Daily Archives: February 21, 2012

What You’ve All Been Waiting For …

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LOL! Yeah, I know that many of you may have been wondering what my engagement ring looks like. As he told you here, Wei proposed to me with a ring given to him by his grandmother via his great aunt. It’s a simple and classic solitaire on a slender 14K gold band. When I think of what it took for an African-American male in the south in the early 1900s to save his money to purchase an engagement ring like this for his fiancé … there just aren’t words for how special it makes me feel to be able to wear this symbol of love and perseverance.

I love it. It makes me smile every time I look at it twinkling brightly at me … even despite the piece of thick tape currently wrapped around the band. *lol* You see, Wei’s grandmother told him that it was a 6 1/2 and, since that is my shoe size, he expected it to fit. He was truly distraught when he realized that it didn’t. Imagine how funny it was when we went to a local jeweler looking for a ring guard on Friday, only to discover that it is a size 8 and my ringer finger a 5 1/2. Well, the jeweler didn’t have a guard to fit and I wasn’t leaving my ring there while we travelled to DC for the meet-up. So, it stayed in my purse for the majority of the weekend. I pulled it out and jerry-rigged it with some tape (no, not duct! ;)) so that I could wear it today.

I hope to make it to the jeweler tomorrow so that it can be re-sized and I can wear it with the confidence that it will stay where it belongs! Until then, I’m keeping my eye on it and feeling my heart swell with joy every time I think about spending the rest of my life with the love of it.

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Sofn’Free Nothing But Mold & Hold Wax

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When I wear my hair in styles that call for smooth edges, like buns and updos, I had come to rely on Eco Styler Olive Oil gel mixed with Shea Butter for hold. I would emulsify the shea butter in my palm and then add an equal amount of gel, mixing the two together. Next, I would smooth my edges with the mixture and tie them down with a silk or satin scarf until I got to work. This would usually hold my edges down for the morning, but by lunch time, the flyaways would start to make their presence known. And, by the end of the work day, my edges were usually pretty fuzzy.

So, although Eco and shea butter worked okay, I was still in search of something that could hold my edges and keep them looking relatively sleek all day. Therefore, back in November, I picked up some Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Edge Control Gel. I’d read some good reviews about it that indicated that it worked really well to control, hold and smooth curly, frizzy, fuzzy edges. So, when I saw it in Sally’s, I grabbed a jar.

“Haaaaaaaaated it!” LOL! Just kidding. However, I wasn’t at all impressed. It really did nothing for me and was even less effective than the Eco and shea. So, I promptly returned it to Sally’s for a full refund (this one wasn’t going under my sink to collect dust).

Then, last month, Sofn’Free sent me a box jam packed with products from their new GroHealthy line for natural hair, Sofn’Free Nothing But. Among the goodies was a nice size (8.8 0z.) jar of Mold & Hold Wax (compared to the 2.25 oz. ORS Edge Control gel). Here’s the rundown:

What they say:

Your natural hair has a mind of its own. But our Mold & Hold Wax lets you gently twist it around your little finger. Use it daily or after shampooing to create and maintain twists, locks or knots. And since it’s made from nothing but honest ingredients, there’s nothing flaky about it either.

  • Flake-free
  • Perfect for twists, locks, knots and braids
  • Infused with natural moisturizers

Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Ceteareth-20, PEG-7, Glyceryl Cocoate, Polyquaternium 46, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Polyglycery-3 Diisostearate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynel Butylcarbamate.

Directions
Apply to roots and twist with fingers or comb.

As evidenced by the side of the container, this product is also petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfate, paraben, colorant and phthalates (I don’t even know what that last one is!) free. However, it is not cone free. So if you are strictly CG, then you wouldn’t want to use this product as it contains dimethicone.

The Review:

The product is clear with very little scent (it has a slight smell that is almost indiscernible unless you sniff the jar and doesn’t linger). The consistency is thick, but not quite waxy. It is definitely thicker and more viscous than a heavy gel like Eco Styler or ORS Lock & Twist, but not as thick as beeswax.

I decided to try it on my edges two weeks ago when I was wearing a bunned style. I applied a very small amount, like that pictured above, to my fingertip. I emulsified it across several fingers and smoothed my edges. I then tied my hair down with a satin scarf. When I arrived at work, my edges were nicely smoothed. But, more surprisingly, at lunch and then at the end of the work day, they were still nearly frizz free!! Additionally, I didn’t experience any hardness, flakes or tackiness. I continued to use the product for the following three days with the same result.

So, the next test was on my pressed hair. I used a little bit of this every few days when my edges started to look a little fuzzier than I liked. After several applications, I still don’t have any flakes in my hair, stiffness, tackiness or the appearance of product build-up!! This is my hair Monday afternoon, after applying a little more Mold & Hold Wax to the edges and tying them down with my silk scarf while I fudged around on the computer all day.


Final Thoughts:
This Sofn’Free Nothing But Mold & Hold Wax is a keeper!!! I am sooo impressed with this stuff (probably because I didn’t expect to be)! The product is very effective for me and is free of a lot of the bad stuff. Though it contains a non-water soluble cone, I use DevaCare No Poo weekly. Since that contains coco-betaine and I also tend to “clarify” with a diluted sulfate shampoo once every 4-8 weeks, I don’t expect to have a problem with build up. Finally, the amount that I need to use to smooth my edges is so minimal and the jar is so huge, I expect that I won’t need to re-up on this for 6 months to a year! And, at only $8 a jar, even if I did, it wouldn’t break the bank! So yeah, if you are still on the hunt for an effective, reasonably priced edge control product that holds all day without stiffness, flakes, tackiness or the appearance of build up, you might want to check this one out!

Edited to Add: Right now, the Nothing But line is only available online and in select BSSs. However, the company website indicates that it will be available in Rite-Aids around the country beginning in April 2012.

(p.s. I plan on doing an “epilogue” on this product the next time I do twists! I mean, it was made for that purpose and if it holds them anything like it holds my edges, we are in business baby!!)


The Big Chop: Carlisa’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Carlisa. I’m 16 years old. I’m very outgoing,bubbly and different. I love reading! I love my hair and the whole world knows it. I love God and make an effort to follow Him :).

What prompted your decision to go natural? 
I decided to go natural because I would feel my new growth and loved the texture. I became curious and did research.

How long did you transition before you big chopped? 
I transitioned for 5 1/2 months.

When and how did you big chop? 
I big chopped on January 23, 2011. I went to Sally’s, bought some butterfly clips and shears. I went in my bathroom and simply began cutting. My best friend helped me in the back. I never looked back :).

How did you feel immediately before and immediately after your big chop? 
I was a little nervous while I was cutting, but I was giggling and excited. After my BC, I know it sounds cliché, but I felt so liberated! I loved my hair, I washed my hair and took pictures.

How do you feel now? 
I am still very much “in love” with my hair.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?

  • Twist my hair into medium-sized twists, take one down, add a little Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (blue bottle; old formula) and detangle with a knock-off Denman I purchased for $1 at Walgreens. Then, I re-twist and repeat with my entire head.
  • Sleep with a satin bonnet and rinse the condish out in the morning.
  • Shampoo and condition in twists; rinse.
  • Take one twist down, add Eco Styler Gel (argan oil; red top) and coconut oil.
  • Re-twist and sleep with a satin bonnet.

For the next couple of days, I’ll keep my hair wrapped in a turban with the front out. I either pin the front twists like a side bang, or untwist and pin them. On the day before wash day I’ll rock a twist out and then repeat.

My go to products are: Hello Hydration, Aussie Moist, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Eco Styler gel and coconut oil.

What are your hair plans/goals? 
When I first BC’d, my hair was only about a couple of inches long. I’m not sure how many, but you can judge by the pictures. But now, I am at armpit length and my next goal is bra strap length :).

Do you have a hair crush? If so, who and why?
Yes, stayrosey.tumblr.com! Her hair is absolutely beautiful 🙂

Who is your favorite natural blogger, YouTuber and/or Fotkier and why? 
I love the blackgirllonghair blog, and CurlyNikki. BGLH has a lot of resources and has so many posts to go through. I find myself on their just about everyday *lol*. And CurlyNikki is very funny! Her blog was the first natural hair blog I went to for my transition. Gia is so cute!

Anything else that you would like to add? 
I love being natural, and wish I went natural sooner!

Pocketed Skirt and Long Vest

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Okay, just a really quick post to show you an outfit from last week. In the hub bub of work and engagement blogs last week, quite a few posts got “wait listed!” ;).

So, I LOVE skirts and dresses with pockets! They are just so cool and add a casual ease and elegance to any look. Well, this is a boldly printed skirt in tones of black, grey and mustard yellow. It has a wide, elasticized waistband, wide hem and large slash pockets. I picked it up at JCPenny’s on clearance; I’m pretty sure it was less than $20. I was bummed because they had it in a bold cheetah print too, but not in my size 😦 (in fact, this one is a little big too).

Anywho, I’m wearing the skirt with a black button down shirt and a long, sleeveless cotton vest with a gathered waistline in grey. Both of these items came from Marshall’s and/or TJ Maxx, I believe. Finally, I accessorized the look with a black wide waistband, elastic belt with a metallic buckle, black fishnets and black “cuffed” booties that I got on clearance at Marshall’s for, like, $15 (I snagged them in dark brown too).

Oh, what the heck? I’m going to make this a twofer since we are talking about pocketed skirts and dresses! If you recall, I told you that I ordered the Asos dress CurlyNikki wore to the Essence Black Women in Music Event here. Well, they (remember, I ordered a 6 and 8 to be safe) arrived last week, less than 7 days after I placed my order! I think the 6 fits the best, although it is a little snugger around the hips than I would like … reminding me that I need to get back on my grind.

The dress is definitely of good quality, nicely structured and the fabric is very weighty. The seams appear strong and well sewn (no pulls in odd places). However, because I could stand to lose a few pounds, the pockets were showing through the fabric more than I would like and I had to adjust them a bit to lay smoothly. I was thinking about just removing them and sewing the openings close!! However, I love to stick my hands in pockets, so I’ll lose the weight instead ;).

Okay, without further ado … here are a couple of pics of me in the dress. As you can see, it was the same day as the pics above, because I’m wearing the same fishnets and boots!! LOL! Oh, and I’m soooo sucking my stomach in as much as possible so that I don’t look like a sausage stuffed in casing;)!

Oh, and just quickly, that QueCraft hair fork is getting a workout! It’s making bunning my pressed hair so easy!