Wednesday, December 16, 2009

End of the Year recap with Curl Junkie!

Hi Everyone!

As we are nearing the end of the year, I thought now would be a good time to tell you what is going on and what is in the works!

As most of you know, I just released 5 new products in the line. What prompted this? The truth is, I love to work on new products. If someone has a hair challenge, I'll usually take it on and see if I can solve the problem. I love working on new things. So, I'd be
working on new products anyway. But, what sealed the deal was the following. I had found a manufacturer about 2 years ago that I teamed up with to make the Curl Assurance Leave-in and Daily Conditioners. I had stopped working with them by the time the product was made and moved on to my current (and much, much better!!) manufacturer. This 1st manufacturer went out of business without notifying their customers, taking our formulas for these 2 products with them.

I have learned not to work jointly with anyone else again to develop a new product, so we won't have to worry about this happening again. That being said, I still have a good inventory of these 2 products and they are currently on 50% off sale. The other products that are being discontinued (Curl Theory, Hair Styling Water and smaller sizes of the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme and Curl Fuel (the 4oz sizes only, not the product!) were strictly due to poor sales. I need to make room for the new products. Once you start to use a manufacturer, it is very expensive to produce each "run" of product/sku.

The new products should, hopefully, round out the line and provide viable options for all hair types. I'll also be making sample pouch sets that will be available for purchase. My hope is that they will be available around the first of the year.

In addition, I'll be introducing the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme-Lite and a cleansing conditioner (for those who have asked for a co-wash product) in mid-January. The CCCC-Lite will be perfect for those who found the original too heavy. The feedback has been fabulous from all hair types (particularly the normal-fine, wavy-curly groups) and it seems to work equally well on dry or wet hair. I am very excited to release these two new products!

Thank you to everyone for reading the post and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will answer as best I can. :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tips on using Curl Junkie Smoothing Gellie

Hi everyone! I have been getting some questions lately on how to best use the Smoothing Gellie so I thought I'd address that here in this blog. Firstly, the Smoothing Gellie is more like a mix of a light curl creme and a light gel and when I originally made it, it jiggled more like a Jelly of sorts and hence the name. Now that the manufacturer makes it, it has a little more solid structure, but the performance is the same. It is the Broccoli seed oil that makes it cloudy, but the chemical make up of the product is that of a light gel.

So, how to use it best? What hair types is it best for? I would say that it works best on fine to normal (texture and density), 3b (curly) and 3c (very curly) hair types, although folks on outside that range from very wavy (2c) to tightly coiled (4a), have used the product successfully as well but these hair types would be better served with say the Aloe Fix or CoffeeCoco Curl Creme. This product is really great at getting your hair to "clump" together, be more defined, and smooth out frizzies if you use it correctly. I have 3c/4a normal (texture/density) hair and have been using this product lately with great success. Here's how I'd recommend using it:

1)Apply to very wet hair (after rinsing conditioner-you can use a leave-in conditioner like our Curl Assurance leave-in or Styling water if you have dry hair, but this is not necessary) by smoothing a generous amount over the hair (like you were pulling your hair into a ponytail) and then adding more product by smoothing it through the inner sections, making sure all of your hair is covered.

2)If you are in the shower, quickly run the water over your hair to help "activate" and distribute product. Squish/scrunch the product through your hair.

3)Now, take a brush (like a Denman) or a wide tooth comb and brush through hair in this dripping wet stage. This is when you should see the hair start clumping together and getting more defined.

4)At this point, you can leave the hair as is or you can top it (by scrunching it in) with a hard hold gel (such as Biosilk Rock Hard Gellee or LaBella Lots of Curls gel-this one works really nicely with the Smoothing Gellie) if it's humid out or you just want extra security.

5)I usually just blot my hair with a towel (without movement-to soak up extra water) and let my hair air-dry.

So if you have been having problems using this product, try the above to see if it will work for you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tips on using Curl Junkie Aloe Fix Hair Styling Gel

Hi Guys! I just thought I'd do a quick post here since I've been getting a lot of questions on how to use the Aloe Fix gel and thought this would be a good place to offer suggestions! These recommendations are inspired by things I've tried, as well as by the way some of my customers are using it (and I have also tried out). I'm sure there are many other combos out there that I haven't tried (and so please feel free to send me comments with your suggestions to post for those who are looking...), but these are the ones that stood out to me...

For the sake of making this as easy as possible, I'll just stick with the 2, 3, 4, a, b, c system which most of my customers are familiar with:

1)2a-b, (
basically wavy hair types of all textures): The Aloe Fix gel seems to work best with a small amount of a lightweight leave-in applied/smoothed through and then the gel scrunched into the hair. This helps to create volume in the hair.

2)2c, 3a (very wavy hair and those with bigger, looser curls): The gel seems to work best when applied/scrunched (if you want volume) over the Curl Assurance Leave-in (or similar leave-in of your choice) or the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme (use only a small amount) and followed with a touch of a harder holding gel of your choice if desired.

3)3b (Botticelli curls) and 3c (tighter curls of fine-normal density): This hair type can try out the suggestions above for the 2c, 3a or the following (which I just tested out this morning)...not to plug another product, but it seems to work so well with the CoffeeCoco and Aloe Fix for this hair type that I have to say it...Try using Curl Rehab or Lustrasilk as a leave-in, followed by smoothing in (or brushing in, with a Denman-type brush) the CoffeeCoco and then the Aloe Fix (if you want extra hold and definition...this is optional). This is an awesome combo! I don't know if I'd recommend doing this everyday as you may end up overconditioned using the Lustrasilk everyday with this combo (in which case you could alternate with the Curl Assurance Leave-in or other lightweight leave-in or nothing at all!)...I should also say that I'd only recommend this for folks with dry hair since it may be product overkill otherwise. So if your hair tends to be oily or is very fine, stick with the recs for 2c, 3a hair...I'm sure folks will chime in on this combo...

4)3c (very tight curls, normal-coarse density) and 4a (very tight curls/coils): If you are looking for curl definition and to stretch out your curl pattern, I'd recommend that you apply this directly to the hair without using any other product underneath. You can either smooth it in section by section with your hands or brush it in. Use generous amounts of product and make sure to cover all sections of hair. You can air dry, diffuse or sit under a hooded dryer.

5)4b (z pattern hair): This gel would be best for this type when slicking/pulling back the hair into a ponytail or with a headband. Apply to wet hair and smooth with hands or a brush into the desired style.

BTW-if you cannot find a combo that works for you on wet hair, this product is fabulous to use on dry hair (if I do say so myself :-P ). On dry hair, it smooths surface frizzies and helps to define curls!

Hope this helps!! :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Do I need a gel??

This is just a short post to talk about a topic I've been asked about and have been reading a lot of questions about...

So recently, I have been noticing a lot of people getting confused on this topic or wondering why cremes may not be enough for their hair. I've been thinking about this question and I've noticed that there are certain categories of hair that do better with gel. Now, you have to take this with a grain of salt, because again, it depends what your ultimate hair goals you like definition and don't mind some crunch (from the hard hold gel) or do you just want softness and volume?

Let's take a product like our CoffeeCoco Curl Creme...If your hair is in the 2's (wavy) or 3a (loose curls) or 3b (classic curly hair with smaller curls), then you may want to pair up using a little of the Curl Creme with a gel on top (like our Aloe Fix Gel or a hard holding gel of your choice). This will help give you the benefits or enhanced curl definition with the "durability" and hold factor of the gel.

3c (tight curls) and 4a (tight curls/coils) type hair would most likely only need to use the Curl Creme. This is because this type does not really need something to prevent the curl from falling/coming out of their hair. This type is usually more concerned with moisture, shrinkage and then definition. A small amount of Curl Creme usually will do and adding a gel on top can lead to product overkill and not much added benefit. This hair type also tends to suffer more from white balls or flakes forming when they use a creme/leave-in under a gel. I think in order to combat this, you have to be sure that whatever product used under the gel is almost completely absorbed/dispersed through the hair before adding the gel product. A combo I like for my hair is the Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Conditioner rinsed out and then followed with the CoffeeCoco curl creme. This usually provides enough moisturization and hold for the day. This is a winning combo for my hair (3c/4a). When I want to combat shrinkage and get definition, then I'll just use the Aloe Fix, rake it through my hair and add more water to disperse the product. Another good combo is the Hibiscus & Banana Honey Butta or Curl Assurance Leave-in Conditioner, followed by our Smoothing Gellie. These combos work very well to provide moisture and definition with a light hold.

Lastly, all hair types should watch out for using too many conditioning products which can lead to frizz and over-conditioning. Using a rinse out conditioner and then a leave-in and then a creme and then a gel and then a pomade, can be a bit much for the hair and using all these products at once can lead to bad interactions as they may not work together chemically. I usually recommend to choose between using a leave-in or a curl creme because using both at the same time can cause frizz.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is Protein really all that bad?

This is a question that I've been getting a lot so I thought I'd address it here...

In my opinion, no, but you have to know when and how to use it! In general, I don't like to use blanket statements for anything when it comes to haircare since there are so many variables. So, when I see people avoid things like the plague because someone else does it, it makes me shutter!

If your hair is damaged from heat, coloring, wind, etc., then you could probably benefit from using a low protein conditioner now and again (not necessarily every time) and alternate with a no protein moisturizing conditioner. If your hair is fine, protein can help to give your hair some body. If your hair is normal and not damaged, then every week or two wouldn't hurt. If your hair is thick/coarse and not damaged, you probably won't need to use a conditioner with protein. However, if it has been damaged, you can still benefit from throwing a low-protein conditioner into the rotation.

For me, (3c/4a normal-width, thick density hair that is has been colored), a little protein is a good thing. Now, that means a little protein in the conditioner (like in Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair Conditioner) where there is enough to make my hair glossy and manageable, but not enough to make it hard or stiff. Those are reconstructing conditioners/protein packs for serious damage and I honestly have never had to use those. I alternate a moisturizing conditioner (like Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix) with the Curl Theory Conditioner on the 3rd day and I am just fine! Love it!

I find it is true that for "normal" unprocessed hair, if you use a conditioner that has protein every day (and the conditioner has a good amount of protein in it) it can build up on the shaft (especially if you don't use shampoo) and lead to dryness/brittleness (in which case you might try shampooing and following with a moisturizing conditioner). But it is good to use a low protein conditioner when you notice that your curls are not as...well...boingy/springy as they used to be and/or have some frizz. You could be lacking a little protein. Try it out and see how you like it! :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh No...Frizzies!

Hi Everyone! Sorry I've been away so long! The business and motherhood has been crazy (in a good way!) and unpredictable, so I've neglected posting, but I finally have a spare moment so...on to business! I've been getting some interesting general questions from people that I think would make good blog posts, so each post, I'll try to address a question/topic. This week I'm going to try to tackle the topic of frizz/frizziness.

What's causing this? Well, from what I've learned it mostly likely can stem from 3 main things:

1)Differences in your hair's natural texture. You may have tightly coiled, curly and wavy hair all in the same head and sometimes right next to each other and that can cause what looks like frizz.

2)Over conditioning/product buildup - Sometimes we tend to overuse conditioners, leave-ins and stylers which can lead to overconditioning (hair becomes almost too soft, frizzy and lifeless with undefined curls/coils). If you are using a really good moisturizing conditioner already, be careful not to overdo it by adding say, a leave-in and a styler that already has conditioning ingredients. I find that usually less is more, so if you have a creamy, moisturizing styler (like the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme), you probably don't need a leave-in conditioner underneath. If you want more hold, then you can top it with a little gel of choice (say the Aloe Fix or Smoothing Gellie :-), or your preferred gel) and that should do ya! Sometimes adding an extra product like a leave-in to this combo or similar combo can cause frizziness from overconditioning. I usually use a leave-in alone or with a gel product or I use a creamy product by itself so I avoid this problem. If the frizzies have you in their grasp, I find that clarifying (with a shampoo or ACV rinse, etc.), followed by a conditioner with a little protein (like Curl Theory) usually helps smooth out frizzies.

3)Dry weather (low humidity) - This is where you really want to use a good moisturizing rinse out conditioner followed by a leave-in conditioner with a low amount of humectants and plenty of smoothing emollients (like Curl Assurance leave-in) to seal in moisture. If you use a leave-in with a high level of humectants in this situation, your hair may "reach out" to the air looking for moisture (and then if it doesn't find it, the humectant can pull from the hair itself causing dryness and...frizzies!) which can give the appearance of frizzies!

These are the main causes I have found, although there are sure to be others as everyone's hair is different and we all live in different climates and do different things to our hair (coloring, highlighting, blowdrying, etc.) Hope this helps and feel free to contact me with questions you'd like to see answered in a future post!

Friday, January 9, 2009

To 'poo or not to 'poo

...that is the question. There is much debate on this topic, so I can only give my opinion on this as a cosmetologist, a haircare products formulator and as someone who has followed the no shampooing method.

Does it work? um...sometimes. OK, does it work for everyone? not really. There are a lot of factors that influence the choice to not shampoo including your own personality. Take me for instance, I'm a little bit of a control freak, so I want to know what my hair will look like most of the time and for me, that means a shampoo, condition, and a styler and or leave-in. I found that when I followed a no-shampoo routine, my hair looked about the same as with a shampoo, if not a little frizzier (probably due to over-conditioning). I also found that psychologically I like to shampoo and it's easier to keep my hair clean. You can get similar results with no using shampoo, but you have to be careful what types of conditioner and styling products you use.

Not into shampooing? Ok, look for lightweight conditioners (like Curl Theory Daily Hair Conditioner) that don't contain too much oil or waxes and ideally, contain surfactants or mild cleansing agents (which also can help with the emulsifying process in the conditioner). Ingredients like Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Behentrimonium Chloride, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine are some good ones to look for in your conditioner for your "conditioner washes". Also, it is very very important that you massage your scalp with as much pressure as you would with your shampoo. This is what helps to loosen and remove dirt and oil on the scalp along with the conditioner. If you are not using the right technique and/or product, you could end up with buildup which can be...not so nice.

OK, you want to use shampoo? Look for a very gentle, clear shampoo, preferably without sulfates (which tend to be harsher) like Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. Also, try not to shampoo every day and follow with a moisturizing conditioner.