Thursday, May 21, 2009

Curl Junkie Products

I had the opportunity to test out a variety of Curl Junkie products. Once again, I started off with the smell test. It's always the first thing I do with a new product. Two thumbs up for the scents, especially the Coffee Coco Curl Creme and Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner. I already had the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo and Curl Assurance Daily Hair Conditioner which came with a My Pretty Pink Box I had ordered a couple weeks ago. Marsha, of Curl Junkie Hair Products, was nice enough to send me Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair conditioner, Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner, Coffee Coco Curl Creme, Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel, and Curl Assurance smoothing gellie.

Whenever I review products, I try to keep and open mind even if I've already read reviews on those products but, I still can't help but have certain expectations for products that have a lot of positive reviews. I figured I would test out three different combinations of styling products, each time using the the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo and Curl Assurance Daily Hair Conditioner.

I really like the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo. Its consistency, which is similar to just plain water, is kind of unusual for a shampoo. I usually expect shampoos to be thick and creamy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you still get a lot of sudsing action even though the shampoo is not thick at all. As for the Daily and Moisturizing hair conditioners, both did condition my hair, but the results were average and typical of other conditioners I have tried.

Test#1 - Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel

This combination didn't really do much for my hair. I didn't get good clumps and using a gel to hold the non-clumping just left me with limp semi-wavy hair. It also made the more straighter sections of my hair even straighter. I might have to try this combination again but, use different amounts of each product and see if my results differ.

Test #2 - Coffee Coco Curl Creme by itself

I was expecting this to be my favorite of the bunch because of how heavily it's been discussed on It's also supposed to do the job of both a leave-in conditioner and a gel which I love because it cuts down on the amount of products I have to buy and apply. The Coffee Coco Curl Creme moisturized my hair and gave me good clumping, but the clumps were falling towards the end of the day. I think next time I'll have to use more product. I used a light hand this time thinking too much would weigh my hair down.

Test#3 - Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance smoothing gellie

This was my favorite combination of the three I tried. It gave me lot of clumps and good hold without the crunchiness. I even tried it out at a birthday party picnic with high humidity and temperatures close to 90 degF. By the end of the day, I did have some friziness but, this combination still responded better to the humidity than other products I've tried. I'm still searching for a product that totally protects my hair-do from humidity. order from my most favorite combo to my least favorite combo..I would have to go with Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance smoothing gellie, Coffee Coco Curl Creme by itself, and finally Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel.

I spoke to Marsha of Curl Junkie about the results I got (she's really great about discussing issues you might have with Curl Junkie products and giving recommendations) and she said she normally doesn't recomend the Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner as a leave-in for people with my hair texture because it's usually too heavy but she's happy it worked for me. She also suggested trying the Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel alone on wet hair or Coffee Coco Curl Creme + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel. If you have these products and you aren't getting the results you want, you might want to try Marsha's recommendations.

Another thing I really like about these products, other than the scents, is that some of them are multi-purpose. For example, the Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner can be used as a rinse-out, deep or leave-in conditioner. I'm definitely one for saving money and getting the most out of a product.

I also mentioned to her that a lot of people, including me, dislike buying products online because of shipping costs. She said she's "slowly but surely" adding retail locations where Curl Junkie products can be purchased. Currently, they can be purchased at Back to the Lands Natural Foods in Brooklyn, NY, Lin's Beauty Supply in Little Elm, TX, and Honeyfig in Ontario, Canada but, be on the lookout for a retail location close to you in the near future.

Friday, May 8, 2009

AG Hair Products

I had the opportunity to test out AG Hair products. I have heard of them before because many of the members of use and love the Re:coil Curl Activating Balm. I was sent the Re:coil Curl Activating Shampoo, Re:coil Curl Activating Conditioner, and Re:coil Curl Activating Balm to review. The shampoo is sulfate-free. The conditioner contains some of the heavy silicones such as cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone. It also contains Amodimethicone which is a slightly water soluble silicone. The balm does not contain silicones. Because the conditioner contained silicones I wanted to test out the balm by itself then test all three together.

Experiment #1 was the Re:coil Curl Activating Balm by itself. I cowashed with Suave Naturals conditioner then conditioned with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. The way this balm works is similar to how Kinky Curly Curling Custard works which made me think the Re:coil balm would work better if I had applied a leave-in conditioner before the Re:coil balm.

The reason I say that the Re:coil balm works similar to Kinky Curly Curling Custard is because as it dried it seemed like it would dry crunchy but, once it was fully dry you were left with defined, NOT crunchy waves. However, I still thought it would have been better layered with a leave-in conditioner.

In this picture, my hair wasn't 100% dry but fairly dry. I get too lazy to blowdry my hair and I figure the warmer weather is perfect for air drying my hair.
Experiment #2. In the next pictures, I used Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in before applying Re:coil Curl Activating Balm. I figured since Kinky Curly Curling Custard works well with Knot Today leave-in conditioner and is similar to Re:coil balm then the Re:coil balm would work well with Knot Today leave-in. I actually prefer this combination to just using the Re:coil balm alone.

Experiment #3.
This time I used the shampoo, conditioner, and balm together. I also used the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in. I liked this combination also but, it wouldn't work for those who are strictly following the Curly Girl method because the conditioner does contain silicones as I mentioned above.
In summary, the AG Hair products worked well with my hair but, I also needed a separate leave-in conditioner in order to achieve the results I wanted. The Re:coil balm alone just didn't give me the defintion that I was looking for but, once you added a leave-in conditioner, it worked really well. It worked as well as Kinky Curly Curling Custard which is a favorite among the wavies and curlies. The shampoo is sulfate-free which is a definite plus. For those of you who don't fear the silicone, the conditioner also works great.

Nine Naturals Giveaway winner

Congratulations to Courtney Yarberry - winner of the Nine Naturals giveaway which includes a Nine Naturals set of shampoo and conditioner! Thank you Courtney and everyone who participated. I have another giveaway lined up and this time it may possibly have multiple winners so stay tuned.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I smell a giveaway...

Contest is now closed. Winner will be announced shortly. Thank you to everyone that participated.

The founder of Nine Naturals hair care line, Nicole Shariat, has generously offered to give away a Nine Naturals set of shampoo and conditioner. Her products are tailored towards moms-to-be but, if you look closely, many of her products are what most of you are looking for - products that DO NOT contain pthalates, parabens, sulfates and DEA. All Nine Naturals products contain nine or fewer truly natural ingredients, not "psuedo-natural" products that try to hide their chemicals behind words such as botanical, natural and organic. All Nine Naturals products are also certified vegan.

You don't have to be expecting a baby to enter this give away. You just have to want hair care products that are 100% natural that DO NOT contain harsh or harmful ingredients and chemicals.

Check out the Nine Naturals website for more information.

Contest rules:
1. Any reader that posts a comment AND sends me an email with the subject line saying "Nine Naturals giveaway - [insert name that you used to leave a comment here]" This allows me to track down the winner easier. My email address is
2. Contest is open to US and Canadian readers.
3. Winner will be chosen randomly.
4. Contest ends at 12:00 PM EST on Friday, May 8, 2009.