Hair (general)

Toxicity in Black Women’s Hair Products, BSS Hair Event, and Latest Hair Product Purchases

In order to be a support, I try to always purchase my hair products from black-owned beauty supply stores or directly from the product owner/creator. Today I found myself in a non-black-owned beauty supply store. This is because yesterday Google showed me a Twitter post (or was it a Facebook or Instagram post?) announcing that Jane Carter would be providing samples and discounted products at a particular BSS. I had viewed several YouTube videos raving about Jane Carter’s new leave-in and gel (the one below REALLY drew me in), so I decided to mosey on down to the store to see if I could win a product or get some free samples from the line. I’ve learned my lesson: When at all possible, get samples of products for trialing instead of investing in 8-ounce or 12-ounce full-sized products before knowing whether they work for your hair or in your regimen or not.

I didn’t realize that other vendors were going to be there (see slide show below for a sample of the vendors). It was easy for me to walk straight past them, though. Having been natural for several years now, and being a person who avoids silicones and parabens and so forth, I tend not to randomly browse or buy any longer and just go straight for what I’ve researched before even entering a store. (NOTE: Silicones are fine. I just don’t use them because particularly the non-water-soluble ones require harsher cleansers such as sulfates for removal, and I don’t want to use harsher cleansers.)

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Purchasing Products with a “Loophole” Ingredient

The Jane Carter representative was super nice. She gave me discounted products and several samples. In obtaining the Jane Carter products, I was making a huge exception to my rule to avoid products with the ingredient “parfum” or “fragrance.” These two ingredients are unregulated and often contain cancer-causing and/or hormone-disrupting substances. As such, they provide a loophole for manufacturers to get away with including chemicals such as phthalates without having to declare them in the ingredients list. The article and video below contain eye-opening information about the prevalence of such ingredients.

Article: “10 American Beauty Ingredients That Are Banned in Other Countries

Video:

The reason I obtained the Jane Carter products despite the “parfum” ingredient is because the last remaining issue I’m having with my natural hair is the bulk/volume of my wash and go’s. I know that many folks want big hair. I don’t. 🙂 I wore my hair sleek and relaxed for over 30 years, and as I’ve mentioned, I miss the face-framing and the length. The Jane Carter representative told me she believes the gel will elongate my curls. I’ve heard that so many times about sooooo many products. If it does elongate my curls, not only will I be elated, but my relationship with styling my natural hair will change. If the gel doesn’t elongate my curls, I won’t be disappointed but will instead keep looking for the product-technique-regimen interaction that helps maximize my enjoyment of and satisfaction with my hair. In the meanwhile, I will remain grateful for healthy, beautiful hair. 😀

These cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals (many banned in Europe but permitted in the U.S.) show up in many places such as food, medical equipment, body care products, etc. In the video above, the interviewer makes the point that black women are exposed to cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals in hair products in search of a beauty standard. I really grappled with that as I added the products to my cart. Is de-bulked, lower-volume hair worth exposure to God knows what in the secret “parfum” or “fragrance” ingredient? I made a compromise: If the gel de-bulks my wash and go, I will use it sparingly until I find a phthalate-free product that performs similarly or better, at which time I will discard the Jane Carter products. (I think I may have already found a natural and TRULY elongating line, but I must wait to order it. I’ll discuss it once it arrives!!!)

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Speaking of phthalate-free products, My Nature’s Ego order arrived! I ordered the fermented rice water shampoo and the lotion. The ingredients look amazing. The shampoo smells wonderful, and I loooooooove the packaging of the shampoo: How genius to package the shampoo in a bottle with a nozzle top for easy application to the scalp.

My Plan for Next Wash and Style Day

So below is my plan for next wash day. I typically deep condition every week, but this time based on how my hair currently feels–incredibly moisturized–I will skip it. (Also, skipping DCing will allow me to watch a movie with my hubby. 🙂 )

Products:

Cleanser

Nature’s Ego Fermented Rice Water Moisturizing Shampoo

Detangling leave-in

Jane Carter Solution Curls to Go! Untangle Me Weightless Leave-in

Gel

Jane Carter Solution Curls to Go! Coiling All Curls Elongating Gel

Finisher

Jane Carter Solution Curls to Go! Shine On Curl Elixir

Method:

  1. In the shower: Apply shampoo to scalp and cleanse scalp.
  2. In the shower: Apply shampoo to strands and cleanse strands.
  3. At the bathroom sink: Detangle hair with detangling leave-in and KareCo Tangle Buster Brush.
  4. Sit under HairFlair dryer attachment for 30 minutes.
  5. Loosely twist hair into 8 twists: 4 twists on each half of the head.
  6. One section at a time:
    1. Apply gel to section. Smooth onto strand and use the praying hands method. Shingle and finger coil ONLY THOSE STRANDS that are undefined and seem to need it.
    2. Concentrate some gel at the roots, and then bobby pin damp the hair at the roots to hold hair close to the head.
  7. Air dry or dry hair under the dryer. Do not touch the hair until 100% dry.
  8. Apply shine spray. Fluff and shape. Done!

Your Thoughts? Your Input?

Have you tried the Jane Carter Solutions Curls to Go! line? If so, what’s your opinion of them? Have you found a gel to elongate your curls? If so, what gel?!?? (I need to know! LOL!) Do you have low density hair and want bulk and volume? Do you have bulky hair and desire a less voluminous wash and go? Please sound off in the comments. As always, thanks for reading, and many blessings to you and yours! ❤

Yvette

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