Friday, May 28, 2010

Hairstyles: Flat Twisted Twists Up-Do





This hairstyle was inspired by Mahogany Bella from MahoganyKnots that she wore in a recent vid of their's. I put my twist, pun intended, on it and wore this style to a dinner/meeting at Chef Yu (on 36th and 8th in Manhattan- good food and they have a slew of delish $4 drinks during Happy Hour!) with my fellow EXUDE magazine (our premiere issue comes out next month!) editors.

How I Created It

It appeared that her bang was the result of either a twist out, bantu knot out, or maybe even a flexi rod set. I couldn't see the back of her head much but when she turned to the side at different points in the vid, it looked like she flat twisted the back maybe; you could also just pin it up.

I did this style on (a couple of days) old hair that had been stretched (via braiding it nightly). I two-strand twisted my hair into medium sized twists using my homemade shea aloe cream. I made the twists on the front right side smaller for a bang. I was going to take the twists out but decided against it and just left them in. From there, I gathered the back of my hair/twists into three flat twists. They're not that great but I'll keep practicing. Lol. I then added a hair flower that I made to top off the look. :D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hairstyles with EZ Combs


I created this style on a whim. I luv when when this happens because these are usually the dopest styles compared to the ones you planned out (and come out a H.A.M, right?). I did this on hair that was moisturized (with my Shea Moisture Conditioning Milk, of course. Luv that stuff for my hair!) and stretched via a braid out. (You'll see, if you haven't caught on already, that this is the main way I stretch my hair.) You could do this on a twist out, curly fro or bantu knot out too. I used an EZ Comb to pull back the front for a half up, half down look. My bangs are still short some, so I just used a bobby pin to pin down the straggling pieces in the front. Viola!



I found this knock off EZ Comb at one of my local beauty supply stores for 99 cents. I have two of the "official" ones that I got from Walgreens in a 2 pack for $10, before I knew they were selling knock offs at the BSS. Lmao. If you want high quality ones that come in a varitey of sizes, then check out HairZings.

Then I got the idea to pin the ends under for a bun look. I really liked this. #protectivestyle



I know some of you are edges/baby hair freaks. I am not. Lol. So use a lil gel, if that's your thing, to get your sides sleeker. I wasn't going anywhere special but if I wanted to rock this for a dressier occassion maybe then I slick the sides some with AfroVeda PUR Whipped Hair Gelly.

So there ya have it: two simple and chic styles that are oh so easy to create. Either look can be worn with a professional work, formal or casual look. It took me no more than 10 minutes to create these styles.


BONUS: Here's a sneak peak of a new style I'm working on for the shop. This style is called "Origami Fabric Earrings". Be on the look out for styles like these sometime next month.



Next up: The Makeup Show highlights. Yes, I made it there this year!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Hair: Shea Moisture Conditioning Milk for my Leave In Too


Since the winter, I've been on the prowl for the best leave in and/or leave in combination for my hair. Coming out of the winter, I couldn't find a balance. My hair either (air) dried dry and crunchy or soft and greasy. Once spring hit, you all remember, I started using the Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner (not too long ago) as my leave in. It's a good product but I just was feeling "eh" about it after a while and like there was something out there that could do a little better.



I think I finally found my staple leave in and it's what I moisturize my hair with daily: my Shea Moisture Conditioning Milk. Why didn't I think of this sooner? I don't know but I'm glad that I finally figured it out. I tried it out as leave in on my hair recently and instantly fell in pure adoration with the results. My hair (air) dried super soft, felt really moisturized, and wasn't greasy one bit. I'm sold. I luv when I can get multiple uses out of one product. It makes things simpler and is one less product I have to be concerned with. (As for the rest of my Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner, I plan to either use it up as a reg conditioner or I'll give it away to someone. Email me if you're interested. The only thing I'd charge for is to ship it.)

My hair responds so well to this moisturizer. Yay! So yeah, if you have a hair lotion you moisturize your hair with on a frequent basis, try it as a leave in. It may work well for you if you haven't found a leave in conditioner that you care for.

Back to Henna Glosses


I'm back to henna glosses as opposed to full henna treatments.

What's the reason? The full henna treatments were making my hair too thick. I always wanted thick hair and after doing full henna treatments, I finally got what I wished for and realized that I don't want it afterall. Lol. I have a waaaay better understanding of what you thicker haired ladies are talking about now. My hat truly goes off to you! I still have lots of luv for thick hair but I now appreciate and fully accept my medium density hair. It is just fine by me.


I did a henna gloss recently using the following recipe:

* 2 Tbsp (Nupur-my favorite!) Henna
* 2 Cups (Suave Almond and Shea Butter) Conditioner
* 1 Tsp Oil (it's a homemade oil cocktail I'm using up so I can make an even better one)
* Quick squirt of Honey

I applied it to freshly conditioned and washed, damp hair in sections, covered with a plastic conditioning cap, and sat under the dryer for around 20-30 mins (to speed things up-I hate leaving conditioner or treatments on forever.). From there, I just rinsed it out, lathered with my shampoo once to make sure it was all out, and continued on with my usual airdrying routine.

Note. I don't plan to use conditioner in the future. I just needed to use up the Suave Almond and Shea Butter conditoiner. My future glosses will use yogurt or aloe vera gel instead.
Nothing else has changed as far as how often I henna (1-2 months) just that the treatments are back to glosses which are much lighter but you still receive all the benefits minus the super thickening.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interview Hair


I had an interview recently (pray that I secure a job soon!). I had planned to do a different hairstyle that I saw Mahogany Bella of Mahogany Knots rocking in a vid but was suffering some serious (monthly) cramping the day before and just didn't have the energy to prep my hair for it. I came up with this super easy style instead. All it is is a simple bun (put hair in a ponytail and pinned the ends under) in the back with a hump in the front (I put the front section into one big two strand twist and then pinned it back to achieve the hump) and it took me less than 10 minutes to complete. #score



I'm really on this kick, people. Afro textured hair care shouldn't be time consuming (if we don't want it to be) or complicated. Our hair is just as gorgeous and simple to maintain and style too. The key is working with our hair's texture/s and not trying to make it something its not. Besides, hair is dead (once it leaves your follicle/pushes through the scalp). It shouldn't take much to keep it looking good. Less is more!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Please Note. Butters and Oils are NOT Moisturizing


I hear too many ladies saying that different butters and oils are moisturizing and they are not. For a product to be moisturizing, it MUST contain water (as the first ingredient) in it. Oils and butters are emollients that lubricate your hair which makes it pliable so that it's less prone to break with manipulation, protect your hair from daily "wear and tear" and help keep moisture in your hair longer (than if you didn't seal your hair with them).

Yes, there are a few oils like coconut oil that are able to penetrate the hair shaft buuuut they still do not moisturize. Remember, only water can do that. Jc, over at The Natural Haven, has excellent post on this where she shares that while some oils are capable of penetrating the hair shaft, it's not a significant amount that gets in. This means most of it stays on the surface. Nothing can take the place of water!


You Need More Than Just Water Though.....

Now, we should all be on the same page, right? Only water can moisturize. Some may then come to the conclusion that we should just be able to moisturize with water alone then. Not quite, kurly grasshoppa. Another one of Jc's posts explains, as easily as water can enter our hair, it can exit it just as easily too leaving you with dry hair. This is why sealing our hair with an oil and/or butter is important especially when it comes to afro textured, kinky-kurly hair. It helps to keep the water/moisture in your hair for a longer period of time (than if you sealed with nothing); slowing down how fast water/moisture would normally leave your hair. There are products like hair lotions/milks, leave conditioners, and hair creams that have both water (as the first ingredient) and oil/s in them. I consider these products moisturizing and depending on your hair's needs, it may not be necessary to add an oil or butter over top.

So, let's stop saying oils and butters are moisturizing, ok? Let's also remember that water isn't moisturizing on its own either. They both work together to comprise the moisturizing process. "United they stand, devided they fall." Lol.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Accessories That Can Mac: Haute Hair Sticks

I'm digging these hair sticks from the Etsy shop, Purple Moon Designs. I wouldn't mind having them in my life.




You can do various hairstyles with these, especially all kinds of bun hairstyles that mwedzi rocks.

Red Palm Oil Was a No


Remember when I was telling you guys I had got some red palm oil to try out earlier this month? I was so excited to try it and it was a #fail.

Why it was a no: It stains orange. The color of the oil is a red-orange but I thought it would go on clear. Nope. You must be very careful not to make a mess. Luckily, I didn't get any on anything major though b/c I have a feeling that you might not be able to remove the stains from clothing and such.

I thought I rinsed out the oil really well but apparently I didn't so I woke up to greasy hair that was making my fingers orange (and anything else it had come into contact with) to the touch. I tried blotting a lot of it out with a paper towel and then after realizing there was no saving it, I decided it was best to just wash my hair all over again. #ugh

I wanted to make sure this time I got it all out so I went out and bought a (cheapie) clarifying shampoo by VO5. I purposely wanted to "strip" my hair of the oil, everything, and just start over with a clean slate. So that's what I did and after 2 lathers, I successfully clarified my hair. (I must say, my hair didn't get dried out from this shampoo and now it feels extra light and fluffier. Nice.)

I have no regrets. I got to try it and now that desire has been satisfied. #ontothenextone

But now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of this oil! Lol. It's used in various African cuisine so I guess I'll be looking up some recipes so I can use it up that way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The First Five Ingredients in Hair Care Products Are Crucial


My girl, Jc of The Natural Haven (one of my favorite hair blogs) has a great post up helping you develop a more discerning eye for ingredients in some of your hair care products like your shampoos and conditioners:

"-The first five ingredients are all you need to know for three products: shampoos, hair conditioners and leave in conditioners. The water content of these varies according to manufacturer but generally ranges between 50 and 80 % of the the total weight (Cosmetic and Toiletry Formulations by E.Flick)

Lesson from Product labelling - The Law: If you have purchased a shampoo or hair conditioner and the ingredient listing did not start with water, you should be suspicious and should check with the company if the list is accurate. "

Read the rest of her article HERE

Shiny Nails Sans Nail Polish


I'm not a nail polish kinda woman but I still like my nails to be neat and manicured. I use a 4-Sided Buffing Block to give my nails a polished and naturally glossy finish. I've been using buffing blocks for years and when used consistently (once a week for me), my nails stay smooth and with a healthy shine to them.




The sides on the block are numbered so you know in what order to do all the steps. Once you've done all 4 steps, you can stop there and be finished. I take it one step further and rub a lil oil of choice (grapeseed these days) into my nail beds for a lil more shine and "conditioning" and then apply a moisturizing lotion to my hands.



Super easy and produces results. You can get a buffer block at your local drugstores for under $3. If you try putting the oil on your nails like I do, you can use whatever oil you have on hand. EVOO's a cheap oil that delivers and most have this in their kitchen. I could also see how coconut oil would give the nails a nice shine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Goody Spin Pins are Kinky Kurly Friendly


Found out about these on one of my favorite black hair care forums: LHCF

They looked really cool and after some naturals chimed in on the thread saying it didn't get tangled in their kinks, koils n kurls; then I was really down to try them. I went to my local Wal-Mart for $6. You get 2 in the pack.




The spin pin is supposed to do the job of "20 bobby pins".  I don't know about 20 but it definitely does the job of multiple bobby pins. Like the kinky kurly posters stated, they also did not get caught or tangled in my hair. #score They're super easy to use; just like the name suggests, you "spin"/twist them in. Turn them clockwise to insert into hair and twist counter clockwise when taking them out.




I only used 2 spin pins and the bun was secure, a loose bun, but secure none the less.

Learn more about the Spin Pin and they're other latest accessories at GoodySimpleStyles.com

I Have Enough Hair to Do Buns


My hair continues to grow and grow. It's really starting to get longer (yippeeeeee!) and I finally have enough hair to start rocking buns again. Back in my relaxed days, buns were some of my favorite hairstyles. I like them even more now because they have more texture to them. I luv textured up-dos. :D


I did this bun with about 4 bobby pins to keep the end tucked under. My hair definitely retains more moisture in these kinds of styles.


How I Do Mine

I did the buns pictured on dry, stretched hair.

My hair was freshly conditioned and washed. I air dried in braids using Giovanni Smooth as Silk conditioner and (seal with) homemade shealoe cream. I moisturized each braided section again with the SMCM (Shea Moisture Conditioning Milk) the next day, comb each section out, and gather my hair into a small bun securing with bobby pins usually.

Every night, I take the bun down and re-braid my hair in sections or braid in two french braids. Whether I take the bun down or not at night, I always moisturize and re-bun in the morning.

I luv it. Buns are always chic and you can jazz them up with a plethora of different accessories. You all know I luv big earrings and since summer's right around the corner, I luv rocking hair flowers.

I used two Spin Pins by Goody to create this bun below. A post on these are coming up. The spin pins are awesome and didn't get caught or tangled up in my hair. These pins create a LOOSE bun. Keep that in mind. My bun was secure enough though only using two.


I made the hair flower in this pic. Wanna learn how to make your own? They're super easy and fun to make. Check out my creative blog for instructions. If the instructions aren't there yet, I haven't put the post up just yet. It will be there though!


Overall, I like buns as a protective style when I'm not in twists (missing my hair terribly) bc I still get to feel my hair "out" if that makes any sense. I hate "putting my hair away" for long periods of time. Many kinky kurlies may beg to differ, but you all know how I do. Lol. With buns I have the flexibility that if I want to rock them all week, I can and if I choose to alternate between bunning and wearing my hair out, I can do that too. Cheers to finding what works for you. Gosh it makes you so much happier and carefree.

More bun and up-do styles to come.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trying Out Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo


After watching one of Kimmaytube's video about pH, I decided to cease use of my castile soap mix (at a pH level of 10, it would take way more water than I was using to dilute it for use on my hair) and go back to a commercial shampoo that's natural and eco-friendly. I went and bought Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle shampoo for $4 to try out.



It has the same minty smell as the conditioner (which I've used in the past and still do occassionally and like) and left my scalp feeling tingly. I have this thing that if my scalp is tingling, then a product has really "done something". I don't know. Lol. Psychologically, I feel my scalp is then fresh and clean. The peppermint oil and tea tree oil in it gives it this effect that I luv.

This shampoo didn't dry my hair out or make it feel "stripped" like some online reviewers had experienced. I don't know if that's because I condition my hair before I wash it or not but I didn't experience any drying what so ever. My hair felt thoroughly clean but and my scalp wasn't stripped of its sebum. My scalp and hair felt great afterward and for only $4, I'm not complaining one bit. I may keep it around.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying the day and celebrating mothers everywhere. :D

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Educated Purchasing: Research Your Hair Care Product Ingredients


Check out this vid by MahoganyKnots below.



I couldn't agree more with the points she brought forth. You must educate yourself when purchasing your hair care products (Really, this relates to any type of products you spend your money on.). I don't know how many times I've checked out ingredients of products that claimed it was a certain type of product and didn't even contain the ingredient/s that would make it so. They know that most consumers don't read the ingredients list let alone research them and how they may affect us.

You also have to be careful with these "natural" and/or "organic" products. There still aren't a lot of regulations on what is deemed "organic" so some companies have gotten slick by adding a few "organic" ingredients to their products and toting it as an organic product when it isn't, it just has some organic ingredients. Some, for example, may be paraben free but they substitute it with another that is just as harmful. You must do your homework; you can't trust these companies and manufacturers to have your best interest in mind.


Check out their site as well: http://www.mahoganyknots.com/

Friday, May 7, 2010

Updates on the Oil Cleansing Method


Ladies, I wanted to give a quick tip about the OCM. I've found that you don't have to use the castor oil/EVOO (or sunflower seed oil) blend that http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ recommends to receive the great results.

Try whatever oil you like till you get the best results.

I shared with you all in another post that I now use grapeseed oil for this method and I receive nothing less than stellar results. This oil makes my face feel waaaay better, smoother and softer than castor oil and EVOO blend did.

So experiment. I could see how coconut oil would be a good one. Tracey from KISS Network uses sweet almond oil with great results (she even got her hubby to start doing it. Lol.). Or try a diff blend like oilicoco (EVOO and coconut) oil or avococo (avocado and coconut) oil for example.

This method can benefit all skin types and save you so much money and time in your skin care routine. Happy oil cleansing!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kurly Girl Directory: Pretty Natural Divas


If you've been following my blog for a while, then you remember when I used to do these. I'm always finding great sites and blogs for naturals and need to do these kinds of posts more frequently like I used to.

I'd like to take some time to encourage you guys to stop by (and follow) Pretty Natural Divas

They're an awesome blog/site created and run by two college kurlies, Jameka and Sierra. If you're into cool graphic t-shirts, then you will adore their shop that is stocked with kinky kurly inspired t-shirts. They were so kind to let me pick a t-shirt from their shop. Thanks ladies!


Me, being the "crafty" spirit that I am, decided since it's warm out to turn this bad boy into a tank top.

To see how the original t-shirt looked, click here

I def feel like a "pretty natural diva" in it. :D

Check them out: PrettyNaturalDivas.com
They're also on Twitter: PNDESTORE

Learn Your Hair Texture with the LOIS System


I did a post on this last year but I found this vid below that explains the system so well. I'm not a huge fan of Andre Walker's system b/c I feel it's too broad and merely classifies the hair pattern and that's it. It really doesn't get down to the different characteristics of people's hair. In my opinion, the other properties of your hair's texture are way more important because they better help you in selecting hairstyles and products and how to care for and handle your hair. I just found LaBellaNatural and am luvin her channel and her hair.

Check out the detailed vid she did on the LOIS System.




After watching this vid, I'm kinda confused about if my texture is spongy or cottony. Lol. I used to swear by it being spongy but when she started talking about some of the other qualities of spongy hair, now I'm not so sure. I'm still sure of everything else: Daughter O(S), medium density, and fine-medium strands. My hair does get frizzy in the front, top of my head and sides but it luvs and readily absorbs water so that's why I'm like hmm..... Maybe I'm a mix of both spongy and cottony hair? I dunno. Lol.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Twists and Cornrows Up-Do


I'm determined to get good at cornrowing this summer. I understand how to cornrow but just need to work on perfecting my technique. I was playing around the other day as part of my practice to master it and came up with the hairstyle below.



HOW I ACHIEVED THE LOOK

This style started out as me wanting to braid it into a fro-hawk and have fun manipulating the loose hair different ways like twists, twist out, braid out, flexi rod set. I wanted to cornrow the sides straight back but had some difficulty so I just braided the sides going down instead. Then, I decided it would look cute if I twisted the loose hair in the front so I used my shealoe cream and tiny twisted the front and (moisturized with my SMCHM aka Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus (Curl & Style) Milk) pinned the rest up. That's it. I'm all about simple and chic hairstyles. Cornrow experts, I know you all could freak this style idea.

Left Side

I started on the right side so those braids aren't as nice. By the time I got to the left side, I was more "warmed up" so they came out a little better looking.

The cornrows are decent enough. If they were good like the pros, I could leave them in for up to 2 weeks. I will keep practicing. They're so fuzzy. How do I get them to look neater and not to look fuzzy? Do I need to use gel or something else to avoid this? Cornrow wizzes, please share tips!

Right Side- See how it not as nice as the left side?

New Hair Album


Hey Kurlies. Due to having constant problems with Fotki (the site continuously keeps trying to give my comp viruses. Thank goodness for McAfee!), I'm continuing my hair journey album over at PhotoBucket.

I am still leaving my fotki album up, I just won't be updating it anymore. This new hair album will have pics of my journey from the beginning of this year and on. I will also update the link to my photo album on the side for reference.

Check out my 2010 journey at: photobucket.com/2010AGrlCanMacHairPics

I plan to update this album more regularly and any hairstyles and hair update pics will be included in here, including my WL Hair Challenge progress pics.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Think I Want a MaxiGlide



I won't be getting it anytime soon while it's warm out. But remember I was telling you all in my plan of action for the WL Hair Challenge that I was interested in possibly wearing my hair straight in the cool/cold months some? I think that it would help my hair in those months and it could stay better moisturized since the sebum could travel down my hair shafts more easily. I've heard great things about this flat iron from many naturals and am considering giving this one a try.


Photo Credits: Here

I'm slowly getting over my "fear" of heat. I'm starting to see if you use it responsibly and don't abuse it/use it (meaning using it minimally and not at ridiculously high temperatures ie pressing, higher heat than necessary for your hair type, etc.), your chances of experiencing heat damage and to extreme degrees decreases tremendously. Notice I didn't say eliminate b/c there's always a chance. I wouldn't be straightening my hair 24/7 though.

No Heat Nazis, I don't want to hear from you all. Lol. Because, I know what risks are involved and the consequences I may suffer; I don't need to be reminded. To the kurlies who use heat responsibly/occassionally, what do you think? Have any of you tried the MaxiGlide flat iron? Is there another brand that you would recommend better?

Please weigh in!

Addition: I'm still on fence about purchasing one. If I were to buy this one or any other flat iron, I would only use it 2 times a year which, in some ways, makes me think I should just stick to rollersetting and silk wrapping (via airdrying (which takes forever the longer my hair gets) or indirect heat: hooded dryer ) my hair to straighten it. Lol. I don't know yet, ladies. We'll see what verdict I've come up with come the fall. Until then, let's enjoy summer!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Product Review: Goody Ouchless Gentle Flex Comb vs Goody Ouchless (Shower) Comb

Oh my little, tempermental at times, hair. Remember back when I was expressing my undying luv of the rake comb? My hair continues to evolve and now it no longer cares for the rake comb when it comes to detangling/combing wet hair. I came across two Goody detangling combs. Both combs cost about $3-$4 each and can be found at drugstores, Walmart, Target, etc.




MY THOUGHTS

I like the Gentle Flex one better. The teeth are wider spaced apart than the shower one and flex/move more as I comb thru my hair. Both have a "comfort flex spine" which makes it so the teeth flex instead of staying stationary so when combing it through it reduces any snagging of my koils and kurls.

Both combs have seams but they are very small in my opinion. They don't pertrude out as much as the prominent ones on my rake comb. Smaller seams means it will wear on your hair less as you use it over time; so that's less damage to the cuticle.

From all these factors and observations, I in turn experienced less comb induced breakage than usual. I have no problem with that. Ladies, if you see these combs just be cognizant that they are not exactly the same. The shower comb's teeth are not a spread out as.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.