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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Look of the Day: Loose/Messy Ballerina Bun

Happy Christmas Eve lovelies!!

I hope all of you are having a great Christmas Eve spending time with the ones you love. If you're not spending time with the ones you love and are doing some last minute shopping, I hope it's going well. If you're traveling, I hope you all arrive at your destinations safe and sound.

Me? I arrived home in VA yesterday! :) I flew in last night (Can you believe a 12hr drive is an hour and a half flight!?!) and now I'm ready to run some errands with my mama. One thing I always forget about VA around this time of year is that it's cold.....cold and windy. It's not like B'ham where it's pretty much still warm (temps in the 60s, and some days the 70s). So needless to say, my hair is up in a bun right now. I wanted to do something quick that will get me out the door in a timely manner.


Today I am rocking a loose/messy ballerina bun. The beauty of this bun is that you only need bobby pins. I didn't use a hair tie at all (mainly because I wanted a more loose look and not necessarily sleek). I pretty much gathered my hair, twisted it into a bun, and secured the bun with bobby pins. As always, I sleeked my edges down with gel.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you guys a look of my look for day: the loose/messy ballerina bun.

Anyways y'all, my mom is ready to head out the door. I gotta go! Happy/Merry Christmas Eve everyone! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Look of the Day (12/19/2011): Messy Side Bun

Happy Monday lovelies!

I hope you all have had a productive Monday! I just wanted to stop by and post how I styled my hair for the day. Ever since my relaxer day last week, I have been wearing my own hair more and trying to come up with styles to wear. Following my relaxer day, I wore my hair out and straight for 1 day.....then I got annoyed and wanted it up off my neck (and not able to be blown around in the wind lol). Naturally, I went back to bunning. For the weekend, I primarily wore a high bun but for today in lab, I decided to rock a side bun.

As I was perusing through my InStyle magazine (which I love by the way), I came across this messy side bun worn by Lucy Liu:

I absolutely love it! It's done without being too done! Naturally, I wanted to try it out on myself...

....and I did.

Really this is my version of "messy." The bun itself is loose and not super duper tight. That's about as messy as it gets! LOL

Anyway, check it out!

It's a super duper easy protective style and quick, too (which was a plus this morning because I was running late! I'm exploring other options for protective styling since I will be going home this Friday and will be unable to bring my arsenal of hair products. I'm definitely going have to find some easy styles to do while I'm home. :/

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hair Lessons for 2011

Happy Sunday lovelies!

I hope you are all having a nice, restful, relaxing Sunday evening. For the first time in about a month or so, I have had an entire weekend for myself and let me tell you...I've enjoyed every minute of it!

Anyway, as you guys know we are coming up on the end of the year (can you believe that 2011 has gone by so quickly!?) and usually around this time, I like to take stock of what I did hair-wise through out the year. I sit and figure out what works, what didn't work, what stays in the regimen, what can be replaced, etc. I figure that by keeping my regimen as flexible as a can (because let's face it, there are some things in my regimen that are non-negotiable ), I am constantly doing what is best for my hair. By weeding out the practices that are detrimental for my growth and retention, I can ensure maximal results.

Here is what I learned for 2011:

1) Long stretches are not for me. Recently you guys just saw me complete a 20 week stretch! However, that stretch came with some issues (tangling, matting, etc.). I learn that although some ladies can stretch and stretch and stretch some more, I am not one of those people. My hair rebels at a certain point. Going into 2012, I will stretch only to a maximum of 16 weeks.

2) My hair is not short! Let me explain. Yes I know my hair is long. I know this. However, in terms of product application, I was treating my hair like was still in that short cut and acting like I could just haphazardly plop product on and my hair would get what it needs. Nope. Not now. I really have to make an extra effort to ensure that product gets to my ends. I have to do that at this point. NO ifs, ands, or buts.

3) Low maintenance doesn't mean NO maintenance. From September until now, I had been half wigging my little heart out. I would wash/DC my hair, put plaits in, and put my half wig on. It was a very no fuss, no muss type regimen. And I loved it. However, my hair did not. I have to admit that I got a little lazy in my regimen during this time. I didn't apply product like I should have and I didn't detangle like I should have. The end result? Nasty tangles on wash day. Lesson learned: just because you have a low maintenance regimen, it doesn't mean that it is completely hands off.

4) My hair is a moisture junkie. This is pretty self explanatory. However, when I first started my journey, I was anal about maintaining a strict protein/moisture balance. Now, I tend to err more on the side of moisture and my hair is cool with that.

5) There are more protective styles than braids. The Summer of 2011 was the first summer since the start of my journey where I didn't use braids, kinky twists, etc. to get by. I was quite proud of myself for this AND I got to find new styles to incorporate into the mix (bantu knots, braid outs, mini twists, etc.). Definitely makes protective styling all the more interesting!

Those are the major hair lessons for me this year. I wonder what hair lessons I'll learn as I continue growing to greater lengths in 2012.

What hair lessons did you learn?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No-No Products: Do You Use Them?

Happy Thursday lovelies!

Tonight I took on the task of putting my hair into a high bun since it is supposed to rain tomorrow. As I was putting the bun together, I used a pretty good amount of Dove Holding Hairspray. Yep. I use hairspray...the one with alcohol in it...the stuff that is supposed to make our hair shatter into a thousand pieces because alcohol dries it out. I don't use it all the time and primarily use it when I need my hair to stay in a certain position (usually just for buns). Actually, hairspray has been a consistent staple in my arsenal...well before my hair journey days. At one point in my life, I had a love affair with the purple Optimum hairspray (which I can't find anywhere).

Anyway, that got me to thinking.

From the start of our hair journeys, we've heard about products to keep away from our hair. We hear about how to stay away from mineral oil/petroleum based products, alcohol based products, and the like. For the most part, a lot of us do stay away from those products. However, how many of us have said "Bump what the hair boards/blogs/forums say, Imma use (___________)?"

Like I mentioned I do use hair spray. But, I also use hair grease (usually as a base for my relaxers) and oil sheen (again, not all the time). As you guys can see, there are no detrimental effect to my hair. I just use them in moderation.

What "no-no products" you use? Do you have an affinity for the black Ampro gel? How many of you still use Pink Oil Moisturizer (even though it's hell in a bottle). Go ahead and tell me here.

I won't tell anyone... :)

December 14, 2011: Final Relaxer for the Year


I am finally done with my hair!!

Tonight was relaxer night ( I was pretty much waiting 72hrs from the time I had last washed my hair) and I am finally done with my hair! It took around 6hrs to do but I am pleased with the results.

I relaxed my hair using Mizani Butter Blends. However, because I had so much new growth I relaxed my hair in halves. For each half, I applied the relaxer and left it on for 15min. I then rinsed the relaxer out and put ORS Replenishing Conditioner in my hair for 5 minutes. Next, I washed the condish out, neutralized my hair with Silk Elements Neutralizing Shampoo, and DCed with Silcon Mix for an hour. Following the DC, I put Roux Porosity Control in my hair for 5 minutes and rinsed it out with cold water.

After alla that, I sprayed my hair with Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Reconstructor, applied a little One N Only Argan Oil and blow dried my hair. Finally, I flat ironed using Fantasia IC Heat Protectant (yikes! That sounds like a ton of heat! I probably should roller set but I'm not doing that until I get a decent hair dryer. And by decent, I mean a Pibbs).

You guys, my hair has grown so much this year (as you will see in the pics). My retention has pretty much been on point! I'm also noticing that my nape is starting to retain length (you'll see's the patch of hair that looks shorter than the rest. It is NOT breakage though. I checked.). I know I'm going to have to get a trim..I'm just trying to figure out when that will happen. In the meantime (not tonight though), I will do a Search N Destroy w/ my shears until I figure out when the trim day will be. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a deep trim yet and considering that I don't really use heat like that, I think I'll be ok holding off for awhile. Besides, I got my last trim with my last relaxer.

ALSO! I'm thinking about getting bangs. I feel like my hair needs more...oomph! In the past when I got bored with my hair, I would cut it. Like seriously cut it...but I can't really do that now. I mean I can...but I think it would crush my soul. Anyway, more to come with that.

Let's check out the pics!

This time last year, my hair looked like this:

In July, my hair looked like this:

I didn't tell y'all this but in October I did a legit length check. Straightened my hair and everything:

and...for the pics I KNOW you're dying to hair now is this length:

Yall see that spot I'm talking about? It's lagging behind the rest but I'm not too worried because it's growing. But...I think it's safe to say that I'm full BSL. Even if yall don't agree...I'm still claiming it lol :) I think I'm going to wear my hair out for a while because let's face it... I never do. My hair is ready to be whipped back and forth and dangit I'm not gonna fight the feeling!!

Anyway..I know I'm tired because I'm being kinda silly at the moment. I just wanted you guys to be the first to see my progress!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 20....

:deep sigh:

File this under: How do I know when my hair can't handle a stretch?

My hair is on some 'EFF YOU!!' status right now and I hate it! HATE IT!

I'll be hitting 20 weeks post on Thursday and my wash day this past weekend was horrendous. was that freaking bad. I had tangling and matting on a massive, massive scale (you guys should have seen the hair ball that resulted from my wash day). I'm guessing that at this point, the 2 textures are just too much. The relaxed part of my hair just wants to tangle and the new new growth is just on some other stuff right now. I spent a great deal of time just trying to detangle my hair even though I just wanted to cry. Worst wash day ever.

With that said, it is definitely relaxer time. I was trying to wait until the new year to relax again but with the way that my hair has been acting lately, that may do more harm than good. I'm looking to relax this weekend (if not sooner) with my beloved Mizani Butter Blends and will probably do the half and half method because I have sooooo much new growth right now. I considered going to a salon to get it done but that thought is just terrifying to me.

Welp. It's been a good run with this stretch but it's time to relax. I know I said this before but...I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER stretch this long again! EVER!!

Sorry for the sad post but I'm kinda blown right now. I really wanted to make it to the new year. :(

Monday, December 5, 2011

My December Half Wig: Outre Zahra

Happy Monday lovelies!!

Well I FINALLY got my December half wig. This month, I felt a little adventurous. I've been rocking super duper curly wigs since September and I just wanted to change it up a bit. Sooo...this month's wig is a little bit straighter, with some curl to it.

Isn't this wig just awesome!?!

I purchased Outre Zahra in 1B from Just like my other Outre wigs, the 1B is true to color (meaning: the 1B is an off black and not a dark brown). Zahra also has 2 combs, 1 in the front and the other in the back. However, I found the front comb to be a tad bit flimsy. It was definitely a struggle just trying to secure the dern wig to my head lol. This wig doesn't have a drawstring BUT it does have adjustable straps if you need to adjust it. Like Samara Girl, this wig is pretty long--around BSL. Compared to my curlier wigs, this wig is thin. It's not super duper thin (I mean I just still put my hair in 2 plaits and it doesn't make the wig look jank), it's just.....different from what I'm used to. It's certainly not as thick as the picture would lead you to believe.

Although Zahra is a synthetic half wig, it is very soft. In terms of blending, I had to work with Zahra a bit. I pretty much just straightened the hair that I left out (I REALLY REALLY had to work it too. My hair just doesn't want to lay down). However, I finally got the blending straight....I even have one of my gray hairs showing ( I know...I KNOW!! I'm 26 and I have gray hair. Tis an unfortunate situation).

Anyway, I snapped a few pics...or what pics I could. I think the battery chamber to my camera broke and I had to be super creative with getting these shots. So, if the pics look jank, don't blame me lol.

You've been warned....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Incorporating More Oils Into My Regimen

Happy Hump Day lovelies!!

Lately, I have been on a huge Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) kick. I've been using it for hot oil treatments as well as for sealing my ends and let me tell hair absolutely loves it. I'm starting to notice less breakage (I'm still shedding like a dog though) and my hair just feels better overall.

So that got me to thinking: maybe I should incorporate more oils into my regimen.

I've never really been much to utilize oils. My thinking has always been that if you're on top of your moisturizing game (via DCing and things like that), there shouldn't be a need to add oils. However, as my hair gets longer (and my ends get older and more prone to breakage) I have to re-evaluate my regimen and do the things that are best for my hair.

Anyway..back to the oils.

JBCO is a hit for my hair and I will most likely continue to use it during the winter months. I'm also going to use up this bottle of Wild Growth Oil (WGO--bought it at the beginning of my journey but I stopped using it b/c it stank like all to be damned. I'll be using WGO just to oil my scalp during the wig when my hair is under the half wigs. Other than that, I will be looking for other oils (other than EVOO--I like it and all but I just want to branch out a bit) to use on my hair when the weather warms up. I love JBCO but it is so thick and I'm afraid that it may be too heavy for my hair once the mercury rises.

Do you guys use oils in your regimen? What benefits have you noticed? Any suggestions on oils to use?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My "Right Now" Wig: Vanessa La Trixy

Hey lovelies!!

I just wanted to stop by with the wig I'm wearing for right now. Although I love her, I got bored with Samara Girl around mid-November and wanted to change things up a bit. Enter Vanessa La Trixy.

I purchased La Trixy a few months back and just had it sitting in my closet. I used my current boredom to try out a new wig. Like my other Vanessa half wig, it has 2 combs (one in the front and one in the back) along with an adjustable strap. In terms of length, La Trixy is sits at SL...maybe a little longer. This wig also has loose curls but they aren't as loose as Samara Girl (can you tell..I love curly wigs!) I think it's perfect for those just wanting to rock a shorter style and it makes for an excellent day to day wig. Also, for it to be a synthetic half wig La Trixy is very soft. I purchased this wig in a 2 instead of my regular 1B (the BSS was out of 1B).

Currently, I'm using a headband for blending. I only plan on wearing this wig until the end of the week at most. This wig was perfect for scratching the wig boredom itch.

I took of few (and by few I mean two) snapshots. What do y'all think?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Working Through The APL-BSL Hump..

As you guys know, BSL has been my goal length for this year and I finally reached it in October. When I started aiming for this length, I thought it would be so easy to reach. After all, I had successfully gotten past the dreaded SL-APL hump that you hear so much about on the hair boards. BSL should be CAKE right?

Not necessarily.

During my quest for BSL, I discovered the APL-BSL hump. Anyone who has experienced this hump know that watching your hair growth during this time is like watching grass grow or watching paint dry. It's like nothing ever happens and you're the same length every. single. length. check. Talk about discouraging. BSL seems so far away and although you're doing everything right regimen wise, it doesn't seem like it is reflecting in your retention. So what do you do when you came running head first to this (retention) brick wall? Let me tell you what helped me:

Wash and DC your hair 100x a day. Psych! Just playing.

1) Pay attention to your hair. This step is very important. You have to determine if you are doing right by your hair. Are you staying on top of your moisture/protein balance? When was your last trim/search and destroy session? How have your stress levels been? What is your diet like? All of these things are important for healthy hair growth and it is easy to get really lax in your regimen the longer you have been on your hair journey (how many of us were super duper on top of things when we first started are now like....meh? Go on...admit it. We've all been there). Speaking from experience, it is important not to slack on your regimen if you are still actively trying to meet your length goals.

2) Know thyself. By that I mean, know your body. Personally, I have a long torso. That's just the name of the game. It took me dang near forever to reach APL and it took me dang near forever to reach BSL. That's just what it is. Since I can't undo the wonderful genetics that is me, I just work with it. I have to operate with the mindset that it will take me longer to reach certain goals because my torso is so long. I can't compare myself with other women who may have shorter torsos.

3) Check Your Bra. Seriously. BSL is such a tricky length because the goal doesn't have an anatomical landmark. Instead, it uses an article of clothing...and a fickle one at that. Depending on how your bra sits, BSL can be as high as APL and as low as MBL. If your bra sits too low, BSL can take forever because really you're going after MBL. If it's too high....I don't really know what to say about that LOL. My point is, take care to check the position of your bra to ensure an accurate reading of length. If BSL is too all over the place for your, use the anatomical marker 'Below Shoulder Blade' (BSB).

4) Patience. Ultimately, patience is key for this length. If you know you have been doing everything right by your hair, BSL will come. However, take comfort in the fact that for a lot of ladies, there is an APL-BSL hump and that length wasn't reached with relative ease.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stretching Blues (Week 17)


First let me say happy Sunday to all of you and I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I, for one, had an awesome Thanksgiving. My mom and brother came down from VA and I just really enjoyed them being here. I definitely miss them and let me just say that my current time in AL will be the last time I'm this far away from my mom. True story.

Why is this relaxer stretch taking soooooooooooooo long!?!?!?

Tonight as I was washing out my DC, it hit me that I am trying to go the rest of the year without a relaxer. I don't know how good of an idea that is. This stretch is the first stretch in a loooong time where I've gone beyond 14 weeks. I totally forgot how much new growth I have around this time. When I say that I cannot comb my hair unless it is wet or loaded with conditioner, I really can't. That would be asking for trouble. However, because I am on point with my regimen (for the most part) I don't have any (extreme) breakage but I am shedding quite a bit (I think this is due more to my current low manipulation regimen that me stretching).

I don't know if I'm gonna make it y'all. All I have to say is come January 2nd a relaxer will be put in my hair and I better have the best retention ever!

I just wanted to vent a little.....

Have you ever stretched so long that you were upset or frustrated by it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Every Hair Diva Should Have: The Science of Black Hair

Happy Hump Day ladies!! I hope you're all having an amazing day!

I tend to read a lot about hair care because I just want to expand my knowledge about hair in general. I feel like the more I know, the more I am able to successfully deal with my hair. Today, I just wanted to stop by and tell you about this wonderful hair book that I have been reading: The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy (the author is Sistaslick on LHCF who has always given helpful, science based hair care tips). I am about half way through it and I had to stop and recommend this book to you guys.

This book is like a crash course in all things hair care. It starts with an introduction to the structure of the hair and works its way up to explaining things like pH, porosity, how relaxers work, shampooing (very in depth breakdown of what is actually in shampoos), how conditioners and other moisturizers work, regimen building, and more!!! I think it's a perfect book for those who are starting their hair care journey because it explains why a certain technique is followed. I think it's easy to do something because we see others do it but still not necessarily understand why it's done. I also think it's perfect in allow folks to really evaluate what they have been doing hair care wise and why it may/may not be working for them. I also think it's a perfect reference for veterans in this hair care game. I have certainly learned things that I did not know prior to reading this book.

So please, check it out and refer to as many people has you can. If you want copy, you can purchase it at:

Barnes& (you can also purchase it as a Nook Book-which is what I did) (also available for Kindle)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Detangling? Yeah It's Important.

The other title for this post is Wash Day: 11/13/11.

I learned something that I should have been known this wash day. I learned that you cannot half a** detangling! Not when you have a regimen where you aren't manipulating your hair much and you have all this shed hair with nowhere to go. Shed hair mats. Shed hair tangles. And all that equals no fun for me SMH.

I have to admit. My wig regimen is pretty low key. I wash, DC, and plait my hair. That is it!! However, I'm not gonna lie and say that I haven't been a little lazy with the regimen. Maybe I don't comb my hair like I should because it's going underneath a wig. And maybe I don't distribute product (moisturizers,leave-ins) like I should because it's not like I'm putting heat on it. Today, however, was a big wake up call for me. There is nothing like having your hair rebel b/c you've been effing up somehow.

This wash day started like any other wash day (albeit, I was incredibly lazy with it. I DCed my hair for 8hrs because I didn't feel like washing it out. Yes. That lazy). I did a hot oil treatment with Jamaican Black Castor oil and washed with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. The trouble began after I applied my DC (currently using Silicon Mix b/c I have been too lazy to trek out to Whole Foods). Usually, after I apply my DC, I detangle run a comb through my hair so that I can distribute the product and detangle my hair. Today, however, as I was combing my hair I ran into this HUGE monster knot in my hair!!! I had to sit and slowly work it out ( I didn't want to rip my hair out after all). Once I had successfully removed said knot, I thought that was the end of it. I thought my hair was cool. WRONG!!! I had 2 more knots to work out of my hair as I was washing the DC out!! So I really got to work detangling my hair and let me tell you, so much shed hair came out! My hair is fine and tangle free now but I was kicking myself for not being as thorough as I should be given my current style regimen.

So let this be a lesson: doing the bare minimum may seem like a good idea at the time but you'll pay for it. You're definitely going to pay for it.

On another note, I did something like a length check and found that my longest length is past bra-strap!! This makes me anxious for my end of year length check!! I plan on getting my hair straightened for the Christmas holidays and I cannot wait!! Using half wigs as a protective style has been so beneficial to my hair. I know for sure that my hair thrives more when I'm not doing much to it! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not So Hair Related.....

...but it is.

If anyone knows anything about me, I stan for relatively few artists. Seriously. I don't get too excited over a lot of artists. I can count the number on one hand. Number 1 is Janet Jackson (been a fan since BURF!!! Yes...burf!). Number 2 is Mint Condition. Number 3 is The Foreign Exchange.

I have absolutely LOVED The Foreign Exchange from the moment I first heard them. Amazing music and a great alternative to half the BS that is out there nowadays.

Tonight, The Foreign Exchange performed tonight in B'ham and of course I had to be there! Now if you have never heard of The Foreign Exchange, take a moment to listen to the following song:

Anyway, being hair obsessed and all that, I could NOT take my eyes off of singer Sy Smith's hair! Her natural mane was just simply gorgeous!

She's a pretty amazing singer too!

As soon as my pictures load to my computer, I will post them so you can see what I saw tonight! I'm just so excited!!!

If you aren't a Foreign Exchange should be! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sulfate-Free Shampoo Round Up

This post is potentially part 1. I'm sure there are many sulfate-free shampoos that I have yet to try. However, I have tried a few. Some I've liked, some I've hated, some I was...meh about. I'm always on the hunt for good sulfate free shampoos. That way, if a company wants to pull a Cream of Nature and yank a product off the shelf to replace it w/ crap, I won't freak out because I have a back up. I just wanted to make one definitive post about what I thought of them and how my hair reacted to them.

All right...are you ready? Here we go.....

Once upon a time not long ago, when people wore pajamas and lived life slow

(^^^Yeah I was jamming in my mind, sorry about that)

Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo

Ingredients: Purified water, organic mandarin orange fruit, organic marigold flower, organic white willow bark, organic sea kelp, c14-16 olefin, sulfonate and cocamidopropyl betaine (coconut derived), citric acid, sea salt, phenoxyethanol, natural fragrance

You would think that something that is paraben free, silicon free, sulfate free, and protein free is awesome sauce for your hair. You think that your hair will turn out all nice and soft and clean afterwards. Especially one that is geared for natural hair ladies. Well, it wasn't awesome sauce for my hair. In fact, it left my hair incredibly stripped and squeaky clean. After I finished the bottle, I never purchased it again. My hair absolutely hated this shampoo.

Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water) With Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus Officinalis) (Certified Organic), Nettle (Urtica Dioica) (Certified Organic) Oil, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil (Certified Organic), Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilus Flower) Oil (Certified Organic), Clary (Salvia Sclarea) (Certified Organic), Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) (Certified Organic), Coltsfoot Leaf (Tussilago Farfara) (Certified Organic), Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Oil, (Certified Organic), Mallow (Malva Sylvestris) (Certified Organic), Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) Oil (Certified Organic), Soybean Protein (Glycine Soja) (Certified Organic), Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Stearalkonium Chloride, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Trace Minerals, Citric Acid (Corn), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Derived).

I wanted to like this shampoo. I really really did. I had heard so many awesome things about it and the ladies raved about it on LHCF (and any other hair forum you can think of). Plus it has mostly natural ingredients and smelled like citrus!?! I just knew that it was going to do great things for my hair. I was wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG! Similar to Kinky Curly Come Clean, my hair was left stripped and squeaky clean. Le sigh.....

Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo

Ingredients: Deionized water, decyl glucoside (sugar beets), African Butryospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), aloe vera leaf juice, argan oil, panthenol (Vitamin B-5), rosemary extract, sea kelp extract, vitamin E, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) extract.

I love this shampoo and did a review on it, which you can find here I love how this shampoo leaves my hair feeling clean but soft and moisturized. I definitely made it a point to stock up on it when Wal-Green had their "Buy 1, Get 1 Half Off" sale on Shea Moisture products last week.

Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo

Ingredients: Water, disodium cocamphocarboxyproplonate , cocamide MEA, polyquaternium-10, olea eupoea (olive) oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, retinyl palmitate (
Vitamin A), tocopherol (Vitamin E), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C),biotin (Vitamin H), linoleic acid ( Vitamin F), persia gratissima (avocado) oil [contains VITAMINS B2, D, A, E, K, and POTASSIUM], citric acid, ethylene glycol distearate,parfum (fragrance), DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, C119140 (FD&C YELLOW 5)

My beloved. My staple. When CON discontinued their awesome sauce sulfate free shampoo, this one filled the void left behind. I use it faithfully and my hair loves it. It cleans without stripping and I love how I can get a big bottle of it for under $10!

Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream

Ingredients:Water, Sodium Cocyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Steric Acid, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Certified Organic Daucus Carota Sativa (carrot) seed oil, Certified Organic Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Certified Organic Aesculus Hipocastanum (Horse Chestnut) extract, Certified Organic Salvia Officinalis (sage) leaf extract, , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel.

We're not even going to discuss how I feel about this shampoo. Just read my post about it here

KeraCare Sulfate Free 1st Lather Shampoo

Ingredients:Water, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance , Citric Acid, Diozolidnyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnomal, Linalool

In comparison to original recipe 1st Lather Shampoo, this is a very good clarifying shampoo. It is definitely not as stripping as original 1st Lather. If you want to read more about it, check out my post here

Help! My Hair Is Dry!!!

Well...not my hair. Not at this very moment anyway...

Moving on along....

We are now knee deep in autumn with winter fast approaching. I don't know about yall but around this time of the year, my hair craves moisture. It *needs* it. It has to have it. My hair likes a little protein every now and again but it absolutely hands down needs moisture! Usually around this time or year,my hair will tend to lean towards being on the dry side. Currently, this long behind stretch that I'm doing has my roots feeling a little dry and puffy. So, I have really had to be on my P's and Q's about this moisture thing.

So how do I remedy, my hair's need for moisture? I have a few things I do once I rule out porosity as being an issue ( a quick way I check for porosity is to observe my hair after I wash it. If my hair is bone dry mere minutes after I get out of the shower..I need to get my porosity in check...asap-edly). Keep in mind that I may do them individually or in varying combinations (e.g.--a hot oil treatment followed by relaxer method DC). Do whichever works for your hair w/ the products your hair loves!

1) Pre-Poo: It is the most obvious fix, right? Bombard the hair with moisture from all angles (from pre-poo, to shampoo, to DC) and your hair will be good to go! What I usually do is take a moisturizing cheapie conditioner (my favorite is HE Hello Hydration) and slather it on my dry hair. I then put a plastic cap on my hair and sit under the heat cap for an hour (or two or three). Following that, I shampoo and DC as normal.

2) Hot Oil Treatment: I have been loving hot oil treatments right now. My hair just drinks up the moisture! One of my favorite hot oil treatments to do is one with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). I love how I can grab something out of my pantry and just go to work. Another oil that I have been introduced to (thanks to one of my blog readers :) ) is Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I did a hot oil treatment last Friday with it and let me say that my hair is in LOVE with it. During a typical hot oil treatment session, I warm up the oil and then proceed to apply it to my hair. I primarily focus on applying the oil to my roots but I work the oil down my hair shaft ( I hope that makes sense). I then put on a plastic cap and sit under the heat cap for about 30min (if you can sit longer, more power to you. I just get annoyed from the oil running down my face. And I get super paranoid about oil getting on my furniture. Imagine me sitting extremely upright...lest I get oil on the couch. Yeah....I can't do that beyond 30min lol). I then shampoo and DC as usual. Keep in mind that you can do a hot oil treatment with any oil you desire....grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, EVCO, EVOO...heck you can even use those blends you see in the store. I know yall have used Hot Six Oil... don't front lol. It makes for a great oil treatment though. I will caution against using coconut oil. Don't get me wrong...I love coconut oil. However, it does have some..protein-like qualities. So...use it in moderation if that is your oil of choice. I don't want your hair to start breaking b/c you went overboard with the coconut oil.

3) Relaxer Method DC+ Extended DC time: I really don't know why this works for my hair. I just know that it does. I guess it's because I'm taking the time to make sure my strands are coated with conditioner. I dunno. It works though and I can't argue with that.. I basically section my hair (4 big sections, then I section within those sections) and I apply my DC using a relaxer brush. I make sure to focus primarily on my roots, then work my way down. I then DC for 2-3hrs or even overnight. My hair comes out feeling soft and moisturized for days!

Having dry hair sucks but there is always a remedy for it. Sometimes you have to bombard your hair with all the moisture it can stand and just give it some lovin'. I guarantee that your hair will love you for it!

What are your tried and true methods for combating dryness..especially during the cold, winter months?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My November Half Wig: FreeTress Samara Girl

Happy Saturday lovelies!

As you know, the end of the month is upon us and that means it's time for me to switch up my wigs! I got TONS of compliments about La Doral and she is one of those wigs that gets better as time goes on but alas, it is time for something new.

For November, I will be wearing FreeTress Samara Girl. I purchased this half wig in 1B this past summer at my local BSS.I paid around $22 for her although you can get her for less at websites such as Like most FreeTress half wigs, this wig has a long comb in the front of the wig and two smaller combs in the back.

Since I will start wearing Samara Girl on Monday, I wanted to just play around for a bit and style her and just really figure out how she looks on me. Straight out of the package, Samara Girl is very curly, silky, and soft. I had to fluff her out a bit just to give her some volume and look a little more natural. Samara Girl is also very long! She's about BSL/MBL length (side note: why does BSL/MBL feel so long on a wig but when it's my actual hair it's just....meh).

I will be blending my own hair with this wig and will probably reserve the headband for days where I'm just feeling extremely lazy. On my wash days, I will section out my bangs and straighten them just to aide in better blending (I'm 14 weeks post and I have some new growth going on). I will then set them on large perm rods like the ones shown below:

I will not use any gel, holding spray, etc on my curls. The curls of the wig are pretty loose so I want my own hair to have a similar look to that. As always, I will continue with my wash routine and keep the majority of my hair in plaits underneath the wig.

What do you guys think? Is Samara Girl a yay or a nay or a eh (lol)?

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Return to the Hot Oil Treatment

I have to admit. I slacked off on my hair last week. I just didn't feel like washing it.

Unfortunately, my hair felt some kind of way about that, particularly my roots. They were dry and just BEGGING for some moisture in their life. So, I decided to do a hot oil treatment. I haven't done a hot oil treatment in a lonnnnnnnng time. I think the last time I did one, it was at the beginning of my healthy hair journey and was testing various techniques. Let me remind you that I started my HHJ back in '08 so..........yeah.

Anyway, for my hot oil treatment, I finished off my bottle of Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil (I've had that bottle FOREVER. I don't even remember why I bought it. I promise I don't). This oil is mixture of oils and includes castor oil, sweet almond oil,jojoba oil, carrot oil, and safflower oil. I also used extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) which I had in my kitchen. I placed both oils in a bottle with an applicator tip ( makes for easy me on this one) and warmed it up. I take extra care to not heat my hot oil treatment to boiling. I want it to be warm...not scalding. I basically heat up some water and place my bottle in the water for about 5 min, then apply.

After applying to my hair, I put on a plastic cap and sat under a heat cap for about 20minutes. I had intended to sit for an hour but oil was running down my face and neck...I looked like an oil slick! Well, it turns out that 20min was all I needed! I rinsed my hair out and proceeded with my wash routine.

I have to say that my hair definitely needed that hot oil treatment. It made my hair (my roots especially) so soft. This may have to be something that I incorporate into my routine as I continue my stretch. This past Thursday I hit 13 weeks post and my hair is definitely a jungle right now. I'm not sure when I will relax my hair again because I have been wearing wigs and just hardcore protective styling. Right now I'm just all about getting my hair the moisture it needs.

First Impressions: Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream

Let me start out by saying, I have NEVER been so underwhelmed with a product in all my LIFE!!! I picked up this shampoo because I just wanted to try a new sulfate free shampoo...just because. Right now I'm lightweight upset that I shelled out the money for this product when I know I could have purchased something that I know works for the same price.

Let's get to the review, shall we?

Price: $9.99+tax for 8oz bottle (On the Curls website, the price is listed as $15)

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Cocyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Steric Acid, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Certified Organic Daucus Carota Sativa (carrot) seed oil, Certified Organic Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Certified Organic Aesculus Hipocastanum (Horse Chestnut) extract, Certified Organic Salvia Officinalis (sage) leaf extract, , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel.

Their Claims: (per their website) This creamy, sulfate free cleanser is gentle enough to use daily and moisturizing enough to use alone! Ideal cleanser for curly hair. Great for chemically altered and color treated hair. Perfect for active women on the go!

This rich and creamy sulfate free cleanser gently cleanses your curls, hydrates, and conditions the hair all in one step. Produces a mild, gentle lather, as it is sulfate (detergent) free. Infused with Carrot Seed oil, Horse Chestnut, Sage Leaf and Arnica Montana Flower Extract. Perfect cleanser for relaxed, chemically altered, and/or color treated hair.

This shampoo is different than other shampoos that I have tried in that it has a thick, creamy texture. It is more like a conditioner than it is a shampoo. I have to admit that I actually liked the thickness of it. It looked like it would be super duper moisturizing for my strands. Also, this shampoo also has a really strong, sweet smell. It is almost sickeningly sweet. I think it may be too much for those who are sensitive to scents.

I have to say that this shampoo has little to no lather. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect sulfate free shampoos to be super duper....lather-y but it's nice to have a little something. It felt like a was putting a leave in in my hair instead of shampoo. I really did not like that at all. I wound up going through half the daggone bottle before I felt like my hair was sufficiently clean. For that reason, this shampoo isn't a good value for the price. I think it is a complete waste to spend $10 on a shampoo and you only get a 2 good washes out of it. Aw nah...hell nah! I can spend my money on something else for all of that. However, it did rinse out very clean and didn't leave my hair stripped...which is always a plus.

Bottom Line: I will not repurchase. There are much better sulfate free shampoos out there and if I wanted to co-wash, I would use my beloved HE Hello Hydration. I also don't think it's a good value for the money you spend on it . $10 for 8oz and 2 washes is just funny math in my book.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How I Clean My Wigs

It just dawned on me that I may have readers out there who are new to the wig game and may be lost as to how you care for your wigs. this short and snappy blog post, I'm going to outline what I do.

To clean my wigs, I use Fantasia IC Wig Cleaner and Conditioner.

Maybe it's just me but, for my synthetic wigs, I use products that are formulated just for synthetic wigs. That's just my thing that I'm particularly anal about. My goal is for my wigs to last awhile. I feel that if you can completely wear out a wig in a few weeks, you need to re-evaluate your life.

Anyway....I place about 3 oz of the cleanser ( the markings are designated on the bottle and you get 3 wig washes out of a bottle) into my sink and fill up the sink with tepid ( not too hot but not cold either) water. I then place the wig in the sink.

Once in the sink, I kinda swirl the wig around. I try to be as gentle as possible with the wig so that I don't tangle it. I do this for 2 or 3 min.

I then drain out the nasty, dirty water (trust me it's gross!) and rinse the wig with cool water to remove the cleanser. Once finished I hang up the wig (can be in the shower if no one will be immediately using it) and let it dry overnight. Once dry, I spray the wig with wig spray, place the net over the wig and put the wig back into the package.

That's it! Very easy to do. I typically wash my wigs when I'm changing them out. So, if I'm done continuously wearing a wig, I will wash it prior to me putting it back into the package. Hopes this helps some of you wig newbies out! :D

First Impressions: KeraCare Sulfate Free 1st Lather Shampoo

So my friend conned asked me to come to the BSS with her today after class and of course I obliged. I mean who am I not to join her on her trip to the BSS? While I was there, I picked up a shampoo that I had been dying to try: KeraCare Sulfate Free 1st Lather Shampoo. I had heard pretty good things about it but I wanted to give it a test drive. I wound up trying it out this evening since I wanted to be utterly lazy this weekend and didn't wash my hair.

Price: $11.99+ tax for 32oz bottle

Ingredients: Water, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance , Citric Acid, Diozolidnyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnomal, Linalool

Their Claims: KeraCare 1st Lather Shampoo Sulfate-Free deep cleans hair and is designed for use prior to a conditioning shampoo. • Produces a rich lather to cleanse hair without stripping the hair of natural oils. • Beautifully prepares hair for a second sudsing with a conditioning shampoo. • Contains no sodium stearate (soap), like most creme shampoos. • Concentrated formula. Cleans hair of oil, dirt and styling product build-ups. • Helps hair absorb conditioners during a second shampoo with KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo. • Does not promote dryness and leaves no dulling film. •

Let me first point out that this shampoo is a CLARIFYING SHAMPOO! I only recommend using it to remove nasty gunky buildup (like the -cone build up you may have following a good straightening session) and to use it before you lather up with your moisturizing shampoo. I have found that this shampoo is surprisingly gentle. In the past (waaaaaay back in the beginnings of my HHJ), I used the 1st Lather Shampoo w/ Sulfates.....and it stripped the ever loving life out of my hair. When I tell you that my hair was *squeaky* clean....smh. Anyway, this shampoo didn't leave my hair feeling that way. My hair wasn't squeaky clean but I knew I had did something to it.

Another thing I liked was that the pH of the shampoo is listed on the bottle (4.5) and that the product isn't heavily scented. Another thing I noticed is that the shampoo has a clear, thick, Jell-O like consistency. I just found it interesting because I haven't seen too many shampoos with this consistency. The shampoo also rinses very clean as well. Once i rinsed out the 1st Lather Shampoo, I followed up with my Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo. My hair felt soft and moisturized afterwards.

Also, if you look at the ingredient listing, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate sounds suspiciously like a sulfate. Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate is a surfectant like sodium laurel sulfate but is a larger molecule that cannot penetrate the skin (unlike sulfates) and is gentler overall. However, if it worries you, contact Avalon to find out what percentage is included in the formula. 10% of Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate can cause as much irritation as sodium laurel sulfate ( Contact Dermatitis)

Bottom Line: If I had to recommend a clarifying shampoo for someone, this would probably be it. It doesn't strip your hair like most clarifying shampoos do and it simply isn't as harsh. I think that you get a good amount of product for your money too. Definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kreativ Blogger Award

Thanks Texlaxed&Things for posting my blog! I figure I better get to answering these questions before I forget ( I tend to be scatterbrained like that lol)

Link back to the person who passed you the award
Complete the form below
Award 10 Blogs & drop them a line about it
Share 7 random things about yourself

Name your favorite song: Oh geez I have so many! I would have to say that it's a tie between 'Stay With Me' by Debarge and 'Enjoy Yourself' by The Jacksons

Name your favorite dessert: Red Velvet Cake.....Red Velvet cupcakes.....Red Velvet ice get the idea

What pisses you off: Terrible spelling. I'm sorry it just irks me like no other.

When you're upset, you: shut down. I don't speak and I don't want to speak. Leave me alone until I cool off.

Your favorite pet: I had a turtle back in high school. His name was Edward.

Black or white: Black

Your biggest fear: Birds...especially pigeons. :shudders:

Best feature: My eyes

Everyday attitude: No worries!

What is perfection: The best that you are able to give

Guilty pleasure: The animal cookies with the pink and white frosting w/ rainbow sprinkles. I know I'm too old to like them but they make me happy :D

7 Random Facts About Myself

1) I'm an Air Force brat. I've lived in the Philippines, Montana, Washington, D.C., Italy, and Alaska. The D.C. area is home though.

2) Because I'm used to moving so often, I have an urge to move every 4 years. Like clockwork.

3) I'm a leftie.

4) I come from a family of basketball players. However, that urge to play basketball just skipped right over me. I understand the game but I don't enjoy playing it.

5) I have an incredible sweet tooth. I adore sweets! In fact, it takes a lot of restraint to keep me from eating sweets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

6) I jokingly call myself a mutant. I had 5 (instead of 4) wisdom teeth and I have a third nipple ( I know TMI but it looks like a mole). I probably have an extra kidney or something lol.

7) My first language wasn't English, it was Tagalog. Unfortunately, my mom put a stop to that ASAPedly.

10 Blogs I'm Awarding

Gosh it's so hard to choose. There are a lot of great blogs out there!

Napturally Inspired This is my LS's blog. She's natural and this blog is great for ladies who are natural or are thinking about transitioning!

Longing 4 Length We are both chasing the same goal right now (BSL). She has a really good blog AND....she's my soror! :)

My Healthy Hair Journey Love her blog! She is very detailed about what she is doing and how she goes about doing it!

Hair2Toe Beauty Great blog that covers hair, beauty, and everything in between!

What's Up With My Hair Yet another great blog!

....ok so I stopped a 5 since my brain decided to just blank out. I'll be back with the additional 5.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Early October Rambling...

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

I know it has been awhile since I have last posted. Honestly, I haven't really had much to talk about. I'm not really trying any new products because i'm on a mission to use up the products I have and I'm not doing much to my hair since I've been wigging it up.

So what do I talk about!?

I figure that now is a good a time as any to post my hair goals for the month. I usually have hair goals every month but I don't post them because the seem so mundane. However, I think I'm going to start so that you guys can get an idea of how I view my hair journey as well as the things I struggle with.

All right, here we go:

1) Keep up with my personal Autumn wig challenge. This can be hard at times because it is so easy to get bored. I know that in the long run, this will be beneficial for my hair but sometimes I want to jazz it up a bit.

2) Be consistent with the Vitamin B complex pills. I don't like taking pills and they are such a pain to remember to take.

3) Find a way to decrease this massive shedding. I shed like a freaking dog. And I don't like it.

That's it. Really October is my month to fight against the boredom. What are your goals for the month. How are you progressing in meeting those goals?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Half Wig: Vanessa 'La Doral'

It's October 1st y'all and you know what that means......

IT'S SWITCH UP HALF WIGS TIME!!!!! WOOOOOOOOO! (: throws confetti and hits celebratory dougie:)

Yes, today marks the first day that I'm not wearing Tammy. However, as you guys have noticed from the title, I did not purchase the wig that I wanted--Vanessa 'La Frisco" I really really wanted that wig but my local BSS only had it in 1B/30. I've never been a fan of extra colors in the wigs on me so I passed on that. Instead, I found another wig--Vanessa "La Doral." I paid $22.99 for the wig at my local BSS and purchased it in 2 (they were out of 1B---lawd that BSS was just failing me completely yesterday lol)

La Doral is another curly wig that reminds me of FreeTress Creta Girl but it has looser curls and is not Chaka Khan big (it's more like Tracee Ellis Ross big). This wig has 2 combs (one in the front and one in the back) as well as an adjustable strap. Another plus about this wig is that the 2 is not a super duper brown that you see with other wigs. It matches up nicely with my hair and I only saw a brownish tint when I was in the sun. I don't know if this characteristic is unique to all Vanessa Half Wigs but it's something to keep in mind as you go on your own wig search. Finally, for a synthetic wig, La Doral is very very soft. I absolutely love it. One thing you have to be careful about is that the more you mess with this wig, the bigger it gets. So, unless you want to look like Ms. Ross the Boss for a day, do your wig manipulations with a light hand.

I've decided that with this wig, I will not be blending my hair with it. It just seems like too much work (lazy, I know). Instead, I will be using a headband to hide the seam between the wig and my hair.

So far, I've gotten good comments about the wig. My friend mentioned to me this morning that you can't tell it's a wig (which is great) and I had another person ask me who did my hair. All in all, La Doral is a go. What do you think?

SN: Please excuse my makeup less, jank face. I just spent the better part of my day coaching my cheerleaders. Now that I have eaten and updated my blog, I'm about to take the most EPIC nap! :D