Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cinna-Bun Again!

I love this bun so much. It's so cute and fun and can really dress up a style. Plus, if your hair was dry/busted from a recent wash n go (as mine was when I did this bun) you can't even tell! I didn't rewet my hair or anything...heck I didn't even detangle (I know, bad) but I managed to smooth all the hair back and form a decent looking bun. So here it is again.

I got home and redid the bun, made it a little...smoother.

Grow Out Challenge

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but in April I joined the Kim Coles Grow Out Challenge that was featured on the CurlyNikki website. This challenged began in February, but I was a late arrival. Unfortunately the challenge officially ends today, but personally in order to make it to six months, the challenge technically ends on September 1 for me. The challenged required that I drink eight glasses of water a day, exercise regularly, protective style, etc. I did all those things since March and I can't say my hair has grown significantly. I know my hair is growing...but slowly, and while some people are boasting that their hair has grown three or four inches during their six month challenge...I could probably only claim an inch...if that.

Anyway, I've joined a new Grow Out Challenge that begins tomorrow. This time, the challenge is sponsored by Shelli, a blogger/vlogger, on her site I came into contact with Shelli on and when she posted that she was hosting this six month grow out challenge, I jumped on the opportunity to continue my healthy hair journey. This is also a weight loss journey for. I've been struggling to get down to 120 pounds and a renewed challenge and workout ethic may just be the thing I need to reach my goals. My hair goal is still to get to shoulder length stretched by the end of the year, but ideally in six months I'd like to see myself reach APL. My ultimate hair goal is bra strap length...that's probably all the hair I can handle.

For the Grow Out Challenge I will:

  • For the summer, wash my hair weekly and deep condition. Since I will be exercising frequently, I'll cowash mid week.
  • Take my Treasured Locks Hair Vitamin Daily
  • Take Women's One a Day daily
  • Take my L-Cystine once a day
  • Drink at least 64oz of water a day
  • Protective style! Do not wear hair out during the week, wear it either in twists, buns, etc...out hair is for the weekends.
  • Moisturize and seal nightly
  • Megatek every other night on entire scalp
  • Castor oil on edges twice a week.
  • Sleep with satin cap
  • Baggy method a minimum of 3 times a week, ideally aim for five
  • Cardio three times a week, minimum of 30 minutes (elliptical, running, stair master, etc
  • Cycling Twice a Week (usually Tuesday and Thursday, if class is cancelled, than do an hour of cardio to make up for it)
  • Weightlifting 3 times a week, on the days I don't do cycling
  • No late night eating (no heavy carbs after 7)
  • No candy/junk food (includes chips, cookies, etc)
  • If drinking beer, stick with light beers...really try not to drink very much
This is a six month challenge that I really hope I stick with so I can see the results I want to see. Maybe we'll see me get back to my ideal body days and get some lush hair. Fingers crossed.

Here are some starting pics so we can see how my hair is now and every month, I'll be sure to give a length check update. I did these twists...just an hour ago. They are not my finest work, but after wearing a wash n go all weekend and the massive tangles I faced earlier today, I figured twists would be a nice break this week. They are down now while my hair dries, but I'm sure I'll keep it pinned up during the week. Since I'm planning on pinning them up, I'll do the baggy method every night this week. Let the challenge begin!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thinning Edges? Yikes!

Are my edges thinning or is this natural? I can't tell. Whatever the case I've taken to adding castor oil to my edges every night. Hopefully that will help.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat Wave

Temps are rising in good ol' Maryland and I just couldn't leave my hair exposed to all that heat. I know I said I'd be doing wash n gos, but I was watching a ton of youtube videos today and came across a lot of two strand twist updos. So I decided to give it a try.

Now I admit, I'm still learning and trying to get the hang of two strand flat twists, but despite that I think I did alright with this style. I was wearing the same wash n go since Tuesday today and boy was my hair tangled! I had to detangle stat, so I hopped in the shower and used my HHTT to detangle. Afterwards I applied some of the Shea Moisture Moisture Conditioner that I use as a leave-in, some regular lavender scented shea butter to seal and then I used Oyin Shine and Define for each actual twist. I love that stuff. It's a great product if you want a twist out. I'll have to go into a more detailed review of that product in a later post.

Anyway, check out the style. Let me know what you think! It was a lot of fun to do, not something I'd do often, since it took about an hour and a half, but I think it's something I can turn to for the winter, which will be a change from a plain old bun. I'll probably keep the style for a few days. I get bored with my hair easily, so I can't really maintain styles for more than a few days, even though deep down I wish I could keep a style for like a good two weeks.

Ok okay, here's the hair!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Product Review: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

To follow that last post, I thought I would do a brief review of the SM Smoothie. I've highlighted some of the key ingredients such as protein and glycerin that PJ's usually look for.

Deionized Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Vegetable Glycerin , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract , Silk Protein , Ammonium Salt , Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem) , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot) , Sorbitol Esters , Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5) , Caprylyl Glycol , Essential Oil Blend , Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle) , Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Can be used as: a moisturizer, deep conditioner, styler, etc.

I first became aware of this product on blogs and curly websites, and immediately wanted the whole entire Shea Moisture line. I resisted for a good couple of weeks, mainly because I couldn't find the smoothie, but finally found it at Target.

I didn't like this product at first and even thought of returning it. I felt like it didn't enhance my curls at all. The problem was, I followed directions, using only a dime size amount on damp hair. I have enough hair that a dime size didn't cover much. And so I put this away for a few months and forgot about it.

A few weeks ago I used it again, as a styler for two-strand twists so I could wear a twist out. I used a dime sized amount on each twist. It gave a decent amount of hold so I didn't use gel. My twists came out great! Sorry I don't have a picture, but my hair was shiny and soft and all around I liked the product a lot better.

Last night I used this product again as the sole styler, but for a wash n go. I applied liberal amounts to each section of my hair and raked the product through with my fingers. My hair was white afterward, but I didn't mind since I was throwing on a plastic cap to sleep in. My hair was still white this morning, but has gone away since the hair dried. Today my hair is soft and defined, if a little oily and not even frizzy (well not much, I've had my hand in it a lot).

I didn't use a sealer since this product naturally has a lot of oil, plus the added benefit of glycerin. Although I liked the results this product gave my hair today, I don't think I would make it a staple. It just doesn't have that wow factor for me. I will use the remaining product for my wash n go (maybe use a little less too, I was very heavy handed last night) and call it quits.

Summer Hair = Wash N Go

I've decided that I need to put the summer time to good use. For a few days now, I've been wearing my hair up in a bun, but then I realized that's how my hair would be styled for most of the winter time. How boring! Don't get me wrong, I understand the perks of bunning the hair as a way to retain length, but summer time is probably one of the better times to wear the hair out, mainly because the atmosphere isn't dry and cold.

That being said, I've decided to make the wash n go/ wash n go puff, my go to style for the rest of the summer. Not only is it low maintenance, but this means I get to do the baggy method every night as a way to keep my hair moisturized and freshly curly for the next day, without having to constantly co-wash or get the hair soaking wet. I will probably co wash every other day though, or maybe even just rinse with water and sealing before baggying.

I usually like to pull my wash n go into a puff, but I always leave the bangs...the shortest part of my hair, flat twisted since it doesn't always fit back into the puff. If not in a puff, I just leave the hair 'out' so it can do its thing.

Now I plan on experimenting with products for my wash n go, to figure out which product will give me the best results. Last night, after rinsing and co washing with Herbal Essence Totally Twisted (I can't wait until this is all gone. Definitely wasn't overly impressed) I left my hair soaking wet and applied Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie to sections of hair. This was my only stlyer (besides a little mega-tek along my edges) and then I put on a plastic cap and scarf and called it a night. This morning, my hair was soft and defined, but still had a 'white' residue from the smoothie. I simply smoothed my hand over my hair, not disturbing the curls so I don't get frizz, and smoothed until the white dissipated enough for me to leave for work. There were still bits of white, but it left once my hair dried. I really like the results.

I think this is definitely a style I can keep up with (at least until fall, then I may start back up with two-strand twisting) and the added benefit is moisturized hair.

On a side note...I'm wondering if I have thinning edges. I can't figure out if it's my hairline or thinning edges...I think it's my hairline, but for now I'm applying megatek to this area to see if the hair will get any thicker.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Road Hair

Quick Update. Two weeks ago, when I was driving back from Ohio I decided to put two strand twists in my hair. I didn't have any products. Just a old, dry wash and go. It didn't turn out too badly. I just pulled it back into a bun for work that Monday and called it a day. The other picture is just a random banana clip bun that I did. I know...go figure...a banana clip. Talk about paying tribute to the 80s, but boy does that thing come in handy!

Wedding Hair

 Quick update. Here is how I wore my hair for the weddings. Both are kinda sorta pulled up back into a puff....the one with the black flower is a twist out, with a flat twist in the front, and the one with the yellow flower is a wash n go in the back and a flat twist in the front.
Just so you get the full effect

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Henna and Me

I love henna. I love the reddish tint it gives to my hair and I love that it strengthens and conditions, all at the same time. I did a henna treatment recently with the Jamila henna I used previously. I had some leftovers that I froze, so I defrosted and used that on Friday night. I thought I had a lot more, but I only ended up being able to do the front half of my hair. For the back I did curlnikki's quick henna method and once everything was applied, I put on my heating cap for the next two hours. I wanted to do the treatment longer, but I was getting tired and didn't want to go to bed with henna in my hair. So I rinsed and loved the results. My roots don't seem to pick up the henna very well though.

After rinsing I applied my Hollywood Beauty Morrocan Argan Oil Deep Conditioner and a plastic cap and went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up to my nape area really itching/burning. I scratched at but didn't get up to rinse it out and fell back asleep. The next morning, I woke up earlier than intended because the nape was still itching/burning and I couldn't take it anymore. I rinsed in the sink with cool water and it helped, but the  nape still felt itchy. I've DC'd over night with the HBMAODC before, so I don't know if I was reacting to that or the quick henna. Either way, I'm a little weary about DCing with that stuff overnight again. My nape is only just now beginning to feel normal again. I didn't lose any hair or experience breakage, so I think my scalp just go irritated by something.

I don't think I can pull off a fro
Anyway, I've got enough henna to do two more treatments. I think I'll do one at the end of July and end of August and then stop. I prefer darker hair in the fall/winter and I'm kind of missing it. I love the auburn hue to my hair but I think dark definitely suits me more. Plus I think my BF would prefer I stop doing henna anyway. Granted I could make the mix in a way that gives me more brown than red...but we'll see.

Loving My Flat Two Strand Twist Out

The Results!


The more I use the Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, the more I love it! Yesterday I wore my hair pulled back with a hair magic comb and had the front flat twisted. The magic comb I was wearing gave me a headache, it's the only one that does so I think that's a sign to stop using it. Anway, so after work I went and worked out, and like usual I get extremely sweaty and prefer to rinse or co-wash my hair after my workouts.

Before rinsing though, I applied cayenne pepper to my scalp and massage my scalp for a bit, until I had a good tingle going. Cayenne pepper is supposed to help with growth because it stimulates blood flow. This is only my second time doing this, but I like the tingly feeling...well more like a tingly burning feeling but it doesn't hurt.

I let that sit an hour, while I ate and read a book, and then rinsed it out. Note to self, be careful when rinsing out cayenne pepper, that stuff stings the eyes! After rinsing, I used my Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Conditioner and detangled with my Denman brush (love that Denman). My hair felt pretty good once I rinse out the conditioner. Soft. After briefly drying my hair with my microfiber towel, I applied some Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Conditioner (I don't like this as an actual conditioner, but it works as a great leave in). I forgot to seal...I've been forgetting all week and just sectioned my hair into four.

Now my plan was to wear my hair back this week, but I was thinking it's summer time and one of the better times to wear the hair out before I really have to put it into protective hiding for the winter months. So I decided I wanted to flat twist my hair and wear it out for the rest of the week.

Enter Curls in a Bottle and Curl Queen Hair Styling Gel. I applied the CIAB first, parted the hair and applied the gel to flat twist. I'm getting so much better at flat twisting. I may never be able to corn row, but that's okay. I've tried a braid out and I didn't like how my hair looked. Maybe once it's longer I can try it again.

So I did my whole head, tied on a scarf and went to bed. This morning, I put some EVCO on my fingertips and untwisted my hair. The EVCO is great for getting the extra shine and to prevent frizz. My hair looked great this morning! One of my best twist outs and definitely think it was the Curl Junkie products. They are both glycerin free and I'm still trying to see if my hair like glycerin or not. For August I'm going to use products with glycerin to see how my hair fairs, I kind of want to save the Curl Junkie products for winter, when using glycerin isn't the best thing in cold weather.

Anyway, my hair is quite defined and frizz free this morning. The only thing I don't like is that I styled my hair while it was still wet, so the shrinkage today is annoying, but if I flat twist my hair again tonight I may get more stretch out of it. But I have to be careful with flat twisting daily.  I read a blog where a girl experience a lot of thinning and breaking along her edges because of flat twisting. But I don't do mine very tight and I've never had a problem with my edges so I should be ok.

I have pictures to post, but that will have to wait until I upload them.
Day 2

Monday, July 11, 2011

Product Review: Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle

White Flakes!

Hate the white flakes. Love the curl definition.

CIAB and EVOO. Not as defined, but I like it.
I've been experimenting a lot with wash n gos, because it's summer time and it's one of the better times to wear my hair out, especially because in the cooler months I prefer to keep everything tucked away. So I did a wash n go Saturday night in the shower with Herbal Essence Curl Conditioner (name is wrong) and then applied IC W/Olive Oil gel on top. The result was a nice set of curls, but my hair was white! And I was like two minutes away from going out for the night, so I quickly tried to scrunch my hair with a micro fiber towel, which helped a bit to lessen the white but ruined the curls. I had to leave, so I just hoped no one would notice the bits of white flakes in my hair.

Sunday morning, my hair was tightly matted to my head a bit and because I wanted to try a wash and go again, I quickly hopped in the shower and applied some Suave Coconut Conditioner to my hair, combed through with my Denman Brush to detangle and rinsed. I left my hair soaking wet and decided to try my Curls in a Bottle. All I can say is wow! It really defined my curls and I love the kind of watery, slippery fill of it. I also felt that it provided a decent amount of moisture and maybe even a little hold.

I did section my hair in two and applied about three medium palm fulls overall, which may have been overload, but I wanted to start with more instead of less. I didn't use any gel on top and simply used a little olive oil and wala! It looked great! Sorry no picture. But I loved that my hair dried soft instead of crunchy, which has been my main concern with wash n gos. Even my bangs looked okay, and they always look straight and weird when I wash n go.

I did by the Curl Junkie Gel to accomapy the Curls in a Bottle, but haven't used to two in combo yet, maybe this weekend. I was planning on wearing my hair out this week, but last night decided to turn the wash n go into a bun. It was surprisingly easy and I only combed out the front and flat twists the hair and used a loose headband to pull the back into a low puff before twisting the bits of hair to make the cinnabun. would be better so I flat twisted the front and did a cinnabun in the back. Since I'm feeling lazy, I'll probably wear the same style tomorrow and redo the bun Wednesday and make it a little higher.

But back to Curls in a Bottle

Ingredients: Water, Hydroethylcellulose, Agave Nectar, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Water, PVP, Panthenol, PEG-8 Dimethicone*, Polyquaternium-10, PEG-8 Raspberriate**, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance. *Water soluble-rinses clean!, **Derived from Raspberry Oil.

I'm kinda sad that there are cones in the product, but it really did help keep frizz at bay, which is something I get with glycerin heavy products.

All in all, my review is that it's a great product if you're looking to do a softer wash n go. It defines without the crunch and still made my hair soft and moisturized. It's definitely a keeper.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A letter to my hair

Dear Hair,

I know I have seriously been neglecting you and I apologize. I haven't deep conditioned in what...two weeks? Three? That's just not like me! And I apologize for the sulfate laden shampoo I used last week, but you simply had too much product build up and that had to go! And oh how thirsty and dry you are. Your ends look ragged and you kind of feel like sandpaper to me. And what do I do? I continue to dry (gasp!) comb you and watch in dismay as strands and strands of hair come out. And I'm sorry for that awful detangling job the other day, you and I soooo didn't like that. And I think we need to come to terms that a wash n go style may not be for us. You get quite tangled again so quickly, I'm thinking we shouldn't even bother anymore (but boy do I love how you look in a wash n go).

I think we should do some serious reevaluating because we've got goals you and I. Don't you want to get to shoulder length? Shouldn't you be working a little harder at retaining length? I'll help too by continually taking my vitamins, but seriously you have to start growing faster than the rate you're going or it's going to be 2013 before I can claim you as shoulder length.

Is this a setback? I hope not! It has been a busy couple of weeks and I just haven't had a free moment to spend with you, but good news, this weekend looks like we may get to bond after all. I'll wash you, condition you, and style you into two strand twists and tuck you away for a week so that you may rest before repeating the process. I'll also let you hibernate under a plastic cap each night so that your precious moisture doesn't leave you. Hopefully you'll start to feel better soon. Let's think of July as a fresh start okay? Maybe it'll be two strand twist month for you and we'll keep those ends safely tucked away until August. If I do that, will you reward me with at least a half inch of growth? Maybe even...a whole inch? Please?

Talk to you soon Hair. I'm looking forward to our time together this weekend.