Thursday, March 29, 2012 - beantownbrown

It's Just Hoodies...

We won't preach to the choir here about the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Authors Nuri and Nia, in our hoodies, in solidarity...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Nisus

Shampoo, yes?

I mostly stray from the tenants proposed by the curly girl method but it makes sense, just soooo much sense, not to use harsh shampoos on our delicate coils.  I heard this waaaay back in 2003 and tried it then but instantly noticed that my curls were more prone to frizz without the shampoo.  I went back to shampoo.  Then newfangled "shampoos" came out, with better ingredients, less sudsy.  I went for those wholeheartedly and stuck to co-washing as much as possible.  Except for the rare occurrence, such as a 3 week long protective style or a particularly horrible product experience that warranted shampoo, I've been mostly off it for the past 3 years.

I always keep on hand a bottle of Trader Joes Tea tree tingle, or Giovanni's %50/50 balancing shampoo (or similar) for the aforementioned reasons. Most recently I shampooed my hair after wearing it pressed for a little over a week, and contrary to what would be expected after a press, my curls returned yet TIGHTER than they had been.  I thought it may have been the shampoo, but shrugged it off.

So like last week, I again shampooed my hair because I had mixed my flaxseed gel with some horrible product and got a head FULL of flakes.  This time my hair was light and fluffy and blowing in the wind when it dried. I felt it had been similarly light before that, but I blamed the products.  It was curly but light, floofy.

So then yesterday, lol, I decided to shampoo again, because I had not wet my hair in more days than I care to mention, and I was not feeling put off by the shampoo bottle (now sitting comfy IN the shower). Afterward it felt really nice! I diffused, pineappled and went to bed. The product I used will be another post- light hold- I like it and it's not my flaxseed gel- I forgot to refrigerate the rest of the last batch :-(
This morning, my hair is again super tightly coiled, even in the front. It's light and blows in the wind and shiny.

Humph.... Now I feel again like I did way back in 2003! WHY do I keep getting lured back into the co-wash low-poo/no-poo movement when my hair so clearly tells me it's FINE with regular shampooing?!  Mind you it's a milder shampoo than your traditional off the shelf types. But its real shampoo. Not a cream, not a low sudsing stuff. 

Bentonite clay would probably yield a very similar result and adhere to the curly girl way of life, but sometimes.... SOME times you just want to get in the shower and grab something off the shelf.  Shampoo is cheap.  and just there. and non-messy.

I do admit, my hair is squarely on the fine side of the spectrum so the coating/residue I experience may manifest quite differently on courser hair. So NO, I don't condone shampooing as a general rule lol.  BUT my hair is telling me something, and I am going to try harder to listen. And remember.

Shine!

 My bang/front hair, which is normally MUCH looser than the rest. 
Slightly looser, but resolutely coiled today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - Nisus

The Twist-out that won't quit! Jemima is back with another set


You all remember my girl Jemima? Check out that post from a little over a year ago and check out her growth and continued mastery of caring for her hair.

Picts and instructions galore!

Hello again,

After wearing my braids for three months, I decided to take them down because I simply MISSED my hair!
Immediately after take down:
After watching a few You Tube videos, I stumbled upon Mahogany Curls discussing the benefits of the “curly girl method”

I first used John Frieda Frizz Ease Curly Daily Conditioner to detangle hair in the shower. I lost less hair doing this step.  Instead of using shampoo I used Aztec Indian Healing Clay.

The clay defined my curls and did great job clearing my scalp.
 
I used John Frieda Frizz Ease Curly Daily Conditioner along with raw Shea Butter to double strand twist my hair. I decided not to use heat to dry my twists and instead let them air dry over night. Because of previous heat damage, I used the twist and curl method on the front half of my hair. I used flex rods on the ends.

 The next morning I simply untwisted and fluffed with and added a lil Raw Shea Butter on the ends for more defined and less crispy curls.
After a week of wearing my twist out, I decided to try a new look. I’ve had a hard time finding a gel to use that will not flake on me after a few days. I had a little bit of left over IC Fantasia gel so I decided to mix it with my new found love John Frieda Frizz Ease Curly Daily Conditioner!

I added two teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for shine. The result was a great ponytail and bang style. I created a fake bang by pinning the bang with bobby pins until I reached the desired length. I also try out a bump instead of the bang. I really liked both styles!
 Day two of this style I have no flakes or residue while playing with my coils. I have serious HIH (hand in hair) issues lol.
Good luck on your journey!
 What do you all think? She always has the best sets with minimal frizz!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - Nisus

Flakes, Flakes, Flakes! Yeah u know I got them Flakes!

NO GO!
Full stop, return to base, do not pass go.  The Jamician Mango Lime Coily stuff, mixed with Flaxseed gel did indeed FLAKE. Badly!  by mid-day 2.  I took my hair out of my ponytail and was like WOAH! how random!

It looks like Sacha Baron Cohen got me at the Academy Awards :-(


AND I took the time to doublestrand-multi-bantu my hair last night to stretch it out.
And I have to get home still. :-(

Monday, March 12, 2012 - Nisus

Jamaican Mango and Lime Transition Natural

As usual, Nuri and I were chatting the other day about hair stuff lol. And our old, once-beloved
Jamaican Mango Lime Cactus line is now at Target with a new venture for transitioners (which makes me laugh- not "naturals", but "transitioners" smh).

But first lets talk about what happened here.  Back in like 2003 we discovered the "green oil" and soon after the Cactus Leave in.  The ingredients were exclusive of mineral oil and fillers at the time.  We used to stock up at National Wholesale Liquidators (out of business now) and sing its praises from the mountaintop. One fateful day, I think it was Nuri who noticed that the ingredients had changed on her most recent purchase. Mineral oil...garbage... *tears*
This sparked a manic reaction of both hording what was left of the original formulas, letter writing (lol - for serious), and even giving the new formulas a try (fail). I had to walk off into the fog in 2005-06, predating this blog.  But I never forgot the smell and the once-good product in the green and white containers.

So fast forward to today.  In target there was this, inspiring this conversation:
nuri: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=jamaican+mango+and+lime+coiling+cr%C3%A8me+pudding&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1255687142953477100&sa=X&ei=XClZT8reO-Ld0QGl8KiZDw&ved=0CDcQ8wIwAQ
4:52 PM me: omg i saw it at target last weekend
  they also have hair rules now
4:53 PM i had to run away
 nuri: so i got this stuff last night
4:54 PM cuz i dunno why, just cuz
  so i tried it today just for kicks
 me: the fate that would have befallen me....
 nuri: i think i actually like it
  i co-washed, used a tiny bit of knot today, that stuff and a little eco styler
4:55 PM me: what's in it though. they got janky w/ ingredients
 nuri: my hair is way softer than usual
 me: humph
 nuri: Deionized water, calendula oil, glycerol, soybean oil, sunflower oil, palmorosa oil, babassu oil, glycerin, hydrolyzed keratin, chitosan succinamide, polyquaterium 10, polyquaterium 32, dmdm hydantoin, avocado extract, lemongrass, sweet fennel extract, rosewater, chlorophyll, orange peel extract, sage, hazel nut oil, ginger root extract, fragrance
  so there's like 2 or 3 things that are questionable
  cuz i don't know what they are
4:56 PM me: not as bad as I woudl have thought though
  they know we dont play certain ingredients lol
  they shoudl revisit their green oil
4:57 PM sigh... and that leave in they had....
  I miss it so
5:02 PM nuri: i haven't even seen it on shelves
  the green oil i mean
  i still have some that i horded
 me: lol. mine is long gone :-(
 nuri: but this stuff smells just like that
 me: humph
5:03 PM damnit target. i have $30 gift cert for there lol

7 minutes
5:10 PM nuri: it's still wet, so i can't fully say what I think of it
  but i do like the fact that it feels and smells good
  and it mixed with gel
5:11 PM me: all good things
  plus the nostalgia of them being good before nuri: yup.
 Soooo.  I did go buy some lol.  And I mixed it with my flaxseed gel yesterday for my wash and go.  The smell is dead on with what I remember.  I need to write more about the flaxseed gel after my month of trials, but I did find that it flaked with the Shea moisture smoothie.  Not so with this coiling cream.  BUT I can't say that it did anything spectacular either.  Its shiny and feels good, but I am not blown away like I was with the KMF gel results the first time.  But let this post serve to say.... I have my eye on you Jamaican Mango Lime Cactus.  I have my EYE on. you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - Nisus

HUGE update on Alicia - second BIG Chop after 6 year old locks!

UPDATE on my girl Alicia!  She did a second big chop after growing her locks out for 6 years!
She has been natural since 2002, we started this hair journey together and it never ends! Picts and slide show below!

When I started toying with the idea of a natural hair site it was 2005 and I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do.  I had this idea for a site that would share products, many different women's experiences and types of hair (like the tons that exist now, but few existed then).  I even did several photo shoots with friends of mine to kick it off lol.  Then, as real life would have it, I just could not find the time to build it properly, or promote it, or... just give it life.  I had bits and pieces of the original idea that were pretty good though, one of which was this series of interviews that still lives on the side bar. One of my closest friends is Alicia- who had locks when I interviewed her last.

You will see this picture again in the slide show below, but ya'll, look at how long her locks had grown over 6 years! (you see the scissors on the sink O_O )

And OK, maybe I didn't build enough suspense with all my explaining but this is her now! you ready?
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*
*
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Boom:
The reasons why she decided to big chop again are several and super important.
She has a beautiful baby girl now and has been inspired by her hair journey.  She wanted to share the experience with her :-) 
Doting Daddy and daughter:

Alicia also wanted to revitalize her own hair. 
"Stress of locs, constant re-twisiting and product build up from styling."
She said she is in "Big chop Bliss" now lol.  I think she looks beautiful and fresh, and with the little one she can definitely build on her existing skills with her and her daughter. I'm a proud friend!

Check out the slide show below to catch her entire journey!


What do you all think? :-D

Friday, March 2, 2012 - Nisus

Flaxseed gel follow up

Its still early, but here is the result of finally applying the Flaxseed/Marshmallow gel all over my whole head.  These are the picts from this morning, fully dry, after stretching slightly with a blow dryer.  Ya'll... it feels like I made my own Kinky Curly custard.

Here it was last night after applying and diffusing for 20 min.  My hair was about 90% dry.  It goes on like a non-sticky, super slimy/mucusy version of the Kinky Curly Custard.  I added castor oil mixed with Hairveda's almond glaze to each section after I raked it through.  
Flaxseed gel has never worked out like this for me before.  I blame the addition of the marshmallow, and maybe the raw honey.  Not sure- but thus far I have a winner! More to come...

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