Tag Archives: natural hair

Tool of Antiquity: The Jilbere Shower Comb

If you have curly hair, if you have thick or course hair, if you have hair that needs to be detangled often, then I hope you own a Jilbere de Paris Shower comb!

Check out the dipped teeth!

It is seriously a tool– it makes detangling your curly hair a cinch!  Your hair doesn’t snag, get caught, or ripped from the roots!  The dipped, wide teeth protect your strands, waves, and coils and makes it easy to spread conditioner evenly, and the curved handle makes it easy to store on your shower head!  If you don’t own one, then you are doing your lovely locs a disservice!!!!

Not to mention, it will only set you back about $2-$3!

I own about 3 of them: one for my shower, one for the road, and one just in case one of my unaware friends gets a case of sticky fingers!

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This may offend some but I can’t hold my tongue any longer…

Original post by fancyayancey in Mane Glory

Over the past few months as I’ve found myself immersed in my natural-hair care research I’ve come across ENDLESS videos, tutorials, tips and advice on new ways to manipulate natural hair to obtain a certain, defined look.  While at first I loved it, these days I don’t know how I feel about it anymore…well yes I do.  I don’t like it (I’m not taking a stance on whether it’s right or wrong).  I’ve talked with a few close friends about it, but haven’t spoken publicly on it because I didn’t want to hear the backlash.  Today however, after reviewing Curly Nikki someone did a post on this very topic which has now given me the courage to speak out on it.

I don’t like when natural-haired sisters consistently manipulate their hair to make it look like something that it’s not.

When I made the decision to stop wearing relaxers, I understood and accepted that the alternative would be to wear my hair in it’s natural state as it grows out of my head.  My rationale for this expectation was my group of friends that had already began the transition.  Those women never braided, twisted and rolled their hair in the hopes of acheiveing a different look the next day.  Nor did they spend hours at night carefully detangling, drying and trying various different styling options.  Their mentality was that they were accepting their hair for what it is and were going to fearlessly rock it.  I subscribed to that mentality.  Throughout my transition until now I’ve consistently rocked wash n go’s with the occassional roller set (once) or bantu knot out (once).

It wasn’t until last fall when people began asking me what I was using in my hair to get it to curl like that when the reality of the natural-hair community hit me.  Many naturals are obsessed with obtaining a look that is opposed to their truth.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d have to tell women that I did nothing to manipulate my hair texture and watch their eyes get disapointed.  “You mean that’s not a straw set?” or “You didn’t braid or twist your hair the night before?”

My mentality is why would I do that?  If my hair doesn’t already do that naturally, then what is the point?  For so many wanting these more defined looks and who are going through great lengths to get it, why not go down the street and put in a texturizer or something.  That texturizer would give you the look you spend hours attempting to manipulate anyways.  At this point, what makes many naturals any different than women with relaxed hair?  At least the relaxed chick had enough sense to make it easier on herself by cutting down on daily styling time.

I understand that people may say it’s so easy for me to talk because my hair has well-defined curls with zero manipulation from me.  Truth be told, I understood that about my hair which has helped push me to stay this way.  However, if curl definition is what I consistently wanted and my hair didn’t do that, I would be out here getting a texturizer or something.  Why fight my hair daily to acheive a look that it’s not trying to do?  Just like all those years I appreciated and wanted bone-straight hair.  Why on earth would I have been natural?  I eagerly applied my super-strength relaxers every two-months and watched my HEALTHY hair grow straight down my back.

People tought the unhealthiness of relaxers and how damaging they are but truth be told my hair was healthy with relaxers.  Many women I know with them take very good care of their hair and have healthier hair than many of these naturals do.  Healthy hair is healthy hair regardless of the presence of chemicals.

At the end of the day, it’s JUST hair.  Lol yes, quote me on that.  So what if you’re not “natural?”  If you want big curly hair, go get the perming system.  If you want straight hair all the time, go cop that relaxer.  And if you just want your hair to do it’s own “thing,” release it and see what happens…

So overall, the point of this is to say that I’m not into all of the extensive styling techniques to force your hair to look a way that it naturally does not do.  If you want your hair to look a way it naturally does not, there is probably a chemical out there for that.

No offense to anyone.  End rant.

P.S. I understand the idea of trying something new and rocking those twist outs/braid outs, etc on occassion.  My personal pet peeve is the woman who will never let her hair just be…she insists on rocking everything but her own.  And remember, I’m not saying if it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying I don’t like it.  I just enjoy seeing the different types of curls, textures and looks Black women acheive…when everywhere I turn the naturals have manipulated looks I get annoyed lol.

What are your thoughts?

Read comments here <—



Oooh! How to make your cheap conditioner work wonders!

{at home hair spa} amped cheapie conditioner

cheapie conditioners don’t really work well on my hair. and when i say cheapie i mean the 1-2 dollar bottles like suave and vo5. they do okay, but it’s surely not anything to write home about or leave me impressed.

some naturals love these conditioners off the shelf, but they don’t really work that great for me out of the box so i have to amp them up to get the best punch. as a base however, these conditioners work great and can often be a great replacement for more expensive products that work at the same level once you mix in some goodies.

Read more here <—–


More than pink lotion: product recommendations for every style (reblog)

I stumbled upon this article on Madam Noire and found it helpful, especially for those wondering what to use without having to spend all your money figuring it out!  But remember, just because it works for others, doesn’t mean it will work for you.  Read the labels, ingredients, and sample whenever possible!  Oh, and less is always more!   Good Luck!

More than pink lotion: product recommendations for every style


Sometimes we want what we already have, and other times what we don’t…

Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter talks about hair, identity, and the useless act of coveting one’s hair sister…

Watch this short video that features Solange, Cassie, and Selita, the newest faces of Carol’s Daughter! They may just make me want to give the beauty line one more chance;-)

Read Lisa’s most recent letter to her customers here.


Product Timeline: From Junky to Just

Over the course of the last 2 years, I have grasped that less is better. What am I talking about you ask? I’m talking about the products we use in our hair. If you are chemical free, natural, curly-topped, or a hair health connoisseur, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Taking care of your hair can be an expensive losing game! But it doesn’t have to be if you are willing to develop 3 (three) things. All you need is 1.) self-control (first and foremost), 2.) an understanding of ingredients (when you know which ones are good and which ones are bad, then you are in great condition), and 3.) lots and lots of patience (trial and error is a wonderful thing)!

What I have come to understand is that hair may thoroughly enjoy a product for a certain amount of time, and then one day, no longer be receptive of it.  Sometimes this is because it was never really good for your hair in the first place, perhaps because your hair texture and the product don’t mesh, or because the ingredients in the product are no good (which is why I’m a label reader- look for a later post about good/bad ingredients soon!).  What I have noticed is that my hair tends to behave better with less, or more natural products, which you will better understand based on the following information.

Below is a list of products that I have/had experience with, in order from when I used them (starting in 2009).  I have placed an asterisk next to products/items that I had a positive experience with but wasn’t fully convinced (usually when my hair no longer appreciated them, which is why I moved on to other products).  I put 2 (two) asterisks next to the items I recommend/and or still use today.  The items at the bottom of the list signify my most recent products.  This list allows you to see the search for the right product, the patterns that exist, and the overall evolution of my hair regime.  My conclusion?  Nature is JUST enough!

2009

-Carol’s Daughter: Khoret Amen Shampoo, Hair Smoothie, and Leave-in Conditioner

-Cantu Shea Butter: Leave-In*

-Kinky Curly: Come Clean, Knot Today*, and Curling Custard

-Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Conditioner

2010

-Apple Cider Vinegar**, Honey**, and Olive Oil**

-Herbal Essences’ Hello Hydration Conditioner**

-Alba Botanica Rainforest Cupuaçu Conditioner

-Jason Conditioner (Aloe and Lavender)

-Aussie 3 Minute Miracle*

-Herbal Essences’ Hello Hydration Conditioner**

2011

-Yogurt

-Coconut Milk*

-Wen Fig Cleansing Conditioner*

-Olive Oil, Honey, Oregano, Distilled Water, and Mint Leaf Homemade Leave-In**

-Herbal Essences’ Hello Hydration Conditioner**

I strongly recommend Hello Hydration from Herbal Essences.  It has proven to be a consistent moisturizer for my tiny cork screw curls, of course, when I’m not whipping up a hair tonic in the kitchen!

What’s your just?


More than Just Uncooked: Hair, Body, Spirit and the Raw Food Revolution

Over the past couple years, it seems as if I have been on a journey backwards; to the most basic and fundamental characteristics of being human.  It started in 2009, when I finally decided that I was tired of being unhappy, unhealthy, and unmotivated.  It’s like one day, I just snapped out of it!  I can literally mark the exact moment when I decided that change was in order, so I had to cut the drama out of my life.  And that’s just what I did!

I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the shears, and proceeded to chop away 23 years of confusion, superficiality, and matter than had previously defined my identity.  My hair.  Now you may be thinking, “Wow!  Is this person serious?”  But oh yes!  I am ever so serious.  For too many women (and men) of color, specifically black/African/American women and men, hair is what sets us apart, and often times, groups us together.  With that said, anyone can be a prisoner of their hair.  I, however, was tired, tired of being concerned with how others would view me if I had a bad hair day, had too much new growth (a.k.a needed a relaxer), or switched up my style unexpectedly.  I was irritated with “rocking the wrap”, and my hair not growing past its predictable length.  I was annoyed with “running from the rain”, and “avoiding the sweat” because water, moisture, or humidity was not my hair’s best friend.  And boy was I fed up with spending all I had (time and money) on hair products or salon visits that did more damage to my hair, or keep me dependent than actually helping me.  I was a captive of the strands on top of my head, and furthermore my confidence in myself was based on filamentous biomaterial and others’ perception of beauty.  Now that’s ridiculous!

Cutting my hair was my way of ridding myself from two decades of social pressure and diminishing self-esteem.  It wasn’t a way to prove myself to anyone other than myself.  It was something I had to do to promote self-love.  And it worked!  Cutting the chemicals out of my hair opened the doors to something new, a new level of consciousness and respect for my whole body, and I have been moving in a seemingly retrogressive direction ever since. Or have I?

As the year(s) advanced, so did my understanding of the need to take care of my body, the environment, and the world around me.  I soon became an avid label-reader, realizing that I can’t trust everything that’s put on the shelves for our consumption.  Words like paraben, organic, bio-degradable, and speciesism entered my vocabulary.  Soon my approach to life became holistic, and although I am not at a place where I feel like I’ve reached the apex of my consciousness, I do feel like I’ve grown so much and there is no turning back.

Marcus Patrick eats a raw food diet!

My latest revelation has to do with the raw food movement.  I recently stumbled upon a website one day as I was researching an actor by the name of Marcus Patrick.  I had been talking about him with someone I thought resembled him physically, and googled him to get a closer look.  One of the first results to pop up in the search was a website called Raw Edge Radio, which had a feature podcast of the actor and his raw food diet.  The feature discussed the myths associated with those who eat a vegan or raw diet.  Now, I want to share with you that I am not vegetarian, vegan, or raw, but have chosen to abstain from beef and pork, and I try to eat healthy and balanced and exercise regularly.  But what this website revealed to me is that I have even more research to do about the effects of what we put into our bodies.

I’m still not completely clear on what it means to be raw, but what I do know is that eating raw vegetables is most certainly a benefit.  But I think most of us know this, and still don’t quite know how to incorporate raw veggies (fruit is probably easier) into our diets, and may even be intimidated by the prospect.  There are numerous books and studies on the raw food diet, and I would definitely encourage everyone to, at the very least, become aware of the various lifestyle choices and choose a way of living that makes the most sense to the individual.  By so doing, your physical, emotional, and spiritual health will begin to improve, and apparently the results will add on some years to your life!  The following is an excerpt from Rawvolution.com, a raw food delivery service that sells prepared raw foods, so you don’t have to!  The facts are simple, but give you an understanding of why raw foods are important:

Why Raw?

The top 3 things that are sapping your energy & compromising your health.

Dehydration

Your body is over seventy percent water, shouldn’t your food choices mirror this? A great way to get a head start on becoming hydrated is to consume food that has not had the natural water removed from it through cooking. Cooked food does nothing to provide your body with much-needed water and dehydrates you further in your bodies attempt to digest it. Everything you put in your stomach needs to be turned into liquid to be digested. How easily is your current diet liquefied?

Malnutrition

Recent data shows that nutritional deficiencies are most often caused by what we eat rather than by what we do not eat. Your current diet may be robbing you of precious vitamins and minerals. A well balanced diet of consciously prepared raw plant foods contains the full compliment of essential vitamins and minerals, while food prepared using conventional methods destroys over 80% of that foods nutrition. Can you afford 80% less nutrition than is naturally found in your food?

Lack Of Enzymes

Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic process that takes place in your body from digestion to healing. Most prepared food is served with up to 100% of the natural enzymes destroyed. One hundred percent! When the lipase and amylase enzymes are destroyed, the body cannot digest fats or carbohydrates and they are stored in the body, causing you to gain weight. When you consume living, enzyme rich food, it practically digests itself. This leaves you with a surplus of energy to play harder, work more efficiently and do more of what you love!

In a world where lifestyle trends wax and wane out of control, it’s extremely crucial for us to be aware of ourselves, if nothing more.  Your body and your spirit knows itself, even if YOU don’t.  Listen to them.  If you are not feeling your optimal best, do something to change it.  Pay attention to the signs: sickness, disease, constant unhappiness- all of which are alarms your body and your spirit emit to let you know attention and care is needed.  This entry only touches the most basic level of awareness.  There is a whole world out there many of us are blind to.  Natural or holistic health is important, especially now since these are times of great uncertainty, your humanistic instincts, your most natural/basic understanding of the world around you may be your only hope for survival…

Suggested Sites:

Raw Vegan Radio

Earth Clinic

Educate Yourself

Google

Your Local Library 🙂


Essential Items for the Natural Beauty

The following is a short list of things that are essential to my daily regimen.  These items are all-natural and most of them can be purchased organic and/or found in your (or mom’s) medicine cabinet!

Olive Oil- hair or skin.  I often mix with honey and water and use as a leave-in conditioner.  I like the Trader Joes’s organic, but you can use any kind.

Apple Cider Vinegar- when diluted, can be used on hair as a cleanser, or can be used to drink or topically for various purposes including personal feminine issues.  Use with care. Click here for more detail. I often use this as a “pre-conditioning” cleanser before I deep condition my hair. I like the TJ’s Organic, Unfiltered version.

Honey- hair, as a humectant.  I love this stuff!  I mix with Olive Oil and water and use as a leave-in conditioner!  Just make sure it’s actual grade A honey, I stick with TJ’s.

Shea Butter- hair or skin. I use the raw white shea butter (because it has no palm oil, unlike the yellow) as a facial moisturizer, or on dry areas such as feet.

 

 

Witch Hazel- skin, as an astringent, cleanser or toner.  I use this on my face after it’s been cleansed to cool and tone my skin.  It’s especially good on areas prone to breakouts. I pour a little on a cotton ball or I mix it in the palm of my hand with a little shea butter and rub on my skin with hands.  I always follow witch hazel up with some sort of moisturizer (shea or jojoba). I use the T.N. Dickinson or the Humphrey’s Maravilla, whatever is cheapest at the time…


 

 

 

 

 

Black Soap (Dudu Osun)- hair or skin. I use as a body/face soap.  Can be drying if used frequently or without following up with a moisturizer.  If I use black soap in my hair, it must be the kind sold by Tropical Naturals (which  has a printed expiration date on the packaging), and must be followed up by a super hydrating conditioner.

Do you use any of these products, or have other products that you suggest?  Post a comment and share!


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