BLACKSTRANDS

Long Term Relationship Leave-In

ah zut/ flickr

I think I’m in love :)

I waited a while to do a post on this, because I wanted to use LTR leave-in for awhile – plus, I knew it wasn’t an all natural (or even a semi-natural) product. I didn’t want to vouch for a temporary moisturizer that eventually dries your hair out.

I found out this wasn’t the case at all.

For me, this leave-in has served its purpose — then some.

It’s a great “base” product after you’ve washed, and before  you add your normal styling product to define/hold curls.

I’ve added this to my regimen actually: I wash/condition, moisturize with LTR leave-in, seal with coconut oil – then styles as desired.

It comes in a little pump bottle, is the consistency of lotion, smells great, and leaves my hair soft EVERY TIME. It’s imperative to find a great light, leave-in to use under styling products like gel (mousse, pomades, etc) to keep your hair from hardening or drying out!

This isn’t a natural/organic product, but I find that just like the Hello Hydration conditioner, my hair loves this Herbal Essence product too! I’ve also tried the Long Term Relationship conditioner and its pretty nice as well (although I prefer Hello Hydration).

I’ve also used this leave-in (mixed in a spray bottle with water), to do ponytail roller sets when I want to straighten without direct heat/ flat irons.

I sprayed each section with the mix, rolled my hair, got under the hooded dryer, and the LTR  leave-in left my straightened hair soft and smelling awesome — as usual!

I’ll be sharing the results of my ponytail roller set soon – did it a couple months ago and intend to try it again in the near future.

In the meantime, I definitely give this product the thumbs up.

:: Grow On ::

Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Reviews: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream

beautifulcataya/ flickr

This stuff really is awesome….but I have to be honest – I haven’t used this product for any of the things I thought I would. I originally purchased this to moisturize my hair during the winter and to possibly use for braidouts.

While it does soften my hair and moisturize it, I’ve been religiously using it on my scalp. This winter weather has been kind of hard on my hair, and I’ve had to tweak my normal routine a lot. And one of the most annoying issues I’ve had is  dry/irritated scalp. This was one situation that my coconut oil couldn’t remedy (Trust me, I tried).

I decided to try the burdock root cream on my scalp one day, and after a few minutes my scalp irritation had completely died down. Very soothing. My grandma has even been using it on her scalp and she loves it too.

Later I researched the benefits of burdock root oil extract – and I found out that its a great natural remedy for a number of scalp conditions.

If you’ve been struggling with scalp dryness or irritation this winter (or its a reoccuring issue for you in general), I’d highly suggest you try this. A major plus, is that you could always use it to moisturize too.

Ingredients from QB site:

Contains Pure Mediterranean Olive Oil for softness and emollience, extracts of Burdock Root, Nettle Leaf, Oatstraw and Wheat for their conditioning, scalp nourishing, shine enhancing and hair growth properties. Vegetable glycerin for its humectancy and MSM sulfur for nourishment and healthy hair growth.

:: hope this helps ::

Filed under: Reviews, , , , , ,

Reviews: Hana Elite Flat Iron

bloomsberries/ flickr

My verdict on the Hana Elite 1″ iron…

Grade : A –

Pros:

– lightweight iron; easy to do styles like  flips, curls, spirals, etc

– adjustable heat setting; heats quickly

– NO smoky or burning smell even on high settings (I ironed on about 370-375 degrees)

– straightens hair and gives it a silky/shiny finish. With previous irons, I would could get very straight hair (FHI platform) but not as much shine and swing.

– You can hold onto the plates; ample covering. With my Sedu, for instance, I would nearly burn my fingers when I wanted to hold the plates to style, because of the thin casing that enclosed the plates.

– 100% ceramic plates; important because you don’t have to worry about ceramic coating that eventually wears off – this could create “hot spots” that could fry/burn your hair.

– Two year warranty

Possible Drawback:

– Kind of pricey, but I think its worth it, considering the price of some other 100% ceramic irons on the market (i.e. like the FHI Runway)

Overall Opinion:

Worth the money because of the results, ease in straightening (took me 45  mins, instead of the normal 1.5 hrs) and added protection of 100% ceramic plates. I didn’t give it an A or A+ because I haven’t tried other irons that are comparable models of the Hana Elite.  Currently, this iron beats out the others in my possession. I’m very pleased with the results :)

Results/ Pics – taken same time as my hair comparison pics – all done with the Hana Elite :)

Filed under: My Hair, Reviews, , ,

Solia Flat Iron Results: Before and After

mhm. work.

my sister/hair model

I know, I know,  its been too long.

Let’s pause and share a big e-hug…

<3 <3 <3

NOW, there’s lots and lots I’ve been wanting to share over the last month or so, and one of the first things I want to post is my solia flat iron before and after. (No, I didn’t forget).

My sister was kind enough to play along as a hair model for me lol (she actually loves this kinda of stuff), and I actually preferred styling someone else’s hair vs. my own for a number of reasons…

One, being that I’ve started jogging/running and my hair would not withstand being straight for long with all the sweating.

Two, I just haven’t been in the mood to straighten my hair period. (btw my transition is coming along wonderfully. I’m now in my 7th month post- relaxer YAY!)

And the third reason being that I wanted to be able to really see everything to give my opinion of the it’s performance.

So, let’s do more showing and less telling.

FYI – My sister is pretty much fully natural, she’s transitioned for over a year now and has trimmed off just about all her relaxed ends….Her hair looks fab!

BEFORE PICS:

Alex with only coconut oil applied to her damp/ freshly washed hair

Alex with only coconut oil applied to her damp/ freshly washed hair.

Alex during the drying process...

Alex during the drying process...

Fully blow dried and sprayed/prepped with heat protectant

Fully blow dried and sprayed/prepped with heat protectant


AFTER PICS:

After I flat ironed her hair with the solia on about 350 degrees/heat (it took less than an hour)

After I flat ironed her hair with the solia on about 350 degrees/heat (it took less than an hour)

just for fun...and yes she was swinging her hair lol

just for fun...and yes she was swinging her hair lol

mhm. work.

mhm. I should set up shop.

My say:

After I turned on the solia, it got hot in about 30 seconds and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. The highest heat setting is 450 degrees, but that’s definitely way too hot for anyone IMO, whether natural or relaxed. For me, I’d say it was a great buy.The only criticism I have is that the iron is a little heavier than most I’ve used (not really that serious), but I have read  some reviews that claim the Chi flat iron to be more light-weight. Overall, I’d say I’m highly pleased with this flat iron though :O)

Alex’s say:

She liked that she “couldn’t feel the heat at all”  (near her scalp) while I was styling her hair. In her opinion, the iron keeps the heat “contained,” plus she likes the fact that her hair doesn’t smell burnt afterwards. Overall, she says she’d recommend the solia and is pleased with the results vs. those she’s had with cheaper irons.

:: Happy Styling ::

Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized, , ,

A BUY THAT’S WORTH IT: NOURISH AND SHINE

Nourish and Shine - from the Jane Carter Solution line

I think I’ve been using Nourish and Shine long enough to give it my official stamp of approval. This product is well worth the $22 (in my opinion), because the ingredients are great and you can use it to your heart’s content for just about everything.

It’s great for your hair, skin, feet – and a dab will do you. This stuff is concentrated, so the jar should last you for quite a spell. I usually use this after I wash my hair, to seal in moisture. It has a kind of strong grapefruity smell, but its actually pretty pleasant, as a small amount should be sufficient. This stuff moisturizes well — within a few minutes you will probably notice the absorption – and softer hair (or skin).

While doing some research for a story a while back, I actually spoke with a dermatologist about great natural products.  Believe it or not, the Director of the Skin of Color Center in NY, Andrew F. Alexis,  recommended this product! I couldn’t help but to interrupt with, “I just started using that!” lol

With that said, even though money is tight, I would give this product two thumbs up. It definitely makes the cut for my ultimate buys list.

The ingredients??

Shea butter, Kokum butter, Illippe butter, Mango butter, Vitamins A, D, & E, pear and grapefruit essential oils.

Where can you get it?

Jane Carter Solution

my well-used jar of goodness

my well-used jar of goodness

For any of you that may be wondering about the product’s size and consistency, I took some bootleg pictures with my Samsung  ;O>

If you’re going to dish out the dough, you should know what to expect in some respect.

Like I said, a couple of dabs should do (for your hair)

Like I said, a couple of dabs should do!

:: Hope this helps ::

Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized, , ,