Wednesday, February 22, 2017

To Blow Dry or Not to Blow Dry. . . That is the Question!

When I first did the big chop, I did it based off emotion, though I had already stopped perming but at that moment, my hair didn’t matter to me whether it was long or short and so, I just went with cutting it all off and started again from scratch.

Photo by Linda A Strobert

It was easy then for me to just wash and go and that was my thing. Then I stopped shampooing so much, yet still used conditioner on a daily basis during my morning routine. I had no hair and so, I had no reason to use heat products in it. Trying to blow dry or even curl my locks would have been crazy because it was too short to even section with a comb.

Then my hair started growing a little bit and so, every four months or so, I would head on over to the salon to get a deep treatment and professional blow dry. I don't do anything strenuous on my own. Everything other than washes, co-washes and picking my hair out are done at the salon. They straightened my hair a few times since I cut it and it always looked so beautiful. Yet, from 2015 to 2016, I started leaving the heat alone and only blow dried my hair once and I decided to keep that as a routine; once a year or less.

Once a year? Why?

The last time I blow dried my hair, it looked pretty but started to dry out quickly and smelled burnt; even after I washed it twice afterwards, the burnt smell lingered. I think that is why it took such a long time to blow dry it again. But three months later, some of my hair is still straight from when my stylist used the heat in my hair and I can’t figure out why I lost the beautiful curl pattern that I used to have prior to that day. 

Still conditioning almost every day but I increased my shampooing a little bit because I am thinking and hoping that my curls will somehow come back to the way they were, unless blow drying stretches it and the hair just becomes longer and straighter over time when you do it; I am not sure.  

And so, when Influenster sent me the Glam Vox Box and it had Shea Moisture products in it, I was thrilled because I am familiar with the brand and tried their products many times. This particular one that I got free was Shea Argan Oil Shampoo, Shea Argan Blow Out Creme Conditioner and a coupon to purchase from their line whenever I run out of products; which is quite often for me being that I co-wash almost every day.

Wash and Co-Wash

So I got in the shower and shampooed with the argan oil, which I noticed was nice and creamy. It lathered my hair and made my locks and my scalp feel nice and clean. 

I followed with Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curly Conditioner, left it on my hair for about five minutes and it added extra moisture to my curly afro. I will say that I have no real preference for conditioner because I find something beneficial in almost all of them. I use inexpensive. I use expensive. I use non-organic. I use organic. I use sulfate and paraben free and I also use with sulfates and paraben though I prefer the former. I usually go for what is on sale and then there are times when I just go for a specific product. And so, I have tried products from the Shea Moisture line many times before and liked it. Sometimes I  use L'Oreal or Suave. It depends on the day and my mood. But, I still haven't found that one must use everyday product. But I will! 

After Wash

I dried off some of the excessive water in my hair with an old tee-shirt. I find a regular towel to be harsh on hair and so, I use an old shirt or a hair scarf to dry it. 

I started clipping my ends with a hair scissor on days that I use shampoo and so, I clipped my ends before applying moisturizer. Since I do not use heat in my hair and usually let my hair air dry all but the once a year that I am switching to, I applied the blow-out crème to my hair anyway which I found to moisten my hair really well.  It did not build up in any one area at all. It felt clean in my hair and brightened up the dullness of it.

I feel that if this product protects from heat and heat damage, that maybe it will repair it as well. It has marshmallow extract & cherimaya. It is said to improve style, control and speed. I love that it contains organic shea butter, argan oil and almond milk. The protein factor strengthens. It has no sulfates, no parabens and it is a great product for my natural hair. So I will add it to the list of the many products that I use and can’t wait to take advantage of my coupon on my next shopping trip.

So tell me . . .

Do you think that my hair is heat damaged and is it repairable? Is it normal for your hair to be straight in some places and curly in others? What are you using that might benefit my hair? What is your hair routine? Please share!  

Disclaimer: I am not employed by Shea Moisture and will not be compensated for writing this blog post. I however,did receive the product free to try and to share my thoughts on a separate app than this blog. These are my real thoughts, unguided or scripted based on my usage of the complimentary items received. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Hair Product Crush

On a regular day, my shower includes condition washing my hair.  

I have been caught up in the grip of the addiction of adding water and conditioner to my locks every day since I did the big chop almost three years ago, and never looked back.

The overall concept is to be able to manage my hair. I experience moments of intense pleasure when my hair is soft and my curls look nice and beautiful. In a myriad of ways, this is one of the many things that make me who I am. When I venture forth to the supermarket or local pharmacy, I usually leave with a new bottle of conditioner because I can go through about two bottles a week.

But what makes a difference in manageability and look is the after process. It is what I decide to put into my hair to keep it moisturized. I can admit that word of mouth, Pinterest and YouTube discussions on natural hair products are all worth the consideration. I am like a turn taker, trying everything and anything until I find the one that I crush over.

I am a bit biased on why Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie became my product of choice. The very first time I started to use it, I noticed my curls came out looking so pretty. I went out that same day to hang out with my favorite guy and he kept complimenting me on how good my hair smelled. And this was on every occasion that I put it on and we were together. The scent elevated his attention and it was more than a narrow attention but a general interest. I guess you can say that is from an effectiveness standpoint to wear something that someone you want around will enjoy being around because he liked it.

But much more than that. It enhances my curls. It has silk protein and neem oil in it which makes my hair just a little bit stronger than it was before using the product. It hydrates and protects it from breakage. My hair feels silky smooth all the time and that is something I appreciate about it.

It keeps my hair healthy. It is sulfate free. It is paraben free. And I like that I feel confident about a product I am using, though if used wrong and you just apply it without massaging it into your hair, it will leave white gunks of residue all over your hair. But, I love it and I think that it was made just for me and as destiny would have it, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie became my product of choice. Other things I use in my hair every now and then that I really like are Pure Shea butter, Coconut oil and Castor oil.

But this is my story and my song. What is yours? Share your hair product crush with me. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dying for a New Shade of Natural

My hair has been hungry for some color. Perhaps it is due to its growing rusty with age; black works but with all the new greys that have grown over my head and with such gargantuan speed, I have lately been compelled to respond and add a touch of bedazzlement to my dulling locks.  

I am a very creative spirit and so, every speck of me has to have some sort of excitement for my own personal enjoyment. Though I am as happy as I have ever been to know that the Bible says that grey hair is a sign of righteousness and to know that it means that I have good in me, in a host of ways, I get bored of anything if it is mundane and never changing. Call it the Sagittarius in me, but it is true.

And so, I decided that it was time to enhance my look, and I did. 

In the process of looking for a new color, I found a cool app that was easy to download to my phone, called My Shade by Clairol which allows you to see all their neat colors they carry, upload a headshot of yourself and apply the shades you are interested in to the photo to see what the color might look like on your hair if you were to choose that as the shade for real.

They had all kinds of reds, oranges, blondes, browns, you name it. I thought it was pretty cool to be able to generate a new photo with the color swatch and ask your friends for their thoughts on it. The app also gave you the option of having a virtual consultation with a professional who could give you their opinion on colors that might look fantastic on you.

I knew I wanted to go with a reddish color; perhaps, more on the orangish or copper side. 

Because I am a naturalista, I settled for Natural Instincts by Clairol and went with 7GR Light Golden Red. Something about the word natural that got me. 

I like Clairol Natural Instinct because it is ammonia-free. It says that the color lasts up to 28 shampoos which is not bad considering, you can always try another color in a matter of time. If you are like me, free-spirited and always looking for the next new and exciting thing, that is something great to know about something you are doing to enhance your look. .
The creamy substance that you apply to your hair has Vitamin E, Aloe and Coconut oil in it which is very healthy for natural hair and also comes with shampoo and a 6-week supply of additional hair conditioning treatment.

The best thing about this hair dye system in my opinion is that my hair retained its healthy nature. It didn’t get dry because I was using color. Actually, it seems more lively, bouncy and softer than it did prior to the application. And I love the color on me.

If you are like me however and have thick curls and a lot of hair, you will need more than one box. At least that is what the hair stylist told me though she did what she could with the one box which to me, the result was just fine considering my hair was pitch black with some silver streaks. I wanted a reddish copper and I got just that. 

When it comes to my hair, I do washes and conditions on my own. Everything else, I leave it to the professionals who were more than happy to use my Clairol product that I conveniently found at my local supermarket for under $8 which was not bad for something that will last a little while in my hair.  

The process took about an hour and then I was off to being little old me all over again, but with my image looking a whole lot more fabulous than it did before I got there. 

Here are some pictures of the process. 

And the result . . .

Do you think it looks light golden red or copper? What do you think of the color? 

Disclaimer: I am a bzzagent and received this product free of charge to try and to write a review based on purchase and usage. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Just me and my Fro

"I harnessed a great confidence that radiates"
- (Maurice White).

Photo by Linda A Strobert

It's growing. It looks healthy. Finally to the softness of my liking. It fits my face. I am maintaining it after almost three years. It's my hair. It is me. I am a naturalista and I'm loving this healthy, natural hair thing that I have gotten myself into. 

Thank God for the no chemical thing. I don't miss the heat in my hair. The last time I used any heat was October 2015. No blow outs. No curling. No straightening. Just me and my fro. 

Who would have thought I would have gotten to this point? 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Threes an Awkward Stage and a Protective Style

I never considered wearing a wig until I found out that it could serve as a protective style.

I am into my third year of going back to natural. I did the big chop in June of 2013 and three years later, I have come into this awkward hair state where I am finding it really difficult to maintain it. Not sure why, except I know that the every day co-washes that I used to do is not working for me anymore. My bantu knot twist outs are not even falling like they used to. I am having 99 hair problems but the texture ain't one of them because I still love being natural.

I considered braiding but I have extremely thin sides and I tried doing just one single braid in my hair when I was in the midst of my second year and it hurt my scalp more than hair pins digging into it. So not sure the braiding thing would do me so well.

And so, I have been trying on a few lovely hats lately as my new protective style over my corn twists.

Okay you got me. By hats, I mean wigs!
What do you think? Any other suggestions?
Leave a comment. Naturalistas; HELP!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

All I see is Curls, Curls, Curlsfest

Nothing like a party to celebrate the beautiful naturalists in the world. Nothing like a team no lye fiesta situated in the naturally beautiful expanse of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY.

All I saw was kinky curls. All I saw was healthy natural hair. And all day it was a day of giveaways, dancing in the summer heat, hair samples and showcasing of products made for and by afrolicious people.

What am I clamoring about?
 The 2016, annual Curlfest. It happened on June 26th, 2016 in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and guests were welcomed by a wealth of companies who have product lines that target people who are happy to be nappy; such as Curlfriends, Dove, Shea moisture, Ouidad, and dark & lovely, just to name a few.

If you were not on a line getting one of the large free bags of hair products, soaps and lotions, you might have been participating in natural hair styling demonstrations, doing some of the line dances, coloring the free coloring pages with your kids or watching the tom-tom crew dancing and drumming in the summer heat.

It was a free event which was open to the general public and was such a nice thing to see naturalistas exposing their true natural beauty without borders.

Disclaimer: I will not be compensated for naming any of the companies involved in this event. I am not a promoted nor will I gain anything for posting in regards to this annual event. I am a naturalist who likes to share information to the natural hair community that may be vital to their natural hair journeys. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Three Years since the Big Chop

Photo by Linda A Strobert

I can't believe it is coming up on three 

years since I did the

big chop and went back to natural.

Three years later, I think I 

want to go back to that day. 

Was so much easier and my hair was 

at its healthiest ever; 

not that it is not healthy now, three years later, but . . . 

Photo by Raymond C Lynch

now it is like, what do I 

do with it, trying to figure it out but . . . 

still prefer natural 

hair over getting the chemical burns 

on my scalp every other month. 

But this is my natural hair journey! 

Care to share with me yours? 

I want to know your tips, 

the products you use and your experiences. 

Comment on this blogpost 

or email