Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Relaxed Hair Must-Haves

I think I've said this here before, but can't remember for sure. When I had a perm, I didn't know how to do a thing with my hair, and didn't know what products to use. The most I did was wrap it, roll it, or put it in a ponytail. My mom was gracious enough to oil my scalp with Sulfur 8 after I got it done. That was it. I think I washed my hair all of ONCE back then, and that was because it was an emergency. I was in college and used whatever shampoo sample I had lying around from one of the campus events. Had no idea what I was doing! LOL

Well, for any permies who come across this blog, this link's for you! The Anti Hair Slave has a list of must-haves for you ladies that relax your hair. I was slightly surprised to see the same products/tools that are recommended for natural hair, but then again I guess I shouldn't be, huh? Anyway, don't say I never gave you anything! LOL

Monday, January 24, 2011


Forgive me fellow naturals, for I have sinned...

Okay that may be a bit strong! LOL But there are some Dos & Don'ts that I tend to break fairly often. I guess I should change my ways, but for now, let me just absolve my guilt by confessing.

1. I don't detangle as I should. *hears audible gasps from the crowd* I know, I know: it's horrible! But here's the thing: When I do wash & gos, I don't really have time to sit there and detangle. Hello, I gotta go! And when I do a "real" wash complete with deep conditioning, I try detangling while the conditioner is still in my hair and then I have to do it again after I rinse. That's about 40 minutes each time. Who has patience for that? Nuh uh, not Tori D.! And the killer part? As soon as my hair dries, it coils and tangles right back up. >_< Maybe this could be helped if I tried a new tool, like the Tangle Teezer I've been reading about lately or had a product with more slip (I'm out of conditioner and open to suggestions!)

2. I have not done a protective style yet. Yes, I wore my french roll up-do for a couple of days, but considering the fact that I still had the front out, I don't think that was actually a protective style. I would love to do some, especially some of the cute flat twist styles that I have seen. They look so simple and elegant... Unfortunately my skill level is 0 when it comes to those flat twists, honey! I'm not sure if it's due to my length, texture, thickness, or if I just don't know what I'm doing, but the results of my efforts are not anything I would want the general public to see! And I planned on keeping kinky twists in for most of the winter, but time and a tight budget have prevented that.

3. I usually don't do anything to my hair at night. I throw the bonnet over my fro and hope for the best in the morning. Sometimes it's okay after I shower (the power of steam y'all; it works!) and put a little leave-in conditioner on it. Other times? The results make me wanna cry! But doing a head full of two-strand twists can be tedious (especially when you come home tipsy at 2:00 AM) and as I mentioned up there ^ I still have not figured out flat twists... Or cornrows, for that matter.

4. I don't co-wash that often during the winter. I did plenty of co-washing during the summer when morning wash & gos were my go-to style.But since the weather is all types of cold right now, that's not happening. So I spray my Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In on it daily, but honestly I don't think it does as well as a good thorough co-wash. Oh well, it is what it is until it warms up...

5. I still haven't figured out my hair type. Some naturals swear by hair typing, and there are products and tools that supposedly work better for certain types of hair.  However, my method of trial and error seems to be going pretty well--even without me knowing whether I'm a 3c or 4a or 5z. Besides, I have patches of hair that completely differ from other sections. It's not as if I'm going to put one product here, another there, etc. because it's been said that one is best for whatever type that patch is. Seems like too much work. I know it's kinky and coily. Good enough.

So what are the "rules" that you tend to break from time to time-- or all the time?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Natural Newbie Giveaway Winner!

Well the time has come for me to announce the winner of the Newbie Giveaway! I had some awesome submissions, and I'm thankful to everyone who participated. You all have some great stories, and I hope and pray that you all stay encouraged in this journey! Unfortunately, though, there can only be one winner (this time). And that winner is..... *drum roll*

Dawnica aka "Lady Hicks"!

I loved what she had to say about her decision to go natural and what she's discovered about herself in the time since deciding to transition. She writes:

My story started in September 2009. In route to my beautician to get a relaxer, I had thoughts in my head at this particular time where I wanted a change. At this point, my hair was down to my shoulders, so I was wanting some[thing] young and fun. I decided to get it cut into a long bob....but that not what I received. When I left, I went from a beautiful long tresses to a mushroom mess....not to mention I had a huge patch of hair "missing" in the back of my head.  Around that same time, I started reading Psalms 139 and begin to realize that God truly made me unique and here I was trying to be a copycat of what I thought I should be. That's when I decided to go natural...but unfortunately I received no support from family and friends. I got so much discouragement from people..which pushed me closer to what God truly thought of me. His Word says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Since that time I have encouraged and  helped others to the natural side thru videos and information I have found on the damaging effects of chemical relaxer and natural hairstyles that a "non" professional can achieve.I had my BC in July 2010 and I love my hair. In becoming natural and loving it, I have inspired 6 of my friends to make the switch to become natural and embrace the way God made them. I have also created a Facebook page "For Nappy Girls Only" as a forum to swap hair tips, share hair journeys and offer encouragement to other transitioning ladies. I love my hair and will continue to encourage others to love themselves the way God designed us:
as a
 BEAUTY- Be Exactly A Unique Type= YOU

Thank you for your submission Lady Hicks! You are a BEAUTY, inside and out! Be sure to email me an address to send your gift, as well as whether you'd like to receive a hair accessory or jewelry.

Who taught you to hate?

“Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? ... you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Natural Newbie Giveaway!

Hello everyone! If you're new to this whole natural thing,  have I got a goodie for you! Chris-Tia Donaldson, author of Thank God I'm Natural, has offered a copy of her book to one of my awesome followers! TGIN is a great reference tool at any stage of the natural journey, but I found it especially useful when I was just getting started. It's full of great tips, scientific info and product recipes. (You can find my review of her book here) In addition to that, I will also be giving away a surprise goodie: winner's choice of jewelry or hair accessory.

The rules for this contest are very simple:

1. Either a) be a transitioner, b) plan on doing the BC in 2011, or c) be a natural newbie--for the purpose of this contest, that's 12 months or less completely natural. Clearly this is on the honor system, but be honest! There will be other giveaways open to everyone, trust :)

2. Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect. Just hit that little button to the right.

3. Submit a short entry about your reason/inspiration to go natural. You may also submit a picture, whether it be pre-BC, post-BC or a picture of someone whose hair you admire. Submissions should be sent to

It's as simple as that! Entries must be submitted by January 18, 2011, and a winner will be announced on Friday, January 21, 2011. So hop to it natural newbs!

Psssst! Want another chance to win? Follow me on Twitter! (Leave a comment here so I'll know to count your follow as an entry). And for yet another way to win, tweet the following:

I entered @kinxnquirx Newbie Giveaway! Have you?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Blowout

Two Sundays ago I finally got the time (and the nerve) to straighten my hair. It was a little daunting to me, as my hair hadn't been straightened since late February/early March. But I figured why not? The weather was cooperating, and it's not like I'd been keeping my hair in a protective style anyway. It was as good a time as any. I took to blogs and books, trying to determine what the best route would be. I finally decided on the following method:

1. Wash and clarify.
I washed with my usual Optimum Oil Therapy moisturizing shampoo. (I think it's sulfate-free, but I'll have to double check that...) Then I followed up with a lemon juice & warm water clarifying treatment I saw in Thank God I'm Natural. Let that sit for about 10 minutes, then rinsed. Honestly, I didn't notice too much difference between when I clarify and when I don't. However, from my understanding, the difference wouldn't have shown at that point anyway.

2. Deep condition and detangle.
I applied my coconut and olive oil conditioners and let that sit for about 45 minutes. My plan was to go for about 20 minutes with the conditioner under the dryer, but I was too lazy to pull it out. (Sad, I know LOL) After letting it sit, I sectioned off my hair and got to detangling. Fortunately, it was relatively smooth going with minimal shedding. The exception, of course, is that odd patch of hair on the crown of my head that defies all typing, regimens and logic. That section took a lotta time and patience that I just don't have. Eventually, I got through it and rinsed. My hair was feeling all kinds of soft, smooth and slippery.

3. Blow dry and flat iron. (I.E., turn it over to Momma)
I wanted to tackle this beast on my own. I figured I might as well learn how to do it for myself... But what I learned is that straightening is something best left to the pros. Or at least to someone who can see what the heck they're doing. After blow drying about half of my head, I turned it over to my mom. When blow drying, I sprayed each section with both Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In and Frizz Ease Heat Defeat. When flat ironing, my mom gave it another hit of the heat protectant. She also insisted on using a little bit of spray oil . I can't see where it hurt or helped.

I swear my mom was born to straighten hair. It did really well Monday and Tuesday... Wednesday the weather didn't wanna cooperate with me so it got a lil puffy. It was kinda down hill from there. By Sunday I had it slicked back with a phony pony attached.

the back after momma finished. why do the gray hairs always stick out?!



phony pony time!

I love the results, but it's not something that I'd want to do on the regular. I missed my curls too much!

Up-Do! French roll with bang

For several months now, I've wanted to wear my hair up. There are only so many times I could look at the puff, fro or twist out. I've attempted different styles but it just never really worked out for me. Sad, right?

Well, on Wednesday evening I was going through my blog roll and saw that Jenelle at Kinky Curly Coily Me! had done a YouTube tutorial on an up-do.

Of course I had to try it, so I got in the mirror and went to work. It took a little time and manipulation, but I finally got it. I figured out that I couldn't "roll" my hair to the left, though that's the way I've always tried it. Once I tried rolling/twisting it to the right, it was simple as could be. I also had to make a few minor changes.
I don't have any plain hair combs (how is that?) so I had to use a buttload of bobby pins. This was good and bad: good because I definitely had a secure hold, but bad because they had my head itching! Another change that I had to make was with the sides. I couldn't twist the sides; for some reason that just didn't work out for me. I ended up making a smaller french twist up top, then did some pulling, tucking, and pinning until I was happy with the look I had. And I definitely had to hit those edges with some Eco Styler.
Over all, my approach was a bit haphazard, but I was pleased with the results. I was able to wear it Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get that roll going today. (I had to take it down before bed last night; the pins were killing me!) Here are the pix, but you'll definitely want to check out the tutorial to get a cleaner look. What's the verdict on this one? Although I didn't do a flower with this, I think I'll add my decorative combs to the french roll next time...

The back. Not the neatest or the best, but I was happy with it!

I wasn't aware that that part was so visible... oops!

Makes for an interesting side profile, no?

Close up of the front