Posts Categorized: Hair Updates

June 16, 2010

Wash-n-go Maintenance

So the love/hate relationship I’ve developed over the years with the wash-n-go routine has everything to do with the actual longevity of the style as opposed to the application/styling process itself. Contrary to the diatribes I typically post each week outlining the in’s and outs of The Process, having a no fuss, stressless week with Fro is ALWAYS the ultimate goal. I wash/style the hair until my heart’s content, and immediately set my mind at rest. The absolute most styling that takes place during the week is nightly moisturizing which I find absolutely essential in reaching 7-day hair.

Wash-n-go’s are relatively easy once you find the right products and routine for your hair texture, yet with relative ease comes a shortened hair span if proper care is not followed. Because the late Spring/early Summer weather is a bit forgiving as far as humidity, 7-day hair has finally been possible here on the North East Coast.

Because my hair is thick/coarse, it takes a significant longer period of time to dry once product is applied. Though before heading to bed after doing a wash-n-go, I strive to have 100% dry hair to help prevent frizz in the a.m., and to help prolong the style.  Rather than place the hair in either two pony puffs or two-strand twist nightly, I don a plastic cap (usually a conditioning cap), and follow up w/a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase.

Before covering the hair for the night, and after making sure hair is 100% dry, I apply a generous amount of coconut oil. I’m generous because this will be the ONLY time I add oil to the hair for the week. Keeping in mind that oil does not ‘moisturize’ the hair, rather it seals and protects your strands, in the morning my newly styled wash-n-go is intact. To revive the style, I simply shake & go! No Fuss.

I opt to use a light oil to help seal at night, and have been turning to Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. Compared to the old brand I began using a few years ago, the Tropical Traditions has a very distinct aroma that can only be described as… fresh! The coconut smell is fragrant while not overpowering, making it a special treat to use. I’ve been using the Coconut Cream Concentrate over the past year for in between/last minute deep conditioners, and was able to incorporate the oil into my regime over the past two months using it primarily to seal & nourish the ends of my hair. Aside from the good quality, sales abound from this brand so regularly, it’s crazy not to take advantage! Right now you can save with their Buy 1 Get 1 FREE sale (32oz jar) that ends June 17, or sign up for e-mail updates where bargains are always found.

By day 3-4, the hair has noticeably expanded in shape, with about 50% shrinkage, and it becomes an extra fight to help retain moisture if I’ve previously shingled with a gel. To help guide me to the 7th day, I rely on nothing more than water to help reactivate the gel (in the a.m. only) and at night, apply a VERY light hair dress/cream. These days I use Fleurtzy’s Curls Nurture Cream, alternately with Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Cream.

These are all simple steps that I diligently take to each time I try my hand at a wash-n-go, and 98% of the time yield pretty amazing results. This week I find myself in the oddly oppressive humid temperatures of Florida weather, and fighting the good fight. No matter the amount of ‘right’ product, or long term conditioner, my hair will swell two-fold in any humid climate, absorbing more water from the air that it is actually willing to handle. While I could easily land on 7-day hair if I continue to moisturize nightly, I’d be a certified FOOL not to ga head and dunk my head in a bucket of water!

It.IS.HOT!!!

*products mentioned in this post were sent over for potential review. Disclosure Policy can be found here
June 4, 2010

What Would Alice Do…

“for in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged”

It’s been a short week that at times has felt long and listless due to the obscenely beautiful warm canoodling weather.  I ain’t complainin…just accessing.

Things to share in the coming week do include my long lost beau, wash-n-go. Who knew that with appropriate care, the right shaped cut & functioning realism that I can rock it for a FULL week with my head held high…Fro intact. I’m tweaking a hair remedy that involves the right leave-in coupled with a new gel that I’ve been playing around some, to come up with the right blend.  So far…it’s working rather well!!

I’m embracing the shorter do this week but also noticing a shift in my attitude. Slightly less devoted to making sure Fro ‘behaves’ in front of others. I think she’s through pretending to fit in. Good for both of us…eh.

Side Bar: I know this natural hair ‘journey’ has it’s patches of green & dirt &  rough & more uncertainty than most of us are ever willing to admit. But, I do hope the majority of us are finding through the muck…a sense of understanding of ourselves…others. Love…acceptance…tolerance. Love.

Truthfully….

This is not a lesson for JUST natural haired femmes. Read: I have MOSTLY relaxed haired friends and MANY others of whatever ‘race’ floats ur boat, that I ACCEPT unconditionally because they are self-defined.<—that’s MAJA!

I define me. My hair. My Life. Going natural did not teach me these lessons, but it has certainly highlighted these points, and I sincerely hope we can ALL share in our own personal understanding rather than continuing to cling to one perpetually boring/tired ideal.

*dusts off soap box*

I hope this wasn’t entirely too cryptic for some, but wishes everyone  a fantabulous weekend!

via BITS

May 31, 2010

A Cut Above…

How was your weekend? Hopefully lovely, warmth filled and memorable. Much like most of the female breathing population, I stampeded into a screening of Sex And The City part deux this past weekend, lunched & dinned with friends, shared good times with much overdue laundry and chocolate cupcakes, endured another year of the beauty that is the BAM street festival here in BK, and finally said the goodbyes to straggly damaged ends.

A trim that lapsed into a lovely shaped coif, yes? I like. It’s hot (literally), and this.makes.me.HAPPY! I do think my hair growth surprised even my accomplice in the snip snip session. Heck, it surprised me!  While my hair had indeed grown in inches, my shrinkage had also increased, in some ways masking the amount of growth I’d accumulated over the months. Shrinkage is a fascinating thing isn’t it?

While not the best pics to show the new do, this does show my first attempt in a while at a successful wash-n-go before heading out the door to hang with some friends. Success is fun with wash-n-go’s, especially during the warmer months when frankly, all you want anywhere near your head is either water or a pillow. Good to go for the rest of the Summer with this style, and  HUGE thank you to my ‘trim specialist’ for her services;-).

Ultimate goal this trim cycle was to remove the VERY last of my damaged ends from over two years ago….! It’s been tooooo long, and to see the remainder of my heat damaged/color treated ends fall to the floor, filled me with the greatest sense of triumph! My heat damaged escapade was the sole reason that lead me to CARE for my hair instead leaving it in the hands of another…it led me to start this blog!

‘Tis a story for another day, but for now I’m glad to be moving forward and enjoying a new sense of freedom!

May 15, 2010

Twist Up-Keep

Tried hard to prolong the twists into the next week, yet with the increasing warmer temperatures, my scalp doth protest…eh. Good times with my friends this week though, that’s all I could hope for in a protective style. To help preserve the goodness, I’ve been baggying my ends as opposed to my entire head of hair – and still love the results. Below is a pic of day 7 hair.

Taking these down on the same day I intend to put them ‘back up’ is a process I don’t necessarily look forward to, but the perks definitely outweigh the occasional agita. To give the ‘do’ a bit of shine factor before heading out with a few gal friends, I shudged up the ends and the crown using a bit of Hydrating Hair Butter by Fleurtzy. Light & fast penetrating…my hair approved.

To help moisturize the front edges that are normally more prone to dryness, especially as the days in the week wear on, I dabbled in a bit of Curls Nurture Creme. Just a lil bit to tame the dry edges that had turned into dull flyaways, and the roots of my twists instantly perked up. Decided on the updo before heading out!

Tomorrow is wash day and settling in for the long haul for another twisting session. Really thought by now I’d miss my signature twist-out styles, yet have nothing but good hair health results from continuing to twist and let be. Definitely intend to retreat back to larger twists in the coming weeks, but for now still have nothing but love for benefits of versatility!

Hope your weekend is off to a splendid start;-)!!

May 11, 2010

Current Routine

I’ve come a long way baby! And….so has my hair routine, thankfully. Mucho changes in the past year…

::PrePoo::

Had I never heard of the pre-poo treatment a little over a year ago, I would have given the idea the proverbial *side eye* and kept it moving. As a natural haired gal, developing a routine is important, but so is TIME – and yet incorporating a pre-poo treatment over this past year has made the inevitable, sometimes mandatory regular poo cleansing an easier task. My hair is prone to dryness, even during summer months, and pre-paring my strands with a punch of moisture makes it all alright. These days to pre-poo I incorporate a fairly moisturizing conditioner/often mixed w/a few favorite oils. Olive Oil works well, as does Coconut. Pre-poos need not be water based either! Versatility is the bomb, if your hair envies oils – mix together a few favs (shea oil, Almond, coconut).

::Scalp Cleanse::

I used to be a devout for the co-wash method. Still am, yet my scalp does demand a bit more attention which is what it gets each week with a thorough cleansing using a non-sulfate shampoo. Key to the health of my scalp has been adequate cleansing, proper moisture balance, and to avoid unnecessary buildup from overs-usage of products. My picks so far are the tried & true Naked Naturals Shea Butter & Avocado Moisturizing Shampoo, Desert Organics Fragrance Free Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Shampoo, and the occasional Bentonite Clay treatment (neem or marshmallow root powder added) – applied directly to scalp.

::Sectioning::

Where would I BE without my trusty hair clips to separate and put my hair on pause…at least until it’s time to detangle. Not only do I pre-poo & detangle in sections, but I’ve learned to wash in sections as well, a benefit to my hair in helping to prevent knots and further tangles after rinsing. As your natural hair continues to grow, using this technique may be extremely helpful. Check out  The Natural Haven for more tips on washing hair in sections!

::Hair Cleanse::

Er, yeah. Definitely deserves a separate nod from the scalp. I treat both differently, because they inherently have different needs. Glory be to the natural hair free of tangles & knots! I opt to co-wash my strands after the scalp cleanse and using the raking method with new favorite tools…my fingers. Performing this step in the shower yields faster results than if you were to cocoon your body over the sink.

::Baggy::

I’m a convert. Of the Baggy Method! Over the winter, I sought to regain control over the ‘scalp situation’ and stumbled upon the wonderful benefits. Each night I don a plastic cap, either over my ends or the entire head (this depends on the temperature in my room) and secure w/a satin bonnet. This helps significantly w/moisture retention. Baggying after you’ve washed/twisted your hair then heading to bed will always defeat the purpose. Damp hair is NOT the goal, so be sure to test out on ends of the hair before securing the rest.

These are just a few changes in le Process over the past year. Product changes to come

March 13, 2010

Update…

A brief checking in because seriously, these lazy bones have been something ludicrous this past week. Thankfully this thing called Spring Break has landed in my lap, offering up a bit more free me time to relax, relate & release! Even one upped myself by taking off from the ‘ol 9-5 to concentrate on my funnabilties: in essence I’m scheduling that long over due eye-brow threading, girlifying my nails with pretty colors & using up that year long spa gift certificate for a much deserved facial.

This is me excited {{{{YEAH!!!}}}}

Tomorrow is indeed hair day, and protective twisting thus continueth. I love my twists. I’ve missed my twists. These twists are taking up residency on my head for the foreseeable future. Last week was an attempt at chunky twists, which were then worn in up-do fashion for the remainder of the week. Accessories have buddied up with me to make the style look even more lovelier, which in turn has kept me searching for more hair goodies to buy! I’ve hit up upteenth places looking for bargains, and thankfully have come away with many deals. Today, in light of some insanely wet weather out, I took down the chunky twists just to indulge in a bit of Hand in Fro play. To twist, used an old combo of Blended Beauty Happy Nappy Styles under KBB’s Hair Milk, and still have moderately moisturized hair. A bit of frizz snuck in towards the crown but was easily concealed with a few hair clips.

On the hair-to-do list has GOT to be the last of my colored ends. Straggly little things are looking mighty lonely on the ends with no promising future, so me thinks it best to plan a snip-snip session. And soon.

Other things that have kept me preoccupied have been the beautiful movement happening over at Vogue Black. The feature on Debra Shaw is beautifully done. If you haven’t bookmarked this site….Ummmm…

I’ve been slacking on my BV Hair Talk but catching up is just as fun. Afro Hair is not just a trend. Dig it:

The afro has been a striking and significant fashion staple through the years – particularly in the seventies, an afro came to be anonymous with black power, political statements, and reclaiming one’s roots.

Today’s afros are different.

Today it can be about making a statement, but often you’ll find that it’s a personal statement of freedom, of beauty on one’s own terms, of effortless style.

There’s always tons to get down before the weekend’s over, and apparently we lose an ENTIRE hour because of something called ‘daylight savings’…? wth. Hmmm…but before the crankiness of losing an hour’s worth of sleep settles in, enjoy voting for our product guru Amina of Coup de Couer who made it as a semi-finalist for Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful Contest! This has awesome factor written all over it & because you can vote as often as your tippy fingers will allow….ga head and have fun;-)

Alright, an attempt at resuming regularly scheduled posting should commence…now. But first, ladies. Let’s not allow history to repeat itself. Yeah…it’s funny. Until it happens to you.

via kiss my black ads