Dec 17, 2014

My Bad, Yo: A Second Look at As I Am Coconut CoWash

as-i-am-coconut-cowash

Back in March 2013 (seriously, almost two years ago...wow time flies) I wrote a review of As I Am Coconut CoWash. I remember my eagerness to try the product, especially because I caught it on sale for $5.99 at Sally's. You can read the full review here, but if you're not interested, I'll save you a click: I pretty much hated it. At the time, I was just over a year into my transition. I'm sure as plenty of you can attest to, detangling long-term transitioning hair is the stuff nightmares are made of. I had read so many positive reviews about the Coconut CoWash and its magical detangling properties, I just knew I was going to be in for the wash day of a lifetime. Wrong, wrong, and more wrong. After my horrible experience with the one jar I had, I never purchased Coconut CoWash again. I never even glanced in its direction.

Until this week.

Over the past few days, a tiny voice in the back of my head has been urging me to reconsider -- to give the Coconut CoWash another try. After all, detangling transitioning hair and natural hair are very different. And it did clean well...and at $7.99, I wouldn't be squeezing my pockets dry to purchase it...and I was just being a product junkie looking for an excuse, so I caved in. I was at Sally's making a return (unused cutting shears), and I decided to just go for it. I needed to wash my hair anyway, and 6 day old wash and go hair seemed about as good of a test as any.

as-i-am-coconut-cowash

 Armed with my previous knowledge about the Coconut CoWash, I created a bit of a game plan for myself. Recently, I had been using water and coconut oil to start my detangling process, but I was fresh out. So I hopped in the shower with a handful of products -- Aussie Moist to detangle, As I Am Coconut CoWash (for my experimental cleanse), and Bee Mine Avocado Cream Balancing Conditioner. Worst case scenario, if As I am and Bee Mine fell flat, I could use Aussie Moist to cleanse and condition. I twisted my tangled hair into 8 sections (2 more than normal, because I've learned that smaller sections = less breakage), and section by section, I soaked my hair in water and Aussie Moist. I used Aussie Moist to detangle and remove shed hairs, just like I would any other wash day. Even though the jar and several other blogs told me I could use As I Am Coconut CoWash to detangle, I was pretty certain that my hair would be having absolutely none of it. In fact, before I used Aussie Moist, I took one small section and added Coconut CoWash to it just to see if anything had changed from my last experience. Nope, nope, and more nope. So I fully detangled my hair, and cleansed section by section with the Coconut CoWash.

as-i-am-coconut-cowash
Freshly rinsed from the Coconut CoWash. Yes, I have CoWash on my face. Don't ask.
I was pleasantly surprised. The CoWash was phee-nomenal. Detangling my hair prior to using it made a world of difference. It was almost like the CoWash said to me, "Christina, just let me be great. I'm not here to detangle. I'm here to cleanse, fight frizz, smooth, and add shine. Let me do what I do best!" For me, this was a total game changer. One simple switch (which really wasn't a switch, since it's something I do on a normal wash day anyway) caused me to do a complete 180 on how I felt about the product. I couldn't believe it. As I rinsed my hair out in the shower, I literally said, "my bad, yo." I felt like I owed As I Am some sort of apology. 

as-i-am-coconut-cowash

Today's wash confirmed that for me at least, As I Am Coconut CoWash was most certainly worth a second look. Although I was initially misled to believe that I could really detangle with this stuff, the results are great enough for me to forgive the lack of slip. Honestly, it's not even that the product doesn't have slip -- it does a wonderful job at working through already detangled hair (or getting out minor tangles), but 6 day old wash and go hair needs something with a little more oomph to tackle it first. And I don't know what I was tripping on back then, but $7.99 for 16oz of any product is a great deal in 2014 going on 2015. At this point, virtually all is forgiven. Will As I Am Coconut CoWash become a holy grail? Maybe, but only time will tell.

All I can say for now is, my bad, yo. We good, fam?

New Product Rating: 4 stars. A super solid product. If it had more slip, easily in 4.5/5 star category! The jar is a bit clumsy in the shower, but I'd rather scoop out product than have to constantly pump or squeeze a bottle.

If you're curious about ingredients and all that jazz, click here to read up on my previous review where I break it down.

Have you ever re-tried a product and completely reversed your opinion on it? Share in the comments below!

Dec 16, 2014

Christina's Choice 2014: Best of the Best Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair


Continuing my end of the year round up, we come to the deep conditioners that have held it DOWN for me in 2014. This is probably the hardest list of the lineup to compile -- because I've tried SO many deep conditioners this year, and liked a good number of them. In the deep conditioner department, I doled out a lot of 4's and 5's -- and even recommended many of them to some of you all. But there's a tremendous difference between like, love, and holy-grail-I-never-want-to-run-out-of-ever-in-life aka if-you-ever-stop-making-this-I-will-flood-your-customer-service-inbox-into-oblivion.

Needless to say, I had some tough calls to make. I thought long and hard about what products I have kept in constant rotation. Without further delay, here are my picks:

Best of the Best


Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
$15, www.ulta.com
Come on, you knew this would be at the top of the list! I seriously don't know where my hair would be without Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. It was love at first jar. I can't say enough about how much I love this deep conditioner. It hits all the marks -- slip, shine, softness, strength, affordability, and an epic buttery smoothness that is virtually unrivaled. I don't know how they do it, but I hope they never stop. Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask Review

TGIN Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner
$15, www.tginatural.com
I've been rocking with TGIN ever since I learned they existed (in my transitioning days) and with good reason. I love their stuff -- from start to finish. I already marked the Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo as a holy grail, and I would be in complete denial if I did not include the Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner. I know, I know. It's not technically a deep conditioner. But guess what? It behaves like one. If I had to choose between Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner and Honey Miracle Hair Mask in a showdown, I'd ride with Triple Moisture every. Single. Time. It smells amazing, has magnificent slip, conditions like a dream, hydrates, and leaves the hair feeling supple and strong with a wonderful shine. Oh, and the shampoo-conditioner duo is always on sale at www.tginatural.com. What's not to love about getting a winning duo at a discount? TGIN Product Line Review

Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment
$17, www.hydrathermanaturals.com
Another transitioner throwback -- I have a special place in my heart for Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner. It was the first moisture-protein balancing treatment that gave my transitioning tresses life more abundantly, and I have kept a bottle in the stash ever since. It's a protein treatment that soften and moisturizes the hair, and doesn't leave it brittle or hard at all. And, it's one of the few deep conditioners that utilizes amino acids to replenish lost proteins in the hair. Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment Review

ApHogee Curlifc Texture Treatment 
$10, www.sallybeauty.com
I'll admit, when ApHogee dropped their Curlific line, I gave them the side-ist of side eyes. But the product junkie in me would not allow me to stay away from line, and I purchased all four Curlific products in January of 2014. Of the four, Texture Treatment is the standout, hands down winner. This product is multifaceted and epic. I've used it to pre-poo, and witnessed how with a little heat from the hooded dryer, how the treatment melts tangles. I've used it to deep condition, and gained a whole new appreciation for products that can perform in 10 minutes or less. The Texture Treatment is nothing short of amazing, and I absolutely cannot get enough of it. ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment Review

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque
$12, www.sheamoisture.com
In the year of Shea-Moisture-Releases-Fifty-Leven-Product-Lines-With-Obscenely-Long-Product-Names, there were several that I tried, and liked well enough. But the stand-out and unlikely hero of them all was from their Jamaican Black Castor Oil line. It's funky-colored and smells like play-doh, but it works like a charm. It smooths, hydrates, adds shine, has nice slip, and gives me a buttery smoothness practically on par with Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. I didn't want to like anything from the JBCO line, but I fell in love with the Treatment Masque after I was two seconds away from giving up on the brand. Well played, Shea Moisture. Well played. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque Review
Honorable Mentions
These products didn't make the holy grail list, but I'd be remissed if I didn't mention them. Maybe they'll take center stage in 2015!

Mystic Divine Nourishing Masque
$9, www.sallybeauty.com
For the longest time, I had zero interest in this product. It sat in the back of my deep conditioner drawer for months, and I could kick myself for not digging it out sooner. I honestly can't even craft a good excuse for why it took me so long to give it a try. I'm glad that I finally did, and I am on the verge of declaring my love for Mystic Divine Nourishing Masque. If for no other reason, the buttery smoothness I feel upon rinsing is virtually enough to win me over. I've purchased a second jar, just to see if it's real. Look for a review reaaaaaally soon.

Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor
$8, Sprouts
Another deep conditioner that flew under my radar is Giovanni's Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor. I like it...a lot. It delivers all that buttery goodness without silicones and other non-CG friendly ingredients, but I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how it works. It's supposed to be a reconstructor and fill in damaged cuticles with proteins, but...I don't see any proteins on the list. Maybe this is an answered prayer for protein-sensitive ladies? After I spend more time with Nutrafix, (I'm on my 2nd or 3rd tube), I'll have a review for you guys!

Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner (not pictured)
$9, www.sallybeauty.com
If you followed my Max Hydration Method experiment, then you know Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner was my ride-or-die deep conditioner. I used it for virtually every wash day, and it held me dowwwwwwn. After I was done with the MHM, I liked the Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner well enough to keep it in rotation for a while, but I fell off in the repurchase area about a month and a half ago. The truth is, it's a wonderful deep conditioner -- I just struggle to make room for it in an already robust deep conditioner lineup. It's great, and I know that if some sort of freak accident occurred and I couldn't get my hands on my top 5, Eden BodyWorks would undoubtedly be my 6th man.

TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask
$15, www.tginatural.com
Yes, another TGIN product. I put Honey Miracle Hair Mask in the honorable mentions because as I previously mentioned, I'd pick Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner every time. But don't count Honey Miracle out just yet! It's a wonderful and effective moisturizing deep conditioner, full of humectants and rich oils that leave my hair feeling soft, shiny, and detangled. Oh, and it smells ah-MAY-zing. TGIN Line Review

Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask
$40, www.ouidad.com
Another late-comer to the game, I got acquainted with Ouidad's repair mask for dry, damaged hair in late November. I love how it's thick like butter, and soaks right into the hair (in spite of how thick it is). I am really digging everything about the Melt-Down Mask except the price. At $40 for a 6oz jar, it is one of the most expensive products I have put in my hair. Look for a review very, very soon!

I can't believe I actually made it through this list! Up next: leave-ins! Stay tuned!

In case you missed it: Christina's Choice 2014 Shampoos and Cleansers

Dec 15, 2014

Miss Jessie's Co-Founder and Curly Haircare Pioneer Titi Branch Passes Away at 45



As seen on Black Girl with Long Hair.

While more details are still forthcoming, news broke late Sunday evening on social media that Titi Branch, co-founder of the famed curly haircare brand Miss Jessie's had passed away. Born on June 10th, 1969, Titi Cree Branch died on December 4th, 2014 in what online media publication NV Magazine is calling an apparent suicide due to asphyxia. While we are awaiting a formal statement from Miko Branch or representatives for Miss Jessie's, it has been confirmed that Titi Branch is no longer with us.

Various friends and acquaintances of the Branch sisters have expressed their sentiments about Titi's passing on social media, including one friend who shared via Facebook, "It is a tragic moment in time. The family got together today and we celebrated Titi. The love was intense." A video tribute titled My Titi by Andre Robert Lee set against the backdrop of Frankie Beverly and Maze's Before I Let Go can be viewed here on Vimeo and down below -- and closes with a final look at Branch's obituary. Titi's sister Miko sent out a tweet yesterday, "Titi <3" to her followers as well.

video

Titi Branch began her career in natural hair care in 1997, when she opened Curve Salon in Brooklyn, New York with her sister Miko. It was at this salon that Titi played an integral role in shaping the natural hair landscape for years to come. Titi developed, named, and popularized the "shingling" method -- a method many naturals (including myself) utilize to thoroughly distribute product and define curls.

Although she wielded a degree in Consumer Economics from University of Maryland, Titi became the driving force behind Miss Jessie's transformation into a natural household name with her creativity and kitchen experimentation. In 2004, she developed Curly Pudding, the first Miss Jessie's product to be sold in their salon (which in 2005 was re-named for their family matriarch, Miss Jessie). Other formulations and product soon followed, including Curly Meringue, Curly Buttercreme, and Baby Buttercreme.


What started out with two sisters, a salon, and a jar of pudding, has blossomed into a comprehensive curl care line of over a dozen products -- including my personal favorite, Pillow Soft Curls. With Titi's contributions, Miss Jessie's products grew beyond the salon, and fill the shelves of Target stores, CVS, Ricky's, Duane Reade, Walgreens, Walmart, and other beauty retailers.

Due to the details surrounding Titi Branch's death being unconfirmed, we at Black Girl Long Hair will not speculate on the cause or circumstances that lead to her passing. We do, however, send an outpouring of love, support, prayers, and positive vibes to Miko and the rest of the Branch family as they mourn the loss of their beloved.

Titi was a pioneer and trailblazer in her on right, and her contributions to the natural hair industry will not soon be forgotten. Rest in power, peace, and love, Titi.

Because this is a sensitive subject matter and there are friends, family, and fans openly grieving the loss of Titi Branch, we ask that readers refrain from negative, controversial, or inflammatory comments.

Dec 12, 2014

The Secret Ingredient for More Good Hair Days


Hair ruts are absolutely no fun.

In my own journey, I've discovered that I hit a wall with my hair around these three areas/times:
1. The transition from summer to winter (fall in LA is virtually indistinguishable) and vice versa (ditto for spring)
2. After getting my hair colored
3. After too many corner-cutting wash days

While you can read here about changing your products seasonally and my post-color care recommendations are forthcoming, I'd like to spend some time on point number 3.

Trends in the natural hair community ebb and flow, and after cycling through doing-entirely-too-much-on-wash-day and doing-the absolute-bare-minimum-to-qualify-as-wash-day, I've been spending the better part of the past month getting re-acquainted with the former. Here's the big secret: your hair responds better, looks better, and is healthier when you take the time to give it the attention it deserves. That's right, the secret ingredient isn't goat milk, babassu oil, or anywhere to be found in a Shea Moisture jar. The secret ingredient to more good hair days is to treat your hair like it needs to be treated.

When was the last time you actually pampered and took care of your hair?

If you keep it real like me, it's probably been a minute. Yes, I got consistent with wash day cleansing, deep conditioning, and even adding in my ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor. But even then, I was cutting corners. Finger detangling in large sections because like, who has time for 15 sections of hair? Rushing through my leave-in and styling process, because, reasons.

I put an end to that yesterday.

I did the absolute most this wash day, and my hair looks, feels, and is responding better than ever. It truly affirmed that you cannot do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. My wash day went something like:

Pre-Poo & Trim

Wednesday night, I couldn't sleep. So I did what any normal person would do -- detangle my hair. I started off with water and coconut oil, a la Bianca Alexa (she blessed me with her detangling method at the Nurture Your Natural Brunch in our little sidebar convo), and did my ususal coconut oil/JBCO scalp oiling. But even then, my hair didn't feel quite right. It seemed rough, and like some of the ends wanted to play a game of "lets twist and turn in preparation to become single strand knots". So I whipped out the Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Rinse-Out Conditioner, because I bought it during the Shea Moisture BOGO and needed to use it. Best. Decision. Ever.

I coated my strands in the conditioner, which to my surprise had great slip. I sprayed on a little more water, and then grabbed that Babyliss doodad [$2 at Sallys, click here] you see in the middle of the photo. It's technically a scalp massager, but every blue moon I like to use it to detangle my hair. The bristles are thick and wide enough to convince me they wouldn't yank my hair out like a Denman. Working from roots to ends, I used the Babyliss thing to smooth and detangle my hair. I twisted my hair up, and section by section, clipped away the stray ends. I have this "thing" about the ends of my hair -- I like them to be blunt and thick. I can't stand tapered ends as a natural, because I had tapered, thin ends as a transitioner for 21 months. I paid my dues. So when I start seeing ends that aren't straight and blunt at the end of the curl, I whip the shears out. After snipping away 1/4 of an inch or so around my hair, put on my "greasy hair scarf" and called it a night around 2am. Yes, I had just spent 2 hours detangling and trimming my hair. I hadn't done that since God knows when.

Cleanse, Henna, & Deep Condition
I let my pre-poo sit overnight, although I didn't cover it with a plastic cap (I wanted to prevent hygral fatigue). I woke up and concocted my updated henna mix (I'll do a post update soon), but it contains:
  • Jamila BAQ Henna
  • Aussie Moist
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Hot Water
  • Purgasm Shop Truffle or Sprinkled With Grace Salted Caramel Deep Conditioner
 I let the mix sit and cure as I cleansed my hair. I shampooed with Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo, and washing was an absolute breeze. Not only were all my twists smoothed to the high heavens (thanks, Shea Moisture!), the thorough detangling job made working the shampoo through a million times easier. When my strands were all clean, I applied henna thoroughly, coating my hair root to end in small sections. I secured my hair in cling wrap and placed a plastic cap over it. And then a satin bonnet. And then a beanie. I had errands to run and laundry to do. I left the henna in my hair for about 4 hours -- about how long it took for me to get annoyed with henna drips running down the side of my face. In the shower, I rinsed the henna thoroughly (note: it takes a good 5 minutes under constant running water to get it all out), and applied Mystic Divine Nourishing Masque for fast-acting deep conditioning. Review coming soon on that one, but let's just say I was pleasantly surprised and I need more of it in my life.

More Conditioner, Leave-In, Moisturize, & Style

After rinsing the aptly named Mystic Divine from my hair, I went in and applied gobs of Aussie Moist Conditioner from end to roots. I wasn't really conditioning, or maybe I was. I don't know why I did it, but I'm glad I did. Instead of doing light finger detangling and rinsing, I sectioned my hair off and with a little help from the shower water, began firmly working the conditioner into my hair. It was this weird, scoop-rake-squeeze motion that I just got inspired to try/use (I overheard something about it during my last visit to Devachan) that actually ended up working lightweight miracles on my hair. Instead of just coating my strands with condition-y goodness, I could tell the Aussie Moist was actually penetrating hair. I smoothed the excess conditioner out, sprayed LRC Shake & Go on top, and followed up with Pura Body Naturals Sapote Hair Lotion to lock in all the moisture and help keep my hair hydrated. I spent extra time working the Shake & Go and Sapote Hair Lotion into my hair, with that same scoop-rake-squeeze motion. Normally, I'd smooth it through once or twice and keep it moving. But actually working all the products into my hair made a tremendous difference! After I hopped out of the shower, I applied Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel using the Rake & Shake Method and sealed with Vitamin Shoppe Argan Oil. Here's how my hair looked immediately following product application:


Notice that even though I used Eco Styler (which is notorious for white clumpage), I have no white clumps in my hair. At most there was a little translucence, but that went away quite rapidly. That night, my hair looked more like this:


Still a little damp, but dry for the most part.

Day 2 hair, with shrinkage at an all time high (I didn't band before bedtime because my roots were still damp):


And as I write this post, I'm chillin' here like:


Because date night calls for stretched hair. I'll be sharing final results pictures on Instagram (per usual), but suffice it to say that even in its shrunken state, my curls look better than they have in a long time. They're healthier, spring loaded, fluffy, soft, smooth (ya'll know I have a perpetual struggle with rough ends), they have a natural luster, seem less unruly, and are just all-around awesome. I attribute all of that to taking the time necessary to go the extra mile for my hair. Yes, it took a lot of time and required tons of patience. Yes, I used about fifty-leven different products. Yes, my wash day required about 17 different steps. But guess what? 

The end result was worth it.

In order to get your hair back on track, you don't have to do everything I did. We've already uncovered that the secret ingredient to more good hair days is time. Think back to that regimen that had your hair thriving. What have you cut away from it, in an effort to save time? The unsexy truth is that those things are necessary to get your hair back where you want it to be. Does wash day have to turn into a weekend-long affair? Maybe. Do you need 15 different products? Sure, if they work. Whatever was working for your hair before, do more of that.

Hopefully this post inspires you to take some time out this weekend and pamper your hair. You don't have to make this an all the time thing, just make it work for you. Although I'll be sticking to my monthy henna sessions, I will be dusting off my Babyliss thing more often (probably monthly) to supplement my finger detangling. And I will most definitely be spending more time working my conditioners and moisturizers into my hair. Don't let other naturalistas who use a 15-in-1 miracle cleanser, deep conditioner, detangler, styler, credit repairer, moisturizer thumb their nose at you for doing the most with your hair. Different strokes for different folks!

How do you roll out the red carpet and pamper your hair?

Dec 10, 2014

New Series Alert! #AskAwayWednesdays: Your Questions, Answered Every Week! -- Episode 1


Hey guys!

I'm really excited about this new series I'm launching. I know my upload history on YouTube is kinda sketch -- I average like one video a month. BUTTTTTT I'm trying to get better! And one of the best ways to streamline a few things across the blog, social media, and my channel is to launch Ask Away Wednesday!

Starting today, I'll be filming and releasing a video on YouTube every Wednesday where I answer all of your hot burning questions about transitioning, natural hair, and everything in-between! I know it can be kind of frustrating when you need help, and your favorite Instagrammer, YouTuber, or Blogger seems unavailable (or let's keep it real -- uninterested) in answering your questions. Although I know we're all human, and sometimes I miss questions myself just based on timing and missed notifications, I think it's rude to leave the people that support you hanging. So this is my contribution to fixing that problem. I'm here to help.

I'll upload a picture once or twice a week on social media (Facebook and Instagram) where you can leave your questions in the comments section. Or, you can comment directly on the Ask Away Video in the comments section (and here on the blog too)! If your question doesn't get answered in the video immediately following, just know it's coming! I don't intentionally mean to skip out or miss anyone, but I ain't perfect and I'm only one person :)


I want to help educate and be of service -- not just sit up on some perch and serve hair pictures. So, ask away! And check out the first video which is LIVE on my Channel! I'll be discussing using heat, safe coloring, damage from trimming, how to rock a transitioning wash and go, and more!

Also, please be sure to leave any constructive feedback! I'm a seasoned blogger, but a YouTube novice :) This is my first video with my new camera -- the quality should be better than before, but I'm still working on my lighting (I'll take a diva ring for Christmas, if anyone cares lol).

Ask away:
www.youtube.com/themaneobjective
www.facebook.com/maneobjective
www.instagram.com/maneobjective
info@maneobjective.com

Video Highlights:
Ingredients for SAFE Heat Straightening: http://www.maneobjective.com/2014/01/5-must-have-ingredients-for-heat.html

My 2013 Straightening Regimen (Transitioning): http://www.maneobjective.com/2013/05/how-to-straighten-your-hair-and-prevent.html

My 2014 Straightening Regimen (All Natural): http://www.maneobjective.com/2014/09/2014-updated-flat-ironing-routine-without-heat-damage.html

Transitioning Hair Styles: http://www.maneobjective.com/search/label/transitioner%20styles%20and%20tutorials

How to Trim Transitioning Hair: http://www.maneobjective.com/2013/12/how-and-when-to-trim-hair-transitioner.html

Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to my channel!

5 Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Hair in 2015

lifestyle-changes-healthier-hair-2015


The new year is rapidly approaching, so you know what that means -- gym membership spikes, more crowded lots at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and an onslaught of resolutions to to live a healthier, more positive life.

I'm rooting for ya, I am!
(Because in rooting for you, I'm rooting for me too.)

Getting healthy and focusing on a balanced lifestyle will most certainly bring about numerous benefits, especially for your hair. If you've been struggling with dryness, breakage, excessive shedding, or just lackluster tresses in general, it may be time to put the deep conditioner down and take a hard look at what you've been doing (or not doing) to your body, and how it impacts your hair.

So when you're making your new year's resolutions, keep these 5 lifestyle changes in mind, because they'll most certainly put you on the path to a healthy body and healthy hair!

Get Active
If you ever needed some extra gym motivation, here it is: regular exercise promotes healthy hair and growth. Between overbearing employers, holiday traffic (well in LA, everyday traffic), deadlines, moving and shaking, stress can be at an all-time this time of the year. Amongst other ailments, stress can cause breakage and hair fall -- with the body's natural release of the hormone cortisol. Increased stress and therefore increased cortisol levels contribute to hair loss. One sure-fire way to eliminate stress and regulate/decrease cortisol levels is through cardiovascular exercise 3 or 4 times a week. Exercise also increases serotonin levels in the brain -- making you more apt to feel upbeat and happy-go-lucky -- and therefore decreasing the release of stress-related hormones that can trigger hair loss. Lastly, exercise improves blood circulation. Good blood circulation is key in transporting vital nutrients that stimulate hair follicles for growth. So while you're getting your body right for Summer, your hair is getting right too!

Ready for the other 4 lifestyle changes? Head on over to NaturallyCurly.com to keep reading!

Dec 9, 2014

4 Detangling Hacks for Tangles That Are Doing the Most

detangling-hacks-natural-hair

We've all been there.

You put wash day off a few days or weeks, because your big hair was fly. Or a product you thought you'd love turned your tresses into a tangled nightmare. Maybe your beloved kinky Curly Knot Today just up and told you, "Not today!"

When your hair gets helplessly tangled,you need a few tricks in your back pocket. Before you go out and buy the Newest Super Natural Slippy Dippy Miracle Detangler with Botanical Extracts, Gold Flakes and Magic Butter, try these 4 hacks:

1.  Vinyl Gloves

detangling-hacks-natural-hair

This hack has made it's way around the interwebs, but it's worth stating again. Using vinyl gloves just might save your hair. It is the single most effective hack I've ever used to work through my hair. The key  is to make sure you have vinyl gloves, not rubber. Rubber gloves act just like a rubber band. Vinyl gloves, with their smooth surface make it easier to glide your fingers through tangles and knots, when combined with your favorite oil, conditioner, detangler, or combination thereof. Just make sure your vinyl gloves are the right size -- gloves that are too big or too loose can exacerbate the situation. Vinyl gloves are also a great tool to have if you have uneven, long, or acrylic nails -- they prevent snagging and breakage.

2. Warm Conditioner

detangling-hacks-natural-hair

Jc of The Natural Haven has written previously on the benefits of warming your conditioner to render it more effective for absorbing and adsorbing to the hair. I have also found that warm conditioner takes to the hair better, helping to melt away super difficult tangles. I've tried the same conditioners warm and at room temperature (cold), and they work ten times better warm -- every single time. You can warm your conditioner the old school way, by saturating your hair and sitting under a dryer or steamer. You can also warm your conditioner in a microwave-safe container or in a hot water bath. If you're a shower detangler, letting the warm shower steam work on your tresses before detangling can also do the trick. Sometimes, the temperature of your products does matter!

3. Let it Marinate

detangling-hacks-natural-hair

Giving your detangling product of choice a little time to work may be what's necessary to get over the detangling hump. Completely saturate your hair, cover it with a plastic cap or bag, and let it sit for about half an hour. Extra bonus for letting it sit with heat (see number 2)! Not only will your detangling be a little easier, but you're getting one heck of a pre-poo treatment while you're at it!

4. Use Gel

detangling-hacks-natural-hair

I'm sure this doesn't make one bit of sense. If you're trying to detangle your hair (likely on wash day), how exactly will styling gel help? Tangles and knots are easily unraveled with products that have tons of slip. If your favorite gel or styler has tons of slip, why not use a few pumps here and there on the most difficult sections of your hair? I've used Hello Curly Curl Stimulator, Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker and Soultanicals Curl Blaze Hair Glaze on super gnarly knots. Just make sure the hair is appropriately saturated with water first. If you're looking for a cheaper way to use a slippery gel for detangling, whip up some DIY Flaxseed Gel. Flax seeds cost under $2 per pound, and are reusable! Need to know how to make Flaxseed Gel? Check out this tutorial from Naptural85.

What are your favorite tangle-busting hacks? Share in the comments below!

Dec 8, 2014

Review: Camille Rose Naturals Holiday Collection Nourishing Cream Leave-In & Hair Bath

camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review


It's the most wonderful tiiiiiiime of the year!

Well it was, for me. Although I kept it reasonable, I did go a little Black Friday//Small Biz Saturday//Cyber Monday nuts. I purchased products from Obia Natural Hair, TreLuxe, Pura Body Naturals, Bee Mine, and Camille Rose Naturals. The products have begun rolling in, and I am ever so excited. My Camille Rose Naturals Holiday Collection goodies arrived just in time for wash day, so let's start there! Review in 3...2...1...

Since I'm reviewing two products, I'm going to get all of the things that can be lumped together out of the way. So let's handle those first:

Availability: Camille Rose Naturals Holiday Collection products are only available online at CamilleRoseNaturals.com. I'd love to see these specialized items at Target, and maybe seasonal releases will be a new thing for the brand (hopefully). I love when brands get bold and switch it up a little bit.

Affordability: I purchased both the leave-in and hair bath at CamilleRoseNaturals.com during their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale for 25% off. The products individually retail for $13 and $16, respectively. Although a bit on the pricier side (Camille Rose products in general are not cheap...or cheaply made), I did find it interesting that these Holiday Collection products were on the whole less expensive than the Camille Rose Naturals mainstays. Leave-ins and lotions in general from the brand are $14 and up, while deep conditioners are around $20. Offering these limited editions for less is a good look, in my opinion. Before shipping, purchasing them both on sale only hit me for $21.75 before $5 shipping. I'd label that pretty affordable -- a little under $11 for each product on average. Both products are 8oz.

Now for the individualized stuff.

Nourishing Cream Leave-In
Ingredient List:Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS), Coconut Fruit Extract, Marshmallow Root Extract, Hemp Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Green Tea Extract, Flaxseed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, and LOVE!

Top Ingredients 411:
    camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review
  • Cetearyl and Cetyl Alcohols: Considered "fatty alcohols" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Act as lubricants, thickenesr, and emollients. Give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Also used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • Behetrmonium Methosulfate (BTMS): Gentle surfactant made from non-GMO rapeseed (canola oil), and is one of the mildest detangling ingredients out there. It doesn't cause buildup or irritation to the scalp.
  • Coconut Fruit Extract: Extract of the meat of the coconut. Not the same as coconut oil -- although it contains nutrients nourishing to hair.
  • Marshmallow Root: Extraction that creates a slippery, mucous-like substance that adds incredible slip (translation: awesome detangling), and contains high amounts of plant proteins for strengthening and conditioning hair.
  • Hemp Seed Oi: Ceramide-rich oil essential to the cohesion of the cuticle and maintenance of its protective effect for the hair shaft. Hemp oil and other ceramides are known to protect and/or repair the hair fibers. In particular, they have a barrier effect which limits the loss of proteins. Also reinforces cuticle cohesion, which gives the hair more strength and liveliness.

Product Claim/Description: This hydrating hair tonic has a triple infusion of tropical cocoa cream, grape, flax, and hemp seed oils. This one of a kind formula is light enough for finer hair types, but powerful enough for thicker textures.

camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review
Up close with the Nourishing Cream Leave-In texture
Performance/Delivery: Let's get this out of the way first: fragrance = delicious. I thought the two products would smell the same, but they have a subtle, yet distinct fragrance from each other. The Leave-In has undertones of that vanilla-eqsue fragrance we have come to expect from Camille Rose Naturals, but warmer. It's almost caramelly. There's a hint of Christmas spice, but the sweet, vanilla caramel aroma takes center stage. It reminds me of my Archer's Farm Vanilla Creme Brule K-Cups, and I almost tasted some of the Leave-In (please don't judge me -- it smells that good). Consistency-wise, it is incredibly creamy without being greasy. It's thicker than Fresh Curl, but a million times thinner than Curl Love Moisture Milk. Once the Leave-In made it's way onto my hair, i was instantly in love. It is incredibly moisturizing, but at the same time it didn't weigh my hair down. My hair feels so soft and silky. It's nothing short of amazing. I've been waiting for something like this from Camille Rose Naturals for a loooooong time. Something for us ladies with curly hair that isn't baby smooth. Something that moisturizes but isn't too watery, and isn't too saddled down with heavy butters.
camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review
Nothing but Leave-In on my hair! Yasssss!
For me, Camille Rose Naturals hit this one out the park! It smells great, I love the consistency, and it has great slip. The Leave-In glided right through my hair with no drama whatsoever. It plays nicely with other products, and most importantly, Curl Maker. It's a tragedy to me when an entire line of products can't work cohesively. Nice to know that I can pair this with one of my Holy Grails with no drama! I honestly didn't expect the Nourishing Cream Leave-In to work as well as it did -- nor did I expect it to be my favorite of the two products. I thought I'd love the Hair Bath more, but nope! The Leave-In is the undisputed champ in my book. You should see me right now, sniffing my hair as I write...smh. The fragrance lingers in the hair, but not in an overbearing, allergy-triggering way. If you had problems before with people wanting to touch your hair, you're going to have even more problems after using the Leave-In. Not only will they want to touch, they'll want to sniff. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Drawbacks: The only drawback I see here is the fact that it's limited edition. I hope Janell and the Camille Rose Naturals team decided to release a year-round leave-in conditioner in the very near future!

Bonuses: It doubles as a moisturizing hair lotion. You can apply it to dry hair for extra moisture, to refresh curls, and hydrate strands. I've been using it on the ends of my hair before applying my JBCO, to help prevent splits, SSKs, and breakage. It's also Curly Girl friendly, and will probably work for the ladies on the Max Hydration Method. It's silicone, protein, formaldehyde, and cruelty free. I also love the fact that it contains hemp seed and flax, two oils really rich in omegas and ceramides. Replenishing the lipid barrier is super essential for ladies with dry, damaged, or color treated hair (like me).

Bottom Line: 
Dear Camille Rose Naturals,
Please make this available throughout the year. Please, pretty please. I don't know how I'll function if I have to wait until next November/December to get my hands on this. Okay, maybe I'm being a little drastic. But I will definitely be sad.

Signed,
Your Favorite Product Junkie

Best Practices:To get that slippy dippy goodness, use on wet hair. Hair doesn't have to be dripping wet, but wet enough to assist the Leave-In in gliding through the strands. Other than that, treat it like you would any other leave-in or creamy product that you use underneath stylers and gels!

Overall Product Rating: 5 stars, hands down without a doubt. A product that smells great, has an impeccable ingredient list, is reasonably priced, and does exactly what it says it will do. How often does stuff like that come along?

Nourishing Cream Hair Bath
camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review

Ingredient List: Water, Aloe Vera Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Nettle Leaf Extract, Peppermint Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Phenoyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Fragrance, and Love!

Top Ingredients 411: 
  • Aloe Vera Juice: Acts as a natural conditioning agent that restores the hair's sheen, luster, and shine. It not only makes the hair soft, but it also enhances strength and suppleness.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: Considered "fatty alcohols" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Act as lubricants, thickeners, and emollients. Give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Also used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • Shea Butter: Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS): Gentle surfactant made from non-GMO rapeseed (canola oil), and is one of the mildest detangling ingredients out there. It doesn't cause buildup or irritation to the scalp.
  • Horsetail Leaf Extract: Herbal extract known to have high silica contents which are beneficial for strengthening and growth of hair.
Product Claim/Description: Curl recovery hair mask sweetened with ginger root and butter cream aromas! Golden certified organic jojoba and rose hip oils with our cocoa butter base conditions and heals damage hair naturally.

camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review
Nice and thick...but not too thick.
Performance/Delivery: Much like the Leave-In, the Hair Bath smells ah-MAY-zing. Like, whoever handles Camille Rose Naturals fragrances needs a serious Holiday bonus check. The Hair Bath smells like everything that's right about the month of December. It's a seasonally appropriate warm vanilla spice that conjures of dreams of warm family gatherings, hot apple cider, snowy days, and Christmas cheer. Or for those of us that live in LA and don't get those snowed-in days, it smells a million times better than the best holiday Bath and Body Works candle you can find. Seriously. In truth, it smells similarly to TreLuxe's Untie the Knot Leave-In, but sweeter. Untie the Knot has a spicier aroma than Hair Bath.
camille-rose-naturals-holiday-collection-review
Freshly deep conditioned, product-free hair <3
As far as consistency is concerned, it's thick, but not too thick. It reminds me in look and feel, a lot of Curlaide Moisture Butter. Even though it is a thick whip, it takes to the hair really easily. The slip is phenomenal. As I applied it in the shower, all it took was a few handfuls of water to help me completely finger detangle with the Hair Bath in my hair. It felt super rich and smooth in my hair, and I was incredibly hopeful that hair bath would be everything my hair needs -- especially in the moisture department. I sat under my hooded dryer for about 25 minutes with Hair Bath in, utilizing the heat to help the ingredients penetrate and adhere to my hair. I rinsed in lukewarm/cool water, per the instructions. My hair felt soft, and incredibly moisturized once the mask was completely out of my hair. But the one thing I was missing? That buttery smoothness. My hair was smooth, but not that velvet-like smoothness I have come to expect from my top-performing deep conditioners. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations, because I know that velveteen feel typically comes from deep conditioners with cones (like Therapy Session Hair Mask). The end result reminded me a lot of my experience with Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Hair Mask. My hair felt ultra-moisturized and like it took up all of the good ingredients, but it wasn't super buttery smooth as I expected. All in all it was a good deep conditioner, and I have absolutely no qualms about finishing out the rest of the jar. And by the way, do you see that shine???

Drawbacks: Aside from the velvety smoothness I didn't get I've got nothin'!

Bonuses: Looking over the ingredients, I'm pretty sure that this Hair Bath can double as a hair butter or moisturizer. It has all the makings for an ultra-nourishing, hydrating, and softening hair whip. If you frequently use deep conditioners as styling aids, give it a whirl and report back :) Another bonus is the slip! Any deep conditioner that helps detangle is a winner in my book!

Bottom Line: A solid deep conditioner, but it doesn't de-throne Algae Renew Deep Conditioner from Camille Rose Naturals. If you suffer from super-parched hair and like holiday fragrances, this is for you! Just go in with the expectation that you may not get that velvety feeling hair. But it will be shiny, soft, and defrizzed.

Best Practices: Apply the Hair Bath to soaking wet hair for best results, as far as slip and detangling are concerned. Use heat to help the ingredients absorb and adsorb to the hair!

Overall Product Rating: 4 stars. It works well, and has great ingredients!

Will you be trying the Holiday Collection from Camille Rose Naturals? I need to order more Nourshing Cream Leave-In, but the way my financial goals are set up..... lol.

Dec 4, 2014

Christina's Choice 2014: Best of the Best Shampoos and CoWashes for Natural Hair


best-shampoos-cowashes-natural-hair

I know I have a ever-changing list of "Must Haves for 2014", but I decided I want to do something a little different this year. Rather than keep updating a running list of products, I decided to do the most difficult thing a product junkie can do -- take a long, hard look at my stash and determine which products finally deserve that Holy Grail Status label I've been so coy with doling out. You can thank NaturallyCurly.com for inspiring me with their annual Editor's Choice posts, lol. I'll be breaking this up by category, so as to not inundate you all with an insane amount of product choices. Also, if I reviewed a product and gave it a good rating but you don't see it listed, that doesn't mean it's not a great product. It's just not HG status, ya know?

Let's dive in.

TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate-Free Shampoo 
$15 www.tginatural.com
tgin-shampoo
I've spread the gospel of TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo far and wide. Any time anyone so much as fixes their mouth to say "shampoo", I blurt out "TGIN!". I wish I could say they were paying me to say nice things, but they aren't. I just really, really, like really love this shampoo. It looks like a shampoo, lathers like a shampoo, cleans like a (non-drying) shampoo, and makes your hair feel like it's conditioned. For my regimen, TGIN's Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo has been a game-changer. It is gentle enough for weekly use, yet powerful enough to remove the toughest buildup. If you're anti-cowash, or just can't wrap your mind around a cleanser that doesn't lather, this one is for you. It has been a staple in my regimen for well over a year now, and will continue to be. Oh, and did I mention it smells good and has tons of slip too?
 Read my full TGIN Shampoo review here.

Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo 
$18 www.ouidad.com / www.ulta.com
ouidad-superfruit-shampooOhhh, the dreaded "C" word -- clarify. You know you need to do it, I know I need to do it (soon, anyways). Clarifying your hair can make you feel like you've set your tresses back 10 months in terms of building internal moisture, smoothness, softness, curl definition, and frizz fighting. The good news is, Ouidad figured out a way to give your hair everything it needs without the wack side effects of clarifying. It smells amazing, has a low lather, is super creamy, and leaves your hair feeling super clean without being stripped. It really and truly does clarify, and the cool thing is that it's gentle enough to use weekly if need be. I also noticed that Superfruit Renewal is ah-MAY-zing at fighting frizz and rough-feeling hair. I tried it once, and I've been hooked ever since!
Read my full Ouidad Superfruit Renewal review here.
 
Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse Shampoo 
$26 www.lawrencerayconcepts.com
lawrence-ray-concepts-shampoo
This may come as a complete shock to some of you -- but from time to time, I use sulfates. And by time to time, I mean whenever I'm about to straighten my hair, or when I'm reverting back to my curly texture. I used to use Ion's Straightening Shampoo for this, but once Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse came into my life,my Ion bottles have been collecting dust. Complete cleanse is designed to remove all the yucky buildup and silicones from heat styling without drying out the hair and making it feel like a bale of hay. Complete Cleanse was so clutch in the process of reverting my curls back from that Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System doohickey. Complete Cleanse has this pheeee-nomenal spearmint fragrance that makes me feel like my hair is getting every single bit of its life back after a session with the flat iron and silicone serums. It is by far one of the most non-drying, completely cleaning shampoos I've ever used. It does leave the hair feeling just a weeeee bit stripped, which I expect from a shampoo containing SLS. But, my hair doesn't feel dry or straw-like, just on the verge of that "squeaky clean" feeling. For this reason, it will always be a part of my pre and post flat ironing regimen.

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner 
$5 www.target.com
tresemme-naturals-conditioner
I'm still looking for someone to blame here. Somebody out there let me go over 2 years without even so much as throwing a glance Tresemme's way for their naturals conditioner. Who. Do. I. Blame? I will always have a spot in my heart for Aussie Moist, but Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner is my jam! I got hipped to it during my Max Hydration Method experiment, and have refused to run out since. Although my MHM days are over, I still use Tresemme Naturals to co-wash, mix into my henna, adjust my hair after a clay mask, and even sometimes as a leave-in. It smells great, comes in a big enough (albeit smaller than the rest) bottle, and costs $5. It's silicone-free for all the MHM and Curly Girl enthusiasts out there, and when combined with water has pretty legit slip. What's there to not love?


Up next: deep conditioners! Stay tuned! 

Are there any of my HG cleansers that you love or hate? Share in the comments :)

Dec 1, 2014

26+ Black Owned Beauty Supply Stores to Support


black-owned-beauty-supply-stores
Photo Credit: www.tendrilsandcurls.com

In light of the Grand Jury decision to not indict former police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teen Mike Brown, there have been calls across social media and various online outlets to boycott Black Friday and redirect those funds to Black or other minority-owned businesses. The call was met with mixed reactions. Some balked at the idea and were staunchly against it. Others (like me) supported the idea, but also felt the need for a more long-term strategy that would continue to focus on building economic capital (and therefore leverage) within Black communities.

On Thanksgiving day, I had a passionate discussion with my brother in-law about the economic call to action. I shared with him that I believed the ever-growing natural hair community presents a unique opportunity as an enclave in which this economic shift can take place -- because it already is. The move to support small, women, Black, and other minority-owned business is already alive and well within the natural hair community. We support brands like Obia Natural Hair, Camille Rose Naturals, TGIN, TreLuxe, Alikay Naturals, Qhemet Biologics, curLUXE Naturals, Bee Mine, Nancy's Kitchen, CurlPrep, Coco Curls, Mielle Organics, Sister's Keeper, The Mane Choice, and dozens others. I don't know about you, but I support small business brands because the overall quality of product tends to be higher, they tend to be healthier for my hair, and I trust the brands more because they are the brainchildren of women with a vested interest in natural hair, and because it means everything to be able to financially support the dreams of women who look like me.
We've got the brands down to a science, now it's time for phase two. Supporting the small in number, but ever growing Black-owned beauty supply stores and retailers -- both brick and mortar and online.

Here's a list (it is by no means definitive) of beauty supply stores that you can visit and shop online with, to continue with the call that harkens back to the 90's LA Uprising to "Recycle Black Dollars":

Note: If you know of a Black-owned beauty supply store or online retailer that is not mentioned, please leave it in the comments and I will add them to the list. Thank you!

Brick and Mortar Stores
Curl Kitchen
3428 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 273-3646
From the owner: Curl Kitchen is a natural/organic based hair care store located at 3428 S. King Drive Chicago, IL 60616 in Bronzeville. We are Chicago’s premier retailer of hair care products tailored to those who wish to embrace their tresses in its naturally ethnic state. Whether the customer has waves, curls, kinks, coils, or locs we offer an exceptional class of products. We offer products that were created and produced by those who understand our unique tresses and have translated this understanding into products that improve the health and manageability of natural hair. We're located directly next door to Huetiful salon, where there are five fully staffed trained cosmetologists ready to answer all your transitional and curly hair questions !

Tendrils and Curls (online shopping available)
2501 1/2 S. Shepherd Drive, #1
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 520-7179
www.tendrilsandcurls.com
From the owner: At Tendrils and Curls™, we are committed to providing a one stop shopping experience, both in our brick and mortar boutique in Houston, TX and our eBoutique. Our goal is to ensure that those with naturally textured hair have access to high quality products and accoutrements which highlight and nourish the texture and splendor of their naturally wavy, curly and tightly coiled hair from the inside out. We provide consumers with opportunities to compare and contrast brands in order to make educated decisions about what products will work best for the health, maintenance and styling of their unique hair textures and at addressing their specific concerns

Trina's Beauty Supply & Salon
4854 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 931-1359

Tru'Mane Natural (Grand Opening 12/6)
332 S. Market Street
Inglewood, CA 90301
(213) 235-6533

Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply & Salon
3904 Church Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11203
(347) 365-7540

Hairizon Beauty (online shopping available)
341 W. Main Street Ste. 104
Durham, NC 27701
(800) 557-9828
www.hairizonbeauty.com
From the owner: At Hairizon Beauty, we believe that hair care’s best ingredients are found in nature. Our goal is to provide products derived from earth yielded agents, leaving your hair healthy, vibrant, and fragrant. We select products that avoid any unnecessary chemical additives and instead incorporate essential oils, herbs, flowers and minerals to protect and strengthen hair.  Our products can be applied to all types of hair whether natural and/or chemically treated hair.

Pampered & Twisted Natural Hair Boutique (online shopping available)
15015 Westheimer Parkway Suite L
Houston, TX 77082
(281) 86-CURLY
www.pamperedandtwisted.com/
From the owner: Providing healthy and natural hair care supplies and products to the Southwest Houston / Katy area, as well as the online community is the focus of Pampered & Twisted. We strive to assist our customers in achieving healthy hair by supplying natural hair care products for all textures of natural hair. The products we offer are designed for naturally curly hair, but are effective on transitioning and/or relaxed hair textures. The brands we provide aim to serve customers who not only care about the look and feel of their hair; but also about the knowledge of hair maintenance and management.

Jordan's Beauty Supply & Professional Product Distributions
1911 E 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 734-6268

Desired Beauty Supplies
1174 Big Bethel Road
Hampton, VA 23666
(757) 827-6710813

Old Oyster Point Rd.
Newport News, VA. 23602<
(757) 595-2119
From the owner: Desired Beauty Supplies welcomes you. We are a family owned and operated beauty supply store located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Our mission is to offer hair and beauty products that are affordable and reasonably priced in a warm and customer friendly atmosphere. We believe in individual hair style and creativity, therefore we carry hair care products for all hair types from relaxed, to natural and in between! We would love for you to come visit us today!

Majestic Beauty Supplies Victorville, CA
14580 7th St.
Victorville, CA 92395
(760) 843-8443

Diva Beauty Supply
3237 North Pleasantburg Drive
Greenvile, SC 29609
(864) 467-0790
From the owner: Diva Beauty Supply was established over 7 years ago as a small 1,200 sq. ft. store in Greenville, SC. Thanks to our great customers and hardworking employees, we have grown to over 4,200 square feet as one of upstate South Carolina’s leading beauty supply stores! Customer satisfaction is paramount here, at Diva Beauty Supply. Let us help you beautify yourself and live life to the fullest!

Epic Curls
Regency Square Mall
1420 North Parham Road
Richmond, Virginia 23229
(Located on the 2nd Level across from The Body Shop)
(804) 741-1540
From the owner: Epic Curls was founded by three sisters on a mission to find hair care products to treat there tresses for their specific needs. At the birth of Epic Curls one owner was natural, another transitioning and the other relaxed. Our mission to find products without chemicals, to find products that truly worked and that did not require us to go to more than one location to get them inspired us to create Epic Curls. Having used natural hair care products for many years we decided to bring what we've researched, learned and what we love to you. Epic Curls is your one stop shop for all the products you need to maintain, treat and style your hair. We believe hair should thrive, and be as lively and lovely as the person wearing it!

Head Games Beauty Supply
671 N. Pleasant St.
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-7478

Healthy Hair Dimensions
The Shops at Heritage Place
4450 Hugh Howell Road Ste. 13
Tucker, GA 30084
(770) 908-8020

Nyenzo Natural Botique (online shopping available)
918 Rock Quarry Rd. Ste. 103
Raleigh, NC 27610
(919) 649-1063
http://www.nyenzo.com/
From the owner: Nyenzo Natural Boutique is THE preferred choice for quality natural haircare and skincare products. Unlike many haircare and skin care stores, we actually use the products that we retail and therefore are able to share our personal experiences. Since 2009, Dionne Blanks, the founder of Nyenzo Natural Boutique, has assisted countless customers with successfully selecting products based on their specific needs. Experience the Nyenzo difference for yourself by shopping our detailed webstore.  We thank you for visiting our site and hope that you enjoy the carefully selected natural products that Nyenzo Natural Boutique has to offer.

Truly Natural Boutique Chicago (online shopping available)
1926 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 674-9080
https://trulynaturalboutique.com
From the owner: Shine, dine, wine, and gain knowledge of the world’s best natural beauty products at truly natural boutique in Chicago. Spend $75 or more and qualify to book your Curl Coaching session with a licensed stylist. Learn how to get the best use from your natural product purchases and learn to perform the natural hair styles of your choice. We are here to deliver unique solutions for your daily wavy, kinky, curly hair care regime. Say goodbye to unnatural frustration. Pamper yourself with our truly unique Magnificent Mane session and add makeup/ professional photography to your Curl Coaching Session. Celebrate your natural style at Truly Natural Boutique Hair Care + Accessories!

Mine, Naturally (online shopping available)
4875 W. 56th St Suite E
Indianapolis, IN 46254
(317) 295-8905
http://minenaturally.net/
From the owner: Mine, Naturally is an Indianapolis based beauty supply store dedicated to providing products to those who choose to live a chemical-free lifestyle. We provide the highest quality of customer satisfaction through excellent service and quality products. The creation of Mine, Naturally is in direct response to the growing demand in the community for a local natural beauty supply store. Our mission is to establish Mine, Naturally as an important brand that represents quality in natural skin care & hair care. We are dedicated to providing quality products and maintaining high customer satisfaction by rendering excellent service and furnishing an enjoyable, friendly atmosphere.

Simply Wholesome
4508 W. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-2144
From the owner: Simply Wholesome is dedicated to providing the proper resources to living a healthy lifestyle. We believe in promoting and celebrating our cultural diversity, combined with exceptional customer service in a warm and comfortable setting. Our motto focuses on "keeping you looking good and feeling good." Simply Wholesome commits to serving you best. We believe that our business is a genuine reflection of this community & we serve the greater Los Angeles area.

Naturally Me Hair Store
3535 Sherwood Forest Blvd. Ste. 142
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
(225) 448-5662
From the owner: Naturally Me is an independently owned and operated natural hair products store locally serving Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas. We understand the importance of embracing your natural hair texture. We offer a wide variety of specifically selected natural and organic-based products designed to nourish, strengthen, rebuild and maintain healthy natural hair. Naturally Me provides customers helpful information on caring for natural hair, which has been gathered from outside educational resources.

African Naturals
4511 S. Kingshighway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63109
(314) 768-0710

Go Natural 24/7
4721 SE 29th St.
Del City, OK 73160
(405) 601-4673
From the owner: The owners at Go Natural 24/7 believe in taking a holistic approach to care. "It's simply not enough to look beautiful...our goal is to inspire our customers to take proactive measures to adopt a healthy lifestyle to feel beautiful from the inside out." At Go Natural 24/7, we offer a diverse selection of health supplements, organic essential and carrier oils, raw ingredients for formulators and natural & organic hair and skin care products.  Go Natural 24/7 also manufacturers their own line of fair trade organic and natural hair & skin care products.  We have also recently opened a non-chemical hair salon at our Del City location. We have received so much love and support from natural enthusiast throughout Oklahoma, across the United States and abroad and we would like to take this opportunity to say, Thank you!

Shades of Afrika
1001 E 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-2210

114 E 6th St.
Corona, CA 92879
(951) 284-7888
From the owner: Shades of Afrika began with a concept when we noticed that there were too few places that offered affordable Afrikan Art, Afrikan made products, and even fewer book stores. There seemed to be a pressing need to tell our story, establish ourselves in the community,  and provide a positive environment for businesses in our community. There were lots of Afrikan writers, artists, jewelry makers, seamstresses, and entrepreneurs, in the area and they helped bring Shades of Afrika to life. To those then and now, we give thanks. We are dedicated to the betterment of our community, and it’s the community that we have seen grow just as we have grown. Shades of Afrika has evolved from being a small retail store to being a cultural center that hosts a variety of social and educational events, lectures and study groups.

Online Retailers 
Hattache
www.hattache.com
From the owner: Our goal is to provide quality Hair and Beauty products made with natural/organic ingredients. We hope you enjoy our selection thus far, but this is by no means all we have to offer. We intend to keep pace with the ever-changing beauty/hair care industry for new products, colors and styles. Keep your eyes on us as we introduce more products.

Luxe Beauty Supply
www.lhboutique.com
From the owner: Luxurious Hair Boutique a.k.a. Luxe Beauty Supply is committed to providing exemplary customer service while offering the latest in rich and superior quality. Shop with confidence knowing that the hair we sell is inspected and photographed by qualified individuals who are knowledgeable and attentive to every detail. We understand hair is a woman's crowning glory and we offer many options to make sure you receive the personalized attention you deserve.
We are ranked among the best and received a SBA Small Business Excellence Award in 2009 for those efforts. From a humble beginning in 2006, our product lines have expanded to include the world's most luxurious brands of hair, cosmetics, fashion accessories, and hair care products. We are the first to debut the newest and latest products to the market by seeking out niche and exclusive manufacturers.

Natural Hair Shop
www.naturalhairshop.com

Malachite Naturals Boutique
www.malachitenaturals.com
From the owner: Malachite Naturals Boutique, LLC specializes in providing natural hair, skin, and body care products for the whole family as well as aromatherapy fragrances for the home. Our online store and soon to come (Brick and Mortar) boutique prides itself in selecting only the best creams, oils, moisturizers, butters, etc…. created by talented artisans who practice using natural and organic ingredients for their handmade goodies.  All products offered at Malachite Naturals Boutique have been researched in great depth, have outstanding reviews, and is recognized by the natural community as providing products that support your natural commitments. Our mission is to encourage the use of natural and organic products and to educate our customers on the benefits of using these products. We are here for you! It doesn’t matter if you are a first time customer or returning customer. We truly value your business and our relationship. We look forward to helping you be NATURAL!

If you know of a brick and mortar or online natural hair beauty supply store, please add them in the comments below! Which retailers will you be visiting? Shades of Afrika is next on my list!!!

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