Category Archives: Product Review

A closer look at hair products, skin care and more.

My Decision To FreeForm: Growing Locs

The first time I grew locs I admit I had very limited knowledge. Thinking back on the experience I didn’t know anyone that had locks.  My journey for lack of better words was a truly a natural occurrence.

Tired of living the LYE I instructed my long-time hairstylist to cut my hair off.  The chopping process stressed her out to say the least. She thought I was making the wrong decision, one that only time could correct.

That same night my date cancelled after learning that my ear length, bone straight haircut had become a thing of a past. He made a smart azz remark, one which had all his subsequent calls going straight to voice mail.  We never spoke again.

Present day.

Over a year into my loc journey I have decided to use the  FreeForm method in maintaining my hair.  My regimen will consist of shampooing when needed, natural oils and keeping my locs separated.  Twisting my hair will no longer take place.  Being someone who works out often I’m sure this new routine will better suit my lifestyle.

I really appreciate the beauty of my puffy, kinky, cotton “feel” like roots.  I guess that’s why I can’t stop touching my hair.  This is day two of my commitment to FreeForm locs.  I will include pictures along the way.

A future entry will highlight the combining of some 200 locs (mine). The photo below shows my hair  joined and thread stitched.

My locs untwisted
One of my loc inspiration photos

Pipe Cleaner Curls – short locs

My 2nd year anniversary post the BC (big chop) was right around mid-September. At that time I didn’t feel like writing about it, taking pictures or posting any videos to Youtube.  I realize my blogging needs more effort, so for the new coming year I plan to make a better effort when it comes to my updates.

Today, I’m sharing my personal experience with Pipe Cleaner Curls. Two words: Love It!  I have no idea why I didn’t try this style the first time I grew locks.  It is fairly simple and it looks cute on short, medium and long length locks. I have posted comments / questions on videos featuring women showcasing this style.  I have asked how well the curls held up after a workout at the gym.  To my surprise most have answered back that they don’t workout.

Side note: Your hair style should not keep you from participating in physical activity. We all need some form of exercise.  I have learned first hand, that the curls do hold up during intense physical training.  The results will probably vary depending on hair lengths.

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Pipe Cleaner Set

Items use for my new style:

Pipe Cleaner Curls from Micheals (craft store), also available at Walmart.

LottaBody Setting Lotions from Sally’s Beauty Supply or Foam (optional) 

Spray bottle to hold liquid mixture (setting lotion and water)

Standard hooded Dryer

(Day #1) Light finger comb

I ended up using brown Pipe Cleaners because I couldn’t find any black ones in stock.  Although the material on the cleaners don’t shed much.  I had a little concern that loose fiber would show up in my hair if I failed to remove any of it.  To eliminate that possibility, I also rinsed my cleaners before introducing them to my natural hair.

The Steps:

* Fold the Pipe Cleaners in 1/2 and form what looks like a needle head on the closed end (after bending)

* Rinse Pipe Cleaners and squeeze excess water (no need to dry)

Shampoo & Condition the hair

Apply diluted setting lotion to hair sections (see bottle instructions)

Wrap each lock (I used up to three on each Pipe Cleaner), thicker hair may look better with less (1 to 2).  Note: wrap the hair around the cleaner starting close to the end that resembling the head of a needle for easier removal later. I didn’t use  any specific pattern. The style is basically a roller set without the rollers.

Once  the Pipe Cleaner set is complete sit under a hooded dryer for faster drying time (optional).  I wore my Pipe Cleaners over night with a satin cap.  The following morning I removed the Pipe Cleaners and finger styled.

Update: Day #5 photos (just after workout) 

Day #5 Side view

My locks were started with the finger twist method. I didn’t do the traditional parting with a comb.  I now use essential oils for re-twisting. Every now and then I may twist with Jane Carters Twist & Lock Cream.  If you have any  other questions, please post them  below.  Don’t forget to share this article via the share buttons below.  Thank you for supporting this blog and please come back again soon. Stay up to date with natural hair journey blog post via my Twitter  page or subscribe to this blog now.

Coffee & Black Tea Rinses for natural hair

In my search for an outlet that stocks PURE Henna I discovered most of us have what we need in our kitchen to dye our hair darker naturally.  Or cover those bothersome gray strands.   I have used Henna on several occasions.  I like the product I used however I now question its purity (maybe a Compound Henna).
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From what I have read if the Henna packaging is offering a various shades (i.e., mahogany or auburn) hidden ingredients may be included that could prove harmful to the user in the form of an allergic reaction.
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While at the same time Henna itself is a major commitment if you are someone who still wants to dabble in commercial hair dyes. From what I have read you either have to grow the hair out  and/or cut it off ( only if you have become the victim of a Compound Henna) to go ahead with a chemical process that will actually change the color of your hair – unlike Henna that only coats the hair.
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This past weekend armed with the knowledge that Coffee and or Black Tea would allow me to dye my hair a darker shade I headed to the grocery store. This method of adding color to my hair is cost effective: Coffee  $5.69 / Black Tea – $1.97 and no worries about hidden ingredients in products “claiming to be” natural.
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Instructions:
Brew your coffee and allow it to cool to luke warm.
Rinse mixture through  freshly shampooed hair 15-20 times (I held my head over the sink and used a bowl to catch the liquid and transfer it back to my pouring bowl – seek the assistance of a friend)
Leave the last rinse in your hair for 30 minuets (don’t wrap your hair in a towel as this will absorb the coffee & tea from your hair.  Squeeze as much as you can from the hair, then apply a plastic cap).
Rinse, shampoo& condition (I didn’t condition because I am growing new locs).
*Follow same steps for Black Tea (I combined the two).
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Note:
The exact amount of coffee depends on the length and thickness of your hair.  The goal is to completely saturated the hair from root to tips.
Avoid using instant coffee since it may contain additives that can damage your hair or lead to an allergic reaction.
Keep in mind Coffee and Black Tea can stain your towels & other equipment (bowls).
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Via my twitter address I tweeted links to natural hair rinse recipes follow me now to check those out and other natural tips that I come across. Find me on Facebook too.

Locks – Hair Inspiration

Lighten your hair with honey & cinnamon

With spring just around the corner perhaps you are looking to add a little pizzaz to your natural without the use of chemicals.  See the steps to lighting your hair with honey and cinnamon in the video posted below.  Please rate, comment and subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel.

 

 

Comedian & Actress: Kim Coles V-blogs about her #NaturalHair

While checking out my twitter time line I came across a post that contained a link to the natural community on http://www.Youtube.com.  I immediately retweeted the original post and clicked the link that it contained. See the post below:

AuNaturale6710 Luv her!! too funny 🙂 @kimcoles Kim Coles Natural Hair Journey Part 3: The Journey Beginshttp://t.co/khfst74 via @youtube #naturalhair12:02 AM Feb 3rd via Tweet ButtonRetweeted by you (@alysseStewart)

If you missed the news Kim Coles has removed her braids and is now sporting her natural hair.  And has joined the many women like myself that V-blog about our natural hair journey.  Coles is naturally revealing and funny too.  The last time I checked her page she had a total of 19 videos posted for your viewing pleasuring.  I have included one of her videos in this entry.  If you like what you see and hear log on to YouTube and check her out.

For those that might be asking why it is that Kim Coles, myself and many others have taken to the internet to share our hair journeys.  I have to say the reasons are many based on the fact that we are many people with different hair types and beliefs about our hair.  One of the main reasons is to inspire others to return to their natural roots.  While others seem to enjoy sharing styling tips, product reviews and the bond that is occurring within our  growing community.

Hair PIZZAZ with flower accessories -so sexy!!

Black rose
Flower power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy holidays naturalistas and those considering the natural journey.  As I share these very words with you I am waiting for my mother to download pictures from the Christmas holiday.  Especially the few snapshots she took of my hair adorned with a black artificial rose.  It was an accessory loaned to me by my niece.  It really looked good in my twist-out (the best one yet).  Probably better than good seeing how my niece told me twice, “I want my rose back.”  Between you and I the thought  she should have said “Auntie, I see how much you love it, you can have it.”  Eventually she did say something similar but it wasn’t heartfelt – she loves the rose just as much as I do.

I made a trip to the store that she told me about to buy it for myself  only to find  the establishment wouldn’t be open that day.  Later I search the mall but found myself feeling less than impressed with the one store that featured flowers. Their stock included mainly flat and spreading flowers and I found their merchandise not worth the listed ticket price. Considering the one I loved was only two bucks.   Wal-Mart has some choices but not that awesome rose.  And here again, I find their hair accessories  over priced in general.

When I go back home, I will return to the spot and hook myself up with the black rose and some other colors too.  Like brown or lavender or even a soft peach color.   In the meantime I may have to try my luck at making  flower accessories. The inspiration to do so comes from the  video listed below. This naturalista will show you several different styles and explains beautifully how you too can make something cute and stylish for your hair.

Color your hair with HENNA

Color your hair with henna

Henna – Defined

1 : a reddish-brown dye obtained from leaves of the henna plant and used especially on hair
2: an Old World tropical shrub or small tree (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family with small opposite leaves and panicles of fragrant usually white flowers
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Spring had just arrived as I was completely fed up with winter and it’s awful bite.  The year was 2007 a time that found me sporting a bob length, relaxed hair style.  I was feeling bored with my do so I decided after calling around on Edmond Lovelace (not his real name, I thought this fake one sounded kind of sexy).  He was charismatic, seemed to know everything about hair color  and cuts.  He didn’t!

The following day I had the worst head ache I could have imagined. I really thought something was physically wrong with me that required medical attention. I immediately made a doctor’s appointment after calling out from work – my hair really looked like “who done it and why?”

Prognosis: My body aliments was stress brought on by my worry and distress over my new do.  As for my hair I went to another salon for treatment and cut repair.  William applied shampoo and cleansed  my hair with hands of an angle.  He promised we would get my hair journey back on the right track.  He did.

The year 2010:  I refuse to use any permanent hair dye on my hair.  Especially products that call for the  lifting of my natural color first.  I am now strictly a Henna woman.

Henna does not lighten the hair it coats the strands and in essence adds color.  I am not endorsing any particular name brand.  I will suggest however, that you go to a health or wholes food store.  And by all means do your own research first.

Some avoid henna because they have heard tale of a messy application process.  I disagree.  In fact with some preparation I think you too will feel the same.  Below I’m listing some things you may not know about Henna when it comes to special effects found on my  Light Mountain Natural – hair & conditioner (dark brown) henna box:

I have noticed that my once very dark hair (appears black) has taken on a nice dark brown tone.  An effect that is more easily seen in natural sun light.  I have opted to do the henna process every six weeks or slightly longer.  I love the conditioning effect of the product and the fact that I am not chemically altering my natural hair.   I plan to color today and will be adding three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with the hopes of obtaining rich golden or copper  highlights.

Please leave your comments below and make sure you click “follow me on twitter.”  Thanks for the read.

Curl definition with KCCC

I was  first introduced to  Kinky – Curly  Curling Custard via one of my favorite sites known for information on natural hair and products.  I’ve viewed countless videos on how wonderful this natural styling gel is for natural hair.  Then I had a long conversation with  a woman I met at my child’s school and then after  a trip to health food store I pulled my debit card from my wallet.

Being somewhat on the  frugal side, I have to admit I don’t like the product pricing. I’ve rounded my purchase off to $17 dollars  for an eight  ounce jar.   But how could I refuse a miracle in a jar.  I too want my kinky coils to look good too.  I wasted no time after returning home with the gel and the accompanying/suggested conditioner.

According to the directions someone with thick coarse hair like mine should make sure the hair is dripping wet during the application process.  In the end I am not impressed with this product.  I don’t like the hair shrinkage or the sticky feel I got after applying perhaps more than needed after not seeing the results I hoped for.

My new natural sister from our kiddies school has great hair and the Kinky – Curly gel looks great on her coils.  Perhaps our hair textures aren’t that much a like as I guessed just from a visual inspection. I’m going to give this product another try once my hair is a little longer.  Maybe length will be the key.

“17.00 dollars!” That’s me doing my Chris Rock impersonation.  Do you know what I could have bought with that money?  Pull-ups for my child, some organic chicken, beans and rice and a glass of wine.  OK, I’m being dramatic.

For the frugal gals like myself.  When my hair was a little shorter I styled my hair with Fantasia IC Styling Gel ($3.99), Vegetable Glycerine , Jojoba  Oil and a brush.  The compliments were many (from both the men and women). And yes, my curl definition was awesome too.  Without the hard or sticky feel that can occur with some gels.

Would I suggest this product to  a friend?  Yes, one that was born with a loose wavy curl pattern.

Ingredients: botanical infusion of water, horsetail, chamomile, nettle and marshmallow, organic aloe vera juice, agave nectar extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e), pectic, citric acid, potassium sorbate and natural fragrance

*NOTE- This product is designed to work alone but ultimate curl definition and length is said to be   achieved when used with KNOT TODAY as a leave-in conditioner.