Daily Archives: June 18, 2012

May GOC Update: Adrienne (#4)

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by Adrienne of Natural Embrace

Hair
Is May over already? It went by so fast! I can’t even remember what I was doing to my hair. I know I played around with Curlformers once or twice, plus a braid out here and there, and kept my hair in mini-twists for two weeks which definitely led to a lot of growth/retention. I told myself that I would keep them in longer, but I’m going on vacation to the beach and I’m afraid of sand sticking in my hair if I keep it twisted.

When I get back from vacation, I have a blowout and trim planned for the day after my birthday. I’ll either have my cousin do some kind of braided or two strand twist updo for me, since she’s really good at braiding. Heck, I might even get her to do some kinky twists for me or maybe even just mini-twists again. I know my hair does best when twisted up and left alone (even though I love the ease and simplicity of a wash and go … but they usually lead to single strand knots). But, I get sooooo bored rocking the same style for days and days, that it’s really hard for me to stick with what my hair needs for growth and retention. I love braid outs and twist outs, but those styles don’t last long if I’m working out consistently. I sweat away all of the definition and have to start over that evening by re-twisting or braiding and that just feels like too much manipulation.

Other than that, I’ve been doing very well at applying my Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my edges and I think it’s helping a little with the thin areas. I’ve also continued to pre-poo/deep condition before my
Mudwash and my hair is staying moisturized so much longer now. I’m going to stick with it. As of June, I started taking the Viviscal vitamins so…we’ll see how that goes. I have a wedding to attend at the end of July and I really want to see some length by then. So, I really want to go into a protective style, which can last anywhere from two to four weeks, after my trim on the 22nd. But, like I said, long-term styles drive me crazy after a week. Plus, I like to steam with my pre-poo every week so … I  gotta find a style that allows me to do that.

Health & Fitness
As for working out, I’ve recently started playing tennis on the weekends with the SO and it’s been a lot of fun! We are getting a great workout in without it feeling like … work. It’s been my main form of cardio lately. Other than that, I haven’t been working out very diligently … nor have I been eating very well. As a gal that already works twelve hour days, I tacked on a few extra hours to make up for the time I’m missing on my vacation … so, really, I’ve been too exhausted to work out. And, when I’m tired, I start to get signs of a cold … so yeah, my 1.5 hours of free time between jobs has been spent taking power naps. But I do walk 30 minutes every day and I do a lot of moving around at work, so it’s not like I’m being a total sloth.

Check out Adrienne’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update

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Haircuts

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by Weusi

I LOVE the barber shop …

It is said to be a black man’s safe haven. A community’s stories, history, fables and folklore are often shared created and retained through the conversations in the barber shop.

When I had locs, I would still go by the barber shop to check in on my peoples and get the neighborhood news, even as the barbers watched me with their mouths watering and their hands excitedly sweating as they lusted at the idea of cutting my mane of glory!

But, even with all the socio-historic interactions … at the root of the experience is The Haircut! Can we talk about this?

NOW … I’ve had my hair cut by a few people in my life. Some cuts were better than others. Some experiences were better than others. Some cuts came from barbers. Some came from licensed hair technicians. Some from people who were not licensed.

My father cut my hair until I was a senior in high school. He knew me. He knew every dip, lump, curl, curve, wiggle and wave of my head and hair. He set the standard for my expectations on what a barber is supposed to know, pay attention to and respond to.

A few weeks ago, I observed a stylist that had an understanding of how serious a haircut is. Not only did she seem to know about the science of hair and the products that should be used on certain types of hair, but she also was able to read a person’s personality. She asked the right questions about their habits and lifestyle. She seemed earnestly interested in giving truly educated and professional feedback on her client’s hair.

Those of you that came to the Hairscapades Meet-Up in NJ met her. Shelli dug her so much that she went and let her cut and layer her hair (see it here). I know that you know how big of a deal that is, so I don’t have to tell you! But, what you may not know is that I was gonna get my hair cut too. You see … the barber shop is great for the social aspect, but the quality of the work being performed often isn’t up to my liking. I prefer for my barber to look at my hair. Touch my hair. Get to know it before they start cutting. Know where my textures change. Know where my natural parts are. Know where my hair and beard grows in different directions. Know why my hair is longer in certain spots (translation: know where I’m balding!).

Again, why am I saying all this?

I’m saying this because, as dudes who cut our own hair or get hair cuts from others, as long as we’re close to the look we’re trying to achieve, we’ll be ok. Many of us aren’t really trying to get extra fancy with it and get a salon treatment. And most of the time, we are attached to the history and feeling of community we share in the barber shop experience. But … those of us who have experienced the difference and received a good cut with the full salon process, will rarely admit to the fact that we like it.

I’m letting you know this because, I was hurt that I wasn’t able to get my hair cut when Shelli got hers done. But I haven’t given up and am looking forward to Tameeka cutting my hair.

And for real … you can treat your significant other to a nice shave and/or a haircut (even bald dudes like getting nice shaves sometimes! Set ’em up … tell ’em you want them to try to grow it out and that you’ll give them a special treat if they do! Then, give them the treat of a nice men’s salon experience at a spot like www.THEARTOFSHAVING.com …

or www.THEBARBERSHOPS.net …

or, even better, at a local salon for men near you. Maybe we can work with Tameeka to work out a little men’s spa day day thingy? (hint-hint!)

I’m just saying … you get your hair done every now and then right!?! You treat yourself to a plethora of products and accessories whenever you feel like it. So, don’t wait for a “holiday” to treat him to a haircut!

SHiNE

My WnG Results

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I’m smiling in the above pic, because I finally got my hair to look the way that I wanted! Also, I promised a reader in the comments a few posts back, that I would try to figure out how to take pics of myself smiling without looking like a weirdo ;)! *lol*

WASH ROUTINE

Pre-Poo:
So, here’s how I got here. On Saturday morning, I pre-pooed with a mix of Aubrey GPB conditioner and Vatika oil. I finger-detangled my hair in 8 sections and twisted each section when I was done. Then, I applied Wild Growth Hair Oil (WHGO) to my scalp and massaged it in for several minutes (Ahhhhh, that felt good!). It took a good  1 1/2 to 2 hours to pre-poo given that I’d been wearing a progressively shrinking WnG all week. The worst sections were where the coarsest, curliest and finest of my strands met the straightest and thickest of my strands in the section above my nape. I think this is because this area experiences the most friction and movement as it rubs and bunches up against my neck and clothes.

Prior to pre-pooing. The curls are back maaaan!!

Womp, womp. There’s that pesky, straight nape again.

Aubrey GPB Conditioner & Vatika Oil pre-poo.

One side done.

Once I finished oiling my scalp, I secured the twists at my crown with a jaw clip, donned a baggie and then the Heat Therapy Wrap, which I left on for about 2 hours or so.

Shampoo:
Then, I hopped in the shower and shampooed with diluted DevaCare No Poo. However, the hair near my scalp was still very slick and oily from the WGHO :(. So, I diluted Aubrey Green Tea Shampoo, which is sulfate free but sudsing, and washed my scalp again. This is the second time I’ve used this shampoo and, unfortunately, I think it causes my hair to get matted and tangled. So, I don’t see it becoming a staple. I’m going to investigate the other Aubrey options to see if one of the other shampoos might work better for me as I would like to include more natural products in my regimen, if I can.

Conditioning & Detangling:
So, after shampooing, I began detangling with the Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse. But, after my second twist, I decided to switch to a thicker conditioner that I’d just picked up from Harmon a week or so prior: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut. I had run out of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) during my last henna treatment and knew that a lot of people love this conditioner, plus it was super cheap … like, less than $2 a bottle. I LOVE the smell … like piña colada!! I applied about a palmful of conditioner to each twist and then proceeded to detangle. Ummmm … color me unimpressed with the slip. It was okay, but it definitely isn’t unseating HE HH.

After I finished detangling, which was no small feat, I rinsed the Suave Naturals Conditioner and then applied Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse as a final conditioner before rinsing with cool/cold water.

STYLING:

Leave-in:
After I hopped out of the shower, I released all of the twists and applied Sally’s GVP Infusium 23 Leave-in Treatment with a spray bottle. Then, I combed it through my hair with … wait for it … my shower comb! You know I’m not one for combs, but I was given the advice to comb my leave-in through my hair with a wide tooth comb long ago and it resulted in far less matted tangles on wash day. So, I decided to do it … this time. From now on, I think I’ll stick with thorough finger detangling. My curls looked so nicely clumped before I used the comb!

Styling:
Anywho, after combing through the leave-in conditioner, I proceeded to section my hair into a top front section, two sides in the front and two sides in the back. Then, I worked from the back to the front, making smaller sections and raking and shaking Lots of Curls gel mixed with Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter through them (see Ouidad’s Rake & Shake video tutorial here if you missed it last week).

I allowed my hair to air dry for a while. Eventually, I had to pineapple it with a satin scrunchy, while it was still slightly damp, for bed. I didn’t wrap the scrunchy at all, so it was very loose so as not to create a crease in my curls.

See, I tried styling into a side part ;)!

But, I didn’t like the way it looked. So I moved the part back to the center! *lol*

My damp, styled curls.

I slept without a bonnet on my satin pillowcase and the next morning, my hair was still damp in one section. There were a couple of small frizzy areas, so I dampened them with some more leave-in conditioner and applied a little more gel and butter. Once it was almost completely dry, I applied a little Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade to my hair by gathering it like I was going to make a low ponytail and smoothing the pomade down the length.

It was okay, but I wanted more volume. After seeing how my hair got bigger each day when I pineappled it, I figured that might be the way to “pump up the volume.” So, after running a few errands, I got home and put my hair up into the high ponytail again and left it that way for a couple of hours. Then, I released and … voilà! Bigger hair!

The pineapple seems to give my hair more lift at the crown to give me the fullness that I want, instead of flat head ;).

So, that’s my WnG. I hope to film it soon, but wanted to see how it went first before attempting to videotape it. Also, that would have added more time to the process and I was just trying to get it done ;)! *lol*

Anywho, I’m hoping that my hair will continue to shrink and grow every day like it did last week.

Welp, that’s it for this pic heavy post!

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You know what time it is!! What did you do with your hair this weekend?