Category Archives: My Hair

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

Product Review: Shea Moisture Hair Care for Men

Shea Moisture's line up of hair care products for men.
Shea Moisture’s line up of hair care products for men.

Disclosure: The products listed were provided courtesy of Shea Moisture for the purpose of this review.

When I found out a few months ago that Shea Moisture was going to release a new hair care line for men, I almost lost my mind.  I’ve been a huge fan of their body products and Shea Moisture has definitely gotten me through some brisk New York Winters.  But, today is all about their hair care line for men and I’m very excited to share my thoughts and reactions with you.  Read on!

Three Butters Utility Shampoo: I’m never one to put too much stock into shampoos as I often find that they strip my hair and sensitive scalp of my natural oils and leave me feeling dry.  That being said, the Three Butters Shampoo does a really good job of balancing cleansing and moisturizing both.  The shampoo is very creamy (and smells really nice I might add) and has a rich lather that doesn’t make you feel like you’re stripping you hair of anything. That has been my experience at least.  To be honest, it also helps me start the detangling process as I think it has some good slip that helps my fingers battle through my thick mane of kinks and coils.

Three Butters Utility Gel Mousse:  I found the gel mousse to be very effective at giving girl definition and major shine (not like greasy fried chicken shine, but just normal shine, ya know?).  It also has the rich, earthy and masculine smell that the whole line up has which is a definite bonus.  I don’t have any major negatives to note here except that the gel gave my hair a bit of a crunchy feeling but that’s probably due to my heavy hand in application as well as it being tailored to “wavy, curly hair”.  That’s clearly not my hair type, but hey it was worth a shot.  As far as a styler goes, I have to say that the Three Butters Styling Smoothie really stole my heart over this gel.

Three Butters Styling Smoothie:  I like to call this one the man’s answer to Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie.  This is, by far, one of the best hair products I have used since growing my fro.  Seriously guys, I can not get enough.  It’s rich and creamy but also has a light enough weight so that it doesn’t weigh your hair down.  The Three Butters Styling Smoothie is, simply put, a miracle product!  Whether I use it on dry hair to shape the fro on day two or use it on wet hair right out of the shower, this stuff performs well.  It always gives me good curl definition and soft hair.  It also smells manly enough so no need to worry about bright or sweet floral scents here.  Also, let me take a moment to just read off the first five ingredients: “Deionized water, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, and Mango Seed Butter”.  After that, the barrage of stellar ingredients continues. If you don’t buy anything else from this line…TRY THIS!

Three Butters Styling Pomade: Rich in smell and texture, the styling pomade is a great shea based pomade to help me tame frizzies and revitalize a style after using something like the Three Butters Styling Smoothie the day before.  It works fine on its own too, but I really prefer something that helps give me a bit of definition along with moisture and shine.  This would be a great product for guys looking for all natural wave pomades at a reasonable price or someone looking to add nourishment and shine to their locs or twists.  Did I mention it smells good!?

Three Butters Utility Scalp Conditioner:  The line up also comes with a Utility Scalp Conditioner made for bald men. Clearly, I do not fall into the category (and don’t intend to) so I think I’m going to have to pass this one along to a friend pretty soon.  But what I can tell you is that it smells pretty damn good too.

Overall Impression: I feel like I’ve been waiting a few years to say this, but I’m really glad that Shea Moisture finally developed a hair care line for men.  Too often am I faced with the reality of products that 1) have not so stellar ingredients and 2) are made for women and make no qualms about the fact. I won’t front, women’s hair care products have given me a lot of good hair days and lots of comments, but at the same time it’s also nice to have a company recognize that men have specific hair care needs too.  All in all, this entire line smells GREAT, looks GREAT, and is priced GREAT.  I feel pretty good using this stuff and some of the line will definitely stay in my personal rotation.

 

3 Easy Steps to Beard Bliss

beard-RV

I’ve got an itch…a serious one and it’s driving me crazy! You see, every Winter I try to grow out my beard at least once. I don’t know what it is…maybe I have a hidden desire to be a lumberjack, who knows? What I do know is, my face itches like crazy!

Several of you out there may know what I’m talking about. If you do, you understand how annoying new stubble can be. If you’ve never grown a beard, beware! You’re likely to have a serious itch, especially for the first couple of days/a week.

But there is some good news! While there’s no one size fits all cure to the “beard itchies” as I call them, I’ve found three things that make me feel much better in the growing out phase:

1. Moisture, moisture, moisture. During the first couple of days of your grow out process you may want to consider being overzealous about keeping your mug nice and moisturized. It certainly has helped me a bit. Plus, you should be doing anyway, right?!

2. Exfoliation is key. Using a daily exfoliant, like my personal favorite Shea Moisture Argan Oil Scrub, will help with moisture as well as lifting up beard hairs, limiting tangles and knots which is especially crucial for guys with curlier hair textures.

3. Comb it. Everyday. Just like the mane on top of your head. You won’t regret it.

If you’re going to don a beard, prepare yourself for the discomfort that will come with your protruding stubble. Be smart and continue to moisturize diligently and exfoliate regularly to ease the discomfort. And if you have a thick or long beard, you may to even consider conditioning it. And yes, I’m totally serious.

Fro Maintenance

Every new year is filled with fresh starts and I wanted to give myself, and my fro, basically a new start too.  I’d been thinking about it for a while and realized that I needed some sort of change, it just took me a little while to figure out what it was.

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Needless to say, this change is a bit of a gut check for me as I’ve gotten very used to my hair at a certain length, but I’m glad for the change.   Lately my hair has really been getting on my nerves with all the detangling and such so I headed to the barber for a little fro maintenance.

Honestly, the cut is shorter than I initially wanted (from about 4.5-5  inches to 1.5 inches, roughly) but I’m relatively pleased with where my length is at the moment.  I find a little reassurance knowing that my hair grows pretty quickly and that the barber was very impressed with the condition of my hair (I must be doing something right!).   To be fair, I’m in a bit of shock as I’ve basically traveled back three years in time in under an hour, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this change affects how I feel and treat my hair in the coming months.  Until next time!

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A Few Photos from the Shea Moisture Holiday Event 12-14-12

Here are a few select photos from the Shea Moisture event I recently hosted on December 14.  We had a great time and I’d like to say thank you again to the Shea Moisture team and everyone who came out.  I had a great time!  Make sure to visit Facebook.com/manemanblog for more photos!

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A few of the goodies
Giving a new customer some product recommendations
Giving a new customer some product recommendations
Smelling the products is essential
Hard at work! I run a full service operation
Hard at work! I run a full service operation
Passing on some knowledge to a new customer
Passing on some knowledge to a new customer
Daily face moisturizer
Daily face moisturizer
Helping  a customer pick out some holiday gifts!
Helping a customer pick out some holiday gifts!
On site barber services!
On site barber services!
With Shondell, Social Media Manager of Shea Moisture and Abe from FierceKinkyLove.com
With Shondell, Social Media Manager of Shea Moisture and Abe from FierceKinkyLove.com
With the great Shea Moisture team!
With the great Shea Moisture team!

 

 

 

Changing Faces: A look back at Movember 2012

Now that a few weeks have passed and I’m starting to grow back my goatee, I have had some time to reflect on my first year participating in Movember. To be honest, I was surprised by how off-balance I felt when my facial hair had gone away.  Maybe facial hair isn’t just facial hair after all?

I started Movember 1st with a completely bare face and immediately felt that I had regressed a good 10-15 years.  I turned into a bashful teenager again and found myself counting down the days until my stache made a come back.  These days, I’m feeling a bit more like my usual self, but shaving off my stache and goatee taught me how facial hair, for guys, really is a symbol of adult/manhood.  I remember being younger, looking at my father and thinking, what will I look like when I grow a moustache?  Will I be cool then?  Will I look “old”?   It’s funny how big a difference a little razor blade and shaving cream can make.

The goatee is slowly making its way back (woo hoo!) and I’m starting to feel like a grown man again, thankfully.  I have to say that Movember was an enlightening experience as it made me more conscious about health issues affecting men around the world.  It also gave me impetus to continue to monitor my health as I get older as well the other guys in my life.  So, I guess Movember serves it’s purpose after all, huh? Plus, the Mo Gala was pretty fun too!

Movember fundraises year round for men’s health issues and you can visit their U.S. page here for more information.  Finally, check out this video from Movember CEO & Co-Founder Adam Garone as he wraps up another successful Movember campaign.

 

Movember Gala 2012!

Happy Monday all!  This past month I have been raising money for men’s health initiatives through the Movember campaign.  Thanks to everyone for your donations.  To date, MANE MAN has raised $255 surpassing my goal of $200!  This past Saturday the month of fundraising concluded with the infamous Mo Gala at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom. Having never been to a Mo Gala before I was a bit nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect.  It turns out that the gala is as hilariously entertaining as the official Movember videos seem.  There were lots of costumes (Freddie Mercury and Frida Kahlo were among my favorites) and I had a great time even though I had to scold a few mo’s after their uninvited petting of the fro.

On the other hand, I met some fun people and danced to mostly 80’s music for the majority of the night.  I got the pleasure of meeting Movember Founder Adam Garone, who incidentally complimented my stache!  I even convinced a friend of mine to slip my MANE MAN card in his pocket but that’s neither here nor there.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get good photos of the costumes but I must tell you, if you get the opportunity to go, you should give it a go at least once. Plus, it’s for a good cause!  It is a bit of a circus but only in the best way possible.  I definitely think I’ll be back next year! Check out some pics below!

Anything worth doing…
There were even customized fortune cookies to nibble on.
There was a pretty good turnout…
Anyone up for an impromptu game of soccer? Ok, why not?
Me with Movember Founder, Adam Garone.
A hilariously awesome stache.
See you next year Mos!

 

The Definition of Natural Hair

If you do an internet search for “natural hair definition” or any combination of the forms of those words you will end up with millions of results. Most likely they will put you in the direction of the best products, tools and methods to define your natural hair. But for me lately, achieving that great definition has seemed less and less important.

For some time now, I’ve been preoccupied, albeit obsessed, with getting the right products to give my fro that definition and clump factor that I’d seen in so many of the You Tube videos and blogs from natural hair gurus. Then a few months ago, I started to notice how good my hair looked on days two and three after doing a “wash and go”. Recently, I had an epiphany…I like my hair the most on days two or three. Go figure!

Achieving definition is a hot topic for debate in the natural hair community and I suspect it won’t be going away any time soon. All I know is, the longer I have had my fro I’ve gotten more comfortable with fluffier hair to the point that I actually prefer it. And trust me, that’s a world of difference from when I first started growing my fro 3 years ago.

The Long and Short of It

For months I’ve been searching for the perfect cut to take down my fro to provide a little relief during this humid Summer heat.  Detangling got to be too much of a hassle and I found myself seriously dreading wash days.  Plus, I was just using entirely too much product to get my fro to behave so I had to take it down a notch.

You might remember my recent trip to Miss Jessie’s salon in SoHo that left me feeling pretty unsatisfied with my experience.  Well, I decided to give it another shot.  After months of back and forth about getting rid of some length I finally decided to take a leap of faith and recently stopped into a local barber shop one day and said, “You see what I have now, I want to leave with half of it.”  He listened! And after a few moments/days of slight panic, I’m feeling pretty good about the cut!  My only real qualm about the experience was that when he picked out my hair, he didn’t pick from the ends to the root which caused a lot of pulling, but I gave him a pass and even helped by finger combing a bit while I was in the chair.   Here’s my new(ish) look!

Beach Time!

This past week I had the pleasure of leaving the concrete jungle for a simpler life out on Long Island (if even just for a short while). I had a great time with friends and wanted to share a few pics from my trip. But, before we get there I have to tell you that while I was ridiculously prepared with an assortment of hair conditioners and styling aids, I have to say that aloe vera gel was my best friend this past week.  If you’re spending a lot of time out in the Summer heat, I would suggest using aloe for both your skin and hair as it will provide moisture and relief from the sun for both.  Plus, it only costs a few dollars and is readily available in any drugstore across the country.  It’s definitely a must have for any natural haired guy or girl.  Trust me, the fro thanked me for it!  Check out some of the pictures below!

 

A quick look at the back porch.

 

The grill = my domain for a few days. Grilled fresh veggies are the best!

 

I don’t know why, but I loved this tree…it was HUGE!

 

Sweating it out on the beach!

 

Vineyard + lunch + live music = AWESOME.

 

At the Long Island Aquarium!

 

Look at this guy!

 

I couldn’t resist…remember these?!

 

And finally, a performing sea lion!

5 Steps for the Perfect Wash & Go

As many of you out there know, everyday I wear my fro out and I love the feeling of it catching a little Summer time breeze (isn’t that the best!). Since I started growing out my hair, I’ve only had one style…the wash and go.  To me, it’s the perfect method to achieve a textured afro look and it lasts for days.  While the name is a little misleading, I’ve gotten my styling routine down to a science and can execute it in 20 minutes flat, which is saying a lot when you have a thick mane like mine.  Here are my 5 Steps for the Perfect Wash and Go!

  1. Shampoo: Some of my favorite shampoos are Kinky Curly’s Come Clean and Frederick Benjamin Invigorating Cleanser.  The key to a good cleanse for me is to get my hair completely saturated with warm water.  I know it sounds simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to wash without completely saturating my hair and ended up with less than stellar results.
  2. Condition:  The key to this step is using both a rinse out conditioner and a leave in, or a dual purpose one.  After cleansing, use a super slippery conditioner like Aussie Moist Conditioner or Curly Kinks Satin Roots to detangle. And let the product sit on your hair for a few minutes before moving on.  I usually finger detangle and find that I generally shed less hair and have a bit more control over each section I detangle.
  3. Light Rinse:  If I use a rinse out conditioner, I’ll completely rinse it out and then apply a little  leave in to my ends before applying a styler.  If I’m using a leave in on double duty, I lightly rinse my hair underneath the shower stream while I finger detangle a bit more.
  4. Rake, smooth, shake and scrunch: Once my hair is wet again from the quick stop underneath the stream, I rake in my styler (these days I’m loving Curly Kinks Coil Jam).  To do this I put a quarter size amount of product into my hand, rub them together and then “comb” the product through each  section with my fingers (I usually rake in about 4-5 sections).  Once I’ve raked in my product I put a little bit more on my hand (about a dime sized amount) and then smooth onto each section pretty quickly.  Once I’m done with that I bend over forward and shake my hair like crazy.  You’ll know you are doing it right when you feel like a shaggy dog!  After the shaking is done, I  take my hands and scrunch out any extra water.
  5. Fluff!:  Once out of the shower, I usually let my hair air dry but occasionally I diffuse if I’m in a rush.  Once I’m almost all dry I fluff  with a little bit of pomade or oil that I’ve emulsified in my hands.  Lately, I’ve been  loving Shea Radiance Moisture Rich Hair Butter.  That’s it!

What’s your key step in your wash and go routine? Please share!