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. 


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