New blog name, new year, new start

Yes, I have changed my site name AGAIN. While “Curly Junkie on a Budget” had a ring to it, it didn’t feel right to me. Plus, it was a little too close to the product brand “Curl Junkie” and I wanted to prevent confusion.

There is also the fact that I am a mom. Being a mom is a pretty big part of my identity right now. I have two beautiful little girls who bring joy and chaos to my life. I want to be an example to them of self-acceptance and self-restraint (especially when it comes to spending money). They are a big part of my budgeting.

Also, if my girls end up with curly hair like their mama, I hope that I can help them manage it so they don’t have the hair trauma I had when I was a teenager.

So, my final blog name is….Curly Mama on a Budget. I think it suits the purpose of this blog well.

One of my top resolutions this year is to be more careful with money, and rather than just saying “I’ll stick to a budget” and not going further than that, I am actually doing more. I have been doing calculations based on my husband’s salary and reading up on what percentage of income should go towards things like groceries, bills, gas, etc. and formulating budgets based on that. I also have an account with mint.com that will help me keep track of my spending and budget.

I am also going to be more mindful of what I purchase, and keep better track of what I already have so I don’t go out and buy something that I already have. In short, I want to reduce my tendencies towards being a product junkie (oh yeah, I think that’s another reason for me changing this page’s title).

So…stay tuned for more…as often as I can get around to posting.

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).

Sally Beauty Supply Haul

Sally Beauty Supply was having a “Buy 2 get 1 free” sale on several brands, and since I was running low on a few things, I decided to take advantage of this, since one of my goals is finding good products for good prices.
My haul:
Generic Value Products (GVP) Conditioning Balm: $6.59
Beyond The Zone (BTZ) Noodle Head Curl Glaze: $6.99

BTZ 3-in-1 The Scruncher Spray: $3.19

BTZ Noodle Head Leave-in Conditioner: $7.29

The “B2G1” deal applied to the BTZ products.
The GVP Conditioning Balm is pretty popular among the curly YouTubers, especially the ones who have about the same hair type as me (2C/3A). GVP is basically Sally’s store brand (I call it a salon version of Suave products) and the conditioning balm is supposed to be an inexpensive duplicate of Biolage’s conditioning balm (which I’ve never used) 
The Beyond The Zone brand also seems to be exclusive to Sally’s as well. It has a moderate following among curlies, and I’m excited to try them out.
All images in this post came from Sally Beauty Supply’s website.

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 🙂