Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair Oil Review!

So after my African Shea Butter fiasco, I decided to protect my hair by twisting it up for a few days.  After about 3 days, my hair started to feel dry so I took down my twists. I didn't want to co-wash my hair and I has just gotten Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil 300ml in the mail and decided to try it out.  I ordered it for about $5 from Amazon. You can also get it from your local Indian store and probably get it cheaper.  I used it to try to refresh my hair.

"8 Magical Ingredients"
Triphala, Brahmi, Henna, Neem,
Lemon, Rosemary Oil, Kapurkachri,
Soya Extracts

Instructions: Apply regularly on scalp & hair. For best results, massage & leave it on overnight. 

This product, for me, was almost a bust. That is because, when I first applied the product, I felt no instant results.  The oil is pretty light and it smells like furniture polish which I am definitely not a fan of. Luckily, though, the smell goes away after about an hour. All I did, was smoosh the product sparingly all over my hair.   After I gave it some time for the oil to actually penetrate my hair, my hair felt soft and looked shiny. I do believe that we have a winner here.  I will definitely be using it again in the future to re-moisturize my hair. I may even use it as a pre-poo or hot oil treatment.

3 hours after application
You can see the shine in my hair. This may be exactly what my hair needs! Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil 300ml gets two thumbs up.

Two-Strand Flat Twists on My Daughter's Hair

I've been trying to learn how to corn row and it's not been going so well. My corn rows look loose, bunchy, and crooked. Hey, I'm a beginner.  So, I thought that maybe it would be better for me to start with two strands rather than three and I tried it.  I learned that I have to work with small pieces of hair in order for me to make it look half way decent.  Here are the results after watching an hour of Bubble Guppies. What do you think?

Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Buy Black!

One of the main reasons (besides that the products work for my hair) I use Carol's Daughter, Nubian Heritage, and SheaMoisture products is because they are made and designed by black folks.  This is my way of supporting black businesses and counteracting the beauty supply industry which we all know has been taken over mostly by Asians. It's a known fact that there is a great deal of money to be made in the black hair care industry.  Black women buy hair products 10 to 1.  If you're like me, going natural did not stop you from buying hair products. I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy other products but if you would like to support black businesses as well, then I've compiled this list for you.

Carol's Daughter
Founder: Lisa Price
Description/Background: Lisa Price is literally Carol's daughter. The business started 18 years ago in her kitchen. The company does well when it comes to listening to their customers and catering to their wants and needs. Lisa Price makes hair, skin, and body products with natural ingredients. She has hair products for natural and relaxed hair.  Lisa Price, herself, has transitioned three times and has recently started which is an online resource jam packed with useful tutorials for those who are transitioning. 

Carol's Daughter products that Ive used:
Carol's Daughter Khoret Amen Hair Oil - 2 Oz. $20
Carol's Daughter Khoret Amen Hair Smoothie 8 oz.    $20
Carol's Daughter Hair Balm (4 oz) $12
Carol's Daughter Tui Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo 8 oz $13
Carol's Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie (8 oz) $20

Products can be purchased via, Sephora, Amazon, or at select hair salons.

Earl Bernard, Nyema Tubman, and Richelieu Dennis
SheaMoisture/Nubian Heritage
Founder: Richelieu Dennis
Description/Background: Yes, the same people who make SheaMoisture products also make Nubian Heritage products. Richelieu Dennis started on the streets of Sierra Leone helping his grandmother Sofi Tucker make and sell butters and soaps.  Fleeing from a civil war in Liberia, Richard Dennis and Nyema Tubman immigrated to the United States. Richard and Nyema decided to use what Richard had been taught by his grandmother to make a living for themselves. In 1992, they began selling Shea butter and soaps on the streets of Harlem. Now, SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage are a line of quality, organic hair and skin care products for all ethnicities.

SheaMoisture/Nubian products that I've used:
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk - 12 oz. $9.99
Goat's Milk and Chai Infused Shea Butter 4 Ounces $12

You an purchase SheaMoisture/Nubian Heritage products at Target, Walgreens, and

Kinky Curly
Founder: Shelley Davis
Description/Background: On a trip back to St. Vincent(which is where she is from), Shelley Davis lost all of her hair care products. This forced her to make her own products using herbs and aloe that she found in a friend's yard.  When she arrived back to states, she received so many compliments on her hair that she decided to remake it and start selling it. What you probably didn't know is that a portion of Kinky Curly's sales goes to Charity Water. Charity Water builds wells in underdeveloped countries. 

Kinky Curly Products that I've used:
Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free   $11.99
Kinky Curly Knot Today Conditioner, 8 oz   $11.99
Kinky Curly Curling Custard 16 oz   $30

You can purchase Kinky Curly products at Target, Whole Foods, and on Amazon.

Taliah Waajid
Founder: Taliah Waajid
Description/Background: Taliah Waajid is a licensed  cosmetologist, natural hair care specialist, and natural hair educator with over 25 years of hair care experience. Taliah Waajid opened her first hair salon in 1988.  While advising clients with her hair care wisdom and products, her popularity spread through word of mouth. She has created products for the needs of adults' and children's chemically-free curly hair.

Taliah Waajid's products that I've used:
TALIAH WAAJID Kinky, Wavy, Natural Easy Herbal Comb Out, 8oz $5.89

You can purchase Taliah Waajid's products at Walgreens, your local beauty supply store, and through Amazon.

Design Essentials is another one with founder Cornell McBride, Sr but I have never purchased any of their products(but hope to soon!).

This blog post is only meant to educate and give a face to the products that we're using. As a people, we need to understand that we have economic power and pay attention to where our money is going. For example, a lot of the companies that we use on a daily basis funded the group that created the law that protected George Zimmerman when he shot Trayvon Martin(look it up).  Yeah, it runs deep. So, if I've left anyone out, feel free to let me know and I will add them to the list.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bad Reaction to African Shea Butter?

A lot of the products that I've been using lately (SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage) have Shea Butter in them so it just made sense for me to buy it from the local African store. I mean you get a big tub of it for only $10. I wanted to do a dry twist-out which I've never done. Not sure why. Maybe because it just saved time to just go ahead and twist it while it's wet rather than wait for it dry or blow dry it and then twist it.  I took about 2 tablespoons of Shea Butter and I melted it in the microwave.  I don't like the way that it smells so I added a few drops of Carol's Daughter Khoret Amen Oil which has olive oil and other oils in it. It has a pretty strong fragrance and I thought that it would get rid of the playdough smell that African Shea Butter has.  I applied it to my hair from root to tip before twisting.  I may have used too much but I noticed that my hair began to tangle once I finished twisting. I started to get to knots at the end of my hair and I wasn't even doing anything to it. Hard knots, knots that I would have to cut out of my hair. My hair felt dry and when I touched the ends of my hair, hair was coming out.  My hair felt like it was deteriorating. So I took down the twists and jumped into the shower. I washed my hair with shampoo 3 times to get it out and deep conditioned with Carol's Daughter Khoret Amen Hair Smoothie.  Even as I type this, my hair has SheaMoisture in it and my hair feels so much better than when it had the African Shea Butter in it.  I don't know what the problem was. I guess Shea Butter has to be mixed with something. My hair loves Nubian Heritage Shea Butter with Goat's Milk and Chai but not African Shea Butter by itself?  All I know is that I'm not ever going to use the African Shea Butter on my hair ever again. That was a nightmare.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Co-Wash Update/Modified Curly Girl Method

You guys already know that I'm trying to take shampoo and combing tools out of my hair care regimen. I was successful for about 3 weeks but after a run, my scalp felt so itching and dirty that I just had to. I immediately regretted it.  My hair was doing awesome. It was retaining a great deal of moisture when I was co-washing with Tresemme 24 Hour Body conditioner.  Don't be upset with me but I also decided to do a twist-out and I used my detangling brush before I did my twists. I regretted that as well. I had so much hair in the brush. So now I'm back on track. No more detangling brush. I'm only going to finger detangle in the shower while I'm rinsing out conditioner. As far as shampoo goes, I'm still going to have to find a balance. I'm probably going to try to only shampoo once a month before a henna treatment or something and co-wash every 3 to 5 days, if I can make it 5 days.  This is abnormal for me. I'm doing mostly wash and gos which I haven't done since my TWA days. But it seems to be working for my hair. The less manipulation, the better.

I guess you can call what I'm doing a modified version of the curly girl method.  I say this because I'm not using shampoo or I'm using it less.  I'm washing with a cheap conditioner instead(co-washing). I'm not using any gel but I may in the future whenever I want more hold. The EcoStyler gel worked when I first tried the curly girl/tightly curly girl method. You can read about that here. With the curly girl method, you're supposed to use a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in. According to the directions, the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk - 12 oz.can be used as either a rinse out or leave-in conditioner. I use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk - 12 oz. as a leave-in. It works for my hair.  I apply it on damp hair instead of dripping wet hair and I guess that how it's modified. This modification happened by accident. My daughter woke up while I was doing my hair and, of course, I had to tend to her first and then get back to my hair.  But it works. One thing you do have to watch out for is white hair from the product I find that rubbing in it makes it go away.  If you're worried about frizz, then you can use a T-shirt to dab it instead of your fingers.  What I do is slightly different from the curly girl method because I don't normally use gel and I apply the leave-in on damp hair and not soaking wet hair. If you want to learn more about the curly girl method, I'd google it(that's what I did) or you can buy the Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey.  I've never read the book but according to other bloggers, it has a lot of good information in it. It's only like $11 bucks or less.

Here are pictures of the results from the wash and go that I did this morning. I can dig it. Plus, my hair feels so moisturized. I can't keep my hands out of my hair.  So, yeah, I'm going to keep going with this method and knock out combing and shampooing out of my regimen.  

Happy Hair Day + The Soul Food Festival

The family and I had an okay family day at the Soul Food Festival on June 2nd. I was all excited about being around a bunch if black folks with good food and entertainment. I was excited to see Tevin Campbell and Ginuwine perform. But when we arrived, there was only two food vendors.  That is an absolute no no when you're dealing with thousands of black folks. Plus, the food had no seasoning and you only got a few pieces of meat for $15. $15 would have been alright if the food was good.  They were selling carnival food. Funnel Cake is not soul food. I wanted some catfish, cornbread, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese,and some peach cobbler. The Soul Food Festival had no soul food.  It was a crime. They really should call it something else. On top of that, this lady tried to sell me a 1oz bottle of natural hair products for $20.  I don't even remember the name of it. I've pretty much blocked whatever it was out of my mind.  Her group was hosting a workshop and I was excited until I saw that the workshop cost $750.  I've said this before and I'll say it again. You don't have to be rich to go natural. I'll stick with what I know, thank you. 

As far as the entertainment goes, Tevin Campbell still has it but I could barely see him or Ginuwine. I took pictures but you cannot make out what it is.  At the end of the day, I enjoyed spending time with my family and my hair looked awesome.  It was a Happy Hair Day.

Successful twist-out
So, I basically did my normal twist-out except this time I kept my twists pulled back in a ponytail until I was ready to take them down. The result was elongated curls!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What You Should Know About Henna.

My henna treatments have gotten better with each use. With henna, you kind of just have to keep trying different things to see what works for you.  Over the past few months, I've learned the things that you should and shouldn't do when applying henna.  I decided to list a few tips for people who are thinking about trying henna.  I just did a henna treatment yesterday and I describe my results at the end of this blog post.

Do lots of research. You will discover that just because it says natural and is sold at a health food store; that doesn't mean that it's the real stuff. I learned that the hard way when I purchased Rainbow Henna from Whole Foods.  That stuff left a bunch of twigs in my hair and on my pillowcase. You can read more about my experience here. Body Art Quality henna is the best henna and is packaged in foil to preserve its freshness. If it's packaged in plastic, then you will still receive some conditioning benefits but not the full benefits  If it says, "henna for hair," be sure to look at the ingredients to make sure that nothing is added to it.  It should only say lawsome inermis which is the scientific term for henna. Jamila is the only brand that I've used with positive results.  I've purchased mine from Amazon (to save on shipping costs). Sites where you can purchase high quality henna are and

Do a pre-shampoo treatment
I always do a hot oil treatment with Carol's Daughter Khoret Amen Oil, which is basically olive oil mixed with a bunch of other oils, a couple of hours before I shampoo.  Other people may do a pre-poo or a deep conditioning treatment beforehand. 

Do not mix with acids
Some naturals use acids like apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to mix with the henna because it causes quicker dye release and they're okay with it.  I wouldn't recommend it if you're worried about dry hair.  The first time I hennaed, I used appled cider vinegar. Not only did it stink, but my hair was very dry and tangled afterwards.  My treatments come out much better when I mix the henna with 3-4 packs of green tea and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Using any kind of tea will also cause quicker dye release.  You can also mix your henna with oils or conditioner to prevent dryness

Let it sit
Even if you're not concerned about the dyeing benefits of henna, letting it sit allows the henna to settle which will make it easier to wash out.  It helps even if you only let it sit for a couple of hours.

Keep it in for at least four hours
My hair has felt the best when I've let the henna sit in my hair overnight but don't always have time or the patience so I've figured out that 4 hours is the minimum if I want the conditioning benefits.

Completely rinse it out
If you don't completely rinse it out, your hair will be very very dry.  Rinse your hair until the water runs clear and then rinse some more.  Then wash with a cheap conditioner like Suave Naturals twice and then rinse again.  Believe me, your hair will thank you for it.

Do a deep conditioning treatment afterwards
You definitely need a deep conditioning treatment that is preferably protein-free.  That is because henna does some of the same things a protein treatment and you can get a protein overload and cause extreme dryness, brittleness, and shedding.  On the other hand, if you hair loves protein, then do what works for you.   I use Carol's Daughter Tui Smoothie and leave it on for at least an hour. 

Use a daily moisturizer
I moisturize my hair once, sometimes twice a day for three days after a henna treatment.  I use oil.  shea butter that I get from my local African store, the Nubian Heritage Shea Butter with goat's milk and chai, or SheaMoisture.  By the third day, my hair starts to feel normal again.

It can loosen your curl pattern
I've never experienceed this myself but it can happen with repeated use of henna due to the residue that weights hair down.  It usually isn't permanent and can be reversed with a clarifying shampoo.  If you're concerned about the loosening of your curls, then you can just do retouch on your new growth instead of putting it all over your hair with each use. Or you can use alma which thickens your hair and can return/preserve your curl pattern.  Sometimes, spacing out your henna treatments will prevent this from happening as well.

You won't be able to chemically dye your hair
People who have had henna treatments normally experience trouble dyeing their hair with chemical dyes because henna coats the hair. So if you have any intentions of using chemical dyes to dye your hair a different color, then you may want to rethink trying henna.

Wednesday and Thursday, I did what I believe is my fourth henna treatment. I did things slightly different but it produced positive results.  I used 4 packs of green tea instead of 3.  I mixed the green tea with the henna and let it sit for 5 hours by accident. I got caught up doing stuff.  Usually, I only let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I shampooed and mixed in 2 tablespoons of honey right before application.  The henna was really smooth and not as lumpy as it normally is.  I left it in overnight this time around and found that it was alot easier to rinse out. I able to cut at least 15 minutes off of my rinsing time.  I rinsed until the water ran clear and then I washed with Suave Naturals conditioner, the apple kind.  It worked great for rinsing out the henna and it's only about $1 at Walgreens, Krogers, Walmart, or probably every store out there.  On top of that, I do believe that this is the first time that my hair hasn't felt dry immediately after a henna treatment. It actually feels normal! It's feels soft and healthy. I've successfully tweaked my henna treatment.  That's how it is. It's trial and error when it comes to henna.

Thanks for reading and hopefully this information helps somebody.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Demonizing of the Natural Haired Has Begun

I read an article on entitled "Shyte Natural Girls Should Stop Saying and Doing..." To read it, you can go here. The article is basically saying that women with natural hair need to stop judging women with relaxed or weaved hair. I find that this article completely misses the mark.  I've never said to anyone, "You need to stop putting that creamy crack in your hair."  Hair advice has only been given when asked. 

I also find this article to be disturbing because when I went natural everybody and their mama had something to say about my hair.  People whom I barely talked to where telling me that I needed to get a perm and giving me the number to their hair dresser. Older men where telling me that I would never find a husband. I got called manly.  One of my ex-coworkers flat out asked me, "Your man let you walk out of the house like that?" And her hair was thin and broken off.  Just the other day, I went to a beauty supply store to look for hair accessories and they were two ladies shopping for wigs. They laughed at me as soon as I walked through the door.  I get negative comments all the time from women who barely have any hair at all but I never comment back.  And you never see me mention these things because I do not care.  All the positivity, confidence, maturity, and identity that I've gained from going natural outweighs all of that.  To me, it is a personal decision; it is not natural versus relaxed/weaved. Spike Lee brought up this messed up psychology in "School Daze."  I'm not doing this "good" hair versus "bad" hair thing.

If there are a few natural women out there telling other women that they should stop getting relaxers and weaves, then let them kept doing it.  They have every right to do so with all of the comments that I've gotten over the years. It's almost as if women with relaxed hair get a pass with their comments because they fit into the status quo.  Then if a woman with natural hair makes a comment, then she is stepping out of bounds.  All of sudden, she is aggressive and judgemental.  It's okay for everybody else to say anything they want about natural hair but the girl with the natural hair has no authority to say anything about anything.

When it comes down to it, there was no need to write this article;  just like there was no need for me to mention the negative comments that I've gotten. If I am able to ignore all the negative comments from other people without there being a problem and without me judging them back, then women with relaxed or weaved hair can do the same.  If you're confident about yourself and how you style your hair, then you don't care what other people say anyway.  Ultimately, it's about growth and positivity that can be gained and passed around from going natural and this is what should be written here.  That article should be entitled, "Shyte That Don't Even Matter."

Whenever there's a movement in America, there is always a need to attack it.