Chicago Natural Hair Meet Up

Today I went to my first natural hair meetup and it was super fun, even though I was running on CP time and got there pretty late 😦  Still got to mingle and isn’t that what it’s all about?  Having fun, chit chatting, exchanging information = ALWAYS WIN!

It’s quite nice to put a real in person face to the web personas that you are used to admiring, tweeting with, or reading the blogs of.  Lovely Leila Noelliste of Black Girl Long Hair put on the event and it was held at the Little Black Pearl of Chicago.  People brought products to trade and some jewelry was on sale, which allowed me to meet my buddy Bree of Boutique Unique and buy a gorgeous cranberry colored bracelet which I will rock the heck out of in NYC this week.

She’s so sweet and pretty, check out her boutique for great priced jewelry and shirts

Bree and Socialitedreams

Shout outs to her and Tori from A Kinky Hair Monologue whom I got to meet.  Last but not least, it was a pleasure to meet Patrice, Ms. Afrobella herself!  She was oh so cute with her big pretty hair!  Quite the bella indeed 🙂

Socialitedreams and Afrobella

The weather decided to pull a Chicago and go from 65 degrees Friday to 30 degrees and snowing Saturday, but we all came out and had fun!  It was a great meetup and I look forward to any future ones!

New Routine Cometh

As Spring and eventually Summer approaches, I can’t wait to transition my natural hair care routine from harsh winter protective styling and thick products to light products and simple styling!  Finally able to wear my hair out without worry of cold winter winds, no hats to remember!

In the warmer weather with more humidity in the air, humectant products will come in handy.  Humectants absorb moisture from the air/atmosphere, imparting it into the hair to create lush well-moisturized locks.  Honey is a natural humectant and I am just chomping at the bit to try out Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner 🙂  I’ve heard all good things about it and can say that I like the ingredients list: purified water, organic aloe vera gel, behentremonium methosulfate (emulsifier derived from colza oil), honey, virgin hemp oil, , coconut oil, vegetable glycerine, hydrolized silk, citrus essences, fragrance, optiphen (preservative).   I adore the Frank Juice that I have by them, so why not test out another Oyin product?  Have you utilized their line?  What’s your thoughts on the products?

As well, Suave makes a humectant conditioner that sounds pretty boss.  For $2.50, REALLY can’t go wrong trying that out!  May use that for cowashing and the honey hemp for deep conditioning.  I can just feel my hair swelling up with moisture as I type, just at the thought 😀

Spring also is the time for great accessories!  With our hair being out more, can rock gorgeous headbands, cool flowers, and other creative pieces.  I look forward to supporting Boutique de Bandeaux by buying up plenty of girly hair accoutrements.

Now that my hair is getting pretty big/long, can have much variety on the different looks created.  I want to try out fro hawks, learn how to flat twist, and experiment with different products for my wash and go such as curl creams to emphasize definition.  Oh the possibilities!  I love Spring, just breathes new LIFE into things 😀    What are some of the hair/looks ideas that you want to try out for the upcoming season?

hair hero:  Jordan Richardson

Homemade Concoction

In the past couple of months I’ve been compiling many bits and pieces of information on how to grow strong, healthy, long hair.  The products that I’ve wanted and tried have been showcased on my blog, since I’m all about the premade, just buy and use products, lol.  Now, however, I am going to mix up my own concoction from a variety of sources and see how that goes for my hair.  Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE all of the products I’ve bought so far (well, most of them, there are a couple that haven’t fared too well in the reviews section of my site) and plan to continue, especially the thick butters and creams that I use on my hair like Qhemet Biologics amla and olive heavy cream (aka cavier for the hair, LOVE it).

But why compile all of this lovely info if I in turn do nothing with it??  So when my Oyin Frank Juice runs out, I’m using the bottle to create my own super grow spray 😀  It will be a mix of the following:

Aloe Vera (99.7 aloe vera juice)

a bit of olive oil

rosemary oil

tea tree oil with lavender extract

peppermint oil (maybe)

water

mix all of that together and put into the spray bottle for a daily spray for my lovely locks.  Sounds like a good plan!  Peppermint stimulates the scalp, rosemary aids in growth, olive oil is rich, should be an all-star lineup 😀  I’ll let you all know how that goes!  Got any homemade concoctions you just adore and can’t live without??

hair hero: my late, great sweetie Michael Jackson in his afro days

Trying new things

See this pretty hair here??  It’s going to be mine very soon 😀  It’s a WIG and a very very good one at that…..Looks awesome and real to me 😀  woot, can’t wait!  Debating if I should get dark brown or jet black.  decisions, decisions.  I’ve had plenty of wigs before, but never curly, always straight.  Well, one was a bit wavy, that I talked about in my Halle Berry hair post, but mostly just straight wigs.  I’ll do an impromptu photoshoot with my new powershot when i get the wig! 😉

Did my hair today, twisted my whole head by myself 😀  goooooo me!   I first washed with my Pure Life Aloe shampoo/conditioner, saturated my hair in olive oil and my new BWC Moisture plus conditioner, then used the Giovanni leave in conditioner and coconut oil.  Twisted the hair with blended beauty and sprayed with the Qhemet Karkady tea mist.   Whew!  I didn’t do it in any special neat way, just grabbed hunks of hair and twisted.  I’m not planning on wearing my hair like this, want to do a twist out tomorrow with my sparkly happy new year head piece!  For now it’s just under my satin bonnet saturating in moist goodness 😀

Okay, reviews:

BWC moisture plus conditioner:  Not impressed, honestly.  I absolutely HATE the smell.  Oh my goodness, I was in the shower just suffering, and I have a MASSIVE bottle of the stuff 😦  For all of you people who enjoy floral scents, you may like it, it’s like straight lavender scent and I can not STAND floral scents, just NO.  DO NOT LIKE.  😦  Wasn’t much slip either, so really no reason to stock up on it.  I mixed with the olive oil and it turned out pretty soft, but I’m not super impressed with the conditioner.   Overall Grade: C-

Karkady Tea Mist:  No strong scent, just wet good moisture!  I give it an A, it does what I want which is spray moisture onto my hair.  I like it enough, but I’ll probably just use the bottle afterwards for water to resaturate my hair when I am styling it and stick to Oyin juices for moisture simply because I love the scents of them 😀  Both are same price, $11 so no biggie.  It’s great for having in braids though, easily moisturizes the hair and the nozzle is boss!

Giovanni leave in:  also not impressed.  It just seemed to sit on my hair, white and wet with the water.  Maybe if my hair were more dry?  I used it instead of the Kinky Curly Knot Today because kckt didn’t seem to play well with my blended beauty cream when I tried to do fingercoils.  Didn’t feel all that moisturized with it either 😦  Hair felt dry when I had to keep rewetting to twist.  So….I guess this gets a D until I try again.

Here’s pics after the twist job.  I just grabbed and twisted, so some places have bigger patches of scalp showing, i’m not balding! lol

Hair is growing nicely, I stretched one lock at back of head and here’s were it’s at:

Yay! New things galore

I’m a happy girl 🙂  Got the mail and my check was inside!  That took a weight off of my shoulders, can finish my little bit of xmas shopping and now have enough for my student loan payment Jan 4th…WOOO.  Not only that, of course with each check I have to go out and to the health food store for more hair products! lol, it’s a sickness, I know.  Bought $30 worth of stuff, 3 items:  Virgin coconut oil, Joie African Shea Butter Superlite, and Giovanni Direct Leave-In organic conditioner.    I will give product ratings once I try them out, will wash my hair on christmas eve so that it’s pretty and fresh for the holiday.

Then I got home and was relaxing, doorbell rang and VOILA, my beautiful accessories from forever 21!!!!  Yay, they all look so pretty 😀  Some of the headbands, well the sparkly silver one in particular, is so tight on my temples…will have to try to stretch that out a bit, can’t get a headache trying to be cute!  no ma’am, not this girl.  Here’s a photo show of my hair accessories like I said I would update 😀

First cowash only and finger coils

I decided to cowash my hair only and not use the shampoo, see if that made any change.  My hair didn’t feel much different, I think because that shampoo is SO mild, such natural good ingredients.   Anway, just cowashed by smearing in the shea butter conditioner in and massaging my scalp a bit.  Rinsed that out, poured in some olive oil and added coconut milk conditioner to that.  Let that sit and marinate while I did normal showering, rocking out to the always present iPod on my handy ipod stereo.  Michael Jackson, Gucci Mane, Duffy, all fun shower buddies, lol.

I think that I used more olive oil last Sunday when I washed my hair, it felt more silky then.  I’ll have to try that, not be stingy with the extra virgin olive oil.  I’m looking at the bottle now and it doesn’t look like I even used any, dunno why I’m acting like I have to hoard it, we’re in a recession but I think I can manage to stay out the poor house if I use a little more oil 😉   Rinsed that out, finished and finger combed Kinky Curly Knot Today through for softness and as a leave-in conditioner.

Faced with the wet mop on my head, I decided to finger coil the front half again with fantasia ic gel. Sprayed with Frank Juice afterwards.  I don’t know why, I try to do them tightly, but it never sticks tight at the roots 😦  womp womp!  So it appears puffy at roots but smooth spirals the rest of the way.  I’ll have to figure it out next time

bought fun new headbands from forever 21 online !! can’t wait until they get here, will post pics wearing the headbands when I get them, but here’s what I bought:

clip for side of hair

hair hero:  this great style is awesome! I want to rock it one day

Braids out, Fro in

Spent all day taking my kinky twists out yesterday…whew, feels good to get those suckers off of my face and everything 😀  I thought I wouldn’t like my hair when I cut it a couple of months ago, but I must say, it’s nice not to have ish on my face that I just have to pull back anyway.

Woke up today and followed the oil rinse steps here: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=59556&highlight=Oil+rinsing which is basically to do the following:

1. Rinse (or shampoo) your hair (I used my new Pure Life soap co aloe 2 n 1 shampoo/conditioner.  Smells really good and is nice and creamy.  Felt nice and rich.  Amazing ingredients, not harsh at all)
2. Coat in your favorite oil (I used extra virgin olive oil and my hair felt the most soft that it ever has in LIFE)
3. Apply conditioner (I used my organix coconut conditioner and went to heaven.  smells like coconut cake, I wanted to stay in the shower all day with that delicious smell.  Hair felt soft and lush still because I let conditioner soak with the olive oil on my hair.  Definitely will do that everytime I wash, mix the conditioner and olive oil.)
4. Rinse with cool/cold water

5. Apply leave-in (I used kinky curly knot-today, also smells great 🙂 )

I also did a tea tree cholesterol after the conditioner, but I’m not sure that my hair liked that.  It felt softer and stuff without, so I think that I will do all of the steps next time without doing the cholesterol.

Hair smelled and felt terrific, sniff sniff 🙂  here’s my wet and extra curly hair (I snipped some of those straight ends that can be seen in the pic, I realize that the beautician didn’t get ALL of the straight pieces when she did my big chop)

curly wet hair

went by the steps in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjdcJIKIRjg for finger coils, no way was I doing my whole head, would have taken forever!  I did the front because I unfortunately think that I heat damaged my hair when I had a sew in a couple of months ago when I went to New York, not knowing all of the hair info that I know now about heat settings and flat ironing.  Stupid me, so the front isn’t as curly as the rest 😦  😦    I did the front half of my hair with the coils with fantasia IC gel and let the rest be the curly mop that it is.  Love that gel, it’s not stiff and smells AMAZING.  I’m glad i got a HUGE tub of it for $4

finger coiled front

I then sprayed Oyin Frank Juice all over and sealed with an olive oil mix.  Come tomorrow once it’s all dry, I’ll undo the coils and toss on a headband 🙂   These pics don’t do it justice, it’s full small spirals and quite cute, I wish that I could make the images look like real life.  oh well!

You?? Natural?? *LE GASP*

My friends were all shocked that I would do such a thing as go natural with my hair, seeing as to how I was the main one discouraging them from doing it at any given point.  Guess the me of yesteryears is totally different from the me of today.  With growth comes change!  I used to have thick, pretty, luscious hair down to my bra strap, even voted best hair in 6th grade by my class *takes bow*  “thank you, thank you”.  Had been getting relaxers for years, but a mild one and my hair was fine.  Then my sophomore year in high school, my aunt started in the hair industry and my mom took me to her for my hair and let’s just say, BIG mistake…shedding, broken off pieces, too much spritz, too much gel…I had to cry in the sink as I washed my hair and it fell out, rinsed away in the soapy suds down the drain.  I had to get it cut to almost my shoulders, lots of inches and layers.  Then my hair was burned by crimping irons and destroyed, like it needed MORE trauma.  After ups, downs, bobs, weaves, wigs, braids and everything else, I decided enough was enough.  Haven’t relaxed my hair since December 2008 and let it grow until September then voila!  CHOP.

My hair is now in the lil headband, a cute baby lamb fro 🙂  I bought the 4A hair curly products kit from curlmart and had my mom twist it when I wash it or do little braids so that I can unravel and have some curls. Its fun, but i decided to switch it up a bit.

Mid october I decided to get kinky twists so that it can grow and I’d have a bit of variety.  I make sure to moisturize everyday because my hair is a black pit when it comes to moisture, just soaks it up and makes it appear as if it was never there to begin with.  I am excited to be on the natural journey, especially after seeing all of these amazing pictures of hair.  I’m not sure that we have the same type of hair and if it’s possible, but Tracie Thoms is my hair hero and I want mine just like hers.

This big bouncy fro is also MARVELOUS

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