How to Maintain Healthy Natural Hair Without Overspending

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The most frequent question I get is “What do you use in your natural hair?” So obviously people are on a quest to find products that are going to have their hair looking it’s best. Today I am going to give you a guide for how to find these products without breaking the bank.

I recently did a more condensed version of this on my YouTube Channel. You may watch it now if you’re strapped for time or you prefer your advice in video form.  In this post I will be sticking to the five tips points I mentioned in the video but I will be expounding upon them a lot more.

Tip No. 1

Research

In order to be successful at anything you have to do some research. Lack of information is going to have you making stupid decision’s that are going to leave you frustrated and stagnant. To ensure that you don’t overspend on products, buy products that don’t work or products that have inferior ingredients ( all things that might have you throwing your money down the drain) you first have to do some research.

Start with finding out what a typical successful natural hair regimen looks like. Watch tutorials and read blog posts of other naturals and identify potential products that might work for you. Once you’ve identified the products you will need research the products to ensure that they do not have ingredients that might not be beneficial to your hair or scalp examples are mineral oils  and petroleum. Doing this research will ensure that you don’t go out and randomly buy products that have no real purpose in your regimen or that you might end up throwing out because of bad ingredients or because they simply do not work.

Some Youtube channels that I find helpful in creating a regimen are Traycee SimmonsJourney to Waist LengtheVaniwithaV , and Viv Hair Therapy

Tip No.2

Create a Plan and Stick to It
Once you have done all your research you should have a basic idea of what your regimen will consist of. Namely, cleansing, conditioning, moisturising and sealing and styling. You therefore need to find a product to fulfil each step in your regimen. There is no need to have 3,4,5 different products that do the same thing. If you do you are wasting money that you could save or use for something else.

Tip No. 3

Do Some DIYs
In cases where you purchase a product that doesn’t work as well as you would like it to a simple DIY can help enhance the product.
This will prevent you from throwing away product and your hard-earned money. I sometimes add oil or some aloe vera juice to sub par conditioners to make them more moisturising. I also save my shampoo buy adding some to a colour applicator bottle and diluting with water for easier application to my scalp.

Tip No. 4

Keep it Simple
The simpler you keep your regimen the more money you will save and the healthier your hair will be. Co-washing,  for example is an extra step that some people do to refresh their hair midweek but it’s not absolutely necessary and if you don’t need to do it then don’t. It requires an additional product that you wouldn’t normally need. Another important thing to do is to keep styling as simple and minimalistic as possible. Find the most convenient style for you and stick to it most of the time. For me it’s the wash and go ( you can watch my tutorial for a super defined wash and go here). Trying a lot of styles are going to require a lot of new products especially if you are not a hair expert, plus all that manipulation can cause damage to your hair. So save your coins by finding one or two styles that you love and sticking to them save the extras for special occasions.

Tip No. 5
Find Your Holy Grail products and Stick to Them

Overtime you will identify the products that work for you and those that do not. Stick to the ones you absolutely love and keep trying out replacements for those that don’t. Once you find a product that works for you there is no need to change to something else that you might not like and end up throwing your money away. It’s a good idea to keep a record of how a product works for you so that you can refer to it when deciding whether you should repurchase a product or switch to something new.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Is your natural hair journey causing you to overspend? Do you find these tips helpful?

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Curly Hair Products I am Dying To Try

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Ever since I started my transition and especially now that I am completely natural  I can’t stop fantacizing about the styles I want to try, and the products I want to use. I decided to compile a list of the top ten products I want to try. Sort of like a bucket list that I will tick off one by one and see if they are all worth the hype.  You might find this helpful if you are natural and are searching for products to improve the health of your hair. If you are a more experienced natural please feel free let me know if you have already tried any of the products on my list and how they worked for you.

My picks are based on the reviews of some of my favourite Youtubers. These products should work well on Type 4 hair which is my hair type based on what I have observed so far. I have categorised them based on their purposes. So I ended up with five categories which are:

  • Cleansers
  • Deep Conditioners /Masques
  • Detanglers/ Rinse Out Conditioners
  • Leave-in Conditioners/Moisturisers
  • Stylers /Gels

I have included clickable pictures (where I could find links) so that you can view each product in greater detail.

Cleansers

The two Cleansers that I cannot wait to try are-drum-roll please:

  1. Bentonite Clay

I have heard great things about the detoxifying effects of bentonite clay. I’ve seen it work wonders on low porosity hair that is lacking definition. So if you are struggling in the curl definition department try some bentonite clay. I can’t wait to see what it will do for the hair at the crown of my head that hates to clump and loves to frizz.

2. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo


This shampoo seems to be the real deal if you want a gentle cleanse that is not going to strip your hair’s natural oils. It’s great for persons who have sensitive scalp and skin. Lets hope it’s all it’s cracked up to be!

 

Deep Conditoners/ Masques

3. T.G.I.N Honey Miracle Hair Mask

 

Of all the deep conditioners I hear naturals talk about this seems like the one that sets the bar. This wouldn’t be a natural hair products wish list if this wasn’t on it.

4. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque

Lets just say this seems to be a strong competitor to the TGIN Honey Miracle hair Mask

Detanglers/Rinse Out Conditioners

5. Aussie Moist Three Minute Miracle

I know…this might not be a strictly “curly hair” products but it does seem to work wonders in softening and detangling natural hair…so sign me up. It comes highly recommended by hair vloggers across the board.

6. Herbal Essences hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner

No matter what type of hair journey you are on you are bound to have heard about this product. It’s a staple in many a hair regimen…begs the question why is it still on my wish list and not in my bathroom cabinet?

 

Leave In Conditioners/ Moisturisers

8. Mixed Chicks Coil, Kink and Curl Style Cream

I love a great moisturiser and so far i am yet to find one that makes me swoon so i am definitely up to try this one after the great things I have heard about it.

7. Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk

Well what can I say this is my third Shea Moisture pick…I guess they are doing something right.

Stylers/Gels

I was least interested in this category just because I think that nothing can beat my Ecostyler Olive Oil gel ( check out my defined was and go using it here. However I did manage to find two gels that peaked my interest…so one day I will give them a try.

9. Mixed Chicks Curl Sculptor

10. Alikay Naturals Aloe Berry Styling Gel

What curly hair products are on your wish list? Have you tried any of the ones on mine? how do you like them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answering Follow Up Questions on my Defined Wash and Go Tutorial

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The wash and go has been my go to style since I did the big chop. I love the wash and go because it’s low maintenance and it allows me to show off my curls in all their glory. Once I do my hair at the beginning of the week I am set and good to go for the rest of the week.

Ever since I posted the first picture’s of my wash and go results on my  Instagram I have been getting request’s to do a video to show my technique.

Since the video has been published I have gotten some questions that I’m going to answer here for clarification.

Q. How long does my wash and go last?

A. My wash and go’s usually last for the 6 days between my wash days. It can last for a  longer or shorter time depending on how I treat my hair throughout the week. I play with my hair a lot and that helps to cause premature frizz, so if I can kick the habit I would pretty much have a perfect wash and go at the end of every week.

 

Q. How do I sleep to keep my curls intact?

A. I tie my hair with a silk scarf at night. So it keeps my hair intact.

Q. How do I refresh my hair in the mornings?

A. I do not refresh my hair every morning. I deep condition, apply a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil before I apply my styling products when doing my wash and gos. This allows my hair to remain moisturised for a few days before it needs refreshing. I usually refresh on day 3 and every other day after that. To refresh I spritz my hair with a mixture of water, Aloe Vera Juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Products I Used to do my Wash and Go and Refresh my Curls:

I hope this helped clear up any question you might have regarding the wash and go. Thanks for reading!

 

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Ecostyler Olive Oil Vs Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gels- Which is Better?

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Ecoco the manufacturers of the Ecostyler Gel line has recently added some new Gel formulas to their line of styling gels. These include the Coconut Oil Gel and the Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gels.

Prior to now the only gel I used was the Ecostyler Olive Oil Gel. As fate would  have it I ran out and went to repurchase but it was out of stock at my local beauty supply store out and my only choice was to pick up the Back Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel and hope it wouldn’t disappoint.

During my relaxed hair days the Olive Oil Gel worked great for slicking down my edges and keeping updos in place. After my big chop it worked fantastically for my wash and gos and I swore I would never use another gel.  Obviously that didn’t happen and so here I am doing this product comparison.

MANUFACTURER PROMISES

Olive oil Gel:

1. For all hair types

2. Moisturises Hair and Scalp,Tames Frizz

3. No Flake, no tack, anti-itch

4. UV Protection

Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel:

1. Promotes Hair growth

2. Shines, nourishes, repairs & grows

3. No flake, no tack, anti-itch

Many of the properties claimed by the manufacturer such as the UV protection, anti-itch and hair growth are difficult to test and or prove (or disprove). I am therefore going to focus on the properties that I expect to get from a gel. It should be noted that both gels are alcohol free which is one of the properties that makes Ecostyler Gels so great for natural hair. It won’t dry your hair out…if you are otherwise taking good  care of your hair.

Texture and Appearance

Both gels have a thick gel-like consistency. I couldn’t tell the difference just scooping them out of the jar.

Olive Oil Gel

 

 

The Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel has a sparkly look almost like fine gold shimmer has been sprinkled throughout which I thought was very interesting.

Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel

The difference in texture though is seen when the gels are applied to the hair. The Olive Oil gel maintain’s it thick tacky consistency when applied to the hair- not in a bad way though. On the other hand the Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gel becomes a little more watery once it is applied to the hair.

HOLD

Based on how each gel felt when it was applied to the hair I could tell that the Olive Oil Gel would have a stronger hold than the Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil gel and that is exactly what happened. The Olive Oil Gel dries to a crunchy stiff hold and leave every single one of my curls defined.

Wash and Go done with Olive Oil Gel

Watch my Continue reading “Ecostyler Olive Oil Vs Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Gels- Which is Better?”

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Reactions to my Big Chop- Natural Hair Update

The Big Chop

I big chopped July 2017, after transitioning for 10 months, 1 week and 3 days. It came as a relief after struggling to detangle my hair every week and try but failing miserably at find cute creative ways to style my then thick natural roots and thin stringy relaxed ends.

I did not record my big chop because in my mind it wasn’t that big a deal. It was not a huge transformative or enlightening moment for me. For me it meant that I would be able to wash and detangle my hair with much more ease, my hair would look 100% healthier cuter and I could finally start taking proper care of my natural hair.

The Reactions

Most persons who knew me with my mid-back length relaxed hair wanted me to transition longterm or keep on relaxing. They were totally again the idea of chopping off all of my hair. So it’s came as no surprise when I cut my hair that there were some flabbergasted stares and probing questions coming my way. This was especially true among older persons.

Most people loved it however. My fiance, my close friends, whilst mixed with some disbelief that I could actually do it, there feed back was positive. Strangers are the most endearing, their view is not muddled by the past knowledge of long flowing tresses. All they see are beautiful curls that they are so intrigued to find out how I achieved.

Continue reading “Reactions to my Big Chop- Natural Hair Update”

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The Best Leave-in Conditioner for Transitioning Hair

 

 

I have been on a healthy hair journey for four years and somehow I have just decided to try the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Cream. What! ‘Tis true. Boy have I been missing out.I have used quite a few Leave-in conditioners over the past years. Actually of all the category of products Leave-in is the only one where I can’t say that I have a holy grail product that I can swear by. I have use Neutrogena Triple Moisture, Creme of Nature Kissi (now Orion Zimmi), Elasta QP Leave-In, to name a few of the good ones. Yet none come close to the Cantu.  This Leave-in is hand down the best Leave-in Conditioner I have ever used. I can confidently say that this Leave-in will be a staple in my journey going forward. So let me break it down and let you all know why I love this product so much.

Great Ingredients

The list of ingredients is super long! I think Cantu tried to packed every single moisturising ingredient known to  man into this product. Whilst I am still researching each ingredient to find out their individual benefits there are some very obvious ones that have great qualities. Of course the first sign that a product is moisturising is when water as its first ingredient. This leave-in is packed with many other  natural nourishing ingredients such as Shea Butter, Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Rosemary, Leaf Extract,Kiwi Fruit Extract, Nettle Extract, Orange Oil, Sage Leaf Extract, Yarrow Extract and Olive Friut Oil. Check out the full list below and let me know what other ingredients on the list you love or might not like. This leave-in contains protein, so be cautious about how you use it in conjunction with other protein based products.

List of Ingredients: 

Water, Ceteryl Alcohol, Canola Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Butyrospermumparkii (Shea Butter), Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Rosemary, Leaf Extract, Kiwi Fruit Extract, Nettle Extract, Orange Oil, Sage Leaf Extract, Yarrow Extract, Fragrance, Olive Friut Oil, Hydrolyzed Callogen, Dimethicone, Hydrolized Wheat Protein,Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat ProteinPG Propyl Silanetriol, Polyqueternium-10, Panthenol, Disodiumedta, phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyglecerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Sulphate, Magnesium Nitrate, Cylohexasiloxane, Sodium Methyltaurate, Dimethicone PEG-8mMeadowfoamate, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Hydroxyethylecellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propyleneglycol, cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citral, Limonene, Coumarin, Linalool, Butylphenyl, Methylpropional.

Affordability:

I bought this product for $943 (Jamaican, less that $10 US) + tax. That is a bargain for the amount and quantity of product you get. This Leave-in comes in an 16 ounce tub. Considering I will only use it once per week, I am predicting that it will last me quite a while. 

Smell:

I wouldn’t say I love the smell of this product but it is okay. It smells like a cross between perfume and natural oils. In the container it smells quite strong but once it is applied the smell mellows down and actually lasts the whole week. I just loved getting a whiff of the product as a walk around during the week.

Consistency:

The Leave-in has a creamy consistency. Not too thick. More like a rinse out conditioner consistency. It applies and absorbs into the hair easily and make detangling a breeze.

Conclusion:

I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a great Leave-in conditioner for a great price. It worked remarkably well on my transitioning hair. I could comb through my new growth when it is dry when I use this product! A feat never achieved (without the use of my S-Curl No Drip)  since I started my transition. It left my hair feeling absolutely soft and conditioned. I love it! My only regret it that I did not try it sooner.

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Why Poverty Shaming Is Wrong

Almost everyday that I browse the internet I am sure to see at least one story, post or headline talking about body shaming. From celebrities to regular folk there is no shortage of complaints and rants telling people to be proud of who they are and of their unique bodies. The opposite is true for poverty shaming. Hell, I might be one of the few person to write about this topic if this is even a “topic”.

I define poverty shaming as the act of degrading or making a person feel inferior because of their lack of financial resources. You might be thinking  “I don,t do that”, but think again. How many times have you sang the song “I don’t want no scrub”, or shared or like a status or meme talking about” broke men don’t deserve love/sex”, or made fun of another persons cheap weave, clothes, car, etc. I admit I am guilty of it.

The difference between body shaming and poverty shaming is that body shaming is usually done more directly. For example telling someone they are too fat, or they shouldn’t dress a certain way etc. Poverty shaming is an issue that is ingrained in society. Not being able to afford a nice car, a beautiful house, latest clothes etc. is something we are taught  to be ashamed of. I can recall the countless times especially in my teen-aged years that I have refused to go out because I did not have nice clothes or my shoes didn’t look nice enough, and why all because of what people might think of me. They might not say it out loud but that attitude of I’m better because I have the latest stuff was always present.

In adulthood men bear the brunt of this practice because society expects them to be providers. It is however not limited to men, because the women who date these so-called “scrubs” are deemed unambitious. Funnily enough there is a domestic violence epidemic in Jamaica  that is being fueled in part by women getting into relationships for the sole purpose of using men for their money – possibly caused by ridicule aimed at them if they decide to date someone  who is not financially well off. (That’s another topic for another post).  Why should someone be denied the basic right of love just because they are not rich? I know lots of persons who are hard-working and ambitious and are living in poverty just because of our poor economy. Not every man who is not working or is not able to afford a car or shower a woman with gifts is a scrub.

Quite recently there was a video circulating on social media showing a man proposing to a woman who quite disgustingly turned down the proposal because among other things they were still walking and taking the bus. I was taken aback by her utterances toward the man who was kneeling there looking dumbfounded. It is one thing to turn down a proposal because you genuinely don’t love a person but because he doesn’t drive  car?! That is shameful and is the heights of poverty shaming.

“Poor” people deserve a chance at happiness too. Instead of telling persons who are struggling that they don’t deserve this and that, why not try to empower them? Putting them down only serves to weaken their self-esteem which will more than likely keep them in poverty than lift them out of it. A relationship should not be based on how much money the man can give the woman . Everybody is free to choose who they want to date and if a broke guy is not your speed so be it. But don’t go bashing broke guys and painting everyone who is broke with a broad brush of lazy and worthless.

Let me know what your thoughts on this topic are in the comments below.

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Six Months Post Relaxer Transitioning Update

I am six months post relaxer! I am so excited that my transition has been going smooth so far. I have about three inches of new growth, which I am extremely proud of because that means that my hair is growing at approximately half an inch per month. I am at the top of the growth range so I should have a decent amount of growth by the time I decide to chop. I plan on doing these updates every three months. Watch the video below for more details on the length of my hair and how my hair has been doing so far.

I hope you find this helpful. I love watching these updates because they provide a comparison that I can use to guage how my hair is doing. Don’t forget to give the video a thumbs up if you like it and leave a comment below if you have any questions.

 

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Budget Friendly Products for Relaxed, Texlaxed and Transitioning Hair

For my first ever video on my Youtube channel I shared some inexpensive product choices for relaxed, Texlaxed and Transitioning hair. These products are the ones I am currently using to keep my transitioning regimen as budget friendly as possible. I hope you will find this helpful.

 

 

Products Mentioned 

Shampoo: Creme of Nature Argan Oil  Sulfate Free Moisture and Shine Shampoo

Conditioners:

Moisture- Elasta QP DPR11+ Deep Penetrating Remoisturizing conditioner

Protein- Africa’s Best Organics Hair Mayonnaise

Leave Ins

Moisrure-African Pride Olive Oil Miracle Hair and Scalp Strengthening Leave-in Conditioner

Protein- Orion Zimmi Thermal Sheen Booster

 

Oils:

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stylers:

Gel- Olive Oil Ecostyler Gel

 

Heat Protectant- Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray

 

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