Product Selection Formula

I’ve received several requests for help with selecting products. Much of my Helpouts time has been spent doing just that, so I thought that I should share my formula on product selection.

 

Step One: Eliminate the products that contain, MEA, EDTA and parabens. Don’t be fooled by the front label that boasts of the infusion of all natural ingredients, flip that product over and read the back label. The above is not the full list of harmful chemicals but those have been  mentioned in studies regarding the harmful effects of chemicals in beauty products.

Step Two:Determine the needs of your hair. If you have dry hair, seek products that do not contain lanolin or mineral oils they will provide a false sense of moisture. If your hair is too oily, seek a clarifying and pH balancing shampoo and products.

Step Three: Figure out your styling needs. Too often I see women breaking out the edge control when their hair may only need a light mist of holding spray. It’s very easy early in your natural journey to style according to the needs of your relaxed hair, and even easier to style according to what your perception of society’s opinion dictates. The beauty of having naturally curly hair is that many styles will stay in place just because. Very rarely to I add even hair pins to my twist up-dos because I’m able to use the tension and the curl pattern, to my advantage. Less is more in this arena, start with the lightest product and build over time, you may find that the only “control” you need is some Shea butter and a brush.

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Step Three: Find the right price. Pay attention to how much you are spending. If there is a $50 product, there’s probably an equivalent in the $20 range. Combine steps one and two and narrow down the base ingredients in your desired selection and see who does it better. I’ve made the mistake of buying the high-end product with the motto in mind “you get what you pay for” when in reality, “you get what they sell you”. Be mindful of your needs and ask for samples prior to making any purchase over $10.

That’s it, my big secret is out. I make my own products using the base ingredients that my hair needs at the time, but when you see me in a store this is the process that’s taking place behind the scenes that leads my selection. Hope this helps, as usual, as questions if it stops making sense.

Enjoy your Journey!

Recovery Motivation

The wedding is over, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I get my hair back. There’s a phase that we all go through on the wash day after we know we’ve been acting funny towards our hair.

I went into instant heat damage detection mode. I watched every single strand that left my hair and freaked myself out. There’s no amount of knowing that your hair has a natural shed process that stops you from blaming yourself with every loose strand when you know you’ve done wrong. You reflect on every time you used the flat irons, every non-natural product you used, and every time your scarf fell off your edges while it was in such a delicate state.

I can laugh now because I’m looking at the extension on my diffused Fro, but last night I was sweating. I’m writing this knowing that there’s someone out there that feels like they are in a “backslidden”(made up church word) condition and you’re dreading that upcoming wash day to survey the aftermath of that crunchy up-do or that bone straight press that you touched up every morning all week. Here are a few words of encouragement for this point of the journey.

1.Be kind to your hair on the recovery and don’t freak out at shedding that seems a bit heavier than normal if you know you’ve done weird stuff to your hair. Use quality products with as little harmful ingredients as possible.

2. Try not to abandon your vitamins, but if you do (like I did, because I didn’t need my hair growing out like crazy) a couple of days before Wash Day get back on your normal dose.

3. Detangle with care. It’s ok to baby your hair. If you take your time you can avoid any further damage.

4. Forgive yourself. Every now and then we are called to pull up (get fancy) in a different way than we normally do and it’s alright to try different looks. If it’s not the creamy crack, you can always come right back.

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Be Encouraged 🙂

Nights like this I wish, I’d just cut it Off.

Picture it Cincinnati 2014.

I have my cousin’s wedding coming up and I’m extremely excited. It’s been a few days since the Bachelorette Party in Atlanta. The wedding is a week away and  I’m Maid of Honor, which means that I’ll show up in quite a few photos. The bride has requested that we all get weaves and put our hair in a beautiful style that she chose.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the style she chose, and she’s even been flexible on the texture of the weave.

Insert Quest.

I travel the city in search of just the right bundle of hair. I considered a curly pattern but worried that my hair wouldn’t blend with the slick feeling hair. My go to weave that matches my hair perfectly is synthetic and I’m just assuming that the stylist will use heat to achieve the style so that’s not an option…. I travel to the store of my youth, “Hair Lucky”.

After roughly an hour I locate a bundle of hair that the saleswoman assures me will blend well. I even touch the ends of the hair myself and note that it doesn’t have the slip that the other straight brands appeared to have.

Cut to my house.

I separate and braid my hair during my pre-Scandal evening and open the pack fully just as the first camera shutter sound crosses the screen.

Shiny ass hair = massive straightening of my hair required for blending.

It’s too late,  Abby is already getting paid dust at the campaign meeting and my hair is braided in a circle with the edges out.  This hair is going in my head.

The rest is too traumatic to share… In short there’s anti-frizz serum in my hair because it’s raining and I have to keep my edges laid. I almost passed out typing that.

Here’s the end result-

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I feel like a clown.  I feel guilty for putting the trash that is anti-frizz serum in my hair, mostly because I held on to a little before I took my natural journey all clean.  My poor blow dryer heat only hair has been sizzled with a flat iron in ways that would make many of my natural hair vets cringe.

So tonight’s mission is a Re-do (I will not let this be a real obstacle). If you know of a brand of weave that sells Super Wave in Human Hair that ships overnight contact me as soon as you’re finished reading.

I’ve had ideas of short styles… but I said that I would let it grow.  But a 2″ Fro with a Lotus cut into the side sounds dope.

Thanks for reading,  this was my hair therapy.  Have a backsliding hair story you’d like to share?  Email marellewrites@gmail.com I’ll keep you Anonymous if you’d like.