Product Review: Ultra Black Hair

Ultra Black Hair- Product Review

Hello loves!

If you’re on Natural Hair/ Healthy Hair instagram, you’ve probably seen some buzz about this American brand: Ultra Black Hair. Created by Cathy Howse, these American products are in the motherland now, and the campaign is fairly serious. Cathy is also an author. Her first ‘Ultra Black Hair Growth Book’ was published in 1989, so even without reading it, big props to her for being invested in the healthy hair movement since before I was born.

I was sent these products (Satin Creme Moisturiser on the left, and the Deep Conditioner on the right) by @ultrablackhairafrica to review. I was not paid for this review, but because we love you guys so much, we convinced them to sponsor a giveaway- which we ran on Instagram (@thekinkandi), and announced the winners yesterday.

This review (like all the reviews you have read and will ever read on this blog) is my honest account of my experience with these products. They have seen me through like 4 washdays and the DC is actually almost finished, so I feel ready to talk about them.

Let’s dive right into it, shall we? Continue reading

Product Review: Brazen Curls, The Entire Line!

natural hair products- midas naturals- brazen curls

Hey, hey, hey guys!

Back in 2013, I got some products from Midas Naturals. I loved the healthy butter in particular, and I reviewed it here.

As the saying goes, the only thing that is constant in life is change, and since then, the brand has been through some changes. Currently, they have a new line of products- Brazen Curls, and they sent it to me towards the end of last year to review. I have used them, and so has MeeMee, so, here I am with our unbiased views on the products.

This is not a sponsored post. Though made in the UK, Midas Naturals is owned by a Nigerian woman, so it gives us great joy that these products are quality stuff, and we definitely think you should know about them. Continue reading

Product Review: Curls Unleashed Lavish in Lather Sulfate-Free Shampoo

In November, I got this shampoo from Perfect Trust Cosmetics, ASG Shopping Complex (opposite Ascon Filling Station), Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja. It cost 2000 Naira. Not bad at all, considering it retails for about $10 in the obodos.

I’m halfway through my bottle now, so it’s safe to say, it’s time for a review!

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Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Disodium Cocoamphodiporopionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, Cocoamide MEA, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Yarrow, Hops, Rosemary, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, PPG-5-Ceteth-10-Phosphate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Lilial, Methylionone.

Okay, so this is a lot of chemicals. ( ._.)

But have you noticed? This is a Sulfate Free Shampoo! It is also free of Parabens, and Mineral oil.

Product Description:

Perfect for all textures: Wavy, Curly and Kinky.

Lavish in the ultimate shampoo experience as your hair is gently cleansed, moisturised and detangled with lemon balm, rosemary and hops.

How I Use:

As usual. I Pre-poo. Get hair wet, then work shampoo through hair, focusing on the scalp. When I’m satisfied, I rinse clean. (I like to use warm water to wash my hair, same applies for co-washing)

Smell: like Baby Shampoo. Good enough for me.

Consistency: It is kind of thick- not as light as other shampoos I’ve used.

The Bottle: It’s okay, but over the last three months, I’ve done a bit of traveling with it in tow. I swear I close it tight, but it manages to open somehow. So be sure to tie it up!

Cleansing & Moisturising: One wash is enough to get my hair and scalp clean, but when I washed my hair after NYSC camp- the dirt was unbelievable. I didn’t realise Obubra was that dusty! Beige lather yo. I washed, rinsed, and I just had to wash again. I was impressed that my hair did not feel stripped at all.

Detangling: I normally don’t bother to detangle my hair at the Shampoo stage, but as this product claimed to have detangling properties, I put it to the test. Yes it has some slip.For a quick note about Slip, please go here. I was able to gently finger detangle as easily as I would with an average conditioner. However, its slip definitely cannot compare to a very good conditioner- so you may still want to skip the detangling tip at this point.

Anyhoo, this product definitely does as it says. It washes clean, it is non-stripping, and it can detangle too!

Would I Buy This Again?

Yes! Apart from my little reservation about the bottle and the opening thing, I’m pretty happy with this shampoo! 🙂

If you’re in Abuja, you could check Perfect Trust Cosmetics, and if you’re based anywhere else in Nigeria, you can get this on Olori.com. For more deets about both stores, look them up in the Where to Find Directory.

Did You Know?

‘Curls Unleashed’ is the Natural Hair Line from ORS (former Organic Root Stimulator)

Do you Shampoo? Have you tried this Shampoo? Do you like it? Would you try it? What’s your favourite Sulfate Free Shampoo?

Love,

AB,

Xx

To Comb Or Not To Comb?

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This is the question.

And my answer? Not to Comb!

My super kinky, tightly coiled 4C hair doesn’t like to be combed.

I didn’t realise this at first, but time and time again, hair has spoken and finally, I am listening.

Hair shedding is mostly normal. We have countless hair strands, in varied phases of growth. It’s not odd to lose a few every other day. But what I deal with when a comb meets my hair is not shedding. It is breakage.

My Protein levels are fine, but almost every time I comb my hair, I am very discouraged by the amount of hair I have left on my comb, in the sink, on the floor. And I’m all about length retention this year. If I’m seriously looking forward to hair like this, stuck up hair

I do not need constant breakage. AT ALL.

The difference between Shedding and Breakage.

shedding vs breakage

Shedding is when you lose a hair, like a whole hair. You know you lose a hair when you see a little white bulb at one end. That fell out of your follicle. Hair can also be yanked out through violent combing, but if you’re combing your hair normally, chances are, a shed hair really just shed. On its own.

Breakage on the other hand is the cause of any other hair you see. Not a full strand, you see no white bulbs. It is half or one quarter or any measurement really, of hair that has broken off from a still existing strand. Unlike shedding, breakage doesn’t just happen in the normal course of life of a hair strand. It could be as a result of lack of protein or moisture, or from mechanical manipulation through combing and styling.

So you’re just not going to comb your hair?

Yep. That’s the plan. I’m not throwing away my comb oh. I’m just saying, maybe once a month? Only on Washdays? I’ll keep you posted.

Hmm. But. How will you keep your hair from matting?

I’m not trying to grow locs. I’ve found that for my hair’s detangling needs, my fingers are perfectly alright. My digits are as good as and even way better than any (wide-toothed) comb.

My fingers are able to navigate my knotty tangles better than combs. With them I can be much more gentle, and still get the work done.

The catch? Finger detangling takes time. And when worn loose and free, finger-detangled hair doesn’t look as smooth. I’m not a fan of the way my kinky 4c fro looks without any combing at all.

And when I have to comb?

I did a ‘How To Comb’ post in February last year.

But I think something about that should be different now.

We are told not to comb natural hair dry. This makes sense. If your hair is dry, brittle with no product in it (e.g. after you just take out a weave)

But, when we comb our hair wet, though it is easier, it is also in a vulnerable state.

So, what am I saying?

I’ve realised that when my hair is dry on the outside but well moisturised on the inside, (and somewhat stretched) combing is a much more pleasant experience. A lot less hair leaves my head when I comb hair in this state.

Even when I get a blowout before braids at the salon, though it can be a little aggressive, less hair is lost than when I comb right after a shower.

In my opinion, there are only a few hard and fast rules for natural hair and hair care. It’d be so much easier to not accept everything you read as absolutes. Be guided by their logic, but let your personal experience have the final say.

So guys. I want to know. Am I the only one that feels or has come to feel this way about combing or handling their hair? Do you comb or are you a finger detangler? What works for you? Please, share!

Love,

AB,

Xx

Making The Most of Your ‘Poo!

When I started my hair journey, I hated shampoo because it made my hair feel like a scouring sponge. I discovered alternative no-poo methods which were great and have written about before.

Now, 1 year and 7 months later, I can say that Shampoo in the bottle as you know it, is not the enemy. I love to Poo after my hair has been in a protective style for weeks and just to be on the safe side, when my hair is out, every four weeks or so to keep Product Build-up away.

Yes, most shampoos are harsh on hair because they contain detergents/surfactants called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals cleanse deep, and for this reason, your hair may be left very brittle and dry.

Sulfate-free shampoos contain milder surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine in place of SLS/SLES. I’d especially recommend them to people who need to wash their hair often, like swimmers.

You don’t need to shampoo every three days or every other week, but no matter your preference, these pointers will help you make the most of ‘Poo days- with or without sulfates. 🙂

How cute

Source: Pinterest

Dilute It!

You can reduce the harsh effects of your shampoo by diluting it with water. Get an applicator bottle or even a regular bowl. Put in a little amount of shampoo and add water (not too much!) and shake the bottle or shake up with your hands (if you’re using a bowl)- and you’re ready to wash!

Gently focus on your scalp

Have you ever heard- Shampoo is for scalp and Conditioner is for hair?

When you’re shampooing, the focus should be on your scalp. If you focus your application on the scalp, it will be well cleansed and the shampoo will still get to your hair strands. You don’t need to scrub your hair as it lathers and you definitely don’t need to scratch your scalp in the process.

Pre-Poo

This is simply the act of applying oils or conditioners to your hair before shampooing to prepare it for the harsh manipulation to follow. I vouch for plain oil pre-poos.

Science says coconut oil is the best for pre-pooing because of its ability to be absorbed into the hair shaft. 8 hours is also said to be the optimum time for your coconut pre-poo. I use coconut oil when I have it, and when I don’t- olive oil. And except I’m pre-pooing overnight, 3-4 hours is just good for me.

Add Oil

If you haven’t got the time to pre-poo, just add oil to the amount of shampoo you’re ready to use. You don’t have to dilute it with water. My favourite oils for this are Castor and Olive.

Make sure you Deep Condition!!

This is a MUST! The cleansing process strips your hair of its moisture and natural oils. Some people prefer to Deep Condition their hair before shampooing, to add a little more moisture so that the hair feels less stripped afterwards. Others prefer to DC on clean hair after a wash, to replenish lost moisture. Either way, both methods work. So choose what you like, and make sure you do!

So guys. How do you make shampooing worthwhile? What works for you and what doesn’t? Feel free to have your say in the comments!

You know you could always email: thekinkandi@gmail.com

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx

P.S. The focus of this article is really on the regular SLS/SLES Shampoos. If you find that your sulfate-free shampoo or even conditioner strips your hair, you could follow the pointers too. But if they work fine, doing their jobs without stripping your hair down, you’re fine using them alone.