Monthly Archives: September 2011

Holy Headbands Batman!!

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LOL!! So, the results are in and it was the WW Stars by a landslide with 32 votes!! The thing is, I really started to lean towards Kapow (a far second with 19 votes) over the course of this thing. So, yeah, I ordered both!!  Plus, the stars aren’t overtly superheroish and, this is Comic Con!!

I will admit this, for a minute, I wasn’t going to get the WW Stars … that joker is $35!! LOL! I didn’t realize it was that much more than the others (which are around $23)! But, I thought, that would be whack if I didn’t buy it after everyone voted:)! So, I sucked it up and ordered both this morning! Now, it would be really messed up if they don’t get here in time for the Con, which starts on October 13th!! The seller is in the UK, so international shipping is a dependency. Her info indicates it usually takes 5-10 days from shipping, but it could be up to 8 weeks! ARRGHHHH!!!

(Of course, I’ll be posting pictures modeling my new acquisitions once they arrive. I may even try the star on the lips for sh$#@ and giggles ;). Hmmm, now where to buy some gold lipstick?)

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The Rundown

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Hi guys!! I know that I’ve been a little MIA this week! It’s been super hectic and I’ve been traveling. But, it’s the end of the month and I wanted to make certain that I reminded everyone that it’s time for a GOC check-in!! I did HORRENDOUS this month and don’t believe I exercised once :(. Hurricane Irene came and I had to move a lot of items to the middle of my basement (on my exercise mats) to get them out of the line of fire … or water, as the case me be:). Never moved anything back *smh.* I had to get my homeowner’s insurance and the condo association in to check out the damage and didn’t report everything immediately. So, didn’t feel like moving stuff back and forth for them to appraise and photograph the areas. Yeah, I know, excuses, excuses … especially since I could have gone to hot yoga.

Aaaaanywho, in regard to hair, my regimen remained essentially the same. But, I did try a few new things this month and that’s what I want to focus on for my end of the month update.

ZIZYPHUS: As most of you know, this is an ayuverdic herb that I tried this for the first time about two weeks ago to restore curls lost to henna. I posted about it here if you missed it. This stuff is a frickin’ BEAST to rinse, but it WORKS!! I’ll definitely use it at least one more time (as I have enough powder left for another application:). The reason I may not use it regularly is that I don’t think that it has a cumulative effect, nor will it make hair curlier than it naturally is. However, I will research that a little more … might even call Mehandi.com if I can’t find any information online. Regardless, I probably could incorporate it monthly or bi-monthy as I believe that it acts like a clarifying shampoo. So, it removes the product build-up that can reduce the spring of curly hair and dull its appearance.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO): Yeah! You see, I’ve added EVOO to my DCs. But, this month, I tried EVOO in my pre-poo and to seal for the first time thanks to GOCer Rece of A Hair Story! I use Vatika oil for my full length, but was applying JBCO to my ends as well as they’d been feeling a little rough. However, it didn’t seem to be doing the job. Rece always speaks so highly of EVOO and after reading this post on BGLH that indicated that olive oil also penetrates slightly under the cuticle layer, I decided to use it on my ends instead. I definitely noticed a difference in the softness the wash day after making that change and will continue to use that instead of the JBCO for my pre-poo. In addition, I tried EVOO for sealing my twists too and am not hating it:)! I’m thinking of mixing JBCO with equal parts EVOO for sealing in the future. I’ll let you know how that goes.

QHEMET BIOLOGICS COCOA TREE DETANGLING GHEE: I picked this up (or, should I say, had a friend pick it up for me;) a couple of months ago after reading the repeated rave reviews of CurlyNikki. I tried it and gave my first review here. I wasn’t really impressed with it. I’ve used it a couple of times since and have had mixed results. Then, I used it again this past week on my twists and think that I’ve finally figured out when it works well for me. I tend to apply different products throughout the week. There is no rhyme or reason to this. I just grab whatever moves me in the morning when I’m re-styling for the day. When I used different things throughout the week, the Detangling Ghee would make my hair tacky and weighed down. However, this week, I only applied my modified Kimmaytube leave-in (only 1 tsp of oil) and JBCO on wash day (this past Saturday). Then, when I did twists on Sunday night, I used the Detangling Ghee to re-moisturize after setting the twists and EVOO to seal. Throughout the week, these were the only two products that I applied to my twists. My hair stayed very soft, smooth and non-tacky. So, I think this is the key to using this product for me.

So, I definitely think that I’ll be incorporating all of these things into my regimen going forward. I also need to regain focus in my life. Between the demands of work and maintaining the blog, I’ve allowed a lot of things to fall by the wayside. I know I need to compartmentalize the blog more as I have no choice with work. What I mean by this is that I need to have a certain time blocked for web surfing and working on posts for the site each day (research and writing) and not go beyond that. My house has been a complete wreck for a month and I haven’t exercised because I’ve allowed “hair” to take over every free minute of my time. I work and blog. Seriously, I can’t even focus on my shows anymore!! This is crazy to me! I was a serious TV head! Nothing interfered with me watching my cartoons or Sci-fi shows! Now, I have fifty billion episodes of Avengers, Thundercats and Alphas on the DVR waiting to be watched because I can’t seem to focus for 25 minutes straight on anything but hair sites anymore! I constantly have to pause the TV to get on the computer!! SMDH!!! I know, sad. I need to regain focus so that I can watch TV!! Anyway, I need to do a far better job with limiting the time I spend on blogs and that means focusing on doing what I need to get done instead of just lollygagging around the hair sites and YouTube and my site stats when I need to be writing. Therefore, in October, I will be getting myself back on track by making a schedule for the things that I need to accomplish. I’ll share that with you soon.

So, what new things did YOU try in September? What are you keeping and what are you discarding? What did you learn that you need to do better, if anything? Don’t forget to send your September GOC Updates and picture(s) to me at hairscapades@gmail.com!

File In: Are you OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!

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http://www.typef.com/featured-videos/signature-series/style-natural-african-american-hair-pony-tail/‎

*Jaw on the ground*

I am so late on this and most of the videos were pulled before I discovered the atrocity that appears to have been a natural hair series on TypeF, Tyra Banks beauty site. I actually submitted a post to them for consideration a few months ago at my sister’s recommendation. It was The Banana Clip: Who Knew!? post. Never heard back from them. But, they post this?!?!?! Look at the model’s face!! She goes from smiling to an expression of dawning horror … it’s that look we all get when we KNOW something horrible is happening and we are paralyzed from action! She should have stood up, ripped the brush out of his hand and whacked him across the head with it!! Or at least rapped his knuckles with it, “BAD STYLIST, BAD!!!” I know, I know, violence is never justified nor right!!! But, there is so much wrong in this video, I don’t even know where to begin!! I … I … I … just can’t! This is absolutely unbelievable!!

Have you seen this mess or any of the other videos that were posted, but since removed (Thank you CurlyNikki!!)? I have a horrible feeling that this was the least of the offense that was done to good natural hair care!!

Tools of the Trade

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Tips & Tricks Number Four

Remember the doll with the hair that “grew” from her ponytail!? Well, I was thinking that sometimes we search high and low for that magic bullet product that makes growing hair look that easy. LOL!! But, one thing that you’ll read and hear over and over again on the hair sites and YouTube is that attaining length goals isn’t about growth, it’s about retention. It’s not about products either. You see women using a wide spectrum of products with not one being the same, but they have all achieved great lengths. The common thread that I most often see amongst these women is technique. And one of the most important techniques they seem to share is that they handle their hair with tender, loving and patient care.  This includes making sure that the tools they use are as gentle to their hair as they are.

That being said, I wanted to do a post about tools that are gentle to hair, natural or otherwise.

FINGERS:  Okay, I know you guys have probably read this over and over again by now, but finger detangling hair prior to using a comb or exclusively is so beneficial. Starting with your fingers (make sure you nails are smooth and your fingers are hangnail free) enables you to remove shed hairs, snarls and knots that you would otherwise rip through with a comb in sweet oblivion to the damage potentially being done. You are able to feel those knots with your fingers in a way that you can’t with a comb and then gently ease them out with minimal to no damage. I didn’t start finger detangling until this year, but I am a convert! A comb almost never touches my hair anymore.

SEAMLESS WIDE TOOTH COMB: Although I don’t really use a comb too much anymore, they do have their place in the regimens of many. Often, they are used after finger detangling has removed a lot of the shed hair and larger, more difficult knots. A seamless comb is recommended because it will not have the ridges and edges that can snag or damage delicate strands. As you see above, I have both the Jilbere Shower Comb from Sally’s and the Ouidad Double Detangler (my SO secretly loves using the latter ;). I recently came across some wood combs at this Etsy shop, Epstone. I’ve read that wide-tooth handmade wood combs are very good for natural hair as they are seamless, super smooth and help distribute oil down the hair shaft. I’ve never tried them though, so I can’t attest to any of this! Anyone have any feedback on this one?

BOBBY, DOOBIE & HAIR PINS: Many of us use these on the regular. The important thing is to make certain that the tips are secure as raised edges can snag and damage hair. This doesn’t seem to happen with hair pins too much, but the tips of bobby and doobie pins often become ripped. For the $1.99 it costs to buy about 100 of these, it’s not worth damaging the hair to hold onto messed up bobby pins. Just trash them. Also, be careful removing these. If you feel them snagging (sometimes due to a newly accrued raised edge;), don’t rip them out of your hair. Open them as much as possible before removing.

GOODY SPIN PINS: These things are little wonders! You look at them and think, “No way will those will work for natural hair!” Anyone else ever get a round brush stuck in their hair when they were a kid?!? No? Just me? Anywhoooo (*lol*), the Spin Pins glide in and out of  a bun like a hot knife through butter if used properly. I prefer these over bobby pins to secure a bun any day of the week. You don’t need 20 and the edges don’t rip!

BANANA CLIP: This is another favorite of mine for buns, as many of you know! They are great for all kinds of updo as I seem to love to repeatedly demonstrate;)! I’ve used banana clips over and over again and usually don’t pull out one strand removing this from my hair. However, as with any tool, it’s how you use it that makes the difference. So, keep only the base of any style within the teeth of the clip and carefully use and remove it.

SATIN SCRUNCHIES: Rubber bands and elastics with metal parts are a big NO-NO. They will pull and snag hair in the removal process. The smooth surface of a satin or silk scrunchie is far more gentle on the hair. Satin scrunchies can be hard to find though. I found mine in a three pack at Walmart and stocked up on them. So, when you find them, if you wear a lot of ponytails or buns, I’d suggest buying a couple, because you’ll inevitably lose one, or two, or three. At least, I always do!

GOODY OUCHLESS ELASTICS and HEADBANDS: I don’t use the elastics often as the Spin Pins and banana clip have become my preferred tools for buns and the satin scrunchie for ponytails. But, many use these with success and the headbands appear to very good for securing the puffs or buns of those with dense/thick hair. The small black or clear plastic elastics and silicone hair bands are other options that are more gentle on the hair than rubber bands or elastics with metal parts.

GOODY COMFORT FLEX BARRETTES: These are another tool that I LOVE!! If you noticed, the unifying theme for all of these tools are smooth surfaces with no metal parts! Those metal barrettes with joints and clips would ALWAYS snag and rip out my hair. The flex barrettes create no such issue and are great for using in styles and for securing hair in sections when necessary. I often use these to secure the twists in the back of my head together to reduce the big center part when doing a TnC or just when wearing big twists out and about to allow my hair to dry.

ROUND-TEETH JAW CLIPS: I’ve found that the rounded teeth jaw clips are for more gentle on the hair and scalp than the ones with pointy teeth. I have pointy teeth clips that always seem to snarl in my hair, whereas I am able to remove the cips with round teeth with ease. The larger clips are great for securing sectioned hair out of your way when applying henna, products or styling. I find the mini clips to be nice options for making “poofs,” quick buns or other updos with smaller sections like the one pictured below that I detailed here. They would probably be a prettier option than bobby pins for securing shorter hair that doesn’t reach a bun, flat twists or side hair for partial updos.


SOFT BRISTLE BRUSH: Finally, if your hands, products and a scarf don’t do a good enough job smoothing your edges (they don’t for me!), a soft bristle brush is probably needed in your arsenal. Soft bristles are gentle on the hair and work better to distribute natural oils and product down the hair shaft. Boar bristles should be selected over hard and/or synthetic ones.

There are a couple other items in the picture far above that I’ve used with success. I don’t know the names or the brands, but found them all at local drug stores. The common theme in all, again, is that they are smooth, soft or plastic and don’t have any hard metal edges or metal joints which can snag or tear hair.* Ultimately, these are just a few of the many “New and Improved” options out there now!! And, it seems that they just keep coming. Seriously, this isn’t a Goody advertisement and I make no money off of an endorsement. But dang, the Goody folk are really on it!! LOL! They definitely seem to have an agenda to make new, innovative, quick, easy and gentle styling tools!! This means that we no longer have to be satisfied with sub-par and damaging styling and grooming devices. And, when we reduce damage, our hair remains stronger for longer and is able to retain length.

*One caveat, even the most gentle of tools can go horribly awry if not used carefully! So, remember, gentle the hands that use them too!

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What hair/styling tools do you use with success?

Dare I Say It?

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Are my twists looking … plump?!? Okay, this is just a really quick post. I just took these pics this morning and you can tell I was in a rush as you get to see the towel and robe in the picture (I usually try to eliminate the more overt indications that I’m in the bathroom, though there is no hiding the reality;). I went through my wash day rituals on Saturday, ultimately putting my hair in 6 twists using a modified Kimmaytube leave-in (only 1 tsp. of jojoba oil – no other oil) and hit the sack. I was in South Jersey for a special youth program at my childhood church, so I had to release the twists before they were fully dry the next morning. I left them essentially undisturbed so that they could finish drying. As it was humid, my hair proceeded to get larger and larger over the course of the day. If you know me, you know that I don’t mind this as I like big hair and “swelling” makes my hair look thicker (didn’t have my camera, so didn’t get any pics of my big hair, but should have some from others eventually).

3/12 UPDATE (got a couple of pics finally;):

That's my sister and her fab curls directly behind me.

This Junior Choir reunion was so much fun:). I'm 2nd row, left.

By the time I got home, I had GI-normous hair (essentially, I was in church from 11 am to 6:30 pm, except for a lunch break, and then had to drive the 2+ hours home)! I thought, “Time for some twists to control this mop.” My hair was so voluminous, I was able to do 15 plump twists!! I never do that many twists for a twist-out re-set as it wouldn’t create enough curl! But, my hair felt so thick and springy!! That zizyphus really worked!! I am sold! It’s a nightmare to get out … I was shaking it out of my hair for 3-4 days! But, I can’t argue with the results! I will say this, the ends of my twists are anorexic looking in the back (I curled three in the back with a flexirod last night as they were hanging low; have a roller on the right side twists now as you can see they are hanging too low too). Anyway, I am seriously wondering if this could be lead hair, if it’s due to regrowth after my excessive shedding last year or if it’s breakage!! I would usually be soooo tempted to cut these ends. But now, after learning of this theory, I am trying to figure out how I can test it out without straightening my hair! I think I’m going to continue to Search and Destroy and hold out on a “salon” trim until the end of our challenge.

Okay, I don’t have time to get into this right now as I need to get ready for work. But, just wanted to get a post in for the day! I’ll be busy tonight working up some other items for you this week, including a Now and Then post! If you didn’t get your pictures in to me, don’t forget! I received a few and everyone is sooooo cute!! Love it!!

With that, I’ll leave you with a few more pics. Oh! And I’m including a few random pictures of my MopTopMaven earrings for Michelle!! She asked to see these a while ago, so I took pics back in July but never got around to posting them. Then, I wore them last week with my fishtail braid, so figured might as well post the pics now. I really do love them!

Bam, Zap, Kapow!!

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Okay, okay, okay … The New York Comic Convention (NYCC) is around the corner!!! I’m so excited!! I’ve gone to it every year for the last three or four years and it’s always a great time. A while back, I did a post about getting a comic-inspired headband from this Etsy shop, Janine Basil. Well, I need to order one soon or it won’t get here in time!!! But, I need your help!! I can’t decide which one to get!!! So, POLL TIME!!! LOL!! Here are the five that I’m eyeing. Picture them with a messy, banana clip bun, maybe with the front left out and pinned back for even more messiness. Which one do you think that I should get?!?!



*I like this poll style as it is very Sin City-ish;).

CurlyNikki NYC Meet-Up: RSVP Now!!

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This is a Public Service Announcement!!!  If you are planning on attending the CurlyNikki NYC Meet-Up on October 20th, RSVP now! Space is limited! So, get yours in today at: http://www.naturallycurly.com/giveaways/enter/cn-nyc-meetup/. Hope I’ll get to see some of you there … ‘cuz I got mine in before I wrote this post*!!  LOL!!

*Special thanks to GOCer Etoile for giving a sista a heads up!!