03 Dec

RBB Gift Guide: Christmas Gifts for Your Hair

http://youtu.be/HV2HkP_hNRE

As products go, I am not easily impressed. That’s why I don’t make product recommendations nilly willy. Yet, if a product is extraordinary because it has multiple benefits or saves time, I perk right up and take notice.

In this post I’d like to offer you the following recommendations of products that I personally use and love. Consider it a Christmas gift list for your hair (or somebody else’s :-) )handheld steamer

Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer – The Q-Redew Hand-held Hair Steamer  is one of the most useful tool’s any girl can have, especially in the winter. It provides a boost of steam for instant moist to dry, parched hair. It also helps make your pre-poo more effective when you steam your hair in advance of applying your oils/conditioners. I love that it’s portable and works quickly. You don’t have to sit confined under a traditional steamer anymore.

hot head

Hot Head Thermal Hair Wrap – If you are tired of being tethered to a chair to get your deep conditioning done on wash day, look no further. This heat cap is microwaveable and you’ll get at least 20 minutes of steady heat while being able to move around, do chores etc. Check out this video sharing some useful tips on how to use it.

ropetwistsGoody Flex Barrettes – Not only are these barrettes stylish, Goody Ouchless Updo Barrettes can be used to help you stretch your roots while your hair is drying after washing. I use my Good Flex Barettes almost all of the time. I have both the brown and black colors and in the small and large sizes. I use them to clip my hair up at night when I want to preserve my wash ‘n go, twist out or braid out. I also use them to create ponytails and up-dos. This is a very versatile hair accessory!

Goody Elastic hair ties – Naptural85 shared a DIY video showing how you can make medlength-fishtailthese yourself. I’m not a big DIY girl because I don’t have much time to devote to such projects. That’s not to say I never DIY. I just feel you can get these for such a low price, why bother making them? Well, unless you just like that kind of thing :-) When I’m wanting to add a little stylish accessory to secure the end of my ponytail, I use these but for the most part I like using these hair ties to protect my ends at night when I sleep or throughout the day when traveling. Here’s a cheaper brand with lots of stylish options:

SM-JBCO-MaskShea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Mask – I was pleasantly surprised with this product. I had read a number of people say it didn’t have enough slip. However, I think it has great slip. It could be that our hair types are different. I have a looser curl pattern and fine hair so the product was very easily applied. More importantly, my hair felt very balanced (moisture & strength) after using. I find this mask to be a great maintenance product for mitigating hair breakage.

Curls Blueberry Control Paste – OK it’s not really made from blueberries but it smells curlsblueberry-pasteawesomely like so. Even more beneficial, it does a great job of taming my edges for most of the day without causing breakage. I have to hide it or my daughter gets a hold of it and starts using it up! The control paste comes in a passionfruit scent as well but I have never tried that one so can’t attest to if it’s as effective at holding down the edges as this formula or if it’s just a matter of scent.

Cassandre Beccai’s Hair Milk – This is my #1 product moisturizer. I LOVE it so much. It is hairmilka moisturizer and conditioner in one. It can be used daily and it smells awesome. I have an older bottle (used to be called Oatmilk & Honey Daily Conditioner) that I got before Cass redesigned it so photographed here, is the newer bottle. You can use this product to finger detangle your hair as well. It makes detangling effortless and you hair is left moisturized and soft.

Cassandre Beccai’s Grow Your Hair Faster Course – This is not an actual physical product but it is a very comprehensive course if you are looking to develop a simple but effective hair growth regimen. You’ll learn 8 habits that help with length retention as well as two in depth prescriptions for hair growth. Plus it’s only $17

Here’s to a very Merry December filled with shopping and cheer!

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23 Sep

How to Choose Good Hair and Skin Moisturizers

Isn’t it frustrating to purchase what you think is a good effective moisturizer for your skin or hair to later discover that they are crap?

 

moisturizers for hair and bodyMany so called moisturizer creams and lotions available on the market will actually dry out your skin and hair. If you are anything like I was, you wonder why. After all, the skin and hair moisturizer packages say that they are moisturizers. So, then why is it that after applying these so called moisturizers, you find that your hair and/or your skin is dried out very quickly? Or even more disappointing, you discover that after applying the moisturizer, you don’t see or feel a difference at all. You’re left with the same dry hair or the same dry skin.

I’ve discovered that just because a product label says the word “moisturizer” on it does not mean it is a good effective moisturizer or really a moisturizer at all! You have to investigate further before you buy any product that you are seeking to moisturize your skin or hair with, for any real length of time. This is where the ingredient label tells it all.

Effective Moisturizer Requirements

For a moisturizer to be effective, it MUST contain water (or a wetting agent such as aloe vera juice) as the FIRST ingredient. If the first ingredient is anything else (ie. an oil) you may as well put it back on the shelf. It will not do the job no matter what the product manufacturer says.

I am an African American with dry skin and dry hair tendencies and have found that water in my moisturizers is not optional. It is required. This holds true for skin moisturizers and hair moisturizers. The first ingredient must be water/aloe vera juice. Why

It’s simple. These ingredients hydrate. Just like your internal organs require water to be hydrated, so do your skin and hair. However, water alone does not make a moisturizer effective. Right next to and after water on the ingredient list should be an oil. Pure Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Aloe and Shea butter are all great oils to formulate your skin and hair moisturizer.

Ineffective Ingredients

In contrast to water and an oil being the first two ingredient on the list for an effective moisturizer, there are three ingredients that may very well make your moisturizers ineffective. These would be:

Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are lubricants that sit right on the surface of the skin or hair and do not penetrate either of these surfaces which is required for true moisturizing to take place.

Isopropyl/Benzyl Alcohol – Alcohol in general is very drying. Remember, before there were acne creams, people used to use alcohol to dry out their pimples? Enough said.

Of course there are certain chemical ingredients that you should also avoid because they are no good for you, but for the sake of this article, which is to point out the ingredients that make a skin and hair moisturizer effective, I won’t get into those.

Three Moisturizer Ingredients with Big Benefits

Once you’ve found a moisturizer with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient and none of the above bad ingredients, there are other ingredients that prove beneficial for the hair and skin. These would be Vitamin E, Keratin and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 – generally found in skin care products) are antioxidants and help revive dull, damaged hair and/or skin. Keratin helps to stimulate the growth of cells to produce additional collagen which is required for smooth, supple skin.

So, the next time you go shopping for a moisturizer (which may be when you are done reading this article), make sure that the ingredient label (cream, lotion or spray) reads with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no alcohols. This is essential for good, effective moisturizers. Your hair & skin will notice and feel the difference.

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21 Aug

Why I Avoid Beauty Products Containing Parabens and Sulfates

I've transitioned from face products containing parabens to all natural

I’ve transitioned from face products containing parabens to all natural

When it comes to personal care, it’s very important to know what’s in the products you are using. In my opinion, Parabens and Sodium Laurel Sulfate are two chemicals that should be avoided like the plague. Below details why.

About Parabens

By definition, Parabens are inexpensive antifungals used in various products, including food. You can find Parabens in most all commerical shampoos, toothpaste, moisturizers, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals, deodorants and many skin care products. Parabens can be identified by various names: methylparaben, butylparaben, and ethyparaben.

There have been studies for and against the use of parabens. Many studies declare that parabens are not healthy for you because of:

1- Their ability to mimic the estrogen hormone. Estrogen in high levels has been known to cause certain types of breast cancer. Parabens have even been found in certain types of breast tumors.

2- Developmental problems can occur with regular exposure.

3- Studies have found exposure to parabens from creams and lotions, greatly increases the risk of the parabens being ingested through the skin.

4- Studies have shown that parabens can be linked to premature aging of the skin.

Many people are alright with using products with Parabens because there has been no definitive proof. To each his own. There are some good products on the market with parabens in them but what about long time exposure? The problem with Parabens comes with long term or prolonged exposure.

About Sodium Laurel Sulfate

Sodium Laurel Sulfate, also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate is another inexpensive chemical that is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, toothpaste, and soap. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is used in degreasers and for clinical testing on animals and skin to determine it’s effectiveness on irritated skin. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is so dangerous because of it’s potential to absorb rapidly and deeply through the skin into the body.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate can severely dry out the skin and cause the hair to fall out due to damaging the hair follicles. It is corrosive and very drying. Sodium Laurel Sulfate has also been linked to cancer causing carcinogens.

There is a lot more detailed information on the web about the harmfulness of Sodium Laurel Sulfate. However, I’ve given you a brief summary that I believe adequately details the dangers of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Google “dangers of Parabens” and “dangers of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.” There are many studies available that you can read in more depth. I don’t know about you but I will not take that unnecessary risk with my health when there are natural alternatives available. God intended for us to use the good of the earth. Man made chemicals may have their place from time to time but they are just not the best that’s available to you.

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