BAA Growth Challenge

24 June 2010

SheaMoisture Brilliant Curl Shampoo Review

So I’ve had this product for almost a month now, and I’ve been using it to wash at least once a week. I figured I’ve given it enough time for me to write an honest and accurate review of it. Here is a pic of the product of which I speak:



First thing’s first. This stuff SMELLS AWESOME. I know the scent of something shouldn’t be your biggest concern, but for me if I don’t like the smell of a product there’s no way I’m going to want to use it consistently. The smell is pretty coconutty.


Ingredients are as follows:

Here are the ingredients in order:

  • Deionized Water
  • Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Beets)
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice
  • Vitamin E
  • Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil
  • Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (Coconut Oil)
  • Panthenol (Vitamin B-5)
  • Rosemary Extract
  • Silk Protein
  • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract

* Certified Organic Ingredients


All good stuff, nothing that is on the “bad” ingredient list for Natural hair. The price is also VERY reasonable. I paid $9.99 (plus tax) for it at the local Target, and I have a feeling it will last me until like the end of the year. In the picture above that was after like 5 or 6 washes (one day I used it to wash my hair 3 times in a row trying to figure out a WNG, I think I talked about it in a previous entry).

If lather is important to you, then you will LOVE this stuff. A little more than quarter sized amount is enough to get you a nice lather all over your head the FIRST time you shampoo. You know how sometimes with shampoos you don’t get a really good lather out of shampoos until the SECOND time you do it. Not with this stuff. You get awesome lathering EVERY time you use it.

The only thing I did before washing my hair was pre-poo overnight with EVOO. Since this is a sulfate-free shampoo I didn’t have to do any of the diluting stuff I’ve heard other people do to their hair. This shampoo does NOT leave your hair stripped at all. In fact, I think I could get away with not conditioning afterwards and just going straight to my leave-in and some EVOO for WNGs. I’m not going to TEST that theory (LOL), but I think I could get away with it.

Additionally, if you want to revive your curls, this shampoo will DEFINITELY do it for you. While washing my hair after the first rinse I can feel curls popping all over the place (especially in the back where my curls are tighter). It’s a wonderful feeling. The bottle says that you can use it for detangling, and I will say that the bottle isn’t lying. I like to rake my fingers through (not a comb!) to get any shed hairs I may have missed detangling the night before.

When I rinse my hair out it feels REALLY soft. For those of you who watch Rachel Ray, you know how she’s always talking about “smell-a-vision”? Well I wish computers had “feel-a-vision” because my hair feels so wonderful after using this shampoo. I think it does what it says it will do. I think there was an accompanying regular conditioner or hair milk type thing, I may have to go back and get some of that. If just the shampoo is as moisturizing as I find it to be, it may be even BETTER if I use it as a set.

Which brings me to another point, this product DOES work well with others. I don’t think  you will HAVE to purchase it in a set of other SheaMoisture products if you don’t want to.


Here’s my hair after my first use of the shampoo, this was BEFORE I used any type of conditioner:

Here’s my hair on the 22nd after washing with the shampoo and DCing with my ORS/Honey/EVOO mix:

My hair loves this stuff (oh and in the second pic, that’s water running down my forehead, not a vein or something. LOL). If you click on the pics I think you may be able to see larger versions.


So basically I give this shampoo 5 Afros out of 5 (LOL). I recommend it to anyone with curls and thick hair. There is not one thing I dislike about this shampoo. It’s also excellent for your scalp.

23 June 2010

Green Tea, Oh How I Love Thee. . .

let me count the ways ~lol~Herbal_Tea

So I participate in a couple of hair forums, and on one of them a few ladies would talk about doing “tea rinses” to their hair. It sounded interesting, and since the ladies had beautiful hair I thought “hey, maybe there’s something to this”. So, I started doing some research on tea and hair. As it turns out, I only had green tea in the house so I wanted to see what benefits it has for the hair. Here’s what one article had to say about it:


Soothes Dandruff and Psoriasis

  • Research also suggests that green tea can help with scalp conditions such as dandruff and psoriasis by soothing skin and reducing inflammation. Using a shampoo that contains green tea or using a green tea rinse after shampooing can help reduce scalp irritation. Many commercial anti-dandruff shampoos contain carcinogens, making green tea products a safer alternative. When choosing a green tea shampoo, look for one in which green tea appears close to the top of the list of ingredients and that does not contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, which could contribute to scalp irritations.

    Strengthens and Conditions

  • Green tea also contains vitamin C, vitamin E and panthenol, which are all common ingredients in hair conditioner. Vitamin E restores dry or damaged hair, while vitamin C guards against damage from UV radiation. Panthenol, a provitamin, strengthens and softens hair and prevents split ends. Choose hair products that contain real green tea extract or EGCG.

    Read more: How Green Tea Benefits Hair |

  • One Month Natural (As Of Yesterday)

    So yesterday was my one month anniversary! YAY me! So what did I learn in the first month?:

    • Conditioner only does not work for me as far as WNGs
    • Gel doesn’t really work either
    • Leave-In Conditioner and EVOO works wonderfully for my WNGs
    • My smaller twists look better if I just grab and twist
    • Trying to part my hair is definitely a process. I’m hoping it will get easier as my hair gets longer (so it’ll be easier to clip out of the way)
    • My hair apparently LOVES green tea
    • Detangling at night and pre-pooing the night before washing = happy hair and a happy me
    • SheaMoisture Brilliant Curl Shampoo is awesome on so many levels (review pending)

    Here’s some of the styles I’ve done over the last month:

    14 June 2010

    My New Wash N Go Method

















    So even though I BC’d less than a month ago, I wanted to perfect my WNG. I knew it was going to be one of my staple styles over the summer since it’s hot, and I’m lazy when I’m hot. So the accordion method I was talking about in previous posts works out fine, but my hair wouldn’t stay defined when it dried. It turned into a curly fro. I liked the curly fro look, but I still wanted to try my hand at defining the curls a little. Find out what I did over the jump

    09 June 2010

    Embrace the Shrinkage

    So I BC’d a couple of weeks ago, and one thing I was really worried about before BCing was shrinkage. For the last few years I was obsessed with length. I even hated to have my ends clipped even when I needed them clipped. It’s amazing how far I’ve come in less than a year. Yes, less than a year. I may have BC’d a year after my last relaxer, but I didn’t “officially” officially decide to go natural until about 4 months later. I usually went that long without getting a relaxer since I got used to it in undergrad (I didn’t like non-professionals putting chemicals or scissors in my hair), but one day I just decided “f-it, I don’t want anymore relaxers.”

    Anyway, my point is, I was once afraid of shrinkage and obsessed with length. Now I’m more obsessed with the health of my hair. I don’t want it to be dry and nasty and dirty. I want my hair to be happy, when my hair is happy, I’m happier. When my hair isn’t happy, I’m not happy. It may just be a psychological thing, but when you look good, you feel good.

    The way I see my shrinkage now is, it’s healthy. My hair is curly almost to the point of being coily in some spots, and less so in others. When my hair is healthy, it will shrink. When I pull a piece of my hair out, it usually snaps right back into the curl, and I love it. When it grows out some more it will still have shrinkage, but it probably won’t be able to do what it does now, so I’m embracing my shrinkage. I love my shrinkage. My shrinkage is part of what makes me and my hair uniquely beautiful. I’m sure there will come a time when I dislike the shrinkage (no one loves anything ALL the time) but I suspect those times are going to be few and far between.

    So embrace your shrinkage, especially in the summer because while some necks will be baking, mine will be nice and cool. :o) 

    07 June 2010

    Perfecting my WNG

    I’ve pretty much decided that I cannot do the whole “curl defining” thing, at least not at this length. I don’t have the patience, and when I do try to be patient with it it ends up being too white (as in too much product) and I was paranoid that it wouldn’t dry clear. So I went back to the conditioner only method (LOL@ “went back to” when I’ve only been natural like two weeks. . . ). I love the accordion method from Mahogany Curls for my WNGs, the shake method didn’t give me the same results. But with the accordion method, it took my hair way too long to dry. I think part of that was using HEHH because that conditioner is so thick, and part of it is my hair is thick as all hell. So it takes almost 24 hours for my hair to dry.

    This morning I woke up and refreshed my WNG, but then I decided to try something different. So I co-washed with my V05 Strawberries n Cream conditioner (which is lighter than HEHH) and then I rinsed my hair and shook it to get out most of the water. THEN I took about two quarter sized amounts of the V05 conditioner and ran it over my head. After that I did the scrunching method and pulled it back into a puff. Now it hasn’t even been an hour yet, and my hair is pretty close to dry (except for the very back which for some reason always takes a really long time to dry ~shrug~) And it’s bigger and fluffier than when I use the HEHH. Here’s a picture of it now.

    The curls aren’t really “defined” per-se, but I like the curly/fro look.

    This is my first time trying this method, I like it, I’m going to try again tomorrow to see if I can get a little more definition, and to try to figure out a way to get the back to not take as long to dry. Right now it’s really trial and error.

    01 June 2010


    So I’ve been natural what 10 days? LOL and I’ve already done TWO twist-outs. That is out of control. So here are the twists I did like the day after I BC’d:















    I wasn’t crazy about them. I don’t think I did them small enough that time, but considering it was a first effort, not bad. As you can see the ends were looking kind of dry and crusty. I think that’s the only spot where I’ve really had that horrible dryness that I heard a lot of people have after they BC. But night after night I’d put some EVOO on my twists and slowly but surely those ends came to life. Also, some of them were being plagued by some stowaway straight ends, I’ve been snipping those off. I did my first wash n go AFTER these twists and the subsequent twist out, and between the WNGS and the lastest set of twists, I think I may have finally gotten them all. . .

    Here is the resulting twist-out:






    Not bad. There’s a lot of definition which is good, and the twists were about the size I liked, but I didn’t like how much scalp was showing. I think that will go away though as my hair begins to get used to its freedom, I’m already seeing it stretching to be free.

    Then on Sunday after that WNG I did I got bored and decided to re-twist my hair again, this time I did it much smaller (at least I thought I did. . .  And I just grabbed and twisted, no comb was really used. Pics over the jump.

    BAA Growth Challenge

    So I’ve entered a BAA (or “Big ass afro” challenge that will run for six months starting today. The purpose of this challenge is just to make your hair grow. Nothing special involved there.

    Here is my starting information (I actually took the pics a few days ago, but my hair is probably the same length, I don’t think it’s growing quite THAT fast ~lol~)

    Current length: about 4-5" in the front, about -46" in the crown/middle and 5-6" in the back

    Any goals: I want about another 2-3 inches, and healthy happy hair. I also want to learn how to cornrow/french braid

    Challenge Duration: June 1-December 1

    Products: Not sure yet since I just BC'd, right now I'm just going to use what I used while transitioning and see what does and doesn't still work. So my staples (I rotate the conditioners) are V05 Strawberries n Cream, HEHH, Aussie Moist, DC = ORS Replenishing Conditioner, Leave-in= Aussie Hair Insurance, Oils= Castor and EVOO, Styling = ORS Lock and Twist Gel & Shea Butter mixture.

    Regimen: Wash at least once a week & DC, if I wash more than once, I just co-wash. Shampoo once a month, ACV Rinse once a month or as needed.

    Here are the starting pictures:

      Ear-Month1 Front-Month1 Back-month 1