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Monday, December 17, 2012

Coconut Oil & Aloe Vera Juice

When I first started my healthy hair journey almost 5 years ago, coconut oil was a godsend.  Whether I used it as a pre-poo, an aid to my roller setting lotion, or a sealant, it always gave me good results.  Since I've been natural, coconut oil hasn't been very agreeable to my hair.  I still try it once in a while, but haven't been impressed with the results.

This weekend we had a holiday party, and probably 90% of the women there were natural or transitioning to natural.  Of course, many of the female conversations were about hair!  One of my friends who went natural about a year ago, and has beautiful, healthy, color-treated hair, told me that coconut oil has really helped.  I complained that I still haven't found a product that my hair absorbs, and she told me that coconut oil is the only thing her hair really drinks in.  For her, it's best as a pre-poo before she shampoos her hair.  I knew I needed to wash my hair the next day, so I decided to give the coconut oil another try. I applied a generous amount from root to tip, put on a plastic cap and a satin scarf and went to bed.  I planned to wash my hair in the morning, but our water heater died, and I didn't get to wash my hair until later in the afternoon.  So the coconut oil was in my hair for over 12 hours.  When I took the plastic cap off, my hair definitely looked moist, but it also looked like it had some weight, which I wanted- to me, that meant that the oil was penetrating into my hair.  I co-washed my hair and deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics GPB. After I rinsed, I applied a dime-sized amount of Curly Kinky Knot Today Leave-In and sprayed aloe vera juice all over.  I twisted my hair with Ecostyler gel. When I took the twists out this morning, my hair was moist and shiny:


I definitely think the shine came from the coconut oil and aloe vera gel.  I'm going to continue to pre-poo with the coconut oil.  When it worked for me before, after a couple of months my hair got to a state where I didn't have to use it every week.  I'm hoping this will happen again.

I'm really happy about my growth.  Can you see my black tips from the color I had put in in May?  I can't wait to get rid of them. That part is so much frizzier and hard to manage than the rest of my hair!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Product Review: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

I bought this product over the summer when I was acting like a mad woman buying every product I heard worked well on natural hair. I tried it once on a wash and go and wasn't impressed, so I shelved it for later. Last night I decided to try it again on a dry twistout.

Product Description
Nutrient rich vegetable butters condition hair, restoring moisture, body and shine. Enhances curls, minimizes frizz and provides curl control. For thick, curly hair. Sulfate-free and color-safe.

  • Coconut oil: Hydrates and protects hair from heat and chemical damage
  • Silk protein: Reduces breakage, strengthens hair, adds smoothness and silkiness
  • Neem oil: An age-old ayurvedic oil that strengthens hair and provides brilliant shine
  • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or animal ingredients

Ingredients
Deionized Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Vegetable Glycerin , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein , Ammonium Salt , Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem) , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot) , Sorbitol Esters , Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5) , Caprylyl Glycol , Essential Oil Blend , Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Directions
There are no directions on the jar

My Experience
The first time I used this product, I used it on my wash and go. I didn't like it at all. It was sticky, left a film on my hair and didn't enhance any curls!  It also left my hair feeling dry.  Last night, I used it to twist my hair on a 2 day old twistout.  I dampened my hair with a water/oil/leave-in mix, applied a little shea butter to my hair, and then the curl enhancing smoothie before I did about 8 flat twists.  I love the smell of this!  While I twisted, I felt like the product made my hair more moist and smooth.  When I woke up and took out my twists, my hair felt really soft and moist.  The unfortunate part was that my curls were not defined...not even close to what I wanted.  There also was no clumping, which is important to me and my fine strands.  I'll definitely have to re-twist again tonight with a product with stronger hold.

Since I love how much this moisturized my hair, AND I love the smell, I'm not going to give up on it.  Next time I use it, I'll have to also use some gel. I would also use it on an already defined twistout as a moisturizer.

12/13/12 Update: I don't think this is the product for me right now.  Last night, I co-washed and twisted my hair using the smoothie and ecostyler gel. My curls were still not defined, and although my hair feels moist, it looks a little dull.  I'll stick to what I know for now, and re-visit this product in a few months when I have a little more length.