BLACKSTRANDS

From Curly to Straight – And Back Again

Bart Van Damme/ flickr

Bart Van Damme/ flickr

So lately I’ve been feeling the itch to straighten for whatever reason….

Okay, the real reason being that I just ordered the hot pink solia flat iron, and I’m dying to put it use as soon as my package comes in :O>

Best believe, there will be all types of hell to pay if this iron isn’t all its cracked up to be – but either way it will be 10 times better than the Revlon play-play iron I have now – which does NOT heat up enough to press transitioning hair (not my thick texture at least). I want an flat iron that’s an investment – one that can handle the fully natural head of hair in my near future!

That being said, I look forward to telling you all about the results. And trust me, I wont hold back. lol

I’ve heard great things about this flat iron, and from the looks of things, it should hold up for quite some time considering the fact that I hardly ever straighten now-a-days….Too much heat (esp when transitioning) is a big no-no.

So until then, you can admire with me as I summon UPS to ship a little bit faster.

pink-solia

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

CONDITIONER CUES: A Curly Girl’s Guide To Lush Hair

Ruben Bos/ flickr

Ruben Bos/ flickr

Is anyone else so over the winter? I am! Can you tell by the big tropical pic I posted? lol

But in moving on to more relevant topics…

I mentioned Lorraine Massey (author of Curly Girl) in an earlier post, and I thought it might helpful to add an update on the curly hair expert. The San Franciso Chronicle did an interview with the author/stylist, and in the piece Massey revealed some great tips for buying quality conditioners. Ms. Massey is known for advocating anti-shampoo regimens, which can be too harsh and drying for curly/kinky hair, so I found the piece to be very insightful. A key rule to remember:  CURLS NEED MOISTURE!!

If you are a curly-kinky chick, then you know that frequent conditioning is a MUST, so here’s an excerpt from the story that may help you during your next beauty-supply spree :O>

Pick the right conditioner. Massey says that reading the labels of conditioners is key, but this can be confusing since so many ingredients just add to the thickness, fragrance, or look of the product itself and have no benefit for the hair. “I suggest that you avoid conditioners with silicones–this means no products with ingredients whose names end in -one,” Massey says. “Although they do add temporary shine, I find they weigh down hair.” So what ingredients should you look for? Massey says every conditioner should contain at least one ingredient from the following four categories:

  • Emmollients–shea butter, vegetable oils, wheat germ, olive or walnut oils.
  • Proteins–Wheat, wheat germ, soy protein.
  • Humectants–Panthenol, vegetable glycerine, sorbitol.
  • Moisturizers–Amino acids and aloe vera.

Follow the link to read the rest of the article –> 7 Tips For Going ‘No Poo’

:: Hope this helps ::

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

TWIST AND CORNROW TUTORIAL: PART 1

Carf/ flickr

Carf/ flickr

Okay.

When it comes to my at-home styling skills, I’ve been getting pretty good. I can do the perm rods, roller sets and I’ve been flat ironing since high school, so that’s a done deal. I’ve even perfected a few buns, which I rock regularly as protective styles.

BUT…(there’s always that but)

When it comes to any sort of twist or cornrow style, it seems like my fingers become lame. The hair looks too loose and puffy, and I can’t help feeling like its not worth it doing 10 more rows — I know, I’m impatient.

This whole trial and error process is even more frustrating because of the fact that I especially love flat twists!

So, I’ve decided to share a video I found on youtube.  The woman in the tutorial goes step by step …which I am both appreciative of and dependent on… well, at least for the time being. She also shows two different techniques: regular flat twists and two strands twists.

This way you can upgrade to the more complicated technique if you wish. Graduate to the two strand twists lol

With a little practice I’m sure I can perfect this look, as any of you flat (or two strand) twist fans can do as well at home.

I’ll save the cornrow tutorials and tips for another day!

Look out for pics, if and when I master this technique!

:: Happy Styling ::

Filed under: Uncategorized

BLACK MEN ON THE JOB

Is little to no hair "the business" for black men?                                       Carol Nicora/ flickr

Is little to no hair "the business" for black men? Carol Nicora/ flickr

First of all, I owe all the readers a big E-Hug for my week away lol

Every now and then a vacation and/or break is in order for sanity.

SO, in getting back in the swing of things…

One issue I’ve been thinking about lately is natural hairstyles and men.

Supposedly, attitudes towards black women who wear their natural hair in the workplace are shifting. *please reminisce with me to the Glamour Magazine drama in 2007*

After awhile this had me thinking…where does that leave the brothas?

It’s kind of a completely different ball game for them, simply because of the status quo: All men are usually expected to cut their hair in a corporate setting. Regardless of race – whether black, white, Latino, Asian, or whatever – once things start inching past the roots, its away with the hair for most fellas.

Although corporate settings in larger cities (like Chicago, New York, Atlanta etc) may give brothas a little lee-way. It seems that natural (or even afro-centric) hair styles are being seen more and more as a woman’s prerogative. If a woman ditches relaxers for whatever reason (damage due to chemicals, embracing her identity, etc) and rocks more natural styles – it’s not necessarily assumed that she’s hair politicking in the office. For guys, however, it may be a different story.

heather-parker-flickr

Heather Parker/ flickr

I found a BNET article from 2001 (click the link to read) that talks about this issue a bit more, but I wonder… how much have things changed over the last 8 years – if at all?

My questions to you are…

What’s your opinion on natural styles (like neatly kempt corn rows, dreds, twists, etc) on black men  in the work place?  Do you think  employers handle  things  fairly? Do you even think that black women are getting less slack for rocking natural styles- do your experiences suggest otherwise?

And for the men out there, how do you feel about the matter? Any personal stories or perspectives?

:: I’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts::

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

A BUY THAT’S WORTH IT: NOURISH AND SHINE

Nourish and Shine - from the Jane Carter Solution line

I think I’ve been using Nourish and Shine long enough to give it my official stamp of approval. This product is well worth the $22 (in my opinion), because the ingredients are great and you can use it to your heart’s content for just about everything.

It’s great for your hair, skin, feet – and a dab will do you. This stuff is concentrated, so the jar should last you for quite a spell. I usually use this after I wash my hair, to seal in moisture. It has a kind of strong grapefruity smell, but its actually pretty pleasant, as a small amount should be sufficient. This stuff moisturizes well — within a few minutes you will probably notice the absorption – and softer hair (or skin).

While doing some research for a story a while back, I actually spoke with a dermatologist about great natural products.  Believe it or not, the Director of the Skin of Color Center in NY, Andrew F. Alexis,  recommended this product! I couldn’t help but to interrupt with, “I just started using that!” lol

With that said, even though money is tight, I would give this product two thumbs up. It definitely makes the cut for my ultimate buys list.

The ingredients??

Shea butter, Kokum butter, Illippe butter, Mango butter, Vitamins A, D, & E, pear and grapefruit essential oils.

Where can you get it?

Jane Carter Solution

my well-used jar of goodness

my well-used jar of goodness

For any of you that may be wondering about the product’s size and consistency, I took some bootleg pictures with my Samsung  ;O>

If you’re going to dish out the dough, you should know what to expect in some respect.

Like I said, a couple of dabs should do (for your hair)

Like I said, a couple of dabs should do!

:: Hope this helps ::

Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized, , ,

How Black Women are Beautifying on a Budget!

YoHandy/ flickr

YoHandy/ flickr

Hello Ladies!

As everyone knows….

MONEY IS TIGHT.

BUT, we still have to find ways to look our best and keep up our swagger. Right?

I thought it might help to share some thoughts I garnered from a wider array of women (whom I talked to back in December).

Edress, 39- “I’m using up everything I have before buying anymore cosmetics.”

on how the economy’s changed her beauty routines: “It’s the same scaling back I should have been doing before the recession.”

Ria, 42- “I’m still going to buy my cosmetics,” said the Lancôme counter manager at the downtown Brooklyn Macy’s. “I’ll cut down on my usage.”

on buying cheaper/changing brands: “Going to something that might not work for me, will cost me more in the long run. It will tend to make me break out.”

Evelyn, 21- ” I’m a product junkie, but I prefer doing my hair myself,” said the college student while shopping in the Carol’s Daughter Harlem store.

on being a broke college student and still keeping up with her hair: “I make my own natural concoctions sometimes”

Amanda, 33– “If I can see you do it, I can do it myself,” she said while trying to find a holding spray for her short hair (to avoid going to the salon every week). The assistant in payroll accounts held out her manicured hands, “Last year I started doing it myself.”

on maintaining her short hair (cut a year 1/2 ago) : “I thought it would have been easier, but I’m comfortable with the way it is.”

Valerie, 50- “Because of my hair -it’s locked-I can do it myself,” she said in a local Duane Reade while shopping with her 16-year-old daughter for hair products. “It usually costs me $80, but it lasts for three months.”

With her?” she said pointing towards her teenager. “Its every two weeks. It costs me more.”

on having locks: “It’s easier to manage and cheaper.”

*This is a repost*

Filed under: Uncategorized