Hair Q & A: Still Dry After 2-year Transition and BC

Q. I ran across your blog recently, and your hair is gorgeous!  I started transitioning November 2009 and finally BC ‘d January 2011.  My Hair is extremely dry and I don’t know how to fix it!  I’ve tried so many deep conditioners but it feels brittle once it dries, and the frizz is crazy extreme!  I think I have a mix of texture ranging from 3c-4a maybe 4b?  I really don’t know.  If there are any tips you could give me to help my hair, please let me know!  Thanks in advance, Elle

A. Hi Elle,

Not knowing what your routine or product use is, I can’t be specific.  But if you have been transitioning and working with your natural hair for 2 years and it’s still dry, I suspect the products you use may have drying or building up ingredients.   Here are some general tips: Continue reading


Win Curly Girl, The Handbook and DVD, autographed by Lorraine Massey

Curly Girl (new Edition), The Handbook and DVD

Do you know your hair black history?  Answer these 5 questions for a chance to win a brand spanking new copy of Curly Girl, The Handbook and DVD, personally autographed by Lorraine Massey.  The fifth correct entry wins and I will announce the winner in – you guessed it – 5 days! Send your answers to me at I’ll publish the answers this weekend and name the winner.  Good luck and have fun!

  1. From which sect of Caribbean people did dreadlocks originate?

  2. Who was the first renowned American actress to appear in cornrows?

  3. Which newswoman wore an Afro to interview Tricia Nixon?

  4. Which 19th century black American author, abolitionist and statesman wore his hair naturally?

  5. Which Black Panther party member, law professor and ex-wife of Soul on Ice author was as well-known for her afro as Angela Davis?

Lorraine Massey – What did you do to your hair today?

Cala Renee Salon hosted Lorraine Massey, founder and co-owner of Devacurl in a talk, demo and book signing today.  Lorraine appeared at only 2 Massachusetts locations, Cala Renee in Beverly, MA and Brookline Booksmith.  Lucky us!  She is funny, modest, gave some great tips — and check out the tights and shoes!  I got 2 Curly Girl books autographed, one for me and one for one lucky winner of my upcoming giveaway; so stay tuned!

During her informal Q&A  I asked her – “what did you do to your hair today?”  Her answer surprised me a bit.  She washed and styled the night before with her gel, and diffused.  She said she left the gel “cast” on (that hard crusty feel) and slept with her hair spread back on the pillow.  This morning she let it soften in the shower and scrunched out the crunch.  She doesn’t use a shower cap but doesn’t let it get wet-wet; just a bit of spray.  So check out her 2nd day hair.  She also said she can go 3-4 days by just refreshing curls piece by piece with Devacurl One Condition and water or a mix of Mist-er Right. She doesn’t do every curl, just the ones that need it.  This method is almost exactly what I do with Loma Imply and Qhemet Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm. Sweet!


Quick pony/pineapple with twisted & pinned front hair - I'm trying this for sleeping

I'm 5'8 and Lorraine in high heels must be 5'4"

Love the tights and shoes!



Devacurl Cupcake tower



Harsh Winter Hair Saves — What’s your strategy?

I’ve developed a few strategies to keep my snappy dry ends moisturized. Extending my wash and gos  to 6-7 days (or 4 if I’m sweating a workout) helps a lot. But to do that, my medium-high porous hair needs the right products:

Wet styling:
In my wet wash and go I layer either shea butter, castor oil, QB Olive Honey Hydrating balm or QB Burdock root butter cream over my leave in, before gelling.

Smoothing Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle over Kinky Curly Curling custard over a leave in has helped my hair stay moisturized over 3 days of wearing it out.

Dry styling:
Night before day 4 I’ll dry twist, using a tiny spritz of water, a couple drops of Loma Pearatin Repairative Hair Serum for whole head, and Devacurl Set it Free for each twist. I re-moisturize and smooth ends with Afroveda Curl Define and Qhemet Biologics Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm before finishing the twist and setting ends on foam rollers.

After a day or two of wearing a dry twist out, the curl is gone.  I may moisturize dry hair with either a Kimmaytube-type leave in, Karen’s Body Beautiful Ambrosia, Afroveda Moringa Leave in or Afro Detangler,plus a couple  drops of Loma Pearatin Repairative Serum and Qhemet Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm. Then I will brush in sections  with a Mason Pearson Junior boar bristle/nylon brush and bantu knot. Next day, I can bun it, or wash it.

What’s your winter routine?


Qhemet Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm; 5 days of use, from wash to wash

Qhemet Biologics Olive Honey Hydrating Balm

I remember opening my first jar of this product  and wondering “WTF”?  It looked slimy and shiny and greasy and I had no idea what to do with it or how to use it.  A styler? Nope.  Conditioner? Nope.  Leave-in?  Nope.  On my dry hair at the time, I found it too greasy.  In my first year or so of naturally curly hair, oil and I did not agree.

Fast forward to 2010 and wet hands.  Wet hands and wet hair – light bulb moment!  Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm is water-soluble, yet it clings! It is a moisture booster and hair softener par excellence. On my wet hair it works beautifully over conditioner or leave in, before I gel. And it mixes well with other leave in products.

How do I love you, OHHB?  Let me count the ways:

Day 1: On freshly washed, wet, detangled hair, apply right over conditioner, before cool rinsing. Rub a 1/2 tsp. in palms, scrunch into hair and finger smooth your strands.  Let sit for a few minutes, then bend over and cool water rinse, with emphasis on getting all conditioner off your scalp and roots.  A cool water rinse leaves some OHHB on your ends. Continue reading

Hair Q&A – Protein Overload?

Q. Hey Suburbanbushbabe!!!!

I’ve been following your progress for quite some time now and I always enjoy the tips/information you give!!!  You share a lot of helpful info and with that, I have an issue that you may be able to help out with.   I tried the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment out and I probably found out the hard way that my hair is sensitive to protein that strong. Good news is that my shedding has slowed down …I never had much of a problem with breakage, mainly shedding. My only problem is that now my hair feels like a brillo pad! My hair is SO dry 😦 I’ve washed it several times, done several deep conditioning treatments–even did one for a few hours. I REALLY need some help…what do you suggest I do/use to get my soft hair back?

– 1NappyNewbie

Hair feeling crispy as a cracker? Could be too much protein.

A. Hi 1NappyNewbie,

Great question.  I bet with the colder climate in many regions, lots of curly vixens are doing protein treatments right about now and wondering WTF happened to their hair? How proteins in products affects the hair can vary with a number of factors including porosity and whether the hair is fine, medium or coarse/thick in diameter.

Although I’ve never used Aphogee, I can relate to the protein overload. I was using Nexxus Emergencee alternated with Sebastian Penetraitt about once every 5-6 weeks. When my hair started feeling crispy, dry and looking grizzly at the crown, I was convinced I was protein sensitive and could never use proteins again. I stopped using proteins in products for almost a year, which meant giving up some of my favorite conditioners.  What I discovered was that–

  1. Some proteins (like keratin) can quickly overload on my fine, porous hair  — and most of those protein specific treatments contain keratin Continue reading

My Long Hair Don’t Care Interview

It was fun to do.  Here’s the link

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