Tag Archives: natural hair regimens

(Hair) Lessons Learned 2013

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A couple of weeks ago, Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did this post about what she discovered about her natural hair in 2013. I had been thinking about doing something similar and her post was the incentive I needed to write down my (hair) lessons learned.

As she said, these are things I learned about MY hair and may not apply to others. But, they are things that I found helped improve my hair and will hopefully allow it to get better in 2014.

So, here is what I learned in 2013.

  1. Inadequate consumption of water and dehydration is not only bad for the body/skin, but it can cause excessive hair breakage and shedding too. I had a bout of bad breakage last winter all over my head and I believe it was very much related to my unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, excess caffeine, and insufficient water consumption. My hair is recovering and regrowing, but the breakage was bad, creating a fuzzy halo of “flyaway” hair over my entire head. So, I try to make certain I get at least 48 ounces of water a day to ensure that I’m hydrated from the inside out. (Note: I’ll be doing a post on this topic soon!)
  2. My hair does better with wet detangling only. I lose a lot less hair and am able to detangle just fine without thoroughly finger detangling during a dry pre-poo. When I pre-poo now, I just smooth and smush the oil/conditioner down my hair with some minimal separation to make sure I coat each section.
  3. Using a comb and/or shampoo brush after finger detangling results in a less stressful detangling sessions the following wash day. It also makes for smoother, more defined braid/twist-out sets. So, I reincorporated these tools into my regimen.
  4. My hair LOVES goat milk in styling products and deep conditioner!!! My hair has been rejuvenated by it, especially my ends, which were starting to feel pretty rough. My stubborn crown has softened and become more supple and stronger!! My shedding and breakage have been drastically reduced. And finally, the straighter “tail” of my nape that used to hang now holds a curl when I set it on perm rods!! The goat milk DC has replaced Aubrey GPB as my light protein conditioner of choice (note: I also use Joico K-Pak conditioner on wash day, which also provides light protein).
  5. Cosmetic grade aloe vera gel works great for setting my hair in twist/braid outs and for smoothing/setting my edges.  It provides flexible hold and softness without product build-up. (I think this gel began to work well for me because my hair started behaving so well once I incorporated goat milk products into my regimen).
  6. The braid n’ twist n’ curl is my new go to style because the braids keep my roots smooth, but the twists gives me the fullness I desire. As the braid at the roots result in three sections once the set is released, I don’t need to separate my hair any futher to get fullness, which also means less manipulation and frizz. Also, the BnTnC dries more quickly than a braid out.

And that’s what I learned about my natural hair in 2013. Here’s to better hair in 2014! Onward and upward my friends!!

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What did you learn about your hair’s likes and dislikes in 2013?

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Hair Crush: PrincessLinzz’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Hi! My name is Lindsey/PrincessLinzz from the Bronx, New York. I work in higher education, going to Columbia University for second Masters Degree, and I am a hair enthusiast and serious product junkie.

How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I have been natural for about 10 years now. My hair just could not take relaxers, whether mild or children specific. My hair in the nape area would constantly break. I then decided that I would let the relaxer grow out and wear my hair in a bun until it was removed entirely.

Holy Buns

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned for a year and looked really awkward; I won’t lie. But like I said, I typically wore my hair slicked back in a bun. I didn’t cut out my relaxer.

How long did you transition before you cut out the relaxer?
I didn’t cut out my relaxer. I transitioned for a year. It grew out and I looked crazy along the way.

But, you gradually cut the ends over the course of a year until there was no relaxer left at the ends, right?
Honestly, I never cut anything at all. My hair gradually changed to really curly to the looser curl I have today. I swear I never cut anything.

Wait, so you had a relaxer, but you never cut it and the curls reverted?!?! How often did you relax when you relaxed, what kind of relaxer? And did you leave it on briefly or the full time?! We want details!!!
I used the Just for Me relaxer and relaxed every 2 months for a year. My beautician at the time left it in probably for 15 minutes. She did it in sections: apply the relaxer in the back, left it on for a few minutes, then rinsed it out. Then she did the front and rinsed it out.  I loved the way my hair looked.

But then, as time progressed, my hair started breaking off, because I clearly didn’t know how to take care of my hair. Not everyone has had this experience, I did. I would relax my hair for a year and then take a break and wear my hair in a bun with a hairpiece. Eventually, I decided I had enough of relaxers. But,  I refused to cut my hair, so I let it grow out. During this process, my hair changed and the curls were very coily and frizzy at first. The thickness and shrinkage of the curls was crazy and I wore my hair in flat twists in the front and buns in the back. Then, within a year or so, my curls loosened and I had the texture I have today. So yes, my hair just reverted and the curls popped up. It sounds weird but its true. Also I transitioned about 10 yrs ago and my hair texture changed 3 times from then to now.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
No one in my family really cared, neither did my friends. BUT the guys that I dated definitely wanted me to wear my hair long and straight. I noticed that the younger guys I go out with always want me to wear my hair straight and the older guys that I date really don’t care.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest hair challenge is over proteining and battling sporadic breakage. It’s funny, because my friends, family and colleagues call me the hair guru and call me for advice; yet I still find that I occasionally have hair issues that force me to retrace my steps and figure out what my hair needs. No one’s hair is perfect. My biggest challenge is figuring out whether my hair needs moisture or protein, so what I have done is create a hairlendar (hair calendar) to tell me whether I should be using a deep conditioner for moisture or a deep conditioner for protein, steaming, clarifying, etc.

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What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
This is going to sound silly but when it rains I am never in a rush to put up my umbrella. I can just chill and allow my hair to get wet, while my other friends run for cover. Also, the humidity doesn’t affect my hair when it’s curly, however it does when my hair is straight.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen has changed since I went natural. I actually have one now! I have always had length, but my hair has gotten considerably longer since I developed a regimen and began really researching hair. I typically co-wash every 2 days with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (moisture) or Herbal Essences Honey I’m Strong (protein). I deep condition weekly with either a moisturizing deep conditioner or a protein deep conditioner. I have just started sealing my hair … my hair HATES oil, so I started a new technique for my wash-n-go. I spray water from root to tip, run my leave-in down the same section of hair, then apply safflower or grapeseed oil over it. After I have sealed that section, I add my styling product. It’s not a typical quick wash-n-go. It takes considerably longer (like 45 minutes), I call it my wash-n-go-hard.

Side Pony

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
My staple products are: Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Clarifying Shampoo, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle (I have 7 bottles in my cabinet right now), Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha, Kinky Curly Custard, As I Am Coconut Jelly, Dr. Miracle’s Curl Care Strong Hold Gel, safflower oil and grapeseed oil.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
This is pretty bad, but this year I only trimmed once. I will trim in mid January and then probably six months from that date. I usually go to the Dominican salon I have been going to since I was 13 yrs old. She trims my hair straight.

Loosened Bantu

Do you have a “hair crush?”
If so, who? Um…duh, YOU, Hairscapades! Your hair is absolutely beautiful and meeting you at the CurlyNikki event was so exciting. I was tongue tied and totally interrupted you in mid-sentence talking to someone else. You are my hair idol!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
EmpresRi is the first person I followed on Youtube. She was and still is my hairspiration. I met her at a few events and she is always super-informative and super-helpful. Also, CourtneyNaturalHair. she is very helpful, informative and introduced everyone to me on Instagram! She rocks!

Where can we find you online?
On Instagram, my name is PrincessLinzz.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
You have to put in work for anything you want to achieve, including strong healthy natural hair. Don’t compare your hair to anyone else’s all hair is different and all products won’t react the same as they did on someone else’s hair. Hair typing really doesn’t matter and don’t limit yourself to thinking that certain regimens or products won’t work on your hair because of your texture. TRY IT! You never know how it will react on YOUR hair. J

Best,

Lindsey

Bantu Knot Out on Blown Hair

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Okay ladies, the coffers are empty! So, if you’d like to share your hairstory, go to the HairStories page to find links to Big Chop, Transition, Henna & Me, Hair Crush, Naturals Around the World, My Albatross and Mini-Hairscapaders interview questions! Then, tell us your story by e-mailing your answers to me (with pics of course ;)) at hairscapades@gmail.com with the subject, “HairStory.” Hope to hear from you soon!!

Natural in London: Sharron’s HairStory

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
Hey all! I’m Sharron from London, England.

What do you like most about your homeland?
I think London is a great place to be in the summer … such a nice atmosphere being in the heart of London when the sun’s shining. I also like that it’s very multicultural.

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What is the hair norm for black/brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
There’s definitely more weave and relaxer wearers than there are naturals. But, I see a lot more natural ladies nowadays. It’s no longer perceived as an oddity to wear your hair natural. I love seeing someone wearing their natural hair; I always give a little smile. I just find all the different styles you can achieve by wearing your hair natural refreshing.

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?
I remember my mum doing ‘chiney bumps’ (similar to bantu knots?), when I was younger and I remember her greasing my scalp with Dax, lol. My hair flourished under her care. When I started doing my hair myself, I use to do some crazy stuff to it. I actually cringe when I think about the abuse I bestowed upon my poor head!! I used a hell of a lot of gel … nasty, alcohol-ridden gel. I would use hotplates to dry my hair from damp as I didn’t have a blow dryer at one stage … *shudder*. Let’s just say, I’m surprised I still have hair. In my era, everyone had natural hair anyway, so it wasn’t an issue wearing my hair natural.

If you relaxed your hair at some point, why did you (or your guardian) make that decision? When and how long were you relaxed before you decided to go natural?
I relaxed my hair at the grand ole age of 18!! The only reason I relaxed my hair was because it wouldn’t ‘hold’ a style. I would straighten it all nicely and then as soon as I left the house ‘poof.’ What I didn’t realise then is that my hair was doing what it was suppose to do … curl up. I was trying to force my hair to go against type. If I knew then what I know now … how many times have we all said that?? I was really excited when I got it relaxed and was actually amazed when I stepped outside and my hair didn’t ‘grow.’ I remember bopping down the street with my new Janet Jackson windswept hairstyle.

Windswept

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I always say my decision to go natural wasn’t a conscious decision, it was forced upon me!! I love colour and curls, so even when my hair was relaxed, I would constantly colour and curl it as I didn’t like limp flat hair, I like big hair. I would put ringlets in my hair and rarely wore it straight. No one told me that you shouldn’t really use heat on relaxed hair, so I was not aware I was damaging it. To be fair, my hair is very strong, because it was years before it finally started to break and say, ‘enough is enough woman!!’

I decided to put it in a weave as I couldn’t think of anything else to do with it as nothing would stop the breakage … ApHogee treatments, nothing! I gradually snipped away to maybe 6 inches? At the time, I think it was bra strap length. As I was wearing a weave, cutting it didn’t bother me. I honestly thought I would be wearing weaves for the rest of my days as I didn’t ever consider wearing my hair natural as I couldn’t imagine it would look ‘smart’ enough.

This is where the decision was made for me. One weekend, I decided to remove my weave myself and do a treatment before getting it put back in on the Monday. When I removed my weave, I saw that I had a patch, no, a landslide where I’d been constantly wearing the same parting!! From that day, I stopped wearing weaves and was forced to deal with my hair in its natural state.

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
As I was forced to go natural, my decision wasn’t discussed with anyone. I will say that the last 3 years is when I’ve really learnt what works for my hair and how to get it to do what I want it to do … now I’m not working against type.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural? Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live? If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
I honestly think looking after natural hair requires more effort than relaxed hair. It takes longer to wash, detangle, then you have to twist/braid it if you wear twist/braid outs. Luckily, there are more products targeted for natural hair now, although not as much as in the States.

What is your regimen? Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products? Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them?
My regimen is quite a lazy one. I’ve taken to doing clay washes recently as it requires less effort then shampooing and conditioning my hair. When I do clay washes, I can get away with not conditioning my hair you see!! Lazy! I also try and henna once per month, but as we’ve previously discussed Shelli, henna loosens my curls to the extent my hair looks like heat damage in parts. I make my own Hair, Bath & Body products. So, I use my leave-in conditioner, a bit of flaxseed gel and JBCO & Nilotica Balm to seal, and then twist my hair.

Kinky G

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon?
I have never been to a natural hair salon, but my friend took her daughter to one to have her hair straightened (they used a hot comb). When she washed her hair a couple of weeks later, her gorgeous curls had heat damage and was straight and stringy in places.

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?
I love not having to run from the rain, I love not having to worry about my hair sweating out at a club, I love the versatility and I love that I’m not smothering my scalp in chemicals. So, my landslide was a blessing in disguise.

Flat twist

Do you have a Hair Crush?
I love your hair Miss Shelli, Curly Nikki and Teyana Taylor (with and without bits added).

Who do you follow online?
You, Curly Nikki, Fusionofcultures (I think she is the cutest thing ever with great hair). I’m sure there are others …

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I can be found at my blog: www.fortheloveofkinks.wordpress.com
My products can be found at: www.sheadecadence.co.uk
Twitter: @shea_decadence and @theloveofkinks

Thanks for having me and keep up the good work!

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Awwww sookie sookie now!! You had the Pleasure Principle cut Sharron!! Get it girl!! LOL!!

Are you a natural outside of the US? Want to share your “international kinky, coily, curly” HairStory? Then answer the “Naturals Around the World” interview questions here and e-mail them to me (with 5-10 pictures) at hairscapades@gmail.com 

Tales of a Transitioner: Nancy’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Nancy and I go by NancyM when I comment on Hairscapdes and other blogs. I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I have a wonderful husband and 2 great kids. I love to spend time with family and friends.

When did you receive your first relaxer?
After begging my mom for a year, I got my first relaxer when I was 13 years old. I loved it and at the time, it helped me fit in with the other girls at my school, who all had relaxers years before me.

Why did you choose to go natural?
Several reasons; I really can’t point to one. My relaxed hair was well maintained and reached past mid-back length. I just wanted a change. Long relaxed hair just hangs there and really doesn’t do much (AND the longer my hair grew, the thinner it looked). I wanted something different. I also wanted more fullness in my hair, which was impossible for me with long, straight hair. Also, salon visits for me took HOURS because of the length of my hair. I was exhausted. LOL!

Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
I’m a long-term transitioner. As of August 2012, I am at 18 months of transitioning. My original plan was to go for 24 months of transitioning, but now that I have more new growth than relaxed ends, the urge to chop is strong. I’m not sure that I’ll make it past this fall, but we’ll see … . My reason for a long-term transition is the same as many others: I didn’t know how I would look with short hair and I wasn’t ready to find out. At this point, however, my new growth is down to my shoulders, so that’s why I may chop earlier than 24 months. My transition has not been as hard as I’d thought it would be, but I credit that to all of the info that can be found online with quality sites like Hairscapades.com, CurlyNikki.com, and others.

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
First off, I really like it. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was going to get since I hadn’t seen my natural hair since I was 13. My initial reaction was surprise at the different textures that I’m finding on my head. So far, I’ve found looser coily hair in the front and nape and kinky-coily hair in the middle/crown. Also, I notice that my new growth can be dry and needs more moisture than my relaxed hair does.

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Most of my family and friends didn’t notice that I was transitioning until I told them. However, I’ve received only positive responses. As my husband says, “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.” 🙂

What is your transition routine?
My regimen is pretty simple:

  • Daily: Moisturize and seal (yes, I put some form of moisture and/or oil in my hair everyday); Sleep with a satin scarf AND on a satin pillowcase – this is a habit from my relaxed days that I will never change.
  • Weekly: Pre-poo with an oil and sometimes conditioner; shampoo wash; condition; apply leave-in; then roller or rod set ( I also use a hooded dryer at times to speed the drying process when I can’t air dry).
  • Monthly: Henna gloss; deep condition; then roller or rod set; Protein treatment (sometimes I do this quarterly); I also trim my relaxed ends as needed.

What is your staple transition hair style?
My staple transition style is definitely a bun or ponytail; however, I do the occasional braid out or half up/half down style as well.

What techniques/products do you to manage the demarcation line between your relaxed and natural hair? 
I manage the two textures by keeping my hair well moisturized. As I mentioned, I moisturize every day. I was a product junkie for the first 6 months of my transition, but these products have stood the test of time:

  • Shampoo: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Shampoo; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Shampoo; Aussie Moist Shampoo; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Shampoo
  • Conditioners: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Conditioner; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Conditioner; Aussie Moist Conditioner; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Conditioner or Moisture Rich Conditioner
  • Leave-ins: One ‘n Only Styling Cream; Infusium 23; Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine; Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship
  • Moisturizers: Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Moisturizer; Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in
  • Oils: Coconut oil (must have this oil on hand at all times); argan oil; olive oil; sweet almond oil; grapeseed oil
  • Henna: Jamila henna; I use the same method that CurlyNikki has posted on her site under Henna Gloss.
  • Protein: I use the ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

Of course, I know that these some of these products may change once I’m fully natural.

What is the most challenging part of transitioning and how have you been able to overcome or cope with it?
The most challenging part of transitioning was making the decision to do it. I had been considering going natural for years before I actually did it. I think that the wealth of info on the internet and sites like this one really helped me conduct the research I needed to move forward with this decision … and I haven’t regretted it at all.

What has been the most fun/best part of going natural? What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
I LOVE HENNA! This has been the single best thing I’ve done to my hair! I would have never even tried it had I not read your story and Nikki’s story on CurlyNikki.com. Since I’ve started to henna back in August 2011, my dandruff has disappeared, breakage has minimized significantly, and my hair feels great. Also, I know this is going to sound weird, but my scalp looks so healthy when I part my hair. Oh, and the subtle auburn color is the bomb!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Sure! Well of course there’s you, CurllyNikki, Naptural 85, and Jennell of KinkyCurlyKoilyMe, just to name a few.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
Same as above and many others… The list is far too long. 🙂

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My advice would be to do your research, then go for it! For me, having the knowledge gave me the power to make the decision.

Natural in London: Paige’s HairStory

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Remember my review of the TLC Naturals products a couple of months ago? Well, here’s the HairStory of Paige, the “natural-preneur” (yes, I made that up!) behind the line!! She’s not only the president, she’s a client too ;)!!

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
My name is Paige-Ellean. I’m from London, UK, and I am passionate about kinky, coily and curly hair! I am also a formulator and owner of TLC Naturals, a luxurious hair and body product line, hand-crafted from the finest natural and organic ingredients.

What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
Although the general norm for Black women in the UK is to wear their hair in a relaxed, permed or weaved state, there are a growing number of women embracing their natural hair texture.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I got fed up of the use of chemicals on my hair and body and I also wanted to embrace my own natural hair texture. Coming from a background of the use of alternative therapies and the use of natural plants for cosmetic, medicinal and therapeutic uses, it only made sense to apply my herbal knowledge and expertise in caring for my hair.

Did you transition or big chop or are you currently transitioning?
I DID try to transition … very unsuccessfully for 3 years! I just didn’t have a clue at the time on the right techniques for caring for my transitioning hair. In addition, although I wore bantu knot-out styles to hide the two textures, I still suffered an immense amount of breakage. Finally, I had enough and went for the Big Chop in December 2009.

What has your natural hair journey been like?
My natural hair journey has been a wonderful experience of learning and self-discovery.

How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
My family and friends were initially shocked, but after seeing the overall health and progress of my natural hair, I am pleased to say that I have converted a few of them over to the natural side :D.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural?
Acceptance is a major challenge for the natural hair community – from other people accepting our natural hair texture to we ourselves accepting what constitutes as being natural for us.

It’s bad enough that outside communities do not accept our hair and still have negative opinions of natural hair, curly hair and dreadlocks. It is particularly saddening when we ourselves bicker over what we think is natural … whether it is to do with the issue of curl definition or not, the use of chemical colours or not, the use of heat (e.g. hot combs, flat irons ) or not and so on.

Not everyone who embraces their natural hair will embrace a natural lifestyle – using natural products, using natural colorants, abstaining from chemical or mechanical processes that cause damage to the hair. This does not make them more or less natural. There should be no “I am more natural than you” vibe among us.

What is your regimen?
My current regimen includes wash day every fortnight: I prepoo with coconut oil, then I wash my hair, and deep condition afterwards with eggs, honey and olive oil. Once every 2 months, I henna-indigo my hair. I always follow my henna-indigo sessions with a deep condition and then a hot oil treatment, using TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil.

In between wash sessions, I rinse my hair weekly with ACV. Sometimes I brew some rosemary and add it to the ACV. I follow up with TLC Naturals Hibiscus Rose Moisturising Leave In Conditioner & seal with TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil. My hair style post-wash is normally a bun. If I am wearing twists or braids, I use the TLC Naturals Choco Shea Decadent Hair Butter.

I find that my haircare regimen is much more simplified than before and I have the TLC Naturals products to thank for that. My hair stays moisturised and retains natural curl definition for much longer than before and is also progressing at a better rate.
I have very fine and delicate hair along my edges and slow growing edges are the bane of my life. This is why I never do protective styles longer than a week and I never do small braids, twists etc. Once a week I apply TLC Naturals Grow It Hair Cream to my edges. It is made with MSM, Indian ayurveda plants, growth enhancing herbs and stimulating essential oils. The downside to this product is that I have new growth literally within 5-7 days. This would normally be a great thing, but my gray hairs ALWAYS pop up around my edges leading to extra henna-indigo sessions, which as we all know is not a 15 minute job.

Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products?
I prefer to use natural products – purely because I know that, a) they work and b) they are more healthier for me. I am not dying to be beautiful and I refuse to put my health at risk by using chemical-ridden products. Natural products don’t just make your hair look great, they improve the overall condition of your hair.

Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them?
I use my own products, naturally, which evolved from recipes that I have worked with consistently. I launched my product line and made my products available to the general public on the insistence of my readers from my natural hair blog, Care4Curls. They saw my hair bloom as I started making and using my own concoctions, so they naturally wanted a piece. I was only too happy to share. The products can be found at TLC Naturals (http://www.tlcnaturalsonline.com).

Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live? If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
I do not think there is any one particular thing that is unique to us here in the UK. The only problem I see here is access to quality products for natural hair care. Unlike the US, where there are dozens natural hair care brands to choose from, we only have a handful here. However, I can see this changing in the near future.

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I firmly believe in the efficacy of natural products and natural ingredients. Just like the body thrives when fed a healthy, natural and organic diet, so too does the hair bloom when “fed” natural and organic products. Like I said at the beginning, I am passionate about natural hair. However, natural or not, coloured or not, straightened or not, you can never go wrong when you use natural and organic products on your hair.

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Were your PJ senses tingling? Super-intrigued by Paige’s natural haircare line and itching to try it? Then have I got a giveaway for you!! Stay tuned for the announcement later today!!

A Productive Sunday

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UPDATED w/BRAID-OUT RESULTS PICS

I’m pretty proud of myself as I managed to get a lot done yesterday! My to do list?:

  1. Hot yoga (75 min. class) 
  2. Grocery shopping 
  3. Wash/Style hair 
  4. Laundry 
  5. Watch “Inside Man” (loaned to me 3 weeks ago) 
  6. Write 

One, two, three and five are complete. Four is in progress, with two loads done and put away, one in the dryer and one in the washer. And, yeah, working on number five right now;)!

As to the hair, I decided on a braid-out. Here is the wash weekend run down:

  • Pre-pooed/DC with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner mixed with Vatika oil.
  • Placed hair in 6 twists.
  • Shampooed in twists with diluted DevaCare No Poo.
  • Conditioned with Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm (review coming soon!)
  • Detangled under water stream with diluted Herbal Essences Hello Hydration applied directly over Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm.
  • Rinsed.
  • Applied modified Kimmaytube leave-in (2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice, 1 tsp JBCO/EVOO mix).
  • Used shampoo brush to do a final detangle and evenly distribute leave-in through hair.
  • Set hair in 14 braids.
  • Sealed ends with Wild Growth Hair Oil Light.
  • Lightly oiled scalp with Wild Growth Hair Oil (original formula).

I finished my hair before leaving to hit the grocery stop and made a pitstop at Sally’s to pick up this:

You see, I was wearing a hat to camouflage my braids, but was worried about the hat messing up my roots. And, I’d been thinking about getting a fitted cap to wear under my hats for a while because, unfortunately, my satin bonnet often stick out of the sides like a saggy diaper!! *lol* And, a satin scarf caused a similar issue as it has too much material to hide. So, I remembered the Dri Sweat Active Wear Style Protector Cap and decided it was time to get one. At $3.99 (or $3.49 with Sally’s Club Card), not a bad investment as I think it’ll be great to wear under my non-lined hats come this fall and winter! And, because it has netting, it’ll be cooler than a bonnet!

So, this is what I plan on sleeping in and I hope that it’ll keep my edges smooth, while still allowing airflow o that my hair will finish drying overnight *fingers crossed*!!


In other news, I’m feeling pretty good because I completed week 2 of The Biggest Loser Cardio Max program (5 days), did Abs of Steel 5 days last week, threw in a 12 Minute Full Body Blast Ketttlebell workout on day 5 and did hot yoga too. I also had a dose of Green Vibrance most days of the week and ate well, with the exception of one slip-up on Saturday. I was going for healthy when I ordered a grilled chicken Caesar salad at a local pizza spot. But … DUY!! I forgot to order the dressing on the side and they DRENCHED the lettuce in Caeser! Dang. Oh well, I think hot yoga worked it out though!! Whew!! Talk about drenched!! Wei went with me and he said he doesn’t think he’s ever sweat so much in his entire life! Anywho, I finally got past the first two weeks of the Cardio Max work-out!! Week 3 and Jillian Michaels, here I come!!

And, that’s all she wrote! Literally! Well, almost …

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Did you get to check off all (or most) of the items off your “to do” list this weekend?

Hair Crush: Tameeka’s HairStory

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THAT’S RIGHT!! The #CurlWhisperer herself, aka Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses aka the woman who worked magic at this haircut party and this one … is back to share her very own HairStory!! 

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A humble and blessed mother of three and wife, striving for the success, which I know is coming. Licensed Professional Master Celebrity stylist specializing in Natural Tresses for well over 15yrs.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural since 2000. I chose to go natural after having a Paul Brown relaxer put in my hair back in 1999 that just made me a slave to the Dominican salons. I never wanted my hair straight, I just wanted to tame it a bit. However, it destroyed all of the life out of my hair;(. After a year of straightening, I gave up.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually have done both, transition as well as the big chop, several times through the years. The first one was back in 2000. I slowly transitioned by trimming an inch and a half every 3-4 months. It took about 3 years to be completely natural. I was sooo stubborn at that time and did not want to loose my length *lol*. I had no patience for the other time, which was back in 2009. I had put a ” texturizer” type of gentle chemical in my hair back in 2007-2008, just to help tame it a bit because it was so dense. It looked great and everyone loved it. However, my hair changed shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2009. So, I just went to work one day and chopped it off! My husband, as well as others,  thought that I was nuts, but I looked cute! Lastly (I hope *lol* … ;)), my most recent big chop was just a few weeks ago, 18 months since the birth of my last child. My hair went whacky on me once again. The hormones loosened half of my head, literally one half side *smh*. And, of course I’m not happy with the dramatic difference in textures, so I decided to chop away once again and allow it to grow in a bit more uniform.

7/26/12: My most recent Big Chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
At first no one believed that it was my hair, because they were so used to me having bone straight hair. People couldn’t believe that all my curly tresses could straighten out as they did, so it shocked many. Everyone I ever met after going natural absolutely loves my wild hair. They either want it or state they wish that they had my tresses ;).

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Wow. My biggest challenge was the pregnancy and the hormonal changes that ultimately affected my thick density and tightly coiled tresses. I have since big chopped twice, deep condition faithfully and have started back up on my prenatal vitamins to help promote faster hair growth, as well as add essential oils to my hair products and diet.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
It’s what I’ve been blessed with, it’s healthier, fun, sexy and, although many are natural, I definitely stand out in a crowd. I love that my hair has versatility with being natural. I’m not the same ol’ Plain Jane. My tresses have attitude and represents me as a fun, free-spirited person.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Currently, I wash and go, whereas in the past, I was subjected to diffusing the hair due to my gradual transition. As far as product application, that still remains the same. Just thorough application of my product throughout hair to define my tresses, so I can get as many days as I can out of my wash n go prior to pulling it up some way.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I tend to play with lots of different things so that I may have good feedback for my clientele. I often use things they may have stumbled upon or suggest. I try just to see whether or not it may be useful for the next head of textured tresses that sits in my chair. As of now, I have Organix shampoo and conditioner and mask, Curlisto’s Natural Coils line, which is a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in, defining lotion and mask. I also have natural shea butter, rosemary essential oil and Vitamin E essential oil; I tend to add into other products sometimes. And lastly, Curlisto Unruly Paste and vegetable glycerin for shine.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style is either a pull back with a “full fluffy fluff,” a slick back tight bun or a soft twist sloppy bun, it all depends on the length at the time. Unfortunately, my go to styles are worn more often than I would like considering I’m a mother of three and a very busy women catering to everyone else’s hair. 😉


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I trim my tresses about every 6-8 months, which is recommended. I have often provided myself with a trim, as well as see other stylist for maintenance. It would all depend on scheduling. I often have to fix/tweak my cuts/trims after someone else has done it ;(. As far as recommendations go, I would suggest that you really do your research on both the salon and the particular stylist. Keep in mind that what you read can be fabricated, so if you’ve read, as well as seen some photos and or heard from word of mouth, that’s generally the true testimony and should help make your decision easier. There are some very truly talented hair stylist.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
It just plain and simple makes it so much easier! No more 4 hour long tedious visits to the Dominican salon *smh*. I devote that time to my little ones. As far as work, I’m my own walking advertisement!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Chaka Kahn!!!!!!!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades
The Curvealicious Chronicles
YouTube (various)
Naturallycurly.com
Napturallycurly.com

Also any sites that my clients refer me to; I have to stay in the loop.

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.jadedtresses.com
Facebook: Jaded Tresses
Twitter: @JadedTresses
Instagram: @ JadedTresses

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t knock it until you have tried it. You were blessed with your tresses, embrace them.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Healthy hair is the best hair and will provide you with the most versatility. So, take good care of your tresses and your tresses will be good to you!