Monday, April 30, 2012

Perfect Second Day Hair + OOTD + Product Review

I know this is like an A-D-D post totally but f&%$ it! lol
I just had to post a pic from my hair today because I'm never able to achieve second day hair that looks the same or better and I finally did!!! Again, all I did was moisturize my hair, throw it in 3 loose, tucked under buns to sleep, and then took out and fluffed this morning. I put a few 2 strand twists in the bang area for definition, and same as yesterday, I just put my head band behind my bangs, and pushed it to the left. I figured while I was @ it I would just do a quick little OOTD + my accessories for you all while I looked semi-cute, lol.  Funny thing is I bought those earrings a while ago and hated how they looked on me, but now that my hair's bigger, I like 'em!

Wondering what has my edges held back so beautifully? One product I will quickly review:
Thanks Domin for recommending this because I < 3 it! (Click the link to watch her review 
She is definitely my number one hair inspiration, if she's not everybody's, lol)
I haven't really tried it for twist outs yet, but I will say it's amazing for slicking your hair back in ponytails. I wouldn't say it gives you as much hold and sleekness as a gel per say, but if you don't want that wet super sleek/slick look but still want to be able to control frizz and flyaways this is perfect. 
As you can see my edges and the hair going back into the puff looks well tamed. You know what?  It actually does exactly what it says on the jar: Fights frizz, Adds Shine, and Moisturizes. This cost me about $4 and a little bit goes a long way so you really get your bang for your buck. Plus the smell is divine... everyone loves a product that smells edible right? lol 

Done ranting now... goodnight! = )

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Ombre' Color + Curly Side Puff Updo

 Every year when the spring/summer comes around, I always get that itch for fun, vibrant, bright color! Last year I decided to go with some creative color I referred to as my party patch. This year I decided to lighten a piece of my hair in the front, in the same area where I had placed last years party patch (since it was previously lightened which would make the process a little easier). Being that my roots were virgin, I knew they would lift to blonde, and my end previously being dyed green, i knew would lift to a lighter green. (left)
Once my hair lifted to my desired level using B&W bleach and 40 volume developer, inspired by the oh so trendy Ombre' hair color effect, I decided to use Lie Locks and Shocking Blue from Manic Panic to create my own colored Ombre look. I used a little 10 volume developer on my own hair and then added the manic panic, starting with the Lie Locks and then fading into the Shocking Blue, without disturbing the already light green area. The photos below shows my hair with being highlighted with bleach in foils, then shows my hair immediately after the color was rinsed out.
 And here are some photos of what the color looks like a little damp... while contemplating doing a full head of 2 strand twists... (In the stretched hair photo, you can totally see all the bleach damage on the part of my hair that's green, since it's been bleached a few times :(

And here is my hair, fully dried,with the front twisted out, and everything pushed to the side with a headband. Those twists that didn't make it to a full hair style made a great set of twisted out bangs and my is hair so curly from the 4 braids I did the other night to sleep, after washing my hair...
which I wore yesterday in 2 buns which really helped to stretch out my curls while still keeping them in tact!

I am sooo in love with my hair today and hope I can try to re-visit this style next week when I actually have something to do! lol
How do you like the curly side puff with the heavy bangs? What about the color? Would you Rock it?

Friday, April 27, 2012

VERY Happy Hair as of lately!

 You all know I'm impatient, so it's no wonder I took my weave out in a week! lol I guess what it is more so though, is that I really enjoy my own hair, especially now that it's getting longer. And though I enjoy wearing weaves and extensions, I still end up feeling fake. I know I will enjoy weave more when my hair is long enough to fully and easily blend... right now it's just a little more work and leaves me with limited styling that makes me just rather my own hair...
So, I took my hair out 2 nights ago, and since I had washed my hair about 3 days before that and moisturized it, It left me with a beautiful, soft, and defined braid out.. In love!!!
Randomly, I bought this Aloe Body Lotion at the hair show that I did not love for my body, but upon reading the ingredients further, decided to try it in my hair, and so far it's amazing!!!
I don't want to jump the gun, seeing as how i've only been using it for a day or two, so I won't give any reviews or names of anything until I've used it for a while... especially since it's initially intended to moisturize the skin... Review in let's say...a week?  
Anyhoo... I moisturized my hair yesterday using the Aloe Cream and decided to wear the braid out in my fave 2 buns, and was so happy to see how much my hair had grown, as my buns were bigger, fuller, and longer! I even had to squish them down quite a bit to get scrunchies over 'em.

I definitely loved the protective styling benefits of wearing the weave for a week, and I am thinking of wearing my usual large, long extention braids for the first 2 weeks of May... just to  get some protective styling in (especially for my front edges) without missing my hair like crazy. Also, though I love those braids, they're damned heavy! lol

 I bought some new products at the hair show I wanted to try and my scalp was a little itchy so I decided to wash my hair last night. Again, I won't be reviewing anything until I use it for a little while so I can give a full and thorough review...
Before washing however, I decided to do a few length checks, just to see how this growth process is going and I'm happy to say I'm pleased. My hair doesn't grow super fast, and it can break, tangle, get split ends and single strand knots pretty easily, so growth around here is a joyus occasion, lol. My edges are still basically the shortest of my hair, my hair at my crown and upper head in general being the longest. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

International Beauty Show NY

Every year, the IBS comes to NY at the Javits center for 3 days... Since I was in LA I only bought my ticket for the last day...  I love the beauty show though, it's sooo fun!
A very sleepy me @ the International Beauty Show NY after coming in off my flight from LA earlier yesterday morning... I wore a turban for the first time! (I wish I took a better pic for you all but by the time I got home I passed out!)

Loved both the purple and the red hair, also the awesome crimps and curls!

Look at Nick Arrojo from "What Not To Wear!" He's a super cool dude (left)

You know she's getting lip liner tattooed right?
Check out the hair flippin' Fabios! lol

Loved her updo! (left)

Cool Cuts (right)

One of the most beautiful heads of hair at Ms. Jessie's was actually on a Mr. lol.

Look at this adorable Asian Dreddy man! Damn right I got him to shake those locs for me!

Some of the cool, wild and crazy hair!

Look @ this hairshow cutie Tiara!! Her style is sick and I've never seen orange hair look so good, not to mention she was super cool!

And last but not least ladies (sorry whoever this is for using your head as an example, lol), This is exactly why we can not bleach and relax our hair... See that hole in her hair? And the fact that its all over her shirt? Her hair was breaking in front of my very eyes... I wonder how long before all of that hair is on her shirt?

Young and Natural - Post-College: A Reflective Experience

Springtime is always a reminder that many are graduating from college. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Media and Communication Arts with a concentration in Film & Video Production in May 2010 and I'm going to be honest and admit it was one of the most difficult transitions of my life so far. Looking back I was confused, frustrated and a little lost as to what to do with myself. I had done internships in college and had done a lot of production work but I didn't know how to apply what I studied to a job where I could get steady paychecks. While I come from a family who stress post-secondary education - hell my grandmother is back in college trying to obtain a Culinary Degree - they really had no idea how to help me. By the time graduation rolled around that summer, I was still interning and applying to jobs like crazy, in-between apartments and had no idea what I really wanted to do. I eventually started working in the non-profit sector as an after school instructor for a Charter School, and found a way to apply my skills to the job. It was quite the nine-month adventure and one that I miss sometimes, but I ultimately decided that I wanted to do something else. So then I got a full time job working in TV advertisement tracking. It sounded exciting but it really wasn't; the hours were horrible and I was bored out of my mind so I quit just shy of three months when benefits would've kicked in.

Mind you, I was still working at my internship part-time half hoping that they would hire me as a full-time employee. Entertainment and Media is a competitive industry and I was lucky enough to have a paid internship in NYC in the first place. So once I quit the TV Advertisement Tracking job, I asked my internship supervisor if I could work full time, because I had intentions on being hired if the company needed someone. Luckily I built a good relationship with my supervisor and upon learning that I wanted to be in the company, she put in a good word. By the end of last summer I was offered a full time position with reasonable pay and one that was created for me because the position I have now didn't exist before. So now I work within Independent Film/TV distribution (collectively called Entertainment Distribution) and while it's not production work it's the "business side" of what I studied and I am happily applying my skills.

Now the point of this post isn't to brag about anything; I wanted to share my experiences with those who may be finishing up school this Spring and feel the pressure. Maybe you want to get your Master's Degree right away and are waiting for those acceptance letters to your programs. I chose to give myself a little time because four years straight in college really kicked my ass (don't let anyone tell you an arts degree is "easy." Getting a B.F.A. was work!) I do plan on starting a Master's Program within the next couple of years. Maybe your family is demanding for you to make a decision because they want to see a return on the education they may have helped fund - hell you want to know what you want to school for. My family still doesn't get what I do, even though they interact with what I work with on a daily basis but I've explained it's in my field so they don't say much to me about it. But it took me a while to find what I wanted and that's because I explored options, and even with this I know it won't be forever. If you got a degree in Religious Studies it doesn't mean that you have to find a job with a title "religion" in it; the key is to apply what you know and learned to anything you do. I feel like that's what studying in college is for. If you end up with a job that doesn't seem related to your field, be open to the experiences it will provide for you; it's what helped me in the end figure out what I want for myself right now.

Feel free college folk to share your experiences on the path you took post-college, or if you're still in college and feeling that anxiety!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today's Style: Twisted Up With Red Lips

Just a quick check in YAIS! Over the weekend I washed my hair and re-twisted, this time while soaken wet which I rarely do. I used TreSemme Conditioner as my leave in and sealed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (SP's post about moisturizing is reminding me to become a little more diligent with my hair). The shrinkage made my twists appear shoulder length and prompted a couple of co-workers to ask the inevitable "Did you cut your hair" which I always think is funny.
Anyway, it's windy today and I decided to just tuck in my twists with some bobby pins. Also, I'm enjoying the splash of red on my lips and the headband, so for your viewing pleasure:

I forgot to mention this before, but I bought this lip tint from Lush a few months ago that I absolutely adore, and tend to wear when the weather is cloudy and gray to cheer up my look a little. I'm pretty sure I bought this right before Valentine's Day. It's a kind of matte lip tint, so it can be drying, but I use chapstick or something under it before I put it on and it works for me. I wish I had a better camera on me just so you can see how bright and bold this color is; I have a very dark upper lip and this tint still spreads pretty even. Have any of you shopped at Lush? I love that store so much!

Monday, April 23, 2012

When Going Natural Part 2: Expectations For Your Hair

I've mentioned before that although I've been natural my entire life, I never really saw my curls or played in my hair while it was loose. I knew my hair would shrink up when wet but often wondered what would happen if I just wore my hair like that. At first I wasn't sure about my hair. As a Black Woman of Color with a mixed heritage, I wanted my hair to be "either or" - either big bouncy curls or wavy/straight. As we all know, just because you are "mixed" does not mean you will get a certain "look." This in-between I discovered was strange and at the time I couldn't find anyone who could help me manage this "in-between." But now, it's been my quest for the last few years to play with this idea, and while I've hardly been a wash and go type of lady, I like the way my curls look. I know that I have a mixture of spiral curls: some are loose and some are tight and some parts of my hair are more wavy. It's intriguing to learn how to manage the different patterns And if you're discovering your curls for the first time, it may not be what you expected at all.

Some naturals may describe their hair using the Hair Typing System because it shows the kind of curl pattern your hair have; some of us have a mixture of curl patterns. Keep in mind there's no hierarchy as to what kind of hair is "better." I do agree that society seems to like a certain type of curl but that doesn't mean your hair "type" isn't beautiful. Maybe you're not use to your texture just yet, but becoming natural is a journey, one which will help you learn about what it means to have the hair you have.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are Your Products Actually Moisturizing? Shiny Hair Does Not Necessarily Mean Moisturized Hair

I would say I commend myself for keeping shiny hair although my hair naturally can be anything less than lustrious at times. I have so many people stop me and ask me how I get my hair so shiny, with the famous question "What do you use? Oil Sheen?" Definitely not.
I feel so lucky to have found this community that has helped me to learn the truth about our hair and the products we use in it and why. As a hairstylist, there has been countless times where a girl would come to get her hair done and it would be dry, hard and brittle, but greasy or oily at the same time. Adding layers of grease to already dry hair does nothing but clog the pores, weigh the hair down and make it greasy, and make the hair dirtier faster. Now I'm no scientist so I'm going to break this down in laymens terms...

Moisturizing in 3 Steps:
Part 1 -  Water & Washing your hair ~ When your body feels dehydrated, you drink water, so why not give your hair water when it's thirsty? Water is the first part of moisturizing, so if your hair's feeling dry and brittle , it may need some water. If your regimen is one that is low maintanence with washing, make sure you're still adding water to your hair, i.e. via a spritz bottle before retwisting or rebraiding.

Part 2 - Moisturizing ~ Add a moisturizer of some sort. I like cream moisturizers and leave-in conditioners personally, but I will occasionally use a regular conditioner as a leave in or sometimes just a light oil like coconut or jojoba oil.

Part 3 - Sealing ~ You know that feeling you get when you come out of the shower and you dont put any moisturizer on and you feel like your skin is about to crack... maybe it does ::chapped lips for example:: Moisturizing really seals in the moisture our skin just soaked up from the water in the shower... Same scenario for your hair. Moisturizers will dry out quickly if not sealed in with anything. A few of my favorite sealers would be Jamaican Black Castor oil, Jojoba & Coconut Oils, Shea Butter & Shea Oil, Vitamin E oil, and my latest favorite CHI Deep Brilliance Glisten.
Quick Tips
If you are washing, conditioning, moisturizing and sealing and your hair still feels dry, it's possible your products aren't providing the right amount of moisture for you, or you just may not be applying them correctly or as frequently as needed. Try tweaking your regimen a bit until you find something that works... One thing I used to like to do was read natural hair blogs and watch YouTube videos of people who had hair like mine, doing the same styling, and see what they would use...

*For Transitioners and Newly Transitioned Naturals - Realize that with this new texture involved that your regimen will have to change, as well as your products probably. Don't expect everything you used to use to work for you now. If your old products are still serving you justice, just make sure you adjust to how much more moisture your natural/transitioning hair needs.

* For Naturals - If your natural hair is always feeling dry, there's definitely a huge problem there. Make sure your products contain humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol, aloe vera, and honey to name a few, which are moisture attracting molecules.

*For the drastically different multi textured hair - Know that with extremely different textures, sometimes we need to not forget to baby our more fragile textures, or add a little more or even a different product to these areas.

I hope this helps someone out there with their dry hair... Feel free to ask any questions :)

How Much is Too Much?

When I first started caring for my hair, my favorite product was Deva Care One Condition. I could wax poetic about how amazing this conditioner is, from the sweet orange smell to the luxurious hydration my hair received but the price for my broke behind was pushing twenty dollars. For one amazing conditioner. Picture me, a junior in college whose main source of income was from a part-time paid internship that was supposed to also cover rent and other expenses; I thought I was fancy indulging myself on this bottle that I tried to make streeeetch! I only bought the conditioner twice and it's still very much missed. But even now with some disposable income I'm not sure I could ever make this purchase again, unless it was some sort of deal or was on sale. It appears that my cap for hair products is no more than $12 for a single item these days, and even that I consider a splurge. I wanted to buy some Jessicurl products recently but I'll admit I just couldn't make the purchase because $14-$15 per product seemed like a stretch. I've mentioned before that I've found cheaper alternatives but I do miss my brands.

What's the most you'd spend on a single hair product YAIS readers? How much is too much? 

If you have a Sunday Question you'd like us to post, send us an email at!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Celebrity Doppelganger: Kelly Rowland

For years I've been told I look like Kelly Rowland, some old friends even still call me Kelly Rowland, lol. A lot of people wouldn't say so now since I look like the post nose job Kelly, but I just think she's so cute regardless and I love the natural weave she's wearing now! Do you think she's growing her hair out  natural with her natural weave or do you think she's going with the whole "natural hair is a trend right now" thing?
I'm currently in LA right now for a week, so since I knew I'd be traveling and I didn't want to end up having a bad hair week, I decided to weave my hair up. To save money I decided to reuse my Jheri Curl weave I bought last year and only used once... you remember, this one:
Well I just dyed it black, rinsed my hair to match, and Voila! New Weave! lol
Randomly on my flight here, I was watching TV and Kelly came on, and when i realized we basically have matching weaves, I knew I had to do this post. Lol
What do you all think about Mrs. Rowland's look?!

Long Hair Only Lovers, Please Speak Out!

Okay, those of you long hair only lovers out there, young or old, black or white, please, speak out!!
My question to you is: What's the deal with long hair that you can only have long hair? What are you so attached to, or hiding, or afraid of?
This is a question I have always wondered and could never understand...
As a hairstylist, I've learned to be sensitive to people's individual feelings concerning their hair, but I've seen one too many women with long hair FREAK OUT over getting something as menial as a trim. I mean literally, grown women, throwing tantrums, crying, screaming and cursing, rolling on the floor, the list goes on (I'M SERIOUSLY NOT JOKING)... Spiral into depressions even over a hairstylist trimming an inch or 2 of stringy, see through ends... And I'm talking about trimming an inch or two off of at least waist length hair.  
Now of course this is not every woman with long hair, as I know there are people who grow their hair to their butt and chop it off every 5 years, or just decided one day to chop their beautiful long hair to a short cut and never turn back, but for the others, I find something kind of disturbing about someone with a good amount of years on their life who's never had hair shorter than their arm pits or shoulders (the one's who consider bra strap length short and would never get a haircut)... If you notice, she's the one who always wears her hair down. When it's time to take a photo, she's the one who brings all her hair to the front on both sides, covering most of her face and body. She's the one who never wears her hair pulled back away from her face... Her Security Blanket. 
I especially can't stand when people have long hair who really shouldn't, like people whose hair is like 10 strands strands thick... the Bad kind of "Hippie hair"... Please let that go! Your hair will look fuller shorter anyway! 
(Sorry for yelling. I just really can't stand that.. when keeping it real goes wrong, lol

I'm currently feigning for length, wanting to finally grow my hair really long for the first time (just to like hip length stretched..) but I've never felt like I couldn't have short hair or was afraid of short hair.... It seems like women who are attached to long hair are afraid of short hair... they act like they would die with a haircut, even if it's a trim of an inch that will grow back in a month or two... I just don't get it...
My Theory is:  Let's just say you live on average 80 yrs... If you get a haircut once in your life, it would take you a year or 2 to grow your hair back, maybe 4 if you're growing it pretty long... but that still gives you about 76 years with long hair... 
Like seriously, would it kill you to try and embrace a short haircut once? Please, Speak Out!!!

(If it has anything to do with Religion or Tradition of course I'm not talking to you in this case :)