Tag Archives: waist length natural hair

Henna Gloss: A Quicker, Easier Way to Henna

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twistout314_8 As most of you know, I am a henna head. I have been doing henna treatments since 2010, though I’ve modified how and how often I do them over the years. I started with full strength, full length treatments every 2-4 weeks. But for the last several years, I have been doing full strength on my roots only and a “faux” gloss (i.e. dye released henna mixed into lots of conditioner) on my length. But, the time between my sessions has gotten longer and longer … every 4 weeks, every 6, every 8, now I’m lucky if I do it once every three months!! Well, about a month and a half ago, I was really in need of a henna treatment as my grey roots were out of control. I also love how smooth my hair is after a henna treatment; my hair styles post henna are always so shiny and sleek. But, I had absolutely nooooooooo desire to do a full strength treatment as it usually takes the good part of a day to complete (see My Two Step Henna-Indigo Process for details). Between prepping, washing, detangling, application, marinating, rinsing with water, applying indigo, marinating again, rinsing with loads of conditioner, deep conditioning, marinating one more time rinsing, and styling … yeah, that’s an 8 hour plus process. It just was not happening. But then I thought, “You know what? I’ll do a true henna gloss!!” I figured I could get some of the conditioning benefits of henna and maybe a little color, without all the muss and fuss … and time! hennagloss314

My Henna Gloss Recipe

  • My goat milk conditioning mask *
  • 2 tablespoons of Dulhan BAQ henna powder
  • Mix thoroughly with a fork.
  • Apply mixture to hair and massage into scalp.
  • Twist hair into 4 sections, clip hair up with a jaw clip and don a plastic cap.
  • Apply heat for 30 min-1 hour (I use a hair therapy wrap).
  • Rinse thoroughly.

(*My goat milk conditioner has protein, but it is also very moisturizing because of the honey and oils. I would generally suggest using a thick, moisturizing, protein-free conditioner.)

Applied (no plastic gloves required)

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Minimal mess (no towels or newspaper needed to protect surfaces; just wiped down with a disinfecting wipe).

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As I suspected, the gloss also gave my grey roots got a little color so that they weren’t as stark white.

hennaglossroots After rinsing, I set my hair in 4 twists, which I wore in a twist-out the next day. And, the set held up very well the rest of the week!!

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The one issue I have had with the gloss is related to my base goat milk conditioner. It can be a little chunky and thick, so I have had some residue in my hair after rinsing. Therefore, I have to make sure that my conditioner is as smooth as possible prior to adding the henna and that I rinse very well. In the future, I may try mixing the henna with water first before adding it to the conditioner. This should help thin the consistency and aid blending. However, despite the small rinsing issue, the easy, peasy henna gloss is now in my repertoire when I want some of the conditioning benefits of henna with minimal time and effort!! It may be right up your alley if you have been wanting to try henna, but have been afraid to take the leap or have been looking for some of the benefits without the time commitment!!

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Have you tried henna glosses? How did/do you like them? What conditioner(s) do you use for the best results?

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Growing Long Hair: Diet, Exercise and Vitamins

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I have been asked about the whether diet, exercise, and/or vitamins help hair grow a few times and have seen it posted in some form or the other a lot lately. So, I figured I’d share my thoughts on the subject. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but these are my observations based on the things I’ve learned about hair through reading lots of hair blogs, watching lots of videos, and/or observing through my own experiences.

A good diet, adequate nutrients, hydration, and exercise are foundations for healthy hair and growth. But, many mistake lack of length retention for lack of growth. Unless there is some underlying condition, hair is always growing. If hair is growing elsewhere on your body, it’s growing. And it’s pretty easy to know your growth rate if you relaxed/relax or color/colored your hair. However much new growth you had 4-8 weeks post relaxer/color will tell you your growth rate. The problem often is that the growth is lost to breakage (i.e. the hair is not retaining length).

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So, the assumption is that the hair isn’t growing when, in fact, it is. So, the focus needs to change from growth to retention. All that being said, hair is dead once the strand “erupts” from the scalp. So retention is about preserving dead cells. Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and exercising helps build stronger hair IN the scalp. Stronger and healthier live cells inside mean stronger and healthier dead cells outside. And the latter will be better able to retain length with the right protective/retention practices for you.

And those are my thoughts in a nutshell!! Yes, a good diet, exercise, and adequate nutrients play a part in growing healthy hair, but if that hair isn’t retained, you won’t see longer tresses. So, you have to make certain to take care of both ends, literally ;), to see results if long hair is your goal. To learn more about what I do to “grow” my hair long, check out my post, How I Retain Length.

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What have you found helps you grow healthy, strong hair that retains length?

Dry Two Strand Flat Twist-Out: Blown Out Hair

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Yup. I’m at it again. Still trying how to figure out how to two-strand flat twist correctly, and still not getting it quite right. But, even with my less than stellar installation, the results were pretty good!! I know that I didn’t do them right because I didn’t have two clean sections when I removed them. But … good enough.

Anywho, the weekend before last, I was going for a wedding day hair trial with Jaded Tresses. So, I blew out my hair and she lightly flat-ironed it. A couple of days later, I decided to try another NaturalNeiicey (aka PGneiicey) twist out tutorial I’d watched weeks earlier. I was just hoping that my hair would look HALF as gorgeous as hers.

I had blown my hair out over the weekend and used a leave-in, heat protectant, and smoothing cream for that purpose. So, when I set it in the twists, I didn’t want to add any additional products to the length of my hair. Instead, I just spritzed the twists lightly with water after they were done. Then, I did use a little Deva Curl Set It Free (my unsung hero) on my ends before setting them on rollers. And, on day 2, I used my good ol’ Soft n’ Free Mold & Hold Wax for edge control.

(Click pics to see captions.)

Day 2 (better than day 1!)

End of day 2 (better than day 1!)

Okay, gotta go get in Day 258 of 365 Days of Fitness (it’ll be a short one because it’s late now). Oh, and I completed Day 58 of 365 Days of the Word earlier this morning. Update on both challenges coming soon!!

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Do you do blow-out styles? If so, which styles do you prefer the most on blown-out hair (i.e. twist-outs, braid-outs, buns, etc.)?

Flat-Ironed Hair and a Length Check

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Okay, THIS is really is going to be a quick post as I need to work on an article for … wait for it … Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement site!! Yup! They accepted a proposal I made for an original guest post and my deadline is tomorrow! Anywho, just wanted share some pics that I’ve shared over on Instagram and Facebook (so, if you follow me there, some of these are old news) and a few impromptu length check photos I had Wei take this morning :).

A couple of weeks ago, I flat-ironed my hair (one pass with my Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium flat-iron set at 300°) to stretch it some. Then I put it into a couple of “Pocahontas” braids for a “beach wave” love. It frizzed up by the end of the day. But, whatevs. That’s ALWAYS been my hair, even when I was relaxed. So, it doesn’t bother me much anymore.

Anywho, it looked like I had gained some decent length since my haircut in December (and it’s definitely time for a trim, which I’m getting next weekend). And, since I was thinking about it, I grabbed Wei and had him take a couple of quick, pseudo length check pics this morning.

Top: Jan. 9, 2013
Bottom: June 16, 2013

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6/16/13 length check (back close-up)

The longest parts in the back have now gone past the lines on my length check shirt! I’ll be back to at least the last one after my trim. But, on my way to tailbone length!

Okay, gotta go! Hope that everyone is enjoying their Sunday/Father’s Day!!

Bunning Challenge Week 5: Still Straight

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A little late, but here is the recap for last week ;). My hair was still straight and I essentially wore it in a twisted ponytail or bun every day except Saturday. I continued to use Sofn’Free Nothing But Mold & Hold Wax and Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to keep my edges smooth and Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir for softness and shine.

On Wednesday, during a late evening at work, I created this bun by wrapping a twisted ponytail around the hair elastic, tucking and pinning the ends, then spreading the twist a little to cover the elastic in the middle and securing the hair with another hair pin.

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I was so pleased because it looked so intricate from behind, but was so simple and easy to do!!

On Friday evening, I arrived home to a LOVERLY surprise!!

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My wonderful Dottie of Threadmill made me earrings and a beautiful hat and infinity scarf set for Christmas!!! You see, her shop and satin-lined hats (which was a suggestion I gave her last year to appeal to her natural-haired clientele), were featured in Essence online’s article, The Ultimate Natural Hair Bloggers’ Gift Guide.

ThreadmillessencefeatureThere are some great gift ideas in this gallery, including Dottie’s hats, of course!!

Okay, back to hair. On Friday evening, after wearing my hair in another twisted ponytail during the day, I it into a chignon.

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I slept in the bun and on Saturday in the early afternoon, I released it with plans to put my hair back into a high ponytail for an event … only to discover the prettiest waves I’d gotten from an overnight bun yet!!

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They were so deep, full and shiny … I was very pleased … except, I still had to get in the shower!! Ughh!!! But, I just clipped up my hair, threw on a satin-scarf and my terry-lined shower cap and got it done. The waves did fall a little from the confinement, but it held up pretty decently for the next part of the recap!!

A Family Holiday Dinner: “Operation Get Right” Got Stalled

Ughhhh. Yea. I didn’t work out at all last week :(. It was a rough week at work and I was at the office as late as 8:30 pm one night and didn’t get home until 7:30 pm most nights last week. And, although I didn’t eat horribly during the week, can’t say the same for the weekend. You see, we had a family holiday dinner on Saturday and the spread was RIDIC!!

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Gallery pics jacked from courtesy of my sister, Shana ;).

So yeah, completely fell off the wagon and need to get back on it *sigh*.

Oh … yeah … and you might want to know, a few other ladies and I got Jaded this past weekend!!

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But, I’ll have to tell you more about that tomorrow ;)!

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So how are you ladies wearing your hair for your holiday lunches, brunches, dinners, parties, events, etc.?

July-September GOC Final Update: Margaret (#5)

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This is a July/ Aug/Sept update of the 2012 GOC. Here I am summarizing my accomplishments, challenges, continued commitments as well as lessons learned.

Hair
I continued to involve myself in the mid-week modified co-wash using H2O/Aloe drench, shea butter mix and coconut oil. Love it!!! With the fall/winter season, I realize I will need to up my moisture and there have been some awesome ideas presented here to maintain moisture for a week or more.

I am still washing with Terressentials Left Coast Lemon Mud Wash (undiluted) weekly. I also have a bottle in Lavender Garden when I want to switch it up. My hair seems to favor the Left Coast Lemon more due to the essential oils. ACV is used monthly before the mud wash on the days I henna and continues to work well.

Henna and Ayurvedic powders (Amla, Brahmi and Bhringaj) monthly make my hair conditioned and dark. Although I do not use indigo, I mix my henna and place in the freezer a month ahead of time. I understand repeated henna’s as well as freezing and thawing henna will allow your hair to darken.

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I found a new HG … Blensblend 3 in 1 Conditioner. It is an all natural conditioner that can be used for 3 purposes … detangler, rinse out and/or leave-in. I have been using it just as the conditioner in Shelli’s cool and seal technique. Once it is placed in my hair, any existing tangles melt like butter and the slip is phenomenal. I have also used the Blensblend hair and body butter after applying Giovanni Direct Leave-in (GDLI). I have not used the new formula for GDLI, however I plan to soon. I have also experimented with adding full fat yogurt to my deep conditioners. Works like a charm.

Finger detangling is continuing to work well especially with slippery conditioners. I pre-poo weekly, prior to every wash, with coconut oil and will switch to EVOO for my Fall/Winter Regimen. I may start using the comb at least once a month as a safety measure and for trimming purposes. Any stylist for the most part will comb prior to trimming. I have dusted my ends during this time and have a recommendation for a stylist, who I will consult with soon for a trim. Regarding length check, I appear to be at waist length at my longest layer. (Excuse the oily hair/fingers) lol. I am aiming for continued growth with hip length being the ultimate goal.

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Health & Fitness
Carlson’s Fish Oil has been great; however I am going to order Viviscal to further support my goals (I have some thinning that has to be tackled). Walking 6 days per week is not a problem due to having a partner to encourage. Being consistent with fitness classes have been more of a challenge due to my second job schedule. This particular portion of the challenge I am continually working on. My food vices are no-no’s right now as it seems the items I like are those that cause my GI problems to occur.

Cleansing
I am continuing to work on this element of the challenge as well. On a good note, although negative situation continue to raise its ugly head, I have been blessed with strength to stay away from the drama and toxic situations.

I feel that I have not obtained the goals I originally set forth and plan to continue my plans throughout the remainder of the year. My reward will come next year in the form of a trip to the mountains in Spring 2013. Life is full of its challenges and I am not going to allow these defeat me.

Shelli, with everything you and your family have endured this year, I appreciate the strength and perseverance you have shown during challenging times. We take so much for granted. Thank you for sharing with us the good and bad. I hope all of you ladies did well as we continue to isnpire and uplift each other. 🙂

XOXO

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Check out the rest of  Margaret’s GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Hairscapades Bunning Challenge

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Told you that it was coming soon ;)! LOL! Before Hurricane Sandy interfered with my best-laid plans :P, I wanted to debut a bunning challenge on Hairscapades for the month of November! As many of you know, I wore my hair out a LOT this summer after a layered haircut in June. And though I still saw some great length retention at my front, sides and crown, the longest section in the back remained pretty stagnant.


Right: 6/15/12 ; Left: 10/20/12

So, I decided that I wanted to go into protective styling mode and a bun challenge might be a great way to get started and stay motivated. But, Frankenstorm interfered with my announcement posts plans. However, at the same time, it jump-started my personal challenge as I couldn’t wash my hair on my normal weekly schedule because I haven’t had power or hot water for 11 days. So, I got to bunning last Saturday … without you guys *sheepish grin*.

But, earlier today, I shared my Best Bun Practices as a lead-in for the challenge announcement! You can follow my regimen there or create your own. The key is to make certain that you build a regimen that is gentle, doesn’t put unnecessary stress or excess tension on your edges and strands, tucks your ends, and reduces environmental and mechanical damage.

Bunning Challenge Guidelines

  • This challenge will run for two full months from Sunday, November 11, 2012 to Saturday, January 12, 2013.
  • The only rule is that you must wear your hair in a bun style for a minimum of 5 days a week for the course of the challenge.
  • I will host “virtual” check-ins at the beginning of each week with short posts that I’ll gear towards answering questions I receive from you guys about techniques, products, challenges, setbacks, concerns, etc.
  • I have created a Hairscapades Bunning Challenge 2012″ FB album, so that everyone can share pics of their buns! To submit a pic, e-mail me at hairscapades@gmail.com. I’ll update the album as I receive pics or weekly. You can also share your pics on Instagram! Just use hashtag #hairscapadesbunchallenge and tag me at @hairscapades please!

So, want in?

To participate: List your name, starting length and your 2 month goal in the comments below. In addition, please indicate how many days a week you plan to bun and the core steps of your regimen (listing products is optional). And, if you just want to go hog monkey wild, send me a starting pic for the Bunning Challenge FB album too ;)!

And now, I’ll “officially” kick this thing off!!

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Name: Shelli aka Hairscapades aka Skills

Starting length: Armpit to waist length

Goal: Grow and retain an additional inch of hair all around.

Weekly Regimen: Pre-poo, wash, condition, deep condition (alternate moisturizing and protein, as needed) and stretch hair with a braid-out, twist out or some other method. Bun 5-6 days a week and wear my hair down 1-2 days a week.

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Ready? Let’s go!! 😉