Archive: 2013

10 Tips on Surviving Two Under Two
I am officially a "two under two" survivor!
6 Natural Hair Tips for Busy Moms
You are just as important as everyone else. Take the time to take care of you too!

Hey there loves! I know, it's been a while since I've posted anything on here. This semester has been suuuupppperrr busy and has taken up so much of my time. From all the really long readings and 2-3 essays I've had to write just about every week, and then working, these past four months have been really tough.

But, I'm back and ready to get back into the swing of things and doing what I love most! Since the year is coming to a close, I figured I'd share with you all some of my faves from 2013. There's a little bit of everything here - natural hair stuff, beauty and makeup, and fitness. In no particular order, here are some of the things I've been loving this year...

1// Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

When I first used this product last year, I definitely wasn't a fan. I gave it another try back in April, and my hair loved it! It's super moisturizing for my hair and gives me great definition with a soft hold for my twist outs!

2// Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream

This stuff is absolutely amazing! It gives me great definition in conjunction with the leave-in conditioning cream. Not to mention, this stuff smells delicious!

3//Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, & Rose Petal 

I love this toner! I definitely noticed some improvements in my skin when using this on my face every day. My pores aren't as large as they were before, my skin has definitely evened out, and it feels so soft and supple!

4// Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice has become a staple in my hair regimen. I mix this in my water bottle for an extra kick of moisture. I also use it sometimes after I finish washing my hair to close my cuticles to make sure the moisture is sealed.

5// Zumba Core & Zumba World Party for Xbox Kinect

I first started using Zumba Core in the beginning of 2013. I absolutely love Zumba! It's so much fun and it doesn't even feel like you're working out. I sweat like nobody's business doing Zumba, which I love! I lost about 4 inches off my waist using it. Zumba World Party came out I believe in November, and I personally like this one a lot more than Zumba Core. In the World Tour mode, you explore different dance styles from around the world. The better you dance, the more you unlock, like souvenirs, passport stamps, etc... Good way to push you to workout harder so you can unlock stuff! I fell off my workout regimen for a while, but now I am back at it! It's so hard trying to get a workout in while I'm in school because I'm so busy and tired all the time! But, I've decided not to let that be the case for next semester.

6// Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditoner

I love this stuff! Well, at least the old formula. It made my hair felt super moisturized and I had slip for days! I wasn't too happy when they changed the formula. It didn't have enough slip, and it left my hair feeling a little dry. I heard that they put the old formula back on the shelves, but I have yet to find it!

7// Coconut Oil

I've been wondering what the hype was about coconut oil, so over the summer I decided to give it a try. This stuff is amazing! It keeps my hair moisturized and seals in moisture. I also put coconut oil in my deep conditioners, and it leaves my hair feeling super soft!

8// Jamaican Black Castor Oil

JBCO has been a must in my hair regimen since I started experiencing some thinning in my crown area. I've been using it consistently for a few months now, and that area has thickened up a lot! JBCO is also a great sealant to use for the cold winter months!

9// Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner

I love how moisturizing this conditioner is and how soft it leaves my hair. I decided to stop buying deep conditioners and just use regular conditioners instead by adding some oils to them and/or make my own deep conditioners. I was using two deep conditioners from Shea Moisture: the Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and the Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque. They both retail for about $11.99 depending on where you go, which isn't too bad. But as a college student, shelling out over $20 every three weeks for 12 oz. deep conditioner just wasn't something I wanted to do anymore, especially if I'm only getting one-two uses out of these products. A liter of the Hello Hydration Conditioner is $9.99 and lasts me a long time. I bought my first bottle in May and I'm still on that first bottle! It works better on my hair than the Shea Moisture Deep Conditioners. $9.99 for a bottle of conditioner that lasts months at a time is something I am definitely happy about.  

10// Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

This has been a staple of mine this year. It does have protein in it, so I use it only during the winter. My hair stays moisturized throughout the week when using this, which I love. There's less product build up since I'm not applying product to my hair every day, and a little goes a long way, so it lasts forever!

11// Elf Eye Brow Kit

I'm really not a huge makeup fan. I'm more of a mascara, eyeliner, and lip gloss kind of girl. My eyebrows are a bit thin towards the ends, and I was using the Professional Eye Brow Pencil by Rimmel London to fill them in a little. However, by the end of the day, it would always rub off. With the Elf Eye Brow Kit, you have an eye brow gel to fill in your brows and a powder to set it so the color stays, which I love. I've been using this for a couple months now, and I absolutely love the results. And, it's only $3 versus the $6 I was paying for the Rimmel London!

12// Volum' Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara by Maybelline

I am definitely a fan of this mascara. It definitely elongates my lashes and makes them look thicker and fuller.I especially like the smaller wand for the bottom lashes. I always have trouble applying mascara to my bottom lashes because the wands are just too big. The smaller wands definitely makes it easier, and you can also use the smaller side for your upper lashes as well.

13// NARS Tinted Moisturizer

Since I'm getting married in July, I wanted to buy a powder foundation to experiment with some makeup looks for my big day since I'll be doing my makeup myself (why pay for someone to do something if you can do it yourself and it looks just as good and natural!) I went to Bare Minerals to get matched, but their powders made my face look very matte and I wasn't really feeling the little specs in them. I didn't want to get a liquid foundation because I wanted something very light and natural looking. I wanted some of my skin to show through, but most importantly, I wanted to look like me, not someone completely different. I went to Sephora and tried on the NARS Tinted Moisturizer, and I absolutely love it! It's extremely light weight, doesn't feel like I have anything on, and most importantly, it doesn't even look like I have anything on! It's very light weight, but my skin still shines through, covering up some of my redness and the dark circles under my eyes. More about my visit to Sephora is coming soon!

Those are my top thirteen products of 2013! I've done a lot of experimenting this year with products, not only for my hair, but as far as beauty and makeup goes and just trying to find stuff that I like and that works so I can stay consistent. What were some of your favorite things from 2013? Let me know!
Yes, thinning! I was so distraught when looking at the health of my hair in my crown area. 
See that thinning area right in the middle of my head? Yeah...I panicked when I saw that! So much was running through my head when I saw how thin my crown area had gotten. I thought I was going bald, my hair was never going to grow back, it's going to spread all throughout my head. I've never had a problem with thinning (only my edges), so when I saw the condition of my hair, I panicked...literally! I didn't understand. I thought I was doing everything to make sure my hair stayed healthy, or at least I thought I was. 

I noticed that my scalp in my crown area was starting to feel a bit tender and sore. My crown has always been the most sensitive part of my scalp, but I noticed it was a bit more sensitive than normal. One day this week, I decided to really observe that area, and the hair is thinning out! 

There's a number of things that cause hair thinning. Some of these include: 

  • Hormonal factors, which can sometimes be genetic
  • Medical conditions, like thyroid problems, alopecia areata, scalp infections, or other skin disorders. 
  • Certain Medications used to treat things like depression, cancer, or high blood pressure.
  • Physical shock, including a sudden or excessive weight loss. 
  • Stress
  • Vitamin/nutrient deficiency. Vitamins are important for healthy hair growth, and a lack thereof can cause poor hair growth and even hair loss. 
  • Tension on the hair as a result of pulling the hair
  • WATER!!! Feeding your body from the inside out!

Of these causes, I was able to narrow it down to four: not drinking enough water, not taking any vitamins or juicing to get my vitamins from fruits and veggies, tension, and genetics. I'm guilty of not drinking enough water or juicing like I used to. I feel off my weight loss journey a little, but I'm back at it! 

I'm also guilty of pulling on my hair. I usually do my hair late at night after I've done what needs to be done for school, and by that time, I'm tired. I know, I know, I should know better! Never do your hair when you are tired! You'll do some unnecessary pulling and tugging on your hair since you just want to get it done. This can lead to hair loss, so save the styling for a time when you aren't tired. If all else fails and your hair doesn't want to cooperate with you, throw her in a puff, and you will be good to go! Puffs have been my go-to style, but lately I've had my hair in twists (I installed mini twists about three weeks ago, and I took them out last weekend and put in some medium sized twists and have been rocking roll-tuck-and pin's all week.   

Thinning hair also runs in my family, so this may also contribute to why my hair is thinning. My mom has thinning hair. I generally have thin strands with a high density (thin strands, but lots of them!) My hair has always been this way, but my crown has never been as thin as it is now. I'm catching it in it's early stages, so I'm doing everything I can to reverse it and get the health of my hair back to where it was.

Since discovering this thinning, I've been incorporating more water into my diet, and I've also started juicing again. I've always oiled my scalp with my JBCO and peppermint oil mix, but I haven't been consistent. I'm applying the JBCO/Peppermint Oil mix to my scalp every other night, as well as incorporating scalp massages to thicken up my crown area. 

I also went to GNC and purchased the Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner.

I know Shea Moisture has their Yucca and Baobab line, but I find that now that my hair is longer, my hair doesn't respond the same way it used to to Shea Moisture products, even after clarifying my hair, so I decided to try something different.

Here are the shampoo's benefits, according to the Mill Creek Botanicals' website:

BENEFITS: This shampoo contains the key ingredient Biotin, which is known as a super supplement for your hair. Used daily, the enriched formula can help replenish important nutrients necessary for a healthy scalp and hair. This therapy formula also combines other B-complex vitamins (panthenolinositol, niacin, folic acid andcystine) with hair rejuvenating proteins and herbs like keratin, jojoba and aloe verafor healthy-looking hair with full-bodied texture. Refreshing peppermint oil provides an invigorating sensation while stimulating the scalp for optimum results.
DIRECTIONS: Wet hair thoroughly. Apply shampoo to scalp and gently massage into hair to work up a rich lather. Rinse completely. Repeat, if necessary.
FREE OFParabensSLS/SLES, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Colors and Fragrances
INGREDIENTS:  Deionized Water, Biotin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Peppermint Oil, hydrolyzed elastin, Niacin, Folic Acid, Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), certified organic aloe vera gel, Organic Essential Oil, Jojoba Oil, Inositol, barley extract, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Oil),  Octyl Dimethyl PABA, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer,  Citric Acid,  Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, botanical fragrance
Here are the conditioner's benefits, according to the Mill Creek Botaical's website:

BENEFITS: Biotin Conditioner is a therapeutic formulation that invigorates the scalp, boosts body and texture and fortifies the hair shaft while conditioning.
DIRECTIONS: Apply conditioner to clean hair, paying special attention to ends. Work Conditioner through hair with fingertips. Leave on for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and style as usual. For more intense conditioning leave on hair for 5 to 10 minutes.

FREE OFParabensSLS/SLES, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Colors and Fragrances

INGREDIENTS:  Deionized Water,  Biotin, Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5),  Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Cetyl Alcohol,  Stearyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Oleamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetearyl Alcohol,  Ceteareth 20, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), Citric Acid,  Corn Oil,  Sodium Chloride,  Quaternium-15, Peppermint Oil,  certified organic aloe vera gel, Organic Essential Oil, Citric Acid,, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate,  botanical fragrance 

I read some pretty good reviews on this product, so I decided to pick it up. People have said it's really helped to grow their hair back thicker and has stopped breakage. It was only $7.99 at my local GNC, which isn't bad. 

I've used these products twice already, and I really liked the way my hair and scalp feels. The products contain Peppermint oil, so I really enjoyed the tingly feeling on my scalp. The conditioner has some slip, but it's not a bad conditioner at all. 

As I said before, I installed some mini twists three weeks ago to give my hair a rest. Check out my Mini Twist Post for more info. 

I kept them in for about 2 weeks, but my hair felt like it was starting to tangle so I took them out and installed some medium sized twists and wore them in an updo every day. I plan on re-installing them again tonight for the next week/two weeks (I'm giving myself a hot oil treatment as I write this post!) 
I plan on doing this for the rest of the fall and winter, just so I'm not putting any unnecessary stress on my hair. I figured this was the best way to go, since box braids or Senegalese twists would have been too much tension on my hair and scalp since they're really tight. I've also gotten very lazy and haven't been feeling like doing my hair! I'm almost two months into my junior year, and things are super hectic at school, so I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to my hair every night. The twists definitely help. All I do is spritz with water, seal with some coconut oil, and apply the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and I'm good for moisture for about three days. 

I will keep you guys updated on my progress of thickening/re-growing my crown area. Any tips, advice, suggestions are all welcomed! 

So, I decided to install some mini twists for the fall and winter, just to give my hair a break. I didn't want to get box braids since they would be too much stress on my hair, and I've noticed my hair is thinning in the crown area (blog post coming soon with more info). 

I prepped my hair Saturday morning with a hot oil treatment. I used coconut oil, JBCO, and a few drops of peppermint oil. I left this on my hair for about twenty minutes.  I washed my hair using  the Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin Shampoo, and conditioned with the Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin Conditioner. I sat under the dryer for about 15 minutes with the conditioner,and kept it on for an additional 15 minutes before washing it out. I haven't given my hair this kind of treatment in a while! Hot oil treatment and a deep condition?? My hair was in heaven! Since my life is pretty hectic with school, work, and wedding planning, I haven't really been able to care for my hair the way I want to, so my hair was thanking me for this!

I did a blow out on my hair just to stretch it so my twists won't have too much shrinkage. To prep for my blowout, I used my Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream and sealed with some Grape Seed oil. I would usually use coconut oil, but since Grape Seed oil can be used as a heat protectant, I reached for that instead. I blow dried on medium heat, so my hair wasn't as stretched as it would be if it were blow dried on high heat.

It took me four hours to twist my hair. I used the Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream to moisturize (a little goes a long way), and some Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel for a little hold. I twisted my hair in sections just to make it easier. I used the African threading method to stretch the twists a bit. I got this technique from 11mjsmommy on Youtube. I will link her mini twist video below. 

Overall, I love the results! I plan on keeping these in for about three-four weeks. After that, I'll wash and condition my hair again and re-twist my hair. This is definitely a low manipulation hair style! I don't have to do much with it but wake up, style if I want, and go! And since my hair is thinning, I don't want to pull on my hair constantly by twisting it every night, etc... I'm working on getting the health of my hair back to what it was, so I want as little manipulation as possible. 

What styles are you doing to protect you hair in the fall and winter? 

Introduce yourself: Hi I’m Laqwanda, and I have been 100% natural for 9 months.

What made you decide to go natural? My daughter asked me one day why her hair wasn’t flat. After a discussion with her, I wanted to give her a better reflection of herself through me.

Did you Big Chop or did you Transition? I transitioned for 16 months (Aug 2011 to Dec 2012). My transitioning styles were: flat ironing 0-6 months, sew in month 7, updos/bantu knot outs/perm rod sets 8-11 months, mini twists 12-16.

What were some of your fears/concerns going into going natural? During a very difficult time in my life, I got a really short haircut on a whim. Due to the timing, I began to have negative thoughts about my appearance. I feared that once I cut off the remainder of my relaxed ends I would experience those emotions again.

Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural. First, I love it when my daughter tells people that I cut my hair so that I could have curls like her. When I cut off my relaxed ends, I was in a better place emotionally giving me the ability to look at myself and see beauty regardless of the length and texture of my hair.

What are some of your favorite hair products? Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition (shampoo,
conditioner, & deep conditioner).
Style: G.F. Curl Calm Down, Flax Seed Gel
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Almond Oil

Current hair regimen? I co-wash every 7 to 10 days depending on the style I am wearing (more during the spring due to allergies) and dc every two weeks. I shampoo at least once a month applying it directly to my scalp. If my scalp is dry, I massage my scalp with a toothbrush. I also do not use heat.

What do you enjoy the most about being natural? Versatility

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural?
Natural hair journeys are just that, journeys. Take your time in discovering what your hair needs. Do not become frustrated if you cannot find what you are searching for immediately or if those needs change. You are far from being alone so seek help, ask questions, and do your research. However, remember regardless of how many articles you read or the number of people who respond to your questions the final decision regarding your hair will always lie with the person you see when you look in the mirror. It is your hair so do what works best for you.
Make sure to follow Laqwanda on all of her social networks!
Youtube: Regal Fro
Instagram: @ regal_fro

Hey curls! 

So a few days ago I decided to give my hair a little TLC and do a much needed protein treatment. For the whole month of August, I haven't really done much to my hair. I rocked some really chunky box braids for about three weeks since I was going to Florida and didn't want to deal with my hair. I knew I would be in water almost every day, and I didn't want to have style and wash my hair every day. Who wants to worry about hair when on vacation? I certainly didn't, so the chunky box braids were perfect for vacation! Even though my hair was in braids, I did co-wash with the braids every time I got out the pool to prevent my hair from drying out.

Even after coming home from vacation, I wasn't really up for doing my hair! I took my braids out the same day I came home, but didn't get to deep condition as long as I should have. My version of deep conditioning that day was leaving some Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner in my hair for about five minutes while washing up in the shower. I should have mixed in some oils and left it in for about 30 minutes, but hey, we all have our lazy days sometimes when it comes to our hair, right? My hair still felt pretty moisturized after washing, but after being in chlorine every day for a week, I could have given my hair a little more TLC.

Back to the point, I decided it was time to give my hair time the love and attention it deserved. My hair felt didn't feel as strong as it could have been, and I had a little breakage, so I knew it was time for some protein. Besides, I had been using moisturizing conditioners on my hair prior to Wednesday's wash session, so it was time to balance that moisture out. 

The ingredients for this egg and mayonnaise protein treatment are as follows:
2 eggs (or one, depending on the thickness and length of your hair)
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon sweet almond oil
1/4 teaspoon JBCO

This treatment was very loose and a little messy, but nothing too serious. My mom called this a hair dressing once she saw what I was putting into this concoction lol. 

I left this mixture on my hair for about twenty minutes and rinsed with cool water. I started to rinse with warm water, but I didn't want the egg that was in my hair to cook. You don't want pieces of egg stuck in your hair! It can be a pain to get out. 

 I followed up with Tressemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner for some moisture. Tressemme Naturals Conditioners have become a staple in my hair regimen.A blog post on my staple hair products is coming soon!

When all was done, my hair felt really good! It didn't feel dry at all. It felt stronger yet it was still moisturized. Next time I try this, I'll try just the egg and the mayonnaise without the oils to see what my results are. 

So, what are some of your favorite DIY hair treatments?  

Introduce yourself: My name is Alfreda, I'm 19. Born in Nigeria but currently reside in Texas
What made you decide to go natural? It wasn't really a decision, I just got too active to schedule in relaxers, so I just kind of gave up on it. In fact I had no idea what effect a relaxer had or didn't have on my hair.
Did you Big Chop or did you Transition? Big chop

What were some of your fears/concerns going into going natural? Honestly, I had none.

Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural. I've discovered a part of me that I love even more. It's also making me a lot more aware of what goes on and in my body.

What are some of your favorite hair products? Silkience Silky-Smooth Conditioner, spahaus by silkience conditioner, and Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil

Current hair regimen?I co-wash whenever I feel like my hair needs it. I detangle with conditioner and seal in the moisture every night, then wet it and style the next morning. I deep condition once or twice a week, and I shampoo once every two months or less.

What do you enjoy the most about being natural? The versatility, and the shrinkage.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural? It may seem hard at first, but trust me it gets easier.

Make sure to follow Alfreda on all of her social networks:

Introduce yourself: My name is Rolanda and I am 39yrs old and currently living in Cahokia, IL with my life partner and 2 kids, 7 and 13yrs old. Her and I have been together for approximately 3yrs and have plans on wedding soon. I work in customer service with a behavioral health company.

What made you decide to go natural & did you Big chop or Transition? I tried in 2009 and I shaved my hair clean off. My mother not knowing at the time of me dating women,says you look like a gay girl.. HUH! what is that suppose to mean? Whatever I let it grow back to appease my mother and not to have her detect that I was really into women.. So back to the CREAMY CRACK..  I met my now girlfriend in 2010 and she was already natural for 2yrs. So we go to  Daytona and I decided to wear this short
tight weave that so  uncomfortable. So when I cam back I told my stylist to cut this

What were some of your fears/concerns going in to going natural? I was afraid of what others would say about my hair. I was afraid that my hair wouldn't grow at lightening speed. I was afraid that after this TWA phase, I'm going to be stuck and not know how to do my hair. Now why would I think that and I graduated from cosmetology school in 93? I guess fear of the unknown and not dealing with what's been routine all of my life "CREAMYCRACK"!

Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural: YOUTUBE is loaded with inspiration to keep you motivated in your natural process. I was happy when my office associates came in one by one with a Big Chop because of me. The compliments! Oh boy, the
mess off in a cute pixie cut. I went from there.
complaints are nice
What are some of your favorite hair products? I started with Shea Moisture because it was cheap and free of all of the junk a curly girl should have in there hair. Then I moved to 4Naturals, we bought the product for our daughters hair. But we found it wasn't working. We tried some others that I can't remember. Now I love PINE TAR SOAP for a shampoo and coconut oil as conditioner.
I just used Lush henna and loved it. Even though it was a messy process.
What is your current hair regimen? When I find the opportunity to do my hair, that's when I do it. My life is very busy, so I don't have set day or time.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural? My advice would be for naturals  or newly naturals, be patient it takes time to understand your hair. Don't let others persuade you to their methods. Its your hair! Have fun with it. Oh, and don't be a product junkie if you can avoid it, Lol.
Make sure to check out Rolanda on all of her social networks!
Facebook: RolandaNaturalrndqt
Tumblr: Random Natural Blogger
Instagram: NaturalRNDQT
Twitter: BrownieSTIX.

Hygral what??? That’s exactly what I thought when I first read about hygral fatigue. I didn't even know such a thing existed until I read Audrey Davis-Sivasothy’s The Science of Black Hair.

Hygral fatigue is the damage that occurs to the hair fiber from the repeated process of expansion (when the hair is wet) and contraction (when the hair dries). Whenever we wet our hair, the hair shaft must expand to accommodate all the water and goodies from the products we are applying to our hair. Our hair also has to shrink (contract) back to its normal size, but during this process, the hair can split and break. The constant expansion and contraction of the hair can eventually cause damage to the hair fiber, weakening the hair cuticle and cortex.

Hygral fatigue is one of the many causes of hair damage since stress is being added to the hair through the expansion and contraction process. We all know that applying stress to the hair (pulling and tugging at the hair, combing and styling the hair every day, etc…) will cause damage and eventually leads to breakage. It is also so with hygral fatigue. If the hair cuticle is  under stress from constantly being expanded and contracted, the cuticle will eventually be exposed, leading to porosity issues and breakage. Since textured hair is more susceptible to damage and tends to take in more water during the washing process than any other hair type, it is especially important to take measures to prevent this.

Preventing hygral fatigue is ultimately all about maintaining the inner protein structure of the hair shaft. Here are a couple ways to beat hygral fatigue:

  • Using polar oils as a pre-poo helps prevent damage done to the hair shaft by reducing the extent to which the hair swells. One of the key features of polar oils is its ability to penetrate the hair shaft, which helps to reinforce the hair’s protein structure before cleansing the hair. According to The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, polar oils protect the hair shaft by binding to the hair’s inner proteins, which in turn reduces the protein’s chemical ability to bind to water molecules. Thus, the expansion of the hair when wet is kept at a minimum, and less damage is done to the hair fiber when it contracts. Since coconut oil is a unique, versatile oil, it is fitting to use for a pre-poo to prevent hygral fatigue because of its ability to bind to the natural protein structure of the hair, helping the hair retain moisture and reinforcing the hair fiber, making it stronger.

  • Make sure to do protein treatments regularly to ensure the hair has the proper protein structure. Protein treatments should normally be done every 4-6 weeks or as needed to prevent breakage from protein overload. Remember, it all depends on what YOUR hair needs! However, alternating between moisturizing conditioner and light protein conditioners every other week can help to maintain the hair's proper protein/moisture balance. Some good light protein conditioners are Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner, Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Pak. You can also make your own protein conditioners right in your kitchen and add some oils, honey, or glycerin to them so they aren't as harsh on the hair. 

Before washing my hair last week, I did a pre-poo with coconut oil and a bit of honey. After washing my hair, I noticed that my hair had a lot less shrinkage. I actually had a bit of hang time! Usually after I wash my hair, it looks like I have a TWA, and this is before I wrap a T-shirt around my head to absorb most of the water! Shrinkage is real! This could be due to the hair not absorbing as much water as it usually would due to the coconut oil pre-poo. I will definitely continue pre-pooing with coconut oil before each wash because I loved the results the first time around, and I want to see what my results will be after using it for a while.

So give it a try ladies! 
Try pre-pooing with coconut oil before washing your hair and see how if you notice a difference in the way your hair feels, responds to certain things, etc... 
Introduce yourself: My name is Michele "Chele Von" Vaughn. I am a freelance Graphic/Web designer and Blogger. I like to enjoy life to its fullest and help others to see greatness in theirs. I like to read, cook, bake, and travel. I breath fashion and makeup! Spending time with family and friends is a wonderful pleasure for me.

What made you decide to go natural? Seeing how beautiful my mother's hair was and I relaxing my hair was destroying my hair.

Did you Big Chop or did you Transition? I transitioned for a year before I cut all the permed ends from my hair.

What were some of your fears/concerns going into going natural? I did not have any fear in returning my hair to natural. I knew that it was the best move for my hair.

Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural. My hair is super healthy and I have been able to really learn my hair.

What are some of your favorite hair products? JBCO, EVO, Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Vitamin E oil, and Grapeseed oil just to name a few. 

Current hair regimen? I wash my hair once to twice a week. Depending on what my hair tells me. I use a good clarifying shampoo and leave-in condish. I seal my condish in my hair with coconut oil. Nightly, I twist my hair sealing my ends with a moisturizer and sleep in a satin bonnet. 

What do you enjoy the most about being natural? I have more hair freedom!

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural? The best advice I can give is to listen to and love your hair. When you do your hair will love you back! Research is a MUST! Know what you are putting on your hair. All the products out here are not true blue natural.

Make sure to check out Michele "Chele Von" on all her social networks!
Blog: http://www.thereviewchic.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DesignChic98
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thereviewchic 
YouTube: http://youtu.be/qAbYEI-1dCE

Hey there!

So last week, I decided to co-wash my hair. My hair had been in a wash and go style for about five days, and it was time for a much needed wash. My hair was starting to get tangled and knotted, so it was time to wash it.  Check out the My First Wash N' Go post to read more about my wash n go. 

I decided to try out Naptural85's Greek Yogurt recipe, but decided to add a few of my own ingredients. 

Naptural 85's recipe called for:
Greek Yogurt (A Natural Whole or 2% variety)
Apple Cider Vinegar (To cut the smell of the yogurt)
Lavendar Essential Oil (To also aid in cutting the smell of the yogurt)

Because the greek yogurt is packed with lots of protein, I tweaked the recipe a little to suit my hair needs, since I know my hair doesn't respond well to of protein. Instead of Lavendar Essential Oil I used Peppermint Oil, since that was what I had at home. I also accidentally picked up Greek Yogurt with 0% variety, but that's okay. I made do with the ingredients I had. 

Here's my recipe:
Greek Yogurt
Apple Cider Vinegar
Grape Seed Oil
Coconut Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil 

Here's what my mixture looked like.
1. Put about 2-3 generous tablespoons of the Greek Yogurt into a mixing bowl (the amount you put all depends on your hair's thickness and length).
2. Add about 2-3 cap fulls of your apple cider vinegar.
3. Add lots of peppermint oil (or your essential oil of choice that has fragrance to mask the smell of the greek yogurt and the apple cider vinegar). 
4. Mix in your honey, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil (you can eyeball these ingredients).
5. Grab your spray bottle and saturate your hair with water.
6. Section off your hair and apply the deep conditioner about two thirds of the way up the hair shaft. Naptural85 warned that applying this mixture to the scalp would leave your scalp smelling the greek yogurt, so I made sure to stay clear of that. 
7. Tie your ends up (not close to the scalp) and apply your plastic cap. Make sure to apply the cap to just the back of your hair, leaving the front out so the smell doesn't linger throughout your hair. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. 
8. Time to rinse out that yogurt! Make sure all the yogurt is thoroughly rinsed out. Grab whatever conditioner you and quickly massage it into your hair and rinse it out. I used the Tressemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner. 
9. When your whole head is done, style your hair as usual.

Here a a few pics of my hair during the deep conditioning process. 

While applying the deep conditioner, it didn't detangle my hair as well as it did Naptural85's. It was probably due to the fact that I still had gel in my hair from the wash n go, so I'll be trying this deep conditioner out again in about a month or so, or when I feel my hair needs some protein.

After rinsing the conditioner out and after co-washing, my hair felt super soft, supple, and moisturized. 

I definitely will be trying out this deep conditioner again. I'm trying to get into making my own deep conditioners instead of going out and buying deep conditioners. It saves me a lot of money. Two-three bottles of deep conditioner per month at $10 a pop was becoming very costly, so I knew DIY products were the way to go. 

For more info on Naptural85's Greek Yogurt Deep Conditioner, check out her YouTube video below:

What made you decide to go natural?
The decision to go natural was pretty easy for me. I read a book from Cathy Howse, Thinning Edges. It scared the heck out of me. I stopped relaxing.

Did you Big Chop or did you Transition?
I guess you could say it was a combination of both. I transitioned by getting my roots blown at the Dominican salons here in NY (every two weeks….but I don’t recommend it). When I had new growth down to my neck, I went to a stylist and let him chop off the rest of the relaxer. I never looked back.

What were some of your fears/concerns going into going natural?
I didn’t have any real concerns or fears. I didn’t know what to expect really. I was excited though. I hadn’t seen my real hair texture since I was little (and who could remember that!). I only saw pictures. My mom told me I had this really curly hair and I couldn’t wait to see it.
It’s difficult to really see your true texture when transitioning too. I only fully noticed what my hair was like when I was fully natural. It doesn’t appear to be the same as it was when I was little but it’s  much longer now and I suspect that gravity has something to do with the stretch.
Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision to go natural.
I’m happy I went natural because  for one I LOVE my  hair texture. I can style it any way I want. If I want it straight, it’s easily stretched with Curlformers. It looks almost bone straight when I use them (not often). When I want it curled or curly, twisted or braided, I have so many options. Also, when it rains I no longer get upset when I don’t have an umbrella LOL. My hair just curls right up and it’s actually pretty fierce in the rain!
What are some of your favorite hair products?
I am a recovering product junkie! I still use what some people would consider a lot of products so I’ll stick with the brands. My favorite brands are Aubrey Organics, Shea Moisture, As I Am and Wonder Curl. Everything I use comes from those brands other than natural butters and oils. I also really like Curl Prep’s Sweet Buttah and Bee Mine Holding Butter for twists. I just discovered Bee Mine not too long ago.
Current hair regimen?
My hair regimen is pretty consistent but detailed:
Daily: Oiling my strands to prevent tangles. I usually do this at night so the oil has a chance to absorb into the hair.
Weekly: Pre-poo/Finger Detangle, Wash (I cowash every other week), Deep Condition (sans protein), Rinse with a slippy conditioner, and finish off with a final green tea cream rinse before sealing with leave in, oil and styling
Biweekly to Monthly: Protein treatment
Quartery: Henna
For complete details on my hair regimen, you can visit http://radiant-brown-beauty.com/revised-curly-hair-care-regimen. Some of the products have changed a little but not much.
What do you enjoy the most about being natural?
I enjoy playing in my hair! I love the styling options I have now. Many styles I rock require my hair to be textured, something I couldn’t do when I was relaxed.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering going natural or a newly natural?
For some, caring for natural hair is easy but that’s not the experience of most. You have to take the time to learn your hair. That may require trying different products. The one constant is that what you are used to doing to your hair will change. As the hair grows, the products you use and the techniques you use may change.  Be patient and  keep a hair journal to track your products & practices.  Let your hair teach you what it likes and doesn’t like. Never go by what someone else says. You can try what others do but don’t stick to it if your hair isn’t feeling it.
Make sure to follow Michelle on all of her social networks!
Youtube: http://youtube.com/user/reviyve (Michelle Howard)
Instagram: @radiantbrownbeauty
So last week I did my first Wash N Go ever since being natural!

I really wasn't sure how my hair would turn out since I had never done it before and didn't really know what to expect. The night before, I was too tired to twist up my hair, and it needed to be co-washed. I also only had an hour to get myself ready to go where I had to go and to do my hair, which was not enough time at all! I was up for a bit of a challenge that morning, but it had to get done. 

I co-washed my hair with Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I absolutely love this conditioner! It makes my hair super moisturized. I heard the packaging and formula has recently changed for this product. I hear the new formula is  a lot thicker than the old formula, so I'll be purchasing the new bottle to see how the new formula works on my hair. 


I used Eco Styler Gel Olive Oil for this style. 
I wasn't sure how the gel would react with any oils or leave-in conditioners on my hair, and I didn't have time to wash my hair again if anything went wrong, so I just spritzed my hair with some aloe vera juice to seal in the moisture from the water. 

I then applied the gel and did a combination of raking and smoothing the product through my hair. I then diffused my hair a little since I didn't want to walk around with wet hair. Here are my results:

I loved this style! I didn't think I would like it, especially since the front of my hair is the hardest part of my hair since I have little-no curl definition up there. It was even hard getting my curls to pop with the gel up there. 

My hair was very coily, curly, and springy all over, which I loved! I was diggin the short fro for those five days! The eco-styler gel really did a good job at defining my coils and curls. 

The eco-styler gel did make my hair a little hard and crunchy, but spritzing it with water every night softened it up a bit so I didn't mind. I'll be looking into ways to tweak my wash n go routine so my curls aren't hard (using less gel, using a different product, etc...). 

 How I Maintained My Wash N Go:

I was able to maintain this style for five days! Each day it looked like the style just got better and better.  Every night, I spritzed my hair with a mixture of water and aloe vera gel, and applied some coconut oil on top. I then put my hair in multi-pineapples since my hair isn't long enough yet for one huge pineapple. To learn more about what multi-pineappling is, check out this article from CurlyNikki.com. 

In the morning, I released my hair from the pineapples, applied a bit of coconut oil for some shine, and fluffed out my hair, and went on about my day. 

I love the convenience of this style! It only takes about five minutes to prep your hair for bed, and five minutes to take it down and style it in the morning. This style is definitely a time saver, especially when you don't feel like spending twenty minutes re=twisting your hair every night. I'll be trying this style again on my next wash day so I'll have more time to experiment and try different methods. 

Let me know what you ladies use for your wash n go and what your results were! 

We've heard it a gazillion times. It's all over the natural hair care boards, blogs, and YouTube. It's the most important natural hair care rule of all: MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE!!!

The key to healthy hair growth and minimized breakage is moisture. It is vitally important that us curly girls keep our hair moisturized at all times in order to achieve optimal length retention.

Natural/curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair because the sebum, the oil that our scalp naturally produces, cannot travel all the way down the hair shaft due to the bends and curves in natural hair. Because of this, the ends of our hair suffers the most from dryness because it's not receiving the hydration it needs.  

Here are some things to keep in mind about moisturizing natural hair:

1. Moisturizing does not equal hair growth
Moisturizing your hair does not make your hair grow. There is no specific thing you can do to your hair to make it grow, like moisturizing it or cutting it. These things just simply maintain and promote the overall health of your hair. This is a common misconception among women looking to grow their hair longer. Your hair's growth rate is determined by genetic factors and is also influenced by your diet. Making sure to hydrate your body daily with water and eating fruits and vegetables can influence your hair's growth rate. At the same time, someone who has a poor diet will still have a normal growth rate. It is important to remember that having moisturized hair will not help your hair grow longer.

2. Moisture is important in retaining your hair's length
Moisture limits the amount of damage to the hair when handling it. Dry, brittle hair is more susceptible to breakage than moisturized hair is. When washing, combing, or styling dry hair, it is easy for the hair to snap, break, and pop because the hair has no flexibility. Moisturizing the hair adds flexibility elasticity to the hair, allowing it to be manipulated without breaking. This ensures that the length of the hair is retained since there is less damage to your strands, meaning, it stays around longer because there is no breakage. 

Let's look at one example: Your hair has grown about three inches over the the course of four months. However, you have about two inches of split, dry, and brittle ends due to lack of moisture. We all know that the health of your hair is more important than the length of your hair, so it's time to get rid of those dry, scraggly ends. 

Though you've gained three inches of growth, you don't see much of that since had to chop off a significant amount of that growth due to dry brittle ends. Therefore, you haven't retained much length because you had to chop off the little bit of hair you grew. This may be why some naturals feel like their hair isn't growing, because as their hair grows, they have to keep cutting it due breakage. 

3. Seal in the moisture
Sealing in moisture is important! Sealing the hair simply locks in the moisture within the hair strand with the help of an oil or butter. Sealing the hair prevents the moisture that was put into the hair from leaving the hair strand. 

4. Moisture routines vary
There's no set rule on how often you need to moisturize your hair. No two heads are the same, so for each natural, moisturizing routines may vary. If your hair tends to suck up product, it might help to moisturize your hair every day to prevent dryness. Naturals with thinner/finer hair may be able to get away with moisturizing and sealing the every couple of days, as product may weigh down the hair and cause product buildup. Some naturals may be able to get away with moisturizing the hair once a week. It all depends on your hair and what works for your hair. 

And last, but not least...

Water is a natural girl's best friend! Water is the ULTIMATE moisturizer for curly girls! Water can be used as your daily moisturizer, or you can use water-based moisturizers to hydrate your curls and combat dryness and frizziness. You can spritz your hair with water throughout the day as a refresher to give your curls a little kick. Make sure to limit practices that strip your hair of its moisture, like frequent blow drying, flat ironing, chemical process, etc...
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