Friday, March 6, 2009
Cold weather hair care, day seven
My final guest in this series is none other than Botticelli Babe, owner of breathtaking curls and creator of products straight from her kitchen. I changed the name of my blog when it was clear that this lady was developing quite a following, thanks to her products. And now she's here to divulge her cold-weather hair care secrets to you. Settle in and get comfortable, though. Botticelli Babe has a lot to say!
"Hello, my fellow curlies! First I gotta say, I'm so honored to have been asked by the Jillipoo to write a little bit for her blog. How fabulous is that?!
"I live in east central Minnesota, where we've had just about the coldest winter in the last ten years. Wanna know how I've managed all winter long? Did I DT (deep treat) every week? No. In fact, I think I may have only done two DTs since the snow fell. Did I load on the leave-in conditioner? No. I don't even use one – I hate the way they make my hair feel, all gummy and coated. Did I buy a ton of expensive product and use three things in the shower and four things out of the shower just to get manageable hair for one day? No. In fact, my routine is now down to three simple (and actually very inexpensive) things.
"I wash my hair every two to three days, and I haven't gotten greasy roots in months – even if I stretch it for another day or two because I'm feeling lazy or sick. I wash with one of a few different things. I have been using the same South of France Acai Pomegranate body bar since late August, I think. I use it for my hair and my body, too, and it still has lasted this long. It's a triple milled 8.8 ounce bar, and it's super hard because of the triple milling process. They last FOREVER. They make all kinds of yummy scents, too. Because of the super hardness of the bar, they don't leave a waxy, coated feeling at all, like a lot of bar soaps can do to your hair. They smell great, cleanse gently, and rinse clean. I haven't done a vinegar rinse in months.
"Other things I like for washing my hair would be my low-poo options, like the South of France body washes (Hey – read the label! Who cares what they call it, as long as it has the right ingredients!), Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo, Giovanni Smooth as Silk shampoo (it does have amodimethicone, so I don't use it often), and a slew of other handmade bars that I can't recall the names of right now.
"For conditioning, I love L’oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss* (LVPNG for short) for medium to long hair that's wavy or curly. I condition liberally (this stuff is very thick and rich, and detangles like a dream), and brush through well with my Denman while in the shower -- wet brushing is the only way all the tangles are coming out of my thick, wild mane! So I brush my conditioner through and let it sit while I finish my shower, then rinse out completely.
"Then I heard L’Oreal might be changing the formula to include amodimethicone, so I began my search for the perfect conditioner that I knew would never change, and the only way that was going to happen was if I made it myself.
"That began my foray into homemade products. I began trying my hand at stylers first, since I had things on hand. From that was borne my Gelee, Brulee, and Humectant Hair and Body Butter, which I now sell at my Etsy shop, Botticelli Botanicals. The products are all-natural with paraben- and formaldehyde-free preservatives, and they care for curls (and all hair types!), with no silicones, no sulfates, no polymers, no polyquats, no proteins, and no alcohols. Just lots of moisture and nourishing natural hold and shine. The Butter is a single formulation, and the Brulee has one option for the customer to choose, which is the scent. The Gelee, however, is another story altogether! There are many options for the customer to choose from, ranging from adding curl enhancers and extra moisture to the level of hold and humectants the individual desires, and of COURSE, you can choose your own scent from a very large selection I have on hand. For right now, I'm only selling the Gelee, Brulee, and Butter, but I'm very hot on the heels of the perfect conditioner formula as we speak, and that could show up in my shop as soon as next week. I'll know after a couple more uses of my test batch. I also plan to include all natural sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo, and possibly even shampoo bars in the future. Keep an eye on the shop, and you'll see all of my latest news and products!
"OK, enough with the plug -- now it's time for the proof. After conditioning and rinsing completely (I can't leave conditioner in my hair or it feels gummy, plus for me it interferes with how my styler sets), I grab my wide-toothed Conair shower comb, and my trusty bottle of my own Gelee. I apply generously, and alternately smooth, rake, and scrunch until it feels like my hair can't possibly have a spot that I missed or that doesn't have enough Gelee. This stuff is really miraculous -- somehow, you absolutely cannot overdo it. I find that the more I use, the better my hair looks and feels. Oh yes -- and the Gelee doesn't just make your hair look great...it FEELS great too! Very important to note for those who either want or need to have touchably soft hair. I just keep applying until it feels like my hair can't take any more, but not until it's swimming in it. I think it's important to note that being too stingy with the Gelee could actually backfire, and I've had at least two people admit that they should have been more generous with their initial application.
"At this point, I lean over to one side and then the other, using my Conair shower comb to make sure every last tangle is out and my clumps are all laying right before I flip my head down and scrunch with a dry flour sack towel to set my curls. I think that last part is actually one of the most important methods I've learned to really form and set my curls well. Then once I have all of the excess moisture out, I plop into a different dry flour sack towel, and I leave it at least overnight, or as long as possible and as close to dry as I can get it. I almost always have damp roots when I unplop just because my hair is so long and thick, but I just gently pixiecurl until it's as close to completely dry as possible. If it's still damp when I'm leaving to go somewhere, I'll just leave it crunchy until I get to where I'm going, and then I scrunch out the crunch (yes, my Gelee has crunch!) once I get there. I've found that the longer you can wait until scrunching out the crunch, the better.
"Anyway, I think that's it. *lol* I know it sounds long and tedious, but you have to keep in mind that my hair is long and thick and thus I have special little things I have to do that others might get away with skipping. If this past year has taught me anything, it's that the method is just as important as the product you use!
"Thanks for the soapbox, Jillipoo, and I hope this helps a few curlies out there!"
*Sorry, folks -- no link to this because the ingredient list varies from region to region. I would hate to hook you up with the amodimethicone version so I'm afraid you'll have to find this one on your own!