Curls and Lipstick

My Curly Girly Life

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Ear Love

Hear the passion in his voice? Ohhh my… I think we just made ear love…

Love how you can still hear his accent, too.

Hope you enjoy!

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Deep Conditioning Miss Fire

I’ve been dry DC every week with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (AO) once a week since I’ve cut my hair. Love it. No problems. This time around though, I tried a different conditioner. I had heard some hype about Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and since I pick up unnecessary items at Target anyway, I went and bought it. The ingredients are stellar;

  • Contains de-ionized water, Shea butter, Argan oil, vegetable glycerin, emulsifying wax, sea kelp extract, Panthenol, essential oil blend, avocado oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) flower extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (sage) leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, soybean oil and Daucus Carota Sativa (carrot) seed oil.

I put it on my dry hair, as I would the AO, before bed. I use my hands to distribute the conditioner by smooshing and rubbing it in my hair, not running my fingers through. I like that it comes in a jar because I use a lot of condish to cover my hair and it’s much easier to scoop. Oh… when I say cover, I don’t mean I saturated my hair to the point you can squeeze or scrape out much excess once I finish; it’s just slightly moist with product.

Anyway, I wrapped my hair up in my old perm satin scarf and went to bed. When I got up and rinsed it the next morning and I almost died! I don’t know what happened, but YUCK! My hair felt soggy! It was so limp and soft like mushy overcooked noodles. It was horrid.

Mind you, the individual strands of hair on my head are fine, not coarse by a long shot. After rinsing, my wet hair felt like I was running my hand through a massive spider web. <– think about how that would feel… I’ll wait. Yea, I know right. I was scared that I had permanently damaged my hair.

So with a little googling, I found out my hair had the signs and symptoms of being overconditioned! I didn’t know you could have too much moisture! This was news to me. I searched and searched and come to find out it’s reversible. I just needed a dose of protein.

A massive amount of blogs and websites suggested ApHogee Protein Treatment. I didn’t have that on hand and not only that, it seemed way strong! Other sites claimed protein foodies would help. I had some eggs, so I mixed it up with some extra virgin olive oil and prayed.

I poured it over my wet hair in the sink, trying to saturate all the strands. It was a mess! Yellow yolk dripping everywhere. I put on a clear processing cap and it started to drip down my face and neck so I tucked some toilet paper under the elastic band (good thing I buy the good stuff), but it eventually saturated it and dripped down my neck some more. Who knows how much was actually left in my hair at this point, but I rinsed it out after about 30 mins because I was beyond grossed out. (Also, I didn’t use heat, of course, because I didn’t want scramble eggs in my hair.)

After the rinse, I didn’t feel instant improvement. I lightly shampooed with Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo to ensure I got the yolk yuck out. I was a little if-y about the next step. I was apprehensive about putting conditioner back my hair. Isn’t that what got me in this state in the first place? I bit the bullet and followed up with Tressemme Naturals. I figured I could always try the ApHogee Protein Treatment if all else failed.

After the whole little “treatment” , applying the conditioner, rinsing it out, then leaving in Shea Moisture’s Curl and Style Milk, it didn’t feel any more soft which was good, but it still didn’t have much life or body. I was grateful that it didn’t still feel like wet cobwebs though, just more like limp ramen noodles. When it had air dried, it was still not right. There was no spring in the curls and my hair felt thin and I had a lot of stray hairs sticking out between limp semi formed curls.

I, then, decided I would wait it out. Maybe it would even it’s self out over time. So I didn’t rewash and go for 3 days. I just sprayed it lightly with water every morning just to get the bedhead out. My angle was to starve my hair of moisture hoping for it to be less moisturized. I mean, I can alway recondition it. It got frizzier and frizzier. I finally decided to rewet it in the shower the 4th day and did my usual wash and go routine and my hair felt good!! Dehydrating (as I called it) breathed new life into my hair. It was back to its thick springy self and I was so happy that I didn’t have to do a hardcore protein treatment because, honestly, they scare me to death. The horror stories I read about them leaving hair brittle to the point of it breaking, like for real snapping in two, because the protein was too much so then people remoisturize to  them throwing the balance of moisture -vs- protein even more out of whack

This fiasco left me perplexed. What did I do wrong? Did I leave it in too long? I DC with AO in the same fashion without any problems. The ingredients in this Shea Moisture DC looks good, so what happened? Needless to say, I won’t be using this product anymore.

I am grateful though that I was able to experience what overconditioned hair feels like and even more grateful to have been able to reverse it by sheer flipping luck. I don’t know what was more effective the egg and EVOO combination or the ‘dehydrating’ process or neither, but either way I needed a fail proof protein replacement plan in case this were to ever happen again. 

I searched for a protein treatment that wasn’t ApHogee Protein Treatment and I came across Curl Junkie’s Repair Me!. It’s a protein based conditioner that supposedly feels like a silky smooth conditioner with tons of slip and makes your hair super strong and soft as opposed to ApHogee Protein Treatment that can leave your hair hard after rinsing so you have to follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. Now with the Repair Me!, I’ve heard that people have been tempted to leave it in because it’s so moisturizing. This sounded so good so you know I bought it! I now have it safely in my arsenal and I would say I can’t wait to use it, but having overconditioned hair is not fun.

I’ll stick with my AO.

Wash and Go using L’oreal EverStyle Alcohol Free Defining Gel

I tried gel for the first time today! I used L’oreal EverStyle Alcohol Free Defining Gel based on Jess’s [from MahonganyCurls.com (HEARTZ HER)] review. I was a little nervous because if it turned out funny, there would be any time to redo it without being late for work.

Here’s the low-down. I wet my hair, cowashed with Tresemme Naturals, and kept it in while I showered. I finger detangled and rinsed the very moment before I stepped out so it would be super wet. Then, once out the shower, I put on about 3 quarter size amounts of Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk then went straight for the gel. I used about 2 quarter size amounts of the gel. It up the slip of the SM Curl and Style Milk and my fingers glided through my hair like warm syrup down hot pancakes. Then I shook it out like a mugg-stanky. It look like it usually does, but without a lick of hair out of place. Weird.

I did my hair at 5:30 am and it was dry by 10:00 am… Unprecedented! As it dried, my hair shrank more dramatically than usual. It didn’t just shrink in length, like it always does, but in volume as well.  My hair usually goes upward and outward as it gets shorter while it dries (frizz?).

The results with the gel looked like I had super fine and thin hair and had done comb-curls. Not only that, the curls sprung up on themselves and dried like a collapsed accordion.

My hair didn’t feel crunchy, though. It was soft, yet firm. I probably can attribute that to the SM Curl and Style Milk diluting the holding properties. I’ll have to play with it more to see if it will give harder/softer results with less/more of a leave in.

I have a mix of thin and medium hair when talking about the diameter of individual strands and thick hair when it comes to density (a lot of strand per square inch).This gel made my hair look a little too err…. tamed for me. I mean, I could see my scalp between curls. In the 3 months I’ve had my TWA, I hardly ever see my scalp. I was kind of proud of that fact because that meant I’m on my way to having “disrespectfully big hair“; this gel killed that dream. To see that much of my scalp between curls made me kind of… sad. And them looking like they had been individually Shirly-Templed by mercels looked unnatural. Not the look for me. Thank goodness I can wash it out.

I usually redo my wash and go everyday, but I had hardly touched my hair and it didn’t seem to frizz at all, so tested out second day hair with the gel. I slept in my bonnet and woke with the usual bed head. I took my spray bottle-o-water to it until it was just moist (not wet) and shook it out and it came back to life. When it dried (about 2 hours later) the firmer hold had loosened up a bit and my hair looked a wee bit ummm… disheveled. It looked good. It looked like the final product of my usual wash and go. You know, fuller. I liked it and it still felt soft and moisturized.

The third day was gloomy and rainy, you know, one of those cuddle-up-with-your-boo kind of days, and since I don’t have a boo, I decided to watch sappy romantic movies instead. I didn’t want to redo my hair because I didn’t want to lay around with wet hair, so I refresh it like the day before and I sooo could have left the house with this third day hair! It was frizzier and bigger than the 1st 2 days, but not horribly so. It didn’t look like I had neglected to do anything to my hair or anything like that; it just looked like curly fro.

In conclusion, this gel did tame my hair… too much I might add. I don’t think this gel is a total bust though. I am going to experiment with the amount I use vs the amount of a leave in to see if I can find a happy medium between totally frizz out and a lifeless accordion. I did like the fact that I could have that much control of my hair… All 2.5 inches of it.

I’ll update soon…

Baby Eggplant No-Parm

I love farmer’s markets! Everytime I go I end up picking up things I either never heard of, know how to cook, or how to eaten. I don’t set out to get these items. They intrigue me or they are just really cute! Last time it was Fuyu Persimmons, and this time it was baby eggplants. They were flipping adorable!
I know, I know… Eggplant is a very common vegetable, but I have only eaten it once in a mushy casserole of some sort and I had never actually cooked one myself! I was excited!

So I decided to try the classic Eggplant Parmesan, but hold to the Parm… I’m not a big cheese eater not because I don’t like cheese (I love cheese), but because I dislike the saturated fat content. I can live without it.

I didn’t look up a recipe for it, I just kind of freeballed it (<– is this a nasty saying? I hope not :-/). The sauce I made for the eggplant is the same base I use for my “Yum-Yum in Ya Tum Spahetti”.  Anywho, this is how I put it together;

9 cute baby eggplants or 1 large ugly eggplant

1-14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes

3 vine ripen tomatoes or 1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1/2 a large sweet onion, roughly chopped

5 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheated oven at 375 degrees.

I saute the onions and garlic (the garlic has been finely chop in the food processor) in a medium size nonstick pot using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cook until onions are just starting to soften around the edges. I seasoned them with a little salt and pepper and then added the cans of crushed tomatoes to the pot. (If you are using fresh tomatoes like I did because I was using what I (fortunately) had on hand, then cut them in wedges and put them in the food processor with the garlic leftovers!! Yay no waste!) I then chopped them until they look like the diced tomatoes in a can and added these yummy garlickly tomatoes to the pot and simmered, stirring occasionally.

While that’s was cooking up, I washed the cute baby eggplants (or the big ugly one). I cut them cross-ways, making 1/2 inch wide slices. If using the big one, cut into 1.5 inch cubes. I found that the skins on these things are rather tough to cut through FYI. I just couldn’t fathom them cooking up nice and tender… But they did!

I, then, added the eggplant to the simmering pot of tomato goodness. Season with the rest of the EVOO, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. I tasted the sauce and see if I needed more of any of the seasonings. I have a low tolerance for salt and I found I made it slightly too salty for my taste.  I call myself going easy on the salt and it still came out a little salty so I don’t know if eggplant just has a salty nature or if it was me, so be careful.

Finally, I threw the whole pot in the oven (but you might opt to transfer it to a pretty casserole dish). I bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the eggplant’s skin can be punctured with a fork.

It was divine!

I’m sure this is a very different version of this classic dish, but I love the simplicity of it and it’s wholesome ingredients.

I hope you try it and enjoy this dish as much as I did!

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