OUR TIGHTLY CURLY EXPERIMENT - SUMMER 2012!
WEEK 4, POST 4
Helloooo all in Kandy Land! For week four of our Tightly Curly Experiment, I hoped to recap what we’ve done by repeating/combining previous aspects to see if we could get the same or better results. Summary: Um, emphasis on could! You’ll see what I mean…and, for our bonus topic, to switch things up, I discuss making homemade product. OK, let’s break it down!
- (Same as last week), to keep her scalp eczema in check, I shampooed the scalp lightly with Head & Shoulders Eucalyptus Itchy Scalp Care, followed by a co-wash and detangling of the hair with the remaining Aussie Moist Conditioner from last week. Again, detangling was a breeze due to the amount of conditioner that was already in her hair.
- Fresh out of the shower, I decided to try a conditioner that I had on hand – Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Conditioner. Harrumph! I didn’t like this at all. Much too light and not at all moisturizing – AT ALL! But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
- OK. So, going back to week 1, a) I added coconut oil – because of the added moisturizing benefit. And going back to week 3, b) I used a holding agent to increase the likelihood of curl uniformity. This time I used homemade flaxseed gel, for in my experience it leaves little to no build-up - we did have build-up with the Kinky-Curly Curl Custard Gel. The goal - replicate week 1’s softness and moisture and week 3’s crisp curl definition, minus the gel build-up. (See this week’s bonus topic for how to make flaxseed gel).
Alright, to start, I added a gel/oil mixture (again, see bonus topic) to a section, then added the Giovanni conditioner, separated the section with a Denman brush, “smoothed” each separation created by the brush and moved onto the next section. Click here for a visual of this application from last week. Here are our results – oh and with close-ups, for a change J
OUR FINDINGS (click on pictures to enlargen)
- Although we achieved moisture and softness due to the coconut oil, we failed miserably to repeat last week’s great curl definition. Reason? Flaxseed gel doesn’t have enough hold. I still like it though as a styling tool. I believe in and have used flaxseed oil repeatedly in the past for hold in cornrows, box braids, etc… but it’s clearly not enough for curl definition. BUT, as expected zero build-up, meaning, no white flaky residue.
- By Day 3, her curls disappeared into frizz and fuzz, albeit moisturized, and to get back Day 2 definition, in and of itself a challenge, would have been difficult, so I just plaited the hair and called it a week And, that’s all she wrote!
Before I move on to the bonus topic, I just want to say that next week will be our last post. I will focus on summarizing what we’ve learnt, and we’ll do a technique comparison. A what? Ok, so since week 1, I’ve thought all along, “hmm this tightly curly method is just another way to do a wash n’ go, no?” So, yeah we’ll do a wash and go with product (not sure which one yet) and see if we can’t get the same results. Okay? OK!
**Bonus Topic: Homemade Flaxseed Gel**.
PROS: Flaxseed gel is super easy to make, provides hold for protective styling, leaves little to no (more like “no”, in my opinion) residue, and is completely natural and very cost effective.
CONS: Flaxseed gel gives only a light to medium hold and has a short shelf life – it has to be refrigerated and lasts only about 3 weeks.
So this is how it is made. I use Spectrum Organic Whole Premium Flaxseed. And I’ve had the same 15 oz. $7 bag of seeds since last year May – uh huh, cost effective!
- Measure out 2 oz., or 4 tablespoons, of flaxseeds
- Put 1 and ¼ cups of water (I don’t stress on it being bottled or distilled water, that’s just me) into a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil
- Add flaxseeds and keep stirring intermittently (5-7 minutes) until water starts to thicken and froths. When the water/gel is a consistency of runny syrup, strain and let cool in the refrigerator. As it cools the gel will set even more.
- I use a knee high stocking to strain the gel, and I keep the seeds in the stocking in a container in the freezer to use a second time. After the second production, I throw those seeds away.
- On average, this process takes me 15 minutes.
For the gel/oil mixture I mentioned earlier (which typically I would use for protective styling), I blended the gel created and about an equal amount of liquefied coconut oil, put this in an application bottle and refrigerated it. Whenever I want to use it over the next coming weeks, I will microwave it for about 30-40 seconds to get it back to a liquid state. And that’s it.
See you next week for the round up, and thanks for your comments and feedback!
- Révelle & Fifi