Archive for the ‘braids’ Category

Product Review: Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding


PRODUCT:  Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding, 8 oz., $10.00.

APPLICATION:  I conditoner washed with Suave Tropical Coconut and squeezed out excess water.   I used the Lock & Twist Pudding as a styler to create a bun I could wear for 2-3 days.  I emulsified the Lock & Twist Pudding between my hands, then applied to my hair from edges to ends.  It easily laid down and smoothed my 4a, fine hair into a bun.  

RESULTS:  I don’t wear locks or twists (except fat twists at bedtime), so I used this product as a styler.  This had to be the fastest bun I’ve ever created.  The Lock & Twist Pudding smoothed my hair very nicely (even my edges) and it has a nice hold.  I didn’t have to use much product to get the job done either.

100_3164   100_3184   100_3168

VERDICT:  This had to be the quickest bun I’ve ever created, but I noticed the bun portion of my hair was more moisturized than the rest of my hair the next day.  Next time I’ll try using the Donna Marie Ultimate Slip Detangler or Cocoa Hemp Buttercream as a leave-in underneath.  Overall, this product works great as a styler for me.  Non-drying, non-flaking, and smoothes the hair very well.  My hair is really loving this product line.


Mature Natural’s Winter Hair Care Tips

  1. Got knots?  Out styles can cause a lot of knots, especially in windy weather.  A dab of any product that provides a lot of slip (TJ Nourish, Elucence) helps those knots ease right out.  Surprisingly, what also works for me is Elasta QP Breakage Control Serum.
  2. Shea butter and other oils on wet hair sometims have a tendency to make the hair hard and dry.  Not good in cold weather.  Try shea butter and oils on dry hair instead and see if you experience the softness and sheen you were searching for.
  3. Want to experience the benefits of henna, but not the color?  Try a henna gloss treatment instead.  Check out the Henna For Hair website for henna gloss and other recipes.
  4. Try mixing a little hair pomade with hair moisturizer (shea butter/shealoe, etc.) and apply to ends when doing a protective style.  Helps to keep ends smooth, sealed, and protected.  I love Hair-A-Do Growth Balm for this.
  5. Missing those a.m. conditioner washes due to cold weather?  Try lightly spritzing hair instead.  This moistens the hair before application of stylers or moisturizers.  My current favorite spritz mix is Mill Creek’s Amazon Organics Kava & Lemongrass with Lavender Volumizing Conditioner, almond oil, and aloe vera gel.  Hair stays soft and fluffy throughout the day.
  6. Use a heavier conditioner for homemade leave-ins during winter months.  Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol conditioner has been a product staple of mine for six years now.  Because of it’s heavier consistency, I like using this for my leave-in mix with a little olive oil as an alternative to Suave/V05 conditioners with olive oil.  Also try adding flaxseed gel to homemade shealoe mixes for a little more hold.
  7. I love the smoothness and control a gel provides, but resulted in hair loss and thinning of my hairline.  Wearing tight or wool blend hats may also cause damage to hairline.  Wear roomier, natural fiber hats and apply more natural hair products to your hairline like aloe vera gelly (Lily of the Desert), homemade flaxseed gel, Hairveda Almond Glaze or Hairveda Whipped Gelly.  Your hairline will thank you.
  8. Cover it up or wrap it up.  If your hair is damp, cover it up or wrap it up before going outside.  Check out my posts featuring fashionable hats, wraps, and snoods from popular Etsy shops. 
  9. Updos and protective styles.  Winter is perfect for protective styles like twists, braids, bunning, and updos.  Low manipulation styling and protecting those ends help to maintain hair health, as well as length. 
  10. Does your furnace have a humdifier?  Make sure it is turned on.  Dry indoor heat will zap moisture from your hair, scalp, and skin.  Portable hot/cold air mist humidifiers are available for purchase if you don’t have one, or you could put a large bowl of water on your radiator or near a heat vent to help put some moisture back into the air.  A homemade hair spritz would be ideal for this situation to help keep your hair moisturized throughout the day.

Hope that helps. 

What are some of your winter hair care tips?  Please share.

Six Years of Learning To Love My Hair

Can I say that today I love my hair?  My choice to wear my hair natural stemmed from health-related issues I had six years ago (big chop August 10, 2002).  Looking back, though, I don’t think I would have ever made it this far without the information, insight, and encouragment from some of Nappturality’s veterans that were active members at the time.   Don’t see them too much on the boards anymore, but it’s impossible to speak of my hair journey without mentioning the impact they had on it.  Thanks ladies!

My advice to those who are on or just starting their natural journey:  

  1. Be Informed.  Search hair care info on the internet, buy books, go to the library or join hair care forums/boards.  A lot of board members have their own blogs and sites documenting their hair journey.
  2. Be Patient.  There is a lot to learn.  You’ll experience many ups and downs, trials and triumphs.  Are you in-between a twa and 5 inches of hair?  Don’t worry.  Nothing a barette, clip, headband or scarf can’t make better.  Hang in there.
  3. Be Self-Supporting.  Realize that everyone is not going to agree with your choice to be natural.  Everyone includes hubby/significant other, family, friends, and even strangers.  Stay true to yourself.  Trust me, eventually what they think or say will matter less and less. 
  4. Be Resourceful.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money on online products unless you want to.  The grocery store, CVS, vitamin shops, and your kitchen will have everything you need.  Braid shops,  barber shops, and hair salons use a lot of oils and shea butter based products.  They also get product discounts.  Ask them where they purchase their products, or if they can order products for you.   

Here are a few pics from my hair journey.  

1.          2.          3.

  1. September 2007
  2. January 2008
  3. September 2008

Even after six years, I’m still learning.

Kinky-Curly Hair Homemade Spritz Alternative

The weather is getting warmer and if you’re like me, a homemade spritz is a quick fix to hair that needs a little extra moisture in the middle of the day.  I finally found an alternative that is comparable to my homemade spritz that is offline, easy to find, and cheap.  Ion Leave-In-Conditioner (anti-frizz solutions) Daily No Rinse Treatment is the next best thing to my homemade spritz.  This double duty leave-in is currently on sale at Sally Beauty Supply ($3.99) and is also a great detangler.  The back of my hair is tangle city and just spritzing the area with this leave-in detangles instantly and easily. 

There is a cone in this product (amodimethicone) and a paraben at the bottom of the ingredient list (methylparaben), but overall, Ion Leave-Conditioner is a good product.  So far, I haven’t had any problems with buildup or itching.  Please note that this product does not define kinks and curls, but does soften and detangle, leaving hair fluffy and tangle free.  Cool product for a chunky fro, twistout, or to soften braids or locs. 

Other notable Ion product: Ion Reconstructor Treatment, $1.99, 1 oz. pkg.  Perfect for those monthly deep conditioning/strengthening treatments.


Online Hair Products for Locs

I’ve always been facinated with locs and loc maintenance.  I’ll never forget an elderly woman I encountered while out shopping.  She had to be about 65 to 70 years old with salt-n-pepper locs.  Her locs were pinned up in a beautiful updo and there seemed to be a certain “regality” about her.  I couldn’t stop staring at her and, of course, I had to tell her how beautiful I thought her locs were. 

I’m curious as to what loc hair products (online, homemade, etc.) are utilized, maintenance regimen, spiritual significance (if any), trials, and tribulations for each individual.  I would love to have locs one day, but I know I’m not ready yet.  I can’t stand having my hair braided or twisted for more than 3-4 days at a time.  I love the touch and feel of my loose hair.  I do see myself starting locs some time in the near future though. 

In the upcoming months, I will be posting more info regarding locs (starting locs, types of locs, maintenance, etc.).  I also encourage any of my blog readers with locs to share with us the type of locs you have and what product(s) are working for you.  Chic Afrique Herbals and Handcrafted Naani Naturals are two online product lines with products specifically for locs.

Chic Afrique Herbals

The Chic Afrique Herbal Line are 100% Natural.

    Odara Hair Oil, $9.99 for 4 oz. Odara Hair Oil contains essential oils of petitgrain, lavender, mandarin orange, grapefruit, which leaves a refreshing clean citrusy fragrance, that lasts all day.

   Odara Hair Butter, $9.99 for 4 oz.  Odara consists of Shea nut butter blended with Olive oil, Lemon, Mandarin orange, Cedar wood and liberal amounts of Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Nettle and Chamomile, fragranced with a citrus blend of Petitgrain and Grapefruit.

     Odara Conditioning Hair Food, $15.00 for 6 oz.  Odara hair food contains water, jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, vegetable emulsifying wax, steric acid, Xantham gum and
essential oils of Rosmary.

  Odara Loc Butter, $9.99 for 4 oz. It contains Lanolin, Shea Butter, Candelia Wax, Sunflower Oil, infused with Coltsfoot, Horsetails, Nettle, Lavender herb, Rosemary, Sage, and Elders flowers. The essential oils of Petit Grain, Lemon, Rosemary Sage, and Patchouli are aslo added.

Handcrafted Naani Naturals

Naani Lock’d Down Dreadlock Butter, $16.15 for 8 oz., $8.00 for 4 oz. Ingredients:  Herb Infused Olive Oil, Jojoba, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Illipe Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Essential Oil and/or Fragrance Oil Blend. Available in 6 aromatherapy blends.

Naani Lock’d Down Dreadlock Butter II, $9.25 for 4 oz., $18.00 for 8 oz.  No beeswax formula.  Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Herb Infused Olive Oil, Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Illipe Butter, Vitamin E, Essential Oil and/or Fragrance Oil Blend.

Aromatherapy Moisturizing Twist & Lock Design Crème, 8oz, $15.99.  Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Leaf Juice, Witch Hazel, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Herbal Growth Formula (Jojoba, Shea, Olive, & Grapeseed oils, Organic Herbs-Burdock Root, Comfrey Root, Nettle Root, Calendula Blossoms, Chamomile Flowers, Salvia Apiana Leaf & Black Walnut Hull), Cyclomethicone, Keratin Amino Acids, Carbomer, TEA, Methyl/Propyl Paraben, Essential & Fragrance oils.  Dreadlocks:  Use stand-alone or in conjunction with Lock’d Down Dreadlocks Butter.  I prefer to combine 1 part Butter to 1 part Design Creme for initial twisting.  The  combination helps moisturize and soften coarse hair for easier styling, while imparting hold. 


How could I possibly write about loc’d hair products without featuring handmade loc jewelry?  These exquisitely crafted creations belong to Zayunu by Design shop on Etsy, as well as her website at Zayunu By Design.  Add a little bit of “regality” to your locs with any of these. 


I had to share this.  It’s funny that after almost 6 years of wearing my hair natural, I still get those looks of pity, disgust, or disbelief from family, friends, and strangers.  I’m at the point in my journey where I feel I don’t have to explain my reasonings for “my natural hair choice”.  Hell, then again, I could display those same looks of pity, disgust, or disbelief for “some of their hair choices”  (LOL), but I won’t.  Just do you, okay, cause I’m good.

HairThingys Hair Jewelry

Spring is here and I’m itching to show off my hair growth by investing in hair accessories that are more grown-up and can literally “hold it down”.  I now have 7 inches of hair to work with and I can finally kiss those flimsy kiddie accessories buh-bye for good.  Hello hair accessories that are comfortable, sophisticated, and contructed to last. 

My initial search almost always starts with Etsy, which, by the way, never fails to deliver whatever handmade item my heart desires.  My search for hair accessories turned up a shop with some amazing hair  accessories.  Some of the materials used to make these one-of-a-kind beauties include leather, sterling silver, carnelian nuggets, agate, bone, etc.  They are constructed to last with strong, high quality elastic.  HairThingys can be used on hair that is relaxed, natural, or locked.  


Tamra, the owner of HairThingys, was trained as a physicist, but couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do with her life.  She kind of fell into jewelry design as a career.  This talented lady has her own business, Gentry Design Company, and currently has two ventures; Ag Jewelry Design (jewelry) and HairThingys (hair jewelry).  She began as a beader and is a self-taught metalsmith and jewelry artist.  

Tamra had this to share about how HairThingys began.  “As a person with locked hair, I found the accessories I purchased in stores to be insufficient for both my hair type and the size of my ponytails.  Many of them were cheap and it showed over time.  They either lost components or broke altogether, and I didn’t care for many of the designs I saw.  I figured that I could make what I wanted myself, so HairThingys was born.” 

Check out the following hair accessories from HairThingys. 

Chic Carnelian-Nugget Hair Nugget, $6.50 -These HairThingys are made of highly polished carnelian nuggets and mounted on single strand of high-quality brown elastic cord.  These ponytail holders are perfect for smaller ponytails, and the elastic can be wrapped around twice for a snug fit, or once for a looser fit.  Wear two ponytails, wear just one, or wear the pair on one!
 Love My Leather HairThingy, $7.50 – This HairThingy is made of beautiful etched leather, and is mounted on a triple strand of high-quality brown elastic cord! The leather bead measures 1-1/2″ long.  This ponytail holder works best on larger ponytails and wraps around twice for a secure fit.

 Banded Agate HairThingy, $8.50 – This HairThingy is made of highly-polished, banded agate, and sits on two strands of high-quality black elastic cord. The bead is approximately 3/4 inch wide.  This HairThingy wraps around once for medium-sized ponytails, or twice for a smaller ponytails.

 Tallulah Triclops HairThing, $14.75 – Made of highly-polished, triple-beaded agate, and sits on two strands of high-quality brown elastic cord. Each bead about 1 inch tall by 3/4 inch wide. This HairThingy works well for medium-sized ponytails and wraps around once for a snug fit.

Chinese Amour V2 HairThingy, $17.50 – This HairThingy from our “Chic Treats for Chic Hair” collection is made of beautiful, natural-colored etched jade and fine silver, and is mounted on a double strand of high-quality brown elastic cord.

 The New Black is Brown HairThingy, $22.50 – Didn’t you know that brown is the new black for this season?  A carved Italian-resin focal piece measuring 1-1/4 in. square is accented with a solid sterling silver bead on each side. This Hairthingy is perfect for a larger, thicker ponytail.

Exclusive Artisan Mehndi HairThingy, $85.00 – This is an absolutely stunning, hand-enameled, artisan glass Mendhi HairThingy.  The artist that makes these lampworked-beads hand-paints the design on each bead using ancient enameling techniques, and then fires the design into the bead. No two beads are alike.  The bead measures approximately 1-1/2 inches by about 1/2 inch.



Which is worse? Product Junkyism or Ingredient Junkyism?

My hair maintenance routine is working very well, so why is it I’m itching to try something new?  Bored, most likely.  I recently wasted money at Sally’s Beauty Supply for Silk Elements Revive & Restore Oil Moisturizing Lotion, Silk Elements Repair Masque, and Root Organic Stimulator Carrot Oil.  It took all of three days for the protein in those products to make my hair go from happy and obedient to guilty of disorderly conduct.  I had to go full out Bohemian (thanks JazziJenni81/HappyCurls) in order to get things back to normal.  For those unfamiliar with the Bohemian Routine, it’s basically a wash and go with conditioner and no styling aids are used (gels, pomades, mousse, etc.), only homemade spritz, moisturizer, or a leave-in.  

To cure my boredom, I visited From Nature With Love, Oils By Nature, and Essential Wholesale who have alphabetical lists of oils, butters, herbs, their benefits and uses, etc.  I found three ingredients I’d like to experiment with.  These ingredients were in products I’ve used previously and had good results (Aubrey’s White Camellia Conditioner, Redken All Soft Cream, Herbal Essence Gel w/Hibiscus (discontinued)).  

Camelina Seed Oil (Camelina Sativa) – Camellina seed oil has a high level of tocopherols (vitamins and antioxidants) and is similar to vitamin E oil.  Use this oil to seal in moisture and protect ends. 

Products with camelina oil as an ingredient:  Redken All Soft Cream, Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Hair Oil (Fine) and Curl Junkie Guava Curl Cream.

Camellia oil – Camellia seed oil is a multipurpose oil which smoothes, moisturizes, and adds shine to hair.  Also is beneficial to skin and has anti-aging properties (fine lines, dryness, scars, etc.),

Products with camellia oil as an ingredient:  Aubrey’s White Camellia Oil, Aubrey’s White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner, Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Hair oil (Dry/Damaged).

Hibiscus Flower (Jaswand) – A natural hair detangler which can be purchased in powder form, as an extract, or as dried flower petals.  Also nourishes the scalp and used often in ayurvedic hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, and gels.

Products with hibiscus flower:  John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor, Curl Junkie Hibiscus Bliss Moisturizing Shampoo, Roots 100% Natural Hibiscus Gel or Powder, Lush Godiva Solid Shampoo Bar.

Other ingredients I’d like to try:  Meadowfoam seed oil, sweet almond butter, babassu butter, watermelon seed oil, and seabuckthorn berry oil.

See what I mean.  I’ll tell you which is worse; neither one.  You’ll be broke either way you go.  I’ve gone from product junkyism to ingredient junkyism.  My advice for those with a routine that is working; leave it alone.  Your pocketbook will thank ya (lol).