Friday, April 29, 2011

Product Review: Knot Today vs. The Great Detangler

A staple part of my hair care regimen are leave-in conditioners.  Ive tried several to date from Giovanni Direct (click to read LMK review), Cantu Shea Butter  and Garnier Fructis (click to view LMK Braid~Out tutorial using both products).  I settled on a favorite which has been Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) which I've used off and on for the past 3 years, even before my decision to permanently go heat free.  What I love most about KCKT is the slippage it provides which cuts the time I have to spend detangling my hair in half, the added moisture it leaves my hair with, and the wonderful sweet scent that stays in my hair all day.  I'm not a product junkie, once I find a product that my hair reacts beautifully to I stick with it.  I often mention the only time I change products I find that my hair responds well to is if I find one of equal quality at a lower cost.  Who would have thought after years of KCKT luv'n, I'd find a product that was of equal quality at a fraction of the price? Certainly not me.
 A few weeks ago a client of mine told me about a new leave in she'd been using called The Great Detangler.  I read a few reviews about The Great Detangler by Taliah Waajid and for the most part they were all positive.  I decided to give it a try and purchased some from my local beauty supply store and yes it was considerably less money then the KCKT I'd so faithfully been purchasing especially since keeping my hair two strand twisted.

                                        Knot Today                                                           
Ingredients: Organic Mango Fruit Extract, Organic Slippery Elm, Organic Marshmallow Root, Organic Lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrinmonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol , and natural fragrance.
Retail Price: 12.99
Where to purchase:  Kinky Curly Website, Whole Foods, Target Stores
Consistency: Rich, Creamy, Concentrated so it can be diluted with water and used in spray bottle for moisturizing.  No build up even when applying every other day at full strength to my ends for added curl definition
Scent: Fruity (to me, smiling)
Uses: Leave-In conditioning, may be used on wet or dry hair, detangling is a breeze even with fingers, moisturizing. 

Knot Today leaves my hair smelling so good.  Its not tacky and rinses clean after co-washing my hair. In this photo I am only using Knot Today in the puff.  The banded front part is smoothed with Kinky Curly Curling Custard

The Great Detangler
Ingredients: Deonized water, Vitamin E, Olive Oil, Shea Butter,Peg-75, Silk Protein,  Coco Butter Oil Extract, Cetromonium Bromide, Cetheareth-20, Vegetable Glycerin,  Mineral Oil, Glycerol, D&C, Yellow #5, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantonin, Detanglers, Balsam, Aloe Vera.
Retail Price: 7.99
Where to purchase:, Local Beauty Supply Stores, ,Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Whole Foods.
Consistency: Thick and creamy, may be diluted with water for additional moisture in spray bottle, heavier feel to my hair after applying.  Softens my hair on contact however, the product is heavy on my curls which creates more definition and less frizz.
Uses: Leave-In conditioning, may be used on wet or dry hair, although it detangles, it wasn’t as easy to finger comb through after applying as KCKT.
Scent: Earthy (to me) I can smell the Olive and Aloe even though the Aloe is the last ingredient and lesser amount included in the product.
Although my hair was frizz free with lots of texture definition, as seen in this photo the product initially left a white residue on my hair after applying which dissolved into a nice shine after about 15mins after I applied it to my freshly co-washed, micro fiber towel dried hair.  I noticed after using it for a few days on my pony puff it does leave build up. This is the only product in my hair in this photo.  In the one below I have it only in the puff.

The Verdict:
I actually like the results I get from both leave-in conditioners.  I must say after writing this review and noticing that mineral oil is used in TGD I would have to stick with my ole faithful KCKT.   I learned for my own hair care to look at the first 4 ingredients as key factors in how "natural" the product truly is.  Both products first 4 key ingredients are natural. KT's are all organic which I luv and the marshmallow root and slippery elm explain why detangling is so easy with it.   TGD's first 4 are Water, Vitamin E, Olive Oil, and Shea Butter which explains the heaviness on my hair and the reason it was not easily removed with co-washing.   I rarely use butters and pomades for this reason and opt for leave-ins, hair milks, and lotions.  It depends on the style for the most part as to what products I opt for.  I would use TGD again as a back up for KCKT if need be.  The end results of both products were nice however, TGD gives my hair more frizz free curl definition and length retention than the KCKT once my hair air dried. 
 I will continue to promote Kinky Curly Knot Today as being my fave natural leave-in!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring/Summer Protectives: Bunning

Spring is here!  Naturalistas who BC'd New Years 11 are approaching 2.5 to 3 inches of healthy hair growth...congratulations!  Protective styling is an important part of retaining length and health and the longer it grows, the more styling options you will have.

One of my old favorite go-to styles was a bun.  It didn't matter if it was high on my head or placed lower on my nape, I luv'd hair buns.  I stopped bunning after noticing my edges thinning and my hair shedding over time.  Since embarking on my healthy hair journey I look back and understand why my hair wasn't benefiting from wearing such an elegant protective style. 

Problem #1: I was wetting my hair everyday in the shower or tub.
Problem #2: I was brushing my hair everyday immediately after detangling it while wet.  My hair never had the opportunity to dry in the middle which caused my hair to become thin in the area where my bun was usually placed.
Problem #3: I was using those cheap yarn stretchy-4 for $1 pony tail holders sold at most BSS.  My hair was always tangled up in that thing when I would remove it.
Problem #4: My buns were pulled to tight.
Problem #5: I was styling my bun without using  any leave-in conditioner, only using a drying hair gel.

Since embarking on my healthy hair journey I have revised my bunning technique and had much better results then before it began.

Correction #1: I co-wash once for the week I will wear a bun.
Correction #2: Once my bun is styled.  I wear it for an entire week without re-brushing. I sleep with a satin scarf each night.  In the morning I wake up, un-wrap the bun, moisturize my hair, twist and tuck the bun again, secure with quality bobby pins (bulb tips wont peel off, I use Conair).
Correction #3: I only use Goody brand Soft Stretch scrunchies or ponytail holders.
Correction #4: I wear my  buns less taught.  By the end of the week my pony tail holder is more loose.
Correction #5: I always, always, always put a generous amount of leave-in conditioner (Giovanni Direct Leave-In, Knot Today or my new favorite leave-in The Great Detangler by Taliah Waajid,  product review coming soon). I still use gel as it is the only type of product that will define the waves in my hair the way I like.  I changed from using the amber-colored Eco-Styler Protein Gel, to Kinky Curly Curling Custard and Eco-Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel.

Sometimes I wear 2 buns...cute, fun, easy, and lasts me 2-3 days!

Styling:  I apply the KCCC first, brush back with my soft boar bristle brush, I then use a half dollar size amount of the Eco-Styler Olive Oil hair and brush it back again.  I wrap my pony tail holder no more than twice, divide the hair in 2, twist, tuck, and secure the bun with pins. Easy breezy! I can ad accessories to my buns to give it a different look during the week.

Hair Sticks are a fave accessory of mine when bunning.
When it comes to choosing styling products, do what makes sense for you.  This is and will always be my motto.  I am not a vegan product user although I do understand the importance in using natural styling products to maintain healthy hair, as a stylist the end result is of equal importance for me.  In the end, the product will have to provide the look I desire. There are tons of products naturals have to choose from and tons of recipes for mixing up our own...just do what makes sense to you and for your hair! Continued blessings...


Friday, April 15, 2011

Farewell Heat Damage, Hello Healthy Hair!

Journey (noun): The act of traveling from one place to another.

January 1, 2011 I had it all planned out.  6 months to 12 inches was my goal.  Well like all things in life, change is inevitable and I had to change my goal.  If you have seen my YouTube Jouney to Luv My Kynxx video it shows I have been natural for many years however the toll of heat damage had taken its course to the point I HAD to change my hair care regimen from natural straight to natural no heat.  This time last year I was so fed up with my hair.  Although it was APL, my hair was so thin and fragile.  Shedding was an issue and I was just getting into Ayurveda to correct it.  I'm so happy I did.  Last week I was about to two-strand twist it up and realized the couple of inches of remaining heat damage had to go.  My nerves wouldnt allow me to keep styling damged hair.  There was no point in focusing my journey on growth when I still  needed to rid my tresses of heat damage.  No one could tell, especially since my go to style is twists and twist outs, it all blends in, I often get complimented about how healthy my kynxx look.  Problem was, I could tell.  I knew where my hair was and the potential of where it can go.  So, I medium chopped and took between 2- 3 inches off the length.  Certain parts of my hair had more heat damage remaining then others.  I don't really care about it being perfectly even since curly hair blends no matter what, perfectly even hair isn't important to me as much as ridding my hair of damage and paving a new road of healthy hair to begin my growth journey.'

Here is a before photo of my hair with no product after a DC:

Loose curls/straight ends were from heat damage.
The cut was easy.  I was racking my brain for two weeks trying to decide if I wanted to go to a salon and have a cut on straight flat ironed hair, or if I should do it myself.  I opted to do it myself since heat is not an option for me at this point.  I envy (in a good way) big choppers because they get to start out with a fresh new head of healthy hair and by year one, they have beautiful thick well defined curls.  I knew I not only wanted to get rid of the remaining heat damage, I wanted a better shape for my hair to grow out in.  I noticed women who decided to BC by year one their hair had the best shape to it.  I also noticed when it was in an Afro state it had a certain shape then when curly it had the same shape just more defined.  I picked out my detangled hair and let it air dry with no product.  I needed it to look more like a fro with little curl definition.  I took my shears and cut off all the straight ends.  I picked it out again from root to end with my plastic wide tooth K-Cutter comb I've had for 3 years, cutting and picking.  Once there were no visible straight ends seen, I shaped it how I wanted it to lay.  The nape of my hair has always had 3C curls no matter what I do they are very loose in that area and cause my hair to look uneven or like the back is longer then the crown even though they were even.  So I cut an even 2 inches off of my nape (using 3 way mirror) and shaped my fro.

Most of the length was taken off of the front where I had the most heat damage, the nape where it was almost BSL, and the top of my head.  I knew I wanted the end result to be more of a blunt bob and that was exactly what I got!

I love it!!!!!!!! My curls are visibly more plump and defined.  I only have Taliah Waajid's Great Detangler leave-in conditioner in my hair 
I don't miss the length at all...I gained healthy curls and that was my focus.  Now I can move forward on my healthy hair journey and know what grows now will be more cutting my hair for a long time!!

Perfect Bob in the Back!

No more straggly ends, Yay!!
Moving forward, I will be posting many styling pics and pictorials.  I cut my hair 4/7/2011 and will post progress pics 7/7/2011.  I will have grown back half of what was cut by then and will continue my healthy hair journey. 

If you are afraid to cut your hair, a word of advise.  Our hair grows at an average rate of 1/2 and inch per month.  By keeping your hair in good condition,  no heat, using protective styling, and hair handling techniques that minimize breakage, you will retain all of the growth you get each month without fail making hair cutting an unnecessary step in your regimen every 6-8 weeks.  Make health your focus before length and the length you desire will be effortless.  Continued blessings to all!