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EDEN BodyWorks Launches New Coconut Shea Collection with “Style”

Alecia Tucker answers the ladies most pressing hair questions.

To celebrate the launch of the new Coconut Shea collection, EDEN BodyWorks has hosted a series of events entitled “Style with EDEN.”  Infused with pure coconut oil and shea butter, the Coconut Shea product line, promises to change the way you manage your hair. I had the pleasure of attending the event along with many other style mavens in the Chicago area. The event was held at the hip, south loop venue, City Point Loft.  A major highlight of the evening was the panel discussion, a fusion if you will, of hair and fashion.


The panelist included Chicago favorites: Aramide “Dee Dee” Esubi of The Sassy Peach, Alecia Tucker aka “Afros N’ Baby Hair” of Thrive Beauty Bar (Salon) and Autumn Merritt of Sir and Madame Boutique with hair and clothing models Tanikia Thompson of Nikki in the City and Rachel Odem of Rachel O. Beauty. I was so inspired by the passion with the panelist shared their wisdom. Alecia Tucker gave us a breakdown of how she used each product to style models’ hair. Armed with new knowledge, I can’t wait to share my own experience and results of the new product line with you.

Here are some more photo highlights of the evening. Enjoy!

Stepping out with style

Ylorie Anderson, our host for the evening
Renae Bluitt of In her Shoes Blog, Ylorie Anderson, Aramide Esubi of The Sassy Peach,
Autumn Merritt of Sir and Madame.
Photo credit Chuckstr Photography

SWAG!! Each attendee received a full-size product to try.
(In case you are wondering…that’s my hand on the right…lol)
Photo credit: Chuckstr Photography
Hair models Tanikia Thompson and Rachel Odem, Clothing styled by Autumn Merrit
and hair Alecia Tucker
Can we get an ‘Amen’ for the shoes!?

About the Collection

Pudding Soufflé:
A lightweight soft hold styling formula perfect for setting, twisting and
defining hair. Great for elongating and stretching curls. SRP: $8.99 (16 oz.)

Leave-In Conditioner: A creamy detangler used to soften hair and improve manageability. This sulfate-free formula is safe for color-treated, chemically treated, curly, or straight hair. SRP: $8.99 (8 oz.)

Co-Wash: A no-suds, moisture-rich, sulfate-free cleansing conditioner that leaves hair silky, soft, and frizz-free while removing build up. Ideal for those seeking daily hydration without the concern of drying hair out from excessive shampooing. SRP: $8.99 (16 oz.)

Curl Crème: Eliminating curl shrinkage and fly aways, this humidity-resistant formulation refines and separates curls and waves while providing maximum hold. SRP: $8.99 (16 oz.)

Edge Gel: Smooth and tame hairline edges with an emollient rich, frizz-fighting
formulation that eliminates unruly tresses. SRP: $8.99 (6 oz.)

On the Scene with Elasta QP Products

Have you heard of the Elasta QP brand? Perhaps you are one like me you used this brand when you were relaxed. Perhaps your stylist introduced it you, and you could not believe how incredible silky your hair felt. Well, guess what naturalistas? Elasta QP has launched their new line of Olive Oil and Mango Butter products created with natural hair in mind. I had the pleasure of dining with the fine folks at Elasta QP and others on the beauty scene in Chicago at their Curl Cues product launch at the fabulous Public Chicago Hotel. The lovely Miss Tasheara Neshell, celebrity hair stylists to the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Kiki Palmer and Viola Davis was on hand to share her inside tips for using the product on live models.

The product line includes five anti-breakage products (Moisture Shampoo, Leave-in H2 Conditioner, Growth Moisturizer, Growth Oil, and Leave-in Conditioner) as well as three styling products (Curl Defining Pudding, Moisturizer and Curl Wax). I can’t wait to provide you with a full product review. I can tell you now that I’ve already been dabbling in the moisturizing cream with outstanding results. 

Why are natural hair products so darn expensive? How to cope

I found myself in the natural hair section at Target last night. I was trying to find my next product to review. There was another naturalista in the aisle. We were both standing there quite a while looking sort of perplexed. Finally, she broke the ice and said, “you know this hair oil is good, but this bottle looks a little beat up, and why are these products so expensive anyway?” I said, “You know, I was thinking the same thing…”
Changing how we think
Truth be told, some cheap products work just as well as the expensive ones. The decision we have to make is, “do I care about what is in this stuff?” Do I really care about sulfates, parabens, harsh cleansers and alcohols, mineral oil, petroleum, etc? These chemicals would not be on the market if they didn’t do the job of cleansing, smoothing and adding shine.  However, the question should then be, do want to save a buck at the expense of not giving my hair optimal nourishment and risking my health? We must keep in mind that whatever is put on our scalp is absorbed into the skin and into the blood stream.

I can’t speak for all expensive products, but there is some good reason why they are expensive. It is because they really do try to add high quantities of the best ingredients without adding fillers and other chemicals that make products cheap. Our culture has a long history of not being concerned about what chemicals we use to get the job done. Admittedly, I am weaning myself off of dollar store brands. I am changing my mindset from, “what is the cheapest way I can style my hair?” to “what is the healthiest, most cost-effective way I can get the results I desire?”
What is the cash-strapped naturalista to do?
Go ahead, buy that $2 bottle of Africa’s XYZ herbal oil. Just know that it’s mostly filled with vegetable oils, like soy or canola which probably work better in the kitchen than on your hair. The truth is however, it’s still oil, and while it may not have the nutrients and benefits of more expensive oils, it still does the job of lubricating dry/brittle hair, adding shine and sealing in moisture. The key is to determine is this product cheap because it’s filled with chemicals or is it safe, but just diluted.
Do your own thing
You may do better to buy the ingredients individually, like olive and coconut oil, shea butter, etc. and apply small amounts to your hair. Of course, do your research first when working with essential oils and raw ingredients. Get creative. You can also mix products like adding a little olive oil to a cheap styling gel for a banging twistout!
Be a good steward
Whatever you do, check the ingredients of every product before you buy. If you are going to spend the  money, make sure whatever the packaging says the product has in it is listed in the first five ingredients. If the package says it has jojoba oil and it’s listed toward the bottom and soy bean oil is first, then you know you have an imposter. If it’s a good product you don’t have to use ton of it to see results, so use sparingly. 
Stick to the basics
This hair thing is not that complicated. To look good and be healthy, our hair needs water, water, water, a gentle cleanser, conditioner (regular and leave-in), oil and something for hold when styling. Add to that, a haircare regimen, a healthy lifestyle and you have a recipe for success. 
Are you turned off by the price of natural hair products? How do you cope? Comment below.



Hanging at Brunch with Eden: Chicago Launch of Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Line

There are great things on the horizon for the new hair care brand Eden BodyWorks. They pulled out all the stops this past Saturday for the launch of their new Jojaba and Monoi line. On last Saturday, top bloggers and influencers in beauty, fashion and media from the Chicago area were invited to attend “Brunch with Eden” held at the W Lakeshore Hotel. Such names included Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine; Clarisa Wilson, president of Fashion Fair Cosmetics; Afrobella (Patrice Yursik), natural hair and beauty extraordinaire; The Double Saving Divas (Tai and Tarin Perry); and many more beautiful mavens. I had the honor of going to represent Rachel Odem of Chicago Natural Beauty Meetup and Makeup by Rachel O, and to introduce “Love Your Naps” and the cool things we are doing here. It was a day filled with delicious food, fun, and insightful information about the Eden BodyWorks brand. Dr. Kari Williams, a trichologist and natural hair expert delivered an excellent presentation on the foundations of what hair needs to stay strong and healthy and how the Jojoba line meets those needs.


Dr. Kari Williams stops for a pose

 Eden BodyWorks has had much success with their first line, Peppermint and Tea Tree. I expect this line to do well considering this is designed to infuse strength and moisture into the hair with these powerful, yet natural ingredients. I can tell you now that I have already been using the product and I really like the results. I will share more on the benefits of Jojoba and Monoi along with key tips Dr. Kari gave in my full product review coming soon. The price point ranges from $8.99-$9.99 and includes: a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, hair milk and a hair oil.  The Eden BodyWorks Jojoba hair care collection is being offered online and in Walmart stores nationwide.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos from the event! (Don’t forget to like the page to stay up-to-date on great news, articles and commentary.)