Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Natural Hair Sisters, You'll Never Believe What the Military is Doing...

Military Bans Twists and Other Natural Hairstyles, Say it Ain’t So!

There have been a few stories in the media that have gotten us all riled up about natural hairstyles and their acceptance in our society today.  We’ve dealt with the expulsion of a Florida girl over her afro-styled hair and now this.  Now, we’ve spent time perfecting the natural hairstyles and embracing our kinky curls, so it’s easy to see why this new regulation is being touted as racial bias.  But is it really?  The armed forces are known for their standard uniformed rules and regulations. Do we really want to assume the intent behind this?

What Natural Hairstyles is the Military Banning?

On Monday, Army Regulation 670-1 was released.  This regulation includes guidelines that specifically address natural hairstyles such as cornrows, twists and braids.  Among those banned natural hairstyles are dreadlocks and twists.  However, dreadlocks and twists have been banned since 2005, and braids are only given stipulations such as the size and diameter of the braids.
Army Bans Multiple Natural Hairstyles
The new regulations were approved after a focus group and a survey that was conducted with senior enlisted women. But this hasn’t stopped the comments and criticism that is flying across social media. Critics say this move is unreasonable, especially since 30 percent of women in the military are non-white.

The Natural Hairstyle Debate Begins

As you all know, I’m all for unique and lovely natural hairstyles, but in all fairness, I’m not sure that this move was sparked by anything remotely close to racial “tensions”.  Essence magazine recently hosted a #lunchtimedebate with arguments that the ban makes sense:
@i_be_maurice @ESSENCE_Debates @IFeelPrettyInc Braids are heavy and sometimes big. Headgear wouldn’t fit over the hair #lunchtimedebate— Gwendalyne (@reneegwendalyne) April 3, 2014

According to the Army, these new rules are necessary to maintain uniformity within the military. This includes the issue with headgear, which is expected to fit snugly without discomfort and distortion. 
On the other hand, the move created reason for a White House Petition that has collected over 10,000 signatures.  The petition requests that the Army re-consider the ban of specific natural hairstyles, while also outlining the need for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.
Army Bans Multiple Natural Hairstyles

Natural Hair Sisters are Making Too Big of a Deal About the Natural Hairstyle Debate

Natural hair and the natural hairstyles that come with it are a beautiful thing to embrace, however, as a woman who spent time in the Marine Corps, I guess I understand, especially when it comes to headgear.  I’m thinking that the move is geared more towards maintaining styles that will be comfortable with the uniform requirements. 

Here’s the bottom line, if this is the military’s true reason for regulating certain hairstyles, because they interfere with uniform requirements, I’m all for it.  And we have to take into consideration that there are other hairstyles that the military does not allow, regardless of whether your hair is straight or not.  Natural hairstyles are a beautiful thing, but if they are limited for practical reason, I don’t think there’s an issue.

What do you all think about the Army banning specific natural hairstyles?

The Big Wig Trends For Natural Hairtypes

Beat the Humidity with These Top Big Wig Trends

Humidity sucks, especially when you’re into defined natural hairstyles or bone straight press outs.  Sometimes, there’s no anti-humidity/frizz control serum that will help.  So what’s a natural hair sister to do?  Wigs, wigs and more wigs.  Wigs are not only a great protective hairstyle, they are also a great way to style up for a night on the town without the worry of sweat outs and hair frizz.

Top 5 Wig Styles that Will Keep those Tresses Safe and Frizz-Free

Wigs have become the newest and one of the best trends when it comes to natural hair.  A lot of women have the misconception that if you’ve gone au natural then wigs are obsolete.  I’ve recently made the transition to “wigged” up styles when it’s time for a girls night out, mainly because of the irritation of sweating out my natural hairstyle. They’re also perfect for girls who want to experiment with short and long hairstyles, without having to mess with their real hair.  Here are the top 5 wig styles I rock:

 Windblown waves and layers. One thing that’s very popular right now is mid-length layers and waves.  I love this style particularly because it resembles my own hair when I straighten and layer.
Windblown Waves
Natural Hairstyles, but is that her real hair? Call me crazy, but I like wigs that are big.  And when I say big I mean BIG.  Big curls and waves.  It’s just another way for me to have my hair ”out” without the worry of my actual hair being exposed to the elements.  I can easily keep my hair moisturized underneath, but still rock the natural hairstyles I love.
Natural Wonder
Cut and color experiment. Dying hair is a big decision for some of us natural hair sisters.  A lot of times I will wear a different colored wig to see how my actual hair would look like.  I experiment mainly with colors I’m in question of.  Reds, purples and honey brows are usually how I change my hair color, without changing it at all.
Switch It Up
Short and sweet.  I love bobs! But I do not love them enough to cut my own hair into one.  Since I am deathly afraid of short hair on my own head, I definitely take advantage of the bobs that made Rihanna popular.  Partial wigs and pieces are excellent to replicate the perfect short look.

Banging and bobbin’. Bangs, bangs and more bangs.  I love the look of bangs on mid length or long wigs.  Furthermore, I’m a big fan of the side swept Aaliyah type bang. Perfect for date nights or work wear.

There's no doubt that wigs are versatile and give my natural hair sisters free-reign to switch up their styles.

What are some wig styles you like to rock?

Tell Me If You Feel Me: Celebrity Shows Off Fabulous Fro

Hot or Not? Artist Brandy Shows the World Her Tresses Without Weave

We’re not mad at you Brandy! Go ahead with your fabulous self!

We’ve all seen a much needed shift in the celebrity world where actresses are becoming a lot more confident when it comes to natural hair.  Right now we’re taking a look at singer and songwriter Brandy, after she posted cute and cheeky photos on her Instagram a few days ago, rocking a solid and full fro to the world.  But the star is not shy when it comes to rocking anything but weave styles, and we’ve got to say that we’re loving it!

Natural Hair Heaven for Celebrities

There’s a bit of jealousy when we talk about celebrity hair.  Seems that all that weave wearing has done our favorite stars some “good”.  But Brandy in particular is not a stranger when it comes to wearing natural hairstyles in public.  The singer recently promoted the BET’s The Game with Marley twists, but decided to surprise her fans the other day with a switch up. 

Celebrity Natural HairstylesAlthough there’s speculation that the fro is nothing but another hair piece, it’s apparent that natural is her style.  However, we wouldn't be surprised if Brandy’s hair had some length and fullness to it. And it didn't take much for her to crack jokes on IG.

 ”My #fro looks better than yours, I can teach you, but I’mma have to charge!!”
Brandy also stopped by The Queen Latifah Show with her natural tresses, thanking her hairstylists.
“I love my look @Rennyvasquez, @ashleyseanthomas and@tymwallacehair #dreamteam thank you to @bcstarrand @heatfreehair for my fro and @jazzashley for the cut:) can’t do this without you #all!! #blessed”
What do you think of Brandy's natural look? Is she rocking it?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Win Those Thinning Edges Back: Tips for Braids and Natural Hairstyles

How to Win Those Thinning Edges Back: Tips for Braids and Natural Hairstyles

I was recently talking to a woman this week and I have to say she’s my inspiration for this post. The woman had beautiful curls, but I couldn't help but notice that the edges of her hair, so carefully pinned back by braids, were almost non-existent. I won’t fib and say that I’ve experienced maximum thinning with my edges, but for some reason, I have this spot on my hair line that I swear to this day was caused by a bad accident with Hot 6 Oil.   I’ve also participated in my fair share of natural hairstyles, namely braids, that have tugged on my natural tresses.  Braids and natural hairstyles that slick, tighten, or hurt are one of the leading and controllable reasons for thinning edges and hair loss. However, it’s not impossible to win those tresses back by ditching certain hairstyles.

Quit the Braids, Pony Tails and Harsh Hairstyles in Order to Grow Those Thinning Edges

In my previous post, the natural hairstyles that I’m all about are afros, curls and big hair.  But there have been times when I’ve wanted to use extensions as a great protective natural hairstyle.  I do, however, remember a time when I’ve tried other natural hairstyles in my youth.  My mother-in-law remembers when I wanted to try weave for the first time at 19 (Yes, she was my Mother-in-Law back then!).  We went to a hair salon in Detroit and my mother-in-law, being the weave expert, asked the hairstylist to create a “quick weave”.  I was then asked if I wanted to use “glue” to hold the quick weave.  I politely declined, although at the time I had no idea what hair glue could potentially do to my edges (I was just thinking I was too lazy to try to wash it out).Thinning Edges a Common Problem

I’m not too sure we can call “quick weaves” or wigs, combined with glue, a protective and natural hairstyle, especially if you are trying to keep your edges.  Glues tend to pull and tug at the follicles, and can lead to traction alopecia.

If you just cannot let go of the weave, opt for half wigs or U-part wigs.  These types of wigs give naturalistas free reign when it comes to length retention and saving those edges.  These natural hairstyles often allow for you to leave a little bit of hair out in the front.  This will reduce the stress placed on the hairline.
Thinning Edges due to braids
Braids can also tug and pull on the hairline.  Instead of opting to tame those edges, leave them a bit loose.  Loose braids are a much more preferred option than having to deal with hair loss.

The moral of this natural hairstyle story?  News flash ladies: any natural hairstyles such as braids and weaves that are done tightly can put stress on your edges.   

I always say that the first step to recovery is to stop what you were doing that caused the problem in the first place.  Ditch the ridiculously tight braids and hair glue and give your tresses a break.  This is when we can begin to make a full, natural hair care recovery.

When it’s time to rock a fashionable protective hairstyle like braids or wigs, what tips do you have to keep your hair healthy and strong?

Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Win Those Thinning Edges Back Part 2: Five Products to Include in Your 'Aresenal'

Natural Haircare Rehab Starts With Natural Hairstyles that Help, But Also Natural Products that Promote Hair Growth

More than likely you are here because you've graduated from the first stage of rehab, which was to successfully let go of slicking, tightening and gluing those tresses.  We've already established that one will need to ditch the tight braids and weaves, despite how fabulous they make your edges look.  Once you've ditched those kinds of natural hairstyles, it’s time to load up with products to start you on the path to natural hair care recovery.

Five Products and Methods that Will Promote Hairline Hair Growth

I've tried all of these products ever since my Hot 6 Oil incident so many years ago, and they've all worked really well.  However, be sure to remember that all hair grows differently, and that these are suggestions to help with edge retention and growth.

Win back those thinning edges product #1: Jamaican Black Castor Oil.  I’ve been blessed to have a Jamaican mother who would use this stuff on my hair a lot as a child.  However, that version of Jamaican Black Castor Oil smelled a lot worse than the fragranced products of today.  Neverless, Castor oil is an amazing detoxifier, and is great at stimulating hair growth.  Just be cautious to avoid mixtures that contain mineral oil or petroleum. 

Win back those thinning edges product #2: MSM.  I will do a results post soon, but I’ve recently discovered MSM or (Methylsulfonylmethane).  It sounds like a scary concoction of scary chemical compounds that can spell hair disaster, however it’s not. MSM is a natural part of every cell function and is particularly concentrated in the tissues of the skin, nails and hair.  It promotes healthier skin, nails and get this…  It also improves blood circulation which has also been linked to increased growth. I’ve been taking it as a dietary supplement after hearing great reviews from a friend who has been using it for a while now. 
Win back your thinning edges

Win back those thinning edges product #3: Coconut Oil.  I’m sure this is an integral part of all natural hair types.  Coconut oil is said to have a plethora of benefits for the scalp.  It promotes hair growth by renewing the skin of the scalp and promoting exfoliation.

Win back those thinning edges product #4: Aloe Vera Gel or Juice.  Aloe vera includes a lovely little enzyme that stimulates new hair production.

Win back those thinning edges product #5: Rosemary Oil.  Rosemary oil or even just rosemary leaves do the trick.  I often employ the method that involves making a cooled Rosemary Tea mixture and using it as a rinse. If you are going to use the essential oil of Rosemary, be sure to double it with a carrier oil (Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, etc) to avoid irritation. Rosemary is known to increase blood flow.

Incorporate these products into your everyday routine, often by massaging into the affected areas (Don’t rub MSM on your scalp though).  But remember, patience is key when it comes to any hairline hair growth.

Did I miss any products that will help you win back those thinning edges? Comment below. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

This Epidemic is Close to My Heart (And My Home)

Is Skin Bleaching a Sign of Failure? Failure To Accept Ourselves and Each Other?

In the long list of controversial topics, skin bleaching shows up on the list more than once.  I was particularly moved to write about this topic.  Today, I was going through The Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper and there was a special documentary put out on their website.  This documentary was on the topic of Jamaica’s Skin Bleaching Epidemic. Now, all my life I wasn’t aware there was a skin bleaching epidemic among the black community, but after doing more research, I found out that its more talked about than I initially thought.  This brought up many questions about our society as a whole.  Are we fueling a lack of acceptance of ourselves and each other?
Skin Bleaching, Sammy Sosa
In my last post, Relaxed vs. Natural I talked about the division between natural hair sisters, and relaxed sisters and how the division is based on assumptions and stereotypes. But it’s become more apparent to me that something like wanting your skin to be whiter and lighter brings up more questions, especially when its at the expense of your own health.  What is wrong with the skin we’re in? Are we willing to literally ruin our body’s way of functioning to achieve this ‘look’?

After watching a documentary about Jamaican women who bleach their skin, I decided to do a little more digging into this so-called epidemic here abroad.  I noticed those accused of skin bleaching were mainly celebrities, who at one point appeared to be darker, but then their complexions slowly lightened over the years.  Now, whether their tone is the work of skilled makeup artists and lights, or they actually skin bleach or not is not really known, but one has to consider that it just goes to show that there’s something about being lighter that some people feel attracted to.Vybz Kartel Skin Bleaching

I remember my mom used to use Madina Skin Lightener, and without really knowing what it was, I tried it out without her knowing.  Of course I had a severe allergic reaction to the stuff, but I did go through a period of trying to use her whitening products because in the summer I was “just too dark”.  Could it be that the images we see influence us to change our standards of beauty, and in effect abandon acceptance?  What occurred to the great days where we accepted what we couldn’t really change and celebrated that?

I think we are bombarded with so many images of what we should look like, and we forget about accepting others and ourselves for what we have and who we are.  On the dark side of body modifications like skin bleaching, there are a lot of proven risks and side effects that can leave women worse than what they started with. And you know me, I can't get down with any chemical alterations.

Here’s the bottom line, I think we need to be more aware of who we let influence us.  Be more in tune to positive influences that encourage us, motivate us and strengthen us.  Negative influences that are behind debates such as “Light skin vs. dark skin” and all of that tear us down, and ruin our ability to see past those superficial differences.

But enough of me rambling.  Can’t we all just focus on world peace or something?

Have you run into this issue?  What are your opinions about skin bleaching?

Natural Hairstyles for Women: Relaxed vs. Natural

The Great Natural Hairstyle Debate:  What does it mean to be relaxed or natural?

I was going my usual natural hair care search when I came across a Facebook page dedicated to all natural hairstyles.  Too often we see the Natural Hair Nazis vs. the Straight Haired-Self-Hatred crowd.  But is the debate between natural hairstyles and relaxed hairstyles a valid one?  This page, called Relaxed and Natural has changed my whole mode of thinking.  The site showcases both ways to care for straightened tresses, as well as natural hair types.  The bottom line, I believe, is to lay to rest the natural hair debate and focus on other important things..oh…like…maybe putting a stop to the promotion of division among people? Or maybe world peace or something…..?

What Does is Mean to Be Relaxed or Natural?

Relaxed is a term that is usually meant to describe the chemical alteration of African American Hair to produce the straight effect.  It also is used as a means to create more manageable hair for kinkier, curlier natural hair types.  Women who use a relaxer are usually cast as women who are deeply rooted in self-hatred, choosing to  fit in with their slave-owners.  Straight hair is often portrayed with professionalism and upper class, or at least its said to be. A woman who’s had relaxed hair could never go back to those comb-breaking tight curls that were so hard to deal with.  Neither could they do dreads.Relaxed and Natural Debate

On the other hand we have our natural hair sisters, who are proud of their kinky curly natural hair.  The curls and kinks of their follicles are woven with 1400 years of bondage.  They are proud, they are strong, because they choose NOT to abandon the original image of their ancestors.  Relaxed women to them are society’s downfall.  Just another set of women who cannot accept who they are.  They are pour souls drowning in their need to fit in with white America.

Divisions Are Strong When It Comes To Natural Hairstyles and Stereotypes

If you’ve looked at both of these descriptions and said to yourself these are exaggerated descriptions, I would beg to differ.  Some take this division this far.  I choose to call it a division because it is a baseless and irrelevant reason to separate ourselves (And by Ourselves, I mean the Human Race). Natural Hairstyles vs Relaxed Hairstyles

What Natural Hair and Relaxed Hair Means to Me (And The Majority)

If you choose to wear your hair natural, kudos!  I’m choosing to do that too.  If you choose to wear your hair relaxed, kudos! I’ve heard of some really great methods to keep relaxed hair healthy and strong from people like TheHappyHairShow and RelaxedandNatural.  The bottom line is, the style of hair you wear means nothing of how you see yourself. 

My personal views about relaxing or natural hair stem from my love of all things organic and beneficial.  I did not choose to "go natural" simply because I am proud to be Jamaican-Canadian, black or whatever, but because I view the use of chemicals as a hindrance to my overall health.  A few years ago a woman asked my why I went natural, and my exact response was "I don't know how I feel about chemicals being that close to my brain."

Yes, maybe women can’t stand their kinky hair, and maybe women can’t stand straightened hair, the point is we should accept each other’s outward appearance and not make assumptions on how our styles may “show” how much we hate ourselves inside.  This is simply not true.

What natural hair vs relaxed hair stereotypes have you come across in recent years?

Natural Hairstyles for Transitioning Women

The Big Chop Is For My Bold and Brave Natural Hair Sisters, Just Not For ME

Not everyone chooses to start all over.  I, for one, was not one of them.  We’re not knocking the brave hair sisters who cut it all off.  Rock those TWA until you can’t no more!  But this post is mainly for my natural hair sisters who are a little bit hesitant when it comes to enduring a “big chop”.  One thing is for sure, rocking two textures is a bit hard, but transitioning can be made easy if you know where to start and what to do.

Transitioning Hairstyle that Involve Heat (Not My Most Recommended Choice for Natural Hair Sisters)

Although this is not my most recommended choice of styling, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I did not use these hairstyles when I first began transitioning.  The best way to hide your line of demarcation (The place where the two textures meet) is to employ low heat blow dried styles.  I used roller styles and a salon grade blow dryer.  I would even take a hot comb to my roots from time to time.  Like all straight styles however, it is important to ensure hair is protected from heat and moisturized.

For my natural hair sisters who are staying away from heat altogether, using roller sets and allowing them to air dry is also a great way to stretch the hair and blend the two different textures.  There’s obviously going to be a thinner appearance to your edges, but curly natural hairstyles make a world of difference.

Transitioning Hairstyles that are No Different Than Natural Hairstyles

When in doubt, twist it out!  Twist outs and other protective hairstyles are ideal.  As you’re natural hair begins to outshine you’re straightened tresses, try adopting twist outs, flat twists loose braids and buns. Synthetic hair use is also a fabulous way for my natural hair sisters to hide that transitioning line. 

In addition to simply twisting and braiding, twist outs and braid outs both stretch the hair but also allow for fabulous defined waves.  When I first began transitioning I remember my mom used to do my hair in bantu knots.  When they would dry, I would slap on this hideous headband, smoothing down the edges and rock my wavy tresses.  Despite the headband, I would say it was an amazing style, perfect for my transitioning hair.

Do You, Boo!

Whether you choose to do the big chop, or transition like I did, the goal is simple, just do you! Whether you feel like hiding those two textures or making them your own, rock your own style how you want to. 

What are some of the reasons you natural hair sisters opted out of the “big chop”?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Biggest Hair Care Myths for Natural Hair Types

Biggest Hair Care Myths for Natural Hair Types

We've all done it; heeding the advice of the friend or parent, whom think they know what’s best for your natural hair.   Through the constant passing on of information can be beneficial, I thought it important to put to death natural hair myths and legends.  We are not here to trash anyone, but it appears that our parents and friends (Depending on where they grew up) are usually spoon feeding us natural hair care sisters hair care tips and tricks that are “beneficial”.  Natural hair types need not worry, however, because it is time to separate fact from fiction when it comes to our locks.  Let’s face it, there is a lot of information out there concerning how we should care for our hair.  But have you ever though that all of it may not be true for certain natural hair types?

The Biggest Myths of Natural Hair Care History

Hair Care Myths For Natural Hair Types #1: Frequent Trims Help Your Hair Grow.  If you've been following this blog you may have picked up on the fact that I hate….no…..loathe trimming my hair.  Call it habit.  When I was in high school I never trimmed my hair, and it remained just as long.  As I've grown older, I do see the importance of trimming, but for natural hair types, I’d say a healthy number is about once every 6 months…maybe. It has long been discovered that trimming the ends of your hair do not guarantee hair growth.  In fact, there is very little evidence that trimming the ends of your hair, effect the follicles in your scalp.  Those follicles determine your hair growth rate, not the amount of times you take scissors and hack off your ends.  Once, I took the advice of a friend in college who was straightening my hair.  She kept telling me how much I needed to trim my ends, and that I should be doing it every few weeks.  I took this advice, and lo and behold my hair was getting shorter! Because of how often I trimmed, I just ended up cutting into my length!  So not natural hair sisters, you do not need to trim often.
Hair Care Myths for Natural Hair Types #2: Brush 100 Strokes a Day.  Now, I really want to have a conversation with the person who came up with this one.  I see where they were going (distribution of natural oils) however, this isn't necessarily true. Brushing causes way too much friction on the hair leading to cuticle damage AND a lot of breakage.  No brushes please.Hair Care Myths for Natural Hair Types
Hair Care Myths for Natural Hair Types #3: A Cold Water Rinse Promotes Shine.  Not only does this myth sound uncomfortable, it doesn't make sense.  From what science knows about hair, we discover that hair contains no living cells.  This means that it can neither react to cold or hot conditions (Aside from burning).  The trick to shinier hair is incorporating oils and moisturizing humectants into your healthy hair regimen.
We've been given so many pieces of advice when it comes to our natural hair.  It may be overwhelming to sift through the noise, but with a little help from the bookworm syndrome, we can discover advice that is tailor made to each natural hair type.

What are some hair care myths you've debunked?  Hair sisters, let us know what works well for your natural hair type.

3 Things That My Naturally Kinky Curly Hair Cannot Live Without

Items That I Must Have Stocked In My House for Maximum Natural Hair Care and Styling

Our naturally curly and kinky hair requires much maintenance.  Moisture is the number 1 recommendation, while regular, gentle brushing and detangling sessions come at number two.  I’m very much tempted to say that trimming the ends is just as important as moisturization, but that is going to take a back seat for now. We all have something in our hair care closet that gets us natural hair sisters through any season, come rain or shine.  Here are five items that get my hair through the everyday stresses that come my way.

Styling and Protecting My Naturally Kinky Curly Mane

My satin bonnet is a bedtime buddy for my Natural Kinky, Curly Hair. I never go to bed without satin something in my hair.  I cringe at the thought of actually going to bed with nothing wrapped around my head.  Now those are the things nightmares are made of. My natural hair cannot live without satin…well…because it would simply get ripped out.

Natural Hairstyles Wouldn’t Work Without…You Guess It…Bobby Pins.  Ok, so maybe I made a generalized statement.  There are people in this world that can style their hair without the use of bobby pins.  But, I either need to expand my horizons for my natural hair, or I’m just challenged when it comes to holding hair in place.  I do a lot of fro hawk styles, as well as high buns, so I definitely don’t find myself putting away the bobby pins anytime soon.

Shea Moisture Brand Products for Styling My Natural Hair. I’m very picky with hair products.  Like I’ve once said in my healthy hair challenge, I’m starting to hold myself accountable for what I decide to put on my head.  I first pursued the Shea Moisture brand products after discovering my absolute LOVED line of hair care products contained a compound called Urea.  For all intents and purposes here, I will be putting them on blast.  Eh em….it was the Organix line you'd often find at Wal-Mart and Target.  Urea is a chemical found in…you guessed it….urine.  I’m not sure about the rest of the natural hair community, but that just isn't right and helpful to natural hair.  So, I found myself so devastated that I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply that same day.  A friend of mine had reviewed the Shea Moisture products before and had me convinced.  I’ve been hooked on the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and the Shea Moisture, Moisture Retention Shampoo.

My Natural Hair and the Phone: Yes, My Hair Needs the Phone Too. I know what you’re thinking: Why does her hair need a phone? Without my phone, I would simply have a limited way to communicate and share hair care tips and ideas with others.  I also enjoy utilizing my phone to share ideas on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  This is in addition to the fact that DIY fun usually takes place when I have access to a mobile device and WiFi.
Moisture and Growth Retention for Naturally Kinky Curly Hair

There you have it folks, the top 3 things that my natural hair cannot live without. 

Can you add to this list of things that your natural hair needs?  Comment below.

The Top Natural Hairstyles for African American Women

The Top Natural Hairstyles for African American Women: Switch it Up!

I’m back at it again! Challenging myself to take on new natural hairstyles for African American women.  I’ve embarked on this journey because there are times when I simply want to do more with my kinky curly locks.  Too often we limit ourselves to a style that us natural hair sisters feel comfortable with.  In my case, I often stick to styles that I know will be low maintenance.  Whatever the reason, there’s nothing to lose when it comes to switching up the ‘ol style.  There are some hairstyles for African American women that I truly admire, and once I receive the patience to style my natural hair like how the following ladies have done, I will definitely be trying these styles out.

Natural Hairstyles for African American Women, Or Just Curly Beauties in General

Top Natural Hairstyles for Women #1: Roman Braids. 

I call these Roman Braids because they remind me of ancient Roman women.  I once visited the Detroit Institute of Arts where there were displays of old pottery with women painted on them.  This was often the hairstyle of choice.  That is what I love so much about curly, kinky tresses.  The selection of natural hairstyles is endless.

Top Natural Hairstyles for Women #2: Bob Marley Twists 

Natural Hairstyles for African American Women
Ok, so they are not called Bob Marley twists.  Call it a little Jamaican coming out.  I’ve been wanting to try this style for quite a while.  I love the thickness of the twists.  Not to mention that Bob Marley twists are a great protective hairstyle for women if maintained and taken care of correctly.  That means, not leaving them in too long and ensuring that natural hair is fully moisturized.

Top Natural Hairstyles for Women #3: The High Society Braided Bun

Natural Hairstyles to Switch Up
I’ve half way tried this one.  But I’ve always admired this natural hairstyle because of its versatility.  It can be couple with dressing up, but it’s also not too dressy to where I cannot sport this style at work. Definitely classy and sleek.  Now, just to get passed the fact that a blowout is necessary to achieve this style. I may try to take a short cut and opt to stretch my hair, rather than blow it out. 

Top Natural Hairstyles for Women #4: Faux Bangs

Natural Hairstyles for African American Women
Anything that’s reminiscent of the 50s era catches my attention.  I believe we’re in an era where any natural hairstyle can be pulled off, including blasts from the past.  With the scarf, this style is very 50-ish, however, I’m also really digging the faux bangs here.  Assuming this style starts with a twist out, it’s definitely seems like a great way to turn an old twist out, into a natural hairstyle that’s amazing.

There are pluses when it comes to having kinky, curly hair.  The style options are limitless, especially since natural curly hair types have the luxury of versatile hair.  Add a bit of flair to your workweek natural hairstyles, and have fun with it.

What are some top natural hairstyles for women that are both unique and versatile?

Mid-Length Hair Care Tips for Longer, Stronger and Healthy Hair

Mid-Length Hair Care Tips for Longer, Stronger and Healthy Hair

Every so often I find myself searching for the new and hottest trend in natural hair care tips.  This is because I often see natural hair sisters achieving maximum growth and length through various means.  This is not to say that I would try all of the natural hair care tips available, but that I like drawing ideas from others, to incorporate diverse techniques.  I also often think to myself, what’s a girl got to lose? Definitely not my hair.  This is called my mid-length natural hair care tips for natural hair types.

You’re Almost To Your Hair Care Goal but You’ve Reached a Plateau

Ahhh! You’ve reached the mid-way mark and then that dreadful moment dawns on you-you realize you’ve hit a plateau. I can definitely relate to this issue, which began when I started my natural hair care journey in high school.  After years of putting a damaging perm in my hair, I wanted to get back to the length my hair was in middle school: About 2 inches shy of waist length. Progress was slow, but after months and then years of strictly adhering to all of the natural hair care tips and secrets, I hit a plateau my freshman year in college.  I had reached about an inch below bra-strap length, and have never gone any farther since. 
This is a struggle all too common among natural hair sisters.  But what is it that stunts growth retention?  For someone who’s reached mid-length (Bra-strap), how can we continue to promote healthy and longer hair after a long stay in the plateau zone?

1.       Mid-Length Natural Hair Care Tip #1: Lay off the heat! Frankly, I stopped using heat on my hair about 6 months ago, which I believe was the biggest contributor to my journey into a plateau. I’ve embarked on the healthy hair challenge, vowing that I would never use heat on my hair again.  This may seem unrealistic, but it is definitely achievable.  I have no desire to straighten, blow dry or perm (ESPECIALLY not THAT) my hair.  To me it’s much easier to leave the heat alone.

Fabulous Black Medium Length Hairstyles of Wavy Hair
2.       Mid-Length Natural Hair Care Tip #2: Satin All Around.  Satin pillows, satin bonnets and satin head wraps are where it’s at.  The satin material aids in moisture retention and prevents unwanted tangling. Not to mention, satin material prevents hair from snagging in the fibers of traditional bedding spreads. 

3.       Mid-Length Natural Hair Care Tip #3: Lay off the dye. As much as it pains me to say, no matter how you spin it, dyes change the composition of the hair, and this may lead to breakage and hair damage.  I’m not knocking dying altogether, however.  If you choose to change your mane, heavily moisturizing and caring for your natural hair will be necessary.

Of course this is by no means your complete one-stop-shop for all of your length retention and hair growth needs.  There are many more methods to growing hair that is mid-length, longer and stronger.  But, the most important things that I believe I’ve learned is to be patient, and learn to pick up my hair’s distress signals.  I’ll be posting progress soon.  Hopefully you’ll share yours.

Have you ever found yourself at a hair length plateau? Share your natural mid-length hair care tips with us!

February Must Haves For Natural Hair Types

February Must Haves For Curly, Kinky and Cute Natural Hair Types

There are some months that I prefer more than others, and there are definitely beauty items that I must have for my natural hair.  This February, as the Polar Vortex threatens to tear our ends to pieces, I wanted to share a few things with my natural hair sisters .  Natural hair types must be armed for the winter season, especially when it comes to retaining moisture.  Here are my February must haves for natural hair types.

Winter Months and Polar Vortex’s This Year are Harder On Curly Hair Types

Protective Styling for Natural Hair Types
Courtesy of
We can probably all agree that this year has been a crazy one for us natural hair types.  Who was expecting a Polar Vortex to sweep through the nation and drop temperatures down to outright frigid? As a child, this kind of weather used to get me excited.  Usually snow and freezing temperatures meant no school, blankets, s’mores and cuddling up in a nice warm house.  This may be a livable dream to our young natural hair care sisters, but for the grown and mature hair sisters, the lotto skipped us.  For 99.9 percent of us curly-haired beauties, we have to venture out into the cold to do what we do best: Take care of business. This means that all natural hair types will be exposed to those wicked elements, and if we aren’t careful, can add to the daily beating our hair receives. 

Natural Hair Types Can Survive this Polar Vortex With T-L-C

As with the maintenance of anything, tender loving care definitely needs to be applied, especially when conditions for natural hair grow harsh.  Here are some words of wisdom for caring for your hair while waiting for the vortex to pass, as well as the items I need in February:
Hair Care Tips and February Must Haves for Natural Hair Types

  1.  Natural Hair Types, Do Not Be Afraid to Clip ‘Em! The whole natural hair care community may scream at me for this one, but I hate clipping my ends.  So much so that I delay it for months upon months if I can.  But I have to be honest.  In wintertime, especially during this unusual cold spell, I’ve seen the benefit of having my ends clipped.  That’s why my Goody Styling Essentials Stainless Steel Hair Cutting Scissors takes the cake as my number one February must have.
  2. Retain That Moisture Girls, Natural Hair Types Cannot Live Without It! Contrary to popular belief, heat is not the only element that can spell disaster for natural hair sisters. Surprisingly, in cold climates, natural hair, especially the natural hair types commonly seen in African American women, looses moisture much faster than in warmer climates.  Kera Vada’s Kera10 Ayruvedic Natural Hair Styling Butter is my number 2 pick.  I’m also a big fan of Coconut Oil during this season.  I personally opt for this for both hair and skin. 
  3. Did I Mention That Protective Styles are Necessary for Natural Hair Types During this Season? Protective styles will be a natural hair care sister’s best friend during the winter months.  Keep your ends safe from that harsh mother we call the environment. Put a lid on those curls if need be.  That’s why socks (Yes socks) donuts and Beanies are part of my February must-haves.  Socks-Used as a substitute bun maker; Donut bun makers and Knit beanies (and I bet you thought I was talking about food!).

This winter has been especially cruel to us natural hair types.  However, there is a way to combat this.  That's why, for my February must-haves, I choose to focus and care for my tresses by sealing in moisture (most important natural hair tip of the century) and tucking those curly ends away.

What are some ways that natural hair types should protect their hair?  What are some things that your hair cannot live without in the winter months?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Top 5 Arguments Surrounding the Denman Brush for Natural Hair Care

The Top 5 Arguments that are OUT THERE About the Denman Brush

You know you’ve gotten that feeling when you were first introduced to the Denman Brush.  Those white bristles; the several rows of Denman brush teeth.  It’s quite a terrifying site when natural hair care sisters think about it.  I know for certain that my initial thought was that my poor ends would be screaming at the sight of a Denman brush.  Snagged ends would spell death for many African American hairstyles.   So, I decided to research the renowned Denman brush.  And while I was hoping my hair sisters would have a clear view on how it’s used, I must say the opinions out there have made the selection of a Denman brush a little more challenging.  Denman brushes do this….don’t buy a Denman brush because it’ll rip out your hair….use a Denman brush for awesome detangling!  There are a lot of views floating out there. Here are the tip top 5 arguments I find out there surrounding the Denman brush. 


Too Much Controversy Among My Natural Hair Sisters and The Denman Brush

Denman Brush Argument #1: The Denman Brush Can’t Be Used for Detangling: This is probably the one I’ve come across very often.  Natural hair sisters telling all about how the Denman Brush shouldn’t be used for detangling, unless you want a wad of hair criss-crossing it’s strands into your brush.  The Denman Brush is to be used for defining curls after the hair has already been detangled. 
I recently watched a Youtube video on using the Denman Brush.  And I couldn’t help but notice the countless amounts of comments made by natural hair sisters.  It appeared that they were all collectively screaming at the sound of what could’ve been ripping hair. 
Natural Hair Sisters, Denman Brush

Denman Brush Argument #2: The Only Way to Use a Denman Brush Without Damage is To “Modify It” We’ve all seen it.  Naturalistas modifying their Denman Brush to prevent damage and breakage.  This leaves a question in my mind: Then why not just use a wide toothed comb?

Denman Brush Argument #3: You have to Use an Expensive Denman Brush in Order to Get Maximum Results. Maybe I will pay for this later, but I’m really not into buying expensive hair products, but, this one seems to make a little more sense.  Expensive equals sturdy. And if you have rather thick hair on your head, a large and sturdy Denman Brush would be worth the cash.  I too often break a lot of my cheap combs (Natural sisters you know what I’m talking about).   

Denman Brush Argument #4: The Denman Brush Rids You of Your Shedding Hair and Creates Luminous Shine.  Considering what we all know about brushes.  I think this is the most obvious argument surrounding the Denman Brush.  A great brush in any style distributes the oils from your scalp (or thatyou apply) evenly over your hair, creating a more healthier, shinier look.

Modified Denman Brush
Denman Brush Argument #5: The Denman Brush is Only for Natural Hair Types. For the most part, I’d say this argument is right.  It is for Natural Hair Types. But the position that I found on Natural Black Hair forums was that the term Natural Hair Type only applies to curly haired black women.  But I couldn’t disagree more.  The term Natural Hair Type applies to all women.  And if you want to get specific, you could say all women who have hair that grow out of their head (No offense to my weave wearing sisters).  I was actually surprised to find that the Denman Brush has a variety of uses on all hair types.

Weighing in on the Denman Brush

Whether you are for it or against it, the Denman Brush seems to be both a useful detangling and styling tool.  I think that with any hair tool, careful use has to be employed, which is why after viewing Evelyn from The Internet’s hair tutorial vs Naptural85’s, I’ve decided that if you take great care to be gentle, it’ll work just fine. But as always, the best way to find out is to test it out for yourself.

Natural sisters, what is your detangling and styling routine? Is the Denman Brush something you’ve used?  How well do you think the Denman Brush suits your hair? Help me out here!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tom Boy’s Guide to a Flawless Nighttime Look

In recent years I’ve been trying to step away from my Tom Boyish flavor and act like a girl.  One of my hair care lovely ladies, Jarmelia, of Lia Naturals has been one of the few who've encouraged me to step onto the lady side.  But, I still find myself taking a lot of Tom Boy short cuts when it comes to make up and beauty.   I love looks that include lots of color and kinky curly hair.  Here’s my complete look for any evening outing. I must warn you though, my methods are anything but conventional.

Flawless But Natural Nighttime Look

As a recovering Tomboy, I must say that I'm not to keen on going all out when it comes to make up. This nightime look came entirely from using eye shadow and foundation.

Ditch the Smoky Eye and Go For Big, Bold Color in Your Nighttime Look  

1. Clean Up the Mess.  The first thing you'll want to do for this nighttime look is to clean up any folliage. I've tried several times to get my eyebrows in order without tweezing or shaping, and I've learned through experience that there's no concealer in the world that can cover up messy, grown out eyebrows.  Make sure you clean it up first.

After the clean is finished, use an eye shadow shade that is about a half to one full color lighter than your natural eyebrow color.  You can use an eyebrow pencil, which is the most traditional way.  However, I've never been satisfied with how they make my eyebrows look, so I took an eyeliner brush, wet it, and gently brushed dark brown eye shadow into my brow.  Saves me just a tad bit of money, and works just as well. Place concealer around the brow, underneath and on the top for a neat finish. In this case I used Karma-Naturals Caramel Latte Foundation, wet my concealer brush, and applied.

2. Lots of color for a bold look.  I love color.  If I'm ever going for a nighttime look, I ditch the smoky eyes and opt for bold color.   I used Karma-Naturals Golden Nugget Eyeshadow for the base color, and then built from there.  Next I used Dark Red River.  Use a sturdy eye shadow brush and apply the red tone over a portion of the eye.  This will be blended later.

For our final color, I used Sapphire Gem by Karma-Naturals (At this point you can tell I love this product) for my nighttime look.  Create a line at the outer edge of the eyelid, almost like you were creating a wing, and brush it into the crease.  Do not use too much, or blend too far into the crease, or you may just end up looking like a clown (I speak from experience).  After fully blended, add a dark brown shadow to the outer edge.  Use the same method you used with the Sapphire Gem, only this time, gently brush it above the crease.  This will anchor your blue and prevent it from looking too harsh. I also used Beachy Brown for the brow bone, which is a pink-tan color.  Blend accordingly.

Add you're most liked eye liner.  But, if you guessed that I used eye shadow, you're absolutely right!  I used Onyx.  Wet your eyeliner brush and dip into the shadow, creating a wing at the outer edge of your eye. I added the color to my wet-line and finished up the eye with Gold Nugget around the bottom lid.  I used Wet n Wild Mega Protein mascara to finish off my lashes.

3. The Finishing Touches on This Nighttime Look. Save the under eye concealer for last, especially if you are using glitter shadows like I was.  Apply the concealer in an upside down triangular shape.  This will brighten the under eye.  I also applied concealer to the shaft and tip of my nose to highlight it.   Finish off with the foundation of your choice.  I absolutely LOVE Cinnamon Dark Roast, which is perfect for my red undertones and dark skin.

Curl It Up, Curl It Up, This is How We Ball Out

 Finish out this look with a gorgeously pinned twist-out.  I'd say this look is not too shabby if you're looking to achieve beauty on a budget.  All shadows and foundations were all-natural mineral make-up.  

What did you think about this look?  Have you tried it out? Hate it or love it, sound off.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Natural Hairstyle Horror Stories: The Black Friday Blues

Black Friday is No Joke for Natural Hair Types

Black Friday.  It’s a day when shoppers unite and race to find the best products for the holiday season.  It’s a day that everyone is eager for.  It is also a day that means that the holiday season is just around the corner.  Although everyone associates cheer and pleasantries with Black Friday,  I have to say that my Black Friday will be spent at home, clicking away at the computer.  This is because my very first black Friday was spent warding off blood thirsty crowds as I struggled to get only a few of the usual items needed for natural hairstyles and hair care.  This is my Black Friday hair horror story.

Hair Sisters, On Black Friday Be Sure to Come Prepared

Choose Hairstyles for Short HairIt was the night before Black Friday and I got a call from a friend.  She asked me if I wanted to join her for a nice day of shopping, just to catch great deals at the local stores.  At this point, I’d been a Black Friday newbie.  Everything that this natural hair sister I knew about the day came from ABC News and CNN.  I hesitated, thinking that there was a possibility that I could be trampled by hundreds of holiday shoppers. But of course she reassured me that trampling was only a rare occurrence, and that in this town Black Friday events went smoothly, unlike the events that have taken place in cities like New York or L.A.  Ok I thought.  This shouldn’t be bad.  So I geared up my shopping list, planning on catching a few deals on Kinky Curly Pomade and Knot Today at Target (True story, I was thinking about all things natural hair). 

Finally, we’d arrived the next day at Wal-Mart’s Black Friday event.  All seemed well.  Wal-Mart conveniently had shoppers stand in a neat line to contain any madness.  The people were calm and friendly.  This is going well, I thought.  However, little did I know, that the event hadn’t begun. Shoppers were in line waiting until the clock struck 8.  I had no idea what I was in for.

I Should've Worn Braids or Opted for Short Natural Hairstyles

As soon as 8 o’clock came, and the ribbon was cut from the mounds of items stocked on hundreds of palettes, a frenzy of hands, arms (and even legs) began grabbing and pulling at whatever they could find.  Some of those hands found my hair.  Don’t touch my hair!!!! I shouted. 

Before I could be jerked to the ground I somehow pulled myself away from the crowd.  I watched from the kitchen isle as my friend struggled to grab the last X-Box game before disappearing into the crowd.  I even snapped a few Facebook photos, somehow hoping to capture the Black Friday frenzy and share this moment with my friends.  Simply put, it was crazy.  And to make matters even worse, my friend almost started a fight with a very stocky-looking African American woman with braids. 

Hairstyles for Natural Hair Types

Care for Your Natural Hair Sisters, and Try Natural Hairstyles to Keep Your Locks AWAY from Shoppers

This Black Friday, keep your locks tucked away. Hair braiding, ponies and protective natural hairstyles will work.  Unlike I, who had my hair in a week old twist out.   Pulling your hair back, or even covering it with a beanie will add a whole new meaning to the word protective styling this Black Friday. 

I’m not saying that all Black Friday events are that crazy, but this black Friday, you will catch me online at the November 29 Kera Vada Black Friday Sale.  All my natural hair care products will come straight from the worldwide web.  

This black Friday, enjoy the abundant savings, but opt for natural hairstyles that will keep your hair out of the way of careless fingers.  And if that’s not you’re cup of tea, you can join me online this Black Friday, catching up on sales from a safe place.

During crazy sale events, I prefer braids and natural hairstyles that will keep my hair tucked away, just because of this experience. Tell us about your natural hair horror story.  You just might be featured here on our blog.

Nappy shopping everyone!

Don't forget to share, like and sound off! You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Taking the Healthy Hair Challenge: Using Natural Products for Natural Hairstyles

Treating Natural Hair Right.  Don't Just Use Any Product for Your Everyday Natural Hairstyles

Healthy Hair and Natural Hairstyles
Natural Hair styling Products
Some of us may not be aware of what it truly means to have healthy hair and skin. Furthermore, some of us may not be aware of the effects of our natural hair products and what they can potentially do to our bodies. That’s why I’m taking the healthy hair challenge.  I want to incorporate practices that will not only help grow my mop top, but will also see to it that my body will remain in perfect balance with nature. If I’m going to be conscious about my natural hair, what’s giving a little more TLC to the rest of me?  That’s equally important.

Product Ingredients for Natural Hair Types Can Make a Healthy Hair Challenge…a Challenge

Natural Hairstyles
Ever run into a product where the label was placed ever-so nicely, but once you took a look at the ingredients you could barely pronounce them?  More than likely those ingredients ended in the word parabenYou’ll often catch ingredients like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben in products designed for natural hair and natural hairstyles.  At first glance, your attention may be cast upon the nice label which reads ”Now with Coconut Milk!”, but take a second look. Oftentimes products for natural hairstyles save all of the healthy, nourishing ingredients for last, adding them to the product in small amounts.  So really, what you’ve got is a concoction of methylethylpropylbenzylisobutyl-parabens (Try saying that 3 times fast), with little to no health benefit at all.
So what is the big idea here?  What exactly are parabens and why am I rambling on about them?  Simply put, parabens are some of the most effective preservatives out there.  They are used in hair and skin products, as well as cosmetics.  They prevent the buildup of mold, fungus and bacteria, helping to extend the shelf life of the product.  Sounds like there is no problem with that, right?  Well, the problem with these preservatives is that like most topical ingredients, they can penetrate the skin.  Studies have also proven that traces of parabens can be found in the blood only minutes after application.  In addition to this, parabens also have a tendency to break down into formaldehyde.  Yes, I said it, formaldehyde.  You know, that substance that is used in embalming.  I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’d rather not be prematurely and slowly embalmed if I can help it.  It’s easy to forget that as humans we have pores, and what goes into the body is equally as important as what goes on it.

The Healthy Hair Challenge: Taking the Natural Hair Pledge, and Truly Keeping It...Natural 

Healthy, Natural Hairstyles
With all of the information out there on potentially harmful ingredients, I’m taking up a 30-day healthy natural hair challenge.  I’m taking my own personal pledge to read the label. I will now be one of those women, standing in the beauty isle, taking my time with the ingredients as if I was reading a novel.  I’m choosing not to be captivated by the promise of ”softer, silkier” hair, but rather to inspect these claims thoroughly.  Simply put, if it’s promising hair and skin health yet contains harsh dyes and ingredients like Red 40 and methylparaben, then there is an opportunity that the long term effects may offset the natural hairstyles and long hair I’m hoping to obtain.

Take the healthy natural hair challenge.  What are some ingredients on hair and skin care products that you avoid like the plague? 

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Homemade Deep Conditioner Treatment for Natural Hairstyles

Potions and Concoctions for Natural Hair or African Braid Moisture Problems: First Time Homemade Deep Conditioner Masque

My Braid/Twist/Natural
Sunday night was a night that I had entered into my science lab, and this weekend's concoction: a DIY deep conditioner treatment.  I had a haidas and a minor problem while trying to make my very own homemade deep conditioner masque. I have to say however, that overall I was very satisfied with the result. Usually I do this before braiding at night.  I like to braid my hair in order to allow for less work while it grows.  The African hair braid keeps me from having to style or comb as often and it makes it easier as a low maintenance and low manipulation natural hair style.  Combined with the knowledge of what is already known about hairstyles for black women, homemade deep conditioners and herbal ingredients, thrown in with a little bit of love for everything scientific, I’ve come up with a potion that I think will benefit everyone whether natural hair, braided hair, twists or whatever your choice.

Homemade Deep Conditioner Masque Ingredients

1.      Green Clay Or Calcium Bentonite/Montmorillonite.  Clays are used in popular natural hair care masques such as the clays found in IndianSecret: Healing Clay. I came up with this idea from a blogger, who used this healing clay to restore moisture and bring back defined coils. Green Clay is also great for drawing out impurities, which is why it smoothes and tones skin.

2.      Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I’ve used green clay before, and I notice that when I use this with a water mixture it dries up like the Mohave dessert.  I was afraid that if I allowed this to take place then I would run the risk of ripping my hair out or drying out my braid.  So, instead of using water, I thought it appropriate to use olive oil, which kept the mixture moist.

For Your Natural Hair Journey
3.      Willard’s Water.  Ok, this one was a bit random, however, we’re thinking about the qualities here.  Willard's Water is known for being a catalyst to enhance different supplements, ingredients, etc.  It’s also known for its qualities to help heal the body and cell structure for you natural hair types.  In a “60 minutes” report, Willard’s Water has been shown to be beneficial for just about every part of your body, even down to the cells.

4.      Deep conditioning after rinse out.  I’m a natural hair  product junkie and no one can tell me otherwise.  In this homemade deep conditioner process, I used pretty much everything under the sun to retain moisture and shine, once I rinsed out the masque.  Shea Moisture’s Shea Butter Shampoo and Curling Souffle, as well as Kera Vada’s Aryurvedic Conditioning Oil and Shea Butter moisture sealant.

Proportions When Making A Homemade Masque

I’m sorry to say that I hate measurements and I think this may not be new to other black women. Therefore, I do not have specific ones.  With the green clay, I added enough olive oil to create a nice, pasty consistency. Willard’s Water, however, has to be used sparingly.  One capful (and the cap isn’t that big) is what I used to pour into the paste.  Mix until you receive the consistency you want. In any case, the mixture should provide a thick coat for the whole head.

Homemade Deep Conditioner Downside

The only thing I can honestly complain about when it comes to this homemade deep conditioner is the part where it has to be rinsed out. Warm water and TLC was not enough to get the mixture completely out of natural hair.  I found myself doing two shampoos and one co-wash to get it all out.

Overall I was glad with the result, being the black natural hair type that I am.  I was left with soft and shiny hair, and I had an easier time styling.  But, I have just one piece of advice if you are to try this.  Be sure to test it on a piece of skin to ensure that you have no allergies to any of the ingredients.

What homemade deep conditioners have you tried out for your Natural Hairstyle or African Braids?

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