Thursday, March 31

Brazilian Keratin Treatment- The Good & Bad

A reader asked about my view on the BKT and because I honestly never thought about getting this treatment, I had no view on it. So with extensive research, I was able to come up with a post on the BKT.
Hope this helps at least one person!

What is a Brazilian Keratin Treatment?- The BKT is a treatment that temporarily loosens one curls. It is a two step process which entails the actual liquid Keratin treatement and a preservative solution then blowdrying and/or flat-ironing your hair at high heat levels (usually 450 degrees) to set the treatment in.

The Good

*If you are looking for frizz free, straighter hair, then this would work for you. The Keratin will also strengthen your hair because as you know; Keratin is Protein and our hair is made of protein.

*Said to work best on already chemically treated hair(color treated, relaxed..etc)- This is because the Keratin

* Some relaxed heads who have gotten these treatments reported that it loosened their hair texture at the line of demarcation(where the new-growth and relaxed ends meet)

The Bad

*Many of these treatments contained high levels of formaldehyd which has been known to cause ventalation and health issues- Now we all know actual Keratin treatments or protein Treatments can't straighten our hair, they actually strenghten our another ingredient would have to be added to get the straight effect.

*The first application requires high heats which is either just blow-drying or blow-drying and flat ironing up to 450 degrees to seal in the Keratin

* It's expensive (generally $300+ if done at a reputable salon)

* Requires some research before taking the plunge

* It is not permanent so touch-ups are necessary- More so if using a brand not containing formaldehyde

* It will wash out if washing hair with shampoo containing sodium chloride

* If you are natural it can definetly alter your curl pattern

Because there are sooo many different brands of the BKT, I can't offer any suggestions. Just do your research and due dillegence when choosing to have this treatment done and picking the right salon!

Sources and a few links to Check out

BKT Support Thread on longhaircareforum (If you are not already a member, I highly suggest you become one)

Best BKT Treatment thread on longhaircareforum

Other Links

Very Informative Video

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Wednesday, March 30

Bye-Bye to Baking Soda- Non Hair Related

If anyone remembers my Skin Care Regimen Post, I noted that I mixed baking soda with my natural face wash, 1-2 times a week, to exfoliate my skin.
My skin did feel smoother after using it, but it also felt a lot more dry and left white marks on my face even after applying moisturizer.
Now, I am all about natural skin care because all that other "stuff" didn't work for me.
So, I looked into other alternatives and came across Brown Sugar!
I have been adding brown sugar to my face wash to exfoliate my skin 2-3 times a week for a few weeks now and I'm in LOVE!!!
My skin feels so soft, it doesn't get dry and I even have fewer break-outs. Now I read that Brown Sugar Scrubs can help with hyperpigmentation(I do have some dark spots), so hopefully that is true.
I usually don't talk about things I do for my skin because I don't want to "jinx" it. But this is a keeper!

How Brown Sugar Smooths and Protects Skin

Brown sugar is the texture of wet sand, but is abrasive enough to remove old skin cells without causing your skin harm or irritation. The moisture in brown sugar won't dry out your skin as you exfoliate. Exfoliation removes not only dead cells from your skin but other impurities that may be clogging your pores. In effect, exfoliation prepares your body for moisturizers and other products that will keep your skin looking supple and fresh. Brown sugar is a source of B vitamins due to its molasses content, and could be beneficial to your skin. A July 2008 article in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reports that vitamin B is an antioxidant that can prevent and reverse signs of photoaging of your skin. Photoaging is the skin damage you encounter from the sun's harmful UV rays.


Sunday, March 27

Just Another Braid-out

Now ya'll know braid-outs are my style of choice. I haven't done one in a while, but decided to do one tonight.

I did this on freshly washed detangled hair.

  • Did 12 braids in total
  • 6 on each side
  • Added EVOO to each section then braided
  • added a satin roller to ends of each braid
  • Let dry for 3 hours
  • then before taking out added a little more EVOO to each braid
  •  I separated each section but not too much because I don't like my hair too big..but it gets a little biggger through-out the night

I am 9 weeks post relaxer

Tuesday, March 22

Gel is My Friend

I am 8 weeks post relaxer and just been damp bunning/clipping my hair lately. Right now, retention is key, so in order to retain most of my length, I have to keep my ends really moisturized. The only way for me to do that is to cowash more often and on days I don't cowash..... I moisturize and seal daily.

On co-wash and wash days, I do use products(conditioner, prepoo, leave-ins) with light protein such as wheat & vegetable protein or silk amino acids. Those products are keeping my hair strong yet soft and help to prevent a moisture overload.

Now about the Gel

The ONLY Gel that has been laying down my edges all day long, is Eco Styler Gel (olive oil). In order to prevent flakiness, I only apply it to my edges when they are damp, then I tie a scarf on the front of my hair for 10-15 minutes.
I usually use Aloe Vera Gel, but going forward during this stretch,  I'm sticking with Eco.
I bought a 12 oz tub of the Gel last summer and I have used it since then..but still have 90% left. A little does go a long way.


Water , Carbomer , Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein , PVP , Glycerin , Triethanolamine , Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate , Polysorbate 20 , Tetrasodium EDTA , Olive Oil , Fragrance , Blue #1 , Yellow #11 , Love and Pride

When using a Gel like this, I have to make sure I clarify or wash my hair once a week, because this does cause build-up.

Friday, March 18

Kinky Twists on Relaxed Hair

For 2012 results, check out this post.

I did my sisters hair last weekend in Kinky Twists. She typically wears her relaxed hair down everyday and wanted a change/break. She also wants to stretch her relaxer.

I thought this was going to be easy because I did kinky twists for someone before. But the big difference was the last person I did them for, was natural.

So, in order to blend in my sisters straight relaxed hair with the Kinky(Marley) hair, I had to:

* Start off  braiding
*then on one half of the small section, I braided the marley hair with her hair until her hair stopped
*then I twisted the braided section with the loose kinky section

*** For Future Reference, I will work off of more textured hair such as a braid-out!******

This took me about 12 hours

I really wish I taped it, because it's a lot easier to show then say. Next Time I will though.

For Maintainence She is:

Spraying daily and  nightly with African Pride Braid Spray
Putting Kinky Twists into 6 Large Twists Nightly
Securing with Perm Rods
Tie down edges with silk scarf
Tuck Rest of Hair in Bonnet

*These pics were taken a week after doing them

And this is how she usually wears them

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Thursday, March 17

Vitacost Haul

It was time to replenish my staple products. The only new item is the sample size of Giovanni Direct Leave-in. I suggest sample sizes, if they have them, when trying out new products just in case you don't like them.

32 oz Aloe Vera Gel- $4.27
8 oz Hemp Seed Oil- $6.74
16 oz Castor Oil- $5.71
16 oz Dr. Woods Black Soap with Shea Butter- $4.70
Sample Size 2.0z of Giovanni Direct Leave-in- $1.22
11oz Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra Smoothing Conditioner $8.09
Shipping- $4.99

Total: $35.72

So if you follow my blog, I purchased products from last month. But prices were only better then Vitacost because I was a first time customer and didn't have to pay shipping and had a small discount. Of course I compared prices before ordering and vitacost came in cheaper.So, vitacost it was. I was thinking about going to Whole Foods to get these, but I figured it would cost me 5 dollars of gas to get there..haha..and online prices are typically less anyways.  

Monday, March 14

My Nape

I am 7 weeks post relaxer and for some reason I have a lot of new-growth in my nape, more specifically the left side. It also seems to be a little on the dry side. So, in an attempt to "save" my nape, I sectioned off the last half inch of my hair, and put it in 5 single braids. Because my hair is usually clipped up or in a bun, it will not be noticeable. By putting the braids in my hair, I should not get breakage because of the different textures/manipulation and I can easily moisturize my hair.
You can not tell in this pic, but this last row is a lot shorter then other areas in the back of my hair, so hopefully these braids will help me retain more length.

Sunday, March 13

Solange Knowles- All Picked Out

On, they had a weekend twit pic round-up. One of the pics were of Solange Knowles and her hair...this is what she said:

"Goodnight world.... Its them juices, berries and poetic justice braids that grew my sh*t out."

For some reason, I couldn't get the site to load and save the pic, but I went on her twitter page and saw this beautiful pic as her back-ground. I think it's been a year since her big-chop and her hair has really grown out!!! I Love love love the fro!

See .....protective styles are really a good way to go!!! It helps you forget about your hair and you get a big surprise once you see the length

Saturday, March 12

Wash Day

Friday nights/Saturday's are the days I pamper my hair.  It doesn't matter if I party all Friday night..I my prepoo to prep my hair for Saturday's wash.

So, last night was no exception.

So around 12:30-1AM

I pre-pood with:

2 Egg Whites (for protein) mixed with
2 - Table Spoons of Mane n Tail Moisturizing Texturizing Conditioner
1- Table Spoon of Black Strap Molasses
1- Table Spoon of Karishma Henna
few drops of Castor oil

*If I didn't have all of these products, I would have pre-pood with a mild protein conditioner such as ORS Hair Mayonnaise mixed with maybe castor oil

This Morning(@ 8AM) I:
 rinsed out the pre-poo,
conditioned a little with V05 Moisture Milks
Then Clarified my hair and scalp with Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with Water

Next Step is my Moisturizing Deep Conditioner Treatment:
First I oiled my scalp with EVOO
then Applied my Deep Conditioner
Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner mixed with Hemp Seed Oil  

Then I went under my heating cap for about 10 minutes

I have a lot of errands to run today and I have to braid/twist someones hair which may take up to 7 hours, so I still haven't washed out the Deep Conditioner.
Right now, I'm walking around looking like this(I have a conditioning cap under the scarf):

After I wash the DC out, I will just add leave-ins, detangle, then airdry. Haven't figured out how I will wear my hair tonight(if I go out) or tomorrow yet.

* It may seem like I do a lot, but it's just because of all my mixes. I'm just prepooing, washing then Deep Conditioning which can be done with 1 plain product each

Coming Soon on 6-FOOT-LONG-HAIR- I didn't forget about you all!!
Brazilian Keratin Treatment: The Good, bad and ugly
Airdrying Techniques
How to Retain Length
Benefits of Ceramides and Black Strap Molasses
Skin Care
Curbing Breakage and Shedding
Hair Care while wearing Wigs and Weaves
Video on how I detangle while stretching

Friday, March 11

Braid-Out Gone Wrong

So in continuation of my last post, after I co-washed..I air-dried in 6 braids. I put some silk rollers on the ends and rolled them all the way up, similar to doing a roller-set.

In the morning I took the rollers out and un-braided my hair. I was sooo not feeling the style.
One side was longer then the other, it was super short because of how I rolled just didn't look cute on me..
See below for example

It was like 7:30 and I had to leave to I was in a rush
I just sprayed my edges with moisturizer..added some Eco-Styler Gel...then clipped my hair back with an EZ-Comb.
On my way to work, I had the front of my hair wrapped with a scarf to lay down my edges.
I like this look a little better.

Thursday, March 10

Exercising and Hair

I just came from one of the most fun, intense, and productive work-outs. Yes, I am talking about Zumba!
I loooooove Zumba..I felt like I was at the club..haha, but working out at the same time.
BUT I spent 45 minutes of that hour sweating my butt off. I knew as soon as I got home and took a shower, I would also co-wash my hair. BUT some people prefer not to co-wash their hair..and also like to preserve their hair style. So...let me offer a few tips.

First, you can:

  • Try choosing a form of exercise that doesn't make you sweat too,.maybe riding a bike, skating, taking a long walk..there are many options
  • If you do prefer an intense work-out, maybe wait until the day of or before wash day to do so (this is for those who wash once a week)
For those that wear straight styles and prefer to wear your hair down:

  • Wear your hair in a high-pony tail while exercising and do not take it down until it is fully dry. I would also invest in a sweat band, to soak up the excess sweat
  • wrap your hair(like cross wrap or do a doobie) while working out, and do not take the wrap down until your hair is full dry
*For both above options, make sure you clean your scalp, using a Q-tip, with Sea Breeze, Witch Hazel or Rose Water

2 Things about Exercising:

  • You should never sacrifice your health for your hair
  • It should also not be treated as a chore- Do something you like!

Tuesday, March 8

Aloe Vera Gel or Juice- Which is Better?

****5.26.17- Please note this article was written in 2011. An update to my opinion will be posted shortly****

I had a question from a reader regarding Aloe Vera. She wanted to know if there was a big difference between Aloe Vera Gel or Juice and could Gel be used as a replacement to the juice in certain mixes.

My initial response was Gel is just as good as the Juice depending on which brand you purchase.

I decided to dig a little deeper into this and came across this article/blog posted on the Whole Foods site. The article is mainly referencing Aloe Vera in terms of digesting, but it doesn't matter.
 This is also speaking about a particular brand of Aloe Vera Juice/Gel, but when looking at different vitamin sites for Aloe Vera Juice and Gel, I noticed the Carrageenan being the main difference in ingredients.

To Juice or Gel, you ask?
Aloe vera gel is actually made from the aloe vera juice by adding a food grade thickening agent called carrageenan, which is a naturally occurring sea kelp/Irish moss. They are almost equally effective because the 365 Everyday Value® Aloe juice products contain 99.7% aloe vera, while the gel products contain 99.5% aloe vera. Juice products are typically made for dietary supplement purposes, while gel products are more commonly used for topical application, though they can be orally ingested and may be soothing to your throat, stomach, and digestive tract.

So, basically the Gel isn't that much different than the juice. The main difference is the added carrageenan. See below for an ingredient listings for Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice and Gel.
I also, came to the conclusion that I will be switching brands of Aloe Vera. Instead of using Fruit of the Earth, I will now be using Lily of the Desert. Lily of the Desert seems more "organic" and pure to me.

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel Ingredients:
Other Ingredients: Certified Organic whole leaf aloe vera leaves, carrageenan (thickening agent), less than 1% of the following: citric acid (oxidation inhibitor), potassium sorbate (mold inhibitor). Contains 99.5% certified organic aloe vera gel

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice Ingredients:
Other Ingredients: Certified Organic aloe vera leaves, less than 1% of the following: citric acid (oxidation inhibitor), potassium sorbate (mold inhibitor). Contains 99.7% certified organic aloe vera juice

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice Ingredients:

Natural Aloe Vera Gel , Citric Acid , Sodium Benzoate

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel Ingredients:

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Gel, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carbomer 940, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea

Lily of the Desert can be found at most vitamin stores such as Whole Foods, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, or online at places like VitaCost.

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Monday, March 7

Raven Symone

First, let me say that I love Raven Symone. I believe she is a great role model and a very positive influence for young women.
Now about her hair..I think she looks sooo cute with this hair cut. I honestly think some styles may suite a persons face better at times. But if you're doesn't matter if your hair is long or short, you would still look good.
She's not actually speaking about her hair in this video, but I still wanted to share.

Caruso Roller Set

I used my Caruso Rollers the other night for the first time and I think I fell in love.
I couldn't get good pictures, but I will take some next time I use it (and when I finally get a new camera).

So, Saturday was wash day, I am 6 weeks post relaxer:
I pre-pood/did a Henna Treatment
Co-washed it out
ACV Rinse to clarify my scalp and hair
Then did a Moisturizing Deep Conditioning Treatment
Then Detangled and Airdried
My hair felt soo soft!!

For the roller-set:
I waited until my hair was basically 100% Airdried
Added a little moisturizer to each section before rolling
Used the Jumbo Rollers
And Rolled Upwards 
Kept the rollers on for about 30 minutes

For the Caruso Set:

I filled the reservoir with Distilled Water
Plugged it in
Took about 10 minutes for it to heat/steam up
Then when I was ready to put the rollers in my hair:
I took the clip off
then put the roller on the reservoir for about 10 seconds
then went about rolling my hair

More About the Caruso Rollers:
  • Patented roller design allows for breathing space between the foam and the shield so steam evaporates faster and curls set tighter
  • Unique shield lock holds rollers tightly and end caps have slots to hold clips when needed
  • The Molecular roller foam (also called sponge curlers) holds steam to give you the most curling power
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Three sizes:
  • Medium (1"): For medium curls, medium to short hair, or medium to fine hair
  • Large (1-1/4"): For looser curl, volume and body (may be referred to as "Jumbo Large" in packaging
  • Jumbo (1-1/2"): For largest curls and waves, long or thick hair

How I feel about them:
I LOOOOVVEEE the Caruso Roller Set. It's very easy to, you don't even need to know how to roller set easy. It really only takes 5-10 minutes after applying the rollers for your hair to curl. I know because I took one roller out just to see how it would look.
My hair felt sooooo soft and conditioned after taking out the rollers and I think it's because of the steam.
My curls lasted all night and mind you, I dance my butt off.
I also like the fact that it comes with different roller sizes so you can achieve your desired look.
I give these an A+

Cost: $35.90 from Amazon