YCS Hair: The Trouble with Traveling (and a Product Review)

By Sara, Hair Goddess

Hi Curlies!

We all know the trouble of traveling when we need loads of products to keep our curls in perfect form. I personally find the 3 oz product rule a little curl discriminatory because our straight-haired friends can get away with either minimal products or being fairly sure that they’ll find a viable alternative upon arrival. But we can’t be sure that some random store will have the perfect combination of gel/oil/leave-in conditioners, or the “all natural” version, or a conditioner with just the right weight. And who wants to buy all that product just to leave it behind a few days later? I’ve been known to get a blow out or suck it up and pay to check my bag, but lately I’ve been thinking, there has to be a better (read: cheaper) way.

To be clear, I’m talking about short trips. That longish weekend that’s stretching passable day 2 or 3 hair into a frizzy mess. Now you can always pull it back into the old standby poof or try to go the spray bottle route, but what’s a girl to do when you want full out fabulousness?

A few weeks ago, I took a 5-day trip to Florida. The locale and duration made for a perfect one-two combo of too humid for a blow out (plus hello, swimming) and that funny length of trip where I didn’t need to check my bag, but was going to need hair products. Scouring my local grocery store for possible solutions, I found this:


And what a miracle it was! A flat package meant no little baggies and the 1.75 oz size meant I was well under acceptable airline limits. My only concern was how a deep conditioner would work as a styling product. The general principal behind deep conditioning is the longer you leave it on, the better. If you can add a little heat in the form of a hood dryer or hot towel wrap, you’re supposed to be doing your hair a world of good. So I figured I’d be pretty set, knowing I planned on both extended wear and a little blow-dry styling.

Four packages of Dr Miracle’s later and I was good to go; I had no idea how much I might need, but with thirsty curls, I err on the side of having more product on hand. I got through the security checkpoint without a hitch (well, they did toss a full size bottle of sunscreen I forgot I packed, but you can’t win em all). But the real test came the next day. After a full day on the beach, the boyfriend and I were heading out to dinner. I co-washed and detangled all with only about a half package of Dr. Miracle’s. Then I lightly rinsed a bit out, finger combed and styled as usual with a blow dryer. Here’s how it looked:

This is day 2 hair, back on the beach after my night out.

This is day 2 hair, back on the beach after my night out.

Not bad, right? In fact I’d say pretty darn good! Dr Miracle’s has mint undertones so there is a bit of a tingle as you dry. I also didn’t find it to be the most moisturizing after extended wear. Suggested use time is up to an hour, so I completely accept that the dryness may be my own doing. On the whole, I’d recommend Dr. Miracle’s. I’d like to give a test under normal conditions as a deep conditioner. And you know I love a good tingle. The real take away though? Hair companies, especially smaller brands, ought to consider making flat package versions of their products.

I’m traveling more and more these days, so I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!



Lunch Date Outfit: Conservative Business Environment

YCS Hair: The Quick ‘n Clean Guide to a Wash ‘n Go Routine

By Sara, Hair Goddess

I’ve been thinking a lot about my first hair post for YCS, because I’m obsessive like that, and there is SO much to talk about when it comes to being curly, from products, to styling dos and don’ts, to how to score a great curly cut.  I plan on bringing plenty of intel on products and styling in the months to come, so for today I will focus on every curly girl’s fingerprint: my basic hair routine (aka the Wash ‘n Go or WNG).

If you’re completely new to the curly game, I highly recommend you check out Naturally Curly’s guide to find your curl pattern. The methods and products that work best vary somewhat by curl pattern/hair type, so while this works very well on my 3B/3C hair, some variations are necessary for other hair types. Steps 1 & 2 are largely the same, though those with type 4 hair may want the help of a comb or tangle teaser for detangling. Products are trial and error for all hair types, and type 4s will want to consider a braid/twist out, bantu knots or a similar style for defined curls in the styling phase (more on styles in a later post). Feel free to let me know your hair type in the comments and I will include variations in future posts!

Step 1: Cleanse

No shampoo! Cleanse by co-washing with a conditioner of your choice. I like minty ones for a tingle, but you can use anything as cheap (or not) as you’d like. Just try to get something moisturizing or for curls. It’s also a great way to use up conditioner that doesn’t work out for detangling. As long as you make sure to scrub your scalp to remove product build up, you’re cleansing!

Product Suggestion:

Every Day Shea Moisturizing Conditioner in Vanilla Mint (Whole Foods)

Step 2: Condition & Detangle

Your detangling conditioner should be heavy weight, very creamy and as moisturizing as possible. To find the perfect detangling conditioner takes a little trial and error (and if it doesn’t work out, see step 1). Wet your hair in the shower, and then ring the water out of your hair so it has room to absorb the product. Saturate with conditioner, clip hair up for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse about 95% out. Detangle by finger combing your hair in sections, beginning at the bottom of each section and working your way to the scalp.  I divide my curls in quarters at the scalp, use a butterfly clip to pin it up and a heaping palm full of conditioner on each section.

Product Suggestion:

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner (any grocery store)

Step 3: Style

Keeping your hair soaking wet, apply your leave-in product (you can do this in or out of the shower, but you won’t be rinsing it out). Depending on your hair type, this may be oil, leave-in conditioner, gel, mouse or any combo thereof, based on your hair type, the weather, and personal preferences. Finger comb a generous amount through your hair, focusing extra product on the ends to keep them from drying and splitting. I divide my hair into quarters, emulsify oil and leave-in conditioner, and use about 1-2 silver dollar size amounts on each section.

Product Suggestions:

Macadamia Natural Oil Leave-In Cream (Target)

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Crème Glaze (Target)

Organix Penetrating Moroccan Argan Oil (most grocery stores)

DevaCurl Light Defining Gel (online)

Step 4: Dry

No towels! For a true WNG experience, air dry. Expect this to take 1-3 hours, depending on your hair length and density, the humidity and temperature. Once fully dry, flip upside down and gently shake hair for added volume. If you can’t or don’t want to have wet hair for that long, scrunch out excess water with paper towels or an old t-shirt. This also does wonders for clumping your curls and adding definition. Attach a larger defuser to your dryer, and start drying your hair in sections. I shake my hair lightly as I go, but too much touching/movement will cause frizz. Once your hair is about 75% dry, flip upside down and dry from the bottom. This will give lovely volume. Dry to about 90% to avoid frizz and air dry the rest of the way. Once completely dry, do the flip and shake described above.

Product Suggestions:

Any of these microfiber towels will also work well in place of the paper towels or t-shirts

Here’s the WNG routine on my 3B/3C hair!