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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?














Monday, July 16, 2012

5 Simple, Short, Inexpensive Healthy Hair Practices

You don't have to spend all day on your hair to achieve healthy hair. I know I use henna, rhassoul clay and some other special natural hair treatments that do take time to carryout, however, I do this, because I've always enjoyed a little pampering. If you're low on time, want to cut costs and grow healthy (natural) hair, here are my top 5 tips. These are based on my experiences, you could always adapt them to fit your needs. These are in no particular order of importance. These practices relate only to things you do to your hair, of course, a healthy diet and drinking enough water are crucial to one's physical health, hair included. These tips are especially helpful for short to medium length curly girls.

1. Keep your hair moisturized.
  • After washing your hair, be sure to use a leave-in and seal with an oil. Personally, I think olive oil is  healing and moisturizing. It is also very versatile, you can use it on your hair, face and body. It's readily available at your local grocery store, lasts for a long time and it's affordable. You don't need to buy every oil on the market, one or two good oils should do just fine. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes).
  • If you notice your hair is feeling dry, refresh it. Dilute a little leave-in with water and spritz or rub into your hair. Rub on a little olive oil and you're good to go. Diluting your leave-in gives you more slip and extends the use of your product. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes)
2. Protect and pay attention to your ends.
  • My ends are prone to dryness so I pay particular attention to them and make sure they stay well moisturized. Remember, the ends of your hair are the oldest part of your hair, thus it's important to protect them. This does not mean you have to always wear protective styles. However, keeping the ends moisturized and conditioned is essential.
  • After washing my hair, I apply a generous amount of conditioner or leave-in to my ends and coat them, I then put oil on top of this and sometimes a little grease. I only do this on my ends, otherwise it would be build-up city. Since I wash my hair once a week, during mid-week, if my ends start to get a little dry and straggly, I spritz them and add more conditioner and oil to my ends. (Time: 5 - 20 minutes)
  • Trim your ends using the search and destroy message, when necessary.
  • Try to wear your hair in twists, they are a great style for moisture retention. When I wear my hair in twists, I do so for 3 to 4 days and then wear a twist out 3 to 4 days. ( Time: up to 2 hours, depending on thickness and length. I realize this is a lengthier styling time, however, it will save you time during the week.)
3. Deep condition your hair once per week.
  • Low on time? Apply pure olive oil and a little conditioner (diluted, if you prefer) to dry hair, slap on 2 shower caps and a satin bonnet and go to sleep. Wash hair and style as the desired the next day. If I do this on a weekend, I twist my hair the next day. If I do this on a weekday, I wear a wash n go or wear a puff. You can always braid it up at night to stretch it for the following day. (Prep time: 5 - 20 minutes)
  • Don't want to DC while you're sleeping. Mix olive oil and conditioner, apply freshly washed hair while in the shower, place a hot towel on hair, cover with a plastic cap. Finish your normal shower routine, leaving the cap on about 10 minutes, and rinse out. It's a short DC, but still very effective. (Time: 10 - 15 minutes)
4. Protect your hair at night.
  • Satin bonnet or a satin pillow case. (Time: 0 - 30 seconds)
  • If you need maintain your style, but have shorter hair, try braids, twists, mini-puffs, mini-pineapples, or my favorite, mini-buns. I rub a little water on my ends, tuck them under my hair, secure with a satin scarf and wake up to soft moisturized hair, especially my ends. (5 - 20 minutes)
5. Make sure your scalp is healthy
  • Oil your scalp once or twice per week with a little oil. For a little treat, pour some of your preferred oil into a small applicator bottle, add in a couple of drops of essential oil such as tea tree or peppermint, put some oil on your finger tips and work it into your scalp. This keeps my scalp fresh and moisturized. Remember, hair grows from your scalp, so making sure it's healthy is very important to achieving healthy hair. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes)

Multi-Bunning

Previously, I posted on maintaining your styles by wearing multi-puffs/pineapples at night. This was especially recommended for short - medium lengthed curlies. Since, I wore my hair out in a puff yesterday. Last night, I decided to try multi-bunning. I divided my hair in 3 sections and created a bun for each section, being sure to fold my ends under the hair. I secured the bun with a hair tie and wrapped my hair as usual. In the morning, I found my ends were moisturized and smooth. Which is not always the case when I do multi-puffs or pineapples, as I find my ends rub against my satin scarf too much. Tucking the ends under the hair prevented this and kept them moisturized.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rhassoul Clay Sunday Morning Spa



Saturday night I oiled my hair with a mixture of shea, coconut and neem oil. I placed my puff (only) in a baggy and went to sleep. This morning, I'm having a lazy Sunday and decided to do another rhassoul clay treatment. I bedazzled my recipe a bit and will post results later. Here is the recipe I used:

Rhassoul clay
Apple cider vinegar
Distilled water
Honey
Essential oils (mint and lavender)
Aloe vera juice
Silk protein

I mixed this all up and applied the mixture to damp hair (spritzed my hair with water). I put on a plastic cap and plan on leaving it on my hair for 45 mins to an hour. In addition, I test the PH of my mixture and it was between 5 - 5.5, which is perfect for me.

What are your favorite lazy day hair treatments?
**********************************
My new rhassoul clay recipe was okay. I think in the future I will stick with the recipe using only vinegar, water and a little aloe. This mixture didn't leave my hair as soft as usual, however, this could be due to the silk protein I added. Additionally, I will let the clay sit on my hair for the usual 30 minutes without the plastic cap next time as well. I'm happy I tried a new mixture, but my most recent recipe definitely yielded the best results.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Braid Out Day 2

The other day, after trying out the LOC method, I put my hair in braids and styled my hair in a braid out. I really like the look on day 2 more than on day 1 (no pic featured). To maintain the style, I simply put my hair in 4 loose plaits and place the ends on rollers. I haven't noticed a major difference between LOC (liquid, oil, cream) and LCO (liquid, cream, oil) on day 2, I still had to refresh my hair with a little oil and water. The only difference I notice is that the LOC method imparts more shine than LCO. So 1-point for the LOC method! Maybe I should give it some time before I decide, which method better suits me.





Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It Creept Up on Me! Henna Time!

I've been applying cassia treatments to my hair since March and have really enjoyed the results. However, last night my hubby discovered something that made me change my mind about cassia. What was that something? My first gray hair!! I'm trying to be cool about it, it was bound to happen at some point. However, the idea of the gray hair still makes me a little uneasy (superficial, but true). I had my hair in braids last night and my husband reached over and yanked on a hair. I screamed, of course, and he felt bad and said he thought it was one of our cat's hairs (this happens often that a piece of her fur ends up in my hair). Not knowing what to do, I asked my husband to cut the gray hair really short. I heard my Mom's voice in the back of my head saying "pluck one and you'll get 10". It's not in a noticeable spot side of my hair and closer to the bottom of my hair, however, I have to accept it and the others that will follow.

Since I don't want to dye my gray hairs blond, I think I am going to give my cassia to my husband, if he's interested (aka I offer or insist on letting him be by guinea pig). Well, I guess if I apply cassia straight away it shouldn't dye my hair. In any case, this means I am now Team Henna. This summer, I'll head to the States for a few weeks and will purchase a supply of henna to bring back with me. I saw Curly Nikki, the Queen of Henna, uses super fine sifted Jamila henna. I think I'll try to find the same kind. Customs is going to have fun with me when I return!

What type of henna are you using? If you have gray hair(s), what color did henna dye them?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

L.O.C Method

 Yes, another acronym to add to the natural dictionary! When I first went natural, I have to admit, I didn't see the point in sealing. My hair was in the twa stage and was relatively easy to moisturize. After washing my hair, I'd just slap on a little leave-in and call it a day. Now that my hair has grown out of the twa phase, I realize the importance of keeping my ends well moisturized and protected. Thus, I never skip the process of sealing my ends after washing my hair. However, to be honest, sealing my ends was always sort of a ritual, based on popularity among the natural community. It was almost a rite of passage to wash, add a leave-in and seal my ends. Unfortunately, even taking these measures did not prevent my ends from being brittle and dry. Thus, weekly deep conditioning and/or baggying sessions have helped me combat dry ends.

Well, lately I got to thinking... "maybe my routine of applying my leave-in and sealing is not doing much for my hair." Ever since I saw this article on Curly Nikki on the LOC method, I've been tempted to try it. The idea behind LOC is that you have a liquid, then oil, then cream on your hair. This is supposed to result in sealing each layer with the goal of maintaining moisture. Today, I tried this method for the first time. It's too soon to say whether there is a difference, however, I will provide an update towards the end of the week. So far, what I can say is that my hair has never looked this shiny after moisturizing. That's already a positive!

Tonight I washed my hair, deep conditioned, then applied coconut oil to my hair in sections. Next, I added a generous amount of my leave-in and detangled, then braided it. I'd like to do a braid-out tomorrow and hope the LOC method will result in more defined and moisturized hair.

Do you LOC?

UPDATES: See my September and October posts for more on the LOC method, which I love by the way! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Twist me up

I <3 twists!!! I may try to challenge myself and leave them in for 2 weeks, even if that means washing my hair in twists. My ends feel so moisturized and rejuvenated since I've started twisting. Today, I had an interview, so simply pulled my twists back. I find the smaller my twists, the more looks I can pull off. I don't think I'll ever do mini-twists, too time consuming for me. This summer, I'll go back home and I'm playing around with the idea of getting braids. My only fear is putting stress on my edges from the braids being to tight. I've never had braids before, so we'll see. Marley braids look really cool, that or Senegalese twists.



Have you ever tried braids, if so what was your experience?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 5: Twist Out

A little on the frizzy side, but I'm pleased for the first time to experience 5-day-hair! It's still moisturized, bc I spritz it every other day with a little water.




Monday, July 2, 2012

Keeping it Tidy

There are many advantages to going natural, for example thicker, healthier hair, reduced expenses (in my case at least). However, there is one down-side that has come along with going natural and that's the  amounts of products, oils, potions and styling tools I've accumulated in my medicine cabinet. Everything in a marriage should be 50/50, my husband would say we do not abide by this philosophy when it comes to storing products in the bathroom.

Up until recent, I everywhere I went, I'd leave a trail of hairpins, oily finger prints and drops of oil from my bottles My cabinets were overflowing with flexirods and headbands. Now I've managed to get my "natural disaster" under control. Here's a few tricks I use to keep things neat and tidy.

  • The only things that go in my medicine cabinets are products I use only a daily basis. 
  • For my stock or extra supply of products, I put those in a storage closet.
  • For accessories, styling tools and products that I use one every once in a while to a couple of times in a month, I store them in my closet. You could also store them under your bed, if you don't have room in your closet. I place rollers, drying bonnets, headbands, etc. in old shoe boxes, slap a label on the box and voila. Doesn't cost me a dime and saves me room in my bathroom. If you wanted to get fancy and use these boxes for decoration, you could glue wrapping paper with a cute design around the box... I may do this if I find time. 
  • Always place paper towels under oils.
  • Always have a dry towel on hand during my styling process to wipe product off of my hands before proceeding to open or touch anything. 



What tricks do you use to stay tidy?

Protecting the Ends II

I've fallen in love with two strand twists !! My hair feels more moisturized than ever! I put my hair in twists on Thursday and left them in until Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, I took out my twists, which was a breeze. My hair is still quite defined and today is Monday. I'm planning on redoing my twists on Wednesday or Thursday night. It's wonderful to have found a protective style that works for my hair at it's current length. Additionally, my morning routine is ├╝ber quick now. It took me about 1.5 hours to twist all my hair, but for me it's worth it in the long run. This week, I'll probably leave the twists in longer, at least 4 -5 days.

When my hair was in twists, at night I put the twists in 3 sections and put on a satin scarf. When I took my untwisted my hair, at night, I pull them together or made two sections. I really feel this style works well to keep my ends hydrated. Hopefully, this will help me on my goal to reach APL (stretched) by my 2 year mark (Mar 2013).

How long do you keep your twists in? Do you think twists assist in length retention?