Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sweet T's Beauty: Product Line Review

I bought these products with my own money and I've used each product at least a couple times each in order to give an effective review.


  • Peppermint Rose Hydrating Shampoo 
  • Organic Peppermint Rose Hair Hydration Conditioner  
  • Bananas and Cream Deep Conditioner 
  • Blueberry Mist 

The Wash

  • I applied the shampoo to my scalp and massaged for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Warm water opens the cuticles, allowing for hair to be cleansed. Although I only apply the shampoo to my scalp, the shampoo still covers my hair when the hair is under the water. 
  •  After I rinse out the shampoo with warm water, I apply a reconstructor (Aphogee 2 Minute). This is because this was my protein wash day (I wash my hair 2x a week and one of those times I use Aphogee 2 Minute).  
  • I rinse out the reconstructor with warm water after a few minutes and then apply the Sweet T's deep conditioner. I liberally apply the deep conditioner, braid the section, and then put on a plastic cap and wait 30 minutes.  
  • After 30 minutes, I apply the conditioner and then rinse out both the conditioner and deep conditioner with cold water to seal the cuticle.   
  • Then I apply the leave-in, which I keep refrigerated, and braid my hair. The refrigerated leave-in treatment is cold enough to seal the cuticle, which minimizes frizz and keeps the porosity in check (high porosity has open cuticles which allows for moisture to escape the hair shaft quickly). 

*I only did one section for the video, but after completing that section I did wash the rest of my hair the same as I had washed that first section.

The Review  
    I love these products! A little goes a long way for both the conditioner, shampoo, and leave-in spray. It is important for me that a little goes a long way because my hair is 21 inches and I am not finished with my hair growth journey. My end goal is 29 inches so a product that I can keep for months is cost-effective for me. I have had the deep conditioner and the leave-in spray since I first bought from Sweet T's Beauty at a local August Wilson event on April 30, 2016. I finished the deep conditioner with this wash day, and my leave-in spray is not half way finished yet. It is only about 40% finished. I am quite pleased with how long these products last.
  I am equally pleased with the performance. Both the shampoo and conditioner was highly moisturizing. My hair did not feel dry at all with the shampoo! Although my hair felt clean, it did not feel strippedThe conditioner had slip which aided me in the detangling process. My roots are usually unruly and more tangled than the rest of my hair. My fingers were able to glide through my roots with ease because of the conditioner and it also laid my roots down.
  The deep conditioner proved to be moisture and protein balanced because my hair felt both hydrated and strengthened after each use. Our hair needs to be moisture/protein balanced in order to prevent breakage, so therefore this product minimizes breakage and promotes length retention. Although I did use a reconstructor in this video, the results are the same without one: hydrated and strong hair that withstands breakage.
An important note is that due to the peppermint in the shampoo and conditioner, make sure to avoid your eyes when you are applying both and rinsing both out.
   Lastly, the leave-in is my Holy Grail Hair Product because it seals my cuticles, reduces frizz, keeps my hair hydrated, lasts forever, and has blueberry extract which promotes hair growth.

According to Curls Understood, "Aside from tasting fantastic, blueberries stimulate hair growth because they contain proanthocyanidins – a plant chemical. Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants. This chemical interacts with hair follicles to accelerate growth. Blueberries are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Vitamin B complex is particularly good for growing our curls. Blueberries aid hair growth by improving oxygenation and circulation of blood in the body, particularly the scalp.
Beauty practitioners also endorse blueberries for the thick and healthy locks. It’s also been proven as a food that helps to slow down the process of hair aging. No grey hairs here!"

It is great that this superfood is incorporated in every part of Sweet T's Beauty product line and why this line is a surefire staple for any naturalista.
To purchase, you can check out her Facebook and her website, which is currently under construction.

I was using Blueberry Mist as a leave-in conditioner for these two photoshoots:

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#TheWashDayExperience: Sun &Swimming Hair Protection


Today is week 2 of the #washdayexperience! Today's topic focuses on Sun&Swimming Hair Protection.  
As you may remember from last week's post, I gave a simple and quick vacation hair list: 
The style: 
Mini-braids or twists with no added hair
The "wash day": 
Seabreeze spray applied to scalp
The Moisture: 
L.O.C. method 
The Sun Protection:
Wheat germ oil 
The Water Protection: 
Coconut oil
 Last week's post mentioned that I recommend protective styles using your own hair, such as mini-braids and twists. I also believe you should use Seabreeze spray to cleanse your scalp. If you recall this post on scalp exfoliation, salicylic acid "softens dead skin cells and remove harden sebum that is trapped in the folicle, and it makes it easier for the shampoo to remove the dead skin. Because it softens the dead skin cells, it does not require any scrubbing. It also removes excess sebum on the hair follicle. It is very gentle and the first choice to exfoliate the scalp." Lastly, the L.O.C. method is a great way to preserve moisture in your hair.

The Sun & Water Protection:
Today I am here to talk about the last two pointers of my vacation hair list, "the Sun Protection/the Water Protection."

The Sun Protection
Wheat Germ Oil:
Wheat Germ Oil has 20 SPF, which is the third oil on this and this list of natural sunscreen oils. I chose this oil because it is the most inexpensive out of the ones with a SPF of 20 and higher. Oils as sunscreen may not be a perfect solution for all-over body sunscreen, but I believe that it is a viable as hair sunscreen. Wheat germ oil is not only cost-effective but all-natural and safe. I recommend keeping it refrigerated to improve keep it fresh. It can be preserved for up to a year if refrigerated.
Other benefits of wheat germ oil is that it is a ceramide. If you remember one of my very first posts, which you can read here, "A ceramide is a lipid. (Lipids is another word for oil and ceramides are one of the three types of oil found actually IN the cuticle of the hair. Ceramides are important because they are the oils which bind the different layers of the cuticle together. These cuticle layers are important because they protect hair from damage) Ceramides are important for chemically damaged hair (colored or relaxed) because they can actually replace the ceramide that HAD been in the cuticle but that was destroyed during the coloring and/or relaxing process." Wheat germ has a 55% of ceramides.

According to this study, "Oily vehicles are more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting film of sunscreen on the skin, and their emollient properties protect the skin against the drying effects of exposure to wind and sun." Therefore, utilizing wheatgerm oil as sun protection also prevents hair from drying out underneath the sun's harsh rays, which is perfect for the summertime.
Another method of protecting hair from the sun is by wrapping it in a satin headwrap. However, I chose the wheatgerm method because I love enjoying my hair out. If you love enjoying your hair and do not want to keep it wrapped all vacation and summer, consider utilizing wheatgerm oil in your hair regime.
For more information check out this article on oil as sun protection

The Water Protection
Coconut Oil:
Before you go in the pool or beach, apply a thick layer of coconut oil to your hair to prevent excess water absorption. Too much water in your hair can cause hygral fatigue, which can lead to fragile hair and breakage. Because it takes 6-12 hours for coconut to penetrate the hair shaft, apply the night before a day you know you will be in water. However, if you are not alerted to the fact that you will be submerged in water beforehand, "The hair absorbs 15% of its weight in coconut oil after the first hour (". Therefore, the coconut oil will still offer some form of protection. To increase your level of protection from the water, spray your hair with water and apply conditioner. Hair already soaked with water will not absorbed the harmful chlorinated water of pools and water parks nor the dirty water of lakes, oceans, and rivers. Do not forget that after you return from the water, you must wash your hair with a swimmer's shampoo to wash out the chlorine and minerals.

See you next time! Enjoy your vacation :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's A Natural Thang: A Mid-Summer's Day Dream Natural Hair Meet-Up

Saturday I attended my first natural hair meet-up!  

It was hosted in my hometown Pittsburgh, PA at AlphaLab, which is an organization that helps startup companies by offering mentor-ship, capital, and space.  
The company that organized the meet-up was Pittsburgh's premier natural hair meetup organization and hair event organizer, It's A Natural Thang, which was founded by Tamiah Bridgett.  
Currently, AlphaLab is assisting Tamiah Bridgett on her revolutionary hair care tool, Diversame, which she developed to assist naturalistas with their curly hair textures. More information on Diversame can be found here.   

Tamiah Bridgett

      The meet-up was a great experience! I loved the vendors that were there. They were all black and had unique wares for sale. My favorite was Sweet T's Beauty, which is a homemade natural body and hair product store. There is no storefront but you can order online here and follow her here on Facebook  . You can find the owner at local events throughout Pittsburgh. In fact, the first time I ordered from her was from a local August Wilson event that celebrated his birthday outside of his home. I bought her leave-in spray (Blueberry Hair Mist) that contained blueberry extract as one of the main ingredients. Blueberries are great for hair and it helps to promote hair growth. The fact that she incorporates blueberries in most of her products is a good sign. I love this leave-in! 
    Anyway, at the meet-up I bought her shampoo, conditioner, and she threw in a body scrub for free. Look out for a review from me--she promised to supply me her whole line for free if I was to create a video review. This will be my first video and the first time I'll be given hair products in exchange for a review so I am excited. I am especially excited to try out her Blueberry Hair Pudding which I hope will rival Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie because I'd love to give my money to small local black businesses instead of big companies.  

         So--back to the event. It lasted from 11:30 to 3:30. Early birds like myself were gifted free swag, such as a sample of Curlific Texture treatment and a full size bottle of Curlific Textured Hair Wash (the event was sponsored by Aphogee!). More free items also included a belt and a purse filled with a small memo pad, a sample pack of both Aunt Jackie's Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner and Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel.  Local vendor Good Body Stuff's body butter sample was included as well as a pack of Doublemint gum.  
Now to the itinerary. 

     In addition to the great vendors, the free swag  (there were giveaways toward the end of the event as well), there were presentations that were highly informative.  
 My favorite was one titled “History of Black Hair”: 

  •  I learned about the braid styles in Ancient Egypt, which the presenter referred to as "Kmt." Apparently, farmers were held to a high regard because they fed people and those most popular was given intricate braid styles to show off their status. Intricate cornrows was a signal of status in Kmt, but when the Africans were stolen and taken to America they were unable to keep up the styles. 
  •  The African women hid their hair with scarves in order to keep their hair free from debris and because it was a law to prevent the white men from being interested in the black women. However, the women wore the scarves as beautifully as the braids had been worn and the law's objective failed.  
  • My favorite part of the presentation was how she ended it in Pittsburgh. Apparently, African American female entrepreneurs started hair schools in Pittsburgh's own Hill District.
  •  It was an informative presentation and I loved how she was able to include the history of black hair of my own hometown (I am a big history buff). 

 There was also a Natural Hair Q & A session, where Tamiah Bridgett answered hair-related questions such as those regarding breakage, homemade deep conditioners, and preserving grey hair color. What interested me about her talk of homemade deep conditioners was that she have not found a way to create a helpful handmade protein conditioner. Apparently, the well-known egg-and-mayo protein treatment is not effective. These proteins have too big molecules that are unable to penetrate the hair shaft. Protein must be hydrolyzed to effectively enter the hair shaft. Therefore, homemade protein treatments are not actually beneficial to the hair.   

   One of the presentations was about Tamiah Bridgett's invention, and another was where a renown black dermatologist--Dr. Melanye Macline--was able to answer questions dealing with skin issues via Skype.   

The emphasis of the event was the importance of funding black-owned businesses in order to build the black community. Although the black hair care industry is a half a trillion dollar industry, most of this money is not in black hands. Tamiah emphasized the importance of changing this reality. We have to find black-owned alternatives of companies such as gas stations and ice cream places in order to fund our community.  

For more information on Tamiah Bridgett's organization It's A Natural Thang (IANT), you can check out the Facebook here and IANT's website here.   

Have you attended a natural hair meet-up before? How was your experience? If not, are you interested in attending one? 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I went to my first natural hair meet-up today!

My boyfriend and I at It's A Natural Thang's Natural Hair Meet-Up

Review coming on Monday. Have a great Weekend!
Edit: check out  my review here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

#TheWashDayExperience: Vacation Hair Styles & Maintanence

It is July so there are new themes for the #WashDayExperience! Today's theme was Vacation Hair Styles but I tweaked it to also include "and maintenance".

Because I am all for low manipulation styles, my vacation hair styles list may differ from what is usually said. Most hair care enthusiasts emphasize utilizing protective styles such as box braids, kinky twists, and crochet braids. This is so that the vacationer does not have to worry about their hair during the vacation. They can swim and have fun without worrying about ruining a style.
  However, my problem with protective styles using weave is that it is easy for the person to forget to care for their hair underneath the fake hair. Also, poor quality weave rubs moisture from hair, causing perpetually hair dryness. This can lead to breakage. Moreover, shed hair is unable to leave the hair while it is bound, and this can cause severe matting. Matting can also lead to breakage.

The above screenshots were taken from CoilyQueensRock' website on hair dryness. As you can see, protective styling with added hair can be more detrimental to your hair than helpful.

I have explained the negative effects of protective styles just to say that my vacation hair styles suggestion is protective styles--but with no extra hair added!
Your Vacation Hair Guide
My suggestions are mini-twists or mini-braids using nothing but your real hair.
 You do not need to wash the length of your hair during your vacation, but if needed, you should clean the scalp with Sea Breeze.

 If your hair feels dry, spray occasionally with a liquid-based leave in conditioner ("L" from LOC), and you can seal the moisture in with a cream that includes oil ("C" from LOC method), such as Qhemet Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Both includes coconut oil, which penetrates the hair shaft and protects hair from hygral fatigue. During a vacation, where you may go swimming, protecting hair from hygral fatigue is important. I also recommend as the "O" step in this LOC method to be wheat germ oil. Wheat germ has one of the highest SPF. It is fairly inexpensive and its SPF is 20. SPF is important to protect hair from sun damage. Wheat germ oil can protect the hair from both UVA and UVB waves.
Before you go to the pool, remember to apply coconut oil to your strands to make sure they are protected even further from hygral fatigue

The style: 
Mini-braids or twists with no added hair
The "wash day": 
Seabreeze spray applied to scalp
The Moisture: 
L.O.C. method
The Sun Protection:
Wheat germ oil
The Water Protection: 
Coconut oil
This is a very easy and straight forward method to care for your hair while you are on vacation. You know all of your bases are covered and it requires minimal maintenance during your vacation.
In this post, I touched on next week's theme--Sun&Swimming Hair Protection. No worries, I will expand on it still in next week's #TheWashDayExperience post!

Have fun and enjoy the rest of your summer!