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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 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.


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.


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.

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.

 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 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.

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!

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.
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.