Eco Styler Gel Is Cancelled???

So if you follow any pages associated with natural hair or follow natural hair gurus on YouTube, you've probably been hearing the tea that Eco Styler gel is cancelled. I've used Eco Styler gel since I first went natural 3 years ago, so I felt it was only fair that I sit down with ya'll and discuss my thoughts on this "controversy." Okay, so let's go back to the beginning. This mini movement to cancel Eco gel began about a week ago when popular natural hair YouTuber Bri Hall posted this video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwDHS7Xd4W0?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

As Bri Hall states in the video, her content was inspired by an older video, which I watched a while back, where another YouTuber broke down the ingredients in Eco Styler gel and claimed that some of them are carcinogenic. Her channel is called AlopeciaFreeWithJass, and this is her original video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk_dumRsy0?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Both videos mention the potentially harmful ingredients present in Eco's large line of gels, claiming these ingredients are in almost all of their products and that the products should be "cancelled" and replaced with more natural gels that do not include the same harmful, and possibly cancer causing, ingredients.

Let me start off by saying this: I am a huge fan of Bri Hall and think her content is great. I don't think either of these women intended any harm in making their videos, in fact I know they posted their content with the intention of spreading important information and helping fellow naturals take better care of themselves. I have nothing negative to say about either of them as people and this post is not meant to be an attack on them or their content in any way.

Okay, so...how do I put this delicately....

The "Cancel Eco Styler" movement is complete BS.

There, I said it.

I'm not a scientist. I wasn't a Bio major in college. So don't take my opinions as gospel. I'm just speaking from common sense and my own understanding of the situation based on having read and watched things from BOTH sides of this issue.

The ingredients that are in Eco Styler gels...are in most of your hair products. They're in the other gels you're considering switching to. And they're also in the processed food you eat, your drinks, and many other items you're probably blissfully unaware of. The only way to eliminate this from your hair routine specifically would be to go the DIY route and make all your hair products yourself. There is nothing wrong with this and I admire people who are willing to put in the time, effort, and extra money to make this happen. However, this is not realistic for all naturals.

If you think buying products for your natural hair is expensive now, you should see how expensive it is to make some of these DIY shampoos, hair butters, and gels. You can easily rack up $100 on Amazon trying to get all the essential oils and all natural soaps and butters required to make this stuff. And that's not counting the BPA-free containers, baking mixers, blenders, and other incidental things you may not have lying around that you would also have to buy. And after all that work, you will then have created a product with no preservatives in it, which means it has a VERY short shelf life. With refrigeration, it'll last two weeks at most, so you have to use up whatever you made by then, and then you're back to step one as far as buying ingredients to make more of it. This isn't true of all products -- flaxseed gel, for example, is very cheap and quick to make. I'm talking about DIY-ing your entire natural hair routine -- your shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and styling items. That would require an enormous amount of effort on your part.

This is an unpopular opinion and I acknowledge that. I feel like the "revelations" regarding Eco Styler are just another part of the cancel culture we're currently in. Finding out anything unsavory about anyone or anything becomes immediate grounds for a boycott or cancellation, often without any search for context or further info from the loudest voices in the group. There are plenty of others trying to counter the anti-Eco bandwagon by explaining that the ingredients in question are in low concentrations, and that they have not been conclusively proven to cause cancer in anybody, but those voices are getting shouted down by the majority, particularly on larger social media platforms like Twitter.

If you are like me and you love Eco Styler gel, and find that it works for your hair, you're not a bad person for wanting to continue to use it. I have a large tub of the olive oil variation of this gel and you'd best believe I intend on using all of it, and buying more when it's done. Will I try other gels that have healthier ingredients? Sure, I'm always trying new products because I'm a blogger and because I like to experiment. Am I going to yell at people I see using Eco Styler and tell them they're giving themselves cancer when that may not even be true? Absolutely not. I suggest everyone do the research and read into the ingredients in their favorite items. Don't jump on a bandwagon because your favorite YouTuber said something, go online and find this information yourself, and decide on your own whether you think a product is worth the risk or not. It is a personal, INDIVIDUAL choice, not something you should decide based on what your fave said on social media.

Were you a fan of Eco Styler gel before the recent controversy? Will you continue using it now? Let me know in the comments and on the Scared Curly Facebook page. Let's get a discussion going!

 

Camille Rose Naturals Haul + Why I'm Back on the CG Method

Hey lovelies! So if you've been following my FB page or my IG (and really, why wouldn't you? The links are on my homepage!) you'll know that I recently indulged in my product junkie tendencies and bought a bunch of new stuff from Camille Rose Naturals. They had a sale on their site, and for two days all of their products (yes, ALL of them) were $10. This was kind of huge because Camille Rose is known for being a relatively pricey brand. Their hair gel is $22, and most of their butters and creams are in the $16-$20 range. Getting those products for $10 was a total steal.  

 

Now, I dislike haul videos and posts on principle. Too many of them are made with the sole purpose of the blogger in question bragging about how much money they have or how many cool things they bought. I didn't buy a massive amount of products, and I'm not here to brag about how much money I spent. I'm sharing what I got because I plan on reviewing most of these products at some point, and because I splurged on them for a very specific reason...this brand is pretty much entirely Curly Girl Method friendly. And lately going back to the CG Method has seemed like a good idea for me and for my curls.

I stand by what I've said in previous posts. Silicones are not inherently bad for you or your hair, and if you want to use products that have them, your hair won't necessarily suffer for it. However for me, the harsher shampoos that were required to remove all those silicones were doing a number on my hair. It also didn't help that my hair was drying out while I was going through a very cold NYC winter. I retained a lot less length than I would have hoped for because of this. So I'm going back to what I know works to keep my hair moisturized without having to use anything harsh. The CG method is how I started my natural hair journey, and I think it's how I'm going to continue it for awhile. I'm also coloring my hair in the near future (stay tuned for details!), and I would never use sulfates on colored hair because it would strip the color and further dry out hair that has been damaged by bleach.

With all that said, let's get on to what I actually purchased!

Almond Jai Twisting Butter -- I've been using this for a long while, so this is the only product in my haul that I had used prior to purchasing. I have lots of experience with this one, so it's likely to be the first product of this list to get reviewed.

Curlaide Moisture Butter -- This is similar to the twisting butter, but functions as a moisturizer rather than a styler. I needed to this to replace my silicone filled moisturizer from TGIN.

Algae Renew Deep Conditioner -- I've heard mixed reviews on this one, and at regular price, I wasn't willing to risk it not working on my hair. On sale, however...it's at least worth a try.

Marula Swirl -- This is one of their custom blend deep conditioners. If you follow the brand on Instagram, you'll occasionally see these jars being handed out when they do pop up shops and other events. It's not always available on the site, so when I saw it was in stock, I decided to try it and see what all the fuss is about. It seems to consistently be in high demand.

Ginger Vanilla Body Butter -- The only product I bought that isn't hair related! My skin is very dry, and I decided to experiment with using body butters instead of lotion in the hopes of giving my skin an extra dose of moisture.

And there you have it! As I said before, my "haul" was relatively small compared to most. I'm so looking forward to playing with all of these and sharing my experiences with all of you! I'll also be working on posts related to coloring my hair and how to care for bleached natural hair. This will be my third time bleaching my hair, so I've got some experience on how the process works and how to do it without destroying your hair.

Which Camille Rose products are you excited to see reviewed? Do you have questions about coloring natural hair that I might be able to answer in an upcoming post? Let me know in the comments and on the Facebook page!

 

My Length Retention Regimen for Spring 2018

Hey loves! I'm back again, but we're taking a quick break from the product reviews to get into some general hair care stuff! You don't have to know me for very long to learn that I'm a flighty, crazy Gemini. My mood changes with the wind and I'm consistently inconsistent on most things. I try my hardest not to allow this to apply to my hair, because I know consistency is the key to seeing results and finding out what does or does not work for you. However, like everyone else I have my moments...

I went through a period in the winter where my hair was all over the place. Winter here in NYC has been extremely cold this season, and my hair suffered for it. I taught myself how to get it into updos to keep it out of the way as much as possible, but I missed having it down and in my face. My signature look is a side part with fluffy bangs and my hair in a big halo all around my face, so everything else feels strange to me. So as it slowly started to warm up a bit, I went back to my wash and gos, which are still my favorite style. But it is still winter and between all the gel I was using and the fact that my hair is very dense and tightly coiled, I was ending up with dry, tangled hair every wash day. It was taking longer to detangle and I was losing more hair than usual. I've learned that this comes with the territory as my hair grows -- right now my hair is sitting somewhere between armpit and nipple length, which means it's much easier for it to get knotted and tangled than it was when I last cut it.

This led me to reevaluate my routine a bit, particularly my style options. My hair was in desperate need of moisture and stretching. So I went back to an old standby that I always used to stretch my hair when it was short -- twist outs!

These are great for a few reasons:

  1. I almost always do small twists (each section is about an inch wide), so I can wear my hair in those twists for a few days before taking them down. This protects my ends and means that for days I literally don't have to do anything to my hair -- I just tie it up at night and take the scarf/bonnet off in the morning.
  2. When the twists are taken out, the hair is nice and stretched, which makes it fall better and frame my face differently.
  3. Because the hair is in chunky sections from the twist out, it's much harder for it to tangle into itself. As a result, detangling is much easier on wash day.

This advice has made the rounds on YouTube, but I've been too OCD and impatient to listen. When your hair is giving you a hard time, find a style your hair likes and leave it alone. I twist my hair once a week on the same day that I wash it and from there I interact with it as little as possible. A few days later I may take the twists down, and if it frizzes too much or I don't want my hair in my face anymore (this happens a lot because I go to the gym frequently) I gently slick it up into a bun, without using any gel and without pulling my hair tightly.

So far this regimen works best for my lifestyle -- I work, and I lift at at the gym, so low maintenance is key right now. I don't have time to spend hours doing my hair and I can't keep fixing self inflicted damage if I expect my hair to ever hit bra strap length. I'm going to keep this up for the rest of winter and the beginning of spring, and at some point I'm going to head to my stylist to get my hair shaped into something presentable. I may even *gasp* try some color! I don't think I'll bleach my entire head again anytime soon, but I would like some highlights...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, these are the products I've been using:

Carol's Daughter Rhassoul Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask (review here)

Jane Carter Leave-In Conditioner

Grapeseed Oil

TGIN Butter Cream

Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter

Mixed Chicks Clarifying Shampoo (once a month, to remove buildup)

It's a much shorter list than what I used to use for my hair, which means I'm saving money as well as time. I'm really looking forward to seeing if this helps me retain more length, and I'm also excited to get my hair cut into a shape since it's grown SUPER uneven in the last few months! As always I'll take lots of pics and describe the process when I go!

What are some of your tricks for retaining length? How do you revamp your style when your hair is in a slump, especially inthe colder months? And do you have any plans to change your cut/color for spring? Let me know in the comments!