Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thoughts and Prayers with My Haitian brothers and sisters

Sending positive energy to Haiti right now in this devastating time. You can help simply by texting Yele to 501501 to donate $5. You can also visit if you would like to donate more. I recommend Yele because 100% of the donations go to relief efforts as opposed to some of the larger organizations where some percentage of the money usually goes towards overhead/administration.

Trini ppl with Digicel phones can text "help" to 5151 to donate $3 to the cause. You can also donate to the Red Cross via their Republic Bank Account # 180 482 517 101.

I would also recommend donating to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), just because they have been excellent in this crisis already and are already on the ground. I think medical care is one of the highest priorities on the needs list right now given the situation (several thousand casualties, several thousand injured and many major hospitals structurally unsound right now) but most ppl will be focussed, as we tend to in these types of situations, on food, clothes and drinking water. You can donate to Doctors without Borders at

Other organizations that you can donate money, food, clothes and other essentials to can be found at:

Most importantly, your prayers and positive energy are needed at this time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Natural Hair Acronyms and Definitions

So thanks to my sister for the idea of doing this post. She read the blog and then was like " it looking good eh but i feeling like an ignoramus cuz I doh know what half those terms mean. Co-wash, curlisto, bagging, bsl, what is that?!" LMAO. So I thought maybe I can make a collection of terms and acronyms as I come across them/ use them so ppl can know what is meant by these things. Similarly if there is a term u see often and don't know what it is please suggest that I include it n the list. here goes!

Co-wash - the process of washing one's hair using conditioner instead of shampoo. The idea behind this is that conditioners contain surfactants just like shampoos do but have much less of a drying effect as well as usually contain less damaging chemicals than regular shampoos, so u get a good clean but your hair remains moisturized and is less tangled.

Baggy Method - aka baggying. Used to maintain moisture in hair, particularly the ends, thus preventing split ends and retaining length. Involves moisturizing ones hair, usually the ends, using whatever products one choses and then using a plastic bag, ziploc bag, plastic cap, saran wrap or similar material to wrap the ends of one's hair or the whole head, as one prefers. May be used as a nightly routine to replenish moisture on a daily basis. May also be used if one is using a protective style such as a wig, half wig or ponytail so you can protect your own ends while wearing the wig/pony. See here for an example.

Curlisto Method - a method used to define curls. Similar methods include the Curly primer method and the KCCC method. Named for the brand of products used in the original method, this method can basically be done using various brands of leave in conditioners and curl defining gels but the two major brands ppl use are Curlisto and Kinky Curly. Cheaper alternatives include IC Fantasia or Ecostyler Gels. It involves a method known as shingling whereby a curl activator gel is applied to wet, detangled, moisturized hair, section by section, by running your fingers through the section rather than combing with a brush or comb. See example here.

BSL - hair growth term: bra strap length

APL - hair growth term: arm pit length

SL - hair growth term: shoulder length

MBL - hair growth term: mid back length

KCCC - Kinky Curly Curling Custard: product that can be used for shingling ones hair to enhance curl definition

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nappy is a bad word now?

I'm confused. I was just watching Motorcitymoxie (Nappy comments) and she was talking about Nappy having negative connotations and not approving of ppl calling themselves Nappy. Then she was like "what next, we gonna walk around calling ourselves darkie?" Um. LMAO. Anybody who knows me knows I'm guilty of calling myself both. LMAO. It got me thinking. I honestly don't see what the negative is with being nappy headed or a darkie for that matter and calling oneself such. lol. That's the head u got so embrace it. Maybe I'm missing something so please fill me in if I am.

I guess this attitude might help explain why some ppl walk around worrying about their curls and trying to get waves and shit and are all obsessed with growth. Even though ppl are going natural and some are all political about it, they still trying to fight what they got. Just accept what u have, love it and take care of it. I personally couldn't care less if u want to harangue urself trying to get curls and waves, just as I couldn't give a rats tail if u wanna rock some weave, get a perm, go bald, wateva. To each his/her own. I just think it's hilarious that going/being natural is made into such a big deal, getting away from european standards of beauty and all that good stuff and yet we imposing false standards of beauty and nomenclature on ourselves!

Matted hair might be ugly to u but encompass the world of beauty for someone else. What gives anyone the right to think that curls are elevated over matted/ locked or vice versa. Fact is, not everybody got curls to rock, some ppl just got that cotton texture where it just aint never gonna get no curl in it and may always look matted (or as they say in the Caribbean, yuh head look hard. LMAO) even though it feel soft, its' healthy and well maintained. Aint nothing wrong with being a nappy head, a natty dread or wateva. Ppl need to get over the labels and the words. Its just hair for Christ sake! Why we trying to self segregate again over some hair man? To each his own, don't let what other ppl do to themselves bother u. lol. I am one nappy headed darkie and I'm proud! LMAO

On that note, this tune goes out to all the sexy darkies! lol

Sunday ritual - Today's wash 01/10/10

So today I just co-washed with Tresemme Natural Conditioner with Vitamin's C and E with my 8 box braids still in. I then took down each braid one by one, moisturised with my Nexxus Botanical leave-in, Africa's Best Hair Oil with Ginseng and Motions Oil Moisturiser in that order, Organix Coconut Milk split end mender on the ends and then rebraided, splitting each original section in two. I must say there has been a HUGE improvement in my ends. they are much smoother now, I can braid right down to the end without tangles or frizzing. I took a couple pics so here goes:

Post Wash, taking down the braids one at a time. I think passing bra strap length (aka bsl) by the end of the year is doable. lol. note the massive amount of shrinkage I got going on

Front view of my growth. nipple length. LMAO.shrinkage even more severe here. Pardon my expression,  I promise I'm not mad. lol

Completed protective styling. 8 braids in the back, 6 in the front and two imitation cornrows on my edges in the front. I call them imitation because I can't cornrow to save my life. lol

Completed protective style backview. This style will stay in all week. I'll moisturise & baggy my hair nightly.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Comments and suggestions

Is there something I'm missing, could do better, could do without? maybe you just want to leave some words of encouragement?! lol. go ahead and do ur thang!

Your Questions!

Something on ur mind? want some suggestions, explanations? I do not pretend to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I will try to answer your questions as best I can or identify a resource that can help you find the answer. And feel free to ask about ANYTHING! lol

Your Experiences!

I want this to be an open space for sharing as well. As the old ppl say sharing is caring. so feel free to post about your own hair journey, whatever that may be!

Friday, January 8, 2010

General Techniques

Since I have started taking care of my hair, regardless of the products I use there are certain things that work for me:
  1. Limit the use of shampoo
  2. Deep condition regularly
  3. Moisturize daily
  4. Baggy regularly
  5. Minimize manipulation
  6. Avoid combing/brushing/detangling my hair when dry
Back in the day, I didnt think nothing of combing out my hair and getting a huge ball of hair at the end of the process. I used to comb it before I washed it, comb it in the shower and comb it afterwards. When I say I typically got a ball of hair about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, that was no joke. and I never thought nothing of it cuz my hair has always been so thick and that had always been the case. I know my hair is healthy and that this regimen works for me because since I have been taking care of my hair, I can count the strands of hair that come out of my head every time I wash/detangle/ comb it. I'm still amazed that I can rock a curly fro for a couple days, sleep on it to the point that it feels matted (lol i think my hair really wants to be in dreads but I'm not ready yet) and when I condition and detangle in the shower I lose almost no hair. Its also great that now I only lose full strands and not broken pieces. I know that I have breakage under control!

Products I'm using now/ have used previously and dont really have an opinion about

Ok so these products get the job done on some level but don't really excite me yet or didn't at the time. May work for you but I'm not invested in them so I will probably/ did move on to another product that performs/performed a similar function.

  1. Le Kair Cholesterol Plus Strengthening and Conditioning Cream- I have been using this for a while. It's a big container and it's cheap. lol. it does a good deep condition job but I'm not particularly invested in it. I'm willing to keep trying other products till I find one I can't live without. lol
  2. Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum - I discovered this at JC Penny Salons. lol. Its a great detangler, great frizz control and gives my blow out and flat iron a great shine. However it is chock full of silicones. It hasn't appeared to do any irreparable damage to my hair but I don't use it often. 
  3. Smooth N shine Curl Activator Gel - eh. I really went to CVS to get me some IC gel and saw this and said "let me stop riding IC and try something new". Let's just say there is a reason why I ride that IC. this product does nothing for me. lol
  4. Ampro Clear Ice protein styling gel - another experiment gone bad. lol. does nothing for me
  5. Ion Finishing Spritz - I use this on the rare occasion I get a straw set. Does its job
  6. Nexxus Gorgeous Curls Gurl Enhancing  Foam Styler - I used this mostly when I had braids, wet and wavy style. It does a great job with that. Don't  really use it on my natural hair.
  7. Tresemme Curl Care Bouncy Curls Defining Gel - does the job but is nowhere close to my IC. lol

Products I like

  1. Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil - I wanted an oil and this was the only one I could find. Ingredient list is impressive (soy bean, walnut, kiwi, olive, castor, sesame, jojoba, carrot, sweet almond, safflower, calendula, yarrow, cucmber, carrageenan, ginseng, sage, comfrey and aloe. Just started using this so no opinion yet on if it works but I my hair is moist and smells good. So far it's on the like list but I have a feeling this may get a promotion. lol
  2. Organic Root Stimulator Hair Fertilizer - I use this for my braid/ twist outs. Makes my hair nice and soft, good enough hold.
  3. Motions Hair lotion Original Oil Moisturizer - I used to use this alot when I first went to college. Back then it made my hair soft and manageable. I just started using it again recently and it seems to do a good job. I' willing to try other emulsion based products for sealing my moisture though so when this is done I'll prob try something else.
  4. Nexxus Botanluxe Leave in Conditioner - just started using it and it seems to get the job done.
  5. Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Leave in split end protector - does teh job and smells delicious!
  6. Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Split Ends Mender - smells good and seems to do a good job but I just started using it.

Products I love!

  1. Herbal Essences long term relationship Conditioner - detangles wonderfully, very well defined curls and smells delicious!
  2. Pearl Collection Avocado with Cholesterol Conditioning Cream - my hair is so soft after deep conditioning with this, my curls look like i did some kinky kurly or curlisto method or something AND it smells good
  3. Infusium 23 leave in treatment - great leave in moisturizer
  4. Fantasia IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel - OMG this gel is amazing. great for curl definition as well as sleek styles
  5. Proclaim Protein Styling Gel - my go too for slick in front. this thing got hold. lol
  6. Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave in Treatment - this thing smooths and controls frizz like no other. I would put it on the products I can't live without list but it's expensive. LMAO

Products I Can't live without!

I'm not really a product junkie. Very few products have made this list but the number 1 on this list has got to be...... dun dun dun!

Pantene Pro-V Detangling Light Conditioning Mist! OMG! this thing is amazing. sometimes I wonder what if I had known about this product when my hair had turned to dreads in 2006. lol. I bet this here detangler would have been able to detangle them!

The 2nd product in this category is Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor. Every time I use this product I am amazed at the instant visible results. My hair looks so much healthier, my curls are more defined, my hair is so much stronger and it doesnt make your hair hard!

The 3rd product in this category is pantene Pro-V Curl Hydrating Shampoo. This is the first and only shampoo I have used that diesnt tangle my hair or give it that hard/dry feel that other shampoos do. Granted I don't use it often but when i do, it cleans well and moisturises. Love it!

Old School Regimen - 2008

Back in 2008 my school friend Natalie asked me about my hair care regimen. This is what I told her back then:

Lois St Brice October 7, 2008 at 3:43pm

girl. lol. this gonna be kinda long so bear with me. lol

i don't really have no special secret except patience, love and The key is to minimize manipulation and moisturize so that u don't get breakage. i co-wash my hair about 2-3 times per week using conditioner as shampoo (the one i using now is paul mitchell detangling conditioner but honestly just try to find something that has as few artificial products as possible and works for your hair. stay away from products with silicones and stuff). i prob use shampoo like once a month (i using pantene curl hydration right now), best is to use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup. when you wash ur hair try not to wash it wild wild so it tangle (it hard to resist trying to get as much foam as possible. lol), focus on the scalp and when u wash it out the product in the hair shaft itself will wash out. if my hair is really tangle up, like if i had it in twists or something for like a month cuz i lazy lol, i usually detangle before i wash. i love pantene detangler it works wonders! i comb out my hair with the conditioner in it that way it is easier to manage when i done washing but if ur hair dont really tangle you could bypass that. i deep conditioner my hair once a week or every two weeks and for that i using lekair hair cholesterol right now but hair mayonnaise or olive oil products are good too. with the cholesterol i usually leave it in for an hour, put a shower cap and hot towel over it and let it steam. if u do it longer than that the hair does get stiff. with the mayo or olive oil sometimes i leave it in overnight (wash my hair before i go to bed and then in the morning wash out the conditioner and go my merry way. lol i do a protein treatment once a month or more regular (once every two weeks max) if i see breakage and for that i use nexxus emergencee repair or something so it called. trust me, it works wonders and ur hair is so much stronger after. when i done wash i usually put in infusium 23 leave in conditioner, a moisturiser, hair growth oil and i good to go. usually i doh comb it i either wear it in a fro or put it in one but not too tight. for gel i swear by IC soft gel with highlights! lol. works for ur curls and for a slick look, although if ur hair curly like mine u might need some of that hard gel to make it behave if u want the slick back stay away from anything with alcohol in it. i also use olive oil glosser sometimes. other than that make sure ur hair always moisturised i use olive oil and shea butter products mostly. i try to stay away from a comb as much as possible! lol. every so often though imma do some small twists and leave it in for a while and wash with it in. hope this helps and let me know if u wanna know anything else! i feel i might make some youtube videos or something cuz real ppl asking meh about my hair all of a sudden. lol check out this facebook group too. they have lots of good websites. good luck!

My Current Regimen - Jan 2010

So I have tried a few before but this is what I have been doing for the last month:

  1. Shampoo with Pantene Pro V Hydrating Curls Shampoo (once/ month)
  2. Detangle/ Condition/ Co-wash with Tresemme Natural Conditioner with vitamins C & E (once/ week)
  3. Protein treatment with Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor (once/ month)
  4. Deep Condition with Pearl Collection  Avocado with Cholesterol Conditioning Cream (every other week)
  5. Moisturize and seal every night with Nexxus Botanluxe Nourishing Botanical Leave-in conditioner, Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil with Ginseng and Motions Original Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion in that order. I then baggy my entire head by putting a plastic cap over it.
  6. Seal my ends/ prevent split ends using Organix Coconut Milk Split End mender

Products, products, products

So over the years I have discovered that there are some products I can no longer live without, some that are great, some that are aite, some just ok and some I'll never use again. lol. I'm not really a product junkie but my closet is full of stuff right now that I am trying to use up so I can experiment with more stuff. I am open to trying products if they are sponsored so if you have a product you want me to review, send it to me and I'll tell you what I think!

Be sure to check out the Nappy Essentials Store (Scroll down) for all your product needs!


I'm so excited that I am actually following through for once. I have been meaning to do something like this for a while and by while I mean years. lol. I am a chronic procrastinator and my main new years resolution for 2010 was to minimize it ( I thought cutting it out entirely might be overly ambitious). I have been natural all my life and change my hairstyle very regularly (white ppl especially are really confused. LMAO). I have always received compliments as well as lots of questions as to what I do to get this head of hair looking so good/ different. For a vast portion of my life, the answer would have to be "nothing special". In Trinidad, lots of ppl have natural hair so I didn't really realize what the big deal was when I got to the US and everybody was acting like there was something way different. However it wasn't really until I started grad school that I stumbled across the nebulous world of Black Natural Hair Care. That was when I started paying attention to what I was putting on my hair and looking at how I handled my hair. I stuck with it for a while but stick-to-it-iveness is not really my forte. I'm hoping to turn that around this year. lol.

For a long time my hair regimen consisted of once or twice a month wash and condition and combing with some "grease". Usually some bergamot or something similar. Growing up my hair was so thick my momma sent me to my Aunty Diana to comb it. She would hook me up real nice, usually some corn rows. When i went to high school sometimes she would even press me out. She would put the  hot comb on the stove (yeah a cooking stove) to heat up. Temperature control consisted of blowing on the comb and hoping that was good enough. There was no heat protectant, only some grease slathered so that when the hair is pressed u can smell the burning. At the end of the process though my hair was straight and shiny black. Back then my hair was about mid back length. In high school i started doing my own hair too, doing some flat twists sometimes, two strand twists etc. always changing it up.

In college, I did braids and weaves alot, mainly because my hair was so thick and I was so busy and being in Maine, there wasn't exactly a plethora of ppl who would know what to do with my hair. One time I left my braids in so long the damn thing turned to dreads. LMAO. I embraced it and locked my hair and rocked that for almost a year until one day in South Africa I chopped them all off and rocked a fro for the first time since baby. omg I loved it! I kept that for a while and then decided to grow it back out and now its been 2.5 years since that.

In grad school I discovered the wonders of natural hair blogs and all these different regimens. I think it started when I joined a Natual Hair group on facebook It introduced me to a world I didnt even know existed! Twas and BCs and cowashes. lol. wth?! Discussions about hair as a political statement, a choice, a paradigm shift. It was crazy and wonderful. Just for the record, I don't personally have a problem with ppl rocking chemically treated hair or weaves or any style for that matter. To me hair is just hair and u should rock whatever makes u feel good about urself and should also be healthy. For about a year I actually took care of my hair, deep conditioning, protein treatments, no 'cones, minimal manipulation. My hair grew so much it was amazing. Then late 2008 rolled around and I got lazy. 2009 I REALLY didn't take care of my hair. Actually from April I probably pressed my hair once every month and trimmed about 2 inches each time.

My new year resolution is to take care of my hair again and refrain from heat/ braids/ weaves for awhile. I figured it would be good to share/document my experience, don't know with whom yet. At least by writing about it I might stay committed. lol. I'll try to document my hair routines, do some product reviews, talk about styles I rock, post some resources I've come across that are interesting and also provide a forum for others to share their experiences, ask questions, have communion.

Let's hope I stick to my resolutions! lol.