5 Chic and Sophisticated Spring/Summer Hair Trends for 2014

spring summer hair trends 2014

Article also available on Black Girl with Long Hair!

[to the tune of R. Kelly Seems Like You're Ready]
Temperatures are riiiiiiising,
Your hair is probably yearning.
Forrrrrr a change.....

Let me stop there. There's probably 8,743 different reasons to not cite or quote R. Kelly. But spring is most certainly here, and summer is on the way. Temperatures are warming up! At this time of year, many naturals are coming out of their protective styles, and swapping scarves and coats for sunglasses and short sleeves.

Spring offers an opportunity for a fresh start, and what better way to renew your natural hair than with a new cut or style? These 5 trends are very in, and are absolutely perfect for ladies looking to switch it up without making a drastic change (with the exception of one). They're also great for ladies who rock their natural hair in work environments where bold colors and funky shaved designs might be deemed unprofessional.

Let's jump right in!

1. The Mid-Length Cut

Formerly known as the "awkward in-between phase" of hair growth, it is now chic and popular for Spring and Summer this year. The mid-length cut is perfect for ladies growing out a bob, or for ladies with longer hair looking to switch it up while still having enough hair to ponytail or bun. Mid length cuts fall between neck and collarbone length, and for most naturals with medium or longer length hair, achieving this shape of cut won't require too many inches lost. Pair it with a deep side part or mermaid waves to take this mid-length to the next level of chic!

2. Chin to Collarbone Bob
The bob will always and forever be in style. It is classic, iconic, sophisticated, and chic. But for spring and summer, the bob is getting stepped up and the asymmetrical cut is back! In 2014 it's being called the "Chin to Collarbone Bob", but the idea is still very Salt n Pepa-esque. This look is perfect for shorter hair of all textures, and even locs.With this cut, the deep side part is definitely the way to go!

3. Deep Side Part
The deep side part is back! But did it ever really go anywhere? I live in a side part (seriously), but it's nice to know that something I'm doing is very in season. Rock the deep side part with low ponytails, wash and go's, braidouts, twistouts, bantu knot outs, blowouts, and more. A deep side part can be achieved on any length, texture, or type of hair.

4. Re-Big Chopping
Remember when I said only one of the trends involved a huge change? It's this one. If you follow natural hair bloggers and business owners on social media, you'll see the re-chop trend happening in real time. Whether to donate to locks of love, due to a bad dye job, in the mood for a fresh start, or inspired by their favorite celebs, big chops and TWAs are very in for spring and summer. In fact, two of my favorite people on Instagram have already taken the plunge! Saleemah Cartwright, founder of Hydratherma Naturals (@hydratherma on Instagram) and popular vlogger Teaundra (@teaundra_ on Instagram) both chopped their tresses and have gorgeous new cuts!

5. Mermaid Waves
Not a fan of cutting at all? Enter: mermaid waves. This romantic and ethereal look is perfect for the boardroom, the bar, and while out on the town. No cutting or special skills needed for this one. Just start off with stretched hair (blowout, banded, an old flat iron job, etc.) and grab a little moisturizer and styling foam. Transitioners can rock this style too! Mermaid waves can be achieved by making two flat twists or braids around the head (milkmaid style), or with 4-6 big and loose bantu knots. I achieved these mermaid waves while transitioning, on a blowout with large bantu knots. Of course, you can achieve mermaid waves with a styling wand, but why use extra heat? For more of a visual, watch Alicia James break it down on YouTube. Naptural85 also shows her method with the bigger bantu knots.

Which spring/summer trends are you considering? I'm keeping my side part action, and the mermaid waves may make another appearance!

Review: It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin

I'll just come right out and say it:

I really wasn't checking for anything from It's a 10. To be honest, I hadn't even paid any attention to the brand. Like, at all. Anything I know about It's a 10 comes as a result of after-the-fact research. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin came into my purview under as what can only be described as serendipitous circumstances. I was at Ulta purchasing my Garnier serum (heat protectant), and taking advantage of the Shea Moisture BOGO they were running in March. I then became aware that they were giving out 4oz bottles of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin for the FREE with any $20 purchase. Sidebar: I think the promotion is over, but you can always ask if they still have the bottles in stock. Some stores are running the promotion beyond the end date because there were too many bottles left over. For my LA ladies, such is the case at the newly opened Ulta at Midtown Crossing on Pico. Anywho, I'm all about the free-skees so I gladly took the product (especially when I discovered that the 4oz bottle regularly retails for $20).

So, how exactly did the Miracle Leave-In catapult from virtual obscurity into my Must-Haves for 2014? Read the in-depth details of this product review to find out how a product not really marketed for natural hair climbed it's way to the pinnacle of this product junkie's list.

Ingredient List: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Keratin Amino Acids, Cyclopentasiloxane, Fragrance, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Panthenol, Quaternium 80, Silk Amino Acids, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3 Cylcohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropianal, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Methychloroisothiazolinone.

Ingredient Analysis:
  • Water
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: Mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols, considered "fatty alcohols" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Fatty alcohols are lubricants, thickeners, and emollients. They give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Also used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • Behentrimonium Chloride: Quaternary ammonium compound and close cousin of cetrimonium chloride. Also penetrates the hair, conditions, and acts as an anti-static and anti-microbial agent.
  • Propylene Glycol: Humectant and conditioning agent, controversial in nature due to its ability to cause skin irritations such as contact dermatitis.
  • Hydrolyzed Keratin: Protein that is responsible for keeping the hair strong and pliable. This is the strongest of the(hair product) proteins and is actually the one that hair is made from. Keratin restructures hair that has been damaged or broken down by chemicals. It helps to replace the amino acid cysteine (the main one lost during chemical processing). When keratin or any protein is hydrolyzed, the molecules have been broken down and are small enough to go beyond the cuticle and penetrate the hair shaft. It will strengthen all 3 layers of the hair.
  • Keratin Amino Acids: Used for conditioning, moisturizing, known to make hair glossy, and give hair more body. It is a strong humectant, and is made from a mixture of amino acids, the most common in this mixture are Glutamic acid, Serine, Proline, Arginine, Threonine, and Aspartic acid.
Availability: It's a 10 products are available at Ulta, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. Yeah. That pretty much covers all the bases.

Affordability: :::wrinkles nose::: ehhh... Well, you already know how I got mine for free (and trust and believe, I've stocked up on about 4 more since). But the 4oz bottle of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In retails for $20 at most retailers. The 2oz travel size goes for $14. $20 for 4oz of a leave-in conditioner/refresher is definitely outside of the affordable range. But since the bottles in my stash were free, I'm not complaining! But when I run out.....#prayforme.

Product Claim/Description:
It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin is an excellent nourishing treatment that can be used alone and/or as a restorative styling product to maintain keratin straightening treatments. It works on all hair types to bring out natural luster and manageability while also making hair stronger and healthier by replacing lost protein with every use. It can be used on wet hair for extra shine or dry hair in place of a styling cream
It's a 10 does 10 things instantly:
  1. Maintenance of keratin straightening treatments
  2. Increases styling and manageability
  3. Perfect for all hair types
  4. Replaces lost protein
  5. Protects the natural keratin in hair
  6. Protects against heat
  7. Restores hydration balance
  8. Detangles, defrizzes & adds shine
  9. Strengthens hair structure
  10. Seals cuticles for extra silky hair
Performance/Delivery: Just for fun, let's examine the truth in the 10 claims on the bottle:
  1. Not applicable, but I did not notice any adverse "straightening" effects.
  2. Wasn't really checking for manageability, but it did make my hair soft and restored body.
  3. Given that this product isn't particularly marketed for natural hair, but it works phenomenally, I'm inclined to say yes. 
  4. I'm sure it does based upon the ingredients, but I've got no scientific proof.
  5. Again, I'm sure it does based upon the ingredients, but I've got no proof.
  6. Yes, the proteins, aminos, silicones, fatty alcohols, and humectants help prevent heat damage by strengthening, delaying heat transfer, and aiding in moisture retention.
  7. This product is definitely moisturizing, it is water based.
  8. Because of the size of the bottle, I wouldn't recommend detangling with it. But it definitely does help reduce frizz and add shine.
  9. Yes, the protein content does help strengthen hair. Since I've began using it, I'm noticing less wispy ends (from breakage).
  10. I'm leaning toward yes, but without 100% certainty. Without testing the pH, I can't say for certain whether it helps seal the cuticle. It does contain aloe vera, which does seal the cuticle. 
Hmm, based upon the 10 point inspection above, it definitely scores favorably and meets a number of the claims. All things considered, I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!  But let's backtrack a bit and cover some of the basics. The It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin comes in a spray bottle, and spritzes out similar in consistency (although a little thinner) to ApHogee Curlific Leave-In. It's creamy (as opposed to being runny), but not at all heavy. It feels like a considerably lighter version of a good conditioner. Because it spritzes, you don't have to worry about trying to evenly distribute it throughout the hair. One thing I love about this product is how quickly it works. I kid you not, it works instantly. The second I spray my hair, it is soft, shiny, smooth, bouncy, and just everything you'd expect and more.

The leave-in has a light and floral fragrance that doesn't linger and isn't offensive to the senses. It works great as a leave-in to help keep the hair hydrated and strong, but I've really found my home in this stuff as a refresher spray, and to prep my hair at night before pineappling. It instantly invigorates my hair. Within seconds of spraying, my curls are swinging and swaying with amazing body, bounce, hydration and springback action. I can't get enough of it. It almost makes me sad to tie it up for the night, because of how awesome my hair looks and feels afterward. The leave-in definitely leaves me with serious hand-in-hair syndrome. Much like my Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk, I keep It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin stashed in my purse, gym bag, or work bag depending on where I'm going. Yes, it's that real.

I love the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin so much, I've decided to re-write the 10 claims, #naturalhair style:
  1. Perfect for all textures and hair types
  2. Instantly softens and smooths hair
  3. Lightweight hydration without buildup
  4. Adds body and shine
  5. Replaces lost protein and protects keratin
  6. Helps prevent breakage
  7. Protects against heat damage
  8. Provides perfect moisture/protein balance
  9. Excellent for refreshing wash and go styles
  10. Helps keep cuticles sealed*
Okay, so my 10 aren't vastly different, but I did make some key changes that are relevant and vital to naturalistas.

Drawbacks: To be honest, I can't think of a single drawback with the product itself. It works great, surpassed my every expectation, and has become a must-have product for me. My only major qualm is with the full retail price. I'm willing to pay slightly obscene prices for two things: curl definers and deep conditioners. I can't see myself paying $20 for what amounts to a leave-in conditioner and refresher spray. If this product were even $9.99  for 4oz, I'd be a customer for life.

Bonuses: Plumpness. Have you ever felt like your tresses were just succulent and ripe with life? That's how my hair feels every time I use this stuff. No matter how dry, dull, and drab my hair looks, It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In pumps instant life into my hair. Every. Single. Time. Another added bonus, even though it contains lots of protein, it doesn't leave the hair feeling stiff or straw-like. Hair is super soft to the touch, leading me to believe that it helps strike the perfect protein/moisture balance in hair.

Bottom Line: I mean, it made the Must-Haves for 2014 list. Is there anything I can really say -- other than pray for me after I run out of these Ulta free bottles?

Best Practices: Although it can be used as a leave-in, I prefer to use the product as a refresher and moisturizing product after my wash and go is already dry. If I'm experiencing the crunchies, It's a 10 makes them all go away.

Overall Product Rating: 4.5. I had to deduct for the price, unfortunately. But the product is absolutely worth more than 5 stars! If it were priced right, it would have a perfect score!

6 Gentle Dyes for Natural Hair


If you search the hashtag #naturalhair on Instagram, you're guaranteed to come across some jaw-droppingly gorgeous kinky, curly, and coily manes. Not only do their curly fros, twistouts, and updos defy gravity, many social media naturalistas are rocking eye-catching hues on their manes, from golden blonde ombre to sizzling red and cool blue. If you're anything like me, you look wistfully at these photos and begin contemplating what products you can hold off on buying in order to save up for a professional dye job. But then you chicken out, not only unsure of committing to a color, but somewhat fearful of ruining the natural hair you worked so hard to grow.

Check out these 6 natural alternatives to hair dye to add a little dimension to your hair. Fair warning: they won't give you drastic color lift/change, but it should be enough to satisfy your curiosity. Plus, they are all fairly affordable and relatively easy to do at home.

2014 Natural Hair Must-Haves [The COMPLETE List]

best natural hair products

When it comes to hair products, I'm like an unfaithful lover with a wandering eye. I stick closely to what I know and love, but I have a seemingly insatiable desire to see what's out there. My staples make me feel at home, but I love the thrill of the new product chase. But in 2014, I've decided that it might be time to settle down a little. I'm not hanging up my PJ hat just yet -- more like narrowing down the pool of product suitors. I have a lot of products -- some I love and can't live without, some I feel really good about and there's a high probability that I'll repurchase, some I like but won't repurchase, and some I can't quite seem to work into my regime. Time to let the last two go. I guess you can call this a spring cleaning of sorts. I'm going to narrow my supply down to those products which I absolutely love, and those I like enough to buy again. Now, this does not mean I will stop buying products. I will always, always, always try something new. But in order to do so, I need to make some room. So, here is part 1 products that I'll be holding near and dear to my heart for 2014 (please note that this list is subject to change and grow...the PJ struggle is real!):

I originally set out to do this list in 2 parts. I started in January, and it is now April and I had yet to get to part 2. That's because I was trying new products :) I've finally tried a slew of new products, revisited some oldies, and drawn a few conclusions about what will make my hair the happiest in 2014. Oddly enough, some of the products from the first draft of this article didn't make it. Enjoy!

Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go
http://cdn3.volusion.com/oruzt.hjcyc/v/vspfiles/photos/LRC-NATURAL-GO-2.jpg?1387402070Back when I started this list in January, Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip occupied the coveted spot of Christina's Detangler of 2014. Shake & Go has effectively ousted Soultanicals! I'm in the process of doing my full Lawrence Ray Concepts line review, but let me tell you....this stuff is AMAZING!!!! I posted on Instagram a while back, timing how long it took to detangle a section of my hair with just Shake & Go. 51 seconds. Need I say more? I don't but I will. It's a great detangler, refresher, leave-in, and moisturizer. More in my review coming soon! P.S. -- if you decide to purchase, go for the salon size bottle. #thankmelater #giveawaycomingsoon

Shampoos & Cleansers
http://static.naturallycurly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Shampoo-350-x-420.jpgtgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo
Always and foreverrrrrrrr, each moment with you, is just like a dream to me, that somehow came true.... Okay, maybe I shouldn't sing Luther Vandross songs about a product, but tgin's shampoo is one of those products that had me wondering, where have you been all my life? Click here to see why I gush endlessly about this shampoo, and the rest of the line.

Ouidad Curl Co-Wash
http://thisthatbeauty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Ouidad-Co-wash.jpgDon't tell Devachan, but the No Poo has been ousted....by Ouidad (I'm such a traitor! This girl ain't loyal....to a brand :-D). I honestly had to make a tough call here between the Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo and the Co-Wash. Both are amazing. But which one will I actually go out and buy more of? Honestly, I love them both...but it came down to pricing. I'd rather pay $30 for 16 oz than $18 for 8oz, so the Co-Wash wins. Look for a full review on this product soon, but suffice it to say that clean, moisturized, detangled, and de-frizzed hair is on the menu after one wash.

Multipurpose Conditioners
Aussie Moist
Aussie Moist was a longtime staple for me as a transitioner, but I got enticed by other conditioners and gradually went astray. But in 2014, me and the big purple bottle are kicking it tough. Aussie Moist has been responsible for amazing detangling, cheap cowashing, and the easiest wash day ever. And for under $6, you really can't go wrong. 

Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Conditioner
This was one of my oldie but goodies that I stopped using, started using again nearly a year later, and wondered why I had ever stopped using it. Cheap. Huge bottle. Add water. Great slip. Great ingredients, especially considering that it is under $5.

Deep Conditioners
http://static.naturallycurly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Triple-Moisture-Conditioner-350-x-420.jpgtgin Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner
Although this is considered a regular conditioner, the buttery goodness it brings has me classify it as a DC. Simply put, I love everything about it. Click here to read my full review.

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/Ulta/2257269?$detail$I stumbled upon this DC almost by accident, and I'm ever so glad I did. It is the TRUTH. La verdad. Ni kweli. I'd look for other languages to say it in, but I have other things I need to Google instead. This deep conditioner will seriously make you wonder where it has been all your life. Don't quite believe me? Click here to read my review.

Jamila BAQ Henna + Purgasm Shop Wild Cherry Treatment Hair Truffles
I listed these as a duo, because I will never use one apart from the other. The Purgasm Shop truffles completely and utterly revolutionized my henna experience. I use henna primarily to treat my psoriasis, but I love the additional strengthening, thickening, reddening, and shining benefits. Click here to read all about my henna process.

http://carolinastylemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Ouidad-Whipped-Curls.jpgOuidad Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer
http://static.naturallycurly.com/images/products/2011/12/05/8391100910phpYRWyHt.jpgThis one is a newbie for me, but it soared to the top of my must-have list. You know how sometimes, you just have a feeling about a product? That's what happened with this one. As soon as I opened the top and saw a a whipped cream-esque dispenser, I knew I was in for something great. This super thick and dense conditioner slays frizz, and packs a moisturizing punch. Full review coming soon!

Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner
Although Honey Hemp Conditioner technically works as a regular or deep conditioner, I couldn't see myself buying a new bottle every other wash day. I've made the Honey Hemp work for me best as a leave-in. A little goes a long way, and that makes this conditioner here to stay! You guessed it -- review coming soon!

ApHogee Curlific Leave-In Conditioner
Originally, I left this one off the list. Then, I realized how enamored I was with it and decided to tack it on. It's a great leave-in with phenomenal ingredients. Definitely a cost-effective alternative to the other two in this category. Check out my full review here.

Moisturizers & Refreshers
http://images.monstermarketplace.com/beauty-cosmetics-and-fragrances/camille-rose-naturals-curl-love-moisture-milk-8-0-fl-oz-376x750.jpgCamille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk
I think the folks at Camille Rose might want to rename this one Curl Obsession Moisture Milk. Because once you put it on your hair, you'll become obsessed with it. I absolutely love it. I've got 4 unopened bottles in my stash, and one half used bottle -- and I'm contemplating grabbing at least 2 more. Yes, it's that good. For more information, read my review of the Curl Love Moisture Milk here.

It's a 10 Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin
http://www.allaboutthepretty.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Leave-in-plus-keratin.jpgI got this for free with my $20 purchase at Ulta last month. I didn't think I'd use it or need it, much less love it. But I do! It's a good leave-in, but it makes an even better refresher product. Seriously. It transforms dry and parched hair to super soft, moisturized, and bouncy in just a few spritzes. I seriously keep a bottle of this stuff in my purse or gym bag at all times. It's a tad on the expensive side if purchased outright, but Ulta has it for free (in the promotion I mentioned above) until they run out. Good thing I need more of a few products on my list from there, so I can stock up on free bottles of this until the wheels fall off! Read my full review here.

http://corallista.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Catwalk-by-TIGI-Curlesque-Curls-Rock-Amplifier.jpgTIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier
Expensive. Janky ingredients. Not even checking for natural haired ladies. Stingy with the amount of product. All of these things accurately describe TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier to a tee. Yet, the product is a must-have. Why on earth would something that's $18 for 5.07 be deserving of a 4.5 star rating and a spot on the must-haves list? Two words: IT WORKS. As much as I want to be a cheapskate, the proof is in the pump. Still not convinced? Check the review.

 tgin Twist & Define Cream
http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/twist-cream-closedjpg-440x440.jpgWhen I was first introduced to Twist & Define, I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. Should I use it for a braidout? Or as a moisturizer? One morning when I was short on time, I grabbed the jar after washing and ran it through my hair. What I discovered? A kick-ass curl definer for my wash and go's. Curls Rock Amplifier is my #1 but make no mistakes, Twist & Define is #2. No, not even. It's #1.5.

Oils & Butters
http://distilleryimage0.s3.amazonaws.com/703d68382c6411e39fda22000a1f8ae8_7.jpgKyra Shea Medley's Original & Rejuvenation Butter Creams
Although I'm not much of a butterer, I do like to treat my hair to a little luxe softness occasionally. The rich vanilla-infused Original Butter Cream fits the bill, and is heaven in a jar. The Rejuvenation Butter Cream is my hands down, #1 go-to edges defender. Are your edges in good hands? If not, put them in Kyra's!

Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Bath, Body & Massage Oil
http://resources.shopstyle.com/sim/01/28/01281b708705125515a461edd4f47750/ulta-sheamoisture-superfruit-complex-bath-body-massage-oil.jpgDon't give me the side eye just yet. Even though it is a part of Shea Moisture's bath and body collection, I purposely purchased this oil for my hair and scalp as well. Beyond the fact that it smells amazing (it has become my signature fragrance for spring), it contains a perfect blend of ceramides, omegas, vitamins, and antioxidants that nourish my scalp, my skin, and my dry ends. Review coming soon, but just trust me on this one!

Finally, the list is done! What products will you be trying this year?

For Discussion: Do Butters and Oils "Suffocate" Our Hair?

Article also on Black Girl with Long Hair!

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute amazing opportunity to participate as a panelist in the Ouidad #FRIZZ101 hangout. I got some great information on managing frizz in dry climates, deep conditioning, and more. If you're interested in the whole hour, go right ahead and watch. But if you want to hear Ouidad say something that *might* make you believe your entire natural hair journey has been a lie (of course I'm being dramatic), fast forward to 34:09 when Renee of In Her Shoes mentions using oils to seal in moisture and add shine.

Ouidad cuts in and says, "Oil does not seal in moisture."
WHAT?! What do you mean, oil doesn't seal in moisture? Ouidad goes on to explain:

"Oil coats the hair and repeals natural moisture [from the environment]. It causes dehydration, dullness, and frizziness. Our hair is like us, it needs to breathe. If we suffocate it [with oils], it dries out."

Ouidad did go on to mention that there are water soluble oils, as well as oils like coconut that are very beneficial for natural hair -- but that they should not be applied directly to the hair. They should be included as ingredients in products that you feed your hair. Does that mean everything we've learned about natural oils as sealants is a lie? Do oils seal the hair or suffocate it? For further clarification, I reached out to Jennifer Rose (@jenniferrosenyc on Instagram) of Bellissimo Hair Spa in NYC. She had this to say on the matter:

"Applying a light oil to hair after styling or before bed for daily moisture is great. But it is the IDEA of 'sealing' that I have an issue with. You SHOULD have to apply your oil or spray-on moisturizer daily, that means it is truly being absorbed. If you put oil in your hair Sunday and it is still there Wednesday, your hair is lubricated, NOT moisturized. Oil does not "seal" moisture into the hair. If you have to L.O.C., that means your L is a crap product."

Apparently, these two textured hair professionals are on the same page. Although some may discredit Ouidad because her client base is not exclusively Black women, Rose's specialty is caring for, maintaining, and growing natural hair. Despite their differences in clientele, they are both leaning toward the same idea: chill on the overzealous use of oils and butters. You aren't doing your hair any favors.

So are we suffocating, sealing, smothering, or spot-on? 

I find their choice of words interesting. Suffocating. Lubricating. Suffocating means to literally kill by preventing the access of air. Lubricating is the action of applying an oily or greasy substance to diminish friction. Sealing, of course involves creating an inpenetrible barrier that allows nothing to escape, but also nothing to enter. Semantics aside, oils and butters have always been touted to help lock moisture within the hair, helping it remain hydrated longer. But by that same token, oils and butters (with the exception of coconut oil) are never touted as moisturizers by any blogger or vlogger worth their weight in conditioner. Because by that same function of sealing moisture in, moisture is also kept out -- and to an extent, repelled from the hair. So technically speaking, hair can be both sealed and suffocated (while being lubricated, haha) with oils and butters.

My opinion on the matter? I think it boils down to three main points:
  • How much butter/oil are you using?
  • How frequently are you using it?
  • How are you actually moisturizing your hair?
While I can't speak to what works for others, I can definitely share what works for me. Truthfully, I've never been a huge fan of sealing. Partially because I'm super heavy-handed with product and would turn my hair into one big greasy curl, and partially because I prefer to focus on incorporating moisture into my hair through the right product combinations. For me, there is some truth to what Jennifer Rose said in terms of "crap products", and what Ouidad emphasized in terms of oils and butters being ingredients in the products used to nourish the hair. But first, let's address the elephant in the room first: there are some crap products out there. Some products, by ingredient choice or formulation (or by manufacturers taking shortcuts to save money), are absolute crap. No name-dropping here, but we can all probably name at least 3 products that are junk in a bottle. On the other hand, even though a product may not be crap in and of itself, it may indeed be crap for my hair...or make my hair feel like crap. Even though I'm a product junkie with no recovery in sight, I refuse to hold on to products that don't work for my hair. There is absolutely no point in wasting my time (or money) on a product that doesn't work well to meet my hair's needs. Supporting Ouidad's point about oils included in products, for the bulk of my hair, hydration, nourishment, oils, and everything else under the sun comes from my leave-in and moisturizer.

There are two exceptions to this of course: my scalp and my ends. Because I have psoriasis, my scalp can get itchy and dry at the drop of a hat. To help quell this issue, I lightly apply oil to my scalp (mixed with a little peppermint or rosemary essential oil) and massage it in for a few minutes. The second exception is for my ends. They tend to dry out easily (more than likely because I never protectively style and wear wash and go's 96.8% of the time), so I have to be diligent about keeping them moisturized. Every other day, I apply water-based moisture (via spray, lotion, or Q-Redew) first, then follow up with a ceramide-rich oil or butter blend lightly applied and worked into the ends. But again, this works well for me. Every glorious head of hair is different, and has different needs.

So in the end, what say you, naturalistas? Did we all jump on the butter bandwagon too quickly, or are we just doing what's right for our hair? Does this information convince you to not use oils or butters at all (except for in products), in moderation, or will you continue your regimen as usual?

Weigh in!

Giveaway Time! Enter The Mane Choice Manetabolism Giveaway -- Hosted By Me!!!!

manetabolism vitamins giveaway

Seriously, I love giveaways. As a blogger, there's nothing I enjoy doing more than getting to share great products with the peeps that show me soooo much love on the blog, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.

Well, the time has come for the giveaway many folks have been asking about: MANETABOLISM Healthy Hair Vitamins! Courtney and the lovely folks of The Mane Choice have supplied me with not one, but TWO bottles of Manetabolism to give away. Each bottle contains a 30 day supply!

The Details:
There will be TWO winners: One from Facebook and one from Instagram. Yes, you may enter both, and each has ways to make yourself eligible to enter up to 2x per day.

How To Enter: Instagram
Visit @maneobjective on Instagram for the graphic to repost!
  1. Follow me (@maneobjective) on Instagram
  2. Repost the picture above//from my feed on your own account with the hashtage #MyManeObjective
  3. You can repost the picture up to 2 times per DAY, between now (as in literally, right now) and Thursday 4/17 at 11:59pm PST. 
How to Enter: Facebook
Visit www.facebook.com/maneobjective and look under the blue "giveaway" icon -- it will have all the Rafflecopter deets!
  1. "Like" The Mane Objective Facebook Page
  2. "Share" The Mane Objective Facebook Page on your timeline (click the gear underneath the cover photo, select 'share', and choose the 'on my own timeline' option)
  3. To get your additional 2x/day entries, visit THIS POST (the one you're reading right now) and comment "enter me" up to twice per day, thru Thursday 4/17 at 11:59pm PST. Bookmark this post for easy access :)
The winners for both Facebook and Instagram will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, 4/18 (typo in the graphic above). In the event that the same person is selected on both Instagram and Facebook, another winner from Facebook will be chosen at random. Please do not enter more than twice per day on each. Additional reposting/comments will be ignored.

Good luck everyone! If you have any particular questions, please feel free to e-mail me at info@maneobjective.com!

Better Late Than Never! My Month 2 Manetabolism Update

manetabolism vitamins

:::grins sheepishly:::

I was supposed to do this a long time ago. But I got busy, like really busy. Okay, that's not an excuse but I'm sorry ya'll! I work full time, handle things here on The Mane Objective, manage my own social media, write for BGLH and NaturallyCurly.com, and stay up at nights learning on how to improve things on the technical side of blogging -- all while I'm laying the groundwork to launch my own business on the side.

I take back what I said. I'm busy is a perfect excuse :)

Anyways, I try to be consistent and make good on my promises! So let me get on with this 2 month update. About 2 weeks into month 2 of taking Manetabolism vitamins, I decided to go ahead and make a length check shirt. Trying to get exact angles with that unmarked blue tank top from month 1 was sooooooooooooo annoying! The shirt makes things a whole heckuva lot easier, and a lot less refutable. I even went ahead and wrote a piece on how to do a proper length check for BGLH after some of ya'll (lovingly) dragged me on Instagram :-D.

Let's get to the nitty gritty, and I'll try to update you all on some FAQs about taking The Mane Choice Manetabolism Healthy Hair Vitamin:

manetabolism vitaminsDo Manetabolism Vitamins Work?
Last time around, I was on the fence about this answer and leaning in the direction of yes. But after doing my month 2 length check (and mind you, the picture you're seeing is only 21 days of growth), I 137% say YES. As I mentioned in my one month check-in, my hair typically grows around 3/4 of an inch per month. As you see in the picture, I've gained a full inch of growth in a hair shy of 3 weeks. The evidence is there. Yes, yes, yes! Although as a fair disclaimer, let me not sell you all a dream that might not come true. Individual results may vary.

When Do You Take Manetabolism Vitamins?
I really want to be one of those people who has alarms set throughout the day to take morning, mid-morning, afternoon, and evening vitamins. But I'm sure one re-read of the top of this article and you'll understand why that will never be me. I'll start off with my wonderful Vitamin Shoppe 7 day pill thingie in my work bag, then it'll move to my gym bag, my purse, my car...and then under my bed. So I take them both at night, right before I slide under the covers.

Do The Vitamins Keep You Awake or Give You Energy?
Last time around, I reported no to the extra energy thing. I still stand by that, and will add that they do not keep me up past my normal bedtime. Again, individual results may vary.

If you're interested in other FAQ about additional side effects, benefits, or the ingredients, check out my Manetabolism 1 Month Update post. 

I think that's about it! Stay tuned for my Month 3 update! I will either shift the dates, or my results will be skewed. There was a snafu with shipping the vitamins, and I ran out  before my next shipment arrived. I got them today (April 14th), so I will either only be able to show half a month of results, or move the days. To make things simpler, I will probably keep my dates the same and just let folks account for the difference.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled...the GIVEAWAY is about to drop!!!!

For the #ProductJunkies: 14 Natural Hair Products to Try in 2014

We're already 4 months in to 2014, and I'm seriously slacking on what I said I was going to do. Although I promised in my Must-Haves for 2014 that I was simplifying my regimen, I do realize that as someone who is obsessively fascinated with products (okay, I'm a PJ), it can be difficult to stick to that charge. While I do have my ride-or-die products, I love to go out and explore new and new-to-me products. I excitedly investigate ingredient labels while cross-referencing other reviews, and of course, I live for a great bargain. As I mentioned to another blogger before (@RadiantBrownBeauty, I believe), I love the thrill of the chase.

Sometimes, that product junkie chase can burn an hole in your pockets. By no means do I ever advocate for driving yourself into financial ruin trying to find the perfect curl definer. There are plenty of ways to experience new products without your bank account imploding on itself, and one of the best methods (besides ridiculous sales) is to pace your purchases. You'll especially want to try that with this list, because although they aren't insanely expensive, these products aren't necessarily cost effective either. These products are all listed in the spirit of trying something that might be a little out of your price range or a little beyond your purview. Some of them you might not even know existed.

But that's the fun in being a product junkie, right?
(by the way, these products are listed in no particular order....except number one!)

1. TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier ($18, Ulta, Target, Online)
Of course, I was going to open this article with a product that I absolutely cannot live without. It's expensive, the ingredients aren't all wholesome and natural (hello, polyquats, silicones, and artificial fragrance), and it most certainly wasn't designed with natural hair in mind. But IT WORKS. Of all the curl definers in the world (and trust me, I've tried PLENTY), Curls Rock Amplifier takes the #1 spot (tgin Twist and Define Cream is a close second....very close). At $18 for 5.07oz of product, it is by no means affordable - it's just one of those products you simply must splurge on and try at least once. For more information on TIGI Curls Rock Amplifier, check out my review here

2. Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo ($18, Ulta/Online)
Whenever we think of clarifying shampoos, SLS almost always comes in to play. Although SLS has a bad rep among naturals for being stripping and drying, it is those very properties that make it ideal for cleaning. Ouidad has really shifted the paradigm for what it means to clarify natural hair. Although a bit pricey for a shampoo, it will definitely leave the hair and scalp feeling clean without being robbed of moisture and softness. For all the details on Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo, read my full review here.

3. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk ($15, Target/Online)
A while back on Instagram, I posted a PSA/sneak tip for my LA naturals. At a specific Target for whatever reason, the three Camille Rose Naturals products they carried (and still do) are being sold at half the regular price. Not on clearance, not on sale, but the regular yellow Target tag is set to half the price. Enticed by the $7.48 price tag, I purchased one bottle of Curl Love Moisture Milk..and fell in love. So much so that I've gone back several times to stock up for myself, my mom, and my boyfriend's mom. Enriched with avocado and rice bran oil (hello omegas and ceramides), this super thick and creamy moisturizer can nourish and soften a wide variety of textures without making the hair feel greasy. In fact, my mom has a short relaxed cut, and she loves this stuff! Even though I've been grabbing it for half off, if it ever goes back up to full price I'll continue to purchase Curl Love Moisture Milk. It's just that darn good. (P.S. if you're in LA and want to know the specific Target to visit, let me know via Facebook!).

4. Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner ($14, Target/Online)
I was so very excited once I saw Oyin Handmade products hit the shelves at Target stores. I knew I had to purchase something to try, and based solely upon the number of rave reviews, it was either going to be Burnt Sugar Pomade or Honey Hemp Conditioner. I told myself the conditioner would probably be of more immediate use, especially since I was interested in a new pre-poo product for these super dry ends of mine. Although $14 for 8.4oz isn't totally cost effective for a conditioner, the ingredients are stellar and I found a way to not use the entire bottle in one wash (as a pre-poo treatment and/or leave-in). I definitely need to get my hands on the liter bottle!

5. Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask ($15, Ulta/Online)
Sometimes, the best products for natural hair don't say natural hair on them. Such is the case with this particular deep conditioner that I'm now totally obsessed with. I was prowling around Ulta, looking for a new product to play with. Since I had planned to straighten my hair soon, I was really looking for a new deep conditioner -- something with cetrimonium chloride (click here to learn why cetrimonium chloride is important). While scouring the store for products that were buy one, get one 50% off, I came across the Therapy Session Hair Mask. The ingredients were fab, and I loved how smooth and velvety it felt between my fingers (yes I opened the jar in the store). I grabbed two of the 16.9oz jars (regularly priced at $14.99 which is pretty good for a deep conditioner), and haven't looked back since. After just one use, my hair was super buttery, smooth, soft, and just felt utterly amazing. New staple? Absolutely. If you're interested in the Therapy Session Hair Mask, grab it at Ulta before April 5th to take advantage of the BOGO. 

6. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin (Free - $20, Ulta, Target, CVS)
On the heels of grabbing the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask, Ulta also has another promotion going currently: spend $20 on anything, and get a free 4oz bottle (labeled a sample, but this stuff is really regularly $20) of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin. In any other circumstance, I would have absolutely passed on this stuff because of the price for essentially what amounts to as a leave-in conditioner. But I am ever so glad Ulta has this promotion going, because this spray is awesome! It's a great leave-in, refresher, smoother, moisturizer, strengthener, and more. Seriously, there are 10 different uses for this product listed on the back of the bottle. Can I say that I'll continue to buy it after my freebie is gone? I'm not sure. But as long as I can keep getting them free with a $20 purchase, I'll stock up! 

7. Long Locks Hair Care Mystique Frizz Control Cream ($14, Online)
Sometimes, you absolutely must put product claims to the test and see if they actually rise to the occasion. Mystique Frizz Control Cream most definitely taught me a lesson or two. When I used it on my wet hair as a leave-in, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered exactly how much of an impact this product could have on improving definition and cutting down on frizz. When it comes to the Mystique, I tend to let this picture speak for itself:
I decided to put @longlocksmobile Frizz Control Cream to the test. On the section on the left, I applied the Almond Jai Twisting Butter and Curls Rock Amplifier Only. To the section on the right, I applied the Mystique Frizz Control Cream, then the Almond Jai and Curls Rock Amplifier. Tons more defined and shiny, with zero frizz -- especially in those sections that can be more difficult to define. I need a lifetime supply of this stuff!!! # naturalhair #naturalhairproducts #antifrizz #curls #LongLocksHairCare #reviewcomingsoon
My only wish is that Mystique Frizz Control Cream came in a lifetime supply size. $14 is a bit pricey for 4oz of product, but it performs well and is worth the splurge.

8. Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go ($15, Online)
Shake & Go is another one of those products that really speaks for itself. It can be used as a leave-in, detangler, curl refresher, and miracle worker. Enriched with aloe, jojoba, silk aminos, and keratin, it most definitely conditions and nourishes the hair. I absolutely adore Shake & Go, and much in the same vein as the Mystique Frizz Control Cream, I tend to let pictures do the talking. I tried Shake & Go for the first time on a dry, dirty, frizz-prone, tangled, and rough section of my hair. This was my result:
So, I was just chilling playing around in the new products I got right....and decided to see what this @lrchealthyhaircare Shake & Go leave-in detangler was all about. LAWD! Granted, my hair is 4 days old, frizzy, and dirty. But let me tell you that I sprayed the Shake & Go, and my hair INSTANTLY detangled. Like, comb right through without a single snag. And ya'll know the front of my head is the most resistant to clumping, and loves to frizz. Do you see this clump action? The shine? I wish ya'll could feel my hair right now. These reviews are gonna be good. Yes'm. #naturalhair #naturalhairproducts #LawrenceRayConcepts #supportsmallbusiness #reviewandgiveawaycomingsoon
My jaw hit the floor. I couldn't believe this elixir could have such a profound effect on my old, tired hair. Although this product is sold in the 8oz size for $15, I will gladly shell out the extra dough for the super salon-sized refill.

9. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste ($10, Online)
Plenty of ladies love the Curls Passion Fruit Control paste, if for no other reason than the smell. Ever since being introduced to the Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste, I haven't given the orange stuff a second look. I'm obsessed with the tart blueberry fragrance, and I love to apply the paste to my edges when I'm going for a more sleek and polished look. The texture and consistency is spot on with the Passion Fruit version (they have the same 4 base ingredients), but the addition of blueberry extract, hydrolyzed quinoa, silk amino acids, and argan oil make the Blueberry Bliss stand out. For me personally, Blueberry Bliss is a little less tacky and leaves my edges a little softer -- both of which are great. Is $10 for a 4oz jar cost effective? Not entirely. But the little jar will last a long time if you use it sparingly!

10. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Bath, Body & Massage Oil ($10, Ulta/Online)
I know, nowhere on the label of this product does it say for use in hair. Shea Moisture's latest addition to their bath and body line is that of the radiant orchid-esque labeled Superfruit Complex. I'm in love with the lotion and the oil, but that's another post. I also nabbed these at Ulta, as a part of their soon-to-expire BOGO 50% off. I stocked up on the oil in particular, because I'm interested in something I can use from head to toe, that's rich in the ingredients I love/need, and doesn't smell like a rancid dumpster (sorry flax oil). At $10 for an 8oz bottle, it is reasonably priced, as all Shea Moisture products tend to be. The oil is an amazing blend of safflower, shea, sweet almond, jojoba, and more, and touts superfruit extracts of acai, raspberry ketone, goji, green coffee, and more. Between the ceramides, vitamins, and anti-oxidants present, this oil is perfect for dry hair, scalp, and skin that is in need of a pick-me-up. I use it for scalp massages, dry ends, and as an after-shower oil. I can't get enough of this stuff. On top of all that, the essential oil fragrance is fruity, slightly floral, and perfect for spring.

11. ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment ($10, Sally Beauty/Online)
When ApHogee unveiled their Curlific line, I gave them the side eye. Although I absolutely love my Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer Spray, I couldn't believe they were hopping on the natural hair bandwagon. Although I think the line is by no means complete (where is the hair lotion?), they definitely have a rockstar in the Texture Treatment. Although the fragrance is a wee bit strong, it more than makes up for that in performance. It's super thick, goes on easily, and really coats the hair. If you've been feeling like your hair is out of whack and in need of some moisture, a little protein (hi there, quinoa!), and whole lot of softness, give Texture Treatment a try. At $10 for an 8oz jar, it isn't terribly overpriced. Worst case scenario? Keep the receipt and get your money back. Read on for my full review of the Curlific Texture Treatment.

12. Purgasm Shop Wild Cherry Treatment Hair Truffles ($14, Online)
There's a special place in my heart for Wild Cherry Treatment Hair Truffles. I've been in love since my first encounter back in August 2013. At that point in my transitioning journey, I had never experienced hair truffles, and moving forward I never want to *not* experience them. Full of wonderful hair magic working ingredients like rhassoul clay, marshmallow root, banana, honey, and cocoa, the Purgasm Shop truffles are an amazing hair conditioning treat by themselves. At $14 for a pack of three, it's a little expensive but well worth it. Besides, you can always break them in half to make them last longer! I currently get my fix on a monthly basis, using them as a fab add-in for my henna treatments. Get the scoop on why Wild Cherry Treatment Truffles work magic in my henna here.

13. Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel ($17, Online)
Spiralicious is a thick gel-esque serum that every natural should try at least once. Although it is marketed as a heavier-hold gel, I found it to be quite lightweight, while still being defining. The gel offer tons of versatility, working well for everything from a wash and go to satin strip braidout. It has tons of slip, gives great shine, and makes for some of the most luxurious-feeling twist and braidouts ever. It leaves super soft and defined, while being free of silicones and the like. $17 for 8oz is a little more expensive than the normal price range for curl definers, but it is definitely worth it and a lot more reasonable than some other products out there. For a more thorough breakdown on Spiralicious, check out my review.

14. The Q-Redew ($70, Online)
I know, this isn't a product. It's a tool -- and a mighty good one at that. The Q-Redew is picking up major steam in 2014 (pun intended, haha!), and I count myself as super lucky because I've been enjoying the benefits of this handheld hydrator since May of 2013. The Q-Redew retails for $70, but creator Heidi is always running promotions for $10 off or more, and free shipping. The Q-Redew is versatile, and can be used for steaming, detangling, deep conditioning, refreshing, and more. It's a must-have transitioner tool, and a definite try in 2014 for all naturals. For more on why I love the Q-Redew and you should give it a try, check out my video review.

What new products will you be trying in 2014?

For more transitioning and natural hair tips from Christina, check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System: Update (Wash #2 and #3)

beautiful textures texture manageability system

Last time around, I gave you all the details about my first wash after using the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System. Click that link back there if you want the full rundown, or read ahead for the Cliff's Notes:
  • I detangled with Aussie Moist, and shampooed twice. Once with Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo, the second time with Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse Shampoo. The Ouidad is sulfate-free, and Lawrence Ray Concepts contains SLS. I deep conditioned with Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
  • My hair was at bout 75% back to normal in terms of texture. Still some texture loosening remained, but nothing too dramatic. What I noticed the most was that my hair its normal volume was somewhat diminished.
Now let's fast forward to wash #2:
beautiful textures texture manageability system
I washed my hair twice again, following the same format as last time. Wash #1 with a sulfate-free shampoo, and wash #2 with something SLS containing. My sulfate-free shampoo of choice was Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Tension Release Hair Wash (review coming soon). Let it just suffice to say for now, that I actually like this shampoo. I followed up again with Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse Shampoo. And I conditioned with nothing other than Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. After this run-through, my hair was at about 90% back. The volume I was missing was returning, but there was definitely still some elongation. Wash #2, day 2 hair is what I rocked this weekend at the KJLH Natural Hair Expo. My hair was definitely still soft and smooth. My wash and go was courtesy of Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Root to Tip Mender as my leave-in, Super Softening Hair Butter for moisture, and tgin Twist and Define Cream for hold. The results were super soft and fluffy on days 1, 2, and 3. Of course, I used my Q-Redew and Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk to refresh.

Here's some day 1 and 2 hair action:

beautiful textures texture manageability system
beautiful textures texture manageability system

It seems like I'm rushing through wash #2, but that's only because there wasn't much new news to report. Wash #3 is where all the action is at, and what should really satiate the nonbelievers. MY HAIR HAS REVERTED 100%!!!! Not a single heat damaged or TMS-straightened hair in sight. My volume has returned completely. My uncouth shrinkage in the front and crown is back with a vengeance. It's like the Texture Manageability System never happened. The key: always using sulfates. I know using SLS goes against everything we learn as naturals, but in this particular scenario it is the necessary evil. For wash day #3, I detangled my hair with Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go. I then did my two washes, one with tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo, the other with Long Locks Hair Care Peppermint Candy Shampoo. Honestly, I think the Long Locks is what tipped me back to normalcy. Although it is a good shampoo, it is designed to clarify and strip. And that is exactly what it did. I followed that up with a conditioning using tgin Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner, and my hair looked like this after rinsing:

beautiful textures texture manageability system
I got shampoo in my eye...of course.
A shrinkage-induced, fuzzy mess.
And I couldn't be happier.

beautiful textures texture manageability system
Day 2 hair :)
I enjoyed trying the Texture Manageability System, but I'm happy to have my hair back, idiosyncrasies and all. I love the length (although I'm always hungry for more, nom nom nom), I am all about the volume, the mixed types and textures drive me nuts sometimes -- but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm trying to come up with a schnazzy, culminating thought/feeling about the Texture Manageability System. It wasn't bad, but getting my hair from curly to straight wasn't all rainbows and butterflies either. I think for now, all I'll say is I'm glad I tried it for myself.

Look for more final thoughts in my video (hopefully going live by the end of this week)! If you're curious, this wash and go was set using Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go, Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Super Softening Hair Butter, and Koils By Nature Herbal Soothing Curl Defining Gel. Review on all 3 coming soon!

All things considered...would you #tryTMS?

Product Review: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

curl love moisture milk

Have you ever come across a product that has never failed you...no matter what you did? Wet hair, dry hair, product already on hair but you used it anyway?

That's how I feel about Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk. What's funny is that this particular product was never really on my radar to try. I was always hawking for a sale opportunity to try the Curl Maker, and definitely re-stock on the Fresh Curl and Algae Renew Deep Conditioner. Curl Love Moisture Milk didn't come into my purview until I was moseying around Target one afternoon, and couldn't believe my eyes -- I saw the Curl Love Moisture Milk for $7.48. The price was right, so I bought 3. Yes, 3. And I've been on a mission to keep this stuff stocked ever since.

Ingredient List: Deionized Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil, Aloe Barbadenis Leaf, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed) Oil, Ternifolia (Macademia Nut) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Camellia (Green Tea) Sinensis Leaf, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Milk, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Slippery Elm (Ulmus Fulva) bark, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Scent and Love

Ingredient Analysis:
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: Mild detangling ingredient made from the rapeseed (canola). Known for great detangling without leaving product buildup on hair.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: Fatty alcohol and emollient conditioner known for giving products a creamy, thick texture and feel.
  • Avocado Oil: Omega 3-rich nourishing oil extract that can enhances shine, moisture retention, softness, and elasticity in hair.
  • Rice Bran Oil: Antioxidant oil rich in vitamin E that helps prevent free-radical and oxidative damage to hair. Also rich in ceramides which penetrate the hair and restore moisture within the cortex.
  • Aloe Leaf: Acts as a natural conditioning agent that restores the hair's sheen, luster, and shine. It not only makes the hair soft, but it also enhances strength and suppleness.
Availability: Pretty widespread. Camille Rose Naturals products in general and the Curl Love Moisture Milk are available at Target and Whole Foods stores nationwide. If all else fails, you can find them at www.camillerosenaturals.com

Affordability: At $15 for 8oz, this product is slightly more expensive than your typical natural hair moisturizer/butter/lotion that falls in that $8 to $12 range. But the ingredients are stellar and the products are made by hand still (an amazing feat for a brand with nationwide distribution). I'm lucky enough to live not too far from a Target that for whatever reason, carries them for $7.48 (I'm sure this is a mistake...but grab it while you can! Head over to Instagram for the deets)

Product Claim/Description: LOVES! All Curl Types and Textures. Natural milks, oils, and butters to nourish, moisturize, and elongate dry, withdrawn curls The Natural Way!

Hydrate. Soften. Strengthen.

Hi Beautiful! Camille Rose is bringing you back to natural by nourishing your dry and frizzy curls. Every curl needs some LOVE! Our handcrafted milk is blended with natural oils, butters, and milks. This leave-in daily moisturizing cream will provide shine, lasting moisture, and decrease shrinkage to enhance the driest hair.

  •  Nourish? Check.
  • Moisturize? Check.
  • Shine? Check.
  • Enhance Hair? Check.
  • Decrease Shrinkage? Not so much.
To be honest, I just now realized the bottle said something about shrinkage. Just to clarify, no product is ever going to elongate your hair without some sort of alteration. The closest you can get to combating shrinkage is the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System. But this isn't about that. So let's just set shrinkage-combating aside, and deal with the rest of the product. As you can see in the rundown above, the Curl Love Moisture Milk does everyyyyyyyything you could ask and more.

curl love moisture milk
See why it's called Curl LOVE?
The first time I used the Curl Love Moisture Milk, it was instant love. But I used it about 4 more times just to make sure it was real. And I'm happy to report that this stuff is the real deal! Not only are the ingredients phenomenal, but they work amazingly on my hair. Seriously, my mane can't get enough of this stuff. I use it as the moisturizing layer of product in my wash and go's, and it plays nicely with every single product I've used. It keeps my hair feeling soft and shiny for days, but I just end up reapplying regularly because my hair loves it so much. I live in LA, and the weather is heating up and the air is drying out. Curl Love Moisture Milk is great because it keeps my hair super hydrated and soft feeling, despite the desert dry air. It is also one of the few products that I feel actually penetrates and moisturizes my hair. Some products sit on the hair and never go in, others disappear before you can even work it through. Curl Love Moisture Milk penetrates and hydrates, but doesn't leave super greasy residue. I just can't get enough of this stuff!!! I keep it in supply, seriously. I'm halfway through my second bottle, and I've got 4 more stashed away #dontjudgeme. This is definitely one of those products I don't ever want to run out of. My hair loves anything with Avocado Oil and Aloe, and I'm all about ceramides these days -- so the Rice Bran Oil is right on time.

As far as fragrance goes, it is a light, sweet vanilla caramel-esque aroma that is not overbearing whatsoever. Some may even liken it to cake batter. I'm tempted to taste and see (lol). But seriously, it smells goooooooooood. Edible good. It doesn't linger and is in no way offensive. As far as texture, this stuff is THICK! Most milks tend to be on the watery/runny side, but Curl Love Moisture Milk Packs a punch. I rather like the thickness, and even though it is very rich, it doesn't weigh my hair down at all or give me the greasies. Curl Love Moisture Milk is total LOVE for curls. Seriously.

curl love moisture milk
Drawbacks: The $15 tag may be a little off-putting for some, but I've got to admit -- I'm willing to pay the price. At this point in the game, I'm all about products with great ingredients that work. Curl Love Moisture Milk fits the bill for both, so I'm okay with the full price (although I'll gladly take it at half price while it's still there). Other than that, I can't think of a single solitary drawback.

Bonuses: Curl Love Moisture Milk being glycerin-free is a huge bonus in my book. As I mentioned previously, I live in LA. Although it's only April, temperatures are heating up and the air is drying out. In fact, it's 90 degrees right now while I'm typing this review. I say all that to say that glycerin is no bueno for natural hair in dry air. Glycerin is a humectant, and when there is moisture in the air, it draws it to your hair. But when there's no moisture in the air? Sucks it right out. The absence of glycerin in Curl Love Moisture Milk means that I get to keep the goodness inside my strands for longer.

Best Practices: Honestly, you can't go wrong with this product. On wet hair, damp hair, dry hair. As a refresher, leave-in, or daily moisturizer. Heck, in a pinch I've even used it as lotion on my arms. I will say that as with all moisturizers, mix on the backside of your hand or do a patch test to make sure it plays nicely with your other products. I haven't had any issues yet.

Bottom Line: Must Have for 2014, hands down. Without a doubt. If you feel like your strands aren't being nourished and hydrated by your current moisturizers, I highly recommend giving this one a shot. You won't be disappointed.

curl love moisture milk
I use Curl Love Moisture Milk in practically ALL my wash and go's.
Overall Product Rating: 5 stars, period. I thought about docking for the price, but I can't even let that bother me. I love this product so much, ya'll! Seriously! 

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