Bantu Knots

Bantu Knots were a style I wore often when I was relaxed as it gave a cute textured curly look without the need of rollers or rods.  Since I’ve been natural I can count on one-hand the times that I have worn this style.  The main reason is that I usually style my hair wet, but I hate sitting under the dryer.  My hair takes forever to air dry so my bantu knots are often still damp on the second day.  I also find it much too difficult to sleep with knots in my hair.  All that said I made a resolution to step my style game up back in January so I am working on tackling this style.

A while ago I wrote about how my friend Brokey did her bantu knot-out style.  While I did not follow her steps I took her advice to do them on dry hair eliminating the problem of having wet hair for several days.  Here is a breakdown of my process:

  1. Start with cleansed, conditioned and detangled hair.  Allow hair to air dry until it is about 90% dry.
  2. Section off a desired amount of hair.  Apply Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner to each section, detangle and smooth using tangle teezer.
  3. Twist each section in a clock-wise motion then wrap around the base to form a knot.  Secure with a bobby pin if necessary.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have completed the entire head.

I used a mix of both large and small plaits to get a more textured knot-out look.  I did not use any hold product, just conditioner.  I parted my so that I was able to sleep as comfortably as I could. I parted with a space in the back of my head so I could rest my head down flat without a knot being their and made sure the knots around my headline were pushed further back so I could lay on my sides.

I wore my knots to work the next day and received a lot of double takes along with the standard questions: “how did you do that?” and “did you cut your hair?”  My favorite response came from a co-worker who obviously had not caught word of my ‘do and said when he walked in my office, “O-M-F-G that sh*t is awesome!” and proceeded to give me a fist bump, lol. I did have an issue with one particular knots refusal to stay so I picked up some Conair Polybands (small non-rubber ponytail holders) to keep it in place.

The next morning I decided to take down the knots and rock the knot-out for the day.  I used Koils by Nature Hair and Body Butter to smooth and separate each section.  My hair was SO FLUFFY!  And baby, when I tell you it was soft, please know that I had my hands in it all day!  I will definitely be incorporating a dry set using these products to my twist and braid-out routine.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Andre Walker’s View on Kinky Hair

I woke up this morning with the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Not sure why but I just had the feeling that something was amiss.  I logged into twitter to find a tweet from @LolasGreenHair that read:

Filing this under WTF [#naturalhair] Andre Walker on styling Halle Berry; Elle Magazine, July 2011

In case you cannot read the image Andre Walker, hair dresser to the stars with big name celeb clients like Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry,  is quoted as saying, ” I always recommend embracing your natural texture.  Kinky hair can have limited styling options; tha’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing.”

*SHOTS FIRED*

Say what?

With a straight face?

Is he for real?

Andre Walker is a dumb ass!

The #NaturalHair hashtag was on fire with people tweeting up a storm about the sheer ignorance of his response.  This from a top noted “hair guru”, are you serious?  The funny thing is majority of naturals use his hair typing system everyday and hail him as some sort of hero only to fill spat on by his comment.  Well I refuse to let play into the stereotype that there is something wrong with my hair and that it needs to be tamed by a relaxer.

Let me first say that I have no beef with grown women who CHOOSE to relax their hair (my mama included).  Relax, perm, weave, color, cut, shave, afro, whatever its YOUR hair wear it as you see fit.  However, for a respected stylist to make such garish and wide-sweeping remarks specifically attacking one community is irresponsible.  His remarks further perpetuate the stereotype that there is something wrong with kinky hair and those that have it are somehow less than.  That is just BULLSH*T!

In the words of India Arie, “I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes  on me”, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I dare some “hair guru” to look me in the face and tell me otherwise.  It is misconceptions such as this that have held back an entire people for hundreds of years and it stops now!

When Andre in his ineptitude can show my another hair type that can naturally defy gravity, lend itself to being sculpted, braided and twisted into crowns reminiscent of royalty and plaited into intricate designs; but still lay down and mimic the silkiness of straighter types, then he can come talk to me about limitations.

Stylists love to pick on curly hair.  Calling it unruly, unpredictable, unmanageable and difficult to handle.  Turn on any make-over show and you are sure to find a girl with curly hair whose curls have been been blown-out, processed, and/or flat ironed into submission for a better, more controlled look.  Curly hair does have its own set of issues not unlike any other hair type but if you learn how to work with it and treat it like it wants to be treated it is nothing short of beautiful.

Woos-sah, I actually went ant picked up the July 2011 copy of Elle Magazine just so I could read the article in in its entirety for myself.  Aside from his assault on kinky hair Andre made some good points saying things like “make peace with your hair” and  “not try to make it do something it woldn’t naturally do”, but I guess this advice is only for the non-kinky haired individuals.

I am appalled at a mag that contained a cover story geared toward “natural beauty” yet bashed the natural kinky hair texture of woman within the same pages. *smh*  I will be writing a letter to the editor and I hope you do the same.

Elle Magazine, July 2011 Issue, Camera Man by Janna Johnson, pg 102

Elle, Letter to the Editors, 1271 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10020 or email elleletters@hfmus.com

</rant>

Product Review: Tangle Teezer

The Tangle Teezer

www.tangleteezer.com

Available online @ Amazon or locally at Sally’s Beauty Supply

$9.99

Tangle Teezer also available in pink, purple, blue and green

The Tangle Teezer (TT) isn’t not a new product nor is it new to the natural hair scene.  For years people have raved about this odd looking brush that magically detangles hair without ripping or pulling.  I was hesitant to try it as it seemed like just another bandwagon tool and I was getting good results with my shower comb and Denman brush.

However, on a trip to Sally’s with a friend who was transitioning I wanted to show her all the detangling options.  We were actually going to scoop up a Denman but they were out so I decided to give the TT a try.  I have reserved posting my feelings about this brush because I just didn’t want to believe it worked.  I put my brush to the test using it on straight weave, 2B, 3A hair before I would consider putting it to my hair.  It performed very well in all these circumstances.

I decided to give it a whirl on my 3-Day Old twist-out that I co-washed with Yes to Tomatoes conditioner.  My hair was sopping wet and full of condish which made handling the TT sort of difficult.  Because the TT does not have a handle but instead a compact ergonomic design that fits in the palm of your hand.

I separated my hair into 6 sections and began running the brush through the top, then underneath followed by the sides.  It felt like it didn’t do anything so I grabbed my Denman and ran it through the section and surprisingly it went right through!  When I finished detangling my entire head here is all the shed hair gathered from the TT, I normally loose 3X as much if not more when detangling.


I detangled my hair with the TT two more times since then.  Once with damp hair and Yes to Cucumbers Leave-In condish.  The results were the same but I found it was much easier to hold the TT because my hair wasn’t as wet.  The final test would be dry detangling.  I NEVER dry detangle my hair as the snack, crackle, pop and yanking are too much to bear.  I started with a small section that I spritz with Oyin Juices & Berries.  Again the TT slid through and tamed my snarls.  I AM A Tangle Teezer Believer!!!

Wet or dry this brush works like nothing I have ever experienced before.  The secret is the short numerous tines that detangle the outer layers of tangles first.  I think the downfall or traditional brushes/combs is that the tines are either too long or their rows aren’t placed in the correct pattern to gently catch and unravel the snarls individually.

I let my girlfriend use it on her hair and she fell in love too!  It detangles and gives a nice scalp massage which she loved!  Her only complaint was that the brush is designed to be held in the right hand and she is left-handed so it took her a while to get over the learning curve of combing with her right hand.  I had to make sure she didn’t slip my brush in her purse when she left :)

Qhemet Biologics Summer Sale

 

Qhemet Biologics is having a 20% off Summer Sale!

Saturday, June 4th 2011

Qhemet Biologics is aproduct line based on Ayurvedic hair care.  The products are vegetarian and contain no mineral oil, parabens, silicones, SLS, or petroleum.  They do contain yummy exotic ingredients like Moringa oil, Amla oil, African Honeybush, and Brahmi.

If you have never heard of these products check out a few reviews below.

From EmpressRi aka on YT

 

From on YT

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Yummi Goodz

Yummi Goodz

Green Tea Shampoo & Conditioner

The Wet Look

Soap Bar

I received these products a while back and it has taken me a long time to write this review, honestly because I didn’t really like them.  I hate writing bad reviews so when I don’t like a product I often put it on a shelf for another day to try to see if it can change my mind or lend it to a friend.  I put it on the shelf and just revisited it again this weekend and the results were still mediocre. *shrugs*

Yummi Goodz is the product line of Cleo Cartel a well known stylist and make-up artist in Northern California.  I’m a Cali girl so I always want to blow-up my state.  I received the products from my girl Rashida at a meet-up we had several months back.  She gave me several products to check out but I was most interested in the soap bar as we have dry sensitive skin in my family and my son prefers bars to liquid.  The products in this line are vegan which is kind of neat, but not necessary, however I knew that a vegan product would not contain any gross additives, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, etc.

Green Tea Shampoo 10 oz

ing: glycerin, water, shea, green tea, citrus, mint, almond oil and essential oils

This product is very watery.  As you can see from the ingredients there are no thickening agents so it will actually pour out once opened.  There is some very light-blink and you missed it- sudsing action though while it is not important it was hard for me to know if I even got the product distributed through my hair.  I would not recommend this shampoo to those who use a lot of heavy products or gels as I do not think it has enough cleaning power.  This would be a nice daily poo for the “natural-naturals” or loc wearers.  It has a pleasant green tea scent and good ingredients.  I last used this poo after coming home from the park where I was sweaty and gross but my hair was basically product-free and it did a fine job cleansing.  However the first time I used it after using gel and my hair still felt grimy so I brought in an old standby to do the job.

Green Tea Conditioner 10 oz

ing: waters, shea butter, green tea, mint, sage oil, veggies, ginger and aloe vera gel, almond oil and essential oils.

Similar to the shampoo the conditioner is very watery also. You would think that most aloe vera gel products would be a little thicker but it isn’t.  I used this entire bottle in just 3 uses because it is so runny it just pours out.  I think this product would probably make a better leave-in conditioner and should come in a spray/spritz bottle.  Either way it was okay as a light condish, nothing to write home about.  Would not be good for co-washing.  Actually it seemed like a DIY moisturizing spritz whipped up in someone’s kitchen.  This also had the nice green tea scent that I liked.

The Wet Look

ing: water, shea butter, slippery elm, almond oil, burdock root, marshmallow root oil, red castor oil, essential oils.

This was not as watery as the shampoo or conditioner, more like a really runny lotion.  It has a very odd smell.  My daughter and I have pin-pointed it to be tropical punch kool-aid right out the package before you add water and sugar.  I did not care for the smell.  I used this product twice and both results were lack-luster.  I let my daughter use it and she said she didn’t feel like it was doing anything.  I used it on my son and his hair also felt dry within a few hours.  I think someone with locs would like this product because it have moisturizing ingredients but does not leave the hair greasy or film.

Soap Bar

I do not know the ingredients because they were not listed on the bar. I believe we had a Milk Bar, but I do not remember the actual name.  The soap bar was really the only part of the line we liked.  It provided good cleansing, but it was also moisturizing. We used it as a whole body bar and shampoo bar on my son.  It kept his hair both clean and soft.  While I liked the bar I would say you could pick up one like it from a local market.  The bar did fall apart rather easily so we had to use a soap saver to help prolong its use.

Bottom line I would not actually purchase these products.  While I think the manufacturer is off to a nice start they have a long way to go before their products are market ready.  The shampoo and conditioner are not packaged correctly and need to either be thickened or place into a container that does not allow them to leak out.  The Wet Look moisturizer is just very mediocre and was not a very good.  Also the labels on the packages were not professional quality.  The ingredients and instructions are kind of difficult to read and not very clear.  The website is not very clear, difficult to navigate and over-all not very useful.  Those who are more into natural products, or those with locs or fine/thin hair may really like these products.  I hope the mfg’er understands that this is an honest review as I believe there is room for improvement.

Have you tried Yummi Goodz? What are your thoughts on their products?

Tips for Low Porosity Naturals

I talked about porosity a few posts ago but as a refresher, porosity is the measure of absorption in the cuticle layer of your hair.  The cuticle layer of your hair is arranged like shingles on a roof.  A tight, compact shingle pattern make penetration difficult yielding low porosity.

So how do you know if you have lo-po hair?  Well when you apply products, particularly heavy creams or butters, does it feel like the product is just sitting on top of your hair rather than being absorbed?  Do you have to drench and dunk your hair in water to get it wet?  Does your hair tend to resist chemical treatments like coloring?  If you answered yes then you may have lo-po hair.  Another way is to do a porosity test by placing a clean, dry, product-free strand of hair in a bowl of water.  If the hair floats at the top of the water you have low porosity.

So what is a natural with lo-po hair to do?  Well below are tips from NaturallyCurly.com member Marah Mizrahi on caring for lo-po hair:

Here are a few [product] suggestions. The Kinky Curly Line is a good one. Curl Junkie is another one that has decent products for low porosity hair. Tigi Moisture Maniac Conditioner. Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner. Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Hair Remoisturizer.

Any line that has humectants and emollients that soften the hair. Try not to go oil or protein over board. Low porosity hair doesn’t need a lot of either one. Some low porosity folks find they are extremely oil sensitive and avoid mostly all oils, especially coconut oil.

I can’t recommend Carol’s Daughter because I don’t like the line at all. I also don’t recommend Miss Jessies or Mixed Chicks.

A lot of people with low porosity have to find ways to get things inside their hair shaft. Because the cuticle is tight what you try to do is raise the cuticle so the products can penetrate.

Ways to do this is use Very warm (not hot) water before your conditioner is apply. Another way is steam (some people invest in steamers or create their own). You can apply your conditioner to wet hair and put a plastic cap and sitting under a hooded dryer with conditioner on the hair which is basically a heated deep treatment. The most important thing is to get moisture in and the way to do that is raise the cuticle. Alkaline type solutions do this as well.

A controversial way to do it is to use baking soda treatments on the hair. Where you basically add a little bit into your conditioner and rinse it out. You have to make sure to rinse with cold water or use very diluted apple cider vinegar to close the cuticle back though. I say this is controversial because some people swear by it, others think it’s a bad idea to use baking soda in the hair.

Try to find water based products that contain humectants. A humectant would be like glycerin, pathenol, honey, aloe, fructose, glucose, hydrolyzed silk, urea, propylene glycol, etc. Ingredients that draw moisture to the hair.

You’ll have to test the glycerin because some folks feel they are glycerin sensitive. If you have very low porosity hair though as you describe..this might help you out provided you don’t’ live in an extremely dry climate and it’s probably one of the easiest humectants to spot on the ingredient list of products.

Avoid protein laden products. Look for richer conditioners with great emollients but not a bunch of unnecessary oils. You’ll probably want to avoid a lot of oily products, silicones, mineral oils, petroleum anything that can super coat the hair shaft since you already have a compact hair cuticle you don’t really need to use a lot of oily ingredients to majorly coat the hair. Because you want a decent amount of moisture drawn to your curls so if you use any oils just be picky and use the least amount you can.

Some low porosity folks actually prefer to use shampoo as opposed to conditioner washing only because of the fact that it (shampoo) ingredients helps to opens the cuticle. They look for a good moisturizing shampoo that doesn’t terribly strip the hair. Some are fine with sulfates,others are not. If you still want to avoid sulfates but use shampoo try to find a decent moisturizing one. Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose is a good one, so is Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo.

Thank you Marah so much for tips for the lo-po naturals.  The Cherry Lola treatment is also popular for lo-po naturals, this treatment can be found in my previous notes.  If you do Cherry Lola or another baking soda treatment be sure to follow with something  moisturizing! https://derbycitynaturals.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/cherrylola-no-frizz-protein-treatment/

Hair Cuticle Images.

Hair Facts: Texture

Hair texture is simply the diameter of the hair strand. It can be described as fine, medium or coarse. Most people do not have the same texture all over their head; hair is normally finer around the hairline and nape of the neck. Your hair texture can also change as you get older; babies are born with very fine hair that thickens as they get older.

Fine hair also known as soft or baby hair can appear limp, thin and does not hold a style well. Fine hair is easy over processed in styling and can yield flyaways due to its lack of bulk. Fine hair in general has less protein and is often over moisturized.

Medium hair is normal, neither fine nor coarse, but just in the mid range.

Coarse hair is stronger and bulkier than fine or medium hair. Coarse hair normally requires extensive styling (higher heat, stronger chemicals, longer process times) in order to penetrate the hair shaft as it is somewhat resistant to styling. Coarse hair in general has greater amounts of protein and is often dry.

How do you determine your hair texture? Well this can be made from simple observation. Grab a single strand of hair at the root between your thumb and index finger and slide toward the end. If it feels barely there like cashmere sweater or baby hair then it is fine. If it feels substantial like a piece of thread then your hair is coarse. Somewhere in the middle then your then your hair is medium. Check different parts of your head (front middle and back) as you can find different textures in different parts of your head. You can also pluck a strand of hair and compare it to a friend’s or relative’s.

Why is it important to know your hair’s texture? The main reason is so you can anticipate how your hair will respond to styling processes. For example, when chemically processing hair (color, perm, relax, etc) fine hair will need the shortest amount of processing time while coarse hair will need to longest. In heat styling fine hair requires a lower heat and/or shorter time and will have a tendency to fall straight so sprays or gels are needed to help hold the curl. However, coarse hair will require higher heat and/or longer time and will have a tendency to retain the curls for longer without the aid of sprays or gels. Fine hair responds better to roller sets as opposed to a press and curl. Coarse hair can be roller set but can take a lot longer to completely dry so it is often easier to press and curl. It is important to note that no hair is resilient and that all hair can still experience permanent damage from extreme heat.

Product Review: Curls

Curls

www.curls.biz

@frizzfreeCURLS

http://www.facebook.com/FrizzFreeCurls

This is a wide-sweeping review of several products by haircare line Curls the labor of love by Mahisha Dellinger.  These products contain no paraben, sulfates, silicone, mineral oil, artificial coloring or animal by parts.

5 Things I Love About Curls:

1.  They have specific product lines for babies, kids and adults.

2.  This company regularly interacts with its customers on twitter, facebook and through email which shows their commitment to customer service.

3.  Curls is ALWAYS giving away free samples of their products whether it is with your order, to support a meet-up, for a review or just to try out.

4.  Their products smell delicious like frosting, juice, smoothies but are not overpowering.

5.  Curls has detailed instructions online for how to use their products and in what order.

Curlicious Cleansing Cream

8 oz /$15

This shampoo is unlike any other poo I have ever seen.  Is is creamy like a lotion and sud-free yet actually cleanses the hair without feeling dry or stripped.  I received a sample of this curl cream free with my purchase.  It will be added to my regimen on my next haul.

From their website: This creamy, sulfate free cleanser is gentle enough to use daily and is super moisturizing. Ideal cleanser for curly hair. Great  for chemically altered and color treated hair. Can use daily, if necessary.

Coconut Sublime Conditioner

14 oz/$16

This is probably the most popular product from this line.  This conditioner smells like a tropical coconut-lime beverage and leaves the hair feeling soft and moisturized.  It provides enough slip for detangling which is surprising considering it is a thick conditioner.  I took this condish with me to the Paul Mitchell salon when I went to get my hair cut (much to the dismay of those in charge) however all the stylist RAVED over how good it smelled and that it was a natural product. Great product for wash-n-go styles.

Curls Milkshake

8 oz/$18

A light hair lotion without hold that provides hydration and softens dry hair.  Perfect daily moisturizer for fine or thin hair but it also make a great leave-in for those with thick or coarse hair.  This is a moisturizer not a curl definer so do not count on it to make your curls “pop” as that is not what it is designed for.  I would say to use this in the same style you would old school pink lotion.  I also believe this is a great lotion for transitioners or those with TWA who are looking for daily moisturizer.

Cashmere Curls

8 oz/$20

This is the “new kid on the block”, a moisturizer and curl definer.  I received a free sample of this product from curls twitter giveaway.  While $20 for 8 ounces is kind of pricey you really only need a little bit of this product.  You can use the product alone but the company encourages you to mix it with their other products.  I found that mixing it with the curls milkshake gave me great results.  I applied the product to my hair and then did a few finger doodles to encourage small twirls and I really liked the results.

So here are the results of my Curls hairstyle.  I cleansed my hair with the Curlicious Cream, then conditioned with Coconut Sublime Conditioner, applied Cashmere Curls then scrunched in a little Curls Milkshake.  I used two hair combs on each side (total of four) to coax my hair into a faux-hawk then did a few finger-doodles around my head to create a few defined curls.