Posted in Uncategorized

Moving!!!

Hi all (if anyone still follows this),

I’m closing this blog and creating a new one with a dear friend of mine. If you want to follow it, you can find it here.  Thank you so much!

Posted in Natural Hair

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

So, the other day, I ran out of my staple cleanser, my lovely and trustworthy Terressentials Hair Wash. Since the only supplier that I could drive to, Community Pharmacy in Madison, was closed, I had to find something else.

I originally wanted to buy the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo from Shea Moisture, but my local Target didn’t have it. So, I drove all the way to Trader Joe’s since I’ve heard so many great reviews. So I picked it up with no reservations!

So I went home, sectioned my hair, applied my hot oil treatment, and started shampooing away.

And this is where everything went wrong…

When shampooing my hair, I tend to go for the scalp, scrub and bring the suds down the rest of my hair, then I re-twist it, go back to the other sections, and then wash the product out.

When I went to do this, I heard my hair squeak. 

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Now in any other case, this would be good. Squeaky clean teeth, squeaky clean floors, squeaky clean windows, etc. This was not one of those cases.

My hair was stripped and I was not happy. 

The fact that this happened despite the fact that I did a hot oil treatment not long beforehand just made me even more upset.

There was also the fact that there was now more hair in my drain than usual.

After this, I deep conditioned my hair with the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. It felt a tad bit better, but it still felt like straw.

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So, I think I’m going to give this one a rest. I’ll probably give the rest of the bottle away to someone with oilier hair, and I’ll just stick with my staples. I mean, like they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

Posted in Life, Natural Hair

A Thing of the Past

Have you ever had a moment where something just clicks in your mind? You’re just sitting there and BAM, it all just makes sense?

Well, for me, that moment came a couple days after speaking with my mother about my neighbor in Jamaica.

I remember that on Sundays, after my grandmother washed and detangled my hair, I would walk to my neighbor’s so that she could style my hair. I was not about to go to school with my granny plaits.

I remember that up until a certain point, said neighbor would “put my hair in one,” my child-talk for a pony tail, when I so requested.

That was during my infant school years.

However, at some point, she stared saying that she couldn’t do it. My hair was too thick, yadda yadda. So, instead, my hair would be styled in braids, twists, cornrows, you name it. I didn’t appreciate that.

Yes, as a child, I liked the simplicity of just throwing my hair into a ponytail and being done.

Over time, as I entered 2nd-5th grade, I started seeing a pattern. The girls with “pretty hair,” or the Indian/Asian kids, or the girls with perms, would have their hair “in one.” So naturally, I started thinking that it was because I didn’t have that “pretty hair.”

So, I resented my hair. I wanted a perm. I wanted to put my hair “in one.”

Fast forward like ten years, and guess what? I can put my hair “in one.” I still love ponytails, buns, pin-ups, everything of that sort. I’ve also grown to appreciate the styles that I’ve worn as a kid.

You want to know the most tragic part of this story? Well, during my conversation with my mother, I found out that my neighbor has had rheumatoid arthritis for many years.

Obviously, as a child I didn’t quite understand what this was. But, such a misunderstanding shaped my relationship with myself, my hair, and my self-esteem.

At that point, everything just made sense. The need for her to rest while doing my hair. Her complaints of pain. How long it took her to sit and stand. I feel horrible for not understanding her pain.

But I was just a child who didn’t understand. Has anyone else had such an experience?

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The puff and I (a year ago) 

 

Posted in Natural Hair

Pinterest, Faux Locs, Protective Styles Oh My!

So, like many people, I love trolling Pinterest for style ideas and totally not looking at wedding dresses that fit my shape and future budget once I get rich. I especially love looking at the type 4 haired girls rocking their curls, coils, and kinks; so naturally, I end up running into people with protectives styles.

And then the spiral begins.

I start looking at box braids styles. Then chunky twists, crochet braids, and finally faux locs.

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Gorgeous right?

So, I’ve decided, since I’ve been reevaluating my hair journey thus far. I think I mentioned this in the “Regretting the Big Chop” piece, but I spent the greater part of my time being newly natural wearing braids.

But now, I’m going to do that again as I’ve realized that a large part of my ability to retain length came from me wearing protective styles. As such, for the next couple of months (maybe 6 or 12), I’ll be wearing protective styles for 6 to 8 weeks, then I will give my hair about 2 weeks to rest.

During those two weeks, I plan to give my hair hot oil treatments, henna (since I’m continuing with that), a protein treatment to prepare it for the next protective style, and deep conditioning treatments since I would  prefer not to be bald.

I love my hair, I truly do! But, I’ve been itching to put some braids, or rather, faux locs in my hair. They’re just so beautiful! Plus, I’m sure that the lack of manipulation will help in my hair goals. I think if all goes well, I should make it back to mid-back length and eventually I’ll be on my way to waist length…maybe.

Anyway. Here’s to happy and health hair journeys and lovely autumns!

 

Posted in Natural Hair

Hair Regimen for Autumn/Fall

As summer winds down, the sweaters, the boots, the scarves, and the lattes start coming out. Yep it’s getting colder, at least here in Wisconsin.

We still have a few more days of warm weather, but from the projected forecasts, the highs will start being in the 60s (or about 15-20 for you Celsius users!).

So in preparation for the dropping temperatures and dew points, I’ve slightly altered my natural hair regimen.

I still plan to wash my hair with the Terressentials hair wash (sultry spice ;)) while deep conditioning with some Shea Moisture product. I’ve been mixing the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and the Dandruff Control Masque. I also add in a few drops of peppermint oil for the tingly sensation and the growth benefits.

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I’ve also been incorporating weekly hot oil treatments in which I mix castor, almond, coconut, and peppermint oils in a bottle, which I apply to my hair for about 30 minutes before washing while wrapping a warm towel around my hair. I find that it makes my hair softer and easier to manage on wash day, especially since I finger detangle my hair.

Now, more than ever, I try to add protein treatments, using the Aphogee keratin 2 minute reconstructor, to my regimen since I already know that my hair is going to be subjected to more wear and tear due to the colder weather, scarves, and perhaps me installing a long term protective style.

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THIS. Not the 2 step treatment.

At the moment, I still use the Alaffia hair lotion, especially since I love the orange-y smell and its lightness. I also seal with jojoba oil since it’s light, it’s very close to the makeup of your hair’s sebum (so it moisturizes better), and it just makes my hair feel amazing.

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I plan to switch the moisturizer and the sealant if I find that my hair doesn’t like these products in the winter. I love castor oil, but I’m not a fan of it as a sealant. I prefer to apply it to my problem spots.

As for the henna…I’m not planning to stop. I might be addicted haha, but I really love the benefits, not to mention the fact that my hair did pretty well last winter when I was hennaing my hair.

Finally, one of the most important parts of one’s regimen is one’s health. Since the body needs more water as it gets colder, I plan to adjust my intake to reflect that and my activity level. I track my water intake using the hydro coach app. I tend to meet the goals because I hate seeing the sad little waterdrop.

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Poor baby

I’ve also been upping my intake of vegetables ands fruits since I’ve been eating salads for lunch (without dressing, because ew), I still drink a spinach/kale and mango smoothie in the evenings, with regular breakfast and dinner meals (still doing the pescetarian-ish diet). As for working out, there’s been kind of a tiny pause. Not because I’m lazy or unmotivated, but because I got a belly button piercing. So, I’m giving it a few days and then I’ll be getting back on that.

So here’s to a happy and healthy fall! Boo for winter.

 

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Posted in Life, Ramblings

Back to School: A Great Must-Have

So many of the kiddies (and young adults, heck even adult adults) are either going back to school this week, or have already gone back to school. Since I’ve graduated, I don’t have to worry about that, but in a couple of years, probably.

I assume that you all have your pens, pencils, calculators, laptops, and syllabi ready? You’ve made sure that your outfits are killer? Hair on fleek or whatever?

But, do you have your self esteem in check?

Something strange happened to me today, and it caused me to slip for one second and question my self worth. That one second came thiiis close to ruining my day. I’m still mad about it, but I won’t get into details. I’ll probably write about it when I’m ready.

Sometimes, I think, why do I get upset over these things? People say stupid things. People don’t matter. People can be ignorant.

Well, I was a sensitive kid. You could have looked at me the wrong way and my eyes would start welling up, my throat would constrict, and my cheeks would burn. I guess that trait carried over somewhat into this part of my life.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but when I was growing up, my self esteem was shot. It was even worse when I moved to the US as a hormonal, prepubescent little girl. I was skinny, dark, had an accent, and I was shy.

Naturally, with all of this, kids found something to pick on me about. My accent coupled with my shyness caused me to never speak up. I didn’t even want to order food in a restaurant.

Luckily for me, I had a family that got 100% behind me. Sure, there was a bit of tough love and I might have hated them for it at the time, but they supported my education, made me join clubs, forced me to do the best that I could. Hell, now I realize that I could have done even better. But now, I’m educated, I have a pretty good job, and I have unlimited prospects for the future that will be further opened up when I go to graduate school.

I’ve been able to travel to different parts of the world, learn about different cultures and languages, study with people of different ages and of different backgrounds, hike at 5 in the morning with new friends. It’s an amazing life, but I still get boggled down at times by the words of others.

It me
It me

So imagine the people who are unlucky enough to not have such a support system. How do you think they feel when people question their whole purpose or existence with no support systems behind them?

Be kind.

Critiquing someone isn’t the same as insulting them. Especially for the younger ones and their caretakers, teach them to be kind. Their words may have an everlasting impact on someone that is vulnerable.

With that being said, take care and enjoy the school year. I’m definitely missing the uni/college lifestyle.

Posted in Natural Hair

Back to the Henna!

So with my ever-changing taste in hairstyles and hair colors, I now have a frozen batch of henna in my freezer along with a bag of indigo in my bathroom!

Yes, sometimes I enjoy the bright red highlights that appear when the sun casts its golden rays upon my hair, while burning my back and shoulders. Sometimes, I look at the hairs that might have been untouched by the previous applications, and I see how dark it is. How beautifully it reflects the lights.

Therefore, I have moments when I indigo my hair and relish in the darkness of my locks. This was not one of those moments.

Granted, I have to henna my hair before I indigo it, so that the color sticks and doesn’t come out some weird washed out greenish color.

This time, since it’s the end of summer and I can already feel the chill of a Wisconsin fall setting in, I decided that the brownish-red color (in the sun) was the way to go.

So, if you decide that you want to go with henna here’s what you should do!

  1. Get body art quality henna. Jamila henna is what I use, but Mehandi henna also has really good reviews. Their website along with hennaforhair.com also has a lot of good information.
  2. Depending on the length of your hair, mix a box (or two) of the henna into hot water. You can add hibiscus tea for even redder color.
  3. Let it sit, covered, for over 12 hours for the color to release.
  4. Section your hair into at least six sections. Though you could do less depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
  5. Apply henna using gloves (or else the color will stick to your hand for a while).
  6. Cover hair and find something to do for at least four hours.
  7. Wash henna out with cheap conditioner. I prefer to use V05, since it’s like 95 cents.
  8. Deeeeeeep condition, because it will have your hair feeling pretty dry.
  9. Style!

I really like using henna for its ability to naturally color my hair and thicken/smooth my strands. I find that my hair has less frizz and is a bit shinier.

A few words of warning:

  • Make sure that you do a strand test to make sure that you’re not allergic to henna.
  • Do not use anything that you see that says “henna hair dye,” it’s not henna.
  • Henna does NOT come in other colors. So if you see something stating that it’ll dye your hair black they’ve probably added other chemicals to it and it might not go very well for you.
  • It might take a few applications for you to see the color, especially if you have very dark hair.
  • If you’re thinking of dying your hair some other color, henna might not be for you. It coats your hair, so you probably will have to bleach it off or wait for it to grow out.
  • If you have loose curls, henna might loosen them even further. If you have wavy hair, your waves are probably going to disappear. For us kinky haired ladies, I haven’t experienced or heard of much loosening luckily.
  • It’s a very long process, so if you’re impatient, henna definitely is not for you.

Otherwise, sit back and enjoy those highlights! For the lighter haired women, enjoy your new hair color!

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Yep, just slight highlights