Category Archives: Accessories and Tools

Behind the Scenes of a Hairscapades Wedding

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As you now know, Wei and I tied the knot on December 12th with a ceremony and reception port-side on the Explorer of Seas (see our wedding “album” here). To be honest, I always imagined that I’d elope. I never dreamed of my wedding day nor had I any desire or interest in planning a big, elaborate wedding. Add to that the facts that I’m the consummate procrastinator who hates planning anything and am also super cheap frugal, and you might understand my lack of motivation in setting a wedding date despite being engaged for almost a year and a half. But, with 42 knocking on the door, 2 years since our engagement fast-approaching, and a desire to have children, we knew it was time to get this thing done.

So, about 3 months ago, we decided on a wedding date and honeymoon trip. Then, the planning commenced. Fortunately for me, I have a best friend sent from heaven who did most of the initial heavy lifting. When I tell you that this might not have happened without her, I’m not kidding you. I was so anti-wedding planning. Not anti wedding, anti planning. But, she basically put things in front of me, gave me options, let me decide, and then made things happen. So, a huge shout-out and thank you to my bestie of 22 years, Yutonya (Yooty)! You know you are my ace for LIFE!

Anywho, in about 70 days, we decided on doing the ceremony and reception onboard the Explorer of the Seas port-side prior to embarkation, then kicking all our guests off (sorry guys! LOL!!), and sailing away on a 10 day honeymoon to the Caribbean. Royal Romance took care of a lot of stuff like the venue (obviously ;)), the officiant, the photographer, the reception menu, the cake, the flowers, and the coordination of events. Then, with a lot of help and far too many purchases on Amazon and Etsy *lol*, Wei and I took care of the rest with LOTS of assistance from my sisters, Sheri and Shana, and Yooty. We selected the invitations, which my sisters took care of ordering, addressing, and mailing. Yooty took on the “guest book,” which will be a peacock quilt with “feathers” signed by the guests! And Wei and I got our marriage license (of course) and selected the “wedding party” and colors, favors, cake topper, the jumping broom (well, I selected and he approved;)), and the ceremony and reception “play list.”

Of course, I decided on everything related to my personal appearance. Because, I will say this. There are four things that I cared about in regard to my special day. My dress, my bouquet, the locale, and great pics. I always imagined a flowy, romantic dress a la a Greek goddess or woodland fairy/nymph. I always wanted calla lilies. I always wanted to get married on a beach. And I always wanted beautiful pictures to capture it all! Three (and a half given that it wasn’t a beach, but a boat on the water;)?) out of four ain’t bad, right? LOL!!

So first, my dress was a custom ivory and sand silk wedding gown designed by Arlinda McIntosh for
Sofistafunk the Skirt Company. I had no desire to spend hours in stores trying on tons of dresses. So, I figured, why not contact my designer friend Arlinda?!? I went online and started googling “Greek goddess” wedding gowns and came across this gorgeous Gladiator dress by Australian designer Anna Campell. I showed Arlinda some pics and we set about designing my look with some definitive Sofistafunk flavor thrown into the mix.

With this whole natural hair blogging thing, how I was going to wear my tresses had also become a priority! So, of course I had to reach out to my stylist Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses. Initially, I had settled on a winding braid style on straightened hair that I had been eye-balling for a year. But, when the trial of that hairstyle produced less than stellar results due to my fine, layered strands, I went back to the drawing board. I quickly identified a goddess-like curly updo as my hairstyle of choice and fell in love with it. The big bonus was that I was going to wear my hair in a natural style, not straightened, for my wedding day! My newly coined “Braid n’ Twist n’ Curl” was the perfect foundation for the style. Tameeka made a few custom, henna red colored clip-in extensions to add some dimension and contrast to the updo. Then, we used an old piece of trim that I had picked up a couple of years ago as a double headband to complete the look. The final look was totally me (and I knew Wei would approve as he likes when my hair is up and off of my face :)).

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My glowy, goddessy make-up was done by Mac artist AdjoaFierce (Instagram), who I found at the Mac in Macy’s at Rockaway Mall.

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IAN_0355DSC_0293My beauty team, who got up SUPER early to get to my hotel by 6:30 am!!
(Right: Adjoa [Stephanie]; Left: Tameeka)

Accessories are next. The shoes were probably the most time-consuming and difficult task!! So, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Wei isn’t very tall. Okay. Let’s just say it. He’s vertically challenged. And, so am I. But I usually wear sky high heels to conceal the fact that I’m only 5’1″. And, generally speaking, I could care less that I stand an inch or two taller than him while wearing my 4-5″ heels. But, I had no desire to do so in my wedding day pics :P. So, finding a pair of strappy, teal blue, 3″ or less, pretty heels was a FEAT!!! I found a shoe that I loved, but it was an old style and couldn’t find it anywhere, plus … it had a 4″ heel. So, after weeks of searching daily for hours online, hitting every store with shoes in Short Hills Mall, and contemplating the purchase of custom dyeable shoes and learning that they aren’t water-proof (running shoes on wedding day? That’s a NO!), I finally settled on finding a pair of strappy heels and using a flower shoe clip to spice them up. So, I purchased a pair of $30 teal blue, strappy Antonio Melani sandals from eBay and adorned them with gorgeous peacock colored flower shoe clips from HansHolskopf on Etsy (and she threw in a matching flower hair pin that my niece Reghan wore as my junior bridesmaid!). I completed the look with a personalized, embroidered, peacock feather, silk ivory clutch by EllenVintage on Etsy (I also got the clutches as gifts for my sisters and bestie with special messages) and “Peacock feather” earrings from La Contessa on Amazon.


shoeIMG_8344IAN_0489She implored me to let her be in my wedding as she has never gotten to be a flower girl.
Of course I had to oblige my baby girl ;).

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Now … you know … no Shelli wedding would be complete without a little Batman thrown into the mix ;). So, I special ordered a Batman keepsake and toss garter from Mary and Mary’s on Etsy.
LOL!!

IMG_8352DSC_0534Ivory rose toss bouquet made by my other bestie, Rebecca!

Royal Romance provided a standard ivory rose bouquet with the wedding package. However, as I said above, I always wanted calla lilies. So, for an extra fee, I got what I wanted. But, I supplied the peacock feathers that I acquired from a friend at work! The wedding coordinator/officiant did a wonderful job of adding them to the calla lily and eucalyptus bouquet.

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My wedding favors were cute, heart-shaped measuring spoons called “Love Beyond Measure.” Each spoon is engraved with a “loving” notation: “A pinch of joy,” “A dash of tenderness,” “A spoonful of affection,” “A heap of love.” And we “customized them with a peacock emblazoned sticker with our names and the wedding date.

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Our peacock and eucalyptus adorned jumping broom was purchased from Weddings of Design on Etsy.

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And our “Vintage” engraved monogram cake topper was a custom order from IrishEve on Etsy.

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Whew!! Wedding planning … even small wedding planning … is a lot of work!! And they weren’t kidding when they said you’ll probably spend 2x your intended budget! DANG!! LOL! Did everything go perfectly? No. There was some confusion with the check-in process, it was freezing, my nose started to run on my make-up and I had no tissues. There was no iron in the stateroom, so my sister had to use a hair dryer to try to get the wrinkles out of the bottom of my gown the best she could, but there were still some left. We couldn’t find the cake topper, but discovered it in the room with me when my sister was looking for her cell phone. I forgot to put on my Batman garter belt! There was a looongggg intercom announcement over part of the ceremony, and our officiant was stumbling over her words and at one point said “Partners in crime … uh life.” :/ LOL!!! But, at the end of the day, we didn’t break the bank, I felt like a princess, we got to celebrate this important day with our close family and friends, and we got great pics to capture it all (and as long as the pics look like everything was fabulous, that’s all that really matters, right ;)? LOL!!). So, yeah. It was worth it and I’d do it all again!!

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Join us next time for 365 Days of Fitness on a wedding day and through a 10 day honeymoon!!

(p.s. If you check out/purchase from any of the linked sites, please let them know Hairscapades sent you!! xoxo)

 
 
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Curlformers Convert!!

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Okay, so I’m gonna try to keep this quick and too the point …  you know that’s a feat for me … which is why I don’t really Tweet/Twitter!! But, I gotta get ready to head out for Man of Steel and don’t have time to go into deep detail. So, here goes.

This past Saturday, I hennaed my hair, applied mix of Sally’s GVP The Detangler, aloe vera juice and JBCO/EVOO mix to my hair. Then, I twisted it … but first I attempted to set a section of hair with a Curlformer … and I very easily did it for the first time!!!! (I guess all those YouTube tutorials finally sunk in!).

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I wore my twists down on Sunday and in an updo for work from Monday-Thursday. I have an event this weekend and decided I was going to finally give it the old college try and attempt a Curlformer set. I watched Naptural85′s Updated Curlformers Technique tutorial and MahoganyCurls Curlformers on Natural Hair: My First Impression again. Then, after work, I got to it.

My hair was still moisturized from being in a twisted updo all week, so I didn’t feel a need to re-moisturize. It was also almost perfectly sectioned and essentially detangled due to those same twists. So, the products and tools I used were very minimal.

Products
Water in a small spray bottle
ORS Lock and Twist Gel (I♥ this gel and originally purchased it b/c of the GORGEOUS flexirod set KaiRox’s achieved with it.)

Tools
Curlformers (Extra Long & Wide 40 pack [20 clockwise & 20 counter-clockwise] for hair up to 22″ long)
Hair clips
My 10 Fingers

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Process

  • First I secured all but the bottom left twists of my dry hair up with hair clips.
  • Working from the back left (nape), I separated each twist and grabbed about 1-2″ sections (usually 2-3 per twist).
  • Once I had the section I wanted to set, I would prep a pink Curlformer on the wand.
  • Then, I spritzed the section of hair with water until it was slightly damp (not soaking wet) and smoothed a nice size dollop of ORS lock and twist gel down the length making certain the hair was detangled.
  • Next, I twisted the roots of the section to make it small enough to get the hook of the wand around all of the hair.
  • Finally, I hooked the wand over the root (not too close to the scalp), pushed the curler up over the top of the wand, and pulled my hair through the curler.(If the curler twisted wrongly, I fixed it to form the correct shape.)
  • I repeated this process on the left side and then completed the right side using the orange curlers.
  • The entire process took me about 1 hour 30 minutes, which wasn’t too bad given it was my first time.
  • I can’t remember how many Curlformers I used now!! But, I think it was about 38 … and, get this … there were at least an extra 6 pink curlers in my kit!!! #WINNING

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Things I Learned

  • My hair is longer than 22″ in some sections?!?! Go figure. So, I had to pull a lot of the Curlformers down about an inch to make certain my ends were fully enclosed in the curlers.
  • I could have twisted the roots first so that the section out of the curler still had a wave to it (but, even though I didn’t do that, my roots were very smooth).
  • They make “Spiral Curls” Curlformers for super long hair up to 29″ now!! But those jokers are $73.95!! I’ll stick with pulling mine down from the root since that worked perfectly fine!! LOL!!

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The setting went very easily. I only had to start over on two sections because the hair wouldn’t slide through smoothly. I decided to set my hair only slightly damp with the hopes that it would dry overnight. So, speaking of overnight, let’s talk about sleeping in these. I followed Naptural85s suggestion and secured the front sections with hair elastic. Then, I split them down the back and laid on my back to sleep. Yeah … I’m a side, fetal position sleeper and didn’t get much sleep that way. So, finally, in the early hours, I flipped on my side, threw the curlers over the edge of the pillow and balled the corner of the pillow up under my chin to elevate my head a little. That worked a lot better for me.

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The Take Down

 The next morning (about 8 1/2 hours later), I removed the curlers and set my curls in buns for my morning workout following Naptural85′s technique for stretched curls.

  • Working from the front left first (pink curlers), I held the end of the curler near my roots and stretched the curler straight (this can be a little tricky as the Curlformers are firm and have a lot of “recoil” action, which help smooth the hair and retain their shape after repeated uses, I think).
  • Then, I squeezed each end of the curler to make it open and pulled the curler down the strand, keeping a grasp on both ends.
  • I “corrected” any curls that twisted/flipped by twirling/flipping them in the proper direction with my finger.
  • Next, I applied a little Shea Decadence Sweet Marmalade Pomade to my ends to seal the hair and add shine. (Yo. I’ve been using several items from Shea Decadence for about a month now. LOVE them and have to get you guys a full review soon as it is soooo overdue!!)
  • Repeated on next section. (I had one section that didn’t fully dry, so I just pin curled it and left it that way until I released all of my hair.)
  • Once I had two sections free, I combined the curls. (I did not clip the ends as my curls stayed together without one and I didn’t want my curls to stretch too much.)
  • I repeated until the left side was one big “twist” and then did the same on the right side.
  • Once both sides were done, I loosely wrapped and bunned them at the back of my head using hair pins.
  • Then, I tied my hair up in a satin scarf and donned a sweatband for day 117 of my #365daysoffitness (30 min. progressive incline walking on the treadmill … decided to not run to try to reduce the amount I sweat … yeah … I still sweat a lot. But, health over hair.)

So, yeah, I removed the sweatband, but left the scarf on my hair (and actually added a second thinner one around my edges to absorb more sweat) until I got to work. When I uncovered my hair, the scarf and my hair were still damp :(. But, I released my buns anyway and gently separated the curls. I left the roots alone to try to allow them to air dry.

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And, by the early afternoon, after it had long since dried, I played around with the part to get it more to my liking (meaning, I needed to create more volume at the front!).

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Final Thoughts:

So, what do I think of Curlformers? I LOVE them! They weren’t whistling dixie when they said these get the hair soooo smooth like a curling iron! I was also soooo impressed that even though I had to leave the first inch of my hair out, my roots still looked smooth and silky (until I worked out ;))!!! Though the curls looks similar to my perm rod sets, I think my hair is a lot smoother and more stretched. The application process went very smoothly for me, which was my biggest concern and why I didn’t try these things for 2 years!! The removal was also pretty easy, though I didn’t do it quickly to make certain I didn’t snag or ruin a curl. My hair didn’t get snagged or pulled out in the curlers during the application or removal process (I only removed shed hairs that I saw … no broken hairs from the curlers).

Now, the cost of Curlformers may be prohibitive for some at $50-$75 for most complete kits. But, if you can swing them, I would definitely recommend!!! Sally’s carries them on the ground, and you might be able to catch them on sale and use the 15% discount if you are a rewards member. Oh, and if your goal is to grow your hair long, I’d suggest getting the longest ones you can afford so that you don’t outgrow a shorter set and have to spend more money for longer kit. In the alternative, if you just can’t see yourself spending that much on “rollers,” I know that there is a knock-off brand called Magic Levarag. It’s sold on eBay and Amazon for at least half the price. However, that brand doesn’t have the length options that Curlformers have and I’ve read mixed reviews, so I’m not co-signing on it at all and would suggest that you do your research first.

Alright … it’s obvious I don’t know how to write a short post! I started this yesterday an hour before heading to the movies (BTW, I HATED Man of Steel) and had to finish it this morning!! Oh well … at least I’m thorough … right (humor me please ;))?!?!

To wrap this up … Curlformers get four hearts out of five (I took one off for the high price tag ;)).

♥♥♥♥

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Have you used Curlformers? What do you think of them?

Curlformers … At Last We Dance

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So … after owning a set of Curlformers for two years … I’m finally trying them for the first time. I’ve watched Naptural85 and MahoganyCurls tutorials 50 gajillion times and finally successfully and easily installed a Curlformer this past weekend. So, since I have an event to attend this weekend, I decided I’d give them a try!!

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22″ Extra Long and Wide
Too short?!?! When did my hair get longer than 22″??!?!
Shoot, when did it get to be 22″?? I thought it was 19-20″!!!

curlformers2So, I had to pull most of the curlers down about an inch from the root
to make certain my ends were fully covered.

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Hopefully my hair will dry overnight and survive my morning workout (I don’t think that I can run with these in my hair, so I may just do some incline walking instead). I’ll be back to report the results tomorrow hopefully (Man of Steel is going down tomorrow night … so I can’t make any promises) … the good, the bad or the ugly. And then I’ll share what I did, what products I used, what I’d do differently next time and what I think of the much lauded and reviewed Curlformers!!

Lata Gatas!!

EboniCurls Ebonnet Giveaway!!!

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AWWWWWWW SOOKIE SOOKIE NOW!!!! As if the 15% discount code wasn’t awesome enough … that’s right!!! Eboni is donating TWO EboniCurls 4-piece Ebonnet sets for a HAIRSCAPADES GIVEAWAY!!! This just gets better and better!!

Want your chance to win a red or chocolate Cheetah Dreams set, which includes a double-lined Ebonnet, contrast pillowcase and TWO scrunchies? Well here’s all that you have to do!!!

  1. Follow Hairscapades.com →→→→→→→→.
  2. Like EboniCurls of Facebook.
  3. Comment below to confirm when you’ve done both AND, in honor of Mother’s Day, tell us why your mom rocks and/or why you’re a rocking mom ;)!!

All subscribers, old and new, are eligible!! Just make certain to Follow, Like, and Comment as instructed above!!

A winner will be selected at random within the week following the close of the giveaway!

The deadline for entry is Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th, at 11:59 pm.

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*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random the week following the close of the giveaway. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Hairscapades.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Claiming of prizes requires an e-mail response to hairscapades@gmail.com from the winner within 5 days of being notified of winning. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

EboniCurls Ebonnet 15% Discount Code

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a discount code around here!! So, why not bring it back with one of the most popular giveaway items that I’ve every shared, the EboniCurls Ebonnet!! (I know some of you have been eagerly awaiting this. ;)). From now until Mother’s Day (11:59 pm, 5/12/13), get 15% off of all EboniDreams Ebonnets at EboniCurls.com!!!! Wondering what’s so awesome about these bonnets? Then check out my review here: EboniCurls Ebonnets Review.

Just enter coupon code HAIRSCAPADES15 at checkout (excludes S&H) to get 15% off of as many bonnets as you’d like (1 for you, 1 for sis, 1 for your bestie, 1 for mom of course!!)!! Have at it!!

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For up-to-the-minute news on restocking dates, new designs and prints, Like EboniCurls on Facebook!!

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Blensblend 100% Silk Bonnet Review

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As some of you may know, in my early natural years, I came up with the idea of wearing a half-slip as a “bonnet” to accommodate my down and out hair. I’d put the waist around my head and cinch the bottom of the slip closed with a rubberband. I showed this to you all in A Bonnet for Every Occasion, but here it is again in case you forgot or missed it ;).

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Fast forward to three or four years ago. I thought about making a real bonnet that accomplished the same thing by buying silk and/or satin fabric and creating the “funnel” with drawstring closures at both ends. Even told my bestie about it and how I thought it really fit a need in the marke. Never did anything.

So, imagine my surprise when I was perusing pics in my Instagram news feed a few months ago and saw this post by MyHairFestish.

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“My journey has always been about sharing. So it’s only fair that I share with you what I love this week. If you’re looking for great bonnet please check her out” (sic)

DANG!!!! This silk bonnet by Blensblend ($27 for extra large) is the incarnation of an idea I had several years ago, but never executed! So, of course I started asking all kinds of questions and MyHairFetish appeased my curiosity and expressed her satisfaction by creating this video review!!

via MyHairFetish

(Skip to 5:12 if you just want to see the demo and review of the bonnet :).)

Well, of course I had to get one. I love my EboniCurls Ebonnet, which is super large and helps my hair retain moisture, bit it has no “hang time.” So, if I try to wear my hair down in it, I end up with a mushed, tangled mess with flattened and crooked curls. And, a pineapple with a scarf and/or bonnet has also never worked too well for me due to my straight nape. So, I would try the pocket bonnet like My Hair Fetish demoed in the video (but that would compress my hair too much) or revert to the slip solution.

But now, I have the Blensblend silk bonnet and have been wearing it for about a month and it is working really well!! It does sometimes slip off at night, but I think it’s because I should probably tie the hidden elastic tighter. And, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

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Here is my Day 2 braid-out from yesterday after wearing the bonnet overnight.

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Final Thoughts
So yeah, I’m very pleased with my purchase! I’d give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5!!

The reason I gave it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 is because I could use one that is even longer to fit my hair now and as it continues to get longer *fingers crossed*. And, when I ordered this bonnet, the extra large was the biggest one available. But, when I checked the site last night, they have a new SPECIAL ORDER bonnet in 30 inches that you can get made custom for $33.10!! Ummmm, yeah, I think I found my birthday gift to me!!! And finally, though I think this bonnet is great, I do have a couple ideas about what could make it even better. So, maybe you’ll see Hairscapades silk bonnets for sale yet!! ;)

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Have you found a bonnet that works perfectly for your hair? Do you have different bonnets/scarves for different hairstyles?

LuluandLoie on Etsy

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So, I’m checking out the pics in the feed on my Instagram home page and see this GORGEOUS woman in this AMAZING scarf. I actually didn’t see the pic that she posted, but one someone re-posted. So, I had to find her and the scarf! Turns out that this 8th Wonder of the World was created by the Etsy shop, LuluandLoie. So, I checked it out and … OH. EM. GEE. I am in LOVE ♥ ♥ ♥. Yeah. Something from this shop is gonna have to happen. And soon. Because these scarfs are $20 off right now (down to $85 from $105). As @NicoleMelton said … #ScarfJam is on!

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Return of Straight Hair … For a Little Bit

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So, on Sunday, when I washed my hair, I decided that I wanted to lightly straighten it. You see, I  have been dying to try some of the braided styles I’ve seen, especially this flat-twisted bun I posted a while back. Now, I don’t know that my hair is thick enough to accomplish it, but nothing to it but to do it … or at least try it!

Back to wash day.  Since I was leaning towards trying a blow-out or flat-iron, I prepped my hair on Sunday.

Flat-Iron Prep

  • Pre-pooed with Aubrey GPB mixed with Vatika Oil (overnight Saturday into Sunday).
  • Shampooed with Cream and Coco Pumpkin Pie shampoo bar. (Quick Review: This was the first time that I’ve ever used a shampoo bar. I’ve been scared of them for fear of difficulty of application, dryness and tangling. But, I used this and I really liked it a lot!! It lathered quickly, my scalp felt very clean, but my hair wasn’t dried or tangled!! And, it smelled DELISH!!)
  • Finger detangled/conditioned with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
  • Deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque.
  • Cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Team Cream Rinse.
  • Gently squeezed out excess water and blotted hair with Curl Cloth.
  • Applied Roux Fermodyl Leave-in Treatment 619 (porosity correcter/detangler/moisturizer).
  • Applied Aveda Brilliant Damage Control (heat protectant).
  • Placed hair into two braids to dry and stretch.
  • Applied a teeny tiny bit of grapeseed oil to my roots and braids and tied down with a silk scarf.

I went to bed and the next morning, my braids were mostly dry, but not totally. I was surprised that they were as dry as they were given the thickness of the braids! But, anywho, ponytailed and bunned up the braids for work.

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This is the thing. I have a blow dryer at home, but no comb attachment. And, I didn’t feel like doing a tension blow-out as it took  my 2 hours the last time (see here). I actually have a flat-iron too, but it was in the trunk in my “Goodwill donations” bag. It’s one that I picked up at Sally’s a few years ago, but the floating plates always caught in my strands. No bueno. And hence why it’s in the donation bag! So, on a whim, I ran home after work, grabbed a 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon and headed to Harmon Face Values! I knew that I was probably about to drop a dime on a flat-iron, so at least I could save a little!

I stood in the aisle for a bit, compared a Chi and BaByliss online via makeupalley.com (the BaByliss won), then tried to figure out why the Nano Titanium Pro 1 1/4″ ($119) was so much more expensive than the Porcelain ($50), why there was no lowest temp on the Titanium whereas the Porcelain showed 230° and ended up walking to the register with both. Had the lady open the Titanium Pro for me and we figured out the lowest setting was 300°. So, I decided on that one and walked out with it for $102.71 (after discount and with tax). Taking a page from CurlyNikki’s book and “charging it to the game!!” (Although, I may have to comparison shop and see if I can get this joker for cheaper on Amazon!!)

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So now, it was time to go at it.

Flat-Iron Process

  • I released my braids and separated my hair into 4 sections.
  • I gently combed through the sections from tips to roots with a wide-tooth comb.
  • Applied a little more Aveda Brilliant Damage Control and grapeseed oil
  • I re-twisted each section.
  • Heated the flat-iron at the lowest setting of 300°. (Note: This iron has 5 push-button settings: 300°, 340°, 375°, 410°, 450°)
  • Working from the back left section first, I separated about 1-2 inch thin sections and passed the flat-iron through each section ONCE. I was not going for a bone-straight look. (Note: I didn’t use the chase method. Rather, I just held my hair taught as I slowly passed the iron down the length.) 
  • After I finished flat-ironing each big section, I applied a little bit of Wild Growth Hair Oil light to it and then a little of Bye Bye Parabens silicone-based “Extreme Gloss Oil.”
  • I repeated the process until I was done all four sections.

And here’s a gallery of pics as it appears that WordPress has gotten rid of the slideshow option without telling anyone :/.

shrinkage_straight_comparisonShrinkage is a BEAST!! LOL!!

I was very pleased with the BaByliss Nano Titanium Pro!! It did a good job on one pass, my hair retained a nice sheen even before applying the oil, and I didn’t have that burned hair feel or smell. I’m pleased with how my hair looks and feels … for the most part. I do need a trim (probably about 1-2″) as my ends in the back were feeling rough in some areas (left side especially … my problematic area) and I have some serious gappiness. I do have layers, but the back is looking really janky. I’m not going to cut down to the bulk of my hair as I don’t wear it straight often, curly styles blend the layers and I like to have the length to play with. But, I am going to have the length brought up a little closer to the bulk when I get my hair cut and shaped up in mid-December (yup, got my appointment with Tameeka lined up!). I’m still working towards that elusive full perimeter that I see others achieve *sigh*. I’m hoping that what I’m seeing is the residual of the breakage from lack of protein and excessive shedding that I experienced in 2010 and 2011. Given that my hair grows an average of 6″ a year (maybe only 3-4″ in the crown area … the grey there is always shorter than the grey in the front), that would make sense. So, I’m hoping that I will be able to get to full thickness in a year or two as I feel like, this year, I really have figured out all of the things that I need to have the best regimen for me!

Anywho, I went to bed in a bun last night to smooth it and create some soft waves, hopefully. Given that it’s raining, it may stay in one for the day (I swear, it rains almost without fail when I straighten my hair. I could end droughts with this “gift.”). But, I hope to try a braided bun tonight that I can share with you guys this week *fingers crossed*!!

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Okay, that’s it! Gotta go!

pressed hair

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Do you straighten your natural hair? If so, do you blow-out, flat-iron, both? What products and tools give you the best results?

Ebonnet Review, Giveaway and Black Friday Discount Code! *CLOSED*

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So, this is one of my suuuuper delinquent posts. See, what had happened was … back in August, Eboni of EboniCurls and I got to “chatting” on Facebook. I had come across her Ebonnets a few months earlier during some YouTube perusing. I think it was a review by Jess of MahoganyCurls that first piqued my interest. Then, I found this YouTube video by Eboni herself wherein she explained and demonstrated the difference between the inferior nylon satin bonnets that we find in the beauty supply stores and the premium charmeuse satin ones that she makes.

via EboniCurls 

After watching this video and realizing how deficient my 50 zillion Sally’s bonnets are, you know the PJ in me was hyperventilating!! But, when I visited Eboni’s shop to feed my habit, she was out of stock *womp womp*. So, being the AADD-suffering individual that I have become (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder for those of you who don’t know;)) , I forgot about the Ebonnets for a while. But, as luck would have it, I “ran” into Eboni on Facebook shortly thereafter. We began “chatting,” I knew her, she knew me, we were all giddy with excitement and, the next thing I know, Eboni was sending me an Ebonnet of my very own! Not only that, it was one of her newest designs and my very favorite print, LEOPARD!! YEA!!! Oh, and one more thing, we decided to collaborate on a giveaway!

Anywho, I got my bonnet immediately and planned on posting the giveaway in October. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what happened!! I had other giveaways going, I was tired, I was distracted, I was unfocused … AADD you know … and I completely let this one get by me despite the fact that I was wearing my bonnet regularly!

Then, serendipity stepped in!! Last week, CurlyNikki shared an article by NaturallyChelsea, The Real Satin Bonnet – Choosing the Right Scarf. This post does a great job of explaining the difference between a quality satin scarf and the inferior nylon satin scarves sold by beauty supply stores. The comments were even more enlightening as several ladies explained that satin is a weave technique  and a finish, not a type of fabric. Who knew?!?! (Well, a few people I guess. ;)) After seeing all of this, I knew that it was perfect timing to resurrect the Ebonnet review and the giveaway!! And, why not throw in a discount code to boot?!?!

So, here we go!!

EBONNET REVIEW

Okay, first Eboni sent me a EboniDreams Ebonnet AND a bonus scrunchie in lovely gift wrapping with a very sweet, personal and handwritten note. It was a pleasure just to receive the package!

Next are the actual EboniDreams bonnet and scrunchie. Wow! These things are so well-made. I was sent a charmeuse satin, double-lined bonnet in Golden Leopard Dreams and a scrunchie in Eco Leopard.

What is charmeuse satin you ask? Well, I’ll let Eboni explain it:

via EboniCurls on Etsy

Charmeuse is a luxury fabric made from silk with a satin finish. It has a floating appearance which drapes very well, especially for formal wear. The fabric is also extremely lightweight, and it has a glossy appearance and extremely soft texture. This fabric should be handled with care, since it is very fragile.

And why is satin superior to cotton?

Cotton may feel warm and cozy, but it is a highly absorbent material that draws moisture from our skin and hair as we sleep. We actually need the oils that are leached by cotton to keep our hair calm and our skin supple. In addition, the weave of a cotton pillowcase acts like an abrasive material, catching individual stands of hair and causing them to tangle and break. That same weave pressed against our faces at night causes our ever-less-elastic skin to crease. And like any other repeated action, those creases can eventually become permanent. A satin pillowcase, on the other hand, allows our face and head to move easily across its surface, avoiding the friction and damage caused by cotton.

So what makes Ebonnets so special?

Ebonnets are handmade with high quality Satin or double lined with Charmeuse Satin, which is made of extremely tightly bound satin threads that provides optimum retention of the hairs natural oils along with providing additional moisture on your hairs delicate strands. Charmeuse allows moisture to stay within the atmosphere of the bonnet which results in soft healthy hair!

Well, I’d have to agree. You can immediately SEE and FEEL the difference between this satin bonnet and your run-of-the-mill BSS variety one. The fabric is opaque, silky smooth and substantive. And, the double-lining is an added bonus! I don’t see any moisture/oils escaping through the Ebonnet to soil my pillowcase while I’m wearing this!

However, after learning that satin is a finish and not a fabric, I did have to ask Eboni:

What type of fabric do you use for your products?

All of my material is Charmeuse satin. Silk is natural and made from worms. I do not use silk. The Charmeuse satin that I use is man made of polyester fibers. … I’ve found that the higher the polyester count, the better it retains moisture. And I say that charmeuse satin acts like silk in what it does for our hair and that it is more durable than silk.

Makes sense to me and the proof is in the pudding! This bonnet is densely woven, silky smooth and durable. And, although I can be a night sweater (ewwww, I know :(), I didn’t find that this bonnet made me hot or sweaty, even though I wore it towards the end of August. So, though it seals in the moisture, it also seems to allow airflow so that my head can “breathe.”

Finally, the Ebonnet is massive and manages to accommodate my big, huge buns when I feel like leaving them in for bedtime. The rope drawstring enables one to “customize” the opening to fit different head sizes. The one thing is that I do have a pea-size head (who would have guessed with this eighthead, right?).  So, if I have my hair pulled back in a low bun, it tends to move around and slip forward and cover my fore … I mean eight … head. I guess this is because the drawstring closure doesn’t cling the same way as elastic.

So, to wrap this long review up, the Ebonnet is a keeper and the quality justifies the cost, IMO. Oh, and the satin scrunchie was a nice bonus! It has some serious elastic and is roomy too!

Now the moment that you’ve all been waiting for …

EBONNET GIVEAWAY*

Want your chance to win a Golden Leopard Dreams double-lined Ebonnet just like mine? Well, it couldn’t be more simple!! Just tell us how you do bedtime hair in the comments below! That’s it!!

The deadline for entry is Friday, November 30th.

And last, but not least …

EBONNET BLACK FRIDAY 20% DISCOUNT CODE

On black Friday, from 8 am to 2 pm and while supplies last, Eboni Curls’ EboniDreams Etsy shop will re-open and you can get 20% off all Zebra print items!!!!  Just enter coupon code BLACKZEBRA at checkout (excludes S&H and non-zebra print items).

For up-to-the-minute news on restocking dates, new designs and prints, Like EboniCurls on Facebook!!

Now how’s that for making up for my procrastination!!!

*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random the week following the close of the giveaway. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Hairscapades.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Claiming of prizes requires an e-mail response to hairscapades@gmail.com from the winner within 5 days of being notified of winning. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

Return of the Satin-Lined Fall Hat

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“Bye bye summer. I think I’ll miss you most of all.”

With the last day of summer here, what better time to share my most recent acquisition?!? Dottie of Threadmill (an Etsy Shop) hooked me up!! A couple of weeks ago, I asked her to make a satin-lined hat that would match my plaid cape coat.

Well, I got it in the mail yesterday!! Yea!!! Though I’m bemoaning the change of seasons, I am excited to wear my satin-lined hats, tights, boots and layers!! So, it’s all good!

Later Days!!

(p.s. Stay tuned for a Threadmill Fall Giveaway announcement next week and just in time for the cool weather;)!!

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What do you have planned for your first weekend of fall? What do you love most about the season?