everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

product reviews

tangle teezer revisited

I had written a review about using the Tangle Teezer a few years ago. (read it here)  I wasn’t all that impressed by it, really.  For a long time, it just sat in my drawer, hardly touched.

Fast forward to having 2 small children, a lot less time, and about 6 more inches of hair.

Because I have much less time to spend on it, my hair is not in as good of shape as it used to be.  Yes, it’s thicker and longer than it has ever been (thank you pregnancy hormones!), but it’s dry and frizzy, and hard to manage.  I’m certain this is due to lack of care on my part.

My hair has never been prone to tangles.  Even with it being naturally curly, at any given time I could run my fingers through it fairly easily.  But over the past couple of years, that has changed.  Drastically.  My hair now gets horrible tangles and becomes a matted mess.  I know dryness is responsible for part of it.  A big part of it, I think, is also due to the  sometimes excessive fall-out I have (thank you pregnancy hormones).  The loose hairs just get all wrapped up in the mess and create more mess.

Tangle-TeezerAnd because of having 2 small children, I get less time in the shower.  Normally, I would detangle in the shower with a ton of conditioner and a wide tooth comb.  But when the tangles are so bad that it takes 15 minutes just for that…… ain’t nobody got time for that!

So I started detangling after my shower, while my hair is still wet.  Oh. my. goodness.  The Tangle Teezer has been amazing for this!!!

After my shower, I wrap my hair in a t-shirt for a little while.  My hair still needs to be very wet for it to work well, but not soaking dripping wet.  I divide my hair in half and then work through small sections.  The Tangle Teezer gets through it sooooo much easier than a comb!  I’ve been quite impressed with it.  When I’m all done, I put a generous amount of gel all through my hair and scrunch it.

No, I don’t get good curl definition this way, but let’s face it, I wear my hair up 99% of the time these days anyway so it doesn’t really matter.  I get it detangled and get rid of the fall-out.  If I don’t do that, my hair is a disaster.



tangle teezer

A few weeks ago, while I was in the process of writing the last post, a friend actually bought a Tangle Teezer for me as a gift.  I very rarely brush or comb my hair while it’s dry, so I finally took the opportunity to try it out today.  In preparation for a deep conditioning treatment, I wanted to detangle my hair so I could get the oil through it easily.  It was rather more tangled than usual, and I’m still having quite a bit of fall-out which makes the process a little more difficult.

For comparison, I divided my hair in half and used my wide-tooth horn comb on one side, and the Tangle Teezer on the other.  The side with the comb took about 5 minutes to get it completely detangled.  The Tangle Teezer worked through the tangles much quicker, but it was difficult to get it through the thicker parts of my hair.  I had to divide the half into more sections to make sure I didn’t miss anything in the middle.  It felt quite good on my scalp…. when I could feel it.  Again, I had to divide my hair into sections, especially around my crown area where the hair is thickest, to be able to reach my scalp with the brush.  Then, I felt the need to do a once-over with the comb to make sure I got it all (because the teeth of the comb will reach all the way through my hair).  Because of all this, it ended up taking just as long as using the comb, and (in my opinion) was more trouble.

My conclusion:

  • I think it may work well as part of a process…. such as using the Tangle Teezer when I encounter a knot during the combing process.
  • If you have issues with tangles, do give it a try!
  • You may like it better than I do if you don’t have really thick hair.

tangle teaser

time to find a new conditioner, yet again

I cannot even begin to express my frustration!  Why?  WHY?!?!  do companies insist on changing their formulas if everybody loves it the way it is?  I know I’ve ranted about this on here before.  This happens to me on a regular basis.  I find a conditioner that I love.  My hair responds perfectly, it looks and feels amazing.  I use it exclusively for a couple of years.  Then I walk into the store and see a new label on it, or a newly designed bottle, and my heart sinks.  I know that a new container means a new and “improved” formula.  Just let me say, it is never an improvement.  The new label is a signal for me to look for a new conditioner.

ytcu_conditionerYou may remember my post about Yes to Cucumbers conditioner.  I started using it just about 2 years ago.  I’ve loved every minute of it.  There has been nothing about it I did not like.  When I saw the new bottle, I immediately read the ingredients to be sure that they had not added cones (that’s the most common change).  Nothing stood out to me.  I was hoping for the best.  But…….  About half way through the new bottle, I noticed my hair starting to feel waxy.  I took note of it, but my hair was still behaving pretty well so I let it go.

Then, last week, I had the most horrible experience!  I went to put my hair up, finger-combing to pull it back.  I was startled as my fingers caught on the biggest tangled mess I think I’ve ever had in my hair!  I’m not exaggerating.  There was a matted knot at the base of my head that was 2-3 inches across.  My hair does not tangle.  As curly and long as it is, I’ve never had issues with tangles!  Being on the back of my head, I couldn’t see what I was doing and it took me quite some time to detangle it.  I was beginning to wonder if I would have to cut some of it out.  Gladly, I didn’t.  Only a couple of days later, after washing my hair as usual, I noticed that my hair felt sticky as it was air drying.  I tried to put gel on and it just literally stuck to my hands.  I could hardly get gel through it because of it.  The drier it got, the worse it felt.  It felt stiff and would not curl at all!  It was turning into a huge frizzy sticky mess!  And I was due to leave in an hour for my friend’s birthday celebration!  I became so frustrated that I cried!  I finally gave up and decided to wash my hair again, even though I knew it would still be dripping wet when I left.  I washed it twice with a mixture of shampoo and baking soda to strip it, then applied conditioner.  It felt and looked much better after that.

I really do not want to continue using this conditioner.  I had bought two bottles because there was a sale, but be assured I will be taking the second bottle back for a refund.  I don’t have an old bottle to compare the ingredients and see what they changed.  They still have the old one for sale on their website, along with the new one.  They have the same ingredient list for both.  Maybe it updated for all the products, rather than just the new ones.  I don’t know.  But I know they did change something, because the conditioner itself looks different.  I also sent a complaint to the company and left a negative review on their website.  Apparently, I’m not the only one dissatisfied with it.

yes to cucumbers

yes to cucumbers conditionerI believe I had mentioned before that I stopped using TRESemme conditioner because they had changed their products and discontinued the one I used.  I tried one bottle of the new stuff and threw away half of it because my hair hated it.  So then I went to Suave Aloe Vera & Gensing.  It has dimethicone, but it was far down the ingredient list so I thought I’d try it and see, at least to have something to get by with until I found another good one.  At first I loved it! (typical, I know)  But by the end of the second bottle, my hair was feeling really waxy and wasn’t behaving well at all.  I washed with baking soda and was able to use it a little longer until I could find something to replace it.  After that, it only took half a bottle to make it feel waxy again. 😦

I found some at Walgreen’s called Yes to Cucumbers and Yes to Carrots.  (Apparently, there is Yes to Tomatoes too, but Walgreen’s didn’t have it.)  I read the labels and they seemed to be full of plant extracts and oils with NO -cones!!  YAY!!!  I bought the cucumber one because I liked the smell of it better, even though it’s for color-treated hair.  It’s more expensive than your regular Walmart conditioner, I believe it was about $8 for a 16 oz bottle.  That’s pretty normal for an organic product though.  I’ve used almost half a bottle and I really like it so far.  Hopefully this will last!  By the way, their shampoos are sulfate-free as well.

As an added bonus, the lady that works at Walgreen’s gave me a coupon for $2 off $10 or more of Yes To, so I got a package of Yes to Cucumbers facial cleansing wipes almost free!  I love free! 😀  I really like them too!  I can even take off my eyeliner and mascara with them and it doesn’t burn my eyes.  That in itself is amazing.  Here is a link to  Yes To products website.


I love the shine I’m getting with KCCC!  I tried it on top of Curl Keeper.  I will have to try it again though.

Note to self: NEVER comb product through hair.

Many product labels say to comb it through while hair is wet.  Many girls on NC.com forum say that they get better clumping by combing.  I simply cannot comb my hair once the final rinse has taken place.  I end up with stringy spaghetti hair which turns into frizz and fluff as the day progresses.  If I want clumps, I have to scrunch in or smooth on my products, strongly resisting the urge to even rake it.

KCCC – let’s try this again

Ok, so last time, I posted about my…… interesting…. experience with Kinky-Curly Curling Custard.  I decided to do some research (instead of just following the instructions found on the package) and find out what others are doing to get good results.  I happened across a blog post from Jillipoo which was a product review of KCCC.  Everything she said was hilariously accurate!  So armed with information, I gave it another go.

I put Kinky-Curly Knot Today on my hair as soon as I got out of the shower and combed it through.  This was different for me because I have NEVER used a leave-in conditioner or detangler.  But, it was recommended to get good results from the Curling Custard.  I read to use a pea-sized amount for your average head of hair, so I used a blob the size of two peas. 🙂  It was plenty.  I’ll probably try one pea next time just to see how little I can get away with using.  Then I squeezed out the excess water and plopped with a t-shirt for about 10-15 minutes.  After that, I scrunched in KCCC (about half as much as I used before) and let it air dry.  My hair was drying much quicker and I went to bed about an hour later.  I woke up with nice looking, shiny, bouncy, non-crunchy curls.  All I had to do was touch up a couple places with AVG.  This is what it looked like when I got out of bed (not bad at all!) and what it looked like at the end of the day.  I ended up with pretty limp hair, kinda stringy on top with some coils underneath. 😦

trying to adjust

This will take some getting used to.  It seems that stronger hold products cause my hair to take longer to dry.  My hair is long and thick.  It usually takes hours to dry.  After 3-4 hours the bulk of my hair is usually dry with some dampness underneath.  I tried Kinky Curly Curling Custard and my hair held like ALL the water that was in it when I applied it.  After an hour, my hair still felt like I had just stepped out of the shower.  I needed to go out and it was 12 degrees outside.  I was getting impatient and started squeezing it with a t-shirt to soak up some water.  (therefore, probably altering the affects of the product)  After 5 hours, yes – FIVE HOURS – the underside of my hair was still squishy wet.  I had the same issue with the TRESemme gel, my seemed to take forever to dry.  Definitely not the thing to use in the morning before work!