Thursday, February 04, 2016

**REVIEW(s)** KeraCare, Marc Anthony, and SheaMoisture

No matter what type of hair we have - kinky, curly, coily, straight, fine, thick, short, or long - we know how frustrating it can be to find products that suit our individual hair care needs.

Speaking for myself, I get to try a lot of products in exchange for doing these reviews, but I also go out hunting on my own sometimes. And I also bag something... One day, I spent a gift card on 8 different hair care products from a local store. Curling creams, styling gels, polishers, conditioners... I ended up taking every last one of them back. Not one of them worked. 

By the way, my name is Trudy, and I am a product junkie.

Naturals be like:
Credit to Elle & Necie at Natural Hair Daily

That might be a bit harsh, actually. I'm not the kind to just try different products out of a bad habit. I just have trouble finding things that work, so I have to do the buy-and-return thing. Often. And, believe me, I have no trouble returning a product that doesn't work for me. (This is why I am starting to be way more careful about ordering things online if I don't already know the brand. More on that later.)

This review is for 3 different products I have recently tried. I have a few different goals when I'm looking at hair products. Since my hair is coarse and damaged, and I wear it relaxer-free, I have problems with moisture retention and breakage. For styling, I like having a gel or curl cream for twisting my hair at night (either bantu-style twists or corn-row twists), so that I have more curl definition during the day. Finally, I like good cleansing and rinse-out conditioners. I will alternate fully shampooing my hair with just massaging in then rinsing out a good conditioner, which is called "co-washing" the hair.

natural hair problems.. funny but true:
Credit to Natural Hair Problems

So far, I have a good shampoo that works well to clean my hair without stripping it. I use J,R. Liggett Moisturizing Shampoo Bar. The only thing I don't like about it is that, if any gets in my eyes, it burns like hellfire. I'd love to find a bar that works as well and doesn't have that kind of effect on the eyes. For conditioning, I have a few different favorites. I like Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle Moist for deep conditioning after a shampoo. For co-washing, I use Aussie Moist 7-in-1 conditioner. For deep conditioning with heat, I prefer Elasta QP Ultra Hydration or Cream Cholesteral (by Proclaim) because they are both extremely affordable and effective. The QP comes in such a huge size that I rarely have to stock up. With the Proclaim, I add water and shake the container to thin it out because less works better, plus this gives me a higher yeild of product.

With the cleaning and conditioning covered, what I still needed was somthing to use as 1) a daily leave-in conditioner and, 2) a moisturizing, non-sticky, non-greasy feeling cream for doing my twists. I was hoping for products that would be both affordable and effective, but I was willing to pay more depending on quality.

Recently, I tried out 3 products and am only unhappy with one. Let me back up and say that I am extremely happy with 2 of the products and supremely unhappy with 1 product. (On top of being unhappy with it, I'm irritated at the process required to return it. But, again, more on that in a moment.)

Let's start with the positive.

I found a wonderful daily leave-in conditioner that works even on my dangerously dry hair. It's this one by KeraCare:

The photo from the BeautyClicks page is better than mine...

I love this stuff. It's light, but very, very moisturizing. I only have to use the smallest amount. What I like to do is apply it to the roots of my hair just before I take down my twists. Once I have the twists down, I apply a little more of the KeraCare to any dry spots.

The thing is, KeraCare products are not cheap. This 4oz bottle is around $16. OUCH!!! But - and here is what it took me a minute to figure out - in the long run, it is much cheaper than a higher priced 16oz product I tried. And that is the one product that I loathe...

That right there is from SheaMoisture. Let me say now that SheaMoisture is one of those brands that seems to get a lot of undeserved (IMO) positive hype. Anytime I read something about natural hair, I hear "SheaMoisture is the stuff!" Bullcrap. I think the brand just has great marketing.

That leave-in by SheaMoisture was horrible. It was sticky going on and, after it dried, it felt slighty tacky to the touch. My hair might have been less dry, but I couldn't tell. The worst thing is that the price is crazy expensive for such lackluster results. (To be fair, a lot of folks seem to love SheaMoisture products. This is the second thing I've tried from them and I was underwhelmed both times. The other thing I tried was a small foil pack sample of some curl cream. Yuck. At least I didn't pay for that mess.)

I'm sending the SheaMoisture back (even though that means printing out a return label and praying I didn't toss the box it came in... ~sigh~)

I hate SheaMoisture so much that I don't want to spend anymore time discussing it. So, back to the positive.

The next product is one that I tried for the first time a long while back. I think I got the mostly empty bottle from a family member. There was only a little bit left and I loved it, but had to search for the bottle to get the brand name. It's Curl Envy 24-hour Moisture from the Marc Anthony Strictly Curls line.  At $7.99 for a 4.5oz bottle, this is super affordable. (Side mention: My dumb self, I thought that the singer Marc Anthony owned the line! "Tell me, baby girl, coz I need to know..."

What I love, love, love about this leave-in is that it's perfect for doing my twists at night. Before finding this, I was just spritzing my hair with water at night. That worked great for styling my hair, but it didn't really boost the moisture throughout the night and after I took down the twists. When I use this moisturizer, I have a lot less dryness in the morning. My routine now is to spritz my hair with water, add a little bit of this product, then do my twists. I can really feel the difference in the elasticity of my hair when I'm doing the twists. There so much less breakage and pulling. LOVE it. 

                                                 28 of Our Favorite Natural Hair Memes | Black Girl with Long Hair:

While I also love the KeraCare, I have to say that I think that the results are a bit similar with the Curl Envy. The KeraCare moisture lasts longer, but... At the price, I can always afford more Curl Envy.

So that's the rundown on a few products I've been trying out. I will try to come back and update this when I've used the KeraCare and Curl Envy for a longer period of time. Also, a friend of mine saw a leave-in by Dr. Miracle when she was at WalMart. She said she thought it would be something good for me to review so she picked up a bottle to give me. Isn't that sweet? Anyway, I will do a review of it when I've tested these other products for a while. 


**RE-POST** From the Archives of 2006

Image result for email
some emails really are funny
(This is an OLD post - from way back on FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006 It was from an viral email titled  "For My Lady Blogger Buddies" and I got it from one of my sisters-in-law. It's still funny, and I needed something to post on the blog today! Enjoy...

Okay - and the guys too. Anyone who wants to laugh. No post today, so enjoy this. It was given to me yesterday when I went to lunch with my office family. I'm surprised we weren't kicked out of the place. I'm not sure who wrote it, but YOU WILL LAUGH. (It's a little long...)

CAUTION: Be prepared to laugh out loud!

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.
It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out.


So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my "honey pot" and stretching down to the inside of my ass cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. OH NO! What have I done???!!! Another deep breath and RRIIP! P!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. WHAT?! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, my "man magnet". Which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair.

Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. My

LIFE FLASHES BEFORE ME!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. Kooter? Sealed shut! Ass?? Sealed shut! Both sealed tighter than

Fort Knox!!!

I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to Shit! My head may, quite frankly, just pop off!"

What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!!

I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your ass and nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter -

"So girlfriend, my ass and "kitty" are glued together to the bottom of the tub!"

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking your ass and crotch?" She must be reveling in humor and wantsme to repeat it for her enjoyment.

She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your "man hole" girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace....the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on my cooch, and

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend.

It's sooo painful, but I really don't care.

"IT WORKS!! It works!!"

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! Looking like an Osama Bin Laden gotee!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color.....

Now that's funny ........ Notttttttttt.
Hope this made your day (or night) a bit nicer. Smiles can do that.