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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Maintaining Your Curly Style: The Pineapple Method

Happy Thursday lovelies!

As you guys know, I have been rocking a braidout this week. I love braidouts because they are a cute, low manipulation style. However, maintaining the style can be somewhat of a hassle. In the past, I would simply re-braid my hair every night. Every. Single. Night. And undo the plaits the following morning.

That got old fast.

Braiding and un-braiding my hair every day quickly made this low manipulation style into a high manipulation style...and my hair didn't like it. So, I figured that there has a to be a better way. And there is. A quick Google search pointed me in the direction of 'The Pineapple Method.' Now, I'm not completely behind on methods. I have previously heard of this method but I thought it was a way to wrap hair (don't ask me why I thought this. I just did. That's what I get for not bothering to look stuff up). Instead, I found that this method is a way to maintain curls over a series of days. For me that meant: no re-braiding every night!

So I gave it a shot.

Me with my hair in the Pineapple Method. I pinned the ends of my hair down so it looks bun-like

The Pineapple Method (which doesn't look very pineapple-y to me, it just looks like a glorified high ponytail lol) basically states that you gather all your curls into a high ponytail and loosely secure it with a hair tie (I use those stretchy Goody headbands--they give me more control as to how loose/tight the ponytail is). Once your ponytail is secure, you make sure the ponytail part is facing forward and you can pin down the ends if you choose. Once done, you place your satin bonnet on and go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is fluff your hair and go. The key thing about this method is that your curls are essentially sitting on the top of your head. As a result, when you are sleeping, those curls won't get smooshed (and if you're a wild sleeper like me, then smooshing curls is definitely a thing to be concerned about).

It seems simple enough, but how did everything turn out?

My braidout on days 1-3 using the Pineapple Method

With this method, I am currently on day 3 of my braidout. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. In the future, I definitely want to see how far I can stretch my braidouts with this method (i.e.- can I make my braidouts last a week w/ this method?). For now, however, the fact that I was able to get 3 days of wear out of this style (without it looking like whodiditandleft) is good enough for me.

All in all, if you are looking for a way to maintain a curly style without having to re-do everything nightly, give this method a go!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wash Day: May 27, 2013

Or "My Lazy holiday wash day"

Good afternoon lovelies! I hope you all had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend! Now that we are all back to the grind of the work week, I figured I post about my last wash day. Since this past weekend marked the unofficial start of summer, I thought that I would style my hair into the ultimate summertime look: a braidout.I just felt like my hair had to match my 'summer and the living is easy' sort of mood.

As per usual, I washed my hair with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. I then followed up by DCing for an hour underneath a heat cap with ORS Hair Repair Nourishing Conditioner. I was a little worried about my DC because I only had 1 pack of DC (I usually use at least 2 packs). However, with this wash, I found that I really only needed 1 pack. It makes me wonder if I have been using more conditioner than my hair needs. Ion't know. It's something that I need to follow up with. Anyway, post DC, I detangled my hair and sectioned it. I then applied Giovanni Direct Leave In (an old staple of mine that I abandoned for some reason) to the sections and proceeded to plait my hair using Taliah Waajid Curly Curl cream. I let my hair air dry overnight.

Check my hair after I was done with my Miss Celie braids (I did around 10 in total):

And the end result:

How about you? What did you do with your hair this holiday weekend?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Look of the Day 5/23/13: Low 'Messy' Bun

Happy Thursday lovelies!

I just wanted to stop by with my hair look of the day. As you guys know, I love a good high bun. However, every now and again, I have to give my hair a break from constantly being up in a high bun. So, today I shifted gears and made a low 'messy' bun. My messy buns never look quite messy but this will have to do. Making the bun was simple. I gathered my hair into a low ponytail, twisted the ponytail, and then tucked the ends underneath my hair tie. I then began to separate the twist and randomly pin down sections to create a messy look.

I think this is a good look for kicking it around the house or running errands. It's very easy to do and isn't very time consuming. I snapped a few pics of my bun ( I tried to take one that view the bun from the back but it came out blurry and just blah.). Take a look!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ends Make Inches Tip #1: Soak Your Hair Ties and Bobby Pins in Oil

Happy Hump Day lovelies!

Lately, I have been doing some thinking. When folks talk about their hair journeys, the focus is always on the major changes. I mean how often have you heard about stretching, protective styling, using less heat, etc? Probably more times than you care to think about. However, I'm finding that the further along that you go in your hair journey, it is the little things that add up and can potentially do damage to your hair. More often that not, we don't really think about what that hair tie, what those bobby pins, or what that comb is doing to your hair. So, I wanted to make a series of quick hits that illustrate some of the things you should think about as you go about the business of styling your hair.

If you guys are anything like me, with the mercury rising you have probably started to bun consistently. Personally, I prefer to bun using a good hair tie (sans the metal clip in the middle) and a handful of bobby/hair pins. However, my hair ties and bobby pins present a problem: friction. It is that friction that rubs against my hair and causes the breakage I see when I take either of these items out. Of course there are ways around this. You can substitute the bobby pins for a Goody spin pin or bun without a hair tie. But what if you don't want to do either of those? Well, you still have another way to use these items without the breakage.

Soak your hair ties and bobby pins in oil.

It can be any oil that floats your boat: olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil....whatever makes your boat float. With the bobby pins (assuming you are using pins that have the rubber ends and are coated), that oil reduces friction you get when you place them in your hair (or take them out) resulting in no breakage. When you soak your hair ties in oil, not only do you reduce friction but you ensure that the section of hair that your hair tie is wrapped around stays moisturized (meaning: your hair tie won't take the moisture away from your hair) and minimizes breakage.

Pretty cool, huh? As you can see, oftentimes the little things we do to our hair on a daily basis can make a huge difference in retention. What do you think about this tip? Have you tried it? What were your results?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Salon Review: LaToya Jones @ Look Salon, Hoover, AL

I said that I would do a review for this hairstylist and I meant it! Finding a good stylist in the Birmingham area is like finding a needle in a haystack so of course I must spread the good word! Can I get an amen? AMEN!

First let me give you the details:

LaToya Jones
3075 John Hawkins Parkway
Suite K
Hoover, AL 35244

Check her site:

Check her blog (I know! She has a blog!):

Let me tell you guys how I found this gem of a hairstylist. I was about 2 weeks away from my relaxer touch up and I really, really did not feel like doing it myself. Like if you had left it up to me, that relaxer would not have happened until...August. And as we all know from my last bout of stretching super duper long, my hair doesn't like that at all. So at this point the situation was dire. I was needed to relax but I wasn't going to do it myself and do it half way.

So off to Google I went.

Let me say, the salon situation in Birmingham is dire. When I went to Google, salons came up. However, a lot of these salons had no website. I don't know about you but I feel like if you can't step into 2013 and have a website for your business, I don't need to go there. That ruled out about 95% of the salons. The rest I had been to (and like them as a salon but would not go there for a relaxer) or have heard terrible reviews. I was feeling pretty discouraged. Until I saw LaToya's site. Her site looked well put together and....AND she had a blog! When I clicked on that blog, I knew I had found the right stylist for me. From her blog, I could see that see was very into healthy hair care practices and she promotes stretching! Honestly yall, I was just excited that I could go into the salon and not get the side eye for stretching. I booked the appointment that night (booking can be done online.You get confirmation of the booked appointment pretty quickly).

I originally set my appointment for May 4th at 10:30am. Around the middle of the week, LaToya called me to set the appointment back an hour because there was a client before me and her appointment would have ran into mine. I definitely appreciate the fact that LaToya didn't try to double or triple book any of us. I really like knowing that the time I set for my appointment will be *my* appointment time. It's a very rare thing to see and I'm glad she took the time to consider any potential waiting time on my end. When I arrived to my appointment, however, the client before me took a little longer than expected and I had to wait for about 30 minutes. However, this didn't really bother me because I knew it wasn't intentional (read: it wasn't a double booking issue) and she had attempted to account for that. Besides, I had nowhere else to go so I was good.

When I got into the chair, LaToya apologized for the wait and began getting to work on my touch up. LaToya took time to base my scalp and she didn't rip through my hair with the comb. She was pretty gentle with my hair. She used Mizani Butter Blends and took care to apply the relaxer only to my new growth. As she was apply the relaxer to my hair, she would ask every couple minutes or so if I was ok ( just making sure my scalp wasn't on fire or anything). After what felt like 20min, I headed to the shampoo bowl and got that relaxer washed out and neutralized. Again, LaToya was very gentle with my hair. At this point, I was very pleased with the experience.

Next, it was time for the styling. Since I wanted to do a length check, I opted for a wet wrap (still trying to stick to the 1 form of indirect heat, 1 form of direct heat thing). I got to hand it to LaToya, she got all my hair into that wrap. She definitely gets all the kudos for that. What I did not anticipate was that it was going to take so long to dry my hair! LaToya wasn't going to set the dryer on this highest heat (which I totally get. Who wants to feel like they are sitting my Hell's furnace?) and I have a LOT of hair---it's just going to take longer by default. Either way, I happily got underneath the dryer. About an hour and a half in, I began to regret my decision because I was STARVING!! Around the 2 hr mark, I just had LaToya blow dry my hair and flat iron it. This go round, I also got a trim because I was pretty sure my ends needed it. When it was all said and done, the relaxer touch up was $70, the trim was $10, and I left a $10 it set me back about $90.

Overall, I was so so so pleased with this experience! It is very rare that you find a good stylist, let alone someone who is into healthy hair care practices! Relaxers aside, I also saw that LaToya does really nice silk presses on natural hair and very nice natural looking weaves. She is definitely a stylist that I would refer to anyone in the Birmingham area. I am so glad that I didn't have to trek to ATL to find a good stylist and that I have an excellent one here in the 'Ham--now you don't either!

Wash Day: May 18, 2013

Or the "I like wash days again because my hair has been recently relaxed" wash.

Happy Monday lovelies! I hope you all are doing well. On my end, these past couple of days have been STRESSFUL!! On Saturday, the timing belt in my car wore out so I had to deal with that. Then I spent the rest of the weekend in the house sans car. Thankfully, no major damage was done to my car (God looks after children and fools, for real!) and I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Since I was house bound for the remainder of the weekend, I gave my hair a good washing. I skipped last week (I was feeling really, really lazy that week) and I was definitely about due. Since this was the first wash post relaxer, I added several different things to this wash day. The first thing I did was wash my hair with Silk Elements Neutralizing Shampoo. This is just something I do following every relaxer to ensure that all of the relaxer has been properly neutralized. I then followed up with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. Since my hair just went through the trauma of relaxing, I decided to use a protein DC just to give my hair a little strength. This seems to be a common trend with relaxed ladies as their post relaxer wash includes products like Joico K-Pak Reconstructor or Aphogee 2 min Reconstructor--basically products with enough protein to give your hair some strength but not too much to send you into Protein Overload-ville. For this wash, I used Aubrey Organics GPB because I love how it not only strengthens my hair but it also leaves it moisturized. After I sat under my heat cap for an hour, I rinsed the DC out and applied Roux Porosity Control. While Porosity Control used to be a weekly staple of mine, I now only use it post-relaxer. If you don't know, relaxers (due to their high pH) basically lift the cuticle of your hair (which makes sense because how else is the relaxer going to get in there). What you want to do post relaxer is make sure that cuticle is closed or else you can have some serious moisture retention issues. Have you ever had porous hair? I have. It wasn't fun. Couldn't hold on to moisture if it had a bucket. Anyway, after I rinsed the Porosity Control out, I detangled my hair using my good ol' bone comb and Hairveda Ends Hydration. I then air dried in a ponytail and went about my business.

That is what I absolutely love about the first 8 weeks following a relaxer. My wash days are so easy breezy. There aren't any marathon detangling sessions, no having to tip toe through new growth...none of that! Just wash, detangle, and dry! It reminds me of the days when my hair was short and maintaining it didn't take much effort.

There you have it, my post relaxer wash favorite of all wash days!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Look of the Day 5/10/13: Pin Curls

Happy Friday lovelies!!

Just a quick post to show how I am wearing my hair today. After wearing my hair out for a week, the sleekness of my hair was pretty much kaput. Even though I'm relaxed, my hair has retained some of its texture. As a result, my hair has a tendency to 'revert.' So instead of pulling out the flat iron (or bunning!), I tried pin curls for the first time. It took me a while to get the hang of rolling my hair with my fingers, but once I got it I was good! I think the results I have gotten are good considering the fact that I did pin curls on straight hair. However, I would like to have slightly more body for my pin curls. Going forward, I will probably have more pin curl sections.

Anyway, enough of the chatter. Check out the pin curls for yourself!

Before I took them down:

And when I was done:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Relaxer Day and First Length Check of 2013!

Happy Monday lovelies!

This past weekend, I finally got my hair relaxed after 16 weeks of stretching!! And let me tell you it felt good! However, this relaxer day was different than my previous relaxer days. This go 'round, I decided to go to a salon to get my hair relaxed. I really did not feel like doing my own relaxer. I mean really and truly so I went on the hunt for a good stylist in Bham. One thing that grates my nerves about Birmingham, it is how difficult it is to find a stylist that is a) professional (no double and triple booking appointments, please) and b) cares about the health of my hair. It is definitely a struggle here. Fortunately, during an exhaustive Google search, I happened upon Latoya Jones, a stylist who works at The Look Salon in Hoover ( don't worry, I will be doing a review of my experience in a future post). I was impressed by the fact that she is definitely into healthy hair practices (I mean, she has her own hair blog as well as an e-book of healthy hair care practices. How awesome is that!?) and decided to give her a shot.

Latoya relaxed my hair using Mizani Butter Blends (which is my absolute fave!),did an excellent job with application (none of that relaxing from root to tip for a touch up or leaving the relaxer on too long), and styling. Overall, it was a great experience for me.

In terms of my length, I am pretty much at BSL. The series of trims I had during 2012 left my hair roughly at BSL--maybe a tad shorter than that (and my last trim was in November). So now, I think my hair is growing back to where it used to be. Either way, I'm still aiming to hit MBL (hopefully!) sometime this year. Anyway, enough with the chatter.

Check out my relaxer results below: