Posts Categorized: Hair Updates

August 16, 2013

I Got This | Hair Color Take 2

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It feels like a good minute since I updated you guys on my recent trials with coloring Fro. It’s been two weeks, and if you look closely, just a bit has changed. Did I mention that I was determined to get this color thing down? Well, the initial hurdle in trying to get this color thing right was having zero access to the Shea Moisture Color System. My local Target, which I would marry if I could (no, seriously – the curly girl aisle is some kind of MECCA) does not carry the line as of yet.

A small setback, but as a backup plan (we all have one, don’t we?!) I’ve had my eye on the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme in Dark Reddish Brown. I loved the avocado, olive & shea oils that come in each application. Not to mention it has a non-drip formula, making it tons easier for those like me with clumsy intentions to apply it clean sans mess.

As for the color? Well, it took – but just barely. I kept the mix in for 1 full hour (they also suggest a 30min lapse), and decided FRO was just going to have to deal. My hair does what it does, and when it comes to color, it can be stubborn. Oddly enough, I have naturally dark brown hair which quietly led me to believe this whole process would be less frustrating. Eh…

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This second go-round I definitely see color! Bonus? No more standing in the light to get a glimpse of my hard work. Granted it is subtle (strong emphasis on sub-tle) – which is fine, turns out it’s just the right kind of change I needed without the heavy commitment.

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So how does my hair feel after two trials of hair color in 30 days? I’ve been extremely diligent in deep conditioning after each application, which I dare say has made such a world of difference. FRO feels just as healthy post-hair color.  Both times I did reach for Subtil Elixir Intense Nutrition Shine Oil by Phyto for added conditioning benefits. Here’s a quick hi-jack description from Sephora:

This fine, lightweight, and easy-to-rinse oil effortlessly penetrates into each strand bringing damaged, dehydrated hair back to life. The formula restructures ultradry hair while leaving a discreet fragrance of banana leaf, passion flower, gardenia, and exotic musk notes. Hair feels immediately replenished and its original softness and shine are restored.

I’m pretty much a convert, and because of the steep price I’m aiming to use only when strands are in dire need of being restored back to it’s fighting glory.

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I ended up buying two boxes of the Garnier Nutrisse color, only ended up using one (ha!), but would probably head to a salon to refresh the color and brighten it up a bit.

oh! & thanks, guys for sharing your coloring stories! Truly helped to know we are all on the same boat!

August 1, 2013

NEW Shea Moisture Color System (this is so not a review)

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A few weeks ago while in New Orleans for the ESSENCE Festival, a few colleagues and I stumbled into one of many pop-up stores that had made their way down to the Big Easy to mingle with customers. So when I realized we’d come across the Shea Moisture store, I hightailed it inside to scout some discounts and peruse the barrage of goodies!

I can subtly feel myself getting longwinded, so if you’re ready like me to cut to the chase? – a woman took home a box of the new Shea Moisture Color System (at $10 bucks a pop!), grew giddy with excitement over the mere idea of colored curls for the summer, only to come home from a loooooong working trip, have gracious neighbor (hi neighbor!) color her curls deep into the midnight hours, only to wake up on a crisp Monday (yes, I had work that day) morning to find that, the color? Did not take. Better yet, it failed miserably to hold hands with any of my strands and brighten up my days.

(Sorry, this is not a review)

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I guess you can say I’m a bit salty, though not at the new line itself. Like any good beauty writer/product junkie would do, I scoured the internets for reviews & tidbits of info on the new system. I found tons, and gorged my little eyes on many before committing to the idea of hair color again.

So what happened? Well, here’s what went wrong (and feel free to take notes as to what NOT to do when coloring your natural hair).

1.  Access how much color your will need, particularly if you’re choosing to color at home. It certainly does help to gauge (and not be cheap) how many boxes of color you will need to cover your entire head. Got shrinkage? Your hair just may need 2-3 boxes of hair color. Trust. ME. Think honestly about  a) the length of your hair & b) the thickness of it to absorb the color.

2. Do a Test Strand. Common sense, no? Well. I did not do this. I have colored FRO in the past, and knew that she took quite well to color. But after leaving the Shea Moisture Color System in my hair for 45min-1hr (I do not recommend that you do this. In fact, try to ignore that I just wrote that) my gracious neighbor laid it out for me. It ain’t working. For reference, you should typically leave color in your hair only up to 30 min.

Overall, not a complete bomb, Okay yeah, no it was. But over the past few days I’ve been fishing for compliments about my “new hair color,” only to be asked to, “stand in the light,” also known as. Girl, you need a do-over.

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Which is what I intend to do. No, this is not a review – but a heeeeed that I am still a woman with a plan & the summer days have still to be played.

Wait, so what did I like about the new Shea Moisture Color System? Well, here’s what you get!

Color Creame/Developer Creme/Latex Gloves/Applicator Brush/Raw Shea Retention Shampoo (trial size)/Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner (trial size)/Raw Shea Reconstructive Elixer

I really do love how it’s a complete kit with the inclusion of the Shea Moisture Shampoo/Conditioner lines. But needless to say ( I would hope), all hair types, textures, lengths, densities are NOT the same, therefore many of us are quite liable to have results that range quite a bit from success to subpar results. Either way, I’m quite proud at the attempt.

Have you guys tried the new line? Thoughts? Longwinded or not…

July 9, 2013

On The Move

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I’ve  been trapped in a moment over the past few weeks where the constant question asked of friends & coworkers is – “what day is it?”

This past weekend I flew to New Orleans to take part in the 2013 ESSENCE Festival and while it was pretty much the most inspiring place you can be each year – surrounded by the empowering spirit of thousands upon thousands of African American women – I’m beyond exhausted. I’m talking physically & mentally.

So a woman is currently in the arms of her parent’s humble home, noshing on the luxury of home cooked meals and hugs…hugs…and fights over the remote. Good. Times.

Above is the only shot I could post relative to how awesome this year’s ESSENCE Festival was (2nd row y’all!!). Were any of you there? I have more pics to share & will do so upon my return to my little nook in BK, soon come.

While in the NOLA, I also picked up a box of the new Shea Moisture Hair Color System (now available at select Targets) at their pop-up store & am making plans. The 2nd half of this summer is looking oh so bright.

In the meantime, hope you lovelies are enjoying these summer days! Always make them count…

May 19, 2013

Back in the Chair: The Salon Experience for Naturals

Evolution - The Green Room Salon

I’ve always been one to take my salon experience seriously. Blame it on this inherent fear of leaving your precious locks in the hands of the unknown, but a small itch of trepidation always tends to creep up from the moment a call is made for that first appointment, to the actual walk into the salon. And sadly, since going natural, the fear has only increased.

Certain I couldn’t be the only one with this irrational fear, I took to absolving this mess by actually facing my fear. So in the June issue of ESSENCE Magazine, I share important tips on what to look for when searching for a natural hair salon & stylist – but here are my top 2!

Tip #1: Do your research: It’s definitely fine to settle on the first salon that peeks your interest, but if you have a bit more time on your hands, do your curls a favor: shop around & ask around. I made half a dozen calls before committing to Evolution The Green Room Salon here in Brooklyn, NY. The deciding factor? The Evolution Green Styling Movement, a discount service that allows you to fully wash/condition your hair at home – then come in for expert styling for half the cost. Such a great idea for those short on time, and who simply love washing & conditioning at home with their own stash of goodies! #Win.

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Tip #2: Ask Questions! I don’t normally turn into a chatty cathy once my but hits the chair, but it’s SOOOO important to know what the heck awaits you and your curls. I tend to survey the salon, take stock of the quality and types of products they use on their clients (this tells me if they’re market savvy), the types of flat irons/blow dryers being used (quality in this case counts, especially if you’re flat-ironing. YOU MUST KNOW HOW MUCH HEAT YOUR HAIR CAN TAKE). This need not be a covert operation, but take heeeeed. Or, just be smart about your $$. Price is often a deterring factor of new naturals (believe me, I”m still one of them), but please know this – nothing beats the skill set of a professional when it comes to the big stuff. Ask questions, so that you know your options!

The Results?

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To prep FRO for her the blow-out/flatiron leading up to her trim, I deep conditioned with my absolute fav new DC, Camille Rose Naturals Algae Deep Conditioner, then headed to the salon for a quick blow dry & trim. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results (which have lasted me 2 weeks!!). It’ll be a good long while before I straighten again (I seriously, ached for my curls!!), but it was a nice reprieve not to have to worry about moisturizing each night/morning, or the nightly routine.

This weekend begins the process of going back to curly, and really back to me. I’ve got a line-up of pre-poos and clarifying cleansers to get FRO to fighting status for the Summer, all of which I’ll share this week!

May 17, 2013

Chai’s Length Check + Trim Results

The photo program I use to hoard and process all pictures for this blog has been giving me the finger for the past week or so, therefore I hunkered down and did my best to bring you guys a video showing the latest trim results + length check.

The basics of what I’ve been using to keep the frizz at bay pretty much came down to the bare basics:

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil – Used in the morning to smooth away frizz, and that is pretty much it. I find that the more product usage, the less chance you’ll be able to style your hair they way you love, for a longer period of time. The less is more definitely does apply if you’re planning to rock your curls straight.

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If you guys have any questions on where I got my trim, or heat damage related questions, I’ll be addressing those in another post, along with pics!

May 7, 2013

Sneak Peak: FroLush

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I began writing a post on Fro’s latest adventures complete with an obnoxious array of hair pics from every.which.angle. But, alas. iPhoto has called my bluff and refuses to bow down. Therefore, the interim spin will have to be this quick pic I took on instagram along with a the one single shot I managed to retrieve from my files over at the FB page.

It’s been real for a minute. Happy for the ragged ends to be gone (3 inches, whew!), but not quite used to wearing the straight do. Complete post on new regimen, must have products to fight the frizz, and the play by play in the salon chair experience. In the meantime, new name for Fro? yay…nay?