Daily Archives: January 23, 2012

Next Long-Term Protective Style?

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A comment on my Afro Puffy Twists prompted me to locate this dope picture I saw last year of this young lady with the most gorgeous yarn braids. I shared this in the comments, but figured I’d share it in a post too, so everyone could enjoy :). Here is the post where I found the picture: K is for Kinky: i want her hair! genie braids. And here’s the YouTube video for the cute “messy librarian updo.”

I am sooo digging her glasses!!

I’ve been digging yarn braids ever since “Max” rocked them on Living Single! Erika Alexander was a mack in that role! LOL!!


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Project Scale Down: Day 20 & 21

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My diet continued to be horrible through the rest of last week and this weekend (dinner at Chevy’s on Saturday: nachos, calamari and a shrimp and crab quesadilla. Then, pancakes, scrambled eggs and taylor ham at the diner last night *smh*). But, getting it back together today!! Breakfast was eaten late … like 9:30 a.m. late, but I brought my All-Bran and blueberries to work. I ate breakfast so late, I didn’t have my normal 10 a.m. snack of yogurt. Lunch was a Lean Cuisine lemon chicken entrée with an added cup of broccoli and a bosc pear. No afternoon snack. Haven’t decided which Lean Cuisine I will have for dinner yet … but it’ll be some type of chicken with added spinach or sugar snap snow peas.

On the 28 Day Challenge front, I didn’t work-out until 1:16 a.m. Sunday into Monday. And, it was a pathetic 10 minutes again! But, I’m still counting that as Day 20!!  Day 21 was a bit better :)! Bob is kicking my butt with his little 20 minute, first level routine! Demonstrates how far I have to go to get back in shape! I really want to resume hot yoga, but I want to get my cardio conditioning and strength back up a bit … you know, so I don’t spend 75% of the class in child’s pose :?!! *lol*

Day 20:

  • 10 minute Abs of Steel routine. 

Day 21:

  • 30 minute Week 1-2 The Biggest Loser Cardio Max workout with Bob Harper (5 min. warm-up, 20 min. cardio, 5 min. cool down) 


December GOC Update: Kendall

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by Kendall (First Wave)

Man oh man where has the time gone?! I really fell off about keeping the GOC updated on my hair happenings (sorry blame grad school … and holiday hibernation).

So, as far as fitness, I just signed up for a gym membership. I miss taking those group classes. I took a hot yoga class last night that kicked my butt in a good way! So, I’m excited that I’ll have some new things to do to keep me active.

As far as hair goes, I straightened and got my ends trimmed right before New Year’s Eve. Compared to where I started with the challenge my hair looks so much fuller and healthier!


Late July 2011

It’s crazy how perspective can change over time. When  we started in July/August, I remember thinking, “Oh wow, my hair looks good!” … FALSE! Now, my hair looks “good” in comparison to where I started, but I just want to focus on getting my hair healthy! I can’t really tell if the back of my hair has gotten that much longer, but I look at my bangs and I know something good is going on! They’re almost grown out! And, I have had bangs since forever, so I am SO happy to get rid of those suckers!

The no-heat makes a huge difference, I know. But, as I’m learning more about my hair, I’ve noticed that it’s still pretty dry. I usually leave conditioner in it, but, when I don’t, it usually dries out before I even have a chance to finish detangling. I’ve been doing research about how to fix this problem. But, I think it may mean I have porous hair? I just bought some new products to try out from Aubrey Organics.  They’re all focused on dry brittle hair. Hopefully, this will help seal in the moisture!!

Shampoo: Green Tea Cleansing
Conditioner: Honeysuckle Rose
Deep Conditioner: Jojoba and Aloe Desert Herb

I should probably share a pic of how I actually wear my hair every day! LOL! So, here’s my go to style.

After I take down my twists, I put Vatika oil on the ends and the it goes up into a bun. I try to switch it around so that it’s not always high and sometimes I add parts or french braids in the front. But, I never wear my hair out when it’s curly.

Sorry about the picture quality! Talk to you curlies soon!

Kendall

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Looking good Kendall! Glad to have you back :)!! I definitely see an increase in length and thickness! My hair is porous too and dries quickly if I don’t apply any product to it. However, it takes FOREVER AND A DAY to dry with a leave-in. I find that henna treatments and the kimmaytube leave-in both help with my porosity issues and my hair retains moisture pretty well due to pre-poos with Vatika oil/EVOO and regular DCs. 

Any words of advice from you ladies on dealing with porous hair? 

The Big Chop: Nikki’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m a 30 something who has always been known for my straight (relaxed) hair. It was always long and thick. I had an attachment to my hair and, when I big chopped, I realized that other people had more of an attachment with my hair than I did.

When I was younger, around 18 years old.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
My hair got weaker and thinner after I became pregnant, then had a stillbirth (of twins). I was stressed out and have heard that hair loss is common after childbirth (I can say it’s true). So the combination of stress, the loss, plus a relaxer was no longer going to work for me. I also just wanted to break free of the old me and start anew.

Around the time I noticed thinning.

How long did you transition before you big chopped?
I stopped touching up my hair in April 2010. I transitioned for 4 months and did a semi-chop. Then, I did the real big chop in Feb 2011.

Styled after semi-BC

When and how did you big chop?
My grandmother, who used to do hair, cut my hair the first time. I did my real big chop myself. I saw a video of Iamsonotmyhair cutting her hair herself, and I got inspired to do the same thing.

How did you feel immediately before and immediately after your big chop?
I felt that I looked like a boy, but then thought, when I add make-up, jewelry, etc., I would look better.

How do you feel now?
I feel great. I feel like I’m learning about my hair every day. Fussing with my hair actually took my mind off of other things.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?
Right now, since it’s cold, I’m taking advantage of no humidity and wearing my hair straight about once a month or once every other month. My straightening session can last me 2 weeks, if not more. If it gets a little messed up, I then start putting 4-5 cornrows or do a twist out to make my hair last longer.

If I’m wearing it curly, I just wash and go and put it in a puff … or wash it, then do a twist out.

My “go to” products while my hair is curly are Tresemme Flawless Curls conditioner, Curl Junkie Daily Fix and Curls in a Bottle, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Restorative Conditioner. While it’s straight, I still use Flawless Curls by Tresemme, Isoplus Pressing Oil and Aussie Sydney Smooth Anti-Humidity Spray to refresh and freshen my hair. I like Alterna Bamboo Oil to help give my hair shine. When I really need to wash and shampoo my hair to get rid of any buildup, I use Frederik Fekkai’s Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo whether I’m wearing it curly or straight.

What are your hair plans/goals?
When my hair is fully dry, I want  my curls to be touching my shoulders. So, I guess when it’s straight, it will be waist length? I really just want healthy hair.

Do you have a hair crush? If so, who and why?
Tracee Ellis Ross and Michelle Hurd. I like how luscious, bouncy and full Tracee’s hair is and I ‘ve always been a fan of Michelle when she was on SVU. I want that hair color too, but know it won’t match my skin tone. Oh well.

Who is your favorite natural blogger, youtuber and/or fotkier and why?
Blogs: Hairscapades, CurlyNikki, Questfortheperfectcurl

YouTube: denimpixie, MahagonyCurls, AfricanExport and Taren916.

Where can we find you online?
I started blogging, so it’s not advanced like you or the others. But, here is where I am:

http://nikkisbeautythoughts.blogspot.com/
http://nikkisthisnthat.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/miss0nder

And yes I’m another Nikki (middle name is Nicole).

Anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for allowing me to share my story :).

Afro Puffy Twists: A Protective Style in Review

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I was originally going to call this post, “Afro Puffy Twists or How My Dream Turned into a Nightmare.” However, time has allowed wounds to heal and a level-head to prevail. Now that I’ve sufficiently recovered from my PTSD (Post Twists Stress Disorder), I feel that I can give a breakdown of the Pros and Cons of my long-term, winter protective style, Afro Puffy Twists.

Pros:

  • I love the look of Afro puffy twists. I finally had the lush twist that I’d lusted after for the last couple of years.
  • The style looks very natural and real. The older it got, the better it looked. The ends of the hair curled on their own as natural hair would. It was nearly impossible to distinguish my hair from the Nafy Collection Afro Puffy Twist hair (though, this pro became a con with the take down).
  • I had a braider that was gentle, didn’t comb through my hair, parted it gently and didn’t braid too tightly.
  • I requested cornrows at my hairline and they prevented the extensions from dangling on my finest strands. So, I didn’t lose any twists/hair due to the weight of the extensions.
  • 6 weeks of NO detangling.
  • My fingers and nails had become extremely ragged and rough due to the drying winter air and inside heat. I didn’t have to worry about destroying my strands with my busted fingers as I wasn’t handling my hair as often.
  • Ease of daily styling … this is for real, get up and go hair. I loved that I could wake up, do absolutely nothing to it and it still looked great going out the door.
  • Styling versatility (check out my FB album for more pics).
  • Ability to have a style that showed length, but still protected my strands to a large extent. Although I wore the twists in updos the majority of the time, I could wear them down and out with little risk.
  • Limited daily maintenance. At the most, I would oil my scalp and moisturize and seal the length every 3-4 days.
  • Limited weekly maintenance. Although my plan was to wash it once a week, I only washed and conditioned the twists once in the 6 weeks that I wore the style.
  • Limited styling products. I used my essential oil mix for my scalp, kimmaytube leave-in or Oyin Juices n’ Berries to moisturize and EVOO to seal. The one time I washed, I shampooed with diluted Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioned with Aussie Moist. I didn’t pre-poo or DC during the 6 weeks.
  • My hair feels and looks like it is in very good condition, with minimal breakage and normal shedding, post twists.

I’ve seen this much hair shed in one week post wash/detangle session. So, I was very
pleasantly surprised that this is all I saw after 6 weeks of no finger-combing/detangling.

Cons:

  • The anxiety of finding the right braider who won’t pull hair too tightly or comb through it with a fine-tooth comb from root to tip instead of tip to root. However, the anxiety was for naught.
  • The anxiety and time to blow-out my hair myself to reduce the likelihood of a braider causing heat or mechanical damage. Again though, it was for naught because the blow-out process went pretty smoothly as I did my research first and took my time.
  • 7 1/2 hours to install.
  • I had a lot of flyaways. I think this was because the braider didn’t use any product on the length of my hair before twisting it.
  • I had some serious matting of twists at my nape. Hair from multiple twists started matting together. This area was especially vulnerable to ensnaring sweater and scarf lint, dust and gunk. Given that this is the finest hair on my head, this was not good.
  • 3 day, 20+ hour twist take down (see here and here). This pretty much negated the timed saved in daily styling.
  • It was difficult to distinguish my hair from the twist hair, which meant I had to handle the twists as gently as I would have if they were all my hair. This extended to the take down as well.
  • The difficulty in removing the twists due to the way that they were installed. Two spray-in detanglers, conditioner, and an EVOO “steam bath” did very little to ease the take down. Each twist took a good 5-10 minutes to remove as my hair extended the full length of the twists. So, there was no cutting off a part of the twist before untwisting. Between the added hair at the end to cover my hair, the rolling of my hair in the twists and the braids at the roots with all three sections containing strands of my hair, there was no quick way to remove the twists without damaging my own hair.
This is the hair and sections in ONE twist!

Final Verdict:

So, in conclusion, would I get twists with the Nafy Afro Puffy Twist hair again? Yes I would. Surprised? I think the pros mostly outweighed the cons. Ultimately, though the take down was trauma inducing, it didn’t result in any permanent damage and my hair felt great after my wash, henna, DC and style. Also, I loved them so much and I think that the drama of the take down could be averted with some different techniques.

Next Time:

  • I would have the twists installed using the Senegalese twist technique at the roots instead of braids.
  • I would ask the braider use some type of holding product on the length of my hair so that I wouldn’t have as many flyaway hairs.
  • I would request that the length be loosely twisted, rather than twisting the individual sections first and then twisting the two together. I think that this caused my hair to be ensnared in the extension hair more than it needed to be.
  • I would keep a more cautious eye on the nape twists and remove them when I start to feel appreciable matting. I would either have them “refreshed” or just twist my own hair until I was ready to take down all the twists.

I’ve been thinking that I may try to do my next install myself, using bigger sections. However, I know myself pretty well, and don’t think I’d have the patience or willingness to actually make a go of this on my own. Maybe I’ll try Havana Twists next? I have 3 bags of hair left!

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Do/have you worn twist extensions? What are/were the pros and cons for you? What precautionary measures do you take prior to the install? For the take down? Would you get them again?