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.