Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Conditioners are essential for natural hair. Shoot, I'mma say hair PERIOD, but for the sake of this blog, we're focusing on the nappy hair...

There are different types of conditioners for different types of hair needs...There's a zillion brands and formulations...Finding the right conditioner has been likened to finding the Holy Grail. Why? Because a good conditioner can do so much to make the sometimes ROAR of naural hair purr like a kitten...Conditioners add the shine, managability, body, etc. that we look for...

When choosing a conditioner and trying them out, it's always best to try it out on clarified hair. Hair that has been thoroughly cleaned from other gunk and junk build up (ACV rinses are my favorite...Clarifying shampoos have sulfates which I don't care for). Don't just clarify for trying out purposes only, but period. Conditioners have a tendancy to build up after a while, so clarifying about once a month is always a good idea to keep your condish working at its optimum level.

Types of condish: (from

1. Crème rinse:

2. Instant conditioners

3. Deep conditioners

4. Body builders

5. Hair repair

6. Herbal rinses

Of all the products that I've tried over the years, I've tried conditioners out the most....Probably 3 to 1...What I look for in a conditoner are:

1. Moisturizing

2. Slip (the property that breaks the hair down and makes the hair "slippery" and combable (for detangling)

3. Humectants

My hair can get dry, so conditioners can can do the above help me A LOT!!!

Here is a list of great conditioners broken down by type:

Instant (no particular order):

1. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

2. Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Conditioner (seriously over priced, but it's good)

3. Suave Humectant

4. Pantene Pro-V Nourishing Moisture Replenishing Mask

5. Creme of Nature

6. Nadia Avocado Conditioner

Deep Conditioners

1. Elucence Moisture Balancer Conditioner

2. Cat Walk Oatmeal and Honey

3. ABBA Nourishing Conditioner

4. Carol's Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie (can be used as an instant as well)

5. Curls Curl Ecstacty Hair Tea

6. Nadia Banana Brulee Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

7. Jason Mint & Rose Intense Moisture Treatment

8. Burt's Bees Hair Repair Shea & Grapefruit Deep Conditioner

Protein (use very, very sparingly)

1. Aubrey's Organics GPB

2. Aphogee Hair Reconstructor


1. Oyin's Greg Juice

2. Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing leave-om

3. Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner

4. Nexxus Weightless Leave-In Conditioner

Homemade Conditioning treatments:

Avocado/Mayo Deep Conditioner (from

1 small jar of real mayonnaise
1/2 of an avocado


Put together in a medium bowl and squish together with your hands until it's a minty green color. Smooth into hair all the way to the tips. Put on a shower cap or wrap your head with saran wrap.
Leave on for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning put a hot, damp towel around your head -over the saran wrap. And if you have really long hair and only need deep conditioning at the ends, cut the ingredients in half and apply only to the ends and just wrap them.

Tropical Conditioner (

1 peeled and mashed Avocado
1 cup Coconut milk

Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for approx. 45 seconds. Stir. Test temperature. Massage mixture into hair.Wrap hair in a hot towel or cover with shower cap for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out.

Honey Conditioner (

1 tsp honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1 egg yolk.

Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Massage on hair in small sections. Wrap head with shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo

Honey/Olive Oil Conditioner

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup of oilve oil

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Slather on hair in sections. Wrap head with plastic cap, then wrap with warm towel. Leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo.

Mrs. Saucy...

I love this girl! She's such a doll...Whenever she smiles, you can't help but get all warm and fuzzy inside...I've never met her in person, but she's been an online buddy of mine for about a year. We planned our weddings together on The Knot and Brown And Bridal. And you should see her photos!!!! Amazing...Anyhoo...
Kendra, a.ka. Busybodyk is a natural in ATL. She's got great fiery kinks and coils. I literally squealed when she agreed to be showcased on I'm Not Lye-ing. Thanks Kendra!!!

1. How long did you transition? - 9 months. I braided my hair, did twist sets and even straightened it a time or two.
2. When did you BC - About 9 months after my last perm. I couldn't take it anymore! LOL I loved the feel of my natural hair growing in. It felt so soft and nice. My ends felt like straw and the spot where they met was a tangled mess. Styling became hard and I was tired of braids. It was time but I was nervous. I asked my boyfriend (now husband) to meet me at the hair dresser after it was cut. He was so sweet, telling me how beautiful I was and took me out for drinks to celebrate. We ran into some friends and they loved my new look. I had a huge smile. I couldn't get over how great I looked. I fell in love with my hair for the first time ever. Now its a full blown love affair.
3. How do you style from day to day? Do you style differently for work? - Most days during the winter I do a roller set. This style is good for casual and work. I normally set it on Sunday so its tightly curled on Monday and the curls get looser by Friday. By the weekend my hair looks really cool and I can get it to look wild or tame. In the summer I wash n go using Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I wear a fro or pull my hair up into a high puff most days. These are really easy looks to achieve. Most days I spend 5 minutes or less on my hair.

4. Have you ever gotten negative feedback for your choice to be natural at work? - No. I don't think anyone at work has a problem with it. I have never felt embarrassed or had people make comments on my hair other than positive ones. I even went on job interviews and got a new job with natural hair. One thing I have noticed is that my hair doesn't make that much of a difference unless you are focused on it. Outside of work, I have gotten the most compliments from black men. Sometimes they want to touch my hair and they seem like they have more respect for me or something (interesting).

5. What are your favorite styles? -I love to: Twist set -

Puff -

6. What are your favorite products? Shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in, moisturizer...Shampoo - Elucence Moisture Benefits ShampooConditioner - Elucence Moisture Balancing ConditionerLeave in conditioner - Mixed Chicks leave in ConditionerSetting lotion/foam - IC Styling Foam (no alcohol!)Moisturizer - Miss Jessies Baby Buttercream
7. Do you have any hair goals? I just want my hair to be healthy.

8. Do yo have any challenges with your hair that you're working through? i.e. styling challenges, growth challenges, etc. How are you addressing them? - My hair not growing as fast as I would like. I thought my natural hair would grow faster. I don't think it is but I am over it. I just want healthy hair. I think I'm doing a good job at that.

9. Has your decision to be natural changed anything about you? - I think I feel so much better about the way I look, even on BAD hair days. It just doesn't affect me as much. I don't even like the way my hair looks straight anymore. I think I've gained a new kind of respect for my hair and what it does naturally but at the same time I know I am not my hair.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a DANG conspiracy!!!

For so long Cream of Nature has made a decent sulfate free shampoo...I've told many women who were trying to go "sulfate free" about it...
So I'm in Wally World this past weekend looking at the hair products (something I can't help but do) and I notice their new spa-type packaging...


I'm standing in the aisle in shock...I'm going off, going from one formulation to the next and SLAMMING the bottle down on the shelf...My poor husband is looking around like, "Lawd, help this child"...

Apparently, the Cream of Nature geniuses have paid attention to the fact that there's a market out there for women of color who are in search of more natural spa-like products...What they're OBVIOUSLY missing is that these same women are paying atttention to the ingredients in the shampoos!!! (Or at least that's my logic)...They've started formulating the new shampoo with these wonderful sounding spa ingredients, and to die for marketing with a description like this:
Organic Kiwi & Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo gently cleanses, detangles, and conditions while infusing dry, brittle hair with moisture derived from Kiwi fruit.
But at the end of the day, the've added sulfates...It's second on the dang ingredient list! What they SHOULD have said was "Here...rub some boo-boo in your hair! It's fresh!" What's that all about? I mean for real...It's like building a house on an industrial waste site....Who cares that it's a 10,000 square foot mansion with marble floors and such...It's built on a dang on dump!!! Talkin' 'bout some Moist Kiwi & Citrus...What? Do I look like Boo-Boo the Fool? I'm insulted...
Here's the new ingredient list to the Kiwi & Citrus offering:
Ultra-Purified Water - Aqua , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Glycol Stearate , Peppermint Leaf Extract - Mentha Piperita , Basil Extract - Ocimum Basilicum , Polygala Senega Root Extract , Watercress Extract - Nasturtium Officinale , Sage Leaf Extract - Salvia Officinalis , Thyme Extract - Thymus Vulgaris , Rosemary Leaf Extract - Rosmarinus Officinalis , Grapefruit Seed Extract - Citrus Grandis , Kiwi Fruit Extract - Actinidia Chinensis , Peppermint Oil - Mentha Piperita , Lime Oil - Citrus Aurantifolia , Spearmint Leaf Oil - Mentha Viridis , Coconut Oil - Cocos Nucifera , Allantoin , Tocopheryl Acetate , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein , Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch , Wheat Amino Acids , Amodimethicone , Butylene Glycol , PEG-12 Dimethicone , Polyquaternium-10 , Polyquaternium-59 , Glycerin , Citric Acid , Polysorbate 20 , Fragrance - Parfum , Clove Flower Oil - Eugenia Caryophyllus , Orange Oil - Citrus Aurantium Dulcis , Grapefruit Seed Oil - Citrus Grandis , Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil , Benzyl Salicylate , Citronellol , Coumarin , Hydroxycitronellal , Limonene , Linalool , Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone , Methylparaben , Propylparaben , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Yellow 5 - CI 19140 , Yellow 6 - CI 15985 , Caramel


Please play the Ohio Player's cut "Fire" while reading this post...

Ladies and Gents, I give you Her Royal Hotness...Von...

Von is an online BFF of mine representing South Carolina. She cracks me up EVERY SINGLE DAY...She's an absolute doll, and she's HOT! Von is transitioning, like a CHAMP! I was able to be a part of her decision to go natural, and I'm soooo honored she agreed to be showcased on I'm Not Lye-ing.

I've asked Von to talk about her transitioning experience so she can give a first hand account of her triumphs, struggles, and everything that goes into ditching the creamy crack!
When did you start to transition? November 2007

What made you decide to stop relaxing? Inspiration from other natural ladies. I was tired of the constant shedding and thinning. Going natural was the only hair regimen I hadn't tried to improve my hair's health.
How are you transitioning? braids, wigs, weaves, nothing... I would wear a sew-in for 1½-2 months, then wear my hair (fro) for 2 months, and then another sew-in, and so forth.

What do you do during the “rough” times to help you get through? I honestly haven't had those moments...yet. I've been cutting my ends almost monthly, so I haven't had a problem with managing the 2 textures.

What/Who is your inspiration? Ree, of What keeps me inspired is the thought that ONE day, I would have a head full of healthy hair, which I haven't had since I was 3 years old (b4 the creamy crack). I, too, one day want to be the inspiration for someone else. So, I must keep going.

How long will you transition? One year, and then I'll do the BC.

What styles do you wear the most? When I'm not wearing my fro, I'm wearing a sew-in.

What products do you use? Shea butter mixture (raw shea butter, tea tree/olive/jojoba oil, Infusium leave-in conditioner, & Creme of Nature leave-in conditioner) for moisturizer, the Creme of Nature line, & Infusium leave-in. I want to try Curlz or Kinky Curlz, but the prices are too steep for me.

Do you have any advice to those wishing to transition? DO IT!! Don't just do it b/c the natural styles look cute but for the health of your hair. It's not going to be easy, and it can make you feel like you want to give up. Your fam & friends may say the most hurtful things about your hair. Your 2 textures may not always agree. Your hair may tangle. You may want to SCREAM!! My advice is...listen to your hair!! If the 2 textures don't agree, then do not be afraid to chop those relaxed ends off. If your hair is dry, give it moisture. Be good to your hair and it will be good to you.
::ree waves church fan:: You betta PREACH!!!

Umm, this is how it's done, people! She's bout it!!! 2 dang inches at once...She's not trimming...This is what folks call a "mini-chop"...


Cleaning our hair is very important...The question is what to use? There are so many methods of cleaning, and I've tried a lot of them...

No-pooing (shampooing with conditioner only)
Shampooing (shampooing with...shampoo...)
Lo-pooing (mixing a little shampoo in your conditioner)
ACV rinses (rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar to clarify and get the goop out, followed with conditioner or even shampoo...)

When choosing cleaning products (sounds like a Pine-sol commercial...), we have to start paying more attention to the ingredients in the product. A lot of times I get questions regarding "dry hair" and itchy scalp, etc...I always ask...What products are you using??? Sometimes it's not some serious, God awful "something" going on with our hair. It's the products that we've been using for so long that is causing the angst. When transitioning, a lot of times people keep using the same products that they've used when their hair was relaxed. Not a good idea. Those 2 textures are going to rebel, and the harsh detergents in shampoo is NOT going to help.

First things first...Step away from the shampoos that contain sulfates. There are soooo many readily available shampoos out there that do not contain sulfates. Here's a list of some really good shampoos. My favorites (*)...

*Curls Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream

*Aubrey Organics Primrose & Lavender Scalp-Soothing Shampoo

*Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo
*Oyin's Grand Poo Bar

Carol's Daughter Tui Herbal Shampoo
Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea

Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo
If you're going to follow a no-poo or low-poo regimen, pay attention to the silicones in the products...They're not bad, but they can attribute to build up which can lead to dandruff, styles not working "right", coated hair...Silicones in conditioners generally end with -cone...If you start experiencing the above, give yourself an ACV rinse to clarify your hair (1/2 cup to about a quart of water).

If considering a no-poo or co-wash (conditioner wash), you don't necessarily need to buy an expensive conditioner...I like Suave an V05 products...They get the job done believe it or not. Just choose something that is very creamy and provides lots of "slip" which will provide ease in the detangling department.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I'm about to start some...I suppose...I'm actually not controversial...I'm a lover not a fighter ;), but I always seem to "step in it" from time to time...

Anyhoo...There's something that I'm seeing more and more, and it's REALLY bothering me...

(I saw a few online pictures that I was going to link to this post, but thought against it.)

What are we teaching this new generation of children??? Are we teaching them that their hair is not good enough? I saw a little girl at Kroger yesterday with extensions to the middle of her back. They were gathered into a pony tail, and she couldn't have been older than 5. I was like, "Wow...Is combing hair that difficult?" I'm so not trying to oversimplify anything, as I don't have children, so I'm not sure of how difficult it is. I know we live in another time than when I was that age, but my mom ALWAYS combed my hair and put them in the little pig tails and that was it...The length was what it was...No extras...

With so many AA women struggling with their own identity, being bombarded by media's interpretation of beauty (that is NOT us), I feel like sometimes we can't win for losing. Compound that with decades of poor hair care and product offerings and hair style trends that have kept our hair short, broken off and generally unhealthy. Why put this pressure on these babies to have to live up to the Yakki???

Children shouldn't be wearing extensions, in my opinion...I think it's damaging their ability to accept themselves EXACTLY as God made them....

Thursday, August 14, 2008


That seems to be everybody's problem at some point. So how do we keep our tresses from getting dried out??? Good oils and butters...(and leave-ins...saving that for another post)...

There are many things that cause dry hair:
1. Excessive heat (blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons, straightening combs, etc.)
2. Harsh detergents
3. The weather
4. Poor Diet
5. Chemical treatments like coloring
6. Products

I'm sure there are more...
This post is about moisturizers that I love.
First and formost, GREASE...Is not a moisturizer....This stuff is crap...

Please start reading the lables of the products you use. Petroleum (or Petrolatum) Jelly is a by-product of crude oil...It has no business being used for our bodies...I don't care what "grandmama" said...Vaseline, do-gro, all that mess...

Here's a list of oils I use. There are A LOT more but here's a small list:

Shea Butter (unrefined)
Shealoe Butter (shea butter and aloe butter mixed)
Sweet Almond Oil
Castor Oil
Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil
Coconut Oil
Babassu Oil

If you're not into mixing, here are some good moisturizers:

Oyin's Shine and Define (

If you love the texture of "grease"...Oyin's Burnt Sugar Hair Pomade

Curls Whipped Butter (

Curls Milkshake (
Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter (

Nadia's Seyani Hair Butter (

Apply to the hair only...Not the scalp..."Greasing" the scalp isn't cool...You're blocking the pores, and the scalp actually makes its own oils...If you have a dry scalp, you've got OTHER issues...greasing or oiling isn't going to get to the root problem...(we'll talk about that in another post)...

The Twist-Out...

Twist-Outs are great for transitioners and naturals alike. It's one of those styles that can have a long wearing life too. You can wear a twist out using twists that you've had in for 2 weeks or overnight. It doesn't matter...

Diffrent twists result in different results to the twist out. Small twists give one look like this: (Also, here's a trick if you like the look of straw sets but hate the time it takes to get them...Do smallish twists, then rinse them. Let them dry (pin curl the ends) and unravel...You get a look similar to a strawset without all the dang straws...)

Medium twists give you this:

Larger twists result in something like this: (I had to go find pics of this...Never done a large twist twist out on myself)...From Khamit Kinks....

Flat twists result in this...Flat twist hair straight down with gel and moisturizer. Flat twisting makes my roots a lot straighter.

Products also affect the results of the twist out. By using less gel and more moisturizer (like Shealoe Butter you get fluffier, puffier less defined twist outs...

Here's my each one, reach one twist-out tutorial. I'm a visual person, so having pictures I think may help some folks really understand how it's done...

1. Twist hair (semi-dry works best for me cause I get the maximum stretch out of my doesn't shrink!) Use an alcohol-free gel and Petroleum Free moisturizer for your twists. Also, if you plan to wear a part, do it here and not split your hair later (it won't look so hot). So however you want the twist out to lie, make your twists in that direction...(And don't forget the ends!!! I twirl mine around my finger and it makes a little finishes them off so that when you take them down, the ends aren't sticking straight out.) If you're transitioning, put the ends on rods or pin curl them...

2. Take twists down...I had to be really careful with this because the hair can frizz if it's just pulled apart...(sounds weird, but trust me...)

3. Stretch hair out so it actually does frizz a little...(yeah, I just contradicted myself, works.)

4. Finger style and enjoy...

5. The more you pull, the bigger it gets, or vice versa...don't pull so much, and you get more defined crinkles...To get rid of the parts, I massage my scalp and it makes the hair poof out...Oh...and add the fabulous eye make up ;)

There you go! Motown Girl has GREAT instructions too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's up with HEAT????

I'm not a huge fan of straightening, and I'm not millitant with it either. I think I've straightened my hair a handful of times since going natural... (for my wedding is one of those times...)

Heat can be a monster, espeically when used consistently. Some people prefer to wear their natural hair straightened, and that's their business. No judgement from me, I personally think they're still natural so I wont debate the point that I've seen some natural woman fight over (whether those who straighten are "true" naturals). Not going to sit here and say they're trying to be white, rejecting their blackness, etc...I will say that using consistent heat (no matter if you use heat protectant or not) can and probably will cause permanent damage to your natural texture. So how do you safely use heat? Beats the heck out of me...I'm not here for that...As I said, I've only straightened a handful of times, so I'm not a big advocate.

I love this article (

I'mma paraphrase for my girl Candra who likes to give me lip when I send her long articles to read...(Sucka).

For this post (dealing with heat)...

Straightened Hair Styles

Straightened or sedu hairstyles involve the use of some sedu hair straightener device. Normally a hair iron is used to remove the curl from the hair. Hair damage done by a sedu hair straightener device can be considerable. Anything that applies heat to the hair will have the effect of drying the strands and of making them brittle and more susceptible to breaking. Anything that causes friction or physical stress to the hair can cause hair loss. In addition, curly hair has a unique chemical structure. Sulfur atoms in hair proteins create disulfide bonds by joining together in pairs. The greater is the distance between the proteins at the time of bonding, the greater the bend in the hair when the bond is formed. Heating techniques to relax that bond literally attack the chemical structure of curly hair. Any time straightening techniques are used, the hair should be routinely moisturized. Keep split ends under control, and build times into your week when your hair can "relax" and be its natural curly self.

So if you're gonna heat straighten, be very careful...Limit it as much as possible as no amount of hot oil treatments, deep conditioners, etc., can repair the damage.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Every nappy knows that a part of being nappy is becoming a serious product "cook". Because there aren't many readily available products out there, many a nappy has resorted to mixing it up herself! Dang the industry!!!! Unfortunately, the cry for more natural and pure products is not being heard as loudly and as clearly as we'd like. There are some amazing products out there, but you usually have to buy them online, OR they're expensive!!!

So, here are a list of recipes that I've tried over the years...

My "concoction" (I really need a name for this stuff, hit me up if you have one...)

What it does: It's a leave-in condish. It's got a medium hold. Not too light, not too heavy. It keeps my hair moisturized and keeps it from frizzing out of control (because of the setting lotion). My hair stays "moveable".

For 16 oz.

8oz conditioner (nothing expensive. My favorite is Suave Humectant)

6oz setting lotion (I use Lotta Body)

2 oz of oil (this can be mixed. For ex. 1 oz sweet almont and 1 oz castor oil OR you can substitute one of the ounces of oil for Glycerine...)

This recipe is very easy to manipulate based on your environment. When I visit my mom and sister in Orlando, FL, I change the recipe to:

6 oz conditioner

8oz setting lotion

1oz oil

1oz glycerine

In the winter, I change it to:

10 oz condish

4oz setting lotion

2oz oil

To make this into a spritz. Put 1/2 of the mixture in a spray bottle and add 8 to 12 oz of distilled or spring water. Shake vigiorously to mix. I use the spritz between applications of the "concoction". For example, I get up in the am, spritz my hair down, shake...and go...

Knock-Off Curly Pudding

I used this a few times, and ultimately it was too heavy for my hair. I think it would work really well on thicker tresses. The recipe is like Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding. If you're feeling particularly "saucy" try the shingling method that's on their site.

From Just_QT from (I tweaked it some so the numbers make sense)

11oz of any curl activator gel (like Worlds of Curls)

3 ounces of your favorite oil

4 oz. of Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E oil gel

essential oil fragrance to your liking (Optional)

whip/mix let sit about 5 minutes ....and you are speed dry time....sit under a hood hair dryer.

Honey and Olive oil Conditioner

This is like a hot oil treatment pumped up. The honey is a natural humectant, and the olive oil adds the conditioning you need.

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup of Olive oil

Heat for about 20 seconds in the microwave to warm a little. Section your hair, and slather all over paying attention to the fragile ends. Cover with a plastic cap and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.

Rinse REALLY, REALLY, REALLY REALLY well...Like when you think you've rinsed enough, do it that much longer...Don't want your ears stuck to your head... ;)

Okay...That's enough for now...Try 'em and let me know how they worked for you!!!

Braids don't GROW your hair!!!

If I hear that one more time, I'm going to scream! Braids DO NOT grow your hair...Braids DO NOT promote hair growth...

Braids are a PROTECTIVE style...That's it...

Protective styles are styles that basically keep YOU out of your hair and keep your hair away from the elements (weather, heat, etc...). Protective styles can be braids with or without extensions, wigs, weaves, twists, buns, updos, etc.

I think where people get it wrong is that after they've taken these protective styles out (or off) growth is usually noticed. It's not the protective style that "grows" your hair...It's the sheer fact of leaving it alone that gives your ends the rest and protection from breaking off. So the growth that you see is actually a maintaining of the length.

So braids and other protective styles help to maintain the length by protecting the ends that usually bear the brunt of the abuse (heat, elements, poor combing/brushing habits, etc.)...

With that said, protective styles are great! I wear my hair in protective styles in the winter mostly. When transitioning and after I chopped, I didn't wear protective styles because I wanted to learn how to work with my texture, and honestly consistently using braids or wigs or weaves, wouldn't have given me that opportunity. Once you take the braids out, then what??? And even more, using protective styles to soley grow ones hair out can have limited results. I've talked to many women who have used protective styles to grow their hair out, but once the braids came out, they went right back to the same hair care that kept their hair broken off in the first place...Unless you're learning how to care for those fragile ends, find the best conditioner and moisturizer for your hair, learning how to use little or NO heat, you may find yourself right back where you started...


I love seeing women with natural hair REALY rock it. I mean in a sea of weaves and straight hair, you will ALWAYS notice the sista with the big, bouncy fro! (No disrespect to the straight sistas...) AND she's always the one with the MOST 'tude, confidence, and flair...I'd like to also think that EVERYONE wants our hair, lol...Okay...I know that's pushing it, but I honestly do think that...(tee-hee)

Anyway, in my lack-o-love for the lye, I'm going to be showcasing some 'sacuy' sistas who have hair that I LOVE.

The first Diva to christen the blog is Gabbi. Fluffy heart this girl! She's fly. She's on Brown and Bridal with me and she has the cutest fro. Here's why I loves me some Gabbi. Her hair color is BANGIN'...I've never been able to successfully pull off hair color, so I asked her to grace us with some advice and such about being natural and wearing color...

Look at this Diva!
Note the scarf! Love that...Scarves totally take a style to the "hotness" level...

Umm...Love her color...Fierce...

Twist out queen...Y'all tell Gabbi she's HAWT!!!

Last pic...This is a week after her BC. Short hair is the business...She gets extra points for rocking it THIS short!

Okay...without further delay....Introducing Gabbi!

Her hair stats:
Chop/Nappy date: September 2006
Length of Transition: 9 weeks - hair was already short; the goal was to just get a good amount of new growth.

HOW you successfully take care of your color treated hair? Nothing different; I discovered castor oil a little over a year into my hair journey & it worked for me! Co-wash once a week & rub castor oil into my scalp & hair afterwards...the moisture lasts all week.

What made you want to color? I had color before going natural & just wanted it back.

What are some of your challenges with it being color treated? The biggest is the color 'taking!' - Relaxers & all those chemicals actually help colors stick to your hair (or so a stylist told me). With none of that on, nothing took - no brown, no auburn, no golden bronze. After 4 attempts, I finally had to dye it blond to get a subtle auburn shade. Crazy.
What colors will you try next? I've been everything from blond to crayon red...the auburn highlights are just fine.
Got any words of advice to people transitioning and looking for a change?

1. Don't be afraid to chop it all off - I got the MOST compliments from guys in this hair phase. :-) But on a more serious note, starting over is a trying, but very awakening experience, and your hair does NOT grow evenly. Once that relaxer is cut off, it'll take even more cutting to even it all out.
2. Don't think natural hair - whether it's teeny-weeny fro's, big ones, twists, etc. - isn't a professional / presentable look. It couldn't be farther from the truth.

3. Don't tell everybody what you're doing until close the big chop or final cut. My mom & sister were ready to start a petition for me to get a perm once they found out, and some of my friends were so negative about why I'd want an afro. Had I not been so adamant about going natural, I could've easily been discouraged by the surprising lack of support I got from so many people.

4. - go ahead and throw away everything you use on your relaxed hair & get tips from the girls on here! Seriously, most of that stuff won't work on your natural texture, and you'd be surprised at the things you'll need to experiment with to get your natural hair to a healthy state.

Are you a Saucy Sista? Email me with pictures, and tell me why! I'd love to showcase you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To Chop or not to Chop...

THAT is the question!

When you're ready to transition, the question always arises. Should you chop? Should you just let the permed hair break off? Hmmm...


I'm soooo not a fan of just letting the permed hair break off, but some folks swear by it. I chopped...I couldn't deal with the 2 textures...It was about to drive me to drankin'...I don't know how some people do it. Well yes I do. If you're straightening your hair while transitioning, I guess you really wouldn't know the pain that those of us who didn't straighten while transitioning went through.

If you're transitioning, you have to answer that question. Are you scurred to chop? Don't want to see your hair "really short"? That's understandable. I had fears myself until my hair got unbelieveably tangled one day, and I literally broke down crying...I had been doing "mini-chops" for awhile, but I hadn't gotten the guts to chop it all off until I had my break down. I stood in front of the mirror and went for it...CHOPPED IT ALL OFF. By the time I did it, my hair was brushing my shoulders. I hacked it up too...I definitely looked a HOT mess...I went to my mother's house the following day to have her clean it up for me. She was so shocked I had the guts to do it, but when she was cutting, she was so very supportive. She kept saying she loved it and it was so pretty. That's what you call support!

So know the pros and cons of chopping versus not chopping.

Pros of Chopping:
You get to get the relaxer out, pronto.
You get to learn your hair and texture sooner.
You can stop fighting with the two textures.
No more transitioning

Cons of Chopping
You're hair is going to be shorter than you may want it to be.

Pros of letting it break off...
You get to hold on to the length
Dat bout it, homie...

Cons of letting it break off...
Umm...the breaking??!!!!
Unnecessary stress on your hair
Styling limitations (takes a lot longer to achieve the style you want...for real)

Again, I'm not a fan of letting it break off. In my opinion, it's not a good start to learning good hair care. When my hair was breaking off before I chopped, it was very, very discouraging. "Doing" my hair took sooooo very long! Trust me, you don't need that stress.
So what do you do if you don't want to wear your hair short? Well there is the option of wearing your hair in braids among other things....Be careful however as continued use of braids can weaken your tresses causing all kinds of problems...So it's best to give your hair some rest from them from time to time while transitioning...
If you're brave enough to chop, go for it! I was the cutest with my TWA (teeny weeny afro). Although I transitioned for a complete year, I had a nice sized fro when I finally chopped. My mother took an andditional inch and a half or so off to make sure all of the relaxer was out...

There's so much you can do with your hair short like this...As you can see, I had scarves on lock...Every color...Every style...

Check these out...

From Khamit Kinks ( Gorgeous "starter" locs, or single strand twists...


Product Love...

When I was on Nappturality all the time, there was a sista there with the baaaannnnggginest (banginest? not a word? yes, is today...) hair I've EVA seen. Honeychild is her name... She's so gorgeous, and her hair is unfreaking believeable! So when she started selling hair products, I was not surprised. She always had such great advice and gave wonderful "sista girl" support. Love her guts....

Anyway, I've purchased products from her a few times, and I've always LOVED her line. OYIN HANDMADE, people...(

She's expanded her offerings so much, and I've not tried 1/2 of it, but here's a list of the things that I've always loved.

The Grand Poo Bar. Wow...I just thought of something. This was the first shampoo bar that I've ever used. (Moment of silence, please.....) Okay. Here's the deal with this stuff. NO sulfates in this shampoo bar...At all! This bar has great suds too. The only down side is that it's in a bar...That's actually NOT a down side, just something you have to get used to. I literally just jam the bar in my hair and get to "shampooing"...She's got more poetic instructions, but that's basically how it's done. 2.7 oz bar for $7.

Greg Juice.

Liquid love...I don't know how this stuff does what it does, but it does it...:/ It's a moisturizing leave-in condish. You spray on thirsty tresses when they need some extra lovin'. Oh, and it smells like Froot Loops. If you don't like that scent, they also sell the Frank Juice, which smells of Frankinsense and Myrrh... 8oz for $9.00

Whipped Pudding. This is one of those "beginner" products for me. If you're still "greasing" your scalp with Petroleum based "grease", STOP...I'mma talk about you. Please replace it with this product. Why? Not because I said (not a bad reason, though), BUT because it's a great "good for your hurr" product. The site says, "It’s a mixture of rich botanical butters & oils like shea butter, cocoa butter, and castor oil; blended with plenty of pure aloe vera gel and spring water for lightness & penetration." I agree. It costs more than 'grease', but it's better for your hair....STEP AWAY FROM THE GREASE, and step into the light of Whipped Pudding...I no longer use this, as I make my own by the vat, but I'm always suggesting that people buy this if they're not into mixing it up themselves. 8oz for $16.00

Broke my comb...

Okay, not anymore...Man, let me say that non-nappies are in the comb making business...Sure, I could go buy one of those pics with the fist, but those don't do the job for me...One thing that's a universal Nappy Love is the Denman brush. Get one...They're cool...They don't rip your hair out, they last a long time...You can get them from Sally Beauty supply...

When washing, choose a wide tooth comb. I have one that i've been using for 10 years...No joke...I think I've more than gotten my money's worth...It's been a trooper...It's never lost a tooth...The plastic hasn't shred or done anything weird...It's a necessity...I've lost a few combs in my hair (seriously), but the wide tooth comb has held up!

and for smoothing the edges...(or Kitchen...tee-hee), love my trusty boar's bristle brush.

Ummm...Please don't talk to my hair....

It can't respond to you...

That's what I want to tell people...If you're nappy, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about...If you're not yet, just you wait! It's coming...

The STARES....

People don't mean any harm (at least most dont), but they're curious. Most (I'mma say 80%) wont come right out and say, "Hey, how'd you get your hair like that?", but will take quick glances at your hair during conversations...It's normal...

Those that do get the nerve to ask about my hair always ask THAT question, "How do you get your hair like that?". At first when I was all millitant, mad at the "man" and the system, I'd say, "Like what?", knowing FULL well what they were asking...(Shaking my head)...All mad at everybody like, "What? What? You aint seen naps before??? Get the perm outcha head, and maybe you can find out, sucka!" Okay...I wasn't THAT bad, but that's what I thought...

But c'mon...Seriously...Natural hair is in the minority. We're a curious bunch...And to look at the postive side, I've NEVER met one person who said, "EWWWWW!!!! It looks like death!!!" They've always wanted to know how it does what it does, and marvel when I say, "Baby, it just DOES it..."


Can we talk about styles?

When I first decided to go nappy (we can say nappy, right? Y'all aint gone get "sensitive" with that word??), my first fear was HOW am I going to style it...I was worried...I gots a big head...I mean HUUGGGEEE...Airplanes mistake my dome for a landing strip my head is so big...I didn't know HOW I was going to work that out...But guess what? It's not a huge issue...There are so many styles out there that I can do now! I'm only limited by my imagination. When I had a perm, I could do like 3 or 4 styles and that was it...I wasn't the type of woman that wore the 3 styles in one head with like a pound of gel in it and 10,000 bobby pins, with finger waves in the front and "shrinky dinks" in the back...That wasn't me...The length of my hair basically left me with down...1/2 down, and up...that was it...Oh, and if I was really trying to be cute, I'd get a straw set. See, my hair doesn't really curl all that well, and I was stuck with floppy straight styles...Not anymore...

Check ya girl out...This is over the years of nappy...

Got the shake and go with the flower (Year 2)

Twist Out (Year 3)

2 strand twist updo (year 3)

The Fro Hawk (Year 3)

Okay...okay...That's enough attention whoring...But you get the point right? You CAN wear 6.8 billion different styles, and they don't HAVE to be braids...I don't even consider myself all that creative in the styles department, and can BARELY braid, but I can pull off some supa fly styles...BET...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Products I love right now...

I'm not a PJ (product junkie) anymore. When I first started on my natural journey, I spent a small fortune trying products, but now that I'm 6 years in, I'm like "eh" with products. I've found a "concoction" that works for ME and I'm really satisfied with it...I've been using it for 2 years now, and I've not found anything that has made me want to try something different. It's basically stuff that I got from the store and mixed them together. It was a recipe I got from a girl friend of mine. Anyway, it's basically conditioner (50%), setting lotion (40%), and sweet almond oil (10%) mixed in a bottle...I change the percentages depending on my hair's needs and depending on the weather...

I have been using some commerical however, and I'll post reviews every now and then when I venture out and try them...

I got a sample pack from a couple of weeks ago. I really like her products. Nadia is a 90-100% Natural Hair care line that was created with the emphasis on hair care a more natural and healthier way. It is perfect for chemically treated hair as well as Natural hair. (taken from the website) . The samples are a good size too...Enough for 2 to 3 shampoos...

I tried:

The Jojoba Hemp Conditioning Shampoo. I really like this product...First and formost, there are NO sulfates it the shampoo...Yippie Dippie for that, right? Yes. Like most sulfate free shampoos, there wasn't a GANG of suds, but there was enough there to more than get the job done...After I shampooed, my hair didn't feel coated or stripped. It was really gentle, and it smelle pretty good too. Cost: $12 for 8oz (when I checked). It boasts some really great ingredients too: Aloe Vera, Hemp Seed Oil, Panthanol, Glycerine, Castor Oil, and others...

Fortifying Hair Masque. This is a protein conditioner for normal to dry hair. I wasn't overly impressed with this, but I was impressed with the ingredients. Would I use it again? Without a doubt. I don't use protein conditioners very often, but when I do, I could see myself using this over the other protein condish I have. I think it's the price that has me going "eh", and the fact that I'd have to order it online...BUT it's a good product. It gave my hair good slip and my comb literally slid through my hair...What more can I ask for??? How about a Nadia store next door to my house??? More great ingredients too: Shea Butter, Olive oil, wheat protein, panthenol, and so much more...$12 for 8 oz.

Avacado Conditioner. I wont lie...I was really skeptical about this condtioner...Why? Umm, the color...Me no like it...I swear my Grandmother has a bottle of lotion under the sink in her bathroom that has been there since the 70's that's this EXACT color...I promise. Other than that, it's good stuff...Gave great slip...Didn't coat my hair, and left it really light after it dried. Its calling card is that it's for hair that's been fried and overly-processed. Again, she's doin' it with the great ingredients: Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and castor oil. 8oz for $6.

Banana Brulee Moisturizing Deep Conditioner. In love with this stuff...Let me tell you...This gave my hair super "slip". It smells good which is something I have to have...(a good smelling products). It has a nice thick consistency, too. I conditioned, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then rinsed. I didn't apply any products and let it air dry to see what it did...Bouncy hair...Fluffy...It's a keeper. Again, great ingredients: Essential oils, bananas, castor oil, glycerine, coconut oil, babassu oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and other good stuff. 8oz for $11.00...

The Journey

Deciding to go natural is NOT easy...There are so many things a lot of women have to contend with.

1. Her self esteem
2. Support (or lack of support) from friends and family
3. Fear of the unknown

Sounds like something straight out of a psychology textbook, doesn't it? It really is a big decision. I'm not here to debate the nuances of the relationship between black women and their hair (although I'll make many an off-color joke or comment here and there), rather I'm here to share my journey and hopefully help someone interested in wearing their hair in its natural, relaxer-free state.

So, what do you need to transition? I'm not going to say, "Products and a good pair of scissors"...At least not yet. The first thing you need is a very, very large dose of patience, perserverance, and really, really thick skin. You have to be ready to give up just about everything you thought you knew about your hair because in all honesty, when's the last time you saw it in its natural state? You're going to have people discourage you from going natural. It's inevitable. Hopefully you'll learn early to shake the haters off, because that's what they are...Haters...They mean well, but they don't understand your journey...You're also going to have to spend a lot of time experimenting with products and styles...Some styles will look bangin' on you...some will look....well...a mess...And at the end of the day, it's alright.

So, dig right in and go for it! I'm here to support you and be your cheerleader! If you have any questions or comments, email me at! Good luck, lovelies!