Category Archives: My Hair

From product reviews to joys and frustrations, this category is all about my hair.

NaturallyCurly Book ‘The Curl Revolution’ Hits Shelves

NaturallyCurly is the largest site dedicated to caring for, and loving your naturally curly hair. On October 3, Naturally Curly will be releasing The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and
Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community!

This book will offer practical advice, hope and inspiration for curly girls and guys. It promises to be one of the coolest and informative books about textured hair out there.  It’s no surprise as NaturallyCurly has long been an advocate for advancing public perception of naturally curly, kinky, and coily hair.  In my opinion, this book release marks a significant time in our history and progress with mainstream acceptance of textured hair.

I was fortunate enough to take part in the book as one of their models and community members and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it. When I first started growing out my hair I was nervous and incredibly confused about what to do and what products to use. NaturallyCurly was THE site that helped me get my act together and understand my hair.  I’m excited that this book will offer another opportunity to learn about different hair textures and care practices.

Here’s a sneak peek of my photo shoot for The Curl Revolution!

You can pre-order The Curl Revolution at Shop.NaturallyCurly.com. I can’t wait to finally see the book in print and I hope that you all enjoy it!

The Best Way I Beat “Frizzy” Hair

We are officially in the middle of a heat wave here in NYC, which means it’s super hot and SO HUMID. We do a lot of walking around these parts and in-between that frequently go underground to catch the subway. Needless to say, it’s no bueno.

And obviously, my hair also suffers in the process.

While naturally curly and kinky hair is prone to frizz, that doesn’t mean that a little extra control can’t be helpful on days like these. In the middle of hot, humid summers I often rely more on gel (as opposed to creams or puddings like in the cooler months) to help manage my mane. Even though it’s bit shorter now (hello, summer cut!), it’s still good to have a little extra control to make sure my mini fro holds up during the day. The last thing I need is to be looking unintentionally frizzy and uncontrolled when that’s not the look I’m going for on that day.

Lately, I’ve rekindled my love affair with Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and even though it’s costly, I’m reminded why it’s one of my holy grail products. It’s perfect for summer and offers up natural ingredients that provide control, moisture and a lot of nourishment. Recently, I’ve also been using Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel. It’s not too shabby either. Otherwise, I always seem to have Old Spice products on deck so their Swagger Gel works pretty well too.

Hopefully, between these three I can keep my hair looking its best during this heat wave.

What are your favorite go-to products for dealing with humidity and heat?

My Latest Grooming Discovery Revealed

I’ve been holding on to this little tidbit for a couple of weeks now as I wanted to really give this some old-fashioned tried and true testing. My latest grooming discovery is a certified game-changer.

A few weeks back, I came across a post  on Facebook (I think?) in which someone talked about how you’re actually *supposed to wear and use deodorant (antiperspirant, more accurately). Apparently, it’s recommended that you apply it at night before bed. This allows the ingredients to absorb into your skin BEFORE you start sweating in the day, which you apparently do right after you shower. I was skeptical.

Guess what? IT. FREAKING. WORKS.

I’m a notorious pit sweater (TMI, I know), but I sweat quite a bit and if there is caffeine involved, forget it. So needless to say, I was hesitant to give this a try. But, after a couple of weeks of trials (with two different products) I’m convinced that this is the way to go.

Every day after applying at night, no matter what I did, no matter what I drank during that day, I sweated noticeably less. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that my sweating was on a 8.5/10 (10 being constantly drenched), then with night before application I was at a consistent 3 out of 10.

But what happens when you do shower in the morning? Won’t you wash off your deodorant?

NOPE.  The trick is that applying at night allows for the deodorant to actually absorb into your lovely pits. Even if you wash your arm pits the next morning, you’re still going to get a better outcome than if you applied only right after showering.  AND, you can always gently reapply after showering if you’re unsure.  But most days, I didn’t have to do that at all.

Do you think you’re brave enough to give this new discovery a try for yourself? Sound off in the comment section below!

 

Fro Frustrations: Say That 5 Times Fast

MANE MAN is all about celebrating grooming and how grooming can be a great way for us to take of ourselves. Obviously, I spend a lot of time writing about all the products I get to try.  But today, I need to rant.

MY. HAIR. WON’T. STOP. GROWING.

And no, this isn’t a humble brag.  Seriously. I know that many of you are hoping and trying for growth. But, I’m annoyed (at the moment) that my hair grows so quickly.

Here’s what’s annoying about that…I got a haircut just a few weeks go. It was a sizable chop but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was a “big chop”. As always, I felt a bit uncomfortable the first few days after as I thought it was a little too short. Fast forward to a few weeks later and it feels too big/too long already. WHY!?

This is annoying because, for me, getting a haircut is annoying. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my stylist at all. She’s great. But, hair cuts take so much time. First, I have to be mindful enough to schedule the appointment. And with my schedule, things tend to be all over the place and varied. By the time I take a moment to sit down and think about life, I often find that I’ve forgotten to do something that is pretty essential. The haircut, by default, gets pushed back.

Then, there is the actual appointment itself. I can’t go in and be out in 20 minutes. I wish I could. It takes that long just to pick out my hair for the cut itself.  Then, I’m in the chair…usually feeling pretty warm (because I ALWAYS am) and thus, near to falling asleep in the chair. I feel a little rude because I don’t talk more, but then the silence also makes me comfortable and sleepy. I know, so many non-problem, problems.

I realize this is not a real problem to have. I’m fortunate to have thick hair that grows quickly. I realize that my hair is pretty healthy.

But, can’t it just slow down a little bit?

 

What are your fro frustrations or biggest hair annoyances? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section below.

My Updated Hair Care Regimen – Fall 2016

Greetings all!

Since we’re (theoretically) entering a new season  I wanted to take a moment to share with you my latest hair care regimen, fall edition! In the following handy little infographic you will see my current hair care regimen if you’re looking for some insight into my process and the current products that I’m using.  While the process doesn’t change much, there is some variety of products depending on the season. Once winter hits, I’m sure I’ll be updating it.  For now, enjoy the fall regimen below!

It should also be noted that I previously deep conditioned my hair weekly with  Pantene Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Intensive Restoration Treatment. I have not been doing this lately so that’s why it’s not including my current regimen. As the weather gets cooler and dryer, I’m sure I’ll be deep conditioning again to take extra special care of my hair.

Click the photo below to enlarge!

hair-care-regimen-fall-2016

SHHH! My Summertime Grooming Secret

Everyone has a secret now and then, right?

One day when I was walking down the streets of NYC, I walked past a salon from which two women were standing outside with a small bottle asking women if they could spray them. I found this to be an incredibly odd thing to do and avoided their side of the street altogether. I mean, who sprays strangers’ faces in the streets?!  NYC is weird but that was a little too weird for me. They also weren’t targeting men at all which made me think that it was something only reserved for the ladies…go figure.

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I received a package from the folks at Wen asking me to try out their replenishing treatment mist line up.  My first thought? “WHAT IS THIS?!”

As it turns out, it was just what those strange women were spraying by female passersby only a few weeks prior on the street. It was then that I was introduced to the mid day spritz.

My personal experience with Wen products has been fantastic so I was all too eager to give the mists a chance even though I found the concept strange.  It turns out the mists would be my favorite new grooming find this summer. Let me tell you why…

It’s been hot and humid a lot in this city. This summer I often found myself sweating excessively and trying to get my hair and skin to recover from all the sun exposure. It doesn’t help that I spent a lot time at the beach too.  But hey, isn’t that what summer is for?

Soon I found that whenever I went to the beach I had a replenishing mist bottle with me. The sprays are meant to bring hair, face and body much-needed hydration and life. Each bottle has a blend of amino acids, botanicals and herbs to help soothe and rejuvenate dry or parched skin.  In essence, the perfect summer grooming product.

I was fortunate enough to try out three different varieties: 319 Fragrance Free Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist, Mandarin Italian Fig Restorative Replenishing Treatment Mist and 613 Lemon Rosemary Vanilla Bean Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist (my favorite scent).

In short, I loved them all. The midday refresh was a welcome prize and turned into an inevitable treat during my summer days.  The bottles came to the beach with me along with my latest book and beach towel. The mists traveled with me on vacation to San Diego when it seems like all I did was soak up the sun.

I know some gents will balk at the idea of using a replenishing mist, but as I’ve often learned I’m continuously better for stepping outside of my comfort zone when it comes to grooming. These mists smell good and more importantly, FEEL good.  So I ask, why not give it a try?

To learn more about these treatment mists, you can visit the Wen by Chaz Dean site.

Disclosure: Complimentary product was provided for the sole purpose of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone and have not been unduly influenced by any third party.

 

Product Review: Victory Shampoo

When I have a really good hair day and the fro is looking moisturized and perfectly coiffed “VICTORY!” is one word that comes to mind. It’s only appropriate that I share with you my thoughts on some of the products from Victory hair care.  Continue reading for my review!

I have long had a love/hate relationship with shampoo. I LOVE the feeling of clean hair and a clean scalp but hate how many shampoos leave my hair feeling stripped of all its luster and moisture. Everyone knows that a straw like fro is not a happy fro. I’m always skittish when it comes to trying out a new shampoo for that reason.  Today, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts and reactions on Victory’s line up of shampoo products.

Generally speaking, I find that 2 in 1 shampoo products work relatively well. I generally use them more like a traditional shampoo. Fortunately for all of us, companies have become more knowledgable about how harmful shampoo can be to your hair (for the reasoning mentioned above) and have made adjustments in their formulations to minimize bad effects.

2 in 1 products can have a great benefit of cleaning and nurturing your hair and scalp. That being said, I would not use this kind of product as the end all be all in my hair care routine.  2 in 1 products are great as a shampoo substitute but not for both a shampoo AND conditioner regimen.  At least not on my hair. I learned that the hard way.

Now on to Victory…the folks at Victory sent me some product to try. I was able to try the following:

  • Hydrate & Recover
  • 2-in-1 Triple Threat
  • 2-in-1 Superior Clean
  • 2-in-1 Legendary for Men

The first product I used was the mango-scented 2 in 1 (Triple Threat) which I really enjoyed. It has a nice scent that isn’t overpowering. That being said, it should be noted that Victory products come packed  with phytherioone zinc to help with scalp care and prevent dryness and dandruff so there is a slight-chemical smell.

I tried a few different varieties of the product and I personally didn’t find them different enough to differentiate effectively, with the exception of Hydrate & Recover which isn’t a 2-in-1 at all and only a shampoo.

Overall, I experienced mixed results. There were some days when my hair loved the shampoo and other days when it felt dry and brittle after shampooing. It should be noted that this is also impacted by the heat here in NYC and my time outside which varies from day to day.  With sweating and varied water intake, these are factors to consider in the variability of my results.

Overall, though, I think that there will certainly be folks out there who can appreciate Victory’s offerings. As I don’t frequently suffer with dandruff, I can’t speak to how effective these products are at preventing or minimizing it. For those with thinner hair types and textures, I imagine that it could work really well as a 2-in-1, but for those with thick, dense hair like mine, Victory is best used as you would a normal shampoo…as a precursor to a traditional conditioner. You will still reap the benefits of 2-in-1 factor but it’s important to manage your expectations, particularly if you have very dense, coily hair like mine.

Victory products are available at WalMart stores. You can learn more about Victory hair care at startwithvictory.com.
Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Victory for the purpose of this review. 

Brown Folks Do Get Sunburn!

It’s summer and that means that a lot of us are going to spend more and more time out in the sun having a good time at the beach and enjoying some sinfully delicious foods at the various cookouts we have lined up for the summer.  But, we all need to realize that brown folks do get sunburn!

It’s not OK to be out in the sun without sunblock. It’s simply an unnecessary risk to take. While black and brown folks don’t make up a statistically large portion of those who get skin cancer, that doesn’t mean that you should just opt out and be irresponsible with your skin care altogether. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look like I’m 25 well into my 40s. I know #Blackdontcrack but I ain’t trying to test that theory either!

You can also get sunburn. I learned the hard way several years ago back in college when I thought I was too cool for sunblock and spent several hours out in the Florida sun (Spring Break!).  My first experience with sunburn was not cute.  Every so often, I fail to adequately prepare and I learn that lesson all over again. I’m actually dealing with some burn right now….

Black and brown people do have more natural protection against the sun (thanks melanin!) BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t get burned. In the event that you do, check out my collection of sunburn remedies to help you keep it together this summer.

So opt for the umbrellas, use sunblock regularly (and reapply…my mistake!) and wear big hats if you need. Here are some backup remedies just in case you’re forgetful like me and need to heal your sunburn.

Check out 9 Ways to Beat Sun Burn

by Jor-El at Mode

Recommended reading: Here’s What People of Color Need to Know About Sunburn & Skin Cancer via Buzzfeed

Check out my new venture!

Good day all!  Today, I want to share some exciting news with you. For some of you who have been down with MANE MAN from day one, you may remember that this whole site started as a personal journey after I grew out my afro for the first time in grad school years ago. I was interested in learning about how to best care for my new fro and it was an exciting time. Over the years, I’m proud to see what MANE MAN has become.  This has also allowed me to continue to divide my time and energy on some other pursuits!

You may not know that I’m very passionate about mental health issues and work professionally as a counselor. My mission is to provide services to underserved communities and improve access and reduce stigma for all people but particularly people of color and LGBTQ communities. I’ve slowly been building my practice as a therapist over the past few years and I’m happy to finally share with you that my practice has a new home at jorelcaraballo.com!

This doesn’t mean that MANE MAN is ending by any means and I plan to keep updating the site regularly with reviews, sponsorships and other stories that I think you all might be interested in reading. But now you can connect with me about all things related to mental health at my new site and social media accounts.

If you’re interested in learning more about my practice in counseling (online and/or in person), please visit my website at jorelcaraballo.com.  And if you’re interested in learning more about the online services I provide and want to learn a little bit more first, you can check out my post, “What is online counseling?” before you begin a free consultation with me.

I also have a blog there where I focus on the topics and intersections between race, gender and sexuality, and mental health. You will find everything from practical tips to opinion pieces and all sorts of things in between.

Please join me on social media for all things related to mental health and wellness at the following:

Twitter: @JorElCaraballo

Facebook: Facebook.com/jorel.caraballo

Pinterest:  pinterest.com/jcaraballolmhc

My *New Winter Skin Care Regimen

Winter is in full force and the air is dry as hell. I figured that it was about time that I started to take my skin care a little bit more seriously so I decided to drop by one of my favorite spots, Kiehl’s, for a much-needed consultation.

First, I feel that I should let you know that if you sign up for Kiehl’s newsletter/rewards system you are going to routinely get emails with discounts and all kinds of special offers. One of the things that Kiehl’s offers periodically is free skin consultations/in store facials, usually when they’re about to launch a new product.  So there you have it, a free facial!

Anywho, so I stopped into my local Kiehl’s and met with a skin care expert (they REALLY know what they’re talking about) and had an assessment. My new friend Dayanara gave me the rundown on my combination skin (DAMN YOU T-ZONE!) and gave me a trial use of the products during my skin care consultation. I left the store with shallower pockets, and a bag full of Kiehl’s goodies that are supposed to keep my skin looking its best. I made a promise to myself that I was going to actually keep up with the multi-step routine where as most days I hadn’t even made it a point to actually wash my face before bed. I know…I’ve really been slacking.

Here’s the rundown of products I bought & the new regimen:

  1. Cleanse with Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
  2. Tone with Calendula Herbal Extract Toner (alcohol free)
  3. Reduce puffiness & periodic dark eye circles with Eye Alert
  4. Give my mug a little extra tlc with Midnight Recovery Concentrate (or Daily Reviving Concentrate in the mornings-smells so good!)
  5. Moisturize with Ultra Facial Moisturizer

I know this sounds like a lot…and it is. But to be honest, it’s only added 5-10 minutes to my night-time routine and having done it for a few days so far it’s not that bad. It definitely feels like I’m doing something good to take care of myself which is always nice. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes and if I keep up the regimen.  It’s definitely a far cry away from just washing and moisturizing in the mornings.

Until next time!