Friday, December 23, 2011

It has been TOO long...

Hi Lovelies!  It has been WAY too long.  After my summer internship in New York City, I moved back to Ithaca for my last year at Cornell.  School mixed with wedding planning and recruiting made for a hectic life.  So for the most part, I have been rockin' my natural hair.  I did however get a weave for our engagement pictures.  Here is one for your viewing pleasure :).

Photo by Love Life Images, Inc.

So let's talk about the weave.  My weave was beautiful, but I decided to leave some of my real hair out to make it look more natural.  I have never done this before.  I usually get full weaves, not exposing any of my natural hair.  Here is a close up (you know I can't resist showing off my handsome fiancĂ©).  This was a hasty decision because I didn't think about the maintenance for keeping my hair straight, especially since I have a trainer 3 times a week.  When my hair was freshly straightened, it blended very well with the weave (this time I used wavy Indian Remy human hair).  But as the days went on it was harder and harder to blend.  I ended up putting heat on my hair 3 times a week and using that much heat on my hair concerned me.  Since I rarely straighten my hair, I didn't want the heat to alter my curl pattern for that one section that I left out.  I was very good about using heat protecting products before any heat touched my hair, but that still didn't make me feel comfortable.

Another issue I had to deal with was due to my hair thinning due to Alopecia.  Making sure my scalp wasn't exposed was difficult and really left me feeling insecure.  I did discover "hair shadow" which is basically eyeshadow for your scalp.  The stuff is great.  I was able to put this on my scalp to give the appearance of hair; this stuff was a lifesaver.

Well I managed to leave my weave in only for one month.  I'm going to Brazil (yay) for 10 days and the thought of having to deal with the heat, humidity and my hair, was too much to think about.  I have noticed that my curls are more relaxed in that one spot that I was flat ironing on a regular basis.

I'm glad to have my natural hair back.  I'm still following my same wash, condition, and styling routine, but I am finding that I experiment with how I wear my twist outs a lot more.  Here are some pics of my latest 'do.  Also, I put a clear rinse in my hair a few months ago.  I'm sure it has rinsed by now, but I'm loving my hair color (most of the henna has grown out).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reasonably priced products alert! Check out Pooka.

Hello lovelies.  As my internship ends, reality has set in and I'm slowly realizing that I am once again a broke student (only one more year of this, praise the Lord).

Pooka Pure and Simple is an all natural, handmade beautycare line that was conceived after the creator, Dawn Fitch, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  She decided to take a natural approach to hair and skincare by making her own products.  I was even happier when I realized that the products are *gasp* affordable!


I had the pleasure of trying the Shea & Olive Hair Butter (4 ounces) and the Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment (4 ounces).  Following are the ingredients for each:

Shea & Olive Hair Butter - Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Beeswax, Rosemary Oil, Lavender Oil, Fragrance
Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment - Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lemon Oil, Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, Fragrance, Lavender Buds, Rosemary Leaf, Lemon Peel

The first thing I noticed, about both products, was the amazing smell.  Both products smell so crisp and fresh and made me even more eager to try them.  The great thing about the Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment, is that it comes with a dropper, which makes scalp application a breeze!  The Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment claims to stimulate growth which I think is something that should be evaluated on a case by case basis.  As you all know, my hair doesn't "love" oils, so I've been using the Nectar Hair Oil & Treatment for nightly scalp massages.  This product also doubles as a hot oil treatment, which I have yet to try.

I've been using the Shea & Olive Hair Butter once or twice a week as a moisturizer for my twists.  What is great about this product is that it doubles as a body moisturizer as well.

I can easily see both products becoming staples in my hair routine.  Give them a try.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

ORS Lock & Twist Gel for Two-Strand Twists

Every so often, I like to switch up my products and routine.  I have been craving a product that would leave my twists defined but not crunchy and this has been my quest for the summer!  I remembered that I had a container of ORS (Organic Root Stimulator Lock) and Twist Gel, that I had used only once before and blogged about it.  When I used it, my hair was a lot shorter, so wet sets weren't my friend at the time.  But 2 weeks ago, I decided to revisit it.  Before I shared the results with you all, I had to make sure they weren't a fluke and I used it again this weekend.  Let me tell you....
  = defined, soft, moisturized twists

These two products may have become my go to for my wet twist outs (at least for a little while).  My curls are defined but not crunchy, soft, and moisturized.  Here's the kicker... my hair looked great for an entire week.  Simply retwisting and refreshing with some Moroccan Oil resulted in some beautiful styles throughout the week!

So the million dollar question is, what are the ingredients in the ORS Lock & Twist Gel?  Well let me tell you, for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised: Water, Coconut Milk, Soybean Oil, PVP, Polyquarternium 37, Propyl Paraben, Methyl Paraben, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Sucrose.  For more info on some of the ingredients, I went to my new favorite website.
  • PVP - You many want to stay away from this ingredient IF in shampoos and conditioners as it may cause build-up.  But in gels, it is okay.
  • Polyquarternium-37 - You many want to stay away from this ingredient IF in shampoos and conditioners as it may cause build-up.  But in gels, it is okay.
  • Propyl & Methyl Paraben - Some studies (in animals) show that parabens can lead to breast cancer.  Some feel very strongly about parabens, so please make sure you are fully educated before making a decision about this product or any other product containing parabens.
I have also figured out a way to combat the shrinkage I experience from wet twisting.  After I finish twisting my hair and before I sit under the dryer for a few minutes (I sit under the dryer just long enough to take the wetness out of my twists and I let my twists air dry the rest of the way), I pull my twists taunt, and pin them.  This way, they dry while they are stretched out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My hair hasn't stayed this soft, for this long... maybe ever!

Lovelies, I have a new discovery!  What's my secret weapon, you ask?  Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair conditioner.  For months, I have been wondering about Dove hair care products, but already had way too many shampoos and conditioners to justify a new purchase.  Finally I gave in an purchased the Intensive Repair conditioner anyways.  

One Friday I worked from home and decided to try the conditioner as a pre-poo and I left it in for hours.  The smell isn't overwhelming and is pleasant, the conditioner feels thick and substaintial (too often non-salon conditioners feel thin and like water), and the ingredients are okay.  Here are some of the ingredients and info courtesy of Tightly Curly.  I didn't list all of the ingredients, so be sure to research them and make the call for yourself.  The ingredients are listed right on the Dove website as well.

The Good
Dimethicone - a silicone that conditions by preventing water loss.
Behentrimonium chloride   - Used for detangling and as an anti-static ingredient and emulsifier.
Lactid Acid - Adjusts the pH and acts as a humectant, helping to attract moisture to your hair.
Dipropylene Glycol - Humectant

The Bad
Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine - This is used to keep the product from separating and can be slightly corrosive to hair if not properly neutralized.  
Potassium Chloride - Is a cheap thickener.

So after a lengthy pre-poo, I continued on with my normal routine for the most part.  But for my deep conditioner, I mixed my go-to Redken Butter Treat with Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Daily Treatment.  I followed with the Knot Today leave-in and two-strand twisted with Jane Carter's Twist & Lock cream.  Perfection is what I got!!!!  My hair has been super soft and moisturized for almost a week.  I haven't experienced this in a very long time, if ever.

So think about it, learn about it, and perhaps you will give it a try.  I have no complaints and I am sitting here right now pre-pooing with my new staple product!

Friday, July 1, 2011

To Leave-In or Not to Leave-In...

As you all know, I have an absolute love affair with Redken's Butter Treat.  Over the past 4 years of experimenting with every product out there, Butter Treat is by far the best deep conditioner I have found.  The instructions state that the conditioner doesn't have to be rinsed out and can be left in as a treatment.  I have never done this before, because I wasn't completely convinced that this was the case.  So last week I decided to leave it in, instead of rinsing it out.  With that said, I didn't use Knot Today, like I normally do.  I added a little Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue to each twist because I wanted my twists to maintain definition.  I used very little because I didn't want my hair to have the crunchy feeling that I have had before from using the Curly Meringue.

So all was well until I untwisted my hair the next norning.  My hair had this "dusty film" to it (sounds gross, doesn't it).  I think I used way too much Butter Treat and the excess product dried and created a "dusty film" on my hair.  It wasn't a huge deal and wasn't really noticeable, but it was gross at first because I didn't know what was going on.  I'm doing my hair again today and I'm going to try using the Butter Treat as a leave-in, but I will definitely use less.

I have also been experimenting with updos, now that my hair is longer.  I LOVE wearing my hair up, but it takes so many pins to keep the style secure.  I bought a cute, pink flower from a craft fair last weekend in Jersey City and now I am on the hunt for more cute hair accessories.  I think updos + hair accessories are my new summer go tos!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Shampoo, Condition, & Twist Routine

I thought that I would post a video of my current weekly routine.  Right now, this seems to be working for me, but I will keep everyone updated if I start to do something a bit different.

Monday, June 13, 2011

YouTube Chanel: HappyAndNappyElisa

So I decided to start a YouTube channel.  Sometimes I'm in the mood to chat rather than write an actual post.  As some of you may know, this isn't my first YouTube appearance (google my name and my videos some come up in the search).  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Post Weave Routine

So first off let me say that my hair was sooooo tangled and I don't think that I managed to get all of the tangles out -- such a nightmare.  I think my Alopecia is under control for the most part.  I'm still taking my antibiotics.  As far as I can tell, no hair is growing back.  So below is what I did yesterday after I took my weave out.

  1. Washed with Suave Rosemary + Mint shampoo (shout out to my summer employer).
  2. Quick conditioned with Suave Rosemary + Mint conditioner and started to detangle.  I tried to divide my hair into sections and comb out all of the dead hair.  It was hard and like I said above, I don't think that I got all of the tangles out.
  3. Mixed my favorite deep conditioner, Redken Butter Treat conditioner, with extra-virgin coconut oil.  I let this marinate on my hair for about 5 minutes.  I probably should have sat under the dryer, but I didn't have time.
  4. While my hair was still damp, I put a few drops of Moroccan Oil through my hair.  This stuff smells AMAZING.  Moroccan Oil has been on my wish list for a while now, so I purchased the very small bottle at my local beauty supply store for about $12 and I am not disappointed at all!
  5. I used what little bit that I had left of the Kinky Curly Knot Today to try to finish detangling my hair.  
  6. Using no additional product, I did very big 2-strand twists, sealed the ends with more Moroccan Oil, and let my hair air dry.
I'm just amazed at how long my hair is now.  I'm sure that I need a good trim.  I'm thinking of attempting to do this myself, little by little, as I continue to do my hair each week.  It shouldn't be too hard to clip my ends when my hair is twisted.  More to come!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oh how I missed my natural hair!

Lovelies, your girl is back!  I just took my weave out and I can not BELIEVE how much my hair has grown.  I still haven't washed my hair (yes -- I know that's funky), but I was pressed to take a picture and post!  I will post my "after weave" regimen and pics of my 'do when I'm done.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm Coming Home!

Hi lovelies. I know that I have been MIA for the past month or so, but I am getting back into the swing of things. In the past month, I finished my first year of business school, moved to NYC, and started my internship where I am working on a hair care brand. As you can imagine, I am in heaven.
I'm writing specifically today to share that I am taking the weave out (if I can get it out) this weekend. It's time to unleash the curls and see what I am working with. I'm feeling so anxious, excited, and ready for a change. I've missed my natural hair and have had hair envy walking through the streets of NYC.
Summer in the city calls for rocking my curls. Stay tuned for updates and pictures.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New beginning

As I am sure you can tell, this blog has been stagnant.  But I have so much going on in my life, and no where to write about.  So enter my new blog - The Almost Life of Elisa.  I am no way abandoning this blog; it's my baby. Just creating another outlet for me to talk about everything going on in my life.  So please, follow along and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Please help us win the Crate & Barrel 2011 Ultimate Wedding Contest!!!


My fiancĂ© and I are trying to win a $100,000 wedding of a lifetime from Crate & Barrel's 2011 Ultimate Wedding contest!  Please follow this link and help us out by voting!  Thank you!

PS - Spread the love... we need all the help we can get!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Miss Y'all!

Happy New Year, Lovelies!

So let's see if I can catch y'all up on what's going on in my life; hair and non-hair related.  I'm still rocking the weave and plan to for a while.  My hair seems to be growing well and I rather keep it "safe" rather than neglect it and not care for it properly due to my crazy schedule.  Lord knows I miss my curls, but I just don't have the time that I used to.  My goal is to continue growing my hair in both a natural and healthy way.  The wedding is in 2012 and I would love to wear my natural hair either pressed with tracks (something like a Malaysian weave) or big and curly - who knows.

I started the South Beach diet a little under 2 weeks ago and I am seeing great results.  Phase 1 has been tough, but I have definitely lost inches around my midsection.  I am set to start Phase 2 on Wednesday, but I may do more of a Phase 1/Phase 2 mix to keep losing as much weight as possible.  My doctor actually highly recommended the South Beach diet.  She says that everyone should be eating this way; so give it a try if you are trying to lose weight and adopt a healthy way of eating.  I really like it so far because there is no measuring involved and I am never hungry (3 meals and 2 snacks - you have to eat dessert)!  I will admit, if you are a "carb fiend" like me, the first couple of days will suck... bad.  But you kind of get used to it.

School is going well.  My first semester was hard but taught me a lot about what I am really capable of doing when pushed to the limit.  This semester is going to be just as busy, but I am taking mostly Marketing classes, which have been pretty cool thus far.

So I guess I should get back to work.  Miss you all dearly!