Tuesday, November 30

Back to Buns

I had my hair out yesterday and most of last week due to the Holiday season. I rarely have my hair out, so I doubt any damage was caused, but I am back to buns for the remainder of the week.

I NEED to come up with more creative protective styles with my own hair which is a goal for 2011. But for now, I am doing the regular boring bun.

Why Are Buns or Protective Styles Important- If you have Shoulder Length or longer hair and are trying to grow your hair longer...Not only do you need to keep your ends moisturized, but you also need to keep the ends protected/tucked in. When hair is loose, it rubs against clothing which can cause unwanted split ends and it's also prone to break off easily.

                                             Bun Made with just 2 bobby pins, nothing else

Oh and now I know another reason why I don't wear make-up like that...it adds more time for me to get ready in the morning! So, I'm going to experiment more on the weekends and stick with what I know best and have learned during the work week.

Also, the jet black hair I had from the Henna and Indigo is fading, could be because I Henna-ed only again on Saturday..haha..I will do a full Henna and Indigo treatment before the end of the year.

Saturday, November 27

5 Reasons Why I Stretch my Relaxer

1.) It's healthier for my scalp - No matter how mild the
relaxer is and how much I base my scalp, my scalp always ends up burning. It may not be a serious burn where my scalp is peeling or what-not, but it's enough to make me want to wait a little while until my next touch-up.

2.) I am able to manage my two textures - Many people relax at 6 or 8 weeks because either they are conditioned to or they see tons of breakage and shedding if they wait any longer. For me, I am able to keep my newgrowth moisturized to avoid breakage, my relaxed ends strong because of protein and shedding is to a minimum because of my Aloe Vera Spritz. I also used to use braids as a way to assist me in stretching for a month on and off, but this stretch I wont be doing so.

3.) I Love the Surprise Ending- When you stretch for longer than 8 weeks, you will most likely accumulate more than an inch of growth. During the stretch if your not straightening your hair, you will not know the true length until you relax. My shrinkage from my new growth is crazy and I rarely straighten my hair, so when I relax I see the length I gained which is a pleasant surprise.

4.) My Hair Gains a Little Thickness- When I used to relax 8 weeks or sooner, my hair was thin because of overlapping. Now that I wait a while, I have enough new-growth to avoid overlapping. I am able to only relax my new-growth and not previously relaxed hair.

5.) Saves me Money- I'm trying to be a complete do-it-yourselfer, but I was going to a salon for my touch-ups. Ya'll know those are one of the most expensive services. By stretching a relaxer, instead of paying $70-$1**? Every 8 weeks, I would spend that amount every 12-16 weeks.

I am not ready to take the natural hair plunge, so for the time being I'm more comfortable stretching my relaxers and receiving less chemical treatments yearly.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 24

8 Weeks Down...8 to Go

I decided to stretch my relaxer to 16 weeks. Currently, I am 8 weeks post relaxer and my new-growth is very manageable, so I'm like heeey..I can go another 8 weeks. This leaves me relaxing my hair around January 18th.
I told myself that I would not relax my hair no more then 4 times a year, so if I were to relax in December which I originally decided, I would be relaxing 5 times this year. Which is the number one reason I plan on stretching to 16 weeks. Also, I realize my hair is the most healthiest when I stretch to at least 16 weeks.

My Hair Yesterday to show some of my newgrowth

Last night I did a mild protein treatment, followed by a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment..let my hair airdry for an hour..sectioned my hair..applied heat protectant to each section..then Blow Dryed my hair with Medium heat.

I used this Andis Ionic Blow Dryer which I purchased from Target for $20.00 and used the wide tooth comb attachment.

This was my first time in 7.5 months blowdrying my hair. I mainly blow dryed because halfway through parts of my hair are texlaxed areas...so I wanted to get those areas straight so I can dust my hair evenly, which I dusted about a quarter of an inch. My hair felt a little dry after blow-drying, so I'll make sure if I continue to do so..I will keep it at a once a month maximum kind of thing just to dust my ends evenly.

Friday, November 19

Damaged to Healthy

Whether your hair is short, long, relaxed or natural..the main concern should be the health of your hair.
In my eyes, good hair means to have healthy hair so if your hair is damaged...you need to work on repairing the damage first and foremost.

Here are a few tips to get your hair healthy and keeping it healthy. One thing you have to remember is that it doesn't happen over night but after a few months you should see a drastic change.

Hair strands
  •  Cut off any dead, damaged, split ends- I prefer to cut hair when its completely straight and dry. This is where you see the true length and state of the hair
  •  Take some time and do a search and destroy method over your whole head of hair- This is where you examine the long and short strands of your hair and cut off any split ends you see.
Wash Day(once a week or every other week)
  • Clarify your Hair- by clarifying or washing your hair, you are removing any residue and products from hair. This is giving you a clean slate to start from.
  • Deep Condition- If you hair is extremely elastic and damaged..I suggest you start of with a protein treatment. For serious cases of Damaged hair..Aphogee has a 2 step Protein Treatment that I heard works wonders. The first step is the hard protein then the next step is the balancing moisture. Or you can whip up an egg into your favorite conditioner, apply and leave on hair for 15-20 minutes and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. If your hair is just really dry, then do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment.
  • Always apply a Leave-in Conditioner- This is to ensure your hair dries with moisture locked in your strands and a good leave-in will help combat frizziness
  • Cut back from Direct Heat such as blow-dryers and flat-irons- Try drying hair with a roller set, a wet wrap if your hair is freshly relaxed and detangled properly or air-drying
Day to Day Maintenance

  • Moisturize your strands when you feel you need to- I do this daily...but some people do every other day or 3 times a week. Remember, dry hair will cause breakage and split ends. You need to keep your hair moisturized at all times
  • Seal with Oil- I always use a natural oil such as coconut, jojoba, grapeseed or castor oil(which is really thick sometimes too thick) to seal in the moisturizer I apply to my hair. Some people use a grease to seal in moisture. Because Grease does not moisturize hair it can be used as a sealant. It's your preference. As long as your hair feels moisturized through out the day and you see no damage...do what works for you
  • Always wrap hair at night with a Silk/Satin Scarf- Cotton can be drying to the hair and can cause unwanted breakage and split ends so by using a satin/silk scarf you will be able to retain moisture better
  • Take up Protective Styling- Wigs, Weave, Braids, Buns and so forth help protect the hair especially your ends. You just have to make sure you still take care of your hair when doing so.
Health- Healthy Hair starts from the inside

  • Take a Multi-Vitamin every day- We sometimes don't get the needed vitamins from the foods we eat. A multi-vitamin will keep your body in check
  • Drink Plenty of Water- I try to drink 2 liters a day. We all know water is good for us...try up your water intake.
  • Don't forget about your Yearly Physicals- Self Explanatory. A healthy body produces healthy hair. A lot of women have low iron levels for example, this is a big cause in hair breakage, your doctor will be able to detect this and provide medication/pills/vitamins(whatever) to fix it.
  • Exercise- Whether this is once a week or 3 times a week, like I said a healthy body produces healthy hair
  • Don't Stress!!!!- Stress is a leading cause of hair loss. Find a way to combat stress. Pick up a book and read, meditate, take walks, talk to a friend, go out dancing..just don't stress too much.
Other Tips
  • Stretch your Relaxers- If you are relaxed. The less chemical treatments the better. If you usually relax every 6 weeks, try to bump it up to 8 or 10. This will help prevent overlapping/overprocessing.
  • Research- There are many resources for black hair care now-a-days. Use your due diligence and research issues you may have and suggestions to fix it 
  • Stick to What Works Best - Many people suffer set-backs when they try new things that they don't even need. If what your doing seems to work well for you, stick with it. Consistency is Key!

Thursday, November 18

Natural Hair Love- Solange Knowles

We all know Solange did a Big Chop a little while back. Her hair is growing in so lovely. Loving the Curls in these pics. Go 'head Solange!

Photo from Necolebitchie

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Quick Tip- Non Hair Related

When washing your face or applying any type of moisturizer always do so in an upward circular motion. By doing so, you will decrease the chance of early wrinkles in the future.
*You never want to pull your skin down!

Tuesday, November 16

Rihanna Switches Up her Hair Again

It may seem like I do a lot of Rihanna posts, but she's forever switching up her hair.
It looks like she's sticking with the Red hair for a little though.
She stated in a recent interview that she decided to go Red because her new Album name is "Loud" and red is a loud color.(this is not verbatim)

Not sure how I feel about the hair, but Rihanna looks beautiful nonetheless.

Sunday, November 14

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Who Didn't love Rudy's hair on the Cosby Show? I sure did and always thought and still think she has beautiful hair!

Here is a little of advice she offers for healthy hair.

Clutch: Your hair always looks amazing, do you have any tips?

Keshia: Well, I must say I don’t put any chemicals in it at all, and I just think that when you’re healthy and you eat good food and workout and take care of yourself, those are the places that it shows first.


For full interview, click the link before:

Keshia Knight Pulliam: Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself Clutch Magazine: The Digital Magazine for the Young, Contemporary Woman of Color

Friday, November 12

No Heat Until the End of December

I said this many times, but I have not used any direct heat in my hair since April 2nd. That's a long time for me because the first year of my hair journey, I would get Dominican Blow-outs every other month. Now that I think of it, that may have hindered my journey. In April, when I saw how my hair looked slightly thin..I decided to give up direct heat and the hair salon for a while until I gain my thickness back.

It's hard to wear your hair straight without the use of heat, so for now..I can only rely on Bantu-Knot Outs and Braid-Outs when I want to wear my hair down.

So for today...I am wearing a braid-out done with 2 Cornrows.
After air-drying my hair yesterday..I just put a little moisturizer in my hair...then put some Shea-butter mixed with Coconut Oil in my hand/fingers while I braided my hair...

In the morning, I just added a little straight coconut oil to my braids then un-braided....

Here's a Side Shot-

Wednesday, November 10

Tips for Salon Goers

I know a few people who don't feel comfortable washing and styling their own hair, so they rely on their Stylist for the healthy hair they would like.
Here are a few tips for those who go to Salons on a normal basis.

1) Pre-poo your hair the night before going to the salon- Meaning Apply Oils or your fav conditioner mix to your hair from root to tip. By doing this, you are preparing your hair from the drying ingredients in whatever shampoo they may use

2) Lightly Detangle Your hair while you have the pre-poo in your hair- I say to do this, because at times, some stylists can be rough when combing your hair. When you detangle it yourself, you can avoid major hair loss while at the salon

3) If needed, bring your own products- Sometimes the Salon does not have what works well for our hair. For instance a lot of salons I have gone to do not use Porosity Control. If the one you go to doesn't and your hair is porous, bring one and ask for them to use it as a final rinse. If you have a particular Deep Conditioner that works well on your hair, bring it. If they are using a shampoo that you feel like is stripping your hair and you have a sulfate free one you like, bring it. Don't be afraid to use your own products.

4) SPEAK UP!- If something is being done to your hair that you do not like, speak up. IT'S YOUR HAIR! You have to live with it, not them. You are paying for a service that should be done to your liking!

5) Take Care of your hair in between visits- Wrap your hair at night and make sure to moisturize and seal. Just because you went to the salon does not mean your hair does not need to be taken care of during the week.

6) Make sure you still maintain your Protein and Moisture Balance- This is important in having healthy hair especially for those who relax. What I suggest before doing a deep conditioning treatment at the salon, ask them to do use a 2 minute Reconstructer in your hair first. Or just speak to your stylist if you believe you need protein and see what they may suggest.
(Go into the search field and type Protein to see my other posts on Protein)

7) For a Touch-up always base your scalp and coat previously relaxed ends with oil or vaseline- Some salons don't do this and this will help with burning and overlapping/overprocessing.

If there is anything anyone thinks I may have missed, feel free to let me know!
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Tuesday, November 9

Texture Shots

I tried to take texture shots of my hair so you can see what hair type I am. I think like most, the texture of our hair varies depending on what part of the head we're looking at. For instance, the middle of my hair is more course than any other part(so about 4C) the front is a tighter curl(4b) and the back is a looser curl(about 4A).

Tomorrow makes me 6 weeks post relaxer.

Back and Middle:


Monday, November 8

Promoting Products

I watched a few videos on You Tube where the ladies are against promoting hair products for profit or will not mention which products they use because they feel like products do not grow hair. I actually agree with this for the most part. So many woman are on a quest to grow their hair long, that whenever they see or hear a product review, they run out trying the product when they were doing perfectly fine with out it.

I agree that products do NOT grow hair. They may help in retention and some may promote a little accelerated hair growth, but for the most part hair is going to grow regardless.

Here's the deal, for healthy hair, you ONLY need one of each(this is for the do-it yourselfers):

1 Shampoo
1 Conditioner
1 Moisturizing Deep Conditioner
1 Mild(or Hard depending on the damage of your hair) Protein Deep Conditioner
1 Leave-in Conditioner
1 Moisturizer
1 Oil
1 Wide Tooth Comb
1 Satin or Silk Scarf
For porosity- To avoid purchasing porosity control or doing an ACV rinse, just do a cold water rinse as the last rinse
If you use heat you will also need 1 Heat Protectant

All of that other stuff is extra. If you have found one of each of the above that is working for you..then stick with it. If you feel like you need improvement and something is not working for you...then you should read up, research and switch it up. Just don't go running to buy everything you see reviewed especially if the person reviewing does NOT have the same hair type as you.
Like really, most of these woman were able to grow their hair long without the use of the product they just reviewed.

PS: I do speak about products on my blog, not to have people buy them, but to show and speak about what works for me hoping to help those with issues.I also speak about them to keep track of what I am using. I do not get paid to speak about any products, nor do I want/need to.

Dyed My Hair Black with Henna and Indigo

Guess how I spent my Friday night and Saturday Morning? Well, I guess the title says it all...but I dyed my hair black with Henna and Indigo.
It was a looong process, but so worth it. I was sick of the my brown/reddish hair that the Henna Glosses gave me and wanted my hair black again. I didn't want to do a rinse because those wash out after a few washes and I definitely didn't want to do another chemical application with a permanent dye, so the next best thing was Henna and Indigo.

I did a full Henna Treatment first opposed to a Henna Gloss so:
  • I mixed about 100G of Henna Powder with about a table spoon of Castor Oil, tea spoon of Coconut Oil and water- Creating a Yogurt Consistency (I just slowly add water, no measurements, until I get the mix thick but not too thick. The key is to make sure it's not runny and easy to apply.)
  • I didn't let it sit, I applied it to my hair immediately, section by section
  • Covered my hair with a plastic conditioning cap, then a plastic bag for added protection, then my scarf
  • I let it stay in my hair overnight.There was no dripping, thank goodness. I had the Henna in my Hair for about 12 hours although you really only need to leave it in for 2-3 hours.
Then I rinsed it out in my sink, the next morning with just water. There was still a little henna left in my hair after rinsing it but that doesn't matter. The indigo needs to cling to something which is why it's best to do a Henna treatment before applying Indigo. If not, you will end up with Green hair.

  • I mixed 100G of Indigo, a teaspoon of salt(for better dye release) and slowly added water creating a yogurt consistency
  • Put my gloves on(didn't use it for the Henna, but should have)
  • Applied to my hair immediately in sections.(you HAVE to apply it right away and can't let it sit for no more than 15 minutes because once mixed, the dye releases and you want the dye to release on your hair)
  • Covered hair with a plastic cap, plastic bag, then scarf
  • Let it sit in my hair for exactly 2 hours
  • Rinsed out with water in my sink(best to do in sink unless you want a stained shower)
  • Applied a Moisturizing Deep Conditioner and let that sit in my hair for 2 hours
  • Then rinsed out
My Hair feels great, it's jet black(which I love), it's permanent and I did it the all natural way.
They say that indigo may fade away a little, but for the most part it's permanent. Also beware of using a chemical dye before or after doing Henna and Indigo...you may end up with weird looking Greenish Hair.
I read that you should wait a few days before actually shampooing the hair, so I will continue on with my current regimen this weekend. I shampoo weekly, so missing one weekend isn't going to kill me.

Although this is a long process, it's worth it.  I want to Henna at least one more time before the end of the year, so I will be doing a Henna and Indigo treatment sometime in December.

Before the Henna and Indigo:

After: My hair is a little damp in this pic

My Hair Air dried- I was going to blow dry, but decided against it because I am on a personal no-heat challenge until the end of the year

Thursday, November 4

$ Dollar Find $

During my lunch break, I went to Marshall's to look at some of their hair appliances. They usually sell Flat-irons such as Chi, Baby Bliss and others for a good price. I actually saw a Chi Flat Iron(I forget which one) for $69.99 and it came with a watch and carrying case. The box said retail cost is  $120.
I didn't purchase it though because I am still just looking around.

Anywho..I worked my over to the hair products and although I don't need anything at this moment, I still felt the need to see what they had.
I went to the Clearance section and saw a product called Sexy Hair Organics Moisture Boost for a dollar, that I just had to buy. The ingredients looked good and it was only a dollar, so I said why not.
I just looked up online how much it normally costs(for the 1.7 oz) and prices ranged from $10-25. Looks like I got myself a deal.

Don't sleep on stores like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, AJ Wright, Winners and so forth for hair appliances and products. 9.5 times out of 10 , you will find a good deal.  For my international readers, I'm speaking about stores that sell designer/name brand clothing for less.

Here is more info about the product

Sexy Hair Organics Moisture Boost provides an extra shot of moisture when added to cream conditioners, leave-in conditioners and moisturising treatments. The ultimate hydration for dry hair, it will quench its thirst and leave it silky soft.
The natural way to hydrate dry hair, Sexy Hair Organics Moisture Boost is made with 95% organic ingredients, including a combination of organic aloe vera juice, organic goji berries extract, organic avocado extract and organic sunflower oil.

Directions of use:
Add a small amount of Moisture Boost to any Sexy Hair Conditioner or Treatment to give hair that extra moisture it craves.

Review to come

Wednesday, November 3

Flat Ironing Tips

Heat Damage is one of the worst type's of damage to the hair because the only remedy is to cut it off.
When flat ironing your hair, certain precautions should be taken to ensure your hair remains healthy.

Here are a few tips on flat ironing your hair.

  • Always make sure your hair is clean and fully dry before the flat iron touches it- I suggest Air drying first or waiting until your hair is about 80% dry then blow-drying on a cool setting to get it completely dry and a little straight
  • Prepare hair by doing a Mild Protein Treatment- Because the protein bonds in our hair can be broken by the heat, I suggest doing a Mild Protein Treatment the day  you flat iron your hair
  • Always Use Heat Protectant- Lightly smooth some or spray some on your hair before flat-ironing. You don't want to spray or use too much product in your hair before doing so though
  • Two Pass Maximum- There should be no need to constantly smooth hair or go over the same section with the iron, use your hands or a comb as a guide or to help stretch the hair while flat-ironing.
  • Work in Small Sections- This is a matter of preference. I see that the smaller the section, the less passes you need to get a straighter look. But it is less damaging to work in medium size sections although I tend to see the best results with those who work in smaller ones
  • Try to Purchase a Flat-Iron with Temperature Settings and be sure its Ceramic and Tourmaline- This way, if one temperature is too hot for your hair, you are able to change it . Ceramic and Tourmaline flat irons are the best for the hair. (feel free to do research on them)
  • Don't Over-do it with the Flat Ironing- Don't flat iron yor hair every day, you can do a quick cross wrap, wrap or pin curls to preserve your style.

How to See if Your Flat-Iron is TOO HOT
*Get a medium  piece of tissue paper, I use wrapping paper(for the hair). Make sure its big enough to fit in the plates with a little extra to hold.

*Lightly spray the center of the paper with water.*It should not be soaking wet, just mildly damp/

*Place the paper between the plates for five to 10 seconds.

*The paper should come out dry, but clean. If it's still damp, wait a few minutes then re-test

*If it's too hot, you will see smoke and scorching or other discoloration on the paper. Turn it down!

I Hope this helps anyone out there.

Tuesday, November 2

Weekly Protein & My Winter Regimen

...well light protein.

So, I tweaked my regimen a little and for the last two weeks I have been doing light protein treatments that worked out really well. So for this winter, to make sure my hair is in tip top shape, I will be adding weekly light protein treatments to my regimen.

I will be using the Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructer. My hair always feels strong, yet soft after washing this out, but to balance everything out I do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment after.

I live in New England, so you can just imagine how my winters are. It does get really cold out here and I do have to switch up my regimen/products to accommodate. In the summer I was doing a lot of co-washes, which is great for the moisture and I needed to do so after my work-outs, so that's one part of my regimen that will stay consistent except I wont be doing it as often.  I always moisturize my hair daily, but in the summer I used Glycerin based products...for the winter, I will needed a heavier/oil based moisturizer instead. I am also using Shea Butter mixed with Coconut Oil to seal in moisture because it's heavier and will hold me down in the winter months.
I will still Airdry, but I will always make sure my hair is dry before going to sleep and leaving the house.

To be honest with you, my regimen isn't changing that much, but here it is:

Once a week: Usually Sundays
Prepoo Saturday Night- Conditioner mixed with Hemp Seed Oil
Shampoo- Sulfate Free Shampoo
Protein Treatment- Leave on for 5 Minutes then Rinse
Moisturizing Deep Conditioning Treatment- Leave on for 1-3 hours without heat(I may sit under the dryer from time to time for an hour)
Leave-ins, Detangle Hair(after 6-8 weeks post I will detangle when I prepoo then wash in braids) and Airdry
Once a Month- Add in a Porosity Control or ACV rinse

1-3 times a week
Co-wash with Moisturizing and Volumizing Conditioners after work-outs
Leave-ins and Airdry

Daily- Spray scalp with Aloe Vera Juice Mixed with Castor Oil, Eucalyptus Oil and Rosemary Oil
Spray Hair with just Aloe Vera Juice mixed with Rose Water and Distilled Water(which is Kept in the Fridge)  OR
Moisturize hair with either a Moisturizer (such as BioInfusion Olive Oil or Hollywood Beauty Carrot or Olive Oil)
*Sometimes I will do both depending on the condition of my hair
Seal with Shea Butter mixed with Coconut Oil

Monthly- Dust ends and length of hair  ( I trimmed a half inch of my hair last night..but I will only dust lightly going forward and get a professional trim on my next relaxer)

Protective Styles Daily and on Special Occasions/When I go Out- Braid outs or Bantu-Knots