Monday, June 10, 2013

Sulfate Free? The Mantra Explained

Sulfates are the detergents in shampoos and bath soaps that are responsible for generating lather.
They come in many forms.  Some of the more common ones are: Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lareth Sulfate and Myreth Sulfate.

Sulfates break up grease, and dislodge dirt, which in turn allows them to be washed away.  Although it is wonderful to get rid of the gunk and residual hair product in your hair, sulfates don't differentiate between the natural oils you want in your hair, and the rest of the stuff that's just weighing it down. Please note, sulfates can also be found in many conditioners, as they allow the conditioner to rinse out more easily.

Sulfates can dry out, and be very damaging to hair by stripping it of oils and molecules that are essential to protect the hair, and keep it strong, and shiny (or sheeny in my case).  Imaging being stripped naked and sent out in the world to survive...Sunburn, wind burn, chaffing, dryness, and all types of untold damage. That's exactly what happens to your hair, when it is stripped by sulfates and forced to fend for itself.

Studies have revealed some really devastating  effects from the prolonged use of sulfates, including hair loss, and eye damage:

'SLS is implicated in premature hair loss in men and women, and may be one reason for widespread incidence of thinning hair. Because SLS is such a caustic cleanser, it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs its ability to grow hair. SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulfate) causes dramatic decline in the hair growth cycle, and prolongs the hair loss phase (normally 3 months) by a factor of eight. Simply removing this ingredient, and its corrosive and irritating effects, begins to restore the natural, healthy function of the hair follicle.
SLS is also implicated in scalp irritation, eczema, dandruff, and other scalp conditions. Many shampoos designed to alleviate dandruff, itching, and other scalp disorders may actually be causing the problems they are supposed to eliminate, because of the toxicity of SLS-containing formulas to the skin and scalp. Avoiding contact with this cytotoxic (cell killing) chemical is all many people need to completely alleviate scalp disorders.'(click here for full report by David Lowell Kern)

Some will argue that we've been using sulfates for years with no adverse effects.  Maybe that's true.  But now that we are armed with the knowledge, why not steer clear?  People smoked for years without any adverse effect (that they knew of)...but now we know better. - YB

Saturday, June 8, 2013

12 Fun & Fabulous Bridal Looks for Your June Wedding!!

June weddings are every girl's dream.  Perhaps not every girl.  But many girls do dream of a rustic, or glamorous, or uber-chic summer wedding.  What to do with those kinks you ask?  Well, don't relax them for the big day!  Hit the flip side for some great ideas for the natural haired bride! - YB

Friday, June 7, 2013

Do you know who David Agbojie is?? [PICS!!]

Say hello to David Agboji - rising star on the international fashion scene.  A favorite of the venerable Calvin Klein, serving as the only model currently signed to an exclusive contract, and being bestowed with the honor of opening and closing his most recent menswear presentation.  He has walked shows for Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens, and has posed for famed photographer Terry Richardson and countless others.  David is of Togolese lineage, having spent large swaths of his life in Moscow & Paris.  There hasn't been a young black male model generating this much excitement since Tyson Beckford. Please click onward to check out some beautiful & scandalous flicks of my new favorite It Boy! - YB

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Struggle Twist-Outs - A thing of the Past?? [PICS]

My struggle twist outs have been well documented on this blog.  They have long been whack for many reasons...whack edges, varying degrees of hair density, shrinkage, no definition, no volume....the list goes on.  Today, however, I might have turned the corner on the whackness. 

I finally achieved a twist out that I can wear out of the house.  The hair is soft, the twists look decent,  the overall shape is good.  I was actually very surprised.  The longer my hair gets, the better my twist-outs seem to look.  At this rate, I should have some pretty good twist-outs by years-end. I think it's worth it to note that this twist-out was achieved with  chunky flat twists #Progress Hit the flippity-flip for the rest of my flicks! - YB

Throwback Thursday - Cicely Tyson Edition!

Cicely Tyson in “A Man Called Adam,” 1966. Sammy Davis Jr., Ossie Davis, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra also starred in the film.  
We LOVE Cicely Tyson here at Kinky Hair Rocks!  For some of you young bloods who may not know the tea, the often natural living legend (now, 79 years young), is a prolific actress, having garnered Emmy, Oscar, and Tony nominations for her critically acclaimed work. She is still very active today on stage, and in cinema.  Did I mention she was married to Miles Davis?  You don't get much cooler than that. Jump the tracks for more pics of the gorgeous Mizz Tyson...

Stop Traction Alopecia in it's Tracks!

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that results from subjecting the hair to excessive pulling force.   "Though [it] can occur in any race, it is most common among women of color who wear their hair pulled back in braids, or in other tight styles, away from the face." (The Science of Black Hair - Audrey Savisothy).

Tight braids, barrettes, hair weaves, and headbands worn excessively, are all very common causes of traction alopecia.  Excessive use of hair chemical can also cause the condition.  I had the misfortune of contracting traction alopecia around my right temple back in 2005.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Styling Tips for Fine Hair

Kinky hair, although the most fabulous by far :), is not the easiest to maintain.  It tends to be dry, it is susceptible to breakage, it shrinks at the thought of moisture, and it usually has a mind of it's own.  To add insult to injury, many of us have to contend with super-fine hair, which holds many challenges in and of itself. 

What is fine hair, you ask?  Good question.  When we talk about fine hair, we are talking about the circumference of the individual strand of hair.  The best way to illustrate it would be to take a piece of thread, and take a piece of yarn, and compare the two.  The thread would represent fine hair, while the yarn would represent what is referred to by many as "coarse" hair.  One's thin (fine) and one's thick ("coarse").  Here are a few do's and don't for working with fine hair:

Viola Davis' New Thriller 'PRISONERS' - [Trailer!!]

Viola Davis, one of the brave few naturals in Hollywood, has a new movie coming out this fall starring, Hugh Jackman, Terrance Howard, and Jake Gyllenhal.  She is werking a cinnamon TWA twist out in the movie. Hallelu-jer!  Trailer after the jump!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sexy Summer Hair - Lemon Juice Highlights!!

So you want to have some sexy highlights in your hair for the summer, but you don't want to do the chemical thing.  I can dig it.  There is a solution for you...Some of you may or may not know that lemon juice has been used for years to lighten hair.  Yes!  That tart elixir that can be found in the fruit bowl on your kitchen counter, can highlight your tresses with help of summer sun rays.  Here's what you do:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Porosity Testing, and How it can Revolutionize Your Hair!

Porosity can be defined simply as you hair's ability to absorb, and maintain moisture.  If you do not know the porosity of you hair, you are at a major disadvantage, as far as finding products, and developing a regimen that works for you. There are 3 levels of porosity:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kinky GIF of the Week - Get it Girl!

7 Wicked Myths About Kinky Hair

There's all types of misinformation out there about natural hair...particularly kinky natural hair.  I am here to put a few on blast, and hopefully debunk them.  Who's with me?!


1. The Brothers aren't feeling it - Well, no two brothers think alike, so it's unfair to say the brothers aren't feeling it.  Some guys love natural hair, and some guys hate it.  Some guys don't give a damn.  If you encounter a guy who hates your natural hair, just keep it moving.  he probably not the type of man you'd want to be with anyway.

2.  Kinky hair doesn't grow - Really? take a look at these queens, and tell me kinky hair doesn't grow.

What's the Deal with Hair Steaming?

I have gone back and forth on this, and have finally decided it might be time to take the plunge!
Being a type 4 kinky, I constantly battle with dryness in my hair.  I pre-poo, and deep condition every week using a regular hooded dryer with my hair in a plastic cap.  I'm usually of the mind - If it ain't broke, don't fix it, but I keep hearing wonderful things about the benefits of steaming your hair.  Our friends at put together this sweet little infographic that outline some of the pluses of steaming.  Will you give it a whirl? -YB

6 Benefits Of Steaming Your Hair

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hemp Seed Oil - WTF??


Although I do not indulge in the alleged pleasures of Mary Jane,  it is my understanding that the oil derived from the seeds of the marijuana plant, has amazing properties that are very beneficial to natural hair.

Here's what I found out -

Is the Whole Natural Hair Thing a Trend?

That is something I've been wondering for a while now.  For me, it's not a trend.  I've had my hair natural, for almost 20 years (with the exception of a texturizer back in 2004).  It's just a way of life.  Relaxers break my hair, and quite frankly, I think I look ridiculous with permed hair. It works really well on others....just not me.

There has been an explosion of women shearing off their perms, and joining the ranks of kinkies and curlies over the past 5 years.  I think it's great, but will it last? 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The 3 Biggest Enemies of Natural Hair

Sometimes it seems as if the universe is conspiring to cut our natural hair journeys short.  There are so many land mines littered on the field of strength and length, making our already difficult missions even more tenuous. Here are 3 major culprits:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to get your kinks to shine!! **UPDATE!! [PICS]**

As you know, it is really difficult to get a nice lustrous sheen on type 4 kinks.  I've been struggling with this particular issue for a long time.  Even when my hair is well moisturized, it always looks kind of dull.  I was kind of over it, when I met this gal with the sheeniest kinks I'd ever seen. I begged her for her secret....Lo and behold, she told me she used castor oil.  I was like 'Whaaaa?'  I had a big bottle of cold pressed castor oil sitting in my war chest - hadn't been touched.  I decided to give it a whirl.  I moisturized as normal (taliah waajid detangler & curl enhancing smoothie), and I sealed with my cold pressed castor oil.  Twisted my hair up and the next day, I had super-soft, super-shiny hair.  I couldn't believe it.  Will update this post with pics when I take my twists down.  #I'mABeliever ***UPDATE! PICs on the Flip!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lavender Queen Liz - Kinky Blogger of the Week!

As much as I like to think I am the only kinky blogger in the universe, sadly I'm not!  There are a lot of talented ladies out there bringing us info, and inspiration all over the inter-webs.  One of my favorites is Lavender Queen Liz!    Her blog is designed for people like you and me.

Great visuals, insightful articles, and fun, fun, fun! The site is well organized, easy to navigate, and chock full of juicy information to help you along your natural hair journey. You can check her out at  Definitely worth it!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

L'Oreal-Mizani is doing the most!

L'Oreal Paris has just signed alt-pop uber-star Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes, as the new spokesperson for their professional grade, kink-centric product division, Mizani.  Shoniwa is famous for her daring fashion,  and super-sweet vocals.  She is not afraid to werk her kinks!  Kudos Mizani.
Hit the flippy-flip for more pics of the beautiful Mz. Shingai. - YB


If you like what you see on the blog, follow us!  Click the 'Join This Site'  link directly under the archives to your right.  Once we reach 100 followers, we will be doing a Shea Moisture Give-Away to one lucky kinky!!!  Help us reach that milestone.  We promise, you won't be sorry!! - YB

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lolzzz!!! Kinky GIF of the Week!

Solo in Cannes!

It's nice to see a natural sister getting so much shine on the world stage.  Solo Knowles in Stephane Rollande at the Great Gatsby Premiere in Cannes.

3 Simple things you can do RIGHT NOW to increase hair growth!

So you're interested in growing your hair longer, faster. Me too! There are a few things that you can do everyday that will help you on you mission:

Massage Your Scalp
Increased blood flow to the scalp leads to increased hair growth. The key to scalp massage success is consistency. Massage your scalp for 2-4 minutes everyday, keeping your fingers planted in the same area, and moving them slowly in a circular motion, applying only moderate pressure.  You can add oil to your massage regimen to lubricate your scalp. Pure natural oils - olive, avocado, almond, jojoba, or coconut -  will be your best bet!

Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy is a fancy name for hanging upside down.  Opinions are mixed as far as the efficacy of this treatment!  If the idea that increased blood flow to the scalp will help increase growth, then inversion can't hurt!  You don't need any fancy equipment.  You can simply hang you head off the side of your bed, or bend over (while standing), as if to touch your toes.  Downward dog is always a handy pose for inversion.

Drink Water
It is a scientific fact that inadequate water consumption has an adverse effect cell function.  Hair growth is a cellular process where by the follicle divides, pushing cells outward into the shaft, constantly. If the follicle does not have enough hydration, it's ability to divide (grow) will slow down, and eventually diminish.  So drink your water people!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oregon Legislature Passes Natural Hair care Bill

Amber Starks - Natural hairstylist and advocate for the new Oregon Natural Hair Legislation.
This is a really cool story.

In many states, it is illegal for people to practice natural hair care (braiding, twisting, locking, cornrowing etc.), without a cosmetology license.   Any one who has a cosmetology license,  knows the rigors of prep, study, and testing to become certified. It's no joke - 1,700 hours of training at a minimum.

These requirements have stopped many Africans and African-Americans from practicing something that has been passed down from generation to generation.  It has stopped black women from running these types of businesses, and has driven the respective revenue out of the state.  If you think about it, there are no chemicals involved, no clippers, no heat, no is it really fair to require so much training?  I think not...and the lawmakers of Oregon agree.

Democrats and Republicans came together unanimously to strike down the current requirements, and instead have implemented a much less intensive online certification.  This is a very smart move on the legislators' part.  More small businesses = more revenue for the state.  Win-Win. Read more about the decision here.  - YB