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Aug 10, 2010

An Introduction to Shampoo Bars!


So excited that I just received our very own Queen Laquita's shampoo bars for locs! I am so mad that I just washed my hair ytd! LOL I was trying to hold out for the bars, but I digress I will get to use them next week! As soon as I shampoo my locs with the bar I will post my review of them. Now, Laquita just because you are one of my fave readers don't mean you gone receive special treatment *side eye*, I'm sure you won't need it anyway! LOL

She also sent me this cute yellow flower for my hair, and a hair tea bag! I am super excited! Everything smells so divine, and so cute!  So thank you Laquita, I can't wait to tell the Queens how great these bars are, and post them underneath my fave products page!  Okay...until then!

This beautiful smile belongs to On the Road to Queendom's Laquita! Laquita Thomas-Banks is quite the woman, as she is well rounded! She is a published writer; with a recurring writing gig on my personal fave, Clutch online magazine, Afro Glitz, and Kinnks as a guest blogger.  She has her own blog All Naptural -  She also writes for the DC Natural Hair Examiner, the  Then she has enough time to create and sell all natural hair products and accessories at her online Etsy shop, Bobeam. For the sake of this post, we will focus on her shampoo bars which work well with locs. 

A little bit about the shampoo bars: 

Bobeam's specialty is shampoo bars made with all natural ingredients. The shampoo bars contain no SLS or SLES, detergents, surfactants, or sulfates. They are all-natural, 100% vegetable soap, non-comedogenic, hypo-allergenic and biodegradable. Feel free to check my ingredients on

Bobeam from the Ghanaian language Twi means 'the way it was created' and it characterizes all of the shop items - they are all handmade.

Bobeam products are unscented unless otherwise stated.
 She was recently interviewed on Clutch Magazine and here is her interview very interesting!

MiMi: How long have you been natural?

Laquita: The last time I decided to stop relaxing my hair was over 10 years ago. I decided to go natural two times before but as they say, the third time is the charm.

MiMi: What made you decide to go natural?

Laquita: The first time I decided to go natural was in 1996, when the The Fugees released their best-selling album The Score and I saw that Lauryn Hill’s natural hair on the CD cover. Her hair was beautiful and I just had to have her hairstyle. I went on a scavenger hunt for magazines with pictures of her hair. I finally found a Right On Magazine (which I still have by the way) describing her hairstyle.

I trimmed down my relaxed ends (of course, the term transition wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time) and wore extension braids until my hair was long enough to twist. Unfortunately, I got bored very quick of wearing that one twist-out style and puffs with headbands, and thought at the time they were my only options with natural hair, so I went back to relaxing and wearing braid extension styles. A few years later, I came across more books on how to maintain and style my natural hair in different ways other than twists or afros, and decided to go natural again.

Also at that time, I was styling hair - mostly extension styles, weaves and braids - a business I started when I was 13. While doing hair I would hear (and see the results of) all types of horror stories about my clients’ bad experiences with relaxers. You would have thought that those stories would have stopped me from relaxing my hair, but they didn’t stop me nor the clients who just decided to use a different brand or milder relaxer.

MiMi:  What's the benefits of being natural?

Laquita: The main benefit of being natural is healthy hair. Since I decided to stick with being natural I’ve noticed that I have less scalp problems, such as dry scalp, I experience way less breakage and therefore I am able to retain more length. I also feel that having the option of wearing a bushy puff one day and a straighter look i.e. pulled back bun or even straw curls the next is a benefit as well, especially when no heat or chemicals are required. So, the style versatility is the greatest.

MiMi:  I know you from your articles on Clutch and NappyMuse (Nappturalite Blogtalk Radio). How did you get into writing? Are you strictly writing about natural hair, or do you share your knowledge on other topics? With many ladies embracing natural hair and taking to the net with blogs and videos, what keeps readers coming back to you?

Laquita: I have been writing since forever. I love creative writing, short stories, plays, etc. When I was younger, I used to write plays and my brother and the neighborhood kids would act them out - we turned our apartment into a playhouse in the summer while my mother was at work - lol. I have a Journalism degree, with a concentration in magazine writing and editing.

For the last few years I have been working full time as a transcript/news caption editor. I am currently trying to break into the freelance writing business via writing for all types of publications to gain more experience and build-up my writing resume.

Of course, since I am ‘obsessed’ with natural hair I gravitate toward the publications seeking natural hair articles and for those that don’t I suggest the topic. I guess my ‘angle’ that keeps readers interested is that they may be able to tell through my writing that I have a passion for it and I try to keep the articles helpful and interesting.

MiMi:  I'm sure there's supposed to be some kind of transition (pun intended), but I'm going to skip to the products. What made you try your hand in making products for us?

Laquita: Just like a number of other ‘mixtresses’ I started making products for myself. My favorite natural hair community Nappturality has tons of posts on homemade products. I started using recipes from there then branching off to experiment with my own. I started researching ingredients and collecting books on herbs and essential oils. I found it interesting that you could mix different herbs, oils and butters to make products that actually came out to be cheaper than store bought ones that are packed with chemicals.

I also started sharing the products with my friends, family and clients and they kept coming back for more. They all would encourage me to start selling them - but again, it didn’t sink in until years later to start doing so - maybe it was all those years of relaxing that clogged my brain - lol.

MiMi: What stands out to me is your shampoo bar soaps. I have worked in a chemical plant as a lab tech and know how some companies add a little bit more water to stretch the batch. When I shop I naturally grab bar soap and powder laundry detergent. I'm going to add water to it any way. There are not many companies who make bar shampoos, so I applaud you on offering these to the natural hair community.

Laquita: Thanks. I became fascinated with the idea of shampoo bars, and how they like, as you mentioned, concentrated bars of shampoo. I liked the idea that you could wash your hair and, if you wanted, body with one product.

MiMi: So far I have tried your Oily shampoo bar and your bar for locks. I am impressed. I have locks that are not all quite mature. Shampooing can be a task for those with new or slow maturing locks. I would recommend the oily type shampoo to anyone starting locks or with oily hair. This shampoo gets the hair clean like a clarifier without stripping it bone dry. My hair feels naturally soft. I also like the fresh, herbal scent of this one. There are a lot of men out there with locs, so this one is gender friendly.

The loc bar that I was happy to try out should be an anybody shampoo bar. It has a light lemon scent and a high, lush lather. I recommend this one for the no-pooers, mature lockers, and those who wear protective styles. 

For those who are not familiar with bar shampoos, they last a long time, longer than a bottle of shampoo of the equivalent size. Prices can start at $2 an oz for a bar soap and you'll find that Bobeam’s soaps are way under that mark. There are even sampler bars to try out.

Laquita, can you tell us more about your experience with bar shampoos, liquids? Why did you decide to go with bars?

Laquita: I like liquid shampoos but there are a lot of benefits to using shampoo bars. Being a product junkie, I like the fact that shampoo bars are easy to store - which makes room for more products, they are also very convenient for packing and taking along on trips - a shampoo and body was in one. Another plus is for people who are heavy-handed like me or for kids who pour out way too much shampoo - you can’t do that with a shampoo bar.

For some reason I had the hardest time trying to find a shampoo bar that I could use that would not leave my hair feeling stripped. So, again I started experimenting and adding essential oils to basic soap bases, and through trial and error came across a few recipes that actually worked. There are so many people who haven’t tried shampoo bars, and I think they are very unique. The best part about them is that along with being moisturizing, they are SLS, SLES and paraben free.

MiMi: I know for many ladies there is the DRY battle. Our hair seems to drink water all by itself. You have a shea-moisturizer and hair teas. Most people know the benefits of shea butter. What makes yours the one to get?

Laquita: Keeping hair moisturized is very important to overall hair health. The Bobeam Shea-Moisturizer is made with of course, shea butter, cocoa butter and almond which are all great natural moisturizers. It is also the first of my products with added fragrance.

The best way to use the moisturizer or any oil/butter based moisturizer for that matter is while your hair is wet, it doesn’t have to be dripping wet, but lightly spritzed - so the moisturizer can seal in the water which is the best way to combat dryness. The Shea-Moisturizer can also be used to seal ends to prevent them from splitting.

MiMi: Bobeam offers hair teas. I know people are looking at their bottles of green tea and huge sweet teas like 'in my hair?' What makes these different or maybe the same as what we're used to drinking? What are the benefits of hair teas and exactly how does one go about making and using it?

Laquita: Well the hair teas are actually similar to the tea bags you find on the store shelves, but they should only be used for your hair not for drinking. They are hand-filled with fresh herbs and flower petals - there may even be a few leaves and pieces of stem/bark in the mix as well - the reason behind not drinking them. The tea rinses are about triple the size of regular tea bags and they are all filled with Calendula petals, which contain Vitamins A and C. It also conditions and sooths the hair and scalp, as well as strengthens and repairs hair strands.

Along with the Calendula, the rinses either contain Lavender, which is good for dry scalp and promotes hair growth; Hibiscus, which contains antioxidants and prevents hair loss; Rosemary a natural conditioner which also promotes hair growth; Chamomile, which is anti-inflammatory and has softening, soothing and conditioning properties; and, Green Tea, which has antibacterial properties, contains antioxidants and also stimulates hair growth.

The tea rinses do not have to be rinsed out and can be used as a clarifying rinse that can be mixed with ACV and/or fragrance, used as a daily spritz, and even stepped in carrier oils to give the oils added nutrients.

MiMi: Where can we find Bobeam hair goodies? Are there any other places on the internet we can find you or sites we should know about?

Laquita: Right now, I am selling the Bobeam Natural Hair Products on one of my favorite sites Etsy
. I do plan to start a Bobeam products website/blog as well, where I plan to add other products and accessories, share video tutorials and hair maintenance tips.

Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!


Anonymous said...

Great interview! I tried a shampoo bar once. I purchased it at a natural hair show, but I lost the person's info. Good to have another source for the future.

Laquita said...

Hey that's me - lol I had no idea I would be feature on one of my favorite blogs ;o)

nappy headed black girl said...

I'm excited for you! I'll be ordering my first shampoo bar this weekend. I've heard great things about them and can't wait to see what the hype is about.

I'll be checking back for the update!