You Know I Had to Try the Mielle Organics Honey and Ginger Gel!

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I don’t think it’s a secret that I love Mielle Organics. Given the faith I have in their products, I hit the floor when they released a new styling product late last year, and knew that if it was anything like the rest of their line– it would be great. The Honey and Ginger styling gel had been romancing me for months, and when I ran out of my CRN Curlmaker, I knew that was my opportunity to jump in and try this new gel. When the curly heavens aligned in my favor and Mielle Organics ran a sale, I went right in. Read on for my full review!

 

The Good

I love the consistency of this gel. It’s probably my favorite characteristic about it. It’s not tacky, sticky or goopy like other gels, jellies or custards I’ve used before, which really helps with the way it applies to your hair without tension or resistance. On a slip scale, it’s not as fluid as a serum, but not tacky or heavy. It’s right in the middle, which is a win for my hair texture.

As it’s name implies, the Honey and Ginger gel smells like citrus and ginger. It’s not an overwhelming fragrance and it’s barely noticeable once it’s already in your hair. Just as the other Mielle Organics products, this gel is reasonably priced. I purchased directly from the brand’s website for $11.99, which is about average for an all natural styling product.

I’ve tried this bad boy through and through– mostly for wash and go’s but also for a braid out– and each time it gave me volume and a light hold. I’ve paired this gel with SO many product combinations– mostly from the Mielle line– and I have to admit that for me, it went best with a creamy product like a hair milk or a product that ISN’T high in glycerin content. When I paired it with my Mielle Organics Avocado Hair Milk or the CRN Moisture Milk, my wash and go dried full with great curl definition and shine! Take a look at the gel in action, in this video:

I love the fact that this is also marketed as a 2nd day curl refresher– which I can totally imagine it being awesome as such. I would classify this as a curl sealer or finisher over a gel, so reapplying this to wet hair would probably give beautiful results.

 

The bad? (Debatable.)

As quickly as I applaud the ability to use this as a curl refresher, I want to mention one thing. Do not underestimate the potency of this product, just because it is light. One of the tricky things I had to overcome was learning to gauge how much to use. When you are applying it, it is smooth but keep in mind–it is going to dry and become a little firmer. Still not hard or crunchy, but you will notice there is a styling product in your hair. Though I imagine it’s very hard to go overboard with this light gel, just be careful not to go crazy with layering or reapplying.

Also, a word of caution for my curlies in humid climates or those that are glycerin sensitive: it’s the SECOND ingredient in this gel.  So far my hair doesn’t seem to mind products with a high glycerin content, but I try to limit them when I’m doing styles that I want to last without having to worry about frizz. I wouldn’t say that this gel afforded me the option of wearing a wash and go for more than a few days because as the days went on, I began to lose definition as my curls frizzed a bit or continued to expand because of the humectants it contains. Again, no deal breaker for me but I know some people like the “100 day hair” that some products offer. Slight exaggeration there.

 

The Truth

This is definitely the gel I can grab when I’m craving body and volume. It’s lightweight so I don’t have to worry about it being too heavy or weighing my hair down. It was definitely a change from the elongated wash and go I have been sporting lately, but that’s nothing a little stretching can’t fix. It provides a light hold which I love because I hate the crunch and hard cast that other gels leave. I would recommend Mielle’s Honey and Ginger gel to anyone wanting a light hold to seal their curls without wanting the weight of a thick or drying styling product. It’s like a gel without the guilt, and I think it would be exceptionally great for someone with fine hair.

 

Have you tried this gem yet? I want to hear your thoughts too!

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I Learned How To 3 Strand Twist!

I swear I had no intention of trying this twisting technique until I realized how easy it was. People are often found saying, “If I can do ‘x’ anyone can,” and this expression could not ring truer right now. I promise … you can do this.

Check out my tutorial below!

 

Don’t forget I have plenty of tutorials and product reviews on my Youtube channel; I’d love for you to stop by and subscribe when you have a moment! Now of course I need to know– have you mastered the 3 strand twist yet?

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Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel: Review

Friends, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite gels for sleek edges and a super defined (but soft) wash and go. Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling gel is one of the best gels I have used on my curls.

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Pros

Enriched with flaxseed which is best for helping with thinning, shedding, and hair breakage, this gel is one of a kind. The texture is beautiful– not tacky or sticky– and it leaves my hair super soft, moisturized, and full of volume. This is a big deal for me because as a natural with fine hair, I run into so many products that weigh my hair down and leave my curls looking like dried out spaghetti noodles. I love the body and movement that I’m able to achieve using this gel, and though I may experience a bit of frizz (due to the high glycerin content) I embrace every bit of it because my hair really looks beautiful.

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I use this gel on my hair and J’s hair, and I feel comfortable doing so because it isn’t heavy or harsh. I haven’t experienced flaking, and when I use it for my edges, my hair is actually pliable/flexible the next day. Have you ever had edges that looked like they were superglued onto the side of your head? Not cute.

As with many of the Aunt Jackie’s products I’ve tried, this gel smells delicious (like fruit punch) and is pretty inexpensive at  $9.99 for 15 ounces.

Cons

The high glycerin content (it is the second ingredient) is forcing me to use less of this gel during the cooler, dryer months so I haven’t been using it as often as I’d like as a “winter” wash and go styler.  I also wish I could rely on this gel as the styler for my dry, stretched styles but I’ve only tried it once and I lost my style/shape once it met the Florida humidity.

 

The Truth

This gel has helped me see my hair in a way I didn’t think was possible because of the experiences I’ve had with so many other products. Though my hair is super coily and shrinks up to more than half it’s length, I get a crazy amount of elongation, or “hang time” when I use this gel and I can’t get over how many days I can stretch a wash and go! Hallelujah! By the way, have you seen my sleek low bun tutorial? Guess what amazing product I can credit for helping me slick those curls down? Yep! New boo. I’m so in love.

I’d like to thank Aunt Jackie’s for gifting me with TWO jars of this gem. Of course I’ll be replenishing when I start to run low because I’ve already added this gel to my list of favorite products!

Talk to me, what is your favorite styling product?

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TGIN Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner Review

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TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo

This shampoo? This one takes the cake. After my first use, I knew I had to add this awesome product to my staples list. I cannot get over how incredible this shampoo smells, in addition to how fluid and silky smooth it felt in my hair. I just want to emphasize that. The slip is out of this world! As most shampoos leave my hair dry, parched, and feeling stripped, this moisture rich shampoo left my hair feeling clean but hydrated. I love the fact that I’ve cut down on my wash time because I don’t have to wash in several sections to prevent tangled, matted hair. (Yes, the slip is THAT great!)

 

TGIN Moisture Rich Replenishing Conditioner

The moisture rich conditioner wasn’t a love at first use experience for me. Well technically it was upon my first use, but when I initially saw how thick it was, I wasn’t interested in proceeding. I had run into this problem before with a lot of natural hair conditioners where it was so thick that I wasn’t able to thoroughly detangle my hair or get a good “lather”. I was afraid this conditioner would fall into that space, falling short of it’s promises.

Thank God we are taught not to judge a book by it’s cover.

This conditioner is a bit deceiving at first because it definitely takes a bit of work to get it out of the bottle. Immediately upon rubbing it between my fingers– and eventually in my hair– I noticed how slippery and creamy but LIGHT it was. Another delicious smelling product from the line, I loved taking in the fragrance as I took the time to work this product in to detangle my curls. It won me over for having excellent slip as I was eventually able to detangle my hair with ease, but even more so because of how soft, shiny, and mobile it left my hair. Mobile? Yes, my curls were blowing in the wind. My curls were hydrated and moisturized but they weren’t weighed down or coated. My hair felt… happy. (Peep the video below for a look at how bouncy and happy my curls were.)

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natural hair, tgin, tgin moisture rich, the little in jen that could,

I’m kicking myself for not trying TGIN sooner. I can’t believe how beautifully they performed in my wash day routine! These two have brought so much spunk and LIFE to my curls, and I’m so happy they are a part of my staples family now. Welcome home boos.

 

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Post Partum Shedding on Natural Hair: How I Survived (and you will too)

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In July I posted about my experience with post partum shedding, in which I vented about losing my hair after having my son.  Now that THAT ship is farther off in the distance, I thought it was absolutely necessary for me to share my advice on pushing through such a trying time.

 

1. Don’t panic. Post-partum shedding is completely normal. The rapid hair loss, shedding, and thinning are frustrating. Shocking. Scary. Embarrassing– and a slew of other adjectives which should be followed by a series of exclamation marks. Please promise me you won’t make any rash decisions or take drastic measures out of frustration. The last place you want to find yourself is on your closet floor having a meltdown at 4am because you just hacked off all of your hair because it wouldn’t stop falling out. (If we were playing a game of “Never Have I Ever” this would be my opportunity to take a sip because that was totally me.) Your hair is taking it’s normal course of adjusting to the changes of your body and hormones over the past year (pregnancy and postpartum) and it’s expecting you to make that transition easier. I know it is so much easier said than done, but try your best to stay CALM. Now is your opportunity to delve into a bit of research, speak with a health care professional, and/or make a few changes to make the next few months easier to tolerate.

2. Take care of your hair. Then leave it alone. During this transitional period, your hair is exceptionally fragile and vulnerable to breakage. The last thing you want to do is create bigger problems by over manipulating your hair or not allowing it to rest. Don’t neglect your hair, but don’t smother it. Baby your hair. Opt for low manipulation hairstyles and avoid styles that cause stress and tension to your edges and the length of your hair. Wash, condition, deep condition, style, and keep it moving. (I relied on a lot of twists and head wraps/ turbans to keep my hair tucked away and my mind off of my hair.)  Continue taking your prenatal vitamins, drinking plenty of water, and keep your hair happy– but leave it alone!

3. Time heals all. Research has shown that post-partum shedding typically lasts an average of three months. When you are dealing with something as traumatic as hair loss, that seems like FOREVER. Trust me, I know. As cliche as it sounds, you have to remember that this is only temporary, and that the worse of this phase will NOT last forever. Continue following your healthy hair and lifestyle routine and TRY to focus on taking care of yourself rather than counting the hairs on your head. Before you know it, your hair will be back and those edges will be LAID.  Remember: “It will all get better with time.”

These truths probably would have saved me a lot of grief when I initially fell into the dark hole of “post partum shedding.” I hope this has helped you in some way, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey of growth and self care. Above all else, remember that you just made a beautiful human and that alone is worth all the love and care in the world!

July 2016

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 November 2016

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Did you know I have a YouTube channel? Here is my video about surviving postpartum shedding:

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Shimmer and Shine Dress Up/ J’s Halloween 2016 look

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J and I had so much fun creating AND editing this Shimmer and Shine inspired video together. This is BY FAR my favorite video to date.  I just thought I should also mention that this comes with no coaching, practicing, or leading whatsoever. We totally freestyled and this is our first AND ONLY take filming. I loved watching J take the lead, I love my little muffin so much!

We hope you enjoy and thank you for watching!

Xo.

 

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Retaining Moisture for Fine, Low Porosity Hair (+ How to Win at Protective Styling)

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How To Moisturize Fine Hair

Retaining moisture for fine, low porosity hair can be tricky. We seek hair that is healthy and moisturized, but not weighed down and coated. Some products are barely there and do nothing at all, while others just sit on top of our hair and cause it to dry out. Some methods are confusing and some are flat out counter productive.

I’ve realized that the key to retaining moisture in fine, low porosity hair is LIGHT layering. I can’t stress the “light” enough. You want to use products that are moisturizing, but will not coat your hair strands and lead to product buildup. As you can imagine, moisturizing your hair is challenging when it is coated because the products act as a shield, preventing your hair from breathing and of course taking in additional moisture. The result is dry hair, which of course can lead to bigger problems (like breakage and shedding) if left untreated.

My fine haired curlies/naturals, we cannot use heavy products in every step of our styling regimen. Our hair will not thrive in these conditions. In light of this, I have to consciously think about which products to use and when, before styling my hair. If I am using a thick leave in conditioner, I will style with a light gel. If plan on using a heavy styling cream, I’ll opt for a light leave in conditioner. If oil is being added to the equation, it HAS to be a light oil such as jojoba or almond oil.

Some things to consider to help with moisture retention for fine or low porosity hair:

  • Apply your leave in conditioner to wet/damp hair; Styling products to damp/dry hair.
  • Work in sections. I’ve found it best if I work in sections no larger than the palm of my hand. If I can’t fit all of the hair in my hand, I’ll separate and make it smaller. Working in sections is best because it helps ensure your products are evenly distributed (not clumping anywhere) and calls for greater volume when styling.
  • Choose where your “heavier” product will go. Want to use a cream styler? Use a light leave in. Is your favorite leave-in conditioner thick? Opt for a lighter gel to seal it with. Trust me, your hair will thank you for it.

Protective Styling Like a Boss

Keep your light layering technique in mind and install the best style for your lifestyle.

The BEST piece of advice I can offer is– if possible–  work on dry, stretched hair. Although I love my coils, working on stretched hair for styles like twists or braids is optimal because my hair is already detangled and stretched so I’m not fighting against curls and tangles as I work. It also makes for more a more defined style because you’ll only have one curl pattern once the style is complete, not a twist out that coils at the roots or goes in different directions. Unless of course, that is the look you are going for.

Though I once doubted the efficiency (and practicality) of protective styling for my hair, I have to say that because of these tips, I’m a believer. Since I’ve found the best way to keep my hair moisturized while in a protective style, and found the best way to install specific styles for my hair type, my hair journey has reached new levels. I can rock a twist out, ya’ll. This is a big deal!

Did I miss any tips on styling and profiling for fine or low porosity hair? Share your do’s and don’t below!

 

 

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