Monday, May 20, 2013

Product Review - Darcy's Botanicals Daily Leave-In Conditioner

Product: Darcy's Botanical's Daily Leave-In Conditioner in Sweet Cream

Price:  $12.00 for 8 oz. bottle

Purchased from:

Ingredients: Distilled Water (Aqua) with Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil (and) Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Leaf Extract (and) Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract (and) Lavandula Angustfolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, MSM, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (cationic guar gum), paraben-free preservative and Fragrance.

Promises: "Darcy's Botanicals NEW Daily Leave-In Conditioner will tame your frizzies, provide healthy conditioning, moisture, softness, and will make your hair easy to detangle!"

Directions: "Apply a generous amount throughout wet or dry hair for healthy conditioning and moisture."

My Thoughts:
This product was one of my first purchases when starting my HHJ so this review is very long overdue.  This conditioner has a light creamy consistency, and is not too thick which I like.  I feel that it spreads much easily through my hair for that reason and also provides some slip.  I will usually apply about a nickel size amount to wet hair and a little really does go a long way with this product.  I think I purchased this product back in October and I am still working on the same bottle.  Darcy's Botanicals offers this product in a wide variety of fragrances.  I chose the Sweet Cream scent and I definitely love the fragrance of it. I mostly used it as a leave-in applied to wet hair after washing and deep conditioning.  When I did my wet wraps and rollersets, my hair always came out so soft, smooth, and moisturized.  The softness would even last a couple days before I would have to moisturize and seal again.

Recently I was starting to feel that it wasn't working for me anymore. I wasn't getting the same smooth soft hair that I did when I first began using it. I've used it lately while air-drying my hair and my hair seemed to be a bit dry.  I started to think that maybe this leave-in did not work well for air-drying using the scarf method with my hair hanging out, but I am now pinning this dryness to protein overload.  Since correcting this my hair is starting to feel softer again with use.

All in all I really like this product.  I've been using it consistently since starting my HHJ and it is definitely a staple.  I can definitely vouch for the promise of conditioning, softness, moisture and ease of detangling.

Has anyone else tried Darcy's Daily Leave-In Conditioner? What are your thoughts on it? Staple or no?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Relaxer Touch-up at 11 weeks post

So yesterday I finally relaxed after an 11 week stretch.  I decided to end my stretch mainly because I just wanted to get my relaxer out of the way and I was ready to have some "straight-er" hair.  Relaxer day was pretty long of course, but I think it went well. It was a long day/night I'll just say.

I started out by detangling and sectioning my hair into four parts.  I then coated the length of my hair with  GVP Silk Remedy that I got from Sally's (it's supposed to compare with CHI Silk Infusion) and Roux Porosity Control to protect from relaxer runoff.  I planned to begin with the back half (doing the half and half relaxer method that I've used before).  I placed metal duckbill clips along the horizontal part between the front and back half to separate the front section of my hair.  I clipped the two front sections with butterfly clips and covered with a plastic clap.
Used metal clips to separate front half
Clips help to keep plastic cap in place
I finished prepping the back half by parting each section into one inch sections and twisting to keep them separated.  I based my scalp with Vaseline as I went along.  I relaxed the back half using my green sprush. For my relaxer I used the same on that I used the last time: ORS Lye Relaxer in Normal Strength. I had my timer set for 11 minutes but I went quite a bit over.  I immediately jumped in the shower and rinsed then applied Redken Extreme Strength Builder for my midstep protein treatment.  Neuatralized with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo 3 times and then I used my Elasta QP Neutralizing Shampoo to double check that all the relaxer was gone.  This particular shampoo turns pink when there are still traces of relaxer so it made me feel better to see the white lather.  I followed up next with French Perm Stabilizer Plus for extra precaution (low pH conditioner that also aids in stopping the relaxer process.  Man oh man does my hair feel smooth after using this stuff!

Next I relaxed the front half in the same manner, first making sure that my hair was not damp from working on the back half.  Since I am texlaxing, I was almost worried that I'd left the relaxer on too long.  The roots in the back half seemed to be straighter than I expected, but I'm hoping to see some reversion there after my next wash.

I deep conditioner using my ORS Curls Unleashed under my heating cap for several hours.  I fell asleep wearing the heat cap then I just took it off and went on to bed.  When I rinsed again my hair felt so soft and smooth.  After rinsing the DC I t-shirt dried for maybe 30 min and then applied Darcy Daily Leave In and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum.  I allowed my hair to air dry with my silk scarf tied around my edges and then ended up pulling it into a bun.

Looks a little thicker and fuller than usual :-)
I think this relaxer day went well even though it was long.  I can't wait to do another almost 3 month stretch.  I figure I'll wait a little bit before going for another trim/dusting since I just had one last month.  Planning on a lot of PS-ing and no heat during this stretch next stretch.  Well until the next post folks! :)

How was your most recent relaxer touch-up?  Do you self relax and if so what's your method?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lather. Rinse. Repeat???

I've always followed the instructions on the shampoo bottle.  Besides you want your hair to be thoroughly cleaned right.  But is it really necessary?  After starting my HHJ I began to wonder if this is something I should continue to do.  I started to think about the concept of pre-pooing to prevent stripping all the moisture from your hair and how we are supposed to minimize the use of shampoos containing sulfates.  To maintain healthy hair you have to maintain moisture. So then why repeat?

I became curious about whether any other HHJ ladies repeat when shampooing.  In a lot of my favorite blogs that I follow the wash day posts usually say "shampooed with ____" then moves on to the next part of the wash whether it be tea rinsing or deep conditioning.  Even I do this when typing up my wash day post.  But I always wonder "did you repeat the shampoo process".  I will admit that I am a lather, rinse, repeat, shampooer.  I always have been and I guess it's just a habit.

Some seem to think it's a marketing ploy to get you to spend more money on hair products as mentioned in this post here. The more you use, the more you buy right?  This could be true, but in my opinion I do think it's beneficial in that I feel my scalp has been thoroughly cleaned; and we all know a healthy scalp means healthy hair. I usually put more focus on my scalp when washing anyway.  And since I don't scrub my hair it shouldn't hurt to do a second lather and allow my tresses to be gently cleansed as I rinse.  I don't think I've experienced any ill effects from repeating the shampoo.  So I don't see any issue with the old "lather, rinse, repeat" routine, especially if you're using a moisturizing/conditioning shampoo. Sometimes if I use a sulfate shampoo or clarifying shampoo I will follow up with a moisturizing shampoo, which should help with moisture retention.

I guess it just depends on the individual and how often you wash.  Maybe if you're someone that washes every day, you will lather once.  If you wash every week or two you may feel like you need a more thorough wash.  If your hair is natural, you are definitely more concerned about moisture so maybe when you shampoo/clarify you only lather once.

So what do you guys think about the shampoo process? Do you lather, rinse, then repeat?

Thanks for reading,

10 Weeks Post and No Plans to Relax Just Yet

I just had to share this because I cannot believe that I'm not mid relaxer at this point. I usually couldn't wait to crack open that tub of relaxer and go to town on these naps! Lol!  I must be ill or something. But seriously, I've been doing really well. I haven't used any heat since the last time I flat ironed. I've been trying to use some more creativity with my styles. Early in the week I used my curlformers to achieve heatless curls. Before that I tried out a "twist" and curl which did not turn out the way I hoped, but I still got compliments.  I washed my hair on Thursday night and allowed my hair to air dry in a bun. Heat free, kinky roots, and still not relaxing.

It seems to be getting easier for me getting through my wash day with the longer stretch.  Before I was just so worried about causing a lot of breakage.  I would also worry about how I would style my hair with all that new growth popping.  Using all of the proper techniques my wash days have been a breeze. Washing in sections, DC-ing, proper detangling, using my Magic Star Jumbo Rake, and making sure I have the time to dedicate to my hair. Age in ATL shared some amazing wash day tips on her blog for stretchers and transitioners which I definitely incorporate into my wash days.  Check out her two part post here and here.

On my wash days I have been trying to incorporate a lot more moisture lately.  It is SO important to keep your new growth moisturized; but you also need protein to add strength. I've been trying to use the wet strand test to determine what my hair needs.  The last couple of washes the strand snapped without any stretching from what I could tell, so I  think I need to take a little break from protein.  Last night I DC'd with a new deep conditioner (I am a severe product junkie; well I may have witnessed worse lol). I tried out the ORS Curls Unleashed Moisturizing Conditioner and so far I really like it.  Could become a possible staple.  I will do an official review after a couple more uses. I've also tried to throw in a co-wash here and there. Keeping my hair soft and moisturized is helping with my stretching and getting through my wash day.  I think I had about 5 shed hairs and VERY minimal breakage during my wash.  I could not believe I did not find a clump of hair in the shower with 10 wks of new growth. No clumped, matted, or tangled hair.  No ripping, tearing, or breaking (which I would have experienced pre-HHJ.).  I must be doing something right.

I guess one other reason I'm not slapping that cream on my head is because now that I'm self relaxing I don't look forward to it as much.  Relaxer day can be long and exhausting. This may be my motivation for stretching....or even going natural. Hmmm....

Tiny curl I tried to capture at 8 wks post;
just makes me want a head full of curls :-)
I am still trying to see how long I can go.  If I don't relax next weekend, I will definitely be relaxing for sure at  12 weeks post. Another week down, two more to go???

How is your stretch going?

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Curlformer Set at 9 Weeks Post

So yesterday I decided to cowash my hair and try out my new curlfomers. I ordered them online from Sally's while they were offering their 20% discount on online purchases.  I purchased the Curlformer kit in extra long and wide which includes 40 curlformers and two rods.  I also ordered 3 more packs of 6 to make sure I had enough, and it's a good thing because I ended up using 51.  I probably could have gone with the long and wide instead of extra long and wide, but I wanted to be able to grow into them...they are not cheap.
Tried to get a pic of the back;
two different colors spiral in different directions
I got the urge to try these out after watching Naptural85's youtube video tutorial.  After seeing the smooth results she got on her natural hair, I definitely had to give them a try.  Please check out her video below.

They were pretty easy to install and I did them while I was sitting on the couch watching TV. Lol!.Like in Whitney's video above I started from the back and worked my way up. It probably took me an hour and a half or so(probably because I was sitting on the couch watching TV...Ha ha!).  I kept my spray bottle(setting lotion diluted with distilled water) at my side to re-wet as I installed.  I ended up sleeping with the curlformers in my hair so they could air dry and so I could wake up with fresh curls in the a.m.  I will admit that they weren't the easiest to sleep in, but I've dealt with worse to wake up with cute hair. The things we go! My hair was completely dry by morning. Check out my results.

Smooth shiny air dried curls
Side view (Just woke
Separated curls for fullness and threw on a headband
(got a weird flash on this pic...sorry)
I was very pleased with how my hair turned out.  Smooth, shiny curls with absolutely no heat.  I am currently about 9 weeks post.  The curlformers definitely helped a bit with stretching out my new growth. This will be a new option for me to go to during my stretches. I'm almost at 10 weeks post and squeaking with excitement! I was an every 6 week touch up girl before starting my HHJ so I'm pretty proud of me right now.  I was able to get up to 8 week stretches, now working on 10.  Woot woot!

Has anyone else tried using curlformers? How did you like them?

Thanks for reading,
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