Category Archives: More About Me

Moisturized Hair: It Starts on Wash Day


When I’m in the guise of my alter ego, “Hairscapades” ;), I often receive or read cries for help that go something like this:

“Can someone please recommend a good moisturizer? My hair is always so dry!!”

I came across just such a question this past weekend on CurlyNikki’s Facebook page and I did my best to answer it. As I wrote the response, I realized that my answer to this frequent query might be helpful to other … so this post was “born.”

Now, here are a couple of disclaimers before we get started. One, my hair is a mix of regular and high porosity strands, you may need to modify some of these steps if your hair is under-porous. Two, my suggestions here are for hair that is really in need of moisture. It is not for hair that is over-moisturized and in need of protein to help it retain hydration. For more on dry, brittle hair that may be a result of over-conditioning caused by regular co-washing, overnight baggying, protein avoidance, etc., check out my posts: Moisture and Protein: Finding the Balance and Can I Over-Condition?

6 Steps to Building Sustained Moisture

Okay, now back to the question at hand. When, I see inquiries like the one above, I rarely make product recommendations for “daily” moisturizers. This is because, I think building sustained moisture starts on wash day. I think the importance of this day can sometimes be underestimated. Therefore, the advice I offer is related to techniques (and the products) that I have found successful in hydrating hair so that it will sustain the moisture level between wash days. This is not to say that a moisturizer will not be needed between wash sessions. However, by building hydration levels on wash day, re-moisturizing sessions during the week may be more effective and required less frequently.

So, here we go. These are the steps that I take to hydrate my hair and seal in all that “moisturiffic” goodness;).

“Naked” hair (left); hair with leave-in (right)

1.  Start with a pre-poo (on dry hair) prior to shampooing. Coat hair with a penetrating oil, like coconut, olive, avocado or Vatika (coconut oil base), which has the ability to enter the hair shaft and reach the cortex to moisturize the hair from the inside out. Leave oil on hair under a plastic baggie for a minimum of one hour up to overnight (heat optional).

What I Use: Right now, I’m loving Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (moisturizing) or GPB Conditioner (protein) mixed with Vatika oil as a pre-poo. I alternate moisture and protein as needed.

2.  Wash with a non-stripping, sulfate free shampoo.

What I Use: DevaCare No Poo (diluted with water in a dye bottle for easier application and slip).

3.  If necessary, apply a moisturizing, cheapie conditioner to thoroughly detangle hair.

What I Use: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH). Best detangler I’ve found for my hair so far.

4.  Deep condition (DC) for 15 minutes to an hour with heat. Then, this is key, COOL and SEAL. Cooling and sealing was a game-changer for me. The short of it is that you remove the heat source and allow the DC to cool in your hair for 10-15 minutes. Then, you dilute a regular daily conditioner in cool/cold water and apply it directly over the DC prior to rinsing everything out with cold water. For more details on this technique, check out my post: Deep Conditioning Tricks … Cool & Seal.

What I Use: I’m really feeling Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm to deep condition right now (the Sally’s GVP version is good too). But, I’m also a fan of Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner, JessiCurl Weekly Deep Treatment, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Mask and Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie. I use HE HH or Aussie Moist as my “sealing” conditioner.

5.  After rinsing the deep conditioner, apply a leave-in conditioner thoroughly to wet or damp hair.

What I Use: I’ve been getting really good results with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner as a leave-in. But, I also often rely on a modified Kimmaytube leave-in recipe (2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice – whole leaf, 1 tsp of oil [mix of EVOO, JBCO and jojoba oil]).

6.  Seal in the water, leave-in conditioner and any stylers/moisturizers used with an oil, butter or oil/butter blend.

What I Use: JBCO/EVOO mix.

Doing these things on wash day enables my hair to hold onto moisture throughout the week and between wash sessions. Oh, and if my hair is feeling a little dry a few days into the week, I simply apply a moisturizer (with water as the first ingredient) and re-seal with an oil. Happy hair!!

So, if  you are struggling with dehydrated hair, maybe some or all of these steps will help you!! Good luck!!


How do you build and lock-in moisture on wash day?

My Spring/Summer 2012 Regimen


Yeah, it’s been a braid out kind of Spring/Summer … well, initially it was a WnG kind of late spring …

But, then I started getting all of those SSKs and nasty tangles!!! So, it evolved into a braid-out kind of summer.

Anywho, realized that I haven’t posted an updated regimen and it’s changed since I last posted it for the GOC that started in April. I’ve chronicled everything here during regular weekly posts. But, figured I’d put it in consolidated form for those who are seeking a one-stop shop for it ;).



  • Working in sections, pre-poo and finger detangle dry hair with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (moisturizing) or GPB conditioner (protein) mixed with Vatika Oil. I alternate the Aubrey conditioners depending on what my hair seems to need, but generally I’ve been using the GPB every 2-3 weeks.
  • While detangling, conduct Search and Destroys (S&Ds) to eliminate any visible/tangible split ends and SSKs.
  • Place hair in 6 twists.
  • Oil scalp with Wild Growth Hair Oil (WGHO) original formula.
  • Don plastic cap and apply heat using Hair Therapy Wrap for a minimum of 1 hour. (I’ll usually sleep in the pre-poo overnight out of laziness). 
  • Shampoo hair in twists with DevaCare No Poo diluted in water (approx 2 oz. shampoo to 5-6 oz. water).
  • If hair is especially tangled, condition and finger detangle further with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH).
  • Deep condition with Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm (minimum 1 hour under Hair Therapy Wrap).
  • Use “Cool and Seal” DC technique to rinse DC with diluted HE HH.
  • Apply leave-in (LI):
    • Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner or;
    • Modified Kimmaytube LI recipe:
      • 2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today
      • 2 tbsp aloe vera juice (whole leaf)
      • 1 tsp oil (JBCO, EVOO and/or jojoba oil)
  • WnG or braid-out to stretch hair. Products vary, but generally:
    • WnG: Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter and LaBella Lots of Curls.
    • Braid-Out: LI only or LI with Wonder Curl Butter Than Love Pudding.
    • Seal with JBCO/EVOO mix or WGHO Light.
  • Air dry and/or use hard bonnet dryer to speed drying time.
  • Shine/Release braids with Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade, Moxie Hair Bling or WGHO Light.
  • Wear hair out 3-4 days, maybe re-braiding once (little more manipulation and exposure than usual; So, I’ll probably go back to 1-2 days out and 5-6 days in a protective style come September).
  • Protective/low manipulation style as needed once braid-out becomes too frizzy (buns, updos, side braid, etc.).
  • Nightly: Pineapple, loosely braid or bun and don satin scarf /bonnet for bed; Sleep on satin pillowcase.
  • Massage scalp with WGHO as needed, usually 1-2 times during the week.

Deducting the time spent “marinating” with my pre-poo and DC, the actual work time for my wash day is probably about 3 hours: 1 hour pre-pooing/detangling and 2 hours to wash, condition and style. Since I don’t tend to do everything in one shot, but rather split it over two days, I tend to spend 1 hour on Friday or Saturday night for my pre-poo session and 3 hours on Saturday or Sunday to wash, DC and style.

Every 4-8 weeks:

  • Two step henna/indigo (roots only full strength application/gloss on length).
  • Clarify, with diluted Ion Curl Solutions Shampoo or Aubrey Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo.

I still have the ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment under the sink and now I have a hard bonnet dryer too. But, for the immediate future, I have no plans to do another 2 Step Treatment. My hair has just been doing so well with the Aubrey GPB, I don’t feel it’s necessary right now. But, maybe I’ll revisit it in the fall or winter.

Can you tell that I got a new “toy?” ;)


Does your regimen change with the seasons? If so, what is/are the major difference(s)?

Wash Day: Trying Something(s) New


Okay, quick post to tell you a couple of new things that I tried/revisited this weekend on wash day. A full regimen update is coming later today.

My routine was pretty much par for the course:

  • Pre-poo/dry detangle and oil scalp
  • Shampoo
  • Deep condition with cool & seal technique
  • Style

Now, what I did different was this. I revisited the Aubrey Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo (if you remember, I posted here about it not working out too well for me). Well, actually, first I broke out the Terressentials Mud Wash in Lavender Garden that I’d yet to open. However, after trying to cleanse one twist, I knew it wasn’t going to work for my heavily saturated locks. So, I ditched it and decided to clarify with the Aubrey shampoo. Now, maybe it was because my hair was very stretched from the brush-out late last week, but things went much better this time. I also realized that really working up a lather created more slip than trying to prevent the shampoo from foaming. So, Aubrey Green Tea Shampoo may not be a wash quite yet … no pun intended ;).

The other thing that I tried was something else that has been sitting under my sink, mostly unused … but this one had been sitting for much, much, muuuuuch longer … since last July actually!! Goodness! Anywho, I used it once and then it went under the sink with the rest of my PJ-induced purchases ;).

I decided to layer the ORS Lock & Twist Gel on top of my modified Kimmaytube leave-in (LI) and Wonder Curl Butter Than Love (BTL) Pudding to see if it would help with hold and block humidity. I applied the LI heavily to wet (not damp) hair and then applied about a finger-full of the BTL and Gel to each section (15 total) before braiding. I sealed my ends with JBCO/EVOO and sat under my dryer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, setting the ends on rollers about 30 minutes into the drying time.

The plan is to see if I can get away with keeping these braids in for work today. Braid and twist outs always are more defined and last longer the longer that they are allowed to set. So, we’ll see. I’m writing this Sunday night and I may be too impatient to wait to see how the gel worked! But, if I’m running, like I usually am in the morning, there’s a good chance they’ll get another day to chill.

In Health & Fitness news, I completely fell off after Monday of last week. I did Cardio Max Week 3/Day 1, but that’s it :(. I hyperextended my left hamstring doing all of those lunges with Bob and all those sustained warrior poses in hot yoga on Sunday. I didn’t want to further injure myself and wanted to allow my body time to recover… or at least stop hurting, so I took off Tuesday. Wednesday, I was better, but didn’t get home until really late, because of the funeral of my church friend and a visit to my grandmother in the hospital. All of this was in South Jersey and I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the time I got home. Thursday – Saturday (yeah *sheepishly* Saturday … see, what had happened was … ), I have absolutely no excuse for not working out. I ate okay, though I was going hard on the 94% FF Pop Secret popcorn with some melted Smart Balance spread!! That being said, went to hot yoga on Sunday morning with a friend who I’d been telling about it. Hopefully, this will be our regular thing. And now, this week is a re-boot of Cardio Max Week 3. Bring it on Jillian (soooo talking trash. *lol*). Oh, and my first set of Zaggora Hot Pants arrived! I wore them for about 3 hours on Saturday. The intent was to work out. But … yeaaah … I didn’t. I just wore them. *lol*

So, that’s it.  Hmmmm … I really don’t know how to write a short post, do I? This is why I don’t like Twitter. I talk too much for it. Anywho, hope that you don’t mind too much ;)!!



Back to hair, have you tried the ORS Lock & Twist Gel? If so, how did you like it?

Still Rocked My Diana ….


I told you guys yesterday in this post that I had to “control” my brushed out Diana Ross hair for work, so I put it in a couple of braids.

A couple of you asked why I coudn’t rock the big hair. So, I wanted to clarify. I still rocked huge, Diana Ross hair. I just wanted to give it a little wave action so it didn’t look like what it was, just a brush out with no styling! *lol* So, when I went to work, my  hair looked like it does in the first picture. You see, still big and fluffy, but with some wave. By the end of work though, it lost most of the wave and was even bigger and more fluffier. And, it was all good with me ;).

Alright, so now it’s time to pre-poo and hit the basement for a work-out. I messed up this week and this will only be my second day of Week 3 of Cardio Max. But, I’ll explain that on Monday.

Alright, lata ladies!! Have a great weekend!!

Going With It … Well, Not Really.


LOL!! So, yesterday, I showed you guys what happened to my hair on Wednesday. It went from this:

To this:

… in the matter of a few hours. So, on Thursday, I pulled it back into a French roll and puff of sorts, because the ends had some curl and the back was still pretty defined (sorry, no pics). But, last night, I decided to just go with it and do something I probably don’t do any more than once or twice a year. I decided to brush it out into my Diana Ross look ;).

I worked in medium sections, first applying some Wild Growth Hair Oil Light, then gently brushing with a paddle brush working up from the ends to the roots.

Of course, I can’t wear my hair like this to work. LOL!! So, I put it into two braids, spritzed them with some water, then I smoothed  down the top and edges with a mix of Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and shea butter. Finally, I donned another “skull cap” I picked up at Sally’s and a satin bonnet for bed.

See my workday results here!



So what’s up for the weekend?

One of my good friends is transitioning, but has been wearing her hair straight only. We are planning a “hair” party on Saturday so that I can help her experiment with a textured style :).

Perfect Imperfection


Hi guys!! Have you seen Curly Nikki’s interview with Tracee Ellis-Ross?!?!? If not, get yourself over there right now and check it out here!! What a great interview!!

Anyway, the reason I’m pointing it out is something struck me about the above picture, which was the lead for the interview. After sharing M’s guest post this morning about Hair and Self-Acceptance … and then going to the interview and seeing this pic again … I wrote in the comments:

“You know what I love about that first pic and want to point out? Look at the irregularity of Tracee’s hair pattern. There are kind of straight pieces on the left and bottom right, it’s coarser on the top with a less definitive curl …. and we LOVE it! I think we are often too hard on our own hair, looking microscopically, dissecting every single curl, expecting perfectly uniform perfection. But Tracee’s curls aren’t like this and she is the hair idol of many a natural. At the end of the day, we need to look at our hair, our selves as a whole and appreciate the beauty of imperfection. #justsayin ;)


Looks like I’m having my very own Self-Concept Thursday!! Sorry for jacking your steelo Nik!! It just happened that way;)!


Do you embrace YOUR perfectly perfect imperfection?

Miley Cyrus Big Chops!


Okay, I know she’s not natural or curly. But, one, I love the cut and think that it’s really cute and flattering on her. Two, I love the confidence it takes someone who has always had long hair to say, “CHOP IT!!” Three, I love what she said to the haters on Twitter:

“if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. my hair is attached to my head no one else’s and it’s going bye bye :) ”

Sounds realllllllyyyyyyyy familiar doesn’t it ;)? A big chop is a big chop, no matter  what your race, texture, status. At least, that’s my take on it. We have more in common than we know.

If that’s not a “Big Chop” smile of self-love and
liberation, I don’t know what is.