September 23, 2009

Fall/Winter Products

These are the products that I am currently using and will continue to use through winter:

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Kiss My Face Big Body Shampoo & Conditioner
Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea
Fantasia IC 100% Pure Tea Shampoo
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Reconstructuring Treatment
Elasta QP DPR-11
Nature's Gate Conditioners (Hemp and Henna)
Shea Butter
Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream
Qhemet Biologics Amla Oil Nourishing Pomade
WiseWays Herbals Crowning Glory Hair & Scalp Cream
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Avocado Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Neem Seed Oil
Kinky Curly Curly Custard
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Aphogee Gloss Therapy Polisher Spray
Kiss My Face Upper Management Styling Gel
Honey / Molasses


Testing


TRESemme Conditioners (Moisture Rich, Flawless Curls, 24 Hour Body, Natural)
Aphogee Keratin Green Tea Reconstructurizer
Joico K-PAK Moisture Intense Hydrator Treatment
Aveda Dry Remedy Treatment
Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream


Some products I no longer use are not listed, either they are finish, I'm still using them up or I'll be giving them away. I've found products that work better than others particularly my conditioners. I like the Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner but I have conditioners that already work as good or better. I still have my Peppermint and Rosemary EOs but have noticed my scalp gets irritated when I use them so either I will put very little in my conditioners or stop using them completely.

Length Obsessed

I am guilty of it, many naturals that I know have fallen prey to it. What is "it"? It is length obsession. To be perfectly honest sometimes I compare my hair's length with the person's hair that I am mesmerized by. It could be randomly walking down the street, or seeing gorgeous pictures of natural hair.

I am now in my 4th year since my BC, I am completely chemical free and confused as to why my hair grows at the rate it does. I have seen naturals with 2 years of growth that is the same length as my 10 to 12 inches I have on my head. I have done quite a bit of trimming , bad products and in the beginning ignorance cost me some length so I guess it would be a couple of inches longer if I had my ish together when I BC'ed.


We all do it, compare our hair to others. We want to know what routine they are on, what products they use and so on. I remember when I was eleven years old after a BAD kiddie perm and my mom used old recipes to regrow my hair in its natural state, and it grew, and it didn't enter my mind to compare my hair length to anyone at school or in my neighbourhood. I was content at watching my hair grow month after month. Even in high school it was the same way. I had few products and they served their purpose and my hair grew. My point is it was about me and not the other person, I was concerned with my hair and keeping it as healthy as possible. I didn't ask my friends "hey, so how long have you been growing your hair... really so what's your routine?" I honestly thought about this on the weekend. All of our hair grows at different rates; genetics, environment and how we care for our hair are the three main factors that determine length. I felt a little embarrassed that I started comparing my length to others and asking myself "what's wrong with your hair?" After thinking about this I came back to the truth - length is secondary to healthy hair. With healthy hair you will eventually get length, it may take you a little longer than the other person but would you rather engage in a race to have stringy long unhealthy hair so you could measure your length as the same as theirs?

Their are a few constants that are present with someone that has length and healthy hair:

1- Simple Routine: maintain a simple routine with minimal products and use them consistently. I have been using Aphogee products for over ten years from when I was relaxed and they never let me down. The products I use from the line add strength, body and smooth my hair. If it works don't fix it.

2- Minimal Manipulation: Wearing hairstyles that don't traumatize the hair and scalp like tight pony tails, tight braids or hairstyles that limit the scalp from being exposed or easily accessible like weaves. Instead, wear twists (twist outs), buns, free form styles like afros or hair styled with products like Kinky Curly Curling Custard for a curly 'do which allow the hair to fall naturally and prevent tension and irritation to the hair and scalp.

3- Regular Trims: This can mean a few things depending on who you speak to. Some people say regular trims means every 6 to 8 weeks. Some say every 3 to 4 months or once every 6 months and some naturals trim once a year and others not at all. Also, you need to take into account how much is being trimmed. I trim every 3 to 4 months and I usually take off 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Everyone's hair is different so by knowing how your hair reacts you can gauge how often you should trim and how much you should trim each time.

The only length of hair we should focus on is our own. Focusing on another's hair distracts us from ourselves and we can lose the right perspective. Get to know what works for your hair and stick to it, our hair is delicate and fragile and should be treated with the most amount of love.

September 22, 2009

Official Trailer For "Secrets Of A Black Boy"

"Secrets Of A Black Boy" by playwright Darren Anthony premiers to a wide audience Wednesday September 23rd and ends Saturday October 3rd at The Music Hall (147 Danforth Ave.) Visit http://www.secretsofablackboy.com/ for more info. To see the original post click here.

September 21, 2009

Aphogee Haul




While I was at my local beauty supply store I also restocked on Aphogee and got some products I've never tried before. My Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor ran out so I got another bottle. I really like this product and it smells really good. I also wanted to get a leave-in to strenghten my hair since I was seeing some breakage and split ends and a gloss serum to tame frizzies. I picked up the Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer as my leave-in. I noticed they did not have the gloss serum from Aphogee but instead the Gloss Therapy Polisher Spray. I got the spray because it is easier to apply to the hair as appose to the serum.

I tried the Gloss and love it. It smoothed my hair, kept it soft and my hair seems more defined to me when I did my bantu knot out on Sunday and this morning, it also has a UV protectant. The last thing left for me to try is the Keratin & Green Tea, which I will do when I wash and condition on the weekend.

Cantu Shea Butter Products in Toronto

On the weekend I went into my local beauty supply store and was in awe at what I saw. As I turned the corner into one of the aisles I saw Cantu Shea Butter products.... in Toronto. Wow! They have the Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream which I picked up and about 4 other products from the line. The products were affordable, I paid 5.99 plus taxes for the Leave-In. Of course I will be reviewing it when I get around to using it. If you want to pick up some Cantu products go to:

Beauty Collection

2575 Victoria Park Ave. (Victoria Park and Sheppard)

(416) 496 1060

My Hair and Silicones

Over the past 3 years I have used silicones off and on. By year two I was using Herbal Essences but stopped because my hair became unresponsive and dry ALL the time. I started experimenting with Aubrey Organics Shampoos and Conditioners, Curls, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, Suave Conditioners, Pantene, and the list goes on. Well, I finally settled on Kiss My Face Big Body and LOVE IT!

Two weeks ago I went into Shopper's Drug Mart and saw TRESemme on sale, and it was a good sale! I've wanted to try some of their conditioners for a while but wasn't going to pay almost $7 a bottle to do so. Most bottles of shampoos and conditioners were bonus sizes so I got the 1.17 L bottles with the pump instead of the regular 900 ml bottle for $3.99 each! Now I have tried TRESemme before, it was the Smooth and Silky Conditioner and my hair hated it. I got a lot of tangles and my hair felt dry. I heard the Moisture Rich, 24 Hour Body, and the Flawless Curls Conditioners are usually the best for our hair types. I got two Moisture Rich Conditioners and one each of the 24 Hour Body and Flawless Curls. By the next day I had tried the Moisture Rich Conditioner as a co-wash and my hair really likes it.

I have heard of this happening, suddenly your hair hates silicones than you try it a few months later or years later and your hair loves it... wow. I definitely know that not all conditioners with silicones will work in my hair, just like any other product. I will post my results with the 24 Hour Body Conditioner and the Flawless Curls Conditioner when I get around to using them.

September 17, 2009

Balenciaga: Collection Hiver 2009/10

video

I love Balenciaga, they recently had their Fall/Winter show at New York Fashion Week and the main theme was drape-waisted skirts and drapery style clothing hugging the silhouette. the style of clothing was a mix between the 1940s and 60s and came across to me as vintage-chic. Balenciaga used satin, silk and velvet as the main materials and was not shy about using these materails with shoes. Overall I think the collection was inspiring, especially the shoes!

September 14, 2009

TWA Love

Over the past few weeks I've been contemplating doing another BC. I have worn my hair short at various lengths either relaxed or natural for the past seven years and recently I have allowed my hair to grow out considerably. When I first did my BC I was a little lost concerning products and hairstyles and I really want to experiment with a TWA, I know I will have tons of fun. TWAs are cute, chic, sophisticated yet simple and low maintenance, it sounds good to me! I haven't made up my mind as yet but if I do I'll be sure to post the pics. Also, this will not be a personal project, I will seek a professional to cut my hair just right. Have any of you felt like this lately? If so did you do another BC or did you get over that 'hump'?

September 13, 2009

My Denmans Revisited ...

Over the weekend I of course was home wondering what to do so I went into my closet and pulled out my Denman D3 Brush to see if somehow I could use it again. my hair was already slightly dampened from being washed and set into bantu knots. I took out each bantu knot brushed it a few times and than reset it into a bantu knot. The brush smoothed my hair and my curls did pop on my ends. I was surprised to see that not a lot of hair came out. I'm trying to figure out why when the first time I tried my Denman I didn't like it. I definitely wouldn't use my Denman to smooth my hair into a bun or puff, I use my hands and a toothbrush for that. I see the brush as a 'prep' tool that allows me to stretch my hair out for the week.


First:
I know not to brush my hair when dry only when damp and hydrated either with conditioner and/or moisturizer present in my hair.

Second: Only brush my hair once to twice a week since anymore would be excessive.

Third: I still use my wide tooth comb to detangle, I don't trust my Denman to do this job.

here is a link to the original post My Denmans ...

September 11, 2009

Solange @ BCBG Max Azria








Solange attended the BCBG Max Azria Spring 2010 Fashion Show in New York on Thursday. I'm loving her orange lips and her cropped curled hair.

September 9, 2009

I Heart Avocado Oil



With all the avocado treatments I have been doing the past few weeks I thought about picking up some Avocado oil at The Big Carrot this past weekend. So of course me and cousin made our way down there and got distracted with all the great skin care, hair care and cosmetics they have to offer. It amazes me how much product they are able to pack in their beauty section. Finally, we made our way to the cooking section where they carry the avocado oil. It was around 17.00 bucks for 16.9 FL OZ for the La Tourangelle brand.

Avocado oil stays fresh for about one year after opening if stored in a dark cool dry place and is exceptional when used as a hair oil, hot oil treatment and for deep conditioning. It is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B5 (Panthothenic acid), Vitamin D, E, minerals, protein, lecithin and fatty acids (source). I noticed that avocado oil is heavier than olive oil but not as heavy as the Jamaican Black Castor Oil and both me and my cousin agree it left our hair soft, smooth and manageable after her hot oil treatment and my night time treatment (applied to hair before bed and wrapped in satin scarf). The oil also gives amazing shine to my hair. I will warn not to be heavy handed when applying this oil to your hair and scalp, a little bit goes a long way.

Do You Have An Afro?










Errol is a London based photographer who attended the Croydon College, The London College of Communication and has recently started the project "Do You Have An Afro?". It is a series of photographs of people with afros and is open to anyone who has an afro and would like to take part in the project. When asked how does he view his art he said "I just do it." To view more photographs visit Errol at his Flickr here.

September 8, 2009

Hello

Hi All,

I'm feeling under the weather but I'll be back tomorrow with some great posts:)


Natalie

September 5, 2009

September 4, 2009

L.A.M.B Jalonna





These beauties are the Jalonna from L.A.M.B. They are 100% Italian leather with peep toe, a back zipper, and 4 inch heels. For more info visit Couture.zappos.com

September 1, 2009

Naturally Loved: Part Eleven

We live in a world that prizes conformity and predictable behaviour. When we step outside of those boxes we may be ridiculed and coerced to abandon our journey in life and fit into what society expects of us. It take boldness and a comfort with your self to ignore what others say. These people may come in the form of friends and family, colleagues at work or even strangers who feel it is their duty to say what you should and should not do.

Our goals are sacred seeds that needs to be watered regularly if they are to come to fruition. Each of us knows the path we need to take in order to let what has already been seen by our spirit to now be seen in the physical. We can hear that voice nudging us to action, speaking things we already know. Whatever the circumstance is that voice always is speaking to us. People in your life may not understand why you choose to do what it is you do. They may step away from you, talk behind your back and even spread rumours. During these times being bold and unapologetic is what will deflect their ignorance. Leaders always experience this because they can see what most people cannot see, they are able to tune into a frequency that most have not mastered.

I have always been told that I was different, I always stood out from the crowd and it was not because I tried. After so many years of fighting my "different" status I am over joyed to accept who I am and honestly I could care less who wants to talk, I use it as my motivation.

Happy Growing,



Natalie

Model Moment: Frida







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Frida is a sixteen year old model discovered last year in London, England while riding the tube. She is of Grenadian and English descent and is your typical sixteen year old, she loves Alicia Keys, chocolate and shopping at Hollister. Currently, she is represented by Verve a devision of Select Models, to see more of this young beauty click here.