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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Salon Review: Amy's Dominican Salon, Woodbridge, VA

Whoa....I've been gone so long I know yall think I abandoned this sucker.

I swear I haven' has just been getting in the way of this blog thing far to often. But let's not dwell on that.

I'm hear to give my review of a Dominican salon in Woodbridge where I really had a pleasurable experience. So let's get to it!

Amy's Dominican Salon
12788 Marblestone Dr
Woodbridge, VA

571-659-2277 (shop)

571-296-0745 (cell)

In order to get ready for this interview I have next Wednesday, I decided on a whim that I wanted my hair to be straightened. At first I was going to drive out to Maryland to get that done but laziness got the best of me and I wanted to stay on my side of the bridge. So, I went to Google, typed in 'Dominican salons in Woodbridge' and bam! This salon came up. I saw that it wasn't crazy far from me and I made my way up there.

Amy's Dominican salon is a nice looking salon albeit a small one. I could easily see there being a long wait there on the busiest of days. Fortunately, the salon wasn't too busy yet. I signed in, told the receptionist what I wanted (wash, deep condition, and blow out), and within 5 minutes I was at the shampoo bowl. The shampoo itself was pretty nice (She shampooed with a Linange shampoo) although a little rough. I didn't mind it too much because I really wanted my scalp scratched. What really stood out to me is how gently my hair was detangled. No tugging or pulling at all! This meant a lot to me especially since I'm 12 weeks post (whoa!) and I got some new growth going. Once the wash was completed, I had my hair deep conditioned (with a Linange deep conditioner) for about 10 minutes or so and then I was back to the bowl for a final rinse.

Judy was the stylist who did my blowout and I was definitely pleased with her. She applied some serums to my hair, sectioned it off, and began to blow dry. What I look for in a blow out is to see if the stylist can get a my hair dried without placing a crazy hot blow dryer thisclose to my scalp. It drives me insane and it's a sign that folks don't know what they are doing. Fortunately, with Judy this did not happen. The only reason I knew my hair was being blow dried was the occasional tugging of the Denman brush and the sound of the blow dryer. She definitely got a thumbs up from me in that department! She finished by flat ironing my hair (with a flat iron set to 450.....way hotter than what I set my own flat iron too All in all I was satisfied. The owner was also in the shop doing hair and she was very pleasant. I was in and out of that shop within an hour.

Now I was not happy with the price. Dang blowout cost me $75! However, I understand that the longer your hair is the more you are charged and my hair was considered 'natural' so that was more--but dang man!. So, getting a blowout there wouldn't be something that I do weekly...or even bi-weekly. However, I can say that I will return in the future. This shop also does relaxers, color, extensions...the whole nine. I would say it's a shop that anyone in the area should check out.

Check out the results!

For those who are wondering how I will maintain my hair:

-I immediately came home and put a little bit of Aveda anti-humectant pomade in my hair, then sprayed my hair with Keracare anti humidity oil sheen

-I will wrap my hair nightly after applying a little bit of KeraCare Creme moisturizer to my hair

-In the morning, I will unwrap my hair and spray the KeraCare oil sheen in my hair.

This is the routine I follow until I get sick of the straight hair or until I wash my hair...whichever comes first. But for $75, my hair is going to be like this for awhile!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Impressions: Cream of Nature Sulfate Free Moisture and Shine Shampoo

Ever since Cream of Nature (CON) discontinued my beloved green label sulfate free shampoo so that they could replace it with some sulfate laden mess, they have gotten the eternal side eye from me. So imagine my shock to see this particular shampoo sitting in my local Target. I slowly put my Shea Moisture shampoo down and picked up this shampoo, while praying to GAWD that this shampoo performed like green label CON.

Wanna know how I felt about this shampoo? Keep on reading for the deets!

Price: $4.97+tax for 12 fl oz bottle (at Target)

Ingredients: Water,trideceth-7 carboxylic acid, decyl glucoside, glycol stearate, polyquaternium 10, argania spinosa kernel oil, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, quaternium 15, parfum (fragrance), methylparaben, propylparaben, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, Red 4, Yellow 5

Their Claims (per the bottle): This sulfate free formula nourishes and adds brilliant shine, while gently cleansing and detangling.

I used this shampoo during a routine wash day where I lathered up my hair once with this shampoo (the first lather being neutralizing shampoo since it was my first wash day since my relaxer. I have to say that for a sulfate free shampoo, this shampoo lathered up quite nicely. In fact, it reminded me of the lather I got when I used green label CON. I found that once I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, my hair felt so BUTTAH! It has been a long time since I've had a shampoo make my hair feel that soft. I also found that my hair was very easy to detangle afterwards. I paid no attention to the shine of my hair because (to be honest)...I didn't really care (lol). The take away from all of this is that my hair felt soft (not stripped) and was easy to detangle. Sounds like a win in my book.

CON Moisture and Shine Shampoo is golden-yellow color and has a somewhat thin consistency. As I stated above, this shampoo lathers up very well for it to be sulfate free. The only gripe that I really had with this shampoo is that it stunk like all to be damned. It has a very medicinal smell to it that could potentially be very irritating to those who are sensitive to scents. Fortunately, the scent doesn't linger once you rinse the shampoo out of your hair.

Another potential drawback for this shampoo is that the ingredient list contains a lot of no-no ingredients that some of you may be avoiding for health reasons like polyquaternium 10. If you are, you may want to leave this shampoo alone.

The Bottom Line: A great sulfate free shampoo that is reminiscent of CON green label shampoo. Although the smell can be a bit much and the ingredient list may give some of you pause, this shampoo leaves your hair feeling clean, soft, and moisturized!

Monday, March 17, 2014

LOTD 3/17/2014: Super Relaxed Messy Bun

Welp. We have another snow day here in the DMV and I'm chilling at the house. Let me just say that I am sick of old man winter. He can go on somewhere with all this daggone snow. I'm really starting to miss those Alabama winters.

Anyway, as I'm sitting around the house, I threw my hair into a messy bun. Although I am loving my freshly relaxed hair, I find the it sucks for bunning. It just lacks the oomph and texture that my hair has when I'm deep in a stretch. Thankfully, one of the ladies on LHCF suggested that I braid my hair overnight so that when I go and bun my hair, I have little texture going. worked! I think it made my bun look sufficiently messy.

Anyway, check out my chilling around the house messy bun! Also, if you're house bound because of the snow, what are you doing today?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

1st Relaxer Update of the Year and More!

Well....I fell off the map, didn't I?

See what had happened was.... This winter has been an uphill climb for my hair (and my skin!). I guess after living in Alabama for 6 years, I had taken the year round humidity for granted. I move back to VA and it was like my hair couldn't hold onto moisture for anything! It was frustrating! So in the end, I wound up just braiding then wigging my hair and leaving it alone until I could figure out what to do with my hair. I didn't want to risk a setback trying to figure out what was wrong.

In the midst of that wigging, I realized that I was way overdue for a relaxer. Then I realized that I don't have a stylist in VA that I trust. I swear, this is the sucky part about moving---having to find a stylist. Part of me wanted to find a good stylist in this area but I'll have to repeat the process AGAIN when I move to NC this summer. :sigh: Ain't nobody got time for that.

So last weekend (March 8th to be exact), I relaxed my own hair (which I have done many times before). I used Mizani Butter Blends, neutralized with Silk Elements Neutralizing Shampoo, DCed with Darcy Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, did a final rinse with Roux Porosity Control and then proceeded to straighten my hair. This made for a very long evening.

However, at the end of all of that, I was very pleased. I found that my hair is repeating a pattern: the longest length will reach my goal length, the rest of my hair will play catch up, and then all of my hair will be where I want it to be. Right now, my hair is playing catch up. I think I'm ok with long as I have no setbacks, I'm good. Anyway, take a look at my progress!

The pic on the left was taken last week while the pic on the right was taken in October.

To see where I was last May and October, check out this post.

I've come a might long way with still some ways to go before WL. I swear, folks say APL was the hardest length to get to? Pssh. BSL and beyond have been a struggle for me!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014: New Year, New Hair Goals

Happy Wednesday lovelies!

I know...I know: I dropped off the face of the Earth for a bit. Between graduation, the holidays, me moving (temporarily) to Northern VA, and wrapping things up in Alabama, this blog of mine has (unfortunately) fallen to the wayside. However, that does not mean I have neglected my hair. In fact, it's the opposite. Being further north has presented some new challenges for my hair.

But first...let's start with a recap of 2013.

2013 was a major learning year for me. I figured out that my hair loves fact it thrives on it. Eliminating protein from my reggie (along with using too much direct heat) resulted in a hair growth hump for me. I kept having to cut (and recut) by hair back to BSL because of raggedy ends. When I finally included a protein treatment in my hair, my hair made a turnaround for the better.

I also reached MBL in October 2013, although it wasn't full MBL. I am due for another relaxer in February ( and lawd knows I am feeling this new growth!) and I am hoping with that length check, I will be at MBL.

Now, onto the present.

Let's talk about this 'polar vortex' and the havoc it is causing on my hair. Just being further North has caused all kinds of drama for my skin and hair. I am slowly learning that moisture is the key around these parts. Since I've been back home, I have been steaming like crazy and doing all types of moisturizing DCs. My hair simply isn't here for the cold. I'm also shedding like crazy. Way more than normal. I'm still trying to tweak my reggie so that I can give my hair what it needs but...gee whiz. I really don't want to resort to wigging all winter but it may come to that.

This year, I really want to get to WL. That is my ultimate goal. I have no desire to go any longer than that. What I will do after that, who knows? I'll probably just maintain that length for awhile but we will see. In terms of the blog, I plan on doing a lot more product reviews (since a lot of the products that I had to order online in AL, I can get on the ground here in VA. By the way Kirei Beauty Supply in Alexandria is my new favorite place. I just wish it wasn't so far). I also want to review different BSS's in the area as well as NC (when I move there in July). I also plan on posting even more frequently this year (with the exception of the last 2 months of 2013), I think I did a good job with my postings. As this blog continues to grow, I still want to provide the content that brings you all here!

I also want to say a big thank you to the readers who have stuck with me from the start and a big welcome to my new blog readers. Who knew so many people would be so interested in what I do to my hair? :)

Finally, I'm going to leave you with pics of me from my graduation, Christmas, and New Years...just so you guys have some hair pics! It's a nice mix of my hair and half wigs :)

PS---Stay tuned for my next product review. It is a product that I absolutely ADORE!!!