Way cool curls. A ShamPHree Interview with Naturally Curly Chelsea

IMG_0544Chelsea is another Vain front desk superstar. She is the one with the flawlessly wild curls that run the color gamut from pink to white to chocolate brown and back again. She is a whip-smart babe with a sense of humor, an even keel, and great style.

7U6A8955I was thrilled to chat with her a couple of months back about her experimentation with DIY beauty and her quest for a more simple, healthful lifestyle. She was curious and excited to try going ShamPHree and it has been awesome to watch her and her hair troubleshoot their way to DIY awesomeness.

Chels graciously agreed to share her ShamPHree Journey story with us on HTHG, and I am excited to be able to feature her…..A fabulously naturally curly gal, as one of our exclusive ShamPHree Interviews.

Ladies and Gents,


Way cool curls: A ShamPHree Interview with Naturally Curly Chelsea.


7U6A8926What do you call yourself? Personal branding statement? ( super-human, undercover brother, mr. fix it?  Something corny? you can get creative or not:)


DIY extraordinaire, beauty industry superstar, succulent enthusiast, cat lover, veggie-juice mixologist


When did you start your ShamPHree journey?


It’s been about two months now.


What inspired your switch?


 Not only is it cheaper than conventional shampoo/conditioner options, but it’s also more natural and better for the environment, too!  No nasty chemicals going back into the water system I have to feel guilty about.


Did you have an adjustment period before you were sold on it? If so, how long and what was it like?


There is definitely an adjustment period that I was not expecting/prepared for.  ShamPHree is a journey, but I learned that it is well worth it.


The trickiest part for myself was getting the ratio of BS to water correct.  I only wash my hair once a week so I had a few weeks when I first started ShamPHree-ing that my curls disappeared completely.  Product would only make the situation worse (by weighing my hair down and making it a sticky mess), so I had to deal with my 80’s fro until the next washing.  Then I had to try and remember how to change up my formula for better results.  I used some natural conditioner (Deva Curl One Condition) after the vinegar rinse a few times so my hair would have some curl to it, since I was not using products.


After about a month and a half, I finally figured out the mixtures that worked for me, as well as how often I needed to ShamPHree.  This process would probably happen much faster for someone who washes their hair more often.  The time period before I got these mixtures/processes sorted out was agonizing.  My hair was probably still detoxing all the bad products, so I stuck with it.  But it wasn’t easy.  For someone who works in the beauty industry, not knowing what your hair will be doing each morning was certainly frustrating.  But I also felt compelled to keep going, wanting to be a part of the ShamPHree movement, bettering my hair and the environment at the same time!


ShamPHree has become a lifestyle that I share with anyone that asks about my hair (which happens often with my crazy curly locks).  And I couldn’t be more proud of getting to a place where I can comfortably ShamPHree and enjoy the results, and share with others, too!


What changes have you seen in your hair/scalp that you like since going ShamPHree?


I can go a lot longer without washing my hair, as oil no longer seems to build up at my roots/scalp.  I love the tingly feeling of the baking soda rinse.  You can really feel it working!  Overall my hair feels stronger and is shinier than ever.


 Have their been any surprises?


I was surprised by the results of adding in a vinegar only rinse every other time I ShamPHRee.  So I’m only using BS every other time I “wash” my hair.  The vinegar rinse cut out any oily build-up, and brought back quite a bit of curl.


What would you tell a friend who was on the fence about going ShamPHree?

I consider myself pretty in tune with my body, recognizing food intolarences or deficiencies with ease.  This took some time, practice, and trial and error.  But now I can enjoy food without questioning what it will do to my body.  The same can be said for ShamPHree.  It’s a system that allows you to mix your way to the perfect hair!  Be patient, and be attentive throughout the process.  It is worth it.


 Has your experience with going ShamPHree inspired any other positive changes in your self-care routine/ life in general?

I would say this process has been complimentary to my healthful, environment lovin’, DIY lifestyle.


Anything you want to add about ShamPHree, hair, life in general?


Less really is more when it comes to your hair.  Keep it freakin’ simple (for your sanity and the health of your hair).

Thanks Chels, Keep those free curls rockin!!

xo, HTHG

The Head wrap. A vintage styling protective smooth-out trick.

smoothHi my friends. It has been a minute since I have had a chance to put together a styling video for you all! Here is one from the vault, a little trick I like to call the Head Wrap. I learned this one in beauty school. It was used often as a protective way of keeping chemically relaxed hair straight and smooth without the use of heat.

In school,I got laughed at for wrapping my own white-girl hair. It was my first experience of ‘Hmmmmmm. I guess that our races are still divided by our lack of understanding of each other’s hair. I’m still working on trying to bridge that gap.

smoooothThe Head-wrap is a great trick to use if you are wearing your curly hair straight or want just a general smoothing. You can see by my before and after, my hair is naturally pretty rough. It refuses to be straight. But the Head wrap calms my wild hair into smooth and shiny waves.

Here is how it works……By brushing the hair tightly around the head with a boar bristle brush, you use the round smoothness of your head as a large roller for your hair. Scarf it and go to bed, and you will wake up with beautifully straight-ish hair that behaves and falls perfectly.

In order to make it work, you need a bit of practice, a good brush, and 2nd or 3rd day hair. ShamPHree hair will do this beautifully.


Pre-poo. Protecting your ends.

Hello and happy spring!

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 7.49.29 AMI recently participated in a skill-share class at Vain, where I chose a couple of tricks to share with my incredibly talented and inquisitive colleagues. The skills I shared were ponytail ombre/ how to get this kind of color,

How to do this braid, and how I am obsessed with the pre-poo.


What is pre-poo?

Conditioning hair before you shampoo/ShamPHree as an end-protecting measure.

Ever hear someone say “My hair just grows to a certain point and then stops?”

Ever tried to grow your hair out and it just doesn’t seem to want to grow past a certain point? Let’s call this the breaking point.

My hair has been at it’s personal breaking point for over a year now. It finally dawned on my that once my hair reaches collar-bone length, it wants to start splitting at the ends.

I have many female clients at Vain who are from India. Many of them were taught to condition their ends with oil before shampooing. This is contrary to what we are taught in our culture, right? I tried it out. My hair has grown 2 inches without needing a trim. That is an absolute first for me!

You can extend the breaking point of your hair by taking some extra end-protecting measures…..Here is how.

liquid goldGet you favorite hair oil or deep conditioning treatment ( NOT PROTEIN, PEOPLE!) Moisture. Like oils, butters, etc. I use Liquid Gold Hair Butter which is a mix of coconut oil and shea butter.

Before shampooing/ShamPHree-ing, flip your dry hair upside down and apply a pea and a half sized amount to your dry ends. Run your hands together tightly over your ends section by section to coat them. Just focus on the last 2 inches or so.

Now, go about your regular shampoo/ ShamPHree routine. Your ends will soak in the oil and protect against any stripping and drying that can happen from cleansing the hair. Use nice warm water to drive that goodness into your ends.

Pre-poo is a game-changer,




Protective hairstyles….How to wake up with happy hair.

happyhairThe further I get into my ShamPHree journey, the more I understand the importance of protection to healthy hair. Especially since I am growing out my hair.

While we sleep, our hair is at the whim of our restless dream induced thrashings. You may not believe it, but this is a lot of wear and tear! With protective overnight styles, we can both protect our hair, and encourage it to act right when we wake up in the morning!

Lately, I have been experimenting more with letting my hair be it’s wild curly self. Generally, it looks great the first day, but by the 2nd day it is a huge mess unless I re-wet and style it. This is where I learned the art of Pineapple-ing. And yes, It works. So well, in fact, that it inspired this post;)

These techniques are designed for all hair types. Let me show you my 4 favorite ways to protect my hair while I sleep.

How to wake up with happy hair

First one is a simple, loose braid. This is great for soft styles and waves. It is nice on finer hair because it protects it from overnight breakage, and leaves you with some movement and body. It can be used on medium to long hair. Just do a loose braid and secure the end with a tear-free elastic. You can do this one on wet or dry hair.

The second one is the Pineapple. This one is perfect for curly hair or all lengths. All it is is a very loose ponytail on top of the head with a scrunchy! Then, fan all the hair out around the scrunchy so it looks like the top of a pineapple and hit the hay. Wake up to relatively intact curls! This one is best done on dry hair.

Next one is my personal favorite, the high twisted bun. I use this one when my hair is damp and I want it to dry while I sleep without getting all crazy on me. I take all my hair on top of my head and loosely twist it into a bun and secure it with a scrunchy, not too tight. I wake up with surprisingly polished waves and body in my hair. This one is great for all lengths and textures.

The last one is a good old head scarf. This one is great for shorter curly and wavy hair textures and allows you to wear your hair curly for days on end without re-wetting or re-styling! I take a large square scarf and fold it in half diagonally. Then, I arrange my hair how I like it, and wrap the two long ends of the scarf gently around my head and tie them in the front. Then I flip the point of the triangle over the top of my hair and tie or tuck it in the front with the first tie. It makes a nice secure but not-too tight bonnet.

Try these methods out and I think you will find that it takes time out of your morning hair routine, and keeps your ends from breaking. What are your tricks for protective overnight styling?  Please share!


ShamPHree Summer Series 3- Curly Covergirl!



This week of HTHG’s #shamphree summer series goes to Greenly. She is a fantastic young woman who I have had the pleasure of watching grow up. She is my feisty midwive’s feistier daughter who is going to collage this year and will no doubt put her dent on this world.

I had the pleasure of shooting pictures of Greenly last time I was in NWA. She has amazing natural wild curls that she rocks ShamPHRee like her wild haired mama. I love Greenly’s look because she is as beautiful make-up and hairdo free as she is with polished curls and a painted face.

To get her polished vintage waves shown in the center of the bottom row of photos, we simply curled hair hair with a large barrel iron and brushed them into smooth waves, no products. Her ShamPHree hair took right to the taming, no problem. That is what I love about ShamPHree…..It can be wild or tame.

Great hair for all!  #shamphree #freeyourhair #hthg #naturallycurly

Are you naturally curly and do you have unanswered questions about how best to care for your curls? Be sure to check out Naturally Curly.


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