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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Forecasting 2013


Photo courtesy of

Grab your whistles and horns! A new year is coming! It turns out that the Mayans may have gotten a thing or two incorrect (thank goodness!) because 2013 is nearly here. Phew! This new year, I’d like to take you and my curly mane to a higher level. Yes, I’d like us to end 2013 having made some significant advances. What kind of advances, you say?

First let’s look back at this year. Ah, 2012, the time in which we first met. In case you don’t already know, My Curly Mane is 6 months old! Our baby girl is growing, and with that, I must turn to you. Thank you for stopping by and reading! I truly appreciate the support and enjoy helping you with your hair goals. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know. I appreciate any and all thoughts.

This blog has allowed me to focus more on my curly mane, literally. If you read about my recent length check, you’ll notice that the extra care I’ve taken to moisturize my hair and keep straightening to a minimum has paid off. I’ve seen an increase in my hair’s health (springiness) and length. If you’re seeking either or both goals, I want to help you make strides and/or achieve your goal in 2013.

You & Me In 2013

I’m asking you to please implement at least one tip from this blog or my newsletter (you’ll receive this by subscribing) each month. Please abide by this lesson for at least one week and report back to me. Remember, it’s only by taking action and making changes to your routine that you will see improvements in your hair. Trust me. I know it’s hard, but by finally taking action, I started My Curly Mane. Oh, and yes. I thought that was crazy too, but here we are making our way. I challenge you to take action and get your hair ready in 2013, so you can proudly werk your mane come 2014. Make me proud!

Aside from your mane, I’m putting out a call for hair stories and additional advice. I truly believe that each one teaches one, and I am inviting you to share your hair stories, tips, and life lessons. Pass on a good word or two. It never hurts. 🙂

My Curly Mane Outlook

I will continue to share my colorful take on hair and life right here on this blog. I may play around with the look and feel of this site, depending on your feedback. I already made a tweak or two. Did you notice? I will continue to share tips, reviews, and news on natural hair. However, there may be a few surprises or two. I’ll leave it at this, as I have a few ideas brewing. No need to worry. I will continue to steer the course smoothly, with your feedback, of course.

Best Wishes

I wish you and your family lots of love and happiness in the new year. I pray that you will continue to embrace your mane as well as the manes of others, speak kindly, learn to treat others and yourself with care (let’s spoil ourselves more as a certain someone did this holiday season … who, me?), and seize all opportunities that come your way. Whether you’re celebrating with a group or alone on your couch, cheers! Dust off your shoulders. It’s time for new beginnings. Happy New Year!!

Holiday Hairstyles For Natural Hair

Like chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the holiday season is ablaze! I hope you are enjoying it, whether you are celebrating traditionally or just going about your days. If you have dinner plans or are heading out on the town, I’ve got holiday hairstyles for you to ring in the new year, courtesy of a few savvy YouTube vloggers. I purposely selected these on-camera mavens since their textures vary from my own and showcase natural hair’s versatility. If you’re like me, you often desire to mix up your look but need baby steps. These styles are simple, so trust me, curlie. We can do them too!

Dinner Party Looks

Our first vlogger, IamNaturallyCurious, presents a sophisticated updo. Stop right there! Don’t get overwhelmed by the final look. I was right there with you, ready to click out of the screen, until I watched this lady easily twist her hair into this classic style. Add pins, garnish, heck even left over Christmas decor, and you’re more than ready for tea with the queen. Sit back and enjoy the music!

Ms. RosieVelt takes another spin on the classic updo by working her hair into a low twisted bang and braided back. One of the best things about this look is that it doesn’t require neat parts and rolls. Instead, you can keep it loose and even a little messy, and it still looks pretty darn neat for formal or informal events.

Fun Time Style

For my ladies who really want to stand out, there’s the infamous hair bow, famously sported by Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton. Vlogger Cassandre Beccai walks us through a quick and easy tutorial. I just love, love this look! Oh, and no, I don’t care that I’m not 5 years old. I will be one of those ladies who wears pigtails til the age of 80, God willing! For a different spin, work the hair bow into a half up (hair bowed), half down look.

Talk Of The Town TWA

For my ladies with teeny-weeny afros (TWAs), there are styles for you as well. TWAs truly help to showcase our facial beauty, but did you know that they can be worked into lovely looks? InTheTikiLounge shows us how to dress up shorter hair, so you won’t get stuck with the same ol’ style.

Bonus Tips

Want to mix it up? Adorn these looks with headbands, hairpins, clips, and even faux color (view my recent post on a temporary color trick). You can also use them as blue prints for your own look. Get creative!

If you try any of these styles or variations of your own, please let me know. Post pics, comments, tips, etc. below! Happy Holidays!

Hair Hall of Fame: Diana & Tracee Ellis Ross

Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you?” ~ Lyrics from the legendary movie, Mahogany, starring Diana Ross.

Diana and Tracee Ellis Ross

From left,  Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross

When I think of Diana Ross, I remember being a young girl and listening to my mother crank up the volume to her favorite singer’s albums … yes, albums. My mind conjures up images of a rail thin body; long, bedazzled Bob Mackie gowns; and let us not forget—voluptuous, flowing hair. Once the pieces are put together, you know that Miss Ross has arrrriiiiiived (throws arms in air in a grande dame pose)!

In case you’re completely out of the loop … or too far removed from this generation (sniffles), you should already know that Diana Ross is a legendary performer. She is an Academy Award Nominated Actress, Golden Globe winner, Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award winner, and Tony award winner, among other honors. Diana and her daughter, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, are also the second inductees into My Curly Mane’s Hair Hall of Fame! Cue the horns!

At 68 years old, Diana Ross is still fabulous and continues to rock out with her huge, curly mane. Rewind to the ‘60s, and young Diana Ross was the “it girl” in the Motown group, The Supremes. In case you missed it, rent or order the movie Dreamgirls on Netflick. 😉

During her time as the group’s lead singer, Miss Ross wore straight-haired beehives wigs. She moved on and sported a tight, natural afro, as seen in the movie, The Wiz. Flash forward decades later, and she introduced us to her looong curly mane. You can often spot it being gracefully whipped or combed through her fingers during her many sold out concerts.

Diana Ross - My Curly Mane's Hair Hall of Fame Inductee

Diana Ross

Before you get worked up, let me explain. I understand Diana Ross’ long, fluffy look isn’t au naturel. Much like unicorns, I really, really want to believe that this is true. While it isn’t, let us not forget the times in which she wore her sensational afro. Plus her magically enhanced coiffed has been desired and imitated by many (see my post on Kim K’s ‘wild’ mane). We have to give Miss Ross credit for showcasing variations of what natural hair can look like. She captures the beauty of what many natural ladies have or can achieve. To top it off, Diana also gave us the stunning Tracee Ellis Ross.

I was first introduced to Tracee as one of the stars of UPN/CW’s Girlfriends. Where Diana possesses and has the essence of glorious natural hair, Tracee solely showcases the real deal. A longtime natural hair icon, Tracee has worn her hair full and curly, poofy, wavy, and straight. Regardless of the style, her beauty, which she can credit to her mother, is always amplified by her luscious locks. Tracee recently shared some hair advice and words and wisdom (in line with My Curly Mane’s credo), during an August 2012 interview with Essence magazine.

Tracee Ellis Ross - My Curly Mane's Hair Hall of Fame Inductee

Tracee Ellis Ross

She says, “Just embrace your hair! I really feel like I am not an advocate for people doing what I do. I’m an advocate for people discovering and finding what works for them. For some people the relaxer is everything that made them love their hair. For some people, getting a weave is what made them love their hair. For some people getting wigs is what made them love their hair. For some people it is just a bun or a topknot. It’s all about you and it’s about what makes you feel comfortable, what makes you feel beautiful and what makes you feel good. Anybody that tells you that there’s a way to do something— whether it be hair, dating, anything— there’s no such thing. We’re all different, it works differently for each of us and I think you should really let yourself find your own way.”

Somebody thank that woman! Tracee, who is unbelievably 40 years old, has won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. She is a lady who sets examples, and today, she joins her mother, the iconic Diana Ross, as our proud Hair Hall of Fame inductees.

Product Battle: IC vs. Eco

You cannot choose your battlefield; God does that for you, but you can plant a standard where a standard never flew.” ~ Nathalia Crane, The Singing Crow And Other Poems MyCurlyMane_Product_Battle_Tennis_sized

Wash and go’s are the way to go for many of us naturally curly girls. Often this means turning to a fave gel to help capture our curls and waves. The choices vary, but only a few products truly come in swinging and rank towards the top. Curlies, grab your tennis rackets and werk your fiercest ‘fros. It’s time for another Product Battle!

On the left, we have Fantasia IC Gel. This contender is familiar with the battle scene. IC is often compared to the likes of many similar products, but its results are easily remembered. According to the package, IC “delivers the greatest shine on earth and revitalizes and strengthens damaged hair.” IC also has a variation that includes olive oil, sparkle lites (for shimmer), as well as a line for color-treated hair.

On the right, we have Eco Styler Protein Styling Gel aka “black gel” aka “brown gel.” Also a longtime opponent, this gel is known for having a smooth start and a firm finish. Eco comes in a range of rainbow-colored lines geared towards a wide range of hair needs – from color-treated tresses to active, sporty manes. According to its package, Eco is “for all hair types and Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gelused by professionals.” You can also click here to read my review of Eco.

The Rules

Both products will be measured according to My Curly Mane’s criteria. A full point will be given for successful completion of each category. A half point will be given for satisfactory results. The categories are: price, ingredients, scent, application, look, feel, and the wild card—ability to produce second day hair. Final scores can range from zero to 7 (perfect) points.

Let’s get ready to battle!

1. Price

  • Fantasia High Potency IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel, with Sparkle Lites= approximately $4 for a 16 oz. jar
  • Eco Styler Protein Styling Gel or Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel (pictured above) = approximately $3 for a 16 oz. jar

Both products are really affordable! It’s just about as good as it gets. These competitors each deliver a drop volley and backspin their game to earn full points.

Point = 1/Total = 1

Point = 1 / Total = 1

2. Ingredients

IC and Eco are water based, since this is the first ingredient in both of their listing. In fact, these gels contain similar items, including protein. If you are protein sensitive, stand clear! Let’s move closer to the court and see how these players stack up.

  • Fantasia IC Hair Polisher is “formulated for color treated and chemically damaged hair. It repairs, restores, and resurfaces hair. This polisher seals, smooths, shines and locks in color for semi-permanent and permanent hair color.” This gel is also touted for its aloe vitamins and wheat proteins. The full list of ingredients is: Purified Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Aloe Vera Gel, Dimethicone Copolyol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polysorbate-20, Benzopehonoe-4, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.
    This product is free from: silicone, sulfates, and paraben. Updated 8/4/13: This product actually does contain silicone in the form of Dimethicone. Nearly missed this one! Thank you, DrSelina for the catch! Since this is my oversight, I’ll allow IC to maintain its point … for now. 😉

    IC Gel-vs-Eco Styler Gel_Day1

    On left, Fantasia IC Gel. On right, Eco Styler Gel. Both images show 1st day results. IC defines tiny curls. Eco clumps curls for big-haired results.

  • Eco Styler has an olive oil version that “contains 100% Pure Olive Oil for deep down conditioning while maintaining maximum hold.” Most of its formulations “contain UV Protection and help your scalp regulate its natural moisture system.” The full list of ingredients is: Water, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PVP, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Love and Pride (nice).
    This product is free from: silicones, sulfates, and alcohol.

Both products hit hard and deliver when it comes to their ingredients. Deuce!

Point = 1/Total = 2

Point = 1 / Total = 2

 3. Scent

  • IC has a light, clean fragrance.
  • Eco’s assortment of gels varies in aroma, from yummy grape (Eco Protein) to fresh laundry (Eco Krystal).

Both IC and Eco go easy on the nostrils. No fainting spells from these two! In fact, they’re equally able to hit the “sweet spot.” IC and ECO serve it up and earn a full point.

Point = 1 /Total = 3

IC Gel-vs-Eco Styler Gel_Day2

On left, Fantasia IC Gel. On right, Eco Styler Gel. Both images show 2nd day results. Note the droopy, curly effect of IC compared with the fluffier look of Eco.

Point = 1 / Total = 3

4. Application

For wash and go results, each product must be applied to damp, freshly washed hair. You can see my 10 steps for a wash and go for details. I rake and smooth each item onto my hair, applying them over Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner and topping them with Vatika oil. They can also be used to slick down your hairline. For their similar skills, IC and Eco keep it neck and neck. They each drop shot and earn a point.

Point = 1 /Total = 4

Point = 1 / Total = 4

 5. Look

Worried about flakes? No need. IC and Eco are flake free. Both gels also do a great job of defining curls and keeping frizz at bay. However, each delivers a different look.

IC lives up to its promise and makes curls shine. It’s reminiscent of aloe vera gel (AVG)–yet another comparison as mentioned above–but this is because AVG is one of its main ingredients. However, IC differs from AVG by making my curly mane look limp in appearance. My curls have more hang time, which isn’t quite what I’m going for.

Eco comes in formulations with holding strengths that range from 1 to 10 (the strongest hold). It dries crunchier than IC, so you will need to scrunch out the crunch from this gel. This same holding property also captures and clumps together bigger curls. It also creates more lift as each day goes by. By the third day, my curly mane is at its optimal, full effect. We’re talking about big hair, which I love!

Eco takes a deep shot and literally gets the “advantage.”

Point = 0/Total = 4

IC Gel-vs-Eco Styler Gel_Day3

On left, Fantasia IC Gel. On right, Eco Styler Gel. Both images show 3rd day results. Note how much fuller Eco makes my curly mane. It also looks a little bit more defined with Eco.

Point = 1 / Total = 5

 6. Moisture & Feel

Like AVG, IC immediately softens my hair. This is thanks to (you guessed it!) AVG and glycerin! Eco instantly leaves hair crunchy, but it gets softer once the gel cast is removed (through scrunching). You can also oil your hair to soften the look.

For its uber cushiony-ness, IC aces it. Eco gets a half point.

Point = 1 /Total = 5

Point = 0.5 / Total = 5.5

7. Wild Card/Tie Breaker: Second day hair

With IC and Eco, my curly mane is able to get second and third day hair! You’ll need to pineapple overnight to preserve the look. At the very least, sleep on a silk/satin pillow case or use a silk/satin cap. Both players take a backhand shot and lob for a point. Match point.Eco.MyCurlyMane_Eco Styler Gel

Point = 1/Total = 6 out of 7

Point = 1 / Total =6.5 out of 7

And the winner is: I have spent many times going back and forth between the two (picture head continuously moving left and right as I watch the rally), and both products are impressive. After watching how each plays with my hair, it all comes down to the look. I “love” bigger, more defined curls, which Eco delivers. I also know that I can get a softer feel by scrunching out the gel cast and applying oil to Eco. If you oil your hair on the second and third days, you’re pretty much good to go. Game. Set. Match. Eco is the winner!

Faux Color, Real Appeal

Maybelline Color Tattoo Bold Gold

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold

I’ve got color; yes, I do! I’ve got color; how about you?!

I just love hair color. I think it’s a great way to accent our curls, particularly in the form of highlights. Warning! As much as I love coloring my hair, it was one of the evil culprits that caused damage. Sit back and relax for a quick recap!

History Lesson

Years ago, I would embark on weekly adventures with color, changing my hair from red to blond and back again. That was until my curly mane had enough. It drop-kicked my bottles of developer and dyes and played dead on my head … well, hair is naturally dead (ha!), but this was something entirely different. Over processing my hair through bleach and dyes left it in a limp state.

Just when I began to rehab my curls, I once again decided to get color in the form of highlights. I figured this would be less damaging, particularly since I was seeking the help of a professional stylist. Mistake! The hairdresser, who between breaks of nibbling on her lunch, over processed the front, left section of my hair. This area stopped curling as well, not to mention it was completely colored instead of highlighted! Needless to say, these and other experiences made me walk away from hair coloring.

Still, I just can’t help drooling over other curlies’ expert highlights. It makes me pause and briefly consider another bout with dyes. Fortunately, natural hair blogger Curly Nikki recently flagged a sneaky way in which we can get faux hair color by using cream eye shadow. Boing! That’s the sound of your head rattling. I know. I know. You must be thinking that us natural ladies have lost it again. Here comes another crazy concoction or method of styling. No, actually this one is quick and easy. It’s also a fun way to mix up your look.


  • Maybelline 24 Hour Eyeshadow, Bold Gold
  • Your curly mane, of course! – My hair was styled in a wash and go.
  • 10 minutes max
Faux Hair Color with Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Shadow

Faux Hair Color with Maybelline 24 Hour Eyeshadow, Bold Gold


I literally dug my fingers into this creamy eye shadow (frowning and naysaying along the way), and randomly smoothed it down my strands, twirling it around my finger. I concentrate more of the product on the hairs around my face. I had to use a generous amount since it wasn’t initially apparent on my dark hair. You’ll need to wash and scrub this from your hands and nails. Not too bad, but it can be a little messy.


The eye shadow gave my hair a slight shimmer and gold highlights! I was pleasantly surprised. Although the shadow itself is marketed as lasting 24 hours, hence its name as a tattoo, this faded out of my hair throughout the night.

When I woke up in the morning, it was gone! I had to check my pics to remember that I applied it! The only evidence is slight traces of shimmer. This worked perfectly for styling my hair (and eyes) before I headed out to a reggae concert. I think the rocker look is perfect for heading out on the town, but it may be too much for conservative office environments. The choice is yours.

If you give this look a go, please comment and share pics below! You can also view this post and join the conversation over at Curly Nikki.

Product Review: Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter

Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Creme

Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Crème

When I tried Beautiful Textures Leave-in Conditioner months ago, I had such good results that I ran back to my favorite beauty supply store like a mad woman and scooped up the whole product line in eager anticipation of equally good results. Crazy? Who? Me? The leave-in was such a success that it is now my staple, so naturally I placed my bets on the other items in the collection without even trying them. This included  Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Crème (looong title).

Fortunately, this butter crème, which I’ll refer to as BTB for Beautiful Textures Butter, meets my expectations … provided that I use it just for braid-outs. BTB is marketed as being for mixed textured girls, which you can argue includes all textured tresses. Hmmm … Still on the fence about how I feel about this, but let me break down some of its elements for you.

 Price  – Cha Ching or Minor Ding?

You can exhale curlie, this one won’t break the bank. An 8 oz jar of this butter crème only cost me approximately $6. That’s it!

 Ingredients – Powerful Potions

Okay this list is loooong. It includes a mixture of natural and chemical compounds. BTB is marketed as being enriched in aloe vera (my curly mane loves this, as you know), coconut oil (love!), soy (for hair?? Allllrrrrighty then.) argan oil (the latest oil of the month), shea butter, and mango butter. The full shabang includes: Aqua, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olive Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, PEG 75 Lanolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetyl Alcohol, Argania Spinosa Nut Oil/Argan Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit/Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/Mango Butter, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Extract, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract/Aloe Vera, Phenyl Trimethicone, Panax Ginseng Root Extract/Ginseng Extract, Polysorbate 20, Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, CI 15985/Yellow 6, Parfum/ Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, d-Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Lyral, Methyl Ionone Gamma.

Scent – Mmmm or Grrrr?

BTB smells a lot like mangos … which I love! Very delish.

Beautiful Textures Butter_Review

Un-braided hair with BTB, without fluffing and separation

Moisture & Feel – The Goodies

Off-white, peachy in color, this butter has a very light consistency. It is oily and will coat your fingers, but hello! It’s a butter! 😉 Unlike some other products, it does not leave a tacky feeling. On my hair, this does leave a moisturized albeit oily coating. I tend to apply a lot of it, so watch out for the oily build up. In fact, I had to warn a friend, who was admiring my tresses, before she dove her fingers into my hair. She was surprised by the feeling to say the least! This is where you’ll need to decide between the appearance and feeling of your curly mane. Can’t we just have it all?!

Application – Getting The Look

According to the packaging, you should use this to “refresh and hydrate your mixed textured hair every day.” It goes on to say that “Moisture Butter helps maximize the styling options of mixed textured hair by helping achieve softer, more defined curls, healthier looking elongated coils, or simply silky-smooth hydrated hair.”

I tried to use this butter for a wash and go. Hey, I was feeling experimental! However, I didn’t like the oil slick it produced. The best way to use this product is for braid- and twist-outs, as indicated on the package. Sometimes it does help to read directions! While you can use this on your first day braid-outs, I get the best results using this on the second day. Stay with me here.

First Day

I do my typical braid-out with aloe vera gel (AVG) and use this butter lightly over it. As an alternative, you can just layer oils (I prefer Dabur Vatika Oil) over your AVG braid-out, as I usually do, and skip BTB. Still with me? If not, read my review of AVG for detailed instructions.

Second Day

This is where BTB works its magic. I spritz sections of my hair with water, apply a little bit of this butter, and re-braid my hair. In the morning, I do my typical process. I un-braid my hair and briefly blast it with a blow dryer. During this time, I separate my strands and fluff my hair. The blow dryer warms up the butter in my hair. I believe that this enhances my look as well as the penetration of BTB’s butters and oil into my hair.

Third Day

I repeat the process I used on the second day. After this day, I wash my hair because my scalp gets product build up from this butter, and my hair is oilier than desired.

Beautiful Textures Butter_Review_

Look – Thumbs Up or Down?

On the first day, my AVG + oil/AVG + BTB combo produces curly waves. In comparison, BTB produces thicker, even more defined waves on the second and third day. Both braid-outs create an elongated style, but the look and thickness differs. My hair is also lighter looking and feeling on the first day, since it is not yet weighed down by the butter. It becomes fuller looking on the second and third day with BTB. I love big hair!

As I mentioned before, I always wash my curly mane after the third day due to the build up and oiliness. My hair also starts to look a bit dirty … whether you’re seeking this look or not is up to you!

All in all, this product has now been initiated into my routine. Braid-outs are my preferred protective style this winter, and this butter is working. I give it thumbs up, as I love the results. However, I am leaving myself room to play and explore other butters. I’ll report back.

You can purchase this at your local beauty supply store or click here.

Do you give Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Crème thumbs up or down? Shout it out below. If you know of other butters that are working for you, share and share alike!

Vogue Captures Curls In Its Covers

Solange in Vogue's Nov 2012 issue

Singer Solange Knowles is photographed and included in the November issue of Vogue.

After the hustle and bustle of a crazy work week, I like to kicked back and crack open the latest issue of any fashion magazine. I just need my fashion fix! This time, it was the November issue of Vogue. Did you see it? Do you know where I’m going with this? Well, in case you missed it, I’ve gotcha covered. 😉

There was a reoccurring theme that I noticed in the fashion bible’s pages—curls! Okay, that was an easy one. 😉 True to New York’s Fall Fashion Week, curls popped up in a couple of places beneath Vogue’s covers. Here’s the low down:

There was a spread in which a fair skinned model worked throwback, circa 1950’s dresses and frizzed out hair. It is the same look as if you’re on day 4 of your natural hair, and your curls are in their frizzed out, froey state. The model looked sophisticated and feminine. Her hair worked with the easy, breezy tone of the spread.

Similarly, there was a lengthy profile of former model and legendary fashion editor Grace Coddington. The feature included a professional photograph of Coddington aka “The Cod” with what appears to be her naturally curly hair in a frizzy state (seen below with a flower in hair). While the focus of the article was Coddington’s mark on the fashion industry (she is the person who inspired supermodel Twiggy’s decorative eyelashes), her frizzy haired pic left a mark on me. Her photo once again demonstrated the effortlessly chic way in which natural hair can bring out a woman’s beauty.

Finally, for my highly textured ladies, there was a photo of singer Solange Knowles wearing an ahhh-mazing yellow dress and her hair in a natural state. I know. I know. Solange is known to wear wigs (I’m almost certain this one was among her collection), and there wasn’t a diversity of models with a range of curls shown in the mag.

Here’s the thing. At the very, very least, some sort of texture is being spotlighted and shown to accent high fashion and ready to wear looks. Why is this important? The more that textured hair–particularly afro textured hair–is re-introduced and accepted in the media, fashion, etc., hopefully the less stigma that will get associated with it. Perhaps we can move away from seeing natural hair as risky or solely statement making and more as it being our curly manes in its natural state.

What do you think about fall’s ’fros and fashions?

FYI-For my fashion and photo lovers or just those who love flipping through the pages of Vogue and dreaming, check out the documentary In Vogue: The Editor’s Eyes, which chronicles the magazine’s 120 years.

Curls in Vogue - Nov 2012

Photos of models in the November 2012 issue of Vogue magazine.


Health & Length Check: Nov. 2012

Length Check My Curly Mane_November 2012

My curly mane in November 2012.

In the past, I was obsessed with having long hair without really giving any thought to hair health. While I was dyeing and frying my hair, I didn’t realize that this abuse would prevent me from having lengthy tresses, and boy oh boy did my curly mane let me know. It decided to “break off” our relationship, and my ends decided to split … literally! Hair will grow. It’s length retention that’s the trick and can only be achieved by having healthy hair.

For me, healthy hair means oingy boingy curls that greatly shrink in its natural state. This is opposed to hair that lays dry, limp, and overly frizzed out on my head. This is not like how our curls normally frizzes. I’m talking about the type of frizz that screams moiiiisturiiize meeee (cue high pitched, squealing voice)! Today, my hair is in a much better state thanks to several factors, all of which produce healthy and longer hair.

On Average

It is said that hair grows approximately 0.5 inch per month. Of course you’ll need to factor in your genetics, diet, hair routine, and hair type. If your curls are tight then moisture retention may become an issue, since it is harder for the oils from your scalp to travel down the length of your strands. It is recommended that you regularly apply oil to your hair, sealing in moisture/water. This has been one of the key ingredients in ramping up my hair health and creating much softer curls.

What’s Working

My Curly Mane_Length Check July & Oct 2012

On left, my hair in its natural state in May 2012. On right, my straightened hair in November 2012. Next time, I will compare my length in the same straightened state, so you can better see the progress.

My hair has grown since May 2012. What has changed in my routine? I finally began implementing all the things I typically hear about, understand, but ignored. Please note that I did not implement all these changes at once. I slowly began tweaking my routine as I monitored my hair progress. Here’s what’s working:

  1. Stop Straightening. As the weather warmed up in May, I stopped straightening my hair and started experimenting with natural styles, as you may have noticed here at My Curly Mane. Now, I truly enjoy going back and forth between sporting straight styles and an afro, but I noticed that a break from flat ironing allows my hair to thrive.
  2. Press go for wash and go’s. This was my trademark look for the summer, followed by braid outs as a close second. Wearing wash and go’s would normally produce tons of split ends, but when I straightened my hair in November, I noticed that my ends were okay. I believe that I was able to save my strands due to a change in my leave-in conditioner and frequently oiling.
  3. Leave-in Conditioner & Oils. As noted above, oiling my hair helps to seal in moisture. I can’t stress enough the importance of implementing this in my routine. Try it and see.
  4. Switcheroo For Shampoos. I switched from harsher, oil stripping shampoos to moisturizing shampoos. I also shampooed my hair less often. This once again aided in my hair’s moisture balance.
  5. Go Natural. I began relying on products with more natural ingredients. This includes Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner, Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel, and Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair Oil.

Measuring Up

To understand my progress, keep in mind that my hair naturally grows in layers. It wants what it wants! In May, my longest strands were bra strap length. Now this is at mid back length, followed by other strands that are bra strap and shoulder length. Measured from the front, my longest strands were above chest length (you get what I mean) in May. They are now just past mid chest length.

Going forward, I want to find out what is the average rate in which my hair grows. My goal is to reach waist length hair. I have never had this in my life and believe that it is attainable so long as my hair remains healthy aka moisturized. Watch out Rapunzel!

If you’re on a journey towards growing your mane (regardless of your current length), let’s do this together. Let’s give it time, so we don’t obsess … well, not too much! Let’s revisit and see how our hair measures up in February.

My Curly Mane_Curls_Length Check_2009-2012

From left, my curly mane in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Note how much healthier my hair looks now than in 2009, after I cut off the majority of my damaged hair but still had a few rough ends remaining.



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