So…..let’s talk about this Shea Moisture Commercial

If you’ve been following my blog or you know me, then you know many of my Holy Gail products are produced by this company. You can ask almost any natural what is the first product they tried and I can almost guarantee 80% or more of them will tell you it was the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. When I first went natural and tried this product, it helped me fall in love with my curls. I know my love for this product and many others was part of why seeing this ad was so disheartening. If these were crap products, I wouldn’t care about the ad. But in sharing the sentiments of many others, the ad felt like a mockery of our complex relationship with our hair.

When Shea Moisture created the ad “Everybody Gets Love,” they stated the intent was to focus on how to turn hate into love. The intent was good, but the execution was poor. Apparently, the ad that was posted was only a snippet of the entire campaign. The ad featured women from different backgrounds and different hair types discussing their “struggles” with hair hate and how they overcame that to now embrace and love their hair. I know you saw those quotes around the word struggles.

The ad didn’t START off bad. It opened with a mixed girl with looser, curly hair saying how “people would put stuff in my hair!” But “as I got older, I learned how to do it and how to love it!” She’s legit….but the other ones…“I used to think I’m not supposed to be a redhead. So I died my hair platinum blonde for 7 years!” Ummm….ok. Then a blonde who exclaimed “I didn’t know what to do with it!” Girl, bye! So you honestly expect me to be sympathetic when your hair is the beauty standard in which all women are measured against? They have no clue what it feels like to have society tell you directly and indirectly that your hair is ugly, dirty, unacceptable, problematic, and unprofessional.

She Moisture Ad Image

After the ad caused such an uproar, the company CEO, Richelieu Dennis, issued an apology. But by then, it was too late for many angry black women consumers who completely swore them off and threated to take their money elsewhere. In the days following, he appeared on a series of interviews to continue his damage control efforts and regain customer loyalty. The particular interview I listened to was his radio interview on the Breakfast Club.

Shea Moisture Apology

He stated the ad shouldn’t have been released, because it did not go through the appropriate review process and someone at the company “dropped the ball.” But how does a company that’s been in existence for over 20 years not have a more thorough process to review and approve content before it’s released? Even a basement start-up would have a more thorough review process than that.

I believe the ad was meant to be released as-is in their attempt to capture a new audience and compete with larger brands. I understand the need for growth and sustainability in a saturated market. But one way to overcome saturation is differentiation. Remaining loyal to your core consumers and not abandoning them like many brands do during their expansion efforts will set you apart from the competition. Your core audience who built your brand shouldn’t feel like an afterthought in your growth efforts. If we brought you success, then remain loyal to us and we will likely continue driving that success.

But this recent ad doesn’t completely surprise me. Do you recall their “Break the Walls Campaign” where they were attempting to persuade companies and consumers that there no longer needed to be a segregated “Ethnic Hair Care” section? That didn’t go over well. But a discussion on that campaign could be its own separate post.

So, even though I am disappointed by the ad, I’m willing to move forward and continue to support the brand. I do love their products based on performance, quality, price point, and availability. Plus, the company is still black-owned and I do applaud their Community Commerce initiative. This initiative seeks to alleviate poverty and support female entrepreneurship in countries that source and make some of the key ingredients in their products. I believe the company has learned from this PR nightmare and will make a greater effort in the future to ensure the voice of their core audience is never lost.

So now that the dust is starting to settle, what are your feelings towards the ad and the company? Will you continue to support them?

Shea Moisture Post Selfie

 

Moisture Love Hydration Collection Product Review

I am such a creature of habit, so once I find products my hair loves, I tend to stick with those. But lately I’ve been challenging myself to step out of the box and try new products from different brands. I know that keeping up with all the different natural hair brands can be overwhelming. I feel like there’s a new company emerging every day! To help me determine which brands to try, I look for companies that are black-owned and if they are owned by a black woman, then even better! I also look at the quality of the ingredients. I try to use products that don’t contain silicones, sulphates, mineral oil, parabens, or a laundry list of ingredients I can’t pronounce. So I was excited to learn that Moisture Love was a product line that fit those criteria! They have a signature collection that is devoted to maximum hydration. We curly girls definitely need all the moisture we can get to keep our curls healthy, defined and selfie worthy! J

So, if you want to follow along with me on wash day and see my results, then just keep reading!

 

Before washing
Pre-Wash Hair

 

Product: Gentle Embrace Hydration Shampoo

Key ingredients: Distilled water, soy protein, and sugar extract

The shampoo had a very thin watery consistency, but actually lathered up very well. It was gentle, yet effective at cleansing the product build up from my curls since I may or may not have needed to wash my hair the week prior. I see you judging me! This shampoo also had some slip to it which was nice since most shampoos don’t offer much assistance with detangling. Even though the shampoo contains protein, I didn’t notice that it made my hair stiff at all. The only con I have with the shampoo is the packaging. Due to its consistency, it would have been easier to apply the product to my scalp if it had an applicator tip.

Product: Deep Indulgence Replenishing Conditioner

Key ingredients: Purified water and tons of extracts, oils, and butter! Some of which include horsetail, nettle, lavender, rosemary, sage, chamomile, avocado oil, castor oil, argan oil, and cocoa butter

I only highlighted some of the ingredients. But this rinse out conditioner is jam packed with goodness! It was a great complement to the shampoo. It made my hair soft and also helped me detangle. I normally deep condition my hair instead of using a rinse out conditioner. But this product performed like a deep conditioner in that my hair felt the same way it typically feels after using a deep conditioner. So it was still very moisturizing and left my hair soft.

Product: Kindred Spirits Moisture & Style Cream

Key ingredients: Aloe vera juice, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil

My hair LOVES aloe and coconut oil, so I knew I was in for a treat! Before I applied this product, I used some of the replenishing conditioner as a leave in conditioner. This styler was thick and creamy like a custard. I look for thick creams since I have thick hair and need a product that will keep my hair moisturized for several days. When a styler is thick, I notice that it aids in both moisture retention and curl definition.

Product: Seal with a Kiss Finishing Oil

Key ingredients: Marshmallow and horsetail with their proprietary blend of oils: avocado, argan, macadamia, castor, and rice bran

I used the finishing oil last to seal in the moisture and add shine after my hair was twisted. I applied it to my scalp as well. Adding this finishing touch left my twists all plump and juicy looking!

 

Finishing oil
All done!

 

 

After twisting my hair, I slept on my satin pillow case. If you don’t have a satin pillow case, you really need one in your life! Sleeping on a satin pillow case allows my hair time to dry overnight, reduces frizz and prevents dryness.

In the morning, I carefully removed my twists to prevent frizz. Then I separated and fluffed my hair to my liking. My wash and style experience was great! My hair was clean, shiny, moisturized, defined, and my curls were buttery soft! I think one of the reasons why my hair turned out so well was because I used the entire product line from start to finish. Companies create products that are meant to complement one another when used together. And did I mention all of the products smelled like butterscotch?! I’m a sucker for sweet smelling products.

If you would love to pamper your tresses with this collection, then click the link below! Trust me, your curls will be happy!

And a HUGE “Thank You!” to Moisture Love for the opportunity to review their collection and share my results with all of you!

https://www.moisturelove.com/

@moisturelove on Instagram & Facebook

Style

 

 

 

“It’s My Hair” TAG

It's my hair tag blog post pictureHello, curlies!! I came across this natural hair tag on YouTube, so I thought it would be fun to answer these same questions here on my blog! If you end up doing the tag, then let me know so I can read it!

Here we go!

Q. Why did you start your hair journey?

I was tired of my hair breaking off. My hair kept getting shorter and shorter without me even cutting it. It was so damaged from relaxers, permanent color, and constant flat ironing that I knew I needed to make some changes quickly if I wanted the long, healthy hair I once had

Q. How long have you been on your hair journey?

I’ve been natural since November 2009. That was my last relaxer

Q. Are you natural, relaxed or transitioning?

Natural, duh! Lol. But I did transition instead of doing the big chop. I was too scared to chop off so much hair at one time. My face is too round for only 1-2 inches of hair

Q. What is your length right now?

Hip length

Q. What is your goal length?

Tail bone length or as long as it will grow and still be healthy

Q. What is your hair texture?

Like most naturals, I have more than one hair type going on! The back is 4a while the front and sides have some 3c mixed in

Q. Health or Length?

Health, always. There is no point in having long hair if the ends are split and un-healthy

Q. If you could only live with one hair product what would it be?

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. This product is amazing! It’s lightweight, but packs a punch. It defines my curls like no other and keeps my hair moisturized for several days

Q. What’s the worst product you’ve ever used?

Elasta QP Anti-Breakage Leave-In Conditioner, Olive Oil & Mango Butter. I was surprised by how much this product dried my hair out! The ingredient list is pretty good. I don’t believe its curly girl friendly, but the less desirable ingredients were listed toward the bottom of the ingredient list, so I assumed the product would still work well for me. I also saw a lot of people online rave about it, plus it was buy one, get one fee. So I thought I came across my new holy grail, but I was wrong

Q. What is your “go to” hair style?

A bun! I’m a self-proclaimed “lazy natural.” I don’t know how ladies can rock a fresh twist-out every day. I need something that is quick, chic, and convenient

Q.Are you a product junkie?

Nope. It’s tempting, but the way my bills are set-up….I just can’t. I like trying new things, but I try to only incorporate one new product at a time

Q. How often do you trim your hair?

I don’t trim on a set schedule. I just trim on an as-needed basis. If I were to create a schedule, I wouldn’t trim more than 4 times per year. But, by all means, do what works for you

Q. How often do you use heat?

Almost never. I know this attributes to how long I’ve been able to grow my hair. I think the last time I flat-ironed my hair was in 2010. I used to diffuse my hair on wash day. But now I just allow my hair to air dry

Q. Do you take hair supplements?

Not at this time, but I would not be opposed to it to help me reach my goal of tailbone length

Q. Favorite oil?

Hands down it would be coconut. Coconut oil has made my hair stronger and it has molecules small enough to penetrate the hair shaft and improve the health of your hair

Q. Who is your hair crush?

Naptural85. She’s amazing and I have probably watched all of her videos. I like her personality, video quality, plus her hair type is very similar to mine. I use her videos to help me with product suggestions and different techniques. She’s also the queen of DIY

Q. How long does it take you on a wash day?

Are you coming to help me?! Lol. Just kidding. I am not sure. I don’t time myself. My wash day time varies depending on how long I choose to deep conditioner my hair. I like to deep conditioner for an hour, but sometimes I want to finish wash day sooner so I will only deep condition for 15-30 minutes

Q. Worst thing that has happened to your hair?

Constant heat styling without using heat protectant, and of course, relaxers

Q. Do you dye your hair? If so, what color?

Yes, I dye it black. I used to color my hair often when I was relaxed. I used to have blonde streaks. Then I was a red head for a while. But I like how black looks on me. It makes my hair look shiny!

Q. Do you co-wash or shampoo?

It depends on my hair. If I have a lot of product build up or if I just colored my hair, I prefer to use shampoo to thoroughly cleanse it. Otherwise, I co-wash and that works just fine to clean my scalp and hair

Hopefully me answering these questions helped you learn more about me and also helped you along your own journey! Don’t forget to tag me in your post or video!

And if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to my blog for more natural hair and wellness information!

Natural Hair Do Over! – 6 Things I would do Differently

Hindsight is always 20/20. With any journey, we have moments of reflection where we consider what we would do differently if we had the chance to do it over. This doesn’t mean I have regrets, but there are some things that If I knew then what I know now, I would take a different approach to my natural hair journey.

Subscribing to YouTuber’s who don’t have the same hair type – Now don’t get me wrong. I think you can still benefit from subscribing to a diverse group of naturals. But mainly subscribing to YouTuber’s with type 2 or type 3 hair and you have type 4 hair could cause you to have unrealistic expectations about your own hair. If you try to follow their same techniques and product suggestions you may end up disappointed when you don’t achieve the same results. There were some popular YouTuber’s whose names I kept hearing, so I figured it would be a good idea to subscribe to them. I subscribed to some YouTuber’s with fine, 2C/3A hair when I have thick 3C/4A hair. So when they were combing their hair with a fine tooth comb….ummmmm. I knew that would not work for my lion’s mane unless I wanted to snatch out clumps of hair! So, I started following more people like Naptural85 whose hair is similar to mine in terms of hair type, length, and thickness. There were parts of her regimen and some of her products suggestions that I would use that were very effective. But if they did not work as well for me, it was easy for me to make tweaks since I had that foundation.

Dry Detangling– Some naturals swear by this technique. I kept trying to make it work for me. But on wash day, I would lose way too much hair! My bathroom looked like the floor of a hair salon at the end of a busy Saturday. I knew if I kept doing this, I would not reach my healthy hair goals. So I searched for other techniques and tools and discovered detangling on wet hair instead. I understand the logic behind some people dry detangling, because hair is weakest when it is wet. But with the proper technique, tools, and a little more patience, you can minimize breakage during this process of wet detangling.

Being Influenced by Fancy Marketing – Some companies have more aggressive marketing and spend more money to capture our attention with fancy graphics and slogans. Don’t fall for the hype! Just because you don’t see heavy marketing from a company doesn’t mean their products are any less effective. Your Holy Grail may come from a company most people have never even heard of. Instead of being influenced by marketing, I would encourage you to peruse your local beauty supply store or drug store. Find products that can actually deliver beyond the product claims on the front of the label. Validate any claims based on the back of the label. Check the ingredient list. You may get my attention by telling me a product has coconut oil in it, but if it’s hidden amongst the laundry list of other ingredients, then I am less likely to benefit from it.

Not Accepting that Trial and Error is Part of the Journey – Confession. I am impatient. I want things to work the first time and I get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. When I first tried braid outs, they came out pretty blah. So I started doing twist outs instead since they were easier and my hair turned out better. But one of the many benefits of natural hair are the different styling options. I believe that almost any style can work for any hair type. Some styles may take more trial and error for us to achieve our desired results. So the key is to keep trying until the style works out for you. Now I switch between braid outs and twist outs based on the look I’m going for. Now, if I could get Bantu Knots down, that would be great! Lol

Feeling The Need to Straighten My Hair – I am not anti-heat, but people will tell you that you need to straighten your hair to trim it or to do a length check. Nope! You don’t need to. I have not flat ironed my hair since maybe 2010. If I want to trim my hair, I comb it out, use some high quality shears and trim what needs to be trimmed. If I want to see my hair’s length, I just pull it down. I like keeping things simple when I can!

Wearing My Hair Out Every Day – I know you want to show people what cha got! But exposing your hair every day to the elements and the friction against your clothing could lead to dryness and breakage. I was proud that I was embracing my natural hair and wanted people to get to know this new part of me. But I have way too much hair to wear it out every day. For me, it would take more time to get ready in the morning and I would go through way more product just to keep my hair moisturized. So during the week, I wear a bun, twists, or a roll tuck n pin style. I save my braid outs, twist outs, and occasional wash and go’s for the weekends.

I’m thankful for these lessons, but if I could go back in time, knowing this information would have saved me a little time, money and energy.  So my hope is this information helps you along the way. You don’t have to believe and do everything you see. Be inspired, but also be flexible and know there is not just one way to achieve healthy, natural hair.

So let’s talk! What are some things you learned after going natural that you would go back and change if you could?

natural-hair-do-over-post-picture

Low Manipulation Styling – When Less is More

Have you ever stumbled upon a good thing by accident?! That’s what happened to me one morning after I washed my hair. After my hair is washed and conditioned, I moisturize it and put it in two-strand twists. The number of twists depends on how damp my hair is and how lazy I’m feeling 🙂 So one evening, after stalling on washing my hair, my hair was super damp when it was time to twist it and go to bed. So I moisturized it and put in about 18 twists to help it dry faster. I would normally put in about 6-8 chunky twists. But the larger the twists, the longer it takes for my hair to dry. I know I could have blow-dried my hair, but I try to use heat as little as possible.

The next morning I happened to flip some of my twists over to one side of my head and thought “hmmm… this actually looks kind of cute!” So I put in some bobby pins to secure the twists, laid my edges down, and went to work! Yeah for styling my hair in less than 5 minutes! I figured by the end of the day, my twists would look frizzy, but to my surprise, they still looked good. So instead of re-twisting my hair at night, like I normally do, I put on my satin scarf and went to sleep. I figured my twists wouldn’t survive my morning run. But I was pleasantly surprised they lasted and I wore the twists again. I managed to get about a solid 3 days out of these twists!! I also noticed how my hair stayed moisturized longer than normal. Moisture is KEY to length retention!

I decided to make this my new routine when I wash or re-moisturize my hair. Low manipulation styles, such as twists, aid in length retention, because it reduces mechanical damage. Mechanical damage is hair breakage due to using conventional styling tools such as combs or brushes. So since I am not untwisting my hair in the morning and brushing it, I am loosing less hair. So, I’m reducing the amount of all those little hairs we get around our bathroom sinks or on the floor! Other great low manipulation styles include braids, buns, and roll tuck n’ pin styles. The point of low manipulation styles is to keep your hand out of your hair for as long as possible. So, not “hand in hair” syndrome no matter how soft your hair is.

And as an added bonus can I just say that leaving in twists for 3 days will give you the ultimate twist out definition?! Don’t we all love getting more for less?!

So, even though putting in more twists takes more time initially, it saves me time in the days ahead, helps me retain length, and gives me the best twist outs! I wonder what I still stumble upon next?! 🙂

 

 

 

Why I decided to Embrace the Frizz!

When you ask many naturals what is one thing they wish they could change when it comes to their hair, the response is usually either shrinkage or frizz. Those are the two evils of the natural hair community that could put a damper in any style. You can leave the house one way and come back looking another way! The struggle is real! Or is it? Do we make caring for our natural hair harder than it needs to be by trying to correct something that is just part of how our hair is? Are we throwing money down the drain on products that promote frizz control? For me, the response to both of these questions is “yes!

When I felt like my frizzy hair was an issue, that is when I started relaxing my hair. Worse hair-related decision EVER. My hair was dry and weak! I eventually transitioned from relaxers. But that frizz “demon” resurfaced and of course I considered going back to the creamy crack, until I snapped back into reality. I remembered the state of my hair when it was relaxed. So I went on the hunt to find products and techniques to help “reduce” or even “prevent” frizz. I watched YouTube video after video, read numerous articles, and tried an abundance of products. My efforts either produced results that looked like I didn’t even try or only provided temporary results. I began to get frustrated, until I realized that perhaps I was trying to force my hair to do something it wasn’t capable of doing. Maybe I just needed to let my hair do what it wanted and not try to control the un-controllable.

I decided to no longer research methods or try products, but just allow my hair to do as it pleases! Ah freedom! Freedom from feeling like my hair was a disaster if my curls didn’t “pop” just right or if my hair decided to expand with the humidity. There are many factors that cause frizz and trying to control all of them was too overwhelming for me. So now, when I style my hair, I don’t worry about the outcome. Depending on how my hair turns out, and how I’m feeling that day, I may pull it back into a pony tail, pin some of it away, or just let it be big! I usually go with the last option 🙂

Instead I try to focus on making sure my hair is clean and moisturized. Oh and how I can achieve tailbone length by the end of 2016!

Have you embraced frizz? Or are you willing to go through trial and error until you find something that works for you?

Here is a side-by-side comparison of my hair when it was frizzy (left) versus when it was more defined (right).

frizzy-hair-blog-pic

Preventing Crown-Area Breakage

I love a sleek, sophisticated bun! Buns take very little time to achieve, use minimal product, and can be a great style option to protect the ends of your hair from exposure to the elements. But, like most things, too much of something may not always be a good thing. When I first went natural, I always wore my buns with a middle part. Like ALWAYS! I liked how a middle part seemed to elongate my face and give me a more mature look. But, after a while, I noticed small hairs sticking up in my crown area and I would have to apply more and more product to slick my hair down. After doing some research, I came across product suggestions and methods to reduce crown-area breakage.

 I first started applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) to my crown area every night. JBCO is often used to grow and strengthen hair. In the mornings, I would then apply my gel or pomade to slick my hair. The JBCO served as a foundation, if you will, because of its thickness. I also started using a soft boar bristle brush on my hair. I try to use my hands as styling tools as often as possible before I use more conventional styling tools such as comb’s and brush’s. Soft boar bristle brushes are less harsh on the hair. Another change I made was switching up my part. I had to abandon my beloved middle part for the sake of my hair. I started parting my hair on either the left side or the right side. I also began wearing my bun in different positions. Instead of always pulling my hair straight back, I would position it in the middle of my head or the top of my head, like a ballerina J.

 After using up the JBCO, I didn’t purchase it again. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I’m cheap and the product served its purpose by strengthening the hair in my crown area. I now use a spray bottle mixed with water and aloe vera juice. I picked up the idea to use this aloe vera juice by following Naptural85 on YouTube.  I spray my hair with that mixture, add my pomade, slick my hair as best I can with my hands, and then finish slicking the hair back with my soft boar bristle brush. Aloe vera juice has amazing benefits. It acts as a natural conditioner that softens and hydrates the hair and adds shine. It also soothes an irritated scalp if you are experiencing scalp issues.

 Though we may have a signature style, we have to be open to different styling options if our hair is no longer responding positively to that style. When you reach a stumbling block in your natural hair journey, do some research and re-adjust your regimen. Learn to value health over convenience.

 Have you dealt with crown breakage before? If so, how did you combat it?

Crown area picture