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Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment Review
Hair Care, Reviews - Comments (1) - July 14th, 2012

Beautiful Curls is sub-company of Alaffia, the shea butter company I’ve raved about on occasion. Beautiful Curls is a line of haircare for, duh, curly hair! I don’t have curly hair, so I can’t speak to that particular niche. But I do have really dry hair from all the bleaching, so I wanted to try a super-rich deep conditioner to de-crunchify the dried out ends.

Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment contains shea butter (lots!), arnica, comfrey, and panthenol. It has a raspberry and ylang ylang fragrance that is really awesome. It’s super-thick, and contains no silicones. The lack of slippery stuff in it means it does take a little bit of effort to smooth it through your hair. Warming it between your hands first definitely helps! It rinses out really well from my hair, with no greasy residue left behind – just softer hair.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this deep conditioner. I don’t need to use a lot, since I’m just putting it on the ends of my hair, so the tube is lasting for a while. I use it twice a week in place of regular conditioner and my hair is quite happy.

You can find Beautiful Curls at Whole Foods Market (I’m not sure if they carry it nationwide, or just around here because Alaffia is based in Washington), as well as locally (to Portland) at New Seasons Market. Or shop online! I give it two thumbs up!

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Freeman Papaya and Mango Moisture 3-Minute Conditioner Review
Cheap Thrills, Hair Care - Comments (3) - April 14th, 2012

I’ve been looking for a deep conditioning treatment for my excessively bleached hair, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I want a budget bargain! Freeman’s Papaya and Mango Moisture 3-Minute Conditioner fits the bill nicely.

It contains plant extracts like papaya extract, mango extract, aloe leaf extract, and chamomile extract, as well as Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), and nice oils like meadowfoam and jojoba. Unlike so many products that purportedly contain plant stuff, the ingredients in this product are high up on the ingredient list, so it contains more than just a little sprinkle to look good on the label. It has silicones in it, but they’re pretty far down on the list.

The conditioner smells really good. It’s not a cloying tropical smell, but rather light and fruity. The scent doesn’t linger for a long time in your hair afterwards, though.

It has a lighter texture than I was expecting – it’s thick but not greasy or heavy. I noticed smoother, less rough hair after one use, and my hair seems less dry after several uses. It’s not as intensive as more expensive products I’ve used (L’Occitane used to make an Olive Hair Mask that was AMAY-ZING but they discontinued it!) but for less than $3 a tube, I’ll take it. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the performance and will continue to purchase and use the product! Two thumbs up!

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5 Things: Haircare
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Hair Care - Comments Off - February 29th, 2012

So I’ve been using a couple of new hair products lately, and while I’ve been wanting to review them, I never feel like I can devote an ENTIRE post to just a single shampoo. So, we’ll make it easy and do a 5 Things devoted to the hair products I’ve been wanting to talk about…

1. I bought this Suave Professionals Color Care Shampoo because I liked the scent – Black Raspberry & White Tea. I also liked that the plant-based ingredients came BEFORE fragrance on the label, which is generally a good indication that there’s more than just a sprinkle in the product. It smells really good, and gets all the sticky stuff I use in my hair out with no residue. The dye I use in my hair is semi-permanent, so I can’t really comment on if it really protects color or not. But it seems pretty gentle, my hair isn’t super-dry despite being bleached.

2. I do tend to buy things based on smell… This Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk conditioner smells like coconut. In the dead of winter, I like that beachy scent to remind me that, yes, the sun does exist. Somewhere. Anyway, since all the plant stuff (coconut oil and extract, etc) comes AFTER the fragrance, I don’t think it’s all that great shakes as a “natural” product. But it smells nice and makes my hair soft so I’m happy.

3. Acure Organics also makes hair care, so I decided to pick up a bottle of their Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner. It smells like almonds. Yes, please! This product does have good cred on the “natural” front – it’s chock full of plant stuff like argan oil and cocoa butter. I can definitely tell a difference on the parts of my hair that have been damaged by bleaching when I use this (vs when I don’t bother with conditioner). My hair is a lot softer and smoother.

4. KMS California Sea Salt Spray is a styling product that works better on hair that has a bit of length – like mine, when I’m desperate for a cut. It’s basically a texturizing spray for that “right out of the ocean” look. I like it when I want something less “styled” looking, so I spray it generously in damp hair, tousle with my fingers and let it air dry. If your hair is too short, it won’t do much for you. It’s probably fantastic in chin-length or longer hair.

5. KMS California Gel Wax is meant to have the support and control of a gel with the flexibility and shine of a wax. You can use it in towel-dried hair and blow dry. I usually apply it to dry hair for a lot of separation and hold. It’s got a shinier finish than the molding paste, but otherwise I find them quite similar. I think my preference lies with the molding paste, but if you’re looking to do a lot of sculpting this might be more versatile.

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Radical Bleach Kit Review
Hair Care - Comments Off - December 13th, 2011

I needed to re-bleach my roots, because they were starting to get pretty rooty, so I picked up the Radical Bleaching Kit from Sally Beauty to do the job. It definitely got the job done.

The Radical Bleach Kit uses a 40 volume developer. If you haven’t been to beauty school and don’t know what that means, it means: use with caution ‘cuz this can f!@k your hair up. As you can see, I wear my hair very short. I don’t care much about bleaching the shizz out of my hair because it’ll be all new hair in 6 months anyway. Also, my natural color is really dark, so I wanted the stronger formula to actually get my hair really bleached this time. Did it work? YES!

(Also, please to not be taking anything I write here as suggestion on how to use the product, lol. Please follow the directions.)

It’s easy to use: mix the powder and the liquid developer in the handy-dandy plastic cup, and use the included brush (while wearing the included gloves) to apply the mixture to your hair. Follow the instructions regarding timing. Me being me, I didn’t keep track of how long it needed to bleach out my hair, but it was less than the 90 minute maximum for dark brown hair, and I think less even than 60 minutes. It might have been around 60 minutes. Anyway, it lifted out the brown as well as most of the remaining purple in my hair (although I was aiming mostly for the roots, a fair amount got on the rest of my hair because it’s so short).

It rinsed out easily, and I shampooed out the rest, et voila! Blonde hair. It looked better than I thought it would, so I might have to try platinum blonde someday soon.

The kit also came with one of those bonnet thingies with holes in it for highlights, so I tossed some bleach on my sister’s hair with that for highlights. It looks good.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this bleach kit. My hair is kinda fried, but deep conditioner is my friend and it’ll be grown out/new hair in a few months anyway.

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Review: Splat Hair Color, Lusty Lavender
Hair Care - Comments (2) - November 20th, 2011

The last time I dramatically changed my hair color was when I was in college. I had peacock blue hair for about two weeks. That was several years ago now. Back then, I bought a bleach kit, bleached my hair, and then followed the instructions on a jar of Manic Panic. It was pretty easy. This time around, I decided to give the Splat Hair Color kit a try, because it was cheap (like $10 at Rite-Aid) and easy. I have two complaints with the kit, and otherwise I’m pleased with it.

The kit consists of two parts, a bleach and a dye. The instructions are easy enough – add the bleach powder to a pre-measured bottle of stuff, shake, apply. Cover your head and wait. When it’s bleached, rinse and dry. Apply the dye to your dry hair and wait. Rinse, and you’re done.

My first complaint is that the bleach isn’t very strong. I left it in for the 60 minutes it said for dark brown/black hair and it only got my hair to a light orange-yellow, not even close to pale blonde. I didn’t want to leave it any longer and risk really frying my hair, so I rinsed and proceeded. I think I’d be happier with the purple result if my hair had gotten lighter. However, my hair feels in pretty good condition despite being bleached, so there is that.

My second complaint is directly tied to the first: the purple is definitely on the reddish side, due probably to the amount of orange left in my hair after bleaching. I like it, but I was hoping for a bluer purple. Mini-complaint #3 is with the applicator. The squirt it on technique is hard to control and has the potential to be quite messy. Buy a brush at a beauty supply store and save yourself some trouble. Also, the directions definitely don’t have you leaving the dye on for long enough. I left it on for an hour, and probably would wait even longer if I did it again. The dye part is just dye, no developer, so you’re not frying your hair by leaving it on for a long time. It just gives it more time to absorb into your hair.

Overall, this was a pretty good experience. For an off-the-drugstore-shelf product, I’d say you’ll get an acceptable result even if you have very dark brown hair like mine. I bought a jar of Manic Panic and a brush to do some touchups because like I said, the squirt bottle technique wasn’t very good for details like around my ears.

I probably won’t buy it again just because I need stronger bleach. However, I think it’s an acceptable product and easy to use for the hair coloring newbie. I give it one thumb up.

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KMS California Hair Play Molding Paste
Hair Care - Comments (4) - October 29th, 2011

I went and got a haircut a few days go, and the stylist used a new hair product on my hair. It was KMS California’s Hair Play Molding Paste and I’m officially in love!

The Hair Play Molding paste is decribed as a product that gives pliable texture and definition with a fairly high hold, but low shine. This really sums it up! It’s less tacky/sticky feeling in hair than the Aveda Grooming Clay but more tacky/sticky than the Fluffy Puff. It has more hold than the Fluffy Puff and about the same hold as the Grooming Clay. I like that it comes in a pump, versus the jar of the other products, since I’m not a big fan of sticking my fingers in jars. It’s more cost effective than the Grooming Clay (around $17 for 100 ml vs. $22 for 75 ml) so that may be a deciding factor for me to stop buying Grooming Clay.

The Molding Paste has an awesome coconut scent that I’m really enjoying. I use a dollop about the size of a hazelnut, rub it between my hands and then just rub my hands all over my head to muss up my hair. It works equally well on wet or dry hair. It also washes out really easily. (The other two products do also, but I wanted to mention it.)

I’m really kind of a slut when it comes to styling products, so I probably won’t remain devoted to this forever. But for now, it’s rocking my hair.

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Lucido-L Fluffy Puff Hair Styling Product Review
Hair Care, Reviews - Comments (6) - September 29th, 2011

I was shopping in Uwajimaya recently and cruised through the beauty section, like I always do. I decided to buy a jar of hair product because I liked the name (typical me). So, I bring you FLUFFY PUFF!

Lucido-L Fluffy Puff is a hair styling product. It’s official use is for curly hair – “Firmly holds onto airy curls that float and spring about.” I learned this later, doing some research online. The actual packaging is in Japanese, but I was able to figure out that it was a hair styling product and figured I’d give it a whirl. Lucky me!

Fluffy Puff has a soft texture that’s kind of whipped-like, but not really sticky. I wouldn’t call it creamy either, not in a “contains lots of oil” sense. It’s got that interesting polymer kind of feel. It gives my hair lots of nice volume but with a very soft feel. But it definitely has hold to it. It’s currently my favorite hair styling product for my cut. I like to mess it up, but with a softer feel. It’s perfect for that.

It has a light scent, which is described as “green” but which is really reminiscent of apples to me. It washes out easily.

I’m planning in investigating some more products from the Lucido-L line, but for now I’m loving Fluffy Puff!

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Product Pomade For Hair
Hair Care, Reviews - Comments (2) - April 23rd, 2011

It’s not very often that I render a product completely without merit (at least for the purpose for which it was intended), but today we have a winner! It’s Product Pomade, a natural hair care product that my sister and I agree is not good.

From the website:

PRODUCT’s simple formula consists of just five natural ingredients: certified organic shea butter, certified organic aloe vera, natural source vitamin E (tocopherol), wild-harvested (pesticide-free) white beeswax, and food-grade tangerine essential oil.

These moisture-rich, ultra-conditioning ingredients work to keep hair nourished and infuse it with healthy-looking shine while also taming frizz and smoothing flyaway strands. Feel the difference PRODUCT makes!

First, it’s hard to use. You’re supposed to warm a small amount between your palms and work it through damp or dry hair. The formula is really solid and doesn’t like to warm up. It’s extremely draggy through dry hair, and not much better through damp hair.

Second, no matter how little I used on my short hair (and my sister on her long curls) it looks greasy. My hair is cut to stay spiky and messy pretty much no matter what I do to it. This made my hair go flat. My sister has longer curls. It made her hair go straight. FAIL.

So… I don’t recommend this product to anyone. Unless you like greasy hair, of course. I suppose using a TINY amount on rough or split ends would be okay too.

Now if you’re looking for a nice cuticle balm… this one is a winner! Seriously, it’s the perfect formula for cuticle balm.

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