Monday, August 27, 2012

In The City: Dining at La Mar NY

It's occurred to SP and I that we live in an amazing city. Even though we leave it sometimes, we know that this is home. I've personally lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs, having spent my teenage years gallivanting through lower Manhattan and Harlem, my childhood between Brooklyn and the Upper West Side, my college years in Staten Island (don't ask!) and "adulthood" in Queens. We've decided to share more of our outings with YAIS readers!

Appetizer: Cebiche Limeno (sweet potato, octopus, calamari, scallops and shrimp)

During NYC's restaurant week, the hubby and I went to La Mar NYC located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, a couple of streets from where I work. We never tried Peruvian food before (both of us growing up on Caribbean Spanish/West Indian cooking) and thought to add it to our pallet. I tried Octopus for the first time in my appetizer, a delicious salmon entree and an ice-cream desert, chased with one of their beers. The place itself is really pretty and right across the street from Madison Square Park. There's outdoor seating or you can sit inside (like we did) where there's a chandelier hanging and a bar on the first floor. 

Entree: Chorrillana (Salmon dish)

Queso Helado (ice-cream with rice cookie)

I have to admit I wasn't a fan of the server we got; knowing nothing about Peruvian food I asked him about what were the best choices and he grunted in response *shrug* but the hostesses were nice. Since this was restaurant week an appetizer, entree and desert was $35, and from the look of the menu it's definitely not a budget place. But if you're into trying something new and want to treat yourself a bit, try this place out! I know there's another location in the US in California, but the rest are in Central and South America.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Question: How Many Is Too Many

I always hear men wonder aloud why women have so many products; why can't we have one shampoo and just one conditioner like they *allegedly* do? I realize I alternate shampoos, conditioners, stylers and hairstyles all the time, and that's why I need the amount of products I have. I don't think I'm a product junkie - mostly because I'm a bit lazy and indecisive - but I do buy products on a whim. I've made a list of the staple amount of products I feel I should have:

2 Cleansers at a time: a sulfate-free one for frequent use, another for clarifying
2-3 Conditioners: A Deep conditioner, a leave-in, and a rinse-out (most likely a cheapy)
3-4 Stylers: There are creams, gels and serums that fit different hair styling needs.
Total: 6 - 9 Products 

I actually don't think this is a lot. My bathroom does not look like the hair section at a drugstore aisle LOL. Of course, this isn't a dig at PJs, in fact I know of one that many of you know *cough SP cough* but I digress...

What do you guys think? How many is too many hair products?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Big Hair Days - How I Get to 3 Day Hair

So I've decided for the rest of the summer to wear my hair big, which has kept my routine pretty simple for the last couple of weeks. I was stuck in a styling rut after my wedding and since I was tired of buns and the weather has cooled down significantly, I decided to just let my hair "do what it does."

I've been washing my hair twice a week and using either conditioner or Eco-Styler gel as a leave-in, then I put my hair into 4-6 braids. Because I have so much hair, it's usually not dry by the morning so on Day 1, I have a shrunken curly look:

At night, I put my hair back in the 4-6 braids, sometimes with conditioner if I want some definition, and wake up and fluff in the morning so that Day 2 hair looks something like this:

By Day 3, my  hair is pretty stretched out and it's when my hair is at it's largest. Again, I'm braiding the night before then fluffing out my hair to get it as big as I feel like for the day:

Yesterday's Hair

Day 3 (or 4) is when I wash and condition and do the same thing all over again. I love how easy this is for me and I've been getting so many compliments at work from all types of people (I'm one of four black women at my job and the only natural). Of course I do get the "omg did you get a haircut" thing when my hair is wet and appears shorter, and after a while I did get annoyed. I finally decided to tell one of my co-workers who asked, that I have the ability to control the length of my hair using a Jedi Mind Trick - it at least made him laugh and now it's a running joke.

Friday, August 24, 2012

How I Finger De-Tangle My Hair

Hey YAIS readers!

I've finally mustered up the courage to do another video. It's a really quick video of how I de-tangle my hair using my fingers - I said goodbye to the comb a while ago!

Last Saturday I pre-poo'd my hair with Burt's Bees Avocado Butter, shampooed with Yes To Cucumbers, deep conditioned with Ouidad's Climate Control De-Frizzing conditioner, and used TreSemme Naturals Conditioner (the silicon free kind) as my leave in and de-tangler. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Putting Together My Hair Looks for the Fall/Winter Season

 With all of this cool weather coming in NYC, my mind has been so preoccupied with what I'm going to do with my hair for this upcoming fall/winter season. My hair is about shoulder length when straight, and doesn't even pass my ears when fully shrunken, so I plan to live in roller sets and twist outs to be able to easily manipulate my hair into different styles.

With the idea of keeping my natural hair freedom, protective styling, and the look I would like to have for myself in mind, I took some time to google a few cool styles I can definitely see myself pulling off this fall/winter season. I know my hair is much shorter, and a lot more textured than a lot of these photos, but of course I will be tweaking them to my needs and liking (The In Be-TWA version).
I will also be trying using a curling iron on my natural curls and plan to buy some curlformers for some different sets. I don't think I would enjoy flexirods... they've never interested me really... and the flexirod tutorials I've enjoyed have all been on longer hair with huge flexirods... so I think I'll just wait to experiment with those on own my hair when it's longer.
I'm really liking the a little messy, carefree look a lot of these updo's have and with beautiful sets I can also create these controlled messy looks.
I really want to try to keep my hair up as much as I can this fall/winter because I'm scared of the breakage that ensues when fragile hair like mine rubs against the harsh fabrics of coats, hats, and scarves. I do my best to buy silk scarves and wear my bonnet under hats, but even then my hair gets caught in all the layers of fabric and snags, tangles, and/or gets dried out. If I am wearing my hair down, I will combat the damage by putting the back of my hair up to go outside with either pincurls and bobby pins or a quick ponytail or bun.
I'm pretty sure these are looks I'm going to love even as my hair grows longer so this will be a great post to refer back to when I need a little inspiration with styling my hair. A few easy, classy, and timeless looks that I will also enjoy translating for us TWA ladies as well.
Have you started forecasting your fall/winter hairstyles? Any of these spark your interest?

Looking Forward To Trying a New Fall/Winter Regimen

Me & My Hair Dec 2011
Fall seems to be approaching really fast here in NYC this year, as August is nearly over and the weather has already cooled down. This Fall going into the winter season is going to be sooo different for me, now that I have a little more length to my hair! I was thinking I should try rollersetting every week to week in a half... and then doing twist outs when the hair no longer looks good as a rollerset. Idk... I just definitely want to be able to retain more length while wearing my hair out, and still keep a stretched look. I realized, I don't think I wore a wash n go once this summer because I'm sooo over the shrunken look. I was wearing a short haircut for like 6 years before I decided to go natural and grow out my hair, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it too.
Anyhoo... I realized in all these years (2) I still haven't created a solidified regimen for myself... but could I? I've had an inch of hair, virgin hair, bleached hair, dyed hair, curly weave, straight weave, extension braids, lol... Yes, I find it hard to keep up with myself! lol So now that I'm 2 years in, with a color that I love, doing my best to retain as much length as possible, I'm really going to try putting myself on a strict regimen and seeing if it makes a difference in my length retention this year.

Day 1 ~ Wash Day! Start with a hair and scalp oil treatment (either the same day or baggied the night before). According to how the hair feels I will either shampoo (Roux Porosity Control) and condition or just cowash and finger detangle my hair in 4 sections. My favorite condish for detangling is Hello Hydration. :)
Rollerset w/ end wraps & Sit under dryer, pincurl and sleep w/ Satin Scarf and bonnet. (Sitting under the dryer also makes me take time out for posting, reading or doing my nails)

Day 2 ~ Wear amazing hair... and if amazing hair fails, wear a banana clip or bun! Moisturize at night using Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango butter  and morocan oil on the ends before sleeping, re-pincurl and zzzzzz.

Days 4 - 7 ~ Hair will probably get larger or flatter... go with the flow and either continue to pincurl or 2 strand twist for twist outs using Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango butter and Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Hold Smoothie, sealing my ends with Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Back to wash day for a new hair week!
I really enjoy the outcome of rollersets and twist outs on my hair, which create beautiful textures I can always manipulate into other styles. One thing I did learn in the previous Fall and Winter seasons with all the cold weather accessories is to keep my hair in the back up! There will be no scarves and coats eating up my hair this year! I do need to do a little fall/winter accessory shopping so we'll see how that goes! lol

I plan to start this regimen as soon as I take out my extension braids and trim my hair!
 I plan to try trimming with the moon cycles for the next year as well, so I will be trimming on Friday August 31st with the full moon. I need a really good trim too... 1/4 inch, maybe like almost 1/2 inch to have all fresh ends. At the slow rate my hair grows I don't want to trim that much but after the pool and dry heat on the west coast, I think I definitely need it. Styling and detangling has been rough :/
(another reason I put these braids in... been trying to prolong this trim, lol)

Any of you ladies already thinking forward to your fall/winter regimen?

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Minnie Mouse" Extension Braid High Double Buns!!

 I braided my hair up two Wednesday's ago, bored of my hair and wanting to take a break from having to do her... and she needed a break from me too! lol

How have I been caring for my braids?
  • Spraying scalp and hair in braids with mix of Aloe Vera Juice, Peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, sage oil, JBCO, coconut and avocado oils.
  • Baggying roots every other night.
  • Tying hair down very night with a satin scarf.
Liking to keep my money in my pocket, i did these braids over about 7 hours (no, not straight. I took the night off and finished on Thursday). Usually I'm ready to rip these things out as soon as I do them but I've actually been enjoying them a little more this time around so I plan to keep them in until the 31st. Saturday night I wore one of my usual High Braided Buns, and yesterday decided to see what 2 would look like, i'm loving it!!! I really love the look of two buns so I can't wait until my hair gets bigger and longer so I can wear two of my own huge buns on top of my head like that! lol
When I was younger my mother used to always give me 2 afro puffs and everyone would call me Minnie Mouse... so maybe it kind of taps into that Nostalgia.

What do you think? Would you wear 2 High buns?!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Question: Talking Hair With Non-Curlies

We're getting back to normal here with posting, it's been such a busy summer! Lately I've been having fun talking hair with non-naturals and non-curlies and it's a nice bonding experience. One of my closes friends is Mexican-American with thick, jet black straight hair and we've been sharing our hair routines and beauty secrets which has been fun for me. Turns out we both adore TreSemme Conditioners and I've gotten her into flexi-rods. We even made a trip to a beauty supply store exploring hair products! Of course I love talking to other naturals/curlies about hair stuff, but it's nice to share moments with others without being looked at like a weirdo. My friend and I recognize our vast hair differences and embrace it pretty well.

So my question to YAIS: Do you talk hair with non-curlies/non-naturals? Is it a positive experience for you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teyana Taylor's Ombre Curly Weave

Man, does Teyana Taylor always have great weave! And I live for Turquoise so you know I'm drooling all over that all turqiouse ombre. I really don't have much to say else to say except for the fact I love her weave (I don't really get why she's famous)... All the right colors and shades, beautiful natural textures; Just Beautifully executed. Teyana Taylor coming in at 9.7 on the weave scale! ( Sorry, I've been watching a lot of Olympics lately.)

If I could do this to my real hair ya'll know i would, but i'd likely go bald, lol.

What Do You Think About Teyana's Ombre?!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Band Out Puff + Hair Plans

Traveling home last week, my hair had been in my usual 2 buns, which I left a load of conditioner in and oil in. When I got back home, I got so used to my tanning rituals on the West Coast, that I was naturally compelled to go up to my roof and tan. I took out my buns just to give my hair a breather, but I guess the little bit of banding I had done to stretch the night before had really helped because I thought my curls were actually looking pretty good. Because I had to go out that evening, I decided a puff was going to be the way to go, because I didn't want any hair around my face or neck, or to have to fuss with it not falling the way I wanted if I had left it out. I even went for a more carefree look and didn't put any holding product on my edges or any of my hair going back into the ponytail. I really loved my hair that night, though it shrunk quite a lot, but I'm really happy to see the difference in my puff, it's so much bigger without all the extra fluffing and/or blowing out the roots!

  I was searching back through our blog yesterday and assessing my hair over time. I've learned when I have my greatest setbacks... always when I'm extremely busy.... both mentally and/or physically. With Fashion Week quickly approaching (an extremely hectic time for me) I've been trying to think ahead to the approaching madness, and what will I do with this hair of mine. I really do not want to deal with another setback, as my hair grows incredibly slow and is also incredibly fragile. From all my researching, my fashion week options so far are:
  1. Twists & Twist Outs! I love Twist outs, as regardless of anything, they keep my hair stretched and smooth, and if I don't love the outcome, it always has a beautiful texture I can manipulate into another style.
  2. Banding! Though I'd love to imagine that if I do wear a twist out I'd have the time to retwist, but in case it's all in my head, banding is an easy and much faster way to keep my hair stretched and hold on to whatever curl pattern I can.
  3. Buns! After looking at a few tutorials and photos of beautiful natural hair in buns, I think aside from putting my own hair up, I want to try adding some Marley Braid Hair for a different effect. 
I don't think I'd have time to do much else... plus that's the other thing I've learned: Keeping it simple is the way to go. I'll definitely be applying that to my Fashion Week makeup regimen as well, with a little tinted moisturizer, whatever color lip, my cat eye and mascara. A little blush if I'm feeling fancy. Done.

I've also been thinking ahead to the approaching fall and winter, thinking of what I will do with my hair to continue retaining as much length as I possibly can, especially in a cold climate like NY where we definitely need to pile on the layers! Scarfs, hats, and coats can snag and dry the hair out, so it's so hard to wear my hair out in the winter without being afraid of life! lol I definitely plan on getting a long, straight weave once I no longer have to worry about humidity, just for fun!

How has your hair been lately? Any Special Plans?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Combating Breakage in Dry Desert Climates

 I recently came back from the west coast for a work trip, spending a week in Los Angeles and 2 days in Las Vegas. A few posts ago I had mentioned how ever since my hair's been long enough to go into ponytails, that's exactly what's been happening with it... I had been moisturizing daily and making sure to tuck my ends under whenever I did little buns, but one day while removing my ponytail holders, I saw a few broken strands of hair and totally freaked out!!! I knew it wasn't the ponytail holders because I got some new ones I really love that don't snag my hair at all. I knew my hair had been feeling dry with all of the dry desert heat, visits to the pool, and tanning, but I never thought it would start breaking. All I could think of was all of my hard work, feeling like I've been working for it forever and then watching it going down the drain.
Immediately, with my small resources (seeing as how I wasn't home I didnt have everything I needed) I began putting together a concoction of what would be the deepest conditioner possible at the time... A mix of whatever conditioners were on hand, and some Palmers Cocoa Butter Body oil. Thank goodness it worked! I started mixing the oil into my conditioner every time I washed my hair, and left a good amount of conditioner and oil in my hair afterwards too. I'm so glad I've come this far in my haircare to understand that what I saw was breakage, and to have had an idea of how to combat it.

How have you dealt with your hair under different climate circumstances?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick and Easy After Pool/Beach Up-do

One thing I always remembered about the summer, was always needing to have some way to contain my hair during water activities. For the most part, as a child, I lived in box braids and single strand twists, so going in the water meant nothing but shrunken hair... which at that point meant nothing because my hair was always shrunken anyway. lol Since I was never the one in charge of my hair and my mother worked a lot, styles like braids and twists were essential to my mother, being able to easily rinse them and not have to worry about combing hair if she didn't have the time.
This time around while out in LA, I figured going in the pool with loose hair couldn't be that bad, now that I'm old enough to do my own  hair (lol) and my hair is now long enough to go into a ponytail... that would be my saving grace, and it was! I grabbed whatever conditioner I could find, and smoothed it onto my hair after I was finished with my pool shenanigans. On my way to tan, I put the back of my hair up into a little high bun and left what would be the bang area out. It shrunk up quite a bit... but if you don't mind the skrunken look and want to pull off a little more than a curly fro or ponytail after the pool or beach, this can be a cute and quick little updo look for you. Adding some conditoner is a great way to keep your hair from totally drying out from pool and/or ocean water and the sun, and get a little deep conditioning time in. You can even try a conditoner with SPF if you know you'll be out in the sun for a while, or adding a little oil to your conditioner if you have really dry hair.
 I hope this saves someone's beach/pool hair!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to curls + Twist outs in July

  I've been so crazy busy it's been ridiculous; from work, to family affairs, to down right tragedies... it's no wonder I've hardly had time to get on and properly blog, much less any time for my hair.
Ever since I've made my way into the ponytail/bun world my hair has been washed, moisturized, and thrown back into a ponytail or bun of sorts. I haven't had the time or patience for twisting or retwisting, and with my multiple textures, wearing wash n go are currently no-no's for me.
 In these photos I was deep conditoning my hair to get ready to twist it for a twist out. This was the week of the 20's in July, I was prepping for my trip to LA (not under the happiest circumstances, but it turned out that I got the opportunity to work while out there so that was great... more on that later). I left in some Giovanni Deeper Moisture Smooth As Silk conditioner and proceeded to twist with Eco Styler Olive Oil gel. Slept/Air Dried, and removed my twist the next evening to go to a party I didn't even make it to... lol.
Crazy thing was, I usually love twist outs but I really was not liking the outcome of my twist out this time around...
I think it probably had more to do with my hair length than the actual twist out though, because I will say Eco Styler does make my twist outs come out beautifully. My hair is just growing into a point that I think might become mildly awkward for wearing out and curly, since it is becoming overall fuller, and longer, but still has a ton of shrinkage. My hair can still look 2 inches when it's about 8. The little Bob I have going on is getting a little mushroom-y! The good thing is, I've just braided up my hair so hopefully this little break will also come with a good little growth spurt... lets see if I can hold out for a month! lol
 I have sooo much to post about my hair on the West Coast so I will definitely be back with more posts!