Sunday, December 2, 2012

Set to Style

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Just a little snapshot of a before and after; I found on my camera while I was downloading old pics.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Long Time No See & Heat and Natural Hair

Sorry I've been incognegro for a while, but I'm still natural and still growing my hair out.

State of the Hair Update:

I've been thinking about this subject of heat & natural hair for a while. I know some naturals believe that heat on natural hair is analogous to damaging natural hair. Yet, a lot of the naturals I’ve seen with “dumb long” (hair that has grown to at least BSL in a matter of 2-3 yrs) hair use heat at least occasionally. I especially see that as true for women who have hair in the 4 category. My theory is that the heat enables them to bypass the single strand knots (SSK) and damaged ends that can come with extremely coiled/nappy hair.
Personally, my hair has grown well with wearing my 4 hair out in wash and go (WNG) puffs for the majority of my time as a natural. However, my ends have been a bit on the atrocious side and I had to trim them recently for that reason. Now of course I could have worn protective styles (PS) for the majority of the time and maybe I wouldn’t have had that problem. However, at this stage in my life I have neither the time to twist my hair all the time, nor do I necessarily want to rock short twists all the time.

Here's a picture of my stretched hair after being almost a year natural.  I can't remember when I got my last relaxer and I inadvertantly transitioned when I put in genie locs on Dec. 24th and I kept them in and re-tightened the roots until May (I was going to transition into locs w/o cutting, but changed my mind). 

Hair Stretched from Havana Twists

Heat Challenge: 

So, I’ve come up with a heat challenge for myself. The plan is pretty simple in that I plan on blow-drying my hair at least once a month. After that I will either wear it in a straight style, do twist/braidouts, or protective style with braids or twists. For the rest of the year and probably until spring I think I will be doing PS because I am currently 31 wks pregnant and due in December, so I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING to my hair myself if I can help it. Plus, I want to be able to look good w/o a lot of effort during the holidays, the birth, and with the inevitable visitors that come after giving birth.
In that vein I attempted my first blow-out since I’ve been natural. Here’s a summary of my experience:
1. I washed my hair with Creme of Nature Shampoo & Nature Valley or Something Conditioner (basic products).
2. I did not deep condition.
3. After washing (I did two latherings because I hadn’t done a shampoo wash in a while), I detangled my damp hair with a comb (couldn’t find my fake Denman  ) and put it into sections.
4. I moisturized each section with Whipped Shea Butter and put it into a Bantu knot. I had about 8 sections two in the back, two in the middle, two on the top, and two on the sides.
5. I then blow-dried my hair in those sections using the kind of blow-dryer that is shaped like a brush with the comb attachment (narrow tooth). This was easier than I thought it would be. However I noticed that the ends on my left side were harder to do, the ends were more tangled and crunchier. I don’t know why this is, but now I know to pay more attention to this side. Oh and the left side is shorter than my right as well.
6. HERE’S WHERE I MESSED UP! When I started flat ironing I sprayed a “heat protectant spray” on the section, then I had to go over the section like 3 more times…1 to re-dry/straighten it because the spray made it reverted, the 2nd to straighten better, and the 3rd to bump it. I had the temperature on 350 degrees.
7. So, I figured out like a million sections in that this was not helping make a very straight flat iron. When I started doing the left side I also started trimming the crunchy ends. So hopefully I can do some remediation by taking better care of that side.
8. I didn’t end up wearing my hair out, but did two chunky flat twists on the side meeting up to a bunny tail in the back.
Good News
  • My hair is as long as it was before I went natural.
  • It seems healthy for the most part.
  • It was pretty easy to blow-dry.
 Meh News
  • The crunchy ends I had to trim.
  • iFailed on the flatiron portion.
  • Took forever for the flat ironing part because my hair is so thick.
 In conclusion, I will still be doing this once a mth. I think it will help me in the least check on the condition of my ends and take care of them. In about 6mths I'll go to the Dom. salon around here and have them do a good straightening and style. It'll be April and hopefully I won't sweat it out to easy.
Here are some of my inspirations that use heat:


Monday, September 17, 2012

YouTube Idol: Charjay

Let's talk hair idols. There are some girls on YT that just have super amazing awesome hair and I "idolize" something about their hair whether it's their versatility in styles or their knowledge on haircare processes. I tend to admire lots of YT's hair, but I try to only call someone an idol if their hair texture is similar to mine. No need in looking up to a head of hair that my hair has no hope in Hades of EVER looking like. So, cheers to the 4a/4b hair ladies on YouTube that keep me inspired.

Today the hair idol I will be spotlighting is the most awesome Charjay!

Charjay is one of my hair idols because she creates the most amazing styles, her hair growth has been awesome, and she's had great entrepreneurial success in the natural hair arena. She's the face of Huetiful Hair Steamer, Entwine- Naturalle Couture, and now has come out with her own Style Cards!
Huetiful Hair Steamer

Charjay Style Card

Visit her blog and her YT and see if you don't find her hair amazing!

This post is not sponsored or paid for in anyway.  All ideas expressed are solely those of the author. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Natural Hair Weekly - 13 Sept 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Product Reviews: Entwine Couture & Carol's Daughter

Today I will be reviewing (click on a product name to skip to that review):

 PRODUCT REVIEW: Entwine Couture Exotiqüe Butter-Crème Hydrator

Have you ever bought a product because you'd heard such great reviews about it, but then it totally doesn't work for you?  Well, that's what happened to me with the Entwine Couture Exotiqüe Butter-Crème Hydrator.  I am a nappy, 4 type hair girl and I'd heard that it worked nothing less than a miracle on my hair type in terms of moisturizing.  Here's the description:
Ultra-Softness* Maximum Hydration * Healthy Growth
This riche, lightweight, luxurious hydrating and growth crème moisturizer is a must have for all natural, transitioning, or relaxed hair. It is artfully crafted with exotic natural butters and supple oils from around the world to pamper & indulge your dry, thirsty tresses. 

Ingredients: Balsamic Butter-OylTM Blend* of: (Shorea Stenoptera Seed (Illipee) Butter, Indica angifera (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Fruit Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene and Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer), Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Polysorbate 80, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ceteareth-25, Panthenol, Polyquaternium-32, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, PEG-75 Lanolin, Fragrance, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil and BHA and BHT, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin

Ingredients in English: Illipee Butter, Mango Seed Butter, SHea Butter, Pomegranate Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Avocado Oil Extract, Safflower Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Stabilizing Emollient,Water, Gylcerin, Synthetic Oil, Silicone-based polymer,Fatty Alcohol,Chemical Defrizzer and emulsifier, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Chemical, Chemical, Panthenol (protein),  Antimicrobal Chemical, Chemical Emollient, Chemical Binder, Fragrance, Corn Oil, Antioxidant/Preservative, Preservative,  Antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative

RESULTS:  I think that it's too water based or too much protein or too chemically for what my hair looks for in a butter.  I used it on damp hair to moisturize, but I never got that ooh my hair is so moisturized and elongated feeling that others have reported.  Maybe it was user error, maybe it's just not right for ME.

PRODUCT REVIEW:  Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter &

Black Vanilla Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner

So, since that didn't float my boat I was looking for another moisturizer STAT!  And because I wanted something a little more sophisticated than my mix of V05 Conditioner and Water in my spray bottle I was also looking for a spray leave in.  Because I was wary of buying something new and unknown online I decided to hit up my town's new Ulta and go to the Carol's Daughter aisle.  I decided to buy the Healthy Hair Butter (a new product to me) and an old standby the Black Vanilla Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner.

RESULTS: These two products ended up being the one-two punch my hair needed for moisture and shine!  I used them in conjunction with each other doing my nighttime twists a second time and the results were more defined and moisturized with this combination.  I may have just found my HOLY GRAIL of styling products.  My hair also stayed moisturized for DAYS afterwards!  I also used this combo today and will post pictures later this week of my results!

Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter
Healthy Hair Butter by Carol's Daughter is a nourishing cream hairdress that fortifies your hair so it is protected from future damage caused by styling or chemical processes. Jojoba Oil with Cocoa and Shea Butters deeply conditions your hair so it can be stronger and more manageable. Made without Mineral Oil or Petroleum so your hair will have a natural shine but not become greasy or weighed-down.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycine Soja ( Soybean) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis ( Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), ( Rosemary) Oil, Cymbopogon Flexosus ( Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis ( Orange) Oil,Lavandula Augustfolia(Lavender) Oil

Ingredients in English:  Water , Soybean Oil, Corn Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter,  Sweet Almond Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Preservative, Corn Sugar Based Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Vitamin C, (Rosemary Oil,  Lemongrass Oil, Orange Oil, Lavender Oil

Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner

Description:The Black Vanilla Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner restores natural moisture and adds strength to your hair. The blend of Wheat Protein and Pro-Vitamin B5 fortifies your hair so it's healthier and won't break when detangling. Made with natural moisturizers instead of silicones so you can use it every day without weighing down your hair.

  •  Aloe Leaf Juice richly moisturizes your hair so it's easier to detangle
  • Pro-Vitamin B5 works to fortify your hair so it can hold onto moisture better 
  • Wheat Proteins help to give your hair a bit more strength 
  • Contains the warm and sensual Black Vanilla fragrance for a soothing fragrance experience
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Polysorbate 80, Glycerin, Panthenol ( Pro-vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Butylene Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Stem, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum)
Ingredients in English: Water, Polysorbate 80, Glycerin, Pro-vitamin B5, Sugar Based Lubricant, Natural Humectant, Butylene Glycol, Lavender)Flower/Leaf Stem, Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Japanese Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Sage)eaf Extract, Calendula Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caramel, Fragrance

Friday, September 7, 2012

Silk Scarf Diaries #1: Nighttime Twists

Silk Scarf Diaries (aka Nighttime Hair Experiments) #1: Nighttime Twists

Time: 30 minutes at night; 10 minutes in the morning

  • Spray bottle w/ bottled water &  Paul Mitchell The Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Sally's Beauty Supply 7 Argan Oil
  1. Started with dry hair that had been in a puff for 5 days.
  2. Separated hair into a medium section & sprayed with my water/conditioner mix in a spray bottle. De-tangled section with the Goody (Denman Knock-Off) brush starting from ends to roots.
  3. Used a fingertips worth of Shea Moisture on section, concentrating on ends, brushed it in to smooth. Twist section and repeat until entire head is finished.
  4. Cover with silk or satin scarf & sleep.
  5. Untwist in the morning with oil on fingertips.
  • Used medium sections
  • Hair had been in shrunken puff for 5 days
  • Shed hair was normal for 5 days w/ no de-tangling
  • Stretched hair 
  • Not much definition (may be due to product or twist size)
  • More moisturized in the morning than just going to bed w/ satin pillow and no twists
  • Needed to re-spray hair on 2nd day to re-moisturize, but that is typical with my hair 

  • I only have pics of the twists at night b/c I was in rush that morning
  • The white stuff in my hair is the Shea Moisture
  • Consider yourself lucky I'm letting you see me in all my nighttime glory...LOL!

Top of Head

Back of Head

Friday, August 31, 2012

In Defense of Nappy(ness)!

Awesome Nappy Hair!

I've been thinking about the word nappy. Actually, I've been thinking about it for a long time. At one time I had named this blog, "Nappy, The Other N Word". The word nappy for some is strictly verboten, as much so as that other N word is. However, the word nappy's connotation is not one that has roots in racism and slavery.

Nappy has mainly been used as an insult by other blacks to other blacks and while one could argue that the reason for that insult is rooted in racism (intra-racism, I'd say) it's one that is usually used as a personal attack by someone who looks like you, rather than someone of another race. Certain blogs will have featured "Hair Inspirations" and nothing gets my goose than someone stating that their hair is "not nappy" as if saying that means that their hair is worthy or "good". [QUOTE: My hair was never coarse or “nappy” as some people say...] I've even argued with someone that said I was "jealous" because I pointed out that them saying their hair wasn't "nappy" was inappropriate. That same person then argued with me about nappy being a word and asking "what is a nap".

Merriam Webster’s definition of nappy is (see kinky) Kinky’s is “closely twisted or curled”.   Definition of Nap (noun): a hairy or downy surface (as on a fabric) Etymology: Middle English noppe, from Middle Dutch, flock of wool, nap
First Known Use: 15th century.

The word nappy is not pejorative in and of itself, but for a lot of small minded black people it is. Many people have embraced the word nappy because in many other contexts it does not have a negative connotation, i.e the POPULAR NATURAL WEBSITE NAPPTURALITY. It’s offensive TO ME that someone would use nappy in a pejorative sense because it’s BLACK PEOPLE who are usually using it in that sense to down other blacks, i.e. Niki Minaj “Nappy Headed Ho”.

Unfortunately there will still be some blacks who use nappy as a sword as seen just this week on the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Reunion when one character who has a naturally curly hair texture attacked another by saying "do something with [her] nappy ass hair".  The irony of that is that the woman she was attacking has NEVER been shown on the show without a straight weave, so I assume that she is talking about her natural hair, i.e. the hair under the weave.  Because nappy will always be in some's minds as inferior to curly, wavy, or straight (i.e. closer to a non-black aesthetic) hair.

I hope that we can restore nappy to it's neutral state as a simple hair descriptor and not as a euphemism for "bad hair" or "unkempt hair" and it all starts with us.  For those who don't understand the history of our hair I reccomend reading Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America  and if you have a child or children Happy to Be Nappy (Jump at the Sun) , Nappy Hair (Dragonfly Books) or I Love My Hair!  

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