Tags Posts tagged with "haircare"


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It’s summertime, it’s hot, and ain’t nobody got time to be worrying about maintaining the perfect coif 24/7. That’s where protective styles come in. Whether box braids, cornrows, crochet braids or Senegalese twists, these looks are crafted to help you attain maximum beauty impact with minimal effort. 

Many protective styles include the addition of synthetic hair, so roots tend to become weighed down. This heaviness, along with styles that are coiled too tightly at the base, can cause serious damage to the wearer’s natural hair. While it’s true that protective styles are ideal to help you cut your beauty routine in half, we can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of your hair before changing up your look and doing all you can to ensure hair stays healthy after it is styled.

Read on for Tips from Team TTB on how to Maintain Healthy Hair While Wearing Protective Styles:

Tiffany - Braids

Deep Condition, Treat and Detangle

Leave-in-conditioner is a must for any hair type, but sometimes even the best conditioners can use a little help. Specialty products, like hair masks or hot oils, can be beneficial in locking in moisture, and fortifying hair follicles before putting in a protective style. SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Mask ($12.99, SheaMoisture.com) is perfect for restoring shine and vitality to overworked hair.

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Mask

The morning of your hair appointment is probably not the time for a wash and go because you want to make sure that your hair is properly detangled before you sit it your stylist’s chair. This only applies if your stylist is not the person who routinely does your hair.  (We all know that the person who does the bomb.com braids is not necessarily the person we trust to help us maintain healthy hair.)  Use a wide tooth comb to evenly detangle hair. (Conair Wide Tooth Comb, $2.92, Target.com)

Trim Ends 

Hair stays put for a while in protective styles (that’s the whole point,)  so you may go a month or more without trimming your ends. To ensure even hair growth and length retention while hair is taking a break, ask your hairstylist to give your strands a quick trim before doing a protective style. 

Take Breaks and Let Baby Hairs Breathe 

Lots of tension can wreak havoc on your hair during protective styling. Our hair needs time to reboot from look to look. Give your hair a break from its break, with a twist or braid out, wash and go, or a simple top puff.  

Edges are important, and that definitely goes for your baby hair.  The person creating your protective style should know that your edges are precious, and should be treated as such. Leave out as much of your fragile baby hair as you can while still maintaining a natural look. 


How to Rock Protective Styles and Maintain Healthy Hair - cnc

Don’t Trust a Braider Without Edges

I have seen way too many people with a pound of hair braided onto an ounce of edges.  This is not the way. I guarantee it!  If the stylist doing your hair is missing her own edges, she is not to be trusted with yours. If your braider is amazing, has her edges but routinely does your hair too tight, nicely ask her to not make them tight — this might mean you get a week or two less wear from the style, but in the long run you definitely come out the winner.

Sensitive Scalp? Pre-Wash Braiding Hair

My scalp is very sensitive. Prior to getting my hair done for the first time with synthetic hair, I took to Google to get all the facts about the kind of hair used and how it might irritate my sensitive scalp.  I saw several stories where people put in braids only to have to take them out after a couple of days because of extreme scalp Irritation.  The problem: There is a layer of chemicals added to synthetic hair to make it flame retardant. This chemical is what’s responsible for the irritation of scalp.  The solution:  soak the synthetic hair in warm water and apple cider vinegar until the chemical is “loosened” from the synthetic hair. The solution I use is 2 gallons of warm water to 2.5 cups of vinegar.  Let the hair soak for about 25-30 minutes or until you see the residue on top of the water. Rinse hair once more and hang to dry.

Clean Scalp and Moisturize Hair AFTER Styling

Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries

Even though hair is in braids it still loses moisture.  Lightly spritz hair with a leave-in conditioner once or twice per week to help keep your hair moisturized.  Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries is lightweight spray that packs a mighty moisturizing punch. ( target.com, $13.99)

Depending on the style you have you might able to clean your scalp once per week.  For this, get a clean washcloth and a bowl with just tiny bit of your favorite shampoo and warm water.  Add the water to the bowl and dissolve the shampoo in the water.  Dampen the washcloth with the shampoo solution then gently wipe your scalp.  Rinse the washcloth in clean warm water and do another wipe.  Spritz hair with Leave-in-conditioner.


How to Rock Protective Styles and Maintain Healthy Hair -fwb

Take Cover 

Now that you’re all “braided up, shawty” it can be tempting to go to bed with your newly braided hair uncovered. Don’t fall into this trap (I’m speaking from a place of experience and regret.) Continue to protect your hair at night with a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillowcase (savvysleepers.com $36.) This helps to protect exposed hair from rubbing, breaking and shedding unnecessarily.  

Know When To Let Go

I’ll be the first admit that wearing a protective style is super convenient. It saves you valuable time in the mornings and helps to keep your #carefreeblackgirl status on 100! But do yourself a favor and never wear your protective style too long. Once hair begins to show a considerable amount of new growth it’s time to say bye-bye.  A little new growth is great, in fact I love my braids even more as they begin to wear just a little bit more….but there’s a fine line between “lived in”, and overgrowth. The downside to wearing braids to the point of overgrowth is that your natural hair will begin to weaken as the braided hair becomes heavier and heavier… putting stress on the root of your natural hair. You also run the risk of getting little locks of dirt trapped between then added on braided hair and your own hair natural hair. If those little blocks of dirt get really involved, you’ll lose lots of hair in the removal process.

Don’t Stress


If your braids at first are a little too tight, try a tension relief spray. This can be sprayed directly onto hair to relieve some of the stress or tension that your scalp may experience as a result of slightly too tight braids. Carol’s Daughter MIMOSA HAIR HONEY CALMING TENSION SPRAY (drugstore.com $13.44) prevents breakage, soothes itchiness and helps to calm irritated scalp. 

Wearing a protective style? How do you care for your hair?

I’m often asked lots of questions about my naturally curly hair:

“How do you go from curly to straight?

How do you keep your hair so sleek?

How do you prevent heat damage?

Amla Oil Spritz

And the truth is — there’s no one magic thing that I do to keep my hair healthy and amazing. It’s actually a collective effort of many things:

1)     Regularly using the right hair care products for my hair type

2)     Minimizing the amount of heat styling

3)     Caring for my hair in a way that encourages health and growth

So you see, there’s no ONE thing. But, since most of my readers are looking for advice on the first steps to happy, healthy hair, I’d say – start with good products with good ingredients. And while I love luxe as much as the next girl, I’ve come to realize that high quality hair care need not carry a luxe price tag.

Amla Oil

Everyone’s talking oils these days…and for good reason. Oils multi-task a myriad of skincare needs from head to toe. An Oil that I’m particularly into is Amla Oil, a natural hair conditioner that visibly (and immediately) revives and rejuvenates hair upon application. First discovered by Indian women thousands of years ago, Amla Oil is touted as the key to unstoppable length, enviable fullness and super glossy shine. Rich in vitamin C, proteins, minerals and anti-oxidants, the super fruit Amla Oil is hugely beneficial to not just hair, but scalp health as well.

Hair with Amla Oil

Think you have to travel to India to experience the wonders of Amla Oil? Think again! Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil brings the power of Amla Oil to your boudoir…or wherever you do your hair (I admit to washing in the kitchen sink sometimes…eek!). Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is my daily go to for treating, protecting and styling. If I’m doing my hair, I’m using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil. Shampooing my hair? I add a few drops as a pre-poo. Blow-drying my hair? I add a few drops to damp hair as a nourishing drink of moisture. Flat ironing my hair? I apply a few drops as a heat-protectant. Styling my hair? I rub in a few drops for added shine. Prepping for bedtime? You guessed it!…I apply a couple of drops and reach for my super sexy (not sexy at all) satin bonnet.

Amla Oil

Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is formulated specifically to address the concerns of dry and damaged hair…. which makes it perfect for winter (when EVERYTHING is in need of more moisture). I’m no oil newbie. I’ve tried them all – For hair care, Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil definitely outperforms other popular oil extracts like Olive Oil or Argan Oil. Its do-it-all abilities (pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, finishing treatment, scalp treatment, shine booster) make it the clear winner in my book.


Amla Oil Many Diff Styles

And as you can see from my pictures (I’ve been using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil daily all year) my hair is able to go from curly to straight and back to curly again, without missing a beat. So as for the Amla Oil hype, I say – believe it!

Want to see my shoulder length hair transform into an amazing Faux Bob? — THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL IS FOR YOU

Want to learn more about Optimum Amla Legend ? — www.optimumsalonhaircare.com

Also, follow @Optimum_Care on Instagram for a surprise giveaway happening soon (very soon) !!

There’s a reason TRESemmé is the number one styling brand in the U.S. It’s professional and affordable. It helps you achieve salon-gorgeous, chair-worthy hair every day, all while helping you stay within your budget. Best of all, TRESemmé shows women how they can achieve runway-ready looks at home by granting access to the latest stylist secrets and hair trends straight from the runway.

Need a little inspiration for your next hairstyle?

TRESemme Styling Videos

Check out these creative how-to videos from TRESemmé.


And now you can get additional savings to help you achieve your new runway-ready look! Click here to get a coupon for $2.00 off any Tresemmé styling product to use in store.


Buy 1, get 1 50% off participating TRESemmé products for three weeks at Ulta. So, stock up and save on the products that will give you salon gorgeous hair at home! Offer valid in-store from 6/8/14–6/28/14. Click here to find your closet Ulta Store.


Win a $100 Ulta Gift Cards by doing any TWO of the following*:

(One Comment, one Tweet.)

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite TRESemmé product (Please leave your twitter handle in the comment)


Tell me the products you use to achieve salon-gorgeous hair at home. (Please leave your twitter handle in the comment)


Copy and Tweet this: Get $2.00 off any one @TRESemme Treatment http://htqmfn.cpns.cc/ via @ThisThatBeauty #haircare


Copy and Tweet this: Buy 1, get 1 50% off participating @TRESemme products  at @ULTA_Beauty via @ThisThatBeauty #haircare #BOGO

Winner will be chosen at random.  Contest ends July 7th, 2014 at  12 midnight PST.

*Correction: In the original post I mistakenly stated there were 3  $100 gift cards to be won. It’s actually ONE gift card valued at $100. There will only be one winner.

Giveaway/Contest Rules:

This contest is open to US residents 18 and older. Void where prohibited. If you have won a prize from ThisThatBeauty in the last six months you are not eligible to win. This prize cannot be redeemed for cash. While we do take every precaution to ensure packages are delivered to contest winners, we do not take any responsibility for items lost or stolen during the shipping process once we have confirmed shipment from our end.

Disclosure: Sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own.

Hello weekend sun worshipper. After a grueling week on the daily grid, you’ve earned a well-deserved beach retreat (…while practicing #BGSafeSun, of course). But here’s what you don’t deserve – severe hair damage and breakage associated with prolonged exposure to sun, sand, salt water and chlorine. Luckily, I’m here to help  you nurse your mane back to health. In my Beach Hair SOS post on the Bergdorf Goodman Blog, I give you four easy steps to help rescue your hair.



Beach Hair SOS

Ever the thrill-seeker, when traveling abroad, I embark on a hunt for new discoveries….an obscure scent, an innovative beauty tool, a skin-perfecting cream. You know, something extraordinary that I can’t find in New York City. And I have to tell you — In this digital age of unlimited information and far reaching access, it has become quite challenging to discover new, game-changing beauty.

During my recent trip to Paris I visited the LEONOR GREYL Institute. If you’re not familiar with LEONOR GREYL, it is a family owned range of hair care products made from 100% natural ingredients. The brand’s passion for healthy, nourished hair stems from of its founders, husband and wife team Leonor and Jean-Marie Greyl. They had a simple idea: Healthy, natural products = healthy, beautiful hair. Caroline Greyl, daughter of Leonor and Jean-Marie, proudly carries on the tradition of high-quality, environmentally-safe hair treatments using only the best natural ingredients.

As most of you now know, I’m a mommy-to-be, so I find myself more carefully reading labels these days. Quite naturally, I am drawn to products with as few chemicals as possible.

While in Paris I experienced a LEONOR GREYL hair treatment that was so incredible, and the results were so dramatic, that it has forever changed how I care for my hair. Obviously, if you live in Paris, you should check your calender and schedule an appointment ASAP. But if you’re in the states, like me, read on as I explain how to achieve LEONOR GREYL salon quality results at home.

To replicate my salon treatment you will need a few things:

Huile de Palme
LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme


LEONOR GREYL Creme aux fleurs
LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs


LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense
LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense


Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer
Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer


And for the most amazing hair of your life…no, seriously — most amazing hair ever…follow these steps:

STEP 1: Beautiful hair begins at the scalp. Apply LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme to scalp and ends of hair. This beauty-enhancing oil begins the process of detangling, softening and protecting hair from root to ends. I cannot stress how crucial this step is. In order for hair to properly receive the application of treatment products, it must be well-prepped. LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme’s restorative oil blend can be left on hair for up to 10 minutes, or overnight for more intense penetration. Once applied, massage throughout and brush through to ends if needed.

Leonor Greyl Institute Paris

STEP 2: Further layer the treatment and apply LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs to the scalp. This washing cream is a MUST!…particularly for very dry, color-treated and/ or frizzy hair. You do not need to wet the hair just yet. Simply apply LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs to scalp (after you’ve applied LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme). Leave on for about ten minutes and gradually emulsify by adding water little by little.


DO NOT RINSE…just yet

STEP 3: Lastly, apply LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense to ends and massage away.

Leonor Greyl Institute Paris
Leonor Greyl Institute Paris

STEP 4: To seal the deal and truly reap the benefits of the abundance of good-for-you ingredients, sit under Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer for roughly 30 minutes. Obviously, this is not the steamer used at LEONOR GREYL Institute, but for those of us not in Paris, Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer is the perfect at-home alternative. After 30 minutes under Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer, rinse hair thoroughly…emphasis on “thoroughly’. Spend more time rinsing than usual. Afterwards, style hair as desired.


Feeling like amillion bucks after my LEONOR GREYL hair treatment!!
Feeling like a million bucks after my LEONOR GREYL hair treatment!!

Immediately following my salon hair treatment, I noticed that my hair felt stronger, fuller, and more lush. My scalp felt clean, yet not stripped.

Here I am at lunch with Caroline Greyl...showing off my amazing results!
Here I am at lunch with Caroline Greyl…showing off my amazing results!

I was able to go over a week before my next wash. My hair never felt, heavy, weighed down, or greasy. And when I returned home & replicated the treatment process outlined above, I achieved the same results. SOLD!

I love the idea of an intense treatment prior to washing…and I especially love that I can achieve healthy, full, glamorous hair without having to over-wash….which can lead to dryness and breakage. Ever since returning from Paris, I have continued to treat/wash my hair in this fashion — and let me tell you: I can’t imagine going back to the old way of washing.

If your hair type is similar to mine (dry, coarse, prone to frizz), the above treatment recipe should work for you. If your hair type is not similar to mine, visit the LEONOR GREYL website and customize a treatment plan for your specific needs.

In the US, LEONOR GREYL products are available at LeonorGreyl-usa.com, Nordstrom, AmazonFolica, and these online retailers. To locate a salon near you that offers LEONOR GREYL treatments, click here.

Click here to read more about my Beauty Tour of Paris

For a look into my world and my time in Paris, peruse my Instagram feed and search using #TTBinParis

Follow my Paris videos on Vine (@ThisThatBeauty)

Chat soon!


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Can’t we all use a little beauty help every now and then? Just the other day…I sent a distress text to one of my PR Beauty Girlfriends for advice on a dastardly pimple on the rise. Thankfully, her sage advice saved the day. But, let’s say your BFF isn’t so savvy in the beauty department. Other than my blog (obviously), where do you turn for beauty help? Well how about Walgreens? I’ve been a Walgreens beauty shopper for years (Ferry Street store in Newark, to be specific), so when Walgreens and Style Coalition asked me to share my thoughts, I jumped at the opportunity.

Walgreens Sample Box

The newly redesigned beauty aisle at Walgreens is laid out to better help you find your favorites, discover something new, or just browse the latest products and trends in beauty. And if you take a look around, you’ll notice another helpful addition — Beauty Advisors.

Walgreens Beauty Advisor

In every store, you’ll find a trained Beauty Advisor on hand to help guide you and share insightful tips. Need help erasing dark under eye circles? Not sure of the best cleanser for your skin type? Well, wonder no more. Your Walgreens Beauty Advisor is well versed on the products in store, so he or she can help you demystify the labels and select the best possible products.

Insider Tips

With your purchase (while supplies last), you’ll receive Walgreens new Sample Boxes. In this previous post I explain Sample Boxes a bit more. While the sample product inside is a whole lot of fun, the part of the Sample Box that I like most is the little “Smart Tips and Secret Tricks” mini mag. It’s filled with coupons and tips on things like “Perfect Lip Looks“, “Bright Eyes“, “No Chip Tips“, and “Winter Fixes“. I’m such a beauty nerd and I live for a good beauty read…and these little mini mags are perfect for keeping current with the latest in makeup, skin, and hair. So genius!

Perfect Lip Looks

So if you’re looking to overhaul your current routine or just refresh your beauty stash a bit, Walgreens Beauty Advisors are in-the-know on all things beauty and can help you make great choices and save a few dollars.

If you’re not making Walgreens your drugstore beauty destination, you’re missing out! Want to discover the season’s best beauty at Walgreens? Well here’s your chance to win a $30 Walgreens gift card? Leave a comment that fills in the blank: My favorite Walgreens beauty buy is:___________ [and briefly explain why]

I will select one winner at random.

Good luck!

It’s the new year, and along with personal resolutions (go to the gym more, stop and smell the roses, blah-ba-dee-blah) my beauty resolutions are paramount to this commitment. One of the areas that can always use work for so many of us heat-styling addicts is better, healthier hair.  Since my hair is naturally curly, a morning blow-out is necessary 4-5 times a week for me just to emerge looking presentable.

Finding products to help me repair my hair after all the daily damage that blow-dryers, curling irons, flat irons and overall environmental aggressors do is a constant mission for me.  When I was recently invited by the Fekkai team to experience their new PrX line at their Soho salon (and get a fun blow-out – bombshell for me, complete with bejeweled hair accessories,) I jumped at the chance.

While getting the royal treatment in the ultra-relaxing massaging shampoo chair before the blow-out, my stylist began talking to me about all the great benefits of this new PrX line.  The line contains PrX Reparatives Shampoo ($30-$49), PrX Reparatives Conditioner ($30.00 – $49.00,) PrX Reparatives Intensive Fortifying Mask ($49.00) and PrX Reparatives 3 Day Transformation ($100.) All four products are designed to transform “dry, unmanageable strands into soft silky hair with movement.”  My initial impressions was that my hair felt smooth and soft immediately following the shampoo and rinse, so, I knew the best was yet to come.  After I emerged with clean hair, my hair was styled in loose, bouncy waves and decorated with a gorgeous Jennifer Behr headband.  Take a look at the transformation below.  First picture – sad, boring ol’ bun.  Second picture – glorious big bouncy hair and a stunning bejeweled headpiece to adorn my shiny tresses.

In the weeks that followed, I was amazed to see just how much repair this system did for my hair.  The dual action technology in the PrX line “helps to protect against keratin loss while helping to prevent future damage by conditioning and restoring smoothness.”  Using the shampoo and conditioner every other day has given me softer and smoother hair, but it was the mask and 3 day treatment that was truly the piece de resistance.  After my first use with the mask, I saw a dramatic difference in the texture of my ends and significant reduction in frizziness.  There was a sleek-ness that had not been there before and my hair looked very healthy.  Over the course of a month, with regular use of the mask and the 3-day intensive treatment, I have seen less breakage from blow-drying and my hair seems stronger and easier to manage.   With results like these, this is a resolution that will no doubt be easy to keep.

Fekkai PrX products are available at fekkai.com and retail from $30-$100.  Jennifer Behr hair accessories can be found at jenniferbehr.com.

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I started out 2011 convinced that I was going to slowly transition out of my relaxed hair into a more natural state. Boy, was I wrong. During the course of the year I cycled through conditioners as I tried to find the one conditioner that would work for the roughly four different hair textures occupying my head. Let me break down the textures:

Texture 1 – Chemically relaxed with Organics Root Stimulator Relaxer
Texture 2 – Chemically relaxed with PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer Index 1
Texture 3 – Chemically relaxed with PhytoSpecific PhytoRelaxer Index 2
Texture 4 – My natural hair, which is kinky and dry (mostly 4c and 4b in the back)

L’Oreal Mega Strength Fortifying Deep Treatment – I’ve never been disappointed with a L’Oreal product and this is no exception. I do have a love hate relationship with this particular conditioner. When my hair was mostly natural, it did an amazing job of detangling, when it was mostly relaxed the tangles went on for days. I’d recommend for thick naturally wavy or curly hair. Loreal Mega Strength Fortifying Deep Treatment is available at Sally Beauty and retails for under $11.

Proclaim Argan Oil Intense Hydrating Masque – I’m mad at this one because the labeling made it seem like Argan oil is a major ingredient in the formulation. Dimethicone is listed before argan oil, that suggests to me that the argan oil is less than 2% of this formulation. I’m guessing this because Dimethicone is generally 2% or less in conditioners. The Proclaim Intense Hydrating Masque did a great job of moisturized my hair but only a fair job of detangling. I’d recommend for a once or twice monthly use on relaxed or natural hair. Proclaim Intense Hydrating Masques is also available at Sally Beauty, it retails for about $7.50.

Ion Moisture Solutions Intense Moisture for Dry and Chemically Treated Hair – At first, this product confused me. It didn’t do a lot to detangle my hair, but once I managed to detangle it, dried and styled it, my hair had a really great shine and was very light and full of movement. I think this would be great for someone with lighter hair that doesn’t want the hair weighed down too much. Ion Moisture Solutions Intense Moisture for Dry and Chemically Treated Hair retails for under $9 and is available at Sally Beauty.


Pantene Relaxed and Natural – This conditioner is simple and straight to the point. No matter the state of my hair I can always go to Pantene for a quick three minute condition and detangle. Though I like this conditioner, I have to break up the routine and do a deep conditioner about once or twice per month. Pantene products are available at your drugstore, Walmart, Target and many other locations. Pantene Relaxed and Natural Conditioner retails for under $5.

Surya Brasil Intensive Restorative Mask – This conditioner is formulated to work on color treated hair, which means it is loaded with amazing conditioning ingredients like Babusu Butter, Cupuaçu butter and so many more! I used this product after I had already given up the natural hair quest and was dealing with textures 1 to 3. It did a great job of conditioning my hair but I had to use another product to detangle. This product is formulated for color treated hair but I think it would also works for tightly coiled, kinky, curly, natural hair. Surya Brasil Intensive
Restorative Mask retails for $9 and is available online

Sidenote: From my own observation, products formulated for color treated hair will always provide more conditioners and smoothing agents than other conditioners. If you have hair that is chemically straightened (or curled, gasp!) and it also has been permanently colored, the hair is weaker and more prone to breakage and dullness, therefore it needs more help to look its best.

Joico K-Pak Conditioner

Joico K-Pak Conditioner – Formulated with Keratin Silicone Complex, the Joico K-Pak has become one of my go to conditioners. When I first tried it, it reminded me a little of Pantene but it after repeated use, I realize it packs just a bit more conditioning punch than Pantene, especially on my natural hair. This is a good weekly conditioner. For those folks that work out, Joico K-Pak Conditioner is also good for the mid week no poo conditioning rinse. Joico K-Pak Conditioner retails for about $14.

Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner – I had to save the best for last. This conditioner is amazing! It is formulated for the driest, kinkiest and most unruly tresses, which I clearly have. This conditioner does a fantastic job of not only conditioning and detangling the chemically process portions of my hair but also my natural hair. Made with certified organic ingredients, Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner retails for $16 and is a must try if you have natural kinky, curly hair and/or if you are transitioning to natural hair.


I know the average person doesn’t have to contend with four different textures of hair on their head, but with this roundup I’m hoping to give you some options.

This post was written by  Christene Carr. Find her on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and  Blog

Lately I’ve been embracing & boldly rocking my natural curls. . . my hair hasn’t seen a styling iron for weeks. So to review Sarah Potempa BEACHWAVER Rotating Curling Iron, I enlisted the longest locks I know, my dear friend and daytime office-mate, Cannon. Read on as Cannon shares her quest for surfer girl hair . . . (ps – I’ll be giving BEACHWAVER a whirl in about a week or so…and will share pics)

Ever dreamed of those softer-than-soft, casually tossed curls worn by surfer girls seen on the beach? As hot summer days quickly approach us, perfecting the I-just-just-came-from-the-beach-thanks-very-much coif is one to occupy our cool rainy afternoons. So today I put Sarah Potempa BEACHWAVER Rotating Curling Iron to the test to see if it really delivers that which it boasts: beach waves.

First let me begin by explaining that I have unnaturally long, crazy-straight hair; and, like so many straight-hair girls, I want nothing more than crazy big, twisting curly locks.

After applying a sticky substance from Oribe called Rough Luxury Molding Wax (don’t even ask me how I applied it because TTB/ Felicia would shake her head with ashamed disapproval), I put began a close inspection of the BEACHWAVER. In all reality, it’s like your common curling iron except that it does the thinking & twisting for you – all you have to do is push a button, wait a few moments and release the clamp.

The true secret to natural looking curls is switching up the ringlet direction at random; So, when using the BEACHWAVER, you have the luxury of clicking Left or Right, settling your ends into the clamp and waiting while the BEACHWAVER coils your locks around the barrel.  The only thing to remember is placing your tips in the proper direction of barrel’s movement.  It’s that easy.

Curling is a bit faster and coils have a tendency to be a smidge tighter – ensuring longer-lasting curls.  Like most curling irons, I recommend curling entire head before regrouping and switching up the direction of some pieces (as well as mixing up the thickness of the pieces that you curl); and, to ensure that they keep all day, I recommend sprinting your hair with a light holding spray.  If you want a truly natural look, top off smaller pieces near the crown with a smaller-barreled iron moving in the left direction – this will give volume and a natural curl look.  Oribe’s molding wax will work to give piecey tangles one typically gets when enjoying a windy beach day.So that’s it!  The BEACHWAVER is a great starter iron for the girl who still can’t quite master a typical curling iron… or a grand quickie tool for the experienced curler (it took me approx the length of two songs on Grimes’ latest album to complete my entire head).  So give it a try and let us know what you think!

 Key Features:
360 Degree Swivel Cord
9 foot Heavy-Duty Cord
LED Digital Temperature Screen
Heats up to 310-450 F in 30 seconds
Cool Safety Stopper
Rubberized Cool Safety Stand
Fast Recovery Time
Ergonomic Handle
6.5″ Ceramic Rod
Automatically Rotates with “GO” button
1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
30 Min Automatic Shut-Off

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Now here’s a little known fact about me: I have pretty much given up on hair salons. *shock* *awe*

Oh, yes! I generally find salons to be a huge waste of time. . . and money. Why? Well — apparently, my hair is the most complex hair type in the world. It’s true! I sit in the chair and instantly, highly-skilled, trained professionals are rendered clueless. Now I have enjoyed a few good experiences here & there (Phyto Universe/NYC is awesome — Ask for Ron…De Ja Vous/NYC does amaze blowouts — ask for David, Eli, or Ricky), but for the most part, I shy away from salons and do my own hair at home.

I am regularly invited to partake in services offered  by celeb stylists, colorists, etc. . . I generally, respectfully decline — these things rarely end well for me. My hair proves to be too challenging for most. And frankly, I tire of sitting there having to walk “professional stylists” through the do’s and don’t’s of combing, brushing, blowing, curling, and styling my hair. It really is a bit much!

Enter Dana’s Loft, a quaint “look-away-and-you-might-miss-it” hair salon on Manhattan’s too-cool-for-school lower east side. Upon my arrival I was greeted by Dana. Yep, “the” Dana of “Dana’s Loft”. She was kind and welcoming. Before putting product to head, Dana asked lots of questions about my hair, styling products, hair care routine, hair goals, etc. Oh, hey now. . . that’s a rarity! Dana’s initial intake process immediately put me at ease. I really appreciate that she took the time to ask about the state of my hair and how I maintain it. It’s quite rare that stylists do this — Instead they tend to quizzically examine your hair, make you feel even more self conscious about your less than pristine ends, and then recommend a host of products to repair your ol’ tired-looking hair. It’s enough to make a girl cry. . . ask me how I know :/

Well there were no tears during my visit to Dana’s Loft — only cheers! And here’s another thing that I really enjoyed during my visit. . . Dana was the only person to handle my hair. Remember the good old days when your stylist handled your hair from start to finish? Well this still exists at Dana’s Loft. . . perhaps it was a slow day or perhaps it was my lucky day — not sure, but it made me feel really good to have my hair handled by just one person. I didn’t have to worry about two or three different people in the mix.

For my visit, I decided to live a little and try out extensions. I’m generally not that girl but every now and then you have to go for the gusto. Dana added a few layers of hair from Creme de la Creme Tami Roman collection (Caution: the website plays music. . . a small pet peeve of mine). I’m rather easy going when it comes to hair so I stressed wanting a very natural look. And Dana executed just that. I left feeling like my exact hair wishes were met. Dana was so sweet, so thoughtful, and above all – extremely knowledgeable. I left knowing that I’ll definitely return. If you’re in search of a super good hair salon experience, try Dana’s Loft.

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If you’re on a need-to-know basis with what’s “of the moment” in beauty (who isn’t?!), look out for Sephora HOT NOW, a monthly trend report on the beauty industry’s latest innovations, brand collaborations, and off the radar discoveries that deserve your attention!

Each month, the Sephora HOT NOW Report will feature new products with ingredients that have blown the Sephora editors away with their results. This product IT-LIST brings together a smart combination of names you already know as well as ground-breaking brands that require your involvement!

In perusing the current HOT NOW list, I came across Brazilian Peel — an at-home glycolic peel product that I absolutely 100% approve of (see my review here). So, HOT LIST: It looks like we’re simpatico! L-L-Love that!

For more on what’s HOT NOW, visit Sephora’s YouTube channel.


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This post is written by ThisThatBeauty Contributor, Christella Ritchwood. For previous reviews for Christella, click here, here, here, here, and here.

Although my curl has calmed down quite a bit since my high school years (hello 80’s hair!), it is still occasionally out of control! When I heard of Keratin Tropic, a 100% formaldehyde-free treatment, I was very excited to give it a whirl.

The oh-so-friendly-Oregon-native stylist, Mandeep, of Lasio Hair Studios (117 East 7th Street) safely relaxed my curls with Keratin Tropic. She first started with a cuticle opener on my roots to ensure the treatment would set to its max potential. Once the cuticle opener was set and rinsed out, Mandeep proceeded with the Keratin Tropic treatment. Mandeep then saturated my hair with the pleasantly scented keratin treatment. Since keratin is activated by the amount of heat applied, Mandeep first blew out my hair with a round brush. Once my blowout was complete, she used the flat iron, taking very small sections at a time. She finished with a light trim to freshen up my cut. The entire process took about 3 hours….and it was SO worth all 180 minutes of the time spent at Lasio Studios!
Immediately, my hair looked and felt healthier. The Keratin Tropic treatment has cut my at-home styling time by more than half. After my first wash at-home I was able to flat iron my hair straight in 20 minutes. It looks healthy, shines nicely and feels lighter in weight. I am totally sold! See for yourself…



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Today through February 25th, head to http://www.facebook.com/#!/hairdoUSA for a chance to win  Jessica Simpson Hairdo Clip-In Extensions. The first ten entries to correctly choose the winning style will win a Hairdo 21” Human Hair Clip-In Extension, valuing at $500 or any Hairdo Extensions of their choosing!

If you are not a lucky winner, don’t fret –you’ll still have a chance to win on ThisThatBeauty! That’s right! I’m hosting a Hairdo Clip-In Extensions for five lucky winners! Check back for details soon…


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