Tag Archives: curly hair

Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

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As some of you know, I have been using a Hair Therapy Thermal Turban Heat Wrap for several years now with great success. However, a few months ago I saw posts from my curlfriends and fellow bloggers, RadiantBrownBeauty and AHairStory, about the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap. I loved the look of the cap and both Michelle and Rece had positive reviews. So, needless to say, I was intrigued.

Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to the creator of Hot Heads and Etsy shop owner, Sandra, to see if she would send me a cap to review. She graciously obliged and I got a chance to try out my new cap this past weekend.

But first, the deets.

via Hot Head:

The Hot Head heat cap is filled with renewable flax seed which will generate heat when warmed in the microwave. It’s reusable and is the most environmentally friendly way to deep condition your hair with heat at home. There is no need to plug it into an outlet or use batteries to power the heat. With a few minutes in the microwave, Hot Head will produce up to 30-45 minutes of gentle moist heat. The fact that there are no cords and no plugs means that you are free to move about while deep conditioning your hair.

Hot Head is available in multiple styles and is also reversible so that your look can fit your mood. When using Hot Head you can feel good about the way you look while conditioning your hair, and dramatically improve the results of your hair treatment.

MY REVIEW

As I said above, I used the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap this weekend. Actually, I used it twice. Because, after 3 weeks of not washing this mane (pregnancy fatigue definitely has me doing the least when it comes to hair), my strands desperately needed some TLC. Therefore, I used it for a pre-poo treatment, as well as for deep conditioning after I washed my hair. What did I think overall and how does it compare to the Thermal Turban Wrap?

Packaging: No frills and functional. As this is a smaller Etsy company, that is totally fine with me. I prefer not to spend my money on expensive packaging and cheap ingredients, though I know some appreciate “shelf appeal.” The most important thing was that the cap was accompanied with detailed and simple instructions (plastic caps sold separately). THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap came packaged in a large, nice box that I still use to store it. It also included two plastic caps some free hair product samples. 

Appearance: I love that the cap is reversible and has a solid terry side and a patterned fabric one. I’m all about animal prints and zebra is in my top three (after cheetah/leopard and giraffe). The cap comes in a variety of prints and colors, so there’s something for everyone! I also like the “quilting” that looks like a big daisy! Very cute! THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is made with terry, non-reversible, and only comes in two colors, brown and white. The cap that I have has a tail at the back that you twist and secure to the front with velcro. But, there seem to be other versions that secure in different locations.

Construction/Durability: As I’ve only used the cap one day, I can’t speak to the long-term durability. However, it looks very well-constructed and strong. It is actually a little weighty, in a good way, because of the flax seeds. The fabric on the patterned side appears of good, strong quality and leads me to believe that it will not rip anytime soon. Terry can start to bead, get ratty, and pick up lint, especially with a thicker pile. But, I think that as long as I keep it stored away from other fabrics, it’ll likely be fine. The instructions on the site indicate that a lint brush can be used to remove excess lint, so that is simple enough. And, I also have one of those fabric “defuzzers” that I can use if it becomes too beady. So, not too worried about that. As to cleaning, I haven’t had to do that yet, obviously. But, the site says to just spot clean with warm water and a mild detergent. Seems simple enough. Finally, again, I can’t speak to long-term use of the cap, but I would expect that flax seeds truly are a sustainable source of heat and the cap will heat effectively for years to come. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: I have had the cap for almost 4 years and, though the heat packs that insert into it seem to have deflated somewhat, it still works effectively. I was initially concerned that the heat packs might burst because they make a popping sound when heated, but to date they have not! The cap is made of a short pile terry, so it really hasn’t attracted much lint nor beaded in an appreciable way. And, though I use it to henna, I have done minimal spot cleaning. But, because the gel packs can be removed, the wrap can be thrown in the wash on the gentle cycle and air dried.

Content: Right off the jump I loved the idea that the Hot Head Heat Cap works via a sustainable and natural heat source. I don’t follow a strictly organic/natural lifestyle. However, I do like to be conscious of the products I use and the foods that I eat. Therefore, I try to incorporate organic and all-natural products to the extent that I can find them conveniently and affordably. This allows me to reduce my exposure to products formulated or treated with artificial or potentially harmful chemicals. So, the fact that the Hot Head uses flax seeds as the heat source is awesome to me! (Is there no limit to the wonders of flax seeds?!?!) THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: Gel packs are the heat source for this cap. I couldn’t tell you what’s in them, but I’m 99.9% sure that it is not natural and is some type of artificial chemical.

Ease of Use: Using this cap was as simple as throwing it in my microwave (with a rotating tray) for one minute on one side, flipping it inside out and microwaving for another minute. Then, I just donned a plastic cap prior to putting on the Hot Head Cap. If your microwave does not have a rotating tray, the instructions do indicate that it should be rotated at the 30 second mark on each side. I was concerned that the cap might be too small to fit all of my hair, due to my length, not thickness. But, I had no problem at all. Of course, I love that I can be mobile with this cap and do stuff around the house while DC’ing. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap only takes 45 seconds to heat and, aside from the initial challenge of getting the gel packs into the wrap and getting it to lay flat, it is very easy to heat. As to putting it on, it is a little trickier to get it tight enough and secure the velcro in the right place. But, it is still pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I also have no problem fitting all of my hair under it. And again, since the wrap is cordless, my movements are not limited while I’m DC’ing.

hothead3After heating

Effectiveness: I found that the cap reached an appropriate temperature (not too hot, nor too cool) following the instructions. You could see the “moist” heat it generated as the cap became slightly damp in some areas after microwaving it. I also found that it stayed warm (not hot) for about 45 minutes, which is what I would have expected. The cap felt like it warmed evenly in the flax seed “pockets.” However, I could feel that the areas without the flax seeds were cooler. As the heat is still “contained” to the head by the cap, I don’t know if that would make one part of the hair more conditioned than the other. However, I did want to note that. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap heats evenly, but it can get very hot. So the instructions indicate that it should be left to cool for 30 seconds prior to using it. I find that my cap stays hot to warm for 45 minutes to an hour and the heat feels uniform over my head. I usually heat it 2-3 times for a henna treatment, with consistent results. 

Pricing: The Hot Head Cap is $29.95 plus $6.50 USD shipping (plastic caps sold separately). So, it’s not cheap, but it’s not crazy expensive either. I am definitely a frugal person and won’t give up my money without some thought. However, given that I tend to deep condition with heat weekly and henna with heat every couple of months, the mileage I will put on this heat cap would definitely justify the cost (reminder: this cap was gifted though).  THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is $21.95 on CurlMart.com, but I paid $16.47 for it because I had a 25% discount code at the time. As I write this, the cap is not available there though. It is available on DermStore.com for $29.99 with free shipping. It seems like it can also be found on eBay, Amazon, HairEnvy, and a few other sites for prices in the the $27-$32 range. Again, for me, the price is worth it because of how frequently I use the wrap.

Conclusions: I LOVE the Hot Head Heat Cap. In most ways, it is very comparable to the Thermal Turban Wrap. The quicker heat time and more uniform heat distribution of the Wrap are bonuses for it. However, the wider variety of patterns/colors, reversibility, simplicity of wearing, and, most importantly, the use of flax seeds as a natural and sustainable heat source, gives the Hot Head Cap the leg up in my opinion. So, I’ll definitely be using the Hot Head Cap going forward and will update you guys on whether it holds up for the long haul!

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 Have you tried the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap? If so, how do you like it?

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Quick Tip: Wig Caps

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This is just a quick little tip that I’ve been meaning to share for a while, which I just posted on my FB and IG pages last night. As some of you may know, I have been using hairnets to tie down my crown at night when I’ve set my hair wet/damp and need it to dry overnight. The hairnet allows for far more airflow than a satin/silk scarf so that the area that stays wet the longest will dry more quickly, while still keeping the hair flat. I sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce friction overnight.

Well, a couple of months ago, I picked up a couple mesh wig caps because I was sent a wig to trial. The wig didn’t fit me well, so it never saw the light of day and I ended up gifting it to a friend. But, I found a great use for the wig caps! I now use them instead of a hairnet. The wig caps are a lot easier to put on (tying the hairnet used to be a PAIN)) than the hairnet and smooth from my hair from temples to crown, to nape. I also like to wear them under satin-lined hats to keep my hair smooth!

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Hope that helps!!

wigcap5All dry!

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What “tricks” do you use when you want your hair to dry overnight?

The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls

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by Dani Stolich

“The Curl Whisperer” Empowers Brooklyn Women With New Book!
“The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” Makes an Appearance at Brooklyn’s Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II”

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Natural hair expert Tameeka McNeil-Johnson a/k/a “The Curl Whisperer” spoke to a sold-out crowd and demonstrated her original live workshop “Tameeka’s Transformations” at “The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II” on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The expo was held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The DUMBO Loft, located at 155 Water Street, in Brooklyn, NY. Tameeka’s feature appearance at the expo is part of an ongoing series of live events to celebrate the release of and promote Tameeka’s new book, “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” (Little Black Book Publishing Company). The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II was organized by blogger/personality ToiaB of http://www.Luv2BNatural.com and sponsored by CURLS™ and EDEN BodyWorks™.

Attendees enjoyed a live Wash’n’Go hair demonstration by Tameeka along with free one-on-one consultations from Tameeka during the entire event. Always gracious and attentive to her supporters, Tameeka even demonstrated more complimentary Wash’n’Go demonstrations at her vendor table where guests were able to purchase her new book and Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions products. Tameeka’s new “Jaded Rewards” promotional offer was debuted at the event, offering 10% off of any services for brand new customers. In addition to her live workshop, Tameeka styled the hair of all seven female models in Sofistafunk The Original Skirt Company’s live mini-fashion show. Models’ hairstyles ranged from natural up-dos and twists to colorful Wash’n’Go styles that complimented the vintage, ladylike and bohemian style of Sofistafunk’s designs.

This live tutorial workshop is a sought-after specialty of Tameeka’s and is part of her traveling live hair workshop, “Tameeka’s Transformations.” From 2013 and 2014, “Tameeka’s Transformations” has been featured as the opening act of “Supernatural: The Play” starring actress Kim Coles, written and produced by the team of Candace O. Kelley, Gilda Rogers and Audrey Kelley. Candace O. Kelley, founder of Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions, is also co-author of “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls.” During her signature live demonstrations, Tameeka explains and shows every step from start to finish, including product recommendations and time-saving tips to fit any woman’s lifestyle and budget.

To learn about upcoming tour dates and Tameeka McNeil-Johnson’s work, visit www.jadedtresses.com.

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Natural Hair Warrior – CANCELLED

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NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

CANCELLED

JULY 10, 2014 UPDATE: The event scheduled for August 2014 has been cancelled. A future date will be announced. Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for more details!!

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A couple of weekends ago, I went to my 20 year college reunion. One night, I ended up hanging out with my curlfriend Scarlett of Wonder Curl and her friend Rica of  Boston Naturals. Well, Scarlett, Wei, and I started talking about the Rugged Maniac that we did a few years ago. Scarlett then tells us how Rica is doing a similar event in Boston called the Natural Hair Warrior with a yoga class, obstacle course race, and a swag bag of natural hair goodies for the participants. Of course she told us that that we should totally do it.

Now, the thing is, I’ve been on my C game with my fitness routine the last few months, doing the least while still doing something. As to my diet, I’d been bringing my F game to that (as in, I get a big, fat F), eating anything and everything that I wanted (y’all know about my love of all things buttercream). However, after learning about the NHW, getting fed up with the 20 pounds I have put on since my wedding in December, and not working out one day for the first time in almost a year and a half,  I decided to get back on my A game. I dusted off my C25K plan and my treadmill and started interval running 3 days a week. On the days I run, I do 10-20 minutes of yoga flexibility, on the days I don’t run, I’m doing 30-45 minute Vinyasa Flow yoga practices because #365daysofyoga is still going strong despite that one missed day. And, I have to say this, up until this week, I’ve been doing yoga exclusively since March, and I can tell it has kept my body tighter, stronger, and fitter, despite the weight gain, because I had no problem running again.

So, all that being said, just popping on here quickly to let y’all know that I fell off the wagon a little, but I’m getting back on and getting ready for ….

NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

AUGUST 23, 2014

11:30AM – 4:00PM

Boston, MA

(Get your early bird tickets at half the price until July 12th!!) 

Now that’s a natural hair meet-up with a twist!! Who’s with me?!?!

Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for details and tickets!!

Hairscapades 10K Followers EboniCurls Giveaway Winners!!

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The winners of the EboniCurls sets are …

EBonnet & Pillowcase:

@naturallychar

and

Hooded Scarf & 2 Scrunchies:

@shecray_z

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Congrats ladies! To claim your prize, shoot the email you used to subscribe to the blog and your mailing addresses to me at hairscapades@gmail.com within the next 5 days and EboniCurls.com will ship your Golden Leopard set post haste!!

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Heatless Curls on Flat-Ironed Natural Hair

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pincurls11 Just coming on here very quickly (well, not really, because I spent two hours putting filters on these iPhone pics, emailing them to myself, saving them, renaming them, uploading them … while “multi-tasking” and watching Duck Dynasty! LOL!) to share how I got these pretty curls, with no additional heat, on my 2 week old flat-ironed hair (straight hair maintenance post coming soon!). Wow … run-on sentence much?

Anyyyyyyyyywho … after debating between using flexi-rod or pin-curls to get some bouncy, heatless curls … I decided on the pin curls, because they wouldn’t disturb my sleep!! I remembered that Chime (aka HairCrush) had done a pin-curl video that I watched a couple of years ago. So, I pulled it up to refresh my memory on her technique.  

via HairCrush

Now, obviously, my process had to be a bit different as my hair  was straightened and I would be doing a “dry” set. Also, that “scrubbing” of product into her ends that Chime does? Yeah, her hair is obviously of the GANGSTA variety as my ends would come off in my hands and curse me out if I did that. So, I skipped that part.

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HEATLESS PIN-CURLS 

Products/Tools:

  • DevaCurl Set It Free
  • MetaGrip Premium Roller Pins (check out this post to learn why this brand of hair pins is AWESOMETASTIC!)
  • Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter
  • Shea Moisture (SM) Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir
  • 2 satin scarves (1 square; 1 oblong)

Set Process:

  • Applied a little Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to my edges and tied down with the small square silk scarf.
  • Separated about 1″ wide sections of hair.
  • Pumped 2-3 spritzes of Set It Free into palm of hand and smoothed down section of hair. (I decided on Set It Free because I knew that it would make my hair damp enough to set the curls a little. But, because it has a creamy consistency, it wouldn’t make my hair so wet that it would revert. I often use it on my ends before rolling them for braid or twist and curls.) 
  • Rolled the 1″ section of hair around TWO fingers (my forefinger and middle finger), twisting the section about a 1/2 a turn at the same time I made each revolution around my fingers.
  • Secured pin-curl flat against my head with a MetaGrip Roller Pin.
  • Repeated process over my entire head (I worked from the front to the back on each side of my head).
  • Tied pin-curls down with my favorite EboniCurls satin scarf and hit the sack for a comfortable night’s sleep ;).

From this …

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To this …

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Take Down:

The next morning:

  • Removed the roller pins.
  • Applied a little SM Raw She Elixir to my hands and unraveled the dry pin-curls.
  • Separated the curls and used a wide-tooth comb to lift the roots to add some fullness.

To this …

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(Check out my IG post here if you want to see video of how the curls dropped to waves by the end of the day.)

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What is your favorite heatless curls technique?

Trimming Natural Hair and Length Retention

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I straightened my hair about two weeks ago (see that post here). Although I “search and destroy” regularly, my ends were desperately in need of a trim as it had been 10 months since my last professional one. So, the Monday morning after straightening my hair, I reached out to my stylist Tameeka (aka Jaded Tresses) to see if she would be in her NJ location that night. I was hoping that she might be able to slip me in between her other appointments.

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Well, it turned out that it was her son’s birthday and she wasn’t working that night. I was totally bummed, but understood. However, later that day, Tameeka texted me that she was going to Sam’s Club in Edison and couldn’t come to NJ in good conscious without trying to hook me up.  So, she asked if I could meet her at the salon later! Y’all … I was on YouTube trying to figure out how to self-trim when I got the text (and, she suspected that is what I would do)!! LOL!! I was ecstatic that I wouldn’t have to take on that task myself!!

So, I met Tameeka at the salon in South Orange, NJ, where she usually works Monday nights. And, in like 5 minutes flat, she cleaned up my ends and made me a very happy lady.

Left: Prior to trim; Right: After trim

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My hair felt sooooo much better after that trim!!  The thing that I love about Tameeka is that she really listens, understands, and respects my length goals and that when I say that all I want is a small trim, that is what she does. I’m sure other stylist would have tried to chop several inches off of my hair due to the thinner perimeter and would claim that my ends are not healthy, but that has NEVER been an issue with Tameeka. She never says, “Oh, you should take more off” or “your ends are unhealthy” or “It would look better like … .” No, she respects that I know MY hair and really evaluates the condition, and not just the aesthetics, of hair to determine what it needs. And, she has never taken off more than an inch when I have requested a trim only. A non-scissor happy stylist? That’s priceless for me y’all.

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TRIMMING NATURAL HAIR

Anywho, since we’re talking about trimming, I figured I’d take this opportunity to discuss my thoughts on a couple of questions that I’ve seen related to trimming natural hair and trimming in general.

1.  Do naturals need a blunt perimeter/even cut/ends?

In my opinion, if you wear your hair in a curly state the majority of the time, no. I don’t trim, cut my hair to keep my ends even. I trim to eliminate damaged ends that are excessively weathered, knotted and/or split. I do this with regular search and destroy (S&D) missions (usually on wash day) and a professional trim every 6-12 months. I trim in this way because, if I don’t, the damaged ends will inevitably cause collateral damage (i.e. more splits, knots, and weathering), because the “bad” hair snags on healthy adjacent strands and causes friction to the cuticle.

Another reason I don’t worry about a totally blunt/even perimeter is because hair tends to grow at different rates. The front and lower back half of my hair grow a lot faster than my crown. So, I accept that my hair does not grow out evenly or into a blunt shape. What I do try to do is keep the longest layer not too much longer than my shorter crown. When I get trims, I ask Tameeka to trim more off of the longest layer and less off of the shorter layers, to gradually thicken my perimeter. Since I wear my hair in updos and twist or braid and curls the vast majority of the time, my irregular curl pattern and length differences are disguised.

2.  Does trimming the hair stunt or encourage growth?

It does neither. Hair grows from the scalp and is dead the minute it “sprouts” from the scalp. Trimming eliminates weathered, thinned, split and knotted ends. It makes the hair appear healthier, neater, and more aesthetically pleasing to some. It helps reduce and prevent the continuous cycle of splits and breakage. However, it doesn’t encourage growth. Some may call it semantics. However, I want to state for the record that what trimming actually does is help prevent continued breakage, which impacts length retention and can make it seem like the hair is not growing. By trimming damaged ends, the hair will be better able to retain the length that grows, which some see as “encouraging growth.”

That being said, if you constantly trim and hair grows at an average of 1/2 an inch a month, you may trim off all or most of the growth, which will make it seem as if your hair isn’t growing. For example, if your hairs grows an average of a 1/2″ a month, and you get a 1″ trim every 3 months, you are only retaining a 1/2″ of growth instead of 1-1/2″. If your ends are healthy and well-maintained, that is totally unnecessary. This is why some may think that trimming stunts growth. But again, it’s not the growth, it’s the retention that is being impacted by trimming.

So, in conclusion, trimming (or not trimming) impacts length retention, not growth, depending on how it is used. And that’s all I have to say about that.

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How do you trim? How often do you trim?