Monday, December 20, 2010

Ms Jessie's Review

This is really late but I just realized I hadn't posted about this. My beautiful sister got me the sample pack from Ms Jessie's a few months ago (Thanks Alli! love u!) and I have been working my way through the products slowly but surely. In the sample pack there is the curly pudding (scented and unscented), the buttercreme (scented and unscented), curly merengue, creme de la curl shampoo and conditioner, the rapid recovery treatment, the super sweetback treatment, the stretch silkening creme and the quick curls creme.

I have done detailed reviews on the curly pudding and the buttercreme here and here. In short, I loved the results I obtained with them but I have since found that I can attain similar results using the ORS smooth and hold pudding. I would still use them if I wanted to treat myself but if you are on a budget, other cheaper easily available products can do a similar job. The shampoo was good as a clarifying shampoo but I have been able to attain similar result using cheaper products so I wouldn't purchase this product. 

The conditioner was not anything to talk about, my cheapie conditioners from HE and Suave have given me way better results. Both deep conditioning products were ok but not better than my staple ORS hair mayo or many other very cheap deep conditioner treatments I have gotten at CVS or elsewhere so I wouldn't purchase these products either. I have yet to try the other products, mainly as I am not sure they would work with my hair texture. I want to try the curly merengue on a roller set or a spiral set at some point. The stretch silkening creme I will probably do a spiral set or a twistout to see if it works. the quick curls will have to wait till it warms up around here because I am not risking getting sick to test it. lol Hope this quick summary review is helpful!

If you are interested in trying any of these products, Ms Jessie's has a bogo sale going on until December 31st 2010 midnight EST. Check it out!

Guess what I got for Christmas?!!!!!

My wonderful family got me a Huetiful Steamer! OMG exactly what I wanted. lol. Love you guys! So obviously I couldn't wait until Christmas and decided to give it a try today. I took the parts out of the box and was about to begin assembling when I realized that a part was missing, the bracket that connected the hood to the steamer. :( I was so sad I emailed my sister then called Huetiful and left them an email. When I called I was told to leave a message and somebody would get back to me. What?!!! I can't talk to somebody now?!!! 

So all disappointed I was packing my steamer back into the box and low and behold, there is the bracket in the styrofoam. LMAO Feeling like an idiot I go to email them back to say "hey I found it" only to find they had already responded to tell me where to find it. lol. Just as I sent off my apology email, my phone rang, it was a Huetiful rep calling me back! So customer service got 5 stars immediately. lol

Assembling this thing gets another 5 stars. The directions are clear, the pieces are common-sensical and I had my steamer ready to use in under 5 minutes. Today I co-washed with my HE long-lasting relationship and deep conditioned with my ORS Hair Mayo. I sat under the steamer for 40 minutes. Immediately after coming out from under the hood I noticed that my hair appeared more 'open', I don't know how to describe it, it's like it's moistly frizzy. lol. You could tell that the follicles were open and that a lot of the product was absorbed. I left the hair mayo in my hair under a plastic cap for another 2 hrs and then proceeded to wash it out and do my ACV rinse.

After letting my hair dry for a while, I spritzed my hair with my diluted infusium, oiled my scalp using doogrow hair oil, applied my adapted kimmaytube leave in and sealed with coconut oil. Can I say detangling was a breeze?!!! OMG my hair has gone through so many changes that I didn't think were even possible in the last few weeks thanks to my coconut pre-poo and the leave in but this steamer made detangling my hair even easier! It was like cutting through soft butter with a hot knife. I was done braiding in my usual protective style in about 1/2 - 3/4 the time it usually takes. I can't wait to continue using this steamer in my regimen to see the effect on the health of my hair. I plan on using it every time I deep condition, which is usually once per week. This couldn't have come at a better time as the overnight soaking wet hair in the dead cold of new england winters is a recipe for catching pneumonia. lol No more overnight deep conditioning for me for a while! Enjoy the pics!

dirty old braidout

getting ready to co-wash. texture, length and thickness shot lol

my fully assembled steamer heating up. one page instructions, easy to assemble pieces = 3 minutes assembly time

Bubbling away

Steaming right

Getting my deep condition on. towel around my head for that hot dripping water

Hair post ACV rinse, no product. Are those some ultra moisturized curls or what?!!! love it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back to the box braid

Hi Loves
I am still enjoying the results of my coconut prepoo. It is amazing that more than a month after doing this prepoo I am still enjoying easier to detangle hair, less shed hair for my ziplock bags, softer hair and my curls are the same as before! I absolutely love it. I am also enjoying my adapted kimmaytube leave in. These two together have given me the softest hair ever! 

This week I cowashed with HE longlasting relationship, deep conditioned with my ORS Hair mayonnaise and did my ACV Rinse. I oiled my scalp with doogrow hair oil mixed with jojoba and jamaican black castor oils. My leave ins were infusium 23 and my adapted kimmaytube leave in. I sealed with coconut oil. 

I have been doing twists in my hair for months now but today I decided to go back to my original box braids for a change. I did 16 braids in all and omg my braids were so shiny and long I had to take a pic. I then went back to my pics from January when i first started documenting me taking care of my hair and it is amazing the progress I've made. See the pic below to see for yourself!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

midweek update: smaller two strand twists are the business

So last night I decided to do some smaller two strand twists in my hair for thanksgiving weekend. I used infusium 23 and cantu as my moisturizers and used the ORS smooth and hold pudding for hold. I banded them overnight and here are the lovely results! soft, stretched, good-looking twists.

All bunned up. got to protect those ends!
Compared to the last time I rocked twists like these in July, seems like my twists are hanging lower than before, seems to have progressed from just pass shoulder level to brushing apl.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Natural recipes make me go hmmmm! Part deux

I am trying a new leave-in. It is based on kimmaytube's leave in recipe. My adapted recipe consists of the following:

  • 2 tbs Aloe Vera juice
  • 2 tbs Cantu Shea Leave in conditioner
  • 1 tbs redken extreme antisnap
  • 2 tsp jojoba oil
  • 2 tsp jamaican black castor oil
This is my second week using it and it is amazing! my hair is so soft, shiny and frizz free. My twist outs are also so defined, I have way more hang-time and it doesn't shrink up as much when I'm dancing up a storm. lol You can substitute the cantu and redken for any creamy leave in you can find or prefer and the other ingredients you can get at your local health food store. 

I use this mix once a week after my wash and acv rinse and store the remainders in the fridge. I spritz my hair with diluted infusium 23 before applying and I seal my ends with coconut oil. I also continue to oil my scalp but I have now added jbco, jojoba oil and coconut oil to my doo grow for this job. During the week, if my ends get dry I spritz with diluted infusium and seal with coconut oil or plain doo grow. I still baggy nightly. 

With the recent changes in my haircare regimen, I think my hair has gone to another level. My hair is so soft, I didn't even know it was possible. LMAO In fact, it is so soft that I went to a party this weekend and I was dancing around minding my business when some random dude put his hand in my twist out and exclaimed in shock OMG her hair is so soft! LMAO I know, it's a bit off-putting (why da hell is dude's hand in my hair) but I just thought it was so cute and hilarious. Plus I was happy and in a good mood. LMAO

Natural recipes make me go hmmmm!

Hi Yall,
it's been a hot minute since I've updated but I wanted to share with you all. I have been experimenting with more homemade recipes recently. I am in the process of simplifying my haircare routine and I am really motivated right now to use stuff that I can get readily in my community as opposed to ordering stuff online or depending on ridiculously expensive products. I was also inspired to find stuff ppl can get anywhere particularly as many of my friends from Trinidad are always asking me about products I use and very few of them are sold in Trini. The more I get to know my hair and the more research I do, the less I am concerned about using specific products or brands. I think being a broke student also prevents me from being consumed by product junkyism. lmao. I believe knowing what specific ingredients your hair likes and what type of products you need are more important. Then you can go out and get what ever is available to you in your community that can fulfill similar purposes. Easy, effective, available and cheap is what I'm going for with my hair care regimen.

As my hair is getting longer and thicker now, I have been finding detangling in the shower using a comb is becoming a problem. I have stated many times, patience is not my forte and I was finding that I was ripping out too much of my hair in the shower. As such, I stopped using a comb in the shower a few weeks ago and instead did some finger combing and did most of my detangle when I was about to do my protective style. I started saving my shed hair every week to keep track of if I was losing less or not. I also started researching pre-poo treatments. I've always heard about them but I hadn't really paid them any particular attention before. I needed to find something that would take the pain out of my detangling and present less hair each week to be put in my ziplock bags. lol
It's def getting longer and thickening up

Last week I tried my first pre-poo because I finally found something I thought actually made sense for me. The majority of pre-poo's ppl use consist of using oils on their hair pre-shampooing. I guess the reasoning is that you prevent totally stripping away oils during shampooing and so prevent the drying out effect shampooing sometimes bring. Personally, I was not too interested in that part because I feel like I have mastered the art of shampooing my hair now that I don't get this drying effect. What I needed was something to help with the detangling and simply oiling my hair wasn't going to help with that.

I have been looking into coconut milk recently and came across a video on youtube by thatgirl5 with a coconut conditioning treatment that she used on her daughter to soften her hair and ease detangling. She called it a "relaxer" but I didn't see any relaxing of her daughter's curl or anyone else who used it on youtube and I personally do not want to change my curl pattern but I decided to try it for the detangling potential. The recipe I used was

  • 2 tbs extra virgin coconut oil - melted in the microwave
  • 1.5 tbs coconut cream (I used Goya coconut milk [no stabilizers or gums] - I opened the can and poured the contents into a glass jar and left it uncovered in the fridge so that the fatty cream would float to the top and some of the water would evaporate. I then scooped the cream from the top for this recipe)
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt - left out to get to room temperature before mixing.

After getting home from a party in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I applied the mixture (pH 4) to my hair section by section, put a plastic cap on and went to bed. Putting this mix in my hair was a revelation in itself. It felt amazing! I was skeptical about if it would work on my dry dirty hair but as soon as I started smoothing it out, it stretched out my curls and i was removing my shed strands with so much ease! When I was done applying it I had so much hang time and my hair already felt so moisturized and detangled I was quite pleased. I ran to take a pic but my camera batteries were dead and I didn't have replacements. I promise the next time I do it I will post pics.I was also quite tired as it took me near an hour to apply it. 

My reasoning for doing it at that time was "hey I got to get up soon anyways so I'll rinse it out and then do my regular washing routine". I didn't want to leave it in too long because I didn't want to run the risk of changing my curl pattern. Needless to say, I overslept and 8 hours later I was washing this mix out of my head. I rinsed the mix out throughly then shampooed with HE Hello Hydration and conditioned with HE Longlasting Relationship. I then did an ACV rinse. When I was done my hair was so soft it kind of scared me. LMAO. I was like "OMG I think I changed my curl pattern" It was weird, my hair had the same curl pattern but it definitely was stretched more and just so unbelievably soft it threw me off. I wasn't sure I liked this soft mane after all. Regardless, detangling was a BREEZE and I can now happily report that one week later my hair is definitely still my hair just so much softer and easier to detangle. lol. But next time, I'm only leaving it in 2-3 hours tops because I don't like it super soft. 
Left bag is my shed hair from detangling the week before the coconut treatment, middle bag is week of, right bag is this week (1 week post treatment). I know you can tell the difference. lol

This week I used the HE long lasting relationship conditioner for a co-wash and used my regular hair mayo from ORS for a deep condition. It is astonishing how much less hair I removed from my hair this week. I will def continue to use this coconut treatment on my hair, probably once a month or even every other month, depending on how often I think I need it. I also tried it on one of my friends hair yesterday and she also loved it and reports she is going to use it as a deep conditioner in the future. This is also an effective protein treatment as the yogurt has lots of protein in it. I would also recommend it to ppl who do adapted KCCC methods, this is great for getting your curls to clump so you start with a great foundation. 

So if you are looking for softer, way easier to detangle, more hang-time, clumped curls hair, you might want to try this. and u can find all the stuff u need cheap at your neighborhood grocery store. lol

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New moisturizing routine & ORS Smooth and Hold Pudding

Hey Yall
quick update. After rocking my adapted KCCC for 5 days (see 5th day hair below) I clarified with my Giovanni shampoo, did a protein treatment with the Giovanni Reconstructor, conditioned with my VO5 clarifying shampoo and deep conditioned with my ORS hair mayo overnight.
5th day hair
Post Clarifying, pre-protein treatment
Post protein treatment

Next morning I rinsed out the hair mayo and did an apple cider vinegar rinse. My Giovanni Direct leave in is done so I am trying a new moisturizing routine. I used my Infusium 23 followed by Redken Extreme Antisnap on my ends and Cantu Leave in as my leave in moisturizers and sealed with Doo Grow Hair oil.  I twisted my hair and let my hair air dry. The result: gorgeous, soft and shiny! yay

Post Deep Condition
Moisturized and air dried. Yeah I went to school with 4 big fatty twists in my hair. lmao. Thank the Lord for forever 21 tams

Once dried, I two strand twisted my hair using ORS Smooth and Hold Pudding. The result was great and I think this is a great cheap replacement for Ms Jessie's. lol. Soft, shiny, moist, frizz free, flake free, no film. I love it!
Ain't that shiny and soft looking and cute! never mind the white stuff, it goes away

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another try at the imitation KCCC method

Hey Loves!
been a while but I took lots of pics of my hair today so I felt that warranted an update. This week I undid my two strand twist protective style and rocked my hair in a slick bun for a couple days. Today I took it down to wash and the hugeness and softness and awesomeness of my mane just compelled me to take some pics. Here's my fav:

I decided on a whim to try the KCCC method with some Infusium as my leave in and Smooth and Shine polishing curl activator gel with aloe vera as my gel. Quick note: I've had this gel for a while and didn't really like it the first time i got it as a replacement for IC Fantasia but I tried it again today as I'm trying to use up the stuff I have. 

I clarified my hair with my Giovanni clarifying shampoo and conditioned with some VO5 clarifying conditioner. I then did my regular ACV rinse. My hair was sectioned in 5 sections: 2 on the side, one on top and two in the back. I started with a section on the side, spritz with water, spritz with my infusium and shingle through hair, and apply a scoop (about 1tbs) of the gel shingling with my fingers, making sure the ends were well coated, smoothing the section between the palm of my hand from root to tip. I then twisted this section and proceeded to complete all remaining sections. This is what it looks like wet:

Once product application was completed, I untwisted the sections and blow-dried my hair until mostly dry. I then blasted it on the cool setting for a few minutes and then let my hair air dry. This is what it looks like dry and styled:

Lots of shrinkage but I love how it turned out! Can't compare to KCCC because I've never tried it but my hair was soft and full of movement, not sticky, my curls and coils were very defined and shiny. I would say this was a success!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My new favorite protective style - chunky two strand twists

So since my foray into Ms Jessie's I have been doing the chunky 2-strand twist to twist out thing and i really like it. I think I like the effect of the twistout even more than my braidout. Coupled with my banding technique, I'm getting more length and fullness to my style. I'm liking it alot. So this week I decided, instead of doing box braids when I wash my hair and waiting till midweek to undo them and put in my two strand twists, what if I just do two strand twists on my regular hair? So that's what I did.

I cowashed and detangled my hair as I normally do, deepconditioned ovenight and did an ACV rinse. I then applied my regular moisturise and seal products to each of the four sections I washed my hair in. I then further subdivided each of these sections into three, applied a little IC gel to each for hold and did my two strand twist. I let them airdry and then I just tucked and baggyed the ends, put on my satin scarf and went to bed. This morning they were almost completely dried and I banded them. Can't wait for the weekend to take them down and compare the results to my Ms Jessie's results.
Banding post drying. I wanted to see if I let it dry first if it shrinks more than if i band when it is still wet. From the looks of things it seems it doesn't make a difference. You also don't need to band so tight at the first one (at the start of the ponytail) as long as you maintain a firm grip for the rest of the banding.
Next day post banding and drying.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trying Ms Jessie's part II

So as promised, this is my two strand twist after 24 hrs, dried and stretched:
lots of shine, hanging down my back (without banding it would be hanging out with my ears lol)
And here is my twistout ready for ladies night out. Hey hey hey! lol
My first fat twistout and I am quite pleased. Lovely definition and the ends are nice and curled. no frizz either

One thing I will add to my review of the product last night is that it does leave my hair feeling kind of greasy but not so much that I wouldn't use this product again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trying Ms Jessie's

So I finally got my hands on some Ms Jessie's products (Thanks Anita!). I took down my 10 protective box braids one by one and sprayed with water to dampen my hair. I then used the Curly Pudding, using a nickel size amount per section and raked it through my hair. I then divided each braid section into smaller sections, applied a fingertip of Baby Buttercreme to each smaller section and two strand twisted. Immediately I can say that it stretches out my hair wonderfully and it smoothes the frizz perfectly. It is not greasy, has a nice scent and has some good hold to it because usually if i two strand twist my hair from the root (as opposed to braiding then twisting) it doesn't hold.

Less is more with these products, u really only need a small amount so in that case, since u can get many hairstyles worth from even the 2 oz container it just might be worth the try. I will warn that I have ben told that the curly pudding flakes so i used a small amount but I'll have to wait till it dries to see if I get any flaking. Once I was done two strand twisting I pulled my hair into a low ponytail and then banded it and put a curler at the end to curl the ends. I have a pic of the two strand twists right after I was done with my whole head as well as my banded pony. I'll post more pics later on when it is dry and when I rock my twistout. Enjoy!
Right after I got done twisting my whole head, the white stuff eventually goes away but I'll have to wait until it dries to see if there is flakiness
My Banding technique for combating my shrinkage. I gather all the twists into a low pony and then use ouchless scrunchies to band along the pony. I then curl the very end of the pony using a roller.

Combating Shrinkage

I just came across this link talking about different ways we can combat that shrinkage. I have never heard about these milk treatments and such, I'll have to look into that some more. As I learn I'll share, I promise! but in the meantime check this link out. Stay Blessed!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Officially BSL yall!

Yup, and it's not even December yet! lol. I did my first over night deep condition and when I washed it out this morning and did my length check this is what I got:

I would call that BSL proper. You can see the progress since my last length check in April unstretched and in June after my blowout. Stay Nappy and Be Blessed!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Question from Apples - Hair growth

I recently got a question from a visitor to the blog, Apples, and I thought I should share my answer to her as I am sure many ppl might have a similar question.

"I've recently cut off all my relaxed hair on my quest to embrace all things natural. any tips to get the growth process started?"

Hi Apples!

Congrats on your BC and good luck with your natural journey. There is really no secret to growing your hair. Our hair is always growing, the problem is because many of us don't understand how to care for our hair, just as fast as it is growing, it is breaking off. The key to seeing your growth is retaining it. And doing that is fairly straight foward if you are diligent about it.

The keys to success:

  • healthy mind, body and spirit - includes eating right/ supplementing your diet, exercise, drinking lots of water and reducing stress

  • clean scalp and hair - find a hair washing regimen that suits your lifestyle

  • moisture - you will need to ensure that your hair is well moisturised. Water, a good leave in, a sealing oil and baggying are essential

  • protective styling - it is important to protect the ends of your hair. They are dead, once they are damaged, you can't repair it. So be good to them and keep them out of harms way.

  • low manipulation - the less you handle your hair, the fewer opportunities to damage it.
Once you routinely practice these things, you will retain your new growth and so it will appear that your hair is growing faster than usual. That's only a sign that you are finally starting to understand what your hair likes and you are doing right by it. Feel free to check out earlier posts on my personal regimen and products I use, but they should just be a guide as all of our manes are different, have different needs and like different things.

That said, I would also say don't obsess over it. At the end of the day hair is just hair, it shouldn't define you. What you choose to do with it should be an expression of you, not the other way around. So I would say as you embark on this new journey in your life, enjoy every stage, learn as much as you can and do you! And thank you for letting me share in it!


Foray back into Nexxus

So after my wonderful shampoo today (read about my new washing technique) it was time for my once-a-month protein treatment. I had been using the Giovanni protein reconstructor for the last few months because it was way cheaper than Nexxus and also because the last time I had used the Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor the results had been disappointing. I had written this off to a new formula (the bottles have changed so I assumed the change in the results I achieved with the product had to do with a new fomulation). I had even gone to the Co-op this morning to get my Giovanni but after the amazing results of my shampoo I decided to use the last of the Nexxus I still had to see what would happen.

Results: amazing! Just like I remember in the olden days, even better than what I get with the Giovanni. But before I get too excited, I'll have to wait for next month to repeat my new shampoo method and use the Giovanni treatment and see what the results are. At least I'm glad that Nexus is still wonderful because I was utterly disappointed when a product I had listed as one of the products I can't live without had been relegated to products that make me go GAHHH! lol

As I am typing this I am deep conditioning with an ORS replenishing pack. I might do a length check when I wash this out or maybe just take some pictures of my virgin hair to share. check back for a later post.

Thoughts on washing hair

So today I had a revelation of sorts. I'll admit, I'm kind of a lazy person. Usually when I shampoo my hair, which is once a month, I just lather it up and then leave sectioning and detangling for when I condition my hair. I usually use a comb in the shower for detangling and sad to say I am not as gentle as I could be as I want to get it done quick. lol. Today I decided to do things a little differently.

I have been rocking 25 box braids in my hair for the last two weeks (hair co-washed once with them in). I have been rocking a braidout in various styles for the last three days. I decided that I would try a new shampooing/washing technique today. I sectioned my hair in four before even getting in the shower (usually i do the sectioning after shampooing and protein treatment). When I got in the shower, I wet one section at a time, running my fingers through it and really letting my strands separate and relax out of the braidout curls they were in. I started detangling gently with my fingers in the running water, removing as much of my shedded hair as possible.

I then applied my clarifying shampoo to the section (Giovanni hydrating and clarifying shampoo), first raking the product through with my fingers then placing my palms on both sides of the section and running down from roots to ends several times. I then fingercombed and continued the detangling. Once I had most of the shedded hair out I two strand twisted that section with the shampoo in and moved on to the next section. When I had completed this for every section I then took down section by section and rinsed the shampoo out, massaging the scalp to make sure the scalp was clean as well. I paid particular attention to making sure my curls hung relatively undisturbed, just let the water run and again use the technique of running my palms down my hair from root  to end.

The result: for the first time ever my curls were almost completely detangled after a shampoo! Not only that, my curls were also very defined, shiny and vey clean and moist looking. Usually i can only get a similar effect using herbal essences hello hydration shampoo. In my previous attempts using this Giovanni shampoo, it usually left my hair very clean but also kind of dry (that hay feeling) and no curl definition to speak of, and definitely lots of tangles. But usually when I shampoo, I just lather up my whole head and massage my scalp really good, not really caring that i am tangling my hair. I just accept it as a kind of collateral damage. This got me thinking that maybe the effect we get from shampooing may have just as much to do with our washing technique as it has to do with the actual products we use. Food for thought.

Styles from this weekend

Been hanging out with my boo boos this weekend, love me my gfs! lol. I had my hair in about 20-25 box braids for the last two weeks. Friday night I took them out and rocked a Janelle Monae inspired updo to a ho-down. Saturday I hung out with my gfs all day and I rocked some double buns with a flower a la FeistyKoo. Didn't take a pic though so I'll have to recreate it at some point and post the pic later. Saturday night I rocked another updo on my old braidout hair, this time a single flat twist coming up to the front of my head and then twirling and pinning the end at the front a la Alicia Keys. Then this morning (or afternoon, who's keeping track. lol) I woke up and realized I didn't have my Giovanni for my protein treatment. so I untwirled my flat twist from the night before, pinned my loose hair to the side with three bobby pins and voila! gorgeous curly side-afro and out da door to the Coop. lol. enjoy the pics!
Friday Night Janelle Monae inspired up do.

Saturday night flat twist updo and front twirl end
Sunday morning side do. 3 pins is all it took. lol

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another hair type classification system

So somehow I stumbled across this hair typing system I had never heard of before called the LOIS system. Those who know my government name will know why I was tickled by this. lol. Personally I find it kind of confusing and the whole hair typing thing mostly useless but it's fun learning new stuff! enjoy
LOIS Hair System

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ACV Rinse and pH control

So I have been experimenting with the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Rinse and I think I like it. It started when I was on vacation with those two strand twists in my hair. One day after washing my hair I had the scalp itchies so bad I was like oh my lord give me something! I look around the kitchen, I see some Braggs, I grab it up and I start making a concoction. I didn't have internet access right that minute but I had remembered reading somewhere some time ago that ACV helps eliminate itchy scalp. So I mixed 3 cups of water with 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar. Then on a whim I added a dash of baking soda and some honey (don't know why but they were in the kitchen lol). Mixed it up good and poured that baby over my head. Lord the smell! LMAO But miracle of miracles: the itching was gone. I hopped in the shower to run some water and a dash of herbal essences hello hydration conditioner in my hair to get rid of the smell, concentrating on the hair so as not to wash the rinse from my scalp and thus defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.

Later that day when I did get some internet I started researching what I was actually supposed to put in the ACV rinse, in terms of amounts and such. I realized that my honey hunch was a good tip because honey also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. I also stumbled across this video by Kimmaytube on youtube explaining pH balance as it relates to hair:

pH balance TEST results BONUS video

In the video she does pH tests on common homemade recipes ppl use for hair care: ACV rinse, baking soda etc. She also goes into detail about the ideal pH range for our hair, general hair structure and the effect different pHs have on our hair. The most important take away message: 

Alkali (high pH) substances open up the hair cuticle while acidic (low pH) substances lay the cuticle flat 

Honestly, I had never thought about the pH of the stuff I have been putting on my hair before so this video really opened my eyes. It seems that my instincts are good though because by mixing in some baking soda with my ACV I had essentially raised/ neutralized the pH. This is good because turns out 2 tbs ACV in 3 cups of water is too acidic for our hair! lol.

Since my aha moment I continue to do an ACV rinse every week when I am done washing/deep conditioning. However I use one capful in 2 cups of water (pH 4 - 4.5). It still stops the itchies and now I am also laying my cuticles flat and not damaging my hair. I think the rest of the videos Kimmaytube does on Hair Structure and pH balance are really important to anyone trying to understand their head of natural hair so I am posting the links below. 

The Structure of Hair - Part 1 The Basics
The Structure of Hair Part 2 - pH Balance Basics
Structure of Hair Part 3 -Are you taking your hair on a pH roller coaster ride?
Structure of Hair Part 4 - Using pH Balance Properly for Hair-Care

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Update

Hi Folks,
It's been awhile. Nothing exciting on my front, still on the same regimen, seems to be working great. I'm trying to use up all the various products I have so I can start a fresh round of experimenting. I think I'm going to try some homemade stuff next. Will keep you in the loop on that front. I have added more links (see sidebar) for some new hair styling resources and some web resources for all the newly natural, contemplating natural or even the old naturals trying to find some new funky styles.

I want to send a special shoutout to the folks who have clicked on the follow button. When I started writing this blog I had no idea if I was actually going to share it with anybody so it is truly a blessing to be able to share my journey with you. I am humbled that you thought the content over here was useful to you. Thank you all for the support and I hope you find this site helpful. Please email me with any questions, comments or suggestions you have for things I can do to help make your journey easier at I'll try my best to address them.

On that happy note, here are a few pics of styles I've rocked recently. Enjoy and  Stay Nappy!

Rocking a wash and go faux hawk

Can't go wrong with them forever 21 tams 
Night on the town.
Used Ecostyler for the slick to the bun and Ecostyler for my curly swoop.
Love that stuff!

Wrapped my hair up for a little BBQing. Added a flower when I was done wrapping
Braidout heading to open mike night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

summer protective styling

So it's hot, it's humid and I'm busy having fun. I need a protective style that is cute enough to party but also lasts a while. This is the style I'm rocking right now: small 2 strand twists, about the size ppl get when they do kinky twists but without the extensions. I love it, it looks good, and it lasts! It shrinks but to minimize the shrinkage I band my hair every night (if I remember lol); I gather all my braids in a low pony and then I use my scrunchies (about 4 total) and band along the pony.

Post banding - trust me without it, my twists would all hang ear length.

Look at that shrinkage. still trying to figure out how to combat it

How I did it:
The day before, I shampooed and conditioned my hair, did a protein treatment, and deep conditioned. I then moisturized, sealed, did 8 box braids and let my hair air dry overnight. The following day I took down braid by braid, moisturized with Cantu Shea Leave in conditioner, sectioned and twisted, starting as a three strand braid and then completing as two strand twist. I then banded my hair and went about my business. When I was ready to leave the house, I unbanded, used some cantu or Carol's daughter Hair milk and off I went about my business.

Products Used:
Shampoo: Herbal Essences long lasting relationship
Conditioner: Herbal Essences Hello hydration
Protein Treatment: Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor
Deep Conditioner: ORS Replenishing pack with an added egg and 3 tablespoons of honey
Leave in Conditioner: Infusium 23 and Redken Antisnap
Oil: Doo grow hair oil
Sealant: Hollywood Beauty Castor oil treatment with Mink Oil