Friday, January 31, 2014

[Review] OddStrandOut Coffee Oil {Keyda}

Coffee Oil Courtesy of OddStrandOut

Hazelnut Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil and Coffee infused oil

My Thoughts:
A few months ago, Danielle of OddStrandOut gave us an opportunity to test drive her latest product: an Coffee Infused oil. I did a preliminary review in my "On Deck" post. But I didn't want to leave you chicas hanging about how I incorporated the oil into my regimen. I enjoyed how the product was packaged. The bottle allowed for the oil to easily come out and flow onto my scalp. The oil itself was not watery or too thick, so it moved through my scalp but did not overflow down my back or face. I was only able to use it for 4 washes, so I would have loved a little more to actually see how well it works or to compare with other products.

How I used it:
I used this as pre-shampoo product for my scalp. I noticed that my scalp looked almost dandruff free after using it and my conditioner products seemed to really soak into my roots. My shedding seemed less but it was not a significant difference from when I use Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Toner.

All in all, I would love to continue using Coffee oil on my scalp to see how it effects the growth of my hair! Good Product Danielle!

Have you tried coffee oil!?


Thursday, January 30, 2014

How To Protect Your Ends With Protein Layering

I've hoovered in BSL land for almost 2 years now and I've so over it. I'm convinced that if I can keep my ends moisturized, protected, and strong---I'll finally make it into MBL. So, a few weeks ago, thanks to this post from Nadege over at Relaxed Hair Health, I was introduced to the idea protein layering. 
Protein is a finicky topic for some, so here are my two cents: I think that all curly hair can and benefit from protein powered products. Protein Layering is a technique where by you only apply your protein products to your ends only. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair. They dry out faster, have had the most manipulation, and are constantly exposed to wear and tear. Whilst, I won't know how well it's benefited my ends until I straighten my hair later this week, I have noticed a steady decrease in broken hairs. Here is how I've used protein layering on my hair:

(Protein) Pre-Shampoos:
I use coconut oil several times during my wash day routine. My favorite is in my pre-shampoo. I love applying extra virgin coconut oil to my unwashed hair and letting my hair absorb it before I wash. Coconut oil is high in protein and naturally penetrates the hair shaft leading to softer hair. I adore coconut oil's assistance in detangling my hair and that it alleged prevents hygral fatigue. Wondering what in the world that is? Check out this article on RelaxedThairpy

(Protein) Conditioning:
Usually, I deep condition by applying a nourishing conditioner to my hair and layering an oil on atop to seal the moisture in before covering with a plastic cap. Then, I sit under indirect heat for at least 30 minutes and rinse with cool water. I've kicked this up a notch by applying a super moisturizing conditioner on my roots and then a protein rich conditioner from the line of demarcation (the place were my roots meet the chemically processed length) to my ends. So far, my favorite protein conditioners to use have been Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask and Joico K-pak Reconstructor.

(Protein) Leave Ins: 
Serums have been my go to for protein leave ins. They absorb easily, assist in detangling, and provide excellent shine. I've noticed that when I use Chi Silk Infusion and Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum during the week, I don't have of those itty bitty broken hairs on the bathroom counter when I'm doing my hair.

One place in my regimen where I've restricted protein use is in shampoos. My hair hates shampoo. I'm sure that adding a blast of protein would only make it worse. 

Have you tried protein layering? What products do you use?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Relaxed Hair Tips

Winterizing Your Relaxed Hair 
The cold temperatures, wind, and dry indoor heat has made keeping my hair moisturized a challenge this winter. Here are some ways that I'm keeping my hair moisturized whilst warding off breakage this winter: 

Find an air drying method that works for you: 
Wet hair in the winter isn't really my cup of tea, but blow drying (with high heat) or using the flat iron daily isn't going to help my already thirsty hair. My air drying method of choice right now is (faux) banding. I detangle in sections, apply my leave ins, gently stretch my hair and secure with croc clips then let dry. Not only does the tension prevent tangles at my roots, but it also smooths my hair and is the perfect base for big voluminous buns. If banding isn't your thing, try a roller set or tension blowout with cool air.

Stock up on your favorite creamy leave in:
Winter weather will laugh as your light watery leave in. Creamy leave ins that absorb and deeply nourish are musts in the winter. My favorites are Herbal Essences Split End Protector and y'all know that I can not say enough about Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner

Consider adding a shot of protein to your ends:
Protein is only one factor preventing breakage and aiding in length retention, but I do believe that all hair can benefit from a little protein power, especially on your ends. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and it totally needs a lot of love. My hair loves silky protein serums. Here are my go tos: Chi Silk Infusion or Organix Coconut Milk Serum.

Seal it with a buttery kiss---of Hair butter:
I'm trying to be more mindful of what my ends do and how I treat them. I'm convinced that if I can keep my ends moisturized, protected, and strong---especially this winter, I'll finally make it out of BSL land. We all know that we need to seal our hair. But sealing with a hair butter that is chocked full of nourishing butters, oils, and nutrients will protect hair from damage, deeply moisturize and ease manageability. I love making my Kitchenista hair butter but if you're not about that DIY life, check out Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter (Heavenly Delight). You won't regret it!

How has your regimen changed this winter? Share your tips below!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mini Wash Day

Mini washing is simply a glorified co-wash. I usually rinse my hair with oil or just water, skip the shampooing, and go straight into my deep conditioning routine. No jumping in and out of the shower 20 million times to get my hair adequately clean and re-hydrated. Here's what I used to wash my hair this week:
  1. Detangled- with my fingers and a ton of extra virgin coconut oil and applied JBCO to my scalp
  2. Extreme deep condition- Next, I hopped into the shower for 5 minutes to rinse the oil completely. Then I applied Matrix Biolage Ultra-Hydrating Balm to my roots and Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask the length of my hair. Next, I massaged extra virgin coconut oil throughout, covered with a plastic cap and sat under my heat cap for 2 hours and left it in overnight.
  3. Camomile Aloe Tea Rinse- After rinsing the conditioner, I applied 1 part steeped camomile tea and 1 part aloe vera gel, using a narrow tip applicator to my strands--focusing on the roots. I let it sit for a few minutes then rinsed.
  4. Smoothing Treatment- I rinsed the conditioner then let a large dollop of Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution marinate on my hair for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Air Dried- to 80-85% wrapped in a cotton t-shirt.
  6. Leave ins- Applying the LOC(B) method, to seal in the moisture (L) into my strands, I used extra virgin coconut oil (O), then Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner (C), and my kitchenista Tangerine Vanilla Whipped Hair Butter (B)as my leave ins I "faux" banded my hair to stretch roots. 

The Results:
I used Aloe Vera Gel instead of Aloe Vera Juice this week in my tea rinse because...well...I was out. Ha-ha! You gotta make due with what you have. I really enjoyed this switch though. The hot steeped camomile tea "melted" the gel after I shook everything together, but as the mixture cooled, it created this really neat gel-like consistency that was super easy to apply to my roots. Plus instead of dripping all over the place, my tea rinse stayed put. 

For the first time in what seems like forever, I pulled my hair into a high bun thanks to a little Chi Twisted Fabric. I don't know how I feel about this product---I definitely think that it would be better suited for straightened hair, but it worked relatively well. 

How was your wash day? Using something new? Share with us below!



Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekly Wishes

If you're new to Weekly Wishes, its just a place where I talk about my goals or how I want to rock my world this week. It gives me space for reflection on the previous week and a cozy place to prepare for the days ahead without getting stuck in the fact that Monday's aren't my favorite day by any means. You can join me by posting your aspirations and wishes for the week then linking up with Melyssa @ The Nectar Collective.

Sleep. So simple but immensely difficult. My wish last week was to clock 7 hours of sleep. Every night. All week. And I failed. Totally, utterly failed. But there is good news. I did manage to be in bed by 11:30 5 out of 7 days. #minifistpump. Plus, I have a good reason for being up late. Last Friday was my little guy's birthday so my hubby and I were up late most of those nights prepping for his Little Einstein themed bash. We made a super cute mobile, my hubby crafted the neatest red Rocket, and my daughter and I made him rocket cake. Despite the terribly cold weather, a bunch of our family and friends joined us in celebrating another joyous year. Then...the kid had so much fun that he passed out with a balloon in his hand. That, mis amigas, is how you know that you did good. 

I'm half way through the Wife After God 30 day devotional and uber excited about the way that God is transforming me into an even better wife. This week, I want to plan a super fun night for me and the hubby to talk about nothing at all related to our scheduling, play dates, or potty training. Ha-ha! Suggestions welcome! And I'm still going to work on getting 7 glorious hours of sleep every night.

What are you wishing for this week? Big it big or small---it all starts today!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Healthy Hairology Medley

Sunday Healthy Hairology Medley is the place where I share my favorite healthy hair related blogs, vlogs, and forum features for you each week. Here's the best of the best from last week:   

Why I Kissed Heat Goodbye mylonghairjourney Regardless of your hair texture orif you choose to chemically treat it, ditching direct heat will most certainly benefit your length retention. Here are the reasons why Tola has kissed heat goodbye.

Hairstyles for a sock bun - 30 buns in 30 days - Hair Romance
Hair Romance
Deep Condition or Baggy? relaxedthairapy: Why choose when you can do both? Divachyk shows you how.

Pitching Brands The Right Way andyestojoy:  Healthy blog related. How did you get that sponsorship? Is one of the most asked non-hair related questions that I get. And the answer is: I pitch. Check out Amber's thoughts on how to pitch your brand the right way.

How Many Ways Can You Style A Donut Bun? hairromance: Every time that I hear "Protective styling is boring." I want to cringe. It doesn't have to be, all you have to do is get creative. Christina has 15+ ways to style your bun to get you started!

Hair Growth From The Salty Mess karlshappilyeverafter: Regardless of what your hair texture, shampooing less, will prevent your hair from drying out. Check out Kristy's other tips.

How Wearing Ponytails can cause breakage latoyajonesblog: I constantly switch up my updos for this exact reason: wearing taught ponytails, buns or braids can cause more harm than good. Check out LaToya's tips on getting your hair to bounce back.

I want to see what you thought was noteworthy! Create a post of your weekly favorites and link up with us below!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

[Review] Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution

Price: #15.99 per liter

Purchased at: Ulta (During Liter Sale)

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Isopropyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Trideceth 6, Limonene, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citric Acid, Coumarin, Linalool, Passiflora Edulis Fruit Juice, Bisabolol

Dry hair goes through a dehydration cycle. It absorbs moisture easily but releases it too quickly. If not treated, it can become more fragile and drier over time. Biolage Hydratherapie, nourishing anti-dry care with aloe and passion fruit, continuously moisturizes* hair to help stop this cycle. Detangling Solution gives normal to dry hair light moisture nourishment to condition, detangle and help control static for natural softness and shine

How I Use It: 
In shower detangler after cowashing or deep conditioning.

My Thoughts:
I'm a rebel (in my head). I rarely follow the instructions written on my hair care items. I bought this detangler with the intentions of using it for a moisturizing detangling leave in because of all of the awesome ingredients: Glycerin and Aloe Vera--yum! was a Bad. Idea. It's just not moisturizing enough by itself for my hair. It does, however do exactly what it promises, melt my tangles in the shower. After using, my hair feels lightly moisturized and relatively tangle free. It's slip + my concentrated water pressure shower head gets my hair detangled in minutes without me having to manually manipulate my fragile wet hair. I especially love it after my tea rinses. It rids my hair of that stiff feeling and has completely replaced the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Treatment that I used to smooth/detangle my roots. I totally recommend this to anyone that experiences tons of tangling during wash day. It's made this 7 month stretch a lot easier than I expected. I read a review before I purchased this written by a relaxed chica who used this as a deep conditioner. I've never tried it that way; I seriously doubt that it would be nourishing enough but I definitely believe that her hair was silky and knot free afterward!

Sound off below if you've tired Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

LCO vs LOC | Which Moisturizes Longer?

We all know that dryness is the enemy of longer healthier hair. However what products to use and what order to use them in is constantly debated. The two most common methods are L.C.O. and L.O.C. Both methods encourage applied a combination of water, a creamy moisturizing leave-in, and oil, just in a different order.
L.C.O = Liquid + Cream + Oil 
L.O.C = Liquid + Oil + Cream 
Which Prevents Moisture lost?
To figure out which one works best, I filled 3 glass jars with equal amounts of water then grabbed my Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Split End Protector (Creamy moisturizer) and some Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (sealing oil). Jar 1 serves as a control with only water. I'm convinced that this is my hair when I don't moisturize after washing. Jar 2 is my L.C.O test; it's what I think my hair strands feel like on wash day after detangling, moisturizing, and sealing. Jar 3 is my L.O.C test; perhaps this is how much moisture (water) my hair could retain by reversing order in which I apply my leave-ins.
As you can see, if you ditch moisturizing after wash day---your hair secretly hates you. Whatever you do, do not do this to your hair! Jar 1 lost about a 1/4 of its water in a week. It's very difficult to tell how much water remained in the LCO and LOC jars from the picture. So I scraped off the conditioners and oils then poured the remaining water into a measuring cup. A smidge less than a cup of water remained in both jars; I started the experiment with a cup of water. <shrugs> Both methods seem to retain the same amount of liquid. Perhaps this is a place where trial and error comes into play.

My Experience With L.O.C.

Winter has been a harsh mistress on my hair. I attempted a bantu knot out about 2 weeks ago using the L.C.O method. It looked and felt great for about 2 hours but later that night it felt like a dry tangled birds nest. I was not a happy camper! Hence why I'm at the point where I'm willing to switch things up. Last wash, I applied a palm full of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil then covered with a satin scarf to let my hair dry a bit more. About 30 minutes later and I was surprised by the ridiculous shine and manageability of my hair slightly damp hair. I applied my leave ins (Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, and my kitchenista Tangerine Vanilla Whipped Hair Butter) and bantu knotted my hair. The softness and fluffiness from  lasted for 4 days! My hair didn't feel like it needed to be moisturized and sealed daily nor did I feel compelled to co-wash for manageability. I even did twist out with satin rollers and it was uber cute!  Anything that makes my 7 month post hair happy makes me happy! It looks like L.O.C.B. is my Winter Winner. 

The plan is to continue using the process on wash days for a few more weeks then see how my hair feels. I'm curious to know if you've experimented with both processes and which worked best. Be sure to mention what you're hair's porosity is too! Link up experience below!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Wishes

My daughter (c) 3 months; Sleeping peacefully
If you're new to Weekly Wishes, its just a place where I talk about my goals or how I want to rock my world this week. It gives me space for reflection on the previous week and a cozy place to prepare for the days ahead without getting stuck in the fact that Monday's aren't my favorite day by any means. You can join me by posting your aspirations and wishes for the week then linking up with Melyssa @ The Nectar Collective.

When I told my hubby that I was giving him an upgraded wife for his birthday (thanks to this life changing 30 day denotational by Jennifer Smith), I never thought that I'd get an upgraded hubby too. He's been extra kind, extra supportive, and extra huggable all week. Over the weekend we planned Daddy/Son, Mommy daughter morning for our kids and met up for a lunch date. It was really a blast. I love getting girl time with my little lady and I know that my son absolutely adores having time to himself with daddy. Later that day, we totally got into planning for our little guy's big day next weekend. We're doing a Little Einstein (only people with kids will know what in the world they are!) themed party so my hubby decided to get artsy and build a rocket. No joke. This man crafted and is getting ready to paint a giant rocket for the kiddos to play in during the party. Claro que si it's made of cardboard---don't go calling the NSA on us!

THIS WEEK'S WISH: My wish this week is so simple yet mind-boggling difficult: I want to sleep like a baby. Specifically getting 7 hours of sleep. Every night. All week. I'm awake until midnight most nights then I have to be back up @ 5am. Although, I'm a total morning person, I'm just not getting enough sleep. So this week, I'm super motivated to get more beauty rest. I know that my body and mind will thank me. And I think that it will help me with my struggle for focus. I'm also continuing my #WifeAfterGod journey. Eleven days down, 29 to go. You can check out my progress on Twitter.
What are you wishing for this week? Big it big or small---it all starts today!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Healthy Hairology Medley

Twist out with satin rollers
Sunday Healthy Hairology Medley is the place where I share my favorite healthy hair related blogs, vlogs, and forum features for you each week. Here's the best of the best from last week:
How to Prep your hair for and on relaxer day tomesedition: Prepping for relaxer can feel daunting, even for the experienced self-relaxer. Check out Tomi's tips and tricks for making the process seamless.

Heat Stretching 101 for Natural Hair easynaturalhair: Although I'm not natural, I love and have adapted Alicia James' process for tension drying her hair. I always use the blower on cool and never on my ends. Here's why.

Are steamers worth buying? thenaturalmavenboom: Personally, although I love hair experiments, tools, and gadgets, I have no place for an expensive hair steamer. I loathe sitting under a hooded dryer and I'm sure that I'd feel the same way about a steamer. JC suggests that steaming affects hair the same way that applying warm conditioner to your hair does. Shocking right? Your wallet can thank you now.

Best Products for Long Term Protective styles adesiredbeauty: I'm vicariously living my braid dreams through Melanie over at adesiredbeauty. If I ever get braids, I'll definitely pick up the products she lists.

End of Week Hair Share fromalxwithlove: Need a cute protective style for an old set of mini twists? Check out Alex's gorge updo!

I want to see what you thought was noteworthy! Link up your compliation below!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mini Wash Day

I love mini washing because I don't have to jump in and out of the shower 100 times to get my hair adequately clean and re-hydrated. Whilst, I loved the scents of the Pura Natural's collection from my last wash day, my hair didn't respond well to it. Just hours after my wash, my hair had a rough, dry feel to it. Almost as if I hadn't done anything at all. I'm super disappointed however, I do plan on using the line again---perhaps in the warmer months when my hair isn't begging for as much moisture. I co-washed twice to get some kind of moisture into my hair during the week. No bueno.
  1. Detangled- with my fingers and a ton of extra virgin coconut oil. 
  2. Extreme deep condition- Next, I hopped into the shower for 5 minutes to rinse the oil completely. Then I applied  JBCO on my scalp and Matrix Biolage Ultra-Hydrating Balm on the length of my hair. Next, I massaged  extra virgin coconut oil into my ends, covered with a plastic cap and sat under my heat cap for 2 hours and left it in overnight.
  3. Smoothing Treatment- I rinsed the conditioner then let a large dollop of Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution marinate on my hair for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Air Dried- to 80-85% wrapped in a cotton t-shirt.
  5. Leave ins- Applying the LOC method, I used extra virgin coconut oil, then Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, and  my kitchenista Tangerine Vanilla Whipped Hair Butter as my leave ins I "faux" banded my hair to stretch roots. I had a few unruly tangles, so I coated that section in Chi Silk Infusion and picked apart the knots.
The Results- 
Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydrating Balm to the rescue! It makes my hair feel so soft and manageable. Aside from 4-5 knots, my hair was extremely easy to detangle and stretch my roots. Jessicurl Too Shea never ceases to amaze me. The slip is awesome, it absorbs easily into my strands and the moisture that I'm able to retain for days makes me pray that its never discontinued. My kitchenista Tangerine Vanilla Whipped Hair Butter never fails me. I really don't know how I survived without it all these years.

Y'all know that braid outs hate me, but I was kinda feeling my hair so I attempted another one. After faux banding, I double strand twisted each section and added a satin pillow roller to the ends. I let my hair set for a few hours and unraveled. I really liked the results, but they didn't last. One--I didn't use a holding product and two---I unraveled before all of the twists were dry. The two biggest #fails for braid outs. <shrugs> I guess that practice makes perfect.<shrugs>

How was your wash day? Anyone else over this winter's ridiculously cold temps?


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Styling n' Relaxing! {Keyda}

Hope everyone has a FABULOUS start to the New Year!!

I had an AWESOME time in Hawaii and just wanted to share a few of my hair styles while relaxing in the warm weather! (If you're in the DMV, you know I was not missing this weather lol) I think I could live there honestly!! Well... Here are a few pictures with my hair styles..I admit that I was very into my vacation and probably did not take as many great pictures but take a look!

Unfortunately, I hilariously broke part of the shower at my BF's family home so I actually did not have a full on wash! (just shampoo rinse) :( haha I did a deep DEEP cleaning/moisturizing of my hair upon my return!

The style names are under the photos. :)

Braid Updo with Bow

Hike Hair: Braided Crown

Pin Up Style: Two French Braids with Bow

Swooped Style: Curls to side w/flower

xoxo Keyda!  How was your holidays!? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

6 Tips to Stretching Your Relaxer 6 Months

I get asked almost daily how I stretch my relaxers for so long. Honestly, I've never thought about it. I've always been a serial relaxer stretcher. As a kid, I'd go months and months without relaxing. My mom is a total tom-boy, so she would only "do" our hair (meaning relax it) on special occasions. (Think: Mother's Day, Christmas, and birthdays) In 2013, my goal was to stop stretching past 4 months because of the breakage and general havoc that I think it caused on my ends. But here I am excited to be over 6 months post and loving (almost) every minute of it. Here are 6 ways that I've been able to stretch my relaxer 6 months:

Detangle Pre-Wash: Never, ever, never will you catch me jumping right in the shower without prepping my hair. I firmly believe in pre-wash detangling and a good oily pre-poo. The pre-poo is the place in your regimen to prevent tangles, manage breakage, and keep your hair on your head. I start by detangling using extra virgin coconut oil then when I'm feeling fancy, I'll add conditioner and little indirect heat.

Related: Why I Love Coconut Oil

Ditch the Shampoo: I try to like shampoo. I really do. But my hair hates it. The only shampoo that my hair digs is Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Hydrating Shampoo so in the last few weeks I've been experimenting with creamy co-cleansers. You can DIY (here's a great recipe) or you can pick up a bottle of Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream, this cute little co-cleanser that claims to hydrate whilst still cleaning your tresses.

Extreme Deep Condition: I first picked up on this brilliant deep conditioning technique via Carol's Daughter's Olive Oil Infusion. My Extreme Deep Condition layers an oil over your conditioner sealing in all that moisturizing goodness. To help the conditioner penetrate, I add heat via a heat cap for at least an hour. This stretch, I've taken things a step further by deep conditioning overnight. My hair usually feels like silk afterwards. Moisture overload is real so keep your hair balanced by...

Related: Why I Deep Condition Overnight

Use Protein to Maximize Retention: There's no secret that I use protein to maximize my length retention. Protein is a finicky topic for some, so here's my spill: I think that all types of curly hair can and benefit from protein. Yet with all things in life, how you put it together and what you use matters. Take some time and date a couple protein laced products. I'd start with a conditioner with protein closer to the bottom of the ingredient list then work your way up. One protein product that has benefited me from the very beginning of my journey is Chi Silk Infusion. Its silky, smoothing, and strengthening. Win, win, win!

Stop shedding: Its not uncommon to notice a bit more shedding (not to be confused with breakage) as you get deeper into your stretch. Nip it in the bud with green or black tea rinses and follow your favorite smoothing treatment (mine is Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Conditioner) or detangler (I can't get enough of Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution.)

Protective Style: I live in protective styles. Not braids or weaves but buns and updos. Its hard not to want to flaunt your ridiculously long hair, but trust me keeping your ends protected will slow breakage---a long term stretchers worse enemy.

Last but not least, its okay if you love your hair but don't have the patience to fiddle with months of detangling multiple textures. It's important to crawl before your walk. If you usually relax after 6 weeks. Then for your next stretch add one more week. Keep adding a week to each stretch until you've figured out your patience sweet spot then run with that.

What are your todo's for successful stretching?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Wishes

If you're new to Weekly Wishes, its just a place where I talk about my goals or how I want to rock my world this week. It gives me space for reflection on the previous week and a cozy place to prepare for the days ahead without getting stuck in the fact that Monday's aren't my favorite day by any means. You can join me by posting your aspirations and wishes for the week then linking up with Melyssa @ The Nectar Collective.

Focusing isn't my forte. I'm going to be really real with y'all. I was kinda all over the place last week. I did make some updates to the site. (You see that nifty recent posts slider? Yeah---I'm siced!) I did find myself frustrated by the small stuff. Meh. I totally didn't take off my superwoman cape. BUT I did have a great time with my hubby and our family for his birthday. We treated him to a hibachi steakhouse dinner and Spider man birthday cake. #dontjudgeme Yum! I was so torn about what to get the man that seemingly has everything, then a great friend mentioned that she'd started reading an amazing marriage altering 30 day devotional by Jennifer Smith called Wife After God. It rocked my world. The one thing that I knew my hubby wanted that could never be purchased was an upgraded wife. A more kind wife. A more patient wife. A more grateful wife. A wife after God. My husband isn't perfect, yet God knew that he'd be perfect for me and I'm ever excited about how only after 4 days my perspective on my marriage has shifted.

I get it now, focusing isn't my thing. But I will find a way to make all of this bubbly high energy work for my good. This week I want to hone my creativity to finish preparing for another great guy's birthday: my son! And I want to continue to let God upgrade the wife in me. Four days down, 26 to go. You can check out my #WifeAfterGod progress on Twitter.

What's your wish this week? Big it big or small--speak it into existence!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Healthy Hairology Medley

Sunday Healthy Hairology Medley is the place where I share my favorite healthy hair related blogs, vlogs, and forum features for you each week. I probably should be embarrassed by the hundreds of healthy hair lovers I follow, but I'm really not. Ha-ha! Here's the best of the best from last week:
Not Everyone Is Going To Like Your Blog mariedenee: Not quite healthy hair related; But the #1 bloggy life commandment. Marie's take on this is as powerful as it is honest.

HOTD: Bun & Bangs longing4length: Blunt bangs are super chic especially when you work them with a sexy high bun. Check out Ebony's old braid-out savior. 

10 Awesome Facts About My Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA) ghanaianemprezz: Abena had me at "combing and detangling is a breeze! 

Oil Rinsing 101 for Relaxed/Natural Hair relaxedthairapy: If you're going crazy with tangles, dull or dry hair give oil rinising a try by following Divachyk's awesome tips.

A Year's Worth of Shedding powertothepj: Here's what Mia learned about shedding after collecting all of her shed hair for a year.

A Healthier Way to Relax? laurenmechelle: Word on the street is that Creme of Nature's new relaxer system Straight from Eden is the first ever plant-derived straightening creme... Pick up your jaws and find out more from Lauren about her first impressions.

What healthy hair tidbit made your best of the best list this week?

Besitos! KLP & Kedya

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mini Wash Day

During mini washes, I skip shampoo to head straight into deep conditioning. I've had a few Pura Body Naturals products sitting in my stash since Christmas so I decided to give them a test drive this wash day. Every single product smells like heaven. Divine in every single way, which is a big deal to me because my nose is very particular. 
  1. Detangled- with my fingers and extra virgin coconut oil. 
  2. Pre-Poo- with JBCO on my scalp.
  3. Extreme deep condition- Next, I hopped into the shower for 5 minutes to rinse the oils completely. Then I applied Pura Body Naturals Chocolate Hair Smoothie, massaged my stands with extra virgin coconut oil, covered with a plastic cap and sat under my heat cap for 2 hours and left it in overnight.
  4. Rosemary Chamomile Aloe Hair Rinse- After rinsing the conditioner, I applied 1 part steeped chamomile tea + 1 part aloe vera juice + 2 springs of rosemary, using a narrow tip applicator to my strands--focusing on the roots. I let it sit for a few minutes then rinsed.
  5. Smoothing Treatment- with a large dollop of Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution.
  6. Air Dried- to 80-85% wrapped in a cotton t-shirt.
  7. Leave ins- I used Pura Body Naturals MuruMuru Moisture Milk, Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Hair Butter and then "faux" banded my hair to stretch roots while it dried.
Lost Hair- L:Shower|R: Detangling
The Good- 
I love love love love (did I say LOVE?) the Tahitian Vanilla scent! I could just sit and sniff this stuff alllllll day. Yes, I'm weird. But we in a #nojudgementzone right? Ha-ha! It's no secret that I think many natural products smell awful. My beloved Jessicurl Too Shea was no different. Pura Naturals on the other hand---I'm totally a fan of the scent! I had very little lost hair during this wash day, and very minimal breakage. Detangling was a little more challenging, but I didn't mind it.

The Indifferent- 
MuruMuru Moisture is light and creamy; It reminds me of marshmallow fluff. I really enjoy the way that it sinks into my hair, but this feeling doesn't very long. Used it as my nightly moisturizer for a week prior to this wash day and every night, my hair felt dry; as if I hadn't moisturized at all the day before. I'm not impressed but it's not awful either. For now, I'll blame it's none wow factor on the miserably cold weather that my part of the world can't seem to shake.
Texture Shot

The Bad-

Chocolate for your hair? Meh---whilst it smells divine; this conditioner just sat on top of my hair. I expected it to be completely absorbed after deep conditioning and it wasn't. I was pretty disappointed but I think that I'll give it another try or two before forming an opinion. 

Have you tried Pura Body Naturals? What do you think?


Friday, January 10, 2014

How To Grow Out Your Bangs

The Evolution of My Bangs

Believe it or not, but I've never intentionally wanted bangs. Never not ever. But until recently, I've always had them. Why? I used to be a heat loving, don't even know what a deep conditioner is, hair abuser. The front of my hair was flat ironed at least once a day and sometimes two or three times depending on where I was going. I didn't even care that it seemed like my hair wasn't growing, all I cared about was that my hair was sleek and smooth. Then in 2012, I committed to growing out the crown of my hair. Today, my bangs are the longest they've ever been, inching towards shoulder length. Here's how I did it:

Protective Styling:
Shh! I have a secret: I have a thing for keeping my hair tucked up and away! Okay---that's a not so secret. I kinda talk about it a lot. I started protective styling when my son was born. The day that he was born, one of the very first things that he did was grab at my hair. I knew that was the beginning of the end if I didn't change my hair styling ways. Ha-ha! After 2-3 months of buns and updos (aka the inspiration behind The Bun Effect), I started to notice an immediate increase in the length of my bangs. Once I stopping fiddling with my bangs, I started retaining length.

Extreme Deep Conditioning:
I feel like the front of my hair is more exposed to the elements and manipulation than the back. So I take care to amp up the moisture by extreme deep conditioning. Extreme Deep conditioning layers an oil over the conditioner. Then cover with a plastic cap and warm under indirect heat for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Dry hair is more susceptible to breakage and deep conditioning can help quench the thirst. Don't forget to keep a little protein in your hair care regimen. Here's how I use it to maximize my length retention.

Apply Your Products Thoroughly: 
When applying products, especially leave ins, start from the bottom and work your way up. Yes, your roots need moisture, but so do your ends. I noticed that when I start product application from the bottom, I'm more likely to apply evenly. For sealing (when I air dry), I go a heavier on the oil or butter on my ends to add an extra layer of protection.

There you have it, three super easy ways to retain length in your bangs. Any other tips to growing out your bangs?


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Zoe Saldana Milk Maid Twists | PINspired

Pinterest is the ultimate to go unleash your inner creative foodie, unique fashionista, and intriguing abstract artist. Of course, being all things hair obsessed, SavingOurStrands has hundreds of captivating and cute styles for you to be inspired by when that bun gets too boring. So, my girl Britt from One&20 and I are back to put a little pep into your protective style step with a monthly series recreating PINspired hairstyles on both relaxed and natural hair. 

PINspired Zoe Zaldana Milk Maid Twist
  1. Begin with detangled and moisturized hair. (My hair was previously cold air tension dried and faux banded to smooth my roots)
  2. Divide hair into two sections. (Optional: Leave a small section out to fame your face. I bantu knotted my bangs for a soft curl)
  3. Create two loose twists on each side (Four twists total). Start one of the twists at high level and the other near your ear. This will create the illusion of fuller twists. Pull the top twist over to the crown of your head and secure with a bobby pin. Do the same with the bottom twist
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Pin until the braids feel secure.

Tips and Tricks:
  1. My hair isn't long enough. No sweat, either was mine. Which is why, I did two twists instead of one braid. The top twist stretches across to the opposite side, whilst the bottom twists "connects" from your ear up. Sneaky trick huh?
  2. My hair isn't thick enough. Create more twists! Try 3 or even 4 to get the illusion of a fuller thicker braid across. Remember to stagger them as you pin.
  3. My hair doesn't have enough volume. Consider air drying before beginning this style. An old bantu knot or braid out will give you the volume that you crave.  
Visit Britt over at One&20 for pointers on creating this style on natural hair!

What have you been PINspired by lately? Link up your faves below! (No sweat if it isn't hair related!)