Friday, March 23, 2012

Reduce Shrinkage

I try not to complain about shrinkage, because I think when my hair is long it will definitely work in my favor. I really want to enjoy the growth. Every time I exit the shower, I'm amazed at how much my hair has grown so much since my transition chop in December. However, after about 10 minutes, one would never know it has grown. And that my friend is shrinkage, my frienemy, who's been there with me through thick and thin.

Recently, I've worked out a few ways to stretch my hair and reduce my shrinkage. Here are some personal tips that work for me. You've probably seen most of these on hair blogs, but here it goes again. Since my hair is short, perhaps it will be helpful to those in the same stage.

Bantu knots
+ really nice wave pattern
+waking up and styling dry hair
--nighttime routine for short curly hair is not optimal, since it is not possible to pineapple the hair (gather it loosely on top). I don't have the time or patience to redo the knots at night.

+really nice curl pattern
+less frizz (in comparison to the bantu knot)
+easier to style than the bantu knot
--nighttime routine for short curly hair is not optimal, since it is not possible to pineapple the hair (gather it loosely on top)
+-easier to redo twists than bantu knots, but still time consuming if you're a satin cap and sleep kind of girl, like myself.

Clip and Go
This is my variation of a wash-n-go. I wash the hair in sections, add my leave in, seal my ends with oil, then continue rubbing the hair in a downward motion to stretch it out. I place hair pins half-way down, to prevent my hair from shrinking up to the roots. Do this for all sections and let it air dry or blow dry on low. After a couple of hours I remove the pins. My hair shrinks less and I get a looser wave on top and curlier ends.

+Less manipulation than twists and bantus
+Less shrinkage than twist-out!
+-Have to redo the next day, but it only takes 5-10 minutes to do.

Adventures with Rhassoul Clay

I have a new favorite natural product! In an earlier post, I discussed my interest in incorporating more natural products that are easy to use. Recently, I tried using rhassoul clay as my shampoo (and face wash). The results were amazing! My hair felt clean, yet moisturized. It doesn't feel too stripped, which can often occur with shampoos (even sulfate-free). I noticed that my hair was also lighter and had more volume (not that I need help in that department).

Here's how I applied it: 3 TBSP of clay in an applicator bottle filled with about 1 1/2 cups of water and a couple of drops of essential oil. Sectioned hair, shook up the bottle to blend ingredients, wet my hair, applied the entire bottle to head, concentrating on the scalp, gently massaged my scalp and work the clay throughout my hair, rinsed. Took about 3-5 minutes to wash and rinse out.

warnings: do not place the clay in a metal container nor mix it with a metal spoon, as this could change the properties of the clay.

rhassoul clay in applicator bottle

hair after washing out the clay

the random colors of my hair

Soft, clean shiny hair
Noticeably less frizz
Easy to apply
Economical (little goes a long way)

no fragance (remedied this by adding an essential oil)
preparation before showering (only takes about 2 minutes, however)

P.S. - I've also done a cassia treatment on my hair. I will post results after I do a second treatment this weekend. I'm very happy with the results from my first treatment, but want to be sure it wasn't a fluke!

P.S. 2 - It's a good idea to do a vinegar rinse (my recipe = 1/4 c vinegar, 2 c water) after a rhassoul wash, as the ph of rhassoul clay is higher than neutral. 

Professional Puff


In my previous post I discussed having success with my wash n go by using the curly girl method. I tried this for 4 days. To start, I clarified my hair with a sulfate shampoo (yuck). For about 4 days, I washed my hair with conditioner and left a little in as my leave-in. Four days was all I could take! My hair looked great the first two days, then it was buildup city! I wanted so badly for this method to work, because I've seen it work wonderfully on other curlys. I'm happy I gave it a second chance. Now I know for sure it's not for me. There is no one-fits all regimen and I will definitely stick to my normal routine, which was working just fine. Moral of this post, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


So, today I had THE best wash n go ever!! My hair is growing rapidly at the moment, so I've experienced a little more hang time. What I can say is that the following things helped me achieve a successful w-n-g

deep conditioner (olive oil, honey, molasses, vinegar, vitamin E oil)
sealing my ends instead of the entire head and .... wait for it: using a conditioner as my leave in. I decided revisit the CG method and so far so good. It's only day one, so we'll see how this goes. I still think I'll have to shampoo 1x per week, because my hair is always prone to build up.

Pictures to come later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Too Cute?

The other day, my husband and I decided to bring sexy back. We got all dressed up and had reservations at a restaurant. I put on a little black dress and went to the bathroom to check my hair. I had already worn it up earlier in the day and wasn't going to do anything special, because it still looked good. As I pondered which headband to accessorize with, the hubby sees me reaching for one and tells me in his opinion I should go without it.

At first, I was a bit put off, because I always wear headbands...did that mean he had a problem with them. I asked him why he felt I shouldn't wear one. His response, sometimes less is more. He explained that he finds me really cute when I'm dressed casually in jeans and a tee and put on a headband. However, he felt that an outfit, like the one I was wearing didn't need the cute accessories. I appreciated his honesty and in the end agreed. It made me realize, since becoming natural, I always have some sort of cute accessory. Trust me, I love accessories, but maybe I've been hiding behind them a little. So now when I get ready, I assess whether the headband brings anything to my outfit or if it's simply overkill.

As I wrote in a previous post, I've been wearing a lot of puffs lately. Normally I would wear a puff and put on a headband or scarf, but I tried something new recently. Here is a cute style (puff+retro bump) inspired by Simplyounique, if you don't know her, look her up on Youtube! Her videos are honest, to the point and show her journey from big chop to her current length. She is very positive and inspiring!

P.S. - 1 year ago and a day from today was when I last relaxed my hair!! So, I've got 11 months of growth, technically (considering that new growth would normally appear one month post-relaxer).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shopping Overhaul

The other night I was invited to dinner at a friend's home. We met a few years ago through my husband and hit it off immediately. Well, the other night we both discovered something about each other for the first time! We are both product junkies! It was amazing, our husbands were laughing at us as we sat on the couch talking about our "addictions". She kept running into the bathroom and pulling out products and explaining what ingredients they held. Something even cooler, she makes most of her beauty products!! She gave me a website where I can find a bunch of essential oils, butters and natural ingredients to use on my hair and to make my own products. This crazy lady spent hours and bought waaay too many things (don't give a PJ a website). I'm really excited, because I have a source for quality ingredients close to where I live! I'm going to try making my own conditioner and the hubby a shampoo for starters. I'll also start to make my own moisturizer. This is great news for me, because if I like the results, I'll no longer need lug a suitcase full of products from the US. Customs always checks my suitcase!

My friend is going to show me the proper way to make soap as well. She uses lye, but uses more oils and butters in proportion to it, so it cancels out the lye and leaves an excess of moisturizing agents. She also adds an lactic acid, which prevents the PH level from being too high and the soap typically ranges from 4.5 - 5.5.

I also ordered henna and rhassoul clay. I want to try out rhassoul clay as a cleansing agent/shampoo, I've heard good things about it. The henna I purchased is cassia, so it's a neutral color. I was too nervous about the color I'd get with henna. My hair is naturally sort of reddish-brown, so I was apprehensive about the outcome.

Indigo is too dark for me and I'm no mixing expert, so I played it safe.

I'll start off by doing the cassia treatments once every other week and see how I like it. I read on CN that it has similar properties to henna, minus the longevity of the effects and it doesn't elongate the curl, which I'm okay with. Once I start seeing gray hairs (probably just talked them up), I will revisit henna with dye.

For some information on rhassoul clay and henna, here are some useful sites/blogs:

Rhassoul clay:



Friday, March 2, 2012

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Oh yes, sun and warm weather are back in my life! Not sure how long this will last, but I'm cherishing every moment. There's nothing better than warm weather in my opinion. It makes you cherish the simple things in life. It also makes smiling contagious. I've already got the summer bug and we just survived February!

I hope everyone out there is experiencing a little spring weather. If not, I'm sending warm vibes in your direction.

Continuing on this high note, can I just express how happy I am that I decided to go natural. I know, I know this blog is primarily about my natural hair and natural, natural blah, blah, blah. However, I do hope that somehow my journey will help someone (if you're reading) who's on the fence about going natural. Someone who's thought about it a million times, but never was sure if they could commit to it. My advice to you, DO IT!

Anyway, yesterday, my ends felt rough, so I decided to give myself a much needed trim. Since my hair has been really frizzy lately (probably due to split ends) I did an online search for dry, frizzy hair remedies. I got the idea to do a hot oil treatment on (love that website). So I whipped up olive oil, vitamin E, castor, honey and a little mayo and warmed all of the ingredients. I applied this to my hair in sections and twisted each section. I then put on a plastic cap and let it sit for about 2 hours. What hole have I been hiding under and why did I not do a hot oil treatment sooner!? My hair feels like a million bucks now! It's shiny, spring and so soft. Oh and best of all, I've experienced less frizz.

Here's a pic, with a new style (well new to me) that I've sporting lately to tip-toe around my in-between stage issue. I pretty much wear this style 5 days a week and wear my hair out 2 days per week. It works well for my work out routine and saves me a lot of time in the morning. I take down the puff at night, wrap the flat part of my hair and throw a satin cap on. In the morning, I get ready, take off the scarf spritz the puff with water and add some whipped shea butter (if necessary).

And now time for some sun: