Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Rollersetting with Eco Styler Gel

 I don't remember who or where I saw the idea of roller setting with Eco Styler gel, but I wanted to roller set my hair, and was hoping that Eco styler gel would be the answer to a smoother set... boy was I right!!!

After washing, I used Lasio Lasio Leave - in conditioner, and proceeded to roller set my hair, adding Eco-styler gel to each detangled and smoothed section, before placing my hair on the roller. I used my usual roller set placement, and sat under the dryer for at least an hour while doing my little mani. 

I was surprised by how straight and unbelievably soft my hair was, no crunch, just silky smooth and straight. I ran a little CHI Silk Infusion over my hair for a little shine, softness, and to lock in the moisture.

 Of course my roots were a little wavy, as with any roller set, but they might even have been the least wavy of any set I've done before. 

When I took the set out, I had no plans to go anywhere, so I just decided to pincurl and go to sleep. The next day I was supposed to be having an interview, but due to hurricane Sandy here in NYC, those plans were shut down. So to avoid cabin fever, I decided I would take some time and play in my hair. 

Taking down my pin curls resulted in an absolutely adorable  
 curly look. I decided to further experiment with a few quick up dos and my banana clip, and even came up with a super cute look that I didn't use a banana clip for, but would have needed Bobbi pins or hair combs instead.

I'd say my hair came out amazing, and I love the silky straight results! I don't think I will ever be roller setting without Eco Styler again, not to mention I didn't even have to use end wraps
 and my ends are straighter than usual.

I would say the only downside, and only to my own fault, that I might have used a little too much gel in some areas, as I did end up with a little residue but I was able to slide it off the strands with ease.

My hair is twisted up right now, in preparation for a twist out from this glorious set, which I imagine will come out even better because of the Eco Styler gel.

Hurricane Sandy definitely ruined my Halloween 2012, but at least she couldn't ruin my good hair life! lol

 Have any of you ladies done a roller set with Eco-Styler Gel? How'd that work out for you?! I love it!!

My heart is going out to NYC right now, all of those hit hard by Sandy, stay strong, this is NYC and we will fight through it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vacation Hair: Puerto Rico Edition

While I'm sad that I'm not eating my way through San Juan at the moment, I'm excited to update with some posts again! I've never been to Puerto Rico and Mr. Smooth (the husband) hasn't been back in fourteen years and has actually never stayed in San Juan because his family isn't from there; it was a nice adventure for both of us!

We only took carry on-bags, so I didn't pack much products to follow the TSA's 3-1-1 rule, and I had decided I wouldn't need much anyway - just Ouidad Climate Control Shampoo, Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle (for a leave-in) and an oil, Curls Champagne Curl Elixir. I kept my routine pretty simple with WnG's and throwing my hair in a ponytail. With all the walking/hiking/activities being done, I did not have time to fuss over my hair like that. If you follow YAIS on Instagram, you might have seen a couple of pics of my hair while I was out there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Winter Wash n Go

This routine is basically what I've been doing to my hair that was left out during my weave and I realized that it may be great to try out as another styling option to add into my regimen.

  • Co-wash hair with conditioner of choice, detangle and throw hair into a few big detangled twists. Rinse and leave naked hair in twists
  • Let air dry a bit (The bit for me is usually the duration of my shower, moisturizing my skin, getting dressed, then getting ready to do my hair)
Once 40% - 50% dry, start this process one twisted section at a time:

  • First moisturize the hair - I used Care Free Curl Instant moisturizer and Suave coconut condish
  • Smooth Curls with Eco- Styler Olive Oil gel
  • Let air dry or diffuse (+ add heat protector with this step)
  • Once curls are dry, smooth out any crunch with your favorite oil, being careful not to overmanipulate the hair and cause breakge during the process. *My personal fave oil is JBCO because it's super moisturizing and keeps my hair sooo soft, especially in the winter!
  • Without disturbing or further separating any curls, grab and separate the hair with your hands alone, and do your favorite twist out pattern.
  • Bonnet/Scarf and Sleep... Untwist the next day to reveal a stretched, curly, winter wash and go look! 
  • Spritz with a little water, add a little more moisturizer if needed, fluff, and go!
  • Retwist with oil every night to maintain stretch, definition and softness. Keeping the hair stretched will also avoid excessive tangling.

What do you think about this Winter Wash n Go method? Would you try it?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Protective Styles: Braided Up-do's

My hair has finally gotten a little longer, and is finally in a category of hair styling that I'm more comfortable with. While having my hair straightened, it's very fine and fragile, and with trying to avoid breakage, I figured I'd try wearing some protective styles.

I've never been able to french braid but the other night I figured I'd try my hand at it again, and was actually successful! A little thought and a few moments later, I came up with this:

I liked the style, but didn't love it, especially with my braid looking so skinny. I really loved the idea though, so I figured I'd try again the next day... A few hairstyles, parts, braids, and brushes later, I came up with this style:

I believe this was a much better version of what I was going for, and I think it's an absolutely beautiful style, even to be worn in a corporate setting or formal occasion. I wasn't going anywhere special but I put on some earrings and lipstick so you all get the gist. I made a little pincurl braid in the back where the braids end, which is also the perfect place to add a little hair accessory, or even a phony pony or bun of sorts!
I really love these simplistic up-do's and they work well on my fine hair, and give the illusion of fullness. There are definitely a few more styles I still want to try with my straightened hair before I wash, so stay tuned for that! Since I am trying to protective style with my own hair a little more right now, I will be continuing to try these braided up-do's on my hair in all different textures as well, not just in straightened form.

What do you think of these braided up-do's? Can you believe that I want to protective style?!
If you ladies want any styles that I do to be made into a tutorial, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bantu Knot Out on Straightened SL Hair

 My straight hair was really doing nothing for me, and since I trimmed my hair I figured, why not try styling it? So I decided to take my second stab at bantu knots, first try on my straightened hair, and I really loved the outcome! Beautiful way to get heat free waves! This also kind of gave me the wavy bob look I was supposed to be going for with a weave.

I only used a little Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil to do the bantu knots and secured them with tiny rubber bands. I 'd say i wrapped them pretty tightly, doing my best to make sure the ends were wrapped around as well. I'm really loving the shape of my hair and I am starting to feel a little more patient about the growth process since I have a little more length to play with now... just a little, lol. I still can't wait for my hair to get longer, especially the front.
I had planned my halloween costume around that weave so now I need to figure out what I'm going to do about that... but I also know I want to go into another protective style some time soon.
After all the breakage I was experiencing, it has me really wanting to hide and protect my hair, helping me to trim less and retain more length for a little while too.

I can't afford the weave I really want right now (a long straight weave) and I'm scared of extension braids. They were kind of breaking my hair last time and my edges are so fine and fragile, that I'm afraid of putting anymore major tension on them.... hmm... Sets and Updo's then maybe?
Either way, loving this bantu knot out until further notice...

Have you done a bantu knot out on your straightened hair? Do you like it better on straightened hair or natural/curly hair?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moon Phase Trimming & The Farmers Almanac

Ever since I could remember, I always remember my mother saying she was trimming with the full or new moon. No, I never knew what difference it made or even thought it made any sense, but I know my mother has always had a head full of long healthy hair, so she must know a little something. As I got older, I really realized how much connection we have with our beautiful world and universe, and like my mother, started to become more interested in astrology, which is where trimming with the moon comes in.

As a natural who enjoys her hair regularly, I also need to keep a regular trimming regimen to keep any splits from daily styling from progressing up the strand. With my quest for fuller, longer hair, I'd basically do anything (nothing too crazy, lol) so I decided to start trying out the trimming with the moon for myself. Now unfortunately, I can not give any results on this trimming cycle method just yet, but I will update you all on what I think as I continue to trim my hair with the moon.... I  have been doing it for the past few months.

I have been using the Farmer's Almanac to keep up with a list of best days for trimming, as the days are different for fullness, growth, and retarding growth. Im actually a little scared cuz I accidentally chopped off my braid on a day for retarding growth, so I hope it doesn't stunt the growth of the hair in that area. Here is an paragraph I found on the Farmer's Almanac website, explaining things a little better than I can...

"Best Days Explained...
According to Farmers' Almanac tradition, when the moon is in the appropriate phase and place in the zodiac, it's widely believed that activities will be more fruitful or lead to improved results. The period between the new and full moon (first and second quarters) is considered as the best time to perform tasks that require strength, fertility and growth. The period between the full and new moon (third and fourth quarters) is best for harvesting, retarding growth, etc. Consideration is also given to the relationship the moon has with the 12 ruling signs of the zodiac."
Today is one of the days for trimming to increase growth, so with my hair being out, I decided not to wait to trim my hair because my ends were really bad. I waited until after midnight last night to make sure it was the 16th (we just entered a new moon) and got to trimming. I took about an inch off in the back, and dusted about a quarter inch everywhere else.
Goodbye little bit - o - length in the back
(you can see one of the accidentally cut pieces sticking out)

Snip! Snip! Snip!

My hair after trimming the back
My hair before trimming the back

I didn't trim my hair quite as short as the pieces I accidentally cut, but it's a lot closer to being even now than before. I'm actually really happy with the hair in the back having a good trim, as it gave the appearance of being a fuller, more blunt bob! yay! My ends and I are both happy, and growing :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Yet Another Tragedy Has Befallen My Head!!!

But thank goodness it wasn't that bad!!!
Uhg... another story... here goes...
So ever since the end of last week, the weave hair I had decided it didn't like me anymore... one of the reasons I resorted to a high bun the other day. The sad part is, I was actually loving this weave and was uber excited about the prospect of wearing this weave for at least a month and I was going to too! Everything was working in the beginning, I didn't need to add any heat, my hair was blending so easily and beautifully, my hair I left out all around worked for a ponytail/bun and was still flourishing... no reason to take it out except for the dreadlocks it started to form.
I usually never buy pack hair for reasons like this, but with it working so well for my cousin I really wanted to try it. She bought the 8" which was a little different, and didn't have any issues. I watched two reviews for this hair on YouTube, two on the opposite extreme of good and bad, so with the good review and the raves from my cousin, the good outweighed the bad so I purchased it, until the bad outweighed the good when I wore it. All in all it was beautiful and easy hair while it lasted, and I still plan to try the 8" when I have a chance...
On to the real tragedy:
Upon the take down of my weave, I accidentally cut off the last 2 inches of my braid!!!! WAAAA!!!!!!
I was totally flipping out! My original intention upon taking down the matted weave was to blow out my hair and do extension braids, but as soon as this incident happened, I wanted to straighten my hair to see what everything was really looking like.
 I felt a sense of relief that it happened in the very back of my head for sure, but I was also dreading having to cut the whole back of my hair off because it felt like a pretty huge chunk, and it kinda is... but since there's hair all around it, I can kinda camouflage it. It really sucks because my hair was finally getting longer, and with the fine, low density hair I have, I need every strand I can get! So now in about a 2" x 2"box in the back of my head, my hair is 2" to 3" shorter than the rest of my hair... but I'm hoping by some miracle, and a little shaping back there it'll catch up.

The hair that was cut just reaches the top of my shoulder
My hair that wasn't cut is about an inch or 2 past my

You can see the difference in the two lengths side by side here

 So I guess these are a bit of an unofficial 2 year mark photos, even though I still have about 2 weeks to go. I do need to trim my ends, so maybe I'll just take an inch off in the back and dust every where else, just to start evening things up a bit and still stay within my goal to get rid of some layers and have a more blunt cut. Once I trim at the end of this month I'll do an official 2 year update with all the comparison pics and all that jazz, lol...until then... buns it is..

Have you gone through a hair crisis? What have you done to combat the issues?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Messy High Bun w/ My Weave

Wearing my weave out has been great and my hair has been blending beautifully but I decided to bun up my hair yesterday because my weave was a hot tangly mess, and I didn't have time to go through the whole detangling process. Im so glad my edges are long enough to go into a ponytail, so that made my life so much easier...  
All I did was double a headband and push it up, as if to make a puff. I then spread the hair out in donut bun form, and used another headband and scrunchie or two to easily make a donut bun, and since I wanted it to be messy I wasn't too anal about it, I just tucked a few curls here and there and Voila! Messy High Bun! lol I was in love with this style and it was really cute and easy for the day, and had like no tension.  
You know how people end up having that one favorite hairstyle they go to all the time? Well I know this will be mine when my hair is long enough... Until then, toodles!

Straight Hair and Another Salon Adventure

If you follow us on Instagram (@yaisnyc) you've probably caught some straight hair pics coming from me. Last Saturday I spent the day at the Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge in Soho with a couple of my friends. We had a 5-hour spa deal from Groupon which included full body massage, facial, mani-pedi, and a blow-out. I was very nervous about getting my hair straightened at a salon (the only other time I've been was to get color at another Aveda salon at the Elmhurst Mall in Queens) but I decided to suck it up and give it a try. I ended up calling the place and asking them if they had any stylist who could work with very curly hair, which I recommend natural-hair folks to do, and they assured me the did. In fact, they called me back within an hour to let me know that there were two stylists that would be in tomorrow to take care of me. One thing I did NOT do is describe my hair as "problematic," "nappy" "unmanageable," when speaking on the phone because I don't want a salon to view my hair in that way.

 So after an amazing facial and massage - two things which I never had before - I had my mani-pedi by a woman who was nice enough to let me know that she was natural under her wig and that they would do a good job with my hair. I expressed that I was a little uneasy about my hair being done and she said that Aveda trains stylist in "ethnic" hair (which I semi-knew already because SP was trained at Aveda schools). I felt even better when my stylist Jessica asked me questions that let me know she was very familiar with my hair type: did I wear my hair natural all the time? How often did I heat straighten? And then assured me that she had a weave in her hair but had hair very similar to mine! So we chatted about how she specializes in curly hair and she shared her salon experiences as a child where her father took her to salons to get her hair straightened and she would always come out with a poofy afro. I even chatted with a stylist who had a TWA and she chimed in about natural haircare, so it became fun. Jessica washed my hair, deep conditioned, blew it out, (mentioning that she would normally do it with a comb attatchment,) de-tangled with a denman-type brush, and said that because I don't use heat often she would get my hair pin-straight with a flatiron. She totally did!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do With Your TWA

  1. Try accessorizing! Jazz your hair up with a cute accesory like a headband or decorative clip... don't go too crazy if you're over 18 so you won't end up looking 12, lol
  2. If that fails, Jazz up yourself! It could be the perfect day for effortless messy hair, a red lip, and your favorite ghetto girl hoops, lol
  3. Hats, Scarves & Turbans, oh my! Slouchy Beanie's are my ultimate favorite for my natural hair, and I can easily wear my satin bonnet underneath, but turbans and any head wrap of your choice can also be a beautiful alternative
  4. Wigs! If you're going natural, a natural wig might be one of the easiest things to keep on hand... Just throw on ya fro' and walk out the do'! (door... tryna rhyme... sorry, lol) Just think of it as a hairy hat if you're not a wig person :)
  5. Wash and Go! Sometimes we try styling or re-styling and it doesn't work... when all else fails I just wash my hair and wear it in it's natural state... it' a lot easier than fighting with it. Get those diffusers out for the winter so you dont have to walk out with a wet head.
I hope these tips were helpful and you all continue to employ them along your journey!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My New Curly Weave + Blending

I know, I know, I just said I was going to do a wavy bob weave... but do I ever do what I say I'm going to do with my hair?! lol I actually realized that regardless of anything, with that wavy/straight weave, I'd definitely be using more heat than I really want to right now (which is none), so I opted for a curly weave again instead.

I needed a break from doing my hair, and my hair definitely needed a break from me, so I figured I needed a style where I'd have to manipulate my own hair as little as possible and I think I've finally found it! The hair I used:

How/ Where I found out about this weave?
My little cousin found in it her local BSS in BK and decided to give it a try, so naturally when she came to me with this hair to get her weave done, I fell in love with it. I bought the 10'' and 12'' because I originally wanted it to be a little longer and with minimal layers, but that ended up being a waste of money because I chopped it up for it to look more realistic anyway. One thing I also learned, was that the curl of the 8" vs the 10" and 12", is a lot more of tight curl that resembles my hair almost perfectly, the 10" and 12" is a much looser, silkier curl, but still very beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos during the process, but I saw her a few days later at my Grandmother's house with the weave piked out; Here's the outcome of my cousin's weave to you can see the difference:

I love the curly look so I'm not mad that I didn't get the 8 inches, but I will definitely be trying the 8" as well. To see some of the steps I took to install and how I blend my hair with the weave, click the jump :)