Oct 29, 2012

BABY LUV: Two Strand twists on a 2 year-old, tips & tricks

4 new bows and headbands from Adorably Bowed - she was excited!
Last year, I posted about how difficult it was to comb and style my two-year old goddaughter, Thalia's, hair. She just wasn't down for it! But now that she's a little older it's a bit easier to do her hair. But her mother and I have some tips and tricks to make the experience a bit easier. Below are pics of Thalia's first two strand twist and the story on how it came to be.

This time around, we came with another approach for getting her to sit for an hour while I detangled and twisted her hair. I'd just came from the African Street Festival, and I had a bunch of pretty new bows from Adorably Bowed for her hair. Thalia is all about clothes, shoes, and bows, so these new accessories bought delight to her two-year-old heart. All she kept saying was, "Hair, aunty? Hair!" So I asked her if she wanted me to do her hair and she said "yes!"

Giving a 2 year old a choice is a big deal. She understood that she wanted to wear her new bows, and she knew that she had to sit down for this process to happen. So, we got her chair, put on a movie, and got to work. Moms and dads, you have to put on that favorite movie. That favorite movie will get you at least 15-20 good minutes of detangling time.

Next, you have to get a good dantangler. My favorite detangler (for kids) is Soft & Beautiful Just For Me 2-in-1 Conditioning Detangler (above). The Just for Me detangler is the best detangler I've used for children's hair! It brings shine and really helps to separate any knots or kinks. Thalia's hair is past her shoulders when stretched, but her 4b coils shrink right up to her ears when wet. Braiding her hair causes her to have more knots but 2-strand twists have proved to protect her curls, make the mornings easier for styling, and keep away knots.

By the half-hour point, she was restless. The movie wasn't keeping her attention so I had to resort to another technique: SNACKS! Cookies & Cream Goldfish Grahams and a sippy cup full of juice gave me another 15 minutes to start the back part of her hair. When installing a time-consuming style like 2-strand twists, this is the time to allow you child to have treats they don't normally eat. Doing this makes the experience special and she'll want to do it again.

The last 20 minutes were torture (in her toddler mind)! The snacks were gone and the movie was done. Her brother had went out to play and she wanted to go too. So, I gave her a break. A 15 minute break to go play. I also took this time to give her encouraging words, "You are SOOOO pretty! You hair is gonna be GORGEOUS! Aren't you being a BIG GIRL!" We, then, revisited those new bows. You have to remind toddlers of the goal. She didn't want to sit back down, but we powered through and finished the job.

Another technique I used was letting her twist her own hair. Although her coordination rendered no result, the feeling she had from helping me do her hair was undeniable. She kept saying, "Twist, twist, twist!" and I could tell this simple action was increasing her independence and her confidence. 

So, the whole process took about an hour and half (with breaks and a short crying spell), but we finished. This was the first time she'd had her hair in a style that she could shake. She was swinging her hair back and fourth loving the feeling of her individual twists. Since then, she's been wearing her hair twisted consistently. She even wore her hair twisted for her birthday party at school. I hope this story helps you when you have to braid, twist, or style your little one's hair.

Oct 24, 2012

Product Review: Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Shampoo and Conditioner

Can you tell by the picture that I've used these products more than once? I wanted to be sure of my review.  I gave Trader Joe's a try because they are all about value and quality. This product is not marketed for curly, coily hair. (Trader Joe's doesn't really market much at all). But I like searching for products that are not specifically marketed towards kinky or curly hair. Many brands have discovered that there is money to be made in natural hair care products I'm hesitant to try because they are $22.00 a bottle for chemical-based products.

That being said, let's get to the review. On the label of Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing Shampoo, the first ingredient is purified water. This is followed by organic rosemary oil, organic valencia orange citrus and several other organic ingredients.... and then way down towards the end of the list there are the chemical additives. That's where you find C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate. And a couple of parabens. So although the label boasts that it does not contain laurel/laureth sulfates, it does contain a smaller quantity different form of sulfate. I think this would qualify the shampoo as a "low-poo" (A low-poo is a shampoo containing smaller quantities of sulfate.)

The Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Balanced Moisturizing Conditioner has identical organic ingredients. If you take away 2 cleansing ingredient and add alcohol and a moisturizer, you have your conditioner. Both are lightly scented.

Clean, conditioned hair. I used a "low-poo" and I'm still alive!

The Good

  • The first time I DESPISED the shampoo. But on the second use, I used shampoo with the conditioner and a deep conditioning pack of another brand. I must say, my hair tolerated the shampoo a lot better when I used it with the Nourish Spa conditioner. 
  • My hair was clean after the first shampoo, and stripped clean after the second shampoo. Moderate the amount of use to avoid stripping hair. Because this shampoo contains so many organic essential oils, the sulfonate is more tolerable (at least for MY hair).
  • The conditioner works fairly well. It's wet enough to be distributed easily through dense hair and provides enough slip to detangle.
The Not So Good
  • One word: Sulfonate
  • The conditioner could be a little less watery. I've lost more than I would like to in the drain because it slipped through my fingers or slid off my palm.
The Other
  • Trader Joe's is a cool place to shop. However, these stores are not easily accessible. I bought both products for about $3.00 in the Nashville location. If you don't live near a Trader Joe's, you can always shop at the Trader Joe's Amazon Store. They sell these online for a mere...... $10.00+shipping per bottle. (For the record, my puff and talked it over. We agreed that I would not pay $10.00 + shipping for this slightly sulfated shampoo.)

So there you have it. These (like many products) work well when used together. My hair doesn't like sulfates, but this one wasn't so bad. The shampoo cleans and the conditioner moisturizes. But that's like getting a 79.99 on a test. You know that's a B, which would be fine, if you didn't know there were A's out there. 

Don't let me be the only voice here. Have you tried this product? Did you love it, like it, or... not so much? Comment below.

Oct 23, 2012

HAIR LUST: Lovely Red Dawn

What words can I use to describe to explain the awesomeness of this picture. I'm loving the length of her hair and the color. Not to mention, the texture (it's just like my texture) and it's so long! She's defintiely going on my vision board - to keep me focused on my hair goals. Are you loving her look?

Oct 22, 2012

Curly Hair Growth Chart by NaturallyCurly.com

So, NaturallyCurly.com came up with this COOL info-graphic about what . . . curly hair growth! It's a great way to remind yourself about your hair growth goals and not get so caught up when your hair isn't growing as fast as quickly as you'd like. ENJOY!

Oct 19, 2012

Roots 'n Rhythm: Soul II Soul "Back to Life"

I loved it when Soul II Soul hopped up on the scene in the late 80's!  Their sound was so fresh.  It was neat to see how other brothers and sisters across the pond got down.

To this day I still love lead singer Caron Wheeler's sultry voice and style.  She had some of the funkiest headwraps and accessories to accentuate her beautiful long locks.

Get into this 80's flashback of Soul II Soul's classic jam "Back to Life" and have yourselves a great weekend.

Oct 17, 2012

Celeb Style: Danai Gurira

Check out Danai Gurira at the Elle Woman of the Year Awards 2012. She is looking white-hot on the red-carpet rocking her gorgeous skin and fly natural hair.

Not familiar with this talented actress? Well, she currently has a role on The Walking Dead. Her parents are from Zimbabwe but she was born in Iowa.

How cool does she look in this dress, though!?

Product Review: Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream

I love that I have a curlBox subscription.  It's fun to get a package in the mail every month (even if it is basically from myself because I pay $20 a month for it).  One of the cool things about it is that you get full size products as well as trial sized samples (as Melissa pointed out recently in this video).  A few months ago I received a full size bottle of Cantu's new Coconut Curling Cream in one of my curlBox's.  This came just in time because I was having no luck in finding Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie anywhere.

I have seen the above empty shelf at least seven times in one week trying to find Curl Enhancing Smoothie, no lie.  I figured since the Naturalistas of this town didn't want my hair to be great and must have bought two bottles at a time (kidding), I might as well give the Coconut Curling Cream a try.  I am glad that I did because it worked in a pinch...with a bit of help. 

Cantu's Coconut Curling Cream is an okay moisturizer for my hair but it needs assistance.  I can't just use any leave in conditioner with it. I have to use one with a good amount of slip that defines my curls. For some reason my hair doesn't readily absorb it as it does the Curl Enhancing Smoothie.  I have to work it in with a little bit more water than usual as well.   It doesn't exactly define my curls but perhaps if I didn't wear my hair in a way where I rely on curl definition, maybe that wouldn't be an issue.  All is not lost though. When I need a substitute, it does the job. I'd be interested in using it along with their leave in conditioner to see if it works better.  It's pretty thick so a little goes a long way.  I enjoy the smell (I am a big coconut fan), the consistency, and definitely the price at  $7.99.

So if you too have a problem finding Curl Enhancing Smoothie or just on the market for a new moisturizer, I  recommend giving the Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream a go.  And hey if you try it, let us know if it worked for you.

- Good price and availability
- No sulfates, parabens, silicone, or mineral oil
- A little goes a long way

- Had to really work it into my hair
- Left my hair a little dull by the third day

Oct 16, 2012

Beauty Review: EssenceTree Body Scrubs

Have you heard of EssenceTree? No?! Well let me introduce you. EssenceTree, meet NIN readers. Readers, meet EssenceTree.

EssenceTree makes a range of products: facial care, hair oils, body butters, and soap. These are handmade and natural products. I've smelled most of their scents and everything I've inhaled smells absolutely divine. (But truth be told, I'm a sucker for natural products that don't smell like dirt. Sue me.)

This post is about the body scrubs. I have been using the scrubs for months.  Since winter is on it's way I figure you shouldn't cuddle up to someone with fresh coconut oil in your hair while your skin feels like sandpaper. II thought this would be a great time of year to add the scrubs to my permanent routine. Each scrub is made with minerals salts, organic sugar, plant oils, Shea butter, organic Castile soap and organic botanicals, your skin is sure to be exfoliated and loved unlike ever before (source)

Here's my take on their body scrubs:

The Good
  • They smell amazing. Sat Ra doesn't smell like any other product I've used, so there's nothing to compare it to. They also have a pineapple mango and a coffee scrub.
  • These scrubs serve their purpose really well. They effectively remove dead skin* and dirt while consistently leaving my skin feeling  fresh and new.
  • I feel like this lets me skip a couple of steps after a shower. I use these after cleansing. The scrubs are oils and salts and soap. So I get to clean, exfoliate, moisturize, and smell good. No lotion or sprays needed after a shower.
  • Two words: Natural. Ingredients.
  • This may fall under "other" to some, but I enjoy supporting a company that was started right here in Nashville and makes good, natural products. So yes, this is part of "the good".
The NOT SO Good
  • Plan on using this in the shower? Then you should also plan on having a hand rail, or some of those shower floor decals that prevent you from slipping and falling. Check the description above. This scrub contains oils. Granted, these oils are fragranced and make your skin feel AMAZING, but they also coat your shower floor. So have good balance. if you do not have good balance, then be careful. And remember to clean your shower after use.
  • That * earlier? Well * is because that is a good and bad thing. Unlike most other scrubs I use, this scrub has less... refined salts. At least I think refined is the word. They do effectively remove skin, but you don't actually have to SCRUB to do it. My first time using this scrub I accidentally rubbed myself red. I didn't have to try hard to overexfoliate. So be gentle with yourself. 
So there you have it. My review of EssenceTree body scrubs. The product is well worth the buy. I'm a repeat purchaser. I know these products are available in the Whole Body section at Whole Foods and at the EssenceTree Website.

Oct 15, 2012

Ashiya's Hair Diary: What Has Been Joined Together

If you're thinking of starting locs, the smartest thing you can do is take a picture of what you want your locs to look like when they are shoulder length with you.  This will give a good stylist the blueprint for forming your locs.  I was not so saavy at the time I started mine, so I did my best to describe them.  When I said "small in size", my stylist at the time took me literally.  Since then I've lost more locs than I care to remember simply because they were so thin.

Recently, a friend suggested that I combine some of my locs to make them stronger.  I really didn't consider it until I was introduced to singer-songwriter Valerie June. Valerie's locs are beautiful and their strength cannot be denied.  When I found out she combined some of her locs, I was all in! I started with two locs and over a three week period I had combined many of the locs in the front half of my head.  It was such an amazing difference!

While my locs won't be as full as Valerie's, I finally found  a good place for me.  Combining my locs changed the overall look of my hair AND it may have been what I needed to find real relief from chronic dry hair!  I can't believe I waited so long to give it a try.

Its going to take a bit of work to ensure the new locs form properly.  I've taken a cue from Chelsea Jackson of Chelsea Loves Yoga and look at the maintenance as a form of meditation

Maintenance became much easier after I watched this video from loc star, Chescalocs.  In this video, she shows how to smooth out frizzy locs and I love the trick for taming loose hair!  My "new locs" will be completely formed before we know it! 

VIDEO: October 2012 Curlbox Opening

Photo courtesy of KinkyHairAffair. Click the link to check out her review too!
YEAH! I finally received my October 2012 CurlBOX! For the last two months I was without a CurlBOX because my credit card was stolen and I had to go change my card info on all my subscription services. note to self: Keep a list of all services so when this happens again, you don't end up high and dry. Anyway, this October 2012 CurlBOX was all types of amazing! I can't wait to take down my Senegalese twists so that I can start trying these new products.

Instead of writing a long review of the box, I decided to do a video of the opening process. I intend to do a CurlBOX opening every month. Actually, the whole team receives the CurlBOX subscription so expect to see all of us giving you a review. Check it:

Oct 12, 2012

ROOTS & Rhythm: Elle Varner 'I Don't Care'

We've mentioned Elle Varner on the site numerous times. She's super cool, has a great voice, and awesome hair. I chose her newest video for Roots & Rhythm because it has lots of natural hair goodness and it gives us a good lesson on tolerance. From Essence.com: Elle Varner's newest video, "I Don't Care," preaches acceptance for all forms of love. The sexy video features three interracial couples, including one gay couple, who experience rejection and turmoil for their love. It's a really good song with great visuals to drive the point home: love is love is love!

Oh yeah, Elle is really riding the train to success - at the end of the year she'll be opening for Nas at Radio City Music Hall! Now that's cool!

Take a look at the video and tell us what you think in the comments section.

Oct 11, 2012

MODEL BEHAVIOR: Miss Black France Afro-Bikini Shoot

I love to bring the news from the international arena, especially when it come to fashion, style, and beauty.

Here we have the photo shoot for the Miss Black France 2012 contestants. Look at all this natural hair gorgeous-ness! I would have labeled this HAIR LUST, but it's really hair lust, body lust, and beauty lust! LOL. Really though, these ladies are gorgeous and I love the afro-bikini looks! Being a former pageant girl, I couldn't imagine (back then) doing a pageant wearing my NATURAL HAIR! Boy, times have truly changed. Very FLY!

For photos of  the rest of the contestants click here.

Oct 10, 2012

LINK LOVE: Tracey Ellis-Ross shares her natural journey


I don't know a natural-haired girl that doesn't (sometimes) wish for Tracee Ellis-Ross' awesome hair. The volume, the curls, the length are are LUST WORTHY! Well, I was happy to read that even as a hair icon, Tracee has had to learn some hard truths about her hair.

Below is the link to Tracee's interview with CurlyNikki.com. Here are some of what she said about her natural journey:

She hasn't been natural her whole life: "I have not always been natural. I had a relaxer in my hair during my teen years…well it was more of a texturizer than a relaxer.  But I started as a natural girl."

Her current hair care routine:  "My personal life is usually a bun, braids, or a blowout because it lasts for more days. I wash my hair with shampoo only once a week, but I will often wet my hair more times than that. If I’m getting a blowout, I always get a fresh wash.  I prefer hair that is not coated and weighed down, I get better curls the less product I have in my hair and I get a better blow out the less product I have in my hair."

Even Tracee has bad hair days: "I’ve had some really bad moments, I was going to a dinner party for a friend’s birthday, and I don’t know what it was, but like my back section looked really good, but the top became this weird puff of horridness and I figured out this way to kind of twist the front of my hair and create a poof. It looked good with the naked eye in the mirror. I caught a glimpse of a photograph however and I was like what the heck was I doing?!"

Go to CurlyNikki.com to read more . . .

Oct 8, 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner

I figure since I've been rocking these Senegalese twists for 6 weeks I should tell you all about the products I use to keep my hair looking good.

Like Candice just posted in her post, Happily Weave-less, she experienced EXTREME dryness when she removed her extensions. Her condition is a big problem that many will face. Adding weave or extensions to your hair sometimes causes one to forget that their own hair needs care too. In addition, certain types of artificial hair and human hair extensions can pull moisture from the hair shaft. The longer you have your weave, braids, or extensions installed the bigger chance you have for having some really dry hair when you remove your installation.

My hair is super-dry by nature so I must make sure to moisturize my hair when I have braids installed. My new and favorite moisturizer is Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner. A friend gave me the stuff as a gift. I'm not one to go ga-ga over name brand natural hair products, but this is one (of two) Carol's Daughter products I'd swear by (the other is the mimosa hair honey, I'll write about that later).

Usually I wouldn't be all gung-ho about a water based leave-in conditioner but a water-based conditioner is the best way to replenish dry strands underneath artificial hair. This kenekalon hair is plastic. You have to saturate each braid to make sure you real hair is getting care. What I loved about this stuff is the smell. I was told my hair smelled like cupcakes, pancakes, and vanilla pudding. Clearly, the vanilla smell is really potent in this mixture. My hair was super moisturized and the leave-in left my hair really pliable, not hard. If you are rocking braids, this is the best way to moisturize your hair, I guarantee it!

Here's the official list of ingredients: (No Parabens, No Petroleum, No Mineral Oil, No Artificial Colors)

Water (Aqua), Polysorbate 80, Glycerin, Panthenol ( Pro-vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Butylene Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Stem, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum)
The price is a bit steep, $14 per bottle, but when have you ever known Carol's Daughter to be affordable. Try finding a bottle on eBay, you may find a better deal there. I'm telling you, it's a great investment.


Candice's Hair: Happily Weaveless

So I finally finished taking my hair down. It took a lot out of me. I found the best way was to cut the twists close to where my real hair was, spray, and then detangle each individual twist as I took it down. It took about 6 hours to remove the twists, but I felt so victorious and I was happy to be back to my own hair.


But now I have a new battle. My hair is SO DRY after removing extensions. I sprayed my hair with a leave in conditioner while I had the twists, but I guess no regular conditioning treatments left my hair thirsty. Not just regular thirsty, either. I mean dehydrated, middle of the desert, 'seeing hot oil treatment mirages' thirsty. The day I took my hair down, I went to the African Street Festival (have you seen the pictures? Click here for our facebook album. Or here for the blog.).  My hair didn't fully dry and I was out in the sun and heat for hours. NOT a good idea for dry hair. This only increased my hair woes.

After hours and hours of deep conditioning. (Two sessions of at least 2 hours in a week).
Better, but I still have a ways to go. 
After hours of conditioning, protein treatments, and 2 washes. And no, my hair didn't get mushy. I'm not exaggerating on the thirst of my hair. It's getting back on track. My ends are still colored, so I have to be extra gentle with them in order to continue retaining length.

It's almost fall, and I'm excited style my REAL hair. So I plan to keep conditioning so my styling won't damage my hair. I'm also wondering how I can make some of the Marley twist styles I posted work for my thick, kinky hair.

STYLE TIPS: Styling Marley Braids... Again

It's been a while. I don't even have my twists in anymore. But I remembered I wanted to share more styles did want to post some of the styles that I remembered to take pictures of. This post is mostly of styles I wore when my neck and back needed to feel some fresh air. These will also work in the fall if you want to protect your ends from being damaged by your warm wool jackets and coats.

The Bun
There's the classic bun. Great for most hair types and keeps your
ends protected from your scarves and outerwear.

Twisted Swoop Bang
There is the twisted swoop. Just section of the front of the hair, and create 4-6 thick twists. Then swoop back into a twisted ponytail. Or an open ponytail. Or a messy bun. Endless possibilities.

Braided Bang
Then there's the front braid. Again, so much can be done with this. It can have the same styles as the twisted swoop. OR I even French braided hair from the back of my hair to the top, and created a swoop. (I forgot to take a picture, but it looked something like the picture below.)

Oct 5, 2012

FRIDAY FUN: Have you tried the NEWEST Natural Hair product?

Let me say that I WILL meet Franchesca Leigh Ramsey in person. I will dig her brain and she will teach me the ways of YouTube success and natural hair greatness! She will be my social media guru! LOL

But really, this girl is great and she has created a video with other natural hair gurus (HeyFranHey, Taren916, and the UrbanBushBabes) about a product that will ABSOLUTELY make your hair grow. I can't believe I didn't think of this! Wow these ladies are going to be raking in the dough! Will you purchase their new product?

Oct 4, 2012

DISCUSSION: When you man's hair looks better than your hair

After yesterday's Hair Lust post, I got to thinking about men with natural hair. The model in the Hair Lust photo has waist-length silky curls. His hair is LOVELY and it looks better than my hair on my best day. It got me to thinking, how do you feel when you man's natural looks better than your natural?

Let me preface this discussion by stating that I am not dating anyone right now, but the men I have dated have had LUST-worthy hair. Actually, they had lust-worthy hair without doing much work. They tend to use whatever shampoo is available (in your bathroom) or SOAP, whatever conditioner available, some kind of RANDOM pomade (filled with all the bad stuff us ladies try to stay from - mineral oil, SURE!), and they have this special brush that they use (which is a brush they've had since they were 14 years old). It doesn't take much time, but they come out the bathroom with their 'waves on swim', their curls are just popping, or their locs looking luxurious. Ugh, I hate it!

My brother has hair like this. It's JET BLACK, silky and just all around gorgeous. Sometimes he'll come home and declare, "I'm growing my hair out!" I usually respond by sucking my teeth and imploring to the Lord, why didn't I get the GOOD HAIR! But then I pull back and remind myself, all hair is good hair - lol. Anyways, 2 months later my brother goes from having barely a Caesar cut to having a 2 inch TWA filled with curls! Then he goes and just CUTS IT ALL OFF. The reason, "Man, hair is hot." I suck my teeth, again, and go back to my 4 hour wash/condition/pre-poo/home-made pomade routine. Men have all the luck.

As women who are living the chemical-free lifestyle, we put so much time into making our hair look 'good' and grow. Hey, that's the reason for this website. But, I tell you, when I run up on a guy with a head full of gorgeous curls and he tells me he doesn't even wear a satin cap when he goes to sleep - oooh I feel some kinda way! Maybe it's just me.

So, how do you handle it when your man's hair looks better than your hair? Do you take hair advice from him? Does he take hair advice from you?

Put your opinion in the comment box.

Oct 2, 2012

HAIR LUST: Dark chocolate love

Excuse me sir, can I chop your hair off and fashion it into some sort of wig/weave situation? Ladies, is this not the most gorgeous picture of natural hair goodness. I often talk about how men's natural hair just grows and they do NOTHING to it. They don't twist it, deep condition, do a secret chant over their hair, or anything. Men just leave their hair alone and it just GROWS! This is is hair lust INDEED!

Oct 1, 2012

Melissa's Hair: My Big Chop Mistakes

With this weave, I decided to transition in 2008
 I haven't posted a hair diary in months. Truth be told my hair and I were not getting along. I started a new workout regimen and I really didn't know how to deal with all this dense coily hair. I sweat in my scalp, so my stretched hair tends to shrink and tangle. Anyway, braids is where I live until November. So I thought, why not tell you about my transition/big chop story?

I started the transition process in 2008. I wore weaves (above) and after each installation I would chop an inch of my hair. By the summer of 2009 when I chopped all my perm off leaving me with about two inches of hair. How did I feel with my TWA? Shock is what I experienced! My hair was so short. Shorter than it had ever been. Then, it was really DRY! Being newly natural, I didn't know what to do. My permed hair was dry too, but I could mask it with oil sheen and all that jazz. 

I went to the Internet - further confusing myself! I have another post on the importance of taking advice of naturals with your similar hair type - because I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to get Taren's ringlets, Traci's volume, and Newly Natural's length. I wasn't listening to my hair so I went to what I know best - braids. I had micro braids installed and rocked them out for three months. The best way to deal with any situation is to avoid it - right? Lol!

Micro-braids - MY FAVORITE transition style
Finally, I thought I was ready to wear my hair. I took 12 hours to remove my micros. When finally removed, I made the ultimate mistake - I colored my hair with store bought box color. Now, I'm not saying coloring your hair is a bad thing, but ME coloring MY hair was a horrible decision. Most stylists tell you to allow a professional to color your hair. My hair doesn't do well with color - relaxed or natural. So what happened? I ended up having to cut all that color out of my hair. Lost about two DAMAGED inches. I retained no length and I felt like I was losing the battle of the natural hair.
September 2009 - My big chop - then had to chop the color off. :-(
However, one day it just clicked. After trying several routines, regimens and products, I listened to my hair and figured out what it liked. Each mistake was discovery that led to the best hair ever. My hair likes to be washed every 4 days, it likes silicones, it likes pomade style hair oil, it loves cream based hair products, it likes water, and it doesn't mind being in protective styles. Finding what worked for me was a JOURNEY (to say the least) but the journey left me with a wealth of info to share with you.

2011 - Finally got this thang right!
What is the future for my hair? After I remove my Senegalese twists I'm going to be braid free until next summer. My NEW plan is to dedicate my time to growing my hair and retaining length. This will be another journey, but at least I now know what direction to move in.

Summer 2012 - Oh! La Fro likes to be protected! My bun before getting braided up.
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