Tag: Hair

New Hair Care Layout and Products at CVS

I have two CVS stores that I frequent.  One of them recently got a new layout of their beauty section, including some new brands!

The other CVS in my town sells DevaCurl, but now this one does too, plus they have mini 1.5 oz. sizes of several products.

DevaCurlDevaCurl 2

$7.29 for the no/low-poos and $10.49 for the styling products is pretty expensive when you consider that you can get a no-poo, a conditioner, and a styling product in the mini kits for only $12 on the DevaCurl website, Sephora, Ulta, or some other retailers, but if you have some CVS Extra Bucks or a percent off coupon, it could be worth it.  (Remember, if you use both, the percent off will come off of the total after the Extra Bucks are deducted.)

DevaCurl Minis

CVS has always sold Shea Moisture, Maui Moisture, and Carol’s Daughter, but they moved the shelves.

Maui Moisture & Shea MoistureCarol's Daughter & Shea Moisture

They also sell Renpure cleansing conditioners.  I bought the Vanilla Mint and Lavender ones in the packets about two months ago at this same CVS.  For me, one packet lasts for two uses.  Unfortunately, it looks like they are no longer sold here 😦


In the ethnic hair care area, there are more Shea Moisture products, plus brands such as As I Am, Cantu, Mixed Chicks, and The Mane Choice. I’ve never used any of these, but maybe sometime.  Just because my hair is wavy and a bit thin doesn’t mean some of them can’t work for me 🙂

Shea Moisture & As I AmVarious Ethnic Hair Care BrandsVarious Ethnic Hair Care Brands 2

My apologies for the photos not being so great and some product labels not facing forward; whereas I’ve taken photos of the shelves at other stores, I felt awkward doing so at this trip to CVS since someone else was in the hair care aisles.  I’m a bit shy to explain to anyone that I have a small-time hair blog!

Note: Prices may vary by store location.  In fact, I just noticed from these photos that the DevaCurl products at this CVS are a little cheaper than at the other CVS in the same town: $21.75 at this store vs. $22.49 at the other one.


No More Sulfate Shampoos…(Probably) Forever

Tonight, I finished up the last of my sulfate shampoos!  For the past few months, I’ve cut down my use of sulfate shampoos from 3x/week to just once weekly, to use as a clarifying shampoo after 3 days of no washing.  I’ve really started to see an improvement in my hair since then.  It feels thicker and denser at the roots.

A week or two ago, I finished my VO5 Ocean Refresh shampoo, and tonight, I finished my VO5 Extra Body shampoo.  Moving forward, for my weekly clarifying, I will be using my mom’s Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo.  I know she will not mind as long as I buy her a new one if I finish it 🙂  A 16 oz. bottle costs only $3.99, so while it may not be as dirt-cheap as the VO5, it is still quite affordable.

I must also mention that it smells REALLY good.  I guess I won’t need to worry about the invigorating smell keeping me awake when I wash my hair at night, since I generally clarify on weekends only.

(Almost) Free Hair Gel at ShopRite

Haven’t written anything on this blog in a while.  For the past three weeks, I’ve been working 10+ hour days as I train for a new position, which means I haven’t been spending much time on the internet on weekdays.  No time to run errands after work if I go to the gym that day, since I need to go to sleep no later than 10pm, then wake up at 4:30am the following day.  Fortunately, I (finally) had time today to make a quick trip to ShopRite after work, and get myself some gel, one of my favorite types of hair product.

Ever since I got my hair done last month, I’ve been using the same method as my stylist, applying product while still in the shower (with the water off) while my hair is soaking wet, gently grazing my hands over my hair, then squeezing out the excess water and product with a microfiber towel.  I’ve found that gel works nicely to get my desired effect.  I like LA Looks since it’s cheap and comes in a few different varieties.

I’ve used the Nutra Curl gel in the past, but today decided to get the Mega Mega Hold and the Wet Look since I wanted to try something new. They were on sale for only $1.69 at my local ShopRite, but I had a 75¢ off coupon for each. Apparently ShopRite doubles them, because I ended up getting a total of $1.50 off each bottle. Yes, the savings was almost as much as the cost of the product itself!


LA Looks gel comes in a 20 oz. bottle, more than a lot of other hair gels, and it contains no silicones.  I tried my best to get a clear photo of the ingredients:

As lazy and unedited these photos look, it took me a little while to find a good spot in my room to take them, and a few tries to get them clear with not too many shadows.  Now off to bed!

I Got a DevaCut!

Growing up, my mom has always taken our whole family (and herself) to the cheapest possible places to get haircuts. This is a habit I’ve kept into adulthood, because I’ve always just wanted a trim or “nothing too fancy”. However, since I’ve been dissatisfied with my last few haircuts at Great Clips, including one where I had to stand up for my haircut because “the chair wouldn’t go down”, I figured I should shell out the money for something better than the Walmart of haircutteries (not sure if that’s a word).

Any haircuts I’ve gotten in the past have involved combing my wet hair straight, then cutting it, which doesn’t make much sense when you consider that I always wear my hair in its wavy state. Therefore, I decided to get a DevaCut.

I went on the DevaCurl website and used the Find a Stylist feature. I decided to go to Paolo Cuppari Hair Designs in Spotswood, NJ, because it is close to home and had good reviews. I emailed them to make an appointment, a very easy process.

I came in pretty early for my appointment on Thursday, and was greeted by Michele, the receptionist. She offered me something to drink, and served me coffee with half and half as I sat in the waiting area. She also allowed me to help myself to some chocolates at the coffee table. I could already tell this place was fancy and inviting. Anywhere else I’ve gotten a haircut didn’t have as much as a water fountain!

After waiting for just about ten minutes, Debbie, the hairstylist, introduced herself and sat me down, put the cape on me, and asked me some questions about my hair and what products I use, and if I have ever used DevaCurl products. I told her that I have used the Delight line and wasn’t a fan, but that I liked the Original products. She then explained how the Deva system works, how it consists of a dry cut, focusing on each curl and wave, with the hair washing and styling afterwards.

The haircut itself seemed to take 20-30 minutes. I mainly wanted about an inch trimmed, plus some long layers. Debbie cut some rather small pieces of hair at a time, focusing on my concerns of some parts of my hair being curlier than others, and some random pieces being so loosely wavy that they’re almost straight. Especially since I’m used to getting my hair cut by stylists that supposedly are being timed, I appreciated the attention to detail.

After the cut, I got my hair washed and styled. For each step, Debbie explained how each product works, and how to use them. If I remember correctly, she started with the Buildup Buster to cleanse my scalp. Then, she used the No-Poo and One Condition Decadence in my hair, which surprised me, since I’ve always considered them to be for tightly curled hair. She gave me a nice scalp massage with the No-Poo. After applying the One Condition, she left some of it in my hair for extra moisture.

Then came the styling. She put some towels over my legs on the cape, had me carefully flip my head upside down while my hair was soaking wet, then applied the Ultra Defining Gel, followed by the Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam, gently grazing her hands over my hair rather than raking the products through. Then, she gently scrunched my hair with a microfiber towel to remove the excess water. She explained that at home, I should wash my hair in the shower so as to get it super wet, and also apply the hair products while still in the shower to minimize mess. The final step before drying was to put some DevaClips at the crown for volume, which turned out to be quite useful!

The method of applying styling products that Debbie used is rather different than what I’m used to. At first I was worried that my hair would be way too product-heavy, but it ended up working out. I sat under the bonnet dryer for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, she sat me back in the chair for the finishing touches. My hair felt rather “hard” from the gel, but she explained that it was just a cast, and scrunched my hair to get rid of it. It immediately felt better, and my waves looked defined, with noticeably more volume at the crown than usual.

Here are some before and after photos. I’ve been sick this week, plus I’m being treated for some eye problems I’ve been having, so my dark circles are even worse than usual!  I’m wearing only a little makeup in the After photos, but no concealer under my eyes.



Notice the definition, shine, and volume in the After photos 😉

I waited until two days after my cut, wash, and style to write this blog entry so I could see how my hair held up. I was worried that the Decadence line would leave my scalp oily after two days, but I got my hair done on Thursday evening, and it is now Saturday morning and my hair has held up quite nicely, with no touch-ups. It is a bit frizzy, which may be due to me not really touching it since. I will say that the left side of my head is noticeably less wavy than the right side, but that’s probably because I sleep on that side.

Two Days After with Flash 2

The whole DevaCut package cost me $60 plus tip. (I believe it costs $75 if you get your hair done by a specific stylist.) I also was given a certificate for 10% off any new service for next time, plus two referral cards to give to a friend for 10% off their service, and for me to receive $20 in Salon Dollars. Although I’m admittedly pretty cheap when it comes to most things in life, I consider my experience to be worth the money. While I only get a haircut a few times a year, I would certainly go back 🙂

If you live around Spotswood, NJ and you’re interested in getting your hair done at Paolo Cuppari Hair Designs, here is a referral link: https://local.demandforce.com/b/paolocupparidesigns?rs=gm

Rinse-Out Conditioner as Leave-In Conditioner

For people who want to save some money, want to have fewer bottles laying around, or simply have a big bottle of conditioner that they’d like to get more use out of, can rinse-out conditioner be used as a leave-in?  I did a bit of reading online to find the answer.

While there doesn’t seem to be a universal answer, being that what works for some people may not work for others, here are some guidelines:

1. The consistency is not too thick
2. No silicones to build up on hair
3. No quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs or “quats”) to irritate scalp.  Some common quats include behentrimonium chloride, steartrimonium chloride, stearalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, and distearyldimonium chloride.

Since I don’t use conditioner on my scalp, I’m not sure if I’d need to worry so much about quats, but I’d rather not take the chance.  As for silicones, I cut them out of my routine a long time ago, except for the occasional hair serum and my Göt2b curl cream I’ve had for a while and still use from time to time.

So back in May, when I started this blog and was going crazy buying new hair products for a while, I got a big bottle of Suave Essentials Aloe & Waterlily conditioner.  (I really wanted that particular scent, which apparently is only sold in the family size bottles, and in my area, only sold at Walmart.)  It works great as a rinse-out conditioner, but since I have such a huge bottle of it, I would like to be able to use it as a leave-in as well, if possible.  Luckily, after checking the ingredients list, I see that it contains no quats, and of course I already knew it had no silicones.  Nothing else in it appears that it would harm my hair if left on.

Front & Back

Here’s a closer look at the ingredients:


Since this conditioner is quite thick (I tried co-washing with it once and it left my roots flat and super oily), I diluted it with water in a small bottle. I thought a 50/50 mixture would suffice, but I ended up needing only 25% conditioner and 75% water to get my desired consistency!  (Good thing I only filled up the bottle with conditioner 25% of the way to start.)

Mini Bottle

Wow, such fancy, professional-looking labeling!

I actually just tried it out about two hours ago, since my hair was feeling quite dry despite just washing it last night.  I did a modified version of the curl refreshing method described in my previous blog post, of wetting my hair, then applying leave-in conditioner and gel.  Now that my hair is dry, while my waves do look defined, my hair feels like it has a bit too much product in it, particularly on the ends.  (I used LA Looks Define & Shine gel after the conditioner.)  I put some more water on my hair while it was still drying and scrunched it, and it helped a little.

In short, I would recommend that if you need a new leave-in conditioner, you might as well buy one made especially for that purpose.  But, if you already happen to have a suitable rinse-out conditioner at home, give it a try!  Of course, if you need to water it down or want to add anything to it, put some in a separate little bottle at least for your first batch.

Third-Day Hair Never Looked This Good!

When you consider that I don’t even make it to third-day hair except on weekends, when I’m not going anywhere but the gym and don’t care how bad my hair looks, this is a big deal. Normally my roots would be pretty oily by the third day, and I would need to use my ACV/water scalp cleanser, but they look and feel fine despite not using them this time around 🙂 However, if I needed to, I certainly could use the scalp cleanser before this hair refreshing method I just tried out yesterday.

Normally, if I leave my hair alone, even by the second day, it’s lost most of its wave/curl. Over the past few months, I’ve experimented with different methods of refreshing the wave, which either makes my hair look very frizzy or leaves it feeling covered in product. Last night I made a small change to what I’ve been doing lately, which has really helped. I just used more water, and a comb.

(Any straight pieces around the bottom are just how my hair is naturally.)

1. Spray hair with water until saturated
2. Add All I Need Naturally Curl Refresher Cream to hair in sections, not raking fingers through the hair
3. Comb through hair, using fingers to detangle as necessary
4. Apply more water or curl refresher cream if necessary, distributing through hair with hands and comb
5. Scrunch hair to bring back waves/curls

Compared to my previous method, which did not include combing, my hair has markedly less frizz than usual. (There is some right now, but that’s probably because I took a quick shower after refreshing my hair last night, and laid on a cotton blanket for a bit, but I’ve starting sleeping with a satin pillowcase again.)

While the All I Need Naturally Curl Refresher Cream didn’t work for me the first few times I used it, it turns out I just needed to use it differently. While I prefer using a styling product with more hold right after washing my hair, this curl refresher cream is good for in between washes on wet hair, to add moisture and soft hold without making the hair feel crunchy or product-laden.

Although I need to wash my hair every 2-3 days, I’ll also need to see if this method makes my waves either last more than one day, or if I have to do it again the next day, if my hair will look and feel like it has too much product. I have not yet tried using a creamy leave-in conditioner mixed with a light gel, but I wonder if I could achieve a similar effect with that. I probably will try that sometime this week.

First Impression: DevaCurl Curly Mini Transformation Kit

So I bought the DevaCurl Curly Mini Transformation Kit almost two weeks ago at Ulta, after the Wavy kit unfortunately fell quite short of my expectations.  (I did like the Wave Maker, though.)  I finally cracked it open today.  Even though I’ve only used the products once thus far, I’m already feeling pretty optimistic.  Here are my thoughts after my first use:

No-Poo Original: Has the consistency of a thin conditioner.  Smells minty due to the peppermint oil and menthol, but with something “extra” that I can’t put my finger on, probably from the other extracts.  Despite it being a non-lathering cleanser, I felt that it was easier to spread around my scalp than the Low-Poo Delight, and I suppose the minty sensation helped in making my scalp feel clean as well.  I massaged quite a bit with my fingers, then with my Sally Girl shampoo brush.  I tried not to overdo it on the no-poo, focusing it on key areas of my head, then spreading it around as I massaged my scalp.  Unlike the Low-Poo Delight, it did not feel like it was holding a lot of water in my hair, which I was in fact pleased with, because my hair is low porosity and gets weighed down easily.  After just two days, the roots may start to get flat and look oily, which is when I need to wash again.

I noticed that while the first oil in the ingredients list of the Low-Poo Delight is PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, in the No-Poo Original, it is grape seed oil, which I love to use for my hair and skin.  It is known to be great for low porosity hair, and non-comedogenic.  (That’s the stuff I have in the huge, ugly plastic bottle I’ve featured in an earlier blog post, but I’ve since moved some to an amber glass dropper bottle for easier use and storage, plus it looks a lot nicer.)  My hair felt moisturized yet not at all heavy when I rinsed the no-poo out.  Major win!

One Condition Original: Seems to be about the same thickness as the One Condition Delight, but with a different scent and definitely better slip.  I’m honestly not a big fan of the smell, but it’s not terrible either.  To me, it smells like baby powder.  I believe I used just two quarter-sized squirts, which was enough for almost my entire hair shaft.  Like the No-Poo Original, it spreads well.  Again, my hair felt moisturized but not heavy after using this product.

Styling Cream: Whereas the Wave Maker is basically a moussey cream, the styling cream has a somewhat thinner consistency and is a translucent white color.  It definitely is thinner than my Göt2b Kinkier curling cream, and has a candy scent.  I’ve read a review where someone said it smells like Skittles.  After taking another sniff of it just now, I would say that’s pretty accurate!  I used a nickel-sized amount on either side of my head, then just a pea-sized amount more around the center and in the front, just to cover any areas I may have missed.

Some key differences between the Wave Maker and the Styling Cream are that the Wave Maker contains hydrogenated vegetable oil and maracujá oil, and no proteins, starches, or glycerin, whereas the Styling Cream contains glycerin as one of the first ingredients, a few proteins and starches, and no oils.  Due to the oil content in the Wave Maker, even though it is the seventh ingredient in the list, I need to watch how much I use, or else my hair can look stringy.  Hopefully the Styling Cream will be a little more forgiving.

Although I posted it already in a previous blog post, just as a reminder, here are the ingredients lists for both the Wavy and Curly kits:

Wavy and Curly Kit Ingredients

Of course, the real test will be how my hair looks over the next couple of days.  I’m really hoping my roots won’t get flat and oily prematurely, and that my ends will stay moisturized.  We shall see!