Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Top 3 Deep Conditioners

That moment. Oh that moment when you find the one. The one deep conditioner that makes your curls supple, soft, and elongated. The one deep conditioner that your hair sinks into your strands enveloping every kink, curl, and coil with moisture. The one deep conditioner that you can't imagine your hair without. Yep. That moment when you find your holy grail deep conditioner is what hair care fanatics long for.

I've tried a lot of deep conditioners, but there are 3 that I find myself buying over and over. I have at least 2 bottles of each on hand at all times. Here are my top 3 deep conditioners and why they slay:


JESSICURL DEEP TREATMENT

(full review here) (buy it here)
If you're on the search for a beautifully insane moisturizing conditioner, I doubt that Jessicurl Deep Treatment will disappoint. I thought that this conditioner was perfect for my telaxed hair but it's even BETTER for my curls. It's thick and creamy. Doesn't leave a residue and it's ingredients make my curls smile. Late last year, when my ends were feeling frizzy, dry and damaged, I whipped this conditioner back out, applied it to my dry hair, sealed with a little oil, then left it in overnight. By the morning, my curls were revitalized. My hair felt so good that I didn't even bother rinsing the treatment. (you can check out that #washdayexperience here) Needless to say, if when my hair is in need of mega moisture, Deep Treatment is the conditioner that I call.

RELATED: 4 Deep Conditioning Hacks

MATRIX HYDRASOURCE CONDITIONER

(full review here) (buy it here)
Again, I've used the conditioner for years. (4 years to be exact) It was my holy grail when my hair was relaxed back then, it was amazing while I transitioned, and today is still nourishes my curls from root to tip. I love the way that this conditioner sinks into my hair. This conditioner is fantastic when applied without heat, but when you add heat---it takes its replenishing properties up to that next next level.

RELATED: Why I deep condition overnight

AUBREY GPB CONDITIONER

(full review here) (buy it here)
My curls have shown me that they thrive on moisture, but that they need protein to stay strong and resilient. That's where my Aubrey GPB Conditioner comes into play. This conditioner offers the perfect balance of moisture and protein. It defines my curls, has a ridiculous amount of slippage, and prevents breakage. I've used it both as a pre-shampoo strengthening treatment and as a deep conditioner.  So if you've ever had that moment when your curls limp or don't have that much spring to them---give this conditioner a try. (You can thank me later!)

What's the best deep conditioner that you've ever tried? Share a link to your review of it below!

Besitos!
KLP

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

[Tutorial] Low Bun For Natural Hair

Y'all know that I love a good updo. I'm still living that wash and go life, but by the end of my hectic the day, my curls are usually in this low bun situation.  I love this low bun because it's voluminous, doesn't snatch my edges, and super comfortable. I don't have to use weave or one of those cute mesh donut thingamajigs either.



Here's how to get this low bun:



  1. Moisturize, detangle, and seal your hair. 
  2. Create a middle part. (Any part will do. I like the middle part because I struggle to get my bangs pulled back when I do a side part)
  3. Apply a product to tame our edges. I used Eco Styler Krystal Gel (buy it here). 
  4. Smooth your hair back into a low puff using a hair tie. I used my DIY Ribbon Hair Ties (here's how to make them). The key is not to double the hair tie. 
  5. Roll, tuck and pin your hair around the perimeter of the hair tie to form your bun. 
  6. Finish with a light mist of hair spray (I used Chi Enviro Flex Hold Hair Spray to keep your curls in place and tame frizzy flyaways.  

The best part of this updo is that it doesn't ruin my curls. At night, I take all the pins out, shake my hair out then band it. (here are the dets on how I band my hair) When I release the bands the next morning, all I have to do is fluff and go! This is how I wore my hair the next day!

How was your #washdayexperience? Anyone else sporting an updo this week?

Besitos!
KLP


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

6 Reasons To Try a Wash and Go


If you're reading this, you've probably either attempted a wash and go or are thinking about attempting a wash and go. You might not think that wash and gos work for your hair type. You might not have found your perfect wash and go curling cocktail. But, I'm here to give you a gentle encouraging nudge to give the wash and go life a chance. Here are 6 reasons why you should try a wash and go (again):



Increased Curl Definition 

The wash and go is less about achieving a certain "style" and more about figuring out what technique + product selection encourages your strands to clump, curl and pop. There are tons of methods that you can use to define your curls (I use the rake and shake + praying hands for example). With each wash and go I've seen increased curl poppage and curl memory

Low Maintenance

I literally do nothing to my hair after wash day. No moisturizing and sealing. No detangling. No restyling.To keep my curls shaped, I band it at night using my DIY Ribbon Hair Ties and then cover with a satin cap/scarf. (You can find out more about banding here---just trust me, it's AMAZEBALLS)  My curls stay defined for days.

RELATED: DIY Ribbon Hair Ties For Natural Hair

Quasi-Protective Style

While I can't say that the wash and go is a legit style that will protect your ends. I can say this: Because of my product cocktail, my ends stay uber moisturized between washes. My shrinkage doesn't allow my curls to touch my shoulders, so I don't have to worry about the ends of my hair rubbing and snagging on anything. Then there's the business of the gel cast. The gel cast is almost like a protective curl exoskeleton (say that 10 times fast!). The cast prevents moisture from escaping (as quickly) from your strands and keeps your curls weighed down which prevents tangling.Which leads me to my next point...

Less Tangles

In the past, when I tried wash and gos, my gel application was lousy (I only used gel on my ends instead of the entire strand), my hair wasn't properly moisturized prior to applying the gel, and I didn't band my hair. All of this was a recipe for tangles, knots, and general natural hair mayhem.

Gym/Workout Friendly

I work out 5-6 days a week, 30 minutes to an hour. Now I'm not talking yoga---where you don't sweat and look cute. I'm talking 2 mile morning runs + 30 minute cardio kickboxing with a few plyometric and circuit training courses sprinkled in. I sweat like a sinner in church. But my wash and go never shows it! I shared all of the details on how I do it here: How to Maintain Your Wash and go for 5 days!

RELATED: Workout styles for natural hair

Long Lasting

My very first wash and go experience was terrifying to say he least. The style lasted all of 24 hours before I gave up, co-washed then put my hair up in a bun. Luckily, I'm stupid persistent because at almost a year later, I'm alllll about the wash and go. My curls are moisturized, defined, and last for dayssss (so far the longest I've been able to go is 8 days between wash and gos). So even if you've failed time and time again to get the wash and go of your dreams---I encourage you to keep trying. Because your curls were made for this. Literally!

If you've mastered your wash and go, share some of your fave tips below. And if you are still figuring it all out, drop a question in the comment section. We're here to support, encourage, and throw a little positive pixie dust your way!

Besitos!
KLP

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

10 Things to Know Before You Use Henna On Your Natural Hair

Since introducing henna into my natural hair regimen, I've noticed a ton of positives. Henna is strengthening; I have less breakage. The color is stunning in natural light. But I've also noticed slight changes in my curl pattern. If you are considering henna, here is a list of 10 things you need to know before you start:


PERMANENT

Henna is permanent. It's a natural plant. It's not a chemical create in a lab nor is it ink. The henna plant only makes one color: Red.

CUMULATIVE

The effect of henna on your hair color is cumulative--meaning that each time you do a treatment, your color will get deeper and richer. It takes a few days for your henna to fully oxidize and produce the finished effect.

HEAT

Using a warm henna paste + sitting under the dryer after applying your henna will give your hair a deeper richer color.

RELATED: How to use Lush Henna on Natural Hair


DOES NOT LIGHTEN HAIR

Henna can not lighten your hair tone. Henna  does not open the cuticle and lift or lighten your hair's natural hair pigment. Henna coats your hair like a varnish, which means your individual shade sits underneath the henna, creating a color that's unique to you. Essentially, henna stains your hair the same way that a beet will stain whatever it touches. The result is a mix of the red from the beet and whatever color the object was before the beet touched it.

INDIGO

Indigo is not henna. It's another plant that can be used to dye/stain your hair. When mixed with henna it creates brown hues.

CASSIA

Cassia obovata is not henna. It's another plant that can be used to dye/stain your hair. Cassia has a yellow tint that typically doesn't show up on dark hair. Thus it's been called "neutral henna" because it has many of the same benefits of henna without the color.

RELATED: Lush Caca Rouge Results (3rd Application)

Curl Loosening Theory From JC @ NaturalHairHaven

CURL LOOSENING

Henna can loosen your curl pattern. According to my favorite Curly Scientist, with each henna application your hair absorbs the henna, but it also absorbs water. The henna + water combo weighs the strands down thus elongating the curl. If you strip all the science-y stuff away, to me, it sounds like henna can "over-moisturize" your hair depending on your hair's texture, porosity, and the frequency of henna use. I have noticed that my curls are more elongated following my henna applications. However, my curl returns to normal a few days later. My curl definition has also changed. When my hair is wet, it's a bit more frizzy, however when it dries (for example in a wash and go) the definition is actually greater and it lasts.

DRYING

Henna can be drying. The drying affects of henna can be combated by applying an oil to your hair before application, adding moisturizing ingredients to your recipe or deep conditioning your hair after application. I like to deep condition for at least an hour under my hooded dryer or over night after henna treatments.

APPLICATION

Applying henna to damp hair makes the application process easier. I like to co-wash my hair before applying my henna paste.

STRAND AND PATCH TEST

Always perform a patch test on your skin then a strand test on your hair of your henna paste before using. This video by Chemese about her severe allergic reaction to what she thought was henna should be enough to convince you. Because I love my hair and I can be stupid paranoid, I've only used Lush's Caca Rouge. Lush's henna treatments are premixed and reputable.

For right now, the pros of henna outweigh the negatives. I'm extremely happy with the health of my hair and the hair is EVERYTHING!

If you are a henna pro--share your experience with henna below. If you're a henna newbie---feel free to ask questions!

Besitos!
KLP





Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DIY Ribbon Hair Ties For Natural Hair

Have you ever struggled to find the right hair tie for your high puff or low bun? The new hair tie is too tight. The old hair tie has been stretched out too far. Let's not even try to count how many hair ties your hair has destroyed. The struggle is so real. But I have GENIUS solution for you: Make your own hair tie that is the perfect size and stretchiness for your 'do.

RELATED: How To Get The Perfect High Puff



Ribbon Elastic Hair ties are stupid easy to make; literally effortless. If you can tie a knot---then you can make a boat load of hair ties. Personally, these are my favorite hair ties for banding my wash and go. Banding with these hair ties doesn't cause breakage and prevents those weird indents that I get from regular hair ties.

RELATED: Perfecting Your Wash and Go with Banding
 

Benefits of Ribbon Elastic Hair Ties

  • No metal to snag your hair on
  • Ceaseless
  • Incredibly gentle
  • Stupid cheap
  • Comfortable
  • Always the perfect size
  • Customize your color

Here's what you'll need:
5/8" (or larger) Fold Over Elastic
Fabric Scissors
Ruler/ Measuring Tape
Optional: Candle flame/lighter to seal the ends



How To Make Ribbon Elastic Hair Ties

  1. Measure your fold over elastic. For medium hair ties, I used 11" of elastic. Large (think for your high puff) I used 20". And for headbands I used 28". 
  2. Cut your desired length. Regular scissors will due but fabric scissors are best. Fabric scissors are very sharp which will give your cut a clean edge.
  3. Match the ends together with the shiny side up. 
  4. Make a knot at the ends then slide the knot closed leaving about 1/2" at the end. 
Optional: You can use the flame from a candle or a lighter to seal the ends of the ribbon elastic to keep it from fraying. In my experience, this step isn't really necessary. Because I use very sharp fabric scissors, the ends of the ribbon rarely frays, even after heavy use.

Viola. You're done.  No more headaches from your headband being too tight and your puff or bun will still be slicked for the 'gawds.


Have your say! Would you use DIY Ribbons Hair ties?

Besitos!
KLP


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Fro with Bangs | The #WashDayExperience

My wash and go is more of a wash, apply products, wait wait wait wait wait wait, wait some more wait wait wait wait until it air dries, band to stretch the curls a bit, then go. But you know what's weird? I honestly wouldn't have it any other way because this style lasts me for 5-6 days. My hair stays uber moisturized. I've experienced less breakage, less shedding, and more curl popping definition.



I can alternate between a high puff and wearing it out, without ruining my curls. I don't have to moisturize and seal daily. And I'm only washing my hair once a week. Like seriously---I dare not complain because the universe is a jealous fickle beast.

Day 2 of my wash and go from last week

Day 3 of my wash and go from last week

Most wash and go queens report that they have better definition and less frizz when they apply their leave ins in the shower. Well, my wash and go from last week frizzed up sooner than I was expecting (around day 3-4) and when I did that last week. So this week---I went back to applying my leave ins outside of the shower. Proof that what works for gander---might not work for this goose. Ha-ha!



Here is what I used:

Pre-shampoo- DIY Moisturizing Mist (tutorial here) + Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (review) (buy it)
Shampoo- Jessicurl Cleansing Cream (review)(buy it)
Henna TreatmentHow to use Lush Henna on Natural Hair
Deep Condition- Jessicurl Deep Treatment Conditioner (review)(buy it) + Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (buy it)
Clay Rinse- Here's the dets on my recipe
Leave-Ins- Castor Oil (buy it)+ Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner (review)(buy it)
Styler- Eco Styler Krystal Gel (buy it)

And here's how I did it:

PRE-SHAMPOO

I love my pre-shampoo sessions because they allow me to detangle/remove shed hair before I get into the shower plus it gives my hair an extra boost of either moisture or protein. I started by spraying my hair with my DIY moisturizing mist. If you haven't tried this recipe yet--WHAT ARE YOU WAITIN FOR?!?! It's not just moisturizing but it's an excellent detangler too! After I sprayed each section, I slathered on a little Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner. This conditioner has some of the best slip of any conditioner that I've ever used and the essential oils make my scalp feel happy.  I covered with a plastic cap and sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes.

RELATED: The Best Moisturizer For Natural Hair EVER!

SHAMPOO

With my hair secured in about 7 sections (4 in the back and 3 in the front), I rinsed the conditioner then shampooed with Jessicurl Cleansing Cream (review here). I expected tangles and a week's worth of shed hair, but surprisingly the process was quick and tangle-free. Now that I'm shampooing more often, I'm thinking about trying out the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo too. It's stupid cheap (like $4!) and if it's anything like the conditioner---it might be a winner! Have you tried it before?


HENNA TREATMENT

Henna applications double the time that it takes to wash my hair. Ugh. But the results are sooo worth it. I applied my Lush Caca Rouge mixture to my freshly washed hair in sections, covered with cling film and let it sit for about 3 hours (one hour I spent under the dryer). You can read more about my latest excursion with henna here.

RELATED: How to use Lush Henna on Natural Hair

Henna Results

DEEP CONDITION + CLAY RINSE

After rinsing the henna for what felt like forever, I t-shirt dried for a few minutes then applied my FAVEEEE deep conditioner Jessicurl Deep Treatment (review here). Next, I layered on a little Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (shop it!) to seal in the conditioner. I covered with a plastic cap and sat under my dryer for about an hour. I wanted to make sure that my hair was moisturized after using the henna because it can make your hair feel a little dry. I rinsed the conditioner in the shower then did my Clay Rinse treatment. Clay rinsing defines my curls like no other treatment that I use. If you only try ONE thing from my regimen---clay rinsing is the one to try. Especially if you are having trouble getting your curls to clump and pop.

RELATED: How I Get My Curls To POP!

LEAVE-IN + STYLER

Out of the shower, I applied my moisturizing leave in, Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner (why I love this stuff here) then sectioned off my hair to prep for applying the gel. I used the same exact technique from last week. Starting with the back, I spritzed it with water until it was soaking wet then finger detangled until my hair clumped into curls. Then I smoothed a little gel on the roots--but not on my scalp. Next, I raked a little more gel through all the way until the ends and gently shook out the curls. (aka the rake and shake technique)


FRO WITH {FAUX} BANGS

The application process still takes me about 35-40 minutes to do. And because I didn't want to be waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting, and waiting some more, I decided to sit under my hooded dryer. Believe it or not--my hair was just about completely dry after an hour. Boom pow. No more air drying for this chica! Of course my roots were still a little damp. This just comes with the thicker than thieves hair that I have. I banded my hair using my new DIY Ribbon Elastic Hair Ties (tutorial coming soon!)

Ribbon Elastic Hair ties don't leave nearly has many ceases in my curls when I band, they are super comfortable and very very gentle on my hair. The next morning, all I had to do was remove the bands---which is super easy and doesn't cause breakage---shake my hair out a little then fluff.



I forgot to take pictures of my first and second day hair but this third day hair tho?!?!? I decided to pin my overgrown bangs up a little to get them above my eyes and rock this stretched curly fro.

Fro + Bangs? Shoot...y'all can't tell me NOTHING!


Let me know if y'all want a tutorial on how I pinned my bangs and got all this stupid crazy volume!

How was your #washdayexperience?


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Lush Henna Caca Rouge Results (3rd Application)

I did my third application of Lush's Henna Caca Rouge over the weekend! I used the same prep process and application as the previous two times. The only difference was that instead of co-washing before the application, I shampooed because my hair was still full of product from my last wash and go.

RELATED: How to use Lush Henna on Natural Hair 


Henna is a tedious process. It adds 4-5 hours to my usual wash day. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to apply the henna. I let it sit for 3 hours (one of which, I'm under my hooded dryer). Then it takes an additional 20-30 minutes to fully rinse the henna from my hair. Luckily for me, the results are are so worth it. Here's why:

VIBRANT HIGHLIGHTS

My hair is naturally dark brown with peeks of auburn highlights.  What I love about henna is that my natural sun-kissed highlights are now more vibrant coppery color. In the sun light, it's almost like I have a subtle bronze halo around my curls.


STRONGER SOFTER HAIR

I'm not sure if it's my new minimalist regimen, my latest obsession with wash and go's or a combination of both but my hair has been on it's very best behavior. My strands feel uber moisturized, despite the fact that I'm only washing my hair once a week. I haven't had to moisturize or seal between wash days and my curl definition is even better. (I didn't think that was a possibility!) I've also noticed less breakage.


CUMULATIVE

With each henna application, the color gets deeper and richer. So, I have many more applications before I'll get close to the firey copper glow that I really want. Fingers crossed that my time at the beach this summer will help expedite the process!



Any one else playing with henna? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Besitos!
KLP