DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

I mentioned in a previous post that I love a good curl refreshing spray. However, I don’t like to spend a lot of money of them for two reasons: 1) I go through them like water and 2) half the time they don’t work! So I’ve concocted my own curl refreshing recipe that works like a charm on my 2nd, and even 3rd, day curls.  Here are my ingredients:

Ingredients for DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

Coconut Oil, Leave-In Conditioner, Water

I like to use a light leave-in like Giovanni for this spray because it blends easily with water. The leave-in softens and conditions hair, coconut oil makes it shiny and helps moisturize, and of course water is the ultimate natural curl activator.

Here’s approximately what I use in a 2 oz bottle (I make it in small batches so I can put it in my purse or travel with it).

  • 1/8 leave-in conditioner
  • One squirt (maybe a teaspoon) of coconut oil
  • Fill up the rest of the bottle with water

Shake (the bottle) rigorously until the ingredients are well blended. The goal is to achieve what I call “slippery water,” so you may need to add more water or conditioner until you get just the right formula. You want the mixture to be thin enough to spray through a nozzle, but have enough “slip” to coat your locks.

When I’m ready to use it, I flip over my limp, dry curls and shake them at the root to loosen them up, then I spritz the refresher onto my hair until it’s damp all over. I flip upside down again, and gently scrunch my hair upward. Most of the time I let my hair air dry, but you could also use a diffuser on low heat if you’re in a hurry. Et voila!

Before and after DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

Before and after

Smooth, frizz-free curls. Do you have a favorite curl refreshing spray or make your own?

natural curls

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Ouidad Hair Product Review | Part 2

Ouidad Hair Products
Back in August I was lucky enough to win one of the Ouidad weekly Unfurl Your Curl contests. The prize was an Ultimate Gift Set of eight products for curly hair. These are high-end, salon quality products, so it’s been a pleasure to be able to use and review them. You can check out my reviews of the Essential Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, the Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner, and the Tress Effects Styling Gel here.

For this post, I am reviewing the following:

12 Minute Deep Treatment

Of the eight products, this was the only one I received in the 2.5 oz trial size, and when I looked up the price I understood why. A 2.5 oz bottle regularly sells for $26! Expectations were high. The good news – for long hair this amount is plenty for one deep treatment. For those with shoulder-length and shorter hair, you can get multiple treatments out of it.

I normally leave deep conditioners in my hair for an hour or more, or if I’m short on time, 30 minutes minimum. So I was curious how well my hair would absorb this one in only 12 minutes. I shampoo’d with Ouidad Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo, separated my hair into four sections, and applied a liberal amount of the deep treatment to each. Normally, my biggest gripe with deep conditioners, even the good ones, is that they lack the “slip” of regular conditioner, making them hard to comb through. Not the case with this treatment; my wide-tooth comb easily slid through as I combed the product in. I put my hair in a bun, put on a plastic cap, and per the directions, heated my hair with a blow dryer and let the product sit on my hair for 12 minutes. Also per the directions, I added a bit of my regular conditioner to my hair before I rinsed it all out, to help seal in the nourishing ingredients.

Even as I was rinsing out the deep conditioner, I could feel the softness of my hair. I followed up with Ouidad Moisture-Lock Leave-In Conditioner and a bit of Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I was starting with pretty rough hair after 3 days straight of saltwater swimming. When my hair dried it was noticeably softer and my curls were so well-behaved! The only downside is because my hair was so moisturized, I lost some volume (we must all make sacrifices sometimes). For a 12-minute deep conditioner, it really did the job!

Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

This was the product I was most excited to try. I don’t like using a lot of gel in my hair because I hate the tacky, stiff feeling, but I heard that this one worked wonders. I decided to give it a try on my recent trip to Miami, knowing I could really put the product to the test with the tropical weather. After washing and conditioning, I layered a small amount of the gel over my leave-in. The first thing I noticed about this gel is that it is thinner than the Tress Effects Styling Gel, and not as sticky, which was encouraging. As my hair air dried, I definitely felt the hold that gel provides, but once it was completely dry and I scrunched out the crunch, my hair really was soft AND defined. It even lasted through dinner on the patio and night of dancing. (Sadly, I don’t have any pictures from that night because I was too busy having fun.) I liked this gel much better than the Tress Effects gel, and will likely re-purchase it when I run out (which will probably be forever since I use so little at a time).

Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing & Refreshing Spray

I like this product, but I have to say I don’t love it. I am all for refreshing sprays. My curls tend to lose their shape after the first or second day. To revive them, I’ve created my own mixture of water, leave-in conditioner, and coconut oil that I spray onto my hair whenever the curls fall flat or get really dry. This homemade concoction works well for me, so I was really hoping that Ouidad’s mixture worked better. The first time I tried the refreshing spray, I used it on second-day hair on which I had applied one of my staple leave-ins. It did a pretty good job; it definitely gave me a moisture boost and left my hair feeling soft. The second time I tried it, it was also on second-day hair, on which I had applied the  Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner and the Tress Effects Styling Gel. Maybe my hair was already dry from the gel, but the spray didn’t do a whole lot. To be fair, it brought a couple of curls back to life, but overall my hair still seemed pretty frizzy. Here’s a before and after photo:

Before and after using Ouidad Botanical Boost

Only a slight difference

On my hair, it seems to work best when I don’t have any gel in my hair from the previous day. Given the amount of refreshing spray I use, I’ll likely stick with my own mixture once I run out of Botanical Boost (but I will use it all!).

Styling Mist Setting & Holding Spray

The directions say this mist can be used as a hair spray on dry styles or as a setting mist when styling wet hair. I decided to use it as a hair spray when I recently styled my hair using pin curls. After I’d blow dried my hair and rolled and pinned each section, I sprayed a couple pumps of the Styling Mist all over my head. I’d applied it pretty lightly but it still had the hold that I need on dry styles. I then tied a scarf around my hair and went to sleep. The next morning, I took down my hair and had gorgeous, smooth, shiny ringlets. Not hard or crunchy at all. The look I was going for required looser waves, so I combed through the ringlets, and spritzed them once more with the Styling Mist before putting them in a loose pony tail to stretch them. I was flying to Miami that day, and by the time I took down my hair again later on to style it, my hair was still smooth, shiny and frizz-free. This product worked well for my hair, and I can’t wait to try it as a setting mist next.

Overall, I’m a fan of the majority of Ouidad products I tried from the Ultimate Gift Set. My favorites are the Climate Control Gel, Moisture Lock Leave-in, Deep Treatment, and Styling Mist. These products get an A+ from me in terms of moisture, curl definition and light hold. I’ll be scraping the bottom of the bottle with these for sure!

M.I.A. in Miami

Hi all – sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for the last week. I spent a much needed and very relaxing long weekend in Miami! I’d been to Miami once on a day trip from the Orlando area, and in the airport multiple times en route to the Caribbean, but this was my first time spending real time in “The Gateway to the Americas.” It did not disappoint.

My husband and I were invited to what promised to be an epic wedding in ritzy Coral Gables. Long gowns were required of ladies, and black tie was optional for gents. This is what we wore:

chartreuse dress

Dress: BCBG

I thought the gown was perfect for Miami because of the bright chartreuse color and light, flowing fabric and cut. Plus, since it’s the end of the season, I got it for over 50 percent off (score!).

For the hair, I knew my curls would go wild in the humidity, and the way our flight was scheduled I wouldn’t have time to do my hair the day of the wedding, so I had to do something with it the night before. To tame my tresses, I blow-dried my hair, curled small sections with a 1-inch curling iron, then pin curled them overnight. The next day, I took down my hair and looked just like Shirley Temple. Not exactly the look I was going for, so I separated the curls with my fingers and threw them up in a loose ponytail so they would stretch out on the flight. When getting ready, all I had to do was comb them out, recurl a few sections with the curling iron, and pin them to one side and over the shoulder to create a dramatic evening look. The above picture was taken right after it rained, so I’d say my hair held up pretty well!

The rest of the trip was spent at a boutique art deco hotel on South Beach two blocks from the ocean. For three days, we woke up, put on our bathing suits, ate a breakfast of fruit and pastries, and spent several glorious hours on the country’s most famous beach. We were drunk off the environment: wide sandy beach, crystal clear water, and the kind of big, blue sky that makes you wish you could fly.

South Beach

No filter needed.

Nights were spent eating fresh seafood on some patio, swimming in our rooftop saltwater pool, strolling along breezy Ocean Drive, having drinks on a friend’s balcony, and dancing to live reggae in the kind of tiny venues I love.

Pool at The Albion - Miami

Nighttime swimming – things could be worse.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but it’s usually the last thing on my mind when I’m relaxed and having a great time (bad blogger!).

So Miami – thanks for being a gracious host and giving us a future trip to look forward to. We’ll see you again soon.

~Thaïs