Roots and Boots Review

This was my first time receiving a hair product free for review, and yet my original interactions with the people behind Roots and Boots LLC were not hair related at all. I met Katie in a Facebook group completely unrelated to haircare, but the topic of curly hair came up and she offered to send me some of her products to try out.

Roots and Boots does not exclusively sell hair care products. In fact, it’s only a small part of what they sell. They sell handmade soaps, skincare products, lotion bars, pain relief lotions/oils, bath bombs, etc. They even have a section called “Jacob Friendly”; these particular products are safe for those who have allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, soy, and melons. As the mother of a child with food allergies, I think this is extremely thoughtful.

The women behind Roots and Boots are Anna and Katie: two moms who struggle with chronic health conditions. They started Roots and Boots to help other people like them. Their philosophy behind their products: if they won’t use the products on their families, they won’t sell it.

I chose to try out the Lemon and Lavender Shampoo, Lemon and Lavender Conditioner, and Lemongrass and Ginger Detangler.

First off, I want to rave about the customer service. When my products arrived, the conditioner pump did not work and they sent me a new pump right away! There is even an option when you are ordering to let them know if you have any sensitivities or allergies so they can accommodate you. I had questions about the ingredients in the detangling spray and they answered them right away. Also, the products came wrapped in pretty fabric rather than paper and plastic! I love me some pretty fabric.

Katie told me that she loved how lightweight the products were on her hair. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of this because I normally want ALL THE MOISTURE. My hair is naturally dry, after all. I also don’t normally use detangling sprays.

The shampoo and conditioner both smell lovely: citrusy and floral. Nothing too overwhelming. The shampoo has a liquid gel consistency while the conditioner is very liquidy.

I felt like the shampoo cleaned my scalp enough without drying me out, and it didn’t seem to aggravate my flaky scalp issues. It lathered up pretty nicely too.

As I previously said, the conditioner is very liquidy. Normally, the conditioners I use are super creamy, so this was a new experience for me *laughs*. I had to use a fair bit to get the right amount of slip, but this is par for the course for curly haired folks. But the nice thing about this conditioner is that if you have dry hair (like me), you don’t have to rinse it out completely.

I mentioned above that I don’t normally use detangling sprays because they tend to be too light for me.

The spray has kind of a spicy citrus smell that I didn’t care for at first, but it has grown on me. I tried using this on my daughters’ hair, but neither of them liked the fragrance. Otherwise, the detangler worked great in their hair.

The slip isn’t amazing in my own hair, but since I do almost all my detangling in the shower, I don’t need a ton of slip in my leave-in conditioners

For my first time using the Roots and Boots line, I decided to use just the shampoo, conditioner, and detangling spray without any other stylers just to get a baseline for how my hair would look. I was expecting my hair to be completely frizzy by day three with no styling products. Remember my skepticism about how “lightweight” the products were?

These pictures are how my hair looked for three days without any styling products besides the detanger. I was pleasantly surprised. While yes, my hair was on the frizzy side by the third day…it was the voluminous, beachy waves kind of frizz.

I admit that volume wasn’t a big priority for me when I first started embracing my curls fully. In fact, I wanted nothing to do with volume. Because to me, volume meant frizz and frizz was to be avoided at all costs.

But thanks to these products, I am starting to embrace my volume as a natural part of my texture. Even if there’s a little frizz.

The only improvement I would suggest is a wider range of scents and maybe some thicker, creamier products for those who want extra moisture.

All in all, I enjoyed trying the Roots and Boots hair products out and I learned even more how to embrace my waves. If you’re looking for sulfate free, silicone free, natural hair products that are reasonably priced AND you want to support a small business, then you want to try out Roots and Boots.

Sample Saturday: Jessicurl

Bag of Jessicurl Samples

Jessicurl is a popular curly hair brand started by a woman named Jess. She couldn’t find any products that worked for her curly hair and found a recipe for flaxseed gel online. She tried it out (and made her own tweaks in the process) and loved the results so much that she shared the recipe in the Curl Talk community, and her inbox got flooded with offers to buy bottles of her concoction. The product Rockin’ Ringlets was born, and subsequently this brought about the creation of many more products. Never did Jess dream that her discovery would turn into a business!

I hesitated about trying out the Jessicurl products because well, at around $16.95 a bottle, they are not cheap. Then I remembered that Jessicurl offers samples to order from the website–all you have to pay is shipping and handling (only $3.10 for me).

What did I get?

Gentle Lather Shampoo

Sulfate free cleansing that won’t weigh hair down

Too Shea Conditioner

Daily conditioning for dry thirsty curls

Deep Conditioner

Intense pampering for dry hair

Aloeba Conditioner

Weightless moisture for dry hair (I used this as a leave-in in my LCEG routine)

Confident Coils

Defines touchably soft curls in all climates 

Rockin’ Ringlets

Encourage and enhance curls

Spiralicious

Provides all day hold and frizz control for all hair types

All products are sulfate free, silicone free, drying alcohol free, mineral oil free, etc. If you have gluten sensitivities, Jessicurl products are also gluten free. While the samples are unscented by default, full size products have three fragrance options: Unscented, Citrus Lavender, and Tropical Fantasy.

First Impression

Overall, I was pleased with the products. The shampoo lathered and cleaned nicely. The conditioners were all moisturizing and there wasn’t nearly enough of them, but alas, that is the problem many curly girls face: not enough conditioner. I think I could have done without the Confident Coils. I thought Confident Coils was just a cream, but it’s a cream gel just like the Spiralicious, just less hold than Spiralicious. I think both of them together were just a bit too heavy for me.

If I were to do the styling routine over again, I would go with one of the conditioners as a leave-in (they all can be used as leave-in conditioners, even the deep conditioner), Rockin’ Ringlets, and then Spiralicious. But, despite feeling a bit weighed down, I had some nice clumping and definition until my next wash day.

 

First Day Hair with Jessicurl products

Third Day Hair with Jessicurl products
Third Day Hair

Would I buy the full size products?

I definitely want to try the Rockin’ Ringlets and Spiralicious Gel again. I wouldn’t get Confident Coils again simply because combining it with the Spiraicious was just too much for me. The Jessicurl products don’t have a lot of protein in them, so I think I would need to use a product with a little protein to give my curls that extra bounce. I also wouldn’t mind trying Too Shea as a leave-in. The Aloeba was nice, but it is meant for fine hair (my hair is pretty coarse).

Purchasing information

You can get free samples from the main Jessicurl website for only the cost of shipping and handling. Full sized Jessicurl products cost around $16.95 and you can pick from three fragrance options: no fragrance, Citrus Lavender, and Tropical Fantasy. You can also purchase Jessicurl through Curl Mart.

Sample Saturday: Sashapure

sashapure product samples

I recently started doing Sample Saturday on my Instagram page because I have a bunch of samples that I received from Curl Mart purchases (three samples in every order) and I needed to use them. Sample Saturday is my way of using them up and trying something new without buying more stuff.

Wait, I got most of the samples from buying stuff to begin with…

But the point is that I’m not spending more money, at least right now.

The Brand

For this Sample Saturday review, I used samples from Sashapure. The brand boasts of using Certified Peruvian Sacha Inchii Oil, which is an oil that is rich in protein, omegas 3-6-9, and vitamins A and E. It comes from the Sacha Inchii plant in South America that can also be eaten and is claimed to be a superfood.  On their website Sashapure says that they are the first haircare brand to use USDA-certified organic and sustainably harvested Sacha Inchii Oil.

On the main Sashpure website, there are six products: Healing Shampoo, Healing Conditioner, Restorative Conditioning Mask, Re-hydrating Cleansing Conditioner, Perfectly Defining Curl Cream, Smoothing & Shine Hair Treatment, and Deeply Therapeutic Hair, Scalp, and Skin Elixir. The prices range from $11.99 to $15.99. So, they are about mid-range in cost. You can purchase from the website, or you can order them from Curl Mart.

I got three samples in a past Curl Mart delivery: Healing Shampoo, Healing Conditioner, and the Hair Elixir.

First Impressions

I was pretty happy with the shampoo and conditioner, though I wish there had been more product in the little packets. I was able to squeeze out just enough of the shampoo to work through my thick hair, but there wasn’t nearly enough conditioner for my liking. Of course, is there ever enough conditioner in Curly Girl World? I managed to get just enough conditioner to detangle, but I did not have high hopes for how my hair would turn out.

I used the elixir after I applied my Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner and before gel. For Sampe Saturdays, I like to keep styling product usage to a minimum so I can see how much the samples work. My first impression of the elixir was that it STINKS! It smelled really, really grassy. It smelled like fresh cut grass with a touch of gasoline. At first I was just going to stop after the elixir, but I HAD to put something else in my hair to cancel out the smell because I couldn’t stand it. So, I scrunched in some LA Looks gel.

Looking at some online reviews, the fragrance is the most commonly disliked part of the elixir. If Sashapure could do something about that, that would be great.

I should add that the fragrance in the shampoo and conditioner was mild and actually quite pleasant. I was really disappointed in how the elxir smelled.

Would I buy the product?

All in all, I wasn’t expecting much out of this experiment, but once my hair dried, I was pleasantly surprised. I had nice, beachy waves. Normally, I focus on curl definition, but I actually kind of liked the looser look. I am on Day Three hair as I write this, and the look has been holding.

 

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Day 1 after air drying completely
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Day 2 and feeling a little lazy. Refreshed with leave-in conditioner
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Day Three and refreshed with leave-in conditioner and spray gel

However, my scalp is a little itchy on Day Three, but that’s kind of normal for me when it’s getting close to my next wash day. I’m just prone to having an itchy scalp because of some scalp psoriasis

Would I buy these products in full size? I might buy the shampoo and conditioner to try out in the larger bottles. I would not get the elixir again based on the smell alone. There have got to be just as good products on the market that don’t smell so bad. I am interested in trying the hair mask and the curl cream (voted Best Curl Cream 2017 in People Magazine!)

The product designs are nice too–not at all fancy, but attractive nonetheless. As far as I can tell, most of the products are curly girl friendly, except for the Smoothing and Shine Treatment, which does contain silicones.

Have you heard of Sashapure hair products? Have you tried them? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Eden BodyWorks Co-wash

Co-washing is a big thing in the curly world. Basically what it means is cleansing your hair with a light conditioner as opposed to traditional shampoos. The idea behind this is that curly hair is dry by nature and co-washing helps keep the curly hair moisturized. There are many dedicated co-washes on the market, but many curlies choose to use silicone-free drugstore conditioners such as Suave Naturals or V05. Both are very friendly on the wallet, though admittedly, I have yet to try them myself.

Lately, I’ve been trying out Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Co-wash. I purchased it at my local Sally Beauty Supply for $8.49. It comes in a 16 oz. jar, so cost per ounce comes out to 53 cents per ounce, which is quite reasonable. 
I really wanted to like this co-wash, but despite my best efforts….it didn’t really work for me. The first few times I used it, I just slathered it on because of how much hair I have. When I did that, I got a bit of buildup and it was hard to rinse it out completely. Plus, it didn’t exactly play well with my styling products. 
Next, I tried only using a little bit because I read reviews online that said a little goes a long way. Again, I ended up using more than planned because thick hair. 
So, I tried cutting my other shower products to a minimum. First, not using a deep conditioner and just using my GVP rinse-out conditioner. Nope. Then I tried using deep conditioner after co-washing instead of a rinse-out. That worked a little better, but I still got buildup and itching. 
Oh yeah, the itching. Normally I only start having an itchy scalp right around my normally scheduled wash days, but I would itch immediately after my hair dried using this co-wash 😦
I am also not a fan of the co-wash in a jar concept–it’s unwieldy in the shower.

However, I will say that the slip this co-wash gives is phenomenal. 

After trying Garnier Pure Clean as a co-wash and using a dedicated co-wash like Eden Bodyworks…I’m starting to think that my hair just doesn’t like co-washing. My hair is naturally really dry and seriously DRINKS up moisture, but I guess it just needs more lather than a co-wash can provide. 
So, if you don’t have problems with buildup and itching like I do, this may work. Maybe this co-wash would work for tighter, kinkier hair than mine (I have 2C/3A curls) Maybe I’ll try another co-wash someday, but for now, I’ll seek out a good sulfate-free/silicone-free shampoo.

Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Co-wash Pros:

Great slip
Inoffensive smell
Great value price per ounce

Cons:
Buildup
Itching
Awkward jar situation
Not so great for my 2C/3A curls

Just a reminder, I am not being compensated in any way for this review. I purchased the product myself.

Review: co-washing with garnier fructis pure clean

 Co-washing: cleansing with a lightweight conditioner as opposed to using traditional shampoo or sulfate and silicone-free shampoo. 
Lots of curlies swear by this, since many of us (including myself) have notoriously dry hair and need all the conditioning we can get. There are lots of dedicated co-washes on the market, but many prefer to buy silicone-free conditioners like Suave Naturals or V05 (cheap and widely available in most drugstores). I haven’t tried the Suave or V05 conditioners myself yet, but I have been trying out Garnier Fructis’s Pure Clean conditioner as a co-wash for the last month.
I found it on a 2-for-$5 sale at my local grocery store recently, so I bought one to try out because why not? I’m all about trying inexpensive stuff (hence my blog). I paid $2.50 for a 13 oz. bottle which is approximately 20 cents per ounce (sa-weet!). It normall sells for about $4, which is 30 cents an ounce and still cheap.
The Pure Clean line from Garnier Fructis is supposed to be 92% biodegradeable and free of silicones, parabens, and dyes. The shampoo does have sulfates, however, so only use this as a clarifier. The line also has gel and a finishing paste, which are both curly girl friendly (I haven’t tried these yet either…in good time).
I have a few rules for my cleansing products:
–must clean and moisturize
–no build-up
–I cannot have an itchy scalp after only a day or two (I am prone to this)
–Must allow me to maintain curls up to 2-3 days with my other products
I decided to try the Garnier Pure Clean out as a co-wash. My normal hair-wash routine is co-wash (or curly girl friendly shampoo, I haven’t decided which I prefer yet), rinse-out conditioner, and deep conditioner. 
To test how moisturizing the Garnier Pure Clean was, I first used it and then my rinse-out conditioner (I am not brave enough to use co-wash and co-wash alone yet). It wasn’t especially moisturizing this way–I had to use a lot more leave-in and my Curl Keeper than I normally would before I could style. Normally, when I do my wash/rinse out conditioner/deep conditioner routine in addition to my styling products (leave-in conditioner, cream, gel, etc.), I can get about 2-3 days out of my curls. Doing the co-wash and rinse-out conditioner without deep conditioning…I only got 1-2 days. 
So the next wash day, I used the Pure Clean with my other shower and styling products. I had good hair days….except for one thing.
My scalp started itching and flaking. Build up. Maybe I wasn’t massaging it in vigorously enough?
So, the next time, I tried massaging it in more vigorously, and still, my scalp started itching and flaking.
Maybe I had some leftover previous product in my hair? Let’s clarify! So, I clarified with Eden Bodyworks Peppermint and Tea Tree shampoo, which is AMAZING stuff. Bingo…or so it seemed. I had no itching or flaking whatsoever. So, I decided to try co-washing with the Pure Clean one more time to see if clarifying did the trick.
Alas, it did not. 
My scalp started itching on day 2 and hasn’t stopped since, and I’m going to clarify again and try a different co-wash I have in the wings. 
But one really big pro though: the SLIP! I was able to detangle a good bit with my fingers while co-washing. Maybe I’ll try this out as a rinse-out conditioner (focusing on mid-shaft to ends).
So, I will give this product 3 out of 5 stars. Good price, great slip, but not so great at cleansing. Plus, I wasn’t a big fan of the smell (some people might not mind it, and it doesn’t linger).

Review: Silk Elements Pure Oils Masque

Deep conditioners: these are a must for curly girls. Actually, conditioner in general is an absolute must for us. As a general rule, curly hair is drier than straight. Why is this? Well, it takes longer for oil to move down curly hair than it does for straight hair. I like to say it’s taking the scenic route 😉
Basically, a deep conditioner gives your hair more moisture….DEEP moisture ideally. Deep conditioners are especially good for dry, damaged hair. It’s recommended to deep condition at least once a week, depending on how dry your hair is. If you have fine hair, then you don’t need to deep condition as much. 
I bought Pure OIls (by Silk Elements) Intense Hydration Mask from Sally Beauty Supply a few months ago. It has Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, and Aloe Vera in it. The Olive Oil and Aloe Vera are supposed to smooth the cuticle while Shea Butter and Castor Oil moisturize the hair. The product as a whole is also supposed to improve manageability, strengthen hair, and retain moisture and softness.

I’ll start with what I liked about the product:
(1) It is inexpensive (duh, I am a curly on a budget). I got it for eight bucks, but it is on sale right now for six at Sally’s!
(2) You only have to leave it in for 5-10 minutes. One of my requirements for a deep conditioner is a short leave-in time. I am a mom of two and I don’t have the time or patience for much longer than five minutes. So on wash day, I can do my thing, apply the deep conditioner, do the rest of my shower stuff, rinse it out, and I’m done!
(3) Good slip. 
Now for what I didn’t like:
(1) The smell. I’ll be honest, I thought it smelled like bananas. I don’t hate bananas, but I don’t like my hair smelling like them. Although I believe the smell does rinse out pretty well, so I guess this isn’t the worst thing.
(2) It weighs my hair down. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like my hair doesn’t have much volume when I do use this. I can tell it moisturizes, but not much else. Maybe it’s the fact it has so many oils in it? I guess there is such a thing as too many oils for some people. Maybe it’s the shea butter? That can weigh some curlies’ hair down. I guess this could work for someone whose hair is drier than mine. Maybe it works for the coily folks? 
I could be using this product all wrong for my hair–maybe skip my rinse-out conditioner and use this instead? I tried altering how much I use, but that hasn’t made much of a difference. 
So for me, I would give this deep conditioner 3 out of 5 stars. I think this would work great for someone with more coarse, drier hair than mine.
FYI: I am not being compensated in any way for my review. I bought this product with my own money 🙂