5 Things You Should Do When Trying A New Product

by Shanti of AroundtheWayCurls

So I tried a new product today (more deets about that to follow) and I had an epiphany. There is a science to this "trying new products thing". Science experiments demand that the test be controlled and consistent therefore we should follow those same rules when trying a new product in order to get the best results. Control and consistency. Here are the 5 general rules that I have developed.

You can not try a new product on dirty hair or even moderately clean hair for that matter. It must be freshly washed otherwise the residual products will interfere and result in a botched conclusion.

2. You must style your hair in a style that is fool proof.
Do not try a new product as well as a new style at the same time. You will play yourself. Nine times out of ten you have not yet mastered the technique and you will blame the product for the bad results. Instead when trying a new product, style your hair in your "go to" style, a style that you have mastered and can see clearly the benefits or failures of the new product.

3. Follow the Directions
We don't know everything! I know you have your rituals established. You think you know what your hair needs and the sequence in which things should be done BUT au contraire mon frere. For your first attempt with a new product, read the damn label and follow it! You will be surprised by the results. Some advise to apply after moisturizing hair, some advise to apply to damp hair will others advise wet. Just try it their way the first time. They created the product. You can always do it your way the second time.

4. One Product At a Time
Don't go cray cray and try two or three new products in one styling session. How will you know which one worked? In order to have a control in the "experiment", use your "tried and true, tight like glue" products that you know work in conjunction with the new one. In this way you can clearly see if it performed well. It won't be a guessing game.

5. If At First You Don't Succeed, Dust Yourself Off and Try Again
We have all experienced the disappointment of an impotent product. All that hype and excitement for that?????!!!

But I think you should give a product at least 2 tries before you look for a replacement. The second attempt must involve you doing something different as well. You can't do the same thing twice and expect different results. Maybe the product sucked for wash and goes but works magic for your twist outs. You will never know unless you give it another chance!

Are you following any of these rules when you try new products on your hair for the first time?

Saving Relationships, One Clogged Drain at a Time

…by Bee of ‘83toinfinity.com

I’ve learned that oftentimes while in relationships, it’s the little things that make a difference. Matching bras and panties? Cool. Cooking their favourite meal when you know they had a tough day? Nice. Forgoing expensive gifts and giving them a handmade coupon book for “10 kisses” and “an hour-long massage”? Cute, especially when you’re broke. Taking a trip to Canadian Tire and spending $5 on a tool that might just save your relationship? YES! Let me explain.

It was a day not too long ago. I had come home from a horrid day at work, and decided to take a long, hot shower to unwind. There I was, iTunes bumpin’, off in the tub exfoliating with my pom-pom yellin’ “Go 3000!” (I was listening to Art Of Storytelling Pt. 4), and having a grand time caressing my hair with the most conditiony of conditioners. I got out, feeling good and smelling better, then exited the bathroom to allow the Hubs to get his shower on.

I was feeling like a goddess in my towel and turban, and eenie-meenie-minie-moeing my Bath & Body Works drawer of lotions when I heard Homieloverfriend bellow my name from the bathroom. He didn’t yell, he didn’t scream - he bellowed y’all. That sound came from the pit of his stomach and was fully projected with all the strength of his diaphragm. Was he hurt? Did I use up the hot water? What happened? When I entered the bathroom, he shot me a look of utter and complete disgust that I had never seen before.

“Babes! What’s wrong?” I whispered.

“It’s….it’s just….it’s…your hair.”

Lo and behold, I took a peek in the tub…and in my sheer joy of being out of work and in a hot, steamy, frothy, bubbly state of bliss, I had forgotten to clean all of my detangled curlies from the bathtub. Small tings to me, but for a chaetophobe like my hubby, it was an unforgiveable offense. I rubbed his back, promised never to let it happen again, and proceeded to gather up all the loose hair from the tub and drain, all while trying hard not to laugh at how serious he was. His hatred of loose hair is real deal Holyfield. The only time he’s really mad at me is when I leave hair in the tub, on the counter, on the floor, on his sweaters, in his beard…you get it. Let him go in the shower and see one lonely curl, and he’s pissed. Even worse is if he notices that the water is draining much slower than usual…whooooo chile!

I finally found the thing to save my marriage and my bathtub drains: a hair snare drain guard.

This simple, inexpensive tool accomplishes something that I thought was impossible. It catches all of your loose hair while still draining water – and saves you SO much trouble. No more annoying clogs! No more having to reach your hand into the drain to pull out hair! No more pouring eyeball-burning chemicals down the drain to dissolve the clog! And best of all, no more angry husbands and fellow bathroom users! Check your local Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, or Home Hardware to find one of these babies and enjoy!

Depending on the fit of your tub and the size of your drain, a hair snare drain guard may not catch ALL of your hair….but it should catch enough to make a difference. If you’re still struggling with clogged drains, get out some baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water and try this natural clog-cleaning technique.

Morals of this story? 1. Be cognizant of your partner’s pet peeves and do what you can to minimize them. 2. A trip to Canadian Tire might just help your relationship :)

Can you relate?!

On Avoiding Single Strand Knots...


Hola Chicas,

It's Thursday which means we've officially taken over Essence for the day!

¡Viva la RevoluciĆ³n!

Check out my latest installment, where I discuss ways to avoid those pesky single strand knots. Head over there, check it out, 'like it', share it and comment! Also, leave questions of your own for the next article!

Thanks divas!

Later Gators,

3 Ways to Drink More Water Every

by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

My lips have been on a peeling frenzy all week and there has been no amount of Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm or olive oil that has been able to salvage them. Flaky lips are sort of hereditary in my family but typically only come around during the winter time. So after spending an extra 10 minutes each day dusting off my puckers with a warm washcloth it occurred to me that I was clearly dehydrated. Walking around in 95 degree humid heat was taking its toll on my body and slowly my body was losing all because I wasn’t being mindful of drinking water.

Dry, peeling and cracking lips are signs of dehydration and very easily fixed with a “get right” hydration plan.

I’m proud to announce that I’m on a four water bottles a day habit (stainless steel of course) and my lips are looking and feeling better each day.

Avoid the unsightful drama (did I mention it’s hard to rock my Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Chere lipstick with flaky lips) and get your fill of the agua with these tricks I learned to spruce up the taste and kick in some nutrients.
  • Change your habits – Instead of ordering juice, soda or even a cocktail when you’re out to eat, stick to your glass of water. All will be fine and you’ll even save on the calories and sugar you’ll avoid. If you can’t stand to skip your afternoon or evening guilty pleasure you have my permission to order whatever you like AFTER you’ve consumed at least one entire glass of water.
  • Add frozen fruit – Frozen fruit is the perfect treat to keep in your freezer. It helps me kick my sugar cravings and they’re perfect for making smoothies. Drop a few frozen strawberries, mangos, blueberries or even bananas into your water. Their coolness works like an ice cube but the flavor they bring to your water makes them a perfect summer time treat. And don’t forget the loaded anti-oxidants you’re packing in there as well.
  • Try sparkling – Sometimes I just crave a soda. I have to have a sip of a Coke or Sprite to get my fix for a few months and I’m fine. But then I feel guilty afterward. If you’re an intermittent flirt with soda like me, try sparkling water that gives you the carbonation without the icky artificial flavors or tacky ingredients. It curbs that craving and you can still meet your H2O goals.
Lots of companies are toting their “enhanced water” products all over the super market and bodega shelves. Don’t be fooled people. Many of these enhanced water products are either full of sugar, questionable ingredients, dyes and other sinful things you don’t want running through your veins.
Steer clear of products like Crystal light, Vitamin Water, etc. that are often made with aspartame – the crack that gives you the sweet taste without the sugar and has been linked to blood cancers and tumors.

What other ways do you trick out your water to drink more of it?

Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, writer, speaker, social entrepreneur and creator of the blog OrganicBeautyVixen.com - "A Brown Girl's Guide to Eco-Glam Living". Sherrell believes that going green with your beauty routine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your fierce and fabulous style. Connect with her on twitter and facebook for all things beauty, green, eco-friendly, organic, sustainable and of course... Eco-glam.

Why It Benefits You to Keep a Journal

by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

I’ve kept some form of a diary since I was probably about 8 years old--whether it was prompted, like my Ramona Quimby Diary; or a simple notebook where I jotted down scattered thoughts. I still keep a journal as an adult, and though I don't write in it as often as I would like, I always come back to it eventually. It’s the perfect sounding board for ideas, keeper of secrets I don’t dare yet reveal to anyone else and reminder about dreams deferred.

Here are some of the reasons that you might also want to keep a journal, if you don’t already:

- To chronicle your thoughts and help assemble them in a way that makes sense for you
- To help you sort out any unfamiliar or negative feelings
- It’s a judgment free zone; it lets you get it all out without interrupting or giving advice, allowing you to figure out what’s right for you
- To keep track of your growth, as well as any changes you’ve gone through; and manage your goals year over year (or weekly, or monthly)
- It’s a great place to conduct self-development exercises or self-evaluations. I still refer back to my 31 Day Reset journal from over a year ago because it houses so many of the wonderful discoveries I made about my values (learn more about 31 Days to Reset Your Life at the Happy Black Woman blog).
- To jot down notes, mantras or favorite quotes; or clip inspirational photos
- To draft blog entries, poems, shorts stories, sketches etc.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully a good amount of reasons to get you started.

Do you already keep a journal? In what ways does having it benefit you?

PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously.

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