December 30, 2013

My 10 Year Nappiversary!!!

I'm celebrating my 10th year of being relaxer-free and wearing my hair naturally!!!  I can't believe that I have reached this  milestone in my life and the journey has been incredible!   I celebrated this occasion by pampering myself in different ways.  I've been following a new regimen that includes a few new products and so far it seems to be working well for me.  As I continue my natural hair journey, I aim to keep my hair healthy and strong.  I praise God for this experience and I know that it will on get even better! 
 PUFF/AFRO
I was invited to a Christmas concert held by my former community choir, and I kept my look classic with a red and black theme.  I wore red skinny jeans, knee high black suede boots that made me even taller, a red shawl over my black ribbed sweater and simple accessories.  I even wore lipstick that I made myself.  The recipe can be found on my beauty blog: http://skinparadise.blogspot.com/  I received so many compliments and I felt great!
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FRO-HAWK


I rocked a fro-hawk during finals week of my grad program, and so many of my peers were in awe of how I could wear my hair this way.  Oh the beauty of our gravity defying tresses. :-D  This style was achieved on a braid-out  (the first time) and then on a bantu-knot out (the second time). With the first one I made 6-8 large plaits after washing my hair, and allowed them to air dry.  I've found that when I do this then my hair stretches even more making it easier to pull the sides up and bobby pin them into place.
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 MINI TWISTS

                                                           
Twists on stretched hair before shrinkage:

                                                       
Twists after shrinkage:

For New Year's I made mini-twists on stretched hair after wearing an old puff, and I was surprised by how much new growth I had.  They felt light, airy and very full.  Two days later I rinsed them and major shrinkage transformed the style into a cute bob.  I wore this shrunken state for maybe two more days because my hair tangles easily and tends to lock quickly.  In fact, signs of entanglement had begun to show so I untwisted each one.  The take down process was much faster than putting them in obviously.  Below are some pics of the finished twists up close. 

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PUFF WITH TWISTED SIDE BANGS
  
I changed things up a bit by adding twisted side bangs with my puff.  I think I might wear more twisted bangs in order to preserve my hair line, and I need to sew a few more hair ties since this blue one is my default color choice no matter what I wear.
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HAIR REGIMEN

New Regimen: Here is my new regimen.  After I wash and condition my hair i'll spritz aloe vera juice all over, and then seal in the moisture with my oil mixture using:

1 oz. Vitamin E
1 oz. Castor Oiil
1 oz. Avocado Oil
1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil

My hair will dry quickly once these oils have been absorbed.  My hair feels slightly moisturized, and even more so when I spritz it with water.  I'm so glad that it doesn't feel as dry either.


November 06, 2013

Healthy Hair & A Pretty Puff




It feels so good to wear my puff again!  I mentioned in my last post some reasons for ending my BL journey, so in case you need a refresher feel free to read it.  Over a 5 month period I have had so much new growth and I'm surprised by my length when it's stretched.  It's 12 +/- inches long as compared to when I first wore my puff in January.  My hair is still thick and very full, and that's one quality which I love about my natural tresses.  So far I've been wearing a puff and I've decided to change my regimen since I would like to keep my hair healthy, strong, and moisturized.  

Regimen
I still wash my hair with Alaffia's Liquid Black Soap Shampoo and I switched to a new conditioner. It's Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing Conditioner and it has a pleasant scent.  Since I have skin sensitivities I had to make sure their ingredients were safe for me to use, and I've posted them below.  My hair is responding well to this conditioner so far, and if it continues at this rate then it might become my staple product.

Post Wash 

-Spritz with Aloe-Vera Juice and Water Mix (1:1 ratio) as my leave-in conditioner/moisturizer
-Part my hair into 6-8 large sections
-Moisturize each section with coconut oil
-Make large twists and let them air dry over night.

I finger comb my hair in the shower and twist it up when i'm done, that way I don't need to de-tangle my hair with a comb or anything.

Night Routine
At night I'll wrap my puff with a big satin scarf, or sometimes I'll make large twists.

Day Routine  
Each morning I will remove my scarf, finger fluff my puff or untwist my large twists and finger comb my hair, and then I'll wear one of my hair ties.

Goals 

-Finger comb more often and refrain from using my wide tooth comb in the shower
-Keep my regimen simple
-Retain length and protect my edges  
-I would like to try the L.O.C. method (Liquid-Oil-Cream) and I've purchased a few oils already
(Avocado, Sweet Almond, Castor, and Vitamin E).  I plan to use these oils to seal in moisture and give my hair the nutrients that are needed.  I'll keep you updated once I have my oils and begin the process, and hopefully this will be an addition to my current regimen.

Short-lived Braidlock Journey

I have ended my DIY braid lock journey (June to October 2013) and took down the remainder of my locs as of last week.  Initially I installed 530+ micro braids and kept them in for 5 months before I made this decision.  Many of them had unraveled and their formation changed, which left me feeling uncomfortable with how they were developing.  Since I didn't feel at peace with continuing the process I took them down.  I'm back to wear my hair loose once again and I feel good about my decision.  This really is a hair journey, and I'm glad that I can share my experience. :-)

The take down process was simple since my locs were plaited, semi-unraveled and had not meshed yet.  I used a push pin and water, and I used my shea butter/coconut oil mix to moisturize my hair as I took down and re-twisted each braid.  Once again I wore a bun and my hair ties to mask the transition.  I was amazed by how much new growth I had over a 5 month period, as well as the health of my hair.  So now I'm back to wearing my puff again and I feel good.

Senegalese Twists on My Locs





 On my trip to Jamaica, I saw several women wearing Senegalese twists and I thought they were absolutely beautiful.  I had never worn this style before and I've always wanted to give it a try, so when I returned from my trip I started the process of adding extension hair to my 1.5 month old braid locks.  The process took a long time, but since it was summer vacation I didn't mind.  Initially I kept them long for about 2 weeks, and then I cut them much shorter because it was quite warm during the month of August.  I kept these twists in for 2 months and only interlocked my new growth once.  I made sure to keep these twists small so that it would be easier to loop them through my new growth. I also used perm rods to dip the ends and my curls held up quite well.  I had quite a bit of new growth and the style was no longer a short bob, plus it was time to take them down. They were fun while they lasted and I received many compliments.


October 07, 2013

Braidlock update: 1 month

July 2013 ~ 1 month braidlock update!





These pictures were taken in July during my stay in Jamaica.  I mainly wore a braided up-do or curly locs, but my curly style lasted for one day only due to the humidity unless I rolled it again for the next day. 





I wore my very first Bantu-knot out because I washed my hair the night before and I wanted my roots to dry while I slept.  Surprisingly, this style lasted me several days and I was so glad because I was tired of rolling my hair.
Here is a close up of my healthy roots.


September 04, 2013

My New Blog!

Hi everyone!  I have a new blog that I would like to share with you.  It focuses on sharing beauty/skin recipes, especially if you have skin sensitivities or allergies like I do.  I am doing research and trying new recipes that I hope will work well with my skin.  I mainly need help in accommodating my skin issues since lately i've become increasingly allergic and/or sensitive to commercial beauty products.  So far the three recipes i've tried are working well and I hope to try more.

After I made a post of my homemade body butter/lotion recently, I received encouraging information and helpful resources from some of you and I'm so grateful!!  I became inspired to start a separate blog since your comments were bountiful and informative.   I would encourage you to share your experience and recipes with me as I'm still learning, researching and experimenting.  I would also like for this blog to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for others who may have skin sensitivities as well.  In fact, this is exactly how I started my hair blog! :-D  Feel free to visit and comment on my new blog as I would love to hear from you!

http://skinparadise.blogspot.com/


August 24, 2013

New Braidlock Journey!



The time has arrived for me to start my new set of locks!  After wearing my hair freely in puffs and twists for 6 months, in June I made the decision to start my braidlock journey as a birthday present to myself.  What an awesome present!

This is how I started the process:
1. Sectioned off  my hair using the grid pattern
2. Two-strand twisted my hair all over
3. Unraveled one twist at a time and braided it all the way to the ends
4. Drenched my hair in water to fluff up my braids
5. Let them air dry, rolled them with my loc loops, and wore a curly puff

The braiding process took me an entire week to complete, only because I took my time and worked on a section for a few hours each day.  I made sure to take brakes and pace myself since  I was not in a rush to finish the process. 

Current Regimen:
1. Wash my locs/hair w/ Alaffia shampoo 1x/week
2. Moisturize my scalp with coconut oil
3. Sleep with a satin night scarf

I keep my hair in a curly puff most of the time, because my braids kind of stick out everywhere and I wanted them to appear more styled.  I've been wearing my hair ties for this reason and they give my locks more personality.  I've received so many compliments so far, and so I can't wait for them to mature.  What I'm most proud of is that I started them myself. :-D 

The Process:

 I started braiding the front of my hair and worked my way to the back. I wore a bun or updo to disguise the process.
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 My grid pattern looks good!  I used a 2-way mirror to work on the back.
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I am finally done!!
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These are my locs after I drenched them in water and let them air dry.
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Time to style them into a curly loc puff!
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This is my birthday hairstyle, which is pretty much the same as the pics above, lol!
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This was my first re-tightening session and it took me 4 hours.  
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 VIDEO