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curly hair products

III Sisters of Nature’s New Pudding & Package

III Sisters of Nature Curly Whip Pudding and Spiral Pudding

On left, III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whip Pudding. On right, III Sisters of Nature’s Spiral Pudding

Heya cats and kittens! In an earlier post, I shared my experience using III Sisters of Nature Curly Whip Pudding and compared it to Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, as III Sisters does in marketing this product. Well, since that post, some of you decided to try the Curly Whip Pudding yourselves … but couldn’t find the product! No, I didn’t pull a fast one on you!

I searched a couple of beauty supply stores and started to notice that the pudding … was missing. However, another product was in its place—III Sisters of Nature’s Spiral Pudding. I decided to snag that product and do some further investigation. I compared the Spiral Pudding to a jar of Curly Whip Pudding I already had at home and found the following.

Like the Curly Whip Pudding, the Spiral Pudding claims to give your hair the same results as Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. Only, III Sisters of Nature’s products claim to be “the cleaner haircare products.” According to the packaging, “Spiral Pudding helps revive dull, frizzy and tight curls to life with moisture, shine and length. Spiral Pudding is made with natural blends that have been reduced to the smallest molecule for maximum penetration and definition of curls, waves, twists and kinks.”

Like Miss Jessie’s, both of III Sisters’ puddings are purple in color, smell like grape taffy or a grape flavored Now and Later, and have a thick texture (although the Spiral Pudding is slightly thicker and darker). If you read my previous post, I mentioned that the Sisters’ pudding is slightly less aromatic, which I prefer. Miss Jessie’s can be a bit too heavily scented for my sensitive sniffer, but it may be A-Okay for you. Mind you, Miss Jessie’s pudding does have an unscented version.

III Sisters of Nature, A Look Inside

On left, a look inside III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whip Pudding. On right, a look inside III Sisters of Nature’s Spiral Pudding.

While both of the Sisters’ products have the same look and feel, I had to test out the results. I did a braid-out (yes, my typical style with puddings) with each product … and had the same results! Survey says: The Spiral Pudding is the new Curly Whip Pudding. It’s just in a new packaging and sold under a new name. Perhaps the Sisters ran into issues with having the Curly Whip so close in relation to Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. Inquiring minds would like to know!

All in all. It’s up to you. Try III Sisters’ Spiral Pudding (formerly known as the Curly Whip Pudding) and Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding and you be the judge. III Sisters of Nature’s Spiral Pudding costs $12.99 and can be purchased at your local beauty supply store or at the sister’s newly launched site, http://www.3sistersofnature.com.

Product Review: Ayur Herbal Shampoo

Ayur Herbal Shampoo

The last time I embarked on a Vatika Oil run, I caught sight of Ayur Herbal Shampoo. As I expertly juggled three bottles of Vatika in my arms, I figured there was room for one more item and picked up the shampoo. Now that I’ve tried it, let me fill you in on the goods.

Ayur Herbal Shampoo with Amla, Shikakai, and Reetha is marketed as being an extra conditioner for normal hair. According to its package, “its rich lathering formula leaves hair exceptionally lustrous and healthier. Natural herbal extracts clean the scalp, retaining its natural oils. It is also helpful in case of dandruff, falling, and greying of hair, etc.”

Price

This shampoo can be purchased for $8 at your local cash and carry. You can also click on the links above to purchase.

Ingredients

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulphate (foaming and cleansing detergent), Cocomonoethanolamide (a foaming agent), Cocobetain, Amla (Embelica officinalis) Extract, Shikakai (Acacia concina) Extract, Reetha (Sapindus mukorossi) Extract, Propylene Glycol, EDTA (a stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Colour, Fragrance.

As noted above, this shampoo contains the following herbal extracts:

  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – delays graying & prevents hair loss.
  • “Reetha is an excellent conditioner.” – used in soaps and shampoos; derived from a plant.
  • Shikaikai (aka Acacia Concinna) –derived from a plant that has a low pH, this natural shampoo does not strip hair from its oils.

Despite all the good stuff, Ayur is not chemical free (reread ingredients above). It contains sodium laureth sulphate, a harsh cleanser that can be a deal breaker for some curlies. Given the inclusion of this ingredient, I wouldn’t use Ayur more than once or twice a week … which is exactly what is recommended on the label. Sometimes you really do have to read and follow directions! :)

Scent

Ayur has a light, herbal scent. It isn’t the least bit overpowering, so there’s no need to worry about fainting spells.

Look

Ayur has a thick, syrupy texture and purple color (points!). Nothing out of the ordinary.

Application

Ayur easily lathers and distributes evenly onto my hair. A little goes a long way. You’ll only need to apply it to your hair once in order to clean it. My curly mane already felt clean, but not stripped, after its first wash. I decided to lather up again in order to fully test the product. Although my hair felt drier on Ayur’s second application, I could tell that my natural oils weren’t completely removed. Thumbs up.

Moisture & Feel

As the company claims, Ayur doesn’t appear to strip away my natural oils. After washing it out, my hair felt soft, perhaps even softer than after using other shampoos containing sodium laureth sulphate. The minimal stripping may be credited to Ayur’s herbal extracts.*I already had Vatika oil in my hair before washing, so please factor this in.

Final Verdict

If your hair and/or scalp is sensitive to chemicals like sodium laureth sulphate and/or herbal ingredients, stay clear of this shampoo. If your hair and/or scalp if flexible, give this one a try. Ayur is great for removing build-up and cleaning textured tresses without stripping strands. I was pleased with the results but would caution from using this too frequently. It was too soon for me to note whether this will prevent graying and hair loss, but I’ll include this in my rotation over the next couple of months and update this post.

Have you tried Ayur Herbal Shampoo or something similar? Share your experiences below.

Product Review: Alikay Naturals Shampoo & Deep Conditioner

Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo

Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo

Recently, I was graciously given the opportunity to test out and review Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner. Just for you! Yes, this was a very kind offer, which I really appreciate. No worries, curlies! (My Curly Mane takes the stand, picks up a prayer book, and raises my right hand). I will always speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in my reviews. So help my mane! (Takes seat and begins testimonial).

Alikay Naturals is the brainchild of Rochelle Graham-Campbell aka Black Onyx77 on YouTube. I give her lots of credit for stepping up and becoming a woman in business, particularly in the natural hair care industry. I have never used the Alikay product line before, but was pleased to know that both the shampoo and deep conditioner are marketed as being 100% natural and 90% organic, especially since my curly mane is slowly taking a liking to all natural ingredients (as opposed to its relationship with mineral oil and silicones aka “bad” products for hair). Here are the goods:


MOISTURIZING BLACK SOAP SHAMPOO

1. Price: Approximately $11 for an 8 oz. bottle ( a little more than your average drug store brand but relatively affordable)

2. Key Ingredients: Water, Raw African Black Soap (always wanted to try this!), coconut oil (as you already know, my hair loves this), essential oils, fragrance, herbal and botanical blend. No: Petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, paraben, sulfate, silicones (aka all that “bad” stuff I mentioned prior)

3. Scent: Great!I’d describe this as soapy, Hawaiian Punch mixed with bubble gum … if there is such a thing. Yum!

4. Application: Okay, this is where it gets tricky. This product is reeeaaally watery as opposed to traditional shampoos. I wasn’t quite prepared for this. At first, I poured it into my hands … and watched as the product seeped through my fingers and into the drain. Fail (on my part)! I poured some more into my palms, tried rubbing them together … but there was very little lather. Fail! I tried pouring it into my hand and quickly tossing it over my hair. Fail! Okay, call me slow on this one, but on my final try, I just held my head back and tipped the bottle over my hair. Whala (voila)! I could feel it seeping into my scalp. I poured it onto the top of my hair several times, then worked it throughout my scalp. Perfect!

Please note: The label already addresses the consistency of this product … I just happened to skip reading it and wasted a lot of product in doing so. According to the label, “it is in a watery form so no thickening agents have been added.” Very true. In fact, it feels as if the shampoo isn’t doing anything, which is what I initially assumed. I ended up pouring extra amounts—certainly more than what was needed—on my hair, since I assumed that it still wasn’t clean. Once again, there is no lather from this shampoo or dryness to my hair, as with regular shampoo, so this threw me off.

Yet, the shampoo must have worked because afterwards my hair felt soft. This product definitely did not strip away my natural oils, as promised. It also absorbed well into my hair. I just had a tough time gauging whether or not work was done (due to its lack of drying properties) and how much of it is needed. You may not experience this, but remember this is what happened to my curly mane.

5. Moisture & Feel:  Even before I proceeded to condition my hair, my hair felt soft and moisturized.

6. Look:  Alikay Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo is dark brown in color and has a thin, liquid consistency. As for my hair, its appearance was typical of what it looks like after washing. However, I lost much less hair than I do when using regular shampoo. I’m pretty sure this is because regular shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which like a detergent, strips away natural oils from hair, thereby drying it out and leading to breakage.

Survey Says: While this won’t necessarily upstage my other products, I’m not opposed to revisiting it. I still like to use a little something that will clarify, but you can always add that type of product to your routine. Alikay Naturals may actually have something similar in their line. I’m comfortable recommending this to you, particularly for curlies suffering at the hands of traditional shampoos. Just use my suggested application tip, so you don’t waste the product and save dollars!

HONEY AND SAGE DEEP CONDITIONER

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

1. Price: Approximately$15 for an 8 oz. jar

2. Key Ingredients: honey, sage, coconut oil extracts, extra virgin olive oil, wheat protein, behentrimonium methosulfate  (rapeseed oil), silk amino protein, rice bran oil, eucalyptus oil, babassu oil, herbal and botanical blend. No: petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, paraben, sulfate, silicones (“bad” guy alert again!)

As written on the label, “honey attracts water to hair then locks in moisture in each strand. Sage is proven to prevent hair loss and thicken hair. Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds shine and softness.” If you subscribe to My Curly Mane, you’ll know that I briefly touched upon the use of honey for hair. It is a humectant, attracting moisture to hair. Not to mention, when you eat it, honey boosts the immune system.

I did a double take when reading that this deep conditioner also contains babassu oil, which is new to me. Upon further research, I discovered that babassu (say that three times!) is a vegetable oil that grows in the South American Amazon. It is a non-drying emollient that has similar properties as coconut oil and is often recommended for soap makers.

3. Scent: The Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner smells like minty bubble gum, reminiscent of Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme. This may be credited to the inclusion of Eucalyptus Oil. While I’m not a fan of minty hair products, this product is ideal for those of you who adore this aroma. I also wasn’t thrill with the smell of my hair when blow dried (I have a sensitive sniffer) but to each their own.

4. Application: This product is thiiiick, so you’ll need to rake, smooth, and work the product into your hair. I tested this two ways. The first time I left the deep conditioner in my hair for 15 minutes with a shower cap over my head. I then rinsed it out of my hair. My hair felt very soft. The second time, I applied the product, covered my hair with a shower cap, and sat under a hooded dryer for 15 minutes. This worked much better and left my hair softer and even more moisturized.

5. Moisture & Feel: Once again, this deep conditioner succeeded in adding moisture to my hair. This, of course, made my curly mane cottony to touch.

6. Look: This conditioner looks like gritty oat meal and leaves behind traces of beads in the shower. I was surprised to discover that after using it, my hair was very fluffy, fuller as stated, and a bit elongated. Perhaps this is because my hair was also more hydrated.

Survey Says: This deep conditioner works pretty well. It definitely softens my hair, and I can see it coming in handy during the winter. While I don’t think it’s essential for me (we’ll see when winter comes), it may be helpful for you, particularly if your mane is recovering from heat damage or tends to be on the dry side.

 

FINAL VERDICT

These products live up to their promise. They infuse moisture into hair, which is key for hair health. I don’t think they will replace my current lineup at this point, but I’m also not opposed to using them again. I still have some of each product left over, so I will continue to use them up and update this post as needed.  Stay tuned for updates!

Of course, you won’t know how these items respond to your curly mane unless you try them yourself. I know. I know. Trial and error again. Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner can be purchase from www.blackonyxworld.com.

Have you used Alikay Naturals? If you decide to try these products or have in the past, please report back here. I’m interested in knowing your results and hair story.

Five Ways To Use A Tangle Teezer

Above: Photo of my Tangle Teezer via Instagram

About a month ago, I embarked on my usual shopping trip to CVS, which included a mini hair haul–of course! Family-sized bottle of Hello Hydration—check!  Latest hair accessory—check! However, this time I spotted the infamous Tangle Teezer. I’ve heard about this detangling brush/comb for a long while now but passed on trying it due to poor relations with the Denman Brush.

A little backstory: Years ago, I tried using the Denman D3 and the modified version of the Denman D3 (with rows removed), since many curlies were having great results. At first I fell in love with the way it clumped my hair, but I soon experienced A LOT of hair removal. Granted, my hair was still rehabbing and recovering from heat damage at the time. Still, it was too much hair loss for comfort.

After discussions at hair forums, I picked up the Denman D41, which has wider spaced bristles and is designed for afro textured hair. This worked much better, but I still lost a lot of hair, so I put it down. If you decide to try a Denman, I recommend the D41 or D31. For me, I’ll revisit this brush a little later.

No more teasing. Back to the Tangle Teezer! I stared at it, pondered what our relationship would amount to, gave it the side eye, and then … jumped in! This could either turn into a great love affair, or it can crash and burn. The only way to find out was to try. With curiosity holding onto this cat, I experimented for about two weeks and discovered five ways in which you can use the Tangle Teezer … or your Denman brush (both produced identical results on my curly mane). Oh, and as you may notice below, a little alliteration never hurt anyone!

1. Shed Shredder – Occasionally, my hair will have periods in which it will shed more than usual. This is accompanied by shed hair that catches my healthy strands, snags it, wrestles, produces knots … and has me in a fit! You too? Calm down curlie! While this requires gentle finger work and sometimes the assistance of scissors (sigh). Don’t rip those hairs out of your head!

Nay From MyCurlyMane

Above: My Curly Mane styled through a wash ‘n go and Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream (read my review). Shed hair removed via a Tangle Teezer.

Try This: Hop into the shower and apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair. Detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb, beginning at the back of your head. I use a comb first because on its own, these bristles are a little rough on my delicate tresses. Your hair may be a little more gangsta and can stand up to all brushes on its own. The only way to find out is to experiment, as always.

When done, whip out the Tangle Teezer (try not to drop this little thing, like I do!) and detangle again. I advise that you gently work your way up your strands, as opposed to brushing your hair from the scalp downwards. This method will aid in removing shed hairs. Just remember to use lots of conditioner.

2.Scalp Survivor – I usually sleep on getting my nails done and focus on my hair instead, but I recently began exploring the wonderful world of gel nail polish. I like to preserve my polish to save money and the style. Hey, a gal’s gotta be thrifty! This is when I really like to use the Tangle Teezer instead of my nails to cleanse my scalp. Here’s what you can do. In the shower, as you’re applying shampoo (optional) and/or conditioner to your hair, take your brush and massage your scalp in circular motions. The Tangle Teezer will do the job of cleaning your scalp, without the assistance of nails. I know. I know. You’re supposed to use your fingertips to wash your scalp, but I haven’t quite weaned myself off of my nails!

3. Dope Detangler – As mentioned above, you can begin the detangling process by using a wide tooth comb first. For some curly girls with tighter textures, like my sister, these brushes work wonders on their own. The Tangle Teezer can tremendously help to simplify this process.

4. Curl Clumper – For some ladies, curls are optional. They prefer poofier, undefined styles. If you like this look, skip this tip. For curl seekers, the Tangle Teezer is your friend. This brush makes curls clump and pop. Unfortunately, it also makes my hair shrriiiink! You can combat this by stretching your hair, using a blow dryer.

5. Style Supporter – As you’re applying products onto your hair, use the Tangle Teezer to aid in the application and removal of excess product. This brush also smooths tresses, which is perfect when doing braid-outs or twist-outs. How so? The Tangle Teezer produces sleeker strands, which helps with manipulating and shaping your hair into styles.

As mentioned, the Tangle Teezer and/or Denman D41 Volumizing Brush don’t have to be used solely for brushing. They can come in handy in other ways. It just may take some play time before you find a technique that works for you.

Are you using a Tangle Teezer or Denman? How are you using it and what have been your results?

Product Review: Eco Styler Gels

 We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right. Live your life with class, dignity, and style so that an exclamation, rather than a question mark signifies it” ~  Gary Ryan Blair

Eco Styler Gel

From bottom to top: Eco Styler Styler Protein, Eco Krystal, and Eco Curl and Wave.

At some point in your hair journey, you may embark on an endless quest for the ideal hair product. You will most likely cross a bridge from the land of puddings to a field of hair gels. Even more challenging, this field includes a vast plain called Eco Styler Gel. Have no fear! My Curly Mane is here as your guide.

Eco Styler Gel comes in a variety of rainbow-colored lines geared towards a wide range of hair needs – from color-treated tresses to active, sporty manes. Some variations even contain argan and olive oil, and each gel type has a holding strength that ranges from 1 to 10 (the strongest hold). From my experience and those of my friends, Eco seems to works for different hair types and styles. It can be used for braid/twist-outs, wash-and-go’s, or to “get that hairline laid!” LOL!

If you read my hair story, you’ll know that I first became acquainted with Eco Styler Protein Gel as the “black gel” that saved my life. I used Eco for several years until my foray into straightening addiction. Once I tried to embrace my curls again, Eco didn’t give me the results I desired due to my poor hair health and improper routine for wearing my hair out (as opposed to my former trademark afro pigtails).

With a 32oz jar of Eco Protein still decorating my bathroom cabinet (it’s crowded in there!) and one curlie’s questions about the gel (yes, I’m looking out for ya), I decided to revisit this gel. In fact, I’m comparing three of Eco’s most popular gels:

  • Eco Styler Protein – Although it looks like “black gel” upon initial impressions, this gel is actually dark brown in color and packed with Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. It has a level 7 hold and comes in two versions—super protein (has a black lid) and regular protein (has a white lid). I’ve always used the regular version, but if your hair is really weak or desperately over moisturized (click here to read my post on moisturizing natural hair), you may want to test out the super protein version.
  • Eco Styler Krystal – This gel is clear in color and has a level 10 hold, the strongest holding level. This version was recommended to me by another curlie who gets incredible results from it … and will be featured on this site soon!
  • Eco Styler Curl and Wave – I snagged this product from the shop because of… its pretty pink color. Yeah, I admit that I’m sometimes a sucker for bells and whistles. The bonus is that this gel is specifically formulated for textured hair.  Uh, huh. There was a method to the madness. It also has a level 8 hold, one notch above my “black gel.”

Price – How much?

No need to wait til pay day or rummage through your clothes’ pockets for extra change. Eco is extremely affordable (relatively speaking). Sizes include:

  • 8 oz for approximately $1.39 – This is a prefect trial size.
  • 16 oz for approximately $2.50 – Once you’ve committed to one of the gel types, you may want to purchase this size.
  • 32 oz for approximately $4 – Okay, now you’ve gone a little haywire like me and decided you need to stock up for winter! This size is perfect if the product works for you and you’re not prone to switching or experimenting with other products. It’s also ideal if you are traveling overseas and can’t find this gel, going away for college, or just dislike frequent shopping trips.

Ingredients –What’s in this stuff?

Hard to believe but Eco’s formulation appears to be quite simple, and it is water-based (1st ingredient in the list).

Ingredients are: Water, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PVP, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Love and Pride (nice). This product is free from:sulfates, silicones, and alcohol.

Take caution if you are:

  • Protein sensitive
  • Need to UV protect your mane (try the Krystal or Curl and Wave versions)
  • Health conscious -According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are moderate concerns for allergies and immunotoxicity and low concerns relating this product to cancer. Click here to read more from EWG.

Scent – Run or relish?

Overall, Eco has a light scent, but each product line differs.

  • Protein (black/brown version) – It smells like yummy grape. This is my favorite out of the three.
  • Krystal (clear version) – With this, fresh laundry or soap comes to mind. Ranks #2.
  • Curl and Wave (pink version) – Think of chemically infused strawberry gum … if there is such a thing. This is my least favorite out of the group.

Application – How to work it?

Eco Styler Gel

Top left: Day 1 of using Eco Styler Protein on my curly mane. Top right: Day 2 of using Eco. Note the increased volume. Bottom: Day 3 with Eco.

1st Day

  1. Start with freshly washed hair.
  2. Smooth the leave-in conditioner of choice through your hair. I like to use Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner and concentrate my efforts on my ends. Some curlies skip this process, but my hair dries out easily so I use a leave-in. Plus, it helps to soften the gel.
  3. Start at back of head and smooth gel onto hair in sections. I use the good old fashioned rake and smooth technique. This consists of literally raking the gel through a section of hair and then smoothing it down the shaft. This helps to remove excess product and encourage curl clumping and formation.
  4. Optional: Smooth gel on hairline to enhance overall look.
  5. Do not touch!
  6. You can air dry, but I like to blow dry my hair for predictable results. When doing so, I direct the dryer down my hair shaft and do not shake my hair about. It’s only when my hair is more than half way dry that I begin to slightly separate the hair, so I can dry the roots.
  7. Once nearly dried, I lightly tug on my hair and blast the air at my roots. This is in an effort to stretch my hair/gain some length.
  8. Once fully dried, your hair will look crunchy. If this is your desired look, you’re all done! If you’re going for a softer look, this is when you will need to scrunch out the crunch. Remember to wait until your hair is completely dried. This may be right after blow drying up until 30 minutes afterwards. Literally take clumps of hair and gently scrunch your hair. You’ll note the floating particles of product as the gel cast (crystalize coating) leaves your hair. This is also when I like to separate and fluff my hair.

Guess what. I’ve been skipping oils on the 1st day and had great results, but this may be the result of my oil infused leave-in. As always, you will need to experiment and adjust to suit your hair needs.

To preserve this look, I pineapple my hair overnight, literally piling my hair at the tippidity top of my head like a unicorn. I also sleep on a satin pillow case.

2nd Day

  1. Take down hair. I like to tie my hair back in a scrunchie while I apply my makeup.
  2. Smooth oil over the hair.
  3. To help your hair hang down further and gain some length, briefly blow dry your hair on a warm setting. I also apply the tug and stretch method to gain length.

That’s it. You’re good to go. During this day, your hair will have greater volume = big hair!

To preserve this look, see the steps above.

3rd Day

Repeat the steps used on day 2. Your hair will be even bigger!

This product lasts me for 3 days. Afterwards, my curls are bit frizzy and dull. You can co-wash, as the gel can be easily removed. However, I like to use a moisturizing shampoo and start again with a clean slate. Plus, I’ve noticed that there is a slight build up on my scalp when using this. I think this is the actual product, as I apply it close to the scalp.

Moisture & feel – The goodies?

My Curly Mane with Eco Styler Protein Gel.

All Eco gels are smooth to the touch. If you rub it between your fingers, it feels moisturizing. It does dry slightly tacking on the hands. On my hair, I don’t find it very moisturizing, although the ingredients include glycerin. If you are seeking a more moisturizing product, I recommend aloe vera gel or just layer this over a leave-in.

Also, this gel does not give you a producty feel. However, your hair will still feel slightly crunchy. It is a gel, after all. ;)

Look – Thumbs up or down?

For me, Eco does a great job of defining my hair. It does not flake when paired with my leave-in, although it can react with other brands. This will take some play to get the right combo for you. As mentioned prior, my curly mane is shinier on the first day in its crunchy form. Once scrunched, my curly mane is slightly dull. Try oils to assist with obtaining sheen. If applied properly, Eco also does not make your hair frizzy.

When comparing Eco Protein, Krystal, and Curl and Wave, I find little difference among them. Krystal dries hair very hard, so I place this one in second place. Curl and Wave tends to cause the most shrinkage out of the group, coming in third place. Eco Styler Protein reacts best to my curly mane, providing the best of all needs—length, definition, volume, and 3rd day hair!

With such great results, Eco is shaking up my hair routine. I’ve been using this more often than aloe vera gel. I’ll let you know how it stacks up in the cooler months and against other products. Hmmm … perhaps it just might make for a solid entry into another Hair/Product Battle! Stay tuned!

UPDATED (1-9-13): I’ve been using Eco Krystal more regularly than the Protein version. You can’t go wrong with these gels. Check out how Eco Styler Gel stacks up against Fantasia IC Gel in my latest Hair Battle!

Tangle Tamer: A Review of Beautiful Textures’ Leave-in Conditioner

Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in ConditionerPop! Bounce! Sway! That’s the sound of my tresses doing their dance the minute they’re caressed by Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner. I have used this leave-in consistently for the last month, and … I am a fan of this product!  Attention! Attention! Here lies a product that actually lives up to its promise. Yes, curlies. We have lift-off.

Here’s the rundown. A few months ago, I discovered Beautiful Textures on a trip to one of my go-to beauty supply stores (BBS). I entered the store with the intention of purchasing my previous staple, Silicon Mix’s Leave-in Conditioner. I turned the corner toward the Dominican section. You know the aisle with Lacio Lacio, La Bomba, and the other major Dominican players?

Well, on my way towards that area, I heard audio coming from another aisle. I walked over and was nearly blinded by a sea of bright yellow and orange. The colorful packaging of Beautiful Textures’ entire product line was on display, accompanied by a looping video of apparent biracial women swinging their pretty curly manes (some curls looked much better than the others that were featured).

Why biracial babes? Beautiful Textures is marketed as being “for mixed textures,” which made me pause and question if any of the products would work for tighter textures like my own. I also questioned the quality of the packaging and some of the model’s hair, but that lasted for a minute, as my curiosity and product junkism reared its ugly head again. Within a few seconds of scanning the product line, I swiped the Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner (approximately $6), Curl Control Defining Pudding, and Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Créme—all of which I will review just for you!

Let’s begin today by focusing on the Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner. I’m still surprised to admit that I’m hooked on this bad boy! Yes, I have fallen hard, but I don’t want to be too hasty! I’ve got to let the love affair take its steady course. ;)

Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner has a thick, creamy consistency, so gauge your application according to your strands. I apply a generous amount to my freshly washed hair, basking in its fruity scent. Not to worry. The smell isn’t overpowering, at least not for me. If it does bother you, take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t linger for long.

The minute the cream touches my hair, it melts into it. I instantly notice a difference. My strands curl and spring into place, easily becoming defined. This isn’t a chemical reaction. Rather, it’s my hair soaking up the yummy goodness that the leave-in provides. The slippage this product gives is amazing. It allows me to easily separate my curls for finger combing and styling. It also works well with my stylers (aloe vera gel included), possibly even enhancing them.

While the distribution is impressive, this tangle tamer clearly nourishes my tresses from the inside out. After using it, my hair is much softer and moisturized compared to other products. In case you don’t already know, naturally curly hair thrives with moisture. Without it, you’ll quickly spiral into the land of hair breakage.

This product is jam packed with oils upon oils as well as aloe vera gel, which my hair loves. Other ingredients include: Aqua, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olive Oil, Argania Spinosa Nut Oil/Argan Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit/Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/Mango Butter, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract/Aloe Vera, Dimethicone, Panax Ginseng Root Extract/ Ginseng Extract, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Glycerin, DMDM Hydantoin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Phenyl Trimethicone, CI 15985/Yellow 6, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, d-Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Lyral, Methyl Ionone Gamma.
It is free from: paraben and protein.

Beautiful Textures’ product line, as seen at my local beauty supply store. Can you spot the sea of orange, yellow, and blue?

Pull the brakes! If your hair hates oils and aloe vera, sadly, this one may be a no go for you. Stick with whatever product your hair likes best and ignore me … well, just this once! LOL!

I really do hope that someday there will be one miracle product that fits all curlies, and we can skip along together, curls bouncing along into the sunset. Of course, that would mean that all of our curly manes would be the same, and what a boring world that would be!

Beautiful Textures has finally launched its Web site. You can learn more about the product line and catch those videos that piqued some of my interest by visiting: http://www.beautifultextures.com

Product Battle: Miss Jessie’s vs. III Sisters of Nature

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” ~ Sun Tzu

With tons of theatrics and a classic performance by the Spice Girls (sadly no signature natural curls by Scary Spice), the summer Olympics came to a close. Sniffle, sniffle. The games will be missed. In honor of all the stellar athletes who inspired and amazed us, I present to you another epic Hair Battle!

On the left, we have Miss Jessie’s Original Curly Pudding. This all-star has been saving many a curlies’ tresses by offering a variety of styling options. Some have regarded it as among the best curly hair products. From spiraling twist-outs to bouncing shingles, this product delivers. According to Miss Jessie’s packaging, “This curl creme was specifically formulated to stretch out and elongate your curls for soft, maximum curl definition. Amazing for natural curls, kinks & waves, finger styling, TWAs, coiling, transitioning, kinky weaves and more. Excellent for combating curl shrinkage!”

On the right, we have III Sisters of Nature Curly Whip Pudding. Marketed as comparable to Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, this newcomer has a few tricks up its sleeves. According to its packaging, “III Sisters of Nature Curly Whip Pudding is formulated to bring dull, frizzy and tight curls to life with moisture, shine, and length. Our cleaner and natural blends are reduced to the smallest molecule for maximum penetration and definition of curls, waves and twists, and kinks. Compare to the more expensive brand and save.” This knockoff is an all natural curly hair product.

On left: Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. On right: III Sisters of Nature Curly Whip Pudding.

Remove the packaging; open the jars; and you’ll notice that both products are nearly identical. But are they really? Let’s put them to the test.

The Rules

Both products will be measured according to My Curly Mane’s criteria. A full point will be given for successful completion of each category. A half point will be given for satisfactory results. The categories are: price, ingredients, scent, application, look, feel, and the wild card—ability to produce second day hair. Final scores can range from zero to 7 (perfect) points.

Let’s get ready to battle!

1. Price

  • Miss Jessie’s = approximately $22
  • III Sisters of Nature =  $13

There’s not much of a battle here when it comes to price. III Sisters has purposely set its price point much lower than Miss Jessie’s. As a result, the sisters easily skip and twirl their way to a quick and easy full point.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 0 /Total = 0

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total = 1

 2. Ingredients

Once you learn how to understand product ingredients, it will save you a lot of headaches … and money! Here’s the breakdown on our contenders:

  • Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding contains mineral oil aka parafinium liquidum, which can either dry out your hair or help it to maintain moisture. You will need to shampoo your hair to remove the mineral oil. Typically, mineral oil doesn’t affect my hair, but I’ve noticed that this is changing as my hair grows. When using this product, my hair tends to shed. I’ve even had whole strands come out while washing the product out of my hair! However, I’m hesitant to write this off, as Curly Pudding saved me while I was rehabbing my curly mane. I didn’t have this problem when my hair was shorter. Instead, I’m advising you to pay close attention to your hair when using this product.

My curly mane’s definition with Miss Jessie’s (on left) and III Sisters of Nature (right).

Curly Pudding (unscented) also contains water, parafinium liquidum, glycerin, dipropylene glycol, Ordenone™ Triethanolamine, carbomer, PEG-12 dimethicone, wheat amino acids, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, avocado oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, macademia seed oil, oleth05, ethylhexyl methoxycinnanate, disodium EDTA, DMDM hydantoin, lodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

Pros: This product is free of sulfate and paraben

  • III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whipped Pudding prides itself on being naturally made.

Curly Whipped Pudding contains Deionized Water (Aqua),Polyquaternium 10 and PEG 14, Glycerol, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG 33 and PEG 8 Dimethicone, Triethanolamine, Sodium Polyacrylate and Ethylhexylstearate Trideceth-6, Fragrance (Parfum), Aloe Extract ( Aloe Barbadensis), Soybean Oil (Glycine Soja), Babassu Oil (Orbignya Oleifera), Honey, Macadamia Nut Oil (Macadamia Ternifolia), Papaya Extract (Carica), Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissma), Bay Laurel Extract (Lauris Nobilis), Sweet Almond Extract (Prumus Amygdalus), Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis).

Pros: As written on the label, Curly Whip Pudding is a “natural product containing no alcohol, no waxes, no silicones, no petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens, formaldehyde, carbomer, gimmicks, and hype. Just style and savings.”

It’s just hard to beat anything that delivers in the style department and contains all natural ingredients. III Sisters takes a leap towards another full point.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 0.5 /Total = 0.5

The view from the back of my curly mane with Miss Jessie’s (on left) and III Sisters (on right).

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total = 2

 3. Scent

  • Miss Jessie’s pudding has a strong, signature smell reminiscent of grape flavored bubble gum. Love it or hate it, you definitely won’t miss it. You can probably smell Curly Pudding from a mile away, which is just too much for my sensitive sniffer. The good news is that Miss Jessie’s is aware of this potential headache-inducing trait and provides an unscented version, which I prefer to use.
  • III Sisters smells … the same! Since they’re strategically competing against Miss Jessie’s, the sisters must realize that some people do enjoy Curly Pudding’s scent in doses. They’ve formulated their pudding as a lighter scented version. You’ll still get the grape candy smell, except the nasal volume is turned down a notch.

Despite their similar aroma, Miss Jessie’s stands out by offering an unscented version, earning a full point.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 1 /Total = 1.5

III Sisters
Point = 0.5 / Total = 2.5

4. Application

Both products are applied in the same way–on damp, freshly washed hair. They each have a thick, cake batter consistency, which is what I love about puddings. They just seem to work better for braid-outs and twist-outs (with the exception of aloe vera gel). The difference lies in their penetration. Miss Jessie’s coats my hair strands, while III Sisters lightly absorbs into the hair shaft, causing less product build up and feel (see details below). III Sisters gets the edge.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 0.5/Total = 2

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total = 3.5

The look of my curly mane’s 2nd day results with Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding (on left) and III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whip Pudding (on right).

 5. Look

I have not used these items for wash and gos, as I would go through them much more quickly than desired … particularly given the costs. If used for braid-outs or twist-outs, both products will amaze you. They produce mirror image results–shiny, defined styles. The only difference is that my braid-outs with Miss Jessie’s have more shrinkage on the 1st day (see attached photo), while III Sisters gives me a softer, more relaxed hold. For their identical results, these twins somersault their way to a full point.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 1/Total = 3.5

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total = 4.5

6. Moisture & Feel

This is where the two find their individuality.

Moisture

Second day hair results with Miss Jessie’s (on left) and III Sisters (on right).

Miss Jessie’s requires the use of its Baby Butter Creme to maintain moisture. I have had hits and misses with this one, as it (combined with the pudding) leaves my hair feeling oily and weighed down by waaaay too much product. III Sisters makes my hair a bit more moisturized on its own, but this may be credited to its natural ingredients.

Feel

I can definitely feel Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding on my hair, as it also coats my hands when running my fingers through my hair. III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whip Pudding gives a similar, but lighter coating.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 0.5/Total = 4

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total =5.5

 7. Wild Card/Tie Breaker: Second day hair

You can get second day hair with both products, provided that you pineapple (gather your hair at the very top of your head) the night before, re-braid or re-twist your hair, or stuff your hair in a satin cap. I have to admit, I prefer my second day hair results with III Sisters because my hair isn’t as oily or masked by products. It’s also a bit more elongated.

Miss Jessie’s
Point = 0.5/Total = 4.5 out of 7

III Sisters
Point = 1 / Total =6.5 out of 7

And the winner is: III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whipped Pudding! This newbie has surprisingly taken the medal from Gymnastics Artthe champ.

If you are looking for a product that will deliver on the look (and don’t mind the scent), both products serve that purpose. As I mentioned before, Miss Jessie’s has saved this curlie many a times (specifically Curly Pudding and Quick Curls). I still have 3 full jars of Curly Pudding in my stash, so you will see its cameo in my routine. However, when it comes down to look AND feel AND hair health, III Sisters wins the gold.

UPDATED 6-10-13: III Sisters of Nature’s Curly Whipped Pudding is renamed as its Spiral Pudding.

Nay’s Product Staples

MyCurlyMane.com Product Staples

Nay’s All-Star Products in June 2012

Click here to view the most recent products that I am using and recommend.

All-Star products that I consistently use are indicated by an asterisk*. You can find my product reviews on this blog.

If you are interested in purchasing items, click on the links below. If you’ve tried these items, please share your thoughts, tips, and experiences!

Shampoos:

Conditioners:

  •  Herbal Essence Hello Hydration*
  •  Herbal Essence Hydralicious

Leave-ins:

Stylers:

  • Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls
  • Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding
  • Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream
  • Fantasia Polisher Gel With Sparkles 16 oz. Olive Oil
  • UPDATE (9-22-12): I now adore Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel*and have great results with Eco Styler Gel*

Oils & Butters

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