Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thank You


I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who is following my blog. I started this blog earlier this year just as a way for me to vent and take notes regarding my journey with my hair (and a few other random things). I never really went out and “pushed” my blog or advertised it. All I did was provide a simple link in my signature on the 2 hair boards that I frequent.

As of today I am grateful to have 28 followers. That’s at least 2 new followers a month. I know I’m not writing super compelling articles or even giving out tips to miraculously grow you hair overnight. I’m just providing information about how I deal with my hair and my opinions about the products I use (or don’t use) and why, and the benefits I have seen for the routine(s) I have.

I am happy to see the numbers of followers grow and even more, I am happy to receive a message from someone who says that my blog has helped them, or given them some good information that they could take and use. That’s what this blog is all about – sharing knowledge in the hopes that I could help someone or just provide some information that someone felt was valuable.

So I humbly say “Thank You” to everyone who reads and/or follows my blog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Update: Reshma Henna

Here I am again slacking on posting - too much going on. I used the Reshma henna and why did I love it? LOL since the Reshma comes in 200g boxes I only have to mix one for a full henna application - convenient. One thing I noticed about the Reshma henna – that stuff had almost IMMEDIATE dye release!!! I was almost afraid to let it sit because I thought I would miss the window for dye/color uptake to my hair.

I haven't been mixing my henna with honey like I should have been the past few times, so the rinse out has not been as seamless as in previous applications where I have mixed in the honey. I have just bought a new bottle of honey, and I promise to always keep some in my stash. Not only do I mix it with my henna just prior to application, but I also use it when I make my deep conditioning, and it's also a wonderful and healthy alternative to cough syrup.

I was supposed to henna last night, but couldn’t since I wasn’t going to be home. I have tonight at home, but really want to relax, so I will wait until a week from Saturday before I henna again. That will put me back on track for bi-weekly henna applications.

I gotta say though, I’m still trying to make sense of this henna thing. I see the color change in my hair from sandy brown to a cherry brown/burgundy, but I still don’t understand “full color saturation” and what it truly means. From what I thought I understood, full color saturation happens when your hair will not become any darker from the henna applications – which I’ve heard usually happens anywhere between the 3rd and 5th application. Now, understanding this, can certain henna lighten your hair? I will have to say that would be doubtful. The only reason I am even trying to figure this out is because it seems that since using the Reshma henna, my hair has a different “glow”. In the picture to the left you can see the glow really well.

I think it’s time for me to start doing a little more research on henna. I know how henna changes your hair color, but I need to figure out if colors can be altered. I mean I guess if a different brand was used it could/would cause different effects on the hair. This sounds like a good science project! Let me talk to my son. LOL

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Could Be Trouble


Hello everyone. I went on a henna run today because I am completely out! When I got to the Indian Market there was no MDH Henna at all!!! Not even one box. I could have died. I've been using that for 6 months and I love it. What was I going to do? Well, they had just stocked up with Reshma Henna and I had heard good things about it so......
I picked up a box to take a look at it. Immediately I noticed that the box was larger than my regular MDH Henna box. Reshma comes in 200g boxes instead of the 100g boxes like most boxes of henna. that is a plus because I used at least 200g per application and if I am using henna on my daughter I need a bit more.
I am actually a week behind in my henna process and I am not sure if I want to wait until next weekend to henna or henna 2 weeks in a row to get back on track. I'm thinking I'll henna this weekend and then again on the 15th and then I'll almost be back on schedule. I am anxious to see how this henna will work. I'm also a little nervous. I've had such good results with MDH Henna that it was hard to just up and buy another brand.
I think I am going to henna tonight - or at least mix it. We'll see.
...and of course I will post my results - complete with pics for you ladies to see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

101 Protective Styles

I am posting this as an FYI. I saw this list somewhere else and decided to post it here so that I would have it readily available in the event that I needed to refer back to it. Although most if not all of the styles are not done on natural/napptural hair, you still get the idea and similar styles can be achieved.

SLEEK & SIMPLE (for long hair, some for short/med hair):

- Classic Bun (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34532#34621)

- Bun w/ Sideswept Bang (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8861)

- Bun w/ Chopsticks- Bunned Pigtails

- Chignon (http://z.about.com/d/beauty/1/0/f/E/chignon7.JPG, http://photos.essence.com/galleries/...ns/image/34542)

- Unique Chignon/Bun (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8861#8882)

- Textured Chignon (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8861#8892)

- French Roll/Twist (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34532, http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34602, http://photos.essence.com/galleries/beauty_its_a_wrap/image/15132, http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8862)

- French Roll w/ Pompadour (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8862#8862)

- Braided Coil Updo (http://www.hairstylescut.com/articles/holiday-updo.htm

- scroll to Beyonce)- Roller/Flexirod/Curlformer set & Clip up the hair- Flamenco (http://www.longlocks.com/flamenco.gif, http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- Elegant Gibson (http://www.longlocks.com/elegantgibson.gif, http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- Braided chignon (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/braids/image/9852)

- Retro Pompadour - Romantic Bun - Ringlets with Headband (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/updos_/image/8862#8912)

- Bun with Headband (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/...les/image/2072)

- Sophisticated Bun (http://www.essence.com/essence/photo...3897-6,00.html)

- Quick Updo - Event Updos (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/...on/image/85822)

SINGLE-TWISTING IT:

- Bantu Knots (http://images.inmagine.com/168nwm/rubberball/rbv013/rbv0130053.jpg)

- Finger / Comb Coils (for short natural hair)(http://www.naani.com/contents/media/dreamypisces029.jpg, http://www.naani.com/models/photos/a0/98/66/a098662b826cd94.jpeg)

DOUBLE-TWISTING IT:

- Twist Updo (http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/57172304.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF1939847EC77F5F8D1CEBBA218850D491E14A40A659CEC4C8CB6, http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34532#34582)

- Twists into Bun (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34532#34592)

- Twisted Ponytail- Twisted Ponytail into Bun - Twisted Buns - Chunky Twists- Tiny Twists- Flat Twists (http://www.aolcdn.com/aolnews_photos/0d/07/20050426160009990011, http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f323/phillyflower/DSC01452.jpg)

- Senegalese Twists (http://www.braidsinc.com/gallery/senegalese1.JPG)

- Kinky Twists - Spring Twists- Gypsy Twists (scroll down: http://www.khamitkinks.com/twists_locs.html)

- Baby Curl Twists (scroll down: http://www.khamitkinks.com/twists_locs.html)

- Loc Extensions (http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd85/mushiyasmith/0150-921-davadreadupdo.jpg)

- Loc Updo (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/photos_buns/image/34532#34552)

BRAIDING IT:

- Single Braided Ponytail- Single Braided Ponytail into Bun/Updo (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/braids/image/9852)

- Double Braided Bun (http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- Sideswept Fishtail (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/...ls/image/13591)

- Box Braids (w/ real hair/extensions)- Individual Braids (extensions)- Micros (not too tight)- Tree Braids (http://www.spoiledsalonandspa.com/im...eBraid_001.jpg)

- Cornrows (w/ real hair/extensions)- Cornrows into ponytail (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/braids/image/9852#9791 )

- Plaits- One French Braid (http://photos.essence.com/galleries/...es/image/20342)

- Two French Braids- French Tuck (http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- English/Dutch Braids (http://www.longlocks.com/how-to-braid-hair.htm, http://www.dreamweaverbraiding.com/Braiding_Tips.htm)

- French/English/Dutch Braid(s) (w/ extensions)- Victorian (http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- Edwardian Braid (http://www.longlocks.com/hairstyles.htm)

- Braids into Updo

- More braided styles: http://www.dreamweaverbraiding.com/Braiding_Tips.htm

MIX N MATCH:

- Cornrows in front; Twists in back- Cornrows in front; Box Braids in back- Cornrows in front; Bun in back- Flat Twists in front; Twists in back- Flat Twists in front; Box Braids in back- Flat Twists in front; Bun in back- Bantu Knots in front; Twists in back- Bantu Knots in front; Box Braids in back- Bantu Knots in front; Bun back- Braids into Bantu Knots (http://www.worldofbraids.com/upload/page_files/58.jpg)

- Twists into Bantu Knots

COVER IT UP:

- Cornrows under Wig- Weave / Sew-in- Micros / Sew-in Combo- Lace Front / Lace Wig- Phony pony- Phony puff- Bun/Cornrows/Twists/Braids under HeadWrap (http://www.bilaldesigns.com/ProductI...blackgauze.jpg)

- Bun/Cornrows/Twists/Braids under Tam (http://www.curlyhairsalon.com/images/cotton-crochet-tam.jpg, http://pyogazel.free.fr/img_blog/kinky.JPG, http://evilbeetgossip.film.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/yaya2.jpg)

There's No Place Like Home


With the holidays last week I know many people traveled to a place that they fondly call “home”. Often times this “home” is a smaller town/city where they mother or grandmother lives – along with various other family members. Anywho…


I went home to Tuscaloosa, AL over the holiday break and I had a really good time. I always look forward to spending time with family that I don’t get to see often. My children get to visit their Grandmothers and Nanas. We eat at places that we don’t have here in the ATL, and life is just a little more relaxing.


Well, while grocery shopping at Bruno’s, a lady (with relaxed hair) came up to me and just struck up a conversation about my hair. Here’s how it happened:


Lady: Hi, how are you?
Me: I’m fine, and you?
Lady: I’m good. I just wanted to let you know that your hair is pretty and I really like it.
Me: (smiling) Thank you.
Lady: How did you get it to look like that? Did you twist it first?
Me: No, I just washed it with conditioner and added some gel and went on my way.
Lady: Well, it’s really pretty. Do you get it done locally?
Me: No, I do it myself at home.
Lady: So you did nothing but wash it and it looks like that? Mine wouldn’t do that.
Me: Yep, all I do is wash it and add some gel. I had to get rid of my perm before it would do this though.
Lady: I don’t think my hair would do that. I guess we have different textures and that’s just the texture of your hair. Well, it’s very pretty.
Me: (smiling) Thank you.
Lady: See you later.
Me: Ok, bye.
(my husband walks up to me)
Husband: Who was that lady? Do you know her? What did she want?
Me: She wanted to talk about my hair.
Husband: Uh oh. I can hear you now: You got the African drums in the background and you talking about how you use natural berries in your hair and henna. “Child, I use Kinky Curly…”
Me: Shut up! LOL

I got 2 other compliments on my hair during my visit home. I was really shocked because Tuscaloosa is a small town and I see a few naturals there, but it’s nothing like the natural community here in Atlanta. T-town showed me and my fab hair some love over the holidays, and it truly made me think:

…there’s no place like home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up

Hello everyone. Work has had me so swamped that I hadn't had much time to post anything. I really don't have much to post. My hair and I have just been cruising along. I've been pretty much sticking to my bi-weekly henna applications - which is really doing great things for my hair. Sometimes I don't feel like the long process of henna, but hey, if I miss a week or two, then I am still doing the application at least once a month so that's fine by me.

I've gotten into a "no new products" buying challenge on Naturally Curly, so that is somewhat limiting what I can/will purchase for styling. I wanted to try Eco Styler gel, but I will not do that until my challenge is over. So, I've been trying to find different ways to use the Long Aid gel and my Lemon Cake Batter to get the results I want. Right now it almost seems as if my hair requires more butters than usual. I think it's because it has been getting a little cooler outside and there has been less humidity in the air. Not only am I using the Long Aid Gel, but I am finishing the ends with the Lemon Cake Batter.

Today I didn't even co-wash. I just wet my hair in the shower and went on to add the Lemon Cake Batter. I know my DH loved it because I was able to cut my shower time by half this morning since I was not co-washing. I have to admit, my hair is super soft. I love what the "butter batter" has done for my hair.

Although it's been only 15 months since my BC, I have learned a lot about my hair, but I still have a lot to learn. I guess by this time next year, I might just have it down to a science.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1 Year Comparison

I just wanted to drop a short comparison post. It's not my Nappiversary or anything like that, but I think I am going to start doing comparison posts every month just to remind myself about how far I have come in this short time.



This time last year (November 2008) I was sporting a TWA and it was election time! I also made my first attempt at 2-strand twists. Looking back, I think I was brave to attempt those little bitty twists. LOL They even look a little funny now, looking back. That was just one year ago! How about that. I'm just looking in awe of my accomplishment with growing my hair out. I can hardly believe the progress I have made.




Now, here I am, one year later with hair that I am loving:










I'm Getting There

Ok, so I am always on hair blogs and site looking at the trends and styles for natural hair. I'm reading up on products and everything. So, imagine my surprise when Brigid Turner showed up on the header banner for The Coil Review during the October 2009 issue. Brigid actually models hairstyles for Khamit Kinks in Brooklyn, NY. Her hairstyle is simply jaw-dropping and I can not wait until my hair gets there! Sure, it's weave, but this hairstyle is fierce!!! I mean, I am even using her pic as my IM avatar! I never really go bananas over anyone's hair, but this did it for me. Why? Well, because this truly is a realistic hair goal for me. I mean it's truly attainable. Our textures are not too far off - in this pic, her hair does have a looser curl pattern than mine, but it's still very similar. I think if I can get my hair to grow out for another year, I could be really close. So look out for me during the 2010 Holiday Season!





I can see myself now, going to the Holiday party next year rockin' this crazy style! OMG! Folks will hafta get outta my damn way because a diva will be in the building! LOL How amazing would it be to wear this hair every day? Well, let's take a look at the answer to that question. To me, this looks like a fab wash-n-go. Probably salon styled, but hey, I have faith in myself that I can do this style with that amount of hair. My only thing is what do you do with the hair at might, because surely you are not doing a wash-n-go every day - not with that much hair. Now I'm starting to think of detangling sessions! Ouch! O_o LMAO But hey, to have great hair, you have to take care of it, and that's a part of having natural hair. I hear it alot: "you get out what you put in". This is exactly true and if you want great hair, you have to treat it right.




I am all about using great things on my hair, but that doesn't necessarily mean using the most expensive products on my hair. I have used the Kinky curly line which to me is pretty expensive, but my hair seems to like cheaper, less expensive products (right now, we know how temperamental our hair can be from time to time). I use Suave Naturals to co-wash and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration & Hydralicious mixed with olive oil and honey for my deep treatments. I used MDH Henna for my henna applications. This henna is about $1.29 per 100 gram box. I alternate between using Long Aid Activator get and the Lemon Cake Batter I make. So all in all, I really don't spend that much money on hair products. I really could do without the Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I'm trying to figure out if I need to keep purchasing the Knot Today leave-in conditioner. The Come Clean shampoo is a keeper for sure. If I can find a leave-in that is comparable to Knot Today with a cheaper price, then "it's on"!



For the most part, I guess I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. My hair is growing. It's looking good and feeling good. For the most part, I think I know what my hair likes and doesn't like. I'm fortunate - my hair is very easy to work with and always has been. It doesn't give me a lot of trouble. I'm lucky and I know this. I read about people having to avoid protein and cones and all kinds of other stuff. I don't even read the labels. The only thing I try to avoid is gels with alcohols in them because I know that dries my hair out. Other than that, I'm going for what ever product works in my hair. Since they really don't cost me alot, I'm not losing much if it turns out that my hair doesn't/didn't like it. So, I guess I'm saying all of this to say, hey, I'm getting there, and I am on my way to having the hair that I want.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tired of the Wet Look

Earlier this week I decided to shampoo my hair - which I know I hadn't done in about 2 months. My hair felt so good to be clean. I also love the smell of Kinky Curly Knot Come Clean. The citrus smell is great. I followed up my shampooing with the Kinky Curly Knot Today. I love how that stuff makes my hair feels.

I followed up my freshly shampooed mane by adding some of my Lemon Cake Batter - that's it. I just have a fro - no flopping, not dripping wet hair, no wet looking curls - none of that. I just wanted a nice, soft fro that didn't flop in the middle. I can't that by weighing my hair down with gels.

For whatever reason, I was just tired of using gel and my HIF Disease wasn't helping. I didn't like the gel residue that was starting to accumulate on my hair. It left my hands sticky & tacky, so who knows what all of that was doing to my hair.
My "cake batter" definately has my hair feeling as soft as a cloud. I'm enjoying my "big" hair and wearing a fro that sits up instead of automatically flopping in the top/middle.
Just looking back at my "hair journal", I am just at a loss for words. I have had so many differnt looks over the past 14 months since my BC. Natural hair is where it's at. I can have a super soft cloud of a fro one day, super defined coils the next day, 2-strand twists the next day, I mean my hair is just so versatile. I love it more and more each day.
What do you bet that tomorrow I wake up end up having a head full of gel because I want defined coils? LOL, well, at least I have that option.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weight Loss Update


I had gotten some comments on my weight loss and since I hadn't blogged in a while I decided to come on in and update everyone on the progress.

The first thing I did to start my weight loss journey was join Caloriecount.com. There I can enter in everything that I am eating and it automatically calculates the calories for me. It also tells me how many calories I have burned during the day at any given time. You can also log your daily activities and find out how many calories you have burned. They even have a Face Book application so when you log your weight, your friends can see how much weight you have lost. I don't use calorie count as much as I did in the beginning, because I am sticking with a lot of the same foods and I know about how much I can eat at a time.

I am not a real water drinker so any water I drink is a struggle. I get down at least 30 - 40oz of water at work and maybe another 20oz at home. I have almost completely cut out any sodas. If I drink a soda most likely it's a ginger ale or diet soda and those are very limited - once or twice a week. I am almost exclusively a water drinker.

I have also cut down on a lot of sweets. It's a daily struggle because I love cake. Birthday Cake! I crave it. I can buy it by the slice and I will if I don't concentrate on my goal. I stay away from sweets as much as possible so that when I really am at my breaking point and I must have it, I indulge - but not over indulge. That is the key. I just tell myself, that every time I "pass" or turn down dessert, that just allows me another time that I can really say yes. Even when I do decide to have a treat, it's not long before I am satisfied. For example, this weekend, I wanted Oreos. I was able to eat only 2 and I was honestly satisfied with those two cookies.

I also try not eat a meal after 7:00pm. Most times I don't eat anything after 5:00pm unless it's fruit or vegetables. That has helped me tremendously. Since I also have acid reflux, ending my meals earlier has also helped to keep that in check as well.

I have even cut back on fried foods and carbs as much as possible. Even if I happen to eat out at a fast food restaurant, I opt for slaw, fruit, or salad instead of french fries so that when I really want french fries I can have a few. It's a sacrifice, but I am enjoying the rewards.

I think my body and I can finally agree and get along with one another. I have gotten into a rhythm and routine that I don't want to break away from. In February I had to buy all new pants because mine were getting too small. This past weekend, I cleaned out my closet again so that I could make room for a few more items in smaller sizes. I am no longer wearing 2X's or XL Women's sizes. I can comfortably say that my tops are now a size L-Large. I haven't been that in a while and I am so happy. I am now a solid size 18 and not the 26 that I once was a few years ago or even the size 20, 22, or 24 I was earlier this year.

I am excited about what I have going on. I look at myself now and there is no way that I am going back. I am hoping to lose 54 more pounds so that I can be at a healthy weight for my height. I want to get rid of the medications I take for high blood pressure, and angina, and I want this borderline diabetes to go far, far away. The only way I can do this is to take matters into my own hands and get this weight off. The mini-rewards of new clothes here and there is a constant reminder of what I am doing is working. I'm now down 33 pounds for the year. Once I reach my goal, weight and can maintain it, I will be giving myself one final reward - a tummy tuck! Look out world, here I come.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hair & Weight and Weight & Hair

As I sit here, just thinking about how I have been slipping with the blogging, I do have some good reasoning behind it. Work for one has become a bit more demanding and it is our busiest time of year so that leaves me with very little free time during the week.

My main focus over the past few months has been my hair and my weight. With my hair, it wasn't so simple. I had to be able to find the right products for my hair within a reasonable budget. I also had to find the right styling method(s) as well as a night time routine. I mean it could have all been overwhelming - but it wasn't. For the most part, I don't have/use expensive products. I am fortunate - my hair behaves very well, and because I continue to use the same products, if I tried something and my hair were to turn out horrible, I would know exactly what product to "ban" from my regimen.



Adding the bi-weekly henna is time consuming but worth it. My hair is loving it and I am loving the results. My hair is so much softer than it ever was. I also can "go light" on the rpoduct usage as well. I'm tripping because my hair is thick, but now I am at the point where it is not necessary to use insane amounts of product to get the same results I was getting maybe 2 - 3 months ago.




I think I am a bit obsessed with my hair, but it's ok. LOL Now my weight, that's something else. I've lost 29 pounds this year with no sign of stopping. It's been rough too. I'm not even gonna lie. But I am loving the new me. I feel so much better. Although I am no where near my goal, I am totally motivated by the fit of my pants. Sure, it's annoying to keep having to pull them up, but it's alot better to do that than to have to unbutton them because they are cutting into your skin!

It may be funny, but that has been a real truth for me. My eating had gotten out of control. I was eating just for the sake of eating. I was eating because I was bored or just because I felt like eating...and eating whatever I want, too, just as if there was no consequence. I have finally seen the light and refuse to go back.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Regimen Confirmed

Well, Friday night I did my 7th henna application. I had already mixed the henna at work so that as soon as I got home. I ended up leaving the henna in all night. I didn’t really plan on it, but I did.

When I woke up around 6:00am –ish, I got into the shower to rinse. It didn’t take to terribly long. I co-washed about twice to make sure that the majority of the henna was gone. I have noticed that when I sleep in the henna it’s harder for me to rinse, so I think that is my last time doing that for a while. The next time I henna it will be for no more than 5 hours. This will also leave more time for my deep conditioning.

I made my same deep conditioner with a mix of Hello Hydration and Hydralicious, honey, and EVOO. This mixture always has my hair smelling like heaven! I simply love it. It also keeps my hair soooo soft. No need for me to spend extra bucks when this stuff will do the trick.

The one thing I meant to do was to apply some of my Lemon Cake Batter to my hair before the deep conditioner. I bet that would have totally sealed the deal and sent my hair over the edge! LOL That’s ok – it’s a side-note for the next time.

Once I rinsed out the deep conditioner, I was set. My hair felt great – as usual. I am still so surprised every time I henna and my hair is like “whoa”! My hair feels so good. Coils and curls get more defined, less frizz – what more could a girl ask for?

More than anything though, I was surprised at how long my hair has gotten. Check it out for yourself.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Date Night

Yep, its date night and unfortunately it’s not with my husband. This time it’s with henna. LOL Yep, time for my bi-weekly henna application. I am undecided as to how I feel about it. I almost feel like it’s too soon to henna again, but whatever.

As I type this, there is henna sitting on my desk (@ work) getting “ripe” for this evening’s application. After 4 hours of sitting, it looks like there has been some dye release. I am undecided as to the process will take this time.

I will mix in the honey before application – as usual; however, I am unsure as to how I will go through the rinsing process and DC (deep condition). I want to stop by Wal-Mart and get some Hello Hydration & Hydralicious to do my regular DC, but as tired as I am, I don’t know if I will feel like it.

I know good and well that I am not going to use my Giovanni to do the DC. LOL …and I don’t think that Suave will cut it for the DC – so it looks like I will have to go and drop about $8.50 in Wal-Mart this evening for my DC supplies. At least I still have honey and olive oil. I am going to have to buy bigger bottles – especially if I am going to henna every other week.

Not that it’s a big deal to buy bigger bottles – I mean; I already buy the $5.00 bottle of Hello Hydration. I just wish that Hydralicious came in a big $5.00 bottle or that Wal-Mart sold their own brand of it. Kmart sells their own store brand knock off of Hello Hydration, but I really don’t shop Kmart like that to know about their store brand products, so I left it sitting there.

I’m not even sure how long I’m gonna leave the henna in. I don’t know anything! LOL I was thinking of leaving it in at least 4 – 6 hours. If I happen to fall asleep and it’s in longer, no big deal. If I can manage to stay home tomorrow, the DC will stay in all day. Well, I guess it could still stay in all day because if I needed to go out, I could just wear a head wrap. That’s an option.

Now that I think about it, I need the henna out by like 11:00pm so I can DC over night. I don’t want to leave the DC in too long. All day until the next morning seems like a long time. I better just keep this going the way I’ve been doing it.

I see now that I am gonna have to freestyle this henna application. I’m tripping. I want to get maximum color, conditioning, and curl elongation, so the henna will have to stay on until morning and then DC for maybe 4 hours. I just need my hair dry before bed-time Saturday night. This plan should work – I guess. If I wash the henna out around 7:00am and then leave the DC in until at least 11:00am, I should be good to go. I might pick up a VO5 to co-wash the henna from my hair too.

I guess I’ll just see how I feel about it all when I get home. 4 more hours to go…

Water: The Essential Element of Life



This post is gonna be so random. I have so much on my mind. This past week has been a week of extreme emotional challenges and I am praying that I have at least gotten over the hump.

First of all, water.
Don’t think I’m crazy. Yes, I said “water”. I hate drinking the stuff. I truly do, but I cannot deny the results I have seen lately from my increased intake of H2O. My skin is looking good. Not many break-outs or pimples. I usually get one around “that time” and that’s it. Even my problem areas on my upper arms are completely clear.



Not only has it helped my skin, but it has more than helped in my weight loss. In just the past month I have lost 7 pounds and I know that it has a lot do with me drinking more water.
I have also realized why my hands swell so badly. It’s the sodas I have been drinking. I love soda, ok. Love it! I mean I have a 12 pack of Ginger Ale as “tummy fixer” in my room at almost all times. (don’t ask, I have a lot of tummy issues) And my new fave drink is Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper! That stuff is so yummy – I could have that as my dessert if I really needed it to be.


Anyway….back to what I was saying about the swelling hands. My hands have been swelling when I am out walking at the mall, around the neighborhood, any time I work out, etc. and I never knew why. I do take a “water pill for my high BP, but that didn’t even seem to help with my hands swelling. Well, since I have “kicked-up” the amount of water I have been drinking, I have not really been thirsty for other beverages. So I have really been trying hard to drink water at/with my meals just so that I can get in as much water as possible.



Well, there was one day in particular that I didn’t drink any soda. I only had water – all day. I walked my dogs that evening in the neighborhood and didn’t get any hand swelling. I was amazed. I thought I was cured. Until the next week when I went to the mall with my son only to find my hands swelling! I could not for the life of me figure out why that was happening. Then I went back to the food log I use on Calorie Count and realized the only thing was the day I walked the dogs, I didn’t have any soda. So I have been noticing now – the days I drink soda – I find that my hands swell if I do any activities outside of “just sitting still”.



Needless to say, I have cut way back on the soda. Instead of 2 a day I have more like 3 a week – if that. I wondered when I would be able to give it up and what would lead me to do it, but I never really thought I could give it up. Not me, I was addicted to the stuff. GOD is slowly but surely seeing me through this madness.


Who knows how my hair is benefitting from all of this water? I guess I will see in the long run.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Last Couple of Days

Well, I have to admit, the past coule of days have been "good hair days" in more ways that one. I made a product for my hair from scratch - that truly is amazing (Lemon Cake Batter).

On Friday I was able to get some Giovanni products for $5.49 ea. This was great considering I wanted to try it out. I got a shampoo and 2 conditioners. I can't wait to use them!

On Saturday I got my Long Aid Activator Gel and that was the last thing I needed to complete my stash. When I take my son to football parctice this week I will re-up on Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner and Vanilla Flower conditioner - Just so that I can continue to co-wash as much as I like.

I need to get back to the basics of my hair. Daily co-washing is what got me to where I am, so why should I stop now? LOL I think part of it is just laziness and finding it somewhat challenging to do my hair at this length. Oh well, just like I have heard other people say...."back to basics".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Visiting an Old Friend


With all of the talk about Kinky Curly Curling Custard on some of the hairboards I frequent, I decided to revisit it since I had some just sitting under my bathroom sink taking up space. After my pretty decent experience with my Lemon Cake Batter, I didn't see the need to "hover" with it.


This morning I co-washed with Suave Vanilla Flower, then I added some Kinky Curly Knot Today with the Curling Custard on top. This time it took way less product to get a more than favorable result. I am excited.....again! Seems like I had fallen out of love with the KCCC and had moved on - or so I thought.


I think that all of my henna-ing to no end has helped with product application and not needing so much. I had heard that was one of the benefits, but really hadn't seen it yet. Well, after my 6th henna, I am finally seeing that benefit.


Now, what does this mean? Well, I'm not sure. How long will I continue to drop $30 on some KCCC? I guess I'll have to see. I can't lie, my hair looks good today and it took little to no effort at all. I can't complain, and I really do like the product.
To be honest, I really did miss it. But what about it did I miss exactly? Was it the smell? The texture? How it makes my coils sit, hang, and command attention? I missed all of it. Yes, my long Aid Activator is very comparable, but it doesn't quite do what KCCC does for my hair.
Welcome back old friend. It really was good to see you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lemon Cake Batter

Mixtress in the making? Could be. Back about 2 months ago I ordered some butters: Macadamia Nut, Aloe, Olive, & Shea. I ordered them with the intentions of using them for my hair in various ways. Well, I have been having the itch to mix a few things together to see how it would work for my hair, hence the new hand-held mixer I bought a week or so ago.



So, yesterday I went by Whole Foods and bought some Aloe Vera Gel and some Vegetable Glycerin so that I could make my mixtures last night. I was so excited. I took out all of my butters, my jojoba oil, and my sparkling lemonade. I was trying to figure out what butter(s) to incorporate into this mixture I was making.



So, I got my glass bowl and put a little shea butter in, then I added the aloe butter. The aloe butter is very soft - not at all like the shea butter. Then I decided I would also add in some olive butter which is also a very soft butter. I whipped the three butters together and in no time it was a very smooth. Not very hard at all, more like cream. Then I added some jojoba oil, aloe vera gel, glycerin, and some sparkling lemonade for scent. When I whipped it, I wanted the mixture to be a bit thicker so I added a little more shea butter.



It smelled great, however the consistency was not exactly what I was going for initially. I was trying for something more like very, very thick - like very thick whipped cream or a pudding consistency. No, more like spreadable cream cheese - yea, that's it. Then I thought back - in the beginning I wanted something comparable to the "creams" being sold by some of the upper end boutique style natural hair care companies, so hey - not a loss.



My mixture reminded me of cake batter. LOL If you look at it, it looks solid. Even if you turn the bowl on it's side, the "batter" moves very slowly, if at all. Oh, but when I touched it, it was very light and smooth, and it melted into my skin/hand right away. I knew I was going to like this. I wiped off my hand mixer to get all of the batter off, and rubbed my hand in my hair and oh my gosh!!!! It made my hair feel soooo good!







I co-washed my hair with Suave Naturals Vanilla Flower conditioner and detangled. I towel blotted my hair dry and began to part my hair and apply the batter to my hair and brush through with the Denman. My hair and I both were melting with pleasure. After I brushed through each battered section, I twisted the hair. I covered my hair with a silk scarf and bonnet. I loved smelling the lemony scent while sleeping. It was so relaxing.



When my husband came into our room, I asked him to smell my hair and tell me what it smelled like. He told me it smelled like a cake his grandmother used to make. Ok, that made me smile. Then he smelled it again and was like, I smell a little lemon too, like lemon cake. (That was the a-ha moment, because I had no idea what to call this concoction, but he gave me the name without ever knowing.)



This stuff is even good for your skin! I put some on my husband last night before bed and this morning his skin felt amazing! I hated that he had to take a shower! LOL



When I woke up this morning my hair was mega moisturized! I loved it. It feels good - and my hair has a wonderful lemon smell that is not overpowering. I know my hair is loving it. Who knew I could make such wonderful things? I can't wait to make my next batch of "batter".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Henna'd Up....again.


Well, I am on scedule for my bi-weekly henna dates with my holy grail henna - MDH Henna Powder. I henna'd Friday night with no problem. I had mixed my henna by 2:30pm and and by 6:00 I already had dye release and the henna was already in my hair. Around 10:00 - 10:30 I was already rinsing and applying my deep conditioner mix of Hello Hydration, EVOO, and honey for an overnight deep conditioning treatment.


With my henna being in the deep freezer I think I am on point to purchase as much as I want and just stash it downstairs in the deep freezer. Man, yeah, I am about to be on a roll now. I'm trying to figure out if I can mix my henna in the mornings and apply when I get home or if the dye release will have been long gone y that time. I mean, the first time I henna'd it was cool to have it there for like 10 - 12 hours or so and it did color my hair, so I am guessing that it would be ok. However, I could always mix it at work and carry the henna back & forth. LOL Really though? That is way too much. I guess I could mix the henna before I leave for work. It would definately be ready for application once I got home though.


This time, I did something different during the henna process. I co-washed my hair after I rinsed most of the henna out. I used the Suave Coconut to co-wash and it worked very well. I also kept gloves on for most of the time (application as well as rinsing process) so that I wouldn't have the Cheeto effect going on. I'm trying to figure out if there is anything else I could be doing during the henna process that would make things easier or better. I guess I'll keep reading and learning. If any of you have any tips or suggetions, let me know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Pastor Talked About it This Morning


Y'all....I went to church this morning - all ready to receive the word of GOD and of course I always love it when Rev. Alexander "brings it". LOL So, he preached from Daniel and talked about the "fiery furnace" and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I always love when he preaches about this story. Heck, I like when anyone preaches/talks about it. Madea/Tyler Perry always says "Shadrach, Meshach, and ABillyGoat", and someone else I know says "Shadrach, Meshach, and ABadNegro". LOL


Anyway, Rev. Alexander went off on that racism tip today - which was right up my alley. I was ready to hear this and I was all up into it. Now, mind you, I will be paraphrasing what he said today since I don't have the CD from today's service (yet). So, Rev. was talking about how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had their names changed from what their given names were and compared that to "black folks" today. How when we came here from Africa we were Niggers & Nigras. Then we became Negroes. Then we were "colored", and after that we became African American. And now we are just BLACK - which is the "cousin" to "colored". LOL


Oh, but the killing part was when he talked about how "we" in "the club" (you know the club - US - Us 'Black Folk') have to "try to fit in" to "the world". HAHAHAH Man, it was so funny....but when he busted us out for using "conk" and "frying our hair" to fit into "society" I thought I would die! Oh, but it gets better. He said, "yeah, we moved on from that to 'wearing other people's hair"!!!! Ooooh-weeeee!!!! LMAO


It is 6:00pm and I am still laughing about it. Rev. was saying, "no wonder we're confused, we don't even know what we really look like." HAHAHAH Oh lord. LOL I am still dying behind that. I can't wait to get the CD. Oh, and if I get the DVD, I will be posting it on YouTube.


Let me tell you, if I wasn't already napptural, I sure would have shut it down and quit perming after that message! LOL

The Dior Make-Up Counter in Macy's

Alright ladies. I been on the hair boards for over a year now and blogging since March or so and those who know of me know that I don't do the make-up thing. I only wear it for special occasions. The most I do is mascara and lipstick/gloss - that's it - nothing more. So, ans I was walking through Macy's and the Dior lady approached me, I decided to give it a shot. What the heck - they would clean my face and apply expenisive make-up for free. What's not to like?


So first they clean my face with some cleanser, apply toner, and some eye serum. Of course....all while telling me how much I need the products to take care of my skin - that's a part of the game. Anyway, the cleansing was awesome, and they almost had me sold on buying the stuff, but my skin looks great just like it is.

Next came the application of the make-up. It all felt soo good. The foundation was in a spray can like a can of paint and it looked nice when I saw my face with nothing but the foundation on it. That make-up artist put everything on my face: foundation, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss - all kids of stuff. The final look at myself was somthing different. Part of me liked it and part of me felt like it really wasn't me at all.

The real test was going to be what my 15 year old son thought of me when he saw it. His initial reaction was cool. He said it wasn't "too much", so I figured it was ok. I walked through the mall with someone elses face on me. When I went home to the rest of my family, I would know the deal.


Even before my family saw it I decided to take pictures - I mean, seeing as how I had about $1,000 worth of Dior product on my face, I felt like I should capture the moment. So, I started to take pictures. That's when I noticed............the mask!!!! WTF?!?!?!?! This so-called make-up artist for Dior didn't even blend the make-up in. You could see the whole "line" around my face...and the damn foundation wasn't even the right color - it was too light!!!!



When I looked at those pictures I was horrified! I mean, dang, I had just walked through the mall looking like that! *sigh* Lord have mercy. See, that's why I don't trust people with my face. I just don't. ....and she was supposed to be a professional, a paid and trained professional. ...and not just any professional.......a Christian Dior make-up artist. Are you kidding me? By the time I got home - which was 45 minutes, this stuff lookedlike it was practically melting off of my face! How disappointing is/was that?


I'll let y'all be the judges. Look at the pictures:











Needless to say, as soon as I saw this mess, I went right to my bathroom and scrubbed all of that mess off of my face except for the eye make-up and lip color. I still feel like the natural color of my face hasn't returned. Dayum! After I got home from College Gameday @ the Georgia Dome and Centinnial Olympic Park, I took a shower and proceeded to scrub until my face was like I like it - clean and pure.

Friday, September 4, 2009

OMG! It's back in my life.

Well, while my son was at football practice yesterday I decided to go to the BSS in search of some tuck-n-combs for a style I wanted to try. (inspired by Spiral) So, I did just that. The store I went to sure didn't have much of a selection as far as combs went, so I decided to go down the street to Kmart.



Yep, you read that right: Kmart. I know that most of them are closing or have closed, but there are still a few of them around the Atlanta metro area. Anywho...I went in there and it took me a minute to locate the tuck-n-combs, but I got 2 packages. One package had 2 large combs about 4 inches wide and the other package had 12 small combs in different colors: 2 each of black, tortoise, clear, olive, navy, and a clear/cream color.










I was excited because the styles I had been wanting to try, I now could - with ease and quickness too! So, while perusing the hair care isles, I ran across something amazing! Y'all I ran up on some Suave Naturals Vanilla Flower. Why Lord, why? LOL I popped the top and took a whiff - "my Lord"!!!! That stuff smells heavenly. I have never seen that particular scent available anywhere!!! I had to get it. I mean, just the other day I said I was going to go back to co-washing with Suave, so this was perfect. Then on down the shelf they had a super huge bottle of the Coconut! Well, needless to say, I picked that up as well. So while my son has practice over there near Kmart I will be stocking up on the Suave.


I cowashed with the Coconut this morning, and man! My hair really missed it. What was I thinking to cut back on the daily co-washing because my hair had gotten a little longer. My napps was born & raised on Suave co-washing! LOL I can't stop now. I'll go back to saving the HE Hello Hydration & Hydralicious for my DC treatments. I'm sorry for doubting your love for me Suave. I know that Vanilla Flower will have us in love for years to come.
Alright, so, back to the co-washing. It was amazing this morning. I had forgotten how easy it was. Not to mention how much I really do enjoy it. My hair felt great afterwards too - not as good as it does after HEHH, but still, it felt good. Thank you for not giving up on me Suave.
You still my boo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hey Y'all

Ok, I know I have been missing in action for a while but there really has been nothing going on. I have been trying to focus on getting healthy. I have been doing pretty good too. My weight loss plan is in full effect, so I am counting it as a blessing and thanking The Lord for just getting me this far.



On the hair end of things.....well, I have just been taking it easy. I'm not doing wash-n-go's, but more like rinse-n-go's. LOL It's coming up on the Fall, so I am cutting back on the gels and getting more into the butters. I have a little over a pound of Nikki's shealoe butter so I know I will need to re-up around November. I have some Macadamia nut and olive butters that I am dying to experiment with. I need to get some aloe vera gel and glycerin from whole foods and I will be on my way. I even bought one of those nice hand mixers from BrandsMart just for mixing my hair products. It's not the kind with the beaters. It's the stick kind that looks kind of like this:







I paid less than $6 for it so since I will only be using it for product mixing, I should be fine. I can't wait to start whipping up different kinds of butters for my skin & hair. But Nikki's butter will always be my steady. LOL

I'm going to henna sometime during the night Friday night. Especially since my son doesn't have a game on Saturday. I can just chill at home and do "the hair thing". Oooh, so much time. What will I do? *insert evil, sneaky laugh here*

It will have been 3 weeks since my last henna, so I will go on and get the party started. This way I can henna every other week like I want to. I just didn't want to henna on the weekends I get paid, because well....henna time interferes with shopping time. LOL That way on the weeks I don't get paid I still have something to look forward too.

I'm thinking about incorporating Suave conditioners back into my life. I have been so in love with Hello Hydration that I just gave up on Suave. LOL I mean, Hello Hydration and Hydralicious - I need kegs of that stuff! But Suave will be better for the every day co-washing if I ever go back to that. I can't see daily co-washes until the spring of next year. By that time I will have so much hair that daily co-washes will be ridiculous! It's a chore now just with the thickness of it all. I am hoping that the bi-weekly hennas will help to tame my hair a little more.

What I really need to be doing is trying to get some different hairstyles together. I haven't been on NP or Fotki in so long that if it's not an Afro or puff, I just ain't seen it. I am all about what's quick and easy right now. I'm already getting up before the chickens, so I need to make every minute count. I'll be stalking Fotkis tonight so watch out! You just might see me with your hair. LOL

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1st Nappiversary!!!



I am excited and relived. I have finally made it 1 year since my BC. It wasn't hard but it was challenging. There wasn't a time that I thought about perming/relaxing my hair again, but there were times where I wondered WTF have I done! LOL After years of having at least shoulder length hair - to cut it off to about 1/2 - 1 inch of hair - well, I musthave been crazy to do that. LOL




Well, it has paid off and in this past year I have learned a lot about natural hair and how to take carfe of it. I've learned about products, techniques, regimines, and styles. Some things were for me and others were not. All in all, it has been great and I know that there is no turning back for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Totally Twisted


Alright. I bit the bullet and twisted my hair last night. For some reason I didn't make the twists as large as I wanted to. Anyway, I got the twists in and they will stay in for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks is up (Saturday morning) I will henna my hair and retwist with my Under Picasso Moon Shealoe Ferox butter and keep it moving. Next time I just have to make my twists bigger. I only want to take about an hour or less to twist - not 2 1/2 hours.


My twists feel good - nice and soft. The shealoe is wonderful for them. My hair drinks it up and it's not too heavy. The challenge is going to be trying to behave and keep the twists in until henna day. If I can do it just once, i know I will be able to do it through the cold months. Then when I unleash that hair in the spring - WHAAAAAAA!!!!! LOL

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Am I Tripping?

Since I henna'd over the weekend I just been loving my hair. When I put the henna in and my hair was weighted, I loved it. I hadn't seen my hair "hang" in so long that I forgot what it looked like. I sat there in that bathroom for about 15 minutes playing in my hair that was full of henna just because it was "hanging".



Am I falling into the trap of "long hair" all over again? I would like to say that I'm not, but all the signs point to that being a lie. I mean really, if I said I didn't want long hair or if I even said I didn't care about long hair I would only be lying to myself. Hell yeah I want long hair - all the way down my butt! I want to be able to sit on it and complain about how I can't do anything with it because it's so dang long!


I even went so far as to look at the change in curl pattern. My hair has been coily since the beginning, but I have been noticing the change with each henna. Now this time my curls have really elongated and guess what they do? They "hang". ...and I'm happy about it. Shoot, skip happy, I'm damn excited about it!


But why? Shoot, because I'm falling into the trap...the stereotype. The "loose curl/wavy hair is better" trap. Mmm hmm. I thought I was better than that. I sure did, but slowly I have been noticing it. I mean, in the beginning I thought to myself that "Hey, as long as my hair is natural I don't care how it looks." Well, that was because I knew how my kids' hair looked and I knew that for the most part I would have some type of "manageable curls". As I'm typing, I am sitting here thinking to myself, "would I have gone natural if my hair was '4z'? Probably not - and that's just being real. I would have come up with some other type of option, but it wouldn't have been to be natural. Maybe locs, but not loose, nappy hair - hell no!


So now what? I've admitted my problem, so how do I solve it? I need to do some serious soul searching. Why am I really on this "natural" journey? Is it really important for me to have long hair? Is it important for me to have waves or loose curls? If so, at what expense? I have a lot of thinking to do.


On the other hand, does it even matter? Can't I be who I want to be? Are my feelings about my hair hurting anyone other than myself? I mean, I'm not saying these things out loud - they're only in my mind and in my heart. I'm not passing this onto my kids. These are just my personal thoughts and feelings about my own hair.


Yeah, I got issues, I'm tripping right now and I don't feel good about. I damn near feel like a hypocrite. All this talking I been doing about natural hair and wearing your natural hair, and be comfortable with your hair. Whatever....I been tripping. I have to get my behind in gear because I am slipping. Time to re-evaluate myself and why I made this move to go natural.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm on a roll.

I did my 5th henna application over the weekend, and I must say that I am super pleased. I got some fresh MDH Henna from the Indian market on Saturday. I couldn't wait for my husband to bring it home before I mixed it up. I had my supplies all lined up on the bathroom counter - ready and waiting. It had been nearly a month since my last henna and considering I said I would do it every 2 - 3 weeks, I was long over due. My little greys were beginning to peek from under the rich cherry red of the majority of my hair. That's always a sure sign that a henna application is needed. It had been way too long and I really was itching to do it. ...and my hair needed extra attention in the worst way. What better than a henna application to get things started.



I mixed my henna at about 5:00pm and it smelled soo good. It was fresh. I could tell by the bright green color that it was a good batch. I used 200g of henna to cover my hair. My 1st box was an older box and I could tell by the color of the henna too. I had the older box since May. But no big deal because the new box was supa dupa fresh.


By 7:30, there was already some dye release. I checked on the henna and immediately (without removing the plastic wrap) I could see the color change. I didn't apply the henna mix until about 10:00pm. I showered so I could wash my hair and start with a clean slate. It seems like when I henna w/ the henna I have just purchased on freshly shampooed hair I get these crazy amazing results!


The dye release was fast and once I mixed the honey in with my henna paste/mud, it was super smooth. The henna hardly had any lumps and this made for an easy application process. I knew that relaxer applicator brush would come in handy for something else! LOL



After applying the henna, I kind of massaged it into my hair so that I could make sure that my hair was truly saturated with the pasty mud. It kind of let good omn my hair. It was nice to see my hair "hang" a little. Of course I don't see much of that. It was tough trying to get my hair into a position where I couls get the plastic wrap around it, but I made it work. The I placed the curl cap over that. Once I got into my bed, I placed the heating pad on my head and a scull cap on top of that while I slept. Yeah, I was doing a lot. A little of the henna dripped, but it was nothing I couldn't handle.



When I woke up and it was nearly 6am, I decided to go ahead and rinse the henna. It seemed like it took a little while to rinse from my hair, so I helped it along with a little co-wash. It really wasn't so bad, I guess because I had it on all night, it really started to "stick" to my skin and hair. Once I co-washed the henna out, I added my deep conditioner mix of Hello Hydration, honey, and EVOO. I left that on for about 4 - 5 hours. My hair loved it, and I continued to smell like honey on into the night. :o)


When I rinsed the deep conditioning treatment from my hair it felt so good. I added some Long Aid Gel and went on my way. My hair looked great. I am so pleased with this henna treatment. It's amazing how amazing the results can be - especially if you have some really fresh henna. I still can't for the life of me figure out how a green paste can make your hair turn orange/red.

(look @ that great color)



Ok, so at least 2 weeks from now I will henna again. This is going to be interesting. I really want to wait and do it 3 weeks from now, but we'll see. If my grey is really peeping out, then I will henna for sure in 2 weeks. It's just hard to henna on the weekends that I get paid because I have so many other things I need to do on payday weekends. I'll work it out somehow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

E.L.F. - Eyes.Lips.Face. Discount Codes



Hey ladies. If you didn't already know about E.L.F (Eyes.Lips.Face.) I'm gonna put you on to some game! E.L.F. used to be sold in Nordstroms' stores, but since E.L.F. no longer has the contract with Nordstroms they have become mostly a web based make-up company.

I bought my first few products from E.L.F. in January so I could have some new make-up for my trip to DC to attend the Inauguration. I only spent about $25 and got plenty of items. I am not a big make-up wearer so I made my purchases very consciously.

I signed up for their email alerts and they send discount coupon codes at least once a week. The last email they sent me included plenty of codes, but code I was most interested in was the 75% off Minerals Lipsticks! Yep, that's right, 75% off! I went directly to the website and started browsing around to see what I liked. The fall is coming, so I believed that new lipsticks were in order.

I just wanted to pass the savings along to you divas!

75% OFF MINERAL LIPSTICK! No minimums, no maximums! Code GETLIP Shop Now at www.eyeslipsface.com/products_minerals.asp?dept_id=1234

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FL09 Regimen...I think.

It's been about a month since my last henna and I need to get on it. My hair is begging, screaming for it. Since my husband has gone in the direction of my fave store to get henna I asked him to pick some up for me along with some Vatika Oil. My hair needs an overnight henna session and a great deep condition in the AM.


I want to start henna-ing my hair every other week. While I am entering into the fall season at work I think I will try to wear twists in my hair until the day before I henna. Then I can henna on Saturdays and twists again on Sunday night.


I'm going to see how long I can go with this routine. I don't usually stay in protective styles very long because I miss feeling my loose napps. The last time I put twists in my hair I took them down about 3 days later because I missed my hair. As long as I get my products together (butters) I think I'll be able to do this the way I want to do it.


I'm hoping that Nikki's Sheaole Ferox Butter will help me through the cold months as far as protecting and moisturizing my hair. I am really going to try extra hard to go through with this. I want to see if there will be any significant changes to my hair after going through the fall and winter in the majority of protective styles. I bet my hair will thank me.


I'm really going to have to get this thing down because my hair loves co-washing. Ususally when I have twists in I don't co-wash very much. I only rinse in the shower, add some type of oil and go on about my business. That is going to have to change if I keep my hair in twists. I'm going to have to learn how to co-wash my twists without them unraveling. If I can keep them from unraveling, this might be easy.


I should measure my hair now and then again around the end of the year. I haven't measured my hair in a while, because I have been noticing significant hair growth. I'm not sure if it's the henna elongating my hair or actual hair growth or a combination of the two. Whatever it is, I'm going to continue to enjoy it while I can.




Friday, August 14, 2009

Co-washing really is the -ish!


Well, after I was able to admit that I was no longer in the TWA stage and admit that my wash & go’s were becoming “I’m washing too long’s” I began to twist my hair at night and rinse the twists during my A.M. shower. This was a pretty good idea. It works well, for what need it for, but I miss the wash & go.

By Thursday I was seriously “needing” a wash& go. (or was I) I’m not sure, but I sure wanted one. Last night I slept bonnet-less on my satin pillowcase in anticipation of my Friday morning co-wash. I couldn’t wait to get my Hello Hydration this morning and go to work on my head. Oh man! My hair needed it soooo bad!

I just stood under the shower head this morning – relaxed, and thinking how good the warm water felt as it tickled my scalp. Once my hair was almost completely wet, I added the conditioner. Man! My hair was just drinking it up! It felt amazing on my hair. I enjoyed every minute of the hair fondling! LOL My hair was full of conditioner and the finger combing was easy. My hands were able to slip through the coils while smoothing them at the same time.

I had a good little bit of shed hair, but what could I expect when I had just stopped my daily co-washing “cold turkey”? My hair was retaliating and I didn’t too much care for that. I am going to have to go back to the co-washing! I just have too. My hair will thank me for it.

Product Review: Under Picasso Moon's Shealoe Ferox Butter



All right. You want it, I'm gonna give it to you straight - no chaser! So a few months ago I realized I needed heavier products on my hair. My hair was getting longer and thicker and most of the gels and things I have been using were not giving it the weight and moisture I needed. Someone suggested I look into "butters" and I did.

In one of my previous posts, "Butters Butters Everywhere" , I highlighted and talked about a lot of different butters. I visited a lot of different websites looking for the best product at the best price. In the nautral hair world there are a lot of trusted and recommended websites where a lot of the ladies make their purchases. I visited them all. But for some reason, I kept searching for something else. But what exactly was I looking for?

*I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I would know when I found it.* My search took me on to eBay. I entered “shealoe” in the search box and just went down the list. One listing in particular jumped out at me. It was labeled as: “Body Butter - Shealoe Ferox - All Natural Ingredients!”

I clicked the eBay ad and began to read. The ad seemed very sincere – like I was actually talking to someone about their product. All of the ingredients are natural, and the product is home made. This product is made by someone who had a family member who had extreme sensitivity to mainstream products that are sold in stores. This prompted the seller to start making products on her own in order to help a family member. What a story. I was intrigued to say the least.


Just that little bit of info along with the low price of $4.75 (plus $2.92 shipping) for a 4oz jar was enough for me to try this shealoe butter out. Well, when I made my purchase “Nikki” was out of town on vacation and stated that any of her regular customers who purchased from her during her vacation time would receive a 10% discount for her appreciation of their continued business. Well, I wasn't a regular customer so I didn't worry about it. I didn’t even see the notice until after I made my purchase, but hey, I was fine with not getting the discount, and I was fine with waiting until she returned from vacation to receive the goods.



“Nikki” sent the package and to my surprise she included my 10% discount in a small snack-sized Ziploc baggie. She also included a bag of dried calendula flowers as a “thank you” along with a personalized hand written note. By this time I was already impressed with her customer service although I hadn’t tried the actual product yet.

So, the shealoe came in a cute little dark blue jar with her own product label on one side and the ingredient label on the other side(I'll come back to list the ingredients). Everything looked “all good”. I opened the jar and looked at the product…..

It didn’t seem “extra” just by looking at it. I smelled it. It smelled a lot like Shea Butter I had smelled before – kind of reminded me of how crayons smell. Oh, but when I touched it…it was so light and airy. It almost felt like touching whipped cream! I rubbed just a little on the back of my hand and OMG!!!! I can’t tell you the last time something felt so good on my skin! At that point, I didn’t give a hoot if it worked for my hair or not because it sure had my hand feeling like silk. I could hardly wait for the next morning’s co-wash to try it out on my hair.

So, after the next day’s co-wash, I added the shealoe to my hair, and just as I suspected…my lord!!!!! That stuff had my hair feeling all kinds of amazing! This heavenly shealoe had my hair singing in appreciation!

Not only do I use this on my hair, but my skin, my daughter’s hair, my husband’s skin, etc, etc. I had to email “Nikki” and get her to hook me up with a 1 pound jar! She’s amazing. She said she would get on it and let me know when she has it ready for purchase.

I’m in love y’all. I told “Nikki” that she had a customer for as long as she was making the product. So, if you’re looking for some amazing Shealoe Butter, just do a search for “Shealoe Ferox” on eBay and her Shealoe Butter will come right up!

So all in all, I have to give “Nikki’s Under Picasso Moon” Shealoe Ferox Butter an around the world and back snap!


Oh, P.S., if you happen to try her out, tell her that Stephanie sent you..... :o)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Product Review: Greg Juice




There was a contest on NaturalHairGrows.com that required you submit 2 resources that you used to help you with your natural journey. The winner(s) would receive Greg’s Juice from Oyin Handmade. Well, I was excited, I felt like this was possibly something I could go for – and win! Well, I was chosen as one of the winners and couldn’t wait to get the Greg’s Juice. I had been researching it online, but wasn’t sure about making the purchase. This was right on time!

It took about 2 weeks for me to get the package in the mail, but when I did, I was ecstatic! Even my husband teased me about it. I immediately ran upstairs to try the product out. It smelled great! When I sprayed it on my hair it felt pretty good – I mean it should, right? It boasts ingredients like Purified Water Infused with Rosemary, Nettle, Horsetail, Red Sage, Lavender, & Chamomile, Flaxseed Decoction, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Essences of Rosemary, Lavender, Sweet Orange & YlangYlang, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and Vitamin C. What’s not to love?

Well, after a few days of using the Greg’s Juice, I really didn’t notice anything special – at all. For me, water and curl activator or water and shealoe (or any of my other butters) work better for my hair than this. I even tried it on my daughter’s hair just to see if maybe it was just a product that wasn’t compatible with my hair, and still, I didn’t care for the results. The end result almost makes my hair feel dry – like if you hair real fruit juice on your hair – it just had a somewhat dry and sticky feeling.

I know that someone reading this might say, well, this product is great – well, maybe it is….for you, but not for me. I was surprised and disappointed because I don’t think I have ever really had any hair product that didn’t work or show favorable results on my hair. I’m lucky – I have very user/product friendly hair. I am so glad that I got the product for free. If I had spent $11 (plus shipping) on this product I would have been thoroughly upset. Getting to try it for free was a blessing.

So all in all, I have to give Oyin Greg’s Juice a
On a side note, it does smell like berries.......maybe I can use it as a body spray.....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hair Observations


Ok, it's almost been a year since my BC. My hair has reached a critical stage. I can no longer to a quick and simple wash and go. It has started taking me about 10 minutes in the shower to get it "right" - which is far too long. I mean think about it....it takes about 3 1/2 minutes to get my hair fully saturated by water just to begin the process. Then I have to add the conditioner, fingercomb, rinse, add product, finger comb again, and shake out. Oh yeah, and I still have to wash my body! LOL


I knew it was coming, but my husband said something about my long showers. I had been trying to find a way to cut them shorter, but wasn't sure about what to do, and when I finally got a clue, he made mention about the daily 20 minute showers. I couldn't say a word except that I would do better.


Well, yesterday morning was the last of those showers until I do a detangle which will most likely be a weekly thing. But yesterday I added some Knot Today and Curling Custard. My hair was ok, but it was ready for what I had planned - good advanced thinking on my part. So, last night I put my hair in a few big twists (not sure how many, I didn't count) and wrapped my hair up. This morning when I got into the shower I just rinsed my head/twists under the shower to make sure they were wet. Cool! That only took a few seconds to do. My loose hair takes forever to get fully wet. I didn't have to add any more product since the KCCC was still in my hair. I shook the excess water from my twists and added some shealoe butter. I let that soak in and took the twists down, and shook my hair out and I was surprisingly pleased with what I saw. My "problem area" didn't get as wet as it should have, so I just spritzed it with a little water shook my hair again, and I was good to go.


Today my hair looks just as good as it did yesterday if not better - and I didn't even bring my camera to take pics. *boo* My hair also feels great. I know the shea aloe I bought on eBay had plenty to do with it. I am going to make a little of my own next week so that I can have a little more for my hair. When the winter comes I will be needing to protect it and my butters will be just what I needed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hughes Family Reunion - Washington, D.C.




The Hughes Family Reunion is something that I look forward to. This is the reunion for my mother-in-law's side of the family. It's always great. They are a special group of people that never hesitate to show and share love.


I think I look forward to it so much because my family never did anything like this. We were too busy being disfunctional to care to try to get together for longer than an hour. From what I remember of my family gatherings as a child, there was more agruing than anything else going on. My grandmother(paternal) would always have to be in charge and order people around. My grandfather would would quietly do what she said. My dad and uncles would always be in charge of keeping all of us kids in line either by making threats or by beating one of us so that we would be an example for the rest as far as what not to do. When the Buchanan's got together it was almost always a disaster.


Not the Hughes Family though. You look at them and almost feel like they are too good to be true. They all are really in and into church, they are all genuinely kind and warm towards people in general. How can you not love them? My mother-in-law has done more for me in the time that I have been married than my mother and father have done for me in my entire lifetime.
My children know their paternal side of the family like they know their friends at school - that's much more that i can say about what they know about my family. I mean, they know their aunts, great aunts, great-great aunts, grandparents, and their goo-gobs of cousins! I am so very thankful that my husband gave my a family I could be proud of.

Catching up

I know, I know, I've been out of touch. July was a busy moth for me. I have had so many things going on that I couldn't really write like I wanted to. I mean in the past 3 weeks I have been to Washington, D.C., back to the ATL for a week and then to Orlando for a week with my job. Sounds glamerous, but I don't like living out of a suitcase. I have so many things I want to talk about and my mind is racing a mile a minute. Bear with me while I get my thoughts together so I can get back here and catch everyone up on what's going on.

*smooches*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miss Lillian BC'd




In April 2008 my then 6 year old daughter told me that she didn't want me to put "the white stuff" on her hair anymore. She said it was cold, and itchy and she didn't like it. She told me that I couldn't do puffs for her anymore and she wanted her puffs back. I talked to her and explained that it would take a while for her hair to grow the p.erm out and for a 6 year old, she was cool. So - that began her transition.




Well, my daughter saw a commercial on TV one night back in May. There was a little girl about her age on the commercial who had a natural afro and my daughter thought it was so cute. I told her, "You can have your hair like that when we cut the p.ermed part off."

She was so excited that she wanted it cut off before she went back to school in August. I told her, "sure thing, we can make your hair like hers". She had been gone to visit her grandmother for the summer and just returnd this weekend and was still talking about the curly afro.


So, with her having been in swimming class and all, when she came home her hair was a little dry. Over the weekend we talked about when she wanted to cut her hair and she said soon. Cool, I'm definitely ready to chop, but it's not my hair - it's on her and she has been a real trooper - especially wanting to have "long hair".

Well, I needed to wash her hair and told her that I could cut it if she wanted me to. So she says, "let me think about it" and layed down in my bed. Then she jumped up and said, "I want the afro!" I was so excited. I immediately ran and got the conditioner and went to work.


It took a long time to chop. She had a lot of relaxed hair left to cut. Also, it was hard in some places to tell where the line of demarcation was for sections of her hair. But, we got the job done. She's happy and I am happy.