Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

October GOC Update: Adrienne

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October, my hair was mostly twisted up and covered and that’s probably how the rest of winter is going to go, with the exception of maybe wearing a wig from time to time (I just bought my first one … not sure if I’ll have the guts to wear it). I’ve been super hair lazy in the sense that I don’t really want to do any fancy styling, plus it is cold out so I don’t want to wear my hair out. I’ve actually fallen in love with chunky hats lately and I even invested in a few Threadmill hats (satin-lined of course … can’t wait to go home tonight because I think they arrived in the mail)! Over my twists, I just toss on a satin bonnet, followed by the beanie and it’s been instant styling. Every night I continue to moisturize and seal.

One new product I’ve incorporated into my regimen is the Terressentials Mud Wash. I love this stuff! Dentangling has never been better and my hair always feels great after using it. I haven’t used a real conditioner all month, just homemade deep conditioners once a week, followed by my aloe vera juice and water spritz and sealing with whatever oil I have on hand (shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, baby oil, etc). Sometimes I will use my Karen Body Beauty Sweet Ambrosia as a leave-in, but probably only once a week, if that. Mostly, it’s just my spritz. Since my hair feels pretty good, I’ll keep this up for now. I know my hair is growing  and I’m back to where I was before my cut back in September, so forward I go!

As for fitness, October was hit or miss. One week I’d make it to the gym five times, another it would only be twice. I’m not too worried about it because I’ve been eating well and drinking water, and I’ve lost only about two pounds … but it’s something! I’d like to say that I’m going to be able to work out more this month, but I just picked up a second job, putting me at 60 hours a week and awkward work hours. And honestly, I’m not sure when I’ll have the time Monday through Friday … but, I’ll figure something out. The next few months will be a challenge exercise wise, but at least my hair won’t suffer for it!

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Don’t worry guys. I already told Adrienne that we’re going to need to be seeing her Threadmill haul!!

Okay, my inner PJ is acting up again ladies!! Who else has tried/uses the Terressential Mud Mask? Which one(s)? What do you think? I’ve been hearing good things about it for a while now and I know that Naptural85 swears by it. But, I’ve also read a couple of negative reviews too. So, what’s the deal-io?? Inquiring minds (mine ;)!) want to know!!

(Adrienne, we might need a full review from you on this one!)

Newly Natural: Hope’s HairStory

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Hope shares her journey: 20 months and counting …

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Since high school, the state of my hair could make or break my day. That sentiment carried on through college and after, unfortunately. I was fortunate (financially speaking) to be able to get my hair done on a weekly or bimonthly basis. Where I live, the weather conditions lean toward extremely humid and hot most of the time and I did not like having to fool with my hair. I paid someone else to do it.

Then there was the career change 11 years ago. I left the corporate 8 to 5 to become a full-time personal trainer. I went from being in a recycled air-conditioned office to a big box, sweaty, air-conditioned workout facility. I started working out more and on went the ponytails and occasional weave. I still was getting my hair done, just not as often, say every eight weeks or so for my usual perm.

Exactly 22 months ago I had had enough! I started thinking about all the money I had spent on my hair over the years, how all of that hair was in a trash dump somewhere. I had nothing (really) to show for all that money I had spent. It made me sick to think about it. So, I started researching online for steps on transitioning to natural hair. OMG! What a treasure trove of information! In a matter of a few months, I had decided to make the leap. I had my last re-touch applied in February of 2010 and that was because I had committed to a photo shoot.

So my transition period lasted exactly 10 months. The day after Christmas 2010 I was looking at a YouTube video natural hair subscription. I had the same products the vlogger was using; her hair type was similar to mine and I was tired of doing braid outs to mask the permed ends. So I did it – my own BC. Although since I had been growing it out for ten months, It wasn’t that much of an extreme move. The results? I loved it!

Ten months later I’m still learning and establishing my hair care regimen. I love the natural hair recipes I see – and have tried one or two of them. I’ve incorporated Hairscapades’ Pre-poo (thanks Shelli). Nikisha’s deep conditioning recipe (Urban Bush Babes) softened my type 3c curls fabulously. I’ve been getting compliments from other naturals all week. The products that work well so far: Herbal Essence’s Hydration as a co-wash, Uncle Funky’s Daughter products (Good Hair and Curly Magic – Yea!) as leave-ins, natural oils (coconut, almond, jojoba, EVOO, avocado) for deep conditioning and moisturizing and ACV rinses about once a month. I recently purchased a Huetiful steamer and was pleased with the quality. My go to style is a WnG; when it gets a bit longer, I might try a TnC and others. I do like the freedom of the WnG though. That’s another reason I went back to my roots. In addition to the money, I was tired of spending so much time on my hair. Now my hair is wash and wear, just like my mom’s!

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Good stuff Hope! It’s so good to read that you are enjoying your journey and I’m so happy that something I’ve shared helped you along the way!

What have you learned from the online natural community or natural/transitioning friends that has helped you on YOUR journey?

November Giveaway Announcement! *CLOSED*

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Yup, it’s that time again!! Time for a chance to win some free stuff!! Wooh-hooh!! As you know, Wonder Curl Butter Than Love is my TnC staple! Well, this month, you have the opportunity to win a Wonder Curl sampler kit with 2 ounce samples of every product in the line!! You’ll receive a Get Slick Hair Smoothie, Get Set Hair Jelly (the product that started it all!), Butter than Love Pudding and Butter than Love Whipped!

So, what do you have to do for your chance to win???

  1. Like the Hairscapades Facebook page;
  2. Like the Wonder Curl Facebook page and post “Hairscapades sent me” on the wall.

For more chances to win, refer a friend and have them like both pages and write “[your name] and Hairscapades sent me” on Wonder Curl’s wall.

Ex. “Curly Sue Jones and Hairscapades sent me.”

They’ll get a chance to win and you’ll get an additional chance for every friend that you refer.

Simple! GO!!



Crown of Glory … or Thorns?

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Tips & Tricks: Number Nine

I often hear and read many naturals complaining about the hair at the crown of their head. “It’s dry, it’s brittle, it’s dull, it’s coarse, it breaks easily, it’s the kinkiest hair on my head, it’s the hardest to handle!” And, I’m no different. The hair on the left side of my crown is always shorter and more prone to damage than the rest of my hair, always seeming to exhibit breakage and straggily (yes, straggily, it’s a word! ;)) and raggedy ends. Now, I’ve come to learn over the years that this is most likely due to the fact that the hair at one’s crown is usually taking the brunt of the elements, you know: sun, wind, rain, cruddy air and free radicals;). I also always just thought that this exposure simply resulted in a raised cuticle and more porous strands, whereas the hair protected by the crown hair is smoother and far more cooperative.

So, when I started reading hair guru Chicoro’s Grow It! and came to the section on “Damage from the Environment,” I was fascinated to learn that the damage caused by exposure to the elements is a lot deeper than a simple mechanical reaction. You see, Chicoro breaks down that hair exposed to sun without protection actually undergoes a chemical and irreversible change! As you know, the sun can be damaging to the skin due to Ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB. Well, these same UV rays can be damaging to hair and Naturallycurly.com provided an informative post on this topic several years ago.

via NaturallyCurly.com

Most of us are familiar with the lightening of our hair that occurs when we spend hours in the sun in the summer. To many people this is even a desirable side effect of sunbathing. However, this effect is evidence of the destruction of pigment in the hair as a direct result of UV-induced oxidation of melanin particles in the cortex. …UV radiation also can cause cleavage of molecular bonds in the hair, ultimately leading to fracture of the cuticle and the cortex. This can lead to dry, brittle hair, rough texture from damaged cuticles, split ends, and breakage.

However, in my opinion, Chicoro takes the information provided here one step further and actually discusses how the effects of the sun are very similar to those caused by bleaching the hair. She states, “Like bleach, the oxidizing rays from the sun can break down, or change the chemical composition and the components of the hair.” She goes on to indicate that hair contains a chemical group called a thiol group and these groups stabilize the hair by forming disulfide bonds, which contribute greatly to the strength of the hair (Google “hair and disulfide bonds,” you’ll see many articles about the manipulation of disulfide bonds in chemical processes like body waves and relaxers). These thiol groups also make hair slippery … and we know how important slip is. However, once the hair is oxidized by the sun, these bonds actually turn into compounds called sulfonic acids. These acids are sticky and hair with them will tangle more readily. And, that’s never fun. Finally, she drives the nail home with the fact that this change from disulfide bonds to sulfonic acids is permanent.

So, what does all this mean to those of us challenged by recalcitrant crown hair? The simple answer? Prevention and remediation. For “new” hair that hasn’t been excessively exposed to the elements, we need to proactively protect it before damage happens. For older hair that has already undergone this chemical change, we need to take remedial actions to reduce and/or eliminate the resultant effects of damage. In practical terms, this means employing some combination or all of the following techniques:

  • Condition, condition, condition … did I mention condition ;)? Deep condition with moisturizing treatments, as well as effective protein treatments that support the keratin in the hair, based upon your hair’s needs.
  • Moisturize to protect the hair from the sun and combat dryness.
  • Use leave-in products, such as conditioners, stylers and/or sealants, with UV protection (the NaturallyCurly.com article linked above provides a great list of ingredients that are UVA absorbers).
  • Seal with butters and/or oils that offer natural UV protection, such as shea butter or hemp seed oil (I haven’t vetted this info, but found two articles that provide lists of oils that offer sun protection and their corresponding SPF levels. See here and here).
  • Use protective hair coverings like hats and scarfs.
  • Employ protective styling techniques which reduce the amount of hair exposed directly to the sun.
  • Don’t use peroxide or products with drying (non-fatty) alcohols. And please, whatever you do, don’t use lemon or other “sun activated” lightening products on your hair (flashing back on my “Sun In” days!! *shuddering*).

And, don’t forget, just because you can’t see the sun, doesn’t mean you are not being exposed to damaging UV rays. Though the days may be darker as winter approaches in many areas, we must remain vigilant nonetheless (the suggestions above are for cold and windy weather too!). As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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What is the state of your crown?