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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Death to the Tangle Teezer!

When I first started using the Tangle Teezer, I thought I had found my holy grail detangling tool. I was in complete awe at how well it removed tangles as it gently glided through my hair. But alas I was plagued with an unusual amount of rough and split ends. It was so bad that I ultimately ended up trimming about an inch off my ends. I love the feel of fresh healthy ends, but I'm disappointed that I am no longer grazing APL. I have to return back to old faithful, my wide tooth comb. I chucked the tangle teezer in the garbage, so i can't be tempted to use it again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wash n' Go Part 2: Eco Styler - Olive Oill

I am so late posting this. Last week I tried another wash n' go using Eco Styler - Olive Oil. Although I used a tad bit more gel than needed, I was in love with the results. The best part of the whole experience is I managed to get second day hair.Smiley  I could not believe it. Now, if I can find a way to make it last 3-4 days, I'll really think I'm doing something.

Here's the videos:

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wash n' Go Part 1: Conditioner only

Since the weather is starting to get warmer, I want to revisit the wash n' go. I haven't worn this style in almost a year, when my hair was drastically shorter. At the time I was doing a true wash n' go. Meaning I did all detangling, product application, and styling in the shower. Since my hair is longer, I'm on a quest to find a technique that will give me great results with minimum knots and tangles.

The first technique I used was the conditioner only method. Not to be confused with the Tightly Coily method. I did not follow Teri's instructions. If you are not familiar with her technique, check out Tightly Curly. Anyway my video is below. Tell me what you think.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cornrows / Two Strand Twist

I usually wear my hair in two strand twists or a bun when protective styling, but this week I really wanted something a little different. So, I cornrowed the front and one side of my hair. Then two strand twist the end of each cornrow and the hair that was left out. I curled the twist with flexi rods. I really like the style and it will definitely become a staple protective style for me.

Here's the pictures:

It was really late when I decided to do this style, so there's no video...sorry!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Herbal Essence Touchably Smooth Conditioner


I've seen several great reviews for various Herbal Essence conditioners, but none for the Touchably Smooth conditioner, so I decided to give it a whirl to see if it can compare to my beloved HH Hello Hydration. I've been using it exclusively for a little over a month as a co-wash, rinse-out, and leave-in.


What they say: It's in the stars! See smoothness in your future? How about some protection from humidity? Try this deep conditioning formula for all hair types so your path to soft, smooth hair is perfectly clear.

What I say: HH Touchably Smooth is one of the best smelling conditioner's I've ever smelled. It smells like a bed of beautiful flowers on a warm spring day...lol. This conditioner definitely makes my hair feel extra soft, however it really does not live up to the claim of making hair smooth. The few times I've used it for a leave in, I found that it doesn't play very nice with other products, such as oils and gels. I honestly can't be too disappointed that it's not a great leave-in because it wasn't specifically designed for that purpose. I believe that this conditioner would be great to use in the summer time for co-washing. Will I use the rest of my stash? Of course. I love the smell, I love the way it makes my hair feel. Will I ever buy it again? I'm still not sure about that. It has some good qualities, but I've used better. It really depends how well it blocks humidity during warmer weather.

Tangle Teezer - First Impressions

I received my Tangle Teezer about 2 weeks ago. I've used it once on myself to detangle after clarifying and deep conditioning. My hair was soaking wet with no product for detangling. At first I was hesitant to use this brush without a detangling product, but it was a breeze. I was able to detangle my entire head in about 5-10 minutes. It usually takes approximately 20 minutes. The best part is, I experienced absolutely no breakage. I was quite impressed.

I've also been using the Tangle Teezer on my son's hair. The first time I used it on him was to dry detangle before I washed his hair. His hair is generally fairly easy to comb through, whether it was dry,wet, or damp, but this time it was completely effortless and took practically no time at all. I did notice one downside to dry detangling...there were a few broken hairs, but not enough to be completely distraught about. 

The next time I used it on his hair, I dampened it a little with a few spritzes of water. It was still very easy to use and an added bonus...no broken hairs. So for now on, I'll be sure that his hair is at least damp when I use the Tangle Teezer.

So far, I can say that I'm in love with the Tangle Teezer. I will be taking Curly Nikki's advice to not use excessively and keep a check on my son's ends as well as mine because we both have thin strands of hair and it seems that a few thinned haired people have expressed adverse effects from using the Tangle Teezer.

The next time I use it on my self I'll be sure to do a video.

Monday, February 28, 2011

End of Month Check-in - Feb

I skipped my mid month weigh end because I really didn't feel motivated to continue on the weight loss journey. I honestly didn't notice the results of my hard work, so I just did not want to be disappointed. However, this past week I went to visit my biggest critic and biggest supporter...my mom. She immediately told me that my weight loss was noticeable and I probably shouldn't loss too much more weight, but simply focus on toning. Hearing that from her gave me the push I needed to continue my journey to a healthier more fit me.

Anyway, enough procrastinating...on to the good stuff. When I stepped on the scale today, it said 142.3. I loss a little over 5 lbs this month. Smiley To most people, that may not seem like a lot, but I was thrilled beyond measure. I had to do a little dance. Smiley I'm in it, to win it.

Next Goal: Have a firmer, flatter stomach by my 26th birthday.  2 months 13 days to work on it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tangle Teezer




The Tangle Teezer has been the new "it" thing in the natural hair community for the last couple of months.  I have seen mostly positive reviews from woman with various textures, density, length and curl patterns. It was so much positive press that I am intrigued to try it myself...and I'm certainly not one to jump on bandwagons. Lucky for me I actually won one from a give away by youtuber jcokes7 (thanks girl), so I will be receiving it soon to give a review.


Here's what the makers of Tangle Teezer have to say about their tool:

Do you suffer with tangle prone hair?

           Ask yourself - are you a hair criminal who is repeatedly guilty of torturing your hair with inappropriate brushes or combs that only tug, tighten and tear tangles from your hair? If the answer is yes, help is at hand. Hair rehabilitation is painless and easy with Tangle Teezer. Change your hair brush not your lifestyle.   
A Tangle Teezer hair brush will break the cycle of broken hair and give tangled hair the brush off. A revolution in detangling hair, it has the ability to flex and not pull upon contact with tangles, gently and effortlessly delivering smooth and shiny hair in an instant.
Here are some of the reviews from youtube:
Hope these help. I will be doing a review soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Natural Ladies (Single Ladies Spoof)

I thought this song was really cute. I've listened to it so many times already. Hope you enjoy it too.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hair Typing: FIA

Disclaimer: I am not promoting one hair typing system over the other. Nor am I alleging that one hair type is superior to another. It is my belief that all hair types are beautiful and can grow to great lengths with the proper care.

FIA's hair typing system goes a step further by incorporating density into the the equation.

FIRST CLASSIFIER:  Your curliness (or lack thereof)
The straight ones
  • 1a – stick straight
  • 1b – straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn’t look wavy
  • 1c – straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)
The wavy ones
  • 2a – loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
  • 2b – shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
  • 2c – distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there
The curly ones
  • 3a – big, loose spiral curls
  • 3b – bouncy ringlets
  • 3c – tight corkscrews
The really curly ones
  • 4a – tightly coiled S-curls
  • 4b – tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)
SECOND CLASSIFIER:  What (most of) your individual strands look like
F – Fine
Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.
N – Normal
Strands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians.
C – Coarse
Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent.

THIRD CLASSIFIER:  Your overall volume of hair
Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don’t bother with the way it looks – the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.
Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can’t get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.
i – thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
ii – normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
iii – thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

If you are having difficulty determining the thickness of individual hairs, this might help:
Take a strand of hair from the back of your head. Roll the strand between your thumb and index finger.
Fine Hair — Your hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk
Coarse Hair — Your hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it!
Medium Hair — Your hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn’t stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

Credit: curlista.com

According to FIA's system my hair is 3C/4A, F, ii. This means that I fine strands that are a mixture of tight corkscrews and tightly coiled s curls with normal density. When my hair is in its natural state it can appear to be rather thick. However, once straighten it becomes obvious that it is not.

Hair Typing: LOIS

Disclaimer: I am not promoting one hair typing system over the other. Nor am I alleging that one hair type is superior to another. It is my belief that all hair types are beautiful and can grow to great lengths with the proper care.

The LOIS system is more descriptive than Walker's. It incorporates strand size, amount of sheen/shine and the general curl/wave patten of one's hair. A healthy, undamaged, virgin hair strand, meaning one that is not processed, relaxed or colored, is needed. Examine Your Hair Strand: Select a single strand of the most common type of hair on your head. Aim for 70%, so if you have different textures, use the most common texture on your head. The hair should be freshly washed without products applied to it and rinsed in cold water. Or, gently rinse a single hair with a little dish detergent and rinse in cold water. Allow the hair to dry on a bit of paper towel so that you can look at the pattern without touching it.

Step 1: Find Your Pattern:

L - If the hair has all bends, right angles and folds with little to no curve then you are daughter L.

O - If the strand is rolled up into the shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, then you are daughter O.

I - If the hair lies mostly flat with no distinctive curve or bend you are daughter I.

S - If the strand looks like a wavy line with hills and valleys then you are daughter S.

You may have a combination of the LOIS letters, possibly with one dominant. If you cannot see one letter over the others, then combine the letters. Example: LO or IL or OS..

Step 2: Find Your Strand size:
A strand of frayed thread is about the thickness of a medium sized strand of human hair. If your strand is larger than this, then your hair is thick. If your strand is smaller than this, hair is thin, or fine..

Step 3: Find Your Texture:
Shine is a sharp reflection of light while Sheen is a dull reflection of light.

Thready - Hair as a low sheen, with high shine if the hair is held taut (as in a braid), with low frizz. Wets easily but water dries out quickly.

Wiry - Hair has a sparkly sheen, with low shine and low frizz. Water beads up or bounces off the hair strands. Hair never seems to get fully wet.

Cottony - Hair has a low sheen, a high shine if the hair is held taunt and has high frizz. Absorbs water quickly but does not get thoroughly wet very fast.

Spongy - Hair has a high sheen with low shine with a compacted looking frizz. Absorbs water before it gets thoroughly wet.

Silky - Hair has low sheen, a very high shine, with a lot or low frizz. Easily wets in water.

Credit: tytecurl.com

Since the ends of my hair are dyed, I cannot accurately use the LOIS system. However my best guess at my hair type for this system is OS, thin/fine, spongy. Since my hair tends to make O and S shapes, it is easily knotted. Thin/fine hair is very fragile and prone to breakage and split ends. This lets me know that my hair will most likely fair better in stretched out styles ie. twist outs, braid out, and etc. Now that I know my hair tends to be spongy, I know that it's important to seal in any moisture my hair retains from water before my hair loses it all.

Hair Typing: Andre Walker

Disclaimer: I am not promoting one hair typing system over the other. Nor am I alleging that one hair type is superior to another. It is my belief that all hair types are beautiful and can grow to great lengths with the proper care.

Hair Stylist to the stars, Andre Walker has classified hair into various hair types in his book "Andre Talks Hair". This system is the most commonly used to classify hair wave pattern.

Type 1a - Straight - Hair tends to be very Soft, shiny, difficult to hold a curl, hair also tends to be oily, and difficult to damage.

Type 1b - Straight - Hair has lots of volume & body.

Type 1c - Straight - Hair is normally bone straight and difficult to Curl. Asian women usually fall into this category.

Type 2a - Wavy - Hair has a definite "S" pattern. Normally can accomplish various styles.

Type 2b - Wavy - Hair tends to be frizzy, and a little resistant to styling.

Type 2c - Wavy - Hair is also resistant to styling and normally very frizzy; tends to have thicker waves.

Type 3a - Curly - Hair tends to have a combination texture. It can be thick & full with lots of body, with a definite "S" pattern. It aslo tends to be frizzy.

Type 3b - Curly - Also tends to have a combination texture, with a medium amount of curl.

Type 3c - Curly Kinky - Hair tends to be fine in texture and densely packed. Hair can be kinky or very tightly curled approximately the size of a pencil or straw.
Type 4a - Kinky -  Hair tends to be very Fragile, tightly coiled, and has a more defined curly pattern. When stretched out usually have an "S" shape.

Type 4b - Kinky - Also very fragile and tightly coiled; however with a less defined curly pattern -has more of a "Z" pattern shape.
Credit: naturallycurly.com 

According to the Andre Walker system I have a mixture of 3c and 4a hair. It is mainly 3c with a patch of 4a right at the crown. I take this to mean that when styling my hair I have to be extremely gentle with my crown because it has a tendency to be dryer than the rest of my hair. Thus I have to very diligent in keeping this area moisturized because it is prone to breakage.


Hair Typing Systems


Some people believe that hair typing systems are useful in determining product selection and styling options.  Others believe, for various different reasons, that these systems do not serve any true purpose in the natural hair community. When I first started visiting hair boards and forums, I would sit for hours on end trying to determine my hair type and others. I found it very intriguing. As my journey has progressed, I no longer have any strong feelings about typing systems one way or another. I have gotten great results from various products that are raved about by people with my hair texture and people without my texture. I believe that finding the right products is basic trial and error. What works for one person may not work for another.

When analyzing hair people should focus on the hair's elasticity, porosity, texture, density, and wave pattern.

Elasticity
 The hair's elasticity is the measure of how much the hair will stretch (and return to a normal state). Healthy hair, when wet, will stretch up to 50% of its original length and return to its normal shape without breaking, while dry hair will only stretch about 20%. Elasticity is rated as being low, normal, or high. Hair's elasticity comes from the side bonds in the hair shaft. Hair with normal and high elasticity is easily styled with wet-roller sets, thermal styling tools, etc., while hair with low elasticity may prove hard to curl, or lose its curl quickly.

Porosity
Porosity is the measure of the hair's ability to absorb moisture. This is determined by the condition of the hair's cuticle layer (the overlapping scales of the hair shaft), and is rated as low, normal, and high. In normal, healthy hair, the cuticle is compact and inhibits the penetration of the hair shaft by moisture - both moisture going in, and moisture coming out. When the cuticle is overly compact and prevents the penetration of the hair by moisture it has low porosity. Hair with low porosity is harder to process, and is resistant to hair color and perms. Low porosity hair must usually be softened prior to other chemical services. Hair with high porosity is hair whose cuticle layer is open and the hair too-readily absorbs moisture. Overly-porous hair also releases moisture easily and becomes dry and is easily damaged. Acid-balanced conditioning treatments are used to contract the cuticle layer and lock-in moisture on overly-porous hair.

Texture
Hair texture is the measure of the circumference of the hair strand itself. Professionals classify the texture of hair as being "coarse", "fine", or "medium". Coarse hair has the largest circumference, and fine hair has the smallest. Medium texture indicates a middle-range of the size of the hair shaft, it's considered normal and poses no special considerations regarding processing and chemical services. Coarse hair is stronger, for obvious reasons - it has more substance. However, coarse hair can also be harder to process, and can be resistant to hair coloring services, perming, and straightening. Fine hair, conversely, is often very easy to process, and can be over-processed easily and is susceptible to damage from chemical services. This should not be confused with wave pattern!

Density
Hair density is the amount of hair strands on the head. Generally, it is measured by counting the number of hair strands found in one square inch of scalp. When a stylist tells you that you have thick hair, it is high density he/she is describing. Generally, the classifications of hair density are thin, medium, and thick, and are unrelated to the texture of the hair. The average head has approximately 2,200 strands of hair per square inch, and a total of approximately 100,000 hairs.
 
Wave Pattern
The hair's wave pattern is different from the other elements of hair analysis because its classifications have no reference to the health of the hair. Any of the wave pattern types can be found in healthy hair. The classifications for wave pattern are straight, curly, very curly, and coiled. Hair with absolutely no wave in its length is straight hair. Straight hair can be coarse, normal or fine. Curly hair has wave to it. A curly hair strand will form a distinct 'C' shape when short and an 'S' when longer. Very curly hair will make an 'S' when short and a repetitive wave when allowed to grow out. Very curly hair tends to be 'bushy' when worn long. Coiled hair strands do just that - they coil in spirals as they grow out from the scalp. The coils can be very tiny and give a kinked look to the hair, or they may be finger-sized ringlets.
 
Credit: hairfinder.com
  
With all that I said, I still feel that its only fair to share information about hair typing systems because many people want to know their type for one reason or another. To remain unbiased I will discuss the three main typing systems in future posts in this order:
  1. Andre Walker
  2. LOIS
  3. FIA
If someone is interested in using a hair typing system, I personally believe that one of these three can be of some use. Which one a person decides to use should depend on how the level of simplicity or complexity they are looking for.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flexi rods on Braids

I finally put the flexi rods in my hair. Honestly, the results are very similar to the perm rods on the two strand twist. Anyway I really like this look a lot better. Now I feel like my time was not wasted. The video is attached below:

Protective Style Challenge Update

Immediately after posting my last entry, I began to put individual braids in my hair. I put a little evoo through out my hair mainly concentrating on my ends prior to braiding. I did not use any other products. It took me 3-4 hours to get these results:
I honestly was not very happy with the results because it doesn't look as full as I would have hoped. My husband said he liked it, but I just wasn't feeling it on me. We were on our way out shortly after I finished, so I really didn't have time to figure out how to fix it so I settled for this:
Yes, I spent all that time on these braids just to pull them back into a bun. I was highly upset with myself. 

Yesterday, I had a few errands to run, so I clipped my hair up like this:


I'm still not a happy camper. So today, I'm going to do conditioner-only wash (co wash) with Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Conditioner. Then I'll roll my braids on my favorite styling tool...flexi rods. Hopefully a little curl will give me the illusion of fullness I desire. I spent too much time putting these braids in not to enjoy them.

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with the results.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

28 Days of Protective Styles

I'm on a personal challenge to protective style for the entire month of February. In my opinion a protective style is any style in which your hair is protected from harmful elements such as the cold weather, direct heat, rubbing on clothes, and etc. These styles include buns, mini twist, individual braids, cornrows, wigs/weaves.  This month, flat ironing, wash 'n gos, and puffs are definitely a no go for me. The only way I will be able to wear a twist out, braid out or bantu knot out is if I immediately bun or pin the hair up.

Although my ends will be protected it still is very important for me to keep my hair moisturized and sealed. Currently I'm trying various moisturizers and leave-ins but my sealants of choice are shea butter and extra virgin olive oil (evoo) depending on my mood and/or hairstyle.

Right now, my hair is in the high bun pictured above. I did not use heat to get the sleek look. I stretched my hair with flexi rods.  Either tonight or I'll be putting individual braids in my hair for the next two weeks. I'll be posting challenge updates periodically throughout the month.

Live...Laugh...Love

Monday, January 31, 2011

End of Month Check-in: Jan

I'm going to make this one really short because I am so disappointed with myself.  Over the last two weeks I've managed to lose less than 1lb...yeah you read that right less than one freaking pound, taking me from 148.6 to 147.8. I know where I went wrong, those darn honey buns my husband brought home, he knows they are my one true weakness.  I think he may be trying to jeopardize me on purpose...lol. I'm just kidding.  Anyway on a positive note, I didn't gain any weight, so I'm still heading in the right direction, just at a slightly slower rate than intended.  Well, I'll see what the next two weeks will bring.

Short Term Goal: Say NO to Sweets!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jill Scott & Alicia Keys Inspired Hair Style


So after I did my banana oatmeal hair treatment last night, I was bored and surfing the web checking out celebrity hairstyles. I ran across two hairstyles that truly spoke to me so I decided to style my hair. Before I get into what I did let me show you the lovely ladies that inspired me: Jill Scott & Alicia Keys.
http://thirstyroots.com/jill-scott-hairstyles.html
http://www.curly-hair-styles-magazine.com/celebrity-hair-styles-extremely-curly-13.html
                                       


 Tools Needed
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Rattail comb (for parting)
  • Rubber bands to secure twist (optional)
  • Flexi rods
  • Eco Styler Gel (holding agent of choice)
Steps
  1. Separate the section you want to twist or braid. Secure the remaining hair out of the way with a hair clip or ouchless band.
  2. Twist or braid this section in whatever design you choose. Secure each twist/braid with a rubber band.
  3. Roll the remaining hair on flexi rods. Be sure each section is wet and apply holding agent before using rods.
  4. Let hair air dry over night or sit under hooded dryer.
  5. Remove flexi rods and separate curls.
*Curls will loosen as hair style ages.
*If you want a tighter or smaller curl try a straw set or coil out. If you want a more of a wave or crinkle try a braid/twist out. You can also do a wash and go if you prefer your natural curl pattern.

Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask

* This treatment can be used as a deep conditioner. 
** You can also use it as a skin mask minus the olive oil and add honey.

Ingredients
  • 1 4oz jar banana baby food / 1 whole banana (if using a whole banana smash it, put in food processor, & strain it to make sure there's no chucks)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 table spoons unsweetened oatmeal
  • few drops of olive oil (sorry didn't measure)
  • few drops of milk (sorry didn't measure)
Instructions
  1. Mix oatmeal, olive oil, and milk in glass or plastic bowl until it becomes a paste.
  2. Add egg and banana to mixture and stir until well blended.
  3. Apply evenly to detangled hair in small sections from roots to ends.
  4. Let set for at least 15 minutes then rinse with cold/cool water. DO NOT USE WARM/HOT WATER BECAUSE IT MAY CAUSE EGG TO COOK IN HAIR.
  5. Shampoo, Condition, & Style as usual.
 Benefits of Main Ingredients
  1. Banana enhances strength. endurance, and shine of hair. Helps prevent split ends. Combats dandruff problems. Also helps retain scalp moisture.
  2. Oatmeal is a well known gentle cleansing agent which fights dryness and itchiness of the scalp. It also promotes soft and shiny hair.
  3. Eggs are rich in protein which leads to stronger strands and less breakage.  It provides moisture to hair causing smoother and shinier hair. With continuous use it could lead to thicker hair.


My Experience With The Hair Mask

First let me say, I AM IN LOVE with the Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask. 

I've been searching for a while for a recipe that could serve as a homemade hair mask and deep conditioner, but just couldn't find one that I found totally appealing, so I put my thinking cap on and took ideas from various hair and skin recipes and tweaked them to my liking and came up with this concoction. 

It's thick enough to use as a mask, yet creamy and moisturizing enough for a deep conditioner. And for an added bonus the egg gives you just enough protein to strength the hair strands without making your hair hard and brittle.

While applying the mask to my hair, I immediately noticed that my curls and ringlets were becoming well defined. I was in complete awe because no commercial product has ever given my hair that much definition. After about 30 minutes I rinsed the mask out and shampooed with Suave's Naturals Tropical Coconut Shampoo. To my surprise my curls were still well defined and very soft before using my regular conditioner (Suave's Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner). I let that set for about 5 minutes then rinsed it out.

What's my verdict? Like I stated earlier...I love this stuff.  I'm definitely glad I took the time to do my research on the ingredients before starting to mix things together.  This is only my first time using it but I can honestly say the main ingredients surely live up to there claims. My hair felt stronger, softer, and smoother. It was shiner. And the dry scalp I was experiencing in the front of my head is currently nonexistent.  

Next time, I'll be using it as a deep conditioner.  Hopefully the results will be as great.
 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Styling Two Strand Twist


So I've had my hair in twist for two weeks now. I don't think I've had this much fun with my hair in a while. The styling options for twist are limitless. I put together a short slide show of some of the styles I've tried over these two weeks. Some of them I really liked, others were complete failures...but hey, you win some, you lose some, but you live to style another day...lol. Corny right, I know, but I couldn't care less. Enough rambling, on to the video. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Transitioning Tips

I recently found out that a few of my friends are transitioning at the moment.  One of them asked me for some tips that helped me through my transition. These are the things that I shared with her;

1. Make sure you keep your hair moisturized, especially at the line of demarcation (where the relaxed and natural hair meet). This is the weakest part of hair, and where most breakage occurs.

2. Get a good leave-in conditioner, rinse-out conditioner, and deep conditioner. You don't have to spend a lot of money on them. Look for key words like moisturizing or some equivalent.

3. If you experience a lot of shedding and/or moisture overload. Try a light protein treatment such as Aphogee 2 min every 6 weeks or so. The Aphogee 2 step may be too strong. Be sure to do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment after the protein treatment.

4. Comb/detangle hair with a wide tooth comb, starting from the ends to the roots. This helps cut down on breakage.

5. If you comb your hair dry, try doing it in smaller sections.

6. Instead of using hair grease, try some natural oils or butters such as olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, or shea butter.

7. If you decide to straighten, make sure to use a heat protectant to avoid heat damage.

8. Check out youtube and some natural hair blogs such as, curlynikki.com, strawberricurls.com,maneandchic.com, and confessionsofablogvixen.com for styling tips.

Bantu Knot Out on Two Strand Twists

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Went Natural

This morning I realized, I haven't explained my reasoning for going natural.  So I decided to make a video about it. I hope  you find it interesting.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe of the Day

Venison Meatballs 


Yields 18 meatballs
Prep time: 10 minutes          
Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs ground venison
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. parsley
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (135 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9X13 baking pan.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the venison, egg and rice with your hands. Make sure the egg thoroughly coats the meat. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with hands.
3. Form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs and place on greased pan about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake on middle oven rack for 35 minutes. Can be served with pasta and sauce or alone with a gravy.


*If serving with pasta and sauce, place the meatballs in a 3 quart pot with your sauce of choice and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Spaghetti w/Venison Meatballs
My two year old hopped out of his chair with a big smile and walked over to me holding his empty spider man plate, looked me square in the eyes and said, "Mommy, more please." That's a sure indication that these meatballs were a hit.

Mid month check in - Jan

 I just joined the 6 month weight loss challenge a few days ago, so there's not much to report.  I hopped on the scale this morning and it said 148.6. I was shocked and amazed that I've actually lost 1.5lbs. This proves that sticking to an exercise regimen and being cognitive of food choices is rewarding.

I'm waving good bye to the 150s, hugging the 140's hello, and telling the 130s, I'll see you soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Little Boys with Long Hair


I've been searching for months, with little success, for information and support for parents that decide to let their sons hair grow rather than get it cut. It seems that the consensus is, little boys need to get their hair cut to look like boys.  I have to disagree.

I have a 2 year old son, who has never gotten a haircut. If I were to stretch out his curls they would hang well pass APL.  It's so funny how people reactions to his hair change like the wind blows. One minute they're in awe over how soft, long, and well maintained his hair is. The next second, they make snide remarks (mostly under their breath) about how I must have desperately wanted a girl and that's why I'm holding on to his hair.  Can I say....wrong, try again.

I know that I don't owe anyone any explanations, but I just want to get this out there.  I have seen the way 1, 2, and 3 year old boys act if anybody even mentions something about a haircut or barber shop.  I personally feel that my son is too young to go through the unnecessary agony. I'm not knocking people who get their little boys hair cut, it just wasn't the right decision for my family.  I figured, if I could put in the effort to nourish and take care of my hair, I most definitely can do the same for him.  If he express to me that he would like to get a hair cut like daddy, I'll take him to a barber with no hesitations, until then, I think we're doing just fine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lexi's 6 Month Weight Loss Challenge!!!


Lexi of Curls, Coils, & Kinks is having a 6 month weight loss challenge.  Since I am determined to loss a few extra pounds and tone up, I decided it was a good idea to join in on the challenge.  I figured it would provide extra motivation for me to get up off the couch and exercise.

My Weight Background
Growing up, I was always the extra skinny girl...which I hated and I desperately wanted to gain weight. Once I felt I arrived to my goal weight, I found out I was pregnant with my 1st son and packed on an extra 40lbs in 2008. It took me almost a year to lose less than half those extra pounds only to find out I was pregnant with my second child and packed on another 20lbs. After giving birth to my second son I was left weighing 173lbs (this may not seem like a lot, but I'm only 5'3).

Over the past eight months I have managed to lose 23lbs leaving me at 150.1lbs.  To reach my ideal weight of 130lbs I need to lose another 20lbs. I hope to reach my goal weight my April. Then use May and June to finish toning up.

My stats
Height: 5'3
Current weight: 150.1 lbs
Waist: 30 1/3
Hips: 42 1/16
BMI: 26.6
Goal Weight: 130 lbs

My plan
I will continue to count my calories with myfitnesspal...very useful resource for health and fitness. My exercise routine will go as follows:

Mon & Wed
  •  Belly dancing or Aerobics -  45 minutes
  • Crunches - 3 reps of 15
  • Vertical leg crunch - 2 reps of 15
  • Bicycle - 3 reps of 10
Tues & Thursday
  •  Running - 30 minutes
  • One-legged squats - 2 reps of 15
  • Wall squats - 2 reps of 15
  • Ball crunch - 3 reps of 10
Sat
  • Jumping rope - 30 minutes (3 - 10min intervals)
  • Reverse crunch - 3 reps of 10
  • Lying leg pulls - 3 reps of 10  
* I will make sure to properly stretch before and after each workout.  Friday and Sunday are days of rest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Maintaining Straight Hair

Part 2: Flexi Rods

Last night I set my previously straighten hair on the blue and orange flexi rods. I said a silent prayer this morning to the hair gods for good results. I was definitely pleasantly pleased. Flexi rods have become my hair's new best friend. Check out the youtube video for results.



Get Your Makeup Out of That Rut!

Get Your Makeup Out of That Rut!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Curly Hair Care: 5 Steps to Create a Hair Regimen

Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Curly Hair Care: 5 Steps to Create a Hair Regimen: "by Tammy of Curly Chic 1. Start a Hair Diary or Journal Writing a Diary may sound a little “High School” to some but it can really be..."

Mantaining Straight Hair

Part 1: Cross-Wrap

I've had my hair straight for 4 days now. I've been maintaining with the cross-wrap technique that I learned from several youtubers.  Wrapping my hair this way has resulted in very little reversion. It came out kind of flat this morning, but I'll be using flexi rods tonight to bring it back to life. I'll probably be in buns or updos all next week.  Any way enough rambling. Check out my cross-wrap video below.


What's the Big Deal?

I've been an advent lurker of hair blogs, hair forums, and youtube for several year now. Its seems like the same issue comes up at least 2 or 3 times a month. A transitioning or newly natural diva is catching grief about her hair decision from the ones who claim to love her the most.  I just don't understand the big deal. When I decided to stop getting relaxers, no one around me seemed to be bothered by my decision. It was basically business as usual.

What's disheartening to me is, it seems that women are having the most problems from their own mothers. I always have to take a deep breath simply shake my head when reading these stories or watching these video. I always thought that your mother should be your biggest supporter whether they agree with your decision or not...well, at least that's how it was in my case.

While I was transitioning my mother was my hair's saving grace. She took the time to teach me how to cornrow, flat twist, roller set, rod set, straw curls, comb/finger coils...she's a licensed cosmetologist. I never took interest in learning to do these things before because I simply washed, conditioned, blow dried, flat ironed, and wrapped weekly.  I'm not saying that my mom was my personal little AMEN corner, because if something was not right with my hair she quickly spoke up, like always, that's how I knew her concerns were genuine.  It was her way of "saving me from the world" as she so gracefully put it.

I know I went off on a tangent, but back to my original thoughts. I've always wondered why so many people believe they have the right to push their opinion about acceptable hair texture or practices on others.  There's nothing wrong with expressing your concerns if something seems out of order, but do so in a tactful and loving manner.

To all my transitioning and natural sisters out there, please don't be discouraged by the Negative Nancys and Pessimist Pauls in your life.  Continue to embark on your journey. Embrace every kink, curl, wave, or mixtures of the aforementioned textures you have on your beautiful head. Every head of hair is different and makes each of us uniquely human.


Live...Laugh...Love

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Black Tea and Cinnamon Rinses


A few months ago, I was dealing with some major postpartum shedding. Using my homemade black tea and cinnamon rinse has cut down the shedding drastically, almost eliminating it. 

Black tea and cinnamon have many of the same benefits which are as follows:

Benefits of Black Tea                                         Benefits of Cinnamon
1. Caffeine stimulates hair follicles                          1. Promotes growth
2. Slows down shedding                                         2. Prevents hair loss
3. Darkens hair                                                       3. Sunless lighten of hair

The main difference between the benefits of the black tea and cinnamon is the effects it has on your hair color. I added the cinnamon powder in the black tea rinse because my hair is dyed with Clairol: Cherrywood Texture and Tones; and I figured the lightening affects of cinnamon would counteract the darkening affects of the tea. Plus I hate the smell of tea and the sweet and spicy smell of cinnamon helped to mask the smell.

Black Tea and Cinnamon Rinse Recipe
4 tea bags (I use Lipton tea)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
1 Tea pot of freshly boiled water

Brew the black tea and cinnamon powder in water for a few hours or overnight. BE SURE TO ALLOW RINSE TO COOL!!!

There are many different opinions on where the tea rinse should fit into your wash day routine. The steps I take when doing a tea rinse are as follows:

 Procedure
1. Prepoo overnight
2. Clarify
3. Pour rinse over hair (DO NOT RINSE OUT)
4. Deep condition w/heat 30 minutes
5. Rinse deep conditioner/tea mixture from hair
6. Quick cool/cold rinse to close cuticles
7. Moisturize/Detangle/Style

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quarterly Length Check

 
I finally straighten my hair a couple days ago. As expected I am full shoulder length, with about 1.5 inches to get to APL. My goal is to be BSL by the end of 2011, so I'm really going to be protective styling like never before. I plan to use direct heat only for my quarterly length checks. Hopefully less heat will aid in my retention this year.

Official Length Check, Full Shoulder
Check out my youtube video for my straighten hair.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chunky Twistout!

Last night I set my hair in ten large twist and rolled the ends on blue flexi rods. My hair was damp and all I used was Smooth 'n Shine Hair Polisher.























I also uploaded a YouTube video. Hope you enjoy.




Wednesday, January 5, 2011

75 Things Every Grown Woman Should Know

A friend of mine sent me this e-mail. I found it interesting so I decided to share. The ones that I really like are blue. Hope you enjoy.

1. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.

2. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. 

3. If you have ANY doubt in your mind about a man’s character, leave him alone.

4. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.

5. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

6. Don’t force an attraction.

7. Slower is better.

8. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.

9. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no you can’t “be friends.” A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.

10. Have faith in God regarding your relationship, but don’t let faith make you stupid. God does things decent and in order.
 
11. Don’t settle. 

12. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.

13. If he keeps changing his mind about the relationship—take that as a BIG sign that he is unstable. Do you really want to be with a man like that?

14. Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.

15. Honorable men take care of their business and aren’t involved in a whole lot of mess.

16. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.

17. There’s only one ‘reason’ a man dumps you; he doesn’t want you.

18. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.
He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?

19. You really do have to kiss a few frogs before finding the prince.

20. Always put yourself and your happiness first.

21. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.

22. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.

23. Like from the show Sex and the City, if he doesn’t call, he just isn’t that interested.

24. Be honest and upfront.

25. Know when to cut the cord, don’t be strung along

26. Don’t fall for the “I’m confused role”. Remove yourself from the situation to let him figure things out (but don’t wait for him, move on).

27. If you want to have a clue as to how he will treat you, watch how he treats the WOMEN in his family (not just mom).

28. There’s more than physical abuse, there’s emotional and mental abuse. If he causes any of them…flee. 

29. You cannot change a man’s behaviors. Change comes from within.

30. Don’t let him place rules on you that he is not willing to follow himself — double-standard.

31. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than ! you are…even if he has more education or in a better job.

32. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing
less.

33. Demand respect and if he can’t give it, he can’t have you!

34. Don’t compete with other woman, but be aware that men are attracted to what they see.

35. If you think he is cheating, he probably is. Confront him right away and if you feel he’s lying, let him go.

36. Actions speak louder than words. 

37. Never let a man define who you are.

38. Never rely on a man for compliments, look to yourself for that.

39. Never borrow someone else man.

40. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.

41. Just because he says he loves you, doesn’t mean that he won’t hurt you and it doesn’t mean that you are meant to be with him.

42. To use painful hard-won wisdom — ‘get it right’ the next time.

43. Know that you deserve to be the number one person in the life of the #1 person in your life.

44. Love is a verb …
 
45. Learn to give up your lifelong task of trying to make someone unavailable-available, someone ungiving-giving, and someone unloving-loving.

46. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

47. All men are NOT dogs.
 
48. You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two way street.

49. If you don’t love yourself…you cant love someone else
.

50. You cannot mend someone else broken heart 

51. You need time to heal between relationships…there is nothing cute about baggage…deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship. 

52. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone complimentary…not supplementary.

53. Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.
 
54. NEVER give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it. 

55. Never become your man’s “therapist”.

56. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions. Respond to the actions.

57. A real healthy relationship requires two people. One person can end it - but it takes two to make it work.
 
58. Don’t fall for the “I’m not the loving type”…when a man loves you there is nothing in this world (within reason) that he wouldn’t do for you.

59. Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him he takes it for granted.

60. Give him his space…let him go out with his boys, don’t pressure him to spend time with you. You cant force a man to hang out with you.

61. If you wouldn’t allow your daughter to be with him you shouldn’t.

62. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.

 
63. Never move into his mother’s house.

64. Provide financially for yourself and don’t depend on anyone.
 
65. Never co-sign for a man.

66. Never believe you have the perfect guy and he is so innocent.

67. Never spoil your man; let him spoil you.

68. Never let a man mess up your credit.

69. When it’s time to let go; let go.
 
70. Good men should be treated like good men.

71. Don’t play games.

72. You can’t make a whore into a housewife - or husband.

73. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

74. Compatibility in terms of educational attainment, values, beliefs, personal and career goals, and socioeconomic status, are important. 

75. Never date a guy who wears colored contacts.

THEN & NOW!!!

I thought it would be fun to compare a picture of my hair as a natural child, permed adult, and natural adult. My hair has always been pretty healthy and long according to real world standards.
1994: I was 9 years old and still natural. My mother simply blow dried my hair and put it in a ponytail.
Hanging down it was somwhere between MBL and WL. 

Oct. 3, 2008: I was about 6-7 wks post relaxer. My mom gave me a flexirod set for my wedding.
When straighten, by hair was about 1.5 inches past APL.


Oct 2010: This was a chunky twist out done on dry hair.
I was 1 yr 8 mnths post relaxer and 1 yr 1 mnth post bc.

Jan 2011: This was an old coil out pulled into a puff.
I was 1 yr 11 mnths post relaxer and 1 yr 4 mnths post bc.
I think, I'm about .5-1 inch from APL now.
I wish I had pictures showing my hair's natural texture as a child and while relaxed as a child. If I find some I will update this post. My goal now is to keep my hair as healthy as possible and eventually get back to MBL or longer.


**LENGTH CHECK COMING SOON**