Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jingle Bell Rock - Holiday Hair Special


I want to wish you all a wonderful and blessed Merry Christmas!

Tonkabelle of Wura's Secret Hair shared a wonderful idea for some of the hair/beauty bloggers to share their Holiday hair style.

Here are steps as to how I achieved this hair style.  Please note, that I used Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter as a moisturizer and to lay the hair down instead of gel.  I am almost 8 weeks post relaxer.  Hope you like it and enjoy!


1. I did parted the hair in the front into a trapezoid shape.

2. I pulled the rest of the hair back and used a panty hose leg to secure it.

3. I slide the pony tail through a sock bun

4. Spread the hair out over the sock bun and smooth it down.

5. I use a ponytail holder to slide over the sock bun which secures the hair.

6. The loose hair, I gently roll it under the bun going in a clock-wise direction, using one pin to hold the end in place.

7. The front of the hair, I use two Caruso Rollers to curl the front.

8. I finger comb and then take some strands to pin to the side, leaving a few hairs hanging to form tendrils.




Visit these lovely young ladies who are also sharing their wonderful Holiday Hair styles!







Dr. Fomsky of the Sizzling Mommy





Tuesday, December 11, 2012

L.O.C. Method on Relaxed Hair

I recently posted an "Air Drying on Relaxed Hair" video on Youtube and showed the process on how I do it with no heat.  In the video, I did a process called the L.O.C. Method on my relaxed hair.   A subscriber observed this as she watched the video and asked should I have sealed with the oil last.  I realized that I did not explain this as a quick FYI in the video. Many of us learned, to seal in moisture, we usually seal everything with an oil, right?

I have been reading many blogs about this method, and I noticed that a lot of women who have natural hair have tried it and loved it. I read about it on Curly Nikki's blog, whom one of her lovely guest bloggers wrote about her experience in doing it on her natural hair. 

What is the LOC Method? The acronyms L.O.C. stands for, Liquid, Oil, Cream

(L) Liquid: You use liquid on your hair such as water
(O) Oil: You seal with an oil to lock in the liquid moisture 
(C) Cream: Finally, you put on a cream over the oil and liquid 

Basically it is a way of sealing the hair of it's moisture, twice. Each layer is sealed for more moisture retention.  I am sure some people have been doing this for a long time, way before a name was given to it; to which it recently rose to popularity among the hair care world. 

So, I tried the L.O.C. method on my relaxed hair.  Some of you may know that my hair is prone to getting dry easily since I mentioned it via several sources.  And I have relaxed hair.  So with relaxed hair, we do have to work a little more to keep it moisturized.

When I first read about this method, I said to myself...it would not hurt for me to try it. And what did I have to lose any way?  I am just using moisturizers and sealants.

I watched several Youtube videos from those you happen to have natural hair, and read blogs about it to get more information.  I tried it for a little over a month, without mentioning anything so I can test it out myself before I shared my experience. 

Here is what I did and used for the L.O.C. Method:

(L) Liquid: Water (hair is wet from washing), ApHogee Pro Vitamin Leave-In 

(O) Oil: - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) 

(C) Cream: - Elasta QP Mango Butter 


The results:

I am happy to say that it has worked for me to hold in more moisture for MUCH, MUCH LONGER.  I observed and tried to notice if my hair needed daily moisture as before.  You know how that can be, if you moisturize almost every day, you are prone to build up depending on what products you use.

Before, I had to moisturize my hair almost every 2 days.  After implementing the method, I noticed that may hair can go almost 5 days without re-moisturizing after doing it few times.  Because of my experience, the L.O.C. Method works on my relaxed hair and is here to stay!  .

It may not work for every one just like it does/did not work for every one who is natural. But I do feel confident that we can implement that into our hair care regimen. Some of the products I use may be heavy for your hair, but I am sure there are products you have that can make this method work for you.

Questions for all of my natural, relaxed/texlaxed ladies: 

Has anyone used L.O.C. method?  How has it worked for you?  Are you going to try it?  What products will you or did you use?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winter Hair Care Tips


My daughter at 5 months (2005)
As the different seasons transition from one to the next...the way we dress, our activities and even our diet changes too. (I would say it has a lot to do with being indoors and the abundance of food during the festive holidays.) 

With these few adjustments we would want to also consider maintaining the health of the hair. Wanting the hair to stay healthy is one thing, but doing something about it is another. In general, consistency and patience are key to a successful hair journey. While we may have great products that cater to our hair needs, we also need to adjust to our environments to maintain the health of our hair.
Moisture, moisture and moisture
Throughout this post, MOISTURE will be mentioned a lot! Moisturizing the hair is not just limited to the summer, but also recommended for the winter too. Between the extreme temperatures of the indoors and outdoors, moisturizing enough will help the hair to stay nourished. Many of us can agree that hair does thrive on well moisturized hair.

Deep Condition/ Cowash more often
Many of our workplaces, schools, homes are heated with artificial heat and can therefore dry the hair along with the cold brisk air outside.  Shampooing less and conditioning/cowashing more will keep the moisture the hair needs to withstand the changes in the environment. After shampooing, sometimes there is a stripping feeling to the hair where following up with a moisturizing conditioner is a must.

Oils & Hot Oil Treatments
A great way to moisturize the hair is to do a hot oil treatment before washing to restore the moisture your hair is losing. Massaging oils onto the scalp, mixing it with shampoos, conditioners help seal in the moisture the hair needs to stay healthy. Not only do oils moisturize the hair and body, but different ones do have several beneficial factors. Research the oils to see what best fits your healthy hair and skin needs.  (For those who are pregnant: Please do your research before using ANY OIL, know the effects of using them, the pros and cons to your changing body during this miraculous time.)

Moisturizing Hair Products
In some cases, you may have to use a product(s) that will do a lot for the hair this winter season. Something that may have been a bit too heavy for the summer, may be great for the winter.  Use a sufficient amount of moisturizing products your hair consumes to balance the amount of needed to keep your tresses quenched.

Wash-N-Go’s
Many love the “Wash-‘N-Go’s" or wearing the hair slightly damp.  It is a simple, low maintenance style.  Being that it is now colder outside, let us remind ourselves that one can get extremely sick by wearing their hair wet in those types of temperatures. Another reason why you would not want to do a Wash ‘N Go during colder months, is to not experience the hair freezing, drying and breaking.

Protective styling
We wear warmer, thicker clothing. With protective style, the hair will not rub as much on the sweaters that will cause hair dryness. Tucking your hair ends away during the harsh weather season will keep your hair from damage while staying moisturized. Not to mention that they are beautiful, you can also have fun with different styles to enhance the beauty of your hair.
Using less to NO heat
Using heat will help the cold air cause more dryness to the hair. This is where protective styling and moisturizing more comes into play too. Using indirect heat such as using a hooded dryer for roller sets is a good way to using less penetrating heat versus a using a flat iron. There are many heat-free hairstyles that can work for you.

Scarves & Hats: Making them friendly for your hair
During the winter we wear scarves, hats and sweaters that are made with fabrics such as wool and cotton. For example, wool tends to dry out the tresses and also pull on the hair causing slow breakage. The areas that tend to get affected the most are the edges and the nape of the neck. To avoid these types of problems, you can line the hat with a satin or silk fabric as a barrier to protect the hair. If you are not crafty, you can simply tie a scarf around the head prior to putting on the hat. Putting the hair up while wearing a scarf will also aid in keeping the hair healthy. The more protected the hair from these elements, the less damage you will sustain.
Stick to what works for you
There are several ideas when it comes to hair care. But remember to always stick to what works for you! If you have an awesome hair care regimen to help your hair combat the evil forces of nature during the winter, then you should do well!

What tips would you like to share in regards to the colder months and what products, techniques and methods has worked for you?

"That's That Stuff I Don't Like" (Hair Bloggers Edition)

The lovely Tathiana, the blogger of My Pound Cake, came up with an idea to do a bloggers edition on stuff that we don't like.  Many of you may be familiar with several YouTube Tags on the same topic sharing their pet peeves.  This should be fun and tell me if you share any of my pet peeves! 

That's That Stuff I Don't Like....
1. I do not like the phrase "mixed hair".  Everyone has mixed hair because of the several hair types we have on our head.  What is mixed hair?  I thought we all, as a human race have straight, curly, kinky or tightly coiled hair.  Maybe, SOME people who are biracial tend to fall in a category with a certain hair type, but to me, it would not be "mixed" hair.  Then I'm mixed since I have 4 gazillion hair types on my head.

2. I do not like when a product worked on my hair and it made it look amazing!  Then next time, it makes my hair look like crap, even if I used it the same exact way.

3. I do not like to spend a lot of money on hair products. I am one of those who will pick up the product, check out the price, look at it and start thinking of all my uses of the products.  I go through a mental list of 100 reasons why I need it and a list of 5 reasons why I do not.  I put it back down on the shelf, walk away. Then I charge down the aisle to find myself picking it up again, to get to the register and tell the cashier that I will not buy it while he/she is ringing up my purchases.

4. I do not like when I get questioned by cashiers for the hair products I purchase, such as VO5 and/or Herbal Essence's products.  "I thought that was only for white people..." Yes it does work for many of us too!

5. I do not like negative comments from people I know who thinks documenting my "hair journey" is silly and pathetic.  But then come to me later for hair advice.  I'll let you guess if I actually help them.

6. I do not like after I do my daughter's hair, she complains about the way just ONE twist falls over her head. 
7. I do not like when I get comments that my hair is long because my mom has long hair and therefore my daughter will also have long hair.  Hair length is not hereditary. There are many who never had long hair in their families, but acquired long hair because of their healthy hair journies.

8. I do not like when I have no clue what to do with my hair, especially if I am going out with friends or my husband. I want to look hot!
9. I do not like RANDOM people touching my hair, I do not know you, so kick rocks and bounce.  Do not just ram your fingers into my scalp without even having the audacity to ask.  Last time someone did that, her hand was smacked hard...and it happened in church too ;-)!  Don't bother to touch my childrens' hairs too...we are going to fight!

10. I do not like when I am told that I do not look Haitian because my hair is long...and that Haitian people have short, brillo pad looking hair.  Stop watching TV all the time and believe everything you see.  Black people all over the earth come in all colors of the spectrum along with different types of hair.  Everyone is beautiful!

That's That Stuff I Don't Like...

I originally started tagging bloggers, but consider all of you tagged, especially if you are a hair blogger!

What's the stuff that you don't like?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Trip and Hair (Keeping It Simple)

Wedding at The Grove in NJ (Dress Made by Me)
I took a trip to New Jersey recently to celebrate my sister's birthday and to attend my cousin's wedding all in one weekend. 

My mother and brother flew in from Tampa, FL around the time my flight arrived into New Jersey.   My sister still lives there and my dad was already in town.

Of course I wanted to pig out and eat everything I missed...lol.  So I did...not everything I wanted, but I did.  It was bad of me, but I am back on track again!

I enjoyed my time with my sister and other relatives during her birthday celebration. And my cousin's wedding...all I can say is wow! Just beautiful, classy and it matched who she is, elegant.  I have a few photos from the wedding on my Instagram which you can view by (clicking here).

Now let me tell you before I even prepared for my trip, one of my concerns included my hair.  I just did not know what to do with it AT ALL.  I was not sure if I wanted to wear it up, straight, curled or anything...I just wanted to do everything to it.  So this was the original plan I came up with:

Day 1:
Wash & condition
Blow dry
Put it in a neat low bun using a sock bun
Before bed, dampen my hair, apply conditioner and do plaits

Day 2:
Wear a braid out
Wear it in a high bun for my sister's event later

Day 3 (morning of wedding):
Wash & condition
Blow dry
Flat iron to curl my hair

That was my hair plan for the weekend and I was gunho about doing this.  Then as the day of my departure started to approach...those plans with my hair were totally ridiculous...it really sounded ridiculous and was too much to do.  Let us add that I had to prepare some things for the husband, kids, do their hairs (remember, I am also growing my son's hair out), to make sure they were going to be comfortable while I am gone.  So my hair plans changed to this:

Day 1:
Wash & condition
Airdry
Pull my hair into a high loose bun (no braid out, no sock bun)
Used a a minimal amount of moisturizer for my edges and hair ends

Day 2:
A loose french braid
Later, flat ironed it straight on low heat (it was perfect for the evening look for my sister's event)
Before bed, moisturized my hair with Elasta QP Mango Butter
Rolled my hair with 6 flexi rods

Day 3 (day of wedding):
Finger combed my hair and did a side part

So much easier, low manipulation, did not use a lot of heat but just to flat iron.  I also did hair styles that would not leave too many creases in my hair in order for me to flat iron it easily.  As a result, I was able to wear 3 different hair styles for the weekend and use heat just one time! 

I was so glad I did it that way, otherwise I would have been a mess and would not have time to enjoy myself.  I was out late at my sisters event until an undisclosed time and then had to be at the wedding location at 9 am the next morning to assist my cousin (the bride) and the wedding party.  I went to the location with the flexi rods and a scarf.   I got dressed and took my hair down, finger combed and kept it moving during the time I assisted the bridal party.

This is reminder as to why keeping it simple is key.  I think when we do go on a trips, or any event we tend to make things so complicated.  We also tend to think of doing things that are over the top that will require a lot more "work" to achieve a certain look.  I think our goal is to look our best, impeccable and "fly" (yes, it is an old idiom).  We can still do that without putting our hair through the ringer or come up with creative ways to come up with that certain "look".

How have you tried to keep it simple for an event, during a vacations and/or trip?  Did your hair plans change before or during?  Or did you make things complicated for yourself and regretted it after the fact?

I am curious to know and please share your suggestions!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daughter's Hair: A Natural Hair Journey

Hey All!

A lot of you are familiar with my daughter, MadiMel who has very coarse hair and the length of her hair is almost down to her waist for her current height. 



For those of you who did not or do not know, I started my daughter, MadiMel's natural hair journey at the end of 2007.  This was when my sister in law told me about Fotki, a photo sharing site, where so many women documented their hair journies and share information.  I became fascinated and fell in love with the idea of taking care of our own hairs since I was on my own healthy hair journey.  It also meant that I would be saving so much money in the process!  Prior to MadiMel's proper hair care routine, I did so many things to her hair that probably would have made her scalp length right now.  We are talking about the use of Vaseline, tight rubberbands, hard brushed, bands with metal prongs, etc.  But I was left with was dryness and and damaged edges and ends. I was using Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo to wash her hair.
 
MadiMel was born with a full head of curls and over time they started becoming dry as her true texture starting coming through.  At first and prior the major hair care change, I was using Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo.  I changed her shampoo while looking at some of the natural sisters regimens on Fotki.  Added natural oils to her routine and moisturizers.  I started to incorporate healthier techniques....after a while, I noticed that her hair started flourished.   I rarely used the rubber bands, I learned a technique to comb her hair, I learned to cornrow and most importantly...I learned more about patience. I always say that if you have patience, you waste less time than if you rushed.
 
I felt that it was also important to start her healthy hair journey too since I was on my own.  As she grows and matures, she will in turn learn techniques until she cares for her hair completely on her own.  But for now, my stance is to let her see what I do with her hair so she can be armed with knowledge.  
 
I will have future posts about her hair journey, techniques and styles!  Stay tuned for more of MadiMel beside myself of course!

Watch our video I posted today!

 
 
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quick Update: Laziness with Hair

A few weeks ago I vented talked about how I had gotten so lazy with my hair.  I just did not want to or felt like dealing with it at all.  We all get like that some times, right?  My hair felt as though it needed deep penetrating moisture. It was not dry nor brittle, but it did not feel "normal" for my standards. That weekend after my last blog post, I prepooed, washed, deep conditioned and air dried my hair.  All I have been doing were protective styles since then: french braid (my fave), bun & braid outs.  I have not applied any type of heat to the hair which I will definitely benefit from; thickness and fullness.   I have been keeping up with moisturizing especially my hair edges since those areas tend to be the area that deal with a lot of stress.  I also have been cowashing like I used to and now my hair feels pretty normal again!

Here's a recent photo of a semi failed braid out.  One section looked straighter than others...but I made the best of it and brought that to the back of my ear.

Photo from Instagram: @Sdestra


Sunday, September 16, 2012

When You Just Don't Feel Like It!

I have not done anything to my hair for almost two weeks.  No cowashing, no comb detangling and I kept it in a simple loose bun style during the whole duration. Of course I finger combed, tied my hair up at night, moisturized my hair edges and moisturized the hair ends every other evening.

We do have regimens that we follow, but do we really follow it all the time?  I will not say that I am 100% consistent when it comes to my hair.  I use my regimen as a guide to reference to and cater to my hairs' needs when needed.

But for the past week, just as few other times...I just did not feel like being bothered with my hair at all!  Some of my reasons are because I become overwhelmed, I am tired after the day is over (kids - husband, household things, work, errands, etc.) and/or I am pushing it for the next day almost every day during that time frame.

After I get out of that trance of laziness, I go all out - deep condition and give my hair the TLC it needs.  And of course it feels great afterwards...not to mention the relief that it is finally done!

There are "Pros" and a "Cons" to not doing anything with and to the hair...

"Pros":
  • When you leave your hair alone
  • It can flourish
  • Less manipulation means less stress to the hair
  • Possible length retention
  • If your hair is relaxed, you may end up stretching your relaxer without realizing this and benefit from such...

"Cons": 
  • Dry hair if you do not keep up with moisturizing
  • Hair may become badly tangled
  • Hair may smell depending on how you sweat
  • Build up on the scalp

Tonight may be the night I finally do something with it *sighs*...LOL.

Does anyone else feel this way sometimes?  What do you do with your hair during the periods of "laziness" or "neglect"?  How has that affected your hair?  What do you do with your hair after that long period you didn't do anything?

Thanks for reading and I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Healthy Hair Techniques

Many of you wonderful ladies and some gentlemen have asked me about my hair techniques to maintain the thickness and health.  I provided the different healthy techniques that has helped me throughout my hair journey and I hope it helps you too. 
 
Although I had a few set backs (post partum shedding, dry colored breaking hair), following these steps helped me get my hair whipped back into shape.
 
 
 
Airdry - I airdry after applying my spray leave ins and/or moisturizing leave in. I also tie the front of my hair down to keep the edges flat while the rest of the hair is loose to dry.

Protective Styles - Styles that will hide the ends away and help you retain length. My favorite styles are buns, french braids and anything that will keep my hair above the neck.

Low manipulation - I try to leave my hair alone.  I would style my hair in simple styles such as buns or braids.  I basically tie my hair down in the evening and gently use my fingers to redo the style.  No need for a comb and as a result, you have less stress to your scalp.
 
Avoid tight hair styles - Tight hair styles will not only give you a migraine, but will add unecessary stress to your hair and scalp.  Results to tight hair styles are breakage, weak hair and loss of edges over time is called traction alopecia, something people do suffer from as a result of the things mentioned above.
 
Brushing with a soft brush - I don't brush my hair a lot and do not recommend it either.  Brushing with a hard brush can cause more damage in the long run than making those fly aways look slick around the head. Using a hard brush can again, cause breakage and damage such as split ends. A soft brush is more gentle on the hair.
 
Relaxer Stretching - I already have a blog post and video about my relaxer stretching routine along with the benefits.  What a relaxer does, it alters the hair structure of the hair where some of its' properties are lost.  If you are constantly relaxing your NG (new growth) every 4 weeks, you don't have enough of it to see in order to relax.  Therefore, you are subjected to overlapping which will cause weak and over processed hair.
 
Using a Wide Tooth Comb - Using a fine tooth comb will snag your hair and pull.  A wise tooth comb will separate the hair more gently.  If you do use a fine tooth comb, use a wide tooth comb first to remove the bulk of the tangles that you may have.
 
Combing from ends to scalp (roots) - This technique saved many of us from so much grief and saved us so much more hair!  If you start combing from the top and bring it down, the tangles within will compress onto one another, create more tangles and knotting will occur.  Starting from the bottom will remove the tangles almost effortlessly as you work your way up.
 
Detangle with conditioner - In this detangling video, I share how easy it is to manage my hair after being in a style that caused a matted mess.  I use an inexpensive conditioner such as VO5 and finger detangle away prior to washing my hair.  This techniques has also worked wonders on my daughter's natural hair too.
 
Moisturize - I moisturize my hair ends and edges very often, almost every day.  I use oil with my shampoos and conditioners when I was and/or deep condition.  When I prepoo, I oil my scalp and it provides adequate moisture that will lessen the amount of dryness.
 
Satin Scarf - I sleep with one 95% of the time.  Honestly, the other times are because of laziness...  We are all human :-)!
 
Patience with your hair - I can not emphasize this enough!  If you are not patient, you can do more damage to your hair.  Frustration bring a slew of things such as pulling, ripping and using tools incorrectly thinking they will provide faster results.  Allow enough time to style your hair, come up with ideas for your hair and/or find style or technique that makes it easier to do and change to the next.
 
Low Heat - It is good to see how much heat your hair can handle...but when using heat tools, start with a medium setting and use heat protector AT ALL TIMES!  With a blow dryer, I allow my hair to dry to about 75% or more and then blow dry.  Please note, do not use flat or curling irons on wet hair.
 
Protein treatments - This is to reinforce strength to the hair.  When your hair has been exposed to many elements or if you have reached to a point where you neglected your hair, this is a good way to go.  Another thing I want to add; if your hair happens to be weak prior to an expected relaxer treatment, a protein treatment is a good way to put in the strength into your hair atleast a week prior.
 
Exercise, proper diet, water and mental health - Exercise as simple as walking can get your blood circulating throughout the body.  And remember that blood carries nutrients along with oxygen to give your vital organs what it needs to function.  Proper diet has to do with healthy eating such as more vegetables, fruits and different ways to cook the foods you love to eat. 
 
Water is definitely essential.  Since water provides oxygen throughout your body, it also helps cleanse it too.  Not only for your hair, but for your body as a whole. 
 
And mental health, I added this here because a lot of us go through a lot of stress. 
Whatever goes on in the inside always reflects on the outside sooner or later.  When I say stress, I mean our life style, things that may be depressing and consume us.  Find some time for a mental break...devotion, reading, exercising, spending time with loved ones, a day trip...anything that will calm your mind from a few hours to a day.  We need to be healthy all around, not just our hair too.
 
I hope this information benefits some or all...also check out My Hair Regimen for questions you may have. 
 
Feel free to ask questions add what has helped you....I love to learn new things!
 
And as always, God bless!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Was Nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award!



I want to thank these three wonderful ladies for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  I am relatively new to blogging and I appreciate the love I have received so far. These lovely ladies, Southern Girl of Pecan Pie and Pin Curls, Darrolyn Evans of The Wondrous World of Parenting and Emprezz of GhanaianEmprezz nominated me.  I want to thank each and every one of them for even following my blog!  Take the time to check them out too!


1. Thank the Blogger that nominated me.
2. Share 7 random facts about me.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
4. Let nominated bloggers know they have been nominated.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award to my post.



Seven random facts about me

1. First and foremost I love God!

2. My family is from Haiti and I am so proud of my heritage and culture!

3. I praise God for allowing my 3 children (Daughter, Son and Husband) to drive me crazy otherwise, I'd be worried!

4. I love to crochet and sew but have so many unfinished projects...

5. I cook many different types of food: Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Thai, Italian to name a few...

6. I'm a hardcore couponer and walk around with a zippered binder that make store managers follow me around...

7. I took a Japanese course in highschool for 2 years, I can have a small conversation and can write in two forms, Hiragana and Katakana. 


The 15 Nominees I have chosen and check them out too!
 
1. Curls Of Innocence
2. Ghanaian Emprezz
3. Healthy Hair by Special K
4. Wura's Hair Secret
5. Uniquely Stated
6. My Baby Girl's Curls
7. iitmateeba, etc.
8. Wishful Lengths
9. Do Your Thing Girl
10. My Pound Cake
11. Hair Mary - I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
12. My Own Beautician
13. Perfect Tresses
14. Ebony's Garden
15. Beautiful Hair - Hair Care Guide


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States)...



Mrs. Michelle Obama's speech during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC last night was beautiful and eloquently stated.  Her speech was from the heart, sincere, relatable and down to earth.  She was a woman that expressed the values that a lot of us focus on, which is family, sacrifices, how a character is revealed in a position and of unconditional love.  No matter what your political views are, we must say that she talked about her husband as many proud wives would.  She had such pride, dignity and effortlessly spoke about President Obama's positive morals and ethics.  On that note, Mrs. Ann Romney did the same respectively and in many ways expressed things about her husband that made her proud of him too.

I was overwhelmed with Michelle when she came out and before her speech because of her beauty!  And when she spoke, I was awed by everything...from pouring her soul about her husband to her whole look and vibe!

Mrs. Michelle Obama wore a gorgeous dress by designer Tracy Reese, who is from Detroit, Michigan. Her shoes were reportedly from one of her favorite stores, J.Crew.  She looked impeccable from her makeup, hair, jewelry and body.  Let's not forget to mention her intelligence, poise, confidence, sophistication and being articulate.  And it has been  mentioned that she spent about $500, shoes and dress combined.  Someone wore a Oscar De La Renta dress for almost triple the price last week during the RNC....hmmm...

We all were mesmerized with Mrs. Obama's arms that is always the buzz....her body is toned and she is very fit.  Being healthy is extremely important...you feel good inside and out.  Eating right and exercising will provide an array of benefits, such as looking young, energetic, beautiful skin, hair and still have a functioning brain.  Seeing her looking as amazing as she always does, her  messages on health, fitness, empowerment and combating child obesity should be a motivation for us all...so what are our excuses for not taking the steps to becoming healthy? 

Okay, so I can not stay away from this part!  Her hair was absolutely gorgeous, shiny and healthy looking.  And I will say one thing, and something I have always said for a very long time: "Healthy hair will always turn heads no matter what length it is."  And hers sure did!

Incase you missed Mrs. Obama's speech or want to watch it again with all of her fabulousness, here it is:

Our FLOTUS' Speech

In my opinion, the FLOTUS was on point from heart to soul and head to toe!  No matter of your political views she is definitely a positive role model for us and our young women growing up in this generation.

God bless and thanks for reading!
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Growing My Son's Hair Out...

Faux Hawk

So let us begin with my hair journey and my daughter's hair journey!  We both started at the end of 2007...well, I started both of ours at the end of 2007.  I currently have bra strap length (BSL) relaxed hair and her natural hair is near waist length (WL) for her current height (she just turned 7).

My son was born January of last year and is currently eighteen and a half months old.  When he was born, his hair was so straight!  Of course I knew that his true hair texture would grow in soon and it was a matter of time.  Interesting to point out, my son has 3 hair swirls (hair whorl) on his head.  One towards the back of his head, which is where it usually is on most people and two right at the hairline in the front.  His hair is not dense like my daughter's, but like mine.  But his hair is as coarse as hers.  


A week old

I suggested to my husband one day that he get a hair cut which he responded to it by saying,"Well, why don't we grow his hair out for a while?"  I looked at our son and said to myself, Yes it would be cute to grow his hair long...but what about all of the hair I already have to deal with?!


Shrinkage & Stretched Out Hair
But without too much thought, I decided to go for it.  I am curious to find out how well his hair responds to my care.  I started my daughter's hair journey when she was about two and a half years old.  We'll see where this journey takes us.  I also would compare it to her hair journey because I am starting his a bit early than when I started hers.

*I have been cowashing his hair with VO5 Conditioner mixing it with EVCO.
*I moisturize his hair every day with a Shea Butter mixture that contains EVCO and Castor Oil.
*I shampoo his hair when needed and then condition with VO5.
*I gently use a wide tooth comb and Denman Brush (which he tries to use himself too...lol)

His hair gets dry very easily and screams for moisture.  Otherwise, it is growing well so far and I will continue with his simple regimen.

Feel free to check out the tab labeled, "My Children's Hair Regimen".  It will have their regimens and a link to their hair photos as the journey continues.
(*still needs updating- they will be added to my Facebook Fan Page). 

I don't know when we'll decide to cut his hair, but for now he is on an UNOFFICIAL hair journey!

God bless!



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reunited And It Feels So Good!

Original Mango Butter
I reunited with one of my favorite hair products,

...Elasta QP's Mango Butter...

According to the official Elasta QP website, the Mango Butter is a moisturizer that:

  • Penetrates, protects and remoisturizes, leaving hair strong and healthy
  • Olive and coconut oils target dry ends and help prevent damage
  • Shine-enhancing, non-greasy formula
  • Intensely rich thermal protecting treatment

I was introduced to the Mango Butter a few years ago and fell in love with it.  That was before Olive Oil was added.

When we come across a new product we either ignore it or pay attention to it. When we do pay attention...we want it, get it and push the old product to the side for reasons such as:  the new product works better, we want to try something new, less ingredients and/or we just want to change products.  Nothing wrong with that, you never know what will work for you unless you explore.

I left the Mango Butter alone when I was told about and exposed to a line of hair products.  A plus for me was that the products were all natural, but for some reason it did not do its job...well, because of the hype that it was receiving, I felt as if it did not live up to it's hype.   But I can not assume what works for others will work for me and vice versa. 

I will not say that because the hair product line was all natural, it did not work for my hair.  That is far from the truth.  My regimen consists of natural items that have worked for me during my hair journey.  Unfortunately, the products from that line did not do it for me.  So after I stopped using that hair product line, that is when I started using more basic natural items.  I am talking about 100% unrefined Shea butter mixes, organic extra virgin coconut oil, castor oil, etc. The products I use on my daughter’s natural hair to keep it moisturized is what I have been using too!  Even my protein treatments are all natural!  But let us get back to the point...

The Mango Butter has been in use, although I have not used it on my hair for a long time.  I even bought more because it ran out during my break up hiatus with the product.  My husband was always faithful to it though.  After introducing him to coconut oil to his shampoos to slow down his dry scalp issue (which worked amazingly), the Elasta QP Mango Butter has been a staple for him. It kept his  hair and scalp moisturized on a daily basis.

Mango Butter with Olive Oil
What did the Elasta QP Mango Butter do for me?

  • It helped smooth, moisturize and lay my hair edges down without the use of gel.  And the gel would have not really kept my edges as moisturized.
  • It kept my new growth (NG) manageable and soft.
  • It was one of the few moisturizers that felt light on my hair when used in proper moderation.  A little bit will take you a long way in my honest opinion.
  • It did not weigh my hair down nor cause too much build up if used they way I used it almost every day.
  • It helped retain my hair ends too because of how well moisturized my hair ends were.
  • It also smelled great! 

The Mango Butter is back in my hair care regimen


What beauty products used religiously, loved, stop using and started using again?  And did you ever wonder or ask yourself why you stopped using the product(s) in the first place or what were you even thinking?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

US Gymnast Gabby Douglas Is So Much More Than Her Hair

I try to stay away from what I call stupidity and it took me a while to decide to post this because I don't like to get into discussions like this at times.

But Let's Talk:
What do you think about the comments on blogs regarding US Gymnast Gabby Douglas' hair? I do not appreciate the negative comments that I've seen so far and I continued to stop reading them. For her, it may be challenging to deal with her hair at this time because of how physical the sport is. She's constantly sweating while performing for the world and during practices in between while in London.

A few comments were in regards to her being a poor representation of black women...wow....BECAUSE OF HER HAIR?!??! I'm sorry...I'm about to ROTF (Roll On The Floor) and LMBO (Laugh My Behind Off)! Seriously....her HAIR?

She's a beautiful talented young woman doing so many things at such a young ripe age! THAT should be something for us to be so proud of. We should also praise her parent(s) for being so supportive while making sacrifices to invest in her skilled talent. So what does that say about the women who are criticizing her about her hair? Shallow?

Let's see.... soon, Miss Douglas will be laughing all the way to the bank with her Olympic Gold Medals in tow no matter how much people talk about her hair.

(Plug in "Gabby Douglas Hair" in the google search to see how many blogs, etc are talking about her hair!) These are just my opinions :-)

But what do you think?
#ILoveGabbyDouglas

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Relaxer Stretching and Tips

I usually relax my new growth (NG) about anywhere between every 12-16 weeks.  The longest I have stretched was up to 17 weeks.  Now...I am currently at 28 weeks into my stretch.  From keeping the hair well moisturized to figuring out how to style it, it has been extremely challenging.  I have experienced mostly tangling which I have managed to conquer.  Without the use of a great conditioner, wide tooth comb and having patience...the stretch would have ended a long time ago.
Photo taken end of April 2012

 *****************

Relaxing 4-6 weeks seems to be the norm for many relaxed women to get a touch-up, the new growth (NG) that is... The average growth of hair for many of us happens to be half an inch per month.  If you calculate this with the amount of 4-6 weeks of getting a touch-up, there is not much NG to relax.  Most likely there will be overlapping of the relaxer which can cause a slew of things that can deteriorate the health of the hair.  We are talking about dry, brittle, breakage, thin and over processed hair. 

Remember that the new growth is stronger than the relaxed hair because it is "virgin" (without any chemical treatment).  The area where the relaxed hair and natural hair meets is called the Line of Demarcation (or Demarcation Line) and happens to be the weakest.  Without the proper care of the two textures combined, the hair can easily break off in that area causing short hairs to stick out every which way.   

Stretching is a great way to alleviate the above mentioned issues.  Maximizing the amount of time between touch-ups can benefit many.  The more NG there is, the more one can see where the relaxer should be applied during the next touch-up session.  This means the less experience of overlapping, over processed hair and much thicker hair.  Always remember that you will be dealing with two different hair textures.  To some it will be frustrating and to some it will be a breeze to manage.  Be prepared and embrace the process along the way. 

A good thing sometimes can be a bad thing for some.  Stretching may not work for everyone.  Some experience more shedding, severe breakage and the hair tangles a lot, causing knots.  When that happens, it is an indication that stretching is not working.

Moisture is extremely important during the time between touch-ups...anytime.  Co-washes (washing the hair with a moisturizing conditioner),  Prepoos (oil treatment) and deep conditioning will keep the hair manageable and soft.  

Protein treatments are extremely important to balance the hair's strength with the moisture.  This can be done on a monthly basis to ensure that the hair is strong enough to withstand the stretching.  Be cautious with the amount of protein that is used.  Too much of protein can cause the hair to feel dry and cause the hair to break.  Using a moisturizing conditioner afterwards will keep everything balanced and it is a must. 

Protective styling and low manipulation is a great way to maintain the hair during stretches.  The less the hair is messed with, the less breakage and stress to the hair strands.  Some protective styles that can help during stretches are braids, weaves, buns, roller sets, rod sets, etc.  Braid outs works great too and the advantage of this is because the NG and the processed hair blends well together.  This in turn also lessens the amount of tangling. 

Here are some tips has helped me during my stretch:
  • I pre-poo before wash day by oiling my scalp and NG, put on a plastic cap and satin scarf overnight.
  • Use a wide tooth comb to detangle with conditioner while sectioning the hair.
  • Protein treatments are done monthly to reinforce the strength of my hair.
  • I do a black tea rinse every so often to slow down the shedding.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I use either diluted conditioner mixed with coconut oil to spray my NG or Herbal Essence's Long Term Relationship Leave In.
  • I wash my hair in sections in the shower, wash each one using my fingers in a downward motion to free the shed hair and to keep the hair from re-tangling.
  • I co-wash more than I shampoo, shampooing can be drying if done too often.
  • I deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner and oil after shampooing.
  • Protective styling is a must for me because it keeps my hands out of my hair every day.
  • Patience - without it, I would not be able to go through this stretch and cause more damage to my hair. 

Hope some of these things help you during your stretch.  What are tips that you can also share, what experiences have you encountered that you learned from?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Favorite Protective Hair Style

2012 - Bra Strap Length (BSL)

The "french braid" is my ultimate favorite protective style, especially in the summer!  It can be worn for many different occasions.  And trust me, I have worn it for so many, including wearing it year round.

History of how I learned:  I learned this by accident!  My mother never knew how to cornrow and I was determined to learn at the time.  I might have been just starting high school...so I would play with my hair and try different things.  Trying to learn was a disaster because I wasn't holding my hand properly to create a cornrow, but accidentally positioned my hands to create a french braid instead.  I kept doing it that way and I liked it!  But I still never learned how to cornrow until about 3 years ago (Shhh...don't tell anyone!)

What I love about the style, it does not require much tension. You can manipulate the tension to make it look from loose to tight.  I stay away from "tight".  I love my edges too much to lose them!

The benefits of wearing this style for me:
 * My hair is moisturized; especially the ends,
* Hair ends are tucked in to help retain length,
* Most of the hair is tucked away and "protected" from certain elements.
* Low manipulation,
* Low to No heat to create this style

We have to remember that the very ends of our hair is the oldest part; it is vulnerable and has been exposed to more than the parts of hair closer to the scalp.   That is why the emphasis is there to moisturize the ends, do protective styles, be gentle with the hair, etc.

I had received so many compliments about the thickness of my hair while wearing this style.  It also sparks curiousity as to how long the hair really is.  I posted a few pictures below (and one above) of the french braid I did during the course of my hair journey, also added the length of my hair at the time.  Would you have been able to tell what length my hair was?
2008 - Above shoulder length (SL)
2011 - Bra Strap Length (BSL)


2009 - Shoulder Length (SL)
The trick to give this style the ultimate look of "thickness" is to basically let the hair airdry.  When airdrying, especially when you have relaxed hair, it will give the hair a slight texture although the hair has been altered to "relax" the hair strands.  Lastly, braid the hair a little loosely when you get to the bottom...it will give the braid some "body".

For the appearance of fullness and thickness:
 1. Wash or cowash the hair.
2. Moisturize the hair with a leave in conditioner and/or oil(s)
3. Be sure that the hair is well detanged, always comb starting from the ends and work your way up.
3. Part, comb and/or brush (soft one) the hair in the front to lay it down.
4. Tie a scarf to lay the hair down, especially in the front. 
    (The idea is for you to not use or use a minimum amount of heat.)
5. Let the hair airdy completely (or airdry to 70% or more and blow dry on low heat)
6. Continue to style as you like

Be creative and pizzazz it up!  Having a bang or swooping the hair in the front can give it a different look. I usually place a head band in the front...a simple black one. I am on a quest to get more bands to enhance this style and to place it on my head for other styles other than the french braid. 

I have also seen:
- Braids (micros, kinky twists) styled into a french braid
- "Braid outs" styled into a french braid
- French braids using wavy braiding hair to enhance fullness with the tail of the braid hanging down the back rather being tucked under.
- Wigs/ Sew-Ins french braided
- And french braids done to do a braid out.

Here's a video tutorial on the french braid:
Sdestra - French Braiding Tutorial

What are your favorite protective styles, especially for the warmer months?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's that time of year again! My daughter's dance recital!

I am not worried about what she is going to wear and how her hair will be done.  Her dance school almost literally wrote the rules in stone on how they should look and how the hair should be styled.  MadiMel will be in 3 different dance scenes, Ballet, Contemporary and Hip-Hop.  This has been her third year of dance at the same dance school. Third recital she has been a part of and my third time, for a recital, trying to figure out what to wear! 

It is hot in Metro Atlanta, yes the recital is indoors, but again...it is hot, humid and sticky. We are also talking about taking pictures with friends...outside, chatting with other parents...outside, running around to get ourselves ready for and after the show.  The first year, I wore a maxi dress with heeled sandals. The second year, leggings, camisole, a sleeveless belted sweater...and of course, heels! 

My attendance at this year's recital, I decided to not wear heels.  It saddens me because I love wearing heels (laughs)! Seriously, I love them.  At times, when I come back home with a pair of shoes, without looking, my husband will say, "I hope you bought a pair of flat shoes."  And of course I laugh because I obviously did not.
So now, I decided not to wear heels this time around and wear flat sandals instead.  I just need to figure out what to wear though.  I am planning on digging through my closet and figuring it out.  I may have another maxi dress in there somewhere that I can wear.  Accessorizing to compliment the dress and adding a sweater to give it a different classy look.


Now my problem is my HAIR!!!!  I am tired of buns at this moment...I know it is a great go-to hair style that you can jazz up with hair candy (ex. flowers).  Maybe I will do that and do something with the front.  Besides, it is a protective style and does not require much heat. I usually airdry before I style my hair like this, using a leave in to moisturize and a light gel.


Then I thought of setting my hair in a flexi rod set.  The great thing about this style; if it does not look good while it is out, you can simply pin it up in some way to make look creative and beautiful.  Braid-outs...for me, can be a hit or miss...but it is an option too. Both styles do not require much heat once you give yourself ample time to let it set.  I would put the rods in while my hair is partially damp with an oil and light gel.


The french braid is my ulimate favorite, but I am tired of that style too sometimes.  This also does not require heat.  I tie my hair down in the front and let the hair air dry.  Moisturize the hair and then braid it.

I know I'm making this more challenging than it should be.  But that is okay :-)  I'll figure it out before Sunday this week.  And I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Healthy Hair Journey...on a Mental Note



We sometimes fail to realize that a lot of the women and men who have been and are on a healthy hair journey had put in time and work to make it a successful one. Many did their research, saw what worked for them, experimented, had patience and set realistic goals. Also, there are many who want that “ideal hair” instantly without giving any thought of the effort that should be brought forth. A hair journey is not just about buying hair products and using them. A healthy hair journey is ultimately about you being prepared and staying optimistic throughout, no matter what happens during.

* Embrace what you have and work with it – your hair that is. Hoping for your hair to look a certain way because you are using the same products someone is using may not give you the same results. Your hair may be different and the products may not work well for you. I have noticed individuals who expressed their disappointments on some hair boards, not letting go of the fact that their hair is not what they dreamed it would be. Remember that all hair is beautiful as long as you embrace it, take care of it and feel confident with it…it is yours. There is beauty in everything; it just needs to be enhanced to stand out more.


* Set short and long term hair goals for your hair journey. Be realistic. If your goal is to have waist length (WL) hair in 2 years, than that is a long term goal. Within that long term goal, there should be short term goals implemented. Those goals may be: improving the health of your hair, having staple products that compliment your hair and reaching certain hair lengths a step at a time, APL, BSL, MBL, WL. Follow those who are on a hair journey within the scope of your short term goal. Example, if you have a short term goal set for yourself to be arm pit length (APL) in 4 months and you are currently shoulder length (SL), follow those who are close to being APL or reached APL. That part of their hair journey is recent and you have the ability to access the information close to your own goal.


* Help yourself first and do your own research. Questions about a product to someone whose hair journey you are following can be easily looked up with the time you sent the message. Remember this, not everything works for everyone. It is easier to start your research on products first before asking someone about it. That way, you are already armed with the info you have to see how it corresponds to the response you get. This in turn may help you do something differently to make it work for you or dismiss it altogether.


* Use your regimen as a guide, don't let it guide you. Your regimen will change over time. You may have to tweak it for it to become effective for you as you progress along. At times, a product can be added, remove and replace products. A weekly schedule is great to guide you during your journey. If you are beating yourself up because you did not wash your hair during your wash day, missed one day of moisturizing out the seven days you usually do.


* Be patient during your hair journey. We know that 99% of things do not happen overnight. You may have set goals for your hair as far as what length you want to reach or how you want your hair to look. How about making your hair look its best as you go along your hair journey? As time goes by, you can handle your hair for that moment, not what you are hoping for it to be when you reach the desired goal. You’ll be surprised with what you come up with as your creativity comes into play.


* A hair journey is what it is, it may not be perfect but learn from it. If someone had a perfect hair journey, they are the few lucky individuals. Life itself is a journey because you learn as you grow. You make mistakes, come face to face with dilemmas and have to make some changes. During your hair journey, you may reach the time where you experience a setback(s); which to some may be “depressing”. Take notes, learn and move on to the next step.


* Worry about the health of your hair and the rest will follow. A healthy head of hair will always turn heads at any length. When you see a beautiful and healthy head of hair at any length, it causes you to stop in your tracks. When the hair is healthy, it makes it easier to go through the hair journey as you are patiently waiting to reach your ultimate goal.


* Take care of your insides for it to reflect on the outside. Proper diets, vitamins and exercise are also important when it comes to your body’s health. Exercising promotes blood circulation and eating the right types of food provide your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Taking vitamin supplements brings it to the right amounts your body needs. Drink water, water, water! Water is important because not only does it help quench thirst, it also “cleans” your insides. Before exercising or starting a diet, please consult with your health care provider.


So now, are you ready to learn or ready to be disappointed during your healthy hair journey?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Allow me to introduce myself...

Hello everyone! 

Allow me to introduce myself!  I am a mother to two children and a wife.  I have been blessed throughout the years with the things God has given me and the things I have experienced to make me laugh, cry, think and learn.  I enjoy sewing, crocheting, cooking, singing and other things which you may learn as I blog.
Some of you may know me from several hair sites and Youtube.  I consider myself a newbie on Youtube because I'm just getting my feet wet with videos.  And now I am new to blogging!  Pretty excited about that :-).

About my hair journey:  I started my hair journey a little over 4 years ago and documented it using a photo sharing site called Fotki.  My sister-in-law introduced me to the world of hair care which I am grateful for.  Although I do have relaxed hair, I do work on natural hair too.  My daughter has natural hair and throughout the years I have learned about her hair's needs.
 
Through my hair journey, I have had experienced setbacks, minor and major.  Did that discourage me? No.  Maybe it saddened me at times, but what did I do?  Learned from it and moved on.  That is why it is called a journey...you go down a road, hit road blocks, have to take detours, look at a map, continue and hope you are led into the direction you originally intended to get to.

Most of all, I understand that it is just hair.  Yes, we all want beautiful and healthy hair.  That can be attained with due diligence, research, knowledge and patience.  Some want long hair no matter at what cost.  But this is what I tell others...Healthy hair will always turn heads even at ear length.
I will share some tips, my hair journey, my daughter's, tips and other random things that may be of interest to some.

I want to thank you for reading and God bless you all!  Stay tuned for more posts from me!  Just started my blog up and will have my page completely set up with more!

God bless!
-Sdestra

www.Youtube.com/user/Sdestra