Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Contest Giveaway: My Favorite Summer Style!

BGBH is hosting it's first product giveaway and it's being sponsored by neosoul.essentials:

Very simple and fun contest! All you have to do to enter is describe to me your favorite summer syle and submit it in the comment section below. Easy right!? I will be taking entries for the next week. The contest ends August 1st at 11:59pm and a winner will be selected at random and announced August 2nd.

The winner will win a 4oz jar of Amber scented Shea Butter and a 2oz bottle of body oil mist from neosoul.essentials line. Also included will be a sample size of neosoul.essentials Curlicreme!

neosoul.essentials products are handmade from 100% unrefined shea butter and vegetable oil. Originally created to solve eczema issues, it has evolved into an all around body butter that feeds the skin with the nourishing properties of unrefined shea butter.

Good luck!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Guest Post -- What Works For Me

Hey all my natural divas and divos (maybe guys read this?? who knows lol). I was approached this week on Twitter by an amazing lady who wanted to know if I'd be interested in having her guest blog :) This is my first time having someone else's post on my blog but I completely welcome anyone who wants to. I love having the inputs of other natural hair people

A little background info on her; Christine_LW is a mother of three and the owner of neosoul.essentials, llc. Founded on the principles of natural skin and hair care, neosoul.essentials, llc carries natural, paraben free products for the hair and body. Visit neosoul.essentials for product information.

A great big thank you to bigGirlbigHair for affording me the privilege of a guest post on her blog. Natural hairstyles and hair care has been a passion of mine ever since I went natural about seven years ago. I chopped off four inches of damaged, brittle relaxed hair when I was five months pregnant with my first child. Believe me, I was glad to do it – so much simpler to deal with!

The most important thing I discovered about my natural hair is that it is no easier or harder to deal with than my relaxed hair. Honestly. It’s just as much work, and it’s just as dry!

My favorite style is the washNgo fro, which has its pros and cons. It’s a great style if you’re on the go, but let me tell you, it tangles easily and you have to be VERY careful to keep it as moisturized as you can because it’s exposed to the air.

Here are some of the oils and butters that I use on my scalp and my hair to keep my ‘do as shiny and moisturized as possible. Folks, I’m not inventing the wheel here, but just letting you know what works for me.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil lends a shine and sheen to your hair. I use it as an after-shampoo treatment because it replenishes the oils that shampoo can strip from your hair. Simply wash your hair and blot it until it’s damp. Then, slather on the coconut oil. Coat your hair from scalp to end, then cover with a plastic cap. If the hair is feeling really dry, sleep in the plastic cap! After you are finished with the treatment, rinse your hair (do not wash). This treatment should leave your hair feeling soft and manageable.

I also use coconut oil as a quick shine booster. Simply take a dime sized portion of oil, rub it between your palms and apply to the hair.

Shea Butter – I’ve heard a lot of controversy about this one. Some users feel it’s too heavy or too greasy for the hair. As I wrote before, each individual has his/her preferences. I do not use shea butter on my scalp, but I do use it to smooth down my edges and seal my ends.

Olive Oil – Olive oil is one of my favorite oils, and is readily available in your local supermarket. This oil can be used as a hot oil treatment, scalp oil and a shine booster. Olive oil conditions and nourishes your hair – and is inexpensive to boot. Use it in the same way you would use the coconut oil - massage into wet hair and let sit. Depending on your hair’s texture, you might not have to rinse it out – experiment with that to see what works for you.

Experiment with different oils to see which give you the results you desire.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Product Review- Natural Nora's Sweet Cream Moisturizer and Rich Oil

I go to Natural Nora's here in Columbia, SC. I've been going for about 8 months now and absolutely recommend it. Anyway, I went this past Saturday for a trim. While Nora was trimming my hair, we were talking about products and she told me that she had started making her own natural products once again, immediately my ears perked up lol. She showed me (and let me smell lol) the creams, oils, and soaps she made. Check out her products page for more info.

After my trim, she re-wet my hair and put some of her Sweet Cream Conditioning Moisturizer. It can be used as a styling aid and daily moisturizer. It contains:
Distilled water, Aloe vera, Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Rosemary Oil, and a few others but I can't remember them all but I can say that they are completely natural.

The SCCM left my hair so soft and smelling wonderfully. After using that, Nora used the Rich Oil on my hair as the final styling step. It's made of: Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Pomace Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Vegetable Glycerin. What's great about the Rich Oil is that it can be used on anything; hair, skin, as a hot oil, in the bath, and as a nail, cuticle, and foot oil.

I absolutely love the line and will be buying more. The creams come in various sizes and collections and as far as I know, the oils comes in a 4oz bottle. Please check her products out, you won't be disappointed. I love supporting independent black business.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heat damage and its alternatives

It amazes me that my fellow natural hair divas believe heat damage isn't real or can't happen to them. So many times on twitter or nappturality.com I read that ladies decided to flat iron their hair and now they can't get their curl pattern back.....wait for it......wait for it....DUH!!!! Heat damage is irreversible. It doesn't matter how many deep conditioning treatments or protein treatments you do, your hair will not be the same after that. The curl pattern will loosen or worse just not revert at all. I know of someone personally that had to BC after 2 years of thick, beautiful naturalness because they flat ironed their hair once and the kinks, waves, and curls wouldn't come back, so sad.

Quick Lesson
This is a healthy strand of hair cuticle. Notice the prettifulness (yes I said that) of it? Smooth, strong, and healthy looking? Well....

Here is its sick cousin. This is a cuticle strand damaged by heat. It doesn't matter how much pre-pooing, leave-in conditioning, or heat protecting products you use, it's not going to help.

The usual culprits are flat iron, hand-held blow dryer, and the new fad, the instyler. Hood dryers are definitely up for debate. They have lower temps than hand-held dryers, they aren't a source of direct heat, and have a much cooler settings. I'm not condoning hooded dryers but I think they are an option for the least amount of heat damage

The purpose of natural hair is to embrace a more healthy state of hair. Just as there are natural ways to color hair (tea and henna) there are also ways to naturally straightened hair:

  • Banding/Stretch (for afros) - Parting hair into sections and banding the length of the hair with ouchless rubber bands (Check it out here)
  • Rollerset/Wrap (for sleek look) - Wash/Cowash hair as usual, apply a leave-in, and setting lotion (or shea butter works just as well) and either roller set the hair or wrap it and let it dry over night. (this video shows an option that could be used with a hooded dryer if you just absolutely insisted)

    Some have flat ironed their hair numerous time and have yet to see any noticeable affects but I feel eventually you will. It's kinda like smoking, at first you don't see any visible danger, though you know its there, but at some point, you will. I know that this is something that will ALWAYS be debated but this is just my 2cents on the matter :)