Wednesday, 20 April 2016

My First Single Brand Experience with As I Am | REVIEW

I learnt about As I Am long before embarking on This Natural Journey from my sister who had transitioned years ago, who always gave tips and suggested products to improve my hair care.
On her recommendation, I had tried the As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner, which instantly made it to repurchase status.  When I cut my relaxed hair off last year I continued to use it on my fresh TWA, and it always left my thick, coarse, dense, Type 4 hair moisturized, soft, and really easy to detangle.

As much as I loved the results from the cowash, I never obtained any other products from the brand as I had quite a few items that I was still working through from prior to cutting my relaxed hair.  However, when the brand offered sample packs towards the end of 2015 at the cost of shipping & handling, it would have been irresponsible of me not to take them up on that offer.  So, as a responsible individual I placed my order.

The sample packs were offered as combos containing several products in 0.5-1oz packs from their line that work best together to achieve different styling results.  The offer was for 2 selections of 6 combo options.  I chose the 'Twist & Define' and 'Wash n Go ' combos.

The Twist & Define combo contained:
Cleansing Pudding
Hydration Elation
Leave-in Conditioner
Twist Defining Cream
Smoothing Gel

The Wash n Go 2 combo contained:
Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
So Much Moisture
CocoShea Whip
CocoShea Spray

I was so excited when I received my sample products but wanted to wait until just the right time to use them so that I would the best results!! That was 4 months ago.  Between travelling and protective styling the right time did not present itself...and I kinda sorta forgot about my samples.  Until my last wash day, when I stumbled upon them at the back of my product drawer while looking to see which of my products to use as I wanted to create a defined style following my wash day.  The timing couldn't have been better as I had just come out of a protective style and properly pampered my hair on the previous wash day following its removal, and my hair was perfectly primed for a test run.
So here we go

I started my wash day the night before with an overnight hot oil treatment using equal parts Coconut and Olive Oil - for that strength and softness balance.  I applied the warmed mixture in sections, detangled and placed each section in twists.  Then steamed for 15mins, then wrapped with a scarf, or 2 before hitting my pillow.

On wash day, I wanted to see the products in action and I don't have a shower mirror, so I did an out-of-shower wash.

I undid the twists in their sections (to have 5 large sections to work with) starting with the first, soaked my hair with water from a spray bottle before applying the Cleansing Pudding Sulfate-Free Moisturizing Cleanser that "provides a soothing scalp treatment as it cleanses and helps support healthy hair growth".  (see ingredients here).  It has a distinct but light citrus scent, smooth creamy consistency, and doesn't sud.
Following the instructions I took a liberal amount and distributed through hair focusing on the root and scalp before the length.  Then used my wide tooth come to ensure even distribution and detangle.  I used my fingers to massage on my scalp for about 5 mins per section before rinsing.
My hair felt a bit sharp after using this cleanser, not stripped, and definitely clean. So, I did not do a second application, as I had not used very much product since the last wash day.

Up next was the Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner - "a deep-down hydrating and fortifying treatment [which] is a must for strong, shiny, soft, springy coils and curls".  Described as "a rich penetrating conditioner [with] an exceptional composition of extracts" (see ingredient list here).  This is a rich thick formula with a light citrus scent.
Again, I used as instructed: distribute throughout hair, cover with a plastic cap, and leave on for 15-30mins.
I applied heat for the first 15mins.  Wrapped to trap heat for another 15mins.  Then completed a 45min workout before continuing as directed.
I spritzed each section with water and carefully ran my wide tooth comb through each section to 'detangle', which at this point wasn't even necessary as my comb glided straight through with ease (this was the 3rd detangling process of this wash day).  And then I rinsed.
On application it wasn't readily absorbed (as you can see in the picture) it sort of sat on my hair and looked at me.  However, following the heat application and elapsed time, you couldn't tell there was product in my hair.
I finished up the wash day process by using the Leave-in Conditioner.  I applied specifically as instructed to wet hair from root to tip, ensuring even distribution by using my wide tooth comb.  This leave-in has a light creamy formula that "keeps tangles away and provides a great foundation for natural styling. It contains an organic strengthening agent, plus natural ingredients that promote hair growth." (see ingredient list here)
My hair felt so soft, and was shiny, smooth and detangled.  I can safely say it was the best it felt following a wash day since starting my natural journey.

The results I experienced could be due to using products that are designed to work together, which would each achieve their best result.  It could also be that "the line consists of 11 wonderfully formulated products designed specifically for tightly coiled and curly hair; each with an impressive ingredient listing that includes many of nature's finest organic ingredients."  Ingredients that I have found to play very nice with my hair including: glycerin, aloe, castor, coconut, shea butter, vitamin E.  For some, these might be considered heavy, but these always have great results on my thick, coarse hair, in their natural form and with products containing them.
Whether one or the other reason, or combination of both, this experience using all products from a single brand makes be kick myself for not doing so before.  Also, I would definitely be adding Hydration Elation to my products for regular use as a DC.  While I liked the Cleansing Pudding, I will not use it on a weekly basis, but would prefer to reserve for use at times when my hair has a lot of product from styling.  I prefer the Coconut Cowash for regular/weekly use.  I would also add the Leave-in Conditioner, I currently use the Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Mango Leave-in Conditioner, which as a heavier creamy consistency.  I would alternate these and compare results with different styling techniques to determine when to use in the future.

*Disclaimer:  I obtained these As I Am sample products by purchasing myself.  This review is based on my own experience and use of the products.  I have no affiliation with As I Am, I am simply a happy customer.

~ Josie Jo ~

Do you use a single brand/line or mix it up, 
in your hair care routine?

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