Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Black Hair Care Company Going Overseas

While recently completing a little market research, I ran across a little blurb about Namaste Laboratories. Initially, I didn't think much more about it, but the name sounded familiar. After a few more minutes passed, I Googled Namaste Laboratories and realized why the name sounded so's the parent company of Organic Root Stimulator, a brand whose products I've intermittently enjoyed using over the years.

Unfortunately, a news blurb revealed that Namaste Laboratories, a U.S.-based company established in 1996 catering to the hair care needs of women of color, was recently purchased by Dabur India and three of its subsidiaries, for $100 million, as its entry into the "African American hair care markets" in Africa and the U.S.

Now don't get me wrong. I use quite a lot of Indian hair products, oils and herbs, and I love Dabur India's products. In fact, most of the Indian products I pick up from my favorite local Indian grocer are made by Dabur India. But, I do have mixed feelings about this:

  1. Yet another American company sells out to an overseas conglomerate.
  2. In addition to our outcry that "the Koreans" have taken over our hair care industry, will we also be saying the same thing about Indians since this particular company is the world's largest Ayurvedic and natural health care company...not to mention the fourth largest company in India.
  3. As a result, will Organic Root Stimulator employees be displaced from their jobs if/when production shifts to India?
  4. Will Organic Root Stimulator's formulations be changed to suit Dabur India?
I love Dabur India and Organic Root Stimulator products, but am wary about any unforeseen changes. Only time will tell.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Free Pura Body Naturals product!

I recently won a jar of Pura Body Naturals' new Mango Tea Scalp Butter. Now, I absolutely love PBN products and use them interchangeably with my own, but my scalp doesn't seem to appreciate having anything applied to it other than castor oil. All my life, I've been plagued by this problem. If I put anything on my scalp, it'd almost look like cradle cap and would be super itchy.

So, it is my regret, and it truly is my regret, to inform you that I will be giving away a VERY gently used jar of PBN Mango Tea Scalp Butter. 
Mango butter, derived from the seeds of mango fruit, has rich emollient properties and is chocked full of antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamins A and E. And, it's good for the hair and skin, including reducing wrinkles and stretchmarks, and alleviating severe itching.

The Mango Tea Scalp Butter is super thick and has the consistency of shea butter, but melts quickly and easily when applied to the skin or scalp so you only need to use a little bit. If used regularly, my guess is this jar would last three or more months.

So, if you're interested in winning this little beauty for yourself, blog followers can just drop me a comment that they want to try this for themselves. If you're not a blog follower, sign up and then drop me a line! One winner will be randomly selected on Oct. 1. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Naturals not welcome?

For the past few weeks, I've been watching VH1's "Beverly Hills Fabulous," featuring hair stylist Elgin Charles and gang. Initially, I thought we'd get to watch Elgin and his stylists actually do hair, but that's not quite what the show entails. While it is slightly boring, I do enjoy the interactions of the, er, characters.

One character in particular is Sean. He helps keep the drama going, but in one particular episode I was actually offended! Sean threw a hissy fit when a natural-haired woman walked into the salon for her appointment with him! Sean doesn't do natural hair nor does he know what to do with it.

WTF?! Since when is natural hair not welcome in a black hair salon?! How can the "famous" Elgin Charles salon of Beverly Hills have a stylist who doesn't know what to do with natural hair? No matter how you dice it, we all start out natural when we make our very first trip to the salon as little girls accompanying mamas, sisters, aunties and grannies. Think of all the press and curls you got before you got your first relaxer.

Sadly, Sean's attitude is probably reflective of a lot of black hair salons. We've become so reliant on heat, chemicals and wefts, our stylists probably don't know what to do with a head full of natural hair anyway. Given how a lot of naturals are learning how to achieve long, strong healthy hair (something none of my stylists ever helped me achieve in the 20 years I patronized them), perhaps it is the stylists who need to be sitting in our kitchens or on our floors as we show them how to properly take care of natural hair.

Call it a movement or whatever you want, but it doesn't take a genius to see that we are clearly on to something that our salons are not. Natural hair, similar to the introduction of the hair weave, is taking us by storm. So I have to ask, why haven't our salons kept up with this "fad?" Maybe instead of keeping the television permanently tuned to bad BET programming, they should hook up some Internet service and stream natural hair YouTube videos.

If naturals aren't welcome at Elgin Charles or any other salon, that's fine by me. I'll keep my money! They might be the ones with the license, but at least I know what to do with natural hair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

With each new season comes new goals

Summer 2010

With a new year rapidly approaching, I decided it's time to rethink a few things and get moving on others. Last summer, I decided to stop straightening my hair and just wear it in it's natural state. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I sure had a lot of fun learning! Following the YouTubers and bloggers, I'd grab this and grab that, but wasn't really happy with my results. But, after a few months, I learned what my hair likes and dislikes, and developed my own regimen of care.

Fall 2011

Now, I'm in the zone when it comes to taking care of my hair. Sure I might try a product here or there, but my brain is now teeming with ideas and it's time to get moving on those. In 2012, I'm focusing on marketing and selling my own hair care accessories and products, which initially will include shampoo, conditioner and the most amazing hair oil you'll ever try! I also am planning on snazzing up my blog, resurrecting my jewelry line, Bibelots, getting back into crocheting, and dabbling in creating my own makeup! Twenty twelve is going to be an amazing year. What are your plans?

P.S. If you're struggling with your hair, my weekly regimen is very simple and I adopted it strictly to grow out my hair. As you can see by the pix posted, this is definitely working for me.

My Hair Maintenance Regimen
  • Detangle hair, apply deep conditioning treatment and put hair into six loose plaits
  • Deep conditioning steam treatment, and wash and condition the hair
  • Apply light, water-based leave-in detangler/conditioner and seal the hair with an oil- or butter-based product (usually one of the two on my "Mixtress" page or a Pura Body Naturals hair milk
  • Put hair in medium-sized twists and apply JBCO or my new revolutionary hair oil to the roots
Note: During warm weather season, I do all of the following but take out my twists the next morning and wear my hear in a twist-out or bantu knot-out until my next wash day. And, my hair holds up all week without any additional maintenance. During cold weather season, I keep my hair in twists throughout the week until I take them down on wash day. (Twists do not have to be removed to be washed, I just prefer to remove them as I enjoy my regimen.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm a woman, I can change mind!

Okay, so after almost a week of agonizing over this, I have decided not to move to WordPress and my reasons are very simple. 
  1. WordPress doesn't have Google Friend Connect and I really enjoy that feature on this and other blogs.
  2. WordPress doesn't have a Bloglist/Blogroll as featured here on Blogger. On WordPress, there are boring links to blogs I like. On Blogger, I can see a snapshot and date of my fave bloggers' most recent posts.
  3. After playing around with Blogger, as you can tell by my blog's new look, I decided I love Blogger and will be disabling my WordPress version.
So, in a nutshell, I will be staying right here! Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this might have caused. I have lots of good things in store in the near future, so stay tuned!!!!

~Kisses and Coils!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm Moving!

Hey everyone. Just a quick line to let you know that I've moved over to I enjoyed my time here at Blogger, but I'm kicking it up a notch in January and I need a forum that will support this. Please come on over to the new blog site to continue our hair journey together. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Have you ever wondered?

Early last year, I decided to stop straightening my hair with ye ol' fashioned hot comb and just maintain my hair in its natural state. Initially, I really didn't know what I was doing, but then I discovered the electronic world of natural hair! For days on end, I'd pour over blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to natural hair. A lot of things I tried and a lot of things didn't work. But a year and a few months later, I've learned what works for me and what doesn't.
Now, I've been natural all my life but learning how to manage your hair in its natural state is truly a learning process involving lots of experimentation. When I first started out, my straightened hair hit my shoulders with my curly 'fro coming down to the bottom of my ears. Now, a little over a year later, my straightened hair is at my bra strap line and my curly 'fro rests on my shoulders.
As of late, I've been wondering why my hair never grew like this under the careful and costly bi-monthly tutelage of the hairdressers in my life. I had an old school hairdresser who'd use that nasty Dax wax when she finished fryin' my head and I had another one who whipped my strands straight via the famed Dominican Blowout before it earned its moniker. Yet, my hair never thrived in their hands. Why?

I recall after moving back to my hometown after being gone for more than 10 years, I fumbled through the Yellow Pages in search of someone, anyone who could straighten my hair, but when I asked them what products and techniques they used, I promptly hung up the phone and moved on to the next one in the listing. I was elated, however, to finally find one natural hair stylist and eagerly booked what I thought was the first of many appointments to come. Sadly, that didn't work out. When she wanted to detangle my dry hair sans product after placing my undetangle head under a hooded hair dryer, I vowed never to return (sadly she does a beautiful angle balance cut).

Now that I'm on my own, I have no regrets. The health of my hair is in my hands. Yes I might spend numerous hours on my hair when it's time to wash it, yes there's the infrequent frantic search for an organic ingredient I forgot to replenish, yes I get bored wearing it in a protective style most months out of the year, but it's all worth it. My nose no longer burns when it's assaulted by the salon's perm chemicals and burning hair, I don't fret to find something to cover my hair when it rains, and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to wear it everyday. Taking my hair into my own hands has given me a sense of freedom I will never give up.