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Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Box Braids: One Month Later.....

Happy Sunday lovelies!

So, it recently dawned on me that I have had my box braids for about a month now! Time sure flies when you're having fun, I guess. Anyway, I just wanted to update what my hair looks like one month into the washing every week (with a stocking cap, of course) and the somewhat daily styling thing. As you can see, my braids themselves still look good....but I have an explosion of new growth going on! I can definitely tell that these braids are going to be ready for the heave-ho by month 2. I hope that my retention is only matching my new growth so that I can reach MBL by the end of the year.

Check it out!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Look of the Day (7/23/13): Box Braid Up-do

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

Well it's another rainy and stormy day here in B'ham and I am back with yet another look for the day. I'm finding that box braids are more versatile than I initially thought them to be. In the past, I would either wear my braids down or in a ponytail....not too much variability at all. This go 'round, however, I am having more fun with braids and styling them in the most random of ways. Although I tend to change up styles frequently (I get bored easily), I hope that it can help some of you guys who have or plan on getting box braids in terms of styling. I also hope you guys see that you don't have to have the extra long braids in order to have a cute style.

Yesterday, as I was perusing Youtube, I came across this video for a box braid updo posted by The Kris Bliss. I figured that my hair was long enough to replicate the I did. I'm liking this style so's edgy and CUTE!! I just may keep this style in for a few days.

Check it out!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Look of the Day (July 22, 2013): Gibson Tuck w/ Braids

Happy Monday lovelies!

I'm back with my look for the day for, well, today. Let me just say, I had a very long day. I participated in an education outreach activity in Atlanta (2 hours away from me), so I had to wake up at 4 this morning so that we could get to Atlanta at a decent hour. Since I was halfway sleep and knew that I would be dealing with children all day, I wanted a style that kept my braids out of my face and was not necessarily a bun. Enter the Gibson tuck. I have done this style a few times on my own hair but never with braids. Thankfully, the style worked and I had a cute style in 3 minutes!

Check it out!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Look of the Day (July 19, 2013): Braided Crown

Happy Friday lovelies!

I have to admit...I get bored with my hair very easily and right now it's taking everything in my to keep these braids in my hair. So every now and again, I have to jazz my hair up a bit. Today is no different. I got tired of wearing my hair in a high bun every day and I just so happened to catch a glimpse of one of the articles in the magazine Glamour where they were talking about this braided crown hairstyle. I took one look at the hairstyle and figured that I could do that with my braids so I did. I like it so far (especially since it still keeps the braids out of my face and off of my neck). I also like the look of just has more oomph to it than it does with my regular hair. Anyway, I'm rambling....check out my style for the day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wash Day: July 13, 2013

Hey lovelies!

I know that this particular wash day post is super late but things have be hectic around here as of late. Anyway, I really wanted to get this wash day post up so that I can show how I wash my hair while it is in braid extensions. There is this horrible, horrible myth going around that you can't wash your hair while it is in braids (for some people this is 2+ yeah). I'm here to say that a) that's disgusting and b) you can! One way that I typically keep my hair clean while it is in braids is to use ORS Herbal Cleanse. I find that when I'm pressed for time, this is the perfect way to ensure that my hair and scalp remains clean. Another method that you can use to really clean your hair is the stocking method. It is a great way to clean your braids without them getting frizzy or resulting in one or two of your braids slipping out.

So let's get to my wash day!

First, I diluted my Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo in an applicator bottle (you can use a spray bottle if you want). I don't use exact measurements...I just wanted to make sure that there was more water than shampoo (tan bottle on the right). Diluting your shampoo makes the whole wash process easier and minimizes any build up you can potentially get from the shampoo. I then got a separate applicator bottle and diluted JessieCurl Deep Conditioner (had a sample just hanging around) with water (white bottle on the left).

I then placed a pair of old stocking on my head and tucked my braids underneath the cap.


Next, I took my bottle of diluted shampoo and saturated the stocking cap with it. I then proceeded to 'scrunch' the cap a bit (moved my fingers like I was washing my own hair) and produced a nice lather. I added a little water every now and again (I did this part in the shower) when I felt I needed it. When I was finished, I rinsed the shampoo from the cap (see pictures below).

I was in the mood to DC, so I grabbed my bottle of diluted deep conditioner and saturated my stocking cap with it. I then placed a plastic cap over the stocking cap and DCed using a heat cap for an hour or so. Afterwards, I rinsed the DC from the stocking cap and removed the stocking cap from my head.

Finally, I sprayed Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave in on my hair/ braids and let my braids fully dry. As you can see, my braids aren't frizzy and I didn't lose any braids in the process. What's most important, however, is that I washed my hair! Don't let anyone tell you that you have to let your hair be STANK and dirty just because you have braids! You can keep your hair just have to be a little creative! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Look of the Day 7/12/13: Side Bun...with Braids

Happy Friday lovelies!

I'm here with a quick hit (and I do mean quick) since I am preparing for a committee meeting this afternoon. Since I am making a presentation today, that high bun I have been rocking is a tad bit informal. So, I decided to bring the braids down and rock them as a side bun. I love that this style still keeps the braids out of my face yet looks professional enough that it isn't distracting.

Anyway, check it out!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Look of the Day (July 8, 2013): Braid Bun

Happy Monday lovelies!

I'm here with a quick post about how I have been wearing my braids from the moment I was able to pull them up into a ponytail: a bun. Since my own ends are essentially out, I was worried about what effect that would have on them if I constantly wore my braids out. Not willing to take the risk, I decided that I would just bun my braids and call it a day. So that's what I did: I turned my protective style into a protective style...and I love it! Since my braids aren't the longest braids in the world, it took some doing (and a LOT of bobby pins!) to get my hair into a decent sized bun. However, I was able to accomplish my mission and pretty much just tie my hair up in its bun state at night to avoid the ordeal of putting my hair in a bun everyday. Either way,I am absolutely digging this style!

Check it out!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First Impressions: TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner with Aloe Vera and Avocado

I finally bought this condish after hearing all the raves about it on the hair boards. This product is the holy grail for a lot of ladies--so it must be good right? Well, after using this product two different ways I have to say that I am underwhelmed. I really expected to be wowed by this product and unfortunately, that was not the case.

~ $5.00+tax for 25 fl oz

Water (Aqua, Eau), Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Fragrance (Parfum), Lauroyl Lysine, Caprylyl Glycol, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Aspartic Acid, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil**, Citric Acid, Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice**

Their Claims:
"TRESemme is dedicated to creating hair care and styling products that are salon quality without the salon price. This TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner with Aloe Vera & Avocado is designed to provide silicone-free conditioning to keep your hair from being weighed down. With USDA-certified organic extracts, this Conditioner is designed to nourish your hair. It contains ingredients such as aloe vera, sweet orange and avocado. Use this Conditioner each time you wash your hair to keep your hair soft and moisturized."

I tried to like this product yall, I really did. I really wanted to like it. I first tried this condish as a co-wash since many ladies use this product for that purpose. I got in the shower and put the condish on my hair section by section. I then placed a plastic cap on my head for the duration of my shower session. When I rinsed the conditioner out, my hair felt soft enough I guess...but not the 'OMG!! THAS' SOFT!' I was expecting. And it definitely didn't have the slip that folks rave about. It got the job done as a co-wash but I was left wanting more.

Not wanting to give up on this condish just yet, I then tried this conditioner as a pre-poo in combination with Kemi Oyl..again a similar result. I applied my pre-po to my hair section by section. Once I was finished, I placed a plastic cap on my head and sat under a heat cap for 30min. Once I rinsed the pre-poo out, my hair felt 'aight' but nothing earth shattering. My hair felt minimally prepared for what I was about to do to it...and that was a problem. Overall, this product was a big disappointment for me.

Appearance wise, the conditioner is pretty thick (which is what I liked about the product) and it isn't strongly scented. Another thing I like about this product is that it is silicone free. I like for my co-wasy and pre-poo products to be silicone free so that I know that my hair is benefitting from the treatments and that my hair isn't showing me some silicone-y deception. That's not cool. It's also not cool that isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is in this product. That's probably why my hair didn't respond so great to it--my hair knows a drying product when it feels it.

Bottom Line:
For my hair, this product was just 'eh.' It simply didn't provide the earth shattering moisture that I expected it to provide--especially since it is cone-free. I will use up what I have now but I highly doubt that I will purchase this product again.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wash Day: June 28, 2013

Or 'The Wash Day Where I Prepped My Hair For Braids'

Happy Monday lovelies!

Last week, I was informed that between now and September, I have a TON of things to do to get ready for my dissertation defense. So I had to make the executive decision to put my hair away in the meantime. I know that I will not be too focused on the day to day styling of my hair during this time so I figured that box braids would be the way to go (same thing happened when I was taking Medical Neuroscience during my second year. I was constantly in class or studying and my hair became the least of my worries. I sure did put my hair in kinky twists. Yep.). Since I plan on keeping them in until September, the braids will give me one less thing to worry about and keep my hair nice and protected.

Every time I get braids, I follow a routine to prep my hair for braids, which is outlined in The Awkward Stage's Guide to Prepping Your Hair For Braids. This wash day, I just basically took care to clarify my hair with KeraCare Sulfate Free 1st Lather Shampoo, did a second lather with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo, did a protein treatment with GVP Hair Reconstructor, DCed with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, sprayed in some Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In, and blow dried my hair to stretch it. On Saturday, my braids were installed. Three and a half hours later, I had my new low maintenance protective style:

Currently, I am keeping my hair/braids moisturized with Bee Mine Juicy Moisturizing Spritz (which I actually like as a braid spray. Maybe they should market that spritz as a braid spray and not a general moisturizer.). I oil my scalp with coconut oil when the mood strikes me and I will detail how I wash my hair while braided in a future post.

So, tell me what you think! Are the box braids a yay or a nay?