DIY Your Wash Day: 3 DIY Recipes for Natural Hair

This one is for all of my kitchen beauticians!

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Jacket | T-Shirt | Jeans | Boots (similar)

Let’s get into these recipes!

Luxe Duo Hair and Skin Mask

2 TBSP My Fluffy Puffs Luxe Duo Mask

5 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TBSP Honey

Once mixed to a smooth consistency, apply to freshly shampooed hair. Leave on the hair NO MORE than 15 minutes. Rinse out and condition. This masque is great for anyone who needs a good cleaning with a shot of moisture. It also doubles as great facial treatment!

Coconut Avocado Deep Treatment

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Can of Coconut Milk

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Aloe Vera Leaf

1 egg yolk (optional, adds a ton of shine)

Blend all ingredients until smooth as possible. Strain completely so there are no chunks in the mixture. Apply to clean hair and cover, leaving on for 15-30 minutes. For extra penetration, sit underneath a hooded dryer.

Black Tea Rinse

Water

2-4 Black tea Bags

1 TBSP Olive oil

10 Drops tea tree oil

Boil water and steep tea for 5 minutes. all olive oil and tea tree oil. Allow to cool before applying to hair. Use after washing and deep conditioning hair, pouring over the entire head. Let sit in hair, massaging the scalp. Rinse after 10-20 minutes.

What are your favorite hair DIYs? Let me know if you try any of these!

Battle of the (Shampoo) Bars

I feel like we're at the point where we know each other so hopefully you all know that I don't push products that I don't believe in. It's really as simple as that. If it isn't something that's going to benefit my lovely readers then its not the move. Simple as that. And if you have been following me for long enough, you've seen me post about My Fluffy Puffs products before. When I tell y'all I stan for this brand, I mean I STAN for it. It's black owned and operated, woman owned and operated, they move with integrity, and the customer service/shipping is on fleek. Not to mention that the products are bomb (btw this isn't paid or sponsored, I just really love their products). The hair care brand recently dropped a new Shampoo/Body bar which was supposed to be a limited run but it has been hinted that the Lavish Bar would make a comeback. That being said, I though It would only be appropriate to do a review comparing the new Lavish Bar to my old faithful Rhassoul Bar by My Fluffy Puffs. I'll go through point by point and hClopefully you can decide which one you would like to try.

Cleansing

Hands down the lavish bar cleaned my scalp and hair more than the Rhassoul Clay Bar. As a matter of fact there was no need to do a second was with the lavish bar as the first time did the trick. The lavish bar created suds immediately while the rhassoul clay bar didn't get "soapy" until the second shampoo. This is probably due to the activated charcoal in the lavish bar which helps detoxify.

Moisturizing

On the other end, the Rhassoul Clay bar maintained my hair's moisture and didn't strip my stands which was nice. I don't do a deep clean on my hair every time I wash so this gentle cleanse is appreciated. When using the Rhassoul Clay bar, I can have a lazier wash day because I don't have to incorporate as much deep conditioning.

Curl Poppage

Understanding that poppage isn't a real word but I feel like we see each other here. Which one of these shampoos gave my curls the more bounce and definition? The Lavish Bar. I think because it was so cleansing, my hair was free from product build up which can weigh down strands.

Overall Thoughts

The Rhassoul bar is still bae and I feel like it's something that I can keep in rotation for my weekly washes. My hair always feels soft, clean, and moisturized after using it. I would keep the lavish bar the once a month detoxifying wash that I do which helps my scalp and hair stay fresh and clean.

Which bar are you interested in trying out?

 

 

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Hair Growth System Review

For brown girls who just want their hair to grow...

Diva by Cindy products are alcohol free.

Diva by Cindy products are alcohol free.

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Shampoo is definitely my favorite product from the line.

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Shampoo is definitely my favorite product from the line.

The Diva by Cindy Super Pro Hairdress claims to help grow hair.

The Diva by Cindy Super Pro Hairdress claims to help grow hair.

Let's talk about products!

Diva by Cindy was created by former registered nurse, Cindy with the aim of helping those dealing with hair loss. With an alcohol free formula, these products have "good for your hair" ingredients such as panthenol, rosemary, aloe, and peppermint. The goal of this line is to leave the hair silky, shiny, and healthy.

Stimulating Shampoo

I always seem to find a favorite in every product line I try and for Diva by Cindy it's definitely their stimulating shampoo.I was a little scared to try this one because it had a few ingredients that I usually don't use. That being said, I actually love the shampoo. The smell was very minty and when I put it on my scalp, it FELT minty. Most shampoos containing sulfates would dry your hair out and make it dry and difficult to detangle. When I went to detangle my hair the comb ran right through! I was so surprised and excited. My hair also didn't even feel dry. This one is definitely a keeper.

Stimulating Conditioner

The Stimulating Conditioner has the same month smell and feel as the shampoo. While I like the texture of this product, I did feel that it was lacking the slip that I needed to properly and thoroughly detangle my hair. That being said, this is great conditioner to use if you are planning on straightening your hair. It is very light and because it doesn't contain ingredients such as shea butter and heavy oils it doesn't leave your hair weighed down and heavy. 

Leave In Detangling Conditioner

This one was tricky for me: I don't love leave in conditioners that come in spray bottles. Why? Because I have a ton of hair and I feel like it doesn't get to all of my hair. Again, this product is best for use before heat styling. The Panthenol (which is a derivative of the B5 vitamin) is great for your hair as it supports the production of protein rich tissues. After using it in failed rollerset attempt, I saw no heat damage which i credit to the use of this product. 

Super Gro Hair Dress

Unfortunately, I don't have any definitive thoughts on this product. I've only used the Diva by Cindy line a handful of times over the course of less than a month. Because of that, I can't really say that this has helped my hair grow. Also, I have never suffered from significant hair loss so I don't have any way to test the product out and provide quantitative results. BUT, it smells really good!

My Fluffy Puffs Natural Hair Product Review

Ya know, just business as usual over here...

I'm not going to lie, this feels weird... BUT here we go..........

I have to recommend that you guys try these products. They are definitely dope. Support #blackgirlmagic

A few weeks go I posted a picture on Instagram (join the fam and stuff) and the owner of the hair care company My Fluffy Puffs contacted me and asked If I was interested in trying her products and after an online investigation and seeing how cool these product looked I had to say yes. These aren't my normal shampoos and leave ins that I get at Target: I have actually never tried a  real shampoo bar OR a product with Biotin in it so I was pretty excited.

I started off with the Rhassoul Clay Shampoo and Body Bar and I have to admit that using it was a strange experience for me. I'm used to liquid shampoo in a bottle and while I have used Bentonite Clay before I've never experienced Rhassoul Clay (Although I have heard amazing things). I started by sectioning my hair off and realized that was a mistake. I feel as though the purpose of a shampoo bar is to cleanse the scalp deeply.  The first round of cleansing I saw a lot of dirt coming out of my hair/scalp however because my hair was dirty from sweat and product there wasn't a ton of sudsing going on. But that second wash though? Suds galore AND the curls were popping.  The shampoo bar left my hair feeling squeaky clean but oddly enough not stripped. There was no matting, tangling, or brittleness.

The Bottom Line | GET IT! It's the bomb.

To moisturize my situation I picked up the Tropical Mango and Monoi Whip. The smell of this is amazing and left my hair easy to style. Any girl with thick, coarse, type 4 hair, knows that's no small feat. I think that this hair product will great for me when it gets ridiculously cold and dry outside. That being said, I'm going to store it for about a month or so. This isn't so much a reflection of the product so much as it is me knowing my hair. Shea butter and other heavier oils don't like me unless it's super cold and my hair is in a protective style.

The Bottom Line | I know this is about to be my boo in about a month so I know I'll update you then.

Lastly, I used the product I was most curious about, the Twist Frosting with Biotin. I've never actually tried a product with Biotin in it and while I could not find any research that says Biotin applied topically will help your hair, I'm sure it couldn't hurt. Full confession, I didn't read the directions before I used this for the first time so I did a twist out on completely dry hair and apparently you're supposed to use the Twist Frosting on damp hair. Take two, I applied the twist frosting on about 75% dry hair so there was a little dampness after I used my normal leave in conditioner. Initially I was nervous as there appeared to be some white flakes popping up meaning that my products didn't play well together. To my surprise the flakes dissipated and I was left with juicy twists and an even more bomb twist out (again, join the instafam). 

The Bottom Line | Yasssssss. Do it.

I hope you guys check out My Fluffy Puffs! If you do tell me what you think,

5 Natural Hair Mistakes NOT to Make This Winter

Winter is coming...

it's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year: everyone is wrapping up in large knit scarves, wearing Ugg boots and drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes even though it's still a smooth 75 degrees outside. Everyone, that is, but me. Why, might you ask? Because the fall and winter months wreak havoc on my hair.

After five full years of having natural hair, I think I've mastered surviving winter . And because i'm feeling generous (and because it's actually the reason I started blogging), I figured I'd share what I've learned with you.

Wigs are great protective styles for the winter months.

Wigs are great protective styles for the winter months.

5 Natural Hair Mistakes Not To Make This Winter

1. Using too much heat... Winter may as well be called silk press and roller set season for those of us who wear our natural hair. After all, the cold months are the most ideal time to straighten your hair: there is little to no moisture in the air, everyone wants to look fancy for holiday/ family events, and we all want to see the length and process we made. That's all well and good but don't get overzealous! We all know that using too much direct heat can cause heat damage, breakage, and dryness which would be no good once you want to wear your hair curly again.

2. Neglecting hair while in protective styles... Just don't, okay? Yes I know you're wearing a wig... you still need to wash your hair. But my box braids look so clean and dirty hair grows faster... no it doesn't. Oh and by the way...

3. Deep Condition For Your Life.... for real. DC ing is not optional. I don't care if you're protective styling or wearing it out you have to deep condition regularly. I switch from bi weekly during the summer to weekly during the winter just to make sure I have enough moisture in my hair to outlast the harsh temperatures.

4.  Going out with wet hair... your mother told you that it would make you sick and while that's not completely true it can damage your hair. Imagine walking around with wet hair in below freezing temps. What do you think will happen? There's a possibility that your hair could freeze and break and that's not cute.

5. Don't "Overprotect" your hair.... if you're like me then you would probably keep your hair in protective styles all winter long. But back to back to back high manipulation protective styling can put a ton of stress on your hair and edges. I try to give my hair a break of at least seven days between styles so that it can recover from what was possibly a long period of stress.

Let me know what your tips are for maintaining healthy hair during the winter are!

Curls Unleashed Shea Butter and Honey Curl Defining Creme

The natural hair snob is humbled by a product she never thought she'd try...

I'm a snob. Well Only when it comes to my hair. I'm definitely the girl that can stand in the beauty aisle for an hour reading every single product's ingredient label, checking my phone for reviews, smell testing, texture testing, etc. It's a bit of the problem.

After a six month long no buy during which I vowed to use up my embarrassingly large product stash I looked in my bathroom cabinet to discover I had no styling products. THE HORROR! I need a fix and fast so I decided to go to Wal-Mart. Again, THE HORROR (I'm a Target girl). With low expectations I went to the "ethnic beauty" section (more on that later) and started my usual routine. I read, and tested, and analyzed, and finally decided that for the price of just under ten dollars, the Curls Unleashed Shea Butter and Honey Curl Defining Creme would do.

Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting much but this product really blew me away. My initial choice was based on those first five ingredients that I'm always obsessing about (the first five being the ingredients used in the largest quantities in the product and thus the most effective.); water, coconut oil, shea butter, and soybean oil were all right there. Color me impressed. But still, I was cautious. I mean this was a five dollar product.

Using this creme left my hair soft, fluffy and moisturized. The fro was definitely on point. After using it to install some mini twists I had seriously juicy and well moisturized twists. At this point I was sold. The Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Honey Curl Defining Creme (that's a mouthful) will definitely have a permanent home in my stash. I honestly feel like I've hit the proverbial jackpot in this affordable product especially for the price point.

Have you tried the ORS Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Honey Curl Defining Creme? What are your thoughts?

Holy Grail Status | Especially Hair Moisture Foundation Masque

If there's one thing I love, it's a GOOD deep conditioner.

I could talk about deep conditioners all damn day. Literally. My favorite deep conditioners, DIY Deep Conditioners, the worst deep conditioners... All damn day. I'm like the Bubba Gump of deep conditioners. That being said I have found a product that I am absolutely in LOVE with. 

This stuff has changed my life. Okay, maybe not my life. Maybe just my hair.

This stuff has changed my life. Okay, maybe not my life. Maybe just my hair.

A representative from Especially Hair reached out to me and after checking out the website I was halfway sold on the product (I'm a sucker for a good web design, product marketing, and good packaging). First of all, let's talk about how this is black owned company. That alone gives me life. The product line was inspired by a young woman's need for hair care products to use after swimming. You all know the struggle of post- swim hair and preventing dryness and chlorine damage can be difficult.

While I haven't been doing much swimming this year I have been trying to combat dryness with every wash day. When I finally tried the Especially Hair Moisture Foundation Deep Conditioner I was in desperate need of an intensive conditioning treatment. Looking at the ingredients of this product automatically made me happy: the first five ingredients encourage the highest level of moisture and health for your dry or damaged hair. Glycerin and water are holy grail moisturizers and glycerin encourages ongoing moisture. The jojoba oil encourages a healthy scalp and hair growth as it mimics the sebum that our bodies naturally produce  and the avocado oil leaves your hair extra soft and touchable. Lastly we have the natural hair superstar: apple cider vinegar which revived my curls almost immediately and left them soft and bouncy. Are you in love yet?

The texture of this product is a little different from what you would expect in a deep conditioner: It's not super creamy or heavy. In fact quite the opposite, the Moisture Foundation Masque is light and and slippery. This makes detangling an absolute breeze and the product doesn't sit on top of your hair and weigh it down after it's been rinsed out. After using the Moisture Foundation I didn't need to use a regular conditioner and my hair was soft and light. I especially loved that this didn't leave and product residue and my hair still felt CLEAN after using it.

My only con I have about this product is the price. At thirty two dollars it is quite expensive when compared to other deep treatments. That being said, I plan on buying this product and the Enhance Daily Conditioner by Especially Hair very soon.

How To: Go Blonde Like a Pro

Going blonde is simple; all you need is time, patience, and a ton of product.

How to go blonde, step by step

How to go blonde, step by step

First and foremost, I will say that I do not suggest doing this on your own hair. The hair that I lifted and colored is from B&HF Extensions. I lifted and colored three bundles and one closure of their Premium Peruvian Loose Wave Hair prior to installing the hair to create a wig. The entire process took me about 8 hours which was spread out over several days. I would suggest doing this over several days so as not to over stress the hair.

In order to complete this look you will need the large bucket (yes I said bucket) of BW2 Pure White Lightening Powder, 20 and 30 Volume Developer (I used the Clairol Flare 20 Volume and a generic 30 Volume from my local beauty supply store), and hair color to be used after you lift the hair to tone down the brass (Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and 9 A and Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum). You will also need a mixing bowl, a baby whisk (I'm pretty sure that's not the technical name but this is my blog and I do what I want), a color brush, hair foils, and something to protect your tables/ floors like some old news paper or plastic bags.

To start this process off I mixed three scoops of the BW2 lightening powder with about three and a half scoops of the 30 volume developer and mixed it together with my baby whisk. The cream should have the smooth consistency of pancake batter.

Quick Tip: Wear long sleeves and pants so as not to irritate your skin like I did and be sure to wear clothes that you don't really care about like I didn't. Basically do as I say and not as I do.

I started with the bundle that I wanted to be the darkest which would be on the bottom layer of my hair. I applied my mixture to the hair starting from the ends working my way up to the weft so as not to create an uneven color. After I was finished applying the product to the entire bundle I wrapped the hair in foil (not kitchen foil, go ahead and spend the coins at the Beauty Supply for actual hair foil) and let it process for 10 minutes. The result should be a very pretty and rich dark brown color.You will now need to rinse, shampoo, and condition the hair.  At this point you can blow dry the hair or let it air dry in preparation of the second process. for the second process I wanted to create some highlights and an ombre effect. Why? Because I'm extra. Y'all know this. I mixed together my lightening powder with a twenty volume developer this time and pulled aside some small and random pieces where I wanted the hair to be highlighted. After applying the product on my highlights I brushed the creme about halfway up the remainder of the bundle to create an ombre look. I let this hair process for about twenty minutes before rinsing, shampooing and conditioning.

Quick tip: To create a natural looking ombre as opposed to a straight across line you can either slightly tease the hair or apply the product in upward strokes.

After washing and conditioning the bundle I used a deep treatment by Doo Gro to revive the hair.

I repeated this process on the remaining bundles but I let the hair process for about 30 minutes for the first process and I used 30 volume developer when lifting for the highlights and ombre. This made the bundles much lighter than the first one which was what I was going for.

In order to remove any brassy tones from lifting the hair, it's necessary to tone OR deposit a color on top of the hair. I chose to put a color as toning needs to be retouched more often the color. For the darker bundle I used the Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and left it on for about 40 minutes. For the lighter bundles and closure I used Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum which I placed on the ends and applied to certain strands to get MORE highlights (again, I'm extra). On the remainder of the hair I used the Loreal Preference 9A. This created gorgeous highlights and an amazing ombre as well as a beautiful overall color. Using the three bundles and a closure I created a wig unit.

As I said the entire process took be about 8 hours over a period of four days. It is extremely time consuming but well worth it in my opinion. The hair from BHF Extensions lifted AND colored beautifully and I'm extremely happy with the results.

I hope this was helpful for you guys!

Kisses,

Joelle

Major Keys To Avoid Natural Hair Setbacks

Are you following DJ Khaled on snapchat? You should be.

I feel like I've heard this story so many times before. Girl (or boy goes natural), girl falls in love with hair, girl starts experimenting with some crazy styles and takes it a step too far, and then girl has to cut off all of her hair. Tears are usually involved. And then the cycle continues. Listen I'm the first one to tell you go out and be a hair ho and go ahead have fun with your hair; however, if your goal is length retention and health there are some ways to avoid natural hair setbacks.

1. Know Your Limits - Depending on your length or your hair's overall health, there are certain things that your hair just can't do. For example, as someone with about two inches of hair MAYBE a slicked back puff isn't for me. You see how I recognized my natural hair limitations? This saves me time, frustration, and inches.

2. Lay off the heat! Ugh I know. Everyone says no heat, no heat, no heat! Trust me, I'm not that girl. I love a silk press during the winter season as much as anyone else but I would suggest limiting direct heat to once a year. Many naturals like to use straighter styles to measure length. I would suggest combining your length check with your yearly flat ironing session. Now that we've talked about the much feared flat iron let's talk about it's evil side kick the blow dryer. This tool can cause just as much, if not more, damage as the flat iron. Naturals tend to feel safer using a blow dryer on high heat and with out any heat protectant. STOP DOING THAT! It's seriously the worst and will fry your hair with a quickness.

3. Get out of your head- Keep it simple and get your hands out of your hair. Your twist out doesn't need to be fresh every single day and a bun or low manipulation style is your best friend. Think of ways to stretch your styles: buns, puffs and even wash and gos are great low manipulation options for prolonging styles.

4. Protective Style with a plan - Naturalistas everywhere will tell you that protective styling is KEY but what they won't tell you is that long term protective styles can do more harm than good if your hair is not properly cared for. When I go into a long term style I like to have a plan: a start date, a take out date, and a hair care regimen that is easy to stick by. It sounds like much but having a plan of action keeps me on track for optimal length retention results. During my last protective style which lasted about 6 weeks I was able to grow and retain almost three quarters of an inch of hair which I mostly accredit to my regimen.

5. Learn from your mistakes. - When it comes to my natural hair, I've done everything wrong. And I do mean everything. I've over processed and I've had heat damage. I've over conditioned and suffered from protein over load. I've done the disastrous at home cut and I've kept my mouth shut in a stylist's chair when I should have spoken up. But guess what? I won't be making any of those mistakes (unknowingly) again. As it is in life, we have to learn from from the past in order to grow. Once you've had a setback, decide to see the lesson in it and be sure to remember it for the future.

So tell me about your natural hair setbacks. Have you had any? What did you learn from them? Sound off!

Until Next Time,

Joelle

Natural Hair | Product Recommendations for High and Low Porosity

nowing your hair's porosity will help you greatly on your natural hair journey.

Before we get into product recommendations let's talk about porosity and why it matters.

Now that you know your porosity let's talk about products.

Product Guide for High Porosity

Product Guide for High Porosity

If you have high porosity hair, it is important to maintain a good moisture protein balance. This will keep your hair healthy and strong. Any product that smooths frizz is great for naturals with high porosity hair. 

Product Guide for Low Porosity Hair

Product Guide for Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity natural benefit greatly from the use of humectants that draw moisture into the hair and oils that penetrate the cuticle. If you have low porosity hair, look for products that will deeply moisturize and condition and contain emollients such as shea butter, coconut oil, or olive oil.