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

FREE FLIPFLOPS Code 5FOR5FLIP with e.l.f. orders $5 or more. Shop Now at www.eyeslipsface.com/

FREE AVIATOR SUNGLASSES with any $10 purchase. (An $18 Value) Use coupon code EGSUNG Shop Now at www.eyeslipsface.com/

3 FREE GOLD BANGLES with any $15 purchase. (An $20 Value) Use coupon code EGBANGLE Shop Now at www.eyeslipsface.com/

FREE BRONZER KIT! Code EGBRONZA with e.l.f. orders $10 or more. Kit contains Bronze Wristlet, Studio Line Bronzer, Blushing, Bronzing & Blending Brush Shop Now at www.eyeslipsface.com/

Happy Shopping!

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*