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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Product Review: Ayur Herbal Shampoo

Ayur Herbal Shampoo

The last time I embarked on a Vatika Oil run, I caught sight of Ayur Herbal Shampoo. As I expertly juggled three bottles of Vatika in my arms, I figured there was room for one more item and picked up the shampoo. Now that I’ve tried it, let me fill you in on the goods.

Ayur Herbal Shampoo with Amla, Shikakai, and Reetha is marketed as being an extra conditioner for normal hair. According to its package, “its rich lathering formula leaves hair exceptionally lustrous and healthier. Natural herbal extracts clean the scalp, retaining its natural oils. It is also helpful in case of dandruff, falling, and greying of hair, etc.”

Price

This shampoo can be purchased for $8 at your local cash and carry. You can also click on the links above to purchase.

Ingredients

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulphate (foaming and cleansing detergent), Cocomonoethanolamide (a foaming agent), Cocobetain, Amla (Embelica officinalis) Extract, Shikakai (Acacia concina) Extract, Reetha (Sapindus mukorossi) Extract, Propylene Glycol, EDTA (a stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Colour, Fragrance.

As noted above, this shampoo contains the following herbal extracts:

  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – delays graying & prevents hair loss.
  • “Reetha is an excellent conditioner.” – used in soaps and shampoos; derived from a plant.
  • Shikaikai (aka Acacia Concinna) –derived from a plant that has a low pH, this natural shampoo does not strip hair from its oils.

Despite all the good stuff, Ayur is not chemical free (reread ingredients above). It contains sodium laureth sulphate, a harsh cleanser that can be a deal breaker for some curlies. Given the inclusion of this ingredient, I wouldn’t use Ayur more than once or twice a week … which is exactly what is recommended on the label. Sometimes you really do have to read and follow directions! :)

Scent

Ayur has a light, herbal scent. It isn’t the least bit overpowering, so there’s no need to worry about fainting spells.

Look

Ayur has a thick, syrupy texture and purple color (points!). Nothing out of the ordinary.

Application

Ayur easily lathers and distributes evenly onto my hair. A little goes a long way. You’ll only need to apply it to your hair once in order to clean it. My curly mane already felt clean, but not stripped, after its first wash. I decided to lather up again in order to fully test the product. Although my hair felt drier on Ayur’s second application, I could tell that my natural oils weren’t completely removed. Thumbs up.

Moisture & Feel

As the company claims, Ayur doesn’t appear to strip away my natural oils. After washing it out, my hair felt soft, perhaps even softer than after using other shampoos containing sodium laureth sulphate. The minimal stripping may be credited to Ayur’s herbal extracts.*I already had Vatika oil in my hair before washing, so please factor this in.

Final Verdict

If your hair and/or scalp is sensitive to chemicals like sodium laureth sulphate and/or herbal ingredients, stay clear of this shampoo. If your hair and/or scalp if flexible, give this one a try. Ayur is great for removing build-up and cleaning textured tresses without stripping strands. I was pleased with the results but would caution from using this too frequently. It was too soon for me to note whether this will prevent graying and hair loss, but I’ll include this in my rotation over the next couple of months and update this post.

Have you tried Ayur Herbal Shampoo or something similar? Share your experiences below.

Decorative High Bun – First Video Tutorial!


A few weeks ago, I outlined the steps needed to create a high bun. Did you get a chance to practice this? If you have this look down, I challenge you to take it one step further. I’d like for you to try to create a decorative high bun, incorporating braids and faux color.

At first, I planned to write down the detailed instructions for you, as usual. After further thought, I realized that you may be a visual learner. I get it. There is something about watching tutorials that allows everything to just click. So, I mustered up the courage to … film it! Yes, I’d like to introduce to you my very first tutorial. Cue the horns! Da-da-da-daaaa!

When I filmed this, I dove right into creating the look. It wasn’t my best attempt, but it can be yours if you remember to:

  1. Neatly braid your sections. This will enable the cream eyeshadow (used to add color) to neatly smooth onto your hair.
  2. Werk a messy or neat bun. Either will do the trick. *snaps fingers twice in the air.*
  3. Hide bobby pins in the hair, so they’re not visible.
  4. Pin down bangs as needed to frame your face.

As you know, I’m a writer, and this blog will always be the core. If you enjoy the visual explanations (and the nuttiness of it all—you know that was a must!), let me know. Maybe there’ll be more to come!

Watch and enjoy! Remember to leave your questions below.

If you have trouble watching the video above, click here to view it.

Loving Your Hair: What Every Natural Needs To Know

Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Clear Mind, Full Heart.

Photo Credit: Nastassia Davis

Does this sound familiar? You big chopped or grew it out. Either way, you finally learned to embrace your curly mane. Heart racing with excitement, you couldn’t wait to explore the infinite possibilities that lay ahead on your head. Suddenly, along the way, you hit a bump in the road. You found yourself getting frustrated with knots, dry hair, and breakage. The level of joy you once had at the beginning of your adventure dips and dives into frustration, and you nearly forget the love you once had for your natural hair.

Like personal bonds, the relationship we have with our curls can hit a rut, causing us to forget what we once cherished. Take a seat. I’m going to share with you some timely tips on loving your natural hair. Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Hair Day!

Keep Committed

Let’s face it. Sometimes the latest styles don’t come out as expected, and we can’t seem to give our hair just what it needs. There are challenges that come with being natural, but let’s not forget that similar challenges exist for relaxed or straightened hair. The grass isn’t always greener. The secret is to stay committed. Don’t give up on your curls and waves. Instead, give yourself time to figure out and rediscover your hair. Hang in there.

Communication Is Key

I say this time and time and time again. *Spins head round and round* Communication is critical! You have to take time to listen and look closely at your curls in order to identify its needs. Whether it basks in your latest conditioner by snuggling curling up tightly or rejects a styler by splitting ends, your hair will let you know! If you pay attention to the signs and gently address your hair’s concerns, it will reward you in return.

‘Do Dates

Friday nights or Saturday mornings may be prime time for tuning into Housewives … or heck, being a real-life housewife, but you can also use that time to give your hair a little TLC. Set aside at least 30 minutes of “me-time,” to explore the many ways to care for your curls. Try a new style; test a product; or indulge in a deep treatment. By experimenting and setting aside playtime, you will take your curls to the next level.

Fight Fair

Are you roughing-up your hair with harsh combs, brushes, and scraggly nails? If so, stoooooop! Never abuse your hair. You will always get better results by handling your hair with kid gloves aka treating it like it’s your first and only pair of Manolos. The gentler the care, the sweeter the results will be.  Have patience.

Cherish Curls

Stop commanding your hair to pop and twirl like the next one. Remember that your curly mane is unique. It isn’t fair for you to demand it to look or behave like anyone else’s. Look back at why you originally decided to embrace your tresses and how happy it can make you feel. Keep your “mane” love in the forefront.

We all go through ups and downs throughout our relationship with our hair. You just have to remember that it’s all a part of the course and worth it in the end. Got some more tips? Share them below.

CurlSpotting: On The Tube, January 2013

Wendy Williams Show Model with Natural Hair

This curlie was spotted literally working realness on the Wendy Williams Show.

Whether you’re tuning to the tube or flipping through mags, these days it’s tough not to spot at least one curly mane shining brightly. *My curly mane drops down and throws hands in the air.* Oh, thank you! Thank you curlies for embracing your manes! It’s thanks to you that me and other former lone wolves don’t have to field endless questions about what’s going on at the top of our heads. Yes, there’ll always be some questions and general interest, but at least we’re no longer gawked at like some form of endangered species.

This is one of the reasons why I love to spotlight those of you who are out there, proudly sporting textured tresses. This includes curlies, who while shelling out products, are also inadvertently (or advertently based on who’s puppet-stringing in the marketing division ;)) showcasing natural hair. This group also includes those talented ladies, who while working their wicked manes, stand out for simply being themselves.

In case you’ve missed it, grab a snack and relax. Let me fill you in on the latest batch of curlies—spotted!

Working Realness On Wendy

On January 13, 2013, The Wendy Williams Show featured American fashion designer Norma Kamali. She is best known for her sleeping bag coat, a garment made from silk parachutes—think of your fave blanky remixed with Missy Elliot’s “I Can’t Stand The Rain” garbage bag outfit and stitched to meet the sophistication of Audrey Hepburn. Still with me? Picture it for a moment and come back.

While Kamali was at Wendy, she treated us to a mini fashion show of her latest threads worn by real women. Out of the group, my eyes could not stop staring at a curvaceous curlie killing it on the catwalk. She’s not only stunning, but her hair is to.die.for.! Lady, we applaud you.

Pretty-Poofing On The Phone

You already know that Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the hottest phones on the market. So, I almost ignored the commercial when I heard it coming on the TV. That was until I looked up and spotted—another curlie! This curly girl had me running to the TV to freeze frame and drool over her hair. Although I’ve been rocking a middle part for the last month, I’m now contemplating how to construct a wickedly deep side part ala this mop-top maven.

Natural Hair in Samsung S3 Commercial

Forget the phone, I want her hair!

Mega Musical Mane At The Beyoncé Bowl

We all know the facts. Beyoncé killed it at the Super Bowl. While I was in a daze, taking Bey in and two-stepping it to “Single Ladies,” I paused for just a second. Can you guess when? Not when Kelly and Michelle popped up onto the stage. Not when Beyoncé started super stomping and dutty whining. Yup, you guessed it. It was when famed guitarist Bibi McGill took the stage with her exploding guitar and electric mane. McGill, the event’s musical director, delivered not only in the presentation but also with her fierce ’fro.

In case you were busy sulking because the Giants weren’t in the Super Bowl (like I was at first) or passed out from a food coma (like I was late in the evening), check out Bibi’s solo and curly mane in the half-time video (Bibi literally explodes onto the stage at 3:13).

Get These Looks

All of the ladies mentioned above are showcasing the beauty of wash-and-go hair. If you’re still wondering how you can get solid wash and wear results, read and try my 10 steps.

The Secrets Behind Scalp Massages

scalp massage

Your toes will curl up tighter than a house landing on the Wicked Witch of the West. Your eyes will sloooowly roll to the back of your head. “What’s this crazy curlie talking about now?” you ask. Scalp massages!

Come back. Don’t walk away. Trust me! You may just want to consider adding scalp massages to your hair ritual. Scalp massages open up the blood vessels in your head, increasing the flow of blood to the hair follicles. This increased flow strengthens your roots and helps your hair to grow. Yes, you heard correctly. Want long locks that you can whip back and forth? Try regular scalp massages.¹

Oh, but wait. There’s more! Scalp massages not only feel good, but they have physical benefits as well. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the act of soothing your scalp can increase production of endorphins and serotonin, thereby putting you in a relaxed mood. It also reduces muscle tension, helping to relieve pain brought on from migraines.²

Are you now sold? Here are some tips you can use to enhance your results.

1.    Add oil. You already know that I swear by the use of oils for natural hair. In my previous post on winter-proofing your poof, I mentioned that oiling your scalp can prevent dandruff. Did you know that regular scalp massages using oil can increase the strength of your roots, making your curls less prone to breakage?¹ Oh, yes, it does. For greater penetration, try warming the oil before applying it to your scalp.

2.    Use your fingertips … not nails. I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again. I’ve been guilty of using my nails to wash my scalp … but they’re short. I promise! When kneading your scalp, use your fingertips to ensure that you do not damage your hair follicles. You don’t want to end up losing hairs!

3.    Use tools. If you want to ramp up the tingly sensation, use a Tangle Teezer or scalp massager. Those pins and prongs can hit just the right acupressure points to make Calgon take you away! Remember that one?

Ah ha! Caught ya! I see your fingers creeping to your scalp. Before you begin dozing off from relaxation, let me know if you indulge in regular scalp massages.

[sources: Livestrong¹ ,  Mayo Clinic² ]

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