Tag Archives: curly hair

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.

The Myth of “Perfect Hair”

PERFECT

Why is that when you try your hardest to have your hair look perfectly coiffed that it always looks a mess?

This always happens to me.  I’m trying to make the mane look extra special and defined for some sort of event or meeting that I’m concerned about and without fail, I feel like my hair looks terrible. I get no compliments. No one tries to inappropriately invade my bubble (not wishing, but just saying).

And then there are those days when I basically roll out of bed and think, “Man, the fro looks crazy today!”  What do I get? Adulation. Compliments. Natural hair discussions. Sigh.

I’m not sure what it is about those lax hair care days that prompts people to respond so positively. Maybe there’s the perception that my perfectly imperfect hair equals confidence?  And it’s not all about having highly defined hair either.

I’ve had “high maintenance” days when I wash, deep conditioner, use a leave in and just let it air dry and…nothing.  But, on those days when I basically roll out of bed and feel like my fro is matted and knotted up all over the place…compliments galore. What’s up with that?!

Does anyone else find this to be true for their hair?  Share in the comments section below!

Grooming with Paul Mitchell Systems #PMInsider

PM Insider 2015

This year I’ve been asked to participate in a wonderful program with Paul Mitchell systems as a brand ambassador. With that, I’ll periodically be taking you on a look inside some Paul Mitchell products and other opportunities.

To keep up with all facets of the program check out me and some other awesome online media mavens at the hashtag #PMinsider.

For my first foray into PM insiders I was sent a box chock full of some great Paul Mitchell products. I got to try my hand at the following:

  • Mitch Double Hitter 2-in-1 Conditioner and Shampoo
  • Tea Tree Special Shampoo
  • Tea Tree Body Bar
  • Mitch Reformer Texturizer (Styling Paste)

The folks at Paul Mitchell were also kind enough to gift a t-shirt and water bottle as well but I’m sure you’re less interested in that and more interested about these products!

You might remember that I previously reviewed the Mitch Double Hitter 2-in-1 Conditioner and Shampoo. I stand by my first review and you can read it for more detail.  It’s really a great product especially for those with kinky or curly strands that like to love on each other.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I was anywhere nearly in love with the Tea Tree Special Shampoo.  For some folks it might be perfectly fine but my scalp is like the Sahara Dessert and so I have to be extra careful with shampoo and conditioning products that strip my scalp and hair of much-needed moisture.  The product unfortunately boasts some pretty tough surfactants like SLS that just rob me of moisture every time.  It does work well as a tingly body wash in a pinch though.

I actually just tried the Tea Tree Body Bar for the first time this morning and ironically it feels like it has more moisturizing properties than the shampoo. It smells good and features a nice minty inspired scent that’s a great way to start the day.  It comes in bar form and I wonder if Paul Mitchell has any plans to create a body wash in liquid form as more and more gents opt for gels instead of old school bars. I maybe have a slight preference for liquid soap but it’s always nice to revisit a bar every now and again and this is a good one.

Reformer by the Mitch line (which is exclusively for men) is a bit of wild card in terms of my hair. Let’s be honest, I think it’s safe to assume that this texturizing paste wasn’t created with kinky hair in mind.  Surprisingly, it works pretty well to control fly-aways and frayed ends.  And not to mention that it smells like straight up cologne which in part makes me worry about the ingredients that make up the scent, but I use so little of it at every application that I honestly don’t think much of it.  In summation, it’s a versatile product that’s paraben and gluten free AND vegan.

All in all, I’ve pretty pleased with my introduction into the #PMInsiders club.  My only question is, when’s the next box coming?!

Product Review: Bevel Shaving

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Shaving has long been the bane of my existence since I hit puberty many moons ago. That’s why an important part of this site has been trying out the best, and sometimes lackluster, that the grooming world has to offer. I’m always on the hunt for the “perfect” shaving regimen.

Bevel is a men’s shaving line designed for men with curly and coarse hair. I’ve learned that in the past I’ve ignored my hair type when it comes to shaving. It honestly wasn’t something that I considered previously. It turns out that men with curlier hair types run a much higher risk of razor bumps due to emerging curls re-entering the skin (e.g. ingrown hairs). Shaving ingrown hairs can be painful and that’s why it’s important for men of color to use shaving and face products that exfoliate and lift hairs while providing tons of moisture and slip. That’s pretty much what Bevel’s line up does. Here’s a quick rundown of my notes of Bevel’s starter kit:

Priming Oil: Created with sunflower and olive oil (among others) Bevel’s Priming Oil is one of the best I’ve used to date. The thick, viscous primer is step one in the shaving system and is awesome at protecting against razor irritation and burn. It smells great and a little goes a long way.

Shave Cream: A nickel sized amount of this cream is more than enough to shave a full face. Formulated with aloe vera juice, shea butter and glycerin this shave cream works up a nice, smooth lather that helps manage skin irritation while shaving. With the aid I the shave brush, I got very consistently good results and I followed the system directions to a t.

Restoring Balm: For post shave care, every guy should use some moisturizer to help soothe the skin. Bevel’s Restoring Balm offers up some of the same great ingredients that the other products offer. That being said, of the lineup, the balm was my least favorite. While I think it’s good, and perhaps slightly above the average post shave solution, it seems to not offer as much as the priming oil or shave cream does.

Overall, in my experience, Bevel delivers on it’s promise of helping men with curly or coarser hair types tackle shaving with ease. In addition to the easy to use system, the ingredients are mostly natural and are just stellar. I had the chance to try their razor as well and it is miles ahead of my safety razor I personally purchased last year. The weight distribution makes it incredibly easy to shave and minimizes my need to put in work to shave effectively. That ability to avoid applying unnecessary pressure has helped me limit nicks and that is definitely something to be excited about.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Bevel.  All opinions listed herein are solely my own and have not been influenced by the brand in any fashion.

*Editor’s note: MANE MAN subscribers keep a look out in your inbox for a special discount on Bevel products. They’re perfect for Father’s Day!

Meet MANE MAN Myles and his Curly Natural Hair

The Joseph Family with Myles (far right).
The Joseph Family with Myles (far right).

Today I’m excited to bring you a new feature on a pint-sized friend, Myles!  I recently caught up with Myles’ mother Rebekah to talk about Myles’ awesome head of hair and how she keeps it looking great even though it is very different than her own.  Check it out below!

MM: First off thank you for agreeing to do this. I’ve admired your son’s hair for a while now (I mean look at it!) and I know that we’ve talked briefly about it. Do you feel like it’s been a challenge learning to care for his hair as it is so different than yours?

Rebekah: Thank you! It really is an honor that you even asked! This has been a journey I never really gave much thought before having children, but now that we’re here, 3 years in, I’ve learned a lot! I would say that it has been a bit of a challenge learning about his hair. My hair is pretty much wavy/curly hair that you would expect a white woman to have. I wash mine about every few days, blow dry, straighten (when I have the time with a 3 year old and 5 month old) and generally throw back in a rubber band (the basic Mom look, really glamorous). But, Myles’ hair has a different story. When he was younger, maybe until about 18 months, his hair texture was more like mine, just a bit more curly, and slowly, his texture began to change, and his curls got tighter, and tighter. I started looking for resources and help. I looked first to family, my husband was no help, my mother in law was really used to doing a different texture of hair and she braided both her sons’ hair at an early age, friends had some suggestions, but what I found to be the most, in depth help was a blog/facebook page called Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care written by a white mother who adopted an African American little girl. She broke down a hair care regimen that made it easy to follow, and helped me to understand the basics. And once I had the basics down, I knew where to go from there. I really liked her style and the CHVC community on Facebook, they are diverse and supportive. It can be a bit challenging to not know what you’re doing and a bit intimidating to ask. (I’m not exactly going to go up to some random lady at Target and ask about her hair care, maybe that’s just me though).

Myles, with his curly hair.
Myles, with his curly hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MM: I think that some parents may worry about their little boys having too long or “girly hair”. Was that ever a discussion or concern in your home?

R: I don’t remember ever really having a discussion with my husband about Myles having “girly hair”. We knew early on that we weren’t going to cut it for some time, but we would revisit the cut/not to cut situation over time. There have been many times he has been called a girl, and it has not phased him, probably due to his age. I know that people don’t mean anything by it; however, sometimes I have to question their reasoning. He will be decked out in obviously boy clothes. But, oh well. If his hair becomes an issue for him, or if he wants to cut it, we will.My husband cuts his own hair, so he would be the one doing it. And in all honesty, I think my husband is just as attached (if not more) than I am.

I will say that both my husband and his brother had longish hair past their first birthdays, so for him, this is normal. Since Myles is a boy, we have avoided more protective styles (well, being a boy, and the fact that I’m 100% sure he would not sit and let me braid or style it for more than 10 minutes, max!). I think that some protective styles may make him look more feminine, but we have yet to have to deal with that. Seriously, the only time I’ve been able to pull it back it was to put a Batman mask on, and he made me take it off as soon as the mask came off.

MM: I know from first hand experience that hair care regimens are important when you have curly or kinky hair. How do care for your little guy’s mane on a daily or weekly basis? And what products do you use?

R: We wash one time a week, unless he gets it exceptionally dirty, which happens quite a bit. He is a very active boy that likes to roll around in dirt/sand/grass/etc. I’ve picked out countless pebbles, sticks, moss, and wood chips from his hair. In the summer, if we should go swimming or go to the beach (or if he gets any kind of chemical in his hair) we wash more often. Daddy does the washing about 98% of the time, he does Myles’s bath, so it just kind of works out that way. As he washes, he tries to detangle by hand as much as possible and we do a leave-in conditioner and a good spray down with detangler. (We wash with Curls Unleashed Shampoo, we started using Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner and Detangler for kids, although I like their adult line better, but would purchase Shea Moisture or Curls Unleashed when we run out of these) Then we comb (with a wide toothed comb), from tip to root, that was a big change for me, since I comb the opposite direction. After that, I moisturize (with Shea Moisture Hold and Shine Moisture Mist and Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk).

Daily I spray with water, then with a detangler/moisturizer (Shea Moisture), then moisturize with a combination of Moroccan oil (Garnier Fructis) and a hair milk (Shea Moisture brand). I let it air dry and try to keep him off the carpet while that is happening. I guess this seems like a lot, but it works for us. And, getting a 3 year old to sit still while this happens isn’t always the easiest of tasks. There have been times I’ve run behind him, as he laughs, trying to evade the hair ritual, and I’m just trying to do whatever I can and call it a day.

Our biggest struggles with already styled hair are the carpet (he loves to lay on the carpet), the carseat, and his pillow. We will be purchasing some silk pillow cases to go on his pillow and over the back of his car seat to hopefully help retain moisture/style.

MM: And how does Myles feel about his hair?

R: I think Myles likes his hair. It’s him. Every now and then he tells me he wants a hair cut. I tell him that he will then have short hair like Daddy, and then I ask him if he wants to have short hair like his Daddy, he laughs and says “No, that’s silly!” Recently, he has been pulling on his hair more as well, because it is longer, but not in a disruptive way.

I will say that we LOVE his hair. It really reflects his personality to me. (he is a bit wild and crazy at times!) But, if he really wants to cut his hair, and can understand what that means, we will arrange it, and cut it. He will look completely different, but he will still be a handsome guy!

MM: Finally, are there any other tips or things you would like to share with the readers?

R: I think that being the parent of bi-racial children, with hair very different from my own has been a bit challenging. I never wanted to get ‘those looks’. You know those looks that people give when a mother when her child’s hair looks a mess. I wanted to know how to do his hair (and now, his sister’s hair, whenever it finally grows in).  I have joked that I’m only keeping it long to train me for how to do her hair, but that isn’t altogether the case. I love his hair. To me, it is him, and I don’t keep his hair long for other people, it is just what we decided to do. I am very glad that we haven’t listened to the people who have suggested, or flat out told us, to cut his hair. Even random strangers have told us that his hair needs to be cut, “Hello, none of your business.”

But, I think that with anything that we do to or for our bodies, we have to find what works for us, and we are still figuring it out. I’m sure that our daily routine will change with time. Maybe we’ll find products we like better, use less products, or be able to do more protective styles, or maybe we’ll cut his hair when he goes to school. Who knows. But, we do what works for now, and adjust as time goes on.

There you have it!  Special thanks to Rebekah for sharing her little mane man and her family’s story with us.  Be sure to comment below!

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

My Updated Regimen (Winter 2014)

Any time the weather changes, it’s important to re-evaluate your hair care and skin care needs.  Since the winter is now firmly upon us, I’ve made some slight suggestions to my regular regimen that I usually use during the spring and summer months.

There you have it! That’s my Winter 2014 regiment (so far).  I’m sure as the season continues to change some of these products will get placed on the shelf while I try out newer products.

How have you changed your regimen for the winter? How do you maintain healthy, moisturized hair when the weather is so dry and cold?

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.

Product Review: Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Ouidad
Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Too often shampoos leave my hair and scalp dry as can be and sometimes they don’t even do a good job at cleansing!  Well, I’ve all but almost used an entire bottle of Ouidad Nourishing Cleansing Oil and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts with you.  Read on for the full review!

Brand & Packaging: Aside from some unnecessary gold swirls, I think that Ouidad’s Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil is a fairly non-gendered package design. The white and gold color scheme, in my mind, supports the brand’s elevated appeal to serious hair care enthusiasts versus your everyday, over-the-counter shampoo buyer. The point being, the package itself shouldn’t cause you to worry about losing cool points, although it does read as “expensive” so it’s a quick way to show someone you really care about taking care of that mane of yours.

Consistency & Ease of Use: In my opinion, the cleansing oil has a thick, viscous consistency that makes it easy to use. It’s gold/amber in color which makes it unique from other shampoos. But, one of my favorite attributes is that the oil also has a great slippery feeling that makes distribution a breeze even for thick and dense strands. I mean, you have seen first-hand how dense my fro is, so those with similar hair types may also find that the oil spreads fairly well. That tells you those oils are hard at work.

Smell: The cleansing oil has a nice, clean scent that’s unisex and not overpowering. In fact, I think that generally as a brand, Ouidad makes products that are pretty neutral in that regard. The smell definitely conjures up memories of hair salons so you may want to steer clear of anything that smells remotely like that might bother you. That being said, it’s not overpowering and generally a pleasant smell but by no means is it worth writing home about.

Overall Impression: Since discovering the Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil this summer, it has quickly become a staple for my twice weekly washes due to its mild formula. I advise any curly guy to give the oil a trial run due to its moisturizing properties. Its sulfate free formula is great for the needs of curly and kinky hair due to their difficulty maintaining moisture. It’s also great for those with dryer-than-the-Sahara scalps as it doesn’t strip away all of your scalps natural oils, leaving you feeling both clean AND balanced. Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil is available online and in Ouidad salons across the country.

The Question I Hate Most

Almost everyone knows that women in the natural hair community are, in a sense, fighting an uphill battle for acceptance of their hair.  While mainstream media has certainly made strides in showcasing natural hairstyles, there’s still a lot of work to be done, even for guys with naturally curly hair.  And, unfortunately, I am personally familiar with a lack of acceptance for my fro.  So, what’s the question I hate most?

“What are you going to do with your hair?”

Often times, I’m not quite sure how to respond to that question, and I have lost count how many times I’ve been asked it over the past few years.  I’ve heard every form of that question like, “When are you going to braid it?” or “Are you trying to grow locs?”  But while I’m able to keep my composure on the outside (at least I think so), my internal monologue says something like, “Oh, my hair isn’t “done” enough for you?!”

I take great pride in my mane and how I take care of it.  Psychologically, I’ve gotten over the need for it to look perfectly defined and have started to embrace the “messiness” that is my fro.  Unfortunately, there’s still this expectation that my fro, as it stands, is not a complete or good look.  But at the end of the day, I’m happy with it and I guess that’s what matters most, right?