When I took out my extensions, I was worried about dryness and damage. Now that I’m natural (I’ve snipped of 97% of my relaxed ends, baby!) I’m paying more attention to what I put in my hair. Whatever it is, I need it to be super moisturizing, nourishing, and lightweight. There’s nothing worse than hair that falls limp because of the products used!

Around the same time the PR people reached out to me about Alterna, I saw Patrice rave about the brand’s pre shampoo treatment. Kismet? I bet it is. So I called in a sample because when Afrobella speaks, you listen.

The Collection This collection is made for people with dry to very dry, coarse hair. All three products feature Abyssinian Oil, a rich source of Omega 9 Fatty Acids that protects against dehydration and leaves hair silky and shiny without weight.
alterna moisture intense oil

Alterna Haircare Caviar Moisture Intense Oil Crème Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $30
I love a good pre-shampoo treatment and more brands are coming out with them to jumpstart your haircare routine BEFORE you hit the shower. Simply apply this to dry hair and let it sit for 5-15 minutes (I’ve let it sit for longer but truly didn’t notice a big difference). It promises to boost the performance of shampoo and conditioner, binds the conditioning agents in conditioners which allows it to better hydrate hair AND repels minerals present in water to defend against build up. When I get in the shower, I notice that my hair is unbelievably soft and shampooing is much easier. My hair doesn’t tangle as easily while I’m shampooing. My hair is noticeably softer than after washing than when I don’t use this. This has become a staple.

ALTERNA Haircare Moisture Intense Oil Crème Shampoo & Conditioner, $32 each
The shampoo and conditioner are nice. The Shampoo is a low-lather oil-based cleanser and gently cleanses my hair without stripping it. It feels clean but my hair doesn’t feel dry and rough like some shampoos. The conditioner is thick but not in a bad way. It’s also pretty rich, leaves my hair feeling moisturized, and clean.

Overall this collection is pretty good! I will say the scent is pretty light but it oddly reminds me of a Christmas candle. I’m really not a big fan of the scent and that really makes it hard for me to want to wash my hair with this. Sounds pretty petty, no? I usually apply a different mask in the shower to combat the scent (Moroccanoil Smoothing Mask). If I had to recommend one item, it would have to be the pre shampoo treatment. It makes the world of difference!

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If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter (which you totally should) then you would have known that I’m currently in the process of growing out the pixie (#RIP). I’ve been doing a few protective styles and twist outs but what I haven’t done was get a proper blow out. When I was invited by Neutrogena to get a blow out and meet Kerry Washington’s stylist – Takisha Sturdivant-Drew – I couldn’t pass it up!

Takisha is the sweetest person ever. Even after a long day, she was able to provide me with a few tips on how to manage this mane as I transition from pixie to bob and from relaxed to natural. As we spoke, I told her I use a LOT of saying products to get my curls to pop and she recommended using Neutrogena Shampoo’s Anti-Residue Formula once a week to remove build-up.
neutrogena anti residue shampooBetween mousse, curl creams, styling gels, and the various oils I use, hair can be left weighed down and lackluster. Using the Anti-Residue Shampoo, I instantly felt a difference in my hair. It as lightweight and had such clean, fresh scent and my hair felt clean. Next she recommended the Triple Moisture® Deep Recovery Hair Mask, also by Neutrogena, to help restore shine and moisture in my hair. Y’all when I tell you my hair was soft after being washed, I mean SOFT!

I also had the chance to meet Tina Pearson who gave me the most wonderful blowout and style! The proof is in the pudding. She recommended using the Deep Recovery Hair Mask once a week since I’m natural to really soft my hair and make it easy to style. Exhibit A.


You guys know I got a PhD in Doing The Most™. I saw how long my hair has gotten and I just had to do this.

A video posted by eileen (@misswhoeverur) on

Neutrogena haircare products are available drugstores nationwide.

SHOP MY NEUTROGENA FAVORITES
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Disclosure: samples provided for editorial consideration. Affiliate links are used because this blog’s hosting fees don’t pay for themselves

After a weekend of supreme laziness, I ended up missing my usual Sunday appointment at my local Dominican hair salon. This left me somewhat frazzled (if my hair doesn’t look good, I feel like a slob) and seeking something quick yet effective.

My hair is at that awkward stage where I’m not only growing out a pixie but I have new growth meaning my roots are in their naturally curly state while the ends are relaxed/ bone straight. Not many stylists can handle this situation and I’ve been to many salons where the stylist twists their face, mutters underneath their breath, and calls upon a colleague or two to assist them. Nothing is worse than sitting in a chair with THREE people trying to “handle” your hair. It’s embarrassing so I’ve avoided fancy salons but your girl was desperate.

the dry bar
I quickly made an appointment to Drybar on the Upper East Side as I know a few ladies who love Drybar (granted they’re not African American so my fears were alive and well). Drybar is a “blow dry bar” meaning there aren’t any cuts or colors – just blowouts. At $40 for any hair type, I decided to take a leap of faith and give this a go. Plus, they use Moroccanoil products and as we all know, I work for the brand so I obviously believe in the products.

I arrived early for my appointment because I know my hair always takes long and I wanted to give the stylist enough time to take a look at my hair and be serious/ upfront if they’d be able to properly blow dry my hair. The Upper East Side location is quiet and cheery with the brand’s signature yellow shade bursting from everywhere. I was offered a drink while I waited and not too long after was greeted by Melissa Oquendo, a petite stylist with impeccable makeup. I was somewhat calmed as I looked around as the salon staff was quite diverse itself. Let’s be honest here, shall we? If a salon doesn’t have at least one person who looks like me and has to deal with my type of hair, I get nervous. There were two natural hair ladies so if Melissa didn’t know what she was doing, I figure she could get backup 😛

the drybar
Luckily my fears quickly melted away. Melissa has naturally curly hair and understood why I was hesitant. After using Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner (most likely Moisture Repair collection but I didn’t properly get a glimpse) to wash my hair, I was taken back to my seat where I had the chance to decompress and watched Charlie’s Angels while sipping a glass of water. She first applied Hot Toddy to protect my hair from the heat and quickly followed with Cream Soda styling cream and got to work blow drying my hair, section by section. She took her time while drying and was careful not to place the nozzle to close to my scalp but still paid attention to my roots.

After fully drying the hair, she asked if I wanted to flat iron to make it smoother (I did). This is where I was supremely happy because I’ve been to some salons where they automatically whip out the flat iron and insist it was necessary; Melissa offered and seemed to understand the importance of not applying too much heat. Before she applied anything, she told me what she was doing and why she was using a certain product. She was careful not to tug too hard or pull my hair while detangling, making sure to be gentle all throughout the process.

After flat ironing my hair, she applied a bit of styling pomade by the brand, called The Chaser and finished the look with Money Maker hairspray. The products smell wonderfully and were light enough on my hair so that it wasn’t weighed down. She made the style a bit piecey and not too sweet. I was out of Drybar after about an hour and fifteen minutes (max!) and left unbelievably satisfied. $40 is more than I normally pay at my local salon but given the service, I think it’s worth every penny (plus it’s still more affordable than most salons in NYC). I’d be curious to see how women with fully natural hair that’s longer than mine would be taken cared of but I doubt it’s a problem. I’ll definitely be going back based off of this experience!

Shop the products I mentioned above:

I’m pretty sure I’m never going to master the art of doing my hair alone and I’m okay with that. I’ve spoiled myself with weekly trips to the Dominican salons having started at the age of 16 and never looked back. That said, it’s kind of ludicrous that even with a pixie/ short ‘do, I’m unable to leave the house looking less than stellar.

All that said, I have recently discovered a few products that allow me to tame these tresses without having to worry about product build up or weighing my hair down.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Touch of Gloss Melt in Balm, $38
This melt-in wax allows you to smooth and sculpt the hair without fear of it drying and hardening your hair to a crisp. After receiving a sample from an event last month, I’m convinced this product was made for me. It has a glossy finish and allows you to create a piece-y edgy look or slick hair back. It’s enriched with rose sakura essence, rich in fatty acids to regulate hydration and leaves a subtle fragrance. This has quickly become my favorite hair product because it is so versatile.

Moroccanoil® Hydrating Styling Cream, $34
Think of the Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream as a leave-in conditioner. I love using this on days where I need to combat dryness but don’t want to put a ton of products in my hair. This was the first hair product I nabbed once I started working for the brand and I’m glad I did. It’s lightweight and lets me create frizz free looks and provides a soft hold.

In the off chance that I don’t go to get my hair done, I allow my hair to air dry since a) I can’t blow dry the back properly and b) I don’t want to blow dry my hair. After washing, I apply my styling product of choice, style my hair how I’d like for it to dry and tightly wrap hair using wrap strips on my wet hair. I then cover that with a velcro mesh wrap and let hair dry. I may sometimes cheat and use a blow dryer to speed up the drying time.

You don’t have to have short hair to benefit from using them so go ahead, have a go at ’em.

Last weekend, I made my usual trip to the hair salon armed with a few new products to test out. Having cut my hair short (and then shorter on Monday!) I’m faced with the issue of constant new growth. Now that my hair is at its healthiest, it’s been growing faster than ever (yay?!) but the way it’s cut now means some parts of my hair are consists of growth while the rest remains a bit relaxed. Now’s the time for me to grow it completely natural (constant battle) and the latest products I’m testing can help me solve my dilemma and aid in the #healthyhair quest.

motions straight finish

One in four African American women with natural hair would like to straight style their hair, but only if their curl pattern would not be compromised*. Motions® new 3-step system lets you go from curly to straight and then bounce right back to your natural curls. The Bounce Back Formula preps, protects and seals your hair so your hair will return to its natural curly texture after one wash. *2013 Motions Hair Care Survey conducted by Kelton

Motions® sent me a sneak peek at their latest innovation in haircare along with some major tips to impart on this here blog. The new Straight Finish™ Heat Styled System offers women with natural curls the option to straighten their without losing them forever. So rejoice my natural chicas! You no longer have to worry about compromising your texture.

The Straight Finish™ Cleanser ($6.99) gently cleanses, softens and is formulated with a blend of Shea Butter, Soy Bean Oil and Keratin Protein. The cleanser was pretty rich and lathered up quickly. Next up is the Leave-In Conditioner ($6.99) which I loved and applied right before blow drying. Since my hair is short, I had my stylist use a small amount concentrating on areas with new growth. Blow drying was a breeze and the Sealer ($6.99) was applied to the completely dry hair. The result was super shiny hair with actual body. Typically when I get my hair done, it looks a bit dry and I’m faced with the problem of whether or not I should apply MORE product. Luckily I didn’t face this with the Straight Finish™ line and the best part was my hair was still shiny and bouncy a full 24 hours after the wash and set.

eileen dautruche
Now the fun part! GIVEAWAY!!! The good folks at Motions have offered to host a giveaway for FIVE lucky MissWYA readers. You will win the FULL SET of Straight Finish™ products. To enter, simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends 11:59 pm on May 2, 2013. HURRY and enter today!! Giveaway is closed.

Motions® Straight Finish™ Heat Styled System will be available in stores beginning Spring 2013. Samples were provided for this post!