Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Product Review: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser and Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus line. The Curl and Shine Shampoo, Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and the Curling Souffle are all on my "Holy Grail" list of products.

So when the new co-wash and frizz-free mousse (FINALLY) arrived in Target stores, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Here is my review of the newest additions to the Shea Moisture collection.

The Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser: 
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Oil*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Cetyl Esters, Kaolin Clay, Grapeseed Oil, Simmondsia chinensis seed (Jojoba) Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride (Conditioner), Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract,  Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Sorbitol Esters, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), African Black Soap Extract, Sea Salt, Rosemary Extract, Caprylyl Glycol 
*Certified Organic Ingredient

One of the first things I noticed after applying this cleanser to my hair and scalp was the yummy coconut smell. I massaged it in, and I immediately noticed the great slip. I could run my hands through my curls easily, and I found that I could finger-detangle with no problem. What really impressed me was the cleaning power: I watched the dirt from my hair and scalp slide right on down my sink drain. I could actually see the brown water rinse away! (Gross I know, but hey, it's all about getting clean hair, right?!?)

Freshly washed with NO product--dem curls are poppin'!

After rinsing my hair, my curls "popped" with new life to them. My hair and scalp felt clean but not stripped and dry. Super soft, luscious curls with no dryness...WIN!

The Frizz-Free Curl Mousse:
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Cocomidropropyl Betaine (Coconut Oil), Vegetable Glycerine, Olea  Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Oil*, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Keratin, Polyquaternium-10, Sucrose Laurate (and) Alcohol (non-drying), Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Proprietary Essential Oil Blend, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid
*Certified Organic Ingredient

Now as much as I love Shea Moisture, I was more than a little skeptical about using a mousse. Every "curl law" directed me to stay away from them because of the drying alcohol content--no good for kinks and curls. Enter in the Frizz-Free Curl Mousse made with a non-drying alcohol. Non-drying? How? I did a bit of research, and to my relief, this ingredient actually exists.

After I washed my curls with the co-wash, I used the Curl and Style Milk as my leave-in. Next, I separated my hair into six sections and applied three pumps to each (per the directions on the front label). The scent was light and identical to the cleanser...more coconut and hibiscus goodness! Then I combed it through with my wide-toothed bone comb, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easily the comb glided through my hair. Once I finished combing it through, I let it air-dry.

Final Results:
My curls were defined but not crunchy. I was very pleased with how soft my hair felt, and I did get a bit more elongation than usual (a bonus--I wasn't expecting that at all!). Most importantly, my curls DID NOT FRIZZ--unheard of in super-humid Houston!

These two products will definitely be added to my staples list. They can be found at your local Target in the "seasonal" section (generally located in the very back near the automotive section--look for paper towels and macaroni in bulk lol). My only complaint is the price point--$11.99 for an 8 oz bottle and $9.99 for a 7.5 oz bottle, respectively. I'm used to the $9.99 price point of all the other products, so that threw me for a loop. Fortunately, I didn't have to use very much at all, but longer-haired curlies might require more than the two quarter-sized handfuls I used.

Have you tried the Shea Moisture line? Let me know what you think in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading this tidbit from The TiffNic Basket!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Natural Kind of Black Love

A woman's hair is her crowning glory, and naturalistas embrace that label with pride. But what about the men in our lives who watch us wash, condition, and care for our tresses? Do they love our hair the way we do?

Fortunately, I've been blessed to marry a man who has encouraged me on every step of this hair journey so far. He loves my curly mane, and he reaps the benefits of supporting my choice in our marriage. We are proud to show what Black love means to us by how we conduct ourselves in our marriage, and he fully embraces my natural hair. Here's the story of us, as well as tips for encouraging your significant other to share the natural love.

My husband Darmon and I met almost 11 years ago, and we clicked almost instantly. As our relationship grew more serious, he'd often ask questions about the hours I'd spend in the salon getting my hair done. One day while watching me wince in the bathroom from fresh chemical burns, he asked, "Why do you do this to yourself? Why not just wear your hair natural?" Now, back in the olden days of the early 2000s, I couldn't fathom not slapping a perm on this mane! I brushed him off time and time again with lame excuses, but he didn't stop asking.

Fast forward to 2011: needing a drastic change, I cut my long, relaxed hair into a short bob. Hubby told me how sexy my new cut was, but after watching me collect yet another set of chemical burns, he brought up my returning to natural. This time however, I didn't shoot the idea down. By October, I was ready to give up the creamy crack for good. Although Darmon's "See, I told you!" got old really fast, he was right. Touching my natural curls for the first time changed my perspective, and it made me realize just how much I loved my Black King for loving me in my natural state.

Here are a few ways that my baby loves me and my natural hair:

He washes my hair: Lord have mercy when that man washes my curls! Not only do I feel extra pampered, our weekly "hair appointment" helps us to build intimacy and trust between one another.

He gives his honest opinion on styles that I try, and he encourages me not to give up after yet another twist-out goes awry!

He asks questions: It's important to understand that whether you're aware of it or not, your man travels on your natural journey right along with you. I will answer any question he asks because I know he cares enough to want to know more.

He compliments my hair on a regular basis: this was especially important during my transition phase. I'd stepped completely out of my comfort zone by giving up the perm, and there were days when I felt anything but beautiful, but his affirmations of my natural beauty helped to put things in focus.

These are just a few of the ways my sweetie shows his love, and he sets an example for others to follow. My husband isn't perfect by any means, but the love we share makes him perfect for me. The ways that he shows appreciation of my curls, kinks, and waves makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world... naturally.