Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Republic Tea

Ive always admired Zhara and her outlook on healthy hair and life. She has this herbal tea drink that shes posted on her fotki. Well I'm about as lazy as drinking things than I dont know what. One day on fotki ( my third home), I spotted this republic tea on a ladys picture album. I was like well this sounds pretty darn good. I looked it up at the site and heres the description

No bones about it: strength is beautiful. From lustrous locks to oh-so-gorgeous nails, growth and strength come from what you eat - and drink. So when it's tea time, consider this caffeine-free herbal blend, based on healthpromoting organic rooibos. A luscious little beauty treatment - the kind that works from the inside out. This natural blend with horsetail, oatstraw, nettles and silica, delivers minerals for body and bones we don't always get in our diets. Add the assertive flavors of Guatemalan black limon and peppermint, and we're talking about one very attractive brew. Sip it and look forward to more good hair days.

I found it at a local Vitamin Shoppe right next to my job which worked out great because I was dreading shipping price and time. Its called Get Growing. I received 36 bags for $9.99. Online its $10.50. It has a peppermint flavor thats very nice and soothing. I sweeten it very lightly , no more than one shake( of a packet) of Sun Crystals( stevia/pure sugar cane). I just love the full flavor that comes from this. The ingredients are : Organic Rooibos (leaf), Peppermint (leaf), Horsetail (aerial parts), Stinging Nettle (aerial parts), Oatstraw, Black Limon.

Blog Updates/ Sample Giveaways

I love the fact that people have decided to follow my blog. I don't mind if the responses aren't frequent, I simply like that fact that maybe someone else out there can gain just one insight or show me something that can change my outlook on things. I check my dashboard regularly to check up on the people that I follow myself. It's relaxing and relevant to my natural journey to read, watch, and fotki stalk other women as well.

coming soon sample giveaways

shealoe mixtures
black soap
Buttermix samples
Clay bundles
Ayurvedic Herb bundles

Let me know what you would like to try or what interests you and we can get it rolling

Pre-poo, what is that you say... Poo who??

As a natural I like to use conditioner to wash my hair , or sometimes shampoo's. The shampoo has to be a natural one though without any harsh addictive such as SLS or SLES ( Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS ) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).

Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.

I have found several natural shampoo's that are gentle and do not strip moisture from my hair but my hair still feels squeaky clean when using them at times. A couple of favorites are:

Given by Natures Rosemary Mint Shampoo, Just Mint Shampoo* ( discontinued)
Blended Beautys Soy Shampoo ( This is top notch, the price is too high though)
OyinHandmade Honeywash
HerbNLife Royal Rinse Shampoo
Black Soap

Even when using these I prepoo because I know my hair is going to get super clean. The choices of a prepoo can range greatly. Anything that you can use for deep conditioning can be used for a prepoo.

I started off with olive oil and honey, then moved on to Myashas Honeydew Treatment, then Aubrey Organics Conditioners, and any type of oil. The choice is up to you. I change frequently but the end result is the same. My hair feels GREAT.

I prepoo, cleanse, deep condition , rinse and style. So I'm only wetting my hair twice. If I'm doing a henna I prepoo , henna and rinse, deep condition, rinse and style. Still only twice. I never wash my hair first then henna, then rinse, then deep condition , then rinse and style. Too much water and handling can strip the hair as well.

Whats my hair type?

When you first entertain the thoughts of going natural , most women have this question in mind. You see all the marketing on television , magazines and in the media with all these women with "textured hair" and wonder what yours will look like.

You only have google natural hair in a search engine and become overwhelmed by the depth of information out there. I myself was misguided by looking at Carols Daughter in 2006. I saw Lisa Price and Jada Pickett giving information on what products worked for them. I said heck well let me buy these products and my hair will look like theirs. I didn't grasp the fact that their hair texture is different then mine because honestly no one explained each head of hair is different. It took me awhile to figure out this.

I transitioned 2007-2008 by wearing weaves and braids. I would clip my hair after taking it out and going about my business. I made my own products and on occasion I would order something online if I read online with great reviews. I didn't know jack about definition , or clumping or , curl pop.I purchased some Curly Pudding from Miss Jessie's and did twists, I assumed that's what I could do with it. My hair was a hot purple mess. So I started researching and wound up on Nappturality. It felt like home and lo and behold I was nominated to be Napptural of the Month starting off the year 2009.

My styling techniques were strictly twists, twist outs, and braids. I didn't know my hair could do anything else. I read and researched and started to see trends about hair typing. I knew for myself I didn't want to fall into the trap of wanting my hair to look like someone elses with a looser trap. I am and was quite happy with my type 4 hair. As I slowly started my hair routine I noticed my hair was curly. I was like cool, did I shout to the world no, I just kept it moving . Oddly it rubs me wrong when I wear my hair in a wash and go and people take notice. I'd rather you tell me you love my hair as it looks like a cloud of cotton , then clumps of curls.

It does pain me though to see women get caught up in hair typing and longing for curls like other naturals. The world has changed in many ways but for women of the diaspora its a struggle for us with our hair. It always has been. Speaking for myself, I love weaves and braids. Its a chance to give myself a break from daily styling but theres nothing like running my fingers throughout my own head and feeling how good it is that it is all mine.

I just hope that if you discover once you're fully natural that your hair doesn't curl and doesn't clump and doesn't define , you don't get disappointed because God made you and God doesn't make mistakes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lucretias Body Oils and Sprays

I've ordered twice from her and each time I am a satisfied customer. I will continue to purchase from her for as long as her site is up. These oils are the BIDNESS, do you hear me??? The cheapest size bottle is only $5.00. A minimum of $20.00 is the only drawback to some. It doesn't bother me in the least.

A couple of weeks ago a coworker walked by and I broke my neck telling her how good she smelled. Well lo and behold Ms Lucretia had it in stock. I have been smelling myself ALL morning. If I don't smell good , I don't know what does. I am IN LOVE. I will be making another purchase in the larger sizes but I have to tell you she has an inventory to rival any store!!!
Shipping is 7-10 Business Days *

I ordered 01/15/10 and my order arrived 01/25/10

Essential Balms

I have kept my eye on Essential Balms for quite awhile. I was intrigued by their Head to Toe Products mainly the Taste Me! 100% All Natural Massage oil with Honey& Jojoba. I was on their site and see that they have some tutorials. I thought it was pretty cool they way their two-strand twists are put in. In the future after my protective style comes down I will try to put some twists in following their routine.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips from Komaza Care

1. Watering your hair daily or every other day is crucial. This does not mean washing your hair but merely wetting it. Water is the best moisture for our hair. Water also acts as a toner for hair products. It helps bring hair products further into the hair shaft this way products won’t weigh your hair down. So you should always apply hair products to damp hair for wash and go styles.
If you live in colder climate and not too happy about leaving the house with wet hair then we suggest wetting your hair then adding products when you get home. Remember braiding or twisting hair at bedtime makes for easy grooming the next day.

2. Get to know and accept your hair texture. Most natural hair care products are not designed to change your hair texture, however, make it more manageable and offer your hair essentials to encourage healthy growth.

3. When applying hair products it is best to work in the product by finger combing your hair. This way you are also training your hair. When purchasing your hair products be sure to buy a water base product such as hair lotions or sprays and a moisture sealant which are oil based products such as hair oils, balms or butters. Always use the moisturizer before the moisture sealant.

4. Do NOT use bristle brushes, especially, if you have tightly coiled hair. This will weaken and cause your hair break. Use a wide toothed comb, a paddle/wig brush, or finger comb. On average we shed up to 100 stands of hair daily so it is important to groom hair. Remember to start grooming from your ends to scalp.

5. It is important to keep a clean scalp. Washing your hair 1-2 times a week is excellent! Natural shampoos are not as effective to remove cones from hair. You may have to wash hair twice if using a natural shampoo and products with dimethicone.

6. Shrinkage is normal for our type hair. The best way to combat shrinkage is preparation. A braid or twist out are great styles for African American hair. If you can’t find the time then you may want to look into a gel type of products which will only minimize shrinkage.

7. Wear a silk or satin scarf to bed. This will protect your hair and stop it from breaking and drying out. A satin pillow case will do as well.

8. Love your hair in all its glory. If your hair is healthy then it is beautiful!

Komaza Care

I recently tried some products from the Komaza Care line . I'm pleased thus far and might continue to try other things in the line. So far I have purchased Coconut Hair pudding, a sample of the Olive Moisture Mask, Califia Moisturizing cream and Coconut hair milk. The hair pudding has a wonderful soft hold. I used it for flat twists and under KCCC for a wash and go. My hair is always left moist and soft. Its weird to look at in the jar though. You can see some bit of coconut oil hardened because of the cold weather yet it melt easily when added to the hair. I will continue to play around with this and try different combinations. The Califia cream was light yet a nice soft moisture left in my thick hair. The Coconut hair milk is a lovely light creamy concoction. I was very suprised but as Ive come to learn, my dense strands might not necessarily like heavy products.

Out of all four things that I purchased the one that I didn't like the most was the Olive Moisture Mask, the smell was artificial and while my hair was soft it wasn't out of the norm soft. It looks like some new items have been launched and the website has undergone a makeover. In the near future I will be making a new purchase.

Now the only con I have to warn you about is shipping. For some odd reason , the company's shipping is off the charts. I added some things to my cart but the total was over $65 so my order would ship free but I cringe to think of me just ordering samples.

I will keep an eye on this for an order next week. Here's the link

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Whats in your Ayurvedic Mix?

I love henna. It has really made a difference in my hair, However it may be knocked down to a second runner up in regards to my Ayurvedic paste mix. Amla keeps my curl pattern in tact something fierce. I just love washing my hair with my mix and adding my leave in and styler. It’s simply amazing to be able to just shake my head and go!

I used to add Amla, Brahmi, Shikakai and Aritha. My mix has been changed and I’ve been sticking to it faithfully for the last 3 months. It now contains Amla, Brahmi, Maka, Fenugreek, Coconut milk powder, Aritha, Shikakai, and Kalpi tone. I mix enough with tepid water to make a medium thick paste. I part my hair in four sections and smooth thru in a downwards motion. Once dry I don’t touch it because its rock hard almost. I leave in for as long as I want. Usually around 30 minutes at the least. After that I can condition but most times I could go straight to leave in and styler. I have to say for a wash and go using this paste is like setting the ground work.

Emblica Officinalis, Amla powder, is tan, with an acidic astringent smell like a combination of raw cranberries and oak tree bark. The paste makes hair glossy and silky, enhances waves and curl, and leaves a clean, healthy scalp. Amla can make henna and indigo dye your hair a cooler brunette. When you scrub your face with the paste, your skin feels firm and tight

Brahmi powder is a remedy for people with chronic hair problems. Brahmi can make hair dark, dense, and lustrous. It strengthens hair roots, thus controlling hair fall.

Bhringraj aka Maka is one of the distinguished medicinal herbs used in preparation of ayurvedic medicines. It is one of the prominent herbs used as an ayurvedic medicine for treatment of Hair loss, premature greying, ect

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) prevents hair fall, contains lecithin and promotes hair growth

Aritha Powder cleans hair completely, recommended for washing oily hair. The soap nut powder has excellent foaming and shampooing properties * must add amla or brahmi as aritha is drying to curly/textured hair

Shikakai Powder being a natural conditioner for hair, Shikakai strengthens hair roots and promotes luxuriant growth.

Kalpi tone has a mixture of Amla Fruit (10%), Maka Leaves (10%), Mandoor (10%), Japakusum Flower (9%), Narangichal (8%), Shikakai Fruit (7%), Kumari Leaves (7%), Kapoor Kachli (6%), Brahmi Leaves (5%), Methi Seed (5%), Wala (5%), Khadir Stem (3%), Chandan (2%), Neem Leaves, Sitaphal Seed Powder, Sugandhi Dravya. Kalpi Tone helps control dandruff, hair loss and premature graying of hair.

Usually I can get most of my items locally but the Maka, and Fenugreek is a little harder to find. I usually purchase from this wonderful vendor! If you are a member of LHCF and Nappturality she gives a discount. Her shipping is outstanding and her customer service is just wow!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Botanical Spirits

So one day I'm on NaturallyCurly minding my business and I see a mention of a KinkyCoils Pudding, well you know I had to go investigate. Well here is what I ordered, Be on the look out for a complete review.
I purchased SugarCane shampoo in a sample size( was free), Peppermint Mud Hair Mask, Curl Tamer & Deep conditioner, Kinks Coils Pudding, Soft curls Creme, Magic Curls Puree ( Regular and Extra Strength), Hemp Shea Glaze
Her site and information she has listed is interesting to say the least. She has a hair typing system but also there is some stuff on her products that may not be kosher to some.

I have no need to alter my curls or loosen them at all. I use henna because I like how my hair feels after, with that being said.

Definition of a Nappy

I cant clump my curls with a comb or a denman, it disturbs my pattern by poofing my hair into a cloud of hair. In order for my curls to clump I have to rake a styler into my hair in sections with my fingers. Thats it. To seperate the curls a little I lightly shake and go about my business.

I use a leave in on freshly washed hair , then castor oil or Qhemets Biologics Olive and Honey Hydrating Balm, then my Styler. A styler usually has aloe , or aloe vera gel based which leaves my hair a little crunchy , so the oil usually keeps my hair nice and soft yet still defined.

Sometimes you feel like a wig... sometimes you dont.

I like to change my styles up. I like the look of straight hair sometimes, but my own strands will never have heat on them again. so to sooth the beast or just to see something different I usually bounce from a weave, to kinky twists, to wigs. I usually throw out my wigs when I get tired of them.

This Saturday I found a reallly cute wig. My son said " Mom, that looks just like your hair except its longer than yours". I was like cool and picked it up for a nice $20 Bucks. What do you think??

Never loose and wet....gone gone gone!!

I was a big follower of the never loose and wet, what I didnt realize is I can never wash my hair loose and expect it not to hurt. I have to section my hair into four parts. Two in the front and two in the back to wash, style and clean.

I prepoo in those sections , I wash in those sections and finally I style in those sections. I have gotten my hair clean day downpat like noones business. My hair doesnt hurt anymore when I wash and it doesnt tangle as much. I never was a big detangler but its even easier for me now. I can either wear my hair semi shrunken , or keep it as stretched as I want . Its up to me.

I use my Qhemets Detangling Ghee on the iffy spots and detangle with my fingers! Thats it.

Elucence Moisture Balance Conditioner

Moisture Balancing Conditioner is a dual purpose moisture adjusting product. This smart formula adjusts moisture as needed and works two ways.As a one-minute rinse out, it boosts moisture levels with essential lipids and proteins. As a leave-in lotion, it provides continuous moisturizing and suppleness to unusually dry hair. These lipids and fatty acids mimic hair and scalp natural moisture. Squalane, a natural component of hair and scalp moisture is used in this formula to replenish and restore moisture balance (this special ingredient comes from olives). Lipids provide subsurface hydration, optimizing moisture levels and detangle hair to create managability. Hydrolyzed proteins process from natural wheat, lock in moisture to prevent dehydration. For intense moisture treatment, use under dryer for 15-20 minutes (with plastic cap). Or use MicroHeat Cap.

Key ingredients: Panax Ginseng root extract, cetraria islandia (Irish Moss) extract, saccharomyces cerevisiea (Brewer's Yeast) extract, Gingko Biloba extract, pimpinella anisum (Anise) fruit extract, prunis persica (Peach) extract in purified water, hexadecanol, stearakonium chloride, certimonium bromide, Squalane (olive oil lipid), Capric Caprillic Triglycerides (coconut fatty acids), Panthenol (pro-vitamin USP), Biotin (USP), imisazolidinyl urea, methylparaben (USP), fragrance

I've been hearing this conditioner is just the bomb diggity, so you know I had to try it. Honestly I wasn't blown away. It was nice, it was creamy, it had slip and my hair was soft but it still can't top my Hello Hydration by Herbal Essences. There is a paraben listed at the very bottom of the ingredient list as well as UREA , fyi

I havent given up on it, so far Ive used it 4 times. I will say I left some in under my castor oil and KCCC washngo and my hair was FAB. so the jurys still out ......

Aubrey Organics Conditioners revamped as Pre-poos

Im sure you all have tried Aubrey Organics Conditioners at one time or another. Its easily gotten on ground at a lot of natural food stores. I used to purchase mine at Whole Foods but discovered that I could get them much cheaper at Vitamin Shoppe and not have to worry about shipping. What more could a product junkie ask for?

I have never tried the conditioners as a cowash because I dislike diluting my products. I want the full strength of the product. I used to use them on wet hair for deep conditioning. Looking at the product and actually reading the bottle it states to use on DRY hair for deeper conditioning.

Prior to a henna I usually pre-poo , so one day I decided to use my Honeysuckle Rose on dry hair overnight. Well let me tell you , my hair felt like butter, BEFORE I even rinsed. I thought that thickness of the conditioner would make it hard to penetrate but what I noticed is , the conditioner soaked into my hair in less than 30 minutes. I could tell because my hair went from a creamy color to its dark brown without any additional rubbing than to put it on each section.

I havent looked back since, If I decide to try any of the other conditioners I will stick to using them as a prepoo. so far in my line up I have Island Conditioner, Jojoba&Aloe Desert Herb and the White Camellia Conditioner.

Its been awhile but I'm back

I havent blogged in awhile because of the holidays and honestly just plumb at a loss what to do about my hair. Im at that dreaded in between stage. I'm almost Arm Pit Length in the sides and back and yet still at my nose with my bang area.

Its causing my twistouts to look a hot mess, so in the last month or so I have perfected my washngo in the WINTER. Its a big deal because I always loved to cowash however NJ weather didnt love me. Well lo and behold I figured out how to cowash at night , not mush my hair and to still keep it defined.

Posts coming soon will have my " definition of a nappy". I'm a 4 type all the way. I prefer my clouds of puffs then my curl coils most of the time because its quite tiring to hear all the ado about it. You never get that when my hair looks unpatterned so I love for people to exclaim " Wow I didnt expect it to be that soft".

I've discovere some new products and websites to share with you all , so please look forward to it.

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