10 Best Headbands For Curly Hair

by Mary Wolff

For any type of hair, hair accessories are a part of the routine. For curlies, it can be fun to introduce a new hair accessory into the mix. One of the easiest accessories to add in is headbands. They are great for keeping hair out of your face and come in many options. How do you know which ones are best for you? Here is a list of the 10 best headbands for curly hair!

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Dear Natural Hair Care Brands...


If this world were mine…yeah right, but it is not so I begrudgingly share it with the billions of others on the planet. I am not a control freak (I promise) but I would like a few things to be catered to only me. Who wouldn’t? For instance, how amazing it would be if I could have natural hair brands that were only interested in marketing to me! I am used to searching high and low for products, that the thought of someone wanting to cater to me is flattering. Here are my six ways brands could make products more appealing.

Read On!>>>

White, Flaky Hair Gel and Other Misadventures

Tonya McKay writes:

It is not uncommon for various users of the same hair gel to report different performance results, sometimes drastically so. It can be very unnerving and discouraging to try a popular, highly recommended hair gel, only to discover that your own hair becomes completely unmanageable or develops a case of highly unattractive white, flaky mess. What can be even more frustrating is the fact that the same product that yielded perfect hair one day might produce really undesirable properties another day. It can be discouraging enough to make a person question their ability to properly use a product, or perhaps even begin to think their hair is just flawed or something. However, there typically is a good reason for this type of unreliability, and it can be found by examining the ingredient list.

So, what is the source of this variability, and how can an ingredient-savvy person select a product that will yield a predictable outcome? The answer lies in the chemistry and materials science of the ingredients, of course, most specifically the polymers.


Decoding Natural Hair Products

A Rough Guide to Hair Product Naming Conventions

by Joyful Mom of Happy Girl Hair

A reader (Hi Sarah!) emailed me with a terrific question. She asked me how to tell the difference between hair products and how to figure out what each one does. Shampoos and rinse out conditioners are obvious, and detangler is usually right on the bottle, but when it comes to other types of products you can buy for curly hair, it can quickly become confusing.

Of course, every company uses individual product names, but there are many commonalities between natural hair care companies. How many butters, creams, milks and hair puddings have you tried? So many seem to favor names of dairy products, and that can actually be helpful once you decode it. Sometimes, both the name and the bottle shape give great clues about how the product is intended to be used.

Here is a rough guide to product names and uses. The words in bold are those commonly found in the product name.

Detangler - These are meant to provide "slip" and moisturize lightly, so the strands of hair can glide past each other as the hair is combed. They can be sprays, have a lotion-like consistency, or they can come in tub.

Spray/Spritz/Juice/Mist/product that comes in a spray bottle - These products usually provide light conditioning and unless they have very specific instructions for use, they can used as a daily light leave-in for looser curls and/or fine hair, braids, twists, or locs, or as a curl revitalizer on non wash days. Sometimes they can also be used as detanglers. They can also be layered under heavier leave-ins or styling aids.
Pictured Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In-Conditioner

Hair Milk/Milkshake/Shake/Hair Lotion/Leave-in -These products are meant to be used to provide daily moisture or refresh hair after sleeping. They can also be used after washing. While they are sometimes all that's needed for loose hair, they are not styling aids. Some companies make both hair milks and leave-ins. It can be hard to know which is lighter and which richer. If you can't tell from the ingredient listing, contact the company for clarification. Sometimes, you'll find a milk leave-in, or a leave-in milk - just to make it interesting.

Butter/Cream/Creme/Pudding/Custard - These usually come in a tub and have a creamy consistency, sometimes they are whipped. These are generally heavier moisturizers. The word butter often refers to cocoa butter, shea butter, tucuma butter, cupuaƧu butter, mango butter, or other natural butters. These products can be used every day for those with dry, tightly coiled hair, or as an occasional treat for others. They can also be used under styling aids. Pictured: Curly Q Custard (this does have light hold

This where it gets trickier. The words Butter, Cream, Creme, Custard, and Pudding often appear in the names of highly moisturizing styling products. If you are unsure of whether or not the product is purely a moisturizer or a styling aid, look for the word "hold" or look for a list of product uses. If it's described as having hold and/or it's recommended for use in twisting, braiding, locing, or setting- it's also a styling aid. Read product descriptions carefully!
Pictured: Carol's Daughter Loc Butter

Products with the word "Styling"/Pomade/ Jelly/Gel/Definer
- These are always styling products. They are useful in helping braids and twists stay together, or for defining curls. Most have some conditioning properties as well. You will find these products in all types of bottles, tubes, tubs and tins.
Pictured: Original Little Sprout Whipped Styling Balm

Words like balm, nectar, and serum can apply to apply to many types of products so I'll say it again, read descriptions carefully! If you are still unsure about what a product does or how to use products together, never hesitate to call or email the company that makes it.

I want to be clear that it isn't necessary to have products from every category. Everyone is different and so much depends on individual needs and styling preferences. I hope I've made it just a little easier to choose the product you really want the next time you are looking to try something new. Happy curls!

© 2010 Happy Girl Hair

Looking for a Clarifying Shampoo

Mala Responds: AfroVeda Price Hikes

Mala has read last weekend's article by Redd and the CN community's comments. Check out her response and weigh in!

Hi Nikki,

I completely understand the feelings of many of the customers who have commented on my reasons for the price increase. I've ready many responses that suggest that the reasons I listed were untrue. Nevertheless, they are true. In March of this year, the vendor that I purchase aloe vera products from (juice, gel and oil) increased their price from $40/gallon to $70/gallon. They gave no explanation why. I decided to look for another vendor and tried 3 different companies, only to find that their quality was not what I wanted for my products. In the end, I went back with the original company and paid the additional money because I liked the fact that what they offered was pure and organic. The same thing happened with the vendor that I purchase unprocessed Fair Trade shea butter and cocoa butter from. Their price increase wasn't as drastic, but it was considerably more than I had been paying. Those are not the only items that increased in price, only the two most dramatic ones.

I made the decision, despite the recommendation of my advisor, to absorb these additional costs and as I posted on the website, am now unable to continue this process. I could have stayed with the "inferior" products (which I don't really think are inferior, they were just not the highest quality), or used much less of the more expensive products in my formulas. Either way, in my mind, it would have yielded an AfroVeda product that did not meet my own standards -- which is unacceptable to me.

It has been recommended to me on numerous occasions that I find a "lab" to reproduce my products to cut down on costs. However, when researching this option I have found that it would actually be more expensive for me, especially since I have already developed specific formulas for them to follow. What makes this option cost effective is when a person uses the already-formulated bases designed by the lab, and then only add a few additional ingredients to make it "their own". It is easy to do because there are labs everywhere, but that is not the AfroVeda way.

I am committed to making products that perform the way they are intended, and will never compromise on quality. With the help of my chemist/consultant, I have improved the formulas for the hair butters so that there are no more issues with separating. I have also switched to eco-friendly packaging, and have upgraded the bottle labels so that they are now smudge-proof and water resistant. I have added a customer service phone number (which is posted on the website) and am now offering customers the option to call in orders, which wasn't an option before. All of these things I handle (with the help of an occasional intern/contract employee) while hand-making, processing, packaging and shipping 30-40 orders per day.

This explanation may not diminish the frustration of the customers who have supported me and AfroVeda to this point, but it is the truth. It is never my intent (or any business's intent I hope) to anger the very ones who have kept me in business. I greatly appreciate the customers who have embraced AfroVeda and apologize that this business decision has left them with unfavorable emotions about the company. It is my sincere hope that they have a prosperous hair journey, and that they would reconsider AfroVeda in the future.

Thank you again Nikki, for allowing me the opportunity to respond.

In perfect peace,

Mala Rhodes
Founder and CEO of Afroveda

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