Corinne Bailey Rae Hair Inspiration

*edit: We have a new home!  www.socialitedreams.com

The lush, full, bouncy, beautiful curls of Corinne Bailey Rae are calling my name!  Her mane is  thick, lovely, and a perfect example of big hair, don’t care gorgeousness 🙂

As many of you know, because I incessantly talk about it here and on twitter, I will be going to New York to see the true diva Miss Diana Ross in concert next month.  Can’t go see her in action without looking perfectly coiffed! This will be the perfect reason to do something that I’ve never done and get a full head sew-in so that I can have some big bouncy hair as well 🙂  In my opinion, Corinne’s hair is something of a modern, more defined version of Diana Ross’ signature big hair.

I’ve had sew-in hairstyles before, just never a FULL HEAD sew-in.  Generally some hair was left out when I was relaxed, which made it blend in with the added weave/extensions.  What I am wondering now is how will a full head sew in look, since I don’t plan on having my hair out?  Any of you ever had a full sew in?  What did you think of it? I’m also curious on what hair to buy to achieve that fluffy soft style, any suggestions?   And if you are in Chicago and know of anyone who’s awesome at doing the style, PLEASE let me know 🙂

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Kinky Curly Curling Custard pt II

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The other day I blogged about trying kinky curly custard for the first time, liking the results but knowing that I could have done better with the product.  A helpful reader, Farah, linked us to a video of her using the kccc and it greatly helped me for the second application!  The key was to brush the curls with the gel in, with a denman brush (or paddle wig brush which is what I used, but I plan to get a denman) to make the curls spring to form and distribute the product throughout.  What a difference it made!

Diane Wig Brush

So let’s have this picture step by step shall we?  First up, I did a pre-poo (pre-shampoo treatment to moisturize and condition the hair to prepare for the drying nature of shampooing) with olive oil, coconut oil, and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose.  I then washed my hair with Trader Joe’s Tingle Tree shampoo and conditioned with the V05 passionfruit smoothie conditioner.

Hair straight out of the shower:

Then I scrunched in Kinky Curly Knot Today in sections with the hair soaking wet.

Taking the paddle brush, I brushed that through a bit to make sure that it got to all of my curls.  Now it was time for the Curling Custard!  I also applied it in sections, smoothing some on in an area and then brushing it through while making sure that the hair was still super wet.  There was a cup of water on the sink that I used to pour more water into my hair if I felt that it wasn’t soaking wet.  By brushing, I noticed that the curls popped to become much more defined and the results were a super curly pretty head of hair:

So I am very happy with the product now that I’ve figured out how to best use it.  That brush can make all of the difference if you have a distinct curl pattern and want to make the curls stand out.  My cousin liked it so much that she is on her way over so that I can do her hair too! Lol, there’s a referral 😉

After the hair dried:

And what’s even better is that I got super cute SECOND day hair!  My hair NEVER looks the same the 2nd day with a wash-n-go, only if I do twistouts, so I was very very pleased to wake up and take off the bonnet to find my hair looked pretty much the same 😀  Just fluffed with Shea Moisture Curls Smoothie and kept it moving right on out the door!  Total win, so easy.

Thumbs up for the Kinky Curly Curling Custard, I think I’ve found a holy grail item!  Hope this helps those with questions on its use 🙂

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Post Braids Healthy Hair Regimen

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A few days ago I took down the cornrows because they were a bit back heavy and giving me a headache.  No good, right?  Especially seeing as to how I started a new job (YAY!!) and needed to have my wits about me, not worrying about an aching head.

A good start that I followed so as not to have tangles from dead hair build up and dirt from the braids was to comb through with my fingers and then a wide tooth comb as I took down every braid.  This is VERY important to do BEFORE washing your hair post braids because let me tell you, it is NOT fun or a pretty sight to step into the shower and get the hair wet only to have it turn into massive dreadlock -type balls of tangled hair, dirt, and product build up.  My mother had braids for the first time a couple of months ago and she did not detangle well before getting in the shower (I wasn’t home to tell her this vital step, she thought she could just hop into the shower and wash her hair as normal) and let’s just say her thoughts about doing a big chop and going natural like me became a reality a LOT quicker than she’d imagined.  She emerged with matted clumps of hair that even her stylist couldn’t detangle, so chop chop and now my mama is officially a natural diva like yours truly.   It just so happened that she had a somewhat short haircut anyway, likes short hair and planned to chop at some point, but BE CAREFUL because there won’t be that silver lining for you if you had no plans to cut your hair and then NEED to.

Mama's new haircut

After detangling well, I deep conditioned to soften my hair by applying Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, olive oil, and coconut oil for approximately 30 minutes.  This step is great because it pampers your hair after being tucked away for a while, moisturizes, and like I said, it makes it soft and lush for the washing aspect.  This was followed by Trader Joe’s Tingle Tree shampoo because I wanted to get my scalp all invigorated and clean.  I love the fact that it actually does make your skin tingle!  Wash well to get any residue from having those braids and then smooth lots of conditioner through the hair (I used a combination of Aubrey Organics GPB and Suave Almond and Shea Butter).  Let this work its magic while you shower as normal and maybe do a body polish/scrub.  Use a shower comb and gently comb through while the conditioner is in the hair to make sure that there are no matted or tangled bits (there shouldn’t be any if the other steps were followed correctly; my hair was so easy to handle by this point).

Voila, soft healthy hair post braids!  No need to chop off sections or cry because of the nightmare of trying to detangle a matted ball of curls. Just diligently work with it as you go and then there’ll be no horror movie ending for your tresses.  I then dried my hair some by plopping a t-shirt on my hair to soak up some of the water so that I could twist my hair while damp and not sopping wet.  Using Qhemet Biologics Olive and Honey balm, I made small twists all over my head as a protective style.  I left these in for a couple of days, pinning back the front in a cute style for work and then untwisted and fluffed for the weekend (I can wear my hair in a twist out for work, I just wasn’t going to untwist them that soon since it takes me a while to twist because I have bad shoulders).  Easy peasy, hair is healthy and growing.

Hopefully this is helpful for those who are thinking about getting braids!  These steps made the post-wash and detangle session a breeze.

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Summer Cornrows

The ultimate bane of my hair’s existence seems to be single strand knots.  These tiny “fairy knots” are when curly hair tangles on itself and creates almost impossibly small knots along the hair shaft.  For me, it’s partially because I have “hands in hair” syndrome, lol, where I can’t stop patting and playing in my soft curls.  So to overcome that, which leads to me popping off hair strands with the knots, I’ve decided to get cornrows for a while.  Cornrows are a protective style that hides the hair’s natural ends and therefore lets it grow without tangles.

While in the cornrows, I will be spritzing everyday with my aloe grow concoction to stimulate my scalp.   What are some of your favorite protective styles??

Her Royal Flyness

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For anyone who may have taken my card today at the Natural Hair Meetup Chicago at the Little Black Pearl and wanted to know where I purchased my super fly t-shirt, here is the link: http://boutiqueunique.spreadshirt.com

Updates and Reviews

Starting Weight: 186

Now Weight: 184

I have a gym setup in my house that includes weights, an elliptical, an ab lounger, fitness quality jump rope, and dvds such as hip hop abs and celebrity bootcamp, so those will be the main things that I utilize for workouts and mention on the blog.  Since dedicating to getting healthier on Saturday, I used the elliptical for 30 mins and the ab lounger for many repetitions , all while watching Law & Order to distract me from the fact that I was doing a dreaded workout 😛  I find that music is cool to work out to, but watching tv DEFINITELY makes the time go by much more quickly.  Which do you prefer, music, television, reading, silent meditation,  etc while working out?

A good resource that I’ve come across for tracking your progress while losing weight, getting healthy  is the website http://sparkpeople.com/ It tracks calories, progress, fitness, and gives good tips so I would highly recommend it.  Just remember to keep it updated!

On to beauty and hair product reviews 😀  I know that’s what you want!

Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme - Hand Cream - Burt's Bees

I have found the key to satiny soft hands!   Burt’s Bees Almond Milk beeswax hand creme is pure heaven because it smells good, feels like lush creamy goodness, AND garners awesome results.  My hands take a beating in the winter because of the harsh cold winds of Chicago, so it’s nice to pamper them with something that leaves the skin feeling healthy and moisturized.  Wish that I’d had this for the winter!  A+ for this product all of the way.  I purchased mine while at the Cracker Barrel waiting to eat, but it can be found online or anywhere that Burt’s Bee’s products are sold such as Walgreens.

Since my hands are looking and feeling so much better, I’ve been on QUITE the nail polish kick, changing the color practically every other day.  Part of that changing so often is because of my general restlessness with one look, but another is the annoying fact that so many polishes chip if you happen to even LOOK at your nails the wrong way.  So annoying, right ladies?  Well, Sally Hansen has created a godsend for those of us who may want a nail look to last for more than half an hour.  Their new Complete Salon Manicure really does have the effect of a base coat, rich polish, and top coat in one.  This stuff LASTS!  So far I’ve purchased in Choco-latte and Hidden Treasure.  Hidden Treasure is fun because it’s clear with flecks of grey, pink, gold depending on how you look at it and works wonders when used as a top coat over something else.  When I went to Jamaica last week, I put on a cream colored base coat with Hidden Treasure on top and it lasted the whole trip of 4 days and beach fun.   Definite A+ on this line of products as well and I WILL be getting many more of the colors which can be seen here: http://www.sallyhansen.com/product.cfm?product=385

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish, Choco-Latte

Remember when I posted about starting to take biotin to help my hair continue to grow?  Well dear readers, I am one of those people who had the unfortunate side effect that they say can happen, which is broken out skin 😦  I’ve curtailed my usage of the supplement because it has caused a massive slew of bumps along my jawline and on my cheeks.  NOT a good look, especially when my hair has been healthy anyway and not really needing the extra help.   So I just wanted to give the update that Biotin is not the route for me, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you because different bodies react differently to it 🙂

Now about this huge head of hair I am growing.  My beloved Qhemet’s Amla and Olive heavy cream is running low, so of course I had to go to the health foods store and replace it.  While there, I happened to notice Qhemet’s Olive and Honey Hair Balm and a light bulb went off.  I’d spoken “here” about wanting to incorporate honey into my summer program because honey is a humectant and therefore takes moisture from the air and imparts it into the hair!  So when I saw that, I bypassed the heavy cream which may be a bit much for the summer humidity and grabbed up the olive/honey balm.   Can I just say, this stuff is divine?  PARTY time, I LOVE Qhemet’s 😀  Hair is soft and pretty and smells nice.  So far I’ve just added some to dry hair that was in an old twist out, but when I was my hair tomorrow, I will use it out of the shower for a wash and go and see how that works and to do some two strand twists.  I have high hopes on it’s moisture potential!  😀

hair hero: Singer Nneka (Check her out here: LOVE this song – Heartbeat)

2nd Natural Hair Meetup – Chicago

This past Saturday Leila of http://www.bglhonline.com hosted the second Chicago natural hair meetup and it was so much fun!  The first meetup was more a meet and chat type event, where we sat and shared hair tips/stories/questions while munching on muffins and goodies.  THIS meetup was a vendors paradise however because there were about 11 vendors and all of the wonderful natural hair girlies showed up to buy things and get information.  The turnout was much larger this time too; there were about 30 people last time and I’d say over 100 this time!  Great fun 😀

I was selling www.biggirlcosmetics.com makeup and we did well.  You all KNOW that I love me some makeup so it was enjoyable to describe it and do makeovers on people or color match them.  Congrats to my boss, the owner of the line, Kiley Russell because Big Girl Cosmetics just got picked up by 20 Macy’s stores!  And the new retail location should be opening in Hyde Park Chicago this summer like July.  Maybe Michelle Obama will come home and let me do her makeup 😛

What really made the event so fun is getting to know my fellow beautiful naturals.  So laid back and easy going with sharing information!  And just genuinely happy to see each other succeed, talk about sisterhood camaraderie!  Everyone was buying up makeup and jewelry, squealing over each other’s hairstyles and asking tips, complimenting, and just joking around while having fun 😀  I loved it!  There is supposed to be another one at the beginning of July and needless to say I’ll be there bright and early.

Fabulous chicas mingled with at the event:

Bree of Shop Boutique Unique She’s funny and cool, I love hanging with her at the meetups!  I seriously wanted to buy up ALL of her jewelry, it’s so beautiful and she even handpaints and makes so much of it.  Just GORGEOUS things, check out her store by clicking the link.  Aren’t these pretty?

Image of Branch Earrings

Patrice of Afrobella She is beyond sweet and down to earth, even though she’s a big time blogger for VOGUE black now!!  Couldn’t have happened to a better person 🙂  I wish her luck on her blogger journey, doing it big girl!  Keep it up 😀

Chris-Tia, author of “Thank God I’m Natural” This lady is a total class act.  Super nice and just BEAUTIFUL, I loved her hair.  I meant to ask where she got it done because it was comprised of intricate twists, but probably not done in Chicago 😦  She signed books for me and my boss, just a total doll 😀

Photos from the event:

Big Girl Cosmetics Table

the fabulous Bree of Shop Boutique Unique

Me and Chris-Tia author of "Thank God I'm Natural"

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