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The Emulsion Blues

Do I really have to tell you guys which brand of product I ended up having to fix on my own after buying 8 ounces of it and seeing it separate into a blob of butters with oils on top?

After that purchase, AfroVeda could officially suck it.  I. Was. PISSED!  My full-sized Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter separated before I could even use it for the first time!  I kept having to stir it and put it on my hair quickly, before it separated again, but it looked so gross!  I finally got sick of that little game and decided to put my knowledge of basic chemistry (and google) to use.

When a product separates, i.e. splits into oils and butters rather the luscious cream that you thought you bought, what’s happening is the emulsion is falling apart.

emulsionOils and butters sometimes will not stay mixed, just as oil and water won’t, because the molecules of one substance act as little bar magnets (in that they have poles) whereas the other molecules do not.  That attraction, or at least some strong hydrogen bonding, is needed for an emulsion to occur, in which one material is suspended in the other.

If you find that you have two substances that will not stay emulsified, you must use an emulsifier to stabilize the emulsion.  Emulsifiers come in many shapes and forms: I, personally, ended up heading to Whole Foods and buying some liquid lecithin for about $5.99.  It’s a natural emulsifier and some even take it as a supplement (for what reason, I do not even claim to know).  I poured about a teaspoon into the 8 ounces of slop, mixed with an electric mixer, and put the butter back into it’s original container.  Two days later, there is, admittedly, a little oil on top of the cream, but not even an eighth of what was there before!  That’s a huge improvement!

As for AfroVeda…

I’ve never had the distinct pleasure of dealing with their customer service (this was an on-the-ground purchase), but the quality of the full-sized Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter just baffled me.  What made things worse was the fact that the solution was so simple, and quick to boot.  I’ve heard that the owner of AfroVeda has no help with her business, but selling a product in that condition is just unacceptable.  Add to that mixture the huge price-hike in her products and my anger sits on top.  This just won’t work.

AfroVeda, you no longer get my patronage. 

Peace, Love, and Quality Products,

SuperCoils

You Wanna Be White?

Hey World.  Sorry for the period where the exclamation mark usually is, but this post is kinda heavy…

…like, Gucci heavy (and that’s real heavy)…

So here’s where the story starts:

I wake up on this wonderful Wednesday morning ready to stretch my mind as well as my body and grabbed my computer straight away, ready to read my favorite online magazines for the first time this week, when instantly my cheesy grin becomes a frown.

Because there’s yet another article about white rappers who exploit black culture, and although this particular publication is geared towards black women, I already know exactly which direction the comments went in:

“Well look at Beyonce’ and Keri Hilson trying to be white!  They just get whiter and whiter everyday!”

To which I respond,
“Bish, that’s not what the article was about!  And furthermore, what exactly is ‘white’ and what is ‘black’”?

This same issue has pissed me off since I was in grade school in Charleston, SC and the kids there teased me because I didn’t talk with the customary “Charleston accent”.  “You tryin’ to be white,” they’d say.  No, my parents just aren’t from here and they don’t like the way it sounds, so they don’t let me talk like that.  My bad.

But then when the other black kids find out that you’re smart, or see you wearing your hair down and it just so happens to grow past your shoulders, or that you turn your music down when you are in neighborhoods or near the school, or that you don’t get into wearing brand name clothing, you hear the same old rhetoric:

“You wanna be white or something?”

So forgive me if it sickens me when I see grown folks doing it over a star’s chosen style of dress, or how they choose to wear their hair, or the color of said hair, or how toned they want their body to be.  Why is it that we’ll criticize a sister for doing her own thing instead of fitting in to the same old bullshit stereotypes that our parents were fighting against?  Telling someone how they should wear their hair, how they should look, how they should act, or sound, or think – I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on the whole premise of it all.  Since when is anyone on this earth so “black” or so “white” that they can tell someone else of that race exactly who they are and who they’re trying to be.

Beyonce’ and Keri’ parents (and even Be and Keri) were still called “niggers”.  They still suffered under the burden of discrimination and oppression.  They are still icons in a community that looks just like them, and best of all, they make positive music for a community traditionally lacking in that area.  So you’ll just have to forgive me if I still consider them to be black, regardless of their hair and make-up choices.

And to all those black kids out there who still switch their CDs out when they get close to their schools so that they won’t be judged, who sit in AP classes all day, and who may not have that customary accent that all those around you have: do you, and fuck your judgmental classmates.  The courage you show when you refuse to change just because someone doesn’t like who you are makes you “blacker” than anyone who would try to mold you into some stereotypical “black person”.

Finally, to all those who assume that hair, skin, nails, and accent (among other superficial things) are what determine a person’s race: that’s just a stereotype, the box that those who don’t understand you need you to fit into so that they can feel better about your existence.  Don’t just light-heartedly hop into that box!  Be you instead, or else you risk being the “white person” in reality.

 

Peace, Love, and Race (an oxymoron, I know),

SuperCoils

Hey guys! Long time no hear from, eh? Well, y’all already know I’m in Army ROTC at my school…
Well, I was at Fort Lewis, Washington conducting a giant training exercise known as LDAC (Leadership Development and Assessment Course) or “Warrior Forge”, designed to assess the readiness and key skills of the 6500 or so future Army officers that are about to begin their fourth year of college.

WWII-style barracks.. :/ Saddens consumes me

This whole thing is basically a big war game with confidence building exercises thrown in… or you could think of it as a shorter, nicer, slightly-less-intense Basic Training for ROTC students. Either way, you are definitely not in control of your time, your activities, or your showers. Whatever you bring is what you have, with the exception of a few items you can buy from the troop store.

Oh, and did I mention we were “in the field”, i.e. sleeping either outside or in tents, for 17 out of 29 days?

So, with this lack of time, supplies, and showers came the question on every tightly coiled mind as we geared up to leave for LDAC: “What the fudge am I going to do with my hair for a MONTH???”

Short answer: braids

Braids braids braids braids and more braids.

I spent 12 hours putting micro-braids into my own natural hair (no weave added) to get ready for camp, then I put a small bottle (2 ounces) full of leave-in conditioner in my bag and called it a day. Why? Because at camps like this, everyone has an over-sized bottle of shampoo and is more than willing to share in the shower with anyone else in their platoon (probably to boost those peer evaluations), but no one will have the leave-in that coily-heads need except a fellow coily-head, and I was the only one in my company of 250 students. Wow. My platoon had many, many questions and the hair touch-ery was abound.

Anywho, let’s just say Warrior Forge presented my hair with quite a few challenges, but I conquered them all!

Challenge #1: Braiding
Solution #1: Blow the hair out using a comb attachment after detangling and adding a leave-in (Garnier Fructis), then part and braid in small sections using Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Spritz lightly with half-n-half water and hair lotion recipe to curl the ends when done braiding. Twelve hours later and I was one cute soldier!

Challenge #2: No bonnet in the barracks
Solution #2: Moisturize your situation a lot more frequently, and hide those ends! The scratchy wool blankets that we sleep on brought nothing but nightmares and frizz to my head, not to mention incredible dryness. To combat these effects, I went ahead and wet my ends every other night while we were in the barracks, then applied my leave-in and tucked my ends under. I may have been unprepared for the frizz, but my hair was NOT going to be on my pillow when I left!

Challenge #3: Too much tension
Solution #3: Wearing your hair in buns and ponytails for a month can really mess with your hairline! I thought I was doing a good job by leaving the braids from my temples out of my bun and just tucking them gently into the sides, but what I forgot was something pretty interesting: your nape is your hairline too, and those hairs are just as fragile as the ones in the front. About 6 days into LDAC, I discovered little tension bumps on my lower left nape and had to start making looser ponytails, or gently pulling those braids once they were in the ponytail to give them a little slack. By day 12, the bumps were gone and my nape was loving me again.

Challenge #4: Dirty Hair
Solution #4: Two words: canteen salon. We only got to shower once a week once we left the barracks and began to live in the field, and we were sweating like pigs every day, so our ice-cold canteen salons kept us scalp-sore free and smelling… semi-OK. This was crucial in the field. CRUCIAL.

Challenge #5: CS Gas
CS gas, also known as tear gas, is something that you will encounter at LDAC, specifically in the gas chamber on day 8. The gas will suck, but what sucks much worse is that it gets into your clothes and hair and will reactivate when you sweat. This means you need to wash your hair as soon as possible after being exposed to the gas or you will end up re-exposing yourself at a very inconvenient time… like in your sleeping bag at about 3 AM. Yeah, I learn lessons the hard way.
Solution #5: Wash your hair with your head DOWN so as not to wash any CS residue into your eyes. This, like the last tip, is crucial. Otherwise, you will have what we refer to in the military as a “bad day”.

Well, I’m tired, and that’s all I can remember right now, so I’ll write more tomorrow. Until then…

Peace, Love, and Braids,
SuperCoils

Hey guys!

So I know you’ve all heard things about the Tangle Teezer via all of the hair blogs, not to mention youtube.com and well, everyone and their momma, but I just got one.

You know why I just got one?

Cuz all of Y’ALL greedy little people out there bought ‘em all up before I could even get one!  Yeah, I said it!

Couldn’t even save one for me, huh?  Y’all are so incredibly rude, you know that?  Just rude.

*deep breath, regaining composure*

So yeah, I just got my hands on a bright pink, almost magenta Teezer of Tangles and gave it a shot on suggestion of, well, every natural-haired woman in Atlanta.  I’m. Not. Kidding.

Anyways, when I got home to Warner Robins I finally saw one of these things in real life (I nearly fainted with joy) at a Sally’s near my home.  I immediately ran up to the cash register, where the cashier told me how her manager responded to the initial demand by ordering a very large amount initially so that her store would never run out.

*Ahem* Is the manager of the Sally’s in Atlanta taking notes right now?  Just wondering… (just kidding)

So I went home with my new love and sat down in the middle of the living room floor with my spray bottle, some conditioner, and my little folding mirror (boy I love that little mirror!) and proceeded to detangle my hair.

tangle-teezer-boxes-3Product: Tangle Teezer

Price: $9.99

Color: assorted, including black, sparkly purple, and pink, among others

This thing detangled my hair in record time!  It truly is a great detangler, but because of some of the warnings I’ve received about split ends, I won’t be detangling on the regular.  Probably only once every two weeks, just to keep hair on my head.  It also cleared out a LOT of shed hair, which I really needed.  I hate when I get in the shower and start combing my hair only to see those large black clumps on the white tile.  Yeah, I’ll admit it, #IFreakOut.

The only downside to this product: no handle.  That thing got so slippery!

Well, that’s all for now, peeps.  Love you guys!

Peace, Love, and Tangle Teezers,

SuperCoils

Hey Free World!

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but finals just finished up at my school and I’m still recovering (both physically and mentally) from the stress of those last few weeks… things got rough to say the least.

But it’s over now, and I can review all of the products and junk that I’ve tried since January!  Yay!

(Y’all really shouldn’t be encouraging my PJism…)

Anywho, we’ll start with the typical story:

The weather had begun to change, and I’d taken my twists out in hopes of enjoying some nice, free hair when I realized:

“Damn it, my hair is super-duper dry… AGAIN.  Why must my life be plagued with Sahara-hair?”

So I hopped in my car and rode on down to my friendly neighborhood Target (pronounced “Tarzhay” to the boughie folk) where one of the cutie-pie cashiers from Morehouse politely wonders how I always end up in his line.  Silly rabbit.  But he’s so cute though…

Moving on swiftly (but not too swiftly)… *oh he’s so fine*

I went to the little end-cap over on the hair aisle on the suggestion of the many blogs I read when I should be studying and after a 10-minute smell-and-sneak test (where you smell the product, then sneak a little on your dry hair when you think no one is looking), I decided on a very delicious-smelling, yet very moisturizing pump-bottle full of Organic Yucca and Baobab Volumizing Conditioner!

volumizing-conditionerProduct: Organic Yucca and Baobab Volumizing Conditioner

Company: Shea Moisture

Type: Conditioner

Scent: Kinda indescribable, but good.

Price: $9.99 for 12 ounces, a pretty decent price for an all-natural product.

“But SuperCoils,” you ask, “why would you buy a wash-out conditioner when you don’t wash your hair every time you style it?”

Oh young coily readers like myself, you don’t have to use products the way they are supposed to be used!  Silly geese!

So what I did was wet my hair completely with a spray bottle until it dripped and then added a few pumps of the conditioner to each of my six sections.  Instantly, my hair sprang into clumps and coils and detangling with both my fingers and my modified Denman brush was super easy, easier, in fact, than when I use Darcy’s Botanicals’ leave-in conditioner (and that’s saying something).  The tangles seemed to slide right out of my hair, but my hair felt funny when I braided it up for my braid-out with a little Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter on top.  Not crunchy, but each strand felt hard while wet.  It was weird.  I wasn’t so sure the next day would be a good hair day, but I put my bonnet on and went to sleep anyway.

The next day, I woke up and unraveled my hair to reveal a pretty dope, amazingly soft braid-out of epicness!  I was so pleased with this product’s performance, and my hair stayed moisturized for about 4 solid days, through PT and all!  This stuff is pretty awesome, as are most Shea Moisture products to my understanding.

Rating: 9/10 (only because I’ve only been using it for about 2 months and really need to see how it responds to the summer, when my hair is at it’s driest).

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

Hey guys!!!  I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long, but a sistah had to pursue some life goals, such as…

BECOMING A PRETTY POODLE!!!!

188582_10150146406284153_690189152_6373452_8352654_n

For those who do not understand this reference, let me make it plain: I am now a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Iiiiiiiinncorporated, founded November 12th, 1922 on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators.  Butler University (who will most definitely murder UConn), is a predominately white campus, making Sigma Gamma Rho the only sorority of the Divine Nine (also known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council) to not be founded at a historically black college or university (HBCU).  My organization strives to improve the community through educating youth, the source of our future. 

Yup yup… neophyte showcase pictures will be up soon…

Teaser: we all had unintentional af-RHOs!!!

Peace, Love, and Ee-yips!

SuperCoils

Hello Coily World!

I must say that I’m very proud to review this product for you today because I actually used up the entire jar without switching to something else!

YAY!

Darcy’s Botanicals’ Natural Coils Curling Jelly is a light, all-natural curl enhancing liquid gel with a very soft hold.  This product is usually suggested to be used on wash-and-goes or for shingling, but I do neither.  That being said, this product review is going to be a little… off.

I initially purchased this product immediately following my BC to define and soften my coils so I could wear them outside in the balmy August/September weather (in Atlanta, around that time of the year, it’s still sweat-stain hot outside, so wash-and-goes are perfectly appropriate).

Until I got it home and realized that, unless I needed to wet my hair in the morning for some odd reason (like, say, taking swimming lessons at 5:30 AM on Fridays… yeah) I wouldn’t be wears WnGs too often.  Why?

Because coily hair, when coiled up on itself, isn’t exactly a breeze to detangle.

So I ended up briefly experiencing this product in two different ways: for 2 wash-and-goes (WnGs) and many, many slicked back puffs.

Name: Natural Coils Curling JellyNaturalCoilsCurlingJelly1

Company: Darcy’s Botanicals

Price: $12.00 for 8 ounces (affordable)

Store: Sage NaturalCeuticals

Scent: Sweet, but light and pleasant

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Brown Rice Extract, Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum (Thickeners), Hydrolyzed Oats, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Fragrance & Sea Moss Extract.

Experiences:

The first couple of times I used this product, it was after a thorough ‘poo-ing to get all of the chlorine out of my hair (ahh, swimming lessons are just great, aren’t they).  I would wash, condition, rinse (with cold water), apply some Kinky-Curly Knot Today as a leave-in, detangle with the Jilbere shower comb (best $1.59 I ever spent), and smooth two fingertips full of the product through each of the (at the time) four sections, then use a Denman brush (more on those later) to go through the hair at the very front.  Then, I’d double-over a headband and create a puff, covering my hair with a scarf for about 30 minutes to give it time to set.

If it sounds like a lot to do in the hour-and-a-half I had between the end of PT and when I left for my first class… well, that’s because it was.  I was struggling, y’all.

But when I used this stuff, my slightly undefined hair would turn into a sea of the tiniest, tightest coils with larger 3c-ish curls in the crown.  And the front stayed slicked back for two days, lasting even through my unbelievable sweating during a weekend work-out… and my hair wasn’t hard.  It was strange.  I’ve never used a gel that left my hair both light and soft while still acting as… well… a gel.

I finished off the jar with my puffs, which usually came about midway through the week, when I was too tired or too busy to fully redo my hair, but still needed to look human.  Also, my hair had to be “restrained” (their words, not mine) for uniform day, when I’d don my ACUs and walk around campus looking like a little pint-sized warrior.  HOOAH!

But this product never failed me.  As long as I sprayed the front of my hair down enough to get it damp, smoothed on a fingertip-full of the gelly, and went over it with a boar-bristle brush before tying a scarf over it to keep it in place while it dries.  the result; a soft, slick, non-crunchy braid-out/puff.  It holds up well under my patrol cap and creates the deepest waves I’ve ever seen in my hair.  This stuff murders Eco-Styler and kicks LA Gel’s ass.  Word.

Final Verdict: 10/10 and I will definitely repurchase.  This is a Holy Grail.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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