So does your shampoo have SULFATES in it?

What’s your knowledge level on SULFATES? So many of us have been told not to cleanse our hair with cleansers that have sulfates in it, but if your shampoo lathers it contains sulfates.  Sorry. . . but it does.Sulfates are synthetic detergents that can remove the moisture from the hair. Although you want to cleanse your hair you do not want to rid your hair of the natural oils your body produces.  That being said some non-lathering cleansers contain mild sulfates in them as well.  These sulfates are not drying and will leave your hair clean and moisturized.  So don’t freak out when you read the back of your product, just try and stay well informed on ingredients and pay attention to how your hair feels after using a product.

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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is one of the most harsh of the sulfates, but there are many derivatives of sulfate some of which are drying and some that are more gentle and created from natural ingredients. Instead of harsh sulfates, some brands use a natural cleansing complex made from coconut oil and sugar beets called decyl glucoside. Although it sounds like a chemical, it’s simply the result of cooking these two ingredients together to form a gentle, natural cleanser.
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Harsh surfactants that can overly dry your hair

*  SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE

*  TEA-LAURYL SULFATE

*  SODIUM C14 – 16 OLEFIN SULFONATE

*  ALKYL SODIUM SULFATE

*  TEA-DODECYLBENZENE

 Mild or Gentle Surfactants

*  AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE

*  AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE

*  COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE

*  SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (not to be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

*  SODIUM COCOYL ISETHONATE

*  SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE

*  SODIUM METHYL TAURATE

*  SODIUM METHYL COCOYL TAURATE

Hard Water and the Effects on Our Hair

What is “Hard Water”

Water gives your strands the much needed moisture it requires.  Pure water – - tasteless, colorless and odorless is needed for your hair.  It is like watering a plant and watching it grow.  However, as water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water hard.”  Unfortunately, where you live can dictate if you are utilizing hard water to care for your hair.  I have included a map of areas that have hard water.  I live in North Texas and according to the map we are in the red and have extremely hard water.

Hard Water Map

Click Map to Enlarge

Hard water can interfere with cleaning tasks by leaving a film or residue on dishes as well as in the bathroom on shower doors, bathtubs and sinks.  Clothes washed in hard water can appear dingy and become itchy and irritate your skin.  Hard water with large amounts of calcium and magnesium can build up on the hair shaft and lead to dry hair, breakage and thinning due to blockage at the follicle.  Some of the ways to determine if you have hard water is to conduct a ph test on your water.  Water should have a ph balance of 7, anything higher that that indicates hard water.  You can also tell if you have hard water by listening to your hair.

Indicators your hair is effected by hard water

  • Your hair remains dry even after deep conditioning treatments and daily moisture
  • Hair tangles excessively after washing
  • Your hair color fades easily
  • Hair breakage even after protein treatments and protective styles
  • Problems with chemical treatments taking
  • Styling product used to work no longer works on hair

Hard water-damaged, black hair simply does not respond to anything, but feels like it NEEDS EVERYTHING. It can feel weighed down (needs to be clarified), like coarse hay (needs moisture), and gummy or limp (needs protein) all at once in some cases. Hard water damaged hair is truly ambiguous.

Hard Water Solutions

Regular shampoos and clarifying shampoos cannot rid the hair of the mineral deposits attached to the hair strands.  Clarifying shampoos work well for cleaning product build up from gels, serums and heavy creams from the hair, but do not posses the ability to remove mineral deposits. In order to truly rid the hair of mineral deposits you will need to use a chelating shampoo.  Chelating cleansers chemically  bind with the minerals and remove them from the hair shaft.  To ensure you have a chealting shampoo you will need to look for the active ingredient called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid).

List of Chelating Shampoo

  • Kenra Clarifying Shampoo CHELATING Formula
  • Joico K-Pak Chelating Shampoo
  • Aveda Detox
  • Elucence Moisture Acidifying Shampoo

List of Chelating Shampoo that are Curly Girl Friendly

  • Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
  • Curl Junkie Gentle Cleanse
  • Hair Rules Aloe Grapefruit Purifying Shampoo

The Curly Girl Friendly Shampoos are sulfate free, but still contain the active ingredient EDTA, but at a lower amount as this ingredient is very low on the ingredient list.  For those that prefer to stay away from shampoos you can utilize an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to try and achieve the same results.

You can purchase the Elucence, Curl Junkie and Hair Rules products at 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply or online at http://3sistersbeautysupply.3dcartstores.com/

Natural Hair Boot Camp

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Going Natural. . . .Staying Natural.

Choose Natural

I have met many of women that come into 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply ready to go natural.  Ask them why and the answers of course will vary from, “I want healthier hair” or “Relaxers are breaking my hair off” or maybe “My girlfriend went natural and I hope my hair looks like hers”  While there are many reasons women choose to go natural there are just as many reasons as to why some will not stay natural.
At 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply we are dedicated to ensuring that you are equipped with what you need to Go Natural and Stay Natural.  We have have had many events over the course of the past three years, but this will be our first Natural Hair Boot Camp.  We are very excited about the 4 Sessions that we have planned and will be covering everything from transitioning to building Healthy Hair Regimen’s.  We encourage all of those that register to take all 4 Sessions, but we have divided the Boot Camp up so you can take which ever workshop best fits your needs.

Natural Hair Boot Camp

To Register Please Click the Link Below.  Space is Limited So Register Soon!!

http://3sistersnaturalhairbootcamp.eventbrite.com/

Click Image to Enlarge

Natural Hair Politics – Cornering the Curly Market

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I may be more honest with you guys than anyone expects someone actually in the beauty industry to be, but some things that take place in the beauty supply industry baffles me.  Let’s talk BIG MONEY. . . Black Hair is BIG MONEY, we already knew this, but after watching Good Hair by Chris Rock and seeing numerous articles in Essence magazines among others, it has been confirmed.  Now that being said we all know that there are a lot of women going natural and you have seen the selection of natural hair care products grow in a short period of time.  BIG MONEY, chemical sales are down and the demand for natural products has grown.  Of course we know that not all of these products are natural, many work in natural hair but are not “Natural”.  And that is ok depending on your level of naturalness, because what I have found there are so many different variations of naturals.  We have women that don’t relax their hair, but still color it.  We have some customers that are ingredient readers and are very particular with what they will and won’t put in their hair.  We also have some that will use whatever makes their hair look good regardless of what is in it.  

With that being said the growth of natural hair products over the course of the past two years has grown and the competition is way more fierce than in the earlier days of women going natural.  When you see brands such as Soft Sheen Carson begin to alter their branding and companies like Crème of Nature introducing products with Argan oil it is an indicator that the game has changed.  I do believe that natural hair is a lifestyle for many and not just a trend.  Will the natural hair bubble burst?  Possibly, as there are many women that are going natural because they want someone else’s hair and they are not happy with the natural hair texture (this is an entirely different topic).   

So, back to BIG MONEY, this is where Natural Hair Politics come in to play.  Wherever money and people are involved there will be Politics and though you would like to believe that the online stores that you purchase from are there to help you and that the companies that make these products care about your hair, this is somewhat not true.  I have no doubt that it begins out this way and that the intentions are genuine in the beginning.  Start a business and fill a void, is the original intention, but as the business grows and the competition gets heavier the intentions change.  So instead of the concern being that the products that you need the most are readily available for you it is now a numbers game and the man with the most money of course wins.  The concern about your natural hair has shifted and now what they do care about is that the money that you are spending comes through the channels that they would like for it to flow through.  

For example, large online retailers have made natural companies sign contracts that prohibit other online retailers to retail their products.  Cornering the Curly Market . . . To me these contracts would not be necessary if your business is doing everything it needs to be doing to retain customers.  Why do you have to make it so that no other company can come along and do what you are doing.  Especially a company that is a brick and mortar and the online store is an extension of their business.  It is not fair to a retailer if they cannot offer to customers online what is readily available in their store front.  It is also unfair if the retailer has products available online and now is being told to remove those products. 

Another example, new major brand can only be found at Target and Walgreen’s.  Natural customers contact their local beauty supply that they purchase all of their products from and have to tell the customer that we are unable to carry the product because this major brand wants all of the monies to flow through Mass Market Retailers such as Target and Walgreen’s.  Now, believe me I do not knock anyone’s hustle, but I believe everybody should eat as there is enough for everyone.   I probably wouldn’t even think twice about it if this same company, that shall remain nameless but initials start with S and M and is only sold at Target and Walgreen’s, did not get their start with the very companies they are now not selling to, primarily, Mom and Pop shops and salons.     

Please do not take this as hating, I am simply pointing out issues that have arisen since the market has become so competitive.  I talk to black owned beauty supply entrepreneurs on a daily basis across the country that cannot get products in their store such as Kinky Curly, who now sells to Korean owned stores, they can’t get Shea Moisture, As I Am and a number of other natural hair products that are in demand.  That being said now we as black owners of beauty supply stores not only have to fight Korean’s that will not sell us hair, but our own as well.  So much for changing the industry and blacks working together to build wealth in our own community.  It is all about money and how naïve of myself to think otherwise.

No worries, as 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply will continue our hustle and we have several things on the back burner that we are working on.  I will finish with some encouraging words to the store owners.  One of my favorite quotes from President Barack Obama. 

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not.  It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way.  The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t.  It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

- President Barack Obama

 That being said PERSEVERE.

Natural Hair Styling Drought – Knock Off Curl Formers to the Rescue

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Curl Formers Saved My Natural Hair Styling Drought 

Curlformers Cropped
If you have been to the store on more the one occasion than you are well aware of the extent of my styling capabilities and for my online readers let’s just say  I am good for Wash N Go and some Bantu Knot Twist Outs every now and again.  Needless to say I was beginning to get a little bored with my hair. 
So, I turned to my Youtubbers and came across Naptural85 using Curl Formers for Heatless Curls.  I am IN LOVE!!! If you are not familiar with Curl Formers you may want to check them out.  We just started to carry these Magic Curlers and they are quick, easy and give Beautimous (that is beautiful and fabulous together) CURLS!!
 
Important Note:  We carry KNOCKOFF Curls Formers as they are cheaper.  They are the “As Seen on TV” Curl Formers.  The cost is $19.99 for a box of 18.  They come in all sizes and we have replacement packs as well.
 
Check Out my Before and After pics below.
Curl Formers 2
    
Curl Formers 3
My Routine for my Effortless Curls:

I washed my hair with Deity America’s Plant Shampoo and Conditioned with Deity America’s Deep Penetrating Conditioner (my new faves) made to accelerate hair growth by improving the blood circulation of the hair follicles.  The Deep Conditioner is actually a protein conditioner so you will not use that one everytime you deep condition and more like once a month.  The conditioner does not smell amazing, but it works well.

I then used Kinky Curly’s Knot Today as a Leave In Conditioner and then waited until my hair was about 75% dry.  I then used Deva Curl’s Set Me Up which sets the hair without feeling stiff or sticky.  As a habit and a just in case, I also sprayed Jane Carter’s Natural Hold Locking Spray which I normally use to give my twist out hold.
My after pic is at the top and I was very pleased with my results.  If you would like to see Naptural85′s Curl Former video you can click the link below.  Subscribe and tell her 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply sent you.  We are fans of her hair!!
 

Slave to Your Hair – Swimming Do’s and Dont’s

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Slave to Your Hair?  Not Anymore…

Tips to Get You in the Pool and Save Your Treasured Tresses 

Black Women GO Swim

Are you that girl?  You know the one that never gets in the pool because she can’t get her hair wet or if you get in you yell at everyone else having a good time and splashing because they got your hair wet?  Well follow some of the below tips and you will be back to the fun in the sun in no time.
  
The Rules for Swimming
  
Wet Your Hair Before You Get Into The Water
Wet hair absorbs less chlorine than dry hair does.  The hair strand can only hold a certain amount of water, so wetting your strands before entering the pool swells the hair strands with water allowing less chlorine water to enter into the hair strand once you have entered the water.
  
Use a Conditioner or a Silicone Based Heat Protectant in Your Hair Prior to Swimming
Conditioners and products with Silicone in them coat the hair strand.  Utilizing a conditioner or a heat protectant will coat the hair shaft and protect it from too much chlorine.  Be careful with using heavy conditioners that will leave a white ring in the pool upon you entering it or get in children’s eyes once they hit the water. 
  
We recommend an inexpensive conditioner such as Suave or a heat protectant such as The One and Only Argan Oil.
  
Shampoo immediately after swimming.
Do not leave chlorine in the hair for an extended period of time after swimming.  You do not want salts and the drying chemicals of the pool to dry on the hair and dry your hair out.  It will leave your hair dry and brittle and more susceptible to breaking.
  
Utilize a Clarifying Shampoo
Clarifying Shampoos are designed to strip the hair of impurities and are used for occasions such as swimming as opposed to everyday use.
  
We recommend Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Shampoo for a good Hair Detox or Curls Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo.
  
Condition Condition Deep Condition  
Conditioners help restore moisture, body and shine to your hair.  If you are swimming frequently you should Deep Condition your hair at least once a week to add the moisture back into your hair.
  
We recommend for a Deep Conditioner Moroccan Oil’s Intense Hydrating Mask, Curl Junkie’s Curl Rehab, or Deity America Deep Penetrating Conditioner. 
  
So Don’t Be a Bummer in the Summer….Get in the Pool!!

Styling vs. Moisturizing – Product Misuse

How many times have you purchased a product that you thought would moisturize your hair only to find that it left your hair feeling dry and brittle.  Understanding the kind of product that you are purchasing before selecting the product will help alleviate this issue with your product selection. 

Many times I have customers that will purchase a product that is created to style your hair and then not moisturize their hair afterward.  If a product is created to set your hair as in add curl definition it is not going to provide you with optimal moisture for everyday usage. 

For example, let’s look at Miss Jessie’s products.  You cannot style your hair with Curly Pudding on Day One and not followup with a moisturizer on Day Two.  Using a product like Curly Pudding should suffice for styling your hair on DAY ONE and you have to moisturize your hair to maintain the Curl Definition and add moisture daily.  The Baby Buttercreme is typically used to add moisture behind using Curly Pudding. 

Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme

    

Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding

Another example, let’s look at Uncle Funky’s Daughter AWESOME Curly Magic.  You cannot style your hair with the STYLING product Curly Magic and then not use a daily moisturizer.  The have 3 options for second day hair in their line which include the Extra Butter which is moisturizing, but can also be used for twist outs and they have the Supercurl which is an excellent moisturizer and if you prefer a light weight spray you can use the Thirsty Curls to revitalize second. . . third day hair.  We like to recommend Taliah Waajid’s Mist Bodifier for a moisturizing second day hair product to any styling product.  As this product goes on clean and will not produce build up, but will give the hair back moisture and sheen.

Curly Magic

In review, styling products are meant to add hold and give the hair definition.  These products will reduce frizz and keep your curls in place.   It is like using Lottabody on relaxed hair.  You wouldn’t set your hair with Lottabody and then not moisturize it would you?!?  Nope.  So make sure you use your styling products for what they are intended for and find a great moisturizer to keep your hair hydrated and looking its best.  

Great Second Day Hair Moisturizers:  

*  Taliah Waajid Mist Bodifier – a moisturizing spray

*  DevaCurl Set it Free – Moisture Lock

*  Komaza Care Califia Cream Moisturizer or Califia Leave I Conditioner

*  Oyin Handmade “The Juices”-Juices and Berries, Greg Juice or Frank’s Juice

*  Miss Jessie’s Curly or Baby Buttercreme

*  Unlce Funky’s Daughter Supercurl, Extra Butter, or Thirsty Curls 

Knowing is Half the Battle!! 

Owning a Beauty Supply Store – The Black Tragic Comedy

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The Black Hair Tragic Comedy

Opening a beauty supply store had been a dream of mine for many years prior to the actual date that my husband and I began the planning stages.  We knew there were not many black owned beauty supply stores the thing that we didn’t know was why.  After we began doing research we quickly realized a few problems with starting your own beauty supply store.  The information was very difficult to find and there were not enough black owned beauty supplies to assist us in our endeavor.  The other issue was among the black owned beauty supply stores that were out there, many were unwilling to give information to another aspiring entrepreneur. 

I of course found this unfortunate as the companies that we approached were in different states than we were and we were still unable to gather the information we needed.  All that being said I am a pretty determined person and once I set my mind to something I am going to see it through.  I did not expect to encounter so many road blocks in my journey.

Black Owners being Shut Out

My husband, Ricky and I continued on our journey and finally got to a point where we thought that we had overcome many of the issues we faced concerning obtaining products until we began to look for hair.  So, let me back up and break down how this works.  There are liquid goods which are your shampoos, relaxers and hair dressings and things of the sort.  These items were not difficult to obtain for our store.  This being said we were misinformed in thinking that since we obtained an account to purchase these products fairly easily that it would be the same for the hair accounts……WRONG!!!  Ricky and I had already signed the lease on our space and we had our account for buying what we thought was the majority of our products. 

ROADBLOCK #1:  (Hair Account #1) I am sorry Ma’am we cannot open your beauty supply because it is too close to another beauty supply in your area.  (Me) Well actually there is not another beauty supply within at least five miles of me and also the one that is closest to me is closer to another beauty supply and they carry the same hair.  

Note:  I am in the suburbs and in the inner city beauty supply stores literally sit on top of each other and sell the same hair brands.

ROADBLOCK #2:  (Hair Account #2) I can open an account for you Ma’am, but your opening order is $20,000 and each additional order needs to be $5,000 a month.  (Me) What am I going to do with $20,000 worth of hair from one brand?  As a new business there is no way I can move that kind of volume. (light goes off in my head…..oh, that’s what you know.)

ROADBLOCK #3:  (Hair Account #3) I am sorry Ma’am there is a current shortage of hair and we are not opening any new accounts.

And the list of excuses as to why I cannot obtain a hair account goes on and on….”call us back after one year of being open and we will help you then”  knowing I cannot be open for a year without hair.

All of that being said 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply is open and has been in business since February 2009.  All I can say is Thank God for Natural Hair.  To be honest this has been the way that our company has survived for the past two years.  We do now have hair accounts and are currently in the process of growing our inventory on hair, but it has been a slow process with hair accounts.

One issue I now see is that these Korean owned beauty supply’s are now starting to carry a lot of natural hair brands.  Please do not buy your natural hair brands from these companies that have ignored natural hair for so long.  Now, I mean if you have an alternative.  If there are no black owned beauty supply stores in your area I understand, but if you have options like a 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply I encourage you to support them.  If you want to support a black owned beauty supply and do not have one near you, you can shop on our online store at www.3sistersbeautysupply.com and click Shop.  There is a short registration, but that is in place to limit the competition from trying to monitor what we are carrying in our stores.  Their goal is to run us out of business and our goal is to turn the industry around and assist other blacks interested in opening a beauty supply that means to do so.  If you need assistance with opening a beauty supply please email me at contact@3sistersbeautysupply.com and we can schedule a consultation.  If you are utilizing other sources and are paying for them, please make sure that they are reputable.  You can try Devin Robinson with Taking it Back University, but please do not send any money to the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association.  This company is not reputable and I have had many horror stories of people losing their money to Sam Enon, the man that runs the company.

My dream is to one day be able to run my business to the best of my natural ability without being subjected to such discrimination that has hindered our success and can keep many from not opening businesses and many the invest their money and open and the soon fail because they do not have the right resources.  We can take the industry back, but it takes black entrepreneurs to stick together and that includes those of black manufactured products. 

Natural hair products are predominantly owned by blacks and you owners of these products now have an opportunity to change and industry.  Unfortunately many companies are not taking a stand and you will find many well known brands in Korean Owned shops.  I am in no way trying to be naïve, but if you are a company that is already sold in Whole Foods why do you need to be in Korean establishments, your product is already easily accessible.  And why are many of the black owned beauty supplies that we have assisted in the past few years having a horrible time getting an account with your company to sell your products when you have already opened the door for the Korean owned stores…..I am confused….

At any rate 3 Sister’s Beauty Supply is dedicated to changing the face of the beauty supply industry and truly hope that we are not alone in this plight.

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