Tag Archives: guest bloggers

Curls2Envy’s Wash and Go


by Curls2Envy

For the past 2-3 weeks, I have not been wanting to deal with my hair. Since it’s getting longer, it’s becoming harder to manage. So I’ve done twist outs, mini twist, high buns, low buns, you name it. It was after yesterday’s wash that I realized that my hair tends to tangle more while it’s in a twist out than a wash and go (I thought it was the opposite, since the hair is being stretched). o_O

Anywho … The last time I wore my hair in a wash and go was … um … yeah, I can’t remember. Last night, as I was fighting my hair in the shower (It was a TANGLED JUNGLE), I decided that I was going to just wash, apply a leave-in and just go about my day. I then remembered that the last time I did such a simple regimen, I was walking around looking like Don King.

If I was not going to be twisting my hair up, I needed to apply something with hold. But I did not want to have to go through the whole process of applying leave-in, sealing, smooth/shingle gel then diffusing. Just no.

My first initial thought was to air dry, but again my hair is super finicky. When I air dry, I either get limp, thin, anorexic-looking curls or no curl pattern and frizzy … I am telling you, she isn’t easy to deal with.

So, this is what I ended up doing:

I washed with Cream of Nature (CON) Argan Oil Shampoo and detangled with Tresseme Naturals. My leave-in of choice was Curl Junkie (CJ) Curl Rehab because I wanted to hurry up and use it up (did nothing for me as a DC). Sealed with a tiny bit of Jane Carter Nourish & Shine (JC N&S). And, for gel … I smoothed (NOT shingled) a pea-size amount of Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) on each section. Yessss, a pea size. Usually when I use KCCC, I need to use a nice amount in order not to get any frizz.  Also, guess what? I did not diffuse or air-dry. (I can imagine the questioning look on your face. lol.)

I PLOPPED into a cotton t-shirt! A first! Well, not a first try, but a first success. I plopped for about 2 hours. When I let my hair down, most of the products were soaked up and hair was about 85% dry. At night, I pineappled and went to bed.

This morning, when I took the pineapple down and took the pics, my hair was still 90% damp. I fluffed a little and shook. Then brought out the camera.

What did I learn?  I learned that I don’t need a TON of gel to get definition and hold and that cotton is not 100% my enemy.

We’ll see how it looks and feel once it’s completely dry. I hope I can get at least 3 days out of this WnG.

Do you prefer to air dry, diffuse or plop? Why?


You’re Ready for The Summer, Is Your Skin?


By: Nikki Credic-Barrett, Master Esthetician
Owner of The Beauty Kitchen Day Spa
via Hair and Other Stuff 

It seems we all have this ritual when summer arrives. We look in the mirror and swear this is the year we’re going to get our bodies toned and our skin beach-ready. Well, I can only speak for myself. I haven’t achieved the toned part, but I am taking steps to achieve skin even Beyoncé would envy. And yes, you can achieve this skin at home! Even if you are still looking at dull, dry skin left behind by winter; flawless, summer-ready skin can be achieved with the help of the right skincare routine and ingredients.

Summer presents some special challenges when it comes to our skin. The greatest challenge is the sun and its ultraviolet rays. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of our aging is caused by the rays of the sun. As we age, the elastin fibers and collagen in our skin weaken. But frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays speeds this process up causing premature aging. So sunbathers listen up! Tanned skin is damaged skin and frequent doses of the sun’s UV rays can alter and destroy the skin’s natural ability to protect you from those wrinkles and age spots you weren’t supposed to see until your golden years. To assist with protection, I can’t stress enough how important sunscreen is. You should use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, but I say go the extra mile and start at SPF 30. Many of you will give excuses as to why you don’t wear sunscreen. “It’s too greasy. It breaks me out. It leaves a white film on my skin.” Well, hold your excuses because sunscreens have come a long way since the days of “baby oil” sunbathers. Many sunscreen lotions are packed with nourishing ingredients that not only protect your skin from the sun’s rays, but encourage younger looking skin while combating wrinkles.

The hot temperatures can also kick your skin’s oil glands into overdrive causing minor breakouts to excessive acne. The key to handling this problem is recognizing that the skincare products you used during the winter may be too heavy for your skin during the summer. I suggest shelving the heavy night creams for light nourishing lotions and re-evaluating your cleansers and other skin products to see if changing temperatures make them less effective. I also encourage you to exfoliate. Because your skin’s oil and sweat glands work a little harder during the summer, you are also more prone to clogged pores resulting in that “four-letter word” – ACNE. Exfoliating at least once or twice a week with a gentle scrub will alleviate clogged pores and keep acne at bay.

To get you started on your quest for summer-ready skin, here are three easy steps:

  • Step One: After cleansing skin, exfoliate with a luxurious body scrub.
  • Step Two: Choose a hair removal method. For a smoother finish and longer effect, professional waxing and sugaring are the best options.
  • Step Three: Slather on the sunless tanner ( yes, African-American sisters too!). A sunless tanner can do wonders for anyone. It can temporarily even out your skin tone and give you a “healthy glow.” Many sunless tanner products on the market even moisturize and nurture the skin.

Summer is just around the corner. Get ready!

For more information about skincare and product recommendations, go to www.thebeautykitchen.com or email Nikki at thebeautykitchen@gmail.com.

M says:

I go to Nikki for facials, skin care products and, most recently, for sugaring (a form of hair removal). Nikki is really gentle, professional and very knowledgeable.  She’s a natural curly girl too! If you’re in the DC  metro area, check her out 🙂 




by Lia of Embracing Natural Hair

Transitioning from relaxed to natural is a big decision you have to make if you are considering going natural. First, you want to ask yourself the reasons for going natural. Is it for a change, is it because you are tired of the upkeep of relaxers, experience breakage or damage to your scalp, want to set an example for your daughter, or simply want to embrace your natural hair? Whatever your reason, you must remember it during your transition, especially if it gets challenging along the way. Your initial reason for going natural may be your number one motivation to stick to your transition, no matter what. Transitioning actually starts with a mindset. Once you make the decision to go natural, you have to be mentally prepared for what is to come.

There may be people around you that may not understand your reason for going natural. They may think natural hair looks “nappy” or “unkempt.” However, just know that whatever your texture whether 2c, or 4c, all hair is beautiful! For many years, unfortunately, our society has portrayed natural hair as unattractive and many black women see natural hair as a bad thing. Many black women feel they “have” to have a relaxer or straight hair to look presentable. This is not the case, and once you view natural hair as beautiful and unique, you’ll be more accepting of it.

You must be willing to embrace your natural hair and put aside what anyone else thinks! Don’t get discouraged if others aren’t supportive or if your natural texture isn’t what you hoped for. Learn to work with what you have and enjoy the ride.

When I truly made the decision to go natural, I knew I would have a long road ahead of me, but I was prepared. I did a lot of protective styling for length retention and also to avoid having to fight with the two textures. In the beginning, it was pretty easy, but as months went by, the detangling sessions got more difficult as I battled with the two textures. I wanted to do a 2 or 3 year transition, but at 18 months post relaxer I knew it was time to do the BC!

If you’re on the fence about transitioning, here are some great reasons to go natural:

  • No costly upkeep of a relaxer.
  • No more scalp burns.
  • Thick, full healthy hair (with the right regimen).
  • Beautiful God-given coils/kinks/curls.
  • Versatility in styling natural hair!
  • Easy to style and looks better as the days go by.
  • Can still achieve the look of a sleek relaxer without the permanent commitment of a relaxer.
  • The ease of Wash N Go’s…especially in the summer.
  • Don’t have to avoid your hair getting wet…Natural hair loves water!!
  • Don’t have to worry about “sweating out your perm” when working out.

Just think of transitioning as a journey or race you must take to get you that finish line … you may get tired, you may want to quit, but stick it through and you WILL accomplish your goal!

You can do it!!

Find Embracing Natural Hair on Facebook too!

Help Wanted: Apply Within


Hi all! So, I’m desperately in need of some content for the site :)! I’ve got two HairStories in reserve, and that’s about it! That means, I need your help! Have you always wanted to be on Hairscapades (*lol*)?!? Then, why not submit any of the following … or all of them for that matter?

  • TUTORIALS – Love ‘em, want ‘em, need ‘em. If you are an aspiring, amateur hair stylist with great hair and greater styles, please share!! I’d especially love some tutorials for short and medium length hair as I often get those requests, but cannot accommodate them myself. Or, maybe you have a great DIY item or homemade recipe or remedy! Send me a bulleted picture or your YouTube video tutorial of your fabulous style, project or recipe for inclusion in the “Library!” Please use the subject, “Tutorial.”
  • REVIEWS – Did you try an amazing, lackluster or absolutely horrendous product, tool or accessory recently? Do you have a holy grail product that just doesn’t get enough shine? Then send your in your Rant or Rave (include the ingredients list for product reviews, please!)! Video reviews are very welcome as well! Please use the subject, “Review.”
  • HAIRSTORIESAgain, I still have two of these to post, but the coffers are starting to get low! So, if you haven’t sent in your story yet, now is the time! Please use the subject, “Hairstory.”
  • NATURALS AROUND THE WORLD (NEW FEATURE!) – After the thoughtful and thought-provoking post from Chy’s Curlz, I’d love to start a new feature, which profiles the stories of naturals or those transitioning to natural in the international community. I think that it would be very interesting to learn about the different experiences and various perspectives across the diaspora and in the homeland. How are our stories the same and what are the commonalities? How are they different and distinct? A HairStory can be used as the platform, but I wanted to break-out this topic to bring more attention to it and solicit these stories specifically. My goal is to present a more diverse perspective on Hairscapades. So, if you have one, please send your story, thoughts and insights with the subject, “Around the World.”
  • GUEST BLOGGERS – If you maintain your own blog and would like to share a post on Hairscapades, send the article, a link to your blog and a pic of yourself. If you don’t maintain a blog, but would like to submit an idea, send me a proposal. Please use the subject, “Guest Blog.”
  • GOT SKILLS? QUESTIONS – This is a category under our Grow Out Challenge (GOC) that was created to answer pressing questions from you guys! I will try to answer as best as I can. However, this question is really for all of the readers. So, send me your most burning question! Please use the subject, “Got Skills?” (Are you sensing a pattern yet? ;).

So that’s it ladies!! E-mail your Style Tutorials, Reviews, HairStories, Around the World, Guest Blogs and/or Got Skills? submissions to hairscapades@gmail.com (don’t forget to include pictures for non-video posts!!).

These Strands That Bind Me


Remember LaNora, from my Sofistafunking with Friends post? Well, she recently started her own blog, Musings Mag, and is back to share her HairStory and how she got that fierce ‘fro!!


A Week in the Journey

Ok, so my hair has always been a diva, but now that she is in the “big city of dreams,” she has gotten out of hand. Thanks to Doris NY hair care products, I can at least get a good grip on her. 😉

My hair story started 32 long years ago. Born with a head full of beautiful locs, within minutes I underwent my “big chop” when my head was shaven to insert needles for an emergency blood transfusion. My mom still talks about how they didn’t tell her they were cutting off all my hair and how she didn’t even get any pictures. From that point, my hair became more of a “Siamese twin,” always upstaging me. When other babies heard “awww, look at her”, I heard “awww, look at all that hair.”

Fast forward to June of this year, 2011, after decades of being a “hood star,” we move to NYC and who “gets discovered?” You guessed it, The Diva! Being the trendsetter that she is, she finds out that what came natural for her has placed her at the forefront of a movement: The Natural Hair Movement. How befitting.

Anyway, when I started wearing my hair completely natural (I used to get it pressed/flat ironed), I meant natural in the literal sense. However it wanted to look, I was cool with that. Before meeting Shelli and reading about her Hairscapades last week, PJ stood for projects … maybe private jet (Kanye), so you can understand why I gave The Diva the side-eye when she embarked on this little “hair modeling” journey.

Pre “discovery,” I had no hair routine. I would wash and condition it once a week maybe. I straddled between putting off the 45 minutes of back-breaking work combing out my unkempt do and feeling jolted by what felt like the start of locks in my kitchen.

Well, those days are over … apparently. The Diva couldn’t just show up to a job, shoot an ad and have the pictures to show her grandchildren and be done with it. No, she had to find Marlene, the daughter half of the mother-daughter team that is Doris New York. Marlene is a business woman, no doubt, but her focus is healthy hair. I was sent to her with beautiful hair, she is hell-bent on making it healthy as well. To ensure that her mission is accomplished, Marlene has inducted The Diva into her “DNY Lovelies” club and now this a typical week in a life now devoted to making The Diva’s dreams of stardom come true:

Assignment: DNY ad girls appearance for Sofistafunk trunk show.

In anticipation of the gig, I prepare myself for the instructions that I know will be coming from Marlene: condition, condition, condition. On Monday morning, I wash my hair with Doris Reconstructor shampoo and apply the extreme deep conditioner. I comb the conditioner through my strands as I separate it into 6 twists. Because I have the luxury of working from home, I keep the twists in and go about my day.

That night, I have to go to my daughter’s school for a Halloween party, so I untwist my hair but leave the conditioner in. I retwist it when I get home and untwist it again on Tuesday when I rinse the conditioner out in the shower.

At that point, I put in the Doris leave-in conditioner and re-twisted my 6 sections.

I let it dry and released the twists more and more to get my hair bigger.

Because I had a gig, I conditioned my hair again on Thursday morning, after rocking my look for two days. This time I used the DNY deep conditioner, not the extreme deep. I rinse it out and just let my hair dry naturally with the leave-in conditioner. Come Saturday morning, my hair is 2 days big and ready to work.

Of course, as this is a journey and The Diva is a work in progress, Marlene has to work her magic to combat the extreme dryness of my hair and scalp. She also reminds me that DNY Hair Oil and Olive Oil, as well as a Mineral Mud Pack, needs to be leaving home with me that night.

All’s well that ends well, as The Diva emerges from hair, makeup and styling to strut her stuff for DNY and Sofistafunk!