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.” 

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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 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
Posted in Natural Hair, Uncategorized

Terressentials Hair Wash

Hello, it me! On my previous post, I stated that I would do a review of Terressentials, and here it is!

Basically, it all started with a leftover bottle of the Left Coast Lemon that I had in my mom’s bathroom. Quite frankly, after using it, I was surprised that I stopped using it. To this day, I still can’t figure it out, but I digress…

Since I moved to Madison, I’ve been looking for places to get natural hair products. What I found instead was the Community Pharmacy on State Street. Rather than having to buy one bottle of Terressentials on the website and paying $10 in shipping (yep it’s that high), I get to walk to a store that’s about 3 blocks away from me, and pay about the same for one bottle! Plus, I can special order any variety that I want, should I not see it at the store.

According to the website, Terressentials hair wash is supposed to rid the hair of any plastics, silicones, etc. while gently cleansing by absorbing excess dirt and oil. There is also a detox period in which you are supposed to wash your hair with the product for seven days. I kind of did my own twist to this detox period by washing my hair with it once, letting it stay for a few hours, and then washing it every three or so days.

I usually mix about a quarter of a small bottle of the clay wash and fill the rest with water. I then section my hair, pour some of the mixture in the different sections all the while scrubbing my scalp and smoothing the mixture down my hair. I would then twist those sections and put a plastic cap (or plastic bag) over my hair for a bit and then go about my business (I usually fall asleep).

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Hair with product

I should probably warn you all because this stuff is really messy. Be prepared to clean it up or have lots of newspapers!

Other than that, I’ve been using the Lavender Garden hair wash and I LOVE IT. It smells divine, it’s moisturizing, and I haven’t felt the need to use any other kind of conditioner or deep conditioner. My only gripe with the product is that it’s a bit drippy and doesn’t have much slip, but it’s clay, so I’m not too sure what I was expecting…

I normally finger detangle my hair while I’m under the showerhead since the water pushes my hair down either way. So basically, I’m sitting under cool water for about 40 minutes while smoothing my hair down, detangling, and re-twisting my hair.

After that, I wrap a cotton shirt around my head, lotion up, grab my Alaffia hair lotion, olive oil, and Trader Joe’s aloe vera gel, and get to work!

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Since I was going out the next day, I decided to do a braid out and this was the result!

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Praises to the ancestors for this hair!!!

(Not pictured: me looking like Felisha)

The best thing about this product is that it has saved me a lot of time. My hair is so soft that sometimes I just find my hands running through my strands, and I’m still in awe. I’m not too sure if I will continue the no deep conditioner regimen that I just started, but I haven’t finished my Shea Moisture deep conditioners plus I’m planning to invest in a steamer. So the answer is probably not.

 

Posted in Fluff/Ramblings, Natural Hair, Uncategorized

Hi

So…it’s been a while. I wanted to update like two months ago, but life happened I guess. Since the, I’ve graduated university, spent time with family in New York, Philly, and Florida, attended a Beyonce concert with my lovely cousin, moved to a new state, and started a new job. So yeah, life is pretty hectic, but I love it!

The reason I’m writing today, I guess, is that I had a pretty weird/kind of normal experience last night. I went out with a few friends, had dinner, grabbed some drinks. You know, the “normal” things that 20-somethings do.

But, yesterday, this older lady came up to me and gushed about how lovely I looked, with my “effortless” bun, beautiful dress, smooth skin, and amazing hair. Granted, I was flattered, especially since she complimented me without touching me (it’s happened before, people have literally just reached their hands into my hair without permission).

The bizarre thing was when she kept repeating that she’d “kill” to have hair and skin like mine, while I was just there smiling, laughing, kind of drunk. But thinking about it today, it’s just strange that the things that I hated about myself when I was younger are the things that people are kind of enticed by. I think my wording is off, but hopefully you catch my drift.

What I’m meaning to say is that we hear so much about people hating the bodies that they were born in. Azealia Banks and Lil’ Kim bleaching their skin, you know. Those two women are beautiful, but it’s so sad that they find it necessary to alter themselves. I think I’m kind of rambling today. It’s just been such a weird time for me, growing into myself and loving myself.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to update more. I have a bottle of Terressentials that I’m dying to do a review on, plus I’ve been indigoing my hair! So, until then, stay safe and love yourselves!

 

Posted in Natural Hair, Uncategorized

Salon Review!

So in honor of the trending #blacksalonproblems, I decided to hit up a salon that I’ve been hearing rave reviews about.

Just kidding! I’d actually made an appointment almost two months before for my graduation. It’s called Simply Erinn’s, and it’s nestled in the lovely Cambridge, Massachusetts, near MIT.

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The salon itself was so cute, with it being quite small and cozy. Not to mention the fact that as soon as I entered, I was received with a warm welcome by the stylists. Erinn came over, introduced herself, and shook my hand. I then received a form to fill out that documented my hair story. I needed to note any allergies, products that I use, colorings, trims, you know, the whole nine yards.

While I was sitting and filling those things out, the other stylists came over and introduced themselves and they all conversed rather happily.

I was led over to the shampooing area by another stylist and Erinn came over, sat down, and asked me about my regimen. She also had the stylist explain the reasoning behind everything that they did. That they would be shampooing my hair multiple times in order to get rid of the buildup that was on my hair. She also explained the fact that the shampoo that they were using is more formulated for our hair, the type that was naturally dry because of the inability of sebum to travel as easily down our hair shafts. As such, the shampooing would not be stripping. Which was understandable because I’m pretty sure my hair has been dry because of the buildup.

The shampooing and conditioning was, with no better words, AMAZING. Normally, when I go to a salon, the stylists tend to use their nails, and I’m just like…why God? But this time around, she used the pads of her fingers and I haven’t had a scalp massage like that since…well, ever. Even when detangling my hair, she used a wide toothed comb, which is just a blessing because people tend to complain about the following:

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Yeah…no

And I felt pretty much no pain. That’s saying something because my eyes pretty much well up at the simply pull of my hair. Yeah. After getting my hair conditioned, moisturized, and plaited up, I was sent off to the chair for my blowout. I was looking at my hair like, woah, yesss! It has grown! Look mom!

So Erinn came up, explained some more things about my hair, put heat protectant in my hair, and started flat ironing away. While this was happening, I was having a pretty insightful conversation with another stylist, who was just hilarious, I loved it. Erinn remarked on the differences in texture between the top half of my hair and the bottom half.

She’d asked me if I had any kind of chemical treatments, color, etc. because the difference was just strange. She kept trying to figure it out. Then she asked me if I wet my hair a lot. Bingo. Basically, me wetting my hair, in the shower and in general, without putting something moisturizing on it, damaged my hair over time. So I’d have to get a cut. How much? Like five inches…

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I could feel the difference. And I wanted to throw a tantrum and cry, because how could I be so dumb? I was just looking at my hair like…but it’s at bra strap…I worked so hard! Long story short, we negotiated that cut down to like 2-3 inches because I was not about that mini chop life. Not at the moment. She grabbed those clippers and all I could see were my fallen strands.

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RIP my fallen friends

Then she set about curling my hair and stuff. She wasn’t satisfied with her results as the lower portion of my hair wouldn’t hold the curl. I was really touched by her determination and her perfectionist tendency, because I thought it looked good. It just shows that she’s really committed to perfection in her salon and I give her props for that.

Overall, I give this salon a 10/10 for their standards, customer service, and the service in general. I truly wished that I was able to discover this gem earlier because I feel that this salon has spoiled me. If you’re interested, you can visit simplyerinns.com to book an appointment!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to find one like this in Wisconsin, but let’s be honest. I won’t.

Posted in Natural Hair, Uncategorized

“Dealing” with Natural Hair

So the other day (meaning a long time ago), I was speaking with an older cousin of mine. By older, I mean like mid-thirties. Quite frankly, our conversation made me sad.

Basically, she pulled on one of my strands and said the following “your hair would be so long and pretty if you just put some cream in it,” by this, she means a relaxer. So, naturally, me being respectful, I just laugh and said that no I like my hair the way it is.

So then, she pretty much responds saying that my hair is just a phase, and that I’ll come to my senses, blah, blah blah. 

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I love my family and all, but obviously, this pissed me off. Apparently me wearing the hair that grows out of my head in its natural form is a phase? How? When? Why? Where?

I perfectly understand that not everyone is going to accept my hair journey, but when someone belittles you for the reasoning that, get this: they failed their own natural hair journeys makes no sense to me.

Frankly, I like washing, detangling, hennaing, and just all around messing with my hair. It’s fun! I love how I can wear an afro one day, straighten it the next day, and then do something else later. Hell, I love the compliments, the stares, and the questions I get. Yeah, I know I’m unique, I’ll flaunt it!

Bottom line is, when nobody calls for you, don’t come after them.

Posted in Natural Hair

Regretting the “Big Chop”

As the young lady who consistently suggests that other people who are transitioning to natural, you may wonder why I have this title for this piece. Well, let me clarify. I regret the way I went around doing the big chop. Back in late 2014, I simply washed my hair, chopped off the relaxed ends, looked in the mirror, took one picture, aaaaaaaaaand immediately called my friend begging her to put braids in my hair the next day. She came through.

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This is that one picture.

I pretty much just kept it in braids for 6 or 7 months until I was comfortable with its length.

So here’s where I messed up:

  1. This would have been the perfect moment for me to experiment with cute short hairstyles.
  2. This would have been an even better opportunity for me to get comfortable with my face.
  3. Now I’m at that point where I’m wondering what I would look with those short cute hairstyles.
  4. Aaaaaaaaaand I’m at that point where my hair is long(ish), around bra strap length, and I don’t want to cut my hair back to that point, but I super want to see myself styled with short hair, but I also want that waist/hip length hair.
  5. OH GOD ALL OF THE REGRETS!

So, where do I go from here? Well, I don’t really know. I’m at that point where I really love my hair and I know what my hair likes, but I guess for now I’ll have to live vicariously through my friends doing the big chop now. Maybe one day I’ll get to the point where I don’t care enough about long hair and just chop it off again!

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Yay!