Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tools of the Trade

When you become a follower of the Healthy Hair Movement there are a few things that are essential to our survival!!! We need the proper tools to maintain our lovely locks. It can be overwhelming when it comes to what you should have. Over the past 2 years I have gone through countless items brushes, combs, shampoos, conditioners to name a few. Now that I am well closing in on year 2 I have came up with the MAIN Tools that every person should have.

IMAG0689Brush: There are two kinds of brushes bristled and vented that I use. I use a bristled brush when I want to smooth out my hair to achieve a slicked down style. I use a vented brush when I am going to straighten my hair out and need to ensure that I can blow out my hair properly or I use the vented brush when I want to detangle a section before I use the bristled brush. One last brush I use is an applicator brush. Yes something that you use to put in a relaxer. You may ask why? I use this brush when I do my Deep Conditioning. I am able to get to each strand of hair for complete coverage. Try it sometime!!!!


IMAG0690Combs: Comb's are essential as if you already don’t know that! Combs help us part/section off parts of our hair. There are about three kinds that I use. I have a wide tooth comb, big tooth and a medium size tooth comb.each serve as steps to the detangling process. You don’t want to have any fine tooth comb’s because that can break you hair off as the hair catches in the fine tooth. Most black women own a rat tail comb. If you didn’t have a any other comb you had a rat tailed one. With natural hair rat tail comb is not what you need to use. You will cause unnecessary damage to your hair.

IMAG0684Clips: As your hair gets longer you will defiantly need clips. I use plastic clips. Metal clips tend to catch in your hair and also that can break you hair off.  We defiantly don’t want that. So if you use metal clips be carful when taking them out.




IMAG0685Pins: Pins are great when styling your hair. I try to keep away from pins with out the plastic tip. Once my pins protective tip is gone I push them to the side. With out the tip at the end of the pin it can cause unnecessary breakage. Remember our goal is to grow hair not break it. So your tools must be hair friendly.

IMAG0687Pin without a protective tip



Head ties/hair ties: I have LOTS of head ties. During my middle stage of my natural hair journey I utilized these ALL the time. It was a “tool” I used when I didn’t want to do IMAG0692my hair or when I needed to run out of the house I can take a head ties and put y hair up in a cute afro puff. There are two kinds that I have, elastic ones and cloth ones that I made out of strips of an old shirt.  If you use the elastic ones Goody’s have the ouchless ones. The head ties with the metal can cause breakage because your hair can get caught in the metal part. Same things goes when you use ponytail ties. Be smart and get the ouchless ones. We defiantly don’t want any snags.



IMAG0662This is my typical lazy hair doo!!! Head band rocking cute tight curly fro =)






I hope you were able to learn something new today til we meet again,

Natural Luv

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Protective Style: What DOO you DO?

Protective Style: What Doo you Do?
Having a protective style is a must. As my hair began to get longer I realized that I can't always do twist out and putting my hair in a head band. My

twist outs would only last about 2 days (Yea I know which is a bummer) so I began to look into what protective styles I can do without having to put a w

eave or braids in my hair. After much searching I found that putting my hair in two French twist worked for me. It was easy for me to get up in the morning and do (If needed) and also cute. There are many kinds of protective styles. Today we will


go in depth about why protective styles are need and the most common protective styles. We all know the Pros of protective styles so we will also review the Cons (If any)

Purpose of Protective styles:
The reason a protective style is needed is to keep your ends from sight and help retain your lengthy lock.........That is IT!! Nothing more, nothing less. Protective styles won't make your hair grow BUT it helps to minimizes breakage especially if your hair is breaking off at the same pace it is growing.
I found this to be true. I noticed more breakage when I was combing my hair each day pulling it up in an Afro puff. My ends were always exposed. Although my hair grew I still was experiencing breakage at the same rate that my hair was growing.

Once I found a protect style that I can do easily I noticed that my hair wasn't breaking as much AND I was able to retain more of my length.

Most Common Protective Styles:
Two Strand twist (more so for natural hair than relaxed)
Bun or Chigon
Flat Twist

Two Strand Twist
This style is most effective on natural hair. Relaxed hair is too straight to the hold the twist at the ends. Natural hair is kinky enough to hold the twist in place at the ends. You can wear a TST for a few days until it gets old and then do a twist out. This style is called a Two Strand Twist, Twist Out.


Easy and versatile


not time efficient depending on the size and length of hair.

Picture: Two Strand Twist, Twist out style

Buns or Chigon
Buns are an ideal protective style if your hair is long enough to be wrapped around the shaft of the pony tail. Buns can be worn in different ways, on the crown, to the back, on the side and more than one bun at a time. You can wrap your hair around the shaft of the ponytail. You can also do a damp bun which helps help your strands and ends hydrated/moisturized at all times.


Easy, Fast and Versatile


Breakage can occur if the bun is pulled too tight

So if you are going to do this style remember TIGHT is not always RIGHT! Loosen that ponytail up guh!!!!

We ALL have had these......well majority of black women has had braids in one point or another. Braids are a great protective style to have. It is easy (once you have spent nearly countless hours getting them in) and you can style your braids any kind of way. Braids are a great alternative for those who can’t put up with the everyday hum drum of maintaining their hair.

I have always had weak edges. I love getting my hair braided because it eliminated the time I had to spend doing my hair BUT after I took them out……….can you say I looked like I had a receding hair line. I never knew why it was happening. I took care of my braids or so I thought, made sure my scalp was moisturized and I made sure I put it in a bonnet at night, SO WHATS THE PROBLEM!!!!!


Tie your edges down to help minimize movement at night so that there is not added stress on your edges.

Don’t put have a tight pony tail. Again I say TIGHT aint always RIGHT


Versatile, easy and fast


Damaged edges if not taken care of properly

Remember: Not because you have braids mean that you don’t have to take care of them.



As we moved into the 2000’s you noticed a new hair trend had hit the market. WEAVE!!!!! (well it was new to me) This hair product was a God send to most African American women if not all. You can get short, long, black, pink, and blonde without having to cut our hair or put harsh chemicals to get it the color we wanted it to be. I am victim of the weave-a-palosa!!! I had a weave ponytail ALL the time. Once I was old enough my mom allowed me to get glue ins and sew ins. If you watched the Good Hair movie you know how much a woman take pride in her weave. A woman will get her hair weaved before paying her bills ( now that’s just crazy) Weave is the Holy Grail of all Grails for the average or not so average African American woman.

Although weaves are a great protective style you still have to be careful in maintaining it just as if it was your own. Hell you paid money for it so you better take care of it!!!!! With glue ins the weave is incorporated with your hair giving a more natural look. With sew ins you can get a full (all of your hair is braided) or a partial weave (some of your hair is left out to blend with the weave)

Glue ins or “quick weave”


Inexpensive, Easy to do (like anyone) and you can get a good glue-in style done in less than an hour (not including styling)


Can cause broken roots, stressed scalp, and loss of hair if not taken out properly Picture: Quick Weave style

Sew ins


Last longer than glue ins

Your hair can rest from heat and chemicals

Retain length easier because ALL of your hair is braided.


Hair damage can occur If you hair is braided too tight, Damage can occur if hair is left out around the perimeter of head and the crown

IMAG0059Picture: Sew-in style

Flat Twist

Flat twist are like two strand twist but they twist are twisted to the scalp like corn rows. This is an easy style to do and once the twist gets old you can twist them out and do a cute style.


Easy, Fast, works well with both natural and relaxed hair


None that I can think of, can you lol



So as you can see there are many styles that you can do the help protect your hair. The styles that were spoken about are what I saw as the most common protective style. Of course you can always refer to Youtube, Hairlista and many other hair care forum to find other ways to protect your hair and look good doing it. 

I hope this post helped you gain some insight on these protective styles. Till Next time

Natural Luv

Monday, September 5, 2011

Regiments: Getting down to the Nitty Gritty

We ALL have heard about regiments and that you should have a regiment. This is one thing that is drilled to every person heads, it is the first thing that new followers of the healthy hair movement is asked. A conversation from a newbie would would proably go like this:

Hi, my name is Jane, my hair is dry and cant keep a style, it breaks a lot and never seems to want to do what I need it to do. Can someone help me?

Hi Jane welcome, what is your regiment? Of course Jane is not sure what anyone is speaking of!

Jane; Regiment?

Lista: How often you wash, co-wash, dc ect.....what products are you using?

and this is were Jane is blown away from all the information that everyone is telling her just like each one of us who has graced the Hairlista website and joined in on the chat.

Since going natural I think I have gone through countless regiments. If you did the big chop your regiments was strictly wash and goes. Get up wash your hair slap some curly kinda pudding on it and your done.
As your hair became a Tinni Winni Afro (TWA) for some it was still get up slap some curly pudding on it and go. For others it was every few days you would do a wash. For me it was every three days I would wash my hair, put a leave-in and out the door.
As you hit that middle phase,,,,,ahhhh yea thats when its not short and not long you probably will find it a little hard. I know I did!! Heck I thought I was doing something with the little I was doing. You might ask what regiment I was on in the "Middle Phase" Well my dear friends I was on the same regiment I had when I had a TWA . PAUSE!!!!!!!!

Here's the scoop:

See I thought I could keep doing the same thing I was doing when I first started which prove to me as utter FAILURE!!!! You can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results. We have all heard it before! Same rule applies. Why am I doing the same thing I was doing in the beginning of my natural hair Journey now that I am nearly 2 years post BC (Big Chop) Oh no that's not going to work.

So once this light bulb went off I began to try different things.

I would DC twice a month, poo once a month, moisturize every other day.......NOPE didn't work. On to the next!

DC once a week, poo once a month, moisturize daily.....Ok we are onto to something here but still something was missing. On to the next......keep in mind I try theses regiments each month to see if I had any results.

ok they say third time’s the charm......let see if it would be for me.

DC once a week, poo once a month, black tea rinse after DC, moisturize daily (using L.O.C. method)......It keeps getting better but not a winner!

Alright so third time was not the charm for me. So back to the drawing board

Pre poo and Poo (as needed)


ACV Rinse


DC (Weekly- 4-5hrs under conditioning cap),

Protein treatment (Once a month)

Black Tea rinse (twice a month)

Moisturize (L.O.C.) daily

Style as normal OH I can’t forget to oil and massage scalp (3 times a week)


I think I have found a regiment that works for me *Heavens rejoice* I came to this final regiment after one day being at home bored while doing my weekly treatments. I said to myself.......SELF what will happen if you did an ACV rinse BEFORE your DC? So I tried it and my hair was SO soft and combable!!!!! I went to my friend’s house that was going to straighten my hair and she too noticed how soft my hair was. It really felt like what everyone would think a cloud would feel like S.O.F.T. SOFT!!! She asked me what I did and I began to enlighten her on this new found information. Side Note: She also stated that she wishes she would have met me before she decided to lock her hair up.
I was happy with the results I saw after trying my new regiment.

Ok so now I have set regiments I can get Operation Grow Healthy Long Hair back on track. After countless trail and errors and much gained knowledge I know now that Year 2 would be AWESOME year!!

Things to remember:

1. Everyone hair type is different

2. What works for me MAY not work for you

3. Always try to find what works for you

4. Get with other people with the same hair type


5. Don’t get discourage when things don’t work out!! That’s the beauty of each individuals hair journey……finding out things about your hair you never knew!

Thanks again for stopping by and reading about my Adventures in Natural Hair Land!!

Till we meet again,

Natural Luv

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge part 6

If you are a Hairlista you know what I’m speaking of. The Castor Oil Challenge begins tomorrow. I have decided to jump on board with the rest of the Listas and do this challenge. Last year I tried to do the Ultimate Growth Challenge and that posed a challenge for me. I became "Lazy" and didn't make it two weeks. Yea that's bad isn't it lol Now that I am on my new revelation and I have jumped back on the natural hair horse I decided to try my fate at this one.

On Wednesday I went to Whole Foods to pick up my bottle of Castor Oil. You might want to know
a little bit more on what this challenge is Well, Here's the scoop

The Castor Oil Challenge

Start Date: September 2nd, 2011

End Date: December 2nd, 2011

(total of 3 months!)

There are different levels that you can choose from

Basic: Apply Castor oil to scalp twice a week.

Intermediate: Apply Castor oil to scalp twice a week followed by a scalp massage (2-5mins focusing on damaged areas). Add 1 tsp to your weekly deep conditioner.

Advance: Apply Castor oil to scalp three times a week followed by scalp massage (2-5mins focusing on damaged areas). Add 1-2 tsps to weekly deep conditioner.

I have decided to try the Intermediate level of this challenge. Of course you can do which one you feel most comfortable doing. This is an inexpensive challenge to do. A bottle of Castor Oil is about $10 for the 16fl. oz. Remember this is a 3 month challenge so getting a good size would be most cost efficient.

What I have done was getting a small bottle with a tip (.99-$1.59) and added some of the Castor Oil in it so that it can be easier to apply to my scalp. It’s less messy that way.

Challenge Goal

So far I am at EL (Ear length) I plan on achieving NL (Neck Length) by the end of this challenge!!! My hair is not damaged but I will focus most of my massaging on my temples and the nape of my neck since that's where my hair seems to not grow as fast as the rest of my hair.

Benefits of Castor Oil in Hair

Increase hair growth

Thicken hair that is starting to thin out

Reduce and prevent hair damage

Eliminate dry hair

Make the hair fuller and shinier

Deeply condition and moisturize hair and scalp

Prevents dry scalp

Boost your hair’s overall health

Other Benefits of Castor Oil
Softens thick calluses and removes corns

Cures skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm

Prevents stretch marks

Removes moles and warts

Removes age spots (liver spots)

Cures acne

Keeps the skin looking smooth, youthful and unlined

Breaks up external and internal scar tissue, and prevents new scars from forming

Soothes shingles

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

There is also another more famous Castor Oil made famous by Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil. It is said that Black Castor Oil is more potent than the regular Castor Oil and that you see more results when used. The difference in the two is that Jamaican Black castor Oil seeds are roasted then boils to remove100% of the oil. The longer the seed is roasted the more ash is produced which ultimately make the Castor Oil more potent. High ash content = high potency of the Castor Oil. Jamaican Black Castor Oil distinguished by the earthy smell it gives off. That is a distinctive feature to know that you have the real deal.

I am excited to stat this challenge. I have decided to start this challenge today since it was my day off and I wouldn’t have another one for another week and I want to get this thing moving. One day will not hurt and I don’t see it as cheating lol

Follow along as I update you on this 3 Month Journey.

Till we meet again,

Natural Luv

4C Natural hair straightened

Below: Castor Oil from Whole Foods, tipped bottle for application and DC mixture that I made