Top Three Reasons You Should Clarify Your Hair Now

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My ride or die shampoos.

The basic hair regimen starts with shampoo or at least most do. However, many naturals have traded in suds for creamy conditioner for washing hair to maintain moisture as most find shampoo stripping to the natural oils of our hair. If you’re a low porosity natural like myself, you already know the struggle of saturating hair with water, getting conditioners to penetrate or watching thick moisturizers sit on top of your hair waiting for the day it’ll absorb so why make it more difficult by letting product build up on our already resistant strands?

At least once a month, a clarifying product should be used to let your natural hair shine (literally, shine).

Here are the top three reasons you should get to clarifyin’!

 1. Product performs better on clean hair

Deep conditioners and moisturizers are usually already thick and breaking through built up barriers make it even harder to see the true performance of products. Make sure to use a ph balanced clarifying shampoo like Mizani Puriphying Shampoo to remove all old product. You should notice better performance of following products afterwards.

2. You can see your curl pattern better

The reason so many naturals love bentonite clay treatments (a natural detoxifier) is because they do a fabulous job and clarifying and defining hair into your best kinks and coils. Its the main part of the Max Hydration Method and much beloved by myself because I can always count on my hair looking amazing after a twist out and especially a wash n go because my strands have been detoxed! Clean hair springs up because of removed build up. Experience your loveliest hair with bentonite clay. Watch my video to see how I use it on my hair, scalp and skin!

 

3. Your scalp with thank you

Hair is always secondary to its source–the scalp. Forget about healthy flourishing hair if the scalp is crowded by gel residue, conditioner that hasn’t been rinsed properly or sweat from a week of workouts. Healthy scalp means healthy hair and a clarifying shampoo like Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo with Apple Cider Vinegar will not only gently and efficiently deep cleanse hair, but those key components are magic to the scalp!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil promotes hair thickness, detoxes and softens.

Apple cider vinegar treats scalp issues such as eczema, dandruff and psoriasis while further cleansing hair and scalp and balancing the hairs pH which is important for hair manageability.

Start on the freshest track this cold season with super cleansed hair and scalp. You will reap the rewards by springtime!

xo

C Marie 

The Best Deep Conditioner Ever? | Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner

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I’m always on the hunt for deep conditioners. I can never have enough! They, in my humble opinion are the “difference maker” in a hair care routine so when I choose one, they have to stand up to some pretty heavy standards.

  • Works on my finicky low porosity hair
  • Softens and detangles
  • Moisturizes for days
  • Smells great
  • Accessible

You may or may not have noticed that I left out price and that’s because I’ll pay good money for a bomb deep conditioner. So with all these factors in mind, I headed to my mega beauty supply store and scoured brands and ingredients, pretty packaging and paused. I spotted Mielle Organics Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner in its hot pink packaging and remembered all the insta posts I’ve seen of women happily going through their Mielle regimen. I snagged an 8 oz jar and proceeded to the register. Unfortunately, this little 8 oz jar was 15.99. WHY HAIR HEAVENS!? WHY!? I bought it anyways.

On wash day, I used my Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar staple Shea Moisture shampoo and whipped out my new deep conditioner. Here are some details on Mielle Organics Deep Conditoner:

Our new Babassu oil and Mint Deep conditioning protein/moisture replenisher will restore dry and damaged hair. This native Amazonian palm fruit is high in sterols and tocopherols which are healthy for the hair and scalp.

Enriched with fatty acids that provide a rich softness to the hair. Derived from natural oils and cetearyl alcohol which helps reduce frizz and fly-aways. This deep conditioner is filled with two complex amino acids from wheat, soy and other natural sources that actually mimic the function of hair amino acids helping to restore the function and moisture to damaged and dry hair.

Safe to use on color treated hair.

Babassu Oil is an oil similar to coconut oil in that its an oil loaded with fatty acids. It’s light and heals scalp inflammation so for those with scalp issues. This baby will do the trick. Its also highly moisturizing and restorative which is great for dry skin as well.

Mint is always a refreshing addition to any hair product leaving a cool tingling sensation on the scalp thats just euphoric. Mint is also known to stimulate hair growth. That in tandem with babassu oil should lead you on your way to great growth and retention.

Back to wash day.

  • I scoop a good amount out and put in a measuring cup then microwave for about 20 seconds. I always warm my conditioner because as a low porosity natural, products tend to sit on top of my closed cuticles. Warmth opens them open making the strands better receptive to receiving more of the products ingredients and benefits.
  • Apply to hair in 4 sections. I like to make sure everywhere gets product especially my crown where its more fragile and susceptible to breakage. I instantly notice how slippery the conditioner was.

I didn’t need a lot because it spread so well. It was amazing! Also, to me, it smells incredible. Its such a unique earthy scent unlike the flooded hair care scent of coconuts and fruit cocktails. Its like a nice earthy perfume with mint undertones coming through and it lingers. I love that!

  • Put on my plastic cap for 30 minutes or so then went to detangle and rinse.

It was such a great detangling session. The slip of the Mielle Organics deep conditioner is one to beat. Paired with running water and my paddle brush, tangles knew better than to be in the way. And then my hair…My hair was so soft and fluffy. I can tell the medium consistency of the conditioner was perfect for penetration my strands. The label also states that its a protein/moisture replenisher which means it also delivers a shot of strength to damaged hair.

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I am beyond impressed with this product. Its not often I find mind-blowing products for my picky hair but when I do, oh baby, do I stock up. Super happy I tried out this product and will be trying out the rest of the line. Staple for sure.

xo

C Marie

 

4b Summer Wash N Go Trials!

4b Summer Wash N Go Trials!

Since my haircut, I want to redo all my past hairstyles and the one I most anticipated was the famed wash n go. I like to call it defining my curls because most take the phrase WAY too literally but most naturals know what a wash n go is.

Playing with conditioner, leave in and gel combos have been so fun and they styling ease has been a welcome side effect.

Pros of a wash n go:

  • All in the shower styling. From cleansing to gel, everything I do is all contained within my shower
  • Nothing to worry about after I exit shower but drying hair.
  • My hair stays detangled because I rewash every two to three days.
  • I utilize finger detangling only which maintains my curl pattern but is really easy on my fine 4b hair.
  • Hair is perpetually moisturized because of frequent washes.
  • Because of frequent washes, my edges are sprouting. Also, the out style causes no tension on my edges.
  • My hair is always styled so I’m ready for any event and any moment. I don’t have to retwist, untwist, curl, fluff, nothing! And the style only gets better with age.

Cons of a wash n go

  • Single strand knots are multiplied! They’re usually the reason I ALWAYS veer from my wash n go lifestyle. I cant bear to have terrible ends.
  • All the damn money I’m spending on finding the perfect product combos. Ok, thats not a legit con but beware, the search will always continue.

Here are some product combos I’ve tried thus far:

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This is my first wash n go of the season, using Giovanni Direct Leave In, Shea Moisture Omega 3 6 9 Conditioner and Ecostyler Argan Oil Gel. My favorite wash n go results thus far. Unfortunately, I feel by day 3/4, my hair was dryish due to Eco.

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Then I wanted a softer hold so for this was n go, I experimented with Giovanni Direct Leave In, a bit of the Shea Moisture Conditioner, Eden Bodyworks Coconut Curl Defining Creme and Wetline Xtreme Gel. Hair was really soft but became pretty dry and dull by the time wash day rolled around. Coils were really defined though. Held up during a rainstorm that I was actually in the middle of.

 

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My latest wash n go, I wanted to add more definition so I clarified with Mizani Puriphying Shampoo to remove all build up, overnight deep conditioned with DevaCurl Heaven In Hair, did a clay rinse to define curls consisting on bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. I then used DevaCurl One Condition as my leave in and WetLine Xtreme as my gel of choice.

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This was my least favorite wash n go yet. It had no volume and I think I put too much gel because it was so so hard. I just threw it up into a high bun for a couple days.

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I’ll be experimenting all season long so stay on the lookout for more! In the mean time, check out this Wash N Go With Me video!

xo

C Marie

Wash Day | Flat Twist Out

Wash day flat twist out

I look like a nursing assistant here.

My most recent wash day was kinda sorta hectic. It had been three weeks (!) since I’d washed my hair which is one of the longest I’ve gone in months. My son just requires a lot of my attention and so does my hair and I had to pick one over the other and my son always won until I decided to just go for it. Because I’d gone so long, my hair was dry, dry, dry! So here’s what happened:

{1} I sectioned my hair into three: My crown which I like to focus on separately and the two sides. I used Shea Moisture’s Omega 3 6 9 Hair & Scalp Tonic on my roots and a few sprays on my strands to get it lightly damp. While that was taking place, I was warming up my Shea Moisture Heat Protect Oil Serum. It says serum but there are no silicones or mineral oil, just great oils (primarily grapeseed). Once warm, I doused my hair and scalp with the oil focusing on the ends. I lightly finger detangled then used my wide tooth comb to better detangle. I left this pre poo’d for hours! Like, 6 or 7 but I was just preoccupied.

{2} I knew I couldn’t sleep in the oil because I knew it’d be a mess so when it was shower time, I went ahead and rinsed out the treatment and shampooed once with my baby, Shea Moisture JBCO & ACV Shampoo. Clean and happy scalp.

{3} Partial laziness kicked in again. I say partial because I ALWAYS deep condition but I didn’t have time to sit under a dryer, and wash out again so I took my last bits of my Shea Moisture Manuka & Honey Masque mixed with my Shea Moisture Omega 3 6 9 Rescue & Repair Masque, popped in a cup, popped in the microwave with a bit of water (too thick) for about 35 seconds and slapped on the sections I’d created earlier starting with my crown which needed the most warmth from the deep conditioner. Slapped a cap on and went to bed! Not a fan of sleeping in deep conditioner but it happened.

Wash day flat twist out

{4} The next day, I washed out the deep conditioner, detangled with a paddle brush and dried very well with my towel. Added my Giovanni Direct Leave In then I did a light tension blow out on high warm heat. I wanted stretch and semi dryness so that was the route I went even though I do not like blow dryers.

{5} Sectioned hair, applied Cantu Coconut Curling Cream (one of my staple stylers) and proceeded to flat twist the root, plait (braid) the remaining ends and use a small perm rods. Why all the extraness? Well, a flat twist stretches the roots, a braid stretches the ends and a curler gives me the curly ends I love. I did this all around my head, wrapped up and went to bed.

{6} In the morning, I just unraveled, lightly separated and generously fluffed and picked my hair to attain volume. I loved my hair! It was soft and so fluffy and really defined. The perfect outcome.

Wash day flat twist out

Wash day flat twist out

Wash day flat twist out

 

Let me know if you try any of these products or techniques down below in the comments!

xo

C Marie

 

A Simple Braid N’ Curl | Type 4 Hair

 A Simple Braid N' Curl | Type 4 Hair

After my haircut, I just have to redo all my previous hairstyles so I decided to start with a simple braid n’ curl for my kinky type 4 hair to see how cute it’d look! Ha!

Here’s my wash day:

{1} Washed twice with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo which is my most favorite shampoo I’ve used since I’ve been natural which is almost 5 years. I like a really nice clean base to get rid of build up and grease.

{2} I always deep condition. This time, I used Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Treatment Masque which is very good. I always warm up my deep conditioner in the microwave for 15 seconds so the warm of the product can better penetrate my low porosity strands.

{3}Added a quarter size amount of Giovanni Direct Leave In on each half of my hair and blow dried my hair on high hot heat (needed to be quick so that’s why but I usually use high warm).

{4} Took small/medium sections starting in the back, lightly dampened with my spray water bottle, took a dab of Cantu Coconut Curling Cream then distributed along the length. Proceeded to braid until a little before the end then took a blue perm rod to curl the end. Continued until entire head was done.

{5} The next day, I unraveled all the rollers and braids, separated and fluffed with my trusty pick and BAM! Cuteness galore!

A Simple Braid N' Curl | Type 4 Hair

Just in case you’re a visual person, here’s a quick video I made just for you.

xo

C Marie

Two Products I Used To Lay My Unruly Edges

imageI have super coarse edges. Disrespectfully crunchy, unruly and the hardest to lay flat and smooth.

Now, I understand that I have kinky coily type 4b hair and having baby hair like Chili from TLC is just not going to happen. I get it. But a style is just that much more put together when the edges are laid. My humble opinion and my edges fight me tooth and nail. You’d think I’d just give up the struggle and let them sway all willy nilly but no. I came up with a combo that smoothed, laid, tamed and even, dare I say “swooped” my baby hurrs immaculately without a beady bead or flyaway in sight.

My beloved Blue Magic Castor Oil Grease and Argan Oil Ecostyler Gel.

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Can I get an AMEN?

Now, the star of the show is not the gel but the grease that lays beneath. I’ve posted multiple YouTube videos about my love affair with grease and it has just continued to prove to me why its the G.O.A.T. and now, I can rock my signature middle part low bun like a boss because all day, not a strand disrespected me.

Here’s what I did:

  1. On dry combed out hair, I made my center part and slathered a generous helping of my favorite leave in, Giovanni Direct, all over.
  2. While still damp, I took a nice quarter size amount of that good old grease on each side focusing of my edges, then took my Denman brush and smoothed my hair into a low ponytail. Love the Denman brush because it reaches my scalp through all that thick hair to smooth thoroughly.
  3. Grabbed a nice dollop of gel and smoothed on top. Taking my soft boar bristle brush, I smoothed all my hair back. At this point, my waves were on swim.
  4. Took my baby hair brush (a toothbrush. Don’t judge) and laid edges to perfection.
  5. Grabbed a scarf and set the style for about 20 minutes while I got dressed.

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When I took my scarf off, it was beautiful as most scarf helped styles are BUT not only was it neat, it was soft, shiny and no gel cast! My hair felt like hair but was smooth. And my edges…I genuinely have to say I was so proud of them. I wore my sleek bun for over 9 hours and not a nap dared to kink up. Delightful!

This is my new power combo for smooth edges. What do you use to smooth yours?

 

Am I Going Bald? |Dealing With Postpartum Shedding

Am I Going Bald? |Dealing With Postpartum Shedding

Thou Giveth and Thou Taketh Away.

I’m going through it you guys. I’m one of them. “Those” women.

I’m experiencing postpartum shedding. That period of time after giving birth where all that luxuriously thick hair that barely shed during pregnancy decides to boom flick off your head all at once.

Am I Going Bald? |Dealing With Postpartum Shedding

Hair in the carpet. Stragglers on my turtleneck. Plastered to the shower walls. Dwelling on my son’s blanket. Hair, hair, everywhere. *insert sad face here*

This is super common though. My sister who gave birth a month before me is going through it too. She thinks she’s dying…But I stressed to her it’s part of life. Hair goes through a resting phase due to pregnancy hormones, preventing usual shed hairs from falling thus building up super thick, can barely brush or comb hair. My hair became so thick during pregnancy, even worse it was summer. It was like a helmet. When hormones drop back to normal levels, so do those hair follicles, releasing hairs that were held onto during pregnancy.

Am I Going Bald? |Dealing With Postpartum Shedding

My shedding from 4 days of no combing

What I did read is that if breastfeeding, which I am, the release of shed hairs may not be so drastic. It also helps to continue to take prenatal vitamins.

Here are the steps I’m taking to keep hair on my head.

  • I know it’s not the preferred idea but I’m keeping my hair straightened.

Natural hair tangles like a mug and having major shedding will only make my hair care regimen a nightmare. I’ve been keeping my hair flat ironed and/or rollerset for the past couple months and I love it. I can easily comb my hair, moisturize it and protective style it without worrying about single strand knots, tangles and long styling sessions. Easy peasy!

I never go a month without this staple in my regimen. I find it helps with hair fall by strengthening my hair and the roots. I’ve been using it since my transitioning days in 2010 and its still awesomeness. A must before my flat iron sessions.

  • Keep a really good nutritious diet

I ran out of prenatals a while ago and have been taking my adult multivitamin gummies and hair skin and nails vitamin, drinking green smoothies at least 3 times a week and gulping at least 51 oz of water a day. AT LEAST. Not just for hair but for my little compadre drinking from my boobie. Knowing I’m providing nutrition for the both of us makes it that much easier to keep it up.

  • Protective style to continue to retain length
  • Keep hair well moisturized to prevent breakage
  • Protect my edges by oiling and avoiding friction
  • Continue my micro trimming routine as shedding can make hair very uneven
  • Deep condition ALWAYS

Well my dears,

I hope these tips helped and I know it’ll end soon but it can seem a bit daunting going through it. Just know, you’re not alone and that your happy healthy baby is your pride and joy!

Am I Going Bald? |Dealing With Postpartum Shedding

xo

C Marie