Curly Girl Method Thoughts & Current Favourites

Long time no post, eh? Truth be told, I’ve been busy planning and writing out my 2018 favourites post – so stay tuned for that – and I’ve been stressed and limited by the few daylight hours we have for taking pictures. Something I have been doing the last month or so is giving myself back into the curly girl method. Regardless, I never use sulphates and rarely heat style my hair (like a few times a year) but I can be guilty and use silicones on occasion and have been wearing my hair up in a bun often in recent months, giving up on my hair entirely. However, in the last month I’ve been strictly following my semi-modified routine.

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Frustratingly, my hair photographs straighter and flatter than it looks in real life but I will include a picture here or two. Note: I know that its length disguises the texture somewhat. The first picture is first day hair and the second is second or third day. I have the kind of hair where the individual strands are quite fine (but not baby fine) and despite being very healthy, it tangles like nothing else in this world and refuses to hold any sort of style other than the messy bun. Did I mention that I have an obscene amount of hair? I have hair that sits between the wavy side of things with some looser spirals and ringlets thrown in. I’m one of those people that have a drier underlayer of hair that is quite curly and voluminous and a flatter and straighter upper layer of hair. Also, I never know how my hair is going to look – it has a mind of its own. My hair responds well to protein and needs moisture underneath but has a tendency to get weighed down and look straight on the crown and top layer of my hair. I’m a sulfate-free shampoo kind of girl and really struggle with my curls falling flat and losing all definition in weather and after being slept on. My hair requires a lot of product to look good and takes some effort and prayers to look its best. Curl pattern wise, I seem to have the most 2c hair, with some 3a underneath and some 2b in the lazier upper sections in my hair. Before this turns into an essay, I’ll get to the product favourites:

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Deva Curl B’Leave-In ($27 CDN)

This is one of those extra products that when added to my routine make the greatest difference. It adds volume and bounce to  my curls that tend to lack life. It’s not moisturizing so the name is kind of confusing but it’s a lightweight gel textured product that adds a dose of protein to my hair, helping it create juicier spirals and curls when paired with a heavy hold gel. It’s a great product for those with finer hair that loves protein and that want to boost their curls. It’s one that helps me unify my different curl patterns.

DevaCurl One Condition Delight Weightless Waves ($30/$60 CDN)

Deva Curl’s products are hit or miss with me on an individual basis, but my hair loves protein so as a whole, my hair enjoys a variety of their products. This is a protein heavy conditioner that offers enough slip to help with the detangling process and enough hydration to help my looser curls clump their heart out. It’s also light enough that I can use it as a leave-in as well throughout my hair, without fear of weighing down even my more lazy waves and loose spirals towards the top of my hair. As with the previous product, it’s glycerin and protein heavy so your mileage may vary in terms of your hair’s response to those polarizing ingredients. I liked the conditioner so much that I bought the larger size which thankfully is only twice the price for 3x the amount of product. This is my ‘squish to condish’ conditioner that i squish into my hair with water to create that kind of wet seaweed texture that minimizes frizz and really gets the hair to clump together in curls nicely.

Curls Creme Brûlée Whipped Curl Cream ($10-15 CDN)

Cream products are a bit of a gamble for my hair but are necessary if I want to get my hair to the third or fourth day mark without having to restyle from scratch. This is an option that I have to use a light hand with when using it as a leave in because the shea butter can sometimes weigh down my hair if I use it before my stylers on soaking wet gel. However, I really like it mixed with water as a refresher or used along with a hold product to refresh damp curls. It helps my hair form those curl clumps that it needs to look polished and doesn’t weigh down my hair in the slightest used this way. However, it has no hold so I have to cocktail it. The best part is that I’ve been able to buy it at Sally’s Beauty Supply on the east coast in Canada, where it’s really difficult to find curly-girl approved products in physical stores.

Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel ($30 CDN)

I fell in love with this gel after I had my first DevaCut because it actually gave my hair hold that didn’t weigh it down and it enhanced and unified my varying curl patterns. It’s definitely protein heavy and doesn’t always play well with every other product I’ve used but it gives me more consistently good hair days than most and I need a gel to have hair that doesn’t droop by the time its dry. I go back and forth between this gel and the Arc AnGel, which has even more hold and less protein. It’s glycerin and protein heavy but I love it on my fine hair for combatting frizz and not really giving much of a cast. My annoyance is that I go through it rather quickly and that I can’t invest in the litre sizes without the texture of the gel changing by the time I finish those larger bottles. It’s good at adding volume and lift while defining curls.

Dippity Do Girls With Curls Defrizz Gelee ($7-8 CDN)

I never expected to like a product made by Dippity-Do but I couldn’t be happier to like such an affordable and easily available hold product that’s Curly Girl Method friendly in Canada – I’m frustrated to no end how difficult it is to come across affordable options in stores here. It’s definitely smoothing and helps to clump curls with a light to moderate hold but it’s not enough for me to use on its own on wet hair  . However,  I adore how it’s lightweight and has that curl clumping ability. I prefer to use it when I refresh my hair, as it helps bring the spring back to my curls and waves without adding any weight or anything. It has a nice subtle clean scent and contains a little bit of panthenol, aloe and protein. Unlike most of the products I’ve talked about, it’s also glycerin free.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Mask ($18.50 CDN)

Truth be told, I haven’t used this mask in a while. I have loved incorporating conditioners and masks from Shea Moisture’s line in my routine for that boost of moisture, slip and reconditioning that my somewhat porous hair needs. I threw out the bottle of the one that I used the most recently and grabbed this one because it has been my favourite long term. I can’t use it like I use lighter conditioners where I scrunch and leave them in my hair but it helps form juicy curls on the lengths of my hair and keeps things manageable. Unfortunately, I have to order most Shea Moisture products online but they are great if your hair doesn’t mind shea butter and cocoa butter. I just ordered this one again and am excited to have this mask back in my life. It’s butter-heavy but doesn’t seem to weigh down my hair when rinsed out and also has some nice oils in it and a small to moderate amount of protein that my finer hair agrees with.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

The Review | DevaCurl Set It Free

The number of hair products that I’ve bought in the last two or three months is terrifying, even to my product hoarding desensitized self. My posts might have died off in the last few weeks as I have not been feeling the greatest, but I’ve been experimenting with anything and everything to make my waves/curls look their best – without the aid of heat. Generally-speaking I’ve been following the curly girl method – well, technically in a modified way because I feel the need to use a few products with silicones – and I’ve been trying every single product combination that I can think of, both new and old. With this experimentation, I’m thinking about doing a series of curly hair product reviews. And obviously a product from the brand that started it all, Deva Curl seems to be the way to go.

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever spoken about the DevaCurl Set It Free Moisture Lock ($25) but there’s a reason for it. I’ve had this staple DevaCurl product for well over a year, yet I’ve struggled to come to a definite conclusion with how I feel about it. It falls onto that love-hate spectrum for me and from the reviews that I’ve read my experience is fairly usual – you either love it or you hate it. I simply can’t decide where exactly on the spectrum I fall. It’s a confusing product in the first place because of its versatility but I would have to describe it as a leave-in or moisturizing refreshing spray with some curl enhancing ability and hold.

If you’ve tried DevaCurl products or have had your hair styled by a Deva-certified stylist, I’m sure that you have had experience with this product – it’s part of the four step core Deva routine that they seem to use on just about everyone. I have two main issues with this product that stop me from really enjoying it and reaching for it on a regular basis – t’s scent and the feel in my hair. It smells like sour skittles in a way that cannot be described as anything resembling subtlety and does not dissipate and it feels sticky. Also, it feels product-y in the hair like you would not believe – regardless of how you use it. It does have its benefits, defining the curl, particularly at stubbornly flat roots, providing hold and reducing frizz, but the feel that it leaves in my hair – regardless of the amount used – leaves much to be desired. I’m not a fan of using it in freshly washed hair because of how unbelievably sticky it is and how it can separate my curls in an unflattering way. I don’t find it particularly moisturizing either and as someone who has unbelievably tangly hair, I hate how it has the tendency to tangle up my locks.

The one way that I do somewhat enjoy the product is as a curl refresher. It still can be a bit sticky and feels product-y, but it’s to a lesser extent and I don’t mind it because of the way it boosts my limp and flattened curls, refreshing the old product and adding a bit of bounce – all while depositing some hold that reduces frizz and ensures that the curls don’t fall afterwards.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipids, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire d’abeille), Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Ceteareth-20, PVP, Aminomethyl Propanol, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum)

Have you tried anything by DevaCurl?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

The Review | L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask

I’m always complaining that living in Canada – and the East Coast in particular – that products are much more expensive and difficult to come by even via online shipping here but in terms of the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask ($6-8), us Canadians are actually in luck. As it turns out, we are fortunate enough to have the Curly-Girl-Method-approved European and Middle Eastern formulation, while in the US, the customer is stuck with the silicone-laden version of the product of the same name. If you’re not familiar with the Curly Girl Method, I am basically saying that this hair mask is free of sulphates (obviously), silicones (that cannot be removed without the aid of a cleanser) and anything else that might build up on the hair.

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Ingredients: AQUA, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, BEHENTRONIUM CHLORIDE, GLYCERIN, CETYL ESTERS, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, PHENOOXYETHANOL, LAURYL PEG/PPG-18/18 METHICONE, BHT, ARGININE, GLUTAMIC ACID, CHLORHEXIDINE DIGLUCONATE, CITRIC ACID, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, SERINE, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HYDROLIZED WHEAT PROTEIN, DODECENE, HEXYL CINNAMOL, POLOXAMER 407, LINALOOL, BENZYL SALICYLATE, LIMONENE, 2-OLEAMIDO-1, 3-OCTADECANEDIOL, GLYCERYL LINOLEATE, GLYCERYL LINOLENATE, PARFUM.

It’s time to move on to why I like it so much. I will note that it’s not holy-grail material or anything but it’s impressive in the way that it performs without building up on the hair, particularly because its so affordable and accessible. I would categorize it as a product thats on the higher end of moderately moisturizing but with a slightly thick – but watery – weightless texture. It has really good slip, despite only containing one silicone – which is water-soluble and not one of the worst suspects. The main ingredients are glycerin, emollients and those moisturizing alcohols but theres a low to moderate amount of protein added into the mix – enough to help repair the hair, without presenting much of an issue for the protein-sensitive. What I think is so impressive about this mask is that it’s very moisturizing and slip-y without relying on heavy oils or butters that even my porous hair sometimes needs a break from. It would be particularly great for those who find that heavier ingredients weigh their hair down but still need a good dose of moisture.

As it’s not the most intense moisture or protein treatment out there, I simply use it in the place of my regular conditioner in the shower. It’s also lightweight enough to use on my relatively fine wavy strands as a leave-in if I’m so inclined. In other words, I recommend it, especially to those with finer hair.

Any Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Update & Hair Thoughts

There’s no way around it – I have slacked on the blog, going without a single post. In my defence, the senior slump is real – the last couple of months of my undergrad have been taking a toll on me. I’ve been exhausted (as always), but on a more psychological level and have been stress-paralyzed out of my mind. Anyways, enough of my excuses and ramblings. Actually, that was a lie. A little birdie might also be telling you to stay tuned for another post in the next few days on my February and March Favourites.

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A few weeks ago, I got my hair cut – and three inches off, not that anybody in my life seems to be able to tell – for the first time in what was likely a year in a half and now that my hair is not quite as heavy and unmanageable, I’ve been getting back into the game with experimenting with products for my waves. For you curly hair aficionados, I’ve been following the modified curly girl method, and have been using some of the associated techniques with some success. I will warn you that I do tend to use some products with silicones, as they don’t seem to cause me issues and that I do cleanse with a sulphate-free shampoo. Here are three products that I’m enjoying at the moment:

ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor: I will warn you that I’ve only used this inexpensive protein treatment once, but after using it once, as the directions instruct, I found my waves to have much more elasticity and bounce and significantly less lame and limp. Now, my hair is a fan of protein, as I have fine strands but loads and loads of them, which is something to keep in mind. It did boost the curls in some  sections that have been looking weirdly straight as of late, which I do appreciate. The only complaints one could have is the god-awful smell, the presence of mineral oil – some find that it builds up in the hair – and the one silicone towards the end of the ingredient list.

Joico K-Pak Conditioner: I remember having consistantly good hair days in high school when I was using the K-Pak line, so when I was perusing the beauty section of Winners – as I do so enjoy to do – I couldn’t resist picking the bottle up for $10. I knew that it contained silicones but I tend to not mind them because of their slip and the fact that I have hair that doesn’t seem to be particularly impacted by them; However, I was pretty excited to learn that there is only one silicone  in it and it’s water soluble. I’ve been really enjoying this conditioner for its banana-scented nostalgia and its slip and intense lightweight hydration. I enjoy that it has protein in it – and there’s enough to actually make a difference, – especially because it also has a nice balance of hydration for dry strands. It’s a nice daily conditioner that’s light enough to even be used as a leave in.

DevaCare Arc AnGel Firm Hold Defining Gel: There is no gel (or curl defining product) that I’ve tried that beats Deva’s s0-called hard hold gel offering in my book. There’s something about it that works best for me in the warmer months (but that might just be that in the summer, I have more bounce and defined curls on account of the humidity) but it works for me throughout the year. I’m onto my second of the huge 32 ounce offerings, having repurchased it on account of the value I get from it. I have so much fine hair that takes quite a bit of gel to be at it’s best and seems to eat up gel, so I can go through gel really fast – the fact that no gel seems to be hard-hold on me including this one might be a contributor though – so the fact that this one is concentrated and comes in a large size at a better value is appreciated. I would describe it as a medium-approaching-firm hold gel on me but what I love best about it is that it provides this hold while adding loads of definition without weighing down or drying out any of the sections of hair on my head. Ingredient-wise, it’s silicone-free and contains a high amount of wheat protein and glycerin.

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Second day hair with these products (among others) – appearing weirdly flat and undefined, likely because it’s still damp from being refreshed
Any general related thoughts?
Maggie, x.