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Condition Me Baby

April 23, 2010

This morning, I was in the shower and I realized something.  I have a shitload of conditioners!  Seven to be exact that I choose from each morning when I co-wash my hair. SEVEN!  All of them are ‘cone free and totally meet the curly girl method rules.  So here they are… my cadre of conditioners:

click to enlarge

From left to right.

  • Giovanni Smooth as Silk: This is my newest addition to the bunch.  It’s so creamy and rich, I know it will become one of my go to deep conditioners.  It doesn’t have the right slip for detangling but in a pinch, I could detangle my hair with it.
  • VO5 Cucumber Clarifying Conditioner: This is one of my staple co-wash conditioners.  It’s has a great smell.  And how can you not love something that is only 99 cents???
  • Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose: So many natural curlies live by this conditioner and I like it, but it’s not my holy grail.  But gives a pretty nice deep condition.  I’m going to henna my hair this weekend and deep condition with this conditioner amplified (with honey and banana).  So I’ll report back on how it performs after a henna treatment which has a tendency of drying out my hair a bit.
  • Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle: My love, my mainstay.  This is my #1 favorite conditioner.  It gives me a great co-wash.  My hair feels great when I’m massaging this conditioner in and it has enough slip for detangling.  In other words, its perfect.
  • Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner: HOLEY CANOLI!  The first time I used this conditioner, I was so sad at how small the bottle was because I knew I would love this conditioner forever (and would have to purchase a new bottle sooner rather than later).  The smell is lovely but oh so more important than that- it leaves my hair feeling as soft as I’ve ever felt it.  From the moment I started putting this conditioner on my hair in the shower,  I knew that my hair would be ultra soft.  I’ve also used this conditioner as a leave in and it was great!  Oyin, you do right by me every time.
  • VO5 Freesia Conditioner: I am currently using this conditioner in my spray bottle (along with water, pure aloe vera juice, and lavender essential oil).  I rarely condition my hair with this one, partly because I have so many to choose  from.  I’m not sure if I’ll use this conditioner next time I have to fill up my spray bottle.  We’ll see.  There’s nothing really special about this conditioner but it smells nice, has no ‘cones and it’s 99 cents!!!  Again, how can you not get a tad bit excited about a hair product that’s 99 cents?  😉
  • Curls Coconut Sublime: I really wanted to love this conditioner.  But I’ve used a couple times now and I just don’t think it holds up to some of the other conditioners I have in my arsenal.  It smells nice but it just doesn’t give my hair that extra softness I look for with my conditioners both while I’m conditioning my hair or after.  I may try using this in my spray bottle next go round… it may work better as a leave-in conditioner.  We’ll see, but can’t imagine re-purchasing this one.  Sorry Curls, I tried!

Phew, so there’s what you would find if you were in my bathroom right now.  I clearly went a little overboard when having to restock my conditioner arsenal after I decided a few weeks ago to follow the curly girl method completely (which meant getting rid of some of my favorite conditioners because they had ‘cones in them).  But no more shopping for conditioners for me… though I do want to see what all the fuss is about with Yes to Cucumbers, but not right now… got to get rid of at least two conditioners first (if for no other reason than I’ve run out of space).

And here’s a photo of the conditioners I had to give up because they all have ‘cones in them.  I miss my Hello Hydration most of all- it always made my hair feel soft (during and after), it was a great detangler, and it smelled delicious.  Some may be wondering if I loved it so, how could I give it up.  Silicones and other ‘cones found in lots of conditioners causes product buildup in your hair because they are hard to wash out of your hair without using shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate (which I do not use).  These ‘cones give you a nice softness and sheen but it’s kind of a mirage and not actually real.   After a month or so of following a modified curly girl method, I started to feel and see the product buildup because of these conditioners… so I decided to shampoo my hair to get rid of the product buildup (ooh, did my hair feel nasty and dry after shampooing) and start over again with ‘cone free conditioners.  So far, so good.  But Hello Hydration, I still miss you.

Aussie Moist, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Nexxus, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:40 pm

    I think I need a little refresher on this co-wash thing.

    • April 23, 2010 2:16 pm

      Here’s how I explain the co-wash thing (short for conditioner wash). Other curlies may explain it slightly differently as I’m no expert!

      Curly hair is prone to being dry. The curlier the hair, the more you have to fight against dryness. I’ve got pretty curly hair, so I’m always at war with the dry monster.

      Shampoos (in general) are drying agents. In order to “clean” your hair and remove buildup, it strips your hair of the buildup but also of the natural oils found in your hair. The main culprit of this in shampoos is the sodium lauryl sulfate.

      That’s why we (no matter our hair type) need to condition hair after shampooing, to restore some of the moisture that is lost from the shampoo. A lot of conditioners contain ‘cones (ingredients ending in ‘cones like silicone), which gives you the sense of moisturized hair. But ‘cones can only be removed from your hair with shampoos like sodium lauryl sulfate which dries out your hair and leaves a lot of curls limp and lifeless.

      So as you can see, it’s a continuous vicious cycle. Lorraine Massey discovered that if curly women (who are especially prone to dryness) eliminated things that exacerbated the dryness, their curls were healthier, moisturized and looked overall better. What Massey also discovered is that if you are using natural products (like I now do), you can clean your hair just fine with conditioner. And there are some conditioners that are clarifying in nature so they are better suited to clarify/clean your hair like the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle.

      Some women follow a no-poo regimen (no shampoo at all) and some women follow a low-poo regimen (shampooing rarely, while conditioning regularly and/or using a shampoo that does not contain sulfates). Massey is a white woman but has super curly hair but a lot of black natural curlies swear by her method (or a modified version).

      But the curly girl method isn’t for folks with straight or wavy hair because those hair types don’t have the drying problem but rather have the oily problem. That was a VERY long refresher, but hope that helps!

  2. April 23, 2010 5:47 pm

    And with those seven players, you have what is commonly referred as a “DREAM TEAM”. It’s a good squad you’ve got going there. I agree with you on that TJ’s TTT. That stuff is the bomb!

    • April 26, 2010 11:03 am

      @cassadie, Dream Team indeed! Hahaha. But seriously, cannot. buy. anymore. conditioners. I’m trying to suppress the product junkie within. 😉

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