Monday, May 28, 2018

4 Summer Curly Girl Tips

Posted by Jen Lennox at 9:48 PM 0 comments
Hello, Curly Girls!

Technically, it's still Spring, but the temperature in my car today registered a whopping 103 degrees! Changes in weather and humidity can wreak havoc on your curl routine. Products that worked in the fall and winter months can cause your curls to fall flat or frizz in the heat. Here are some tips that have helped me beat the heat:

1) Less is More.

In the winter, I need more products and more moisture. As temperatures rise, simplify your routine. Stick to a Co-wash, leave-in conditioner and if you can get by with one styling product, do it. Even natural products and weigh hair down or flatten curls in high humidity. My 3-product summer routine?

Step 1: Co-Wash with As I Am Coconut Co-Wash

Step 2: Rinse Co-Was and comb As I Am Leave-In Conditioner through hair with fingers.

Step 3: Style with Kinky Curly Curling Custard and dry with diffuser.

2) Sweaty? Try A Scalp Scrub!

Whether or not you spend a lot of time outside, we sweat more in the summer. Remember that curls need moisture, and even co-washing can strip it if done daily. A scalp wash is a quick way to feel refreshed without wrecking your curls and stripping them of moisture. Simply pull your hair into a high ponytail or put on a shower cap, then use a small amount of co-wash or sulfate-free shampoo and scrub ONLY your scalp, then rinse. I use this on gym days year round and it keeps the length of my hair looking fantastic. 

3) Refresh Daily.

Every morning, it's good to spray your curls down with some curl refresher spray. There are many you can purchase, but I prefer to make my own using essential oils. Simply add some tap water to a GLASS spray bottle (you shouldn't use plastic if using real essential oils) and add about 15 drops of lavender oil. Spraying your hair down with this mix and then using a diffuser will give new life to curls without damage AND make them smell fantastic! You can also reapply a small amount of product for hold if you'd like.

4) Protect Your Pony.

Warm weather means pulling hair up in a ponytail or bun. Do not underestimate the damage ponytail holders can cause to curls. One of my all-time favorite products right now are spiral ponytail holders. They don't look like much, but the coil shape allows hair to be held in place without pulling on the scalp or crushing curls. Since I started using these, I no longer use conventional ponytail holders. They are amazing!

When it comes to Summer, there are plenty of ways to love your curls! Many of us get frustrated and do a big CHOP, but you don't have to. These simple tips will allow your to get through these crazy humid months and still have people asking "How do you get your hair to look so great in this heat?" 

In fact, I just had someone ask me today. :)


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jen's Top 5 Curly Girl All-Stars

Posted by Jen Lennox at 4:31 PM 0 comments
As I reflect on life this Christmas, 2016, I'm proud to say I'm still 100% living the Curly Girl Lifestyle. The holder on my bathroom wall that used to hold my flat iron is collecting layer after layer of dust and I'm getting ready to remove it completely.

I've tested and tried dozens of products, so I thought I'd give you a list of my absolute must-haves for Curly Girls of all shapes and curl patterns. Here's my Top 5:

1. Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla (Sulfate-Free) Shampoo and Conditioner

Though I still incorporate Co-Washing into my regular routine, about once per week I use this combination on my hair to clarify and remove build-up. The small is delicious and it cleans my curls without over-drying.

2. As I Am Coconut Co-Wash

I have tried dozens of different co-washes at dozens of different price points, and this one is HANDS DOWN the best in the market as far as I am concerned. It cleanses hair without making it oily (even after 2-3 without washing!) and smalls wonderful. If that wasn't enough, it comes in under the $10 price point. Can't beat that with a stick.

3. Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner

After rinsing out my conditioner, I apply this to my soaking wet hair in the shower and comb through with my fingers. From that point on, a comb or brush doesn't touch my hair. Simply scrunch out the excess water with a micro-fiber towel and apply product. I cannot survive without this stuff.

4. Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee

Don't let the name fool you: this gel gives strong hold but doesn't freeze curls too firmly into place. I use this in conjunction with some sort of mousse (depending on the season) but this is ALWAYS the first thing I put on my hair after I wash. 

5. DevaCurl DevaTowel

I cannot stress how important a good microfiber towel is when preserving delicate curls post-wash. Terrycloth WILL NOT DO! The new DevaTowel is BIG, soft and soaks up water without making a puffball out of your curls. I cannot recommend this enough!

I hope you are having a wonderful and blessed holiday season! Happy post-Holiday shopping to all!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Product Review: The NEW DevaTowel - Does Bigger = Better?

Posted by Jen Lennox at 5:40 PM 3 comments

The NEW DevaTowel: Does Bigger = Better?

Hello, Curly Girls! For those who are new readers, you know that I am definitely a fan of the DevaCurl hair products. Though I'm not always crazy about the price point, there are some products they offer that cannot be outdone by any other brand. I am not sponsored by any product, so my reviews are solely based on my own experience.

A couple of years ago, I bought my first DevaTowel. Those who have read The Curly Girl Handbook know that one of the first changes you need to make when going the curl route is to STOP drying your hair with terrycloth. WHY? Terrycloth towels, by design, are made to soak up large amounts of moisture very quickly. Great for a soaking wet body, terrible for fragile, thirsty curls. Microfiber is the recommendation, as it soaks up SOME moisture, but not TOO much moisture, allowing curls to maintain enough water to keep from frizzing while they dry.

DevaCurl released its first DevaTowel a few years back, which looked like this:

I purchased one of these when I went to full-time curly hair, and though the $18 price tag as a bit much, I as going ALL IN and didn't want to skimp. I will say, this towel is small. Only slightly larger than a hand towel. Meaning, if you have a lot of hair, or long hair, it isn't ideal. It gets the job done, but my biggest complaint was the size. Still, it's been a staple in my curl routine since Day 1.

Apparently, I wasn't alone. Behold! The NEW & IMPROVED DevaTowel:

I purchased this towel about 3 weeks ago on a girls day out. Surprisingly, they have kept the price point around the same as the old towel ($19.99) but MORE THAN DOUBLED the size and changed the material. This towel is extremely soft. This release was more than an upgrade, it was a complete reboot. Much needed, and well done. 


1) Size:  This towel is huge. My long, thick curly hair can be dried with two hands simultaneously with room to spare. 

2) Material: Boy, did they do us a solid on this one. SO INSANELY SOFT. If I was a kid, I'd sleep with this thing. 

3) Quality Results: I can scrunch my curls until they are no longer dripping and still get great results with my diffuser. Big time-saver. It washes well and will last a long time.


1) Price Point: DevaCurl products are priced for the salon, so you'll pay more. Can you get a cheaper product somewhere else? Most likely. 

The Bottom Line: If you're in the market for a shower towel that feels good, looks good and keeps the frizz away? Pick up one of these. For the amount of time you'll be able to use it, it's worth the few extra bucks you'll spend to have the DevaCurl name printed on it. I've never been one to complain about price if the quality is there, and in this case, it is.

Have a fantastic product you can't live without? Email me or comment below and I'll give it a try!


Monday, June 27, 2016

DIY Curl Refresher Spray with Essential Oils

Posted by Jen Lennox at 11:43 AM 0 comments

Hello, Curly Girls! It's been a while since I've written a new blog, but life's been a bit crazy. Time to show you what I've been up to and share some new, fabulous tips!

Today's entry comes to you after almost a year of experimenting with essential oils. I am not one to blindly follow the masses, and even though I've KNOWN about the medicinal, hair and skin benefits of EO's for quite some time, it's taken me a while to believe the hype. I will say, in all honesty, that after a year of using essential oils to make my own skin products, hair products and house products, they are the REAL DEAL and I plan to keep learning.

Which brings us today's entry: DIY Curl Refresher Spray

I became a DoTerra Wellness Advocate after experimenting with various brands, so if any of you need access to any of today's products, click here. One-time purchases are best made with retail, but if you fall in love, joining is the way to  go. No pressure to sell, but you get all of your OWN personal products at 25% off. Really, it's the best way to go.

Jen's Curly Mess Daily Refresher Spray


DoTerra Lavender Oil (10 drops)

DoTerra Peppermint Oil (8 drops)

1 Glass Spray Bottle (do not use plastic): 8 oz.

To purchase this spray bottle click here


1) Add 10 drops of Lavender oil to empty spray bottle.

2) Add 8 drops of Peppermint oil to empty spray bottle.

3) Top off with water and shake!

You will need to shake before EACH USE to infuse the oils into the water.

I am one to wash my hair in the evening and refresh in the morning. I only wash every 2-3 days, as do most curly girls. This spray not only refreshes curls, but infuses the smell and health benefits of the essential oils into hair, ridding you of any unpleasant smells from the day before. Not only that, Lavender and Peppermint are excellent oils for hair health.

Making your own refresher spray saves BIG money. Some of the bigger names in curly hair, like DevaCurl, sell refresher sprays for $19.95 PER BOTTLE! You can make your own, using almost the same ingredients, for about $1.50 per bottle. Being that refreshing hair is something many of us do daily, this is a NO-BRAINER. I spray my hair down with this and use a diffuser to dry, but it could also be applied and scrunched into hair to allow it to dry naturally.

I am SO IMPRESSED, not only with the cost effectiveness, but the results of home made hair products with essential oils, that I plan to post all kinds of great recipes in the future. Give this spray a try, I hope you love it as much as I do!

To purchase DoTerra products or become a wellness advocate, click here. Best decision I've made in a while! Truly amazing, high quality oils for very reasonable prices.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Curly Girl Profile: Samantha O. (3B)

Posted by Jen Lennox at 4:55 PM 0 comments

I "met" Samantha on a local message board and immediately fell in curl-love. Her to-die-for nearly perfect locks inspired me to ask if she would be willing to do a curl profile. Samantha is proof that a good, solid regimen of high-quality products can tame even the craziest of curls. Here's Samantha's routine, in her own words:

How would you describe your curl pattern?

I have 3a/b curls.  Sometimes, if it’s really humid, My hair will coil tighter and look more like 3b curls, if I over condition, or with some products, my hair will look more like 3 a curls.  

How would you describe your porosity?
My hair is low porosity.  

How would you describe the density of your hair?
My hair is dense.  My mother in law likes to say that I have more hair than any 3 people need.

Are you following the CG method?

I guess I would say that I follow a modified CG method.  I don’t use silicones with the exception of my BioSilk serum.  I have tried many different serums, and this is my all time favorite.  Because of this, I have experimented with different types of hair cleansers to make sure I don’t get a build up.  I have found Biolage cleansing conditioner to be the best for my hair and I don’t experience build up with it- it gets the cones from the Biosilk out well. As I am cowash works as well, but I don’t like having to scoop it out with my hands :)

How long have you been going CG?

I tried the method about 6 years ago and kept up with it for about a year.  Then, I started trying different products and strayed for about a year.  I’m back to it now for about 3 ½ years.

What product do you use to cleanse or Cowash your hair?

I use Biolage Cleansing conditioner for curly hair the most frequently.  I will switch to As I am coconut cowash at times, due to price.  I also recently tried the RenPure coconut cleansing conditioner and I liked it also.

What product do you use as a rinse-out conditioner?

I primarily use Biolage Hydrosource Conditioning Balm.

If you use a leave-in conditioner, what product do you use?

RenPure Coconut whipped creme leave in conditioner.  It does have amodimethicone, but my experience is that one doesn’t continue to build up.

What styling product(s) do you use?

Biolsilk serum, Biolage gelee, RenPure Coconut Creme curling jelly. Biolage hairspray for finishing.

Describe your wash day regimen:

I use the Biolage Cleansing conditioner in the shower- I spread it through, detangling as I go and let it set while I wash my body.  I then rinse this out and put in the Hydrasource condish and leave that on my hair.  I finish the shower and wrap my head with a microfiber towel.  After I get dressed, I rinse my hair with cool water to wet it down again and get out any excess conditioner that my hair didn’t soak up.  It’s just a quick rinse.  If my hair feels like it needs a little more conditioning, I will add a pump or 2 of the RenPure Whipped Creme.  Then I finger comb again to be sure it goes through. Next, I use the BioSilk serum and smooth it in gliding down my hair.  Then I use a combination of Biolage gelee with one pump of RenPure coconut creme curling jelly for extra hold. I smooth that in, then scrunch it some, using my microfiber towel to get any excess out if it feels too goopy.  Then, I plop with a long sleeve T-shirt while I do my makeup.  Once my makeup is done, I take my hair down, clip it at the roots, and diffuse it dry.  I will then use some BioSilk to scrunch out the crunch if there is any, and a spritz or two of hairspray if i pulled it back at all.

Describe your refresh day regimen:

I pineapple at night and sleep on a satin pillowcase.  I will let my hair down in the morning and spray with a mixture of my leave in and water.  Usually that is enough, but if I need a little more to coax the curls back or cut the frizz, I will apply a dime size dollop of AG re:coil once wet and diffuse for a minute or so.  On the third day, I usually wear my hair in a loose, messy bun, or a loose french braid.  Occasionally, my hair looks good on the 3rd day and I can leave it down, but usually it’s getting really smooshed down and frizzy by then and I don’t like how it feels down.

What’s the biggest challenge you face having naturally curly hair?

Finding the right routine and sticking to it.  Every time a new product comes out, I want to try it.  I have a cabinet full of products I have only used a few times.  Also, finding others who “get it” when I talk about doing my hair.  When I say things like “plop” or “pineapple”, I get funny looks.  Also, I hate, hate, hate when people tell me all the time how I should straighten my hair.  I only let the girl who cuts and colors my hair straighten it and while I like how it feels and being able to touch it, it’s not me.  i LOVE my curls and rather than try to make them go away, I look for ways to make them curly and make them stand out more.

What’s the best thing you’ve discovered by going natural?

I have really only ever been natural.  I never regularly straightened my hair- maybe for a brief time early in high school.  What I have done is learn to love my hair more over the past 15 years or so.  I put up with it before, but, now I love it.

Any advice you have for others with similar hair to your own?

Just embrace it!  Rather than try to make it something it is not, learn to make it the best it can in it’s natural state.  I don’t like it when people say “my hair is curly too, but I straighten it because I can’t deal with it curly”.  Ugh, just learn how to enhance what you have.  I can’t imagine having to straighten my hair every day, or wash it every day.  When people say this to me, I start rattling off products to try and things they could do, and I’m pretty sure they regret even saying anything at all :)  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winterizing Curls: Tips for Curls that Won't Behave in the Cold

Posted by Jen Lennox at 11:55 AM 8 comments

Well, it's winter, and though I don't mind the cold, my curls don't like it at all. Gone are the days of doing the same old regimen, the same products and getting fantastic results. Struggling? You aren't alone. Snow is a beautiful thing, in fact one of my favorite things to do on a cold day is watch the flakes fall. There's something about the silence and the crisp beauty of snow that makes me smile. The bottom line:

Cold Temps Make for THIRSTY Curls.

When the temperature drops, gone is the humidity from summer. Though most curlies have a love/hate relationship with the "H" word, the truth is, we need moisture, and we need it badly. Too much moisture can cause lifeless, sticky, weighed-down curls, but not enough creates a delightful frizz halo that will only grow as the hair is deprived of moisture. Therefore, if you're committed to the curl lifestyle, you will likely need to add moisture to your regimen to keep your curls happy. My recommendation is to add products one at a time to see if you like your results, and if you don't, it's easy to pinpoint WHY. Here are some tips for adding moisture to your winter regimen:

1) Replace your regular rinse-out with a heavy-duty conditioner.

In the summer, I love my DevaCurl One Condition, but in the winter, it just doesn't give me enough moisture. My next go-to is SheaMoisture Curl and Shine conditioner, but sometimes even THAT is not enough. My dried out 2C curls are currently enjoying a boost from SheaMoisture 10 in 1 Renewal System Conditioner, which utilizes Marula Oil and Biotin to add moisture to the hair. It may take some trial and error, so be sure to purchase from places that allow for returns.

SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 Renewal System Conditioner

2) Add a leave-in conditioner if you aren't using one already.

Personally, I use a leave-in all the time, but I often use a spray-on water-based leave-in, such as Not Your Mother's Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler, but in the winter I need a little bit more. Kinky Curly Knot Today utilizes marshmallow root and aloe to give hair a thicker layer of moisture and provides excellent slip.

Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Treatment

3. Layer Styling Products to Give Curls Better Hold.

Usually, I apply a less-is-more approach to my hair styling routine, but in the winter, I need to change things up. If you're only using a gel, add a mousse, or vice versa. I prefer Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee as my base and Tigi Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse on top. It sounds like a lot, but even with BOTH products, my curls can fall flat throughout the day. Take one away and I look like I just rolled out of bed. You may even need to add an "apply to dry hair" styler for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day hair as well. Depends on your curl pattern. 
 Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee

Tigi Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse

All curls are not created equal. Cold temperatures and lowered dew points create very real and frustrating problems for those with curly hair. Resolve to NOT pick up the flat iron or heat-style to avoid fixing the problem. Rocking year-round natural hair is a beautiful thing. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Salon Review: Ambushed Salon, Columbus, OH

Posted by Jen Lennox at 5:10 PM 6 comments
I'll admit that I've been going to the same stylist for 18 years now. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I look forward to seeing her every few months when I go for my quarterly cut and color. That said, there's been a buzz in my ear ever since fully committing to the curly girl life about a salon in Columbus called Ambushed. Unlike pretty much every salon on the block, this place eats, breathes, sleeps and LIVES curly hair. The brainchild of the adorable and highly sought after Amy Bush, it is a salon made for those who embrace their natural beauty. In other words, if flat irons are your friend, this ain't the place for you. After having two good friends recommend a visit, I decided to take the plunge.

Ambushed, 16 W. Poplar Ave, Columbus Ohio 

Amy Bush, Founder and Curl Specialist 

The salon is located in one of my favorite places in downtown Columbus called The Short North. Upon driving up, I realized I've literally walked or driven past this place dozens of times and never paid attention to what I was missing. Silly me!

When I entered, I was immediately drawn to the vintage decor and open, high ceilings. The stylist chairs are scattered throughout the salon in an asymmetrical way that fits perfectly with the architecture of the building. I was greeted upon entering and sat on a cute little vintage couch for a few moments until my stylist was ready to see me.
Mandi Gage, curl specialist

When Mandi greeted me, I could tell immediately I was going to like her. She already had two solid referrals in her favor, but her personality was excellent. As we approached the chair, she asked me what I was wanting from today's cut.

I decided before walking through the door that if I was going to have the Ambushed experience, I was going to have it all the way. I'm a control freak who doesn't like to leave the fate of my precious hair to another person, much less a person I just met, but I didn't drive down here to take control, I drove here to give the control to an expert, and so.... here we were.

After a thorough inspection of my hair, Mandi told me that a) I'm using products that are too heavy for my hair and b) if I wanted more curl, I was going to need some more layers. She then asked me the question every control freak LOVES to hear....."How much am I allowed to take off?"

OHhhhhhhhhh sweet lawd and hallelujah, I wanted to say "Nothing! Just a trim!" But I didn't. I said, "How about a couple of inches?" knowing full well she was going to take more, but whatever. I'm letting go.

After a co-wash with some delicious-smelling product and a head massage that I really, really could use EVERY morning before work (I swear, not one single kid I teach would annoy me all day if I had one of these massages daily) she started to cut. And cut SHE DID. In what I can only describe from my lack of knowledge as "slicing," she cut away quite a bit of my hair and added some layers that allowed my waves to start really CURLING. She even managed to get my awkward bangs (that I'm trying to grow in) to cooperate. The results? FABULOUS!

Me, post-cut, minus a few inches, plus a LOT of extra curl and body.

I am so glad I went in with an open mind and let the magic happen. My experience at Ambushed was absolutely a positive one and I'm sporting one of the best cuts I've ever had.

The question is, will I be back? Already scheduled my next appointment, thank you very much. As for my regular stylist? She will continue to do my color, of which I am in desperate need, and I will be getting next weekend.

BOTTOM LINE: If you're committed to the curl lifestyle, and you have access to a place full of curl experts, seek someone out and give them a try. I'm so glad I finally gave Ambushed a try and I hope to make them my new home. 

OH! And products... 

I picked up both of these aloe-based all-natural products at the salon, but they are tough to find anywhere online. I linked their sites so that you can look for a local place to purchase. 

Live in the Columbus area? Check out the Ambushed website and get info on scheduling an appointment.

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