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Winter Hair Products To Try

I’ve tried so many new products over the course of two months. From serums to deep conditioning treatments, I have a few more products to add to my arsenal, which includes some tried and true products, drugstore buys and higher end products.
Drugstore buy: OGX’s Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I bought this on a whim because I liked the packaging. And the way it smelled. It’s gentle and has been my go-to hair washing combo since late summer and it’s super moisturizing.

Fancy buy: Kevin Murphy’s Blonde Angel Wash and Rinse combo and the Hydrate Me Rinse. I’ve been keeping my hair blonde, which means it’s susceptible to brassiness. I hate brassiness and so the Blonde Angel wash is key, paired with the Hydrate Me rinse to moisturize my hair. I use it sparingly since it’s a pricier product and I only want to use a blonde perfecting wash once a week.
Color protecting spray: Mastey’s therapy spray is a light product I’ll use instead of a serum, my typical go-to product to help fight frizz, but days when I want really soft hair that I can pull up, braid, etc, I use less product and I spray this in my hands and then work into my ends. I never spray it into my hair as it won’t get to exact areas I want it to be concentrated.
Deep conditioner: S Factor Serious Conditioner is kind of my “treat yo self” moment. When my hair is feeling particularly dry and brittle..and my legs need to be shaved, I’ll work this into my hair, especially the ends and let is soak in as I take my time cutting down the forest that is my leg hair.
Hair insurance: Olaplex refers to the product as insurance for your hair and I’m just starting to realize the benefits of such a product. When you bleach the shit out of your hair like I do, you’ll notice clumps of hair fall out and you’re desperate for a solution (besides saying no to bleach). I haven’t used this in conjunction to a color appointment, but have used it as a treatment before a blowout at the Bang Blowout bar in Grand Rapids. It had a little more strength and it’s something I need to continue to use. In addition to his treatment and thick conditioners throughout the week, I add Living Proof’s leave in conditioner. It’s the only leave in conditioner that I actually like.

Light serum: I have so many serums and for the most part, I can’t find anything wrong or particularly great with any one product. The difference I can tell is how heavy it is. Moroccan oil is great for my hair when it’s super dry, like post-blow out, but most of the time I prefer a little lighter weight serum. Currently using either Frizz Ease serum, Ouidad shine glaze serum or Cibu serum.
What’s your favorite product for dry, damaged and/or curly hair?

Travel Necessities + Tips

I’m off on a road trip with my mom and I snapped a few photos of my packing to share my process!
Tip: Pack a clutch as a make up bag
To be most efficient, I pack a clutch as a make up bag and pack only the essentials to save on space. Essentials include tinted moisturized, bronzer/blush combo, mascara, a couple lipgloss choices and primer along with Scentbird containing a sample of perfume so I can leave my full-sized versions at home (this month it’s Tom Ford’s Black Orchid.) I’ve been using this vintage leather clutch with scalloped edges because it’s a great size and transitions well from make up bag to my evening clutch.
Tip: Include a couple fun extras, just in case
Since they take up such little space and they can spruce up any outfit, I packed a couple extra clutches–an oversized black version and a yellow version for my evenings out and about with mom. They’ll also double as jewelry protectors, although I’ll be wearing most of what I’m packing throughout the week including Katie Dean Jewelry rings, Shinola watch and Clyde’s Rebirth necklace.
Tip: Versatile shoes
I packed heel-free for this trip! I’ve learned the hard way that packing those special pair of heels for that one night wasn’t worth the space in my luggage or the pain I felt in my feet from spending too much time on the go wearing them. For me, I still want variety in my shoes, so versatile and comfortable flat sandals in the color that mix and match the best is what I do.
Tip: Travel size products + customizing products for trip
Instead of lugging around full-sized products or pouring them into small containers (ain’t got no time for that), I select quality travel size products and keep them packed in a clutch so that I can grab and go easily. For this particular trip, I’m concerned with frizzy hair along the ocean and so I added leave-in conditioner with my travel size products.
I have dozens and dozens of sunglasses and I’m bringing a few tried and true aviators along with reading material, the standard black hat and my new favorite No-Ad sunscreen stick, that has a deodorant-like packaging and I can easily glide it over my tattoo throughout the day without the mess.
Beauty, Hair

The Journey To Curly Hair Love

I can’t recall the moment my hair was no longer an enemy of mine, fighting against it with an arsenal of straightening products and hot irons. But I do remember the years of insecurity and constant of comparison of my fuzzy locks and my friends’ straight hair. No one really knew what to do with my hair and it left me hating my curls. Once I discovered the straightening iron in high school, I felt like it solved my problems. I could finally blend in and pretend I was someone different.
I kept my hair straight hair facade through college, until I slowly gained confidence in myself and embraced what I was born with. Once I did that, I experimented with products and styles and finally realized having a different style was a good thing. I no longer wanted to blend in and look like everyone else, I just wanted to be myself. It was exhausting and I was tired of trying so hard.
It’s a lifelong process to accept yourself as you are, but so many things changed in my life once I embraced the curl. It’s around the time I started this blog and decided to just own it and love my hair. Sure, it’s thick, coarse and curly, but it’s how my friends spot me in a crowded room and for a low maintenance girls, I don’t need to wash it often and when I do, it air dries after I apply moisturizing. Wash and go! So many benefits!
I love that Dove is focusing on women to embrace their natural curls. I watched this video they released featuring little girls who wished they had straight hair. It’s an emotional video to watch if you’ve experienced the same thing and I relate to these girls. I hope that little girls (and boys!) grow to love their hair sooner than I did and cut back on the comparison and see the good in what they were born with.
Compensation for this post was provided by Dove Hair via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dove Hair or AOL. Check out Dove and Love Your Curls!

Product Review: Curls & Brows!

I’ve decided to start sharing my thoughts on beauty/hair products more often since I can’t stop buying them and can’t say no to free products (that are relevant to my type of hair.) I want to try them all! I bought this little kitchen cart from Ikea to use to hold haircare product overflow and each hair washing day is like Christmas, with new products addressing quality of curl, moisture and blonde correcting. I’ve been using NYX’s brow pen since it’s so easy and looks natural, but I decided to give Essence’s version a try.
Essence sent me their How To Make Brows Wow make up box and I love that it has mini tweezers and a shimmery highligher. I tested out the Love Blondes color on the left and the Love Em All next to it with the conclusion that the Love Blondes, though lighter, looks more natural and blends better with my naturally light eyebrows. I also love the highlighter–it created more definition with my brows, especially since they’re a bit overgrown at the moment.
I’m very loyal to Matrix Biolage Gelee, but I find Deva Curl’s Light Defining Gel just as amazing. It doesn’t make my hair all stiff and weighed down, but it’s also heavy enough to actually control my hair. It’s a tough balance with thick, dense, curly hair. I switch between these two gels now.
Dove sent me the Quench Absolute Intense Restoration Mask. It’s a more budget friendly option compared to Ouidad’s 12 minute deep conditioner. Directions say to leave on 3-5 minutes, but I left on for 10 and my hair felt soft and less hay-like. Speaking of soft, nice hair, I need a shine serum post shower. I float through different types because most seem to work for me, but Toni and Guy’s classic shine gloss serum smells SO GOOD. Even Kyle complimented me on how great my hair smelled and I owe it to this tiny little product fighting to keep the frizz at bay.
As always, open to product suggestions! Any hair product that I should try that you recommend?!
And here’s my original step by step hair routine

Beauty, Hair

Quick Bun Updo For Curly Girls!

I partnered with Meijer this holiday season to share a couple tips on styling curly/wavy hair for the holidays and my most favorite and easiest style is the top bun. I think this can look quite elevated with curly hair, and bonus: take little effort and time which is what I’m all about.
I started with clean hair. I know a lot of people say dirty hair is easier to style, but my hair gets more like dreadlocks the dirtier it is so I prefer to do more with one day or two day old hair, which I consider to be pretty clean. All you need is a hair tie and two bobby pins! I also added a little extra John Frieda Oil Elixir to smooth the frizzies around my face too. So with these few items, you can get started!
Step 1: High pony. Pull all your hair up into a ponytail, paying little attention to making it perfectly smooth, if there’s a weird bump, I just address it later with a bobby pin. I prefer the imperfect with styling my hair, I want it to look effortless, not homeless or too stuffy. It’s about getting the right balance.
Step 2: Wrap your hair like a donut around the base of your ponytail. To secure your hair, use a bobby pin or tuck the end of your hair into your elastic band. If you like a tighter bun, tucking it into your elastic band tends to keep it in a tighter ball and it’s what I do for workouts, but for something more special, I make it a little looser and fluffier by using just 2-3 bobby pins securing it.
If there are any pieces sticking up in the bun, I just tuck them back in the elastic band. I also tend to pull pieces of hair down around my ears, a little messier the better for me!
This post was sponsored by Meijer
Hair, Inspiration