Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Staple Product: Castor Oil

So, as an early Christmas present my sister bought me some castor oil! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have many plans for my castor oil. Listed below I have detailed how I have used it so far.

For my skin:
1. I mixed the castor oil with my Curel lotion to give me more moisture to my skin. It worked really well for my horribly dry eczema skin.
2. I use the castor oil as an oil rinse. I mixed it in a 50:50 ratio of EVOO and castor oil.
3. I also use a small drop of the castor oil as a moisturizer for my face.

For my hair:
1. I use the castor oil as a moisturizer for my hair.
2. I have plans to use the 50:50 mixture as an oil rinse.

There are many benefits to castor oil as previously mentioned but, I am finding other great uses for it also!

Holiday Hair

So, today has been a wonderful and blessed day. I spent time with my family, ate great vegetarian/vegan food, and received great gifts.

This past Wednesday I took down my twists and I've been wearing my hair out since then. For Christmas, I decided to do a roll and tuck style that leads to a side ponytail. The style was achieved by bobby pinning the hair into place.

Merry Christmas everyone!! May it be blessed and filled with joy!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Even on those staple products...CHECK THE INGREDIENTS!


So, imagine my horror when I was on CurlyNikki in the comments section and I saw that someone posted that Herbal Essence has changed their look and their ingredients in their conditioners (I'm not really sure about the shampoos but, I don't use their shampoos).

She said the new conditioners have a new look and new ingredients. They have less plant extracts, more cones, and sodium hydroxide (sodium hydroxide is used in relaxers). So, I went to Herbal Essence's website and I did notice the new look of the conditioners but, could not find the ingredients posted anywhere. So, today I will be checking out my local drugstore to find the ingredients on those new bottles. The new bottles have a flower on them.

Herbal Essence conditioners were some of my favorite conditioners. I own the Totally Twisted, Hello Hydration, and Dangerously Straight. I even did rave reviews on these conditioners. However, I will not continue to purchase these products if it is true that the ingredients have changed.

This just goes to show me that even when you have your staple products, you should always check the ingredients. I am guilty of just restocking the products and not even checking the ingredients once I consider a product a staple. Lesson learned.

This is the new bottle for the HE Hello Hydration conditioner. At least, I know to stay away from bottles that look like this.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Fab Five

I mentioned before that I am not a major product junkie. Of course, I do have some products on my wish list like the Oyin Handmade line and different types of oils. But, for the most part I stick to my main products. So, I started thinking about what are my Fab Five products that I would need no matter what. Meaning, if someone said you are going to an island and can only bring 5 products these are the ones I would bring.

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: So, this is my main oil. I adore the weight of EVOO, the smell, and its many benefits. Also, my hair and skin loves this stuff so, this product has many functions. It is one of the few products that I use everyday no matter what.

2. Shea Butter: I adore shea butter! Usually, I mix my shea butter with EVOO in the microwave and let it set. I use this mixture to seal my ends and lay down my hair edges. I love this product because it is a great sealant.

3. Suave Naturals in Tropical Cocounut: I own a few conditioners but, this conditioner has earned it spot as my FAVE (HE Hello Hydration used to be my fave). It contains no cones, which is good. I am not against cones but, I do try to limit the amount of cones I apply to my hair. This conditioner is lightweight. Also, this is one of the few conditioners I will co-wash with, deep condition with, and use as a leave in. When, I apply this conditioner as a leave-in it does not weigh the hair down or leave a film behind. I know I love this stuff because I buy it like I buy tissue. If I am in the store, I will pick up a bottle of because I use it that much. And did I mention the price is so nice?!? It usually ranges from 0.94 to 1.09.

4. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo: This is my only shampoo and I love it! Why change a good thing??? I do have an interest in trying out other shampoos but, this is my main shampoo. This shampoo contains great ingredients--sulfate free. And its easily accessible. I usually buy mine from Target and I heard that they now sell it at Walmart. The price is usually about $7-$8 but, I feel this is a very good price considering what a great product it is and its many benefits. I do like the Giovanni line as a whole but, this is my FAVE product from their line.

5. Water (H20) : Ok, I know that technically water is not a product but, it is essential to me. I was trying to think of a 5th product and I was having such a difficult time. Then, it came to me...water! Of course, we use water to wash our hair but, it also aids me in my numerous hairstyles. I constantly keep water in my spray bottle. I may mix it with conditioner, or a leave in, or oils, or just use it in its pure state. No matter how I use it, it is a crucial part of my natural hair care regimen. Also, it is the only product that I can consume and it will benefit my entire body:-)

So, do you have a Fab Five???

Hairstyle: Two Strand Flat Twists + Two Strand Flat Twists Updo

So, this past Friday I detangled my hair, shampooed it, deep conditioned it, and then styled it. I have really been feeling two-strand flat twist hairstyles so, I decided to try out a hairstyle. This was my first time doing two strand flat twists on my own head. I had plans to do a video tutorial of this style but, my memory ran out on my camera. But, no worries I will definitely be revisiting this hairstyle and will record it then:-)

Here's what I did:
1. I twisted the hair on wet hair. For my leave in I applied EVOO because I wanted my hair to be full. (conditioners tend to leave the hair with less volume).
2. I continued to wet the hair with my spray bottle while doing the styling to ensure that it stayed wet.
3. I parted my hair horizontally in the middle.
4. I then two-strand flat twisted the front (it did not come out as defined as I would have liked but, I'm still practicing on this)
5. At the end of each two-strand flat twist I twisted the hair.
6. I then individually twisted the back section of my hair.
7. After the style was complete, I applied EVOO throughout my hair and essential oils to my scalp.

On Friday through Tuesday, I wore the twists down, which I really liked! And on Wednesday and Thursday, I have been wearing the twists in an updo. I received quite a few compliments on both versions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Detangling: Part 2

In a previous post, I discussed the necessity of detangling. You can check it out HERE.

However, I am revisiting detangling because I recently changed the way I detangle my hair. In the past, I would detangle my hair after washing it while it was soaking wet. Yet, recently I saw a video and a blog post by Moptop Maven giving details how she detangles and shampoos so, I decided to try out her method.

Moptop Maven detangles her hair on slightly damp hair BEFORE she shampoos the hair. It is known that hair is the weakest when it is wet so detangling on wet hair my result in uneccessary breakage. So, this past Friday I printed off her instructions for detangling and proceeded to start the process.

Here are my thoughts:
1. It is great to detangle my hair and not have water constantly dripping into my face.
2. My detangling session went by so much faster.
3. I had a decrease in the amount of shed hair.
4. Because I detangled before shampooing my hair, I did not have to worry about shed hairs constantly coming out of my hair while shampooing. So, shampooing went by with a breeze.
5. She suggested using a shower comb (like the one pictured above) and I did and I am a big fan of this comb. My other comb which I detangled with in the past was average compared to this comb.

You can check out MopTop Maven's post HERE about detangling. Also, I did record a video of my detangling session using this method and it can be checked out HERE.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hair Today: Retro Updo

I really had no plans to post a "Hair Today". However, I received a few compliments on my hair today so I thought "Why not?".

Yesterday, I decided to take my twists out since I have a busy weekend ahead. After I took them out I just put my satin bonnet on my head and went to sleep. (It took about 3 hours to take them out and detangle with my fingers).

This morning, I just woke up and decided to do this updo since it is quick and easy. It's funny to me that when I just throw my hair together, those are the days I receive the most compliments:-)

Beautiful Natural Men: Lenny Kravitz

Ok, so I must admit that I am not a big Lenny Kravitz fan. However, I can recognize a beautiful man when I see one. So, I am definitely featuring him today.

First off, Lenny Kravitz has always held it down on the natural forefront. I don't think there has ever been a time that he has not rocked a natural hairstyle. Personally, I can't really decide which look of his I like best. The locs were GORGEOUS. The textured afro is BEAUTIFUL. So, I just can't make up my mind and won't try.

It was kinda hard trying to narrow down which pictures of his I wanted to post up because he is so photogenic and takes good pics. (He really is beautiful). So, I just chose them randomly:-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wish List: Castor Oil

I have been wanting to implement more oils into my hair regimen and my skin regimen. Currently, my main oil is EVOO0--which is great. However, another great oil that has many benefits is Castor oil.

I used my sister's 50:50 mixture of Castor Oil and EVOO on my hair for my oil rinse and my hair loved it. For this reason, I want to use this particular oil for my oil rinses. Also, I want to use this oil for an oil cleansing for my face.

Here are some of the benefits of Castor Oil:
1. Castor Oil keeps the skin looking unlined and youthful because it penetrates more deeply.
2. Castor Oil thickens eyelashes and eyebrows. Therefore, it should thicken hair once applied.
3. Castor oil keeps hair looking soft and shiny
** Source

There are numerous benefits to Castor Oil but, I just named a few interesting ones. It is for these reasons that I need a VAST amount of castor oil in my possession. Most castor oil packages sold in the stores are very small. I am on the hunt for a large amount.

Confessions of a Natural Hairstyle Fanatic

So, I was on my sister's blog and she did a post entitled "Confessions of a Wash-n-Go Coily Queen". It was a great post and you can check it out HERE. She confessed that her natural personality is about hair care and not hairstyles. She also said that she is a fan of the Wash-N-Go.

This post had me thinking about my natural personality. And I must admit that I am a hairstyle fanatic. I will try out any natural hairstyle that appeals to me. Sometimes, I try to avoid going to natural groups, or natural blogs, or natural pics because I know that I will see a hairstyle I like and will be anxious to try it.

If I wasn't afraid of over manipulation I would probably have a new hairstyle every 2-3 days. However, I have forced myself to limit the changing of my hair to 1-2 weeks.

At my job, I get comments about how often I change my hair. "Hey girl with the million different hairstyles." or "You keep changing it up on me!" or "You're going to keep this style, right?"

And what is crazy to me is I feel like I don't change my hair enough. LOL. However, I must admit that I recently realized that I do change up my hair quite often. Just recently, I put a video on YouTube showing the various hairstyles that I tried over the past 2 months and there were quite a few! And to make matters worse, I didn't even post all the hairstyles over that time. (You can check out that video HERE) Also, my natural hair album on facebook has 87 pictures!
Honestly, I never see an end in sight with my hairstyles. Currently, I have been contemplating quite a few hairstyles with two-strand flat twists.

I attribute my diverse hairstyles to my creative side. I am very creative and love doing projects so, I consider my hair a display of my creative mind. Even when, I was relaxed I constantly changed up my hair. I was never content for a long period of time with one signature hairstyle. If I was to have a signature hairstyle it would be the twist-out. It has been the one hairstyle that I have kept in for a long period of time since being natural. I wore this hairstyle for the entire summer. (Wow! A whole 3 months.)

I am fascinated with all aspects of natural hair such as the care, the products, the celebrities, and so much more. But, hairstyles really appeal to me.

So, I confess that I am a hairstyle fanatic! But, its cool with me:-)

Facebook Album Updated

A hairstyle I just added to the album.

So, in a previous post I informed you that I post most of my hairstyles in an album on facebook. I just updated the album with the hairstyles that I have been wearing over the past months--with a few pics of my sisters tossed in:-)

Check out the album HERE if you would like to see the various hairstyles I have tried.

Natural Skin Care: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is my skin today. I did not apply any foundation. I simply applied EVOO to moisturize it in this cold weather.

My sister, Auset, has taken an interest to completely natural skincare. I must admit that this sparked my interest also. She said that she went to Moptop Maven's blog and read all her posts her on her skin care so that she may implement them. I do plan on checking out her skin care posts and updating my skin care regimen.

For the time being however, I decided to tell you all a part of my skincare regimen that I have been using for months that I simply adore. I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as a moisturizer for my face. It works wonders!

I know some people do not think putting oil on the skin is a good thing. They think that by adding oil to the skin that it will lead to more break outs. However, I have not suffered from breakouts since using this method.

My skin type is combination in the warmer weather and it is dry in the colder weather. After washing my face with simple IVORY soap and drying it. I apply about a nickel size amount of EVOO to my face in the warmer months (I double the dosage in the colder months).

Here are the benefits of EVOO on the skin:
1. Moisturizes the skin--no matter the weather
2. Gives the skin a nice glow that is not oily looking
3. Does not have an overpowering scent
4. Eliminated the dry white spots that I used to have around my eyebrows and cheek area.

In the past, I used St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer but, ever since I started using EVOO I have very rarely picked up the St. Ives.

Today, I applied the EVOO to my skin and I decided to forego the foundation today. This oil really keeps my skin moisturized in the cold weather. Usually, when I come into the building after being out in the cold air and wind my skin will feel like cracking but, it feels so supple today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hair Today: Braided Twists

So, yesterday, I found my charger to my camera. Talk about happy:-)

This is the style I was discussing yesterday. This is a great protective style and a very low maintenance style. Once the twists are in and the hair is braided up then, that is all you have to do. I just sleep with my satin scarf or bonnet each night and take it off the next morning. Also, I do run EVOO over the hair.

So, here's what I did:
1. The small twists were already in my hair.
2. I divided the hair in an off-center part in the middle.
3. I then cornrowed the smaller section towards the back.
4. For the larger section, I divided it into 2 parts--braiding the front part to the side and the back part to the back.

***I know a video would show this process so much better. So, when this style needs freshening up, I will make sure to record it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Natural Inspiration: Chrisette Michele

She is rocking that TWA! I always thought Chrisette Michele was gorgeous. I have been a faithful fan of hers from the first album. So, imgaine my delight when she went natural 6 months ago.

Her features are just so unique and fascinating that the TWA really brings out her best assets.

She came on CurlyNikki when she first did her Big Chop (BC) and she just recently came on again to update us on her 6 month anniversary. Check out the great articles HERE and HERE.

I would've done a "Hair Today" post but...

Hello, all. So, I still have the rather small twists that my sister put in my hair. I was debating if I was going to take them down this past weekend but, I decided against it. So, what I did with the twists was braid them into 3 cornrows on my hair. I kinda like the style. It's simple and a great protective style.

So, why haven't I posted any pics of this style???

Because I can not find my charger to my camera. Talk about a major inconvenience. This is hindering me from posting pics to the blog and doing any YouTube videos. I have been looking at possible places it could be but, I have not had any success finding it:/

I lost the charger to this camera before and had to reorder it for $50. I really don't want to spend this money especially this time of year.