Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Natural Updo: Twisted Side Bun

I experimented with a new style this week. To be honest when I first started doing my hair (sitting in bed no less) I had no idea what I was doing. But this once I parted my hair in preparation for something, I was looking through some blogs and found myself inspired by Tia of Her Best Hair by her Flat Twist out with Braids style.  I did a few things differently, but that was the style I was looking at to create something.

1. Started with freshly washed hair that was damp
2. parted my hair in five sections (including the bangs) having most of my hair on one side
3. Flat twisted the front sections of my hair towards the back
4. Flat twisted the back sections towards the side
Flat twist in the back

Flat twists in the front
5. Gathered all my hair into a side ponytail, used bobby pins to create the bun

I did so many twists because I wanted the bun to be as full as possible. I actually found a way to make it even fuller yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture (of course). All the hair also hides my terrible parting skills, especially since I didn't use a mirror. I moisturize my hair when I take the bun down every night.

Let me know what you think! I may be up for doing a video for this...hmm

Monday, July 25, 2011


Umm... Where do i start after not posting for over a month?
For one, I have to agree with Curly Film Chick, being busy has really put a major strain on Her Majesty, from the inside and out. I know i've got some 'splainin' to do...
In all this time i've been to North Carolina and back and have also been employed at a Scott J Aveda Salon here in NYC! I've also been super busy working full days on photoshoots for child actors and models building and rebuilding their books for the big IMTA (International Modeling and Talent Association) competition. All this on top of the things in my day to day life caused me to momentarily abandon YAIS and Her Majesty, among many things and many others. For this I sincerely appologize, I have now figured out how to balance this all.
It's 2:35am and I work @8:30am so... goodmornight. lol.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Being Healthy is Not All About Hair

Confession time folks,

I've noticed that my hair lately has not been in top shape and I know that it's in direct correlation with my insides not being in the best of shape either. For the past month or so I was getting a little lazy with hair care and very lazy with my health. So of course I got really sick. Being sick is always a major indicator for me that it's time to take a break. As I am getting better I am looking at my hair and see that it's breaking, I've got single strand knots and splits and some parts are drier. I know right now I need a trim and some strengthening treatments, but before that I need to get my body and mind right. I need to eat a lot better, get some more sleep, and slow down a bit. I've already begun eliminating some stuff from my life that has been causing physical stress, and have been getting more sleep--I was constantly on less then six hours with thirteen plus hours a day of doing things, not cool! I'm also trying to stay hydrated and cutting out caffeine, (which I have no business drinking in the first place due to other health issues) and would like to go back to being active--my Y membership has been collecting dust. Anyway, this just serves as a reminder to folks that hair hair health should be included in the larger context of being healthy. No you don't have to go vegetarian or stop eating cupcakes, but do drink water, do eat fruits and veggies and foods that will give you nutrition and not just satisfy your hunger. And don't forget to focus on your mental health either! We often need to take the time to walk slow (even if you live in NYC!) and take a seat every once in a while.

I'll be updating on getting back on track with my hair and body health for the next couple of weeks. And for those who have suggestions of hair strengthening products, or products for health and fitness (if that makes sense) do leave a comment! I'd appreciate all the help at the moment.

Stay cool!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time To Stretch The Hair Out

My wash and gos have been great but I've been taking a backseat with them. I've noticed an increase in single strand knots. So this past week after washing and conditioning, I put my hair in some medium sized twists. I had been moisturizing with a new favorite, Vatika Oil. And I had been snipping off the single strand knots/splits.

Yesterday I decided to actually rock a twist-out! I never like the way twist-outs look on me and it's usually a hit and miss. SP had recommended that I should leave the twist in for a few days in order to get a nice set. I had them in for about four days and here are my results:

I actually liked it! And I'm wearing my hair like this today as well. I plan on washing my hair between tonight and tomorrow and will definitely being wearing another style where my hair is stretched out. I was thinking about doing a good old fashion roller set (that I've failed many times before).

What are your weekend hair plans?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tips on Curbing Product-Junky-ism

A lot of folks who are "going natural" or just discovering how to care properly care for their hair succumb to being a product junky, where you buy a ton of products to try out. Some might be looking for their "holy grail"--the product that will solve all your curly hair problems. Trying products is obviously a good way to figure out what your hair likes in combination with various techniques. But how can we try products without going flat-broke, overcrowding our cabinets (and perhaps irritating those you live with)? As a former product junky--who was in college at the time I started figuring my hair out--here are some things to keep in mind.

Shopping List: Keep in mind that all these shampoos you are buying don't get used at the same time! You only need one at a time. Might I suggest this list when buying products: 1 shampoo/cleanser, 2 conditioners (detangle, leave-in, deep conditioner), 2 stylers (mousse, gel, "butter") and an oil. I'm just suggesting the maximum of what you could buy, get less if you need to. And this gives you lee-way to play with the combinations of these products (i.e. Conditioner A isn't a good mix with styler Y but great with styler X). Which brings me to my next point...

Use the Products Properly: When using a product, I think it's crucial to use it as directed to achieve the best results as you most likely will be able to judge it better. Also, try the product more then once to get a feel for it. I know that products like Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) can be difficult to apply because of how it reacts with certain products. It may keep you occupied from buying another product *wink*

Don't Jump On Bandwagons: or rather, be selective as to what advice to follow. Do not continue to use a product that isn't working for your hair just because your "natural hair guru" says it's the best thing ever. Don't follow methods that don't work for you because a natural says that's how it's SUPPOSED to be. Different naturals have different hair and you may or may not get the exact same results. I find it true that you should probably look to those who have a similar "hair type" you have, but you may be like me where you have only come across one other natural who has similar hair to yours (which in my case is a natural at the LITK blog, and who happens to now be free-form locking their hair). Sometimes you can follow the techniques of others who don't have your type of hair but adjust it to your needs.

Learn About ingredients: I've read somewhere that the first five ingredients in a product are used in the highest quantity. So if you like coconut oil, and a product claims to be "fortified" or whatever with it and it's way down there on the ingredient's list, it's probably not worth it. Especially if the product is expensive. It might be best to keep it moving.

Access What Your Hair Needs: Dealing with dryness? Need a good cleanser? Want to do a roller-set or twist out? Buy products that address the issue at hand! If you want a deep conditioner, then search for one and try not to be side-tracked into getting a gel. Trust, it helps it the long run. Focusing on a certain aspect of your hair will keep you pre-occupied.

As a former product junkie myself, I know all too well about the temptations. At this point, I no longer buy products on impulse and it takes me a long time to actually give it a try (see SheaMoisture products). I only shop when I know I need something and if I want to experiment with a style. Hope this was somewhat helpful!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Clarifying Methods

At times, your hair may start feeling a little "gunky" or it may look a little dull. The products you normally use may not seem to work. Your scalp could be itchy and dry; it might just seem overall unmanageable.

 It might be time to clarify to remove product build up from your hair. Here are some methods/products to choose from:

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: Commonly referred to as "ACV rinse" in the natural world, it's great for the hair and skin. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I personally used to do this every couple of weeks for the sake of my scalp and to keep my hair shiny--I don't anymore because my hair is colored. Apple Cider Vinegar should be diluted with water because it is very acidic. I loved the results because my hair would be shiny and my curls would pop.
(Reference 1 Reference 2)

Bentonite Clay: I've discussed my experiences with the clay  and have loved it. It is said to remove product build-up and is great for the skin as well. Mixing it is very easy, (just be sure not to use aluminum) and left on for 20 minutes tops. It can used as a shampoo replacement or after shampoo.
(More References here and here)

Brown Sugar Scrub: I personally have never used this method for my scalp, but it sounds interesting. Brown sugar is an exfoliant used in many beauty products (I've used it for my lips); some naturals use it for the scalp. Here's a recipe  for an easy brown sugar scrub.

Clarifying Shampoos: If you're not interested in using any of the above methods, you can just find a clarifying shampoo to use. They generally shouldn't be used very often because it can dry out your hair, and if you have color treated hair it can fade the color faster. Lately I've been using Curls Clarifying Shampoo which works really great so far. My hair doesn't feel dry and stripped and after using it my curls are defined and ready for conditioner.

Have any of you used any of these methods? What are other methods of cleansing/clarifying do you folks use?

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Wash And Go Adventures (Picture heavy post)

Hair enthusiasts! How have you been? Apologies for the scarce posting but SP and I have been really busy...we both live up to our namesakes in a sense (hint: SPStyles, and Curly Film Chick #doingwork).

So what's my mane been up to? Well let me tell you I've been really lazy. All the hair minus time equals neglect. Or maybe not as much neglect, but I haven't really been doing much styling. My routine these past few weeks include washing my hair two-three times a week with SheaMoisture, using hair milk as a leave in, then some gel and bun it. I tried to do interesting things with the buns to make it look like I was doing something. I either braided or flat twisted the front of my hair:

Braided in the front
Bun in the back

This past week, I've been experimenting more with the Wash and Go. For those who don't know, it's basically just washing (with shampoo or "conditioner washing"), adding product, and letting your hair dry with the intention of defined curls. I sucked royally at this, mainly because I had issues with finding products with hold and making the different curl patterns I possess look somewhat uniformed. And for my hair not to be crunchy and dry at the end of the day. So many issues. But I managed to pull it off AND have second day hair.  Basically, I washed my hair Wednesday morning, and used the TRESemme conditioner as my leave in. I detangled my hair very carefully in sections then added Eco styler gel to each section and sealed with Coconut oil. I put my hair in a very lose bun, because my hair was dripping and I knew it would take all day to dry. When I took out the bun at the end of the day, my hair was still damp but surprisingly there wasn't much frizz and there was no dryness or crunchiness. And my curls were still popping...