Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm in Favor of the Big Chop...Here's Why You Should Too!

After soooo many questions regarding fear of the big chop, I've decided to post the response I gave to someone who wrote in to my inbox. Feel free to comment and weigh in, but also feel free to consider the Big Chop.

Why are you reticent about doing the Big Chop (BC)? I understand why many people are, but why for you specifically?

That is really the easiest way to go natural, especially if you have access to someone who knows how to style natural hair. It's the easiest method because transitioning, or growing out the relaxer, requires a lot of hard work while trying to cater to two different hair textures, and you will have quite a bit of breakage of relaxed hair the longer you transition. Your ends will need to be trimmed in inches repeatedly to accelerate the growing out process, and without synthetic hair styles (braids, weave, etc.), you will have somewhat limited styling options.

The BC allows you the time to get to know your own texture gradually and experiment with a variety of styles at each length. There are some styles that I sincerely miss wearing when my hair is longer. Had I never worn it very short, I'd never have experienced all of the ways I could flaunt my natural self.

Are you worried about how you will look with your "crown and glory"? Well, I'll tell you exactly how you'll look. You'll look just the way God created you to look--head shape and all. Go check out your baby pics and you'll see yourself. Just embrace who and how you are in all of the beauty that is placed inside of you because that's all the outside can really reflect.

After that long soliloquy, if you still want to transition gradually, I can certainly help you with that and tell you how best to go about it, but do consider the BC.

With love,
Dr. Adrienne
P.S. I think I'll make my response to you a blog post because you are not alone in asking this question. :-)

I would add that the most painless transition is the fastest one--the BC. The least maintenance is required as well. Really, what are you afraid of? A tiny fro is not your only option anymore.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who is She Anyway?

The Emerge of Entwine

“I’m a natural hair sister. However, I’m not of the tree hugging…My hair is not an overt political statement as well…”

Dr. Adrienne Carthon- Creator/President E.C.b & Natural Hair Stylist

Who is She Anyway?

“Sassy.” “Girly.” “Prissy.” “Intelligent.” “Independent.” “Headstrong.” “Intriguing.” “Provocative.” “Beautiful.” “Godly.” “Loving.” “Kind.” “Genuine.” “Veracious.”

Those are a few of the endearing terms I’ve heard used to describe me, but I have to say that the one that suits my style best is one not-listed above—“bohemian bougie”—I am a sorority girl, a professor/scholar, natural hair stylist, creative writer, a lover of Jesus Christ, pesca-vegan food enthusiast (veggie and dessert fanatic), feminist, Southern lady, and a mentor. I only offer the words of Walt Whitman—“Do I contradict myself?”

I’m a natural hair sister. However, I’m not of the tree hugging variety although I am an ardent fan of the Earth and live a lifestyle that respects it. My hair is not an overt political statement as well. I hate confinement. So I do not confine my hair. I wear it wet and coily, or flat-twisted, or two-strand twisted, or cornrowed, or twisted out, all depending on how I feel on a given day and the demands of that day.

The Birth of Entwine

The problem I encountered in the early 1990s was that there were very few natural hair salons as there are today that specialized solely in natural hair, and there were even fewer products designed for the unique needs of the “good” hair that God gave me.

Everything I tried seemed to work for a little while as I experimented with products and styles, many of which were before their time.

Among the many conditioners, gels, pomades, and moisturizers I did try was raw shea butter. That worked well for my twists for a while, but it didn’t work as well for the range of styles I liked to try. Finding a balance between moisture, oil, and style preservation was tough. I wanted the ability to go from wet and coily to a twist out or two-strands without having to use ten different products to do so. I also wanted a product that would give me a press I would like without frying and sizzling my hair to death.

There was clearly, still something missing. Many of the products worked well on hair with a softer curl pattern, as most products will. However, those with kinkier hair still had to work a little harder to find good product performance.

And what about those, like myself, who also had no desire to smell like juices, berries or mayonnaise? I wanted a product with great performance, style, versatility, and a favorably memorable aroma. I watch commercials, and I figured, “Why should the white girls have all the fun with hair that smells and looks good? Must my “good” Black hair be bound to products that come only from the ground?” Me-thinks not.

I knew there had to be a way to marry the lab and the kitchen in a union that would give me the style and versatility I felt was so desperately needed.

That is when I began to nag my beloved cousin and best friend who had successfully launched his own line of products, SimplyHEALTHY® Hair, after leaving one of the number one hair care companies in corporate America. I pleaded with him before the first line of products ever went to market to make something for my hair.

Two years, lots of product development, testing and re-testing later, we are excited to bring you a new approach to natural and transitioning hair care and styling. We created a brand that caters to the natural hair fashionistas…women, like me. We offer high performance, salon-quality products that deliver a variety of styles from a press and curl to twists to a nicely held afro puff all in one brand of products.

Finally, I present to you the chic, fashionable, highly functional brand for the high maintenance, high-powered woman whose hair is an asset, not a burden, and a reflection of her inner light that burns powerfully from within. I give you…Entwine™

FINALLY!!!! After nearly three years of development, I am excited to launch Entwine, a haute-couture approach to natural and transitioning hair care and styling.

Learn More. Get Results. Live the Couture.


When I went natural in the 1990's, there were very few hair care and styling options for women choosing to wear their hair naturally. Among the many conditioners, gels, pomades, and moisturizers, with natural ingredients or with man-made technology, many would work fairly well for twist styling for a while, but most didn't work as well to support the broad range of styles I enjoyed creating for myself and my clients.

I knew there had to be a way to marry the high-performance benefits provided by using modern technology with the holistic benefits of natural ingredients to provide limitless and lasting styling options.

I am pleased to present a chic, fashionable, highly functional brand of styling products for the high maintenance, high-powered woman whose hair is an asset, not a burden, and a reflection of her inner light that burns powerfully from within. I give you...Entwine.

~Adrienne Carthon,PhD. creator & president of Entwine Naturalle Couture, natural hair stylist/professor of African-American Literature and Women's Studies

Entwine™ is the premiere line of salon-inspired, ultra-quality hair care and styling alternatives that are custom-designed to enhance the health, beauty and manageability of naturally curly, wavy, kinky, multitextural & transitioning tresses, while helping you take control and create the "naturalle-couture" styles of your dreams.

Exclusively Yours:
Custom-made and artfully crafted with riche exotique butters, pristine natural oils and luxurious conditioners that are finessed with 'real-world' holistic technology for healthier, hydrated, soft, shiny, ultra-manageable natural hair, while unleashing the limitless, longest lasting 'naturalle-couture' styles you always knew were possible.

Riche Natural Decadence Provided by...
• Illipe, Mango Seed & Shea Butters
• Rare Argan, Palm Fruit, Pomegranate, Avocado & Safflower Oils
• Honey, Vegetable Protein
• Finessed with Real-World Holistic Technology

The Naturalle Coiffure Collezioni consists of:

• "The Manipulator" Crème Jellé Styler- The Ultimate Natural Hair Style-, A flexible, re-definable styling crème-gel used to create long-lasting natural styles with no heavy build-up, flaking or hardness.
o Use to flat twist, two-strand twist, braid, wash-n-go, fingerstyle, flat iron or quick-sets

• "Indulgently Luxe" Exotique Butter Crème Hydrator- a daily moisturizing and conditioning crème featuring a custom Balsamic Butter-Oyl Blend™ of natural butters and oils with luxurious conditioner that hydrates and softens the driest natural hair.
o Apply prior to blow-drying hair to protect and moisturize or use to soften and moisturize all natural hair textures, twist outs, braid styles.

• "On the Edge" Crème De La Mold- A powerful holding and molding mud featuring Micro-Fibrous Holding Technology that provides long-lasting smoothing, molding and holding power with no flaking, tackiness or excessive buildup on natural, transitioning and loc'ed hair.
o Use to hold edges, smooth the nape of the neck or to mold the hair. Also use for loc formation and maintenance.

• "Total Perfection" Moroccan Argan Oil- 100% Raw and Vegan, this rare, organically grown oil provides ultra-hydration, true protection and sensual shine to the hair, skin and nails.

Learn More. Get Results. Live the Couture.

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