Sunday, February 22, 2015

Product Spotlight

Time for another product spotlight! Today's featured product is the As I Am Smoothing Gel.


I have been using this little gem since December. I purchased this in Florida the night before my cruise. The Florida humidity attacked my hair. Wearing it straight after that point wasn't an option. We made a quick trip to the store get some last minute items. Something to help tame my hair was on my list. I didn't have much in the way of hair products because my hair was going to be straight, This gel save my hair on this trip and I have been using it ever since, I gave away my Eco Styler gel and I use this solely as a finishing product. This gel and a scarf smooths my edges very well.

For the ingredients list check out asiamnaturally.com

What do you use to lay your edges down?

Officially A Year and Half Post Relaxer...Yea Buddy!

I know it's been a minute since my last post but I just got a little lazy with posting. It happens from time to time to the best of us. Let's get into this accomplishment. Yes, you read that right. I am a year and half post relaxer and I'm too excited. The pic to your left was taken on the 12th of this month after a salon visit. I got another trim but this time it was a more detailed trim I guess. I'm happy it was done. I had a feeling that my ends weren't in the best condition. The extreme cold weather here in Chicago has taken a toll on my hair. It was way to dry. No matter how much I try to remedy it. Liquid leave-ins aren't for my hair in this brutal weather. I never thought that I would have to winterize my products. I thought I was immune to that. lol I have been looking for a heavier moisture lately. Completely forgetting that I have the new Creme of Nature products for natural hair in my stash. I will be using them and keeping track of whether or not they thoroughly moisturize my hair.

When do I plan on BCing?
I have been saying I want to hold off until the 2 year mark in August but that might be pushed back. I would like for my natural hair to be at APL or very close to it when I big chop. Right now it could be pushed back to about the 27th or 28th month of transition mark. That is subject to change. Hell, if I keep on trimming they way I have been for the last year, I'll be completely natural sooner than I expect. lol

What has helped my get through the last 18 months?
Deep conditioning w/ steam weekly
Keep my hair stretched
Not hesitating to go to the shop to let someone else take over for once: Let me explain this one. I wear my hair in a bun all of the time. I like to switch it up. Doing this also allows me a break from doing my hair. If you find yourself getting lazy or frustrated with your hair. Give yourself a break. Whether it's though protective styling or salon visits. I'm not as scared to use heat anymore. For me as long as my hair is well hydrated and protected before using heat. I'm ok. Which is why I get it done professionally. It works for me. I found a salon and stylist who has similar hare care habits as me. That is very important.
Low manipulation

I basically keep it as simple as possible. For me complicated equals too much work and damage.

Would I like to see my hair longer during this transition?
Yes!

Will it happen?
Probably not. I don't want to become even more attach to the length and become disappointed when it's time to cut. I will have to be satisfied with continuing to hover around the same length a little longer.

I am loving the health and length of my transitioning hair. My hair is the healthiest and longest it's ever been in my life. My only issue is the front section of my hair. Since there is no discernible curl pattern in that area, it makes it hard to really distinguish my natural hair from the relaxed. Being relaxer free is not so bad. I don't miss not being able to scratch my head. lol I have gone from not being able to go longer than a month without a touch up (le sigh) to going 18 months without one. I am not team natural or team relaxed. I am on the side of doing what you feel is right for you. To me that is the best decision anyone can make.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giving Henna A Shot

I have been interested in using henna for almost a year or so. What got me interested is Milan J's (TressedforSuccess on YouTube) video on how her experience using it. After Christina's (ManeObjective) blog post about how to maintain you red color, it pretty confirmed that I would go ahead and try it since I was going to color my hair. So after hesitating on purchasing the henna I finally went ahead and purchased it. I bought the Nupur brand from Amazon. I bought 2 packs (500g each). My hair better like it because after seeing this package, I have way too much. lol

When do I plan on doing the henna treatment you ask? The end of February. By then I should be able to devote the time needed to do this treatment. The recipe I'll use is the same as Milan J's. (video here)
Which is the henna, TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner and my oil will be the TGIN Argan Oil blend. I cannot wait to try this out. One of the main reasons I want to try it out is for the color payoff. I really want my hair to be brighter. I thought the subtle change was what I wanted but as the days go on, I'm realizing I want my hair to be more noticeable. I guess deep down I need a bit of a dramatic change. I know that I won't get that with the henna but I'm hoping the color is more prominent after the treatment. I will know in due time. So be on the lookout next month for my thoughts.

For more information on this brand of henna hit up the link below.
http://www.godrejnupur.com/

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Week 2 Fitness Recap

This week I fit into the stereotype of not wanting to workout because of my hair. Shame on me. But I did workout this week. Not as much as last week but I got a few workouts in. Monday and Tuesday I used the Black Girl Workout 2 DVD and also Ripped in 30. Wednesday night I did the Gym Grown, No Silicon Level from BGW2 before I proceeded to prep my hair for my color appointment. Thursday during some done time at work I did some of the exercises from BGW2. I didn't do any intense workouts because I didn't want to go to the salon with smelly sweat dried hair. But I will be resuming my work outs next week. I am not giving up and stopping this fitness train in the least.

My food intake was ok. I'm still getting up and making myself some breakfast. I did indulge in some not so healthy food a couple of days a week. Mainly the chips and salsa from a new Mexican restaurant around the corner from my job. I did have some sweets but I can proudly say that I did not overdo it. That is an accomplishment. I can eat an entire pack of Oreos by my damn self. SMH To the left is the bottle that I use to keep up with my water intake at work. I had a regular cup that I would refill many times throughout the day. This bottle keeps me from running to the kitchen so much. This is the second bottle I've bought because I can't find the top to the other one I have. I drink one of these a day while at work and drink an additional 2 or 3 bottles at home. Sunday I am back to eating better.


I said last week that I wasn't going to buy another scale but after looking into the Fitbit Aria. I changed my mind because this scale does more than just tell you your weight. It measures you BMI and Body Fat as well. I love that you can keep track of everything with the app on your phone. I will be taking a trip to Target getting one. On to week 3.

Color Recap.

Yesterday evening I made it to the salon a little early and my stylist Shawanna was able to take me right away. We went straight to her chair and she got started. First she sectioned my hair into four sections. The back half of my hair was one section and three in the front. I got partial highlights. Which basically means only the top half of my hair was colored. They use the Pravana hair care and color products. After she parted my hair, she went to mix the color. She came back and got started. The technique she used was very interesting. From going to my cousin for years, I was use to the old school coloring cap where they pull your hair through the holes. I was never a fan of that because I always leery of possible breakage. Now that I have way more natural hair on my head that color cap will never touch my head again.

I'm going to try to explain the technique she used. I hope I can explain it clearly. So please bare with me. Starting with the section on right, she would make smaller sections. Then she takes that section and did this weaving technique through it with the tail end of the comb. That is how she chooses the pieces she colored. Once she had the section she was going to color she would grab the foil and wrap the tail end of the comb with the end of the foil. That makes it easier to place the foil under the section that is getting the color. She did this for all three sections. When the color application was done, she let it sit for 30 minutes before heading to the bowl to wash it out. After the coloring step was complete she shampooed, lightly detangled and conditioned my hair. Unfortunately, getting under the steamer was not an option. Doing that would not allow the color to set. So under the dryer I went for about 10 minutes.


Sitting for 30 min after she finished
foiling
Under the dryer and missing the steamer

On to the styling. She did the usual blow dry, flat iron, and trim. I was excited about that trim. I am not a fan of split ends. She did the standard trim throughout my entire head. She styled it how I wanted it, straight with a light bump on the ends.

 

I am loving my hair. I got the subtle change I wanted. She didn't use bleach. Which I am alright with. My relaxed ends probably wouldn't be able to handle bleach and would probably cause me to get my hair cut sooner than I want. The no bleach thing will probably make the upkeep easier. The only downside is since natural color is on the dark side it makes it harder for color to lift w/o the use of bleach. Although I do love it, I think I want to go brighter sometime over the Summer. With that said I am seriously considering cutting the remaining relaxed ends around my birthday in August and retouching the color. That would take me just barely over the two year mark. Also, the color will also make it easier to track to my progress with the Manetabolism vitamins.  

That's it ladies!

Product Spotlight

I have so many products in my stash and there are still some that I want to give a try like Mielle Organics and E'tae lines but those will have to wait. I had to buy a bigger storage container because my stash has out grown the small three drawer container I have been using for years. Anyway, out of all the products that I have I find myself gravitating towards the same three products lately. You have seen these products numerous times but I think it's time I talk about them more in a bit more depth. I decided to start a Product Spotlight Series (a fancy way of saying product review) to introduce them. Starting with a Soultanicles product. I have a few products from that line I haven't tried yet. If I like them, they just might make an appearance as a product spotlight. 



Product: Soultanicles Knot Sauce $16 8oz
Where to Purchasehttp://soultanicals.com/
Product Description: A Nappilicious Reinvention of A Natural Hair Detangler, Super-Naturally Emphasized with Blue Malva Herb, Brocolli Seed Oil & Coconut Nectar for Excellent Comb-Thru Spreadability & Extra Softness! A lusciously creamy, delish blend of cake batter and butter icing with a hint of vanilla. The Proof is in the Sauce! 
IngredientsNOURISHING, PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water Botanically Infused with Certified Organic Blue Malva, Nettle, Horsetail, Slippery Elm, Oatstraw, Chamomile, Coltsfoot & Marshmallow Root, Certified Organic Aloe Juice, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flaxseed Gel, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocoa Butter, Brocolli Seed Oil, Crambe Seed Oil, Pro-Vitamin B5, Guar Gum, Algae, Coconut Nectar, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Natural, Fragrant & Essential Oil Blends, Potassium Sorbate, Black Willowbark Extract, Citric Acid, an extra pouring of soulistic flava & LOVE!

DirectionsOn damp or dry hair, divide tangled, matted or knotted strands into 4-8 sections. Apply a sufficient amount to the entire length of one section at a time and work through with fingers. Use a wide toothed comb to comb through from end to root as coils become irresistably soft, super-naturally manageable & instantly detangled. Can be used as a conditioner or Leave in.

My Thoughts: I have been absolutely loving this leave-in/detangler. It moisturizes like nobody's business. After my hair dries it is very moisturized. It is a thick product but has a very smooth texture and when you rub it through your fingers you can tell that this product has really good slip. It has sort of light sweet smell to it. It does linger for a few days but it is not strong at all. I find it pleasant. This is a definite repurchase. In fact, I purchased the 16 oz pump bottle during their last sale and also the Mango Dip Detangling Slip. Still patiently waiting on those to find their way home. I would recommend this product be tried out. Lots of great ingredients and leaves the hair feeling very moisturized. 

Have you tried this product before? What was your experience with it? 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wash Day Chronicles: Color Preparation (73 Wks Post)

The time is near. My color appointment is right around the color. Tomorrow afternoon to be exact. This wash day was dedicated to prepping my hair for my color service andI  implemented the advice from SimplyBiancaAlexa's video and my stylist. Let's get into this wash day.
{1} I stopped pre-pooing out of shear laziness. I noticed a big difference in my hair when I didn't pre-poo. I encountered a few more tangles when I didn't do so. So instead of pre-pooing with an oil I took a from Jen of Just Grow Already and used a conditioner. I've had Hairveda's Moist 24/7 conditioner sitting in my stash for a a few months. I must say that it works great as pre-poo. I parted my hair into six sections. Sprayed each section with water and applied the conditioner. Then I let it sit for an hour or so, When I rinsed it from my hair whatever tangles I had melted away. I like the citrus scent it has too.
{2} I clarified with Hydratherma Naturals Herbal Amino Clarifying Shampoo. I shampooed three times with it. This was an ok shampoo. I think their Moisture Balance Shampoo cleansed better but I'll have to do further testing.
{3} I pulled out my trusty TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I did restore the moisture to my hair. I still have too many bottles of this stuff to go through. I think I'll start pre-pooing with it to help go through it.
{4} I reached for my favorite conditioner, Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner, to detangle and sat under the steamer for 20 minutes.
{5} With my hair still in twists, I rinsed the conditioner from my hair. Normally, I would have reached for a cream leave-in but I wanted something that was a bit lighter. So I opted for Silk Hydration by L. Jones Leave-in (liquid). I don't want a lot of product on my hair that could possibly hinder the color taking as effectively as it can.
{6} I retwisted my hair and let it airdry.

My stylist wanted me to have my hair in four twist to minimize tangling. That won't happen because I'm not going to work like that. lol I honestly can't wait to get my hair trimmed. I saw a split end in my hair and it has been bugging me. If I had the proper hair shears I would have gotten rid of it myself. Anyway, that was my color prep wash day in a nutshell.

*Note* I started using distilled water in my steamer and have noticed the mineral buildup on the heating coil has been significantly reduced. If you have a steamer and haven't used distilled water, give it a try.

The #WashDayExperience