Best Tools for Natural Hair

Happy Wednesday, Pals!

I have had natural hair for about 4 years now, and when I say natural, I mean that my hair hasn't been chemically straightened. It's been work to find tools and products that work for me and don't damage my hair, but I feel like I'm finally on the right track.

Shampoo and Conditioner

The first step is finding shampoo and conditioner that works for you. I have been using Shea Moisture products for about two years, and I love them! I was using them for curly styling, but I now straighten my hair using heat, so I wanted to switch to products that would give me more moisture. This conditioner really does add more moisture to my hair, making it easier to style once it dries. 

The shampoo is from Function of Beauty. They are a company that allows you to order custom shampoo and conditioner based on your hair type and needs. I have 4C extremely course and dry hair, so I need all of the moisture I can get. I've only been using this shampoo for a couple of months, but I love it so far! Plus, it's sulfate-free :-)

Kiss Ionic Ceramic Blow Dryer

Whenever I wanted to heat style my hair, I would always blow dry it before flat ironing or curling. However, with the blow dryer I used before, it would take me HOURS (seriously) to get my hair dry. My hair stylist told me to get a blow dryer with a comb attachment, and that was the best hair advice anyone has EVER given me. It cut my blow dry time is half, plus I can comb through my hair as I dry it, killing two birds with one stone! I got this off of Amazon for about $20. If you're a curly girl who likes to heat style, invest in one of these. You won't be sorry.

Croc Flat Iron

The next thing my stylist told me was to invest in a good, quality flat iron. I had previously been using a cheap one by Remington, and it was frying the ends of my hair and doing a poor job of straightening altogether. Then I received this Croc flat iron as a gift, and it has seriously made a night and day difference. It has four heat settings, and an automatic shut-off after an hour. The hand is ergonomically made, so it's comfortable to hold it your hand for long periods of time. Buying the right QUALITY heat tools makes all the difference, ladies. Flat Ironing Pro Tip: Only do two passes AT THE MOST over your hair to avoid serious heat damage. 

Natural Hair Styling Products

Finally, invest in good styling products. This Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Complex is amazing. It has made my hair incredibly shiny, and has cut down on the amount of dandruff my scalp produces. Bonus, it smells like Heaven! I add a few drops over my scalp a couple of times week to help with moisture.

We all know we have to take care of our edges, so I just use an alcohol-free gel and a toothbrush to smooth out my edges after I'm done styling. I also make sure to use a wide-tooth comb when combing through my whole head. Brushes and small-tooth combs can add to breakage, so I only use a rat-tail comb when flat ironing. Any other time I comb through my hair, it's with a wide-tooth or a pick. 

There you have it, my favorite products and tools for styling my natural hair! What tools and products you guys use? I'd love to know!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

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Browsing for Beauty: The Chemical-free Deodorant Search

Is it just me, or is anyone else particular about their pits?

I have been using your ol' fashioned gel and powder deodorants since I've been old enough to wear deodorant, and though gels don't irritate my underarms as much as powders, they both leave me feeling itchy most of the time, and especially after I shave.

So, I've been on the hunt for a natural alternative. If you haven't noticed by now, I'm really into making my health and beauty products, and really all "products" in my life, as natural as possible. As usual, I like to do my research and see which brands are the most popular (as in, they work) and have the least amount of chemicals.

The problem with regular deodorants found in drug stores or grocery stores, is that a great many of them are also antiperspirants. The main chemical used as an antiperspirant is aluminum, which is a neurotoxin. It works by blocking the pores to keep the sweat from exiting. Now, I don't want to be funky just as much as the next person, but I also don't want my pores blocked. Sweating is also one of the ways in which we rid our bodies of toxins, and if we can't sweat, where are the toxins going?

I narrowed it down to the following five brands by consulting this article from Elle, this article from InStyle, and this article from Organic Spa Magazine. These were the brands that either mentioned in more than one of these articles, or they had a good review.

So without further ado...

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1. Fat and the Moon

It's retails for $12, and is aluminum free. The only (potential) downside is that it does contain baking soda, which can be an irritant to some people. It also contains black pepper essential oil, which I'm not sure I'd enjoy smelling all day.

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2. Lavilin 72-hour Deodorant

This one retails for $16 (steep!) and is not completely chemical free. It does, however, claim to last for 72 hours, which I'm not sure I believe, nor would I want to test that out. It appeals to me because it's a roll-on, and therefore easier to apply than a cream, but the $16 price tag makes me hesitant.

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3. Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream

I've mentioned MMT products before, some I'm loved and some I haven't. Their deodorant cream has pretty positive reviews, though, and you can buy a trial size, which I love! The full size retails for $14, and they offer a baking soda-free option for those that get irritated by it.

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4. Schmidt's Bergamot + Lime Deodorant

This one is the most attractive to me because of the price, which is about $9. It's the least expensive of the bunch and is really popular on the interwebs. Plus, it comes in stick form, in case the cream consistency freaks you out. It also has a few different scents to choose from. I think it's the one I want to try first.

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5. Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

This brand is also one of the highest rated on both it's website and the interwebs. It retails for $14, which is still kind of pricey for a deodorant, but I hear it lasts a long time. I would like to try this one first, but on the off chance that it doesn't work for me, I will then be out $14 plus shipping. If Schmidt's doesn't work for me though, Soapwalla is where it's at! 

I'll follow up with another post once I've tried one and found that it works. In the meantime, have any of you guys tried any of these brands? Did they work for you? If not, which natural deodorant brands have you tried?

Let me know!