Sunday, September 13, 2015

Don't Throw It Away Just Yet! How I Made Giovanni Conditioner Work For ME

After sharing my frustration with the Giovanni Hair Care line with followers on Instagram (as well as this post), I was very surprised by how many women actually agreed with my experience! It's always refreshing to know it's not just your hair lol

Always the one to not want to waste my very hard earned money, I set out to figure out a way to make this conditioner work for me, for no other reason than to finish the huge bottle I had. Even if I had no intentions of repurchasing.

I began to think of all the problems I had with the conditioner, and then try to work backwards to figure out how to make it work.

I had two main problems with the Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner:

  1. It left my hair feeling extremely dry after my wash and go was completed
  2. It didn't mix well with ANY of my gels, it left a small white film, or even flakes on all my styles 

Well looking at it as simply as this I realized one thing. The problem was ME not the conditioner

Let's be honest, when it comes to hair products, us naturals have a real problem with following directions. 

How many times has a product said "apply a dime sized amount"... We all know what OUR dime size looks like lol 

And how many times do we use actual leave in conditioners as our leave ins? Everyone may not be as guilty of this as I am, but I can personally say out of the 5 conditioners I interchange as leave-ins, only 2 of them are actual leave in conditioners lol 

Although MOST conditioners are fine to do this, and make your hair feel fine. Let me be scientific for a minute... The chemical make up of that conditioner will never provide you all of the benefits that an actual leave in conditioner would. 

This is the same reason that you can never really "deep condition" with a rinse out conditioner. Yes, they will treat temporary and mild problems. But they are "surface conditioners", made to sit on top of the hair and not penetrate the hair follicle, so they will never really feed your hair the nutrients that your hair needs. 

This can be the same reason some of the rinse out conditioners you are trying to use as leave-ins fall short of what you are expecting them to do. They are not made to be left in. 

In this case, the Giovanni Smooth As Silk is a very light weight conditioner. It is great for slip, detangling and quick moisture. But this same light, airy makeup that makes it great for the afore mentioned things is the same reason it falls short after you step out of the shower. 

It not only is not made up of ingredients that will penetrate your follicles to give them lasting moisture and softness, but its light consistency is not thick enough to stay on your strands to function as a leave-in. 

This is probably why when you apply the conditioner under a gel, your hair feels extremely dry. Essentially, you have manipulated and styling all the conditioner off of your hair while you were applying the gel and you're basically getting the same feeling as if you had gone straight in on your hair with the gel. 

To test this experiment, I hopped in the shower and co-washed as normal. After rinsing out my co-wash, I applied the Giovanni very generously to my hair and used it as a detangler (with my fingers only) and then left it in my hair as I completed my shower (so for about an additional 10 mins). Then I rinsed with cold water (I always end all my washes with cold water before I apply my leave in to seal the cuticles). My hair literally did feel "smooth as silk". My hair felt wonderful!

I applied my normal, thicker, conditioner.. the TRESemme Perfectly UNDone and styled as usual. My hair actually felt even softer than it normally did. I absolutely love this combination! 

So what's the take away point from this post? 

Sometimes if a product is not working for you, if you don't want to waste your money, try using it EXACTLY as directed. 

So I know what you're saying, now. "What about the Leave-in? It still gave me flakes and I used it as directed." Again, all products will not work well together. If you really love the giovanni leave-in and it doesn't mix well with your eco. You're going to have to stop using it with the eco. Use the leave-in for twist outs or other styles that do not require a gel on top. Giovanni also has a number of clear gels that has all been specifically designed to work with their leave-in. And they all run about $5-6. Not expensive at all, so it may be worth a shot to pair the two together. I've gotten some of my best hair results by doing product isolation (only using one brand of products from beginning to end when styling my hair). You may find a new favorite! 

See you guys in the next video!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

How To Stretch Your Curls: Banding Method For Natural Hair

The struggle of a curly haired girl... wanting to rock your curls but also wanting to keep your length. We've all been there. I'm just going to be honest with you, it's impossible to get 100% of your length and wear your hair curly... but us curly girls do have quite a few tricks up our sleeves to get a little of the length back and still "keep it curly". 

Now I've already told you guys 4 Ways To Combat Shrinkage on Curly Hair, so if you haven't checked out that post, I definitely suggest checking that one out! But today I want to talk to you guys specifically about Banding

The Banding Method is a heatless stretching method that applies tension to the hair to stretch the curls by applying hair bands all along the length of the hair. 

While I, personally, don't mind the amount of shrinkage my hair normally gets, every now and then I like to stretch my curls and "flex" my length, so I decided to give banding a try. It is also recommended as a way to discourage your curly hair from tangling, so this was also appealing to me. 

The first try I started on a Day 1 wash and go... Since I didn't care for how dry this particular combination of products made my hair feel, I thought this was a good opportunity to try the banding method. 

I moisturized my hair using a small amount of water and then used EVCO to seal in the moisture and prevent the frizz that may come from manipulating my hair. 

I decided on 4 bands because I had seen women with thicker hair do 6 (or more) and I felt that would be too many for my fine textured hair.

The next morning these were my results. 

While I had stretched hair, it wasn't much of a difference from how my hair normally looked and quite frankly, since it was NOT fun sleeping in those bands all night, I felt a bit let down. 

Also, with my fine strands, I noticed that the "stretched" look, that normally looks like soft beach curls on other natural women, mine just looked like straight hair that had been taken out of a pony tail or something! I realized that even 4 bands was too much tension for my hair. 

Although I do not moisturize and seal my hair, I did like the idea of doing so with this method, so I decided to give another try the next night, this time only using 2 sections for banding. 

I must say that I liked the 2 section banding method much better. They gave me less tension on my hair, were much easier to sleep in, and in my opinion gave me much better results. 

While I still do not think banding will be a common practice (by common I mean more than maybe a couple of times a month, where as some women do this every night) for me because I feel it still puts too much tension and manipulation on the hair, I do think I've been able to play with it enough to give you guys a few good tips to try for yourself if you ever consider the Banding Method. 

  1. The More Sections, The More The Stretch. I quickly found out that for my fine strands, 4 sections were 2, too many. It left me with almost bone straight pieces in some sections. The more sections you have, the smaller those sections are and the easier it is for tension to stretch your hair.  
    • Extremely Thick Hair - 6-8 sections is probably recommended for stretched, yet curly look. 
    • Normal Hair - I would suggest 4-6
    • Fine Hair - 2-3 
    • Extremely Fine hair, you may be able to just do 1 long band going straight to the back. 
  2. Don't Make The Bands Too Tight. It's better to use more bands, that to continue to wrap the band down your hair, making it tighter as you go. I wouldn't suggest wrapping the band more than 4 times, max. Although you want to stretch your hair, your hair's health should always be your first concern. 
  3. LIGHTLY wet/moisturize your hair before applying the bands to make it more pliable. This also helps prevent your hair from breaking from the tension of the bands. 1-2 sprays on each section should be enough. You are not trying to get your hair wet, just damp enough so that it is moisturized and also able to mold to the style. I also like to seal this moisture in with a few drops of EVCO, but this is optional. 
  4. If you're trying to stretch a wash and go, do not band all the way to the ends of your hair in order to keep your curls in tact. This is especially important for women with finer strands. If you are banding in the place of a blow out, then I would say go right ahead and band all the way to the end, but if you are trying to preserve your curls, stopping about 2 inches from the bottom will help you keep that full look. Like I said, banding tends to make your hair FLAT, you want to stretch the curls closest to your heat so that you get some of your length back, not remove your curls all together. 

I hope this helps!

I'll see you guys in the next video! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Your Holy Grail, My Holy FAIL!

Since I recently released my list of my Holy Grail Products , I think it's only right to do another round of "You Loved It, I HATED IT!"

Yes, we all have those products that are RAVED about by countless naturals, YouTubers do videos on the products (sometimes sponsored, sometimes not) and their hair turns out A1. So you run out to purchase the product, sometimes breaking a pretty penny for it, get it home, wash your hair and then you're left feeling the disappointment of a thousand suns!

This has happened to me quite a few times. Most notably, back before I started the CG Method I kept hearing all this rave about the Cantu Curl Activator Cream. I tried it on my hair and it was a complete mess! So much so I made a video about it!

However, in a turn of events, I ended up trying the product again and absolutely LOVING IT! So much so it became a staple of mine for almost a year after that! (Note: I no longer use this product because I am on the CG Method and although it claims to not have silicones, I still feel like my hair gets tons of build up using this product, so I stopped using it because I do not use shampoos to get the build up out of my hair)

Unfortunately this is has NOT been the case for the product I'm about to talk to you guys about today.

In fact, the whole product line as not worked well for my hair, and I'm actually quite sad about it.


I have been trying to make this product work for almost 2 years now. And y'all... I just can't do it. 

Right now I can think of at least 5 different people who SWEAR by this product, especially the Direct Leave-In. In fact, the very first time I purchased this product I was in Earth Fare and it was the last bottle and a girl saw I was getting the last bottle and was so broken up about it I offered it to her! lol She said she loved the product so much that she wanted me to experience it so I could keep it!

What initially drew me to the product (besides everyone raving about it) was that not only was it an all natural product, it was silicone free (I was not on the CG Method at the time, but any time I could find products that were cone-free, I welcomed it). 

Immediately I went home, co-washed my hair and tried the Direct Leave-in. The first thing that I noticed about the Direct Leave-in was that on first application, it reminded me of the Paul Mitchell "The Conditioner", I thought this was a plus because the PM is my favorite leave-in and if the Giovanni was comparable to that then maybe I could save some money (The Giovanni is about 1/2 the price of the PM). 

Once I got out of the shower and began to apply my product, this is when I knew it did not measure up to my Holy Grail. Although the Giovanni applied like the PM (a lot of slip and initially made my hair feel soft), after only a few minutes of being in my hair, my hair felt dried out and almost as if it had no product on it at all. What I like about the PM is that not only does it give me great slip to aid me in applying the gel to my hair, but it leaves my hair feeling soft and moisturized. I need that barrier of moisture to my hair since I don't seal with an oil to prevent my curls from being dried out by hair gel. 

By the next day, my feelings about the product had not changed, in fact they got worse. Not only had my suspicions of there not being enough of a moisture barrier between my hair and the gel rang true (my hair was very dry and brittle to the touch), but now I had another equally as big problem... FLAKES!

Now I know some women may be saying "Eco Styler does not blend well with anything"... I know a lot of women have this problem with Eco, but this has never been a problem for me. However, on this day... I had the most flakiest hair I have seen on my head, ever! 

Two year later, I'm sad to say... no matter how I use this product or what I combine it with, I have the same problem. 

The fact is, it has been my experience that the Giovanni Direct Leave-in OR the Deep Moisture Conditioner, do not blend well with ANYTHING. 

Almost every single styler I combine either of these products with I get the same drying and flaking effect. 

While the Deep Moisture is not an actual leave-in, so this could contribute to the reason why it doesn't "play well with others"... I do not have this problem with any of my Holy Grail products. 

This is a prime example of the saying, "What works for ME, may not work for YOU." While so many women (even with hair similar to mine) seem to love this product, it simply is not for me. And that's ok! 

And who knows... maybe ONE DAY... me and Giovanni will eventually be lovers and friends lol.