Long Lost Love: A Shower Cap for Big Curly Hair


Photos: VirtuosaBeauty.com

Hello friends. It’s hard to keep good things to myself when it comes to making my hair routine easier. So I’m excited to share that I’ve found the long lost love that I never knew I had – The Virtuosa Shower Cap, made just for big hair!

On days that I don’t wash my hair, I’ve traditionally had two methods of keeping it dry:

  1. The pineapple. When my hair is very long, I pineapple it when taking a shower. The only problem is that my pineapple is so tall it never quite fits under a regular shower cap. Hair gets wet; frizz creeps in.
  2. The clip/elastic/headband method. I use this when my hair is shorter. Clip for the front layers, elastic for the length of hair, and headband to keep it all together under the shower cap. Needless to say, that’s a lot of stretching and flattening of curls.

The Virtuosa Shower Cap has a nifty design that allows hair to fall naturally while being well-contained and completely dry. This video explains it better than I can:

It was just as easy to use as the video demonstrates. Plus, it’s made from a quality fabric that’s both attractive on the head (as much as a shower cap can be) and dries quickly.

If that weren’t enough, the story of the ladies who created the Virtuosa Cap is pretty inspiring, too. They are three MBAs from Harvard Business School who saw a need and, through dedicated research and product testing, created a product to fill it. You can read their story here.

The shower cap retails for $34 at VirtuosaBeauty.com. That’s a little pricey if you’re used to paying $2.99 for a 2-pack of plastic caps (like I am), but it’s an investment that will save you time and frustration, and preserve your curl pattern for days. Plus, this cap will definitely outlast the drug store 2-pack. I recommend it!

If you give it a try, let me know what you think in the comments below.

**UPDATE** Use the promo code CURLPOWER for 15% off the Virtuosa Shower Cap.


Review of NuMe Classic Curling Wand

Nu Me Classic Wand 25MM

Hair styling tools and products company NuMe was kind enough to send me one of their salon-grade curling wands to try. I have only recently gotten into the curling wand game – previously my heated hair tools consisted only of a blow dryer with brush attachment, diffuser, flat iron, and old-school curling iron. I rarely buy new hair tools because I hardly use heat on my hair. (My flat iron is nine years old and still works!) So when I do acquire a new tool, I consider it an investment.

The NuMe Classic Wand 25MM seems to be a fantastic addition to my collection. The packaging promises glossy curls delivered by a tourmaline-infused ceramic coated barrel. (If you are, like I was, wondering what tourmaline is, read here.) Additional features include:

  • Clipless design for crease-free curls
  • Negative ion technology
  • Heats up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit

The iron itself is a vibrant turquoise color with a diamond pattern engraved handle, making it easy to hold, particularly if you’ve just coated your strands with product. It came with a heat-resistant glove that provides FULL hand and wrist coverage. I’m happy to report that I did not suffer one burn.

I was actually in a pinch when I tried the wand for the first time. I had to take an impromptu headshot for work, and my hair was not photo-ready. I had just tried new products the night before, and hadn’t quite figured out the right proportion of leave-in to hair gel. I hadn’t pineappled the night before, just slept on a satin scarf, but my hair was still frizzier than usual. I had no time to rewash and diffuse, so I grabbed the NuMe wand.

I lightly coated my hair with a heat protectant serum, then took fairly large sections – maybe 1.5 inches – and curled away from my face from root to tip. Because I was pressed for time, I only did the hair that was visible – top and sides. The wand was easy to hold, and the hair slipped easily off the barrel. My hair didn’t even smoke – usually a sure sign that some sort of damage is taking place.

Here are the results:


Results of NuMe Curling Wand to loosen natural curls and tame frizz

Not bad, eh? Frizz was virtually eliminated, curls were pretty much uniform, my hair was indeed glossy, and it only took 10 minutes! If you’re looking for a new curling wand, I’d definitely give this one a consideration. If you’re looking soon, NuMe is running some ridiculously good deals before the end of the year. Here they are:

1.)  $28 Any Curling Wand
Promo Code:  HAIRCARE28 – Click here to view
2.)  $26 Silhouette Flat Iron
Promo Code:  STOCKING26 – Click here to view
3.)  55% Off Sitewide (except nails & holiday collection) + Free Shipping
Promo Code:  SNOWMAN55 – Click here to view
4.)  Buy 2 Hair Chalk for $6 (excludes hair chalk pack)
Promo Code:  HAIRCHALK6 – Click here to view
5.) Now until 12/31/15, receive an additional 10% off their Holiday Collection.
Promo Code:  HOLIDAY10 – Click here to view
Order soon and let me know what you think!

New Haircut + Where I’ve Been


Hellooooooo Internet. What’s happening? It’s been a whirlwind few months on this end, but I’m at a place where I think I can finally get back to blogging. I started this blog as an outlet to write and share a few of my experiences. Back in May, my life completely changed when my son was born. Though I have virtually no free time outside of baby + work, and I am sleep deprived and physically drained, I am happy and grateful ever single day. Needless to say, blogging has taken a backseat.

Now that my family is getting into something of a rhythm, I may have a minute or two, here or there, to share a post with you. (Even now, my eyes are getting heavy; it’s only 9:30.)

So about the hair… I could (and should) probably dedicate an entire post to this subject, but over the last few months, my hair dropped to the absolute bottom of the priority list. It was bad. It grew long and full during my pregnancy and postpartum, it kept going. But I rarely washed it (no time!), I never styled it, and it became a knotted mess of a ponytail. I was tired of it and the way I looked, plus my son was pulling it out, so I just cut it. I didn’t blink an eye, I just did it – 12 inches gone! I was actually going to go even shorter, but decided to cut in stages.

This is a layered bob that, when straight, falls just above my shoulders. I wanted a versatile cut that I could wear in a wash-and-go most days and still look stylish.  Lately, I’ve been been using only one product after shampooing and conditioning – Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie – and then diffusing until completely dry. I wear my hair down almost every day now, and the washing, styling, drying routine is quick and easy. I’m enjoying the short hair life!

Have any of you made a dramatic change after your child was born? Please share!

Thick in All the Right Places: Review of HYDRACURLS Hair Products

Review of Hydracurls

The kind folks at Jonathan Product contacted me forever ago (in the midst of my pregnancy -update coming soon), and asked if I wanted to try their HYDRACURLS™ hair collection. Since I tend to stick to what I can find at local stores, I couldn’t wait to try something different that I’d never heard of. They must have known I have a lot of hair, because they sent two full-sized bottles of everything (thank you!). Here’s what I tried:

HYDRACURLS™ Nourishing Shampoo
HYDRACURLS™ Nourishing Conditioner
HYDRACURLS™ Leave In Conditioner
HYDRACURLS™ Styling Gel Cream
HYDRACURLS™ Reactivating Sea Mist

Overall Thoughts:

This is a good product line, and some items I would definitely purchase again. It has a clean smell (not fruity or nutty), and the scent lingers, which I love. The products are all free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and they contain delicious ingredients like jojoba, coconut, sweet almond, grape seed and argan oils, and shea butter and sea salt.

The products are effective, some more than others on my particular head of hair. Here’s the breakdown:

Nourishing Shampoo

I was surprised by the watery consistency, but this shampoo works just fine. It doesn’t strip the hair too much, but leaves it clean-feeling. It does have low lather, so don’t expect mounds of suds. I wasn’t blown away, but it does the job well.

Nourishing Conditioner

This is a very nice conditioner. It is super thick and hydrating, and makes combing my hair very easy. The only downside is the packaging; this stuff is hard to squeeze out! Trying to squeeze the conditioner is like using a hand exerciser (the kind people with arthritis use), and doing this while soaking wet in the shower is no fun.

Leave In Conditioner

I love this leave in! It’s thick, creamy and coats the hair very well. I use about a quarter size on each half of my hair, plus a little more on the top and underneath wear my hair gets really dry. I would definitely buy this again.

Styling Gel Cream

This is my other favorite HYDRACURLS™ product. I’m not a huge gel fan, but because this one is mixed with a cream, it’s doesn’t crunch or flake when it’s dry, and provides a flexible hold. I layered a little bit of this on top of the leave-in.

Reactivating Sea Mist

This is probably my least favorite of all the products, though it does do what it promises. It’s used to refresh curls (or create beach waves if you have straighter hair), and add volume and texture. On my hair, it creates a little too much texture and the result is a sticky, dry feeling. It does, however, plump up the curls just like a day at the beach would.

To recap, this line makes my curls pop, but I’d probably use my own curl refresher concoction instead of this one. The leave in conditioner and styling gel cream are excellent. Also, I looked up the cost – and it’s not bad! Products range from $12.99-$16.99, and can be purchased online.

Jonathan Product Hudracurls Review

Results using HYDRACURLS

Have you tried HYDRACURLS™? Which products work for you?

Hair Brand Founder Jane Carter on “Black or White” Film and Blended Race Families

Jane Carter

Jane Carter, Founder of Jane Carter Solution

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jane Carter, the founder of leading natural hair care company Jane Carter Solution. Though we could have talked nothing but hair (and indeed, that topic wove its way into the discussion), our conversation actually steered a bit differently – to blended race families and the impact that the new movie Black or White had on her.

Black or White movie

Image from “Black or White”

Black or White is centered on Elliott Anderson (Kevin Costner) who, after his wife dies, faces the realization that he must single-handedly raise his biracial granddaughter, Eloise. However, the child’s paternal grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer) feels that she is better equipped to take care of Eloise, and sues for custody. With their granddaughter caught in the middle, both Elliott and Rowena are forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness and understanding.

The movie resonated with Jane on a deeply personal level, and she thought it presented an opportunity to continue a dialogue about a topic that’s not often discussed – getting through the process of raising a multiracial family.

“The U.S. population is evolving… and the whole concept of ‘blended’ is really relevant. How do you raise this little girl, who clearly doesn’t look like you, to be comfortable in her skin, and be proud of who she is? It’s a conversation that’s not had very often. Nobody really talks about the evolution of getting through that process, and being culturally grounded.”

Parallels to Her Own Life

Jane, who is African-American and Christian, raised two biracial daughters with her (now ex) husband Michael, who is Puerto Rican, Eastern European and Jewish. Her daughters are both fair skinned, one with curly locks and the other with straight hair, so it was important to Jane that they knew their full cultural background and identified equally with both sides of their family. They went to a predominantly African-American dance school, but also had opportunities like traveling to Israel for their bat mitzvah.

Jane Carter family

Jane Carter, foster children and friends

What struck Jane equally about the movie was both grandparents’ ultimate commitment to put racial beliefs (and misconceptions) aside and focus on what was best for Eloise. Jane herself fostered four young Haitian-American students whose parents unexpectedly passed away. There was not only the challenge of raising teenagers, but also of making sure they had a firm cultural foundation.  The key was to do what any family should do – spend lots of quality time together, focus on education and opportunities, and instill values and cultural identity. Jane has opened her home to countless other young people who needed a stable, secure environment. “You put yourself out there and make yourself available, and I feel like all of those relationships have made such a profound different in my kids’ lives, as well as everyone’s who’s come through the house. There’s something energetic about being open and being willing to take on [more]. It improves the quality of everyone’s life and life experience.”

Hair Company Shaped by Personal Experience

Jane Carter

l to r: Jane Carter Solution scholarship recipient Shanelle , family friend Jheni, and Jane’s daughter Lexi

Having integrated an all-white school as an elementary student, and knowing first-hand the effects of racial intolerance, Jane is committed to building a brand that focuses on diversity and acceptance. She opened her first salon in New Jersey with a challenge of assisting the needs of a diverse clientele. Since then she has successfully developed, launched, expanded and continues to grow her company – Jane Carter Solution – which creates natural products for ALL hair types and textures. Even as a brand, Jane Carter Solution has set up scholarship funds and matched donations for deserving young women. “It’s our responsibility, as a brand, to women, women of color, or whoever really needs the assistance, to really step up, take it on, and make a difference.”

For Jane, what it all boils down to is for multiracial, multicultural, and all children to be grounded, comfortable in their own skin, and sure of their own unique identity, no matter how varied it may be. “I feel strongly about us not burying our heads in the sand about what goes on and how people feel, and just really addressing it. It’s important to have the conversation [about cultural identity], and make sure they have people in their lives who are role models for them, from both mom and dad’s families.”

Black or White is currently playing in theaters nationwide. You can view the official trailer below.

About Jane Carter Solution…

Jane Carter SolutionThe Jane Carter Solution is now one of the best-selling hair care collections at today’s renowned high-end, natural market, Whole Foods. The line is also available at Target, The Vitamin Shoppe, Earth Fare, Pure Beauty, Beauty First, Urbanbella, as well as health food stores and salons throughout the US.

Have your own experience being part of a blended race family? Please share and comment below!