Growth Update!
Monday, February 08, 2010 | 6 comments

It's been two months since the last update! Sorry for the hiatus, lovelies. We'll be updating more frequently now. Anyway, I am one month away from my first year ful...

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How can you resist these clutches, girls? Use the coupon code newyear09 before March 31st!


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A few months back, we were asked to critique some hairstyles for a website in the works and it has finally launched! It's called Mopshots and on the website, you'll find several different hairdo's and honest opinions of them from beauty bloggers. It's definitely worth a look!


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We chose our final five!

It's that time again! We're having yet another giveaway! This time around, we're giving away the newest addition to the CURLS line, Curl Gel-les'c (Curl Jealousy). The lucky winner will receive one of the newly created, fun and fashionable Curl Gel-les’c T-shirts that says on the front “Are you envious?” and on the back “…of my CURLS?”, as well as a full size bottle of Curl Gel-les’c packaged in a Limited Edition bottle!

For this giveaway, we will need you to send us a picture of your fabulous hair. Five finalists will be chosen and will be a part of a poll in which readers will choose their favorite! To enter, please e-mail us at thecoarsehairdiary@yahoo.com! And don't forget to include:

1) Your Name
2) A picture of your hair
3) And what you love most about your hair

And please remember, we love ALL hair types. From curly to kinky, we're judging them all! We will let you know when the contest is over, so stay tuned!


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I wanted to share a method I've been using that's been working wonders for me. It's called oil cleansing and basically what you do is rub some Castor oil (I use Emu oil though), steam your face with a hot towel, and rinse it off.

First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you're waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don't want to over-cleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.

  • You'll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
  • Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I've found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
  • As you're massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
  • Once you're satisfied that your pores are saturated and you're feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We're essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you'll find it's completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!

This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. You'll know if you're deep cleansing too frequently by the dryness that your skin will exhibit. Don't be surprised if you find you've unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. Perfect skin won't happen overnight and while it should take a few massages to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing massage. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly. You'll find redness and irritation subsiding. You'll find your skin losing that "congested," and thick feeling.

Taken from TheOilCleansingMethod.com


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Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, and Cinoxate are sunscreen ingredients designed to help protect your hair from UV-A and UV-B rays. Fantasia Heat Protector Serum has Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate in it!


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At the launch party for “Afro Samurai” for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at the Geisha House, both K.D Aubert and Kiely Williams showed up with some gorgeous hair. So, we want to know... Who has the better hair?


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Taraji P. Henson at the Screen Actors Guild Awards looking uber fab in a white dress.

Viola Davis in a yellow dress rocking some curls again.


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According to the Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database, the following relaxers are the most hazardous. By hazardous, they mean these relaxers have ingredients in them that have been linked to: Cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, and other things. But before you read the list, let us remind you that IT IS NOT THE NO-LYE THAT IS THE CAUSE OF THESE PRODUCTS BEING ON THE LIST.

10. Smooth Touch New Growth Relaxer Kit Regular

09. Luster's PCJ Pretty-N-Silky Smooth Roots No-Lye Conditioning New Growth Relaxer Kit, Childrens Coarse

08. Luster's PCJ Pretty-n-Silky No-Lye Conditioning Cream Relaxer Childrens Coarse

07. Luster's Pink Conditioning No Lye Relaxer, Super

06. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Normal No-Lye Relaxer System

05. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Extra Strength No-Lye Relaxer System

04. Africa's Best Organics Touch-Up plus Organic Conditioning Relaxer System for New Growth

03. Dark & Lovely No-Mistake No-Lye Children's Relaxer System

02. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil No-Lye Relaxer Extra Strength

01. Africa's Best Kids Organics No-Lye Organic Conditioning Relaxer System with ScalpGuard, Kids Regular
For those who might have miss the big, bold, and underline text in the first paragraph, let me reiterate IT IS NOT THE NO-LYE THAT IS THE CAUSE OF THESE PRODUCTS BEING ON THE LIST.


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Behentrimonium Methosulfate, a surfactant, is one of the mildest hair-detangling ingredients available and is an anti-static agent.


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At one of the many Inauguration balls, Rihanna was seen rocking a mushroom/bowl cut. So, we here at TCHD want to know... DO YOU LOVE IT?


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Arginine
Arginine is used to adjust the pH (acidity) of the product. It is made from sugarcane. Arginine has the added advantage of improving the blood flow when applied to the skin.

Glyceryl Oleate

This modern 100% botanically derived ingredient combines gentle skin-friendly cleansing properties with the ability to help the hair retain its natural oils and moisture. The sunflower oil derived oleate also aids detangling.

Lauryl Glucoside
Lauryl glucoside is another 100% plant-derived mild cleanser. It is significantly milder to the skin than its more commonly used cousin, decyl glucoside.

Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has both aroma therapeutic and skin improving properties. It is useful to alleviate stress and anxiety. Headaches respond well to the application of lavender. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties have a balancing effect on the skin. Great for scalp massages when diluted with a carrier oil.

Macadamia Oil
Macadamia oil is cold-pressed from the nuts of Australian macadamia trees. Macadamia oil is the 'creme de la creme' of nut oils. It is very similar in composition to skin sebum, and is therefore very gentle and absorbed rapidly into the skin, giving a silky luxurious feel.

Oat Protein
A soluble form of oats containing 23% oligosaccharides and 3% protein. A soothing botanical moisturizer for the hair and scalp. Retains up to 50% more moisture then comparable proteins.

Orange Flower Water
Orange flower water is non-irritant and may be used on the skin where there is irritation or redness. Orange flower essence acts on a cellular level, stimulating the elimination of old cells and the growth of new ones. It is said to be useful for dry, damaged & broken skin.

Orange Oil
Sweet orange oil is extracted from the peel of oranges. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties when applied to the skin.

Panama Bark
Panama bark is the richest botanical source of natural saponins, nature's own cleansers. They are so gentle in their action that they are used by museums to cleanse fragile ancient cloth. Panama bark has a soothing effect, which can ease the itching caused by skin afflictions.

Rich Amino Acids
Rice amino acids is an all-natural plant-based moisturizer with an inherent attraction to the skin and hair. It is able to penetrate the hair cuticle to soften the hair and improve hair manageability.

Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is a potent source of essential fatty acids, which are well-known ingredients for improving the elasticity and resilience of the skin. Our rosehip oil is 100% pure and from certified organic clean seed.

Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil has been shown to strengthen mental clarity and awareness. It has long been used in hair care formulations due to its beneficial effects on hair and scalp health and vitality.

Sandalwood Oil
This high purity richly fragrant oil has been proven to be active against a range of bacteria, and skin conditions such as acne. The oil has also been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory qualities.

Shea Butter
Shea butter is extracted from an African tree. It has a proven biological activity in humans and has been used as a natural alternative to corticosteroid ointments. It is ideal for use on dry or fragile skins and is suitable for those with skin sensitivities such as dermatitis or psoriasis. It is anti-inflammatory and leaves the skin more supple, less flaccid, less wrinkled and soft. Great choice as a moisturizer.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is pro-Vitamin C, it releases Vitamin C in the skin. It is used instead of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) due to its far superior stability. Pro-Vitamin C protects skin cells by scavenging and destroying aggressive oxidizing agents and free radicals in the skin. It promotes skin elasticity by enhancing collagen formation. Vitamin C works to protect the skin, promoting its development and appearance.

Sorbitol
Sorbitol is by far the most suitable humectant (able to attract water to themselves) for use in products to be left on the skin, such as moisturizers. It is light and non-sticky, and not so strong in attracting moisture to itself that it draws moisture out of the deep layers of the skin. Sorbitol is made from GMO-free maize. It is best used in skin products in synergistic combination with low levels of palm glycerin.

Sucrose Cocoate
Sucrose cocoate is an extremely mild, non-ionic cleanser made entirely from sugar cane and coconut oil. It is a sophisticated ingredient, which has powerful anti-irritant properties.

Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
Tocopheryl acetate is a stable form of Vitamin E extracted from soybeans. Dermatologists recommend Vitamin E for a large number of skin diseases and sensitivities for it's ability to help soothe and promote the health of the skin. Vitamin E works to soften skin and reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. Great for the scalp.

(via The Purist Company)


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Product Name: CURLS Quenched Curls Moisturizer
Price Range: $13.00 (6 oz)
Company: CURLS (http://www.curls.biz)
Catch Phrase: Are your curls dry, dull and lifeless? Give them just what they need! daily moisture! This EXCEPTIONAL moisturizer will hydrate, condition and revive your curls, restoring their natural beauty. Consider this your "under wear for your hair." Excellent companion to any of our Step 4 styling products. Acts as a curl refresher prepping them for styling.

What I Say: You know what, the CURLS products I've used so far have been really good and my ratings for them have been high so I knew this product would work for me. The only problem I have with this product is the way it sprays, it squirts out instead of misting it. To use it, I spray the product into my hands, rub them together, and distribute it throughout my hair. It softens up my hair nicely and when my hair dries up after, it's still soft. I always use this product right before the CURLS Milkshake, which means I have soft hair all day. I am so lovin' CURLS right now! I really wasn't expecting all the products I used for them to work so well on MY hair.

Product Tip: For lasting moisture, use before a heavy moisturizer.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)


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Your Username: 2Bossay
Relaxed/ Texlaxed / Natural: Natural
Current Length: APL

When did you start your hair care journey?
6/08

Your Regimen:
I scrapped my regimen. Now I just basically co-wash my hair daily since I’m no longer using heat. It works out better for me. I moisturize my hair, seal my endz with whatever oil I’m feeling at the moment, & then braid it up. This is mainly my nighttime routine. I usually do a protein treatment with coconut milk, condish, & avocado/coconut oil bi-weekly. I try to do a d/c every week, but sometimes I get pure lazy.

Staple Product
Pantene Relaxed N Natural Poo & Condish

Why did you decide to grow your hair?
just overall wanting to take better care of my hair altogether. I’ve always had long hair, although I did cut it twice a couple of years ago. (It was the length of Eve’s). But I just want to maintain what I do have and continue the growth that I can achieve.

What technique (no heat, deep conditioning, stretching) has helped you the most?
I'm gonna say the no heat during the summer monthz....i didn't think i could do without the heat but i did it 4 like 6 monthz.....so now i'm trying 2 get back on track with doing that again.

Your advice to the readers
1. know what your hair needz...2. research...3. figure out the best way 2 get the resultz that u want...4. do whatz best 4 u & ur hair & lastly remember everything is gonna be on a trial & error basis. Don’t get discouraged, never give up hope, & when at first you don’t succeed, try & try again!

For more on 2Bossay, visit her blog, Hair-A-Mania!


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We've done multiple posts on achieving Michelle Obama's look, but we'll answer this question anyway:

I'm a newly Natural with 4b/c hair after transitioning for two years, but I want to try wearing my hair straight once in a while. Maybe like once or twice a month tops. Can you give me some advice on getting my hair straight like Michelle Obama?

If you share Michelle's hair texture, your hair should offer built-in volume, Dickey says. After you prep hair with heat protectant (find a highly rated one here), completely dry hair with this blow-drying technique. Then flatiron hair in small sections. "The smaller the sections, the less effort [overall]," Dickey says. Finish with a lightweight moisturizer or glossing cream (try Fekkai Glossing Cream, $20) that will tame flyaways.

(via TotalBeauty.com)


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While Michelle Obama was absolutely stunning, the celebrity ladies hitting up Inauguration balls all over D.C earlier this week were looking great too! From Rosario Dawson to Rihanna, these ladies were killing it! Click the image for a better view.


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I know we don't do fashion over here, but these purses were too cute not to talk about! These purses and clutches come from the very chic Accessory Bug. All these purses and clutches start at just $19.99 and are less than $60! And... TCHD readers can use the coupon code newyear09 to get an additional 10% off any purchase. The coupon code is good up until March 31st!


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This has to be one of my favorite YouTubers. I love how she styled her hair in this video. Go 4b girls! Kinky hair rocks.


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I've been seeing a lot of raves over the Ovation Cell Therapy line, and I honestly don't see the reason for it. I looked over the ingredients and was not impressed at all. Here they are:

Deionized Water, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, DM DM Hydantoin, Methlparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Frangrance.

  • 1. Stearalkonium Chloride: A quartenary ammonium compound and ationic surfactant that has excellent substantivity to hair's keratin protein. Reduces static electricity by neutralizing electrical charges on hair. Good conditioning agent.
  • 2. Glyceryl Stearate: Derived from vegetable fatty acids; soothes and softens, emulsifier.
  • 3. Cetrimonium Chloride: Quaternary (more water soluble) conditioning agent used as an anti-static agent.
  • 4. Tocopheryl Acetate: It is the ester of acetic acid and tocopherol (vitamin E).
  • 5. Hydrolyzed Keratin: Protein for the hair derived from non-animal sources.
  • 6. Panthenol: A derivative of vitamin B5 used in conditioners and moisturizers to help bind into the hair follicles.
  • 7. Cetearyl Alcohol: Fatty alcohol blend of cetyl and stearyl alcohols which emulsifies, retains moisture, smooths, and regulates consistency.
Honestly, you could take some Infusium 23, mix a little vitamin E oil along with the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Wrap & Set Lotion or even Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner and bam, you've got a decent knock-off. Don't believe me? Here are the ingredients from both products:

Water , Amodimethicone , PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil , Panthenol , Cetrimonium Chloride , PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone , Polyquaternium-11 , Citric Acid , Betaine , Glycerin , Sorbitol , Trideceth-12 , PPG-2 Methyl Ether , Serine , Glycine , Glutamic Acid , Arginine , Threonine , Lysine , Alanine , Proline , Hydroxyethylcellulose , PEG-8/SMDI Copolymer , Behenic Acid , Palmitoyl Myristyl Serinate , Oleic Acid , Palmitic Acid , Linoleic Acid , Stearic Acid , Arachidic Acid , PEG-8 , Polysorbate 80 , Aminomethyl Propanol , Fragrance , Sodium PCA , Methylparaben , DMDM Hydantoin , Disodium EDTA

Water , PVP , Jojoba Seed Oil - Simmondsia Chinensis , Coconut Oil - Cocos Nucifera , Panthenyl Ethyl Ether , Panthenol , Chitosan , Lactic Acid , PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil , Fragrance , Polysorbate 20 , PEG-60 Almond Glycerides , DMDM Hydantoin , Polysorbate 80 , Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Purified Water, Hexadecanol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol (Emollient), Ceteareth-20, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Isopropylparaben, Benzophenone-4, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance, FD&C Yellow No.5, FD&C Yellow No.6, FD&C Red No.40, FD&C Blue No.1.


I honestly don't see the point in wasting money on a product that you can pretty much mimic at home. I'll just wait until Sally's comes out with the GVP version. Just kidding.

Anybody tried Ovation Cell Therapy? Is it worth the money or would you rather a knock-off?


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Product Name: CURLS Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Conditioner
Price Range: $20.00 (16 oz)
Company: CURLS (http://www.curls.biz)
Catch Phrase: Transform dry, damaged, chemically processed or overly stressed hair within minutes! This is the DEEP treatment you've been dreaming of! For best results use with heat! This magical Asian Hair Tea conditioner combines certified organic extracts, exotic emollients with vitamin packed botanicals to moisturize, condition, strengthen and protect your over worked curls. Ideal conditioner to combat the sizzling summer sun and brutal winter winds. If you have dry, coarse, chemically treated and/or damaged your hair...this is the conditioner is a must have!

What I Say: Okay, conditioners are my hair's best friend and this one is no different. I used it shortly after using the CURLS Curlicious Cleansing Cream and it worked like a charm. My hair felt great and moisturized. I didn't use heat like the bottle suggests, but it still worked. I really like this product and the smell is great!

Product Tip: Use as a leave-in for soft, supple hair.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)


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As we near the Inauguration of our first Black president, let us remember that just a few decades ago, no one would've ever thought this would be possible. Let us also remember the man responsible for giving us hope when everything seemed hopeless. I am talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. The dream has been realized and now we are more united than ever before. Thank you Mr. King.


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Product Name: Sabino Moisture Block
Price Range: $21.00 (3 oz)
Company: Sabino Hair Solutions (http://www.sabinohair.com)
Catch Phrase: Moisture Block gives you superior thermal protection. Because essential moisture is locked in, you will not “cook” your hair from too much blow drying or flat ironing. Not even chlorine can penetrate Moisture Block.

What I Say: Honestly, I was really shocked to see that this product only had two ingredients. Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone. I mean, how many heat protectants have those ingredients in them that are cheaper? Practically every single one of them, right? So, I washed my hair and applied the product throughout my hair and proceeded to blow dry. My hair came out silky, soft, and shiny. I'm at three months sans relaxer and usually, my new growth reverts minutes after stepping out of my house. I stepped out of the house, went to work, drove back and forth from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, went to sleep, woke up and my hair was still soft and straight! It's been three days and my hair is still doing great. I wasn't expecting this from a product with only two ingredients. Yay, Sabino!

Product Tip: Use medium-heat only (even though they suggest 410 degrees)!
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)


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I know we NEVER post music videos and all, but her hair was so fab in this video and the song is pretty dope. Check it out!
Us Against The World - Official Music Video


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Johnny Wright, hairdresser to the stars (including Michelle Obama), gives you three simple steps to achieve Viola Davis' Golden Globes look:

Curl hair in ¼ inch sections with a narrow barrel iron, for smooth ringlets

Since you will be using heat, it’s important to protect the hair from damage. Apply a quarter-sized amount of SoftSheen-Carson’s Optimum Oil Therapy 3-n-1 Crème Oil Moisturizer, which restores essential oils, prevents breakage, and protects against heat.

Hold the curls with a light spritz, such as SoftSheen-Carson’s Let’s Jam Styling Spritz to help control, curl and finish your hair. It is packed with Vitamin E to keep styles looking healthy and touchably soft all day.


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Product Name: CURLS Curlicious Cleansing Cream
Price Range: $13.00 (8 oz)
Company: CURLS (http://www.curls.biz)
Catch Phrase: Rachel True's Favorite! This creamy, sulfate free cleanser is gentle enough to use daily and moisturizing enough to use alone! Ideal cleanser for dry, curly, chemically altered and color treated hair. Perfect for active women!

This rich and creamy sulfate free cleanser gently cleanses your curls, hydrates, and conditions the hair all in one step! Infused with Carrot Seed oil, Horse Chestnut, Sage Leaf and Arnica Montana Flower Extract. Perfect cleanser for relaxed, chemically altered, and/or color treated hair.

What I Say: I'm always on the hunt for a great hair cleanser since my hair apparently is picky. I wet my hair and applied the shampoo. I let it sit for a few seconds before rinsing it out and my hair was soft, but a tiny bit dry. I decided to detangle with my HairArt and let me tell you -- it glided through without a struggle! If you're a "No-poo" kinda a girl, you should definitely give this product a try.

Product Tip: For better results, clarify first!
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (4/5)

*UPDATE 01/17*
I used it again and my hair was incredibly soft and manageable. My hair's natural curl pattern (or lack thereof) loosened up and I had no trouble with the line of demarcation. I am very pleased with this cleanser.


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Johnny Wright, hairdresser to the stars (including Michelle Obama), gives you three simple steps to achieve Taraji P. Henson's Golden Globes look:

Keeping hair healthy and moisturized will provide a smooth texture and movement. Try a deep conditioning treatment such as SofthSheen-Carson’s Optimum Oil Therapy Featherlight Hot Oil, which transforms dry, damaged hair while guarding against shedding and breakage.

Boost shine and keep the moisture locked in with SoftSheen Carson’s Let’s Jam Hair Polish which shines and smoothes hair. Get all day shine with no greasiness or heaviness - just vitamin E and high-impact shine that lasts.

As always, the key to a great look is a perfect cut, get regular trims and keep hair healthy and perfectly layered.


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Taraji P. Henson in a interesting looking dress. We love the hair though!

Beyonce looking fabulous with her tied back in an elegant fashion.


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What better way to start the new year than with a new look - at an incredible discount? Save up to 80% on top brand professional styling tools like BaByliss Pro to HAI to T3. Not to mention beauty products - from Murad to CLEAN to Fusion Beauty and more. So keep your New Year's resolution to treat yourself right and save money doing it!


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Pure natural henna is a good source for glycoprotein and can repair hair damage while adding moisture.


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Belle,

Thanks for your wonderful blog. It has gotten my wheels to turning, and I think I can stay natural. Can you recommend a hair regimen for me? I believe I have the type 4a/4c hair. I've been natural since April 2007. I did the big chop then. I have since worn my hair in micro braids, sew-ins, cornrows w/ extensions, and an afro. I wash my hair with the Pantene line for colored, natural, or relaxed hair. It makes my hair soft, but I'm not sure if I'm damaging it. I look on a lot of sights, but none of the women seem to have hair like mine. I don't know if they started out like me, but over time their hair has changed and become healthier. I'm not really sure. Any insight you provide will be appreciated. I'm pretty much new to the game even though I've been natural for over a year and a half. I've attached pics for your viewing.

Thanks,

T.
Hello,

Your hair is unique. It has one of the most interesting curl patterns and is the most fragile. It needs moisture to stay soft and supple. Sulfate-free shampoos, moisturizing conditioners, leave-ins, and natural oils (like Emu oil or Jojoba oil) are your best friends. I recommend washing your hair once or twice a week, deep conditioning afterward (with a plastic cap under a dryer), applying a leave-in, and massaging natural oils on the scalp. In between your wash days, I suggest a protective style like twist-outs or braid-outs to reduce manipulation and tangles.

Moisturizing Cleansers
CURLS Curlicious Cleansing Cream
My HoneyChild Banana Creme Scalp Cleanser
Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream

Moisturizing Conditioners
CURLS Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Conditioner
My HoneyChild Banana Creme Conditioner
Hair Rules Deep Quench Conditioner

Great Leave-Ins
CURLS Milkshake
Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

Natural Oils
Coconut Oil
Jojoba Oil
Emu Oil

Reconstructors (use only when hair feels too moisturized)
Aubrey Organics GPB
Affirm 5-in-1

And remember to use a wide tooth comb and to only detangle with fingers (if your hair is dry) and with a lot of conditioner if your hair is wet. Okay, I think that's all. I hope this helps!

- Belle Cheveux


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"Genetics has very little to do with getting longer hair." -- Lisa Akbari


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I've been stretching for about three months now but it feels more like six since my last relaxer reverted a week later! Anyway, I'm realizing that my hair feels much better without the use of shampoo. Co-washing leaves my new growth soft and supple, while shampooing and then conditioning leaves it a little dry. So, for the next few months, I will test out the "no-shampoo" method. I will only use cleansing creams, conditioners, and water & baking soda. I'll keep you guys updated on how my hair turns out! And if anyone cares to join me for this experiment, here's a list of alternate cleansers:

Well, wish me luck everyone! And if anyone has tried -- or will try -- this method, let me know how it turned out!


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A very grown-up looking Keke Palmer at the NAACP Nomination Ceremony.

Photos via The YBF


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Here are the top 10 Healthy Foods for Your Hair!

1. Seaweed
2. Citrus Fruits like oranges and grapefruits
3. Blueberries
4. Sardines and Salmon
5. Lentils
6. Eggs
7. Wheat bran and Wheat germ
8. Watercress, Spinach, Kale
9. Brown Rice
10. Cantaloupe

Vitamins C and Vitamins E are essential to good hair too!

When hair begins to start thinning and losing sheen as we age, it’s essential that you look at your diet. Make sure you eat foods that are antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods like berries - blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Beans like red kidney beans and pinto beans are excellent for hair growth and are anti-oxidant rich. Also raisins, figs, prunes, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and skim milk are also excellent healthy foods that foster increased hair growth and shine. And instead drinking that can of Coke, consider green tea instead. Green tea is antioxidant rich and prevents the production of DHT from binding and blocking the hair follicles. It basically allows for the hair follicles to open up and allows the hair to grow freely. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves of the tea plant. It’s a healthy, natural alternative to sugary drinks that only slow down hair growth.

(Excerpt from The Jane Carter Solution: The 3 Simple Secrets to Growing Great Hair)


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Product Name: CURLS Milkshake
Price Range: $18.00 (8 oz)
Company: CURLS (http://www.curls.biz)
Catch Phrase: Guaranteed to define, defrizz, revive, hydrate, and soften dry curls. Derived from natural milks and exotic extracts, this moisturizing cream will bring life back to your overworked tresses. Light enough to use on fine curly hair. Perfect cream for transitioning curlies...to soften and hydrate dry new growth. Also works GREAT for curly weaves.

What I Say: First off, let me just say that this product smells heavenly. It has a vanilla "milkshake" scent and even has the consistency of a milkshake. I used it on my dry new growth and the result was super soft hair. I am really loving this moisturizer! I wish it was a little thicker though. It's a little watery, but that's okay. The great thing about this product is that it contains Coconut Milk, which helps soften the line of demarcation.

Product Tip: For better results, use a little bit.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)


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It's finally 2009. We all have goals we want to achieve. I want to stretch for as long as possible this time around, obtain thicker hair, and minimize manipulation.

  • What are your hair goals for 2009?
  • What are you planning to do to achieve said goals?
  • Do you believe you can do it?
Discuss, discuss, discuss!


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Previous Recipe: Shealoe Butter, Homemade Rosewater, Sulfur Growth Aid, Cayenne Pepper Stimulant, The 2Bossay Growth Aid, Moe's Growth Oil, Moisturizing Spritz

Here's a great herbal shampoo recipe I found surfing the web. It's packed with herbs that stimulate the scalp and aid in hair growth.

Herbal Shampoo
  • 4 oz of castile soap (plain, peppermint, eucalyptus)
  • ½ oz of rosemary
  • ½ oz of sage
  • ½ oz of nettles
  • ½ of lavender
  • 2000 mg of MSM
  • 8 oz plastic bottle (or any other empty shampoo or soap bottle)
Mix the herbs in a mason jar, which has a lid. Boil 2 cups of distilled water. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of the mixed herbs into the boiling water. Pull the boiling water and herbs off the stove. Let the herb mixture sit for 30 – 40 minutes. Put the 2000mg of MSM into the herb mixture after 30 minutes of cooling. After 40 minutes and the MSM is melted, strain the herbal mixture into a bowl.

Pour 2 to 2 1/2 oz of strained herbal tea into the 8 oz plastic bottle. Now, pour the 4 oz of castile soap into the 8 oz plastic bottle. Cap the bottle and shake to mix the ingredients.

The shampoo is now finished and ready for use. Use this as a base for all of the shampoos you make. You can add different herbs as you learn what these herbs do and how they help your hair. You can vary the ingredients according to your taste. But now you have a shampoo that has no additives that can harm you.

Editor Note: MSM is called methylsulfonylmethane, an organic sulphur compound. You can get it in gel, liquid, powder, cream or capsule form. Consult your doctor before using MSM, especially if you are using medications.


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Your name/username
"Loolalooh" on the hair boards.

Your hair's current state (Relaxed, natural, transitioning)
Natural for 11 months so far.

When did you start your hair care journey?
I started my hair care journey in January 2007, about two years ago. After constant breakage followed by back-to-back salon cuts, it was time for serious hair care research. That's when I found Black Hair Care Media and a couple of fotki hair albums. In March 2007, I had what would later be my last relaxer, and a few months later I officially started transitioning after realizing the damage chemical processing had done to my hair. In February 2008, I big chopped and went natural.

Your current regimen
I am a big believer of low manipulation and keeping it simple. My current regimen is to shampoo, deep condition, moisturize, and then airdry in twists once a week. Every now and then, I clarify when needed. In the warmer months, I incorporate co-washes or more frequent washes - about two to three times a week. I detangle with a comb once a month and use my hands the rest of the time. Low manipulation and protective styles like twistouts, twists, and braids are my latest staple styles.

My regimen is heavily moisture-based since my hair gets dry easily. I use products like Creme of Nature moisturizing shampoo (green bottle), Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix Conditioner, and unrefined Shea Butter mixed with Safflower Oil and conditioner to keep my hair supple. Occassionally, I apply Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to minimize breakage and strengthen my hair. I also practice internal health as part of my hair care regimen.

Why you decided to grow your hair?
For years my hair would grow to shoulder length, and then break and thin out. I would head to the salon for another ear length cut and start the process all over again. I got tired of this cycle. I was ready for a change. I was ready for a different look. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could grow long, healthy hair. It became a personal challenge and goal of mine.

What technique (no heat, deep conditioning, stretching) has helped you the most?
Low manipulation all the way. My hair retains the most length and grows best when I don't bother it. Less combing, no brushing, more protective styles, and an uncomplicated regimen are all part of the low manipulation technique.

Tell us a little about your line of designer scarves!
I love wearing scarves around a puff, twistout, or updo. Tying one around my hair is a simple, quick way to spice up a hair style. The only problem is that it is sometimes difficult to find beautiful scarves made from quality fabric at an affordable price. So I started my own line of designer hair scarves called the Wasijiru Collection - named after my late grandmother. The collection includes a colorful range of elegant scarves designed primarily from pure satin and silk for our delicate hair. Some contain adornments like feathers or flowers, others contain interesting geometric patterns, some are solid colors, and others are blends of colors. There is a scarf for every personality.

Where can we get your fabulous scarves?
People can purchase the scarves at my online shop: www.wasijiru.etsy.com. New scarf designs come out every week or so, so you'll always see something fresh. Two boutiques have expressed interest in my designs, so I may sell some scarves through them as well. To keep up with the latest additions to the Wasijiru Collection and to hear about special sales, people can email me at wasijiru@yahoo.com to be added to the email list. I also offer a 10% lifetime discount to long-term customers.

Your advice to the readers
This is a compilation of advice that has served me well from others: Healthy, growing hair comes from internal and external health. For the inside, drink plenty of water, get plenty of nutrients and sleep, and exercise regularly. For the outside, incorporate low manipulation, regular moisture and deep conditioning, protective styles, low/no heat, and strengthening. There is no need to do too much with the hair. Simplicity and patience are also key to good hair care.

To view more scarves from the Wasijiru Collection, click here!


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Dania Ramirez at a VH1 event.

Photo via Essence


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