Crabtree & Evelyn Botanical Body Butter: Review

We all like to smell good right? Well if you have a little money to splurge, then here’s some body butter that will blow your mind! – and make your skin so soft and smooth! Now both of these body butters are the same and will have the same effect on your skin, but I’ll just describe the different smells and the price of course!

Now the price for these body butters (if you’ve ever shopped at Crabtree & Evelyn, then you know that C&E is a high end store and is very expensive) is a WHOPPING $16 each. I’ve had these body butters for about 4 years. I wouldn’t suggest buying this product if you don’t like scented lotion because this lotion is very strong scented. Also, I’d only wear it for special occasions because $16 lotion is too pricey for everyday use.


 

Mango Butter and Grapefruit Botanical Body Butter

This body butter smells like sugared candy all the way! Honestly, it’s smell is less potent than the next butter I’m going to describe. This lotion is perfect to wear in the summertime.


 

Illipe Butter, Lemongrass & Sugar Botanical Body Butter

 

This smell is intoxicating and honestly can drown you and make you nauseous if you put on too much. If you put on too much, you can get dizzy and just have real bad headaches.  With this lotion, I suggest you just dab a little on your wrist and call it a day- nothing extreme. I don’t know the perfect season to wear this lotion in, but if I had to choose, I’d choose summer.

Organix: Shampoo & Conditioner Review

So every time I pass the shampoo isle at Walmart, I see a long row of Organix products ranging from shampoo to oil spray. Usually Organix products costs anywhere from $8 – $13. Luckily on the day that I passed the shampoo isle, all of the Organix shampoos and conditioners (REGARDLESS OF SIZE) cost $5.83. I literally bought about $27 worth of shampoo and conditioner. I’m not a natural who purposely seeks out sulfate- free products or even products with sulfate in it. I’ve noticed that sulfates don’t really harm my hair, but just to be on the safe side I normally use sulfate- free products.

First I’ll start with reviewing shampoo, and then I’ll move to conditioner.


 

Photo Cred: Moriah Banks
Photo Cred: Moriah Banks

Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo

Smell: Let me first start by saying I like the smell of all the Organix products, but between both shampoos I bought, I like this one the least. It’s not that it’s an unpleasant smell, it’s just plain. Maybe I’m expecting the wrong scent from Sea Mineral Moisture, but to me this wasn’t cutting it.

Consistency/ Texture: The consistency/texture of  the shampoo is different than any other shampoo I’ve ever used. It’s very thick and does lather up rather nicely. Although to have enough shampoo, you may have to use more than a handful of shampoo and use about 2 handfuls.

After Using: After using this Sea Mineral Moisture, I noticed that my hair was dryer than normal. It wasn’t totally drained of moisture, but it felt as if all the oils was stripped from my hair.


Photo Cred: Moriah Banks
Photo Cred: Moriah Banks

Kukui Oil Shampoo

Smell: I love the smell of this shampoo. It’s refreshing and smells like a blend of Argan oil and Moroccan oil.

Consistency/Texture: The consistency/texture of this shampoo is just like the Sea Mineral Moisture shampoo – thick and lathers nicely. With this shampoo, you will still find yourself using more shampoo than you normally use.

After Using: My hair did not feel dry, it felt very moisturized. With this shampoo, I saw my natural hair pattern (4a-4c) immediately after rinsing the shampoo out of my hair.


Photo Cred: ECX Images

Coconut Milk Conditioner

Smell: The coconut smell is enticing. If you’ve ever used coconut oil, the smell that the oil gives off is comparable to the smell of this conditioner.

Consistency/ Texture: Very smooth and flowed right out of the bottle. This conditioner doesn’t have a greasy/slimy feeling.

After Using: Honestly my hair  felt the exact way it does after I use my normal conditioner. I didn’t notice a distinct difference.


Photo Cred: IMBBPullZone

Awapuhi Ginger Conditioner

Smell: I’ve actually been using this conditioner a lot lately. Surprisingly, I’m almost out. It smells like a delicate smell, and is not overbearing. Ex) The scent is there just enough to be smelled, but if you walk into a room everyone will not ask you about that amazing smell in your hair.

Consistency/ Texture: The texture is thick and that’s what I love about it.

After Using: My hair feels so smooth after using this!!! I changed this to the conditioner that I’ll use from now on. This conditioner really has done miracles for my hair and makes shower detangling  so much easier.


(Keratin Oil Conditioner as shown in picture was not reviewed due to the fact that I haven’t used it yet. When I use it, I’ll review it.)

Have any of you Curlies In College used Organix products? if so, tell your experience in the comment section below!

3 Apps To Keep You Healthy

At only 22, I have had a myriad of jobs that have left me with a lot of stories to tell. I have been a Nurse’s Aide, a cashier, a community organizer, an Arts and Crafts teacher, a camp counselor, and many more. The world of work all started for me when I was 13 and I got a job working on an inner city farm. Yes, I said a farm. My mom signed me up for a program called DIG, Durham Inner City Gardeners, which turned into my first part time job. We planted everything from squash to basil and snapdragons, which we would harvest and sell at our local farmers market. DIG gave me more than my first paycheck, but also a vast amount of knowledge about caring for fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and where our food comes from. Nine years later, I’m probably still the best at cutting basil, but I’m also a food justice advocate. I now know the importance of food justice and knowing where your food comes from. Since than I try to make an effort to eat “clean” and buy local. The process of transitioning form relaxed to natural also made me more aware of things I was putting on and in my hair and body. I figured if processed things weren’t good enough to put in my body, they weren’t good enough to put on my hair and skin either.

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This focus on living a clean lifestyle has led me to seek out many resources to help guide me along the way. Technology has played a big part in keeping me educated on healthy food and natural body products. In the age of Google, you can find a webpage offering just about anything you want to know, but there are also cell phone and web apps that have been incredibly helpful for me. Its important to know the ingredients in our food and body products, so here are a few websites and apps that have been helping me out.

 

Fooducate
Fooducate

Fooducate is a website and cell phone app that provides you with information about the ingredients and macronutrients in just about any food you can think of. You can type in anything from Nutella to fresh vegetables. It even provides information for most store brands. You can also scan product barcodes. It rates products on an A-F scale and than provides a justification for each score, including reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet or not.

Skin Deep
Skin Deep

 Skin Deep Cosmetic Database is an awesome app and website developed by Environmental Working Group (EWG). Similar to Fooducate, you can scan or type in most cosmetic products and it provides information about its ingredients. Skin Deep rates products on a scale of 1-10 and lets you know if any of the ingredients have been linked to cancer, allergies, or developmental problems. It’s very useful when I’m in a store trying to decide between shampoos or body washes and I’m unsure of any of the ingredients listed on the back.

Dirty Dozen
Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen is EWG’s app that helps guide shoppers through pesticides. It provides a handy list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, as well as a general guide to buying produce. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that generally have the highest pesticide content, that professionals recommend buying organic. The Clean Fifteen is a list of the most pesticide sparse fruits and veggies that are safe to purchase because they are minimally processed. EWG consistently updates and adds to the list as they continue to do research about pesticides and where our food comes from.

Are there any websites, apps, or other forms of technology that help you live a healthy lifestyle?

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A Lush Life

I spend way too much time in Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and online searching for and purchasing all-natural hair and body products. The price tags aren’t the best, but I genuinely appreciate organic and mostly natural products because of their benefits. This is mostly because with a degree in Public Health, I know way too much about carcinogens to knowingly continue to put them in my body. So thus, I have dedicated myself to clean eating and using predominately all natural products. Not doing so hot on the clean eating front (because I live in North Carolina where Bojanles and Cook Out are easy and abundant), but killing it on the natural product front. A few years ago I discovered LUSH, a company that produces cruelty free vegan beauty and bath products. Although LUSH is very pricey, I love supporting their business not only because they are all natural, but also because they are dedicated to providing a productive work environment for their employees and creating economic growth in the US.

For some odd reason I didn’t know that LUSH had a location in North Carolina, and I had only been hitting up their stores when I was in DC or New York. When my best friend told me there was one in Raleigh, I ran over, almost literally, and treated myself to a few things.

 

Rub Rub Rub ($21.95)

(photo credit:http://lushkeepitfresh.blogspot.com)
Photo Credit

Rub Rub Rub (Buy Now) is an in shower sea salt body scrub that can be used to exfoliate and prep the skin for shaving. It’s an electric blue color, which I love, and has an invigorating patchouli and lemon scent. Although it contains sea salt, the granules are small and softened so the scrub isn’t too abrasive on the skin. I like the fact that it goes on smoothly and produces slight suds. After using Rub Rub Rub, my skin is very soft and smooth post shower. Because I have dry skin, I would prefer a bit of a harsher exfoliator, but overall I have been enjoying using it. I’ve read a few reviews on Rub Rub Rub that state that it works really well for lightening darkened skin, most notably the underarm area because of the amount lemon and citrus juices it contains. I’ve been using it under my arms for the last few days and will give an update if it does help lighten over time.

 

Vanilla Puff Powder ($6.95)

(photo credit:http://lushkeepitfresh.blogspot.com)
Photo Credit

This Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder (Purchase) almost didn’t make it into my bag, but I’m glad I purchased it. It’s an absorbent fragrant powder that has a myriad of uses. So far I have used it in many ways, including as an eye-lid primer and to reduce shine on the T-Zone of my face. The sales associate recommended that I use it to reduce sweating in my bra and to prevent “chub rub.” Anyone who has experienced chub rub knows that it is of the devil and can be terribly uncomfortable. The powder works OK on these fronts, but you have to use quite a bit to make sure the inner thighs are coated adequately. I like the fact that it reduces friction and provides fragrance, but I’d still prefer Shield Guard for anti-chub rub. A little goes a long way with this little bottle of powder, and I would definitely purchase it again.

 

Tea Tree Toner Water ($9.95)

(photo credit:http://lushkeepitfresh.blogspot.com)
Photo Credit

The Tea Tree Toner Water (Buy) is the one item I knew I’d be walking out of LUSH with. My best friend recommended it to me a while ago, but I had never had the chance to buy it. Just like many combination skinned girls across the world, my mother has told me to use Sea Breeze astringent on my face for a little over a decade. Recently I had been trying to find a natural alternative to this and the toner water came right on time. It comes in a spray bottle, so I can spray it directly on to your face or onto a cotton ball, which I really enjoy. Most non-alcoholic astringents haven’t worked well for me (i.e Witch Hazel), but so far the toner water does a great job at reducing oiliness, removing build-up, and minimizing any bumps I may have. I’m currently monitoring it to be sure it doesn’t dry out my skin in anyway, but overall I would recommend it.

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Why You Should Be Using Rosewater On Your Hair

Every natural has a spray bottle containing some DIY moisturizing concoction perched somewhere in their room. Usually equal parts water, leave in, and oils, having a simple moisturizing spritz for your hair is just something you must do. Because of its moisturizing and healing properties, aloe vera juice or gel is often a frequent ingredient in DIY moisturizing sprays. Many naturals swear by aloe vera juice, but I never felt that it was benefiting my hair when I used it in my spray bottle mixtures. Because of the magical wonderland that is Pinterest, I stumbled across Rosewater which has been a great addition to my moisturizing spritz.

(photo credit:http://bit.ly/1joNBT6)

Rosewater is an easily accessible super ingredient with many beneficial properties for hair and skin. I originally went on the search for a bottle of it because I read that it worked well as a light fragrance and morning refresher for the skin. I found an 8oz bottle of Heritage Store brand Rosewater at Vitamin Shoppe for $6. I started off spraying a little on my face in the morning or throughout the day, but after more research I found that Rosewater could work even better for my hair. Not only is Rosewater moisturizing, but it is also conditioning, antimicrobial, and stimulates blood circulation. After getting my hair braided, I mixed rosewater and castor oil in a spray bottle as a moisturizer and it worked amazingly for preventing my hair from feeling dry and brittle. I always go a little longer between washes while I have my hair braided, and the rosewater mixture was great at refreshing my hair and adding a light fragrance. Its antiseptic properties helped kill some of the germs and reduce product build-up that I had. Rosewater can also help reduce dandruff and stimulate hair growth by promoting blood circulation. Its like super water for your hair! There are various brands of rosewater that can be found online and in most health food stores. I encourage you to give it a try in one of its many uses and share your results with us.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

 

Below is the recipe for my Rosewater Moisturizing Spray. It’s great for braids and protective styles, as well as general everyday use.

Rosewater Moisturizing Cleansing Spray:

¼ cup Rosewater

1.5 Teaspoon of Glycerin

2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil (Or oil of your choice, I recommend a light oil)

Additional tap or distilled water as needed

Play around with the measurements and see what works best for you

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Eau de Curly Girl: Perfume For Your Hair

       Thanks to Andrea from one of my new favorite YouTube channels, AndreasChoice, I have recently been on a dedicated search for a hair perfume. I didn’t even know hair perfumes existed, but now that I do I most definitely cannot pass up the opportunity to have a fragrant fro. As of late my go to body scent is Bath & Body Works Amber Blush. I’m all about warm scents with hints of citrus and amber, so I want a hair scent that falls in line.
Selecting a hair perfume is a little different than selecting a body fragrance. For one, you definitely have to make sure the fragrance doesn’t clash with any of the hair products that you use. If you’re not, you could end up emitting an overwhelming or unpleasant scent. I have also been cautious of the ingredients that they may contain, aiming mainly to avoid alcohols, sulfates, and parabens. I want my hair to smell lovely, but not at the cost of dryness or extra build up. You can find various brands of hair perfumes at stores like Ulta and Sephora, as well as online. I have found that many popular perfume lines include a hair fragrance, including Angel by Thierry Muegler and Pink Sugar by Aquolina. I have yet to select the perfect scent, but below are a few options that us curly girls balling on a collegiate budget can afford.

UO Apothecary Hair Perfume (Urban Outfitters,$6.95)

(photo credit:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/24558760443310735/)
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Urban Outfitters has a surprisingly dope selection of natural hair and body products. Their hair perfume is alcohol and cruelty free, plus its comes at an awesome price! It comes in various scents such as Red Currant and Woods & Turberose. You can purchase an 8oz bottle in Urban Outfitters stores or from their website.

Mane Teeze Hair Perfume Collection (Mane Teeze, $35)

(photo credit: http://www.maneteeze.com/#!product/prd1/453938661/hair-perfume-collection-3-x-50ml)
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The women behind Mane Teeze offer a diverse collection of hair perfumes that come in three scents: Haute Mess, Black Widow, and Social Butterfly. The line is sulfate, paraben, and cruelty free and they claim that the fragrances are subtle enough not to conflict with your body fragrance.  They are sold individually in 50mL bottles for $35 or in a set of three for $85 on ManeTeeze.com.

Black Amber & Lavender Scented Hair Perfume (Sugamommy, $14.95)

(photo credit:https://www.etsy.com/listing/182866873/black-amber-lavender-scented-hair?ref=related-0)
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Black Amber & Lavender scented anything is right up my alley, so I was excited to find Sugamommy hair perfumes on Etsy. There are various other scents and they are full of great ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Ecocert Beet Sugar Extract,  and Algae Extract. This line of perfumes is also awesome because they are custom made to order and you can add in various finishes including oil, hydrating mist, or shine.

No. 5 The Hair Mist (Chanel, $68)

(photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/24558760443275825)
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This is definitely a splurge item, but I decided to include it because Chanel is such a classic fragrance, plus we should all treat ourselves every now and again. This hair fragrance comes highly recommended by various beauty bloggers and Oprah’s beauty team because it has a light but lasting scent, and its oil based and alcohol free. Chanel offers their hair mist in many of their other signature scents including Coco Mademoiselle and Chance. If I ever feel like embodying Marilyn Monroe, but with a fro, I’m sure I’ll reach for this.

Delicieux Hair Perfume (Yummi Hair Care, $10)

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/496733033873134293/
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Yummi Hair Care’s Delicieux hair fragrances come in various scents including Pomegranate Daquiri and Raspberry Splash. They are filled with healthy ingredients such as grapeseed oil and silk amino acids. It’s reasonably priced and alcohol free. You can purchase a 4 oz bottle at the Yummi Hair Care Etsy store.

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Hairfinity Hype

Length. Length. Length. It’s one of the most coveted things in the natural hair community. There’s articles upon articles, and remedies upon remedies on “how to achieve long natural hair.” But the question is, do they really work? There is also the excitement over Biotin, which is a vitamin that has proven to be beneficial to promote hair health, and more importantly length. But, I’m sorry to say that Biotin is a pill of the past.

The natural hair community has moved on to hair vitamins that have been said to promote hair health, thickness, and length. Let’s see, there is Hairburst, formerly known as HairVits, and the oh so popular Hairfinity. Now Hairfinity is said to nourish your hair from the inside out. It’s the newest craze in not only the natural hair community, but the hair community in general. If you peruse their Instagram page, you’ll find women of all colors, textures, lengths, and backgrounds confessing their love for this product.

tumblr_n5jaod2PEc1qj09jio1_500
Photo Credit

Hairfinity not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. There are testimonies overflow on their website and their Instagram. But I think their greatest testimonies are in the celebrities and natural hair bloggers that have jumped on the bandwagon and proven its success. Just to name a few: Kendra & Kelsey Murrell (check out my article “Curly Qs: Natural Hair Bloggers & Gurus), Angela Simmons, Naturally Neiicey, Taren Guy, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Toya Carter Wright.

Now, with all this, how could one not fall into this trap and want to see what all the hype is about? Well, I fell, and I ended up on the Hairfinity journey. I started in January of this year, and I am currently on my sixth bottle. I started the Hairfinity journey with the hope of gaining length. So far, I’ve seen my hair increase in health, but also in thickness. My hair was already thick to begin with, but now it’s even thicker! I have also gotten way more compliments about my hair since taking the vitamins.

I’m hesitant to say that I have not received length because I have, but not as noticeable as I would have thought, or liked it to be. I also cannot say no because with my type 4 hair, shrinkage is real. But let this not discouraged you, I do believe Hairfinity does work. Patience is key. We all know natural hair can be a pain sometimes, but it doesn’t hurt to try new things.

Once I finish my seventh bottle, in celebration of not straightening my hair or using heat for seven months, I’ll straighten it to see how much growth I have gained. And then I will truly be able to see if I have gained the length I have been striving for.

So in conclusion:

  1. Hairfinity does work! But like anything else, it works different for different people
  2. Keep up with me and my Hairfinity journey! Follow me on Instagram: @MoneBrianna

So are you game to join the Hairfinity journey?

 

 

Photo Credit: http://keturahariel.tumblr.com/post/85663235288/1-15-hairfinity-digital-paintings-ive-been, http://mydreamisnear.tumblr.com/post/86319492783/embrace-your-journey-on-we-heart-it

How To: Curl Form Your Hair Using Curlformers

 

 

1. Wash & Condition Your Hair  

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1jlZEAK

 

 

 

– If you don’t use shampoo, just practice the no poo method and co wash only. The objective is to get the hair as clean as possible without any products because you’ll apply products later in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Detangle Your Hair

 

– Detangle your hair thoroughly to get all of the knots and tangles out that you can. The less knots and tangles in your hair, reduces hair breakage when you pull your hair through the curlformer later in the process.

 

 

3. Part Your Hair In Small Sections

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1oh6JOX

 

 

The kinkier your hair ( I have 4a – 4c hair) the smaller your sections should be. The curlier your hair, sections can be bigger but don’t make your sections too big because if they are too big they won’t pull through the curlformer very well. When you part your hair into sections, twist the root just a little bit so the curlformer stick that comes with the curlformers can latch on to the twisted root of your hair. After latching the hair and stick together, pull your hair through the curlformer and you should have have a head full of curlformers when complete.

 

4. Anti-Frizz & Anti Humidity Products

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1st17Fo

 

 

 

Use product on your hair that you normally use, although I wouldn’t use some hair gels because it might flake up and make the curls hard and limp. I suggest using a product that reduces frizz and protects the hair against humidity so that your hair doesn’t puff up as soon as you step outside.

      

 

 

 

 

 

5. Allowing The Curl To Set

 

Allow your curlformers to dry thoroughly under a hair dryer. If you don’t want to dry your hair under a dryer, sleep with the curlformers in your hair although it might be very uncomfortable. Sleeping with curlformers in your head might make you want to abandon your hairstyle throughout the night in trade for a good night’s rest.

 

 

6. After The Curlformer Dries 

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/TQD32Y

 

In the morning, slowly remove the curlformers and you should have big curls in the morning.

 


 

Curlformers come in different sizes and can be found at Sally’s, Ebay, Amazon, etc…

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/TQD86H

 

 

After trying out curlformers on myself, here are my results:

 

20140503_171043      20140503_171009    20140503_171024

– My hair became frizzy over time because initially I put no anti-frizz or humidity proof products in my hair and I didn’t let the Curlformers dry fully. Overall I like the results of the style, but it is time consuming.

 

If you decide to try Curlformers on your hair, share it with CurlyInCollege on Instagram under the hashtag #CurlyInCollege

CurlyinCollege Summer Reads

Daughter of a Librarian and “wannabe” intellectual that I am, there are always a myriad of books on my list to read during the summer. In my opinion, Summer time is the perfect season to kick back and expand your perspective by reading great books. Here is a peek into what’s on my Summer 2014 reading list.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is a story of love, life, and cultural relations as it follows Nigerian blogger and academic, Ifemelu. Reviews on this book have been done to death in the blogosphere, so I wont give you any of that, but I will say that reading Americanah was an unforgettable experience for me. I actually read it last summer and recently started re-reading it for a reading circle. I had never read a book from the perspective of an African woman living my experience. I could connect with so many of the characters and see the scenes as if they were scenes from a movie illustrating the lives of me and so many woman I know, All in all, it’s a great read and I have been encouraging everyone I know to read it.

Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry

By no means am I vegan, but foodie, food justice advocate, and nutrition enthusiast are all things I call myself. All of those things in addition to being a proud Liberian American, made Chef Bryant Terry’s book, Afro Vegan right up my alley. Afro-Vegan is a recipe book that reads like an engaging non-fiction history book. It shares an infusion of vegan African, Caribbean, and Southern recipes that are vegan. Terry presents a great narrative about food in the history of the Diaspora, and I adore that he gives readers a dose of culture by providing a song and/or book recommendation for every recipe. My favorite part of the book thus far are the first two chapters, which are dedicated to recipes for making your own spices and sauces. Plus the recipes look so tasty that even non-vegans will enjoy them. I’m looking forward to testing out many of the recipes during cookouts and parties this summer.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amorusa

This summer I’m apart of the tribe of young women around the country who are reading Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amorusa’s new book, #GIRLBOSS. There’s been a lot of hype around #GIRLBOSS for months and I was very excited to pick it because I wanted some inspiring and empowering words post graduation. Although it can come of a little cheesy at times, its been one of my favorite reads of the year because Amorusa has had a fascinating experience finding her way in this world and she does a good jobat telling her story. The book tells the tale of how she came to start and sustain her online clothing store, Nasty Gal. Early on she states that this book isn’t meant to be a memoir or a self-help book, but it definitely comes off as such. And that’s not a bad thing. The format of #GIRLBOSS makes it an easy read that still offers substance to readers. All in all it’s fashionable, empowering, and inspiring and I have been enjoying reading it.

When To Apply A Protein Treatment

After countless sew-ins, u-part wigs, and hair color- one’s hair can become extremely damaged. Yes, these styles are looked upon as harmless Protective Styles, but are they really?  Continue reading When To Apply A Protein Treatment

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