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Thursday, February 26, 2015

#TBT: The Awkward Stage 2014 Hair Edition

Happy Thursday lovelies!!

I'm just stopping by with a quick post. Even though I wasn't blogging regularly last year (or really focused on my hair like I should have been), that doesn't mean that I didn't have my hair in different styles. Last year I did everything from wigging it up to kinky twists to straight hair and back again--I just didn't document it on here. So,since #tbt is a thing, I figure today would be the perfect time to go ahead and post all the ways I had my hair. So, without further ado, her is my #tbt contribution:

Top left to right: December 2014-- wearing Outre Tammy Half wig (my ride or die wig!); November 2014-- straightened with Thermasmooth after kinky twists; September 2014-- Gibson tuck with twists (not 2 strand twists but those easy ones everyone knows how to do).

Bottom left to right: November 2014-- Flat twist w/ side ponytail (style I did after I got tired of wearing my hair straight); October 2014-- kinky twists in a side ponytail, May 2014-- fresh Dominican blowout

And of course there's more.......

Top left to right: October 2014-- side bun w/ kinky twists (this bun was really, really heavy by the way); February 2014--wearing Bali girl wig to my bff's b-day celebration

Bottom left to right: March 2014--messy bun for lounging around the house; February 2014 my first try at invisible Senegalese twists. They lasted a whopping 2 weeks.

There you have it! Any other posts would be of me wearing my Outre Tammy half wig and really, how many pictures do you need of that (although, there is a difference in how it looks at the beginning of my stretch vs. the end of my stretch)? You can see the majority of my styles were just ways for me to leave my hair alone--which was the mode I was in last year.

What do you think of my hair choices last year? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 23-27, 2015 LOTW: Dutch Braids w/ Gibson Tuck

Happy Wednesday lovelies!

Another week and I am housebound thanks to the snow here in NC. Even though I'm not going anywhere or doing much of anything, my hair is actually in a style! I figured I should go ahead and share it with you guys anyway.

If you've been following the blog for awhile, you've probably figured out that I don't really like wearing my hair slicked back. I mean, I've done it but typically, any bun, tuck, or ponytail generally has a flat twist or braid to go with it. This style is no different. I absolutely love the Gibson tuck as a protective style.It is great at protecting your ends. However, the majority of tutorials that I see for it just have your hair slicked back. I HATE THAT!!! For that reason, I don't wear it too often. However, the other day I was on Google and decided to search for variations on this hairstyle. Lo and behold, I found this tutorial by BobbyGlam. While the dutch braid is a glorified cornrow braid to me, I think this style offers the variation that I was looking for. While this go round, I wanted something I little bit more....sleek, I like that I can adjust the braids if need be.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by with a little bit of sunshine. Is this style something that you would try? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Impressions: Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 Renewal System Hair Masque

Happy Snow Day lovelies! Or if you're in the South like me, Happy Ice Day! I figured that I take some time and write a post about something that has actually earned its way into my product rotation but I haven't done a review on. So really, this review is more like a sixth impression rather than a first but whatever.

I first picked up Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 Renewal System Hair Masque in November 2014. I was about to take some kinky twists out ( yeah, I had kinky twists from the end of September to early November. I got them out of pure laziness and the price was right) and I knew that my hair was going to need a shot of moisture. I found myself in Ulta because I needed to get the Mizani Thermasmooth System. While there, I stumbled across this Shea Moisture product. I haven't had too many bad experiences with this line (except for my experience with the the deep treatment masque which was allegedly a moisturizing DC) so I decided to give it a shot. It is been pure LOVE ever since.

With that said...let's get to the review

Price: $12.99+ tax at Ulta (for 12oz)

Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin (Vegetable), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Biotin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Tocopherol, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ipomoea Batatas Extract, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride *Certified Organic Ingredient.

Their Claims (per the container):" This intensive antioxidant rich treatment helps perfect and renew vibrancy to brittle, lackluster hair. When used weekly in out 10-in-1 Renewal system, it treats damaged hair while providing anti aging benefits, color protection, hydration, nourishment, rejuvenation, strength, anti-stress, deep conditioning, softness,and shine. Counteract signs of aging with our Superfruit complex and infusing hair with ultra-moisturizing Marula oil and Biotin"

I cannot state enough how much I love this product. When I first purchased this product, I placed it onto my hair , put on a plastic cap, and sat under a heat cap for about an hour. When I rinsed the product out, my hair felt incredibly soft and I was able to detangle my 4 to 5 months post hair with ease. My hair loved the stuff. I followed this same protocol for the next couple of washes. When winter hit ENC with all it's coldness, I decided to up the ante and try this DC while I was using my steamer. I place the product onto my hair and sat under my steamer for about an hour. It felt like all the good things about this product were AMPLIFIED! My hair was soft and hair got its LIFE with this product. That's when I knew that I had stumbled across a good thing. I can definitely say that all the moisturizing claims presented on the container were true for my hair.

This DC is particularly creamy but not too creamy. I had no problems distrubuting this product throughout my hair. It's white in color and has a scent that I can't quite place. On one hand, it smells fruity but on the other hand it has the smell that most Shea Moisture products have. I don't know. I can't call it. However, if you are sensitive to scents it is something to be aware of.

Bottom Line:This is a solid DC from the Shea Moisture line. I found it to be creamy with a scent that kinda fruity but not overpowering. While it provides slip and softness when I use my heat cap, I absolutely love using this DC with my steamer. It gives my hair all the moisture that it needs and my hair detangles like a dream. This is definitely a DC to try, especially if you're a fan of Shea Moisture products!

P.S.--Let's throw some confetti for the fact that I surpassed the number of posts I posted last year! So happy to be back!

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 2015 (Mini) Product Haul

Happy Monday lovelies!

This was my first product haul in the longest time! While it isn't the biggest haul, it was the first time in over a year where I said "You know what? I'm going to buy some stuff for my hair!" And that's exactly what I did. So without further ado, here is all the stuff I bought for the month of February.

Komaza Protein Strengthener: As you guys know, I am now all about making sure that my relaxed tresses are getting all the protein they need. In the past, I steered clear of it thinking that my hair like moisture more than protein. However, now I see that my hair absolutely needs it. So, after hearing lots of great things about this product, I decided to give it a go. While a review is coming soon for this product, I absolutely love this as a protein treatment! My hair is stronger and holding onto moisture a lot better now. I will probably used this product bi-weekly.

Oyin Juices and Berries: A liquid leave in. I'm thinking that this may be something that I want to use once the weather heats up and I'm further into my stretch. the moment it's just sitting in my bathroom cabinet.

Eco Styler Gel (Olive Oil): I finally used up my big tub of Eco Styler and I had to re-up. This gel will forever be a staple of mine. IDC IDC (lol)

Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo: I picked this up thinking that this was still sulfate-free. Imagine my shock and horror when I found out that it isn't anymore. I hate that Elasta QP felt the need to ruin a good thing.

ORS Replenishing Pak: Still a staple of mine but I was feeling frugal at the moment so I grabbed a pack rather than the bottle. Should have gotten the bottle. I forgot how much my hair loves this stuff!

Lottabody Setting lotion: I have heard great things about it so I wanted to try it out. I already see that I'm going to have to dilute the ever loving life out of it. I like for my setting lotions to not dry crunchy. Not at all.

Will I get more products. I probably will. There are some products that are staples of mine that I have to repurchase (ahem: Silicon Mix, Aubrey Organics White Camellia, etc.). I'm still getting back in my groove after a long absence and purchasing these products made me realize how much I put my hair to the wayside last year. I usually have products for DAYS!! Now I'm trying to rebuild my stash.

What did you purchase this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

First Impressions: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Hair Milk

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Hair Milk is 3rd bottle from left

Since I have gotten back to really caring for my hair, I have been on the hunt for a creamy moisturizer that my hair loves. A couple of weeks ago I happened to be in Target looking for an Oyin product when I saw that Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Hair Milk was on sale.I decided to give it a go. After all, if my hair hated it, I would never use it again and that will be that. When I got home, I decided that this product would be best used as a creamy leave-in after I spray my hair with Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In. So, in this review, I will be rating it as a leave-in rather than a daily use moisturizer.

Price: $13.99+ tax for 8 oz at Target. On sale. (regular price: $14.99+tax)

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Camellia (Green Tea) Sinensis Leaf, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Milk, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Slippery Elm (Ulmus Fulva) Bark, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Scent and Love!

Their Claims (per the bottle): "Loves all curl types and textures"

"Every curl needs some LOVE! Our handcrafted milk is blended with natural oils, butters, and milks. This leave-in daily moisturizing cream with provide shine, lasting moisture, and decrease shrinkage to enhance the driest hair."

Directions: Apply to dry or wet hair and style as usual.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this product is: meh. Like I stated before, I generally use this product as a leave in since I (more or less) tend to keep my hair in one style for the duration of the week. After I spray my hair with my liquid leave in, I place Camille Rose Naturals Hair Milk onto my hair section by section and then seal with hair oil. The product itself is white and color and very creamy. Let me just say, I love how creamy this moisturizer is! When I look for something to moisturize my hair, I usually want something creamy just because my hair is coarse and it needs something with some oomph! Really thin moisturizers don't do it for my hair--never have and never will. So on that front, it's awesome. I also like the fact that even though this moisturizer is creamy, you don't have to use your Hulk grip to get it out of the dang bottle. The product comes out with relative ease.

Now onto the scent. I get the impression that this product is supposed to smell like cake batter or something sweet. I mean that's what the bottle says. However, my nose smells Play-Doh. To me, this stuff smells like the salty chemical ball that is Play-Doh. Fortunately the smell doesn't linger on your hair. However, for those who are sensitive to scents, I would probably steer clear.

But how did it perform though?

As a creamy leave-in on air dried hair, it is just ok. My hair feels awesome with it when my hair is still damp but once it dries? It feels like some moisture is in my hair but not as much as there could be (I hope that makes sense). I just get the feeling that I'll have to do a moisturizing session with my hair the next day or whenever my hair completely dries.

I will say that I liked this product as a leave in moisturizer for when my hair is straightened. For some reason, this product gave my hair the moisture it needed for the straightening session that it was about to endure. I think in the future, I will finish using the bottle for this purpose and find another leave in for air drying. However, I do not think this product has earned its way into staple status.

Bottom Line: This is a product that is just all right for air drying and decent enough to give moisture prior to a straightening session. At $15 for 8oz, this price is a bit steep. So if you are looking for an all purpose (meaning: great for air drying, great for straightening, etc) moisturizer, I'd probably pass on this product.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2/11/15 LOTD: Infinity Bun

Happy Hump Day lovelies! I'm just here with a quick post about my hair for today. After wearing my hair out for a grand total of 2 days, I was more than ready to protective style again. I wanted to wear a bun but I wanted a different option than a top knot or high bun (my hair isn't as full as I would like to be. I like those styles when I am deeper in my stretch).

Enter the Infinity bun. I had seen this bun before but I didn't know how to do it. A simple google search for 'infinity bun' brought me lots of pages that had tutorials on how to achieve the style

It was super simple and didn't take long to do at all! What do you think?

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Stand Corrected: Starting Length Check For 2015

Happy Monday lovelies!

I'm just stopping by with a quick snap of where my hair is as of right now. For comparison's sake, I posted a picture of where my hair was in March of last year.

Upon looking at the pictures, I saw that I did lose a little bit of length from this year to last. I don't have that super pronounced 'tail' anymore. Again, I can attribute this to my lazy @** hair care last year smh. Oh well...I guess when you know better, you do better. This year, I plan to do better.

At any rate, I now know what my starting point is and I can begin to test if the changes I'm adding to my regimen are beneficial. Only time will tell....

Have a great evening and ciao for now!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wash Day: February 8, 2015

Happy Sunday lovelies!

I am typing this post super excited about my hair and my return to the blog. Now that I have a consistent regimen again, I find myself wanting to try new products (I am a product junkie after all!). This means more First Impressions posts, more style posts...just more posts period! It feels good to get back to my blog because I love sharing my discoveries about my hair with all of you!

This particular wash day actually started on Saturday and ended today. It also marks the second week in a row where I used a light protein treatment in my hair and my hair responded positively to it. My wash day started simply enough: I washed my hair with Elasta QP Creme Condtioning Shampoo. However, I happened to read the ingredients label and saw (to my complete shock and horror) that this formerly sulfate-free shampoo now has sodium laurel sulfate as the SECOND ingredient!! When the heck did this happen?!?! I hate when companies go out of their way to mess with a good thing. Fortunately, my hair wasn't stripped or anything after washing but in the future I will have to use shampoos that I know are sulfate-free (like Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo). I followed up my shampoo by placing Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor on my hair and sat under my heat cap for 10 or so minutes. Immediately after rinsing the treatment out of my hair, my hair felt much stronger than it has previously. This has confirmed my thinking that my relaxed hair needs more protein than I once thought it did and weekly treatments may not be such a bad thing.

After my protein treatment, I DCed with ORS Replenishing Conditioner under my Huetiful steamer for an hour. This was also another point in my wash day where I realized that adding more protein to my regimen was the way to go. After washing my DC out, my hair felt so, so soft! For the first time in a long time I felt like my hair was able to get and hold on to the moisture that I gave it. I can only attribute this to the added protein in my regimen.

This wash day, I wanted to straighten my hair. Typically, I don't want to be bothered with the process of straightening but I realized that my hair hasn't been flat ironed since my relaxer touch up (at the beginning of January) and I want to post a picture of where my length is for the start of the year (so it's not necessarily a length check because I haven't retained much but I do want to see if the changes I'm adding will make a difference by the end of the year). Plus, I figured that a straightening session would be easier to do since I'm about 5 weeks post and I don't have an outrageous amount of new growth to deal with. So, I decided I would give my hair a good flat iron session. Before I did anything, I sprayed my hair with Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In and then put Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk onto each section. The Camille Rose product is something new that I picked up on a whim while I was in Target on Saturday. I am on the hunt for a great, creamy moisturizer and it seemed like a perfect moisturizer to try. I then sealed with Curls Blissful Lengths Hair Oil.

Before my Saturday night was through, I wet wrapped my hair with Lottabody setting lotion (again, first time use...not sure if I'm a fan of this) and sat under my Conair hooded dryer for 2 hours. My hair still wasn't fully dry when I stopped was 11pm and I was falling asleep under the dryer. I put a scarf on my head and went to sleep.

This morning I woke up and found that the last little section of my hair was dry and was ready to be flat iron. The setting lotion I used (even after I diluted it with water) left my hair a little crunchy so I had to add a little bit of moisturizer and oil to soften my hair up a bit. Once I did that. I applied the Mizani Thermasmooth serum to my hair (in sections) and used my beloved Sedu to flat iron. After flat ironing each section, I added a little bit of Aveda Anti-Humectant pomade to each section to help fight against reversion. As I was flat ironing, I could not believe the results I was getting. It only took 1 to 2 passes to get my hair slick and sleek (sometimes, on my most....resistant sections, it takes more than that)! I think adding the protein, which allowed my hair to hold on to more moisture, played a role in that.

The final step to my super long wash day was to add a little bit of serum to my ends, spray my hair with KeraCare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block, and wrap my hair with saran wrap to further get my hair as sleek as possible. I sat under my dryer for 15 minutes and was done!

Something else that I noticed during this wash day was that, following the protein treatment, my hair had a little bit more heft/weight to it. It was a good feeling that made my hair feel healthier than it did previously. However, I do think that during my next few washes, I did to do a final rinse with Roux Porosity Control. My hair is drying faster than it should.

Be on the look out for my length photo some time this week so that you can have an idea of where I am starting from + compare where I am now compared to this time last year!

Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 2-6, 2015 Look of the Week (LOTW?): Halo Braid

This past week, I did not feel like doing too much to my hair. I just wanted a simple style where I could remove my scarf in the morning and go! Enter the halo braid. It was pretty easy to do. Following my wash session last Sunday, I blow dried my hair and got to braiding! Braiding tends to take a while for me because I braid so hard and my hands tend to get tired mid-way so I took more than one break! However, once the braid was set and pinned, I was good to go! In the mornings, I would put a little Hicks Transformation Edges down and would be done with my hair for the day.

Take a look!

My Hair Goals for 2015

Happy Saturday lovelies!!

Well I have some time to spare before I get on the road to Raleigh and I figured that I would make a post to answer a great question that KLP from Saving Our Strands asked me following my last post: What are your hair goals for 2015?

Since I'm getting back into the swing of things hair care and blog wise, I totally forgot to even give this question some thought! But now that it has been put into my mind, I realize that I do have a few goals that I'm trying to achieve this year.

--Get back on a consistent hair regimen.

2014 was just erratic for me in terms of hair care. I was washing my hair whenever I felt like it (usually every 2 weeks, sometimes 3), not doing much in terms of styling (just wearing Celie braids under a half wig usually), and I wasn't following a set plan. In the past, my wash days were usually set: one wash day would be moisture based, the next would be protein based, and so on. Last year, my wash days only met 2 requirements: is my hair clean and did I deep condition? That's it. Fortunately, I didn't have any setbacks following that plan but I didn't have any retention either. This year, I want to get back to the regimen that I know works for my hair with a few tweaks here and there. My regimen for this year is as follows:

-Wash hair weekly with sulfate free shampoo (Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo/Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo/KeraCare Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo)

-Light protein treatment with Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructing Treatment with heat

-Deep condition with moisturizing DC (Silicon Mix/Aubrey Organics White Camellia/ any other moisturizing DC I feel like trying) with heat

-Apply leave in conditioners and style! Styles may range from straightening to prepping hair for various protective styles

**I will also clarify my hair as needed, especially during the wash following the straightening of my hair.**

--Incorporate way more protein into my regimen

I learned in 2013 that my hair needs protein just like it needs moisture. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that as a relaxed head (well as a relaxed head with my type of hair), my hair needs just as much protein as it needs moisture. I can't go too much in either direction or my hair just doesn't react well to it. When I finally hopped onto the protein bandwagon, I was doing a light protein treatment every other week. My hair held on to moisture much better that way and I was able to have some retention. However, I feel like my hair needs more of a protein boost.So, this year, I plan to use a light protein treatment every wash followed by a moisturizing DC. As of right now, my protein treatment of choice is the Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructing treatment. I feel that it is light enough to use on a weekly basis. I've also ordered Komaza Protein Strengthener after hearing great things about it on LHCF. I can't wait to try it an review it here!

--Get my hair to full MBL

This goal is really tied into my first goal. Towards the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, the 'tail' of my hair was at MBL with the rest of my hair catching up. And this is where my hair is now. This year, I want to get my hair to full MBL and I believe that by consistently meeting my first two goals, along with protective styling (you guys know that I am good for not manipulating my hair too often) this can happen. After MBL, I may try for WL but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

--Minimizing direct heat use.

This is pretty self explanatory. While I don't use direct heat often ( I really have to be in the mood to straighten my hair nowadays), I tend to use a blow dryer AND the flat iron when I straighten. That has to stop. On the days that I do straighten, I will use an indirect form of heat (my hooded dryer with my hair wet wrapped) and flat iron. I'm also making it a priority to leave the heat alone the further I get into my stretch.

There you have it. Those are my goals. I guess you can say that this year is my 'reset' year in terms of hair care. I got off track for a bit but now I have my focus back and I expect to see great things during the course of this year!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wash Day: February 1, 2015

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!

I hope that all of you are having a great and restful Sunday!! I'm hanging around my apartment, killing time before the game starts (even though my team didn't make it to the Super Bowl and now I don't really care who wins :tear:).

Like I mentioned in my first post for 2015, I will be posting here a lot more often. I'm aiming to at least have 1 post per week and we'll work our way up from there. Anyway, after spending a good year in hair cruise control, I am back to being more consistent with me regimen and spent this wash day really babying my hair. As I began prepping to wash my hair, I attempted to think of the last time I clarified my hair. I honestly could not think of the last time that I did that (sad, I know). So, for this wash day, the first lather was done with a sample of a clarifying shampoo that I had laying around the apartment. I finished shampooing with KeraCare Hydrating shampoo. I tell you, my hair felt like a brand new head of hair after that shampoo!

Next, I gave my hair some much needed protein. One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2013 was that if my hair was going to remain relaxed, I needed to be on top of my protein game. In 2014, I wasn't giving my hair the protein that it needed, which is probably why I wasn't retaining as much growth as I should have (even though my hair is much, much thicker nowadays). I placed Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructing Treatment in my hair and sat under my heat cap for 10-ish minutes (I got caught up watching Dr. Dolittle....what can I say?).

Finally, I decided to DC with Silicon Mix under my Huetiful steamer for an hour. My hair came out feeling soft and well moisturized! I was so pleased with the outcome! I definitely need to have a wash day like this more often. As for styling, I initially intended to straighten my hair. However, I saw that it was going to rain tomorrow and thought to myself "No thanks." To keep me from messing too much with my hair during the week, I'll moisturize and keep my hair in a protective style. I'll spray my hair with Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In, moisturize with an as yet to be determined moisturizer and seal with Curls Healthy Hair Oil (which I love!). I'll blow dry my hair using my Fantasia IC Heat Protectant and will put my hair in a halo twist similar to the one that ImShineStruck did in her youtube video!

Also, before I go, I wanted to share my first try at a looser bantu knot out. Whenever I do a bantu knot out, I have at least 15 bantu knots in my hair for a tighter curl pattern that lasts longer. This go round, I put my hair into 8 bantu knots using Taliah Wajiid Curly Curl Cream. Take a look at my results below!!