Showing posts with label Products. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Products. Show all posts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Product Review || As I Am Cleansing Pudding

NOTE:  This product was purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply.

Purpose: Sulfate-free moisturizing cleanser.

Product description: Cleanse the hair of residue and product buildup.  Rid the scalp of excess sebum, environmental impurities and shedding scale debris.  At the same time, help promote a healthy environment for the growth and restoration of your hair.

Ingredients: Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol², C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetearyl Alcohol², Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Glycerin¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract¹, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice ¹, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil¹, Poyquaternium-10, Piroctone Olamine, Potassium Sorbate, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene. Source: 1-Natural, 2-Coconut.

Number of trials: several over the course of the spring and summer months

How I used it:
Wet hair thoroughly. Rub a liberal amount within palms and distribute throughout hair. Lather product through hair and massage into scalp. Leave on for 3-5 minutes in order to eliminate shedding scalp debris. Rinse well.

It has the consistency of a super thick, creamy conditioner but it is also very cleansing without the dryness or buildup. I like using it whenever my hair feels too dry to wash with my usual shampoo but too dirty to co-wash with a regular conditioner. In fact, this product boasts the ability to “remove excess sebum, environmental impurities and shedding scalp debris”, and my hair and scalp seem to believe it.
PROS: pleasant light smell, non-drying, a little goes a looong way, no residue or buildup from continued use
CONS: none

RATING: Overall, I give the As I Am Cleansing Pudding out of 5 stars.  

This product is ideal for those who:
- get dryness from regular shampooing AND buildup from regular cowashing

Monday, April 15, 2013

Giveaway || Keratin Smoothing Duo (and More) by Zelo

Zelo is offering to give away the entire Zelo line (including the Keratin Smoothing Duo) to one of my lovely readers.

So what is Zelo you ask?  It is a company that offers salon-quality products for home use.  However, "salon-quality" does not have to mean "expensive".  You can find their products at select Target stores for exclusive pricing.  (For my United States readers, use this store locator.)

And what does this have to do with healthy hair?  The Zelo keratin treatment is a healthy alternative to damaging relaxers for women who want to wear a certain style temporarily but still maintain their hair health and natural curls. There is NO formaldehyde in the products.  Zelo loosens tight curl patterns without permanently altering the hair structure, letting you return to your curls when you want. Additionally, the company has a supporting line that includes a sulfate- and salt-free shampoo, keratin conditioner, and grapeseed oil gloss.

Now on to the final question ...

How do you enter this giveaway?  Well, it is simple.  Just answer the following question in the "Comments" section below.  Do so by 11:59PM EST April 19.  A winner will be chosen shortly after the closing of the giveaway and announced on Monday, April 22.

Why should you win the Keratin Smoothing Duo (and the remainder of the line) by Zelo?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

REVIEW #17: Paul Mitchell Curls Leave-In and Cream-Gel

If you are interested in purchasing either of these products, check out Paul Mitchell Curls.

Though I was given these products to review, I am providing my honest experience with the brand.

Paul Mitchell Curls Full Circle Leave-In Treatment

Purpose: This lightweight, do it all formula hydrates, detangles, tames frizz and helps protect against damage.

Number of trials: multiple

How I used it:
1. For detangling: Applied to damp hair, Finger-combed the product through strands.
2. For taming frizz: Applied to damp hair, Tied scarf for up to one hour, Removed scarf.
3. For hydrating: Applied to damp hair.

Ingredients: Water (Eau, Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, Lauryl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Myristyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Cetyl Alcohol, Methylisothiazolinone, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Butylene Glycol

Review: This product is good at detangling; I personally tried it on stretched hair that had not been combed (but had been braided) for about six weeks.  Application of the leave-in followed by a run-thru with my fingers did the trick on a section of hair.  This product also leaves the hair feeling smooth and tames frizzies for a few days (two days on my hair).  The Paul Mitchell Curls Full Circle Leave-In Treatment is your basic leave-in conditioner; it is a good product but did not impress me moisture-wise.  I rate this product 3/5.

PROS: good at detangling, leaves hair feeling smooth, tames frizzies (up to 2 days for me), lightweight
CONS: moisture is not long-lasting

Paul Mitchell Curls Ultimate Wave Beachy Texture Cream-Gel

Purpose: This humidity-resistant cream-gel formula, separates and adds loads of texture to create perfectly imperfect frizz-free styles.

Number of trials: multiple

How I used it (generously):
1. On damp hair.  Finger-combed.
2. On wet hair.  Finger-combed.
3. On wet hair with the Leave-In Treatment.  Finger-combed.

Ingredients: Water (Eau, Aqua), Polyurethane-14, AMP-Acrylates Copolymer, PVP, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Trametes Versicolor Extract, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Polyquaternium-59, Butylene Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin,Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum), Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Alpha- Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde

Review:  This Cream-Gel gave good coil/curl separation to the 4ab section of my hair. (The 4b/bc section did not respond well, but that is to be expected considering the wayward kinks).  It seemed to work better after a re-application days later (see below photos).  The coil/curl separation was more enhanced and I probably could have achieved the same result during the first application but with more gel and finger combing.  There were no visible buildup issues (such as crustiness) which was good and is probably why the product is termed a "cream-gel" and not simply a gel. I got a maximum of second day hair with this Cream-Gel; day two hair was a bit stiff but application of the Leave-In Treatment re-softened it.  I can see myself wearing a summer wash-n-go (which I haven't done for years) with the Paul Mitchell Curls Ultimate Wave Beachy Texture Cream-Gel. I rate this product 4/5. 

PROS: good coil/curl separation, no "gel" crustiness especially after re-application, revived with application of Leave-In Treatment
CONS: slight stiffness on second day hair

If you are interested in purchasing either of these products, check out Paul Mitchell Curls.

These products are ideal for those who:
- have curls or coils (both products for Type 3a/b/c; the Leave-In for Type 4a)
- have fine strands (the Leave-In is lightweight)
- desire to use one line of products (the Cream-Gel and Leave-In work very well together)

1st application of Cream-Gel.   Note slight definition on 4a/b strands.  
This is probably because I didn't use enough gel and do enough finger combing.
2nd application (days later) of Cream-Gel.   Note enhanced definition on 4a/b strands.  
Close-up of 2nd application.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

REVIEW #15: MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron

Disclaimer: While I used temperatures of 360 to 380 F on my hair, I am in no way suggesting that others will not suffer heat damage in that range.  My hair is thick, dense, AND very kinky (except for some fine strands in the back), all of which allow it to undergo this level of heat exposure with no noticeable heat damage.  Learn what temperature range works for YOUR hair.  Here are a couple of blogs that discuss safe ranges of heat usage:


In the midst of straightening.
Purpose: To straighten very curly hair.  Also perfect for Brazilian Keratin Treatments.

Number of trials: 1 (straightened hair was then worn for two full weeks)

How I used it:
Hair was prepoo-ed, washed, conditioned, sealed, and then air-dried in 10 big twists.   Heat protectant was then applied as hair was flat ironed section by section.  The sections were as big as 1 inch by 2-3 inches, some smaller, but none bigger than that.  Only 1-2 passes were used.  The straightener was set to a temperature of 380 degrees Fahrenheit.  (I later tried 360 degrees, which achieved the same level of straightening.)


I was given this product to review and, to give you my honest opinion, this product is really good for the price.  If you have been following me for a while, then you know that I am a big fan of the GHD iron (the gold professional), which I purchased for $200+ a while ago.  Well, the MK-I Halo is the first straightener that I have used that comes close to the GHD.  What's more? It is priced for almost 45% less!  The MK-I Halo straightens just as well (1-2 passes, minimal effort) but leaves the hair with more volume.  This may be a good thing for those who want straight, voluminous hair.  I am by no means talking about the "frizzy, dry, stiff" kind of volume either;  I am talking about straight, sleek hair that is voluminous.  When I use the GHD, I notice that I lose a lot of the natural bulk in my hair, and I have a more flat look, which I actually like, but others may not.  Voluminous or flat, when it comes to the actual straightening, the two tools are fairly comparable.

Other than the actual straightening, what I like about this tool is that it has an adjustable digital temperature setting, which ranges from 140 to 450 F.  This is ideal for those who want to monitor the temperature they are applying to their strands.  In the future, I would like to use a setting of 300 F just to cut down on my heat exposure, and this tool will allow for that.  The GHD, on the other hand, does not have an adjustable temperature setting; according to the company website, the gold professional iron ranges from 347 to 365 F.

Now for the question of whether the style held up.  Yes, the style held up really well for the full two weeks with minimal reversion.  In my experience, the GHD does slightly better at withholding reversion than the MK-I Halo, though the latter is still pretty good.  Again, the difference between the performances of the two tools is minimal.

What are some other nice features of the MK-I Halo?  It heats up really fast (within seconds, it seems).  It automatically shuts off after the straightener has been on for 30 minutes.  This is a protective feature that comes in handy if you accidentally leave the room or house with the tool still on.  I also received a heat shield pouch, which comes in handy for storing and transporting the straightener.

PROS: straightens well and effortlessly; leaves the hair looking sleek and voluminous; reasonably priced; digital temperature setting; heats up within seconds; automatic shut off for protection; locks in moisture and does not dry the hair; heat shield storage and transportation pouch
CONS: none really; if you're like me and prefer straight hair that is flat over voluminous, then that might be considered a small con.

RATING: Overall, I give the MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron 4.5 out of 5 stars based on what it accomplishes given the price alone.  It comes close to GHD, but I like the GHD slightly better. However, when it comes to cost, you can spend almost $100 less for the comparable MK-I Halo.  Also, again, you can use less heat with this straightener!

If you are interested in purchasing this tool or other products from Onei, use the "HHB40" code (for 40% off) at

This product is ideal for those who:
- have dense, curly/coily/kinky hair
- want the super straight, sleek look for a reasonable price
- want a quality straightener with a temperature setting

Finito.  Put in two big twists for waves.  Note the gloss, shine, and straightness after flat ironing.


Back in 2010 with a name-brand $50 flat iron.  Note the textured, stiff look after straightening.  Similar technique but different flat iron.  I would again get a textured, stiff look with a $60 more heavily-popular flat iron.

After the GHD.  Note the sleek, straight tresses.  Similar results are achieved with the MK-Halo, which is almost 45-50% cheaper.

GHD on the left.  MK-I Halo on the right.  Virtually no visible difference, but prior to achieving the waves, my hair is less voluminous with the GHD.
MK-I Halo on the left.  GHD on the right.  Note the digital screen on the MK-I Halo.
What I am working with when it comes to straightening.  The closest I can get to my natural texture shot.  This is after washing a twistout that was not separated (hence the clumping).  My hair shrinks down to about 2-3 inches.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Onei Beauty Discount Code for HHB Readers

Use the product code "HHB40" to receive 40% off of your order from  The company offers many products including the MK-I Halo Ceramic straightener (seen below).  This flat iron straightens just as well as my GHD, has a temperature dial (which the GHD doesn't), and is less expensive.  A full review will be coming soon, but don't wait to use the discount code above.  Feel free to spread the word and the code!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A to Z List of Common Ingredients in Products

Yesterday, I found a link describing many of the common ingredients we find in hair and skin products.  Below are some of the more popular ones; for the remainder, check out the original article:

Alcohol Denat (aka Denatured Alcohol): The European name for SD alcohol, it is ethyl alcohol made undrinkable for legal use in cosmetics. It acts as a solvent, disinfectant, and freshening agent in skin care products and a solvent in fragrance oils.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate: This salt, a natural coconut alcohol derivative, is a mild surfactant used in rinseable skin cleansers.
Avocado Oil: This organic emollient and carrier oil is used in makeup, moisturizers, and creams for its high levels of fat and vitamins A and C. It is also among the most effective naturally-derived sunscreens.
Beeswax Yellow or White: Derived from virgin bees and is primarily used in skin care products and makeup as an emulsifier.
Bentonite: This white clay is an important makeup ingredient — it absorbs oil and reduces shine. It is also used to thicken cosmetics and skin care products and to emulsify oils and masks.
Burdock: The roots, seeds, and leaves of this plant contain an essential oil used in beauty products for its soothing effects on the skin. It is also an astringent and antibacterial agent.
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter): From the nut of the Mangifolia tree in Central Africa. It’s also called Karite Butter or African Shea Nut Butter. Shea butter is high in triglycerides, has a high content of vitamins A, E & F and will soften and maintain moisture to the skin without greasiness.
Butylene Glycol: This humectant is used in hairsprays for its resistance to humidity.
Cetearyl Alcohol: This alcohol derivative is an emollient and emulsion stabilizer used in skin lotions, hairstyling creams, and deodorants.
Coconut Diethanolamide: (coconut oil acid, cocamide DEA, ninol, witcamide and calamide) A coconut derivative and common ingredient in skin care products; it works as a detergent creating a stable soapy lather moisturizes and softens the skin. Like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), coconut diethanolamide can break down skin’s oily barrier layer and dry it out. Some people develop allergic reactions to it.
Coconut Oil: This coconut kernel extract is a natural lathering and cleansing ingredient, and is often blended with other fats. Frequently found in skin cleansers, oils, and moisturizers, as well as hair care and nail care products.
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract: Derived from the milk or coconut “water” inside the hard exterior that is the endosperm or food for germination of the plant. It is highly nutritive, containing amino acids, sugars, vitamins and plant growth factors.
Collagen: A fibrous protein that makes up the connective tissue in the body. In cosmetic products it is used as an emollient.

For the remainder, check out the original article.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Remnants of PJ-ism: Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk

This is a short series on my attempt to finish a few remaining products from my 'product junkie' (PJ) days (though the below case was a slight exception).

product junkie /ˈprädəkt ˈjəNGkē/ Noun
A person with an obsessive habit of purchasing and collecting products, particularly hair products.  

Today's remaining products: Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk.

In short, this product does not keep my hair moisturized.  (For the FULL product review, read this post.) 

Finishing strategy: For the past month, in an effort to use up this product, I've been overlaying it with pure shea butter.  After my wash routine, I apply the Shea Moisture to wet hair and then apply shea butter on top of it.  Sometimes, if I need just a hint of moisture before wash day, I apply the Shea Moisture solo.  However, that is rare; I usually follow up with shea butter.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

REVIEW #14: Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum

NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.

Purpose: Frizz-fighting, smoothing gloss with thermal protection

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alcohol Denat., Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Silk, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sprout Extract, Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum).

Number of trials: 1

How I used it:
Applied to freshly washed and conditioned hair that was dried.  Hair was then flat ironed.


This product is amazing all around.  Compared to other heat protectants I've tried in the past (e.g., Redken and Proclaim), Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum left my hair shinier and feeling smoother and lighter.  There was no added weight or stiffness due to application of the product.  Additionally, it functioned well as a protectant; my hair reverted after a wash and didn't suffer heat damage.  Could I ask for anything more?  Well, I got more.  This product also has a very pleasant, natural scent leaving your tresses smelling divine.  The scent is almost addictive.  Additionally, the combination of Carol's Daughter, dry weather, and good heat styling allowed my hair to stay frizz-free for up to two weeks.  Aside from all of these positives, the only downside to this product is the cost of $18.  However, I think it's worth the price.

PROS: addictive pleasant smell, adds nice shine to hair, leaves hair feeling smooth and lightweight, provides sufficient thermal protection
CONS: expensive ($18)

RATING: Overall, I give the Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum 5 out of 5 stars.  

This product is ideal for those who frequently:
- flat-iron
- blow dry

Sunday, February 12, 2012

REVIEW #13: Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk

NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.

Purpose: Detangles, conditions, and controls curl; Restore moisture, body and shine

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut)*, Sugar Starch, Silk Protein, Essential Oil Blend, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitol Esters, Algae Extract, Hlyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract (Sage), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle), Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

*Certified Organic Ingredient

Number of trials: 1/4 of the bottle (several uses)

How I used it:
Method #1: Applied on freshly washed and conditioned hair.
Method #2: Applied on dry hair in need of moisture.


Though this product is called a "curl & style milk", it boasts "moisture, body, and shine" for "thick, curly hair".  I used it for the sole purpose of moisturizing my "thick, kinky" hair and not for styling curls.  The ingredients of shea butter and coconut oil - two substances my hair loves - gave me hope in the product's claim of moisture.  However, I was left disappointed after a two-month trial.  I had to reapply the product about 2-3 times over the course of a few days for my hair to feel soft and moisturized.  The three positives I will say about the milk are that it 1) smells extremely pleasant, 2) it is mostly natural and 3) it is light enough (water-based) for hair that needs just a touch of moisture.  

For an alternate review (a natural woman with curly hair):  VIDEO REVIEW
PROS: smells pleasant, mostly natural ingredients (no propylene glycol, paraffin, mineral oil, etc.), reasonable price
CONS: too light (ideal for those who prefer light products)

RATING: Overall, I give the Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk 2 out of 5 stars for moisture.  No rating is given for curl control (since I do not have curls).  Check out the video review above for a curly girl's perspective. 

This product may work well for those with:
- curly hair
- fine hair
- and/or hair easily weighed down by heavier products

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Interview with Mala Rhodes of AFROVEDA

The following is an interview with Mala Rhodes, CEO of AfroVeda Hair Products at  AfroVeda strives to represent true, Ayurvedic hair care remedies for curly, kinky and coily hair types.

1. How long have you practiced healthy hair care? Tell us about your healthy hair journey.

Although my hair has been natural for more than 10 years, I have only practiced healthy hair care for the past 5 years. As I began to educate myself about the benefits of natural hair products, and utilize the principles of Ayurveda for my own hair health, I realized that having beautiful healthy hair was not just about what is applied externally. Being conscious of what I consume makes a huge difference in how healthy my hair really is.

My hair journey has been a very long one and began very early in life. I can remember the weekend hair sessions with my mother who would wash my hair (along with my four sisters) on Saturday night, and press it with a hot comb on Sunday. Although my hair didn’t “blow in the wind” from way too much grease, I loved the smoothness of it and the fact that it reached the middle of my back. That was “good” hair to me.

Once I turned around 12 or 13, I received my first relaxer. I’m sure with 8 kids putting a relaxer in the hair of her 5 daughters made my mother’s hair care sessions much easier. We could wear wet-sets on special occasions and even wear it “down” sometimes for school. It was easy enough for us to take care of, so we were left to do just that. Despite the continued use of heavy greases and pomades, my hair still seemed to thrive. It wasn’t until I began experimenting with various other chemicals in my hair (Jheri Curl, hair color, and more relaxers – compliments of my sister who was in Cosmetology school) did I begin to notice a change. I didn’t take care of it like my mother did, and boy did it show.

Fast forward about 20 years and countless relaxers later, I found myself with thin, damaged hair from all the years of abuse. Beauticians continued to apply my relaxers incorrectly – only adding to my hair-thinning issues – and my own methods for restoring my hair’s health wasn’t working either. I seriously needed help. The chemicals had destroyed my hair and it was time for a change.

Read more »

Monday, December 19, 2011

REVIEW #12: Pura Naturals Cupuacu Hair Butter (Lemongrass)

NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.

Purpose: Moisturizer

Ingredients: Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Mangifera indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Shorea stenoptera (Illipe) Seed Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit , Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Pouteria (sapote oil) Sapota, and Herbal extract blend (horsetail, nettles, and burdock root).  

Number of trials: Numerous (until I finished the product)

How I used it:
Applied on freshly washed and conditioned hair.


The cupuacu butter is divine.  It is really rich, thick, and moisturizing.  A little bit of the product certainly goes a long way; the sample lasted me much longer than I thought it would.  The lemongrass blend smell (while I like it) may be a bit strong for some, so I suggest trying the unscented version of this butter.

PROS: moisturizing, natural, a little goes a long way
CONS: a little expensive

RATING: Overall, I give the Pura Naturals Cupuacu Hair Butter 4.5 out of 5 stars.