Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the ups and downs of trader joe's nourish spa conditioner

about a year ago, i made the (unconscious) decision to switch to all- or mostly natural hair care products. not that i have anything against my beloved VO5, herbal essences or ion products, but as part of an overhaul of my diet and general lifestyle, it just made sense to convert my hair products, too. it wasn't as hard on my wallet as i thought: i find giovanni products on sale at my local whole foods pretty often, i caught a killer sale on aubrey organics, so i'm good on DC for a while, and there is always marshall's and tjmaxx when i need a liter of giovanni smooth as silk or 50:50 (a product i haven't tried.....YET). as for some of the more "trendy" lines, kinky-curly is more expensive than i am used to, but one bottle of come clean shampoo lasts me a few months, and since i don't care too much for the curling custard and knot today, i don't have to break the bank on the whole line. jane carter, shea moisture, qhemet biologics and oyin handmade are next on my list. however, the frugalista in me loves the fact that there is a cheapie line i can turn to: trader joe's nourish spa.

while i haven't tried the shampoo (y'all know how finicky my hair is with that stuff), i believe i actually talked about tj nourish spa conditioner quite some time ago....like 2 or 3 years ago. back in the day, i couldn't decide if i liked it or not, since it seemed a little too thick for a cowash conditioner, but not quite nourishing enough to use as a DC. well....though i haven't really talked about it, the conditioner has actually been a part of my regimen for a few months now.

i have heard for a loooong time that it is comparable to giovanni smooth as silk, but since i never used that specific giovanni product, it didn't matter to me. that all changed around december of last year when i found the entire giovanni line on sale for $5 at whole foods and picked up the smooth as silk conditioner instead of the direct leave-in. as some of you may know, i'm from the "i'll try anything once" school of thought, so it wasn't a huge decision to grab the SAS instead of GDLI, especially since i was trying to decide if i liked the new version of GDLI as much as the other. long story short? it was great as a DC, but ROCKED as a cowash conditioner AND a leave-in!

now i'm not gonna lie, i'm used to getting a lot more conditioner for $5 (i believe their products come in 8oz bottles) but my hair was responding so great that i said 'forget it' and kept purchasing. i was in heaven when i came across the liter pump bottle at tjmaxx for $12.99, but being that i could only find the SAS in virginia, that joy didn't last too long. while i continued to run into the two local stores every week hoping to find a stray bottle, i decided to give tj nourish spa another go. i guess it was because i fell in love with SAS, but this time my hair responded IMMEDIATELY to nourish spa -- it stays soft, moisturized and tangle-free, and i can go longer without cowashing, too. i call it my "triple threat" since i can use it as a DC, cowash and leave-in. besides, it's got the other things on my "dream hair product" list: no offensive smell, readily available, pretty good ingredients, and fantastic portability. since i (re)discovered tj nourish spa, i've gifted it to my mom, sister and recommended it to a few coworkers as well. i mean, who doesn't need a multipurpose, all natural, CHEAP conditioner/moisturizer/styling product?

not bad for $3, huh?

ingredients: purified water, organic rosemary oil, organic valencia orange citrus, organic mango, organic lemongrass, organic ginko biloba, organic echinacea, organic willow bark, organic sea kelp, organic chamomile flower, organic textured soy protein, organic lavender, organic grapefruit citrus, tocopherol (Vit E), acetamide MEA, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, botanical fragrance

read the amazon reviews here!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

lion's mane

after rocking a WNG for a few weeks, i decided to blow out my hair. although the idea itself was pretty spur of the moment, the process was still fairly exhiliarating -- i got to buy new hair toys! of course i would need a blow dryer for this, so i used the opportunity as an excuse to purchase a babyliss pro dryer and joico k-pak smoothing balm from tjmaxx. i also got a chance to try out one of my new aubrey organics deep conditioners -- in one word, the gpb is FANTASTIC!

i worked in small sections with my denman *memo -- get a comb attachment for this blow dryer* and knew i was getting somewhere when my SO did a double take and exclaimed "wow, your hair is LONG!" -grin-

i actually wore it like this for a few days, even daring to take my lion's mane to work with me in all its glory. the thing i LOVED? it made a pretty full bun, something me and my fine hair don't get to experience that much. however, for most of its 3 week lifespan, my hair stayed in a french braid or two.

all in all, i felt as if everything went fine, considering my technique leaves something to be desired. now that the warm months are quickly approaching, i am reconsidering holding off on my next REAL length check until september or so. i just think of what i went through last summer after i foolishly straightened my hair in june and....well, shudder. LOL

springtime in the gardens

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
~Ruth Stout

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, April 2011