Nov 29, 2011

Product Review: Shea Moisture Curling Souffle'

When I heard that Shea Moisture was coming out with a gel, I was so excited.  I am a fan of their products so I was really curious about how an all natural gel would work.  I took full advantage of their recent BOGO half off sale at Walgreens and picked it up along with their Curl and Shine Shampoo.  Earlier that day, I watched a few Youtube videos online to see what other naturalistas were saying about this new product.   Upon opening the jar, I too had the same reaction many of them had: What am I supposed to do with this?

Ever see those cooking competition shows where one of the challenges is to take something obscure like the horn of a hippopotamus and try to make an entree out of it?  That is exactly how I felt as my fingers picked up the jelly like oily substance that is the Curling Souffle'.  It immediately felt like a challenge.  I carefully put some in the front of my freshly washed hair and became even more confused.  Then it hit me: it's oily and it's a gel.  My Paul Mitchell Sculpting Clean Gel is also a gel but can be drying. Why don't I just mix the two?  I mixed some Paul Mitchell gel in my hand along with the Curling Souffle and voila! A winning combination!    It took me a few days to figure out the ratio of souffle' to gel but when I got it, I got it. My second day and third day hair has never felt more moisturized.  To refresh, I spray my hair with my water bottle and then crunch some of the Souffle'/gel in my hair.  My curls look great.

If you've ever had problems with your hair getting dry due to defining your curls with gel, I would recommend pairing your gel with this product.  Otherwise using it by itself could leave your hair very oily. I'd be interested in trying it under Kinky Curly's Custard.  The two times I used that my hair looked wonderful the first day but was a dry matted mess the second day.  Although the Curling Custard is known to not play well with other products, I think the two could work well together because it's not a cream but a gel.  There would be less risk of hair turning white with product. If you've used Shea Moisture's Curling Souffle for twist outs or any other way, I'd love to hear how it worked for you.

- All natural
- Affordable
- A little goes a long way
- Good for moisturizing hair that's been defined with gel with something other than a cream

- Very oily. May take a while to get used to.
- Runny consistency

DISCUSSION: Can You Stand The Rain?

It’s been SO rainy outside in Nashville and the surrounding areas.

This can be a task when it comes to hairstyles. Naturally curly hair absorbs the water from the air in humid conditions. If your curly hair is dry and/or damaged, it is much more prone to absorbing water in the atmosphere. When water is from the air, the hair swells unevenly, and appears frizzy. Although it is not the only cause of fuzzy follicles, this leads to frizz. Here are a few ways frizz can be reduced:

Protein treatments can add strength and structure to the hair shaft by filling in openings and not allowing water to penetrate as deeply.

Humectants can be used to absorb water in the atmosphere BEFORE your hair has a chance to absorb it. Although it’s not recommended to use where there is an extremely high level of humidity (It can absorb enough water to create a film on the hair.), when used lightly, it can prevent frizz. One of the most common humectants is glycerin.

Styles can be the key to keep the frizz at bay, OR to make them not matter anymore. Sometimes frizz can be a good thing. Some prefer my twistout on day 2 or 3 when it is not so defined, or on a rainy day, a twistout can swell up nice and large. However, in an office or more formal setting, frizz and big hair may not be the best option.

Do you have a go-to style that works for you on rainy days? What’s your favorite product or treatment to fight frizz?

Nov 28, 2011

EVENT REVIEW: CurlyTalk Natural Hair Meet-up

On November 19, 2011, Too Tight Entertainment hosted the CurlyTalk Natural Hair Meet-up. The Natural in Nashville crew was invited  as special guests and speakers for this wonderful event. There were at least 50 naturally curly and coily ladies at Out of Bounds Cafe eager to listen to the speakers and network about their curls.

Hosted by Melena Sherrill (left) and her sister, Angel, the ladies made sure the guests were comfortable. Upon arrival we were given gift bags filled with lots of samples from the sponsors: Miss Jessie's, Jane Carter Solutions, Write Pretty, and I'me clothing and accessories. There were also giveaways and a raffle to win $100 worth of products. The gifts were great for any newly natural girls or the closet product junky.

Toya and I were asked to speak about Appearance and Self-Confidence. It was so nice to encourage the ladies to embrace their curls, even on a bad day, and not be 'natural hair bullies/Nazis. The crowd was so responsive and I was happy to share with them.

Below are pics of some of the ladies who attended the event. If you see yourself, let me know, I'll make sure to tag you!

Nov 24, 2011

LINK LOVE: The Five Emotional States of the "Big Chop" via has a lovely article about the thoughts women have after making 'The Big Chop'. The article, The Five Emotional Stages of the 'Big Chop', talks about self-esteem, texture jealousy, and answering questions. Make sure to visit the link or pass it along to a friend who is contemplating taking the journey to natural hair freedom.

What was your BIG CHOP experience? Share your story in the comments section below!

Nov 23, 2011

Candice's Hair Diary: Goodbye Twists

Mini twists on Day 1
I have fallen in love with my mini-twists. I first tried this style was back in April 2011. My twists looked good for about a week, and then they looked full of struggle. I put in 6.5 hours of twisting and they lasted less than 2.5 weeks. My scalp was itching. My twists were stiff and dirty and wouldn’t cooperate. I wanted the style to last but I HAPPILY threw in the towel. They looked a mess.

My current set of twists went up in late October. I was determined to make these last and I googled methods of maintaining mini-twists. I was much more prepared. I’ve had my twists in for over a month now, and I’m still getting compliments. These mini-twists seem to be lasting forever and I have curled, styled, and washed them. They’re still fighting the good fight with me. This time, my problem is that I do NOT want to take them down. They still look pretty. They have NEVER stopped being convenient, and I’m having fun exploring style options. Plus, it took closer to 8 hours to do my twists this time, and I feel as though I deserve these extra few weeks.
Flexi Rod Set on mini-twists. Day 25ish.
However, I know the consequences of leaving these twists in too long. I have 4a/4b hair (and some 4c, and some 3c, but that’s for another time) and I know enough to know that my hair will soon start to curl around itself in the twists and I’ll start to have tangles and my twists will start to loc. No bueno. I also don’t want to spend 4 hours trying to take these twists down because they are tangled.
My initial untwisting date was November  19th. Today is November 22, 2011. Maybe I have to learn to think long-term when it comes to my hair. An extra 3 weeks could possibly cause enough breakage to set me back 2 months.  I guess I should put my foot down with myself. I’m going to kiss my mini twists goodbye….... before New Year’s Eve.

Nov 22, 2011

LINK LOVE: Chescaleigh's Locs and Laughs

Ok, so I found this wonderfully witty girl on Tumblr. I'm in love with her locs and when she tells a story, you will be in stiches! Franchesca has become a YouTube sensation with a ton of viewers following her every move. She runs two YouTube channels - Chescaleigh (comedy channel) and Chescalocs (natural hair and skincare channel). Once you watch her videos, you'll be addicted. Her humor is witty and her knowledge on loc and skincare is awesome. 

Follow Franchesca on: Official Website, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook

Below are two videos showcasing her skills in comedy and haircare. ENJOY!!

SHOPPING: Miss Jessie's BOGO at Target

From November 20 - December 17, Miss Jessie's will have a Buy One, Get One Free sale at 422 Target locations and at

If you are a lover of Miss Jessie's products, you know this is a steal. We know that Miss Jessie's products are some of the most expensive on the market - but die-hard fans love it! On top of that. this would be a great gift to get someone for Christmas. So make sure you hit the store before the poduct sells out.

Maybe, I'll give it another try - - We'll see.

HAIR RECIPE: Flax Seed Gel

I was asked recently by a natural what to use for extra hold when styling her daughter’s hair. I named every product in my arsenal, and nothing was right. And when I went way, DEEP back in the cabinet and named an Herbal Essence product that I was SURE could help, she informed me that she preferred natural products. Back to the drawing board.

It became my own personal challenge to find something that was natural, inexpensive, and could add extra hold. I came across several sources that used flax seed to make their own hair gel. Here is a basic recipe:

·         ¼ cup whole flax seed

·         2 cups water

·         ¼ teaspoon olive oil

·         ¼ teaspoon aloe vera gel or juice.

Place the flax seed and water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. STIR the flax seeds that WILL stick to the pot and scorch if you do not stir it. Trust me.
A white frothy mucous will form on top of the liquid. Once the froth develops and, remove the mixture from heat. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the mixture to remove all flax seeds.


The oil and aloe vera are optional, but oil will provide lubrication, and aloe vera juice can help regulate the pH of your homemade gel. I added a drop of peppermint essential oil to mine for no reason other than I love the smell of peppermint. Refrigerate to speed cooling process. The gel will thicken as it cools. Here is an image of my final product:

This works well on wet hair. I recommend using sparingly on dry hair. You should probably at LEAST lightly mist with water. The picture above is the image of the recipe listed above. If you like your gel thicker, feel free to slightly reduce the amount of water, or slightly increase the amount of flax seeds. You can see a video demonstration here. If you have tried this recipe, how does it work for you? Did you make changes?

Nov 21, 2011

HAIR LUST: Curly Couple

Is this not the most amazing picture showcasing black love! And their hair, GORGEOUS! Nothing else to say about this photo, so leave your love in the comments section.

Nov 20, 2011

DISCUSSION: Hair advice - Truth vs. Myth

There has come a time when we all need advice about our hair. Sometimes it’s style recommendations to save us from the afro puff and twist out rut. Sometimes it’s “how-to”s regarding moisture, detangling, and protection of our stubborn but delicate strands. It’s always helpful to have other naturals around to offer advice on how to treat your tresses. This applies especially when you are newly natural or are in the ‘awkward length’ of hair growth when it’s not quite long and not quite short.

The golden gems of advice can change your hair life; sometimes this advice is can be detrimental. Most often, bad advice is not intentional. It comes from a good, albeit misinformed, place. Prime example: Recently another natural and I were discussing how often natural hair should be shampooed, which led to a discussion on co-washing (washing hair with conditioner). She then said that she heard that “dirty hair grows better”. After seeing my face (the best way to show my face in text form is à( O_0). ) She said “A lot of people say dirt makes your hair grow.”

I’m a biology major, so I know that dirt can contain macronutrients to make seedlings grow big and tall and bear pretty flowers. But since hair is not a plant, this is obviously flawed. Just because you have dirty hair and it grows doesn’t mean that your hair grows because it is dirty. But, if enough people tell you that something works, you may start to believe it.

Here is my advice to you: ASK QUESTIONS! If someone tells you to jump in a mud puddle and your hair will soon reach your bra strap, and they swear on a stack of Bibles (or astrology books, or cows, or whatever else people worship nowadays. No shade.), ask “Why does mud make my hair grow?” PLENTY of these hair myths have no reasoning.

 If you can’t logically deduce how or why something works, it may not be true. Do some research before you brew up a chicken claw, raisins, and a bald eagle feather to make your hair more manageable. And if you have found the light from the abyss of a hair myth, don’t forget to go back and gently guide someone else into the light. What are some of the hair myths you've come across??

Nov 18, 2011


Hi everyone! My name is Mesha! Let me say I'm ecstatic that there's a blossoming natural scene in Tennessee! I live in Tennessee and can remember when seeing a woman with natural hair wasn't common. I'm am going on two years natural!.I'm an entrepreneur/jewelry designer (Me'Shell Nicole Jewelry), an avid reader, a helper, child of the King, and an awesome auntie!

I've always had long, super thick hair but for some reason in 2008 my hair was just a mess! My hair was damaged ends were super dry and just ick! I would have lots of new growth but had to get inches cut off due to my damaged ends. A friend suggested I stretch my relaxers to see if that would help. The longest I stretched was 2 months and my beautician was not happy that I'd waited so long and neither was I. I had to sit even longer with that stinky relaxer burning my scalp. With two months worth of new growth my ends were still a mess despite all the attention I was paying them! For as much new growth as I had, that much was cut off.

I was frustrated and decided to start researching natural hair. I was leery at first. I was always told if you just stop getting a relaxer cold turkey then your hair would fall out. I was very curious about my natural texture especially since I got my first relaxer at the age of 6. One of my line sisters had recently transitioned to natural hair so I was able to ask her questions.

I did my own mini "big chop" October 2010 because it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I did this in honor of my grandma and other women who'd lost their hair due to chemotherapy. See my website's 'About' section for the back story. After I cut it, I still had no clue what to do with it, so I weaved it back up. January 2011 is when I started my journey.

I relied on CurlyNikki, YouTube, BGLH and Naturally Obsessed for inspiration, advice and teaching. I transitioned with curly wigs and weaves! I was determined to get back to the basics and focus on the health and well-being of my mane. For a whole year I kept my baby covered. Then in September I ditched the wigs/weaves and vowed to let my light (my hair) shine, shine, shine.

I'm still trying to develop a consistent regimen. Now that the curls are out full time I've been trying to wash weekly. I usually pre-oil with coconut oil either over night or 30-45 mins. before I wash. I wash it then condition, moisturize, seal and style. I love doing the twist outs! If they don't turn out to my liking I'll pin up one side or pull all my hair into a loose puff and keep it moving.
  • I deep condition once a month with Anita Grant's banana rhassoul cubes.
  • I regularly condition with Shea Moisture, Yes to Carrots or Hello Hydration.
  • I did my first clarifying wash recently. I used Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying shampoo. My hair is super soft and clean, I love it.
  • When I do scalp massages I mix a little peppermint oil and lavender oil with grape seed oil.
  • I LOVE raw Shea butter and typically use that as my moisturizer of choice.
  • So far, Shi Naturals Creamy Leave-In has been a blessing to my hair. I'm currently using the Najama Heavy Cream edition (Shi Naturals) as a leave-in and moisturizer.
  • To refresh my hair during the week I use a mix of distilled water and jojoba oil. I seal with coconut oil or castor oil.

Since I'm still in the learning stages I'm guessing I have predominantly type 4 hair, but havelots of tight curls, defined curls, and some frizz. I'm currently at shoulder length but I'm aiming for BSL (bra strap length) hair within the next 2 years. I feel, If I achieved it with chemicals then I know I can achieve it without chemicals.  I trim my ends every 2-3 months and I keep them moisturized and sealed. Oh, drinking lots of water helps me overall too.

My mom has been really supportive. She's finding products for natural hair and asking me if I've tried it. My family and friends have been supportive as well. I was nervous about wearing my natural hair out to church but quickly dismissed that thought. Shoot, God gave it to me! I still get lots of stares, double takes and the occasional "So, you'll really never perm your hair again?" Ummm, No! I've come to the conclusion that I can't be worried about whose supportive and who's not.

Well, here's my hair story thus far...thanks for reading. If you are thinking about going natural or in the process of going natural go for it and don't give up. The journey to natural is what you make it. Have fun with what God gave you!

Roots 'n Rhythm: "Girl from the Gutter" - Kina

Singer Kina burst onto the scene fabulous and fierce in this video from her debut single "Girl from the Gutter". You may remember this song from her self-titled 2000 debut, Kina. This song was released after her stint with the group Brownstone (Kina is on the far right).
I'm not going to lie to you; with me being back and forth about cutting my hair, this video almost sent me over the edge. Not only did I want to cut off my hair, I wanted to put on some leather pants and walk around Broadway talkin' bad to people.

I remember my first Big Chop (and it was indeed a big one). Part of the fun of self discovery that followed was experimenting with funky makeup colors like Kina is wearing and accessorizing with big jewelry. It really opened up my creativity. You have to make it work!

I run into women all of the time that are in the middle of losing patience with their TWA's (teeny weeny afros). If you fall into that category, I hope seeing today's Roots n' Rhythm star Kina rock hers gives you the confidence you need to rock yours.

Nov 17, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: nuNAAT Karite Special Shea Butter products

Ok, please blame me for sitting on this review for so long! I didn't think it was possible for me to find one whole system that works for my notoriously dry hair. I was sent this product to sample and I am pleased to say it is my official product to use on my hair. nuNAAT Karite Special Shea Butter Products are the best products if you have very dry or porous hair! This stuff just works. If you have 4b/c hair, you need to read this entire post!

This nourishing formula is so thick, creamy, and heavy, that you hair will thank you when you finish conditioning it. Like I said, I didn't believe that one product line would have everything I needed. But it really gave me silky/shiny hair. I know I sound like a commmercial, but when you find a product line that really works, you get excited.

Better than that, each product in the line costs $7 or less (depending on retailers). Essentially, you can buy the whole line for $35! You know that's a steal for haircare products targeted to NATURAL hair. Here's a rundown on what's available in the line:
  • Karite Creamy Shampoo- Never a fan of shampoo for my 4b hair, this shampoo changed my mind.This shampoo is very moisturizing. It's very weighty and has good slip. My hair felt moisturized right after I rinsed it.
  • Karite Conditioner- The conditioner is very creamy. I use the conditioner to de-tangle my hair while in the shower. It's also moisturizing enough to use as for a co-wash.
  • Karite Intensive Mask- The intensive mask is the best part of the system! I use this deep conditioner every week. My tiny coils pop and spring  after I rinse my hair. The company suggests a weekly treatment for best results.
  • Karite Leave-in Detangler- OK, so I am ADDICTED to the leave-in de-tangler!! It's my secret weapon. The smooth, thick, and slippery conditioner coats your strands with moisturizing goodness. I use it when I two-strand twist my hair or when I prepare my hair to be worn in an Afro.
  • Karite Anti-Frizz Thermo Active- Lastly, if you choose to blow dry your hair, the Anti-Frizz Thermo Active formula continues to coat your hair in the good stuff it needs. When I used my blow dryer, my hair was very soft and felt moisturized (not greasy) .
I'm sure you are thinking, is there anything I don't like about this line?  I like the way it smells, kinda like chocolate and cookies, but if you use the entire line at one time, you will have a heavy perfume presence around you. I know some people don't like their products to be heavily scented, but if that's the price I have to pay to have shiny moisturized hair - i'll take it!

  • Great for 4b/c, very dry, or porous hair
  • Great value for product
  • Great slip, very moisturizing
  • Available at local drugstores and online
  • Heavily scented
  • Not good for oily hair
 You can find nuNAAT Karite Shea Butter Products at Walgreen's. Actually, the line is BOGO to Walgreen's til the 19th!

LINK LOVE: Essence talks about Heat-Free curling methods

Relaxed or natural, most women retain the most length when we stop using so much heat on our hair. It's just the simple truth. That's why I was happy to see the post on how to curl your hair without heat. The author shows pictures of curly styles and follows up with the best products to use to achieve each style. Great and informative article!

My tip: Make sure you have alot of time to perform any heat-free hair curling method. If you have thick hair the style won't set right and you'll end up with a frizzy shrunken mess.

HAIR LUST: Long and LUX!

I chose this picture because so many naturals think that natural hair equals kinky/coily/curly hair. The truth of the matter is that natural hair is the hair that grows out of your scalp. I know several natural girls whose hair naturally grows straight!! However they have the some of the same problems us curly girls have - dryness, breakage, and tangles.

But for-real though, how gorgeous is this HAIR!! I wish I could find the source (i found this pic on tumblr) but we must clap it up for her luxurious length!

Nov 15, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold Pudding

So, I was on the hunt for a product that would make my twist-outs last a lil bit longer. I've seen this Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold pudding several times and my roomate uses it too. Her hair has a looser curl pattern than mine, so I thought it wouldn't work. But, the creamy consistency and the low price-point (5.99) convinced me to make the purchase.

Now the ingredients listed are not for the super naturals out there. Sorry there's some mineral oil, sulfates, and and a lot of stuff that I can't pronounce, but there's some stuff in there that will help your hair. If you are not too squeamish about artificial products, you may like this product. Take a look:
Aqua (Water) , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil) , Polyquaternium-11 , Glycerin , Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate , Cetearyl Alcohol , Polysorbate-60 , PEG-150 Stearate , Cetyl Alcohol , Ceteareth-20 , PEG-20 Hydrogenated Lanolin , PEG-40 Stearate , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Simmondsia Chinensis Oil (Jojoba) , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond) , Phenyl Trimethicone , PEG-12 Dimethicone , Oleth-20 , Carbomer , Triethanolamine , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Parfum (Fragrance) , Benzyl Benzoate , Citronellol , d-Limonene , Eugenol , Geraniol , Hexyl Cinnamal , Lilial , Linalool , Methyl Ionone , Blue #1 (CI 42090) , Yellow #5 (CI 19140)
So, do I like this product - yes and no. I like it because it really defined my twist-out. It smells really good. You don't need alot to create a look. Once again, the cost is really good and readily available in most drugstores.

What I don't like - the mineral oil - it kinda dries my hair out. To combat this situation, I coat my hair with olive oil before I put the Smooth-n-Hold pudding on. In addition, it doesn't hold very much. Its good to add texture but not to hold. The product isn't specifically targeted for naturals, more for people who have relaxers. So it may work better at holding straighter hair than coily.kinky hair.

I may keep this product as a part of my hair arsenal. I'm gonna use it sparingly to give my hair more definition when styling. Maybe I'll find something that doesn't have mineral oil that gives me the definition and shine that this product gives me.

Organic Root Stimulator - Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold Pudding is available at Target and Wal-Mart. It retails for $5.99

Nov 14, 2011

Toya's Hair Diary: Bad Habits

I have a confession to make: I am the worst when it comes to wrapping my hair at night.  I mean, it just doesn't happen.  To make matters worse, I sometimes sleep on my back on a knit afghan my grandmother made me.  I don't doubt that is the reason why parts of the back of my hair feel like dry pieces of cotton at times.  This is why deep conditioning is imperative. And about that: yeah, I haven't been as consistent about that as I should either. I know, I know.

I think there is a misconception that taking care of natural hair is easy.  Now I will say that there are aspects of the natural hair lifestyle that can make things much easier, especially on your wallet. But even with that how many of us have become product junkies because your hair decided to flip the script and rebel against a product you've been using for months?  You have to consistently be knowledgeable about what your hair needs.  With the colder months ahead of us, some of us will have to change our regimen soon...again!  Natural hair is work!

But back to the simple task of wrapping my hair.  I have a little satin bonnet that gets lost amongst my numerous blankets that I sleep in so there is no telling where that sucker is.  I've been rocking this hairstyle lately: rolled up the back with the front teased out:

You'd think I'd at least be good at tying it up at night but when sleepy time hits, I totally forget about it.  I have considered trying to strike a pose like Ice Cube's sister played by Regina King in Friday:

When my hair was relaxed, I had this pose down to a science!  I realize that all of this could be solved by simply buying a satin pillowcase and that would be easy enough...if I could find my pillow. Again, I sleep with a gang of blankets. No telling where my pillow is. Perhaps on top of my satin bonnet? Who knows?

Are there any bad habits you need to break when it comes to your hair?

MELISSA'S HAIR: My love/hate relationship with my blow-dryer

Ya'll know my only dream in life is to have a super huge fro! Now that my hair is longer, I get closer to my super fro dream. However, with my hair's desperate shrinkage situation, I rarely get to see my hair at it's ultimate length. So sometimes I blow dry my hair to stretch my curls.

Actually, since I removed my braids, I've only used the blow-dryer on my hair two times. Seen above, I had to blow dry my hair because decided to wash/condition my hair too late. I knew I'd wake up with wet hair, so I blew it out before going to bed. When I woke up, I had the best hair ever! It was so fluffy and so stretched and so big! But it was kinda dry - GASP! I fight with making sure my hair is moisturized so blow-drying my hair is counter-productive.

But I hate it, because I can never see my true length. In addition, studies show that blow drying you hair too often leads to breakage and extreme dryness. You can't retain length if your hair sustains constant breakage. Welp, that means no blow-drying for me.

And you know what, some of my favorite natural hair bloggers, rarely allow heat to touch their hair (K Curly from Newly Natural, Fran from HeyFranHey, and KurlyBella from KisforKinky) and they have tremendous growth of their tresses. So, even though, I love to stretch my hair with heat, I'd hate to lose my length. This is truly a love/hate relationship.

So what do I do to stretch my hair without heat? Braid-outs, twist-outs, and banding help me show the length of my hair. Other than that, I've decided to blow dry my hair quarterly, just to see the true-length. Being patient with the process is going to help me get a true super fro - even if I do have 75% shrinkage.

Roots 'n Rhythm: "Nuttin' But Love" Heavy D & The Boyz

The music industry and fans alike have been mourning the loss of Dwight "Heavy D" Myers since he passed away far too soon at the age of 44 last week. I was crazy about Heavy D growing up and with good reason:  his songs had a little something for everybody, especially the ladies.  They sound just as good today as when they came out over twenty years ago.  And the videos?  Who can forget "Nuttin' But Love"?

Many of Heavy D's videos showcased a variety of women including lots of natural beauties from songs like "Nuttin But Love" to "Is It Good to You" and "Big Daddy".  He showed his love for women by singing romantic songs that were very respectful towards us and for that alone he will always stand out far above the rest.  The Overweight Lover Heavy D will be greatly missed. 

Nov 12, 2011

HAIR LUST: Anastasia Leung Lo Hing - new on the scene!

I'm loving this chick! Her luscious waves are giving me life. In addition, she is an upcoming model and dancer from Amsterdam. Check out her YouTube and Twitter pages. This dutch beauty has captured my attention with her lux tresses! You like?!

Nov 10, 2011

WRITER NEEDED: You have locs? We need you!

Natural in Nashville is continually building our team. In our effort to aid Nashville's natural ladies (and gents) we'd like to add a writer to the team who wants to share their experience with locs. Qualifications listed below:
  • Can be male or female
  • Loc'd for at least 2 years
  • Willing to try new products and techniques on your hair
  • Able to submit 2 posts per week via the Blogger network
  • Living in the Nashville area

If you fit the criteria listed, please forward you name and contact info to!

Nov 9, 2011

Melissa's Hair Diary: The 4B Struggle

Last week, Toya and I were talking on the phone, She asked me if I partook in the Shea Moisture BOGO sale at Walgreen's. Sadly, ladies (and gents) I did not. Wann know why?  It's the struggle - The 4B struggle! If you have true 4b/c hair, you can identify with the describers below.  Let's define what 4b hair is all about (source):
  • Type 4 is kinky, or very tightly curled, with a clearly visible curl pattern 
  • Circumference: Crochet needle or even smaller
  • The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile
  • Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together
  • Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less natural protection from the damage you inflict by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening it
  • Type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length
Knowing what I know about my hair, I can't go around buying any type of hair product, because type 4b/c hair doesn't really like alot of products.

Anything that says curl defining I usually pass up. Why? I have almost 0% curl definition, 75% shrinkage, and the thought of letting water touch my hair after it finally dries, scares me. So, products that are loose/ watery usually don't work for me. In addition, they shrink my hair. Those are usually the curl definers. Oh yeah, that's also why Wash n' Go styles don't work for me - water = shrinkage = a carpet like appearance.

The funny thing is, 4b/c hair needs water - but not for styling purposes, just for moisturizing purposes. Usually, I let my hair air-dry, because blow-drying it makes my hair weak and more prone to breakage. My routine is a two-strand twist or braid my hair while it dries.

On a good day my hair resembles fluffy cotton candy. It's light and airy and very very poofy. I like it like that. On a bad day, like if my hair got wet, my hair will shrink so small that it will resemble a small Brillo pad by the middle of the day:

I was a product junkie for about 5 months. That was until I realized that my hair wasn't like Tracee Ellis Ross' hair and that most products marketed for natural hair wouldn't work for me. I started making my own products and searching the world of YouTube for other 4b ladies - mimicking their techniques. Through patienece, I learned that my hair likes oil - coconut, shea, and olive oil. It likes cream moisturizers, and hates anything labeled a styling gel.
So what's the point of this post? Well, I just wanted to further explore the world of naturals. Sometimes we think every product works for every hair type. That's not the case. There are probably alot of generalizations in this post that other 4b/c ladies may not deal with. Everyone has their struggles. Everyday I grow to like my  hair even more, but some days, the struggle is real and relevant.

Nov 8, 2011

Toya's Hair Diary: Each One Teach One

How often have you been in the hair product aisle in a store seeing someone making this face?  Chances are you've spent some time in an aisle with the same expression.  We all have.  One of the coolest things about natural hair is the instant comraderie you share with someone else who is natural.  Standing in the hair aisle with another natural woman can start an instant friendship or in some cases provide help in an emergency situation.

Last week when Shea Moisture had their BOGO half off special at Walgreen's, as much as I tried to fight it I found my way over there.  I had just bought my Curl Enhancing Smoothie and really didn't need anything else.  However after passing three Walgreens on the way home from work I decided to to get some products for, you know, umm... research.  That's it.  I was really curious about their new Curl Souffle' so I went into Walgreens to search for it.  Not too long after I got there the most precious woman with her head wrapped up in the scarf was walking in the same aisle looking at products with an expression like the one you see above.  "Oh my goodness are you natural?"  she asked me.  I assured her that I was.  Relieved she said "Can you help me?  I just big chopped my hair last night and I don't what to do!" I congratulated her for taking that huge step and let her know that I was more than happy to help.  I also asked if I could give her a hug.  I couldn't help it.  I'm a hugger.

I listened as she shared with me how she decided to go natural after her daughter who is in her early teens wanted to get a relaxer.  She wanted her daughter to stay natural but realized that she didn't have a convincing argument because she herself had a relaxer.  "I didn't even know what my real hair felt like anymore" she said.  So as so many of us have done once we get that much needed burst of confidence and exasperation, she cut it all off.  I had known this woman for all but ten minutes and I was so proud of her!  I was glad to hear how supportive her husband was (kudos to him) and how she has spent hours looking at Youtube videos and reading websites to find out what she needed to use on her hair.  Finally here she was about to take her next step on the wonderful, yet at times stressful, journey of getting to know her natural hair. 

After about fifteen minutes of talking about her hair and my recommending some products to start out with (Shea Moisture's Transitioning Kit) and what not to start out with (a forty dollar jar of something you've never tried before is a no no and a one way ticket to becoming a product junkie) we both left pretty happy. She was relieved and I was grateful for where I am in my own journey.  I love the confidence that I now have in being natural.  I love that women feel comfortable enough to ask me about my hair.  I love encouraging another woman to hang in there and learn to love everything about her hair.  With the internet and more and more resources popping up about natural hair, none of us really have to walk this journey alone.  I'm really grateful for that.  I'm grateful that Melissa started this blog so that we can contribute to the building natural hair community in Nashville. Finally, I'm grateful for all of the women that have encouraged me to hang in there when I was so close to giving in.  It's made the ups and downs of this journey completely worth it.

Nov 6, 2011

Hair Lust: Pretty Poof

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh! I've found my hair icon! She has the same texture of my hair! She has an awesomely delightful afro, that is exactly what I want my hair to look like! LOVELY!

Oh, who is this lady? This is Funeka Ngwevela, stylist and model from South Africa. Oh yeah, she has a great style/fashion blog called The Quirky Stylista. Check her out!

Nov 4, 2011

Roots 'n Rhythm: "Girl Next Door" by Musiq Soulchild ft. Ayana of Aaries

If you've always been a little envious of how gorgeous Ayana, the songstress featured in Musiq Soulchild's "Girl Next Door" is...

then times that by two...

She is one half of  the group Aaries.  These double threat twin sisters have been a part of Philadelphia's soul music scene for some time along with Musiq,  Kindred Family Soul, and Jill Scott.

You may also remember them from Musiq's remake of Patrice Rushen's "Settle for My Love" and his hit "FortheNight".  To hear more from these ladies, check out their page at

You can download original material as well as their latest release Covergirls which includes covers of songs by Janet Jackson,  Lauryn Hill and Minnie Riperton.  

Nov 3, 2011

DISCUSSION: Do you use hair growth vitamins?

Long ago I used to take a vitamin specifically for Hair, Skin, and Nails. I purchased it from Wild Oats Food Market, it was all organic, and it cost a grip, but I was convinced it would work. Truthfully, my nails were stronger, my skin was a bit brighter, but I don't remember my hair doing anything different. Oh yeah, TMI, I was bit constipated. So, I stopped taking the vitamin.

Now, being natural, I was thinking of taking a vitamin to encourage my hair growth. Check out this random fact found on the Internet:

Hair growth vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for healthy hair growth. These vitamins should be included in your diet as natural food sources or supplements:

  • Hair growth vitamins are vitamins A, C, E and B-complex. 
  • Major natural sources of vitamin A are eggs, spinach, meat, fish liver oil, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, apricots and peaches. 
  • Citrus fruits, kiwi, pineapple and dark green vegetables are chief sources of vitamin C. 
  • Another crucial of hair growth vitamins is vitamin E. Soybeans, nuts and green leafy vegetables are prime sources of vitamin E. 
  • From a range of B complex vitamins, mainly vitamin B3, also known as niacin and vitamin B6 are fundamental for healthy hair. 
  • Fish, chicken, meat and turkey are few sources of Niacin. Vitamin B6 is crucial for preventing hair loss. Whole grain cereals, egg yolk and vegetables are key sources of vitamin B6. (SOURCE)

So, via diet or via vitamin supplements do you get the essential nutrients needed to grow healthy hair? What are your favorite hair growth vitamins? Share in the comments section!

Nov 2, 2011

HAIR LUST: The Stylish TWA

As much as I love seeing a natural diva with a big ol' afro, I got much love for the sista rocking the TWA. Since I transitioned for almost a year, I didn't quite have a TWA, I had more of a fuller afro. But I appreciate the girls who rock the small fro, I have a couple of friends who have this style and aren't interested in growing their hair any longer. So, yes, sometimes I wish I had a lil fro too.

Nov 1, 2011

Product Review: Nature's Blessings Hair Pomade

I discovered Nature's Blessings Hair Pomade back in 1999 when I was rocking my microwave ponytail and bangs swooped to the side (a la Aaliyah). Don't laugh, we all had our random hair mistakes. Anyway, using all that hairspray, gel, and whatever else I used, left my hair extra dry with lots of breakage. A friend of mine was attending school in DC, rooming with a girl from Brooklyn, whose mother was natural back when being natural wasn't fly. Her mother swore by this stuff and sent jars of it to her daughter in DC.

Upon my visit home, I saw my friend using this. I noted that her jet-black wrap was so shiny and nice, she attributed the shine to Nature's Blessings. She gave me a jar to take home. I started using it immediately and noticed excellent results. Before this time, I knew nothing of sealing in the moisture, but using this pomade helped my hair stay moisturized, even though I was destroying it with heat, relaxers, and the like.

Fast forward to the new Melissa, rocking the 4b afro puff. I'm a fan of coconut oil, olive oil, and Shea butter, to seal my hair, but as the seasons change, a bit of a heavier product is needed to seal the moisture in my extra coily hair. Don't let the smooth taste fool ya, this stuff is grease - good ol' fashioned grease. The kind of stuff your mom used to use when she straightened you hair on Sunday morning. But, it does have some good stuff in it as well - check it:

Nettle,Rosemary,Sage,Peppermint, Thyme, Alfalfa, Pure Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Coconut Oil, Sage Oil, Rosemary Oil, Bergamont Oil, Chlorophyll (from nettle and spinach), Pure Mineral Jelly, Natural Fragrance and Good Intention
There's alot of controversy about the usage of mineral oil (aka Mineral Jelly) on natural hair. Recently, natural hair blogger fave, Curly Nikki, wrote about using old school DAX on her hair - and she liked it! My view, to each his own - find out what works for you and keep it rocking with it. Just know, this winter, your girl Melissa, will be sealing her hair and greasing her scalp with Nature's Blessing Hair Pomade.

  • Great for sealing moisture on coily hair
  • Great smell
  • Great value because a little goes along way

  • Does include mineral oil
  • Can be heavy/greasy on less coily hair textures
  • Hard to find in the city, must be ordered online

Retail Price: $7.24, order online at

Product Deal Alert- BOGO 50% off of Shea Moisture Products at Walgreens

I absolutely swear by Shea Moisture's products.  I truly they believe they have something for every naturalista regardless of your hair type.  If you are curious about this line or are already a fan, you definitely don't want to miss this week's deal of buy one get one 50% off all Shea Moisture products at Walgreens this week.  The sale runs from now until Saturday November 5th.  Let me give you a heads up: if you have been wanting to try the Curl Enhancing Smoothie (a staple in my hair regimen) or just want to stock up, then you want to act fast.  I have noticed in the past when they have these specials that this is often the first thing to fly off the shelves.

If you are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair or recently did The Big Chop, I highly recommend purchasing their Raw Shea Butter and Argan Oil Repair and Transition kit.

 In this kit are trial sizes of each of their Raw Shea Butter & Argan Oil products.  Often when women Big Chop, we want to buy up a lot of products based on recommendations.  Shea Moisture's kits are a great economical way to get familiar with this line and see what works on your hair.  It includes everything you need to get started on a basic regimen: shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning masque and oil.  If you've already transitioned and are looking to try some products with great moisture and curl enhancing benefits, I recommend trying out their Curl & Shine kit

The kits run for $15 and with the special you can buy another product that you may have always wanted to try for half price.  I went to Walgreens last night to get a head start on the sale and purchased for the first time both the Curl & Shine Shampoo and their new Curl Souffle'.   I will be posting reviews very soon. 

Are you a Shea Moisture fan?  What are your favorite products?  Which ones are you looking forward to trying?
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