Tag Archives: natural hair

DIY African Black Soap Shampoo (Liquid)

Hello Maicurlies! 

I am BACK! (again lol) Let’s skip the wishy-washy and get straight into it. 

Today I’ve got a new DIY recipe to share: Black African Soap Shampoo.

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So as the name suggestions, it is a hair shampoo, it is all natural and yes, it is simple! 

As with any commercial shampoo (which I personally don’t use) I use this to help cleanse my scalp from product buildup (my roots) and then I slowly work my way down the length of my hair. Previously I had been using Shikakai as a cleanser and I have nothing “bad” to say about it  but I wanted a change and stumbled upon Raw African Black Soap. 

What Is Black African Soap? 

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Black African Soap is traditionally made in West Africa from harvested plants such as sun dried dried plantain, cocoa pods, barks of Shea tree and palm leaves. Palm oil, palm kernel oil and water is also added to form the soap, which is left to “cure” before it is ready for use. 

Black African Soap can be used for both your hair and skin ( I will have a separate recipes for the skin – I use it to cleanse my face). Some of the many properties of this soap:

  • Anti-fungal 
  • Antibacterial
  • Cleansing
  • Reducing Oil productions (for overly oil skin since it does contain moisturizing properties to help balance the natural sebum produced by the skin).
  • Moisturizing
  • Helps sooth irritated skin
  • Reduces acne, blemishes and fine scars/lines

Recipe:

  • 1 oz Raw Black African Soap.
  • 8 oz warm Water (I use bottled water because my facet has hard water).
  • 1 tsp Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 tsp Glycerin Oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredient Alternatives:

You can use any oil/oils you have at home, you must not stick by what I personally use. You can skip the use of Essential Oils (or replace them with your favorites) I like using Peppermint Essential Oil because it has a tingling effect on the scalp that helps to stimulate blood flow which helps to stimulate growth, it also has cleansing properties, anti-fungal & anti bacterial properties and smells AMAZING! Lavender Essential Oil has a relaxing and soothing effect. I add glycerin to my recipe because it is a humectant and while Black Soap has moisturizing properties on its own I don’t find it moisturizing enough so the addition of glycerin seems to boost that (but it is optional). 

If you use Black African Soap, please leave me a comment below with your own recipe! I love learning and love sharing your recipes with my readers! And if you happen to try mine, please do leave me some feedback on what you think! 

Thanks

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Maicurls

Wash and Go using Avocurl Conditioning Butter (Brand Ambassador)

Hello Maicurlies,

Here is my second styling tutorial using the Avocurl Line – Conditioning Butter.  

As I mentioned in my first tutorial using their Daily Moisturizer, I was contacted by the founder Jasmine, to be a Brand Ambassador. For this demonstration, I used their conditioning butter to do a Wash & Go.

Products/Tools used: 

 

My next post shall be product reviews on both the conditioning butter and the daily moisturizer.

P.s I have a discount code you can use to purchase Avocurl products from their site using: MARIANNE

(Disclaimer: all thoughts and experiences expressed are my own honest review). 

If you happen to buy any of Avocurl please let me know what you think of the products!

Maicurls

Avocurl Daily Moisturizer: Twist out (Brand Ambassador)

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I am super excited to share some news along with a tutorial! 

I was recently contacted by a natural product company called Avocurl. The owner (a gorgeous and extremely lovely natural herself) asked if I would be interested to join her Brand Ambassador program. I of course did my research on the company and their products before happily saying YES! I will have a product review video and post later this week but just a heads up, I was more than pleased to say yes because of the product itself (the ingredients in the products and the back story behind them). 

So without further ado let’s get on with the tutorial shall we:

I started on freshly co-washed hair and used: 

  • Avocurl Daily Moisturizer (as a leave-in)
  • DIY Coffee Bean Infused Almond Oil (to seal)
  • DIY Flaxseed Gel (for hold and definition) 

I applied the products as follows: Moisturizer, Oil and Gel. I let my hair dry and set overnight before taking down my twists with a little oil on my fingertips. I separated my very very very defined curls, fluffed a little and Le Fin! 

As the days went on, my hair got bigger and better (always happens with me and my fine hair strands). The photo below is day 3. 

Like I said, I was sent two products so my new tutorial will be using the Conditioning butter to do a wash and go followed by a product review of both. 

I want to quickly rethank Jasmine for sending me her lovely products, I look forward to working together with Avocurl

(Disclaimer: all thoughts and experiences expressed are my own honest review). 

If you happen to buy any of Avocurl please let me know what you think of the products (and don’t forget to use the code to get your discount!) 

Thanks

Maicurls

New Opportunities & Beginnings, New Orleans & Baton Rouge Louisiana (Travel log 6 – 6)

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have to point out that at the age of about 15 I had made a “pact” with my best friend Sarah that we would travel to New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) together once we were done with school. Our “plan” was to go to NOLA, live there for a few months before University and (because we “knew” we would love it) we’d return after University. Teenagers have such imaginations and no concept of money! It turned out that we finished school Sarah ended up going to the United Kingdom for University and I headed to Switzerland but took off a few months to live in France then  did an internship before starting University. In short I never made it to NOLA. Sarah did though after Uni and she kept telling me I really needed to go. When I knew I would be making the trip the USA I knew that it would be impossible for me go without visiting the place. Even though I couldn’t have known for certain that I would really love it as a teenager, it is like I was meant to be there and my gut wasn’t wrong!

So, that is the little introduction: please be warned I spent a week in Louisiana so there’s a lot to share. 

31st November – I flew out from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and as always arrived early so I wouldn’t be stressed out while travelling alone. It was supposed to be a 5 hour flight (total) with 1 transit and I was over the moon excited, I mean really, really excited. When I finally got on my first plane I was seated next to larger than life gentleman who, very pleased with himself announced that our flight would be delayed due to bad weather. I didn’t do a good job in hiding the fact that I was unable to share in his delight and prayed he would be wrong, he wasn’t. The pilot announced that we would be a little delayed until we got the all clear to fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Mr. larger than life at was also very “thirsty” (vodka tonics) and had roughly 5 drinks in the 45 minutes that we were grounded. He kept asking me questions, was intrigued that I was travelling by my self and planned to visit NOLA on my own.

Because I had a connecting flight I got a little nervous if I would make it at all with the 45 minute delay. When we landed I legged it across the airport, politely asked people to move and found out that I had to not only run across airport but had to jump on one of those connecting trains to get to the other end. In the end I made it. I was one of the last people to board the plane, out of breath, sweating and annoyed but I made it! The delay and short connection time meant that…*drum roll please*….my luggage didn’t make it with me! Yup, my bag were still in Atlanta when I arrived and I was told that if possible they would try get it on one of the other flights coming arriving that night, but in all likelihood it would only arrive the following day. So I jumped in a taxi and headed to my hotel, sans bags. After a smooth check-in I got to my room, ordered some food, inhaled everything and then went to sleep. 

The following morning I got my first taste of delicious Louisiana biscuits (I became obsessed with this over the next 6 days). I kept checking with the airline about the status of my bags because I had initially wanted to go and explore but had to be around to pick up my luggage from the lobby. I ended up losing that first day because of my bag but I was pleased it arrived in the end. Later that night I had randomly met two Germans guys that were in the hotel overnight and were fantastically friendly.  We had a few drinks together at the bar before I had an early night.

My next few days were filled with taking in touristy spots, eating and drinking (more than I should have), basking in the culture and friendliness of the south! I have never come across people as friendly as I did while in Louisiana! From the bus ticket lady, the driver of the bus, the guy renovating the hotel and random people that would come up and talk to me. Funny story: while on the Greyhound Bus (destination French Quarter) I was waiting for people to disembark so I stayed seated (super smiles and all because I couldn’t wait). A guy that was seated behind me stood by my seat and said something to me which I didn’t understand (this happened several times). I sheepishly said “Sorry” and he repeated whatever it was he was trying to tell me, again nope didn’t get it, “sorry I didn’t get you”. He proceeded to point at my face smiling and said “You have a pretty face” over emphasizing each word loudly so I could understand him. I wanted to disappear because it seemed like I was trying to get him to repeat it on purpose and make everyone else on the bus hear LOL. Poor guy just smiled after I again sheepishly said “Ohhh Thank You!” 

So the French Quarter was of course visited and a ton of photos were taken. I apparently wasn’t supposed to take photos of things inside the stores (I am sneaky and managed to do so anyways). Souvenirs were bought for everyone back home including a T-shirt I bought for myself (I LOVE it)! Music was listened to and gumbo was consumed. I can not stress enough how much I loved my time in NOLA. As I said before I had this “instinct” prior to even having stepped foot in in the State that I would love the art, culture, food, people, atmosphere, everything and I was not disappointed. 

During my stay I met a completely insane girl at the hotel that was still drunk when she came for breakfast and accidentally sat at my table while I was getting my plate. She wore bright bright bright pink tracksuits every morning, not that she needed any extra attention with her crazy ways and her antics had me in stitches, we quickly got along.  She actually announced to anyone wanting to buy us drinks that we would take the drinks but they shouldn’t get any funny ideas, “we aren’t here to get picked up by you” was the line she would use time and again LOL! 

One evening after my new friend had checked out I was at the hotel bar with my book and phone, chatting to a couple that had been staying in the hotel since August (after the storm) when a guy decided to park himself right beside me. He too was apparently a local and decided to check himself into a hotel to “take a break from everything”. He was polite enough and small talk was made, After about an hour or so I had stepped out of the bar and upon my return found out he had paid for the last drink. I wasn’t too keen on this since I like buying/paying for my own drinks in general, especially If I don’t know you AND I am on my own. Regardless, it was done so I thanked him. Now here is the kicker ladies, he informed me that he was headed back to his room so I put my hand out to shake his and say goodbye. He used the opportunity to pull me into a hug and then whispers “Walk me to my room”. NOW in all my life, I have NEVER EVER had a guy ask me to walk him anywhere LOL. Correct me if I am wrong, it usually is the other way around, and I have no clue what made him think even that would have happen. I polity said I was perfectly happy sitting in my chair and quickly made a beeline to my room when two other guys walked in the bar and yelled” Hey ma’am, how are you, I am thirsty today”. 

On my second to last day I did a bit of shopping (of course) in yet again another HUGE shopping mall. I went a little overboard with shopping during my entire trip (this became obvious when my bags exceeded the limit on the day I was leaving). Anyways so shopping was done while in Louisiana as well. 

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I also met a friend that is a Baton Rouge local. Drinks and a movie were had as part of my last night in Louisiana before I made the 24 trip back home.  

Now, having explained how I had this “feeling” I would enjoy a trip to NOLA I have a feeling that a repeat is on the way soon. I have a tourist visa and the possibility to take a trip again for a little while. I didn’t feel like I got to see enough, do enough, experience enough so a longer stay is planned. My parents actually asked me if I planned to move there since they too knew NOLA was a “I will live there one day” spot. Who knows, anything is possible if you have the desire and opportunity right? 

That brings my “travel log” to an end and all I can say is I had an overall fantastic time in the US. I had a feeling I would like it but had no idea how much I would enjoy myself. My friends and the people I got to meet made all the difference. I have had this “I need something new” feeling for a little while and when I got back home it seems like that feeling has only gotten stronger. Like I said, who knows, a move might be in the works…

Maicurls

Maicurls

Perm Rod Curls – Valentine’s Day Look (option 2)

Hey Maicurlies,

So I managed to record and edit another “Valentine’s Day Look”. I figured since I was redoing my hair I might as well record it and heck why not throw on a dress that makes for a good “Valentine’s Day Date Look”.

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Ok so as the titles says it is a perm rod set and I used all DIY products and a Natural Oil. I ended up using 32 orange perm rods (originally I wanted to use less but forgot that was my initial plan) and let my hair air dry overnight before taking down the rods (with a little oil on my fingertips), separating and then fluffing my curls.

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I always feel that having “faux bangs” really isn’t quite “for my face” but then I have a rather noticeable forehead so I want to rock a faux bang to cover it up so I opt for a to the side fringe thing…..anyways you get the point. In the video I tried both but ended up feeling “most like me” with it to the side, so that is what I stuck with for the final look.

Products/Tools Used:

  • 32 Orange Perm Rods
  • DIY Spray Leave-In Conditioner
  • DIY Hibiscus Flaxseed Gel
  • Argan Oil
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Afro Pick

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Method:

I had sectioned my hair into little mini sections after cowashing my hair. From each section made (a total of 6) I would apply the products in this order:

  • Spray Leave-In Conditioner
  • Hibiscus Flaxseed Gel
  • Argan Oil 

After applying the products I detangle with my wide tooth comb (my hair was already detangled before) and then make smaller sections to roll. I start from the ends and work my way up, first rolling the ends of my hair onto itself and then in a slanted angle wind my hair around the rods. After letting my hair air dry overnight I use a little oil to help separate my hairs and reduce frizz while doing so, separate and fluff. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers out there and as for us single girls/guys Happy Valentine’s Day to us too! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Valentine’s Day Date – Protective Hair Style

Hello Maicurlies,

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day I decided to so a styling video for a “Date Look”. (I think I might potentially do a second styling option – depending on if I will have time to record and edit in time before V-day). 

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I am keeping it simple (as always) and quick. The style looks quite “chic” a little edgy and works as a protective style as well so overall I like it! I also kept my product use simple too (once again as always). 

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So without further-ado let’s go!

Products/Tools Used:

  • Wide Tooth Comb
  • Soft Bristle Brush
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hair Bubbles
  • Hair Elastics
  • Dye Brush (pointy part to section my hair)
  • DIY Spray Leave-In Conditioner
  • Argan Oil
  • Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

It is easier to watch a demonstration rather than read how I did the style:

Tip: for those with shorter hair, you can use braiding hair to do this style by adding it to the middle and bottom section, and twisting your hair together with it. I would recommend either doing a loose flat twist with the pompadour section go backwards or just making three sections,  add braiding hair to all three and then make  two – two strand twists within each sections. (You will need to watch the video so that this is clearer).  

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Tip: In case you don’t want to redo the style in the morning my suggestion is to take down the bobby pins (it is never a comfortable night with them in and not necessarily a good idea). Use a scarf to cover your hair, paying attention to your edges and side; for a smooth look in the morning and then just re-pin the twists down. You might need to “touch up” your edges with a soft bristle brush but other than that, it should be fine! 

So here is my “final look”. Like I said, if I can I will do another styling option too and hopefully have it up before the 14th! 

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Whether you have a Valentine or not, are celebrating or not, I hope you manage to have a lovely day Maicurlies! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Whirlwind Washington DC Day Trip (Travel log 5-6)

29th November 2016 – was the day I decided to be a super tourist and ventured off to Washington DC for a few hours of strolling and photo taking. 

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Qais kept reinforcing that I couldn’t be so close to Washington and not visit it, he had a point. He wanted to join but had classes, so after getting ready in the morning I called my taxi guy. It was the same taxi man that I had been using for the last few days so he of course did the whole “what to look out for” speech, gave me advice on how to “hide my money” from pickpockets and went on about how much he despises Washington DC LOL.

I caught the Blue Line train and settled down for the 40 minute ride before I switched trains to continue my journey to Union Station. I had mapped everything out on my phone, made note of places I wanted to see and knew which train I would take back. I arrived without a hitch and was feeling all kinds of proud of myself. Washington DC here is Mai! 

The first sight I was greeted by was the Liberty Bell replica in front of Union Station which, made me go into “tourist mode” and out came the camera. Just down the road (a few good meters away) I spotted Capital Building (you really can’t miss it), so onward I went.

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To my surprise I saw a squirrel! I was super pleased to see the little furry fellow and again out came the camera. I wanted to get close but was worried I would scare him/her away. To my surprise the squirrel started heading in my direction! Now I was sure I would get attacked or something but I took photos nonetheless. I quickly realized that there were tons of squirrels everywhere so the novelty wore off after a while. I actually had one follow me while I was marching back to the station! (Squirrels like me :D) .

The park along the way stretched on for ages, the trees were so beautiful (even those without any leaves) then while I was walking it started to rain! I of course did not have an umbrella or raincoat (actually do not own one) so there I was marching in the cold wet weather, determined to explore and take photos. After getting sick of walking in the drizzle I made my way to a little food shack. Hot chocolate was had (at first) and then I decided I was hungry so Nachos accompanied it.

Once the rain/drizzle stopped I continued. My useless phone I bought while in the States had a shady battery so I quickly realized I was running out of juice and never like that kind of situation when I am away from places and people I know. I decided that I would save my battery and “wing it”, follow signs, ask people and “make note” of roads to find my way back. I knew I had to see the White House so I just kept going…in the wrong direction LOL.

I of course saw a lot the other tourist attractions during my walk:  the Library of Congress, The Supreme Court, the Smithsonian Institution Building, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington Monument.

Eventually I sheepishly asked a friendly looking gentleman if I was going the right direction; “no, but I can show you”. So off we went while making small talk. Frank lived/worked in DC and he told me all about his job and life. He walked with me for about 15 minutes before stopping to ask if I was married and if I wanted to go for coffee…(friendly looking Frank  was a bit of a flirt). I politely declined, pointing to my camera to indicate I was keen on taking a photo of the White House before heading back. He pointed down the road and said it would be on my right, no more than 5 minutes away.

There must have been some kind of event going on or something because there was a LARGE group of people dressed to kill! It wasn’t raining at the time but for whatever reason they ALL had their umbrellas out and occupied half of the street… literally around 60 – 80 people with umbrellas opened and dressed like they were attending a wedding or something. I wanted to take a photo but felt I would probably get yelled at so I opted not to. Anyways, 5 minutes later Frank was right, I spotted the White House! 

Now, my focus was to try and get as close as possible to the White House to take my tourist photo, I didn’t notice there was a police block ahead (of course). I kept walking, looking around (like a silly fascinated tourist), not noticing I actually walked around a barrier intended to stop me from continuing until I was a stone throws away from two policemen. I must have a knack for giving this “ops silly me” look because both of the police guys smiled and gave me the thumbs up as I shrugged and said sorryyyyyy (holding my camera in my hand) trying to excuse myself as being a “stupid tourist”.

It was only then that I noticed no one else was walking on the road I was on, everyone had walked behind another barrier to the left of the road and all the other tourists were packed together to take photos of the White House. We were not close but still, I could see it! I was asked to take a photo of two ladies and then one of them returned the favor to take mine, mission accomplished and it was time to march back. 

Now, because I was busy chitchatting with Frank I forgot that I was supposed to “make note” of the roads I took. Long story short I ended up power walking back! I had to make it back in time so I could meet Qais for drinks and dinner. I managed to make my train and still had a little juice left on my phone to call my taxi man. Instead of heading back to the hotel Qais told me to meet him at the mall and he picked me up from there.

I had been craving for some real Italian Pizza and Qais being the wonderful man that he is took me to get some along with my favorite dessert wine. We decided to go for a walk after dinner to “help digest the food” and to spend my last evening since I would be flying down to Louisiana the following day.

Louisiana was the last leg of my trip and shall be continued in my next post….