Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This is just a little mini-blog to say I love my hair today!!! Since I can probably now consider myself a PJ, or Product Junkie (JaNelle is worse that me!), I have so many different products that I like to mix and match and use different things to check out the results. Well, today I wet my hair in the shower, detangled, and put on a little bit of Oyin's Shine and Define all over my hair, then a little bit of Aubrey's B5 on the ends and a little in the hair.... and I LOVE the results.

Man, I tell you... I am NEVER going back to regular products again!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Co-washing for FINE Hair!!

I have to do another blog just to add on to Rachel's genius co-wash blog for all of you with confused hair like mine. By confused, I mean it will frizz a bit, but can't take the oils that can help tame the frizz. It is fine, but wants to behave like it's thick... Co-washing can definitely get rid of lots of frizz - and this is from someone who used to use a lot of gel. I don't even own gel anymore (except for B5 - which is not really a gel) - I gave all of my gel away...  

This blog is also for the doubters. Now, I have just started doing this, but I can tell you it's wonderful. You can follow a 'low-poo' routine or a 'no-poo' one. I am on a 'low-poo' schedule now. I'm not strict with it, I just judge by how my hair is feeling and looking. 

I am waiting for my Babassu shampoo bars from, which I intend to use at least once a week along with co-washes and rinses throughout the week. I also use Karen's Body Beautiful Conditioning Shampoo. My hair doesn't tolerate most oils well (I'll do a later blog on oils and how I use them), and for my hair to look cute when I wear it down it has to be pretty bare, so co-washing isn't always enough for me, but I will never again use shampoos that aren't all natural or contain harmful chemicals like SLS, cones, etc... 

This is not only for black hair. Lorraine Massey is the author of 'Curly Girl', and she is caucasian. That's right, white women are up on this, too! She has some good recipes in her book to keep the hair naturally cleansed, but I will tell you, co-washes leave your hair smelling wonderful and fresh, if that's your concern.

If I need to clarify my hair or scalp (remove any build-up without stripping the hair of the oils it needs), I will:
a) mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in my Karen's Body Beautiful Conditioning Shampoo
b) mix warm water and baking soda, or 
c) do a strong ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar - all the hair junkies know!!) 

You can also use BC (Bentonite Clay) every so often. This sure gets it clean!! Rachel has pics on her Fotki of doing this... 

Lorraine suggests juice from a lemon added to conditioner for a co-wash to clarify better than any clarification shampoo (and she says this is good for dry or damaged hair). I haven't tried it yet, but I will be doing this soon. She also suggests exfoliating the scalp by mixing brown sugar and conditioner, applying to fingertips, and gently massaging. 

**I have been collecting a ton of SIMPLE (cause I'm lazy) hair recipes and I will post all of the recipes (and how to use them) here soon!! 

The point is, my hair feels great. Sometimes it's a bit too moisturized for my liking, but I'm still figuring out the little kinks. Today it is very moist (not greasy!!), so I will rinse tomorrow and use no product or a teeny bit of B5

Another thing to remember is when you're using all-natural products, there is no real build-up, like the unhealthy type of residue and clogging bacteria that occur when using products with cones, mineral oil, or any list of things you can't say!! Ugh...

Lastly, people attest to co-washing being a major reason their hair is growing in thick and shiny. My hair grows regardless, but I'm sure I'll need fewer trims.


I know it probably sounds weird for me to tell people that they should not shampoo their hair, but think about it - how many times have you thought that your hair looked better when you didn't wash it for a few days? Personally, I dislike the way my hair looks after I wash it. I have LOTS of shrinkage (hair looks MUCH shorter than it really is), and the shampoo usually washes away all of the natural oils that have made my hair look great!

So, in my search for hair products, I stumbled across a friend's blog that mentioned she "co-washes" instead of shampooing. "Co-wash" is short for "Conditioner Wash," and it means exactly what it says. Wash your hair with CONDITIONER instead of SHAMPOO.

Again, this seems weird, but I found a site that gives many reasons why you would choose to co-wash over shampoo:
  • You like to wet your hair daily but shampooing strips it (ME!)
  • Shampooing makes your hair frizzy and dry (ME!)
  • You don't use a lot of styling products and just need a light wash (ME!...sometimes)
  • Your scalp is allergic to shampoo.
  • You experience a lot of tangles when you shampoo and just don't have time for that every day (TOTALLY ME!)

The site goes on to say that co-washes keep your hair moisturized and super conditioned. Many naturally curly women do co-washes daily to help them maintain frizz free moisturized curls. Conditioner washes help your hair hold on to moisture because you are constantly opening the hair cuticle and putting vital moisture (water and conditioner) into your hair. The more often you conditioner wash, the better your results will be.

And there you have it instead of shampooing. SO many benefits. I've been co-washing for a few months now and I can attest to the results :)

I like to use a lighter conditioner such as Elucence MBC to co-wash. It detangles wonderfully, but is not a thick and strong conditioner. It's also a natural product, so you know I'm into that :)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Zhara Hair Inspirations!!

So, in our last Blog JaNelle posted a link to a woman named Zhara who blogs on Fotki, and I am in LOVE with her hair!!! After spending a while on her blog, I picked up a good number of tips that I would like to start implementing IMMEDIATELY!!!!

First off, I'm excited because I feel as if she and I have similar hair types, so I'm hoping that with time, I can achieve the full, shiny, healthy, and beautiful look she has.

Here's some of the things I plan on doing:

1. I have realized that I NEED MORE OILS in my hair. Especially during this cold time of the year. I guess I thought I was ok with using "moisturizing" products like my Aubrey's MJ, but after looking at a pic of Zhara's hair, then looking at mine in the mirror, I know that I need to put more oils on my hair. She uses organic coconut oil, which I have, but rarely use. I also have some shea butter oil. I am going to start using both of these more regularly.

2. I will do an all over oil treatment to my hair at least once a week. Like cover my hair in coconut oil, put a shower cap on it, then a hot towel over that (since I have no 'sit-under' dryer), and then leave this on for like an hour.

3. I will wear twists or braids, perhaps put up into a bun, at least once a week. I'll probably do this after my oil treatment since I don't like to wear my hair out when it's too greasy. This will give my hair some time to marinate in the oils and not be exposed to the harsh air.

4. Zhara seems to use Aubrey's B5 gel a lot. JaNelle has this, and I may get it :)

5. Zhara also tries so many different hair techniques, using bobby pins to put her hair up in different styles. I am definitely gonna start doing this, so be on the lookout!!!

6. JaNelle mentioned she thinks I need to try and NOT make my hair so perfect all the time. I need to just let it be WILD and MESSY sometimes, and see how it turns out. I have a tendency to think my hair looks too "woofy" or messy, when in fact in may look cute! A perfect example of this is how my hair looks right now. I put it up in a ponytail for the gym, and did not wear my usual scarf while working out, so in my eyes, it looks like a mess. BUT, I went to the bank after the gym and the sista helping me complimented me on my hair!! See, and I thought it was a mess!

Post - Gym Pony

So, I plan on doing all of the things on the above list. JaNelle wanted me to add that she is planning on shampooing her hair less often, and doing more conditioner washes (co-wash) instead. There are lots of reasons to not shampoo your hair a lot, which is a perfect topic for another blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cute Hair and Richeau's Product Reviews

Zhara's hair is DECENT!! (That means amazing in Rachel and JaNelle talk.) 

We need to get on Fotki. All of the hair geniuses are on there - including my fav - Richeau, who does the best product reviews ever!! She has forced me into spending way too much money, but she has led me to my new-found natural favorite product lines. Check out her YouTube page here.


OK. Glycerin. My grandmom used to add it lotion for extra moisturizing benefits. But what does it do for our hair?? Vegetable glycerin is found in many natural products, so I did some research...

Glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to itself. So... if it is on your hair, glycerin helps keep it hydrated by pulling moisture in from the air. Now, some say that if you live in a dry and cold climate, glycerin can suck the moisture out of the hair, and for this reason, people who live in these climates may choose to use glycerin products in the summer, but not in the winter. If it's humid all year, you shouldn't have an issue. You may also want to see if it's listed in the first three ingredients to know if there is a large amount in the product...

I started using products containing glycerin this winter and my hair is fine with it... You just have to know your hair. 

A lot of women buy pure plant derived glycerin from the drugstore and add distilled water to use as a spritzer. I haven't tried this yet. Karen's Hair Milk and Hair Nectar both have glycerin, and my hair loves this stuff when it's wet. I tried it on dry hair just to see how it would react, and my hair didn't appreciate it, though it smelled delicious!! It is a leave-in, so not necessarily for dry hair anyway. The Super Silky is glycerin-free, so I may try it to revive dry curls one day to see if glycerin makes the difference. (Rachel and I each own all three!! There will be a later blog on that I'm sure...) 

So that's pretty much it. I plan on getting a bottle of glycerin to try the spritzer idea when summer hits.  

Beautifully Captured lists some glycerin tips and products that contain glycerin here. There are also a ton of YouTube videos on making easy glycerin spritzes as well as a million recipes on natural hair forums like Nappturality...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

100% Natural Products!!!! Aubrey, Karen, and Kinky

Ok, not REALLY 100%, but everyone should be able to read the ingredients of their shampoo, conditioner, gel, etc.... without needing a chemistry reference book.


I've been wearing my hair naturally now for about 9 years. Rugby started to become more serious and it was just too hard to try and keep my hair straightened in between practice, working out, and games. So one day I just decided that I was going to wash my hair, and NOT blow dry it after (GASP!!). At first it was cute - sorta wavy and long. Then, the perm started to slowly grow out, and my ends started to rapidly deteriorate, and I ended up chopping off like 4 inches. This is when my search for products to aid my new natural-ness began.... but there was nothing out there! I used gel, mousse, lotion, grease, baby-oil gel, etc.... anything that I thought could hold my curl. Some things seemed to work, but in the end everything just made my curls crunchy, dry, and messy. It was so bad that I resorted to giving myself what I called "mini-perms" like once or twice a year:

mini-perm: If my curls started to get a little too "woofy," I would put a perm on them and literally just put it on, then quickly take it off. I thought it was loosening my curls, when it was really just damaging my hair all over again.

ME during mini-perm LOOKS cute, but you can also see that I don't have much curl definition because the perms took that away, and eventually damaged my hair!

Once the mini-perms started to take their toll, I finally decided that I was not going to give myself any more perms. So, as you can imagine, this started a brand new process of perm grow-out. Not as bad as grow-out #1, but not too pretty either.

And here we are today. I haven't had a perm on my hair in about 3-4 years (so long ago I can't even remember), and my hair has never looked so good....except back before I had perms, but that's a topic for another blog....

It's only been a few months since I SERIOUSLY began a search for new products for my hair, which has led me to the topic of this blog - NATURAL PRODUCTS!!


Here are some ingredients of the conditioner I USED to use on my hair:
Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Octyldodecanol

Here are some ingredients of the natural conditioner I CURRENTLY use on my hair:
Organic Aloe Vera, Wheat Germ Oil, Balm Mint, Organic Sage Oil, Camomile, Mistletoe (ooooooh, maybe someone will wanna kiss me!!)

Moral to the want to be able to PRONOUNCE the things you put into your hair!!! Though it's hard to find a 100% natural product out there, it's super easy to find some that are close to being 100% natural. And seriously, the natural products are better than the crap they sell in drug stores.

Some of my favorite organic products:

1. Aubrey Organics (Can also get at Whole Foods)
  • I love their Hair Moisturizing Jelly, JaNelle has the B5 Design gel, I also love their Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner.
2. Karen's Body Beautiful
  • Ummmm...JaNelle and I go crazy on this site, so my suggestion is to buy it all!! These products smell SOOOO Good. Go Crazy! Hahahahahahaha.
3. Kinky Curly (Can also get at Whole Foods)
  • I love the Curling Custard, but it's a bit strong so you only need a little! It will last ALL day, and with an overnight scarf will last 2-3 days :)
4. Others: I like leave-in conditioners from both Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) and Giovanni Direct. I'm also waiting on an order from Oyin Handmade, so no review, but I hope it's decent!

ME after I stopped getting perms. You can actually see that I have curly hair. This is not fully dry though, and I love my hair when it's fully dry :)


I think this blog will help lots of curly girls because, as we all know, everyone's curls are different, and that makes everyone's journey different. Now, I know Rachel and I both have type 3 hair. I would guess I'm 3b, but I'm no expert. Everyone has a mixture of curl patterns, but Rachel is a mixture of 3b and 3c (I think)... We both have s-patterns that form spiral curls at the tips. Neither one of us has extremely thick hair, though Rachel's is definitely thicker than mine (I'm jealous). My mom says I used to want two pigtails like my older sister, but my hair was too fine, so I would be stuck with one:(

For your hair type check out
**Rachel has corrected me - She says I am a mixture of 3a and 3b
**Would Rachel be a 3b or a mixture of 3b and 3c??

I have been dying my hair for 10 years now. I've had every color of the rainbow in my hair, but for the last few years I've been blonde - extremely blonde. Highlights in the winter, all over color in the summer. I must confess I did love my blonde (sigh), but after years of it my hair is literally done. It's been damaged and grown back more times than I can count. So my "big chop" was about getting rid of bleach, not perms... When I stylishly grew my roots, people asked me, "Why do you dye your hair at all??" since it is naturally a reddish-brown color (even my hairdresser asked me this). I had no logical answer to this, of course, but kept dying away. My hair is shorter than I like it right now, and with the shrinkage it can drive me crazy at times, but I am staying away from heat as much as possible and embracing my natural curl. There is a bit of color/damage left in the front, where I had it highlighted most recently, and I can't wait to see it all healthy and curly. Truthfully, it hasn't been healthy and curly since I was young because I was straightening the curl out when I had virgin hair, and by the time I got around to my first curly phase it was already dyed.

I'm not saying I'll never highlight again, but for now my love affair with chemical coloring is over (sigh again). Experimenting with henna may be in the near future, so stay tuned...

Another thing... Rachel and I are using natural products these days. It's a a win-win situation. I haven't eaten meat for over twenty years, so naturally I don't want products tested on animals. Plus, these are the products best for our hair. You can't lose!!

Oh, my baby sister has locs, so I'll be reporting in on products that work well for her, too!!

Monday, March 9, 2009


In the beginning, we were told that "good" hair meant your hair was LONG and STRAIGHT, and it was the norm to do anything you had to do to make your hair that way. That usually meant Chemicals, Heat, and More Heat. But that was years ago, and now we know better.

This blog will be a way for my best friend JaNelle and I to share our stories of Hair Discovery. You see, we have both decided that our NATURAL hair that was given to us, without chemicals and excessive amounts of heat, are just as "good" and beautiful as anything we thought of before. Our hair was screaming, "No More Heat! No More Perms! No More Dyes!!" ... and we finally decided to listen.

Mostly, we wanna share our new hair findings with each other without having to call and text each other a million times a day - but if anyone else is interested, then you are more than welcome to peek in on our breakthroughs :)

So, Welcome to Nywele.... and for a good laugh, the pic is of JaNelle and I doing that "long and straight" thing I mentioned in like the 7th grade.....enjoy!