Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jen Big Chops!!

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Remember Jen, transitioning marine and my blogging buddy from the CurlyNikki presents Kim Coles GOC?!?! Well, guess what?! She’s a transitioner no more!! Jen Big Chopped and she sent me the video, so that I could share her huge moment with all of you!!

WOOH-HOOH!!!! Congratulations Jen!! You did it!! That ‘fro is nice!!

*I’m giving those household shears the side eye though. lol*

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AO Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, AVJ to Seal & Plopping

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“Today on Wash Day Shenanigans: Shelli decides to try a three new things! Want to learn how it will all end?!?! Then, don’t change that channel!!”
*teehee*

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner
After less than stellar results using Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (AO HSR) Moisturizing Conditioner as a post shampoo “quick” conditioner, I decided to follow the directions on the bottle for using it as a deep conditioner. I deep conditioned BEFORE shampooing. Yup, you read that right. I’ve heard of this before and knew that others had success using this technique, but I’d never tried it.

A little about the product first though:

via Aubrey-Organics.com:

INGREDIENTS INCI: Aqua, cetyl alcohol, alcohol denat. (38b, lavender*), butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice*, glycerin, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, rosa rubignosa (Rosa Mosqueta®) seed oil*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) extract, tocopheryl acetate, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) fruit extract, humulus lupulus (hops) extract, melissa officinalis (balm mint) leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, beta-carotene, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, angelica archangelica extract, chrysanthemum sinense flower extract, magnolia biondii flower extract, ascorbic acid. *Organic

From the bottle:

Directions
Shake well before using. After shampooing, apply to damp hair and work through, concentrating on the ends. Leave on for 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse. For deep conditioning: Apply to dry hair and distribute from scalp to ends. Leave on for 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition hair as usual. (emphasis added)

On Friday night, I put my stretched hair into 2 braids after oiling my scalp with sunflower oil mixed with the remnants of my EO mix. I applied a little oil to the length of my hair too. Then, on Saturday night, I divided my hair into 4 sections and applied about a tablespoon AO HSR to each area before twisting. I really didn’t detangle much at all. Once done, I donned a plastic cap and winter hat. Then, I did 10 minutes of Abs of Steel and 30 minutes of The Biggest Loser Cardio Max. After that, I chilled for about an hour, playing on the computer, eating dinner and watching and episode of The Big Bang Theory that I had somehow managed to never see!! Finally, I hopped into the shower, shampooed with diluted DevaCare One No Poo and rinsed. My hair felt GREAT!!! It felt strong, moisturized and smooth. And, I’m telling you, it was the easiest detangling session that I’ve had in MONTHS!! I don’t know if it was the AO HSR as a pre-poo DC or if my hair was just that stretched!! But, I can’t wait to try this again next week to see if I get the same results (I may do a Vatika oil pre-poo under the AO first or mix a little oil with the conditioner just to get the protein retention benefits of coconut oil). Anywho, then, for good measure, I applied HE HH to do a final finger detangle. However, I really think that it might not have been necessary!

Preliminary Review of AO HSR: Thumbs up and 5 stars as a pre-poo DC on dry hair!!

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Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ) to Seal
Next, I decided to use two products that have been part of my natural hair arsenal for almost two years in a different way. What prompted this deviation? This post and video on blackgirllonghair.com by HeyFranHey: Moisturizing & Sealing 3B/3C Hair. In it, Fran explains how using oils to seal left her hair flat and lifeless, because they were too heavy. But, AVJ was the perfect lightweight sealant! She also shared this YouTube video tutorial demonstrating her technique!

Now, as many of you know, I use a modified Kimmaytube leave-in, which contains 2 tablespoons each of Kinky Curly Knot Today and AVJ (whole leaf) and 1-2 teaspoons of oil. I’ve thought about leaving out the oil altogether, because I remember reading that someone else did that because the oil was too heavy. However, I never got around to trying it … I think partly because I felt like I needed an oil to seal in the moisture. But, after reading and watching Fran’s post and video and thinking about how the pH of AVJ seals the hair cuticle, it made so much sense to give this a try! I wanted huge, curly and fluffy hair too;)!

I proceeded to pull out my KCKT and AVJ and followed Fran’s steps for applying the leave-in and sealant. I had allowed my hair to dry to damp, so I did have to rewet with filtered water from a spritz bottle. Therefore, my hair wasn’t as soaking wet as hers. But, it still seemed to respond very well! This seemed so much easier than mixing and applying the Kimmaytube leave-in! Again, my hair was very detangled, so applying the products was almost a breeze and my hair already had volume and curl after finishing the application.

Preliminary Review of KCKT leave-in with AVJ to Seal: Thumbs up wet. Dry? The verdict is still out, because …

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Plopping
Given that it was the evening, I would normally do some type of TnC or twist set. Though wet hair in the morning is inevitable, my hair is controlled so that I don’t wake up with a tangled, matted rat’s nest. However, Saturday night, I decided to experiment with an overnight Wash and Go “drying” technique touted to enhance curl formation, definition and volume: Plopping. I think I tried it once before, but don’t remember the results. So, they probably weren’t that spectacular. Regardless, I decided to try it again. However, I needed to research how to do it as it had been so long. I came across this video using a long-sleeve t-shirt rather than the short sleeve one that I’d typically seen.

I grabbed a long-sleeve tee and followed the directions (using my bed as the flat surface, rather than a chair). A couple hours later, I hit the sack. I woke up Sunday morning and decided to do the reveal prior to working out. Figured that I could pineapple my hair if it came out all big and lovely like I desired.

It came out big all right … lovely? Not so much. *sigh* My hair was still slightly damp, very soft, big, but with next to no curl definition. I watched another video that indicated that a styler should be applied and left to air dry for an hour prior to plopping. I’m wondering if I had applied something like a curl gel over the AVJ and then waited for an hour prior to plopping, maybe this would have worked out better. But, as it was … I bunned it up for a fundraising Mother/Daughter’s Fashion Show that I attended for my niece’s school. My niece wasn’t in it, but my sister co-chaired and Sofistafunk loaned a slew of wonderful skirts for the event!! I’ll try to share some pics later, but mine weren’t that great as the girls were moving too fast for me to catch good ones!!

First Time Plopping Experience: #Fail

So, last night, I used a couple new products for the first time and placed my hair into 8 twists, setting the ends on flexirods. I’ll let you know how that turned out tomorrow!

GOC Health & Fitness Goal Update (BONUS ;))
I stuck with the plan in regard to exercise and did The Biggest Loser Cardio Max Week 1 (30 min) 4 days, Lauren Brooks Kettlebell 2 days (40 min. Wed.; 12 min Sun.) and Abs of Steel (10 min) 6 days. I took my supplements every day and ate pretty well most of the week. I was down from 136.5 last Monday (bloated from pancakes on Sunday) to 132 yesterday. Yea!! Why did I get on the scale this morning and it was back up to 135?!?! Boo!!! Dang water weight loss and gain!! Had creme brulee at the fashion show and some shrimp fried rice (after eating some healthy steamed shrimp and broccoli with brown rice; no sauce) last night with friends. *sigh* I know that 135 really isn’t right and it’ll go back down today when I eat well and exercise … but DANG!!

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What did you do with your hair this weekend? Try anything new? Anyone else try AO HSR, AVJ for sealing and/or “plopping?” If so, how did it/they work out for you? Any tips or tricks?

To my GOC ladies, it’s the end of the month! So, start getting those April Updates together and sending them in to hairscapades@gmail.com!

Remember to let us know the following:

  • How you did in regard to following your planned regimen (hair and health & fitness)?
  • What tweaks have you made (did you try something new? Add something? Remove something, etc.)?
  • Have you had any challenges? Setbacks? Accomplishments?
  • And don’t forget the pics!! We love to see your beautiful hair and lovely styles:)!

How I Retained Length Year One – MightyFineNatural

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Check out #3. Very interesting! I never heard of diluting conditioner prior to application, but since detangling with conditioner under the shower stream seems to work well (added water adds slip), I wonder if diluting conditioner with water first has a similar effect! Just thought I’d share:).

The “B” Word

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by Sawah of Discovering Natural

I’m talking about “Breakage.” We’ve all experienced this at one time or the other.  But do you know the difference between Breakage and Shedding? I was totally clueless about this prior to transistioning.

When I was relaxed, I would have a lot of hair breakage and over the years, I thought that was normal. I just thought if you comb your hair, you should experience seeing hair left on the comb or brush. I didn’t realize that there was such a thing as shedding.

Let’s understand the differences between breakage and shedding.

What is Shedding?
Hair that has been shed is one that has come to the end of its life cycle. It usually contains a white bulb at the end. This is normal. Research as shown that we shed an average of 50-100 hair strands per day.  Sounds scary, huh? Well, new hair is suppose to grow where the shedded hair was.

What is Breakage?
This is the process of the hair breaking, not at the root, but somewhere in the strand of the hair.  It is not normal because in all cases the hair has not gone through the normal hair life cycle.  Breakage can occur from mishandling of hair, lack of proper nutrients, or excessive styling.

When hair is deprived of proper moisture, breakage can occur. It is very important to keep your hair properly moisturized. Daily moisturizing and weekly deep conditioning will help you with breakage. Try to use water-based products, because these products provide the best moisturizing agents. Don’t forget to seal your hair with some oils or cream.

In addition to moisture, you will need to strengthen your hair strands. This can be done by adding protein products to your hair routine. Protein is known to help rebuild weak hair strands. There are several protein treatments products that you can use. It is important to properly follow the product application instructions.

Mishandling of hair can also cause breakage. I notice less breakage when I do not use a comb on my dry hair.  If I want to comb my hair post wash day, I spritz some water mixed with a little leave-in conditioner and carefully either finger comb it or use a wide-tooth comb. On wash days, I always finger detangle my hair with some oil or conditioning product.

When styling your hair, try not to pull too much at your edges. The edge and nape of your head are more prone to breakage. Keeping hair in a pony tail all the time can cause breakage at the point where the hair is gathered together.

When you understand the difference between hair breakage and shedding, it will help you address the problem and keep your mind at rest in determining what steps to talk to minimize breakage.

How are you handling breakage?

Mini-Hairscapader: Ashanti’s HairStory

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as told by Niah (mother)

What’s your child’s name and age? Tell us a little about her/him.
My daughter’s name is Ashanti and she is 9 years old. She is my beautiful, brilliant and bright baby girl. She is into a little bit of everything: Girl Scouts, gymnastics, different styles of dance, acting and currently in the engineering club at her school, as well as the Vice President of SGA. Ashanti is a lover of anything music and/or fashion related and has been a little princess since day one. No, seriously. She has been crossing her legs (which I later corrected her to cross her ankles) since before she was a year old. She is a very loving and humble little girl who loves her mom. We have a super tight bond. I have been truly blessed with an amazing little girl and I only pray she stays this way forever.  *lol*

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.?
It took me a really long time to figure out the best way to care for her hair, since my texture is very different.  When she was younger, her texture was more like her father’s, which is type 2 and 3. Most people thought her texture type was the easiest, but not nearly. Because, as she got older, her hair changed and is now a mixture of my 4a/4b hair and her father’s type 2 and 3 hair.  So, the crown of her hair, it’s more of my texture, which makes it a little more difficult to detangle. Well, thank GOD for the natural community! When I BC’d the first time about 5 years ago, when she was at the age of 4, I started my research.

I co-wash her hair weekly and wash with shampoo and deep condition every 2 weeks. I finger detangle her hair while washing/co-washing. I always use a leave-in conditioner, Giovanni, after washing. I section her hair into 6 sections and use plenty of leave-in with coconut oil. Comb each section with a wide tooth comb from the ends and work my way to the roots. After detangling, I use my own whipped shea butter mixture (organic shea butter, EVOO and EVCO) to seal her ends and then braid the sections. I use medium size braids. This is an extremely long process, because she has so much hair, but its worth it because she rarely has split ends. Her hair is wrapped in a satin scarf every night.

The products I use on her hair include:

  • Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner
  • Shea butter, EVOO, EVCO
  • Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk
  • Mizani H2O Conditioning Hair Dress

I’ve tried KCCC, but because her hair is so thick, it took almost a week for it to completely dry. It only defined her curls around the perimeter of her head. But the crown, no such luck. In the winter season, I take that time to get her hair blown straight with low heat. This is when we catch up on trimming her ends, if necessary.  Also, when we wash her hair, it takes a few days to dry, since we rarely allow her to wear it out. If we do, she will for sure be able to score a part in the next Diana Ross or Chaka Khan feature. Speaking of which, because she happens to have pretty big hair and loves music, she was asked to play the lead “lady” in a music video acting as Sy Smith.

Do the same products that work for you work for your child’s hair?
For the most part, we are able to use the same products. The only products I do not use on my hair that seem to work well for her are Mizani Rose H2O Conditioning Hair Dress and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk.

What is a typical style? Do you employ protective styles? If so, how often?
Her hairstyles are seasonal. Lol! Because she is extremely busy during summer break with gymnastics, swimming, dance class, acting class and just play dates and sleepovers, I do a protective style of double strand twists that are refreshed every 2 weeks. It takes about 3 to 4 hours each time, but it’s worth it and she loves it, because it’s the closest she ever gets to wearing her hair down. During the winter time, we have it blown straight and allow her to wear it all out and be free. Anytime around this season, it’s usually her famous ballerina bun or a few ponytails. Either style, whether protected or not, she always wears a satin scarf to bed.

What challenges do you face with your child’s hair?
The only challenge I have with my daughter’s hair is being able to keep it curly after a wash and knowing when it dries, it won’t blow up and create its own time zone. I love it when it gets big, but it loses its curl definition causing it to look like someone threw her away.

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?
Sadly, I was convinced by a member of her father’s family that I should put a soft texlaxer in hair when she was younger to calm the curls. I thought it was a bad idea as soon as I put it on, so I took it out almost immediately.  Even still, I felt horrible about it and since then, no one can ever tell me what to do to her hair or touch it without my permission. I decided to make sure it remained natural, because her hair was fine the way it was. I just had to learn it and have patience.

How does your child feel about her/his natural hair?
Ashanti loves her natural hair. She loves how versatile it is; how she can wear it big and curly or bone straight, knowing it will be curly again once it’s wet. She definitely appreciates the hours of work I put in her hair and I love to see her face light up when she looks in the mirror after we’re all done.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Continue to educate yourself and your child on natural hair. Teach them how to love and take care of their hair early, so that they can have that much more appreciation for it. Other than that, if anyone has any great tips on how to maintain curls with hair textures 3/4a, please feel free to share them with me, pleeaaasseee!!! As she gets older, she is over wearing pony tails to school and I don’t want to always straighten her hair. Lastly, along with other great natural hair communities, thank you Shelli for giving us a great tool to get great tips, motivation and inspiration in growing out healthy natural hair.

Elegant Pin-Curled Updo

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Okay, Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did a tutorial for this super cute, chic and pretty simple to do hairstyle! And, I think you may be surprised by her tools and technique;)!! So, I just had to share! Click the hyperlink to her site for finished pics of the style! I’m definitely going to have to try this one on for size;)!!

Layering Sheer Floral Patterns & TJ Maxx/Marshall’s Haul

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I know. My OOTD pics are so bootleg!! LOL! But, I’m not a fashion blogger by trade and Wei’s not around to take pics. So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do … and the work it takes to crop out the door and mirror frame out of all these pics is just too much;)!

So, anywho, this is my work outfit from yesterday! I really liked it, so thought I’d share. The two tops are sheer florals I purchased from TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I think they were hanging right next to each other, and I thought the two patterns worked well together as they were both petite florals with almost identical color schemes! As the cream top is billowy with a long hemline, I decided to pair it with a belted pencil skirt, also from Marshall’s. Pairing loose/oversized items with more form-fitting ones keeps the proportions balanced and prevents the figure from being swallowed up in too much fabric. Finally, I’m wearing these Vince Camuto fabric and patent leather platform peep-toes that I absolutely adore. I picked them up from MJM a few years ago (I should have gotten them in the black too :(!).

So, I also cleaned up at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s over the last week!! Figured I’d share my hauls as, for once, I’m sharing things I bought recently that you may be able to get if you are willing to hit a few stores in your area!! Whenever I have an improptu shopping spree, I refer to it as an “incident.” Well, yeah, I had several incidents in the last week! And sadly, I’m not even including the things I ordered online from ideeli and DSW!! BUT, most of the purchases were made with gift cards from my birthday, so they were essentially “free” … guilt free shopping … ahhh, that’s the life! LOL!! And get this, one of my purchases from DSW is being returned to the store, because I found the same shoes for $30 less at Marshall’s! Guilt free savings!!

Oh, one last thing. I don’t think any item was over $40!! Now, when you buy multiple items at $40 a piece, it can add up! But, I still think that I didn’t do too badly ;)!!

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(p.s. If you want to see bigger pics, check out the Facebook album!!) 

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Have you had any “incidents” lately? Any major scores or deals?!? You know, sharing is caring ladies ;)!! *lol*