Showing posts with label Conditioner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conditioner. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Conditioners

I've always had such good success with the Shea Moisture conditioners I've tried so I've been itching to get my hands on the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line. I couldn't find it in a lot of the shops I usually buy Shea Moisture products from but it is stocked in a few places online. I picked up the Intense Hydration Conditioner and Masque from  back in September and I'm in love.

There's only 4 products available in the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line - a shampoo, conditioner, masque and a treatment oil. I have so many shampoos and oils on hand currently I only really needed the conditioners. As you can probably guess from the name the star ingredients in this line are Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil which both help keep the hair hydrated. Mafura Oil has long been used to nourish the skin and hair in Africa but I haven't seen it used in many hair products available here. Other ingredients include Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, African Rock Fig, Baobab Oil and Rice Protein. Like a lot of the Shea Moisture line these conditioners are also formulated without sulphates, parabens and mineral oil. With such an impressive ingredients list it was hard not to have high hopes for these products.

Both of these conditioners really deliver on injecting moisture into dry strands and I've had consistent results with each use. My hair is prone to (a lot of) tangling too and lately these are amongst only a few products which I can rely on to melt away the knots. I tend to use the conditioner as a co-wash and the masque with a steamer after shampooing. I found these products really similar to the Superfruit Complex line (conditioners reviewed here) in terms of the scent, texture and ingredients but I find these slightly more moisturising. There's not much between them though and I'll probably continue to buy from both lines. Overall these are definitely winners for me. It's a shame there aren't any Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil styling products as I would definitely buy these too.

Have you tried anything by Shea Moisture?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review | MIZANI True Textures

Earlier this Spring salon-exclusive brand MIZANI (a division of L'Oreal) unveiled the new look for their True Textures range targeted at naturally curly, coily and wavy hair. I've tried a few MIZANI products before but mostly when my hair was straighter (relaxed/texlaxed). I recently cut off the last of my chemically-treated hair (see ) and now my hair is au naturel it has been interesting to dip into the wealth of products now available for curly hair. I was sent a few True Textures products, but the Cream Cleansing Conditioner (£13.80/250ml)* and Moisture Replenish Conditioner (£14.30/250ml)* are the ones I've been using most.

Both of the products are paraben-free, have a subtle floral scent and are infused with coconut, olive and marula oils. The Cleansing Conditioner is essentially like co-washing. It's sulphate-free but the formula does foam a little. I've been applying the product throughout my hair before massaging in and then rinsing as per the instructions. I have to admit though whilst it's in your hair it doesn't feel like it's doing anything. In fact, it feels like my hair is quite dry but after rinsing it's a different story entirely and the softness appears out of nowhere. Gentle cleansing is so necessary for my thirsty hair so I rely on co-washing or mild shampoos weekly, I'll continue to use this until it runs out.

Though technically the Cream Cleansing Conditioner is designed to be used alone, I've almost always used it with the Moisture Replenish Conditioner. As much as I've become more comfortable with a one-step washing process lately I still can't escape my impulsive need to do extra conditioning. I find it difficult to proactively moisturise my hair during the week, so the more conditioning I do, the less I tend to need styling product. The Moisture Replenish Conditioner isn't technically a deep conditioner but I've been leaving it in my hair for about 15-30 minutes and the results rival some of my favourite hair masks. The main downside however is I got through the now empty tub in 4 uses even when using sparingly.

Both are great products though a little out of my budget currently. When am able to splurge I'd definitely pick up the Moisture Replenish Conditioner.

The new MIZANI True Textures range is available from MIZANI appointed salons nationwide which you can find through their website .

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What hair products have you been using?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Event | Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection

Award-winning hairdresser  unveiled her new haircare collection at her salon (Hair Lounge) on Thursday evening and it's stunning. On the night Charlotte talked us through her high-end collection which has been 6 years in the making.

Manketti Oil Shampoo (£18/250ml) | Manketti Oil Conditioner (£18/250ml) | Manketti Oil (£36/100ml)

The Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection contains 3 products at present, a shampoo, conditioner and hair oil - all containing sustainably sourced Manketti Nut and Ximenia Oil. I've tried a whole host of oils on my hair and skin but Manketti, which has been used in Africa for centuries, is entirely new to me. At the event vials of the Manketti Hair Oil were available and it melts beautifully into the skin. I can only imagine what this will do for my hair so I can't wait to try it properly.

Decorated with beautiful gold detailing, Charlotte (left below) assured us that what's inside is every bit as luxury as the packaging. She's created her line by testing it on her clients throughout development and it aims to deliver hydration, superior softness and shine to undernourished hair.

At the event she demonstrated using the Manketti Hair Oil and the Manketti Conditioner on a variety of curly hair types (see above) and explained that her products have multiple uses. I'll definitely be trying the Manketti Oil as a pre shampoo treatment and to seal in my moisturiser. Charlotte suggested applying the Manketti Conditioner as a leave-in too by mixing a 50p sized amount of the conditioner with water in a spray bottle. I'm excited to see how well these will work for me so I'll keep you posted on the results.

The Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection is available online at 
Images of the event were provided courtesy of Charlotte Mensah Press Office.

What haircare products do you use?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Haircare | Spot Hair Conditioning

I've always had such great success with conditioning certain areas of my hair separately, specifically my ends or my edges. Mid 2010 was the first time I started applying conditioner only to the last couple of inches of my hair as it was in such a terrible state that I hoped it might curb the breakage. It became a great pick-me-up for my strands, and targeting problem areas in this way really helped with overcoming some serious hair damage.

I recently spent a week skiing in the snowy French Alps and one day it was -14! My ends suffered so much from the cold even with daily moisturising whilst the rest of my hair stayed relatively hydrated. I was only able to fully condition my hair once whilst on holiday (due to having limited product) and eventually I had a lightbulb moment. I could have focused the conditioner where it was needed most - my porous, dry ends.

Since I've been back home (in a marginally warmer climate) deep conditioning my ends more than I would do my whole head has really injected some life back into them. It's so much quicker than having to deep condition my whole mass of hair just to keep my pesky ends in shape. My ends dry quickly too so I'm not always having to go to bed with a wet mop of curls post-wash. I'm definitely going to continue this method in between wash days for the rest of the winter.

Key things to remember when spot conditioning...
- Identify the most damaged or dry areas of your hair (if any). This method is not intended to replace regular conditioning but add extra attention to areas which are weaker than the rest of your hair.
- Rinsing areas with water first helps remove some product build-up but be sure to let it dry a little before application to maximise conditioning.
- You can spot condition with a regular conditioner, deep conditioner, heated oils and even henna.
- Apply a generous amount of product and leave on for at least 15-30 minutes. You can do this overnight if you prefer.
- Covering the hair after application helps it stay warm during the process for better conditioning.
- How often you condition depends on your personal hair needs and lifestyle.
- Consistency and patience are key so you may have to try this a few times before you see results!

Have you tried spot conditioning?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus

I've been experimenting with a lot of different products of late and whilst I try not to play favourites these products from the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus line are the ones I keep reaching for again and again.

The (£10.99) gives a lot of slip and definitely makes my hair feel soft and shiny. It's made with Silk Protein (to smooth the hair) and Neem Oil (for shine and anti-frizz) as well as Coconut Oil and Hibiscus Flower extract. The consistency is quite thin and runny though as it's a daily conditioner. I was definitely expecting the formula to be a lot thicker given the ingredients and that it's produced for thick, curly hair. This hasn't been a problem for me though as it does get out tangles fairly easily. I usually apply post-shampoo, detangle and then rinse after a few minutes. If your hair gets weighed down easily this is probably a winner, but if it takes a lot more to keep the moisture in you'll may need something heavier.

The  (£12.99) is my go-to product for adding extra definition to my hair. It's very thick and the perfect partner for frizzy hair. I love that you can use it on wet or dry hair and it gives really soft crunch-less curls regardless of when you use it. I usually add a little in sections after moisturising or apply it to my ends when they're starting to look a little flat. The ingredients are similar to the Curl & Shine Conditioner but this product is also made with Carrot Oil, Avocado Oil and Aloe Vera Extract and it smells so good.

I've been using the  too but as I've already reviewed this I won't detail much of what I've stated already. I've been using it mostly with the above products and it provides the right amount of moisture to my strands. The bottle is tiny though so I get through it quite quickly!

I'll definitely be picking up the Curl Enhancing Smoothie and the Styling Milk again soon. The price is a killer and I wish the products were much bigger. There are certain brands I'm willing to pay more for though and Shea Moisture is definitely one of them. I like the Curl & Shine Conditioner but it's no patch on the  so I'll be grabbing another bottle of that when it's all finished. I picked up the Shea Moisture products here from in-store but they're also sold online and more online retailers based in the UK are finally stocking this brand.

Have you tried Shea Moisture products?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Haircare | Co-washing

As much as I love a good sudsing (pretty sure that's a verb), shampooing hair constantly can leave it dry and stripped. By just using a conditioner for cleansing (known as co-washing) your hair can be refreshed and retain moisture better.

I've definitely spoken about co-washing a few times on my blog before but now my hair is completely curly I co-wash more than ever. For so long I've relied on at least 3 products almost every wash day (pre-shampoo treatment, shampoo and deep conditioner) to ensure my hair has enough moisture throughout the week. Whilst it is a lot of steps, I honestly felt it was necessary for me as I'm so lazy with moisturising daily. Only occasionally would I ever use just a conditioner (usually on very late, sleep-deprived nights). The good news is now I'm washing more often with just one product my hair hasn't felt like it's lacking moisture. You could call me a co-wash convert...

Not sure how to co-wash? It's not much different to using a shampoo - dampen your hair first, apply working into the scalp and rinse. With conditioner you can apply the product from root to tip and leave on for a few minutes to soften and moisturise your strands.

Finding the right product for co-washing your hair may take a bit of trial and error. Product choice is huge and a few haircare companies now also make 'conditioning cleansers' adding more options into the mix. Not all conditioners are created equal, though with any luck you can use whichever products you have on hand already.

In general I prefer to use conditioners which are silicone-free to prevent build-up and those that are fairly cheap as I get through so much product each wash. My co-wash hero is the TRESemmé Vibrant Naturals Nourish & Replenish Conditioner which I think is known simply as TRESemmé Naturals across the pond in the US. Other products I've tried and loved for co-washing are Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner (they also have a co-wash conditioner in this range), *, * and *.

Conditioner has a tendency to build-up on the hair and scalp so remember it needs to be rinsed off properly post-cleanse. I usually notice my hair starts to get dull and limp after a few co-washes and it's at this point I turn to shampoo again. Some curly-haired beauties have a strict 'no-poo' (shampoo) hair routine but I can't personally rely solely on conditioner for all of my cleansing. Depending on the types of products you use and how dirty/oily your scalp gets it's good to also clarify with a shampoo monthly or bi-monthly.

It's not for everyone, but if your hair is naturally dry, try swapping out your shampoo for your conditioner.

*Products mentioned were received as samples. You can read my disclaimer .

Have you tried co-washing?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review | Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System (Collab)

Today's review post is a little different as I've teamed up with blogger beaut Alisha from . We've both been using products from the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System so check out her thoughts for the shampoo and in this post I'll be taking a look at the conditioner and masque.

If you didn't know already the Shea Moisture brand is hugely popular in the US and has been developing Shea Butter-based products since 1912. I was sent these products in September and though I have used the previously I hadn't tried anything else by the brand before. The two products here are amongst the few products I've used in which I've noticed an instant difference to my hair.

It's easy to see why this collection boasts a 'SuperFruit Nutrient Complex' as each product is made with a blend of Red Raspberry, Ketones, Goji and Acai Guava extracts. These are stated to be rich in anti-aging antioxidants and, along with Marula Oil to help support elasticity and Biotin to strengthen strands, the products are stated to renew tired hair.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Conditioner (£10.99/384ml)*
With one use my hair felt softer, more manageable and this conditioner gave it so much slip! With regular use my hair has seemed more bouncy and shiny. I've used this product both as a co-wash conditioner and as a leave-in (mixed with water in a spray bottle) with great results. The formula is creamy but doesn't weigh hair down and has a sweet fragrance.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Hair Masque (£12.99/340g)*
Masques are amongst my favourite hair products to use and even with high expectations this product did not disappoint. It has a very thick consistency but melted easily through my strands when applied. I usually apply masques for 15-30 minutes with my . I've tried the former and have used the masque alone. Used both ways my hair feels so much more moisturised. This is easily one of the best masques I've used.

Be sure to check out Alisha's thoughts on the Shampoo.

Since October has been stocking the brand, making it more widely available and I'm hoping it'll urge other retailers to follow suit! I've already picked up the Curl & Style Milk again and a few others from the Coconut & Hibiscus line at Boots and I'll be grabbing these two here when they run out.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried Shea Moisture products?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Review | Big Hair Products

I received a few products from a couple of months ago which I've been using on and off. Big Hair is a natural haircare company which has a range of products created with mostly natural ingredients and I was sent their  (£9.95/200ml)*,  (£14.95/200g)* and  (£12.95/200ml)*.

I love using natural products where possible but I like convenience too so it's great when you find a company which makes using natural products easy. The products are on the pricey side and are fairly small in size but the quality of the ingredients justifies this a little.

The Soft Clean SLS Free Shampoo has the highest natural ingredient content of the products here and it's made with Sweet Orange Oil giving it a gorgeous citrus scent. It lathers pretty well and you can get away with just one application and rinse. It leaves my scalp and hair feeling so clean, I love it! The formula is supposed to be non-drying but my hair gets so parched I can't skip a pre shampoo treatment before using this.

I absolutely love the DEEP Conditioning Hair Treatment. It's made with Moroccan Rhassoul Clay which I've wanted to try for a long time and it leaves my hair so soft. The product is quite thick, but easy to spread through damp strands after shampooing. The tub is quite small, and though my hair isn't that thick or even that long currently, it's very dense which means I tend to use a lot of my deep conditioner each wash day. I've used this conditioner 3 times sparingly and I have just enough left for one more treatment. I wish the tub was bigger, but if your hair is shorter and you don't deep condition as often as me this is a great product to have on hand.

I've got the most use out of the Leave In Moisturising Milk which I've been using regularly since I received it. I'd say it's more like a cream than a milky product but it's still very light and gives the hair a good amount of hydration. The main ingredients are Aloe Vera, Murumuru butter and Shea butter, all great ingredients which have helped keep my hair soft. The Milk doesn't have much of a scent which is not really a problem, but I do tend to prefer products which have some sort of fragrance in them.

Overall Big Hair is a great brand with some well made products. I would definitely consider buying at least the deep conditioner which I'd rotate with a few other favourites I have already. I really want to try the Big Hair  next which has reviewed on her blog .

*Sample. See my disclaimer .

Have you tried Big Hair products?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Wash Day Routine [Video]

I haven't created a wash day routine video for my YouTube channel for 2 years so I've put together an updated version. In reality my wash day has barely changed. Often the ways in which I care for my hair stay the same, it's only the products I use which change.

There's 3 main elements to my wash days - pre shampoo, shampoo and deep condition. Sometimes I may deviate from these 3 but this rarely happens so this video explains pretty much what I do every time I wash my hair.

The Video:

If you have any questions or suggestions for videos you'd like to see next let me know. 

What's your wash day like?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Review | ORS Shealicious

My hair has been looking a little dull recently so I was quite excited to try two products from the ORS Shealicious range - the Shine Booster Conditioning Cocktail (£4.99)* and the Cleansing Balm Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo (£4.99/236ml)*. The shampoo is very creamy and rich and the conditioner resembles a yoghurt pot (muller corner anyone?) Both feature very bright and colourful packaging and smell deliciously fruity.

I used both of these products yesterday, starting with the Cleansing Balm. The instructions advise shampooing twice, leaving the balm on the hair for 2-3 minutes on the second application. The shampoo left my hair feeling very soft and not as stripped as I'm used to with some of my other cleansing products. I then moved onto the Conditioning Cocktail which is separated into two parts, one half containing the conditioner and the other the oils.

The oils are poured into the conditioner and mixed together to create the cocktail. The conditioner is made with Shea Butter giving it a good thick consistency. The oil mix contains Amla, Argan, Sunflower and Sesame Oils. Whilst there's plenty of oil included, there's not much conditioner. The conditioner tub is only about half full but there's enough room, even with the oil mixed in, for the tub to be 3 quarters full. The product also doesn't come with something to mix the conditioner and oil together.

You can use this product as a co-wash or deep conditioner but I wanted to get the most of out this so I opted for the latter. I smoothed the mixed conditioner onto wet hair and applied a plastic cap for 15 minutes.

The pot only contains enough for one application and if your hair is longer or thicker than mine you'll probably need another pot. I like to apply my conditioner generously and this only just about covered all of my hair (which is the shortest it's been for a year, see ).

Despite limited product my hair felt so good after rinsing - it was so smooth and soft. I'd definitely use this product again though it would be much better if this came in bottles rather than for single use. I like to deep condition my hair every wash so if I started using this all the time I'd have to buy a pot every week! I might buy a couple of pots and keep them on hand for when I feel like mixing it up (no pun intended).

I've already seen this product pop up in my local and it will also be available in Tesco from September.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

What conditioners do you like to use?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Review | KeraCare Humecto Creme Conditioner

Conditioners are my favourite products to use to help hydrate my thirsty strands and recently I've been reaching for the Humecto Creme Conditioner (£6.15/234g)* most when my hair is looking lacklustre.

It's fair to say that I hugely underestimated this conditioner initially. I love thick, buttery and intensive hair masks as they're usually the only types of products which can make a noticeable and lasting difference to my hair. I assumed this product wouldn't really have the impact I wanted as it looks like a regular conditioner so it sat unused in my hair stash for a long time. My deep conditioners were running low (despite having several on hand at once) which made me use this and it works so well. I've used this conditioner quite a few times now and it consistently leaves my hair super soft and smooth.

The formula includes various plant extracts, including Ivy, Garlic, Chamomile and Rosemary which is supposed to revive dry brittle hair and gives the conditioner a sweet floral scent. The ingredients include silicones too which are probably responsible for giving my strands lasting smoothness after the product has been rinsed out. I tend to use this post-shampoo leaving it on for roughly 15 minutes with a shower cap. The formula is fairly runny which makes it really easy to smooth through damp hair. The product has a lot of 'slip' too so I can ease out any tangles that were created during the shampoo process.

The bottle is quite small and it's very easy to get through a lot of product with each wash but other than that I can't find much fault with this conditioner. This is actually one of the more affordable conditioners KeraCare has and whilst it is still a bit pricey compared to some other brands the results it gives my hair would make the cost worth it. I have so many conditioners I love already but I will be buying this when it runs out.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

What conditioners do you like to use?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review | Neäl & Wølf Harmony Intensive Treatment

My favourite hair products are always deep conditioners and I have quite a few on hand currently including this Harmony Intensive Care Treatment (£12.95/200ml)* by Neäl and Wølf. I'm not hugely familiar with this brand but  describe themselves as 'a professional brand...with a big dose of glamour, gorgeous an affordable price'.

The formula smells undeniably beautiful and the packaging does make this feel like a luxury product. However as far as what's actually inside the bottle the only ingredients which stand out to me are Mango Seed Oil and Hydrolyzed Silk. Perhaps it's what isn't in the product which counts as it's free of various additives typically found in hair conditioners like sulphates (sulfates) and parabens.

Despite being suitable for all hair types, this product works far better on my wig than my own hair. As my hair gets pretty dry I rely on deep conditioners each week to soften up my strands and to prevent me having to moisturise constantly. Whilst this treatment does make my hair smooth and soft, it's not quite at the level I'm used to from some of the other deep conditioners I have currently. I've tested a little of the treatment on my straight wig for comparison and the hair felt like butter afterwards. It took barely any product to get the wig hair super soft so my own hair clearly needs that extra something to make it feel conditioned.

I have no preference between salon or drugstore branded hair treatments, but I'll happily pay more for a good deep conditioner. For me this product is only worth the price if your hair doesn't need a lot of product to feel conditioned or if you'll only need to use this occasionally as it's a small bottle. In all this is not a bad product, but my dry hair definitely needs more.

*sample - see my disclaimer  for more info.

Have you tried Neäl & Wølf products before?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review | KeraCare Natural Textures

I’ve been using KeraCare products for a few years but it wasn’t until last year that I realised how extensive their product range actually is. There’s so much to suit different textures and conditions of afro hair. I’ll be reviewing various KeraCare products over the coming weeks and I thought I’d kick off my first review with the KeraCare Natural Textures* line. I had my first taste of the Natural Textures products back in November after attending a  and I fell in love with a few of them instantly. I'm most familiar with these KeraCare products and they've been tried and tested for several months.

As the name suggests, KeraCare Natural Textures are made specifically for natural afro hair, but a lot of the products work very well for my ‘’ strands. Most Natural Textures products smell gorgeous and they are all made with high quality ingredients. The ingredients which seem to feature most are Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Amla, Shikakai (Aurvedic) Botanicals and various Fruit Extracts. As a result, the products are on the pricey side and are marketed as salon quality.

Cleansing Cream (£6.35/240ml)*
As much as I love that squeaky clean feeling, most dry or curly hair types can’t take that regular lather, rinse and repeat. This sulphate-free shampoo is a gentle cleanser which removes product build-up without stripping the hair. The shampoo texture is quite thick, resembling a conditioner. As a result, it leaves my hair very soft, moisturised and distinctly less frizzy after using which is always a plus. It doesn’t give me that deep clean feeling, so when I need to clarify my hair from build-up I prefer to use a stronger product (like KeraCare 1st Lather Shampoo) first.

Leave-In Conditioner (£5.75/240ml)*
This is a product I’ve come to rely on a lot post-wash as my roots are very prone to frizz. When my hair is about 50% dry I apply a little of this leave-in to smooth out my strands. It has a bit of slip too so it also helps ease a few of the tangles, preparing my hair for the styling that’ll follow. 

Hair Milk (£8.85/240ml)* 
Without a doubt this is my absolute favourite Natural Textures product. I love milk-y textured products as my hair drops and looks flat if I use anything heavy on my strands. This Hair Milk provides lasting moisture to my thirsty strands without leaving it lank and greasy.

Honey Shea Co-Wash (£7.30/227g)*
To me this product is pretty similar to the Cleansing Cream but it acts more like a conditioner. It’s another great alternative to harsh or stripping shampoos and it's perfect for those who wash their hair regularly. Whilst it’s supposed to be a stand-alone product I’ll always follow this with a deep conditioner as I'm a bit obsessive about ensuring my hair is conditioned to the max each wash day.

Deep Moisturising Masque (£11.95/227g)*
Deep Conditioners are always my favourite products to use. I strongly believe that regardless of your hair type or condition, the right deep conditioner can transform your hair. I have so many deep conditioners that I love already that I had high expectations for this masque. I’ve found it’s not one of those deep conditioners that you can feel working instantly. In fact, when I put it on my hair it always seems to take a long time to sink in and it’s not until I rinse it off that I can really feel how well it’s worked. A plastic cap is a must for this product to help it absorb fully and this is one of the few deep conditioners that I will put aside a full 15 minutes to use as the results are so worth the wait. The only downside is I get through a lot of this product with each use so each tub doesn’t last long.

Butter Cream (£8.40/227g)*
The Butter Cream is like a thick whipped version of the Hair Milk so unsurprisingly it's another favourite. I love using it when I’m twisting or braiding my hair as it gives my hair great definition and shine. I only ever really need to use a little of this product at a time so I’ve had this product on hand for a few months. I like to mix it with a little of the Hair Milk too for the perfect moisturising combo. 

Twist & Define Cream (£7.25/227g)*
I really wanted to love this product as it’s supposed to give ‘smooth, soft twists and twist-outs’ but it's the product I reach for least out of this range. It provides beautiful definition but you have to use this on wet hair each time or it can make the hair dry and sticky. I don’t always tend to wet my hair when doing twist-outs and I like to re-twist my hair each night so I just personally find it a little inconvenient to have to wet my hair every time to use this product.

Defining Custard (£7.10/227g)*
I’ve been on the look out for a great defining product, but I haven't been able to make this work for me. My natural hair lacks definition, so throw relaxer into the mix and without any product my hair can look like a fluffy mess. Like the Twist & Define Cream this ‘Custard’ needs to be used wet. Though I’ve followed the instructions to the letter each time I’ve tried this my hair never quite comes out right. My hair usually ends up dry and flaky which is a shame. 

Overall I love this range of KeraCare products. Most of them work well for me, smell great and I’ll definitely continue to use and buy most of them when they run out. The only products I’m not to crazy about are the Defining Custard and the Twist & Define Cream. I’ve seen many natural ladies get great results with these products so maybe its my transitioning hair which makes them not work for me. I'm hoping that if I revisit these two products when my transition is complete that they'll work better. 

*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried any Keracare products before?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hair | How I Deep Condition

Deep conditioning is one of those parts of my hair routine which I will not compromise on, no matter how tired or lazy I'm feeling. I really do believe that deep conditioning regularly is one of the key aspects of keeping chemically treated, relaxed or dry hair in good condition. I do it every time my hair is washed (1-2 times weekly). I probably deep condition more than is necessary, but it works for me so I've stuck with it.

I often get questions on how I use a deep conditioner and honestly, I don't think I do anything out of the ordinary. I use a range of deep conditioners including JOICO Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (pictured).

In general I try to stick to the following:

1 Wet but not soaking wet hair
I like the idea of conditioning hair which is dry as then it can absorb more of the product but as I always shampoo before I condition I rarely do this. Instead I always try to get as much water out of my hair before applying conditioner, sometimes even allowing it to airdry for 10-15 minutes.

2 Add ingredients
I love adding extra oils and glycerine to my conditioners to give it an extra kick. I usually mix up batches in separate containers and apply when needed. What you add is entirely up to you. You can experiment with adding stuff from your kitchen like Olive Oil, Avocado and Coconut Milk. If I add anything that might perish quickly I usually put any left over conditioner mix in the fridge and use it as soon as possible.

3 Condition in sections
My hair is so prone to tangling I like to thoroughly detangle and separate my hair in 2-4 sections. This ensures the conditioner is evenly spread across the hair. Once I'm done I twist the sections individually and roll them up into bantu knots to keep them together.

4 Apply more to the ends
I try to concentrate most of the deep conditioner on the lengths of my hair which are more fragile. I then apply it to the rest of my hair, trying to keep the conditioner off of my scalp to prevent build-up. I also like to apply a little around my edges which need a little extra TLC.

5 Plastic Cap/Wrap/Bag
I don't have a steamer and it's unlikely I'll get one as I just don't have anywhere to put it. To achieve a similar effect I try to generate steam from the warmth of my head by covering my hair with either a plastic cap, wrap or a bag to keep the heat in. I leave this on until I'm ready to rinse.

6 Leave for at least 5 minutes
No matter how much I'm strapped for time I always leave on my deep conditioner for at least 5 minutes. It may not sound like much but I personally don't think it's necessary to devote hours to wash days. The maximum I spend with deep conditioner on tends to be about 30 minutes.

What do you do when you deep condition?

Christine Stewart x

Monday, 31 March 2014

Review | JOICO Smooth Cure Conditioner

My love for JOICO products has recently extended to the Smooth Cure Sulfate-free Conditioner. The Smooth Cure range by JOICO aims to make frizzy, curly or coarse hair sleek and manageable.  I feel like this conditioner was made for my hair as it leaves my hair buttery soft after just 5 minutes of being left on. Seriously impressed.

I must admit I'm a little confused as to whether this conditioner counts as an intensive treatment. It's a lot runnier than my staple deep conditioner, JOICO Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (reviewed here), but somehow seems to work just as well. I've been mostly using it by itself in place of my usual deep conditioner for 5 to 15 minutes in the last few weeks and it gets my hair so smooth.

This conditioner smells absolutely beautiful and the scent lingers ever so gently when my hair has been rinsed. The main ingredients are Keratin, Brazil Nut Oil, Tucuma Palm and a lot of stuff I don't recognise that even a Google search couldn't remedy (particularly Pentapeptide-29 Cysteinamide and Pentapeptide-30 Cysteinamide, more protein?) If your hair doesn't take well to protein you might have to avoid this product, but so far it's been great for my hair. I even used it after my last henna treatment and it sorted out the usual post-henna hardness a treat!

There's also a high concentration of Amodimethicone in this conditioner (it's 4th on the ingredients list). This ingredient seems like a strange inclusion to me given that this particular conditioner and it's shampoo counterpart are sulphate-free (cone build-up can usually only be removed by harsher shampoos). Having said that, I haven't looked at the accompanying shampoo or it's ingredients. It may well have an alternative ingredient to sulphates which is strong enough to remove cones.

Out of all the JOICO products I've tried this was by far the cheapest, simply as 1litre of this conditioner cost me just £12.99 from TK Maxx. The 300ml version of this conditioner usually retails at around £13.95 online and in salons. I usually pay around £15-£20, for the 500ml of my beloved Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm which unfortunately I couldn't find in TK Maxx too.

I'd love to try more of the Sooth Cure range but for now I'm trying to change my product junkie ways and only buy hair products I need.

Have you tried anything by JOICO? 

Christine Stewart x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm

Something that went on my product wish list long ago was this Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm. I've read good reviews and at £14.95 for 500ml it's proving to be the perfect partner for my dry hair.

Specially designed for thick or coarse dry hair this conditioner promises to both attract and retain moisture. The formula, is enriched with Hydramine Sea Complex, Olive oil, Murumuru and Shea butter which also softens the hair. So far I agree with the claims. I've been leaving this conditioner on for less than my usual 30 minute deep condition and it's still left my hair super moisturised. There was a complete difference in my hair condition after a single use! The conditioner has worked so well for my hair that I don't have to moisturise & seal as often between washes which is a plus. It's very thick and creamy too so you don't need to use too much at a time. Despite it's thickness, I've not found the conditioner heavy or greasy but those with fine hair might have to use this sparingly. 

This conditioner contains keratin, which seems to be a buzz word in the beauty industry at the moment. I don't usually like using conditioners that contain a lot of protein on a regular basis as my hair seems to be sensitive to it. The Moisture Recovery however has worked well so I'm assuming the balance of protein and moisture is spot on. 

Overall this was a great buy for me and I'm happy I finally tried it!

Have you tried JOICO products? 

Christine Stewart x
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Post updated & reposted 09/02/14