10 March 2010

Alikay Naturals - Product Review

The philosophy surrounding the maintenance of my hair changed a few months back. This is personal growth for me.

I started wearing my hair natural instead of chemically straightening it so that I could become even lazier. I thought if I wore my natural curls, I wouldn't have to actually do my hair. I could just wake up and go. That's the perfect world. I never ever have to touch my hair. Unfortunately that's not realistic unless I just completely shave my head and trust me, considering how godly Erykah Badu looks, I'm always tempted to go there.

Over the past year, I've learned just how important it is to take care of my health. But I also placed semi importance on taking care of body. Health...brush teeth, wash face, stay clean, eat right. Blah Blah Blah. Taking care of my body...hmmm, I'm not sure of the right terminology. It's the sort of thing of using body butter to moisturize my skin. That sort of thing. (Not particular about my health but not as superficial as makeup and clothes) As much as I was moisturizing my skin, I was just saying whatever to my hair. I wouldn't wash it for weeks. (Not as gross as you think.) I hardly ever added moisture..not even water. I wore it big and puffy and just never took care of it.

Now, I at least moisturize it and keep it pinned away 5 to 6 days out of the week. I'm not infactuated with styling, although I see amazing styles by women. I'm not infactuated with color, hair type, length or anything like that. Those things mean nothing. But keeping it healthy, moisturized and clean...that's simple and important to me.

For the last few months I've been intentional about moisturizing my hair. Mostly this just means adding water each day. I've been intentional about cleaning it. One a week I have a whole routine. And with that, my hair has thrived. I style it less, keep it pinned back and hardly let it wild out...but I know each night that its healthy just like my skin and such.

I've been in the market for some organic, natural and perferably homemade products for my hair. Therefore, I've been scouring the internet to find a shampoo, leave in conditioner, deep conditioner, detangling conditioner, and moisturizer.(Eventually I've make my own but I don't have the time right now.)

I found Black Onyx World. More specifically Alikay Naturals Hair Products.

Black Onyx is a young lady who makes these hair products herself. She also makes jewelry. A lot of it looks amazing! I am impressed with the sheer variety and volume of her stock considering these are homemade. After watching many of her youtube videos.in which you see her using her products and you see the results, I was convinced I should try this. (Note to self, one thing may work for one person and not another.)

This is Black Onyx below. I think she has creative styles and her hair is healthy. My hair will never be styled like that because I don't know how to do that and I'd never pay someone else to do it but my hope is that it would be healthy.

 My products arrived last week. I ordered her Black Soap Shampoo. Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner. LemonGrass Deep Conditioner. Shea Yogurt Moisturizer. and Betoninite me Baby Clay. (The clay was just an impulse. I've seen people use it and thought it might work. I haven't tried it yet.)

First Impression

The presentation was lacking. I know when you purchase products in the store, more often than not you are paying for the pretty little containers more than the product itself. I get that. I sometimes willingly pay more for something because it is packaged attractively. I know its a small thing and has little to do with the product itself but as a consumer and creator, for me presentation plays a significant roll. But the lack in hers was not enough to deter me. I saw it from the website and knew what i was getting myself into. But I wish she'd do a little more to make the presentation and packaging of it better.

The cost. I pay an average of $6 for my shampoo or conditioner. I splurged and paid over $15 for an Aubrey Organics deep conditioner but it is worth it. So cost is really relative. $2 more for her shampoo than my store bought organic one is fine...especially considering its homemade. But if you are on a tight budget maybe some other product is better for you.
Aromatic Qualities. Smell is important to me. I have posted in other blogs about my personal offense at crappy hand soaps in people's bathrooms. I'm snooty like that. I wear Marc Jacobs or Prada perfume and then I come to your house and you want me to wash my hands with Apple Spice scented soap. Oh my goodness. That is just gross to me. Its one of the unreasonably horrible things about my personality but if I don't like a certain scent, it might as well go straight to hell. So....Alikay Natural's. The lemongrass leave in conditioner and the honey and sage deep conditioner gave my nose an orgasm. Seriously.  The black soap shampoo didn't really have a smell. The shea butter yogurt moisturizer. It's no fault to her but I do not like the smell of shea butter. I love cocoa butter as a base scent to build off. But most naturals bow their heads before shea butter. So I tried it. And it was hard to keep putting it on my hands and then in my hair...because I really do not like the smell of shea butter. I'm going to assume that her other concoctions have just as much power of seduction with their aromas.

Quality. You know how you feel a product and it feels right.Or something is too chunky. Or too soupy? The shea butter. Along with not liking the smell, I didn't like the texture. I prefer creams in my hair. Butters can go on my skin. The shampoo...I just didn't know what to make of it. I couldn't tell if it was working or not. I think if it had a stronger smell, I'd know if I evenly dispersed it throughout my hair since its so concentrated and so soupy. Maybe i'll have to add my own essential oils to the rest of the bottle.

Quantity. I think the size and proportions relative to the cost are good. I wonder if she has a detangling conditioner. That would be more telling in regards to quantity since I go through a LOT of that.

Effectiveness. That is still pending. I used all the products last night. My initial reactions. I couldn't tell if the shampoo was effective. It needs a stronger smell to reinforce that its in my hair, if that makes sense. The deep conditioner seems effective..although I mixed in another deep conditioner too. My hair is THICK. The leave in conditioner is fine. Although for it to be as effective as my own concoction I need to actually mix it with other things like rosewater, vegetably glycerin, essential oils and water.  The shea butter...well, my hair is still pinned up right now. I'll know tonight the effects of it when I take my hair down to twist it tonight. I'm hoping that it works.

(Although I must say, using something once, may not be the best way to judge its effectiveness. I've been using my new regime for a few months and it was only until a few weeks ago that I noticed the huge difference in my hair. I'm going to have to use these products for a few weeks to even begin to know the true effects on my hair.)

Transparency. This was probably the area I had the biggest conflict with. While Alikay Naturals is a homemade natural product line, almost each product I purchased had a "special blend," or "secret blend" of natural ingredients. At this point in my life, I'm uncomfortable NOT knowing what is going in or on my body. I think its important that no matter how big or small the company, you as a consumer have a right to know what you are purchasing. Perhaps there are different rules for people who sell their own products from home, but even still there should be some sort standard. Since I purchased a number of the products, for now, I will continue using them. However, I'm not sure I could buy more of her products knowing that I don't know each ingredient. I'm sure she wants to protect her recipes, but I want to be an informed consumer. However if you don't mind not knowing, this could be the product for you.

I will post photos soon as well as keep you update to date with the effectiveness of this product over the coming weeks.

Would you purchase a product that had "secret ingredients"? Do you have any recommendations for homemade products being sold by entrepenuers? What scents do you love or hate? Do you have a hair care regime?


solidice242 said...

Great Review, i had a lot of the same concerns you have with buying the products. i think what you wrote was honest and fair. I personally dont like purchasing products that say secret ingredient for a number of reasons. like you said big companies have to list ingredients so small companies should too. However, i learned that a lot of big companies hide their extra ingredients under the word fragrance so it goes to show you can never really all the ingredients listed. I think a lot of times they dont list complete ingredients because they are afraid that someone will either still their product by duplicating the list or buy it once and attempt to make their own so i think she is "protecting" her business. The truth is why buy something you can make yourself? Finally the reason why i haven't tried her products (yet)is because she has a different hair texture than i have and she tested her products on herself so they are made to work on her hair and everyone's needs are different even with similar textures needs can differ. Therefore i have decided to wait until i read more reviews from other too to see what they thought about it before trying out the products. Again i want to say great review it was thorough fair and sparked a lot of questions.

SLY said...

Thanks Solidice. I think from the videos, I have a different grade of hair from BlackOnyx as well, but things are going better since day one of the products. I knew I'd need to give it more than a day. Also, just found a ton of videos of youtube with people reviewing her product. I've been watching them to see what they thing as well.

P: Rovill said...

The Apprentice and one of the stylists testing out the colours on samples of my cut hair. Their uncertainty was based on the fact that when i was in Malaysia i would frequently colour my hair and apparently products in Asia and in Europe have different chemical ingredients. Something to do with one region having a metallic base. And when combined, the results can be disastrous.

P. Ropecia said...

The mirra line is split into three categories: Daily, Renew, and Inspire. I recently received a package of various mirra beauty products to try myself and review. These included Volumizing Shampoo, Volumizing Conditioner, Replenishing Body Wash, Sculpting Gel, Exfoliating & Detoxifying Cleanser, Deep Moisture Day Cream, and Wrinkle Reduction Eye Cream. I was pleased with each of the products. I'm going to go over some of my key review points.

Funbi's said...

This is a very good and open review. I also am not happy about the fact that not all the ingredients are listed. But then again, he has a business to protect. If this fact really bothers ladies out there that are looking for natural products, I suggest they try and experiment with homemade recipes that work for them like BlackOnyx did or find another natural hair brand. Personally, I would like to try one or two of her products. Nevertheless, I do think she would give an idea of what she put in her product if someone really asked her, that's different from telling your list of ingredients and describing how she made it.
Please keep up the reviews.

Anonymous said...

I think all ingredients need to be listed because it is really complex making soap and shampoos (I know cause I have tried). Just telling the ingredients does not give the person everything they need to make the soup, they dont know for instance exactly how much is being added or not.

Anonymous said...

nice review for natural product.

iluvskittles1983 said...

Thanks for posting this bog. A lot of things you said were some of the things that I thought about as well. For instance, Alikay's Black Soap Shampoo. It does not lather (which the bottle says it would not), yet there's no explanation as to why. Is it because it all natural? Does that mean shampoos that lather are not good for natural hair? Also, the texture of her Sage Deep Conditioner was soupy too. It almost disappears when it rubs in my hand and it's almost like I put nothing in my hair at all. I washed and conditioned my hair two days ago with those products but I don't feel clean. I really don't know what to make of her products but, after I'm finshed what I have left, since I paid money for it, than I think I'm going to try Aphogee products.

Anonymous said...

I just bought the mini hair product
package and Iam really interested in hair growth
I will give you my opinion after trying the product for a few weeks

Miss J