I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I create something that works well on my hair without all the parabens, mineral oil and other crap. So, I almost hate it when a commercial product works incredibly well on my natural hair.
Right now, I am so hatin' on Lustrasilk Curl Max Curl Activator Moisturizer
One place to Buy it: Walgreens
My curls have taken a liking to this stuff just from a couple of test applications. I'm talking about the one with the super soft, brownish gel like consistency, not the "Extra Light" white creamy one.
The Curl Activator Moisturizer is said to revitalize curls and waves and contains Argan oil, although maybe not a huge amount of it. Either way, it leaves my hair soft for more than a day and is not greasy.
The only way I can see there being buildup is if you keep applying a large amount over and over, day after day without washing or cowash. And o.m.g. it rinses almost completely clean in a cowash.
I have my mom to 'thank' for lucking up on a Walgreens special. One of the products she found was the Lustrasilk "Curl Max Curl Activator Moisturizer". My mom of all people (she's currently transitioning) couldn't pass up that sale and bought a few things just to test out.
Of course when she presented it to me for my opinion, I was giving the bottle the side-eye... for real.
Since I'm currently having a love affair with my pectin/flaxseed/StructureXL/guar gum (super shine and hold), I didn't want to be bothered. However, the only thing missing from my mix is what the Curl Max provides: super softness after drying for multiple days in a row without reapplication.
While I was pondering about how I should tweak the formula of my pectin serum to add softness to my own mix, this little commercial-based devil comes out of nowhere. LOL!
The major downside, like with almost any off the shelf commercial product that's under a certain price, is its not totally 'crap-free'.
However, I did notice there wasn't tons of ridiculous things that covered half the bottle like so many other products I've seen on the shelves before.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Sorbitol, Centrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Simethicone, Stearyl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Methylparaben, DMDM hydantoin,Argania Spinosa (argan) nut oil, fragrance, phosphoric acid, yellow 6, red 33
My first response was actually, 'that's it?' Yep, those are the only ingredients in it. Normally, these types of products have a LONG list of totally and completely unpronounceable crap with numbers and everything.
If I could whip up my own concocted version of this product, I would of course skip the Simethicone, Methylparaben, DMDM hydantoin, yellow 6, red 33, and phosphoric acid.
But let's break some of these ingredients down a minute.
Simethicone is actually not a totally terrible ingredient from what I can tell. Its used in formulations to stop foaming from happening. Its actually used in products taken orally to relieve gas and bloating.
Further, sorbitol is a "sugar alcohol" approved by the FDA as a bulk sweetener and provides humectant properties. It, too, is used in products taken or used orally to retain fluid and increase muscle movement in the intestines, which treats constipation.
If you're used to whipping up your own emulsions, you guys know that cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are thickeners.
Cetrimonium Chloride is found in products produced by Carol's Daughter, for example. But you may know this by another moniker: CTAC (cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride). Its a conditioning cationic ingredient , by the way. Its typically used to help prevent static electricity and to help with detangling.
TIP: Cetrimonium Chloride is water soluble, which means you can add it to the water phase and use it in surfactant based systems. It is also said to get rid of buildup caused by the use of 'cone'-heavy products.
Hydrolyzed Collagen (hydrolyzed gelatine or just 'gelatin') is a form of collagen found inside the bones and other places of animals. If you're familiar with making a gelatine hair gel, you've basically used hydrolyzed collagen since it is the chief ingredient in gelatine.
Maybe the hydrolyzed gelatine is what gives it its interesting consistency?
Phosphoric acid is found in some sodas to give them a "sharper flavor" and to slow the growth of microorganisms which love water+sugar mixes. Though phosphoric acid itself is corrosive, the amount typically found on the shelves and in stuff like orange juice and soda is not. So its probably used as another type of preservative in this product.
Methylparaben, also used as a preservative, is one of those dreaded parabens from which I try to stay far,far away.
What irks me seriously is the inclusion of DMDM hydantoin, which is a preservative that's antimicrobial and a formaldehyde releaser. Yes, it uses formaldehyde to create a terrible environment for microorganisms to grow. Did I mention that according to the listing of ingredients, there's more of this FORMALDEHYDE releaser in this product than Argan oil? WTH?
After all that and weighing the pros and cons, I will continue to formulate my own stuff, but I was shocked, SHOCKED at how well this worked to soften and clump my curls. To tell the truth, it was just slightly foamy going on damp hair, but that dried up without any problem.
So I actually will use it until I figure out how to get my own mix to be comparable to this one.
Damn you Lustrasilk. LOL! Good job.
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