Natural Socialite

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Video: Natural Socialite Moves to Chicago!

In Socialite Says, YouTube Videos on July 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

What are your favorite things to do in Chicago? Favorite Restaraunts? Things I MUST see? How do you protect your hair in the harsh Chicago winter?!?! Send me suggestions!

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New Video: When Expensive Products Don’t Work |The Natural Socialite

In Hair, YouTube Videos on July 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I had a little more to say… Don’t throw those expensive products away just yet!

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Eeeek! When Expensive Products Don’t Work on Your Natural Hair | The Natural Socialite

In Hair on July 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

That awkward moment when you realize you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on everyone’s favorite natural hair product & none of it works……

Yeah. Let’s face it. Many of us have been there. If you are new to the game or currently transitioning, if you are not careful it can happen to you too. You’ve read every natural hair blog out there, you’ve watched tons of YouTube tutorials, you’ve gotten tons of advice from your friends on Facebook, and you bought it all. Now you’ve got tons of build up, no cabinet space left, an empty bank account & not a defined curl or awesome twist-out in sight. Don’t throw it all away…Don’t start donating your home based beauty supply to the next up & coming product junkie at work just yet. All may not be lost.

Take it from me. You name it, I bought it. Much to my husband’s dismay, I’ve spent hundreds of hundreds of hundreds (of hundreds) of dollars on natural hair products in the past two years; and 95 percent of them never earned the prestigious title of “my staple product”. Even if the product line didn’t do a shabby job on my natural tresses, once I educated myself on ingredients & started focusing on simplifying my routine I learned that I could get the same results from less complicated & less expensive (and less complex) products on the market.

I think the turning point for me while deciding on my go-to products was learning about sealing in the moisture & discovering that “less is more”. You don’t have to use all of your favorite vlogger’s products all at once. If you simplify your methods & learn what products work best for what it is you are trying to accomplish, then you will see that 3-4 products (that you already have at home) may be all you need. The main things that most naturals try to accomplish are moisturizing, detangling, conditioning & definition of curls. It doesn’t take products to do these important jobs.

Another thing…. Just because you bought a product & it didn’t work the first time or 2 you tried it, that doesn’t mean it won’t work at a later time. Some times you may need to just change the amount of product you use or the way you actually apply the product. Sometimes you may need to use products such as gels on top of an oil in order to prevent your hair from getting crunchy or showing build-up. It may just be all in your approach.

Do you still have the itch to try something new? Ask companies for samples or buy the smaller sizes. Some companies offer samples that they will send you free of charge, or just for a buck or two. Many natural hair meetups that are sponsored by hair care companies will give away tons of samples just for attendees. Many naturals hair blogs & groups will also host product swaps where you can trade your gently loved products with other naturals who may have a different product to give away that you always wanted to try.

Don’t give up & say to yourself “Well, going natural ain’t for everybody” and just give up. Your natural self is all you were ever intended to be. It IS for you. You just have to learn what works for what you are trying to accomplish & you can only do that with trial and error. Best wishes to you all….

New Product Alert | Keratin Earth Hair Smoother Makes “All Natural” Claims….

In Hair on July 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

Emson Inc. announced today that they will launch their “unique” hair smoothing product on Wednesday, July 27th, during ShopNBC’s Fall Beauty Event. Partnering with celeb stylist Nathaniel Hawkins, family owned manufacturer of bestselling beauty treatments, Emson Inc. is making waves with Keratin Earth, a new product that promises to smooth and tame even the most unmanageable frizz. This unique, four-step hair smoothing system claims to condition, nourish and straighten hair for an extended period of time, without any formaldehyde or hydes of any kind.

The first at-home, all-natural Keratin smoothing and straightening treatment, Keratin Earth safely delivers straight hair while minimizing damage. When applied correctly and used as directed, the treatment’s results can last anywhere from 30 days to 3 months. Keratin Earth currently retails for $119, but will be offered exclusively on ShopNBC for less than $89.

“We are extremely excited to partner with ShopNBC during its Fall Beauty Day,” said Heleyne Mishan, the Beauty Director of Better Look International and a key player in the development of Keratin Earth. “It is a great opportunity for women to learn more about Keratin Earth’s amazing effects while also giving the product national attention.”

Now while I am intrigued with this company’s claims that this Keratin treatment can give you salon similar results without the use of formaldehyde, I cannot help but to frown at their use of the term “all natural” when describing the ingredients that this system does contain. When I think of “all natural” hair products, I don’t typically think of products that include sulfates, chlorides & alcohols (See my previous post on sulfates for more info). Do companies really think that we are so desperate to “tame” or control our frizzy coifs that they can pass off products that contain harsh synthetic ingredients as “all natural” and no one will even bat a lash?

Products claiming natural or herbal are everywhere. But read the back label. After a long list of chemicals near the bottom you may find something like Grapeseed extract or vitamin E and this product is calling itself natural hair care. The fact of the matter is, hair care manufacturers have come to rely on chemicals to get the results we want cheaply. You can also check the safety of ingredients of many different hair care products on the Skin Deep database. This resource is really helpful if an ingredient is not recognizable to you. I have mistakenly thought an ingredient was synthetic only to find out that it really was natural.

Keratin Earth Ingredients:

Straightening Therapy

CAUTION: Avoid contact with eyes. For external use only.

CONTAINS: water (aqua), cetearyl alcohol, hydrolyzed wheat protein, sodium sulfate, ceteth-20 phphate, urea, fragrance (parfum), dicetyl phosphate, mineral oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein pg-propyl silanetriol, propylene glycol, oleth-5 phosphate, hydrolyzed keratin, dioleyl phosphate, cystine bis-ph propyl silanetriol, trametes versicolor extract, diazolidinyl urea, phenoxethanol, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, methparaben, bht, ethylparaben, proplyparaben, butylparaben, sobutylparaben.

Check out the full ingredient list for the entire system here.

What are your expectations from products that make claims to be “all-natural” as well as those to claim to be organic? Have you taken the time to understand the difference? Do you have plans to try this formaldehyde free Keratin treatment to transform your kinks & curls?

I love her Socialite Style | Kimberly Sumner

In Art & Beauty, Natural Hair, Style Guide on July 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm
Sumner purchased this “kente cloth–esque print dress” from a small boutique in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Photograph: Ilenia Martini

A few weeks ago, I ran accross some fabulous pics of stylish New Yorker Kimberly Sumner, and was completely blown away.  My recent obsession with textiles and bright colorful prints was deeply intesified when I saw this natural beauty featured on Timeout New York ‘s online mag.

from newyork.timeout.com:

Kimberly Sumner, 23, freelance artist, Harlem

Her personal style: “An explosion of patterns.”

Her inspirations: Soul Train, blaxploitation films, the reemergence of the Afro in the late ’60s, Op Art, the artist Yinka Shonibare, textiles from around the world, vibrations and color theory.”

Favorite stores:Beads of Paradise (16 E 17th St between Broadway and Fifth Ave; 212-620-0642, beadsofparadisenyc.com) is heaven on earth. Any rare stone you can imagine, you can find it here. Moscot (118 Orchard St at Delancey St, 212-477-3796 • 69 W 14th St at Sixth Ave, 212-647-1550 • moscot.com) has a cool collection of retro frames that I enjoy sifting through. And I really enjoy the decor at the Brooklyn Circus (150 Nevins St at Bergen St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-858-0919, thebkcircus.com). I always end up skimming through the coolest books while I’m there.”

Her signature items: “My hair and eyeglasses. Mostly my hair, though. Also, the fact that if you happen to run into me on the street, you can bet that I’ll be wearing some type of print somewhere, if not head to toe.”

How she describes New York style: “It’s a hodgepodge of almost every style you can possibly imagine. No matter what you look like or how you prefer to decorate yourself, you’re welcome to do so here.”

How her style has evolved through the years: “When I first moved to NYC five years ago for school at Parsons, I was completely broke. I arrived to New York with straight hair, wearing jeans and a T-shirt! My style evolved out of frequenting secondhand shops and learning about flea markets. My obsession with textiles and patterns didn’t happen until my senior year, when I was writing my thesis about a body of work I created consisting of hand-dyed textiles. That’s when the research about textiles from different countries began and I started noticing things I never noticed before. While shopping at flea markets and wandering around the city, hand-dyed garments, batik textiles, kimonos and Dutch wax prints began to catch my eye and manifest themselves in my wardrobe.”

In an interview with Style Like You, Kimberly talks about when she made the decision to let her hair grow “towards the sun,” as she says, it had the effect of a halo or crown, as if nature is anointing her a queen. She digs deeply into the rituals of the Maasai tribe for inspiration and ponders, “It’s not about who can wear the shortest skirt or the highest heels, it’s about how big can I make this headwrap to signify my status in this tribe.”

Her Grandmother’s Dress
“This is one of my absolute favorite pieces in my wardrobe because I understand the process and time required to dye the fabric that became this...
An Explosion of Fabulosity

“To me true beauty has nothing to do with the physical. However, it is about how you carry yourself. I find knowledge to be most beautiful.”~ Kimberly Sumner

Natural Hair Help | My Big Chop Story & Growth Journey

In My Hair Story on July 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

When I first cut off my relaxed ends, I was so excited to see what my new ‘do would look like.  At that time, none of my friends or family had taken the plunge to do a BC (except for my mother who had what I considered at the time to be “guud hurr”) so I honestly had no idea what to expect. 

Headed to the salon for my BIG CHOP! Excited!!!

I went to a professional hair stylist to get my BC, and literally jumped out of the chair once she finished chopping it all off to get it wet in the shampoo bowl.  I just knew that after I “put a lil water on it” that I would have a head full of curls! Boy was I wrong!!  I had a wet afro. NO curls, No coils, ALL kink. I looked like my all-time favorite tv mom Florida Evans, and I was not happy about it.

After I ran to the shampoo bowl! LOL at the look of complete terror on my face!

Needless to say… I was mortified.  Where in the heck is my “curly hair”?!?  I sooo did not sign up for this! After leaving the salon, I’m starting to think that the last 10 months of transition & this “big chop” think was a complete waste of time.  Here I am with this “bush” of hair that I have NO idea what to do with, and I am leaving town for Chicago next week to see my husband’s family.  I couldn’t get home soon enough.

Once I got home, I immediately hit YouTube, looking for ideas on what to do with my hair.  I decided to try finger coiling… “Let’s take a stab at this”, I say to myself  *long sigh*……….  I’m not thrilled with the results, but this will have to do.  I seriously considered micro braids, but I did not have enough time &  the hubs was not excited about spending $200 bucks again after I JUST look out the micros I had to do the big chop.  I can do this (self talk)…

Oh Well…. What’s a girl to do??  I finally learned decided to accept myself for who I was. This was my hair the way it was intended to be.  Sure… It’s a little shorter than my liking, but so what? It’s hair.  It will grow.  I decided that my focus for the next year would be the health & length retention of my hair. The more I learned about what products worked best for my hair, the more I loved what I was working with.  My hair’s growth & health over the past year has blown me away!  I sometimes wonder what took me so long to see the light! lol. A few more pics of my journey… Enjoy!

 

2 months post Big Chop (Aug 2010)

First Straightening 7 months Natural; 17 months post relaxer (Jan 2011)Deep conditioning at 11 months natural (May 2011)

 

Stretching hair 12 months natural (June 2011)

Please share your transition & Big Chop stories with me!  How has your hair evolved over time??

Natural Hair & the Generation Gap | The Natural Socialite

In Natural Hair, Self Help Series, Socialite Says on July 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

 

Ever since I completed my transition process and became natural, I have received mixed reviews from different people in reference to their opinions about my “new do”. When I first did my big chop, I was definitely not  1) prepared to deal with being COMPLETELY natural & 2) prepared to deal with having SHORT, completely natural hair. If I could have done it over again, I definitely would have transitioned more than the 10 months that it took me to grow my mini fro.   I have since grown to love my hair & its unpredictable nature, but since 2009, neither of my grandmothers have gotten accustomed to the beauty of my “nappy hair”.

I know that I am the only one who has to love my hair, and quite frankly…. I do & could care less what people though.  My experiences with some of my “elders” however have caused me to stop & think twice about the generational gap that exists when it comes to natural hair. Going against someone else’s standards of beauty can be challenging, but nothing beats loving yourself for who you are.

Have any of you witnessed the generational differences that exist when it comes to having natural hair?  Did you get any opposition from your family members when you decided to transition?  If so, how did you deal with the “pressure to perm”?

Green Tea Health Benefits & Hair Remedies

In Dry Hair Remedies, Education, Natural Hair, Natural Hair News on July 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

green tea

One of the most popular herbal agents being used these days is green tea. This herbal tea is packed with antioxidants that combat harmful free radicals, deliver cancer-fighting flavonoids and disrupt the production of bacteria. The same antioxidants that help your body fight the free radicals that attack your cells also help your scalp when you use green tea shampoo. It protects your scalp from infections and gets rid of the impurities

Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Cancer:  Clinical studies have proven green tea helps prevent many types of cancers, and there is research to support polyphenols may actually kill cancer cells and arrest their growth.  Bladder, breast, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, pancreatic, prostrate, skin, and stomach cancers have all shown to be positively affected by green tea.

Heart disease:  Natural News reports:

Research at the Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan confirmed that green tea polyphenols can protect a heart from oxidative stress, as well as maintain good left ventricular function after ischemic arrest (restriction in the heart’s blood supply) and reperfusion (tissue damage caused when the blood supply returns).

Green tea also protects the heart by preventing hypertension.

Weight Loss:  Drinking green tea boosts the body’s metabolism. The polyphenols also help burn fat.  The World’s Healthiest Foods explains:

A human study, published in the January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirms green tea’s ability to not only reduce body fat, but damage to LDL cholesterol as well. After 12 weeks of drinking just one bottle of green tea each day, 38 normal-to-overweight men in Tokyo had a significantly lower body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass and amount of subcutaneous fat compared to men given a bottle of oolong tea each day.

Green Tea & Hair Growth

Using green tea to grow hair probably relates to the evidence for influencing
circulating hormones in the body. A high intake of green tea correlates to higher levels of sex hormone-binding protein – or globulin, which carries hormones like testosterone around the body in a bound, unusable form so that tissues cannot use it directly. Testosterone is usually carried around the body by this binding protein, therefore, reducing levels of free testosterone, so that it cannot be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the hair follicle, which is thought to shorten the hair cycle and cause hair loss.

Soothes Dandruff and Psoriasis

Research also suggests that green tea can help with scalp conditions such as dandruff and psoriasis by soothing skin and reducing inflammation. Using a shampoo that contains green tea or using a green tea rinse after shampooing can help reduce scalp irritation. Many commercial anti-dandruff shampoos contain carcinogens, making green tea products a safer alternative. When choosing a green tea shampoo, look for one in which green tea appears close to the top of the list of ingredients and that does not contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, which could contribute to scalp irritations.

Strengthens and Conditions

Green tea also contains vitamin C, vitamin E and panthenol, which are all common ingredients in hair conditioner. Vitamin E restores dry or damaged hair, while vitamin C guards against damage from UV radiation. Panthenol, a provitamin, strengthens and softens hair and prevents split ends. Choose hair products that contain real green tea extract or EGCG.

Do you use Green Tea products as part of your beauty and health routines? How do you use Green Tea?

Always check with your doctor about the use of green tea for hair loss and regrowth as well as whether you should add it to your diet.  I only post this information for educational purposes.  Green tea contains caffeine, which has all the side effects of caffeine.