Showing posts with label ashiya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ashiya. Show all posts

Jul 20, 2015

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Finding My Style

Over the last month, I've noticed an interesting difference in my energy towards my hair.

I've finally started to relax. I am comfortable enough with the maintenance at this length and it shows in how I view hair in general. At this point, I'm all in the product game again. There's not one product that I absolutely love; most of what I use is "doing the job", but I am still on the hunt for something that my hair cannot live without. I've been here before. We all have. It's that game of trial and error combined with self-awareness and vigilance. That point in the game where the slightest change can shut a product down completely without a second thought.

Practicing Kemetic Yoga™ at Soul Yoga Fest Chicago. I added some texture for the day.

Jun 15, 2015

Ashiya's Hair Diary: The Awkward Phase

One of the main reasons I did not want to cut my locs down to a TWA was the inevitable awkward phase. Mainly because I don't care. It is what it is. I can be honest enough to say that come across in styling at times. I keep it clean and moisturized, because the maintenance is what is most important to me.

Wedding Style: Me with my beautiful cousin!

Apr 13, 2015

Ashiya's Hair Diary: The Final Cut

This weekend I had the final hair cut that brings my first loc journey to an end. Thirteen years, waist length locs and countless life lessons later, I decided to venture out for more.  Although I'll probably loc my hair again at some point, I am curious to see how my hair develops without manipulation.  I'm going with 4B as my hair type and I plan to give it what it responds to from there.

THE FINAL CUT: The first outing.
My first option didn't work out and I thought a barber would be much less emotional for me.  I knew I would have to cut a bit more of my hair to even it out and I really didn't want to.  I just wanted to chop my locs and let it go from there.  But there was a large area on the left side of my head that would not let my TWA be great.

Apr 9, 2015

DISCUSSION: The New Beauty Curators

A few weeks ago when the world was buzzing about Giuliana Rancic's comments on Zendaya Coleman's hair, it stirred up something that I've thought about for some time.  When we consider "beauty standards" and the ones who set them, we may not appreciate their presentation, but quite often those who are marginalized are also their inspiration.

The times we live in now are so different because our communities have expanded into cyberspace. We're coming to a place where Social Media is just as powerful as what we've always referred to as "the media".  That is one of the reasons why Rancic's apology came so fast.  EVERYONE was talking about it.  And they could tell her all about it.  The social media exchange can really be powerful if the intention and will is present.

SELFIE: Melissa celebrates her first event with The Blogger Girls and the beginning of Fashion Week.

Mar 9, 2015

HAIR DIARY: Unraveling Time

Full+ Free: My Loc Inspiration For This Week.
Over the last week or so, I've done something I never thought I would do.

I've unraveled some of my locs.  It's not a major undertaking, but it has still been a tedious, slow process.  I decided to take this route to give me a bit more length to work with after cutting my locs.

Feb 9, 2015

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Loc Goals

When I decided to cut my locs off to restart them, I did so with a desire to "get to know" my hair texture.  I didn't need to cut anything to figure that out.  By slowing down the maintenance process, I've allowed enough new growth to become quite familiar.

Loc Goals: Lauryn's locs were always lovely.

I realized the real conversation around starting my locs should have been about texture and not about the size I wanted them to be.  I wanted to create locs that I could easily style, so their size was my biggest concern.  When I think of the maintenance they required over the years, I can see how my hair should have started out clearly now to achieve the same goal.

Dec 8, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Know Thy Hair

"Know Thyself" is a Kemetic Proverb that has been a wonderful guide and inspiration to me over the last few years.  I apply it so often that I didn't notice it was probably the last bit of inspiration in my decision to cut and restart my locs.

4B: Photo of South African Singer Lira.

I had just a few days between The Big Chop Part I and starting this set of locs, so there was no time to become familiar with the texture of my hair.  While texture played a huge part in how my locs formed, I didn't take the time to learn what was best for my hair.  That learning period is probably the most discouraging aspect of allowing hair to exist in its natural state and why I chose to loc my hair so fast. Now I understand how that personal knowledge of my hair texture set the foundation for how I cared my for locs over the last 12 years.

4B: Short + Cute

I know the labeling systems are not perfect, but for the sake of conversation, we will call my hair 4B. (Melissa and I did a quick consultation in the parking lot, so you know its official.) I've done most of my research to this point from that aspect and have seen beautiful images and reflections of what I see in the afro "underneath" my locs.

I knew I was ready for the cut when my thoughts went from "how long will it be" to "what shape do I want".  Of course those two go hand in hand, but once the locs are gone, we'll decide then what the final cut will be.  I plan to stay open to the process, but I am leaning towards one style in particular.

4B: Solange

I have a few more weeks with this set of locs.  Another reason I'm confident in the change is Amber. I was excited for her move to Macon because I can see her each time I visit my home and family in Georgia.  I cannot wait to get in her chair.  Amber is amazing when it comes to cutting hair.  I can't wait to share what we come up with.

I'm sure I'll walk out pleased.

Nov 21, 2014

ROOTS & RHYTHM: India Arie f. Akon - "I Am Not My Hair"

This time of year is always seems to be a unique mixture of our past, present and future.  Families are planning to gather and celebrate each other and their traditions.  Individually we're planning for the year ahead while showing gratitude for the blessings of the year that has passed.

Candice, Toya, Ashiya, and Melissa at the 30th Annual African Street Festival 2012
It is a time of change and it has certainly landed at Natural in Nashville.  We will already miss Amber, just as we miss Toya.  That gives us another reason to be thankful for our online community. We can see them flourish and grow where they have been planted now.  And we miss them a little bit less.

NIN Spring 2014 Photo Shoot: Candice, Ashiya, Amber and Melissa.

The team is changing and growing for 2015 and we are excited for the next leg of our collective natural hair journey.  One thing writing for Natural In Nashville has confirmed for me is something we all know:  it is more than hair.  Healthy hair is the result of a healthy mind, body and Spirit.  It truly does depend on our lifestyle.

NIN Spring Meet Up: Melissa, Candice, Ashiya and Amber

Nothing made this more evident than looking over the blog and seeing our health concerns, personal beliefs and special moments in life all connected to stories about our hair.

As we welcome two new writers and prepare for 2015, I found no better song than this classic from Ms. India Irie.  We come here to share about our hair, but it is so much more!

Stay tuned to Natural in Nashville on Facebook for more on our new writers!

We can't wait to see you at the Natural in Nashville Holiday #PopUpMeetUp!  Get tickets here.

Nov 10, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Picks + Combs

I am still thinking about cutting my locs.  Ok.  I've pretty much decided its happening.

That's not to say I'll never have locs again, but I think this set has run its course.

I got all kinds of advice, but one piece that remained was "You'll get stronger as your locs get longer. The really do represent your strength."  I feel much stronger than my locs these days.  The other thing that remains is something I read, but I can't remember where: "You grow in and out of locs sometimes".  After 12 years, I feel that, too.

The color change in my hair is a good visual of the growth. SWAN's locs create hair lust daily.
 (Photo by Toni Denisa Photography)
All in all, we're back at the same conversation that connects the health of hair and how we wear it to who we are.  Right now, I'm allowing room for growth and progress in my life.  That's probably why I refuse to loc my hair as often.  I even refused to do it when I knew I was going to see a professional photographer for work.  I've given it room to grow. I want stronger locs.

So the question is, will cutting the current set allow the most room for growth?  Even if I don't cut them now, I will have a new set of locs in a few years anyway because of the break I've given my hair.

I went straight to locs after my first Big Chop.  I've worn my hair free with no chemicals for just a few days in my life. (Amazing!)  I can't say that I'm not interested in that experience for a while, but I know the maintenance will drive me back to locs for sure.

Young Ashley giving me hair goals.
I sorted all of this out while falling in love with chichiromeo+me.  I landed on the blog because of Julie's hair, but the fashion and photography were a lovely bonus.  Julie, Ashley and Grace all create some serious hair lust, but young Ashley may have done it for me. With a similar texture, the size of her afro seems so doable from where I am now.

Ashley with her sister Grace.  When children create hair envy.
I'm not sure when the third installment of The Big Chop will happen or how long the afro stage will last this time.  I may not even reach Ashley's length.

Because at the end of at it all, I want a healthy set of locs.  But I am up for some adventure, in the mean time.

Read more about chichiromeo+me here.  You'll love this beautiful family!

Oct 13, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: Knots + Braids

I decided to revisit an old faithful to create curls now that my hair is much shorter.  I've tried bantu knots at different stages of growth and this is definitely the time for them.  It only took about ninety minutes to knot.  I didn't plan well enough for them to air dry, which showed in the final result.  Although time under the dryer feels like slow torture, next time I'll probably sit there to let them set initially and then finish air drying.

Simple knots for curls.

I'm going with curls and texture right now to help me stick to my current free form stint.  I'm still putting some time in between maintenance and the styles have really helped. I love that returning to something so simple can give new life to my hair and renew my energy and patience.  

My lack of enthusiasm about the results clearly showed in my not taking any pictures, but I am excited to try something new again this week.  It took me a while to get here, but I'm back.  The hesitation with styling was definitely all about the re-learning curve.  Its amazing all the subtle ways I'm still adjusting to this length again.
Hair Lust: If I still had the length....

I'm going to play around with braids next.  My goal is to create a 2-for-1 style that I can wear up for a few days before taking the braids down to avoid the dryer.  I've done it before with longer hair, but this length and angle make it a bit different for me. As long as I can get something similar to the pattern like this for more than three days, I'll consider it a win.  

Hair Lust: Textured Locs

And I promise pictures this time.  For better or for worse.

Sep 8, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: All Dressed Up In Love

This weekend one of my closest friends said "I do" in one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I've ever attended.  My friend, Valerie, is the epitome of elegance.  Her energy and her style are both effortlessly regal and it was definitely reflected in her wedding day look, the decor and her bridesmaids.

Natural Hair Beauty: Pressed straight, Curled, Loc'd, Braided and Two-strand twisted updos. 

Because natural hair can be affected by so many variables, the style choice for weddings are usually decided as carefully as the wedding dress itself.  Most brides I know had at least two wedding day hair trials to see how the style would hold up for the day.  In my own experience, my lovely curls held up well until the morning of our wedding.  They fell into a softer curl pattern than I wanted, but I was still pleased.

Wedding Day Locs: Soft curls tucked and pinned.

Since curls are usually easy to manipulate, I decided to try my first set after my hair cut.  Same deal. They held up well until late in the evening the day before Valerie's wedding.  I decided to go ahead and pin them up and work with what I had.  Even though the curls we not as I hoped, I still appreciated the volume added.  I had plenty of drying time, so I think I will use smaller rollers next time to preserve the curls longer.

Rain started to move in, but we were all smiles regardless.
While I was the only bridesmaid with locs, everyone rocked their natural hair and again, I was reminded of the beauty and versatility of owning your texture.  We were certainly all dressed up in Love.

(If you got my Sex And The City reference, these Ladies love you!)

Jul 3, 2014


OMG! I know you are wondering, "Where has the team been?" What have we been doing, and GOSHDARNIT where are the posts? Lol! Sorry! We apologize. You know what happened? Life happened! Below I'll share a couple of updates and let you know when we'll get this train rolling again. 

MELISSA, The Editor-in-Chief: guess I'll start with myself. I've been traveling all summer long, with more travel ahead of me. Most importantly, I'll be speaking in MEMPHIS at the NATURALS IN THE CITY Natural Hair Event. Then I have to have surgery which will take me out the game for about FOUR WEEKS! Ugh! I know!

When September comes you're gonna see a bunch of changes with the site and with the team. I'm working hard (behind the scenes) to set up a strong foundation to handle such changes. Of course you know I run TWO WEBSITES (check out and making sure both sets of readers are entertained and informed can be alot to juggle. No complaints, because I love what I do - but I need longevity to stay in this game. So sometimes I need to lay low in order to go big.

T-SHIRTS: real talk, manufacturing t-shirts takes money on the front end that you may not receive in the back end. I know I promised NEW t-shirts for the summer, but I think we are gonna produce more shirts in the fall (September). They will be nice!

ANOTHER EVENT: yup! I want to do another event. Like I said about the t-shirts, events cost money. BIG MONEY! But we LOVE to see you all in person so we are DEFINITELY going to do another event. I wanted to do something in August, but that's not gonna happen, so we are leaning more towards OCTOBER. In everything, I want excellence! Never wanting to do anything half-way, sometimes telling myself NO is the hardest part. You know we'll keep you posted about the next #NINMEETUP.

BUT CAN Y'ALL POST MORE ARTICLES? Umm - yeah we can. Posting articles takes research and time. It's summer! We want to play outside! Lol! But for real, I'll take the lead and start posting more articles. Especially during my recovery in August; I'll have some time to write a bunch of stuff that's been sitting in my queue for months. No, I'm not lying, the team has at least 25 UNFINISHED articles just waiting for us to buckle down and finish. We LOVE our readers and we APOLOGIZE for not posting daily like usual.

Make sure you follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and TUMBLR! Those are spots where I post little gems, pics, and sometimes contests. Stay connected!  

First up, our girl Amber graduated from AVEDA!! Not only did she graduated, she won like a kabillion awards and scored a new job. She'll be a stylist at the TRUE BLUE salon on West End in Nashville.

And, Ashiya is working hard and making changes too. Not only did she chop her locs (aren't you loving this cut) but she's started a business with her family and she's steady advancing in her yoga teaching skills. SWAN HOLISTIC will be up and running soon; bringing quality yoga classes and teaching to you!

 And last, but not least, Candice has been working hard too. She got a fancy-nancy switch/promotion at her job, some very fly Havana Twists (seen above), and SHE GOT ENGAGED! Yup! We had to give the new fiancé some time to be happy abt all these new changes.

So you see we haven't forgot about you. We are just living life for a moment. But I promise, you aren't ready for FALL 2014 - it's gonna be bananas! I encourage you to take advantage of the summer, live life, take a ton if pics, and stop worrying about your hair! We love you!

May 12, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: The Observation Period

I've learned there are times when it is best not to carry any expectations.  My Loc Chop is one of them. Of course I feel my hair will grow back healthy and full, but that is the only thing I truly hope for. When I started my locs, I had a perfect vision of what they should look like when they were this length before.  My need to control the way my hair grew in weakened my locs, so I'm excited to see what they will do as they free form with less guidance.

Apparently, I woke up like Mommy.  Happy Mother's Day again!

The first few weeks have been interesting and revealing.  Like anything in life, I really didn't realize the weight of my hair until I released it.  As always I had major plans for styling my hair, but I've found myself observing longer than I thought I would.  The first thing I noticed is coconut oil alone is not sufficient anymore.  I just don't get the same results. I haven't decided on what to use, but I know I want a blend of pure oils for daily use.

One of our inspiration images for my Loc Chop

I am ready to style my hair, though.  More than anything for the same reason: to observe my hair.  I think my first styling option will be a braid out.  I'm looking forward to braiding all of my hair in the same time it took to braid half of my hair before the cut.

Curls are definitely going to be a staple for the summer, too.
I initially thought I should have been this attentive in every aspect the first time, but then I asked how many times do we actually get to go back and do something right?  Not many.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to apply lessons I learned the first time around.

Apr 10, 2014

Ashiya's Hair Diary: The Big Chop II

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

Yes.  This really happened today.  Not because I wanted it to, but because it needed to.

For some time, I've been torn about my locs.  It was obvious that the length was taking a toll on the health of my hair and I've avoided the real solution for some time.

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

I knew I would cut it eventually, but I did want to free form for a few months before The Big Chop II.  However, a quick chat with Kristi from Kinki Rootz at the NIN Spring Meet Up confirmed what Amber and I suspected, but had not said officially:  the cut had to happen first.

Style concept and cut by Amber Curry.

So here we are.  The loc renewal is official.  It is a new day with a new look and Amber and I are creating a new regimen.  Stay tuned!

Apr 2, 2014

NIN Meet Up Spring 2014: Ashiya's Favorite Things

Its Wednesday and I'm still feeling the energy and love from the first Natural in Nashville Meet Up.  When we started planning the event, there was really no way to gauge our ideas and goals for the day other than what we hoped to gain from the experience ourselves.  We knew we wanted our readers to be educated and informed, but we also wanted to enjoy our time with you.  I think we achieved both.

Our obligatory group shot. Photo bomb by John.  He was always there when you needed him.  Perfection.
One of the things I loved most about the NIN Meet Up was the opportunity to see Amber do her thing.  Aside from the Meet Up, Amber was preparing for a competition at Avevda as she moves toward completing her training this May.  Candice and I were able to take a quick break from setting up to watch Amber in action.  If you were there and met her model, you know Amber displayed her skills in a way that shows both her potential and her vision as a hair stylist.  We are so  proud!

Amber shares a few styling techniques on models from the NIN Community.
I also loved the knowledge that our panelists were able to bring to the discussion.  We are so thankful for the beautiful ladies that shared their questions and concerns because it allowed us to see first hand the talent and wisdom available to the Natural in Nashville community.  Kristi of Kinky Rootz and Ms. Gale of Aveda Institute were absolutely wonderful.  I loved the fact that they did not answer one question until there was a clear understanding of what was being asked.  At times, they even heard what was not being said.  Their experience was perfectly balanced by Kenya (@halfietruths) and her hair reminding us that hair care is as much about our lifestyle as it is about products and procedures.  As a life coach, wholistic self-care is one of the things I work through the most with my clients.  It was wonderful to see that aspect come through during the panel discussion.

Loc Love!  Over 30 years of combined growth!
More than anything, my favorite part of the day is definitely the warm smiles, hugs and hellos.  It is one thing to sit at my computer and publish words to connect with you.  It is quite another to spend the day enjoying each other's company.  As soon as we can catch our breath, we are ready to do it all over again, Nashville.

Thank you to all who attended!  You made our first Natural in Nashville Meet Up one to remember.

Mar 17, 2014

HAIR LUST: Free Forming with Style

Amber and I started planning our first steps in my loc renewal.  One of my goals is to grow my roots out on this level.  I love the ways she is working with her new growth!

Mar 10, 2014

ASHIYA'S HAIR DIARY: Combining Lessons

For better or worse, I am attached to my locs.  Over the last year, I've gone back and forth about what to do with my hair because I can see some of the issues that longer locs suffer already starting to manifest.

2009.  My best loc season.
I've looked back at tons of pictures of myself to try and figure out where the change happened and I think I've narrowed it down.  My hair locs really began to change at the end of 2009 for a few different reasons I'm starting to realize.

Size and Length Matter.  When I started my locs, I wanted them to be manageable and easy to style so I asked for what I thought was a good size.  Until my locs were shoulder length, their size didn't seem to be an issue.  Not only did the weight of my locs become more of a factor, but the ability to pull them up easily started to work against me.  Because of the length, I wore buns and ponytails often.  If I had been more conscious, I would have wrapped my locs with a scarf more often than apply the stress of pulling them up or back.

Balance Techniques.  When I discovered interlocking, I completely abandoned palm rolling. Because my locs were already small and interlocking can be such a harsh process, I should have maintained a better balance between interlocking, palm rolling and free forming.  With the right regimen, I'm quite sure I could have given my hair more rest and lessened the effects of the interlocking process.

Honor Your Challenge.  It seemed so insignificant many nights, but I had a terrible habit of working late and crashing without covering my hair for the night.  Allowing that to slip for a consistent time period was really a challenge to my hair.  I've since found a simple solution.  After my last video conference of the day, I take the time for my hair ritual and wrap it for the evening.  That simple shift made a all the difference.

Shoulder length locs on me and he was just getting started.  2009.

There are times in life when we wish we could go back and do it all again.  Well, I've finally decided that I'm going back and doing my locs all over again.

I cried at the thought of cutting my locs, but when you have know fabulous stylists who educate like Amber, you find a way to achieve your goals in a way that is authentic and comfortable for you.  I'm happy that I don't have to make any dramatic changes to achieve my goal.

Stay tuned to my hair diary as Amber and I revive and regenerate my locs.  It is going to be a journey, so if you've ever considered starting locs, come along for the ride!

Feb 10, 2014

ASHIYA'S HAIR DIARY: #HairStrike2014

I decided last year to allow my hair to free form for the health of my locs, but please allow me to shift my intention a bit...

#HairStrike2014.  I'm here for it.  My decision not to loc my hair originally is in the Spirit of the original intent of the strike.  I am rebelling against my own need for perfectly manicured locs at the expense of their health.

But now I'm here for Pam Oliver.

Why?  I see the hair.  I get it.  The weekly roast, I don't understand.  On one hand, I feel it.  It's Pam Oliver and she could have her pick of any hair stylist in any city she broadcasts from during football season.  But on the other hand, its Pam Oliver.  She's earned our respect in many ways other than being our sister.  Is it right to express our harshest opinions publicly EVERY week?

Of course, I am bothered by this discussion for personal reasons and I fully recognize it.  My niece is learning to maintain her own hair.  She had a bit of resistance at first and I'm sure it was because of the work we all know it takes to learn and care for natural hair.  She's grown from the constant bun to some very cute protective styles, which tells me she's getting the hang of this natural hair life already.

So do me a favor, give Pam Oliver a break this coming season.  If not for her, for my niece and all those just starting out on their natural journey.  Our collective power can be a source of understanding or ridicule.  It is up to us, but we must be consistent.

I debated about sharing publicly because it is not my intention to judge, but what better place than Natural in Nashville to start a positive ripple effect?

I always look for the balance in social situations that frustrate me and this week, I found it.  Tell me: are you coming to our first meet up?  I can't wait to meet you all!

Jan 13, 2014


I've reached that point in my wellness journey where my hair and my fitness routine are at odds. Again. When that happens, there's nothing else to do but get creative.

Play after yoga class.  This is my current bun for yoga, but it won't work for all practices.

Depending on the activity, a high bun works perfectly.  During runs and most yoga practices a bun keeps my hair away from my face and dry.  But there are times in yoga when headstands and other inversions won't work with a high bun.  I've adjusted the height, but I still end up removing the bun before my practice is done, which I find annoying.

My last resort: Princess Leia

Before I channel Princess Leia, I think I am going to try braiding my hair.  I don't have a particular style in mind, but it needs to be easy because I don't braid so well right now.  That leads me to a classic: two french braids that can be tucked at the ends.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I will also be in the pool more this year, which is my biggest concern.  I think smaller braids under a cap will work best. I hope pinning the braids down will create a smoother surface for a cap to fit tighter.

During my initial research, I landed at Speedo to find their Fatskin3 Hair Management System. Apparently, Speedo has created a fabric cap to hold long hair in place under their competition swim caps.  At $30 for this piece alone, I'm guessing it would work well under wigs, too.  

This cap promises to hold long hair in place under swim caps.  Is it worth the investment?

If there are any swimmers with hair tips for a newbie, please share!

Jan 7, 2014

PRODUCT REVIEW: Shea Moisture Shampoo

I recently participated in a Twitter discussion for yoga entrepreneurs hosted by Black Enterprise and much to my delight, I won a yoga mat for sharing my experience!  And even better, the mat was a gift from a Natural in Nashville favorite: Shea Moisture.  As a thank you, I had to share something I haven't said specifically: I love their shampoos!*

Thank you, Shea Moisture!!

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo; Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.

$8.49 - $10.49, depending on the retailer.

Target is one of the more popular distributors of Shea Moisture products.  Walgreens offers the shampoos at buy one get one free relatively often, which I love.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo
The deep cleansing shampoo came highly recommended from someone I trusted for washing locs and my first wash lived up to their expectations.  I did experience deep cleansing although I had to work a bit to lather.  Once I worked it into my locs, the African black soap played its part and help to clean and free my locs from product, workouts and everyday toxins.  My locs were left clean, not stripped, but I could definitely tell my hair needed to be replenished.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. 

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
I shared this shampoos in our Christmas Wishes Giveaway, so it's secret I am a fan. I initially decided to give the raw shea butter a try to test the moisture retention.  This one worked easily into my locs and created a rich, full lather.  I know the previous wash helped, but I like the consistency of the Raw Shea Butter.  I think the thick, creamy texture creates a lather that worked right into the roots and the length of my locs.  While the African Black Soap does the cleaning work, the Raw Shea Butter left my hair with a light, sweet scent that I always get a whiff of at the perfect moment. And it delivered on the moisture retention.  My hair felt softer immediately and the sheen that comes with clean appeared as my locs dried naturally.

Warming up for practice on my new mat from Shea Moisture.
 I think I'm going to wear this ponytail more often!

While I am still open to trying new shampoos, it feels good to have a cleansing and moisturizing option I can rely on again.  Stay close for my review of the remaining shampoos in the Shea Moisture line.
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