Follow Me!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

First Impressions: ORS Lock and Twist Gel

Wow so this is the first 'First Impressions' review after a very long hiatus from doing them. I simply hadn't been trying a lot of products and you can't do a First Impressions on nothing so......yeah.

Anyway, as you guys know, I'm on a braidout kick. I am in the process of going through different products and trying to really figure out which ones give the best results. That's how I happened upon ORS Lock and Twist Gel. I am all about finding products that I can pick up locally and ORS is pretty much readily available.

With that said, let's get to the review!

Price: $4.29+tax for 16.25oz (I picked mine up at Walgreen's)

Ingredients: Water , Coconut Milk , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil , PVP , Polyquaternium 37 , Propyl Paraben , Methyl Paraben , DMDM Hydantoin , Propylene Glycol , Fragrance , Sucrose

Their Claims: Natural hair care. Pre-mixed creme formula combines moisture & hold for locks and twists. Great hold, no flakes, super moist, and cruelty free products.

I used this product to rescue a busted braidout. I basically sectioned my hair, applied Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk to my hair and then put ORS Lock and Twist Gel on and plaited my hair. I put a bonnet on my head, went to bed, and unraveled my plaits in the morning.

Let me just say: I love love LOVE the definition this product gives my braidouts. I have well defined waves and that's all I want out of a braidout. I also love the hold it gives. This gel gives a light hold and isn't flaky at all when it dries. While I have had great results on my dry hair, I would love to try this product on damp hair to see what results it yields.

Texture and appearance wise, this gel is pretty jiggly (like Jello), off white in color, and pretty thick. You definitely have to make sure that you don't go overboard with the application of it. In terms of smell, the gel smells like coconut-which makes sense since coconut milk is the second ingredient. If you are sensitive to smell or don't like the smell of coconut, you may not like this product.

While I love the results this product gives, I am concerned about the propyl paraben and methyl parabens in the product. In case you don't know, parabens are used as preservatives in many cosmetic/beauty products and have been linked to cancer (in particular, breast cancer). Even though the parabens are listed further down in the ingredient list, the fact that they are even there gives me pause.

Bottom Line:
While I absolutely love the hold and definition I get with this product, the presence of parabens worry me. However, I think the product is great for braidouts and twistouts (especially on relaxed hair) , the price point is fantastic, and is overall a solid product. It's worth giving a shot if you aren't worried about parabens but if you are, it's best to keep on looking.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

YES!! A Successful Braidout!!

This post is just a quick hit but I had to share!

Who would have thought that something so simple could be so difficult to master? I finally got a decent braidout! I had to tweak the products a bit (I used a combination of Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and ORS Lock & Twist Gel) but I finally got the definition and hold that I wanted. I pretty much did this braidout on dry hair trying to rescue the busted braidout I had before but I cannot wait to try this product combination on damp hair.

Anyway, enough chatter. Check out my results!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wash Day: February 23, 2013

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

This post is a little late because my Monday was SOOOO busy! Either way, I did do a wash day this week (my last 'wash' day was a co-wash followed by airdrying my hair because during that particular weekend, I was stuck in lab...the entire weekend) and I wanted to report what I did.

I really want to take the next few wash days to get my braid out technique down since I plan on rocking them this spring/summer. As per usual, I washed my hair using Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo and steamed my hair with ORS Hair Repair Nourishing Conditioner. Let me say that my hair felt MAGNIFICENT! It was just what my hair needed. I then applied Qhemet Biologics AOHC to me hair and then air dried for 20 minutes or so- long enough for my hair to go from sopping wet to damp.

I then got to trying out this braid out thing.

This wash day I decided to use Shea Moisture Curling Souffle for the product that would provide 'hold' for my braidout. For some reason, I had a jar of it underneath my sink, so I decided to give it a shot. So, section by section, I applied the curling souffle and plaited my hair until I had 8 Miss Celie braids done. I then put perm rods on my ends (to provide a little curl at the end so my ends aren't bone straight) and sat under the dryer.......for 3 HOURS!!!

So, here's the thing with that curling souffle: the texture is garbage (it's like snot), it's wayyy too sticky (my hands had a layer of sticky on them once I finished), and it takes forever to dry. Even after sitting under the dryer for 1 hour.....2 plaits still felt damp. After that 3rd hour, I called it a day and went to bed. Thank goodness I had all of Sunday to myself or else I would have been really worried about that braid out.

So Monday morning rolls around and I take my plaits out. I will say that the curling souffle made for some really defined waves...not that the held for very long. My hair frizzed pretty quickly. Le sigh. Yeah if you were thinking of trying the curling souffle...don't.

I plan on doing a wet set/damp set braid out again this week. This time I will try it using what usually works for me for bantu knot outs and the like: Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk w/ a dab of Ecostyler gel.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birmingham, AL Ladies: A Natural Hair Expo Is Coming Our Way!

So I was watching tv the other day and I saw a commercial for a natural hair and health expo that will be happening here in Birmingham, AL on March 10th.

I just wanted to spread the word because I intend on going (mainly to see what hair products they have! : smile:)

For more info, check out:

Elasta QP Glaze Redux: I Still Hate It

Image from: Elasta QP

Happy Thursday lovelies!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week so far. My week has been crazy busy and to say that I am tired would be an understatement. So while the posts have slowed down a bit, I haven't forgotten about you guys.

Anyway, as you guys know, I have quite a few products in my product graveyard. I'm slowing but surely getting rid of the excess products. One product taking up residence in the product graveyard is Elasta QP Glaze. I purchased Elasta QP Glaze when I started wearing wigs so that I could smooth down my edges. Allegedly, this stuff was supposed to be the bee's knees in taming those edges.

Yeah well that's a damn lie.

When I tell you that my hair absorbed that junk like it was water. Lawd. I only had that stuff on for a good 30 minutes before my edges puffed up again. Then the stuff had the nerve to look greasy after my hair soaked up whatever else was in it. And this happened repeatedly. So I stopped using it for months.

Fast forward to January of this year. I had just relaxed my hair and I was looking at that nearly full jar of Elasta QP Glaze, trying to figure out what to do with it it. I thought that maybe I had been unfair to Glaze. I mean after all, I was deep into a relaxer stretch when I used it. Maybe the Glaze will work better for the first few weeks after a relaxer. Let me give Glaze another shot.

That proved to be a waste of my time.

Even with one week post hair, Elasta QP Glaze failed at keeping my edges slicked back. Repeatedly. My first impression about this product was the right one and I don't intend to use it again.

So bottom line is: I hated Elasta QP Glaze before and I hate it now. Ain't no getting around it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Chat: Hairstyles You're Dying to Try for Spring/Summer 2013

Happy Sunday lovelies!

This post is coming to you a tad bit late this Sunday. My day has been particularly busy since I had to go into lab and work all day (blah!). So as you can imagine, the first thing I did when I came home today was sleep! Nevertheless, I couldn't go to bed this evening without a post for Sunday Chat.


One thing about me is that I am, for the most part, a planner. I have moments where I try to freestyle things and sometimes it works out. Most of the time it doesn't. So, I just stick to planning. And planning how I'm going to wear my hair for the upcoming warmer months falls into that whole 'Sharday likes to plan things' category. Last spring and summer I wore a lot of top knots and messy buns. And that got boring. Fast. This year I am dying to switch things up a bit and do the following to my hair:

1) Sleek chignon: Something about this style just looks so put together and it is a definite change from all my hair plied on the top of my head. I just love it and I think this would be a great style for early spring. Plus, I plan on wearing a lot of color this spring and the last thing I need is big hair on top of color. I think I would like like a reverse stick of cotton candy. I'm just trying to keep it classic and chic here.

2) Senegalese twists:
Lawd I want these soo bad for the summer! I haven't had my hair braided in AGES and I think these twists would give my hair a break for awhile. I also like them because they seem to be 'long hair friendly' (unlike micros) and they are just cute! The only problem is: I don't think anyone in B'ham does them (I swear B'ham can be so slow on the uptake sometimes) and I may have to drive to ATL to get them. I'm hoping that I can find someone to do my hair, in B'ham, by May.

3) Braidouts: I have waited so long to have long enough hair to get a decent braid out and when I get long hair, I do like 1 braidout lol. That has got to change! I love the summery look of braidouts and I look forward to perfecting my technique.

Have you thought about the styles you would like to try for Spring/Summer 2013? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Awkward Stage's 3 Tips to Healthy Relaxed Hair

Happy Wednesday lovelies!

In my day to day comings and goings, my hair is often looked at as an anomaly. Outside of this hair blog/ hair forum world, a lot of AA women look at long, relaxed hair as something that is impossible for most. Something only achieved if you have 'good hair.'

And that makes me sad.

In my experience, growing relaxed hair to great lengths isn't impossible. With a little bit of knowledge and a little bit of care, achieving long hair becomes possible.

In my opinion, meeting that goal is pretty easy, especially if you follow these 3 tips that I tend to follow in my own hair care practices.

1) Relax less frequently.
Trust me. You aren't doing your hair any favors relaxing your hair at 4, 5, or 6 weeks post. There is barely enough new growth and if anything, you are merely relaxing already relaxed hair (which can ultimately lead to breakage). So do yourself a favor, don't relax until you're at least 8 weeks post. If you can push it to 10 weeks post-great. And 12 weeks post is even better.

1a) Since we're here, when you do your relaxer touch up, don't do it from root to tip. Again, all you are doing is relaxing previously relaxed hair, which is a recipe for breakage. I don't know who spread this lie that relaxers had to be done this way but it needs to stop. Seriously.

2)Limit the heat.
Back in the day, before I knew better, I used high heat every day (via curling iron, flat didn't matter). EVERY FRIGGIN DAY!! And my hair suffered for it. Since I've started my journey, I have learned (and re-learned) that my hair can only handle 1 type of direct heat, once a week at that. So if you are using heat every day, try and cut back to 3 or 4 days a week and see how much better your hair feels.

3) Moisture is key.
And moisture is not grease. Moisture can come in the form of a great moisture based DC ( like ORS Hair Repair Nourishing Conditioner) ,an awesome water based moisturizer (ORS Carrot Oil and Qhemet Biologics AOHC are great ones), a great leave in (Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In and Kinky Curly Knot Today are my faves), or a combination of all 3. It is key to remember that our hair craves moisture and when you relax, even more so. If you do all you can to keep your hair moisturized properly, your hair will thrive.

Those are the three things that I think contribute to healthy, relaxed hair. When I first started my hair journey, those were the first 3 steps I took. Once I got those down, thing like protective styling were easy to understand and conquer.

What do you think contributes to healthy relaxed hair?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wash Day: February 10, 2013

Yet another quickie wash day.

Yesterday, I got started on my hair way too late in the day....and the Grammy's came on sooo....yeah.

So of course I did the basics: shampooed with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo and DCed with ORS Hair Repair Nourishing Conditioner (man I love that condish!). Then I didn't know what I wanted to do with my hair. I really was not in the mood to go through the regimen for straightening my hair. I just wasn't feeling it. At all. I then considered doing a bantu knot out. However, I didn't want to sit under the dryer for all that time and worry about my hair being dried all the way through by the time morning rolled around.

Then I was inspired.

I was looking at the Grammy Red Carpet and they were interviewing Jennifer Lopez. I don't know if you saw her hair (once you got past her pushing the limits dress) but she had the sleekest looking top knot. I was drooling over that top knot.

And that's how I decided what I would do to my hair.

Once I rinsed my DC out, I put some Qhemet Biologics AOHC in my hair and detangled with my Denman brush. Then, inspired by the ponytail sew-in's I got in high school (yeah....I did that smh), I put some Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll in my hair (but not too much, I didn't want my hair to be rock hard) and put my hair into a high ponytail. I placed a scarf around my hair for about 20 minutes (to flatten my hair a bit) and then removed it to sit under the dryer for 30 minutes (long enough to dry the front and nape of my hair). Then I tied my hair up and went to bed. This morning, I formed my ponytail into a knot. Boom. Done. This will probably be my look for the week. Not a bad choice considering that it is rainy here in Birmingham for no daggone reason.

Check it out! Note: I had to tie my hair back down again on my way to work because of one part that didn't want to act right! You've been warned lol.

Sunday Chat: The No Hair Assumption

I know that this particular chat is a day late. I know.

But...this chat is about the 'no hair' assumption. As of late, there has been a surge of celebs (or pseudo-celebs) feeling the need to reveal their 'real' hair on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. It seems to me that a lot of these celebs are eager to prove that underneath all the weaves that they wear, there is actually hair under there (hey, that rhymes!).

My question is: why should they even have to do that?

Maybe because I have been so entrenched in my healthy hair journey for years now, I see weaves (and wigs) for what they are: protective styles. The real shock for me comes when folks wear weaves back to back and their hair is jacked all the way up. But to wear weaves and have hair? It makes perfect sense to me.

So where did this 'no hair' assumption come from? And why is that the default assumption when it comes to weaves and wigs? Have you ever experience this first hand?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wash Day: February 3, 2013

Or....the laziest wash day ever.

This particular wash day took all day. Allllll dang day. It wasn't because I was doing anything fancy to my hair either. I was just lazy.

I designated that this was would be my heat free wash. No sitting under the dryer, no flat ironing, no silk wrap. Just good ol' air drying and putting my hair into some sort of protective style. Even though my only form of direct heat has been my flat iron every wash day, I figured that my hair needed the heat break. As per usual, I washed my hair with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo. I then DCed with ORS Replenishing+a bit of grapeseed oil.

And I let that DC sit on my head all day. I cleaned my apartment, cooked, and watched the Super Bowl before I decided that it was time to wash the conditioner out of my head. So I did. Once I finished, I put some Qhemet Biologics AOHC on my hair, followed up with Fantasia IC Frizz Buster serum and air dried (Note: when I air dry, I always air dry with a serum to keep my hair from looking like a puff ball. I find that it allows for my hair to dry with some level of sleekness).

The following morning, I put my hair into a modified Gibson tuck ( I love this style because I get to hide all of my ends). I tried to snap the best pics I could of them (remember: I only have my camera phone at the moment) so you can get the idea of what I did. I put two Dutch braids in the front, rolled my hair up in the back, slicked my edges down, and I was done. I love this style because it can hold up pretty well over the course of the week

Check it out!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Chat: Does Use of One Hair Care Line Give Better Results?

Happy Sunday lovelies!

I'm going to make this post quick and to the point since it is Super Bowl Sunday!! Some of y'all may be throwing Super Bowl parties, attending Super Bowl parties, or merely waiting for Beyonce to perform. Either way...this post won't take up too much of your time.


Lately, as part of my wearing my hair straight most of the time regimen, I have been using more KeraCare products than I ever have. Prior to now, I just never really saw the need. However, now that I am using the sulfate free 1st Lather Shampoo, the creme hairdress, and the oil sheen, I see that my hair is responding pretty positively to each product. And that got me to thinking...

Are hair care lines meant to be used together? Does using one hair care line exclusively yield better results?

It's a question I'm interested in finding out and I have been toying with using one product line exclusively for a month but I don't know if I could stick to it. I just have too many staples from varying product lines.

What do you think though? Do some of you use one product line exclusively? Or do you think using one product line is a bunch of bull?