Follow Me!

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?