Monday, November 8, 2010

November- Achieving Maximum S.T.R.E.T.C.H. when styling natural hair

If I'm going to be natural for the rest of my life, I might as well perfect it=] Ladies, are you tired of starting out with a nice& lengthy wash-n-go only to have a shrivled up puff by mid-day?!?! If so, this post is for you!

For the month of November, it is my mission to bring to you several different options of how you can achieve a nice length do with heat-free methods! I want to challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to your hair, and know that there are tons of options right at your finger tips!

Option 1: Achieving length with two-strand twists

If you have ever worn two-strand twist, you know that over time, they shink. One way I have learned to combat shrinkage with this style is by french braiding medium sized sections of twist. At night, I take about 6 twists and braid them together. I do this all over my head, and I sleep with a satin bonnet. The next morning I unbraid each section and shake it out. I am left with lengthy twist with a funky pattern! I like the pattern because it maximizes the volume of the twist so that it doesnt lay as flat and limp to my head. It also gives it a more lock-look! If you enjoy the traditional look of twist, you can just twist together medium sections of hair instead of braiding each night. That way you get the volume, the length, and the normal pattern of twist.

Option 2: Achieving length with crimped/80's flare

I dont know about you, but I heart big hair! And there is no other era truly ROCKED big hair better than the 80s. I began to study photos from the 80s via google images, and I came up with a hairstyle I wanted to achieve. I wanted a "crimped-look, with a heavy bang on one side." Most of all, it had to be achieved HEAT-FREE! So after following my new regimen, (mentioned in my last post), I sectioned my hair off in four sections and prepped each section. Next, I separated each section into smaller sections and two strand twisted each section. In the front of my head, I parted my hair the way I wanted my hair to fall and twisted the front in sections fallowing that pattern. Crucial to this style is pinning! After I finish twisting my hair, I use bobby pins to pin each section in the direction I want my hair to fall. So for example, the twist in the front of my head, I stretched around my had as I would when wrapping my hair and pinned it down once it was stretched to its maximum length. For the most part, I pin the twist on the left side to left, and the right side twist to the right. the twist in the middle you can really do either way (what ever is best for the look you want to acheive). I let my hair dry like this overnight. Once its dry, I take it down and untwist each section and pull them apart just enough to achieve the amount of volume I would like. Be careful with this as it may cause frizz. Less it always best when pulling apart twist because your will rise a bit as the week goes on. To maintain this style I retwist every night with a moisturizer and re-pin my hair. ALWAYS sleep with a satin bonnet to retain moisture. I have posted a pic with this style to this post.

More to come.

Thanks for reading=]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October 2011- The month of preventative styling

After the travesty of September, I needed to take a sometime and get my hair back on track. The first thing I needed to do was get was get the breakage under control. I discussed this with one of my bffs and she told me that hair is nothing but protein. And that perms work to break down the protein bonds, which results in a straight/ more relaxed look. So we theorized that if I could give my hair more protein, maybe I could get the breakage under control and restrengthen the bonds that had not been badly damaged by the heat. So all this mumbo jumbo means that I immediately started deep conditioning my hair at least once a week and using a stronger leave in conditioner. This also helped to make sure that my hair was well moisturized, and did not break even more due to dryness.

The next step that I knew I had to do was protect, protect, protect my hair. I immediately went back to my fall back hair style, twists. I love twists. However, I usually do them with gel. I knew this was no longer an option as I wanted to give my hair maximum flexibility so that I did not put any unnecessary stress on my hair. So I needed a new product. Any one who knows me KNOWS I am a sure product junkie. I love smells & if it smells good, it is as good as bought and under the sink in the hair product section. So I took a trip to hair product world, Walmart. And I came out with three things: 1) Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in conditioner 2) Pantene Pro-V Curly hair detangler light conditioning formula 3) a heat protectant/ cuticle seal should I ever use heat again on smelled good=/...oh &4) LeKair Extra Strength Cholesterol treatment, extra strength.

I started with the cholesterol treatment. Although, it said apply after shampooing, I like to start a washing by first applying a conditioner to my hair before any water has hit it as a curl, and matt loosener. It works WONDERS, in general. So, I applied this first. then washed it out. The smell of this product is very beauty salonish, not fruity. I washed it out, followed it by shampooing/cleansing with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. Then applied the cholesterol treatment again, let it sit on there for about ten minutes with a plastic cap on, and rinsed it out again.

My hair felt soft and well moisturized. But it did feel different from when I use my Olive oil Replenishing Pack. It did not feel as silk as it does with that product. Usually I detangle when I have conditioner on my hair to preserve my natural curl pattern, but this time I detangled afterwards. I used a wide tooth comb instead of my denman brush, bc I am trying to determine if it is playing a role in my hair loss. I sprayed my hair down with the Pantente Pro-V detangler. I parted my hair in four sections and clipped each. then I went section by section detangling my hair (in smaller sections). I feel like this really helped speed up the detangling process. After I was done, I applied a liberal amount of Cantu Shea Butter to each smaller section and two-strand twisted each section. Once I finished I pinned each section to achieve some stretch. (more details on stretching to come)

Overall, my hair felt great! I wore the twist one day and wore a curly/ crinkly look the rest of the week. I will post pics. To maintain the look without shrinkage, each night I misted my hair down with the Pro-V detangler as a refresher and applied Cantu again and re-twisted each section and pinned it. It took me approximately 20 minutes a night to maintain this style. I was able to wear this style for an entire week with out rewashing. I could have probably worn this style for up to 10 days I would suspect. I was anxious to redo it, bc I an obsessed with different hair styles.

Any ways, this week, I am going to try a variation of this style and I am going to try to achieve a rock-chick kind of do for this weekend. I'll take pics and show you next week in a separate post. Here is a pic of my hair from last week. Hope this helps someone!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

September Hair Disaster- A lesson learned...For real!

Hi Friends!

There comes a time when a natural girl wants to experiment with her new success, her hair! However, experimentation can be to her detriment. I LOVE my hair sooo much and I do my very best to take care of it. But the month of September was a month of bad choices as far as hair care goes on my part. No worries tho, I have gotten back on track and I take it all as a lesson learned. Here is a recap:

This was this was the month of supreme bad choices. I was so close to my two years natural mark that I could taste it. And I was itching for a straightening attempt to bask in my new growth glory. Straightening myself never gets the job done. Ive had it pressed once around the one year mark and it was too greasy. I had heard so much about the infamous "Dominican blow-out" and I was SURE that this was going to be it for me. I could get that swing and shine that I miss from time to time! I found out that there was a dominican hair salon in Memphis, so I drove 2 hours to get there. As I watched the ladies do other people's hair, immidiately I knew that this was going to be a little too much for my hair. So, I ingnored my inner natural hair defense and proceeded to wait my turn to sit in the chair.

WHY? Why? WHY? did I do this to myself?!?!

As soon as we finished with the wash, deep conditioning, and roller set, I was still optimistic that my hair would be okay. But I knew better. As soon as that first blast of hot air hit my scalp, I was ready to hit it out the door! It was not a slight singe as you may get from a pressing comb, it was a flat out scalp burn. And I Hollered out loud, in the salon, NUMEROUS times. And if my scalp couldn't take it, I should have know my lovely locks could not. However, In the name of the swing, I sat there and took it. And After they finished, I liked it initially.

It was the aftermath that truly taught me my lesson. The next day and every day after, every time I touched my hair, all I could hear was "Snap" "crackle" "POP"! My hair is so thick I didn't think that I had lost that much hair. It wasn't until I washed my hair and my hair still wreaked of burnt hair, that I knew I had done some damage. It was solidified once I dangled and I had two paddle fulls of hair loss!!! I was going through life stress at the time, so hair loss was my last concern at that time. I washed my hair again the following week, and my hair still smelled like burnt hair. THIS is when I first spotted the severe breakage on one side of my head.
I was mortified when I saw on the left side of my head (which had been my long and beautiful side) two small sections in my head (about 1 inch wide) that had broken off all the way down to about 1 inch long and 3 inches long, respectively. I felt myself about to flip out, but I reminded myself that it is just hair and it will grow back! A lesson learned!

So ladies, this is my story. A lady who has only used heat only 3-5 times in the past two years. I wanted to share my story with you because it shows how heat can really destroy your hair. Heat damage is not only caused by serial/continuous use of heat, it can happen in ONE instance. Use your instincts. NO one knows your hair better than you. If you feel you hair is in danger in some one's hands, then LEAVE. Don't let them leave you with a mess you will have to deal with for months to come.

Love yourself. Love your hair. And use only light heat when you do straighten!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Journey

Typo on first slide. It is suppose to say From Permed to Natural Hair!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hair Regimen

Natural Curls style. Tresseme products used (see details below)
Two Strand Twist dont with Olive Oil Eco styler Gel (see details below)

Here is what I currently do to my hair:

1. I condition my hair approximately once a week. Sometimes twice if my hair is super dry. I shampoo maybe twice a month.
* Products- Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner.
** Process- I like to start by applying a cheapy conditioner into my hair before even wetting my hair to start the hydration process. This makes a huge difference. I feel like it gets the hair follicle open to receive the real moisture, which comes from water. I wash that out then proceed with shampoo or conditioner. (note:sometimes I dont shampoo and only condition).

I cannot afford to use the Olive Oil Conditioner everytime I condition, so I substitute it for a cheap one sometime. I like Aussie Moist or Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence. Both cheapies and both get your hair instantly moisturized.

2. I recently started following up my wash with about 1 -1/1/2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use to do this when I had a perm and it worked miracles. I decided to start back doing it since my hair has been a little dry and it has solved the problem.
** Process: I only would do this after a shampoo and conditioning. After shampooing & conditioning, I pour 1 tbsp of Olive oil in a cup and drizzle it on my wet hair all over. I massage it in, and lightly rinse it through with warm water. I rinse it just enough to move the oil better thoughout my hair NOT to rinse it out.

3. Styling: I am not a wash-n-go'er. My hair needs extra attention to get it to look the way I like it. My main styling product if I am just going to wear natural curls is gel. I like that if gives my hair the hold that it needs to last at least 4 days without me having to redo it.

***Products: I am in love with Tresseme Bouncy Curls styling gel. I prep my hair with Tresseme Curl Hydration moiturizer and follow with the gel. What I love even more is that you can buy both of these products for less than 7 bucks combined at target. I shingle bothproducts through.

Style 2: Two strand twist: I often wear my hair like this bc it gives me a week free of hair drama and allows me to style my hair in neat and professional styles. (I will post a pic of it too!)

*** Products- Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel or ProStyle Conditioning Jam with Echincea. If I want my twist to be long and frizz free, I go with Eco styler. note: twist will be a little harder initially once dry. If I want soft twist with flexible hold, I go with the ProStyle Jam. Both products leave the hair extremely shiny, just variations in hold. I could easily get 2 weeks out this style but I am a frizz-freak and must redo my hair at least once a week.

Thats all for now. Much More to Come. Stay Tuned for Product Reviews and More Hair styling tips!

(please excuse typos)

Natural Hair Update


I haven't written in awhile, but I promise to do better. To update you on my hair, it has grown so much since my last post. I estimate it is about 8-10 inches longs stretched out. When its curly, its anywhere from 3-6 inches (depending on moisture and products used).

I am discovering that natural hair is sooooo much fun. Its like a project that I have yet to get a handle on, but that a learn a little bit more about each day.

To those transitioning or big chopping, dont give up! It is very difficult but liberating process. It gives you YET another reason to take pride in yourself.

To me, now that I dont have a perm, I feel like a mask has been I'm seeing "me."

I'm enjoying this time. And probably will for the rest of my life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

thoughts on LOVE!

So anyone who knows me well knows that I am always talking about being "in love" though I have never personally experienced it. I know what it is to love a friend. to love family. and to love God. I've heard about "being in love," but I really don't know what that means. I know what love feels like I think. Sometimes I close my eyes and I envision it...this abstract warm and fuzzy thing. Yet still, I don't know if I am capable of giving it. This sounds selfish I know. But is really possible to love someone else nearly as much as you love yourself?! I can only imagine loving the kids I bear that way. Actually, I imagine loving them more.... Maybe loving a man is a foriegn concept to me. Maybe I have not met "him" yet. Or maybe, but hopefully not, I am truly incapable of love. But then again, I haven't encountered anyone worth falling in love with... So I will just continue to wait patiently and see where this journey of life takes me.