Daily Archives: February 20, 2012

The Breakfast Bunch


Okay, okay, okay, I know. I’ve been on a real non-hair related kick today. But, I ended up watching this episode of Victorious today and I am still laughing my butt off. It’s sheer brilliance and soooo over the heads of its audience. However, if you are a huge fan of The Breakfast Club like me, this is a must see! If not, just call this one a loss and move along ;).

*sobbing* “You’re so conceited Tory … you’re so conceited.”


Bryan Konietzko Created a Tumblr for Korra!!!!


Oh my gosh … oh my gosh … OH MY GOSH!! BOOKMARKED!! If you love all things Avatar (with the exception of that travesty of a film) like me, you’ll want to check out all the great stuff Bryan Konietzko, co-creator of Avatar, is sharing on his new Tumblr page!!

sketch by Joaquim Dos Santos

Oh, and in case you didn’t see this, here is a commercial airing on Nickelodeon that includes snippets of Legend of Korra! 2012 baby!!!

(p.s. And I learned that Lauren Montgomery is on the animation team too! She directed the awesome Wonder Woman straight to DVD DC release! I won a copy at NYCC 3 years ago AND a poster signed by her, Bruce Timm and writer, Michael Jelenic:)!)

Icela’s Final GOC Update


length check 07/30/11

by Icela (First Wave) of Shapely Alterations

Hey guys!

Wow, it has been a while.  The last time I checked in was in October so I have A LOT to catch everyone up on. During my last update, I had listed the following goals:

1. Hair – Wash and DC EVERY Week:
This I was totally able to do because I actually LOVE washing my hair.  I find the whole routine VERY therapeutic. However, since being on the GOC, I’ve changed up my original hair regimen, which now looks more like this . . .

Step One: Section hair into four parts
Step Two: Pre-poo with Vatika Oil overnight
Step Three: Shampoo hair (in sections) with SheaMoisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo (review here)
Step Four: Conditione & Detangle with Aussie Moist Conditioner
Step Five: Deep Condition with SheaMositure’s Deep Conditioning Mask
Step Six: Dry hair with cotton t-shirt
Step Seven: Apply Kimmaytube’s Leave-In Conditioner or Giovanni’s Leave-In Conditioner and Twist Hair
Step Eight: Seal ends with Vatika Oil

2. Hair – Go with protective styles during the week (rocking hats) & 3. Experiment with more styles (on weekends):
Uh, yeah . . . . I tried a few styles here and there but this didn’t really work out for me. As much as I LOVE washing my hair, I was never really big on experimenting with styles.  Once again, I kept relying on my wigs as my go-to “protective style,” but this ended up causing me more grief.  How you may ask?  Just take a look …

Yep, that is some SERIOUS hairline breakage folks. I’ve been racking my brain trying to pinpoint when it started exactly, but can’t really recall a specific time frame or cause. When I removed the braids in the fall, my hair did not look like this. The only thing I can think of is the constant wearing of the wigs, since I’ve spent a majority of this winter with my hair covered for most of the day. Yeah … not a good thing.

To remedy the situation, I’ve been applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my hairline after reading this post on Strawberricurls. I’ve also been reading up on Kalpi Tone and purchased several boxes from Butter-N-Bars. I’ll be including it in my pre-poo process and will keep you guys posted on my progress.

4. Hair – PROTEIN:  I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with Henna or trying Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Infusion:
I was a bit torn as far as which way to go on this one until I read this review of LUSH’s Henna Bars by Sophia of Kiffe Coco. Over the holidays, I just happened to wander into LUSH’s Herald Square store and headed straight for their Henna section. I picked up their Caca Brun Mama and gave it a try.

Here’s a quick recap:

a. The Prep – After checking out the preparation video on the site, I KNEW I should have shredded the block. But NO, I decided to cut it into blocks. Not a good idea. It took way too long and felt like way TOO much work for the blocks to dissolve. Couple that with the fact that I am NOT the most patient person … yep, there’s going to be a problem.

b. Application – Okay, so because of the problem mentioned above, I had various sized clumps of henna in my hair as I applied it. At this point, I didn’t care.

c. Rinse – I left the henna in overnight. Rinsing it out took a bit of effort, but it was nowhere near as bad as the first time I ever applied henna. Whatever was left, came out easily with the Aussie Moist conditioner.

d. Final Look – Here are a few shots a couple of days post LUSH Henna application.

e. My Thoughts – Given the amount I paid, I would categorize my experience as … eh. Even if the preparation and application went smoothly, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to pay this much for ANY type henna, no matter how great people say it is.

5. Fitness – Train for a New Event:
Just to move things along, I’m going to make this real simple. I was originally training for this event, but now I’m training for this event …

6. Fitness – Drink more water (1 Gallon a day):
This was pretty easy to do since water is usually my drink of choice. To jump start my daily intake, I drink 20 oz. as soon as a I get up every morning.

7. Fitness – Hit weights at least 3 times a week & 8. Cardio at least 3 times a week:
Okay, there’s good news and there’s not so good news here. Let’s start with the not so good news … I was only able to lose 2 pounds since my last update (in October 2011).

My weight in October 2011

My weight on Monday (2/13/12)

But now on to the good news … as of today (Friday, February 17th), I have followed a workout regimen for exactly 31 days straight!!! After totally being inspired by Shelli’s Project Scale Down, I started Project Better Body. The original purpose of the project was just a way to track my progress as I get ready to compete in my figure competition.  What ended up happening was it helped to FINALLY create some type of consistency for me, which is the ONE thing I had been lacking. I’m sure you all can feel my excitement!

9. Fitness – Start any form of Yoga this month:
When I listed this, I originally wanted to try out the Hot Yoga that was being offered about 15 minutes from my house.  But with my ever changing, hectic schedule, I could never really make it down to the studio. Luckily for me, I have a massive collection of exercise tapes :-). On a random Sunday afternoon, I found this gem while looking for an old movie to watch.

MTV’s Advanced Workout: Total Body Training (1997)

Do NOT be fooled by the old school look of this tape. There’s a kick ass 30 minute Yoga routine at the end of the intense 60 minute workout. The Yoga portion is easy enough to follow for beginners, but challenging enough for experienced Yogis. Love, love, love this tape!

I am SOOOO glad I participated in this challenge! I’ve learned so much about myself and my hair. Although there were a few setbacks along the way, I’m now armed with better information that’s leading me to a healthier lifestyle and healthier hair. I’m looking forward to participating in the next Grow Out Challenge! Who’s with me?


If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!

Lilith Moon Inspired Braided Updo


I saw this Lilith Moon tutorial a little while ago and really liked that it looks more complicated than it actually is.

However, when I attempted it on an old TnC or twist out (I think), it wasn’t working out … my hair was just too tangly. So, I decided to revisit yesterday, since my hair is pressed and I figured it would be easier for me to braid. It was, though I did have to think about braiding more than I normally do, since hair is only added from one side and only to a specific section. But, I think it turned out okay. The first two pics are of the braids down and then the next are once they have been folded up to form the “updo.”

This style may work better for medium/shoulder length hair (straight or stretched) like Lilith’s. I also still think that this would look really cute on stretched curls with some wave to them. It would have a lot more texture and body. As I haven’t really perfected it, you may see this one again on a twist out;).

Edited to Add:
Why, after I had released the braids, did I find this almost identical style, with a slight twist?! This YouTuber does a reverse/inverted French or Dutch braid and crosses the braids all the way across the back of her head. That is how I should have placed the braids instead of trying to fold them and tuck them back under the origin braid! So, I think the Lilith Moon technique would work well for medium length hair and this one would work better for my current length. Live and learn;).

Relaxer, Relate, Release …


A couple of weeks ago, I received this e-mail request from Asha:

Hi! I recently found your site and I am so fascinated! Your hair is absolutely gorgeous! Me and a good friend of mine have decided to go natural and help one another through encouragement along the way. I have attempted to go natural before and found that seeing others before and after pictures have helped me to stay inspired. I was wondering if you had any pictures of your relaxed hair that you would be willing to share? I am now following your site for inspiration! Thank you so much!

First, thank you so much Asha! Now, the thing is, I don’t have a lot of pictures from my teen and college years … and definitely none that are digital. But, I dug through my box of pictures and one album to find a few photos that show my hair when it was relaxed.

The pic above was from my Junior year in college. I was in my first and only ever pageant (Miss NAACP:) and my hair is in a roller set updo. Roller sets were definitely one of my favorite “go to” styles back then and I would often set the hair of my friends. I would maintain by pin-curling at night.

Anywho, here are a few more pics that range from my early teens until my late 20s. I mostly only relaxed twice a year, from the age of 13 to 28.

I think was about 14 here, only a year after
my first relaxer and lots of layers!

HS Senior year pic
(you’ve seen this one before … the post Wave Nouveau tragedy bob).

Senior prom (crimped and curled)

Freshman year

College Sophomore year (“banged” up with a bouffant and flip).

College sophomore year (cornrow out … not the best shot, but this was another “go to” style).

College Junior year (my Supremes retro bouffant … I somehow lost this dress,
which was a Salvation Army find :(!

College Junior year (bobbed up again … I love a good bob).

Thanksgiving Junior year, I think.

College graduation photos taken junior year, I guess (grew out the bob).

Bobbed up again, early Senior year.

Mid-late senior year. I chopped it off to try to have a cute Halle Berry cut like my sis.
My hair was too fine for it to look good on me. It would be so flat.So, I would scrunch and wear it curly.
This was when I first discovered that I could wear my hair curly without cornrowing it, even though it was relaxed.

Mid 20s at first bodybuilding competition (roller set again).

And bobbed again! LOL! Told you I loved this style;)!

I know they aren’t the greatest of pics. I was lazy and took photos of photos rather than figuring out how to use the scanner. LOL!! But, I think you get the idea!


If you used to relax, what were your “go to” cuts and styles? 

(p.s. If you like seeing pics of naturals back in their relaxed days, comment below! Maybe I’ll start a Before and After feature similar to our Now and Then! This way, we can share pics of our hair relaxed and natural! And speaking of Now and Then, I’d love to get some more submissions to share *hint, hint*!!