Tags Posts tagged with "natural hair"

natural hair

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Ahh, seasonal routines. I actually love all of the little seasonal shifts that I make in my beauty routine. It’s sort of like a quarterly New Year — four annual opportunities to start fresh and reboot everything. With the start of Spring, I typically make several changes to my beauty routine. For my skin, I cycle off all of the super active ingredients (like retinol, glycolic, alpha hydroxy acids) I’ve used all winter. I know my skin well enough to know that I need to switch to calming products for Spring/ warm weather.

Similarly with my hair, Spring is the time to be a bit more relaxed and not rely on heat styling as much. Yep, it’s time to embrace my natural curl and flaunt my God-given coils.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Get into Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair!

In preparation for Spring, I’ve recently transitioned to Biolage CLEANSING CONDITIONER, a low lathering all-in-one cleansing product and conditioner. The 5-minute treatment (which is all the time I have with a 20-month old demanding my undivided attention) cleanses my coarse, coily curls without stripping my hair of natural oils…or leaving a weighed down feeling on my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Genius! A formula specifically for curly hair…

If you’re new to cleansing conditioners, I highly recommend that you get involved. The formula is suited for most hair types… there’s a Cleansing Conditioner formula for every hair type: fine, medium, coarse and curly. What I like most about Biolage Cleansing Conditioner is that I’m able to match the formula to my hair type and texture. Prior to trying Biolage, I’ve certainly tried other cleansing conditioners in the past, and I must say — having four different formulas to choose from is a major point of difference that impacts your end result.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The texture is creamy and nourishing without feeling heavy.

If you’re new to cleansing your hair with this type of product, there’s a small learning curve…but after one wash session, you’ll be a pro. Here’s how I use Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair: I wet my hair from root to tip. Apply Biolage Cleansing Conditioner from scalp, to hair root, to hair tips. I use between 6 to 8 pumps.  I massage gently and give it about five minutes for the conditioning agents to nourish my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The pump makes a world of difference in the shower…

After five minutes, I rinse. It’s at this stage that the cleansing conditioner transforms into a soap-free cleanser. As I rinse, dirt and build up goes down the drain. With my first use, a few changes in my hair were immediately apparent:

– My curls were springy-er. The formula definitely awakens my tightly wound curls and coils.  I rarely wash and go, but Biolage Cleansing Conditioner makes my curls feel that FIERCE!

– My hair feels more manageable. I’m able to finger comb and detangle without drenching my hair with a separate detangling product.

– My hair feels deeply nourished and hydrated …as if I’ve done a deep conditioning treatment. But really, I’ve only invested 5 minutes — amazing!

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Curls are so springy!!

I’ve been a fan of cleansing conditioners for quite a few years now…so trying Biolage Cleansing Conditioner was not a hard sell for me. But what intrigues me the most is being able to pair a cleansing conditioner formula with my specific hair type. That’s a first for me!

So, is Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for you? Well, if you have fine, medium, coarse or curly hair — there’s definitely a formula for you! If your current hair wash routine leaves your hair dry and brittle, perhaps it’s time to make the switch to a product that’s a lot more gentle and hydrates as it cleans (seriously, who needs the extra steps?)

I’m hooked! I love the ease and I certainly love the results. After months of blow outs and lots of heat styling, it’s nice to go slightly low maintenance for Spring with a product that gets the job done and also makes my natural curls feel incredible.

LEARN MORE HERE: https://www.youtube.com/matrix

The title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” is actually a real question…one that I’ve asked myself for at least a year. The product is actually not new…it first launched in January of 2014. And as a brown girl with natural hair…(natural hair that took over a year to grow out my relaxer)…I am immediately skeptical of any “straightening kit” that comes in a “box” — Uhmm, I like my curl pattern very much, thank you! And I don’t want a “straightening kit” to irrevocably change the texture of my natural hair.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit

So….having said that — when Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit first launched, I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon to test it out. But, earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend time with Strength of Nature, the parent brand behind Beautiful Textures (and about 11 other brands dedicated to consumer hair care education and products for Women of Color).

Felicia Leatherwood

In learning, first hand, about Strength of Nature and the brand’s DNA, I was immediately intrigued and suddenly felt more drawn to the line of products. I also had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with Felicia Leatherwood, Beautiful Textures’ Brand Ambassador, Celebrity Stylist and Trainer. During our talk, I got to ask all of the important questions:

– Girl, is this kit going to rob my curl?
– But how does it straighten without damaging my hair?
– Will I end up bald?

Laugh if you want, but I’m a 40 year old black woman who grew up in the era of bone straight hair….I KNOW what a straightening kit in a box can do to your hair. Shoot!

Thankfully, Felicia graciously answered all of my questions and explained that the straightening kit, enriched with Enriched with Aloe Vera, Coconut, Olive, Soy, Argan Oil, Shea and Mango Butter, temporarily relaxes the curl pattern without reversing it. There are no harsh chemicals involved.

Well, I decided to take the plunge for a variety of reasons:

1. Felicia definitely enhanced my comfort level with her thorough explanation of how the product works
2. I was so impressed by Strength of Nature as a brand that truly cares about the hair care needs of women of color, that I really truly wanted to try more of their offerings and share with my readers. With 12 brands under the Strength of Nature umbrella, and all very value-based, I wanted to shed light on products that are both affordable and effective. Hair is such an important part of the daily routine…every woman deserves to have great hair products without compromising other aspects of her life.

Ok, so let’s get into my experience with Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit ($8.99):


The 4-Step Process Is Pretty Simple:
“This system allows you to go from curly to straight styles, without harsh chemicals and without permanently changing your natural hair texture.  Go back and forth between natural and straight styles with unparalleled touchable softness, movement and shine.”

1.  I cleansed with the Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. Nothing earth shattering there. I will add that the shampoo is totally pleasant and doesn’t smell offensive in any way.
2. I applied the Inner-Active Leave-In Conditioner from root to tip. I was told it’s important to not over saturate.
3. Next, I blow-dried. I use (and LOVE) this dryer for super thick, coily hair like mine!
4. I flat ironed with my trusty Sedu (we’re going 4 years strong!).

NOTE: Since the initial application, I’ve followed up with the Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Shampoo and Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Conditioner.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit - Anti Reversion Products

Here Are My Observations:

See. This is why my reviews take so long…I really truly need to try, wait, watch, observe then report. And in doing all of that, I must say – my loss-of-curl fears were unfounded. Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit helped me to achieve a super smooth blowout like I love, but it did not permanently change my natural curl pattern.

Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You

In fact, my natural curls now appear a bit more defined.I love that this system allows me to go from curly to straight, without horrible chemicals or unwanted changes to my natural texture. The results last for 4-6 weeks….if you maintain with the Anti-Reversion shampoo and conditioner included in the kit.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit  x  ThisThatBeauty

Bottom Line:
To return to the title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” – Yes, if you desire hair styling flexibility without permanently reversing your hair’s natural texture. I think this product also works well for women who are transitioning from a relaxer to natural. Dang! I wish Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit was around when I was transitioning. If there’s a woman in your life who’s transitioning, I’m sure she’d appreciate you sharing this post!

When your mom is ThisThatBeauty, the bar’s set pretty darn high. I’m super discriminating when it comes to products that I use on Phoebe….particularly skin & hair. So, when I heard of the new hair care line, SoCozy, a salon-formula hair care line for kids, I perked up!


As I further explored (and researched the line) I learned that the formulations are non-toxic, meaning: free of the stuff that you generally don’t want anywhere near your kid. SoCozy is free of free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol…also gluten, wheat and nuts (if allergies are an issue). Available exclusively at Target.com, SoCozy is new to the marketplace this Spring…so I had a hard time finding product reviews online. So, I did what ThisThatBeauty ‘would‘ do — I purchased a handful of products to try out. Below are my favorites, but the entire line includes:

SoCozy x ThisThatBeauty

Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner Instantly detangle without pulling or tugging
Behave Styling Mousse For extra volume, bounce, and smooth shiny hair
Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash Nourishes and hydrates hair with keratin, soy protein’s and kiwi fruit extracts
Behave Styling Cream Keeps every strand in place, smooth and silky
Boo! Lice Prevention Spray and Shampoo Gentle enough for everyday use to help prevent the dreaded lice

Phoebe in SoCozy

I cannot stress enough how challenging it is to photograph a toddler – Lord! It’s tough. But here’s Phoebe immediately after using Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash. First of all, I love that this product is a 3 in 1…because, if you think it’s tough to get a toddler to sit for a photo, try getting the same toddler to sit for a bath while you incorporate product, after product, after product. Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is really light, which is perfect for my toddler’s needs. The product lathers quickly and rinses with ease…..a major PLUS, because, again – toddler’s have very little patience. As for how Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash performs as a body wash — It got Phoebe clean and it didn’t irritate or dry out her skin. Honestly, that’s all I ask for in a body wash. The real strength of Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash  is as a shampoo and conditioner because it gets the job done with very little effort. Phoebe’s curls are so soft after bath time!

I also tried out Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner. Much like the 3 in 1, this product is also light. Thanks to the efficacy of the 3 in 1, I actually need very little Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner post-wash because the 3 in 1 wash leaves Phoebe’s hair rather tangle-free. But where I find Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner performs best, is as a daily refresher. It’s a really nice way to wake up baby bed head. So I use Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner daily as a conditioning boost and a curl reviver. I should note that it dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about sending your little one out the door with wet hair.

SoCozy behave styling mousse

We also tried out Behave Styling Mousse, a finishing product for volume and shine. This is good for defining Phoebe’s curls…but probably better suited for little ones with fine hair. Phoebe’s hair is short, but voluminous (translation: fro), so I don’t necessarily use this product for her on a regular basis. But definitely consider this if your little girl or guy has fine strands.

SoCozy is totally worth your time and attention. The line is multi-functional, super effective, and non-toxic. I’m all about products that make my mom-life a little easier…while being safe, smart, and easy to use. As with all things in our modern world, good-for-you products (and food) tend to come with a slightly higher price tag (sigh, but crappy fast food is oh so cheap!). SoCozy’s line starts at $11.95, so it’s an investment…but one that’s well worth it. SoCozy Value Sets are a great way to experience the line and save a little. And, SoCozy Stylers is a free loyalty program that rewards you for social sharing. Hey, every little bit helps!

Want to learn more about SoCozy, visit Twitter at @SoCozy_ & Instagram and Facebook at @SoCozy #SoCozyatTarget

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BeautyStat. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor. Please read my Disclosure Policy for additional information on sponsored posts.

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) !!

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Dealing with my natural hair can be quite a chore.  Don’t get me wrong,  I love my hair because when it’s awesome, it’s really awesome! However, at times it can be very unpredictable.  Sometimes a slight change in the weather can render once loved products almost useless, while products that were relegated to the “throw away” shelf suddenly become the star of the show. The unpredictability of my hair is the reason I blow dry/flat iron at least twice per month and wear it mostly in a bun or top knot. While I know the downside of heat styling, especially my very porous 4b and 4c type hair, it is the right choice for me at the moment.  The only thing I can do to counteract the effects of heat styling is to find products the will protect my hair and tools that will do as little damage as possible.  Enter the Red by Kiss Handle-Less Blow Dryer.

Kiss Handle-Less Hair Dryer

In the video below I talk about the Red by Kiss Handle-Less dryer, the benefits of using it and compare it to my previous dryer. (You’ll need to turn your volume all the way up…in addition to having very little video making/editing skills, I’m a low talker :/)

The Red by Kiss Handle-Less Blow Dryer  is available here,  Walgreens and your local beauty supply store.  It has a suggested retail price of  $29.99.

Have you tried the Red by Kiss Handle-Less Dryer?

What were your results?

Find  me, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and my personal blog.

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I’m quick to admit that my hair can be challenging. So, when I try something new and it is a success, not once but twice, I want to shout from the mountain tops or at least blog about it…and share it on Instagram…and maybe Twitter…and maybe my Facebook page. [Social Media much?] Anyhow, one such recent success was when I tried a bantu knot out using Optimum Amla Legend Blow Dry Mousse on my 5 day old blowout/semi straightened hair. On days when I am not two strand twisting after a wash, I blow dry my hair and flat iron it using this iron set to between 325 and 340 degrees.  The result isn’t super straight but it is straight enough for top knots, cornrows and the occasional updo. Since I am committed to only heat styling once per month (see why here,) or with one in four washes, I try to extend blowouts and change up style just to have some variety and not be bored to death.

Here are my results doing a Bantu Knot of on semi straight hair.

Banto Knot Out


  1. Use  fingers to part the hair into small sections (Remember this is on hair that is already stretched.  Click here to see my natural texture.)
  2. Pump mousse into hand and quickly work it with fingers from roots to ends in a comb like manner . Be careful not to over saturate and only apply mousse to the section you are going to twist immediately…if your hair is like mine it will revert to kinky tight z curls in .06 seconds or less.)
  3. Separate hair into two sections as you would for a two strand twist and quickly twist from root to ends stretching as you twist.
  4. Using pointer finger and thumb, hold twist at the root and wrap twisted hair under fingers until all the hair is wrapped into a knot
  5. Repeat until all the hair is in knots
  6. Allow to air dry
  7. Once dry, take out the knots and use finger to separate and fluff the curls
  8. Finish with a Optimum Amla Rejuvenating Oil

It’s that easy and the kind of thing  you can do while binge watching House of Cards on Netflix (this is what I did). The Optimum Amla Legend Blow Dry Mousse was perfect for this style because it is light weight, it provides good hold without being crunchy and it left no white residue on the hair even though I had product build up from previous styles.

Tip:  If you have parts and separation in the hair root,  slide a pick comb into the roots and comb up about a  half of an inch.  This will get rid of those parts and add a bit of volume.

Optimum Amla Legend Blow Dry Mousse retails for $6.99 and can be found at your local pharmacy or big box store.

Shop  Optimum Amla Products:


Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest, Facebook and her blog.

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Fridays with Felicia: An intimate look behind the curtain as I share my favorite style/ beauty discoveries and ThisThatBeauty shenanigans from previous week


Dear Polar Vortex,

Please GTFOH. No seriously, you may go. I. Just. Can’t! My skin can’t. My body can’t. And oh, my baby (pictured below)…she can’t either. I long to take little Phoebe out doors and do Mommy & Me things, but alas, the weather is rude and will not cooperate.


Sigh. What’s a girl to do? Well, thanks to ESCADA Born In Paradise, I had the opportunity to escape to Puerto Rico, leave my worries behind  and learn all about the inspiration behind the brand’s limited edition summer scent. This blog post spills the complete deets.


Before leaving for PR, she (me) got the EPIC blow out of life! With Optimum Amla products in hand, I made my way to the salon and achieved results like this (see pic below!!)…

Optimum Amla

And like a week later, despite the humidity of Puerto Rico, my hair maintained a smooth finish. Holy moly…go, Optimum Amla Collection! And with the help of my trusty Jennifer Behr Eos headband, I was able to get a few more days and a little variety out of my blow out…

Jennifer Behr Eos Headband

Oh, and in case you missed it: I was quoted in this month’s GLAMOUR mag sharing an unconventional beauty tip. So if you get a chance to pick it up, please do 🙂

ThisThatBeauty in Glamour Mag Feb 2014

Later, my pretties!





When it comes to resolutions, my motto is to keep it simple.  I am happy to report that I had about a 90% success rate with  last year’s resolution. Since I am not in the habit of setting myself up to fail, this year I will keep things simple as well. While I think it’s best to keep it simple, that does not necessarily mean that you cannot challenge yourself.

Riri Woo - ChristeneCarr

Get Healthier Hair

When I decided to cut my hair off for the second time about a year and a half ago it was not because natural hair was en vogue — I did it because my scalp had had enough.  I have very sensitive scalp that has never adjusted to relaxers.  As I got older, I developed a skin condition that affected my scalp.  This is in addition to psoriasis that presents mostly on my scalp.  Fast forward to present day and I have enough natural hair that can be worn in a ponytail after being blown out and lightly straighten. Since achieving this length, I have abandoned my twist out completely. While I deep condition, treat and use a heat protection for each wash, I can feel the texture of my hair changing over time. I blow dry and lightly straighten because it is easy.  Twisting my hair takes hours, then I have to wait for it to dry which takes more HOURS.  Sometimes after a twist out and overnight drying session I awake to hair that is still wet! Honestly, who has the time for that on a regular basis?  My goal for this year is to heat style no more than once per month.

Strengthen My Back

I have been rear ended three times.  Before you start sending me direct messages for a good time, please note these are car accidents.  For the past several years I have been struggling with lower back pain that is attributed to these accidents. As I am getting older the flare up of back pain is becoming more frequent and it is at the point now where it is disrupting regular everyday life. My back pain is tricky because I have been told that in order to improve the health of my back, I have to strengthen the muscles in my back.  However, on some days all I can muster is laying flat on my back, an activity that does absolutely nothing to strengthen muscles.  This year I will find some kind of therapy and/or treatment to improve my back muscles and find new workout routines designed for people with back injuries. A strong healthy back leads to great posture and great posture is a beautiful thing.

Improve My Dental Health

You might not think ‘teeth’ when you think beauty but oral health is high on my list simple things to enhance beauty. I drink coffee and red wine regularly, both of which are notorious for staining teeth. This year I will commit to a whitening system at least once per month.  (That, or give up coffee and wine — sorry, kidding!) Though it is recommended that we get our teeth cleaned once every six months, I am committing to visiting the dentist only once.  This is an improvement over last year.

Wear More Lipstick

I went through my lipstick collection a few weeks ago and realized that I have dozens of lipsticks that I have never worn. It was only last year that I found my perfect red lipstick in RiRi Woo (above). A resolution to wear more lipsticks is really an exercise in building confidence.  I think my lips are too big and I never really want to highlight them. Crossing that line and wearing more lipsticks is really a way to accept my fuller lips and be completely comfortable with the way I look — no small feat.

Did You Make Any Beauty Resolutions This Year?

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog

TTBFaves: Every month, the ThisThatBeauty Girls (ChristeneMaree, and Felicia) share their favorite products from the previous month. Today I share my top picks from September.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I have combination oily skin that becomes a regular oil slick when it gets hot outside. I’m also prone to hormonal breakouts every couple of months. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant works great on my skin no matter what condition it is in.  It is made with a “unique rice-based powder formula that activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliates dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter.”  I use an active mask once or twice per week and this cleanser is gentle enough to use right before using my masks. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant gives a great clean and helps to balance my skin.  It also contains ingredients to brighten my skin and reduce hyperpigmentation – a winning combination. It is formulated without artificial fragrances and colors and one container can last for months. It is also perfect for travel, that’s unless TSA gets suspicious of you toting around a white powdery substance.

TTBFaves - Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Who It Might Work for and Why: This cleanser will work for anyone who wants a gentle cleanser that provides exfoliation and brightening over time.

Bottom Line: It’s a great cleanser that works on all skin types and you don’t have to pay for the water.

Price: $52


My hair? Where do I even begin? It is dry, coarse and very porous hair that literally drinks moisturizing products and it absolutely loves this stuff! PHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab Oil  is a multipurpose pre-shampoo oil that nourishes dehydrated hair, scalp, and body. I use it on both my hair and scalp before I shampoo.  I dampen my hair and massage a  few pumps of oil on my scalp then gradually work it down to the tips of my hair.  I leave it on my hair for at least 15 minutes then follow with a co-wash or a sulfate free shampoo and a deep conditioner. I also add more oil to my hair before moving  on to the styling . The result is scalp that feels hydrated and hair that is soft and very well moisturized. According to the manufacturer this oil also “provides sun protection for hair and protects against free radicals, which can cause damage and frizz.”  PHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab Oil  is formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

Who It Might Work for and Why: If you have dry hair and scalp then I  highly recommend this product.  The only other oil that leaves my hair as soft as this is coconut oil.  However, I cannot use coconut oil on my scalp, so, in a head-to-head showdown, this wins.

Bottom Line: It provides superior moisture for my hair. If you have dry hair and scalp, get it!

Price: $40

TTBFaves - blisslabs nutricosmetics total bliss zen at work

Blisslabs Nutricosmetics Total Bliss Zen at Work

I absolutely hate taking supplement tablets.  Why do the tablets have to be so huge?  Why can’t they make them half the size and have you take two? I’m sure the answer to this and other haunting, life altering questions are lurking out in the universe somewhere but we might never know. Anyhow, my disdain for huge supplement tablets is the reason I have nothing but pure unadulterated love for Blisslabs Nutricosmetics Total Bliss Zen at Work. Here are the instructions, “place one full dropper directly onto tongue.” Could it be any easier? No, I don’t think so. Zen at Work is a  tea concentrate in a dropper bottle that “promotes relaxation and concentration with a blend of mind-unwinding, focus-enhancing nutrients.” It contains vitamin B6 to help support brain function, magnolia bark  to help relax the mind and chamomile to help soothe the stomach. I generally take a dropper right as I am starting to come down from my coffee, right when I start to get a little fidgety and start trolling the internet for cute pictures of cats. It may be mind over matter but I swear this stuff works to get me back on track.

Who It Might Work for and Why: Hate taking supplements that are in tablet form? Then this is for you.

Bottom Line: It works for me! If you are looking for a natural boost, this easy to use supplement might be just the ticket.

Price: $49

Shop the TTBFaves Post!

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog.

If someone told me two years ago that I would have a special towel for my hair I would’ve laughed at them. Seriously. Fast forward to my natural hair revival going on now and I get it and I’m not laughing. Prior to trying the Free Your Mane Pestemel Hair-Love Towel, I read a few blogs that suggested using a T-shirt to dry hair to prevent breakage, over drying and tangling and in my mind I said, “hmmm, NO! I’m drawing a line because it’s just not that serious.” Now that I’ve tried the Pestemel Hair-Love Towel, made from 100% organic cotton, I can understand why a special towel for drying hair, especially hair like mine, is necessary.

Traditional terry cloth towels are plush and absorbent, this makes them great to dry the skin but because of their texture they can be a nightmare for curly, kinky, coily, frizzy hair. The Pestemel Hair-Love Towel is tightly woven and smooth so it virtually impossible for it to snag and pull hair, no matter the texture.

Free Your Mane Pestemel Hair-Love Towel

Manufacturer’s Instructions for Using the Pestemel Hair-Love Towel

Squeeze wet curls gently (never rub) to maintain your natural curl pattern. Move along in sections, taking a hand full of hair at a time. Keep in mind that overexposure to any type of touch can cause curly hair to lose volume or become frizzy. For best results dry each section of your hair only once and follow with air-drying or a diffuser.

My Tips for Using the Pestemel Hair-Love Towel

I have kinky hair so a wash and go is never possible, unless I want to look like i’m wearing an Afro helmet at all times. After I wash my hair, I wrap my head in the Pestemel Hair-Love Towel and squeeze. The towel absorbs just the right amount of water leaving my hair wet enough to absorb all products needed for my blowout or twist-out. It has a smooth texture so it doesn’t snag and pull hair that might lead to breakage and frizzing of my hair.

The Pestemel Hair-Love Towel doesn’t look like a traditional towel, so,  it can be worn as  a scarf, head wrap or sarong and it is definitely more stylish than wrapping your head in a terry cloth towel or a T-shirt.
The Pestemel Hair-Love Towel retails for $32.00 and is available at www.Freeyourmane.com.

I want to know, do you see anything special to dry your hair?

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog.


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In “Get the Facts: Coconut Oil and Hair Care – Part 1,” I talked about the effects of coconut oil on hair, how to use extra virgin coconut oil to moisturize and seal hair and the effects of coconut oil on sensitive scalp.  Today, I’ll focus on buying products containing coconut oil.

How To Buy Products Containing Coconut Oil

It is always important to check product labels but if you wish to get the maximum moisturizing and strenghtening benefits from a coconut oil product, you must ensure that product claims at least makes sense.   For example, products made to moisturize must contain water or some water-like substance, so, if buying a moisturizer the first ingredient should be water or some water-like substance such as a hydrosol or aloe vera juice. To get the maximum benefit in hair care products, look for coconut oil listed high up on the ingredient label list. Coconut oil should most certainly be listed before any preservatives and fragrances.  The product will also be a more deeply moisturizing if coconut oil is listed before any silicones in the product.

Products Containing Coconut Oil


Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner

Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner is formulated for the driest, kinkiest and most unruly tresses. It does a great job on relaxed and natural hair. It contains some certified organic ingredients and is a must try for anyone with natural kinky, curly hair and/or dry hair. See this post for more on this product.    $16



Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo


Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo and Conditioner

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo and Conditioner are formulated to deliver a one-two moisture punch and work on dry, color treated relaxed or natural hair.  Follow with a leave in conditioner and style hair as usual. $4.99 each

Alba Botanica Leave In Conditioner (Fragrance Free)

Alba Botanica Leave In Conditioner (Fragrance Free)

Alba Botanica Leave In Conditioner contains coconut oil, herbal and botanical extracts to treat dry or damaged hair.  Just a bit of this product goes a long way to detangle hair and tame frizz.  $8.95


What are some of your favorite hair care products

formulated with coconut oil?

Let’s Connect!

ChristeneCarr: TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest Blog




How many ‘miracle’ hair products have you seen in magazines or on television in the last year?  With each of these miracle products there is always one or two ingredients on which all the claims are based. While some of these ingredients have scientific proof and live up to their claims to miraculously transform hair, many more do not. Coconut oil has stood the test of time and has much scientific evidence to support claims to help one achieve healthy hair. Coconut oil is currently experiencing a bit of a revival, thanks in part to the natural hair movement among women of color.

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts. It is composed of medium chain fatty acids that contain saturated and unsaturated fats and has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit.  Virgin coconut oil has a shelf life of about two years if stored in a cool, dry place. Some fatty acids found in coconut oil include: caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic  linoleic, oleic, ferulic and stearic. Taken separately these fatty acids found naturally in coconut oil have a myriad of applications, including cosmetic and otherwise. However, we will look at coconut oil as whole rather then individual elements, and focus on virgin coconut oil.

How To Use Virgin Coconut Oil on Hair

Studies have shown coconut oil has an affinity for protein (hair is protein) and reduces protein lost for healthy and damaged hair. One study found that coconut oil penetrated the hair fiber when it was applied and left on the hair over night.

The experiment did not detect the amount of oil that penetrated the hair only that the oil was present in the hair fiber after a pre-shampoo over night treatment.

To Replicate at Home:

Coat hair completely with coconut oil and cover with a plastic cap and leave on hair overnight. Follow the next morning with shampoo, conditioner and styling as usual.

Coconut oil also acts a sealant on dry hair for short term immersions in water and has been shown to reduce hair swelling by as much as 48%. This means that coconut oil completely coats the hair fiber and prevents water from getting into the hair shaft, which can cause damage to the hair, especially during wet combing.

To Replicate at Home:

Apply coconut oil directly to hair as the final stage of styling to help lock in moisture and prevent frizzing. If swimming or being immersed in water, coat hair in coconut oil before entering water to prevent significant swelling of hair.

How To Buy Coconut Oil For Hair


When buying pure coconut oil to be used in hair, look for an organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil.  Some coconut oils are expelled through processes that contaminate the oil with chemicals and others that destroy some of the more valuable properties of the oil. Suggested product: Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. $9.99 http://www.traderjoes.com

It should also be noted that virgin coconut oil, due to its levels of saturated fat, is comedogenic and acnegenic. That is, coconut oil may cause the formation of blackheads, as well as cause or aggravate acneic skin. It might also prove irritating for people with sensitive skin. The best coconut oil option for sensitive skin is a fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated oil has some of the saturated fats removed. It is a lighter oil that is devoid of the coconut smell and stays in  liquid form at all temperatures. You may purchase pure fractionated coconut oil here.

In Part 2, which I will publish tomorrow,  I will focus on buying products containing coconut oil and make some suggestions of products to try.

When it comes to products and product claims, always get the facts, don’t rely on miracles.

Let’s Connect!

ChristeneCarr: TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest Blog

Research Referenced:

India, M. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. j, Cosmet. Sci, 54, 175

Ruetsch, S. B., Kamath, Y. K., & Rele, A. S. (2001). Secondary ion mass spectrometric investigation of penetration of coconut and mineral oils into human hair. J. Cosmet. Sci, 52, 169-184.

India, M. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. j, Cosmet. Sci, 54, 183.

Mills Jr, O. H., & Kligman, A. M. (1982). Comedogenicity of sunscreens: experimental observations in rabbits. Archives of Dermatology, 118(6), 417.

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!


New Hair Product Alert!! And this one is strictly for girls like me who are naturally curly but prefer straight styling (most of the time…I made exceptions in the summer). Motions is preparing to introduce  STRAIGHT FINISH – A Revolutionary Heat Styling System for Natural Hair Textures.


According to Motions’ research: One in four African American women with natural hair would like to straight style their hair, but only if their curl pattern would not be compromised.

You can’t see me, but I’m at my computer, nodding in agreement. While my hair generally has pretty good “snap back” to curly after I straighten it, I have lots of friends who haven’t been as lucky. This really is a chief complaint amongst black girls with naturally curly hair who decide to temporarily straighten. Motions® new 3-step system claims you’re able to go from curly to straight and then “snap back” to your natural curls without any curl loss. What they’re calling their “Bounce Back Formula”, is a prep and protection system that seals your hair so that it will return to its natural curly texture after one wash.


*Flat Iron pictured may be different from the one the winner receives.* 

Well color me intrigued!

And I bet you’re intrigued too….so of course I want to offer you an opportunity to win the Motions STRAIGHT FINISH system as well as  Proliss iso professional Tourmaline Ionic Straightener to help you achieve your desired style.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now I haven’t tried Motions STRAIGHT FINISH just yet, but I plan to soon….In a couple of week’s I’ll be attending a launch event and Rihanna concert to learn more about the line. …so full review coming soon!

Good luck!

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