Product Spotlight: EDEN BodyWorks

As a black girl going through the whirlwind of emotions when starting your natural hair journey, our first question we ask ourselves is, “What products should I try for my curls?” or “Will this product work for my texture?” We go from Cantu to Creme of Nature to Curls, Miss Jessie’s and many more to achieve those beautiful braid-outs and trendy twist outs but to complete this look we need the one essential product that every curly girl should have: a to-die-for edge control. Continue reading Product Spotlight: EDEN BodyWorks

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Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

As curly girls, we know the amount of time that goes into maintaining and growing our natural hair. But are we taking care of our coils as best as possible, or are we doing the bare minimum because we know how tedious #WashDay can be? Check out the four indicators of healthy natural hair, and I promise you’ll never skip a deep conditioning treatment again!

Continue reading Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

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Youtuber Spotlight: Queens & Curls

Our very own president of UC’s chapter of Curly in College has her own youtube channel. Keianna, who goes under the name “Queens & Curls,” is an expert in all things natural hair related. In her latest video, which is seen above, she shows us how she uses Curls products to achieve a three strand twist out. Her other videos include tutorials, her favorite products to use, and a wash routine.

Curly in College will be sharing her videos here on the blog, but in the meantime, check out Queens & Curls for yourself, and be sure to like, subscribe, and leave a comment if you like what you see.

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Reclaiming My Hair

There comes a time in your life when you have to decide to be honest with yourself. Not sugarcoating anything but being truthful with how you feel on the inside; that way you can learn to embrace the things you wish you could change. I recently had to have this deep and intense conversation with myself. For as long as I can remember I  have always hated my hair. I wished I had longer, thinner, looser curls… I wanted to have “good hair”. Instead I was given extremely thick, medium length hair that I constantly wished would somehow magically change if  I tried hard enough. My childhood was spent sitting  in the beauty salon getting relaxers and spending an hour or two under the dryer to my stylist’s dismay.  I constantly used heat to give me the silky smooth hair that I  desired.

Having hair stylists make remarks about how my hair was too thick to even wash and how it would never get dry, had a damaging effect on my self-esteem. Instead of them giving me tips on my hair type, the negative criticism made me hate my hair even more. At this point I felt as if I could never go to a stylist again because I didn’t want to burden them with my “difficult” hair. My mom tried her hardest to get me to see that the hair I was given was good enough, but I could never see it. Until one day I stumbled upon a Youtube video by Naptural85. Seeing her opened my eyes to a world that I had never even thought I could be apart of. She had the same hair type as me and her hair looked healthy and long just like I had always wanted for myself. On that day I stopped getting relaxers and started my transition.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.49.27 PMI knew that I couldn’t keep straightening my hair because it would start to become heat damaged and doing the big chop was something that I was too scared to do so the next best thing for me was to get sew-ins.  Sew-in extensions became my best friend, having my hair in braids underneath assured me that my hair would grow and stay healthy while allowing me to  have  versatile hair styles. This was my comfort zone for many years and instead of it helping, it hindered me. I was no longer waiting for all of my relaxed hair to grow out but rather deepening my hatred for my own hair. As I got into college I would strategically schedule hair appointments so that none of my classmates would ever see me with my actual hair. I would even go so far as to skip class and call off work so I wouldn’t have to be seen without my “hair security blanket”. It got so bad that my hair stylist was pleading with me to stop with the extensions and to let my hair breath. I knew that in order for me to stop running away from my hair I had to run toward it.

On December 20th I took down my last sew-in and for the first time in three and a half years I wore my hair out. The first full day was the hardest, I constantly looked in the mirror at myself as I tried to adjust to this new person in front of me. I felt self conscious as if wearing my hair in a twistout would make me the target of piercing eyes.  I was worried that wearing my natural hair would make me stand out more thanks to the ridiculous standards of beauty that we are taught. Instead of all of my greatest fears coming true the complete opposite happened, I was comfortable.

The stigma that I associated with my hair was gone and I felt like this afro style suited me better than any of the styles I had previously. As each day goes on I’m learning more and more about my hair and how to take care of it.  I know that not everyday will be a good hair day but the more I accept what I can’t change the better my attitude about myself will be.  The India Arie song I Am Not My Hair contained lyrics that made me ponder even more about my decision to accept my kinks and coils. “Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oh Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? I am expressing my creativity” These lines resonated with me and helped me in the decision to reclaim my hair and to no longer be ashamed of it.

 

 

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Umm? Can I Get Some Real Ingredients? ft. Lion’s Crown™

Are you tired of looking at YouTube videos, blogs, and websites that advocate the use of 100% natural ingredients to help your luscious locks? Are you then met with the dilemma of not finding the right product at your go-to Target, Walmart, Walgreens, or even beauty supply store. Sure products can say no paragon, no paraffin, no synthetic fragrance, etc.  but where can you find that product with nothing but the good ingredients!?image1(1)

I was there too, until I decided to opt out of going to whatever store and spending my coins on products that had maybe 5% of the natural ingredient that I was looking for and made my own. With months of experiments and research of natural ingredients that would mix together perfectly, a moisturizer was born! TAME THY MANE: curl lock&softener is our first product from our brand Lion’s Crownthat is made of 100% natural ingredients! At Lion’s Crown we want to emphasize that it is important for your hair to receive the upmost care with natural ingredients and be able to supply you with products that have just that. We want ladies like you to have fierce but healthy fros.

TAME THY MANE: curl lock&softener is the first of many ideas and products that Lion’s Crown has wanted to present to natural ladies. After I had trouble finding products that could provide 100% natural ingredients and never really trusting what was listed on the back of most products, as CEO of Lion’s CrownI wanted to create my own trust-worthy natural hair products. Outside of providing natural hair products, Lion’s Crown™ caters to naturalists who love to make their appearance bold through their natural mane. We also strive to support ladies who are transitioning and just beginning to start their natural hair journey. Our mission is to support those who need the courage to stand out by supplying them great quality hair products and aid them in their confidence.

image2The Lion’s Crown product line provides quality hair care that will give your hair the TLC it oh so deserves. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays from me, Rienn. Keep that hair bundled up too!

If you want to check up on Lion’s Crown™ products please visit the link below and like our page for more info:

https://www.facebook.com/LionsCrown.TM

 

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Holiday Gifts For Naturalistas Part 2

Tis the holiday season! You might have last minute shopping to do and have absolutely no idea what to get your naturalista. Here’s my gift to you, a gift guide to minimize the holiday stress when it comes to gifting your curly haired friend or family member.

1. Decorative bobby pins or clips
You cannot go wrong with a beautiful hair accessory like these from Elle’s line at Ulta. These make for the perfect touch to almost any hairstyle whether it’s a wash and go or a twist-out.

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2. Kinky Curly Gift Set
This Kinky Curly gift set from Curlmart is perfect for winter. This time of the year, hair can become dry and brittle without proper care. Curlmart’s gift set is the perfect winter concoction; it was designed to lock in moisture while the tempetures are cold.

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3. Headwrap
Headwraps are the perfect protective style for the winter. The Wrap Life provides a wide range of wraps coming in many different patterns and colors. There’s also an array of video tutorials on the website, as t the many different ways you can tie up your scarf. Wraps not only will protect a naturalista’s hair, but it’ll also keep her head warm during the winter!pastedImage-19

4. Satin Pillowcase
A natural hair must! A satin pillowcase will protect any naturalista’s hair throughout the night. Natural Hair Shop has a nice selection of colors to choose from that any naturalista will appreciate.pastedImage-27

5. Naturalista T-shirt
Dearnaturalista has the perfect t-shirts for naturalista’s. The t-shirts boast phrases such as “DON’T TOUCH THE HAIR” or “BIG HAIR BIG DREAMS.”. This gift will be great for any naturalista; you simply cannot go wrong with a t-shirt.pastedImage-15

6. Conditioner
Once again, winter is approaching and that means that hair is at risk for becoming dry. Why not buy conditioner? Whether you know your naturalista’s favorite conditioner or not Target has an abundant supply or hair products made specifically for African American hair. Find the African American hair aisle and have a ball!

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7. Oils, Oils and more oils!
Coconut, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, tea tree, and many more oil options! I’m sure any naturalista would appreciate some oil for their hair. Just be sure to look into the benefits of the oils before you gift this gift. You would not want to buy your naturalista myrrh oil if he has extremely oily hair. pastedImage-5

8. Curlformers
Hair Flair’s Curlformers are a good way to achieve curls without heat. The Curlformers come in an array of sizes and types of curls.pastedImage

9. Bobby pins
Naturalistas go through a lot of bobby pins, so why not buy them more? You can never have too many bobby pins! Sally’s beauty supply is a good place to go for some quality level bobby pins.pastedImage-23

10. Gel!
Another “can’t go wrong,” gel would be well appreciated. More specifically Eco Styler gel. It is affordable, plus there are multiple kinds to meet different styling needs!pastedImage-22

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Naturalistas You Should Know: My Natural Sistas

Do you want to learn how to grow long, thick, and healthy natural hair? Are you tirelessly searching for some natural hair inspiration? Well, My Natural Sistas can help you out!

My Natural Sistas consists of 3 biological sisters, Carmen, Toni, and India, who have become YouTube sensations because of their gorgeous natural hair, amazing beauty and makeup tips, helpful product reviews, and so much more.

These sisters are excellent role models for thousands of natural girls and women who interact with the sisters through Facebook, Tumblr, and of course, YouTube.

There are numerous reasons why you should know, follow, and love this trio. What are some of these reasons, you ask? Well number one, their hair is definitely #hairgoals and will surely give you sooo much LIFE!

Number two, these beautiful women aim to motivate, inspire, educate, and spread love not only within the natural hair community, but among women in general, which is awesome!

Number three, the videos posted by My Natural Sistas will help you out in almost any area of your life. They discuss numerous topics such as natural hair, health, fashion, fitness, beauty, and even love.

Don’t know what style to wear your hair, check out their videos showcasing up do and afro hairstyles. Want to learn how you can improve and simplify your makeup routine, check out their numerous makeup tutorial videos.

These girls are the go to natural sisters! Not only are they all gorgeous ladies, but they are also super sweet and caring towards their fans and girls and women everywhere who look up to them.

My Natural Sistas encourages natural women everywhere to WORK their natural hair! So embrace your curls and kinks ladies and keep your heads up high.

If you want to check out and subscribe to My Natural Sistas YouTube channel to stay updated with all of their amazing tips, you can do so here.

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The Makings Of A Perfect Wash Day

Wash Day, we all have to do it but seriously does it have to consume our day?  We wash, finger detangle, rinse, condition, comb through, rinse, and finally apply product. Sound familiar?

Whether you pre-poo or dive right into washing your hair; or you have short hair or long hair. Wash day can literally take over your entire day, so clear your plans and get ready to spend some one-on-one time with your curls!  Most routines are pretty standard and easy but remain time consiming.  Here we want to talk about how to simplify your routine so you can get back to loving your natural hair.

First step-Shampoo: We want to start off with the right shampoo for your hair.  This can often be a struggle because there are so many great shampoos for natural hair.  Some shampoos have sulfates and some do not, it is all about your personal preference and what you want to put in your hair.  So to help in the process of picking shampoos here are a couple popular shampoos for curly natural hair:

  • Carol’s Daughter Monoi oil shampoo
  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo

Often times after washing your hair, your hair seems a little dry so to get some moisture back into your hair lets add some conditioner.

Second step- Condition:  Conditioner should be a curly girl’s BEST friend.  You can never have too much conditioner! whether your are using it as a leave in, co-wash, or as a follow up to your shampoo; conditioner is a hair saver.  So enough about how great conditioner is – lets get to some facts…

Conditioner softens and smooths your hair to make it easier to comb and detangle while keeping those gorgeous strands intact and not allowing breakage which prevents or lessens damage.

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture! Moisture is what your hair needs to keep it healthy and that is exactly what conditioner does; keeps the strands and ends moisturized.

The best part of all, conditioner leaves your hair shinny and silky unlike clarifying shampoo.  Now through trial and error you can decide what conditioner works best for you but here are a couple favorites:

  • Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea butter restorative Conditioner
  • Aussie Moist Conditioner
  • TRESemme’ Naturals moisturizing conditioner

The fun part begins, adding product.  This is where even more trial and error comes into play (notice a theme? lol).  It’s time to add your leave-in.

Third step- Leave- in conditioner:   I know we just talked about how great conditioner was so what is the difference?  Conditioner is to add moisture into the hair after it has been stripped by the use of shampoo.  You also wash (most) conditioners out of your hair after using. Leave- in conditioner is a leave in, there is no rinsing involved.  Leave-in can also be used as a styling product.  With leave-in conditioner it is there to keep and lock in the moisture and to prevent the breakage from everyday styling.

There is no such thing as too much moisture so use all the leave- in you want!  Just to give some suggestions, here are some great leave- ins:

  • Kinky Curly Knot today
  • Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioning cream
  • Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture milk
  • Miss Jessie’s Leave In Condish

A lot has been said about how amazing and wonderful conditioner is but now lets talk about the tools you need to detangle and get all kinks and knots out.

Essential tools:  All the talk has been about which products to use in your hair.  These tools will help your curls bounce and make it easier to style and protect your hair.  Here are some things that maybe useful to you on wash day:

  • Wide tooth comb
  • Denman brush
  • Diffuser
  • Satin pillowcase or cap

Want to know what products Solange uses and styles her hair? In this great interview with Garance Dore we learn about Solange’s hair care regimen.

The Curly Chronicles will continue. Stay tuned!

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Acknowledging Your Progress

Photo Credit: Ivie Enoma

This is my second time returning to natural hair and I am happy to say that I am far more patience this time around then I was the first time. This can be attributed to my hectic schedule and exhaustion or my overall desire to not focus too much on my hair. Either way, I’ve noticed tremendous growth in my hair and so have others! It’s so easy t
o convince yourself that you’re not making any progress in your hair journey (if it’s geared towards length) because shrinkage is the ultimate form deception! However, once you slow down and begin to notice the little things like finally being able to do a bun without needing bobby pins (I have yet to reach there) or you’re using up your products at a faster rate, you’ll know you’re retaining length. Some people like to have routine length checks but at this point in time I’m not too concerned to get back into that habit. However, every once in a while I will stretch my curls whenever I do notice growth. Just within 5 months I’ve noticed great growth! The last time I straightened my hair, I was struggling to do my signature flip with my bangs and couldn’t hold on to my ends very well. 5 months later and my bands are flippable and significantly longer. I could possibly be at the same length from when I relaxed again in 2015 in the next 5 months.

With longer hair comes changes. I’ve experienced texture change where my hair is now more wavy near my roots and curly towards my ends (I have a head full of lazy curls) and dryer ends which I have to pay more attention to or even switch up my products for. I definitely think my low maintenance and coconut oil massaged has helped a lot. If my hair isn’t in a flat twist and low bun, then it’s in mid-bun and a headband. I sometimes dabble in the occasional wash and go but I’m not a fan of the awkward length stage. I’ll dabble in a bantu knot out if I’m feeling fancy.

Now that I’ve figured out a stable regimen that works best for me, I may play around with different hair products now. Any recommendations you’d like to see my try? And that things do you like to do that you feel have helped you retain length?

See you in the next post!

xoxo

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Mini Twist Out Challenge

I have decided to start doing protective styling on my hair. I have been wearing my hair down a lot, so I am making sure I am retaining length. I will be doing mini twists for the next three months and re-twisting them every three to four weeks. I have also changed my hair regimen to accommodate this challenge. I am going to go through the steps to this challenge.

  1. Wash hair. I washed my hair using the As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner. I really like this product because it cleanses my hair just as well as shampoo, but does not strip my hair of its moisture. Even though it is a conditioner it serves the same purpose as shampoo, I also used Aussie’s Moisturizing Conditioner. I use this product to help soften my hair. I do not leave it in, because I have a leave-in conditioner that I use. This works well with whatever I use to cleanse my hair by adding moisture.
  2. Apply leave-in conditioner. I use Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. This product really leaves my hair soft. It helps to prevent breakage and damages to my hair. I occasionally use Paul Mitchell’s Leave-in Conditioner, but I am using Shea Moisture for the mini twist-out challenge.
  3. Apply styling product. I made my own mixture for the mini twists. I mixed black Jamaican castor oil with shea butter. This was my first time making this mixture. I usually mix olive oil with the shea butter. I like the black Jamaican castor oil better. My hair is really soft. I have had the twists in my head for four days now and my hair is still very soft and moisturized. I have not had to apply anymore product, since I twisted my hair. I applied the mixture in sections, because I wanted to make sure each strand of the hair was covered. I made sure my ends were moisturized as well. I applied it to the big sections and re-applied as I twisted my hair. It left my twists soft and bouncy.
  4. Twist the hair. I have about fifty twists in my head. I divided my hair into eight sections. I took smaller sections within those eight in order to twist. I did two strand twists by wrapping two very small sections around each other.

I am loving the protective styling so far. I wrap my hair every night with a silk scarf. When I take it off in the mornings, my hair is perfectly fine and I do not have to do anything with them. When I was wearing my hair down, it dried out by the end of the day. The twists are really maintaining the moisture well. I am going to rub the mixture in the palm of my hand and apply it to my hair every week.

I encourage you to try this challenge. Have you ever challenged yourself to try something new in order to help the growth of your hair?

 

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