Pittsburgh Curly

A Curly Girl in da ‘Burgh

Archive for February, 2009

My Cheap Cure for the Winter Hair Blahs

Posted by pittsburghcurly on February 23, 2009

Lustrasilk Shea Butter

Lustrasilk Shea Butter

In an earlier post, I described how low winter dew points  can affect curl pattern. I then followed it up with pictures to show what I meant.

Last month, I was reading Colorado Curly’s blog and saw that she was liking Lustrasilk. I had also seen mention of it over on Curl Talk (the naturallycurly.com message boards) but things were scattered a bit. I started a thread  asking how people used it and got a wide variety of replies from a rinse out conditioner, a deep treatment alone, a base for a homemade deep treatment, to a leave-in conditioner. I liked seeing how versatile this product could be when other curlies put their minds to it.

I had been hoping to use it as sort of a curl cream, so that’s what I did. After my usual detangling and conditioning routine, I used some Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus that I picked up at Sally’s for a mere $2.49. I combed some in as a leave-in and then scrunched some in the way I would a gel or a curl cream. This gave me back curl and volume that I never, ever, expected to see in this cold, dry winter. For some reason, I tested this product on a night where I was supposed to go out and meet some new people. Luckily it did work well. 🙂 Could you imagine meeting 15-20 new people with product failure hair?!

The product feels like a light face cream, and smells sort of like mango. It emulsified easily in my hands and was easy to apply to my hair. Later washing was no problem, and it caused no residual buildup that would require the use of a sulfate.

Anyway, here’s a pic of my hair on Lustrasilk.

My winter hair on Lustrasilk

My winter hair on Lustrasilk

I’ve been playing with it for the last month to see how I can tweak it. I am finding that it plays well with Curl Junkie’s Curl Rehab Curl Moisturizing Deep Treatment. I use the Curl Junkie as a leave-in and the Lustrasilk as a curl cream. The Lustrasilk works well alone, but my hair isn’t a touchable as it is when layered with the Curl Junkie. The Lustrasilk can build up and feel producty on me if I overdo it, and the Curl Junkie holds this back for me.

We did have a warm couple of days here and there, and the Lustrasilk did not perform so well for me once the dew points got into the mid 30s. This product is definitely limited to very low dew points for me. On the upside, Lustrasilk is cheap, and I don’t have to order it online. If I don’t use it all up this winter, I can recycle it by using it as shaving lotion so it won’t go to waste.

If you’re having some dry weather blahs, this product is worth a shot, especially at this price. One word of caution. Not all Sally’s carry this, although they can order it in for you. If you read the Curl Talk thread I linked, you’ll see all about that. Also, there is an Olive Oil version that seems to work well for some. Both version are appropriate for those who avoid silicones and sulfates, and they are also protein free for those who avoid protein.


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Design Your Own Dream Product

Posted by pittsburghcurly on February 22, 2009

If someone came up with a new hair product, what would it be? What would it do for you? Moisture? Definition? Frizz control? Curl elongation?

Tiffany, of  Live Curly Live Free, wants to know what your dream product would be. Stop by her blog and check out her post. Then, send her a message and let her know what you’d love.

I’d love to see what the creative curlies can come up with! 🙂

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Texture, Porosity, and Elasticity

Posted by pittsburghcurly on February 3, 2009

boingI wanted to cover these hair properties in some way, but, someone else just did it, and she did it better than I would.

Tiffany, of Live Curly Live Free , is a professional stylist who works wonders with curly hair. She recently blogged about how texture, porosity and elasticity often have more to do with what type of routine you need than your actual curl type. I’ll post her links and add some brief thoughts.

Hair texture. This falls under coarse vs fine. Not to be confused with thick vs thin. One can have baby fine individual hairs, but have many of them so that your hair looks thick. You can also have coarse, thick individual strands, but sparsely placed – or any combination in between. Most of my head is in the range between medium and coarse. The strands towards the back/nape area are quite coarse, and I have joked that I could use them for fishing line. The hairs near my temple are somewhat fine. For me, this helps with conditioning. If the hairs near my temple get too soft, floofy, and undefined, I know that I am using too much conditioner or too rich of a conditioner. If the hairs at my nape get scratchy like a wool sweater, I know they need more moisture. Using my texture and paying attention to it is quite helpful in gauging conditioner needs.

Being on the coarse side of things also helps to explain why I dislike products with protein. Coarse hair naturally has more protein than fine hair, so using more protein on coarse hair can build up and make your hair feel dry and brittle. More on protein later. I plan on a separate post for that.

Porosity. This is the one that I find to be the most difficult, and one I still can’t figure out quite yet. I’ll probably ask my hair guy the next time I go see him. Tiffany’s post is full of info on what to do, if you can figure out your hair. 🙂 The protein/moisture balance also comes into play here.

Elasticity. Please note Tiffany’s comments about hair that “forgot how to curl.” This is loss of elasticity in action. She has two categories. Low and normal elasticity. Low elasticity is when the hair breaks to easily or stretches too far. This can be determined by a strand test – directions on her post. For me, I use this to determine when I need a little protein. While I cannot tolerate it regularly, I do need a little now and then, and I can only seem to tolerate keratin. When my hair gets a little on the too stretchy side, I use a protein treatment, which usually returns my hair to a normal elasticity. I prefer GVP Hair Reconstructor that I purchase at Sally’s. It is the generic version of Joico’s K-Pak, but about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price.

If my hair snaps without stretching or after very little stretch, I know that need more moisture. Elasticity is a very helpful tool to me when it comes to keeping track of my moisture/protein balance in my product usage.

Along with the dew points, I use texture and elasticity a lot in determining what my hair needs. I hope to learn how to add porosity into the mix. Remember, hair isn’t static. The health and texture can change with weather, products, heat styling and chemical processes. For your best results, it pays to notice the changes in the texture, porosity, and elasticity of your hair.

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CurlMart Showing Some Love in February

Posted by pittsburghcurly on February 2, 2009

If any of you are CurlMart shoppers, they are having $7.00 flat rate shipping for US orders this month.

If you have a few Internet purchases that need stocking up, this might be a good month for it!

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I’m interrupting this irregularly scheduled blog…

Posted by pittsburghcurly on February 1, 2009

… just to say



After all, I’m a PITTSBURGH curly.

But, as this is a blog for curly hair, I will give you some curly eye candy. 🙂

Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu

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