Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spotlight in and on Leading Ladies of Business

Last night was one of this year's highlights as Wash Day was featured on "Leading Ladies of Business," created and hosted by Naikeya Haley, CEO and founder of the "Nina Network." We also were joined by Donnilah McClendon (aka Nina Simone on Facebook), founder of "just blaque" and co-founder of the "Nina Network."

At 9 p.m., EST, Wednesdays, Naikeya talks with women via live video chat who've parlayed their hobbies and ideas into businesses. And, I'm honored that I got to be one of them!!!! In case you missed it, here's the clip and be sure to tune in on Wednesday evenings! Naikeya has some good stuff, insightful interviews and A LOT of useful information followed by a live Q&A!!!! 

In case you missed the Wash Day interview, here it is! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Before and After

Three years ago on July 4, my hair was in pitiful shape. While it wasn't subjected to chemicals, it was brittle, dry and damaged due to ye' old blow dryer and hot comb. Heat protectant? What was that? Detangling? Moisturizing? I didn't know jack! And the proof is in the pudding! Just look at that thin, frizzy hair! It would grow, but as soon as it hit my shoulders, it'd either break off or I'd burn it off. Lots of trimming back then!

July 4, 2009
I struggled along for another year with my head lookin' a mess until I got sick of straightening my hair. I remember it was a hot, humid day. I was closed up in the house with the A/C on. I'd just finished straightening one side of my hair, but when I got ready to do the other side, the first half was already starting to frizz! Seeing that my efforts to get my hair bone straight were futile, I packed up my straightening equipment and decided to wear my hair in its natural state. Almost three years later, I have this!

May 20, 2012
Now, over the years, I had worn my hair natural, but I had no idea what I was doing and there were only two companies that made natural hair products. And, those products could only be obtained via the Internet or catalog. With my decision to go natural full-time, I did my share of YouTube and blog research, but only about 10 percent of what I found actually gave me the results I wanted which prompted me to go rogue!

Most of the year, I stick to twists. On occasion, I straighten my hair a couple times a year. I deep condition with my steamer before washing my hair with shampoo every week. I oil my scalp. I only comb/brush my hair once a week. Product is only applied to my hair once a week and it has to be 100 percent natural ingredients. When I sleep, I pineapple in a stocking cap.I only style my hair once a week.

I don't worry about eating healthy, unless it's for weight control. I don't take hair vitamins. I don't cowash or oil wash. I don't trim my hair, well, maybe once every couple years. I don't spritz my hair with water unless it's my wash day. I don't use fancy or expensive ingredients in my hair products. I'm not a product junkie. I don't switch up my hair styles-I wear two basic styles all the time.

Some people are shocked by the hours I spend on my hair on my wash day, but it balances out since I don't do anything to my hair throughout the week except to fluff it up in the mornings and go. Besides, my wash day is kind of like my zen moment and I love doing my hair. I can't wait until it's time to wash it again! While I'm very pleased that my hair is the healthiest, thickest and longest it's ever been in my life (even under the bi-weekly care of a hairdresser), I'm not done. I'm aiming to just let it grow solely so my twists are a few inches past shoulder length. Perhaps when I'm older, I'll forgo my regimen and hiding my grey, and just grow me some long silver dreadlocks. Being a former dread head, though, I do realize that they come with maintenance of their own kind. 

How's it going on your own hair journey?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Bouncy Curls Pudding

Okay, so I've been working with African Pride's Shea Butter Miracle line for the past two weeks and have gotten some seriously mixed results. We all know the Buttery Creme was a major fail, so I switched to the Bouncy Curls Pudding halfway through the week and continued to use it throughout the next week.
I had the pleasure of trying this product in two different ways. The first time I tried it, my hair was wet from washing. My hair felt rough and dry when I applied this to my hair which became an immovable Brillo pad helmet once it dried. It was so bad, my twist-out had to be converted into a bun for the day. I had crazy curls void of uniform direction, frizz, name it, I had it.

As soon as I got home from work that day, I redid my hair with the same product, only this time I applied it to damp hair by spritzing and retwisting each section with more Bouncy Curls Pudding. My hair still didn't feel as smooth as I'm used to when I use my Bounce Butter, but I was pleased with the results once my hair dried. 

This is Day Three and I have not had to reapply this product or redo my hair. And, I'm pleased with the curls. Bouncy Curls Pudding definitely holds the shape and curl pattern, and I have a little bounce. But, I don't have the shine I'm used to, so this will be getting one coil up.

Overall, Bouncy Curls Pudding isn't bad, but it's not great either. I'd keep it as backup in case I run out of my own hair butter, the amazing Wash Day Bounce Butter!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Update

As promised, here is an update on African Pride's Shea Butter Miracle that I've been giving a go this week.

In case you missed it, I twisted my hair with African Pride's Shea Butter Miracle Buttery Creme this week. I had great results with the leave-in conditioner and shampoo, but this product was quite different.

The Buttery Creme has the same pleasant scent and orange creme color as the other products in this line, but it's anything but "buttery." In fact, I didn't feel a lick of oiliness or butteriness in this product. Lustre's old school Pink Lotion formula felt more oilier than this. But, if you're a fan of Miss Jessie's puddings and cremes, you might like this.

Almost immediately upon applying Buttery Creme, I noticed that my twisted hair didn't feel smooth. It literally felt as if I'd twisted my hair with no product. Not a good sign! Once my hair dried, I removed my twists and was horrified. My hair was as hard as a rock, my curls were not manageable and when I separated a few of them like I usually do, I got frizz!!! I also was missing the shine and movement I'm so accustomed to. So, Buttery Creme gets two coils down. 

In an attempt to save my hair, I decided to give African Pride's Shea Butter Miracle Bouncy Curls Pudding a try. This is Day Two after my wash day, mind you-not happy. So, I've spritzed my hair, applied Bouncy Curls Pudding and retwisted. I'll let you know tomorrow how my hair turns out. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I recently received a large, heavy box in the mail but had no idea who or what it was since I'd already received the purchases I'd made online. Much to my surprise, the box contained full-sized samples of African Pride's new Shea Butter Miracle line! 
Now y'all know I make my own hair products, but I'm not opposed to trying something new once in a while. And, as with any product, I always scrutinize the ingredients list first-not only for what's in it but also for the order it's listed. While the majority of the ingredients used are natural oils and extracts, the only thing that stood out was the addition of argan oil which I am vehemently against. But, overall, this line has some good ingredients and each product is packed with oodles of different oils and extracts.

Since it was my wash day last night, I decided to try out a few of these freebies so I got started with the Leave-In Conditioner. My wash day regimen always starts by spritzing my hair with water, detangling, applying a conditioner, twisting and then steaming for 20-30 minutes with my Huetiful steamer.
I know this is a "leave-in" conditioner, but I decided to try it as a deep conditioning treatment. This product comes in a rather large tub, looks like orange creme, has more slip than you'll know what to do with and has a pleasantly light yet unidentifiable scent. As soon as I smoothed that first dollop through my hair, I knew I was in love and I don't fall in love with too many products! Not only did it make my hair instantly soft, but it elongated my curl pattern right before my very eyes. It even tamed my roots and made them lay down flat! Shea Butter Miracle Leave-In Conditioner is pure magic! As the recipient of two coils up, this product has earned its rightful spot in my arsenal of hair care products.

After steaming my hair, I keep it twisted while I wash it which eliminates the potential for snags, snarls and knots...especially since it's already been detangled. When I wash my hair, I typically use a clarifying shampoo followed by a different shampoo and then a conditioner. But, I went against that and only used the Detangling Shampoo.
The detangling shampoo's physical properties are nearly identical to the Leave-In Conditioner, but it has the intoxicating scent of banana-flavored Laffy Taffy. But, it was not what I was expecting. Most commercial shampoos have uber lathering and suds properties, but this did not and that is not an unpleasant surprise. While this entire product line touts itself as "Moisture Intense," even though water is the only "true" moisturizer, I did find that this shampoo did indeed help my hair retain moisture. Due to the low suds factor, I used it twice to ensure my scalp and hair were clean, and even let it sit for a couple minutes for extra assurance. Once rinsed out, my hair was still ultra soft. I can't attest to how well it detangles, but it does create silky, soft hair. While I'm only giving this one coil up, I will keep it around as my emergency back-up shampoo (doesn't every girl have a few of these laying around?). When all was said and done, after using these two products, I did not want to condition my hair, but I did. Can't slip that step!

Now, to the true test which will require a follow-up posting. On my wash day, I almost always twist my hair and let it air dry overnight. For this step, I used the Buttery Creme. 

Sadly, it comes in a small jar and doesn't seem to have the oomph compared to the Leave-In Conditioner, but I used it to twist my hair anyway. Based on how my twists feel compared to using my own hair butter, I have a daunting feeling about the Buttery Creme. I won't be able to do a full review of this product until the end of the week. Remember, this and any other hair cream or butter, has to give my hair shine, bounce, softness and manageability while retaining my curl pattern for a FULL week! I follow a low-manipulation regimen and don't like to load my hair with a lot of products, so if I have to do anything to my hair throughout the week, this product will be failed.

And, I always end my weekly hair regimen by applying oil to my scalp. Not only do I find it to keep the itchies at bay, but it helps my roots lay flat.
I found the Growth Oil to be very light and pleasant. It's almost void of scent, looks similar to carrot oil and doesn't have a heavy, greasy feel. The oil I typically use is the exact opposite, so I might switch to this oil in the warmer months....until I come up with my own lighter oil. And, after letting my hair dry overnight, my roots are laying nice and flat so I have to give Growth Oil two coils up as it also has found a permanent place in my hair care closet.

Overall, I am very pleased with the new African Pride Shea Butter Miracle line and proud of the company for having come such a long way in improving their products. Back in the day, I used to turn my nose up at their products, but the mysterious box I got in the mail is going to make me think twice about African Pride and their renewed interest in providing quality products for our varied textured hair.