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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

A New Year

New yearNew Year’s, in my family, is all about a second chance.  We wash all of our clothes, do our hair, and clean our home in preparation for a new year void of all of yester-year’s grime, all the while cooking collard greens to symbolize the dollars we hope to make, and black-eyed-peas to symbolize the pennies.  We refuse to wash clothes on New Year’s day lest we wash someone from our family in the next year, and always try to come up with the best resolution.

But most of all, we count our blessings and are thankful for surviving the past year intact.

This year, I have quite a bit to be thankful for, and quite a bit to accomplish in the next year.

new yearsThis year was all about ups and downs.  I saw the end of a poisonous 20-month relation-shit (yes, that’s exactly what it was), and the simultaneous beginning of my first attempt in years to truly learn about myself.  I felt free, and behaved a little too freely (i.e. dating the ex’s besties), but I figured out what kind of person I want to be, and started working towards being that.  I slightly improved my GPA (which I will not disclose), learned a LOT about how to “play the game”, found someone that I think may be right for me, and Big Chopped!  Most of all, I found the side of me that knows that I don’t owe anyone anything except to be myself.

For this next year, I hope to:

  • Be able to run 2 miles in 17 minutes FLAT by April 1st, 2011 (for ROTC)
  • Learn to swim well by April 1st, 2011 (so that I can go to LDAC)
  • Smile more
  • Wear twists more often (so I don’t have to deal with my hair as much)
  • Master the art of flat twisting in straight lines and cornrowing
  • Only buy products that I absolutely need, and start nailing down my holy grails and regimen
  • Bring my GPA up even more
  • End the year with at least $500 dollars in savings
  • Make it to October 1st, 2011 celibate (which is proving to be more and more difficult every day)

Peace, Love, and New Years Resolutions!

SuperCoils

Hi Guys!!!

I hope you’re all out partying with your friends and family this New Year’s Eve… I am, unfortunately, at home with my mom in this strange town called Warner Robins.

Le sigh.

My first New Years Eve as a legal adult and I will not be even the tiniest bit tipsy, nor will I be kissing a significant other (the Distinguished_Gentleman is about 120 miles away) as the clock strikes midnight.

AND I’m on day 92 of being celibate, with 273 endlessly cold nights left in my fiscal year of celibacy (D_G joked that I was being stingy with my *cough cough* because of the recession.  Ha ha).

moneyBut I found myself out in all of the hustle and bustle today trying to score some conditioner (my bottle of Tresemme Naturals is more than half empty, thereby constituting need) with only $20 that I was willing to spend.  That’s sounds like a lot until you hear that I was trying to get enough conditioner for all the co-washing, deep-treating, and detangling I cared to do until Summer of 2011.

Yup… and I wanted it to be mostly natural…

and of course I wanted to try some new stuff…

But why did you want to get all of this conditioner at one time, SuperCoils?

To keep my little product junkie butt out of the stores and in my books next semester, like I’m supposed to be!

But I digress.

Anyhow, I ended up identifying 7 helpful tips for keeping your natural hair cost effective:

  1. Pick one, damnit!  Find the thing you came for and don’t go wanting to try everything else in the world (like me).  Look to the advice of others with hair similar to yours and at the ingredients of products you are interested in as a means of weeding potential purchases out.  It may not work well every time, but most of the time, it’s gold.
  2. Try before you buy.  To avoid spending serious money on a product that doesn’t work for you, try a sample of the product before.  Target is really good about having samples of products on the cheap, as are most natural brands like Qhemet Biologics and Afroveda (although I no longer purchase from Afroveda) and Whole Foods will even give you an ounce of product on the free-ski!!
  3. Use your products wisely.  Don’t use a super-expensive conditioner in your daily co-wash, like Nexxus Humectress… unless you’ve got that kind of dough.  I don’t.
  4. As is usually the case with natural hair products, a little goes a long way.  Don’t use half a bottle of conditioner on your head if all it’s gonna do is run straight into your eyes or take FOREVER to absorb.  That’s just wasteful.
  5. Trade with your coily friends!  Lots of times, myself and Number1Roomie trade products and try each other’s stuff to see if we like it without making a monetary commitment.  Also, if it doesn’t work for me, it may work for her, and vice versa.  That way, we both get to try a whole BUNCH of products and save a BUNCH of money.
  6. If all else fails, mix it.  Ever had a product that doesn’t work well, but you’ve already bought it and don’t want to throw it out?  Mix it with something!  Heck, a lil’ olive oil can fix even the worse conditioner, and mixing butters with oils for use as a deep-conditioner or pre-poo can works wonders while allowing you to use up even the worst products.
  7. Get it at ROSS!  Ross ain’t just good for discount clothing and yoga videos, ladies!  Stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often have discount hair products on the cheap.  Hell, I just got a 16.9 fluid ounce bottle of Yes to Tomatoes conditioner for $1.99 (normally retailing for about 9 bucks) and a 33.5 fluid ounce pump bottle of Giovanni 50:50 balanced conditioner for $12.99 (should retail close to $25).  Not bad, huh?

Hopefully, these seven tips (although a little silly) will help young, financially unstable (read: “college-going”) coil-queens like myself budget better when it comes to that all-too-precious keratin complex on top of our heads.

Peace, Love, and Budgets!

SuperCoils

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

Hey Guys,

Sorry for blitzing you with posts today but…let’s be real: when have I ever claimed to be consistent?

I’m trying to get better at it, but honestly, some of these posts take research, time… and time.

…and until recently, I was very short on time.

But today, I woke up, saw my hair, and thought only one thing:

Damn.  I left my hair gel in Atlanta.

What am I to do?  I look homeless.

Not knocking homeless people, but I’d definitely fallen on hard times.  To top it all off, I’d left my wallet in my mom’s car, and she was at work 30 miles away.

So I waited for her to get home, and ran off to Kroger with my mad-hair-scientist-side skipping gleefully along beside the car.

Flax seeds for $2.59? Check.

Ziploc containers for $2.00? Check.

Old pair of stockings I found in my momma’s drawer? Check.

Youtube?  Check!

So, ladies and gentleman, I followed Naptural85 recipe for making flax seed hair gel, with a few add-ins, of course.

For those of you who don’t like to watch videos, here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1 pair old pantyhose to act as a strainer
  • 1 saucepan
  • 2 spoons
  • some vanilla extract or lemon extract to curb the smell (optional)

Here are the steps:

  1. Pour the flax seeds and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir for 5-10 minutes, until the water becomes relatively viscous (thick) and a white, foamy film forms over about 1/3 of the surface
  3. Put the pantyhose over the container with the foot inside of it to catch the flax seeds
  4. Pour the gel and seeds from the saucepan into the pantyhose and strain
  5. Add a couple of drops each of the lemon and vanilla extracts to make the gel smell like lemon cake rather than… [insert yucky smell here]
  6. Mix and allow to cool
  7. Enjoy for up to three weeks without adding a preservative

I’ll review it as soon as I actually try it (I promise).

Peace, Love, and Kitchen Wizardry,

SuperCoils

PS: Nappy Holidays

Hmmmm…

Hello World, and, if you celebrate Christmas, well, Merry Christmas!

For all of those who do not: Happy Holidays!

Moving on…

So, you guys know my hair is unbelievably dry, right?  Like, it’s just a naturally desert-like forest of dense, dark, gravity-defying coils.  My big brother likes to refer to my hair as “Fern Gully”.

I personally have yet to decide how I feel about that.

Anyways, I was looking for a light moisturizer with no glycerin for, you guessed it, the chilly Atlanta winter.  I don’t know why, but when I came here from South Carolina, I honestly thought that I’d be going to school in a warmer state.

Silly me.

For those of you coming here in search of refuge from the cold, don’t get too excited: it’s only “Hot-lanta” in the summer.  In the winter, this place is a cold, scary hell complete with sliding cars and idiot city officials who don’t know what it means to salt the roads.

Sorry guys, just a little bitter.

The Atlanta winter was doing a real doosie on my hair, so I went to Sage Naturalceuticals one mildly cold day when I didn’t have to wait for my car to heat up.  The very knowledgeable owner, Cindy Primm, listened to my hair issues and recommended that I try Bee Mine’s Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer and see if that would do the trick.  She’s kind of like a coil whisperer.  Y’all should check her out 😉

So I went ahead and bought a 2 ounce container for $5 (damn) and gave it a test drive.  I ended up re-upping on the product when I ran out, so I guess I’d have to call it a keeper…

Name: Luscious Balanced Cream MoisturizerBee Mine

Company: Bee Mine Products, Inc.,

Price: $18.00 for 8 fluid ounces (It took me a few weeks to even consider purchasing this product PURELY because of it’s price and LACK of a reputation.  I mean, let’s be frank: Bee Mine doesn’t have the amazing reputation or cult following that, say, Qhemet Biologics has, regardless of the quality of their products.)

Scent: like lemon cream… absolutely delicious

Texture: light, creamy, and smooth

Experience:

The first time I used this cream, I had just gotten out of the shower from washing (not co-washing) my hair, and first applied Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in.  I really wanted to do the Kimmaytube recipe, but… I’d just spent for-freaking-ever washing this mane of hair and I honestly just didn’t feel like spending more time on it than was absolutely necessary.  Then, I applied a small, fingertip-sized dollop of the Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer to each of my six sections with a dab (seriously, just as if you are tasting cake batter) of Darcy’s Botanicals’ Glycerin-free Twisting Cream for hold.  Finally, I braided my hair up in 4 plaits per section (24 total) and went to sleep dreaming of a soft, fluffy braid-out.

The next morning, after PT, I went ahead and took down my braids to reveal a very fluffy, yet defined braid-out with a little bit of stretch!  My hair was so soft, and remained that way through an entire WEEK!  Whoa.

All in all, this stuff has absolutely no hold (which I knew from the beginning), but has a ridiculous amount of long-time moisture.  I must say, this product is definitely a keeper.  I’m just gonna have to be SSSUUUPPPEEERRR stingy with it.  If it doesn’t last longer than 4 months, it’s off the list.

Ninjas gotta eat, after all.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils