Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When Leaving Home...Don't Forget Your Products!

So I went out of town for the Christmas Holiday and I had mini twists in when I left...and I had totally planned to keep them in until this Saturday...only soooo many of them were unraveling and I was seriously getting annoyed with them! So I started taking them down, not thinking of what I would have to do to my hair afterwards. The twist out looked alright but my hair just felt a little too dry and tangled and I realized...I didn't bring any of my stuff! Since I'd been planning on keeping the twists in, I only brought a little spray bottle and some castor oil to seal the ends...but none of that stuff was going to help detangle my hair. And I was a bit apprehensive about using products with cones...but that was all that was in the house, so I lathered on some Garnier Fructis and finger detangled as best as I could, since I'd forgot a comb and my denman, and the finger detangle after a week of mini twists wasn't cutting it. There wasn't much else I could do, so I rinsed and then applied a little of the conditioner to my hair after towel drying. My hair was still feeling pretty rough but I used the castor oil to seal and just pulled it all up into a banana clip bun.

I couldn't stop thinking about the state of my hair though and since I'd noticed that my bangs were now practically at the tip of my nose, meaning I'd retained some length, I was scared I'd suffer a set back since my hair felt so dry and I couldn't tell shed hair from breakage. The second I got back to my place, I spritzed my hair liberally and applied my Shea Moisture Purification Masque to my hair liberally. I rubbed into my scalp and the length of my hair, and let it sit for about an hour and a half, the last half I put on a heat cap. Gotta love how that stuff detangles! I still felt like there was something coating my hair, I decided to just apply some deep conditioner to my hair and sealed in the moisture with African Pride and Hemp Seed Oil. Then I did something amazing. I corn rowed my hair! I know right! How? I just started braiding and picking up hair and I couldn't believe how easy it was! Mind you, it does not look pretty, but it is secure, even more secure than my flat twists if you can believe it. I was so proud of myself. I did my entire head and then tossed on a scarf. For the rest of the week I'm wearing wigs and/or a beanie. I did the corn rows because I think I want to wear a braid out for new years eve...but I have a feeling it might all go up into an updo anyway. Since it'll be two weeks since I last washed, I'll make sure to wash my hair on Sunday with one of my Bobeams Shampoo Bars, follow that with maybe a homemade mayo, honey, and olive oil DC for an hour, then rinse and apply KBB as a leave in and seal before braiding the hair back up for another week. Judging by the growth I am noticing fully for the first time, I think something about this lack of manipulation during the week is really helping me retain. I hope I don't have to do this forever just to keep all my length. Hopefully my hair will get stronger and won't need to be tucked away so much. I mean I plan on wearing my hair out all summer!

Oh yeah this post isn't about all that, but to tell you that even if you go out of town with one style and think you won't need stuff, if you can, bring it anyway just in case because it's better to have it than not right?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do Growth Aids Really Work?

Since starting my natural hair journey, I've been obsessed with every and any kind of growth aid. If it claims to give me one inch of growth a month, I would try it. If other ladies on natural hair forums or blogs raved about it, I would try it, and so I dived into anything and everything with very little results, and a significantly lighter wallet. When I say I've tried a lot, I do mean A LOT: Nioxin, Mega Tek, Monistat, Healthy Hair and Nails (any kind), Biotin overload, MSN internally and externally, and most recently Shapeley's M-T-G.

It took me a year to realize that maybe, just maybe growth aids don't work, or more specifically they don't work for me. If they did, I'd have BSL hair by now and I'm barely approaching shoulder length. Granted I do have Thyroid issues, which is proving to be my hair's enemy, but still, you'd think one of these growth aids would have worked. But they haven't and so I've decided to stop wasting money on them. Currently I am taking:

Treasured Locks Grow It Tablets (twice a day)
Garlic Oil (1 a day)
One a Day healthy skin multi vitamin (one a day)
Vitamin D and Calcium (one a day)
Iron
Kelp (more for my Thyroid than hair)
MSM ( supposedly good for growth, but I like taking it for my joints. Helps my knees!)

All of these and nothing is happening. Sure my hair feels good, but where's the growth? So After I finish these bottles, I've decided to stick with a daily multi-vitamin and the Vitamin D/Calcium mix. I was taking iron because I used to be anemic, but recently discovered that is no longer the case. Since I don't want to waste a bottle of pills, I'm going to finish them and then stop. The garlic I started to help with shedding, and since I don't really see a decrease in shedding, I'm not taking those anymore either. The Grow It Pills haven't done their job, so I'm tossing those once I finish my last bottle. The kelp I'll keep because I have physically been feeling better since taking them. A good multi vitamin, lots of water, and exercise are going to be my new "growth aids" and who knows, maybe I'll see amazing results, maybe I won't, but either way, taking tons of pills a day for the sake of my hair has got to end. It's too much work!  The msm I'll probably stick with because it does make running easier on my knees.

As for growth aids that I apply directly to my hair...well I've been using stimulating oils (peppermint/rosemary) which I'll stick with because they do make my scalp feel good. But anything fancier than that, I'll say no to. I will say that I've been using the M-T-G for the last three weeks and I have to say the product does work...or I'm just naturally growing my hair. A month ago I did something to my edges, and only the left side suffered, but there was noticeably hair loss in my temple area. I started applying the M-T-G no only here, but all over, and I gotta say the hair has definitely grown around my edges. I'll stick with this product until I finish, but then I'm dumping it (it stinks). I added a little Capsicum oil to the MTG and the extra tingle feels nice! Cayenne pepper is supposed to stimulate growth, so we'll see....

So yeah, personally I'm going to stop following so many fads. Hair grows because you're healthy, and sure some things may help it along, but nothing is a miracle grower and that's what I've got to accept.


(Now watch me stop taking all this stuff and my hair does something crazy like fall out! Then I'd be putting my foot in my mouth. Lol!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hide Your Hair: Self Challenge

For the last two weeks....maybe three? I've been keeping my hair twisted and wearing wigs, and if not under a wig, I'll just throw on my satin scarf followed by a cute beanie (such an easy way to instantly style). I started doing this mainly to protect my hair from the harsh, cold, dry weather. I've been leaving in conditioner, usually something heavy, and following that with a thick layer or some type of hair butter or even grease, depending on my mood. My hair has been staying soft for days and feels really good. Plus, since I work two jobs, I never have to worry about styling my hair in the morning. I just throw on wig/hat and go! It's so easy! I love it. Mind you, this isn't something I'll continue in the summer, maybe just through the first half of spring, but as a fall/winter regimen this isn't half bad. Plus, I think my hair is actually benefiting! Granted I haven't seen tons of length retention, but I'm discovering my hair shrinks up quite a bit and I don't like pulling on it so much to see if it's grown so...I go more by volume than anything else.

As I was doing my hair this past weekend, I was feeling how thick and overall good my hair felt. I have very little breakage (although a bit too much shedding for my tastes) and while I'm realizing my hair grows slowly, it is in fact, growing. A year ago my hair wasn't as thick, nor as soft, nor as healthy as it is today, and that right there lets me know, that I'm doing something right. While I'm still tweaking with my regimen and still learning a lot about my hair, I'm starting to be more patient about growth. I'm not like some of the girls I see on youtube or on blogs, who have gone from twa to shoulder length hair in nine months. I'm the girl that maybe get three to four inches a year, and therefore my long term hair goals is a little longer than most. I'm okay with that as long as my hair continues to feel good.

For the next few months, I'll continue to keep my hair twisted up and out of the way. Weekly I'll wash (bi weekly if I'm wearing mini twists) and deep condition. I moisturize and seal every other day and hopefully by my 26th birth in June, I'll have full shoulder length hair, if not a little longer. If my hair isn't that length by then, I may go and see a Dermatologist or get some blood tests to see if any health issues could be stunting my growth (because I know with this much protective styling, plus conditioning and sealing, my hair has to at least gain another two inches by June).


Moving on, here are the two latest wigs I've been rocking. I've been sticking with a straight haired look, since I don't flat iron my own hair, but this curly one is cool too. It's my dream hair!


Shea Moisture Purification Masque

I thought  I was reining in my PJ ways, but apparently not. I had been eyeing this Masque for months and didn't want to get it because I had my Terressentials mud wash, which I love and plan on keeping in my arsenal. But Terressentials can get expensive so I don't like using it too often, especially since I don't like using it diluted either. I decided to cave and try out this masque and I am SOOOO glad I did! This stuff is amazing!

I washed my hair with my Bobeam's Honey and Oats Bar, and applied the Masque to my damp hair. INSTANT DETANGLING. Holy cow! The comb and my fingers just glided through my hair, and I couldn't get over how good my hair felt. This stuff is amazing and for the price, I think it'll have to be a keeper. Like the mudwash, this product detangles and also like the mudwash, the clay properties also work as a way to cleanse the hair too. I'm not sure how I get away with using this as a DC, but believe me it works. I left it on my hair with a heat cap for half and hour and rinsing it out was a breeze. Plus, my hair felt just as soft and tangle free rinsed as it did with the product in. I had a moment where I seriously wanted to walk out the door without applying any products; my curls looked that good. Even the boyfriend said I should just leave it as is (but I think that's mostly because he didn't want me to twist it up and put on my wig. He hates that thing). But for the sake of my winter regimen (which seems to be working) I flat twisted my hair after moisturizing and sealing, and let my hair air dry. I think that's why my hair stayed so moisturized during the week with very little remoisturizing and sealing.

Anyway, if you've been curious about trying this product, I give it two thumbs up! I like it so much that even though I just washed, DC'd and put in mini twists, I'm soooo tempted to do another DC treatment with this just because! But alas, I'll refrain and leave my hair alone until the next wash time.

I love Moisture, Yes I do!

I had the best hair spa day on Saturday! It had been a whole week since my last wash and I'd taken out the flat twists I'd been wearing for a week under my wig. Before my wash, I have to admit my hair wasn't feeling to bad. It was soft and I only washed because I knew that there was product build up so I figured washing was a good idea. So I sectioned my hair into four, and spritzed my hair liberally with my green tea and aloe vera juice spritz. I applied my Left Coast Lemon Terressentials Mudwash to each section, rubbing it into the scalp with my finger and then down the length of my hair. I haven't mudwashed in about a month, so I'd forgotten how much I love that stuff! To make it last, I'm trying to use it just once a month and in between I use my BoBeam Shampoo Bars followed by the Shea Moisture Purification Masque (love that stuff). I let the mudwash sit on my hair for about half an hour without heat, and finally hopped in the shower to rinse thoroughly. I decided that a protein treatment was in order since I've been slathering on the conditioner as of late, so I used my Spiral Solutions Protein Treatment and left it on for ten minutes, before rinsing and applying Karen Body's Beautiful Luscious Hair Mask as my DC. I left it in with a heat cap for about 40 minutes, before rinsing on cool. After all of this, my hair felt great! So so soft, and the curls looked pretty good too. I was tempted to wear a wash n go, but I've been enjoying keeping my hair hidden away too much, so I installed mini twists!

First I applied a light deep conditioner as a leave in to each section of my hair, followed that with Hemp Seed Oil, and KBB Butter Love to seal. Hair still felt great and was looking shiny too! Then I spent the next three and half hours twisting with Elasta QP pomade gel (I know I know, this has mineral oil, but I figured on the ends of my hair only, it would act as another sealant. My hair was so moisturized, I had no worries about sealing heavily).

I kind of wish I had flat twisted my hair first and then installed the mini twist the following day, that way my hair could have been more stretched, but I didn't and so the twists shrunk right up when dry. Oh well. I'm wearing the twists under my wigs this week and will wear them out on the weekend. I'm planning on untwisting and wearing a super defined twist out for New Years Eve. Since they've been tied down, the frizz is very minimal and I think I'll actually get two weeks out of them, which will be nice. I plan on spritzing and sealing every other day or maybe every other other day. Depends on how my hair feels. I'm going out of town this weekend, so I can only take so much with me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Week At A TIme

I didn't think I wasn't going to be able to make it but I managed! That's right, I kept the corn rows in for two weeks! Well okay, they came down for like a few hours, but then my hair was braided up again. Not bad eh? I loved not having to do anything to my hair and just slap on my wig. It's been great, especially now that I'm working another job and really don't want to miss out on sleep for the sake of hair styling...not sure what I'll do in the in a few months when it warms up and I don't want to wear wigs. Another plus is that I haven't experienced any breakage, baggied a few times, and washed my hair once mid week. I took the cornrows out this afternoon because I wanted to really feel my hair. While it has been feeling dry during the week, once I took my hair down I realized it was actually pretty moisturized. I rubbed a bit of oil on my hands and ran it over my hair, and at first panicked because a lot of hair came away, but looking closely I realized it was all shed hair, which makes since.

What's next? Well my mother is gone and I can't corn row to save my life...so I'm going to try to do six flat twists going straight back after I wash and deep condition either Saturday or Sunday. I'm not the greatest at flat twists either, so...hopefully they'll hold together for a week before I'll take them down and repeat the process. This time around I'm going to do something different. I've been faithful to my Mud Wash, but I think it's time I start using conditioner again. Therefore I'm looking to use more natural products and although I like making my own stuff, sometimes it's easier to just purchase a bottle of something ya know? I'm going to use my Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner, but I won't be rinsing it out. I'm going to leave it in my hair and seal with some safflower oil followed by maybe castor oil or some type of heavier pomade. I'm hoping this will leave my hair feeling moisturized longer. And during the week I'll spritz my hair with my new green tea, honey, and aloe vera juice spritz and lightly seal with coconut oil. I haven't decided if I'll continue to do the baggy method. Since I'm wearing a wig during the day, I don't want my hair to be damp when I put it on because I heard that can cause mildew (ew). If I do baggy I'll probably save putting on the wig as the last thing I do before leaving the house, that way my hair should be dry by then.

I think this'll be my regimen for December....mostly. I've decided I will straighten my hair on the 22nd, right before I leave to Ohio for Christmas. I don't want to bring my wig along, and I don't feel like messing with twists or twist outs, so I think a sleek look will do. After that I'll put the twists back in and return to wig wearing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wiggin' it

Yes I've bitten the bullet and invested in a wig. I know I know, why cover up all my lovely natural hair? Well for starters the weather is turning colder, which means protective styling is more important than ever. Plus having a wig means I get to keep my hands away from my hair for a bit.

In preparation of the new look, I washed my hair with my Terressentials Mud Wash and followed with a homemade DC of mayo, acv, coconut milk, honey, molasses, and peppermint oil. My scalp felt so nice and tingly and my hair was super soft and tangle free afterwards. I applied some Sweet Ambrosia and Grapeseed oil and lightly blow dried my hair. Afterwards I applied a little blue magic to the ends before sitting in front of my mom to have my hair braided. It has been a long time since someone else has done my hair and getting corn rows was a little painful but worth it! My mom did a good job. They are nice and secure, but not too tight and the wig slid right over them with ease. I'll have to come back with a picture. I think this is definitely something I can keep for the next two weeks and I seriously think this method will have me seeing a lot of length retention and growth...hopefully. I haven't decided if I'm going to baggy every night or just moisturize and seal...we'll see.

As for the wig...I like it but it's definitely something I have to get used to. For one thing the hair is straight, and secondly I can't decide if it looks too fake or not, and better yet can't decide if I care. If it means better hair health than so be it. I'm not looking forward to Zac giving me shit about the wig, but whatever he'll just have to get over his aversion to "fake" hair and what not. It's not for his benefit, it's for mine so really it shouldn't matter. But...I'm bracing myself for his criticism anyway.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blue Magic and Mini Twists

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've incorporated grease into my regimen...which is something that goes against the purpose of the Organic Mudwash...but whatever. I was avoiding using this product for a long time, but then I was thinking about my relaxed days as a child and sitting in front of my mother as she applied grease to my hair and scalp, and remembering I had a pretty good head of hair as a child...before I was given the task of taking care of it myself. I should have left it up to my mother and I know now my problem was too much heat, not enough moisture, and applying my own relaxers....but not once can I remember having a problem with growth or retention when my mom used hair grease. With that in mind, I figured such a product couldn't be all that bad right? Well I've been using it for a week and I must say my hair feels so soft and moisturized. I've also been doing the baggy method five days a week so that may have something to do with it too. A little goes a long way and I do apply a very little every night before I put on my plastic cap. Sometimes I spritz my hair beforehand, sometimes I don't, but for the winter I'm going to continue to use this product. I do not apply it to my scalp at all, I'm a little concerned about the petrolatum in the product clogging my pores, but on the ends of my hair, I don't mind at all!

On a whim this morning, as I was running my hands over my soft hair, I decided to do some mini twists. This wasn't the brightest idea since I had to leave for work in a few hours and in all honesty I figured I would just do the front and save the rest for another day...but I managed to complete my whole head in about...three hours? I didn't spritz my hair at all, I simply used my Boticelli Bontanicals Brulee and combed my hair if the ends felt particularly knotted. It was a pretty easy process and they came out great. I'm sure they are not all uniform size because when I get tired I start grabbing bigger chunks of hair, but whatever it looks good enough for me. I'm a little worried about doing the baggy method with them in, but we'll see how they come out. Since I'm wearing beanies anyway I'm not too worried about the fuzzies. Again I'm going to make the declaration that I'll keep these in for two weeks...but we'll be lucky if they last a week (but I'm hoping to take them out Thanksgiving weekend). Kind of glad I did the twists though I was hoping to wash my hair tomorrow with my mudwash...but that will have to wait.

Oh yeah, I'll come back with pics another time...again they're on my other computer.

Build Up Woes

I realize now that I was waaaayyyy too heavy handed with my Shea Butter mix. I was applying too much of it morning and night, plus spritzing everyday and doing the baggy method, and then I go and decide to do my mud wash, acv rinse, deep conditioner combo thing last week that although it left my hair soft, I still saw some telltale signs of white. I haven't clarified in a while, and while I love my mudwash, it doesn't exactly work to clarify the hair...especially after weeks and weeks of product build up. I didn't want to do the detox again...although I'm sure that would have worked, but I stumbled across a site on Etsy called Sweetsnthings that specialized in making homemade shampoo bars that were sulfate free. I figured I could try one of these bars to help cleanse my hair.

I went ahead and ordered a few, mainly because they all sounded so good but I finally settled on what I thought would be the best scents. I used one of my bars for the first time on Tuesday mainly because one, my scalp was itching and two I rinsed my hair to do a mudwash and my hair was white! So much build up. So I used the shampoo bar and followed with my Terressentials Mudwash in Lavender. I let the mud sit on my hair while I showered and then rinsed and finger detangled in sections. I must have had a lot of build up. Since I'd been wearing my hair in twists or buns, and mostly covered everyday I wasn't really paying attention to how my curls looked when I did wash because I knew I wasn't going to wear a WnG or anything, but let me tell you...after using the shampoo bar and the mud wash I was very tempted to wear a WnG! My curls looked and felt amazing! So soft and bouncy, and very defined. I'm pretty sure I could have left the house without applying product and my hair would have stayed great all day. But for the sake of retention and hair care, I applied some Sweet Ambrosia, Terressentials Baby Oil, and some Blue Magic and pulled everything back into a Banana clip. I flat twisted my bangs and tucked the hair in the banana clip under to make a bun. I wore this style for two days, covered by a satin lined beanie (well the flat twisted bangs were exposed).

Now I know that I should mostly focus on applying oils to the ends of my hair and be careful with what I apply to the scalp. Right now I'm sticking with my Wild Growth Oil. Once that is finished I might just use Jamaican Black Castor Oil or something...and maybe only once a week to the scalp...I don't know, trial and error. I haven't been using my Shea Butter mix lately because I'm liking the blue magic right now...but we'll see. As for my mud wash well that will be my weekly wash and once a month I plan on using my shampoo bar to remove any extra build up. I don't ever want to have that kind of build up again!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Laziness and Protective Styling at their best!

I've been so lazy about my hair and I don't care! I went a week and a half without washing which I won't make the mistake of again. Well the actual problem was that I was applying product every day on top of product and it caused enough build up that my hair turned white when I got it wet to shampoo! Thinking I could do my regular wash routine, I rinsed my hair and applied my mud wash, rubbed it in, rinsed and....wait a minute, my hair was still white and felt gunky and thick with build up. Uh oh. ACV to the rescue! I applied some diluted ACV to the roots of my hair and along the length and rubbed it in. I rinsed and...there was still build up. What the hell! Back to the mudwash. Rinsed and still saw some build up and decided to heck with it and applied my homemade DC of avocado, evoo, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, greek yogurt, and acv. I applied it to my hair and put on a plastic cap and my heat therapy wrap for half an hour. I rinsed in the shower and as a final step rubbed in a little more mud wash.

While I still saw a tiny amount of white still, my hair actually felt nice and soft and detangled, but my scalp felt abused and I just couldn't fathom washing my hair again. So I just applied some KBB Sweet Ambrosia, sealed with Baby Oil, and combed through my hair before doing a flat twist updo with two strand twisted bangs. Over this I put a satin scarf and a beanie and left the bangs exposed. For the past few weeks this has been my style of choice. Every night I've been sprtizing the hair, resealing, and baggying. I kept the flat twisted style in for only two days before taking down, spritzing and pulling back into a low banana clip bun. I think after cycling tomorrow I'll use my mud wash...

I was going to wash my hair once a week but I've recently introduced a new product into my regimen. Blue Magic Hair Grease! I know I know! Horror! Since I've gone natural I've read everywhere that grease is bad for your hair and blah blah blah, and in all honesty I was going to go all natural and organic with my hair...only I think my hair didn't want to be organic. While I love the mudwash and I did get rid of a lot of products, sealing has been a problem. Every only seems to just not seal and soften as they should...so I bought the blue magic...especially as a product for the winter. What do you know, my hair feels nice! Soft and moisturize and not in the least bit greasy. I don't apply it to my scalp at all, I use Wild Growth Oil for that before baggying. I'm going to continue using it and monitor how my hair does and we'll see how it goes.

So my November regimen is as follows:

Wash bi weekly
Apply Karen Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia or Hair Nectar
Seal with Blue Magic
Some kind of flat twist style.
Every night Sunday through Thursday, baggy hair before bed. On these nights, apply Wild Growth Oil to scalp
In the morning let hair air dry if damp, put on satin scarf and hat.
Friday and Saturday I'll just wear a bun or something...nothing fancy.
That's it!

On a side note my scalp is feeling very tender...we'll have to keep an eye on that.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Holy Moly Batman! It suddenly got quite cold here in Maryland. This past Saturday the weather really took a turn for the worst with rain, hail, and even a little snow. In October! Craziness. That tells me that it's time to put the hair away into hiding in order to protect my ends from freezing to death. I don't really feel like putting in mini twists...although it's a great style for not having to mess with my hair. Plus I've decided to revist the baggy method for the month of November. While today I'm rocking a twist out, I've also decided that November will be a no hair out month. So if I don't do mini twists, I'll probably do not so many twist for one week, and when they look bad, pin them back. Or a flat twist up do or buns...either way the hair is going to be up. I'll also wear my satin scarf followed by a thick beanie from time to time as well. I'm sticking with my simple regimen which has been pretty easy. I have my spray bottle filled with rose water, aloe vera juice, evoo, jbco, lavender oil, honey, and vitamin e oil. I spritz my hair every evening and apply my shea butter mix to my ends. I think I might start using the jbco on my ends since it's a little heavier...we'll see. In the evenings I baggy. I've been trying to pick styles that don't require a lot of work once I wake up in the morning and remove the plastic shower cap. I've recently been experimenting with flat twisted french braid sort of look. I have to do it in sections but that's okay. Once I get it a little neater, it'll be a great style to wear everyday and even for an entire week.

If you hadn't noticed I'm having the hair retention woes so I'm really hoping to see some growth.

I'll french braid my hair up tonight after applying my spritz and oils, baggy, and probably just wear my silk scarf and hats for the rest of the week. Saturday I'll wash and figure out what style I want for the next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Working out while deep conditioning!

Today I went on a run with my dog. Prior to the run I decided since my ends were feeling a little dry, it was a good time to deep condition. I decided to go with Naptural85's greek yogurt deep conditioner. This is my second time trying this and again I used way too much product. My mix was so soupy I had a hard time applying it to my hair. I think next time I might not add so much ACV. I also added some honey this time for the added moisture benefits. Hopefully the next time I do this I'll get it right. This doesn't mean that the conditioner didn't work, it still detangled my hair pretty well and my hair wasn't too stinky considering I put on a shower cap, bandanna and went on a run. It was in about twenty minutes before I got back home and rinsed it out. I rinsed and applied some Terressentials mud wash to each section, let it sit a bit and rinsed and finger detangled. I love that I can finger detangle so easily with this product! It's great. I applied some cold Aloe Vera Juice while in the shower and twisted each section and wrapped my hair in my micro towel while I got dressed and what not. I was going to wear my hair out today in a WnG but I didn't feel like bothering so I applied some baby oil to my hair to seal in the ends and my hair was feeling soft and smooth. I slicked everything back into a banana clip bun with the ends tucked under and flat twisted my bangs which don't quite make it back into the bun. I think this will be my look for the week while I figure out what I'm going to do for Halloween. I kind of want to wear my hair straight but I won't so maybe a WnG...twist out? Not sure. What kind of hairstyle should I wear as a modern Little Red Riding Hood?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Honey and Terressentials Mud Wash!

I finally got the urge to try a honey and olive oil rinse/pre poo thing. I've been reading up on the benefits of honey and I've really wanted to give this mixture a try. Sunday I rinsed my hair with water and finger detangled a bit to get my hair loose and ready for application. In a small bowl I mixed about 1/3 cup of olive oil and added about 2tbs of honey and mixed these all together. On a whim I added the last remnants of this oil mixture I had (coconut oil, etc). I applied the mixture to my hair section by section and really worked it into my hair. My hair was feeling soft even just applying it so I knew something good was going to happen. After it was applied I put on a plastic cap and sat under my heating cap on medium for twenty minutes. I wasn't sure if the heat cap was necessary, but it was kind of nice sitting there with it on and I figured if meant the product would penetrate my hair better than so be it. After twenty minutes I removed the heat cap but left the plastic cap on and decided to give my dog a bath. So all and all I think the product was on my hair for about 35 minutes in total. I rinsed with warm water thouroughly.

My hair was feeling so soft afterwards! Plus it looked shiny and the curls looked good too. But I wanted to used my Terressentials Lavender hair wash so I applied that to my wet hair and worked it into the scalp and along the hair. I left that on about twenty minutes without heat as I did things around the house and finally got in the shower to rinse. Finger detangling was a breeze as always, maybe even easier since I did the honey rinse first. I twisted my hair in the shower to let it and sat around with my micro towel until the hair dried.

Oh as you may have guessed, the mini twists only lasted a week. They weren't really looking too fuzzy or anything, but I just wanted to do my hair so I took them out. After my hair dried post Hair Wash, I went section by section and spritzed with my aloe vera juice/water mix. I swear this combo acts as an instant detangler for my because my denman brush was gliding right through my hair. I only applied my whipped Shea Butter mix (maybe a little heavy handedly) on top of this and twisted the hair in larger sections. This was my first time using the Shea Butter mix that I made and my hair looked so soft and shiny! It was amazing and it felt great too. I twisted all my hair and pinned it up and went to bed. This week I've had my hair pinned up in the twists and I've been wearing differed hats and head scarfs (on top of a satin scarf of course). I haven't had to do my hair at all, plus it still feels soft and moisturized. The twists are looking fuzzy, but since I'm not wearing my hair out I don't really care. Tomorrow I plan on wearing another head covering, but I think Friday I'm going to take all the twists out and wear a twist-out through the weekend.

I think this will be my key to length retention. While the weather isn't freezing cold yet, I've been covering my hair anyway. I think next week I'll wear a WnG's for a few days, just to give myself that styling option, but once it gets cold it'll be twists, hats, hats, and more hats!

By the way I'm loving the Terressentials Hair Wash. It's amazing! I'm using that, Boticelli Botanicals Flax gelee (when I'm doing a WnG) and my Shea Butter mix. I also have some organic oils to use as a sealer, but that's basically all that's going on my hair these days. I'm currently selling all my other products on hair sites and whatever is left over I'll give to my sisters or mother.

Pics of the second week of twists. A lot chunkier and again they stayed pinned back under a satin scarf and various head adornments: scarves, hats, snoods.





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mini Twists

So last night after getting off work, I wasn't tired at all so I decided to stay up a bit and watch TV. I removed the banana clip bun I'd been wearing all day and was just running my fingers over my hair,marveling at how soft it felt (must be the mud wash) and was suddenly struck with the urge to do two strand mini twists. I haven't done twists in forever! So here's what I used:

Aloe Vera Spritz (from Butters-N-Bars in the Lavender scent. Love!)
Homemade flaxseed/gelatine hair gel

I started with the front of my hair just in case I didn't finish in time to go to work the next day and that way I could just cover up the rest of my hair with a hat. I turned the TV to friends and spent about an hour and a half twisting my hair. I finger parted because it makes the hair come out less scalpy and because I didn't feel like bother with a comb. I did keep a comb on standby to comb out any tangles I found, but in all honesty it was just me, my fingers, and my two products. Of course I didn't finish my whole head last night and by 1:30am I was feeling sleepy, so I pulled the hair not twisted, back into a bun and tossed on my Sue Maesta hood, followed by my satin bonnet and went to bed.

I finished the twists today while watched For Colored Girls (movie was too much for me) and when I finished I just applied a little Shea Butter to my hair, since the twists were feeling a little hard from the gel.

I'm so glad I did these twists. Because of the mud wash I feel like I've been over manipulating my hair so much...even though nothing bad was happening, but I just wanted a break. I think I did these twists nicely enough that I can get a whole two weeks out of them...maybe even a little longer and then I'll take them out right before Halloween. I make no promises though because I know I start to get antsy after five days or so, but I love that this style allows me to get up and go! Today I wore my Sue Maesta hood on the back half of my hair and left the bangs out, and tossed a chunky beanie over the hood, that way the cotton fabric wouldn't dry out or make my twists frizzy, plus covering my hair means I'm not sitting here at work twirling my twists around my finger which usually means they won't last very long. When I go to the gym tomorrow I will wear a cotton beanie though since that will help pick up some of the moisture from sweating.

Love the twists, may have to look into doing these biweekly installments as the weather gets cooler. Since I'm using the mudwash and relying on a simpler regimen anyway...I should style simply too and who doesn't love getting up and just going. No washing, combing, styling, detangling...just go! That's such a time saver. Let's hope I start retaining some length with these methods!

I have pics, but again I'll have to come back and post them from my other computer.
Here's basically how I wore the twists all week:







Friday, October 7, 2011

Detox Day Two

So I was going to do three washes today with the Terressentials according to the directions but...I don't know my hair was feeling pretty good and I honestly don't think I need to do such an intense detox because I really haven't been using a lot of synthetic products lately. So today I only did one wash, but I let it sit on the hair a bit before rinsing.

I did another wash n go today, 5th time this week and I decided to again follow something I saw Naptural85 do. She uploaded a video recently about her quick and easy wash n go, in which she washes her hair in twists and then sleeps in them and takes them out in the morning for her version of a wash n go. Now she doesn't add any product but my hair isn't long enough to go without something so I added a little KCCC while in the shower and flat twisted all my hair while in there after rinsing out the mud wash of course. I used very little of the KCCC because I was a little heavy handed the other day and hated how my hair felt. It was all sticky and gummy and gross. So I was smarter this time around and used very little before twisting. After the shower I wrapped my hair up in a micro towel and got dressed, did my make-up, had some tea...etc. I wasn't able to get my hair completely dry because I had to leave about 40 minutes later, but I know this is a method I will definitely stick with. My hair feels great. It has hold but it isn't crunchy, and it looks like a wash n go...but just a little more stretched out. I think it would look more stretched if I had given it time to dry. Anyway, definitely will start doing my wash n gos this way, hopefully it'll minimize tangles too.

Now I was going to try and get second day hair tomorrow...even though I'm supposed to continue the detox...but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to or not so we'll see. I feel like I should to follow the rules, but honestly I don't think my hair needs it so...guess that's my decision. Will try to get second and maybe third day hair out of this wash n go and do the mud wash once a month?

I'll come back with the pics later.

Looka pretty good. Hair wasn't dry



Few hours later at work. Hair was dry

Today's hair. Did the WnG last night in twist and air dried. Took them out and fluffed this morning. See the combo of a twist and WnG?


WnG a few days ago when I was too heavy handed with the KCCC. Loved the curls but hated how my hair felt.

KCCC
I think I prefer the look of the twisted WnG when the hair is a little more damp upon removing the twists. I felt that gave the look more of a WnG than a twist out, but I do like both styles. Tonight I plan on spritzing my hair with a little water and baggying and hopefully I'll be able to get 2nd day hair out of this. We'll see!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hair Detox!

Hello All!

So I used my Terressentials Mud Wash for the first time today and I love it! I have the sample size of the products and to start I'm using the Sultry Spice. I heard reviews that a lot of people didn't like the scent, but I really enjoyed it. The directions say to do a 5-7 day detox. Since I haven't really been using too many silicones in my hair I think I'll just do 5 days. Today I did three washes, but tomorrow I think I'll just do two. I was going to try and be brave today and just wear a wash n go without any product...but I just made some flaxseed gel/gelatin combo and I decided to apply that to my hair and followed that with my coconut whipped oil mixture thing.

I made my flaxseed gel a little differently this time. I used 1/4 cup of seeds and then boiled 1 cup of water and 1 cup of aloe vera juice. I should have definitely boiled the product longer because it's wasn't very thick...so I mixed up some plain gelatin and added that to the mix. I liked how it turned out and my hair looks pretty decent today, but it's still a lot crunchier than I thought, so back to the drawing board! I saw a recipe for a different homemade gel so once my jar is empty I'll try making that.

My hair is still crunchy, but I spritzed it with some water and applied a little more oil and that helped a bit. As for the Terressentials I like it. It made my scalp feel kind of tingly and my hair felt soft and the curls looked amazing afterwards. With the product in my hair, my hair actually hung down a bit instead of shrinking up. I was sad to rinse it out, but what can you do?





WnG pulled up into a puff with a headband. Pretty simply and easy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beer, Yogurt, ACV, oh my!

I tried a couple of new things yesterday! First I started with a beer rinse. I felt like my curls were looking a little flat, so I decided to do a beer rinse. I took some warm bud light and let it sit out for a bit, before applying to my hair and covering my hair with a plastic cap for twenty minutes. Afterwards I rinsed my hair...but I still smelled the beer. My curls looked good, so I decided to just to my deep conditioning treatment and then a good rinse at the end to remove any lingering traces of beer.

After the beer rinse I decided to try the Naptural85's greek yogurt hair treatment. I used a lot less of each ingredient since my hair is no where near as long as hers and I even applied the extra to my face. I can't say it melted my curls on contact, but when I rinsed my hair it was definitely soft and I only need to finger detangle which was awesome! I applied a little Elucence conditioner to my hair to rinse out and get rid of any lingering yogurt or beer smells.

Since I was on a natural, do it yourself kick, I decided to make some whipped coconut oil hair dress. Now again I followed a Naptural85 recipe only I didn't use shea butter as a base. I didn't have any shea butter, so I figured coconut oil would work too. I added a few other oils and whipped it all together and it came out pretty nice. I'm trying to use more oils on my hair and water as my moisturizer.

I order some Terresentials Hair Wash and once it arrives I'm going to do a detox and then stick with all natural products for the rest of my GOC challenge. Now this doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of all the other lovely products I have, it's just a way to see how my hair behaves with very little. Plus I feel like my hair needs the detox. I know I tried a simplified regimen before, but now I have to stick with it since I'm going through the trouble of using the Hair Wash. Once I try it out, I'll definitely write about my experience with it. I have a feeling it'll be a good one.

Now I know a regimen that works for one person may not work for another, and unless my hair looks and feels horrible, then I'm seriously going to try to stick out the simple regimen  and then after January, I'll slowly incorporate some of my other styles.

I seriously don't want to continue being a Product Junkie. True there are so many lovely products out there, but since I'm now making less  money I can't continue to support such a habit. Simple oils and water are soooo cheap and if my hair can thrive on these limited items then so be it. Because really the point of going natural and following a hair journey is not just to grow long hair, but it's also to have healthy hair and growing up my hair was never healthy and this time around I want to do right by my hair.


Quick Update: My hair feels amazingly soft! Normally when I do a wash and go using gels my hair is super defined but crunchy. I only used a little of the Curling Custard to boost the curls a bit. I wasn't heavy handed at all but the result is a soft and defined wash and go! Sweet, will definitely be trying this again. Tonight for bed I'm just going to spritz with a little water, apply a little oil and baggy so I don't have to go through the process of re-wetting tomorrow. Let's hope the curls last!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Playing Around

I've been playing around with flat twists again. I wasn't sure how a twist out would look with the new cut and everything, but surprisingly everything looks pretty much the same. My definition was great and I wish I could remember what products I used. I do know that I didn't use anything with a heavy hold, so as the day progressed my hair definitely seemed to swell. It's been raining like crazy in Maryland and the humidity is out of this world! My hair hates it, so for the last couple of days I've been wearing either a banana clip bun or like today, a cinna-bun. My cinna-bun was waaayyy too tight today so I need to remember to make it a lot looser in the future if I want to save my edges.

I've been good with my workouts this week. I forget that working out is also part of my hairscapades challenge. I need to up my water intake. Next week I'm starting on a different work schedule so I think getting to the gym will be a lot easier.

Flat twist out

Back not looking good


Decided to flat twist the bangs


wash n go



Next day, pulled that wash n go into a puff

banana clip bun with ends tucked under

Today's cinnabun with some small black rose flowers added. So small looking!
I'm currently deep conditioning under a heat cap, even though I haven't washed my hair in a week. I cowashed on Monday, and Wednesday has been my wash day for the last three weeks because I've been working weekends, but I don't think I'm going to bother washing it today. I will probably wait until Sunday and do it then, but since the hair was feeling a little dry I decided to go ahead and do a DC right now, and after I rinse I'll probably twist the hair and wear a twist out tomorrow...or maybe I should do a wash n go? Not sure yet...it's going to be rainy and therefore humid tomorrow so maybe another updo is in order. We'll see!

Protective Styling




As the weather begins to get colder, I figured it was time to break out my snood and start protective styling. Snoods are probably one of my favorite hair accessories. They are so simple and easy to use, and can give any outfit a sort of vintage flare. Plus no one needs to know that the hair covered is actually flat twisted and pinned back, which is exactly what is happening under today's snood.

Last night after my workout I sprtized my hair with some water and applied a little vatika oil to the ends of my hair and started flat twisting. I flat twisted most of the hair going back, except for my bangs which I wanted to go forward so they could flop on my forehead better. Yesterday I wasn't planning on wearing a snood, but this morning, after checking the forecast (it's going to rain for a couple of days) I decided not to bother with taking out all the flat twists and instead only untwisted the front and put on the snood to cover the rest of the hair. This makes doing my hair easier tonight because all I have to do is retwist the front.

Today's snood is brown, but I also have one in black, and I think I'll just alternate which one I wear for the rest of the week. How's that for protective styling? Not only is my hair covered (well, mostly) but having the snood on also prevents me from having my hands in my hair. Hand in hair syndrome is a serious issue for me, which is why my coils didn't last very long and quickly frizzed when I tried to do a coil out. Until I can get better control of this disease of mine, I'm trying to find ways to keep my hair out of the way while still looking...stylish.

Oh yeah, about the snood. The one I'm wearing in the picture and the black one that I have are fully lined, which means you can't see my hair at all (and because it hangs down it gives the illusion that my hair is longer than it actually is). I have another black snood which is an open knit so you can see my hair. That one kind of reminds me of a hair net and I like using it when I'm wearing a twist out. Anyway I totally recommend everyone investing in a snood. I got mine at haircoverings.com. They have a lot of colors, but personally I just wanted black and brown because the other colors reminded me too much of beanies and I'd rather just invest in a thicker, closed knit beanie...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Product Review: Kinky Curly Knot Today

Obviously my simiplified September product usage didn't last very long. I love using too many different products too much so it's kind of hard to stick with just three.

Moving on. Kinky Curly Knot Today Product Review!
Ingredients:
Organic Mango fruit extract, organic slipper elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.
Glycerin Free
Organic
Paraben Free
Protein Free
Silicone Free
Sulfate Free


Clearly this product would be great for those of you doing the Curl Girl Method. I've had the KCKT for a while now, but didn't use it very much because I thought I didn't like it. Ummm, how wrong was I! This stuff is amazing and really does help soften and detangle the hair. I've been using it cosistently for the last two weeks as my leave-in before bed, and my hair is feeling pretty good.  Honestly I should have been using this product a lot sooner, because the instant I apply it to my hair I can detangle my hair easily. The fragrance isn't ideal to me, but oh well.

I haven't tried this for a wash n go in conjunction with the Kinky Curly Curling Custard (which I have) but I think I want to do that soon.
\
Sorry this review is so short. I would definitely recommend this. You can find this product at Curlmart.com or your local Whole Foods and the price is $12 for an 8oz bottle. I've been using globs of it stupidly, but if you apply it to your hair in sections, a little does go a long way.

I will say that although I love the results of the product, I don't yet know if I'll make it a staple. I will continue to use it and see. I have other leave-in conditioners that I'm also trying out, and haven't yet narrowed down the ultimate product just yet. KCKT is definitely in the running though!

What Do You Know!

So it turns out I can still put my hair up in a bun! I wore a wash n go for two days in a row and my hair was looking kind of this morning and I had work tonight and honestly didn't feel like bothering with another wash n go so I hopped in the shower and rinsed my hair, before applying some Suave Naturals Coconut conditioner. When I first used this conditioner I didn't like it, but I've been cowashing with it a lot more recently and I'm realizing it's not too bad! It actually gives some decent slip. Anyway, I applied this to my hair and detangled. Once out of the shower I applied some Kinky Curly Knot Today and used my denman brush to pull everything back. First off, normally when I wear my hair pulled back, the front always looks so wispy, even if I use gel along my edges. This time around all the hair actually went back pretty smoothly. I did use a little eco styler gel along the edges. I also used a banana clip for this bun and just tucked and pinned the ends under. I did have to use a lot more hair clips then normal to keep the shorter strands of hair back, but other than that I'm so excited I can still do a bun! I don't mind wearing my hair out, but with the way my hands are always in my hair, it's much better for me to keep my hair back. So yeah, I'm going to do this banana clip bun through Monday and then cowash and probably wear a wash n go Tuesday or something or maybe another bun. Who knows, I usually decide how I want to wear my hair the evening before.

On a side note, running my hand over my hair now, my hair feels so soft! I love it. When I go to bed later I'll take out my bun mainly because I'm sure the center is still wet and I don't like to keep a bun in my hair too long if the hair is wet. For bed, if I know I'm going to be rocking buns for a few days, I'll usually pull my hair back into two low pigtails, just to keep the hair stretched, but it also opens up the middle so that the hair can continue drying. I don't have a picture of my hair or anything, but I've posted a similar banana clip bun before and it's not any different.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Finger Coils!

So this is a hairstyle I've been wanting to try for a long time but for some reason my hair just wasn't coiling like I wanted it to. Well last night, after working out, I decided I wanted to give them a try. I rinsed my hair in the shower to remove all the sweat form my workout and applied some Curl Junkie conditioner and detangled first with my fingers and then with a wide tooth comb and finally with my denman brush. Since my cut, I've noticed that my hair is shrinking up a lot more; like my curls are tighter or something, which I don't mind. Detangling also felt a lot easier. The front of my hair still isn't quite a hundred percent natural yet, so it doesn't curl as well, but I'm glad I didn't do something extreme like buzz all my hair off (even though I was half tempted to).

Anyway, once out of the shower I left my hair soaking wet and applied some Donna Marie Curl Cream to my hair in sections and then followed that with some pink eco styler gel to coil with. From there I just went section by section, coiling the hair with just my fingers and misting my hair with water when it felt like it was getting to dry. I'm not in love with the front, the hair is just resisting the coils but overall I love the style! It's so easy and cute, and low maintenance. I know it looks like my hair is suuuppper short, but it's all still about mid neck length. Today I've gotten a lot of compliments on the hair which is nice, because when I try a new style I'm always a little nervous about how well it will be received. I think I will keep the coils for a few days and then separate them for a coil-out, before repeating the process.

I think my hair is too short for buns and updo's so until I get that length back, coils, wash n gos, and twists will have to be my new thing. I've gotten better at getting my wash n go to last two or three days, before I feel the need to redo them. I was going to stop doing wash n go's but they're pretty easy to maintain right now so...why not?

On a side note, I've decided to up the intake on my Treasured Locks Vitamins, so we'll see if something amazing happens.... like get the two inches of hair I cut off back in a month (I know, wishful thinking). I'm still doing this grow out challenge and I still want big shoulder length curls. I'm not sad about the cut though! This just means I can focus on maintain healthier hair as I grow it longer.




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hair Cut!

I know I know, I'm doing a grow out challenge but I go and cut my hair? I should have done this at the start of the challenge, but oh well, too late now. Since I'm trying to focus on hair health, I thought a cut would be a nice fresh start to do that. I'm still doing the grow out challenge though, I think I'll make shoulder length stretched by the end of the challenge.

I like my hair cut (I'll post pics later), but the customer service at the salon I went wasn't too great. The guy who cut my hair overbooked himself and I had to wait about 25 minutes before he even sat me in his chair. And so I felt like he kind of...didn't focus on me as much because after ten minutes of being in the chair his next client had showed up and was waiting. Would I go back? I'm not sure. Plus this was a Deva cut, which was very expensive and I'm not sure if the price is right, even if it means cutting curly hair. I know I'm supposed to probably trim my hair every four months, but since I plan on being very gentle and taking good care of my hair, I will just dust my ends every six months. I'm also going to try and do self trims from here on out...or maybe get my step mother to do them, either way, won't be blowing that much money on a salon visit again. I mean honestly it was more expensive then getting a relaxer and I didn't even leave the salon satisfied with the styling. It may just be this salon, but I think salons are going to be a once a year treat for me. So....maybe next September I'll get a roller set and my hair straightend or something. I flat ironed the other day and now I'm going to wait a year before I flat iron again. The no heat thing is good for me.

Here are the pics of my haircut. Before and After
WnG Before Cute

WnG before Cut

2nd Day Hair Before Cut


Post cut!

Post cut. Didn't really shingle my hair well,which is why it looks kind of fluffy