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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

9/8/15 LOTD: Transitioning Updo

Hello lovelies!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!! I'm here just to show you guys how I am styling my hair at 9 months ( 9 months, y'all!!) post relaxer.

Typically on wash days, my faithful standby is a twist out. I can't help it. It is a style that I know will give me a reliable outcome. This week, however, I am positively tired of twist outs. Since I had so much free time on my hands, I looked up updos for transitioning hair and what you see below is the result. I saw this style on Mo Knows Hair and I just knew I had to replicate the style!

I got so many compliments from adults and my students (and if you're around any 7th grader for a reasonable amount of time, you know that they are the most honest people on Earth, lol!) which was a good definite plus. I plan on wearing this throughout the week and will continue with my wash days as scheduled. I will say that transitioning is really not that difficult once you hit 9 months, especially if you aren't forcing your hair to be straight.

Anyway, enough of my yammering...check out the pics!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

First Impressions: Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Moisturizing Milk Masque

Hello lovelies!

Today I am back with a product that I received in July's Curl Kit but I didn't get a chance to try it until recently. If you been following my transition ( and I know you have!), you know that I have mentioned how my new growth needs increasingly more moisture. My current mission has centered around finding super moisturizing products for my hair and let me tell you, this product definitely makes the cut!

Price: ~$6.99 for 11.4 oz +tax (from local BSS--I received mine from a Curl Kit I ordered)

Ingredients: Water (Water) (Eau), Glycerin, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Polyquaternium-37, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cicaprylyl Carbonate, Mica, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Argania Spinose Kernel Oil, Panthenol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Dimethiconol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Ceteareth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylisothiazolinone, Cl77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Cl19140 (Yellow 5), Cl 14700 (red 4), Cl 42090 (Blue 1)

Their claims (per the label): No Frizz, No Shrinkage, No Dryness! It's time to reclaim healthy curls with our Moisturizing Milk Masque, packed with repairing nutrients from Argan Oil and Argan Butter. This essential deep treatment is formulated for all curl types to strengthen, restore, and hydrate distressed hair, preventing damage.

*No: Sulfates, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum*

**Perfect for: Deep Conditioning or Co-Washing**

I have to admit that I was excited to use this product because it says that it is for all curl types and transitioners. As someone who is 8 (almost 9 months) into their transition, I really wanted to see how beneficial this product would be for my hair. I used this product as a deep conditioner, immediately following my protein treatment with Komaza Protein Strengthener. I applied this to my hair in sections (to ensure that every part of my hair got the moisturizing goodness) and DCed with a heat cap for about an hour.

When I first opened the product, I couldn't believe how thick this conditioner is! It really is like a butter! I initially thought that with my hair and the thickness of this conditioner, I was going to run through that jar in a wash and a half. To my surprise, a little really went a long way! This conditioner spreads easily and my hair absorbs it with no problem. I can see one jar lasting me 4-5 washes (since I wash my hair weekly, about a month).

As far as smell goes, this product smells like any other Creme of Nature with Argan Oil product---kinda sweet, kinda medicinal. The smell doesn't bother me too much and it goes away once you rinse the product out of your hair. It may bother those who are sensitive to scents, however. If you look at the ingredients, you see that fragrance is pretty high up in the list (it's the 5th ingredient!!). This means that there is a scent and a lot of it. So for my scent sensitive've been warned!

Another potential red flag is that this product contains isopropyl alcohol and it's high in the ingredient listing (the 12th ingredient). Isopropyl alcohol can be found in holding hair sprays and can be drying to the hair. It seems counterintuitive to put a drying ingredient in a product that claims to moisturize hair and that alone can make you reconsider putting this product in your hair.

Ok but how did the product perform!?!

After I DCed for an hour (with heat) and rinsed my hair out, I was blown away by how soft my hair was, especially my new growth. My comb was able to glide through my hair with absolutely no problems. I also saw my new growth begin to curl up--which is my indicator that it is moisturized. To that end, the claim that this conditioner hydrates hair is absolutely, 100% true. My hair definitely got some moisture. As far as strengthening, I can really speak to that since I do a protein treatment prior to deep I know my hair is being strengthened but not by this product. Quickly glancing at the ingredient list, I don't see any ingredients that would suggest strengthening capabilities. For that reason alone, you should consider this product a moisturizing deep conditioner.

Finally, I have only used this product as a deep conditioner, not a co-wash. Going forward, I would only use this product as a deep conditioner. While I'm sure that it would be great as a co-wash, I prefer to use cheapie conditioners that I can run through and repurchase without putting a significant dent in my pocketbook. If I were to use this as a co-wash daily, I could see myself running through a jar a week, easily. Over time, that adds up!

Bottom Line: This is a solid moisturizing DC for those who are transitioning. It provides hair with the moisture that it needs and a little goes a long way. It is a great DC to add to your rotation! However, there are 2 red flags with the amount of fragrance added and the presence of a hair drying alcohol. These two ingredients alone may be enough for some to pass on this product.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

8 Months In and Miles To Go

Happy Thursday lovelies!!

I'm back with an update on my hair thus far. Last Wednesday, I removed my box braids and got to see my hair for the first time since June!! After washing my hair, giving it a much needed protein treatment, and deep conditioning it, I prepped my hair for a twist out that I rocked for about 5 days while I was home in VA for my birthday weekend. When I returned back to NC last night, my hair needed a wash in the worst way so that's how I spent my evening. Here's what I noticed:

* It takes A LOT more time to do my hair on wash days.

I'm finding that I have to do everything in sections. I have to wash my hair in sections, apply my protein treatment in sections, apply my deep conditioner in sections, and detangle and add my moisturizer in sections! I understand why I have to do this. I have a lot of new growth happening and if I didn't section my hair, it would make for a very frustrating wash day. I'm also finding that sectioning my hair is the only way I can ensure that my hair (both the new growth and the relaxed portions) are getting what they need.

* My new growth needs moisture more than my relaxed hair ever did*

I found out pretty late in the game that my relaxed hair needed equal amounts of protein and moisture...I couldn't venture too far in either direction. Now, however, I'm finding that my new growth drinks in moisture! I still use protein (primarily to strengthen the infamous line of demarcation) and I'm finding that the addition of protein allows my new growth to better accept the moisture that I am giving it. My once properly moisturized, my new growth curls with delight and that's how I know my hair is loving what I am doing to it.

* Oyin products may become a staple for my hair*

I've been using Oyin Hair Dew, Greg Juice, and Burnt Sugar Pomade for awhile now. Recently, I have added the Whipped Pudding to the list. Last night, I detangled my hair using Greg Juice, followed up by adding Hair Dew and Whipped Pudding, then sealed by using a tiny bit of Burnt Sugar Pomade. This combination is the best thing ever as far as my hair is concerned. Moisture like what!! I think these products may be staples for awhile.

* Not trying to keep my hair straight= somewhat easy transition*

Years ago, when I first called myself transitioning, I still was trying to maintain a straight style. As a result, I was constantly blow drying and flat ironing as a way of blending my 2 textures. My hair wasn't having it. It was constantly reverting and I was constantly flat ironing it straight. It was frustrating and one day I figured that since I was trying to keep my hair straight, it would be more beneficial to just relax. Which I did. This go round, I am not trying to make my hair do anything that it does not want to do. Meaning, I am not straightening it. I have no desire to right now. When I want to wear my hair out, I know how to do a great bantu knot out or twist out that looks good but blends the 2 textures as well. When I take out styling stress, it make it that much more easier for me to focus on the actual care of my hair. If it were up to me, this tidbit of info would be one of my top 5 tips to transitioners. Work with your hair and not against it.

School will be back in session soon and I'll probably be wigging it up for awhile. The first few weeks of school are so hectic that I just need an easy breezy style until I get back in the swing of things. I'm thinking that wigging will take me through month 9 (maybe even month 10). My wig of choice is Tammy and I probably won't break out a curlier wig (Outre Ulla) until December of so).

Also, last Thursday (August 6th) was my 30th birthday!! While I spent the day reflecting on all the progress that I made mentally, emotionally, and career wise during that decade known as my 20s, one of my friends brought up the incredible hair journey I went on as well. I was 22 when I started taking the steps necessary to care for my hair and I have entered my 30s with a wealth of knowledge of all the practices needed for me to have a healthy head of (relaxed) hair. Now I begin the new decade of my life learning to care for my natural hair after 18 years of relaxing (first relaxer was at age 12). It's gonna be an interesting journey but I am so ready for it! I leave you with a collage of my hair from age 20 to's crazy to see where I started from!

Monday, July 20, 2015

7/20/15 LOTD: Ion't Know What to Call This...

Happy Monday lovelies!

As I sit here dragging my feet for a training I don't want to go to, I figure I would stop by with a post that shows my hair for the day. As you can see, the box braids are still going strong. However, I am constantly looking for ways to style them that doesn't involve a high bun (nothing agains high buns, I just get bored with them after awhile). Today, I did something simple: I flat twisted the front of my hair and brought that back into 2 buns. Add a couple bobby pins and BAM!!! I have a hairstyle where the braids aren't in my face and is not in a high bun!

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

T.A.S. Question of the Week: Are You Experiencing Breakage/ Increased Shedding During Your Transition?

Question Mark Clip Art Black And White Png | Clipart Panda - Free ...

Image from: Clip arts

Happy Wednesday lovelies!!

Ever since I announced my unofficial/official transition, a question that I have been getting a lot is if I'm getting more breakage and/or shedding than normal. Since this seems to be a common question, I figured I should make a post detailing my experience thus far.

Am I experiencing increased breakage?

Prior to transitioning, I would experience minimal breakage when I would do normal hair care practices like combing my hair or heat styling. More often than not, this breakage would come from the ends of my hair (which makes sense-my ends are the oldest, weakest part of my hair). This type of breakage is expected. However, I felt that I could do more to minimize the breakage that I saw. Last year, I figured my hair would benefit from me doing protein treatments (which would strengthen my hair) weekly. As you guys saw in my various posts, use of Komaza Protein Strengthener, Apoghee 2-Min Keratin Reconstructor and/or the Sally's GVP Protein Reconstructor had great results for me. I still saw some breakage due to styling but it was wayyyyyy less than it was before.

This is a practice that I continue to use now that I am transitioning but with a different focus.

As a transitioner, my focus has been to prevent any and all breakage at the line of demarcation. Therefore, on wash days you can find me applying my protein treatment like a relaxer to my new growth. Yes, this makes the process take a little bit longer but it is so worth it. So far, I'm not having any of the breakage.

In addition to my protein treatments, I am consistent in giving my hair the moisture it needs via deep conditioning with a moisturizing DC. This keeps my hair from becoming dry and (as a result) prone to breakage. Furthermore, the protein treatments also aid in imparting moisture because it allows my hair to readily accept whatever moisture I am giving it.

So to summarize a long story: when it comes to breakage during your transition, it is STILL important for you to maintain some sort of moisture/protein balance. The need for that doesn't go away just because you are transitioning.

What about shedding?

First, let me say that shedding is a normal process. It will happen whether you want it to or not. In terms of shedding, my hair tends to shed more in the winter than in the summer. That's just what it is. I accept and embrace that.

So if you thought I was about to tell you ways to stop your regular run of the mill shedding.......sorry?

But I will tell you how I keep my shedding to a range that is acceptable for my head of hair.

A big thing for me is diet. If your diet is crap and you aren't getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs, there is a strong chance your hair isn't getting the vitamins and minerals it needs. That can result in increased shedding. While I do have a weakness for certain junk foods (just last night I was craving a nice slice of caramel cake), I try to ensure that I am drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet (with lots of fruit and veggies), and I take a multivitamin for good measure. The key take away is this: shedding is a normal, internal process. It's your scalp's way of saying "Hey, everything is all good over here!" The only time your hair is going to have abnormal shedding is if there is something going on internally: poor diet, illness, hormone fluctuations (due to birth control, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, etc), anemia and other chronic disorders. Your hair is not going to decide to shed like crazy because you are growing a relaxer out. I cannot stress that enough.

Bottom line: my shedding is normal (for me) even though I'm transitioning. In addition to diet, I also try to watch how I style my hair. I know that finding hairstyles during your transition is hard. However, you don't want to resort to styles that place unnecessary stress on the hair follicle (ahem....braids that are too tight).

Hopefully that answers the breakage/shedding question! I know quite a few of you are transitioning also and I am interested to hear what your experiences have been. Tell your story in the comments below!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Transitioning: Months 0-6

Happy Monday lovelies!

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend! I spent my weekend back home in VA and let me tell was a much needed trip!! This weekend marked 6 months since my last relaxer! This got me to thinking. When I started my blog, I documented the growth of my hair from a short cut to the length it is now (which is something you rarely see in the blog world) and even shared how I styled my hair at every length. Why should my transitioning journey be any different? Something that has helped me tremendously is knowing how to style my hair during this time and I think that by sharing my experience I can a) help those who are stretching relaxers and need a way to style their hair, b) help those who are transitioning but really don't know how to style their hair other than straight, and c) keep a log of my hair styles so that when I get deep in this transition I have something that I can reference. Either way it's a win-win

Now with out further ado, here are the first 6 months of my transition.

Months 0-3: The "This Is No Different Than A Regular Stretch" stage

This stage of my transition was really, really easy because I really just started out stretching relaxer like I usually do. During this time, I wore my hair straight but opted to keep my hair in buns the majority of the time ( I'm a teacher and most mornings, I'm all for styles that don't take too much time and won't irritate me by the middle of the day).

* Some of the styles I wore at the beginning of the year. I wore buns for the most part*

As far as a regimen goes, I washed my hair weekly with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo and did a protein treatment with Komaza Protein Strengthener. I would follow up with a moisturizing DC, would moisturize, and air dry my hair (except during the times I would straighten my hair). My hair pretty much thrived with this regimen and I noticed no significant difference in hair shedding or breakage.

Months 3-6: The "New Growth is Making Itself Known" stage

This stage of my transition really marked the beginning of me really taking the time to learn with my new growth responds to. Style-wise, I wore buns but twist-outs began to have a special place in my heart during this time. For me, twist outs are a style that blend my 2 textures flawlessly and it's a pretty easy style to get together on wash day. Every now an again I would do a bantu knot out or a braid out but I always come back to twist outs. In June, I decided that my hair needed a break and got box braids that should last me until August. I generally stay away from direct heat because I don't want to be bothered. However, I did have to blow dry my hair (on low heat) prior to getting brads.

*I'm going to spare you the multiple photos of me with a twist out but that was my main style. Other pics are of the box braids I am wearing currently*

My regimen has not changed (still wash, protein treatment, and moisturizing DC weekly) and my hair is still doing good with that. I'm thinking about doing a protein treatment weekly for the duration of my transition. I think that is was is minimizing any breakage that could occur along the line of demarcation (point where my new growth and relaxed hair meet). I'm finding that my new growth is easy to comb (when wet) but my relaxed hair gives me the most grief because it tangles. During this time, I found 3 hair products my hair loves: Oyin Hair Dew, Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade and Oyin Juices N Berries. I've found that my new growth responds very well to these products (I mean they keep my hair moisturized for days!!). I do realize that as my transition progresses, I may need to shift my products to ones that benefit my new growth vs. those that benefit my relaxed hair.

So all in all, this transition has been pretty easy. I know once I'm out of these braids, I need to have a strong game plan in place for what I want to do to my hair and be open to any potential adjustments that I will have to make. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer, Braids, and My Plan To Get Past That 8th Month Hump....

Happy Sunday Lovelies!

Temperatures in Eastern NC have soared well into the 90s and you know what that means: summer is officially here!! If you've followed this blog for a certain amount of time, you know that the summer months for me generally mean braids, braids, and more braids. This summer is no different. With the temperatures being set on Hell's Furnace, I just didn't feel like being bothered with my hair on a daily basis. So, I began my search for a hair braider here in Greenville.

A random side note here: one of the sucky things about moving (I moved to NC about 10 months ago) is finding stylists that you can depend on. Back in Birmingham, I knew exactly were to go for any of my hair needs. Being in Greenville, reset the stylist clock so to speak. After a (not so) exhaustive search, I found a braider who I will probably go to fairly frequently for my braiding needs (check out her page here).

Anyway, on Thursday, I washed my hair, followed up with a protein treatment and DC, and blow dried my hair on low heat. Then for the next 10 (yes, 10!) hours, I proceeded to get my box braids installed using Xpressions hair. Check 'em out!

Daily upkeep will be fairly simple. I will be using Oyin Juices N Berries as my braid spray to moisturize my braids and (if necessary) will be using Curls Control Paste to slick down my edges (my baby hair NEVER gets braided up. I value my edges thank you very much). For cleansing, I will use ORS Herbal Cleanse for my scalp and a quick cleanse of my braids weekly. I plan on washing my braids using the methods described in this post but I'm still trying to figure out the frequency since I don't want my braids to frizz. I plan on putting my braids in a bun and other cute styles but I am currently wearing them down because I don't want to put too much tension on my edges right now (side note: I know a lot of women like to immediately put their braids into a bun. Please don't do this. It causes a great amount of tension on your hair. Give it a few days. *PSA over*)

The plan is to keep these in for about 2 months (which should take me through most of August). Around that time, I should be at or close to 8 months post--the month when I said 'eff it' to transitioning before. Following braid take out, I'll do twist outs for 2 weeks, then get my hair cornrowed so that I can wear my Tammy half wig for a while. If I can make it past month 8 still feeling 'whatever' about relaxing, I will schedule my first transitioning chop. This plan should take me to the end of 2015 and to 1 year post-relaxer. As you can see, I'm feeling pretty excited about this part of my hair journey. I am so anxious to see my hair's natural texture and to see how my hair will thrive without the presence of a relaxer (especially my crown!). I am already seeing what my natural hair responds to compared to my relaxed hair (lots of moisture vs. lots of protein) and I am so excited about sharing all of this with you!

Anyway, what are your summer hair plans? Let me know in the comments below!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

First Impressions: Oyin Hair Dew and Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade

Happy Sunday lovelies!

I just had to stop by with these 2 new instant staples of mine! As you all know, I am officially unofficially transitioning. While I am just a mere 22 weeks post relaxer (about 5 months post), I am finding that I have to tweak my regimen a bit to fit my hair's changing needs. Awhile back, I found myself in Target, taking a stroll down the hair care aisle, when I laid my eyes on the Oyin Handmade products. During my my time on LHCF, I knew this was a solid product line and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I walked out with Juices N Berries, Frank Juice, Hair Dew, and the Burnt Sugar Pomade.

My (hair) life hasn't been the same since.

This review is about the Hair Dew and Burnt Sugar pomade- 2 products that make my hair sing.

Price: $13.99+ tax for 8.4 fl oz (Hair Dew)/ 4 fl oz (Burnt Sugar Pomade (at Target) (Note: You can also get these products from Oyin's website. You can also get larger sizes of products which is a plus.


Hair Dew-purified water, ricinus communis (castor) oil, olea europaea (olive) oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice (organic), olea europaea (olive) oil, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol (emulsifier derived from colza oil), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, cetyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol (and) caprylyl glycol (preservative), squalane (from olive oil), fragrance, and love!

Burnt Sugar Pomade- castor oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, organic virgin coconut oil, mango seed oil, olive oil, unrefined hempseed oil, candelilla wax, cocoa butter, broccoli seed oil, fragrance... and love!

Their Claims (per the website):

Hair Dew-this creamy, conditioning leave-in is light enough for every day. it's great on 'naked' hair immediately after a cleanse, or as a way to reinvigorate tired hair all the way through your hair care cycle. for seriously protective hair experience, try using hair dew on moist hair (or over a quick spritz of one of our Juices herbal leave-ins) and then seal ends with one of the Sugar Pomades before gently manipulating hair into a protective style like braids, twists, or an updo. days of moisture, sheen, and hair happiness!

Burnt Sugar Pomade- Similar in texture to an old school 'hair grease,' This blend of oils, butters, and veggie waxes acts as a humectant and protectant for hair, increasing shine to a high glossy sheen and locking in moisture. It's packed with essential fatty acids to nourish scalp, and actually sinks into your hair and skin for a long lasting, non-greasy feeling. It's great for braids, imparts shine and moisture to loose hair, brushes nicely into the hairline for a glossy finish, and adds luster to locks! Contains virgin coconut cream, mango oil, and hempseed oil in a base of nourishing castor oil.
HOW TO USE Rub between your fingers or palms to soften/liquefy. Use to moisturize scalp, to twist locs, to seal the ends of twists or braids, to polish a pulled-back style or an updo, to add weight to the canopy of your hair, to weigh down flyaways or control frizz, or to create waves on super short cuts. Store in a cool, dry place, and use within one year.

I use these products to moisturize my hair prior to doing twist outs, bantu knot outs, braid outs, etc. I use these products in particular because they are glycerin free. I put a lot of time into my twist outs and I hate for them to be made into a frizzy mess by humid conditions (which is a pretty frequent thing in Eastern NC). Furthermore, I don't want to encourage the frizziness by using products with glycerin in them (glycerin is a humectant-meaning it can pull the moisture from that humid air, provide that moisture to your hair, and frizziness will ensue). Oyin Hair Dew and Burnt Sugar Pomade ensure that my hair is moisturized without adding glycerin to the mix. I typically apply the Hair Dew to my damp hair, seal with the Burnt Sugar Pomade, and then proceed with whatever style I plan on doing.

But what do you get when you open the product/ jar?

Let's start with the the Hair Dew. Oyin Hair Dew is white in color and isn't particularly runny or thick. It has a good consistency that makes it easy to spread throughout my hair. It also absorbs into my hair quite nicely. There have been times where I have been a little heavy handed with the product and I am left with the tell tale sign of "too much product application" (read: a white caste of product). Fortunately, by the time my hair dries, that white cast has gone away.

In terms of scent, I think Hair Dew smells AH-MAZING! To me, it smells like cookies and on more than one occasion, I wind up craving a snickerdoodle. However, as always, I caution those who may be sensitive to scent as this may be overwhelming to them.

When I use this product alone, my hair feels exceptionally moisturized. However, the bottle suggests using this product with the Burnt Sugar Pomade. Of course you know that I had to oblige.

Clearly this stuff gets used by me! I love it!

The Burnt Sugar Pomade is brown in color and THICK!! It can have a tendency to be a little gritty but that problem is solved by popping the container in the microwave to melt the product and then letting it solidify again in the refrigerator. When they say this product is like hair grease...they mean it! A little definitely goes a long way with this product. And I'm not just saying that. Because there are so many oils and butters in this product, you can be heavy handed with it if you want'll wind up with weighed down hair. Just saying'. I usually apply this after I've applied the Hair Dew to my hair and I find that I don't have to use much. My hair absorbs it with relative ease which is a plus in my book.

Burnt Sugar Pomade un-smeared and smeared. This product spreads pretty easily

Much like the Hair Dew, this product smells like cookies. So it really intensifies the cookie cravings that I have. Those scent sensitive may want to avoid this product or try the sugar berries pomade.

In combination with the Hair Dew, my hair is moisturized for DAYS!! My little new growth curls up in satisfaction while my relaxed ends are neutral to it. As long as I don't use too much, my relaxed hair is fine.

In terms of twist outs, these 2 products make for the most defined twist outs I have ever done. Which is confusing. Great.....but confusing (although I suspect my giving my hair all the moisture it can stand prior to the twist out+ the butters in the pomade may have something to do with this). Let me explain. The Burnt Sugar Pomade is touted as a humectant pomade. But it also claims to control frizz. If you saw my brief mention of humectants being destroyers of twist outs, you'd understand why this is confusing too. However, Oyin was true to it's word about fighting frizz. My hair does not frizz up with this product. Which makes my current favorite style something that I can do pretty consistently.

Bottom Line: BUY. THESE. PRODUCTS. Buy them now. Especially if you are transitioning. Especially if you like moisturized hair. Or cookies. Or great twist/braid/bantu knot outs. Or all three.

My Unofficially Officially Transitioning Hair Plan

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I've stated that I'm not really desiring a relaxer (and probably won't) so that puts me on the path of transitioning.

However, I don't have clear plan of what I want to do or how to get there.

Right now, I am currently 5 months post. Which really just feels like a long relaxer stretch to me. To get me through the last couple of months, I have been doing twist outs like they are going out of style (I REALLY like twist outs y'all). To guide me with actually handling my hair, I just follow the things that my mother did with my hair when I was a little girl--mainly only combing my hair when wet and keeping it moisturized (seriously, my mom did this. It's the reason why I didn't get a relaxer until I begged for one in middle school. My mom was really my first example in working with my hair and not against it). So far, everything is working out great.

Then I think of the first time I called myself transitioning. Yep it happened. Right at the start of my hair journey. All I knew was my hair was unhealthy and relaxers had a role in that. By month 8, I was back to relaxers. I had no clue on how to handle my hair, let alone 2 different textures. I had even less of a clue on how to style it. I was used to my hair being straight, so I was trying to beat my new growth into straight submission and using a TON of heat. All those years ago, I knew what I wanted to do but had no idea on how to get there so I went back to what I knew.

This go 'round, I think I am in a better position to transition. I tend to wear my hair in more curly styles than straight (the last time my flat iron got used was in February I think). If my hair isn't out, I know to bun it, wig it, or do something protective. I know that I have to modify my products to meet my hair's changing needs and I have a resource for potential products to try (LHCF, other blogs, etc.), and I am becoming versed in how to handle the 2 textures. Ultimately, I think that 7 years after failed transition, I am able to approach this as a "I just don't feel like relaxing anymore" scenario vs a "my hair is breaking off like crazy, let me try this natural thing but I have no clue what to do" scenario.

Hope that makes sense.

Now that I have the tools, I want to come up with a plan.

Right now, I want to transition for at least a year and a half. I know that whenever I cut those last relaxed ends off, I want some hair to work with. I'm thinking that once I get past month 8 (which was the month I went back to relaxers in the past), I will get my first trim. I'll then trim quarterly after that.

While I love my twist outs, I do want to hide my hair for the summer. So, 2 weeks from now, I will be getting box braids which should last me until mid-August (2 months). I'll then wear my own hair out for 2 or 3 weeks (I still want to get to know my hair) and get another set of braids that will last me until November. After that set of braids, I'll wig it up (with Outre Tammy, of course) until the New Year. This plan will bring me to 1 year post relaxer. And that's about how far I can plan out right now. In December, I figure out what I want to do for the remaining months of my transition. Right now I'm just concerned about getting through the year.

I'll be continuing with my regimen: wash, protein treatment, DC weekly as that seems to be working for my hair. I will adjust my products as needed so that they can meet the needs of my transitioning hair.

This is just a rough draft of what I want to do. For those who are transitioning or have transitioned: what do you think? Am I leaving anything out? What are your suggestions for a easy transition?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It All Starts With Not Relaxing......

Happy Tuesday lovelies.

Welp. It is June 2nd and I am nowhere near getting my relaxer that I was due to get last month. With each passing day, it looks like I may be bidding adieu to my relaxed days.

And I am actually fine with that.

Let me explain.

Lately, I have been on a major twist out kick, especially with the weather warming up. I have noticed that my twist outs look 10x better the further I get into my stretch. I'm also loving the curly/ coilyness of my new growth. It makes me kind of wonder what it would be like to have a whole head of the stuff. Kind of a shallow reason but eh.

Perhaps the most important reason why I have not ran back to my relaxers is that it really is not difficult to do my hair. I keep my new growth well moisturized, limit my detangling sessions to wash day, and since I'm not trying to maintain straight hair styling is a breeze. Ultimately, I'm not feeling particularly moved to relax.

I do have mixed feelings about this potential transition. I've been relaxed for so long and this blog was started with relaxed heads in minds. On the other hand, I have yet to experience my natural hair as an adult and I'm curious about it. Furthermore, I have noticed my students fascination with my hair. How amazing would it be for my students to grow up knowing that natural hair is beautiful? It gives me all the more reason to transition.

While I'm going to wait until the end of summer to officially announce if I'm transitioning (hey, I may get to month 8 and say NOPE!!), I just want the put y'all on notice since I am way behind on a relaxer and a length check!

So, I may be another relaxed hair blogger that is joining the natural train......

P.S.--Take a look at my best twist out thus far!! Can ya see why I'm contemplating the natural life? Lol!

Monday, April 20, 2015

First Impressions: Komaza Protein Hair Strengthener

Hello lovelies! I am back with a review of a product that has quickly earned its way back into my hair rotation. At the beginning of this year, I determined that I needed to incorporate more protein into my regimen. I have noticed that a lot of relaxed heads, myself included, have been taking care of their hair the same way that natural ladies do....meaning that their regimens are moisture heavy but lacking in protein. 2015 has been my year to right this issue in my regimen so weekly protein treatments (followed by a moisturizing DC) have been an absolute must for me. In my search for the perfect protein treatment, I saw that the Komaza Protein Hair Strengthener was being mentioned numerous times on LHCF. I figured that if it was getting praised that much, it must be a great product and decided to purchase it. I haven't looked back since.

Enough of my rambling, let's get down the the review!

Price: $15 for 8 oz+ shipping at

Ingredients: Distilled water, aloe vera, behentrimonium methosulfate, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed silk protein, hydrolyzed collagen, jojoba protein, wheat protein, gluconolactone and sodium benzoate (natural preservative).

Their Claims (per the website): Designed to mend split ends and control hair breakage by strengthening weak areas in the hair shaft. Protein is also vital to having and retaining great moisture.

This treatment should be followed with a deep conditioner. For damaged hair use once weekly. To stop breakage use once weekly. Once breakage has stopped use once every 2-4 weeks. Can be used on all hair textures.

I cannot sing enough praises for this product!! When I initially purchased the product (end of January/beginning of February), I used this product bi-weekly (alternating with the Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor on my off weeks) and I immediately noticed a difference. I used the protein strengthener immediately following my shampoo, right before my (moisturizing) DC for a period of 30 minutes. The bottle instructs the user to use this product without heat and without a plastic cap...which is what I do. I noticed that immediately my hair felt stronger and surprisingly softer. Well maybe the softness is not so surprising. This product contains behentrimonium methosulfate and aloe vera- which are ingredients which help with the whole moisturizing thing. Additionally, my hair responded very well to whatever moisture I gave it.

Eventually, I decided to use this product weekly. While my hair was stronger, I was still noticing some breakage. Using the product weekly, I'm noticing the same results I achieved before. However, I will say that my breakage has decreased significantly. As a result, I have been using the protein strengthener with every wash and will continue to do so until my breakage subsides.

Even though $15 seems like a lot for 8 oz of product, I have to say that this product is very thick and creamy and a little bit definitely goes a long way. It is the end of April and I still have enough product left to last for another 3, maybe 4 washes. The protein strengthener is white in color and has a very tropical, coconutty smell. So, if you find yourself sensitive to scents or just don't like the smell of coconut, you may want to steer clear of the product.

Bottom Line: Solid, solid product from Komaza!! A definite must for any relaxed girl's head!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April (Hair) Musings/Ramblings

Happy Sunday lovelies!

It's a rainy Sunday here in Greenville and since today was my wash day, I have been thinking about the progress of my hair so far. I have had a lot on my mind about things that I want to try, upcoming hair plans, etc and I decided to share them all with you.

1) Weekly protein is a must for my hair. I am noticing that my hair responds so much better with it. My hair hangs on to whatever moisture I give it a lot better. I'm also noticing that my new growth responds well to the added protein too. My hair is super easy to comb through on wash days and forms nice little curls when dry. I also suspect that I am retaining length. As of right now, my hair is drawn up a lot because I am at least 16 weeks post. However, when I stretch my hair a bit, it looks to be around MBL. Only a relaxer and a length check will verify my suspicions. And speaking of relaxers....

2) I have no clue on how long I want to stretch. Initially, the goal was to wait until the first week of May to relax but as of right now, I don't even feel like doing that. I found a hairstyle that I love (twist outs!!) and I know that style looks a lot better on my head with some new growth. Also, I'm thinking about getting box braids (weather is about to heat up....yall know that's traditionally braid season for me). There really wouldn't be a point in getting a relaxer only to get braids. Oh decisions decisions.

3) I'm really starting to wonder how my hair would respond if I used one line exclusively. I know product lines were designed to work together but I'm really interested in seeing if it would benefit my hair. I'm strongly considering using the Komaza line exclusively to see how my hair reacts. My hair adores their protein treatment and I really want to find out if my hair will respond just as positively to other products.

4) It feels good to be back on a weekly hair regimen again. I mean this is self explanatory. However, I'm finding that my hair time provides a break from the hustle and bustle of my daily life. It gives me an outlet that I sorely missed in 2014.

Anyway, that's it! 2015 has been spent getting back into the groove of things and my hair is responding once again. I can't wait to actually do a length check to see what my progress has been so far!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Awkward Stage's Guide to the Perfect (Braid, Twist, Bantu Knot)-Out

Happy Sunday lovelies!

With Spring rapidly approaching and the temperature beginning to rise, I have begun to wear my (fill in the blank) out styles. While these styles are gorgeous (and they debunk the myth that relaxed hair has to be straight all of the time), the learning curve can be steep when you're trying to figure out the methods to achieving a great look every time you do them. So, I figured that I would share some of the methods that work best for me as well as some of the things that I consider before I style my hair.

With that said, let get this show on the road!

When I plan to do any type of "-out", I make sure that I have these 3 products on board:

1) A liquid leave in conditioner (Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In is my choice)
2) A moisturizer (Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk is bae lol)
3) A product that provides some kind of hold (my favorite is Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream. ORS Lock and Twist Gel is pretty decent too. Just remember the aim is for the product to provide a light hold, not a crunchy hold)

Now the leave in and moisturizer are there to provide the moisture that my hair needs (well, duh). However, the key product is the holding product. For us relaxed chicas, because our hair is straight, we have to ensure that our hair will maintain and hold on to those curls for longer than an hour. This is where that holding product comes in. While you may not use the exact product I use, please please PLEASE make sure you have a hold product in your "-out" rotation.


Once you have your products, you can decide if you want to do a braid out, twist out, or bantu knot out. For me, deciding which one to do is crucial because doing these styles on wet or dry hair can yield different results. For example, if I decide to do a bantu knot out, trial and error has shown me that for the best results, I have to blow dry my hair first then bantu knot my hair. My curls look better this way and last longer. However, there may be some heads of hair that have to do the opposite. On the other hand, my braid outs and twist outs have to be done on damp hair (hair that is about 75%-80% dry). Sopping wet hair results in frizzy braid outs and twist outs and dry hair doesn't hold the curl as well. I haven't a clue why my hair reacts this way, I just go with it.

The bottom line is this: doing these styles on sopping wet, damp, or dry hair may make all the difference in the world when it comes to the end result, so take your time to figure out which type of hair (wet, damp, or dry) gives you your desired results. Whichever state of hair you choose, MAKE SURE YOUR HAIR IS COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE YOU UNRAVEL YOUR TWISTS, BRAIDS, OR BANTU KNOTS. You will cry real tears if you take those jokers out while your hair is still wet. Don't say I didn't warn you.

When I'm ready to style, I section my hair, apply my products (minus the liquid leave in for my bantu knot out), and get to work.

For the "-out" newbies (and for those who just may need to see different ways of doing these styles, here are the videos I have reference that will allow you to see the setting process for these styles:

How to Get Perfect Bantu Knot Out Results On Dry Natural Hair (Alyssa Forever)

Even though this is targeted towards natural heads, the method is the same: blow dry prior to bantu knotting, section hair and apply moisturizing and hold products, bantu knot (except I two strand twist then bantu knot), repeat until finished setting, and unravel the next day.

Two Strand Flat Twist Out...Texlaxed/Relaxed Hair (Special K)

Here you can see how to flat twist your hair and how to bantu knot it at the end so that your ends are curly. Although her products are different than the ones that I use, this is my go to video for referencing how to do this style!

Braid Out Tutorial for Relaxed, Texlaxed, or Texturized Hair (TressedforSuccess)

This is the method I use (although I prefer to do these on damp hair): section hair, apply products to section, plait, place perm rod at the end of your hair, repeat, unravel the next morning

But What About Those Ends Though?

This is probably an important question. As a relaxed head, your ends will not automatically curl like someone whose hair is natural. Now if you want your ends to be straight for these styles, read no further. However, if you're like me and prefer a uniform look throughout your hair, read on.

Bantu knot outs will give you that uniform curly look because your hair is curling around itself in the bantu knot. So with this style you really don't have to think too much further about ensuring that your ends are curly. As long as you have a great holding product, you should be good for the day. Twist outs and braid outs (but especially twist outs) may be a different beast.

Me with the bantu knots in and when they are unraveled.

I have to admit, I am relatively new to twist outs because a) I didn't know what to do with the ends of my hair once I was done and b) I wasn't confident in my flat twisting abilities. This meant that I would have to have loose hanging twists and that just would have been a mess. So I took some time to get comfortable with flat twisting and I went to Youtube. I saw that in a lot of these twist out videos, folks would put perm rods or flexirods on the ends of their twists to ensure a curly look throughout the hair. That's all well and good, but I HATE sleeping in those things. I thought that there had to be a better way. And behold, there was. I saw several videos where after flat twisting, the end of the hair would be put into a bantu knot. This allows for comfortable sleeping and a shorter, curly 'do. I was sold! This method is my go to method for twist outs. Really this is flat twist bantu knot out but whatever. It works!

My flat twist bantu knot out. I love how my hair doesn't look stringy after unraveling my hair

I do braid outs differently than twist outs. I'm not good at cornrowing (yet!), so that means I have to place anywhere between 8 to 15 plaits on my hair (after I've applied my leave in, moisturizer, and holding product to each section, of course). After plaiting, I place a large size perm rod on my ends, either let my hair air dry completely or sit under a hooded dryer to complete the process, and unravel the following morning. I get pretty consistent results this way.

This was my most perfect braid out ever!


Your style has set overnight (or a few days) and you are ready to unravel your hair! Before I unravel, I take some hair oil (can be coconut oil, olive oil, etc. I'm currently using Curls Blissful Lengths Hair Oil), place it in the palm of my hands and distribute the oil to each section. Next, I unravel my hair. Unraveling is tricky because you may find that you have to split certain sections into smaller sections. That's fine but you want to make sure you don't do that too many times or you'll find yourself with frizzy hair. If I have to split a section, I will do so no more than one time. That's just me though. Your happy medium may be different.


The day is over and it's time to go to bed. What do you do with your hair when your hair is in these styles? The way I see it, you have 2 options: the pineapple method or re-twisting, braiding, or bantu knotting.

When I am wearing a twist out or braid out, I'll just re-twist and re-braid my hair nightly. However, as the week goes on, I'll just use fewer braids or twists since the curl pattern is there. Once I'm done, I place my bonnet on and go to sleep.

Bantu knots are different because I can't redo those every night. That would be murder on my ends. So I use the pineapple method. I covered the pineapple method in this post after a braid out but got similar results using this method after a bantu knot out.

Welp. There it is. Everything I do to get great "-out" results. You may find that you'll have to follow a different pattern to get great results. However, I hope this can be a starting point for those who are new to these styles or just looking for new methods to incorporate into their repertoire

Monday, March 2, 2015

3/2/15 LOTD: Flat Twist Bantu Knot Out

Happy Monday lovelies!

I'm here with a super quick post of my look for today. This weekend, I decided to try a flat twist out. However, mid-way through I began thinking about how jank the hairstyle could end up because my ends are definitely relaxed and it would be super evident in a twist out. Enter the flat twist w/ bantu knot. To make a long story short, after applying my leave-in and my moisturizer, I flat twisted my hair. Once I was done twisting, I formed a bantu knot at the very end so that my hair would have some curl. I undid my hair this morning and BAM!! My hair is curly and I think I found a new style for the spring/early summer.

I'm pretty happy with this considering that it was my first try with it. What do you think? Is this a style that you will try for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!!