Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Natural Hair NO-NO's

Warning! After becoming enlightened about the following information ... your next trip to the beauty hair supply store will be a quite an experience.  Here's hoping you aren't left like me ... scouring the aisles hopelessly turning over bottle after bottle and container after container in hopes that your favorite tried-and-true go-to products will make the cut!  A moment of silence for Motions and Optimum Care --- my pre-natural hair product line must-haves.  They didn't make the cut!

You know the saying, everything that glitters ain't gold ... please know that every naturally, certified organic product is not always telling the black and white truth .... it may lie somewhere in a shade of gray.  And just because it looks 'natural-like' or has some natural oils in it, doesn't mean as a complete product, it is great for your hair.

Here are the MAIN Ingredients to Avoid In Hair Care Products:

  1. Mineral Oil & Petroleum:  It coats the hair like plastic wrap with an and just lays there.   While it gives the hair the look of being shiny and lustrious it has no nutritional value.  It disrupts the natural hair barrier and prevents the scalp from breathing and hair follicles from absorbing moisture or any other nutritional ingredients applied to the hair on top of it.  Say no to hair grease
  2. Propylene Glycol & Polyethylene Glycol: Used as a wetting agent, this toxic chemical breaks down the protein found in hair and skin cellular structure basically stripping and weakening the hair follicles which could result in both the weakening of hair follices and major breakage!
  3. Parabens: A class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in hair products.  They have become extremely controversial because they have been found in breast cancer tumors.  Common parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.
  4. Cones: Mainly silicone or any other chemical that ends in the suffix cone (there are a lot).   In general, silicones work by covering hair with a thin coating that helps reduce the porosity of the hair which makes it less likely to absorb humidity; it helps reduce moisture loss from the inside of the hair; and it lubricates the surface of the hair so it feel smoother and combs easier.  The problem with cones is that they aren't water-soluble and can't be removed by co-washing OR a non-sulfate shampoo.  Most naturals don't use sulfate shampoos or shampoos at all because of how they dry the hair out.  So the result is cones cause product build-up on your hair which then clogs the hair shaft and blocks out moisture.  Some naturals still use 'cones, but definitely clarify or use a sulfate-shampoo.
  5. Isopropyl Alcohol: A poisonous substance that has the ability to change other substances natural properties.  It will dry your hair out and break it off.  It is often found in hair dye rinses.
  6. Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate: A major ingredient in about 90% of shampoos that cause it to foam.  They can enter the blood stream and may cause potentially carcinogenic formations of nitrates and dioxins to form in shampoos and cleansers by reacting with other product ingredients.  Sulfates are known to be very drying to hair.
  7. Fragrance: Many of the compounds in fragrance are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. The ingredient fragrance on a product label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients.  Opt for a pure essential oil instead!

So now you're thinking the next trip to the beauty store is going to be extremely daunting.  Here's the thing, take it one step at a time.  As you continue to look for these items on product labels you begin the process of elimination.  Pretty soon, you'll identify certain products that don't include the forementioned ingredients and they will become your new FAVS.  A great rule of thumb is to ALWAYS look for natural ingredients and products that have things such as: water, aloe vera juice, carrier oils (coconut, olive, argan, jojoba, grapeseed, almond), butters (shea, mango) and essential oils.   The closer the ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the larger the dosage of that ingredient included in the mix.  If the "natural" ingredients are all the way at the bottom of the list and a bunch of "no-no" junk is listed high, there effectiveness is slim to none!

Happy Product Shopping!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Huetiful Blogger Teleconference

Recently, Tywanda and I had the honor of being invited to a blogger teleconference with the President & Founder of Huetiful, Ken Burkeen.  As a recovering product junkie, I really wanted to learn what all the hype was all about. My new mantra is to make sure that all of my future purchases are based upon informed decision making. I am happy to say that I ended the call well-informed and itching to buy one for myself.

When you are thirsty you don't drink oil, you drink water

A key challenge of those with kinky hair is ...moisture.  And as Ken mentioned during the teleconference, the key to moisture is water.  When you are thirsty you don't drink oil, you drink WATER.  The Huetiful steamer presents itself as the answer to this problem.  As part of the teleconference, each blogger had the opportunity to ask Ken a question.  And my question was essentially to get the answer... Why Huetiful?  

I asked, "What is the difference between steaming with rags under a dryer, steaming in the shower (my steaming method of choice), and steaming under a steamer?"   His answer was focused on effectiveness. Of the three options, steaming under a dryer with rags is least effective, because of the dry heat.  Steaming in the shower is bit more effective, but it lacks concentration. According to Ken, Huetiful delivers the concentration that steaming under a dryer or in the shower cannot provide. 

There is a second key distinction he noted about the huetiful streamer.  It is the option for "ozonized steam". This feature neutralizes bacteria that forms on the scalp...which leads to dry, itchy scalp.    And it is this distinction that sets it apart from other steamers on the market.  

During the call, he also mentioned the great benefits of moringa oil, which Tywanda recently blogged about. Check it out!

All in all, the call was very informative.  I really love my hair's results after steaming in the shower so I'm very curious to see the benefits of Huetiful. )There is a money back guarantee since he stands behind his product....and he DOES have to face his clients at major hair shows. So his goal is quality.)

After hearing more about Huetiful, does it make you want to try it as well?

Friday, September 9, 2011

deN Diva Spotlight: Asha

Name: Asha 
What is your hair's name? (If it has one) 
Never thought to name my hair.
How long have you been natural? (If applicable, please include transition and big chop dates) 
I've been natural for 6 years.  I first chopped off my hair around january 2005.  I started loc'ing it March 1, 2005.
Describe your hair
Soft textured curls and fuzzy all the time.
What is your current hair regimen?
Every day I spray my hair with water and oil my scalp and my hair when i'm in between grooming times (re-twisting). In the summer time I dont twist as often and when  I do need to go out I just redo the around the edges or brush it back into a pony tail or a pomp and basket weave.
What are five products you can't live without?
Tea trea/olive oil,  nu ade hair oil, essential shea butter, devu curl low poo shampoo and conditoner, nubian kinks apple hair oil.
What is the one product/treatment/technique that has made the biggest difference in your hair?
Nu Ade hair oil.  My scalp is much better with it and i dont have an itchy scalp anymore
What is the biggest mistake you have made with your hair?
I was trying a new style and ran out of stuff to twist and curl it with so I decided to use kinky curly gel. It litterally took apart my locs.  The were soft and coming apart, like shredding.  It was horrible and it had so much build up.  I had to wash my hair repeatedly and do a series of steam treatments to get it back to normal over a period of months.
Any advice for other naturalistas? 
Keep it simple.  Dont overdo the amount of different products you use in your hair.  Especially with locs.  Because with locs, these products leave  even a little bit of residue and after a while your hair will be cakey and smell, no matter how much you wash, etc.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you? 
Not yet.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

deN Diva Spotlight:Brittney

Name: Brittney 

How long have you been natural? (If applicable, please include transition and big chop dates)
 I've been going natural for about 7 months now. When I decided to go natural it was around February 2011. I started wearing sew-ins to make my transition easier. In July I had ALOT of new growth but the front of my hair was damaged from using glue from time to time and not keeping my hair moisturized. On 8/13/2011 I decided to do the Big Chop and it was such a liberating and uplifting experience!
Describe your hair
My hair is very tightly coiled curly hair.  I colored my hair so I have to keep it moisturized.  My natural color is a very dark brown/ black but it's an auburn color now.
What is your current hair regimen?
I am still learning what hair regimen works best for my hair. But so far I shampoo my hair once every other week ( i use giovonni and shea moisture kit for dry damaged hair)and co wash my hair once a week. I use a moisturizer daily in my hair (Shea moisture, jojoba oil, Shea butter). To pull my natural curl out I use Shea moisture curl hair smoothie and ecostyler aloe Vera gel for hold.
What are five products you can't live without?
 5 products I couldn't live without are ALL SHEA MOISTURE PRODUCTS (their hair smoothie especially) African Shea Butter, Jamaican lime locking gel ( great for hold),Jojoba oil, olive oil hair pudding, and that's about all I use on a frequent basis.
What is the one product/treatment/technique that has made the biggest difference in your hair?
1 product that made a difference in my hair was the SheaMoisture hair smoothie. My hair sucks up moisture especially because I have color in my hair. Since I started using the smoothie my hair stays hydrated and moisturized all day.  Plus, it gets my hair to curl.
The biggest difference in my hair is the curl. I've been getting perms since I was 7 years old so I never really knew what my natural hair looked like. I always wanted some kind of curl in my hair and never new my natural hair was capable of doing so. Also my hair is the healthiest it's ever been and I'm still in the beginners stage. My hair is so soft now too.
What is the biggest mistake you have made with your hair?
The biggest mistake I made with my hair was perming it. I got perms on a regular basis ( once every other month and touch ups when needed). Also, my edges and very fragile so glue of any kind killed the front of my hair.  Perms made my hair look thin so from time to time I'd add a few glue pieces to make it look fuller (HUGE No No).
Any advice for other naturalistas?

 My advice to other naturalistas especially those just starting, is to not give up. Embrace whatever it is God gave you. Also, do it for you and no one else. Every person’s hair is different so take ADVICE and EDUCATE yourself but find what works best for your hair. Lastly, embrace the journey because there will be times when you want to give up but there is so much help and support out there that you can get through it. YOUR NOT ALONE!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

deN Diva Styles: Stephanie Dawkins

Before Styling: I washed my hair with Carol's Daughter Tui Shampoo (I love the smell of it) and really massaged it into my head. I usually rush with my hair but since being apart of the group I have realized I am missing out on the fun of hair care! After rinsing my hair I used a deep conditioner and let that sit for about 10 minutes. I rinsed it and sprayed Carol's Daughter Tui Leave in conditioner and let it air dry.

Preparation for Styling: As it was air drying I began to part it into sections of how I much hair I wanted to be allotted in each section for the style. I have a patch of hair in the back of my hair that I am working on growing out and catching it up to speed with the rest of my hair so I don't like to wear that part out much. I cornrowed the back all to my left side. I am one who MUST have straight parts so as suggested by a group member I sat in between two mirrors (where's my kid sister when I need her?!) to help me accomplished the straightest parts possible. As the hair was still drying I applied Carol's Daughter oil on my hair.

The Style: I began to part each cornrow starting from the back and applied a tiny bit of eco styler gel as I braided it. After (what seemed like hours) cornrowing my hair I then began twisting the top. When I twist my hair, even without perm sometimes my ends can be straight so I applied rollers to them so they would look better when I took them out. I wore the style twisted for the first day. Then the next day I unraveled my twist. I put oil again on my fingertips as I unraveled my twist to give a fresh look.

After Styling: At night I retwist my hair only by spraying water on it. This morning, I woke up with freshly twisted hair and won't wear the twist out again until tomorrow.

Co-Founder Tywanda Rambles With Excitement Aboout Upcoming Event

deN Diva Spotlight: Rasheda Stewart

Name: Rasheda Stewart

What is your hair's name? Ha! I don’t have a name for my hair, but if I had to make one up I would say…LONG HAIR DON’T CARE! :-)

How long have you been natural? My last relaxer was in 2005. I did not do the big chop, because a big chop is not always necessary.  I grew out my relaxer.

Describe your hair. My hair is naturally curly (type 3A/3B). When my hair is in its natural state it hangs a few inches past my shoulder. When my hair is straighten with a blow dryer and flat iron it hangs to almost my waist (this is the longest my hair has ever been in my life!).

What is your current hair regimen? I wash and deep condition with my hair product line Rapunzel The Future of Hair every 2-3 days when I’m natural and once a week when my hair is straighten. I also moisturize my ends daily, which is a must for our hair. I love how soft my hair feels after using my products.  The shampoo and conditioner combined make the detangling process a breeze. I never felt that with any other product.

What are five products you can't live without? I do not use 5 products, so I will name the 4 that I use on a regular basis. I only use my products with the exception of a curly enhancer, because we do not have one…yet. Rapunzel’s Hydrating & Detangling Shampoo, Rapunzel’s Protein Deep Conditioner, Rapunzel’s Hair Silk and Aveda Be Curly (when I wear my hair natural).

What is the one product/treatment/technique that has made the biggest difference in your hair? Rapunzel’s Protein Deep Conditioner, because it has the 3 things our hair needs to promote natural (no wigs, weaves or braids) hair growth. Rapunzel’s Protein Deep Conditioner helps to strengthen, lubricate and stimulate hair growth.

What is the biggest mistake you have made with your hair? The biggest mistake that I made recently would have to be when I highlighted certain parts of my hair. I am a premature grey and I started dying my hair black last year. Well, I decided late in the year that I wanted to highlight my hair not knowing that the color had to lift through all the times that I dyed it black. Needless, to say I experienced some breakage, but it wasn’t too bad, because I’m constantly deep conditioning my hair and I keep it moisturized daily.

Any advice for other naturalistas? Yes, use quality products that work with your hair and be consistent with your regimen. Always check your ingredient labels. There are a number of ingredients that do not work with our dry hair and they are typically found in a lot of hair care products on the market. We at Rapunzel suggest you educate yourself in order to get the most effective and healthy products for your hair care dollars. Whether you choose to have your hair relaxed or natural, Rapunzel will help you attain and maintain the healthiest hair possible.

Is there a blog/web page where we can find you? http://www.rapunzelthefutureofhair.com/

Friday, September 2, 2011

Moringa Oil: An Oil that Makes You Go Mmmmmmm

Who: Moringa Oil (a.k.a. Ben or Behen Oil)
What: One of the most nutrient-rich carrier oils in the world
Where: Derives from the Moringa Oilefera Tree found in Africa or India
When:  Use it as a moisturizer for your hair after hydrating with water or any other water-based conditioner/moisturizer
  • It is the most stabe oil in nature and does not go rancid
  • It is an excellent lubricant (add to your conditioner for slip)
  •  It is full of fatty acids (Palmitoleic, Oleic and Linoleic acids)
  • Rich in vitamins A, C and E
  • Antioxidant (curbs free radicals that cause tissue damage)
  • Nourishing Conditioner
  • A Natural Cleanser (use as a pre-poo)
  • Blends well with essential oils
  • Contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties (for scalp irritations)

The founders of Delaware Naturalistas were recently attending a teleseminar with the creator of the Huetiful Hair Steamer when he mentioned the use of the Moringa Oil in all his products.  It was the first time that we had heard of this oil so we decided to do some research and present to you all.  We see why he loves it.  It's an amazing cleansing, healing and moisturizing oil great for both HAIR and SKIN! After doing this research, our thought is it would be great to begin utilizing Moringa Oil as a pre-poo the night before a weekly cleaning regimen, to your shampoo and then lastly after your leave-in conditioner to seal in hydration.

Get some of Be Huetiful's Conditioner with Moringa Oil by clicking here