Monthly Archives: May 2012

April GOC Update: TerrificLady (#6)


From April to May 6th, I washed my hair twice with diluted castile soap, mixed with Vo5 conditioner. I deep conditioned my hair with Mizani Moisturefusion conditioner yesterday, May 6th. I styled my hair several times with flexi rods. I first used the green ones, then I bought the blue and yellow (smaller size) and I like the way my curls come out. I also bought the Organic Root Stimulator Smooth-n-Hold pudding to use with the flexi rods.

  • I use virgin coconut oil frequently in my hair, anytime I feel like it. I am having problems with single strand knots. I have quite some.
  • I ordered henna a month ago and I am still waiting for the shipment. I want to stop using hair dye and use henna instead. I dyed my hair on April 21st, however my white hair start showing in the roots (new growth) from 1 week after.
  • I am planning to buy a good wig when I travel to the US (June or July) to protect my hair from the elements. I don’t like the idea of wearing wigs, but this is what I decided to do. ETA: I just bought a wig in Curacao last week, May 22nd, but hesitating to wear it).
  • At times, my hair feels very dry to the touch, especially my ends. I will simply cover my hair with a plastic cap and over it a satin bonnet. I stay like that in the house and sometimes sleep with it on. When I take It off, my hair feels soft again.
  • I also like to use flexirods. Love the results when I allow the hair to dry completely. Doesn’t happen often, because I dont use a dryer.

My hair measurements:

  • Front: 4 1/2″
  • Right side: 4 3/8″
  • Left side: 5 1/8″
  • Above right ear: 5 1/8″
  • Above left ear: 5 3/8″
  • Top of head: 5 2/8″
  • Nape area: 5 2/8″

I need help with my ends. How to keep them soft. I don’t like the way they feel when my hair is dry. Any help?

Check out TerrificLady’s first GOC post here!


April GOC Update: CJ (#31)


Things have been a little nuts lately. I graduated from Georgetown Law on May 20, finished my last student trial on May 24 and am in the process of moving to Nashville. I start my job there on June 4. I think it’s just now hitting me. I’ve tried a few new things, but ultimately returned to using Keracare (I think my previous debacle was due to user error). The pic above is my Curlformers set for graduation (using Keracare setting lotion) before sweat and humidity caused it to exponentially explode. And here are some more pics.

A dry twist-out with Camille Rose Moisture Butter.

Pictures from graduation.

See CJ’s initial post for GOC-The Sequel here.


April GOC Update: Mennia (#25)


Hey ladies! April has been a crazy month for me. So … let’s get started with my update (drum roll) …

My hair regimen is going well. I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree or Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing shampoo to wash my hair. I also began to apply (then massage) Parnevu T Tree Oil to my scalp before washing (idea came from Taren Guy on Youtube). It helps with my itchy scalp, although I am interested in finding something else. I still condition with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration or Totally Twisted and Shea Moisture Deep Treatment. If I use Carol’s Daughter shampoo, I will use Giovanni Tea Tree conditioner (I really love how Tea Tree feels on my scalp). The leave-in conditioner that I’ve been using is Kinky Curly. I’ve been styling my hair in a braid out with curl rods at the end. I’ve also tried doing braids tied up in bantu knots … it came out great. I use Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love and Heavenly Jojoba Oil for styling. They leaves my hair feeling soft and not dry.

I also experimented with my first blow out … lol. I just blew my hair out with a blow-dryer (not straight) to do a chunky braid out using Karen’s Body Beautiful Ambrose Leave-in Conditioner and Butter Love. I used a very low heat, the fan setting and grapeseed oil as a heat protectant.

I’ve pretty much just been using those products. I sometimes, at night, put a shea butter mix in my hair before I do my braids. I plan to purchase Hair Rules from Target (yay) soon … interested in seeing how it works for my hair. I am now looking for a DevaChan Salon in the DMV area to get my hair trimmed.

Health & Fitness
I kept to my diet as far as eating, I just didn’t have time to go to the gym as much. I am still on a low carb diet. I still plan to workout 4-5 days a week. During this time, I have been able to maintain my weight. Other than that … this is it on my fitness. I hope to be able to give you all more next time :).

Check out Mennia’s first GOC post here if you missed it!

April GOC Update: LeShor (#43)


I have been adhering to the Hair Rules Regimen-Kinky; however, I did not straighten my hair for the third week. I just continued to do the wash-n-gos. I feel I have gotten a good grasp of the routine and my wash-n-gos have improved. I find that, by day two and three, I am really loving how my hair looks.

On his website and at his salon, they suggest that you re-wet/co-wash your hair every 2-3 days to keep it moisturized and to keep dry hair at bay. Now that we are hitting month two, it is time to deep condition, which I did using the Silk Elements MegaSilk Intense Conditioning Mayonnaise that I got from Sally’s. I washed my hair and then sat under the hair dryer for an hour with the Silk Elements MegaSilk Intense Conditioning Mayonnaise.

I colored my hair using Clairol Beautiful Collection Advanced Gray Solution Semi-Permanent Color in Midnight Black for the back and Burgundy Brown for the front. I have decided to wait to straighten my hair until the third week in June. I will be getting my hair done for a work function.

Health & Fitness
I feel that my workout regimen is on point. I have lost a total of 17 lbs so far. Almost to my half-way point of my goal of 40 lbs. YAY ME!!


Before: Bust 41.25″; Arm 15″; Waist 41″; Hips 54.5″; Thigh 32″

After: Bust 38″; Arm 15″; Waist 37.25″; Hips 52″; Thigh 30″

LOSS: Bust 3.25″; Arm 0″; Waist 3.75″; Hips 2.5″; Thigh 2″

From my measurements, you can tell that all my junk is in the trunk!! LOL!!!


  • I am still doing 3 days of 60 minute personal training.
  • Day one consists of kickboxing
  • Day two consists of body sculpting
  • Day three consists of a form of Samurai sword play called Forza, that my trainer changed up a little to add “more rhythm.” From the minute I begin the workout until the end of the workout I am sweating!!
  • I alternate 2-3 days of Zumba and Billy Blanks.
  • I am still following a low-carb diet.

Want to see LeShor’s first post with her goals and planned regimens? Check it out here!


Tim Okamura and the Painting that Resembled Her


Okay, just finished up all but one April GOC Update for tomorrow. But, before I hit the sack, had to share this with you guys. Last November, we had a mini meet-up in NYC to go to a small exhibit of paintings by Tim Okamura, this amazing artist who paints these gorgeous images of natural women. Well, while we were there, someone asked if I was the model in one of the paintings. I immediately responded, “No” laughing a little at the question as I turned around to see the painting he was pointing at. When I saw it, I had to acknowledge that there was a slight resemblance.

“Okay, I see what you’re saying.”

Well imagine my surprise when I received an e-mailed from friend and reader Niah that said, “If I didn’t know any better, I would think this is a painting of you. It reminds me of your many before and/or after profile shots you take while standing in front of your mirror.” The following pic was attached:

Ummmm … yeah … that’s kind of uncanny.

So, just for fun, I searched through my photos for a similar angle and hair shot and found this pic that I flipped to match the profile direction of the painting.

Okay, pretty weird!! I think I may have found my doppelganger! With the first painting, I was like, “Okay, yeah, I guess I can see why you would say that.” This one was like, “Dang! That does look like me!!” LOL!

Thanks for playing folks.

That is all.


Mish Mash Mosh


I didn’t get home from work until almost 9 p.m. last night and I was just as frazzled as my hair. *lol* Not every day is a good hair day! In fact, my hair was in four pre-pooed twists (AO HSR/Vatika oil) that I did on Sunday. I still haven’t gotten around to washing it out. I know some people may be bothered by going to work with a little frizz and fuzz. Maybe it’s my nerdy ways, but I really don’t think much about it. Generally speaking, at work, my hair is pulled back and very “unspectacular.” I don’t feel a need for it to look fabulous every day. It’s like when I go to the gym, I usually layer up with clothes that are huge and swallow my shape, even when I’m ripped. Or, how I generally don’t wear make-up. I know what I look like, I know what’s under those layers, what’s in that bun, what a little make-up can do. And, I’ll “whip it all out” on occasion *lol*, but I don’t feel like I need to flaunt “what I got” all of the time. I’d rather save my “big reveals” for special occasions and get that, “Wow, she cleans up real good!” reaction. LOL!! Hmmmm … this was kind of a ramble. But, I was just thinking of how boring (and fuzzy) my hair generally is during the work week and how it doesn’t bother me or make me feel like I’m tucking my hair away and not having fun. I realize that my lack of self-consciousness about my hair and inclination to tuck it away is based on the same personality trait that keeps me layered up at the gym and make-up-less most of the time. It’s just who I am … and probably a manifestation of my Ugly Duckling syndrome (Shallow Hal … look it up ;). *lol*).

Okay, back to the late day at work last night. I got home mentally exhausted, hungry and not particularly savoring the thought of a Lean Cuisine for dinner. I walk in the door and, to my surprise and great pleasure, Wei had brought dinner home from the city! And not just any dinner … “salmon” steak from Veggie Paradise II, which we had just been discussing my love of the day before!! Definitely one of those, “I love me some him” moments:).

Mmmmm … and the leftovers always taste better on day two!!

In other news, my girlfriend gave me free tickets to see A Streetcar Named Desire last Wednesday. It was really good and Nicole Ari Parker was SPECTACULAR!! She played the heck out of Blanche DuBois (yes, that’s who the character on Golden Girls is named after)! I’ve known of the movie for years … who hasn’t heard, “STELLAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!” But, I really knew nothing of the plot. The play was originally written in 1947, yet the topics it addresses are surprisingly modern! I won’t give anything away though. I’ll just say, check it out if you’ve never seen the play or movie. On a side note, Belle Reve, the family estate of sisters Stella and Blanche, is also the name of the prison for metahumans in the DC Universe (you know I had to slip in that comics reference!). Oh, and one last thing! Towards the end of the play, the actress on the right who played Stella walks to the edge of the stage, squats down and we hear her say, “Give it to me.” Next thing we know, she stands up with what is obviously a lit cell phone in her hand, pockets it in her dress and finishes her lines. The crowd broke out in applause. #GANGSTA!

Before we went to the play, we actually made it into the city early and were able to hit the Tracy Reese sample sale, which was a couple of street blocks away! I picked up a really cute pair of aqua blue, high-waisted and belted harem pants for $50! I’ll be sure to post pics soon ;)!

And finally, to wrap up this mish mosh mash post (you get it now, right? I’m all over the place ;)!), the humidity on the day of the meet-up was a BEAST!! I mean, you could see the air. Ugh. So, I decided to try something that I had picked up in November when I went to an Aveda retailer salon to get a heat protectant for a tension blow-out.

Curly Nikki had raved about the Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade in the past and, of course, I had to snag some since I was already there! Well, given that it was winter, I really had no need to use it! But Saturday? Good Googa Mooga!! Yeah, time to break-out the anti-humectant!


This satiny pomade repels moisture from your hair, helping to prevent frizziness and flyaways. Tames curls to give hair a polished look. Excellent in humid weather. Work through hair before or after styling.

• Repels moisture
• Prevents frizziness
• Satin finish



So, I opened to jar to find a translucent white product that strongly resembled and smelled like … wait for it … grease. Yeesssss!! LOL! I placed a little tiny bit in my palm, emulsified it and applied to my dry hair, as directed. I had done a twist-out with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose the night before and, again, my hair was completely dry the next morning!! Yea for Aubrey!! Once I got to the spot, I fluffed the twist-out and I think the pomade really did help to preserve the definition in my style. I usually would have been a big, tribble-like, frizz ball in that type of humidity …

Instead, my hair looked pretty decent!

Now, the face in this pic is another matter entirely.

So yeah, after the first round, the score is 1-Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade, 0-Humidity. The fight’s not over yet though folks. Summer hasn’t yet officially started and we have a long battle ahead of us. So, don’t turn that channel;)!

Alright, gotta go!! I’m going to be off schedule today, but hope to put up a couple of the last few April GOC updates later today … just in time for you to start sending in your May updates ;)!



So, what’s up with you ladies? See any movies or plays lately? Score any great clothes or shoes? Try any new products? What was your week’s Mish, Mash, Mosh?

April GOC Update: Miss Leah (#7)


My hair has taken a backseat to the wedding… So sad, but at least I’m keeping my hands out of it. I’ve been bunning and co-washing almost daily. My sister bought me a “Turbie Twist” hair turban for by birthday. This  is straight from the heavens!

It soaks up the water for real, which means “dry neck” mornings again. lol. I took those mini-twists out 4 (front half)/3 (back half) days after I put them in!! Itched toooooooo much. I won’t be doing that again.

Just took the twist down … I wore it like
this for a day (sleepy face).

I’m going to a hairdresser on Saturday for a hair trial for the wedding … PRAY. lol. I’m gonna be like Shelli of Hairscapades and Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty and say, “You ain’t trimming my hair Chick … .” Sike! lol. They didn’t say that, but I’m gonna make sure I tell her, “NO SCISSORS around my head!” I can already feel a debate!

Want to see how the trial run at the salon went? Are you sure? Then check out Never Again Part One, Part Two and Part Three on A Diamond Through the Fire. Warning, you may want to sit down first.

And, if you missed Leah’s first GOC-The Sequel post, you can find it here.

The Big Chop: Toya’s HairStory


Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My online name is Natural Beauty. I am a mother, health enthusiast, writer and an activist for natural hair. Those who know me would say that I’m very strong-willed, opinionated and analytical.

What prompted you to go natural?
I had gotten bored with my bone straight hair and had even bought a crimper to make it look curly. I was still too scared to do the big chop. I believe what influenced me was seeing other people go natural and how beautiful their hair looked. I made the ultimate decision on a mission trip to Tampa, Florida. I lived in a poor neighborhood, was a counselor to the homeless and at-risk homeless and taught art to kids from low-income families for six weeks. It was then that I realized how vain I was being.

How long did I transition before I went natural?
I transitioned for about six or seven months. I just got tired of the two different textures and went for it.

When and how did you big chop?
I big chopped in January of 2006. I just went to a salon, had my permed ends cut off and the hair stylist styled my hair in coils.

How did you feel immediately before and after your big chop?
I have to admit that I was scared and thought that it would look ugly, since I have a round face. I had pretty long hair and cut off more than 9 inches. I just kept telling myself that it’s just hair and it will grow back, I could always return to a perm if I didn’t like it. Afterwards, I felt elated, free and confident. I had my hair styled in coils and it actually looked really cute on me.

How do you feel now?
I still feel very confident, true to myself and I love my curls. Since the big chop, I’ve had the blessed opportunity to influence others to go natural and to love themselves. I just hope that I can continue to do that.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?
I like to do hot oil treatments with either Moroccan oil or Khoret Amen oil from Carol’s Daughter every two weeks before a wash. Carol’s Daughter’s products are a staple for me. I also use the Tui Shampoo and Tui Smoothie for deep conditioning. I use Motions Wrapping Lotion and either Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm or Nubian Heritage’s Shea Butter with Goat’s Milk and Chai for my twist-outs. I also recently started doing henna treatments at least once a month.

What are your hair plans/goals?
My number one goal for 2012 is to just keep my hair moisturized, because it has a tendency to get dry, and gaining more length and volume would be a plus.

Do you have a hair crush? If so, who and why?
Yes, I love Esperanza Spalding’s hair because it’s so big and full. I want my hair to be like that. I feel like we have similar textures and, with some growth, I can realistically get there.

Who is your favorite natural blogger, YouTuber, and/or Fotkier and why?
My favorite blogger is Curly Nikki, because she just has so much useful information on her site.

Anything else that you would like to add?
I’m just glad to be a part of the natural hair community and you can find me on my blog at Thanks and I love your blog!

April GOC Updates: Michelle & Chloe (#13 & 13.5)


We’ve had a good start to the challenge!  Hair, for the most part, has been “easy breezy” and the health regimen has been initiated. I’ve been busy as beaver, both of my sons are graduating (one from UMD and the other from high school), my niece had a beautiful baby girl a MONTH early and I finished up 3 classes and am looking forward to a summer break! Needless to say, I have faced many situations that I could have used to say, “the heck with it,” but, for the most part, I have kept our train on track!

We, well more me, LOVE TMW (Terressentials Mud Wash)!!!!! Chloe loves that it is mud, but I love the results!!! I dilute it, about 3 squeezes into an applicator bottle and fill with water to first tick mark on the bottle, and shake to mix. I apply in sections, concentrating on the scalp as Whitney and Shelli do, let marinate for 30 minutes and then rinse.

So, I’m here to testify that your hair does dry faster than usual! Crazy, right? Because I was giving the reviews the side-eye, but both of our hair did dry much faster.  Chloe’s post wash twists were plumper and I didn’t have to secure the ends, I could curl with my finger and they stayed put!!!! The next morning I usually undo and put a quick pony in, but the twists were so cute (to me) and she rocked them all week with an assortment of headbands and cute ponytails! And, when I released them, it was the best twist-out ever on her hair!!!! Her hair had a luster that I usually get after applying some oil and the bounce was bouncy!

The TMW effect on my hair has resulted in my first ever TnC (IMO)!!!!! I was so stoked when I released my post-wash twists and it had definition and no frizzies! I thought that it might be a fluke and, sho’ nuff, it was #success 3 more times!

I was rocking the TnC for the first three weeks and then came Michelle’s post on the Elegant Pin-Curled Updo. I couldn’t pull off the updo, but I got all the way to the step where you use the banana clip … ah, that was my treat I got at the February meet-up, I have one! Well, I loved the look, sorta like a curly fro-hawk!

So, I’ve been rocking that look and, with the warmer weather, my WnGs are back! I haven’t done a length check and probably won’t until about mid-way thru the challenge.

Ok, so the first week or so, I did NOTHING. But, I did think about it and mentally beat myself up. Then, one Saturday, laying in bed I saw the most awesome infommercial ever!!!! Kettleworx, kettlebell work out!  20 minutes for 3 days a week for 6 weeks will tone every muscle with resistance, core and cardio.  So, no, I didn’t buy it then. But, I got up and went to Target and they had it for $49, a sign right?! Yep I got it! And it came with a 5 lb kettlebell. I got home and thought, “Shoot, I’ll have to get a bigger one.” But after the first workout … well, actually, the intro to the DVD that takes you through the moves … I was sweating, could feel the burn in my legs and arms. “Nope, I’ll keep my 5 pounder.” I’m watching the timer on the DVD and pushing through the burn and pain and feel a difference in my waistband. Haven’t checked my weight yet (I’m scuuuuuured).

I’ve started eating Activa with Multi-Grain Cheerios for breakfast and a moderate lunch of salads or protein and veggies and go home and have the same. Oh, and my little shopper convinced me to buy Zipfizz after a trip to BJ’s. The salesperson touted it to be beneficial to your “hair and nails,” as well as Dr. Oz loves it (deal clincher)! So, that has increased my water intake and curbed my yearning for a Coke, because of the fizz. So hopefully, I’m on my way to slimmer, sexier ME!

Check out Michelle and Chloe’s first GOC entry here! Want to read their hairstories too? Then find Michelle’s here and Chloe’s here!

How Much Do You Know?


At the Meet-Up on Saturday, I wanted to get everyone actively involved in the giveaway for the Grand Prize, a Sofistafunk Skirt and Jessicurl Sampler Kit. So, I came up with a Natural Hair Trivia Game. I thought that this would be a great way to find out what our attendees knew about hair, hair products and natural hair lingo and to provide a platform for discussion and the sharing of information. In my opinion, it is very important to understand some of the science behind hair and hair products in order to make informed choices. So, I thought about all of the information that I’ve accumulated over the last two years and have found useful in helping me understand hair in general, my own hair, techniques and products. I used that information to come up with some questions.

Now, I want to share the “quiz” here for the same reasons we played it at the meet-up!! How much do you know about hair, hair products, techniques and natural hair lingo? How many questions can you answer correctly? What things are completely new to you? I’ll post the answers to all of the questions later this week!


1. Translate the following abbreviations (1 pt. for each):

SSK: _______________________________________
WnG: _______________________________________
TnC: _______________________________________
BC: _______________________________________
VCO: _______________________________________
ACV: _______________________________________
HIH: _______________________________________
HG: _______________________________________
SLS: _______________________________________
TWA: _______________________________________
BAA: _______________________________________

2. Name three cones (1 pt for each).
Bonus: Why is it important to understand cones when following a co-wash only regimen?

3. What is pineappleing?

4. What is the “greenhouse effect” as a natural hair technique?

5. What is the main ingredient in Vatika Oil?

6. Generally speaking, what three layers form the structure of a strand of hair?
Bonus:  Which layer may be missing in some hair?

7. What do anagen, catagen and telogen describe?
Bonus: Briefly define them.

8. How do you differentiate a broken hair from a shed one?

9. Briefly describe porosity.

10. What are the three values on the pH scale?

11. Under what value does the natural pH of hair fall?

12. What old wives cure for wounds and burns mimics the natural pH for hair and is often used in hair products or added to home mixes?

13. Name 3 types of protein used in hair care products (1 pt. each).

14. All alcohols are drying. True or False?

15. Briefly describe the action/purpose of a humectant.

16. What common food item found in many kitchen cabinets is a humectant?

17. What does the BAQ in “BAQ Henna” abbreviate?

18. When used after henna, what plant powder produces black results on hair?

19. Of what Hindu traditional/alternative medicine system are henna, shikakai, amla, neem, brahmi, etc. considered a part?

20. Complete the titles and authors of the following natural hair care books (1 pt. for each):

_______________’s Grow It!

The _____________ of ____________ Hair by __________ Davis-Sivasothy

_____________ Like Me (aka The _______ Curly Method by Terri ______________

The _________ __________ Handbook by Lorraine ______________.

(41 Total Points)