Natural Hair

REVIEW | Camille Rose Lavender Collection Aromatic Growth System

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Whenever wash day comes around, I consider it a full self-care experience -- aromatherapy with essential oils plays a huge role in my lineup especially depending on my mood. Typically when I want to relax before bed or destress, lavender is an excellent choice. Not only is lavender known for its aromatherapy benefits, but there are also amazing results for hair and skin.

When Camille Rose initially launched The Lavender Collection last year, it only consisted of three stylers: the Shaken Hair Spritzer, Crush Defining Gel and White Clay Edge Custard (now renamed Edge Glaze). Honestly, all of the products were huge game-changers for my 4C hair, but it was an in-and-out collection at Sally Beauty and ever since was sold sparingly on their site. Now it's back as a full "Aromatic Growth System" with everything from cleanser to edge gel! Last year, I filmed a twist-out tutorial and review on my YouTube channel, so decided to give an update on my thoughts here and share the very first wash & go video on my channel. 

Fresh Cleanse

This cleanser kind of reminds me of the Clean Rinse from Camille Rose, but with all of the benefits of lavender, jojoba and black elderberry. It lathers a little bit and leaves the hair/scalp feeling super clean without stripping the strands or dryness. Like other Camille Rose cleansers, I noticed that I could easily detangle while working Fresh Cleanse through my hair and I love that! To me, there's nothing worse than feeling dry and detangled after using a shampoo.

Quench Deep Conditioner

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Deep treatments are always so fun and therapeutic to use -- Quench Deep Conditioner is no different! There is a little bit of menthol in this treatment, so a slight cooling sensation can be felt on the scalp with use. I've seen some reviews where they felt the cooling sensation was too much, but others (like myself) either didn't feel anything major or didn't find it intolerable. Quench Deep Conditioner is a great, creamy conditioner that any hair type can use as well as low- and high-porosity hair.

Whipped Cream Leave-In

I never really like moving on to a gel without a leave-in conditioner, so I'm really glad that Camille Rose added Whipped Cream Leave-In to this Collection. Last year, I used Shaken Hair Spritzer as a liquid leave-in (which was okay), but sometimes my hair needs something thicker and this is it! In my opinion, Whipped Cream Leave-In acts as sort of a nice "primer" for the hair before adding Crush Defining Gel to style. However, cream leave-in conditioners like these can be so difficult to squeeze out of a bottle without a pump, so I hope they add one in the near future.

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Crush Defining Gel

Being a natural with 4C hair, it has been incredibly difficult to find the perfect defining gel. It always seem like most are better with looser curl types and don't have nearly enough hold to keep my kinky coils prominent and defined. I've been waiting on the return of this collection specifically for the Crush Defining Gel -- the other new products are certainly a bonus, by my gel has been long gone for many months. Luckily, I do not experience any flakes or residue when I use this one like I have with others. My coils also feels soft rather than hard and crunchy. Wash-and-go's have never been as amazing as they've been with Crush Defining Gel. 

Curl Maker vs Crush Defining Gel

There is quite a bit of difference between the two defining stylers from Camille Rose, Curl Maker and Crush Defining Gel. For me, it's more difficult to achieve a wash-and-go with Curl Maker, and when I do use it, I have to use Fresh Curl (my hair's absolute favorite Camille Rose leave-in). The hold is lighter whereas Crush Defining Gel has a much stronger hold that is perfect for naturals with type 4 hair who may be feeling discouraged in the wash-and-go department.

Shaken Hair Spritzer

Last year, I used Shaken Hair Spritzer as a leave-in conditioner during my styling process and a refresher during the week to make my style last. Now that there's an official leave-in cream, I only use this product to refresh and add shine to my hair before/after fluffing or separating my coils. No matter how I use it, Shaken Hair Spritzer definitely makes my hair even softer and adds moisture when it's feeling dry. As Camille Rose's first liquid refresher, I hope they make this in a smaller, travel-sized bottle one day so I can keep it in my backpack...but the fact that there's a new locking nozzle will hold me for now!

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Edge Glaze

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I can't seem to keep Edge Glaze in my possession because my mom loves it just as much as I do! Edge Glaze is a strong hold gel that can be used on the edges and/or to hold styles in place. While I can semi-appreciate EcoStyler for it's lighter hold, it just hasn't always done the trick for my kinky edges. Lavender as an ingredient also helps promote hair growth just as it does with the entire collection, so if you're experiencing thinning edges, this might be worth a try. I'm a little heavy-handed with edge control products and use quite a bit when I do, so I'll be stocking up once the collection is available individually. 

Watch My Tutorial:

Shop the Lavender Collection on Camille Rose's website

Photography by JaleesaCharisse

REVIEW | Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo & Conditioner

Hey Beauties! If you've followed this blog for a while, then you already know that I adore Aveda products for both skin and hair. As a matter of fact, their shampoo formulas are some of the few on the market that I truly trust for my kinky, 4C hair. Why is that? Aveda has been apart of my wash day routine for years

My Cherry Almond Story

As a little girl of color before the many black-owned natural hair brands lined the shelves, my mom would wash my hair with Aveda's Cherry Almond Bark (now simply called Cherry Almond) shampoo and conditioner. I absolutely dreaded the lengthy process of detangling and hot combing my hair before a fresh week of school, but I did look forward to the sweet scent of Cherry Almond Bark. There was nothing better than having my scalp massaged with a scent that I could only describe best as a little girl "like cherry pie". 

Each wash, I would request that my mom use this particular shampoo and conditioner. It made my early hair experience a thousand times better and I genuinely looked forward to it...until one day, my mom told me that she could no longer find Cherry Almond Bark and that it had been discontinued (in 2007) by Aveda. I was extremely crushed and hurt. We used what was left of the shampoo and conditioner we had and then it eventually became another distant childhood memory. 

Over the years, my mom and I have reminisced about the wash days when she used Cherry Almond Bark. This always lead me to continue hoping that Aveda would one day bring the duo back. I've searched the internet high and low for similar products, but could find absolutely none.

We Asked, They Answered

Last June, I tweeted Aveda practically begging them to bring back Cherry Almond Bark... (receipts from Twitter below)

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...and this summer they actually have! I was scrolling through Instagram on Sunday and stumbled across a post on Aveda's page for Cherry Almond -- apparently I was a few weeks late on the news thanks to the stupid IG algorithm. *rolls eyes* You can probably imagine just how ecstatic I was though! I literally bounced around the house singing and thanking the Aveda gods until I rushed out to the Aveda Experience Center at NorthPark Center a few hours later to pick up my own duo. And here I am to tell you all about the products I love so much...

Naturally Derived Ingredients

The Cherry Almond aroma is crafted by Aveda's pure-fume™ masters from an amazing 38 flower and plant essences which includes naturally derived tonka bean, ylang ylang and certified organic orange. Of course, both formulas also contain sweet almond oil and cherry extract.

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Cherries offer a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants which can help promote hair growth; sweet almond oil is a personal favorite of mine and helps strengthen hair. Plus, I love to eat both of them as snacks!

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You may notice that sulfates are used in the Softening Shampoo, but Aveda notes that babassu and coconut-derived ingredients are used meaning that the cleanse will be gentle rather than harsh and drying. The Softening Conditioner contains certified organic coconut oil and shea butter, but no silicones. See below for the ingredients listed on their website:

Softening Shampoo - Water\Aqua\Eau, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Propanediol, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Serrulata Flower (Cherry) Extract, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium-10, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Sodium Phytate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

Softening Conditioner - Water\Aqua\Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Serrulata Flower (Cherry) Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lactic Acid, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Geraniol, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate

Beautiful New Packaging

The packaging for Cherry Almond Bark used to be very simple and in-line with the rest of Aveda's packaging at the time. Now, the packaging is much more updated across the board and the new Cherry Almond is no exception. The new bottles and tubes are a natural almond color with magenta outline silhouettes of cherry blossoms and caps/lids. It's super cute and a very nice design.

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Step 1: Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo

In the shower, I began my routine by rinsing my hair with water under warm/hot water. I know that for us naturals a dime size of product doesn't always work for the entire head, so in order to prevent wasting I use a dime size at a time on sections of my hair. 

Consistency: This shampoo has a pretty normal consistency for this type of product; however it does remind me of the Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse. There is a pearly appearance and suds very minimally. 

Scent: Both the Cherry Almond shampoo and conditioner have the same sweet, floral scent. I loved massaging my scalp and stimulating the scent. Every Aveda scent gives a different experience aside from the benefits and results. They're all very enlivening, but this one is less herbal and floral-like.

The Results: Once through massaging, I rinsed the shampoo out with warm water. My hair didn't feel difficult to detangle and my hair also was not dry after using it...so that's a huge plus especially for curly, Black hair!

Step 2: Cherry Almond Softening Conditioner

After rinsing the Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo, I followed with the Softening Conditioner. I worked it through sections of my hair. Do to the scent, it was so hard for me to not squeeze it out in huge globs! I can be pretty heavy-handed when it comes to a good conditioner. Thinking to myself: dime-size, dime-size. I'll definitely have to invest in the liter sizes!

Consistency: The conditioner has a creamy lotion-like consistency. It also has pretty good slip and helps detangle the hair while distributing through each section. It's not a heavy or thick conditioner, so those with fine strands won't experience impossible tangles when using this. 

The Results: My 4C hair LOVES heavy products from conditioners to stylers because my high-porosity hair drinks up the moisture and hydration. The shea butter in the Cherry Almond Softening Conditioner leaves the hair very moisturized and soft after rinsing with cool water. Dry hair after rinsing my conditioner is no bueno for me, so I was happy with the results.

I followed by twisting out my hair using my favorite Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter blended with almond milk and honey because I like keeping with ingredient themes when it comes to my routines!

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I am extremely happy that Cherry Almond is back on the Aveda shelves! It brings back so many childhood memories for me. I'm not sure if Cherry Almond is limited edition or if it will be permanent, but I'm crossing my freakin' fingers that it will remain available for a long time! Aveda, I know I said "just one more time"...but can Cherry Almond stick around?! I am considering purchasing the larger liter sizes next month because I'll be CRUSHED if I don't have some to last me for a WHILE. I highly recommend you try it out while it's available, Beauties! See below for a code to sample them and receive free shipping on your next order.

Cherry Almond is free from animal by-products, silicones, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, gluten and synthetic fragrance. These products are 98% naturally derived.

Shop Aveda Cherry Almond Shampoo & Conditioner // Receive a free Cherry Almond sample duo + free shipping with any order using code: SOFT78

Disclaimer: I purchased Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo & Conditioner with my own money. This post is not sponsored by Aveda. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wakanda-Inspired Bantu Knot Style with Eden Body Works

Wakanda forever! Black Panther has definitely been such an inspirational film this year from the messaging to the intricate hairstyles. As a naturalista, bantu knots are not new to me at all, but I was so fascinated by Nakia's beautiful head of textured knots. I'm a twist-out queen, but wanted to try and share something different!

For this style, I used Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Natural Pudding Soufflé to achieve a perm rod set and bantu knots on blown out hair and the Edge Glaze to lay my edges.

I added embellishments at 12mm, but definitely could have used smaller ones -- however, I  decided to work with what I had. Enjoy!

REVIEW | Camille Rose Leave-In Collection on 4C Stretched Twistout [Updated 2018]

A few years ago, I did a review of the Camille Rose Naturals Leave-In Collection and I loved it! Since it's been so long, I decided to post an updated video and blog post talking about my experience using the collection over the years and some new uses I've found for each of the leave-in conditioners.

Watch my stretched twistout method using the Grace Eleyae satin-lined cap:

Let's talk about the triple threat...

The Leave-In Collection features three leave-in conditioners: Honey, Latte and Herbal Tea. I've heard from many other naturalistas that they're not quite sure how to use the products and there isn't , but there's such a freedom to use the products however you'd like. 

I like to use all three as a LOC (or LCO method), so I use Honey to hydrate after I get out of the shower, Latte to define my texture before styling and then Herbal Tea as an oil to seal. 

Here are the details about each leave-in conditioner:

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Honey | This one is fairly thick, but blended with several oils. Some people say it's too thick and sticky for them, but if you have kinky/coily hair like mine, then it's like food for the coils. The consistency is just like honey and I LOVE honey as an ingredient in beauty products! Personally, it's my favorite of the trio because of this. While I feel like it deeply conditions my hair when I let my twistout form overnight, I also think Honey could also use this as a rinse-out hair treatment during the washing process.

Latte | As more of a lotion-like consistency, I've actually heard a few people say that they've use this one as a lotion on their skin in addition to using as a defining leave-in conditioner. Latte isn't really my favorite to use alone, but when I do use it I like to pair with the Honey leave-in (hydrating) or Almond Jai Twisting Butter (super defining). Some can use this alone to define their hair, but it doesn't work that way for me -- I need at least one other defining product.

Herbal Tea | There are so many uses for Herbal Tea because it has an oil-like consistency. I've used this leave-in conditioner in the following ways:

  • To massage my scalp occasionally
  • As the "oil" step in the LOC method
  • To coat my fingertips before manipulating my hair in the morning (ex. unraveling twists)
  • A few drops in the bathtub with The Body Collection for a soak
  • All over my body after a nice shower or bath

Because the collection is so coveted, you may not be able to find all of the blends to purchase at once since they're sold separately now on Camille Rose's website, in select Target stores and Target'e site. It's great to the entire Leave-In Collection, but I think it's important to think about your own hair and what types of consistencies work best for you. My 4C hair drinks these products up, but you may feel that you need less or a different combination. Want to try out some of the Camille Rose blends I mentioned? 

Shop the Routine:

Beauty Favorites Made with Real Honey | The Holy Humectant

I absolutely adore honey as an ingredient -- whether it's in my food, haircare, skincare or body products. If there's raw honey blended in the formula, I'm all for trying it out.

Honey is a humectant which means it pretty much locks in all of the moisture your skin, hair and body has ever needed. Whenever I use a product with raw honey, I experience some of the longest lasting moisture ever especially during drier winter months. Honey is my holy grail. Many tend to stay away from the ingredient because it's thick but, in all honestly, it's pure liquid gold.

Some of my current favorite beauty products containing real honey:

Honey Leave-In Conditioner | Camille Rose Naturals

With naturally coily and kinky hair, it can be super tough retaining moisture. As long as my hair remains moisturized during the week, my twistouts and other styles can last for days. The Honey Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner from Camille Rose Naturals is perfect because I can pair it with my favorite styling butter (Almond Jai Twisting Butter), let my hair dry overnight and unravel super soft twists in the morning. This leave-in conditioner literally conditions the longer it sits.

Honey Hydrate is available for $13.99 at Target.com and CamilleRoseNaturals.com

Honey Cat Mask | Crecell

I was introduced to the Honey Cat sheet mask at a Jenny Beauty Supply event I was working in the fall. It was probably the cute little cat on the packaging or the fact that it was an attractive hot pink that drew my attention. Either way, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I ended up purchasing one to try and fell in LOVE.

When I opened the mask, it was so incredibly saturated with honey  -- 15,000 ppm to be exact. Plus, I could smell it. That is by far the highest amount of honey in a skincare product that I've been able to find. If you mask multiple times per week, then you actually might be set with just using this mask once and exfoliating as usual throughout.

10-pack Honey Cat sheet masks are available at Zoetik.com and Amazon.com for $30

It's Raining Men Shower Gel

As I was shopping Valentine's Day goodies at Lush last month, I was looking for a good shower gel to pair with my cocoa-scented products and was pointed in the direction of It's Raining Men. Now, I use Bubbly and Snow Fairy from Christmas all year long, so I haven't really ventured out in the shower gel department...but I'm very glad I did. I will be out of my little bottle soon and need to replenish with a larger size ASAP because the honey was so nourishing for my skin. The scent is sweet, soft and subtle, too. I typically favor bubble baths, but showers just got much more exciting with this product -- a new fave. Lush has had tons of other honey products current and discontinued that are/have been amazing as well.

It's Raining Men is available in 4 sizes: 3.5 oz for $9.95, 8.8 oz for $14.95, 17.6 oz for $24.95 and 35,2 oz for $32.95 (approximate figures -- check the Lush Cosmetics website for your country)

Orange Honey Bath Elixir | Camille Rose Naturals

Camille Rose Naturals is a favorite brand of mine and I have several favorites from their collections. Recently, they released the Body Collection consisting of 3 bath and body blends: Orange Honey Bath Elixir, Caramelized Cane & Sugar Balm and Cupuacu Sweet Cream. I literally take the Cupuacu Sweet Cream with me everywhere, but I love to drizzle my bath with the Orange Honey Bath Elixir for a soft layer of bubbles in the bathtub. Add a little bit of milk and you'll have a soothing milk & honey bath fit for a queen.

Orange Honey Bath Elixir is available for $9.99 at Target.com and CamilleRoseNaturals.com

TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask

The TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask is an older favorite of mine from earlier in my natural hair journey. Aside from occasionally revising it, I tend to gravitate towards my Algae Renew Deep Conditioner, so I haven't really tried a ton of honey hair masks to compare; however, I do have my eye on Bekura's YAM Nectar Hydrating Hair Nourisher (I love their Tapioca Palm Buttercream).

This hair mask is a deep treatment that is made with real honey to pump the hair with plenty of moisture. A good twenty-minute steam treatment with this on and your hair will thank you!

Kiehl's Vitality Skin Renewing Cream

I've always been a fan of Kiehl's. The way they bring clinical and botanical ingredients together always captures my attention in the skincare space. The Vitality Skin Renewing Cream is made with real Manuka honey and can be used for day or night. While many tend to think of hydrating products as water-based and lightweight, this is actually a fairly thick hydrating cream. Remember: a little bit goes a long way here. 

Kiehl's Vitality Renewing Cream is currently discontinued at all retailers. I will update with retailers when it becomes available again.

Tip: Personally, I feel like the scent of honey can sometimes be so strong in skincare that it doesn't always complement the scents of other products very well. Obviously that isn't the point of skincare but, when it's right under your nose, it can be difficult to ignore. If your senses understand where I'm coming from, try using toners and serums that do not have stronger scents -- go for unscented.

What are your favorite beauty products made with honey?