The Unintentional Loctician: Palm Rolling Method

Hey Naturals!!

Over the last few years there has been a big boom within the natural hair community for both women and men. It seems there are more men are comfortable with having natural hair not consisting of braids or cornrows. Cornrows are apart of African (American) culture to tame our kinky hair and have it styled as the same time. Now, I notice many of our men are rocking styles that no longer require a womans touch. Surprisingly they too are surfing through YouTube vids trying to find out what to do and what works. Congrats to those guys, however we still have some that prefer another traditional method of growing out their hair… LOCS! Locs are formed by binding a sectioned area of hair with a locking cream and twisting tightly from the root to the tips, holding each in place with a pin.

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Hair Appt: Retwisting.

Since I am a natural gal and I do provide hair services I get a lot of requests to do Loc services. However, previously I haven’t taken any appointments to do that particular style. Now… I have done tons of starter locs and re-twisting styles. I had no clue that once I started the word would spread so quickly! Trust me I am not complaining, but I do need a larger tub of locking cream thanks to word of mouth.

For this clients hair I chose to use the Jamaican Mango and Lime brand of locking gel. It smells great and has a nice thick consistency without having too much product build up in the hair. The service provided was a re-twist.

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Hair Appt: Retwist results with Jamaican Mango&Lime locking cream/gel.

Re-twisting loc’d hair is simple. You must start by defining an area of hair to re-twist. Place a small amount of the product on the root of the hair and run the remaining product down the hair. Taking my two index finger I began to twist the hair in the same direction of the original loc. This is important as you don’t want to actually unravel the hair as you move down the loc strand. Another key is to pay attention to the thinness or thickness of your clients roots. Twisting too tightly will cause breakage. Locs broken at the roots are the worst! Continue twisting/palm rolling and adding more product in small amounts (if necessary) keeping the tension of your twist and finally sealing with a clip. I may or may not use a dryer to seal the cream/gel. This will depend on how fine or curly my clients hair may be.

All in all, I had no intentions or even considered doing mens hair. I just knew my home salon would be filled with natural women needing protective styles. I was wrong. I actually do more guys hair than women. Word of mouth has now set me as a Loctician and on my part it was totally unintentional.

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Shoe Review: GoJane.com

Hey Naturals!!

One thing that I can say that will not go away anytime soon is my love for shoes! Never mind that the right pair will lift that booty, make those legs appear longer and give you a strut to kill for. It will have your confidence on “You need to calm down”, lol. My confidence of being a woman isn’t solely based on cosmetics and image, but hunty if a pair of 3 – 4.5 inch pumps don’t give me life! I have to admit that most of my shoes right now are on a break due to the winter season, but don’t worry… they’ll be out again soon enough. My latest purchase was from GoJane.com. I have made purchases from them before. Their shoes fit pretty true to size and fit as comfortable as expected. I have not had to add any of those pressure relief sole inserts in any of the shoes.

GoJane Shoe Review

Clearly 4u Ankle Strap Heels ($15) & Unknown (sold out-$18).

Since my purchase I have only wore the strapless pair. Don’t worry I do have an outfit on standby for the metallic green pair as well.

My reasoning for shopping at GoJane.com is the bargains! You can really get a nice pair of shoes for the low. Stylish, affordable and in my closet is how I like them. I also have read other reviews from this online store and most reviews received are great! The only real factor I seen with dissatisfaction is the fit. Some say true to size while others say it runs smaller or larger. I honestly feel this may due to what the brand of the shoe is.

Overall if you are on the hunt for inexpensive shoes with style or even something more simple like a leatherette point toe pump in different flavors… GoJane is a fix! Expensive shoes don’t show class… your walk and the cross of the leg does! While trying not curse like a sailor, lol.

A 4c (Hair) Staple: The Bonnet Dryer

Hey Naturals!!

I have a new Winter Moisture Routine that I would like to share. I have learned a lot about my hair in the last two years of my healthy hair journey. We all know the winter is brutal on natural hair, if not taken care of properly, so this year I HAD to switch it up. My (4c) hair required more heat applied when I did my deep condition routine, which my dryer can not do alone. I needed something compact with ease of use to get the job done. The Bonnet Dryer was the perfect solution. Over the season I have also found an oil mix that works for me. I encourage naturals to use thicker oils like avocado oil, castor oil and my favorite olive oil. Coconut oil is just a must. It is terrible as a sealant, but has many benefits as you know.

Deep Condition Products

Both products can be found in the Hair Supply or Beauty section of most drug stores.

I have done this routine twice and so far so great! My hair has definitely been more manageable, softer and holds a slight natural sheen to it. My choice of products may not work for you, but then again.. it might.

First thing with my hair is sectioning before cleansing. Then for co-washing I generally use Patene or TRESemme’ products, same for the deep condition process. I love using my current conditioner. It does exactly what the bottle says and leaves my hair feeling moisturized with a pleasant softness. I apply it tips to root. This is the best time to detangle because the product gives my hair necessary slip reducing breakage. Once all sections are done, time to move on. This Cantu Tea Tree & Jojoba oil mix is my new favorite! The smell is great, it has a thick consistency and does wonders as my sealant. Again, I apply to all sections tips to root then I tend to twist my hair making sure all my hair is getting the product.

Both products bought from Amazon. Total was about $16

Both products bought from Amazon. Total was about $16

Before using my bonnet the infamous plastic bag comes out, lol. Both times I sat under for about 20-25 mins. It does get pretty hot and I do recommend purchasing ear cuffs. The usual flat two strand twists are go to protective style after a wash because the tension on the roots keep my hair from shrinking too tightly. I let it set overnight sleeping with my satin hair bonnet.

Deep Conditon & twistout results.

Deep Condition & twist-out results.

I’m soooo glad I purchased this dryer bonnet. That winter “crunchy” hair is defeated. I am in looove! My overall results were awesome. I am going to continue to do this twice a month for the rest of the season.

I would definitely recommend this bonnet to any natural who has really dry ends, breakage, course/thick hair or looking to use heat in their deep conditioning process. For me, this is my 4c (hair) Staple!

Staples by Dutchess

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Bath bombs! 100% natural online store coming soon!! #grapefruit #eucalyptus

Untold Beauty : A response to “DARK GIRLS”

natural hair rules_thumb[3]        This past Sunday the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) aired a documentary, by Bill Duke, titled “Dark Girls”. Being a woman of deep toned skin I was both concerned and optimistic about this documentary. Concerned with questions about if our story will be told correctly from the eyes of a male and how will his own personal views on the black woman and her beauty affect the editing of this documentary. Optimistic because I believed it would bring light to how women are treated because of their skin and that racial issues still exist, even within our community. With all this being said… I don’t think I was represented at all in this film.

I hoped that it would show proud BLACK women – of all cultures and backgrounds standing firm in SELF LOVE… it did not. After watching this twice the night it aired I found myself really disappointed. I do not wish to take anything from this film. I can fully appreciate the exploring of how the misperceptions of what beauty entails affects people who do not fit that standard. I definitely appreciate this discussion being brought out on a global scale from the living rooms and dining tables of every nation to the forefront. For that I am grateful. It is no secret that slavery on this continent has been the major factor that has caused this defined line of color discrimination.

Original Goddess    The oppression of Africans in America with unnatural false set of beliefs enforced by Westerners and its media has thrown the largest jab at the BLACK community across the globe. Especially to those who have more melanin. In this short documentary there was a lot of preference talk from men. (For me) This was not helpful to hear their responses when it came to skin color. It made no sense. Of course all black men don’t like the deepest toned women the same as all white men don’t like the palest of skin. Interracial dating is not going anywhere and more people are marrying outside of their cultures. This information was pointless and was just another way to send global negativity of the “dark girl”.

The major problem that I had with this film is that our beauty was confirmed by everyone else except the black women themselves! Which I found retarded and unrealistic. Most of these woman appeared to still have baggage of childhood memories. They displayed them on their sleeves as if those thoughts still effects their current lives. And even when some said that it no longer mattered they were not proud black women, but merely content with who they were. Bill Duke did not show us any strong black women in this short documentary, which saddens me because he himself is a dark man. I feel that his views, shaped by the western world, has had a total effect on his editing.

There was minimal positivity toward the black woman. The highest point was a snippet of an Ethiopian woman who claimed that dark skin in some parts of East African was still a badge of honor, but soon was over and followed up by sad faced crying women. Again I can appreciate the discussion being brought out to the table, but (in my eyes) it was a fail. A pity party. Black Woman

My argument for this documentary is a simple one. What angle of the “Dark Girls”, which should have been titled dark WOMEN, were you trying to show? Is there no deep toned women who feel that their dark skin has no effect on their relationships – personal or business? Is there no dark skin women who know that their skin is actually a badge of honor? Where are the women who have been taught from birth that they are beautiful? Has no one ever taught a dark skin woman to have self love??

I am completely unsure of the underlying effect this documentary wanted to have on its viewers, but I am sure that to empower our young dark skin women was no one of them. To try and cover all the dimensions of this type of conversation I feel that this should have been a series told by the black woman herself. This documentary is just that… just another.

Yellow “Shea” Butter vs Ivory Shea Butter

SheaButter2     When most people think about Shea butter, they visualize a yellow thick hard butter.  This information is incorrect. The yellow butter is actually called African Butter and is from a totally different tree than Shea. The reason for the confusion stems from the marketing technique used by the Westerners and Europeans when the originally began to sell this product. African Butter comes from the nuts of a tree that grows in a dense forest in wet and shaded areas. There is no organic yellow Shea Butter. If you are being sold “Shea” Butter that is yellow and hard, it is African Butter.

African Butter does have similar properties to Shea Butter in that it aides in anti-aging, healing of the skin and conditioning of the hair. Organic Shea Butter is an ivory color, not white. East Africans describe the color as ivory because the tone is similar to that of an elephants tusk. Shea Butter also is much creamier than African Butter. The tree that produces the nuts of Shea Butter grows in the open Savanna. With that being said the trees are in totally different environments hence why the butters would be completely different.

african vs shea     Because of the high demand for “Shea” butter and the wrong marketing techniques used in the beginning some are adding yellow coloring into actual Shea to conform to the buyers idea of what it should look like. However, in adding color and other chemicals to it the natural properties of the Shea has been changed. In return it is being stripped and is no longer as beneficial to the consumer because adding things interfere with the natural abilities of Shea.

So the bottom line is yellow Shea butter is AFRICAN BUTTER and ivory Shea butter is Organic. I am in no means judging people who cannot or do (did, after you read this) not know the difference between the two. In all honestly this is new information to me as well!! I am sharing this new information because I think it will be helpful to everyone. In light of this new information I myself now have to go and purchase some organic creamier ivory Shea Butter.

Sincerely…

A Yahweh loving shoe fanatic Dutchess.

A natural gals summer must haves.

summer timeGreat weather is here! Finally I am back in my element. New contacts to get, new places to be and many things up my sleeves. Therefore, since I am predicting a busy and bright season I need to have my “must haves” down to the tea. Here is what we’ll need…

  • A GO TO STYLE : This summer will be my first summer as a natural, with plans I must say. I can not waste an hour per day in the mirror messing with my hair and shrinkage. I just don’t see it happening. This trivial problem is easily solved with rocking braided updos and protective styling, which will be our best friends during this summer.

two-strand-twist-atlanta   We’re all familiar with the two strand twist method of protecting our hair and keeping it cute while also doing as less manipulation as possible. I know this will be a favorite hairstyle for lots of us naturals this summer. Especially seeing how it can be put into so many styles, this one is definitely a winner amongst us. It’s simple enough to do in spare time and may not be so time consuming… unless you have a lions mane. I can’t wait for mine to get there 🙂 .

natural green    The style to the right is also one that is versatile and simple to do. It is more time consuming than just wearing our twists, but the advantage is that you will be able to wear it longer. Meaning that you have less manipulating to do with your hair.

Washing your hair will also be easier in each other these styles. They will help reduce single strand knots. You can cowash, deep condition then when your hair has mostly dried add your favorite moisturizer and mixture of oils. Whether store bought or all natural homemade you’ll be happy. Then final step is to just re-twist. Simple enough for a naturalista on the go!

Now beauties in order to protect your hair from heat damage this summer be sure to use the proper products on your strands. You want to prevent your hair from feeling dry and brittle due to the higher temperatures it will experience this season. Moisturizing is the normal. It doesn’t matter what the month is, we have to do it. However, I do notice that lots of us love to flat iron and blowout our hair. Which is not a problem… if you do it the right way! I have not done a blow out or flat ironed my hair yet, but I will try it. While searching for some good quality hair protectants here is what I found…

heat protectant

  • HEAT PROTECTANTS : This particular protectant grabbed my attention. It has three different formulas, each with its own purpose. I thought this was genius. I have not tried any of these products, but I soon will be. And be sure I will be giving a review of how it worked or did not work on my 4c natural hair. Each one protects your hair up to 425 degrees fahrenheit and has a gloss finish… extra nice. 4c hair tends to look dull so a gloss finish is exactly what I will be looking for 🙂 .  However if this doesn’t work or if you are not in the mood to purchase any new products you can also use some you may already have at home.

avocado oil     Natural oils are great, as we know, for protecting our hair. I think that avocado oil is one of the best.  It is rich in vitamin E, minerals and amino acids which stimulate hair growth. Avocado oil also has a smoke point of 375-500 degrees fahrenheit depending on its state of refined or unrefined.  Grapeseed oil is another great heat protectant for natural hair for all the same reasons listed. It is super light weight and moisturizing. It also adds great shine. I have used this in the past and I am happy with the results. Grapeseed oil is colorless and odorless so it won’t interfere with any other natural smells your hair may have. Between the Got 2 B brand heat protectant and natural oils I think my goal will be achieved.

Last but not least on my list of summer “must haves” is a great anti- shine pressed powder. I have no problem claiming oily skin. I am not the first and definitely will not be the last with this problem. I will be out and about this summer, as said previously, so I want to make sure that while I am socializing with others I don’t like a mirror, lol. Here are the following products to try…

  • BR pressed powderANTI-SHINE PRESSED POWDER : Shine control for my face will be one of the top priorities this summer. My forehead and nose area are the most problematic. To address this issue I have a couple of products I would like to try. My first option will be the Black Radiance brand of pressed powder. I really think that this is as far as I will have to look because I absolutely love their creme stick foundations! They are very true to color and last all day. Black Radiance’s pressed powder comes in seven different shades. Its formula is oil-free, oil absorbing, eliminates an ashy look and has a matte finish. This product can be found at drugstores for a inexpensive price. Sounds good too me, but for the sake of argument I am going to try another just to have something else to compare it to.

iman pressed powder    Iman’s luxury pressed powders also do the same as listed above. Each can be worn alone or works best with its own brand foundations. Iman’s pressed powders come in six different shades of Earth. It helps your makeup last longer, controls oil without giving you that drying look and dries to a matte finish. A matte finish is a must for oily skin. Iman products can be found at drugstores for a slightly higher price than Black Radiance.

That’s it beauties. Once you’ve found your go to style, preferred heat protectant and the bomb anti-shine pressed powder your summer is bright. Personal style, a few ladies night, family activities and beach days are all that require your attention.

Get out, Have fun and Be Natural !

 

Sincerely…

A Yahweh loving shoe fanatic named Dutchess.

Product Review: Black Opal Foundation & Maybelline BB cream.

Black beauties, like myself, who are searching for that perfect foundation… look no more. I have a recommendation! Black Opal’s True color (oil free) Liquid Foundation has been my go to product since the beginning of 2012. My color is Ebony. This foundation leaves me with a fresh-faced dewey look and matches me exactly. I am overly satisfied with this beauty product. Initially it was a random purchase from my local Rite Aid, however, after I tried it…. Yeeeees! My dream foundation.

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This product is hypoallergenic, dries to a matte finish and is wallet friendly. For less than 10bucks you too can find your perfect match. As always ladies before doing your foundation routine using a good quality facial primer is a must.

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I use Maybelline’s Dream Fresh Beauty Balm Skin Perfector, in Deep Sheer tint. Besides doing its job as a primer I love the way this 8 in 1 cream brightens. Definitely comes in handy in those days where makeup isn’t necessary. Placing a little under the eye and I am done for the day! This tinted BB Cream is also a product with 0% heavy oils. I’ve been using this primer for two months and I am content with my purchase.