November 30, 2009

Black Soap as a Hair Cleansing Agent: Part One

I have been using the Eli's brand Liquid Black Soap to cleanse my hair and it was not doing a fantastical job like I had hoped. My bar of Black Soap finished so I found this laying around and thought why not? I washed my hair six times last night and product residue and dirt was still coming out of my hair and scalp, I hadn't washed my hair for about 3 weeks, just co-washing so that may have something to do with it but I do feel six washes is excessive. The crazy thing about it is my hair is so soft even after that many washes. I am convinced that the brand of Black Soap determines the quality, not every Black Soap is made equal.

My hair is still not clean the way I would like it to be, I'm itching to use a sulfate shampoo, we'll see. This is just an update on using Black Soap as a cleansing agent for hair, so far I have mixed reviews.

November 25, 2009

Qhemet Biologics Black Friday Sale!!!!!

Qhemet Biologics is having their Black Friday Sale on November 27th at 7 AM EST and ends November 27th at 11 PM EST with 20% off all orders over $34.00!!!!

The coupon code is CULTURE and will only be active during the 16 hour sale window! Enter the coupon code at check-out.

Henna: The Mixture and Some Info

Products Used

Goorej Henna: This henna has Mehendi, Amla, Brahmi, and Bhringraj. It list on the package 100% Natural Mehendi and is a very affordable at $2.99 CAD for a 200 g package at my local East Indian Market.

Neem Seed Oil: This oil is directly imported from India and is an amazing oil, I love it in this mixture and also as a hot oil treatment and added into my deep conditioners, I also purchased it at my local East Indian Market for around $7.00 CAD.

Water: I used as needed to create the consistency I wanted, which was a thick paste.

Another point I would like to make is that East Indian Markets are very affordable for products that are marketed by some companies as 'exotic' and 'rare'. Henna and neem seed oil are not expensive products but many people who are not familiar with these products think they need to spend upward of $20.00 or more for henna and a ridiculous $40.00 a bottle for neem seed oil which by the way is heavily refined and deodorized by many of these companies. The neem seed oil pictured has a very distinct nut smell that is strong but is all natural and unrefined, which is always the best kind of oil to use.

If you live in or around a large urban city especially one that has a large East Indian population check out their markets for very affordable products that are unrefined and organic and don't let slick advertisements get you spending crazy amounts of money on products that are no different from what the East Indian markets sell.

How I mixed

First I mixed half the package of henna with water and about 1 to 2 ounces of neem seed oil. I thought the amount in the third picture would be enough but I changed my mind and added in the remaining amount and added water to achieve the final consistency of the mixture. This was too much, next time I know to only use 100 g of this package and save the remaining half pack in a Ziploc bag for a future treatment.

Henna: Application

I realized that I only needed to use half of the 200 g pack, next time I know. The application was pretty easy and I didn't have too much henna transferred to objects in my bathroom because the mixture was pretty thick, I prefer it that way. I left the henna in my hair for about an hour and a half than rinsed out and applied my deep conditioner.

Henna: After Deep Conditioning

Product Used

Aveda Dry Remedy Treatment Masque (Deep Conditioner)

My hair had a slight brownish-red tint to it which I'm fine with since it's subtle. The reason why I tried the henna was to try a natural source of strengthening my hair. I love the results, my hair is stronger my coils were popping and I had plenty of body. One thing that I experienced with this henna was that it's hard to rinse out. Be careful to rinse rigorously since after a few days of using the henna it stained my pillow cases when I went to bed. I had to co-wash a few days after because so much of the pigment was still in my hair. In my opinion this is the only draw back but if you have used henna before than you know this is common place.

Henna is definitely a product I will use regularly, most likely every 6 months to maintain my hair's strength and luster.

Henna: Plaits and Results

Products Used

Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream (moisturizer)
Jamaican Black Castor Oil (Sealant on length of hair and scalp lubricant)

I love it, I got so much luster and my hair felt healthier!

November 20, 2009

Are You Fearless?

Are you fearless? Do you put aside your fears to accomplish your goals? All of us have dealt with fear but their are some people who refuse to let fear play into the choices they make in life. Whether that is to just be who you are without thinking what people think of you, commit to your goals in life, speak your mind and do things that make you happy without being held to how the world will perceive you.

Fear is an emotion that eats away at who you are and encases you into a proverbial box unable to see beyond the norm of what is expected of you. Fear is dangerous in that it is an invisible shackle that weighs you down or keeps you at a certain place in life. I always tell myself after observing people that enjoy their career, I mean they truly love what they do is that they have overcome invisible obstacles that came along at each stage in the form of fear - by friends and family telling them they were taking too much risk, spectators that pretended to support them but sabotaged their plans by throwing a monkey wrench into the mix or plain haters that are there to motivate.

Fear cannot exist where their is an abundance of love, from love their comes faith and hope and many people think they are all separate emotions and feelings but they are all connected. Love encourages and it never gives up, fear says it can't be done and tries to find every excuse to prove why you should sit down and give up. By pushing forward even when you stumble you define yourself and demand respect from others.

If you want to attain your goals you can, no one has control over your dreams, and ideas live on and cannot be destroyed if they come from truth. Being fearless is key in achieving your goals and doing what is needed to prepare your self is essential because the preparation time is the learning curve when you are sharpened and refined. I say all this because I see how fear can make people make the wrong decisions and sometimes make no decisions at all, I say this because fear is parasitic and can destroy a person and I say this because fear can be overcome.

Be fearless in all you do and do everything in love, life becomes so much clearer. We all know what our true feelings are and what motivates us, placing the world's view of who we are on ourselves is impossible, you can't please everyone. Life is about learning, don't fear the unknown, embrace it.

November 18, 2009

Skin Care: Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap

Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap is as pure as it gets. I was eyeing this soap for almost a year when I was still heavily addicted to my Dove soap bars and wasn't sure if it would 'work', so I passed it by until a few weeks ago when I made a conscious decision no longer use tallow based soaps but instead to use all natural and vegetable based soaps.

I am very please I made this choice. Kiss my Face is an amazing brand, I encourage anyone who wants to lessen synthetic or animal based products in their routine to check out this brand. As most of you already know I am a dedicated user of Kiss My Face Big Body Shampoo and Conditioner, so I wasn't in the dark concerning the quality products they offer.

This huge bar of soap cleans my skin effectively and leaves it soft and smooth. I love that it is fragrance free since I have sensitive skin and it has very few ingredients so it is great for people who have adverse reactions to many ingredients put into products nowadays. Another point I would like to make is the price verse amount. The bar of soap is 230 g or 8.0 oz, when I used Dove bars a 4 pack cost just under $4.00 CAD and each bar is 90 g so (90 g x 4 = 360 grams of soap), basically what I am saying is that the Kiss My Face soap is also around $4.00 CAD for a bar and for one and a half bars less of product you get natural goodness with Kiss My Face. You do spend a little bit more but the quality you get is amazing and the bar last a long time.

Ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil, Water, Sodium Chloride

Bye Bye Dove, I found a new love (It was just too easy, I had to say it!lol)

My Denmans: My Third and Final Say...

I tried with this brush, I really did but it is just awful. I tried it on dry hair to smooth, bad idea. I tried it to detangle, bad idea. I tried it on moisturized or conditioned hair to smooth my hair, bad idea. This brush only pulls out my hair and breaks it. My Denmans will be committed to the trash.

For a few weeks after my second post on my Denmans I was using it to smooth my hair and I noticed my hair began to thin out which included my hair line. I will not even try to use this brush again, too bad I really wanted it to work. I use my wide tooth combs, styling combs, toothbrush and my boar brush to style and manage my hair, that's enough for me. I would love to hear your experience with your Denmans.

Product Review: Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque

I have been excited to review the Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque . To be honest I was a little apprehensive because of some of the ingredients but after using it over the past few weeks I am sold. I used this treatment masque two weeks in a row. First, for dry conditioning and than the conventional way after I cleansed with black soap. I will say that this treatment is not to be used weekly on my hair because by the second treatment my hair was 'too soft'. This treatment seems more suited as a bi-weekly treatment to maintain and add essential moisture to your hair especially in the winter months. You can use this treatment with or without heat, the results are relatively the same. An amazing part about using this treatment is that I noticed my hair actually absorbed it. When I removed my conditioning cap my hair had absorbed most of the masque and after rinsing and setting my hair it was sooo soft, frizzless and incredibly manageable. This is a definite keeper.

I actually got the product in August because it was my birthday month, you get $10.00 off at Aveda in the month of your birthday toward any purchase. Next time I go to Aveda to stock up on this treatment I will be purchasing the 8.5 fl oz tube. One draw back that may concern you is that the 4.2 fl oz tube gave me about 3 treatments to my length of hair which is around 10 inches at its longest parts and this treatment is not cheap, I may have been heavy handed but I will see over the coming weeks if that is the case as I get more use to using it. I love Aveda, its one high end brand that I don't mind splurging on. If I use this conditioner twice a month along with my Nature's Gate and Qhemet Biologics Heavy Cream I'm sure I will be fine for the rest of the winter with the 8.5 fl oz tube.

Performance: Amazing! I love the results, this is a keeper. My hair was soft, manageable and frizz free and the results lasted over a week! 2/2

Price: 28.50 CAD for 4.2 fl oz tube, pricey but worth every penny in my opinion. 2/2

Ingredients: Aqeuous (Water/Aqua/Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alchohol, Dimethicone, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Buruti oil, Pomegranate Sterols, Orbignya Speciosa Kernel oil, Astrocaryun Murumuru seed butter, Tocopherol, Ethyl Macadamiate, Vinegar, Sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, jojoba seed oil, Babassuamidopropyltrimonium methosulfate, distearyldimonium chloride, Behentrimonium chloride, Polyquarternium-10, Behenamidopropyltrimonium methosulfate, centrimonium chloride, dimethiconol, tricaprylyl citrate, dimethiconol meadowfoamate, glyceryl caprylate, dicaprylate maleate, palmamidopropyl trimonium methosulfate, alcohol denat., parfum, geraniol, limonene, Citronella, Eugenol, Linalool, Citral, citric acid, Sodium gluconate, potassium sorbate .5/1

**This masque contains silicones so you may want to steer clear if you are silicone sensitive. I am to an extent but so far so good, I will definitely keep you posted on any changes that may occur.

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque 4.5/5

November 12, 2009

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is the unrefined oil from the castor bean which has no relation to the bean family and has numerous names in other countries such as L'huille Maskerti in Haiti and is the only member of the genus ricinus family. The plant is only native to Africa but has been introduced to other tropical climates around the world.

I have been using Jamaican Black Castor Oil for about 5 years now in my deep conditioners and I love it. Recently, I started using it as a night treatment for my scalp and hair and it has really made a difference in keeping my scalp lubricated and retaining moisture and promoting growth for my hair.

Currently, my hair is plaited up since I'm wearing my wig this week. I use my spray bottle to mist my hair and scalp and than I pour a small amount of the oil at a time in a small bowl and use my fingers to apply it to my scalp and the length of my hair concentrating on the ends, than I place my satin bonnet on for bed.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil helps your hair to

Retain moisture when used as a sealant
Deep conditions your hair when mixed with your favourite conditioner
Lubricates and protects your scalp from the environment
Promotes hair growth
Thickens you hair (great for thinning eyebrows)
Helps to retain length when applied regularly to the ends of hair and protected by twisting, braiding or tucking the ends at night or throughout the day

Ingredients: Squalene


[skwey-leen] n. A colorless unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon, C30H50, found especially in human sebum and in the liver oil of sharks, that is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol and is used in biochemical research.

Basically, squalene is produced from an enzyme reaction within plants and animals. In animals it is called lanosterol and in plants it called cycloartenol. Squalene is present in many cosmetics, moisturizers, hair dyes, and surface-active agents. The alternatives to derive squalene from are vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, etc. ranks squalene as a 1 meaning it is of low hazard. Their have been numerous reports in the media regarding a link to squalene to adverse reactions when used in vaccines. It is not clear how the squalene used in these vaccines are derived whether from shark liver oil or vegetable oils and furthermore how the squalene is processed in order to be mixed with the vaccine.

It is always best to do your own research regarding 'questionable' ingredients in many of our favourite products.


November 10, 2009

I Heart Black Soap

I have been using Black Soap for cleansing my hair and all I have to say is "what took me so long?" I have officially stopped using sulfate shampoos and am so happy. If you haven't tried Black Soap on your skin and hair try it.

I use Black Soap for washing my body and hair and it has made my regimen so much more simplistic and healthier. I wash my hair with it once since it can be stripping especially if you use all natural products on your hair. Natural products are usually water soluble so you don't need to do numerous washes to rid your hair of natural oils or butters and even my Qhemet Biologics products dissolve easily with Black Soap.

If I use it twice in my hair it is more so for clarifying build up but I haven't done that as yet so I will definitely keep you posted.

Skin Care: My Products

My skin care regimen is pretty simple. I wash with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream for sensitive/combination skin in the morning and night, (you only need a very small amount to wash your face, the tube last about 4 to 5 months). I moisturize each time after cleansing with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Perfective Non-Oily Emulsion. This moisturizer is thin in consistency but is very effective for very oily skin. Lastly, I scrub my face weekly with a mixture of dark brown sugar and baking soda with a little water added to make a loose paste.

I love eye cream and right now I'm in the process of choosing one. The last one I used caused my eyes to twitch uncontrollably, I think it was the plant extract in it that was trying to tighten my skin but it became too much for me so I stopped using it. More than likely I will buy the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes.

If you live in Canada you can pick up La Roche-Posay products at your local Shoppers Drug Mart

Let me know what you use for your skin care regimen.

November 8, 2009

Techniques: Mid-Week Steam Treatments

We have talked at length about the products we use in our hair but the most important part of hair care is technique. With the right technique we can achieve healthier hair and protect our hair against unnecessary damage. A quick technique that has helped my styles stay fresh like my mini twists is doing a mid - week steam treatment.

This is so easy, it won't take too much time to do. I simply take my avocado oil which is in an applicator bottle and place it directly on my scalp and throughout my hair before I have a shower or bath (be careful not to use too much avocado oil since it spreads very easily). After applying your desired amount work very gently through your hair and scalp and than jump into the shower or bath and enjoy about 20 to 30 minutes of the natural steam from your shower treating your hair. When I come out my hair has so much movement and is so soft, I love it!
Of course you can do this technique with you favourite hair oil.

Try it out and tell me how it works for you.

November 6, 2009

Model Moment: Eligha Ojoko

Eligha Ojoko is a new comer to the world of fashion and is definitely someone to watch. she was born in Sudan and arrived to America with her family seven years ago. She is "MAJOR" and ofcourse signed with Major Model Management, that explains it all. To check out her entire porfolio visit her here.

Naturally Loved: Part Thirteen

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about how my hair has evolved throughout my life. My hair has grown, been cut, styled and grown again depending on my moods and styles of how I wanted to express myself. One thing that I can say that has been true for me is that it is so important to know yourself and be comfortable with who you are, and that includes your personal style. I like having my own style and my hair is a big part of that.

On another note, it amazes me how concerned people have become with my hair as I have become less in tune with what people think about it. My hair just is, its mine and that's about it, it's just hair. Yes it's beautiful, yes it's versatile and yes women of colour can have healthy natural hair.

I have been enjoying the weather as it has changed and I do feel a new leaf has turned in my journey. I am loving my hair and it is loving me back. Our hair is truly a reflection of who we are and where we are at in life. The most important thing I can tell a woman who has recently embraced her natural hair is to not care about what people say concerning your decision to wear your hair naturally. I am sure many people will be positive and will wish you well, the fact is that you must know that you are beautiful whether someone tells you so or not. You don't need someone to validate you. Once you get to that place no one can rain on your parade.

November 4, 2009

The Coil Review: Art Imitating Life

Check out the November issue of The Coil Review! One of my contributing articles is featured this month, Art Imitating Life. To view the article click here.

November 3, 2009

Please Forgive Me

I have been so busy with school. I need a few more credits to graduate with a Bachelor of Honours in English and History from The University of Toronto so please bear with me. I will be posting in the next few days, here are some topics I'm working on in no particular order:

Naturally Loved: Part Thirteen
Model Moment: ?
Plantain Moisture Masque
Protective Styles: Mini Twists
Techniques: Part One
Product Review: Aveda Dry Remedy Treatment
Product Review: Taliah Waajid African Healing Oyl
Third and Final Words on My Denmans...
My Products and Routine (a lot has changed)
BBS: Great Finds

Thanks Gals!