Featured Onyx Rose: Nikita

Ask Onyx Rose: My Hair is Falling Out!

LAfroGrlP says:

OK, so recently I've been having a lot shedding when I detangle. It's kind of upsetting because I clipped my ends in January to get rid of my damaged colored ends so my hair could grow healthier and so when I straighten it, it'll look nice.


Breaking the Rules of Hair Care

Some of these natural hair "rules" are just...too much. I constantly see tweets in the #naturalhair timeline warning people not to do certain things/use certain products because they will (not maybe, but WILL) have negative effects on your hair. "Don't use heat on your hair. Your hair WILL fall out." "Don't use any products with mineral oil. Your hair WILL dry out." "Never use a brush on your edges. You WILL lose your edges." What CAN I do then?


My Two Cents: Carol's Daughter Diversity Backlash!

Selita, Solange, and Cassie are a part of Carol's Daughter's diversity ad campaign.

At first glance, most might think, "Where's the diversity in this?" However after thinking about it, I don't see the HUGE deal that some people are making out of this. Apparently, Carol's Daughter's new campaign is geared toward women of multiracial backgrounds (Cassie is African American, Mexican, and Filipina; Selita is Native American, Irish and African American; and Solange is African American and French Creole). From what I've read, many don't like the fact that that all three women are light skinned (I can see why...dark-skinned women can be multiracial as well), some don't like the fact that all three women look like a size 3, some don't like the fact that all their eyebrows arch the same way...I mean, the list goes on and on. I see it like this...


Shea Moisture Baby Line Now Available

I can bet that some of you reading this will go out this weekend and buy these products to try for yourself, lol. Your secret's safe with me!


Featured Onyx Rose: CaShawn


Guest Blogger: Top 5 Things I DON'T Miss About My Relaxer

By Tammy

1. Counting the days
Every 6 – 8 weeks that relaxer alarm rings loud! It’s time for that touch up! My scalp would get itchy, my hair would begin to shed. I can remember pulling out the calendar and placing the all important event on there. Tracking it like a woman tracks her (LMP) monthly cycle! I would write “6 weeks since last relaxer” (LR)

2. The feeling of anxiety while the relaxer sits on my head.
When will it start to burn? Did she get it straight enough? Then telling myself “I’m going to let it burn as long as I can stand it because I want my hair super straight!"


Product Review: Shielo Moisturizing Shampoo and Vibrancy Conditioner

Price: Moisturizing Shampoo on sale now: $20.00 for 8 oz.
Vibrancy Conditioner: $22.49 for 8 oz

Description: Shampoo: A great treatment for all hair types that become dry from chemical processing or the stress of heat styling. Avoids dehydration by keeping hair moisturized, fluid and free flowing.

Conditioner: Hydrate thirsty, color-treated hair with a blast of moisture. Deep-penetrating peptides strengthen hair damaged from color treatments or highlighting. Hydration replenishes the appearance of youthful hair, while vitamins and minerals are designed to seal the cuticle to lock in vibrancy.

Ingredients: Shampoo: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamide MEA, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexapeptide-11, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract(1), Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cysteine, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract(1), Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract(1), Arctium Majus Root (Burdock Root) Extract(1), Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride,Benzophenone-4, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctanol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Phytantriol, Polyquaternium-59, Polyquaternium-47, Silicone Quaternium-16, Silicone Quaternium-3, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-12, Undeceth-11, Undeceth-5, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 6 (CI 15985)(2) (1)Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers, Ventura County, CA (2)Food Grade *Paraben-Free Formula

My Experience: Shampoo: I was contacted by Shielo to try some of their products. Two of the sample-sized products I received were the moisturizing shampoo and vibrancy conditioner. The shampoo wasn't moisturizing for me at all; it stripped my hair completely. Since I've been natural I  don't think any shampoo has stripped my hair as much as this one, even the "clarifying" shampoo that I use now. However, if I had some serious buildup, Shielo's shampoo would definitely get the job done (especially for those who wear the same style for 2,3,4 weeks without washing, but use a lot of product during that time).

Rating: 2.5/5

 Conditioner: After using the shampoo and being disappointed by how stripped my hair was, I was kind of reluctant to try the conditioner. However, the conditioner was a completely different story! It has GREAT slip. I had no issues at all detangling my hair with it, my comb just went right through. And the moisture? It restored all the moisture that was lost from the shampoo...and then some. My hair felt similar to the way it feels when I use Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, and you know I love that stuff. I was very impressed with how moisturizing the vibrancy conditioner was. I couldn't stop touching my hair!

Rating: 4.5/5

Thank you to Shielo for giving me the opportunity to try these products!

Video: Tension Blowdrying Method

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Link of the Day: Black Women's Hair Loss Linked to Braiding, Weaving

Very tight braiding or weaving is linked to a permanent type of hair loss that affects many African American women, new research suggests.

While the findings can't prove hair grooming is at the root of the problem, women might still want to take them into consideration, said Dr. Angela Kyei, who worked on the study.

"I won't tell you not to braid your hair, but I don't want you to braid it so tightly that you need to take pain medication," said Kyei, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Prolonged pulling at the hair strands may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which has been shown to lead to scarring. In principle, that could lead to a type of balding that dermatologists call central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or scarring hair loss.

This type of balding starts at the top of the scalp and slowly spreads to the rest. It occurs only in black women. Because there is no treatment for it, Kyei decided to try to find out what is causing it instead.

Read more here


Guest Blogger: Natural Hair Hostility on College Campuses

 By: Anissa

There has been a growing number of women transitioning from relaxed to natural hair over the past year or so on my college campus. The university is located in southwestern Pennsylvania in the middle of nowhere. Seeing young women rocking their natural hair texture isn’t something normal around here, so obviously when a handful of us started doing it all at once, people took notice.

I’ve personally noticed some of the negative attitudes towards “going natural.”Almost all of it came from other black women. We’ve been told via Twitter that our afros are unacceptable, that they’re unattractive, and that it’s a white man’s world and we need to just conform. I’ve unfollowed these girls on Twitter, limited my real life contact with them, and haven’t heard any negativity from them in a few months.

Tuesday afternoon, I get an invite to a Facebook event from the campus organization run by a few of the girls. The event was entitled “Relaxed vs. Natural.” Even though I don’t usually attend any of this organization’s programs, I decided to attend this one. I went into this event with my guard up, because I knew there were ulterior motives. These girls were not interested in learning anything about having, maintaining or the thought process behind having natural hair. When I got there, the room was split. Natural on one side and relaxed on the other. There were about 8 of us on the natural side and 20-25 on the relaxed side plus three of the four girls running the program had relaxed hair. By the end of the program, the vast majority of us on the natural side were frustrated and annoyed. We got nothing accomplished as far as each side understanding the other. However, I did learn a few things:

1. People have differing opinions of what it means to have “natural” hair.
The common consensus between the women on the natural side was that natural hair is hair that has not been processed with a relaxer or texturizer. The women on the relaxed side had more strict requirements for what they considered natural. To them, natural means you wear your hair just as it grows out of your scalp at all times. If you color your hair, you’re not natural. If you flat iron or hot comb your hair, you’re not natural. If you wear a weave or a wig, you’re not natural. Those criteria alone were enough to remove every single one of us from being considered natural.

2. A lot of people want the title without the work.
Many times throughout the discussion, someone on the relaxed side of the room would say “Well, technically, I’m natural because I haven’t had a perm in 4 months,” or “Well, I’m natural in the middle because I only get the outside of my hair relaxed because I wear weaves.” I explained the difference between transitioning and chopping off your relaxed ends and becoming totally natural, but many people were convinced that they should be considered natural as well. Also, when the relaxed side was asked if they have ever tried to go natural or if they would, many said that when they went too long without getting a perm, they had problems combing their hair. When a girl on the natural side tried to explain that the reason they couldn’t manage their hair was because of the way they took care of it, they quickly moved along to another subject.

3. People are still afraid of the "n-word."
The word “nappy” was thrown around quite a few times. Each time, you could hear the tone of the girl’s voice change when the words left her lips. She almost spat the word out like it was a bad taste in her mouth. Nobody wanted to go natural because nobody wanted to have nappy hair. I pointed out the negative connotation of the word and asked if anyone on the relaxed side would go natural if they knew they wouldn’t have nappy hair. Once again, the question was brushed off and evaded. When people continued to make reference to the natural girls in the room with more wavy or curly hair rather than kinky hair, they said “good” or “nice” hair. I knew I had my answer, even though I didn’t get one straight up (no pun intended).

4. A lot of people see women with natural hair as “stuck-up” or “elitist.”
I admit that there are natural women who look down upon women who relax their hair and I think that it needs to stop. A relaxer doesn’t automatically mean a woman has self-hatred or that she’s not as good as someone who chooses not to relax her hair. It’s just that: a choice. The majority of us, myself included, did not choose to relax. The choice was made for us as children. So as an adult, when we are old enough to choose for ourselves, we either choose to continue relaxing or choose not to. It seemed to me like there was an automatic assumption that those of us who chose to go natural thought we were better than everyone else. I can’t speak for anyone, but I know with myself, that is not the case at all.

I believe that’s why many of the girls on the relaxed side felt defensive and turned offensive towards the natural side. I’m sure this is part of the reason nothing got accomplished in the entire discussion. I don’t feel any animosity towards the girls who sat on the relaxed side of the room. However, I do feel attacked and ambushed by the girls who planned the program. They’ve already made their views on us wearing our hair natural known informally, and I felt like this was their way of publically making fun of us just as they had done privately. One girl, who has been natural her entire life and has what the majority of the room considered “good hair,” compared announcing how long we’ve been natural to an addict telling how long they’ve been sober (and I felt like this was directly towards me because I tweet “____ months natural” faithfully on the 23rd of every month). I felt there was a lot of disrespect, misunderstanding and miscommunication involved, and it has changed the way I look at a few people because I now know how they look at me, simply for the way I wear my hair.

Have you ever been to a “natural vs. relaxed” debate or discussion? Did you feel anything positive was accomplished? Have you ever felt attacked or stereotyped because of the way you choose to wear your hair? Do you think I’m being too sensitive and shouldn’t be offended by some of the comments or remarks that were made? 

Featured Onyx Rose: Kalea

OR: How is the natural hair scene where you're from?

Kalea: Originally from Detroit, Michigan (the world of sew ins, quick weaves and creamy crack users). There are a small number of women rocking natural hair and even fewer rocking locs. In a crowd we definitely stand out. For the last year I have lived in a city where I have literally counted eight African Americans beyond the four in my family,  and I have to drive 35 mins to an hour to get hair supplies, but I STILL LOVE MY HAIR!

OR: Random fun fact about yourself?

Kalea: I am afraid of the dark.

OR: How long were you natural before you started locking your hair and what motivated you to do so?

Kalea: I was natural for three months before I began the locking process. I stopped getting perms so I could loc. Three months into the process I decided that I did not want to wait for my perm to completely grow out or continue to wait for my husband to become "comfortable" with my decision, so I went in the bathroom with some scissors and cut off all the permed ends. I chose to loc because I knew that it took a confident woman to go against the grain and be herself. As a teenager, too often I found myself following the crowd or doing what everyone else wanted me to do. Now, at 25, as a wife and mother of two (one of whom is a young girl), I needed to learn to be comfortable in my own skin so I could teach my daughter to do that as well. Paired with all the other blessings in my life, my locs make me happy.

OR: How was the locking process/how easy is it to maintain your locs?
Kalea: The locking process has not been that difficult. I went to a professional to get them started, but I have maintained them by myself with the help of YouTube, a few friends, and natural hair groups on facebook.

OR: Finish this sentence, "I love my locs because..."

Kalea: They freed me from creamy crack.

OR: What's one loc/natural hair myth you wish would die?

Kalea: It bothers me to hear people say that people with natural hair and especially locs must have dirty and stinky hair. Locs are hair just as any other style so they can be washed. I bet I wash my hair far more often than someone who has a weave sewed or glued to their head for a month or two (no judgment of course).

OR: Have your locs changed how you view yourself?

Kalea: Yes! The process is very liberating. They give me a confidence that I have honestly never felt before. I dress better. I accessorize. I wear makeup JUST to keep up with the beauty of my hair.

OR: Name your top three hair products

Kalea: Jamaican Mango and Lime loc and twist gel

Jamaican Mango and Lime anti itch spray

Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

OR: What advice do you have for those thinking about locking?

Kalea: Locking is a commitment, so if you want to loc you have to more than want it. You have to commit to it. So, do your research. Read the blogs, get a consultation from a professional, and definitely check YouTube. The blogs and YouTube are your friend :-)

Check out Kalea on Facebook and Twitter!


My Two Cents: "The Less Naturals, the Better"

I recently came across an article from Black Girl with Long Hair (BGLH) that caught my attention. The post is from a BGLH reader who feels a sense of jealousy when she sees other naturals out and about because it takes away from her standing out in the crowd:

One of my favorite things about being natural is that, more than likely, I end up being the only natural in the room. An integral part of my journey thus far has been the significance of being the ‘only one’, being counter-cultural, in the minority, bucking the trend.

I was kind of surprised by this. Most of the time it seems like naturals want to see more women with natural hair, but evidently some enjoy being a part of the minority. I think it's normal to have these kinds of feelings; who has never been jealous...has never been proud of a trait that makes them "unique?" But I also think that this kind of mentality can be just as detrimental as the hair typing/good hair vs. bad hair "debate." Imagine walking around, minding your business and a fellow natural is hostile towards because you have the audacity to wear your hair natural like her :-/ Many women in the natural hair community already face a lot of criticism and antagonism from men and non-naturals, but to get it from other naturals as well? Too much and unnecessary. Whenever I see other naturals, I get excited. I'm the type of person that does natural hair counts at the mall, lol. Seeing women with natural hair doesn't make me jealous, it's inspiring. I have never wished that less women would go natural because in my opinion, the more, the better.

 What do you think?

Featured Onyx Rose: Karlyne

OR: how is the natural hair scene where you're from?
Karlyne: Originally from Brooklyn, NY now residing in NC. The scene is much better then what it was a couple of years ago. So I would say it is on a positive rise.

OR: Random fun fact about yourself?
Karlyne: I am very critical of myself, so going through this journey was a great experience of me experiencing and appreciating me.

OR: What inspired you to go natural?
Karlyne: After years of relaxers along with blow out styling at the Dominican salons, moving to NC became a culture shock. None of the beauticians could seem to get my hair to flow like "Rosa" and the prices were ridiculous. I was used to paying $15 for a wash and set and $40 for a perm. That double nearly tripled when I got here. AWWW!!

OR: How long did you transition?/Describe your transitioning experience.
Karlyne: After a stylist here literally singed a handful of my hair. I went to another for a style and he gave me a style I hadn't worn since the late '90s. At that point I stopped relaxing and then 6 months later went back to NYC to have it all cut off. I had about 2" of hair on my head! I was like WOW!

OR: How do you feel about the word "nappy?"
Karlyne: At first I hated it! It made me cringe because I know what was meant behind it.

OR: What's one natural hair myth you wish would die?
Karlyne: That you can't do anything with natural hair AND that it isn't appealing.

OR: In your opinion, is having natural hair a trend? Is it a movement?
Karlyne: I think it is a lifestyle for the better. It helps us learn ourselves. I was relaxed for nearly 30 years. Had no idea what my texture was or how to handle it.

OR: Spill the beans...tell us your top 3 natural hair tips.
 - Weekly washes

- Moisturize and no you don’t need the most expensive product to do it

- Your hair texture is just that YOURS. No product no matter who is trying to sell it will change that so LOVE YOU AND WHAT YOU HAVE!

OR: What advice do you have for those thinking about transitioning?
Karlyne: Go for it; it will be the best thing you could do for yourself.

Check out Karlyne on her blog!

Guest Blogger: The Basics in Caring For African-American Skin

By Juliette Samuel 

African American skin has a wide range of classifications. One thing that all hues have in common is the presence of significantly higher amounts of pigmentation in the skin called melanin. The presence of more melanin makes African American skin more resistant to ultraviolet ray damage.  An average SPF of about 13, is automatically achieved by dark skinned people.   In essence, you eat, sleep and breathe a natural SPF level.
However, even if your skin is more resistant to the elements in general, African Americans experience more serious skin blemishes and damages.  Hence, even people with dark skin should consider a skin care regimen that best suits their skin.  Fortunately, there are African American skin care products that specifically address the concerns of your skin.
A good black skin care regimen should consist of:
  • Cleansing - A good facial cleanser in a cream base is not as harsh on your skin as other ingredients, that might strip away your natural oils. Green Tea is a great antioxidant that combats free radicals that could bring tremendous harm to your skin.
  • Toners - Toners are a great way of bringing your skin back to its natural pH balance after cleansing.  It also prepares your skin for your moisturizer.
  • Moisturize - a good moisturizer will act as an antioxidant and give your skin the nourishment that it needs.
  • A masque and exfoliation treatment should be done once a week.
Skin care is of utmost importance because so much of your skin is exposed to the outside world. So many products are available in the market, with so many amazing claims, that it is very hard not to get taken away by them. However, without proper knowledge or diagnosis of your skin problems, or your skin type for that matter, these skin care products will only do more harm than good.
One of the safest ways, it seems, is to be closer to nature. Black skin care products that are made of natural ingredients are perhaps best and safest for the African American skin. Chemicals tend to harm certain skin types, which is exactly why a natural solution can be your best option. Two natural ingredients to be placed at the front of the line are green tea and shea butter.

Green tea has more catechins, the substance that fights off free radicals, than other kinds of teas. Green tea and black skin care can be combined by using products formulated for your skin and made with green tea to wear under your sunscreen when venturing into the sun. It is best to combine green tea with zinc oxide-based sunscreens because zinc oxide does not react with green tea in a way that some chemical sunscreens might do. It may also be possible to incorporate green tea into your skin care regimen to possibly slow down skin aging.

Shea butter is among the top natural treatments that can be used on dry and sensitive skin. It is chocked full of vitamins and nutrients that provide a protective layer on your skin. Shea butter has the ability to refresh your skin and bring back its original suppleness and texture. The good news is that dry skin responds fast to the effects of shea butter.

These ingredients are two of the best for African American skin care products. And because they are all natural, they do not pose any threat to you and your overall health. Using natural black skin care products to care for your beautiful black skin gives you great results, with less of the dangers and side effects of chemical formulations available on the market.

Author's Bio

Juliette Samuel is a person who definitely knows beautiful when she sees it. Juliette has had a very eclectic career working in and around the beauty industry. She has worked as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has also been a Professional Image Consultant.
Currently Juliette works as a Skin Care Therapist, acting President and Chief Nose for NYRAJU Skin Care. As such she is in charge of product formulation and development of all scents produced for the line.
Juliette is also a member of NAHA-The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, The Society of Cosmetic Chemist and is the Fragrance Editor for BellaOnline.
What does that do for you?  It keeps Juliette on her toes when it comes to the type of information that she’ll be able to share with you as readers of her blog or articles that she publishes on and off the web.


Onyx Rose Asks You: Leave-In Sprays?

Last week I spent 3.5 hours twisting my hair. I don't mind spending this amount of time doing my hair, especially since I know that twists can last me at least two weeks.

Check out the pics (click on them to enlarge):
Co-washed with Aussie Moist.

Used Profectiv Mega Growth Lotion as a moisturizer and Argan Eco Styler gel for hold.

I loved the way my twists came out. For the first two to three days they were so smooth and moisturized! On the third day I sprayed Proclaim's Tea Tree Leave-In conditioner for some moisture, and it's been downhill since then. I've only had these twists for a week and they look a month old because of the dryness and frizz :-(

What are your favorite sprays to use on your twists?


Featured Onyx Rose: Shakira

OR: Where are you from?
Shakira: I am from New Jersey

OR: Random fun fact about yourself?
Shakira: I am in love with music :)

OR: What inspired you to go natural?
Shakira: I decided to go natural because my hair was damaged from heat, relaxers, and weaves. I didn't know how to take care of my hair and I thought it was time to just start over. It  was not a celebrity or a natural Youtuber that influenced my decision. I didn't know there was so much naturals out in the world.

OR: How long did you transition?/Describe your transitioning experience.
Shakira: I transitioned for 9 months and It was not a great experience. I didn't know how to take care of my two textures and it took a toll on my hair. I lost a lot of hair during my transition from trying to blend my two textures with heat.

OR: How do you feel about the word "nappy?"
Shakira: I would say it is just a word. Everyone has their own opinion for everything. So, if a person calls my hair nappy then that's their opinion. I know how I feel about my hair, and no one else opinion will change that.

OR: What's one natural hair myth you wish would die?
Shakira: Since you are black your hair will not grow unless you are mixed with something else. I have seen many naturals who do not claim to have mixed parents whose hair is amazing. So this myth could just go away. Your hair will grow if you take care of it.

OR: In your opinion, is having natural hair a trend? Is it a movement?
Shakira: With my natural hair I have gained so much confidence. So, if this is a "movement," then I am fine with that, and I encourage other women and men to join the "movement" and have great confidence, but really a trend does not last for too long. I can't imagine women cutting all their hair off and starting over just to follow a trend.

OR: Spill the beans...tell us your top 3 natural hair tips.
Condition hair while in braids or twists so that it can eliminate knots.
Drink lots of water and also add water to your hair everyday.
Enjoy your natural hair. 

OR: What advice do you have for those thinking about transitioning?
Shakira: Condition!! Keep your hair well moisturized and stay away from the heat as much as possible. If you want to blend your hair, try braid/twist outs. 

Check out Shakira on her blog!

Video Tutorial: Pompadour Twist Back

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Giveaway: La Nomrah Designs

If you love unique accessories, this is the giveaway for you! A little info about La Nomrah Designs:

All creations here are handmade from upcycled/repurposed materials & customizable (unless otherwise noted)! Each stripe, strip and mosaic "tile" is cut and applied by hand. No two pieces are exactly the same, even in a pair, but rest assured everything is made with love.

 One lucky winner will win an accessory of their choice. I will randomly choose the winner using

How to enter:
  • You must be a follower of this blog
  • You must "like" the La Nomrah Facebook Page
  • Browse the La Nomrah site and pick your favorite item (excluding earring/necklace sets). State it in the comment section below.
  • Include your email address, so you can be contacted if you win

That's it! The giveaway starts today (Monday, April 4, 2011) and ends Monday, April 18, 2011 at 11:59 EST. Good luck! 

The winner is u4ria_luv. You've won the ecofriendly animalistic studs. Congrats!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Video: Nappy Heads Unite (A Short Film) --Must Watch

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