Review | Primal Pit Paste Stick Deodorant and Charcoal Tooth Powder

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I received free products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced by the company.

Some time ago, I had a reaction to Dove deodorant that caused an intense itching sensation under my arms. Long story short, it led me to a natural alternative called Primal Pit Paste. I talked about this on the blog, and since then, the deodorant has become a regular in my morning routine. Because I love it so much, and it actually works (I still hold firm that many natural deodorants do not), I often recommend it to family, friends, and those trying to get away from more conventional deodorant brands.

If you remember (or just read) my original post, you'll see that I picked up the deodorant in a jar. As much as I praise this deodorant, the fact that it's in a jar tends to turn people off. But no worries! Primal Pit Paste also comes in a stick. All you have to do is place it on your skin for five seconds to warm it up, and then you can use it like you would any other stick deodorant. It's that simple!

The deodorant comes in many different scents. I am quite partial to Jasmine, but there is also Coconut Lime, Lavender, Lemonade, Mellow Matcha, Orange Vanilla, Rockin' Rose, Seaside, Wild Woods, and Unscented. They also have a baking-soda free version for those with extra sensitive skin.

Since I did my original review, Primal Pit Paste has really expanded beyond deodorants, and they now have bug repellent, tooth whitener, lip balm and much more. Now, if you've used typical tooth whitener, you, like me, may be really sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient in conventional tooth whitener. It does a great job at whitening teeth, but it can also make teeth really sensitive, which is exactly what happens when I use it. In fact, it can take a whole month before my mouth feels like normal (and in the interim, I am grimacing whenever I eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages). Because of this sensitivity, I've read a lot about natural ways to whiten teeth, such as oil pulling and activated charcoal. So, seeing that Primal Pit Paste had Charcoal Tooth Powder, I totally had to try it.

According to the directions, you use the Charcoal Tooth Powder three times a week, and then move to once a week for maintenance. Because I am an avid coffee drinker, I decided to use it for two weeks to really help remove the stains. The end result? I'll be honest and say I personally didn't notice anything, but I did get compliments on my smile from two people last week and my mom noticed a whiter smile. Often times we are our own worst critics, so I will chalk that up as a win. I may need to use it longer to see results myself, but the fact that others notice does make me smile.

While I have been an avid and long time fan of their deodorant, I am happy to see that Primal Pit Paste is expanding and putting the same effort into delivering natural products that work beyond expectations.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Can Anyone Grow Long Hair?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Can Anyone Grow Hair header

Whenever I make a post about growing long hair, there’s always the inevitable comment about genetics. I don’t respond to these comments anymore because they always take up more energy than I care to devote, and if someone is committed to believing that genetics is standing in the way of long hair, then so be it. The problem with their comment, and truthfully, much of my own statements and blog posts, is that the answer is complicated. Very complicated.

Can Anyone Grow Long Hair?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on your definition of long. Can anyone grow hair that is bra-strap length, or around 12-14 inches. Yes. Can anyone grow hair that is down to their knees? No. On average, hair grows around ½ inch a month, 6 inches a year. This is an average and based on a study that had poor methodology (few participants, no controls), so take it with a grain of salt, but for most people, they can expect to grow between 4-8 inches of hair a year, and retain, at least, half of that with good care.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means the average person can expect to reach 12-14 inches of hair within 1.5 to 3 years. “I disagree, it’s about genetics.” *Sigh* Yes, and here is where the simplified genetics comment is interjected. Yes, genetics does play a role in how long your hair will be (as well as speed of growth, density, thickness, porosity, and texture), but genetics also plays a role in how you should take care of your hair. And just like genetics can create thousands of possibilities, so too are there thousands of ways to take care of one’s hair. So, whenever someone pops up with this statement and follows with “I’ve done everything and my hair hasn’t grown that long,” the reality is they haven’t done everything because everything is infinite.

If There’s Infinite Ways to Care for Hair, How Do I Find the Right One?

And here is where the quagmire lies. With infinite possible regimens, and only so much time on Earth, and even less patience, if someone doesn’t see growth, they’ll usually just give up and say, “it’s genetics.”

Hair growth, or should I say length retention since that’s really what we’re talking about, requires hair to be moisturized and strong (moisture-protein balance), and requires keeping breakage and damage at a minimum. And this means different things to different people. For one person, it could be braids for a month. For another person, it could be low buns and the greenhouse method. For a different person, it’s wash n’ go every third day. And those are just three examples. Now, let’s add in other factors like products/ ingredients (some people respond well to shea butter, others don’t), time (some people have a lot of time to devote to their hair, others very little), and money (some people have a lot of money for trial and error, others have the money for hair stylists to figure it out, and some don’t for either).

As you can see, you really can’t say if genetics, particularly your hair’s inability to grow to a certain length, is preventing your hair from reaching 12-14 inches in length.

But What if I Use Rice Water (Chebe Powder, Castor Oil, or any other grow long hair quick product or ingredient)?

Let’s go back to the beginning of this post where I clarified “it depends on your definition of long.” When I say anyone can grow long hair, I mean anyone can grow 12-14 inches of hair with the right care for them. Not anyone can grow 40 inches of hair by using [insert ingredient de jour]. Once you start getting to around the waist, your moving more from the genetics of how your hair responds to care to the genetics of hair length. View super long hair length (hip length and beyond) like being a professional athlete. Yes, anyone can develop and hone their skills, but there are a select few who can excel naturally.

My issue with how rice water, Chebe powder, and the like is that they are portrayed as panaceas to hair care. I see this all the time on social media when someone asks a hair question. Hair breaking? Rice water. Dry hair? Coconut oil. Short hair? Chebe powder. The answers to these questions are actually more complicated than a single solution, and providing a solution when you don’t even know someone’s regimen isn’t actually helpful anyways.
But Wait, There Are Pictures of Women with Long Hair Using Chebe Powder. Isn’t That Proof Enough?

The short answer is no, and the long answer is no. Take for example the Chebe powder video. It’s a single video of one woman having Chebe powder applied to her hair. The narrator says that the women say the Chebe powder grows hair, but that’s not strong enough evidence to know for a fact that it grows hair (and no, those same 3 photos that go around aren’t either). Now, please understand, I am not saying she is lying or trying to mislead people. What I am saying is that this narrative isn’t strong enough to determine if Chebe powder is the reason for long hair or something else (I personally think it’s a mixture of genetics and the way they wear their hair). A single video and a few photos does not prove that Chebe powder is the all-powerful hair grower, especially when there are YouTubers who use it and don’t have the same results.

To know if Chebe powder really was responsible for growing super long hair, there would need to be a scientific study. There would need to be, at least, 30 participants (and even that is a bit too small of a sample size), a control group, an outlined way to care for hair (and remember what I said above about the infinite ways to care for hair), and it would have to be repeated successfully many times to ensure Chebe powder is responsible for hair growth. As you can see, it would get complicated fast. (If you want to know what makes a good study, beyond hair growth, Chebe powder, etc., this is a really good article to read.)

And before I step off this soapbox, please understand I am not saying that Chebe powder offers no benefit, or that you shouldn’t include it in a well-rounded regimen, what I am saying is that chebe powder (rice water, next “miracle” product) ALONE will not grow your hair to super long lengths. That is genetics. (And to be honest, it probably won’t even grow your hair 12-14 inches if that’s all you’re using.)

So, What Does This All Mean?

I’m going to be honest and say I’ve had the privilege to care for my hair and grow it to this length, and being in the natural hair game for over 10 years, I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers, vloggers, and influencers with similar or longer hair lengths have too. It’s not easy, nor quick, and little things can really give you an advantage (time, money, location, school or work culture, looser textures). Genetics definitely plays a role in growing hair, but genetics to how your hair responds to care is more important. So, before you tell someone just going natural or struggling to grow an inch of hair with no regimen, please consider holding off on telling them it’s just genetics…unless, of course, they’re trying to grow their hair to the floor with Chebe powder.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

24 Black-Owned Satin-Lined Bonnet Companies

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Image of 24 Black Owned Satin Lined Bonnet Companies

Unless you’re completely new to natural hair, you know the importance of wearing a satin-lined bonnet or scarf to bed (or sleeping on a satin-lined pillow if you hate sleeping with something on your head). They help hair retain moisture, compared to cotton which wicks moisture from the hair, as well as keep hair from tangling and knotting when asleep.

A common sentiment I see is to purchase silk instead of satin. This is misinformed because satin just refers to the name of the weave, and silk is type of raw material produced by silkworms used to make fabric. Satin can be made from many different types of fabrics, such as silk, polyester, nylon, and wool.

And while you can buy a satin-lined bonnet or scarf from any retail store, those are generally poor quality and won’t last but a few years. I personally like to buy ones from smaller companies because they are better quality, thicker, and last a lot longer.

(If it's not clear from the timing of this post and the current conversation surrounding bonnets, I'm basically using my platform to promote black-owned bonnet companies. If you want a more comprehensive list or you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this article from Shoppe Black to which I had the pleasure of contributing.)

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

It's Been Two Week Since I Started the Curly Girl Method

Monday, July 15, 2019

Picture of curly-kinky hair

In my last post, I wrote about how I needed a change from my (long and exhausting) regimen. That Saturday, I started the Curly Girl Method and have been following it consistently since. Even though it's been a learning experience, I haven't had too much frustration (yet *knock on wood*), and reconnecting with my natural hair texture has been both refreshing and enlightening. Here is what I've learned so far.

My Hair Loves Moisture: Yes, I knew this before I started doing the curly girl method, but my hair really loves to be wet more than once a week. Cowashing in between washes has been very beneficial for my hair, and I've noticed that I've had less tangles and breakage because of it. I also haven't had much dandruff washing more often.

I Don't Need to Moisturize and Seal Daily: Because my hair is getting fully saturated multiple times a week, I don't need to moisturize and seal daily. This is great because it means I don't have to spend as much time on my hair every day.

Wash N Go's Can Work with the Right Technique and Product: I used to think I couldn't do wash n go's, but I've learned this isn't the case. I just wasn't using the right technique and product. Before, when I would do a wash n go, I wouldn't apply the gel up to the roots, which is important to ensure the roots don't tangle and mesh together. I also need a product with a decent amount of hold, meaning that I cannot use curling cremes.

Less Tangles and Shedding: I mentioned this above, but I have less tangles and shedding than before, which means less breakage. I am hoping to surpass my most recent plateau. Fingers crossed.

I Need to Learn Curly Hairstyles: It's amazing how inept I am at styling my hair like this. I am so used to stretching my hair, but when it comes to my own curly hair, I am just confused. I've been watching YouTube videos, so hopefully I can learn something soon.

If you want more updates on my journey doing the Curly Girl Method, check out my Instagram!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

I’ve Been Natural for 10 Years and I’m Ready for a Change!

Friday, June 28, 2019

New regimen in progress header image

My 10-year hair anniversary is somewhere around the middle of July. I can’t believe I’ve been natural for this long. The journey has had its ups and downs, but throughout it all I’ve always learned to embrace and love my hair. But the last year and a half has been a struggle with hair care, and my overall beauty care, in general.

Being sick has stolen my energy. My usual weekend mani-pedis, monthly waxes, and 5-hour long wash days are just no longer an option for me. My self-care routine has turned into sleeping and making sure I take my medications. This has made me realized how bloated my hair regimen has become, and I’ve wondered if this process is even necessary for healthy hair.

And so, I’ve decided to try something rather radical for me: to strip down my regimen to (mostly) bare bones and see what happens. I’ll be adopting more guidelines from the Curly Girl Method. Washing with a gentle shampoo, cowashing in the middle of the week, no-heat, no silicones, and keeping my regimen as simple as possible. The goal is to reduce the amount of time I spend on my hair, and hopefully reduce the stress of caring for it.

I’ll say it now and admit that I’m a bit nervous. My wash and go’s aren’t as successful as I would like due to the different textures, curls, and shrinkage; but I am going to, at least, try it for a whole month.
This weekend, I will trim all my damaged, split ends; wash my hair really well with a sulfate shampoo to get rid of all the build-up and residue on my hair, deep condition, rinse, apply a leave-in conditioner, and gel. From then on, my regimen will be as follows:

Day 1: Hair Bonder, Wash, Deep Condition, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel
Day 2: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 3: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 4: Co-wash, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 5: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 6: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 7: Co-wash, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 8: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 9: Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (as needed)
Day 10: Hair Bonder, Wash, Deep Condition, Tea Rinse, Leave-In Conditioner, Gel (repeat the entire process)

I will adjust this as needed, but it is rather simple, and I am keeping certain elements of my old regimen, like my hair bonder and my tea rinses. I will also be moisturizing my scalp as needed with a mix of rose water, glycerin, and tea tree oil. Oh! And no more oil…yeah, I am not sure how it’s going to work, but I am hoping I won’t need it to seal in moisture as much since I am wetting my hair more often. Again, I am a bit nervous, but I am ready for a big change. And who knows, I might find that this method is so much better for me than my current one.

As for products, the Curly Girl Method has a few simple rules: no shampoo, no silicones, no heat, no sulfates, no combs or brushes, and no alcohol. Of course, I’m not going to follow some of these rules. I already know that I need to wash to remove dandruff, but I will reduce how often. Second, I know I need to detangle with more than fingers, so I’ll be bringing back my handy-dandy denman brush to help detangle and clump curls. I am fine with letting go of everything else, even my silicones, which I’ve been using for years.

So, let’s see how this goes *fingers crossed.*

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!