Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amla Powder Review

Hey everyone,

So....I'm finally writing another review.....

Today, it's all about amla. I am on my second week of trying out amla now and I absolutely love it. Okay! So, my review's going to be a little more organised now. I know that not everyone knows what amla is and many people might what to know how I used it and how I guess it should be used. So, here we go:


What is amla powder?

"Amla powder is made from the Indian gooseberry or amla fruit, which is native to India. Amla fruit is a natural source of vitamin C, amino acids and tannins. Traditionally used in Ayurveda treatments, when processed into powder form it's commonly used in massage oils, skin care and hair care products. When used topically, the benefits of amla powder on hair are numerous." ~Tia

*(Sidenote: It has a brown-ish colour and and a distinctive smell that I can tolerate, but some people complain about. By the way, I know its smell just by like moving it close to my nose to know what it smells like. On my hair, I couldn't smell jack. )*

How do you use the amla powder?

The first time I tried amla (I had quite a lot of buildup), I used about 3-4 tablespoons of the powder with about 2-2.5 tablespoons of water and made a paste with it (the paste looks pretty much like some dark brown stuff).

Prior to getting the amla on my hair, I detangled my hair (dry detangling) and sectioned my hair off in twists as I detangled (no specific number of twists). Next, I moisturised my hair with my newfound baby (a mixture of BeeMine Daily Conditioner, BeeMine BeeLovely Hair&Scalp Moisturiser and Water) and retwisted.

I got the amla paste (by the way, the consistency of this is just a little thicker than a milkshake) on my fingers and took down a twist then I got the amla onto my scalp and scrubbed a bit with my fingers (no scratching/no nail action). I retwisted after getting the amla on my scalp and then did the same for every twisted section.

I donned on a plastic bag and left my hair like that for 30 minutes. I took down a twist and rinsed then retwisted and did the same for every other twist then I did exactly this again, but adding conditioner instead of rinsing then I went over again rinsing out the conditioner.

*(Sidenote: You might consider using gloves for this 'cause the paste gets under nails and gives your palms a pretty much downright nasty colour splattered all over it.)*

Today, I had my hair in two high umm....not exactly buns. Which I had deep conditioned (by the way, deep conditioning with  a satin scarf on and then a plastic bag over that and another scarf holding it down can give shiny hair). I took down each bun, one at a time detangled with a little coconut oil and got the amla on my scalp and scrubbed around with my fingers, got my hair back in the two buns then I donned on a plastic bag and left my hair alone for about an hour or an hour and a few minutes. I took down each bun and rinsed it out and co washed with a mixture of conditioner (BeeMine and Tresemme Naturals) and coconut oil (excellent slip and super soft hair after rinsing out thoroughly) then I put them back up in the buns (to prevent shrinkage (if your ends are held, the shrinkage is less)). i left my hair like this till it was 98% dry before trying out a new style (basically a semi-elegant tuck, roll and pin). My hair still feels amazing right now!

What were your results?

With the first, my curls finally clumped and some were loosened up a bit. My hair was like SUPER clean, but not stripped. Definitely not stripped and my hair looked beautiful.
With the second, little to no clumps and clean hair that looks and feels great.

What don't you like about the thought of amla?

Amla is said to stop/prevent premature greying. Premature greying is something that runs in my family. I started getting strands of grey hair when I was really little (shortly before my first relaxer, I believe). The stylist then yanked them out without asking (OuCh!) which got my mum and I really upset. I have very few grey strands right now. My uncle (mum's bro)  went grey really early, my mum's hair has about 4 different shades of brown that seems to have a purplish tint when there's direct light on it  (her natural hair colour) and strands of grey (silver-ish (runs in the fam)) scattered around. My dad has strands of grey hair scattered everywhere, my aunt (mum's sis) has strands of grey hair scattered around everywhere, my dad's youngest brother is practically all grey, my grandmothers went grey pretty early (mum's mum with silver hair and dad's mum had naturally had silver, white and gold (honestly) hair till she started dyeing it), my bro has some grey strands. All went grey early. We actually kind of love it. I know I love my grey strands and I want a lil more quickly. I don't want to lose that and that's what puts me off amla a little. I haven't noticed that it does that, but it is said to and I don't like that).

What are things you must do before using amla?

You must moisturise or deep condition before using amla to prevent a drying effect. You also have to detangle if you don't you most likely will end up with a mass amount of nasty tangles.
That's basically it!

*(Sidenote: After using the amla, remember to use a conditioner on your hair. Make the amla your shampoo and remember, you shampoo and then....CONDITION!)*

Things you should consider?

As i usually say, what works for one person might not work for another try this on a small patch of hair and see if it works before you use the amla everywhere.
If you've heard that amla can be used on the face, test out the amla on a small part of your skin before using it everywhere.
Amla works great in my hair, but when I tried it on my face.....WOOOOWY!......LORD HAVE MERCY! I BROKE OUT LIKE CRAAAAZY! GAAAH! I had to switch back to my honey washes which clear out my acne magically (within a week or two).

Hope this helped somebody!
Lemme know if you've tried amla and what your results were and if you have any tips on using it and if you used it in a different way.


I have to digress a little, it's in my nature (*Cheshire cat grin*).
I think I've found my graduation hairstyle! Yay! A cinnabun something-something. Yay! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why are people so against naturally curly and kinky hair?

So, I've been wondering, why are people so bothered by naturally curly hair and why do they want people to like basically stop embracing their God given hair?

Today, I stepped into the nurse's office at school and one of my teachers (well, she doesn't teach me anymore) was on the hospital bed thingy their and the nurse for like the elementary school was beside her. I was with the nurse whose office that was (the secondary nurse). So, my "ex"-teacher was like, "why's your hair like this? It's pretty messy. You're graduating soon that may be why 'cause you don't normally wear your hair like this." So, yeah, my hair was a lil bit messy 'cause i didn't really bother with it yesterday and today (cramps yesterday, headache all day today). I wasn't upset about the teacher's remark, but what came next from the elementary nurse. She was like, "and her hair is natural. I don't know why she doesn't want to relax it." I was then asked by the other nurse, "when are you going to relax your hair," and I was like, "never," she was like, "so, how long are you planning on staying natural," I was like, "till I die." The other nurse was like, "you should put some relaxer on your hair."

I happened to have an old picture of me with me and the teacher was looking at it, she gave it to the elementary nurse and she was like, "your hair's different here. It looks different," and I was like, "'cause it was relaxed in that picture," and she was like, "why don't you just put a little relaxer in your hair now," and I was like, "I'm not going to." I was getting rather pissed at this point, but I didn't let it show. I'm like, "what's the fuss?"

A girl in my set (last year of high school) was sitting at the nurse's table and was like, "there's something you can use instead of a relaxer to get your hair straight. It's called a Brazilian keratin treatment." My reply was straight on, "I'm not going to get a keratin treatment."

The teacher then asked me what I was planning to do with my hair for my graduation. What I like about her was that she was ready to accept my choice here. I told her that i was planning on threading my hair to stretch it out then I'll figure out some way to style it. She was cool with that. Thought it was a good idea. Then out of curiousity, she asked why I was so against changing my texture and I told her that my hair was really long when I was younger, I got it relaxed and then it broke to nape length and remained that short. She noticed that my hair was longer than that now so she had this, "'hen it's a good idea you stopped getting relaxers' attitude (God, bless that woman).

I'm sick and tired of having people make a fuss about my natural texture and getting it straight. Some people if dare to right out assume and say, "YOU CAN'T COMB YOUR HAIR!" and I'm like, "what the heck, I can't get a comb through my hair, why would you just say that I can't?" (actually, I don't say heck when I'm usually talking because I don't know how people take it around here). People would be like, "I don't want hair like yours, it's too thick and curly," and I'm like, "I never asked you if you wanted hair like mine."

Back here, people seem to hate their natural textures. Ever since the introduction of relaxers. People watch those ads. with long flowy hair or they want as some BLACK woman stupidly put it, "the WHITE girl flow." Many people want to be who they're not. Okay! So, people may say it's easier for me - I'm mixed race. I have the tightest curls in my family (well, apart from my dad (black)) and if you've been following my blog, you'll know that my curls have been getting tighter and tighter over the past few months (about a year or more now). People would go, "but your hair's soft so you can  afford to be natural," and I'm like, "my hair isn't normally like this. Proper care is what got it to this state." my mum says that the main thing that pushed her to go natural was that many people hated and were against naturally curly and kinky hair here and she wondered why. Okay! so, my mum hated her curls and that's why she started relaxing her hair years ago, but hey God gave us this hair so why should we hate it? I am so proud of my mum right now she's growing out her hair and yes, she's tempted to get a relaxer, but she's more of in a "cut off all the straight parts or relax" position. However, she can't stand to have what she'll call short hair, but others might call medium length (she gets some pretty powerful shrinkage like I do, by the way). She's at BSL (or below it now, haven't done a new length check for her *we add in her relaxed ends when checking the length of her hair, by the way). Some people have been like, "we see you're going natural," and then they go on about how they can't dare do it and my mum starts to tell them that they can and encourage them heck, she refers to my blog and she's gotten me a queue of people waiting for hair care tips and advice (that reminds me, I've got to get to that).

If people get tattoos or piercings, some people'll be like, "why are you destroying the body God gave you?" People quote, "you are wonderfully and beautifully made," they say, "God made us perfect" et cetera, so why can't many of those people accept their natural textures? They go, "it's too nappy, too kinky, I can't comb it, it doesn't look good," UMMM......weren't you made perfect and beautiful, why d'you want to change something God made perfect?

You get my drift here right?
(Oh my days, I used the word 'drift' in this context! Like, I never do that!)

What are your views on this topic?

p.s My brother flew down here (got here today) and I was like staring at his hair. I L.O.V.E his curls. Oh! and guess what? He finally decided to use a sulfate-free shampoo (one of mine) he still doesn't use a conditioner and his excuse is (and he said it today), "i'm not a girl, I'm a guy, I don't need conditioner." He'll eventually get around to using conditioners (I am rather convincing in a subtle way) :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Interview With Chris-Tia Donaldson '(Her Hair, TGIN and Her Book)

When I contacted Chris-Tia to ask if I could interview her and she replied  and was okay with the interview, I was soooo happy. I was like, "Chris-Tia said YES! I get to interview Chris-Tia Donaldson!" *insert happy dance*
Hope you guys like the interview.
If you can, purchase Chris-Tia's book (mentioned below) and/or her products. From what I've read about them and learnt from this interview, they're pretty amazing.
Anyways, here's the interview!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Detroit, which everyone knows is the hair capital of the world. I went to
Harvard for College, where I majored in Economics. After graduating, I went to Harvard Law School.
I’ve been practicing law for the last ten years. Some days, I’m like I can’t believe its been that long, but
wow, how time flies.
I’ve always been interested in business, so I have spent the majority of my legal career focusing on
strategic transactions and complex negotiations. I’ve always had a love affair with hair, but one day I
had a major mishap , and just got fed up and decided to go natural. You can read all about it in my book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair.

Have you always been natural? If not, when did you go natural and were you a slow transitioner or you BC’ed early?

I went natural in 2002. After graduating from law school, I wore a wig for over two years at my first law firm primarily to hide the fact that my hair was kinky. At the time, I felt like I had to look like the 21st century version of Claire Huxtable (complete with flowing hair) in order to be accepted by my white colleagues, gain better assignments, appease my clients, etc.
In the end, I failed miserably when it came to pleasing others, and came very very very close to being let go from my first job. My preoccupation with my having “good hair” and my rejection of my inherent qualities as a black woman were largely part of my performance related issues. Today, I am a successful lawyer (and now businesswoman), thanks to embracing my true and natural self and abandoning mainstream notions of what it means to be beautiful.

Can you tell us about your natural hair journey?

When my hair was relaxed, it would go through this vicious cycle, where it would grow then break off, then grown then break off some more. Finally, I met a stylist, William of W Salon in Boston, who told me that I didn’t need a perm and that I could start pressing my hair. When I stopped using chemicals and started pressing my hair, I noticed a huge difference in the health and strength of my hairs. I no longer had to deal with breakage. Long story short, I decided to stop pressing my hair and wore a wig for two years.
Although I was natural at the time, I was never fully comfortable with wearing my own hair until one life changing episode happened. You can read all about it in my new book Thank God I’m Natural: TheUltimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair or get a sneak peak online at Amazon.com.

What's one thing you like about your hair?

There’s no greater feeling than being able to be the real you. When I was relaxed, I felt like every single strand had to be perfectly in place and that I was on a constant quest to discover the miracle product that would make my hair grow to bra-strap length. When I wore a wig, I had to worry about whether a guy could detect if I was wearing extensions, if it was on crooked, or if it might fly off when a mighty gust of
Chicago wind came along. Now that I’m natural, I don’t have the sense of paranoia anymore nor do I continue to nurture an unhealthy obsession with my hair. This may sound trite, but like India Arie says “I am not my hair.”

What are your go-to styles and go-to hair products?

I love kinky twists, rod sets, and twist outs. Those will definitely be on my todo lists. I also want to experiment with some more cornrow styles with designs. Right now, I’m using the tgin Moist Collection
for Natural Hair. I spent over three years researching and developing this product line, which is specifically formulated to impart moisture for dry textured hair. Our products are made in small batches, and infused with shea butter, coconut and jojoba oils, and botanical extracts to give the user softer, shinier and most importantly more manageable curls.

Okay! So, let's talk TGIN. What inspired you to create TGIN?

When I went natural ten years ago, there were very few products on the market for women who wanted to wear their natural hair, and far less information available for women looking to make this lifestyle change. Remember this was before Facebook, You Tube, Instagram or social media was a word in our vocabulary. So I saw this as an opportunity to do more research about natural hair, which led to me writing Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair, . Building upon those years of research, I decided to take on the challenge of developing a product line for women who wanted to embrace a textured style.
It’s been quite a journey. While I went to school to be a lawyer, I spend most of my days working on packaging, designing labels, testing out fragrances, etc. I find it exciting to wake up every morning with a new challenge or problem to tackle. It totally gets my blood rushing.

You make products. Many of us naturals are really conscious about what we put on our hair. So, can you tell us what's in your products (in general) and their benefits?

Our products are manufactured in small batches for maximum freshness and formulated with shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and botanical extracts to give the user a high end beauty experience. Note, none of our products contain parabens, sulfates, petroleum, lanolin or FD & C dyes. Here’s a quick preview of our best-sellers:

Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo: A gentle shampoo made with coconut oil that cleanses and restores the hair, without leaving it dry or stripping it of its natural oils.

Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner: Our special formula is enriched with shea butterand sweet almond oil to hydrate, smooth and repair strands with every use.

Honey Miracle Hydrating Hair Mask: A deep conditioner infused with raw honey and olive oil that fortifies and hydrates strands, and reduces frizz, fly aways, and split ends.

Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer: An easy-to-use conditioning cream that revitalizes dry, brittle hair, creating soft, shiny coils and curls.

Twist & Define Cream: A moisturizing cream that creates soft, shiny twists and twist out styles, with long lasting curl definition.

TGIN is not just about hair, I've noticed. Do you have a couple of tips you can share with us on healthy living?

Steer Clear of Processed Foods (other than frozen veggies). Many processed foods are made with transfats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar. These types of foods should be avoided completely or eat them sparingly. Always go for brown over white since it has the fiber and nutrients, which causes you to be full. That means brown rice, brown bread, brown bagels, whole wheat pasta, etc.

Eat out less. Cook at home more. When you cook at home, you know exactly what you’re putting in
your food. At restaurants, a lot of foods are dripping with excess calories because they are swimming
in butters and sauces. If you have to eat out, go for ethnic foods. They tend to be better for you then American foods, since there aren’t a lot of breads and fries. Think Indian, Thai, Sushi, Mediterranean, Mexican etc.

Drink plenty of water. Four years ago, I used to drink diet coke with almost every meal after 11 am, but I noticed when I stopped I wasn’t as bloated as I used to be. There have been some studies to suggest that diet coke, even though its zero calories, can actually lead to weight gain because your body doesn’t recognize the artificial sweeteners as sugars and hence doesn’t metabolize it properly. Now, I tend to drink water and ice tea, which is basically water with herbs.

Drink a Green Smoothie For Breakfast. A green smoothie is basically a salad in a glass. A lot of my friends and fans have tried green smoothies, and the consensus is people overwhelming love them. Green smoothies are great because you’re drinking raw veggies with an apple juice blend, so the sweet balances out the sour creating a party in your mouth. Greens are great, because they are alkaline, high and fiber, and help with digestion. They also give the skin a younger looking appearance, and help with hair and nail growth. Raw greens are even better, because vegetables tend to lose a majority of their nutrients when they are cooked, which is why green smoothies are awesome. You can check out my blog for some of my green smoothie recipes.

Limit Fried foods – I love mozzarella sticks, fried goat cheese, and French fries, but I try to limit my intake of fried foods, otherwise.

Take Time to Meditate. EverMorning Before I Leave the House., I try to read a devotional every morning, whether it’s my Bible or Joel Osteen’s blog. I find that staying in touch with God keeps me centered and my faith strong. I heard the best quote, “If you pray, don’t worry. If you worry, don’t bother praying.”

Your book! Tell us about it. (please include your reason for writing it and where it can be found)

I wrote Thank God I’m Natural to help dispel some of the most common myths and misconceptions about kinky hair. Part of the reason it took me so long to let go of my relaxer is because I was so misinformed. Like so many black women living in America, I spent almost a quarter century wishing for hair that looked nothing like my own, and thought I couldn’t wear my hair in its natural state, because my tresses looked nothing like Alicia Keys’ or Mariah Carey’s. When I came to the realization that I could go natural, I wanted to share all the information I learned about caring for my hair with others. I also wanted to let the ladies know that going natural would not put an end to their career, prevent them from getting a date, or require them to join the “movement”.
You can purchase a hard copy of my book online at www.amazon.com or www.tginstore.com. You can
also download the e-version on your iPad, Nook or Kindle. The book is also available at Barnes & Nobles, Borders and at your local black bookstore.

Any advice for the naturals out there?

Like so many black women, there was a point in my life when I spent so much time, money, and energy on trying to achieve hair that looked nothing like my own. It impacted my exercise schedule, my love life, my finances, and more. When I finally decided to let go and love the hair I was born with, I experienced a peace like no other. It was like everything came into focus, and I could finally say Thank God I’m Natural. . . . This is just the way I’m supposed to be.


 You can find Chris-Tia on:

Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh! Guess What I Did Today?

I let my hair shrink last night by getting some water (mixed with my BeeMine Conditioner and Moisturiser) on it and detangling. I had like huge hair, but it looked relatively short, like compared to its actual length.
Anyways, so guess what I did today! Don't' worry, I'll tell you..... I LEFT MY HOUSE WITH SHRUNKEN HAIR! That is such a  big deal!
Like nowadays, it seems that most naturals want to stretch their hair out in some way be it a braid out, twist out, etc. I've been like that. I mean, when you're hair shrinks to like what? 78 and up percent of its actual length, won't you want to stretch it out a bit? So, for the first time in forever, I did it. I looked myself in the mirror and I was like, "girl, you can do it. Lightning's not going to strike you or something if you step out like this, but if it does, you'll be like the first natually curly/kinky person to be struck by lightning!" Okay! I did not say that. I just looked at myself in the mirror (lovin' the new shrunken length even though it's not back length yet (but at least, it's longer than before)) and I was like, "okay! don't mess around with it, just add something retro to it." I pulled out my much-loved retro scarf, rolled it up and got it round my head, I didn't like knot it, you know what is done when tying shoe laces before the whole "bunny ear" thing? That's all I did (and yes, I know it can come out pretty easily). Anyways, so I did that, pulled at the two ends, moved the part of the scarf at my edges back, pulled the ends of the scarf again and pushed the scarf at the frontal area down again till it was around the crown of my head then I brought the ends of the scarf to the side of my head (resting on my shoulders). I pretty much loved the style. There was like a near-storm today, like the rain was so heavy and I didn't really care about that because my hair had already fully shrunken and I was like, "baby ain't going nowhere! I ain't got no worries!" Okay! So, I did not say that, but I felt at ease because I didn't need to worry about my hair shrinking up, losing its style and the bunch of hoohaahs we worry about when we step out in stretched out hair, without an umbrella and it's pouring.
I feel like I've accomplished something so great! Gaah! *happy (but scary) dance*

I so can't wait for my hair to be like half-way to BSL (my current hair length when stretched straight (by hand)) when it shrinks fully. I'll be like walking around carrying some sign or wearing some T-shirt that says: This is shrunken hair. Get our your cameras and take some pictures! Okay! So, I won't do that, but anyways..... *Sammy grins like a Cheshire cat* :)