Friday, July 30, 2010

A weight has been lifted...


Okay, I know I just posted that I'd gotten a sew-in. Shoot, I just got it a week ago! But already, like so many meals & men (wait, what?), the weave is gone...

I was going to try to stick it out for at least three weeks, but I couldn't deal! My scalp had been itching non-stop since last Friday. I also noticed that just behind my left ear, I had a little swollen knot from where the braid was really tight. But I thought I could stick it out. Fast forward to yesterday. Itching like crazy again. I go to scratch and notice a bump. Do a little more feeling around and find bumps all along my hairline! Bad business! That's neither cute nor healthy. Out of fear that keeping the sew-in would do more damage than good, I had to take it out. After getting all the tracks out and taking the braids down, I discovered more bumps, especially in those places where the itching was the worst. I tried to do damage control by DCing overnight. This morning I tried some of the We Rock Roots RockTherapy Oil from my last product review. So far, the itching has been kept to a minimum. (For those wondering why I didn't use that before: the way that my hair was braided under the tracks, it was hard/impossible to get to some parts of my scalp.)

Unfortunately I noticed that the hair that was left out up top to cover up the tracks did not revert back to their usual springy curls. Instead, the curls are just kinda limp & lifeless. I hope I haven't messed them up for good!

Anyway, I've learned my lesson. If I just gotta have something different or want to wear straight hair, a wig is probably my best bet. Of course, it's a no-go during the summer... Maybe I'll try it once it cools off. But now I'm scared to even straighten my hair for a length check. :( Fingers crossed that my hair bounces back!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My 1st weave...

July 24, 2009 was the last time I got a touch up!

July 23, 2010, I got my first weave. It wasn't really my idea; it stemmed from a long heated argument with my father over my hair not being "professional" (*cough*bullshit*cough*) and getting this sew-in was my move to shut him up.

No, I was NOT a happy camper.

It does look pretty good (except when the humidity gets to my hair) so that's not my issue. I've just gotten used to having short, almost care-free hair. The fuss of long straight hair... this is what I was trying to get away from a year ago! Ugh...

Anyway, I'm a little more comfortable with it, but I don't think it's gonna last too long. For one, it itches like crazy and even though I've oiled my scalp the best I could, I'm getting no relief! Secondly, there's one braid in the back that is just way too tight; the scalp is actually swollen there. (Praying traction alopecia can't happen from a one-time occurrence.) Finally, it's hot and heavy. I like things hot and heavy, but my hair ain't one of them! LOL

So I know this won't be up the two or three months I was told it could last. Shoot, I'd do good to leave it up for one. I know sew-ins are supposed to be a great protective style, but I don't think they're for me!

Product Review: Miss Jessie's Stretch Silkening Creme & the We Rock Roots Line

About two weeks ago I made my way to Target and picked up my first ever Miss Jessie's product. The selection at the store I went to was pretty slim, so I ended up with the Stretch Silkening Creme. I was not happy about shelling out $22 for the 8 oz. jar, but I'd heard so many good things about Miss Jessie's that surely it would be worth it, right?
Well, not quite.
Here are the directions from the Miss Jessie's site:

Apply product while hair is soaking wet for full coverage based on your length and density. Do not rinse out. Air dry or dry under an overhead dryer. For maximum stretch silkening: After curls are fully dried grab a section and stretch downward for tension. Using a blowdryer with a nozzle attachment blast heat from root to midshaft. This will further stretch those kinks to curls. Enjoy!

I did like the definition Miss Jessie's gave my curls
So I applied it with my hair soaking wet. While it definitely held true to it's claims that it would not make hair feel dry or crunchy, I wasn't expecting it to keep it feeling and looking wet. For most of the day I looked like I had a jheri curl. No bueno. On top of that, it didn't actually stretch my curls. (I didn't have time to use the blowdryer, so maybe that extra action would've given me the results I was looking for.) After that, I decided to try it with my hair lightly misted (my simple mix of distilled water and pure unrefined coconut oil). I was a bit more pleased with those results. The Miss Jessie's still didn't stretch my curls, but they did define them and gave my hair a nice shine.
My final verdict? While the Stretch Silkening Creme is a decent product, it's not something I'll be buying/using regularly. And I'm not so sure if I'll be buying any other MJ's products; I feel like I fell victim to the hype. I dunno, maybe I'll try the little $2.00 packets of shampoo and conditioner, just to see if it gives me different results than my current products. I'm not expecting miracles this time around, though. (In retrospect, it may have worked better if my hair was longer. I've seen pictures of some of the people who rave over MJ's, and when the hair is about shoulder length, it seems to get pretty good results. Maybe I'll save this and try it again in a few months. *shrugs*)

A few days after buying the Miss Jessie's, I received my We Rock Roots prize from the contest over at Kinky, Curly, Coily Me! Included in the prize pack were samples of the following:

RockOUT ButterUses: To set twists, coils, braids, or curls when setting on rollers and lock maintenance.
Ingredients:  Aloe Butter (Aloe Vera with Coconut fraction) Unrefined Shea Butter, Pure Aloe Vera Gel, Vegetable Glycerin, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Fragrance
RockON Butter Uses: Apply for daily moisture.
Ingredients:  Unrefined Shea Butter, Soy Butter, Golden Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Orange Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil
RockSTAR OilUses: Apply as needed for added shine and moisture
Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Unrefined Shea butter, Golden Jojoba Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Fragrance
RockTHERAPY Oil Uses: Apply daily for itchy or dry scalp.
Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Horsetail Herb, Amla Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Golden Jojoba Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil
 (Uses and ingredients per JenellyBean on KCCM!)

I wasn't sure what to expect because I'd never heard of WRR, but I figure I'd give it a shot. It would be rude not to! And I have to say that I am soooo glad that I did! Here's a quick breakdown of how each product worked for me.
RockStar oil: It gave my hair a really good shine without being heavy like some oils I've tried before. It was slightly oily and wasn't absorbed into my hair, but that it wasn't a major detractor from my overall love of this product. Plus, it smells like cookies! (#fatgirltendencies lol)
RockOn butter:  I loved the whipped light texture! It almost felt like it sorta fizzed when I touched it. RockOn gave me the most awesome curl definition and good healthy shine to boot.
Result of RockOn Butter & RockStar Oil.
Sorry it's not clear, I should've used the digital camera!
RockTherapy oil: This was right on time for me. I have one particularly dry/itchy area near the crown of my head. One day after co-washing, I applied some of this oil to my scalp. It feels soothing (I'm assuming that was the peppermint at work) and calmed the itch. I'm not a fan of the scent but it's not overwhelming, and not an issue since it gets the job done!
RockOut butter: This was extremely light. In fact, I wasn't sure that it would work on my twists/twist-out because it was so light. My assumption was correct. When I took my twists down, it was as if they had no product on them at all. Depending on what you're looking for, this may not be a bad thing, but for my twists I like something a little heavier with a better hold, like my Cantu Shea Butter.
Three outta four ain't bad, huh? I've gotta say, WRR has found a loyal customer in me.

If you're interested in purchasing these products, you can find them at and

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Hair Gripe: Don't Touch My Hair!!

At least, not without asking! And even if you ask, you may get a no.

I've always had issues with this and it bugs me to no end. When I was relaxed, people had to "get a good feel" to see if it was really mine. This included running fingers down to the scalp feeling for tracks, pulling, you name it. Now that I'm completely natural, it's like some kinda oddity and people want to mess with the curls. Makes me think of the episode of Family Guy where Stewie touches Cleveland's hair and exclaims, "Ooh, it feels like a sheep!"

I still haven't figured out how to politely say "Please don't touch it" before someone automatically reaches out to cop a feel. I feel so dirty, having my other special place groped like that in public! LOL Maybe I need this shirt...

I'm not quite this bad, I promise

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I heart dreads

I dunno when it happened, but I've recently realized that I've got a thing for fine men with dreads. And even if a guy is not so fine, I'll still be in awe over some nice, well-maintained locs. I do remember the first guy I found attractive with dreads. His name was Thomas (I think...) and he was a graphic designer at my first "real" job. He was sexy even when he cut his dreads, but he had the nicest, neatest locs ever. Just the right thickness, and somehow he kept a lil sheen on 'em. He was dreamy.

Anyway, my new friend has gorgeous locs as well, and although he's handsome anyway, I'd be lying if I didn't say his hair is what first got my attention (quickly followed by his smile & his singing). Since he was acting shy and wouldn't take a picture for the blog, I got a bunch of pix from different sites of hot guys with dreads. And yeah, most of them are hot & half naked, thanks to (What can I say? They had the majority of Google pix that came up!)

Good look, guys. Very good look. Two thumbs up! ^_^

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Hey, that's my face!"

This has been a good week in the world of Tori D.

Four-day work week? Check!

Winning the We Rock Roots giveaway? Check!!

Being featured somewhere other than my imagination?! Check!!!

This was me when I logged on to Facebook and saw that JenellyBean featured my puff on Kinky Curly Coily Me! And yes, I did literally say "Hey, that's my face!" LOL
You like me, you really like me! ^_^

Be sure to check out her blog. She has some gorgeous styles that I'll work up the courage to try (or better yet, get someone to do for me!), gives product reviews and great advice (she schooled me on my puff, I didn't know what to call it LOL), and features other naturalistas.
PLUS, she'll be walking down the isle soon, so give her some love & well wishes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Thank God I'm Natural

I've been reading Chris-Tia Donaldson's book Thank God I'm Natural since, like... February. No, I'm not slow! It's just that the ADD kicks in overtime when it comes to reading. I'm currently reading four books--this one included--along with reading books/articles for work and class. Needless to say this is pretty inefficient, but I eventually finish them. I'm wrapping up this book now, so here are the things I did and didn't like about the book.

Since my "didn't like" is pretty short, I'll start with that first. This book seemed to rely heavily on the "Evil relaxers" theme. Not only did she make it seem like it was impossible to have healthy permed hair, but she even makes a REACHING assumption that because relaxers are "addictive" like cigarettes, they could cause cancer. Ummmm, what? There is no research supporting this (which she does admit) but I'm thinking why even bring that up when there is absolutely nothing to back up that statement? Plus, Skittles are addictive (to me, at least). Does that mean I'm gonna end up with cancer because I like to taste the rainbow regularly? According to Donaldson's logic, yeah. The scare tactics really turned me off of this book for a while, because I was not looking for a diatribe about how terrible relaxers are and that I didn't love myself when I had one. Been down that road, not interested in a walk down memory lane.
But I can kinda see where she was coming from, in a marketing sense. To make natural hair look better, you have to make perms seem awful. (OF course, this could have just been done by extolling the benefits of natural hair, but hey...) It would be like Jenny Craig saying "Hey, buy my food! My food makes you lose weight! Don't eat regular food if you wanna be healthy... Although you could lose weight and maintain good health by monitoring your portions of whatever you eat and getting regular exorcise." No, they can't say that! They have to say "Buy Jenny Craig!" Much in the same fashion, Donaldson presents natural hair as the only way to have beautiful, healthy hair.

However, there were some great things in this book. I don't want to give away anything, so I'll just briefly say something about the chapters I enjoyed most.

Chapter 3: A Brush With History
Chapter 4: Anatomy 101 & Chapter 5: Type & Texture (I learned a lot that I didn't know in regards to hair growth, the composition of hair, and types of hair. Very informative for a natural hair newbie like me.)
Chapter 15: In the Kitchen (This chapter has a lot of recipes for making your own shampoos, conditioners and rinses. I have not tried any of them yet but I'm anxious to do so!)

There is also great information about what ingredients to look for and what to avoid, various styles natural/transition styles, tips for transitioners, locs if you decide to go that route, and coloring natural hair (something that I am planning to try soon).

Overall, I enjoyed this book. While I would not tout it as a "natural hair bible" like the reviews I read before I bought it, it did prove to be a valuable tool to me, both while I was transitioning and now.

If you are interested in ordering the book, you can go to Thank God I'm Natural or online retailers such as

Friday, July 2, 2010

You rockin' a fro for the 4th?

Will you be rocking a fro for the Fourth of July? I will! Hopefully I'll be able to make it act right =)
Anyway, the idea was first thought up over on The Long Hair Care Forum and many naturalistas will be taking part! Some are even printing out the logo (pictured above & created just for the occasion) to put on tshirts. I love it and I'm gonna try to do the same! I'm thinking either a tiffany blue or pink shirt to go with the brown... Dunno if it would really *POP* on black... White maybe?

ANYWAY, here are the two blogs I got my info from. One even has instructions which I definitely need!

My Hair.....Is Me: Afro Independence Day 2010
Her Best Hair: Preparing for Afro Independence Day

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What are your go-to products? (Plus a Product Give-away!)

When I first started transitioning and reading about natural hair, the term product junkie jumped out at me. It seemed inevitable that I would go through product after product trying to find the perfect shampoo, perfect conditioner, perfect whobobbitz to do this, that and the other to my hair.

Fortunately, that has not been the case. From the time I decided to take charge of my own hair care (remember the horror story that prompted that?) my arsenal of products has been relatively small and consistent (though some changes need to be made). A good number of them are from the same line because they seem to work great for me. Of course I don't do a lot in the way of recommending different products because I'm still learning all of this stuff as well. So here is my disclaimer: While *most of* these products work well for me, I do not know how they will work for you. Look into product ingredients, speak with a professional if you feel the need, and make an informed decision! "Tori D. said..." will not hold up in a court of law! =D Also, please note that these products are not 100% natural. While I do try to look out for "cones," petroleum/petrolatum, and mineral oil, I'm not a stickler for everything being all natural.

The Good

1. Optimum Oil Therapy Recovery Shampoo: I love it! It gives a little bit of later but not too much (unless you go way overboard with it, as I have done on a couple occasions). It gives me a pretty good amount of slip, so I can easily run my fingers/comb through my hair after washing.

2. Optimum Oil Therapy Moisturizing Creme: This product is great for detangling! I often use it before washing my hair since I've learned that detangling is a must before the water hits it. I would love to use it every day, as it gives a ton of moisture, but I don't since I've noticed it takes a while for the white color to fade. Although it says it works as a heat protectant, I have not used it as such just yet. I will try it out and see how well it does.

3.  Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Pak (not shown) and Palmer's Coconut Milk Protein Pack: I use these together when deep conditioning. Usually I let it sit for about 30 minutes or more since I'm usually trying to watch TV while doing my hair and lose track of time. I've noticed that my hair is a bit softer when I use them as opposed to just shampooing. Never used either of these for a co-wash so not sure how that would work. Also, I don't know if there are any real benefits to using them both at the same time, but I like the way it feels when I do so... *shrug*

The Bad (or just bad rap?)

Motions Leave-In Conditioner: I admit it, I may have dropped the ball on this one. I got this before I was into the whole "read the label" thing, so I didn't realize until last night that this product is chock full o' "cones." Now, I have read conflicting information as to whether or not silicones are bad for your hair, but I'm trying to stay clear of them. Plus, I'd love to find a leave-in conditioner that also works as a detangler. But honestly, I don't have any complaints about this particular product. If you're not picky about the cones, this may work for you.

The verdict is still out

1. Cantu Shea Butter: I really only use the shea butter when I'm doing the two strand twists. It works great for holding them in place, plus it gives the hair a little extra shine. Admittedly, I'm not that familiar with the benefits of shea butter. I don't have anything bad to say about it, but I don't know if it's something I'd keep in rotation.

2. Optimum Oil Therapy Scalp Quencher: I just started using this about a week ago. My scalp was getting a little dry so this was just a shot in the dark at finding a solution. So far... meh.

Honorable Mention

Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil: I did a post on my first experience with coconut oil, and not much has changed since then. I still use it mostly for my skin! However, I do occasionally use it in my hair, mostly to give it shine. The drawback is that instead of my hair absorbing the oil, it just kind of sits there, leaving my hair feeling greasy. No bueno. I'm considering trying TT's coconut oil that is specially formulated for hair. We'll see.

There are some products that I want to try because I've heard good things about them. Namely, Miss Jessie's, Carol's Daughter Hair Milk, and (to a lesser extent) Mizani's True Textures line. Plus there's the little voice in the back of my head saying, "Yeah, your hair is doing okay now... but what if it could be better?" And considering my most recent hair issues (shedding and tangling are a beast right now!), I probably do need to make some additions and/or adjustments to my product arsenal.


Now for what you really want: the give-away!

This is not my giveaway. It is being done by fellow blogger/naturalista JenellyBean at Kinky Curly Coily Me! to celebrate reaching the 100 follower mark. She is giving away samples of We Rock Roots products (click here for details). To enter, all you have to do is send a picture of you rocking your natural hair to But hurry, the deadline is July 4. Yeah I know I gave it to you on short notice, but c'mon, all you're doing is taking a pic and emailing it! You know you have 681 pictures of yourself on your phone.... No? That's just me? Oh, okay then....