Silent, But Still Here

Hey guys! I just wanted to drop in and say hello to you all. I realize that the blog has been rather silent for awhile and honestly will remain so for a little while longer, but I wanted to pop in for a quick minute. God has been blessing as always and I am simply very busy. Well initially I was simply being lazy and taking my annual unintentional blog break,lol, but now I am truly busy. Things should slow down within a month or so and I look forward to blogging again. I completely missed sharing my 3 year anniversary with you guys and plan to do a giveaway in honor of just that upon returning. Get ready!! I hope you all are well and are embracing all things natural. Be sure to ask any questions that you might have in the mean time. I'm sure that I will be able to do that. Also, I have a friend that I will be introducing you guys to and she will share a post or few with you guys while I'm gone. Stayed tuned for that. Until then see ya.


Success!!! All Natural Deodorant

I went through the two week antiperspirant detox process and my old recipe was still not working to my satisfaction. I was sick of having to carry alcohol pads around with me everywhere and finally decided that it was time to tweak the recipe.

Here's what I used:

~4oz. Coconut Oil
~1oz. of Beeswax
~1/2 Cup Arrowroot powder
~1/2 Cornstarch
~2-3 Teaspoons of any essential oil with antibacterial properties. I used lemongrass.

I simply melted down the beeswax (use a double boiler if you have one) and added the coconut oil. Next I added the arrowroot powder and cornstarch. Finally, I added the essential oils and transferred it to my jars. I believe this mixture made about 12oz. This should last quite some time. I use small plastic jars to put my deodorant in and I rub it on my armpit with my finger but you can always use an old antiperspirant bottle or purchase deodorant jars from here if you'd prefer.

I used beeswax for firmness since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees. Beeswax melts at around 86 degrees. I used a half mix of arrowroot and cornstarch but you could simply use 1 cup of arrowroot or 1 cup of cornstarch . I only mixed the two because I ran out of arrowroot powder. Also I can not tell you how much I love the lemongrass scent. It leaves me smelling so fresh and clean. I have used this for a little under 2 weeks now and I have not had to reapply it throughout the day. I even used the Stairmaster for 25 minutes and my deodorant was still hard at work. I am so pleased!

Buyer Beware: Tangle Teezer

If you read alot of blogs or frequent many hair boards you may be well aware by now that the Tangle Teezer has been met with less than flattering reviews after extended use. Some have said that the Tangle Teezer has resulted in breakage and some have reported that they have many more single strand knots.

I would like to say that this has not been my experience with the Tangle Teezer. I have not had any adverse effects from using it that I have been able to tell, but I thought it only fair to share this info with my readers who possibly purchased the Tangle Teezer based on my review.

I have to admit that I am more skeptical of using it now. I use it only when I have a horrible tangle situation on my hands now. This past weekend I had to pull it out and it was a true time saver. I was so completely happy to have it at that time because I probably would have had more breakage than could result from the Tangle Teezer if I was left to use only my comb.

I admonish you all to use this product and any other styling product with caution. If you are met with unfavorable results from any product by all means stop using it. Don't feel the need to jump on every bandwagon or highly raved product especially if it doesn't work for you. At the same time what doesn't work for one may work for another.


All Natural Toothpaste

Now we move on to toothpaste. I decided not to go into the whys of not using conventional toothpastes simply because I didn't feel like it. Lazy? I know. It's interesting stuff though. You should really look into it. Haha. Seriously though. This is a good resource for more info.

I have been using a homemade toothpaste for about 2 or 3 months now. I cam't quite remember when I first started. I have gone through a total of 3 different recipes and although I like the last recipe I think I will combine the 2nd and 3rd recipes for my next batch. I am going to totally omit the very first recipe I made just because I wasn't at all happy with the taste though I'm sure it would have done a great job cleaning my teeth.

First recipe (which is really the 2nd recipe):

2 Tbsp coconut oil (I suppose it's not necessary but I used extra virgin coconut oil)
3 Tbsp baking soda
1 small packet Stevia powder
20-25 drops of peppermint oil (you can substitute this for spearmint or cinnamon oil)

I actually enjoyed the taste of this one the best but the problem I ran into with it is that I had the mixture in a tupperware like container and because of the coconut oil it would solidify making me have to stir it upon every use. I was concerned about keeping it free from any bacteria so I bought a box of disposable spoons to mix it every time. How wasteful is that? Not to mention just plain inconvenient. I put the mix in a squeeze out bottle but it again would solidify when the temperature in the house dropped making it hard to get out of the bottle. This is what prompted me to try the 2nd (really 3rd) recipe.

Second recipe (which is really the 3rd recipe):

I should say that I made enough of this one to be used my my whole family so you could totally cut the mix in half.

6 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tsp salt
1 pack Stevia powder
3 Tbsp glycerin
40 drops peppermint oil
1 Tbsp distilled water

With this second mix I totally solved the dispensing problem. I sometimes have to shake up the bottle in the morning to amalgamate the mixture, but otherwise it works great. The only problem I did run into with this recipe is with the salt. I felt that it was a bit too salty. My husband also commented that the salt upsets his stomach sometimes. Neither me or my children have had that problem, but I just wanted to include that info.
As soon as we finish this batch I plan to make a differnt recipe that is a blend of the two. I want to include the coconut oil from the first recipe. I think it added an element of flavor not to mention it has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. I also plan to omit the salt in the next batch. I figure that the baking soda is enough of an abrasive anyway.

**Let me also add that I have definitely noticed that my teeth and gums are much more healthy looking and feeling. I have even noticed that my teeth are getting whiter. Although this toothpaste does not taste like the conventional toothpaste it is not bad. You just have to know that you are using it to clean your teeth. It's not breakfast. :) My children quickly commented after only about 4 or 5 days that they were getting used to the toothpaste. By the end of two weeks they were coming to show me how they thought their teeth were getting whiter.

Both of these recipes are simple to make. All you need to do is simply mix the ingredients. There is no need for detailed how-to instructions.

These are all the ingredients I use to make the recipes. Also shown are the bottles (pink and blue) that I used to put the paste into and dispense. You can find them at Walmart for under $1.00.


Protective styling

Protective styling is arguably a key component to any successful hair care journey. For this reason alone I'm surprised that I have never talked about it here.I'll attempt to do that now.

Protective styling is simply put, styling your hair in a manner that protects your strands from the harsh elements of the cold, windy, and icy weather as well as just plain over manipulation that we put our hair through when it isn't in protective styles. What do I mean by this? Well I know for me that it took a long while into my hair care journey before I finally got over having my hands in my hair every 5 seconds. Some go even further and comb and brush their hair every single day to several times a day. The problem with this is that our hair strands are much like fibers. Over manipulation of them will cause them to lose their elasticity, thickness, and strength. Because we are striving for (most of us) long and thick healthy hair we have to be mindful of keeping our hair as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Any style that keeps you from manipulating your hair for a good length of time while the ends are covered or tucked can be considered a protective style. This can be two strand twists, braids, buns, or even wigs and sew-ins. Earlier in my hair journey I used kinky twists as a protective style quite often.

One school of thought on the issue of protective styling is that "I'd rather wear my hair out and enjoy it rather than keep it put away all the time just to obtain length". I totally understand this and at one point even wrestled with this line of thinking myself. To that I will say, as I find myself saying so often, there is a healthy balance that can be struck. I fully intend to enjoy EVERY stage of my hair growth on the way to my goal length, whatever that is. Having said that I want to actually be able to reach that goal length with healthy hair. My fear for people who only protective style until they reach a desired length is that once that reach said length they won't know how to style it in a manner that promotes health because all they've done is protective style and they will lose the length that hid for so long. (Does that make sense?)  In my opinion the right place to be in somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.


Reflection and Revisit: Natural Deodorant 2

You know how you can be fully aware of something and then you share this awareness with others and it's like you're relearning what you have just shared? That has been my experience after posting and rereading the "All Natural Deodorant" post. I had gone back to antiperspirants until I could perfect my recipe. I don't know what I was thinking because now that just seems foolish. At the same time though, no one wants to running around town leaving their "mark" LOL. Still, that caused me to do some reflection.

As I sat and thought about the two deodorants I made I knew that #2 was the one I wanted to improve upon. I figured I'd add a bit more baking soda since that is the deodorizing property and the tea tree oil since it is anti fungal and anti bacterial. I figured I'd add more peppermint because of it's antiseptic properties and also because I like to add peppermint anytime I use tea tree oil as I don't particularly like the smell of the tea tree.

Before I could even tweak my mix though, I ran across some information that I think is very important to pass on. Apparently, once you stop using antiperspirants your body may go through a detox process in which it will rid itself of the toxins that have been trapped by the antiperspirant use. This will cause you to perspire a bit more than normal and may even make you natural deodorant seem ineffective. This calls for patience and should last only a few weeks at most (or so I'm told), So with that in mind I have decided to use the #2 deodorant as is for  few weeks and hope that this information holds true.

What in the world do I do in the meantime though? Exfoliating the underarm area while you shower can help speed the detox process along. Also, wiping  your underarms with rubbing alcohol a few times a week can help. Alcohol can cause irritation if applied too often so use sparingly. I plan to carry my deodorant in my purse for the next  several weeks to be sure I'm as fresh smelling as possible. One more important thing to note is that your underarms should be clean when applying any natural deodorant so if you do reapply you also clean your armpits again.

What others have tried:
There are many, many natural ingredients you can use to make your own deodorant and I will list a few that others have tried with great success.

Mineral salts- Some very common natural deodorants have employed the use of mineral salts in their formula. I thought of doing a spray using some form of this.

Milk of Magnesia- Yes you read correctly, I mean the stuff used for constipation. I have heard really incredible things about this one.

Baking Soda- Some people choose to use baking soda alone as a deodorant, but others have problems with skin irritation.

I didn't list any commercial natural deodorant brands but there are plenty out there.


More Info on Antiperspirants

I shared a link with a reader after receiving a comment and I thought that the information contained was so useful that I should post a link to the site for you to read as well. It has a wealth of information that sheds much more light on the subject than I have.


My First Attempt: All Natural Deodorant

For the first installment in the "all things natural" addition to the blog I have tackled...well attempted to tackle a homeade deodorant. Why deodorant? First of all I have always had problems wearing "deodorant". No matter what brand I use whether it happens in a few weeks or a few months of purchase I eventually break out and itch really bad. It is unfortunately something I have come to get used to. Sad huh? Well typically when we purchase "deodorant" from our local stores we are not only buying and using deodorant we are also getting antiperspirant. This leads to the second reason I decided to make my own deodorant.
The problem with antiperspirants is that as the name suggests it keeps you from perspiring. God in his infinite wisdom designed our bodies to rid itself of toxins through perspiration. The main areas our bodies use to eliminate toxins are behind the knees, behind the ears, groin area and our armpits.
When we use antiperspirants we are inhibiting our bodies from eliminating these toxins which in turn causes the body to deposit them into lymph nodes. Eventually all these toxins build up and cause cell mutation. This is also known as Cancer.
Now before I continue, allow me to say that there are reports that will conflict with the information I have shared and it is within your right to do what you will with this information. I am sharing why I am choosing not to use antiperspirants anymore.

So what did I do next? I searched for a some all natural deodorant recipes and found two that I was interested in trying. I will post the ingredients to both recipes below. I will say that I planned to be very detailed with you guys and do daily checks and log every detail. Well that never happened. It's ok though. I am still sharing the results with you guys even if it is months later. Lol.
I started out using one deodorant on my right armpit and the other on my left armpit. A few hours later the first one had checked out for the day. LOL. The second deodorant lasted several hours but not to my satisfaction. I plan to tweak the second recipe and try it again and I will do a better job and bringing you in in the whole process this time. Unfortunately I am using antiperspirant again until I find a recipe that works well but I have to tell you typing all this up has really motivated me to stop using the stuff once and for all.

Deodorant 1(the one that quit after 2 hours)

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (This can be substituted for Corn Starch)
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Shea Butter
1 Tbsp of Cocoa Butter
2 drops of Peppermint Oil
2 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 drops of Lime Essential Oil

In hindsight I would do a few things differently with this recipe. For starters I would eliminate the Cocoa Butter altogether. I hate the smell and the recipe just seems to contain too much butter. I would also probably double the amount of baking soda I used. Baking soda is a great deodorizing agent, but it can cause also cause irritation if you use too much. This is why I was conservative in my use of it. Lastly, the Lime Oil was purely for fragrance and let me just say that it did not go over well with the scent of the Cocoa Butter.

Deodorant 2

4 Tsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Shea Butter
1/4 cup Arrowroot powder
3 drops Tea Tree Oil
3 drops Peppermint Oil

I'm not entirely sure just yet what I would do to tweak this one. We'll see. I plan to do a "second attempt" within the next week or so.

Additional info: I have edited this post to add a bit of info that might be helpful in case any should try to make your own all natural deodorant. It is important to understand that if you do make a true deodorant (not antiperspirant) you WILL still sweat. The purpose of the deodorant is to eliminate any foul or offensive odor. I realize that this a new concept for most of us and everyone will not like this. I'm finding that when you choose to embrace things that are natural versus chemical laden you will have to adjust your expectation a bit. The health benefits in this and many other cases far outweigh the small inconveniences.


Style Photo: Dry Braid Out (The Cure For Shrinkage)

Shrinkage is an inevitability in the life of one who has decided to embrace their natural hair. Having said that there are ways to reduce the amount of shrinkage one gets. There are many ways such as banding, the ever controversial heat training of the hair, and even just plain straightening it. I have tried a few of these but the one method that I use most often is simply styling my hair once it has already dried. Seems simple enough and honestly it is, but it took me a long time to get to the point of doing so. I guess because you have to wait for the hair to dry and I usually just wanted to get done with my hair and be done. I'm glad that I finally found a system that works for me because I simply love it.

Here is what I do:

I usually wash, condition, and detangle my hair and then follow up with my aloe vera juice as a leave in and then apply my shea mix. After doing this I usually put it in about 4-6 twists and pin it on top of my head in some way and go about my day.

Once my hair has dried about 85-90% I begin sectioning my hair into 5 parts being sure to place my part where I want it. I then french braid my hair and leave it to dry overnight. I want to add that even though I usually do this on 85-90% dry hair you can absolutely do it on 100% dry hair. It will take a while longer to take on the braid out texture though. This is why I like doing it on slightly damp hair.

Once I take it down, which is usually the next day, I get beautiful results that are elongated much more than normal. I love the volume. It's just fantastic even if I do say so myself. Btw, I have no idea what was happening with my blush that day so please know that I know it was a bit off :). I put myself out there for you guys. Crazy looking makeup and all. Lol.

I maintain this braidout by remoisturizing it with my shea mix and then rebraiding each section. I know it may seem like alot, or maybe not, but it is so worth it because the style will last much longer. I used to be opposed to any style that required me to retwist or rebraid at night but since this is only about 5 braids I decided to try it out and it really wasn't so bad.


Coiffure is Expanding

In my quest to find healthier alternatives for hair care it seemed silly to have such high standards for my hair and not my body. I have to care about what I'm putting on and in my body as well as my hair. Just as I have shared my natural hair care journey with you I'd like to share this journey as well. I hope you don't mind.

I am expanding Coiffure to include all things natural. I truly believe that God has provided all that we need in nature. I also believe that God has gifted us with minds that are able to conceive witty inventions and create ways to make life easier for us. Having said that, when have we gone too far? Our society is so greedy for monetary wealth that our physical health has taken a back seat. It's sometimes too much to take in when you read or hear about what else "they" are putting in our food or body products. I'd find myself tuning things out for sometimes because the gravity of it all is so heavy. I'm sure some of you have done this as well. It's so much.
How do you totally revamp your life and only buy things that you know are safe for your family? Do you just stop eating meat? Buy all organic? Make your own body products? If so how do you afford this new lifestyle?
I most definitely don't have all the answers, but I am again embarking upon a journey and you are most welcome to join me or just read as I share. :)

ETA: I will be updating the design and name of Coiffure so please bear with me if you stop by and you don't recognize the place.


Tangle Teezer!!!

If you haven't heard about this product then you need to listen UP! The Tangle Teezer is AMAZING! If you can't tell it is a brush/comb used to detangle hair. I have had my own Tangle Teezer for about 2-3 months now and I simply can't say enough about it. I will say that the only reason I use a comb any more is to part my hair. IT'S THAT GOOD!!
I believe the Tangle Teezer works so well because it has so many small teeth and it is able to get the small tangles that our combs are not able to get. The bristles of the brush are also flexible so that it doesn't tear your hair out like a comb or Denman brush will. I will say that just as with any other styling product you still need to be gentle and take your time.

In my use of the Tangle Teezer to detangle I part my hair into 4 section s and then break those sections in half. Altogether that's eight sections. I tell you this to say that you will still need to do semi small section s to get the best use of of the product. I also, just like with a comb, start from the end and comb (or brush) to the root. I have heard people say that they can even start at the root but I didn't try it. The Tangle Teezer detangles on wet and dry hair, but in my experience it works best when I am detangling under running water in the shower.

I purchased my Tangle Teezer from Sally Beauty for around $10. If you haven't tried this product I HIGHLY recommend it!

UPDATE 6/2/11


All Natural Shampoo Reviews

I have been on the hunt for a new shampoo. I know I've told you guys over and over how much I love my beloved CON shampoo and it is true, but I just haven't been feeling it lately. It still works fine. I think I'm just interested to see if I can find something more natural to cleanse my hair with. I have tried several different ones and I figured instead of doing different posts I'd do them all together.

First I decided to make my own shampoo. I had purchased some African Black Soap for my face awhile back that turned out to be a bit too drying for my skin. I decided to turn that into a liquid shampoo by using distilled water and adding some moisturizing ingredients. Let me first say that I was so proud of myself for the work I put into it. I mean it wasn't hard (at all), but 3 years ago I would have never imagined myself making a shampoo. Black Soap in general smells very woody and smoky so I'm sure some people will hate the smell. I however don't mind it at all. If you know anything about black soap you know that it lathers very well and this one was no exception. After trying it out for about a month I finally admitted to myself that it just wasn't that great. LOL. It wasn't moisturizing enough and while it did clean my hair it also left it feeling just plain stripped. I will say that this mixture with a few extra ingredients added makes a fantastic face wash. I've been using it for about 3 months and just recently made a new batch so it wasn't a total loss.
Next I came across "Yes To Carrots Nourishing Shampoo". The local HyVee where I found it, sells sample size bottles so I thought I'd give it a try. The smell is hard to describe because it doesn't really smell like anything I've smelled before. Whatever the smell, I enjoyed it and for some reason after you wash your hair with it your hair smells even better. WAIT...wait..before I go on let me say that this shampoo has an ingredient that I wasn't too sure about. It contains sodium coceth sulfate. I was like WHAT?! Upon doing a bit of research on it I don't think that it is as harmful or harsh as your typical sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate. It is said to be derived from the fatty acids from coconut oil and then modified using something called ethylene oxide. This ingredient is also said to be an organic compound but organic compound or not I wasn't impressed. Being that in the last post I reminded you guys that I'm nobody's chemist you need to research the rest yourself. My brain hurts. Lol. If anyone else knows more feel free to school me. That being said I didn't feel that thrilled with using it since I am looking for an all natural shampoo with the hopes that it will be better for my hair and body. I am taking baby steps though so I continued using it. :)
I actually did like it. It had a decent lather. Not as much as some shampoos, but good enough. It again smelled great and made my hair really soft when washing it. Once I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair I was a bit let down that it didn't leave it as soft as I thought it would. It was okay though. I really thought it worked well on my youngest daughters' hair. It also has a really good price. It's around 8 bucks for a 16 ounce bottle. Not bad. Even still, my search continues.

I finally managed to get around to trying some of the BeeMine products. This was well over 4 months ago so I'm reaaally late in updating you guys. Sorry about that, but better late than never right? Anyway, BeeMine has an all natural shampoo called "BeeMine Peppermint and Tea Tree Nourishing Shampoo". I was so prepared to love this whole line and I am sad to say that I just did not. This shampoo for me was not bad it just wasn't great. I don't really have too much good to say about it. For the bad: I absolutely hated the smell. It smells like hazelnut which I love, but it was mixed with peppermint and tea tree. It came together to make the oddest smell and I simply could not deal with it. I tried several times so that I could atleast give a fair review but I just did not like it at all. Each time I would sniff the bottle I'd think, "Oh, it's not that bad", but once I applied it to my hair it would just get worse. Whether the shampoo is good or not hmm...I can't truly say because I couldn't past the smell. I know that the owner of BeeMine will sometimes do custom orders so I suppose it's possible that she would mix this with a different scent. I actaully just looked on her site for the shampoo and do not see it. I'm not sure if she is no longer selling it or if it's backordered or what.
Finally, I am now using "Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo". I have been using it for about 3-4 weeks and I am...well let me just say that I will probably finish the bottle but I won't be repurchasing it. It cleanses fine it doesn't make my hair hard, but it sure doesn't make it "smooth as silk". I like the price and I like the ingredients, but when it comes to my products I'm not going to stick with them unless I absolutely love them. I did not love any of these so I am still on the hunt. I have 2 recommendations that I am really excited to try and I will keep you guys posted. If you guys have tried any of these products and have had a different experience please leave a comment in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.


All Natural Leave-In Conditioner

It has been a great and beautiful journey for me these past few years learning to embrace my natural hair. I have over that time learned many things about what works best for my hair to make it achieve a certain look. Most people experience a phase of PJism (Product Junkie-ism, lol) where you purchase any and everything that is recommended, sounds good, has a pretty label (ok, well maybe that last one is just me, lol). I went through this phase and I loved it. It was trial and error and I learned ALOT. The next phase was a narrowing down process. I sort of grew up. I became more selective with products. I wasn't as quick to jump on every bandwagon. I slowly began to shift into a phase of less is more.

Somewhere along the line, I'm not quite sure where, I became concerned about the ingredients I was putting in my hair. No cones, no parabens, no sulfates. (I will share more on this subject later for those who are unaware of these chemicals listed) It can get quite overwhelming reading labels and let me just say right now that I am NOT well versed in reading them. I know a few things to watch out for and that is it. I even went through a phase where I decided, "forget this labeling reading stuff, it works on my hair so I'm going to use it". Well that didn't last too long. I couldn't in good conscience continue to blindly ignore what I was putting on and in not just my own hair but in my families hair as well.

I again ever so slowly began to try more all natural alternatives to hair products. I told you guys in a recent post about an all natural leave in. I won't keep you in suspense. The magic in a bottle (or plant) is none other than ALOE VERA JUICE (AVJ)!!

A well known youtuber sang the praises of a leave in that she concocted using several ingredients. One of the ingredients was Aloe Vera Juice. I tried her leave-in with few alterations and wasn't thrilled with the consistency. Eventually I decided to simply use the juice alone. Let me first tell you what aloe is supposed to do.

I have to give a disclaimer here: I am not a chemist and I don't have a lot of patience and time for looking into too many things in depth (unless I'm called to) so I will just tell you what I have "heard" and then I will tell you MY experience with it. If you are really interested I encourage you to conduct your own research.

When we shampoo our hair the cuticle (outer layers) of our hair are lifted up and enables the hair to be fully cleansed. This can be a harsh process for our hair. Once the hair is rinsed the job of the conditioner is to then moisturize the hair and lay the cuticle back down having it well moisturized and resulting in beautiful healthy hair. This doesn't always happen. Alot of times we have products with cones (silicones) or proteins in them that make the cuticle appear to be closed. Now back to the AVJ, this all natural product is said to be able to really close the cuticle of the hair as well as add another element of moisture.
PEOPLE let me tell you....it WORKS! Since I have been using the AVJ I have experienced such a difference in my hair. It is MUCH softer. The ends of the hair which we know is the oldest hair on our heads, is even smooth. It literally feels as if the cuticle is now flattened.
I did a post last year where I documented in great detail, the woes I have with my oldest daughter's hair. If you are not familiar with this click here. I washed her hair and used this beautiful product that God provided for us and ran out of time. I had to do the dreaded puff as we were on our way somewhere. A few days later when I had time to cowash her hair, because rewashing is necessary in these situations, I did just that. I was all prepared for the detangling session that was sure to be at least an hour. Let me tell you I applied the AVJ and proceeded to detangle her hair in 10-15 minutes! Yes, you heard me correctly. I was SOLD! I was using Cantu Shea butter leave in prior to this and I don't think I ever did a review on it but I was completely happy with it. It was great. I felt kind of bad not using it anymore. I had just purchased a brand new bottle of it, but I just couldn't justify using all those chemicals when I had an alternative that was chemical free and found in nature.

I personally use this kind, but If you're interested I suggest you just try whatever you like. I would suggest using one without any additives and you will need to keep it refrigerated. I keep mine in a spray bottle. This particular brand is a bit pricey as it is a whole leaf concentrate. There are conflicting reports on whether or not this is any better that the inner gel filet of aloe juice. I don't know the answer to this concern as I have only used this one kind but my sister in law has used the inner gel filet AVJ with great success. Please let me know if any of you try this and have a testimonial.


Repost: It's deeper than just hair.

I wrote this post back in May of 2009 and I have to say looking back on it, I am proud of it. I truly meant all that was said here and I wanted to repost it as I realize I have new readers who may not have ever read it. Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts.

Making the decision to go natural for me was not a great call or something that weighed heavy on my heart. Quite simply, my cousin/best friend made the decison to go natural and made the comment that it would be great if I were to go along with her. I thought about it for a little bit and decided that it wasn't a bad idea. I'd always had fast growing hair so if I hated it I would just grow it back out and relax it. No big deal. So I told her yes. That is how my journey began.
Well in this process it has become a sort of passion for me. Wearing my natural hair has changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined. For starters it has turned me into a true do-it-yourselfer. I have learned sooooo much about how to care for my hair in the past year, from my transition to now; 10 months natural. I love being able to think of a style and attempting it on my own hair. I love that I know when my hair's moisture/protein balance is off. I love that I know how to take care of my own hair and I actually prefer it.
One year ago I was clueless about my hair. Yes my hair grew fast, but I would always have breakage in my crown area. If I wasn't going to the salon my hair was a mess and I hated wash days. That's like my favorite day now. Or should I say days, considering that in the summer I cowash atleast 3 times a week.
Over time being natural has allowed me to embrace a me that I didn't realize I was denying. Not just me "Shara". but me black woman. I quickly began to be offended when hearing the term, "good hair" or "bad hair". I can't stand to hear, "they need to put a perm on that girls nappy hair". It is so offensive to me for a person to be considered less attractive if their hair isn't straight. Now granted there are some unpleasant looking natural heads of hair that need to get it together or mom's that need to learn how to care for their daughter's natural hair, but that is the same for relaxed, texlaxed, and the like. It is so sad to see a beautiful little black girl walking around with pretty, straight hair in some nice bun but the outer edges have been eaten away due to over processing of harsh chemicals or weakened due to the same. And before I go any further I want to say that I do not think relaxers are the worst thing in the world. My issue is when people think that straight hair alone equals beauty.
The main reason for my post is yet to be discussed. I am making this blog post in honor of My Lord. I have through the journey of becoming natural have found a truer understanding and appreciation for God's handiwork; ME! I AM HIS CREATION. He made me with kinky curly hair. He made me with different textures in this head of hair. My big nose that I have always hated and wished away; Yep he hand crafted that and placed it right above my full lips. He thought he did a great job yet here I am having the nerve to call what the Masters hands created, too big. WOW. That's audacious! I'm learning more and more that my being placed here is simply for HIS glory. I was created for his glory. He made me exactly how he wanted me to be and I am learning to see the beauty in what I once saw as less than.


After the break.....

After quite the break I am back! Sorry to have been gone for so long but I had a ton of things going on (still do really) and I just plain needed a break. I hope you guys are well and are having a great time with your hair.

It has never been my intention to have a blog that was updated daily, but somewhere along the line I got caught up things and forgot that and began to feel guilty for not doing so. I want to update regularly as I always have something to share, it just may not be your idea of regular. Now that that's out of the way let's move on to updates.

I have undergone quite a transformation since the last time I have talked to you guys. I have moved into more of a natural hair care journey in every sense of the word. What I mean is that I have slowly been incorporating more natural hair products into my regimen, eliminating one's with harsh chemicals. I have not totally eradicated all chemical products from my stash but I am doing well with it.

I have mixed my own shea butter for quite some time. Almost for my entire natural hair journey. Have I ever mentioned that before? Hmm...I don't recall. Anyway, that was perfect for twists and such but I really needed a lighter moisturizer as well. I went on a search and tried many things. Both commercial and all natural products. I will do some reviews on the ones I have tried soon. I will say that I have finally found one that works.

I happened upon an all natural leave in that is a MIRACLE WORKER!!! I am very excited to tell you guys about this one. Some of my followers will have already heard me rave about this product but for those of you that haven't be prepared for a life changing product. Well that's a bit dramatic. Let's not place hair that high on the importance scale. But really it has definitely made my life easier.

Another product I have used since before I even completed my transition is my glycerin mix spray. I use this as a moisturizer before sealing with my shea butter. Clearly it works well since I have been using it for almost 3 years.

You guys know that I don't stray in the area of shampoos from my beloved CON (Creme of Nature) but I did find myself searching for an all natural substitute. I have tried several poos and yes am still on the hunt. I will still do a review of the ones I have tried. They are not all bad. They just didn't fully satisfy me.

I am still using the same conditioners as always which are ORS Replenishing Conditioner as well as ORS Hair Mayo. For cowashing I am still using V05 Moisture Milks and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted. Those have not changed but not for lack of trying. I simply haven't found replacements. I love those conditioners. If you're in the market for a new conditioner try one of these.

I plan to share all these things with you guys in detail in future posts. Don't worry, I will do them very soon.