Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Protective Style: Textured Blunt Bob Weave

Fall is here, and I'm over doing my own hair! lol  The ends have been really dry from a crazy color process at the salon earlier this summer, so styling has been a little annoying. I've been trying to be careful and avoid breakage, doing extra deep conditioning, and my ends still look and feel like crap to me.
I had long decided that I wanted to get a straight weave for this winter, and though I was thinking to aim more for the long side, something drew me to wanting to get a bob again instead. I love short, straight hair, and I think I'm just over the obviously fake right now, and wanted to pull off something more natural looking (I also dont have like $200- $300 to dish out on good long hair right now). I have always looked good in bobs, so when I started looking through pics to decide what I wanted, I fell in love with these wavy bobs! I am also loving the chin length right now! I so wish I could just chop my own hair to chin length right now, which would cut out the majority of my layers, but I'm not ready to go there right now so this weave will do... lol 
I know I will be wearing a straighter look, but I plan to order wavy hair, and leave out only a small section of my own hair  in the part area that I'm hoping a curlformer set, or whatever type of set can help me blend so I can stay away from using too much heat (gotta find the hugest flexi rods possible)!
I've always been a fan of finger waved hair, so I will definitely be rocking this style with my weave in too, just probably the non-gelled version.
I will be ordering my hair this coming week so I will post all about the process as soon as it comes!
Any ladies planning on weaving it up for this fall/winter?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Luv Naturals Products - Will You Be Trying?

I just took a look at this video from Kim Love (from Kimmaytube) and her new line of hair products at Luv Naturals. I've always been an admirer of her channel because her videos and hair info are so informative and visually pleasing. I know some folks don't like her for various reasons (yes I followed the "natural drama" at some point) but  I'm really focusing on the product line she's created. There are four products on the market right now:

Honestly, the ingredients for these products look great and it costs about the same (and maybe less) as other brands I like, such as Jessicurl. I'm into supporting small business, especially ones by Women of Color so I think I will be giving this a try.  

Are any of you interested in trying the Luv Naturals Products?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Black Tea Rinse For Darker Hair

I have a very interesting relationship with the color of my hair. It's naturally really, really dark but I'm known to color it every so often. I haven't colored my hair in a while because now I want to go back to my naturally dark color and I've read that a Black Tea Rinse may be the way to do it. Most people seem to use it for reducing shedding, but I'm curious about it's rich, dark stain. I definitely plan to give it a try this weekend. Have any of you tried rinsing with Black tea?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

To Transition or to Big Chop?

That is the question! lol

Now that I've been coming up on two years natural, I have been doing so much reflecting on my natural hair journey. I've actually been natural for 2 1/2 years, originally BCing in March of 2010, then BCing again in Oct of 2010. 
Why the second BC so soon? I wanted to have completely virgin hair so I cut off about two to three inches of colored natural hair (bad choice). I loved my virgin hair, but looking back I wish I had transitioned out of the color instead of chopping my little bit of length off. I actually currently have color that I think I may be transitioning out of.
Before I did my original BC, I transitioned from relaxed hair, but only for about 4 months.
What has all of this taught me?

It really just depends on your lifestyle choices and sometimes even more so, your natural hair goals. 
Let's Weigh it out:

Big Chop
  • easy wash and go's
  • styling in no time
  • not having to deal with two different textures
  • being able to see your hair grow from nothing to everything!
  • seeing your hair at all different lengths
  • very little style versatility
  • growing through awkward stages
  • realizing your hair is going to take a while to grow long (if length is your goal)
  • can be hard to protective style
  • Keeping your length in the meantime while you grow out your natural hair
  • Your natural ends will not yet be exposed to damaging elements
  • Dealing with 2 different textures and the territory that comes with it; breakage and excessive tangling at the demarcation line, thick voluminous roots and flat thin/stringy ends
  • Having to either manipulate the relaxed hair to look natural,   or the natural hair to look relaxed
  • Having to put heat on your new natural hair constantly if you plan continue regular straightening

Well, If I missed any pros or cons in either area, please let me know as I'd hate to be missing out on anything, and would love to add it to the list. So ladies and gentle dudes, to transition or to BC?

Sunday Question: Dealing With Negative Hair Comments

I remember earlier this summer I posted the picture above of my hair on Facebook, and a guy friend of mine commented and asked if I was auditioning for The Lion King, while a couple of others asked why I was trying to look "nappy." First off, I don't like the word nappy; I know some people use it as a positive but that's not how they meant it; secondly the Lion King comment was all kinds of messed up because we clearly still equate anything "African" with "unruly" and bad. I pretty much dusted my shoulders after those comments though; to put it plainly, I gave zero craps about their opinions, but I wasn't always like this. Before, I viewed my hair as something terrible and had accepted it as such which was a defense mechanism. It was so that no one's words could effect me because I had already thought the same thing they did. Now I'm way more confident about my hair and continue to flaunt it however I see fit.

It also makes me think about the backlash Solange has gotten over how she wears her hair; even naturals were jumping on her case about how she needed to do a twist-out instead of wearing her hair the way she wanted! So my question to you guys is, how do you handle the negative comments about your hair? Do you address them or do you sometimes feel bad about it? Let us know!

Want to submit a Sunday Question? email us at!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quick TWA & Up Updo!

I did an updo on a failed braidout this morning in preparation to go to an event this morning. I thought it was really cute when I did it but got over it and put my hair in my trusty two buns before I left the house. Luckily for you all, I snapped a few pics before the style went bye bye, lol

I didn't plan to do this, i just had a few bobby pins by my side, my soft bristle brush and some Murrays Cream beeswax... started by separating out the front section (as you can see I did not part anything), doing a roll going backwards and pinning.
I then french rolled up the back while pinning, and at the top, folded it back towards the french roll and tucking it under, creating another hump. Tighten, pin, loosen to your liking, leave out a few curls if it tickles your fancy, and Voila!

This should work if your hair is at least 5 inches or longer, you may just need to tweak everything a little :) This is also a great protective style because your ends are all tucked away.
 Even great for transitioners to tuck away those straight ends.
Here's a link to another rendition of this same style I did a few months ago on my shorter hair.
 Good luck and have fun styling!

(excuse the messy room : )

Would anyone wear this style?!

How Long Will You Be In The TWA Stage?

I don't know how many times I've thought I was out of the TWA stage, only to be reminded when I tried to do one of those styles for long hair... you know, the ones that definitely don't work for TWA's no matter how you try to tweak it. If someone broke down a TWA to me and how long it takes to get out of this stage before I BCed... who knows... I might have transitioned a little longer. lol
One thing's for sure, I would have definitely been more patient if someone said
"You know your hair isn't gonna start to look long until you're into like, year 3, right?"
My hair straightened may be shoulder length, but If I wash my hair and let it air dry with no product, i'm basically a curly ear length... I can't wait for the day when I can really wash and go and have at least neck/shoulder length curls.

So approximately how long will you be in the TWA stage?
It all depends on your amount of shrinkage and curl pattern.
  • If your hair is tightly curled/waved and shrinks up anywhere between 50% - 90% expect to be in the TWA stage anywhere from 2 - 4 years.
  • If your hair has medium curls/waves and shrinks up anywhere between 40% - 80% you can expect to be in the TWA stage for about a year or two.
  • If your hair has loose waves or curls and your shrinkage is about 20% - 60% you can expect to be in the TWA stage for about a year to a year and a half.
These values are based on my own calculations and averages from comparing the shrinkage of many naturals with different textures and hair types, and is also a calculation for girls who are starting off with a shaved head to 2" - 3" of hair tops. If you have hair that doesn't shrink as much in any texture, you will be able to see your length sooner than later. And of course the opposite for us girls with major shrinkage, it takes forever!!! lol

How Long has it taken you ladies to get out of the TWA stage?!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Repost: What Being Natural Has Really Taught Me

Up until a couple of years ago, I was that young girl who felt so ugly if my hair wasn't done. My hair was either in box braids or twists, and during the in-between I hid my attempts at wearing my hair loose under a hat or scarf and headed to class. On those days my moods were off and I had to struggle to keep from crying because I thought I was so damn ugly. Whether I was in an exciting production class or taking notes on a lecture, the way my hair looked under my hat or scarf was always taking over a big part of my concentration. I just wanted to have pretty hair and look good, like the actresses and random women my guy friends drooled after.

And so began the natural hair journey, which included learning to be comfortable in my own skin. Sure, I've never been relaxed and I was that girl who "had the Indian in her, with the good hair" but that didn't spare me from comments that it needed fixing. I had too much hair, it was big and poofy, and needed to be tamed somehow. A relaxer was suggested to make me "look prettier" and to "enhance" my so-called exotic (read: non-black) side which was both confusing and irritating for me--it played into my identity issues as kid that I'm still processing. Learning about natural hair connected me to my ethnicities, my culture, and how I started seeing myself as a proud woman of color.

For me bad hair days no longer exist, and it's not because I always know what to do with my hair. It's because I no longer view myself and my hair the same way I used to. Yes, there are days when my hair didn't come out the way I may have wanted but it does not have a heavy impact on my mood like it used to; because now I am satisfied with my looks and embrace what I've got. I no longer measure myself against others because I too am great in my own way. I wear make-up sometimes because I want to, not because I need it. I wear my hair straight, in fluffy, undefined styles, and sometimes in twists and braids and I'm comfortable in all of it.

Whether you've done the "Big Chop" and sporting short hair, transitioning, or just learning how to work with your "crown and glory" know that this journey is FOR YOU and BY YOU. Hair won't make you a better person and instantly prettier if you don't already feel that way. As a young person of color it can be hard but you're not alone and you have support, including (I hope) this blog =)

PS: Listening to TLC's "Unpretty" is what inspired this post. Their video/lyrics are timeless truths of what goes on today.

Recent Purchase: Curls Cashmere Jelly

 Remember earlier in the summer when I posted about Curls latest product, Cashmere Jelly? I didn't like the wording of "turn your kinks to curls" because it seems very misleading for reasons I stated in that post. Ignoring that annoying tagline, I decided to place an order for the product because I have been curious to try it. They are having a 35% off sale (enter BLOWOUT at checkout) until midnight tonight, so this seems to be the perfect time. From the description of the product, I'm hoping to have defined and fluffy braid-outs.

I also bought the Champagne & Caviar Curl Elixir which promises to strengthen hair, which is something I definitely need to focus on as the cool weather approaches.

There doesn't seem to many reviews on these products, so if any of you have tried please let me know what you think!

Little TWA Buns on Stretched hair

I've been trying to incorporate more scalp massaging into my regimen to hopefully increase my growth a bit, so I decided the easiest way to do this, would be by wearing my hair in buns. I figured, if I wore a bun I could always take it down at night, moisturize and massage my scalp daily and put my hair right back in my little buns, perfect! I wanted to keep my hair really stretched for this regimen, as I'm always afraid of tangling when it comes to scalp massaging... the thought of rubbing in cirlcles with my hair that tangles ever so easily is so scary to me. lol Last week I rollerset my hair then pulled  it back into a ponytail, and this week I blowdryed and lightly passed the flat iron just once. I've been home nursing my sick puppy, so I haven't been trying to look cute, just wearing the buns braided an tucked up. I wanted to include a photo of my little ponytail/braid hangtime! AAEEOOWW! lol
I had to run to the store really quick so i decided to just roll the braid up and pin, which I think turned out kind of cute, I just definitely wouldn't wear the white scrunchie and blue clip if I had anywhere significant to go (getting in touch with my Haitian roots, lol)
This bun was done on yesterday's lightly flatironed hair, pulled back with a (supposed to be) middle part. I really love middle parts on low ponytails/ buns.

I will be sticking to this regimen for the next week or two, or until I get bored of buns and decide to protective style or rock a few twist/braid outs. I've been slicking my buns back with a brush and a little Jamaican Black Castor oil, trying to kind of follow my mom's regimen.  I realized while in conversation with Curly Film Chic last night, that I really hadn't done much to my hair for the summer, I wore a lot of buns and called it a day, and I've still been retaining length, so I'm hoping the addition of scalp massages and Jamaican Black Castor Oil will be good for something :) Oh! And I almost forgot, CFC is supposed to let me borrow her Curlformers next week so I'll get to try those for the first time, Oh joy! lol

Buns? Borings or Funs?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hair Crush: Viola Davis

I was reading InStyle Magazine's October issue yesterday and saw spotted Viola Davis with her beautiful low-cut fro. Instantly I got so excited. Not only does she look really great in the pictures, but the article discussing her choice to become an actress, the roles she had to play, and being vocal about seeing more dark skin actresses in roles made me equally happy (wouldn't it have been amazing if she made the cover??)

I've always liked Ms. Davis; before The Help I saw her on episodes of Law & Order - she was the lawyer the prosecution was always afraid of because of how well she defended her clients. I also saw her on The United States of Tara where she had a re-occurring role as an artist Tara befriended. These days she's getting so much appreciation, especially from the natural community for ditching the wigs and letting her fro out!

I have to add how much I love her hair color too. She looks amazing!

TWA Braid/Twist Out

The beautiful view from the ferry
One fine morn while at a friend's house out in Staten Island, I decided to style my hair because I was going to be heading to an event later that evening and wouldn't have time to do my hair when I got home. Since I hadn't planned for any of this, I hadn't packed any products so I was at the mercy of whatever my friend could spare. Luckily for me, since I got her to go natural about 2 years ago she had a few natural hair products in her house that I quite liked. I'm still testing the products now so I don't want to go name dropping and false reviewing... counting my eggs before they hatch basically. I will say that i was in LOVE with my hair that day! I don't know if it was the Staten Island water, the cowash, or the whipped shea butter product I used.. or all 3... but I can say my hair was perfect. It was defined, stretched out, light, bouncy, had movement and smelled amazing. This was also my first time trying a 1/2 braid out, 1/2 twist out... which i decided to do on a whim as an attempt to  minimize shrinkage while still achieving twist out curls.... I basically got the idea from the ladies who like to do braid & curl's.

Since I didn't sleep in this style, I had to sit under a hooded dryer, and because I am impatient, I then proceeded to blow dry each braid, and my hair was still damp when I took it out! None the less, I used the blowdryer to stretch out my roots and my hair was perfectly bouncy all day.

I was even able to achieve really awesome second day hair without any re-twisting or re-braiding! I will definitely be reviewing the products I used soon, and trying this braid/twist out again.

What do you think ladies about the 1/2 Braid, 1/2 Twist out?  Is this something you have done or would try?                    

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last Week's Fashion's Night Out Puff

My friend was snapping pics of me on the low, trying to be funny, but I was really loving how massive my puff was that day. I put moisturizer in it and unfortunately it shrunk up a bit, but was still quite cute.
The puffs are the result of old twist outs just pushed back with a little Murrays Cream Beeswax and a doubled headband... my go to style for recycling my twist outs when I'm in hurry and on the go!

What do you do with your old twist outs?

Hair Crush: Corbin Bleu

Day in and day out we see plenty of beautiful women with gorgeous heads full of curls in our little natural hair blogging world we've created for ourselves, but very seldomly do we get to beef it up with a little testosterone. Let me be one of the ones to add: Corbin Bleu of Disney's High School Musical.
I was never really a High School Musical Fan (saw it once and it was cool), but I did definitely have a certain attraction to this dude's hair. I always remember thinking that he had the perfect head of spiral curls that were perfectly bouncy and frizz free. I think seeing his hair was also the first time I saw such perfect tiny curls... I'd only seen the perfect curls on people who had bigger curls, like Tia and Tamera Mowry for example. I guess in a way, I could kind of say Corbin Bleu was one of my first hair inspirations, before I had any idea of natural hair forums, blogs or anything of the sort. I secretely always wish my hair will look like Corbin Bleu's as it grows out, lol.
With the way we know shrinkage can be, this dude's hair must have been down to his waist!

Corbin has since cut his curls into shorter more coifed styles, but as a woman who personally likes men with hair, I think his short curly hair looks great. You can tell he takes great care of his hair, as it always appears shiny, healthy and frizz free.

Did you love Corbin Bleu's Curls too? 
 So what do you think ladies, are you into men with hair? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Transitioning Story: Influencing My Mom to go Natural

My mother's beloved weave

A little over two years ago I influenced my mother to go natural. She didn't put up much of a fight at the the thought of fuller, longer hair, but definitely was not going for a big chop. I weaved her up for a year straight during the initial part of her transition, but for the rest of it, she either wears buns or straightens her hair. Whenever I can I'll snatch her up and try to give her a curly style with her luxurious curls, like I did the last time I made a little post about my mom, but of course she always reverts back to her die hard buns. lol
One day after washing her hair, she decides its a good idea not to detangle, or condition, throw a hat on her damp hair and walk out the door to run some errands before coming to see me. OY VEY! This lady gets here and the back of her hair is as matted as I dont know what! After about an hour of trying to detangle one small section with loads of oil and HEHH I gave up, and told her to get over it because it was Big choppin' time! (It might sound mean, but  that was a matt to remember and I was OVER it!)
 Because she still wanted to be able to pull her hair back for ponytails and have a bit of length to rock her weaves, we decided that since the front hadn't matted that we wouldn't chop it off as of yet... so I guess you could say she had to get half of a Big Chop.

Since then she hasn't worn any weaves for over a year and has been sticking to her good ol' buns and flatironed hair.
My mom has a super, simple hair regimen that basically consists of washing her hair, blow drying, or air drying in twists, and wearing a bun slicked back with water and JBCO. Sometimes she also braids and/or twists her ponytail before bunning. When she decides to straighten her hair, she generally wears it out and ends up putting it in a loose ponytail so it doesnt get all messy if she's busy and moving around a lot. 
She has told me of a few times when she's wore her hair natural (I still haven't seen her wear her hair out and natural to this day unless I did her hair that day) so she was super excited to show me this shot a friend snapped of her wearing her hair down the other day. 
I know I will be doing her hair again soon because she's due to come see me for a trim soon, and I'll definitely be doing a length check on her also so stay tuned!
 Is your mom also natural? Did you influence her to go natural or did she influence you?!

Anyone have a cool Transitioners Story they'd like to share? We'd love to hear some cool stories from all of you transitioners out there! Send your stories to

Product Review: La Plancha Deep Heat Reconstructor

Product Description: Helps restore texture, body and shine, replenishing essential proteins, amino acids and humectants to your hair.
How to use: This product can be applied in three different ways depending on your particular needs:
1st Option: Apply La Plancha after shampoo, leave in hair for 3 to 5 minutes, rinse with warm water. Style as usual
2nd Option: For moderate conditioning, shampoo and towel dry hair. Apply La Plancha from scalp to ends, wrap hair in plastic cap and place under dryer or blower for 15 minutes, rinse with warm water. Style as usual.
3rd Option: For deeper conditioning and intensive hair repair, after shampooing apply La Plancha, divide hair into sections, wrap each section in aluminum foil. Proceed to heat each section with a professional hair ceramic iron for 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water. Style as usual.

Ingredients: Deionized water, behentimonium methosulphate, cetyl alcohol, propanotriol, cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, ciclomethicone, PPG-3 benzyl, eter mirystate, dimethicone, propilene glycol, hidrolized silk protein, fragrance, lanoline, decyl oleate, metyl/propilparaben, ceramide, panthenol, citric acid.

Towards the end of the summer I really started to access the state of my hair. I had a lot of single-strand knots from too many wash-n-gos (which I'm not mad about, because that comes with the territory of tightly curled/coiled hair) and some breakage, most likely because I was being too rough. I vowed to step up my deep conditioning game up and while talking about straightening hair on one occasion with SP, she mentioned La Plancha hair products which she likes for heat-styling. Curious, I wondered into the Beauty Supply Store and found they had a deep conditioner on the shelf.

I thought I'd give this Dominican product a try, considering they haven't failed me in the past. No, the ingredients aren't organic or "natural" but I saw behentimonium methosulphate and was like, there goes the de-tangling agent that works for my hair! I generally shop for products this way, looking at key ingredients I know work well for me, which you start understanding after much experimenting! Anyway I have to say I like this conditioner! It smells faintly sweet like maybe citrus, and it's very creamy. I slabbed it onto my hair, de-tangled, and put on a plastic cap (option 2). I also turned off the AC in my apartment so it could get warm and I could pretend I sat under a dryer. Once I rinsed, my hair felt super soft and after a few uses my hair is definitely getting back to that silky-strong texture, and I'm also wondering if it has anything to do with my diligence to keep DCing (in other words, will my hair still get stronger without using this conditioner?) After my first use, I did a rollerset using Lacio Lacio as a leave-in, and then because I was bored that night I actually passed a flatiron (once) over sections of my hair, without doing the roots; then pin-curled. I thought I got nice results from that:

My verdict: This is a very nice deep conditioner. I plan to keep this on rotation as part of my Fall 2012 products!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashion Week: Cotte D' Armes Presentation

How adorable is her headpiece?! I was so in love with it... like I wanted to snatch and run! lol
Stopping to take a quick flick with the team.
I came across this super cute chica snapping photos and was in love with her mod style...
Turns out she's an awesome style blogger who shot some amazing images of our show! Here are some awesome images from her blog
I love all the snaps she shot of me!

Don't you just want everything from this line?! I love Unisex clothing!

And now back to my crappy iPhone pics and on to the after party, lol
Designers Coco & Breezy  & their super cool mohawks (they're both natural)
I was definitely making sure to snap all the most fashionable naturals for you all!