Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nails of the Week!!

Hi Guys!!

Here is a video that shows my nails of the week and my first attempt at nail art.  I thought it came out pretty good.  Watch and then tell me what you think!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Nails

I'm really excited to write this post.  I have already shared on G+ that I've decided to start taking care of my nails.  I want to grow my NATURAL nails.  Years ago I used to have the acrylic tips and silk wraps and the gel manicures and the whole nine yards.  I was working and wearing my nails back in the day.  While those things are fine, at this point in my life I just want to learn to take care of and grow my natural nails so the  pictures you will see are of my natural nails.  I don't use any gel manicure or gel polish products on them,  just regular nail products.  I do use strengtheners and such because I have thin nails that get really, really soft when they get wet.

The first pics that I will share show about 2 weeks worth of care and the growth that occurred.  My nails were really short to begin with because I did not take care of my nails...I gave them no thought whatsoever.  I don't have any "before" pictures b/c, like I said, I gave them no thought so taking pictures of them wasn't even on the radar.

Here are the first pics from 2 weeks ago.  I had started taking care of my nails about 2 weeks prior to these pics so these pics show 2 weeks of growth.

One of the first things I did to begin taking care of my nails is to make my own cuticle oil.  I moisturize my cuticles and nails(especially when bare) several times a day. I started this routine/regimen from the beginning before using any kind of nail treatment or polish.  I put my cuticle oil in an old cleaned out Avon cuticle gel bottle.  This picture is about 3 weeks worth of growth. 

I let my nails stay bare for about 2-3 days in between my manicures and moisturize with just my cuticle oil multiple times a day to allow my nails to absorb the oil to strengthen the nail and to balance that strength with flexibility.   The oil makes nails flexible so they don't become brittle and break when bumped into things during the course of everyday life.

This manicure lasted for 5 days. This is the longest I've gone with a manicure with minimal chipping and polish cracking.  I think I finally have a good combination of topcoats...yes I use 2 different (kinds) of topcoats.

Okay, this ends my first pictoral of 4 weeks of nail care and growth.  My plan is to share exactly what I do, what I use and the information that I have garnered on the subject of nailcare in future posts.

Won't you join me on this, yet another 'natural' journey?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Protective Style Challenge Month 2: Rock Your Regimen week 1

Hi beautiful Naturalistas!!

Here is a 2 part video I did that talks about what my regimen has been for Debs Protective Style Challenge.  I decided to take this week by week just in case what I do changes from week to week.  Enjoy the videos and don't forget to rate, comment and/or subscribe!

I don't like for my videos to be too long so if they are over 10 minutes or so I separate them...

Here is part 1:

Here is part 2:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Protective Style Challenge Month 1 Update

Hello everyone!!  I am overdue for a blog post.  Although I've been kind of absent from my blog I have been active on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube and you can follow me on those sites and see additional pictures and status updates as well.  I love "meeting" other naturals on their videos and fb pages, IG pictures and blogs and that has taken much of my time but I want to continue to document my journey here on my blog. 
As you know from my last blog post I am participating in a protective style challenge in the low manipulation category.  My goal is to style my hair in low manipulation styles and head wraps.  I'm also using castor oil on my scalp for my Castor Oil Challenge and wearing a plastic cap overnight for my GHE Challenge.
I felt this first month in this challenge went pretty well for me.  The first 2 weeks of this challenge I styled my curls using the Tightly Curly Method and my hair lasted for 14 days with the combination of all 3 challenges. The second 2 week stretch started off like this. 

I did a wash and go, using my regular smoothing of the conditioner in sections.  I did not do TC method on this second 2 week stretch.  
My process:
  • I water rinsed (LIQUID)
  • Used a homemade protein dc using Tresemme Naturals/mayonnaise/avocado oil
  • After rinsing I applied homemade oil concoction(OIL) 
  • I applied and sealed with homemade intense shea butter condish as my leave-in(CREAM)  
  • This ended up being the LOC method.

As the weeks progressed and by the end of 2 weeks, my hair was feeling a little rough and not at all soft and moisturized like it did the first 2 weeks.  When I took out my bands I saw a few broken hairs on my bathroom sink and I had to contain my internal hysteria!  LOL!!  I knew that I couldn't continue to allow my hair to go 2 weeks at a time so I've decided to either go back to doing my hair once a week and dc'ing every week or I will have to remoisturized during the week if I go longer than my normal 5-7 days.

Another thing I noticed is that when my hair was covered and wrapped up under my wraps and nighttime bonnets it became easy to just wrap my hair and go.  I believe I became lazy in my haircare and I should have re-moisturized my hair when I felt it begin to get dry and rough.  I don't usually re-moisturize my wash and gos during the week.  I can go 5-7 days and my hair is fine.  Yes, by day 7 it is needing a fresh cleanse/water and it gets it when I follow a "weekly" regimen.  It became so "easy" to just wrap it up and go and I was determined to go 2 weeks.  Well, I learned my lesson that day for sure!

Another difference in the second 2 week and the first 2 weeks was the fact that with the TC method each curl and each strand is saturated and moisture is sealed with my oil/butter/conditioner; not so with just applying conditioner using my regular method(just smoothing and light raking conditioner through hair).  My hair seems to hold moisture much better with the TC method.  But I don't think I'm going to be doing TC method every week b/c it is such a time intensive process.
All in all I think this first month went well.  I am enjoying this process and journey and look forward to month 2.  Month 2 is where we Rock our Regimen.  Month 2 is the month I will highlight our regimen in how we maintain and keep our hair moisturized during this challenge.  Stay tuned...!!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Protective Style/Castor Oil/Greenhouse Effect Challenges Update/Check-In Video (weeks 1-2)

For those who did not know I am participating in Diva Deb's 6 month protective style challenge.  This challenge has 2 categories: Fully protected style or low manipulation.  I've chosen the low manipulation category b/c I love my wash and gos and my curls and don't want to have them hidden away for any length of time.  I've been on this challenge for 2 weeks and wanted to give an update as to my progress.

I am also participating in Brandi1525's Castor Oil Challenge at the same time so while I won't be manipulating my hair much I will be applying JBCO to my scalp 3 times a week, at the least.  After applying my warm castor oil to my scalp, I massage and apply a plastic cap to trap in the heat and let the JBCO penetrate.  I've decided to leave the cap on overnight and that brought me into participating in a Greehouse Effect challenge.  OMGoodness!

So this will be my wintertime regimen/routine and I will be checking in every so often to let you know how I am doing on these challenges.

This first video is my first update on these 6 month long challenges.  The second video contains pictures of my hair during the past two weeks.

Please enjoy!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Updated Nighttime Routine(part 2) - Unbanding and Styling

Hi Naturalistas!!

I received a question from a new naturalista who is a personal friend of mine who watched my banding video and she wanted to know how I style or 'refresh' my hair after I take the bands out.  I replied to her comment.  I have received also received questions as to how I achieved the style in these pics so I felt that I needed to do a video to answer these questions.

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Updated (Fall 2013) Nighttime Routine - Banding

I have discovered one of the most important aspects of my hair regimen is my nighttime routine.  I have found by having 'a' nighttime routine that my hair holds onto moisture longer.  Secondly, having the 'right' nighttime routine keeps my curls defined, hair stretched enough to keep severe tangles at bay and preserves my style for the week. 

When I was a sho' nuff twa'er I would just use a satin scarf and/or pillow case at night and sleep on my curls as they were.  They were short enough to be smooshed to my head at night and that action alone kept my curls intact and frizz at bay.  I would spritz my hair in the morning and shake my head to revive and loosen my curls.

As my twa began to grow out and just sleeping on them was not working anymore, I would put my hair in large, loose chunky twists just to gather my curls together.  I would not twist tight because I didn't want the pattern of the twist to overtake my own curl pattern.  These nighttime twists were just a way to keep my curls 'organized' or 'together' in some fashion where my hair would not become matted or tangled.

I found with these chunky twists, however, that when I undid the twists in the morning I was untwisting and separating my clumped curls so that by the end of the week I had more frizz than curl.  I decided to try a new method for my nighttime routine, hence this banding video. 

I really like how my hair is responding to banding.  I find that banding preserves my curls better than with twisting and banding gives my hair good stretch so that my curls do not become a tangled, matted mess. 

So here I present my updated nighttime routine on how I band my hair at night.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wash and Go using homemade conditioner

Hello Beautiful Naturalistas!

I was asked how I use my homemade conditioner so I videoed my process.  It is the same process as I used when I used Tresemme Naturals. 


You can read about how I used to use Tresemme Naturals here on my blog:
and here:

This diy conditioner replaces Tresemme in my regimen.

To see how I make my homemade conditioner check out this video:
Link to Naptural85 Homemade Mud Wash:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Video Tutorial on how I make my homemade conditioner

Well, I've finally filmed, edited and published to Youtube, the process I go through when making my homemade conditioner.  I'm excited to share this and hopefully you will enjoy this video and even be inspired to make your own hair and/or beauty products that are free from unhealthy chemicals.

So without further ado, here is the video!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

21 Question Hair Tag

Another tag, y'all :-D

Here are the questions:

1 Why did you start taking better care of your hair?
2 What are your two favorite hair products?
3 Who's hair did you admire as a Child/
4 What is your Ultimate Goal length?
5 Two styles you want to try at your Goal Length.
6 Which do you prefer Health or Length?
7 Which do you prefer Hair Ties Butterfly's or Rubber bands?
8 Which do you prefer Salon Brands, Organic Brands, BSS brands, or Drug Store Brand or Other?
9 Which Product technique do you think is over rated?
10 Which Product technique do you think is under rated?
11 What is your favorite part of your hair regiment?
12 Whats the most annoying part of your hair regiment?
13 Oils or Butters?
14 Buns or Ponytails?
15 Wigs or Weaves
16 What is your opinion of growth aides?
17 What length do you consider hair Long?
18 When is the last time you were at the salon?
19 What do you like to search most often, Youtube, Blogs or Hair Forums?
20 What piece of advice you would give some one on there hair journey?
21 Missing question............

Watch the vid to find out what my answers are.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Thoughts on Sheamoisture Extra Moisture Detangler - part 2

Here is the part 2 video on my thoughts on this product...and again, this is not a formal review...just my 'initial' thoughts...

Friday, August 23, 2013

My thoughts on SheaMoisture Extra Moisture Detangler - part 1

Hey guys!!  I feel like I've been away forever although I know I haven't.  I think I just like the reflecting and writing process and I enjoy interacting with everyone :-D

So here I present a video I did a couple weeks ago on SheaMoisture Extra Moisture Detangler.  To be fair I must put this disclaimer in that this is not a formal review.  As of the taping of this video I have only used this product once.  As of today, August 23, 2013 I have used it twice.  To give a formal review of a product I normally will use it for a longer period of time.  The reason I posted this video after one use is because I was so excited to use it.  A fellow youtuber(tycrable) did a review and I knew I had this sitting in my closet unused and untouched for several months, so it inspired me to get it out and try it.  Also, I just wanted to share my initial thoughts on it.   I have never been so conflicted over a product before in my 'natural-haired' life....lol!!

Watch this vid to find out my thoughts on this product!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Detangling Dilemma

Since I got the blogging issue off my chest I guess I can now launch into what I originally wanted to blog about yesterday! :-)

I am editing a video on a tag that I just completed and one of the questions in the tag is what is the least favorite part of my hair regimen.  I answered that it was having to detangle my hair.  The favorite part of my regimen is defining my curls but the crux to that is my curls clump and get defined through the detangling process...LOL!  

The major reason detangling is becoming an issue for me is because my (thick) hair is getting longer and my easy detangling sessions have not been consistent.  Some days my detangling process is easy and other days it is not.  I don't know if my expectation is reasonable but I 'expect' that once I have my detangling process down and if I carry that process out the same way every time then detangling should be easy, breezy each and every time.   I have to admit that I don't carry my detangling process out the same way every time I cleanse my hair.  I think the reason for that is because my cleansing process is not the same every week.  

Having said all that I just wanted to share some action steps that I plan to take for my next "wash" day.  Some steps I have been implementing for some time and they seem to work so I'll keep doing those.  The biggest tweeking is going to be in how I cleanse my hair when using the sink.

My Cleansing Process -  I don't cleanse my hair the same way every week.  Some days I just give it a good rinse in the shower and then deep condition and then detangle.  Other days I cleanse my hair with product and I do that either over the kitchen sink or in the shower.  I think the "kitchen sink cleansing" is the culprit to my more challenging detangling days.  I think that cleansing my hair upside down in the sink increases the tangles/knots.  I also know that one remedy to keeping tangles at bay while having your head upside down in the sink is to keep your hair in twists.  Well, my hair is still too short for that technique because while I twist my hair prior to wetting my hair, as soon as my hair gets wet the twists come out.  I'm thinking that the next time I have to use the sink I'll put my hair is ponytail sections by just putting an ouchless band one time around each section of hair (or clips) and then I'd just have to cleanse and rinse each section separately and completely. 

Detangle with oil and conditioner(with mega slip) - After cleansing and deep conditioning my hair I apply olive oil and then my conditioner to my hair.  This has been working for me.  I find I need to go through an extra step before I begin to detangle with my fingers and that is to let that oil/conditioner combination sit on my hair to soften my hair before detangling.  Once I begin detangling I add small amounts of water to my hair to aid in giving more slip.

Take the time to detangle gently - I have areas of curls on my head that seem to be much more fragile than other areas.  While I can quickly detangle some areas of my hair I'm learning to slow down and be extra gentle with those more fragile sections.  I noticed that when I cleansed my hair I would not get much hair in the sink but when I would detangle I would end up with a bunch of hair on my hands.  I finally realized that I had been pulling my hair out because I was being too rough in my detangling.   Once I started with a more gentle detangling process I don't have as much hair breaking off or out.

Detangle with fingers -  The majority of the time I use my fingers.  I have on occasion used a wide tooth comb or a denman-style brush.  I find I'm more comfortable with my fingers because I can gauge and adjust the tension that needs to be put on hair better with my fingers than with a comb or any other tool.

So this is just a quick peek into my detangling dilemma and my proposed solution to this situation.  Being able to "talk out loud" on this post has helped me think through some techniques and hopefully give some tips that help others. 

What  techniques do you use that have worked for you in making your detangling process easier??


Sunday, August 18, 2013


Well, hello again my natural lovelies!  It has been a number of days since I posted last and it looks like I've kind of bitten off more than I could chew by attempting to blog 31 days straight in the 31WriteNow Blog Challenge...<sigh>...I don't think I can even catch up without doubling up (or more) on posting each day.

I want my blogging to me a 'natural' thing and not 'contrived' and somehow I feel that's what it would be if my goal was just to keep up with "the numbers" and "quota".

I loved the idea of this challenge and I do want to blog more.  I used to blog about homeschooling my children and I loved it but as my blog grew and my readership grew, the time devoted to blogging grew.  That means the time that needed to be spent on my growing family, household, etc. decreased so something had to give and my blogging had to give way to the more important things in my life...my husband and children.

So now I'm back to blogging about my hair journey and I've decided to participate in this challenge.  I have always been one to not 'volunteer' so readily to projects, groups, community activities and such b/c I've seen time and time again where I wasn't able to keep the commitment I signed up for yet I know this is all in fun.  I'm not going to stress over it.

I've been contemplating if I should set up a 'schedule' to blog but I'm leary of that b/c I don't seem to do well on what seems like to me to be a 'regular, regimented scheduled interval'; at least not for blogging.  Being on such a schedule can potentially take the joy out of the whole writing process for me.   For life's more important events I can be regular and regimented because the need calls for it.   I feel I enjoy a more "as I'm inspired" type of blogging yet that can seem inconsistent.

I will chalk it up to the fact that I'm not just on a natural hair journey but I'm also on a 'blogging' journey where I'm learning more about myself as a "writer", more about the creative/writing process and learning and growing in this area.

Whatever the case, I have enjoyed blogging so far.  I've enjoyed sharing my hair journey and sharing my thoughts and I will continue in that vain.I've also enjoyed reading other blogs and connecting with other bloggers and getting to "know" them through their writing.  This also can be time consuming so I've gotta find a way to strike a balance in my computer time to do all the things I enjoy doing online.

I started typing this post with the intention to talk about detangling my hair but I got into all this and it has morphed into it's own "post"...

So I'll conclude by saying  to all who take the time to read my posts and comment/interact with me on my blog (or youtube or instagram or google+).  I also want to say for following me on my hair(and blogging) journey.  I so appreciate you all and value the time and effort you spend on reading my thoughts and for helping me to grow as a writer.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Tag 2013!

This is a summer tag I saw on Tycrable's youtube channel!

Here are the tag questions:

Hot or cold?
What's your favorite season?
Beach or pool?
What's your favorite summer activity?
What's your ideal summer outfit?
Shorts or skirts?
What's a must have item this summer?
Are you going to camp?
Are you going on vacation?
Are you a sunglasses person?
Favorite summer food?
Favorite summer drink?
Have you ever gone water skiing or tubing?
What's your favorite makeup product in the summer?
What's your favorite clothing item for summer?


Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things - Rinse Out Conditioner/Detangler and Leave-In

If you've been reading my blog or keeping up with my youtube vids, even for a short length of time, you probably know by now that Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture has been a staple and a favorite in my haircare regimen.  It has also been a multi-purpose product: 

  • I used to cowash with it
  • I use it as part of my deep conditioner along with other conditioners and oils
  • I use it as my rinse out 
  • It IS my detangler, my ONLY detangler  ...and...
  • I use it in my KimmayTube-like leave-in

I will be using a new conditioner for all of these functions in the near future but for right now I'm posting about Tresemme b/c I am still using it.

My Leave-In 
I got the recipe for my leave-in from KimmayTube.  I was a new natural when I came across her youtube channel.  I was like a sponge soaking up what I could.  Another concept that struck me from Kimmay's channel was the idea of ph.  She talked about keeping your natural hair at it's ideal ph and by doing that you could have healthy, frizz-free curls.  So that was/is one of the foundational principles that I stick to in my haircare regimen:  keeping my (leave-in) products at the ideal ph for my hair through the use of Aloe Vera juice.   In the beginning I didn't worry about the ph of my cleanser, deep conditioner and rinse-out/detanger.  I really don't stress that too much right now.  I do make sure that as I progress throughout my wash day, the last products that I use on my hair have a ph close to 4 where it will encourage the cuticles to close thereby sealing in moisture and enhancing shine.

Here are the products (and recipe) I've been using for my leave-in.   

2 TBLSP conditioner (I used a combination of Tigi Bedhead Moisture Maniac + Tresemme Naturals)
2 TBLSP  aloe vera juice
4 tsp of any oil of choice(I choose castor oil + Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner)

I stir this together in a jar really well.  (I prefer a jar I can scoop out b/c I want to use ALL my product.  I can't scoop out if I'm using a bottle.  There is so much residual conditioner left on the inside of the bottle so I use jars) Then I put the top on the jar and shake, mixing the products really well.  Then I use ph strips to measure the ph of the 'concoction'.

This leave-in has been the only leave-in that I use since early on in my hair journey.  This was my "must-have" when I was doing the Tightly Curly Method.  Here is a video showing how I do the Tightly Curly Method using this leave-in "concoction".   

Recently though, I have not been using it as such b/c I've been experimenting with flaxseed gel and I've been using Tresemme alone as my leave-in.  But that is the next experiment that I might try to see how flaxseed gel pairs with my leave-in. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things - Deep Conditioners

Here is another blog post in my "Favorite Things" series in the category of Deep Conditioners.

To be honest,  I don't feel as "confident" in these products being "staples" in my regimen for 2 reasons.
  • Some of these I'm not crazy about, so they really should not be categorized as my "favorites"  
  • Some of these I love but I'm finding it more difficult to find them on the ground and I'm finding these manufacturers are either changing formulas or discontinuing any product that has more 'natural' ingredients so availability of these products is very unsure.

So having said that I'll present what I'm using and experimenting with but know that the products in this whole category may change in the near future.   I do have other alternatives waiting in the "wings" to try and incorporate into my deep conditioning regimen should these products go by the wayside.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that this category is a work in progress or still "under construction".

My Faves and Strong Likes

The following are my favs and strong like conditioners.  95% of the time I mix these conditioners together to use as my deep conditioners.  I may add olive and coconut oils to my mixtures, depending on how I was feeling.  When I want a protein deep conditioner I mix 1-2 teaspoons of the Hydrate Therapy or the Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise with Tresemme and Shea Moisture.  When I want a moisture deep condish I just use Tresemme and Shea Moisture along with whatever cholesterol deep condish I've decided to try.

Protein Deep Conditioners - I use the following as my protein deep conditioners

Lustrasilk's Moisture Max Hydrate Therapy Deep Conditioner - I've already done a blog post on this so I'll just link it here.

Lustrasilk Moisture Max Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise - Love Love Love this product !!!!  My curls seem to curl on their own when I put this in my hair...I can feel them!   My hair seems to love this product.  I use this as a "mild" to "moderate" protein treatment.  The only protein in this product is egg protein.  When I use this product alone my hair feels very soft but my curls feel "firm" as well as when I use the Hydrate Therapy Deep conditioner.  This product doesn't have as many 'chemicals' as the Hydrate Therapy does and the proteins are different.  I consider this product a more 'natural' product than the Hydrate Therapy.  The subtitle on the jar says "Organic Therapy for damaged hair with olive oil and egg protein".   Sometimes I mix this protein deep conditioner with the other 2 products pictured above for moisture and protein balance.

On another note: I went to the BSS to buy some more of this and they had none!!!!  :-(   I figured they had stopped carrying it or it was discontinued.  I talked to the owner and he said that he thinks he can order it again so he told me to come back in 2 weeks.  Hopefully I'll remember tomorrow and go check to see if they have it in stock...keeping fingers crossed!  Lustrasilk has discontinued about 3 of their cholesterol deep conditioners that I had fallen in love with...so I have been left in the lurch.  I've not found anything YET that my hair responds to as well as those 3 they discontinued(other than the Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise).  This product gets special mention/highlight!

Moisture Deep Conditioners

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture - This is my boo(this is my major boo; flaxseed gel is a close second) and I still use this while I still have bottles left of the old formula.  I have a full video review and blog post on how I use this product so I'll link it here.  

I use Tresemme Naturals as the 'base' for all of my deep conditioners; especially when I couldn't find a suitable 'cholesterol' deep conditioner.

NOTE:  Once I've used all my bottles of Tresemme, my replacement for this will be my own homemade conditioner using BTMS(behentrimonium methosulfate) and aloe vera juice.  Once I am using  BTMS full-time I will post videos on it and how I make it.  I've fallen in love with BTMS and as much as I love my Tresemme, BTMS seems to soften, detangle and condition my hair even better than Tresemme! 

Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner -I add some of this conditioner to the  'concoctions' I mix up for my deep conditioners.  I like to add this as one of the 'oils' in my concoctions.

Not crazy about but I feel the need to have......

I feel that I want to have a cholesterol deep conditioner to add to my moisture and protein deep conditioners.  Most cholesterol deep conditioners have some protein in them(nearer to the bottom of the ingredient list) but I just like the extra 'umph' that a cholesterol deep conditioner gives.  I've not found a cholesterol dc that I like.  I am experimenting with this one pictured below.

The Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Cholesterol I've only used once.  I mixed this with some olive oil, coconut oil and Tresemme just yesterday.  I sat under the heating cap for about 20 minutes.  I didn't like how my hair was a drawn up tangled mat on my head after dcing.  I had a major tangle issue  during my wash session yesterday.  I don't know what contributed to it but this cholesterol conditioner didn't seem to help ease that.  I will use this b/c it's in my closet but unless I can figure out a way to make this work, I will not be repurchasing.

Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp and Tamanu - because this has biotin and keratin in it I use it as an additional protein treatment.  I can't use this by itself b/c it's too thick and just sits on my hair.  So I have to use about 1 tsp and add it to whatever mixture I'm mixing up that day.  I'm not terribly drawn to want to repurchase this although it performed very well on my daughter's hair when transitioning.  I've used it once on my hair mixed into my leave-in conditioner.  It was okay but nothing outstanding.

The alternatives that I'll have to experiment with are organic natural solutions such as:  avocado/banana moisturizing conditioner
greek yogurt (protein)
mayonnaise(protein) - I've used mayonnaise in some of my 'concoctions' and my hair did well.

This is where I am with my deep conditioners; very unsure about most of these products but I will, of course, keep you updated as I continue along in my journey as to what I come up with.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Cleansers

This is intended to be a quick blog post of a "few of my favorite things/products - Cleansers" that I am currently using and/or experimenting with.

Shea Moisture Purification Masque - I really, really like this product.  I love the texture, the smell, the creaminess of the texture, how it goes on my hair and how my hair looks and feels after using it.  I use this mainly as my "shampoo" (I've stopped using shampoo b/c I find it to be too drying) or as I like to say my "cleanser".  The directions say to use it before or after shampoo....(scratch that instruction for me) and it says to leave it on anywhere from 5-30 minutes(now THAT I can do :-D ).  So I tend to leave it on for about 5 minutes, many times less b/c as much as I really like this product I find it tends to be a bit drying to my hair if I leave it on too long or use it too often.  This product has salicylic acid in it and while this ingredient is used to control dandruff it can dry out your hair.  Here is a very good article on it from Naturallycurly.com

Amla and Shikakai ayurvedic powders -  I like to mix a bit of each of these powders together and add water, coconut and/or castor oil, wheat germ oil and/or any other oil of choice and coconut milk(for extra moisture and conditioning) and "wash' my hair and scalp with it.  I don't usually let it sit in my hair for too long b/c I don't want to dry my hair out.  I've had to slow down on the use of this also b/c it can also be drying to the hair.   My scalp really feels good with this mixture and my curls are soft and have a bounce to them.  Being the mixtress that I've discovered that I am, I love mixing this up and trying to make my own "Purification Masque".  Here is info on the benefits of  Amla powder and Shikakai powder.

Moroccan Red Clay Powder I have not used this clay yet.  I was looking to buy Rhassoul Clay and my understanding from the internet(of course) is that Moroccan Red Clay is Rhassoul Clay.  My plan is to add a bit of this clay powder to my Amla/Shikakai powder mixture with plenty of oils and other moisturizing agents to complete my own purification masque.  I'm not sure of the frequency with which I'll use this as my hair doesn't seem to need a "heavy" detoxing or purification often at all.  Most of the products I use on my hair rinse off with water so most of the times my hair just needs a light cleansing.

What cleanser(s) does your hair love?



Scalp itching...How I Remedy

Itchy scalp...I'm sure we're all familiar with this in some shape, form or fashion.  As far as I know I don't have any serious scalp "condition" but I'm finding I have to tend to my scalp every week.  I don't know what made me think that I would not have to.  I guess because when I was relaxed I never did.  Now that I look back on it and from what I can remember my scalp was very dry and flaky and not to mention it was burnt at times from relaxer being left on too long.  I never "greased" it or oiled it b/c I didn't want my relaxed hair to be pasted to my head.  I wanted free-flowing hair that moved. 

** rolls eyes in the air **      
(what was I thinking?? )

I remember how my mother used to always tell me that I need to grease my scalp and I hardly ever would.  Occassionally I would let her grease it and then I'd just deal with flat hair until I washed it again.  I also remember that the top-back of my head was always sore...ALWAYS(still is now if I don't deal with it).

Since going natural I'm paying so much more attention to my hair (and scalp).  I must admit though that after I went natural my mom would still tell me I needed to "grease" my scalp.  She used Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil to grease her scalp...buuuuutttt....I was doing a lot of reading and watching youtube and trying different "methods" and reading books and the majority of what I was listening to(and doing)  recommended NOT greasing or even oiling your scalp b/c it brings about an imbalance in your scalp producing what oils is does produce even if it's very little oil.  So even up until about 3-4 months ago I still wasn't giving my scalp any love, even though it was still itchy and sore in the back.

Well I had been reading about scalp massages to stimulate the hair follicles which would increase hair growth.  I decided I wanted to give myself scalp massages so I came up with a scalp massage oil mix that I felt would not leave too heavy of an oil residue on my scalp.  I used olive oil as a base and mix a bit of Jamaican black castor oil and a few drops of peppermint oil.  My aim was to do this 3 days a week.  I didn't make that goal.  It normally ends up being once or twice a week.  

The first week that I did my scalp massage I noticed that the sore area in the back of my head had stopped being sore;  it was not sore at all.  My scalp felt so good!  So the lesson here (for me) is that in my natural haircare I MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH OF MY SCALP!!!!

I also concluded and agree with those who I've read up on that say this:  Just like skin needs to be moisturized(with lotion or moisturizer of choice) my scalp(which is skin) needs to be moisturized  too.

Tending to my scalp takes a bit of discipline and extra effort(for me).  I don't always remember to massage or oil my scalp before putting my hair in twists and satin scarf for the night and if I do remember many times I'm too tired to do it so I don't.  And of course in the hustle bustle of the morning, it just doesn't cross my mind.  LOL!!

I have also made a few more observations about my hair/scalp.  They are:

1.  Co-washing increases/makes my scalp itch.

2.  My scalp doesn't seem to itch as bad if at all when I use "natural" cleansers such as Apple Cider Vinegar rinses, Amla/Shikaki powders, etc.  I'm wondering now if it has to do with bringing my scalp to it's proper ph.  A scalp that is out of ph balance will have issues.  I do try to keep my hair  in it's proper ph range but I've gotta get more learned on scalp health and what it needs.

So armed with this knowledge this is what I do to remedy my scalp dryness/itching.

1.  Cleanse my hair every week
2.  Do not use "conditioner" or even "cleansing conditioners" to cowash
3.  Use 'natural' cleansers.  On days I'm not using a 'cleanser' I just do a good "cleansing rinse" with water or ACV rinse.
4.  Massage scalp with scalp massage oil at least once per week, preferable more often
5.  This last tip I just tried a couple days ago.  I read in a couple of places where flaxseed oil(which I imagine is in the gel that I make) is full of omega-3 fatty acids which acts as anti-imflammatory for the scalp. So I massage a little flaxseed gel(enriched with aloe vera juice and wheat germ oil from my recipe) onto the itchy sore areas of my scalp the other day.  By the next day I felt no itching and everything felt good.  Now, this is still an experiment so I'm in no way saying this is a sure thing.  I'll have to see how my scalp reacts as I continue to do this.  I've only done this one time so the jury is still out until....

I've included references to sites that talk about this information down below.

So, these are the ways I'm learning to deal with/tend to my scalp and finding what works and what it needs.  I hope this little peek into what I'm learning was/is helpful.  

How do you remedy any scalp issue that you may have?


Monday, August 5, 2013

Natural Hair Survey

I received a link to this natural hair survey yesterday in my email and wanted to share it with my readers.  This survey comes from Audrey Sivasothy who authored the book Science of Black Hair.  Here website and youtube channel are excellent supplements to her book.  She has authored other books as well. 

This survey aims to gather information concerning natural hair attitudes, trends and practices from natural and relaxed haired women, transitioners and men that will be included in her upcoming books and projects.

We are encouraged to share this survey on blogs, forums, boards, groups, etc. so I wanted to share this with you all.

The link to the page to the survey is here.

Please pass this along!

Lustrasilk Moisture Max Keratin Hydrate Therapy (Protein) Deep Conditioner

I wanted to briefly share this new deep conditioner that I've had in my closet for a while that I just used.  Now, while I do try to use my own homemade products for my hair I've not focused or taken the time to formulate my own deep conditioner, yet.   So I do peruse the beauty supply shelves for a product as close to natural as I can find.

I've been a little hesitant to use it full strength b/c my hair cannot take a lot of protein; it will get hard and stiff.  I found that out when I put several heaping spoonfuls of mayonnaise in one of my deep conditioners and my hair came out very stiff.  After much reading and researching I finally realized that I had used too much mayonnaise...too much protein.  So my hair can take some protein but only moderate amounts.  I feel this product could be classified (at least for MY hair) as a moderate protein treatment.

I thought this protein deep conditionerwould be more than a mild protein treatment b/c of the major proteins(bolded and italicized) in the ingredient list.

Water (Aqua,Deionized), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Lanolin,Quaternium-18,Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Equisetum Hiemale Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Pinus Strobus Cone Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettles) Extract, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance

This is not intended to be a formal review, just a "special mention" because I've only used this product one time and I LOVED it!!  My hair was not overly soft/mushy.  I've learned that hair that has been properly conditioned with protein will feel "firm", almost resembling pasta noodles that have been cooked "al dente".  They are fully cooked but "firm".  Pasta that has been overcooked is soft and mushy and that is what I always looked for my hair to feel like until my research showed me otherwise.  (I got this information from SCIENCE OF BLACK HAIR by Audrey Sivasothy.)

Well, after I used this product my hair felt just right.  This product claims to provide a "balance" of protein and moisture and I would say it did just that for me - not too hard and not too soft.   I applied this deep conditioner to my hair freshly cleansed hair and sat under my heating cap for 20 minutes so that the heat could allow the conditioners and protein to penetrate my strands.  So as it turns out I consider this product to be a moderate protein treatment.  My hair had just the right amount of softness and firmness(strength). 

I really liked this product and will update you further as I continue to use it.  I do protein treatments twice a month so I won't be using this every week and it may take some time before I've used it enough to be comfortable with doing a formal review.  This product looks promising for now, although I'm not crazy about some of the ingredients and parabens found in the product.  The plus side to the issue of not-so-desirable ingredients is the fact that they are all toward the bottom of the ingredient list, at least in MY mind(lol!!)

Until next time....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Flaxseed gel revisited - My final thoughts

day 1

I truly enjoy experimenting with my hair.  I especially love trying new products on my hair.  I am not, by any means, a product junkie(at least I don't think I am).  I gravitate more towards mixing up concoctions and trying them on my hair rather than going to the store and buying a ready-made "product".  More times than not I'd rather go to the store and buy ingredients to 'make' a product and try it on my hair.  Does that make me a different "kind" of product junkie???  

Anywho, as you may(or may not) know by now I've just revisited making and using homemade flaxseed gel.  I blogged about my process and my results here

This experiment has taught me a rather good lesson and that is this:  Never say never.  You see I had tried flaxseed gel about a year ago and it didn't work for me (or so I thought).  Now that my hair is longer it seems as if it works for me now.  So in your natural hair journey just keep in mind that what may not work for you right now may work later.  I don't know why this gel works for me now.  It could be that I made the gel slightly different than  I did in the past and/or it could be that I applied it differently(I had less water in my hair this time)  and/or it could also be that my hair is in different(BETTER) condition than it was before so now my hair is able to readily absorb certain products now that it was not able to before.  Whatever the case, I'm so glad that I followed my heart on this and followed what seemed like a "whim".  Trying flaxseed gel again was NOT even in my mind of things to do to/for my hair.  I was done with flaxseed gel, in my own mind.
day 1

Since it seems that flaxseed gel will probably be more of  a staple in my haircare I was  slightly concerned as to where I could get flaxseed for a decent price.  Well, lo and behold, I found some at my local grocery store where I shop regularly at a great price.

I got 24 oz for $3.99.  I thought that was an excellent price.  The one bag I did have was about 1/2cup of flaxseeds, which is about 4 oz. for $1.00. 

Flaxseed gel made my curls have a pretty firm hold(there was a gel cast that was pretty much gone the next day after sleeping on my hair) with excellent definition 
day 2
coupled with softness and bounciness and shine!!!  My hair also seemed to not have as much shrinkage so my curls seemed to hang longer and looser. 

day 2

day 2
 I really was so pleasantly surprised that my hair felt this good.  I was also feeling good b/c this is something that is 100% natural and my hair seems to love it.  It feels so good to discover something that gives great results and is beneficial to your health at the same time.  It also very satisfying to be able to make something 100% healthy with my own hands(if you are so inclined)  and not be dependent on a "store-bought' product....nothing wrong with store-bought products per se but when you become dependent on that product you are at the mercy of the manufacturer to put in whatever they want to whether it's good for you/your hair or not.

day 2
That is just my own personal pet-peeve.  I'm not knocking store-bought products and I'm not knocking anyone who buys them.  I've just decided to begin to move myself away from being so dependent on them and to make a move toward all natural products, if I can....just a health conscious choice I'm making.   

day 2

So, if you decide to try your hand at making your own flaxseed gel(fsg) then please let me know.  I'd love to hear how it worked for you and/or to answer any questions you may have.   

Until next time...Happy Mixing!!

31WriteNow Blog Challenge

I found out several days ago from a fellow-blogger, Heather at www.Naturallyme35.com that there was a blog challenge going on.  This challenge was started by www.Awsomelyluvie.com.  

#31WriteNow Blogging Challenge

The challenge is to write a blog entry everyday for 31 days starting August 1, 2013.  Well as you can see I am several days late  (LOL!! ) but I did want to take on the challenge of doing more writing and writing for 31 days straight is a true challenge.  So in order for me to "catch up" I figure I'm gonna have to write 2 posts a day for about 4-5 days...we'll see how THAT goes.

I also see this challenge as a great way to stimulate some creative thinking and to develop my writing skills and establish and improve the discipline of effective communicating through writing.

So to all my fellow bloggers out there come on and join this challenge and let's increase in sharing our thoughts on what matters to us individually trough the medium of our blogs and our written words.

Until tomorrow,

Friday, August 2, 2013

Flaxseed gel revisited - The How-To, The Application, The Results

Well, Well!!!!!   I never thought I would have a desire to ever make flaxseed gel again let alone use it again.  Yet, I sit here with flaxseed gel in my hair waiting for it to dry so that I can video my results.

You see I've made and used flaxseed gel early in my natural hair journey.   I even posted the recipe to my blog here.  But I was not impressed with flaxseed gel.  I mean what it did for me, my beloved(at the time) Tresemme did for me so I didn't see a need to go through all of that preparation in making it PLUS I didn't like the idea of "gel" in my hair, even if it was all natural.

Boy, what a difference a year makes!!!!

So now I find myself at a  place where I want to try it again all because I was watching my fellow you-tube friend, TyCrable, on her video making flaxseed gel and applying it to her hair.  Her results were so outstanding.  She had frizz-free, super defined curls.  I mean her hair look great and I was so impressed by her results I wanted to try it again to see if my results would be similar. So here I am a year later having to find a replacement for my Tresemme Naturals because they have a new formula for their conditioner.  I don't like many of the new ingredients AND I've taken a turn in my thinking and my heart to wanting to use more natural products.  I still do not want to use gel in my hair but I am not opposed to the idea of an all natural gel in my hair.  This stuff felt so good going on my hair that I THINK I've found my new "love"....we'll see.   So here are my series of videos where I show the recipe I used to make my flaxseed gel, how I apply it to my hair, and my end results.  Enjoy and let me know if you have ever tried flaxseed gel and if so, how did it work for you?

Part 1:  How I make flaxseed gel

Part 2:  How I apply flaxseed gel

Part 3:  My Results using Flaxseed gel

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A (Wash) Day in the Life part 2 - detangling and hair talk

Here is part 2 of my "Wash" Day in the Life.  Here I am detangling my hair with the oil from my oil rinse(castor oil) and conditioner.  I am NOT doing the Tightly Curly Method.  I usually would use TC method at this point after I detangle but this day I'm just detangling and letting my curls fall where they may.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

A (Wash) Day in the Life part 1-my cleansing process and product

My new cleanser and my wash process....

I've been looking for a more 'natural' cleanser(in addition to ACV)   because washing with conditioner (co-washing) makes my scalp itch and shampoos are just too drying.  So I've been experimenting with some ayurvedic powders.  I've been using these powders for a while but this time I was trying to make a thicker cleanser b/c I want it to stick to my hair.  The mixtures I was making up were a too thin for my liking and the product would go on a little rough on my hair.  This mixture ended up being still a little too thin for my liking but it was effective in cleaning my hair and my scalp does not itch with these powders.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tips for achieving 5-7 day wash and go

When I first went natural a year ago one of the things that stayed at the top of my wish-list was to have my wash and go last a whole week.  I didn't want to keep having to wet my hair several times in the week, like I had been doing, especially in the winter time.  I was getting my inspiration from blogs and youtube videos and kept running into those naturals who were able to achieve a 5-7 day wash and go and I wanted that for myself.  I was dreaming for the day when it would be a reality in my natural-haired life.
Day 1

Day 1

Well, that day has come.  I didn't realize it when it first happened so I can't tell you the exact day but I do know what I was doing with my hair when it happened.  I was on the Tightly Curly Method challenge.

Now I'm not saying that the TC Method is the only way to get a 7 day wash and go.  Plenty of naturals who don't use TC method have achieved 7 day wash and go but I will say that TC method has been a major key(along with other factors) for my hair in having my wash and go looking good for at least 5 days, most times 7 days.

While I know that not every natural wears wash and gos or cares about how long they last, there are some that do.  It is for those that this post is written.

As I reflected on what it is that I do in my hair care regimen I came up with some definite actions that I feel contribute toward this goal.  I've been doing the following actions just as a part of my regimen and NOT for the sole purpose of achieving a 7 day wash and go; it was just good practice and I saw that these things work for my hair.  I didn't reach this goal overnight. It came with time.  It took almost a year for me to get to this place so don't get discouraged if you try some of these a few times and nothing seems to work.  It takes time and it takes diligence.

Day 2

Day 2

So without further ado, here are some of my tips for achieving a 5-7 day wash and go.

Build/keep moisture at peak level in hair (this will probably take place over time) - What I have observed with my hair,  is that a consistent, weekly regimen/routine of haircare(cleansing/deep condition/detangle/style with conditioner) has been the foundation of how my hair looks, how long my styles last, and most importantly the health of my hair.  It is the moisture that is delivered within the regimen that is the key; that really is (and should be) a natural-haired beauty's "holy grail" ingredient/product....Moisture!  and Moisture=Water!

When I first big chopped I learned early from my reading and researching to listen to my hair.  If it felt dry then it needed to be moisturized and the way to moisturize my hair is to wet it; not just spritz it; fully wet it and that is exactly what I did.  When I first started out my hair would get dry after a few days and I would fully wet my hair in the shower and then apply my leave-in conditioner.  That moisturizing would last another few days until my wash day and I'd do it all over again this time deep conditioning and then applying my leave-in conditioner as my styler.  I did that week after week and whenever my hair felt dry I would fully wet it and condition it...uh, until the wintertime.  Once it got cold I would not/refused to fully wet it mid-week so I would spritz with water and aloe vera juice and do the loc method and I found that my hair held it's moisture very well with this process until my weekly wash day.  

I believe it is the consistent wetting/drenching of my hair with water and the conditioning that takes place afterwards that has contributed to the moisture levels building in my hair week by week and month by month.

Day 3

Day 3

Use the right product(s) to help retain/seal moisture - Now this tip will have to be experimented with to see what products/combination of products work for you hair to help your hair hold on to the moisture that you work so hard to consistently put in.  Some of the products that work for me to help my hair retain it's moisture are silicone-free conditioner, castor oil, shea butter, aloe vera juice.

Product  ph - One aspect of using the right products for my hair involved being cognizant of the ph of the products that I use.  I measure the ph of my homemade concoctions that I use in my hair and adjust the ph to about 4-4.5 for my leave-in conditioner.   Products that have been ph-balanced will aid in laying the cuticles flat on the hair strands.  Flat/closed cuticles will seal moisture within the hair strand and help the hair retain that moisture.  Flat(conditioned) cuticles will enhance curl definition by eliminating frizz and enhancing shine.

Use the right technique(s) to help retain/seal moisture - Again, you will need to experiement and know your hair in order to know which techniques work for you.   The following techniques work for me:
Effective Nighttime Routine - finding the right nighttime routine for the stage of growth your hair is in is important to maintaining your style during the week.  Twisting my hair at night keeps my curls and the ends of my hair preserved and protected during the night.  I've observed that when I began twisting my hair in large, loose twists my hair stayed moisturized. When I untwist in the morning my hair is super soft and still moisturized.  Other options you can try for nighttime routine are pineappling, mini-pineapples(for shorter hair), braiding, banding or doing nothing(for twa).  When my hair was shorter and I did the Tightly Curly method I would not band/braid or twist my hair at night.  I did nothing to my hair except tie a scarf tightly around my curls to hold them in place against my head.  In the morning I would just spritz my curls with my aloe vera spritz to refresh, moisturize and fill my curls out from being in a 'mushed' state throughout the night.
Rewet/Remoisturize/Redefine as needed during the week - another technique I use is spot defining in the morning with water/aloe vera juice/conditioner any curl that is  frizzy and dry. This does not happen every morning but if it's too frizzy for me on any given day then I'll rewet with a little spritz and smooth conditioner on any curl that is dry.  This remoisturizes any dry spots and keeps my curls moisturized and frizz-free.  I don't do my whole head; just individual curls that may need some attention.

Day 4

Day 4
Curl Defining - This is one of THE most important elements of my haircare routine that makes the biggest impact-positive or negative, on how long my curly style lasts, looks and feels.  For my hair, if I don't define my curls the Tightly Curly way my wash and go's do not last 5-7 days-even if all the other factors I've written about in this blog post are in place.  I think that is because the Tightly Curly method (is the only method I know of that) conditions and seals the moisture in each curl.  There are times I smooth conditioner on larger sections of hair and when I do that not all of my hair gets completely conditioned and it shows later on in the week when hard frizz begins to set in, which (to me) is a symptom of dryness/moisture was not sealed.  
Here is a blog post I did on tips for defining and separating curls using the Tightly Curly Method along with a video tutorial here:
Use the right amount of product - Part of defining curls includes using the right amount(enough) conditioner to completely coat and set your curls as they dry so that your curls can retain their shape and moisture.  This will take trial and error for you to know how much your hair needs to be completely conditioned enough to hold it's set for the week.
No hand in hair syndrome - Once curls are defined they need to be allowed to dry/set in that curly state.  Of course us curly girls know that if we touch our curls while they are wet that will cause frizz.  I've had to really discipline myself to not touch my hair while it's drying.  I also practice not playing in my hair too much when it's completely dry and when I untwist each morning because that will frizz my hair out as well.

Day 5

Be willing to accept/embrace some frizz - I've had to realize and accept that my hair will not remain in a super defined state.  I've learned that my hair/style will soften and get fuller (still with good definition) across the week and in this instance the frizz gives it some 'character'; making it more fro-like,  I'm learning to appreciate it, embrace it and work with it when it comes.  I've also fallen in love with my curly fro and using TightlyCurly method and twisting my hair at night gives me some semblance of a curly fro that is now my go-to style. 

Time - I am one of those naturals who is of the belief, based on experience with my own hair, that hair can be trained.  It can be trained to curl, it can be trained to not curl.  If you are consistent with curl defining and moisturization efforts, your hair will, in time, become accustomed to popping into it's naturally curly pattern with little to no effort.

Day 6

Day 6

Day 6

Tend to your scalp -  I've begun to stop ignoring my scalp and give it some love too.  I give myself scalp massages with a little mixture of olive oil/black castor oil/peppermint oil. Massaging my scalp  keeps it from itching and becoming sore.  It stimulates the circulation of blood and nourishment to the follicles which will deliver the sebum to the hair strands that keeps the hair strands (the roots, at least) from drying out or breaking.  Nourished follicles will also keep hair healthy and growing.

Day 7 - frizz fest - wash day!

Day 7

Well this concludes my list of tips on how I achieve/maintain a wash and go for 5-7 days.  I pray this was helpful to you and if so just drop me a line in the comments letting me know.

Thanks for reading!



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