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Grow Out Diaries

Did anybody watch the Dark & Lovely Au Naturale brand launch series (done in conjunction with Naturally Curly)?

When this was unfolding online, I was all wrapped up and excited about it because I felt like I identified with it in so many ways.  First and foremost, the idea of committing to a single product line was always intriguing to me.  I’d love to find a full product line that I love, but, to date, that’s not the reality.  There are several Darcy’s Botanicals products that I use, but I’d still put myself into the
“cocktailer” category in that I mix and match certain products to create a concoction that I like.

Of the participants in this experiment, Lauren was the one with whom I identified most.  Her hair length and texture appeared to be closest to mine and many of the experiences that she described were similar to my own:

  • She talked about being in a constant “learning” phase with regard to her hair… still trying to figure out exactly what works best even after years of being natural.  That’s totally me.
  • She talked about trying to stick to a regimen and being disciplined instead of being short-term loyal to five million products at a time.  That’s totally me (but I’m trying to stop).
  • She talked about how maintaining her hair’s moisture and how her hair’s health was really important to her.  Totally me.  That’s really the reason for this blog in the first place for me.
  • She talked about detangling woes and how finger detangling is cool, but a wide-tooth comb still gives her tangled hair all the love.  That is so absolutely me.
  • She had braces.  I wore braces from 2010 until 2012.  So yeah.

Of course there are other similarities that anyone can probably identify with, but I just felt a certain congruence.

That all said, I *still* am working toward defining and perfecting a dedicated regimen.  *sigh*  I have yet to unlock the regimen secrets for my hair.  But I feel like this blog will play a major role in figuring it out.  Another similarity between my experience and Lauren’s – the dairying does add a certain level of dedication and accountability.  Much in the way that the KCGOC had me behaving really well when it came to hair care, I am expecting (and sincerely hoping) that blogging here will do the same.

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My Practices in Product Purchasing

A few posts ago, I talked about taming my product junkie tendencies.  This is not only for the sake of avoiding waste and overspending, but also for the sake of building up a group of “go to” products.  I feel like if I keep buying a bit of everything all the time, I won’t really know what works and what doesn’t.  Does that make sense?  (it does in my head… but that’s a crazy place sometimes)

There’s also something to be said about what kind of products I WON’T buy.  When I recently read this article, I felt like the author was preaching my heart.  lol

“I have a few things that will keep me from buying a product and I am sure some of these may be on your list as well.”

She was right.  I never really thought about what my “disqualify” list looked like.  But I could mimic a number of items on her list.

Ingredients that tend to turn me away from purchase (that I can think of off the top of my head) are mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens, and isopropyl alcohol.  I’m sure there are more, but I’m not about to open that can of worms right now.

As far as scent goes, I tend to be a fan of sweet and warm fragrances – vanillas, chocolates, coconuts, and regular nuts… lol… like almonds.  I can deal with fruitys and florals, but I don’t prefer them.  A product would have to be amazing for me to use it regularly while smelling like a walking Bath & Body Works.  Earthy and herbal fragrances don’t do it for me at all.

Lastly, like in the article,  price.  Again, to mimic the author’s sentiments, I don’t feel the need to be cheap about it… I’ll pay for a product that I like.  But value is also a big deal for me.  My biggest issue is paying a lot for regular conditioners because I use a lot of it and I rinse it right out.  (Hellooooo “cheapie conditioner” – best and most appropriate term ever)  I feel like my “hard stop” on price is $20.  I don’t think I’ve spent more than that on a product.  I don’t think. (Or if I have, it took some serious convincing and soul searching.)

In recent years since going natural (I’ll tell that story at some point), I feel like I am gravitating more toward products that are more natural than not.  I used to buy based on what the front of a product said.  My first step when shopping for hair products now is to turn the bottle around and read the ingredient list.  What I would really LOVE is to get to the point where I achieve a regimen that ONLY contains products that fall perfectly into the ingredient, scent, price categories.  I’m far from achieving that right now because I gotta get rid of the five hundred products under my sinks.  But one day…