Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reader Questions: Henna Gloss Experiences


*Chandra writes:

I've been natural for 9 full months, going into my 10th month. I was interested in your henna gloss experiences. Have you ever tried cassia? With Nupur, is it the henna that deposits a tint? 


A) I like glosses b/c they rinse out easier and I still get the same benefits as doing a full henna treatment: smooth strands, strong yet soft feeling hair, great curl definition and decreased shedding. You can read about all my henna adventures by CLICKING HERE.

I have never tried cassia. If you want more insight on that check out my girl, KinkyKurlyQueen's blog: http://naturallyobsessed.onsugar.com/ . She uses cassia and has had great experiences with it.

Henna doesn't deposit a tint. A tint is a color that has had white added to it: example, pink is a tint of red. Henna will deposit a color in the red to orange family; it depends on the brand and where the plant was grown. No matter the brand of henna, they all deposit color. The natural color of your hair will determine how much, if any, of it you see. If you have dark brown to black hair, henna won't change the color of your hair. CurlyNikki, another henna user, gave a great analogy once. She likened it to using a red crayon (which would be the henna) on a piece of black construction paper (which would be your dark brown to black color hair). It doesn't change the color but under light, you can see a little bit of it. All this to say, if you have dark hair, no need to worry about color changes b/c you really won't get any. Now if your hair is light brown or lighter then you may want to think about some things.

Henna for Hair has tons of information and is my reference for all things henna of choice. I recommend anyone new to henna (or cassia) visit this site, download and read the free e-book (it's a quick and easy yet thorough read) they have and check out their forum. Tons of henna vets are there to help and exchange ideas, recipes, and information.

Hope this was helpful.

If you ladies have any additional insight for her, chime in!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hair Rant

Our Hair is NOT Less Than and is NOT Unmanageable!

We keep trying to view it and treat it like other hair textures that have nothing to do with ours. Before the European standard of beauty was forced upon those of African descent (with afro textured hair), we just did our hair and didn't see it as "unattractive/unprofessional", "unmanageable", "too much work" or "too nappy". We didn't even know that that was the case for our hair. It just was what it was, you took care of your hair, and went on about your business. Please stop comparing our hair to others; you will never be able to fully appreciate and take pride in your own hair if you keep doing this. I know it's tempting and that the media doesn't always help but we must stop this (and looking to the media for validation and acceptance anyway). Some textures involve a little more maintenance than others. So what? It doesn't make one texture better than another. It just makes them different. Straight hair or a looser curl pattern or whatever texture other than your own that you are lusting after doesn't solve all your life's problems. Men cheat on straight haired women. Straight hair doesn't guarantee you a cushy, happy life with all the trimmings. They all have they're pros and cons. Just like some have to work out more than others to maintain a certain level of fitness and health, it's no different. So please stop sulking because you are wasting time! Accept and love YOUR hair. Lust after your hair's texture b/c it is what it is. LEARN. YOUR. HAIR.


On Length Hang Ups:
When you learn how to care for your texture properly (which includes minding your ends since that's how you retain your growth), the length will come. But you can't be lazy and complaining. Do your homework and pay attention to what your hair responds positively and negatively to. Write things down in a notebook if you have to to keep track of everything so you have an easy reference. DO NOT GIVE UP til you have found what works for you. As frustrating as it can be, just keep trying things and taking note. Your efforts won't be in vain and WILL  pay off in the end. The internet is a powerful tool. There's no excuse at this point for no one NOT to be able to learn how to care for whatever their hair texture is.

Unless you have a medical condition, your hair is always growing. A watched pot never boils anyway, so you're better off making the decision to enjoy the phases of lengths until your desired length is achieved. Youtube, is an afro textured girl's best friend. There is so much information, hairstyle inspiration and tutorials for the easiest to more advanced hairstyles no matter what length your hair is at. You have so many styling options, it's mind blowing. Be proactive and be inspired.

I know long hair signifies femininity for many but it's not the only factor. You have plenty of other physical features that let the world know you are a woman. Lol.

Back to our regularly scheduled postings. :D

Sunday, June 27, 2010

July 4th is National Afro Day

Shout out to Mook who created this logo for the day. Isn't it dope?

Rock your beautiful afros for the 4th (of July)! Come on kurlies, let's make this a national and annual occurance. You don't have to tell me twice. I'll mos def be rocking mine and snapping photos.

Should I rock a kurly fro or straight up, obnoxious pick'd out one? Decisions, decisions... I luv it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Secrets to Hair Growth


That title had you all rubbing your hands together with excitement and anticipation, right? You thought someone finally unearthed the secret to growing hair fast? NOPE. Lol. Well, it's no secret; more like some helpful tips I want to share. In my opinion, I don't think there are any "secret: techniques, products, magic pills or elixirs" when it comes to growing hair. Unless you have a medical condition, hair grows. Successful hair care and growth is pretty straight forward; common sense but that's another post before I steer this ship onto a different course....

The hair growth tip: I did learn that good ol SLEEP helps with receiving optimal hair growth. Who knew catching 6-8hrs of Zzz's each night could help with hair growth? Now will it take you from a pixie cut to Rapunzel in 4 months? Sorry home skillet, no where close. But it's good to know sleep has other benefits besides keeping us alive and sane.

Staying hydrated helps too. I add a lil juice to my water to create flavored water. This way helps me to drink tons of water during the day. Again, I don't think this gets me 5 inches of growth in a month but it provides an optimal growing environment for hair.

The moral of this story: There's no fast remedy; take it out of your mind frame b/c it does not exist. Just get an appropriate amount of rest, eat healthy, drink as much water as you can, stay fit/active, take good care of your hair; taking a great interest in keeping your ends oiled/sealed and your hair will do its thang.

Have a great weekend. :D

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Accessories That Can Mac: Ododo Originals

Image Source: Click here


Aren't these so pretty? It's a MUST that I do business with Ododo Originals in the near future. Pictured are the Flower Trio: Beaded Flower Bobbypins. They also sell these beaded flowers on hair clips. Check out all their other goodies at http://www.ododooriginals.etsy.com/

Alicia Key's Up-Do WestNDN Style


If you aren't subscribed to wWestNDNBeautyy's YouTube channel, you need to be! Check out her interpretation of one of Alicia's up-do styles below:



I don't know if my french braid would be that long with my hair in its natural state just yet. I may wait till I straighten my hair again (which won't be till sometime this fall) to try it.

This is def inspiring me to play around with different french braid hairstyles on my hair right now though. I suck at cornrowing still but I can french braid well. Go with what ya do best, right? If I come up with anything cute, you know I'll share. :D

You guys should try this style. It's so pretty!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mixtress Chronicles: Shea Butter Souffle Recipe


So most of you know, my hair is too fine for butters. It results in greasy hair for me; it's not a good look. My hair loves (lotion or) cream consistency products though. I learned of a shea butter souffle recipe from KeetaRay's blog:
  1. 2 parts Coconut oil
  2. 1/2 part Shea butter
  3. 1/2 part Castor oil
For all the newbie mixers, there are different ways that you could mix this. You could melt the shea butter, add the other 2 oils, and then let it cool and solidify. You all know from my other shea butter mixes (used mostly on my body) that I like to whip the shea butter first, add everything else one by one and then whip it all together.


Now it wouldn't be me if I didn't want to "tweek" this recipe to my liking. I want to call mine "Koils n Kream: moisture sealer". Dope, right? You all know I gotta put my own spin on stuff. So here's how I would mix mine:
  1. 2 parts Coconut oil (ooo, or maybe coconut cream? hmm...)
  2. 1/2 part Shea butter
  3. 1/2 part Grapeseed oil
  4. A few drops of Peppermint or Tangerine essential oil and Vanilla for scent
I like that this recipe is mostly oil; light oils that my hair absorbs and respondes very well to. I want to add water to this to make it a moisturizing product so I know I will need to find a preservative (I'm learning that parabens may not be so bad/cancer causing afterall? But they are not eco-friendly so back to the drawing board). Until I get that figured out, I would just moisten my hair first before sealing with this. I hope to try it soon.

I also learned from KeetaRay's blog, a good site you can buy plastic containers to hold your mixes. I'll be stocking up on the white doublewall plastic jars.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Product Review: Shampoo Massage Brush


I was in Beauty 35, a big beauty supply store in Mid-Town (Manhattan), last week when I discovered this little do-dadd. I can't remember where, but I thought that I had heard of someone talking these up. For 99 cents, I was down to give it a try.



I washed my hair recently and gave it a whirl. I must say that I like it. It gave me a great scalp massage and because the teeth are so small and plentiful, I feel like it was better able to distribute the shampoo across my scalp and better lift dirt and build up from it too. Remember to be gentle! You don't have to press very hard for this to be effective. Those of you that are into nightly scalp massages, this might be a good look for you as well.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Good Hair Blog Feature

I'm always excited when I learn new stuff. I learned how to take screen shots. Woo hoo!

So I've just been a lil blogosphere hussy lately and willingly passing myself around. The NERVE of me, right? Lol. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun though. It's such an honor and humbling. That may sound like all that for a blog feature? Yeah! It's an opportunity to connect and create relationships in this "natural hair realm" with people who share some of your interests and spread some positivity and inspiration. I enjoy sharing inspiration; no stinginess going on over here. :D





Ya girl was featured on Alex's wonderful blog, The Good Hair Blog, so check me out when you get a chance and follow over there if you aren't already. Thank you again, Alex!

Here's the link:
http://healthyghb.blogspot.com/2010/06/captured-curls-of-week-milan-of-grl-can.html

Stay naturally fly!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kurly Girl Directory: Sunshower143

Her hair and vids are awesome. I've known her from LHCF for a while now but didn't know till recently that she had a Youtube channel. I adore her channel b/c she luvs up-do's like I do and has some great style tutorials for them. Most are easy and quick to re-create for all you ladies that are style challenged or just like to keep it simple. The tutorial below has become one of my favorite up-do's this summer. You can do it on either loose, two (or three) strand twisted, or loc'd tresses. Enjoy.



See all of her videos on her channel: www.YouTube.com/Sunshower143

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Face #3: Nude Lips



Nudish, glossy lips. This one is fast becoming my favorite out of all three! I pair it with a groomed brow, black or dark brown; kohl eyeliner, mascara, and a lil blush (when I feel like it). You can pair a nude lip with a smoked out eye (in black, purple or navy blue/teal) for a dazzling night look. #ohhowIcovettheversatility


To achieve the nude lip I have in this pic, I'm rocking a brown gloss named "Diva's Rum" by Big Girl Cosmetics.

They reached out to me and sent me a free sample of it. I absolutely adore it. I'll be making a purchase real soon. Thanx again BGC! Check them out at http://www.biggirlcosmetics.com/. They have wide range of mineral and animal cruelty free cosmetic products.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm On Clutch Magazine!

I was one of some other awesome, natural hair bloggers sharing my favorite hairstyle for the summer. Check me out :D

http://clutchmagonline.com/newsgossipinfo/summer-hairstyles-for-naturals/


I was also recently featured on Alice's blog: Diary of a Kinky Curly Transitioner

http://diaryofakinkycurlytransitioner.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/natural-expressions-milan/


Thank you Laquita and Alice for reaching out to me. I am humbled, honored, and very appreciative. :D

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Face #2: Red Lips




So I was just sharing what my summer face has been and now I'm changing it up again! I also luv rocking a red lip. It instantly glams up your look without having to do little else to your face.

Red lip. Brows done. Mascara. You're good to go and look pulled together. I'll forever be a gloss girl. I have lips that dry out easily if I'm not on top of my game. Not only do most lipsticks dry them out even more but it then accentuates how dry my lips are. One of my fav red glosses is NYX l/g in Plush Red. It's so pigmented; like that of a lipstick. I'll touch up during the day with N.Y.C.Extreme Lip Glider l/g in Big Apple Red. I liken the latter to Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip glosses but at a lower price point: at drugstores for just under $4 each.

I add eye liner to this line up but when I'm feeling lazy, I don't wear any. I usually wear dark brown, black, or navy blue liner with red lips.

I have a feeling come fall, I'll be obsessed with having a plum/berry lip. ;D

Monday, June 7, 2010

Product Ingredients: Not All Alcohols Are Bad



You read right. Not all alcohols in your favorite hair care products are drying, damaging, and downright bad for your hair. Some of these alcohols are "fatty" alcohols and can benefit your hair, acting as humectants in some cases. As with anything though, please don't over do it. Check out this vid below by MsBeautyBlogger about the topic:



Recap of what alcohols to embrace and avoid from when hair (or skin) care product shopping--->

Friendly (Fatty) Alcohols:
  • Cetyl
  • Lauryl
  • Cetearyl
  • Myristyl
  • Stearyl
  • Benhenyl
  • Propylene glycol



Bad (Short Chain) Alcohols:
  • SD alcohol
  •  Ethanol
  • Alcohol denat
  • Propanol
  • Propyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hairstyles: Roll and Tuck Fro Hawk







I was on Curly Nikki when I spotted this pretty hairstyle. The young lady shared her tutorial on how she creates the look:



I did this on clean hair that was airdried in braids the night before to stretch my hair out some. All you need are bobby pins and optional: gel or a pomade to smooth down the sides/flyaways. So simple and easy to create. Like the name suggests, all you are doing is rolling and tucking the ends before pinning them down. I did this style in 10-15 minutes. #sa-weet




Covet the versatility of highly/afro textured hair! Next hairstyle, the Cinna-bun with a different twist to it. Stay tuned to find out how.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Accessories That Can Mac: Tomoka's Twists


It's my pleasure to highlight Tomoka's Twists on here. These awesome, hand crafted accessories are one of a kind and are sure to receive compliments and inquisition.

Carmen, the creator and owner, describes Tomoka's Twists as functional and fashionable hair accessories that are designed for highly textured hair. They are adjustable, flexible, and comfortable. Her goal is to bring women beautiful, hand-crafted items that are affordable and unique.





When asked, "What kind of woman wears Tomoka's Twists?", she had this to say: I have been fortunate to get to know some of my customers. The women have always been stylish from elegant to electric. It takes a proud woman, aware of herself to wear naturally curly, kinky hair and I am proud when they choose Tomoka's Twists to accessories their fluffy puffs and long locks.

I wanna try one of these twists! If you do too and want to see what other styles she has, visit her website: http://www.tomokastwists.com/  Thank you again, Carmen, for giving me the pleasure of featuring your creations. :D

She also makes jewelry too. I think these are so cute:


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Summer Face


So I've been on a, practically, no make up tip since spring and I'm luvin it. I enjoy make up and beating other people's faces but there is something so liberating about wearing very little make up. Interesting, right? These days, I reserve a full face for special occasions. Here is my basic summer face that I absolutely adore.




* Brows: It's very rare I leave the house without these done. Your brows really frame your face and just by keeping them looking fresh, your face instantly looks glam. Depending on what the breeze is stricking me, I use a pencil (any retractable, dark brown one) or powder (dark brown eye shadow) and blend with a stiff, angle brush.

* Kohl/Kajal Eye Liner: I luv kohl liners b/c they seem more intense to me and you can smudge them for a smokey look if you like. This summer I've been rocking a soft, jade/green color on my lash lines: Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Pencil in Jungle Green or Wet n Wild Kohl Eyeliner in Turqoise . I like how this color looks on my eyes, with my skintone and is a lil more exciting than basic black liner.

* Mascara: I'm still rocking with Physician's Formula Organic Wear mascara and it is still my favorite! Click here to check out my review I did on it last summer. I still feel the same way about it.

* Lipgloss: Since I like my eyes green, I keep my lips nude/flesh colors. Right now I'm diggin peach or champagney brown color glosses. I have no specific favorites, I'll use whateva. Lol.

#that'sallfolks This look is simple and gives my face a pulled together look that accentuates what I already have going on. Besides, less is definitely more in this New York City humid, summer heat.

What does your summer face consist of?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Music: Let's Go Down Lovers' Lane with Brandon*


Check out my boy, Brandon*. He's an awesome musician and producer that I have featured on here before.

His latest project, Lover's Lane, just dropped today and was inspired by and dedicated to us ladies. All the songs are my favorite but "If Your Love Was a Crime" makes me feels some kinda way a smidge more than the rest. Click here to check it out. It's great quality music.

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