Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hair Crush: Janet Mock

I think I found my hair crush in writer and journalist Janet Mock. She rocks the big hair I love and those looks like chocolate and caramel colors. As soon as I grow out these fuschia hi-lights I'm going to copy her. By then my hair will should be longer too.

As a side note: it came out a few weeks ago that Janet Mock was born a male. It's been met with a lot of the usual crappy commentary about her being an abomination and all. What I found funny was that I had just learned who Janet Mock was about two weeks prior to her sharing her story with Marie Claire because I was watching a documentary called Dressed (about fashion designer Nary Manivong) where she made an appearance due of her friendship with the designer. I saw her big curly hair and instantly fell in love, especially with the color. Her being born a male doesn't take away from my crush and actually, reading her story is pretty interesting. I have no idea what it must've felt like for her to grow up the way she did, but I think it was brave for her to share her story.

I'm mad interested in her hair routine though, it looks great!

Style for the Week: Flat Twists Pigtails

First things first, things have gotten quite busy on my end and I realized I haven't posted in about two weeks. I wanted to, but I've been exhausted. It's been a year since I graduated college and I recently got my first full time job (the kind with benefits!) roughly in my area of study and it's a rather hectic field. Also my hours are a little strange and I get home slightly before midnight. It's taking some getting used to, but I'm getting the hang of it.

But now back to hair stuff. This style is a neater, more planned version of this flat twist style, when I set my hair in flat twists simply because I wanted to rock a twist out. While I still plan to do that this weekend for my little birthday trip out of town, I decided to do this a tad bit neater although I'll admit I still suck terribly at parting.

my terrible parting skills lol

I actually did this on damp hair. I washed my hair early monday morning, detangled, and used Knot Today as a leave in and put my hair in a wet bun. When I got home later my hair was still damp. I sectioned, added a little more Knot Today and twisted with Oyin's Whipped Pudding and coconut oil. Then I braided the twists together at the ends to create the pigtails. Hope you like!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Style Chameleon and Staying True to Oneself

Reading through so many natural blogs, it is apparent that many naturals have become very biased when it comes to natural hair. Watching different women's journeys and just thinking of my own, i could never be biased towards natural hair (okay, maybe a little); My main concern is healthy hair.

Every once in a while, I won't lie,  I do get the relaxer itch... just a small notion of what it would be like to relax my hair again... either chop it all off in the short little haircuts i used to get, or have long texturized hair like i used to have in high school. I would truly say that I was/am a style chameleon. I have always been known for changing my hair up all the time; Weaves to braids, to relaxers, to color, to texurizers, to bleached-out, to haircuts and hair growth, i can say i have defintely done it all... and usually on a bi-weekly basis too. I would say the same is true of my style, i love to switch up what i wear, my accessories, the eras... no one could say that i have a very specific style.

I guess the point i'm getting to is, as a TRUE style chameleon, if i were to switch up my style and decide to get a relaxer or texturizer, would i be shunned by the natural community? Even if my hair looked good and was healthy? Would i now be frowned upon, even though i know that in the long run i would always return to being natural? As a style chameleon, i feel like it would be true to my style to switch up my hair again and do something different... I mean i'm only in my early 20's and it seems a little bit too soon for me to settle into natural hair for the rest of my life so quickly... I know for sure that i want to grow my hair long and fully natural first.. we'll see what happens from there... Trust me, i've been trying very hard to refrain from doing too much to my hair just for the sake of it's health and length

Do i think i may regret relaxing or texturizing if i ever do again? Maybe... I try not to take it too personal since hair always grows back :)

How has being natural affected those of you who constantly love to switch up your hair and style? Do you ever think of going back to old hair practices and processes?

Side Puff!

I planned to go out on Saturday night for my friend's birthdays but had no idea how i was going to wear my hair. I straightened my hair earlier in the week (Yes! I said straightened... I'll get to that a little later) and the humidity and the fact that it got caught in the rain caused the ends to puff and frizz up. I wasn't sure what i was going to do with my hair but i decided to get in the shower without a shower cap so it could puff and swell up a little. When i came out of the shower, it had shrunken significantly on the sides and just curled up everywhere else. While adding some Shea butter and playing with possible ways to manipulate my hair into cool styles, i pushed to the side and was loving it! I used my brush to smooth down the sides and pushed my headband back, and sideways and ....
(Please excuse the shiny, oily, tipsy face... lol)
I was really in love with the outcome and even got to wear it the same way again the next day before decidng to wash it because the ends were feeling pretty dry. Don't you love when you discover a new favorite style?! 
Stay tuned for the next post coming up to see my straightened pics!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Minimal time styling

I've been so busy in this past month that i really haven't had much time for my hair. I usually wash my hair 2 to 3 times a week but lately its been more like once every 5-7 days. Having such little time for myself, i've really been learning how to prolong my styles. I blew out my hair last Thursday and i've been keeping it stretched by sleeping with it up in a puff or putting it into 4 small puffs. I went to visit my mom yesterday and wore my hair like this:

When i got home last night i had a little extra time so i decided to flat twist my hair. I was originally planning to keep it for the week but i wasn't crazy about how the twists looked so i decided to rock a twist out instead. I twisted 6 big flat twists using my Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control paste.
Click the jump for the results...

Style Longevity (The Post Blogger Ate)

Long, Long ago... a week and a half ago... lol
I rollerset my hair about a week and a half ago and I've really been able to do a lot with my hair. I'm seeing growth and i feel like i'm getting into a few more styling options which i'm loving! About 2 days after wearing the 2 strand twisted updo, i got tired of the style because as it was nice, the style just really wasn't me... I washed my hair with the twists in and just wore them pushed back with a headband while they dried that day, and dried they did, and shriveled all the way up too!

Once they were dry that night, knowing that i wanted to wear a twist out the next day and that i wouldn't want it to be so shrunken, i untwisted my hair and  banded to stretch it for the next day.
After banding, i pinned my hair down using roller clips to encourage downward handing, then tied with my satin scarf to sleep.
Here are the results!! :
Day 1 Hair ~ Defined, virtually frizz free and stretched out.

Day 2 Hair ~ Still stretched, a little frizzy but in a good way and much bigger! I used my pinned-down method which i always get soo many compliments on.

Day 3 Hair~
I decided i wanted to wear my hair up so i pushed my hair back using a doubled headband to make a puff and made pinned-down side bangs .. Love it!!!
 They caught us Ridin' Dirty.... and the guy in Toys R Us came and told us that we weren't allowed to play in the Power Wheels, lol.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Length checks 5/13

I blew out my hair 2 days ago and decided to dust my ends because it is definitely about that time and my ends were letting me know so. I trimmed very litttle in most areas and a  little more in others if i felt it needed it but nothing drastic. I know i could stand to trim a little more but im being length greedy right now since my birthday is in about a month and i think i will be protective styling very soon. I decided to take before and after my trim pictures so here goes.


I would say that i'm doing pretty good with length retention so i hope to hit my goals on time or even earlier!


So i know some of you had to see that i posted the night before last but then mysteriously, it goes missing!!! Come to find out over @ CurlyNikki that Blogger had a breakdown and was wiping posts and things of the sort... grrrr!!! Curse you blogger!
I feel like crying because i've had so little time and i know i wont have time to post again until like sunday and i like stayed up just to post that and write it out for you guys... waa! Curse you blogger!
i'm done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts About My Straightened Natural Hair

So my hair is straight again and it has been for a week. This is probably going to be the last time until the end of the summer months. Although it isn't bone straight this time,  my hair is about 2 inches from my bra-strap (or BSL) and I'm excited.
The thought of having really long braids draping my shoulders is an exciting reality.

I've been moisturizing with coconut oil, it keeps my hair so shiny. Also, my hair is a little curled at the ends because I pin-curl every night instead of wrapping--I suck REALLY BAD at that, I can't do it with all the hair I have.
err...I was attempting to wrap my hair #fail

Also something else I was thinking about: I've been wondering if I subconsciously prefer my hair straight or like it better when it's naturally curly. I really like my hair when it's straight, it makes pony tails easier, less discomfort while sleeping and sometimes I'm like, man I want to keep my hair like this. And then I wash it and look at my little curls again and am happy to have them back. I like the switch up but my "natural" texture is more me. In the long run it's less of a worry (hiding from rain, worried about hair looking bad etc). I probably over think things, but still--just checking. 

What about you guys? Am I the only one who makes this comparison??

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Traveling Natural (District of Columbia Edition)

So I realized I never reported about the status of my hair when I went to the District of Columbia (Washington) a couple of weeks ago. I didn't do anything special. It was a busy week and I had zero time to wash before I left. But I packed coconut oil, Oyin Whipped Pudding, and some bobby pins and went on my way. Since I took the bus I put some plaits in my hair, and then when I arrived at my hotel in Foggy Bottom, I freshened up and took my plaits out. That was pretty much my routine. I wore my hair in loose ponytails/buns. It was rainy out there and I really did not want to fuss over my hair. Just wanted to enjoy the short break out of town.

frizzy braid out that got pulled into a ponytail

nom nom

My hair was being a little funky because it needed to be washed and I could feel the build up. And with the weather being humid my hair swelled up! I wasn't too happy about that but I did wash my hair when I got back. As far as what I did in DC, I did touristy things; Rode the metro, visited the Smithsonian, saw a protest in front of the White House, ate at well-known local eateries like Dukem for Ethiopian food on U street, ate some home made ice cream and yummy cupcakes from Larry's in Dupont Circle and had seafood at Clyde's in Georgetown. From my observation about natural hair, I didn't see many! I went to a lot of different neighborhoods. I saw a lot of extensions/weaves but I couldn't tell if they were natural under that. I did spot a women with a TWA while in Georgetown but that was it. (Any DC naturals out there can tell me how it is?)

Anyway, I'm actually about to head out of town again (ugh) in another couple of weeks and for a bit longer. You already know what question is on my mind...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Henna, Cassia & Bentonite Clay-What's the difference?

Reader email from Tamara:

I am new to your blog, as I just found it today.  But you have a lot of useful information, thank you.
I have a question about the difference between Henna, Cassia and Bentonite...As in what they do for your hair and or the pros/cons of each one.  Also I have hair that is just beyond twa length and im not sure when to start adding any of those that I named to my hair because all the people who seem to be doing it already have longer hair.

Thanks for reading out blog Tamara! Glad you find it useful. And for folks who have been checking us out for a while, you know that both SP and I are henna users (although I haven't in a while) and I love Bentonite Clay. Neither of us have used Cassia yet but I actually have been interested in trying it. So here's what we know:

Henna: is said to strengthen and condition hair. It has a reddish dye content, but if you have dark hair the color may show up more like a rinse.  These posts will bring you to SP and I's henna experiences as well as information about henna. We both love it and have very different hair types. 
Pros: shiny hair, some color deposit, strengthens your strands
Cons: may curls to loosen (temporary), hard to rinse out, can be drying

Bentonite Clay: great for hair and skin. It removes build up and acts as a clarifier and there is no dye content. See these posts about my experiences and results
Pros: removes build-up
Cons: perhaps drying. I don't really have any complaints

Cassia: Is yet another conditioning treatment like henna. It's referred to as 'neutral henna' and has a golden-yellow dye content (so again, makes no difference on dark hair). As I mentioned, neither of us have used it yet but feel free to check out info from I'm actually interested in using it as well. 

To address the second part of the question about length, it doesn't seem to matter. SP has shorter hair and did henna treatments and other naturals use these treatments on their TWA. And while we both love these treatments, please remember that we all have different hair and what works for some may not work for others. Experiment if you'd like, and research!

Good luck Tamara! Let us know your outcome!

Have questions/comments? email us at yais(dot)nyc (at) gmail(dot)com. (

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Setting Some New Length Goals

For those who don't know, i've never really had long hair. I've seen pictures of myself as a child with shrunken twists, afro puffs and braids that indicated that i had hair that was at least shoulder length, but never anything much longer. I decided to go completely natural about 2 years ago when i started to transition. I was one of those people who believed my hair just didn't grow past shoulder length and because of my very fine hair, i figured natural shoulder length hair is better than relaxed, thin, lifeless shoulder length hair. 
When i started all of my research on natural hair, i came across so many women with long natural hair, which was something I had never seen before. All you usually saw was the women with "good hair" who were still natural or older women with low cuts or locks, for the most part, everyone else was relaxed. Even being half Brazilian, i attributed all of the black women's hair in Brazil to the fact they had to be mixed somehow (All ignorance, i know). Now that i know and understand my hair growth and hair care, i think it's safe to say i can sort of predict what lengths i will reach with regular 1/2 inch trims every 3-4 months.
Length Goals:
FNL by August 2011
FSL by Halloween 2011
FAPL by June 2012
FBSL New Years 2013
FWL New Years 2014
FHL Summer 2014
I would like to start maintaining my hair at hip length or when my hair is shoulder length in a shrunken wash n go. So yes, i know some of these goals are far out (only 3 years) but that's what makes them goals :)
I really can't wait to get out of this TWA stage, as i know my hair will be so much more managable once i can put it into ponytails and larger braids and twists. I loved my short natural hair too, don't get me wrong, but for my textures and the look i like to maintain, this in-between stage is just rough. When it's short you just continue to washngo, when it's long you start throwing it back in ponytails and buns. When it's at medium length? Uhg. Constant twist-outs and styling... (for me anyway) My hair is almost back to where it was before I BC'ed last year in October so i'm excited to be getting into some length as this year goes on!
This is Louel, Louel83 on YouTube and she is my biggest hair inspiration because i feel like we have very similar hair textures: a range of fine/medium, small frizzy-ish waves; Also a full head of hair that gets huge, but not  massive amount of hair. (this is a picture of her hair damp, before any major shrinkage)... It feels as though i get a sneak peak of what my hair will look like when it starts to hang and do all of the lovely things i want it to do... or at least i hope because her hair is awesome!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Twisted TWA Updo

I started to pre-poo last night using Wild Growth Oil to massage my scalp and started to play with my hair because the oil made it so soft. I decided to twist a piece of hair in the front just to see how it would hang and realized that it looked really cute because my hair was still sort of stretched from the rollerset and twist out. I didn't add any product, nor did i comb or part, just grabbed section by section, finger detangled and started to twist. I was going to try mini twists originally but knew that i just wouldn't have the patience so i did small/medium twists instead. I started around 10pm.... Then the great news that Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed came on!!!! Yay!!! I sat, watching NY1, feeling a sense of pride for Americans, New Yorkers, and President Obama...twisting until 12:30am! When i was done, i was surprised by how much i actually loved my twists.. wrapped em' up and got to bed.

I originally had no plans of doing anything to my twists so i used roller clips to hold them down under my scarf, as i didn't want them to be sticking up the next day. I was very happy that it worked and was very comfortable to sleep on. I basically pinned the twists down in the direction i wanted them to fall, as if i were wrapping them.
Upon taking my scarf down in the morning, i thought the hanging twists looked cute but it just wasn't doing it for me so i decided to try putting up the sides.
Having the sides pinned up was cute but i wasn't crazy about the twists hanging in the back so i continued to twist my hair up in random rows, using push pins (the U shaped ones) to secure my hair. Love it!!! I'm going to keep my scarf on every night and try my best to keep this style for at least a week and then wash in these twists and probably re-do the same style for another week. I want to try and wear these twists for at least a week and a half to two weeks as a protective style. I think i will wear them up for the most part and when i'm going to take them out, i will do a twist out and try to rock it for a few days too.

& Length Reflections...
 I was feeling down about my hair lately because i'm really tired of the look of short hair, but seeing that i can do an updo with my twists led me to feel a little better about my hair and the lengths i am soon to reach. I decided to measure my hair and realized that my hair is now 5inches! I just met my one year mark since last coloring on April 29th, and knowing that i cut some hair off when i BC'ed again in october and my 1/2 inch trim back in February, i basically retained all of my length for the year! With that being said and knowing that my hair grows a little faster in the summer, i'm looking forward to seeing what my hair will look like by the end of summer. I do need about a 1/4-1/3 inch trim which i was planning to do with the New Moon this Wednesday, but being that i know i will be busy these next two weeks, i am going to try to continue protective styling and trim with the Full Moon on May 17th.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Natural Hair Weekly Routine

Hey folks!

So I finally decided to make a video about my weekly routine. If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I use curlformers to stretch out my hair. I actually didn't like the way the set came out, but the point was just to show the routine. I show how I pre-treat my hair, the sections, how I  deep condition and detangle, as well as how I put in the curl formers. It's less then 5 minutes, but I think I captured the necessary parts. Here are pictures of the results:


I hate the times when i'm so busy that i dont have time to post, and trust me, I try. These days i've been so busy I haven't been going to sleep, but instead, literally passing out... I woke up the other night wondering why i was hot and came to realize i was still fully dressed, leather jacket and all. LOL.
Either way, just because i've been busy doesn't mean i've forgotten you ::hugs:: I've still been trying to keep tabs with whats going on with Her Majesty up there. Time to play ketchup.
04/17 ~ Attemped Bantu Knots for the first time .... eehhh... Didn't come out bad but not really my cup of tea with this TWA. It curls up a lot which im sure would come out nice on longer hair with bigger knots, just with the fact that im trying to avoid shrinkage, no thanks on the bantu knots for a while.

I'm really over having short hair so i've been wearing my hair in anyway that i can keep it somewhat stretched. 04/18 ~ Trusty Blowout Pinned up on the side with a flower

The next day I decided to wear  a puff with twists in the front

And this past Thursday i rollerset my hair, brushed it out, and wore it in a banana clip :)

It seems as though the looser/silkier textures, which is basically down the middle, came out straighter and the curlier/dryer textures came out stretched but still looking afro-ey.
Here are some crappy phone pics of me today rockin' a 3 day old twist out from this rollerset (the flash is making my makeup look wierd.. uhg)

My hair is growing and April 29th, made it officially one year since i had last colored my hair, the reason why i did my second BC back in octoboer.

It's time for a trim and with how busy i am, i think i'm just going to do extension braids again so i can prolong needing to trim and work on some length retention :)