Happy Hair with a T-Shirt Towel

This post was written in collaboration with Lakeshore Dry Goods, who sent me a product to review. 

Sunrise Bliss hair towel
So I’m learning all the curly girl secrets for reducing the frizz factor. One ultra-important tip? Don’t dry your hair with a towel! Those rough terrycloth towels are tough on hair.

Soft t-shirts are the choice for those in the know. For a few months now I’ve had various t-shirts hanging in the bathroom next to my regular towel. Usually I dry my hair with an old, ripped shirt that is no longer wearable.

Let me tell you, holey t-shirt is great bathroom decor.

Fortunately, Lakeshore Dry Goods is here to rescue my hair and my bathroom with their adorable Sunrise Bliss t-shirt towels. Each towel is made from Global Organic Textile Standard organic cotton and is sewn in small batches in Detroit, Michigan. The adorable patterns and colors give the towels a fun, retro vibe, while the thick cotton absorbs well and dries quickly.

Sunrise Bliss hair towel

After shampooing, I use my Sunrise Bliss towel to scrunch my hair upwards, gently restoring my natural curl pattern. Then I use a technique called plopping, where I flip my hair upside down and wrap it tightly to my head with my Sunrise Bliss towel. This gives my hair lift while allowing the breathable cotton fabric to dry my hair a bit. After 15-20 minutes, I take my hair out of the towel, shake out my curls, and allow my hair to air dry.

I truly love this towel. Ever since I tried it I’ve used it almost every single time I dry my hair.

Sunrise Bliss hair towel

A Sunrise Bliss towel from Lakeshore Dry Goods is a wonderful, little luxury if you are looking for some organic, made-in-the-USA self-care.  It’s the perfect gift for a girl headed off to college — we all know those communal dorm bathrooms need a little brightening. The towel is also a nice treat for new moms who may need some gentle encouragement; they can use the organic cotton towel as a travel blanket or a burp cloth until they actually find time to wash their hair.

Check out the current colors and patterns of Sunrise Bliss towels at Lakeshore Dry Goods. And be sure to check Beyond the Fried next week for a giveaway that your hair will love!

Continue Reading

Embracing My Curls

This post was written in collaboration with Lakeshore Dry Goods, who sent me a product to review. 

girl holding her curly hair

This summer, I’ve set my hair free.

I’ve always had curly hair. For years I would try to tame it with a brush, reducing my hair to frizzy waves. I learned how to get my hair silky and straight, only to have annoying little frizzies pop up in a halo minutes later. My special occasion hair involved blowing my hair straight only to re-curl it using heat and lots of products.

And then I found a community of curly girls. Women who celebrate their natural hair and see the ever-changing curls and waves as a gift. Women who nourish their curls, embrace the unpredictability, and let go of control.

I’m still in the beginning months of my curly journey, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Check the ingredients. A sweet friend started me on this journey when I commented on her beautiful waves. “I use No Poo!” she exclaimed. I discovered that many conventional shampoos use harsh, heavy ingredients that strip moisture out of hair or weigh down curls.

2. Leave the conditioner. I make sure to leave some of that conditioning goodness in my hair instead of rinsing it all away. My hair needs the extra moisture.

3. Add some gel. This was the weirdest step for me. I NEVER used gel, and now I find it’s indispensable for holding my curls.

4. Dry with a t-shirt. Standard terrycloth towels are way too rough for my hair, causing frizz and breakage. Old t-shirts ain’t pretty, but they are much more gentle on curly hair. I recently found Lakeshore Dry Goods t-shirt towels, which are safe for my hair and cute for my bathroom.

5. Say goodbye to heat tools. Okay, okay, I’m not throwing out my straightening iron any time soon, but I haven’t used it in over four months! I love having a style that is truly wash and go.

6. Sleep with silk. Silky pillowcases, y’all. Sleeping on satin or silk pillowcases means my nighttime tossing and turning doesn’t add to my frizz.

7. Find role models. When I have questions about caring for my hair, I go to the ladies at NaturallyCurly.com, the curly hair subreddit, or Instagrammers like Mandie. Routines aren’t one-size-fits all, but finding women with similar hair and much more experience makes the learning process easier and more fun.

What I really love about the curly girl movement is the celebration of hair in all its many forms and states. Sophisticated doesn’t have to mean silky. So whether your hair is curly, kinky, wavy, stick-straight, or non-existent, you are beautiful. Our differences are a gift to the world.

Continue Reading

Gifts That Do Good

Gifts That Do Good


Still searching for that perfect gift for someone in your life? Check out these under-$50 gifts that have more to them than materialism:

Body Balm from beelove: This gentle balm is formulated with beeswax and oils to soothe dry skin. I love beelove’s mission to provide employment to the formerly incarcerated (check out my friend Leah’s review of their products here).  $12.

Soap from MADE by DWC: The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles is dedicated to ending cycles of chronic homelessness and unemployment. These handmade soaps are among several products providing job skills for DWC clients and capital for the center’s programs. Available in Lavender, Sweet Orange, or Goat’s Milk and Honey. $9.

Cuff from Branded Collective: The perfect gift for the Wonder Woman in your life! Branded Collective employs trafficking survivors from End Slavery Tennessee to handcraft each piece of jewelry. Each item is branded with a unique number to represent one of the millions of people trapped in human trafficking. $35.

Candle from Thistle Farms: Employing residents and graduates of Magdalene House, Thistle Farms is a social enterprise that provides job skills to survivors of addiction, trafficking, and prostitution. This “Three Trees” soy candle features fir, cedarwood, and spruce essential oils and a natural fiber wick. $22.

Travel Wallet from Stalyon: Made-in-the-USA accessories and gear from Stalyon aid their mission to give the gift of adventure, and this small wallet is a great choice for the on-the-go minimalist in your life. Proceeds from Stalyon’s products help run in-hospital camp experiences for kids with life-threatening illnesses. $48.

Tee from A Beautiful RefugeA Beautiful Refuge is continuing to expand their product line as they employ women from Safe Refuge International to screenprint their fair trade tees. I recently ordered this “Ethics Over Aesthetics” tank for myself. $32. (Extra thanks to those of you who supported this brand’s launch last spring!)

Continue Reading