Posts Categorized: natural hair

March 6, 2012

Side-Swept on a Whim

Lately their hasn’t been much time for a woman to do her laundry & cook a home cooked meal, let alone experiment with a new hair style…no matter how simple. But on a whim this week, & ultimately inspired by Natural Chica’s Sideswept video, I put a few dozen bobby pins to good use and found a new style that pretty much rocks!

The plan these days with Fro has basically been an alternation between wearing hair in twists one week, followed by a break/carefree twist-out the following. So far, this plan has done wonders for my length retention (which is crazy these days….) and hair just appears easier to manage. Wash days have improved in terms of timing (widdled down the twisting session to 1hour, no joke) & detangling is more of a breeze (never thought this was possible).

Products Used:

  • Hair/Scalp Cleanse: Hair Rules Aloe Grapefruit Purifying Shampoo (kind of love this stuff, cleanses well)
  • Deep Condition: Salon Exotics Moroccan Argan Oil Deep Repair Masque (Ahhhhmmmazing Stuff!)
  • Style: Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion + Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship

A few weeks ago I dipped into a local BSS and snagged an armful of Deep Condish packs that retail for less than $3 each, and seriously….best decision ever! Full review to come on the Argan Oil Repair Masque, but FRO was luxuriating after this week’s session.

Because the hair has been gaining in length, Fro’s been quietly craving more moisture, or needing ways to hold on to it for a bit longer, so this week I sampled the new line from DAX (yep….THAT DAX), and applied the Bergamont Butter prior to using both main stylers.

Full review to come on the entire new line, but early votes are in & there’s a lot to love! Super soft, touchable hair that feels pretty incredible.

Really enjoyed being a bit more playful with the hair this week, and might even try a few variations.

More pics will be posted at the Facebook stomping grounds!

February 16, 2012

Back To Curly’s Brunch & Cupcakes!

Maybe just a month late but still worth it, we’re fast approaching this blog’s first brunch induced get-together! If you haven’t already RSVP’d, please do so by 6pm February 21st, space is mighty limited (we’re doing brunch the right way), so first come first dine. We’ll be talking hair, noshing on red velvet love cakes and special surprise hair goodies on February 26th in Brooklyn at 1pm. Questions? Drop them in the comment section or e-mail:

Official location will be sent to final guest list February 22nd, thanks to all who RSVP’d!!

February 7, 2012

Long-Term Twist Out

With a rainy forecast in a recent trip to DC, FRO managed something pretty flipping amazing amidst it all…a stellar twist-out courtesy of a new fav condish (that we’ve doubled as a styler). This has really been my ‘thing’ as of late…taking a relatively cheapie condish (think EO ROSE condish) and turning it into a weekly styler that’s able to deliver stellar results. What I really love about this method is my lessening dependency on hair butters that often leave my hairline littered with irritations, and grease spots on bedspreads & sheets…not cute.

So a few weeks back on another PJ hunch, a gal grabbed a bottle of Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship (formulated for long hair), headed home and experimented using KBB’s leave-in conditioners as a base and unraveled shiny, well defined twists a mere 3-4 days later.

Not sure if there’s a scientific method to this, though using a moisture rich conditioner that’s typically formulated for color treated hair has done incredible things for my twist-outs & their longevity. Today, FRO skated by on 8 day hair & still pocketed compliments while growing in ‘poof’ factor. LOVE.

Yeah, this could be a fluke, but I’m still itching to try out the same combo this weekend. The Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship has been getting raves across the board for being a great leave-in…& it is! Not only that, but it’s beyond easy to access in local BBS’s or drugstores, and Fro experienced zero flaking. If you’ve tried this condish, how’d you use? Did you love/like/detest?  I’ll be posting more pics of FRO this week in BTC’s FB page and getting back to regular hair updates starting next week!

February 1, 2012

It’s That Time of Month…

Today’s the first day of Black History Month and I couldn’t be any happier to greet it with a positive outlook on what’s still to come this year! I’ve developed a habit over the past few years of turning into a certified geek when it comes to honoring these short 28 days, and this year I’ve planned to take a short trip back to DC to play tourist, visit the 30 Americans exhibit before it closes on February 12th and catch up with a few peeps.

Now along with a new month, comes another challenge (you know how much I adore those) from Chantelle of blog, fat mm slim. The February Photo a Day challenge kicks off today & with today’s theme being “your view today,” I snapped a quick pic of three of the books currently on the reading list.  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats has been getting rave reviews and is subsequently part of this month’s From Left To Write book club pick, so look out for a post on what I thought.

Keep up with each day’s theme by following either on Twitter, Facebook or my new luv, Pinterest, & if you’re embarking on the same challenge, leave me a link to follow along!

This will be my 2nd go in DC & I’m anxious to get the touristy agenda out of the way, but if you guys have any suggestions on things to do, places to visit let me know!

Early deets on this month’s BTC meetup was sent out in this month’s newsletter and to those who already e-mailed, though date is set for February 26th,at 1pm in Brooklyn (location to be sent out to RSVP attendees). Think elegant brunch, yummy cupcakes & naturalhair talk! Space is limited, so those interested in attending should send an e-mail to with subject heading “CHAI BRUNCH.”

January 12, 2012

A New Way To Connect with a “Cup of Chai”

So I thought long and hard about this one…and the ‘this one‘ being how to bring more awesome to BTC without sacrificing quality. Surprisingly, the answer was something I’ve been conjuring up for a long time. If you follow me on Twitter you already know the range of my #foodieness, or if your latest addiction is also a l’il somethin called Pinterest, you’re in the know about my specially curated inspiration affliction (yes, it’s real).

I’m also an information and link junkie (You too?!) so this will by my chance to share a collage of info often gathered over the span of a few weeks with a nifty newsletter delivered to your inbox!

Here’s what WON’T be included in each newsletter:

What to expect:

  • Subscriber only posts
  • Book Recs+ Giveaways
  • Hair & Beauty product Giveaways to help round out your hair regime
  • Special Hair Guides written by moi;)
  • and a ton more goodies that will be unleashed in due time!

And no worries, your inbox will not be bombarded with frivolous junk, Cup Of Chai will be monthly & specially themed. This month look forward to a handy Winter Survival Guide for hair+body+mind. Click on the image above to stay connected or here to sign up!

January 4, 2012

Moisturizing Tips for the Natural Hair Winter Routine

Here’s a fun and quick lesson. The longer you are natural, the easier bad habits are able to die off leaving enough room for good habits to roam free. Don’t worry, it’s a proven fact…I’d even go as far as to say it’s pretty much common sense. Time, knowledge and patience all play major roles in warding off those bad hair demons, but eventually we all come to this place of absolute certainty on how to best care for our strands. With winter officially dawning on most of the East Coast, and even part of the West, this theory is officially put to the test.

Granted while Summer may just be a naturals’ most ‘ideal’ time to frolic and play with her Fro given the perfect dew points, the winter months can be just as crucial to a natural’s every day routine. Have you visited last year’s list of hair goals lately? I’ve always loved the idea of having a game plan, and implementing new adjustments at the start of a new year. Now, what’s always been at the top of the list involves a lesson the majority of us learn early on & that’s the importance of moisture retention. An easier equation to remember:

Moisture Retention = Length Retention

Once you’ve settled on a game plan conducive to your life style, it’s important to remain consistent and pay attention to changes in your hair, whether it’s an increase in single strand knots, or excess in shedding. Take notes and practice implementing necessary changes to your routine.

Where to Begin? Conditioning has always been the primary root to healthy hair, and for the winter months it’s important to find a deep conditioner that leaves your hair soft, free of drying agents and as an added bonus, makes the detangling process much easier. Your ideal DC should be packed with essential oils similar to Darcy’s Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Condish or Shea Moisture’s Treatment Mask.

:Tricks: A good detangling routine will always be your secret weapon on the road to retaining length and keeping hair moisturized. Click over to Top Tools Used To Detangle Hair for a refresher course, then make note on whether or not you’ve been adhering to these practices. The detangling session purpose is far from just ridding hair of knots and getting to the styling portion. Hair when wet is in it’s most fragile state, so go slow…pay special attention to the ends of your hair for single strands, excessive roughness or anything that may slow up your routine. Practice smoothing the conditioner onto each section of hair ensuring even coverage.

How To Maintain? Nourishing the hair once you’ve washed & styled is all about preserving and maintaining all the work you’ve done during the wash process. The easiest mistake to make particularly during the colder months, is the over use of some of our favorite moisturizing hair goodies. Many of our favorite hair butters, pomades and puddings are excellent at sealing in the moisture during the styling process, yet often react differently when applied on 2-5 day hair that’s experienced shrinkage and loss of moisture. Relying on your favorite hair spritz to replenish moisture is the best 1st defense, then following up with a light moisturizing hair butter.

:Tricks: Stick with a light hair spritz similar to Shea Moisture’s Hold & Shine Moisture Mist or Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Spray. Avoid dampening the hair too much and go light on application. Follow up with a sealant, favorites include Karen’s Body Beautiful’s Creamylicious, Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade, Pooka’s Shea & Olive Hair Butter, and for added moisture I tend to lean on LUSH’s R&B Revive and Balance Hair Moisturizer.

Protective Measures I’ve always been a fan of protective styling whether it’s the height of Summer or the dead of Winter, twisting up the FRO has helped to retain much of my length, minimizes moisture loss and helps reduce annoying knots.

Finding the right style that fits into your everyday work flow takes practice, but you have to experiment with what you like…or dislike. Play around with up-do’s, hair accessories, wigs, scarves…be creative! Often there’s this misconception that protective styling also equates less noticeablity with your Fro or it gives you the appearance of seeming younger (which…hey, I can relate to!), but striking a balance can work in your favor. My favorite up-do is a protective style that is perfect for work and always receives compliments.

:Tricks: Bobby pins are your friends when protective styling, so invest in good quality onces that will not snag on the ends of hair causing breakage. The above style was a simple twist out pinned into place a day or so after washing, and to preserve I tied the edges down using a satin scarf. Hair remained moisturized for days and virtually tangle free.

So these are merely the basics to keep you on the road to retaining length all year. If you have tips to share on how to retain moisture during the winter, please share!