Product Review: Alberto Balsam Herbal Conditioner

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Empty, and Full

You see two bottles in that picture not because it was the bomb oh.

I liked using it to co-wash my weave, so I got another bottle to do more weave washing, and give it a proper run on my hair in its full kinky-coily 4C low porosity glory.

Ingredients:

Aqua(Water) Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance) Cl17200 (Red 33) Cl 18050.

Worth noting: this conditioner is sulfate and paraben free. Cetyl alcohol is a good fatty alcohol. And, water is its first ingredient. Though I missed this earlier, it contains a silicone, Cyclomethicone. Continue reading

Product Review: Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

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Hey guys!

AB here!! 🙂

After seeing quite a few reviews on the interwebs, I’d been itching to try products from the Sofn’ Free ‘Nothing But’ line. I stalked the website for weeks, so as part of my Christmas product haul, I decided to go with the deep conditioner, the Nothing But Intense Healing Mask.

First impressions:

2 thumbs up for presentation. I love the clear tub, I love the font and the colours on the labels.

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I like the light citrus scent (I LOVE CITRUS) and the consistency of this product is just right. It’s like yogurt 🙂 Continue reading

Hairspiration! : Kelli

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Hello naturalistas!!!

My name is Kelli, I’m a full time student & lifestyle blogger and Naturalista.

Traveling the world is my passion so live in a different state almost every year!

But originally I’m from Philadelphia, the land of the brotherly love <3.

When did you go natural and how did you do it?

I went natural about 3 years ago by transitioning. Then recently I did the Big Chop. I decided to big chop because at one point of my natural journey, I attempted to grow dreadlocks. This dried out my ends and made my hair very damaged. A couple months later I decided to cut my hair being that it felt damaged. Not really sure if it was or not honestly but appearance wise, I decided I really needed a change. I wanted a new look to represent a new me. New and Improved that is !

Tell us about your hair! 🙂

I refer to my hair as “She”:

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She’s truly amazing! Having 2 different textures, It’s sometimes hard for me to determine what my hair needs because the middle will be dry but the front isn’t. So sometime it’s very tricky to treat my hair, but it always works out!

Having very very very dense hair is biggest struggle but biggest benefit I have with my hair. Having dense hair makes manageability very hard at times but very beautiful at the same time! With low porosity, having 2 textures makes it difficult to moisturize my hair especially in cold climates but as of now, I have a fro-hawk keeping it moisturized and it isn’t as troubling, yet!

Texture: Front-3c, Middle:4a

How do you take care of your hair?

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I use natural hair products and oils (black castor, avocado, coconut). But I use products that are made organically as well. I read the ingredients on all the products  I use in my hair. If a product has something I can’t peruse or have never heard of, I refuse to use it. I stay far away from unnecessary chemicals. Right now I’m trying Kyra’s Shea Melodies, which is a natural skin and hair moisturizer. Most of the time I use the Rejuvenation Butter Cream after co-washing with As I Am.

Using the locking method I start by oil washing my hair with castor oil or coconut oil. After letting it sit for about 15-20 minutes I let copious amounts of water absorb into my hair. Then I apply As I Am Co-wash, letting that sit for about 5 minutes. Finally I let the water run through my hair draining it of all the excess oil and co-wash. De-tangling is never an issue for me at this stage, but i do finger comb through my hair instead of using a comb, while water is still running through my hair to insure minimal breakage.

After washing, I simply pat the left over water from my hair (I never dry with heat) I then apply a little castor oil or avocado, Hot Six oil, or Vitamin E oil in my hair to add a little more moisture to it so that when it dries it wont be super dry. I then apply As I Am Leave in conditioner or the Kyra’s Rejuvenation Butter Cream to seal in the moisture. Then I add some Eco-Styler Gel to hold my curls in place through out the day, This takes away from frizz. Being that I wear my hair naturally curly I then blow myself a kiss in the mirror and walk away for a little to let my hair air dry ! :*

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How do you wear your hair?

On a daily basis I wear my hair in a curly frohawk. I will admit that when I go to work sometimes I straighten my hair but I can’t leave it straight for more then 3 days. After 3 days she (my hair) starts to scream for water. I then go back to my frohawk.

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Honestly I do feel that the fight to change the perception of natural hair is very real in not only the the work place, but in the world. It’s the fight for natural hair equality. It’s perceived that if someone has a smoother hair texture naturally, that its accepted in the work place. Meanwhile if someone has a denser and thicker hair texture/ type then it appears as if that person “did not do their hair”. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.

If one hair texture is accepted, then all shall be accepted by the time BUE:lifesyle is done!

What’s your favourite hair style?

My favorite hair style is the Afro, I love wearing an Afro because it is natural hair in its natural form without any “taming”. the Afro is a symbol of strength, unity and nature; resembling a tree, the tree of life, especially for women.

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 Do you Protective style?

Protective styling for me would be Box braids and Senegalese twists. I feel that leaving hair alone for a while is always good, though extensions do add extra weight and can dry out some hair textures. It’s up to the person to keep their hair moisturised no matter the style.

What inspired you to go natural?

Honestly, going natural wasn’t a conscious decision for me. One random summer about 3 years ago I decided to just slow down applying relaxers to my hair. Then I started to notice that when my new growth was straightened it was just as straight as my relaxed hair. Eventually this led to me not getting relaxers at all. I decided “What was the point”?

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Being that I grew up getting monthly relaxers I figured that the texture that was growing from my head at this point was tainted by the years of relaxer chemicals in my scalp. I soon found that the hair that was growing was truly my hair texture. It was soft, curly and strong. It felt amazing eventually I found out there was a name for what I had decided to do for the health of my hair, “Transitioning” .

In the midst of transitioning over a 1 and half year period it began to get very real. My relaxed hair started to slowly shed away in addition to me cutting my ends frequently. I than started to use Eben Organic hair products to make sure that my natural hair was getting all the nutrients that it needed to stay moisturized. Living in Miami FL at the time my hair never got dry that often but while transitioning my natural hair did frizz from the humidity ( being that i live across from the beach) This made my hair look very obvious that I was “going natural”. My go to hair style was Bantu knots and twist outs. This was the easiest, fastest, and cutest way for me to disguise the two textured hair.

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Eventually my relaxed hair faded away and my hair was all natural ! It was a curly Afro that I loved. I often wore it out in a Afro style because I loved how easy and cute it was. I attracted loads of attention to my natural hair. especially amongst other ethnicities. But what surprised me was the most African American woman would often tell me “You need a relaxer”. This was shocking and something that honestly disgusted me because this was the way all of our hair was. It confused me as to why it was so despised upon the in African American community. This then gave me drive towards BUE:lifestyle which is all about being yourself everyday. Being who you are and accepting the world for what it is, and not what you want or think it should be!

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Do you write a blog or have a twitter or instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

Blog: www.khaammstyle.wordpress.com

Twitter: @khaammstyles

Instagram: buelifestlye

Tumblr: www.khaamm.tumblr.com

(links on side for additional blogs, CLICK AROUND && HAVE FUN !)

http://khaammstyles.tumblr.com

Google+ Khaamm Buelifestlye

Email: kellihammond.kmh [at] gmail [dot] com

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Thanks for sharing, Kelli! Your curls are beautiful and so is your style and bubbly spirit! 🙂

If you’d like to be our hairspiration sometime, leave a comment or email thekinkandi@gmail.com, and I’ll get on it asap! All natural textures and lengths welcome!;)

I was featured by the lovely Bey on her blog last week. Please check it out here 🙂

Love,

AB

xx

Product Review: Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner

Hey guys!

Today, I’m reviewing the Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner.

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I’m presently under a self-imposed ban from buying any hair products. I’m completely out of instant conditioner and JBCO at the moment so yes, I have to buy those, but I’m not getting anything else till I’m out out out. Like cut-bottle-in-two-to-scrape-out. My stash is no product wonderland, but 5 different leave-ins are occupying space. They have to go! I’ve had this review and a few others sitting in ‘My Documents’ doing nothing, so this week, I’m letting them all out.

What’s my hair like? Kinky-coily, 4C, low porosity, fine texture, high density hair.

ELUCENCE MOISTURE BALANCING CONDITIONER

Product description:

Olive oil-derived squalane and coconut triglycerides infuse essential moisture and detangling emollients.

  • boosts moisture levels with lipids and proteins
  • adds softness, shine and silkiness with essential triglycerides
  • provides effortless combing to minimize breakage
  • dual-purpose conditioner and leave-in treatment
  • as a leave-in, provides continuous moisturising.

Application:

After shampooing, blot excess moisture. Apply sufficient amount for even courage. Allow to remain on hair for 1 minute, then rinse. As a leave-in treatment for excessively dry hair, apply small amount to damp hair and comb through. Continue styling as usual.

Ingredients:

Panax Ginseng root extract, cetraria islandia (Irish Moss) extract, saccharomyces cerevisiea (Brewer’s Yeast) extract, Gingko Biloba extract, pimpinella anisum (Anise) fruit extract, prunis persica (Peach) extract in purified water, hexadecanol, stearakonium chloride, certimonium bromide, Squalane (olive oil lipid), Capric Caprillic Triglycerides (coconut fatty acids), Panthenol (pro-vitamin USP), Biotin (USP), imisazolidinyl urea, methylparaben (USP), fragrance

Worth noting: this product is sulphate free, silicone free and glycerine free.

This ingredient list is the first of its kind that I’ve seen in my short hair journey so far. Ah ah. For the very first time, I became aware of the existence of these two very fun and fancy sounding words: squalane and triglyceride, haha. The fact that it is sulphate and silicone free was good enough to inspire me to try it, and nothing bad has happened to my hair. I do wish it had glycerine though. My hair looooves humectants!

How I Used

I used this product in two ways:

1. As a leave-in (on damp hair), and

2. As an instant/rinse-out conditioner. If you’d like further information about using rinse-out conditioners, you could read this post I wrote about the time I used a conditioner both ways, here.

THE VERDICT

Smell? I like it.

Slip for detangling? Great slip.

As an instant/rinse-out conditioner- not stripping at all. My hair was easy to detangle and soft afterwards.

As a leave-in: easily absorbed, but I still needed my water x glycerine spritzes. This is recommended in the description for use on super dry hair. I used it on really thirsty hair a few times and here’s how it was- moisturising at first, got my hair feeling good again, but at the end of the day, it was like any glycerine-free conditioner for me- I need a refresher hours later or at the end of the day. Meh.

Price- months ago, my mom got the 10oz bottle for me off Amazon for $5.15. Just yesterday, I saw the 1L bottle on CurlMart for $20. At this cost, I’d say it’s pretty pocket friendly. But, here in Nigeria? It’s not cheap.

Am I likely to repurchase? I like this conditioner as a rinse-out or instant conditioner but I don’t love it-love it as a leave-in. I’m happy though, that I can use it both ways if I absolutely have to, and there’s no itching or adverse reactions from my scalp. So, yes I could buy it again if someone would bring it over for me from the obodos.

Have you tried this conditioner? What are your thoughts?

WordPress tells me this is my 100th post! Thank you for reading what I write! 🙂

Till next time,

Love,

AB,

xx

HAIR BASICS- POROSITY

Hey you. This is another post in the Hair Basics series- a bunch of posts about the fundamentals of hair. What it really is and how it functions. You could continue the Understanding Hair 101 class here 🙂

Porosity, adj

The property of being porous.

Porous, noun.

Easily penetrated.

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WHAT IS HAIR POROSITY?

Hair Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to be penetrated. absorb and (not) retain moisture.

WHY IS THIS RELEVANT?

Good hair is healthy hair. Healthy hair is basically well moisturised hair.

When you moisturise, if your hair isn’t accepting it, your money and time are spent in vain. If your hair accepts all the moisture and lets go of it almost immediately, that’s like pouring water in a basket- still a waste of your time.

WHAT DETERMINES YOUR HAIR POROSITY?

Remember the structure of hair?  The Cortex is the power house; it determines what your hair looks like. Any hair product that promises strength, or moisture or conditioning, everything really, is supposed to get to your cortex for it to work. But sometimes, it’s not so easy to get to the cortex and sometimes it’s too easy. Why is that?

Ask the cuticle. Your hair cuticle is the gateway to your cortex and it does what it does. You have to learn how friendly or unfriendly your cuticle is and befriend it, work with it to get the desired results. Your cuticle determines your hair porosity. Stay with me now.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HAIR POROSITY?

There are three levels of Hair Porosity.

  1. Low Porosity. Lo-Po hair has really tight, compact cuticle and so it’s really really difficult for moisture to get through. On the bright side, if you can succeed to get moisture in, it retains the moisture really well.
  2. High Porosity. Hi-Po hair is like a sponge. It absorbs moisture, products pretty well, maybe too much- but it does a bad job at retaining moisture.
  3. Normal Porosity. If you’ve got Nor-Po hair, you’re lucky. It can absorb moisture but doesn’t overdo it and it retains it as well.

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?

Well, this isn’t a secret you should keep. Most hair products are designed for Nor-Po hair. However, I have good reason to believe that there are more Hi-Po and Lo-Po people in the world than Nor-Po people. Sucky, I know. Knowing your porosity can change everything. It can help you make adjustments- it can help you filter the information and products you’re assaulted with whenever you care to look.

HOW CAN YOU KNOW YOUR POROSITY?

It’s really simple.

  1. Put some water in a bowl.
  2. Take a strand of your hair- a clean, freshly washed, product-free strand and leave it on the surface of the water.
  3. Observe how long it takes for the strand to sink to the bottom of the bowl, if it goes down at all.

If your hair quickly sinks to the bottom, you’ve got High Porosity hair.

If your hair doesn’t get to the bottom in like an hour, or it’s still floating on top, you have Low Porosity hair.

If your hair gradually makes its way down- not too fast, not too slow, congrats, you’re a lucky one! Normal Porosity.

MY POROSITY

As I strongly suspected, my hair is super-duper Low Porosity. I placed my hair in a bowl of water, I checked an hour later- still floating on top. I went away, hopeful- and came back another hour later- still on top! O_O

OKAY, I KNOW MY POROSITY.  NOW WHAT?

When you know better, you do better- this is what the Hair Basics posts are all about.

Remember what I said about sweeping generalisations on the basis of Hair Typing? One myth or general rule I’ve read so many times is that highly textured hair a.k.a. Kinky hair is highly porous. My hair is SO kinky, yet I’m the opposite of highly porous. My cuticles cannot possibly be any less porous!

Another general rule I was observing since my big chop is- wash natural hair with cold water only. I’ve been doing a little Lo-Po research lately and it has been recommended by a few Lo-Po naturalistas, that light heat is good for Low Porosity hair. Washing with lukewarm water instead is advised. I’ve done this a few times since I read that and so far I haven’t noticed any difference but time will tell.

Having introduced the three levels of Hair Porosity, I’ll go on now to discuss them in a little more detail.

NORMAL POROSITY

Hey, lucky one.

Pros:

  1. Your hair absorbs moisture really well.
  2. Your hair retains moisture really well.
  3. Most products were made for you.

Any cons? No. All you have to do is moisturise and seal with a light hand, as you feel your hair requires.

If you don’t moisturise enough, your hair will be dry. If you do too much, you could have build-up too. It’s just that your hair naturally knows the moisture balance, so go with it. Don’t do too much, or too little. Just listen to your hair.

LOW POROSITY HAIR

Your cuticles are not just united against moisture, they are united against everything, really- and this works both ways, good and not so good.

Pros:

  1. Retains moisture really well.
  2. Lo-Po hair is highly resistant to damage from chemicals or heat- any form of over processing really- and this is a big pro.
  3. Lo-Po hair doesn’t need a lot of protein treatments- except your hair is breaking or showing any signs of damage, put down the mayo. Don’t follow that person that does a protein DC every two weeks. Too much protein and your hair is going to look dull because it’s just ugly dead protein lying there atop your hair shaft.

Cons:

  1. Serious difficulty in absorbing moisture.
  2. Lo-Po hair may be prone to build-up because the product isn’t getting in, it’s probably just sitting on your hair, weighing it down- except you’re doing the right things.

Since I discovered my hair is Lo-Po, I’ve been doing a bit of reading on this and basically- since the cuticles are so tight, the key to working with Lo-Po hair is stimulating it to raise its cuticles. When the cuticles are raised, they open up to receive the goodness you have to offer. I will be trying the things mentioned in this article I found on Curly Nikki and will report on any difference I experience.

It is advised that the basic regimen for Lo-Po hair involves

  1. Water-based leave-in moisturiser
  2. Humectants
  3. Seal in with a light oil.

The idea behind a light oil is this. Humectants draw moisture from the atmosphere into your hair. A heavy oil can render this useless as it is too much of a barrier. Some people say Coconut Oil may be too heavy for Lo-Po hair since the cuticle does such a great job at retaining moisture.

Note to self: The basic Lo-Po regimen is the simple moisturise & seal regimen that I’ve been doing. Coconut oil has been alright so far but I should probably try a lighter oil- like Jojoba or Grapeseed- just to test the theory. My moisturiser contains glycerin, a humectant- but as I’m using less of the lotion, I should probably mix more humectants into my routines.

HIGH-POROSITY HAIR

The good news is, unlike some of us, you have no problem absorbing moisture. The bad news is, your hair lets go of this moisture really quickly. Also, High-Porosity hair is very prone to chemical and heat damage, so you have to be really cautious and avoid this.

Some are born with Hi-Po hair. Some have Hi-Po hair thrust upon them (or bring it upon themselves)

Some people are born with Hi-Po hair and some people’s hair becomes Hi-Po along the way because of over processing. There are some treatments designed for High Porosity and the idea behind them is to make the cuticles tighter, and more compact.

Also, some say that a cuticle once permanently altered is altered forever. So if your cuticle is wide open because of chemical or heat damage, it might not be a bad idea to cut your hair and start growing it out again.

A Hi-Po hair regimen involves a lot of sealing! And at this point, I’m pretty sure you know why. The cuticle in Hi-Po hair is elevated in some way, making it easy for matter to go into and come out of the hair shaft. As it has no problems absorbing, the idea is to make exit more difficult. More sealing is required than with Lo-Po or Nor-Po hair.

A Hi-Po regimen according to the good people at naturallycurly.com

many high porosity naturals, after washing their hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, then a thick water based moisturizer followed by a heavy butter. By layering your products, you are providing your hair with the moisture it needs from the leave-in and moisturizer, and ensuring that the moisture remains near the hair shaft by using a heavy butter or oil to act as a protective layer to prevent the moisture from being lost to the atmosphere. High porosity naturals may also find it necessary to moisturize often and some high porosity naturals moisturize once or twice daily.

So now. What’s your hair porosity? Please do the test and google accordingly, for more information on your porosity. You might need to make some adjustments- raise or shut your cuticles- as your hair requires.

How long have you been aware of your porosity, and has this knowledge made you follow a particular routine for your hair? 

Low Porosity is new to me, so this is one more discovery in my hair journey. This is now the journey towards happy, healthy, kinky 4C low-porosity hair. : )

xx