It’s Official: Karen’s Body Beautiful Hits Target Shelves

Last year, I was so sad to hear the news that Karen’s Body Beautiful was shutting the doors on their Fort Green, Brooklyn shop. But when I heard, why I got over it. Quickly. Why? Because they were going to be focusing their efforts on making a debut at TARGET. A couple of days ago the KBB team announced that it’s official. Yes, my darling naturalistas, as of February you’ll be able to get you KBB fix from your local Targets!

aboutNaturals everywhere should rejoice that this awesome natural hair care brand will be available in cities near them! In an interview with Karen Tappin, KBB founder last year, Karen revealed that none of the ingredient lists would be changing simply because of the mass distribution, meaning that the quality we’ve come to depend on will remain the same. **PHEW**

I know I’ll be super thankful that if I’m ever in a natural hair pinch on the road, I’ll be able to swing through Target and pick up a bottle of Sweet Ambrosia (one of my fave moisturizers!).

NaturalSelectionBlog sends a huge congrats to Karen and the KBB Team!

Thru a Curly Guy’s Eyes: Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Nectar Review

Dearest readers, I’d like to make a very special introduction today. Please meet Avery, Avery meet everyone! I’ve been doing some thinking about how the #naturalhair blog world is dominated by women. But it’s not like there aren’t curly guys out there using curly products or curly guys who need some hair product advice! I think the menfolk should be represented around these parts too! So dearest Avery is going to be doing some product reviews and blogging and such over here on Natural Selection. Please give him a warm welcome!!

Avery and I at an event in Austin last week...where this whole series was born!

Let me go ahead and set the scene. It’s 12:40 AM Saturday morning (Friday night if you will) and I have finally set my sights on leaving the house. Today has been an orgy of junk food, television, varying degrees of success with internet flirting, and bedroom dancing, it’s time to hit the shower and the town.

Great we’re pumped and ready to go! We’re ready for hair. Now at the moment I don’t have too much hair so my natural curls have settled into waves and if I’m lucky (and using the CORRECT product) I will achieve a simply gorgeous curly-cue spit curl right at the center of my forehead accenting my ever so slight widows peak and paying homage to the man of steel himself (not that I read superman, I’m a Marvel kinda guy all the way…well unless you want to get into some of the better Batman eras…oh and the DC Vertigo imprint, OK ENOUGH this is not the Avery nerd out blog…it’s the Avery reviews hair care products for his natural, and dare I say handsome, curls).

Back to the bathroom sink….. Continue reading

SO FINE: We’ve got a winner! Three actually…

Last night I sat at the kitchen table to read through the, ahem, sixty-four pages of haikus that you all entered into this giveaway and quickly became overwhelmed by the awesome effort that you all put into your poetry.  How in the WORLD could I choose just one???  I read a few to my roommate Ben, hoping he might help me out, but when he said, in all seriousness, “I think you should eliminate anyone that used the word FINE” I knew I was on my own on this one.

It was extremely difficult to pick a winner.  So much so that I wrote all of our lovely sponsors back and asked if we could hook up 2nd and 3rd place prizes too.  They willingly obliged and so I was tasked with the duty of narrowing 240 haikus down to three (not just 1)  ::phew::

To judge these haikus, I first made sure that the participants followed the rule of using the words SO FINE (and lots and lots didn’t, okurrrr).  Then I read each and every haiku looking at its flow/style/ creativity/humor/structure/rhyme/lack-of-rhyme.  I will say that there was a group that wrote theirs as 7-5-7 haikus because of a mistake I made in the original post and so those were not discounted.  However poems that were 6-7-4  (or some other non-haiku variation) WERE disqualified.

Let’s start with the two silver medalists that I chose [in no particular order].

 

Today my hair wants freedom.
So, fine, an afro.
Let the March winds blow it out!

-Steph302


Hair so fine, so free
I am loving what I see
Africa in me

-By Poppy

Congrats ladies, you have each one sample size of each of the three featured products: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, and Bee Mine Deja’s hair milk!!  Yippie hooray!

And in first place…drumroll por favor…. we have Jihan!!  Congratulations, you’ve got  full bottles of three of my fa-vo-rite moisturizers from Qhemet Biologics, Karen’s Body Beautiful, and Bee Mine coming your way!    I thought your haiku was creative and well written in terms of structure.  I liked the flow, and how you referenced the delicate nature of fine hair.  Everyone, read this one outloud and you’ll see what I mean. Good work and you’ll have to let us know how you like the goodies!

Hair. finely spun. silk.
fragile. handle with care please.
so fine. love mine. Hair.

 

I would be remiss to wrap up this contest without giving a shout out to the honorable mentions of the contest.  I’m sorry, I don’t have goodies for all of you, but I do want to spotlight your awesome haiku skills!

First of all, let me say WOW to Gail, Lori, and iusedtolovehim.  These ladies entered about 12  haikus each and have proven themselves as true haiku masters.  In it for the art as much as the sport they are!

Selections from Gaill:

TWA saves ca$h
Don’t sleep on my power naps
So Fine, penny wise.


Your straight hair does this,
and My “SO FINE” Kinks do that -
while Dave Chapelle, drums.


My coils are SO FINE,
How fine are they, did you say?
Paid the judge and clerk.

 

Some selections from Lori:

Dusky silhouette
Jives so fine to the rhythm
N-n-n-nap-py!

 

Qhemet and Karen
Ya’ll so fine, puh-leeze Bee Mine!
Wicked grin…poo-YA

 

i like ‘em kinky
so fine n’ hung doooown to there!
my men? Nah. My Hair…

From iusedtolovehim

My locs were so fine
but I think i’ve changed my mind
afro here I come

 

So fine were my locs
cascading long down my back
eight year long journey

[Editors note: send us a before and after pic!!]

 

And now single haikus and other poetry that people shared in the comments worth honorable mentions:

Curly, frizzy, that’s my hair
Pretty bold take a pic
So fine, but fly, it’s G6

-VB

 

 

Just combed out all my locs,
Hair SO FINE, it rocks!
Loving the natural life

-Ashall Smith

 

 

Sapphire Smile
Mystic Divine
My Hair, So Fine

Blue Lilly’s Rise
Peach Cobbler Drizzling
My Hair, So Fine

Golden Gate Bridge
Today, I LIVE
No Longer in Hair Bondage

-Casarae L. Gibson

 

 

Big Curly Afro
Shines knowing it is So Fine
Friends Now With The Rain

-Brit

 

 

this hair is all mine
every curly loop and vine
so strong yet so fine

-Lee

 

 

My hair is fine
Just like me
My hair is chunky
Just like me
My hair is soft
Just like me
My hair is kinky
Just like me
My hair is sassy
Just like me
My her is fabulous
Just like me
But, my hair doesn’t make me
I make me

-Joy

 

 

like cotton in spring
Thick but still so fine, all mine
sublime and strong fro

Mrs. Sugarpuff

 

 

Dryness issues that won’t end?
Stop the madness now
Moisture is a curl’s best friend!

So fine to behold
Kinky curls reach to the skies
Drinking nature’s gold

-Patricia

 

 

Cottony tendrils
Dense as the Amazon lush
So fine, fragile muse

-Mimi

 

 

So Fine So Divine
My hair smiles and laughs out loud
Join me and be free

-Qiana

 

 

“Dear Diary”

Hurt myself today:
Whipped my hair…. crashed into lamp.
Neck SO FINE, it snapped.

-Khad

 

College curls are broke
So fine but a little dry
No moisture just hope

-Jazmen

 

 

OH NO YOU DIDN’T!
who are you to touch my hair?
I’m not your Barbie!

-Simone

 

Thanks to ALL of you so much for participating.  Be sure to stay tuned for the next installment of SO FINE coming out on Wednesday!  Happy weekend, y’all!

Update on the SO FINE Contest

Originally I had planned to announced the winner of the SO FINE haiku contest today BUT I can’t.  I just can’t.

In the best way possible I am very much overwhelmed by this contest.  Y’all have absolutely,  completely, 100% blown me away with all of your submissions.  Currently there are well over 200 submissions and more are coming each day.  I really appreciate the work and thought you have put into these little haikus!!!  They’re wonderful!  What I’m trying to get at is that I’m still reading the veritable novel that has been left in the comments .  I love it though.  I really  do.  You have all been so creative and funny with your haikus!!!  Laugh out loud silly some of you are!

So what does that mean for you?  I’m extending the contest to Friday.  And I will announce the results then.  You’ll be fine. SO Fine, in fact.  Just a couple more days.

But for now I leave you with some haiku writing of my own, inspired by my current state of being:

Daylight savings time

Bobby pins poke through my

Slumber. SNOOZE BUTTON!

 

ok, you’re right.  This is a lot of fun, one more:

First braid out in for

-ever slash a treat.  How will

My Lola turn out??

 

Sorry, I lied, one more:

Oatmeal, apricots

And hair moisturizer.  My

True breakfast of champs!*

And thats it from this corner.  See you friday with the results!  Besos!

 

*I eat the oatmeal/fruit.   The moisturizer is for my hair.  Just want to be clear before someone hurts their digestive system…

SO FINE: These are a few of my fa-vor-ite moisturizers (GIVEAWAY!)

One of the main challenges with finding the perfect moisturizer when you have fine hair is finding one that both gives you the moisture you need, but doesn’t weigh your hair down and make it product-y.  It can be tough to be So Fine in a world filled with so many buttery, creamy concoctions that are just too heavy for our delicate strands.  I have found that the key is to find products that both pack a lot of slam in the moisture department but are light enough to not leave your head feeling like Slimer did the Dougie on top of it.  (Yikes!)

I find that my preferred moisturizers that fall into this category have one thing in common: good ol’ H2O sits at top of their ingredient lists.  Another thing that they have in common is that you can physically SEE how lightweight they are.  For example, look at the shea butter on the left of this picture, and the two lightweight moisturizers on the right.

See how the shea butter is totally opaque and putty-like, while the two moisturizers are more translucent?  That’s what we’re aiming for here.

Now in no particular order, there are three of my fa-vor-rite conditioners for So Fine hair

1. Bee Mine’s Deja’s Hair Milk–  This is like the Swiss Army knife of my moisturizer arsenal: I can use it in so many ways! Sometimes I like to use it as a leave in on damp hair beneath a styler, other times I like to use it as a quick daily moisturizing fix on dry hair, and others I just put it in alone, shake my head, and walk out the door!  Simple, versatile, moisturizing.

2. Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream–  This is the creamiest of the bunch, but to this day I am still amazed at how lightweight it is!  From the second you touch this stuff, you can feel that its consistency is light, almost whipped, and airy.  It’s got a light, refreshing scent and has great slip.  Qhemet also has a little jar of joy for those who have more porous hair and who can handle a bit of a heavier product, called Amla and Olive Heavy Cream. A little goes a hecka long way.

3. Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia-– Nectar of the gods INDEED: the stuff inside this black bottle makes my hair feel like cashmere.  I love to use it as a leave in; it just glides onto my hair after towel drying and plays very nicely with a wide variety of stylers and styles.

Now lucky ducky for one lucky reader, I’ve got some fantastic news: YOU CAN WIN ALL THREE OF THESE AND TRY THEM ON YOUR SO FINE SELF!!  Here’s what you have to do to enter to win:

1. Make sure you’re a subscriber to Natural Selection.  (see that little box beneath the logo that says subscribe?  Use it!)

AND

2. Write a HAIKU in the comments about your hair.  What exactly is a haiku?  Its a poem that’s easy (and fun) to write.  Three lines.  The first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables. Bam.  The catch: your haiku must include the words “SO FINE”.

Here’s my example:

Guuuuuuuuurl, look at your hair:

You SO FINE and you know it!

Moisturize me well.

See!  Easy as that!  I cannot cannot cannot WAIT to see what y’all come up with!  Winner will be chosen a week from today, so stay tuned!

Out of the cold and onto the beach: The Bahamas

When I travel for long periods of time, there inevitably comes a time when I decide that I need a vacation from vacation.  My back begins to hurt from lugging my gear around, I miss sleeping in my own bed, and I’m just plain tired.  This time, the hustle and bustle of New York City had become too much, the snow and low temperatures of the Midwest and Northeast had lost their novelty, and frankly, I just wanted to chill out.  Luckily for me on this trip, I scheduled an actual vacation just as I was getting to this point.  By the end, I practically ran from the cold down the jetway and onto the plane in New York.   As we flew I became entranced by the  stunningly beautiful emerald and sapphire hued Caribbean Sea. And after four hours, there I was  on New Providence Island in The Bahamas and I found myself enveloped by a blanket of warm tropical air and for once in my life, welcomed with open arms humidity.

View of the ocean and the lake on the inside of the island from the plane.

I have not traveled to the Bahamas since I was five years old and was excited for this twenty year reunion.  Continuing along with my theme of reconnection on this trip, I am down here to meet my oldest (as in longest) friend, Phallon and her mom, Aunt Brenda (and aunt not by blood, but by closeness to me and my family…you know how it is).  Both Aunt Brenda and Phallon  have played a significant role in my life seeing as Phallon and I were born three days apart and have been friends ever since.  That’s a quarter-century of history we have beneath our belts!

Cass + Phal

All three of us wear our hair naturally, but it is me who is the newest member of the club.  We all noticed upon arrival that many of the local Bahamian women do not have natural hair as an overwhelming majority are wearing sew-in’s, wigs, and relaxers.    In fact, with the exception of a few men who wear locs, I am able to count the number of naturals on one hand that I have crossed paths with.  Per the usual, I am taking the path of least resistance with Lola by wearing my hair loose and free.  Each day I have been here, people have come up to me and asked if my hair is a wig and/or how do I get it to curl like that.  Aunt Brenda told me that someone even asked HER if MY hair was real!  As usual I’m more amused than anything else by the confusion and am always welcoming of a conversation surrounding natural hair.

Because of my daily adventures in the pool and ocean, I’ve been washing daily using my Poo Bar and conditioning with Karen’s Body Beautiful Complete Conditioner.  Because of the humidity in the air, I have also been using Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia as a leave-in.  And that is it. No stylers, no sealers, no nothing.  Why put in a ton of effort when I’m just going to get up and swim again in the morning?  Since I’ve been washing at the end of the day, there is a snowball’s chance in The Bahamas that my hair has dried by the time I go to sleep.  Rather than smush my wet hair in a cap, I’ve been using the multi-pineapple overnight and sleeping with a satin pillowcase.  I wake up to a stretched fro that takes about 30 seconds to fluff and moisturize before I’m out the door. It’s easy.  It’s simple.  Perfect for island living!

Now that I have my regimen locked down, its time for me to figure out where all the other naturals are hiding!  They’ve gotta be here somewhere!

Here are a few pictures from the trip!

View from the room

Our hallway. It was always blindingly sunny and very very warm and I loved the aesthetic.

Bahamian money

Old Navy sandals are $2.50 and thus a constant in my life

Apparently Greenpeace has its own cruiseship that it uses to protest other cruise ships? I don't know. Just thought it was ironic.

Captain Elvis. While his snorkeling tourists swam, he fished for large reef fish. With his bare hands. Used his teeth to rip pieces of conch for bait and cast and reeled with is hands. I became First Mate of his boat. And together we caught.....

Snapper! This was the first of a few...

Out on the town!

New York: The Natural’s Natural Habitat

This was not my first trip to NYC, but it certainly was my first as a natural!  Stepping off the plane I found myself immersed in a sea of natural.  Naturals here, naturals there, naturals naturals everywhere!!  I mean even the Statue of Liberty is rocking HER natural these days.  Ok, so perhaps I’m exaggerating just a little, but kind of not really in anyway shape or form; there are beaucoup naturals in New York!  I know that from the forums and blogs that New York has a healthy and vibrant natural scene and I was thrilled to be on the ground confirm my suspicions.

I did not just remain an on the ground natural stalker, but I was delighted to enjoy some one-on-one time with local naturals such as Chai of Back to Curly, Sheena of Sheena LaShay (who inspired one of my to-be-announced resolutions), and Kasalina the lovely photog behind Curly Nikki’s Naturals in the City series.

Chai, Cass, and Sheena

Kas and Cass

And what would a trip to New York City be without a little retail therapy.  While my suitcase has no room for clothing, TSA has [aggressively] lightened my hair supplies load to make room for more hair goodies.  So off to Brooklyn I went (rather, in Brooklyn I stayed because thats where I was staying) to visit the headquarters of Karen’s Body Beautiful.  Great products and a great space for one of my favorite product lines for naturals out there.  It was my first time checking the redesigned and sleek black packaging and I loved the pink-on-black color scheme as that too is my default color palette so I kind of found myself matching the interior of  the store by accident.  The sales associates were also super nice and super helpful: posing for pictures, answering my questions about how their hair survived the cold, and telling me about their favorite products in the store.  I also got to peek the spa space, complete with mani/pedi, massage, and hydrotherapy facilities.  Totally cool.

Cute KBB packaging

KBB interior

KBB Store Manager

All KBB products are made right in the store front. Very cool to watch.

Checking out the scents of one of my favorite products (Sweet Ambrosia, formerly Hair Milk)

Another great thing I noticed while walking around Brooklyn one day was the number of natural salons present.  After my mediocre experience getting a trim in San Francisco, I decided to walk in and check out the vibe of these places.  All of the stylists and receptionists were welcoming, warm, and most importantly did not many any negative comments about my hair because they were all natural too!  All of the natural salons offered a variety of different styling expertises too- from locs to bantu knots (which I almost sat for myself, but didn’t want to drop the $110 and 5 hours to have them done…)

With all of the amenities available for naturals, its no wonder that the natural community is truly thriving in New York and I was glad to be a part of it (even if only for a few days…)

A New Kid on the Block…well, kind of….

This week the lovely ladies over at Black Girl with Long Hair launched a new addition to the BGLH Family: The BGLH Marketplace!  This online store will be featuring favorites and newcomers alike in the product, jewelery, and apparel scene.  Currently the BGLH Marketplace is carrying 4 brands: BeeMine, Karen’s Body Beautiful, Koils by Nature, and Bon Bon Vie (with Oyin Handmade and Peace Images Jewelry joining in just a couple short weeks).

I am thrilled that BGLH is offering this one-stop shop, if not a little scared for my own personal finances (confession: I am one of those weirdos who knows their credit card number by heart making every online shopping experience gut wrenchingly impulsive).  While I have yet to try Koils by Nature, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Karen’s Body Beautiful, Bee Mine, and Oyin Handmade so with this trifecta holding down the fort, there are probably going to be some awesome brands to come.

To celebrate the launch of BGLH Marketplace, all readers are get a 10% off coupon!  Just enter the code BGLH2010 at the checkout.  So get over there and check out the goods! Happy shopping!!!

Totally Twisted

Guess who got motivated yesterday and set herself up with a head full of two strand twists?

THIS GIRL!

I rarely do two strand twists because they can take quite a chunk of time, however every few months, I’m down to invest the time.  Besides, after the initial upfront time, you don’t have to do much to your hair and then few days later you get to take them out and have a really sweet twist-out style!

To set these twists I co-washed and detangled with JessiCurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, deep conditioned with my favorite Aubrey Organics GBP, and once everything was all rinsed out I used Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Milk as a leave in.  (I have to say, the KBB Hair Milk is a fantastic product; it makes my hair feel like silk!  I don’t know why I don’t use this stuff more often…oh wait….yes, yes  I do:  it makes me smell like a Glade Plug In for 2 days.  It doesn’t smell bad, just floral, spicy and STRONG.  It has turned heads before.    I’ll will be repurchasing this one, just not in the Chamomile Sage scent…)  Then I used Afroveda’s  Ginger Almond Butter to put the twists in.

The twists came out ok.  Not great, just ok.  I don’t think the Afroveda butter was good at keeping the twists frizz free.  Now, the one thing I did notice was that my twists have gotten long!  The front twists now lie on top of my eyebrows while the back twists fall to the back of my neck.  It’s been about 6 months since I did the big chop and it’s really cool to be able to see such noticeable growth!  I went digging through my pictures so that you too can see how Lola’s twists have grown since the big chop.

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