(SMH)

Okay, so by now y’all probably realize I’m a huge fan of LUSH hair products. I won’t live without their Jungle Conditioner and I will continue to use their Jasmine & Henna Fluff Eaze Hairmask, but I am deeply disappointed in their H’Sua Wen Hua Hair Moisturizer. I’d gotten lots of feedback from LUSH fans that if I liked the Jasmine & Henna hair treatment, I’d love the H’Sua Wen Hua. Not!

Similar to Jasmine & Henna Fluff Eaze, this hair treatment comes in a cute little black pot. If you have hair like me, you’ll think you just wasted your money for what you’ll assume is for one hair treatment. But, to LUSH’s credit, you can get about 3 treatments per pot. And, if you’re fortunate to live near a LUSH store, you can trade in five empty pots for free product!
H’Sua Wen Hua looks and smells great, is thick, goopy and creamy. It contains egg, bay leaf, watercress, banana, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lanolin, rosemary, cinnamon and lecithin-just to name a few. Obviously, this is a very nutritious treat for your hair. I just wish it’d done something tangible to mine!
I used it as a deep conditioning steam treatment, but my hair felt no different compared to when I use a Cholesterol conditioner-based treatment. Yes my hair was soft, but that’s about the extent of any outward benefits I saw. It didn’t even smell as heavenly as it does after a Jasmine & Henna Fluff Eaze treatment. So, as hard as it is for me to do this to a LUSH product, I have to give this two coils down.
There are other LUSH hair products I’d like to try, but the price can be a little steep. Fortunate for me (and you), LUSH is offering three hair care packages for just $24.95!!!!! Pick up your own “Head Case” package at http://www.lushusa.com/shop/hair-to-hair/. Meanwhile, I’m going to be trying out the “Volume & Shine” package…not for it’s purported benefits, but for the ingredients.

Miracle in a Jar

I’ve been sporting a two-week old bantu knot out. Even though I’m dealing with a health issue, my hair was in dire need of washing. My curls still looked great and needed little maintenance the past two weeks, but my hair (especially my roots) was feeling a little like felt. Product build-up and single-strand knots do not a pretty picture make.

So, to make the process go as quickly as possible due to limited mobility and lots of pain, I doused my head with the old tried and true, Mane ‘n Tail Detangler. I’ve used this off and on over the years, but never really gave it a second thought. Now, I’ve decided to give this a second chance. My hair was super snarled and gnarly, but this product made the detangling process smooth, easy and fast. In fact, I was so impressed, I think I’ll be keeping this around. So, Mane ‘n Tail Detangler, two coils up for you!

As promised earlier, I decided to wash my hair with this. This retails for $30+ in some places, but when I saw it on sale for dirt cheap, I had to take the plunge. Who could resist a name like “Hamadi” or a product named “Ginger Soymilk Hair Wash?” You can! As amazing as this smells, it’s crap! And, I should have known better. I’ve known all my life that my hair does not respond to clear shampoos and this is a clear shampoo.With the ingredient of soymilk, I was rather dismayed that it wasn’t a creamy shampoo but you can’t tell the difference looking at an Internet image, especially if the product’s in an amber-colored bottle. Unfortunately, this shampoo left my hair feeling like a damp cotton ball which is really too bad since I was eyeballing the Ginger Soymilk Conditioner. Sadly, I have to give this two coils down.
But, before I washed my hair, I did a deep conditioning steam treatment with Tropic Isle Living’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner, also purchased on sale. I buy and use the JBCO on a regular basis, and my significant other uses their pimiento oil treatment, so I thought it’d be nice to try as well. I don’t know how many staples one is allowed to have, but I MUST keep this on hand. It’s like cholesterol conditioner on steroids.Once you scoop out a dollop and massage it into your hair, it turns into pure oil! Combined with hot steam, my hair was scrumptious! Initially this thick cream had an overwhelming smell, not a good one either, but while steaming, my significant other said it made the room smell like sugar. Go figure! A little bit is all you need to hook your hair up. I used too much and had what looked like Jherri Curl drips everywhere. Also, follow the directions. I didn’t, but it’s recommended that this be used as a post-wash treatment. Personally, I can’t wait to try it as it was intended. And, it’d be great for a post-henna or dye treatment. This product gets two coils up.

I am NOT a Product Junkie

It’s been a hot minute, but I do want to provide a quick prequel to an upcoming post.

My Jessner peel turned out marvelously and I’m looking forward to my next treatment. So far, I am virtually blemish-free, but I still have a few things to get rid of. As a reward to myself, I switched to another cosmetic line-MAC. I was skeptical about the coverage, but their powder and concealer are more than doing their job. I can actually see my face underneath my makeup and I love it! Fortunately, I’ve found a cheap source for some of the things I want.
As for the hair, I’m on week two of wearing my fave style, the bantu knot-out. I can’t believe it’s lasting this long without doing anything to it, but it is. So, if you want to know my secret, drop me a line!
And, if any of you are tried-and-true product junkies, you are very well aware of all the holiday sales. As a result, I’ve coveted the following:
  • LUSH’s H’suan Wen Hua (not on sale but they also gave me a sample of their Reincarnate solid shampoo with henna bar)
  • Hamadi’s Ginger Soymilk Hairwash (with a handful of Shea Hair Cream and Shea Leave-in samples)
  • Tropic Isle Living’s Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner and my usual bottle of JBCO
  • Dr Adorable Inc’s 12 oz. bottles of sweet almond, jojoba and avocado oils
With a little time off during the holiday, I also took the time to clean out my “hair closet.” Much to my surprise, I found five shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley Soap and Anita Grant Rhassoul Deep Condish blocks I’d totally forgotten about. Who says Christmas in July doesn’t exist?

Update

On Day Four of my post-Jessner’s Peel, I think I’ve completed most of my peeling stage. The bulk of my skin peeled off on Day Three, leaving pink tingly patches of new skin underneath. I was a little concerned, but this morning, I don’t have tingly pink patches and my skin looks fine and is super soft. I still have a few patches of dry skin, but nothing like compared to yesterday. A co-worker thought I had food on my face my skin was peeling so badly. I just didn’t have the energy to explain the chemical peel process, but for those of you who don’t know what it is, Google it!

I also noticed that my accidental conditioner made from coconut cream concentrate curdled! So, I won’t be using that anymore (I don’t add preservatives to my homemades) and now I’m wondering if my jar of coconut cream concentrate has curdled too.
I also won’t be using Milk of Magnesia on my face anymore. Yes, it dried up the oil on my face, but it doesn’t work too well under makeup…and the reason I have breakouts in the first place is due to dry skin.
But, I’ve found an alternative cleanser and moisturizer that I love! Skin Obsession’s Face Peel cleanser and moisturizer are $5 each and they’re amazing! The cleanser looks like gel, but foams up really well (pardon the little rhyme there) and removes my makeup in one swoop! Granted, I’ve switched to Mac Cosmetic’s concealer and Studio Fix powder/foundation compared to Maybeline Dream Matte Mousse which takes some doing to wash off, I’m very pleased with this foaming gentle cleanser. I’m also digging the moisturizer as it happens to be comprised of coconut oil! Once I’m done peeling, I won’t be using it under my makeup anymore, but I will definitely use it at night. I’ll just use E.L.F.’s primer under my makeup as it prevents oil buildup and makes makeup application very quick and smooth.
Just four or five more peels to go over the next six months and I won’t have to use concealer anymore!!

Battin’ Two for Three

Hair, weight and skin are three things I’ve been wanting to improve over the past few years. I tackled my hair last summer and beat that monster, hands down. This spring, I embarked on the battle of the bulge. I initially made some headway, but fell off the wagon so hard around Memorial Day, I might need a step ladder to get back on. But, for the past 10 years, I’ve been plagued by skin issues-the dreaded adult acne!

In a decade’s time, I’ve all but ruined my face. After walking out of the office of a dermatologist who wanted to prescribe Accutane, I’ve haphazardly sought and destroyed every possible OTC acne solution….to no avail. Quite a few years ago, I took a gamble on an eBay product and it worked. The downside is I didn’t continue using it, mostly because my second go round was a failure-I literally burned my face.
Now, older and wiser, I’m going to try this product again. So, next week, courtesy of Skin Obsession, I will be using the Jessner Peel.
I’d contemplated going to day spa for this treatment, but the DIY version is only $29.99 versus $100 or more a pop for what probably will require four to six treatments. Granted I’ll resemble a Stonefish for a few days, I don’t mind as this will yield permanent, long-lasting results.
As part of my preparation, I also stumbled upon Milk of Magnesia as a potentially powerful weapon against acne. For just $4.49 a bottle (about $2 cheaper than the Philips’s brand but with the EXACT ingredient and milligrams), I’ll be dabbing a bit of this on my face to keep the oil at bay and detoxify my skin. 
If this sounds far-fetched, trust me, I thought so too while watching a YouTube video about Milk of Magnesia and acne, but check this out…http://www.buzzle.com/articles/milk-of-magnesia-for-acne.html…I think it holds some merit and is worth a shot at such a cheap price. It’s not like any other OTC acne products have worked, so why not try this one too? After all, you can’t beat the price!
And, for added measure, I created the most amazing facial cleanser and makeup remover with this!
Any coconut oil will do, but I have quite a bit of this around the house. Coconut oil contains capric and lauric acids, and Vitamin E. The acids are great for killing the bacteria that cause acne and Vitamin E oil is powerful at fading blemishes. And the smell…only one other scent in the world is better than coconut!
The oil is incredibly light and doesn’t leave a thick, greasy film on the face. And it’s the best makeup remover I’ve ever used! I’ve tried tons of facial cleansers over the years, but this is my absolute favorite. Simply put a little in the palm of your hand, massage into the skin, and wipe off with a baby wipe! For good measure, I apply the coconut oil twice but my second baby wipe is always spotless. Coconut oil removes all of my makeup (lipstick, foundation, concealer and mascara) in one fell swoop WHILE disinfecting AND moisturizing my face!

Bye Bye Hello Hydration!

I’ve had the most delicious little curls all week so I really debated washing my hair this weekend until I remembered I had two new items to try out.

My first test item was a so-called shampoo I made earlier this week. In a nutshell, I added coconut cream concentrate to my homemade creamy Castille shampoo. When I rubbed a sample into my skin, it felt so luxurious I couldn’t wait to try it out. Sadly, my “shampoo” was masquerading as a conditioner. I was a bit disappointed at first, but as I have yet to perfect a conditioner, I ultimately was quite pleased with the final results. So, two coils up for my new and VERY accidental Creamy Coconut Castille Conditioner! While it has no scent, it is perhaps the most moisturizing conditioner I’ve used thus far. And, while it also has not a lick of slip, given how soft my hair felt after using it, I think I’ve broken my slip addiction!!!!! I’m thinking this could be the new “Creamy Crack!”
As yummy as my hair felt after accidentally washing it with my new homemade conditioner, I couldn’t resist trying Jungle Conditioner from LUSH. To be fair, I did wash my hair with my homemade African Black Soap/Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo prior to giving Jungle a test drive-I’ve been waiting almost a whole week for this!
LUSH’s Jungle Conditioner is a solid conditioner bar, but I diluted mine in aloe vera juice last week to make it easier to use. It took a while to dissolve, but next time (and there will be a next time), I’m putting it in a 16 oz. bottle versus an 8 oz. bottle. Dissolved Jungle is so thick, I could hardly get it out of the bottle to use it! Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with words adequately describing how Jungle smells and feels. As for the results, OMG, Jungle had my toes curling it’s so good! My hair was super soft and smelled amazing! This most definitely is a keep and gets two coils up.
So au revoir to Hello Hydration conditioner. It was good while it lasted, but I’d be a fool to continue using a product that has all the icky things we naturalistas try to avoid now that I have TWO totally organic conditioners…and one I can even make right in my own kitchen!

Do Your Civic Duty!

It has come to my attention that the United States Air Force has a regulation, AFI36-2903 DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, which in part, discriminates against African-American women serving in the Air Force. The code was recently updated to include a bans on a common natural African-American hairstyle, which the Air Force has called “dreadlocks”. Female personnel with neat, clean, professional well-kept hair are being forced to choose between cutting their hair and treating it with chemicals to conform with this regulation which I feel unfairly and unnecessarily discriminates against African-Americans. The regulation itself does not define “dreadlocks”. This leaves women with hair that is in no means a distraction or a detriment to their duties, subject to disciplinary action.
While it is certainly reasonable that the Air Force require its personnel to wear their hair in a neat and professional manner, blanket regulations against a loosely defined manner of wearing the hair is causing undue hardship on a number of women in the Air Force. There appears to be an ignorance of the needs of African-American hair and what can be done in the way of styling the hair without either cutting it off or subjecting the hair to chemicals. Wearing the hair in a “locked” style is the only way many African-American women can wear their hair, with any length, and without having to chemically treat it or wear a wig. As long as the styles are neat, professional looking, not distracting and not hindering their ability to perform their duty, there is no reason the Air Force should require women to change their hair styles. I think the code was fine before the addition of the ban on “dreadlocks” and the addition of that ban is unnecessary. The code already states that hairstyles cannot be “faddish” and must be professional. Locked hair is not necessarily faddish nor is it necessarily unprofessional.
I would like to request that you look into this regulation and ask the Air Force to reconsider the ban of neat, clean and professional hairstyles worn by African-American women.

http://treasuredlocks.rallycongress.com/937//?m=1699167