Monday, November 15, 2010

Blended Beauty For This Mixed Chick

So, it's been eight months since I took a hit of creamy crack. I'll admit, I had forgotten in the 9 years of relaxing just how thick and wavy my natural hair is. I've been reminded by all that dark (my sis says it's 1B in the world of weave; I have no clue) new growth sprouting out all over my head. In order to properly handle the two textured hair (that's actually not accurate as my hair has always been multi-textured), I stocked up on a number of conditioning and moisturizing products.

Here is a review of the ones I've tried and a rating from 1 to 5 of my experience using it. I'll say this- my experience is just that- MY experience. I have hair that I believe ranges from 3C to 4A, and to top it off, my hair's curl is less coily and more wavy but VERY thick. So please don't take this to mean this product review will work for everyone. Also note my hair is still transitioning out, and when I first tried some of these products I had less natural hair.

With that said, on to the products!:

  • Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue: I decided to try this even though I read a lot of negative reviews about it online. And I love it! I like it because it works on both my relaxed ends and my thick new growth, without being sticky, greasy or heavy. It actually sets my hair, whether I've rolled, scrunched or twisted it.
Positives: Great for transitioning. Thick without weighing down my locks. Definite hold without the messy problems of gel.
Negatives: Expensive. This was probably the priciest of all the products I ordered. But to me, it was worth it. Also,be careful not to use too much, or the product will just sit on your hair or even flake when it dries. Also, you'll still want to use some type of leave-in or oil sheen for daily use to keep your hair shiny, soft and conditioned.
Bottom Line: Get it. I give it a 4. Use it with Miss Jessie's Buttercreme and Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment. I recommend all three.

  • Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner: If Miss Jessie's gets trashed online, then this has been rolled into the dump! I still decided to try it anyway. It left my hair very soft and conditioned. So soft actually, I was shocked. I wound up lending it to my mother, who is multiracial and has hair that ranges from maybe 2C to 3C and very thick. I never got it back! I also used it on my half Irish nephew, who has hair that's about a 2A-2C and not only did it leave it perfectly coiffed that day, but for the next few days.
Positives: Really does leave hair soft, even on a variety of textures. No heavy scent, so it's good for women, men and kids.
Negatives: You're going to be spending money here, too. Also, while it conditions all types of hair, it didn't provide much control for me. It DID keep my mother's curls in line, and as stated above, left my nephews hair immaculate, which is saying a lot since he's 9 and tends to destroy any sign of neatness through play.
Bottom Line: Depends on what you're looking for and your hair type. I give it a 2.5 for me, but a 5 for my nephew, Nate.

  • Blended Beauty Curl Cleansing Conditioner: Let me just say it flat. I would NOT have lasted too long in this natural journey without using this product. About 3 months in, I tried it, along with a wide tooth comb while washing/conditioning my hair in the shower and realized I could actually DO MY OWN HAIR, lol. This eventually became my co-wash of choice because it removed build up without stripping my hair. And also, my hair stopped falling out (really).

Positives: Leaves hair soft, manageable and clean. Conditions well. Helps prevent breakage. Affordable.
Negatives: You'll have to order this online, as, like most great products, it's not sold in stores.
Bottom Line: Get it. I give it a 4.5. Use with Blended Beauty Curly Frizz Pudding for leave-in softness daily with some hold.

  • Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter: Such a lovely product, it smells great, conditions and maintains my two strand twist outs from first twist to touch ups. It left my hair noticeably shiny, too. My mom kept commenting on how healthy my hair looked when I used it.
Positives:One of the more affordable products, a small container lasted about a month since I only had to use a small amount to achieve my desired style. Keeps frizzies at bay.
Negatives: Another online one. And it took a while to actually get to me. Be careful not to use too much or you will have quite noticeable flakes.
Bottom Line: Get it. This is one of my favs and I'll most likely use it again as I pretty much wear my hair in two strand twist outs all the time now. I give it a 4.

  • EcoStyler Krystal Gel. Okay, I'm NOT a big fan of gel, period. Many of them have alcohol, leaves my hair hard, crunchy, sticky or flaky. But- there are times when I have run out of time and I got just tie a scarf on my head and go. Although, some times, I do, lol. For emergency moments, I would recommend EcoStyler.
Positives:I was floored when I put this on my hair and it seemed to magically wave up in seconds like I was Genuwine circa 1997. Even my kinkiest sections turned to shiny little coils, while other parts of my hair became ringlets. Also, while my hair did become firm, it did not crunch. It's available at most drugstores and is super cheap (like $2.99).
Negatives: Unlike the other products above, this is NOT a conditioner but a curl activating gel. While it's not chock full of alcohol, it definitely does not leave my hair soft the next day like leave-in conditioners. I'll also point out the obvious: gel is not cold winter friendly. It's cold, wet and living in the Northeast, is not a state I'd want my head to be in when I step out the house in the morning to go to work. It's now really relegated to slicking down "baby" hairs on quickly adding shine when I put one side of my poof up. Wet and wear, while fine in August is so a no-go for me now. Head colds aren't worth it.
Bottom Line: You spend more for a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks. Get it. I give it a 3.5 overall and 4.5 in the category of gels. Even if it doesn't work for your hair, it will probably work for someone you know, so I doubt you'd regret the buy. Also try their Olive Oil gel.

  • Pantene Relaxed & Natural Leave-In Conditioner. This smells YUMMY!!! So yummy my two year old niece Sophia got into it and rubbed it not just on her hair but on her arms, legs and face, lol. Creamy and thick, it actually worked on both parts of my transitioning hair.
Positives:Great for daily use (although if I were relaxing now, I probably would use it twice a week on account of the thickness of the product), it leaves hair shiny and soft. I like to apply this product right after washing my hair while it's still damp because it makes it even easier to comb through. It also can be used on different types of hair. My niece Sophia has hair in the 2c-3a range and is very soft and the Pantene left her hair neat for over a day (which sounds like a small amount of time, but being that she usually wrecks her hair within 30 minutes, that is saying a lot). It also works well for twist and braid outs.
Negatives: While it conditions, don't expect much for definition (at least I didn't get much, but Sophia did). A quick fix to that, though is use this product and then the EcoStyler- you'll end up with both.
Bottom Line: While you're at Walgreens for the EcoStyler, get this, too. Not too pricey, easily available, and really smells salon-nice. I give it a 3.5.

I'll stop my review here, but I'll do another one soon (hopefully, lol). I do want you all to check out yours truly over at Pretty Natural Divas, where I was featured on Saturday along with a group of other natural beauties. Check it out here!


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