Tag Archives: tips and tricks

The Honesty of Naked Hair

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The wash day before last, I contemplated allowing my hair to dry naked and asked my IG followers if they’d be interested in seeing that. Enough responded to the affirmative that I decided to do it. In a funny coincidence and unbeknownst to me, CurlyNikki ended up doing the same thing, though she did it accidentally (see here if you missed it)!! As she replied to me when I told her about it, “We LIVE on the same page.” LOL!!

Anywho, the reason behind dong this was actually two-fold. One was to post it, of course ;). But, the second was to validate that my regimen and products are doing right by my hair when they are NOT on it. You see, daily conditioners, leave-ins, deep conditioners, moisturizing creams, butters, curl enhancers, gels, serums, glossers, sheen sprays and even water can mask a variety of “sins.” They can make your hair look Grrrrrrreeeeeeat!!! However, how does our hair look and feel when all of these products are washed away? Assessing your naked hair (damp or dry) periodically can reveal whether those conditioners, creams, serums, etc. are actually doing right by your hair and helping improve the health of it … or if those products are contributing and/or causing the problem.

You see, many years ago, I was using a line of products religiously for a few months. The line will go unnamed here, but let’s just say that it’s a budget-breaker and I’ve talked about my experience with it a couple of times.  Anywho, initially, I thought that the products were awesome!! They smelled wonderful, were creamy and smooth, and also moisturizing … or so I thought. As I continued to use the product, it seemed like I had to dampen and re-apply the product daily for my hair to look or feel good. Then, I started to realize that every time that I washed my hair, it didn’t feel good. So, I would deep condition (with a product from another line) and it would feel better. But then, one day as I washed my hair, a lightbulb went off. I realized that my hair was feeling and looking worse and worse every time I washed it!!! It felt dry and brittle and looked the same! It struck me that the products I was using were actually causing the health of my hair to deteriorate!!! Well, that’s all I needed! I chucked those ol’ expensive a$$ products like a bad habit!!

Ever since then, I pay attention to what my hair is telling me when it’s naked. Of course, it’s not going to look like it does with products. Then there wouldn’t be this billion dollar hair industry!! LOL! But, there are some things that I can expect. Does it feel moisturized and supple? Does it have a healthy natural sheen that I expect for my hair and normal or reduced frizz (it’s not going to be frizz-free, but I know which areas of my hair are naturally smooth and which are frizzy due to varying porosity)? Are my S-waves and curls “popping?” If my hair is all of the above, I know that my pre-poos and conditioners are doing their jobs and that my stylers are either helping or, at least, not hurting! If it’s not? I know it’s time to time to step back and figure out where I’m going wrong and tweak my regimen accordingly. Fortunately for me, I haven’t had to do the latter since I ditched that unnamed product line years ago!! And, I’m very happy to say that when I allowed my hair to dry naked last week, it felt and looked moisturized, supple, sheeny, soft, wavy/curly and strong!! Yea for good products!!

nakedhair1 photo 1-7photo 2-7
photo 4-5photo 5-3

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Do you ever assess your (wet or dry) naked hair? What is it telling you?

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Rehabilitation

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by Weusi

Hi …

I know that many of you don’t know me. My name is Weusi Baraka. I have more than 4 decades of both being involved with and having natural hair. Currently, I am a guest blogger on http://www.Hairscapades.com. More importantly, I am the Significant Other of a rehabilitated product junky. No … there’s no need to feel sorry for her. She’s ok. In fact we are ok. Thank you all for your prayers.

I am writing this to give a testimonial regarding a product that I know has been recently endorsed by some of the nations top natural hair bloggers. I am here to talk about how this product has changed our lives. It’s name … PATIENCE!

As I said earlier, my girlfriend had a problem when we met. As time went on and the relationship started to get serious, we recognized that there was a problem. We were brave enough to address the situation head on. She stepped up and admitted to me that she was a product junky. This is when I knew that we had to take some action. She got rid of some product during a product swap.

We knew that there was no turning back. We talked about the products that she had left and knew that they would suffice.

I am proud to say that, currently, we are happily engaged and the products under the sink are auxiliary and Shelli’s primary product is PATIENCE. Even with the onslaught of products that are being sent for reviews, we take it one day at a time … one product at a time.

Yes, I know that many of you still don’t believe PATIENCE has the ability to get you the results that you are looking for. Yet, I am here to vouch for this product. Not only have I have seen the results with my own eyes, with but I too used PATIENCE in the past to achieve my goals.

For all those reading this, if length is your goal, then I encourage you to think about your regimen and embrace the use of the most natural product out there … PATIENCE. It’s the best product that I’ve never seen.

Moisturized Hair: It Starts on Wash Day

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When I’m in the guise of my alter ego, “Hairscapades” ;), I often receive or read cries for help that go something like this:

“Can someone please recommend a good moisturizer? My hair is always so dry!!”

I came across just such a question this past weekend on CurlyNikki’s Facebook page and I did my best to answer it. As I wrote the response, I realized that my answer to this frequent query might be helpful to other … so this post was “born.”

Now, here are a couple of disclaimers before we get started. One, my hair is a mix of regular and high porosity strands, you may need to modify some of these steps if your hair is under-porous. Two, my suggestions here are for hair that is really in need of moisture. It is not for hair that is over-moisturized and in need of protein to help it retain hydration. For more on dry, brittle hair that may be a result of over-conditioning caused by regular co-washing, overnight baggying, protein avoidance, etc., check out my posts: Moisture and Protein: Finding the Balance and Can I Over-Condition?

6 Steps to Building Sustained Moisture

Okay, now back to the question at hand. When, I see inquiries like the one above, I rarely make product recommendations for “daily” moisturizers. This is because, I think building sustained moisture starts on wash day. I think the importance of this day can sometimes be underestimated. Therefore, the advice I offer is related to techniques (and the products) that I have found successful in hydrating hair so that it will sustain the moisture level between wash days. This is not to say that a moisturizer will not be needed between wash sessions. However, by building hydration levels on wash day, re-moisturizing sessions during the week may be more effective and required less frequently.

So, here we go. These are the steps that I take to hydrate my hair and seal in all that “moisturiffic” goodness;).

“Naked” hair (left); hair with leave-in (right)

1.  Start with a pre-poo (on dry hair) prior to shampooing. Coat hair with a penetrating oil, like coconut, olive, avocado or Vatika (coconut oil base), which has the ability to enter the hair shaft and reach the cortex to moisturize the hair from the inside out. Leave oil on hair under a plastic baggie for a minimum of one hour up to overnight (heat optional).

What I Use: Right now, I’m loving Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (moisturizing) or GPB Conditioner (protein) mixed with Vatika oil as a pre-poo. I alternate moisture and protein as needed.

2.  Wash with a non-stripping, sulfate free shampoo.

What I Use: DevaCare No Poo (diluted with water in a dye bottle for easier application and slip).

3.  If necessary, apply a moisturizing, cheapie conditioner to thoroughly detangle hair.

What I Use: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH). Best detangler I’ve found for my hair so far.

4.  Deep condition (DC) for 15 minutes to an hour with heat. Then, this is key, COOL and SEAL. Cooling and sealing was a game-changer for me. The short of it is that you remove the heat source and allow the DC to cool in your hair for 10-15 minutes. Then, you dilute a regular daily conditioner in cool/cold water and apply it directly over the DC prior to rinsing everything out with cold water. For more details on this technique, check out my post: Deep Conditioning Tricks … Cool & Seal.

What I Use: I’m really feeling Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm to deep condition right now (the Sally’s GVP version is good too). But, I’m also a fan of Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner, JessiCurl Weekly Deep Treatment, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Mask and Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie. I use HE HH or Aussie Moist as my “sealing” conditioner.

5.  After rinsing the deep conditioner, apply a leave-in conditioner thoroughly to wet or damp hair.

What I Use: I’ve been getting really good results with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner as a leave-in. But, I also often rely on a modified Kimmaytube leave-in recipe (2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice – whole leaf, 1 tsp of oil [mix of EVOO, JBCO and jojoba oil]).

6.  Seal in the water, leave-in conditioner and any stylers/moisturizers used with an oil, butter or oil/butter blend.

What I Use: JBCO/EVOO mix.

Doing these things on wash day enables my hair to hold onto moisture throughout the week and between wash sessions. Oh, and if my hair is feeling a little dry a few days into the week, I simply apply a moisturizer (with water as the first ingredient) and re-seal with an oil. Happy hair!!

So, if  you are struggling with dehydrated hair, maybe some or all of these steps will help you!! Good luck!!

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How do you build and lock-in moisture on wash day?

My Best Natural Hair Advice … BE PATIENT GRASSHOPPER

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I know you guys remember the beautiful Michelle and her luscious locks from our first GOC (she also shared her hairstory a couple of weeks ago)! Well, given that she transitioned from relaxed to natural for TWO WHOLE YEARS, I thought, “Who better to provide some helpful transitioning tips from her own direct experience?!?!” And with that, the Transitioning Series was born! Welcome to the first installment ;). 

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by Michelle of Happily Ever Natural

PATIENCE is key!!! I have been “fully” natural for about a year, but I transitioned for 2. I will say that transitioning was very hard! I had no idea how to do my hair in the beginning of my transition.The two textures were like night and day!!! I chose to go to the hairdresser every two weeks to have her do my hair, because I didn’t know what to do with it at ALL!!!. I wore my hair mostly straight during the beginning of my transition. As I learned more, I ventured out to try more styles on my own. I did mini chops while transitioning, meaning, each time I went to the shop, I had her cut some of the relaxed ends, little by little. I continued this until, one day, I just said, “Ok just cut the rest off!!!” I was just simply tired of having two textures and confident enough that my hair was a length of my liking :). My advice to anyone transitioning is that patience is key … whether you do the BC or decide to transition, you have to be patient. I know it’s hard looking at all of these sites, seeing all this beautiful hair that is big, long, full!!! But you will get there, it just takes time, nobody’s hair grows overnight!!! When I first started, I wanted my hair to resemble CurlyNikki’s … so bad!!

Here are a few of my tips:

To make it through your natural hair transition phase with little or no frustration, attempt to try these tips:

1. Make sure you choose the right styles for your hair.

One of the biggest challenges for transitioners may be what hairstyles to try. Try TnC’s and BnC’s, they help hide the two textures and are easy to manage. If you want to try the route I did, you can wear it straight most of the time as well. But you should try to experiment with different styles that work best for you. There are a TON of YouTube videos on how to do your hair just about every way you ever thought!! That’s how I learned :).

2. When Transitioning, you will need to have realistic expectations of your hair.

Don’t expect to have CurlyNikki’s hair right away (LOL) or that girl on YouTube that you have been obsessing over (her hair!!). It will take time for your hair to achieve the length, look or fullness you desire. You will have to play around with different styles in order to figure out what works for you. If you don’t have realistic expectations set for your hair, you will be upset every time!!!

3. Take your time with your tresses!

Good hair care is the best hair care. Make sure that you are using moisturizer and paying attention to your ends (they are fragile)! Don’t be overly rough with detangling (I know that this can be hard)!!! Pay most attention to the invisible line where you natural hair and relaxed ends meet, because you can have major breakage at this point. Too much heat styling can be bad (just an FYI), but, if it’s done right, there will not be a problem.

4. Be Patient, BE PATIENT and lastly, BE PATIENT! LOL!

I know, I know, you’re like, “Ugh, my hair is so not growing!!” But, actually it is!! It can be frustrating to try to deal with two different textures, I know…. but you can stick it out!! You will have a moment where you’re like, “Ok, that’s it!!! I’m DONE, back to the relaxer!!” WAIT!! NO!! DON’T DO IT!! You are only doing that because a relaxer is all you have ever known!!!! But, guess what? That won’t solve your problems!!! If you’re really serious about this process of transitioning and going natural, some patience will be required. Truth is: Your hair is growing (hair grows at an average rate of ½ inch per month), just like everyone else’s!

Another tip: Wear your hair in protective styles to help you through your transition (braids, twists, cute updos … the list goes on and on). I assure you that soon enough, your hair will be BANGING and your curls will be POPPIN’! (Well more than it already is, because it’s already gorg!!) You just wait!!

SO DON’T GIVE UP!!! YOU CAN DO IT!! If you need tips … email me, FB me, whatever you need to do!!! I’m here to help!!! -Love!

A WnG Trick for Multi-Textured Curls

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As many of you know, the section of hair on my right side naturally has a lot looser texture than my left side and crown, especially the area next to my part. This can make for interesting WnGs as this section is barely wavy and tends to fall flat, especially after the style is a couple of days old.

So, this is a quick and easy fix for my multiple textures. It’s so simple that some may wonder why I’m even sharing it. But, I figured, you never know, it may help someone who didn’t think of it yet!

Once my WnG is fully dry, if my right side is looking as it does above and I’m not pulling my front back, I set it for about 15 minutes or overnight with a few small perm rods! I either lightly dampen my hair with water or product before setting it on the rollers or I spritz it with water after rolling (the latter is when I only want to set it for a few minutes).

10-15 minutes later

Then, I simply separate any thicker curls into smaller sections and twirl them around with my finger to reform. The curls are loopier and larger than the texture on the left side of my hair, but blend well enough, as you can see in this “after” picture that I posted yesterday!

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Are you a multi-textured, WnG curly? What do you do, if anything, to blend and/or balance your multiple textures?

How I Retain Length – Part Two

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Last week, I did this post on the three mainstay components of my regimen that I believe have allowed me to retain a lot of length: Moisture, Protection and Strength. I’ve shared how I do these three things over the course of the last year through a variety of posts. Well, I thought it might be a good idea to put the links to these articles all together in one place. As new readers come to discover the site and “old” readers want to find a post that they know they read, but just can’t find, thought it would be helpful to have a “Library” for quick reference. I hope that you agree!

So, here is Part Two of How I Retain Length with links to core posts related to my regimen!

1. MOISTURE

The first step in moisturizing for me is pre-pooing:
My Staples – Virgin Coconut Oil & Vatika Oil
How I Pre Poo (w/Video Tutorial)

Next is deep conditioning, which I’ve recently discovered a new way of doing:
Deep Conditioning Tricks – Cool & Seal (now for post henna or post-wash protein only)
Pre-Wash Deep Conditioning

Let’s not forget the all important leave-in conditioner:
The Power of pH

(I use the Kimmaytube recipe, but modify it to use less oil for my fine hair: 2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice [food grade-whole leaf], 1 tsp jojoba oil or Jamaican black castor oil; the “regular” recipe includes 2 tsp jojoba oil & 2 tsp castor oil.)

And finally, I have to seal all that lovely moisture into my hair:
My Staples: Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)

2. PROTECTION

Protection starts with gentle handling in my book:
Finger Detangling
Tools of the Trade (gentle tools & accessories)

Next is protective and/or low manipulation styling that hides away those ends from environmental and mechanical damage:
Protective Styling … Boring?
Style Library: Updos

Then I protect the ‘do at night:
A Bonnet for Every Occasion

3. STRENGTH

I have truly realized the importance of treatments that reinforce and strengthen the hair strand.
Henna – My Two Step Henna/Indigo Process
Moisture & Protein, Finding the Balance
ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor
ApHogee 2 Step Treatment (my first time review and process)
I ♥ Aubrey Organics (new product)

And that’s it! Enough isn’t it?! I’m nothing if not thorough ;).

(p.s. I’ll add new articles to this post as I discover and incorporate new techniques/products into my regimen.)

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How do you moisturize, protect and strengthen your hair?

The L.O.C. Method

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by Jackie of Engineering Natural Beauty

Dry hair is a problem for many natural ladies. I suffered with dry hair for the first 11 months of my natural hair journey. I couldn’t go more than 2 or 3 days without having to moisturize. I experimented with everything to try and keep my hair moisturized: olive oil, coconut oil and every type of butter you could think of! It also doesn’t help that I have low porosity hair.

Before

But one day, while perusing the Curly Nikki Forums, I came across a thread for keeping hair moisturized. The women in the thread were discussing using the L.O.C. method and how it helped them keep their hair moisturized for 4 to 5 days! Each letter in the title makes up the steps:

L-Liquid: You first use a liquid on your hair.

O-Oil: You seal the liquid with an oil or butter.

C-Cream: You then put a cream over the oil and liquid.

The purpose is for each layer to seal the layer before it, i.e. the oil seals in the liquid and the cream seals in the oil.

Knowing my situation, I wanted to look into this method more to see if it could work for me. So, off I went to YouTube to find a tutorial and more information. I landed on the Trendy Socialite’s video and decided give the method a try.

via TrendySocialite

I will be honest, I was skeptical. Nothing else had worked before. However, after my first application, my apprehension turned into excitement. It worked!! My hair stayed moisturized for a week … A WEEK! I hadn’t been able to go more than 2 days without having to moisturize. I started using the L.O.C. method in November and I haven’t looked back.

When I first started, the products I used were water, Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and Bioteral Curl Creme or Lacio Lacio! High Shine Leave-In Conditioner. Since then, the products I use have changed as I no longer like Lacio Lacio because it contains silicones and I no longer use them in my hair anymore. Being the product junkie that I am, my products are constantly changing and I’m forever experimenting to find the right combination. I’ve used:

  • Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding and Burnt Sugar Pomade as my oil
  • PuraBody Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, Oyin Handmade Hair Dew and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk as my cream.

The one thing that has never changed is using water as my liquid. Water is always the best moisturizer for hair, so there’s no need to mess with a good thing. But, no matter what I’m using, I always do the L.O.C. method.

Before

After

Love and hair grease curlies !