What’s in My Bag: My Curly Go-Tos While on The Go

For as long as I can remember, natural or blown out, my hair could never withstand simple things…like leaving my house for the day.  Seriously. It is was as though the moment I left any temperature/moisture-controlled location, I would transform from a human into a troll doll.  Brown skin. Big eyes. Big hair.  You get the picture.  

Over the years (and particularly since I have started to embrace my natural hair texture), I have learned to carry some wavy and curly purse essentials to fend off any unexpected troll visits. As a product junkie,  my on-the-go arsenal changes from time to time, but I wanted to share the Curly Girl Method-approved products that I currently keep in my purse/bag.  And by “share,” I obviously mean overshare, so I’ve also included reviews of the products, too:)

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray (Sample/Travel Size)

Honestly, leave in conditioner solves the majority of curl issues…and Rosarco Milk has been a favorite for a while now.  I use it after washes and before applying styling products and even to refresh my curls between washes.  This teeny bottle came as a hoarder reward from Sephora, but I refill it from my regular-sized bottle so I can have some for home and some on-the-go.   I don’t think they sell a stand-alone mini-sized Rosarco Milk (boo!), but I know you can buy it within a kit of travel-sized products from the line from Sephora or the company website.

As my on-the-go bestie, I keep this cutie in my purse to add some moisture and tame frizz. I could literally just carry this and be good to go on most days.   I simply spray into my palms, rub together and smooth over my hair from my mid-shafts down using the praying hands method, and then scrunch a bit. To tame my frizz at my crown, using my fingers, I also smooth some onto the wild baby hairs near my face.

Now, pardon me as I digress from why I keep this in my bag and generally gush about this stuff.  It’s more than just a curly or wavy hair staple. Made with Rosehip Oil, Argan Oil + Coconut Oil, it is magic for literally any hair type that needs extra hydration, flyaway S.O.S., and protection without weight.    Not only is it super-light, but it is also a thermal and UV protectant that’s great for blowouts or anyone who diffuses with the occasional blast of warm air (guilty!)   I am shying away from blowouts nowadays, so I have yet to use it for this purpose; but as a recovering blowout addict, my spidey-senses tell me that this will be marvelous.  And the scent. Oh, kill me now.  It is this perfect balance of clean, fresh and floral.   Besides, who doesn’t love supporting a brand founded by a legit boss lady determined to make clean hair products that work?  Just sayin’. Basically, this is my best friend in a bottle and I gladly recommend it to all!

Full ingredients:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, C20-22 Alcohols*, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, Cetrimonium Chloride*, Cetyl Esters*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir) Oil, Glycerin*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60*, Polysorbate 80*, Fragrance (Parfum), Aminomethyl Propanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. *Coconut, vegetable, or derived.

Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream (Travel Size)

The Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream always comes through when I need more than just some moisture.  To use for a quick, on-the-go refresh, I take just about a pea-size + a few drops of water and emulsify in my palms. Then, I apply it just as I would the Rosarco Milk (above).  I avoid my crown with this product, and instead, using my fingers, I also twirl the product/water mixture individually over any misbehaving curls/waves.  If you don’t have water, that’s perfectly okay; just note that this (like so many creams) is thick, so you may have to intentionally smooth and scrunch it into your hair a few times to ensure absorption.

I purchased this product on a whim, so I’m glad I bought the travel size because I learned quickly that it’s way too heavy as a regular styler for my hair density and porosity.  And, I prefer more hold than it offers.   After some trial and error, however, I found its purpose in my life: to revive my wavy curls by zapping frizz while adding some definition and shine.  It’s the perfect size to just throw into your bag and keep for curly emergencies. It has many hair-happy ingredients, too, ranging from shea butter and coconut oil to aloe vera and neem oil.  As always, an added bonus with this product line is the affordability and the glorious coconut-pineapple scent.

As an important side note (and, a possible drawback for some), glycerin is the second ingredient.  So, you may want to note the dew points if you do use this by checking your favorite weather app.  I’ve brushed on glycerin without providing more context in previous posts…but, basically, if the dew point is less than 40% where you reside, then you may find that this product (or any with high amounts of glycerin, i.e., if it is listed in the top five or so ingredients) dries out your hair. Alternatively, if it is over 60%, then you may find that it draws too much moisture into your hair, thereby loosening your definition and causing frizz.  The optimal dew point for using a product that has high glycerin concentrations is 40-60%.   For a much better explanation of how hair reacts to glycerin/dewpoints, check out CUSH Cosmetics’ blog post on the topic.

Full Ingredients:

Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, Propanediol, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyquaternium-10, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Laminaria Cloustoni (Sea Kelp) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate-60, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil On-The-Go Conditioning Hair Fragrance

Desperate times call for this little piggy.  When used correctly, its awesome for moisturizing and adding shine to dehydrated strands.  And, lest we not forget the incredible smell.   I have been using this on days three or four post-wash when my hair is its driest. I grab the bottle, stick my arm straight up toward the ceiling, spray it once or twice into the air, and let the mist fall onto my hair.  Or, I’ll spray it once into my palms, rub them together and smooth over the ends. It’s especially great in these winter months if you have plans after work and need a quick fragrance and moisture boost.  Added bonus: It doubles as a cuticle oil.  Shazam!

As for the benefits of the ingredients, I am a HUGE fan of Manuka Honey due to its anti-microbial and moisturizing properties, which is what drew me to this particular line of SheaMoisture products. Per the packaging, the Mafura Oil contains high levels of oleic acid that helps replenish oils stripped from hair.  And, African Rock Fig contains antioxidant-rich Vitamin C.

Some teeny drawbacks I have found:  due to its oil-like consistency, it can be heavy for me if I use more than I have described herein.  Additionally,  it is a little bigger (4 oz) than the Briogeo and Cantu so it may add some clutter to your bag.  Also, while I haven’t had any issues with leakage from the pump, I have read that others have experienced this, so be warned.

Full Ingredients:

Isopropyl Myristate, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Heptyl Undecylenate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Certified Organic and Fair Trade Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Trichilia Emetica Seed Oil, Honey, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Ficus Carcia (Fig) Extract

Extra Hair Tie and Pins 

Sigh.   I won’t lie to y’all.  Sometimes, the wavy and curly purse essentials fail and the troll wins.  On these days, I like to be ready.  A ponytail.  A bun.  A braid.  Anything I can whip up in my car or office bathroom on the fly! 

So, whats in your bag? What are your favorite wavy or curly purse essentials?  Let me know in the comments!

FTC: I purchased all products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own.

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