Browsing Tag

natural hair

Fancy Things Friday

November 27, 2015

As James Wright Chanel reminded us in his review of the Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie, we gotta support Black businesses. Thanks to the good people over at Blavity, there’s a great selection of a few Black-owned companies to shop. These are just five of my favorites from that list. Get your Black Friday on, folks (pun intended!).

1. Yo! “House Party” has to be one of my top five favorite movies of all time. The epic dance battle scene. Kid’s iconic high-top fade. A young Martin Lawrence spinning records. “Switch!” Countless quotables like “‘Peanut! Fix us a couple glasses of Kool-Aid.’ … ‘Grape or red?'” That’s why I was so juiced to discover The Party Clutch by Kashmir VIII. It’s bright and fun, and will definitely be a conversation-starter. Wearable art! I live! (kashmirviii.com)

2. We are who we are today because of the sacrifices of those who came before us. We stand on their shoulders. Now it’s time for us to carry them on our shoulders. Look no further than this Because of Them We Can Signature Backpack, which bears the names of greats like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Marcus Garvey and others. I’m a huge fan of the black-and-white patterns on the sides. I’m patiently waiting for this sold-out piece to get restocked, but way to fuse empowerment with functionality and style! (becauseofthemwecan.com)

3. You can’t tell from this angle, but this Stay Woke Crewneck in Heather Grey is “emblazoned with the Adinkra symbol, Epa, which symbolizes law, justice, slavery and captivity,” Glossrags says. The sentiment behind the symbol is captured on the back, which encourages people to “Stay Woke,” as in keep informed of all the craziness, injustices and strife going on in the world around us. (glossrags.com)

4. This “Wynn” Print from DorcasCreates is simply darling. The pop of red with the glasses is a pleasant surprise, and the subject’s beautiful natural hair is enchanting. Yay, Team Natural! (etsy.com/shop/dorcascreates)

5. Tees in the Trap is speaking truth with its The Brunch Life Chose Me Tee. Nothing brings a sister joy quite like the promise of a bottomless mimosa-laden brunch with friends over the weekend. What can I say? I didn’t choose the brunch life — the brunch life chose me. Find me at The Pink Elephant in San Francisco with this one on. (teesinthetrap.com)

To see past Fancy Things Friday posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Out and About: Animal Style in Pacific Palisades

September 8, 2014

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My guy and I had a wild time — literally and figuratively — yesterday at his company’s family and friends day at a property in Pacific Palisades, Calif. We were treated to a Tommy’s food truck, a magic show and other excitements, but the petting zoo was the highlight for me, by far.

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How could your heart not melt for these sweet faces?

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But don’t let that fool you. This horned fella was rambunctious and later head-butted an unassuming sheep for no reason at all. Totes McGotes out of control!

See more of my shenanigans after the jump!

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Natural Hair Journey: Two-Year Anniversary

January 7, 2014

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In all the excitement about the new year I totally forgot about this Jan. 1 being my two-year natural hair anniversary. Yes, two years ago I took the plunge and decided to wear my hair in all its kinky, coily glory, the way the good Lord gave it to me! What a journey it has been. The above collage is just a few snapshots of my favorite hair moments from 2012 and 2013. The largest picture was taken in January 2012 during a trip to the DMV area, about a week or so into joining Team Natural. I realize that the past two years have been about me embracing my natural texture and getting comfortable with styling it, and trying new things, including an array of products – some hits, some misses. I played with scarves, experimented with many an updo, dabbled with braids, and ran wild with Senegalese and Marley twists.

I can legitimately say that I’m nappy and happy! Yes, there were great days when I felt like a luxurious Nubian princess after turning heads and garnering compliments. And yes, there were difficult days when my tresses didn’t want to cooperate and I dreaded being seen in public. Either way, I took the good with the bad, toughed it out and learned a lot. Now that I’ve gotten acclimated with my natural hair, I’ll be focusing on growth and length retention this year. I’ll finally get an extremely overdue trim, try some Jamaican Black Castor Oil to even out my disproportionately shorter edges and commit to a results-driven regimen. Heck, I may even start doing length checks. I’m super excited to be at this juncture in my journey.

What are some things that have worked for you in growing your hair? Are there any hair products or supplements that have done the trick? I’d appreciate any recommendations in the comments section below. Thanks!

Natural Hair Journey: Product Review – Bain de Terre Macadamia Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner

November 20, 2013

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The promise of macadamia oil in the Bain de Terre Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which came in my November Birchbox, was deceptively enticing. But it turns out, this product just isn’t for me and my 4A/4B tresses. Overall: 2/5

PROS: Both the shampoo and conditioner are paraben-free and contain Argan and Monoi oils. The conditioner had a good amount of slip and was easy to work through my hair while finger detangling in the shower.

CONS: With these oils boasted on the packaging, I expected the scent to be a lot more pleasant. It’s a bit strong and I immediately sought to mask the smell with my tried-and-true Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner. Instead of nourishing my hair, the shampoo left my hair feeling brittle. It does specify for “fine to normal” hair types, which is troubling because to me, my natural, God-given hair is “normal,” and I refuse to believe otherwise. But I digress. You win some, you lose some.

Natural Hair Journey: Marley Twists Styled

November 6, 2013

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I’ve had a lovely time styling my Marley twists and enjoying the luxury of not having to worry about the frequent upkeep of my 4B tresses. But all good things must come to an end, as they say. Here’s a look at a few of the many ways I styled these twists. Given the countless compliments (I’m amazed at how many people thought it was all my hair — a true testament to the great blend of the Marley braiding hair with my natural texture) and ease of wear, I will definitely revisit this style of twists.

Natural Hair Journey: Marley Twists

September 17, 2013

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I was missing my Senegalese twists that I rocked this past winter, so I opted to go with some Marley twists. My sweet little sister, Ayesha, did them for me during Labor Day weekend after consulting a couple of YouTube videos for technique recommendations. I enjoy the fact that I can give my natural tresses a break with this protective style, and I love that they’re thick, super long (waist-length) and blend with the texture of my 4B hair. The only downsides are that they are heavy and warm during this Indian summer we’re having in Los Angeles, and they’re too thick to snatch up in a top knot bun. But I’m hoping they will last through October. I’ve been having a great time trying new ways to style my Marley twists.

Natural Hair Journey: Product Review — Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment

July 30, 2013

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I received this Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment as a sample in my June Birchbox and decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because I probably would not have tried out this product otherwise. Overall: 4/5

PROS: The product left my hair feeling soft and very moisturized in five minutes’ time. It was the perfect addition to my wash-day routine, as my hair was well prepped for a twist out after applying it to my hair. The texture is thick and creamy, and the scent is pleasant, which is always a plus.

CON: It took a lot of product to work into my thick head of 4A/4B coils. With it being on the pricier side (one online retailer had the treatment listed at $40 for a 16-ounce bottle), it may be an expensive habit to maintain.

Natural Hair Journey: Turban How-To

July 2, 2013

Thanks to all the compliments I received on my Turban Tuesday, Part Deux post, and by popular demand, I present to you my Turban How-To. Here is a step-by-step guide to achieving the fun, sassy look.

Start off with an over-sized scarf. The one used for this turban is rectangular-shaped and measures 70 inches by 42 inches. Fold it in half long ways.

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1. Take the scarf and, holding one end in each hand, drape it at the back of your head.

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2. Bring your hands together such that you’re holding both ends at your forehead.

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Natural Hair Journey: Product Review — Natural Hair Box

June 27, 2013

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Earlier this month, I was chosen as the winner of an Onyx Rose giveaway for the June Natural Hair Box. From the same vein as the CurlBox or CurlKit, the Natural Hair Box gives customers samples of six or so natural hair care products for $29.99 each month. It truly is a bargain when you consider that Shea Moisture products alone, for example, are sold for $10 a pop. And the cost to try new products can add up pretty quickly.

This month’s box included an herbal restorative tea rinse treatment from Hair Tease, a snickerdoodle scented body butter from Bake Shop Butters, Twirly Hair Gel from L.A.C.E. Natural, hair and skin moisturizer from Nahbila’s Essentials, Hair Foreplay Leave In from SDotBeauty and Okra Winfrey conditioner from Sudsatorium. All these products are valued at a total of $67.

Also, with the exception of the Hair Tease rinse, I tried each of these products twice on my freshly washed 4B coils (and freshly washed skin, in the case of the body butter).


HAIR TEASE TEA RINSE
: 4/5

PROS: I was very interested in trying this tea rinse out, as using tea in this manner was a new concept to me. Afterward, my scalp felt rejuvenated, and the aroma of the herbs was invigorating.
CONS: It’s a bit of a process to prepare, and is messy to apply. Also, the ingredients only list “a proprietary blend of herbs,” but I’d be interested to know what exactly is going in to my hair.

BAKE SHOP BODY BUTTER: 4.5/5

PROS: The scent is simply divine. Trust me, it will be a challenge not to scoop some of this creamy goodness into you mouth. And it left my body moisturized all day long, including those ash-prone areas like my ankles and knees.
CON: It was slightly difficult to spread.

L.A.C.E. NATURAL HAIR GEL: 3/5

PROS: The product smells really good.
CONS: The gel was has a liquid-like consistency, unlike any other gel I’ve tried. I’m guessing that had something to do with it not giving a solid hold on my two-strand twist-out, which seriously lacked definition.

NAHBILA’S HAIR AND SKIN MOISTURIZER: 4.5/5

PROS: This is my favorite item included in the box. It smells amazing, and I can detect an almost lemony zip with each spritz. It left my hair looking healthy and moisturized. I also enjoy the fact that it can also be used on your body. Just one spray of this product and you’re feeling brand new.
CON: The bottle isn’t bigger.

SDOTBEAUTY LEAVE IN: 3/5

PROS: It has a nice consistency: not too runny, not too thick. And it got the job done without leaving my hair greasy and/or weighed down.
CON: The results were just lackluster. Nothing really stands out good or bad.

SUDSATORIUM OKRA WINFREY CONDITIONER: 2.5/5

PROS: It’s vegan and organic. The scent was a pleasant surprise, considering the green slimy veggie okra is its main ingredient. Lastly, it takes top prize for most creative name.
CONS: This product didn’t have much slip. I had to use a lot of it to work through my hair. There weren’t any directions included, so I just trusted my instincts and left it on my hair for two to three minutes. In the end, my hair just felt dry and brittle, which was unexpected.

Overall, I’m very grateful that I received this Natural Hair Box for free. I definitely will consider giving it a try in the coming months. Part of its beauty is trying unfamiliar products, which was really exciting.

Natural Hair Journey: 1950s Scarf Style

June 17, 2013

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I guess you can say I was channeling Rosie the Riveter or Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy,” with this look, which I wore to happy hour with friends this past Friday (Upon entering, a rowdy group of guys called me Minnie Mouse, which I can kind of see now. LOL.). I’m starting to see the benefits of protective styling, including the use of fun scarfs and headwraps, as I’m noticing less breakage and more growth. Yay!

This look was rather easy to achieve. To start, I sectioned my bangs off and tucked my hair in a loose French roll (nothing fancy, just trying to keep my hair down). I then took a square scarf, folded it in half diagonally to form a triangle, tied it Aunt Jemima style in front, formed the ends in a bow, folded the remaining flap over the bow and tucked it under. Give it a whirl!