GIVEAWAY | ALAFFIA PRIZE BASKET (Natural Hair & Body Care Products)

After falling in love with the Alaffia Good Soaps and Coconut Lip balms I reviewed not too long ago, Alaffia sent me more wonderful products to try and an amazing gift basket to give away to one lucky Natural Chica reader!

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This amazing prize basket includes:

Alaffia handcrafted grass basket – Alaffia baskets are handwoven in Ghana and Togo from sustainable harvested grass. 100% biodegradable and compostable, this is the ultimate eco-friendly accessory.

Authentic Black Soap – Peppermint – Alaffia’s authentic black soap is made from a centuries old recipe of handcrafted shea butter and West African palm kernel oil. Saponification is provided by adding ashes to the hot oils, then cooking the soap for six hours. The last step is drying and curing the soap in the sun for three weeks, resulting in a gentle hand & body wash for all ages.

EveryDay Shea Body Lotion Lavender – EveryDay Shea Body Lotion Lavender is prepared with Certified Fair Trade unrefined shea butter, soothing African yam, and relaxing lavender essential oil.

EveryDay Coconut Lip Balm –Pineapple – A luscious moisturizing lip balm with Certified Fair Trade coconut oil and pineapple fruit extract

EveryDay Coconut Lip Balm – Purely Coconut – A luscious moisturizing lip balm with Certified Fair Trade coconut oil and cocoa butter

EveryDay Coconut Pure African Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair – Powerful restorative % hydrating fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, leave skin soft & smooth. May be applied to either skin or hair.

Authentic Africa’s Secret – Africa’s Secret is a restorative multipurpose skin cream based on a traditional infusion of botanicals and bee products handed down from generation to generation. A percentage of the proceeds goes to the Xerces Society for the conservation of pollinators.

Alaffia Virgin Coconut and Shea Shampoo – Virgin coconut oil and lemongrass extract moisture and smooth hair, leaving it shiny and healthy-looking. Gentle shea butter African black soap cleans without removing natural oils. For all hair types.

Alaffia Virgin Coconut and Shea Conditioner – Virgin coconut oil and shea butter provide condition and shine without causing buildup or weighing hair down. Lemongrass extract adds moisture and gloss. For all hair types.


The total value of this prize basket is around $85!

Each of these products balances science with tradition to holistically benefit your body, communities and the environment.

I’ve actually had the opportunity to try all the products listed here and they really do live up to their descriptions! Their lotion (I received the coconut scent) is now one of my favorites because it is incredibly moisturizing and not heavily scented. The pump applicator definitely makes it easy to use as well. The Virgin Coconut and Shea conditioner actually worked really well for my hair as well! I found I was able to finger detangle with the shampoo and was left with a clean, but not stripped feeling. The conditioner had a nice, creamy consistency that was easy to apply evenly throughout my hair. It left my hair feeling soft after rinsing it out as well. The scent is really low-key, which is a plus for those of you who may not like heavily scented products. I’m sure whoever wins this basket is going to really enjoy these products! 

To enter this giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note that this contest is only open to U.S. residents.


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My experience at Mirror Salon – The new salon at Carol’s Daughter!

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I love seeing brands evolve, so I was thrilled when I heard that Carol’s Daughter was opening their own hair salons, integrated in some of their signature stores! After hearing the buzz from the opening of the Mirror Salon in Harlem, NY , I was so excited when I was invited to check out their salon for myself at the new Mirror Salon in Lenox Square Mall, right here in Atlanta!

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I was warmly greeted at the front desk and escorted over to an informative presentation given by the masterminds behind the new salon concept: Robin Groover (founder of salon, Too Groovy) & Lisa Price (founder of Carol’s Daughter). Lisa explained to me that over the years, they’ve had many educational demos about their product lines in their stores, so it was a natural progression for them to look into incorporating a salon in the store to really provide the in-depth hair education and styling that customers were looking for. To bring the salon concept into reality, Lisa decided to partner with Robin, who is superb when it comes to healthy hair education. If you’ve followed my hair journey for a while, you’ll know that Robin has been my go-to stylist over the years and not only she is knowledgeable, but she is always eager to make sure her clients also understand how to properly take care of their hair as well.

The salon’s commitment to hair education is evident in the first service a client receives when they visit…a “True Reflection” consultation. In this interactive consultation, topics like hair texture and type are dicussed and 4 tests are done to determine the best treatment for their client. These tests include scalp analysis, a hair density evaluation, and hair porosity and elasticity tests. Robin stressed to me the importance of customized hair therapy, which is why this consultation is such an integral part of their process.

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The salon offers a variety of services including cuts, color and detailed texture styles. With these services, they also offer specialized treatments including strand by strand conditioning and steam therapy.

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The reason why they went with the name Mirror Salon is seen in the unique aspects of the salon – large mirrors above the shampoo bowl and in front of the styling chairs that allows you to observe every aspect of your hair care treatment at the salon! This is where my fun began…

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My treatment started with a shampoo and scalp massage by Johnnie Mae, using the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo. While I was in the shampoo bowl, Lisa announced she was leaving and I couldn’t believe I had forgotten to take a picture with her. My hair was certainly a sudsy mess, so instead of me looking crazy with my hair out of water, Lisa decided we should use the oh so fabulous overhead mirrors to our advantage : )

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After shampooing, my hair was conditioned with their Monoi Repairing Conditioner and I was put under the steamer for some serious steam therapy.

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For styling, I sat in the chair of stylist, Krystia who is amazing with her detailed texture styling! For my style, she used Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter and also the new Monoi Repairing Anti-Breakage Spray.

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And the final style!

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Overall, I was really pleased with the service and the hair education provided at Mirror Salon! If you’re looking for a salon that emphasizes healthy hair care for their clients, definitely stop by the new Mirror Salon!

For more information about Mirror Salon, click HERE

BONUS: Save 10% off Any Order at Carol’s Daughter with code CDBUY10



A Natural’s Guide To Summer Hair Care (Swimmer’s Hair Tips) by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

A Natural’s Guide To Summer Hair Care (Swimmer’s Hair Tips)

By Dr. Phoenyx Austin of

What’s your favorite thing to do during the summer? For me, it’s trips to the beach for fishing and swimming. I absolutely love the summer- there’s nothing like the smell of the ocean, sand between my toes, and the sun kissing my skin. But summertime, as awesome as it is, can also present a few challenges for hair. We all know how a day at the beach, or a dip in the pool, can wreak havoc on our tresses. And as someone who likes to get in the water up to 4 times a week, I can personally tell you that the risk of hair damage from harsh water and UV sun rays is very real. I love the water- but I also love my hair. And if you love getting in the water as much as I do, but are also curious about what hair precautions you should take, this post is definitely for you. One of the best things about being natural is the supreme level of carefreeness you can have with your hair. But even with that level of carefreeness, you should still take certain steps to protect your beautiful coils and curls during the summer. What are those steps? Let’s take a look…

Pre-Beach/Pre-Pool Tips

  • Skip washing your hair before you get in the water. Some women think they should wash their hair before taking a dip- but that may not be the best thing to do because buildup of sweat and natural oils actually creates a protective “barrier” against harsh water. This barrier, because of it hydrophobic properties (that basically means that the barrier repels water) will make it more difficult for harsh water to penetrate (and ultimately damage) the hair shaft.
  • Instead of washing hair, gently wet and apply leave-in conditioner. You can use a regular leave-in conditioner or a leave-in conditioner with added SPF. Applying conditioner to your hair before you get in the water accentuates the protective barrier effect.

            * Redken and Aveda are two popular brands that have conditioners with SPF.

  • Use protective hair accessories. Hats, scarves, swimmer’s caps- these are all types of hair accessories that every natural should have during the summer. If you’re not a fan of covering up your hair, you should atleast tie it up with a soft scrunchie (assuming your hair is long enough to be tied). Keeping hair covered or tied means that you will have less tangling, and less frustration when it comes time to wash and style your hair.

Post-Beach/Post-Pool Tips

  • As soon as you exit the water, rinse hair thoroughly with fresh water. Harsh water is called harsh for a reason. This type of water contains minerals and compounds (i.e. sodium chloride and chlorine) that can actually leech moisture and cause dry/brittle hair.
  • After you’ve rinsed your hair, take a generous handful of leave-in conditioner and thoroughly coat your hair. Some women like to shampoo their hair after exiting the pool, and then follow-up with a conditioner. I prefer to skip the shampoo step and just co-wash. I believe skipping the shampoo step (even if the shampoo is sulfate free) is a lot gentler for hair.
  • When you get home, rinse the conditioner from your hair and follow-up with a deep conditioning treatment. An avocado and coconut milk hair mask is a really great all-natural deep conditioning treatment that will help replace moisture and add lots of sheen to hair that has been stressed from a day of water and sun.

And that’s all ladies! Those are a few easy, breezy tips to keep your hair healthy and fab during the summer. If you need more healthy hair care tips, be sure to check out my new book, If You Love It, It Will Grow! A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured HairAlso available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Until we meet again, stay beautiful, stay natural and keep showing those lovely coils and curls lots of TLC! – Dr. Phoenyx

Follow Me on Pinterest Want to learn more on how to grow healthy and longer hair? Check out Dr. Phoenyx Austin’s new book If You Love It, It Will Grow! A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair. Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, media personality and author who offers advice on topics related to beauty, love & sex, and lifestyle. You can find Dr. Phoenyx Austin on,FacebookTwitter.

Mae’s Top 10 Tips for Healthy Natural Hair Care

Follow Me on Pinterest I’ve compiled some tips that have helped me along my natural hair journey in hopes that it will help you too! *Mae*

1. Don’t be afraid to experiment with products and styles. You’ll learn so much about your hair!
2. Get involved with the rapidly growing online natural hair community (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Fotki, etc.).
3. Protect your hair at night by sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase, and/or wearing a satin or silk bonnet/scarf.
4. Look for products that have a water base to moisturize your hair & remember to drink water!
5. To help with detangling, use a wide tooth comb on hair that is wet and saturated with conditioner.
6. Sample products. Try to buy sample sizes that you can test first and visit swap” parties to exchange products with friends.
7. Do Natural YOUR Way. No two heads of hair are alike, so stick with what works for you.
8. Take pictures! Documenting with photos can help you keep track of your hair journey and will remind of you of what worked and what didn’t.
9. Moderate your use of heat as excessive heat use can lead to heat damage over time, which can loosen and permanently damage your natural curl pattern.
10. Minimize breakage by ensuring that your hair is  free of split ends. This can be treated with trims as needed.


Now, what are some of YOUR top 10 tips for natural hair care? What techniques have helped your hair flourish the most during your natural hair journey?