Friday, October 28, 2011
So, last year I made a vow to never put scissors on my hair as a means of retaining length....Well fast forward a year later, lets just say the split-ends were nagging me and I had to make the trip.
Went to the Hair shop today, don't really have a usual stylist since I do my hair myself so...it was a new lady who did it, claimed to do natural hair as she was natural herself. Yes. she was natural but....never again.
Don't get me wrong, as sweet as sweet can be, but....she didn't know her products - at least when it came to heat + natural hair. The past 2 stylists I've been to in the past, have been able to cut through my thick hair with their blow-dryer like a warm knife through a cold stick of butter.
Yes. she used a heat protectant spray but nothing specially formulated for blow-drying. While both former stylist refused to disclose the name of the product that made blow-drying my hair such a breeze, I do know for sure that the product had some conditioning properties. I repeat, this was merely a heat protectant spray - my hair needs more than that. Heat protectant with softening agent = easy hair.
Needless to say, she had her work cut out for her. My hair neither bent nor broke to her wished. She pulled, she tugged, she yanked....and so on. She did the best she could and trimmed the edges per my request.
The ordeal was over after 30 minutes of hair and scalp abuse. My hair was standing straight-up in a blown-out afro with crinkly ends. Though, I did not expect my hair to fall down after blow-drying, I DID expect it not to have crinkly ends....a testament to her not knowing her products.
Once again, if she did the blow-dryer + right product its capable of straightening the thickest hair from root to tip. Obviously not bone straight like you'd get with a flat-iron. But, straight - as in no curly crinkles at the end.
Any she charged $30 and I gave her $40.....I guess you could think of it as a goodbye tip. Never again. The lesson learned is - I have enough resources at my finger-tips via Youtube and google that I CAN and Need to be my own hairdresser from now on. The goal of the salon trip was to get my ends trimmed. That could have been accomplished right here in this house.
All I'd have to do was watch a few videos to know what products to get....just like I do when my hair's in its coily state. Lesson Learned. .....@ least it was a decent way to gauge my length. The hair is right on track. Growing thick. strong and wonderful.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
So, why don't naturals use baking soda to wash their hair??And if they do...Im just Now getting in on it.
I've used it for 2 weeks now and lets just say....I Will Be Stocking Up On Baking Soda ASAP. PRONTO.
1. Clean- Sparkling Clean Scalp and Strands
2. Soft - Detangles while washing - SOFT!!!! I'm talking almost don't-need-no-conditioner-after-washing- SOFT!!! Heaven knows a product that achieves this feat on tightly-coiled curls....deserves some Spotlight.
Well, don't know if the reviews are out there already or not (I'm sure they are cuz us naturals be slapping e'rythin on our heads @ least ONCE) But here's another one!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
@ Amasha - I used Gogo Curl hair by Freetress for my crochet braids.
Update: I took my crochet braids out about 3 wks ago now. Henna'd it and braided it by itself no fake hair added in an upward kinda pineapple shaped pattern for 2 wks.
I took out the braids yesterday - Crazy growth!!! Then I conditioned with banana + molasses + magnesium mixture. Slapped it on my head and went to sleep. Washed it out in the morning and it made my hair feel very strong, full and thick. Plus it looked darker and shinier...Lord knows I luvs me some dark hair.
So I have transitioned from crochet braids to wigs. Because I realized that I like easy access to my scalp for when I oil it every night and just even for fresh air and what not.
The secret to my success so far is not only the ultimate protective styling of braids + wigs but OILS. My current mixture is Castor oil + Brahmi/Alma oil + Hempseed oil + Flaxseed oil and a kitchen sinkful of essential oils including Peppermint & Eucalyptus oil.
Needless to say, I'll be sticking to this regime for a long while.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Honestly...the way my hair shrinks, its like magic right in front of your eyes. 7inches-to-1inch in the blink of an eye - Abrakadabra for real!!!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Tip of the Day:
For anyone out there rocking a weave, wig, wig-a-weaver, whatever. When your all of the above starts looking tired. Go get you some Aussie Moist conditioner (in the purple bottle) and your wig-a-weave or whatever will spring back shiny and new.
Looks like the same concept that works for natural hair works for synthetic hair as well. Just rake the Aussie Conditioner through your situation and head out the door. Bounce and Shine...You'll have everybody thinking it sprouts straight ouch yo head.
That's my tip for the day. Peace & Afro grease...much luv in the middle eas'
P.S. I'm seriously contemplating Biotin....
Monday, May 30, 2011
The weave lasted almost 2 months. It was looking a tad tired and rageddy so it had to be gone. As for my hair underneath, the result is still a mystery in mind.
When I was unraveling my cornrows my hair was nice and soft which I attributed to my alternate days of oiling my scalp and the periodic washing of my entire head in those 2 months. But it didn't look like it grew any. It just looked like it looked before I braided it.
Then when I washed my hair, it was super-super-super coily. Like it went back to its original state for real. I'm talking coils straight from the mother land. My hair shrunk so much after I washed it, got me thinking maybe I lost hair instead of getting some.
But while I was combing sections of it with a rat tail comb so I could braid it and start the process all over again, it did look a tad longer.
So, the conclusion is .....idk. Maybe it takes a bit longer than 2 months to see an apparent growth in length. I'll just have to wait and see the result after this new one I just put in.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
One con of this crochet hair deal: the itch from hell.
My journey into the world of fake hair continues and will probably stay that way for a long while because I want my length back. Volume, I have aplenty but I'm length starved.
My crochet braided hair is still going strong only because I found a cure for The Itch. Four days into my crocheted hair and my scalp was not having it. It was an itch that I cannot describe, like a gazillion lice eggs were dumped on my scalp and they all spontaneously began to hatch at the same time. Even describing it right now makes my scalp itch.
Anyhoo, I couldn't take it anymore so I mixed some cups of vinegar with water and poured it over my head, then I stuck my head under the spout and turned the water on full force...All I can say is, it was almost like experience nirvana...ecstasy like no other.
Then I stumbled upon...Peppermint oil - my saving grace. I added it into my already made oil along with whatever else was in their. For my scalp, it was like biting into a york peppermint pattie...you know that sensation of icy-cool that your taste buds get when you bite into one, well imagine that feeling on my scalp!
In between oil applications, which is pretty much nightly, I apply my ready made vinegar+water mixture. Spray it into a paper towel or cotton ball and gently rub it on my scalp.
These tips have been the saving grace for my scalp with this crochet braids. If not, 4 days later, I'd have pulled out the scissors and chopped off all the hard work I'd accomplished just 4 days before. I'd have been a shame. Thank God for the inspiration.
Monday, March 14, 2011
This is the Youtube video of which my attempt would not have been possible without.
It's the technique she used that made my attempt so much easier....It still took me forever because I did it in stages, starting with braiding the hair on day 1.
I managed to crochet braid my hair. It was a daunting task to say the least. But I'm reaping the rewards. It came out really nice. Virtually undetectable except to the trained eye of black women. They may not know what I did but they know it ain't my hair its just a matter of narrowing it down....is it a wig? a weave? a wiga-weave? So long as I keep 'em guessing then its a job well done.
I will post the youtube video of which my attempt would not have been possible without. Thank the Lord I stumbled upon it before I started or else I'd have given up at the first try. This is a picture of the hair I used. I didn't use the hair the already manufactured way, I split it into two and used half with each insertion.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Nope. The Grammy's got it wrong. There's nothing "new" about Esperanza Spalding cuz this chick has been around for a minute. Just cuz they're now acknowledging her talent doesn't mean she's "new."
Anyhoo, here's a re-post of the post I wrote on Esperanza back in 2009. She inspired me then and still inspires me today. Still rocking her fierce natural hair in 2011 this time with Grammy award in hand! Nothing short of Natural. Hair. Fierceness.
She drew me in with her divalicious afro and captured me with her voice. So I was just walking down the ailes of my local library a couple days ago, waiting to use a computer, when the cover CD of an afrolicious beauty caught my eye, the name - Esperanza.
Of course I immediately picked it up if only to look through the CD booklet to see more pictures of almighty afro, very impressive, but what was even more impressive was her music. It's basically a fusion of latin and jazz which I have never listened to before, at least not on purpose.
Esperanza is definitely an inspiration to me now and should be for the whole natural hair community and I'm pretty much in love with her music. It took me a second to fall for the music, but I did, hard.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Simply Gorgeous ---Enjoy:
While browsing on Essence.com guess what I ran across right after I wrote the post on braids.
I gave myself a 3 weeks with my hands-off hair and clip-on ponytail challenge. And I am actually amazing myself!!!
I've actually been able to keep my hands of my hair except for 1 day a week when I re-braid it and slap on some more conditioner + glycerin + H2O!!!!
I didn't know that I would be this excited about letting my hair be @ peace and rest but I am....And I'm actually learning more from my hair being at rest than I thought I would.
For example I took a closer look and noticed:
My hair grows, backward to forward
So, I wash my hair from the back to the front (I've actually been doing this for the longest but now I'll really keep doing it)
Also, if my hair grows back to front, I'll style it in a way that accommodates its growth pattern. Basically, what I want to do eventually is braid my whole head, not just the ends, in a kind of a basket shaped pattern. The way my grandmama used to do it when I was a young'n.
My hair was thick (still is) and luscious when I was a child mostly due to heredity and partly due to the fact that my grandmama always had it braided up in this basket shaped pattern.
She'd cornrow the back of the hair up to the crown, or center of my head then she's cornrow the front of my hair to meet the center or the crown of my head.
Of course, I didn't appreciate the style at the time but I do remember that my hair grew like a weed.
What I'm coming to the conclusion of is that I'm slowly getting into my second transition. The first time, 3 years ago, I transitioned from relaxed to natural in about 3 months, now I feel like I'm ready to transition for length. I'm transitioning for a true re-birth of my hair's potential.
Now that I've gone past the 3-year experimental phase of trying all kinds of potions and lotions, mixtures and concoctions, and killing my hair several times over with flat irons; I am ready to tap into the full potential of all that my hair can become. I am ready to transition for real growth. Something tells me wigs and clip-ons will be my new best friends for a couple of years.
But I do have a question, if I no longer reveal my natural hair everyday for the world to see and keep it under wraps for a couple of years, does that mean I'm no longer a natural hair purist?
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Well.....except for the one day when I wore the turban on my head but, my hair was still safely braided and tucked underneath.
I'm definitely patting myself on the back that I was able to keep my hair underwraps for a whole week. I wasn't tempted in the least to play with it until today.
My simple routine has just been unraveling it, rubbing in some conditioner and Castor oil, and re-braiding it again. I've done it twice this week.
Its pretty simple and easy and I'm sure my hair's enjoying a well-deserved break from all the twisting and tugging.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I got me a ponytail for $7.99 at my local wig shop! (I bought a very similar piece to the picture that you're looking at). I've been feeling sorry for my hair lately. Why? because, if you got twirled and twisted -- poked and prodded everyday, you would be tired. So, I'm on a quest to give my hair a break for a while (even though I'll miss my beloved bantu-knot outs).
A few posts back I wrote something along the lines of, "if you want straight...go buy some," well I should've added curly hair to the list...to be specific, a medium length curly ponytail. I just brush my hair back and braid the ends and tuck it underneath the ponytail.
But I rock my own curls in the front of my hair. I put the front hair in curlformers like I do...pretty much everyday this gives it a nice touch of 'realness.' It gives an extra dimension because its not just your average hair slicked back and ponytail clipped at the end. My curls in the front give it some 'umph.'
Don't know how long I'll be rockin' the ponytail, knowing me and the fact that I get bored so quickly when it comes to my hair. But I want to rock it for at least 3 weeks. If not 3 weeks in a row, then alternating weeks.
I'm sure my hair appreciates a break from being touched everyday and protection from the elements.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Turning Heads (but Don’t Call It a Perm)
By HILARY HOWARD
Published: February 2, 2011
TO get waves in her naturally straight hair, Kristi Koren, 36, used to dampen it, twist it in dozens of curlicues and then sleep on it. But after seeing Anne Hathaway’s effortlessly voluptuous locks in “Love and Other Drugs,” Ms. Koren, a mother of one 13-month-old and an entrepreneur in Raleigh, N.C., began wondering if there were a less time-consuming and a less uncomfortable way of creating long, flowing curls. As a child of the 1980s, it didn’t take her long to come up with the obvious (and yet terrifying) answer: a perm.
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
“I was worried when I first had the idea,” she said, “but I saw so many magazines with celebrities and these ‘natural’ waves,” she said.
The Olsen twins, Gisele Bündchen, Drew Barrymore and Kate Hudson are among those who have been photographed in recent years with a coif variously described as bohemian beach waves, bed head, second-day hair, “hangover” hair or simply “undone.”
Since Ms. Koren visits New York regularly on business, she thought she’d try a perm at the esteemed Oscar Blandi salon on Madison Avenue. Ms. Koren spoke with Mairead Gallagher, the salon’s resident expert in the process (Ms. Gallagher reports that her business has quintupled over the past year thanks to clients seeking the undone look). “I had several phone conversations with her beforehand because I was so nervous,” Ms. Koren said. Ms. Gallagher assured her prospective client that she would not exit the chair looking like Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. After days of deliberation, Ms. Koren told Ms. Gallagher, “Let’s do it!”
After a two-hour, $400 appointment, Ms. Koren emerged from the salon with natural-looking waves bouncing down her back. And yet she couldn’t bring herself to admit to friends and family in North Carolina that she’d had a perm. “I didn’t even tell my sister,” she said. “I just told her it’s the modern way of doing waves.”
Elaine Lamarre, 27, an executive assistant and fashion designer in New York, sees no stigma in the terminology. As Memorial Day approached last year, Ms. Lamarre decided to perm her hair with the stylist Suren Terzian at Rodney Cutler. “I wanted to have nice beachy, wavy summer hair,” she said. “I have always had extremely straight hair — even with a curling iron it’s difficult to curl it.”
The perm worked as planned. “I had mermaid hair the rest of the summer,” Ms. Lamarre said. “Strangers would compliment me on it when I was out and about. I’d say: ‘Isn’t it great? I permed it!’ And they’d be like, ‘No way!’ ”
When Ms. Lamarre cut her hair short in the fall, she once again experimented with perming the top of her hair for texture and body, and has been happy with the results. “I say bring the perm back,” she said enthusiastically. “It is good!”
Ms. Lamarre might be so bullish on perms because, when she came of age circa 1999, super-straight hair, as worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, was in vogue, the flatiron having at least temporarily superseded the crimper. “One of the biggest reasons this trend has not become infectious on Main Street is the word ‘perm’ brings back hideous memories from the ’80s,” Mr. Terzian said. “A new coined phrase wouldn’t hurt.” (Rodney Cutler salons refer to the service, which starts at $150, as a “body wave.”) Mr. Terzian added that those who want the “undone” look regularly would be better off giving their hair such a “wave,” as opposed to using curling irons every day. “Curling irons apply more direct heat, and using them on a daily basis would produce more damage,” he said.
Ms. Gallagher concurs. “Now perms are so much gentler,” she said. The perming process has not changed demonstrably from 25 years ago (rods, chemicals running coolly and perhaps with a slight sting around one’s cotton-wrapped head, a little sitting in a shower cap and a lot of rinsing over a sink). But now stylists are paying more attention to timing (generally less), rod size (larger) and customized chemical combinations. For example, someone with highlighted hair might receive a treatment with very little ammonium thioglycolate, the active ingredient that renders hair mutable, which would be left in the hair for no more than 10 minutes. This is arguably peanuts compared with some formaldehyde-tinged straightening processes (cough, cough), like the much-maligned Brazilian or Keratin treatments, which can take hours and have raised health concerns.
“A perm can control curly hair, too,” Ms. Gallagher pointed out.
And yet not all salons and stylists are enamored of the perm. “We try to minimize products with too many chemicals whenever possible,” said Roy Teeluck, who owns a salon on East 57th Street. “As for getting that loose, beachy bohemian look, there are options,” he said, invoking the curling iron and styling products like L’Oréal Professional Texture Expert Liss Ardent thermal reconstructing crème for fine hair (about $24 for 4.2 ounces). “If the cosmetics companies would create a less toxic perm, I would like to re-educate my stylists to use them, as I think this look is here to stay.”
Joey Argeras, an editorial stylist for Bumble and bumble, where more than 50 percent of blowout requests at its Bloomingdale’s StylingBar and Shop are for hair with some texture, is also somewhat perm-averse. “Good product and styling technique can totally deliver perfectly undone hair,” Ms. Argeras said. For example, Bumble’s new Bb.texture hair (un)dressing crème, developed specifically to achieve the rippled, rumpled look, will be available online next month ($26 for 5 ounces).
But Ms. Gallagher believes firmly that the perm is back. “The idea of standing and taking 20 minutes to blow-dry and style your hair in the morning can definitely be eliminated with this,” she said, adding that the effects can last up to five months. “I believe that a lot of women want and need this. They’re just afraid of the ’80s thing. They’re afraid of the word ‘perm.’ ”
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Before this movie came out in '09 I wrote a post on it talking about how much I wanted to see it, life happened and I didn't even think about it again let alone check for the premiere date. Well, better late than never, a week ago I picked up a copy from my local library and it was such an eye-opener. It's been a long time since I've been so fascinated by....anything. Guess you can call me a jaded twenty-something year old.
I was just like 'WoW.' Its one of those experiences where its like you have an idea but you have no idea to what extent. After this film I am convinced that Black Women Keep The American Economy Running. And no, I am not exaggerating. If we collectively stopped spending today, there will be no American economy to speak of. You think its bad now, the whole thing would just crumble like a deck of cards.
From this movie, came gems such as: "you're supposed to relax your hair" from a 3-5 yr. old girl.
"If you hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed; if your hair is nappy, white people ain't happy" from comedian, Paul Mooney.
"I feel like my face just got stung by a thousand killer bees" from male white hairdresser, Jason.
"The last time I was allowed to touch a broad's hair was in in 1986 before the market crash" from dorky black guy with glasses in the barbershop.
These are the ones that stand out in my mind right now but there were many, many, many more gems in this film. I watched the movie twice -- a rare thing for me to do.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
So I washed my hair as planned and of course the whole process took forever as usual. Nehoo, a nagging thought has been in the very back of my mind for a really long time, a suspicious feeling that the denman brush I have been using is doing more harm than good to my hair.
Especially the ends of my hair. I already said I'm not going to put scissors to my hair no matter how split the ends are but I got this sneaking feeling that I've been contributing to the split-ends unknowingly.
The irony of this is when I had relaxed hair, I didn't even dare use a plastic brush for my strands because I knew they caused major split-ends. I used mainly boar brushes and wide-tooth combs. That was all.
So why am I torturing my hair now that it's in its natural state? I realized this was foolish and took the Denman that I'd used for probably 2 years now, and put it in the trash. Scoured the cabinets that still held all the brushes and combs from my relaxer days and took the round boar brush to use for my hair.
Worked just fine. Brushed my coily strands smoothly and gently after my hair was dried. This is actually convenient because I don't rock wash and go's anymore so there's less of a worry about having to brush sopping wet hair.
I'm happy. I did 2 very good things for my strands today; a thorough washing and a gentle brushing.
Just a lil' love and tenderness is all that's necessary for these coily-coils!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Good hair is making me lazy! I basically rock my hair for 3 straight weeks without washing it cuz it looks good and its so easy to style each night or every other night, wake up in the morning and go. And honestly the 'dirtier' it is, the better it looks.
So when it comes time to give the hair a good rinse out, laziness sets in because I know I have start the process all over again. But really the hardest part is the making time for deep conditioning. I like to go to sleep with the conditioner on my hair, to get more bang for my buck, I guess. Its hard because sometimes my schedule's too hectic.
The harder part is styling the hair after its been washed because I always have to do a style on the first day to stretch the hair. I don't bantu-knots after I've just washed my hair cuz I know it won't turn out the way I expect it to and I'd just be setting myself up for disappointment.
The laziness that comes from the first day of styling freshly-washed hair is mostly my perception because all I see is this uber shrunken head of hair that looks no longer than an inch. It never fails to amaze me, after I'm done styling my hair, how the tiny short coils turn into bouncy curls. Never fails.
Anyway, its been 3 weeks and the hair needs to be washed if not for the sake of my strands then for the sake of my scalp. Here we go again....
Friday, January 21, 2011
Mango & Pomegranate Conditioner....sounds fantabulous, doesn't it?! Well, its as thick and rich and moisture-laden like the name suggests. Found this little treasure while walking down the aisle of my local Kroger's -- the organic aisle. It was on sale for about $8.99. Not bad.
I wouldn't really call myself a PJ - product junkie -- more like a conditioner (and once upon a time, gel) junkie. Conditioners are pretty much all I purchase at the store to use on my hair these days. Everything else comes from my kitchen cupboard. So, when I see a conditioner that strikes my fancy, I buy it.
This Mango & Pomegranate conditioner is rich, and thick, and lovely. Leaves your hair feeling soft and nourished. So, it's especially good for naturals with thick coily hair like myself. Its also one of those conditioners that's not only great for a co-wash but for styling as well. Which is great because many naturals use conditioners to style their hair. I used it for my signature bantu knot-outs and it came out just fine.
Of course, what makes it even more excellent is that its all NATURAL. Get this -- the first ingredient is *Comfrey root extract* this is the first conditioner I've ever picked up whose first ingredient isn't water....comfrey root. Don't even know what the heck it is or what it does But....it just sounds like natural goodness!
The only questionable sounding ingredient is *Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride* Its number 7 on the ingredient list. Its saving grace is that its farther down on the list. But everything else is honest-to-goodness natural extracts of something-or-another. I don't feel like writing down all the ingredient list unless somebody requests that I do so.
Try it. You'll like it!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
New Year brings hair sanity, I hope... I've pretty much got my formula down pat so I'm looking forward to a year filled with healthy luscious hair with no bad hair days...Lofty goal but I'm sure its possible.
I took me three solid years to figure out What my hair needed, When it needed it, and How it needed it...3 solid years--- that's 36 months, 156 weeks, 1,095 days and...I don't even wana calculate the rest.....most of that time was spent more in painful frustration than excited celebration!!!
So, I got to thinking, how about making all that time worth while for me and countless of other coily heads out there so they don't have to be as frustrated as I was. Let the product research begin - and in the process, I'm tipping my hat to any and all natural hair products that are currently on the market whether good or bad - the process to get your stuff on the shelves Aint No Joke!
But, let the fun begin - I love a good challenge!!!!