Is the “Ethnic Hair Aisle” really necessary?

The Walmart Ethnic AisleI have always wondered how politically correct the Walmart “ethnic hair aisle”  really is. In a way I find it a little segregative and frankly quite racist. Why can’t it just be called “the hair aisle”? Why Is there such a great need to categorize hair according to ethnicity? Isn’t hair simply hair, regardless of one’s skin color, age or sex? Let’s be honest, the “ethnic hair aisle” is directed towards people of a particular ahem.. let’s just say people of a particular genetic makeup. 

Before you go all up in arms, let us briefly define the word “ethnic”. According to Merriam-Webster, ethnic simply refers to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background. The word “Ethnic” in essence could mean  any race or nationality, African, Caucasian, Asian or whatever one may be. So why does ethnic according to Walmart have to mean people of African descent when the dictionary so clearly states that the word refers to any any group of people?

Now back to the topic at hand, I feel the use of the word “ethnic” to refer to black people in this instance is not only erroneous but also highly offensive. Hair is hair and should not be categorized according one’s ethnicity. If hair products have to be categorized, how about the “textured hair aisle” or the “curly hair aisle”,  “natural hair aisle” or even “relaxed hair aisle”? 

 To be honest a lot of times I find myself  browsing the main stream aisle for products, some of which work better on my hair than the products from the ethnic hair aisle. So you see, there really is no need for the “ethnic hair aisle”

Do you think the “Ethnic hair aisle” is really necessary? Do you find it as offensive as I do?

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My favorite website: coterie.com

I recently came across a website that sells luxury beauty products at a huge discount and I just couldn’t help myself, I purchased a few products from the website and received them a few days ago, and I must say I am officially in love! This is a direct quote from their website:

Coterie is an exclusive, members-only site featuring an ultra-selective collection of the newest and most sought-after beauty products. In collaboration with top makeup artists, stylists and industry trendsetters, Coterie provides the woman on-the-go access to everything she needs to know, all in one place.

www.coterie.com is an absolutely genius website. Upon sign up you receive a $10 credit, and for every 10 people you sign up, you get a further $10 credit on your account. They have some amazing products on the website, but to be able to view them you first have to sign up which is super simple, just click on this link and sign up and no confirmation emails either, simple! So you can get up to $20 discount on your first purchase, which I think is a pretty good deal. Every week they feature new beauty products, so I always keep going back every Monday to see what new surprise they have in store. 

This website is perfect for any woman who values her beauty and enjoys quality. I will be doing reviews of a few products that I purchased from the website soon. I have used a few and I am totally hooked on them.

Some of the goodies I scored from the website

Happy shopping!

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Motions CPR Treatment Conditioner, good or bad?

This is one of those products I still don’t know why I stopped using them. I had been thinking about getting back to it so I picked it up at Walmart over the weekend. During my relaxer days, this was an absolute staple. It has the ability to stop breakage or shedding in its tracks. I have only used it once since I went natural, and then I got caught up in the whole “not using products containing bad ingredients” thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am very pro checking the ingredients list and avoiding the evil ingredients namely petroleum and mineral oils, but I am willing to give Motions CPR Treatment Conditioner a pass on this one. Mineral oil is the second ingredient on the ingredient list, and I just don’t care, I LOVE this product! It’s my guilty pleasure.

This will definitely remain in my product rotation for a long time to come, it really does amazing things for my hair. The only thing I hate about it is the little granules in it that tend to remain in the hair after using it, but I’m willing to overlook that. For me Motions CPR Treatment Conditioner is so bad, it’s good.

Have you ever used Motions CPR Treatment Conditioner? What was your experience with it like?

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Swap your old shampoo for a Frederic Fekkai Shampoo..for free!!

If you haven’t done it yet, head on over to your local Saks 5th Avenue today for a brand new full size Frederic Fekkai Shampoo, all you need to do is bring your old shampoo bottle and they will swap it (I took an old Suave that I barely ever used)

I was so excited to see that they have a sulphate free shampoo in their collection, Essential Shea Shampoo. I can’t wait to use it!

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Great article explaining in hair different products we use in our hair.

I Am Lady Fab

If you have been a part of the natural movement as long as I have, you would have seen hundreds of “natural” hair products come and go. From having nothing specifically geared towards our natural hair in 2000 to 2012 and having the choice of hundreds of hair products has been quite a surge, and a goldmine for those jumping on the natural bandwagon to try to get us to purchase their hair care lines. It can all get confusing.

So I am now going to attempt to decipher for you, the most popular hair product types and their purpose…

GELS

USE: Gels are used to hold – to tame the hair flat –or slick it back. Also used to maintain a curl which is set when wet. Gels can defy humidity and gravity, and are valuable for the times your hair must stay in position.

PROs: Gels…

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Bioinfusion Curl Pomade

For a while I have been looking for the perfect product that would make my twist-outs pop. I recently stumbled upon Bioinfusion Curl Pomade while shopping at Walgreen. It was a BOGO so I decided what the hey, I got two jars at $7.99 each. The product is a very thick and creamy in consistency, which I figured would be great for holding my twists without any frizz. The ingredients look OK to me, no mineral oils or petrolatum, however it does contain beeswax, which I think is a plus. Here is a list of the ingredients:

Water , VA Copolymer , Propylene Glycol , PVP , Stearyl Alcohol , Isopropyl Palmitate , PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil , Beeswax , Cetearyl Alcohol , Cetearate-20 , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil , Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter , Cetyl Alcohol , Isopropyl Phenyl Dimethicone , Fragrance , Phenoxyethanol , Triethanolamine , Punica Granatum Extract , Pinus Strobus Bark Extract , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract , Chamomilla Recuitita (Matricaria) Flower Extract , Algae Extract , Echinacea Angustifolia (Coneflower) Extract , Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice)

I have used Bioinfusion Curl Pomade a couple of times now and it has quickly become a staple until I find a better product. It spreads well in the hair without leaving a residue; It dries clear. The instructions say to use it on dry hair, but I used it on damp/wet hair and I still got great results. The product provided great hold and my style lasted a couple of days. It is also very moisturizing, however I used it in conjunction with my Shea Moisture Curl Milk. I also tried it on dry hair like the instructions on the jar and I was just blown away by the results. My tiny little curls were popping all over the place, I have never seen a product do that especially on dry hair.

The thing that I just can’t get over is the smell, it smells so good! It has a flowery fragrance that tends to linger for a while which I don’t mind one bit. The price also feels right,you just cant beat $7.99 for a 6oz jar.

I really can’t think of anything bad to say about the product, I absolutely love it. It is amazing for a wash and go. I tried the Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue for a twist out and I can honestly say that Bioinfusion Curl Pomade is a whole lot better, not to mention cheaper and has much better ingredients (Miss Jessie’s contains mineral oil and petrolatum). I did not buy the Miss Jessie’s, I ordered a sample by mail which you can also get through their website if you so wish.

www.missjessies.com

Just click on Free samples and you can get up to two samples of any of their products. I would suggest you give it a try before you commit yourself to the whole jar.

Have you tried the Bioinfusion Curl Pomade?

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Why natural hair is like a growing child

Having been natural for a while now, I have come to the conclusion that being natural is not unlike being a mother.

When you first do your big chop, you are scared and clueless on how to care for natural hair, kinda like a first time mum. You read everything from blogs to books, and watch lots of videos on how to raise your baby (your hair in case you are not following).

With time and a lot of trial and error and perhaps some sleepless nights, you learn how to take care of it. When it’s still little, all it needs is some water, conditioner and oil, then pick it with an afro pick and you are ready to leave the house within 5 minutes.

Then comes the terrible twos and threes and fours..months that is. This is that awkward stage where she is neither long nor short and she kind of wants to do her own thing, but doesn’t quite get it right. At this point you begin to question your decision on having the baby, but your love for her is overwhelming and you can’t bring yourself to part with her. She throws tantrums and pretty much does whatever she wants and knows that mum will still hug and kiss her no matter how naughty she has been. You experiment with her a lot at this stage, trying to figure out what will make her happy. You discover that she likes to eat healthy and drink lots of water.

As she gets taller and fuller, she starts acting like a typical teenager. She thinks she has everything figured out. Styles never seem to come out like you thought they would, she becomes completely unpredictable. She frustrates you, but you still love her dearly, sometimes you have to punish her by grounding her; you wear the botched twist out or braid out in a puff or hide it under a scarf, away from sight, until you have cooled down enough to deal with her. You keep her indoors and hope that she will grow from the experience. This gives her some time to think about what a bad girl she’s been and will hopefully learn from her mistakes. And when she is eventually let out again she is a little more grown and is generally slightly better behaved.

Years 1 and 2 she is in her late teens, she has curves in all the right places and even the boys begin to notice her and other mums look at her with envy and admiration wishing she belonged to them. She can curl, coil, wave, and even dance in the wind with ease. She is beautiful and she knows it. She has her moments of rebellion but dealing with her is a whole lot easier now. She still needs to be protected and she realizes that mum knows best. Her behavior is a little more predictable at this point.Mother/daughter relationship has evolved a lot, and you understand each other better.

Eventually she blossoms into a beautiful woman, even you never knew she would turn out this amazing. She is tall, confident and voluptuous and everyone wants to touch her. She knows how to act and is mostly predictable. She can come out and party like a rock star and can also be as shy as a violet. She still throws tantrums once in a while, but all she needs is a little love and attention. She is now mature and settled. She can lie down if you want her to or stand up in confidence, the choice is yours mama!

She will however always have issues and needs patience when you are trying to help her solve her problems. She seems to get herself in knots and tangles every once in a while and a little drink seems to help her mellow out and she unravels herself without much effort.

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Seasons change,as should your hair regimen

Fall is finally upon us. As it gets colder, the air is also increasingly getting dryer, especially indoors where some people might have their heaters on already. This is of course bad news for your hair, but if you follow these tips, your tresses should be just fine.

As you already know, moisture is one of the most important things for a curly or coily girl’s hair. Even as the seasons change, our hair still has the same needs. This is a time to look into co-washing if you are not already doing it. Where I shampooed my hair weekly during summer, I will now co-wash instead, and shampoo my hair once or twice a month at most. Co-washing will ensure that your hair is not stripped of its natural oils thus retaining more moisture. After a good co-wash don’t forget to follow it up with a leave- in conditioner.

(Tip: Use thicker and creamier conditioners as your leave-in for extra moisture, I use Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Treatment Masque)

I feel that the lighter leave-ins just don’t cut it for me in the colder and dryer months. Of course this is just a personal preference of mine.

After you moisturize your hair with a conditioner, you then need to seal in all that goodness in your hair. There are many choices, shea butter being one of the heavy weights in this category. However any natural oil should do. Avoid products containing mineral oils, petrolatum and glycerin, as these will contribute to your hair drying out.

Make sure that your hair is well moisturized and sealed before you walk out the door. When you decide to wear a wool cap, be sure to use a silk cap or sew in a silk lining in your cap, this will prevent your hair from drying out too much and will also minimize friction between the strands thus reducing tangling and eventually breakage.

This is the best time to do protective styles as your hair will be well tucked away and hidden from the elements. Your hair does not need to be at shoulder length to benefit from protective styles. Any style that will minimize manipulation of your hair is a protective style e.g twists, braids or plaits, finger coils, cornrows, weaves etc. I sometimes even wear silk scarves which further help to keep moisture in the hair and also keeps my fingers out of my hair.

How do you plan to protect your hair during the colder months?

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When being a natural just isn’t enough

A few months ago, a friend of mine requested me to twist her hair as she didn’t know how to do it herself, I had no problem helping her out. I was shocked at the condition of her hair, it was not much longer than mine which at the time was barely 1 year old. Her edges were non-existent and she had a huge bald patch on the side of her head. Her hair was broken off and lacked in length and volume. I know for a fact that she had been natural over 2 years; she had been natural since I’d known her. And I also know for a fact that she wanted to have longer hair.

Seeing her hair in it’s  state made me realize that having natural hair without knowledge on how to care for it is simply not enough.There is so much that goes into getting one’s hair to grow. It’s about whether and how one conditions their hair, whether they use the right tools and techniques, whether they put their hair in protective styles etc

In this day and age where information is literally at the end of our finger tips,there is no excuse for having damaged hair, natural or otherwise. We all have access to YouTube videos, blogs and even books which all give one tips and trick on how to care for their hair.

I write this blog for myself to keep track of my hair journey and also to help someone with the knowledge that I have acquired in my journey thus far. If I have inspired just one person then I have accomplished what I set out to do.

Stay beautiful my lovelies!

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What being natural really means to me

It has been almost a year since I did my big chop. I have learnt so much about my natural hair, and I still continue to learn new things as the days pass. Recently someone asked me what being natural really means to me. I have to admit, that question lingered in my mind for a while, and this is what I came up with.

For a long time, we as black people have allowed ourselves to be dictated to how we should look. We have been bombarded by the media with images of skinny light complexioned black women with long flowing hair and perfect little noses, and have been made to believe that that is how we should look if we want to be viewed as beautiful. It even went as far as black women missing out on  job opportunities if they wore their hair natural, and let us not forget the ridicule one endured if they dared to wear their hair in its natural kinky glory. We have been programmed to believe that our natural features are unattractive and unacceptable. That includes our skin colour and our hair.

When a young black woman sees images of women like Beyonce and Halle Berry in magazines and on the TV and are told that these are the most beautiful women in the world, who can blame them for wanting to bleach their skin and relax their hair or wear wigs and weaves? For decades, the beauty industry preyed upon our insecurities and put out products that would alter our natural features, which we went out and bought. It is not a wonder that black people are the leading consumers of hair products.

But I digress, being natural to me means breaking away from the mold.It means I am becoming an individual and  I am not conforming to society. It means I am embracing my uniqueness, my beauty, my genetics, my ethnicity, my heritage, my ancestors… I am embracing  who I am. Not everyone will appreciate all that, but that’s just too bad.

I refuse to put myself through painful and unhealthy beauty rituals to change my features….I am perfect as I am.

Everytime I see a woman with her natural hair, I can’t help but smile and feel a sense of pride. A black woman who accepts her natural beauty is the most wonderful sight. We owe it to our daughters to love ourselves and take pride in what God has given us. If you will not go natural for yourself, do it for your daughter.Let her know that she is beautiful just as she is and teach her how to care for her hair, she will thank you for it

I hope more and more black women will be inspired to join us.

Stay natural and stay beautiful!

What does being natural mean to you?

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