Beautiful Curls

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How 20% Impacted the Entire Community

To Beautiful Curls, fair trade means paying a fair wage, providing equal employment opportunities, engaging in environmental sustainable practices, providing healthy and safe working conditions, being open to public accountability, and reducing the number of middlemen between producers and consumers. We believe fair trade should be environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable and give local communities the opportunity to empower themselves.

Our founder, Olowo-n'djo Tchala and Amama Abadou
During Olowo-n'djo Tchala's trip to Togo last December, he was honored to receive a wonderful testimony of Alaffia's full-time efforts from Amama Amadou. She is the president of our Alaffia women's shea nut collective of Bowouda. This is what she said," Before coming to buy shea nuts, Alaffia invited us to give the market price, then Alaffia added 20% to this price. Everyone received her own receipt and money for her own nuts. We sold over seven tons of shea nuts to Alaffia, and together we have saved over 400,000 fcfa [$1,000]. In the past, we got paid little by little for each bowl that we had. Today, the buying process is organized, and everyone gets their whole payment at once. I thank you and I plead you to continue your support in our village in order to reduce poverty. This year, thanks to the 20% every one of us has paid the school fees for our children. We thank you very much for the support you have given to the women of Bowouda. You will be blessed for your efforts."

It is always very encouraging to know that as a fair trade organization, Alaffia is positively impacting our West African communities: Be it the shea nut collectors, our coop members, recipients of the bicycles and more. We are sincerely grateful and appreciative of the wonderful support and contributions we have been continuously receiving from our caring communities here in the USA and worldwide. Thank you Beautiful Curls!

Click here to read more on how Alaffia & Beautiful Curls is continuously making a difference in West Africa.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vintage Glamour and Pin Curl Styling with Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel

Our Curl Defining Gel is amazing for doing traditional “shampoo sets”. Shampoo sets are a way of styling the hair, starting with wet to damp hair. While the hair is wet, the hair is molded or structured into a “set” or wave/curl pattern, and then allowed to dry - usually under a hood dryer.

Shampoo sets or Wet sets have been a service available in many salons for decades and are also done for movies, theater, weddings and special occasions. This method of hair styling has been popular because it is more gentle to the hair than using curling irons and hot metal tools. Plus, it offers longer lasting styles for beautiful bounce and movement.

Pin Curl Diagram 

To achieve a similar result at home, apply Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel thoroughly to your damp hair. While still damp, twist or wrap one inch sections of hair into pin curls against the scalp. Secure each curl with a bobby pin or curl pin. We suggest gently drying with a diffuser or under a hood dryer during winter months. During summer months, allow your curls to air dry for beach tousled waves! For extra shine and definition, finish with a small amount of Beautiful Curls Sculpting Wax applied lightly to fully dried hair.

Curl Defining Gel is great for finger styling, twist-outs, braiding, finger waves, pin curls, and “shampoo sets”!  

Have fun and enjoy your Beautiful Curls!!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Keeping Up with Hydration!

Have we formally introduced to you the latest product for Wavy to Curly hair types in our Beautiful Curls family?
Shea Butter Fortifying Curl Lotion acts as a leave-in conditioner for curls needing additional moisture and it also provides an extra layer on our curls to protect them against harsh environmental conditions, such as wind and sun. Especially when the weather has turned colder and the indoor heat is dehydrating our hair, we definitely need to pay more attention to our beautiful curls!
This incredible curl lotion has amazing ingredients such as Certified Fair Trade shea butter and virgin coconut oil to provide extra fortifying moisture and help improve hair elasticity. Hand-pressed sesame oil strengthens the hair shafts and roots to reduce and prevent split ends and hair breakage. Fresh extracts of chamomile, sage and yarrow sooth, calm and normalize the oil production on our scalp and additionally, help to enhance our natural highlights and add shine to our beautiful curls! Annoying hair knots? Natural minerals and vitamins found in Shea Butter Fortifying Curl Lotion aid in smoothing our hair cuticles, removing hair tangles AND providing shine for beautiful, frizz-free waves and curls.
For our Beautiful Curls lovers who have tightly spiraled hair types, Beautiful Curls also makes Shea Butter Replenishing Curl Lotion for Kinky to Curly hair. Replenishing Curl Lotion has a higher concentration of Certified Fair Trade shea butter, virgin coconut oil and baobab oil to replenish moisture and strengthen your beautiful curls! Herbal Infusions of baobab leaf, comfrey and arnica flower further strengthen and soften coarse or extra curly hair.
Lavish Beautiful Curls’ Curl Lotions generously onto clean, wet hair from roots to the hair ends. For troubled sections, comb through the hair using a wide-toothed comb. Or, apply a dime-sized portion to dry curl ends to provide extra moisture between washings.
Not only are we able to enjoy the chilly holiday season, but our beautiful curls will also thank us for making sure they are adequately moisturized and wonderfully maintained at all times! 

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Curls are Beautiful Curls!

“I wish my hair was curly like hers,” she said. And few days later, I heard the curly-haired girl say “Yeah, I straighten my curly hair every morning.” The grass always looks greener on the other side, doesn’t it?
While many of us are born with straight hair, there are a huge percentage of us that have wavy or curly hair. No hair type is less beautiful than the other; all are gloriously attractive and equally beautiful, especially when it is well taken care of.
Wave and texture patterns of our hair result from genetics, racial background and hormone levels. Each of these patterns exists in all cultures.
In general, curly hair needs more attention because it tends to be drier than straight hair. It is harder for our natural scalp oils to travel down the curly hair shaft than straight hair strands. The tighter the curls, the drier the ends tend to be. In addition, curly hair is longer than it appears, and the longer the hair strand, the further the scalp oils must travel. For these reasons, Beautiful Curls emphasizes moisturizing butters, oils and herbal extracts. 
Beautiful Curls products are formulated in 3 different sets for differing curl patterns and textures; Babies & Up (growing curls, sensitive scalps,  babies & children), Wavy to Curly (looser waves and curls, finer textures), and last but not least, Curly to Kinky (medium to tightest curls, coarser textures).
Here is the link to find your curl type!
The two main ingredients of all Beautiful Curls products are the same. They are the unrefined Certified Fair Trade shea butter and virgin coconut oil. Both these ingredients are handcrafted at our Alaffia Fair Trade Cooperatives in West Africa. The unique fatty acid profile of our unrefined shea butter moisturizes dry hair and scalp, prevents hair breakage and improves hair elasticity, without clogging pores or causing product build-up on our hair. Shea butter has good emollient properties to seal in moisture and closes hair cuticles, giving our hair a radiant shine and a luxurious healthy appearance. Our unrefined virgin coconut oil provides natural luxurious touch to our hair without the use of silicones or paraffin, and soothes, hydrates, balances and revitalizes our hair and scalp. These unrefined oils contain their full antioxidizing properties from vitamins, esters, phytosterols and minerals, which help protect our hair from free radical damage.
The three Beautiful Curls sets are differentiated by the concentration of shea butter and the specific herbal extracts. As the hair gets curlier, it tends to get tighter and drier. Therefore, higher concentration of shea butter is needed in the Curly to Kinky set to provide extra moisture to the hair strands. Tighter curls also benefit from comfrey and arnica - which provide additional moisture and improve strength and elasticity.  Looser waves and curls can be weighed down by more concentrated formulas, so you will find the Curly to Wavy set provides just the right amount of moisture, while yarrow and chamomile enhance natural shine. Our Babies and Up set is formulated for all growing curls with mid-range concentration of moisturizers.  With neem leaf and soothing calendula flower, the extracts are particularly suited to sooth sensitive scalps.
We hope that you find the Beautiful Curls for your unique hair type. Especially as the weather is turning colder, we want to make sure that both our skin and hair are taken care of properly because beautiful skin and hair will equal to a beautiful you

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nourish the Hair!

Dry. Cold. Fall.

Our hair naturally gets drier easily in fall and winter due to the lower humidity of the cold air. Besides the usual routine of applying shampoo and (leave-in) conditioner on our hair, we definitely need more to quench hair’s seasonal thirst.

 So…what can we do to protect our hair besides the usual hair regimen? HOT OIL TREATMENTS!

You may already use our Beautiful Curls’ Curl Oils to provide shine and moisture to your hair. However, you can also use it for a deep moisturizing HOT OIL TREATMENTS! Another great thing about this treatment is that it can be easily done in the comfort of your own home and is not messy, since Beautiful Curls’ Curl Oils come in a neat and squeezable 4 oz bottle.

Instructions for Use:
  1. Shampoo and rinse clean your hair
  2. Warm the oil in a hot water bath (Squeeze 1-3 tablespoons of oil into a small container and place in a larger bowl of boiling water)
  3. Apply it to your hair, starting from the scalp/ roots to the ends. Since ends tend to be drier, do make sure that they are covered well with the oil
  4. Massage scalp thoroughly to make sure the oil absorb!
  5. Comb gently through the hair, preferably with wide-toothed comb
  6. Wrap hair for 30 to 60 minutes in shower cap or warm towel. You can always warm the towel in the dryer
  7. Unwrap and massage scalp again
  8. Rinse oil out and apply the shampoo. Sometimes, you may want to shampoo more than twice to make sure the oil is rinsed away completely
  9. Do not forget to apply conditioner after shampooing to close back the hair shaft 
  10. Dry and style as usual 
Tada! Happy, bouncy hair!

We recommend doing this once or twice weekly in the colder months. Hair will be healthy and shines naturally when we keep it well nourished and moisturized. And, if our hair is happy, we are happy! Our Beautiful Curls’ Curl Oils are available in 3 different formulas: Shea Butter & Neem Nourishing Curl Oil for growing curls, Shea Butter & Rosemary Shining Curl Oil for wavy to curly hair types and Shea Butter Coconut Hydrating Curl Oil for curliest hair types.

Please do check them out at for more information.

We hope you will fit in a time to lavish your hair with the needed, extra nourishment! :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

DIY Wedding Hair with Beautiful Curls!

Ah, weddings.

The dress.  The decor.  The hair.  (The stress.)

It seems that more and more, brides are seeking simplicity and ease.  Do-it-yourself ideas are popping up everywhere, as brides are beginning to find that they can pinch pennies while adding a personal touch, just by choosing to do a few things themselves, or by allowing friends and family to lend their talents.

I'm by no means a professional stylist, but I do know how to wield a curling iron and how to apply Beautiful Curls products, so when my friend Kimberly came to me with photos of her dream wedding hair, I confidently exclaimed, "I can do this!"

Here is the look our bride wanted to capture for her special day: 

Kim decided on soft, romantic curls, pinned in just a few key places in back.
She opted for a headband and veil rather than rhinestone
pins, as pictured.

Our bride Kimberly is a Wavy to Curly girl, with lovely, loose natural curls.  But for a more polished look on her wedding day, we decided to blow dry her hair straight and use Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel to create smooth, lasting ringlets.

Here's the How-To:

I sectioned Kim's dry hair, back combing close to her roots to add height and volume. 
Then it was time to curl!  I worked back through each section,
smoothing the Curl Defining Gel on to Kim's hair before wrapping
pieces around a 1 inch barrel curling iron.

Can you spy the little tub of magic gel in the sea of wedding day products?

The Curl Defining Gel really made all the difference for this style.
Every curl came off the iron defined, yet still soft and natural.
(Hairspray can be drying and doesn't quite qualify as a feel-good, all-natural
hair treatment, but we reached for it to add additional hold for this all-day event.)

Kim's hair after I'd worked all the way through, curling each section.
I then went back through and separated some of the curls to create
the soft look she was after.

After pinning some of her curls back, I used
Shea Butter Sculpting Wax to smooth down those fly-aways that you see!
It worked like a charm.

The beautiful bride and I at the reception.  We both have Beautiful Curls!

For my shea buttery, shiny bridesmaid hair, I lightly spritzed my
dry hair with the Curl Reviving Tonic before wrapping sections
around a 2.5 inch barrel curling iron, protecting my hair from heat while
creating loose waves that lasted all day, even through the wind and rain.
(December weddings are always an adventure!)

Kimberly's curls lasted all day, with just one quick touch up before the reception.  
Beautiful Curls DIY success!  

For your wedding hair, try prepping your tresses with a Beautiful Curls Shampoo & Leave-In Conditioner, followed by the Beautiful Curls styling product for your hair type.  Keep the Curl Reviving Tonic and Shea Butter Sculpting Wax on hand for touch ups, and viola!  You have Beautiful Curls without the crunch, and a lovely, lasting wedding style involving minimal stress and cost. 

-Emily Parnham, Beautiful Curls Enthusiast


Friday, October 28, 2011

Emily's Upswept Curls - Beautiful Curls Products for Classic Style

A style of romantic, loose curls, swept up and pinned is a classic look that is fairly simple to achieve.  Several of our Beautiful Curls products are well suited to help you to achieve a lovely updo, adding moisture and shine.

Emily's style began with our Curl Nurturing Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner.  For Emily's baby fine, just barely wavy hair, the leave-in was used as a rinse-out.

Finer hair types can still benefit from lighter forms of leave-in moisture - while Emily's hair was still damp, our Curl Reviving Tonic was applied from roots to ends, with a bit of Alaffia's Shea & Virgin Coconut Enriching Hair Lotion added to the mix.  These two products provided hydration and prepped her hair for heat styling.

Emily's hair was blown dry straight, using a vented brush.  Then, all over loose curls were added by using a 1/2 inch curling iron.

Curl Sculpting Wax was used to smooth Emily's part line, swoop her bangs to the side, and define the ends of her curls.

Upon washing, prepping, drying, curling, and defining, Emily's curls were ready to be swept up! 

To do this on your own, begin near the top of your right ear, gather hair and twist, pinning as you go.  When you near the left side of your head, begin shaping and pinning curls as desired.  Leave a few curls on the right side of your face for a soft look.

Add final touches with Curl Sculpting Wax, and viola!  You have a soft, simple, all-natural updo.

(Emily keeps her hair happy and hydrated with weekly applications of our Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment, one of her absolute favorite Beautiful Curls products.)
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