Monday, October 31, 2011

Video: Goodbye Raggedy Ends, Hello Happy Coils!

I finally got around to snipping those pesky dry ends that I mentioned in my "Tension Blow Drying" video. This trim was wayyyy over due, but better late than never, right? So...early last Saturday (10/22) I gave a myself a trim by snipping off an 1/2 an inch all over. How did I do it you ask? Well, continue reading for a short video of me explaining the steps I took. I must warn you though, I was tired and not looking to cute AT ALL, so like a good neighbor please look past the bags under my eyes :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In Review: Belle Butters Mango Moisture Butter

Product Description: This moisturizer lasts all day! Scented with calming lavender, it is present while applying to the skin but the scent then quickly fades away. Unlike heavy moisturizers, Mango Moisture Butter is so light that you're able to apply your make-up immediately after use. Does your hubby or special little guy in your life have dry skin? Mango Moisture Butter isn't just for us ladies. Men love it too! Sweet Almond Oil is easily absorbed by the skin, doesn't clog pores and leaves it supple. Grapeseed Oil combats dryness, soothes irritating skin and aides in preventing breakouts. 

Ingredients: Raw pressed mango butter, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and lavender essential oil. 

Cost: 2 oz. jar $5.00 / 4oz. jar $11.00 @ www.BelleButters.bigcartel.com
  
My Thoughts: As the weather continues to get cooler it is so important that you keep your skin moisturized! I first was introduced to Belle Butters through one of my favorite Tumblr blogs, "HeyFranHey", and decided to the brand a try since I was in the market for an all-natural moisturizer. Everything in her online shop sounds amazing, if my money was in order that day I would have ordered a whole lot more lol! For my face I settled on the Mango Moisture Butter. Two of the main ingredients, Sweet Almond Oil & Grapeseed Oil, my skin already loves, I use these 2 and only these 2 to do the Oil Cleansing Method. They keep my skin in check! I also did some quick research and found that Mango Butter is excellent for blemishes, wrinkles, dermatitis and many other skin issues. I've been using Mango Moisture in my skincare routine for about 3 weeks and I absolutely love it!! It's a very light butter that penetrates easily into the skin without feeling greasy. The scent is also light and like the description states, it's not a lingering scent which I appreciate. If your looking for an inexpensive, all natural facial moisturizer to fight the chilly weather, definitely check out Belle Butters!
Along with a sample of Mango Moisture I also purchased a sample of the Mint Chocolate Butter. The smell....amazing!!! It smells just like mint chocolate chip ice cream! This butter can be used on both hair and body, with yummy ingredients like African cocoa butter, macadamia oil and peppermint oil. I haven't tested it out on my hair yet, but fresh out of the shower I love to apply it to my feet. It gives them a massage worthy feel lol!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Video: Twist Talking & Protecting Twists At Night

*Watch In HD*
So there's no confusion....please note that these videos were recorded when my twists were 2 weeks, today I hit the 3 week mark!
Have a great weekend ladies & gents :)

Obsessed Mail: Micro Twists & Heat

Nicole writes -
Hi, I love your YouTube channel and blog. I wanted to know do you blow dry your hair really straight before you twist? I have a problem with shrinkage with my twist. And do what product do you use to straighten if you blow dry? I've seen you and "Pretty Dimples" do the "mini" twist tutorial before, but I haven't been able to get my hair that straight. I don't want to use too much heat. I try my best to stay away from a lot of heat. Thanks for your time and I appreciate and enjoy you!!
Hi Nicole :)  When I blow dry my hair for twists, my goal is not to get my hair super straight. Just straight enough to make it easier and faster for me to twist. Regardless of how straight it is or isn't my hair hair always was shrinks up...no matter what. For instance when they are first done my twists sit at boob (tmi) length, but now at 3 weeks old they sit a little past my shoulder. I think of it like this, if my twists are NOT shrinking then I may have used too much heat lol! 
To blow dry my hair I first apply a leave in to wet freshly washed hair and grape seed oil on top of that. Allow the hair to air dry 60-65%, than apply a little more grape seed oil and begin to blow dry using the "Tension Method" on low heat. I hope this helps you,
♥ Shana

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks "Carla Reed's" Fashion w/ BET!

 
Have you been watching BET's new sitcom "Reed Between The Lines"? I have! Some say the first few episodes of any new series is kind of slow and dry, well I'm hoping that's true. Besides the awesome "natural hair" episode they've all been a little boring. However in my boredom I tend to focus on other things like...Carla Reed's hair (of course) and those outfits!! Carla is played by the amazing Tracee Ellis Ross, who kills the looks every scene. Peep the video above to check out Carla's closet and find out how those gorgeous looks come together.
**My fave look so far is the yellow blouse, blue maxi skirt and black sweater in episode #2 (I think)...I've been trying to find a blue maxi skirt in that exact color ever since lol!!
How are you enjoying the show so far?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hair Lust...

Seriously...how gorgeous are these two?? I spotted this photo on Tumblr and while the fashions are a bit weird to me, their fro's are picked/fluffed/teased to perfection...I love it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mini Twist Tutorial

Hey guys...long time no postings eh?? I've been a little busy, but I did finally find some time to record this tutorial for all you twist lovers out there. I'm already 2 weeks into this set and they're holding up quite nicely. After the jump you'll find some pics of them freshly done and a few I took yesterday. Enjoy the tutorial and keep an eye out for the bonus clips :)



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blow Drying Natural Hair Using The "Tension Method"

 
Steps I took prior to and during blowdrying...
•Shampoo with Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
•Condition with Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner
•DC with Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner
•Detangle & Rinse
•Apply Kera Care Leave In (recently reviewed)
•Apply Grape seed oil
•Braid (to keep the hair from tangling)
•Cover with a Curls Like Us towelette or allow it to air dry until damp
•Take one braid down at a time and began blowdrying on low heat. Comb when you feel it's necessary.
•Done, now go enjoy your big blow out :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hair Diary: Meet Jael Of NaturalHairCommunity.com!

About Me...I am “Natural Jael”, co-founder of Natural Hair Community, who has been researching natural hair for years. I love meeting random natural women to hear their natural hair story. I am always amazed at the stories behind the beautiful head of hair. I enjoy playing Sudoku and reading the funnies during lunch.  

Where do you live? How is the natural hair community there?
Sweet Home Alabama. The natural hair scene in Central Alabama is flourishing. It is not uncommon to see at least 7 to 10 natural haired women in passing at one location. On a smaller scale, there are 11 women in my office; 3 are completely natural, 1 attempted to go natural and 1 is starting to have open dialogue about the possibilities.

Before I started my job, the natural hair percentage there was only 14%, the day I arrived it jumped to 25% and the next year it rose to 27%. These statistics are evidence that natural hair is on the rise. Also, I have seen where stylists are becoming more open to serving women with natural hair. Salons are no longer “relaxer only” operations.

This openness offers natural hair women a greater range of styling options. Imagine my delight when I audited a local not-for-profit organization and the new director – to my surprise – was a woman with locs. They were long and beautiful. She was extremely professional and her locs were neat and well maintained.  
When and why did you decide to go natural?
This quote, by Arnold Glasow, sums up my journey in 12 little words: “Parents can tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach.”

It was because of my daughter, that I began my transition. I watched her hair morph into lifeless strands from relaxers. There were no balding spots or sores – just limp, lifeless hair. I made the decision not to relax her hair and to keep it braided. I now know this was the start of her transition. After a year with braids, she started to wear her natural texture and that is when the teasing began. Kids can be so cruel and the constant teasing from the other kids devastated my daughter. As a parent, one of the hardest responsibilities that come with the job is to see your child hurting. Now comes the time to pick up the pieces. All of the teasing and name-calling was because her hair did not look like their hair – anymore.
I constantly told her that she was smart and beautiful, not just beautiful on the outside, but a beautiful person. I explained, as best I could, that God made us perfect. Our hair is exactly how it is supposed to be. If He wanted us to have straight hair, He would have given it to us. But He didn’t. So be happy with what you have. There I was with long flowing relaxed hair, giving encouragement to my daughter – who was natural with short tightly coiled hair. That did not make me feel good. As a parent, there are two things that I have to remind myself of: children will usually do as you do and hardly ever do what you say. I feel like I should be the best example for my children – if not me, then who? Now, feeling extremely hypocritical, I came to a pivotal point and a decision needed to be made. Either I stay relaxed and relax her hair again or she stays natural and I transition. Now, four years into my natural hair journey, I have no regrets.  

Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward?
In the beginning, I did not receive any support, because I did not tell anyone. The reason I did not tell is because I did not want anyone to try and talk me out of my decision and I was not prepared to handle the criticism or the questions. Once I became confident with my decision, I was better equipped and able to handle the “why did you do that to your hair” or the “what about your job” type questions that ultimately came when I revealed that I was growing out my relaxer.

At this point in my journey, I felt that my reason for going natural was solid and I believed in it with all my heart. I had to believe in my reason and stand on my reason, so that I would not allow anyone’s disapproving comments or comments that were not 100% supportive to sway my journey. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who supported me, even if they did not totally understand my reason why.  

Describe your current hair routine.
My hair routine is simple:
•I wear protective styles 98% of the time.
•I shampoo and deep condition with heat weekly.
•I henna monthly. I trim my ends when needed.
•I clarify when my hair stops responding to my products.

Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them?
Yes, my ultimate hair goal is to grow my hair to MBL by Memorial Day 2012. If not, I sure hope to be super close :)  

What's your favorite go to natural style and how do you achieve it?
My fav go-to style will have to be my Friday puff. I try to wear protective styles most of the time and only allow my hair to be loose one or two days out of the week – maximum. On Thursday nights, I take my protective style down and twist my hair in about 12 chunky twists. The twists are to stretch my hair for my puff the next morning.  

Curly girls have more fun because...we can enjoy walks in the rain and still have fabulous hair :)
Lovely diary Jael!! If guys would like to see more of Jael and her blog click the link... www.NaturalHairCommunity.com.

What I Learned About Hair Care In Madagascar

Article written and submitted by Holly Carrell 
Hello everyone! I have been thinking about something, and I wanted to share it with you all. A few years ago, while I was in undergrad, I went on a mission trip to Madagascar and Botswana with a group from my school. We stayed for about a month in each place, and set up a small clinic, gave Bible studies, and set up a church. It was a beautiful experience. The best decision I have made so far. I learned so much about myself, other cultures, and especially about my faith.

I started reminiscing, and I started thinking about the attitude toward hair/hair care in Madagascar. In the area where we were, it was VERY rural, and the people were poor. But the women were BEAUTIFUL. Beautiful skin, beautiful hair. Most of the women had curly hair, and dark brown skin. And their hair was SO PRETTY!! It was shiny, long, looked strong, and just absolutely gorgeous. And they followed some pretty simple principles that I found I could learn from! Here are some of the principles they followed.

Moisture 
I will admit, I never saw a woman there wash her hair, so I can’t comment about that (not that they didn’t, I just wasn’t paying attention to hair care at the time.) But whenever they did their hair, they would wet it with water, detangle, then seal with coconut oil. (I know because I let one girl do my hair, and that’s what she did) no other products, just water, and coconut oil.

Protective Styling 
After each section was wet, detangled, and sealed with oil, they braided it. Just braids like we would do for a braid-out. Maybe about 15 in total. Instead of taking them down, however, they took the braids, pulled them all back, and made a bun. That’s it. Every day, the same style. Braids in a bun.

Consistency
The women in the village we were staying in kept up the same regimen all day, every day. There was no out of control PJ-ism (I’m guilty too!), they simply did what worked, and stuck to it.

THAT’S. ALL. So low maintenance, yet so effective! Their hair grew to at least waist length, judging from the size of some of the buns I saw, and what I saw when watching them braid their hair. I thought about this and I was amazed. LONG before I knew anything about sealing, protective styling, low manipulation, consistency, or anything, they knew the secret to healthy, happy hair. Maybe we could take some lessons from these women from a country some would deem 'less developed' or 'simple'. Many times, the simplest solution is the best one........

If any of you ladies have an opportunity to travel out of the country, DO IT! It's so eye-opening. There is so much that exists outside the comfort of the United States. Don't just stay in the resort either, go see how other people really live. It will change your perspective on things so much!

I don't have many pictures of hair styles, but I did my best...
The ONE picture I could find of a woman’s hairstyle. Not the best, but you get it, braids in a bun.
The rest are pictures of children, because, I mean, everyone likes pictures of children! 
and picture of me, just to prove I was there. LOL!
 Such a cool read Holly, thanks for sharing :) Make sure you visit her on Curl Rehab for more hair tips and stories!
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