About a Ph-balanced Shampoo

One of my natural friends wrote to ask me if it was recommendable to use a ph-balanced shampoo on her hair.  Following is my reply to her after doing some researches.

Ph is potential hydrogen and varies from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic or alkaline).  A ph-balanced shampoo has a ph of 7, the middle of the scale, meaning that it is balanced  to the acidic and alkaline levels.

A ph-balanced shampoo is good for your hair for many reasons.  It keeps the hair cuticles closed, protecting the inner shaft from toxins.  Moisture is locked in, which keeps hair flexible and prevent damages like split ends.  If you permanently color your hair, it seals in the color and keeps it looking vibrant for a longer period.  It will not strip natural oils from your scalp but will keep it clean.

Ph-balanced shampoo may be a misnomer.  With the above being said, referring to a shampoo as pH-balanced may not be entirely accurate. A shampoo that claims to be pH-balanced should be formulated to be slightly acidic, because the pH of healthy hair is ideally 4.5 to 5.5, which makes it a little on the acidic side. A shampoo may contain citric acid to help lower the pH.

As shampoo mixes with the water in your shower or bath, or the dirt in your hair, it loses its acidity. Most shampoos contain a buffer that releases acidifying hydrogen ions when the acidity becomes too low, and absorbs them when the acidity level is too high. Sodium citrate is a common buffering agent used in shampoo.

The goal is to consistently maintain a slight acidity, because a shampoo that is slightly alkaline, or basic, will damage the hair shaft, causing the hair to become dull and rough.

Source: Charlotte LoBuono, Daily Glow

Herbal Essences is an example of ph-balanced shampoo.

Afro Alice Hebdo – Meet Tifane

Afro Alice has interviewed Stephanie S. Antoine a.k.a Tifane, a Haitian naturalista and singer. 

1-       Tell us about you.

I’m a very outgoing young woman. As everyone already knows, I’m passionate about my music, and it’s also my bread and butter. I’m the coolest and hottest wife according to my hubby. I’m a big sister to my siblings and other people. I’m a neatness freak with my house, especially with my kitchen and my bedroom. I travel a lot, I read, I love salads, chocolate, cremas and Lambi. I adopted a gorgeous dog, her name is Bailey. Last year, I discovered that I love boxing. I was brought up to be a Lady with class and I’m as down to earth as I can. I’m gaga over kids, I hope to have two. I cannot keep one hairdo for a year or two unless I wear it extra short. Last but not least, I speak my mind, with consideration, of course. I’m a sensitive person with a smart mouth.


Tifane Haiti

2-        When and why did you return natural?

I have always remained close to my roots.  I turned back natural in 2002. I was about 21 or 22 and since I was on a college-student budget in Naperville, Illinois, the odds of me going to the beauty salon in such rich suburbs were close to none. One day, I decided to do my own perm touch up because my nappy hair growth started to show. As I was about to do it, something like a switch went on in my head with the questions “What the heck am I doing and why am I even doing this?”  I set back and since I hadn’t put the activator in the perm yet, I gave it to my next door friend. That day, I decided to let my roots grow because I started to grow tired of the ritual (touch up, curlers, hair dryer). How bad could I look with my real hair? I already had an Afro centric style in how I dress myself; plus as the only Haitian of the College, I didn’t want to look like the typical suburban African American girl, I’m an island girl at heart. It was a real challenge, especially the part where I found out where the perm made my hair ten times nappier than how it was originally. Overall, it was a decision to look as I feel, confident and at peace with myself as a person, and with what God gave me.  

 3-       How did people surrounding you react to the change?

Well ! I realized that having your hair natural will not please everybody.  One aunt of mine asked me who influenced me to do that and if I felt more “black”.  My parents didn’t disagree but I knew that my dad didn’t welcome this change.  Often, he would tell me “Go comb/style your hair Stephanie” lol. I also think it’s a generation thing. Some of the American girls at my school would ask me to teach them how to wrap their hair like mine while I would get dry looks and awkward stares from Haitian women I know when I would come on vacation in Haiti and go out.  It is like they were wondering if I felt beautiful with my huge afro hair do or twisted locks. Every now and then, though, I would get compliments.

4-       Who were your supporters? Your hairspirations?

 My first supporter was my cousin, Yves André, who, at the time, was growing his natural hair out too.  He congratulated me on my new look.  He probably doesn’t even remember that but once, while I was visiting him in Boston, he showed so much support. We were both in college and we were both finding that new pretty and empowering pride.

 My first hairspiration was Lauryn Hill, in the Fugees era. After discovering the unlimited hair styles I could rock, I went crazy like a kid in a candy store. I saw all that perm was keeping me away from. Lauryn’s hair was never like anybody else no matter the length and it always looked hot. I thought of having dread locks but because I respect its meaning, I didn’t want to grow them for a fashion statement. I recently started to grow one and it’s attached to a part of my life I stepped in. It’s personal and confidential. Going natural also inspired me to change how I eat and treat my body.

 5-       What is your hair regimen?

My hair is very healthy ! And that makes very happy to be nappy. My best product comes directly from Togo, Africa. Angela is my link to the motherland. I buy my black soap and my pure shea butter from her. I use it on my skin and my hair. Aside from that, the products of ‘ As I am ” are also great. I wash my hair twice a week with the sunflower and coconut detangling shampoo. I leave the citrus conditioner on for about 3 minutes. I rarely detangle them when they’re dry because I have kinky and thin hair.  From time to time, I do a hot olive oil treatment.

   6-       What do you like most about being natural?

    The good news is that my hair is well taken care of and I do not spend over 200 bucks per year to maintain them. I am not a product junkie but I have several products, as a woman, I like to have multiple options. I love the fact that my hair is an expression of pride and of anti-conformism. The black woman with kinky hair has not always been considered a beauty icon.   We have not always been admired and recognized in TV, magazines and ads in Haiti.  I oppose to this trend linking blackness to ugliness.  My hair is nice; I wet it when I want.  Like me, it has a strong character.  It can break a comb, I can overcome trials.  We are a sexy duo (laughs)

 7-   Are you working on any project related to natural hair?

Of course, yes!  Along with two very good friends, we will start a movement.  Enough of those youngsters and women from Haiti with damaged hair by the creamy crack! Some of them do not have the means to care for their hair or go to the beauty salon.  Some others believe they will never be beautiful with their natural hair.  And it’s not just about hair.  Some women make major changes to their appearance (skin color, eyes, hair) because they do not love themselves as is.  They are convinced that they need to change to be welcomed in certain fields.  Guilt charges go to our society.

 8-     A message to the existing, upcoming and potential natural hair community?

Welcome to the natural newbies and cheers to those naturalistas, like me, who have kept up in this path.  It’s an ongoing celebration that is turning into something bigger than us. It’s not about the Haitian Pastor saying perm is the work on the devil. This is about finally calling a brainwash ideology, pure bull crap! We were the Rosa Parks on the Beauty bus, all the way in the back. It’s like we cracked a code and now we are sitting way up in the front. Women with all kinds of natural hair (wavy, curly, kinky, nappy, and spongy) are no longer looked at the same way. We are more present in advertisements and that is pretty impressive but we are not done yet. So to you,  I say : Rock it, Be proud of it. Take good care of your hair, yourself and your personality. 


Please like Afro Alice on Facebook

Texturized-Is-Natural-Hair Anecdote

I just encountered that colleague of mine with her hair being type 3b/3c-curly hair so, easier-to-manage hair.  Yet, sometime after she big chopped, she texturized her hair to “make her life easy” and to “embellish herself”.  LOL. No offense.  That was her choice….

Now, she came to me to complain.  Because number one, I didn’t invite her to the natural hair photoshoot I organized for the “natural” hair women at work two months ago.  (I wish you could see my ironic smile at her). Number two,  her hair looks natural but she is not treated as someone with natural hair. (LMAO really???!!!!).  She knew!  Just before she went for that semi creamy crack, I told her not to do so because it would alter her natural hair.  Smh!

A cat is not a tiger although they’re feline and look somehow alike. 

Credit: naturalhairdontcare.wordpress.com

Credit: naturalhairdontcare.wordpress.com

I am REpeating this AGAIN.  When your hair is texturized, it is midly permed, permed, altered.  Therefore, a texturized hair is NOT natural. 

For those people who are trying to stay in-between with a texturizer ( can LOOK natural sometimes [when hair is wet, it curls] and enjoy the straight look some other times [when blow dried, the hair becomes straight]), I advise to make up your mind.  I am a faithful naturalista and I am not changing this. I change my styles often too and straighten my hair sometimes but I do not alter it and I remain natural.  I respect those people who stick to the creamy crack as well.  They enjoy their permanent straight look.  Each party makes its choice and handles it.  What  bothers me is those “in-between people” who claim/want to be “natural” with their mild relaxer or texturizer on.

Stress & Hair Loss – Reply to a Naturalista’s Message

Rachel wroteEmergency! While flat twisting my hair, I noticed that I have lost a lot of hair around my neck line.  Wondering if it is not due to stress.  What should I do for the hair to grow back?


Afro Alice answered:  What it is- Temporary loss of hair due to stress, trauma or shock is known as Telogen (one type of hair, characterized by the end of the hair being shaped like a bulb) Effluvium (flow out).  Simply explained, your hair follows a natural growth and rest cycle which is disrupted when you are stressed.  As a result, your hair falls out when you wash or style your hair.

What you can do about it- Eat a healthy diet and treat your hair very gently.  Work on a plan to reduce your stress (exercise, relax, etc).

Source: Everyday Health Magazine


Afro Alice Hebdo- Je vous présente Nat Tricia

Cette semaine, Afro Alice a interviewé Tricia, créatrice de nattriciashop et contributrice de kreyolessence, magasins en ligne et naturelle depuis 2008. 

1-      Parle-nous de toi.

J’ai 33 ans, je suis en couple, j’ai deux 2 fils (8 ans et 1 an), je suis née en Haïti et naturalisée Française, je vis sur le Territoire Français depuis 1989, je suis Aide-soignante de Nuit en Neurochirurgie, et je gère ma boutique en ligne : http://www.nattriciashop.com depuis le mois de Février 2013. Je suis passionnée par mes deux activités professionnelles.


 2-       Quand et comment es- tu redevenue naturelle?

Depuis 2008, je ne me défrise plus les cheveux, mais je préférais  les garder très court (crâne rasé) mais ce n’est qu’en 2011 que j’ai décidé de les laisser pousser…la première fois que ma maman m’a défrisé les cheveux, j’avais 11 ans, si j’ai arrêté de me les défriser à la base c’était pour changer de look, et non pas parce que les cheveux se cassaient…depuis j’ai appris à mieux en prendre soin.

 3-      Comment ont réagi tes proches?
Je n’ai pas trop eu de soucis au niveau de ma famille, vu que mes frères et sœurs ont des locks.
Mes amis et mes collègues sont tellement habitués à me voir changer souvent de tête que cela ne les a pas dérangés.  J’ai même réussi à convaincre certaines copines à faire un retour au naturel.

 4-      Qui t’a supporté?  Qui est/sont ton/tes hairspiration(s)?

Mon conjoint préfère les cheveux naturels, c’est le premier à m’avoir soutenu, même si ça lui faisait bizarre au début (mon conjoint est blanc) puisqu’il ne m’avait jamais vu comme ca avant.
Quand j’ai commencé mon aventure capillaire je ne connaissais aucun site dédié aux cheveux naturels, je portais souvent des rajouts ou des tissages que je gardais 3 semaines, je faisais même des soins dans un salon européen (ce qui convenait bien à mon nuage de coton noir mais pas à mon portefeuille…MDR) puis j’ai découvert un blog  en Français : http://www.journalnappygirl.com. Depuis je suis devenue accro aux blogs Naturalistas.

 5-      Parle-nous de kreyolessence et de nattriciashop.


Kreyol Essence est mon coup de cœur pour deux raisons :

*c’est une très bonne gamme de produits naturels.   Je l’ai découvert sur  un Groupe Facebook Haiti, j’ai donc contacté la Créatrice Yve-Car Momperousse, qui m’a permis de tester ses produits avant de les acheter en prix de gros.  Ces produits sont vendus sur le site de ma boutique en ligne (en France): http://www.nattriciashop.com et aussi sur le site officiel : http://www.kreyolessence.com.
*c’est une gamme de produits faits à base d’ingrédients qui ont bercé mon enfance en Haïti : la très célèbre recette traditionnelle « lwil masckréti ».  Je suis si fière de cette gamme de produits que j’ai envie que le Monde entier découvre les compétences du peuple haïtien à travers ces produits. Faut savoir qu’une grande partie des produits sont fabriqués en Haïti (les huiles, les savons, les bougies, et la matière première provient d’Haïti). Les autres produits sont fabriqués aux États-Unis.

Nat’Tricia  Shop c’est le site que j’ai créé il y a 2 mois et demi, parce que j’avais un
peu marre de ne pas avoir des produits de qualités adaptés à mes cheveux dans la ville où je vis.  Nat’Tricia Shop c’est comme une partie de moi : NAT= Naturel,  TRICIA= c’est mon surnom mes amis proches m’appellent comme ca.  Nat’Tricia Shop travaille sur plusieurs projets surprises.

 6-      Travailles-tu sur des projets concernant les cheveux naturels?
J’aimerai organiser des rencontres dans ma ville avec d’autres filles au naturel, et pourquoi ne pas rencontrer les naturalistas haïtiennes à Saint Domingue et à Port-Au-Prince.

 7-      Quel est ton régime capillaire?

Je ne me complique pas la vie, j’écoute mes cheveux, cependant j’ai une routine de base :
Pour hydrater mes cheveux tous les jours

  •   Dans mon vaporisateur :

   200 à 250ml d’eau (en gros ça permet de tenir 5 jours),
  2 cuillère à soupe de l’huile de : Palma Christi: Haitian Black Castor Oil – Chocolate/ Arôme Chokola
   2 cuillères à coupe d’huile d’olive

  •    En pré poo :

 J’utilise mon huile Mascréti (huile de castor ou huile de ricin) tiède pure une fois par semaine.
 Mon chouchou du mois c’est la gamme-complete-nappy-queen :

* masque à la cire d’abeille et à l’huile de ricin, pour apporter les nutriments et vitamines utiles à la fibre capillaire. (À poser 20 minutes    avant le shampooing de préférence)
* shampooing à la provitamine B5 et à la protéine d‘amande douce, pour nettoyer le cheveu en douceur, tout en le fortifiant. (Mousse moins que les shampooings classiques)

  • ·Après-shampooing au karité et au jojoba, pour démêler et hydrater en douceur tout en conservant les boucles. (à poser 5
    minutes et à rincer !)

*lait capillaire à l’huile d’amande douce et l’huile essentielle d’ylang-ylang (250 ml), pour hydrater, adoucir le cheveu et aider au coiffage au quotidien, (appliquer une petite quantité par portion section de cheveu)

* sérum huileux au coco, jojoba et argan (100 ml), pour apporter de la brillance à la chevelure et restaurer la fibre capillaire, très utile pour les pointes. (Appliquer le spray en petite quantité sur la paume, frotter les mains et appliquer sur l’ensemble de la chevelure)

 8-      Qu’est-ce que tu aimes le plus à être naturelle?

Le côté versatile de mes cheveux crépus.  J’en fais ce que je veux.

 9-      As-tu en tête d’ouvrir un magasin en ligne pour les femmes aux cheveux crépus vivant en Haiti?
Pourquoi pas! Dans un avenir lointain ….mais dans l’immédiat ma vie professionnelle et ma vie de famille ne me le permettent pas.

 10-    Un message pour celles qui font partie de la communauté naturelle?
Mon message s’adresse particulièrement aux Femmes «  Kreyoles » (Haiti, Guyane, Guadeloupe, Martinique..) je vous encourage à faire ce voyage « Retour aux sources », parce qu’être Naturaliste ce n’est pas seulement arborer les cheveux crépus, c’est aussi s’accepter tel que l’on est, c’est à dire son Histoire, sa Culture et sa Langue…je trouve que c’est dommage qu’il n’y ait
aucune youtubeuse qui fait ses vidéos en « Kreyol… » parce que  c’est notre identité…
Kote bèl ayisyèn yo ki sou youtube la yo? mwen bezwen tande kreyol pale.

I Am Not My Hair by India Arie

A nhappy friend sent me the following this morning and I really had to share with you:

– The Song –


 See I can kinda recall little ways back
Small tryin’ to bawl always been black
And my hair I tried it all, I even went flat
Had a gumdee curly top and all the crap now

Just tryin’ to be appreciated
Nappy headed brothers never had no latest
Then I hit the barber shop real quick
Had ’em gimme little twist and it drove them crazy

And then I couldn’t get no job
This corporate wouldn’t hire no dreadlocks
Then I thought about my dogs on the block
Kinda understand why they chose a stealin’ rock

Was it the hair that got me this far?
All these girls, these cribs, these cars
I hate to say it but it seem so flaw
‘Cause success didn’t come ’til I cut it all off

Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen and I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter

And fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and I went all natural
February two thousand and two I
Went on and did what I had to do

Because it was time to change my life
To become the woman that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlocks all gone
I looked in the mirror for the first time and saw that, hey

Hey, I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no, no
I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
It’s time for us to redefine who we be

You be shaving it off like a South African beauty
Get in on lock like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath and say, hey

Hey, I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am not your expectation, no
I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

Who cares if you don’t like that
With nothin’ to lose post it with a wave cap
When the cops wanna harass ’cause I got waves
Ain’t seen nothin’ like that, not in my days

Man, you gotta change all feelings
Steady judging one another by their appearance
Yes, India, I feel ya girl
Now go ‘head talk the rest of the world

Does the way I wear my hair
Make me a better person?
Does the way I wear my hair
Make me a better friend?

Does the way I wear my hair
Determine my integrity?
I am expressing my creativity

Breast cancer and chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy every day of her life

On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like, hey

Hey, I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no, no
I am not my hair, I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

-My friend’s comments-

Hey my natural and transitioning sisters,

 I heard this song for the first time this morning on my way to work and fell in love with both the harmony and lyrics.  Thought I’d share with you.  This is something to remind us that we are NOT to be judge because of the way we choose to expression our inner beauty.  How we look is a choice.  We are a soul, not a skin, not a dress, not a hairstyle.  We are gorgeous, we are us.

So let us keep on expressing the natural beauty that God gave us  the best way that we can.

Enjoy, share and have a nice day my people.

Afro Alice Hebdo – Meet Fescar Bee

For this week’s hebdo, Afro Alice has interviewed Febee, creator of Ô Natur’ Elle 509 and proud naturalista since four years.

1-    Tell us about you.

I am Febee, also known as Fescar Bee on the web, 24, proudly Christian, Business Administration student and creator of the Ô Natur’ Elle 509 page on Facebook. I love everything about natural hair and I love meeting random natural women and learn about their natural hair journey.

2-    When and why did you return natural?febe ascar

 When- I return natural in 2009 and did the BC after 6-8 months of transitioning. 
I realized that I didn’t have to fit or conform to what society says is nice hair. I have always admired women with natural hair and I have always wanted to go natural but didn’t know how to take care of it until I did some Internet research and found the information I wished for.

Why- I had a few reasons for getting back to my roots: I have an extremely sensitive scalp and would always get burned while getting a touch up. I got tired of spending countless hours in a hair salon and being scared of the elements. My hair never grew with perms and has always been short and quite thin (growing and then falling out). Tired of my hair being over processed, I made the decision to walk away from chemicals.

3-     How did people surrounding you react to your change?

Put aside my father who told me I look better with relaxed hair, people surrounding me reacted positively to my hair change.

4-    Who supported you and how? Who was your inspiration?

Nobody really showed support to me. In my family, we are just two people being natural: my cousin and I.  She didn’t even believe I would embrace so seriously my journey. My best friend thought this change was foolish then made up her mind. 

My hair inspirations were Stephanie Casimir, a female Haitian actor and Michaelle Jean, a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada from 2005 to 2010.

5-    What difficulties have you met along your journey?

The only difficulty I had to deal with was my hair having two textures. My crown is different from the remaining of my hair.

6-    Tell us about ô Natur’elle 509.

Ô Natur’elle 509 is a forum dedicated to the love and awareness of natural hair & to the inspiration and motivation for women who want to go back to their roots despite the society’s negative view of it. It’s specially designed for my 509 natural sisters who decided to embrace their natural hair with pride. Altogether, we share our stories, routines, tips, advices and success of our journeys.

7-    What is the best thing about being natural?

Wow! So many things! To name a few, I love the fact that I can be an inspiration to others.  Also I have the freedom to do what I want with my hair; I love the process of learning how to care for my hair and what my hair likes. My absolute favorite thing about being natural is that I am finally the real me, as God designed me. I’m so thankful to no longer conform to what I grew up thinking was the way a woman should look.

8-    What’s your regimen?

As I am lazy, I like to keep it simple! I co wash my hair weekly, which includes a homemade deep conditioning treatment. I clarify when my hair stops responding to my products. I detangle in the shower, then after my hair is fully detangled, I rinse it and put in a leave-in conditioner, I seal with oils or butters and style my hair. I wear a satin scarf or bonnet to sleep.

9-    A message to the natural hair existing, upcoming and potential communities?

To all my nappy sisters, I want you to know that it requires strength and confidence to look different, so I encourage you to stay and remain strong. Some people may not like natural hair and you can’t change their minds; therefore, don’t make someone else’s opinion a burden to yourself. Remember you had valuable reasons to return natural. Don’t lose track of your motives. Nothing worth having is easy to achieve. Your natural hair is unique. Bear it with pride.

10-                       Do you have any upcoming plan?

Yes, we are planning to organize a natural hair meet-up in Haiti during the summer.  There, we will have the chance to meet the members of our page living in Haiti. We will discuss the history of the page, the people who manage the page, and important subjects about hair. We intend to craft bracelets, shirts, buttons, and bags and we have a long term plan of opening a hair salon for naturals in Port-au-Prince!

Following is the link to her Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%C3%94-Natur-Elle-509/431714783578717?fref=ts