Roads are never easy. Some may be paved, while others are rocky. But those smooth roads hide nails, glass and other obstacles.
I love this blog and what it has become. It’s changed me. Moved me from my introverted self to explore more. I’ve even met new friends because of it.
But as it’s grown, so has my desire to turn it into something that I’ve always desired to have, the power to educate and influence. To hold an audience captive, crack jokes and then have them go home and try what I’ve talked about. It’s something I do when I discover a new blog or YouTube channel. Try a new conditioner, recipe, or hair style. Even the makeup is fun.
So, when I decided that I wanted to really focus the blog on hair, I knew it would be an investment. Yes of money, but also of time.
Investing in a web hosting site for a professional page, $200. HD camera? $300. New computer, with thediting software (and not a MAC, with the software built in) $600. Product budget, 50-60 per month. Makeup, don’t even get me started. But all of that is an investment. Even my husband helped, when he knew I was serious.
He even said he likes the change, and isn’t one of those men who looks sideways whe. His wife decides to return to her natural hair. He didn’t even complain when I cut my hair. Although I know he likes it longer. He’s the one who bought the upgraded Nikon, tripod and lighting. Not to mention the editing software.
Investment. It was the support of my husband, and my daughter who’s recently joined me in some of the videos. She’s hilarious, and everyone loves her energy.
Investment isn’t just money. I mean it is at first which is why there are so many who do it now, and have turned their hobbies into a full time career, complete with sponsorship and collaboration with companies.
But the biggest investment is the time. And let me tell you, editing video is time consuming. Getting notes, preparing schedules, hoping the lighting is right. The Basics series took two weeks to plan, get the right products, figure out the order I wanted to shoot in, and still shoot additional footage for other topics.
It’s not easy. But I enjoyed it.
And then life happens. Because I have a regular paying job where I am for 8 hours a day. My husband is in school, investing in himself to be able to do what he has found his passion to be. But, with all that planning, comes the dealings of financial aid, a car that won’t start and a child who’s summer vacation is juat starting.
I recently received a raise. A whopping .10. And that raise changed EVERYTHING. It moved us into a different pay range, and that affects financial aid. Which affects my husband’s education.
He’s supported me in my dream and I cannot just say to him he cannot persue his. So that means, jobs or in this case an additional one, and that means time. Time I cannot afford to spend on the blog right now, because my LITERAL family needs me.
So, in my absence, and I don’t know how long that will be, there are still videos and the Facebook page with information. And I’m still folowong companies and bloggers to get knew ideas for when I hopefully come back.
But as of today, The Good Curl, the way you know it is no more. Thank you for support and I wish you all the best on your natural hair journey.
See you around the internet.
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I remember when I first went natural, I used Aussie Moist conditioner. I then switched it up to the Hello Hydration, then I used VO5 Moisture Milk. Then I changed, because I read somewhere on the internet that the silicones in these products is bad for your hair and naturals should not use them at all because they keep that much needed moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and feeding our hair and keeping it quenched.
So I started reading labels, and doing more research on what silicones are, and I learned a few things a long the way.
- My hair felt dry and non moisturized with some conditioners that didn’t contain them.
- My hair was breaking when detangling
- Application, and not necessarily the ingredients, is equally important.
It’s really amazing, because when I first started my journey back to natural, I never thought I would turn it into a blog, or do as much research as I’m doing now. I’m glad I am, because there is so much information out there, and it’s confusing. I’ve also learned, that if you don’t do the research, you spend more money than you really need to in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I like buying new product to try on my hair. It’s just that nothing is more disheartening than buying a product, putting it on your hair, and then spending 15 minutes in the shower, crying because you feel like you put Elmer’s glue on your hair instead of a co-wash, and they claimed to be all natural, no chemicals and no SIILICONES.
Yes, there’s a story behind that Elmer’s glue comment. My sister, who’s been natural a lot longer than I have, helps me out with products. Things that she likes and things that she doesn’t get equal share with her, and I appreciate it. I tried a conditioner that she had brought, and I should have listened to my younger sister when she said the product was ‘Utter Shat’ (I edit, because it was a LOT more colorful than that. Ha Ha). But it was that experience that led me to believe that my hair does well with some ingredients that get all kinds of natural hair shade in our community.
These ingredients provide slip, reduce breakage, help in heat styling and make hair feel softer. These ingredients are commonly found in shampoos, hair conditioners and styling products. Some are used in conditioners, such as amodimethicones. Others are used to aid in color-enhancing products and color-corrective products because they increase the hairs shininess and glossiness. These are called phenyltrimethicones.
As I stated, that previous sentence is loaded with hard to pronounce words. And, let’s be honest, hard to pronounce is often equated with ‘that can’t possibly be good for you,’ logic. However, the ingredient does work well for many of us. It’s in a lot of naturals favorite products, some of which I mentioned at the outset. So how can something that sounds like and is a chemical, actually have any benefits?
not all “cones” are bad and many are quite useful. “Cones” actually help with your ability to effectively detangle your wet hair. Much of the sleekness and softness we get from rinsing out our conditioners is thanks to those pesky “cones.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – DO WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU AND LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR. It will tell you exactly what it needs, and when. And it’s why reading labels, and knowing WHERE an ingredient is on the list is equally important. If your conditioner is say, a deep conditioner, more often than not, the first ingredient should be water. Even in your rinse out conditioners, water is the primary moisturizing ingredient. Now, if the ingredients after that are –cone this that and the other. Stop. Anything like that, and knowing that silicones COAT, then you know that too much of it is not beneficial to your hair. And not so long ago, a lot of these products contained those heavier silicones. But companies have gotten smarter about formulations. Cones such as Amodimethicone and Cyclo are more stubborn, and harder to remove. So if you are a co-washer, know that you’re going to have to use a shampoo to remove them, at least once a week. It’s one of the reasons why I’m not solely a co-washer, even with conditioners that are silicone free.
So how do I find out what to use? After using Hello Hydration for the final time, I let my hair just air dry and didn’t put any other product in it. My hair felt soft initially and it was easy to detangle. But after it dried, it felt coated and heavy. And while I liked what the conditioner did for me when I was transitioning, when I cut the last of the relaxer from my hair, it just didn’t work the same way it had previously. I then switched to the TresEmme Naturals Nourishing Moisture. They have changed their formula, and it now includes isopropyl alcohol (drying). And even though it’s farther down on the ingredients list, I still didn’t want to risk it. So to combat that I add Castor Oil to the mix, and my hair loves it. This is important because I use this conditioner as a co-wash, because it doesn’t contain silicones. I’m still researching the rest of the ingredients, and I’m sure it’ll change if I find something that I don’t want to use. But that’s all what reading labels and educating ourselves is all about.
Anyway, other ingredients to avoid in a deep conditioner are mineral oils, petrolatum, heavy proteins. These provide minimal results and only coat the hair. I’m not saying that they’re bad, I’m saying that you’ll have to use a stronger cleansing method to remove them when you do wash.
I’ve followed this reasoning, again from The Science of Black Hair, when looking for moisturizing and silicone use:
- Cleanse. My hair is HiPo (high porosity), medium density, 4a/b, fine. So I choose a moisturizing shampoo, that isn’t too heavy, but leaves my hair clean. My favorites of the moment are my African Black Soap from Chocolashea and Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo. Both cleanse, and don’t weigh down my hair.
- I apply my conditioner, with the castor oil. If I deep condition with the TresEmme, I’ll add this. If not, I’ll use one of the deep conditioners I have on hand. My favorites right now are EVA NYC, L’Oreal Oleo, or the Palmers Protein Pack. I then cover and let it sit for an hour. I don’t have a drier, so I leave it on longer to allow the natural heat from my scalp to do the work a drier would.
- Rinse, and apply my leave in, which is the Miss Jessie’s Leave-In Condish.
So remember, read your labels, and do your research. And above all, do what’s best for you and your hair.
Here is this months IPSY bag review. I will be bringing these back. And this months bag was great. Carol’s Daughter, Nikka K, Ofra, Realtree and NYX.
If you would like to subscribe, here’s a link and if you link your social media you can possibly get off the wait list faster. I thoroughly enjoy getting new makeup, hair and beauty items every month.
Join IPSY here: http://www.ipsy.com/r/290e
The Good Curl | June IPSY Bag: http://youtu.be/bBhGQiJ0BI4
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Sorry this blog post is late, but last week got pretty busy at my PAYING gig. Just know that overtime is a cruel mistress.
About two weeks ago on my Facebook page, I stated that I was going to go down a list of ingredients, because I see a lot of misinformation on the internet about ingredients in products. I guess my frustration is with the fact that people read labels and they see these ingredients, but they don’t actually look up what they do and how they’re created and what they’re used for. They then turn around on forums and share how these ingredients are bad for our hair, or don’t work for them so don’t use them, even though your hair responds well.
Understanding what these ingredients are, how they’re created and what they do in our hair and skin is important. Which is why I recommended the book The Science Of Black Hair. This book has done a lot for me in helping me understand my hair as well as what will work best for it. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s one of the reasons why I decided to included reading labels as part of my Back to the Basics series. And since I didn’t really write a blog post for glycerin, I will link to my Good Curl Facebook page so you can read that information and follow me there. In my glycerin post, I mentioned that it’s a great ingredient, but works differently in opposing climates and during different times of the year. So, reading the label is important, but knowing what the ingredient does in the summer versus the winter is crucial. Also knowing that it’s not going to work the same in say, Houston, as it’s going to work in Tacoma. So, when we say that we hate an ingredient, maybe we don’t understand what it’s supposed to do and how it reacts to the environment that we live in. It’s one of the reasons I always mention it when I respond to people who ask me questions about products and what I’m using in my hair.
So, this weeks ingredients are Alcohols, specifically the ones listed on the ingredients lists on shampoos and conditioners. The reason I picked these is due, in fact, to seeing a lot of responses to questions about products that leave hair feeling dry, crunch and hard. And the culprits mainly seem to be alcohol. But knowing the difference between isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) and cetyl alcohol is extremely important.
The alcohols I’m referring to are the types of alcohols found in many deep conditioners, as well as many of the leave-in conditioners we use. And for my hair, I’ve found that many of the ingredients that get the poo-poo side eye from many in the natural hair community, actually work quite well on my hair. And, because I actually shampoo to clarify, removing many of those ingredients, such as silicones, doesn’t damage, or cause my hair to not grow. If anything, these ingredients provide my high-porosity, medium density 4a/b hair with the protection it needs to grow healthy.
Most of us see them on labels listed as Cetyl-, Cetearyl-, and Stearyl alcohols. As I’ve already stated, these are most commonly found in moisturizers and are used as thickening agents in many of our products, including lotions for our skin. They are mostly derived from stearic acid deposits from shea nuts and coconut oil, but can also be made from animal fats.
When looking at moisturizing deep conditioners, you really want a conditioner with lots of “fat” in it. Okay, what do I mean by fat? You need a moisturizing deep conditioner that contains lots of fatty alcohols. Fatty alcohols are “hair friendly” alcohols, unlike the alcohols found in finishing sprays which are often drying to the hair. Common fatty alcohols are ones like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and myristyl alcohol.
Shampoos and conditioners often use cetyl alcohol to help moisturize hair. It protects hairs ‘cuticles and helps them lie flat to prevent dryness and frizz. While conditioners with fatty alcohols can be effective moisturizing agents, it is perhaps even more important for people to choose a shampoo containing them. Many shampoos strip the hair of moisture, and may become too dry if the moisture isn’t replenished after cleansing. At the same time, people with oily hair may not benefit from shampoos containing this substance as much, because their hair is already lying flat. These are the NON DRYING/DEHYDRATING alcohols, and should not be confused with what we find in rubbing alcohol.
Cetearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol as well, and used in as an emulsion stabilizer, opacifying agent, and foam boosting surfactant. It can leave the skin feeling soft and moisturized, as well as hair. It is also used in water-in-oil emulsions, and oil-in-water emulsions. It is most commonly used in conditioners and other hair products.
Good Curl Tip:
I strongly suggest you do your own research when reading labels and use your smart phones when shopping to look up ingredients to help you make the best informed decisions when purchasing and using them on your hair.
As a matter of fact, three of my favorite deep conditioners contain this alcohol and my hair responds with moisturized curls and lasting moisturization. My favorite deep conditioners of the moment are EVA NYC, Palmers Coconut Protein Pack, and L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Hair Mask. I will also include a video of these products to accompany the blog and that should be up later today.
As always, make sure that you spend the time to educate yourself on the products you use and make choices that best suit YOU on your natural hair journey. The internet is a wealth of information, use it wisely. And if you are having issues, such as losing hair, breaking out, or finding that you’re skin is a bigger issue, see a dermatologist, or your family doctor to get a diagnosis from a PROFESSIONAL. I can’t stress that last part enough.
Next ingredient up – Silicones.
Thanks for all of your support.
Creator and Editor–In-Chief
The Good Curl
Pop Culture, Curls and Colorism: http://youtu.be/CxkXdeSSCWw
This is my companion video to my Blue Ivy blog. Enjoy.
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Here is the accompanying video to the Chocolashea blog below. Enjoy.
The Good Curl | Product Review: Chocolashea: http://youtu.be/mmv9wbP99Ek
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As you all know, I’m always on the lookout for smell good products that actually do what they say they are going to do. So I was extremely excited to stop by the Chocolashea booth at this years INHMD even in Tacoma, Wa, hosted by Natural Essence. Everything looked, wonderful, and smelled even better. I was standing close enough to the booth, and could smell the cocoa butter, that I couldn’t resist the urge to stop by any longer.
It was calling my name, I could hear it. ‘ROBINNNNNNN!!’
What I finally saw was enough to get my home spa experience on and popping. Cupcake Bath bombs in assorted yumminess and Cocoa butter Moisture chips, that smell good enough to eat is what I was smelling earlier. But having never tried, or seen what African Black Soap was (Yes, I know – how can I consider myself a natural and not know what this stuff is – consider me baffled) I was nicely surprised when shop owner, Ladrica Norfleet, offered me the products try. She is very nice, sweet and clearly loves creating products that not only smell amazing, but WORK!
For product reviews, I like to use the products for a while, usually 3 weeks to a month, to make sure they’re really working for me. It’s the only way to get into the routine of using them, do a little more research on ingredients and how they will work for me. So after using these products since May 18, I can give you my honest opinion on them.
First up: Chocolasheas Original Organic Cocoa Butter Candy Melts – $10.00 for 1 bag.
Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Butter, Fragrance
Product Description: Can be used as a skin moisturizer, or dropped in the tub under running bath water for extra moisturizing and a ‘skinfully delicious’ home spa experience.
I love these. One chip covers me from head to toe, and there is a lot of me. So a little goes a looooooong way – literally. I used them during the day, but will begin using them as a night time after shower ritual to let the cocoa butter really work at repairing my skin at night. The chocolate smell is decadent, and relaxing. 1-4 oz Bag filled with Chocolashea’s Unrefined Cocoa Butter Candy Melts…They are Skinfully Delicious! This stuff is amazing for repairing skin discoloration and dark spots. Smells like milk chocolate and melts on the skin like butter! Superior grade!
Good Curl Tip – The LOC method isn’t just for hair. I didn’t dry off all the way, and this combined with my body heat after the shower helped the product spread evenly and easily than on my thoroughly dry skin.
Pure Organic Premium Ivory African Shea Butter – $5.99 per jar
Ingredients: Shea Butter
Product Description: Chocolashea’s Shea Butter comes with a pleasant nutty aroma. Chocolashea’s Organic Unrefined Shea Butter makes a wonderful natural cream for all skin care ailments. Nourish and soften dry skin, repair damaged hair, and balance your skin’s natural oils with this amazing African Shea Butter!
This is the perfect product for sealing in moisture, on hair and skin. I actually wash my face with the African Black Soap, tone with Witch Hazel and then spray my face with some water (I am currently using my Evene water sample I got in my May IPSY bag) and then applying this. My face is combination, oily and using this in conjunction with the mineral water keeps oil at bay for most of my 10 hour day. I’ve notice that my skin is softer and more even toned and I don’t have to use nearly as much foundation. It has a nice nutty fragrance as well, but not overpowering to the product. You also do not need a lot of this product either. The small jar that I do have will last me a good long time with regular, twice a day use. And because the jar is conveniently small, it fits in your purse so you can carry it with you, especially when you’re hands a drier than normal, and during the winter months.
Good Curl Tip – I rub my fingers together first, then swirl them in the butter. This makes it easier to remove the product from the jar. I then pat it on my face, do not rub. This helps press the butter into your skin and seal in that layer of moisture you layer down prior.
Product: Premium Authentic African Black Soap Cleansing Bar $5.99 for large 5oz bar.
Ingredients: Water, cocoa pod ashes, plantain skins ashes, and palm oil.
Product Description: African Raw Black Soap is one of the most beneficial yet unheard of soaps you will ever find. It is a natural source of vitamins A & E, iron and an all-natural cleanser. It helps relieve rashes, scalp irritations, oily skin, dry skin, acne, blemishes, eczema, and other skin problems. African Raw Black Soap gives your face a deep cleansing leaving it fresh, and healthier. African Raw Black Soap works well for all skin types from oily to dry. It can be used by any ethnicity and for men or women.
As I’ve stated, I have combination skin – Normal to Oily. I have used everything under the sun, and I generally find any soap to be overly drying and leaving my skin feeling tight. This is not a sign of clean skin, but DRY skin. Which is not what a combination Normal to Oily girl wants. It can lead to increased oiliness in areas where you don’t want it, and break outs. Two things I’ve been trying to avoid.
Since I’ve been using this soap, I have had to tweak my routine. I actually use my Josie Maran cleansing oil first, lightly rinse that and then apply this soap. And I can tell you, the two together are awesome. My skin is less dry and still feels clean. You can use any cleansing oil you wish if that is a part of your cleansing regimen. I then pat my skin dry and apply witch hazel to tone.
I have a little over half the bar left as I cut off pieces to use that usually last me a week or two. When the slice I’m using is too small to use, I break off another piece and press them together, a step that eliminates wasting any of this wonderful product. I also use as an all over cleanser – shampoo, and body, and then follow my normal routines for them. I especially love it as a shampoo once a week to get out buildup of product and it leaves my hair super clean, but not dry. I’ve noticed that my curls pop a little more as well with continued use.
Good Curl Tip – don’t store soap in a soap dish. I store it in a sandwich bag (unused portion) and use a small to go food container (cleansed and dried) to store what I use to prevent waste and from the soap absorbing more water.
Overall Rating: A+ I’m an African Black soap convert. I don’t think I’ll use anything else, for my hair and face especially. I’m completely amazed at how soft and clean it gets everything without stripping. I highly recommend these products for anyone looking for excellent go to cleansing and moisturizing products to add to their regimen. The fact that they are also great quality and inexpensive make them budget beauty buys for me as well. It’s always nice to be able to pamper yourself. Especially when you have a Razberita budget.
Definitely check Chocolashea out at the following links:
The above picture has sparked laughs, memes, and the kind of critique saved for her mother. The subsequent petition to comb her hair is laughable.
The comments though. These give me pause for many reasons, because it’s not so much that it’s coming from the black community, but that some of the comments are steeped in our own insecurities of what beauty is, and what defines femininity.
Here’s a taste, of the verbal crudites.
Put some barrettes in
How about a puff
Comb it into a style
It looks dry
That’s damaged hair
You can’t even tell she’s a girl
Let’s face it, Beyonce is EVERYWHERE. Everything about her life is on display, so it should be expected that folks would discuss everything about her, and I have, to the derision of some as to why would I even care. The simple answer is writing about Beyonce brings readers. And, well, there is the ripeness of material.
But, this is different.
For me, because I hate those comments. People have gone so far as to say that this is neglect.
Really, neglect. Come on, now.
I’ve even seen comments about how their mom’s would NEVER have them looking like this.
Well, then I must have been neglected as a child, because I’ve seen many a picture of me in my childhood happiness looking very much like Blue – coming home from a day out, before getting my hair washed, playing outside, swimming at Atlantic City.
Of course this was all decades before Instagram. Where even selfies are staged for perfection.
What I do notice, is that pictures cropped out of context only tell part of the story. And the story to me is that those are not dreads, Beyonce is also CLEARLY in the picture, and NOT looking styled to the Gawds.
I need the internet foolishness to just stop. Folks get stupid with stuff like this. Yes, I said it, and I’m tired of being silently complicit in just going with the flow. Because, we all wake up flawless, right?
Here’s a list:
Just stop with the hypocritical judgements based on a 10 second glimpse of a picture and expect that to tell the whole story.
Stop equating uncombed, with unkempt. Because, that’s clearly not the issue I see in any of the myriad of pictures we actually see of them that aren’t staged.
Stop equating nappy, dreaded as bad. It’s not, and its offensive.
Stop saying she looks like a boy. Simply because her head isn’t full if 3c fabulousness. This is a black child, her hair is nappy. And it’s short. Shrinkage is real. And she doesn’t need all those damned headbands, box of bows and a Costco sized jar of multicolored barrettes to prove she is a girl.
Kinky, coily, curly hair, such as many black people’s hair, isn’t inherently shiny. It can have a sheen. So it may at times look dry, but it isn’t.
Stop this ridiculousness about our hair and its length and texture and defining our femininity.
Natural isn’t something to be ashamed of, mocked, or berated. That’s what has been done here and it needs to stop.
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The Good Curl | Back to Basics: Shampoo, Conditio…: http://youtu.be/1NRb5nYcugs
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