Team Natural Roundup

IMG_0001I’m such a bad naturalista! Yesterday I was discussing natural hair with a young lady at work and I mentioned to her that I blogged about natural hair. Knowing that I blog about a lot more than just natural hair, I corrected myself and added that I blogged about “other stuff too!” At her request, I passed along the link to This and That. I was messing around on the blog and decided to review what was located in the Natural Hair Care category and was disappointed that not only had I not posted about natural hair in a while, but that I didn’t have much to say on the blog about natural hair PERIOD!

So, after slapping myself on the wrist with my trusty rattail comb, I realized that I have so many natural hair go-to gurus, I don’t really spend too much time actually talking about it on the blog. However, I post a lot on Pinterest and on the This and That With Calandra fan page on Facebook. So…I’ve decided to at least offer a quick roundup of my favorite naturalistas. Here goes:

Black Girl With Long Hair –

Hair Gets Kinky When Wet –

Lexi With the Curls – lexiwiththecurls.comYou can also check out Lexi’s YouTube channel.

My favorite beauty blogger, Patrice Yursik, aka Afrobella (aka “Calandra’s hair crush”!) –

Last but not least, my favorite naturalista – not just because of her hair, but because she’s such a cool chick! Whitney aka Naptural85 on YouTube!



Natural Hair…Don’t Care

Not only has it been a while since I’ve posted, but I have definitely not posted about natural hair for a LONG while! I am exactly 18 months natural – technically it has been longer than that, as I have not had a relaxer in my hair for over two years. But my “natural debut” occurred on July 27, 2011, the day before my 42nd birthday. Did I plan to “go natural?” Yes. Was I trying to make some statement about natural hair? Absolutely not! The only reason I went natural was because I was tired of spending money on weaves, relaxers, etc, just to have my own hair left in a weakened state. I looked back at pictures of myself as a child and longed for the days I had an old-fashioned “press and curl.” My pre-perm, pre-weave days.  My hair was thick and shoulder length. But more importantly, it was HEALTHY! That is why I wanted to go natural. I wanted MY hair back, my strong, healthy hair.

Now don’t get me wrong…there are people with relaxers and weaves who have perfectly healthy hair. My stylist of 16 years always made certain my hair was treated with the utmost care. She wasn’t just one to style my hair – she helped take care of it. But there are just some times when our hair doesn’t want to be bombarded with chemicals that disturb the natural curl pattern. I knew that the only way to restore the true health of my hair was to take it back to the old days.

During my transition phase

When I stopped wearing the wigs and braids I had used during my transition period (transitioning is the process by which you slowly grow out your natural hair, gradually cutting away the relaxed ends of your hair), I was worried that I wouldn’t like having such short hair. I was afraid of becoming bored with the style and want to go back to using the “creamy crack” (a term used to describe chemical relaxers).

My first day going to work with my natural 'do.

My first day going to work with my natural ‘do

So 18 months later, I am happier with my hair than I thought I would be. Not only is it healthy, but it’s FUN! I love feeling my natural waves, curls and coils. I have embraced my textures without feeling the NEED to straighten my hair. Since going natural, I have had my hair flatironed about 3 times,  for a length check and to have my edges trimmed.  I love being natural because my hair is actually MORE versatile. Does every woman need to be natural? No. I have not become a fanatic who insists that all women stop putting chemicals in their hair. My journey was MY journey. God bless the sisters who are still relaxing and weaving. As long as you are taking care of it, and happy under it, do your own thing.

ME 3-2-12

Go Team Natural!

2012 Hair Revival!


Attention beauties of the NYC area! Its about to go down in 2012!! Doris New York Hair Care Products and Sistah Girlfriends, Inc. sponsor our first Annual Hair Revival!
We are excited to launch our inaugural event as a salute to ALL hair types. Join us for an enlightening and thought-provoking panel discussion featuring:

  • Winsome Sinclair – Chief Managing Partner, Winsome Sinclair and Associates
  • Michelle Joyce – President and CEO, Digital Chick Consulting
  • Brian Luvar – Director/Producer/Photographer. President and CEO Grandma’s Watching Productions
  • Marlene Duperley – Hair Care Expert/Stylist. Co-Owner and SVP Doris New York Hair Care Products
  • Edward M. Johnson – Managing Director, Rebel Visions Corporation

And for our entrepreneurs…We are looking for swag bag sponsors. If you are interested, please email us at Thank you.

For more information, check out our Facebook event page.

This & That This Week: Brown Butter Beauty™

About a month ago, I received a package from Christine Gant, owner of Brown Butter Beauty™. A few weeks earlier, I had signed up to test her products. As a new natural, I was excited to try out new products. For the past month, I have been using the Babassu Cream Deep Conditioner (retails $15 for 8oz) and the Sweet Milk Detangling Leave in Conditioner (retails $12.50 for 8 oz)

Babassu Butter Love Deep Conditioner

Sweet Milk Detangling Leave In Conditioner

First let me say that both products have a nice pleasant scent and are very light to the touch. Upon immediate inspection of the product, it didn’t feel heavy or greasy. I used the deep conditioner right after washing my hair and the end result was a soft and manageable head of hair. I used the hair milk leave in conditioner daily for a month, alternating weeks of using the conditioner at night when my hair was two-strand twisted and then using it to retain moisture in the daytime before leaving the house.

The Results – I only used the deep conditioner twice, but I found it to have similar effects to the deep conditioners my stylist uses. With the leave in, it was more effective for me at night. I have extremely thick hair and so having the product “locked in” to twists/coils and under a satin cap left my hair soft and easy to style in the morning, without leaving my hair feeling weighed down. Now when I just used it in the daytime, I found the product to be almost TOO light and my hair felt dry within a few hours. It is probably just the way my hair drinks up moisture and because I’m testing the product in cold dry weather. I may do better with this in the summertime.

My Final Word – I like the products, but in terms of results, they don’t offer anything different than other products I use in my hair. However what IS different about this line is outlined on the website – Christine hand crafts the hair and body products in her line using pure oils and fresh herbal oil infusions. Her products are made in small batches to ensure freshness and she does not use “oils that have been processed through heat intensive hydraulic extractions…” The products contain no parabens, sulfates, silicones, or mineral or petroleum oils – all things that are NOT natural-hair friendly. If you are someone who is especially sensitive to how “natural” your hair care products are or who chooses to make your own products, I would highly recommend Brown Butter Beauty™ to you. I am interested in purchasing some of her skin care products.

Overall, Christine Gant has a product line and professional web presence that cultivates natural beauty. She is certainly someone worth supporting.

This and That This Week: Doris New York

Doris New York is an amazing hair care company I mentioned after my visit to the Circle of Sisters Expo in New York. Check out my video review of their Leave In Conditioner ($15) and Olive Oil Hair Cream ($17).

These are two great products from a beautiful and professional hair care company. The care they take in promoting and representing their brand is amazing.

Click here to see the entire product review.