Thursday, June 29, 2017

Final Thoughts: Not Your Mother's Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower Line

I decided to try the Not Your Mother's Naturals (abbrv - NYMN) Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter line about 2 weeks ago because my local Walgreens was having a BOGO 1/2 OFF sale on them. I purchased the Conditioner and the Curl Defining Cream for starters.

My initial thoughts:

  1. I really liked the branding! (idk, branding is VERY important to me)
  2. I did NOT like the fact that this line did not come with a deep conditioner. Even with the other line geared towards Naturals, there was no deep conditioner, which is VERY important in a natural's hair regiment. For this reason, I opted NOT to try the shampoo because I do NOT shampoo my hair without following up with a deep conditioner. 
So I went into this review with very low expectations, in fact, I contemplated taking them back and not trying them at all due to the mixed reviews I was seeing about them online. 

I'm so glad I didn't. 

After trying the products I was immediately blown away by how much softness and slip the conditioner gave me at first use. Once a week in my hair regimen, I try to opt for a co-wash instead of a shampoo cleanse to help my hair retain moisture while I reset my style, so I decided to use the conditioner for co-wash/detangling purposes.

NYMN Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Conditioner HIGHLIGHTS 
  • NICE/SOFT SMELL (Not invasive, but sweet) 

After rinsing out the conditioner, I used the Curl Defining Cream as my leave-in moisturizer of choice (the only product as the barrier between my hair and my styling gel of choice) 

NYMN Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Cream HIGHLIGHTS
  • LIGHT WEIGHT (Ideal for medium/fine textured or low porosity hair) 
I topped the cream with my Holy Grail Ecostyler Gel Olive oil. 

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My hair was VERY song and defined after my hair fully dried and I could easily get 7 full days from this wash and go. 


I would DEFINITELY recommend this product to anyone with normal to fine textured hair, as it is lightweight and non-greasy. I cannot speak for the shampoo or the "Detangler" in this line but I will DEFINITELY be repurchasing these products! 

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Why I Quit The Curly Girl Method + New Staple Products!

Hey Cousins!

I know it's been a while since I've posted on the blog (I promise to do better!). As always, while I do not post on my blog on a weekly basis like I do on my YouTube Channel, I do like for my blog to be a second point of reference for those who watch my videos and need a tangible source for the things I talk about, and also a second place to ask me questions and find easily accessible references for any other questions you may have.

With that being said, last month I told my subbies (if you're not one... why not?! Go do it! You can click the button right at the top of THIS BLOG and become one so you never miss an upload!) that I decided to go OFF of the Curly Girl Method!

This may come as a surprise to a lot of you, because I originally had much success in moisture control and length retention using this method. But for the last 6 months or so I was finding that my hair was extremely dry and I was spending so much money on hair products trying to stay on the method. Either I loved a product, but it was so expensive for such a little bottle, or I couldn't find a product that did what I wanted it to do without containing silicones!

For the vast majority of products on the market (of course there are always exceptions to this), products containing silicones (usually seen as "dimethicone" in your ingredient listings) are substantially cheaper than their CG Friendly counterparts.. and in MUCH larger capacities might I add!

Now that I've been (back) natural for 4, going on 5 years now... I feel like I know enough about my hair that I felt that I could go back to using silicones (and their sulfate partners), while still maintaining the moisture in my hair!

So now I just want to update you guys on my current go-to products (some containing silicones/sulfates, and some not) that help me achieve my best, moist moisturized hair to date!

Let's start with...


  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo (this product does contain sulfates and silcones. Now that I'm using silicones in my hair for my rinse out conditioners, I have to incorporate a clarifying shampoo to thoroughly strip my strands of the silicones before they build up on my hair. I like to clarify with this shampoo about every 2-3 weeks
  • Pantene Pro-V For Truly Natural Hair Cleansing Co-Wash (since I restyle my hair every 3-5 days, and I obviously cannot shampoo my hair that often without drying it out, I opt for a co-wash to do a mild cleansing of my hair between shampoos. I love this co-wash because it has TONS of slip and leaves my hair super soft! I use this 1-2x per week) 


  • Aussie Moist Mega Moist Conditioners (This is #1 Favorite Conditioner for softness and slip! Detangling my hair is a BREEZE when I use this.. and my favorite part... you can get the LARGE PUMP BOTTLE for under $8! I like to use this product on the days where I clarify my hair with the HH shampoo. I follow up my shampoo with this conditioner to put moisture back in my hair and also to make it easy to detangle. This product does contain silicones, so you will have to eventually clarify them out)
  • Aunt Jackie's Soft and Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner for GIRLS (yes, I know. this is a conditioner technically for "girls". But this is my absolute FAVORITE deep conditioner! And it's inexpensive! What I like about this conditioner is that it provides TONS of slip! A lot of times, deep conditioners are extremely thick, making it difficult to detangle your hair with because it doesn't contain a lot of slip. But I can THOROUGHLY detangle my hair with this product! I try to deep condition at least 1x a week, but if I don't have time I just always make sure I at least deep condition after a clarifying day)
  • Paul Mitchell The Conditioners (Sally's Brand Generic) - (this has been my favorite leave in for YEARS now and nothing has changed! I use the generic version of the PM just because it is inexpensive and it works just as good for my hair. This product contains water soluble silicones. Option 2 for my leave-in is the Shea Moisture Low Porosity Leave-in Detangler. The price of the SM is why it is only option #2 for me. While I LOVE the leave-in, the small amount that you get for the price is a huge turn off for me. I only get about 3 wash days out of the bottle before I'm having to spend another $11 on additional product. For a girl on a budget, this is just not practical. 

Moisturizers/Curl Creams..

It has only been in the last month or so that I've found that "layering" my hair products (something that I was always against in the earlier half of my hair journey) works amazing for packing in the moisture and giving long lasting life to my curls. Instead of how I previously did my hair, which was just applying my styler right on top of my leave-in conditioner.. now I opt for a moisturizer in between my leave-in and my styler. 

  • Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream (I absolutely LOVE this product. I apply it to all four sections of my hair after applying my leave-in and it not only leaves my hair super soft, but begins to define my curls before I put in my styler. And it smells AMAZING!) 
  • Cantu Shea Butter Curl Activator Cream (I use this in the exact same way as the product above. It's not as heavy as the cream, so if I'm going for a lighter option - this is what I pick up)
Note: Both of these products are sulfate, silcone, paraben and mineral oil free :) 


  • Eco Styler Gel ... period

Yes! Eco Styler Gel is still my staple product, nothing defines my hair and holds my curls like this product! I love it and will probably never give it up! lol 

I hope this listing helps any of you who are looking for some good product suggestions or tips on how to build a hair regimen! If you have any questions, leave them in comment section below!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Non-Traditional Ways To Wear Clip-ins

Hey guys! I've been taking a break from my blog and YouTube for a couple of months trying to balance a new career/job and adjusting to being out of school.

I work in the Health/Fitness industry so it's not always practical to have my hair down and flowing, and also... lets just be honest, sometimes we just get plum tired of dealing with out hair! So I've had to come up with some creative ways to keep my hair tucked away (and be lazy lol) without appearing to do so!

The last time I talked to you guys about these clip-ins, it was a "hair down in the wind" kind of situation, this time I wanted to come and share some creative ways to style clips in, while still keeping your hair tucked away and protected.

Style #1: The Fakeout-Braidout

Braidout with HerGivenHair clip-ins added to the bottom (Style: Curly Length: 20 inches)

I love this style for two reasons. 1) If you have fine textured hair like myself, braidouts usually don't come out as full and fluffy as you may like (unless you blowdry your hair, first). So adding the clip ins give you the thickness you're trying to achieve, and 2) I was able to keep 90% of my hair safely braided and tucked away, making for super quick and easy protective style that LOOKED like it took way more time than it actually did.

For a full tutorial on how I achieved this look, check out the video over on my YouTube.

Style #2: The Ninja Bun with a BANG!

I must admit, on my lazy days, a bun is my FIRST line of fire when I need to quickly look presentable and get myself out the door. But sometimes, a simple ninja bun just isn't enough. I need to add a little flare to my hair! So what's more funky than a curly bun?

Quickly add a couple of clips to the front of your hair and you have a whole new look! 

What I love about these clip-ins are that they match my hair so effortlessly, I never have to worry about "prepping" or "blending" when I want to add a little "umph" to my look. Just clip and go! So much versatility and simplicity! Which is the story of my life these days!

Have you guys experimented with these clip-ins? If so, show me! Take a snapshot and tag me on Instagram with the Hashtag #HairMaryHerGivenHair, I'd love to see!

For more info on all their textures as well as their other products, reviews, and tutorials, check out their website!