Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kynxx 70k Facebook Fan Page Giveaway!

A week or so ago I was watching HLN and watched a segment about actress/musician Caitlin Crosby, CEO of The Giving Keys, Los Angeles.  Being that LA is my home city, I was intrigued by her vision of helping others while at the same time starting a business that quickly flourished into the latest pay-it- forward movement.  

It all began when Caitlin shared her story about how she stayed at a hotel in NYC sometime ago and loved the way the hotel key looked and wore it as a charm on a necklace after taking the key to an engraver and had an inspiring word engraved on it. A photo of Caitlin wearing the key on a social media site went viral and several other celebrities began supporting and taking photos sporting theirs too. As a result, Caitlin started requesting donations for uniquely shaped and colored unwanted keys.  On each key donated she'd have some type of uplifting word engraved such as love, insprire, believe, courage, faith, dream, hope, fearless, grateful, peace, and let go to name a few.

While walking down Hollywood Blvd one day she noticed a homeless couple holding a sign, approached the couple and learned the female in the couple. made jewelry.  This triggered the initiative to add a charitable dimension to The Giving Keys movement of paying it forward and employing homeless people and those transitioning from homeless as  Giving Keys word engravers.  

I found Caitlin's story of turning a profitable business of spreading love through fashionable accessories while helping others less fortunate extremely touching. Since I knew I would be approaching the 70k mark on Kynxx Facebook Fanpage the timing couldn't have been better for me to support the movement and offer a key I purchased specifically for the purpose of paying it forward to someone worthy. 

Giveaway Prize: Gold Plated Wristlet with the word INSPIRE on the key. 

To enter giveaway, leave a comment on what your passion in life is and ways you currently use, or would like to use, your  passion to serve as an inspiration for others to live their dream as well.  The most heartfelt entry will win.  My last giveway where the prize was dependent on sharing your life's passion only had ONE participant, who happened to be very well deserving of her free hairstyle. I'm hoping more will enter this go round.  After all, what greater way to give back and place such great energy into the universe then sharing your passion and winning a meaningful gift someday in the future you can pass on to someone else just was deserving as yourself. 

I was so inspired I had to get a key for myself.  I'm looking forward to the day I meet the special person I can pay- it-forward to CREATE whatever their passion motivates them to. 

Wishing you all Peace & Love.

Giveaway will run from Thursday September 18th through Friday September 26th.   Winner will be announced Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 12noon.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gettin' it Straight...the Natural Way!

Living in a climate with high humidity can be trying for Naturalistas who prefer their curls/kinks straight.   This is one reason I decided to learn to care for my own hair in its natural state when I first moved to TX. The city I lived in was extremely humid as it's located minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.  I felt like I was working against nature.  When I lived in California the climate was much different, more tropical and breezy than humid so when I'd straighten my hair, it would stay straight just from me wrapping it up at night and covering it with a Du-Rag until the next wash day. I'd wear it straight until the natural oils produced from my scalp (sebum) would weigh my hair down and cause it to look oily and greasy. Then I'd style it while straight in either a high pony or wear cornrow braids with beads (Alicia Keys style) for about 10 days, wash it and condition it lightly and wear it curly for a couple of weeks, then do a full wash, deep conditioning treatment, cellophane color treatment (protects ends from splitting and provides a beautiful shine to hair).  I was able to go from straight to curly for years without heat damage. There is no reason to turn to relaxers if wearing your hair straightened is your style of choice. In this post I'll go into detail on the best ways to keep your natural hair healthy when thermally straightening.

Over time, my curls did loosen a bit, however I don't feel my hair was heat damaged. My hair was more heat trained. There is a difference.  In my opinion, from caring for my own hair straight to curly, the difference between the two is heat damage is a result of the hair losing all elasticity.  When its washed it looks relaxed, mostly on the ends while closer to the roots still has texture.  Heat trained hair however still has elasticity. Curls may loosen a bit however this just makes hair more manageable when it is in its natural state.  Heat trained curls and kinks still shrink, heat damaged hair doesn't.  I do not consider this heat damage. I wore my hair from straight to curly from 1996 to mid 2009 without any heat damage.

My process was the same every time I prepared to straighten my hair.  One way I was able to keep my hair healthy was by using only high end Salon quality shampoos, conditioners, and semi-permanent hair coloring glossers, which also come in clear if no color change is desired. These are also beneficial for Naturalista's with permanently color treated hair to use when their color starts to fade or become dull and needs refreshing instead of using permanent dye all over (unless dying hair to cover gray).  Here are the names of a few I've tried on my own hair. These are NOT permanent and only give hair a slight color change depending on the natural color of the persons hair and generally last 8-10 washes.  They are all ammonia, alcohol and peroxide free:


I don't recommend all natural hair products on hair that is being straightened thermally. Most of them if not all are too emollient. Natural products tend to cause hair to revert back to curly/kinky much faster due to the benefits of using them increasing the hairs moisture level.  When you want straight hair, the focus should be cleansing the hair and scalp with products that increase or maintain the hairs strength, retaining elasticity, and providing the hair with a natural shine without the use of hair polishers, hair sheen sprays or glossers. Those types of shine enhancing products do nothing but leave the hair stiff, greasy and stuck together instead of light and full of body so the hair literally blows in the wind.  Moisture is need however their should be a good protein moisture balance so the hair is able to stay straight longer without reverting back to curly/kinky. 

When choosing to wear your hair natural straight, the hair should be prepped well before any heat is applied.  Again, the shampoo and conditioner should do all the work so styling products are not needed for shine or protection from heat.  When I was straightening my hair I used products made specifically for strengthening and retaining my hairs elasticity like the ones shown below:

[Joico Moisture Recovery] is one of the product lines I used most often . Liter sizes will run from $50-$70 per bottle (I purchased these from for $40 for the set including shipping).  Depending on which benefits you are looking for the product to provide you can choose from Joico's line of hair care to address most any issue you have.  This specific line, Moisture Recovery can also be used on Naturally curly hair for added moisture and elasticity as well.  Joico products are pH balanced however they are not all natural. 

 I learned about Matrix Biolage in 2004 after bleaching my medium dark brown hair to blonde, then dying it using Dark and Lovely's Red Hot Mary.  I was looking for a salon brand that specifically addressed the needs of color treated hair.  One stylist at a local salon specializing in hair color recommended Matrix Biolage line for color treated hair (not shown).  After all I did to my hair, bleaching then dying and straightening, I didn't lose one strand to damage.  I was so impressed with the shine and lasting vibrancy to my hair color.  FiberStrong is one of the newer lines from Matrix Biolage I recently purchased on e-bay.  This particular line is great for addressing weak fragile hair in need of repair.  If your hair is already healthy, it still doesn't hurt to use products that are for damaged weak hair to maintain the strength, elasticity, moisture, and shine to your natural hair, straight or curly.  Although Matrix Biolage Fiberstrong is not an all natural product, they are all paraben free.

Cholesterol is what I'd consider to be more of an old school product.  However, no matter how old it may be the benefits of using this conditioner on damaged hair is still very good in my opinion.  I use this conditioner on clients who are usually transitioning from heat damage, slowly removing ends, or transitioning from chemical relaxers.  I've found that this conditioner also provides hair with more elasticity which is a bonus for those dealing with heat damaged ends, especially if processing this conditioner using steam. 

Its been over 4 years since I've thermally straightened my hair and one thing I've noticed is my ability to retain length is much more difficult when keeping my hair in its natural state.  I've found I have to trim more often (I'd probably trim less if I wore more protective styles) due to my curly hair creating knots at the ends which I can't to feel so I snip as needed.  Here are a few photos from when I used to wear my hair straight...



The shine you see in all of the photos of my hair come from the shampoo, conditioner, and cellophane only.  I never used hair glossers, spray sheens, or any other type of shinning products that would weigh my hair down.  There is nothing worse to me than a stiff, greasy, flat ironed hair result. 

 My curls still snapped right back even after flatironing on a bi-weekly basis using the non plug up pressing comb and flatirons.  It wasn't until I switched to using the CHI flat iron and a higher watt blowdryer 1850 to be exact that I began experiencing heat damage.

There is no way to guarantee your hair will not get heat damage from using the process I used when I was wearing my own hair straight but using the aforementioned products or products similar to those can in my opinion dramatically decrease ones chances of getting severe heat damage where all curl/elasticity is lost.  I hope this helps those who want naturally straight hair without using chemical relaxers to know there is another option.  I think afro textured hair is beautiful either way kinky or's most healthy without using relaxers.