Tag Archives: afro

My New Favorite Shampoo

Many people talk of the benefits of coconut oil for hair & body. There’s even a pretty cool pin that you can buy to celebrate your love for the wonder oil. I, myself, have been a big fan for a while now but my love for coconut oil has recently been cemented in one of my latest discoveries.

Not only do I love coconut oil but I also have pretty sensitive skin. My scalp is even worse. I try a lot of products and keep in mind how both my hair and scalp react to different ingredients and formulations. Needless to say, finding a shampoo that works well for both has always been a bit of a challenge.

Then I stumbled upon Shea Moisture’s 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo. It’s a gem.

For those of you who seek healthy, organic products, I have a feeling that you will feel as strongly about this shampoo as I do. It has all the things that you need, without the things that you don’t. It gives you a great amount of slip to help detangle dense, afro-textured hair like mine and frees itself of perfumes and scents that only serve to make you smell “good”. I find that those products are often scalp irritants, which is why this shampoo is the business.

It’s creamy and luxurious and soothing at the same time. It smells faintly of coconut and it just feels naturally created.  I think it is, by far, one of the best products I’ve ever tried from Shea Moisture and if you search through the reviews of this site, you know how many things I’ve tried (and mostly loved).  This is a holy grail product, bar none.

The only reservation I have about this product is one built on circumstance, it’s hard to find in store. None of my local stores carry it, which means that I have to order it online or hunt around the city to find it. It’s a new product, and arguably less popular, than the others. But, as more people try it I presume they will end up with the same conclusion as I have, it’s one of the best shampoos out there.

Give it a shot!

Product Review: Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures

Every now and then I think it’s important to switch up your hair care products, no matter how much you love the ones currently on rotation. Today, I’m sharing with you one of my latest drug store finds.

As much as I love a high-end grooming product, I definitely have an affinity for everyday, drug store brands. Honestly, it was I end up using most often because who really is spending more than $20 on a bottle of shampoo on the regular? Not me!

A little while ago I came across Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures, and fell in love…much to my surprise.

The ingredients list could use a bit of natural ingredient plumping, no doubt, but don’t sleep on this one. For you kinky hair folks, both the shampoo and conditioner are great, cost-effective products for your hair care routine. There’s a LOT of slip and my hair is SUPER dense so it’s something I need. Most times, I’m able to finger-comb my mane with a load of shampoo in it. Yep, that good.

There are two things that are less than favorable about this line of products for me. First, naturally I would like the ingredients list to be a bit more organic. On the other hand, I also imagine that this is, in part, what keeps the products as affordable as they are.

Second, I think that the scent, while pleasant, is a little too artificially fragrant for me. That being said, I know that I’m particularly sensitive to smells so maybe most of you won’t find it to be a problem at all. But, as always, take a whiff while you’re in the store just in case.

I’ve found that my hair really loves honey-infused products. Yours might too. With Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures you get to try it out for less than $10 and when is that ever a bad thing? Check out your local pharmacy or grocery store out to give it a shot!

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.

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. 

Product Review: Mister Pompadour

mister pompadour review

Afternoon ladies and gents!

Today I’m sharing with you some thoughts on a new product that I recently tried, the Moroccan Texture Paste by Mister Pompadour. How does this styling aid hold up on my hair? Read on for more!

A few weeks ago the folks over at Mister Pompadour sent me a sample of their texture paste to try out on my fro. Initially, I have to admit that I was pretty hesitant to put a “paste” on my hair.  The name just conjures up images of Elmer’s glue in my mind, and to be honest that wasn’t too far from the truth.

The texture of the Mister Pompadour’s paste is pretty much what I expected. Its consistency is thick and paste-like.  White in color, the paste is pretty reminiscent of elementary school glue with a pretty sticky feel.  Fortunately, that texture doesn’t carry over to application.

To best use the paste, I took out about a nickel sized amount of product with my fingers and then emulsified the product in my hands.  Then I ran my hands over the ends of my hair pretty gently.

I’ve used the product on both dry and damp hair and I have to tell you that dry hair is definitely the way to go.  Water doesn’t react so favorably with this product. When used on wet hair the paste just doesn’t have that special manageability that it does on mostly dry hair.

In addition to being pretty effective at controlling fly-aways, the product also boasts some very nice key ingredients that I’m sure many of you will love:

Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil – Deep penetrating oil that instantly absorbs into hair producing incredible shine, helps control frizz, softens and aids in curl definition, and conditions hair

Ilex Paraguariensis (Mate) Leaf Extract – Powerful nutrient and antioxidant, rich in vitamins and amino acids that helps condition and protect hair and scalp

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil – Conditions and softens hair while adding great shine

Additionally, the Moroccan Texture paste is free of alcohol and parabens so you know your hair is getting some pretty good stuff!

Overall, I think that Mister Pompadour’s Moroccan Texture paste is a  really solid product that delivers on its promise. As an afro-wearing gent I would like a little more shine in my styling products but maybe that’s just me.

You can read more of my product reviews here!

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Mister Pompadour.

MANE MAN: Greg P.

greg p collage

It’s been a long time since we’ve run a feature on a curly or kinky haired guy here on MANE MAN so I’m especially happy to share with you this feature on Greg or @feelgregarious on Instagram.  I hope you love his hair as much as I do.  Enjoy!

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself (your name, where you’re from, etc.)

My name is Greg Pinkney, I am 21 years old. I live in Maryland  and I am a visual communications major at Prince George’s Community College. I am also an up and coming photographer.

When did you start growing your hair out? How have people in your life reacted?

I started growing my hair out after graduating high school and I got mixed reaction when I started growing it out. My parents and a couple of close friends weren’t for it at first, and my parents still aren’t really for it.  They really like me with short hair but I’ve had short hair the majority of my life and needed a change. I may cut it off in the future, but when people least expect it.

What’s been your biggest grooming challenge so far?

I would have to say my biggest challenge would be between dry ends and single strands knots when it comes to my hair.

What’s your usual hair routine or style? 

Well my hair stays in protective styles the majority of the time. They’re currently in dread extensions for 3 months but the majority of the time they’re in twists. I keep them for about 2 weeks, take them out and I wear it in a twist out for about a week. Then  I  go through my wash day: shampoo, condition, deep condition and set my hair with leave-ins, and do a blowout which takes about 2 hours. Then back to the twists for another few weeks.

Do you have any favorite products or hair tools that you would recommend to other mane men out there?

My favorite products are:

Oils: coconut oil, jojoba oil, organ oil, macadamia oil, tea tree oil

Leave-Ins: Aloe Vera Juice, Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Leave-In

Styling products: Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream (can be used as edge control), Cream enhancing smoothie, Lock It Up gel, Elastic QP Edge Control

Pre-Poo: Apple Cider Vinegar

Shampoo: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, and Repair Shampoo, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap

Conditioners/ Deep Conditioners: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, Trader Joe’s Spa Nourish Conditioner, Organix Coconut Conditioner , Shea moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Deep Conditioner, Yucca and Plantain Anti-breakage Masque

Heat Protectants: Love Lotta Body Wrap Me Foaming Mousse, Tresemme Salon Silk Serum w/ Argan oil

Tools: Denman 9 row brush, wide tooth comb, round brush, hair bands, and hair clips

And is there anything else you would like to share?

To any one that’s going through the rough stage of the their hair just remember to enjoy each stage of your hair.  It takes patience and definitely a good balanced moisture and protein hair routine.

Dealing with Natural Hair Hate

dry afro hair

I recently came across a post on Curly Nikki where a young woman talked  about how people’s hate of her natural hair actually energized her on her journey of returning to her natural hair state. I found it pretty interesting and started to reflect on my own experience of dealing with “natural hair hate” so I thought I’d weigh in a little bit.  Note, the post below may consist of incoherent rambling at times.

First off, let me say that as a culture we are so quick to throw out the term “hater”.  A “hater” isn’t someone who just doesn’t like what you do/how you look.  In my opinion, a “hater” is someone who has nothing constructive or remotely ambivalent to offer you.  A natural hair “hater” won’t comment on how healthy your hair looks.  They won’t say how well maintained or style your hair is.  They simply just won’t have anything positive to offer even if the style isn’t for them. For instance, the man who once yelled “Ewwwww!” at my growing fro (unsolicited I might add)  is probably just a hater.  Whereas someone who engages me in a conversation about my hair and says they don’t prefer it is simply just offering an opinion.  See the difference?

That being said, I’ve run into my share of negative comments, stares and interactions at my hair because my hair didn’t look “how it was supposed to”.  After giving up my decades long love/hate affair with dark Caesars, the fro made me stand out and people definitely took notice.  Truth is, I kind of liked that.  I liked feeling like I was doing something not everyone was doing.  It was nice to know that I didn’t look like a carbon copy of everyone else.

But standing out comes with , well…standing out.  I got a lot of negativity from people thinking my hair looked fake or was even a wig/weave (no, I’m not joking) to people policing my gender and questioning my masculinity because I had a growing fro that I took/take VERY good care of.  At times, it seems like some people want guys to look ragged because in some way that shows that we’re “manly men” who aren’t into that feminine stuff.

But for me, I’m not that guy.  I’m not that guy to be overly concerned with other’s perceptions of me.  But I wasn’t always that way. Actually, the fro helped me cement that lesson and put it into daily practice.  Even now that my hair is much shorter, I occasionally get looks from people, but hey maybe that’s because they just like my face (or don’t!).  Either way, I remind myself just to keep it moving because there’s noting like looking in the mirror at the end of the day and thinking, “I’m good with who I am.”  Trust me, you should try it sometime.

Q&A with Natural Hair Blogger Hendrick

Recently, I had the chance to converse with new natural hair blogger Hendrick from Natural Hair Men and he was gracious enough to share some of his story with the community.  Read on for his interview!

hendrick

MANE MAN: Tell us a little bit about yourself (your name and where you’re from).

Hendrick:  Hi everybody! My name is Hendrick and I am a 19 years old British black male. My family is Jamaican but my father’s roots go back to the United States. I am just a regular guy currently at university; in my free time I like to paint, go shopping with my friends around Soho in London and I am an avid table tennis player! Some time ago I decided to let my natural hair grow and I started documenting it in my blog called Natural Hair Men where I post about natural hair and the African diaspora and where I also post examples of natural hairstyles and African hairstyles such as cornrows, dreadlocks, braids etc. I also like to post about black celebrity men who have at one time or another had natural hair styles or any African inspired style (for example Lenny Kravitz and his dreadlocks, I love that style!).

I am by no means an expert, I’m just a regular guy hoping my blog can help other brothers and sisters who want to take the next step in growing their Afro kinky hair. Plus I discovered I enjoy writing too!

MM: How long ago did you start growing your hair out? And how did people in you life react

H: I started growing my hair after seeing my sister doing it over a year ago. She completely changed her outlook on her life and appearance after deciding it was time to throw away the relaxers and irons. She got her ‘big chop’ and I didn’t recognize her the first time I saw her after she chopped her long relaxed hair! But then as the weeks went by, I noticed all the positive changes she had made in her life, and some 2 months later she looked fantastic and she would tell me how liberated and positive she felt about herself. We got talking and she convinced me to let my natural kinks grow as I have always kept my hair buzzed, maybe some hairline work, but nothing else other than really short hair.

My sister was very welcoming of my natural hair growing decision and so was my dad. My mother was at first not very happy with my sister chopping her hair so when she noticed me growing my TWA she went a bit bonkers I have to admit lol She is as old-school as it gets so men for her have to look clean and sharp, no Afros, no braids or anything like that. However, she is now getting more used to it and my sister and I are growing our afro together so that’s pretty cool and we support each other. Most my friends were cool with my change although a couple of guys who I thought were my friends did give me some crap about it. At least that gave me the chance to see who would be a true friend and who would not, and I am happy to say just about all proved they were friends and gave me their support.

MM: What has been your biggest grooming challenge so far?

H: My hair is so slow to grow! I have read that this is because afro kinky hair coils so much so I do understand what’s going on and the reason for it, but it can sometimes be a bit irritating! My sister experiences the same too, and her natural friends also complain about it, but I think some black woman go with the same mindset as when they had relaxed hair, and I believe you truly have to change your outlook on hair care when you go natural!Other than the slowness of the hair growth, I would say that I have to be so careful styling my kinks because they seem to become more fragile the longer they grow! Oh, and the frizz too….oh, the frizz!

MM: The frizz is definitely real! How do you usually style your hair?

H: I am just letting it grow and not styling it, just making sure I am taking good care of it from what I have learned online, through books, forums etc. When I have tried to style my hair, it just didn’t work and I believe afro kinky hair is best left without any major styling unless it is very long. But I am still experimenting so maybe I find a better way to style my puffy afro (I will let you all know if I do! :-D)

MM: Do you have any favorite products or hair tools that you would recommend to other mane men out there?

H: I am a big believer in the true sense of natural products. I don’t understand how so many hair products out there are advertised as “natural”, yet contain chemicals or unnatural ingredients. My sister ordered some products from the United States thinking they were 100% natural as that’s what the ads said and then we found out the products had all kind of unnatural ingredients. So ever since I just stick to my good old coconut butter and Aloe Vera gel. I use a baby shampoo for cleaning my hair every four or five days.

MM: And finally, is there anything else you would like to share?

H: I am just a regular guy who is proud of his African roots and my hair made me cement this pride, so I blog about natural hair, our African roots, living life as a guy growing “unusual” hair etc. You can find me on my blog Natural Hair Men and always feel free to pass by and say hi! My blog is just a hobby I have for now and even though I’m usually loaded with classes and projects, I always try to update my blog with some post on some cool hairstyle or hair care tip just in case it can help any brothers or sisters.

Also just the hair care alone for natural afro kinky hair can be a bit hard to grasp and there is a bit of a learning curve, so if with my blog I can help make the path easier for anyone, then my goal would be accomplished. And like I say you’re all welcome to say hi! 🙂

Thank you all for reading my story and thanks to Jor-El too!

MM says: Thanks Hendrick, we look forward to reading and seeing more of you!

 

Product Review: Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Conditioning Co-Wash

CD Hair MilkBack in December I was fortunate enough to attend fellow blogger Chary Jay’s launch party for her new Big Bold & Funky line of natural hair accessories.  Besides having a great time, I got a great swag bag which included today’s product for review, Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Conditioning Co-Wash.

Consistency: For those with thick or dense hair like mine, it can be hard to find a product that has a lot of “slip” (easily glides through strands), but luckily that is one of the best features of this product.  Co-washing with this product is actually good.  I’m almost completely out of the product now and enjoyed using it every time. The consistency and usability of this product is definitely its strongest feature. 4/5

Scent: For  my taste, the product’s scent is really overwhelming.  The co-wash has a very distinct chemical, sweet smell that is just too strong for me.  I can see how some women might find it enjoyable but it’s entirely to fragrant and unnatural for me to really appreciate it. 1/5

Price: The product retails for $18 for 8.5 ounces making it a pretty pricey for a hair product that goes quickly. 2/5

Overall Impression: I thoroughly enjoy using Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk Conditioning Co-Wash and I have to say that is the best CD product that I have used, bar none. The consistency makes it easy to use and it does a fairly good job of cleaning hair. Unfortunately, the addition of chemical fragrance (parfum) irritated my scalp leaving me with some periodic itching while using and after using the product. The price is also a pretty significant barrier for me and while it does work fairly well, I can’t say that I find it to be worth the investment. 2.5/5

Product Review: Mitch Double Hitter 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

Double Hitter, Mitch by Paul Mitchell
Double Hitter, Mitch by Paul Mitchell

Mitch by Paul Mitchell is a high performance hair care brand designed to give consumers products that really deliver. Months ago I received a full sized bottle of the Double Hitter shampoo/conditioner combo in my Bespoke Post box and I found the results pretty surprising.

If you’ve been reading MANE MAN for some time now, then you probably realize how out of love I am with shampoo. I have a dry scalp and ridiculously dense, highly textured hair so shampooing is second only to the inevitable shaving difficulties that guys go through. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Double Hitter as it has a lot of “slip” which helps make shampoo day a lot easier.

The product also opts for arguably less damaging surfactants (see: cleaning agents) and does not include SLS which irritates my scalp to high hell. It manages to cleanse well while sliding through my strands and helping in the detangling. As another bonus, Double Hitter doesn’t have any heavy fragrances which often causes scalp irritation. Not to mention that it comes in a stylish and modern squeezeable tube that’s easy to use in the shower.

Overall, Double Hitter by Paul Mitchell is likely a great shampoo for a variety of hair types given its moisturizing properties. It’s well worth a try, in my humble opinion, and in all actuality should probably be renamed “Heavy Hitter” cause it really works. I look forward to what else the Mitch line of products has to offer.