May 22, 2013

Favorite New Things: A Moisturizing Co-Wash that works!

ouidad curl co-wash

 

Let me just preface this by saying that I’m typically not one to get excited when a product for naturally curly hair ‘works.’ Just don’t. Mainly because the now old adage is ridiculously true, and that is, what works for one curl may not necessarily work for the other. SO. If product A leaves my hair moisturized, fly and fresh with each use, chances are it may not do the same for another natural gal hoping for the same results. In the common sense world filled with beauty tales, this inevitably makes sense, no?

So when I gathered up my hair arsenal this past weekend to return the curls to their kinky glory, I took a dive and invited Ouidad’s Curl Co-wash to hang, lather and cleanse my strands. The caveat? No stripping…of the hair. I’ve been eyeballing co-wash cleansers for some time, and many have left me with ‘meh’ type reactions. But with only a few pumps into our post-scalp ritual, I could instantly tell a difference!

Sulfate free, Silicone free – but really you don’ need any of it. FRO took to this kind of straight on. I mean soaked it all in, low-lathered just enough to get the strands clean, but left hair soft. Great for natural hair that is tightly coiled, and highly textured – the creamy oily blend of conditioners works incredibly well to reduce frizz without leaving it dry. Best to work this into hair while in sections (you use a lot less with this method), leave on for 2-3 minutes (the Black Cumin Seed & Jamaican Black Oil need to work!), then rinse clean.

Future summer staple? Yessir. I’ve deemed these coming months up-do season, which means great products + easy styles must go hand in hand.

May 21, 2013

Summer Style Options – Up-Do Edition

Truth time! I have long been the exception to the unspoken rule for naturals during the summer. What do I mean? Well, ironically, winter is the season where you’ll typically find me rocking the most twist-outs and free styles as compared to the warmer months. & here’s why:  I sweat like a dude. And with the amount of hair that I currently have…FRO eventually ends up in a sweat induced coma for the better half of 3 months if left to her own devices.

I abhor wearing my hair out in 85+ degree weather. HATE.IT. I do not CARE how cute, fly…amazingly defined you bless my curls to be – I will always do me and stay cool while rocking an up-do in twists or any variation of the styles below. This year, the search for inspiration doth continues….a woman is contemplating her options.

up

up2

 

up3

 

up4

 

sidedo

cyn5

updo7

updo8

updo5

 

updo6

 

Stay Cool, y’all….

May 20, 2013

on a positive note

becoming

 

Today, I figured it would be the best idea to sneak into this Monday, instead of leaping in & causing a stir. The plate will remain full (sometimes that’s just fine), & the intent will still be to accomplish the l’il bits around the office. But because this past weekend was so great, and full of children dancing and the yearly anticipation that is the BAM Dance Africa Festival, my body is on safe mode until the weekend, where chowing down on oxtails and red beans, and buying an inordinate amount of handmade jewelry is not so unusual. It’s just the Brooklyn Way.

Last week I completed my first juice cleanse, yay! This week, however finds my body weaving in and out of cravings for the usual fixins. Have you guys ever tried a juice cleanse, or any kind of cleanse for that matter? The stories are SO real – from the withdrawal like symptoms, crankiness, headaches – tendency to want to eat anything on a plate. So glad I survived, and able to power through. Yesterday amidst a daylong river of rain, I hunkered down to wash FRO, and return back to curly. It’s so very nice to be back.

Make it a good one…

May 19, 2013

The Pampered Life

pamper

 

I’ve always been about the kind of life that allows you the time and day to reflect, power down and treat your self to the simple treasures. In this case, my day has long been Sunday. I prioritize, focus on what’s needed to treat FRO to the at home salon treatment, gather together favorite new mags and books to power through & raid the beauty stash to whip up and apply potions of lotion to zap zits, calm the eczema and re-gain that youthful glow. The list is pretty gi-normous in size at this point (I am a closeted beauty girl:-), but here are this week’s hand picks that are on the current rotation.

:FACE:

glamglowGetting through the winter months in hopes of making it to another glorious summer each year always seems like half the battle. Turns out my skin, in this case my face, cries out for mercy & a chance to enter skin rehab every year. Well this season’s mission is to refurbish & get skin back to it’s old glowing glory.  The first step in that process is to reach for Glam Glow’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment. Use alone as a spot treatment, or as an all over face mask, this is the kind of heavy beauty duty stuff meant to clear up problem skin, fight blemishes and prevent any future black heads from forming. My skin feels incredibly free of the yukkies after using. The added bonus? It works to cut down on my most annoying problem as of late….in-grown hairs!!

:BODY:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I really don’t make it a secret my on going love for the LUSH troop. From the ridiculously yummy hair treats, to the smell good perfumes, this company has all your beauty wishes covered. But for the body?  After my recent visit to their stores, I literally squeeealled in excitement after my hands were bathed in the Turkish Delight shower smoothie. With a base of rose water, coconut oil and cocoa butter – this is crack for your skin. Yes, the price is a bit steep. But if you’re like me, who grinds hard at the 9-5 and needs an at-home respite before the whistle blows, this is your buddy. I no joke. I’ve slathered this on my skin, let it seep in for a few minutes, then rinse to some incredibly soft, rose smelling yumminess. I’m also careful not to overdo the love- so a nice 7ounce pot will last the better part of a few months.

:HAIR:

camillerosenaturals

I’ve been singing the praises of this line for what seems like months now. Friends have latched on to the very goodness that is the moisturizing twisting butter, and co-workers can’t get enough of the Curlaide Moisture Butter. But my new go-to in pinch when FRO needs TLC is the Algae Renew Deep Conditioner. Check out my initial review here, but when you slither into the new and natural hair friendly aisles of your local Tarjay, pick up a jar, take it home – then thank me later.

May 19, 2013

Back in the Chair: The Salon Experience for Naturals

Evolution - The Green Room Salon

I’ve always been one to take my salon experience seriously. Blame it on this inherent fear of leaving your precious locks in the hands of the unknown, but a small itch of trepidation always tends to creep up from the moment a call is made for that first appointment, to the actual walk into the salon. And sadly, since going natural, the fear has only increased.

Certain I couldn’t be the only one with this irrational fear, I took to absolving this mess by actually facing my fear. So in the June issue of ESSENCE Magazine, I share important tips on what to look for when searching for a natural hair salon & stylist – but here are my top 2!

Tip #1: Do your research: It’s definitely fine to settle on the first salon that peeks your interest, but if you have a bit more time on your hands, do your curls a favor: shop around & ask around. I made half a dozen calls before committing to Evolution The Green Room Salon here in Brooklyn, NY. The deciding factor? The Evolution Green Styling Movement, a discount service that allows you to fully wash/condition your hair at home – then come in for expert styling for half the cost. Such a great idea for those short on time, and who simply love washing & conditioning at home with their own stash of goodies! #Win.

blowout

Tip #2: Ask Questions! I don’t normally turn into a chatty cathy once my but hits the chair, but it’s SOOOO important to know what the heck awaits you and your curls. I tend to survey the salon, take stock of the quality and types of products they use on their clients (this tells me if they’re market savvy), the types of flat irons/blow dryers being used (quality in this case counts, especially if you’re flat-ironing. YOU MUST KNOW HOW MUCH HEAT YOUR HAIR CAN TAKE). This need not be a covert operation, but take heeeeed. Or, just be smart about your $$. Price is often a deterring factor of new naturals (believe me, I”m still one of them), but please know this – nothing beats the skill set of a professional when it comes to the big stuff. Ask questions, so that you know your options!

The Results?

look2

look3

look1

look6

look7

look5

look4

To prep FRO for her the blow-out/flatiron leading up to her trim, I deep conditioned with my absolute fav new DC, Camille Rose Naturals Algae Deep Conditioner, then headed to the salon for a quick blow dry & trim. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results (which have lasted me 2 weeks!!). It’ll be a good long while before I straighten again (I seriously, ached for my curls!!), but it was a nice reprieve not to have to worry about moisturizing each night/morning, or the nightly routine.

This weekend begins the process of going back to curly, and really back to me. I’ve got a line-up of pre-poos and clarifying cleansers to get FRO to fighting status for the Summer, all of which I’ll share this week!

May 18, 2013

Solo For You

solange1

 

solange2

 

solange3

 

solange4 solange5 complexsolange

 

Solange is one artist who has been on the ‘one to watch’ list for some time (still groovin to TRUE) &  seeing this new spread in the June Issue of InStyle + Complex Mag are giving me a new appreciation. How gorgeous ar these? Officially looking forward to her  & sister Bey performing at this year’s Essence Music Festival. NOLA is going to be on fire for the 4th!!!

(:image source:)