How I Got My Skin Clean, Clear and Under Control

Before and After

Before and After

Real rap I had some serious red/dark spots on my cheeks and jawline due to acne. I was also subjecting my skin to too much sun exposure and popping my deep under-the-skin pimples thinking I knew what I was doing. It was once so bad that I wouldn’t leave the house without foundation because of the discoloration. When you first met me, I wore makeup to the gym. SMH. But now, me no care! So, if you are suffering from acne and scaring I can help. See below:

Natural Remedies

Exfoliate- Exfoliate your skin… gently. Exfoliating lifts the dead skin from the surface of the skin which reduces clogging and reveals the younger layer of skin. Exfoliating is great but you don’t want to do it too much or too hard because it will dry your skin out.

I recommend gentle exfoliating gloves of scrubs. You can make them or buy them. See our Avocado Pit Body Scrub Recipe here.  Exfoliate once a week for dry skin and twice for oily skin. After, you must replenish your skin with a good moisturizer but we will get to that later. Keep in mind that if you exfoliate too often you may dry your skin out. Your skin will then create additional sebum and cause more breakouts so start off exfoliating slowly and gauge it from there.

Vitamin E- Vitamin is an antioxidant (slows cells damage) that occurs naturally in food and can be used both topically and internally. It not only promotes healthy skin but it also beefs up your immune system. Vitamin E attacks free radicals throughout the body and can prevent some of the damage they  may cause. It’s all about preventative care.

Water- We all know this. Water is essential in the functioning of our bodies but did you know that water is the primary way in which we moisture our skin? It also a great substitute for your favorite expensive night cream by preventing wrinkles, psoriasis, ecezema and other skin conditions. Cold water in particular, when applied topically does wonders for the skin. It reduces redness, puffiness and closes your pores which prevent them from getting clogged. Rule of thumb… Wash with warm water. Finish with cold.

Sleep- When Nas said, “I never sleep cause sleep is the cuzzin of death” he was trippin. Beauty rest is not just a phrase. Sleep is so important when it comes to the health and appearance of your skin. Without adequate sleep your skin looses it’s luster. It becomes dull, sags and even bags. Your body repairs and heals itself while you sleep. If you disrupt that healing process it WILL show. So ladies, put your phones away. Turn Netflix off and get your 8 hours. 

Purchased Products

(In order of application)

philosophy clear days ahead

Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Face Wash- “This acne treatment cleanser deeply cleanses and helps lessen acne-causing bacteria, while salicylic acid effectively reduces breakouts. It efficiently clears skin without irritation, leaving skin feeling completely clean and comfortably balanced.”- Sephora

I couldn’t have said it myself. The salicylic acid deep cleans and for the most part illuminates my deep set pimples. Salicylic acid does however leave you more susceptible to sun damage so make sure you use sunblock with this product. For that reason alone I use this at night and wash with regular soap and water in the mornings.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.20.14 AMPhilosophy’s Miracle Worker(found at Sephora) is product that really helped me in getting rid of my dark spots. It won’t happen over night but it definitely aides and speeds the process. This basically helps fade the spots by removing the dead skin/epidermis from your face. Much like exfoliating, but it also speeds the cell production process. New skin forms, revealing new bright beautiful skin. Seriously it works.

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Ole Hendrisken Vitamin C Serum-  is formulated with a proprietary five-source vitamin C complex to support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines, this must-have serum defends from environmental aggressors and free radical damage, leaving skin healthy and protected. It is enriched with green tea extract and sodium hyaluronate to nurture and nourish. This lightweight and oil-free formula quickly absorbs into skin while the iconic uplifting citrus scent pampers your skin and your senses. -Sephora

This product definitely has helped brighten my complexion and made my skin look more awake. I think it is a good investment to make. After all, it’s about being proactive.

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Sunscreen- YOU MUST WEAR SUNSCREEN! I can’t say it enough. It drives me crazy when folks don’t. The ozone layer is depleting y’all. Yes, a good sun kissed glow is nice but at what cost? Skin cancer? Wrinkles? Sunburn? Just put some damn sunscreen on. You also must realize that if you already have brown spots and pigmentation from acne scaring they will only get darker if they come into direct contact with the sun. So, if you don’t wear sunblock you will be doing all this good work in vein.

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Moisturize- I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion in the Summer and Nivea Skin Creme in the Winter as a moisturizer. They can be found at any drug store. It’s important that after all your cleansing you moisturize and hydrate your skin. Cetaphil is very mild and is recommended for any skin type. Nivea is thick and may clog your pores if you have oily skin. I was very skeptical about Nivea because of how thick the product felt but it has kept my winter skin hydrated all day without clogging my pores.

Find Your Regimen and Stick to It- At the end of the day it is important that you are constant. There are plenty of nights when I don’t feel like washing my makeup off but I know that my skin will suffer from it in the long run. It only takes 15 minutes to take care of yourself. Why not do it? Above is one of my nightly regimens.

antoinette henry, around the way curls, clear skin

Makeup Free!

Black Beauty on White Skin


Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack with my lipstick unbothered and not a scratch on my crown.

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I’m no model and I don’t pretend to be but I have a pair of soup coolers on me that love a good lipstick so when the The Lip Bar asked me to model for their campaign I was all the way down. To think, I was once one of those girls that was too scared to rock a lip. I feared they would draw too much attention, throw my face off balance or even worse… make my lips look bigger. Gasp.  So, growing up I would apply some clear blistex and call it day. I was intimidated by my very own mouth. My mouth! WTF!  How wack? How sick?  How cowardly of me… If I only knew then what I know now… cause these lips right here? They’re magic. You betta ask somebody. 

Just look at little Kylie Jenner. Girlfriend spent all kinds of money to have a pout like mine (ours), not that her surgery in any way validates me (us), but I certainly think it helps put some things into perspective. (Oh and if we are being honest I think her pumped up injected lips looked bangin… but I digress).

It’s interesting though, often the things that come natural to women of color, the things we are most self conscious about, are the very things that end up being bought, praised and coveted i.e. warm skin tones, full lips, wide hips, full butts and the ability to flip it, toss it, and throw it back like a boss. It seems that those things are most often admired and praised when they are adorned by women not of color. What a mind fuck! What a setup for self hate. You mean to tell me we (and I use the term ‘we’ loosely because I’m well aware that my light skin and fine curly hair put me in the ‘exotic’ category in which I reap the benefits of daily) can’t get any love? Aside from King Bey who despite my unyielding love for, is two seconds from looking like a full blown white woman (just sayin). And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the way our King Bey looks. I’m simply saying we have to peep the pattern and move in this world accordingly.

Images are becoming more and more important. Folks are all about the visual. We don’t even buy music based on the sound anymore, we buy based on the video. Just look at Instagram. We spend hours scrolling, staring, screen-shoting and sharing selfies. So be mindful of what you consume and celebrate. Images are beautiful things but they can also be used as psychological warfare. Be sure some of the images you see are of and in tune with your own reflection.

I’ll leave you with this, a dear friend of mine Kristin Braswell, once wrote the following Facebook status after Kim K released her cover of Paper Magazine where she was mimicking the iconic Grace Jones and attempting to #breaktheinternet

“What frustrates me is not Kim Kardashian herself, but the idea that this whiteness and otherness in non-Black women deserves countless think pieces and celebration. As our neighborhoods, slang, culture, music and even bodies are being co-opted, I am reminded of how important it is that we continue to uphold and celebrate whatever reinforces the truth that we as black women have always been enough”. 

May we always remember that we are indeed, enough. Thank you to The Lip Bar for having and celebrating me.

I luh ya.

Beauty Secret Sunday: How To Whiten Your Teeth

I have been thinking about doing very brief, easy yet informative posts about simple beauty secrets that can be applied cheaply by all. Here is a simple yet HIGHLY EFFECTIVE way of brightening and whitening your teeth. I have been doing this for months now and I can say from experience this process yields the most consistent results with very little time or money spent.

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The Process Twice a day EVERYDAY I use pure baking soda when I brush my teeth. I do not couple the baking soda with my toothpaste. Instead BEFORE or AFTER I brush with toothpaste, I dip my toothbrush in baking soda and I brush it directly onto my grill. The flavor is painless although the texture has a soft grit to it. DO NOT SWALLOW. It does not wear on my enamel and is safe for use. 

For increased whitening you can also gargle and brush with peroxide. Peroxide is a little more harsh on your enamel but when used intermittently it is harmless just DO NOT SWALLOW.

It has become second nature in my dental care. Simply leave a box in your bathroom and you won’t forget!


3 Easy Ways to Get Your Skin to Glow


Summer is slowly approaching and more skin is surely to be exposed. I am obsessed with the natural dewey, glow of sun kissed skin and I am on the pursuit of achieving it. I have done some research and I think I have  narrowed it down to 3 easy practices


1. Exercise 

Exercise benefits the cardio vascular system which in result increases oxygen to the blood and helps rid the system of waste and cellular debris. The cleaner and more refreshed it is on the inside is reflected in clear, vibrant skin on the outside.


2. Exfoliation

I don’t know where the hell these have been all my life but these exfoliating hand gloves are the answer to my need for glowey, smooth skin prayers. Sweet baby Jebus! They can be bought at nearly all beauty stores online and at any brick and mortar. Simply lather up with your favorite soap and scrub every inch of your body smooth with these gloves. Exfoliation is key to bright, glistening skin because it rids you of dead, dull skin cells and reveals new, younger, brighter skin.


3. Oil, oil and more oil

I know a lot of you swear by lotion but I was raised by my daddy to moisturize my skin daily with oil. Till this day, I still adhere to that practice. Unlike lotion which is water based, oil does not evaporate off of your skin leaving it to be dry again. Many people are turned off by the slick, slippery texture of it but if you want glistening, healthy, vibrant looking skin, I am positive there isn’t any other way around it. Oil is the way and the light.

The best results are when the oil of your choice is applied directly out of the shower and while your skin is still wet. Think of the two step process of moisturizing your hair. It is the same for your skin. Water, then sealing oil. Once dried your skin is supple soft and less slick. Oil also has a lot more natural benefits to your skin than the artificial jizz of lotion.

Here are some benefits of my two favorite oils.

Almond Oil – Rich in Vitamins A, B and E. Removes impurities and dead skin cells, reduces dark circles.

Coconut Oil – Deeply penetrates into tissue, relieves itching, reduces wrinkles.


 Let’s get that summertime fine glow going ladies!

DIY: Away From Home Kitchen Curl Restoration

ANTOINETTE AROUND THE WAY CURLSMy God. My God. That is some thirsty hair.

How many of you have traveled somewhere (especially during the holidays) and later realized that you forgot all your hair products at home?! It happens to the best of us and this Thanksgiving it happened to me. Keep in mind my momma is white so there was no extra Kinky Curly lying hair steamer… no diffuser… not even a wide tooth comb for goodness sake.

Anyway, I went home sporting my second day Curling Wand Lose Waves thinking I was going to get a day three out of them and play the shyt out of myself. I looked in the mirror on day three and my hair was not only a rat’s nest it was as dry as hay. I looked like the scarecrow. As I combed my hair with the thinnest of combs I watched in horror as my curls began to break off one by one. I sat there disheveled, cursing myself out for a) thinking it was cool to put heat on my hair three days in a row and b) leaving my ish at home. But then I realized that my mom may not be a fellow kinky curly but she is a health nut and surely I would be able to find something to restore my strands in her kitchen. I scurried downstairs and Mom Dukes did not disappoint.

Here’s What I Used 


2 TBLS of Agave Nectur, 1 TBLS of Organic Coconut Oil 

Apply to wet hair. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash Out. I of course didn’t have my sulfate free shampoo so I used some rinky dink stuff she had lying around.

Conditioning Treatment with a Bit of Protein

 1/2 Cup of Plain Yogurt (Conditioner), 1 TBLS of Mayo (Protein), 1TBLS of Aloe Vera Juice (Sealant)

Add to wet hair after shampooing. Leave on for 20 minutes. For added results, run hot water in your shower and let the steam help to lift your cuticles and penetrate the hair shaft.

  Usually, if your hair is dry, I don’t recommend doing a protein treatment but because I had put heat on my hair the days prior, I thought it was necessary and would help restore/reverse any damage that may have occurred. You always want the protein content and the moisture content of your hair to be balanced therefore too much protein can interfere with your hair’s elasticity and cause it to break. This is why I personally believe that protein treatment should always be in conjunction with deep conditioners.

Non Leave-in Conditioner as Leave-in Conditioner

I don’t know what this stuff was but after I rinsed the conditioning treatment out I didn’t have any slip to my hair and it was difficult detangling it. So, I saw this little green bottle and thought, why not? I added about a quarter size to my head, let that mess dry and it turned out just fine. I really wish I would have had some Kinky Curly or Karen’s Body Beautiful with me because it would have really put the icing on the cake of my ‘Curl Restoration’ but you can’t win them all. Peep the results below.


antoinette around the way curls antoinette around the way curls

 I wasn’t mad at the results at all. Needless to say, I’m giving my beloved curling wand a break. I was too hype when I first got it and OD’d but rehab is going well …lot’s of buns, pigtails and deep conditioners.

I must admit, I really like DIY treatments. I feel like a mad scientist or something. Y’all got any DYI’s to suggest that you think I should try?

I Got DANdruff In My Hair!

I know no one understands why that title “I got DANdruff in my hair” is so funny to me. My dad told me when he was in grade school he and his best friend would terrorize his teacher by yelling “I GOT DAN..druff in my hair!” Say it out loud. Do you see why the teacher was so annoyed by his psuedo-cursing? Isn’t that funny??!!
Anywhooo, real rap I have dandruff. It happens every winter. For some reason, my scalp thinks it is doing me a favor by creating layers of dead skin to shed and keep my head warm. It isn’t severe dandruff but it is enough to notice. I have also been dealing with a really tender, throbbing head. For some reason, after washing and moisturizing my hair, my scalp will ache afterwards. I can’t figure out for the live of me what is going on but with the help of Antoinette (although this can easily be done solo), I attempted some self medication to relieve and revive my scalp using tea tree oil as the active ingredient and jojoba oil as the carrier (it can be any NON-mineral or NON-petroleum based oil).

I hate to gross you out but I wanted to provide a visual of my dandruff. It is not that bad but it is consistently shedding.

My hair was previosly washed, so I did this treatment on dry hair. I started by mixing my Jojoba and tea tree oil together in a bowl. You do not want to burn your scalp with the highly concentrated tea tree oil so make sure you are putting 5x more jojoba than tea tree. I did not measure anything but I can guess-timate that I added 1 and a half capfuls of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of jojoba.

In order to make sure that this mixture was reaching as much surface as possible on my inflamed scalp I decided to put my hair into 8 straight backs and apply the oil to my exposed scalp area. Honeychild, it felt like heaven.

I know that I will have to repeat this process about twice a week to stay on top of the dandruff because just one application does not do it for me.

I hope this helps any of the tender-headed, dander sufferers out there like me. We in this together!

Product Review: Lush’s Caca Brun Henna Bar

Ever since our interview with the gorgeous and huge haired Santana Caress Benitez, who so adamantly recommended Lush Henna Bar Hair Treatments, I have been itching to try them out. While walking to Union Square I happened to stumble on a Lush Cosmetics Store so I went on it. I bought myself a bar of Lush Caca Brun Henna. Apparently, that means “Brown Shit” in French. (side eye). If this is your first time reading about henna or for more information about henna read this post first.
According to Lush:
The Bar Breakdown
  • Persian Henna- They use the finest Persian henna, which has been used since ancient times to dye the skin and hair. The leaves are dried and ground into a powder and it is this, mixed with conditioning cocoa butter that forms the basis of their bars.
  • Cocoa Butter- The Cocoa butter provides added conditioning benefits but also helps the henna cling to each strand, maximizing its overall effect.
Product Claim:
  • Coffee Lustre- Choose Caca Brun for sleek, beautiful hair with rich, dark brown tones. Brunettes can use Caca Brun for its fantastic conditioning properties without seeing a drastic change to their natural color. Hair will also be left super shiny because henna coats each individual hair, smoothing cuticles, and protecting them from damage. Hennaed her is strong, glossy and absolutely gorgeous.
What Customers Claim:
  • It’s easy to use and gentle
  • Produces a rich, natural color
  • Overtime makes hair thicker
  • Adds body and shine
  • Is conditioning
My Review:
  • I have to agree with all of the above. Lush has a new customer. This stuff is all that. After only one use this henna bar left my hair a rich beautiful brown and added a ton of body and shine. Now, what really makes this product different from other henna I’ve use is it’s conditioning properties. In my past experiences with henna, while it was definitely strengthening it was also a bit drying and I would always have to deep condition after a treatment. This Lush henna bar has the complete opposite affect. It’s actually one of the best conditioning treatments I have ever used.
  • There are however two drawbacks, while it was easy to use it was a bit messy (but there’s always a risk of mess and splatter when dying your own hair) and it is time consuming. I was a dodo bird and wasn’t paying attention to the time and in the middle of the treatment realized I have to leave for work so I only left it in for 1.5 hours. SMH. Lush says you can leave it on up to six hours and most readers said they left it on for 3-4 hours. So, needless to say my color has faded a bit as a result of my daily wash and goes but that’s my own fault. It’s still richer than it was.
The Cost
  • The 11.4 oz bar was about $25.00 after tax which isn’t cheap but I didn’t have to use the entire portion so it ended up being fairly reasonable for all natural and organic henna.
What You Will Need
Gloves, heatproof bowl, spoon,henna and hot water, vaseline, newspaper, paper towels (not pictured)
Henna does tend to be a bit messy so before you begin especially if you are new to the game, you want to lay some newspaper down and have some paper towels handy.
The Process
Begin by putting some sort of protectant on your hairline, ears and neck. Henna will stain your skin so make sure the area is covered well. I used some good ol’ sheabutter as a protectant.
Add hot water to the henna and stir until it is the consistency of brownie batter. (mmh)
Now, here was my first mistake. I used 1/2 of the bar which was plenty for my shoulder length hair, but I didn’t break the henna up into little pieces before adding water. Make sure you do because breaking the bar down and making a brownie batter-like paste will be a lot easier that way.
Pictured here is the henna after being mixed with water in the consistency desired.
Begin carefully applying the henna to clean and conditioned hair.
I have to be honest. I was going to front and act like I did a test strand first but I didn’t. I went all in and applied it to my entire head. I can’t even front. But really, does anyone ever do a test strand first? I know I’m not the only impatient one out there. But you should just in case.
Swamp Girl Steeze
Finish applying the henna to your entire head. Leave on up to 6 hours. As I stated earlier, in most customer review reports it was said that the henna was left on for 3 hours. For darker hue, leave it on longer. Also, for a more brown hue leave your hair uncovered. Cover with plastic for a red undertones.
Rinse Out. Do Not Wash- This can take a little effort but Be Patient. Just stand in the shower and keep working the water through your hair. Keep rinsing until all the henna is out of your hair and the water is clear. I used some Hello Hydration Conditioner to create some added slip while I worked the henna out of my head. Then style as desired.
The Results
My Dull Colored Hair Before the Lush Henna Hair Treatment
My Vibrant Lush Brown Hair After the Lush Henna Treatment
Shwammmm! I love this stuff.
Visit Lush’s website for more information. Who’s getting their henna on?

Henna Application (Rainbow Henna Brand)

*This has been reposted since we are getting some e-mails about our experience with henna. What is Henna? Henna comes from the plant “lawsonia inermis”. The leaves of the plant contain a red-orange dye molecule that is used for dying the skin, hair and nails. This is why henna is also referred to as “Red Henna”.Typically there are 3 plant powders that are commonly referred to as henna:Neutral Henna- is not henna but rather Cassida Obovata. Cassia obovata contains anthraquinones, particuarly Chrysophanic acid, a remarkable anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Cassia obovata has a golden dye molecule that will stain dull blonde and gray hair yellow. It will help damaged hair, make hair full, glossy, healthy.  Red Henna-  is actually the only true henna. Products that dye the hair any color are some sort of compound henna. Its leaves are harvested, dried and ground into a powder. Liquid is then added to the henna, creating a paste which is used for the hair. Producers of Henna claim it is the best hair conditioner of all making your hair heavy, thick and silky. Black Henna- Black henna, is a green powder that smells like frozen peas, is neither black nor henna. It is indigo, Indigofera tinctoria. (Source)
As stated earlier, “blonde”, “brown” and “black” henna do not exist. The only way to alter henna’s red dye molecule is by adding chemicals, metallic salts, OR other dye plants such as Cassida Obovata (which produces lighter colors) and Indigo (which produces black colors). Be sure to use natural compound hennas mixed with only other natural dye plants. Compound hennas with unnatural additives are basically the equivalent to boxed dyes and are extremely hazardous for your hair. 
Henna is grown is warm climates. Many of these warm climate areas do not yet have laws in which protect consumers demand all the products’ ingredients to be disclosed. Be sure to research your henna and be sure to check the label and with your retailer before you buy. Purchase natural henna and henna compounds here.
Benefits and Things to Consider Price- Henna is not very expensive. Depending on the amount purchased it can cost anywhere from $6.00(single use)- $25.00(multiple use). Stronger, Healthier More Luxurious Hair- Henna is like great protein treatment. Henna’s dye molecule attaches to the keratin in our hair over time, making our hair stronger and thicker. Henna replenishes the hair by coating the hair shaft and piecing together the rough spots throughout the damaged cuticle.  Henna’s coating however, is permeable and does not lock moisture out. So a good deep conditioner after a henna treatment will not only work, but be icing on the cake. Change in Curl Pattern- Some have reported that Henna temporarily loosens your curl pattern by reducing shrinkage. I didn’t have those results but there are people who swear by it…CurlyNikki is one of them. The Smell- I don’t particularly like or dislike the smell. Henna smells very grassy and hay like. The smell also lingers for a couple days after the application. But if your other hair products have a strong fragrance they will probably mask the smell of henna. Time Consuming- While the application is quick, it takes a while for the color to set. Most reviewers and other natural hair enthusiasts say that henna needs to be keep on for 6-10 hours in order to get the full benefits despite the fact that most product bottles claim that it only takes 1 hour. I suggest using henna at night wrapping your hair securely with a couple of shower caps and silks scarves and sleeping with it applied. The Mess- Like any hair dye, henna can be a bit messy. Put some newspaper or old towel down to help elevate some of the mess it can create. The good thing about henna is that when mixed with water it forms a thick paste which is easier to handle than other liquid products. Also, when rinsing henna out of your hair, fill the tub a bit with water so that the henna does not stain the bottom of your tub.  What You Will Need-  a glass or wooden bowl 2 cups of boiling water gloves mixing utensil towels vaseline or a thick butter to protect your hairline and ears a deep conditioner plastic shower cap and bonnet The Process
I used Rainbow Henna purchased from Whole Foods. My goal was to get my hair to be more of a chocolate browbut the Rainbow Hennas only ranged from medium brown to black. So, I used the medium brown henna because I wanted to test those results first rather than dying my hair too ark with the black. Keep in mind that this product is a compound henna but the only other ingredient is natural indigo, to make the dye brown instead of red.
I used 2 cups of henna as directed, which was practically the entire bottle.
Using a pyrex/glass bowl, I added 2 cups of boiling water
Next, mix it on up. Keep in mind that the dye molecules are being released as soon as the boiling water is added so you want to be quick. But leave enough time in between for the water to cool down.
The mixture should look like a thick paste once it’s ready. If it’s too thick add more water. If it’s not thick enough add more henna.
Apply henna on damp (not wet) hair. Your hairline should be covered with vaseline or a thick butter to protect your skin from the dye.
Begin applying henna to your hair. Apply generously!
After applying, your hair should be completely covered as pictured above.
Use a wet paper towel to clean any henna that is on your skin. Be sure to get behind your neck, ears and shoulders. Leave the henna on for at least 3 hours. I only left mine on for 1 hour because I followed the directions on the bottle : (   I know better now. For better results leave it on overnight and rinse off in the morning. 
I was very pleased with this product. The Henna definitely added body and shine to my hair after the first application that has continued to last even after a week. I did not however have much change in my color. One reason for this is because I did not leave the product on long enough. The other, is because I used the same color as my hair! lol I’ll try mixing the medium brown and black next time to get a more chocolate result. Maybe 2 parts medium brown and 1 part black? We’ll see… But the henna did make my original color more rich, solid and consistent throughout my head. I had tons of highlights from the sun and they are no longer there, which I like.
The Verdict
The verdict is still out. The effects of henna can not be determined with only one use. But I will continue to use it every 6 weeks as recommended and document my results. I do however, have a strong belief in the product. With consistent use I believe that it does indeed make your hair stronger and healthier. Pictured below is Curly Nikki’s results after a year of using henna.
The left column is 06′. The right column is 07′ after using henna.
I’m hot for henna! So try it out and let us know how it works for you!
For more information about Henna visit Henna for Hair’s Website

Herbal Remedies- Rosemary

Before Pantene, Queen Helene and Head and Shoulders, women turned to their gardens, woods and fields for plants that met all of their beauty needs. Whether it be a cure to dandruff, premature balding, dull strands or a desire for a new color there was a plant that they knew could meet their specific demands. I think that as the world is beginning to become more synthetic the less we truly understand the implications of allowing such chemicals, toxins and mad men creations into our bodies. It is important to be knowledgeable and at the very least know that there are natural alternatives to every single demand that humans require whether in sickness or health. With that being said, I have begun my research into herbs that can treat and assist in hair. Let’s begin with Rosemary. (My source for today’s research comes from the book entitled “Back to Eden” written by Jethro Kloss). 
What is Rosemary?
Rosemary is very common and easily accessible herb. It is green in appearance with thin, needle-like leaves with a deep, pungent smell. When it comes to it’s contributions to hair it seems to be all purpose. Here is a brief list of its uses and benefits to hair
-Stimulates and improves circulation to the scalp thus encouraging hair growth
-Due to it’s antibacterial quality it gently cleanses hair
-Increases shine
-Fights premature graying
-Relieves irritated, dry, flaky,  dandruff ridden scalps
How Do I Use It?
As with all herbs there are many different ways that rosemary can be applied externally unto your hair and scalp. These processes can be used with both fresh and dried herbs. But as with cooking, it is always  recommended to use fresh ingredients. (If you don’t use all of your herb initially, you can dry them and store for next time!)  Here are the most common processes for external use of rosemary.
Rosemary Infusion- Wtf is that you ask? It’s a simple as a cup of tea. Actually, it is like a cup to tea! Simply boil water and add your rosemary to the water. Allow it to steep for 15-30mins and then sift away the leaves. You are left with rosemary infused water. The water can then be used for a rinse for any of the following; cleansing rinse, treatment for shine, treatment for graying, treatment for dandruff and scalp irritation. DO NOT RINSE OUT! (Remember to accompany rinses with a nice scalp massage as well). You may have seen Antoinette’s Rosemary Infused Rinse in her Pre-Poo Post
Rosemary Oil- There are two ways that you can achieve an oil infused with rosemary. The first which is the quickest but not necessarily the cheapest is purchasing rosemary essential oil (which is a highly concentrated) and adding a few drops to your oil which you use daily. The second option is buy fresh rosemary and crush it within your hands to bring out the aroma. Put the crushed herb into a GLASS bottle (beer bottle, jelly, jars etc) and pour your choice of oil (olive, jojoba etc) over top the herbs. Try to pick a herb that is not tempature sensitive like coconut oil. Put the bottle in a cool, dark space and allow it to sit for 2-4 weeks. You can then apply this rosemary infused oil to your hair and scalp for the following; dandruff, scalp irritation, stimulate hair growth, scalp massage, added shine and luster.
Rosemary Vinegar- Crush fresh rosemary and add to a jar of apple cider vinegar. Follow the same steps as the oil and store in a cool, dark space for 2-4 weeks. After shampooing hair, combine 1/4 cup of your rosemary vinegar to 1-2 cup of water and rinse hair with it. DO NOT RINSE OUT. This is best used for the following; gentle cleanser, hair treatment for Ph balance, shine and conditioning.
Where Can I Purchase the Rosemary Herb?
You can find rosemary at any grocery and produce store. It is a very inexpensive and very accessible herb. If you are a gardner, look into adding this wonderful culinary and medicinal herb into your harvest being as though it grows easily and yields well. 
Well folks, I hope this was informative. I pray that we begin to take our health and beauty into our own hands and relearn practices that are indeed effective and harmless to our bodies. Next herb I am working on is going to be Burdock. As we learn the herbs we can then learn how to couple what with what until we are mixtresses in our own bathrooms and kitchens!Antoinette’s Results of a Rosemary Rinse
Let us know how this works for you!

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