Thursday, August 30, 2012

Twist Out Prep

Hey Folks,

Just wanted to come on here quick and say I took down my twist style yesterday and washed my hair. I was going to henna gloss overnight but opted to just deep condition instead. I did cowash the style once and of course it got fuzzy but didn't look too bad.

Anyway today I'm prepping my hair for a twist out tomorrow. I have the front flat twisted into a headband and the back I twisted with Oyin Hair Dew and sealed with Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade. I followed Naptural85's twist out method and pulled the twists around my head and pinned down, that way the take down tomorrow will yield a nice stretched twist out. But...I can't exactly go to my evening job looking like a crazy person so I put a satin scarf on the back half of my head to cover the twists and on top of this I put on my snood. This thing has been a life saver. With two jobs I can't always freely style my hair and most of my styles need to be prepped during the afternoon in between jobs but still allow me to look normal at work. The snood is perfect for covering up half done twists or a raggedy twist out until you have time to work on your hair. It's simple and stylish and even a little bit retro. I got mine from haircoverings.com and I'm thinking I might need to get a few more colors...winter is coming after all and my evening job isn't going to allow me to wear my cute threadmill beanies...so a snood will have to do. Plus it's considered a protective style option too!

Cowashed twists...they actually stayed put


Yeah...I gotta get better at flat twisting...but this works for now

Thin edeges...castor oil and viviscal have greatly improved them though


 
And the results!



 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Product Review: Bobeam’s Cocoa Rhassoul Clay Detox Shampoo Bar

Ya’ll know that I’m a fan of the Terressentials Mudwash, but I’ve been out of this stuff for a few months now and I haven’t repurchased yet because I had like a million shampoo bars to use up and some other cleansers. Plus I live an hour from the Terressentials store and haven’t quite gotten around to getting out there.
I plan on making the Terressentials my holy grail, everything I could ever need item…but until then I’m experimenting with other things…most particularly Bobeam’s shampoo bars. I love the shampoo bars and how they make my hair feel, although a few of them do give my hair a weird feeling post shower. This is usually the case with shampoo bars and an apple cider vinegar rinse usually takes care of the problem but I am way too lazy for that so I just leave the hair alone and it feels fine enough to me.
Last week I tried the J’Rels Detox Bar and liked it but wasn’t in love with it. This bar has Kanolin Clay as opposed to bentonite or Rhassoul.  I only have experience with those two clays and get good results with both. The Terressentials has bentonite clay, while my Anita Grant Conditioning cures have Rhassoul clay.  Both clays give me good results. I love bentonite clay more, but Rhassoul clay imparts a little more softness usually.
 Today I washed with the Cocoa Rhassoul bar. First let me say that this bar looks like I could eat it and smells just as good. It has actually cocoa powder in it and I’ve discovered recently that my hair detangles pretty well with a combo of cocoa butter and jojoba oil. I get pretty good deep conditioning with this combo too. Anyway, I used this bar to cleanse my hair today in order to prep for a henna gloss this evening. Prior to cleansing I section my hair in four and used the Qhmet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee to finger detangle. Ummm and I also used my Denman too. I know, I know, shame on me but I had tons of tangles and my fingers weren’t working through them all, but whatever. I didn’t lose too much hair and detangling was a breeze with the Qhmet (review to come later). I hopped in the shower and going a section at a time I lathered up the shampoo bar and rubbed it along my roots and then along the hair shaft (used a lot of castor oil this week). I did this for each section and then let this sit on my hair and scalp while I did other shower things. I mostly let it sit to see if the Rhassoul clay in this bar would give me some additional softening and to treat my seborrhea dermatitis a little (clay seems to be helping actually). After a few minutes I rinsed my hair section by section and finger detangled a little more. Ahhh my hair felt nice. Soft and my fingers were combing through my hair easily. Plus I didn’t have that waxy, weird feeling that has happened with other Bobeam’s shampoo bars. My scalp also felt nice and clean after the wash and my scalp felt soothed and not itchy at all (+1 for that). 
This was my first impression with the bar and I will use it again just to confirm its awesomeness. I definitely think I could keep this bar as a holy grail and it’d be great for travelling purposes or quick wash purposes when the mud wash would be just too inconvenient.
I still have the Cheris Hibiscus bar to try, the Shealoe, and I just received the Vashti Ayurvedic bar….not sure when I will try them considering I want to stick with the Rhassoul one for a bit, but I’ll let you know when I do!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Two Strand Twist Style

Hey ya'll! Since I got my scalp feeling good, I figured I shouldn't tamper with it too much with cowashing and WnGs, so I started twisting. No I didn't do mini twists, I would say these are on the smaller size of medium.

Before styling I did an over night henna treatment and rinsed Friday morning. I cowshed with my Curl Junkie Curl Rehab (shameful I know...but hey I'm using stuff up). The henna rinsed very well. Sometimes after rinsing I'd scratch my hair two days later and have henna remain under my nails. Not this time. After I got out of the shower I applied Oyin Hair Dew and Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade. I've had both of these products for a while and I don't know why I haven't been using them. They smell soooo good. I love them and might have to keep them in my simple arsenal that I have in mind. I also love the Oyin Shine and Define too and might pick up more of that once some stuff runs out. Anyway I lightly blow dried my hair using the tension method on cool. I didn't dry my hair completely, but it wasn't very damp either. I put my hair in some chunky twists and pulled back with a banana clip. I was able to get out the door on time to work thankfully.

Once home from my first job I decided I wanted to style my hair in twists that I could keep in for a week. I used the Original Moxie Shapeshift to twist. My hair was looking strong and shiny and as I started twisting I noticed they seemed plumper and firmer too. I did something a little different this time around since I just didn't want a bunch of twists hanging straight down as usual, so I did a sort of flat twist style in the front swooping sideways and in the back I twisted straight down. I also did a braided base first for the twists in the back and I think this will keep the fuzzies at bay. In the nape area, which is slowly becoming very very straight for some reason, I braided instead of twisting because this area tends to unravel quickly. Anyway, this weekend I'm wearing the hair down but this style also allows for some pinned up looks that I'll try throughout the week and next weekend I'll remove and wear a twist out for a day or two and then...start the wash process again and maybe twist the hair into a different style.






Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scalp Conditions and a Return to Finger Detangling

Ooooh Weee I’ve been giving my Denman a workout lately. I’ve used the thing like 10 times this month and this was after months of not using anything but my fingers. Now I love finger detangling, but I’ve been messing in my hair so much this week that the Denman was a necessary evil when I cleansed my hair today. I also don’t think the Denman is terrible. I didn’t have tons of hair in the brush despite my heavy shedding recently (might be time for some protein). I also used it while my hair was loaded with Curl Junkie Curl Rehab before combing and the Denman just glided through my hair. I’m officially going back to finger detangling only, but combing my hair today made me realize I probably should use the Denman brush at least every other month, just to make sure my hair is thoroughly detangled.
On another note, I’ve been dealing with some seriously horrendous itchy scalp lately. Every time I work out or overly sweat, by scalp begins to itch and feels like it’s on fire. Usually once I cool down the feeling fades but lately it’s been a constant issue. I find myself waking up scratching my head at night and my scalp is tender and raw from the damage my finger nails caused. Not good. Plus lately I’ve been noticing a few bumps. They aren’t always present, but in the crown area and towards the front of my hair I feel a few of them sometimes. So what does a gal do when she can’t finger something out? Google it of course! I typed in my symptoms and the first thing that popped up was Seborrhea Dermatitis. I have pretty much all the symptoms but not dandruff…but upon a closer examination of my scalp I did realize that it looks a little scaly and crusty. Yikes. I searched for products used to combat this condition and a lot of them recommended medicated shampoos that had ingredients like tar or salysilic acid. They also had sulfates or parabens in them and since I’m trying to go more natural I didn’t want to use any of that stuff. So I searched for “natural” remedies and things like tea tree oil and coconut oil were recommended. The tea tree oil helped but didn’t stop the itching and I finally tried a medicated shampoo that didn’t offer much relief either. Today I used my Bobeams J’Rels Detox bar and let it sit a minute before rinsing. This actually helped a great deal. I conditioned with my Curl Junkie and once out of the shower I applied a mix of JBCO and coconut oil to my scalp. So far so good.
I think it will take some time to get this condition under control, but I do believe I can use natural products and find relief. I didn’t notice this issue when I was using the Terressentials and I think the natural, healing benefits of Bentonite Clay is great for scalp conditions because it not only cleanses, but it purifies as well. Seborrhea Dermatitis is usually a sign of too much sebum production (probably because I sweat so much in my scalp when working out) and or too much yeast in the scalp. I thought maybe shampooing more often would be a good idea, but I know in the case of my face too much cleansing leads to even more breakouts because I’m stripping my hair of all the natural oils. I’m going to use my Bobeams bar twice a month as recommended and see if the problem clears up. Once I get the Terressentials again I’ll be using that once a month. In between cleansings I’m going to limit the things I put on my scalp to JBCO, castor oil and jojoba oil as well as cowashing weekly. Now this time around when I cowash I don’t plan on applying conditioner to my scalp because I think my scalp gets irritated by conditioner, instead I will just rinse my scalp with water and massage with my fingertips to loosen any dirty and build up. I may even do a acv rinse prior to my mudwash just to be safe. We’ll see. It’s a work in progress but my biggest goal is to get the itching under control because scratching my head is not helping in this healthy hair journey.
**Currently my scalp is only a little itchy. Trying not to l think about.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Narrowing down a regimen and products

Alright…I’m a product junkie, I can admit it. I find it hard not to be a product junkie, especially when there are sooooo many products and brands to try out there! But I’ve been looking at labels lately and I’m realizing that a lot of products are exactly the same! Sure this one smells different, or on that one they have Shea Butter as the second ingredient instead of the third, but still most of the stuff I have is basically the same. So why do I feel the need to look at other moisturizers that all say the same thing, or conditioners that pretty much do the same? And half the stuff I buy, I could probably make myself.
You see, I really want to be more natural and organic with the things I use in my everyday life. Not just for my hair, but I’m talking lotion, bodywash…I’d say deodorant but I tried natural deodorants before and frankly I’m sticking with Dove.
Hair doesn’t need all this crap. For curly haired chicks, moisture is the most important aspect of a good hair regimen and there is no cheaper product than water. It’s everywhere and your hair will thank you for a tasty drink every day. The second important aspect of a good hair regimen would probably be sealing in that moisture/lubricating the ends of your hair with a butter or oil. Most oils aren’t that expensive and a big bottle of castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil will last you for a few weeks and will moisturize your hair better than anything else. Now I know what works for some naturals doesn’t work for others, but I know that my hair thrives off simplicity and likes oils and natural products better than silicones and sulfates, and I know my hair prefers little manipulation; therefore I’m trying to narrow down my products to a few key items and also narrow down my regimen. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about; this isn’t a set regimen nor are these set products just yet…especially since I have stuff to use up still, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Now I kinda already use a lot of natural body products. My favorite cleanser is the Nubian Heritage Black Soap Body Wash or the Dr. Bonners Shea Butter Castille Soap which doubles as my face wash. I use Nature’s Gate Fragrance Free Lotion, and Dove deodorant. Make-up I use Bare Escentials, but my lipstick brands are drug store brand…whatever.
Anyway here’s my idea hair product list and regimen.
Staple Products:
1)      Cleanser: Terressentials Mudwash and/or one bobeams shampoo bar in my rotation (figuring out my favorite now).
2)      Conditioner (for cowashing only): Kiss My Face Whenever Conditioner, Giovanni Conditioners and/or Desert Essence Conditioners
3)      Protein: I consider Henna (followed by Indigo) my protein. Or I will use mayo, egg and honey.
4)      Oils/Sealants/Prepoo: All of them! I like different kinds for prepoos and sealing.
5)      Butters/Sealants: Shea Butter, Cacoa Butter, and or Mango Butter (it’s a little lighter)
6)      Stylers: Aloe Vera Gel…haven’t tried it for a WnG but I’ll MAKE it work. Or Flax Seed Gel.
7)      Moisturizer: Water and Aloe Vera Juice with Lavender essential oil. Maybe a little vegetable glycerin too.
**I’m not going to add a deep conditioner component because I consider my prepoo my deep conditioning too. If I do need the extra conditioning I’ll use Aloe Vera Gel and EVOO or Yogurt/Mayo.
Regimen:
While I love WnGs, I don’t think it’ll be a good idea to do them during the winter time, especially since I think Maryland is going to get pretty cold this time around. So my regimen will change/be tweaked with depending on the weather/season.
Spring, Summer, and Early Fall: Wash and Go Styling…with the occasional twist out.
1)      Cowash 2 or 3 times a week (depends on how crazy my WnG is looking).
2)      Deep condition/Prepoo Weekly with Steamer (if time permits). Follow with a cowash and oil rinse.
3)      Cleanse Biweekly
**Now cleansing is tricky for me because if I’m working out like I should, my head gets pretty sweaty so depending on how my scalp feels I’ll cleanse either weekly or biweekly. I like to cleanse more often in warmer weather anyway.
Late Fall and Winter: Two Strand Twist 5-6 days out of the week. “Out” styles for special occasions only.
1)      Deep condition/Prepoo weekly with steamer
2)      Following prepoo session with a cowash in shower
3)      Following the cowash, oil rinse using either evoo or coconut oil. Let sit a bit while shower and rinse with warm water.
4)      Apply a little aloe vera juice to hair and seal ends with an oil or butter. Two strand twist hair.
5)      Occasionally install mini twists, leave in two weeks, and then follow steps above. (This is usually convenient if I’m travelling a lot around the holidays…or working a lot).
Phew! Looks like the start of a beautiful plan! Now I’m currently rocking WnGs again and I will until the end of September and begin this new regimen October 1…well more like October 7 since I’ll be out of town the weekend prior. I think by then I will have used a lot of stuff up, but some of the things like my Reve Essentials, Jessicurl, Koils by Nature, Oyin, etc I will continue to use and until they are ALL gone I won't be getting to the simple products list I described above. Most of these products are all natural and were kind of expensive and I don’t want to waste them. I’m really excited to narrow down my hair regimen and list. The hardest part will be staying strong when walking by the beauty supply store. PJism is real folks! But I’m hoping this will teach me how to be more disciplined.
Wish me luck folks! On a side note, I experimented with today’s WnG a bit. I cleansed in the shower with Neutrogena T-Gel for Build-up (no sulfates). My head has been itching something terrible and always after working out and this is supposed to help with that. I won’t do it often but today it was nice. Plus I’m officially back to CG so this was also a good time to cleanse my hair of the silicones. Following the shampoo, I applied Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Fortifying Conditioner to my hair. This didn’t have instant slip like my Tressame Naturals of Kiss My Face; I had to let it sit a bit and then go back and fingers detangle. Can’t say I really like it but I’ll give it another try. After rinsing and while still in the shower, Instead of using gel I used my Donna Marie Dream Curling Crème. I like this stuff but I don’t need it. I’ve never used it for a WnG and might have been heavy handed…but the good news is that it’s nearly gone. I’ll only get one more use out of it for another WnG. My definition looks like I used gel though which is super cool! My hair shrunk up a lot but feels soft and smells like cake lol. For my next WnG I’m going to try the Original Moxie Shapeshifter.

My Donna Marie Dream Curling Creme WnG (Still Wet):



WnG with Original Moxie Shapeshifter:






Saturday, August 18, 2012

Moist, Juicy Twists

I haven't really been feeling twists and twist outs recently...mostly because I'm lazy and don't feel like twisting. Plus my twists will look good, but then the resulting twist out falls flat...so yeah like I said before I've returned to WnGs and I was recently reading the book Curly Like Me by Terri LaFlesh and she talks about her Tightly Curly Method which is essentially doing WnGs with conditioner only. She says that instead of rinsing the conditioner out of your hair, leave it in and comb/style your hair that way. The results "should" be soft, defined hair with zero crunch.

I gave this a try today and I can't tell you yet if it worked for me or not. For one thing I didn't do this on freshly washed hair. I hadn't washed in almost a week, but had cowashed twice and used gels too. On top of this producty hair I decided to overnight deep condition and cowash in the morning before work and try the Tightly Curly Method then using Aussie Moist and detangling with my Denman...yeah epic fail. I had super product overload. The ends of my hair were white with product and while my hair felt soft it looked gunky. I didn't have time to wash before my first job so I just put my hair into a bun and left.

After work I was just going to leave it alone and wait to wash on the weekend but I changed my mind about an hour before I had to leave for job number two. I hoped in the shower, split my hair in four sections and shampooed with my Shea Moisture Shampoo (this has Sodium Laureth Sulfate). This was my second time using this shampoo and the heavily coated hair sort of acted as a prepoo and my hair didn't feel dry after rinsing. I followed this with the Herbal Essences None of Your Frizzness. I finger combed this through each and did shower things before rinsing each section and finger detangling some more. I applied more conditioner to each section and while doing this the maintenacne workers that I had been expecting started pounding on my door. I quickly finish applying conditioner, hopped out of the shower, tossed on clothes while still soaking wet with my hair dripping all over the place and let them in.

While they did their work I looked in the mirror and just couldn't see the Tightly Curly Method working for me in that moment...I mean it could have if I wanted a fluffy WnG but I suddenly had the urge to see how a twist out would look so I started grabbing sections of hair for medium sized twists (didn't even towel dry and just worked with the wet hair). The only additional product I used besides the conditioner was Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my ends. When I reached the bottom of a twist, before twirling, I coated the end in JBCO and twirled. My ends never looked better! They were super smooth, shiny and twirled perfectly into a little curl. I've also never twisted so fast in my life because I had to leave for work soon. I let the twists shrink up and look even chunkier, tossed on a silk scarf/turned headband and headed out the door.

I'm now at work and while my hair isn't 100 percent dry, it's pretty close and feels amazingly soft. I really liked both the smell of the HE conditioner and how it made my hair feel. There is a bit of frizz in the crown area but I didn't really apply conditioner close to my roots so that makes sense and doesn't look bad. I can't wait to see what my twist out will look like. I'm going to leave them in tonight and tomorrow morning and take them down before tomorrow evening. Once I do that I'll come back on here and post the pics of my twists and the resulting twist out.






Thursday, August 16, 2012

What I've Learned About my Hair

Some would say when something works for you stick with it, but I think that since hair really is JUST hair, it is okay to experiment and have fun with what you use and how you style your hair. Since becoming fully natural I stuck with two simple rules despite everything: no sulfates and no silicones. The beauty of having a hair blog is that you can see how your hair has changed and how it's grown, what products your were using and how your hair felt.

As I mentioned before, I recently started using sulfates and silicones, mainly because I want to see how my hair reacts and if they are really as bad as people say they are. This is also my way of sticking with drug store finds that I neither have to worry about shipping or steep prices.

I'm fine with this experiment of mine as long as it doesn't lead to my hair falling out.  But I was perusing through my blog and previous posts and pictures and a few things stuck out at me. One was that the Terressentials Mudwash really made my hair feel and look great. Two, my curl definition is pretty strong with the CG method. Three, finger detangling actually made growth/retention obvious to me. Four, my curl pattern is great even without gel and using natural products. Five, despite the single strand knots, WnGs work for me and I wasn't experiencing any hard to get rid of tangles.

Looking through those posts I realize now that CG really is for me and two products in particular have given me great results; Terressentials and Tressame Naturals. Yes I've used a lot of other natural products but I don't need them really and they are mostly for fun and experimentation. These two products and some oils and I really could be good to go hair wise!

I've been off the CG method for a week and I while my hair doesn't feel terrible or dry, it doesn't look as curly naturally (like with CG I can get out of the shower and have a defined look with minimal products). My WnG from the other day, using Paul Mitchell, Eco Argain Oil (added Cantu serum this time) just didn't look the same like my usual Paul Mitchell and Eco Argain Oil gel WnG. I could cowash daily without build up and I just don't think you can do that when not CG...at least I can't; my hair gets build up easily I've discovered.

So what does this tell me about my current experiment; to quit of course! Lol. I'm not going to end it just yet, I'm going to go for another three weeks with this experiment, but I do know this is not permanent. I much prefer how my hair feels and looks with the CG method.

CG

Non-CG


Now if I see some AMAZING retention in the next three weeks than I may be eating my words lol!


Inability to Protective Style: Return to the WnG

As much as I love all things hair, this past weekend made me realize I don't really like styling my hair...at least not if it takes too long. I put in twists on Sunday and told myself I would leave them in until Friday but after yesterday's workout I removed them since my hair was pretty much drenched with sweat and when twisted up I feel even ickier than if I were rocking a WnG....and well prior to that I made it a week and a half with the mini twists before they were beginning to go stale on me. I was pulling some hair in front of my face today and it seems that my little video didn't quite show the true length of the front. In the video it looks like I'm at the tip of my nose but my pictures today show that I am actually at my top lip! That's growth ya'll but most importantly that's retention.

For a month and a half I solely did WnGs and despite the numerous single strand knots my hair, I actually wasn't having a problem with cowashing and finger detangling every few days. I think the single strands knots mostly surprised me and annoyed me and probably wouldn't be so numerous if I didn't occassionally spend time at work twirling strands of hair. Anyway my point is that I've gone back to my WnG for now and will probably keep at it until it gets too cold out to leave the house with wet hair. I tried a twist out temporarly yesterday and just didn't like how my hair looked. I've gotten too used to WnGs! (Plus when I do twist outs I prefer flat twist outs).

mini twists removed




So yeah...despite my wedding hair growth challenge, I'm going back to WnGs. I think my hair benefits and my scalp feels good when I wet it every other day and it's obvious I can retain length with WnGs and it's just the look I prefer at the moment plus it's super quick and super easy. On days I work out and sweat a lot I know I can hop in the shower cowash, apply my leave in and gel and get out the door without worrying about twisting or pulling back on my hair.

I will say I've officially ended my CurlyGirl regimen. I want to see how my hair does with silicones and sulfates (shocking I know). I do think my hair was pretty moisturized with the CG method, but I want to see if CG is necessary for me. To kick things off I deep conditioned Friday for about 9 hours with the LeKair Cholestarol Cream and added a few drops of the Cantu Silk and Shine Serum (this was right after removing mini twists). Talk about instant detangling! I didn't even comb through, just applied, slapped on a plastic cap, a snood and went to work. After work, I detangled with my detangling brush and put in about eight to ten braids. In the shower I used my Shea Moisture Shampoo which has Sodium Laureth Sulfate. That stuff was actually pretty moisturizing and didn't lather as much as I expected. Post shower I noticed that not all my DC was removed but I think my braids were too tight. Next time I will twist. I followed up with the Shea Moisture Leave-in and sealed with the Cantu. Hair felt great and it was the smoothest my ends had felt in a while. The ends of my twists were curling nicely and I couldn't stop feeling them. My scalp wasn't angry after the shampoo and my hair didn't revolt against the silicones and actually felt very soft and moisturized.

Today...despite my PJ rehab  (everything was on sale at least) I picked up a few conditioners with cones for cowashing (Aussie Moist, Tressame Luxurious Moisture, HE Hello Hydration) so that I can test out my silicone theory. Weekly I'll wash with a sulfate shampoo in order to avoid build-up. Today I used the Aussie Moist to cowash. I split my pseudo twist out into four, wet my hair thoroughly in the shower, and applied Aussie Moist liberally to each section (when I "cowash" I don't actually use the conditioner on my scalp most of the time. I usually wet my scalp and massage a bit to loosen any dirty and apply the condtioner to my hair a few inches from my scalp). I did shower things and then went back to my hair and finger detangling was a breeze! Plus the conditioner smells amazing and gave me that slip that few cone-free conditioners give. I was in heaven! I nearly left it in my hair because my curls were clumping nicely too (maybe next time). Post shower I used my Paul Mitchell leave-in, some cantu serum to seal and styled with the Eco Argan Oil. My WnG seems to have shrunk up more than usual but feels softer than any other WnG I've done. I was heavy handed with my gel as usual but I have zero crunch. Awesome! I cant wait to try the Tressame conditioners and the HE Hello Hydration...think I'm gonna love them. Oh and I'm not feeling any knots. I'll keep you guys posted!




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1 Week of Twists

Oh boy. One week down...two more to go. I gotta admit, my head is itching and my hand is twitching to take out these mini twists. I think I just need to go ahead and wash them. I'm going to try Naptural85's method and see how my hair fairs. If it starts to knot up or look matted, I think these twists will be coming out at the close of week two.

If that's the case and because my scalp prefers weekly washing, I will put in about 20 or 25 twists and wear those pinned back or in a bun until wash day. If I follow that method I prepoo with an oil and conditioner either overnight before wash day or with my steamer the day of. I'll go section by section and apply product to each twist...I probably won't even unravel them. After prepooing, I'll wash in the shower with twists and apply my rinse out conditioner. Out of the shower I will untwist a twists, detangle thoroughly, apply my leave-in and sealant, and then twist it back up. This will probably benefit me more than mini twists because I won't have tons of shed hair building up, my hair manipulation remains minimal, and I'll still be protective styling. Also this means I'll get to use up some products! I seriously want to minimize my stash because there are a few brands I want to try before I buckle down on holy grails.

Here's how I wore my hair today. Everyday I've been mostly wearing the twists back in a bun. At work I'll let the hair down for a bit to relieve tension on my scalp and then I put my hair back up.

I like mini twists but I don't know how someone could keep them for weeks at a time. I worked out twice this week and sweat like a maniac and didn't wash...and my scalp is going crazy (would ya'll hate me if I only made it to this weekend...a measly week and a half. If I twist it right back up into the larger twists does that still count?) Guess my video lied a bit...but I did say I would protective style and figure out what works best for me in building my regimen. Baby steps!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shine Serums

I'd like it to be known that I have the CurlyNikki app on my phone and use it extensively, even when I shouldn't (like while at work). I love the app and reading varios posts and you can just about find everything on there! The best moisturizers, great conditioners, etc. And its nice that you don't just hear from one person, but many, so after fifteen people rave about the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration...it makes me want to try it. That's the product junkie in me speaking and usually I do a good job of ignoring that little voice, but most recently decided to give in.

On my product list page, I recently added the Shine and and Anti Frizz section because those are all recent purchases. For weeks I've been reading a thread on the CurlyNikki app about silicone serums and their purpose and for weeks I have been curious. I reallly, really wanted to try a serum but I was also focused on staying within my CurlyGirl rules. Well, on an impromptu trip to Ulta I stopped by the hair products and saw that L'oreal had a whole bunch of serums and two of them didn't have any alcohols or silicones! Score! But would they work the same? The purpose of the thread on the app was basically how everyone was pro silicone and that the use of silicones led to less tangles, no knots, and easy detangling sessions. I wanted that too! But I couldn't quite commit to silicones just yet, so I picked up two serums in the hopes that they would be just as good as the silicone ones...and I picked up a silicone serum just in case. I also bought the Cantu Silk and Shine Serum because that was raved about the most on the curlynikki app thread.

Since I've put in the mini twists I've been using the silicone free L'Oreal SuperSleek Intense Sleek Serum as a way to seal in moisture instead of using an oil or butter. To hydrate my hair I mixed some Tressame Naturals with water and aloe vera juice in a spray bottle and every other day I will spritz my hair, focusing on the ends. Once my ends are damp, I'll rub the serum over the ends mostly and then a little throughout the rest of the hair. After that my hair goes up into a bun for a few hours until I let it down for a bit while at work to make sure its not too damp. My ends feel great! So soft and smooth...a little producty but not too bad (probably don't need to use as much as I have been). I'm really liking this serum so far and I think its doing a good job even though it is sans silicone. I can't wait to try it on loose hair (whenever that may be).

I do still want to try the Cantu Silk and Shine Serum...maybe when I officially introduce cones and sulfates into my regimen. I have the Tressame Naturals Split End Remedy line and I'm really itching to try it...but CG is working for now and my ends have been knot free since the twists and the serum.

Anyway, if you're following the CG method and looking for a good shine serum I totally recommend the L'oreal. I don't think it works as a heat protectant though. Here are the ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Steareth-100/PEG-136/HDI Copolymer, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-15 Copolyamine, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Argania Spinosa Oil/Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Coumarin.

As a sealer it's top knotch!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My first video!

Hey everyone! I got it into my head that I wanted to do a video so here it is...it is a little long. Will do better next time!



Friday, August 3, 2012

Product Junkie Rehab

It's RIDICULOUS how many products I have. Do I honestly need 15 conditioners? Do I need 8 different cleansers for hair that gets washed once a week? Good grief my product junkism knows no bounds! I've been eyeing my stash recently and it's official, this ish has got to go! I am COMMITTED to not buying a single thing until I use up some of this stuff. I'm serious. No more stopping my CVS and picking up my Tressame simply because its on sale. No trying the latest CG friendly shampoo (Yeah..my local CVS now has the Curls line, Shea Moisture, and Nubian Heritage...dammit). After I use up some things then I can start looking at new stuff, but until then I'm giving hair products the cold shoulder.

In addition I'm not buying any hair accessories either. I've barely worn a headband or flower or bow in the last few weeks...so why am I always looking at the latest shiny bobble at CVS just because it's buy one get one free? Until I get some length I am gonna steer clear of hair decorations.

The only purchase I will make is for plastic caps (but only when I start to run out). No bobby pins, no scarves, no hair clips, zip!

I must be strong. Honestly sometimes I feel like a crackhead walking by the beauty supply store, itching for something that I don't even need! It's crazy.

So what spurred this rehab? Well I'm getting married in about a year and a half and since the fiance and I have been talking budgets, I realize I really need to be more frugal in my spending and more generous in my saving. Wish me luck folks! It's gonna be hard. If I make it to the end of the year without buying anything that will be a miracle!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

See ya later WnGs

So I yesterday I decided to retire my WnG for a bit. I've been rocking the style for a month and a half and I still love it, but I was seeing tons of single strand knots all of a sudden. I was oil rinsing, deep conditioning, etc but they were everywhere! Had to trim up to half an inch off and still I can feel a few I missed. Now I think my hair was thriving with the WnG and don't think the knots were too damaging but I want to get them under control for a bit so I've gone back into mini twists. As usual I want to keep them in for a month but we'll see. 

Since I recently got engaged my desire for long hair is even stronger because I want to have some length on the day of my wedding. I've got a year and a half to reach my goal of APL, if not BSL. I'm hoping that I won't come out of the twists until the end of the year...meaning I'll just untwist a section at a time, finger detangle, and twist back up. While in twists I do plan on washing and deep conditioning my hair, but since that usually ruins the style faster I'm going to try to do this on a biweekly basis first and see how my hair behaves. Since I know my hair does best when in protective styles and left alone, I figured I need to buckle down and just do it. Having the wedding goal in mind is really helping me get focused on retention. Hopefully this will yield results. If the mini twists don't work out through cleansing than I might switch them to small braids...I'd say mini but I can't even imagine the work and time going into that.

Oh yeah I'm also going to try to keep the mini twists pinned up or in a bun most of the time, that way they can't get fuzzy and unravel too fast.


Anyway here are a few shots of my last few WnGs...I'll miss them and will definitely bring them back in a few month...or beginning of next year if I can help it!