Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Transitiong to Natural Hair: Tip of the Day

Allot of women are afraid to transition to natural hair because of fear. They are afraid of not being pretty! There are plenty of ways to be pretty as you transition. We will look at several ways to preserve your sexy as you transition.

Style One: The Braid Out

This is a VERY easy style to do and it can last anywhere from 3 days to a week. It all depends on how well you keep it.

Things you will need:

Wide tooth Comb
Setting Agent

Basically you braid your hair in cornrows while it is damp. Once your hair dries, you take it down and you have crinkly, wavy locs. Here are a few pics of me with this style. GREAT transitioning style because the two textures blend well and there is no Reversion.

All my Transitioning Ladies!

I have a few more tips for my transitioning ladies. We want you all to stay encouraged!

Check out KCurly's blog! She has TONS of information about transitioning to natural hair. She also has a giveaway that ends TODAY!
Please check out her site and enter her giveaway! Her transitioning pack is an AWESOME deal.


Good Luck ladies!!!

Is Your Weave too tight?!

Well I decided to go ahead and weave my hair up. I promise to take pictures tonight. It was my intent to create a video as I was weaving to help you all learn to "do it yourself".

I decided to weave to give my hair a break. I also just started takins some new supplements and I am eager to see if I get any results. I plan to wear my hair weaved for the next month or two and then straighten June 1st in celebration of my one year natural nappiversary. I hope that I can gain at least 2 inches between now and then. I plan to use OCT and MN on my scalp underneath this weave. I will more than likely go back to weekly Henna treaments in June once I am done with this weaving spell. Anyone that knows me...knows that I have EXTREME hair ADD will I be able to make it until June in various weave styles?

This go around I used my trusty Pro10 Bohemian Curl. I love this hair because althought it is synthetic...it has LOTS of body and looks very natural. I promise to post pics a little later.

Monday, March 30, 2009

GREAT sale on Michael Kors Shoes!

Ok...I know that we are mostly here to talk about natural hair. BUT...what good is pretty hair if you don't have pretty shoes to go with it?!
I found a GREAT deal. I am pretty sure it is for today only so jump on it ladies!
Today 6pm.com has a GREAT sale! They have select Michael Kors shoes for 39.95! That is a savings of over 50%! If you have a shoe fetish like ME...be sure to stop by and check it out!


Happy shopping ladies!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Transitioning to Natural hair: 101 Part 2

Yesterday I did a post on transitioning. I decided to come back and elaborate a little more. If you have not noticed I am VERY excited about natural hair. The only thing I regret about going natural is that I did not do it sooner. :-)

Today let's talk more about No No's while transitioning.

Women like to look beautiful....well most of us do anyway. So the thought of going without a relaxer for an extended period of time makes many shudder. ESPECIALLY in the summertime. Don't fret ladies... there are ways to be glamorous and fly as you journey to natural hair.

1. Colored tresses. A HUGE no no. Some women will start experimenting with different things to reward themselves for staying on track. One thing that I learned quickly and unfortunately PAINFULLY is color is a no no. When you are transitioning, your hair is very weak and fragile. It is also very DRY. Adding color on top of that adds even more stress to your already weak hair. If you want to get a hair cut for FREE...go ahead and color your hair. Nine times out of ten, your hair will break off severely at the line where the relaxed meets the natural. Color CAN be ok...however...you want to successfully transition and make sure your natural hair is properly conditioned and moisturized before you color. Moisture is VERY important in transitioning and being natural. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Deep Conditioning. Your hair needs two things...protein...and moisture. You need both. Protein helps strengthen your hair. Protein deposits into your hair what chemicals take away. Although protein treatments are very much needed. They must be done the correct way. You MUST follow up a protein treatment with a moisturizing conditioner. While protein is good for strength...it can also hurt you by making your hair hard like straw. Moisturizing treatments are needed to keep your hair strong and moisturized. Not only is poorly moisturized hair HARD but it is also frizzy. It has been my experience that the more moisturized my hair is the less frizz I have. Typically protein treatments should be done once every 6 weeks and moisturizing deep treatments should be done weekly. Some protein treatments that I have used are Keraphix (mild protein), Nexxus Emergence (extreme protein) and Aphophee (extreme protein). My favorite ALL time moisturizing conditioner is Pantene Relaxed and Natural Breakage Defense Mask. However I also use Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment, Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose and Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I also add either Vatika Oil or Amla Oil to my hair when I am deep conditioning.

3. Braids or Weaves. Now now don't be alarmed. There is nothing wrong with braids or weaves as long as your hair is properly cared for while you are in them. Braids took about 3 inches off my hair because I failed to properly moisturize. However, another time I GAINED 3 inches because I took care of my hair. Braids should never be took tight to the point that you need aspirin to stop your head from throbbing. Same goes for weaves. If you are wearing a sew in, your braids should not be super tight under the tracks. This can cause you to loose not only inches but also your edges. This is because the braids are already tight. Then you sew tracks TIGHTLY to those braids putting even more pressure on your edges. When I weave ( I am blessed to have the skill to do my own) I make sure my braids are not too tight and most times I do a net weave to keep from putting all of that stress on my braids and edges. If you are wearing braids, make sure you use a braid spray that lists Glycerin as the first or second ingredient. Glycerin is very moisturizing and will keep the braids from drying and breaking your hair. If you are wearing a weave, it will be a little harder to get to your braids beneath it. Invest in an color applicator bottle (beauty supply for .99) and fill it with an oil or braid spray and oil your scalp/braids once every other day. I usually use Amla or Vatika Oil on mine.

Well I will stop here for today...of course I will be back. :-)

In the meantime, check out my fotki album. I have a tutorial listed there on how to wear and blend an instant weave. These SAVED me while on my transitioning journey. I will be adding more to this album later and I am contemplating creating videos. In the meantime, enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Transitioning to Natural Hair: 101

***I am fully natural now...but decided to venture back to my transitioning days to inspire those that are currently struggling with transitioning to natural hair**

More and more women are going natural these days. There are several reasons that women decide to stop relaxing their hair. Some are:
1. The relaxers are damaging their hair
2. The women are curious as to how much longer and thicker her hair will be in her natural state.
3. The women are curious as to what their natural texture is like.
4. The women are going natural to encourage their daughters that being natural is beautiful.
5. The women are just looking for a different look.
6. Some are going natural just because it is the "In" thing right now.

No matter what your reason for doing it, there is one thing we can call agree on. Transitioning is NOT easy. There are several ways to transition. You can have a short or lengthy transition. You can have a HARD transition or a not so hard transition. Your experience depends upon two things...YOU and what you make of it.

I have personally transitioned twice. The first time I transitioned I was living in Los Angeles and just about everyone in the city is relaxer free. Therefore it was very easy to find a stylist for my transitioning hair. During this transition, I went to the salon every two weeks for a wash, condition and press. I wore my hair out 99% of the time and it was painless. The ONLY reason I relaxed again...was because I moved back to the land of humidity...MEMPHIS. During this time, I was reluctant to wear textured styles. I only transitioned because a relaxer and color had eaten up my hair and left it thin, brittle and short. After 7 months of transitioning I had hair beyond shoulder length that was thick and full of body.

My second transition was MUCH different. I discovered the internet hair boards back in 2001 and I have learned SO much since then. I have had thick and healthy relaxed hair and thick and healthy texturized hair. I am aware that I can have both chemicals and healthy hair. However, I still feel as though my hair THRIVES when I don't chemically alter it. So I decided to attempt to transition AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN only to fail. Here are some of the reasons that I was not successful:

1. Attempting to wear straight styles. When you get past a certain point, it is very hard to wear half relaxed and half natural hair straight. One issue you will face is how WEAK your hair is. You are going to have to put allot of stress on your hair to get that silky straight look and hair with 2 different textures (extremely different textures) is not very strong. When I was doing this, my hair would start to break at the point where the two textures met. Not a good look.

2. Not being focused on WHY I was transitioning. Anything that I do, I try to do it with purpose. If you do not have a purpose for doing something, it is very easy to get off task. I had to first figure out WHY I was doing what I was doing and remain focused on that so that I could be successful.

3. Poor product choice. I have mentioned here several times that I use different products when I wear different styles. My curly hair does not like the same products that my straight hair does. My natural hair does not like the same products that my relaxed hair did. As I transitioned, I continued to use the same methods and products as when I was natural. When I was transitioning, my hair was very dry. Moisture is VERY important in a healthy transtion. I may have been more successful if I did my research and sought out products that worked well with my new texture of hair.

4. Fear. This is by far the biggest. For awhile I was seriously afraid that I would not be attractive with natural hair. All I could envision was "taco meat" lining my hair line. Not..cute. In my simple mind, natural hair was not beautiful. I had to learn to love me...and all of me. Whatever my texture is...GOD gave it to me. So I decided to find out WHAT I have...and nurture whatever that is. It also helped to browse beautiful natural images of women who have similar textures. It would do me NO good to go and view all these silky curls because that is not what I have. Who is to say that kinky hair isn't beautiful? The more kinky albums I viewed, the more I realized that kinky hair is JUST as beautiful as the silky curls. To be honest, once I accepted this LARGE small little tidbit....trasitioning became that much easier.

These are just a FEW of the issues I encountered and conquered while on my journey to natural hair. There are tons more...but I will stop here. You can rest assured that I will be back with more. :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

* Sigh* Boredom.....

Well here I am 9 months (or is it 10) into being fully natural...and I am SO bored with my hair. I am tired of wearing puffs, I am too lazy to do a weave, I don't want to wear it straight....So what is a gal to do?

Today I wore it baggied with my phony bun.... but even that is getting tired. Time to coast the web looking for a cute style to jack...

I was considering a weave....but I NEED access to my hair. LOL I will miss her too too much.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Mizani Moisturefuse - A straight gal's boo

So..I decided to straighten my hair last night. I was getting bored with the same ole curly puff. As I mentioned earlier, I do not use the same hair care products when I wear my hair straightened. When I am kinky, I prefer one set of products and routines.

When I decide to straighten my hair, this is my regime for full, bouncy straight hair.

1. Wash with Creme of Nature Shampoo (will be replaced soon as it has been discontinued)

2. Deep Condition with Mizani Moisturefuse. I tried this on a whim one day. I must say that it was not a mistake. Mizani leaves my hair super soft, moisturized, light and full of body.

3. Blow dry with a light creamy leave in. Lately I have been using either Lacio Lacio or Neutragena Triple Moisture.

4. I blow dry in four sections. I just added this to my regime..thanks to henna. Henna has my hair feeling SUPER thick..and hard to dry. No complaints here.

5. I then take teeny tiny sections and flat iron.

6. I put a nickel sized amount of Chi Silk infusion in my palm and rub it thru the finished product.

7.I either roll on satin rollers for MORE volume...and end up looking like the Cookie Monster's grandma....or wrapping and have nice bouncy hair the next day.

The above is my regime for straight silky natural hair. 90% of the time I do not even press my roots. I try to use as little heat as possible. Hmmm maybe next time I will create a Youtube video?! Hmmm thoughts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Battle of DevaCare and DevaCurl Conditioners

DevaCare One Condition VS DevaCurl One Condition

For the past few months I have been using DevaCare One Condition as a leave in. I LOVE it. It is thick in consistency with a light citrusy smell. My hair DRINKS conditioner and product so I need something somewhat heavy. Although DevaCare One Condition is a heavy conditioner, it doesn't weigh my hair down. My hair dries to be super soft and moisturized and fluffy. This is always a plus.

Well I was about out of my DevaCare One Condition so I headed to Ulta to pick up another bottle. As I was reaching for the product, I noticed DevaCurl One Condition. You would think I would take a second to read the labels and determined what the difference was....but I didn't. In my mind...I wear my hair kinky 80% of the time...so why NOT try DevaCurl One Condition. So...I picked it up...and decided to go ahead and try it out on my puff.

My first experience with DevaCurl One Condition was not positive. I was not please at ALL. It's consistency was similar to DevaCare One Condition as it was also creamy...and the smell was a little different...more perfumy(which I liked). However, though it was creamy, it did not seem to coat my hair like the DevaCare product did. I was about to get discouraged and give it up...and I decided to try it again. This time I used MORE product and I LOVE it. I have decided since to stop using my beloved Kinky Curly and use conditioner only.

The Verdict
Overall I think they are BOTH great products. As far as consistency of the conditioner, they are tied. They are both rich and creamy. A DREAM for porous hair like mine. In regards to smell, I am going to go with DevaCurl One Condition, it smells like I am wearing a fragrance...and I am not. LOL I even got complimented in the elevator on my fragrance. LOL! As far as softness, I am slightly partial to DevaCurl One Condition. My hair and my curls are thriving. So...next time I am in Ulta...I will be reaching for DevaCurl One Condition. However, if it isn't available, it will not be the end of the world if I have to take it's back up instead, DevaCare One Condition.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beyonce...is that you?

Though this LOOKS like Beyonce...it isn't. This image is from Ciara's new Video. What do you think? Is she trying to Swagger Jack Bey? Or is she maybe....I don't know.

What are your thoughts?

Look Ma! No Gel!

I usually load my hair with a couple of conditioners each morning. Then on top of that I add Kinky Curly for definition. I recently added DevaCurl Set it Free to the mix. I would do ALL of this...and then add Aloe Vera Gel to my edges. NO DEALS.

I am a follower of Curly Nikki's blog and her hair is very inspiring. Aside from Henna, one other thing that I have learned from her that the LESS product (excluding your conditioners) the better. Being that I ONLY do conditioner washes 90 percent of the time and only use shampoo when I am performing a Henna Treatment or about to straighten...I really don't need all the gook in my hair.

So today I was brave. When I washed my hair this morning...I decided to ONLY put conditioner (DevaCurl One Condition and Pantene Hydrating Curls) and a leave in (KC Knot Today) in my hair. NO gel NO Kinky Curly Curling Custard. My hair was just as curly as it is with all the other gunk if not MORE.

My only complaint is...though I have definition and minimal frizz(thanks Henna) my hair is not as big as thick as I would like. My hair lacks volume. It is very little. I literally went in the ladies room took down my puff and SHOOK it. It was still small. Not sure why this is...Perhaps I should go back to weekly Henna treatmnents versus bi weekly? Did I make the switch too quickly? Who knows...I am going to go ahead and henna this weekend with a mix of Dulhan and Reshma. I am curious to see if maybe I am not getting the bulk because of Jamila. Stay tuned for my results.

All in all I think I will start just wearing my puff and curly styles with conditioner only. Tomorrow I am going to try using ONE conditioner only. I will more than likely stick with Pantene Hydrating Curls. My hair loves that stuff. Set if Free? I will only use that when I am twisting my hair. If your hair is thin...or lacks volume...you may not want to use this on a wash n go. This stuff made my puff more like a "poot" than a Puff. LOL Really soft...but REALLY shrunken. LOL So....no more Set it Free until I am in twists. The Set it Free along with Shea butter made my hair feel like silk.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

B Complex Supplement : A Closer Look

I have been fully natural for about 9 months now. I have used herbal supplements to aid in my hair care regimen. Over the course of my hair journey( relaxed, natural, and texturized) I have taken the following vitamins:
Vegatel Silica
Horsetail (considering starting back)
Evening Primrose Oil

I am sure there are more, but those are the most memorable. Recently, I added B Complex to my vitamin regime. I currently take:
MSM Powder (when I feel like it)
Biotin 7500mcg
B Complex

I only started taking the B Complex because of the Vitamin C that it contains. I needed the vitamin C to aid in the absorption of the biotin and MSM. I was even more willing to purchase it when I saw that it also contained MORE biotin and panothenic acid(thickness). So I decided to do a little research to see what the benefits of B Complex are.

I learned that B Complex is simply a mixture of B Vitamins. Some of the benefits of B Complex are

- increased energy
- breakdown of fats and proteins
- muscle tone in stomach
- Clear skin and youthful looks
- essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails

Sounds like a winner to me! I know that with the help of my B Complex I see GREAT results with my MSM and Biotin.

Pantene Relaxed and Natural Breakage Defense Mask Deep Conditioning

Pantene Relaxed and Natural makes one of the BEST deep conditioning treatments. When I first chopped back in May, I had a tough time because of how dry my hair was. When natural hair gets dry, it is a frizzy birds nest that is very hard to work with. Well I hit the hairboards and started reading. I read allot about Pantene's Mask so I decided to give it a try. I fell in LOVE. This stuff has my hair moisturized and feeling like butter. I deep condition with it once a week.

Well, some of you know that all good things do not last forever. Rumor has it that this product has been discontinued! I have started purchasing every jar that I lay my eyes on these days. For those of you that have not been as fortunate...here are a few Amazon sellers that have the product available. One of them even sells 3 jars at once for 14.94! That's great being that I just paid 6 bucks for my last jar! At any rate...stock up and get moisturized curlies!

Trendy Spring Sandals?

Spring is the time of pretty flowers, pretty dresses and plenty of CUTE shoes! I can not wait to start shopping for my colorful springy ensambles. IN the meantime, I have been all over the place checking out shoes for my spring/summer wishlist. So far I am really liking what I am seeing!

Here are some trendy sandals that I have been eyeing...

Monday, March 16, 2009

If loving Jamila Henna is wrong....I don't wanna be right...

When I washed my hair last night I was amazed at how thick it has gotten. I am having some slight shedding but my hair is still UBER thick. I am eager to do another Henna treatment but I have one more week to go. It is about time for me to go and order more henna. I have now promised to do Henna treatments for my aunt and a couple of friends. I TRULY believe that Henna is the most slept on hair practice that there is. My loving boyfriend refers to it as "the roots" because of the smell...I tell him to get over it...because if loving Henna is wrong...I don't wanna be right.

I said in previous posts that I would revisit Dulhan or Reshma. I just can't seem to depart from Jamila. I really wish tht I could find it here locally. In the meantime, I will be placing another web order.

Anyways...just up late thinking about hair...until tomorrow.

To go green or not..... Hmmmm

I am no stranger to growth aids. Whether they are topical or internal, it is nothing for me to try a new growth aid. Well lately I have been SUPER lazy on the growth aid tip. My OCT sits in my linen closet, my powdered MSM sits in the drawer at work, and the biotin and B Complex is taken every other day. Well, the other day I was talking to a hair pal, and she shared her success with Chlorella. Listening her speak about it, I felt that ole familiar PJ tug deep down. So what did I do? I hop on the net and get to researching. A few things about Chlorella caught my eye:

1. Aids in lowering High Blook Pressure
2. Suppresses your appetite (causing you to lose weight)
3. Detoxes your body, therefore your skin benefits
4. HAIR growth! LOL

There were countless other benefits that I will post as time goes on...but for now. Let's focus on those. I will be starting my Chlorella experiment Sunday. I am contemplating adding a sea vitamin to the mix for Maximum results. So I will be back Sunday with the start the "Chlorella" Chronicles and my starting pic. I don't plan to straighten so it will be a shrunken wet pic with one piece stretched. LOL


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can we revisit Skin for a moment?

As you all know, last year I tried Accutane again. This was actually my second time taking the medication. My first experience was positive so I decided to try it again. Well my second time around was not positive. My skin started to get hard, scaly and dry like a snake. I am not referring to the skin on my face either. So I reluctantly stopped using it. I also experienced a great difficulty actually getting the prescription filled this time. Allot of pharmacies do not carry the drug in my area and by the time it has been ordered my script would expire. I decided that my skin was not that bad anyway so I let it go.

My boyfriend has really clear skin. He has used Clean and Clear antibacterial wash and astringent for awhile. I decided to get some for myself and try it. My skin LOVES it.

My skin is very smooth. Even the small bumps that I had on the bridge of my nose are ALL gone. I have only been using it for a few weeks but so far so good. I will definately continue using the cleanser and astringent. Whenever I decide to wear make up, I make sure to use their Dual purpose mositurizer. So far...so good.

I will update in a month or so with my progress.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gelly Belly

So...lately I have been wearing either a puff...and most recently a baggied bun. My routine is very simple. When I am in a puff...I CW daily with a cheapie shampoo...and prepare my hair for a puff. When I am on a phony bun, I CW every other day and put my hair in a pony and add the baggy and the phony pony. One thing that I use for both...is GEL.
Back before I discovered the hair boards, I used Ampro's brown gel like it was going out of business. Well maybe a year or two ago, I discovered Fantasica IC Sparklites. This has been my holy grail when it comes to gel. It gives me GREAT hold, no flaking and it isn't hard as a brick either. Well last week I ran out my beloved Sparklites and decided to try one of my other gels (never tried benefit the counter). So here are my results:

Long Aid Curl Activator
Walmart (about 2 or 3 bucks)

I tried this gel on wet hair and then tied my hair down for the ride to work. This gel gave me GREAT hold. The only issue that I had with this gel was it left my hair feeling greasy and gummy. It was not hard mor crunchy...but VERY greasy and gummy.
I would ONLY use this gel as a last resort. If it does this in cold weather I am scared to see what it does in warm weather.

Smooth and Shine Curl Activator
Walmart (2 or 3 bucks)

I tried this gel and I LOVE it. It gave nice hold and was not at all greasy like the Long Aid. I did not even tie my hair down. I will DEFINATELT reuse this gel. The only downfall of this product was how small the jar is. But other than that...two thumbs up!

All in all...nothing has YET to touch my Fantasia gel. It still remains my FAVORITE and my holy grail. But it is good to know that I do have a back up.