Hair Collage!

Hair Collage!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Would you . . .

Would you use a styling product that worked perfectly with your hair but made your skin break out?

This question came across my mind as I listened to a fellow curly talk about her regimen. She loves a Tresemme mousse that makes her 2c/3a hair look amazing. Perfect definition, lots of body, not too much crunch and a great smell. The only problem? It makes her forehead breakout in cystic acne. As I watched her do her hair she half-jokingly told me, "I love my skin, but I love my hair so much more." If she likes it, I love it. Personally, I would toss the mousse. While my hair is important, I can always search for another product to give my hair similar results. Clearly my beloved five-head and I are together for life. Plus I think it's a little ridiculous to search for products to combat unnecessary breakouts.

If I had to choose between A) leaving the house with a full face of make-up (foundation, powder and etc.) and perfect hair or B) leaving the house with minimal make-up and good hair, I'd choose B every time. Am I the only cracking up at the fact that this is being written on hair blog?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shedding the Old and Embracing the New

The above was part of my old siggy on LHCF. Now that I'm natural I would say that I've officially shed the old and embraced the new. My last relaxer was on April 2, 2010 making me exactly 26 months post today. I was planning to chop today, but I couldn't take the two textures anymore so I BC'ed a week early on May 26, 2012. I loaded my hair up with AOHSR, which I don't like, and let my Mom and brother help out with cutting off the relaxed ends.

A little about my hair history: I was natural until I turned sixteen and decided that I wanted a perm because I thought natural hair looked too childish. At that time the only naturals I knew were die-hard vegans, children or women with loosely curled/wavy hair. Anyway, my Mom started relaxing my hair at home with a kiddie perm. Sidebar: My Mom, who I love dearly, knows nothing about healthy hair care. So every 28 days (I kept track on a calendar and I tracked my relaxers better than my periods) she relaxed my hair from root to tip (which is obviously a no-no). We left it on for about 20-25 minutes each time. 

Now I thought the relaxer would allow me to wash my hair and have it air-dry bone straight. Imagine my shock when it dried straight with a little kink. After talking to some girls at school I discovered flat irons, grease and dominican blowouts. Every three days I would wash my hair (at least my scalp was clean), flat iron with grease and rollerset :O

Thankfully I left for college and got so caught up with school that I wore braids for the first two years of college. In the spring semester of my Sophomore year I was online and I googled "growing long African American hair." This pinged me around for a bit until I stumbled upon Long Hair Care Forum. This website single handedly changed the way that I cared for my hair. 

Before LHCF- my hair was thin (in comparison with how thick it once was, although people always commented on my 'beautiful' hair) with three growing bald spots in the front of my head. I was able to hide it with my bang but it became harder to conceal as time went on. 

After LHCF- The same day that I found LHCF (and spent hours scouring it) is when I decided to transition to natural. At that point I was about three months post but I knew I wasn't ready to begin transitioning then (especially since I previously thought I couldn't handle my hair past 28 days). So I took my braids out and relaxed for the last time. 

Although I lost three months of new growth, I thought it was worth it because then I would be able to see every stage of transitioning. Unfortunately I did not document my journey as well as I wanted to but here are some of the pictures that I took. 

April 30, 2010
June 2010
July 2010
October 2010, with my thin harline

November 2010

December 2010, more of my thin hairline
July 2011, before heat damage

The picture on the left is from October and the right is from November 2011. I think the left looks longer because it's a lot closer than the right one.

December 2011, before all of my setbacks

 The three above are from April 2012, when I was celebrating my hair's birthday hahaha.

I'll be back with pictures of my hair  once I do my first wash and go on the 4th :D

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quick Thoughts: Aubrey (Organics?) Honeysuckle Rose

I bought this product last month during my Chi Silk Infusion, protein overload induced setback.

Unfortunately the smell leaves a lot to be desired. . . my brother thinks it smells like a urinal cake. I've never smelled one but this does have a scent that reminds me of bathroom cleaning products.

The product is very thick so I dilute it with a little bit of Jojoba oil before using it. Otherwise, I could easily use the bottle in two or three washes. On the bright side, this product is extremely moisturizing. It made me notice that my hair was not as moisturized as I previously thought it was. All of my curls were in perfect formation for the first time ever. For the first use I DC'ed with it using my version of a heat cap : A plastic shower cap covered by a towel. When I washed it out a few hours later I noticed that my hair had somewhat of a coated feeling, but honestly I was just glad to be tangle free.

For the next use I DC'ed with it again and decided to dilute it for a leave in spray. Here is where my problems began. I put a dime sized amount in about 6 ounces of filtered water. While my hair felt moisturized, my scalp was unbearably itchy and it felt dirty. I literally sprayed, left for class and then ran back to my apartment on a break, rinsed my hair in the kitchen sink and then left for my next class.

I still have about half a bottle left, so for my next use I plan to be very careful. I will make sure to apply it at least an inch from my scalp. Additionally, I won't baggy with the product because I want to eliminate any chance of the product touching my scalp.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random Reflection Ramble: Growing Up

As of 2:53 am EST, I have made more steps towards becoming a real adult. Most importantly, I changed the juvenile voicemail that I've had for the past 8ish years. No more, "Hello? . . . . haha I'm not here! Leave a message." My new voicemail is simple and professional with a smidge of personality. All I say is "Hi, sorry I missed your call. Please leave a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." Very simple, but my vocal inflection makes all the difference in this message.

Two shifts at my old job reminded me of how much I dread going to work there. I feel genuine unhappiness thinking about my next shift. It's so bad that if I'm out and hear a song that plays there, I start to feel anxious and upset. No bueno. So today I put down the GRE books for a bit and started aggressively applying for jobs. Both jobs are very different, but I would love to work at either place. The idea of earning a salary is so thrilling for a minimum-wage gal like myself. 

Update: June 4, 2012 1:28. Just applied for my number one choice job. *GULP* Their website is amazing and by far THE BEST that I've seen in my job application process. Why can't other companies be this awesome? I know you shouldn't get too attached to jobs in the application process but I think I'll be genuinely heartbroken if I don't get this job. But I won't think that way. Positive thoughts. Inhale. Exhale. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Modified Twist-Out

Since my MC (mini-chop) on Saturday I've been doing twist-outs. While they've given me great definition. . . I can't figure out a way to make them last more than one day. I think it's because I haven't been using anything but water, a leave in and P. Mitchell skinny serum to seal. So tonight/this morning I decided to try something different. 

Before: 40ish plaits and the products listed above
Today: Curly Nikki and I seem to have a similar hair texture so I decided to modify her twist-n-curl method. I used 19 plaits (8 in the back, 3 above both ears and 5 down the center) and used the products listed above plus TIGI Foxy Curls Contour Cream. I also tied my hair down with my silk headband. 

I'll be back later with results.

UPDATE: So I left the twists in for an entire day and they were completely dry when I untwisted them Tuesday morning. I have to say, this was by far the best twist-out that I've EVER done. Especially since it took less time and looked better. Plus there was less tangling and the twists really played off my natural texture. I'm planning to re-do these twists next week so that I can re-do the look for my brothers honor society induction (YAY!). 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Product Rave: Waterpik Shower Head

Stunning Showerhead!
I know this isn't obviously hair related, but stay with me on this one. Due to my incessant nagging gentle suggestion, my family changed the shower head in our main bathroom. With our old shower head we obviously had good water pressure (sometimes the pressure was so strong it felt like I was being pelted by water), but the water only came out in three or four sharp bursts. No bueno. So tonight I bought the shower head above and changed it. There was no tools or plumbers tape involved. I simply twisted the old one off and twisted this one on. After my Mom and brother came out the shower they were both grinning and spent longer in there than they normally would! Both couldn't believe how much better their shower was. I can't wait to wash my hair tomorrow morning (still straight from graduation) and see if the shower head makes a difference. Honestly, anything will be better than the sharp trickle we had before.

I purchased this from Target for 20 USD before taxes.

Quick Thought: Why I don't shop online

Or rather, why I don't buy my hair products online. I'm not trying to knock others who do, but that's just not for me. Mainly I don't do it because I am frugal, economically aware, cheap. I barely even want to pay sales tax when I make a purchase so the idea of paying shipping is just absurd to me. Also, I don't like the idea of having to wait for products. Sometimes I buy stuff in the store and I'm walking out the store smoothing on a little of the product.

My Staple!
I mainly shop at the four stores stores above. I mainly shop at Ulta and Trade Secret during the Liter sale in July (or sometime in the summer?) so that I can get my Joico (Moisture recovery and K-pak) Liters half price. I usually stock up during this sale so that I don't have to buy any again during the year. During the last liter sale I got a little too crazy *guilty look* so I think I'll wait for next years sale.   I prefer to purchase my Joico products from authorized sellers such as Ulta and Trade Secret. I bought Joico K-pak Reconstructor from a random BSS in NYC. The product was very watery (literally), runny and chunky --- nothing like the Reconstructors that I've bought before. I'm sure this product was not returned because the store has a no return policy. 
For example, I have always wanted to try Oyin Handmade Juice and Berries. But I can't justify dropping $6.40 on top of $11.00  (as per CurlMarts shipping) just to try out this product.

Now that I've said all of that, the one and only  product that I gladly buy online is Silk Amino Acids from Lotion Crafters ( This product is amazing because it makes my hair smooth and easy to detangle. I typically put one or two squirts in the liter bottle above. SAA's are very potent so only a little is needed to be effective. 

Initial Thoughts: TIGI Ego Boost

I also bought this at Target during my trip on 5/24. I paid about 18 USD and was able to get it in a vacuum sealed pack that had two for the price of one (that is why you should always check the ends of the book ends of the aisles for extra deals!). I have been DESPERATE to find a good leave in conditioner. The smell on this product is very nice! It's not nearly as sweet as the Foxy Curls Cream (post about it here). . . it's more of a light typical hair product smell. I put about a pea sized amount in my bang and it left my hair feeling very smooth and moisturized, not sticky like the HE and PM ones below do.

To date I have tried Paul Mitchell, Garnier Fructis, Herbal Essences and they have all been major FAILS! Boo hiss!

These are all products that I have either seen work for people with similar hair-types online and in person. I remember how excited I was to finally find the Herbal Essences leave-in, especially since the women on the forums were stock-piling it and driving to various Targets and drugstores in search of this "HG" (holy-grail, basically means amazing) product. I tried it and I decided to swear off Herbal Essences after using the HE leave-in above and HE Hello Hydration. I also decided to stop trying to mold my hair journey/regimen off of others.

Back on topic. I have only tried this product once so it's too early for a definite verdict, but I hope it's the leave in that I've been searching for. I don't buy that whole split end mending BS; I'm just concerned about the leave-in aspect of it.

Speaking about split ends, I HATE when products claim to mend split ends. Split ends are already damaged, so the only way to get rid of them is to cut them off. To me it's like ripping a sheet of paper, gluing it back with Elmers glue and then declaring the paper whole again. Stupid.

Update: May 28, 2012

I've used this product three times now and I'm loving it so far. Last night I washed with Joico's Moisture Recovery Conditioner, applied the TIGI leave and sealed with John Frieda's Super Skinny serum. Today my hair feels very moisturized and supple. I love it :D

Product Rave: Jane Carter Nourish & Shine

I am absolutely in LOVE with this product. I bought this somewhere in NYC for less than 20 USD. I'm not a huge fan of gels (the only one I use is Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Gel) so I use this whenever I pull my hair back into a bun. The smell is very strong and sunflowery, and can be slightly overwhelming. I typically use about a pea sized amount, which is great for a broke post-grad student. The picture below shows how much I've used since I bought the product in January.

In the Amazon reviews I saw that some people use this on their skin but. . . *side-eye* there's no way I would ever use this on my skin. The smell is okay for my hair, but definitely not for my skin.

Warning to those who live in warm climates! This product has the potential to melt. For example, I my jar is much softer and more pliable now in May than it was in January. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing, just an observation. If I bought this online I would not have it shipped in the summer. The heat from the sun and the UPS truck would probably ensure that I'd get a jar of sunflower scented oil, not pomade.

Initial Thoughts: TIGI Foxy Curls

On a whim I decided to pick this up tonight at Target. I paid a little under 18 USD for it. No comment on whether or not I was influenced by the cute bottle *guilty look*. I flat ironed my hair on Friday but because of the humidity in Boston it's half straight, half kinky. Ohh well. When I went to apply the cream to my bang I got scared for a minute because my hair didn't curl back up immediately, but fortunately it just needed a minute to catch itself *breathes sigh of relief*

Anyway, here are my initial thoughts. The smell is EXTREMELY sweet, almost like liquid candy. Straight out of the bottle the smell makes me feel slightly nauseas but now that it's on my hair I can't smell it as strongly. I used a pea sized amount on my wet bang (I'll post pictures in a few minutes). In terms of performance, my curls are perfectly defined and have dried with minimal shrinkage. It has even managed to tame the unruly/dry 4b halo that I have going on. Sometimes this section is painfully dry, coarse and undefined. Other times, like now, it blends in perfectly with the rest of my 4a/3c hair.

Overall I am very pleased with this product but it is too early to say whether not I'd repurchase it. I'll be back with an update later.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First post!

Yippee! I have finally started my own blog! Due to my addictive nature, I thought it would be best if I waited until after I finished undergrad to start one. Otherwise, I knew that I would spend way too much time working on my blog and not enough time working on my degree and baby thesis *shifty look* Anyway I plan to use this blog as a way to document my hair journey. I have a tendency to try products or combos and forget what I used. Blame it on the degree insanity.

More about my hair:

In January my hair reached BSL and I was ridiculously happy. Before that my hair had hovered at SL for years (which I foolishly thought was my terminal length). While I was happy with my BSL hair it was getting to be too much because I was also transitioning from relaxed to natural. In January of this year had a massive setback due to being a product junkie (PJ) and not doing strand tests. I tried Aveda's BeCurly line and the protein in the products was way too much for my hair. It matted, tangled and dreaded. It was a nightmare. In order to preserve my sanity I cut my hair from BSL to APL and then began to un-dreaded my tangled hair. You think I would have learned from this but I had a similar set back in April due to Chi's Silk Infusion *guilty look.* Finally after two massive setbacks, I've gotten smarter and started actually reading product labels. 

Anyway, today my hair is thriving despite my setbacks. My hair is almost APL on the natural bits and reaching BSL with the relaxed parts included. My last relaxer was April 2, 2010 and I plan to BC on June 2, 2012 to make it an even 26 months. However it's so hard to fight the urge to BC. . . I have nothing keeping me back but my OCD desire to wait until a semi-arbitrary date. . .