Daily Archives: September 24, 2012

Natural Hair and the Media

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source: BoutiqueDeBandeaux (Etsy)

Last week, I shared an Infiniti commercial that featured a natural bride, because it really struck me and made me smile (see the commercial here). Someone wrote an insightful comment on the post that ended with, “[I]s it really necessary for a commercial to validate the beauty of natural hair?”

This reply prompted me to explain a little more about why this particular commercial struck me and my thoughts on the media as it relates to natural hair:

I’ve kind of always been a person who dances to the beat of her own drummer. So, I don’t need it to validate the beauty of natural hair. I just think that it’s nice to see, especially for children and young women who may internalize the images of beauty that they see promulgated by the media. I think the more we see diversity in all things, the more people are able to recognize their own beauty. So, again, although I don’t find it personally necessary for me, I don’t discount the influence of media nor the role it plays in the self-esteem of the impressionable.

I agree with what you say about the actresses too and sometimes think it’s just the sheer numbers. As more women become natural, more actresses auditioning for roles are natural. I think it’s partly just those mathematics. If it used to be that 1 in every 10 women who auditioned for a role was natural/curly and now it’s 5 in every 10 (just making up numbers, not saying that this is the reality), the chances increase that the actress cast will be natural.

But yeah, this one excited me … again, I think because she was a bride and even some natural women still seem to struggle with the idea of wearing their hair in natural styles for their wedding, because there is this residual idea that natural hair isn’t sleek or elegant enough for “special occasions.” I love that we have options and if someone wants to wear their hair straight because it’s a way to switch it up for the day and make it a little different from their daily look, or there is this particular style that they want, I’m all for it. I just don’t like the idea that someone might not wear their natural hair for a special occasion because it’s not “special” or elegant enough. So, I just liked the image of the bride, because, again, I do believe the media can influence self-image and public perception.

Okay, I’ve rambled and said my spiel!! LOL!! Just wanted to clarify why this particular commercial struck me:).”

Yeah … I know … that’s a mouthful ;).

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All that being said, what are your thoughts on natural hair and the media?

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Hello Bye Bye …

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I’m very tentative about trying new products anymore. I know what works on my hair and I don’t want to cause a setback with untested products. I’m especially hesitant about shampoos and conditioners, as those can be make or break products for me. Stylers cause less difficulties. Therefore, I’m more willing to experiment with those when companies send me products to try/review.

Therefore, when I saw the sample size bottles of shampoo and conditioner that arrived in the mail last week … I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try them, especially given the state of my hair. I hadn’t washed it in two weeks and it was a rat’s nest of tangles. I’d styled it in a WnG that I bunned haphazardly and failed to re-moisturize for most of week two.

On Friday night, I pre-pooed with Aubrey GPB mixed with Vatika Oil and it took over an hour (maybe two?) and required the periodic use of scissors to cut out several untenable knots. So, when I say that I didn’t think that there would be enough of the conditioner in the four little 1 oz. sample-size conditioner bottles to detangle my hair on a good day, let alone on a day where it was a tangle-ridden, shed hair filled mess, I’m not kidding you.

But, you see, this wasn’t any random company that had sent me these products. No. They were sent by the wife of a friend of Wei’s who started a new haircare line, Bye Bye Parabens. So, I felt obligated to at least give them a go … though I did so with immense hesitation.

via Bye Bye Parabens

Bye Bye Parabens is pleased to announce the launch of its new luxury line of hair care products. The first product designed to dramatically transform natural or curly hair into soft hair with unbelievable shine, body, and bounce. Bye Bye Paraben products are also sulfate & paraben free and made from non-toxic natural and organic ingredients. Bye Bye Parabens was founded by Tracy Riggs who is an award winning international master stylist and salon owner with over 20 years experience in the hair industry. Tracy has styled the likes of Erykah Badu, Lil Kim, Mary J Blige, and Charlie Baltimore but more importantly servicing thousands of mom’s, wives, and daughters over a 20 year period. Tracy Riggs saw a need for a sulfate & paraben free hair care line that would be safe to use without sacrificing the integrity of the hair and that would achieve optimum results.

Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Methyl-2 Sulfolaurate and Disodium-2 Sulfolaurate/Cocamindopropyl Betaine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-4, Citric Acid

Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner Ingredients:
Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Gluconolactone and Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Citric Acid

SEE 10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION BELOW REGARDING INGREDIENTS LIST

The Experiment
I was sent four 1 oz. sample size bottles each the Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner. I decided to start by diluting about 3/4 of the bottle of shampoo in about 6 ounces of water.  My hair was in 8 twists and I shampooed the roots and then squished the suds through the length of my hair. The shampoo had a refreshing minty scent and a nice tingle. My scalp and hair felt clean, without feeling stripped. Shampooing also didn’t seem to cause any additional matting at my roots, which sometimes happens to my hair with sudsy shampoos. In fact, although I LOVE the Aubrey conditioners, the Green Tea Shampoo was not doing me any favors. Last week, I used it for a body wash because I ran out of the real stuff!! LOL!! But, anywho, I was pleased that my hair didn’t feel any worse for the wear after using the Rosemary Mint shampoo.

After rinsing, I planned to try one bottle of the purifying conditioner on one twist. I even grabbed a new bottle of HE HH from under the sink as I was prepared to need it to finish the job. I just knew that there was no way that those little sample size bottles of conditioner would provide enough product or slip to detangle my whole head. But, after I applied the conditioner to my first twist, I was like, “What’s this here now??” OMGosh!!! The slip was great!! Definitely comparable to HE HH, if not better as I didn’t seem to need to use as much!! I hopped out of the shower to tell Wei, “Color me impressed!!” LOL!! I ended up using three bottles to do my whole head. But, I think that I was a little heavy-handed with that first section and could have gotten away with two bottles if I had spread the wealth around a little more!!

Anywho, after finger detangling with the conditioner under the shower stream (so helpful!), I rinsed and applied Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Rose Conditioner to DC. I kept it in for about an hour using my Thermal Heat Wrap. Then, I cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse and finally rinsed it all out with cold water.

Initial Thoughts
My hair felt “loverly!!” In fact, it felt so good that I didn’t even apply any leave-in conditioner! I just re-twisted it and applied a little JBCO/EVOO to the twists to seal in the water.

My hair dried quickly and the twists were so soft and plump! My God-cousin’s 30th birthday party was that evening and I simply released the twists with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade for a fluffy twist-out.

I gotta say that I was impressed by my first experience with Bye Bye Parabens! I am glad that I gave it a try, despite my initial hesitation ;).

Conclusions
To wrap this up, I still love HE HH for the amazing slip and cheap price tag. So, I will continue to use it for henna rinsing. But, because I do like to incorporate as many natural products as I can, this may become a “go to” as a post-shampoo detangler if my next experience is as pleasant as my first one!

10/25/12 EDITOR’S RETRACTION: Last week, I received full-size bottles of Bye Bye Parabens conditioner and shampoo. I looked at the ingredients lists on the bottles and found that both the shampoo and conditioner contain the silicone  DIMETHICONE and the conditioner also contains CYCLOPENTASILOXANE. The silicones are high on the ingredients lists. Based upon the lists of ingredients that were sent to me by via e-mail, I thought that these products were silicone free. They are not. So, they are not a natural alternative to HE HH and actually contain non water-suluble, build-up prone silicones versus build-up resistant cones the HE HH. That being said, this conditioner would not be a natural option or an option for those practicing the CG Method, the TCM Method or following a co-wash only regimen. 

And that’s it. Oh, wait, one more thing. Because I do like to anticipate your needs, I’ll just let you know that the outfit above (it’s not a dress!! It’s a peplum top worn with the skirt that I previously showed you here) was another one that I jacked from Style Pantry!! To see Folake rocking it and find “where to buy” info, click here.

Happy Monday!!

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Calling all reformed, pseudo-reformed or never-been-a PJs who like to stick with what they know works:
Are you willing to experiment with products? Are there any categories of products that are strictly on the “No-No” list?