Monday, June 19, 2017

Vacation Surprise: Lost Luggage & Curly Hair Product Reviews

(Making the most of no luggage when we landed in Norway.  Just happy to be with the kids. In all honesty, had our luggage NEVER arrived, we would have been every bit as happy! Our granddaughter took this photo the second day.)

Back to my story about our vacation in Norway and the Czech Republic.

First, we flew Icelandair.  Here we are flying over the North Atlantic at night.

I'm not a fan of Icelandair.  Smart travelers take advantage of the 2 in 1 vacation they offer: fly Icelandair to Europe and you can stay for 7 days in Iceland--no extra cost.

We didn't.

So, we got all the 3rd world airport discomfort--lost luggage--confusion--bus rides on the tarmac to our planes--walks through rain and cold to board the planes or deboard to the buses--flight attendants that deliver you one drink and then you never see them again--sit with our garbage (because no flight attendants), mobs crowds packing by the hundreds thousands onto one narrow stair case, making their way to the passport check--mayhem, without the corresponding benies.

No surprise, after you've read the above list, my luggage DID NOT arrive at the same time I did.  We were told this is a common complaint for Icelandair--not by Icelandair, of course--but by other travelers we've spoken to since then.   The lost luggage didn't bother me as much as the fact they couldn't find mention of it in the computer system.

That was not reassuring!

Thinking it may NEVER come, I broke down and bought toiletries, underwear  panties (sounds better and more feminine, right?) and one outfit at H&M.  I HATE to shop in malls, even teeny little Norway malls, and that was definitely NOT how I wanted to spend 1/2 a day of my Norway vacation.  Grrr.....

Not to shock you or anything, but approximately 5 hours after I purchased new supplies--they delivered my luggage to the home where we were staying.  Funny how that works.

Anyway, the trip, and traveling with my baby, was all fun, and something pretty cool came of the lost luggage, after all-I found new curly hair products I love.

At this point, you may want to stop reading this blog--I mean POST--not blog--(don't stop reading my blog)--unless you're interested in curly hair product discoveries.  There will be more vacation posts to follow because I still haven't told you my big surprise--meaning the big surprise I got on my last day there. (To be continued.)

Curly Hair Rant Alert:

As most of you know, I recently stopped frying straightening my hair.  Yay, curls!  That said, even discounting the time, tools and products to straighten, natural curly hair can still be complicated and expensive.  Curly hair is always searching for frizz moisture, so you have to wash with a conditioning product, dry with a t-shirt, apply leave-in moisturizer, and then seal the cuticle with a gel, preferably one that leaves your hair soft, natural and bouncy, rather than stiff & brittle.  You really shouldn't blow-dry it either, but if you have to (since it can take a whole day to fully dry) you need to use a diffuser--one that dries the roots, but not the outside.

Needless to say, all of the product and tools were in my luggage.  To replace them, I went to a Norwegian mall in Asker and the associate there (who knew NOTHING about curly hair, but was quite intrigued) set me up with some OUT OF THIS WORLD WONDERFUL products.  There were two that I loved, loved, loved. (And one roll on deodorant that was pretty cool, too, but that's another story.) 

Here they are:

Sachajuan Styling Cream for straight or curly hair.  This is a light weight gel that really holds the hair in place and keeps down the frizz.  I found it on Amazon when I got home, and immediately ordered 2 tubes.  It was only $17.99, which seems a bargain after purchasing the Balmain Curl Cream.  I use this gel after the Leave-in conditioner.  It is also what I use on Day 2, 3, and 4 before washing my hair again.  (Another curly hair secret--wash your hair less.)

The Balmain Curl Cream was not available on Amazon, and was sold out on every US supplier except the Balmain website.  I had to contact a lot of people to even find the online store for the US. I was in a dead-on panic thinking I wasn't going to be able to get it again. Here it is, in case you want to try it, too.  Balmain USA.  It's my ALL TIME FAVE for soft, well-defined, bouncy, natural curls.  Balmain is a fashion line whose shirts can run upwards of $1,000 or more, so their curling cream seems a bargain at $40.00.  It smells good, too.  But, in truth, I don't like to pay $40--$48 with shipping and tax, for a hair product, and I'm doing research to TRY and find one of equal quality for less.  If I do, I'll let you know.  For now, it's like my hair crack.   I use this on Day 1, but lightly, if at all, on Day 2, 3 or 4.  (Which saves money, too, but that's not why I don't use it.  For me, it seems to build-up on the hair with multiple usage.)

Here are some more curly hair suggestions that I've found from my own experience and the experience of others.  In fact, even if you have straight hair, you may benefit from some of these suggestions.

The T-shirt towel!!  A must!  Regular towels damage your hair both by making it brittle and putting to much weight on it while it dries.

Deva Curl Devafuser--it's a diffuser in the shape of hand, that gets right down to your roots and leaves the outside edges alone. 

Celestial Silk Pillow case with zipper.  I've been sleeping on a silk pillowcase for years now. This is one of the best.  It keeps your hair from getting as bed-heady, and it also helps control breakage.  Not to mention, they just feel better against your skin.  I was waking up with facial creases with the old cotton pillow cases--the silk solved that issue.

Before I found Balmain, my favorite soft curl gel was As I Am.  I bought a ton of it because I never wanted to be without.  Its Curling Jelly is pretty good on Day 1, 2 and 3.  I still use it with the SachaJuan.  It's 1/4th of the price of Balmain, and ALMOST as good.  Some  might even say better because it is scentless, whereas, the Balmain has a definite perfume.  I first found it at Walmart--in a special section--but now I order it on Amazon.  I don't like to shop and I have Amazon Prime--which just makes it so much easier.


  1. Ah, the trials of hair. I am constantly on the search for products that give my hair body since mine is pin straight and fine. I have two that I like right now; phew! And I recently found a roll-on deodorant that I like as well -- I think its French or German or something. It doesn't have a super strong scent and works well. The typical drug store specimens give me a rash now. The last time we went to Europe (while ago now) we flew Lufthansa and had a similar experience to yours.

    1. When I get home, I'll look at the name of my new fave deodorant. The same salesgirl recommended it. She was great!! I haven't even searched to see if it's on Amazon yet. I have a ways to go before it runs out...I think. The French, Balmain, is on its last leg--and you know how it is with hair crack--they get you addicted and then you have to have it. Bahahaha. Annette, I'll have to take a picture of all the hair products in my bathroom. It's like a laboratory. And, in fact, I have more coming this week.

      I'll make a note to avoid Lufthansa, too. Now, I must say, for reasons I will have to explain in my next post, I did a get a taste of Comfort Class on Icelandair, and it was pretty amazing up there. ;)

  2. Great photos. I love the silliness and the icy view. Sorry your luggage got lost, but it sounds like you had a good attitude about it.

    1. The view was even better coming home because the sun was out and shining on all the snow-covered mountains of the Arctic. But by then, I was worn out and sick of taking pictures. ;)

  3. Iceland is high on my list of places I would like to see some day! Mostly because of the Northern Lights. I am not a fan of flying, so - not sure I'll ever actually go. It's good to have hair products that work, they are hard to find. Cute pic of you two!

    1. I don't blame you for not being a fan of flying. Every time we get up there, I wonder why it is I trust the airplane to stay in the air. Especially when it's going over the Atlantic Ocean. It's also cramped, and I hear they're planning to take out even more leg room. Personally, I think they will be endangering the health of travelers if the do.

  4. I don't know what my daughter flew when she went to Iceland last year but I don't think she had any problems. Of course, she doesn't fly with luggage just a huge backpack that holds A LOT of stuff. She just flew in from a two week stay in Ireland tonight and flew Aer Lingus. Nice airline. Sorry you had such problems but that's the fun of traveling...not! Like your picture.

    1. Yeah, if you don't have any luggage that would help. She still would have been in that airport though--and that airport is third worldy, but a young person on an adventure probably wouldn't care. For us, it was a pit stop. Good for your daughter for traveling! My next trip to Europe will be my personal bucket list items: Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. I plan to go to the hometowns of my great-grandparents.

  5. I'm glad your luggage found you!

    My hair is curly too, but I think not as curly as yours. I like it, it's easy to deal with most days. I've tried so many different hair products. It can be such a huge waste of money because you might only use it once before realizing it doesn't work at all. Right now I'm using a mousse that costs less than $3. :)

    1. That's awesome that you love your curls, Andrea. You're way ahead of me. My hair is extremely thick, coarse, and curly. Hair stylists have always hated it. I just ordered a book called "Curly Girl." My bonus daughter actually loaned her copy to me a couple years ago, but it was before I was ready to go curly. I read it, but I didn't absorb it. So, I ordered my own copy today. She said there is only one "Curly Girl Certified" hair stylist in the Spokane Coeur d'Alene area. I wish I'd had a curly stylist many years ago, so they could explain my hair to me. As it was, they only made me feel ashamed of it. All of them, except one, seemed pissed off to have to cut and style it. I think it embarrassed them because they didn't know how to do it, and it never turned out right. So, I stopped going to stylists and started cutting my own. I have tried the Dove mousse--there were some curl girls I talked to who absolutely loved it. For me, gels seems to work better for some reason.

  6. You 2 have so much fun gallavanting around together - that's so wonderful!

  7. Ha! Yes, we do. Traveling has become a priority in this window of opportunity age we now inhabit. My husband turns 60 next year, and it's more difficult to do this at 70 and 80, so we're trying to squeeze it all in. We have good horse house sitters, too.


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