Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hair Wars

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Unfortunately, the hair war is nothing new 😦 … but at least this battle was entertaining!!

And the funny thing? None of the “Wannabees” have straight hair! They all look like naturals with stretched styles! LOL!

THIS was my School Daze JAM though!

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Terressentials Mud Wash – Marsha’s Experience

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And here is Marsha’s Final post on her experience with Terressentials Mud Wash. Check out her site to see her other posts about Terressentials and how she decided to use it!

Hairology

After using the TMW for three days in a row, I can now give my honest and final review.

So before I started to use the product, I decided not to do the total seven days detox session. I actually did two days and thought that was it, however, I decided on day three and final day to complete detoxing. I wanted to straighten my hair and do a proper trim prior to starting the second round of the Grow out Challenge with Hairscapades. I wanted to eliminate the use of a leave in conditioner, but only using grape-seed oil to lock in moisture and prep for straightening. I used the Lavender flavor for the third wash.

Flavors:


The Lavender flavor reminded me of a male’s cologne, meaning it had a very strong smell. The Left Coast Lemon flavor was very lemony, giving it a very refreshed scent which I…

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Terressentials Mud Wash – Rece’s Experience

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Okay, so I’m planning on trying the Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW) this weekend and have been avidly reading and viewing Rece and Marsha’s experiences with it. I was out to dinner late with one of my favorite people of all time and didn’t get around to writing or re-posting any new “articles.” So, today I’m just sharing what I’ve been reading to prepare for my first go with the TMW. I don’t plan on doing the full detox, but rather am going to only wash weekly as the folks over at Terressentials told Rece that you should follow your normal wash schedule and the daily detox is for those who generally wash their hair daily. So, here is Rece’s final post related to the TMW and you can visit her site to read her day to day results during her detox.

A Hair Story...

Imagine my surprise when I saw that The Terressentials Team commented on my THW Cult – Day 4 post!

I’m not sure how they located me, but I’m glad their comment was very informative and didn’t bash me for calling them a cult (out of love, of course!) LOL.

The comment read as follows:

The Terressentials team says:

Hi! Hope you all don’t mind the Terressentials team jumping in here with some quick advice? If you don’t mind, please note that our Hair Wash instructions do suggest using any of our USDA certified organic Anointing Oils, Cremes and/or butters at any time to assist with moisturizing hair and/or scalp that suffers from dryness due to previous damage from foaming detergent/surfactant products, and/or styling or coloring or perming chemicals. (see numbers 1 & 2 in the Hair Wash instructions)

Here’s a tip from our instructions…

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Mini-Hairscapader: Kayla-Iman’s HairStory

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as told by Ahava Felicidad

What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her.
My daughter’s name is Kayla-Iman (pure magnificent vessel of faith) and she is 11 years old. Kayla is an artist, a developing athlete and nature girl all wrapped in one hilarious package. She is known to be very entertaining and keeps those around her laughing when she gets to know them. I’ve heard this the mostly from her art teachers at the museum who also call her sweet. Shes loves to work with clay, does pottery on the wheel, paints, makes art out of recycled anything, is a fabulous cartoon artist and I am amazed at her artwork and fashion designs. She comes up with great ideas for jewelry and hair adornment, although she prefers to keep it simple -not even wanting to wear earrings unless they are stick-ons.

She is serious about her school work and will keep me up late finishing a project, especially one that gets her a treat if it is handed in before the due date *LOL*. She loves little kids and reads to them two to three times a week at her elementary school in the role of Book Buddy. She is also a Take Back the Kitchen cooking contest winner, soon to be on local tv, and makes the best deviled eggs, homemade pasta sauce, pizza, hot cocoa and popcorn in the world. I am very proud of her.

How do you care for her hair? What products do you use, how often do you wash/condition, what techniques do you use (i.e., how do you detangle), etc.?
I do Kayla’s hair about every two weeks. We condition wash sometimes at the salon, most times at home. When we do hair at home, she has to co-wash it herself. I help by lining her scalp with conditioner and rubbing it in and making sure the conditioner for her hair is at her fingertips for shower cleansing. We have a bathing suit technique as well that involves showering only to wash the hair in cold water. I have video on that. She has been taught how to work through her hair in sections and I give her the clips, but she doesn’t always use them. My signature technique is sectioning hair in 9 or more sections with my fingers and holding those sections in place with butterfly clips. To saturate every strand, it takes me about 20 minutes, but can be done in a shorter time with well-hydrated hair. Somehow she does a great job and I can section to blow out or braid.

During the two weeks, I do check in with her on her scalp, which stays fairly clean and clear. We or she adds grapeseed oil or one of my custom oil blends (Marama Lempi is her favorite) to lightly line her scalp. She sleeps on a satin pillowcase. Wraps don’t stay on her head and we haven’t tried a bonnet yet. Will only get that from PrettyAnnToinets. Until just recently, I would pin curl her blow out and ceramic press. She has now been given the responsibility to do it on her own. She chooses to ponytail or bun it. Guess I’ll have to help with the pin curling again, but she gets the job done and her next day hair has been looking good.

Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
We do use the same products. Her hair is thirstier than mine as she is really all one kinky curly texture and I have three mixed textures. We both drink Dr. Brown’s Healing Water, so she no longer has a flaky scalp and both of us have thick hair. We use conditioners like Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Giovanni Tea Tree conditioner, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle and Pure Unrefined African Black Soap. Styling with Andalou Styling Cream, Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner and Curl Prep Sweet Buttah. I also make my own leave-ins with water, oils, vanilla extract, essential oils and teas. We have used the Curls Products, the Curly Q Custard, which I Iike a lot for three strand twisting.

What is a typical style?
Her typical style is a blow out and ceramic press.When we do anything else nowadays it’s her doing me a favor for pictures but sometimes she actually likes it and when her friends compliment her I get big smiles afterschool. Do you employ protective styles? Protective styling to me is a contract job. Only working when you need it for something specific. I don’t believe in what people call protective styles. If your hair is in braids or a weave or bun, most times its for lower or less maintenance reasons, styling and fashion. Having fibers on top of your hair is not necessarily protecting it and you have to make sure that you give additional moisture that will penetrate to the natural hair underneath and deep treat no matter what. She mostly wears her hair out. Though, she may have braids with extensions a few times a year.

What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
My greatest challenge with my daughter’s hair is not her hair. It’s her wanting to have it straight more than curly and working with her daily to embrace her kinks and curls. She doesn’t like to get it cut, even though we all know that hair grows from our scalp and not our ends. When the ends get damaged from being dry, it’s totally necessary. She had to get three inches cut at the beginning of the year and it took at least a month for her to stop talking about it because she wants it down her back. Having it blown-out shows her the length, so she can really see how it’s growing.

Crochet-weave w/ribbon

Have you ever relaxed/texlaxed your daughter’s hair Why or why not and, if you relaxed her hair, what prompted the decision to return to natural?
No. Never relaxed. Chemicals are too harsh and cause potential cell damage in the body. We have enough from the toxins in environment and some foods we eat. I am not adding to it by purposely slapping lye in my daughter’s scalp. Who would I be as a holistic practitioner specializing in natural hair care and having a daughter with a perm? That just doesn’t work *LOL*. We have to educate each other and our daughters and remind them of their options.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Love your site! It’s another source of inspiration and great platform for women and children who are on the journey.

Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions

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by M of Hair and Other Stuff 

After having a recent conversation with a fellow natural about hair care, I decided to do a series on natural hair care and maintenance. The focus of this post  (# 1 in a series) is dry hair. Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because of the structure of the hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp of those with curly/kinky hair  are not able to travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Dry hair is a set -up for breakage and breakage ensures that you will not “see” hair growth! Other problems can also exacerbate this dry state of affairs. Listed below are some common causes and  solutions.

Dry Hair

Possible Causes

  • Shampooing too often
  • Use of products with harsh sulfates
  • Use of products with alcohol which can also be drying
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Sleeping on  a cotton pillowcase or using a cotton scarf, which rob hair of moisture
  • Low porosity hair
  • Not using water based hair products
  • Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
  • Improper hair pH
  • Excessive use of products with silicone’s which can cause build up and lock out moisture
  • Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
  • Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
  • Using too much  direct heat (Blow drying, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
  • Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
  • Salt (as if found in ocean water)
  • General weathering from the elements

Solutions

  • Increase water consumption
  • Pre-poo with an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil
  • Find a product that moisturizes well, then seal it in with a butter while damp or wet
  • Use deep conditioners weekly. Some may need to  apply indirect heat through a shower cap, steamer, hair therapy wrap, etc., while deep conditioning
  • Evaluate if your water is hard or soft and if it needs to be treated
  • Protect your hair, when going swimming, with conditioner and a swim cap or use of a product specifically designed for sun/chlorine/salt, such as Ouidad Sun Shield
  • Determine the pH of the products you use in your hair and adjust the ratios/products accordingly

The take away is  this:  Find out WHY your hair is dry. After you establish this, you can determine how best to combat the dryness. Remember, the goal is to always keep your hair well-moisturized. Well, as best you can anyway. A well moisturized head of hair is a happy one! 🙂

Stay Tuned for Part 2 in this series.
~M

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How do you combat dryness and keep your hair moisturized?

Finger Detangling

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Tips and Tricks: Number Twenty

As many of you know, I’m a fan of finger detangling. I started employing this method of detangling almost exclusively in February 2011 when I joined the Curly Nikki presents Kim Coles’ Grow Out Challenge. Prior to that, I used a wide tooth comb in the shower with conditioner saturated hair. However, last year I started experimenting with finger detangling and just found it to be far more gentle on my fine strands. I definitely attribute part of my length retention over the last year to it.

Finger detangling allows me to “feel” tangles so that I can carefully separate the hair and ease them out. With a comb, unless I hit a major snare that would stop the comb or brush in its tracks, I realized that I had more than likely been tearing through tangles. As I finger detangle now, I wince to think of the damage I was doing in the past with a comb because I didn’t feel the knots and ties. For those with hair of hardier stock, this may not be a problem. But, at the very least, I believe that combing through significant tangles prior to finger detangling disrupts the cuticle and, on the more severe end of the spectrum, causes breakage.

I finger detangle at a variety of stages. During my weekly pre-poo session, I “dry” detangle with Vatika oil and de-shed (remove “captured” shed hair) as I demonstrated in How I Pre-Poo. Dry detangling was something I would have NEVER though that I would do!! But, because my hair is almost always stretched from TnCs, twist-outs or bunned WnG and was well detangled the prior wash session, I am able to gently detangle and de-shed my dry hair with oil. That first finger-detangling session tends to take care of most of the heavy-hitters. Then, I will finish detangling under the water stream while rinsing my deep conditioner and finally after I apply my leave-in. As my hair is pretty detangled once I get to the leave-in step, I will sometimes gently “chase” my finger detangling with a wide-tooth comb. However, I don’t do use the comb regularly. I have discovered that making certain that I do a final detangle after I apply my leave-in results in an easier detangling session the next wash day.

Anywho, here are a few tutorials that show how others finger detangle. As you’ll see, there is no one “right” way to do it. There are a variety of techniques, so you just have to figure out what works best for you!

via HeyFranHey

via MahoganyCurls

via Chery818

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Do you finger detangle? If so, how and why? If not, do you think that you would try it?

Commitment … How Things Change

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by Weusi

First they said … “Just wait … once you say ‘I do,’ things will change.” I didn’t want that to be me. So I asked questions to my friends and family that were married and/or had been married. THEN, I got more words of advice (along with some heartfelt chuckles). “Once you become engaged things start to change.” I didn’t believe it.

After about a week of being engaged, over and over, I found myself laughing at myself when I corrected the mistake of speaking about Shelli as my girlfriend. There were moments when I literally could not stop myself from smiling and/or giggling out loud as I said, “I mean … My fiancé!” That’s when it hit me … Yeah … things have indeed changed! Not only am I changing my language from girlfriend to fiancé, but I’ve changed from words and thoughts of I & me to US & WE. The idea that “I” is the last letter in my name after WE & US really kicked in! And I’m cool with that. I embrace the idea of WE and look forward to a life of US. I am more than committed to this. This realization had me rethinking life … re-evaluating what dedication is.

Now you have to understand something about me. When I commit, I commit 110%! I’ve invested all of myself into projects and people. I’ve sacrificed love, friendships and finances in the past. I’ve won sometimes and I’ve lost at times. I go pretty hard. I know what it means to be dedicated … or so I thought. Then I asked Shelli to be my wife.

In the past, I have loved, but recently I realized that it wasn’t about ME loving Shelli. This isn’t about me being committed to marriage. Those things are easy to do and are unquestionable and solid in this relationship. What changed is that now I understand that this commitment is about US dedicating ourselves, collectively as ONE, to marriage. After this epiphany, I understand commitment and dedication differently now.

OK so …  Shelli and I continue to talk about enjoying this time being engaged without the headache of wedding planning. In my mind, that would last for about 4-6 weeks. But NOW … I’m 6+ weeks deep into this engagement thing! Sunday, we took a step forward and set a date to finally get our families all together. Allowing ourselves to take our time to make these plans has importance. Well, at least in my mind it has importance. It allowed the reality of the process to kick in. (I have work to do!) The other reason that it was important to me was that I wanted to make sure that we stayed rooted in the reality of our love before we jumped into the headaches and fantasy of wedding planning. WE continue to talk about how we’re both fighting the urge to jump into wedding planning. But the truth is, neither of us really wants to do deal with the wedding planning  headaches. But … we both want those fly pictures to document what WE know will be recognized as a historic love!!

And yes, my mind wanders at times.

I find myself listening to songs and thinking, “I could come down the aisle to that!” But I know that it would come with me dancing down the aisle so … this is more than likely a no go … but I still LOVE THIS song!

Or, “I gotta put that on the playlist at the reception!” I just heard that they are FINALLY (after 2 years!) getting this mastered. So, hopefully, I can get it on the playlist for real!

Or I find myself thinking other things such as, “I like the cut and details on that tuxedo!” and “I want a dessert bar in the mix with Twizzlers … and Red Vines!” or “Maybe we could have a really classy 1950s themed wedding!” Then there are those times when I am flipping channels or surfing the web and see something about dresses or a  vacation/honeymoon spot and I stop and look for a while.

Yes, WE have a good thing happening here between US … and I want to make sure that it stays that way. 

I write this to say … for some of us testosterone-driven beings, having the time to settle in and get a grasp of the totality of things can be all we need so that we don’t lose it as wedding planning begins. We know it’s gotta happen and we know that it’s not easy work. But we also know that easing into the process may save the relationship a bunch of stress and extends things so that there is a little extra time to enjoy being engaged and in love. 

And, for real … I still smile when I get the opportunity to tell people that Shelli is my fiancé!

Although some would say that I’m kinda corny, I like to define those moments as proof that I’m happily in love!
I LOVE YOU SHELLI GILLIS!

Yes … things change … and sometimes that’s for the better!

(ARGGHHH … I guess WE have to talk more about that last name thing, huh?! Maybe that’s a future post?)

SHiNE