Almost a Year Down the Drain

Hey Twisties,

These past 11 months I have not been treating my hair the way it deserves. I am slightly disappointed in myself. I became truly complacent in my care and it is showing.

I haven’t done anything crazy like use heat and dyes that burned and killed my hair. I just have not been giving the needed attention. Not DCing as I should, relied way too much on my Denman brush, not properly using oils (rather not using any) and got off schedule with my 6 week protein treatments. The problem is I KNOW how to effectively take care of my hair. My hair has been thriving for two years. As I said earlier I’ve gotten complacent.

The changes I noticed are dullness in my hair, more single-strand knots; sometimes three and four knots on one strand!  Constantly battling frizzy dried tips that like to lock up with their neighbors and a slew of split ends! All of this is unacceptable. But, from the outside looking in everything was beautiful. I received constant compliments and comments on the fullness and health of my curls. The thing is I knew the potential of my curlies, and I knew how the ends should spring into a nice spiral at the end of a twist, not a micro-puff.

I also had to come to terms that my hair is at a length now where the wash-n-go can no longer be my everyday style. How I wore my hair a year ago just isn’t conducive to healthy hair at this length. My daily hairstyle was a true wash-n-go. I’d wet my hair apply a conditioning styling aid, brush through my hair to break up the curls and go. 15 minutes max on this style and I was out the door. No pin, clips, headband, just my fro, and I loved it. But what I did was sacrifice the wellbeing of my strands for time and convince. If you’ve been following this blog than you’ll know how much I value easy convenient hair care practices. I’m very low maintenance which has worked well in the past with minimal manipulation and such. But I have let the laziness with doing my hair get the best of me.

I believe the main culprit was the Denman brush, and I’m kicking myself for not heeding my own advice that I’ve gave Lisa a year ago about putting that damn brush down. I slipped into a spiral. Normally I could rock my WNG for a week without having to use any tools besides my fingers. However, when my ends started ragging up I found myself using the brush more often to help detangle and separate and prevent the curls from locking. My length retention has suffered, and I have been set back AT LEAST 6 months, with minimum retention and the need to trim the split ends.

So, I have trimmed my hair, but I need to put on my big girl panties and really trim what needs to go. Daily wash-n-gos and daily use of the brush are no more. My goal is to wear my hair stretch as often as possible to reduce sing strand knots. Get back into my weekly DCs and my protein treatments. I know with these minor changes but I’m confident that I will have significant results. I am committed to doing better.

I miss my hair.

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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My First Attempt at a Banut Knot-Out

Hey Twisties,

As long as I have been natural I have never attempted bantu knot-outs. One of the reasons why I waited so long was that I like volume, but controlled volume. When my hair was shorter my attempts of twist-outs were complete fails. I would need to apply several twist because the hair was too short to gather in bigger sections, causing a very tight twist pattern that didn’t have the length to weigh it down for more control, so ended up sticking every which way on my head.

While randomly browsing thru some YouTube channels I saw the video below, and figured now is as good a time as any to try the knot-outs, and it bacame my inspiration for my style.

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I had freshly cleansed and detangled hair that I let air dry in very loose two-strand twist without any product. I would take down one at a time spritz with water, a 50/50 olive & coconut oil mixture, applied a very light leave-in (I used Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner), and used about a nickel size amount of a butter (Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie). I chose to keep the products light to avoid product overload and weigh-down. I combed through with a wide tooth comb first, then a medium toothed comb and finally with my denmen brush. I really wanted to make sure my hair was fully detangled before twisting. I divided the hair in the size knots that I wanted.

I began by two-strand twisting and then wrapped the twist to form the knot. I should mention that before I started knotting I mapped the layout of the style. For what I had in mind it was just a matter adding a side part.

I ended up with 11 knots. The crown of my head had slightly larger twisted for volume and the knots that framed my face I deliberately twisted and knotted in a particular direction (I twisted on both sides of my head with the knots facing away from my face)

Once all knots were completed, I covered my hair with a satin bonnet and just kept it on until it was time for me to style my hair for a party the next evening. During the following afternoon I just threw on a beanie on top of my bonnet to run errands.

To unravel and untwist my hair I lightly coated my fingers with some oil as many twisting aficionados recommend to prevent frizz. I divide each unraveled knot into three to four additional sections to create the volume that I wanted. Did a little finger fluffing and couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.

I literally stared into my mirror asking myself why didn’t I try this before! I loved the final results and felt super sexy once dressed and makeup applied.

 

And you can tell the quality of the partying by the end of night hair! Even though I was only able to rock the style for a few hours, I will definitely do it again and check out how my second day hair turns out.

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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I Did It Again, Second Time This Year

 

Hey Twisties,

I celebrated my birthday in November and for my little get together I decided to straighten my hair professionally for the second time this year. I will not allow myself to do it more than twice a year and like to stick to a every 6 month schedule, but I didn’t. I straightend back in July and now in November, so that means for my 24 month mark next month, keeping it curly.

This saturday make two weeks that I was able to keep the blowout and haven’t used not one curling or flat iron since. As I’ve mentioned I love my hot rollers and used them exclusively during this time, to help prevent any heat damage from flat ironing and curling ironing daily to style. Rocking straigh hair was fun and had two weeks of 30 second styling hair if wanted but as always I miss my curls.

I will be trimming while straight this time. In the past I’ve always done it curly but it takes some time to get it completed, so I’ll see if I can trim this bad girl done in 30 minutes or less. I plan on taking off about an inch of hair, which is about two months growth for me. Followed by the Aphogee Two-Step Protien Treatment and a DC. Hopefully everything turns out right and my springy, coily, twisted self returns.

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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From Sticky To 2nd Chances

Hey Twisties,

Earlier this summer around late spring early summer I was home in RI on a visit. At Walgreens I ran across Shea Moisture’s Curling Soufflé with agave nectar and flax seed oil. Now if you’ve read this blog before than you probably know that I love love love flax gel, and even found a way to improve on it with my coconut milk gel. But the problem is there is a very short life span and doesn’t travel extremely well since I like to keep it in the fridge.  

I saw the consistency of this curling soufflé and figured that it could be a substitute for the gel, especially while on travel. Like all new products I test it on an approximately 1 inch piece of hair from my bangs. I like doing this because if it’s something that I don’t like I can was it out right away and also allows me to see the results front and center. So I applied a small bit of this on dry curls, worked it in and twirled the curl around my finger. The result was a heavy, limp, lifeless, sad little ringlet, but sticky as heck. At that point there was no reason for me to even test this product on the rest of my hair, I know by this sample test I wasn’t a big fan.

Fast forward 7 months later and I decided to revisit this product. Matter a fact I’ve forgotten about it until someone on fb mention her experience with it. So I dug out the jar again and took another approach to using it hoping for a better outcome. I wrote about my results here. Now the product is usable for me though in extremely small amounts and I mean very small. I use about a dime size for one half of my hair. I don’t think this will become a staple of mine but I am happy that I have figured out how to make it work for me.

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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Some Hair Cooperation

Hey Twisties,

I had a pretty good hair cooperation this morning. Technique wise I did my hair the same way but I did change up my products this morning. I used Shea Moisture’s Curling Soufflé, Nature’s Shine oil blend spray, Design Essentials Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion and my 50/50 mix of olive and coconut oils.

Let me back up a bit. Sometime this past summer I saw the Shea Moisture’s Curling Soufflé and saw the consistency which from the jar reminded me of flax gel and combined with the positive experiences I’ve had with Shea Moisture’s products I decided to pick up a jar and she how it went. I tried a small patch of the gel on my hair and immediately turned my curls limp and sticky. Very gross and very tacky to the touch. Never used it again. Until this morning.

Last night someone in one of the fb groups posted her results of this product and her outcome was similar to mine. She however, gave the product a second try changing up how she applied it and having her hair a wet state while she did.

Because I was too lazy last night to make a new batch of flax gel (which the previous was splattered across my bathroom floor) I decided if my curls need any extra oomph I’ll try the Curling Soufflé again. So what I did this morning was spray my hair down with water like normal, but instead of using the Soufflé straight from the jar, I added about a quarter size to my palm and added some of the moisturizing lotion to it in order to soften the product. I applied that to half my hair followed with my 50/50 oil. I repeated on the second side of my head, smooching the product in, in a downwards motion. I fingered styled my hair and finished off with the oil blend spray.

While styling I noticed that my hair was very full and it wasn’t even fully dried yet. Fast forward to mid-day and my hair is still looking pretty great and big. I will continue this combo for the rest of the week and see how it goes. I’m anticipating product buildup that will eventually turn my hair sticky, just based on the nature of this product. But like I say, we shall see…

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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Hmm Should Be Called Dr. Geriatric

 

Hey Twisties,

This morning I decided to leave my beloved Cantu Curl Shea Butter Activator Cream and give Dr. Miracle’s Curl Care Nourishing Conditioner a chance. I received this nourishing conditioner in one of my CurlBoxes (can’t recall which month) but it has been sitting in my bathroom unopened since.

Rushing to get out the house and to work this morning I didn’t bother smelling or testing on a small patch of hair first before covering my strands in this stuff. I soon as I worked the conditioner in from the root to tip my eyes started to water and this sh*t cleared the mess out of my nose. Holy cow! The smell of menthol for me is so overpowering that my eyes turned red and the best way to describe it is like taking a whiff of a jar of Vicks. I don’t see how a hair care company thinks it’s ok to have women walking around smelling like the geriatric ward. It’s one thing to use menthol for hair and scalp treatments that will be washed almost immediately out but damnit for a leave-in c’mon… why…? And the menthol is the first ingredient after the main oils and such and 8 ingredients before the actual fragrance.

I can’t attest to the quality of the conditioner and how it reacts in my hair quite yet because today was my first go at it and frankly didn’t pay much attention during the application cause my eyes were leaking and I was light headed due to the extra oxygen to the brain! lol but yeah I’ll have to try this a few more times before I can accurately provide a review.

Just wanted to share with you the craziness this morning and how I’ll be spending my day walking around smelling like old people. :)

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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The Fresh Crack in Sephora

Hey Twisties,

In other unrelated hair news I have found the BEST lip balm ever! Being a bit frugal I like to paint my own nails 90% of the time but like to splurge on good nail polish for the task. I buy most of my nail polish from Sephora. They have a pretty nice collection of brands and colors I believe they are all under $20.00 I think the most I’ve spent on a bottle was $16.00 but the color is damn amazing. While paying for a new color to wear for my for birthday I was giving a bday gift from Sephora. They handed me a box of two Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments; one in clear and a tinted in the color of Rose’. The cashier raved on how great they were and how once he tried it he never went back. Now I’m standing there like yeah ok you really don’t need to give me a sales pitch, buying chapstick from Sephora really isn’t necessary, chapstick for the most part is chapstick right? Heck no! the first time that I used my little tinted lip treatment I was in heaven. How the hell did they get this so right? It is amazingly moisturizing and nourishing and holds up well that I’m not reapplying every 30 minutes or so. No caking, no stickiness and no excess waxiness.

Many times when I’ve used a tinted lip moisturizer it really wasn’t tinted or tinted in a way that made my lips look ashy; however, this Rose’ color looks amazing on me so much so that I’ll probably be shelling out the $22  for a new one once my little gift is depleted. Even the thought of paying over $10 for some damn lip balm goes against my natural instincts but when a product is great it’s hard not to want more. And if any of you are familiar with the Fresh product line you know they are not economically careful lol their stuff can be a bit pricey. I’m so happy that I was introduced to this product while at the same time I curse Sephora for getting me hooked like some damn druggie.  

I’ve always said that if I was stranded somewhere the two things that I need are lotion and chapstick, and if I can only take one it’s chapstick. Nothing is worse than dry, chapped and cracked lips ugh and they get even worse when the encirclement of ash appears.

The avoidance of the dreaded ash halo has me habitually applying chapstick throughout the day which causes me to burn through a tube faster than most L oh well I guess Sephora’s little marketing plan worked…

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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The Cluttered Mess

Hey Twisties,

I’ve been thinking for some time now about cancelling my subscription to CurlBox. The service is great for individuals looking to explore different products and trying new things on a consistant basis. However, I’m not that person. I don’t change my products unless I need to, or if my just crazy curious on something that I run across. I have way too many products and going that the pace that I’m currently trotting at it’ll take me at a minimum until next summer to get through all of it. It’s seriously out of control and overwhelming. I have stuff dating back from this past March when I attended a natural hair expo and a bag a stuff from the NNHMD, topped off with 10 about to be 11 months worth of CurlBox products! I’m so bad with using products I STILL have my original jar of KCCC and Knot Today from when I BCd in December 2010! So not acceptable and I’m over the cluttered up drawers and baskets in my bathroom.

About two weeks ago or so, I received a message from the CurlBox admin advising me that the company is switching it’s payment processing method and that there isn’t a way to automatically transfer credit card information from the old system to the new, so customers will need to physically resubmit their payment. I took this as a sign, I’m just not going to do it. I’ll let the expiration day to do this come and go and someone else can have my spot. I am no longer carrying on like this, I am truly throwing money out the door, or rather I’m letting my $20/month sit in my cabinets being wasted. I don’t use many products as it is on a daily/weekly basis and I’m very content on my results, and came to realize that I truly wasted over $200.00.

Here’s what I usually spend:

  • Coconut cowash at Sally’s is about $6.00 – still using the same jar since I bought it in July $6.00/5 months of use = $1.20/month
  • Flax seeds from Whole Foods is about $2.00 for 1/2lb – still using flax seeds from the winter February timeframe = $2.00/5 months (didn’t use in the summer) = $.40/month
  • Cantu Shea Butter Activator Cream runs $6.00 – Used two bottles in 6 months $12.00/6 months = $2.00/month
  • Hair gel was about $3.00 for a jar – same jar since July, $3.00/5 months = $.60/month

And I’ve been using some coconut and olive oil in my hair since the weather has changed, but these are the same bottles of oil that I’ve had since last year. But all in all I use about $4.20 per month on my hair, nowhere near the $20.00 that I was spending. Even if I factor in my ever 6 week ApHogee Two-Step protein treatments, and my summertime sporadic DCs I would be far off from the monthly subscription fee.

So with that, I am done with my CurlBox and I have been for awhile. Once the novelty of receiving new products every month wore off and the clutter reality set in; my mind was made up. Hopefully, by me not partaking anymore allows someone who can take full advantage of the service to have a chance.

Stay,

Beautifully Twisted

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Magic Potions, Really…?

Hey Twisties,

I subscribe to a few different natural hair pages on facebook as another way to stay connected to the community, to find answers, answer questions and just to keep a finger on the natural hair pulse. But, what I’ve been seeing more and more of are some ridiculous claims of budding entrepreneurs and their magical elixirs. I’ve ran across the same post on multiple pages claiming that their product grows hair faster than anything else on the market, is guaranteed to work and cures all types of aliments stemming from curing alopecia to combating dandruff and reviving dead follicles. Now I am all for nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, but I also hold integrity at the highest standard. If you have a good product great, but don’t come on these pages touting fallacies about products that have no scientific backing to prove your claim. This does nothing but diminish your creditability. Additionally, these pages are a give and take. Don’t only make appearances when you need promote your products/business. Offer something up, engage in conversations, answer questions or provide some advice.

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18 Months & Counting

Hey Twisties,

On June 24th I hit 18 months of naturality! For this little milestone I went to have my hair professionally straightened, something that I haven’t done in about a year. I went to the salon with my own bottle of heat protectant because the last thing I needed was that crazy chick Heat Damage paying me a visit. My hair was blown out and then flat ironed to this straight hair that fell across my shoulders. As much as I love my curls it’s nice for a change even if it’s only for a week.

I feel like a different woman when my hair is straight, can’t quite describe the feeling but it makes me feel sexy in a different way. I guess how I feel sexy in a nice pair of jeans, a white T and some heel and a different sexy in a short tight dress.

Getting my hair straight is always an experience. I can pull on my coils for a length check but the actual growth retention never hits me til I’m straight. To feel my hair grazing my upper back, getting stuck to my lip gloss and freaking me out cause it think it’s a bug crawling on me are all things I don’t get with my fro.

I washed my hair earlier than I wanted because the New England 4th of July humidity did a toll on it expanding it to the point of flat-iron return, and adding additional heat was not happening. Thankfully that crazy chick didn’t intrude on my personal space and there was no damage to my tresses.

All I could say was “well damn” had no clue what the back of my hair looked like. Total shock to see this at my 18 month mark

A bit of my color poppin through

The humidity just took over, check out the halo of frizz forming off to the side lol

It was nice while it lasted but will not happen for another 6 months at my two-year mark. Until then I’m just going to cozy on up to my curls.

Stay Beautifully,

Twisted

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