22 March 2013

Last Minute 'Dos: Twist Tail

I was getting sick & tired of my wonky, dried out WnG. So last night,  I decided to do a last minute rescue 'do. I quickly applied some of my vinegar/conditioner mix to my hair & rinsed it out thoroughly with warm water.
Next, I sprayed my entire head with my SM Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, focusing on the ends. Then I took a small amount of the SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, grabbed a chunk of my hair, lightly raked in the Smoothie, & twisted up that section. I repeated this on the remainder of my head & ended up with 6 twists.
I gently pulled back the twists into a ponytail, pinned the front section to the side, & blotted out the excess moisture with a towel. Before hitting the sack, I covered my hair with a satin scarf.
This AM, I awoke to soft (malleable!), moisturised hair. It was so nice to just wet my tresses & get sort of a fresh start style-wise. The flexibility of our hair is unbelievable sometimes! :-D
What are some of your favorite rescue styles to do when you're having a not-so-stellar hair day, curlies?

21 March 2013

Product Review: Sally's GVP Conditioning Balm + My Sister's First Successful WnG


On Saturday, I convinced my sister to give the CG method a try. She'd been watching MahoganyCurls and loved her flaxseed gel twist out. We didn't have flax gel, so I decided to help her with a WnG instead. My sister has always had a hard time wearing her hair out. Though she has waves and loose curls, her individual strands tend to be fine and feather-light. She needs heavy products that can keep her hair weighed down, but that are still moisturising and help with definition. Using the Denman on her hair could sometimes be problematic, because it separated her hair into too many sections.

With this in mind, I stopped by Sally's and thought that this conditioner might be heavy duty enough to keep her hair moisturized. I picked up two bottles of it.

Once at home, my sister did one last silicone condish DC with the TRESemme Platinum Strength Deep Treatment (she lurves this stuff!), left it on for a bit, and then shampooed with her TRESemme Vitamin E Moisture Rich Shampoo. She loaded her hair with the GVP Balm, let it sit for 20 minutes, and then we both started to finger detangle ( I usually help my sister with her hair because she has so much of it, and it's overwhelming for her sometimes.). HUGE mistake. This conditioner is uber thick and has almost no slip to it! I had to drench every section with water before trying to rake it through her hair. I finally started to add some TRESemme Naturals to a few sections, and that helped with detangling immensely. At any rate, after about 30 minutes of raking, I asked my sister if I could add gel to make it a true WnG. She reluctantly agreed. So I took some of her Fantasia IC Fantasia gel and raked it through a few sections. The parts with TRESemme Naturals instantly started to get white flakes and balls (meh!), so I ran and grabbed my Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel, which is a much heavier styler. I just kept adding more gel (especially to her roots, ends, the underside, and the top layer of her hair) and raking, raking, raking. Her definition was amazing! She never got these results doing the TC method or using the Denman. The GVP balm was really moisturising, and added much needed weight to her thick, lightweight waves.

Next, I took my Turbie Twist and scrunched some of the moisture and excess product from her hair (to give her a bit of a jump start on drying). And then I diffused her hair (high heat and speed) using the PixieCurl method, holding each section up for about 90 seconds (not all at once lol).

These are her results at about 70% dry:

Her thoughts on the balm? Totally sucked. She liked the fact that it was moisturizing and could keep her hair weighed down, but she didn't enjoy spending so much time trying to get it through her hair. She's also much more of a fragrance person than I am, and she didn't like the fact that the balm had such a light scent. I'd have to agree with her (except for the scent part); it was a nightmare trying to use this conditioner! Adding all the extra water just to get this stuff to comb more easily was a pain.

My sister's rating: 1 out of 5 curls

I returned both GVP balms to Sally's on Monday, and we haven't looked back. She's looking forward to using the normal silicone conditioners and sulphate poos that her hair knows and loves. She might try the MC flax gel twistout this weekend though (I made a batch of flax gel), so we'll see.


How about you, curlistas? Have you ever tried the GVP Conditioning Balm? How did you use it? Did you like it?

Hullo again! Segunda parte :-D

What my poor little curls and coils have become :-(

안녕하세여, my fellow curlies!

In my last post (19 March), I gave y'all the deets about school, spirituality and this blubbery body of mine that had been going on since I vanished from the intrawebs. Like any good naturalista, I'm sure that you're wondering what was going on with my hair at that time (above is a photo of the chaos that ensued o_O). Instead of writing the next great American novel by describing things in painstaking detail, I'll just go through each step of my regimen and let you know what went on during these two months, and some recent product favorites (or not-so-favorites lol).

We begin with the all important deep conditioner (DC):

This seems to be the aspect of my regimen with which I have the least amount of trouble. I can pretty much take any conditioner, add oils and honey/molasses (or assorted produce), leave it on overnight, and have great results in the AM. I tried and really enjoyed the Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Volumizing Conditioner as a DC; the fragrance was a little too strong for my liking (especially after leaving it on overnight), but it had pretty good slip, and I think that it really helped with fortifying my fine strands without giving it that dry, "proteiny" feel that I get from using protein treatments. I got about 4.5 uses out of it, which is pretty good for a 12 oz product (in my mind, anyway). I'd repurchase this as long as I was doing some finger detangling before washing, not as an overnight DC - but only because of how strong the fragrance is to me. Currently, I'm using the Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi All Natural Deep Conditioner, which I also like so far. It's nice and thick, but easier to spread if I apply it to wet hair. I can also do a bit of finger detangling with this in my hair (pre-wash), and I love how it plumps up and elongates my curls overnight. The aroma of this DC can be weird if you aren't used to the smell of Melaleuca (tea tree) oil. My mom used to use a Melaleuca oil mix for our cuts and scrapes, so the aroma was familiar to me; it just seemed a bit odd to have it in my hair. But I've gotten more used to it over the couple of weeks that I've been using it. It is a tad strong, though, so I doubt that I'll be repurchasing it after I use it up.

Now, onto cleansing/shampooing:

Ugh. This is now probably one of my least favorite parts of my wash days. Remember how I had that nice little cleansing cowash mix? Well, I ran out of AVJ, and I couldn't find that VO5 Tea Therapy condish at any other store (I bought it in Essex, but I have never seen it in any drugstores or grocery stores in MoCo! o_O). So I decided to just try regular cowashing - which was a huge mistake. My scalp is very sensitive to buildup, and no matter how well I rinsed with warm water, my scalp would feel gunky and dirty within a few days. I tried going back to my beloved Yes to Cucumbers poo, but the same thing began to happen - that gross, dirty feeling after a few days. To my horror, scalp zits started popping up in random spots, and they hurt like the dickens. Recently, I did a 2.5:1 blend of vinegar:conditioner with Suave Tropical Coconut, and even as much vinegar was in there, it still didn't cleanse my scalp to my satisfaction. I even bought the As I Am Coconut Cowash, with the same result (on top of having all that tangerine extract [citrus in any form isn't especially great for my body - inside or out]). I have had just about enough of this sulphate-free shampoo and cowashing crap, to be honest. My hair likes it, but my scalp is suffering. I took a look at what I've been using to cleanse, and I realised that I need a plain, ol' fashioned shampoo that doesn't have any botanical extracts or infusions (which are all potential irritants for me), plant oils, or any other frills. If it's a sulphate free poo, I'd like it to be simple - 4 or 5 gentle cleansers (I like disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate and cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine), polyquaternium-7 or -10 (for a bit of conditioning), and vitamins B and E (panthenol and tocopherol acetate, respectively). No irritants, extracts, infusions, nothing. But, it seems like the only shampoos like that are sulphate poos. So I'll be breaking CG protocol and going back to my Paula's Choice shampoo, simply because it's the least irritating. One of the CN ladies also told me about KeraCare's sulphate-free shampoo, which looks as if it has similar ingredients to Paula's Choice. I'll have to look more into it, but for now, sulphates here I come! I'm ready for my scalp to actually be CLEANED (not cleansed) this weekend :-D


It's not so much the conditioning part of this that has me frustrated, but the detangling that's driving me positively bonkers. I'm still using and loving the TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture condish, but I switched back over to finger detangling during my intrawebs sabbatical. Ehh...huge mistake. My curls and coils need the many nylon bristles of a Denman to remove nearly every shed hair from between them. Plus, it was just taking way too long to detangle my hair! I do not want to spend an hour in the shower trying to remove shed hairs with my fingers - that is NOT the business. So, I said to heck with Massey and bought a Beautique styling brush (Sally's Denman D4 knockoff) the other day from Sally's (I only bought it because my Denman D3 had mysteriously disappeared -__-). I tested it on a section of my hair last night, and hunty-chile, lemme tell you that my little curls were singing with joy when I ran that brush through! The additional 2 rows somehow seemed to make combing easier, and the definition was killer. Umm, yeah. Definitely never doing full out finger detangling again. Also, I think I'd to look for a few more combing/moisturizing conditioners. TRESemme Naturals is my boo thang, don't get me wrong, but I want to branch out a bit more in this area. I'm looking into the Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk condish, ShiKai Natural Everyday condish, and a few of the Nature's Gate conditioners.


This seems to have gone from good to bad to worse. I was loving that Xcess gel from my Dollar Tree; it was super easy to spread and had good hold. But then I heard about the HE Set Me Up gel, and I went crazy. It's a hard hold gel (which I like), but now I get all of this buildup, and whenever I shake my head, countless little white flakes fly onto my shoulders and surrounding items. It's really disgusting. I got so frustrated that I made a batch of flaxseed gel and might try that instead of HE. I still like the Taliah Waajid PMB; once I got the hang of spritzing it on my hair, it felt great and slippery. I also tried the Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist as a liquid leave in, which is good. It's not as creamy and moisturizing as the PMB, but it has silk protein high on the ingredients list (3rd after water, I believe), so I like to concentrate it on my ends. My creamy leave ins have been good, too. The SM Curl & Style Milk is still my tried and true absolute most favorite creamy leave in. I gave the Nuance Argan Oil Glossing conditioner a go, and wow! It worked just like I imagined it would - slippery, uber-moisturizing (with lots of infused oils), and it gave me great shine, too. The fragrance was a little out there, but overall, I liked it.

Overall, the big thing that I seem to have garnered from the past 2 months is the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I changed so many aspects of my routine solely based on the fact that somebody else did it. But c'est la vie - sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

I'm definitely going to give the CG method a rest for a few months, get back to the basics that I know and just simplify my regimen. I'll continue to report back at least monthly for updates on how my hair's faring with this change.


What aspects of your hair regimen have been working well for you? Is there anything that you're rethinking/re-evaluating?

19 March 2013

Hullo! Primero parte :-D

안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo = hello), curlies!

I know that it's been an eternity since I last posted, but I had good reason for it this time - school. I'm taking 15 credits this semester again, and I really wanted to focus on classes. So, I didn't just take a blog break, but a break from most social media in general. I feel bad for leaving y'all in the dark, though *sniffles* :-( Hopefully a few updates about everything will make up for it. Sooo, here we go!

1. Universidad (College/University): MUCH better this semester! By God's grace, I'm able to really buckle down and get things done this term. I know that God is a huge part of that, just because I was having emotional issues last semester. Every day hasn't been easy, and I have been tempted to skip classes some days, but I realised how disrespectful that is - especially since my classes are being paid for by my school. So I'm really trying to be more diligent this semester. 

Also, Korean is going really well! It makes Spanish seem like a walk in the park, but I LOVE Korean! It's so different, and yet makes perfect sense to me. King Sejong (credited with inventing hangul, the Korean writing system) and his advisors were geniuses! The entire alphabet was created based on nature and the structure of a person's throat and vocal organs. It's amazing to me that just looking at a word tells you how to pronounce it! It's so much simpler and more logical to me than English. Another cool thing about Korean is that all words are built from Consonant + Vowel (always in that order!) syllable blocks, so translating names is a bit easier. 

For instance, my first name in English is: KIM-ber-lee. Korean doesn't have the strongly emphasised "-er" that I have in my second syllable. But in Korean, my name is written as this: 킴벌리 and pronounced as KEEM-bul-lee

The force is still on that first syllable, because the first consonant (ㅋ) is an aspirated (spoken with air) consonant and commonly used for loanwords and non-Korean words/names. The "b" consonant (ㅂ) has a slight "p" sound to it, but it's softened by the previous syllable.  Also, the first two syllables have this nifty thing going on called Patchim (or what my sunsengnim [선생님] calls C-star). Patchim is when you add another consonant (or 2) to the original Consonant + Vowel block. It can change the pronunciation of that consonant - like in the middle syllable of my Korean name. The "ㄹ" has a slight rolling "r" sound (think like the double "r" in correr [Spanish]). As patchim, though, the "ㄹ" changes to an "l" sound. The "ㄹ" would have that rolling "r" in the last syllable ("ree"), but since there's another "ㄹ" right before it, the first one makes the second one take on it's "l" sound.

Also, in the word 선생님, there's patchim in every syllable. The "ㄴ" and "ㅁ" don't have sound changes, but the "ㅇ" does. Originally, "ㅇ" is a silent consonant (needed for words that start with vowel sounds but that need a sort of consonant placeholder), but with patchim, the silence is broken and "ㅇ" is pronounced as "ng" (like the "ng" in "ing"). Pretty cool, huh? Okay, going out of nerd mode...

2. Spiritual Health: I'm keeping on keeping on. I'm still in the same life group (small group/Sunday school) at my church, and we're supposed to be starting a new series in a couple of weeks. I guess I'm excited for it, but for a while now, I've been very dissatisfied with my church. Before y'all run away and condemn me for blaspheming Christ, please believe that my dissatisfaction is biblical, and not just nitpicky things like the music. I don't want to go on what seems like a whiny rant about it, but suffice it to say that I don't feel like I'm growing spiritually at the church I'm currently attending with my family. It's bothered me for quite a long time now (I think I started noticing around 11th or 12th grade), and I've continued going only because I'm on a ministry team with my sister and I can't just abandon them. Once I fulfill my obligations with them, however, I'll be praying about visiting other congregations. My personal devotions have been erratic (what's new? :-/), but the Holy Spirit is quick to remind me when I forget. Not a pleasant feeling, but needed, nonetheless.

3. Physical Health: I must say that this took a turn for the better! I'm taking nutrition this semester, and at first I was a tad skeptical. My professor assigned us to do a personal risk assessment; we had to interview our parents about their health, their siblings' health, their parents' health, and their parents' siblings' health. We also had to compose a family tree showing the birth and death of everybody (including ourselves and our siblings), and note any nutrition-related diseases that could've been prevented. I always "knew" that both sides of my family had health issues, but this assignment made it real to me. 

After interviewing my parents, I stared numbly at my paper as I saw that relative after relative suffered from Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), obesity/overweight and cancer. My dad, paternal uncle, paternal great uncle, maternal grandmother (deceased), maternal grandfather, maternal uncle, and maternal great aunts and uncles all have Diabetes. They also all have hypertension! Nearly everybody on my mom's side is obese or overweight, as am I. I inherited gallbladder disease from my maternal grandmother. It was just disease after disease, and I felt so overwhelmed! I wanted to cry. I was at a heightened risk for everything because it was so prevalent in my family! I already have gallbladder disease and obesity, but the one thing that freaks me out is Diabetes. After learning even more about (I picked up a lot from my dad) it during our carbohydrates chapter, I felt numb on the inside. My dad was slowly killing himself from the inside out with his horrible diet, and he didn't seem to care! He could literally keel over any day with the way he eats. It's only by God's grace that he's still alive (just like the rest of us, though, so...). He's already had a scare with clogged arteries a few years back; God provided a miracle then. But the way in which my Daddy doesn't seem to take care of his body really scared me. Death never seemed so close or mortality so real. 

I decided then that I couldn't let that happen to myself. I finally read that last chunk of Eat to Live, and for the past few weeks, I've been eating raw vegan. Before you think I've gone off my rocker, it's actually been a great way for me to eat! My normal, incredibly nauseating post-nasal drip has all but vanished. My sniffles are gone. My stomach is no longer bloated. My gallbladder no longer aches trying to provide bile for foods I had no business eating. I feel more energetic than I have in a couple of years, and my skin looks healthier, too. Typically, I have smoothies for breakfast, a salad with raw crunchy veggies for lunch, and a salad and cooked veggies for dinner (huge, huge, huge salads - about 1/2 pound of lettuce per meal). It's amazing! It's not easy, and I have succumbed to temptation several times, but I'm continuing on. I have to do this not just to look good, but to make sure that I'm taking care of the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells. To put it frankly, I was being (and still am sometimes) a glutton and acting foolish about my health. It was unwise to treat my body in such a manner. But better late than never, right? I'd rather change my habits before a crisis hits my body.

I'll definitely be updating you guys with my progress! I'm a work in progress, but I can't ever go back to eating the way I was. It's too risky.

Y'all's eyes have taken enough of a hit this AM, haven't they? I thought so lol. Tomorrow I shall continue, dahlings! I'll be updating y'all about the hurr - what's been going on and where I'm thinking of going next. Spoiler alert: my CG days might be over for good *cue Twilight Zone music* Lmbo!

Anywho, how have y'all been? I've missed you (even those that don't comment; every view is greatly appreciated)! I tried to keep up with blogs, and I have to say that Dee, you and AuCurls have done amazing jobs with TC, as usual. Such pretty coils! Raven, your articles and advice are as fascinating and insightful as usual :-) GoldenBlaze, your product reviews have me drooling over here! And Valerie from Curls2Envy - great devos as always, and drop dead gawjus hurr of late! What's in those products of yours? Lol.

안녕! (Annyeong! = Adios/Ciao/Aloha/Bye)