Sunday, September 12, 2010

Product Updates


Its been a while since my last post.. there have been a few changes so thought I would do an update. I very rarely use Pantene's Relaxed and Natural shampoo. The bottle I had first was an older formula. I found this out once I ran out, and purchased a new bottle. When I used the new bottle I noticed my hair was very dry, like "ouch!" dry. I compared the ingredients and noticed that the old formula lists petroleum as one of the primary ingredients while the new formula had this ingredient further down the list... now why in the world would they do that? I know its petroleum and most naturals stay away from it, but I always loved the Pantene relaxed and natural.

I improvised by mixing the shampoo with a little olive oil, which worked lovely the first couple of times, then eventually whatever was left in my bottle days later had this watered down brown gross look that was so unappealing I said just forget it.

For now I decided to stick with Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Magic Soaps. I ran out of the peppermint and decided to purchase a new scent: Hemp Rose. Very lovely fragrance, I like it so far. I still get that very clean feeling but safe enough to not feel like its making my hair dry. Oh and I still dilute it 1/2 water and 1/2 Magic Soap.

I seldom do an ACV rinse now, not because it doesn't work anymore, but because I haven't had the filmy scalp problem like I had before. I don't know if it is the ACV rinses that have nurtured my scalp or if its the Dr. Bronner's soap. It could simply be a new season for my scalp, who knows! But maybe once every 1.5 months I will do an ACV rinse for that extra clean scalp feel.

I also am trying a new conditioner, free of petroleum, alchohol, parabens and artificial dyes and fragrances. Its by Pure Life Soap, Co. They have different varieties, but I purchased the Chamomile conditioner. It has pure and nutritive cold pressed extracts and it smells so good! Plus the bottle mentioned the chamomile aiding in natural highlights so I thought I would give it a go... I want to lighten my hair without using harsh dyes. I used lemon juice twice but I think I would see better results if I used it consistently.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Apple Cider Vinager (ACV) Rinse

You know, I the whole time I was natural a few years ago, I had no idea what ACV was... I always saw it abbreviated and never thought to ask, because I thought it was some kind of powder ( don't ask) and I wasn't interested in that... of course not!

Anyway, I have added this to my hair care routine and I love it very much. It does a great job at clearing the residue off of my scalp. My scalp tends to get a layer of film, it doesnt seem flaky to me like dry scalp, but more dusty, and I see notice more when I take a fingernail and scratch my scalp... maybe it is dandruff I don't know.

So about every other week, after washing my hair, I will do my ACV rinse (about 3 part water and 1 part ACV) where I take two bowls, fill one with the mixture and pour it on my scalp, catching it in the other bowl in the sink. I will do this several times until it bores me (lol, maybe 8 times) then was my hair once more, with Dr. Bonner's peppermint castille soap for the smell and to pick up any left over residue. then afterwards I condition as usual. I never notice dryness from this, however feel free to check other forums and blogs, I have heard of other ladies saying too much ACV in the mix was a little drying.

Oh yeah..... Also!! ACV is very good with a lot of other things as well, such as balancing the skin's pH levels i.e. under your arms or down below, acne, etc. You can find more information here: http://www.homeremediesweb.com/apple_cider_vinegar_health_benefits.php . Its always interesting to discover more natural ways to take care of ourselves.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Just thinking...

I really really want to go back to school, make a change in my life, achieve something wonderful just for me. It seems like I usually have it harder than most, even though on the outside you see a young woman who is single, her own place, car, job, what else could you want? Well, a wonderful God-fearing man, financial security, family one day, a house to make a home... those type of things. I'm heading up there in years... but I am still young. The engagement is off, has been off for a few months now. It happened quickly, after we put so much faith in what we were building, we both just dropped the 'baby' you can say. Isn't that awful? How can two people drop a baby like that? The feeling of that thought is how our ending feels to me sometimes, but its all ready done and it can't be helped.

I don't post often, because I wonder who all will read what I type, I only have 3 followers right now anyway, here for sisterlocks probably, just like me. I am new to this, how does a blogger know when they type too much? Maybe i am typing too much now, lol. OK anyway.

The beauty in all of this is that, even though I don't like to be alone, and seem to be disappointed by love, God has never left me, loves me dearly, more than any person could, and wants to see me happy and at peace. He wants to see me prosper in Him, and that is my focus now. God, what do you want me to do? What would you have me do? These are the questions I meditate on now, I want Him to be pleased with my life He has blessed me with. I thought my ex-fiance was the man for me, I believed because of our history, that God sent him back to me, for us to be together in marriage, happily. When it ended, I didn't blame God, I did blame myself. But then I stopped and thought, it is possible we met again for a reason, not to marry, but to learn something from each other. And thats it. Could it be that simple? It don'y seem so bad in that light. Also, it prepared me for when the love of my life is ready to meet me, find me, whenever God sees fit for that to happen.

In the meantime, I want to build my kingdom within, grow with God, learn more, meet people, be happy and enjoy my years... distract my focus away from what I lost and don't have, and direct it toward what I have been given through Christ, and the beauty of just waking up each day to do a little more... mmm what a gift.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Hair Routine and Hair Products

So I thought I would share some photos with you all.


I have been completely natural since February 2010, stopped relaxing August 2009 (I think) and I have to say that my natural hair is a lot healthier to me this time around. It is soft, thick, and non-brittle. I think what makes the difference this time around is that I accept my hair texture, not wishing it was coily or loose and curly... my hair is all textures, mainly kinky (curl and zig-zag pattern). And I love my hair a lot more now.

I wonder also if the hair vitamins I took in the first 3 months had anything to do with the health of my hair. I can vouch that my hair did not grow faster (it grew about 1/2 inch per month), but it does seem healthier because of my vitamin usage. I took one bottle of prenatals, then after they were gone I switched to a hair skin and nails vitamin (someone at the vitamin shop said prenatals can give me too much of certain vitamins that are not necessary and that made me uneasy).

On my scalp I use Nature's Blessing hair pomade. It has no animal products, no harsh or harmful chemicals and no artificial ingredients. It melts in my scalp and keeps away the flakes, I can use it more than once a week if I want. My personal opinion natural sisters, don't fall for the "all grease is bad grease for your scalp", and that our hair doesn't need it. No my hair does not need "grease", if you want to call it that, but my scalp can get itchy and dry, which makes my hair dry and brittle. I know first hand that not moisturizing my scalp on a regular basis can lead to brittleness and breakage. Not all natural sisters need it, but I say trust your instincts, do your research until you find something that fits your needs. Anyway, this pomade has lots of good things like nettle, rosemary and sage to name a few :-). Oh, you can buy this at an African store or herbal store. I have also seen it online.

My hair wet...
My hair routine is simple. I try to deep condition every week, using ORS olive oil replenishing pack. Sometimes I will only wash with some conditioner I have. For shampoo I use Pantene Pro-V Shampoo for relaxed and natural, really great stuff, very moisturizing! I also may shampoo with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, peppermint (diluted).. I like this because it is made with organic oils and it is very natural. I don't have a problem using any of these shampoos once a week.

Another conditioner I have that has been EXCELLENT through my transition to natural is Shea Moisture shea butter leave in conditioner... amazing. Its thick and creamy, great smell, and perfect for softening the hair, paying close attention to were the straight and kinky textures meet. I always used this before I tried to comb the two textures. I don't use this as much now on my dry hair, I will use it on my edges but I love having it handy. You can only buy this online as far as I know. I purchase mine from treasuredlocks.com.



After I wash and condition my hair, I will lightly grease my scalp with Nature's Blessings, I part it in large sections and two strand twist it using raw natural shea butter (purchased from an African store) then roll the twist in a ball like a bantu knot, securing it with a rubber band. This is great for keeping moisture sealed in my hair. Before I go to bed I take care to spritz with water and retwist using shea butter. Then the next day I just style however it suits me.


If I am up to it, I will do small two strand twists on wet hair using the raw shea butter and aloe vera gel to hold (sorry, I don't have any pics of this yet). I also like to use this on my edges when setting my hair style.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Its about time!! No more relaxer.

Sigh.... Okay.

I am trying to get use to this blogging thing. I think it will really catch on in my routine if I just force it, make it a habit. You know, like going to the gym. Sometimes I get confused of what I want to write about, I want options so I don't want to just blog about my hair...

Speaking of my hair, I cut off my relaxed ends about two weeks ago. I just had this strong urge to get rid of the raggedy straight hair, my natural hair was just flourishing! My fiance was so supportive and excited for me, and was so adoring with my hair when I was finished. I was going to go to the beauty salon, but I was apprehensive about which one, and didn't have that much money to spend at a shop that might cut off a little too much of my new growth. So I thought the easiest way for me to cut was this: after a good wash and condition and my hair still wet, I used all natural Shea butter to moisturize, and Fruit of Nature's Aloe Vera Gel for hold, and two strand twisted my hair. By the time I got finished with the twist I could see clearly what was stringy and not holding (processed hair) and just cut that off. Worked pretty well and I felt very confident in the process. I wasn't worried about my hair being even, since its kinky anyway and I am getting sister locks. I remember laughing when I read this one lady say on a post, "whats so complicated, just take your hair, cut the straight part, and leave the curly part. That's it."

So that's what I did, but setting it in kinky twists helped tremendously, plus I killed two birds with one stone, since I had a cute style in the end.

Oh yeah, and I received lots of compliments at work, from women with processed hair, and extra kudos to those all ready natural. One lady with locks said to me, "its about time!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Planning for School

Sigh, well so much I want to do but it takes time. I am waiting for the money to get my sisterlocks, meanwhile my hair grows more unruly. I am making plans to go to school to get my credentials as a registered dietitian. I am a career changer! For anyone that is planning to change careers or thinking about going back to school, start your research early.. months in advance. Its not a decision that is made overnight, and you have to plan. You need to think about location, which school is best for you, do you all ready have loans that are federal funded and if so did you max out? What scholarships can you get? Does the school of choice have the proper credentials? Do they assist with internships, will you be prepared if you graduated there? I am looking into all of these things, I think I found a school me and my sweetheart my go to or at least schools very close to each other; he is planning to get his doctorate. I hear a lot of people not support their personal thought of returning to school, because of the "years" it takes to complete. I am ready, God has more for me than what I am doing now. I have more to learn and more to develop so His glory and love will shine through. I am more than what I am now, I have more to offer in life, and more love to give, that is why I keep going.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Proud Career Changer

I made a decision a couple months ago to head in a different direction. It started when I looked at my career path and well-being in life and saw my financial struggles and frustrations as a sign for change. I have a bachelor's degree that is just a title, helps me competitively to get a job, but it is not really doing much for me. I don't have a lot of skills on my resume, but I know I am talented and deserve a career that is fun and rewarding, not just an insignificant job.

I am surprised at myself because I said I would never go back to school, too many loans. But then I realized that I can't even afford to pay them, let alone catch up on my debt. It is time to take a stand in my life, and get it in the direction that I know I deserve, God willing. God wants us to prosper and succeed, this is how we get our blessings and a way that His work is done through us. I want to be in a financial position to help others, in small and big ways. I want to give not just money, but time to others.

Hmm, I want to get into this more, but I have to head off to work. More on the next post.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Transition Hair Style

video

This is how I style my transitioning hair now, except I don't always have these curls. I usually just two strand twist it and roll it in soft rollers, with a combination of pin curls, and it gives me a crinkly curly look, also keeps my new growth manageable. This style however, is using perm rods after a fresh wash, no two strand twisting. I like the results, however my roots were very thick.

Also, notice how I pin it up in the back? Well, now my relaxed hair broke off in that spot but my new growth is still there!! That is the most important thing, but with the results I have to keep it pinned up because of the uneven look. I pin it much lower now, and not so close on my scalp, to give that spot a rest. Cute style, I will post pictures of that later.

Sisterlocks?? Yes!!! But who will do them??

SO!! After I decided to be natural for the second time, I started thinking of what will I do with my hair. I have heard about sisterlocks years ago, but never really looked into it, because I'm thinking, locs are locs and I don't want them. I think what kept me from thinking about locks were seeing college friends the befores durings and afters. I commend anyone that goes through the traditional locs journey, but the twisting of hair and gels and waxes I could not do, that would be way too frustrating for me. I have also learned recently that my hair does not do very well with a lot of stress on it, e.i. scratching out of bad habit breaks my hair off, hairpins in the same spot (even though I take them out each night) day after day can make my scalp sensitive in that spot and make me want to scratch, and hense breaking it again. I am afraid with traditional locs though, the products I would have to put in it to make it stay would not do good with my habit or messing in my hair and playing in it, I can just see the flakes I can't wash out just yet because the loc has to set first... eh.

I looked into sisterlocks a few months ago and I am so impressed and really excited to get them. the thing is, even after 5 months of no chemicals, I only have about 3 inches. For the past month I have been ripping holes in the internet, finding pictures and videos of ladies with short starting sisterlocks. Mine will be short, and I know there will be shrinkage, since my hair is so classic for that.

Then the other burden is finding a consultant, there are two certified consultants in Richmond but I don't see webpages for them anywhere. Maybe I will email them to see if they can send me pics of their work, is this the right way to go? I still have to meet with them, but I am worried I will have a hard time making a choice. I hear of horror stories, but usually its with stylists that aren't on the sisterlocks website. There are several in Petersburg VA, and they have a website so it was nice to check that out, for some reason because I see them before I call them, and kind of check them out that way, that makes the visit there more optimistic. That being said, I think all certified sisterlock consultants should have a webpage somewhere out there, so people like me can find you... I could pick up the phone and call the ladies in Richmond, but I am not ready to lock yet. I will have to wait until tax refund time, hopefully I will have the starting money at that point to get them, right now I am just so eager to meet someone in my city with sisterlocks.

Also, I will be cutting off my relaxed hair before I sisterlock, I don't see a need to keep those ends. Plus, my relaxed hair has broken off at the weak spots (where kinky and processed hair meet) in the the back of my head, from wearing my hair pinned up in that spot. Not cute.

If there is anyone with sisterlocks in Richmond VA, please message me! There's not much I can do at this point but I would love to see your look and know who started your locks :-)

Hmmmm... why am I blogging??

I don't know. Well, yes I do. I have been obsessed with Sisterlocks for the past 3 months, after I decided to go back natural in August 2009. Let me back track further. Besides being born with kinky hair, and relaxing it in the 2nd grade (I was so happy to have that done then! Such a surprise, believing I was more beautiful with processed straight hair, that looked like everyone else's.), after my first 2 years of college, studying African American history as my minor, I became "pro-black" I guess you can say, lol and began resenting the fact that I had to slap strange chemicals in my hair every 2 months to look like other cultures, and it boggled me more when I didn't have a legitimate reason as to why I was relaxing my hair, other than so-called manageability. There had to be more than that.

So I believe in 2003, I became natural, and stayed that way for about 2-3 years. Man what a ride. I was a DIY, I never did the TWA but I did have about 4 inches when I finally cut my relaxed hair off. I was worried the guys would walk past me ( I know, I know) but I got more compliments and admirers of my natural journey than what I expected. I styled twist outs a lot. I remember being frustrated with my hair texture though, why was it not boingy curly like the other girls I have seen? Then I started learning about curl patterns. My hair is more, hmm, tightly coiled + zig-zag pattern on 90% of my head, giving me that tight cotton afro look. This will sound wierd to admit this, but I hated it. I wanted the coily curls, why couldn't I have that??! I learned that all the creams and muds out there wasn't meant to give me that dream pattern I thought I wanted, so although I loved being a natural, I didn't care for what I had to work with. Oh, and the other 10% of my hair is a loose cotton, much looser, in the back of my head, to where it looks longer than the rest of it, and the rest of it looks like it never grows, although I think it is deceiving when dry. I always had to measure my true length when my hair was wet.

After 2-3 years of being natural, I relaxed my hair again. Yeah. I don't know if I was stressed from my financial situation and the relationship I was in at the time that had me confused about my life and needs, but my scalp began feeling very tight and itchy, to the point where I thought it was my natural hair making my scalp so tight feeling. I mean, my kinks was all ready tight, so maybe it was affecting my scalp. I started wearing scarves a lot more, which probably didn't help my scalp breathe and made it worse, and I got even more tired of styling it, keeping my kinks from drying up. I was trying to avoid greasing my hair, as I heard using those type products were not necessary and clogged pores ( I now know better, I use Nature's Blessings hair pomade and it keeps my scalp soo moisturized, minimized flakes too! and there is no petroleum), so I was really in a bad place. Plus, the guy I was with was more encouraging me to relax my hair (guess he didn't like it), but please know, it was my decision, it was not his fault. I chose to take the easy way out. So, I believe it was 2006 when I relaxed again.

After I relaxed again, my hair looked so full and healthy, oh my! Then, after the second relaxer, it got thinner in weight (chemicals do that to our hair) and that really burst my bubble.

I have had a lot of changes in my life, including a growing spiritual life (all praises to God!) and I have journeyed again in the direction of being natural. So I made that decision in Aug 2009, not knowing how I was going to do it again, but knew it had to be done for me to truly be happy with me.