Monday, December 22, 2008

Kinky/Curly Cutie- Halle Berry

We've always admired Halle's hair. She represented for the no-weave sistah's in Boomerang, gave us a cute, classic pixie when she won her Oscar, and now she's rockin' her natural! The curls are beautiful, the fro is fierce. Be inspired. Until next time...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kinky/Curly Cutie- Janelle Monae

I think she's beautiful, talented, smart, sophisticated, and she is wearing that hair!
Be inspired. Have a great weekend!
Until next time...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Stash

"This is a stick-up, stick-up. I need the bags or that money..."- Sasha Fierce

If you don't own Beyonce's new joint "I am...Sasha Fierce", somebody done told you wrong.

On to the kinky/curly biz...

I am getting to know my hair a lot better. We've been dating, chillin', just kickin' it and I really like it. I think this could be the one! LOL. I'm learning what ingredients my hair loves (shea butter) and hates (silicones). I have a routine that consists of low manipulation (combing, brushing), low heat (45 minutes under a hard bonnet dryer to deep condition), and ridiculous amounts of moisture and conditioning. I'll detail my routine in a later post.

I want to let you all in on what's in my stash. These are the products I can't live without, the creams and butters that feed my product addiction. "Hi, I'm Kinky/Curly and I'm a product junkie."


I've been following the Curly Girl Method, so I don't use shampoo. I conditioner wash (co-wash) with an all-star team of products that smooth, nourish, hydrate and strengthen my hair. Like a true PJ, I can't use just one conditioner at a time. Here's the current rotation:

Inecto Pure Coconut Oil Moisture Infusing Conditioner ($5.99, for store locator)

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration ($3.39,

Avalon Organics Fragrance Free Conditioner ($9, available at Whole Foods)

Origins Knot Free Finishing Rinse ($13,

If I've been using gels, Curly Meringue, or other stylers that are not CG friendly, I will clarify my hair with Chagrin Valley Shampoo Bars ($7,, Aubrey Organics White Camellia Shampoo (sulfate-free) or a mix of baking soda and water (2 TB baking soda, 2 C warm water).

After my hair gets so fresh and so clean, I layer on the moisture. I start with my lightest hair lotion, add a cream, an oil to seal, and finish with a heavy butter. Here's a list of my favorite leave-ins, creams, butters and stylers:

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner ($7,

Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier ($7,

Homemade Shea-loe

Whipped Shea Butter

Castor Oil

Shea Butter

Miss Jessies Baby Buttercream and Curly Meringue

Every week I deep condition (45 min. under a hooded dryer with plastic cap) with richer, heavier products than the conditioners I use during the week. I use homemade treatments, old-school cholesterol masks, and some new brands that I've discovered on my natural hair journey. You should definitely give these a try:

Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus ($3, Sally's Beauty Supply)

Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment ($12.75,

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose

Olive Oil, Honey, Shea Butter

Homemade Caramel Treatment

For extra special pampering, take a cue from our brown sistahs and use Ayurvedic herbs and oils on your hair and scalp. Ayurveda (“Ayur” = Life and “Veda” = Knowledge) is the ancient holistic science of India which aims at a total harmony of mind, life, body and spirit in balance with nature’s rhythms and the world around us. I just added these to my weekly routine:

Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil and Amla Powder (available and local Indian grocers)

Auromere Pre-Shampoo Conditioner ($5,

Our hair has been through alot this year. Let's pamper our stressed tresses as 2008 draws to a close. Adding one, or all of these fantastic products to your current routine will guarantee 365 good hair days in 2009! Until next time...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Oh, how I've missed you!

I hope you've been thinking of me, too. Where have I been? Well, for starters, I've been falling in love with Shea Butter.

Shea butter or shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the fruit of the Shea tree which grows in 19 countries across the African continent. Shea butter is a remarkable moisturizer and emollient. Shea butter is effective at treating the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter also provides natural ultra-violet sun protection, although the level of protection is extremely variable, ranging from none at all to approximately SPF 6. Shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. Shea butter is known for its skin softening effect, and when applied to kinky/curly hair, it adds moisture to dry brittle hair, and helps retain softness and prevent breakage. WOW!

This Atlanta Curly buys her Shea butter locally. If you can't find Shea butter in your area, here are some great on-line sites recommended by my cyber sistas over at

Shea butter, how do I use thee? Let me count the ways...

My absolute favorite recipe is whipped Shea Butter. Shea butter is a semi-hard butter. When allowed to soften slightly (using a microwave or double boiler), Shea butter can be blended with oils and whipped with a hand mixer until creamy. You can use this heavenly cream from head to toe. I like to add Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. Sometimes I add Aloe Vera Gel. The combinations are endless! I've also read where others add coconut milk. Yum! You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Rosemary and Peppermint oils encourage hair growth. You control the ingredients so you know that what you're using is 100% natural. Here's a recipe that you can adjust to suit your needs:

8 oz. tub of Shea butter
1/2 C Coconut Oil
1/3C Aloe Vera Gel
1/4 C combined oils

Other ways this kinky girl enjoys her Shea:

2. Straight from the tub, I emulsify a liberal amount between my palms and apply it to freshly washed hair after I apply a lighter leave-in conditioner

3. The best eye cream

4. For lips, it's the balm

5. Cuticle and hand cream

6. Melt 2-3 TB with 2-3 TB of coconut oil and add to 4 oz. of your favorite body moisturizer (in another container) to kick it up a notch. I use Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Lotion

7. Smoothed over dry hair to lay down those edges

8. Mix 2 TB melted Shea butter, 1 TB coconut oil with 8 oz. alcohol-free hair gel ( one with moisturizing aloe works well). This cream gives the most ridiculous waves and springy coils without the crunch. I like Fantasia IC Hair Poilisher Styling Gel with Sparkle Lites

9. I use the smallest amount on my dry skin (face) before I brave the low morning temps

You must try this wonderful moisturizer for yourself. Leave a comment and let me know what new ways you find to use it. Until next time...

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Flash than Cash- AKA Champagne Tastes...

and a beer budget :)

So, I'm turning 30, not tomorrow- but soon. It's got a girl thinking: what do I really want from this journey called life? I sacrificed career to raise a family, my relationship (aka marriage) is in the toilet, and the economy right now is a joke. Not a very funny one, I might add. I met a mom at the bookstore yesterday and her husband was just laid off. She has two boys under five and no health care. "There but for the grace of God..."

I was not intending to take it there. I'm supposed to be writing about kinky, curly Black girl hair in all of its glory. I'm supposed to be excited about turning 30 and sharing my birthday wish list with you all. Sometimes life gets heavy and you need a few friends, and a ready ear, to lighten the load.

In an ideal world, my 30th birthday bash would be held in an outdoor cabana in Miami. John (Legend) would drop by and sing "Happy Birthday". I'd be surrounded by family and friends. We'd share laughs, tapas and mimosas. Fun times all around. My husband would shower me with Diamonique jewelry (I dare not sport a real diamond-but I will not stand on my soap box in this post) and a luxury designer bag that I would cherish forever. We'd walk along the beach and then retire to our suite. It sounds so good, don't you agree?

Below is my fantasy birthday wish-list. The dresses I would wear, jewels, and bags. Check out the gray slouch boots- a must have for the season and these are available at my home away from home, Target! The rainboots are a must for this schizophrenic Atlanta weather, and the knit beret has become a third appendage in my life these days, allowing me to be oh-so-ssylish while proecting my mane from too much wear-and tear.

Life is short, and no amount of money or material trappings will lengthen the days of any man's life. I get to spend every day watching my boys grow up. I'm fully present in every moment of every day and my life is richer because of it. I am becoming a wise woman. I am grateful, hopeful and faithful. I'm looking forward to 30. It means I've been around another year and there are things I still have left to learn. Until next time...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Hair Inspirations

a comic strip!

Top left: A GAP ad I am absolutely in looooove with.
Bottom left: Bre from ANTM cycle 5.
Center: The ever evolving, fantastically fierce, always fly, Ms. Erykah Badu.
Top right: Ms. Hill. Lauryn, we miss you!; The always golden Jill Scott. Hate on me haters!
Bottom right: The angelic Corrine Bailey Rae; Everyone's fave gal pal Tracee Ellis Ross.

I hope these lovely ladies inspire you to love your locs, pamper your tresses and allow your light to shine. True beauty radiates from the inside, out. Stay fly, ladies. As my good friend, Jewell, says, "Pick Fros, Not Fights!" Until next time.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008



Ah! memories. This is one of my favorite songs from the Crazy Sexy Cool ladies of TLC. "I require plenty of conversation with my...", you know the song!

But this mag is about hair-black girl hair. I just had a moment, indulge me. On the topic of TLC (tender loving care), your hair requires plenty of it. From shampoos to stylers, any and every product you use in your hair should pamper, coddle and baby your strands. The result is soft, tangle-free, moisturized hair that is healthy and cooperative.

I'm lovin' Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Shampoo to cleanse my hair and scalp twice a month. Yes, you read that right. This shampoo is sulfate-free and packed with Mother Nature's yummies- coconut, sweet almond, lavender and macadamia nut oils.

Replenishing moisture at every step of your hair care routine is essential. Afro hair is one of the driest textures because its tight curl pattern doesn't allow natural oils to move down the hair shaft. Sulfates, alcohols and other harsh chemicals strip hair of much need moisture, so beware. After cleansing, I apply a generous amount of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner. I take the time to detangle with a large comb, starting with the ends. It's a process, it's time consuming, my arms get tired, but like Beyonce says, "I'm worth it!"

When I'm ready to style, I have a few go-to items that give me the fabulous fluff that I craaaaaave! I apply 100% African Shea Butter to damp hair and spritz with a homemade brew of distilled water and glycerin. Now, for the icing on the cake! Origins Hair Dresser smooth styling cream makes my hair so soft, moist and looking like a pretty, fluffy cloud. The smell is a fantastic blend of citrus and vanilla. Aloe, and a trio of rich hair oils (Jojoba, Macadamia Nut and Avocado) condition and impart amazing shine.

Sometimes I rough my fingers through my hair for a rock star look. Other times I twist my hair into Bantu Knots and leave in overnight. With a quick spritz of my homemade brew, bedhead is no more and I am out the door.

Be good to your hair and it will be good to you. In my next issue I'm giving away a few of my hair secrets and letting you in on my complete hair care routine. Until next time......

Monday, September 8, 2008

I LOVE My Hair

My hair is undergoing a rebirth of sorts.

Every summer since high school, I would sashay into a local barber shop and request a Dark Cesar. All the fellas looked on, some in horror, others in disbelief, as I sat in the chair and made what seemed to them to be an awful decision. There were whispers of "Is she gay?", "Naa, she's too pretty to be gay.", and "Girls without hair are just unattractive." I simply took a deep breath and tuned out the buzzing sound of ignorant chatter and the barber's clippers.

When the cape dropped, and I rose, I looked at my beautiful face in the mirror. My eyes looked brighter, my complexion was glowing and there was no hair to hide the shape of my pretty, round face. Everyone in the shop would have to eat their words. I. Was. Fly.

As I reluctantly creep up on 30, I don't want to chop off my locks anymore. I''m desperate now to cultivate meaningful relationships, both personal and professional, so why not start with my hair. In my younger days, my hair was not pretty. No one loved it- not my mother who hated combing it and was sorry she never learned to cornrow, not older ladies at the Beauty Nest in Brooklyn who hated pressing my hair ( at least three times over), and certainly not me. How could I? All I heard was how hard, ugly,nappy,short,and difficult it was. That I could be pretty if it were long and straight. We've heard it before, you know, that "good" hair. But things are different now. Now, I love my hair.

First things first. Kinky/Curly Magazine is dedicated to the cultivation of healthy, natural Black Girl hair. Healthy Hair 101: Nothing in the Ethnic Hair Care aisle is good for our hair! Natural hair needs love from Mother Nature. Our locks thrive when they are pampered with rich oils like jojoba and coconut, drenched and conditioned with honey, olive oil and avocado hair masks, and twisted and coiled with shea butter and lots of love.

In this magazine you will learn new ways to love your hair-and yourself. Until next time...

Coming Soon!