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. That’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 “sit” 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 don’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 don’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!

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COMMENTS

Megan says:
September 28, 2006, 12:20 am
I looove her site! She's part of the reason I went natural!!! Check me out in the August Spotlight in her "Visitors Spotlight"!!
SlumBeautiful says:
September 28, 2006, 12:57 am
Thank you so much for this! This is really cool b/c when I first started my transition back in 03' I didn't know what to do or where to go and through a simple 'about natural hair' search on google, I found Motown Girl's page. I can't begin to tell you how much she has helped with everything from products to fully excepting my natural hair texture. The two of you ladies are power houses in my book and I thank you both for EVERYTHING!!!!
jerseybred says:
September 28, 2006, 12:25 pm
When I decided to go natural, I surfed the web and wouldn't you know it - Motowngirl popped up. I've been a fan ever since. You can stay on her website for hours and not realize it. When I check out someone's hair journal and see an acronym I can't figure out, Motowngirl's hair glossary is my first stop. Thank you Motowngirl and Afrobella.
pt says:
September 28, 2006, 2:21 pm
Afrobella, As usual you are on point. Love you and Motown girl too. I agree, you can stay for hours on her site, and as far as yours goes, I wish you would write so much more, only because I could stay on here for hours too.
The Glamour Bee says:
September 28, 2006, 3:00 pm
Motown girl IS the bomb! Thanks!
bella says:
September 28, 2006, 4:33 pm
Awww, PT. You have no idea how much I wish I could write more. Someday Afrobella will be more of a main focus for me, but right now I have a full time job as a writer and it takes up all of my time from Monday to Wednesday. What I need to do is write lots of posts on the weekend and just post one or two every day. I'll work on that over the weekend. Plus this week has been crap for me because I am fighting a cold. =( boo hoo. But ya girl will be back full force over the weekend with a new Afrobella of the Week, Ask Afrobella, and lots of other stuff too! Look out for a particularly random celebrity encounter coming up soon. Keep reading!
diamond says:
September 28, 2006, 7:42 pm
yeah, she's kewl peoples unlike some of the mean folks on nappturality.com. ugh them broads were drama! u should make some afrobella shirts why you playin, bella!
Anita Grant says:
September 29, 2006, 9:33 am
Motowngirl.com is THE best site with loads of easy to follow haircare advice. I am very fussy about were I place my adverts and I always advertise and support my MotownGirl! Now.. Ms Afrobella - I have bookmarked your site because I am totally in love with it! Please keep up the great work! I'll be in contact with you about advertising. Stay Blessed! All the best Anita Grant Mixtress at https://anitagrant.com
ElleB says:
September 29, 2006, 9:52 am
Wow! Am I glad that I found this site! LOVE it! I am dabbling with transitioning myself...Either way, I will continue to come here...
Coffy says:
September 29, 2006, 11:28 am
Motowngirl is really helping ease my nerves during the two texture phase. another site that is helping me is Naturallycurly.com, click on curlmunity and then go to community of friends, scroll down to find info on your hair type. i have gotten some really good product info and tips.
bella says:
September 29, 2006, 11:42 am
I cosign with Coffy, the people in the curlmunity at Naturally Curly are very nice. There is a wealth of information there. However, the administrators contacted me and politely asked me to stop making references to Afrobella on their site. I haven't removed their link, and I respect their position. However none of the other curly haired sites - including MyNatural and Nappturality - felt the need to actually write to me and tell me to stay away and stop mentioning Afrobella. They greeted me as a sister site, and not as competition - which I never intended to be. I consider Afrobella to be deliberately different from most other black beauty/curly haired sites out there. I made a real effort to set myself apart and not clamber aboard anyone else's hustle. Therefore, I'm still a regular visitor to Nappturality and MyNatural. To quote Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.
Coffy says:
September 29, 2006, 4:00 pm
Bella, girl i just love your diplomacy
70ssoulchild says:
September 29, 2006, 6:42 pm
Kudos to Afrobella and Motowngirl! Motowngirl's site was my transitioning "bible" during my first few months of transitioning. I still make her leave-in faithfully and love the wealth of information found there and here. Thanks to you both for sharing the wealth..
Megan says:
October 11, 2006, 10:48 am
&heart;
newnaps4me says:
October 11, 2006, 6:21 pm
Love her site also. Motowngirl has definitely got it going on. I've referred the site to so many people...because it blessed me...thanks girl..and keep up the good work.
Ms. J says:
October 20, 2006, 9:10 am
Love the article, esp comment such as creamy crack..oh so true!!! Keep crankin' out the info on naturl haircare & I will be sure to check out Motown Girl's site!!!
Traci says:
March 29, 2007, 10:18 am
Hey, I love it here! This is SO long overdue! I too am excited about Princess Maddy!! -Traci.
Lysandra says:
March 30, 2007, 8:16 pm
I absolutely adore motowngirl and her site!!! She and Dee from Nappturality were major sources of inspiration for me when I was trying to transition to being natural. Afrobella, your site is wonderful. It has become one of my favorite places to visit. Keep up the good work:)
tracy says:
April 20, 2007, 7:54 pm
Hello, and thanks for creating such a great and uplifting blog. I recently decided to go natural after admiring my cousins natural hair. Please take a look at her photos on her website (http://MeishaCard.com). Please continue to do your thing. I wish you continued success and will be sure to stay locked into your blog for years to come.
sbrown says:
June 15, 2007, 11:26 am
I agree that Motown Girls site is the best site there is for just about everything natural. I love that site!
Jakob says:
July 31, 2007, 3:07 pm
This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title The Afrobella Interview: Motown Girl, the Curly Hair Guru. Thanks for informative article
Mike says:
February 8, 2008, 4:45 am
Great article !! Information given here is good..
Elohor says:
May 22, 2008, 12:36 pm
Just did a google search for motowngirl's website, and google has brought up a warning that the website may have harmful viruses attached. Strange...I've been on it in the past and never seen this warning before. Maybe someone on this blog knows Motowngirl and can let her know?
Shante says:
November 4, 2008, 5:19 pm
I have to disagree. While I initially loved motowngirl for it's information. A lot of the information on the site is not, factually speaking...accurate. In fact, a LOT of the information on there is not accurate, so while it is a great inspirational site...it isn't a great site for facts.
Arlene Benza says:
June 5, 2009, 5:29 pm
Hi -- I represent the Professional Beauty Association and would like to send you beautiful curly haired photos from the North American Hairstyling Award finalists. I think it would be great to do a feature on the Beauty of Curls and then interview the stylist. Can you give me an email address and contact to send these to? Thanks you.
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October 21, 2010, 5:52 pm
Another good comment, thanks a lot. I have scanned some other stuff around here and I liked what I saw. Good show.
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