Daily Archives: September 20, 2011

Icela’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 20 words or less.
Hi, I’m Icela. I’m a sister, daughter, aunt, girlfriend, Filmmaker, Blogger, soon to be Personal Trainer and Natural Hair obssessed :).

How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since 2008, which is when I got my last relaxer.  Besides for HATING the idea of blowing hours at a salon to get my hair done, I kicked the creamy crack because I just didn’t like the condition of my hair. It was very thin and lifeless. On top of that, the hair around my temple was thinning, which made ponytails and buns a thing of the past. Plus, I always loved BIG HAIR. When you put all that together, Natural Hair seemed like the obvious way to go.

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned with braids and weave, then chopped off the remaining relaxed ends.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?
I was NEVER good at styling my own hair. My mother cared for my hair until I got it relaxed in High School. When it was relaxed, I’d wrap it at night and comb it out. When I transitioned, I had braids, then weave … see a pattern here? I’m not the type to sit infront of a mirror and come up with a style on my own.

How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Thank the heavenly father for YOUTUBE!!! I’ve learned so much about styling my own hair as a result. I still can’t do flat twist to save my life . . . but I’m learning! Because of YOUTUBE, learning to style my hair is actually fun. Also, if I’m ever in a pinch, I can always depend on one of my trusty wigs :).

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
Versatility and Individuality! Styling options are plentiful and I LOVE being different and standing out in a crowd. My hair helps me do that.

What is your current regimen?
I keep it pretty simple. I henna monthly, wash weekly with Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo, Detangle with Giovanni Deeper Moisture Conditioner, DC with Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose, final cold rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar, use Kimmaytube’s Leave-In Conditioner and seal moisture with Qhemet Biologic’s Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. I may rinse or co-wash my hair in between shapoos with Suave’s Coconut Moisture Conditioner.

Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
The steps have remained the same but the products have changed.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I LOVE my Denman Brush! It detangles my hair marvelously! I also ALWAYS have to have a batch of KimmayTube’s Leave-In made for whenever I have to rinse or co-wash my hair.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
I workout often so I stick to my trusted puff most days. When I go out on the weekends, I cornrow my hair and sport my wig.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I actually haven’t cut my hair at all. My ends don’t look like they need it. However, through Hairscapade’s GOC, I plan to incorporate trims every few weeks.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Since going Natural, I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin.  In the beginning, when I was adjusting to my own hair, I had no idea what I was doing and relied on my wigs to get me through. Now, it’s not completely the same. Yes, I still wear my wigs, but it’s not everyday, all day, like before. My wigs have now been relegated to the occassional outing when I’m feeling lazy.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Dominique of All Things O’Natural. I absolutley love this woman’s hair. We basically have the same type of hair, so I’m constantly on her blog for hair care tips. And, of course, Kim Love of Kimmaytube!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?

Hairscapades; All Things O’Natural; Kim Love ~ Kimmaytube; Ms. Vaughn (You Tube); Meechy Monroe (YouTube & blog); The Golden Sparkle (Youtube & Blog); Curly Nikki; Mop Top Maven

Where can we find you online?
www.shapelyalterations.com ~ my natural hair/fashion/nutrition/weight loss blog
Fotki: http://members.fotki.com/BronxNaturalGal76/about/

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
PATIENCE:  You’re going to need ALOT of it when starting to become reacquainted with your natural hair.  Even more if you’re transitioning and having to deal with 2 completely different types of textures.
PRACTICE:  This is the only way to truly master what works for your hair.
PERSISTENCE:  Mastering the 2 previous acts will help you get the hair you WANT.  Action is what gets you results!

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Great advice Icela and you are working that flower and twist-out in the first pic! Oh, and I love Dominque’s hair too!! It’s gorgeous!

Don’t forget to check out Icela’s journey as we Grow Out! First Wave baby!! 

Zizyphus – Greek Myth or Curl Savior?

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And the preliminary results are in … Zizyphus may be a keeper! As many of you know, I ordered some zizyphus ($7.50 for 100g) a couple of weeks ago after Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did this post about her experience with it. When she contacted Mehandi.com to inquire about amla for curl restoration, they recommended this ayuverdic powder as a better alternative, with fewer incidents of irritation. In the past, I had used amla alone and mixed with henna in an effort to preserve my curls. However, my scalp was NOT having it and I discontinued using it. That is, I stopped until I decided to do a little experiment on my ends a few weeks ago, which I discussed here and here. As I kept the amla far from my scalp, I didn’t have any problems with irritation. However, I also couldn’t see much of a difference. After Michelle’s post, I was interested in seeing if zizyphus would perform better.

Mixing
Okay, first let’s discuss the mixing and application process. I mixed about 50g of the 100g bag in a plastic bowl with about a cup of filtered water to a yogurt consistency. Zizyphus is green and grassy smelling and was like melted marshmallow in texture when water was added. The water also increased the volume of the powder drastically. It really absorbed and swelled, almost “bubbling” as mixed (I probably could have used less than half of the bag). Now, this is where I had to make a decision. The online directions indicated that the mix should sit for 2 hours, whereas the directions taped to the bag implied the mix could be applied to hair immediately. Go figure! Anywho, I decided to go with the online instructions. So, I left the zizyphus to “marinate” while I ran to pick up a pair of fierce, peep-toe wedge booties that I had put on hold the prior day.

Applying
After returning home, I got around to applying the zizyphus to my hair, which was saturated with a Vatika oil and EVOO pre-poo and was thoroughly detangled. I had done some research on the powder and one recurring complaint was that it resulted in extremely dry hair. I always read reviews that indicate this with a critical eye. It often seems to me that many with this complaint often do not regularly apply moisturizing deep conditioners after drying ayuverdic hair treatments. Because I wanted to pre-poo anyway, I thought the oils would provide a buffer for the potentially drying effects of the treatment as would a post treatment moisturizing DC. The mix was gushy and almost slime-like, but in that is was viscous and not muddy or drippy in texture. It kind of “glooped” as I squished it  into my hair. My hair was in six twists and I untwisted each section one by one, squished the zizyphus through, ensuring that my hair was thoroughly coated and then loosely re-twisted each section. I applied the zizyphus to the entire length of my hair except for the first 2 inches or so of roots. Then, I donned a plastic baggie and waited.

Rinsing
About an hour or so later, I hit the bathroom to rinse the stuff out. Yeah … what the frick?!?! Michelle was NOT joking when she said this gook is a mother to get out of your hair. I have little to no problems rinsing henna. With this, I used hot water (as instructed) via the faucet in the bathtub. And I rinsed. And I rinsed. And I added some Aussie Moist and rinsed and rinsed some more. I will say this, as I rinsed the treatment, my hair felt very heavy and thick in a good way. It didn’t feel dry at all. After a while, I gave up on getting it all out and applied my DC as I had found this old blog post that indicated that the last of the treatment seemed to be removed by the conditioner. Michelle also indicated that she was able to work the residual mix from her hair when she applied a styling cream to do twists.

Styling
So, after DCing for an hour, I rinsed using my normal technique, blotted dry, applied some DevaCare One Conditioner and twisted my hair into six twists. I could still see little flakes of the zizyphus all throughout my hair. But, it was past midnight and I was … put a fork in her … done. So, I hit the sack with my satin sock bonnet, twigs, grit and all.

I wore the twists to work on Monday so that my hair could continue to dry, eyeing the flakes and hoping no one would be all up in my grill close enough to see them ;). I secured the twists with a couple of Goody Comfort Flex barrettes as pictured above. At lunch time, I applied some JBCO to the bottom couple of inches of the twists to seal (yeah, I carry a little repurposed container of JBCO in my purse … don’t judge! *lol*). I noticed then that my twists were very plump and springy. Hmmm, the prior night, I was thinking that zizyphus might be a wrap simply for the hassle it presented when rinsing. However, now that my hair was mostly dry, I was seeing some of the shrinkage that I have so desperately sought since henna began loosening my curls last year! And, the little flakes seemed to be easily dislodged with a few flicks of the finger. My hair also felt very soft, fluffy and moisturized (I will say that when I use DevaCare One instead of the Kimmaytube leave-in, I get a fluffier, more voluminous set … pH balance and all that jazz ;)).

As I type this, my hair is still in twists and I suspect that I’ll just be pinning them up for work on Wednesday. I’ll take pics of the twist release later this week since, yup … you guessed it, I got my new camera!!

Well that’s it for this loooooong, detailed review. What do you think? Do my twists look more plump and “shrinky” than normal? I think they do. The shine in these pics also seems ridic! But, I think that is just the new camera as I didn’t notice that much of a difference in the mirror;).

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Have you experienced a loss of curl due to henna, heat or something else and want your curls back? Have you ever tried Zizyphus? Would you try it? Would love to see what type of results others are having with this ayuverdic treatment!

Okay, if you didn’t get my title for this post;) , if was referencing Sisyphus who was the king in Greek mythology who was condemned to perpetually push a massive rock up a mountain every day only for it to roll back down, forcing him to push it up again.

We’re Talking Shower Caps

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I have been meaning to do a post about the hunt for a good shower cap for quite some time now. Then, I get home and Ky (Fifth Wave GOCer) had e-mailed me to share a post from her site on that very topic!

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THEY’RE HERE 

by Ky of Meh an Exercise in Caring aka Hair Today Healthy Hair Tomorrow

The longer my hair gets the harder it is for it to fit in a shower cap. Lately I’ve given up and moved on to plastic bags. Still, I wanted a reusable option that looked less ridiculous. After some dedicated googling, I found them. They’re called Celestial Crowns and they are BIG. Here are the dimensions from the site:

DIMENSIONS: Mini Crowns are approx 12 inches diameter/Large Crowns approx 16 in. diameter/ Extra Large Crowns approx 20 in. diameter (about the size of an XL pizza pie), when compared
to a regular shower cap which is approx. 8-10 inches in diameter.

The minis would have been roomy enough, But I ordered larges because, if this challenge is successful, I’ll need the extra room:). I ordered one in maroon (for henna) and one in black (for regular conditioning), but there are  other colors and patterns available.

*Here’s* the link to the shop. Enter code “ROYALTY” at checkout for 10% off before shipping.

Margie (the owner I presume) was very nice and shipped the caps promptly. It’s standard shipping, so delivery should take about a week.

As for looking less ridiculous, I’m not sure. I kinda look like toad from Super Mario Bros.

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LOL!!  That’s great!  Thanks so much for sharing Ky!! That’s some good research there!!

Though size must be considered, my struggle with shower caps has always been trying to find one that REALLY seals out steam and water! In the past, my hair would *POOF* at the slightest hint of humidity. And, maybe I just don’t shower right, but my edges ALWAYS seem to get wet, even when I tie a scarf around them or wear a satin bonnet, don one or two plastic baggies and THEN add the shower cap *sigh.* However, I’ve had the best luck with this $6.95 Betty Dain shower cap (also available in another print), which I first saw on Amazon in my Google search for “the best shower cap,” but then found at my local Sally’s ($6.59 with a Club Card!).  

It’s big, it’s roomy and it has two rows of elastic! That is what I think makes it work better for me than other shower caps. I don’t have a problem with steam anymore. But, my edges still tend to get wet if I’m not careful to ensure that I don’t get my face and neck under the shower stream.

Have you tried either of these shower caps? What do you think? Found something that works even better and does everything except take out the trash?! Please share, because the search for the Holy Hair Grail doesn’t stop with products ;)! 

just because.