Natural Hair Product Haul!!! Plus Hair Straightening Systems talk

IMG_2061.JPG

So today I went to Target looking for Shea Moisture’s straightening kit and lo and behold, there was a SALE!!! My two natural hair favorite products, Shea Moisture, and Kinky Curly, were having a sale at Target. I got hair products and my favorite body washes.

IMG_2050.JPG

This product below was something I stumbled upon online, while researching another Shea Moisture Product I purchased last weekend, the JBCO Strengthen, Grow and Restore Edge Treatment. I read a few reviews and saw a couple YouTube videos of natural trying it. There were mixed reviews. Some said it made their hair straight like a perm and didn’t revert, others said it loosened their curl pattern and elongated their curls, others said the effects didn’t last too long because their hair frizzed up in heat and reverted back after getting wet. Since there are no consistent outcomes that I’ve come across yet, I will continue to observe before I put this in my hair and regret it.

The reason I purchased it in the first place is because it seemed a lot milder than other hair manageability systems. Also, a lot of the natural ingredients and compounds I recognize, so that helped ease concerns for me. To be on the safe side, I would try the conditioner from the line first (included in the kit, but I purchased the regular size separately) because it seems like the conditioner does good work on its own combating frizz and defining curls, from the reviews I’ve read about it.

 

My take on this new boom of Natural Hair Straightening and Manageability systems:

It seems as though a lot of brands are creating these systems. At first I was critical of them when they first emerged because I felt as though it was defeating the purpose of being natural. I thought of these systems as a milder form of a perm or texturizer without the harsh chemicals–a perm in sheep’s clothing. I was skeptical about these systems and disappointed in natural hair companies for creating these systems to again, alter our natural texture slightly, to be more manageable. Eventually, I cam around and warmed up to researching it. I realize that some people may actually WANT that help with their hair, and there’s nothing wrong with that. At that time, I didn’t. I wanted to appreciate my natural hair for what it was and learn to care for it as it. Today, I still don’t want the help of a straightening system, but I feel differently about purchasing anyway. What I want, it to explore and try something, in hope that it WILL revert back at some point. And if it doesn’t I’m okay with big chopping again, wearing protective styles, growing it out, etc. I purchased this product as not to run from managing my natural hair but to take a further step in styling it.

One of the biggest reasons I returned to being natural is to learn to love my ORIGINAL-self, and I think I’ve accomplished that. I am comfortable in my skin and with my natural hair. I am comfortable in public even with a bad natural hair day. I am currently rocking two strand twists pinned up at work. I feel very physically unattractive currently but it does not knock my confidence. I would look in the mirror and laugh at myself with myself, that’s how okay I am with being this way. I still love me. So with that being said, I didn’t buy this product to run from managing my hair as is; I bought it for fun, to explore and try versatile styles. What matters most to me, is that my hair is healthy. No longer am I on a journey to natural hair. I have arrived. I have arrived to my destination–that emotional feeling within that exudes self-confidence. I have arrived to where I needed to be, as a black woman in this twisted society that strongly influences the definition of beauty. I have arrived and I am at peace. I accept myself as beautiful, no outside validation needed. 😉

 

IMG_2052.JPG

Advertisements

Single Strand Knots – Problems of a Natural Girl with Kinks and Curls

Single strand knots are in the top 10 of the most annoying things about natural hair. I could go in depth on this topic, but I’ll keep it light. Here are just a few to-the-point mentions regarding this natural hair problem.

download

Problems:

  • Interferes with length retention and hair health
  • Can lead to breakage and split ends
  • Causes difficulty with combing and detangling

How it can happen:

Dry hair – If your hair is dry, it is prone to knotting easily when combed.
Wash-n-go – When your hair shrinks to dry, it curls up into its curl pattern and can coil onto itself easily creating knots and tangles.

Prevention Methods worth trying:

  1. Oil Rinsing – After shampooing or cowashing, lightly to moderately saturate your hair with oil and conditioner. Then rinse.
  2. Oil Daily – If you spritz your hair with water or AVG daily, add some oil to the mix to aid in detangling and add lots of slip
  3. Wash-n-Stretch – instead of wash-n-go, try separating, detangling, and twisting your hair to dry. It will prevent the hair from curling and coiling on itself.
  4. Stretch, Seal and Protect Ends – Stretched ends are much less likely to curl up on themselves. Sealing them with an oil and/or butter helps smooth down the frizzies and flyaways. Twisting up and tucking away or other protective styles help prevent your ends from knotting on themselves also

One of the simple benefits of using oil for the prevention of single strand knots is the slippage it gives to melt tangles-to-be away and calm frizzy ends.

In my opinion,
Sarah Dee
x0x0

References and Related Articles:

How To Prevent Single Strand Knots By Hollis
http://hollistics.com/2012/10/11/how-to-prevent-single-strand-knots/

Ask CurlyNikki: How Do I Get Rid of Single Strand Knots By Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki
http://www.essence.com/2013/02/28/ask-curlynikki-how-do-i-get-rid-single-strand-knots/

Fall | Winter Protective Style Challenge

This past weekend, I took out my sister loc extensions. Yes.. I survived a whole month!! *pats self on the back* Proud moment. =D Since my hair is currently in mini twists, which under my loc extension, I am going to challenge myself to leave them in until the end of this year! Yes!! That’s right!!! I know, I know, you think my twists will turn to dreads and knots and I’ll have to big chop again. Haha! I understand any concerns and this challenge will require attention and care for me to maintain these twists to prevent them from dreading. I personally do not believe that between now and December I will have dreads, so I am not worried, AT ALL. 🙂

Sister Locs – The Take Down

So this weekend, I washed the twists that were under the locs with my Kinky Curly Come Clean no-sulfate poo and conditioned it with Garnier Fructis  Triple Nutrition Fortifying Conditioner. Taking out my loc extensions before “wash day” was a pretty quick job once I figured out the best way to uninstall them. At first, I would cut the ends and try to unravel them, but as I pulled on the strand it would tighten around my hair and I’d have to cut or loosen it by pulling at it. Then I found the fastest and easiest way soon after where I just pulled down the coil from the root and the Marley hair gathered and slipped off in a perfect coil. Since my hair was still very moisturized from Shea butter, the coils which were already sort of loose from long wear and manipulating styles just slipped off like butter. This removal technique was super easy and super fast. I am not sure if it will work again, but I would sure hope so!

Anyhow, before washing my hair, I wanted to pre-condition and also deep condition. Those two things did not happen. Unfortunately, I only washed and conditioned my hair as if it were a regular wash day. Such a lazy natural I am, sometimes. I suggest that after wearing a protective style for a month or more, one should pre-condition and especially deep condition their natural tresses to restore moisture and strength and combat dryness and fragility.

After washing, I air-dried my hair and while it was damp I did the LOC method to seal in water moisture. So here’s what I did: I don’t always use the LOC method in order, sometimes it’s LOC, LCO or even just LC. I still like the method as a guide and simple reminder of what you need to do to retain moisture in your hair. So I used three leave-in creams first [after Liquid which is water in this case]: Shea Moisture Balancing Conditioner, Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion, and Eden Body Works’ Coconut Shea Leave-in. I squeezed out about a quarter-size of each, mixed them together in the palm of my hand, and applied all over my twists. Then I used coconut oil to seal in the moisture. Here are the results:

IMG_8682

The next day, I realized that I had buildup of hair shed, dirt, and other elements near the root of my twists where the beginning of the loc extensions and my hair that was exposed met. I thought I had washed out everything when I washed my hair the first time, but apparently that was not the case. So as much as I didn’t want to, I had to untwisted and finger comb/detangle each twist and retwist them. This process took a long, long time—6 hours. <—-There went my Saturday night. -_- For this process, I sprayed my hair in sections as I went along with water. [It is better to detangle damp hair as opposed to dry hair to prevent breakage]. I also sprayed Lavish Curls Moisturizer from the Curl line at Target. That stuff gives my hair slip, so it was easier to remove the gunk with the combo of that and water. Then, I used raw Shea butter on each twist before retwisting it. This ensured that each twist was totally quenched.

In the end, this process was absolutely worth it and necessary to do so that I avoid any potential for my hair to dread!

Disaster waiting to happen!

Disaster waiting to happen!

Now I know for sure that dreads wont happen. And if I put loc extension back in before December is over, I will be sure to do this again!

Fall – Winter Protective Style Challenge

Now that the weather is getting colder, I am sending my hair into hibernation until next year, hopefully. Knowing that I have HIH [hand in hair syndrome] (lol) this is absolutely going to be a challenge. However, after changing up my hair so much and trying different styles for the past few months in the Spring an Summer time, I am feeling lazy and a little burned out from all the changes. So I am deciding to give it a rest for these two seasons and pick back up when my birthday comes around. Also, these mini twists are very small and it took time to put them in, and it will take time to take them out. I don’t want to have to take them out and then spend more time on trying to tame the beastly afro I will have let loose. That is another reason why I want to maintain these twists. Oh! and my biggest reason of all, is LENGTH RETENTION! I’ve hit a point in my natural hair journey where I feel like my hair growth has stunted or slowed down. More than likely, I’ve probably suffered a bit of breakage from high manipulation and also my eating habits are not the best so I am sure that contributed as well. Going from high manipulation to low or none is one of the best ways to retain length and prevent breakage [when done carefully and in a healthy way]. A combination of things, including drinking lots of water water, eating healthy and cutting out  or reducing the intake of not-so-healthy things can also help with the strength of ones’ hair to reduce breakage. So I will make a more conscientious effort to take extra care of my hair for length retention throughout this fall and winter. Once, I make these things good habits, then they will become a normal part of my routine.

As far as styling goes, I plan to maintain these mini twists underneath my handmade wigs. I have two curly wigs that I made last week for the fall and winter. So I will wear one for a month (starting next weekend) and the other for a month. Then for January, I plan to make another wig for the new year. But I digress, January is pretty far away and my hair plans can change LOL so that plan isn’t quite solidified yet. Anyhow, this has been one long update,  so thank you for taking the time to read it.

Please make sure to check out some NEW pictures added to my Hair Creations pages: Braids, Protective Styles, and Handmade Wigs!!! I’ve done a lot this past week so ENJOY!!! 🙂

Tame that Mane!

After the take-down (braids)

After the take-down (braids)

Detangling can be the most difficult and painful part of your hair regimen. But with the use of a detangling agent, your detangling process would be reduced by half the time it usually takes. All you need is a great detangling product and your hair will be your best friend! It also helps prevent breakage from constant pulling and stress while detangling with a comb or brush. Lastly, some great detanglers serve as leave in conditioners to moisturize your hair.
Here is the method and what I use to tame my mane after taking out braided or twisted protective styles and prepare for a wash day:
Detangleing Method
Need
Wide tooth comb
Spray bottle
Detangling cream
Water
Coconut oil
Directions
Fill a spray bottle about 1/3 of its holding amount with water, detangling cream, and a little coconut oil
Shake until the cream is properly mixed with the water
Separate your hair in sections
Saturate each section with mixture and detangle starting from hair ends
Add coconut oil to each section and two strand twist (Optional-wash day pre-treatment)

A Product Junkie’s Closet

A picture worth a thousand words, or more fitting--A THOUSAND BUCKS!

A picture worth a thousand words, or more fitting–A THOUSAND BUCKS!

 

I am a product junkie; I cannot deny it. I’ve tried so many different products since I’ve been natural–way more than in this image here. Keep in mind that poo’s and conditioners are not included in this image. This is my current stash of hair products.
In the past, I’ve done a closet clean out by discarding products I no longer use and products that I felt were unhealthy for my hair. These were products that contained petrolatum/petroleum/petroleum oil, mineral oil, dimethicones and other silicones, parabens, sulfates, and whole bunch of chemical stuff I couldn’t pronounce.
When I returned to being natural, I wanted to care for and grow my hair the healthiest way possible. I took it to the extreme, researching and familiarized myself with products, ingredients, tips, etc. and used natural and organic products only. I even tried making my own natural products. Then I decided that that took up way too much time and was too much work. So then, I decided to stick to buying products that contained natural and important ingredients to aid in my natural hair growth.
Nowadays, there are a number of new and growing companies, both big and small that are creating natural and organic products.  Other big companies that have been around for some time are also picking up on the natural trend and revamping their hair care lines by taking out unnecessary chemicals, synthetics, dyes, fragrances, fillers, and more. For this reason, I have stopped trying to create my own homemade products. However, I have turned into a product junkie monster due to the colossal  amount of products companies are putting out!
At the same time, I appreciate the different products because I love trying new things to see what works well with my hair when I try different styles. If there are any products in the picture above that you’re considering to try but aren’t too sure about, just inquire below. I’ll gladly tell you my experience with it. And if there are any products that you’d like to suggest I try, feel free to comment and let me know! 🙂