My Favorite UAE Products for Curly Hair

Hello amiras! Today I am finally sharing my favorite routine of products with you guys, for those of you that live in the UAE. A lot of these are made in the US or the UK though, or you might just have some of these in your country. Enjoy the video! I have started embedding the link and the video preview so hopefully it's easy for everyone to watch.


Products shown:
Conditioner wash:
Loreal el vive total repair conditioner (supermarkets)

Shampoo: Boots derma care shampoo

Conditioners:
Beauty Formulas Seaweed conditioner (waitrose)
Andalou naturals citrus and shine conditioner (life pharmacy)

Leave in conditioner:
beauty without curelty leave in (vitacost.com)

Curly hair solutions curl keeper - curlmart.com OR ship it to and other vendors

Gel:
Boots wet look gel 
Loreal invisihold no. 8 gel (supermarkets)

Jessicurl distributor in dubai: 
*note: I have not used their delivery service yet*

I hope you enjoyed the video! If you are from Dubai or the UAE let me know in a comment down below. :)

Wishing you a good hair day, @:-)

The Homemade Deep Treatment: Tools & Ingredient Properties

Hello lovely blog readers! Today I thought I would cover a blog topic I have talked about on my YouTube channel but have never devoted a blog post to. And that is DIY homemade treatments; in this blog I'll talk about the more common ingredients and what benefits they give the hair, as well as my favorite tools for doing the deed. While it's lovely for me to break open a tub of Curl Junkie Curl Rehab and go to town, it's rather expensive to ship to Dubai, and it's $20 a tub to start with. While homeade treatments aren't really going to measure up to professionally formulated ones, they can achieve some beautiful results and some people swear by them.

Image from http://shatterproofglassdolls.com/

A little bit of background first. Most of the time if you're doing a deep treatment you want to consider if your hair needs moisture or protein. Balancing out your hair's moisture and protein needs is key to keeping it healthy.


Hair that needs moisture is

  • dry, frizzy, rough, tangly

Hair that needs protein is
  • weak, quick to break or snap off, chemically processed hair, heat damaged hair, sun damaged hair, etc.

But don't forget that your hair can also get too much of either of these key nutrients!


Hair is is over-conditioned (too much moisture) is:
  • soft, mushy, stretchy, frizzy

Hair that has too much protein is:
  • straw-like, frizzy, stiff, dry feeling

If you find you have too much of one thing, either protein or moisture, the best thing to do is clarify with either sulfate free shampoo or a mix of lemon juice and water; apple cider vinegar also works. This gives you a clean slate to then impart what your hair needs. Generally over-proteined hair needs moisture, while over-conditioned hair appreciates some protein.

If you have healthy hair be careful with administering protein treatments, as they can leave your hair stiff and hard to manage as described above. Try combining moisturizing and protein ingredients to avoid adding too much protein to your hair, or do protein first, and then moisturizing the same day. If you have fine hair that doesn't need much moisture, be careful of over-conditoning your hair. I probably deep condition my hair once a month, but it's very healthy. Damaged or dry hair can require treatments as often as once per week.

From loveyourcurls.com.au
So with that out of the way, let's talk porosity for just a smidge before we get to the recipes. I have low porosity hair, which means that the scales on my hair strand lie very flat, and it's hard for moisture to get in. So I need to use heat or steam most times to truly deep condition my hair. BUT this is also helpful for those with normal and high porosity hair. I use a Heat Therapy hair wrap I got from curlmart.com, which is super convenient because you can warm it up in the microwave, but you can also just use a warm towel fresh from the dryer or try to use your blowdryer. Also, if you know you have high porosity hair, your hair should love protein by the way. To learn more about porosity, visit my blog post on the subject.


The microwavable Hair Therapy Wrap

Ok, onto the recipes! Now that you are armed with knowledge of ingredients and porosity it should be easier to pick which ingredients you want to use. As someone who always goes for moisture in her treatments, I am a huge fan of mayonaisse (smell gross but works), honey, agave nectar, jojoba oil, and olive oil. You really just have to do a bit of trial and error at first to see what your hair loves; but thankfully you can just eat the rest if your hair doesn't like it! I also like to add a conditioner to the base of any treatment so that it will be a nice consistency.

Popular ingredients for adding protein to the hair include egg (DO NOT heat unless you want scrambled egg hair), greek yogurt or regular yogurt, and gelatin. Some moisturizing ingredients I missed before include aloe vera gel, other oils like coconut and others, coconut milk, and banana (or baby banana food if you prefer not to blend). You can also use natural powders like henna (READ: dyes your hair red unless you do a gloss or have dark hair), cassia (strenghthening and glossing), or bentonite clay (clarifying masque). Really the sky's the limit! 

Below are some recipes I have compiled from my time perusing the hair boards. Blend it in the blender extremely well, makes plenty, you can freeze what you don't use for a few weeks or refrigerate for one week. Enjoy! 

1/4 cup GVP conditioning balm or other conditioner
1 tbsp mayonaise 
1 tbsp honey (or just 2 tbsp honey without agave)
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp jojoba oil

Moisturizing/protein:
1 can of coconut milk,
1 banana or container of banana baby food
1 avocado
2 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp olive oil

Moisturizing:
1 banana or container banana baby food
2 TBSPs Honey
1 1/2 TBSPs Olive Oil
1 TBSPs Mayo
1/4 cup coffee
Conditioner

Mostly protein: 
1.5 cups plain natural yogurt
1 egg
half a banana or container of banana baby food
1/4 cup AVG
1 T olive oil
1 T honey

Sciency Hair Blog's Gelatin Treatment - you really need the directions for this one!
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (60-120 ml)
-1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin powder (0.25 oz, 7.2 grams, 2 1/2 teaspoons) or crumbled gelatine flakes or sheets 
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (1/4 tsp with 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp. with 1/2 cup water)
-5 drops vinegar (1/16th teaspoon) or a tiny pinch of citric acid or ascorbic acid (enough to fill this typed letter "O").

Bentonite Clay Treatment (for clarifying) on CurlyNikki
Bentonite Clay (found in vitamin stores or Amazon)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Aloe Vera Juice (optional)

Cassia Treatment (strenghthening and glossing) - on CurlyNikki

WARNINGS: Make sure to blend any fruit very well. You don't want to get banana bits or anything else stuck in your hair. (This is why banana baby food is a time saving, easier ingredient.) Eggs and greek or natural yogurt are good sources of protein for the hair. If you use an egg, don't put hot water on your hair or you will end up with scrambled egg hair.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! It one of those nice hair posts that anyone can benefit from reading. Let me know what you favorite DIY ingredients are down below in the comments and what your results are. Please feel free to leave any questions as well. You're now well on your way to becoming a mixtress in the kitchen!

Wishing you a great hair day, @:-)

My Curly Hair Travel Essentials | Tips & Tricks





















Hello curlies! Here's the list of products I take with me in my travel bag:

Shea MoistureTahitian Noni & Monoi Shampoo (~2 oz)
Tressemme Naturals conditioner for conditioner washing (~3-4 oz)
Sally's Beauty Genric Value Matrix Biolage Balm (~3-4 oz)
As I Am leave in conditioner (~2-3 oz)
Jessicurl spiralicious gel (~2 oz)
Shida Naturals Cream gel (~3 oz)
Aloe Vera for scalp and sunburns (~2oz)
Hot Sock travel diffuser attachment (buy on amazon.com or curlmart.com)
1 t-shirt and one curls like us towel
Tangle teazer brush
Small toothed comb
Hair ties/Bobby pins
Large bristled brush for ponytails

I hope this video helps you out if you have any trips planned during the rest of the summer!



What are your curly hair travel essentials? Leave them down below in the comments!

xo

Spring Empties 2015 | Hair & Skin Hits & Misses!



Hello lovelies! You'll find below the list of products mentioned in my latest Empties/ Hits and Misses video. Let me know what products you've been loving (or hating, I don't mind) down below in the comments on here or YouTube! Don't forget to give my blog a follow on bloglovin' while you're at it too! (Click the + on the right.) Enjoy!


Products I Used up aka Hits:
L'oreal El Vive Total Repair conditioner (5 bottles)
L'oreal El Vive Nutri Gloss Masque
Generic Sally's Beauty Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm
Beauty Without Cruelty Leave in
Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee
Louis Widmer Skin Appeal Sebo Fluid moisturizer
Dove Coconut Milk & Jasmine Pearls Body Wash
Radox Shower Cream with Milk

Misses:
Beauty without Cruelty Moisturizing Face Mask
Body Shop Pomegranate Cleanser for Aging Skin

Wishing you a great hair day @:-)

Review: Jessicurl Products for Curly Hair + Sale Info






















Hello blossoms! This weekend I have a review for you guys. I really ought to have reviewed these  
products before as I have tried them out ages ago, so it was the perfect opportunity to review them when Jessicurl offered to send me the products. (As I didn't have the full line in my possession.)



As well Jessicurl is currently having a sale on their website until June 15th, 2015. From their email newsletter:
"Use code SUMMER15 at checkout and save 30% on any 8 ounce item at www.jessicurl.com from now until June 24. No limits on quantity so stock up. The sale is good no matter where you live in the world so even if winter is just beginning in your neck of the woods, you can still celebrate!"


Video Review:

Products mentioned:


Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo

Ingredients:
Island Fantasy: Aqua (Water), Decyl Polyglucose, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Parfum (Fragrance), C 12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, PEG 150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Panthenol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, *Coumarin, *Limonene


Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner

Ingredients:
Island Fantasy: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Laurus Nobilis (Bay Laurel) Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Powder, Althea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Parfum (Fragrance), Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, *Cinnamal, *Citral, *Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool

Jessicurl Confident Coils (Curl Enhancer)

Ingredients:



Island Fantasy: Aqua (Water), PVP/VA Copolymer, Polyimide-1, C 12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Powder, Magnesium Sulfate, Parfum (Fragrance), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, *Coumarin, *Limonene

Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel

Ingredients:
Island Fantasy: Aqua (Water), Polyquaternium-69, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Panthenol, Polyquaternium-11, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Alcohol, *Coumarin, *Limonene
Don't worry about the alcohol in this list. On the Jessicurl website they explain it's necessary for the formulation and is a tiny amount. 

What about you? Have you ever tried the Jessicurl products? Let me know in the comments below or on YouTube. Just remember... You have the right to remain curly!! ;)

                                                                        Wishing you a good hair day,

My Top 5 Extra Curly Hair Stylers

Hello curlies! I hope you're having a great week. You have may have noticed a change in my blog. New layout! ^_^ Let me know what you think about it in the comments.

Anyways I wanted to do a post on my top 5 unique or extra curly hair stylers. As a bit of a product junkie I tend to try lots of different types of products. In doing so I come across some unique products that do something no other product in my collection can do. These are products outside of your basic shampoo, conditioner, gel, serum, mousse etc.  There are also products that are not particularly unique on the market but are "extra" products I like to have around to style my hair in a variety of ways.

All of these products are free of heavy silicones, waxes, or mineral oil.





This is one of my favorite products for smoothing down my edges aka baby hairs. I use this almost everytime I put my hair up in a bun, ponytail, or half up. I dampen my hair, moisturize with conditioner, and smooth on the Design Essentials product. It works like a dream to get pesky hairs to stay put, especially when combined with a tooth brush or boar bristle brush. This product has a non-descript, pleasant scent.

This is my favorite second day hair product, and it has a very unique texture compared to other stylers I've tried. It has a thick texture that changes to a slightly tacky, oily texture when emulsified in hands. I apply this over water and conditioner on the second day. The light hold and tackiness gives me enough control to reshape my hair and it dries shiny and non-sticky. It also has a pleasant citrus scent.

Sometimes our curls get a little droopy, or we just want a boost. This salt spray mist is perfect for that. I spray it on underneath my gel and then diffuse for best results. Hello curls! Just be sure not to use this too often, as the sea salt can dry out hair. This is one of the only curl enhancing sprays I've seen at the drugstores, and it smells divine. Pictured above is my DIY sea salt spray which I have with me at the moment. The OGX product is nice to have though, since it's a store-bought product that wont expire and smells great.

This is a new product I've tried recently that does a great job at heat protection. It has a perfumey scent and also adds shine to the hair from the natural oils in the formula. It's secret weapon is that it shortens blow drying time, which I have never seen in another product. I spritz this on before my gel (or after if I forget) and then diffuse my hair. This is great for those of us with low porosity hair that takes forever to dry!

5. Batiste Dry Shampoo (in Oriental Scent)
Lately I have been using this product after I work out to help dry my scalp which gets a little sweaty. That way I can wear my hair in a bun the next day, or work out at night but wash my hair in the morning. This product contains drying alcohols which can dry out the hair, but works to help zap away moisture. (I wouldn't recommend using this daily, especially without re-moisturizing your hair.) The scent is light and perfumey.

For my light brown hair, it's very hard to detect, but when used on my husband's dark brown hair to reduce oil, it shows up after spraying. I work it through his hair with my hands and a brush, and the white caste disappears. (You should also spray at least 30 cm from the scalp.) This would also be a great product to use if you were transitioning to the Curly Girl method or to using sulfate free shampoos.


So those are some of my favorite "extra" products I incorporate into my routine from now and then. I wouldn't bring many on a trip, but I wouldn't want to be without them at home.

What are your favorite "extra" or super unique products? Let me know down below in the comments.

Wishing you a good hair day,

My Month in Photos & Summer Goals


Heyyylo blossoms! It's been a long time since I did a photos post so I wanted to do one of those today. A lot has happened for me in the month of May, in between changing jobs, booking flights across the sea to go back home, and my husband's birthday.


Attending a Jennyfer re-opening event at the Mall of the Emirates to cover social media for the event. This was part of my old job. Not too shabby!
Squishy new summer weight yarns from Dubai Knits in merino silk blends for knitting projects. I am in love!
Wearing my new favorite summer lippie - Kate for Rimmel No. 109. I also stumbled upon a hair routine I like here . Success!
My new love are Lush bath bombs. So needed during the work week. <3
My voluminous curls from my latest tutorial on DIY Sea Salt Spray and other tips. Happy with the results but will keep reaching higher. @@@;-)
Touring the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Hubs smiling during his birthday tour of the Burj Khalifa. We brunched at the bottom as well which was pretty delicious.
My natural hair appreciation blog reached 1000 followers which made me overjoyed! You can hashtag your photos with #curlsandblossoms for a chance to be featured. @:-)





And that about wraps things up! I'm really enjoying the new job I've switched into and I leave today to visit home for a week. This will be a really welcome vacation since I've been going nonstop since Christmas. 

Now that May is finishing up, I have a few goals in mind for the month of June:

1. Blog and post YouTube videos more often. I'll aim for one video a week and 3 blog posts this month.
2. Stay more active even though it's sweltering outside. Go to the pool, beach, or gym at least 3 times a week.
3. Try to avoid gaining the Dubai stone, by ordering take out less. Cook 2 times a week (not including weekends).
4. Go to more events and new restaurants in Dubai even though as stated it's hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalks.  Try 3 new restaurants this month.

That's everything! Baby steps for me! How has your month gone? Leave me a comment below. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful start to your summer. Here's to fruit, sunshine, and colorful clothes. 

- Sarah @:-)