Products I’ve Used Up | Take Two

Let’s skip as much of the introductory ramble as possible. I finished some products and I wrote a lot about them…


DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Cleansing Conditioner ($32 CDN/ 355 mLs): Please forgive the old packaging of my bottle; I had forgotten that I still had a quarter of a bottle left underneath my sink. I’ve been trying it out again and my feelings haven’t changed. I really like the minty citrus scent and the slip that co-wash leaves in my thirsty tangly hair. Unfortunately, this product tends to make my scalp itchy in ways that conditioner washing with straight conditioners do not. I expect that my scalp hates the peppermint oil, which is a known irritant and when my scalp starts to itch, I can easily start to have an eczema outbreak… I didn’t really find it any more cleansing than a standard conditioner and although my curls liked the slip of this product, I just couldn’t do it on more than an occasional basis. It also gave my fine hair limper roots, which I did not appreciate.

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Conditioner ($10 CDN/ 385 mLs): Loosely speaking, this product is kind of sulfate, silicone and drying alcohol free. It does contain standard alcohol but as far as I am aware, it’s acting as a solvent in the formula. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I definitely did not experience any sort of dryness as a result. It has a thicker consistency that does impart some moisture but isn’t as intensely hydrating and as slippy as I would prefer. It was a fine conditioner but it wasn’t my favourite because of these shortcomings. It’ s a good affordable conditioner with aloe, glycerin, coconut oil and fatty alcohols. Unfortunately, I did not find it to be curl clumping either. I feel like it would be better for those with thicker hair textures and less tangly hair than mine.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Frizz Defense Hair Masque ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): I went an ordered this mask from Ulta because it was aimed at wavy hair – and I have waves with some curls thrown in there – and while I liked it, I wasn’t in love. It’s silicone-free, doesn’t have any drying ingredients and actually appears to be protein free. It had a thick texture that was smoothing and moisturizing but it didn’t do anything special for my finer strands. I think it would be better for thicker strands and those who are protein sensitive.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Mask ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): This has to be my favourite hair mask that I’ve ever tried and I liked this so much when I finished it – over a year ago – that I held onto the empty package like a true hoarder. It’s aimed at hair curlier than mine with higher porosity but I love it for my high porosity 2c fine hair. It has great slip and is super concentrated, providing intense moisture to my strands that help curls to clump, especially at the lengths. It has some protein in it too, which my hair appreciates but it’s very moisturizing overall and is very concentrated. The texture is rich but not heavy. I recently acquired a new tub and I’ve been loving having it in my life again. It’s silicone free and drying alcohol free.

Love Beauty & Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Conditioner ($10-12 CDN/ 400 mL): This was an impulse purchase that I made upon seeing that the product was silicone free and seemed to have an interesting ingredient list. I really liked it. It’s silicone-free, has nothing drying in it and doesn’t really contain anything that could build up on the hair. It has a great spa scent, moderate moisture and great slip. It’s a great conditioner that hydrates without adding weight and contains fatty alcohols, your usual slip agents, along with coconut and argan oil. It helped to clump my curls and added no weight to my hair. It worked as a standard conditioner and as a leave-in. I would buy again, especially because of how easy it is to come across in stores here.

Suave Essentials Ocean Breeze Conditioner ($2.77 CDN/ 887 mL): The Suave Essentials conditioners are one of those things that frustratingly aren’t readily available in Canada. However, I picked one up when ordering other products from Target online and I have to say that I was impressed with the light and thin conditioner. It’s silicone free and is mainly formulated with slip agents and moisturizing fatty alcohols. This makes it a great conditioner to use as a co-wash on my fine tangly hair and as a weightless leave-in conditioner. The thin runny texture is very curl clumping and leaves me with more volume than others. I’ll buy again when I place another order online.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($21 US/ 190 mL): These milky toners from Paula’s Choice have been an essential part of my skincare routine for a few years now and I wouldn’t want to switch them out. They add another layer of weightless moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss. There’s loads of anti-irritants, antioxidants and hydrating ingredients and nothing known to be irritating. It’s essentially a serum in liquid form that’s very calming with the ability to help repair the barrier.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment ($37 US/ 30 mLs): This 10% alpha hydroxy acid solution wasn’t an instant favourite but I grew to love the dual chemical exfoliant and serum enough to repurchase it, even before my bottle was empty. I find it to be an effective exfoliant and water-binder, with lactic, glycolic, malic, tartaric and salicylic acid – at effective concentrations – ,helping to smooth, brighten and even out my complexion. I find that the 0.5% of salicylic acid that the formula includes is enough to help prevent my skin from breaking out on my chin for the most part and I find the antioxidants and anti-irritants make the formula very easy to tolerate.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($33 CDN/ 7 mL): Despite having dry skin, I have somewhat oilier eyelids that are prone to creasing and wearing through eyeshadow in general. This is one of the few eyeshadow primers that I’ve tried that has consistently reduced the creasing I experience and increased the wear-time of eyeshadow. I’ve repurchased this.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Mystic Black ($13.99 CDN/ 8.5 mL): This dry volumizing formula has been a fantastic discovery in the last year or so. It’s so dry that it meets my standards for volume and curl without the risk of getting everywhere during application that wetter formulas have. It creates lots of drama in the lashes without being overly clumpy. My only complaint is that the tube gets grimy and the wand gets gunky earlier on than other mascaras so I find myself having to repurchase more often, which is probably a good thing for my eye health. I have repurchased and I will buy more soon.

What have you used up recently?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Deva Curl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam

I originally tried out the DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam ($36 CDN/ 222 mLs) as part of one of the brand’s sets featuring products from their wavy line. I found myself liking the foam so much that I ended up purchasing a full-size of the product months later. I was not impressed upon realizing that the product had been reformulated by the time that I repurchased it. This reformulation was not for the better in my experience. It didn’t have as much hold and ability to help droopy curls spring up and tighten in my wavy hair. Both versions of the product are Curly Girl Method approved, formulated without silicones, drying alcohols or sulfates. As a sidenote, it’s also cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, if that is of interest to you, as well.

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The old version of this foam that I adored had a fairly similar ingredient list to the newer formula. However, the curl-enhancing ingredient changed from polyquaternium-69 to polyamide-1, which I simply don’t find to be as spiral and bounce boosting. Also, I noticed that the foam offered much less hold than the previous formula. Now, I’ll try to stop dwelling over the old formula that I preferred.

The brand markets the Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam as a product that primarily provides volume and frizz-protection, while being lightweight. It’s supposed to offer volume to curls, along with touchable definition and shine, whilst eliminating frizz. It offers maybe a light hold on its own in my experience (but my hair is heavy and higher porosity so I tend to experience little hold in products) and does help add volume and a bit of extra bounce to my curls in a weightless way. I definitely still experienced some frizz with this product and used on its own, I definitely would experience frizz. This foam is so weightless, though, that I think baby-fine wavies and curlies would love it. I can’t imagine it adding weight to anyone’s hair. I will concede it does add definition and a lighter hold and would be an option for those with hair that gets heavy from most products. For reference, I have 2c-ish hair that’s incredibly long, have high density fine strands and are higher porosity.

The foam is much lighterweight than a gel or even a mousse and functions as a curl enhancer for me, used before gel in my routine. It does add some extra definition, a touch of hold and some extra lift and bounce. It’s featherlight without being drying. I might actually prefer the product for refreshing, though, because the light hold helps combat frizz and my curls tendency to droop in areas, while helping to enhance them.

The scent of the product is light and fruity. Ingredient-wise, it relies on the polyamide-1 to enhance curls, add volume and protect against humidity via acting as a film former. The next ingredient is primarily a holding agent, matodextrin/vp copolymer. The remaining ingredients are your usual botanical extracts mainly. It doesn’t seem to contain any protein and the humectant, glycerin, only appears at the very end of the ingredient list. Polyquaternium-68 is also found very low on the ingredient list; I only mention this because I know that some find they cause build up.

I don’t think I would necessarily repurchase this formula as it is, but I will use my bottle up without complaint.

Have you tried this?
Maggie, x.

The Edit | Curly Girl Method Gels

Now that I’ve gotten back into following The Curly Girl Method with renewed vigour, I’m really noticing that I’m going through a good amount of the products I’ve been hoarding. My bag of empty products has rapidly been filling with hair products and as a true product junkie, I have lots of thoughts to share on them. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gels that I have finished up. This is going to seem like a lot of product but in all honesty, my hair eats up gel and I need lots of it to have consistently defined hair. Otherwise, my hair willjust wilt, tangle and frizz. It’s worth noting that I have a ton of fine long hair, a mix of waves and some curls in terms of texture and hair that is quite porous.

DevaCurl Arc AnGel ($60 CDN/ 946 mLs)

This gel is my absolute favourite in the humid summer because my hair frizzes out and wilts overnight and throughout the day the least with this gel. It provides great almost firm hold and isn’t particularly drying, crunchy or heavy for that level of hold but doesn’t give my curls the enhancing boost that Ultra Defining Gel does, especially in the cooler months when my curls need more encouragement. It’s a gel heavy in glycerin but it has nowhere near the amount of protein that the other gels in the line have, so it could be very good for hair that doesn’t love protein as much as mine does. I also frustratingly find that by the time I get towards the end of these large bottles, the texture of the gel starts to change and doesn’t seem to work quite so well. As it gets closer to the summer, I want to experiment with this one again.

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel ($30 CDN/ 355 mLs)

Probably because my hair absorbs everything and seems to resist forming a protective cast like nothing else, I find that I need a good amount of this gel but I also find that my waves and curls are a bit bouncier and more spirally with this gel, especially in the cooler months when my curls tend to lie flat and wilt. It’s a touch more than medium hold and can enhance and tighten up my curls, without being drying or weighing my hair down. I wish I didn’t have to use quite so much and that it gave slightly more hold on my temperamental hair that resists looking decent by the next day. It has loads of protein which my fine porous hair loves and also is glycerin heavy. It’s my favourite of the gels in the cooler months, I reckon.

Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel ($34.76 CDN/ 250 mLs)

I think this was actually the product that started my love of traditional gels, back when I tried it years ago. I found it for a great price at Winners and tried it again and remember why I liked it. My gripe with this product is that it’s expensive at full retail price, especially because the hold is on the lower-end of medium and in order to get good results, I have to use so much of this gel. It’s really hydrating and helps my curls to clump nicely but doesn’t quite have the structure and enhancement of the Deva gels. I will note that I don’t experience much frizz with this one and that I’ve had good hair days with it. This gel might be better for those who prefer a lighter hold or with a tighter curl pattern. I do love the fresh and clean scent. Glycerin is towards the bottom of the ingredient list with this one and protein appears near there as well.

Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Styling Gel ($14.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I didn’t love this gel but that was because of first time buyer error mainly. I bought the gel along with the other products in the high porosity line that I adore because I felt some sort of need to complete the collection. It didn’t work for me as a harder hold gel because it has a soft hold, as it’s marketed to. It’s smoothing and moisturizing but lacks the hard hold that I need. I do think those with tighter curls would like this if they want moisture and softer hair. I didn’t mind it as a refresher on damp hair. It has glycerin, shea butter, aloe and a variety of oils.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Frizz Defense Styling Gel-Cream ($13.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I bought this cream gel because it was designed for a wavier texture and remembered liking cream gel products in the past, but it wasn’t right for me either as a main styler. I think it might work for those with coarser hair textures but not for my finer hair as a holding product. It didn’t weigh my hair down and it did add moisture but I didn’t find that it had much for hold or curl clumping ability. I did find it worked quite well on damp hair to refresh because it added that moisture and enough hold to bring curls back to life.

Equate Hard Hold Styling Gel ($2.27 CDN/ 350 mLs)

I purchased this affordable gel after seeing that its ingredients were similar to the cheapie gels available in the United States that those who follow the Curly Girl Method seem to adore such as the LA Looks offerings. The hold was moderate and it was somewhat curl clumping but I wasn’t blown away by this one. I did get fairly good results using this gel in combination with another cream or enhancing product but I think that the Sport Gel variation was my favourite out of the three varieties I tried. It’s glycerin free and contains a small amount of protein.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

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.