Sunday, December 12, 2010

Using Curl Junkie in Low Dew Points!

I have been receiving a lot of questions on this topic and thought it would be a good idea to blog a bit on it. For those who don't know what their dew points are, you can check out: and for an easy way to find out and see the relationship between temperature, relative humidity, and dew points.

In low dew points, for hair types that are sensitive to this, the best Curl Junkie products to check out are:

1)Daily Fix
2)Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix - this works best for me in low dews!
3)Curl Rehab
4)Smoothing Conditioner
5)Beauticurls Leave-in Conditioner
6)CoffeeCoco Curl Creme - this works great in low dews to seal in moisture!
7)Hibiscus & Banana Honey Butta
8)Curls in a Bottle!
9)Curl Queen
10)Strengthening Conditioner - edit *** just wanted to say that I have been using this product in the past week on my friends after cuts and colors and I love the way it leaves their hair glossy and smooth! This is performing really well even in low dews as a rinse out! No frizz and easy detangling (both have past bra-strap length wavy-curly hair (one fine, one coarse)). I am really loving this conditioner!

For a Protein Treatment try:
1)Repair Me!
2)Curl Fix

A customer just recommended a combo that actually works really well! Try:
1)Daily Fix - to cleanse
2)Strengthening Conditioner - as a rinse out conditioner
3)Beauticurls Leave-in - as your leave-in
4)CoffeeCoco Curl Creme - as your curl creme
5)Curls in a Bottle! - for hold and shine

The CoffeeCoco and Curls in a Bottle! combo actually provided a med-firm hold and good moisture levels...I liked this combo a bunch!

If you have any low dew combos that have worked well for you, please post 'em! :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment

I just thought I'd write a brief post to update everyone on the release of the new Repair Me! Treatment, its uses and when to reach for it!

This treatment was actually requested by several different people in different parts of the US around the same time. One in particular has chemically lightened, very fine, slightly wavy hair and needed a stronger dose of protein than our Curl Fix product. I love a challenge and so began formulating a stronger protein treatment. This treatment uses Keratin Protein which is regarded as one of the stronger proteins in that is creates a stronger film on the hair and should also therefore last longer. The trick while formulating, was to find a good balance between strength and moisture. This is one of the hardest things to do as many who use protein treatments will tell you. I only promised to release this treatment if all of my testers reported back that they LOVED the LIKES...since I did not want to release yet another product (which costs more $$$$ I barely had since releasing the other 4 products a few weeks ago). A part of me was secretly hoping at least someone would not like it. :-) Nope! The tester with the most damaged hair was the most vocal. "I want a gallon of this stuff once you release it!" she said. Well that did it for me and so here it is!

So who needs it? If your hair is damaged either due to chemicals or physical damage (from say blow-drying or flat-irons), you need it. If your hair is normal-fine, you might want to use it once a week or every 2 weeks just to give your hair extra support and body. All hair types can benefit from a once a month or so treatment just to keep the hair looking healthy and feeling good! This treatment is also good for those who don't like or are sensitive to other types of protein (like say, the wheat protein in Curl Fix), but still want a protein treatment.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to comment below! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Using the Newly Released Curl Junkie Products!

Hi Everyone!

Now that the products have been out for almost 2 weeks I figured this would be a good time to post some hints about using the new products based on feedback that I've received from customers as well as my own experiences with them.

1)Aloe Fix Lite - This is best for three distinct hair types for different reasons. One is wavy-curly hair that is normal-coarse and is looking for definition and hold. Another is wavy-curly hair that is normal - fine and looking for volume (it will not give you frizz control per say as that is part of the volumizing effect on this hair type). I think that for these hair types, the product works best alone with no Leave-in product underneath. This would produce the most hold in this product. The last hair type is very curly-coily normal-fine hair that is looking for definition and frizz control. To aid with the frizz control, try using the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme-Lite(for more hold) or BeautiCurls Leave-in (for more moisture) under the Aloe Fix Lite as they seem to really have a great synergy and work well together. If you are in a dry climate (low dew points), you can try topping with Curls in a Bottle! to add extra protection against dryness and frizz.

2)Curl Queen Gel - This gel is best for wavy-curly, normal-fine hair types looking to smooth frizz, add shine and humidity protection to their hair. Again, I think this gel works best alone, but also has a nice synergy with the new Smoothing Lotion Leave-in Conditioner. This glycerin-free gel is great for use in high and low dew point (very humid or dry areas) conditions.

3)Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion - This Leave-in conditioner has a lot of slip and is great for detangling. It can be used as a rinse-out as well, although it is best suited towards use as a leave-in. Only a small amount is needed so don't overdo it! You can also use this conditioner on dry hair to add moisture and smooth frizz.

4)BeautiCurls Strengthening Conditioner - This lightweight rinse out conditioner provides a healthy dose of Keratin Amino Acids to help support fine, fragile hair without weighing them down. This conditioner has a lot of slip/detangling and is light on moisture so is best for normal-oily hair types looking to perk up curls and cut frizz. All hair types can use this when looking to help revive curls and generally maintain hair strength.

If you have any new combos or suggestions for using the new products, feel free to post/comment and I'll add them below. Thanks to everyone for their support and I hope you enjoy the new products! :-)

Oh, and BTW-when I was redoing the website, I came across a pic of my hair length from Dec. 2008(see pics below). The last time I cut my hair that short was Feb. 2009 and then I decided to start growing out my hair and see how long I could get it. So now a little over a year and a half later, look at the difference! I can't wait to see it in another year! :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to Prevent Your Curls from Drying Out?

This was the number one question on the Curl Junkie Page on Facebook (if you haven't done so already, I invite you to "like" the CJ Page on Facebook) for the next topic to discuss on this blog. OK, so let's get started...

As with most things, there is not an easy answer for this since there are many variables. Things like the following will affect the answer for you personally:

1)Dew Points : I found a pretty good dew point calculator here, so you can find out what your dew points are at any given time and help you determine what products to use, but we will touch more on this later...

2)Hair texture, porosity, density - all of these will help you choose the best product to use for any given day.

3)Curl/Coil diameter/shape - in general, the tighter the curl/coil, the drier the hair tends to be so the more moisture/product you may need. That is to say, when the cuticle lies flatter (as in wavier, straight types of hair), there is less of a tendency for water to evaporate from within the shaft. When the hair bends more as with curlier types, then it is easier for any openings in the cuticle to let water escape (think of it like putting little pieces of tape on a slinky versus on a ruler. It is more likely that as the slinky moves the pieces of tape may raise up rather than when you move a ruler with the same pieces of tape.)...leading to more dryness.

4)Humidity levels where you will be spending most of your time - office space, the gym, outside in a wind storm, the steam room, etc. :-)

5)Damage to the hair - the more damaged your hair is then the more protein you will need in your products. The drier your hair is (in terms of feel), the more moisture/emollients you will need...

OK, so these are the more important things to consider in my opinion to start.

For me, what I have found is it all begins with the it a gentle shampoo or a conditioner wash (a method where conditioners are used as "shampoos") or co-wash. Try not to use anything that will rough up the hair shaft too much (some products people use as co-washes can do that I have found and lead the way to dry hair-usually because the product they are using was not meant to be used like this and are not specifically formulated to be used in that way). The next part is conditioning. I have found that if I am using good rich conditioners (as my hair tends to lean towards the dry side) on a daily (if not every other day) basis, my hair will stay moisturized throughout the day. My favorites from the Curl Junkie line are Curl Rehab & Beauticurls Daily Conditioner in normal-high dew points and Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix & Curl Assurance Smoothing Conditioner for Normal-Low dew points. For where I live in the North East, this basically translates to Spring-Summer for normal-high dews and Fall-Winter for normal-low dew points (although this is not set in stone). Depending on where you live you could have higher dews most of the time (say in Florida or Texas) or more moderate dew points (say in California) or low dew points (like Arizona), so check out the dew point calculator to see how factors such as temperature and relative humidity relate to dew points. (This may seem a bit complicated for some but folks asked so I'm tellin'!)

Finally, you have to follow this with the right styling product and/or leave-in conditioner. For me, in the Fall/Winter time (low dews), my favorite styling products are things like the CoffeeCoco Curl Creme or Honey Butta. In the Spring/Summer, I prefer gels like Aloe Fix topped with a little Curls in a Bottle!, sometimes alone and other times over a little bit of leave-in like Beauticurls Leave-in Conditioner. In other words, in low dews I need more emollients (like butters and oils) in my styling products to help seal in moisture (and prevent frizz). The product can have humectants in them, just not a lot. In higher dews, I love a lot of humectants (like glycerin) along with something to seal in the moisture and add weight (which gel products do for me with or without crunch).

If I follow this routine with products I know work for me (like mine :-P), then my curls don't frizz out or feel dry and parched by the end of a day. If I want to try for second day hair (in other words, to refresh my dry hair when I get ready in the morning), I can usually use a spray like Curl Fuel in the higher dews and CoffeeCoco Lite in lower dews.

Again, this is what I have found in general and variations will occur. This is why you will have to experiment with my products and with other brands.

Lastly, I have also found that you do need to wash and condition your hair more often (every 1-3 days) for best results as far as moisture retention and the look of the hair. If you are doing styles like 2 strand twists/braids, then maybe you can go for a few days, but no more than a week is best in my opinion between wash/conditions.

I hope this helps and of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to post them! :-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Curl Junkie Sample Pouch Sets!

We finally have sample pouch sets available for purchase from our site! We have 2 sets of pouches:1)Cleansing/Conditioning (containing all of our cleansers and conditioners) and 2)Styling Products (containing all of our styling products except the Curl Fuel which we couldn't fit in the pouches! :-) ). Unfortunately, we do not have individual pouches available for purchase, only the sets, and we cannot customize them at this time.

I do understand that these may be too small for some to get a thorough assessment of the product, but they are really meant for folks to get an actual physical feel of the product and to check out the smell, moisture, hold, etc., in the most cost effective way possible. Unfortunately, larger sizes require much more money once you start using a manufacturer and that would not be possible at this time. I do hope this will be helpful for some! :-)

The Cleansing/Conditioning set contains single use, .5oz pouches of:
1)Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
2)Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
3)Smoothing Conditioner
4)Beauticurls Daily Conditioner
5)Beauticurls Leave-in Conditioner
6)Curl Rehab - Strawberry
7)H&B Deep Fix
8)Curl Fix

The Styling Set contains single use, .5oz pouches of:
1)Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
1)CoffeeCoco Curl Creme
2)CoffeeCoco Curl Creme-Lite
3)H&B Honey Butta
4)Smoothing Gellie
5)Curls in a Bottle!
6)Aloe Fix

Click here for more info!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My 2 cents on Protein/Texture/Porosity/Moisture Balance! :-)

So, I've gotten a lot of questions recently about Proteins, Hair porosity, Hair Texture, & Moisture which is great because it makes you think even more about the relationships that exist between things. This also ties into the quest for the "Holy Grail" product and why what works for you one day, doesn't work the next.

First let me say that we all have to remember that there are many factors that go into determining whether or not a product works for you. Here are just some things to consider (assuming you haven't found your perfect combos yet):

1)Outside Weather - including Dew points, temperature, relative humidity, wind, rain, snow, etc...
2)How you treat your hair - Do you use heat regularly? Do you color your hair? Do you sleep on a cotton pillowcase vs. satin vs. whatever... Is it damaged or generally healthy?
3)Inside Environment - Humidity - is it relatively dry or most in your home or office?
4)Hair Texture - Fine through normal through Coarse (For the sake of this article, on a 1-10 scale, I'll say that the very finest of hair is a 1 and the coarsest of hair is a 10). I find that most people who think they have really coarse hair don't. This is mainly due to frame of reference. You'd need to feel truly coarse hair (which is typically given as Asian/Native American, although I have felt variations there as well and have seen the coarsest hair in my life on a Caucasian head...2 actually...and they were both red-heads...humm...). This isn't to say that you aren't right, but it is likely that your hair is in the 6-9 range. Just as with fine hair, you'll be in the 2-4 range. It turns out, when I compare my hair strands with other folks hair, that I fall in the normal to fine range (about a 4)...that was a surprise to me!
5)Hair Porosity - Low-normal-high (which most people will not have unless their hair is damaged/bleached/etc). For the sake of this article, low porosity hair will feel smooth moving your fingers up and down the shaft and also has problems absorbing water/product/chemicals (you may see water beading up on the hair). High porosity hair will feel bumpy or a little rough (due to the cuticle layer not laying very flatly) and absorbs almost too much of everything (and will release it easily too, including moisture!).
6)Hair Density - Do you have a lot of hair on your head or very little (so you see your scalp easily)?
7)Wave/Curl Pattern - I think this a factor, although not the major one. For example, generally speaking, I think that if you have a weaker wave/curl pattern with fine-normal hair you may want to use a hard holding gel with your products to support your pattern.
8)Products you use on your hair - again, the quality, gentleness or harshness of the products you use regularly on your hair. Sometimes you can do damage with a harsh shampoo, sulfate or sulfate-free. Sometimes you need some protein and sometimes not. Sometimes you need a particular type of protein (like say the protein in an ingredient like Lecithin which even coarse heads seem to be OK with...).
9)How many times per week do you wash/condition/style your hair?
10)The temperature of the water you use to wash your hair...think about it, if you shower in hot water (like I do), then you create a great moisture rich environment for your hair to soak up almost turn your conditioners into Deep Treatments! I find that even folks who normally avoid say glycerin in products, could use it in this environment and rinse it out (making sure not to use glycerin in their stylers). The glycerin helps to soak up the moisture in the shower air (this is not scientific, just what I've found! :-P)

I'm sure I'm forgetting other factors, but as I remember them I will come back and update the list (or leave a comment with some other factors). All of these things can come into play when selecting what products to use. For me, each day is different. Worse yet, I test products it seems all the time and have been known to shampoo and condition my hair at least twice a day most days, so my hair can take a beating! Every morning I put my hands in my head and just feel it...then I see what the weather is like and make a choice. Most times I choose well, but not always!

So, do you need protein or moisture and which ones? Ok, so if you use my number scale above (based on hair texture in this case), let's make some generalizations (so exceptions will exist, this is just some advice):

Assuming you have "healthy", undamaged, normal porosity hair:
1)If you range from 1-3, you will want to regularly use products with protein in your hair to help give it body, strength and support. This means your conditioners and stylers and basically, you are free to experiment with them. I have found in general for all the hair textures, if you have normal-high porosity, you can also use products that have oils/butters in them (just not too heavy).
2)If you are in the 4-6 range, you will want to alternate using products with protein and those without protein.
3)If you are in the 7-8 range, you may want to use a conditioner with protein in it about 1 time a week. You can occasionally use stylers with protein in them, but should alternate with protein free options. Also Amino acids are a good choice for proteins since they tend to wash away easily and are less likely to build up on your hair.
4)If you are in the 9-10 range, unless your hair is damaged, use protein free products where possible. You might find you need a protein treatment once in a blue moon, but likely not.

(The hair on the left (mine) is about a 4, the one in the middle is about a 6 and the one on the right is about a 7-8. These are approximations based on my own crazy system and are estimates. As you can see, the differences between the hair strands are really small, but if you could see them live and feel the hair strands, it would be easier to see the real differences in texture. These hairs are also stretched out from their original tightly coiled (mine), curly (center), and wavy(right) patterns for the purposes of this demonstration. I hope this helps with your own comparisons! Not the best pics I know, but I'll keep adding as I get more! :-) )
As promised, above are some more fine hair strands. The one on the left is about a 1, the one in the middle is about a 2 and the one on the right is my hair strand which is about a 4.

Again, these are generalizations and the other factors may contribute to a product working for you or not...

Hope this helps and be sure to visit Curl Junkie to check out some product options! :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Using the new Curl Junkie Products!

As most people know, I've released a few new products over the past 2 months and since I just released 2 new ones, I figured that now would be a good time to go over how to use them! Please keep in mind that everyone's hair is different and the following are just suggestions to help you get the most out of the products based on my experience. The following is based on my experience as well as based on client feedback.

Coffee-Coco Curl Creme-Lite - This is a lightweight version of the original formula and is perfect for wavy-curly hair for use on wet or dry hair. When I first developed this one, I made it for use on wet hair. Then, my manufacturer and her chemist tried it by chance on their wavy (& colored) dry hair and swore by it. I recently had the chance to visit them and tried it out on their hair. I was amazed! It added a little sheen, moisture, definition, and bounce to their hair! So when I returned home, I tried it on my hair dry and it worked like a charm. Now, this was not developed for my hair type (3c/4a), so it is too light for me to use on wet hair, but on dry hair, for refreshing and killing frizz...excellent! For 2a-3b hair types, feel free to try it both ways and you will probably not need a leave-in when using this as it is very conditioning. For 3c-4a types, I think it works best on dry hair for reviving curls/coils, but that is how it works out on my hair.

Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner - This is perfect for people who follow a CG routine (conditioner wash routine) or need a gentle conditioning cleanser. I normally do not follow this routine (I like to shampoo-mainly with the Gentle Cleansing Shampoo), but since I had been killing my hair testing products, even a gentle shampoo can be a bit much when you have to wash your hair 5 times in a row! This conditioner saved my hair's life. It has a lot of slip and moisture, yet lightly cleanses the hair without stripping it. At worst, after using this I just need a little bit of conditioner mainly on the ends of my hair since my hair is dry. If you have normal-oily hair and/or fine-normal hair, this may be the only product you need for your cleansing/conditioning routine. It has a light mint/citrus/cucumber scent and is very creamy. Make sure to wet your hair thoroughly and add small amounts to hair. Smooth it through and then add a little water. At this point you can start the scrubbing/shampooing motion and you should see a few bubbles start to form (add more product as you feel is necessary). Once you are satisfied with the level of cleansing, rinse and style. This is not a leave-in product so do be sure to rinse it all out. Love this stuff!

Curls in a Bottle!
- This can be used as your only styling product depending on your hair type. I have found that this product works the best for me when I use the Beauticurls Daily Conditioner first. I think that in this dry, cold weather, the glycerin in the conditioner works wonderfully in the shower to give my hair the moisture it needs and won't get outside of the shower. Then I rinse thoroughly and apply the Curls in a Bottle! straight. I apply a good amount (about 4 half-dollar sizes for my almost shoulder length normal-thick 3c/4a hair) to my hair and scrunch/squish it through my hair before towel blotting. If my hair is feeling on the dry side, then I might add Curl Rehab or Curl Fix as a leave-in under the product. It should be noted that this is not a curl enhancing product (or wasn't developed to be), so if you have wavy hair and are looking to boost curl, you may have to mix this with a hard hold gel to help encourage curl. This product helps to smooth out and define waves and curls.

Beauticurls Daily Conditioner - This is great for adding a shot of moisture and detangling. I've also heard reports from people who have been using it successfully as a leave-in as well. I use it as an instant detangler that I rinse out after 1-3 minutes and I get hydrated, soft hair.

Beauticurls Leave-in Conditioner
- This is a lightweight option for adding a little moisture to the hair. It is very conditioning so it may not the best choice to use under the Curls in a Bottle! since the 2 together can be over conditioning and cause frizz (or use a very small amount). I find it's best to use this one by itself or topped with a hard hold gel. It also smells fantastic-which is a plus!

Curl Fix - This is perfect for when you need a dose of protein or if you have fine hair that likes protein in conditioners. There is not so much to make your hair hard, but especially when used with heat, this helps you to add strength and smoothness to your fragile hair. I like to use this as a leave-in under the Curls in a Bottle! when I feel like my hair could use a little protein/strengthening.

Curl Assurance Smoothing Daily Hair Conditioner
- I look at this as the lightweight daily version of Curl Rehab or I should say that is how it performs on my hair. Once this penetrates the hair after 2-3 minutes, you can feel it smoothing out frizzies (or I can :-) )-hence the name...I alternate this with the Beauticurls Daily Conditioner and once a week I choose a deep conditioner from either the Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix, Curl Fix, or Curl Rehab.

I hope this helps give some insight into how to use the products. If you have any questions about using them, feel free to post below and I'll do my best to answer! :-)