Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A "what's in the works" post

I have a ton of ideas rattling around my brain, as well as many requests from customers about what they'd like to see at Sweet Curls Elixirs.
So I thought I would compile a list of things that are "in the works". Some further along than others!

Currently in development - protein treatments, low-sulfate shampoo, healthy scalp oil scrub, super light detangling leave in moisture spray or gel, A Flax/Okra gel and a Flax/Okra Serum

Next up: dry shampoo and no-rinse foam shampoo, oil blends for hair types/function (fine hair, damaged hair, etc.)

Others: a molding wax or pomade of some sort, a CJ curl Queen dupe w/o wheat

Friday, April 25, 2014

Battling post cut curl shock and update on where the sam hill my instruction vids are!

First, let me address the promised how to vids I have promised so many times. I tried and tried to start, but I always come to some sort of impasse in the middle. My problem is, while curl pattern; hair length and other cosmetic variations of curls mean next to nothing when formulating a product, they DO have a lot to do with product application and technique. So I was always forced to stop and wonder if I was presenting the product with enough information for everyone. How could I, a wavy who sometimes needs a lot of help to get my wave to do the right thing (as if I could ever make them do anything, but I still try) give hair product application advice to the 4's in a video when I clearly do not have type 4 curls. I can spit back information I have been told, of course. Which is what will most likely happen, as I do not know any 4's who would come be my hair model for that type. And if I did have a video for each type.. well, that's just a lot of videos.
I have been trying to come up with a good series that has as much info as possible without requiring me to film 30 (probably long) videos. Besides, would you really want to watch that?
So I think I will make an introduction video explaining the role that curl type has in application and technique. Then I will make a video for each product as I use them, trying to note as I go where a different type may want to try something else. Now that I think I have the logistics figured out, I will begin trying again. But I will note one more time, I really hate myself on video. UGH!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Battling post cut curl shock.

We all know how it goes, right? You go in to get a hair cut, excited because you expect your hair to look fabulous afterwards, only to be faced with limp lackluster waves and curls for a few days (or more, at times). 
How can you quickly put a spring back into the step of your curls?
You need one day where you do not care how wild your hair is going to turn out. Because it will. You have been warned. Next, follow a wash and style routine focused on lightweight products. Sulfate wash if that's what your hair wants. (Waves and curls who have gone limp, often respond to a sulfate wash.). If your hair likes protein, give it all it wants. Do as heavy duty protein treatment as you dare. Protein will help reform and support those curves (if you are intolerant to protein, please skip!). Give it lightweight moisture. It doesn't matter if it's a light rinse out revved up with lots of honey, or a completely DIY avocado/oil/honey mask. Just get that moisture in there, but with as light a combo as you can manage.
Next comes the fun! Use the hardest hold lightest stylers you have. Mousse is often good for this. It is lighter than gel while a lot of them still give a pretty crunchy finish. Do not fear the crunch. Your hair needs it right now. Now, scrunch. Scrunch. Scrunch some more. Do NOT worry about frizz right now. Do NOT worry about spaghetti clumps. Do NOT become alarmed if you start to look like a lion in a wind tunnel. Seriously. I'm not joking.  Now, use the clipping style that gives you the most curl and volume at the root. For me it is medium sized jaw or octopus clips. Lean over, scrunch again. If things have started to fall, wet your hands and scrunch in some more mega hold whatever in there. Ready? Ladies, start your diffusers! (NASCAR reference, shush, I live in Indiana... you can't get away from it here). Diffuse for volume and curl. Not clumps and frizz control. This means you will be less careful, you will move it around more to catch each section before it starts to fall. Diffuse upside as much as possible, but move upright often too so the underside doesn't start to fall. Are you seeing the goal here? You are scrunching in the wave and curls at their curliest, then you are locking them in by quickly drying them and holding them there with some mega hold crunch.
I personally prefer to leave the crunch and let dissolve naturally during this process, so the waves stay as wavy as possible. I don't normally mind because like I said, I did not just style my hair to be actually presentable at this point. I just need to remind my hair of who it is. This usually only to me when I take off quite a bit of hair. It's like the waves get scared if they show up they'll be chopped off, too. (LOL, no, in all honesty it's because my ends are always curlier, and it seems the "new" ends need to be told they are the curliest part now. That's my theory on mine, anyway)
I can now re-style the next day and my hair will remember what it's supposed to do.
I forgot a couple of other things that often help perk up waves and curls. One is an acid type rinse. Apple Cider Vinegar or Citric Acid are used for this. These are usually more helpful if the limp locks are due to build up, but I think some hair  just responds to having the acidity "reset". Use distilled water, and add a small amount of ACV or Citric Acid. Use this rinse as your final step in the shower, leave for a few minutes then rinse. Some prefer to leave the rinse in and let it dry. I suppose that's fine if that's your thing. The vinegar smell will dissipate as hair dries.
The other is magnesium sulfate. I know one wavy who uses tons of it and swears by it. If you are new to it, however, go easy at first as it can be drying!
You could add a small amount to your shampoo or conditioner. You could make a rinse like the acid rinses above, only you will leave this one in. You can add anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to a whopping tablespoon to 8 ounces of distilled water. Apply stylers after the rinse.
You can make a spray (there are many many sprays out there from commercially available actual bottled sea water in which the curl activation is sodium sulfate, or sea salt. To thousands of DIY magnesium sulfate sprays.)
I like to make my own, because I just like to my own hair stuff! I have used many recipes, but I think the main go to for me is:
8 ounces distilled water, infused with horsetail and a bit of marshmallow root
1-2 tsp. magnesium sulfate aka Epsom Salts
1 ounce aloe juice or a few drops aloe extract
a few drops of oil of choice (I prefer something lighter like sweet almond)
fragrance of choice * optional

Bring the water to a boil with a tea ball filled with 1 tsp or more horsetail, and 1/2 tsp or more of marshmallow root. Add the magnesium sulfate while the water is still very hot so that it dissolves more completely. Let the herb sit in the water until the water cools. After the water cools, add the rest of the ingredients. You can whisk them in, use a stick blender, or just pour into your spray bottle and shake. I prefer to use the whisk attachment on my stick blender. It just incorporates things better, and since there are no emulsifiers in it, the oil will separate more if not well blended (will still separate on standing).
Spray into wet or damp hair before applying mousse or gel.