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Exclusive Interview with T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh (CTCK May/June Issue)


Hair Porosity – What does it mean?

August 4, 2016

Hair porosity
What does it mean?


Hair Porosity Levels

Hair porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture. Your genetic makeup plays a huge role in what determines how porous your hair is. External factors such as heat styling, chemical processing, and even exposure to the elements can affect your hair’s porosity levels. It is almost crucial to know and understand the porosity level of your hair to help you choose the right products for a hair regimen that results in well-moisturized, strong, healthy hair.

The most popular way to determine your hair’s porosity level is to demonstrate ‘The Water Test’, or ‘The Float Test’. You’ll simply take a few strands of your hair that has been shed, from a comb or brush, and place them in a cup of water for several minutes. If your hair strands float at the top of the cup, your hair has low porosity. If the strands sink in the water immediately, your hair has high porosity; however, if they sink slowly it is considered normal porosity.

Low Porosity

Low porosity hair has a compact cuticle layer with overlapping scales that lay flat. Hair with a low porosity level is resistant and often repels moisture when you try to wet it. You’ll notice that it will take your hair a long time to dry and products tend to build up on curls rather than absorb into your hair.

For low porosity hair, use moderate heat when deep conditioning which will aid in opening up the tightly bound cuticle. A steamer, hooded dryer, or even a warm towel are great ways to prep your hair and help products better absorb into the hair. Avoid protein rich conditioners as they lead to additional build up on low porous hair. Also, be sure to apply styling products on hair that is damp and not drenched.

Normal Porosity

Hair with a normal porosity level requires little maintenance is usually easily manageable. The cuticles lay flat easily allowing moisture to penetrate the hair. This level holds styles very well and your hair can be colored with expected results. You should continue to include deep conditioning treatments in your regimen to maintain regular product absorption.

High Porosity

High Porosity hair has raised cuticles, gaps and holes, which let too much moisture into your hair, leaving it prone to frizz. Your hair will often look and feel dry to the touch. High porous hair will absorb water very quickly and it is often necessary to use more products when styling. It is best to use leave-in conditioners and moisturizers with this level of porosity that’ll lock in moisture into your hair. The L.O.C Method – Leave-in, Oil, Cream – is a great way to layer and seal in the moisture.

When styling try to avoid heat when possible and always rinse with cold water to seal the hair’s cuticle to prevent frizz. Be sure to use anti-humectants in climates with high heat and humidity. This will help seal your damaged cuticles and prevent them from absorbing any excess moisture within the air.

Written by Julie Thomas


The language of the natural hair community


If you are new to the curly hair revolution, you may be surprised to know that we speak our own  language!

We use acronyms and terms that may be foreign to some, for us, it is a daily part of our vernacular, here are just few…


ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar

AO – Aubrey Organics

APL – arm pit length

AVG -aloe Vera gel

BAA – big-ass afro

BC – big chop

BSL – bra strap length

CBL – Collar bone length

CG – Curly Girl routine

CJ – Curl Junkie

CO – Conditioner-only

CO-wash – Washing with conditioner

CQ – Curl Quencher by Ouidad

DT – deep treatment

DC – deep conditioner

EOs – essential oils

EVCO – extra virgin coconut oil

EVOO – extra virgin olive oil

FSG – Flax Seed Gel

GDL – Giovanni Direct Leave-In

GVP – Generic Value Products – At Sally’s

HE – Herbal Essences

HETT – Herbal Essence Totally Twisted

HG – Holy Grail

JBCO – Jamaican black castor oil

KCCC – Kinky Curly Curling Custard

KBB – Karen’s Body Beautiful

KCKT – Kinky Curly Knot Today

L&T – Lock & Twist

LOOB – L’Oreal Out of Bed

LOOC – Lustrasilk Olive Oil Cholesterol

LOTD – Lily of the Desert

MHC – My Honey Child

NG – Nature’s Gate or New growth

ORS – Organic Root Stimulator

PHHB – Pantyhose head band

PJ – Product Junkie

PM – Paul Mitchell

POO – shampoo

PVP – A polymer found in most gels

QCCC – Quite Calm Curling Cream

RR – Rocking Ringlets by Jessicurls

SAO – Sweet almond oil

SIF – Set It Free by Devacurl

SL – shoulder length

SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

SO – sebum only method

SOTC – scrunch out the crunch

TE – Terressentials

TIGI MM -TIGI Moisture Maniac

TJ – Trader Joe’s

TLBN – tailbone length

R – thermal reconditioner

TTO – tea tree oil

TWA – Teeny weeny afro

WDT– Weekly Deep Treatment by Jessicurl’s

WO – water only method


BAGGY – The method of sealing in moisture to your hair by using a plastic processing cap overnight or for long hours.

BRAID OUT – The process of braiding the hair at night and taking out the braids in the morning.

CANOPY – The top layer of your hair, which is exposed to the elements the most.

CARRIER OIL – Commonly referred to as a base oil, which is used to dilute essential oils. Olive oil, Castor oil and Jojoba oil are examples of a carrier oil.

CLARIFY – The process of removing build up from the hair by using a clarifying product.

CLUMPING – When strands of hair clump together to form bigger, chunkier curls

CONES – Surfactants present in hair products that strip hair of natural oil.

CRUNCH – When your hair has a hard, crunchy feeling once completely dry – generally caused by the use of gels.

DUSTING – The process of trimming just the ends of the hair.

HUMECTANT – Humectants naturally draw moisture from the environment into the hair. Glycerin is one of the most commonly used, agave nectar and honey are also humectants.

PINEAPPLE – The art of gathering your hair on top of your head, to preserve the curls for 2nd or 3rd day hair.

PLOP – The method of wrapping wet hair in a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel.

SEALING – The process of sealing the moisture in the hair using oils & moisturizers.

SHEDDING – Hair strands are said to shed at a rate of 50 – 80 strands a day.

SHRINKAGE –When your hairs length shortens or draws in due to curl tightness.

SLIP – This term is used to describe a product, usually a conditioner or shampoo, that makes your hair feel slippery when wet. When a product has good slip it makes it easier to detangle curly/textured hair.

THREE STRAND TWISTS – The process of twisting the hair by dividing into three parts.

TWO STRAND TWISTS – The process of twisting the hair by dividing into two parts.

WASH & GO – The process of washing the hair, applying a styling product then letting it air dry.

2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c – Used for curl/hair typing. Said to be created by Andre Walker, stylist of Oprah Winfrey.

2nd Day Hair – The process of adding a little water or minimal product to revive hair style for another day.

Did we miss any? Feel free to send in your suggestions and add to the list.



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10 Beauty Brands We Love to Use!

shutterstock_181399664Find me a woman that doesn’t like to feel beautiful and I’ll show you somebody that has never used one of the products on this list.

Even the most active tomboy can be overcome with girlish giggles after engaging in a relaxing beauty regimen. It doesn’t matter what your interests are or what type of clothes you have in the closet, from 1-10, each of these companies deliver on their promises.

It’s hard out here when you’re living with textured hair. While the rest of the world sees a bright summer day or winter wonderland, all we see is heat, humidity, frizz, and dried out ends. These skincare entrepreneurs set out to solve all of our problems. Offering nothing but the best in beauty, you may be surprised to learn that some of your favorite products were created by minorities!

Let’s take a behind the scenes look on some respected names.

10. B.L.A.C. Minerals

A lot of make-up lines use the term “natural” because that’s what most people are focused on at the moment. But a quick look into their ingredients list will dispel those claims. Merced Saint Boyd created B.L.A.C. Minerals so the world could experience beauty enhancing products that were truly void of harmful chemicals and other additives.

She rolled up her sleeves and created these holistic mineral-based recipes herself. Now, women of every skin tone can play up their God-given beauty without treating their bodies like science experiments.

B.L.A.C. Minerals has been holding on to its core values of quality, service, and diversity from day one. If you’re searching for makeup that is 100% natural, non-toxic, and animal cruelty-free, visit B.L.A.C. Minerals to shop guilt-free.

9. Karen’s Body Beautiful

Destined to make a lasting impression in the expansive skin care market, Karen Tappin-Saunderson took action to be the change she so desperately wanted to see. Appalled at the most popular ingredients used to create and preserve the average beauty product, developing a healthy alternative was her primary focus. Karen’s Body Beautiful is an all-natural organic line of lotions, soaps, scrubs, and oils that leave all of the usual hazards and carcinogens behind. Although her famous body butter will have you sleeping on cloud nine, her hair care products are also a must find.

Take a trip to www. KarensBodyBeautiful.com to see more from the “Beauty Boss”.

8. Pooka Pure & Simple

This brand embodies down home values and tradition while offering the unique opportunity to use skincare products that were created with a purpose. Dawn Fitch took her mother’s affectionate nickname for her children, “Pookalitas”, and used it as fuel to help her battle adversity.

Dawn was unexpectedly diagnosed with a mysterious illness that thrust her into passionate research of aromatherapy and holistic healing. The sensitivity of her skin condition made Dawn instinctively fixated on reading the labels of beauty products. Her discovery was shocking. Laundry lists of toxic ingredients were not going to help her overcome her illness.

It only takes skin 26 seconds to absorb the things we put on it. Focused, Dawn created her own line of homemade skincare. Unsure of the impact her secret recipe would make, she ventured to local markets to see how the public would respond. She sold out every time.

Now aware of the potential behind Pooka Pure & Simple, Dawn, along with three of her best friends, started a legacy that they still own and operate to this day. In fact, Dawn recently opened her first brick and mortar store in Newark, New Jersey. If you aren’t in the area, you can visit Pooka Pure & Simple online to see their inventory.

7. The Lip Bar

2011 was a defining year for Melissa Butler. It was the first time the Detroit native introduced her line of luxury lip color to the world. Her goal was to create a way for every woman to look amazing when wearing bold lip makeup.

Melissa’s ingredients aren’t a secret like most commercial brands. A list found directly on the website’s homepage proves that The Lip Bar is not only chemical-free, it’s organic, ethical, and vegan. Made from Vitamin E oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Pigment, and you can’t forget this one- LOVE.

Don’t worry, if you can’t wear Kamikaze blue or Purple Rain lipstick to the office, you can tone things down with browns, reds, or a seductive burgundy. The Lip Bar’s selection of stunning colors are as good for your body as they are for your confidence. Step outside of your neutral comfort zone as set the streets ablaze as a walking work of art.

6. Flori Roberts

If you’ve never heard of Flori Roberts, let me introduce you to a revolutionary in the world of cosmetics. Producing skin care products since 1965, Flori Roberts broke down barriers as the first minority-owned cosmetic line to reach the shelves of luxury retail stores. Since then, the line has consistently improved and re-invents its offering. From flawless foundations to nail polish, Flori Roberts leaves no stone unturned in your quest to look and feel beautiful. Now, Flori Roberts is parented by Color Me Beautiful Brands, a company that also sources other popular names such as Color Me Beautiful, Patti LaBelle, Inter-face Cosmetics, Adrien Arpel, and Gaye Hayman of Beverly Hills.

Through its expansion, the proceeds of these companies allows Color Me Beautiful Brands the opportunity to offer grants to would-be small business owners that can’t acquire the funds to start up. After the application is approved, the grant awards you the opportunity to own and operate your very own Color Me Beautiful mall kiosk. It’s great to see the entrepreneurial spirit paid forward.


One of the most successful leaders in natural organic skin care products is the creation of the thoughts of Juliet Samuel, a professional esthetician. When Juliet found herself plagued with stress, her physical condition took a turn for the worst. She experienced excessive hair loss and unsightly skin problems. To reclaim the life she deserved, she created a blend that encompassed all she knew about essential oils, aromatherapy, and nutrition.

Before long, Juliet experienced considerable improvements in her wellness, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Lengthy studies in the most efficient methods of skin therapy birthed NYRAJU, an all-natural line of organic treatments.

4. Ginger + Liz Colour Collection

Health and wellness is most women’s primary concern. You only get one body, it has to last a lifetime. Ginger Johnson and Liz Pickett put their minds together to figure out a way to take the hazard out of having your nails polished. In 2010, their efforts proved to be a great success when they launched their very own vegan-friendly line of natural nail lacquer.

Ginger + Liz is a health conscious line built from over a decade worth of experience gained in Ginger and Liz’s respective industries. Through a variety of artistic mediums, they were able to achieve the level of imagination and inspiration needed to bring their ideas to life.

They’ve come a long way from the acne-prone teens they used to be. Today, Ginger and Liz are able to rest easy knowing that they helped women around the world maintain adorable cuticles without the risk of harmful chemicals.

3. Miss Jessie’s

Staying in line with the traditional and values promoted by most brands on this list, Miss Jessie’s isn’t just a name pulled out of a hat, it is the loving title given to the proud Southern matriarch that inspired Titi and Miko Branch to pursue their dreams. The sisters recall many life lessons learned while sitting at their grandmother’s kitchen table. Aside from respect, confidence, and the value of a good home cooked meal, the girl’s learned how to take care of their hair.

Beginning with Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, brand quickly rocketed into unforeseen proportions. One of the first to offer products that truly catered to the needs of women with textured hair, Miss Jessie’s made history when it found its way to Target’s shelves.

Raging success with no apparent end in sight was abruptly met with tragedy on December 4, 2014. At 45 years old, we loss one of the brands coiled founders, Titi Branch to an apparent suicide. It’s important to value yourself and practice wellness from the inside out. Never judge someone based on outward appearances, you never know what type of internal battles they’re dealing with.

The love Titi put into cultivating Miss Jessie’s will carry on her legacy for generations to come. It’s sad to lose such a beautiful soul but we can appreciate the contributions she made to the world.

2. Carol’s Daughter

This one is easily a household favorite. 20 years ago, Carol’s Daughter was curated from the most humble beginnings. Whipped up in Lisa Price’s kitchen, she and her husband followed through with their vision of making affordable beauty products that got the job done. This varied from the health-founded views of most other natural lines. Lisa’s ingredient list was selected solely because these things were already in her kitchen.

Back then, the “natural world” had yet to see its emergence. Financial strains turned out to be one of Lisa’s greatest paydays. When Carol’s Daughter first begun, she wrote down a list of her goals and aspirations. Today, she can confidently say she’s achieved her dreams.

From the beginning, Lisa and her husband sat at the head of operations for their labor of love. Recently, L’Oreal presented them with an offer that was too good to refuse. CEO Frédéric Rozé released a statement regarding the acquisition assuring fans and followers of Carol’s Daughter that he will continue to provide the quality products the brand is known for.

1. SheaMositure

From a small village in Sierra Leone, SheaMoisture has expanded its offerings to super markets, mega centers, and beauty supply’s across the country. The products you quickly learned to love actually began as Richelieu Dennis’ grandmother’s secret shea butter recipe. She’d mix up her fixings and sell the product at local markets in Richelieu’s home country.

When they ventured to America in search of relief and a better life, they continued sell their special skin serum on the streets of New York City.

Every ingredient used in SheaMoisture products has been added for the immense benefits it offers the body. Most of them are actually imported from various African villages. The certified organic and 100% sustainable list creates a wide variety of shampoos, soaps, and lotions.

Recently, we’ve seen a rise in minority-owned businesses. From personal experience and tried traditions, these driven minds are able to tackle the textured tresses and skin care treatment that some other brands aren’t able to treat. If you haven’t already, give these healthy heavy hitters a try. Send us a message and tell us how much you love them, we won’t be surprised.


Written by Tiara Butler