Hair Mavens: Sydney Tamiia Poitier

Jeff Balke / flickr

Jeff Balke / flickr

I think we’re past due for a new edition to Hair Mavens :

So kudos to Sydney Tamiia Poitier

As if Sidney Poitier being your father isn’t fabulous enough, this hair maven carries around more than just the acting legacy of her  pops. In case you hadn’t noticed, she rocks a mane that goes on for days (and yes, ITS HERS). Her acting roster isn’t too shabby either. This 5′ 11” natural beauty has touted notable roles, from the big screen (Grindhouse) to network dramas, like Knight Rider and Joan of Arcadia.

Jeff Balke / flickr
Jeff Balke / flickr

Here, I’d usually have a segment that reveals some beauty tips or hair regimens from Ms. Poitier….but this sista was pretty elusive! I decided to add her to the roster regardless of my failure to dig up the goods :>

Hopefully, her mane can give us a heightened sense of mystery and self-motivation.

After all, other manes may inspire you, but you should never love a head of hair — or learn to nurture one —  like your own!

:: Grow on ::


Filed under: Hair Mavens,


Laura Billings / flickr

Laura Billings / flickr

I’ve heard some very mixed opinions about henna.

Since I’ve put color in my hair (it’s actually 7 months grown out), I’ve been wondering about color treatments that are less harsh on the hair.  I’m aware that henna is a pretty permanent step to take (once you henna, its not wise to go back to chemical dyes, rinses, color treatments, ect) — but I have to admit, most of the henna treatments I’ve seen have come out so vibrant.

While doing some research on henna, I found a helpful article by Wahine at that lists some pros and cons of trying henna:


  • 100% natural
  • Cost effective compared to a trip to the salon
  • Will not damage hair
  • Easy to upkeep
  • Beautiful highlights


  • Limited color selection (recipe section later in article)
  • Color depends on natural shade of hair
  • Messy
  • Dyes skin in addition to hair (temporary)
  • Henna prevents future use of chemical dyes and perms, due to it’s unique coating of the hairshaft. This can last months.
  • Time consuming depending on the desired intensity of color

If you do your homework to find a legit seller, henna can curtail a lot of stress and damage to your hair (compared to using most store-bought hair dyes). Natural henna powders/treatments can  give your hair more shine, less curl shrinkage and wonderful dimensions of color.

HOWEVER, henna is not for the impulsive!! Buying the wrong brand or applying the wrong way, can set your hair health way back (henna application can be wearisome – especially if you want to produce certain shades/colors that are further away from the red spectrum).

So when looking for effective coloring alternatives, do your research to avoid disappointment!

Have any of you tried henna? Do you know someone whose had beautiful results or a henna nightmare? Please share.

Henna Sooq / flickr

Henna Sooq / flickr

Wanna read more on henna color treatments?? Click the link – How to Henna Your Hair

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flickr / looseends

flickr / looseends

That’s right.

Honey is a great way to give your hair that extra boost that it needs. Sometimes the greatest treat you can give your hair, is the simplest one…right in your kitchen cabinet!

How should you incorporate honey into your hair regimen??

Just add 2-3 teaspoons (or squirts) to your normal shampoo or conditioner, then wash as usual. If you really want to treat yourself, you can add honey to your conditioner, plus whatever essential oil(s) you use (EVOO, jojoba, rosemary etc) and warm it up for 10 seconds or so. After mixing up your concoction, you can leave it on for 15-20 minutes before washing out.

Simple as that :>

What are the benefits of using honey for the hair?

– gives your hair a natural shine

moisturizes your hair (great for dry tresses)

– coats strands to help protect hair from damage (styling tools, weather, etc)

– great for cleansing your hair of product build-up

One thing to keep in mind:

Honey has been known to gradually lighten some people’s hair, so if you use color – or you wish to maintain a very dark look- this treatment may not be suited for you. Some women actually do natural honey treatments to achieve subtle, lighter shades.

:: Food for thought ::

Wanna read more ways you can enhance your beauty regimen with honey?? Click the link

8 Honey Beauty Tips – ezinearticles

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CARF/ flickr

CARF/ flickr

Although, I try to stay away from direct heat – like blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons-  as much as possible (this is coming from someone who used to fry their hair once a week, if not more, in their high school days), I  still realize that, as women, we love to change it up every now and then with our hair!

Once every 2 months or so, I will straighten (via flat iron or blow-out) and I’ve definitely learned a lot over time about flat iron do’s and dont’s.

Here’s my own list of the right and wrong ways of straightening things up!


1. Section your hair after conditioning (this should actually follow every wash). 2 or 4 sections should do – then use a wide-tooth (preferably seamless) comb to detangle each section.

2. Blow-dry with a  diffuser (if u cant air dry or use a hooded dryer), which will help to evenly distribute heat

3. Apply a heat protectant or serum before flat ironing

*a cone-free serum you might like?? Elasta QP Silk*


1. Assume the sizzle means your hair is “straightening up” like it should. lol

It’s going straight alright. Straight from your head to the bathroom floor!

2. Use oil as a heat protectant. Oil  + Heat = a home cooked meal, and in this case,  cooked hair.

3. Forget to treat your ends with care. While your roots may need a once over, you generally shouldn’t run the iron over your ends repeatedly.

Please leave your own flat-ironing or straightening tips in the comments section. Add to the knowledge!

:: Happy Styling ::

Want more info on how to straighten your hair without the stress of heat damage?? – “3 Ways to Protect Your Hair from Heat – “Flat Iron Buying Guide

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SILICONES AND YOUR HAIR: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

sparky/ flickr

sparky/ flickr

The debate on silicones and hair goes on….

While some women believe that cones (silicones) can be damaging to the hair, many others believe their hair thrives with moderate use of cone-based products (like serums, polishers, and “smoothing” shampoos).

But, lets start with what silicones are in relation to your hair…

Cones are usually used as insulators and sealants, they are also a great means of heat-resistance (thus being the reason why so many heat-protectant products have silicones in them).While its obvious that cones make for a great means of protecting your hair from heat damage, many argue that cones only give temporary help to the hair by coating and smoothing the shaft.

The big hoopla seems to be that cones give great appearance, but eventually lead to build-up. (although I can personally attest that Apple Cider Vinegar can clarify almost any product build-up away!)

Before you fall asleep, here’s a very helpful cheat sheet I found at curlgirljourney. blogspot

It turns out that some cones are pretty efficient for curly/kinky textures, while some are better off left on the shelf!

Here’s the scoop on which cone-laden ingredients to look (and look out) for:

Not water soluble (Will buildup in hair)
1. Cetearyl methicone
2. Cetyl dimethicone
3. Cyclopentasiloxane
4. Dimethicone
5. Dimethiconol
6. Stearyl dimethicone
7. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Slightly soluble (May cause buildup in hair, but some may wash out with co-wash)
1. Amodimethicone
2. Cyclomethicone
3. Behenoxy dimethicone
4. Stearoxy dimethicone

“Curly Girl approved” Water Soluble (Will not buildup)
1. Dimethicone copolyol
2. Hydrolyzed wheat protein hydroxypropyl polysiloxane
3. Lauryl methicone copolyol
4. Silicones with PEG listed before it

:: Hope this helps ::

Wanna read more on silicones and your hair?? Follow the link:


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Tim Monzon/ flickr

Tim Monzon/ flickr

Hello Ladies!

Although my goal is to share what I know with readers, I’m the first to admit that I don’t and can’t know it all….

With that said, I would love to hear some feedback from BLACKSTRANDS readers.

What would you like to see more of?

What questions are on your hearts (and heads ;>) ?

What product or beauty regimen recommendations do you have?

What haven’t I posted on, that you think is hot in the beauty market?

you can email me directly at or leave your comments!

:: thanks ::

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