All Articles Tagged "hair care"
When it comes to beauty and style advice, there’s no shortage of “experts” ready with tips, but few have the knowledge base that comes with 20 years of experience. Tippi Shorter has not only put in two decades honing the craft of coifing, but has styled a comprehensive range of hair textures.
From Tracee Ellis Ross’s fluffy cloud of coils to Beyonce’s blonde-streaked strands to Lady GaGa’s ever-mutating mane, Shorter’s ascendancy to the created-for-her role of Aveda Global Artistic Director for Textured Hair seems as natural as the hair she’s been styling and educating consumers about her whole career. To be clear, Shorter’s position is not restricted to African-American hair care.
Shorter says she is focused on treatment and education for all kinds of textured hair. She explains, “You are textured naturally,” that is, your hair grows wavy, curly or coily from the scalp or “You have straight hair and you want to create texture.”
For Shorter, who divides her time between New York City and her husband’s native Kansas City, this association with Minnesota-based Aveda is as professional as it is personal. “I love the opportunities I’ve been able to have and been given, and I’ve earned that,but it does require a lot of travel and I’m not getting any younger; and my daughter is not getting any younger.”
“After 10 years of traveling the world, it might be time,” she says, for something new.
MadameNoire: How did your role at Aveda come into being? Did Aveda come to you knowing they needed to specifically address the needs of textured clients or did you approach them?
Tippi Shorter: I’d say, it’s kind of full circle for me. The first official salon that I worked at was at an Aveda salon. During New York Fashion Week a couple of years ago, I met this guy. Maybe two years ago, he called me [and said] ‘Aveda has this great show they do every couple of years and we want you to be a part of it.” This was October 2011.
The show was great. Overwhelmingly successful and from then on, I was asked, ‘Are you gonna be working with Aveda?’ At the time I had my own hair care line, and legally, Aveda won’t allow you to work with them if you have your own line. [They told me], “If you ever decide to no longer do your own line, give us a call.’ I felt like I could offer something to the brand [so, when I] decided to discontinue my line [we resumed talks].
I’m helping them create education on textured hair. I would be the first person to do that in this arena. Years from now, my daughter will be able to say my mother helped create that.
MN: Most people think of “textured” hair as hair that isn’t chemically treated or kinky/curly hair. How do you define “textured hair”?
TS: It’s really broad. Wavy, curly, coily hair. We’re also talking about creating wavy, curly, coily hair. You are textured naturally [or] you have straight hair and you want to create texture.
MN: What properties make textured hair different from non-textured hair, as far as how it needs to be treated?
TS: It takes understanding the characteristics of the hair. How smooth is the hair? How coarse is the hair? How thick? How fine? With straight hair, …apply heat and you can pretty much get it to do what you need it to do. With naturally textured hair… there are “pockets” in [the hair shaft that make it curly or coily]. You need products that fill in the “pocket”.
Hair is on our heads and on our minds. The search for the right style — and the right products to maintain it — is never-ending.
The family behind hair care brand Design Essentials has been in the hair business since the 1970s. They’ve seen four decades of hair styles come and go. They know that staying current, ahead of the curve even, is critical to maintaining relevance.
“From a historical standpoint, the 70s had a sense of pride with the afros,” Cornell McBride Jr., president of McBride Research Laboratories told MadameNoire on a recent phone call. Cornell McBride, Sr., the president and CEO of McBride Research Laboratories, launched M&Ms Product Companies back in 1973. One of their first big products was Sta-Sof-Fro, a product for men’s hair. By the 80s, the company had a number of big products, including Sof-N-Free, Moxie, and Curly Perm. That company was sold to Johnson Products in 1989. McBride Research Laboratories has been producing Design Essentials for more than 20 years.
“There was a change to relaxers then curls to relaxers,” McBride Jr. continues. “And now, it’s an evolution. Women are exploring natural [hair] because of liberation.”
As much as we think about our hair, we don’t want to be consumed with it. Our hair care products have always worked to keep us looking good. But now they have the added duty to make our lives a little easier. To innovate, Design Essentials has to bring customers the products to fit the lives they live.
“She wants flexibility with her lifestyle,” McBride continues highlighting the average woman’s active life working out at the gym, tending to family, and enjoying leisure time, and more. Living life by a stylist’s schedule is impossible.
Facebook Live: CurlyNikki Answers Hair Questions About Bagging Ends, Dry Hair, Protective Styling and More!
Today, Nikki Walton: a leading natural hair blogger and founder of CurlyNikki released her new book Better Than Good Hair.’ Today, as is the case every Tuesday, she answered our readers’ most pressing questions about hair and hair care including dry hair, bagging ends and protective styling. , growing edges and more. Make sure to check out her responses to our Facebook readers and to check out the giveaway attached to her new book at http://ow.ly/hdXtQ
Madame Noire: Ok, so MN will kick it off. Nikki, have you heard of “bagging” the ends of your hair? What is it exactly and does it help?
CurlyNikki: Madame Noire Yes! Some folks love it and some folks don’t. My hair gets incredibly gummy and more prone to breakage when it’s kept in a wet state. Others find it highly moisturizing and find that it helps retain length. Here’s a great summary of it here- http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/06/what-is-baggy-method.html
Renee: Hi Nikki, I’m a new natural (BC’d on Saturday, my profile pic is my twa) and my ends have a looser curl pattern than the rest of my hair. I haven’t used heat on my hair in about a year, so I’m guessing that that’s just how my hair is. Any suggestions?
CurlyNikki: Do you henna? box dye?
Renee : Nope, none of the above. I deep condition once a week, co wash 1-2x per week and clarify with Kinky curly come clean twice a month. I also make sure to moisturize and seal every other day.
CurlyNikki : Several different things could be going on here. I don’t know if you’ve ever had heat damage (how often were using heat before last year?), but if you were over using blow dryers or flat irons, even a year later, your hair would still show signs of damage. Many women have to transition out of their heat damage… it took me nearly 2 years (post college). I never had straight ends, but my ends had those ‘white dots’ that were very fragile and would break very easily. If it is indeed old heat damage, you’ll have to grow the looser hair out, trimming here and there until it’s all gone. If that’s not the case, it could be that your simply loosens with length. Many report that! Try some protein treatments to snap your hair back in place!
My fav balanced moisture/protein conditioner is Aubrey Organic’s GPB and it helps detangle as well ’cause it’s slippery! I use it at almost every wash!
Renee : I’ve been eyeing it every time I go to the vitamin shoppe, I’ll try it.
Janice: When I leave my hair open for any length of time the ends get really dry what can I do to get moisture back and not have them look so brittle ????
CurlyNikki :Make sure you’re properly sealing. Sealing is locking moisture in the hair, specifically the ends. To do, apply a leave-in conditioner with water as its first ingredient (try Qhemet Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee), and then seal with shea butter or oil. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the moisturizer!
When sealing after your regular washing routine, apply your conditioner to damp hair in a downward motion. Then apply your butter or oil, concentrating on your ends, and style as usual.
Also, try protective styling! A “protective” style is one in which your hair isn’t loose. Whether your hair is twisted, braided, bunned or cornrowed beneath a weave, your strands are woven together and more resistant to breakage – plus, they hold on to moisture very well.
As with everything, less is more! So make sure your protective style of choice isn’t stressing your edges, and that you don’t leave it in too long, and that you continue to moisturize your hair even while it’s protected.
Finally, always protect your hair at night with a satin cap. Over time, sleeping with your hair out will result in loss of moisture. It’s not the sexiest look, but the payoff is worth it!
You may want to reassess your wash day products as well. Our hair tends to the dry side, but if you find the right product combo, your moisture should last for days, even with an out style! Finally if you notice your hair dries out fast it could be that your strands are highly porous. Most curly hair is highly porous, which means it has an open cuticle that allows moisture to easily escape and leaves you open to breakage . To tell if your hair is porous: Place a couple of hairs in a cup of water. If it sinks in less than a couple minutes, it’s porous.
Did you catch our live chat today with Nikki Walton, a leading natural hair blogger, founder of CurlyNikki and author of the new book ‘Better Than Good Hair? If not, it’s okay. We highlighted some of the best questions and answers below, which addressed everything from curly pudding to product recommendations. Be sure to check into our Facebook page at 1pm EST next week to participate in the live chat about everything hair. In the meantime, click though to see the advice she doled out for our loyal Facebook fans.
LeRose :My daughter’s hair is thick and unruly. It’s not tangled (nappy) at the roots but it is very tangled at the ends. She is only 4 don’t wanna use anything too harsh. What to do?
CurlyNikki: Practice lots of protective styling, only allowing her hair to be down or rocked in puffs once a week, if that. Keep her hair in box braids, pig tails with the length twisted… styles that allow the hair strands to fortify each other (stronger in numbers)! Keep it moisturized (paying special attention to the ends) and be mindful of her edges, don’t twist or braid too tight! Hth!
Facebook Live: CurlyNikki Answers Hair Questions About Co-Washing, Overmoisturizing, Growing Edges and MORE!
Today, MadameNoire.com had our first ever live Facebook chat with Nikki Walton: a leading natural hair blogger, founder of CurlyNikki and author of the new book ‘Better Than Good Hair.’ She answered our readers’ most pressing questions about hair and hair care including co-washing, dealing with different textures, growing edges and more. Click though to see the advice she doled out for our loyal Facebook fans.
The road to natural hair is paved with good intentions. The joy of not being a slave to routine chemical processing and heat styling certainly is alluring for many. Many natural hair divas will tell you they find there’s more freedom and versatility in styling hair in its natural state. There are many more positive reasons for going natural; it all depends on who you ask.
I went natural for all those reasons three years ago, ready to embrace my natural coils and free up my schedule and budget in the process. Unlike many other naturalistas, I didn’t do the “big chop” (or BC as it is called in the natural hair community). I just let the relaxer grow out, relying on weaves and blowouts during the transition phase. When the relaxed hair finally grew out, I tried out a few low-maintenance natural hair styles, but was disappointed that I didn’t have the length or the talent to recreate all the fabulously luscious styles I saw the natural hair divas on YouTube rocking.
One attempt at a two-strand twist turned into a messy four-hour ordeal that left me with disastrous results. I followed the directions on the curling product jar to a T, or so I thought. The end result was a frizzy, tangled mess that looked like the ‘before’ picture in a hair product ad. Talk about an epic fail. I felt as if I had let my natural hair sisters down. I was losing hope.
Impatient and indecisive about the direction I wanted to take with my hair, I weaved it up for a couple of months while I decided what my next style move would be. After the weave I thought I would get a blowout for a couple of weeks, mainly to check my hair growth. There was only one place I would go for my blowout; the place where dreams were born and legends were made. Several of my natural hair girlfriends went to the same Dominican salon and their hair looked healthy, flawless and fabulous. I didn’t need much convincing or an appointment for that matter. So to the Dominican salon I went.
I had heard horror stories about the excruciating heat you’re subjected to at the Dominican salon. Someone told me about her one and only experience at a Dominican salon, complete with amusing re-enactments of weeping and gnashing of teeth. She made it sound like it was hell fire and damnation. But I had so many other friends who went to these salons and had great experiences and hair to prove it. I decided I would go through the experience just one time to check my growth and wear my hair in a different style for a couple of weeks.
The stylists at the Dominican salon were wonderful. They welcomed me into the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts with open arms. Literally. When I walked into the salon, I was greeted with a hug and immediately ushered back to the spa-like shampoo room. I walked past rows of women under dryers with what looked like ear muffs on their ears. Ladies in the stylist chairs getting their hair blown out didn’t seem to be in tears or crying out in pain. All I knew was that I wanted to get the same flowing end-results they were getting.
When it was my turn to meet the hair dryer, it was hotter than I would have preferred, but it didn’t kill me. All I knew was that 45 minutes after I walked into the Dominican salon with my tightly coiled afro, I was leaving with a sleek, bouncy chin-length bob. I was now a member of the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts.
Fast-forward three months later. My visits every two to three weeks were starting to take a toll on my hair. I started noticing hair breaking off around my temples and along my hairline. The strain of the heat was beginning to show. No amount of sisterhood hugs could erase the fact that I was losing the natural hair I had spent more than two years to grow. As much as I hated to admit it, I had to leave the sisterhood.
When it comes to Dominican salons, I can say I’ve been there and done that. I’m not knocking the experience though. I have countless family members and friends who have been going to Dominican salons for years, and their hair is so sleek and healthy you’d think they had perms. I just know that it’s not for me. It’s been almost three months since my last visit to the Dominican salon, and I’m starting to see a little evidence of growth around my edges. Maybe after all I put it through, my hair has forgiven me.
Beauty Maven: Shea Radiance’s Funlayo Alabi Talks Building the Brand and Gives Her Top 5 Tips for Winter Skin
Maryland-based eco-luxury beauty brand, Shea Radiance, recently celebrated the launch of their hair care products in Target stores nationwide. Husband and wife team Shola and Funlayo Alabi couldn’t have been more pleased to see the fruits of their labor of love come to fruition. From home-based business to major beauty brand, Shea Radiance has grown by leaps and bounds since its start in 2005.
We caught up with Funlayo, who acts as the company’s President and Creative Director, to discuss how they built their brand, and to get her insider tips on fall and winter skin care.
Madame Noire: How would you describe Shea Radiance’s products to someone who is hearing about your company for the first time?
Funlayo Alabi: Eco-Chic, Luxurious, Effective Shea Butter based hair and body products
MN: Before founding Shea Radiance, you and your husband were experimenting with raw shea butter as a solution to your own children’s skincare issues. Did you have any prior experience in the beauty industry before then?
FA: Technically no, we both have IT backgrounds, but we had a passion to create unique products that we could not find in the market. Not having prior industry experience really helped us think and formulate outside the box.
As a self-professed (and rather obsessed) product junkie, I have spent a great deal of time trying many different products that I think might be good for my hair and make it grow longer. I have found, in my hair journey, that there are some very effective hair products from brands that seem to cater to straighter hair types that also work very well on my natural, fine, dry, porous, brittle, 4a/b hair. From conditioners that claim to moisturize and/or strengthen strands, to serums that are designed to deliver high-wattage shine, if it sounds good, chances are that I’ve bought it. If you don’t mind forking over some extra cash on your quest for healthier hair, you might want to give these brands a go.
Easily recognized by its distinctive forest green and yellow packaging, Rene Furterer is a botanically based haircare line that is formulated in France. Their supplements work very well and they have a whole system designed for thinning hair including intensive scalp treatments that are designed to stimulate growth at the hair root. Their Karité Intense Nourishing Mask is rich, creamy and really melts into the hair to completely coat and pamper each hair, soothing and smoothing the cuticle layer and adding shine.
Strength of Nature Global, the company behind brands like African Pride, GrowthRenew and Dream Kids, has launched a new product line, Beautiful Textures, “designed specifically for individuals with curly, kinky-coily, wavy and frizzy multi-textured hair,” according to the press release. It smells nice too.
The launch was made official with a cocktail party last night in Manhattan, where there was a DJ spinning tunes (we told you, they’re busy during Fashion Week!), an open bar and models like the one above, who posed on a platform and wowed us with her fabulous hair. The goal of the new line, as with all of Strength of Nature’s products, is to provide “innovative solutions for women of color,” according to the company’s marketing manager Charlene Bastien. But more than that, this line is meant to fit into the budgets of women looking for a product for their natural hair or for hair that’s transitioning from relaxed to natural.
“We were looking at the trend and there’s a need for a product that’s affordable,” she told us during the party.
There are other companies besides Strength of Nature looking to fill that need. We used the conversation as an opportunity to talk a little more deeply about the market for hair care products made for natural hair. We pointed out other mainstream brands like Pantene, which also offers a line for women of color. Bastien showed no fear of the competition. Rather, it spoke to the “strong market” vying for the dollars that black women are spending on their hair.
“To me, it says we’re no longer invisible,” she said.
Even if the market for these products is strong, we’ve had recent evidence to show that it’s still being underestimated — if not outright disrespected — by some “experts.” Bastien says the black community is showing the value and desire for more of these and other products specially for African Americans.
“The black media is stronger than it’s ever been,” she said. “We’re talking to each other. The black consumer is coming to us… If you’re not talking to someone who’s doing this now, you’re irrelevant.” OK!
Most people have heard of flax seeds when it comes to ingesting them and no doubt about it, flax seeds are good for you. The two basic types are brown and golden and they can come ground or whole. Both are equally nutritious and contain high amounts of Omega 3s, essential fatty acids that many claim help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and promote brain function and skin health. But did you know that you can also use flax seed for your hair?
The whole seeds are not just for consumption. The Omega 3s that are in flax also benefit hair by promoting growth and overall scalp health. You can impart these great nutrients onto hair by boiling the seeds and making a hair gel. The actual gel gives hair a soft hold without the flakes or dryness since the base is so moisturizing. I first heard about this gel via Naptural85 on YouTube. It’s quite simple, economical and lasts up to three weeks if stored in the fridge.
FLAX SEED GEL RECIPE
What You Will Need:
- Whole Flax Seeds
- 1 Stocking
- Small Container
- Essential Oils of Your Choice (Optional)
- Take the stocking and place the foot in the container.
- Fold the top of the stocking over the opening of the container. Place to the side. This will be used to capture the flax seed.
- Mix ¼ cup of flax seeds with 2 cups of water (double for more gel).
- Bring to a boil.
- Keep stirring so that the seeds don’t stick to the pot.
- Once the liquid thickens and you can see a film on the top, it’s ready.
- Pour the contents of the pot into the pantyhose that was placed in the container.
- Take the pantyhose out of the container.
- Slide the tongs along the pantyhose, straining the gel into the container.
- Repeat 3-5 times to get the most out of the flax seed as possible.
- Optional: Stir in essential oils of your choice. Not only do the essential oils smell great and boost the benefits of the gel, but they will help preserve it for a longer period of time.
- Gel will solidify as it cools.
- Place in fridge to preserve.
*Tip – don’t throw out the used flax seeds. You can boil them again and extract even more gel.
Ok, so it’s in the refrigerator. Now what? Easy. Use as you would any other gel. The bonus here is that you can use as much as you like since flax seed gel is actually good for your hair.
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