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.
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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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Modified Denman

Why on earth did I wait so long to modify this thing? I think I forgot I could. I have the medium one, that has seven rows and I took out three, leaving me with four. The seven rows worked fine, but I just thought using it to detangle my hair was a little rough, so I decided to modify it. Best thing ever! Detangling feels so much better now and I don't feel like I'm ripping my hair out. This brush is fantastic. So far this is working for me. I think when my hair gets longer I may have to upgrade to a larger size...but we'll see. Anyway just wanted to let you all know I did this and if you have a denman and have been toying with the idea of modifying it, go ahead and give it a try!

Friday, September 9, 2011

August 2010 VS September 2011

So I found some pictures of me from last August when I went on a cruise with my boyfriend. This was just after my mini chop. The back of my hair had been completely shaved down and the front cut into a tapered bob with bangs. Looking at these pictures, I wish that I had just cut it all off back then. What was I so afraid of? Probably something silly like looking like a boy. But honestly who cares about that? I'm trying to focus on hair health right now instead of length, hence the cut I have planned in a few days.

Cruise 2010...if you look closely, the mirror shows what the back looked like.

See it was short back there



Okay so I last straightened my hair in March of this year. On a whim today I decided to straighten my hair and see where it was at length wise. It's grown! I mean, seriously the back went from nothing to grazing the bottom of my neck so at least I know my hair does grow. Straightening my hair reaffirmed how badly I need this hair cut. I'm excited to start fresh. In addition I'm going to re-evaluate my regimen and how I handle my hair. I think I've been too rough with detangling lately and really should try to fix that. Also I think I need to go back to doing flat twist outs and two strand twists. Wash n gos while nice, tend to tangle my hair a lot, causing me to detangle every day and that's too much manipulation. So I'm going to start up doing two strand twists/flat twist outs again, maybe even some bantu knots. Also, I know I was doing the baggy method, but since the weather is getting cooler, having damp hair all the time doesn't sound like the smartest idea. Besides maybe my hair was doing better before I started the baggy method. Either way, I'm going to stop that for a while, continue to moisture and seal each night and tie my hair down with my satin scarf. Low manipulation and gently styling is going to be my key focus!

So the following pictures are from today's straightened hair. I wasn't loving the look. I didn't do this on clean hair so it was still really poofy and my ends looked terrible, which is why I put it up in the banana clip bun. Now the bun with the bangs out I was definitely digging. Will probably wash and deep condition on Monday and go back to my curls for my Deva Cut! But as you can see, it's a big difference from last August and March right?








Flat twist out with perm rods on the end on straightend hair


Hair Cut Next Week

My hair grows in different sections at different speeds, which is how I've ended up with the current mullet thing I have going on. I also have some lingering straight strands of hair from my relaxed days which are extremely annoying to see amongst all the curls. So on Wednesday I'm going to get a Deva Cut in the city and I'm super excited! I've been trying to grow my hair out and holding on to the hair I have and I feel like I'm losing sight of what's most important which is my hair's health. Detangling has been horrendous lately and I think it's because my ends are so rough and dry. I'm not getting my hair all chopped off but I don't mind going short for the sake of hair health (especially if it looks cute). So I'm going to explain all this to my stylist and put my hair in his hands and see what happens. When I got my trim back in May, I felt that the inch I took off grew back fairly quickly, plus my curls looked so my more lively after that trim and I think the cut will be a great way to get my 'spring' back. I'm going to post a picture of my current wash n go later today so we can have a comparison pic.

I'm still trying to get shoulder length curls, but I resigned myself to the fact that it's going to take awhile and I need to be patient. Until then I want the healthiest hair possible, which probably means more routine trims. I want my hair to be all one length and right now it's probably at 8 different lengths all over. It's going to be a slow evening out process but I'm ready for the journey; are you?

I'm still doing my grow out challenge with Hairscapades and I'm not going to count this as a setback even though I'll be losing length.I'm seeing this as a much needed cut to successfully continue my grow out challenge.

Oh yeah so I was reading through the Curly Like Me book and wanted to try her method of leaving the conditioner in your hair instead of rinsing it out. I did this last night and baggied since my hair was still soaked. This morning I smoothes on a little castor oil and pulled it back into a puff with a hum in the front. Was not looking how...poofy my hair looked but whatever. It was amazingly soft this morning so I can't complain too much. I don't think this is a method I'm going to pick up though. I prefer to rinse the conditioner and maybe use a little extra as a leave in once I'm out of the shower. Seems like a little much leaving all that conditioner in, but hey, try it if you think it might work. The writer of the book has amazing tail bone length curls that look so glossy beautiful. Maybe my hair didn't turn out the same because it's a completely different texture. Oh well.




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Simple Hair Care Routine

I have to say, I'm loving my simple hair routine lately. With just water as my moisturizer and Castor oil as my sealant my hair has been feeling really soft and thick! I deep conditioned overnight on Saturday with my Silicon Bambu deep treatment. Love the smell of that stuff and I'll do a full review on it at another time. Prior to the deep conditioning I did my first braid out! I really like the results and can't wait to try doing the braid out again...although I think I ultimately prefer the look of two strand twist outs.

Anyway the following pics are how I've been wearing my hair lately with my simpler routine. I've been wearing a lot of high, banana clip buns and the only time I wore my hair down was Saturday with the braid out. I've been doing my baggy method each not and I think my hair is doing pretty well with this new routine so far. Hope it all continues to go well.
High banana clip bun

Bun pulled back into a hair net with a flower and flat twist in the front

Twist out put into a puff

Bun with an elastic

Bun with a hair tie pinned down

Braid Out

Braid Out

High banana clip bun

Influencing Others In Natural Hair Care

Sorry you can't really see her hair. But it was shoulder lengthish.
So my mom is visiting me this weekend and when she arrived the first thing I noticed is the condition that her hair was in. I know she'd gone natural a while back, but she constantly dyes her hair which means a lot of her natural curls were nonexistent. But the worst thing about her hair was the breakage! It was baaadddd. Like she hair shoulder length hair in the back and sides, but directly in the crown area up through the bangs the hair was probably only about an inch...maybe an inch and a half. It was not looking pretty. Being the natural hair care obssessed lady that I am, I knew the only way to rectify the situation was to cut all the hair off and start fresh. 

At first my mother didn't want to cut her hair. It made her nervous to lose all that hair and she thought it would be fine if she started taking better care of it. I explained I wasn't so sure her hair would thrive with such a crappy foundation. So I convinced her to go to the salon and we went to a place I'd never gone to, but the reviews on Yelp said it wasn't too bad. I'd never been to a dominican salon before, but I saw so many women with straight hair that for a moment I was tempted to get into a chair myself and have my hair styled. I resisted and watched as my mom got her hair wash and conditioned and cut.

I honestly thought my mom was going to start crying in the chair, she looked that worried. The stylist cut all the hair off and tossed on an activator spray to make my mom's curls pop a but and just like that we were done! I thought the shorter hair immediately made my mom look younger and the cute was totatlly cute! She's got a nice shaped head and the short looked suited her and honestly anything would have been better than what it was before. My boyfriend really liked the look too and I think that confirmed for my mom that she did the right thing.

Now I've explained to her what she should do to take care of her hair, such as moisturizing and sealing, and deep conditioning regularly. I gave a sulfate-free shampoo I wasn't using and hopefully now she'll do some things right. Her hair grows fast so if she does things right, I can't wait to see how long her hair will get in six months. 

Here are pictures of her hair before the cute and hair post big chop. What do you think? Cute right?!

Much improved! Cute!