Monthly Archives: October 2012

Biotin: The Hair Drug

Biotin is known as the “hair vitamin”. It promotes hair growth and protects against dryness. It also increases the hair’s elasticity which prevents breakage. But, it also transfers carbon dioxide and is essential in metabolizing carbohydrates and fat. Natural sources of Biotin include beans, breads, cauliflower, egg yolks, fish, kidney, legumes, liver, meat, dairy products, nuts, oatmeal, oysters, peanut butter, poultry, and whole grains.

As I get deeper into my journey many (new) naturals ask how I obtain and retain my length (my third curliversary is next month). That’s a hard question to answer because I do a number of things, one of them being taking one Biotin tablet daily. Also, since the beginning of September I’ve been participating in the Kinky Curly Coily Me Castor Oil Challenge (check out my post here). For the Challenge I measured my hair at the beginning of September and then again at the beginning of October and found it had grown ONE WHOLE INCH in only a month! (Hair typically grows 1/2 an inch each month.) It was nice to know that my hard work has been paying off but I’ve never been as interested in length as I am in health so numbers don’t mean as much to me as it does to some.

Biotin has been working great for me. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my nails especially. They used to be a bit dry at the tips but not anymore. Since taking Biotin they are much stronger and never break. I’ve never had a problem growing or retaining hair length even when I was relaxed and I take so many measures to ensure that I retain my hair’s moisture that honestly the signs of Biotin “working” are most evident in my nails which is the only way I know it’s working for my hair.

Final Verdict: Everything works differently for everyone so it’s important to remember that. If you want to speed up your hair growth, Biotin is relatively inexpensive (especially compared to other hair supplements on the market) so it is definitely worth giving it a try. As with any supplement, you should speak to a doctor before you start using it.

Have you tried Biotin or any other “hair vitamins”? If so, please share your results below.

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Preview: Influenster Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012

Influenster is a community of trend setters who love sharing their opinions about products and experiences within the community and with others. Influenster is the common bond between brands/companies and members. Members who participate and prove to be true Influensters (mostly through their influence on social networks) are selected to receive products to try and review for specific categories. Some of the recent VoxBoxes included the Latina Box, the Naturals Box and the Bride Box.

Last week I received the Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012, my second Influenster VoxBox. (Check out my first review here). The Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012 is full of great products (listed below) that I’ve never tried before so I’m excited to test them out. In addition to all of the amazing products the box included a coupon from Bath and Body Works for HALF off their 3-wick candles. (Check out my facebook page here for the code!) Take a look at the list of products.

Featured Brands & Items:                                                                                                        -NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact {$4.99}                         -Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit {$5.99}                                                                       -Bath & Body Works Mini Candle {$3.50}                                                              -EBOOST {$28/20 effervescent powders, $39/30 effervescent powders, $39/12 shots}                                                                                                                          -Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin {$7.29}                                                                             -Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream {$6.00} (Some Influensters received Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream)                       Select members received one of the following based on scores and demo info: –Vitabath Fragrance Mist                                                                                                      -Boots No. 7 Beautiful Skin Products (I received this one)

As an Influenster you are required to give your honest feedback for each product. Therefore, as each brand/company releases its survey and feedback requests I will write and/or record my reviews of each product. Please subscribe to my Curls and Mo YouTube channel here and curlsandmo.com here, if you haven’t already and stay tuned for the reviews.

Are you an Influenster? Which box(es) have you received? What is your favorite product(s)? Please share below.

Disclaimer: I have received each product complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Late? How To Get Ready in 15 Minutes!

I don’t know about you, but I wake up late at least three times per week. Hehe. I’m lucky that my commute is only 35 minutes but because of the close proximity I find that I am always pushing the limit as far as when I leave the house. So, I’ve developed a system that ensures that I still arrive at work on time and I want to share it with y’all.

Food
Prepare your meals and snacks the night before, especially if you have special dietary needs. This saves you time in the morning and you’re less likely to forget something. (This also saves you money!)

Makeup
You MUST perfect the “5 Minute Face”. Lots of beauty gurus on YouTube have posted videos on the 5 Minute Makeup Challenge. Basically they show you how to perfect a somewhat “finished” face in 5 minutes or less. This is something you personally have to work on because everyone’s [makeup] needs vary. Some spend more time on eyes while others on skin, it depends.

Hair
Since I’m natural, I usually wear two-strand twists throughout the week. When I wake up all I have to do is pin my hair up into a style. If I’m really pressed for time, I pull it all back into a low ponytail and I’m good to go. If you wear a style that requires daily maintenance, experiment until you find a few quick alternatives.

Accessories
Keep all of your accessories in the same place and if possible separate them either by color or type. Remember: when you come home at night, put your jewelry, scarves, belts, etc. in their designated areas. That way if you’re in a rush you don’t have to look for anything.

Clothes
Pick an outfit the night before. This allows you to iron anything wrinkled and make sure your pantyhose don’t have a run in them. If you can’t pull an outfit the night before make sure you have a few low maintenance pieces that don’t require ironing.

Additional Get Ready Quick Tips
1. Always carry cash. Even if you only have $10, keep it in your wallet in case you can’t pack food.
2. Keep a makeup bag in your purse with a few essentials like mascara and lipstick or tinted moisturizer.
3. Always shower at night, this serves a dual purpose. One, you are clean before bed (*side eye*) and two, if you don’t have time to shower in the morning you’re still “clean”.

Follow these easy steps if you’re late for work and you’ll still get there in record time. Guaranteed or your money back! Do you have any tips on how you get ready in a hurry? Please share below.

Recap: Mane Attraction – His Voice // Her Hair, Hosted by Curly Girl Collective

This past Sunday I attended “Mane Attraction – His Voice Her Hair” hosted by Curly Girl Collective at Free Candy in Brooklyn, NY. What an amazing event! And, what a wonderful group of women.

When I first heard about the event I RSVP’d ASAP because CGC events fill up fast. I immediately emailed the link to all of my local curlfriends. Within days I started hearing some were denied but most confirmed. Oddly I hadn’t heard anything. That night I checked the Spam Folder so many times that I finally concluded my RSVP did not go through.

As the days went on CGC dropped more and more teasers about the event, I was tight. Unexpectedly a friend emailed the ladies asking if I could take her spot. I was touched! But, when we didn’t hear back I decided I’d sit this one out for fear of being turned away at the door.

The day before I tried my luck and replied to a CGC tweet with “can a confirmation be given to a friend if you can’t attend? An email has already been sent.” Within minutes someone responded “check in with the confirmed guest’s name. We’re responding to inquiries as we get them. Our inbox is quite full. Thank you for being patient with us.” I was too excited! As if that wasn’t dope enough a few hours later Julienne (CGC Marketing & Promotions Director) responded to my friend’s email and said we were BOTH confirmed. Whaaaaat?!?

When I arrived, I was indeed on the list. I checked my coat at the complimentary coat check and found my NHPIC (Natural Hair Partner in Crime) and we explored the venue. There were complimentary cocktails at the bar, a Vendor Gallery, a Men’s Lounge where guys were getting haircuts, a photo booth, a Curly Confessional and a hangout area. The artwork on the walls was bright and fun and made from recycled materials like phones, bikes, etc. It was such a good vibe and lots to see and do.

The energy was cool but even more important the panelists (Slim Jackson, Jozen Cummings, Franchesca Ramsey, Cipriana Quann and Dorien “Dee Dot” Brown) were so funny! All in all it was a good time and the main takeaway was “do what makes you happy and if he loves you he’ll love you no matter how you wear your hair or he’s probably not the one for you”. The panelists were real, lively and told great personal anecdotes. Guests also asked questions and I think we all learned from each other.

After the panel the DJ resumed (the music was bumpin’!) and people started mingling again. Shortly thereafter they raffled off the dopest gifts: Eden Body Works, Curl Max, Beautiful Textures, Miss Jessie’s, The Polish Bar (in Brooklyn), Frederick Benjamin, Dr. Miracles and more. As if all of that wasn’t enough, each guest was sent home with amazing swag bags.

Check out some dope pictures here!

THANK YOU, CGC! Curlies like you make me proud to be natural!

What was the last event you went to? Did you learn a lot? Meet other cool naturals?

Review: Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter

Product Description: This shea butter and aloe based curly butter is packed with rich moisturizing nutrients to give you long-lasting moisture and promote growth. It has a soft touchable hold that will help to defrizz your frizzes and give great definition. This Curly Butter is wonderful for twists, finger curls, puffs/pony tails and especially for laying down unruly hair. Great for naturals, relaxed, texlaxed, everyone.

Scents: Coconut Cream, Island Mango and Unscented

Ingredients:  100% Shea Butter, 100% Aloe Vera Gel, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Rosemary Leaf and Chammomile Extract, Silk Powder, Paraben & Formaldehyde Free Preservative and Perfume.

Price: 2 oz $4.50 | 8 oz $13.97 | 16oz $23

First Impression: I was really excited to try this product because it claims to be a butter (which my hair loves) and have hold. However, the consistency is more like a cream than a butter.

My Experience: The first time I used the Curly Butter on freshly washed hair after applying a leave-in and sealing with castor oil. The second time I used the Curly Butter on freshly co-washed hair after applying a leave-in and sealing with castor oil. Both times I used it to two strand twist my hair. It has a thick creamy consistency and the fruity smell is pleasant. I used a dime sized amount on each twist and I was able to style my hair twice with this size jar.

My Results: My twists stayed intact throughout the week (they didn’t get fuzzy or frizzy) and my twist outs were nicely defined. However, I expected it to be more moisturizing. The morning after I twist my hair it’s usually really moisturized and shiny. The morning after using this product, my hair was drier than usual and wasn’t very shiny.

Final Thoughts: I can’t use this product anymore, my hair doesn’t like it. I need butters that help my hair retain moisture. Since this product didn’t, it doesn’t serve my personal hair needs. This product might be better for someone who lives in a wet humid climate.

Have you used this cream? Were your results different? Please share below.

Want White Teeth for $1?

I recently watched a YouTube video on how to whiten teeth with something soooo obvious…PEROXIDE! There are so many toothpastes on the market with peroxide in them that it’s a no-brainer.Peroxide is normally used to sterilize wounds but it is good for teeth whitening because the chemicals in it kill teeth staining bacteria. Surprisingly it’s also good for preventing sore throats (because it kills bacteria).

Before I brush in the morning and evening I rinse with peroxide. I have been doing this for about two weeks and I already see a difference. I’ve used a few other “commercial” whitening systems but this is the easiest, quickest, and cheapest one and it’s just as effective. Peroxide is now part of my beauty regimen. The only con is if you have sensitive gums it might be too harsh so if you use it and it burns you should probably discontinue use.

Directions: Pour about 2 tablespoons of the antiseptic into your mouth, and swish it around for 1 minute. The solution will begin to foam; this is how you know it is working. The hydrogen peroxide combined with oral bacteria cause bubbles to form in your mouth. Spit it out and brush your teeth as normal.

You should avoid coffee, red wine, smoking, teas and anything else that may stain teeth to see the best results.

Have you tried this before? Would you? Let me know below.

Review: Ouidad Curl Co-Wash

To wrap up NYFW I attended Ready-to-Hair hosted by Myleik Teele, founder and CEO of curlBOX, and Ouidad at the Ouidad NYC location. (Click here to check out my NYFW recap.) Needless to say the event was amazing and full of beautiful hair and people. Each attendee snagged a Ouidad Curl Co-Wash and Mongongo Oil. I finally had the opportunity to use the Co Wash…

Product Description: Curl Co-Wash is a rich, low-lathering, sulfate-free cleansing conditioner that leaves hair moisturized, soft & frizz-free while gently clearing hair of buildup. Unlike most cleansing conditioners, our thick, foamy texture is a concentrated blend of conditioners & oils plus a dose of a gentle, naturally-derived coconut cleanser for a truly unique experience that never dries or strips hair.

Black Cumin Seed Oil and Jamaican Black Oil deeply condition strands with nourishing vitamins & minerals, taming and smoothing hair and reducing frizz. Rosemary and Sage Oils gently refresh and balance the scalp while delivering shine to the hair. In just one use, tresses look and feel hydrated, soft, smooth, and full of life. Protects from dryness, breakage, and color fading.

Ingredients:  Aqua (Water/Eau), Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Fragrance/Parfum, Citric Acid, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Price: 16 oz. $30

First Impression: When I applied the Co-Wash to the first section of my hair I underestimated it. Before I had thoroughly worked it in, it didn’t seem moisturizing at all and there were more suds than I thought I expected. It seemed like more of a shampoo than I had anticipated. I automatically knew I would need to follow-up with my fave conditioner. I WAS WRONG.

My Experience: Not only did it completely cleanse my hair and scalp after only one application but I was able to detangle my hair while the product was in it. I definitely didn’t expect that. Plus, I had minimal hair loss while detangling.

My Results: My hair was clean and so was my scalp. I was surprised because I’m currently doing the Castor Oil Challenge and have been experiencing drier scalp lately. This product was able to thoroughly cleanse without leaving my hair dry or feeling stripped. When I was done I didn’t use a leave-in before I applied my styling cream but my hair wasn’t frizzy and my twists stayed intact throughout the week.

Pros: This product left my hair feeling really good; the ingredients are very moisturizing. It also comes with a pump which makes it super easy and convenient to use.

Cons: It doesn’t come in travel size! Lol.

Final Thoughts: This is definitely a staple. Other blogger friends who attended the event also love it. My HS friend, Liz, (who asked me about it when she first learned that I have it) even loves it. We all have very different curl patterns which means Ouidad Curl Co-Wash is 100% curl friendly.

Both images courtesy of Ouidad Blog

Have you tried this product? What did you think? Have you tried other Ouidad products? Which are your favorites?