Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hairtracker Part 12: October 2014

Hello, everyone! I'm posting to update on my growing progress!

Sorry for the poor quality- nothing was cooperating 


Just one more inch to go and I'll be at waist!

I also have another stick I'd like to review soon- so be on the lookout for that post! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hair Tracker Part 11: August 2014

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a lovely day. I thought I'd update everyone on my growing progress!

I measured in at 28"!
I had a few stragglers that measured in at 28.5" but I'm just going to call it 28".
Hooray! My goal of waist by the end of the year looks more and more realistic!

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hairtoy Haul: Timberstone Turnings

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a lovely day.

Today, I thought I'd showcase a hairstick that I'd recently purchased, because, let's be honest, what's a long hair blog without some hairtoy action shots?

This particular stick comes from Timberstone Turnings. When I first came upon this etsy shop, I was taken aback by how beautiful- and expensive- the sticks were! I debated and turned it over in my mind lots of times, checking up on the shop and trying to find something I liked. I am an extremely picky shopper, especially when it comes to anything for my hair, so I ended up not purchasing anything for months.

Until, one day, I saw this stick for sale and I knew instantly it was the one for me.

I ended up purchasing it, hoping that it would be worth the fairly hefty price tag. I received it a few days later, and let me just say, no photos do this amazing stick justice. It is a true work of art.

 First off, the paua shell inlays are incredible. They catch the light so beautifully- they shimmer this beautiful almost-turquoise color. The wood is polished and incredibly smooth, yet this stick manages to hold my extremely slippery hair in place just fine.

And of course, the resin topper- wow! It is fantastic. It's got gold leaf, and clovers (and mine has a couple of blossoms in there!) along with sparkly pearl essence. It is SO pretty.
I'm happy to know that I'm supporting a very talented artist, and I feel like these sticks are absolutely worth the money. Yes, they are pricey, but I haven't found too many hairstick crafters whose quality really stands up next to the sticks from Timberstone Turnings.

The only drawback is that this stick is sort of short. That's not really TT's fault so much as it is my own, as I didn't realize that my hair is thicker than I thought. Its total length is 6 1/4", and my hair eats a lot of that, making it somewhat difficult to show off the designs (especially the inlays) in most buns that I do, like my preferred braided buns. It seems to look best when  it's in center-hold buns like the nautilus bun or lazy wrap bun.

When I purchase from them in the future, I'll have to consider a custom order for a longer stick.

It holds my hair well, though, which was surprising considering that I have difficulty with my updos sliding around because my hair is very slippery.

I hope you enjoyed my review! I'll definitely be back in the future with more posts about my hairtoys! :) I hope to turn this into a regular feature of this blog. Thanks for reading!!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Freya's Hair Salve

Hi everyone!

2 oz container
Today, I've got review for a haircare staple- Freya's Hair Salve by Nightblooming. It's a long-overdue review for a product that's remained in my haircare routine for a little over two years now.

-The Lowdown-

Freya's Hair Salve, formerly known as Panacea's Winter Hair Salve, is a leave-in hair conditioner. It utilizes a host of hair-healthy ingredients in a base of coconut oil and shea butter. It is a popular hair conditioner that I found when I was lurking many hair forums. People raved about the smell and the awesomeness of it, so of course, I had to try it.

Freya's Hair Salve was recently rebranded from Panacea's Winter Hair Salve- it's still the exact same product, just a new look.

-The Ingredients-

Ingredients: Certified Organic Shea Butter, Pure Refined Coconut Oil, Herbal infusion (Licorice Root, Coltsfoot Leaf, Yarrow, Willow, Pau díarco, Burdock Root, Mahonia, Calendula, Horsetail, Nettles), Cetearyl Alcohol, Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe Gel, Vitamin B5, Evening Primrose, Neem, Macadamia Seed Oil, Essential Oils (Tea tree, Lemon tea tree, Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary), Rice extract, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Anisate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E).

(Taken from the product page on etsy)

It has a lovely consistency. Very easy to work with.
-How to Use-

I use this salve as a leave-in conditioner twice a day, on slightly damp hair. I spritz my hair with a little bit of water, and apply sparingly to the bottom part of my hair. After washing my hair, I towel dry until it is only a little bit wet, then apply to my ends.

This is a smooth product that smells AMAZING and melts as you rub your hands together. To apply, I take a small amount, section my hair, and gently slide my hands over my hair, starting at the ends and working my way up. I am cautious not to get too close to my scalp. Instead, I like to focus on keeping my ends moisturized.

I've found that this is best used when my hair is a little damp- not dripping wet, and not dry. Applying it right after showering left my hair clumpy and stringy, while applying it dry was difficult and made my hair look greasy. It is something you'll have to figure out for yourself- everyone's different.

Freya's Hair Salve has some uses, if you will. It makes a really awesome nail conditioner. I gently massage a small amount into the cuticles of my nails at night before bedtime and feel that it has improved the condition of my nails. It also works well, I've found, to give some moisture to slightly dry patches of skin. I also use it on my eyebrows after I dye them to help condition them and keep them from getting too dry and crunchy.

It can also smooth down hair and create a lovely, sleek braid! I like to use a little bit more when I want my hair to stay down in an updo.

-My Thoughts-

This is a must-have product. It is amazing. This particular blend does not have protein, and is advertised as being vegan! Nightblooming also sells two other blends- Panacea, and Ostara (formerly known as Panacea's Summer Salve). I did not prefer those two versions- the Panacea was a bit too heavy for my fine hair and left it a bit crunchy, and Ostara was nothing spectacular. Freya's is by far the best for me, and it really performs well. It also, in my opinion, smells the best of the three (But they all smell really good) It's hard to describe the scent. It's sort of sweet, but "clean" smelling. Not heavy at all and dissipates over time. Good if you don't mind a little bit of scent that won't linger forever.

I credit this salve to helping keep my ends protected and reducing the amount of times that I need to trim. I've found that regular usage also helps keep my hair from tangling as much at the ends. It works wonderfully at keeping my nails strong, and as a styling aid when I need it.

Very highly recommended- pick up some samples!

It's avaiable from Nightblooming's etsy shop, and comes in 1/2 oz, 2 oz, and 8 oz sizes.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hair Tracker Part 10: June 2014

Hello, everyone! I've been busy (as I generally am) and have just decided to put up my length shot for the month.

I measured in at 27" today!
Hooray! I'm fast on track to hit my goal of waist length by the end of the year!
I just need to avoiiiid the scissors! Easier said than done.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 21, 2014

REVIEW: Henna Sooq's Sweet Honey Enriching Hair Nourisher

Hello, all! Today I've got a review for a product that I simply adore- Henna Sooq's fantastic Sweet Honey Enriching Hair Nourisher!

4oz and 8oz jars 
-The Lowdown-

I like deep conditioning treatments, and honey is a fantastic ingredient for conditioning for many people. It is a humecetant, which means that it draws in moisture from the air. For people, like me, who live in humid climates, this makes it ideal as a hair treatment during the sticky summer months!

This treatment caught my eye on the Henna Sooq website because of its list of hair-friendly ingredients, so I thought that I'd give it a try and see how it went!

-The Ingredients-

pure honey, organic vegetable glycerine, organic sunflower oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol, meadowfoam seed oil, panthenol, organic cassia obovata, lemongrass essential oil, and optiphen (preservative) 

(Ingredients list taken from the product page on the Henna Sooq website)

-How to Use-

I've tried this a couple of different ways, but the best that I've found is to CO-wash my hair, then gently squeeze out excess moisture and apply in a thin layer to my hair, concentrating on my ends. I then braid it, or bun it- anything, really, to keep it out of the way, then cover my hair in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
The texture is different than pictured on
the site.

It has a putty-like texture (see the pic to the right), which can make it somewhat tricky to work with. If I have a little bit of residual conditoner on my hair from washing, this stuff is so much easier to apply.

After letting it sit on my head for a little while, I rinse it out and towel dry my hair, then apply a bit of my leave-in on my ends. Viola- happy, happy hair!

The first time I used it, I applied way, way, way too much- using almost the entire 4 oz jar on my hair in one go! I was left with limp, grumpy hair, though it was thoroughly detangled! I've discovered that a little bit is all I need. Your mileage may vary, but if you find it weighs down your hair too much, you might want to consider using less and give it another try.

It has a strong, sweet, lemony scent (from the lemongrass essential oil) that does linger in your hair- be aware if you don't like the scent of lemon. I personally love the smell, but some people may not!

-My Thoughts-

Initially, like I said, I used it differently, and was not very happy with my results. Thankfully, I gave it another chance, and I am extremely pleased. This stuff eats my tangles for breakfast and leaves my hair smooth and silky. It has a strong, but sweet, lemony scent- like I said earlier, I love it, but it is definitely not for someone who doesn't tolerate that sort of smell. Incidentally, it does look quite different than the picture on the website- it looks more like a thick honey putty than a creamy conditioner.

It's not too expensive if you use it carefully. I don't use very much- a few little scoops to cover the length of my hair to the tips. I'm currently using my 8oz jar up, and I've gotten about 4 treatments out of it so far- with several more still left in there.

I can use this multiple times a week without any issues. My hair really likes honey a lot, but I reserve it for the more humid months. During the drier winters, honey is a no-go. If you live in a very dry climate, you might want to take that into consideration since honey doesn't always play well with drier air.

I absolutely recommend this treatment- especially if your hair's dry and needs some good moisture. It's got lots of great hair-nourishing ingredients and smells wonderful. Henna Sooq sells it in both 4oz and 8oz sizes.

Here it is on Henna Sooq's website

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hair Tracker Part 9: April 2014

Long time, no see! I've been exceptionally busy as of late, and between everything else eating up my time, and just not feeling up to it, I'd left my blog alone for a while. But now I'm back and ready to write again! I didn't do a big post for February, which is unfortunate because it was my 2-year anniversary, but I still got a photo from then and am happy to share my progress!

I took my hair measurement after hennaing the other night and couldn't believe it! I'm at 26"! On the left is my photo from February, when I measured 24.5".

Hooray!! It looks like my hair's been growing slightly faster than usual. Who knows- maybe I'll finally get to waist by this December?

Next time, I'll post a product review, so keep an eye out for that. :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

~*~ REVIEW: Nature's Gate Aloe Vera Moisturizing Conditioner~*~

As promised, I've got a nice little review for everyone today.

This is Nature's Gate's Aloe Vera Moisturizing Conditioner.

Bottle, picture from the Nature's Gate website

-The Lowdown-

I've tried some of Nature's Gate products in the past. My first trial was their chamomile shampoo and conditioner. I liked it, since it was gentle for my hair, but I wasn't really wowed by it and it didn't compel me to buy their products again.

Until one day when I was in my local grocery store, I spotted this conditioner, advertised as moisturizing for normal/dry hair. Well! I do love things that are moisturizing, and it smelled pretty good in the bottle, so I figured I'd give it a try.

-The Ingredients-

Water, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Stearyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Vegetable Derived), Benzyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride (Vegetable Derived), Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Tocopherol Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plant Derived), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Fragrance*.

(Taken from their website)

-How to Use-

This is a thick, creamy conditioner. I use it daily as part of whatever washing routine I choose to do. For CWC, that's  a light coating of this conditioner prior to shampooing, then a liberal amount afterwards.

Right now, I CO-wash with Suave Naturals Wild Cherry Blossom conditioner as my initial cleansing/detangling conditioner, and then follow it up with this as my final conditioner and leave some in on the bottom portion of my hair after rinsing. I am careful not to leave too much in, however. On my fine/medium hair, too much can make it look stringy and clumped together.

I do not like to use it alone as my only CO-wash conditioner. If you have drier hair, then you might be able to use it as your only step in a CO-wash routine. I find that using it alone causes my scalp to become slightly greasy, so I avoid that by using my other conditioner first.

-My Thoughts-

This stuff works really well- it does definitely do what it promises for my hair. It also smells really, really good. It is my go-to conditioner for my daily conditioning needs, and my preferred conditioner for herbal mixes, deep conditioning treatments like SMT, and leave-ins. It's my little hair multitasker!! I've completely switched from my Ice Shine to this stuff because I like it much more.

My results have been wonderful. My hair is very shiny- the shine is sort of like what I get when I use a coney conditioner, just minus the buildup potential.  I do not find that I have issues with the proteins in this conditioner- they do not seem to make my hair dry or tangly. I have been using it daily for probably the last 6 months.

The drawbacks- it is kind of expensive. It's about $7.75 per 18 oz bottle at my local store, but you can save some money if you buy it in bulk off Amazon, which is what I do. This stuff is so versatile and is really great, so I'm okay with spending a little be of extra money on it. However, the price point could make this prohibitively expensive if you wanted to CO-wash exclusively with it, or if you have very long hair. My hair is not even BSL and I go through a couple of bottles a month. I also do not really like it as my only conditioner in a CO-wash routine. It goes along great with my "cleansing" conditioner, however.

In short, it's a wonderful conditioner. It's great if your hair needs lots of moisture and it smells amazing! I highly recommend it. :)

Here are some links to check out:

Aloe Vera Moisturizing Conditioner at Nature's Gate website

Buy on Amazon

Thanks for reading!! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

~*~Hair Tracker Part 8: January 2014 and a Happy New Year!! ~*~

Happy belated New Year!! I've been very, very busy lately and have not had the time to really take care of my blog. But, I'm happy to come back to report that, yes, my hair has, in fact, grown since my last update. And I'm going to share a few pictures with everyone!

The picture on the left is from December. The picture on the right is this month. I measured my hair at 24" today. I've cut off a bit to straighten my hemline some. I prefer the look of a blunt hemline, but have never really taken the steps necessary to maintain it! Well now I know how to properly self-trim, and I'd say it doesn't look too bad at all! It's a work in progress.

This year, I really want to make it to waist, which is about 30" on me! I guess that means I'll have to hold off on the scissors if I really want to make it there. Maybe it'll be my Christmas present this year? Fingers crossed...

Next month'll be my 2 year blogging anniversary (!!!), and I have a few reviews that I've got in the pipeline for some new products I've tried (and fallen in love with!), plus my updated routine... And maybe I'll even have a hairstick review or two?

Thanks for reading!!