Monday, January 31, 2011

Hairstyle: Mini Twists

This past Saturday I was really anxious to try something new with my hair. I decided on mini twists.

In the past, I have had mini twists but, I never put them in myself (my sister Auset did) and they were never this small. It took me 8 hours to put them in. I divided my hair into 4 sections and it took about 2 hours per section. I started at 5:00 pm and finished at 1:00 am. I was delirious by the time I finished but, I was very pleased with the results.

Before I put the twists in I did the following: This past Thursday, I shampooed my hair with Giovanni Deep Moisture shampoo. I then did an oil rinse using 50:50 mixture of castor oil and EVOO. After that I deep conditioned with the Giovanni conditioners and I applied the Giovanni leave-in conditioner. I did all this with my hair in braids--->I did take down the front cornrows and put in individual bradis in order to get all parts of my scalp. I wore the braids on Friday and Saturday morning and took them out Saturday afternoon to start my twists.

These are the steps:
1. First, pick out about 4 movies in order to pass the time:-)
2. I took the braids out of my hair so, my hair was somewhat stretched out.
3. I then divided my hair into 4 sections and held them in place with butterfly clips.
4. I then started parting the hair and putting in very small twists using Fantasia IC Olive Gel.
5. Once I finished, I applied EVOO over my entire head.
6. I put on a satin bonnet for the night.

Check out the video HERE of this hairstyle.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Can't Believe I Wore My Hair Like This

Do you ever think back or look at old pictures of yourself and think "I can't believe I wore that?" Well, I was thinking of some of the many hairstyles I have worn over my lifetime and so, I went to old photos of me on facebook to see what styles I used to rock. Check them out...

HOOK-ON BUNS - I used to own about five of these buns in different designs and different sizes. I wore them religiously. We even wore them in my probate show:-) However, I have been embarrassed a many times by having these things fall off. I started to get hip and secured them with bobby pins. I don't see myself wearing these agains. And what's crazy is I still have one at my house.

HOOK-ON PONYTAILS - So, I found this pic of me and my LS's at a social. I remember getting ready for this night and I do believe that was a new ponytail I was rocking. I had these hook on ponytails in different lengths and different styles. I even had an afro puff one that I rocked briefly. I just knew I was the stuff whenever I attached these to my head. I especially liked the long and straight ones. I really don't know what the appeal was.

THE GEL AND SWIRL - Now this was the hairstyle that made me feel so fierce. I usually rocked it right after I had a fresh perm. I would part the hair, apply my black gel, and swirl the hair. I must admit this style received quite a few compliments and I even put this hairstyle in friends' hair. However, this style was so HARD. The gel in addition to the spritz was just crazy! My hair was hard, stiff, dry, and itchy. You can see that I would usually hook-on a bun or ponytail with this style. The bun in this pic was a HUGE one, kind of like a dome. lol

RUBBER BAND TWISTS - This style is just unfathomable to me! I am blessed to still have edges!! I started rocking this hairstyle in high school and wore it in college quite a few times. I usually wore this style when it was time for me to get a re-touch of my relaxer. I would part the hair in little sections and connect these sections with rubber bands. Its kind of hard to explain but, I hope the pictures give you an idea. My first college roomate loved this style and had my put it in her hair on a number of occasions. I definitely won't ever be rocking this.

MICRO BRAIDS - I used to get micro braids religiously. My sisters and my mom would travel about an hour to go to Phenix City, AL to this African shop and have them put in for $180. The thing about micro braids are they are cute initially but, the edges start to get stressed and white bulbs would appear or bumps. Also, they were the biggest pain to take out. If I want a version of micros now, I would just put some mini braids in my hair.

FALL WIGS - I had a number of fall wigs. They are really 1/2 wigs that you put in 1/2 of your head with combs and/or drawstring. For some reason, I liked the idea of only flat ironing the front section of my hair and then putting the wig on the back. Weird.

Well, that's all the past pics I could find. I've actually worn way more hairstyles than this but, I couldn't find them all.

Hair Today: Still Rocking the Braids

I must admit that I am anxious to put a new hairstyle in my hair. I have seen a lot of naturals rocking some gorgeous twist updos at my job and I want to put some twists in my hair. However, I have been resisting because my braids aren't that old yet (Sunday will be 2 weeks).

So, here's my hair today. I'm still rocking the braid updo and it is a great protective style.

I only work 1/2 a day today so, I am going to shampoo my hair with the braids still in. After shampooing, I will see if I feel like doing a new style.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Naturals in Advertisement: Banana Republic

There is no doubt in my mind that Banana Republic makes some of the best clothing. The clothes are quality and classic.

So, I was delighted by this advertisement that they have featuring Esperanza Spalding. A beautiful artist with a gorgeous head full of natural hair.

I've said it is absolutely amazing to see natural hair depicted in advertisements on TV, in magazines, on the net, etc. Natural hair will be the norm one day.

Why I Won't Straighten My Hair

Disclaimer: I am not here to judge. I am simply discussing my reasons for not straightening my natural hair.

Seriously, off topic: This week has been somewhat stressful and busy for me. I have been trying to get in the final things needed for my application to graduate school. Really, I had all of the required material mailed at the very beginning of December 2010. The remaining material needed was my recommendation letters. And even though I notified my past instructors back in December it has still be a headache to ensure that they get the letters in. The deadline is fast-approaching and I just need to get this out of the way. Ok, I'm off the soap box. Back to the scheduled program...

My Reason for Not Straightening My Hair:
1. I am not searching for a "new" look
2. I don't feel I need to straighten my hair to trim it
3. I don't feel the need to check the length
4. I don't want heat damage
5. I don't want people to even see my natural hair straight (they may get attached)
6. I don't like how straight hair looks on me
7. I adore my hair in its natural state

I could go into detail about each of these reasons but, I figured I would just put it out there. When I decided to go natural I knew I had to change my mindset completely about what I considered "pretty" hair. I feel that I was successful in doing this. So much so that I fully embraced my natural hair.

I don't even want to go there by straightening my hair. There are too many downsides to straightening hair and then people get too attached to the straight hair. My natural hair is me and this is what you get.

I discussed my thoughts briefly on this topic and you can check it out HERE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Night Routine

So, previously I did an updated Winter Regimen. However, I thought it would be interesting to show you all how simple my night routine is.

Each night I:
1. Oil my scalp with essential oils.
2. Oil my hair with EVOO
3. Sometimes I apply Shea Butter/EVOO mixture to my edges but I haven't done this lately.
4. I then cover my hair with a satin scarf/bonnet.
5. And to bed I go:-)

That is pretty much my night routine. Very simple.

Hairstyle: Cornrow & Individual Braid Updo

So, I must admit that I am really feeling this hairstyle. I have always been a fan of cornrows and I just think they fit my face. Since my hair has grown back in the problem area, I have been able to start rocking them again:-)

Here's what I did:
1. I took down the past set of cornrows/individual braids.
2. I then detangled my hair and proceeded to re-braid my hair.
3. I first did the back section in individual braids.
4. Then, I cornrowed the front section into 10 braids.
5. The next day, I pinned the hair up into the desired direction.

To maintain this style:
1. I oil my scalp with my essential oils.
2. I oil the hair with EVOO
3. I usually keep the hair pinned up but, I have taken it down to fully oil my hair. Then, I would pin it back up.
4. I cover the front (cornrowed section) with a scarf.
5. I then put a satin bonnet over the entire hairstyle for the night.

I did record of video of braiding the hair but, it does not show how I pinned it up. You can check it out HERE.

Yeah...I can be silly:-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hair Inspirations: LeCoil

Photo credits: LeCoil

I have mentioned in the past how I simply love to pass the time by looking at photos of different natural styles. Well, today I went to LeCoil and I saw some beautiful hairstyles on the site. The two pics are of styles that I think are just GORGEOUS! I especially like the black and white photo and look forward to trying something like that on my hair in the future.

Where do you go for natural inspiration?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great Linkage: Thoughts On Straightening Hair

My sister, Auset, did a great blog post on her thoughts on straigtening hair. She gave her honest opinion and views. I can appreciate this. I have not really expressed my thoughts on straight hair on my blog but, it does take guts to tell your honest opinion about a popular phenomenon in the natural community.

Check our her post HERE.

Some Hair Shots

It has been a minute since I have really had my hair out. This past weekend, I took my braids out and I took a few shots of my hair. These are pics of my hair after taking the braids out (it is therefore, streteched out).

My hair is really growing. I really feel it flourishes from protective styles.

Faking the Funk: The "Natural" Look for Relaxed Hair

So, every blue moon I do an opinion/observation post. This is just a post stating my random thought on a particular matter in the natural community.

On a number of occasions, I have noticed a number of girls with relaxed hair trying to obtain the "natural" look. Here are a few cases: (1)This past weekend, I was in Zaxby's with my sister and I noticed this pretty girl wearing her relaxed hair blown out. (2)On Facebook, a friend of mine washed her relaxed hair and let it dry and said she was going "natural" today (3)My sister's best friend washed her relaxed hair and said that she was going to go for the "natural" look today.

Honestly, when ladies with relaxed hair wear their hair in the "natural" look, it never looks natural to me. I think it looks weird. When it comes to relaxed hair, the hair is void of its natural curl so, the resulting hair are these straight pieces. So, even when the hair has not been flat ironed or straightened with heat the ends of the hair will still look straight.

Many relaxed ladies obtain that "natural" look by either doing a wash n' go or just blowing out the hair. I feel that these are the looks that turn out looking the weirdest. It would probably be best for them to wear a roller set/bantu knot out and let it gradually get thicker and fuller. Or they could wear a twist-out with the ends curled. These styles better imitate the "natural" look than the wash n' go or blow out on relaxed hair (even though the hair will still not look completely natural).

Obviously, there is an appreciation for the look of natural hair but, there is not a motivation there to simply wear the hair in its true natural state. I am happy that natural hair is being accepted more but, I just desire for more people to truly go natural. But, you never know maybe they will get tired of faking the funk and simply go for the real thing one day.

Individual Braids vs. Individual Twists

During these colder months, I have been wearing a number of protective styles. My favorite protective styles would have to be twist and braid updos. However, I started thinking about the pros and cons of each of the styles.

When it comes to individual twists:
Pros - (1) It is much faster to put these in (2) The hair looks fuller and thicker with the twists (3) For some reason, its easier to do updos with twists. I think this is due to its flexibility (4) The take-down process is so much easier with the twists (not including the detangling part) (5) Great protective style
Cons - (1) If I leave twists in for 2 weeks or more it is very hard to detangle my hair. It takes no time for it to start locking up (2) The twists get that older look faster (3) If I wash my hair while the twists are still in they will unravel and get frizzy/fuzzy

When it comes to individual braids:
Pros - (1) This style lasts longer than twists (2) I can put these in my hair and not have to worry about them starting to lock after 2 weeks (3) The detangling process is not much work at all with the braids. I can just take them down. (4) I can wash my hair with the braids and they will still look fresh (5) Great protective style.
Cons - (1) Braids do not give the hair a fuller look (2) It takes me longer to put the braids in than the twists (3)It actually takes longer to take the braids out (4) It is rather difficult to put the braids into cute updos. I have to strategically place the hair.

So, as you can see there are benefits and limitations to having either one of these styles. I can't really say which style I prefer. It really just depends on the mood that I am in. I do know that these are great protective styles and they keep my hands out of my hair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Natural Inspiration: Isaiah and Marie Washington

I had plans to feature Isaiah Washington as a "Beautiful Natural Man". However, while searching the net for pictures of him, I noticed that his wife, Marie, was simply GORGEOUS. She was rocking a gorgeous TWA that fit her face beautifully. And at one point she was completely bald and it looked so good on her!

So, this post is for an inspiring and beautiful natural couple. It's good to see a man with a woman who appreciates her natural beauty.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Winter Hair Regimen

1. Every 2 weeks I put in a protective hairstyle (braids, twists, updos, etc) and I keep the style in for the 2 weeks.
2. Every other night, I oil my scalp with essential oils and I oil my hair with Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO) or Castor Oil.
3. Every other night, I apply a mixture of EVOO, Aloe Vera Juice, and water to my hair for moisture.
4. Every 2-3 days, I seal my ends with Shea butter/EVOO mixture
5. Every 2 weeks I co-wash my hair with V05 Moisture Milks or Suave Naturals in Coconut
6. I will either apply a oil rinse after co-washing or a honey deep condition. My leave-in after co-washing is usually EVOO.
7. Every 4-6 weeks, I shampoo my hair with Giovanni Deep Moisture shampoo.
8. After shampooing, I deep condition with Giovanni conditioner and apply Giovanni's leave-in

***Every now and then, I take my hair out from its protective style and will wear it out for about 2-3 days. This usully depends on if the weather is warm in Alabama.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Natural Skin Care: Oil Cleansing

This is my skin after oil cleansing. There is no foundation on it--just blush.

My sister, Auset, has put me on oil cleansing. She got the suggestion from Moptop Maven and she had rave reviews about it. So, I decided to give oil cleansing a try and I simply adore this! It is apart of my skin routine now.

Here's what I do:
1. I applied a 50:50 mixture of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Castor Oil to a small spray bottle.
2. I then spray the mixture onto my skin
3. Next, I massage the mixture into my skin
4. I will then jump into the shower (with the oil still on my skin) and let the steam help my skin. If I do this cleanse in the middle of the day, I will apply a hot wash cloth over my face and let the steam to do the work.
5. After letting the oil steam I rub the oil off with a cloth.
6. I will then apply cold water to close my pores.
7. Then, I would pat my face dry with a towel.

My skin has really been flourishing from this cleansing method. It is moisturized--not greasy. It has a nice glow. Because of this, I have not been applying foundation. I am loving the natural glow of my skin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hair Resolutions for 2011

So, I have not made any actual resolutions for the New Year. However, I do have some hair resolutions/goals for 2011. This list is in no particular order.

1. Retain Length - I don't have an actual goal for my length (for example: saying I want to have 6 inches or more). However, I do want to retain length. This will show me that I am taking the proper steps to take care of my hair and that I am not experiencing any breakage.

2. Purchase the Oyin Handmade line - There are so many products I want to try from this company so, I will be purchasing quite a few of their products. I have had a chance to try out my sister, Auset's products from this line and I loved it!

3. Start making my own whipped shea butter - I saw a video on this on YouTube and I want to start making some for myself, my sisters, and friends.

4. Maintain the health of my hair - I am really pleased with the health of my hair. I had a major hair mishap in July and had a bald patch. I identified the problem and the hair has been flourishing in that area. I will continue to maintain the health of my hair by retaining moisture, sealing my ends, applying no pressure to my hair, being gentle with my entire head and edges, having NO contact with heat, and so much more.

5. Chunky Braid Outs and Chunky Twist Outs - I really want to start trying chunkier hairstyles. I simply adore BIG, THICK, HUMONGOUS hair and I feel these styles will help me to achieve them.

Hair Today: Cornrow Updo

So, this past Saturday and Sunday I cornrowed my hair and put individual braids in the back. Once all the braids were in I shampooed, deep conditioned, and applied a leave-in to my hair (using Giovanni's line).

I actually had plans for a different hairstyle but, it failed. Last night, I pin curled the hair while it was still wet and let it dry. I took the pin curls out this morning but, I wasn't feeling the curled look at all (For this reason, I will not be uploading the video of the pin curled braids). So, I just ended up pinning my hair up into an updo. I will play some with some other styles tonight...