Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall Into a Bun

The seasons are definitely changing.  Summer has passed and the chilly weather of Fall is upon us.  As the seasons change, in a way, my hair practices do as well.

Around this time of the year, I usually start rocking my buns more frequently.  I use them as a styling option for a couple reason.  One... when the weather gets on the windy side it's bothersome to have to worry about my hair blowing every which way.  Two... it's a good idea to keep my ends covered and away from the harsh elements. Buns are an easy protective style for those who want something quick.

My bun of preference is probably the low ballerina bun.  It's sleek and professional at the same time.  Plop in your favorite conditioner, cream, or gel and you're good to go :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Shrinkage = the amount by which something becomes smaller or less. 

The photo on the left is my hair wet, while the photo on the right is my hair dry.  There are many products that "claim" to control/prevent shrinkage, but I'm not really a believer.  Sometimes I am able to have less shrinkage by pulling my hair up/back at night, and releasing it in the morning.  But depending on the mood my hair is in, that may cause other problems (i.e. frizz, messed up curls, lopsided hair, etc.). 

Shrinkage is a reality for all us coily girls.  No matter what....I know that my hair is going to have some sort of shrinkage, unless I'm wearing it straight.  It's just another fun fact about being a naturalista!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Two Cents - Beautiful Curls by Alaffia

I mentioned a couple months back in My Faithful and Favorite Products post, that Beautiful Curls products are one of my favorite product lines.  I regularly use their Shea Butter Curl Activating Shampoo, Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment,  and Shea Butter Curl Activating Leave-in Conditioner.  I've occasionally used the Curl Control Custard.  They also carry a curl cream, lotion, oil, and sculpting wax...but since I haven't used any of those, I'm not able to make any comments just yet :-)

I love the story behind the Beautiful Curls products.  The shea butter is handcrafted by the Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative in Sokodé, Togo West Africa. The products are Certified Fair Trade, which means that the members of the Cooperative are guaranteed to receive fair income.  Also a minimum of 10% of sales are returned to West Africa to fund community empowerment projects.

Here are my thoughts...

Shea Butter Curl Activating Shampoo

Rating: 4 out of 5 Coils
  • Lathers really well 
  • Cleans scalp and hair well without any harsh ingredients
  • Last a long time - You don't need to use alot
  • All natural ingredients
  • Smells great
  • Price is reasonable
  • Nice creamy/smooth texture
  • Non-drying - Does not strip the hair
  • Curls pop and hair is left feeling moisturized
  • Incredibly moisturizing for a shampoo
  • None really, with the exception that I've only been able to find this product line at Whole Foods (not sold everywhere). That's a ditto for all 4 products that I am reviewing.

Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment
I normally apply the conditioner and then sit under my heating cap for 30-45 mins and then rinse out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Coils
  • All natural ingredients
  • Smells great
  • Price is reasonable
  • Creamy texture
  • Pretty good slip
  • Leaves hair feeling very soft and moisturized 
  •  Not a fan of the tube that it's packaged in.  Not always easy to get the products out of the container. I would prefer if it was in a jar instead of the tube.
Shea Butter Curl Activating Leave-In Conditioner

Rating: 4 out of 5 Coils
  • All natural ingredients
  • Smooth texture is very easy to apply
  • Great at coating my hair - coats very easily
  • Smells wonderful
  • Great moisturizing properties
  • Curls pop
  • My hair loves this stuff.  It really does my hair good.
Cons: Can't really think of one

Curl Control Custard
I apply this to wet hair after I have applied my leave-in.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Coils
  • All natural ingredients
  • No alcohol
  • Decent curl defination
  • Great hold on Day 1 and Day 2
  • Day 1 and Day 2 hair looks really good
  •  Smell is kind of perfumey (not my cup of tea)
  • Consistency is runny, which can be somewhat messy to apply
  • Hair has a bit of that hard/crunch factor
  • Leaves hair dry
  • Around Day 3 the frizz starts to take over (I like gels that last at least 3 days)
So in  a nutshell I absolutely love the shampoo, deep conditioner, and leave-in, which is why they are on my favorite products list.  The custard (aka gel) is on my honorable mention list, as I have others that I prefer.  So if you're interested in trying any of these, or any of the other products within their line, visit your local Whole Foods, or you can also order online.  To learn more about Alaffia's mission and Beautiful Curls products, you can check out

Monday, September 2, 2013

Flower Power!

Flowers are one of my favorite hair accessories! I have one in just about every color.  They are super cute, and super feminine, and can jazz up just about any hairdo....all while adding a splash of color! 

For a couple years flowers were my signature.  You could just about always catch me with a flower!  The other day I felt the urge to revisit my former signature accessory.  I decided to liven things up, and wore my pink and white flowers with some twists. To my surprise the flowers brought a smile to some normally frown prone faces. It reminded me why I used to love them so much..... They just have a way of brightening things up!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fran - Locker Extraordinaire


I've been admiring my fellow University of Hartford gospel choir member and alum Fran and her lovely locs.   This song bird has some seriously beautiful hair to match her amazing voice.  I was interested to learn a little bit about her hair story.  I decided to interview her to learn about her loc journey.

How long have you been relaxer free?

I have been relaxer free for 10 years.

What inspired your decision to rock your natural hair?

I hadn't seen my hair in its natural state since I was nine years old.  I just wanted a change.

Did you slowly transition or do a drastic big chop?

I did a slow transition.

How did family and friends react to your decision to wear your hair natural?

Family was slow to get on board with my decision but my friends loved it.

What would you say are your biggest hair challenges?

I don't think that I have any big hair challenges but sometimes I loathe having to re-twist my locs after having washed them.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 4 hair products/tools, what 4 would you choose?

Locking gel, olive oil, coconut oil, and a fine-toothed comb.

Do you have any hair inspirations?  If so who?

I am inspired by my aunt, Dawn, who has locs down to her knees!

Any words of wisdom or advice you’d like to pass on to others?

The only advice that I have would be that if you're going to go natural, embrace all of the changes with an open mind and patience.  We are all beautiful no matter how we style our hair. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

FestAfrica 2013

I had an awesome time at FestAfrica 2013 this past Saturday!  The festival included African music, dance, comedy, and a fashion show. It's the 11th annual official African Festival for the State of Maryland, and is sponsored by the Nigerian Youth Association of Maryland.

I went with my fellow naturalista and blogger Kristy Samone. Kristy is a fashion blogger and writer of She was rocking a cute blowout, and a bowed headband accessory.  We had an amazing time just hanging out watching the performances and eating :-) And of course being the bloggers that we are, Kristy was particularly interested in the African inspired fashion, as I the hairstyles :-)

I saw many MANY naturalistas at FestAfrica.  There was such a variety of styles; curls, locs, braids, twists, twas, updos, afros, you name it.  I saw this really cute curly puff w/ bangs worn by Jalisa. She was such a doll and let me snap a photo.  Her style was multi-functional as it was super cute, and the updo really helps to beat the heat.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Two Cents - Pure Shea Store Mango Hemp-Shea Shampoo Bar & Shea Leave-In Conditioner


I recently tried out Pure Shea Store's Mango-Hemp Shampoo Bar, along with the Shea Leave-In. Pure Shea Store products are completely natural and created without animal testing, parabens, GMOs or other harmful ingredients. I've been using the products for a couple months now. I wanted the effects of the products for more than one use.  Alot of times the first use is a fluke, be it good or bad. 

Here are my thoughts...

Mango Hemp-Shea Shampoo Bar
I use this like I would any shampoo.  I applied after my oil treatment.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Coils
  • Lathers really well 
  • Cleans scalp and hair well without any harsh ingredients
  • Last a long time - You don't need to use alot
  • All natural ingredients
  • Price is really reasonable
  • Personally it does not provide enough moisture for me.  My hair was super dry. 
  • Frizz was like WHOA
  • I actually ended up giving this away

Shea Leave-In Conditioner
I used this 2 different ways....  1st as the marketed leave-in conditioner.  I used like I would any other leave-in conditioner (post wash, and conditioner on wet hair).  2nd use was as a pre-shampoo treatment, used with a heating cap (pre wash and conditioner).

As a Leave-In
Rating: 3 out of 5 Coils
  • All natural ingredients
  • Nice smooth texture - Very easy to apply 
  • Last a long time - A little goes a long way
  • Great at locking in moisture
  •  I had to experiment some with the amount to use, because my hair is somewhat sensitive to oils post wash and conditioner.  Oils tend to leave my hair on the greasy side.  So it took some trial and error on my part.
As a Pre-Treatment
Rating: 4 out of 5 Coils
  • Smooth texture is very easy to apply
  • Coats hair easily
  • Great for my finger detangling
  • Smells wonderful
  • Hair was soft and moisturized as I rinsed out
Cons: Can't really think of one

Check out the entire line of Pure Shea Store products for yourself at the following website: Pure Shea Store or visit on their retail stores in MD, DC, MI, GA, NC, or VA. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Faithful and Favorite Products

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is….“What products do you use in your hair?”

Before I go any further, let me make my disclaimer :-)   These are products that "I" like.  Everyone’s hair is unique and these items may or may not agree with your mane.  Using these is not a guarantee for success.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program....
Although I sometimes experiment with different products, there are those products that I am faithful to.  These are the ones that I can always count on to do me right.  My faithfuls tend to be “all-natural” products.  It’s just a personal preference of mine that the items I am repeatedly using are healthy and natural.  Yeah I know…I’m a bit of a health fanatic.

Here's my list....
Kinky Curly’s Come Clean
Beautiful Curls' Shea Butter Curl Activating Shampoo
Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash
Giovanni’s Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balance Moisturizing Shampoo

Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balance Moisturizing Conditioner

Honorable Mention Conditioner:
Giovanni's Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner

Deep Conditioner:
Beautiful Curls' Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment

Protein Deep Conditioner:
Aubrey's GPB Balancing Conditioner

Leave-in Conditioners:
Kinky Curly’s Knot Today
Beautiful Curls' Shea Butter Curl Activating Leave-in Conditioner

Honorable Mention Leave-in Conditioner:
Giovanni's Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner

Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel

Honorable Mention Gels:
Beautiful Curls' Curl Control Custard
Homemade Flax Seed Gel

Donna Marie - Dream Curling Creme

Honorable Mention Cream:
Shea Moisture - Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Oils & Butters:
Unrefined Shea Butter
Coconut Oil
Nourish & Shine by Jane Carter ***Been using a few months now.  I think it may be favorite worthy.

Giovanni’s Wicked Texture

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wash & Go Web (ie. Tangles)

Hola mi amigos!  It's been a minute since I've posted anything.  Been super busy with the new job.  I finally have a moment to breathe and write a post!
A couple weeks ago my curlfriend Cam and I were venting about the annoying tangles when wearing wash & go styles repeatedly.  So of course, I decided to write a post about it :-)
Wash & Go - In the coily natural hair community this refers to a carefree style where you wash/condition, add gel or cream to style it and then leave it to air dry or use a diffuser.  In theory you should be able to wash your hair and just go about your business.
My relationship with the Wash & Go has evolved into a love/hate relationship.  It's been a staple style on and off for YEARS.  I absolutely loved it, but over the past year and 1/2 or so they have evolved and require more post styling maintenance than I would like. 
My gripe has absolutely nothing to do with the look of my wash and go.  I absolutely love the look!  And I get complements left and right when I wear them.  My gripe and frustration is concerning the tangles that come as a result of repeated wash and going.
The logical reason that I came up with is that the tangles are worse because my hair is longer.  Therefore there is alot more opportunity for the strands to tangle and intertwine between themselves.  On wash days my hair can be tangle city!  Although it looks great, it's such a pain dealing with the knots and tangles.
I love wearing wash and gos in the warmer months, so I'm going to have to find a way to combat these tangles.  I already do regular oil treatments, which do help alot with getting out tangles.  But how about avoiding tangles in the first place! 
The first thing that comes to mind is to perhaps stretch my hair before I wash it.  Like maybe do my hair in big plaits/twists at night before washing...the hope would be that twists/plaits would keep the hair from raveling around itself overnight.  It's worth a shot.... Hopefully it works!
How about you?  Any suggestions?  How do you prevent tangles?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pre-Shampoo Treatment w/ Pure Shea Store's Leave-In

Hola Curlistas!

I woke up the other morning ready for my weekly pre-oil treatment.  Just one thing...I didn't have enough coconut oil!  What's a girl to do?!?!?!  I was on the lazy side and didn't feel like running to the store, so instead I looked around to see what I could use.  I came across Pure Shea Store's Leave-In Conditioner in my closet, and decided to press my luck.  The 2nd ingredient is coconut I figure it was worth a shot.  Wouldn't you know it, it actually worked very well as a pre shampoo treatment :-)  Here are my thoughts:  

Rating: 4 out of 5 Coils
  • Smooth texture is very easy to apply
  • Coats hair easily
  • Great for my finger detangling
  • Smells wonderful
  • Hair was soft and moisturized as I rinsed out
Cons: Can't really think of one

I have to say that I am really glad that I thought of the idea.  I assume its because of all the oils included in the products that I was able to use it as an oil treatment.  Yaay for multi-tasking products!

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Two Cents - Nourish & Shine by Jane Carter

I've recently been using Nourish & Shine by Jane Carter Solution.  I was drawn to the product because of the all-natural ingredients.  I've been using for over a month now, and I must say that I love, love, love it! 

The first time I used it I ended up with not so great results.  I applied it to my soaking wet hair in sections after my wash/conditioning session. This left my hair icky and greasy.  I hated it. This product contains butters and oils, and oils are not always my friend.  I have to be especially careful with oils post wash/condition because my hair tends to repel the oil and I'll just be left with an oily head of hair. 

How this product works best for me is in-between washes.  I lightly spritz my hair with water, and apply the Nourish & Shine in a few big swoops.  The combination of the spritz and the Nourish & Shine really helps to spruce things up, and keeps my hair moisturized in between wash days.  I'm really a fan of the product.  It just might become part of my staple list.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Coils
  • Smooth texture is very easy to apply
  • A little goes a long way
  • Great flowery sent
  • Helps to maintain softness and moisture in between washes
  • All natural ingrediants
  • Can be used on skin also

Con: Product is somewhat pricey

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Twisted Ballerina Bun

Today I’m rocking what I like to call the Twisted Ballerina Bun.  I like to rock this when I’m going for that professional look.   

This is how I achieve my Twisted Ballerina Bun:
Items You'll Need
  • water bottle (optional)
  • leave-in conditioner/moisturizer/gel/pomade (optional)
  • hair tie (2)
  • hair/bobby pins (optional)

    •  Spritz hair with water, so that hair is pliable. (optional depending on the mood my hair is in) 

    • Add leave-in conditioner/moisturizer and/or gel. (again, optional depending on the mood my hair is in.  I normally use leave-in conditioner)

    • Smooth hair from top to bottom. You can either use your hands, or a brush.

    • Gather hair into a ponytail.  Smooth the crown so there are no bumps

    • Secure the ponytail with a hair tie

    • Take the ponytail and roll it together from top to bottom. Then twist into a circle.  Then secure with hair tie.

    Add a hairpins for extra security. (optional)
    Add gel or pomade to smooth out crown and sides. (Optional) You can either use your hands, or a brush to smooth in.

    All done!

    Thursday, May 2, 2013

    Frizz Factor 10+

    OMG!  Can you say FRIZZ!  My frizz factor is on 10+!!!  Fros are cool...but that was not the look I was going for :-(  I blame it on 1) the shampoo and deep conditioner that I used, and 2) my not so bright idea to detangle on hair that wasn't soaking wet.

    The shampoo and deep conditioner that I used didn't seem to give me a drop of moisture.  I put the deep conditioner on with my heat cap for 30 mins, but after taking off the cap my hair seemed sooo dry and I didn't want to attempt to comb through the conditioner.  I had already finger detangled while rinsing out my oil treatment.  So I waited until I rinsed out the deep conditioner and applied my leave-in and styler.  I detangled as I combed through the styler.  Normally I wouldn't detangle so late in the process.  So I'm thinking it's probably the double whammy of the non-moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner, and me detangling on hair that wasn't totally soaking wet.

    Whatever the root cause....this is what I woke up to Sunday morning!  The clock was against me as I was trying to get ready for church.  In an attempt to camouflage the frizz, I opted for the messy bun seen below. Whew....the messy bun definitely saved me from being late!

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Pure Shea Store Goodies

    While at Women's Empowerment last month, I picked up some goodies from Pure Shea Store! I can't wait to try them out! I got them from company founder Chris, aka "The Soapman" himself :-)

    Pure Shea Store products are completely natural and created without animal testing, parabens, GMOs or other harmful ingredients. Their focus is on providing products made with the best possible ingredients. All products are made by hand in their warehouse in Baltimore, MD based on the recipe of the founder's grandmothers (Grandma Pearlie and Dee Dee).

    I'll be trying out the Mango Hemp-Shea Shampoo Bar, as well as the Shea Leave-In Conditioner.  I've never used a shampoo bar in my life, so I'm very interested to see how I like it! I'll let you know :-)

    Check out Pure Shea Store products for yourself at the following website:Pure Shea Store or visit one of their many stores (locations can be found via the website as well).

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Kinky/Curly Hall of Fame - Chaka Khan

    This multi Grammy award winning singer/song writer came to fame in the 70's. She's famous for hits like "I'm Every Woman", "I Feel for You", "Through the Fire", and "Sweet Thing", just to name a few.  To date, Chaka Khan and her amazingly enormous curly fro are still synonymous! 

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Snip Snip - It's Trim Time

    I've gotten quite a few questions about trimming, and how often I trim my ends.  Personally, I trim my hair about every 3 months. When I straightened my hair more regularly, I probably did it about every 2 months, since I was using heat on my hair.  But being that I don't use heat often, every 3 months works well for me.  If in between that time period I see any random splits, I'll run and grab the scissors and snip right above the split on that particular hair strand.

    Since I'm an accountant, I usually perform my routine end maintenance right after the accounting quarter close.  It's just easier for me to remember that way.  The accounting quarter close happens every 3 months, so that's my cue to trim :-)

    My Process for Trimming:
    1) Twist hair in big or medium size twists (about 8-18 depending on how I'm feeling).   My primary reason for twisting is to stretch the hair so that the ends are easier to see and cut.

    This time I twisted an old wash and go that I had worn for 3 days and was starting to frizz.  I spritzed with water and twisted up.  Other times I'll put in the twist right after I wash my hair.

    2) When twists are dry I then proceed to take them out.  (I'll usually leave in overnight)

    3) As I am taking out the twist I divide the unraveled twist into sections, and just clip clip. I would estimate that I cut about 1/4-1/2 inch off the ends.

    That's all I's not the  most scientific way, but it works for me. Even with my non-scientific method my hair is still fairly even.  Since I wear my hair curly 95% of the time it doesn't matter to me if my hair is perfectly even.  I'm more concerned about the shape of the curly fro, over the super evenness when straightened.
    How about you?  What's your hair trimming process?

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Multivitamin w/ Biotin for Healthy Hair

    Not to long ago I was at my neighborhood Vitamin Shoppe.  I was talking with my oh so knowledgeable vitamin girl about mushroom complex and wellness formula, and suddenly I thought about a conversation I had with one of my coworkers about hair thinning. My coworker was interested in learning how to increase her hair's body and strength.

    In talking with my vitamin girl I learned that usually a multivitamin that includes biotin normally does the trick. Biotin has been found to aid in hair growth and overall hair health. She mentioned that most times postpartum woman that experience shedding after childbirth are found to have biotin deficiency.  It helps to strengthen both hair follicles and the hair shaft. Taken regularly, hair will be stronger and less prone to breakage.

    My vitamin girl recommends taking a multivitamin with biotin, as oppose to straight biotin. She said the multivitamin that I currently take, Alive! Once Daily Women's Ultra Potency, is perfect as it contains 325 mcg. Another recommendation was Mytrition Women's Personal Packs. 

    Although you can take just straight biotin, she only recommends this if you are REALLY experiencing hair thinning/loss.  The usual biotin supplement is about 5000 mcg, which when taking regularly will strengthen your hair something fierce!  The average person does not need that much.  So she only recommends this if you have a serious deficiency, because this will effect ALL of your hair.  As in all over your body! Meaning legs, arms, eyebrows, everywhere!  So only take what is really necessary, ie multivitamin, if you are not really deficient :-)

    Anywho, that's my spiel for today! Ta ta for now! 

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    Tassie - Curly Girl Extraordinaire


    The other day I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one of my dear friends Tassie.  This fellow naturalista is a licensed Holistic Skin Care Therapist.  Tassie is the owner of Restorations Holistic Skin Care Services, as well as creator of Tacia Essentials (Skin, Hair, and Body organic product line).   She's a naturalista in about every sense of the word.  So of course I just HAD to interview her :-)

    How long have you been relaxer free?
    It's been about 9-10 years.

    Did you slowly transition or do a drastic big chop?
    I big chopped.  Actually, I've done 3 big chops :-)

    You did your initial big chop to remove your relaxed hair, but you've also had 2 other big shops since you've been natural.  What were your reasons for the 3?
    The 1st time was because I was tired of my hair. The 2nd was because I finally found a support system for natural hair. I wanted to start over utilizing the new support system.  The 3rd time, I felt like my hair should have been longer and it wasn't as healthy as I wanted it to be.  So I just wanted to start over. 

    How did family and friends react to your decision to wear your hair naturally curly?
    They were very supportive.  (They have no choice, it's my freakin hair lol lol)

    What would you say are your biggest hair challenges?
    1 - Retaining moisture
    2 - Being lazy;  like not doing it every day like I'm suppose to.
    3 - I don't want to say styling.... The basic style of the puff I do that alot.  But every now and then styling does become a challenge because I don't really know much.  I get bored with hair so quick.  That's why I could never loc my hair, I would get bored so quick and just boom cut it off quick.

    If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 4 hair products/tools, what 4 would you choose?
    1 - Definitely water. That's just obvious. My hair loves water.
    2 - Conditioner - It helps to keep it nice and supple.
    3 -Tacia Essentials Shea Butter Blend
    4 - Paddle Brush - When it's wet with conditioner I take the paddle brush and REALLY comb through it.

    Do you have any hair inspirations?  If so who?
    There are a few people i like on YouTube.  Let's see... MsVCharles, Longhairdontcare, and +Naptural85 

    Any words of wisdom or advice you’d like to pass on to others?
    EMBRACE YOUR HAIR!!!!  Love every single stage that you go through because there is always something new to learn.