Let me make this plain – I am no hair care or beauty expert. But I recently had the opportunity to interview someone who is. When I first started Afrobella, readers started e mailing and telling me on the comments page, “girl, you need to check out Motown Girl. She’s the bomb.” I want to say thank you to those readers who turned me on to her site. The Detroit native is the official curly hair guru, as far as I’m concerned.
Her site is exhaustive in its detail. And the best part of it all is, her advice all comes from trial and error. That makes her site vitally important to ladies who are transitioning, trying to stay natural, or are looking for tips on caring for their child’s natural hair. She provides an invaluable resource for afrobellas everywhere. And she’s mad cool, too. Unlike some other curly hair sites I could mention, Motown Girl was friendly and receptive to my well-intentioned overtures. She not only took the time to respond to a fellow beauty blog’s questions, but she greeted me as a friend and not a rival. In her own words, “I enjoy visiting the different hair websites and blogs out there because each one is unique and has its own focus which is great!” Exactamundo!
I had the opportunity to interview her via e mail on all things Afrobella, and her answers have already helped me improve my hair care routine.
Motown Girl started her site back in 2001, before the current wave of natural hair acceptance. When she was transitioning, there certainly weren’t as many online resources or hair care books available. She watched the evolution of the natural hair movement, and according to her, the most notable change is in the hair care aisle at your local drugstore. “The major difference between now and when I was transitioning (1999/2000) with hair products is the availability of items marketed towards those with natural hair. A perfect example of this is Pantene Relaxed and Natural line. For the most part the items are similar to other items in there line, but they put a couple of essential oils in the mix and put it in a pretty bronze bottle and market it towards a growing demographic. Thatâ€™s why I recommend people to read the ingredients of the hair products they are using,” she explains.
Lucky for clueless curl-heads, she offers a detailed glossary guide of commonly used ingredients in hair products. Thanks to Motown Girl, I’ve started to spend just as much time reading labels in the hair care aisle as I do in the food section. I now realize that many of the products I was using (yes, including Pantene Relaxed and Natural) weren’t helping my hair to grow or be healthy at all. She’s got me seriously thinking about buying my hair care products online. Motown Girl has certain websites where she does her shopping. “Drugstore.com is where I purchase my beloved Abba Nourishing, Curls.biz is where I purchase my favorite styling product Curls Milkshake and Asian Hair Tea Conditioner for deep conditioning, and From Nature With Love is where I purchase ingredients for my homemade recipes.”
Hair growth (or lack thereof) is the bane of many a black woman’s existence. Chemicals truncated my growth from a young age, and I honestly expected my hair to cascade down my back like my idol Diana Ross once I cut out the creamy crack. My hair growth has been steady, but not speedy. I went on a hair product quest for a while, buying anything that had the word “African” or “Gro” in the name. Nothing worked. According to Motown Girl, most of those products are – to quote an earlier post – T.B.S.
“Some of those promise to grow hair products are usually filled with petroleum and mineral oil which are cheap fillers and clogs the hair follicle and â€œsitâ€ on the hair,” she said. “However, there are certain oils believed to stimulate hair growth such as rosemary, cedarwood, and castor oil.”
Motown Girl made me realize that my sedentary writer’s lifestyle might be part of the problem. “Out of all of the questions I receive, hair growth is the most commonly asked. Healthy hair starts from within. You must eat healthy to nourish the follicles and drink water for hydration and moisture. Exercising is also very important because the excess body heat from regular exercise will make hair grow faster.” She has an entire page devoted to Fitness and Hair Care. The holistic approach has worked for her. “I see many benefits when I am on top of my game when I eat properly and work out consistently. The major positive effect I experience is increased hair growth. Sometimes I am shocked when I detangle my hair and notice the extra growth. I do see a difference when I donâ€™t workout as often and when I eat junk. It is not an overnight change, but there is a difference so I a believer that a holistic approach goes hand-in-hand with hair appearance and growth.”
Obviously she knows whereof she speaks. Look at how gorgeous her hair is! * edited at 9:50 Thursday Sept. 28 ~ Motown Girl wanted me to add that this photo reveals her hair after a fresh twist out. So, so pretty.
For women who are considering hair vitamins, she has specific advice.
“The supplements below are know to aid in hair growth: Vitamin B-complex (includes folate, biotin and inositol), Vitamin C, Vitamin E , Silica (horsetail), Nettle, Flaxseed oil, and Beta-Carotene. It is also important to note that when starting a new vitamin regimen, it usually takes from 2 to 3 months to see results in your hair’s condition. That means you have to have patience and consistency. Whatever vitamin regimen you choose, make sure you talk to your Physician first.”
In addition to offering homemade hair recipies, Motown Girl also does on-point product reviews. In reading her hair regimen I became intrigued with Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair, a product she uses twice a year, and very carefully at that. Even though my hair is pretty healthy, I think curls always need more nourishment. I’m considering a purchase, but I wanted to ask her expert advice first.
“Aphogee Treatment of Damaged Hair is a heavy protein treatment used to help repair hair that has been damaged by heat and/or chemicals. I believe the same thing you do in terms of hair needing nourishment, but if you donâ€™t use heat or chemicals such as a relaxer or a texturizer you may not need to use this treatment. A heavy deep conditioner may do the trick for nourishment and moisture. I use to use Aphogee once or twice a year to make my hair stronger, but I have not used it at all this year. Remember, too much protein is not a good thing and can cause the hair to become hard and brittle which may eventually break off, so be careful while using heavy proteins such as Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair.” Sound advice.
If you want to make your curly locks happy the Motown Girl way, check out her recipe page, where she also offers a deluxe recipe kit for African-American hair. She also has an online store for hella cute afro-positive tees. I just might have to get that Afrolicious tee! If readers have questions, they can hit Motown Girl up for hair consultations. Her advice is worth $5 a question, so make it count!
I took the liberty of asking her some questions for an upcoming Ask Afrobella, so stay tuned! I can’t recommend her site more highly to any woman with hair care issues. Motown Girl has it going on.
I give her and her site two snaps, a twist, and a kiss.
Thank you on behalf of Afrobellas everywhere!