Review: HASK Curl Care Collection

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It should come as no surprise to anyone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Naturally thick and curly- unlike anyone else’s in my immediate family (most who have generally pin straight hair)– I have always appreciated and even enjoyed how my curls made me stand out from everyone else. It’s been my trademark of sorts- the way some other women might claim a shade of lipstick or a fashion accessory as their own. My hair has always been my “thing”- something that made me a bit unique- even when I began experimenting with different colored dyes and highlights in my teens through present day.  The curls have always remained in tact to set me apart.

Styling my hair, however? That’s a whole other story. I can remember being a little kid and my scalp being in a perpetual state of agony every morning before school while my poor mother worked tirelessly to get a hairbrush through my curls without ripping them right out of my head (spoiler alert: it never worked out too well) and trying to fight that dreaded “crunchy” look with so many different creams/gels/sprays has always been- and will forever be- one of the most frustrating things for those with curly hair like mine.

Although my styling method has since become less time-consuming and a bit easier with updated, lightweight products and accessories (hello, Wet Brush!)– humid days are still a cause of dread for me and finding hair care formulas that don’t completely dry my curls out can be challenging when so many brands use color-stripping chemicals and otherwise harmful ingredients.

So I was very grateful and excited when HASK recently sent me a package containing full-sized bottles of their coconut milk-infused Curl Care Collection to try out for myself. With shampoo, conditioner and a deep conditioning mask- I couldn’t wait to get started!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo:

From HASK’s website:

“Calling all curls! Add shape and bounce with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo. Enriched with hydrating coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, each wash removes build-up without stressing or stripping curls of their natural oils. Our Memory Curl Complex helps curls bounce back with frizz-proof definition and nonstop shine whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Hello colossal curls!”

I just want to start my review off by saying that each of these products smelled absolutely amazing- like toasted coconut and the tropics. If these aren’t the perfect Summertime shower essentials to whisk you away to an exotic beach somewhere- I don’t know what is.

But I digress! This shampoo lathered up really nicely and a little went a long way- cleansing my hair from root to tip with only a nickel-sized amount in my palm. At first, I was a little concerned that my hair felt a bit slick after I first rinsed the product out, since coconut oil can be on the greasier side depending on how much you use- but after a few more minutes under the running water and the “oily” feeling went away- leaving really soft and tangle-free strands behind, instead. I actually think this shampoo is so moisturizing that it doesn’t even need to be followed up with the conditioner! That’s the only time I’ve ever been able to say that about a shampoo- considering most of them can be on the drying side and a conditioner is almost always needed to replenish basic hydration- but this one did the trick all on it’s own!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“What’s the ultimate style guide for curly hair? HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner! Blended with moisture-rich coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, this formula locks in moisture and luster to help bring dehydrated curls back to life. Our frizz-proof Memory Curl Complex helps every curl bounce back to its unique curl pattern, whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Go ahead, celebrate your curls!”

Even though the shampoo was, in my opinion, moisturizing enough- I still followed it up with this conditioner in an attempt to keep my frizz at bay. Much like the shampoo, a small amount of this product went a long way. I was able to coat my curls from my scalp down to the ends with just a couple of pumps before letting it sink in and work it’s magic for a few minutes. Once I combed it through and rinsed it out- my hair felt even softer and smoother- which I didn’t even think was possible!

When I got out of the shower and started drying my hair, I noticed that my usual amount of frizz was pretty much non-existent. My curls were more defined and looked considerably shinier. Even after I’d styled my hair and headed off to work for the day- there was no poofy-ness or unexpected 80’s hair metal band vibes popping up by the afternoon. Needless to say- I was thrilled!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“Keep your curls looking their best with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner. This deep conditioning treatment quenches thirsty curls on contact for control and definition. Complete with our Memory Curl Complex to help block out frizz, seal split ends and keep unruly curls in line with extra bounce and shine.”

This packet of creamy conditioner is meant to be used as more of a deep repair mask instead of a daily treatment- so I used the product sparingly- applying it twice a week and leaving it in my dampened hair for about ten minutes before combing it through my curls and rinsing it out. While the shampoo and the regular conditioner I’d received from HASK had been working wonders for my hair all on their own- I did notice a significant difference in my ends each time I used this mask- and I strongly recommend it to anyone who may have ongoing issues with split ends. This product fixed them right up for me- and I have color-treated hair that requires a pretty good amount of TLC to maintain- so I was really impressed with this one!

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Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the results I achieved with HASK’s Curl Care Collection in such a short amount of time. My hair is soft, smooth, shiny- and most importantly-manageable! Not only does the entire collection work really, really well- but HASK’s products are also fair and affordable- and there’s a little something for everyone and their individual hair care concerns: color-treated care, thickening solutions, strength-building, damage detox, etc.

I cannot say enough good things about this brand and I urge everyone to give them a try if you’re feeling unsatisfied or underwhelmed with any of the pricier products you might be using right now. I know I’ll be making the switch!

Thank you again to HASK for such a lovely package and for giving me the opportunity to talk about their brand and my results. It was a pleasure!

**I was not paid for this post and all opinions and content contained within are strictly my own. I am not nor have I ever been employed by HASK Beauty. This partnership was made possible by BrandBacker.**

xx

Unmasking My Winter Hair Care!

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Last July, I had shared four affordable hair care products that I relied on to get me through New England’s hotter, more humid months. Since I have the two “C’s” of hair types- curly and color-treated- the products had to be both safe to use with my red highlights and hydrating enough to penetrate my curls to tame frizz and keep them moisturized- even in the most stifling of heat waves.

Now that we’re in the middle of one of the snowiest, coldest winters in recent memory- I have to do a little bit more than rely solely on Moroccan and Argan oil-infused conditioners and leave-in sprays. This time of year, I turn to masks to keep my hair healthy, shiny, and manageable through snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures- which can do a number on my curls between hiding my scalp under hats and going in and out of the cold and the heat in my place/office/car/etc.

Of course, great hair masks don’t need to cost a small fortune, and while many D.I.Y. beauty buffs swear on making their own from common household ingredients (the classic mayonnaise and egg mask, for example,) I opt for mess-free- and nicer smelling- products that give me just as good results.

Here are four masks I’ve been loving so far this winter, ranked by how much time it takes to use them!

The Quick Fix/In A Rush Masks:

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Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion “Deep Conditioning Shine Mask”

This is actually the mask I use most often, typically every 2-3 days in the early mornings while I’m getting ready for work during the week. When I first initially purchased a tube of this sweet-smelling and lightweight mask, it was because my local pharmacy was out of stock of my daily conditioner (also from Suave) and I just wanted something to help keep my hair soft and strong until they replenished. I ended up really loving the results I achieved- my hair was noticeably shinier and easy to comb through and style after I’d rinsed it out- and you can’t beat how easy it is to use. You simply wash your hair, apply the mask, and leave it in for 5 minutes before rinsing (I usually opt to leave it in for 10 minutes if I’m not in a hurry, and go about my normal showering routine while I wait for it to set.)

Best of all is the price. I’m all for the occasional shopping spree or splurge (you have to treat yourself once in a while, after all,) but maintaining healthy hair and skin shouldn’t have to deplete your bank account- and when you have as much hair on your head as I do, and tend to go through products more often because of it- that can happen on an alarmingly regular basis. This Suave mask is mess-free, gives me great results, and is fairly and more than reasonably priced.

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OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco “Intense Moisturizing Treatment”

For a few dollars more, I also occasionally pick up tubs of this Argan oil- packed mask from OGX that can be applied and combed through wet or damp hair, left on for 5-10 minutes (and covered with a shower cap for enhanced results,) and then rinsed out in the shower. I use this particular mask once or twice a week- depending on how my hair looks and feels- and usually concentrate on applying it to the ends of my hair to prevent split-ends and breakage.

Like the Suave mask, this product smells lovely and leaves my hair soft and manageable in no time at all. It’s also fairly priced and can be conveniently found in most markets and drug stores/pharmacies.

The Color-Reviving Mask:

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Biolage by Matrix “Color Bloom Mask”

I’ve recently started using Biolage’s ColorLast Shampoo a couple times a week, and I’m loving it so far. The formula is really gentle, so it doesn’t fade or strip my reds or dry out my hair- but it still leaves my curls feeling squeaky clean (not greasy.) I decided to pair that product with this mask, usually saving it for when I’m about due for a salon visit or when I feel like my color is starting to look a little dull. I apply this product all over my hair while it’s damp, and tuck it under a shower cap for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it out. Once dry, my hair is soft and my reds look brighter and more revitalized.

Price wise, this mask sells for about $22+, which isn’t horrible at all- but does distinguish it as the most expensive one out of the four I’m using on a regular basis. For that reason, I only break this product out once or twice a month as needed.

The Multi-Task Mask:

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Kelapo Individually Wrapped Coconut Oil Packets

Coconut oil makes another appearance on my hair care list, this time in the form of individual packets for easier application. I save this type of mask for 1-2 times per month, and usually for those days where my hair is in desperate need of some TLC (after coloring, or post-flat-ironing, for example,) and when I have plenty of time to just leave it on to sink into my hair for a couple of hours before I rinse it out.

I like to warm up one of these packets, tear it open, and apply it to my hair from roots to ends while it’s damp before I wrap my hair in plastic wrap and hold it in place with a warm, fuzzy shower cap. From there, I can do various tasks/chores around my home: laundry, cleaning, catching up on e-mails (or Netflix,) etc. for a few hours- and then hop in the shower and rinse away. My hair is left revived, soft, shiny, and most importantly- healthy.

And there you have it- my four essential hair masks for winter. It’s actually snowing again right now, so I think I’m going to go get the shovel ready and figure out which one of these products I’ll be reaching for when I get back inside.

If you have any must-have winter hair care/beauty products you love and want to share- leave a comment! I’d love to read about them!

xx

Summer Hair Care.

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When it comes to my hair, I typically get asked one of two questions when I meet people for the first time:

1. Are my curls natural? (Yes- and I still have no idea where they came from since nearly everyone in my family has had pin straight to lightly/barely wavy hair.)

2. Is red my natural color? (Nope! I’m a brunette by birth!)

Once those are out of the way, I am then usually asked one of two follow-up questions:

1. How do I keep my curls looking hydrated, healthy, and bouncy?

or 2. How do I keep my very bright, very vibrant reds from fading- especially in the Summertime sun?

The truth is, it’s not easy. Curly hair is typically dryer than straighter hair (which leads to a LOT of frizz and flyaways,) and red is the hardest hue to maintain- often fading to a rusty orange or even a dull pink-ish if not kept up with religiously or taken care of/styled with the appropriate, color-safe products. Red hair is a commitment- both physically and financially- and one I’ve stayed true to for quite a few years now.

During the 4-5 years I’ve been a Faux-Ginger, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. I’ve learned to always find the time to schedule monthly root touch-ups (the unintentional ombre that occurs when my natural hair color grows in for an extended period of time is not a good look on me,) and I’ve learned how to efficiently clean up the shower and my towels after the first proper shampooing following the aforementioned monthly root touch-ups to avoid my bathroom looking like a bloody crime scene.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that keeping my curls and hair color safe- especially in the hotter, more humid months- does NOT have to break the bank or take up a ton of counter space with an overwhelming amount of products. I’ve pinned down an efficient and simple Summer hair care system with just four core products- all of which are inexpensive and all of which can go hand-in-hand with your favorite styling products without weighing your hair down or making it feel or look sticky/greasy.

Here’s what I use:

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TO CLEAN:

John Frieda’s “Radiant Red” Colour Protecting Shampoo  ($4.97 – $6.59)

Back when I made the bold decision to go platinum with my hair, I stockpiled pretty much everything from John Frieda’s “Sheer Blonde” collection because it was one of the few, affordable, geared-for-blondes lines that kept my tresses hydrated (an absolute necessity considering how fried my hair had become at that point,) and prevented discoloration. When I came to my senses and went back to brunette, the “Brilliant Brunette” line became my ally for the very same reasons- the results and the price.

Of course, as we all know, I have since given in to the temptation that was fiery red hair- and sure enough, John Frieda’s “Radiant Red” line was there to have my back. Although “Radiant Red” does not have nearly as many products as the SB and BB lines, I’m more than content with this shampoo and swear by it when discussing hair care for redheads. While I do shower and condition my hair every day, I only actually wash my hair with this product once or twice a week. It lathers up nicely, cleans my hair without stripping it down- and really brings out the different tones and shine in each of my curls. The cherry on top? It smells awesome!

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TO CONDITION:

Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Color Care Conditioner ($3.49 – $6.29)

Since I use way more conditioner than I do shampoo, I want something lightweight and relatively inexpensive that will help nourish and de-tangle my curls without fading my color. While I do like John Frieda’s “Radiant Red” conditioner that goes hand-in-hand with the shampoo, it is tricky to find it in stock in a lot of stores. This Suave conditioner, infused with Moroccan oil and easy to locate at pretty much every pharmacy or drug store- makes my hair ridiculously soft and shiny, leaves it moisturized and easy to comb through- and doesn’t fade or cloud my red at all.

I tend to apply a generous amount from my roots to my ends, and leave it in for 5-10 minutes while I shave/wash up the rest of my body/sing into my shampoo bottle/zone out completely- before I rinse it out and then go about gently patting my hair dry with my towel and styling.

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TO PROTECT:

Suave Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil ($5.99)

In the Summer, I style my hair with a lot of sea salt sprays to soften my curls and give them a more wavy, “just got back from the beach” look. It’s wonderful- except that the salt in the sprays is notorious for sucking the moisture out of hair. To counteract this, I use a few pumps of this Suave Moroccan oil from my roots to my ends while my hair is still damp before I spritz in my salt spray and let it air dry. This oil keeps my hair hydrated and shiny without making it look or feel slick or sticky. It also fights frizz, and smells really good.

I often use this when my hair is dry, as well- applying a few pumps into my palm and smoothing it over and through my hair when I’m on the go to combat flyaways and dryness. It can also be applied as an overnight hair mask, too- although I prefer to use something else for a deep repair treatment- which brings me to…

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TO REPAIR:

Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($6-$8)

By now, most people know about the amazing benefits of coconut oil. It’s essentially a miracle in a jar- good for everything and everyone. I get a lot of use out of the Trader Joe’s brand- from my nails, to my teeth, and especially to my hair. I use coconut oil as a weekly overnight repair mask, applying and combing it through damp, clean hair- braiding or twisting my hair into a bun- and tucking it into a shower cap that I leave on while I’m sleeping (it’s more comfortable than you’d think.) In the morning, I simply take the cap off and wash and condition my hair as usual.

The results are deeply moisturized curls that are free of frizz and split ends. Coconut oil doesn’t harm my color, either- which makes it safer to use than other hair masks that may contain sulfate or other chemicals that cause fading or discoloration.

And there you have it! Four simple products to use in the Summertime for easy hair care and maintenance that won’t put a strain on your budget.

Of course, my products do get switched up a bit when it comes time for Fall and Winter, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’m not exactly eager for Summer to be over, after all.

xox