Monday, October 15, 2012

Why Are Ingredients So Important Anyway

The post below was featured in the October Curlkit

                In the Natural Hair World there are so many products out there that claim to be the next miracle for our hair. Beautifully packaged bottles and jars line the shelves of every drugstore and discount store claiming to be the answer to all our prayers for the perfectly moisturized bouncy curls that we so crave.  Our emails and social media accounts are bombarded with advertisements for even more products that are promising us their products can do what no other product can.  As if that is not enough to confuse you bloggers and vloggers (myself included) then post about things you should and should not put in your hair.  So how do you sort fact from fiction?  How do you know what will harm your hair and what will make if flourish?  What products are truly worth your hard earned money? After all didn’t we use any and everything on our relaxed hair without ever checking a label for ingredients?  So why are ingredients so important now? Before you can understand how ingredients impact hair you first have to understand the importance of water for natural hair.
 For most people when they were relaxed they associated moisture with oil.  If your hair was dry then you needed to add some type of oil, grease or oily hair lotion to your tresses.  We all remember the days of using so much oil sheen it looked like we had a fog machine in our bathroom.  In our relaxed days water was public enemy number one. We would go to any lengths to keep it away from our hair.   Now that we are natural water is our new BFF. Why the sudden change in attitude? Lean in and read carefully. Water equals moisture. Natural hair needs moisture more than anything else. So the key to healthy natural hair is to maintain moisture in your hair. This is where it gets tricky because you need products that will give your hair moisture and help to retain the moisture.
The Bad Guys
-           Sulfates- Harsh detergents used in many shampoos and cleansers that strip the hair and can leave it dry and brittle.
-           Petroleum- Cannot be absorbed by hair. Causes build up on hair and prevent moisture from getting into the hair. Sulfates are needed to remove it.
-          Parabens- A preservative in many cosmetics and hair products that has been linked to breast cancer.
-          Silicone- A.K.A “Cones” cause products to have great slip but can cause buildup on the hair and many can only be removed with a sulfate shampoo. Heavier Cones can also prevent moisture from getting into hair.
-          Mineral Oil- Causes build up on hair and prevents moisture from getting into the hair. Sulfates are needed to remove it.
The key is to find products that have ingredients that will moisturize your hair (water based) and then use oils or butters that can seal the moisture in without causing buildup on your hair.  For most of us that means using good old trial and error to find out what works best for your individual hair needs. This is how many of us become product junkies.  In order to save money and time keep a list of ingredients that your hair likes and look for products that contain those ingredients.  For example my hair loves aloe vera, honey, agave nectar, coconut oil, jojoba oil and other light oils. As a result I look for products that have these listed in the first five ingredients.  Each and every person’s hair is different. What it really boils down to is you have to use what works in your hair. If petroleum makes your hair look great then by all means keep using it. But first and foremost do your research to find out what ingredients you are putting into your hair and what their purpose/impact is on your hair.  Then you can make educated decisions.
YouTube@ Nurekad

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

If you have been following my blog or my YouTube channel - Nurekad then you know I am awful at twist outs!!!! Or so I thought before last weekend.  Ever since my Big Chop in August of 2011 I have been wearing my hair in WnG styles because every time I try a Twist out I end up with a frizzy fuzzy mess. Now to be fair I have only tried twists about 5 times in the last year because they end up looking so bad.  I'm not exactly sure what made me want to try again last weekend, other than I hate feeling like I can't do something and it was a 3 day weekend from work.  So late Friday night, actually very late it was about midnight I co-washed my hair and started into my twisting journey yet again.  I'll be honest I did not have high hopes that my hair would look good.  I was just hoping it would not look bad. I used the same steps I had used in the past. I applied leave in then styler and twisted.  This time I used CoCo Curls as my styler.  After I was done twisting I was shocked at how much my hair has grown in the last year.  My twists actually looked good enough to wear out without hiding them under a hair or hair accessory. Now that is progress. I wore the twists for 2 full days and then on Monday (Labor Day) the true test came.  Would I be able to wear a twist out or would my hair be a frizzy fuzzy mess????  I oiled my hands with Ampro Vitamin E oil and started untwisting. I did NOT separate the twists into smaller sections as  suspected this was what had caused my frizziness before. When all was said and done I was shocked at how good my hair actually looked and at how long my hair has gotten.  Although I will no doubt still wear WnG styles most often it is great to see how much progress my hair has made over the past year.  Now I have another style I can add to my bag of tricks.
Front view of my twists

Twist Out Results Yayyyyy!!!!

CoCO Curls

Below are previous twists and twist outs attempted over the past year

Friday, July 27, 2012

The All Stars

Next week on August 2 I will be celebrating 1 year of being 100% natural.  As I look back over the last year I can tell you I have learned so much about my hair and about myself.  Like so many others what started out as a journey toward longer healthy hair has turned into a journey of self discovery. I have gained so much more self confidence and pride in who and what I am. I have learned to truly love my hair even on the bad hair days. I could never say that about my relaxed hair. And beyond that gone are the beliefs that I need to look like another race to be beautiful or attractive.  Along this journey I have met some of the most amazing women.  I think that is what has made this journey even more fulfilling are the random conversations I have had with people on blogs, YouTube, at natural hair events or even in the grocery store. It is like when other naturals come into contact with each other that we have a special sisterly bond immediately.  That never happened when I was relaxed. No one came up to me asking what product I used or how I got my hair to do a certain thing. But that happens almost daily as a natural. So after a year I am in reflection mode as you can see.  I wanted to do a post listing my favorite products, companies and websites for ordering. (this is a question I get alllll the time ;D)  enjoy

My Favorite Natural Hair Products (things that are always on my shelf)

The Kinky Curly Line will probably always be my favorite line. As a WnG girl nothing but nothing can do what Kinky Curly does for my hair and that is give me banging hair for 7 days!!!! I just did two videos on my YouTube channel (NurekaD) about the Kinky Curly line check it out.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this hair/body oil. I never use it on my body but I do use it on my hair EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!  I know I talk about the Darcy's Botanical Plum Kernel Nectar all the time but I am telling you I love it. I use this between my leave-in and gel when I do WnGs and each day their after to refresh my WnG. It is great and smells amazing. They do have other oils on the Darcy's web site but this is my favorite.

Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner is my favorite go to conditioner. It smells great, has great slip and is a great value. Really what more could you ask for. This was actually one of the first natural hair products I tried when I was transitioning.  I purchase it at and it is only $30 for 32oz!!!! Plus if you spend over $50 you get free shipping, so I always order 2. I love this stuff and I am never without a bottle of it. 

BASK YAM Nectar is allllll that. I did a full review on a post a couple of months ago. This is by far the best deep conditioner I have ever used hands down. My hair was super soft and stayed de-tangled for days. How is that even possible?  My fingers were gliding through my hair. My only regret is I did not buy more when I was at the Natural Hair Show. Trust me when my no buy is over I will be stocking up on this stuff.

Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade.  I freaking love this stuff. For starters it smells like hot caramel popcorn in the mall, like exactly like that.  Secondly it liquefies in your hands and is more like an oil. My hair loves it so much.  Whenever I pull my hair back in a puff I use this to slick back my hair and it does a great job and does not interfere with any of my stylers including Kinky Curly. This is another product you will always find on my shelf. 

My Favorite Natural Hair Companies

Kinky Curly -
Really do I even need to say why.

They have a comprehensive line of natural hair products.  I have loved every single product I have used from this company. I love that they have a salon line ans a retail line so everyone is able to get their products. Great great customer service also.

Darcy's Botanicals-
Everything just smells so dang good from this company.  I love the Plum Kernel Nectar of course and the Pumpkin seed conditioner is off the chain!!!! I love most of the products I have tried from Darcy's.

Oyin Handmade-
Great customer service and super awesome products.  their website is super cute and I have loved everything I have tried. I keep Oyin products in my rotation.

I have just within the last few months started to use BASK products but everything I try makes me want to do a huge order with them to buy more. Great ingredients and they sell out all the time so that should tell you something. 

My Favorite Websites to order from
Other than ordering directly from the company I have found the following to be great sites for their deals, customer service and for getting your order to you quickly.
this is the best place to buy Kinky Curly because of the price, free shipping and no sales tax, plus if you spend over $80 you get 5% off!!! And you get your order super fast.
They have sales all the time, great deals on shipping and they have a wide range of products
SALES ALLLLLL the time great deals on shipping and free samples with every purchase 
Absolutely awesome customer service. They are very quick to get your order to you and they have a huge variety of products.
Very personal customer service and super fast delivery with samples. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Giveaway Time!!!!!

Watch "#28- Giveaway!! 1 year Natural GIVEAWAY!!!" on YouTube To celebrate my 1 year anniversary of my Big Chop I am doing a huge giveaway. Please watch the video link above to get more information. Good Luck!!!!!
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Product Review: Wonder Curl

Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly
8oz - $15  16oz - $25

Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade
2oz - $5
All Wonder Curl Products can be purchased at

I received these two samples of the Wonder Curl Get set Hair Jelly and the Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade in the mail to try. I have to tell you I was sooooooo super excited.  I had been stalking the Wonder Curl products for some time wanting to try them. I was a little hesitant to buy them because I did not know anyone that had used them.  So I jumped at the chance to try these products in my hair.  So this morning after I rinsed out my deep conditioner I applied my usual leave-in and then oil just on the tips of my hair to seal it.  Once I did that I scrunched the Wonder Curl Get Set Jelly in to my hair.  It has the consistency very similar to Kinky Curly.  The smell is a light floral scent reminiscent of a honeysuckle.  And while I don't really like floral scents it is very light and goes away pretty quickly.  The slip is pretty good and I had no trouble working the product through my hair.  I only had to use half of the 2oz container for my entire head so that is definitely a bonus because I have very thick hair. After I finished applying the product I did "the shake" to help my curls clump together. I have to tell you the Wonder Curl Get Set Jelly is pretty awesome.  I really like it, my curls were left super springy and defined, well moisturized and not hard and crispy.  So it gets an A in my book. (see pics below) 

On to the Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade. The Polishing Pomade has a sweet fruity smell that I love!!!! It has the consistency of a combination of a pudding ans a light hair grease. I used this product on both me and KK's hair today.  I smoothed on a small amount on the side of my hair and brushed it up into a clip and added a flower accent.  For KK's hair I misted her week old twist-out with water and then added the Polishing Pomade and brushed her hair up into two puffs.  I was amazed at how her hair smoothed down.  It looked like I had tied her hair down with a scarf.  I will definitely purchase this product.  It also had great slip so it made it very easy for the brush to get through her hair.  This product gets an A+++++. (see pics below)

My Curls are popping!!!!

KK's Puffs

So Sleek!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Natural Hair Style: Coils and Coil Out

1st day with Coils 

Coils done by Regina @ Natural Alternatives Salon
1949 Bardstown Rd 
Louisville, KY 40205

About a week ago I went into Natural Alternative Salon to see my girl Regina (GG) to get my hair washed and styled.  I wanted to try something new so we decided that coils would be a great change from my usual wash and go style. Now I am no stranger to Natural Alternatives salon. I have visited this upscale natural salon many times. As a matter of fact this is where almost a year ago GG did my big chop.  I absolutely love Natural Alternative Salon.  All four stylists ( Regina, Dakota, Shaha and T'ana) are all very professional and know their craft very well.  Then there is the always happy and welcoming owner Jimmy.  This is the only salon I have ever been to that offers you not only high-end waters such as Voss but also Mimosas and other wine and champagne based beverages.  All of the equipment and products are top of the line and cutting edge. You simply can not go wrong in choosing this salon no matter which stylist you select.  But let's get back to my coils... Regina washed and conditioned my hair as I lounged in the luxury recliner style leather seat with a shampoo bowl that adjusts to fit each client. After that GG began doing my coils.  I was in and out in about 2 hours.  I wore my coils for 5 days and then went back to let GG do my coil-out. Below is a picture of my second day coil-out.  All in all my salon experience was wonderful as always and as far as coils, it was a nice break from the WnG. If you would like to see a video of my coils or my coil out find me on YouTube under Nurekad

2nd day coil out

Friday, July 13, 2012

July CurlBox Reveal

Ok it's that time again. I hot my July CurlBox and here is what was in it.

July CurlBox
- Motions Naturally You Shampoo- full size
- Motions Naturally You Conditioner- Full Size
- Shea Radiance Nourishing Hair Repair Cream- Deluxe Sample
- Luster's Pink Oil Light Moisturizer- sample pack

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Curlkit reveal

It's that time again y'all. I got my Curlkit, I got my Curlkit. I absolutely love when my Curlkit comes, it really is like getting a special gift in the mail. Plus it brings lots of hair and sometimes body products for me to try I just love it. If you are interested in signing up it is only $20 per month, just go to ok so let's get into what I got...

What was in my Curlkit
- UR Curly Soya Shampoo- full size
- Feng Shui Organics- liquid diamonds moisturizing surface shine- deluxe sample
- November Naturals- coconut lime verbena Shea whip- deluxe sample
- COCO Curls- coco curl moisturizing cream- deluxe sample
- Hydrothermal Naturals- amino plus protein deep conditioner- deluxe sample
- DPL- curl revitalizer- deluxe sample
- Ampro- olive oil gel- 2 deluxe samples!!!!!!!
- Nice & Curly- Smooth it straight- 2 samples

If u would like to see me open my Curlkit live and talk about the kit check out my YouTube video @ nurekad on YouTube

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pics of Roller Set

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My First Attempt at a Roller Set

Watch "#12- Roller Set on Natural Hair" on YouTube Hey friends, so I tried a Roller Set for the first time. The results were ok, not awful, not great just ok. If you click on the YouTube link above you will see the video of me taking the rollers out and beginning to style. I will post pictures below of the finished style. I can say that frizz was an issue as I knew it would be. I will say the rollers with less hair turned out better than the ones with lots of hair. So we will call it a lesson learned and try again another time. I will be back to WnG tomorrow ;D.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Lessons From Vacation Hair

Hey everyone!! So I am officially home from Disney World. I had a great time and I learned alot about my hair while on Vacation. So if you have not heard I started making videos on YouTube so many of the lessons I learned are on video. You can check out my videos under my YouTube account- Nurekad. Anyway back to the lessons, first swimming is hard on natural hair and so is swimmers shampoo. My hair was left feeling very dry. So I suggest taking a great deep conditioner with you to take care of the dryness. I also had a great time trying new products on my hair and my daughters hair. Out of all the products we tried I think the real surprise was the Curl Care line from Dr. Miracle. We did not like the smell but the results were great!!! You can check out all of my reviews on YouTube. I also just posted a length Check video because today is my official 11 month anniversary. Yayyyy

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation Wash and Go with Aloe Vera Gel

Watch "Wash and Go using 100% Slow Vera Gel" on YouTube

So I am currently on Vacation in Walt Disney World, woooo hoooo party time. I am doing lots of swimming and with a tropical storm brewing getting soaked in the rain. I wanted to take this opportunity to try new products on my hair and do some experimenting. Enter the Aloe Vera Gel. I bought this gel about a year ago and just never used it. If you watch the video you will see me apply the gel from beginning to end and in the process you will also get to see how I do all my wash and gos. So watch and enjoy. The pic I posted here is the finished product about 6 hours later. Oh please comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Minnie's Rocking Mohawk

Last night my daughter Minnie was feeling a little down so I decided to give her a funky hair style to make her feel a lil better. For this hair style all I did was part off a section for bangs and then I parted her hair straight down the middle. I 2 strand twisted the bangs forward, then I flat twisted the sides toward each other to the center. Today I untwisted the single twists for the bangs and the loose ends of the two strand twists and bam.... Funky mohawk style fit for a tween. This totally worked to make her feel better.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Braid out FAIL!!!!!!

So you all know I love to do WnG styles bc they almost always come out looking great. I am perplexed by the fact that unlike other naturals twist outs look awful on my hair. I always end up with a frizzy fuzzy mess. My friend Haley has been trying to get to not give up on twist outs. So I decided to try a braid out on my hair. Yeah you see the picture... Again I have a frizzy fuzzy mess. I don't know why these styles don't work on my hair but I have accepted that they don't and I am waving my white flag of surrender. I am going to be sticking to my trusty dusty WnG styles.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Birchbox Reveal

What was on the box
- Borghese botanical eye compresses
- Jouer luminizing moisture tint
- Scalisi Skincare anti-aging moisturizer broad spectrum SPF 30
- The Balm Cosmetics stainiac in beauty queen
- Band-Aid Cynthia Rowley dress up Band-Aids
- Birchbox Man John Varvatos

Out of my three beauty box subscriptions I get every month Birchbox is by far my favorite. Not only are there lots of samples in each box but they are expensive products that I would never purchase with my own money. For example the Scalisi Skincare moisturizer at full size is $110!!! And all I pay is $10 per month to try these high quality products, you gotta love that. If you would like to subscribe goto

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Curlkit Reveal

June Curlkit theme Creme of the Crop

What was in my Curlkit
- Twisted Sister De Frizz Conditioner ( full size)
- Ampro Pro Styl Vitamin E Oil ( full size)
- Ampro Pro Styl Honey Beez styling bees wax ( fill size)
- Hair Rules Hydrating Finishing Cream (2 packets)
- Nice & Curly Winding Down Control Gel ( packet)
- Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Gel (2 packets)
- Miss Jessie's Curly Butter Creme(packet)
- Miss Jessie's curly pudding (packet)
- Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue (packet)

As you can see the Curlkit is full of all kinds of goodies this month. I'm really excited to try my new goodies. Stay tuned for product reviews. Oh yeah I'm trying some new products today so I'll do some product review posts later in the week. If you would be interested in signing up for Curlkit log on to it is $20 per month but if you use coupon code VIC you can get 10% off your first shipment and you can cancel your subscription at anytime.

Monday, June 11, 2012

CurlBox June Reveal

Items in my CurlBox
- BB Tropical Roots Twist Cream (full size)
- Dr. Miracle Curl Care Frizz Control Serum (4oz full size I think)
- Nutress Hair wrap guard foam wrap lotion (1.7oz deluxe sample)
- Bug Off mosquito repellent bracelet (full size)
- ORS Herbal Cleanse dry shampoo packet
- Sofnfree Milk, Protein & Olive Oil Really deep conditioning treatment packet.
- Free Your Mane hydrating shampoo packet
- Free Your Mane Conditioner packet
- Free Your Mane Restorative Hair Oil packet
- Coupon Codes

As you can see I got my June CurlBox in the mail today. Yayyyy. It always feels like my birthday or Christmas when I get my Curlbox in the mail. I just love being surprised and seeing what I got. I can't wait to play with all my new products. Be on the lookout for product reviews!! If you would like to get your own Curlbox subscription go to subscriptions are $20 per month.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Shade Of Brown June Reveal

Items in the June Pillow Box- Amazing Botanicals black soap shampoo- Nourishea mango conditioner- Komplexx Blends lipstick in nude- Pooka Pure and Simple hair butter- Mini Compact with a flower designHmmm where do I begin. Two of the four items are the same as last month. The lipstick is just a cut off chunk of lipstick in a tiny tub. Umm what am I supposed to do with that? I will say I love the compact. It is very cute and I know I will use it. All in all I have been a subscriber to for two months and while it is only $10 per month I don't think I am going to continue my subscription. Stay tuned for to see what I get in my other 4 subscription services this month.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Second Day Hair W/ KBB Hold It Gel

KK'S second Day hair

Last night we both slept with silk bonnets. This morning we both had very hard stiff hair but our curls looked amazing. So in the shower we both got our hair wet by quickly putting our heads under the stream of water and then shaking the curls. Once out of the shower I just applied my Darcy's Botanicals Plum Kernel Nectar and off we went to Sams. LOL After our hair dried its still pretty crunchy but not as much as yesterday. I know I can get at least 2-3 more days out of this style. So after two days I can say I do like the gel, I just need to find a way for it not to be as hard and stiff.
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Friday, June 8, 2012

KBB Hold It Gel

Gel is very thick and stiff

On my hair

On KK's hair

Today I went back to my beloved WnG style. I decided this would be a great time to try my Karen's Body Beautiful Hold It Gel that I purchased at the WNHS in Altanta back on April. As you can see from the picture the gel is very thick. It reminds me of Let's Jam gel. I got the Coco Lime fragrance so the smell is Yummy. I also decided to try this product on both my hair and KK'S hair. We started with freshly washed hair then added KC Knot Today as our leave in, followed by a couple of sprays of Darcy's Botanicals Plum Kernel Nectar. Lastly we raked the KBB Hold It Gel through our hair. The gel does not have much slip but it was not hard to apply. Right after I was finished applying the gel I was very pleased with the curl definition. Then my hair started dripping. Yes dripping on my face, shoulders and back. I have only had this happen with one other product and that's the Shea Moisture Curl Souffle. But again the curl definition was great so I just used a towel and kept it moving. I went to lunch about 40 minutes from where I live. So I drove with my windows down allowing my 80mph speed to dry me and my daughters hair. Once we arrived at our location I checked the mirror and my hair looked amazing, of course i touched my hair and was shocked to feel a helmet. My hair has more crunch than a bag of kettle chips. I also had flaky white stuff on my neck, face and back. I used a wet cloth to clean that up and I was good to go. My hair is still very hard and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that yet. I will post pics tomorrow of our second day hair. I still like the gel because my hair does look good, but I think I will try it with a heavier leave in next time.
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