrowing in on a wash and go routine and shopping for summer products. Alas the time has gone by and I can hardly say that I did any one thing this summer. I did start in on the wash and goes in April, and I became immediately concerned that the extra little knots on the ends of my hair were caused by the wet hair tangling while rubbing on my back and shoulders. I decided to let my hair dry more before leaving the house, but I never did :-/ I would say I had some major interrupters in any type of routine I might have come up with:
  • I went on vacation to Barbados, which led me to blow dry my hair and braid it. I think my ends were a bit damaged in the process, from being exposed to the salt, chlorine and sun.
  • Before that I did a 5 shade color lift to a few select pieces all over to create some summer highlights. That went very well and I don't think I saw any extra damage.
  • I was very busy at work over the summer, so I did not have time and energy to refresh or re-do my wash and go many mornings, opting instead to pull it back for a few days in a row.
Overall I can certainly say that I co-washed (washed my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo) far more often than I do in the winter.

I also employed the search and destroy method for ridding myself of the worst knotted and split ends, never opting for a full trim this summer. Based on the growth exemplified by my lifted highlights, I have gained a bit over an inch over the past 2 months. However, I have noted a strange phenomenon at my current length. My hair is long enough to rest on my back and shoulders when wet, or when stretched with heat or product. This means that dry clumps and damp curls are constantly being influenced to touch each other and merge, bunch and otherwise un-distinguish themselves as free "hanging curls." I get a bunch of traffic on the back of my neck- a ball of shrunken curls and density that I can otherwise pull taught to well under my armpits. I am not sure if with a bit more length it will free itself of this horizontal barrier, or if it will just accumulate there more and more. I'm watching and waiting. Not sure if there is anything to be done about it. *shrug*

So on to products.
I used a ton more conditioner, and types of conditioners, and methods for applying conditioner than ever in life this summer. I got practically the entire Herbal Essences conditioner line, a large new bottle of TRESemmé Vitamin E Moisture Rich Conditioner, Giovanni's moisturizing and reconstructing conditioners, Bumble and Bumble's leave in and most recently the Yes to Carrots Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner. I also continued to use my staple of V05 conditioners and Kinky Curly's Knot today as needed.

I use a lot of conditioner. My hair is long, needs uber slip factor to de-tangle and is also very spongy- thus absorbs a lot of water. Using conditioner as a leave in product (ie curly primer method) with not much else proved to be a recipe for extreme shrinkage (see post). I mostly use conditioner to de-tangle and re-separate my curls. It also helps me get some of the product out of my hair from my last style. I shampoo about once every 10-14 days (kinky-curly come clean or burts bees mousturising shampoo mixed with conditioner).
  • My favorites of the summer were all of the Herbal Essences line. I can't tell them apart much except for the fragrances.
  • Giovanni and Knot Today are also great but pricy and thus not very feasable given how much I use.
  • Bumble and bumble is now mosly in my Burts shampoo bottle trying to make up for some of the money it cost me. It did nothing for my tangles.
  • Yes to Carrots smells great but does not provide enough slip for good detangling, it also "whites up" if left in.
  • Vo5 is great to cut product with for almost any reason and I also use it as shaving lotion.
  • Tresemme, you will always be my love, but the frangrences need work.
I could talk about gel and other finishing products but I have not found anything new. Kinky Kurly Curling Custard and IC Fantasia all the way :-)

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