Posts tagged ‘natural hair’

April 2, 2010

Desert Essence Organics

It’s difficult in the beginning – first learning how to care for natural hair, abandoning old ideas of what was once good and healthy for your once relaxed strands – only to find that changing your hair texture also meant overturning your old regime, starting from scratch & taking more abbreviated notes.

Over the years I’ve etched out a few cheat sheets to help twist the hair faster, condition for a shorter period of time w/long term benefits & detangling in record time after days of avoiding a comb. Yet one of the few things that I cannot, will not & should not speed past, is the cleansing of my scalp. Long ago I was in another camp, the fun place where styles could last upwards of 3, sometimes 4 weeks at a time. Twists and the occasional blowouts would maintain some sense of normalcy as long as my nighttime routine was up to par.

Fast forward to the place I am in now, hair healthy – happily growing, yet still figuring out the scalp situation. These days it’s more so about maintaining the problem rather than completely solving it. To avoid the prescription meds my dermatologists often prescribes, I opt for oil blends and other scalp serum remedies that keep the scalp itch & flake free. To help keep the scalp well moisturized and balanced I’ve been leaning on Bee Mine’s Oil Free Serum, applied in between styling. But to help me get to the actual in-between, I have to first begin with a good scalp cleansing, and lately my fingers have been reaching for the poo, a shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh detergents, is moisturizing while still effectively cleansing.

Last month was my first dip into Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo, a gentle moisturizing shampoo that went a long way while using very little to get the job done. After a month and a half of good use, my scalp did form an attachment to the Honey Suckle Rose, though soon it became a bit ineffective. Last week I opted to pull a switcheroo, finding relief in another non-harsh poo, Desert Essence’s Fragrance Free Organic Shampoo.

Desert Essence Organics Fragrance Free Shampoo is a gentle yet effective unscented shampoo. Organic extracts and oils provide moisture, minerals, and vitamins that hair needs to grow stronger. Upon use, hair is softer, shinier, and more manageable.

Organic Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, Green Tea gives the hair gloss and shine.

Organic Jojoba Oil: An ingredient that acts on the scalp to leave the skin feeling moisturized and revitalized.

Organic Kelp and Nettle Extracts: Provide iron, calcium, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals which absorb into and help strengthen each hair strand

To help separate the idea of cleansing actual hair strands from cleansing the scalp, I apply the poo directly to my scalp using an applicator bottle. I find that this method of application helps the poo to lather sooner, and I often get better coverage as opposed to applying directly to hair. I love the fact that it’s a Fragrance free shampoo, Organic and chock full of goody nutrients my hair & scalp often loves!

After first use, my scalp was noticeably cleaner, and the hair did not dull out, maintaining its moisture & not over-stripped. The obvious hope is to continue using the Desert Essence until my scalp protests otherwise – and here’s hoping it doesn’t! A little goes a long way with this brand, the price is superbly right at a mere $8 & it’s easily accessible at most Whole Foods Markets & Trader Joe’s.

March 23, 2010

Reader Question: Fairy Knots

I hate that I don’t have much to update as far as my hair goes, and I will… without shame blame it solely on my new devotion to the twist. I have been on a two-strand twisting binge for the past few weeks, & each glance in the mirror further deepens my love for them. Alas, I can’t quit my twists, so instead my brain is nudging me to answer a reader questions that I’ve neglected for much too long;-).

liberalheart writes:

I am looking for some information on how to avoid or tame the little knot kernels at the end of my TWA. They are driving me crazy!!! I don’t know if I am the only person that suffers from this or not, I have been looking for info on the matter to no avail.

This is a tricky question for me simply because I never experienced knots at the end of my TWA many moons ago. I did however experience them a few months back when my hair was in dire need of a good trim. The ends of my hair were brittle, dry to the touch even after an adequate deep conditioning making the only option a snipping session.  Over time, you learn to rely on your instincts as far as when or how often to trim your hair, yet being forced into a trim due to knots and snarls is a whole other story.

During my TWA years, I rarely wore my hair out and about. My fro was, and still is naturally prone to dryness and while it was readjusting to a new texture…well, essentially it battled its own state of confusion as far as retaining moisture &  relating to its new environment. I was also on the fast track to obtaining length. I was obsessed with reaching a hair goal similar to my relaxed days. I was routinely fixated on all the natural haired pictures I came across while flipping through pages of Essence or Honey because in all honesty, they were few and far between. To protect my ends & to abstain from foreseen knotting, I wore protective styles for the majority of TWA years, prolonging the styles until my hair was well past shoulder length. I never endured snarls at the ends of my hair because they were always well hidden or protected from environmental elements.

Bottom line, if you & your hair are going through a period of frustration, it’s time to take a step back & evaluate your regimen.  Or, if you haven’t developed one, time to treat your hair to a regimen based on consistency.  No two heads of natural hair are the same. Ever, and this goes way beyond the surface & the look of one’s style, therefore no matter the length of your hair, knots are a part of a natural haired person’s life, & subsequently the factors attributed to these knots will vary from fro to fro.

One of my favorite bloggers, Alice of Diary of a Kinky Curly Transitioner, devoted a post to this sometime last year:

Fairy knots are tiny, single strand knots in your hair. They got their name from the fact they are so small only a fairy could have tied them! These generally appear on the ends and then work their way up if you don’t take care of them ASAP. If you wear your hair out a lot (wash and gos, wild and loose, etc.) you’re going to be more prone to them because your ends aren’t protected and when you add the nature of curly hair (curls on itself) you’re asking for some trouble.

There are two ways to take care of them:

1) Snip them off. Easy. Breezy. Beautiful.

2) DETANGLE them out. This can be time consuming, I’ve had some luck with a heavy co-wash conditioner and olive oil. I gently combed the ends with my Denman to get them out. It took FOREVER and I snapped most of my hair off at the knots while detangling them so you’re REALLY better of with option 1.

Prevention is easy. Keep your hair relatively snag free (watch your collars!), condition and wear protective styles so the fairies won’t get you!

If you decide to detangle them out of your hair, be sure to use a wide enough comb, a conditioner with a variable amount of slip (a good cheapie is VO5’s Moiture Milks line;-), or be sure to add/use a penetrating/nourishing oil such as coconut or olive oil.

Figuring out which products work best for your hair is also quite important during TWA stages, though arming yourself with the knowledge of what your hair inherently needs is very different from shopping willy nilly for a whole host of twisting creams & gels. Determining your hair’s porosity, texture & moisture balance are all key to determining what products will work best on your hair. Marsha, from the fab Curl friendly line, Curl Junkie wrote a very detailed & informative post on this a few weeks back:

First let me say that we all have to remember that there are many factors that go into determining whether or not a product works for you. Here are just some things to consider (assuming you haven’t found your perfect combos yet):

1)Outside Weather – including Dew points, temperature, relative humidity, wind, rain, snow, etc…

2)How you treat your hair – Do you use heat regularly? Do you color your hair? Do you sleep on a cotton pillowcase vs. satin vs. whatever… Is it damaged or generally healthy?

3)Inside Environment – Humidity – is it relatively dry or most in your home or office?

4)Hair Texture – Fine through normal through Coarse (For the sake of this article, on a 1-10 scale, I’ll say that the very finest of hair is a 1 and the coarsest of hair is a 10). I find that most people who think they have really coarse hair don’t. This is mainly due to frame of reference. You’d need to feel truly coarse hair (which is typically given as Asian/Native American, although I have felt variations there as well and have seen the coarsest hair in my life on a Caucasian head…2 actually…and they were both red-heads…humm…). This isn’t to say that you aren’t right, but it is likely that your hair is in the 6-9 range. Just as with fine hair, you’ll be in the 2-4 range. It turns out, when I compare my hair strands with other folks hair, that I fall in the normal to fine range (about a 4)…that was a surprise to me!

5)Hair Porosity – Low-normal-high (which most people will not have unless their hair is damaged/bleached/etc). For the sake of this article, low porosity hair will feel smooth moving your fingers up and down the shaft and also has problems absorbing water/product/chemicals (you may see water beading up on the hair). High porosity hair will feel bumpy or a little rough (due to the cuticle layer not laying very flatly) and absorbs almost too much of everything (and will release it easily too, including moisture!).

6)Hair Density – Do you have a lot of hair on your head or very little (so you see your scalp easily)?

7)Wave/Curl Pattern – I think this a factor, although not the major one. For example, generally speaking, I think that if you have a weaker wave/curl pattern with fine-normal hair you may want to use a hard holding gel with your products to support your pattern.

8)Products you use on your hair – again, the quality, gentleness or harshness of the products you use regularly on your hair. Sometimes you can do damage with a harsh shampoo, sulfate or sulfate-free. Sometimes you need some protein and sometimes not. Sometimes you need a particular type of protein (like say the protein in an ingredient like Lecithin which even coarse heads seem to be OK with…).

9)How many times per week do you wash/condition/style your hair?

10)The temperature of the water you use to wash your hair…think about it, if you shower in hot water (like I do), then you create a great moisture rich environment for your hair to soak up moisture…you almost turn your conditioners into Deep Treatments! I find that even folks who normally avoid say glycerin in products, could use it in this environment and rinse it out (making sure not to use glycerin in their stylers). The glycerin helps to soak up the moisture in the shower air (this is not scientific, just what I’ve found! :-P)

Before giving into the frustrations of the fairy knots, try deep conditioning with a non-drying, silicone free conditioner that won’t cause an excess in buildup. Clarify your hair/scalp at least once a month ( Apple Cider Vinegar is a great option!), try protective styling! I used to LOVE wearing my hair in tiny two-strand twists which always produced the cutest curly fro, or moisturized single coils which are often easier to maintain and style than two-strands.

Hope this helps & you find a solution to those stubborn knots;-)!

March 15, 2010

Qhemet Biologics – Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee

I’m not usually a sucker for most things. After working in retail for the majority of my teen/college years, I’m hip to the marketing game, the ‘this would go soooo well with that…’ tune that if you’re the unlucky gal looking & working off of commission, you’re more than likely to hit a road block with me coming your way. And with that said, there is always my weak point, the product or ‘thing’ that can always bring my wallet to it’s knees and purchase up a storm. At this point it’s not even a secret, but it’s often my personal pleasure to indulge in most things chocolate scented/chocolate flavored…just…plain loved by cocoa:-)!

So whether or not the folks over at Qhemet Biologics marketed their Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee as something geared specifically for the aching soles of your feet…I still would’ve invested. Attribute this to the undying PJ in me, but it’s always a yummy treat to cradle either your skin or hair in the smell of all things chocolate. I ordered a 5 oz jar during the now long ago Black Friday Sale, and finally dug in just a few weeks back. Admittedly skeptical at first because as a cream ghee that claims to condition and detangle unmanageable hair this would’ve been a first, so I carried a few doubts to the twisting table. In the past, my luck has always rested on detanglers with a lotion type consistency, more similar to KBB’s hair milk or Darcy’s Botanicals leave-in conditioners. And while I’m quick to place it in the ‘creme’ consistency wagon, it could also fall under the more thicker butter-like family.

As a leave-in, it works, and by ‘works’ I mean it detangled, softened & moisturized my hair before a whole host of other products touched my strands. After the hair was well conditioned, I applied the Ghee in sections, lightly detangling the ends with a wide tooth comb, then brushing through with the Denman brush. Detangling was relatively easy, and much to my surprise I honestly felt I could’ve also styled with it. Because I wanted to prolong the look of my twists I did layer with the Amla Heavy Creme, yet knowing that this could double as an easy quick styler in slightly less colder temps, had me feeling even more pleased with the investment.

Product Description

  • Restores manageability, softness and elasticity to normal to very dry hair. Smooths cuticles, improves combing ability and reduces breakage.
  • Natural dark chocolate scent.
  • Key Ingredients: Contains pure, prime pressed Cocoa Butter to smooth, soften and seal in moisture, Horsetail, Nettle and Barley to strengthen and condition and sulfur rich MSM to nourish follicles and support growth. Enhanced with carefully selected mild and eco-friendly detangling actives, it instantly restores manageability, pliability and elasticity to matted and tangled hair.
  • Does not contain mineral oil, lanolin, silicones, parabens or artificial fragrances.
  • Directions: For tangled hair that is damp or dry, divide hair into 4-8 sections. Apply a moderate amount to the entire length of one section at a time and work through with fingers. Use a wide toothed comb to comb through from end to root as hair is instantly softened and detangled. For use as a conditioner, rub a small to medium amount between palms and work through wet, damp or dry hair. Leave in.

Here’s the sidenote though: To ensure the effectiveness of the Ghee, it’s best to either finger comb your hair before applying, detangle with either a wide-tooth/Denman, or seriously condition enough so that a comb can glide easily through your strands. The Ghee DOES NOT HAVE SLIP! There was really no need for all caps, but when we think of good detanglers, many of us (including moi!) expect the slip & slide effect. Slip is often times our miracle worker in the best of products because it makes our job of detangling all the more easy. While application is relatively easy, you shouldn’t have to use more than a dime size amount to get the job done, but to ensure the longevity of the Ghee make sure to properly engage in conditioney activities prior;-).

Because I have oddles of leave-ins to choose from while styling the hair each week, I’m always hesitant to label something as a staple, BUT…the Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee has my heart as a mainstay in the rotation. Because I have…literally about a tablespoon sized amount left in my jar, I’m fiending to make another purchase sometime soon. A 2 oz jar will run you $5.50 while a nice sized 5 oz jar goes for $14

February 22, 2010

Understanding Natural Hair

I do not think the wonder and natural discovery of African American hair will ever quiet down. Last year, with the premier of Chris Rock’s Good Hair film, and really just a quick uptake in the natural hair community over the past few years – it certainly looks more like the very beginnings of an on going movement to better understanding.

I do not believe natural hair is a trend. I do not believe that if it is not talked about, or the media decides it is no longer en vogue that it is no longer important or relevant. It’s easy to slip into the argument, ‘hair is just hair’…though highly textured/African hair deserves a much higher honor and it’s due respect.

The documentary, A Journey to Understanding by O.M. Ajayi explores the history of African American textured hair. If you have the time, show some love by pressing play or bookmark & share. Click here for a sneak peak.

Also by Ajayi, Hair: A Conversation

link via Investigate.Conversate

February 6, 2010

Shanty Roller-Set

Over the past two weeks or so , I’ve managed to make a beautiful mess out of…stuff.

It’s getting to the point where the obligation to apologize for not blogging is resembling a crooked crutch I’m leaning on much too much. When did I last blog about my hair?

….

I’ll get the hang of it. Eventually. It’s all about organizing the ‘real’ and whatever else goes on ‘up there.’ My head’s been preoccupied with a flurry of syllabus’, due dates, group projects, new responsibilities at full-time job, remodeling this humble abode…figuring out a new budget loved lifestyle that befits a grad student.

Works in progress.  Such is life eh? But I suck still because while I’m filling the page with excuses, last week before the head hit for a doze, I kind of wanted to talk about my first attempt at roller-setting. Twas my first attempt & it was a good experience in that I was mindful in taking notes for the future.

Instead of going over wash/condition routines I need to pinpoint tips I might want to incorporate into future roller-set attempts.

  • Sectioning hair is VERY important

I took the willy nilly approach into setting the hair simply because I had every intention of putting the set in an up-do protective style for the coming week. Not the best approach because effectively parting the hair before it’ s dry and set in rollers, helps the curls to lay in a more proportioned manner rather than having one curl meet east & the other meet west. My outcome was fair, but it certainly lacked uniformity.

  • I ran out of rollers. Thinking you have enough rollers to set the hair as opposed to KNOWING you have enough are worlds apart when it gets down to standing in front of the mirror.

The rollers I’d purchased the day before, three packs of six. I had eighteen medium length/width rollers that I’d intended to roll the back portion of hair, while using longer/thinner rods to set the front. Not a bad idea, though the outcome wasn’t what I’d expected. The back of the hair once dried left me with nice bouncy ringlets, while the front was…not. It looked haphazard and not well put togehter. It’s best to keep the rollers within the same family in terms of length/width so outcomes aren’t as drastically different.

  • Styling/Setting products are just as important as types of rollers used

I used KBB hair milk as a leave-in, with Afroveda’s Curly Custard.  Speaking only for my hair, these two products are best used to two-strand twist, flat twist, braid etc., but…eh…, not particularly fancy for a roller-set. Proper roller setting requires the hair to lay smooth, not raised(?), which has always been a problem for my hair because of the few different textures that run throughout. My hair runs on the fuzzy side even on a good day, always has. Only product that could help keep the swelling down has been some added gel (which I’m adamant in NOT using) & a setting lotion.

I’m researching different products best used for roller-setting, which is a bit tricky – last time a roller set was done on my hair was during my relaxed days & setting lotions/products used then have ingredients my hair has grown unaccustomed to over the years.

I’ll definitely try the style again, overall the change in routines was well worth it. I did not do much in terms of styling for the rest of the week. I pinned the hair up quite often, and refreshed the hair with a bit of KBB hair butter & Jane Carter Revitalizing Spray when it turned a bit dry. This week (likely tonight) I’ll wash/DC the hair & resume my regular twisting schedule because homework beckons.

Still debating on doing an Amla treatment…Bentonite? I need a lil sumthin to treat my hair, these colder temps are not forgiving.

February 1, 2010

Natural Legacy: Black History Month

The New International Civil Rights Center Museum

Today marks the first day of Black History Month & while I do want to update and post about the goings on related to all things hair & product, my heart wants so desperately to share something entirely different…if only for today.

Black History Month is a time that I hold dear for reasons – too numerous to count. Author & blogger Lori L. Tharps has a great post up today mapping out a great & easy strategy to enjoying the rest of this month, which has me especially giddy with anticipation because I am certainly not the only one.

I can’t be the only one who enjoys the influx of culture and historical lessons all smashed up for us to ingest in 28 short days.  You have the Times today devoting a piece to the newly christened International Civil Rights Center Museum in Greensboro, N.C., and so many other outlets taking part to commemorate such an important mark in history.

Personally, I do feel it is a celebration, and not one made of  traditional markings of hats, balloons & presents.  The rewards granted towards all people of color are felt each and every day, I feel it each time I walk into work – get on a plan to see my parents – on Nov 2008 when I woke up at 5 a.m. to make a quiet, distinctive walk with neighbors to the voting hall.

It’s that feeling…that is so very welcomed and embraced each time this year.

~~~~

A truly beautiful piece in the Washington Post yesterday had me near tears. A mother of two remarks on the rituals of combing her daughter’s hair.

Soon now, these days will be gone from me. As I settle myself on the couch, my 11-year-old daughter, Savannah, brings me her hair basket: comb, water bottle, hair grease, barrettes. She plants herself on the floor, squarely between my knees, and I begin my work. There’s the everyday hair-doing, but wash day takes more time, and slowly I separate the thick, kinky tangle growing from her head. I rub in a dollop of grease — Kemi Oyl or root stimulator lotion, but mostly just dark blue Ultra Sheen (I like the standards) — to make the hair obedient, and part it into sections, clipping each firmly to her head.

My hands are slower and gentler now than they were when she was younger and I was younger, with a career to chase, and an older daughter who had her own head of hair for me to do, and another baby yet to come.

Sometimes, if I was pressed for time, I could get by with a few surface brush strokes and a liberal application of gel to make the girls passably presentable, but it took 20 minutes of work to make them look special. Twenty minutes to make them feel pretty so that neighbors would comment on the straightness of their parts. Twenty minutes to be reassured that I’d sent my children into the world making clear that they were valued and loved. Twenty minutes. Every day. Minimum. Apiece. For me to feel assuaged that if one day, please, God, no, they suddenly disappeared, I could persuade the 24-hour cable networks that my girls really were worthy enough to be news– because, after all, black mothers can’t recall a time where missing black women and children got national media attention.

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January 26, 2010

Shop Talk: Adore Your Natural Hair

Sometimes, this obsessive blog thing tends to pay off when you stumble upon something as poetic and downright beautiful as this piece written by Tami, of ‘What Tami Said’ today.

Right now, the back left side of my hair is strangely puffy, fuller than the rest of my head. The curls there are stretched out and winding this way and that. You may surprised to hear me say that I am NOT having a bad hair day. I am; however, in the throes of hand-in-nap disease.

From my own experience, and the stories of other women, I’ve learned that a curious thing often happens when a black woman “goes natural.” First, she is curious, but a little fearful of what lies under all those years perming or weaving or wigging. The decision to stop relaxing can be far from…relaxing. How could it be when society reinforces the idea that if curly hair is a problem, kinky hair is an abomination? It is not beautiful or professional or presentable. Fashion models don’t rock TWAs. The girl nextdoor never has dreads. CEOs don’t sport twists or BAAs. That’s what we’re told, anyway. For years, she has headed to the salon at the first sign of a wave at her roots. Girl, I need a touch up! This shit is NAPPY! Now, she is expected to believe that the same thing she has sought to hide for decades is a good thing.

So, she watches her new growth and hopes that her nappy is not too nappy. There is even a hair-typing scale to obsess over. Please, please let me be more 3A than 4C. Perhaps she spends no small amount of time looking for lotions and potions that will create curls where there are only kinks and zigzags or to give the illusion of wet, shiny tendrils. This behavior–the symptom of a mind still fettered to misguided notions about race and beauty–hopefully does not last for long.

Freedom eventually does come. She learns to stop wishing her hair was other than it is. She learns that naps–whether loose and curly or tight and kinky–can be beautiful. She experiments and discovers that her thick 4a hair makes gorgeous, plump twists; or that her 4c tresses spring into a kick-ass afro; or that her 3a curls look elegant in an up-do. She learns to “do you” as they say. And it clicks that a beauty scale that preferences appearance based on how closely it conforms to that of the majority culture is as useless as it is biased.

And then she falls in love. I did.

Folks who think only straight and silky hair is worth a loving touch are missing something delightful. Running your hand over textured hair (With the owner’s permission!) is addictive. I start at the back. First, my fingers usually find the smooth, neat curls at the nape of my neck. I pull them and they spring back into place. I wrap the strands around my fingers absentmindedly. My hands then crawl further up my head to the crown, where the texture is tighter and a little more coarse. I examine the differences in texture, touching the bumps and waves–smooth here, crinkly there. Before long I am separating my curls, pulling them apart where they have clumped together. And when that is done, when my loose hair is no longer a series of curls but a mass of brown cotton candy, I start wrapping the strands together into twists. Then I pull the twists out again. The result–usually a section of my hair is fluffier and puffier and less uniform than the rest, due to my stretching and stroking. It is relaxing and sensuous. Last night, while catching up on a season one disc of the Fox show Fringe, I discovered I had plaited my whole head.

I can’t help it. Such is “young love.” I adore the feel of my hair. I yearn to touch it. It is hard not to fondle it. And that is so much better than hating it.

*more beauty found here

January 22, 2010

Naturelle Chic Feature

I’m happy it’s Friday, I’m thankful another week has come & gone…& I am overjoyed to be ‘here.’ I hope I’m not coming off a bit ambiguous, but I always have a select few Mantra’s floating in my brain at any given time…and this one is speaking to me quite loudly today.

That small bit was supposed to segway into something more special, but I’ll just fall back & let you know about a famously Girl Friendly Blog for the ‘modern brown girl’, ‘A Girl’s Guide to Naturelle-Chic‘. I came across Zannëta’s blog a few weeks ago, & she was kind enough to reach out asking me to be featured . The blog is quite addicting, mixing hair profiles with style icons, chic home decor & even gooey homemade recipes I never knew about! Aside from being a certified PJ, I’m no doubt a blog whore…by choice;0), and this one was instantly added to the bill. You can check out my spot here.

Another cool endeavor  comes by way of Indie land to help raise awareness of Haiti and it’s current relief efforts. Each day Indie Fixx will silent auction a bevy of beautiful items made & donated by indie crafters, artists and designers.  Great things are up for grabs, including a few items from Zaja Naturals, a personal favorite vendor of mine;-). 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Response Fund. Click here or on link below to learn more.

Posting is set to resume as regularly scheduled beginning this weekend. Update on Contest in the coming days as well;-).

I hardly ever  do a short & sweet post do I?!

Ha!

Have a FANTASTIC weekend everyone!

*image via CK Collectables

January 6, 2010

Thank You’s & Contest!

Turns out I have plenty to be thankful for this past year. The list is plentiful and I haven’t the borrowed melancholy to jot them all down…except for a few.

A year ago today Back To Curly was created by a seemingly bored young thing, lamenting in the comforts of chips & dip about her heat damaged hair. I’d been distraught for weeks, heading to and fro many a beauty supply store to find a cure-all for the straight ends that were taunting me each time I got down to styling. I knew nothing about hair health, products to steer clear of, websites (blogs) full of uber knowledge, YouTube channels with ladies pouring out their own passions for all things natural. I knew nothing, but still felt I needed to contribute the ‘something’ that would help climb me out of this rut.

Chronicling my hair journey was that ‘something,’ and like our girl Sunshine emphatically points out, often times you just have to ‘Do It!’ A journey can’t begin until you have a clear goal in mind, yet you have to learn to envision it- whether it’s hair related, job related, relationship related…etc. By doing ‘It,’ you’re doing ‘You.’

So with that a huge ‘Thank You,’ goes out to the friends I’ve made in the past year, bloggers, real life ladies who continue to inspire me everyday, and even those I hope to meet in the future. A year ago I set out to start something, anything that would help vent my frustrations, and today I’m back on solid ground… ‘Back To Curly’ (pun intended;-), and it’s been more than a swell journey.

In a few weeks I embark on a different kind of journey (Grad School, Hoozah!!!), which has me excited/anxious/stir crazy/fearful/nervous – basically all those good feelings letting you know you’re onto something good! The blog will continue, cause a girl has to get her hair did, though to kick off what I hope to be an even better, inspiring year here’s a special Contest Giveaway! Most likely this is the only one I’ll be doing this year or for the foreseeable future, so trying to make it worthwhile;-)

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January 5, 2010

Bee Mine – Bee Hold Curly Butter

Feels like I haven’t done a review in a good minute, but this one I absolutely wanted to make sure I busted through. For every PJ purchase there is often a tale or two to tell, whether it involves faulty shipping, snippy customer service or simply waiting a lifetime for your goodies to arrive. Luckily this tale is void of nonsensical drama even though it throws back to Black Friday, when I purchased during the online frenzy using a coupon the owner graciously offered her Twitter followers.

Heard about Bee Mine products via YouTube and word of mouth, and because the owner reached out with the coupon & I’d heard nothing but great things regarding their Customer Service, on impulse placed an order.

Shipping was quick & very easy considering the influx of orders many online companies received during the Black Friday events. Order was placed on Nov. 27th,  soon received package a week and a half later.  In my bundle was the companies # 1 seller, Bee Hold Curly Butter. a shea butter & aloe  based moisturizer.  The butter is available in seven scents including unscented:

* Coconut Cream

* Baby Powder

* Chocolate Decadence

* Unscented

* Mango

* Strawberry Kiwi

* Island Mango (Tropical Mango)

I chose Baby Powder, which in all honestly might’ve been a bit too strong for my nose. I prefer light baby scent smells, & this came off a bit perfumery on top of the baby powder. Other than scent the ingredient list is short & good:

Ingredients –

100% Shea Butter, 100% Aloe Vera Gel, Essential Oil Blend, Glycerin Oil, Rosemary Leaf and Chammomile Extract, Silk Powder and Perfume

The butter was not what I’d come to know of traditional butter stylers, comparable perhaps to Afroveda’s buttercream or KBB hair cream.  The consistency resembled more of a pudding/cream than a butter and goes on silky without having to emulsify in hands prior. To me this is an added bonus. No need to be heavy handed as I tend to be, a dime size amount was used to coat a single twist while hair was sufficiently wet/damp. As the directions suggest, best results are achieved when product is applied to damp or wet hair then dried, yet I’d still love to dry it to slick back the front edges using a soft bristle.

The shea butter and aloe based curly butter is packed with rich moisturizing nutrients to give you lasting moisture and promote growth.  It has a soft touchable hold that will help to defrizz your frizzies and give great defintion

The butter does help to cut down on frizz and significantly defined my hair, enough to prolong my usual 7 day twist-out.  I twisted the hair for a Christmas party December 23rd, and didn’t wash out the style until January 3rd! To maintain the style & to retain moisture, I twisted hair every other night (not the entire head, just the crown and front third), and left the back ends in two pony puffs. The mornings were meant for fluffing and going, making me seriously LOVE this product. It does not feel product heavy, comes in a generous 8 oz size at $13.

I would absolutely purchase the Bee Hold Curly Butter again because of the great moisture it provided, considering I styled the do in pretty frigid temps over the Holidays.  With proper maintenance, this product should be good for two-strand twists, braid-outs, twist & curls, flat twists – pretty much any style that needs long lasting hold and ample moisture. Sample 2 oz sizes start at $4 – reaching the larger 16 oz at $23.  All other products from the line can be found here.