Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Natural ID

So I'm going to take my new ID picture for my Driver's License in the morning...
My Hair?
I think i'm gonna fro it out!

My last ID picture was from my original, first learners permit. I was 15 then and natural too but my hair was pulled back into a banana clip (my everyday style back in HS) so you couldn't really see what my hair looked like.

I know i should be asleep but i'm thinking about how i should do my hair and makeup since this is the ID picture i will have for a while, and seeing as how i had my last one since i was 15.
Full fro or pulled back puff? idk?!?!

Im just so excited to have a new natural haired ID pic and i hope it comes out good =D

*** Update!!! This is just a quick flick i had snapped of what my hair and makeup looked like, i just hope my forehead doesn't look that huge on my ID! lol

We'll see when it comes in the mail in 2 weeks time

Monday, September 27, 2010

Length Checks and Length Goals

Just going through some length checks i've done since cutting off all of my relaxed hair...
I've cut a lot since i started growing, due to color damage but i am steady in my goals of health over length. That being said, in these past few months i have been doing search and destroys basically on a monthly basis and have had 3, quarter inch trims.
It may not sound like a lot to trim off but 2 inches is a lot to someone who only has about 3.5  inches of hair, lol!
Because i have been so busy i have definitely fallen off of my regimen bigtime, vitamins included, but i plan to go back into some type of protective styling in the next two weeks and get back on the bandwagon with my vitamins, excersize, water, and tying my head down @ night (or buying a new satin/silk pillow case).
(March 24th, 10 days after my cutting off the relaxed ends. This is inaccurate because my eyebrows were raised and on a weird angle, causing my hair to look longer than it was, but its above my eyebrows)

(May 21st)
July 17th

September 19th

Although i have trimmed a lot i do see progress and i'm happy with it, now time to get back on track with her Majesty for the winter and see what she looks like by my birthday of 2011! 
I think i've also decided when i wanted to straighten my hair for the first time. 
I originally said for New Years but i think i will wait until 3/3/11! I think i'm going to make it my goal to go for Full Neck Length by then!
*Update! This is basically what i am going for. I personally do not want U or V shaped hair so i will be growing out the very layered portion at the bottom and leaving more layers on top and in the front.

Hair For the Week

I'm really not sure what's up with this weather! It was a beautiful weekend but now it's all rainy =( Like I mentioned before, my scalp and hair tend to act up when the weather makes unexpected changes, so I'm going to try and combat this the best way possible by wearing box braids for a bit....

I'm just showing off length here =)
*Pre-Poo with Burt's Bees Avocado Butter (1 hr)
*Shampoo with Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo
*Conditioned with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut
*Used Knot Today/Water mix as a leave-in
*IC Fantasia Gel to set on curlformers (to stretch my hair, I simply had no patience for magnetic rollers!)
*Sat under dryer for about an hour
*Brushed out my curls with paddle brush; divided my hair into four sections
*parted loosely and braided!

My plan is to leave these braids in two weeks at least! I will still be washing/co-washing once a week for my scalp's sake and moisturizing. Wonder what my 4th graders will be saying about my hair this week LOL.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Results From Teri's Method

So, my camera was mia for a bit so unfortunately I could not post pictures with as much details that I wanted to show. But here's what my hair looked like while my hair was still a little damp....

Up close and personal...look at how those defined curls!

I co-washed my hair with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut, then used Herbal Essence and coconut oil to seal. My hair dried just like this. I had tons of movement and my hair and it felt super light. You see how my curls are clumped? Loved it. It was really hot yesterday so I pulled my hair into a banana clip and my curls stayed. If you haven't tried this yet and you have some sort of curl pattern, I highly recommend giving this a go. I would like to try this method with another conditioner, because Hello Hydration was a tad too greasy for my liking, but it could be because I'm terribly generous when adding conditioner to my hair.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Natural Hair-Positive Places

I intern in what most would say a "corporate" office in the Flatiron District in Manhattan during the day, and in the late afternoons I'm an after school teacher in Harlem. When I first started interning at this office a year and a half ago, I still had the frame of mind that straight hair = polished and professional. For my interview I remember I straightened my hair, and if it wasn't straight I kept my hair in braids and twists. It was around this time I started reading natural hair blogs and understanding I had options. I wore my hair big and fluffy in all types of styles and no one said anything or gave me a funny look. In fact, every so often I get compliments for my hair and occasionally someone will ask me what I how I did it. Even the three black women who have relaxed hair compliment my me. So I can safely say that this job is "natural hair positive."

As you may recall in this post, I wore my hair natural to my interview with the after school without second thought because as far as I'm concerned, this is how my hair is. There's no fixing it! I've been wearing twists, braid outs, buns, and everything in between. I am currently working with 4th graders and so the other day as I lined up the students to head to their cooking club, the girls inquired about my hair.

Miss, when you gonna get a relaxer?! M asked bluntly.
Get a relaxer? I said. Why should I get one?
Because your hair will be straight and pretty, S added smiling.
Ya'll don't like my hair like this?
No! I'm sorry to say but you would look so pretty if you straightened your hair! M said.
I snickered. I think my hair looks great the way it is. And this is how I was wearing it...

2nd day curls, held back with a banana clip!

Do you straighten it? Even if you don't get a perm, will you straighten it?
Sorry M, I like the way my hair is and I'm not gonna straighten it because you want me to. I'll do it when I feel like it.

As I was having this conversation with these girls, no older than 9 and with relaxed hair I didn't feel insulted. In fact, I was expecting it from the girls because they are at the age where they say what's on their mind and how you answer will be important. It was at that moment I also realized how confident I was with my hair. Even though natural my whole life, getting to a point where I just love myself took a while. What's even funnier about this whole situation is that I've actually been contemplating straightening my hair in the coming weeks, but now I may hold off for a bit longer!

 I now know what my seventh grade teacher felt like when she sported her curly hair and had everyone harassing her about just straightening her hair to look "pretty." I'm not interested in "converting" these girls to the natural side (quite honestly, their hairstyle choices may not be their decision) but they will be seeing a confident young woman in their classroom-curls and all! So both my jobs are natural hair-positive places because that's the environment I'm making it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crazy Weather! Hair Switch Up

Is it just me, or is the weather in NYC bonkers? My skin and scalp definitely respond to temperature changes before the weatherman declares anything. Today it's supposed to go up to 80-something degrees which explains why my scalp was on fire yesterday. So when I got home I had to take out my twists =( I put about 8 braids in my hair and washed my scalp with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat shampoo and conditioned with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut. It feels a lot better now, but I'm still annoyed that I had to take out my twists.

Then on a whim, I decided to try the Tightly Curly Method by Teri. Basically it's a way to define your curls with conditioner only. So I used my Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and worked it into each section of my hair and used my Denman Brush to go over each section. Then I smoothed my strands to lock in the curl. You can see Teri's directions along with a video. She also has a book out where she explains her process in more detail called Curly Like Me. I'm amazed in how well this method worked for my curls. I completely FORGOT to take pictures so I'm going to have to do it again either tonight or tomorrow just so I can show everyone how it worked for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hair For the Week

I washed my hair and did a rollerset yesterday. I then brushed out the curls with a paddle brush and parted my hair in four sections. I flat twisted the front and did single twists in the back. I spritz my Knot Today/water mixture into each section and used Burts Bees Avocado Butter to seal. After I was done with each section I ran coconut oil into each section.

I'm going to be styling these twists in other ways as well so stay tuned...

My Product Stash

While thinking about my cool weather hair regimen, I sifted through my hair products this weekend and realized that I don't really need to buy anything else for a bit. I really should just work with what I have and determine my regimen based on that. Here's what I got:

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo

This is what I will be continuing to cleanse with. I've had this bottle probably since June so it's been a great 7 bucks for someone who washes their hair once a week. With the weather still being a little up and down I'm still going to wash with this every 7-10 days.

My collection of conditioners
I love moisturizing conditioners and I love trying new ones. I saw that my old favorite Herbal Essence Hello Hydration was on sale at Rite Aid during the week so I had to pick it up so that bottle is full. I only have a little bit of Renpure Organics left. I can probably deep condition with this two more times. The Kinky Curly Knot Today is my favorite leave in, but as you can see there's only a little left, and that's an $11-$12 bottle. What I've been doing actually is putting it in my spray bottle and adding some water to it and spraying it liberally into sections of my hair when I'm styling. It still works great. I also don't have much Sauve Naturals left either, but I've decided that I'm only going to use that for things like rinsing henna out of my hair because the cooler weather for my hair means thicker and more emollient moisturizing conditioners. While Sauve did wonders for me during the summer, not sure it's going to be my best choice in the winter. And then there's my Oyin conditioner which I will use whenever I feel like it to detangle and condition.

Stylers, ect

My collection of stylers is okay I guess. I don't see myself really using the Kinky Curling Custard because I doubt I will be wearing any wash-and-gos anytime soon. I'm pretty much done trying the Jane Carter Wrap and Roll, I'm not crazy about it. The Garnier Fructis Conditioning Creme I can see myself using for braid-outs and twist outs, most likely alternating with Oyin Shine and Define (sitting on top of the jar of coconut oil). The Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Treatment I *heart* as a pre-shampoo treatment  as well as a styler. I absolutely love this stuff. I used it last winter to act as a heavy butter for my twists as well and I probably will continue. The IC Fantasia Gel will still be used as I continue to practice with rollersetting. And finally, the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (which will probably last me for another month, purchased in May) will continue to be used as a pre-treatment and to seal my hair. I might try an oil rinse with this as well.

So there you have it. As I mentioned, I won't be buying anything else for at least the rest of this month if not longer. That way I won't feel guilty when I go shopping for new products that I've been eyeing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oyin Products

Oyin Handmade products were used heavily in my summer routine, and I just realized that I didn't properly review or introduce them and how they were working on my hair. Here's a portion about them from their website: We are a family-owned company, named after the Yoruba word for ‘honey’ – one of nature’s most versatile beauty products...Many of our products utilize the power and sweetness of honey, and all are made from scratch, by hand, in small batches to ensure freshness. We never use petroleum, silicones, parabens, or non-nourishing fillers – every ingredient in our mixtures has work to do! In our goodies you can find unrefined shea butter, nutritive sea vegetables, pure aloe vera juice, nourishing vitamins, and herbal infusions carefully chosen for their beneficial and healing properties....

I had heard about them a while ago with great reviews, and finally decided to order their 4-piece sample pack this summer. I should say what I noticed about their samples is that there is a good amount of product to really get a good amount of uses.

Honey Hemp Conditioner: I only used this a couple of times for mid-week co-washing. It has a nice, creamy consistency and added a good boost of moisture and great detangler but I didn't find anything spectacular about it. It does have good ingredients. Would I buy it again? Maybe...
Ingredients: purified water, organic aloe vera gel, behentremonium methosulfate (emulsifier derived from colza oil), honey, virgin hemp oil, , coconut oil, vegetable glycerine, hydrolized silk, citrus essences, fragrance, optiphen (preservative)

Greg Juice: This is a spritz that I really love. I was wearing twists a lot during the summer and would use it twice a day, mostly because I loved the smell of it. Also, when I got my sample pack, the bottle was open and some of it spilled. I contacted Customer Service about it and they sent me another bottle right away. I was pleased. Great moisture boost for protective styles or twist outs and such and yes I will be purchasing this again. Ingredients: purified water infused with horsetail, lavender, nettle, roses, and chamomile; organic flaxseeds; aloe vera juice; vegetable glycerine; essences of lavender, sweet orange, ylang ylang; grapefruit seed extract; citric acid
Shine and Define: This is described as a styling serum with some hold. I mostly used this for braid outs and twist outs and it was actually very nice. Besides being wonderfully scented there is light hold and very moisturizing. It's basically like a lotion. It works best for me on damp hair, although the instruction says you can use it on soaken wet strands. Love it and will purchase it again.
Ingredients: purified water, organic flax seeds, organic aloe vera gel, sea vegetable complex, coconut oil, castor oil, unrefined shea butter, raw honey, vegetable glycerine, palm stearic acid, vegetable emulsifying waxes, fruit pectin, xanthan gum, dextrose, optiphen (preservative), citrus essential oils; fragrance.
Whipped Pudding: Seriously if your strands like shea butter (or maybe only when it's mixed with other stuff) I don't think you can go wrong with this. I sealed my hair with this every other day and it was pretty awesome. It can also be used on the skin, which I have on ocassion and it works just fine. It's very sweet smelling too, but not overly powerful (I am very sensitve to smells!) I'm definitely grabbing more of this. 
Ingredients:  purified water, shea butter, organic aloe vera gel, cocoa butter, castor oil, coconut oil, sweet almond & olive oils, vegetable emulsifier, beeswax, palm stearic acid, vegetable glycerine, honey, optiphen (preservative), fragrance
So that's my two cents on the Oyin. I am interested in trying their other products as well. One thing to note is that because everything is made from scratch, your order may take a while. That is both a downside and an upside. But definitely worth it to me! Has anyone else tried it?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Positive Words to Describe Your Natural Hair

One thing embracing my natural curls and coils taught me was self-confidence. I realized that I felt ugly and out of place when I didn't think my hair was done. But that was just part of a larger self-esteem issue I had.

We're all about loving ourselves over here using hair as a jump off. Before I would describe my hair as unruly and unmanagable. Today, I would describe my hair as healthy, shiny and fun.

What about you hair enthusiasts? Chime in with words on positive ways you would describe your hair!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Re-post: Would you try this?

So i came across this information while browsing through another blog i frequent called "Her Best Hair" , in her Avocado Update: Deep Condition post. Here is also the link to the blog she found it on: coconut oil blog.
(Please click on the links within the paragraph for more info)

What do you think about this method of "natural relaxing?"
I'm not a hair typer but i just wonder, for those who have hair in the 4 something category and want to stay natural, would they ever consider doing something like this to their hair?
I think i might try it... yay or nay people? Help me decide!

Fall 2010 = New TWA Color!!!

I decided to go Beef and Broccoli for the fall... lol. 
I wanted to rinse my hair a darker color since my roots were getting huge and Autumn has arrived here in New York. I decided i didn't want to dye my hair anymore because it's too damaging so i used a rinse, Jazzing's  Black Cherry. In order to do the green, knowing that my hair was blondish before, i used a bit of Manic Panic in After Midnight Blue. Blue and yellow makes green and im loving it! It's very dark so unless i am in the light, most people just think it's black which i think is a kind of cool effect.
Everyone is loving the Burgundy and Green! I am too, what do you think? Might add just a smidge more green and make it brighter =)

And i almost forgot to mention, these are my curls smoothed and shingled with Shea Moisture's  Curl and Hold Smoothie! Soft, shiny, bouncy, detangled, fragrant, moisturized hair! Loving it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IC Fantasia Hair Polisher Styling Gel

Product description: Gives great body, manageability, volume and shine
*Enhanced with sparkle lite conditioners, aloe, wheat protein & vitamin E
*With hair protective sunscreen
*Alcohol free
*Perfect for blow styling, rollet sets, molding, sculpting, lifting and other styling techniques
*Smoothes curly hair for a more natural, hair styling look
*Defies gravity, conditions and holds hair styles all day
*Not tested on animals
*For professional use

My Experience: I should admit I was very hesitant to use this product and researched the hell out of it before I spent my precious 4 bucks. I had read reviews that ranged from it being better than the more expensive Kinky Curly Custard, to it was drying and terrible. I took a deep breath and picked it off the shelf at Duane Reade. (After all, it has aloe vera in it, which my hair loves!) I decided I needed to try this because I'm indifferent about the Jane Carter Wrap & Roll I was using and as you can read from the description, it's recommended for rollersetting, a technique I am desparately trying to master. Recall that this was my result from my curlformer set using this gel....

I read a tip about using it over a leave-in conditioner so that it's not drying and I opted to use the Knot Today conditioner and the combo was perfect. My hair isn't feeling dry or flaking, it feels great. I did take pics of how it defined my curls, although I do not plan on doing a wash and go anytime soon, I had an idea on how my hair would react...

It clumps my curls really well, without much coaxing. And the shine factor is a big plus. Definitely keeping this around, at least for the rollersets!

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua) , Glycerin , Carbomer , Triethanolamine , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Dimethicone Copolyol , Tocopheryl Acetate , Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein , Polysorbate-20 , Benzophenone-4 , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Disodium EDTA , Fragrance (Parfum)

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Roller Set Attempts

Another curlformer attempt. I used Jane Carter Wrap and Roll. Still not where I wanted it to be...

Trying a rollerset with my magnetic rollers, FAIL lol. This is when I decided to just clip my ends instead...Still used the Wrap and Roll...

Curlformer set using IC Fantasia Gel. This was the new product I tried and liked it for the set. I realized though that in some parts, I didn't put enough gel. I'm so use to Kinky Curling Custard where you a little goes a long way so I was way stingy with the product. So I actually decided to try again the next day, except....

I opted to not only use curlformers, but flexi rods to compare the results between the two. results...

So, I was really happy with these results! This is my set from yesterday. Finally getting somewhere! The truth is, the flexi rods and curlformers don't seem to give me a huge difference in results, especially when I separated and fluffed out. You can't tell which ones I used. Now my issue is perserving these curls. I used a bonnet to sleep with and they kinda fell flat =( not sure what to do about that one....

SheaMoisture Review & TWA Twist Out

So as i think with all naturals, we know how necessary Shea Butter can be. After hearing and reading much rave about the Shea Moisture line, i was finally lucky enough to have some time to go to Target and pick some up myself (we don't have too many Target's here in the city). Click on Shea Moisture to read more info on the product.
I decided i wanted to twist my hair up because it was starting to feel dry from wearing my afro so much... bittersweet naturalness...
I washed my hair with Yes! To Carrots C Daily Pampering Shampoo mixed ,with a little Roux Porosity Shampoo, then deep conditioned with Giovanni Deeper Moisture Smooth as Silk Conditioner.
*These twists were done on clean, damp hair.
I decided to use my Shea Moisture Curl and Hold Smoothie for hold, shine, and moisture in case i planned on doing a twist out. If you look at the hair left out you will notice that on the right side, as compared to the left, the hair is shiner and the curls are defined. Since i was working in sections, i applied the Curl and Hold Smoothie in each section, and detangled with a large tooth comb before twisting. The hair on the right side was detangled with the Curl and Hold Smoothie, while left side was still undone.
I had planned to wear these twists for a week, but unfortunately i slept a bit wild and they became fuzzy, so my twist out came early. I used my pick to lift the roots and smoothed my edges back with my fingers using with Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I left a little hump on top cuz i loved the way the texture looked and i wanted it to show. I think it came out really nice! The Shea Moisture Curl and Hold Smoothie left my hair really smelling and feeling great and moisturized.
*One thing's for sure, make sure to follow the directions. It says to use it on damp or dry hair. I tried it on soaking wet hair once and had to wash it out and start over.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tackling My Hair


I mentioned previously that I was experimenting with my hair and then due to lack of interwebs at the new place, I was unable to upload pics. But now I can. And I can explain what I've been doing. For the past couple of weeks I noticed that I had had enough of single strand knots and splits in my hair...


And so as I practiced with a rollerset, I decided that while my hair was stretched out and feeling kinda rough on the ends, to just do the search and destroy method, by sections with my hair scissors and then twist each section that I was done with...

Then I realized that once most of the SSK were out, I still had pretty rough ends which I saw were some splits. So while my hair was wet and my curls were defined, I saw each split in indivudual curls and snipped them off. Altogether, I think I took off half and inch of my strands. Which is fine with me, because my hair feels soooo much better! Although I'm certain my hair will be uneven and lopsided, I can deal with that later!

Happier hair, happier me!