Tag Archives: moisture

I got some Scurl!

7 Feb


My friend Irene got me some Scurl Curl No Drip Activator Moisturiser from Zimbabwe.  I was so grateful.  We haven’t had this moisturiser in South Africa for some time now.  This is one of the first moisturisers I used when I started taking proper care of my hair.  I even did a post on it back in 2011.  I found it really moisturising back then, I wondered if I would feel the same this time round.

The first thing I noticed is that the ingredients have changed.  I wondered if I would still like it or if the change in formula would affect its efficacy.  They have added oils (argan and olive oil) and they have also removed parabens.  The main ingredients (water, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol and propylene glycol) remain the same.  I’m happy to say I still love this moisturiser.  Along with the change in formula is also a change in fragrance.  The moisturiser now has a sweet smell.  I don’t really mind the new smell because it’s quite light.

Regular readers will know that my last relaxer was more than a year ago.  I have major new growth on my head!  This moisturiser made it very soft and to detangle.  My hair has become quite difficult to handle with the two different textures I have on my head but this moisturiser makes it much easier.  I will definitely make sure I don’t run out.  I will make sure I ask my friends and relatives for more bottles when I run out.

Irene bought the moisturiser for US$6 (approximately R66) in Pick n Pay Kamfinsa (Harare, Zimbabwe).  It’s a 236ml / 8fl oz bottle.


Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Argan Oil, Olive Oil,  Acetamide MEA, Ceteth-20, Olealkonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Panthenol, Simethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Coumarin, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone

Any of you using Scurl Activator Moisturiser?  What do you think of it?


Pics of mineral oil / petrolatum free moisturisers

20 Mar

Following my post on pics of sulphate free shampoos last week, I thought I would go back to the shops and see what petrolatum or mineral oil free moisturisers / leave in conditioners I could find.  Once again I went to Clicks, Dischem and Checkers.  If anything was out of stock on the day I went to the shop then it won’t be included in this post.  I have found that when it comes to Clicks stores, look for hair products in the bigger branches.  In Pretoria I go to the branch at Menlyn Park Mall because this is the biggest Clicks in my area.  Smaller branches stock very few hair products.

There are more mineral oil free moisturisers than what appears in this post, I just focused on what can be found in the three shops I visited.  I chose these shops because they are found in most towns in South Africa.  I have to place a disclaimer though that all I did was look at the ingredients list to see if a product has mineral oil or not.  I did not go through all the ingredients to see what else is in the product.  I suggest that before you buy any of these moisturisers you make sure you are happy with the other ingredients the product contains.

In taking pictures it made me realise just how many curl / gel activators there are out there.  Maybe I can find one to replace Scurl Activator Moisturiser which has been out of stock in South Africa for months.

I did not include braid sprays in my pics though many do not contain mineral oil and they can also be used to moisturise the hair.

 1.       Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil1

Contrary to what the name implies, this is actually a moisturiser and not an oil!  I came across it in Dischem though I know you can find it in Clicks too.  It costs R65.95 (US$7.30).  This is one of the moisturisers that I have.
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The braids are finally out!

10 Oct

After detangling and before washing

The braids are finally off!  I missed my target of removing them by Sunday and only managed to finish them yesterday morning.  I plan to give my hair some serious tlc for two weeks before relaxing again.  The point is to get my hair into optimal condition before subjecting it to relaxer chemicals.

Once I had removed the braids, I went through each twisted section (I twisted the hair in sections as I undid the braids to prevent tangling) and made sure it was properly detangled.  I also made sure I removed all the shed hair and any knots.  I then applied coconut oil to my scalp and hair and wore a shower cap overnight (this is called a prepoo treatment).  This morning I washed my hair with Tresemme Naturals Moisturising Shampoo.  I then proceeded to deep condition with Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner.  I’m sitting under my huetiful steamer with this right now!

In the next two weeks before my relaxer, this is how I plan to take care of my hair:

  • Pre poo my hair with coconut oil before every wash.  Where I can, I will prepoo overnight but mostly will just prepoo for an hour or so
  • Wash and deep condition every third day with moisturising conditioners.
  • The wash before my relaxer I will condition with a protein conditioner (Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise) to strengthen the hair and prepare it for the relaxer.
  • I will moisturise my hair twice a day – each morning and at night before bed.
  • Lightly oil my scalp after each wash.  I will use castor oil for this.  I will oil my scalp when the hair is moisturised and has dried.  It’s easier to section the hair and reach the scalp when the hair is dry.
  • I will keep my hair in a bun – with all the new growth there is not point trying any elaborate styles.

With all this I hope my hair will respond positively and be ready for a relaxer in 2 weeks’ time!  I’m just hoping I am closer to my goal of BSL (bra strap length) hair by December 2012.  I can’t really tell right now because of all the new growth I have.




Beginner Wednesday – Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair

22 Feb

A few years ago I went through a stint where I kept my hair natural for 4 years.  The reason I chose to go natural at the time was because I was pregnant and decided I would go relaxer free until I had stopped breastfeeding my first baby.  I then became pregnant with my second child and so didn’t relax my hair until I had stopped breastfeeding him.  It was a personal decision where I also gave up other things like coffee.  Unfortunately I did not have any hair care knowledge at the time so all I did was braid and wear weaves back to back for 4 years.  I hardly moisturised and washed my hair irregularly.  I hardly deep conditioned my hair.  The result was that my hair broke and my hairline was seriously damaged.  After a few months I went to a hairdresser and asked her to cut off the relaxed ends so I was fully natural.  After 4 years of being natural I decided to relax my hair again and I have kept it relaxed since.

Many readers of this blog are either in the process of going natural or are thinking about it.  I thought I would dedicate a post to those who are relaxed and have decided to go natural as well as those who are in the process of going natural.

To begin with, I need to explain that relaxing is a chemical process that results in permanent changes to the hair structure.  It cannot be washed out or reversed.  The only way to get rid of relaxed hair is to cut it off.

There are two ways to go from relaxed to natural – a ‘big chop’ (also referred to as BC) or transitioning.  A big chop is simply cutting off all the relaxed hair and remaining with only your natural hair.  This can be quite a sudden change especially if your relaxed hair is long.  Transitioning on the other hand is more gradual.  This post will focus on transitioning.

Like I said above, transitioning to natural hair is a gradual process.  When transitioning you trim your hair regularly and gradually get rid of the relaxed ends until all your hair is natural.  This can take quite a bit of time depending on how much hair you trim and also how often you trim it.  Some women even transition for 2 years.

When transitioning to natural hair there are some things to take note of:

  • Care need to be taken when you have two hair textures i.e. natural hair as well as the relaxed ends.  The line of demarcation where the natural hair meets the relaxed ends is quite fragile.  This is why in some cases you do not cut your hair but over time you realise you have hardly any relaxed ends left.  It’s because they have broken off!
  • Be very gentle with the hair.  Detangle from the ends towards the roots to prevent unnecessary breakage.  Remember that the line of demarcation makes your hair very fragile.  Always detangle with a wide tooth comb when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner.
  • Make sure your hair is adequately moisturised.  Deep condition the hair regularly, once a week if possible.  If you choose to braid or weave the hair while transitioning, remember that your hair will need moisture even with these styles.
  • Practice more protective styling to help reduce breakage.
  • Use as little heat as possible.  Try and resist the temptation to flat iron your hair to match the two textures.
  • You may find that you need to change your products and use products more suited to natural hair.  Many women find that natural based products work best for natural hair.  Also the focus becomes more on moisturising and softening the natural hair.
  • Once again moisture, moisture moisture!!  Natural hair needs moisture!

Remember the idea is to trim the hair gradually until all the relaxed hair is cut off.  You can trim the hair every few months or whatever suits you.  Look after your hair to prevent unnecessary breakage.

Are you transitioning from relaxed to natural hair?  How is it going?




What I am doing for ‘tlc’

17 Jan

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I would be giving my hair some tlc before I relax it in about 2 weeks.  I got many emails asking me what I would be doing for this tlc.  I thought instead of answering everyone individually I would just write a blog post that everyone can access.

This is what I will be doing for tlc over the next two weeks:

  • Wash and deep condition my hair twice a week.  I need to up the moisture levels because it is feeling a bit dry.  Right now I am sitting under the dryer after my first wash and deep condition.  I used Organic Root Stimulator Creamy Aloe Shampoo and followed that up with Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise.  I am going to use a moisturising conditioner after rinsing off the Hair Mayonnaise because the mayonnaise tends to leave my hair feeling hard.  The moisturising conditioner will soften it.  Im planning on using Mizani Moisturefuse.
  • I will apply some oil onto my scalp twice a week after each wash.  I will oil my scalp once the hair has dried.  I find it easier that way.  I will use castor oil.
  • I will moisturise every day.  I will concentrate on the ends as well as the new growth.  I will be using Lusters Scurl Activator Moisturiser.
  • I will prepoo once a week with coconut oil.
  • I will baggy once a week using Lusters Scurl Activator Moisturizer.  I will do this just to keep the new growth soft and to further enhance the moisture in my hair.

Im hoping all this will keep my new growth soft and will ensure I get minimal breakage.  Im hoping the protein will strengthen the hair before I relax it.

Beginner Wednesday – Why is my hair breaking?

23 Nov

In today’s post I will just list some of the most common reasons why we encounter hair breakage:

  • Overlapping relaxers.  Remember to only relax new growth and wait at least 6 weeks in between relaxers to avoid overlap.  Overlapping relaxers causes over processing which leads to breakage.
  • Dry hair that is not getting enough moisture.  Ensure you are moisturising your hair adequately.  African hair needs moisture to thrive.
  • Styling techniques – Be wary of braids or weaves that are too tight.  These can lead to breakage.  It often becomes a cycle where you get braid or weaves to hide breakage but those same braids and weaves are just worsening the breakage you are experiencing.  Avoid any hairstyle that is too tight.
  • Hair colour can be damaging if used too often especially hair colour that involves bleaching hair and making it lighter.  Remember that lightening your hair involves removing your original colour (called lifting) and then depositing the new colour.  This can be a damaging process.
  • Over manipulation of hair, rough combing or rough brushing can lead to unnecessary breakage.  Use a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair.  It is not necessary to use those ‘tailcombs’ to comb your hair.
  • Excessive heat styling from flat irons, hot blow dryers etc can be damaging to the hair.  Always use a heat protectant when using heat.
  • Medical conditions and various treatment procedures can also lead to hair breakage. In such cases, once you stop the particular treatment or are cured from the ailment, the hair breakage will stop.

Read this post for more on hair breakage

Beginner Wednesday – Have you heard about baggying?

16 Nov

Today I thought I would talk about something I am yet to try.  It’s called ‘baggying’.  Baggying is beneficial when you have really dry hair and are struggling to keep it moisturised.

To baggy you apply a small amount of a water based moisturiser to your hair and then place a shower cap over your hair for a few hours to overnight.  The shower cap adds moisture to your hair by trapping in the heat.  Once you take off the shower cap your hair is moisturised.  Moisturised hair leads to less breakage as well as length retention.  You can also baggy just the ends of your hair.  This is done by gathering your hair into a ponytail, applying moisturiser to the ponytail and then covering the hair in the ponytail with a shower cap or a plastic sandwich bag (hence the term baggying).

Some tips for baggying:

  •  Use a small amount of moisturiser.
  • Use a shower cap, sandwich bag, cling wrap or even a plastic bag from the supermarket.
  • Do not baggy too often as your hair can become over moisturised.  Begin with baggying for a few hours and see how that goes.  Remember the aim is to keep your hair, in particular the ends moist and hydrated.
  • If you do not like the sound a shower cap makes while you sleep, use cling wrap.  It is silent!

If you are suffering from chronic dryness with your hair maybe you can give this a try.