Carols Daughter versus DevaCurl

Hola Chicas!

The results are in...and the winner is........... Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie.

But let me tell ya, it was the unlikely champ. I've never been a Carols Daughter fan. I tried the Hair Milk back in the day before the reformulation and wasn't impressed. Soon after that, they became very commercial and compared to other lines, their ingredients left much to be desired. I recently received a box of her products to review and the Hair Smoothie was amongst them.

After a long over due henna treatment, I deep conditioned with Heaven in Hair on one side, and Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie on the other. When I applied the Heaven in Hair (HIH) it glided on like butter! It was the perfect consistency -- thick, creamy, and slippery. It felt so good initially that I was planning on styling with it later that day. I truly wanted to love it.
The Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie (BVHS) while wetter and less creamy in consistency, went on a little rough and didn't give me the slip I crave. I was shocked considering that one of the first ingredients is amodimethicone (I was thinking it would behave like the Pantene DT Mask). I put on my plastic baggie and micro heat cap and went about my business for 2 hours.

Finally, it was time to rinse. When I took off the baggie to assess the situation, I was very surprised to find that the HIH side was hard and straw like...it felt horrible! The BVHS side, while still not very slippery, was soft and supple. It was much easier to work with and detangle under the water stream. Needless to say, I didn't expect these results. I was really feeling the HIH ingredients -- its cone free and contains lots of yummy butters. I guess my hair likes what it likes, regardless of what I think should be good for it.

Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie- 8oz/$19

Product Description:
The ultimate "smooth operator."

This wildly essential Hair Smoothie tames your stressed-out hair with a mix of oils and butters that intensely condition and detangle.

  • Detangles and conditions hair on the spot with a rich emulsion of natural moisturizers
  • Features the intoxicating notes of warm vanilla and fresh coconut to feed the senses and soothe the soul
  • Boasts Sunflower Seed Oil, Rapa Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Shea and Cocoa Butter for the ultimate in conditioning.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed oil, Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Olea Europaea (Olive)Fruit Oil, Peg-40 Castor Oil, Prunus Amygdalys Dulcis (Sweet Almond)Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) germ Oil, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Potassium Sorbate, (and) Hexylene Glycol, Aspartic Acid, polysorbate 20, Cyclopentasiloxane, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tetrasodium EDTA, Simethicone, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.



DevaCurl Heaven in Hair- 8oz/$24 or 16oz/39.95

Product Description: This moisture treatment is heaven for your hair! Experience maximum hydration from the rain forests of Brazil. Infused with Cupuacu, Murumuru and Cocoa seed butter. A wonderful deep treatment conditioner. Allow the botanicals to penetrate for 15 to 30 minutes under a plastic cap.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aqueos Extracts of: Achilea Millefolium, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Cymbopogon Schonanthus, Humulus Lupulos (Hops), Melissa Offcinalis (Balm Mint), Rosemarinus Offcinalis (Rosemary); Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-7, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Ceteareth-20, Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Hydroxyethyl-cellulose, Theobroma Cacao (cocoa) Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuaco) Seed Butter, Astrocaryum (Murumuru) Seed Butter, Polyquaternium-10, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citric Acid, Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile, Phenoxyethanol, Fragnance, Blue 1, Yellow 5

I'm not a fan of either of these ingredient lists. WAY too many names I can't pronounce. Check out the NC.com reviews of HIH, you'll see that I wasn't the only one with this adverse reaction. I wonder which ingredient, or ingredient combo my hair hated. By the way, the HIH smells medicinal and has a lime green color..weird. The BVHS has a vanilla and cocoa smell that while not the greatest, is definitely not over powering.

In other news, the BVHS side felt so wonderful that I decided to leave a little in and style with Oyin's Shine and Define Sytling Serum. I'll give my review tonight...all I'll say for now is that my hair looks great!

Will I purchase the Carols Daughter Hair Smoothie again? Maybe. It depends on how my hair holds up today.

Later Gators,
Nik

I Big Chopped- Alexandria



Meet Alexandria. She currently resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She's a single mother, an army soldier, sister, daughter, and friend. The creator of Thenaturalher.tumblr.com, she big shaved and kept a brush cut for sixth months and on March 28,  2011 cut for the last time!


What is your current regimen?

My routine is pretty simple.

For a curly look I rinse my hair while I am in the shower. Next, I spray my hair with the Carols Daughter’s Black Vanilla Leave in and use the palms of my hands to work it throughout my strands using a circular motion. Next, I apply a dime size amount of the Kinky Curly Leave-in and work in using the same palm method, then apply a dime size of the Kinky Curly Custard and repeat the palm motion. I wait five minutes and then spray my favorite oil mixture or the Carols Daughter leave in spray. I do not touch my hair in this step…

For my TWA on dry hair… I spray some Carols daughter’s leave in pick out my hair, slick down my edges with some Curl Control, and put a head band on.


 I co wash about once a week, and shampoo and deep condition every Sunday. For my Shampoo and Conditioner, I use the Roux Porosity Control line; it really has helped me with my previous issue with retaining moisture. My porosity issue was not due to chemical processing since I big shaved, so I did not have any chemical issues, I believe it was because I kept my brush cut for six months and the clippers where not so good to my hair. My hair has done a 360 with this stuff. It says that it is for chemically treated hair, but I saw a post about it on the CN site, and gave it a try. Thank GOD for that.

I deep condition with a mixture of oils that I have handy and the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask. This stuff is amazing as a leave in as well.

Of course I sleep with a bonnet, and I barely ever use styling combs unless doing a fro which I’ve only done maybe four times.

The Big Shave!

Progress!

What have you learned throughout your journey? Advice for others?

Being a young single mother, I was struggling trying to grow up and heal, mentally that is, and figure out what kind of woman I wanted my daughter to strive to be. I knew one thing; she would know the answers to all the questions I wondered for myself, like what love is, who she is and what she stands for. So I started internally…. I am still a work in progress but I found a spirit within myself, not so much a religious one, but one that could be FREE… I started gravitating to my sister Michelle, her energy is so pure, holistic in a sense, and if it wasn’t for her… first and foremost, I wouldn’t be the way I am today. I practiced meditation, I became a pescaterian (fish and seafood diet no meat) I began reading Deepak Chopra, I practiced humility, and I found interest in the beauty of nature. I went NATURAL for my child; I needed her to see a true model of self love and in the process of this change, what I learned most importantly was how to love myself.

My advice for others is simple. Going natural isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Knowing yourself in your purest form, the one you were created to be is such an awakening. Take your time with it, be sure about it, but most importantly embrace it. You will find things about yourself and about others that you have missed.


Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me at http://thenaturalher.tumblr.com/ 
On Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TheNaturalHer 

Please follow the blog, support The Natural Her Movement. Be beautiful, Be blessed, and be NAPPY!

On the Couch with Joey Mazzarino


It's time for a Youtube pop quiz...

Who is Antoine Dodson?

If you answered "Mr. Hide Ya Kids, Hide Ya Wife," you'd be correct.

Too easy? Let's try a more difficult one.

Who is Joey Mazzarino?

Not so sure? ...

Does the Sesame Street song "I Love My Hair" ring a bell? That's right... Joey Mazzarino is the man behind the Muppet--the writer of the wonderful song that hit Youtube a couple weeks ago and quickly became an overnight sensation. I was recently granted the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Mazzarino and ask him the questions that you most wanted answered. He has already given stellar interviews to NPR and the Huffington Post, but I still wanted to take the opportunity to ask the questions that may have been overlooked. So, I reached out to the talented and lovely ladies of the CN.com community to help facilitate the interview. Hopefully, we have covered everything and more that you wanted to know. :)


CN: I started my blog for the same underlying reasons you wrote the song for your daughter. I'm sure you're tired of repeating it, but could you give the CN.com community the background story?

Sure! A year ago, when my daughter was four, I started to notice that she wasn't happy with her hair. She repeatedly expressed a desire to have straight hair like her mother's. She wanted to be able to toss it, and flip it back and forth. Like most girls her age, she has a collection of Barbie dolls-- a mix of African American and White ones, and unfortunately only three of them have curly hair. It's incredibly difficult to find Barbies with curly hair! One day, while playing with one of her White dolls, she said, "I'd like to have long, blonde hair like her". I thought the problem was unique to us-- being two White parents raising an African American daughter. But then when Chris Rock's movie Good Hair came out, I realized that it was a much larger issue. I spoke to my executive producer about it and asked her if I could write a song that touched on hair and self-esteem. We were just finishing the writing season for the year, but she gave me the go-ahead anyway. I wrote the lyrics and we got Chris Jackson, a wonderful composer and Broadway star, to do the music. He turned it around very quickly and we were able to shoot it!

Was the song particularly difficult to write? Was it hard finding the right words?

Not at all. I would always tell my daughter, "I love your hair! It's great! It's so beautiful and curly! Plus, you can do so many great things with it!" And she would always respond, "But I want hair like yours, I want hair like mommy's'!" So I found myself reflecting on the stuff I told her while I was writing the lyrics, and it was actually one of the easier things I've ever had to write.

Maria G, a CurlyNikki reader, wants to know how your daughter reacted to the video?

I took it to her the day we taped it. This was at the end of last year-- we didn't air it until now because our new season didn't begin until the end of September. It wasn't edited at all, so I just showed her the first take we did, and she absolutely loved it! She was dancing around and singing, it was great! Time passed and she sort of forgot about it. Now that it's aired and getting all of this attention, she's been asking for it again.
The other day, she was looking in the mirror and bouncing her hair up and down and smiling. My wife asked her, "Are you looking at your curls?' and she said, 'Yeah!' She loves her hair now. I don't think it was just because of the song… I hope it has more to do with our parenting and the excellent African American teacher she had last year. I'm really happy that she's loving who she is.

Will this new character appear as a regular in future shows?

Initially she was just for that sketch, but I think we will have to resurrect her, give her a name, and have her tackle some other issues.

Maria G asks, 'I've been watching Sesame Street since the early 70's and I have never seen a video such as this one. It brought a tear to my eye. Will the show add more segments on self esteem?'

I think we will. I think we've always done it, but may not have touched on it in a while. After reading some of the comments on the boards and FaceBook, I actually remember a character from childhood, Roosevelt Franklin. While I don't remember all of the stuff he said, I can recall some great songs, one was called 'The Skin I'm In'. I went back and listened to it, and it was wonderful and talked about having brown skin specifically. I think there is definitely room to tackle some more self esteem issues.

Do you see anywhere that websites like CurlyNikki could help be a resource to parents like you -- is there anywhere earlier in the process that we can provided information and support?

Luckily on Sesame Street, we have this guy Gordon Price, he's a wonderful member of our crew, and his wife is Lisa Price, the creator of Carol's Daughter. So when we adopted our daughter, I knew it would be different taking care of her curly hair hair, but he told me not to worry, and that Lisa would hook me up with a bunch of stuff and teach me how to do everything. So luckily I had them as a great resource. With the popularity of the video, I've been getting so many tips and products that I'm like, 'whoa, I only have one!' The wealth of info and help has been great. I'm definitely going to check out your site and others, especially when it's Dad alone and I have to do her hair, so that will help to do it better.

You're good! My dad didn't touch my head... that was all Momma. [Laughter]

[Laughter]
Well, my wife, she's an actress and she had to go away for the whole summer. My daughter and I were alone and we were traveling back and forth to Seattle, so I had to take care of her hair on a daily basis. I told myself I wouldn't leave her hair wild, I had to learn how to do it. So my wife and my daughter's baby sitter showed me how to do braids and how to comb it out. So yes, I'm getting better and better.

Jasmine A. asks, 'What are your daughters favorite hairstyles? What products are you guys using?'

She loves braids and she does what Willow Smith does and she 'whips them back and forth'! She whips them around like crazy.
Sunday it was Halloween, and she went as Princess Tiana. So we found a picture of her and created a similar hairdo. She loved that. She was too cute.
Favorite products? Carols Daughter Princess Tiana line is our current favorite, mainly because it has Princess Tiana on the bottle and my daughter loves her. We're also loving the Loc Butter, so yeah, we mostly use a lot of Carol's Daughter in my house.

Naterra asks, 'If your daughter gets older and asks for a perm, how will you and your wife react to that?'
That's an interesting question, and I honestly have no idea. I take it day by day and I want her to love who she is. I don't' know how I'm going to handle any of the tough questions that will come up, like 'can I pierce my ears', 'get a tattoo'... I don't know what I'm going to say! I just want her to love herself and respect herself and be proud of who she is and hopefully she won't ask me that question. What would you do as somebody that is a big advocate of Natural Hair? What would you say?

Wow. I guess I'm in the same boat as you. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! I just had a baby about 9 weeks ago. Growing up, relaxers weren't allowed in my household, so my dad made it easy [laughter] it wasn't even an option. I guess all I can do is educate her and hope she makes good decisions.

My wife is very careful about what she puts on our daughter's skin and hair. So I think we would definitely use education- explain that the chemicals aren't good for her. She might be old enough to make her own decision by then, but we'll definitely educate her about chemicals and make sure she has the skills to care for her hair in its natural state.

What message would you like to send out to the Curly Community?

I'm thankful to all of the bloggers and the women who put it on their Facebook because all we want to do here is reach as many kids as we can to hear the message. So thanks to all of you for getting the message out and for letting the little girls see the video. And I just encourage anyone who has not shown it to their nieces, or their friend's kids or their kids, show it to them, even if they don't have an issue, it's important to see that they should be proud of their hair.


Show and Tell- The Curly Baby Edition

Hola Chicas,


It's that time again... a virtual play date to celebrate the beautiful, curly babies in our lives! Click on the images to enlarge them:


Brandi
I love your website and am on it every single day... it's obsessive! Anyway this is CJ, he will be 2 in August. This pic is of a wet and go... meaning I sprayed his hair with water , rubbed some conditioner in my hands and ran them through his hair. So easy!

Giovanna
This is my daughter Gianna she's 2 years old. To achieve this look, I co-washed with Carols Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie, moisturized with some water and elixir, and for curl definition, I used Carols Daughter Hair Milk. :)
Mandy
Zuri going shopping with mommy!

Roshonda
Here are my two beautiful daughters Reazan 5, and Rianna 2 ready to leave for the circus with Mommy and Daddy. Their hair was washed and conditioned with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner, moisturized with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in and sealed with my mixture of Shea Butter, Coconut oil and Castor Oil.
Kendreia
This is my little man Tyson at 10 months old rocking some twists. I use Shea Moisture products on his naturally curly hair.

Nikki
This is my two year old Baby O. I wash her hair with Curls Creamy Cleanser once every two weeks (unless she's played extra hard in the sand box at daycare) and co-wash with Pureology conditioner every Sunday. Whenever we plan a trip to the pool, I wet her hair down the night before, apply a little Aussie Moist conditioner as a leave in and seal with a generous amount of coconut oil.

Teneicesia
This is my 4 yr old daughter Akeela Sunday after church. She is wearing a three day old twist-out done with Shea Moisture Curl Smoothie.
Jasmine and Elijah
I wash and condition Jasmine's hair with Carol's Daughter Hair Milk shampoo and conditioner and use Miss Jessie's Baby ButterCreme for moisture.
Novia
This is my Nyomi, best known as YumYum! She was 10 months old in this pic rocking her afro puffs on the beach. I washed her hair with baby castile soap and sealed it with EVOO.

Sherry
My sweet Camryn. I had just conditioned her hair that morning with Lisa' Hair Elixir (Carol's Daughters) then shampooed with Black Vanilla Herbal Shampoo (Carol's Daughters). I usually let her hair air dry to not disturb the curls or encourage fly-aways. Love your site, it's been extremely helpful. I BC'd about 10 months ago and still lovin' it. Thank God for encouraging husbands, lol!

Send in your favorite picture with a caption (complete with product recommendations) to [email protected]

I'll post several every other Friday, in the order I receive them.

Be sure to use 'Curly Baby' as the subject line! **We need more ASAP!!!**

April R.- Naturally Glam Hair Idol

Meet April R... she graced her with her presence last weekend, and she's back to share her routine!

CN: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 1.5 years.

CN: What is your current regimen?
My current regimen is pretty simple because I don't do much to my hair. I wash my hair probably every 2 or 3 weeks. I noticed that the longer I go without washing my hair the faster it grows, lol. I use Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Lafier Honey and Almonds Conditioner to co-wash my hair twice a week in the shower. Once a month I will deep condition my hair with Shea moisture and raw Shea butter together and sit under the dryer for about 30 minutes. After I'm done in the shower I will use QP Elasta Gel with Olive Oil if I'm going to do a wash n go or sometimes for more curl definition, I use a little of Carol's daughter Hair Milk all over my hair then the QP Elasta Gel with Olive oil. For twist-outs I do the same Co-wash routine and the same gel but I also add raw Shea butter because it defines my curls more.


CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
To maintain my sl/bsl hair I usually don't touch my hair much after I style it. I will usually keep my hair in big twists and pinned up or towards the back in some easy style. I use Water (my best friend of course), Carols daughter Hair Balm for sheen when my hair is in big twists and pinned up. I love the hair balm because it does not have any water added.

CN: Night time routine?
At night I usually don't do much. I just sleep on a satin pillow. For some reason I can not sleep in scarves or anything on my head at night. When I wake up it's usually lost somewhere under the covers, lol. So If I do have a protective style, I usually fix it first thing in the morning and put a scarf on while I'm getting ready so by the time I leave out, my hair is set. To retain moisture I use raw Shea butter or Carols Daughter's Hair Balm, or Darcy's Botanical Hair Madagascar Vanilla Hair Butter.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
I would tell a new natural to not expect your hair to look like someone else hair. Give your hair time to grow because even though it may not seem like it is, it actually is growing. Just be yourself have fun with your hair and work what god gave you.



CN: What's the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
The best thing about being naturally glamorous is that I can change my hairstyle in so many ways. Natural hair is so versatile. Even when I wake up and my hair is having a bad day I just wet twist pin and voila perfect hair. Every week I have a different 'do and get tons of compliments from people all the time. It makes me feel good when I can walk out and just be me and still beautiful.

CN: Anything else you want to add?
I just wanted to say that your site is one of my favorites. It is such a hairspiration. I used to be natural 10 years ago but my hair started growing out like crazy and I did not know what to do with it or what products to use, so unfortunately I took the easy way out and I permed it. I wish this site was around about 10 years ago because my hair would be super long and healthy. Your site has really helped me throughout my hair journey. I also have a blog called sweetenchantments.net which includes topics on natural hair and other great stuff coming soon.


Kimberly- A Story of Transition

CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
I was a long-term transitioner. When I first decided to transition, I knew that I wanted beautiful natural hair, but had a big complex about being bald, so I did things the hard way.

CN: When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
I did my first big chop, in February of 2009. My hair was a lot shorter than I had ever had it before and it was a big change. My first reaction was "What have I done!"


CN: How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My family was supportive of my decision, but they wondered what I was going to do with my hair now. My mom took me to Carol's Daughter to buy up everything I would need. Nobody else in my family is natural, so they were very curious.

CN: What was your transition routine?
Since I had two textures of hair, I was fighting to make my relaxed ends look curly. I let go of the heat and began to twist my hair with Carols Daughter Lock Butter. I would twist it all over, and wear it twisted for a few days. Then I would take it out for a coiled look. Every now and then, I'd straighten it with a flat iron to switch things up.



CN: How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
I used tons of Hair Milk by Carols Daughter, and also gave myself weekly hot oil treatments.

CN: Why did you choose to go natural?
I would see women with beautiful natural hair and I was intrigued by it. When my hair was relaxed, I was a slave to it because there was not much diversity. I told myself that I would not have another relaxer and I haven't since June of 2008.

Morenike is Naturally Glam!



My name is Morenike and I'm from Detroit. I big chopped 2/2011.

How long have you been natural?
I've been natural all of my life. I decided to transition once I got tired of my heat damage and wanted to do twists and braids. My ends were so damaged they didn't curl anymore.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why? 
I started watching youtube videos and wanted to start wearing my hair in its natural state again. As a child, I wore braids and twists all of the time. I transitioned for about 7 months and then out of nowhere I decided to big chop.

Read On!>>>

Aziza is Naturally Glamorous!


by Alex of TheGoodHairBlog

Please, introduce yourself!
Hello Beautiful! My name is Aziza Original. I’m an all-around artist and model from the DMV. You can always catch me directing photo shoots, videos, or being a part of one. As well a Tumblr blogger that inspires and delivers with a free spirit soul that’s that flows like a bottle in the sea.

What is your current hair care regimen?
Well I call it the get up and go, meaning I really don’t do much. I wash my hair every two weeks with Carols Daughter products and after that I let the steam from the shower do its job. The less I do, the better.


What is your hair type and what works best for your texture?
I have thick hair with fine texture so finding products for my hair is kind of hard. You win and lose in some situations. Sometimes I can find good products but it weighs my curls down or I can find the opposite, good product that don’t weigh my curls but it doesn’t really define nor moisturize my hair. Using Carols Daughter hair milk, gives me the results I adore, without using a lot of products.

What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
I have always been natural for the most part. However, there was that time my mother put a texturizer in my hair; and I complained for DAYS because I was upset that I wasn’t natural anymore. Other than that I grew up maintaining my natural curls, then destroying it with color, may my hair from my younger years rest in peace…

Did you BC or transition, if so when or for how long?
Having the hair texture I do now, I did do the BC. My hair was damaged from all the coloring I did in the past, so my curls were very stringy and not healthy. So I decided to cut it all off to a low cut 3 years ago. Before the BC my hair was going through major chops to get all the damaged ends off. Having hair in the middle of my back, to shoulder length then all gone was the process. After the BC I was able to achieve healthy full lushes curl with no heat applied to them nor color.

What makes you love your kinks, curls and coils?
The fact that I can say I’m fully natural makes me love my curls. Waking up in the morning not having to worry about styling is a plus! I just hop in the shower and start my day. The fullness and how defined my curls are make my hair special to me, not to mention bringing back the afro that many enjoy.


Where can we find you on the web?
www.AzizaOriginal.tumblr.com

Anything EXTRA you want us to know?
Once you go natural, the process is so beautiful. You learn so much about yourself. Overtime you come to realize that you’re not looking at it as “oh it’s just hair” but you start to pay attention to what you put in it, who touches it, and how you treat it. It’s your love that you grow with and put so much dedication into. That’s why being natural is so beautiful because of the person you do become during your journey.


*********************
My name is Alexandra Smith, I am 22 year old single mother of one, full time Media Journalism student and business owner.I share my curly girl experience and other kinky haired goodness on my site "The Good Hair Blog." My overall goal of blogging for the natural hair community is to bring us together,men included by spreading knowledge, inspiration and love about our diverse heads of hair.

Ngozi is Naturally Glamourous!



Please, introduce yourself!
My name is Ngozi Opara. I am an image consultant and hair stylist from Washington, DC. I am very passionate about making people look good and preach the importance of being healthy, loving yourself, and feeling amazing! I have a very strong background in natural hair care but currently solely work with what I deem "the ultimate protective style" (when done correctly) , weaves. I have been natural for 8 years and have been on one heck of a roller coaster ride with my hair, but it's the BEST decision I have ever made!

What is your current hair care regimen?
My current hair regimen consists of a WHOLE LOT OF PROTECTIVE STYLING and little to no manipulation. I typically wear my hair in a bun where my ends aren't being exposed or a weave where my hair isn't being exposed. I wash my hair every week, and alternate between cowashing and washing with a regular sulfate free shampoo. The biggest step in my hair regimen is moisturizing it every 2 days which I do using a mix of essentials oils, aloe vera leaf juice, and any creme moisturizer within reach, lol. I also, on a bi-monthly basis, make an Ayurvedic paste that I use as a treatment on my hair. The most important part of my regimen are the vitamins I take. I think hair and skin care start from within so I make sure I take vitamins.



What is your hair type and what works best for your texture?
I would say that I have 3c/4a hair. My hair type can't take a lot of the heavier moisturizers such as shea butter (surprisingly) so its hard for me to find one natural haircare line that works best for me. If I don't make what I use (which I typically do) here are some token products that I must have in my regimen: Tui hair smoothie by Carols Daughter, Miracurl Curling Gelly by Donna Marie, Knot today by Kinky Curly, and Black Vanilla Leave in Conditioner by Carols Daughter.

What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural?
The reaction I got was "IT'S ABOUT TIME". I am one of the women whose permed hair NEVER looked good, lol. It was always thin and lifeless so when I originally went natural, it wasn't a conscious decision, It just made sense.

Big Chop pic

Did you BC or transition, if so when or for how long?
When I first went natural I tried to transition however like I also tell my clients, when you decide to go natural your permed ends won't survive. I had a fro with permed strings ( I wont call it hair lol) all over the place so the big chop was NECESSARY.

What makes you love your kinks, curls and coils?
What makes me love my kinks, curls, and coils? They're mine. They were designed by God to fit me perfectly and they do. (But also products that keep them tamed, lol)

Where can we find you on the web?
On the web... I'm on fb (Ngozi TheStylist Opara) Twitter @ngoziopara. My company's site it under maintenance but it's www.nzobeauty.com. I also have a fb group called "Hair Designs by Ngozi!".


Anything EXTRA you want us to know?
JUST KNOW THAT BEING NATURAL (OR PERMED) SHOULD NEVER BE A PHASE OR A FAD BUT A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF. Also don't be afraid to big chop. I have done it 5 times since going natural. Hair grows back! BE HEALTHY. BE BLESSED :)

About Alexandra- My name is Alexandra Smith, I am 22 year old single mother of one, full time Media Journalism student and business owner.I share my curly girl experience and other kinky haired goodness on my site "The Good Hair Blog." My overall goal of blogging for the natural hair community is to bring us together,men included by spreading knowledge, inspiration and love about our diverse heads of hair.

Carols Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie- Review


Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie- 8oz/$19

Product Description:

Tui Hair Smoothie is an intense, deep conditioner rich in essential oils and Shea and Cocoa butters that provide moisture and protection to dryness and brittleness. The creamy, nutrient-rich ingredients immediately detangle unruly hair and boost shine.

Benefits:

  • Intense, deep conditioner
  • New, “bye-bye tangles” recipe
  • Rapa Seed Oil is rich in essential fatty acids, Omega-6 and Omega-3 and slips through strands for easy detangling
  • Nutrient-rich oils of Olive Fruit and Sunflower seeds boost shine
  • Rich Shea and Cocoa butters provide moisture and protect hair from weather damage, dryness and brittleness
  • Fragrance cocktail of guava, mango and passion fruit transports you to a tropical island
  • Paraben-free, No Petroleum, No Mineral Oil, No Artificial Color
Ingredients: WATER (AQUA), CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERIN, AMODIMETHICONE, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, BRASSICAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, PEG-40 CASTRO OIL, POLYSORBATE 20, PRUNUS AMYGDALYS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) GERM OIL, ASPARTIC ACID, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, FRAGRANCE, PHENOXYETHANOL (AND) CAPRYLYL GLYCOL (AND) POTASSIUM SORBATE (AND) HEXYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYROSPERMUN PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), THEOBROMA CACAO SEED BUTTER, TETRASODIUM EDTA, SIMETHICONE, PANTHENOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE.

My Experience: I ADORE the fragrance-- passion fruit and mango. The ingredients are almost the same as the Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie, and thus it produces similar results. It has mediocre slip, but excellent moisture. I'm not a fan of the cyclo cone halfway down the list, or the plethora of other hard to pronounce ingredients.
I used the Smoothie as intended-- as a deep conditioning treatment. It went on a bit rough, similar to the BVHS, but in the end, left my hair soft, supple, and full of moisture. This is NOT a detangling conditioner, and if you choose to experiment with this product, I highly rec' detangling prior to using it.

Bottom Line: Great moisturizing deep conditioner, but at 19 dollars, I probably won't repurchase.

Curly Kids- Kennedy

via Hairscapades

as told by Yutonya (mother)--

What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
Kennedy is six years old and loves, loves, loves singing. She sings in the morning, afternoon and evening. She hums in the car and has started asking for singing lessons. She loves her curly hair, but every once in a while wants to see what it would look like straightened, which it has never been. I attempted to straighten it one time with an In-Styler type tool and, ¼ way through, decided that I didn’t want to straighten it. I washed her hair and put it in a bun. I would like to say it was out of some purist ideal, but, truthfully, I think I looked at how much hair she had and saw the hours of pulling hair through that flat-iron and opted out.

How do you care for her/his hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
I co-wash her hair about once a week. I usually do this whenever we change hair styles. I shampoo about once a month. I detangle using my fingers and sometimes lightly brush the ends while there is conditioner in it if the ends get tangled. However, because she wears mostly protective styles, I find that I usually don’t have to detangle too much or use the brush. I have recently begun using olive oil overnight as a pre-poo treatment, only because she can now stand having her hair wrapped for the entire night. I use all Carol’s Daughter products on her hair. We have just started using the Monoi sulfate-free shampoo and Hair Mask from CD. Daily, we use the lite Hair Milk and the Hair Balm. The Hair Balm is a little thicker than the Hair Elixir, which is a very light liquid oil. Although heavier, we switched to the Hair Balm because the Elixir has a strong spearmint/woodsy smell and she would get so many comments in class that she smelled like tree or grass (in a good way) that I decided to switch. The two are very comparable with the same base ingredient of sweet almond oil. Lisa’s Elixir is definitely fragrant as are most of the CD products.

Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
Actually no. I have sisterlocks, which means I utilize very little products. But the question is interesting because, for the last year, my daughter has been asking me to take out the locks because she wants to see my hair. She can not recall what my hair looked like before the locks. I tell her that it basically looked the same. However, I wanted to go back to my natural hair as well. So, for the past two months I have actually been growing out my sisterlocks. As my locks are considered microlocks, I have just been growing them out and using braid outs to disguise the transition from the sisterlocks to natural. So far so good. Maybe for the next GOC I will post my pictures showing me growing out the sisterlocks. It is an interesting process.

But, back to the question, no we do not use the same products, but maybe soon. I primarily use Carol’s Daughter on Kennedy’s hair. I have managed to control my PJism and found that Carols’ Daughter’s products, although a bit costly, have all of the ingredients that I could possibly combine, mix, create or buy on my own or find in other products. I just find it easier to order online and try different products within that line. I save my adventurist side for trying new styles on her hair vs. trying new hair products. Her hair seems to respond well to CD products, so I stick with them, even when my bank account cries foul. Now, once I grow out my sisterlocks, my PJism will probably return full force, because I will personally want to try out every product under the sun on my newly free hair.



What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
I predominantly employ protective styles. Kennedy basically only wears her hair fully out on special occasions, birthdays, etc. For school, protective styles last longer and withstand the rigor of elementary school. The two styles I always fall back on are the bun and my favorite, the single flat twist with bun. Once the bun is in place I always put a decorative bow or clip to match her outfit and also ensure that it doesn’t look so adult.

Kennedy loves wearing hair clips like her Aunt Shelli. Yes, Aunt Shelli of Hairscapades. Aunt Shelli’s October post on silk bonnets convinced her that it was okay to sleep with her pink silk bonnet to protect her head, and she does not complain when we put it on before bed. And she still asks for the two strand twists that Aunt Shelli put in her head during their sleepover. I think she has found her hair idol.


What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
None really, because I truly like trying new hairstyles and accessories. She definitely also enjoys new hairstyles as well and has requested the Princess Leia on occasion or other hairstyles specifically. I would say the biggest issue is the distraction that the highly fragrant CD products caused her class. It was probably the combination of the hair products and the body products as we use those as well. LOL!



Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your daughter’s hair? Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
I have never relaxed my daughter’s hair and express to her daily that she should appreciate and love the fact that she has beautiful curls. I also instill the same self-love in my son who says he loves his curls. I hope this will be enough to ensure that she does not relax her hair, but if she does, I can relate. Hair does not define all of who we are or will be and I myself have tried every hairstyle in the world from relaxed hair many years ago, braids, natural and now sisterlocks. And for the next GOC, I will go back to natural. Sometimes curiosity does not mean a lack of self-love, it is simply that, curiosity. I know many natural women who went natural simply out of curiosity and nothing more. I hear many also say they did it just because they didn’t want to go to the salon. All reasons are valid, real and worthy. So, would I prefer that she never relax her hair? Absolutely. But, if she does, I can totally understand it. I have scratched the curiosity itch many times and always came back to natural.


Anything else that you’d like to add?
We love Aunt Shelli and Uncle Weusi!

8 Sulfate-Free Shampoos That Won't Strip Your Natural Hair


by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

Naturals have a love-hate relationship with shampoo. We love that they cleanse our tresses but often they are just too harsh for our hair. Sulfates are the detergents in shampoo that cleanse away the dirt, pollutants and product build-up but they also strip away the natural oils we need to keep our hair moisturized.

Because of this many naturals have ditched shampoo all together and opted for cowashing cleansers or just washing with botanical conditioners. I love cowashing but know shampoos are still necessary sometimes but when I use one, I make sure it is sulfate-free. Here are 8 of the top sulfate-free shampoos that naturals use, love and swear by to get the job done.

Read On!>>>

Goapele Talks Natural Hair




I must admit, I first happened upon this gorgeous songstress in a fellow natural's Fotki folder. I had no idea who Goapele was, but I admired her style, and of course her hair. I Googled her, and instantly fell in love with her music. Although she has appeared in Marie Claire, VIBE, Entertainment Weekly & Billboard it was in 2001 at the very beginning of her career trajectory that an editor at a small time underground Bay Area Newspaper once summed it up the best, "Her vocals shatter souls.” Her album Even Closer was AMAZING! After seeing the Essence video of her stylist braiding her hair, I had to reach out to her. She's On the Couch and telling all!


CN: Have you always been natural? What's your hair story?

I've worn my hair all different types of ways in my life. When I was a kid, I wore a low natural fro as well as braided styles. My parents wouldn't let me straighten my hair until junior high, which is when I started pressing it. In high school, I finally got a perm. I must admit it was fun to wear it straight, but I didn't really like how it felt-- damaged and dry. So in the 11th grade, I cut my hair off, into a short natural. I had worn it that way before, but it felt really bold this time. It was before a lot of other girls were doing it, so it was a big deal. The TWA was fitting for me and a couple of years later I started growing my locks. I wore locks for years-- twisting them into little spirals, and wearing them with head wraps until finally they were long enough to do more interesting styles. I played with different colors as well, and really enjoyed them for a long time when I decided I wanted a change and cut all of my hair off again. This was a few years ago, around the same time I got pregnant… I went back to a short natural.


I felt really bold and cut it into a short little mohawk and then realized that I wanted to grow my hair back out to experiment with some interesting braided styles, similar to how I wore my hair in elementary school. It always feels like it takes forever, but my hair grew out really quickly. Anana Scott, my stylist back then, did thread wrapping, so I started seeing her again. Braids and thread wrapping… that's what I've been doing the past couple of years. Sometimes, I give myself a break and wear twists.

So Anana Scott is your stylist now? The one featured in the Essence video?


Yes, she's based out of Oakland and is my main stylist for the most part.

A reader would like to know where she can find the thread used to wrap your hair in the video?


[Laughter] I don't know. That's something that she brought with her… really, you can use any string or thread and just be creative with it. I wove ribbon in my hair when I wore bigger braided styles and it worked just fine.



Have you always been a natural hair lover? If not, how did you come to embrace it?

I haven't always liked my natural hair. At different points it's been like a love-hate relationship. The easiest hair style I've ever worn was the super short natural… all the way cut off. There was hardly any maintenance unless I wanted to color it or tint it every now and then. It was the most carefree hairstyle, but I grew bored. I like to be experimental with my hair, which is why I grew it out, but I haven't always loved it and I don't always love it because it's such high maintenance. I spend a lot of time combing my hair through, conditioning it, and sitting in a chair for 10 hours to get it braided. And sometimes, I definitely feel like it would be fun to have straight hair, but I feel that my natural hair makes me feel more like myself. Like what you see is what you get.

What is your hair routine? How often do you do it?


Once a week or every couple of weeks I'll wash, condition, and deep condition. Even when it's braided up I still condition with oils and moisturizing lotions to keep it healthy.

How often do you do your own hair?


I mostly have someone else do my hair. When I had locks, I cared for them, except for the times I needed a break or wanted to achieve a style that I wasn't used to doing. In the beginning, when I was growing my hair out I was doing my own braids and twists. But for the tiny braids and all the parts and thread wrapping, I could never do that myself.

When I'm wearing tiny braids, I prep my hair at home and then go in to see my stylist-- it can take up to 10 hours. I keep them in for two weeks if I'm lucky, and wear my hair in twists or bigger braids for a week or more until I get it done (tiny braids/thread wrapping) again. I don't really wear it loose, every now and then, I'll do a twist-out.

How do you keep your hair protected and healthy while in braids? Do you ever wear it loose?


I always wrap my hair up at night with a satin or silk scarf, no matter what style I'm wearing. I think that really keeps your hair a little smoother. I also keep it well conditioned.

What's the best thing about being natural?


For one thing, I don't get too stressed when it rains. Not as much as I did when I had straight hair. It doesn't always feel as luxurious as when I had straight hair, but I like that it really feels like me and I'm representing myself. And I like seeing that in other people too. Whatever their style is, you feel like you're getting a sense of who they are, by looking at their hair. But that changes and evolves as we do. So who knows what I'll be looking like in a couple of years.

What would you tell a woman who has yet to embrace her natural curls?

When you're ready, be brave. You'll get used to it. It is a shift and I think it can be a little scary at first, but it is truly liberating.

Who is your natural hair inspiration?

One of my first natural hair inspirations, I would say is Miriam Makeba. I like that I'm seeing a lot more people rocking natural styles.

It's becoming more of a norm.


Yeah! I mean even throughout entertainment. So I'm appreciating that, I feel like I'm seeing all different kinds of styles and people are keeping it interesting. There's a lot of women now-- Janelle Monae, Lalah Hathaway, India Arie, Amber Rose, Angela Bassett-- providing inspiration for us all.

Do you read hair forums or YouTube for style ideas, care advice, or product recommendations?


Not really. But I know there are a lot of great products out there. Carols Daughter, Kinky Curly… I feel like there are way more products for natural hair than I ever noticed before. All the oils, sprays, and gels, instead of just like hair grease.

How do you feel about that? The attention natural hair is getting and the larger companies getting in on it?

I think that it's still good. I think that as a small business owner it can be challenging to present good hair care products and still be able to compete with larger companies. But at the same time I think that hair care products natural or not, should be available to everyone. And sometimes the price points of the smaller boutique brands, which have really good quality ingredients, can be quite high. It's important for everybody to have access to natural hair care products. So I can't hate on the big companies for doing it too. Also Carols Daughter started as a small company and has grown into one of the largest- - that's exciting and unusual.

Your skin is unbelievably clear. Share your regimen!

I use Dermalogica pretty faithfully, the Cleansing Gel and the Hydrating Lotion. I wash and moisturize my face at least twice a day and when I wear a lot of makeup, I never go to sleep with it on. I remove it with makeup remover and then proceed with my regular regimen. Also, I think that we eat shows up in our skin. So eating as healthy as possible and drinking water instead of sodas always helps. I actually notice a difference when I'm not eating as healthy- - I feel that my skin doesn't feel as smooth.

Tell us about your upcoming projects and ventures!


Check out Goapele.com. There's always new information about shows I'm doing. I'll be getting out to a lot of different areas really soon, so keep checking back. Also the Milk and Honey album will be coming out soon- - I'm expecting to release it in the spring of 2011. You will probably be hearing new music before that though, so keep your ears out for the 'Right Here' single I just did with Drama Boy.

What would you like to say to the CurlyNikki.com community?

Rock what you got. We all have our own styles, so just be sure to pull yours off with an inner confidence. Whatever you feel the most, just go there. The older I get, the bolder I become- - I express myself as a woman through my music, my fashion, and my hair.


Hair Braiding Vid from Essence.com




Jewell Bell Is Naturally Glamorous!



Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
 I transitioned as well as big chopped. I decided to go natural back in July 2010 after discovering your site, CurlyNikki.com, as well as one of my biggest hair idols Corinne Bailey Rae who reemerged on the scene with massive and luxurious hair. All my life, my hair was a huge part of my identity and often dictated my self-esteem. Fortunately, my mother never relaxed my hair but years of flat irons and blow dryers completely destroyed my natural hair texture, similar to a chemical relaxer. I became tired of trying to conform to society’s biased standard of beauty. That’s when I made the decision to deviate from the homogeneous fray and go natural.  I transitioned a little over a year before officially big chopping on December 10, 2011. It was the scariest but bravest and most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. 




Read More!>>>

Natasha Is Naturally Glam!


Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a transitioner, I transitioned for a year. During that year I wore braids and extensions. My journey was kind of hard because I could not find a stylist who could properly handle the two different textures. I think I lost a lot of hair during that process because the stylist was not good at detangling, or would use a small tooth comb on my hair. So in 2010 I decided to cut all of the perm out of my hair.

READ MORE>>

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