Manetabolism by The Mane Choice

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In addition to my new product: Emu Oil, I also purchased Manetabolism™ Vitamins 2-Month Supply  and the Green Tea & Carrot Deep Conditioning Mask™ from The Mane Choice: . I wanted to try a supplement that helps hair growth and I looked into a few and decided that I would go with this one. I started taking these on August 5th. I take two per day (not always at the same time, but within that day, eg: 1 in the morning and 1 by evening/night time). At first I took them whole but I have a hard time swallowing large supplements. These ones actually floated in my mouth so I would do a little distraction dance and try to swallow them down. That took forever. So I decided to open the capsule and extract the powder to dissolve it into liquid and drink it instead. Fortunately, these plastic-textured, transparent capsules come apart very easily and the powder just comes out. This method has worked better for me. The powder doesn’t have much of a bad smell or taste surprisingly so I will continue to dissolve and drink these supplements instead of popping them down my throat whole.

I will be looking for a few things while taking these: Side effects and bodily changes such as acne for example, and on the positive side, hair growth. I drink a lot of water throughout the day, as you must with these supplements. And I plan to take down my summer braids and measure my hair length this weekend so that I can track the growth and progress of my hair by the end of my two month supply. I look forward to using the Green Tea and Carrot DC Mask as well and incorporating Emu Oil into my regimen too. Sometime I fall off on taking care of my hair, especially when it is in braids, but I’m getting back on the horse and giving my hair the TLC it deserves from my neglect this summer. Anyhow, stay tuned for future updates on my journey and hair health and growth progress!

 

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Sarahdee

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Emu Oil!

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I just received my new purchase in the mail today: EMU OIL!!!

The list of essential oils is endless, I swear! For a while, I have been interested in trying Emu oil and I finally got around to getting some. Emus are flightless birds native to Australia. Believe me, I was concerned with buying an oil that originated from an animal’s fat. However, there are many great benefits from Emu oil, especially for hair and skin. Emu oil is non-toxic & natural, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) and hypo-allergenic (non-irritating). It is gentle and perfect for people with sensitive skin, like myself, and allergies. It can be used topically for various pains, wrinkles, and athlete’s foot to orally for weight loss, cough syrup and reducing cholesterol…the list goes on. As for the hair, I learned that emu oil contains high levels of linolenic acid, which helps to prevent hair loss, stimulates hair growth and hair follicles, thicken hair, and awaken sleeping hair cells.

Disclaimer: Now, don’t take my word for it. It is important that you do your own research if this interests you, as I did. It is important to know both the pros and cons of products that you are interested in before purchasing. And I am by no means promoting or suggesting anything about this product. I am just sharing my new purchase and background information that I’ve accumulated from my research. Once I’ve used the product for a period of time, I will provide an update.

Long Hair, Who Cares?!

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Recently, I was on vacation and for the latter half of my stay I put my hair in large havana twists. It looked so natural that people–black people, surprisingly, could not tell that it wasn’t my hair. I was stopped many times and asked if this was my real hair, or how long did it take to grow? I was complimented and admired with, your hair is so beautiful, I love your hair. I had never gotten so many compliments on a hairstyle before. Moreover, every single person, with the exception of one, were men! Can you believe that??! Black men, asking me, a black woman, if this is my real hair! I didn’t know how to feel about this.. Happy? Amused? Offended?

After a while, I studied the situation and actually felt some kinda way, which I cannot describe in one word. I was not angry at the men who asked if this was my real hair per se, but I became conscious of the ideation of long hair seeming to be more admirable than short hair. It was as if being natural was no longer the problem of being excluded in worldly beauty, but now having shorter, natural, is what is specifically overlooked.

I began to feel as though we, as black people, did not entire break the chains of mental slavery. And I am not saying it is our fault. I believe that we had a breakthrough but it needs to go a step further. Yes, we’ve come far with the return of natural tresses, but many of us are still seeking length for beauty. We need to evaluate our reasons for desiring long hair. Some of us may feel inadequate or substandard having not attained long hair length goals. We protective style to cover up our “ugly phase” aka short hair and take hair pills to promote growth for long lengths. Now, if you are doing certain things for hair health, carry on, I support that!

However, from studying the encounters from my trip, I’ve concluded that there is still this ideation in society, that long hair is more attractive. This social construction of beauty was lurking in my subconscious for a long time and I hadn’t realized it until I was probed by these men. It had been whispering to me ever since I became natural, and long hair was my desire. Once I did the big chop, all I wanted was length, and then health was close for a second focus. Basically, I made length more important than health which really didn’t work out because heathy hair is actually what causes length (reduced breakage, etc). Point is, I desired long hair, all my life. But don’t get my wrong, I felt beautiful with my short natural hair as well. The problem was I saw it as a phase and I wasn’t content with staying in that phase. It was meant to be a passing and not a permanancy.

Today, I still struggle with my hair at its short/medium length. I struggle with natural protective styling and finding the time to care for my hair. But now being fully aware of the feelings that lurked in my subconscious for a long time, I plan to be more conscientious and loving to my hair. I plan to work on my self-esteem and self-acceptance. Having confidence as a natural is one thing, but one should decipher whether that is true confidence or wall of delusion and denial around societal standards deeply ingrained in your reasons for your hair goals..

#foodforthought

x0x0,
Sarahdee

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.

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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
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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/

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists – UPDATE!!!

Hello all!

Cheers to my first official new blog post of the New Year! =D

My year started off with a BANG! in the hair world. My crochet micro senegalese twists went viral, starting with @naturalhairdoescare on Instagram who reposted my partially done twists from New Years Eve/Day! From then on, a couple more hair and fashion pages reposted my picture. I had no idea that what I was doing was extraordinary or something special! I was definitely blown away and overwhelmed by all of the attention, especially because I am such an introvert. This attention sort of forced me out of my shell quite a bit. I received so many questions and comments, almost too much to keep up with. I also received requests for a YouTube tutorial on this style!

I had planned on getting on YouTube some time in the future and I was putting it off until I felt ready: equipped and prepared to put out quality videos. However, there was such a high demand for this style and I certainly felt the pressure, so I did it. 🙂 I guess I had to start at some point, some way, some how.

And here it is: Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists by Sarah Dee

Anyhow, I know I said I’d post a thorough update and pictures a while back before I got hit with the masses. Please forgive me for delaying and in advance for any redundancy in this post. Now that the extravaganza has plateaued, I will give a formal update. So here goes… (thoughts in random order):

Notes/Info

  • I used 4 and half packs of Xpressions brand kanekalon hair: colors 27 and 30.
  • I cut each pack in half and stretched the hair by pulling on the ends of the strands to make it uneven.
  • It took me 2 and a half days to complete.
  • The braid pattern I used was trial and error..total error. I would suggest straight back cornrows to avoid the bulkiness

Pros

  • Reduces tension and manipulation on hair and helps preserves edges from breakage and damage
  • Can last very long because natural hair is not twisted in strands and therefore the hair will not become frizzy
  • Can wear any color hair because it wouldn’t show your natural hair in the twists like regular senegalese twists
  • Versatile: can be styled or worn down
  • Easier to moisture hair and scalp simultaneously

Cons

  • Natural braids may show at edges (some may not consider this style versatile for that reason)
  • Can be heavy if too much hair is used
  • Tedious and time consuming method for installation

I plan to keep in this style only for a month and a half, and so far so good! (see image below) Oh!! P.S: I finally slapped some edge control on, LOL! It’s been a while, and I’ve been lazy with it and not liking the nasty effects and lack of staying-power, but that’s a story for another day!

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists

Crochet Micro Senegalese Twists Mega Braided Bun

I hope you enjoyed and found this informative or helpful. If you still have questions, comment below and I’ll try to answer as best as I can. 🙂 xoxo

SOCIAL MEDIA
You can find me on YouTube at Sarah Dee
And on Instagram @coilssobeautiful

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:

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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!!! 🙂