Saturday, August 30, 2008

Curly ain't cuttin' it for me right now!

I re-discovered how much I like Pantene's Hydrating Curls conditioner! I used it for my co-wash and my "deep" conditioner on Saturday. Here are the next steps I followed:
  1. Knot Today as a leave in. I found that I didn't have to use as much after using the Pantene conditioner. My hair was very soft after my co-wash.
  2. Wet Set Pudding. This product didn't elongate my curls at all (not sure if it was supposed to). I like the consistency and texture and I can't really say if it defined my curls either.
  3. Kinky Curly Custard. I applied this as I normally do basically using the shingling technique.
  4. Air dried for an hour or so and then used a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. I think the combination of the Wet Set Pudding and the Kinky Curly Custard did make my curls hang better when they were wet but once it dried, I feel like my hair looked and felt the same.
And then after it dried...Don't get me wrong, it's cute and curly but I just wish my hair was longer so the curls would hang. So after a day of that look, I opted for the fro again. I re-washed my hair and blew it out. I'm excited for the fall/winter weather because I am going to try to get my hair straightened more often. My LS gets her hair done (she's relaxed) at the Hair Cuttery and her stylist does natural hair. So I'm going to give her a try in a few weeks and see what happens.

Natural Hair + Salt Water, Chlorine & Sun = Crunchy Hair

Hey everyone! So I am back and somewhat back on track. Mexico was great - the weather was perfect, food was awesome and the margaritas were yummy! I had high hopes of a low maintenance hair trip, but I was quickly shown that that wasn't the case. I tried to keep my hair dry for as long as possible because the minute it got wet and started to dry in the hot sun, it got crunchy and shrunk. I HATE that I have a hair shrinkage issue. UGH! I was able to keep it moisturized thanks to the Aveda Dry Remedy conditioner and Baby Buttercreme. After a day at the pool and the beach I washed my hair with tea tree shampoo and conditioned with a mix of the Aveda Dry Remedy and Paul Mitchell Tea Tree conditioner and then I blew out the fro. My fro was big and cute while I was in my room, but the minute I stepped outside, the humidity took over and my hair curled up.

So for a bit of a change and a break from the blow dryer, I am going to rock the curly look for a few days. I am going to try to use the Wet Set Hair Pudding (that I haven't used yet) and the Kinky Curly Custard. This time I am going to let it air dry for just an hour or so and then finish it off with a blow dryer so I can shape the curls. I'm curious to see how my color looks curly! So I'm off to cowash, deep condition and be curly! I'll be sure to post pictures!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mexico here I come!

Hey everyone. I'll be gone through Wednesday so I'll be sure to post when I return. I'm sure I'll have stories to share regarding my hair and the Mexican climate. Hugs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Transitioner Tips

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions regarding my transition, so I thought I would compile a list of my top tips for transitioning from the fire cream (aka relaxer) to becoming happy and nappy.
  1. Be patient and don't get discouraged! I can't stress this enough. There were many days when I wanted to just slap a relaxer in my hair and there are times when I didn't think I would be able make it the point where I am today.  People will tell you you are crazy and that you just need to put a relaxer in your hair.  But if you are really serious about going natural, don't let anyone discourage you.  Natural is beautiful!
  2. Maintain the moisture and protein balance in your hair. Different conditioners are protein or moisture based. I found that as my relaxer grew out and I had more natural hair exposed, protein conditioners didn't really benefit me. But when I had a relaxer, I found that I needed to use protein conditioners more often.  Check out a great post from one of my favorite blogs, Healthy Texutres.
  3. Be gentle. As your hair grows out you will have a demarcation line - the point at which your relaxed hair meets your natural hair. It is imperative that you keep this particular area of your hair in good condition and moisturized. If not, you will experience a lot of breakage and damage. With that said, no matter how gentle I was with my hair, my hair still snapped at the democration line. Some people say that you are able to transition experiencing little or no breakage, but I don't know if I really agree with that.
  4. Avoid heat as much as possible.  I know it's tempting to constantly try to keep your roots straight by using heat. I was a slave to my flat iron for months. But excessive heat can sometimes change your natural curl pattern. If you are tempted by the sight of your flat iron, curling iron or blow dryer, get them out of the house or wear hairstyles where you won't be tempted to use heat (i.e braids, weave, straw sets).
  5. Do the BC sooner rather than later.  I did the big chop after about 8 months (in March 2008) with no relaxers and I wish I would have done it sooner.  I would have saved myself time in maintaining two different textures, my hair would have grown faster and my curl pattern would have developed faster.  I know it's scary to cut all of your hair off, but trust me, you will be happier after you just go ahead and do it.  Buy some wigs, wear braids, get a weave - just cut it!  I cut mine myself but if you don't feel comfortable, go to a salon.  I eventually went to a salon to have my hair straightened for a nice trim in July 2008.
  6. Water and vitamins are you friend.  Be sure to get plenty of water and vitamins in your diet on a daily basis.  Not only will your hair benefit from this, so will your overall health.  In terms of vitamins, I take a multivitamin formulated for women and a Biotin supplement.  Not only is my hair growing like a weed, I don't get many skin breakouts and my nails are strong and long!
  7. Trial and error.  As you can see from my many blog entries, I have tried many products.  Everyones' hair is different therefore different products work for different people.  Unless you are a very lucky person, chances are you will have to experience a lot of trial and error to see what your hair likes.  Your natural hair might not like the products you used to use on your relaxed hair.
  8. Do your research.  There are soooooo many forums, blogs and websites focused on black natural hair care.  The questions you have have more than likely been asked by someone else.  So do your research and read the plethora of information available to you.  More importantly, talk to people you know who are natural and get a hair coach.  I have several! :)
  9. Be happy and nappy!  All of your hard work will pay off and you will be happier because of it!

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner + Brilliant Universal Styling Creme

Being that I just dyed my hair with permanent color and since I will be in the scorching Mexico sun for 5 days, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure I had products that would make sure my hair stayed super moisturized. After an especially sweaty session of Bikram Yoga last night, I knew I would have to wash my hair this morning. So I got in the shower and co-washed with my V05 conditioner and then used the Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner mixed with my BioSilk conditioner. I let that sit on my head during my shower and washed it out right before I got out. Instantly I noticed that my hair seemed softer and not coated and weighed down with product, which sometimes happens after using a heavier conditioner.

I then applied the Knot Today leave in/detangler and had no problem coming through my kinks with a wide tooth comb. I let my hair air dry just a little (probably for 10 minutes). Before I started blow drying my hair, I applied a nickel size amount of the Brilliant Universal Styling Creme. I didn't want to use much because the product is thick and it is recommended to layer it in. As I was blow drying my hair, I would add a bit more of the styling creme.

My hair stills feels very soft but not greasy to the touch and I think it has a nice sheen to it. Before I go to bed tonight I will either use some Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme or the Brilliant Universal Styling Creme before I twist my hair. I definitely think these products will help me keep my hair in check in the Mexico climate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Natural for life?

People keep asking me if I am going to be natural for life. It takes me a while to answer and the best I can say is that "I hope so". I mean, what am I supposed to say? I would love to think that I will never stray from being natural. I can safely say that I'll never get a relaxer ever again in life. My hair really can't take it - it thins, breaks off, they are expensive, etc. A texturizer? Maybe. Who really knows. As much as I like to color my hair and try new styles, being natural is really the best thing for me... at least for right now. I can't imagine doing the BC all over again. I don't know if your girl has it in her lol.

Then I wonder, why people are asking me this (not to be rude or anything). Is it because going natural is still seen as somewhat taboo in our society or because people don't think I can keep this up? Or maybe people think this is a phase?

Who knows...

Monday, August 18, 2008

I love being a RED HEAD! NEW COLOR ALERT!!!

I found my signature color (I think)! My roots were looking crazy since my hair grows super fast and I'm about to go to Mexico (YIPPEEE), so I decided to freshen up my color. So I really liked my color but I wanted to go for a richer light red color. So I opted not to use Textures & Tones in Bronze again (nothing wrong with product), because the color didn't lift my natural hair color enough. So I went to Sally's Beauty Supply and decided to get creative and mix some colors. I decided to get two colors by Clairol Professional Premium Creme colors in Light Reddest Brown (4RR) and Light Red-Neutral Blonde (8RN). I used the matching Clairol Creme Developer in Level 30. I washed my hair with a tea tree shampoo and then applied the color with a brush and let it processed for 30 minutes. I then applied a deep conditioner, put in the Knot Today leave in/detangler and blew out my hair and VOILA! I LOVE the color. It's perfect for Mexico and even the transition into the fall and winter months. Next time I will probably only use a level 20 developer because my roots are super bright. The only down side to this color is that I feel like my hair was a bit drier compared to when I used Textures & Tones. Enjoy the pictures!

Rockin' the fro for a bit...

So the BF suggested that I blow out my curls and rock a fro.  I must admit, I was hesitant at first.  I really had no idea what my hair was going to look like.  But I co-washed with some cheapy V05 conditioner, used my BioSilk conditioner (left it in for a few minutes) and then put in the Knot Today detangler/leave in conditioner.  After combing out the tangles I used my ceramic blow dryer and blew out my hair, which didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I then picked it out and shaped it a bit.  I must admit, I am lovin' the fro and I will probably rock this style more than the curly look for a bit.  To keep this style, I think I will have to wash and blow dry every few days because my hair starts to curly very quickly.  Check back for another post soon.  I had to color my roots and decided to go with a more red color.  The color is in my hair as we speak, so cross your fingers!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NEW Products to SWAP and/or CHEAP BUYS Section!

Hey everyone! So I went through one of my closets and found a bunch of products that I have used sometimes once or twice and didn't like it. Soooooo I thought it would be a cool idea to have a swap or buy section on my blog (right hand side @ the top). If you are interested in anything you see, please contact me and we can possibly work something out! Stay tuned because I will be updating that section on a pretty regular basis. Hugs!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm LOVIN' It!

Check out the latest pictures of the Kinky-Curly Custard twist out (almost a week later). I will definitely will be a repeat customer. My hair is still retaining my curls very well and my hair is nice and soft. I am going to wash my hair tomorrow and try this all over again!

I would love to hear thoughts on the product!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kinky-Curly Custard Revisited: Day 2

So I think I am having a change of heart.  This morning when I took my twists out, it was so much easier!  Usually my hair gets tangled, but the Kinky-Curly Custard acts as a coating so my twists untwisted much easier.  AND my hair looks fabulous today and is super soft.  Maybe I spoke too soon about the Kinky-Curly Custard.  So I'm thinking with some more experimentation, this custard will really work well, especially layered with other products.  I'm starting to think that I don't need to get my hair done before Mexico (i.e. the Mohawk) if I can get my Kinky-Curly Custard regimen down!  Check out my morning pictures.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And The Verdict Is... *Drumroll Please*

Well after a day of having the Kinky-Curly Custard in my hair, I have come to somewhat of a conclusion. Below are my pros and cons.

- Great smell. The product smells like angel food cake.
- Curl definition. I like the "boingy" curl definition I get from this product better than the Aveda Be Curly lotion.

- Lack of consistent curl elongation. My curls were elongated when my hair was wet, but I still experienced shrinkage as my hair began to dry.
- Product residue in my hair. Sections of my hair feel "tacky" and "goey". Forget letting my bf run his fingers through my fro!
- Curl definition. Yes, this is a con too. I like a lot of volume; more of a curly fro. Maybe as the week goes on, I'll be able to achieve a more voluminous look.

I think I avoided the crunchy feeling that a lot of people experienced, by using Baby Buttercreme on top of the Kinky-Curly Custard. I also forgot to mention that I also used the Knot Today leave in conditioner/detangler. I really like this product as a leave in and maybe even I could just use this for my twist outs.

I am going to try this product again, maybe layering it with other products. I really think this product has some good qualities.

Next up: I think I am going to get a mohawk with sewn in curly weave for my trip to Mexico. I'll be sure to post pictures of that next week. If i come across any more findings in relation to the Kinky-Curly Custard, I will be sure to share.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1st Attempt Using Kinky-Curly Custard...

Okay, so tonight was my first attempt at using Kinky-Curly Custard. My curls are definitely elongated and defined but I am going to wait until tomorrow before I give it a "yay" or a "nay". From the reviews I have read and the videos I have watched on YouTube, almost everyone has commented on the tacky and/or crunchy feeling experienced once the hair dries. Also, some people who normally have a lot of shrinkage (like myself) experienced their normal shrinkage as well when using this product.

Tomorrow morning I plan on spraying my hair with water again to "reactivate" the product and hoping for a favorable outcome. Below are pictures from my application. My hair is wet in these pictures. I will post some more tomorrow after I experience a day with it in my hair. Wish me luck!

Update: So below are pictures of my hair completely dry. I let it air dry for a bit and then I sat under the dryer because I knew I would want to go to bed soon. So I am going to put some Baby Buttercreme in my hair and twist it up as I normally do. My hair does feel sticky in places and I think that is due to me using too much of the Kinky Curly Custard in certain spots. Like I said before, I'll post some pictures tomorrow to see how it turned out.