Friday, September 28, 2012

Chemicals Found in Food: Do you know what you're eating?

One Word: YUCK!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Maintain Fine Natural Hair

I had a conversation along time ago with one of my bestfriends about hair. Her hair was always so thick and long and mine seemed like it would not grow. Like all High School girls, I had to keep up with the trend of box braids and flat twists in the front (held still by elastic bands) and hair out in the back. All the girls were wearing these styles but there was something different about my hair than theirs and I could not figure it out. One day I asked my friend, "How do you grow your hair so long?" and she said to me, "If you treat your hair like a million bucks it would grow long too." 

This statement of "treating your hair like a million bucks" really resonated with me and to this day I try to abide by this rule. At the time, I did not recognize that when comparing my hair to my friend's hair and trying to keep up with hair trends that my hair was different. I understood that some people had wavy hair, soft hair  or kinky hair depending on genetics but I did not understand the difference between fine, medium and coarse hair. For along time, I believed that all black people had coarse hair because to me by definition, coarse hair was hard or rough hair (I was so wrong with this assumption). Still I did not understand that there was a difference between thin and thick hair- a person could have fine-thick hair, fine-thin hair, coarse-thick hair, etc. 

Here are some up close and personal photos of my fine hair.

In this particular instance, I had fine-thick hair and my friend had coarse-thick hair. Being born with the predisposition of fine-thick hair, my hair was easily damaged by using hair styling techniques that are used on medium or coarse hair. Below is a pictorial of the difference in thickness of a fine strand, coarse strand and a strand of thread. 

Fine strand. Coarse strand. Thread.

Looking at the above photograph with the naked eye, it is apparent that fine hair is thinner than coarse hair and coarse hair is thinner than a thread. So with this logic, it is obvious that the same hair care techniques should not be used across hair types. (Hint: This is one of the reasons why hair care products work best for some people and do not work at all for others.)

How to tell if you have fine or coarse hair? 

  1. Consult a professional stylist. Stylists are trained to properly manage hair and they can quickly identify whether your strands are fine, medium or coarse. 
  2. Home test: After washing your hair let it air dry. If your hair air dries quickly (an hour or less) then you have fine hair. If you wait longer than an hour then your hair is coarse. 
  3. The White paper test: Pull a strand of hair from your head and place on top of a white paper. If your hair is difficult to see against the white background and not easily felt between your fingertips then you have fine hair. 
Characteristics of Natural Fine Hair.
  1. You have to re-twist your hair nightly to keep defined curls. Curls just do not hold well with this type of hair. 
  2. Breaks easily even when you keep it moisturised. 
  3. Prone to fly aways. 
  4. Hair looks dull, dry and flat. 
Tools & Tips for Fine Hair
  1. Protein Treatments will help give weight to fine hair and strengthen the strands. To identity protein treatments look at the ingredient list for the following: silk amino acids, collagen, keratin, wheat and soy (to name a few). 
  2. Do a pre-wash oil treatment before you wash your hair. Over cleansed fine hair will break easily. 
  3. Use a clarifying shampoo whenever your hair looks dull or falls flat. Fine hair can be easily weighed down by product build up. A clarifying shampoo strips away dirt and product build up from the hair. This should be used no more than once a month. 
  4. For regular shampooing, use a gently conditioning shampoo like Kurlee Belle's Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo. High quality moisturizing shampoos protect the hair during the wash process. 
  5. When choosing a leave-in conditioner, look for the words "Dry and Damaged Hair" like Kurlee Belle's Thirsty Kurls Leave-In conditioner. Always use a rinse off conditioner and then a leave-in conditioner. 
  6. Detangle hair in sections. Never BRUSH dry fine hair or wet fine hair. Use your fingertips to detangle or a wide tooth comb. Detangle from the tip of the hair moving closer to the scalp. Remember: Your hair is delicate and will break easily. 
  7. Comb hair as little as possible. Stay away from hairstyles that require constant manipulation.  Micro braids and heavy extensions are not your friend. Try low maintenance protective styles like braids and two strand twists. 
  8. Always wear a satin covering at night. Never sleep without your hair protected. 
  9. When straightening fine hair always use a heat protectant. Use very low heat. The temperature should be no higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fine hair straightens easily. 
  10. Trim hair every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid spilt ends. 
  11. A great sealant for fine hair is coconut oil. It is not heavy and provides shines and manageability. 
  12. Always air dry. The less heat used on fine hair the better. Fine hair dries fast so blow dryers can be avoided. 
  13. Avoid color or highlights like the plague. Bleaching the hair lifts the cuticle so that the color appears. If you are not a professional stylists that knows how to properly care for hair then I say leave the color alone. I found out the hard learn from my mistakes. :) 
Have you done a strand test? Is your hair fine, medium or coarse? 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nappturalite Radio & Kurlee Belle!

Hello Kurlees! Exciting News! Kurlee Belle's CEO Terri will be a guest co-host on Nappturalite Radio tomorrow

Topic: Whatcha Workin With? Tools for Natural Hair

Tune in tomorrow night (September 27th, 2012) at 6pm CST/7pm EST at or catch the replays on BlogTalkRadio & iTunes!

We will be giving away prizes and announcing exciting news from Kurlee Belle! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What It Means to Have Fine Hair!

When it comes to hair type, most people would prefer to have fine rather than coarse hair. In fact, the majority of the world's population believes that they have fine hair when their hair is actually coarse.  Although having the right to say I have fine hair versus coarse hair sounds better, in reality it  actually is not. 

Fine hair strands are smaller in diameter than coarse hair strands because they have fewer cuticle layers. The cuticle being the outermost protective layer of the hair shaft allows hair to withstand damage from manipulation. If you've been natural for awhile and wondering why your hair is not growing it may be a result of your fine hair. 

Unlike, coarse hair which can thrive under harsh conditions or neglect such as dry detangling, bleach color or heavy braids. Fine hair under these same conditions will not survive. The key to taking care of fine hair and allowing it to grow long and strong is to style it as least as possible. Many natural hair women stick to a hair care regimen where they wash their hair once a week. Well if you have coarse hair then this is not a bad idea. Women with fine hair should limit washing to twice a month. The reason being is that your hair breaks easily and when it is wet it breaks twice as much. If you must wash your hair four times a month then use a protein deep conditioner every time.  

The detangling process of fine hair is much different than coarse hair.  For naturalistas with fine hair, it is crucial that a good conditioner is used along with patience. Rushing through the detangling process can result in split and broken ends. A good detangling aid for fine hair is a wide tooth comb but the best aid is your fingertips (I do not recommend using a denman brush on fine hair- the hair is too thin to withstand the bristles of the brush). In addition, always section the hair before detangling. 

Fine hair can easily be weighed down by products so it is good to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month. Products that contain Panthenol or claim to add volume to hair are the best to use on this type of hair. 

Remember: Just because you are natural it does not mean that your hair is coarse. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Trend: Braids & Twists

Braids and Twists are all the rage this Fall. Our favorite celebrity crushes like Beyonce and Solange have been sporting long box braids all summer. More importantly, many of the ladies that I follow on Instagram  including Claire of the Fashion Bomb Daily (IG: fashionbombdaily), Po0paite (IG: Po0paite), Barbie of Chichappenz (IG: Chichappenz) and Vanessa of Onyxxrose (IG: Onyxxrose) have caught on to the trend.

Box braids and Senegalese twists are great protective styles but many fear them because of horror hair stories. In an effort to grow healthy natural hair, I am determined to take care of my scalp and exposed hair while my twists are in. Below are a list of products that I am using to stimulate growth and keep my hair healthy. In addition to the below list, taking daily biotin supplements is a good way to grow strong hair. We know that hair is dead and once damage is done to the hair it must be cut off. By taking biotin supplements, we ensure that our new hair or new growth grows strong so it can withstand the damage from styling and the environment.

Hair Products to Maintain Style:

Vitamin E Oil- Box Braids and twists have been known to pull out edges or break hair. To prevent this or lessen the damage, I apply vitamin e oil to my scalp as needed to increase scalp circulation. Vitamin e stimulates the scalp and encourages growth.

African Pride Braid Sheen Spray- this spray is particularly useful in relaxing the tension that braids have on the hair and scalp. It also adds shine, reduces odours, soothes itchy and dryness, relieves frizz and breakage.

Eco Styler Gel- As your hair starts to grow and the braids loosen up, you can use Eco styler gel to smooth edges. My favourite for edge control is the olive oil gel. 

With proper care, box braids and twists should last 2 to 3 months. I am aiming to keep mine in for at least 2 months. 

Photo of Myself with New hair! For more photos follow me on IG: terrinique

What protective styles are you trying for the Fall?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Michelle Obama Nail Color from the DNC

If you follow me on Instagram (terrinique), then you know that I love nail color! Nail color is a fun accessory that adds character to any outfit. While watching the First Lady Michelle Obama give an amazing speech at the Democratic National Convention, I could not help but notice her well manicured hands. I did some investigating via google and found out that the nail color is "Vogue" by Artistic Nail Design. The gray-lilac irridescent complimented her beautiful pink dress so well.  Unfortunately this color is not for sale but has to be applied by a nail technician.... but you know I got your back....Below are some nail color substitutes. 

Learn more about Artistic Nail Design in this video: 

Options you can find:

Essie Sag Harbor

Rival De Loop 54

China Glaze Sea Spray

Do you love nail color? Will you try it?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why Trimming Your Natural Hair is Important.

Photo source:

Many women with natural hair struggle with the issue of growth. They think that since they are natural, their hair should fall down their backs and they will achieve a BAA (Big Ass Afro) but to their disappointment, they end up with even shorter hair than when they had a relaxer. Why is this? Well there are a number of reasons that hair does not grow. We cannot address all of the reasons in one post but will provide a few causes and prevention tips to help on your natural hair journey. 

Ever heard the saying, " African American hair is much shorter than Caucasian hair. I wonder why?" A study around African American hair growth parameters showed that, African hair was measured at between 3.7 to 4.3 inches per year while Caucasian hair was measured at 5.7 to 6.3 inches per year. But really who cares? We just want to know how we can make our hair grow, right?


Many women believe that since they are 'Natural' this means that they do not need to trim. Others believe that trimming defeats the purpose of growing hair in the first place. Some are horrified of getting a trim because hair stylists sometime "GO IN" and you thought you were getting a trim and end up with a cut (This has happened to me before....). Trimming actually does more GOOD than harm and allows your hair to retain a longer length. Why is it important to trim? After your hair reaches a certain length it starts to taper. The strand becomes thinner as it moves away from scalp. We know that the hair outside of the follicle or scalp is DEAD. As the hair grows and leaves the scalp area the damage to the cuticle increases due to de-tangling, wetting, UV rays, etc. 

If you are afraid of going to the salon for a trim, try doing it yourself (See: Trimming Your Natural Hair: Straight vs. Curly, Coily, Kinky).  How often you should trim your hair depends on your ends. If you find that your ends are thinning then it is time for a trim. A good way to detect thinning ends is through two strand twisting. When you twists your hair, you will see that the part of the twist closer to the scalp is fuller and thicker than the ends. If the ends are noticeably thinner than the hair near the scalp it is time for a trim. 

The key to retaining length from thinning or tapered ends is to snip off the ends before they cause damage to the entire strand- in the form of split ends. 

Was this post informative? How often do you trim your ends?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kurlee Fashion Frenzy: #NYFW Trends

Many of you fashion fanatics ventured to New York City to participate in one of the most fabulous events of the end of summer i.e. New York Fashion Week! Unfortunately, I was not able to attend but I watched the trends like a hawk from my computer screen. If you are into keeping up with the latest trends here are the threads that the Fashion Gurus have deemed appropriate for Spring 2013 and beyond:

My Favourite Collection of New York Fashion was that of Carlos Miele.

Bold, Tropical and Animal Prints!

I love color and animal prints. Don't believe me? Check my closet. Carlos' collection gave me life as I browsed through his tropical inspired lookbook.

Carlos Miele 
Spring 2013 Collection

Shades of Gray and Bondage!

Shades of Gray and Bondage captivated the runway and I am not talking about the infamous "Fifty Shades of Grey". I do think the grays and bondage was inspired by the book....What do you think?
My Favorite Designer that captured Shades of Gray and Bondage? BCBG Max Azria. I own a few runway pieces from BCBG Max Azria and can't wait to get my hands on his latest designs. 

BCBG Max Azria
Spring 2013 Collection

The Brocade is Back! 

Jill Stuart lit up the runway with her romantic brocade dresses during Fashion week. Makes me want to dust off my old brocade from 3 seasons ago. 

Jill Stuart 
Spring 2013 Collection

Which trends are you lusting over from New York Fashion Week?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jill Scott on the Cover of Essence Mag!

Jill Scott looks mightly daper on the October 2012 issue of Essence Magazine. The neo-soul singer/actress sports a TWA (Tweeny Weeny Afro) with a chunky bling-bling collar necklace (My favorite accessory of the Fall: See Post "Kurlee Fashion Frenzy: The Collar Necklace") and blazer.

According to the Huffington Post, Jill gave Essence an ultimatum by stating, "Either I shoot the cover with my natural hair or not at all."

Jill on her look and hair: “This is the simplest form of myself. I look in the mirror and it’s like, ‘Hey, there you go. What’s up, girl?’ For me, hair is an accoutrement. Hair is jewelry. It’s an accessory. Tomorrow I may want a wig down to my butt and I’m gonna rock it, and the next day I may want a big Afro and I’m gonna rock that too…”

Doesn't Jill look AMAZING?!?! 

What do you think of Jill demanding to wear her natural hair?

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Hidden Double Standard of Team Natural

Some women with natural hair have the biggest double standard of when it comes to healthy living. Many chose to go natural because they wanted to move away from using chemical products on their hair. They felt that chemicals found in relaxers and shampoos with sulfates were damaging to their hair and could result in being harmful to their bodies. There are countless blogs out there that hinge on product ingredient lists and warn that you should not use products with parabens, sulfates, petroleum, and pretty much any ingredient with a number attached to it.

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to what we put on our hair, there lies a double standard, because there are tons of chemicals in what we put on or in our bodies. Have you ever wondered what harmful ingredients are in deodorants or lotions? The skin is the largest organ of the body and every day we lather down with man-made soaps and lotions to keep our skin looking healthy. All of the chemicals that we rub onto our skin are absorbed into the blood stream. Why do you think nicotine patches were invented or the ortho evra birth control patch? This includes perfumes, dyes, eye makeup, skin makeup, nail polish, moisturizers and cleansers. CRAZY RIGHT?

NEWS FLASH: Your hair is dead! Yes, I said it...All of your other organs are alive and functioning. Which are you more concerned with protecting?

According to wikipedia, the only "living" portion of the hair is found in the follicle. The hair that is visible is the hair shaft, which exhibits no biochemical activity and is considered "dead".

Photo Credit: OnyxRose

Are you super concerned with what you put on your hair? Are you equally concerned with what you put on or in your body?
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