Product Review: Shea moisture’s Jamaican black castor oil strengthen grow and restore leave in conditioner

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So first let’s get the basic stuff out the way…

Price: $10.99

Main ingredients: Shea butter, peppermint and keratin

Claims:

  • Softens and detangles hair while controlling frizz.
  • Nourishes, moisturizes and supports elasticity so that hair resists breakage when detangling.
  • Improves the appearance of split ends.

Characteristics: Smooth runny consistency with a pleasant smell.

I think Shea moisture hit the jackpot when they made this leave in conditioner. It is absolutely amazing!

This leave in conditioner is light weight so I initially thought that it would not be very moisturizing because light weight leave in conditioners only keep my hair moisturised for like one day.

When I put it on my  freshly washed hair, I saw curls popping up, I’m talking about those kind of wash and go looking curls that you get with  styling gel; that was the first surprise. My hair felt soft and easy to manage and extremely moisturised; second surprise. I think that’s when I fell in love with it.

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Seeing that I had never really used only a leave in conditioner to do a “wash and go”, I got scared and figured that my hair would dry really frizzy if I tried the “wash and go”, so I settled on doing some bantu knots; this had no logic either because I had no clue if the product had hold, but I did the bantu knots anyway. They did not dry properly which was my fault, but I got pretty decent results; soft, bouncy, wavy curls.

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A few weeks later, I saw that one of my favourite natural hair you tube vloggers, had used the leave in conditioner to do a wash and go and she got fabulous results so I decided to give it a try myself. I got medium curl definition, and I was ok with it because my hair felt so soft and not crunchy as it would usually be if I had used regular gel. However, if you are going for a really defined look with a lot of hold, I will not recommend it.

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If you have a less defined curl pattern , (closer to 4B/4C), I would not recommend it for a wash and go all on its own, however it works as a really good base when applied before a styling gel; because of its texture, it does not really form white build up or clumps.

Another thing that I really love about this leave in conditioner is that a little bit goes a long way, which is extremely important especially when you have a tight budget.

All in all, it is a really good product, and I would definitely purchase it again.

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Natural hair feature: Rita Alexander

Hello! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Rita Alexander. I am eighteen years old. I recently graduated from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community college where I studied Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science. I hope to become an Orthodontist in the future. I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to church and I LOVE going the beach. One of my biggest dreams is to travel the world!

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How long have you been natural?

I have been natural for 8 months.

Why did you decide to return natural?

I decided to return natural because my relaxed hair was really damaged and it was getting really thin. Anyone that knows me would know how much I love my hair and after trying many different products and ways to revive my relaxed hair, nothing was really working so I decided to return natural. My best friend also influenced my decision because she kept bugging me ALL THE TIME to start transitioning and join the natural hair family.

Did you transition or did you do the big chop?

I transitioned for 3 months and then I did the big chop.

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What’s your hair regimen like? How often do wash your hair and stuff like that?

I wash my hair every week (Thursday is wash day!). I use mostly Cantu products. I use the Cantu shampoo and then the leave- in conditioner. While conditioning, I use a comb to detangle to prevent my hair from breaking. After conditioning I dry my hair with a towel and then I grease my scalp with Blue Magic Organics (Castor Oil) hair and scalp conditioner or Cantu shea butter hair dressing pomade. After, I partition my hair into several big plaits until I am ready to style. I sometimes co wash once a week (when I remember or when I have the time lol) Sometimes I like to braid my hair for about 3-4 weeks because I get lazy to comb them every day.

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What are some of your staple products?

I use the Blue Magic Organics (Castor Oil) hair and scalp conditioner or Cantu shea butter hair dressing pomade to grease my scalp, Cantu shea butter daily oil moisturizer mostly right after drying my hair , Cantu argon oil leave-in conditioning repair cream as my leave-in conditioner, Cantu shea butter coconut curling cream( my favourite product) for when I’m doing a twist out EcoStyler Olive Oil gel, Carefree curl Gold Instant Activator and Curls-Crème Brule whipped curl cream for when I want to make my curls more defined, Cantu shea butter cleansing cream shampoo to wash my hair and Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner and Organics Hair Mayonnaise as my deep conditioner.

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Do you use heat on your hair? 

I absolutely do not like heat on my hair. One time I tried blow drying my hair after styling it with the EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel because it was still very wet when I had to leave the house and it looked white. The blow dryer did help with getting rid of the white residue but it left my hair feeling hard, crispy and TOO dry. The style looked great but I did not like how my hair felt so I never did that again because I love my curls soft. I have never flat ironed my natural hair (and I don’t think I ever will)

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How do you feel about colouring your natural hair?

I have never coloured my natural hair but it is definitely something I plan to do in the near future!

Have you ever considered going back to the creamy crack?

I have considered relaxing my hair again because after I did the big chop, I braided my hair every month for 5 months. After a while I got tired of the braiding so I decided to stop and sometimes it was really hard to manage and style my natural hair because it was still considerably short. However, I realised that even if I did relax it, it would STILL be short and possibly difficult to style so I spent more time researching and looking at YouTube videos to get tips on hairstyles I should try etc. This really helped. My friends also played a big part in talking me out of relaxing again and I’m very glad I didn’t.

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Do you think that your natural hair gives you an extra flair? Does it add to your personal style?

Yes it actually does! I think that my natural hair makes me look “exotic” lol and some of my outfits actually look better on me when I wear natural hair hairstyles compared to when I had my relaxed hair. There was not much I could have done with my relaxed hair so I looked the same most of the times but now my natural hair gives me that extra ‘oomph’ that I need to pull off certain looks.

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Product Review: Bentonite Clay

There has been a lot of buzz in the natural hair community about Bentonite Clay and all its amazing benefits not only for your skin but for your hair, so I decided to try it out.

What’s the word on the street about Bentonite Clay?

I first heard about bentonite clay while reading about the max hydration method.  The clay is known for its ability to cleanse hair and getting a more defined curl, especially in wash and gos.

Using Bentonite clay

The tricky thing about using bentonite clay on your hair is that it does not come with directions, so after doing my research I decided to use it to cleanse my hair, instead of using my regular shampoo.

You will need:

  • A Plastic bowl and plastic spoon (avoid using metal because it can react with the clay)
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 3-4 tablespoons of bentonite clay (depending on the length of your hair)
  • Butterfly clips
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Directions

Step 1- Finger detangle and divide hair into 4-5 sections

Step 2- Place the bentonite clay in the bowl and add the apple cider vinegar and water.  Mix togeher with the plastic spoon until you get a smooth consistency.  (Avoid making it too thick because it will be harder to wash out from your hair)

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Step 3- Apply the clay mixture to each section from tips to roots.

Step 4- Let it sit on your hair for about 15- 20 minutes. Feel free to apply the mixture to your face as well.  Do not let the clay harden on your hair as it will be harder to remove.

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Step 5 – Rinse with water until all the clay is removed from your hair.

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Step 6- Follow up with your regular conditioner

Impressions

While I used bentonite clay I noticed that my curls started clumping together, and I saw a lot of curl definition. When I washed out the clay my hair was very soft and it did not feel stripped. After I finished my regular wash day routine, I felt a difference in my hair; it was light and my curls were soft and bouncing around without any product applied.

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My only problem with using bentonite clay is that the process is a bit messy. Other than that I think it is quite awesome.

On another note, my face felt really clean when I washed off the mask and I have continued to use it weekly as a facial mask and I have seen improvement in my complexion and I have been having less breakouts.

Bentonite clay is the business!

Have you tried Bentonite clay? Tell me about your experience.

Wash day woes; The magic is in the “pre poo”

Good day ladies!

There is nothing more we love than spending hours detangling on wash day! Wrongggg!!!

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Especially when you are pressed for time and have a lot to do…

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A few weeks ago, during my exams I had not combed my hair or had done anything to it for about 10 days or so (*hides face*). So eventually it was a necessity to wash my hair more than a luxury. Dont believe me? Just watch!

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Observe, the dull, dry matted looking hair. It’s quite embarrassing really.

Seeing that I did not have a whole lot of time on my hands during that specific wash day (all of them really),I decided to change up my pre poo game to help with the detangling process.

I would usually pre poo with my special oil mix, and a little spritz of water and cover it with a plastic bag for about half an hour or so.

However,this time I turned it up a notch. So for this pre poo magic, you will need:

  • 1 spray bottle
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup or so of your regular conditioner (I used suave)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite oil (I used a combo of olive oil, castor oil and coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)

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All you need to do is pour everything into the spray bottle, and give it a little shake.

Then…

  • Divide you hair into sections (six sections usually work for me).
  •  Spray each section of your hair with the mix until it is damp.  Then, smooth the mix through the section making sure all of you strands are coated.
  •  Finger detangle.

I think the whole process took me about 15 minutes.

Look at how it brought my hair  to life.

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When I saw all the curls, my lazy alter ego was trying to convince me not to even bother washing my hair again, but I won her over because my hair was in fact dirty and needed to be washed.

I followed up with my regular shampoo, conditioner and deep treatment mask as normal. My wash day went pretty well and was a lot less tedious.

Have you ever tried this method? How did it work for you?

For those of you who have not tried it before, give it a try and let me know how it works.

One love!

Memoirs of a frustrated naturalista: How I survived the semester.

Hellooooo!!!!

It has been a while, yes I know.

This semester was crazy! I was so busy with assignments and finals and all that. Anyways, I’m back!

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I would like to say a special thank you to my hair for not falling out and totally breaking off this semester, you da real MVP. Jah know say I treat you bad.

I had one of those kind of semesters where I would look at my scissors with beaming eyes and smile at it, and it would stare back at me and draw me  in.  I could not deal! There was no time for elaborate wash days, or ten hour detangling sessions. About four times in the last few months, I would have gone two weeks without detangling, washing, combing or doing anything to my hair. Full “pop down” mode. There was no time.

There were days I would start washing my hair at midnight, finish at around 2am, and be up by 6am on the grind again.

With that being said, there are a few tips and tricks that I would like to share with you that you can use when you are extremely busy but still want you hair to be on “fleek” and not fall off from neglect.

1. Supplements: I usually to take fish oil and other multi vitamins as daily supplements to help in the regular functioning of my body. However in January I started taking those supplements for hair, skin and nails. I really noticed an improvement in my hair and nails, and my skin to some extent. My hair has grown a few inches despite the fact that I did not give it the normal TLC that it is accustomed to.

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2. Wash and goes are not the enemy: I know a lot of naturals that are not big fans of doing a wash and go and I totally understand that. It was always a “hit or miss” thing for me. However, the more I did it, the easier it had  become to get my hair to look the way  that I wanted it to. After experimenting with different products I found different combinations that worked for me (particularly  eco styler gel paired with a lightweight leave in conditioner and coconut oil) . It’s really much easier to do a wash and go than a twist out or a flat twist, especially when you don’t have time to let you hair dry properly. Practice makes perfect!

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3. T-shirt plopping: I was never one to wash my hair at night because my mommy always told me I was going to catch a cold if I did. However, there were days when I had to choose between looking like I had a carpet on my head and washing my hair at night to look presentable the next day. So as I became a bigger fan of the wash and go, then and there arose  the dilemma of washing my hair at night and not wanting destroy my pillow case with my wet product filled hair. T-shirt plopping solved the problem. Essentially, it involves using a big t-shirt, and piling all of your hair at the top of your head; I would plop my hair at night and would wake up in the morning with my curls preserved and intact. Click here to learn how to plop your hair .

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4. Making super conditioner: Some wash days, you won’t always have time to deep condition or apply a deep treatment masque. To solve this problem, I started adding oil (coconut, olive or castor) and honey to my conditioner. I thought of it as a shortcut to a deep treatment seeing that I would usually take twenty to thirty minutes detangling my hair anyway while I had in the conditioner. This made the detangling process easier, and made my hair feel more manageable and appear shinier after I rinsed out the conditioner.

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So the next time you feel pressed for time and frustrated with your hair, give these tips a try.

One love!

Natural Hair feature: Soroya Marquis

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My name is Soroya marquis (Soroya Van A Maria Marquis), I am currently enrolled in City College of New York in pursuit of Masters in General psychology emphasis on Forensics psychology. I am planning to become a forensic psychologist, in the criminal justice department in the line of working along with criminals and their mental state.  I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1992 (yes just the other day, making it 23 years of age), four years after my birth I moved to St. Vincent and the Grenadines after the death of my father, who died from lymphoma.

As a child whose parents were Trinidadian- Portuguese and Afro-Trinidadian I had long thick Z pattern curled hair, but as soon that awkward adolescence staged kicked in, I felt pressured to relaxed my hair, for numerous reasons, reasons such as that everyone in High school had relaxed hair, it seemed “cool” then, to me it also seemed manageable.

The first four years in high school I welcomed the aged of “ hot comb” into my life, at first I fell in love with it, my hair was straight , silky, then the next 15 minutes of those tedious sessions of getting burned on my forehead, ears and the back of my neck , poof!! My hair decides to take a mind of its own and turn in a freshly washed poodle.

My last year in High School (graduation year) I made that huge decision to relax my hair (technically it was a birthday gift to myself and decision made via peer pressure). I wouldn’t lie, I loved it, silky black, healthy, straight hair, which high school girl on earth wouldn’t want that. For me, I felt like I finally fitted in the recognizable group (lol ), but yes, having relaxed hair then felt like, you’re grown , it added that matured look , a sense of professionalism.

After graduating from high school, this is when the problems started; I was and still forever will be a dye (hair color) addict. I didn’t know at the time that permanent dyes and relaxed hair don’t make a good match at all so  I went from black hair, to red, strawberry blonde, blonde, brown, dark purple then back to read in a space of three years. During the last year of my dye experiments my hair decided to “die”; it decided to break off, from the front, the nape of my neck, it was just a complete hot mess.  Luckily for me, that was the era when everyone was making that decision to go back natural.

So I thought about it, I talked about it to my colleges peers, the funny thing about that was, my friends said that I wouldn’t be able to make that decision because I love my hair too much, I was all for hair, which was true but hair was also in a terrible state because my love for changing my hair (as they say too much of a good thing is bad for you). So a bet was made, if I did go natural that one of my peers who cut hers, challenged was accepted!  It took me a year of transitioning before I made that big chop, which was the summer of 2012 and it was my mother would did the “chopping” for me.  Summer 2015, would be three years for me being natural, well lye free.

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From there, it was ups and downs for me, trying all different kinds of hair products, seeing what works with my hair and what doesn’t, and that certain products I use in the summer I can’t use them in the fall nor the winter, so it’s always a  battle for me .

I tried the LOC ( liquid Oil Cream) method  and it didn’t work, my hair doesn’t work well with oil at all, for some reason I don’t know but that’s just how it is , maybe it’s because my hair is made of 3 types of textures and different curl patterns .

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In terms of my regimen I deep condition my hair once a month. I tend to use any hair masque from the Shea moisture line (recently I fell in love with the Jamaican black castor oil hair masque, plus it smells really great). Then I would use with the hair milk, also from their line (either the curling milk or the thickening hair milk, depends on the look I’m going for) and then kinky curly curling custard ( it’s a curling gel). During the week I would refresh my hair with Jamaican Black castor oil. I wash it twice a month and comb it twice a month, between the weeks I would put my hair in a pineapple to sleep and shake it out the next morning after a hot bath (to wake up the curls) and when my hair  becomes “stale” I would put it in a high pony tail, or a high bun.

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Now when it comes to heat, I use heat once a year because I’m afraid it would change my hair pattern.

Have I ever colored my hair, while being natural? Yes!! I did blonde again, red, purple, blue and I would probably still continue to color my hair even considering to do blue again. Would I encourage others to color their hair? I would, BUT, you have to prepare to take a little more time with your hair on the regular like deep conditioning and hydrating it and NEVER color your hair on your own, go to a professional, so they can lift the color of your hair properly.

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I would never at this current stage relax my hair over again, probably later on in the future. I am not sure, but what I can say for now is that I am not seeing relaxed hair any time soon, but I do consider it now and then, but if anything I might go with the kertain treatment instead of relaxers.

I really do believe that my natural hair gives the finishing touch to my personal style, I’m known for my hair at work and any place I go, I love wearing my hair “out” curly, wild and big ( go big or go home), and personally I think my hair brings out my personality, sometimes too much, it would bring attention on days when I don’t want it to , but hey what’s not to love about that. I love my natural hair and I embrace it on good and bad days.

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Introduction… Finally!

Hey everyone!

I’m Anique! I thought it was finally time that I introduced myself!

When Kimiesha thought of doing a blog, she asked if I would contribute to the blog. I’d always wanted to do a blog, but didn’t have the guts to and thought that us doing it together would help me get the courage. At the time, I was relaxed and Kim thought it would be great to have a natural blogger and a relaxed blogger. By the time the blog actually started though, I was transitioning to natural.

However, as I still love relaxed hair and transitioning hair and natural hair, I will relay my entire journey- including my relaxed days in the hope that it will be of some use.

So here we go! Will post more soon!

xxx