Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Lala

Lala is another type 4 natural with healthy, waistlength hair (when stretched).  In the video below, hear her discuss her simple bi-weekly regimen:

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REVIEW #14: Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum

NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.

Purpose: Frizz-fighting, smoothing gloss with thermal protection

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alcohol Denat., Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Silk, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sprout Extract, Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum).

Number of trials: 1

How I used it:
Applied to freshly washed and conditioned hair that was dried.  Hair was then flat ironed.


This product is amazing all around.  Compared to other heat protectants I've tried in the past (e.g., Redken and Proclaim), Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum left my hair shinier and feeling smoother and lighter.  There was no added weight or stiffness due to application of the product.  Additionally, it functioned well as a protectant; my hair reverted after a wash and didn't suffer heat damage.  Could I ask for anything more?  Well, I got more.  This product also has a very pleasant, natural scent leaving your tresses smelling divine.  The scent is almost addictive.  Additionally, the combination of Carol's Daughter, dry weather, and good heat styling allowed my hair to stay frizz-free for up to two weeks.  Aside from all of these positives, the only downside to this product is the cost of $18.  However, I think it's worth the price.

PROS: addictive pleasant smell, adds nice shine to hair, leaves hair feeling smooth and lightweight, provides sufficient thermal protection
CONS: expensive ($18)

RATING: Overall, I give the Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum 5 out of 5 stars.  

This product is ideal for those who frequently:
- flat-iron
- blow dry

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jojoba oil, Wax, & Relaxers

According to one study, most conditioning agents in relaxer kits break down and have no effect by the time the consumer uses them. This finding implies that using some level of added conditioning while relaxing may minimize damage. What is the best conditioner? According to a second study, jojoba oil is amongst the best at protecting the hair while relaxing (with thioglycolate-based relaxers). Polymethylene wax (in conjunction with other substances) is beneficial for the traditional NaOH- and LiOH-based relaxers.  For further reading, check out the links below.

Originally posted as part of the "Retaining the Hair You Grow" series.



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Oldies, But Goodies

Amodimethicone, Castor Oil for Sheen?
Homemade Spa Treatment
Household Makeup Removers
Oh Honey, Honey ... Deep Conditioners
Nape Breakage?
Healthy Hairstyling: The Twistout

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Simple, Healthy Recipes for a Busy Schedule

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

The second I wake up in the morning, the first thing that runs through my mind is the long list of things that I need to try to get done that day. That includes fitting in my working out and trying to eat/snack on HEALTHY things.

With busy schedules, that may be tough some days. What are some suggestions to help with this problem? Plan a cooking day. I have one (or two days depending on the week) that I will cook a few things and divide them up into the right portion sizes and put them in Tupperware in my refrigerator. This helps me out by allowing me the option to have several things ready when I am in a hurry and need to grab dinner or lunch. If you make two or three recipes (and most recipes have a serving size of 4-6) this will give you PLENTY of meals for that week. I also make a few so that I am not eating the same thing each day. I will also try to make things that I can slightly change from meal to meal. By adding pasta, rice, a salad, or something else I can give the meal a slightly different look and taste.

Here are a few examples of some simple, healthy, and non-expensive meals that you can make for your menu:

Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms

4 servings
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Read more »

Citrus Fruits and Stroke

Sixteen years ago, my mother collapsed onto the hallway carpet of our apartment.  My sisters and I thought she had fainted, not realizing that she had just suffered a stroke.  Fortunately, she survived and recovered after months of hospitalization and therapy.  The catalyst of her stroke was high blood pressure.

A recently published study states that "citrus fruit consumption may be associated with a reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke."  It is the flavonoid, a substance found in citrus fruits, that is of interest in this association.  Further research is needed to confirm this connection, but in the mean time, you can read more about the current study in the links below.  Please consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet; certain foods (e.g., grapefruit) can react with stroke medications. 


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Healthy Hairstyling #6: Braid Extensions

I remember as a little girl sitting in a hard wooden chair while a woman braided my tresses. Tears rolled down my face as each strand on my head was pulled tightly to blend with the extension hair. I remember the final outcome: a head of protected hair with which my Mom and I did not have to bother for the next three months.

Braid extensions were painful in those days, but over time I've learned that that does not have to be the case. I've also learned valuable lessons for proper care of the hair while in braids. Some lessons have come with experience. Some with mistakes. Some with advice from others. From Senegalese twists to micros to individuals to kinky twists, whatever braid extension style you choose to wear, it is important to know the truth about maintaining a healthy scalp and hair underneath it all. Let's dispel some myths:

MYTH: Braid extensions pull out the hair.
FACT: It depends on your scalp's condition, the way your braids are done, the duration of wear, and the care you give to your hair while in braids. Extremely tight braids may damage the follicle and also contribute to hair loss. Not properly caring for your hair while in braids may lead to hair breakage and loss. What are other factors? Leaving the extensions in for too long. Roughly removing the braids. Wearing heavy braid extensions. Wearing styles that tug on the hairline. Not re-doing the edges when needed. Avoid these habits and your hair will flourish. However, those with a sensitive scalp/hairline or a history of alopecia may want to refrain from braid extensions altogether.

MYTH: The only way for braid extensions to last long is if they are done excruciatingly tightly.
FACT: A big false on that one. Poorly done braids age quickly. Very loosely done braids age quickly. However, braids that are installed neatly and snugly (but comfortably) close to the scalp will last long. You do not have to go through severe red-blister-forming pain to achieve a long lasting braid style.

MYTH: It is okay to wear braid extensions for 6 months.
FACT: I do not recommend wearing braids for this long.  The length of wear depends on how fast your hair grows, how much your hair sheds, how quickly your hair locs, and other factors. The faster your hair growth rate, the shorter the time frame you can wear the extensions. The more your hair sheds, the shorter the time frame you can wear the braids. The quicker your hair locs, the shorter ... you get the point. Many people generally keep braid extensions in for 2 to 3 months.

MYTH: Deep protein treatments are required before installing braids.
FACT: It depends on what your hair needs. I recommend a deep conditioning session before installing braids, but whether your hair requires protein, moisture, or both is entirely up to your hair. Those with chemically straightened tresses may find a deep protein treatment followed by a moisturizing session most beneficial. Naturals, on the other hand, are a mixed bunch. I (natural) perform a strictly moisturizing deep treatment before installing braids because 1) my hair thrives on moisture and 2) my hair does not require protein. Learn what your hair needs.

MYTH: It is necessary to blow dry your hair before putting in braids.
FACT: It depends on whether you want to avoid heat, your schedule, etc. Before braiding, I stretch my hair via jumbo twists or big braids. Some people may stretch via banding or roller sets. Some people blow dry because it's more efficient, straightens better, etc.. Others simply braid their hair from its shrunken or regular state. Do not assume that blow drying is your only option for stretching your hair. If you want to avoid the heat usage and manipulation of blow drying, there are other methods.

MYTH: I do not have to wash my hair while in braid extensions.
FACT: It is simply good hygiene to cleanse every part of your body on a regular basis -- including your hair. How you cleanse your hair and how often depends on how quickly your hair gets dirty and how much product you use. Understand one thing though: being in braid extensions does not exclude you from having to wash your hair.

MYTH: It is not important to condition regularly while in braid extensions.
FACT: It is important to condition after each wash while in braids. In the past, I have retained length using Pantene Pro-V for about 10-15 minutes after each wash. That was all my hair required at the time. While transitioning, I used protein deep conditioners because my demarcation line and relaxed tresses were weak.  Learn what type of conditioner your hair needs. Some level of conditioning is necessary after washing, if at the very least, to smooth down the cuticles that have become raised during the cleansing process.

MYTH: I do not have to moisturize my hair while in braids.
FACT: Braids, particularly those done with synthetic hair (and even more so those done with yarn), have a tendency to suck the moisture from your hair. For this reason, it is important to moisturize regularly while in braids. Additionally, it is harder for sebum -- our natural conditioner -- to travel down to the ends of your hair. Thus, we must get our moisture from somewhere.

For a braid extension regimen, check out:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Body Wash Recipe: Meadow Milk Bath


  • Powdered Milk, finely sifted--4 oz
  • Citric Acid--2 oz
  • Corn starch--2 oz
  • Vitamin E Oil--One 400 IU Capsule (or Grapefruit Seed Oil--30 drops)
  • Jasmine--60 drops

Blend the powdered milk and corn starch, then sift. Mix vitamin E (or grapefruit seed oil) and Jasmine in CitricAcid. Make sure oils are thoroughly blended in the Citric Acid. Combine the Citric Acid blend with milk/corn starchblend.

Use 3 tablespoons per bath.

FOR MORE: 250 Bath Body Recipes

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reader's Question: How to Gain Weight

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

{Image Source}
Well I know when you think of health and fitness you think of ways to lose weight, but there are some people who desire to gain weight as opposed to losing weight. For some people it is hard to gain weight or they will gain weight but they will quickly lose it again. Here I will list some suggestions that may help those who want to gain weight the RIGHT way.

The main thing that needs to happen if you want to gain weight is that you need to take in more calories than you are burning each day. If you consume more calories than you can burn off, the end result is that you will gain weight. There is a great article HERE to help you learn the minimum of how much you need to eat each day to maintain your current body weight. For those who want to lose weight they would look at that article and consume FEWER calories than the recommended amount. But for those who want to gain weight you will eat MORE calories than the suggested amount.

According to THIS article I found they suggested some of the following tips when wanting to gain weight:

  • Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts).
  • Eat foods higher in calories, vitamins, and minerals, as opposed to higher in fat or sugar.
  • Pack more nutritious calories in each serving. For example, you may add grated cooked eggs to mashed potatoes, ground chicken to soups and gravies, cheese in casseroles, eggs, and soups, and nonfat dried milk in soups, shakes, milk, and mashed potatoes.
  • If you get too full too fast, try having more high-calorie foods or slices of foods as opposed to consuming the whole thing (raisins versus grapes, granola and Grape Nuts versus corn flakes, mango slices versus the whole mango).
  • Limit drinking beverages to a half-hour before and after a meal.
  • Drink mixed juices (apple/berry, peach/orange/banana as opposed to one juice beverages) for a higher calorie intake.
  • IF YOU ARE OF LEGAL DRINKING AGE: Try a small amount of alcohol (4 ounces of wine, 6 ounces of beer, or a half-ounce of liquor with juice) before a meal, as it could stimulate appetite. This recommendation must be cleared with your doctor, especially if you are on any medication. Too much alcohol can be detrimental to health, and could lessen your resolve for eating healthy.
  • With moderation, you may add in good fat sources to meals such as nuts, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).
  • Snack in between meals. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are good options, but it's also important to find nutritious foods that you will enjoy.
  • Have a nutritious snack before bedtime, such as a peanut butter sandwich.

Make sure that you try to eat every 3-4 hours. Waiting past that will not allow you the chance to consume more calories than your body is burning. You can also look into adding some type of protein supplement/powder to your diet. You can have a “liquid meal” in which you have a smoothie or juice in which you add the protein supplement/powder. It is also suggested that you consume a meal right before you go to bed.

I found an article HERE that lists a few foods to help you gain weight the HEALTHY way:

  • Grains: heavy, thick breads like whole wheat or pumpernickel, dense cereals such as grape nuts, granola, and raisin bran, bran muffins, bagels, wheat germ and flaxseed (add to yogurt or cereal)
  • Fruit: bananas, pineapple, raisins and other dried fruit, fruit juices, avocados
  • Vegetables: peas, corn, potatoes, winter squash
  • Dairy: cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt; add instant breakfast or powdered milk to low fat milk or yogurt 
  • Meat/Plant proteins: peanut butter and other nut butters, nuts and seeds, hummus
  • Other foods: any kind of instant breakfast or meal replacement drinks, honey, guacamole

Hope that these suggestions will help you give you some ideas to help you start to gain weight the HEALTHY way!

Please do not forget to check out for other health and fitness tips!

Study on Relaxers and Fibroids

The findings of a study at Boston University "raise the hypothesis that hair relaxer use increases" fibroids in women.  So can relaxers cause fibroids?  Further research is necessary, but the study points to a possibility.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthy Hair on Youtube: JoStylin

JoStylin is a type 4 natural with healthy waistlength hair (when stretched).  Listen to her hair care routine, which is an easy mix of braids and braidouts.  Keeping it simple is the name of the game!

Friday's Length Retention Tip!

Do you want to reach your goal? Then ...

adopt a low/no comb routine.  Combing the hair is a form of mechanical manipulation and may encourage breakage (Source).  Thus, keep combing to a minimum (e.g., once a month, every few months, or never).  If possible, opt for finger detangling instead.

Other tips:
*Use a wide tooth bone/resin comb instead of a regular comb
*Finger detangle on dry, lubricated, stretched hair
*Comb on damp, conditioner-soaked hair
*Toss out your brushes (denman, tangle teezer, paddle, etc.)

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Basic Regimen & Products for HEALTHY Relaxed Hair

    For "Basic Regimen & Products for HEALTHY Natural Hair", check this post.

    Part of perfecting a regimen is learning what your hair likes and dislikes. But before you reach that point ... before you come to know your hair, where do you begin?

    Prior to going natural, I was relaxed for several years.  During that period, I learned what to do and what not to do for my hair to thrive.  In this post, I list the basic "to do's" which I hope can be a good starting point for those who desire healthy relaxed tresses. In time, as you learn your hair, you can tweak these "basics":

    Damage can occur when the hair is relaxed too frequently.  It is important to allow sufficient new growth to accumulate before your next touch up session; this waiting period is called "stretching".  Another benefit to this technique is less exposure to the chemicals associated with relaxing.  The scalp gets a longer "break" between relaxing sessions.
    Many women with healthy relaxed hair "stretch" their relaxers for 3-6 months at a time, and I recommend the same to you.  During that period, do low manipulation styles in order to minimize breakage and tangling.

    A clean scalp is vital for healthy growth. Cleansing the hair is also a product of good hygiene. Start by washing your hair 1x a week and tweak it from there. In between washes, does your scalp or hair feel extra dirty? If so, increase the frequency of your washes. If your new growth is significant, I highly recommend washing in braided sections.
    Choosing a shampoo: It is ideal to invest in a weekly shampoo that lacks Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which are surfactants that may be too harsh for the hair and scalp. Instead, gravitate towards shampoos containing gentler cleansing agents to be on the safer side.
    Product recommendations: Giovanni Tea Tree, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo, Desert Essence Shampoos

    Whether you wash 1x a week or 3x a week, follow it up with a deep conditioning session. Why? Because each wash rinses away the benefits of the previous the deep conditioning session. Deep conditioners are important because they temporarily bind to (and sometimes penetrate into) the hair protecting and smoothing the strand until the next wash. Undo each braid, apply the conditioner, and rebraid. Put on a plastic bag and be sure to allow the conditioner to sit for at least 30 minutes.  Then detangle with a wide tooth comb and rinse.
    Choosing a deep conditioner: Look for one that contains strengthening ingredients, such as hydrolyzed collagen or hydrolyzed keratin, near the top of the list.  The amount/type of the ingredient depends on how much strengthening your hair requires.  I also recommend finding a deep conditioner that has 'slip' and moisture.  This will ease the detangling process and provide a protein-moisture balance, respectively. Deep conditioners like this usually contain an oil and/or a fatty alcohol (e.g., cetyl alcohol) for slip ... and glycerin and other humectants for moisture.
    Product recommendations for strength: Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor; Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise; Homemade egg conditioner (recipes here)
    Product recommendations for strength, moisture, & slip: Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Pak; Lekair Cholesterol (mixed with olive oil); Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner; Egg/mayonnaise/olive oil (recipe here under "Loo's recipe"); 

    Water is the best moisturizer out there for our hair. After a good wash and deep conditioning session, you can follow up with an oil or butter to seal in the water. In between washes, if your hair gets dry, you can apply a bit of water or do a full-on spritz and then re-seal. Another option is to use a water-based spritz or moisturizer.
    Choosing a moisturizer: Go straight for the water or look for water-based moisturizers (where water will be the first ingredient listed).
    Product recommendations: Water, Homemade spritz of rosewater and glycerin (a humectant)
    Choosing a sealant: Look for products that contain oils and/or butters.
    Product recommendations: Homemade whipped shea butter (recipe here), grapeseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, castor oil, Jane Carter Nourish & Shine

    Get a smooth sleek look while minimizing heat usage by airdrying in a rollerset.  For hair with a lot of new growth, do a ponytail rollerset to avoid puffy roots (video tutorial); just be sure not to apply too much tension via hair ties.  Be sure to wear a silk scarf to bed or use a silk pillow case to protect your cuticles as you sleep.

    Extra steps you may want to include in your regimen:

    If you find that frequent shampooing is drying to your hair, you may want to explore using a conditioner to wash. Just wet your hair, apply conditioner, and massage your scalp and hair as usual. After rinsing the conditioner the out, seal and style.
    Choosing a conditioner: Look for a non-heavy inexpensive conditioner. Heavy conditioners will build up on the hair too quickly.  Avoid protein-based and silicone-based conditioners when it comes to co-washing.
    Product recommendations: Suave Coconut Conditioner, V05 Champagne Kisses, V05 Honeydew Smoothie, V05 Passionfruit Smoothie, V05 Blackberry Sage Tea

    If you find that regular shampooing does not adequately remove product buildup from your hair, you may want to explore clarifying. Start with doing this once a month and then adjust as needed.
    Product recommendations: V05 Kiwi Clarifying Shampoo (not as drying as other clarifying shampoos)

    For more on prepooing, check this post.

    If your internal health is not on point, work on it. Drink sufficient water, get plenty of rest, exercise, and include the hair foods (click here) in your diet! Internal health as just as crucial to hair care as external care.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Twist Series: Long Lasting Twists

    Here are some tips for increasing the wear of your twists:

    1) Twist on dry, stretched hair.  
    Twists done on wet hair tend to frizz faster than those done on dry, stretched hair.

    2) Use a twist pudding.
    Use a twist pudding to twist your hair.  This step will help to add hold to your twists.  The pudding can be made from a simple mix of gel, a butter (e.g., shea), and a little oil (optional).  Be sure not to use too much pudding.

    3) Refrain from using moisturizers with humectants.
    Prior to twisting, do not use a humectant-based moisturizer.  Humectants draw moisture from the air and can cause your twists to frizz faster.  Glycerin, propylene glycol, and honey are just a few examples of humectants.  (If you absolutely cannot do without humectants, then neglect this step because health comes before beauty.)

    4) Use the rope/Senegalese twist method.
    Take two strands, coil each one upon itself, and then twist.  The coiling makes for smoother, longer-lasting twists.  For a further description and tutorial of the rope/Senegalese twist method, check this post.

    5) Wear a silk/satin scarf to bed.
    Bonnets are fine, but scarves will lay down any frizzies and keep the style looking fresher longer.  Be sure not to tie the scarf too tight.

    6) Wear a silk/satin scarf under your shower cap.
    The scarf will reinforce protection of your style from the water and steam.

    7) Keep moisturizing to a minimum.
    If you are spritzing your twists daily, then your style will not last long.  Find a moisturizer or sealant that can allow you to go days, or even a week, without reapplication.

    8) Keep washes to a minimum.
    A good twist style can usually survive 1-2 washes before it is time for a redo.  If you are washing more times than that during the week, your twists will not last long.

    9) Braid your twists before washing.
    Doing this will help to keep your twists intact and minimize frizzing.

    10) Airdry in braids.
    Not only will this minimize frizzies, but it has the added benefit of minimizing shrinkage.

    11) Redo the perimeter only.
    Re-twisting the twists on the perimeter (particularly after a wash) will give your overall twist look a fresher appearance.

    12) Wear smaller twists.
    The smaller the twists, the longer lasting the style.  Bigger twists tend to unravel and frizz faster.

    For other posts in the Twist Series, check this label.
    If you have questions you would like to be answered in the Twist Series, comment below.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Valentine Day Treats … Lower in fat but still so YUMMY!

    By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

    Valentine’s Day is a day about love…a day of appreciation…a day of caring…but most importantly a day of indulging in some of your favorite sweet treats! It is OK to allow yourself to splurge every once in a while if you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. But be careful of how much you are splurging and don’t forget to limit how often you allow yourself to do so!

    So, to all those love birds that are scrambling to try to plan a romantic evening filled with dinner and tasty treats, why not consider some of the healthier options for your Valentine’s Day desserts?

    Here are just a few treats which are healthier than the original recipes, but taste just as good! You can still have tasty treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth while trying to stick to your healthy diet!

    Strawberry Cheesecake Minis
    {Photo by TASTE OF HOME}
    • Prep: 15 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
    • Yield: 12 Servings

    • 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
    • Sugar substitute equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/4 cup egg substitute
    • 12 reduced-fat vanilla wafers
    • 1 can (12 ounces) strawberry cake and pastry filling

    Read more »

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    REVIEW #13: Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk

    NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.

    Purpose: Detangles, conditions, and controls curl; Restore moisture, body and shine

    Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut)*, Sugar Starch, Silk Protein, Essential Oil Blend, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitol Esters, Algae Extract, Hlyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract (Sage), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle), Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

    *Certified Organic Ingredient

    Number of trials: 1/4 of the bottle (several uses)

    How I used it:
    Method #1: Applied on freshly washed and conditioned hair.
    Method #2: Applied on dry hair in need of moisture.


    Though this product is called a "curl & style milk", it boasts "moisture, body, and shine" for "thick, curly hair".  I used it for the sole purpose of moisturizing my "thick, kinky" hair and not for styling curls.  The ingredients of shea butter and coconut oil - two substances my hair loves - gave me hope in the product's claim of moisture.  However, I was left disappointed after a two-month trial.  I had to reapply the product about 2-3 times over the course of a few days for my hair to feel soft and moisturized.  The three positives I will say about the milk are that it 1) smells extremely pleasant, 2) it is mostly natural and 3) it is light enough (water-based) for hair that needs just a touch of moisture.  

    For an alternate review (a natural woman with curly hair):  VIDEO REVIEW
    PROS: smells pleasant, mostly natural ingredients (no propylene glycol, paraffin, mineral oil, etc.), reasonable price
    CONS: too light (ideal for those who prefer light products)

    RATING: Overall, I give the Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk 2 out of 5 stars for moisture.  No rating is given for curl control (since I do not have curls).  Check out the video review above for a curly girl's perspective. 

    This product may work well for those with:
    - curly hair
    - fine hair
    - and/or hair easily weighed down by heavier products

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Healthy Hair Feature: Pre_medicalrulz

    For 2010-2011 relaxed/texlaxed and natural features, check this post.

    1) Are you natural, relaxed, texlaxed, or transitioning? (And how long?) 
    I am relaxed and as of Dec 2011, I am/was MBL. Haven’t done a length check since.

    2) What mistakes have you made in your hair care journey?
    I wouldn’t call them mistakes but more like a learning process. LOL. When I first started I followed everybody else’s regimen instead of simply listening to my hair. I was using cheapie conditioners because I heard everyone say ‘all conditioners are made equal’. That is a pure lie. LOL The first 10 months of my hair journey was at a standstill. I didn’t retain a thing.

    3) What is your current HEALTHY HAIR routine?
    I currently wash my scalp every week. I deep condition for more than an hour. At every wash I do a protein/moisture treatment. I currently only use Nexxus products. I keep my regiment very, very simple. The less manipulation – the better.

    4) Do you have a HEALTHY BODY routine? If so, what is it?
    I only recently started ‘clean’ eating. I never did that before in my life but I started noticing my curves were becoming more…… curvaceous. LOL I had to make a quick change. So far, I love it and I see the difference the most in my overall skin.

    5) Do you have any advice for those seeking healthy tresses?
    In the beginning you’re going to expect major change and may get frustrated if you don’t see any. You’ll even have people telling you that your hair can’t grow or won’t grow pass a certain length. Have patience and stick to what works for you. Eventually, you’ll see a major difference and your hair will thank you. Many people don’t like to protective style, I suggest they start.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Friday's Length Retention Tip!

    Do you want to reach your goal? Then ...

    adopt a low-manipulation shampoo routine.  Instead of massaging your hair while you wash, massage your scalp only.  Allow the water and shampoo to run from your scalp to your strands for cleansing.  Additionally, lather only once instead of twice or more.  If you are prone to product buildup and this routine is insufficient for cleansing, then reevaluate your product or shampoo collection.

    Additional tips:
    -Wash your hair in braided/twisted sections in order to minimize tangling
    -Blot the hair, instead of rubbing, with a towel
    -Use a natural shampoo, which is less abrasive than a sulfate (SLS, SLES) shampoo
    -Use a microfiber towel, instead of a regular one that is likely to snag the hair

    For Wednesday Hair Growth Tips, check out this post.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    A Healthy You in 2012!

    By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

    Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier? Lose weight? Work out more? Or maybe you just want to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle? Well I have some great news for you…you can and you should start TODAY! Sound too easy? Well yes…it is THAT EASY!

    You do not have to invest in a fitness center membership to start obtaining your personal health goals. Today, I will give you some suggested tips to help you kick start your new healthier lifestyle.

    First, you have to sit down and make a plan. Create some goals that you would like to achieve and be realistic when you make those goals. You cannot say that you want to lose 20 pounds in one month. Realistically and in a non-life threatening way that can NOT be done. There is no healthy way to achieve that goal in that amount of time. Losing weight takes time, patience, and dedication. It is good to make an overall goal. For instance you want to lose 20 pounds. Well then you have to make smaller goals to go along with that major goal. For example I want to lose 2 pounds this week, and try one new healthier recipe this week. That is a great mini goal to help you reach your overall goal. You will have to adopt a healthier eating style, you will have to adopt a new fitness routine, and you will have to set weekly goals for yourself (like I will only have 2 cokes this week and drink more water).

    When you have your goals set you can then decide how you want to achieve these goals. This will consist of a mixture of adopting a new workout routine as well as adjusting the food you consume. It is important to learn what the right portion sizes are and to try to have a variety of things to eat throughout the day. (I have written a post about portions sizes that can be found here.) You do not want to starve yourself! You can eat and snack during the day as long as those foods are nutritious and beneficial to your body. Your workout routine should start off being about 3 times a week. (More would be great if you can find a great workout and if you can fit the time in to do so.) You can do some of the following things at home or in your neighborhood to start your workout routine:

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    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Interview with Mala Rhodes of AFROVEDA

    The following is an interview with Mala Rhodes, CEO of AfroVeda Hair Products at  AfroVeda strives to represent true, Ayurvedic hair care remedies for curly, kinky and coily hair types.

    1. How long have you practiced healthy hair care? Tell us about your healthy hair journey.

    Although my hair has been natural for more than 10 years, I have only practiced healthy hair care for the past 5 years. As I began to educate myself about the benefits of natural hair products, and utilize the principles of Ayurveda for my own hair health, I realized that having beautiful healthy hair was not just about what is applied externally. Being conscious of what I consume makes a huge difference in how healthy my hair really is.

    My hair journey has been a very long one and began very early in life. I can remember the weekend hair sessions with my mother who would wash my hair (along with my four sisters) on Saturday night, and press it with a hot comb on Sunday. Although my hair didn’t “blow in the wind” from way too much grease, I loved the smoothness of it and the fact that it reached the middle of my back. That was “good” hair to me.

    Once I turned around 12 or 13, I received my first relaxer. I’m sure with 8 kids putting a relaxer in the hair of her 5 daughters made my mother’s hair care sessions much easier. We could wear wet-sets on special occasions and even wear it “down” sometimes for school. It was easy enough for us to take care of, so we were left to do just that. Despite the continued use of heavy greases and pomades, my hair still seemed to thrive. It wasn’t until I began experimenting with various other chemicals in my hair (Jheri Curl, hair color, and more relaxers – compliments of my sister who was in Cosmetology school) did I begin to notice a change. I didn’t take care of it like my mother did, and boy did it show.

    Fast forward about 20 years and countless relaxers later, I found myself with thin, damaged hair from all the years of abuse. Beauticians continued to apply my relaxers incorrectly – only adding to my hair-thinning issues – and my own methods for restoring my hair’s health wasn’t working either. I seriously needed help. The chemicals had destroyed my hair and it was time for a change.

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    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Not a Fan of Shea? Try Mango

    Are you not a fan of shea butter?  Then try mango butter, which has a lighter feel.  Check out this video tutorial on how to make whipped mango butter.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Friday's Length Retention Tip!

    Do you want to reach your goal?  Then ...

    incorporate pre-shampoo treatments into your regimen, particularly if you're prone to dry ends.  Pre-shampoo treatments (or "pre-pooing", for short) usually consist of applying a conditioner and/or oil to your hair and letting it penetrate for an hour or so before your regular shampoo wash.  The benefit of prepooing is that it minimizes the stripping of moisture that can come with shampooing.  Note:  There is no need to apply your prepoo to your scalp; simply applying it to the hair, or even just the ends, is sufficient.

    Loo's recommendation:
    Coconut oil for a prepoo. (Do this overnight for penetration of the oil.)  Coconut oil is known to not only penetrate the strands, but it may minimize damage by hygral fatigue (i.e., stress on the hair due to water uptake and eventual evaporation).  

    For Wednesday Hair Growth Tips, check out this post.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Healthy Hair Feature: Niqu92

    Today's healthy hair feature is Niqu92.  Though she's had a recent setback, there is much to be learned from her story ...

    1) Are you natural, relaxed, texlaxed, or transitioning? (And how long?)
    I was natural up until my junior year in highschool (08-09) and now im currently relaxed. I don't regret my decision at all. Although i loved my natural hair i enjoy my relaxed hair much more.

    2) What mistakes have you made in your hair care journey?
    I have always had long & healthy hair so i never really started a hair care journey per se until this year after many setbacks from 2011. I was on birth control pills and it made my hair fall out in clumps. On top of that i decided to go to a new stylist twice for a relaxer touchup and she did not neutralize my hair properly both times so my hair fell out from that. I also "bothered" my hair too much. I decided to start co-washing it about 5x a week and my hair became extremely thin and dry from that. I went to Great Clips for a trim and they sabotaged my hair. Due to all those setbacks i cut my hair 2-3in above BSL.

    3) What is your current HEALTHY HAIR routine?
    i learned from my mistakes and realized that LESS is MORE. So here is my current regimen
    Once a week:
    Shampoo with Design essentials
    DC with Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm or Silicon Mix
    after i rinse it out, i rollerset my hair.

    I moisturize my hair nightly with Silicon Mix Leave-in Conditioner and seal with Jojoba or Coconut oil
    I do protein as needed (about once every 6-8wks)
    I get touchups and trim every 9-10weeks
    maintaining this simple regimen and finally finding a good stylist has made my hair healthy again.

    4) Do you have a HEALTHY BODY routine? If so, what is it?
    I work out 5-6x per week with Turbo Fire
    I try my best to stay in shape because im a diabetic so being healthy is extremely important for me.
    I eat healthy on the weekdays and on the weekends i allow myself to slack off and eat all the unhealthy things my heart desires.

    5) Do you have any advice for those seeking healthy tresses?
    Everybody is different so you have to find out what works for you. Growing long and healthy hair is possible whether youre relaxed or natural once you find the right products/techniques that work best for your hair. Also, if you have suffered from a setback it is not the end of the world. I thought i was going to die when i had to cut my hair due to my setbacks but at the end i realized it's just hair.  Hair always grows back so dont think its the end of the world. It can actually be a good learning experience.


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