Monday, December 10, 2012

Natural Hair Styles for the Holidays

I'm looking for a special holiday style to wear for Xmas and New Years. Really, these style can really be worn any time of the year. Here are four styles I came up with: finger coils, French braid, half-braid/half-down, coil out. I think most of these can be used on short, medium and long hair.
Finger Coils
1. On freshly washed hair, separate hair in 4 sections.
2. Working on each section, take a small to medium amount of hair, two strand twist the root (so it doesn't unravel). Next, gently twirl the hair around your finger in a clockwise fashion.

Note: I got lazy and only did the back of my hair, however, it still turned out fine. I just pinned the top back for a voluminous look.

A helpful video on finger coiling: Finger Coil Video

Messy-Chic French Braid

1. Separate hair into three sections, top, middle and back.
2. Start braiding downward from the top.
3. When you are 3/4 done, add in your middle section and repeat until you reach the bottom section. Attach braid with a hair tie.

Note: This style was done on stretched hair.

I couldn't find a video on single French braid on natural hair. Here is a helpful video by Naptural85, she does it on shrunken hair. I suggest trying it on stretched hair and separating your hair in a mohawk fashion: French Braid How To

1. Separate the hair into two sections: 1 large bottom section and 1small top portion of your hair, this is the section you will braid.
2. (optional) To add a little dimension, rub a little water on two small front sections, two strand twist them and roller set/flexirod them. This will add volume to the side.
3. French braid the top section, leaving about 1/4 loose. 
4. Pin the braid to hold it in place, release the bottom section, fluff till your liking. 
5. (optional) Add a cute head band.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Hair Dates: Protective Styles + Rhassoul Clay


What is the current length of your hair?
The back of my hair is shoulder length when wet/stretched. My sides almost chin length length when wet/stretched. The front is almost ear length when wet or stretched. In other words: Total natural MULLET! I don't plan on cutting it into a style, because I've learned my hair naturally grows in layers. I'll just keep disguising the mullet until I reach my desired length (mid back).

What products are you currently loving?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- This will always be my top oil. Nothing gives me shine or penetrates my hair quite like olive oil. I mix it in my conditioner, use it as a skin moisturizer and make-up remover. Aah I heart you EVOO.

Rhassoul Clay - See my past posts for the deets.

Aussie Moist - Mixed with some EVOO, this stuff moisturizes, as the name implies!

What's your current wash regimen?
  • Cowash 1 time per week.
  • Shampoo (using my special mixture) or by rubbing diluted vinegar on my scalp, once per month.
  • LOC (leave-in, oil, conditioner)
  • Style, preferably protective

How have you been styling your hair?
Twists. My hair has been in two strand twists for the past two weeks. This is the longest I've ever kept twists in!! I'm primarily worn them up, because I prefer them to be a little longer and heavier if I am going to wear them down.
I even cowashed my hair in twists last week! It was cool, they weighed down my hair more so they had more stretch to them after the shower. I'm going to wash my hair today or tomorrow, will be nice to play in it again!

What challenges have you faced?
Not many, I still try to manipulate less to make sure my edges aren't getting thinner. That and time. On wash day, if I style my hair in twists, it takes me a total of 3 - 3.5 hours. After that I don't style for another 1 to 2 weeks, however.

Any drastic changes to your regimen or hair?
Holding styles longer than I could a few months ago. Being consistent about taking a daily vitamin.

Would you like to offer any hair advice for this month?
Try to drink enough water. Now in colder months, it's just as important, especially if you live in a dry climate like myself. Generally, I'm less thirsty in winter, but notice my skin and hair tends to be dryer. I try to drink 1 liter of warm lemon water per day. I find it warms me up and keeps me hydrated.

What hair products do you hope to receive in your stocking: 
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Moroccan Oil Deep Conditioning Mask, a silk scarf to wrap my hair.

Hope you had a happy November! Any fun holiday plans? Any hair products on your Xmas list?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Protective Style: Two Strand Twisted Sock Bun

I think I've been deep conditioning all wrong. The other day, I had the best deep conditioning experience ever! I mixed Aussie Moist, vatika and olive oil together and literally saturated my hair with the mixture. Normally, I'm a bit light-handed on the conditioner. My DC results are usually good, but the other day, they were great! My hair seemed to soften immediately and it had amazing slip. After saturating my hair, I covered it in plastic and sat under my soft bonnet dryer for 40 minutes.

Something, I've learned since going natural is that my low porosity hair requires heat to feel deep conditioned. No matter how long I baggy, it will never be as effective as a heated, deep conditioner. #finally figuring out my hair

After my DC, I put my hair in a protective style to protect it from the elements. I wanted something elegant and classic. I've been seeing a lot of sock buns lately and really wanted to give it a try. I wasn't sure if my hair was long enough, but to my surprise, I just managed to wrap my strands around the donut. YAY for new styles!

After rinsing out the DC

What are some of your favorite protective styles?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rhassoul Challenge

I love rhassoul clay! Why did I go astray from beloved rhassoul for so long? This weekend, I revisited rhassoul and I can say with 100% confidence that there is absolutely no conditioner that could ever give me this amount of slip, definition, clumped curls and shine. Thus, I've decided for the next month, I will be doing a rhassoul clay challenge. I will not use any conditioner nor shampoo during the month of December and will see how my hair responds. If it feels as good as it did this weekend after washing it, I just may say goodbye to those products and use only rhassoul. It's natural, it's inexpensive and effective.

Here's my mixture and results:
  • Rhassoul clay (4 -6 TBSP)
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 TBSP)
  • Distilled water (4 - 6 TBSP
  • Aloe vera juice (1 TBSP)
  • Essential oils (mint and lavender)
  • Amla (1 - 2 TBSP)

After rhassoul treatment, freshly washed, no products

freshly washed hair

70% dry hair w/products

70% dry hair w/products

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Natural Hair: Surviving Cold Weather

Before, I discuss my cold weather regimen, I'd like to take a moment to say my thoughts and prayers are with those back home, who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Related to weather, now that jack frost is tapping on our front door, I've made some slight adjustments  to my hair routine. Thought it would be a good time to do an update on my routine.

Pre-pooing is not really my thing. I've heard it's really good for your hair, blame it on my laziness. I'd like to try it in the future, we'll see. For now, I bought Dabur Fall Control Cream, which is supposed to reduce shedding. It contains olive oil and cactus juice. All you have to do is apply it 15 minutes before shampooing. I'll try it out over the next few weeks and report back later...

I wash my hair with diluted shampoo, mixed with glycerin and aloe juice once or twice (if I feel like I have build-up) per month. Alternatively, I do a rhassoul clay cleanse in lieu of a shampoo.

I condition my hair once per week and every time I wash my hair, I deep condition, with heat. First, I gently detangle with a slippery conditioner and a wide tooth comb, rinse and coat my hair with a moisturizing conditioner, mixed with aloe (and depending on the season honey). I put on two plastic caps and sit under a bonnet dryer for 30 - 45 minutes. I let my hair cool 10 - 15 minutes before rinsing it.

Lately, I've been leaving a small amount of Tresemmé Naturals in my hair. I don't liken this to the curly girl method, because the amount is very small and I only apply it to my ends. This helps my ends stay soft and supple despite harsh elements. This is something I do during cold weather, but not so much in summer.

I seal with coconut oil, vatika oil or olive oil. I apply this to wet hair and then I put a small amount of leave-in (concentrating on the ends) on my oiled hair. My hair literally feels like butter and I can go 4-5 days without moisturizing again.

I'm keeping it simple now that the cold has kicked in. I usually just wear my hair pulled back. I did a lot of twists in September, but have done them less this month, blame it on laziness. =)

At night I tie a satin scarf around my edges, I leave my hair up in the bunny tail (kind of like a pony tail for natural hair). I leave the bunny tail exposed and do not wrap the scarf around it. I do sleep on a satin pillowcase, so my ends aren't rubbing against a drying material. I found that leaving my ends open and not wrapped at night leaves my hair full and also more moisturized. Not sure why, but wrapping my ends tends to make them dryer.

Finally, we can't change the weather, but there are some things we can do to combat it. Next week, I'll be on the lookout for a humidifier. I live in the mountains and it's quite dry in the winter. I'll make sure my hair and skin stay hydrated by using a humidifier at home.

So that's it! Pretty simple, basically, I'm only styling and cleaning once per week. Easy peasy.

What kind of adjustments are you making to adapt to weather changes?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Hairdates: Vatika Oil + LOC

What is the current length of your hair?

When wet, the back of my hair reaches my shoulders. My sides are still growing at snail speed. :/ Patience, patience. I hate the mullet look (see 2nd pic) it gives me, so if I wear my hair out, I usually pin my sides back. I threw in a pic of my hair from January (Transition chop) - I've come along way without even realizing it!



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bye bye dry ends

I'm about one year and 6 months natural. Can't believe how fast time has flown by! I finally have started to understand my hair's needs and what works best. It's taken a lot of trial and error and experimenting! Currently,I'm winning the battle against dry ends and I think that's all due to my new styling method. Sunday I put my hair in twists, wear it in a twisted updo all week and undo the twists and wear my hair out for the weekend. Thus far, dry ends have not been an issue with this technique. What are some of your methods for battling split ends?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Update: Twists and Giovanni Smooth as Silk


What is the current length of your hair?

What products are you currenty loving?
Still loving Tresseme Naturals - This not only gives me great slip, but is also super moisturizing!
Giovanni Smooth As Silk - As the name implies, this protein treatments keeps my curls silky, bouncy, strong and moisturized!
Kinky Curly Knot Today - Great slip, nice smell and moisturizing!

What's your current wash regimen?
  • Cowash 1 - 2 times per week, depending on the style.
  • Shampoo (using my special mixture) twice per month (every 14 days).
  • Apply an oil, apply a leave-in.

How have you been styling your hair?
Blown out braid outs and twists. Blow drying my hair allows it to stretch and gives me a bouncier, looser wave pattern. Twists are great for moisture retention and keep my hands out of my hair for about a week. Those are basically my top 2 to-go-to fall stylesl. Besides twists and blow outs, I wear my hair pulled back.

Twists in a bun

Blow out, braid out

Blow out, braid out

What challenges have you faced?
Edges, I've always had thin edges, but I want to make sure I don't put pressure on them . I try oil my edges with castor oil and try to alternate my styles.

Awkward length, unless my hair is stretched or in an updo. I'll be really happy to reach shoulder length unstretched. Patience is a virtue.

Any drastic changes to your regimen or hair?
LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method changed my life! I've been testing out the LOC method a few months. Alternating back and forth between LOC and LCO (liquid, cream, oil). Here's what I've noticed. The LOC method leaves my hair soft, supple --- it feels like butter-- and moisturized, much longer than the LCO method. Although, my curls are less defined with the LOC method, I feel a major difference in moisture, especially my ends. I rarely use the LCO method, unless I'm planning on doing a wash-n-go. My LOC ingredients consist of water, coconut oil, then a leave-in, typically Kinky Curly Knot Today.

Would you like to offer any hair advice for this month?
If your ends are dry and brittle trim them and try to deep condition every time you wet your hair. Now that we're experiencing dryer weather, I make DCs a vital part of my regimen.

Happy September!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moisturizing Shampoo Recipe

This month has been loaded with exciting updates, thus I've been blogging more frequently than I thought I would! Guess fall is the season for change and experimentation!

Update on my previous fall style: I was able to wear my blown out braid out for a total of one week! I'm really impressed. I tried to go 2 weeks, but I am finally accepting the fact that my hair cannot go longer than 1 week without washing. It was like this when I was relaxed and it's still the case now that I'm natural.

This is an update on a slight change in my routine. Shampooing. I simply can't go without shampooing. As dry as it makes my hair feel in comparison to co-washing, it cleanses my scalp and removes buildup and grime. Co-washing only just doesn't cut it for me. On the contrary, I hate how drying my shampoo sessions can be. I use a sulfate-free gentle shampoo and it still does a number on my hair.

Recently, I got the idea to doctor up my shampoo as I would a conditioner, when doing a deep treatment. I squeezed some shampoo (Giovanni Tea Tree Tingle) into an applicator bottle, added water (rough measure: add 1/4 - 1/2 the amount of the shampoo used), a big squeeze of vegetable glycerin, a TBSP Neem Oil (you could use your oil of choice) and a small pump of KCKT leave-in/detangler. I shook the contents gently, sectioned my hair into four parts and applied it only to my scalp. The results: a clean and rejuvenated scalp and hair that did not feel to stripped but still clean.What's best my hair did not tangle much and felt soft to touch. I'm happy to have tried this and now I won't dread wash day as much as I used to!

Have you tried adapting your shampoo to make it more moisturizing? What are some of your favorite recipes?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Style

Braid out on blow dried hair. Gave myself a good trim, detangled and blow dried small sections on a low setting. I'm hoping to wear my hair like this for two weeks, oiling and moisturizing in between when needed.
+ No washing in the morning
+ No leaving the house with wet hair
+ No shrinkage
+ Versatility (flexi-rod, braid out, twist out, or wrap it and wear it straighter)
-/+ Takes a long time to blow dry small sections, but my morning routine (showering, getting dressed, makeup, hair) has gone from 1 hour to 25 minutes!

I'm not worried about heat damage, I was gentle and used low heat.

What are your hair plans for the fall?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Experiment: Strand Test

As mentioned, I decided to post monthly updates to my blog, unless I have something to write about that is blog-worthy and out of the ordinary.

Last week, I wanted to test the use of yogurt as a deep conditioner on my hair. I'd seen many bloggers  rave about the soft, moisturized and  tangle-free hair they achieved using this as a deep conditioner. Now, usually when I try something new that has provided other naturals with great results, I go in deep. I cancel any routine wash plans I've had and try it out. This spontaneity has sometimes resulted in negative outcomes, contrary to it working for others.

This time, I decided to play things safe and do a strand test on my hair before emptying my breakfast stash of plain yogurt. Then it hit me, why not do an experiment! I decided to test 5 different natural items on my hair and determine which one would yield the best results.

Strand Test Variables
  1. Vinegar diluted in water
  2. Plain yogurt
  3. Plain yogurt, Tresseme Naturals and glycerin
  4. Rhassoul clay mixture (vinegar, distilled water, aloe, essential oils)
  5. Water (control variable)

  1. Wet hair and apply the mixture to wet strands. 
  2. Wrap hair in plastic cling wrap and let sit for 15 minutes, rinse.

Measures (1 poor/not at all - 5 excellent / totally)
  1. Level of Shine
  2. Softness and Moisture
  3. Detangling Ease
  4. Definition/Clumping


Level of Shine Softness and Moisture Detangling Ease Definition/Clumping
Diluted Vinegar 4 3 3 2
Yogurt 2 2 2 1
Yogurt Mixture 4 4 3 3
Rhassoul Mixture 5 5 5 5
Water (control) 5 5 4 4

Diluted Vinegar 3
Yogurt 1.75
Yogurt Mixture 3.5
Rhassoul Mixture 5
Water (control) 4.5

Photo Results (click on photo to enlarge)
Diluted Vinegar

Yogurt Mix

Water (control
Rhassoul Mix

There you have it. Rhassoul clay was shown to provide all around perfect results for my strands. Surprisingly, the yogurt by itself did not prove to be so effective and has the lowest average score. My hair felt rough and dry and it wasn't as easy as the other methods. Surprisingly, plain old H20 was more effective than all of the variables, excluding rhassoul clay. The yogurt mixture, did leave my hair with a nice shine and it felt moisturized, however rhassoul clay is the clear winner in this trial. So, contrary to the overwhelming amounts of positive results using plain yogurt, this did not work for me. Possible explanations, my yogurt was not full-fat, I have a protein sensitivity or it just doesn't work for me. What I learned, it couldn't hurt to do a strand test, your hair will thank you for it. Oh yeah, rhassoul clay rocks!

Rhassoul application

Oh and one last thing, I read about rhassoul clay interacting with color-treated hair. I was nervous it would strip away my color-treated strands, however, it didn't at all. Now, this could be due to the fact that the stylist used a color without bleach from a natural line. So when it doubt, test it out!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Update August; Highlights and Brahmi Oil

As previously stated, I will write primarily monthly updates on this blog. To make things consistent, I'll be using a structured question format.

August Update 

What is the current length of your hair?

What products are you currenty loving?
Tresseme Naturals - This not only gives me great slip, but is also super moisturizing!
Brahmi Oil - Contains 22 different herbs and oils including coconut and amla. This stuff is the!
Eco-styler - I can't believe I'm writing this but a tiny amount of eco styler mixed with olive oil has help me maintain a frizzless, defined and bouncy wash and go. My hair usually hates gel. Happy I didn't give up on trying to make it work for me!

What's your current wash regimen?
  • Cowash 1 - 2 times per week
  • Shampoo twice a month (every 14 days)
  • Apply a leave-in or leave in a little conditioner
  • Seal hair with coconut, olive or monoi oil and seal ends with shea butter
  • At night I leave my hair in the puff and wrap it,wake up, fluff and go or I baggy the puff and wrap the rest. Sometimes, if my hair feels dry at night, I apply a little water and leave-in.

How have you been styling your hair?
Puffs and an occassional wash and go. I'll probably start twisting again in September when the weather cools down.

What challenges have you faced?
Trimming my hair. My hair is really dense and destroy and search is a bit difficult. I'm trying to find an effective way to trim. I think I may have to have my hubby go back to trimming duty, at least the back of my head, that's the most difficult part to trim.

Any drastic changes to your regimen or hair?

Would you like to offer any hair advice for this month?
Brahmi oil, this stuff is incredible and it works great when mixed with conditioner. Some people complain about the smell, but I think it smells mostly like coconut oil. It's so moisturizing and imparts shine.
Vinegar rinses to help cuticles lie flat and add sheen to the hair. I use about 4 cups of cold water and 1/8 cup of vinegar, a little goes a long way. I do this once or twice per month.

Happy August!

Fewer Posts

Blogging about my natural journey really has helped me catalog my experiences and gain a more solid regimen.  I hope that I was able to help someone out there going natural or debating about going natural or anyone for that matter. However, in the future, there will be fewer posts on this blog. I'll try to get a post at least once per month. The monthly posts will generally be a hair update (growth, regimen, etc), style or product review. I feel like the things I am doing in my routine at this moment have not changed greatly, with the acception of implementing some new products. I still use nautral products such as rhassoul and vinegar rinses, still dc with conditioner mixed with oil and wear pretty much the same styles. Since my goal is pretty much healthy long hair, a monthly update is probably more suitable for this platform.

I'm thrilled to be in the position of having a solid hair routine. In addition, via wearing puffs all summer, I realized I've grown past the awkward stage, yay! Life in natural hair land is pretty good at the moment, but nothing drastic or that exciting to run home and blog about. This whole adjustment to natural hair snuck up on me without me even realizing it and I'm loving it.

This isn't a goodbye for sure, but a see you again soon (i.e. next month).


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Return from Vacation Updates w/pics

I'm back from vacation. I had a beautiful time with fam and friends. I feel relaxed and rejuvenated, besides being a little jet-lagged. I also feel giddy everytime I open my bathroom closet, as it is are now stocked with products! You'd think I'd won a sweepstakes or something!

Being in the States for vacation made me realize, I would be a total product junky if I were living there. I know in my hair goals post, I discussed finding one or two staple products, however, that's easy to say living in Europe, where options are significantly smaller. So when I got home and hit the aisles of Target, Walgreens and CVS, I kind of went wild--- like literally cray cray! I just started grabbing up products as if they were disappearing. Some of the finds that I am loving at the moment are: Tressemme Naturals and Brahmi Oil. I will try Giovanni "Smooth as Silk" for the first time today, I've heard really good things about so I'm excited!

I know in my "gray hair discovery"post, I mentioned that I would henna my hair. I don't know why but there is just a little voice in the back of my head that is telling me not to henna. I listened to it and decided against it. I guess I'm just not ready. I must have a hair committment issue and the idea of having to retouch and re-henna on regular basis makes me a little weary. I did however, decide to get highlights! I wanted a new look and to brighten things up a bit. I got light brown and honey colored highlights only in my crown and the front of my hair. I really love the look and think it adds great dimension to my hair. The highlights didn't at all loosed my curl pattern and I haven't experienced any unusual dryness. I'll upload pics later of my highlights on flat-ironed and natural hair.

Besides the color, I've just been enjoying an easier more laidback approach to my hair in the summer. Twice a week co-washes and pulling it back into a high puff. This was my vacation approach at least, I'm hoping it carries over to my everyday approach. Simplicity is lovely.

I feel like my hair responded so well to the climate back in the States. It loved humidity and salty, moist, ocean air. Everytime I went to beach, I could not stop caressing my hair. Oh well, a girl, or at least her hair, can't have it all, but can be spoiled from time to time with a nice beach vacation.

How are you liking your summer hair routines?


My hair highlighted and flatironed in an updo.

My summer to-go-to style wash and puff

My highlighted natural hair

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Hair Loves Humidity!

I'm thrilled to be back home and am having loads of fun spending time with the family, especially my nephew, and catching up with friends. My hair has been in humid and dewy heaven here! I'm staying away from humectants and enjoying the sheen and moisture that humidity provides!

I wore my hair in twists for the first 4 days of my trip and on my flight. This worked out really well and my hair stayed hydrated, which is rare when I fly. I'm already in product heaven-- or hell (i.e for my wallet), depending on how you look at it! Today, I'm trying Aussie Moist for the first time and plan on doing a wash and go. We'll see if I still love the humidity as much as I did when my hair was in twists. =)

Here are some products I'd like to test during my stay and hopefully, I'll stock my suitcase with a winner.
  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Condi
  • Hawaiin Silky Leave-in
  • Kinky Kurly Knot Today
  • Giovanni 50/50 Condi
Any other suggestions for me? What are some of your favorite products?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Preserving My Wash and Go

Tonight, I'll twist my hair and leave it in twists for about one week. This week, I decided to wear my hair out and do a wash and go. To preserve my wash and go, at night, I simply put my hair into two low buns. I leave the front of my hair pulled back, as styled below and in the previous post "Hide Your Awkward". The ends of my hair, I moisturize with diluted leave-in. I used to moisturize my hair at night with oil, but I noticed, I still woke up to not-so moisturized hair. This was the result, even after wetting my hair. I think the trick for me is definitely applying leave-in to my ends and then wrapping my hair with a satin scarf. My hair really seems to love leave-in conditioner.

This is day 3 of my wash and go.

On another note, I am heading to the US next week and am really excited to see family and friends. While there, I plan on testing out some products to figure out what to bring back. The goal for me is to select two conditioners (that can serve as a leave-in, deep conditioner and co-wash conditioner), one styling product that lasts a long time (maybe shea moisture or kinky curly) and henna. I hope to stock up and bring these items back with me. On another note, my hair is lighter than usual due to the summer (and maybe my use of honey). I recently wrote about doing henna, however, at this stage, henna will definitely give me red hair near my hairline (see picture). I'm entertaining the idea of adding indigo to my henna for a dark, warm brownish-black color. It would be nice for fall and I think darker hair generally looks more lustrous and shiny than light hair.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hide Your Awkward,

Hair that is. As I've posted previously, my hair is in the awkward stage. It's chin- to almost shoulder-length, when wet, then shrinks up to ear- to chin-length, when dry. The part of my length that I find most awkward is definitely the front and sides of my hair. They grow significantly slower than the back of my hair and I always end up with a mushroom-do once it dries. Because of this, I usually wear my hair in puffs or buns. However, I really love wearing my hair out and miss it so this week, I decided to wear it out and try to hide my awkward lengths.
To do so, I simply smoothed them back the front and sides of my hair, almost as if I'm putting my hair in a half-up style. I then secured the hair in place with hair pins. I tied a satin scarf around the front of my hair for about 10 minutes to smooth my edges. And voila, a simple solution to wearing my hair out and not feeling like a giant mushroom!

Is your hair in the "awkward" stage, what are some of your favorite styles to get you through it?