Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Simple Wash Day

[1] Pre-poo: Started by my parting my hair into 3 sections. Applied coconut oil in each section. I have not used coconut oil in a while and I forgot how good it makes my hair feel,008 it sank in immediately. I know I cannot use it too often because it tends to make my hair feel brittle. I covered my hair with a plastic cap for 40 minutes and rinsed.

[2] Shampoo: Lathered my hair twice using Crème of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo.

[3] Deep Condition: I don’t know how long I’ve had HairVeda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioner but I’ve only used it once. Since Black Friday is almost here, I have to see if this is something I should consider repurchasing. I applied this DC on each section of my hair, covered my hair with a plastic cap and let is sit for about 45 minutes and rinsed with cool water. I first used this when I was deep into my relaxer stretch, and I remember my new growth really liking this stuff--- this week, my relaxed hair was not here for it. It felt funny when I was applying it to my hair and after 45 minutes under a plastic cap even the worst of DC’s penetrate my hair, but this stuff just sat on my hair. Luckily, My hair felt soft upon rinsing.

[4] Leave- Ins: While my hair was still damp I sprayed ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer, moisturized each section with Lottabody Moisturize Me, and sealed in with my oil mix.


After moisturizing and sealing I put my hair into 3 bantu knots and allowed it to fully dry for 48 hours.


I love simple Wash Days---that don’t actually take all day. My hairstyle this week was inspired by Lam at Overcoming Lazy, she can achieve voluminous curls with TWO.Bantu.Knots. My bantu knots need a bit more perfecting but overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out.019

The Wash Day Experience


Did you try anything new this Wash Day?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Narrowing Down Product Stash| Shampoos


From left to right: Nexxus Therappe| Crème of Nature Argan Oil| L’Oreal Power Moisture| Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla| Suave Clarifying| OGX Awapuhi Ginger| OGX Coconut Milk

In an attempt to have some kind of structure in my hair journey, I must admit, I need to get my burning desire to buy every product I see under control. Not only that, I need to analyze all of the products that I have to see what has really worked for me and get rid of the others.

There were three things that influenced my decision when I was going through my stash of products and narrowing down my product lists:

  1. Price
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Accessibility

Shampoo is a pretty simple category for me because I don’t have nearly as much shampoo as I have conditioner and I instantly know if a shampoo is going to work for me or not. Here’s the list of shampoos that made the cut:


Clarifying Shampoo

  • Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo

This is actually the only clarifying shampoo that I have used since beginning my hair journey and it still delivers. It deeply cleanses my hair without it feeling stripped.

Moisturizing Shampoo

  • Crème of Nature Argan Oil Moisture and Shine Shampoo
  • Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo (Sally’s also makes a generic version which I will purchase instead, its just as effective and cheaper)
  • Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-Free Shampoo

I have gotten great results with these shampoos, they truly moisturize my hair--- they don’t leave my hair brittle or cause my hair to clump together. What I love most about these shampoos is that they are accessible---I can go into a store and actually buy them and they are all also reasonably priced.

What Are Your Go- To Shampoos?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review| Lottabody Moisturize Me Curl and Style Milk

Price: $4.49 (8oz), found at local beauty supply store

Promise: “Coconut and Shea oils deeply hydrate hair from the inside out, leaving hair soft and nourished with brilliant shine. Moisturize dry, frizzy hair for springy hydrated curls. Detangles, conditions, and controls curls while adding brilliant shine, body, and bounce.”029

First 5 Ingredients: Water, Shea butter, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, fragrance


I have been using this moisturizer for over a month and I don't know what there is not to  love about this product. First off, since I've been on my hair journey, I have not found a moisturizer---or any other product, for under $5. Not only is is under 5 bucks, but its actually a really good product that works!

This is a light moisturizer with the consistency of a lotion. I’ve tried Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk but I like this more because its not runny. It comes in a convenient pump bottle which is always great. The scent is also light, it smells like true tropical coconut and not stinky artificial coconut.

No matter how much of it I use, my hair does not feel greasy or weigh it down.  So its great at defining your braid-outs or twist-outs but still leaves your hair soft and bouncy.
What I appreciate most about this, is that when I moisturize and seal my hair, the product actually stays on my hair and does not oil up my scarf. I hate when things make my scarf oily--- especially if I just washed it.
It works well not only on my crazy stubborn new growth when I am deep into a stretch, but its also good on my freshly relaxed hair.
Sometimes my damp hair is a little more finicky than when its dry--- but Lottabody comes through either way.

I’ve mentioned how much I liked the price of this, but I absolutely love the fact that I can actually go into my beauty supply store and buy it--- and excuse my language, but as hair bloggers and  regular women who like taking care of their hair and want quality hair products, shipping and handling is an absolute bitch! Like really, why do I have to buy $35- $50 worth of products to get free shipping?! That’s why I have a ton of products that I probably don’t need because I cannot justify spending $10-$15 on a moisturizer then have to pay another $5.99 for shipping and handling. You spent $20 on this ONE PRODUCT—I can’t. Its like spending $100 on groceries and you get home and realize you have absolutely nothing you want to eat. Sorry ladies—I digress.

If you already haven't figured it out yet--- Lottabody is a keeper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wash Day

I am so happy that I finally relaxed my hair, its been much easier to manage. After my relaxer, I could feel that my hair felt strengthened so the main focus for this Wash Day was to put some moisture into my hair to give it some elasticity.

Here’s how it went down:

[1] Pre-poo: Parted my hair into 3 sections and saturated/massaged my scalp with safflower oil.008 I covered my hair with a plastic cap for an hour. Did not rinse.

[2] Coffee+ Tea Rinse: Sprayed a mix of green tea, a spoonful of instant coffee, and couple drops of peppermint and grapefruit essential oils on my hair. I let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing  the coffee+ tea rinse and safflower oil with warm water.

[3] Shampoo: Lathered each section twice with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. I got this sample with a purchase at the beauty supply store.

[4] Coffee+ Tea Rinse: Sprayed the remaining coffee+ tea rinse on my hair. Allowed it to sit for 5 more minutes and rinsed

[5] Applied Crème of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment covered my hair with plastic cap and allow to sit for about an hour and rinsed with cold water.009

[6] Applied Lottabody Moisturize Me while my hair was still damp and sealed with my oil mix.

[7] Air dried my hair in a bun


So I was clearly intrigued by Jeni’s post on the benefits coffee rinses. I was hesitant about it because I didn’t want the coffee scent to linger. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I definitely wanted a cup afterwards because it smelled like a Starbucks in my bathroom. After rinsing out the coffee and deep conditioning my hair there was no trace of the scent so this is something that I might try again.


The Wash Day Experience

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review| Clear Proof Acne System By Mary Kay

As a fellow Influenster, I sometimes get to receive products to try out. We all have had issues with acne, if you have not, consider yourself lucky. Clear Proof is an acne system from Mary Kay that consists of four products that claims to clear up blemishes, unclog pores,  and fade the look of lingering acne spots.

I’ll keep this review short and to the point:037

Clarifying Cleansing Gel ($16): I’ve tried Proactiv and their cleanser was more exfoliating which proved too harsh for my skin to use everyday. I like that this is gentle but deeply cleanses my skin. After washing my face with this I could immediately see that my skin looked more smooth. The only drawback is that this is terribly drying.

Blemish Control Toner ($15): I like that this does not make my skin sting after I washing it.

Acne Treatment Gel ($10): Its light and absorbs quickly. I seen results with this within a week, but it did nothing to diminish my old acne scars.

Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin ($1/8): This is lightweight as well and absorbs quickly. But this does nothing to replenish my skin after the first 3 steps completely dried it out.

Although I seen a reduction of my acne I would have to customize this system by either using it every other day or substituting some of the products for ones that deliver the results I want.

This is not a product that I would purchase, the acne gel is probably the only product that’s worth investing in.


NOTE: I received this product free, courtesy of  Influenster to test and review

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Every Journey Needs a Plan

I figured out why I’ve been so overwhelmed by my hair journey. For one, I have not remained consistent with even the simplest parts of the “regimen” I have created--- the only thing that I consistently do is wash my hair (thank God for the #WashDayExperience). Secondly, I’ve gotten so tied up with the exciting things that seem to be happening with everyone else’s hair (transitioning, chopping, etc.) that I completely ignore what I need to be doing with my own.

So now of course I completely understand why it seems like I’ve lost my way. To be honest, I don’t think I ever set out a clear path. When I first started my journey and even up into this last week, I had no direction at all--- I just wanted long hair.

goal_without_a_plan41                                                              (Image)

Long terms goals are great when it comes to the bigger picture but I believe the best way to get there is to set up short-term goals--- they are attainable and will definitely keep me on track to getting the hair I really want:

  • FIND OUT WHAT WORKS: Beginning next week, I’ll be doing a series of posts showing you what’s actually in my product stash and weeding out the products that have not worked for me. This is crucial and it will help me accomplish my other goals. If I cannot do this I will forever be wandering aimlessly on this journey.
  • Revamp my regimen and stay on track with it: I want to somewhat simplify my regimen. I truly get bogged down with the amount of steps when it comes to my Wash Days and other things. I think that starts out with me actually saying “hey, this is the amount of effort that I am willing to put into my hair.” If I can do that, then I know I will be more consistent and everything won’t seem like a chore.
  • Limit product purchases: You never know if a product is working if you don’t use it consistently and that has been an issue for me. One week I am loving a product and the next week I’m on to the newest shiny thing on the block. Sorry, I’m an Aries who gets bored easily so buying and trying out new products is exciting. So in an attempt to curb my inner PJ, I am going to avoid the hair care aisle and stick to the products that have been working #girlscoutpromise. But that does NOT mean that I’m tossing out my Black Friday list.
  • Moisturize and Seal: This is something that I have been slacking on since the summer, I am going to be aiming to moisturize and seal every other day. I think the cold weather will force me too so…
  • Figure Out What’s Going on With My Nape…and make a plan: I have not even looked at my nape since my touch up but I fear that it is more janky looking than before. I have to quickly assess the damage and figure out how to improve it.

I am looking forward to see how my hair progresses and of course I’ll keep you updated. Thank you ladies for being so encouraging and supportive, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know I have amazing women in this journey with me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review| Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner

Price: $10.99 (16 oz) at CVS

Promise: “This reparative leave-in conditioner softens and detangles hair while controlling014 frizz. Perfect for those who regularly color, straighten, perm or heat style their hair, as well a kinky, curly or wavy natural styles. Formulated with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and certified organic Shea butter to nourish, moisturize and support elasticity so hair resists breakage while detangling. Conditioners provide a protective layer that improves the appearance of split ends. Peppermint stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience.”

First 5 Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride

Note: For some odd reason the ingredient listing on the packaging differs from the ingredient list on the website, as in the ingredients aren’t listed in the same order, so I just went was on the package.

I’ve used this leave-in in 3 different ways--- as a leave-in, a pre-poo, and a daily moisturizer.

Hands down, I like it best as a pre-poo treatment on dry hair. This stuff does live up to its promise to aide in detangling because the slip is crazy, I usually put a glob on my hair and proceed to detangle. I find it works best as a pre-poo when you incorporate some type of heat (body heat is good enough), when I take my plastic cap off my new growth just sprang up and felt really moisturized and soft.

On freshly washed hair, using it as a leave-in is great due to its slip, but I don’t particularly care to use it as such because of the lingering scent.

When I use this as a pre-poo or leave-in I glob it on  my hair, but I make sure to go pretty light when using it as a daily moisturizer. Even though I am careful with how much I apply to my hair, it ends up feeling greasy and I can’t use it consecutively because it feels like there is  a film on my hair.

From the look of the packaging you would think the leave-in would be a smooth cream but its consistency is a little on the runny side and looks and feels kind of slimy.

And as for the smell—I’ve seen some describe it as tropical or say it smells of vanilla, I’ve even heard someone say that is smelled like Play-Doh. I agree with the latter, whatever scent Shea Moisture was going for I am not here for it.  In fact, I don’t use it unless I know I’m gong to be washing it out.

Even though it helps me detangle my hair, I won’t be purchasing this again. This is only the second product that I have tried from Shea Moisture and I want to love them so bad based on the reviews I’ve read, but hey if it doesn’t work for my hair than it just doesn’t work.

Have you tried any products from the Shea Moisture JBCO line? If so, what were the pros and cons of the product?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Finally| Touch Up

I made it to 25 weeks post, whew! Trust me, it was not planned, sometimes life gets in the way. But I am super happy that I finally had a chance to set aside some time to relax my hair.
029I began by parting my hair into 4 sections
[1] Based my scalp with some good ol’ Blue Magic Coconut Oil hair grease (do any of you still have grease sitting around?) and then covered my previously relaxed strands with Roux Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner.051
[2] With my handy dandy Aqua Sprush, I applied Dark & Lovely No-Lye Relaxer in Regular Strength to my new growth. Application and smoothing time took me about 25 minutes. Rinsed my hair with warm water.
[3] As a mid-relaxer protein treatment I used Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus and let it sit for about 15 minutes which is longer than necessary and my hair felt stiff, but after I rinsed it went back to normal.
[4] Neutralized my hair 4 times with the shampoo that came with the kit
[5] Deep conditioned with Crème of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment. I covered my hair with a plastic cap and allowed it to sit on my hair for 1 hour. Rinsed with cold water050
[6] T-shirt dried my hair for 20 minutes
[7] Lightly misted my hair with ApHogee Keratin &Green Tea Restructurizer. Applied Lottabody Moisturize Me Curl &Style Milk and sealed with my oil mix. I also oiled my scalp, usually after I relax my hair I suffer from a dry scalp so I am just trying to be proactive.
I let my hair air dry in a bun the rest of the day.
The next day…
Since my hair was pretty straight I just knocked a few bumps out of my hair with my flat iron and prepared to cut my ends.052054

So as you can tell I made it to full bra strap length before the cut, this is similar to my last length check which is frustrating but it also makes me happy because now I have a clear goal for this next stretch: I need to focus on retention by taking better care of my ends. My nape is still a mess, maybe worse than before so I need to work on that too (sorry, no pics). My ultimate hair goal, as far as length, is to reach the 5 line on my length check t-shirt.053
Overall, I am pretty happy with the health of my hair, especially my bang area. 18 months ago when I began my hair journey, my bang was up to my eyebrows and now it is beyond my chin!
When’s your next Touch Up?
What has been the most exciting change you seen since beginning your HHJ?
The Wash Day Experience

4 Ways to Tweak Regimen For Cooler Weather

[1] CONSISTANT Moisturizing and Sealing: To be honest, this summer my m&s sessions were here and there. If my hair felt dry I could just co-wash it and go, or moisturize the perimeter of my hair and throw it all in a ponytail or bun. I know cannot get away with that this winter. I will be making an attempt to moisturize and seal my hair about every other day.

[2] Hot Oil Treatments: During the cooler months my scalp is a dry, itchy mess! Hot oil treatments will ensure the nourishment of my scalp. Even though I hate the overpowering scent of eucalyptus, adding it to my oil mix is a must, it soothes my scalp much more than the peppermint essential oil. But I will not be tossing the peppermint to the side, in fact it’s apart of my essential oil holy trinity: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavender. The  carrier oils that I use don’t vary much season-to-season, its always grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and coconut oil.

[3] Deep Condition (with heat): This is a must. No, I don’t have any fancy hair drier I can sit under or a fancy cap to heat up in my microwave. So I have to be somewhat old school with it, its gonna be good ol’ body heat, a warm towel and a plastic bag.

[4] Low Maintenance/ Long Term Protective Styles: I’m looking to tuck away my hair permanently for the winter with my trusty wig, Sheba. This is a great investment. I also won’t have to fuss with my hair every day, and I won’t have to worry about my ends getting stuck or broken off by my cute winter coats.

How are you going to be switching up your regimen?