Tag Archives: Deep Condition

I Picked THE HOTTEST Weekend…

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Its Hot

…To take down my micro braids!! Good lord it’s HOT!!!! The take down process ended up being a day and a half. The detangling, washing, deep conditioning and styling took another five hours. When I say I’m exhausted, please know that I mean it!!

My hair is in small – medium sized plaits that I will take down in the morning for a curly fro style. I’m not posting any pictures of it’s current state because 1) It’s too darn hot 2) I’m sweaty 3) Sweaty on me = not cute in my book 4) I’m too lazy to put on decent clothes to take a picture.

I did watch some videos and read some blogs about how to detangle hair after taking down braids, and one very helpful tip was to use conditioner. I applied a liberal amount to my hair with a little water, and slowly and gently detangled sections of my hair. It was very time consuming but worth it. Had I tried to comb through the product build up, dead hair and tangles,  I would have lost a lot of unnecessary hair. My hair feels soft, my plaits are bouncy and juicy, and my scalp feels very clean.

I had my micro braids in for three months and didn’t have a lot of product build up. The hair shedding I experienced was normal and I haven’t noticed any bald spots. 😉 My hair grew A LOT, especially in the back which is where it typically grows the fastest.  I gave my hair (the ends in particular) and scalp a lot of TLC this weekend and will continue to do so going forward. Scalp massages are the BEST!

The one thing I didn’t get a chance to do because I didn’t have any on hand was a protein treatment. I need to purchase some product ASAP. Otherwise, this was a long, hot weekend dealing with nothing but my hair. But, it was a labor of love. Show your hair some love and it’ll love you right back! 🙂

Natural Hair Stylists

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Raised eyebrow

Last week I attended a very worthy event sponsored by a dear friend of my mine for Breast Cancer Awareness. It was hosted at a full service salon where my friend works. After the workshop, we got a tour of the salon and we got to meet the staff. There were about 4 stylists who said they specialized in natural hair care. I approached one of them and we had a mini consult.

The consultation started out ok. I told her how long I’ve been natural, she asked what I used as a moisturizer and what products I used. I told her that I make my own concoctions and that I don’t really have any product favorites. Honestly my mind went blank and I really couldn’t think of the the few that I do like at that moment. I do like Wen products (shampoo and conditioner in one). She then began to tell me about her favorite products and how she’s still searching for the right moisturizer for her hair. I knew within seconds that she was a product junkie with all the products she began rattling off that she currently use on her hair. Red flag #1. Anyway, I explained to her what I was looking to have done to my hair, which by the way was very simple: Wash and deep condition, clip or dust my ends, blow dry & flat iron.

Apparently all she heard and saw were dollar signs because her response was “Yes, you should be clipping your ends every 6 – 8 weeks, and you need a cut and style, and I can give you this treatment and that treatment, and I like to do cute natural updos, that’s what I specialize in, so yeah all of that would come to $65.00.” Red flag #2.

Soooooo you’re going to charge me the same price I would have to pay if I were getting a relaxer and a cut and style? Are you freaking kidding me right now? But let’s forget that point for a moment. Let’s get to the core of the matter which is she didn’t listen to a thing I said! She totally disregarded what I, the potential customer, wanted and decided to push her wishes on me. I quickly ended that conversation and walked away. I was very nice about it, but very disappointed and flabbergasted at the same time.

The lesson: Always have a consultation with a new stylist before booking an appointment with them. Just because a person claims to be a natural hair stylist doesn’t mean they truly are, nor does it mean that what they are offering is what you’re looking for. Be very clear with them about what you are looking for, and if that isn’t what they are offering move on. If you feel the stylist isn’t listening to you or are concerned about your questions and concerns, move on. If the stylist simply looks at you with dollar signs in their eyes, move on.

Honestly, I’m second guessing having my hair flat ironed now. I was only going to do it for a length check, but now I just may wait a little longer, maybe when I reach my 2 year natural anniversary. My hair is healthy and has been growing just fine with me taking care of it, and it doesn’t cost me $65.00 to do so.

Do you go to a natural hair stylist? What have your experiences been like?

Using Coconut Milk As A Deep Conditioner

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Since going natural, I’ve become an avid reader of any and everything regarding caring for your hair using natural ingredients. I don’t try every suggestion I read either. I take my time and decide what I really want to try and what sounds like will benefit my hair. I’ve heard nothing but good things about coconut milk and how wonderful it is for hair growth, among other things. I’m already an avid coconut oil user, but never tried coconut milk. Money is tight so I couldn’t get the good stuff (organic coconut milk) so I opted for the canned version that you can get from your local grocery store, about $1.70 a can.

One of the things that coconut milk does besides aid in hair growth is relax and soften your hair. No, it does not straighten your hair like creamy crack relaxers. Rather, it naturally elongates your hair because coconut milk (and oil) are full of rich emollients. Many articles I’ve read suggested mixing honey, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, or olive oil with the coconut milk as a pre-poo treatment. Others suggested mixing coconut milk with your favorite conditioner to use as a deep conditioner. Since I didn’t have any honey on hand I opted for the deep conditioning method, and this is what I did:

1/4 cup of conditioner (I use the Wen brand – I LOVE that stuff)

1/2 can (give or take) of well shaken coconut milk

1  1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

Coconut milk conditioner

In a small bowl I mixed the ingredients with a fork. I immediately noticed that the mixture began to thicken up like whipped cream. I mixed it until the olive oil was mixed in well. Then I began to apply the mixture to my freshly washed scalp and hair. (Note to self: You don’t need to make so much next time!) I didn’t want to waste my mixture so I used all of it on my hair. I then spent about 3-4 minutes massaging the mixture into my scalp. After the scalp massage I finger detangled and finger combed my hair, giving a lot of attention to my ends. During this process, I noticed how much my hair stretched and how loose my curls were. I covered my hair with a plastic shower cap and let the mixture sit for about 45 minutes while I did laundry and other things around the house. The suggestion was  to leave the mixture in anywhere from 1-5 hours. Because I waited so late in the evening to wash my hair, I didn’t have time to let my mixture sit that long.

I rinsed the mixture out using lukewarm water and loved what I saw afterwards. My hair was definitely hanging longer and looser instead of being close to my scalp like it normally is. I went on with my hair care routine, oiling my scalp and applying other products to do a plait out. I plaited my hair in small plaits, and this let me see just how much my hair has grown. The next morning I gently took my plaits down, separated my hair and then styled it.

Plait out results1

In the above picture I pinned my hair up on one side. My bangs have NEVER hung down across my forehead like this! NEVER. To say that I was very pleased with the results of using coconut milk in my deep conditioning process would be an understatement!

Plait out day 2.0

This photo is the next day. I should have fluffed my hair before I took this picture, but oh well! I re-plaited my hair the night before (I had to. I have 4c hair, need I say more?), gently separated it and left it alone to do what it wanted. I think I look like Side Show Bob from the Simpsons (I LOVE his hair by the way!), but many people at work said they liked my hair today, lol! They are beyond sweet. 🙂 I like letting my hair do what it do. In closing, if you haven’t tried coconut milk as a deep conditioner or a pre-poo, please try it! I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Deep Conditioning With Avocado, Olive Oil, & Honey

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Avocado2Olive Oil2Honey2

I’ve been ITCHING to get my hands on some avocado oil as I hear it does WONDERS for your hair. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been looking for it that hard, but I have been looking and no one seemed to have it. In the mean time I’ve been hearing how great using avocado as a deep conditioner in your hair is. It’s cheap, easily accessible, and you can add things to it that you already have in your kitchen. I happened to be at WalMart one day and they had avocado’s on sale. I grabbed two of them and decided that I would try my hand at my own deep conditioning concoction. This time my oldest daughter was my guinea pig. 😉

I took her Senegalese twists down Friday night and Saturday afternoon I washed her hair and then prepared my avocado deep conditioning concoction. I decided to use extra virgin olive oil and honey in my mixture, and below are the ingredients and instructions of how I prepared it:

1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of honey

*I’ll be honest, I really didn’t measure anything. The above measurements are guesses*

In a small bowl I mashed the avocado with a fork until all big clumps were gone. I added the olive oil and honey and mixed well with a spoon. Then with my hand I took a scoop at a time and applied it to my daughter’s hair. I know there are those who prefer to use a food processor to puree their mixture – that’s totally up to you. After her hair was saturated with the mixture (you will have leftovers in your bowl) I massaged it into her hair, on her ends and scalp really well and then used a large tooth comb to comb it through and detangle. I applied a plastic shower cap to her head and let it sit for 20-25 minutes. (Next time I’ll wrap a hot towel around her head)

I rinsed her hair with warm water and made sure all clumps and any stringy particles from the avocado were out. One complaint I’ve read from others who used avocado as a deep conditioner is the stringy residue left in your hair from the avocado. If you take extra time to rinse your hair well you won’t have too much of this stringy residue. To me it wasn’t a big deal, you just have to take the time to make sure it’s all out.

What I immediately noticed about my daughter’s hair after rinsing out the avocado deep conditioner was how defined her curls were. Her curls were looser, which to me wasn’t a bad thing. Loose/stretched out curls was a complaint I’ve heard from other people who used this deep conditioning method. She has naturally curly hair like her dad and 4a hair. The other thing I noticed right away was how soft her hair was. To me these were all huge pluses! I oiled her scalp and ends and twisted her hair for a twist out. Below are the results.

Taylor Twist2

In the end I give the avocado, olive oil, & honey deep conditioner two thumbs up. I liked the results on my daughter’s hair and I’ll be trying it on my hair this weekend. I promise to get more accurate measurements this time! 😉