2019 Favourites | The Haircare

Having started my Curly Girl Method journey — for the second time — at the tail end of 2018, I was always planning on sharing my favourite product discoveries at the end of 2019. I had done so much research, so much experimentation and had definitely found some products that really did work. I even had fairly extensive notes saved on my phone. However, I then realized there were almost too many products. Also, the DevaCurl drama then unfolded and I was torn whether or not to still include my favourite products from the line when others were experiencing horrific results. Regardless, here I am sharing my favourites. For reference I have long high porosity hair thats pattern most closely resembles a 2c. My mixture of curls and waves are fine in texture but I have high density hair, overall. Oh, and I live in a humid east coast environment and my hair tends to just eat product and tangle up like nothing in this world.

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As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99 CDN): I’m just not a traditional co-wash or conditioner washing kind of girl but I do enjoy using this product in between shampoos. I swear this is a bit more cleansing than a traditional conditioner and doesn’t piss off my scalp. It has amazing slip and leaves my hair smooth and shiny. Best of all is that I don’t have to use a separate product to condition. It has a weird thick oatmeal-y consistency and my only complaint is that I go through the tub rather quickly. This is why I don’t have one to include in the picture. I have a new one on the way, though…

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Conditioner ($13.49 CDN): As someone who finds that their hair clumps and spirals the most nicely after using a deep conditioner, I’m used to often using masques and deep conditioners in the standard conditioner stage. However, this old school Shea Moisture offering gets me the curl clumps, moisture and control without requiring me to use a deep conditioner. It’s a medium weight conditioner that my fine hair eats up with enough slip to cut through tangles — but not the most slip in the world — and leaves my waves and curls moisturized for days. I like the mixture of conditioning agents, plant oils, shea butters and hydrolyzed protein the product contains.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment ($15.49 CDN): I really found myself enjoying this easily accessible deep conditioner, but it is not a protein treatment by any stretch of the imagination. Real protein doesn’t make an appearance until the end of the ingredient list in the form of a protein-water-soluble-silicone polymer and hydrolyzed keratin. This is the thickest deep conditioner I’ve ever tried but it doesn’t weigh down my curls and waves. It uses hydrogenated castor oil, shea butter, honey, yogurt powder, coconut oil, baobab seed oil and mafura oil to moisturize the hair. Due to the thick texture, it doesn’t have the most slip but still works to detangle my tangly hair.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask ($46 CDN): I absolutely adore this deep conditioner. It’s pricy but extremely concentrated. It both offers amazing slip and a balanced moisture and protein. With just a minimal amount of product used, the fatty alcohols and plant oils melt tangles and leave my hair smooth and hydrated. The hefty dose of biotin and hydrolyzed keratin leave my hair full of bounce and leaves my curls and waves nicely clumped together. It’s definitely lightweight but works wonders, even on thirsty strands.

DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Seaweed Strengthening Hair Mask ($49 CDN): Another mask that I adore using both as a deep conditioner left in the hair for a notable amount of time or in the place of normal conditioner is this one. Despite being brought out by DevaCurl, it’s not actually entirely water soluble, with sunflower seed wax in the ingredients and potentially enough coconut oil to require a sulfate-free shampoo for removal; this is okay with me because my scalp and I are on board with regular use of gentle shampoo. It has amazing slip, making detangling a breeze — even in knotty hair — and adds a great balance of moisture and protein without being heavy. It leaves my hair hydrated, smooth and lends a bit of control and help with clumping my waves and curls. It uses loads of coconut oil, your traditional slip agents, hydrolyzed proteins in good concentrations and amino acids.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($36 CDN): This was one of those products I discovered and instantly fell in love; my thoughts haven’t changed. It’s a product that’s lightweight and incredibly nourishing and might have the most slip I’ve ever experienced in a product. The miraculous part is that it’s incredibly moisturizing without weighing the hair down and contains hydrolyzed keratin protein as the fourth ingredient, along with hydrolyzed yeast and amino acids further down the list. As a result, I find using this has added so much elasticity and bounce to my hair and has made a significant difference in getting my ends to curl nicely again. Whenever my hair is limp and lifeless, I reach for this product and it always improves matters. It helps the hair to spiral and clump nicely, without requiring a separate hydrating treatment. It contains your usual slip agents, the hydrolyzed proteins and a plant oil or two.

DevaCurl Leave In Decadence Ultra Moisturizing Leave In Conditioner ($36 CDN): As someone who tends to use fairly intense conditioners in the shower and doesn’t rinse it all out, I’m not into heavier leave ins. This one smells heavenly (like a musky natural coconut) and adds a nice dose of hydrolyzed protein and lightweight moisture. It’s on the lighter end of things, however. It helps my hair clump nicely without added weight. It features coconut oil, hydrolyzed quinoa, argan oil, aloe and a few other oils. It’s kind of a small container, however, and I have gone through it fairly quickly.

DevaCurl B’ Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper ($27 CDN): This is actually a product that I have a deep love for that started way before 2019. However, it was a contributing factor on most of my good hair days so I couldn’t write this post without  including it. It’s my favourite curl enhancer. I use it after a curl cream and before gel to help my fragile curls clump together and stay clumped and add some bounce. It contains an emollient, a whole lot of hydrolyzed protein and some botanical extracts. It really helps my curls and waves to have bounce that lasts.

DevaCurl Styling Cream Touchable Curl Definer and DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN): I couldn’t decide between these two Devacurl curl creams that I discovered in 2019, mainly because they are so incredibly similar. They both really help to clump and define curls while adding moisture to the hair and a substantial light hold on their own. Styling Cream lends a little bit more hold and might be slightly lighter and Supercream might give me slightly clumpier curls with the coconut oil it contains. It works for me year round and while I can use the creams on their own, I get the best results paired with a gel on top. They both lend the hair control, definition and smoothness.

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel ($32/$60 CDN): Throughout 2019, I was using and loving this medium-firm hold gel. Among the first few ingredients are glycerin and hydrolyzed proteins, both of which are polarizing ingredients. I find that the glycerin and hydrolyzed proteins lend some curl enhancement and bounce to my hair. My favourite thing about this gel is that it’s lightweight enough to dry quickly while adding enough hold to give me multi day hair — I have hair that soaks up everything and many products leave it without hold. I’ve discovered that I’m a curl cream kind of girl and this pairs really well with them. It also leaves me with some volume. I will note, however, that it works best for me in spring, summer, fall and early winter. Note: I actually did better with the Ouidad Vitalcurl Tress Effects last winter. However, I haven’t tried the newer formula so I didn’t want to include it. I think I kind of just did though…

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Curly Girl Method Update | 9 Months

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for a solid nine months now and while the journey has definitely had its ups and downs and I’ve had my good days and bad days, I’ve gotten to a place where I can really enjoy experimenting with hair products and learning about them without it feeling like it’s taken over my life. I did cut five inches off my hair, which has definitely helped and relayered my hair. In all my trials with my hair, these are my favourite products at this point in my journey. As a frame of reference my hair is fine, I have high density hair, high porosity and hair that falls into mainly a 2c kind of pattern with the right kind of products. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, my hair always looks straighter in pictures…

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As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99 CDN | Sally’s Beauty Supply): I’ve discussed this cleansing conditioner before in a fairly recent post, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief. As someone who has fine hair (but loads of it) and a scalp that can get easily pissed off, cowashing has not been for me for the most part. However, I really like this one. It’s slightly more cleansing than the traditional cleansing conditioner and has out of this world slip. I like using it in between washes with a sulfate-free cleanser, especially in the cooler seasons. It’s also nourishing enough that I can use it as my one product to cleanse and condition when I’m feeling lazy.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Conditioner ($11.96 CDN | Walmart): Shea Moisture conditioners, shampoos and masks have been a favourite of mine for a long time but this easily accessible conditioner was an impulse purchase that I don’t regret in the slightest. It won’t be for everyone because it has a bit of weight – which is why I find it curl clumping – and doesn’t have the most slip that I’ve ever experiences. However, I like how concentrated it is, how much moisture it brings to my thirsty hair and the juicy clumps it helps bring to life without weighing my fine waves and curls down. It uses shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil and a touch of hydrolyzed silk protein.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($34 CDN | honeyfig.com): This is a deep conditioner that is both protein rich and deeply nourishing. It’s not easy to get a hold of in Canada but it has been worth the hassle in my opinion. I’ve been using it since January on a regular basis and I love how nourishing (and detangling) it is, while containing hydrolyzed keratin protein as the fourth ingredient. My hair was never in dire health or anything but it responds well to protein, being fine and porous. I don’t notice a sudden huge increase in elasticity and bounce but it’s always smooth, shiny and forms nicely clumped up curls after I’ve used it. I think it would appeal to many, especially because it’s a treatment that works but doesn’t even contain shea butter, coconut oil or any of those ingredients that are too heavy for some.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask ($47 CDN | Sephora): Honestly, I’ve only had this hyped-up deep conditioner for about a month but it’s given me such happy hair that I couldn’t compile this post without including. It has a bunch of fatty alcohols, which lend slip, panthenol, biotin, argan and avocado oils, aloe and some hydrolyzed keratin protein. The texture of it is light and fluffy whilst deeply hydrating my curls and helping them clump together. It’s a nice balance of protein and moisture, as everyone seems to say and the slip was really nice. It’s a lighter weight deep conditioner that doesn’t sacrifice on the nourishment it lends.

Devacurl Leave-In Decadence ($36 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): As someone who has finer and wavier strands and who tends to use heavier conditioners – without rinsing them completely out – I often find leave ins heavy and dismiss them as an overpriced, needless step. However, I like this newer product from Devacurl. It’s much lighter weight than the rest of the Decadence line and features coconut oil, pequi fruit oil, hydrolyzed quinoa protein, argan oil, avocado oil and aloe in the top of the ingredient list. It smells amazing, even from someone who typically does not enjoy the smell of coconuts; it’s a musky coconut and baby powder kind of scent. It helps my hair remained clumped, smooth and moisturized without compromising volume and bounce.

Devacurl B’Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper ($26.55 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): When I want to spend a bit of extra time and effort on my hair and to get my best curls and waves, I apply this protein-rich gelee before my gel. It relies on glycerin, wheat amino acids and a couple of different kinds of hydrolyzed protein to enhance curls. It really helps my fragile curls to clump together and adds additional bounce.

Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): This hot and humid summer has helped me rediscover my love of curl cream, with a little help from a Sephora 100 point perk. This curl cream is definitely intended for tighter and drier textures than mine. However, I love the curl clumping and control it provides without weighing down my hair. I find I can actually get away with using it as a standalone product but I get my best results pairing it with a gel. It provides light hold on its own and adds the right touch of moisture to my waves and curls. It’s glycerin heavy and also has coconut oil and jojoba protein in it.

Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel ($32 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): Writing this post has made me realize how much I’ve been enjoying Devacurl products this summer. I’ve been consistently pairing this gel with a curl cream either on wet or damp hair and I don’t really have any complaints. It’s a gel that’s loaded with hydrolyzed proteins, which are known to be curl enhancing, lending structure to the hair and protective in the sense that they work to block out humidity. It’s glycerin rich — my hair likes glycerin at all dew points — and offers medium-firm hold without much crunch, while being lightweight. It’s also a godsend that this gel doesn’t leave my hair wet for hours like some do.

AG Re:coil Curl Activator ($22/$38 CDN | Chatters and select salons): This cream-gel of sorts was something I had added to my collection when I started the Curly Girl Method for the first time, but it wasn’t until restarting the journey last December that I really began to enjoy the product. In fact, this is even a repurchase. It sits somewhere between a traditional cream and a gel, with more hold than a cream whilst still lending enhancement. This is a product that I find can help encourage the hair to spiral when paired with a harder hold product on day one but really shines as a product used to refresh my curls and waves combined with water. Also, it performs well for me in all dew points.

Ouidad Vitalcurl Tress Effects Styling Gel ($34.28 CDN | ulta.com): Within the first week or two of restarting the Curly Girl Method, I was lucky enough to find a litre size of the old bottle — formula is hardly any different ingredient wise — for maybe twenty dollars upon seeing it didn’t have silicones or drying alcohols in it. While it did not perform the greatest in the super humid weather this summer, I have gone back to this gel since the weather has began to simmer down and have rekindled my love of it. It’s a lightweight gel with medium hold — but can be built with a second application – that has nice slip, provides the hair with shine and moisture. I enjoy it in mild to subzero temperatures. It contains glycerin, humidity-resistant polymers, film-forming humectants and a modified form of shea butter.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Review | DevaCurl DevaFuser

It’s been a ridiculously hot, humid and all kinds of crazy summer. I’m hoping to get back to regular posting soon – I know, I always say that. As someone who is always looking for volume and lift and has hair that takes forever to dry at the crown, I’ve always been intrigued by the DevaCurl DevaFuser Universal Diffuser ($68 CDN). It’s a supposedly-universal diffuser attachment that is shaped like a hand that is supposed to mimic the action of scrunching without the added frizz of manipulating the hair with the hands. The ‘inner core’ is ceramic, which increases the moisture retention in the hair, the shine and reduces frizz. They claim that it dries the hair faster, with increased root volume and definition as well.

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I have two significant issues with the universal attachment. The first issue is that it is not universal. I have a fairly standard sized dryer and the adapter attachment is too small to fit on my drier, resulting in me relying on the attachment itself remaining attached to the base of my dryer. In other words, I have to exercise extreme caution to even keep the diffuser on my dryer. For reference, I have an older model of the T3 Featherweight Dryer. I have to admit that I do enjoy using the hand shaped design to help dry my roots faster than they would otherwise and add some volume to my long waves and curls. My problem is that the hand shape does kind of disrupt my fine and delicate curl clumps when used in the lengths of my hair. This may be related to the attachment falling off of my dryer, though…

I do actually get good success using this diffuser attachment to dry the roots of my hair more quickly, with more ease and to achieve more volume. However, I get more defined and bouncy curls by using a standard bowl diffuser on my lengths. It’s true that I might have better success with a more narrow dryer but I’m kind of peeved because its marketed as universal. Also, those with curls and waves that are less delicate and prone to breaking apart or de-clumping might find that it gives nice results for the entire head. If you ask me, this diffuser is also more than a tad overpriced. The picture included is a picture of my hair diffused with this attachment at the roots along with a standard diffuser for the lengths for a few minutes.

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Has anyone else tried the DevaFuser?
Maggie, x.

 

More Hair Empties

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for over six months now and while I certainly still have days when my hair does not cooperate, I think everything is falling into place. I even mustered up the courage to cut 5 inches off my hair and add lots of layers. I do admit, I’m getting much more bounce in my waves and curls now. I’ve certainly made dents in a lot of hair products – but I still bought more, don’t worry – and even finished some of them. Here’s the lowdown:

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As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99/454g): As someone with a tumultuous relationship with cleansing conditioners and co-washes, my love for this As I Am offering is surprising. It’s silicone and sulfate free with a kind of runny but thick consistency that emulsifies and suds ever so slightly when worked into the scalp. I find it to be slightly more cleansing than typical cleansing conditioners with an excellent amount of slip and moisture. I don’t find myself having to reach for a separate conditioner when I use this co-wash and I don’t find that my roots are flat or my scalp is irritated like I do with other products of this category. I was actually legitimately sad when I finished the tub of the cleanser and have repurchased a new one since.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Conditioner ($13.99/305 mL): I really enjoyed using this incredibly thick conditioner because it was fairly inexpensive, really helped to clump my curls and offered sufficient slip for detangling my knot-prone tresses. While the texture itself was thick, I think this is on the lighter end of the spectrum for Shea Moisture in the sense that they add less weight then some other products by the brand. When I’m around a store that actually has this conditioner in stock, I will pick it up again. For those curious, it contains slip agents, fatty alcohols, shea butter, glycerin, honey, yogurt and a few notable plant oils for the most part. It contains a very minimal amount of protein.

AG Re:Coil Curl Activator ($38/355 mL): I can confirm that this curl cream lasts far beyond its expected shelf life. I picked it up a couple of years ago and wasn’t initially overly impressed with this lightweight cream styler. When used on its own and on soaking wet hair, I didn’t find it did much but now when used on my damp hair, underneath a styler with more hold, I like the boost that it gives my finer curls and waves. It contains a film forming polymer, fatty alcohols, a starch to add grit, glycerin and a small curl-enhancing magnesium sulfate. It has a light hold on its own and lends great bounce to the hair and works quite well as a refreshing product. I repurchased on Prime Day happily for quite a discount.

Jessicurl Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion ($24/237 mL): Honestly, I’m on the fence whether to repurchase this thin flaxseed based curl enhancer. I used the brown liquid as intended onto soaking wet hair without noticing much of a difference – and creating a bit of a mess because of how liquid-y the product is. It wasn’t until I tried applying the product into my damp hair that it went farther and helped to tighten up droopier curls. It has virtually no hold in my experience, especially when used as directed. My one comment about this product is that it does not help to clump curls in the slightest; instead, it creates defined more separated curls with flaxeed, glycerin, aloe, jojoba oil and magnesium sulfate.

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream ($14.99/ 240 mL): At first, I found myself quite disappointed with this product because I bought it thinking it was primarily a styler only to discover that on my hair, it performed more like a leave in or moisturizer. It doesn’t offer any hold – nor does it promise to – and while it decreases frizz, smooths the strands and adds hydration, it doesn’t do too much to help with curl formation and definition. I did quite enjoy reaching for this birthday cake scented medium-weight leave in once I stopped trying to use it as a styler. It contains aloe, glycerin, a few oils and shea butter.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

More Curly Girl Method Approved Empties

Ever since re-starting the ‘curly girl method’ back in December, I’ve done a looooooot of product buying and testing — product junkie, hello. Before it gets any more out of control, I’m making an active effort to actually finish up the products I have and this is mainly the result of that. As I reminder I have high porosity, fine hair with high density and my curl pattern is mainly in the 2c range, but has some 2b thrown in and some 3a patches.

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DevaCurl B’Leave In ($27 CDN/ 177 mL): This has to me among the hair products that I love the most and I’ve loved it for years. It’s a confusing and misunderstood product, adding bounce and elasticity to waves and curls with protein and helping to keep curls clumped together. Using this product tends to lead to a good hair day for me, unlesss I’ve done something disastrous. It helps my long curls that tend to wilt from their length — I really need to get some layers next time I go for a cut — stay clumped together in larger curls and bounce up. I couldn’t stand to finish this bottle until my fresh bottle came in the mail. It’s glycerin based and also contains wheat protein and water-soluble castor oil with a weightless gel texture. It does not offer hold on its own.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight ($32 CDN/ 355 mL): I found myself really liking the lightest weight cleanser from Deva but it’s not the most moisturizing admittedly. What I like about it is that it’s weightless and contains cocamidopropyl betaine and coco-betaine, which are gentle cleansing agents that are remarkably good at removing build up. I find this shampoo gently clarifying whilst being minimally stripping. I might actually repurchase this after I go through the million sulfate-free shampoos that I still have….

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Coco-Betaine, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Nymphaea Lotus Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Polyquaternium-10, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

DevaCurl One Condition Delight ($32/ 355 mL): As a girl who loves her intensive conditioners, I kind of laughed at the idea of a lightweight one until I tried this offering. It’s a nice complement to the heavier conditioners that I use, adding no weight whilst having a generous amount of slip, protein and moisture. I like it so much that I bought the salon size. I use this when I want lots of volume and often use it as a leave-in. It has some protein that adds bounce to my waves and has curl-enhancing linseed extract along with the usual glycerin, slip agents and fatty alcohols.
Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Cetyl Esters, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract (and) Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Nymphaea Lotus Flower Extract, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Tresemme Botanique Nourish & Replenish Conditioner ($6.99 CDN/ 739 mL): I have to say that Tresemme’s coconut oil infused conditioner has to be my least favourite of their silicone-free conditioners that they have offered over the last five years. It’s the heaviest of their conditioners and is decently moisturizing but doesn’t help clump my curls in the way that I like my medium-weight conditioners to. It also does not have the most slip. After the traditional fatty alcohols and slip agents, the formula contains coconut oil, aloe and coconut extract. Coconut oil and aloe can act like a protein for some people in a problematic manner but I’ve never had this experience before. However, my waves just don’t clump or curl the most nicely with this conditioner. It does have a nice musky coconut scent that doesn’t read too sunscreen-y. I finished up my bottle as a detangling product and to co-wash my hair.

Ingredients: Water (Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Garnier Fructis Strengthening Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask ($5.99 CDN/ 100 mL): I’ve waxed poetically on about this hair mask before so I’ll try to keep it sweet. I love this hair mask because of how easily available it is locally in Canada and because it works well as a deep conditioner or a richer rinse out on my waves and curls, offering slip and helping to clump curls without added weight. I think it’s about time for me to pick up one of the newer larger more cost-effective tubs of this.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Leaf Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Persea Gratissima Oil/Avocado Oil, Tartaric Acid, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol, Salicylic Acid, Caramel, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/Fragrance.

Dippity-Do Girls With Curls Light Hold Gelee ($6.99 CDN/ 340 mL): Let me tell you, I was shocked to find myself loving a gel by Dippity Do and pleasantly surprised. It definitely doesn’t offer adequate hold on its own for me but it works as a curl-clumping product used in combination with gel to help my curls form larger and more spiral-y clumps and is a fantastic product for when I damp refresh my curls. It’s lightweight and glycerin-free although it does have sorbitol and propylene glycol which are similarly behaving humectants. It contains a tiny bit of hydrolyzed wheat for protein and has a moderate amount of aloe as well. It has a solid light hold and lends bounce to the hair. I would definitely repurchase but I’m going to try to hold off for the moment.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PVP, Sorbitol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzophenone-4, Benzyl Benzoate, Red 33 (CI 17200).

Shea Moisture Hydrate + Repair Multi-Action Leave-In ($13.99 CDN/ 237 mL): This spray treatment product from Shea Moisture has to be the best leave-in product I’ve ever tried. The only complaint was that I went through it quickly – this was likely because I discovered it was a great milky spray to refresh second and third day curls. It was substantial enough to add moisture and help with definition but added no extra weight. It contains water soluble a protein-silicone polymer so it acts as a heat-protectant for when diffusing but I experienced no issues with build up or anything of that sort. It offered great slip and weightless hydration. I’m definitely repurchasing and luckily, it’s now sold in Walmart and Shopper’s Drugmart in Canada.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PVP, Sorbitol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzophenone-4, Benzyl Benzoate, Red 33 (CI 17200).

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Essentials | Deep Conditioners

Ever since I was young teen, embracing the wave that I found in my hair, I have experimented with using masks and deep conditioners in my routine as a standard conditioner. Even more than this, I often even left them in because it encouraged nice curls in my lengths and helped to prevent the dryness and tangles that I’ve always been prone to. However, since re-embracing the curly girl method this winter, I have been committing to deep conditioning for a good half hour or more weekly. This has really helped my porous hair form nice curl clumps, re-encourage curl in my lengths and keep my hair hydrated in this cold Canadian winter. Leaving a mask weekly (or even twice a week) can work wonders on your hair whether you wear it in its natural state, follow the curly girl method or heat-style it. Actually, I believe deep conditioning has been the main reason my high porosity hair has begun to actually hold onto moisture. The current favourites are as follows:

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Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment ($15 CDN): I’m pleased to report that while this was once a product that had to be ordered online from Ulta for us Canadians, it’s now starting to pop up in Walmarts and select drugstores. This may be sold as a protein treatment but I like it as a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hint of protein mixed in. I think it would work well for those that are protein-sensitive because it doesn’t contain much in terms of those small molecule hydrolyzed proteins that really work to add elasticity and bounce to the hair, while repairing damage. It has a nice mild scent and a thick texture that doesn’t feel particularly heavy on my fine strands. However, it leaves my hair super hydrated and smoothed.It helps my curls to clump and has lovely slip for even the most tangly hair. I think those who heat style their hair would really like this one because of how it can repair heat damage to an extent. I do note that this does contain a water soluble silicone-protein polymer, which I can only see being a problem for anti-silicone fanatics…

Ingredients: Water, Behentrimonium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Honey, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Tocopherol, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, lnulin, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend).

Shea Moisture Mongongo and Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque ($16.99 CDN): This was my original Shea Moisture deep conditioner love and still remains one that I adore the most. It’s a bit heavier than the former product but never weighs down my fine high-porosity wavy curls. It’s unfortunately only available online in Canada or at specialty beauty supply stores. It’s smoothing and curl-clumping and gives serious bounce. It contains butters, oils, fatty alcohols, slip agents and a moderate dose of protein. It’s incredibly concentrated and has fantastic slip and consistently gives good multiple day hair without dryness seeping in. This is the one that restored my faith in deep conditioners’ ability to restore curls. It doesn’t contain coconut oil, which I only mention because it can be problematic to some and is included in many deep conditioners.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Ricinodendron Rautanenii (Mongongo) Seed Oil, Vinegar, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Sodium Benzoate.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($34 CDN): This is unfortunately a harder product to track down, especially in Canada, yet again. It’s only available at select salons that use this line and specialty beauty supply stores/ online retailers- I picked mine up from Honey Fig. It’s actually a unique product, with enough hydrolyzed protein to add definite elasticity and bounce back to the hair, help repair damage and prevent breakage, while also being very conditioning and detangling. I noticed a real bounce brought back to my curls from deep conditioning with this and I found that it left my hair with the most slip out of maybe any product I’ve ever tried and lasting hydration. It’s a traditional thick conditioner texture with the nourishment you would expect from a mask. It doesn’t have any shea butter or coconut oil so I think it would be a lighter weight option for those that have a real sensitivity to those ingredients.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Glyceryl Stearate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycol Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Tocopherol Acetate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance/Parfum, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, *Benzyl Benzoate. *Fragrance Component

Garnier Fructis Strengthening Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask ($5.99 CDN): I really like this silicone-free and drying alcohol-free hair mask and was really happy to learn recently that there’s larger sizes available – and accessible, even in Canada – because this 100 mL size would not last forever, especially if you aren’t as much of a product junkie as I am. It works to hold moisture in my hair when I use this as a deep conditioner or rinse out and it’s quite smoothing and nourishing, without adding any sort of weight to the hair. It’s protein-free so I highly question the strengthening claim but it’s a great purely moisturizing deep conditioner. It has enough slip to detangle with without difficulty. It has your usual fatty alcohols, glycerin, shea butter, olive, soybean, sunflower seed, coconut and avocado oils, along with rosemary extract. It also has that nostalgic salon-y banana scent that I enjoy.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Leaf Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Persea Gratissima Oil/Avocado Oil, Tartaric Acid, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol, Salicylic Acid, Caramel, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/Fragrance.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Conditioner ($13.99 CDN): I was originally going to end the post before this product but I thought to myself that it would be helpful to include other options for deep conditioning that aren’t as heavy. I know many don’t go for the intensive more butter and oil-heavy masks that I seem to adore as they can be heavy on some hair types – especially wavies that are prone to products building up on their hair. I think that if you are looking for some extra nourishment for your hair but find traditional thick masks heavy, this thick standard conditioner may be worth a shot. It’s not as thick as the deep treatment in this line but it still has a thicker consistency; however, it’s probably among the lighter of Shea Moisture’s offerings. I’ve used it as a deep treatment with nice results but it’s honestly my favourite as a rinse-out conditioner, as it’s nicely moisturizing and curl clumping without weighing down my hair in the slightest. This one doesn’t even contain water soluble silicones, has some slip agents, shea butter and oils. It has a tiny amount of protein in it. It’s available in Walmarts too which I adore.

Ingredients: Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Honey, Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, lnulin, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis) Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend).

Do you have a favourite deep conditioner?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

I promise I have non curly hair related posts in the works. However, there’s another hair product review post ahead. The Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker is a pricier product, retailing at $22 US or $30-ish CDN for 12 ounces or 355 mLs. It’s only available in Sally’s Beauty Supply in Canada, or other specialty beauty supply stores but is readily available online from Target and a bunch of other sites. I know in the US, it’s available at Sally’s Beauty Supply, Target and a bunch of drugstores. The product contains a bunch of naturally based ingredients, is cruelty-free and made in the US. I’m 99% sure it’s vegan too.


Camille Rose Naturals claims “our Curl Maker Curl Defining Jelly is handcrafted with marshmallow and agave leaf extracts”, will define curls “without the crunch” and will “eliminate frizz, moisturize and define curls”. In my experience, it definitely helps curls and waves to clump and acts as an enhancing product. It minimizes frizz and adds smoothness and hydration. I don’t experience any crunch with this gelly but I also find that it has maybe light hold on me and consequently follow it with a harder hold gel to get good results on my fine looser pattern of curls and waves. I know that those with a tighter curl pattern can use this gel on their own and enjoy doing so. The below picture on the left is my hair early on following the Curly Girl Method — fair warning my hair looks better now — with this product layered underneath a harder hold gel, and the picture on the right is my hair refreshed with this product.

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Now, let’s delve into the ingredients further. I consider it Curly Girl Method approved, meaning that it doesn’t contain sulfates, silicones or drying alcohols. However, the castor seed oil that the formula contains will require gentle surfactants to be removed and thus, might not be compatible with a shampoo-free regimen. The formula doesn’t contain any glycerin or other simple humectants that tend to be problematic in low and extremely high dew points. It’s really nourishing and smoothing with the coconut oil, aloe juice and castor seed oil. Curl Maker contains a fair number of ingredients classified as film-forming humectants that pull water into the hair and keep the moisture intact — some of these include: pectin, aloe, marshmallow root, nettle and panthenol.

Ingredients: Dionized water, pectin, coco nucifera(coconut )oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, panthenol, ricinus communis (caster) seed oil, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root extract, agava americana leaf extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) extract, urtica dioica (nettle) leaf extract, corn starch, xanthan gum, chondrus (seaweed) crispus, polysorbate 20, tocopheryl acetate (vitanin E), cyanocobalamin (vitamin b-12), phenoxyethanol (optiphen nd) caprylyl glycol, fragance (parfum) and LOVE!

The Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker does not necessarily give me the tightest waves and curls out of every product on the market but it certainly helps to encourage spirals and curl clump formation. It’s that perfect balance on my fine but high porosity hair of being smoothing and moisturizing without adding heaviness. The formula is protein-free but the aloe and the coconut oil have been known to act similar to proteins for those who’s hair is protein sensitive. As I’m nearing the end of my bottle, I plan on reinvesting in another bottle to use as a curl enhancing product and to refresh with. Also, in my experience this is defining but elongating.

Has anyone tried anything by Camille Rose Naturals?
Maggie, x.