Product Review: Softee Argan Oil Styling Gel

If you know me, you know I have been a looooooooooooooooong time fan of EcoStyler Olive Oil Styling Gel. 

Matter of fact, it's one of the items on my list of 'natural hair necessities'. What else is on the list? Check it out....

This list has come with time and test so while it's hard to get on the list, it's hard to get off as well. Nonetheless, I am willing to try new things. I'm a woman. It's our prerogative to change our minds. 

To that end, I recently tried Softee's Argan Oil Styling Gel. It was $1 at the Dollar Tree so I figured why not. So what's the verdict? Check out the product review below:

Have you tried this product? What did you think? Share in the comments and then come on over to the Journey to My Roots Group on Facebook to chat it up. See you there!

Trouble connecting? Click here>>> 

Product Review: Suave Macadamia Oil and White Orchid Infusion

Suave Macadamia Oil and White Orchid
Natural Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner

If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for a  heavenly scent and a pretty bottle. Add the fact that these products were on sale for only $2 and surely you can understand why I just had to try Suave's NEW Natural Macadamia Oil and White Orchid Infused Shampoo and Conditioner. 

See my review in the video below. If you haven't, PLEASE subscribe, like, comment, and spread the word! THANKS!

So what's my verdict?
 You'll have to see the video but I'll remind you of something I say ALL of the time. The more you know, the healthier it will grow! Being able to read ingredient labels is of the utmost importance if you are to have a successful hair journey. My experience with this product only confirms that assertion.

Check out my blog on the mislabeling of 'natural' hair products by clicking the picture or link below:

 Reading Product Ingredient Labels

What about you?

Have you tried Suave's Macadamia Oil and White Orchid line before? What about their Rosemary and Mint  or Almond and Coconut line? What did you think? Share in the comments section below and then come on over to the Journey to My Roots Group on Facebook to chat it up even more. 

Much love curlfriends!

Andre Walker: Master Stylist, Healthy Hair Guru, and Natural Hair Icon

Master Stylist, Healthy Hair Guru, Natural Hair Icon
Andre Walker
This weekend I had the opportunity to watch Oprah's 'Where Are They Now' on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). If you've seen my videos 'Hair typing 101' (, you've heard me mention Andre Walker. If you haven't you may be asking yourself, who is Andre Walker and why should I care? 

The embodiment of a master stylist, Andre Walker is the man who has styled Oprah for 30+ years. We have Andre to thank for the following looks: 

 By her side for 30+ years, in last week's episode of 'Where Are They Now', Andre shares his favorite and not so favorite looks over the years as well as what he's up to now. 
 Missed it? No worries, you can catch it below:

Always one with an opinion, hear my thoughts in this short video:

What about you? What did you think of the interview? Have you had a chance to try Andre's new hair line? What did you think?

Source: Google Images

There's no denying that Mr. Walker has what the old folks used to call 'growing hands'. While she wears wigs to protect her hair from the damage that would be caused by daily blow drying and styling, Oprah Winfrey has a head full of GORGEOUS natural hair. 
Source: Google Images

Chris Rock was absolutely flabbergasted when he learned that Oprah has a head of long, thick, natural hair. He was so shocked, he had to check it out for himself. LOL! 

Filmed in 2009, Chris was on the show to discuss his award-winning documentary 'Good Hair'. If you haven't seen it, you absolutely must! Wigged, weaved, relaxed, or natural, it encourages us to have a healthy dialogue about 'hair' including the social norms for acceptable styles, the market for 'human hair', the increasing rift between Asian and Black-owned beauty supply stores, and so much more. 
Want to hear more about the challenges of being black opening a beauty supply store in the historically Asian dominated market? Check out Janice Frederick's story below! Click the picture to hyperlink to the article.

Fabulous Freddy founder Janice Frederick
Beyond Oprah's hair, I think Andre is due much respect for coining the lingo of hair typing. See my tutorial on hair typing below:

Hair Typing 101 Part 1

Hair Typing 101 Part II

Learn more about the 7 (yes, SEVEN!!!)
 time Emmy Award winner @
While most often associated with Oprah, did you know that Andre has styled our current first lady, Michelle Obama as well as previous first lady Barbara Bush? Learn more about Andre, his new product line, and more

So what do you think? Share your thoughts and show some love and respect to legendary hair icon Andre Walker in the comments section below.

Afterwards come on over to Facebook and chime in as part of the group! 
Click the picture below to head on over. See ya' there!

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Messy Flat Twist Out Updo

Flat twist out not dry? Is it frizzy? NO WORRIES! It can be saved and even made sassy with this messy flat twist out updo. 

Let me know what you think and remember, if your hair is dry, slow-to-grow, thinning, or lackluster, 
order Quench by Journey to My Roots!

A High Bun, Natural Hair Style!

Be it Audrey Hepburn, Tika Sumpter, Beyonce, Janelle Monae, or Ashanti, high buns are a timeless classic that ladies of all ages, all hair types, and uniquely personal styles simply love!

Count me among the crowd. While I'd been wearing high buns, I was finding that the pony-tail holder or head-band used to have my hair looking great! Unfortunately, they were also leaving me with mega headaches due to the pull on my hair. No more! 

Finally! Get the look of a high bun without the pull of a head band or pony tail holder. Find out how in this super simple tutorial. Dressed up or down, the high bun will live on in infamy as a classic go-to to style!

Try it. I promise this tutorial makes it super simple!

Try it out and share your feedback in the comments. 

Come on over to Facebook and share your pics. I'll post them! 

And don't forget your Quench Moisturizer by Journey to My Roots!

Having natural hair nightmares? Relaxer got you stressed? 
Got thinning, dry, or slow-to-grow hair or beard? 
Get Quench by Journey to My Roots!
Your hair (and I) will thank you! 
Don't believe me, check out the 250+ client reviews! 

Click the 'Order Quench' tab to place an online order. 
THANK YOU! Your business is very much appreciated!

Grecian Goddess, Natural Hair Style!

Who says natural is boring? Here's another super simple, super sassy style that can be rocked on relaxed or natural hair!

Try this playfully classic style on natural or relaxed hair! Make it truly Grecian with the right wardrobe and golden-wreathed hair accessories. Learn how here:  

Try it out and share your feedback in the comments. 

Come on over to Facebook and share your pics. I'll post them! 

French Braiding 101

Like the little black dress, french braids are a timeless classic! 
Great for ladies of any age, relaxed or natural, they're great dressed up or dressed down as a protective style. Want more length, braid in  a bit of fake hair!

Don't know how to french braid? 
This tutorial makes it super simple to understand.

Want to dress up the style? Try French Braids with Bangs!

Want more glam? Use glitzy hair combs!
Feeling Grecian? Add a gold-colored hair wreath or simple flower headband!
Going formal? Pluck a few flowers, pearls, baby's breath, or lace and pin along braids with hairpins!

Chime in!

Try it out and share your feedback in the comments. 
Come on over to Facebook and share your pics. I'll post them! 

NEW VIDEO! My Daily 2 Minute Updo

Perhaps it's the heat. Perhaps I'm not a morning person. Perhaps it's the simplicity but whatever the reason, this 2 minute updo has become my go-to style. Check it out and try it. Don't forget to subscribe, like, reshare and comment. 
XOXO and Blessings!

Looking for another updo? Try this throwback!

Please come on over and chat it up with us in the group. We'd love to hear what worked, didn't work, and any tips you may have. Share your pics and I'll upload them with your commentary. Much love!

Click picture 
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Hair Typing 101

So much drama:

Be it blogs, vlogs or websites, hang around any natural hair forum long enough, and you'll hear some level of discussion/debate on the topic of hair typing. Whether describing the different types, debating the pros/cons to the system, or cliqueing up by type; the whole topic can be a bit overwhelming.

Like so many things coming off the natural hair bandwagon, when it comes to hair typing, I find that there is a pinch of good info and a pile of hype.

What is it?
Hair typing is a system used to classify or define the shape of the hair; straight, wavy, curly, or kinky.

I think it is WAY WAY WAY over-hyped. I think it's good for giving us a common language to compare our hair by but other than that, I don't see what it's really good for. I think its' more important to understand the physics behind curl. If you understand that basic science, you can better understand why curly hair is harder to keep shiny, or moist. I discuss all of this...including my opinion on hair typing in my video series on the topic.

So what 'Type' am I?
There are two common classification systems for hair typing; the LOIS system and the Andrew Walker System (yep, Oprah's personal stylist Andre Walker!)

  • L.O.I.S. defines hair based on shape.
    • L:   Like the letter, L-shaped hair is kinky.
    • O:   Like the letter, O- shaped hair is curly
    • I:    Like the letter, I, shaped hair is straight
    • S:   Like the letter, S-shaped hair is wavy

Easy peasy, right? No? Check this out:

  • The Andre Walker System to Hair Typing is a much more detailed (read complex) system that defines the hair's shape and the DEGREE of it's shape. In other words, not only is your hair curly but HOW curly, HOW wavy, HOW straight, etc. 
    • You'll know it's the Andre Walker system being referred to when hair typing is being discussed because the classification is two-part, a number that defines the shape of your hair followed by a letter defining the degree of shape.
    • Like the L.O.I.S. system, the Andre Walker system breaks hair down into 4 shapes. The greater the number, the greater the curl pattern.
      • Type 1: Straight
      • Type 2: Wavy
      • Type 3: Curly
      • Type 4: Kinky

  • Once you've determines the shape and thus number, the next step is to attempt to assess the degree of curl. Personally, I find this a bit much and an area that people can easily get bogged down and confused. I'll let the pictures do the talking but basically, you can think of the letter as a measurement of circumference in the curl (I know, I know!). I don't bother assessing the degree of straightness or waviness but for curly and kinky hair, the degree or letter assesses how wide (or not) the curl is. I think this picture explains better than my rambling can ever do.

The one thing I can say about the Andre Walker system is that for those truly delve into learning the science of hair, it helps one to understand why the shape of your hair's curl pattern determines other properties such as shine, ability to maintain moisture, etc.

Got it? Check out my two-part video to get even more on hair typing. Remember, knowledge is the key to healthy hair and health is the key to growth

One last's VERY common to have more than one type of hair on your head. While coarse, my crown is probably a coarse type 2b while the rest of my hair is closer to a type 3a/b. I WISH I had tight, boingy curls like type 3c to type 4a/b/c but God decided against it. It can be frustrating but frustration can be the mother of innovation. I've come to LOVE perm rods. They give my straighter hair the curl that I have in some areas but want all over.

So what 'Type' are you? Share in the comments and come on over to the chat room to gab, gripe, glorify, and share your journey. See you there!


All About Oils

Carrier, Essential, or Crap Oils? Do you know the difference?

The natural oils can be categorized into two buckets- essential oils and carrier oils. 
Learn all about both in this video tutorial and the blog below! 

Essential Oils:

Essential oils are called such because they carry the "essence" or scent of the plant/flower/vegetable from which they were derived. Essential oils are often used as perfumes or to give fragrance. Essential oils are VERY strong/highly concentrated so a small amount goes a long way! Using too much of an essential oil can cause irritation/burning. Common essential oils include peppermint oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, lemon oil, and tea tree oil.

Try it!: 

Tea tree oil (malaleuca oil) is an essential oil with natural antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Because of this, tea tree oil makes a great natural preservative. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your homemade/DIY concoctions to keep them sanitary and to preserve their shelf life! Because of its camphoraceous nature, tea tree oil (like peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus oil) is also good for combating scalp problems such as sensitivity, dryness, and itching. After using an electric razor (ie after a son's haircut or after shaping up your hairline) blot a bit of tea tree oil onto a piece of cotton. Rub the cotton across the hairline, behind the ears and across the forehead. The tea tree oil will prevent the development of hair bumps and limit skin irritation! See how I use it my video on Shaping up Necklines>>>

Lavender oil is one of my favorite essential oils. With its calming scent, lavender has been used for centuries to lower stress, reduce anxiety and facilitate relaxation. Add a few drops to a hot bath and dab a few drops along your pulse points to relieve stress at the end of the day.

Carrier Oils
Carrier oils are called such because they are great for "carrying" or diluting essential oils. Carrier oils seal in moisture, feed your hair (vitamins A.B, C, D, E, proteins, amino acids), stimulate growth (anti-oxidant cell regeneration), and protect your hair (natural sunscreen)! Common carrier oils include grapeseed oil, castor/Jamaican black castor oil, olive/extra virgin olive oil, almond/sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, argan/Moroccan oil, apricot oil, and jojoba oil.

Try it!

Grapeseed oil is a carrier oil that acts as a great heat protectant. With a smoke point of 400+ degrees, grapeseed oil will protect your hair from the high heat of a blow dryer, flat-iron, or pressing comb. I used grapeseed oil to protect my hair during my first flat-ironing. It worked wonderfully! Check it out>>>

Castor oil is a carrier oil thought to reverse thinning or balding. Use castor oil along your edges or in other areas where thinning/balding is a problem! While plain castor oil is great, Jamaican Black Castor Oil aka JBCO is even better.

 Made from the darker castor beans of Jamaica, JBCO is a rich treatment that should be part of every healthy hair routine. One of my staple/must-have products is the Strong Roots Red Pimento Hair Growth Oil by Tropic Isle Living. It's a rich blend of JBCO, organic coconut oil, glycerine, lemon oil, lavender oil, and the growth-stimulating red pimento oil. Get it online from Oils from Jamaica ( Use promo code JTMR and you'll get a small discount to help with shipping! Learn all about it in this video review>>>

    Contrary to common belief, jojoba is not an oil at all. It's a wax. More than any other oil, jojoba oil closely resembles the structure or skins' natural moisturizer, sebum. For this reason, jojoba oil is a GREAT option for folks with oil sensitivity (ie those with nut-based allergies or those who have skin breakouts as a result of using oil).

Extra virgin olive oil is a carrier oil that is great for cooking and even better for sealing, feeding, and protecting your hair. While olive oil is great, extra virgin olive oil is better for the hair because it is less acidic and goes through less processing than olive oil. If nothing else, most of us always have some EVOO in the cupboard...use it! Dilute your favorite natural butter (shea, coconut, mango) by adding 2 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part butter!

Where can I get them?
Now that you know about oils, you may be wondering where to pick them up. Nowadays more and more grocery and convenience (ie Target, WalMart, Big-Lots, etc) stores carry various oils. Sometimes you'll find them in the cooking section and sometimes you'll find them in the vitamin/herbal supplement section. Three of my favorite places to get oils are Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, and online at Vitacost ( While GNC and Vitamin Shoppe also sell various natural oils, I find that they are a bit more costly than the other options.

Quick Tip:
Try this quick trick to use oils without making a mess!

Chime in!

What are your favorite natural oils? How do you use them? 
Share in the comments section below or come on over to the chat room and chime in! 

Summertime Shoe Pledge

Hello Curlfriends! 

While not about hair, we're here to hold each other down in ALL areas. 
As such and therefore, I must ask your compliance with the summertime shoe pledge.

Please raise your big toe and repeat after me...

As a member of the Cute Girl Club, I pledge to comply with the following rules when wearing sandals or other open-toe/open-back/sling-back shoes:
  • I promise to only wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs.
  • The sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

  • I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.
  • I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

  • I will shave the hairs off my big toe.
  • I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, or sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there. Besides, nobody under the age of 70 does this anymore anyway. It looks a mess!

  • If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe professionally fixed or toss it.
  • I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholls if my feet need him.

  • I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my neck.

  • I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

  • I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.
  • When I wear flip flops, I will ensure that they actually FLIP & FLOP!...making the correct noise while walking. I will NOT slide or drag my feet while wearing them. That is sooooo trifling!
  • I will throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear... nothing is tackier than some dusty white sandals. 
  • I will go to my local nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure

If you find these truths self-evident, please take the pledge and pass it on. Remember, I am my sister's keeper. 

Please share your comments, tips, and reshare. 
See ya' along the journey my friend!

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Your support is MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!

Remember Blue Magic?

Like me, if you're black and born before 1980, you've probably used your share of Blue Magic. Labeled as an "anti-breakage/conditioner/hair dress", we old heads (no pun intended) call it by its street name, "grease."

Like milk and bread, Blue Magic was a staple in our house growing up. When it was time to part, plait, press, tame, or just grease hair, Blue Magic was ever handy. (Don't act brand new! You know the difference between the grease and to grease.) Yep, me and Ole Blue, we got history. So with history like ours, what could ever make me turn my back on it?

Call it nappy knowledge.While I have some fond memories of Ole Blue; sentiment and sense are two different beasts. And since going natural, I've definitely upped my hair sense. It's that new found hair sense that prompted me to check out the ingredients in Blue Magic.

And knock me off my feet, what did I find?; Petrolatum, lanolin, lecithin, mineral oil, fragrance, green no. 6, and violet no. 2. Yep. that's it folks. So let's get started on those ingredients (or lack thereof)...

No Water: I was shocked but no, Blue Magic does not include water! You'll be hard-pressed (huh, another pun) to find any hair product that doesn't have water as it's primary ingredient. Despite the many hair myths we've been taught, our hair craves water. Beware any "conditioner" product that does not include water as a primary ingredient!

Petrolatum and Mineral Oil:  Theres are synthetic humectants. Humectants seal the hair and lock in moisture. Unlike natural humectants (i.e. shea butter, glycerin, honey) mineral oil and petrolatum provide no added hair health benefits such as nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants or sunscreens. That said, none of these things MOISTURIZE the hair. If your hair does not already have sufficient moisture, these products do not add anything additional. Further, petrolatum and mineral oil are difficult to remove from the hair without harsh detergents, such as sulfates. Learn more about mineral oil and its cousins here

Lanolin: Lanolin is a greasy material produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep. It's a mixture of fatty acids, wax esters, and a other organic compounds. Like Petrolatum and mineral oil, lanolin traps moisture already on the hair but by itself, it does not moisturize. 

Lecithin: A lipid, or fat, the majority of commercial lecithin come from soybean, sunflower and grapeseed. Lecithin is comprised mostly of B vitamins, such as choline and insitol. You can find lecithin in foods such as egg yolks, or take it as a supplement.

Fragrance, Green No 6 and Violet No 2: These ingredients are additives to incorporate scent and color to the hairdress.

Something Positive: I hate to do completely negative product reviews so what can I say positive about Blue Magic? Heck, something must have drawn us to it for all these years. I can say this. If marketed as a hair gel or pomade, I could let "Ole Blue slide. Yes, I can understand my mother using it to add shine, to hold styles, tame frizzies and keep parts straight. But honestly now, Blue Magic is not a conditioner of any kind. Especially not in this day and age when shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, castor oil, etc are so readily available.

So why do you care? Yes, I know that very few people still 'moisturize' with 'grease' (so I hope). 

But whether Blue Magic or the newest, most expensive product du jour, knowing the key ingredients to look for and those to look out for is key to going natural or simply attaining healthy hair. You'd be surprised how common the "bad" ingredients are. And while you cannot always avoid them, you can look for them in lower concentrations (the lower down the list of ingredients, the lower the concentration). So if your'e serious about going natural, take some time out to learn about the key ingredients to hair products. You can get a TON of information in my videos ands blogs but the key is to be willing to learn. The more you know, the more it will grow!

'Til next time fellow Journeyers!!!!!!!!

So what hair moisturizer do I recommend? Well if you've followed me long enough, you know that water is the ONLY moisturizer. Everything else is a styler, a sealant, or a nourishment. Quench Moisturizer by none other than moi is by far the best moisturizer on the market (ok ok oik....I may not be the most objective but the 100s of reviews do give me some confidence.) Learn all about it and order on the order tab of this website. Click the picture below to be directly taken to the page. THANKS!

 Quench Mositurizer

Remember, sites like these only survive with support from you. As the page grows, we all grow as each of us is the support system for someone else. Please repost, re-tweet, like, subscribe to my YT channel and like my FB page. 
Your support is MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!