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.
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…
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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! 🙂
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!
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?)
This is another post that I’ve been meaning to do FOREVER! I’ve been asked a few times about my skin care regimen and given that I recently turned 40, this seemed as good a time as any to finally “talk” about it!!
My Skin Story First, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to tell you that I am completely lazy about my skin. I wash, tone, treat and moisturize in the morning. Other than that, the only thing that I do regularly is use Chapstick or whatever other lip moisturizer I happen to have in my purse. I really don’t wash my face at night because I don’t wear foundation or powder on a daily basis (hence the perpetually shiny T-zone) and I can only be bothered with grooming/filling my eyebrows and applying lip gloss every now and again. However, I know that isn’t an excuse for not washing my face at night, because air pollutants cause “dirty” skin. So, yeah, I know!! I’m sorry, I told you I’m lazy with my skin.
I also really don’t do regular facials. Once in a blue moon I’ll do an exfoliating scrub, which I’ll talk about a little later. Ultimately, I think that diet and sleep play large roles in healthy skin. Given that I generally eat well, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep (well, that is, until I started this blog!), I think that I’ve won half the battle.
I will also say that the best my skin has ever looked was when I was following The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet: A Simple 3-Part Plan to Lose the Fat, the Wrinkles and the Years. This diet focused on good protein, healthy fats, colorful fruits and veggies and complex carbs to foster weight loss while improving the appearance of skin. Seriously y’all, I glowed when I followed the diet that largely relied on eggs, turkey, salmon, blueberries, organic apples, flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds and leafy greens. Shoot, I need to dust off my book for the next GOC!!
My Skin Care Regimen Anyway, so, what do I do now? Well, I’ve been using a prescription facial cleanser and topical spot treatment for a decade. In my late 20s/early 30s, I started experiencing break-outs on my previously clear skin. I think that they were attributable to a lot of stress at work and a hormone imbalance caused by fibroids and a frequent cycle. I got the hormonal imbalance and cycle under control through my “lady doctor” *lol* and went to the dermatologist to address my skin issues. My biggest concern was the sebaceous cyst (you know those hard, puss-filled and painful pimples) that would inevitably develop shortly before my cycle, would never go away unless it was popped and left a scar, regardless of whether I touched it or not. Those jokers were the secondary bane of my existence (the first was the stresser at work) and resulted in a forehead and right cheek covered in scars.
When I visited the dermatologist, he gave me scripts for Clenia (the facial cleanser) and Duac (the topical solution). To those, I added my homemade astringent concoction of witch hazel and effervescent Vitamin C, which really seems to remove the dead skin cells without drying my skin, and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Lotion with SPF as my daily moisturizer. I used those morning and night for a year or so, then just started using them mostly in the morning once my skin was consistently clear.
The OCM Experiment In the Fall of 2010, I discovered the Oil Cleansing Method via MopTopMaven. I marveled at her gorgoues skin, read her post about ditching conventional, store bought facial cleansers after struggling with acne for years, watched her video tutorial several times and decided I wanted to try the natural route.
Beautiful skin, right?!?! So, although I hadn’t had a break-out in years and had nary a scar, I thought it would be great to use all natural products to care for my skin. In addition, I thought that the OCM would probably help eliminate the fine lines I was starting to see in order to continue the legacy of “Black Don’t Crack.” But, what’s that saying? If it ain’t broke …?
So, off I went to follow MopTopMaven’s regimen of grapeseed/castor/hazelnut oils to cleanse, a green tea astringent to tone and grapeseed oil to moisturize. I also incorporated bentonite clay masks once a week and brown sugar/raw honey scrubs twice a week. I stuck with it for about two months, trying different oils and adjusting the amounts used. I waited it out to see if my skin was just “detoxing” and the oil was just bringing all the impurities to the surface to eventually promote flawless skin. But, despite my best efforts, my skin was revolting!! I was experiencing consistent and constant break-outs, pimples that would never clear and, of course, these were accompanied with new scars. Finally, in December, I had enough and returned to my trusty Clenia and Duac.
Unfortunately, despite the return to my aces and normal regimen, it took months for my skin to regain its equilibrium. I followed the OCM for about 2 1/2 months and it took my skin about 3-4 months to stop breaking out and several more months for the majority of the scars to fade.
I wish that Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty had written this post, Say No to Oil Cleansing, when I first decided to experiment wih OCM!! Although I still might have tried it, I would have been better prepared for the potentially disastrous side effects and aborted more quickly!!
Learnings What I will say is this. During my experiment and the aftermath, I discovered some natural solutions that worked for me. I conducted some internet research and found that applying aspirin crushed and dissolved in water with a little honey reduced inflammation and helped clear my pimples more quickly when the Clenia and Duac didn’t seem to be working. I also learned that applying a raw honey and lemon mix to my scars for 15-30 minutes a day seemed to help fade them more quickly. Michelle explained the science behind those results in the comments on her “Say No” post: “[The aspirin] works … because [it] has salicylic acid in it, a common ingredient found in many acne products. The honey is great and you probably saw such success because you used raw honey which is pure and absorbs bacteria.”
And, although the oil cleansing part of MopTopMaven’s OCM regimen didn’t work well for me, the bentonite clay mask and brown sugar/raw honey scrub were keepers. Although I don’t do them often, I would like to incorporate a scrub once a week and mask every two weeks. We’ll see if I ever get there.
Although the OCM didn’t work for me personally, many seem to find great success with it. Ultimately, I am just sharing my experience so that others who are researching it can learn about the good, the bad and the ugly and decide for themselves whether oil cleansing is for them. I also hope that it’ll help others to detect the “early warning signs,” so that they can make an informed decision about whether to continue the process, adjust their mixes and/or get out while the getting is good.
Don’t forget!! The deadline for submissions to participate in the Grow Out Challenge: The Sequel is less than a week away! So, if you have been hemming and hawing about whether you want to be an “official” contender or just play along at home, you have a few days to decide!! LOL!
As a reminder, if you participated in our last GOC and want to keep going, shoot me an e-mail with your March status update, your ongoing goals and updated pics. If you’re a new contender, please follow the rules for submission under the GOC tab. Send your write-up and pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject, “GOC: The Sequel.” This challenge will run for 6 months from April to the end of September 2012!!
Until a few months ago, I probably would have never thought about this or believed that it was achievable. I mean, nape hair is the same as the hair at our sideburns or like eyelashes and eyebrows, right? In my mind, this hair just had a very short terminal length and was meant to be shorter. Then, I was perusing the Fotki of Zhara after Jasmine aka CurlsDivine told us about her in a GOC update and I came across thispicture. Go ahead, look at it and read the caption … I’ll wait.
Are you kidding me? Waist length nape hair? That’s impossible!! Right?!?! Guess not! I started thinking about my own very wispy, fine, thin (density) and tangle-prone nape hair. Could I possibly grow that hair to waist length as well? So, I started to do a little research to understand what others have done to grow their more delicate nape hair longer. These are some tips that I found or think make sense.
Tips: Some of these tips are no-brainers and techniques that I already practice. Others probably wouldn’t work for me because of the fine and easily weighed down nature of my nape hair. So, I think it’s probably best to pick and choose the techniques that are likely to work for you and modify as needed:
Don’t over-manipulate the hair at the nape with brushing and/or combing.
Be very gentle when detangling the nape area (finger detangling is recommended).
Wear styles that prevent your nape hair from rubbing your clothing as excessive friction can cause damage and breakage.
Avoid placing a lot of tension on the nape hair with overly tight weaves, braids, bun and ponytail styles.
Protect the nape at night with a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet ensuring that this area is fully covered. A satin pillowcase adds yet another level of protection in the event that your headgear is prone to “slippage” like mine.
If you use commercial permanent colors, apply dyes to the nape last so that it is processed for less time or don’t treat this area at all.
If/when you use heat, reduce the temperature and ensure the hair is adequately treated with a heat protector.
Moisturize and seal this hair more if hair it is prone to dryness. This applies to using additional conditioner through the wash session (regular conditioner, deep conditioner) and moisture during styling (leave-in, styler, sealing).
Massage the scalp to promote circulation and growth. (I use an essential oil mix that has been proven to stimulate growth. I have tried Dr. Miracle’s Temple and Nape Grow Balm to increase density, not length, in the past. I didn’t notice any appreciable difference. However, I admit, I wasn’t diligent about using it every day either.)
Braid the nape hair into a horizontal cornrow and thread the length through the cornrow to protect it.
This last technique is the only one that I hadn’t really thought of or applied previously and I found this great “How to” on it on K is for Kinky: Protecting and Growing Out Your Nape with the Braid Method. Now, this may not work for every style, but it looks like a great way to protect the delicate nape when wearing hair down and out as the braid can easily be hidden. I’m thinking that even a simple braid bunned at the nape would work for those with very fine nape hair like me or those who can’t cornrow. So, don’t be surprised if the next time you see me wearing a WnG or TnC, I’m packing a mini-bun under it as I’m on a mission now to grow my nape hair to waist length too!