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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

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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

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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

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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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Hello World!

I’ve been using this product for a few months (since September of 2010) and I can honestly say that this is the only product I’ve ever tried that has thoroughly confused me.

… but let me backtrack to the beginning of the story…

So, as you guys know, when I budget wisely and actually have a little extra money, I tend to put it on my hair.  Sad, I know.

But I’d heard so much about this product while transitioning that I figured, once I cut my hair, I’d give it a shot.  So about 2 weeks after I cut my hair, I went on down to Sage NaturalCeuticals to go get this product.  It just smelled so good that I had to get it!  The scent was wonderful, and I’d done all of my research on just how to use it, so I’d be fine, right?

Wrong.

Name: Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème darcysmadagascar

Company: Darcy’s Botanicals

Price: $12.00 for 8 ounces (fairly decent/affordable)

Scent: strong vanilla, or maybe even Bourbon

Ingredients: organic palm oil, organic aloe vera leaf juice, organic Madagascar vanilla extract, emulsifying wax NF, castor oil, rice bran oil, jojoba oil, cadelilla wax, potassium sorbate

Experience:

Well well well… wasn’t this a little bit of a surprise…

I’d read all of the information in the forums, gotten advice from Cindy Primm (owner of Sage NaturalCeuticals), and now it was time to put all of that research to work and do my hair!

Or not.

I got into the parking deck outside of my dorm and opened up the jar of delectable goodness to reveal a light cream-colored, delicious smelling… solid.

uhhh… but the label said “crème”… and aren’t creams supposed to be… creamy?

I went to my room perplexed, wondering what the hell I’d just bought.  I thought this stuff was supposed to be creamy, hair softening goodness?  Ol’ perpetratin’-ass product.  Harumph.

But then again… it smelled delicious… and I did just shell out some cash over it…

I co-washed my hair that night, and applied Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in.  Then, I used a moisturizer (more than likely my overworked sample of Qhemet Biologic’s Amla and Olive Heavy Cream), and sealed with a tiny bit of the Madagascar Vanilla Styling Cream.

I emphasize the point “a tiny bit” because if you use a lot, things tend to get a little greasy.

Then I twisted and went to sleep.

My twist-out the next morning was fabulous, and the scent was long-lasting, but that’s not really the point.

This product is PURELY a sealant.  As a styler, eh… lies and betrayal, y’all.

That being said, I truly do like this product for sealing in moisture and creating incredible shine, but I am not sure whether I would purchase it again.  I see no real benefit in spending 12 bucks on a product that I truly do not need in my arsenal. 

As time wears on and I use the jar up, I’ll come back and review it.  As of right now, I like it, but I don’t need it. It’s only got one very specific purpose, and I just don’t see myself buying a product that only does one thing.

We’ll see.

Final verdict: 6/10.  I doubt I will repurchase, although it did a great job of smoothing my hair when I twisted.

Peace, Love, and Slight Disappointment?

SuperCoils

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Hey peeps!

This product review came from me trying out a new brand that I saw on MahoganyKnots’ blog.  Now, I love trying new, cheap products with good reputations, and I honestly came at this product wanting it to work.

I really, really did.

I went to Wal-Mart on Black Friday to get this product… alone… by myself.

[suppressing Kevin Hart “Nite-Nite” allusion]

sofnfreeProduct: Sof-N-Free GroHealthy Milk Protein and Olive Oil Strengthening Creme

Company: M&M Products

Price: $4.99 for 8.8 fluid ounces (awesome price)

Texture: a light crème, seemingly water-based; not fluffy, but smooth

Smell: no discernible scent

So when I got home, I was dying to do my hair in a braid-out.  I co-washed my hair thoroughly and applied Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in conditioner, then the strengthening crème.  Ohhh… my hair felt so soft, like butter!  I braided my hair up and went to sleep confident that the next day’s braid-out would truly be worth declaring this product an HG.  It was just that good.

And then I woke up.

My hair was shiny, smooth, and crunchier than a bag of Doritos.  WTF???

Now I’ve never been the type to be protein sensitive, so I know that wasn’t the case, and I’ve since done henna and protein treatments with no problem, but this stuff made my hair feel just awful. 

Don’t get me wrong, now: it looked amazing… but it felt absolutely horrible.

Then I looked on the back at the ingredients and I finally understood what went wrong: it contained mineral oil, my liquid arch nemesis.  My hair hates mineral oil more than George W. Bush hated Saddam.

We ain’t never ever been friends.

It just sits on top of my hair like a greasy shield and makes it crunchy and shiny, which I hate.

Once I saw that, I was through.  I knew it would never work, so I stopped trying and gave it to a friend to try once I got back to school.  Surprisingly, it worked well for her.  That just goes to show you that not all “bad ingredients” are necessarily bad for you.

Anyway, this product gets a 4/10 because of how hard it made my hair, while trying to perpetrate with all that shine and softness in the beginning.  Phoney Baloney.

Blegh.  This product just wasn’t for me, but I look forward to trying more from this line.  It looks promising, despite my less-than-stellar results with the strengthening crème.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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Hey Guys!  It’s me again!

A few months back, I had a little extra spending money and, unlike most 20-somethings I know (Oh, BTW, December 21st marked my 21st birthday, officially making me a “twenty-something”) I spent it putting gas in my tank and moisture in my hair!  Y’all know I love my hair!

That was when I was really looking for a lotion-like product to braid my hair with, and the best option at the time was Sweet Ambrosia by Karen’s Body Beautiful.

… but, as I said, I put gas in my tank too…

… leaving me with Vanilla Delight Daily Leave-In Conditioner by Darcy’s Botanicals!

vanilla delightName: Vanilla Delight Daily Leave-In Conditioner

Company: Darcy’s Botanicals (of Marietta, GA)

Price: $12.00 for 8 oz (Which is pretty normal for a natural hair lotion)

Consistency: thin, slippery lotion; pours easily

Scent: Vanilla

Color: Off-white

How I use it:

I mainly use this lotion to soften my hair for re-braiding, or as a light conditioner after washing or co-washing.  The reason I bought this lotion was as a means to condition my hair without waiting forever for it to dry or having to wear it semi-wet outside of my dorm room (*cough cough* Kinky Curly Knot Today).  What I found was my hair not only dried faster, but ended up much softer and shinier than when I used Knot Today.  It’s also cheaper (Woohoo) and I’m pretty sure that, if used with some flax seed gel, this could make a great combo for braid-outs and twists!  I really like this leave-in, but I’d also like to try Oyin Handmade’s new Hair Dew just because it’s rumored to be comparable to the Sweet Ambrosia, but cheaper (thereby making it worth a shot).

All in all, 9/10 and, if it beats Oyin’s Hair Dew, I’ll rebuy it and put it in my rotation permanently.  For now, I barely have an ounce left to last me until the end of break.  Y’all know I refuse to pay shipping and handling, and Oyin will be on the ground in Atlanta by time I get back, so I’m conserving my hair lotion stash until I get back to my beloved ATL.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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